Nanoprep 2021 Day 13: Big Blue Button
By Robin de Voh on 2021-10-20
He hit the big blue button on the machine. He wasn't sure if it was safe, but he didn't really care. Things were boring around here, and this was something new. He'd found it in what looked like an old bunker, maybe World War II era, and it had been mostly empty. Then he'd noticed a sliver of light coming from behind a steel door, which was locked. This had been a week ago. He had come back with heavy-duty bolt cutters so he could get in, to find out why there was light there.
He'd had no reason to expect anything other than light from the outside coming in through a window, but something had pushed him to go back and see.
And then he'd found it.
The lock on the door gave way after about 15 minutes of struggling and a lot of force. Well-made, reinforcing his idea that it was probably WW2, and probably German-made. They were good at this sort of stuff, disregarding all the evil of that time. When the lock finally broke, the door creaked a little as it settled in again. He had moved it, but it was slow going, the door hinges were rusted and the door was very heavy. He had dropped the bolt cutters on the ground and really put his back into it.
And then he'd seen it. The light was not coming from the outside -- for one, he'd come back at night this time, so he already knew that -- it was coming from a powered, functioning machine, that looked nothing like what he had ever seen before. If this was a WW2 bunker, there shouldn't be a machine -- a computer, it seemed -- here anyway, but even so, this looked like both the oldest and the most futuristic electronic machine he'd ever seen.
He had checked around to see if there were logos or any recognizable marks on it, but there seemed to be nothing. He then turned his attention to the dials and buttons on top of the machine.
And that's when he decided "Fuck it", and he hit the big blue button.
A whining sound emerged from the machine, a few clunks, and then it just quietly whirred. He hit the blue button again after a few seconds of nothing happening.
The machine clicked twice, and a screen popped up. Not a physical screen, but a holographic screen of sorts. It was floating in the air above the machine, but he couldn't see where the light beams were coming from. He stuck his hand through and it didn't even distort. This was some freaky next-level stuff.
He looked at the display and saw that it seemed to be a view of earth? Odd, he thought to himself. Then he looked a bit closer and saw that there was actually something in the bottom-right corner of the screen. It was bright, but kind of grey, and pockmarked. Was... Was this from the moon? Was this a video signal being relayed from the moon?
He hit the blue button again. He expected it to either turn off the screen or something else would happen. It was the first. So he hit it again to turn it back on, and then looked around for other buttons that might do something. He saw a few green buttons with markings he couldn't read, and he hit the first one.
The display flickered and showed him the exact same thing. He then hit the second button and the display flickered again but came back showing something else. He saw more of what he thought was the moon, but there was a base there? A moon base? And he saw people moving around. They were wearing space suits, so he couldn't make out who they were, but they didn't have any markings on them that he recognized. No Роскосмос, no NASA, no ESA, no JAXA, etc. There were spaceships anchored to the ground, and the people seemed to be moving what looked like missiles to the spaceships. He looked around a bit and saw there were actually a lot of these spaceships. Hundreds, maybe even more.
After taking in everything he could from this vantage point -- he'd by now decided that this was some kind of video station for that moon base -- he hit the third button. It was mounted nearer to one of the spaceships, and he got a closer look on the people moving about.
And then he noticed it.
He wasn't a racist by any stretch, but he was certain their skin color wasn't right. Purple wasn't a human color. Purple was well outside of the human range, and unlike those, purple wasn't what he should be seeing.
These weren't people. At least, not in the general definition he'd apply.
There was a moonbase. There were beings there. They weren't human. They have hundreds -- maybe even more -- spaceships, and they're loading weapons onto those spaceships.
He panicked. He went through the other buttons but couldn't see much more. The machine pinged and whirred and buzzed at him, and by now he was starting to get nervous that he was doing things that would tip off the beings on the moon -- what a thought to have! -- that he was watching. But he didn't see them respond to anything, so he relaxed a little. He did hold his breath until he was certain, though.
They calmly kept loading their weapons.
He needed to contact someone, but who? There's no Ministry of Extraterrestrials. So he just googled it. Other than some fringe groups that didn't seem too trustworthy, he found the first international agency that was legit. A government agency. It wasn't his country's agency, but he decided to try anyway. Why not, right?
Someone needed to know about this. And he wasn't going to be the asshole that pretended something bad didn't happen.
He hit dial, and called the NSA, to explain everything.