Science and Sue (#4)
Alien species sends goo to Earth?
“So what’s this,” you ask, “about aliens?” In my Sue’s books I had to invoke supernatural means to clone people on Earth. So, because it’s fiction, enter the aliens. The “goo” mysteriously arrives across the United States over a few weeks. Teams of public servants and scientists search for and find the goo in various physical conditions. Some of it was slimed on the pavement or blobbed on hoods of cars, other goo is found contained in flexible spherical pods. So where did it come from? Ted’s friends, the scientists at Manhattan Laboratory Services, deduce the goo fell to the ground. Was it dropped from a plane? Who would fly around and drop pods of goo that clone lab mice, a substance so complicated it’s not natural–at least not to Earth. No, it came from aliens on another planet.
“Hang on,” you say, “the goo would burn up in the atmosphere.” Precisely. And that confused the scientists until they found a hard, rock-like sphere that had safely landed on Earth–through the convertible top of a woman’s car, cushioned by her leather seats. They cracked open the sphere and found a pod of goo inside. They also tested the porosity of the rock and determined it was ceramic, hard enough to survive entry into the atmosphere–the same as the tiles on the space shuttles that used to re-enter after a trip to space.
“How would an alien species know to send goo specifically to Earth?” you ask. “And where was the alien planet?” As mentioned previously, the goo contained the memory of the alien species. And the properties of the goo made some advantageous mutations to the clones’ DNA that led to physical attributes to help the clones, and their offspring, survive on a warming planet. The scientists concluded the aliens purposely sent the goo from their planet. They also concluded the aliens simply blasted the goo all over the galaxy, hoping to find at least one planet where the goo would work. The aliens would have no way of knowing specifically that their goo would work on one single little planet on the edge of the galaxy. By launching the goo throughout the galaxy, the aliens would increase the probability of finding a planet or planets where the goo would be successful. As to where the planet was, the scientists couldn’t say for sure. It depended on when the goo was blasted into space and how fast the spheres traveled. Knowing those variables, the scientists could calculate how far away the planet was. If the spheres traveled near the speed of light and were sent only a few thousand years ago, the planet would be relatively close to Earth. If launched at twenty to fifty thousand miles an hour at the time the dinosaurs went extinct on this planet, the alien planet would be on the other side of the galaxy. But since the scientists knew they could not determine the speed and time, they could not determine where the aliens lived. They could only guess.
Although my books are fiction, I use science to plausibly deliver the key element of the story to the scene. The characters in the book don’t simply accept the arrival of the goo. They search for clues and conduct experiments to study the goo, pods, and spheres to determine their origin.