The anti-climactic result of the storm was a huge source of embarrassment and ridicule for Moshej’s team. Media and research critics came out of the woodwork to mock their mission and communication efforts. Roughly one third of the team’s brightest stars lost faith in the disgraced project and left the organization. As the ILRT faltered, even Mo and Aaron began to question the importance and validity of their discoveries.
Funding dwindled down to a trickle of its former self and the worldwide staff was reduced by 40%. While morale was at an all time low, the one unlikely staff member that never gave up hope, was Thomas. He never stopped believing in the project and kept the boat on course during the period where they were the butt of jokes within the scientific community.
Without warning, an electrical storm of unparalleled magnitude swept across the globe. It was so fierce and unending that many believed it was the ‘end of times’. The ILRT recorded its ferocious spikes and coded pattern with great interest. After only a few days they recognized that it was an all new pattern. For the first time in over 70 years, the Architect had something new to say, and it was in response to their modest reply! Moshej, and Aaron where beside themselves with excitement. For the first time in history, they had established two-way communication! The architect was speaking directly to them!
The full linguistic team was brought back in to decipher the very animated message. With sweetest vindication, many of their outspoken critics were forced to make public apologies or retractions. Once again, Robert and Thomas became media darlings as they attempted to explain what the new, ongoing message was all about.
One of the most common queries regarded the 18 months of absolute silence. Robert was quick to field that question about the considerable delay in response. He and Thomas were ready for that one. “In the realm of a sentient, (almost certainly) immortal being, 18 months is the equivalent of instantaneous.”; Robert explained.
“Our individual lives are so short in comparison that we have almost no field of common time reference. Even if our team of code breakers and linguists work around the clock for six months at understanding this new message, it would take us twice as long to compose a ‘simple’ response back. We’ve only just begun!”
Once again, donations flooded in to the ILRT as public interest (and fear) grew. The vicious lightning storm lasted for almost five weeks; and that was more than enough to rile-up the doomsday cults and sectarian violence. It wasn’t so easy to be excited about the first verified dialog between a human and the mysterious creator of life, when the result was non-stop, unrelenting global fury.