The space stations went first. Size and location in orbit did not matter.\n\nThe ISS, Tiangong, Genesis I and II, military and spy satellites, communications, weather, navigation, everything. Even the thousands of pieces of decommissioned satellites and junk and space debris left by 50 years of spaceflight. Everything.\n\nThen every radio telescope on the planet just vanished. Then every rocket capable of escape velocity, and all nuclear warheads. And before anyone knew Earth was under attack, it was over. Technologically, mankind was suddenly back to square one of the space age. And on top of that, communications were gone. GPS was gone. SDI was gone. Even all that crap the Apollo missions left on the Moon, as we later found out - was gone.\n\nAnd then [[the fleet]] was gone, too. But they [[left something]] behind.
People started tattooing The Message onto their bodies, naming their children, pets, [[a public holiday|message day]] and even whole cities after it. Soon The Message was used as a universal greeting phrase. Or, depending on context and culture, to declare love, or hate to one another.\n\nIt turned out that people didn't care about what it meant, they just invented their own meanings, used it in bedtime stories, wrote fiction and made movies and video games about it. In fact, we still don't know for sure. There are still archaeologists debating about its purpose.\n\nAnd [[why they chose the Moon for it|why moon]].
//New Horizons//\n\nOn January 19th 2006, they strapped //"a grand piano glued to a cocktail bar-sized satellite dish."// to the fastest rocket ever launched and it went well.\n\n<html><img src="rocket.jpg" /></html>\n\nThough not as fast as //Helios// and never as distant as //Voyager 1//, this 1,000 lb robot was going to be the first man-made spacecraft to do a relatively close flyby of various trans-Neptunian objects, most famously of course ex-planet Pluto and its moon Charon.\n\n[[So far, its mission was a huge success|probe2]].\n
On October 27, 1962, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Vasili Arkhipov, a Soviet naval officer prevented the launch of a nuclear torpedo and a possible nuclear war.\n\nWe came closer than we knew at the time.\n\nOn September 26, 1983, Lieutenant Colonel Stanislav Petrov of the Soviet Air Defence Forces was on duty at the command center of the Oko nuclear early-warning system when the system reported a missile being launched from the United States. He judged that the report was a false alarm and prevented a retaliatory nuclear attack, which would've resulted in World War III.\n\nHe received no reward.\n\nOn January 25, 1995, a team of Norwegian and American scientists launched a research rocket to study the aurora borealis over Svalbard. Due to its resemblance to a submarine-launched Trident missile, Russian forces were put on high alert, Boris Yeltsin was notified immediately and the "nuclear briefcase" used to authorize nuclear launch was automatically activated.\n\nThe incident was reported in the news a week afterward.\n\nOn July 14, 2015, everything and nothing happened. Nothing could've prepared humanity [[for this|butts]].
<html><img src="title.jpg" /></html>\n\nA short story about space and stuff in it.\n\nWe strongly recommend listening to [[some space music|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImuLz1Oo9c8]] while playing this game.\n\n[[Begin]]\n[[Credits]]
The 14th of July became known as //Message Day//, a global holiday to remember all the lives lost by crashed cars and airplanes and [[ships lost at sea|ships]]. People stuck in elevators. All effectively lost man-hours in human spaceflight. All our little robots we sent out there, never to return. Frightened military leaders with access to Big Red Buttons, who [[snapped|redbuttons]] at the sight of The Message, killing hundreds. The money lost at the completely crashed markets. Lost jobs. Lives ended by suicide.\n\nThey thought the world was going to end. It didn't. But overnight everyone knew: We are not alone. At last, a common enemy. Something to work together for. On that day, mankind lost every reason to fight each other. Message Day is a day of unity.\n\nThough, in the end, it saved everyone, nothing could have prepared humanity for [[The Message|butts]].
At first, every nation denied having anything to do with that fateful capsule we found. As soon as its contents were revealed though, everyone claimed responsibility.\n\nJust one blurry image, yet clear enough to make out what was happening. A giant array of dark objects, in orbit. The photograph mechanism must've been triggered by a collision, which in turn threw the canister far enough to have been spared by what we call now //the orbital purge// of our messengers.\n\nOf all our devices, cameras, cell phones, space telescopes, imaging technology. Out of everything, it was that ancient satellite providing us with a record of what happened that day. Some //evidence//.\n\n[[Besides The Message|left something]].\n\n
Too many years the guys at NASA had to work with those awfully blurry images Hubble gave us. New Horizons would've given them all the sensory data and high-resolution pictures they could hope for. Given the bandwith limitations of their Deep Space Network it would've taken them months and months to send all that information back to earth, but the nuclear battery on board didn't care.\n\nWe now think of it as our accidental first contact. [[It did not end well|gone]].\n
<html><pre><div style="text-align:center;">EMERGENCY ALERT SYSTEM\n\nCivil Authorities\n\nIssued\n\nEmergency Action\nNotification</div></pre>\n<div id="textfadewrap">We interrupt our programming. This is a national emergency. This is not a test. Important details will follow. The Emergency Alert System has been activated.\n\nThe following message is being transmitted at the request of the United States government: ON 10 AM EASTERN TIME THERE WERE A SERIES OF SIGHTINGS OF UNIDENTIFIED CRAFT IN ORBIT AROUND THE PLANET. THESE HAVE BEEN CONFIRMED BY OUR NATIONAL OBSERVATORIES. UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE, YOU ARE ADVISED TO SEEK SHELTER, LOCK ANY DOORS AND TURN OFF ANY TELECOMMUNICATION OR INTERNET DEVICES. I REPEAT: THIS IS NOT A TEST<div id="textfade"></div></div></html>\n\n----\n\n[[Our probe|probe]] officially reached the Pluto-Charon system on July 14, 2015, 11:47 UTC. Then, only 4 hours later, just before we would've received the next data burst, a fleet of unidentified spacecraft entered a low Earth orbit.\n\nIt all [[happened so quickly|gone]].
