«I found something interesting about the bug in the planetology database.»
Steve Jason lifted his nose from his work, and considered his young trainee with a mixture of hope and tiredness. This bug already consumed a week of work, when the deadline for completion of the planetary data analysis was at the end of the month.
His trainee, Jampa Kongchok, was an only 23 years old young monk, but fully ordered, a guelong. Steve had some concerns about hiring monks, as he perfectly knew that the money they earned went only to their monastery ( note). So he arranged things so that this money went to fund Jampa's personal retreats, some years in the future. This was however a growing custom in the modern Tibet of 2086, and spiritual masters often encouraged spiritual students to have first some years of work in the current society. Even banks proposed various «retreat plans» for persons intending to spend time into spiritual activities. But traditional sponsoring (note) and even state sponsoring of monasteries or retreat centres (note) were still common and lively customs, and good practitioners were often allowed to have a direct access to spiritual involving, so that they did not had to bother about financial support.
So Jampa was fitting computer data for planetary studies, while training every minute for a sweet and gentle mindfulness. He was astoundingly skilful, and he completely amazed Steve in solving a problem in ten minutes, where Steve was drying up for three days. So Steve asked Jampa to debug the planetary database, which worked perfectly well with dummy data but blocked with real records of continental shapes.
Steve Jason was the only American working in the exobiology department of the prestigious World Wide Zambu Shedrup Ling International University (note) in Lhassa, Tibet. After taking part in the design of the incredible quantum telescope ( note), he was one of the main authors of the strange discovery of the missing planets (note). He moved since to Tibet with his Chinese wife Liu Wang. They were both admitted in Shedrup Ling, which world seat was set in Lhassa, Tibet, to fulfil a wish of His Holiness the 14th Dalaï Lama to make of Tibet a pure land for science and knowledge.
Shedrup Ling had classical science departments, physics, electronics, quantumics, energy conversion, ecology, biology, genetics, and especially astronomy, as the conditions were very favourable on the high Tibetan mountains, and their pure and dry sky. But Shedrup Ling was also dedicated to human friendly ideas, by the study of various religions, psychological and spiritual progress, at an individual level or society level as well. Many new ideas in sociology, education, anti-delinquency and anti-drug fight, enthralling social alternatives, came in fact from the lovely flower adorned Shedrup Ling campus. But the idea at the very foundation of this university was the General Epistemology, which was able to generalise the science pragmatic and rational approach into domains of which it seemed excluded, such as ethics, psychology, art, and spirituality. Of course, this took tens of years to be accepted, as usual, but it brought the validation of many ideas in various domains, social progress, ecology, spirituality, life after life, and a new frame to physics allowing for power of the mind over matter and other incredible phenomena.
Steve's current work was now on exobiology, comparing forms of life on other planets, and also geological or climatic evolution. He was working on a statistical study on the relationship between continental shape patterns and climate evolution. For this purpose he selected in the Planet Catalogue a sample of 10000 planets with air, continents and oceans, many of them being inhabited with animals and plants.
Alas no intelligent civilisation was actually found, for the strange reason discovered five years before at time of the missing planets affair: intelligent civilisation quickly discover a state of spiritual awareness which allows them to undergo a transformation from the usual material world into a spiritual world: the whole planet becomes something closely looking a religious paradise, where its inhabitants experience a perfect happiness, forever out of reach of evil, death and illness. But this planet thus disappears to the eyes of a material observer, and becomes a «missing planet»: a void planetary orbit, with sometimes remnants of space exploration devices, satellites or probes on the other planets of the system.
The social consequences of this discovery, directly concerning the future of Earth, were somewhat contradictory, but grossly positive. The most noticeable negative effect was the appearance of an «anti suicide» informal movement, which of course considered that the «spiritual transition» was in fact an illusion. After them, the missing planets were just destroyed, and any attempt to produce the phenomenon was equivalent to a suicide. Of course they recruited among the classical fascist or groty-punk movements, but also among scientistists, certain politicians and atheistic intellectuals. Otherwise apparently nothing changed neither in the general policy nor in current life of common people. But a more thorough observation showed that the range of the concerns of the negative social movements drastically reduced, while there was a general growing interest into spirituality, well being and humanitarian action, without any apparent plan or organisation behind this. For instance newspapers were far more involved and accurate on these matters, and the very special vocabulary of high spirituality was now known by everybody. Some were deceived not to see large movements or governments tackling with the fascinating challenge of organising the transition to the spiritual state, but they soon realised that this was not necessary at this stage. The whole process of spiritual transition of the Earth would require centuries, so that the matter now was just to carefully lay the foundations, and to do this thoroughly, without hurrying job. The fastest way was to take the time to do the things correctly.
