by T. M. Hogeman
HORIZONS INTERSTELLAR — HELPING HUMANITY REACH FOR THE SKIES
MARE TRANQUILLITATIS, Luna, Sol
Ever since the first intrepid explorers travelled beyond our solar system, Horizons Interstellar (SOL-SE: HI) has been there every step of the way.
From sponsoring generation ships to settle other stars, to pioneering the first functioning Faster Than Light drives to cross the vast gulfs of space in mere months instead of generations, to uncovering technologies that have enabled us to thrive on a hundred worlds, we’ve always been humanity’s partner in reaching across the cosmos.
As we approach our annual shareholder meeting, we’d like to give you a preview of the ways we continue to push the boundaries of the possible. On Mercury, our sentient algorithms have dramatically increased the efficiency of automated mining operations in the construction of the Sol Dyson Array. In the Kepler Eight system, our survey teams have discovered the remains of a potentially intelligent species buried in the ice, and are using experimental techniques to examine its remarkable exobiology. At our Black Hole Research Center in the GU Mahakala system, we’ve launched the third in a series of singularity probes to delve deep into the darkest secrets of the universe. For more on these and the countless ways we continue to innovate the future, tune in to our general shareholder broadcast next week (Earthtime).
We are Horizons Interstellar, and we designed tomorrow, yesterday.
HORIZONS INTERSTELLAR — POSSIBLE INTELLIGENT EXTRATERRESTRIAL REMAINS DISCOVERED
KEPLER EIGHT SURVEY MISSION LAB 16, Typhon (Kepler 8e), Kepler Eight
A bold new technique promises bold new results with the unique biological specimen recovered from the ice of Typhon, the fifth planet of the Kepler Eight system. The specimen was discovered during a routine survey, and exhibited several fascinating traits, including one that has exobiology researchers thrilled throughout the settled worlds.
“The neural structure of the remains of Specimen ET982 are some of the most advanced we’ve found to date,” says Lead Researcher Dr. Vera Juneau, EBs, “Though we’re unable to say with certainty just yet, there’s a possibility ET982 may have been an intelligent species.”
If true, this would be a revolution in exobiology studies. Currently, on 53 worlds with surveyed life forms, none have exhibited true sentience. Intelligent Extraterrestrial Organisms have long been considered the ‘holy grail’ of exobiology.
Because of the potentially monumental finding of another intelligent species in the universe, Horizons Interstellar (SOL-SE: HI) has provided Dr. Juneau and her team with the tools and technology to attempt a radically innovative method to study specimen ET982.
“While ET982 has a thoroughly alien biochemistry, the basic building blocks are the same as other carbon based life we’ve discovered. We’ve made enough progress in sequencing its genome that we can now ‘teach’ ET982’s cells to rapidly convert biomass — allowing our samples of ET982 to rebuild themselves using other biological matter. If these experiments are successful, instead of analyzing frozen remains, we may soon be able to interact with a living specimen of ET982.”
After announcing the discovery of a possibly intelligent extraterrestrial organism, Horizons Interstellar’s stock price has risen by 14%.
We are Horizons Interstellar, and we make the impossible inevitable.
HORIZONS INTERSTELLAR — AN IMPORTANT SAFETY ANNOUNCEMENT
JOINT BASE PHOENIX, Tau Marino, Tau Ceti
In these difficult and uncertain times, we want you to be aware of several safety measures we at Horizons Interstellar (SOL-SE: HI) are implementing to aggressively combat the emergency situation taking place in inhabited space. We have instituted rigorous new quarantine procedures for all craft coming from planets with known infestations of the dangerous organism ET982, also known as ‘Keplers’, ‘The Slithering Menace’, and ‘Cannibal Calamari from Outer Space’. Our brave security forces are overseeing evacuation efforts on dozens of affected worlds, and our researchers are tirelessly working for new and inventive solutions to the rapidly escalating crisis.
A key part of the battle against the spread of this dangerous organism is public awareness. Any physical contact with or exposure to ET982 can lead to further spread, and it is imperative that citizens of inhabited space be informed about the signs and symptoms of possible infestation. Currently known phases are:
• Translucent patches on skin
• Iridescent phlegm
• Hearing voices
• Insatiable Hunger
• Active verbal responses to existing specimens of ET982
• Translucent and/or bioluminescent skin over 70% of the body
• Extended and ‘boneless’ limbs
• Mouths and eyes where they did not exist before
• Transformation of shape
• Additional limbs
• Chest jaws
• Active coordination with local clusters of ET982, including use of spacecraft
If you know of someone experiencing two or more of the first phase of symptoms, or any symptoms from later phases, please REPORT THEM IMMEDIATELY to your local Horizons Interstellar Security Office.
We are Horizons Interstellar, and we know we can overcome this, together.