<html><img src="title.jpg" /></html>\n\nWritten by [[Jeremy Lonien|http://ludonaut.de/]].\nIllustrations and CSS wizardry by [[Dominik Johann|http://dominikjohann.de/]].\n\n//The Message// was created with Love, [[Twine|http://gimcrackd.com/etc/src/]] and [[this excellent guide by Anna Anthropy|http://auntiepixelante.com/twine/]] in a couple of days for [[Fuck This Jam|http://fuckthisjam.com/]].\n\nPartially inspired by [[this Tweet|https://twitter.com/paniq/statuses/180419690999455744]] from [[paniq|http://www.paniq.cc/]].\n\nWe strongly recommend listening to [[some space music|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImuLz1Oo9c8]] while playing this game.\n\nCopywhatever 2012 Jeremy Lonien and Dominik Johann.\n\n[[Begin]]
With most sonar and radar technonoly dying on us, \nwe received little more than a few garbled remains of cries for help, descriptions of earthquakes and shifts in the crust.\n\nOnly a fraction of those who where out in the open made it back to the mainland, stricken with panic and terror, eyes wide open, muttering about the horror they had to witness at sea.\n\nMost of these poor souls never returned at all.\n\n[[Back|message day]]
The immediate question was obvious: Why write something on the surface of a moon? The pre-message humanity didn't know or care, but today many kids know this stuff by the time they enter elementary school.\n\n* Because our Moon is tidally locked. That means that the same side will always face the Earth. Face us, the recipients.\n\n* It is the brightest object in the night sky.\n\n* That giant rock is, in comparison to mankind, incredibly old. About 4,3 billion years, that's almost as old as the Earth itself.\n\n* We will probably never be able to remove The Message. And even if we could, we probably wouldn't, as it would just be a giant waste of recources and anger the many Message Cults, or even [[our mysterious messengers|messengers]].
//IF-50//\n\nAn ancient decommisioned and malfunctioning reconnaissance satellite noone even knew existed anymore. You know, one of those microfilm space telescopes pointed towards earth which supposedly could take pictures of your license plate, or read your newspaper. In fact, that thing was probably one of the first generation of spy satellites, or at least a relatively primitive one. However, this type took photographs and ejected their film inside canisters which would then [[descend towards earth|if-so2]].
<html><img src="moon.jpg" /></html>\n\nTHE END\n\n[[Credits]]\n\n[[Back to the beginning|Begin]]\n
A mind-boggingly vast fleet of unidentified craft, in dense enough formation to - for a moment - block out the sun, the moon, the stars.\n\nIt almost looked like one of those very high and thick clouds overshadowing the sky, though very quick and only for a moment.\n\nThe irony that, of all our crap out there only one then-secret spy satellite which would from that point on be known as [[IF-5O|if-so]] managed to capture a single blurry image, looking down on earth shrouded by billions of UFOs, is almost depressing. Remember those "I want to believe" crackpots? [[Who would've thought they were actually right?|crackpots]]\n
//"I want to believe."\n\n"Elvis isn't dead, he just went home!"\n\n"I was abducted and anally probed by green men from mars!"\n\n"Global warming is a hoax!"\n\n"The earth is only 10,000 years old!"\n\n"Your vaccine gave my son autism!"//\n\n[[They had a field day|left something]].
<html><img src="flyby.jpg" /></html>\n\nPluto is about four light-hours away from earth. 4 hours after New Horizons reached Pluto, //they// arrived. The messengers.\n\nHow could they possibly travel that distance? Does that mean they are capable of faster-than-light travel, and if so, why are they even in our solar system? Why kill our space tech? Why leave a message?\n\nWhy [[us|message day]]?
A message. ''The Message''. A message to every living thing on our //Pale Blue Dot// to see in the sky, forever. Although it was, strangely enough, written in English, nobody really knew what to make of it. Some thought it was a warning, others said it was a declaration of war. Of course, the internet almost instantly went crazy over it, generating endless discussions about hidden meanings, trying to decrypt whatever could be hidden in that simple word.\n\nThere were probably more theories about its meaning than there were Moon Conspiracy crackpots back in the 20th century. Religions were formed around The Message. T-Shirts were printed. Bumper stickers too. [[People love this stuff|people]].
by Jeremy Lonien