Steve answered to Jampa: «What's new?»
«Hey, something strange. Unlike what you guess, I from the beginning think that the problem is not in the program but in the data itself and...
-But it is the Catalogue data, it has been hundred times checked and expurgated of any logical inconsistencies and incorrect syntax!»
Contrary to Steve, Jampa thoroughly trained to avoid such small impoliteness such as cutting someone's word.
«Yes, I know this. But you know that in the samsara ( note) the problems always come from our mind, and never of external events nor of other persons, and...
-I know, I know!» Steve had studied the basics of Buddhist wisdom, and even of other religions, and was somewhat engaged into Yoga ( note). But he was still at the stage of an intellectual knowledge not impregnating all his though in every domains. So this Dharma ( note) interpretation of computer malfunction left him somewhat sceptical. The malfunction always comes from the machine, not from the mind!
«Of course I carefully checked the entire program, as you requested. But I did not found anything wrong. Coming back to the sample, I noted that the «big mysteries» in computer malfunction often come from the fact that we miss to consider an aspect of the problem. As in the samsara. For instance in assuming that all the data record is correct. Removing such false prejudices is the key to the liberation of the samsara... or often of the liberation of our computer problem.
-OK, OK. So what you did?
-Simply, I suppressed the first half of the sample. It still blocked. I did it again, but suppressing all the odd planet numbers in place of the 5000 firsts. And this time it worked!
-Ho yeah, it did?
-Yes it did, perfectly! Exactly as with the dummy data!»
Steve had a relieving and hope feeling: his work could go ahead. But he was also somewhat teased: the Dharma interpretation was winning over the «material analysis». Even if «objectively» the problem was in the machine, what locked it was really in his mind. Tcheu namgyal (the Dharma wins), as often said Jampa.
«I assumed that these 5000 were not guilty. So I went back to the remaining 5000 and similarly tried to split the sample. Step by step, splitting the sample in smaller and smaller parts, I found more that 8000 which worked perfectly all together, and a remaining 2000 which blocked. Splitting this remaining in two, both parts perfectly worked too!
-Huu! How is this possible? It is like trying to catch a ghost!
-I was somewhat surprised with this, but I quickly understood that it was not a matter of such or such planet to be troublesome, but of a relation between several planets. Some special planets bring trouble when they are together in the studied sample.
-This is not possible. To obtain such a result would need to have the same continents, pixel for pixel, on several planets. Chances are extremely low, even in a 10000 sample. It is the reason why we did not implemented any real protection against such an occurrence. Of course, if this could happen, the differential shape analysis module crashes, sure.
-Did you calculate this? Probabilities sometimes surprise human estimation.
-OK, Jampa, I feel you are on a good track. But how this could happen? Maybe you will try your approach, in assuming that there is a relation between several planets. So strange it may look. But we discovered strangest things in space, and since the missing planets affair, I do no more try to guess what is likely or not.»
As Steve guessed, the next afternoon he heard the gentle knocking of Jampa Kongchok on his office door. The young monk entered on Steve's invitation, and deeply leaned to salute him, with his eternal smile on his lips. Sometimes Steve wondered if he was not mocking at him, but this would not be correct from a guelong. In fact Steve knew that Jampa was training his mind into an unconditional kindness, and himself was trying to do the same... when he was thinking to do so.
«Hello Jampa. Did you find something?
-Yes I did. And it is strange.
-OK, strange. I guessed this. Sure it may be strange. Everything is always strange in space.
-There are six planets. Only one causes problems, and only if it is with anyone of the five others. I checked with samples of only two.
-But in fact I did not examine the data itself. So I cannot guess what the cause of such a behaviour is.
-Let us see. Please sit there and look.»