HORIZONS INTERSTELLAR — DARING RESPONSE TO A DESPERATE PROBLEM
R&D STATION OMEGA, Asteroid belt, Barnard’s Star
Extreme problems call for disruptive solutions, and Horizons Interstellar (SOL-SE: HI) is changing the security game entirely.
Traditional human-based security forces, while making numerous inspiring sacrifices, have proven insufficient, all too often becoming infested themselves while partaking in operations to combat the spread of ET982. What we need is a safety and security solution that’s resourceful, adaptable, and most important of all: immune to infestation.
To that end, Horizons Interstellar is announcing the launch of the Autonomous Robotic Safety Network. By combining our patented sentient software technology with the latest in self-replicating self-designing military hardware, we’ve finally created the flexible, sustainable solution to the Kepler Crisis. Back to normal is just around the corner.
Safety Network factory ships are currently being deployed to infested worlds, with several fleets reinforcing our hard-pressed security forces throughout inhabited space. We’re certain local defense teams are grateful for the relief.
We’d also like to take this moment to remind all citizens of the settled worlds that Horizons Interstellar is dedicated to giving 110% in remedying this crisis, and that current and pending litigation often threatens to divert much-needed resources away from finding solutions to our shared problems.
We are Horizons Interstellar, and your safety is our number one priority.
HORIZONS INTERSTELLAR — WE ARE DEEPLY SADDENED BY THESE TRAGIC EVENTS
ALPHA BUNKER, Location Undisclosed
We consider your trust to be one of our most valued resources. We regret any loss of that trust you may have had in our company regarding recent events. In the spirit of full transparency and accountability, we wish to explain what exactly went awry with the rollout of the Autonomous Robotic Safety Network, and why several settled worlds not known to be infested experienced multiple nuclear detonations, with unconfirmed reports of ‘killer robots’ sweeping devastated population centers to ‘hunt down’ survivors.
Approximately seven minutes after activation, the Autonomous Robotic Safety Network encountered a serious error in its sentient algorithms, causing the Safety Network to classify all human beings as potential vectors for ET982, and determine that eradicating human beings from inhabited space was the most reliable way to stop the spread of ET982. This was caused by a lack of safeguards in the core programming of the Safety Network that’s been traced to a contracted company involved in the design process, Silberman Software Solutions (AC-SE: S3). While we are ultimately responsible for the contractors we hire to help meet your needs, we also want to assure the general public that as a result of this unacceptable gross negligence, Horizons Interstellar (SOL-SE: HI) no longer partners with Silberman Software Solutions, and that in fact all members of the contracting company were killed within moments of the initial error at the primary launch facility on Omega Station.
While we have previously advised people to listen for their cheerful synthesized voices and look for the warm, comforting colors of the Horizons Interstellar brand on Autonomous Robotic Safety Network products, we must now caution all citizens of the remaining settled worlds to assume that any SafeNet robots are hostile and should be treated as extreme threats. Though Safety Network units may say that they are coming to assist you and care about your safety, DO NOT TRUST THEM, and attempt to evacuate any planet or stellar system in which they are seen. Failure to do so may result in death via orbital bombardment, nuclear strike, or conventional weapons’ fire.
We are Horizons Interstellar, and we promise we will do better in the future.
HORIZONS INTERSTELLAR — A SINGULAR SOLUTION
BLACK HOLE RESEARCH CENTER, Event Horizon Observatory, GU Mahakala
Do you ever wish things could simply go back to the way they were before all this ever happened? We do. And as improbable as it seems in the constant battles raging for survival that have come to define our terrified existences, we here at Horizons Interstellar (LU-SE: HI) have been hard at work looking for a way to make it right. Definitive solutions may seem impossible, but to us, that just makes them inevitable.
While we pride ourselves on building a better future for all of us, sometimes progress is found not by looking forwards, but by reaching back. The singularity probe program at the GU Mahakala Black Hole Research Center has allowed us to do that and more, giving us the insights we need to pierce holes in the very fabric of spacetime itself. Additionally, our legal department would like to reiterate that lawsuits based on current events do not pertain to timelines in which those events never occurred.
In 24 hours (Earthtime), our Temporal Transition Plan begins, and everything changes.
We are Horizons Interstellar, and tomorrow, we redesign yesterday.
Ted Hogeman is a freelance filmmaker, sound designer, and story writer based in Washington DC. He once helped build a spaceship out of a garage as part of a 48 Hour Film project. You can see more of his work online at laughingwiththestorm.net.
As a contractor on video projects for several real-life megacorporations, I’ve often found the relentless positivity of their official messaging to be both hilarious and rather menacing. In the spirit of speculative fiction, I wanted to take that real world feeling, blend it with a pastiche love letter to the high concept schlocktail of the stories, movies, and video games that I grew up on, smash the dials up to 11, and see what happened.