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The Cesium Flash – the Proof
Alfred drives to a small single level house. It is in a suburban area in the southwest. When Alfred rings the doorbell Mike answers the door. He is an overweight man in his mid-20s.
“Hi! Who is your friend?”
“This is Utalk.”
“Utalk? Does she speak English?”
“She speaks English, but it is not her native language.”
“Come in, come in.”
Alfred and Utalk step inside. The house is messy and the furniture is mismatched.
“What are you having, coffee, diet soda, beer?”
“Utalk is an Alien.”
“By alien you don’t mean someone who crossed the border?”
“Space alien, Mr. Spock, Klingon.“
“You’re putting me on.”
“I texted my resignation, I drove halfway across the country, do you think I would go through this much trouble for a practical joke? Have I ever pulled a practical joke?”
“I wish I drank something stronger than beer.”
“Sit down and I’ll fill you in.”
Mike sits and Alfred explains:
“I went with a woman, Susanna, to see a saucer landing. The saucer landed then Susanna admitted she was an alien.”
Mike points to Utalk.
“She is Susanna?”
“No. Let me finish please. They sent Utalk here to kill me and her. It turns out it was just a test. Unlike most of them she doesn’t have control over her emotions. As best I can tell it means she acts just like us. She found us but didn’t kill us. The 3 of us made it back to my apartment. There Susanna was going to kill us but Utalk managed to stab her. Utalk explained Susanna had a fluid the aliens could track. With Susanna dead, they would know she failed and the aliens would close in on us. That’s why we had to get away from the apartment immediately.”
“You’re telling me there is a dead woman in your apartment?”
“She had a weapon and killed herself with it. The weapon immediately turns people, things into ashes.”
“So, you’re not a fugitive. Utalk here is from outer space. We can take her to a doctor and that’ll prove she’s not human, right?”
“Wrong, she’s as human as we are. The only thing a test will show is she is a healthy woman.”
“This weapon --“
“It turned to ashes with Susanna.”
“So, you’re saying she is an alien but you can’t prove it.”
“Yes, we’re at square one on the proof front. The best we can hope for is Utalk can give us some insight into what the aliens are up to.”
Mike turns to Utalk.
“You’re from another planet.”
“How can I believe any of this?”
“I know the fate of Jay Lyons.”
“The man in Oakland that went to check out the landing site in the Sierra Nevada mountains.”
“She could have got his name from your blog and put 2 and 2 together.”
“Did you put 2 and 2 together?”
“Okay Utalk, you tell me what happened to Jay Lyons?”
“He was apparently spotted when our craft landed. They sent Susanna out to greet him then they killed him. Our weapon reduced him to ash. Given time I could give the exact spot where this happened.”
“Alfred, you sure you didn’t tell her or anybody else about this?”
“Okay, I’ll bite. What do you need to pinpoint the spot?”
“A map and its scale. I would have to do some calculations so a computer would be helpful. I don’t suppose you have a spherical map?”
“You mean a globe? Hold on.”
Mike rushes into another room and comes back a couple of minutes later with a small globe.
“I know it’s probably not exactly what you had in mind.”
Utalk works with the globe, a ruler, and a pocket calculator for 3 hours. She uses many pages of a yellow notepad. She writes down a set of coordinates.
“This is where he was killed.”
Mike gives a surprised look at the coordinates. He brings up a document on his computer. Alfred asks; “Well how do they look?”
“These are well within my margin of error.”
“So, you’re convinced?”
“Yes, I’m convinced. The bigger question is how do we convince anyone else?”
“That’s the $1,000,000 question.”
“Could she make some futuristic device?"
“She was just a low-level technician.”
Meanwhile a committee of aliens in a conference room watch a large screen that gives a series of options and numbers. The color coordination and numbers change a few times. The alien in the center texts on a cell phone; “Track at a safe distance. Avoid a situation that could necessitate other action.”
It’s morning. Utalk is in the shower. There are pillows and sheets on the couch and love seat in the living room. Alfred and Mike have that “just woke up” look. They are drinking coffee. Mike surfs through the television channels and stops at a channel that is playing the original version of “The Day the Earth Stood Still”. Mike’s choice amuses Alfred. Mike turns to Alfred.
“You remember this movie?”
“What astronomer doesn’t remember this movie?”
Mike turns on his computer and explains his thoughts:
Remember that scene where he solves the engineering problem? She is obviously good at math. They are an advanced civilization.
Alfred and Mike speak together. “Maybe she can solve some unsolved math problems.”
When Utalk joins Alfred and Mike. Mike shows her a sheet of math theorems and asks her if she can prove any of them. Utalk looks over the list.
“I can’t prove this one because it’s incorrect.”
She declares 4 other theorems as incorrect. This amazes Mike and Alfred. Mike asks her to prove the Collatz Conjecture.
Mike takes them to a friend's house. Mike, Alfred, and Utalk are in Captain Ralph Haupt’s house. Ralph and Mike took some masters courses together and have been friends ever since. Ralph looks over the paper’s showing the proof of the Collatz Conjecture.
“This is impressive. Something tells me you didn’t come over here just to show me how to prove a theorem.”
“You see this sheet. Ask her to prove, or disprove, any theorem on this paper.”
“Alright so, Utalk is it, you’re a math genius. What is the rest of the story Mike?”
“She’s not a genius. Her planet is just more advanced than us.”
“What, that’s ridiculous.”
“What is ridiculous is us coming here with an ability to prove many unproven theorems and use it as a practical joke.”
There is a long silence before Ralph answers.
“You know the Air Force isn’t in the UFO business.”
“You can figure out who to call and maybe the U.S. government will get back in the business.”
“Ok, you come with me. We’ll go to my office, go over some proofs, and the whole story. Then I’ll figure out who, if anybody, I should call.”
For 2 days, senior military officers and civilians questioned Mike, Alfred, Utalk, and Ralph. Usually they were questioned separately. Mike, Alfred, Utalk, and Ralph wait outside a conference room. The room has no windows and is considered a vault. Two security police officers are with them. They are under orders not to discuss the questioning.
An Air Force major general enters the room. He orders the security police officers to leave the room. The major general sits down and waits for the security police officers to leave. Then he announces the findings:
The Department of Defense is back in the UFO investigating business. Mike, Alfred, we would like to have you work for us. Utalk, we would also like for you to work for us. Captain Haupt, we will have you reassigned to this investigation unit.
Alfred feels as if the weight of the world has been lifted off his shoulders.