Steve turned his chair toward his computer screen. This screen was far from the old 20th Century cathode tube computer screen. It looked exactly as a white sheet of paper where letters and drawings instantaneously appeared. It was also touch sensitive, and there was no more the need for a mice or anything else: to touch it with the finger was enough, or with a stiletto for accuracy. The colour changes were achieved with very tiny droplets of coloured fluids moving under the influence of electric fields, while the touch sensitiveness was done with a sweep by an high frequency electric potential: the finger earthed this potential when it passed on this part of the screen. Of course with such a device the UV eye aches, the magnetic or X rays problems were only a forgotten remembering, together with the need to bury oneself like a mole against sunlight to be able to see our work.
Steve quickly selected the planet number 6659, which name was Antliae 12447. A very banal view appeared, with continents scattered in oceans. He also selected another planet in the group of five. After one minute of observation, Jampa pointed his finger:
«These two are the same!»
Somewhat sceptic, Steve outlined the shapes of one of the continents of Antliae 12447, and selected another planet among the five. Obviously this great continent in the middle had also its counterpart. The same thing happened with each of the three other planets. At last more than two thirds of the continents of Antliae 12447 had their exact counterpart on these other planets. Maybe the last third was of planets out of the sample.
Steve was now puzzled, and he mechanically began to analyse which material cause could make that a planet may plagiarise five others. At least, to find two similar continents on two planets could be explained by random, but a single planet collecting the forms of five others was statistically unthinkable. Suddenly Steve had a feeling that the continent pattern of Antliae was somewhat unnatural: No ocean exhibited matching coasts, as this often happens with plate tectonics (note).
Even Jampa was not smiling. Steve felt that he had something to say, but that he did not dared.
«What do you think of that, Jampa?
-Hey, I do not know if it would be kind to say what I think.
-Hey, please say. You know that kindness does not exclude severity when it is necessary.
-He... It looks rather as if... the data of Antliae 12447 had been tempered.
-...using the five others to make a fake map.
Steve spent alone half of the night to examine Antliae 12447 data. At first glance, it looked very much as any other planet data. There was a map of continents, mountains, vegetation, animal spreading, climate, orbitography and stellar data. All the values were within one standard deviation (note) of the average. Animal forms themselves were very common, and plants too, there was no original aspects, all was very mean, too mean. But running a plate tectonics analysis software on Antliae 12447 map confirmed Steve's intuition: this map was completely inconsistent, and nearby all the indicators showed excess values.
Of course, the 10000 planets sample was at random, and there was no reason that any other sample could not make the same job too, for the climate analysis. So Steve simply removed the six planets from the sample, and selected six others at random in the Catalogue. All worked perfectly well, with no more blocking. So, with some hurry, he could complete in time his analysis of climates.
And after, he could have forgotten this odd story of Antliae 12447. But it was not in Steve's manner to elude a problem. Although this was not very visible in ordinary life, Steve was somewhat pugnacious, and this affair sounded as a challenge to him. He was also angry to see HIS Catalogue falsified. The Catalogue was his thing, his son, even if he did no more worked on it since more than fourteen years, even if since many others enriched it far beyond his own contribution. Steve was among the creators of the Catalogue, at the time of the first quantum telescope in the Iranian Khorasan Mountains (see The Missing Planets). Its basic organisation was his idea, and it showed so relevant that there was no need for any significant update since, even if the amount of data exceeded millions times what was first planned. Above all, Steve was a scientist, a true one, a seeker of the truth whatever it is, pleasant or unpleasant, foreseeable or unexpected, and he dedicated all his life to seek the truth, wherever he had to dig it out.
The Catalogue was though by Steve as something public, a collective patrimony, something in which everybody could be completely confident. Tampering it could only be felt by everybody as a direct attack against mankind intelligence and knowledge, an unspeakable act of treason. Of course, Steve and the other designers were not so naive not to protect their work against any mistake or intentional fiddling. So cautions were taken against any attack, such as fully automated data handling, logging of any operation, access codes, and some other confidential protections and cross checking. A very secret feature was that a summary of any newly entered data was always placed in other parts of the catalogue, so what any further forgery could be easily detected. Steve's anger was getting worse when he realised that all this sophisticated protective stuff had been overcome, thus supposing that powerful means were used, or that accomplices were working in his very own team! Steve also realised that to use such means could be done only with a serious motive. He sat before his computer and checked the date of the Antliae 12447 sampling. It was from a Russian observation campaign in 2079, at a time where Steve was still responsible of the Catalogue, at the beginning of The Missing Planets affait. Steve got really angry.
