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By Julian Drury
*Note: This story was previously published online by Bewildering Stories, issue 606.
The Comet sings to me, and I know now what it all means. After a decade of research and tried patience, I have gathered the ultimate knowledge of all worlds. I have done so on the back of a single comet, glorious and everlasting giant of the cosmos that it is.
Caesar (Comet 1990) we have called it. For years I have worked for the European Space agency, and yet no other man within it can boast the knowledge I have gained! No man whatsoever!
I, Viktor Sorban, head of Project Caesar’s computer and probe software sector, have made the most unbelievable discovery. “Project C” has been far more successful than the public knows. Ever since the Herodotus Probe module landed and attached to Caesar, I have been able to discover an unbelievable reality: the comet has sentience. It is alive!
I alone hold this information, and I share it now. The entire research team is dead. All save for me.
They all called me mad, insane! My dead colleagues, the fools! I know the truth, of the sweet-singing comet.
I did not choose to kill them. I was chosen for the task by Caesar. The very first note of its singing cosmic tune revealed the truth. My colleagues laughed, called me mad. They threatened my research, my livelihood. Most importantly, they threatened my ability to listen to the comet sing.
I poisoned them all. All eight partners of Project Caesar, struck down by laced coffee. The comet told me exactly what to do.
It is more than a comet. It thinks, choosing its path, and relaying its messages.
It has a heartbeat. It has a breath. It has a pulse. It thinks, and it sings. It sings to me.
No one would believe me, what I know now. It is coming.
From seven separate recordings, I have deciphered and unlocked a code from the comet. There is a voice, a desperate, crying voice. A howl and whisper. Singing, oh so destructively. An echo chamber evolved over hundreds of millions of years.
The song is a high howl, with wavering patterns of pitch and tone. It echoes in frequencies that my house pets would flee from, like the effect of heavy wind, yet done so within the “soundless” vacuum of space. It all comes together to convey the message. The same message: DOOM.
With every note of cosmic song I hear, I grow closer to my ultimate conclusion. In this sweet song I can hear ancient knowledge. Now it is mine.
Doom! They are coming... Coming for you. Coming for me... Coming for our enslavement. They stretch their hand from the heavens, and ancient ones will reign upon earth once again.
Whisper in darkness.
Scratching, seething song. Searing, cracking. Howling.
The sounds of the comet Caesar grow stronger, travelling 85,000 miles per hour within 300 million miles of cosmic distance to Earth. I listen carefully, and soon you will hear the sounds too.
I have uploaded several mpeg files of the comet recordings. They extend for hours. I have circulated them, across the Internet and to trusted associates. I did so because I know I will die soon. They are coming. Coming for me.
There are others involved here. They are legion. Disguised as a human corporation, a business entity, they seek to steal what I have worked so hard to discover.
At first I thought they were merely opportunists trying to steal my research. I realize how wrong I was. These “men” are not men at all. They look human, speak human, and even breathe human. Yet, they are not. They warned me to give them our (my) research. I told them no, and I also told them that I didn’t care what they threatened me with.
My bad habits are no secret to anyone, as much as I try and pretend they are. They killed my pets, burned down my home, threatened my son, and they are threatening my life now. I have been sent emails, letters, calls, every message possible. They all say the same thing, basically. These men of corporate legion want my research. They know what I have uncovered. They know, as I do, the comet is not a comet at all.
It is a vehicle, a vessel. There is something there that these dark men want. What it is, I have not solved yet. Whatever they want, I cannot let them have it.
I have locked myself in my lab since Tuesday.
It’s now Saturday, 1:00 a.m. I have hidden as long as possible. I cannot hide much longer.
I have done nothing but listen to and decipher the singing howls of the comet Caesar. Its depth and character show more than most people. I can almost say now I am in love with Caesar. Its voice has swayed me so, to sing and to laugh again. Yes, to laugh and cry. What is so sweet in the comet’s voice? It speaks clearly and without a filter: DOOM.
So much anguish and poetry and I can’t even begin to grasp how beautiful it is. This one single comet traveling across the cosmos has waited for hundreds of eons in order to convey me a message. I do not like this message, I despise it. But it is true, and now I must honor it!
I cannot ignore what I have heard, and my sweet songs. Caesar knows I alone have truth. I can speak to you now, what audience I may have, the fact that we are to soon face the greatest doom ever known.
I am guided by song, praised by futility. I love only what I hear now when I close my eyes. The sweetest of comet songs!
I have listened, and they are here. Whoever gets my message here, by now Caesar’s shadow has been cast upon us, or there is still time to fix things. Take my research, all I have, and help fix things before it is too late.
I have a pistol with one bullet. One bullet. Sing, sweet comet, sing! You have told me everything I need to know!
This is a recording. (Repeat)