* * *
A ten of days passed by. Steve had completed in time his hard work on climate analysis, and found some time to reflect. His first idea was to warn everybody, to make an official alert on the problem, as he usually does when something requires an immediate action of the exobiology community. There even were automated computer mail forms for this, he just had some words to type. But this did not agreed him, for a reason he understood only after some days: if there was a traitor in the Catalogue staff, perhaps several, backed with powerful means, perhaps an influent party or government, they may have anticipated such alert action, and designed some mean to thwart it. At last Steve felt he had first to gather more data on Antliae 12447, to understand why it raised so much interest. But he had no observation time allotted for a long time ahead.
But there was a far better mean than to ask for observation time. The Zambu Shedrup Ling University exobiology department was just finishing its new extra power quantum telescope, and it was at the stage of the final acceptance tests. The first routine operations were planned to begin in about two weeks. Steve rushed on his videophone, and connected to one of the managers of the project, Dawa Dhondup, who luckily was Steve's friend. Although Steve's pretext was not very convincing, Dawa agreed to give him forty minutes of observation, at the time of meal, when technicians did not worked on the machine.
«Jampa! Please come, we are going to observe live!»
Jampa had only rarely access to direct observation, and he was very keen for this. So he stopped his prayers to come into Steve's office.
The quantum telescope is an incredible machine, which allowed a colossal breakthrough into astronomy and related sciences such as exobiology. Steve Jason was a member of the team who designed the first model, in 2065, in Iran, under the direction of Erzeran Kandahar, deceased since.
Basically the quantum telescope is made of a fluorescent screen, maintained at a very low temperature (Less than one millionth of a degree above absolute zero!), while being reexcited at will. It is kept isolated of the outside world in a quantum isolation caisson, with superconductive mirror-like inner walls, total protection against natural radioactivity and Earth magnetic field. Thus isolated, its place loses any mathematical definition, and it can interact with light at an arbitrarily high distance, whatever the obstacles, even through the caisson, through rock, or through the whole Earth! A photon far away in space can thus provoke the emission of another photon from the excited fluorescent screen, the emitted photon having the same properties (direction, phase, etc...) than the far away photon, the later being not affected in any way. This effect was named DISER (Distance Independent Stimulated Emission of Radiation). It was basically the same effect as in a laser, except that the stimulating photon can be arbitrarily far.
There was a matter of Doppler effect ( note). The fluorescent material is sensitive only to a given light wavelength, and the far photons need to have the same wavelength. But they often come from objects with a great velocity regarding to Earth (often more than 200km/s in the galaxy) and thus the wavelength sensitivity of the screen had to be shifted. This was achieved by the Zeeman effect, wavelength shift in the presence of a magnetic field. Thus a powerful superconductive magnet was surrounding the screen room, which already had to be protected against ambient heat and perturbations. A given Zeeman correction allowed selecting to which velocity the quantum telescope is sensitive, and thus allowed to select a peculiar object on the observation line, in place of seeing everything superposed.
One of the greatest problems was to observe the fluorescent screen. This could be done with a very ordinary camera, and even two to have a stereo view. But the problem was to get the data out of the quantum isolation caisson. It was required not to directly detect the received light, otherwise the quantum isolation would no longer be effective. So a special detector was used, not based on ordinary quantum interaction ( note).
The first quantum telescopes already allowed to observe things such as animals on planets as distant as 10000 light years, and they are at the origin of incredible discoveries, such as forms of life on millions of planets, and even of the strange fate of intelligent civilisations, as seen before in The Missing Planets. The new model actually under test was still more powerful, with a screen diameter of 20m and a Zeeman correction capability of 520km/s, opening access to all the local group of galaxies. The screen had detectors on both sides, allowing for the observation of both visible and reverse side of the same object! It was one of the first models to try the active compensation of the blur due to gravitational waves, with slightly distorting the screen, and it was expected to be able to read a book into the Magellan Galaxy.
The incredible power of these machines had some drawbacks, the main being that they allowed so much observations that it was impossible to record all this data in computer systems, and even to simply do all the observations. So there was nothing astonishing if the Antliae 12447 forgery could keep unnoticed for seven years. The registration of Antliae was done during a general large scale survey, and since, only specially interesting planets were observed in details. A smaller drawback was that it was completely insensitive to colours, giving its pictures a special one coloured look. To have a coloured picture of an object required to make several shots with different telescopes sensitive to various wavelengths.
Steve connected his computer to the new quantum telescope observatory. The user interface was already in full working order, except that no user access code had yet been delivered, and he used the temporary technician code that Dawa Dhondup gave him the morning.
The main menu of the telescope appeared on his screen, and he just had to select the co-ordinates of Antliae 12447. Jampa was looking at him, somewhat amazed.
«Technics Namgyal!» teased Steve. He thus took some friendly revenge on Jampa, whose «Tcheu Namgyal» sounded somewhat provocative to Steve's ears.
300km in North of Lhassa, in an hidden cave 1000m under the ground (but still 3000m above sea level) 12000 tons of steel began to rotate on their basis, with a low but overwhelming thundering noise. To speed up observations, the machine was able to rotate on itself in only six minutes, in a howl of engines and gears. It was an azimutal model, with the screen quantum isolation caisson and the Zeeman magnet rotating 360° around an horizontal axis, mounted on a cradle rotating on circular rails. The cave was so large that technicians renounced to light it entirely, and the huge machine was living in the darkness, with only some working posts illuminated. So a visitor could not really feel its overwhelming dimensions, in its underground cathedral.
The walls of the cave were several metres thick, in a special zero natural radioactivity concrete. All the materials, steel included, were specially purified against radionuclides, some in using calutrons. Even human breath Carbon14 was a prohibited radioactive pollution here, and technicians had to wear anti-radiation suits, not to protect themselves, but to avoid polluting the machine with the natural radioactivity of the human body! The Tibetan technicians used to say that only one «turi» could break the machine!
The colossal Zeeman correction magnet set its assigned field value with a thump noise, and the observation session began, with only a slow motion to compensate for Earth's rotation.
«Hey, there is just no star there. Antliae 12447 is imaginary. Hopeless joke.
-Please check in the surrounding, or with other speed values», suggested Jampa, who could hardly admit that such a difficult forgery could be made with no serious reason.
In the underground cathedral, the electromagnet did thump thump thump again, while adjusting the Zeeman correction. The technicians were cautious about this, as once a forgotten spanner was caught by magnetic leaks, and projected so violently that it perforated a protective steel casing. Also the magnetic energy stored in the coil was enough to melt the entire assembly and turn the cave into a blazing hell. The magnetic circuit used the superconductive materials which formula was found five years before in the huge libraries left by the inhabitants of the planet named Centaurus 1296 (SeeThe Missing Planets). To load such an energy into the magnet would have required days, so it was in fact left constant. In place of modulating the current in the coil, the magnetic field was deflected with magnetors, the magnetic equivalent of a transistor, which design was also found in the Centaurus library. Centaurian superconductive magnetors were able to switch high power magnetic fluxes in a matter of microseconds.
On the screen, stars appeared or disappeared, depending on their relative speed. «Hey look, it is the opposite speed value. It is the right co-ordinates, but the speed sign has been inverted. So it could be understood as a mistake».
Now a solar system scheme was appearing on the screen. Soon Steve identified the right planet, the fourth, the only one to have oceans. To achieve this, the telescope had to scan for the matching Zeeman correction, and now a low hum filled the underground cathedral. Steve zoomed on the planet, while still scanning for speed correction. This scan was necessary, otherwise only a small part of the planet is visible, or nothing. But the double faced fluorescent screen also incredibly allowed to see the other hidden face of the observed planet! So it is the entire map of the planet which appeared, calculated by the computer from observation data. And of course it was different of the fake map.
A moment Steve and Jampa gazed the image. They performed some tests. The plate tectonic analysis was consistent, this time, and also the orbitography data. Only the rotation axis had an unusual angle of 43°. The climate of this planet must have harsh seasons, and certainly not within only one standard deviation!
Steve played with the Zeeman scan, reducing its value. Entire parts of the planet disappeared, depending on at what speed they were approaching or recessing, with the planet rotation. For a beginner like Jampa, the effect was amazing. With no Zeeman scan, only a very thin ellipse remained, and a background star was visible through the planet.
Dawa Dhondup arrived and gazed also, while wondering what this planet may have so special to make Steve hurrying up that way.
«What is special? Simply that: all the data of this planet has been falsified in the General Planet Catalogue!
-Hey? This is impossible!
-Nevertheless it is.
-But by who? And how?»
Dawa's somewhat lunar face looked as slightly stupid. But don't mistake: he was a very clever man, and one of the most honest Steve knew in Lhassa. Steve felt completely confident with him, never feeling any warning sense in his presence.
«Why? It is what I wonder. To adulterate the Catalogue should have required powerful means, or accomplices in my own staff. This could be done only with a serious motive. For only one planet?
-Only one, sure, said Jampa.
-How do you know?
-Simple: I browsed the entire Catalogue with a simplified version of your climate analysis software. It took 54 hours, but it passed completely. So Antliae 12447 is the only one to be falsified that way.
-But again, why?»
Absent-mindedly, Steve zoomed on the image. Now a small plain district was visible. For us it would be an unimaginable revelation, but these exobiologists were completely blasé, and only found there very ordinary images.
«There is nothing special on this planet. Here there is forest, hills, animals, and a monkey circus, just as usual.
-What is this pearl-like thing? Please zoom here.»
The incredible telescope zoomed to give an image of an only some hundred metres section.
«Hey but... Aoh! GOD HEAVEEENS!! Look there!
-But it is...
-It looks like a house! A HOUUUSE!
-No, several! And here! A path!
-But it is a whole village!»
Steve zoomed again, while Dawa and Jampa gathered besides him, their noses on the screen.
They only had to admit the fact: there was a village here, with houses, solar panels, human looking people walking here and there, and even a vehicle resembling a car. Steve frenetically moved the observation spot, and found other villages of small houses hidden among trees, fields, small roads, and even some larger buildings looking like palaces or cathedrals. In another continent of the planet, it was the same thing. On the oceans, there were boats, aircrafts in the air, and even satellites. Zooming on a large satellite allowed to see people moving inside, grossly looking like humans, although they were generally more slender.
All three were astounded, to discover another intelligent mankind, of course, but also to realise that the fact was already known by some since seven years, but kept secret with dishonest means! Such a joyous and enthralling new! No one of the three could understand why such a fact could be kept into the darkness. Even if this foreign mankind was presenting some hazard, to hide it was absolutely not the good solution.
They were still exploring when the end of the allotted time came. Dawa could not prolong it for the moment, but he agreed that the affair should be placed in top priority, before routine observations. The public announcement ought to be in only a week, as some checking were anyway necessary. For the moment it was necessary to warn the Zambu Shedrup Ling international director board.
The e-mail receiver buzzed for an emergency message. A text appeared on its screen. Steve looked at it absent-mindedly, while discussing with Dawa who was to be warned in priority.
Then he read this simple text:
«Dear Mr Jason, you should better forget what you discovered on Antliae 12447, for the safety of your close relatives and of yourself» without of course any firm or identifying mark.
Dawa continued a moment to speak about representatives to reach, when he realised that Steve was stubborn, the eyes on the screen.
-A blackmail! Somebody threatens me! Look!
-What do you say? But it is true! A blackmail, here in our university of peace and knowledge? Who dares? WHO DARES?» Dawa was jumping with indignation, with his comic high pitched voice, while Jampa was opening wide round eyes.
They looked at all three together. The affair was getting a still worse look, now in the criminal domain. But no one only though one second to be afraid. Steve had a typically American sense of challenge and fighting spirit, and not having a face to smash was bringing him still more furious. Dawa was so honest that he was unable to behave otherwise, while Jampa, despite his somewhat childish look, had long ago completed the Lamrim meditation ( note): bring him to the torture chamber, he will only think that it is time to do the meditation of «accepting suffering» and purifying bad karma (note).
«Warn the police? Asked Dawa.
-We have to be cautious. There is a traitor in the Catalogue team, an unscrupulous guy, surely in a key position, but we do not know who he is. Perhaps he is also involved in other domains. Any public action would warn him, and make things still more difficult.
-How did they knew you were observing the planet?
-Simple: there is a computer monitoring of all what is done with the quantum telescopes network. Every observation session is recorded, its co-ordinates and everything. Many theoreticians, newspapers, clubs and amateurs currently use watchdog softwares, sending them a warning message when a given object or category is observed. The message could be simply such an automatic reply, when somewhere a watchdog detected an observation of Antliae 12447 on its true co-ordinates. Perhaps the culprits are dead since long ago, and the software continues to run without object.
-But if they look at us, it is impossible to observe again without warning them again?
-Hey Dawa, it is easy. We just have to disconnect the telescope from the network. This is possible under the pretext of a malfunction or other problems. But to observe we shall now have to go on the telescope site itself.
-This could also warn people, if they look at the site.
-Yes true. We can be really confident in very few people. I just have to behave as if I personally was afraid, not daring to do anything. But I think that it is important that we observe again. There must be some reason to hide the truth. There must be some special reason we must find. To simply tamper the data was quite awkward, as it could fatally be discovered a day or another, bringing the attention on this special planet. We are not yet in the 20th Century to stupidly try to hide the simple existence of another mankind in the cosmos. Maybe there is some danger, on a cultural or spiritual level, with these people. Ho no, there cannot be no rational motive to hide this. If there was any honest reason, they would use honest means, not blackmail. So it is really everyone's interest to find out what is going on with this planet.
-There is a mean, Steve: the watchdog software warned about you studying the planet. But it did not warned about who was actually in this room, and saw the images. As most people, you shut the camera eyelid when you do not use it. In clear they do not know that I, Dawa Dhondup, technical director of one of the most powerful quantum telescopes in the world, already know the truth. And I can easily get on the site and observe secretly, under various pretexts, and pass the data in an e-book, to persons like you, or to some people in whom we can be confident.
-I think that it is now the most relevant question, replied Jampa. In who we can really be confident?
-Yes, this is the question. Among scientists, we can exclude most of them, even if we think them honest, as the traitor is necessarily among our close colleagues. He is surely someone we know very well, but that nobody could suspect. Even perhaps they are several. So we can consider it is dangerous to speak to anyone of them.
-Among Zambu Shedrup Ling administrative and scientific director board, I think we can be more confident. Remember that all of them are not only scientists, but also (and mainly) spiritual people.
-Yes, this is true. But the fact that a person apparently shows spiritual activities or concerns is not an absolute proof that he is honest. Remember that there were some Lamas and even Rinpoches involved in conflicts and in scandals. This was true in old Tibet, and it is alas still true in nowadays Tibet, even if it is not very common.
-We are not so naive at Shedrup Ling, Steve. We took some cautions from the very start. I perfectly know in whom we can be confident and in whom we cannot. The best is to warn the less we need. Only the Zambu Shedrup Ling director board, and nobody in the exobiology domain. But I think we must warn the law, as it is in the criminal domain. I know one of the Lhassa trimpon (note), Rigzin Dordje Phala. This is the least we can do. He is accustomed to work discreetly into such kind of affairs, and he always showed a great honesty and dedication for the fate of our country and of Dharma. He could give the necessary legal authorisations to get into the mail system and track the blackmail sender.
-Sangye Tcheugyal Rinpoche is surely to be warned. We are all confident in him.
-Of course. Rinpoche is not a convenience tulku ( note), he is really somebody profound. He is at the origin of several FAE (note) and he is now consecrating more and more time to his retreatants. It is even said that there was several Buddha obtention and even a light body obtention in his retreat centre».
Steve suddenly though to his wife Liu Wang, who was about to finish a six month retreat, precisely in Rinpoche centre in the Amnye Machen mountain range: Oesel Druptob Ling... The blackmail also threatened her!
Scenario, graphics, sounds, colours, realization: Richard Trigaux (Unless indicated otherwise).
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