It’s now 12:30 on the wire and that was Sharon Cain with “I Need You Baby”, coming up later in the hour we’ve got Damien Hill, founder of Fungro, in the studio to talk about his new farming operation in Italy, and up next we’ve got a caller who has a complaint about-

My god.

Oh my god.

What is that? What the hell is that?

Good morning. Today’s top story is, of course, that the sun was briefly visible yesterday. Scientists are as yet unaware what caused the moon to shift enough to allow the sun to shine on our world, but the people are afraid. Riots broke out in…

Of course we understand what caused it. The news organisations are just sensationalists desperately searching for more listeners. The moon has always eclipsed our sun and always will, but we know that every few hundred years the alignment of the planetary bodies means that, briefly, the sun shines on the Earth. The sun has always shone, we’re just lucky enough to have been born in the shadow of the moon.

The problem is people just weren’t ready for it. My mate Dave is still in hospital with second degree burns, and there’s loads of reports of people going blind! Doesn’t surprise me. Our eyes are designed to see in starlight, not under the direct glare of the sun. That’s what I wish we’d been warned about.

The weirdest thing is what my radio started doing though…

What was it? Well that’s the big question on everyone’s lips, isn’t it? It’s been weeks since the eclipse broke for a few minutes and almost everyone who got caught in the sun is out of hospital now, so the question now is what did we hear?

The data is strange. Here at the Enormously Large Satellite Array we were able to pick up a lot more than your standard radio can, and the data we pulled in was very odd. For the entire time the sun was out, we received a huge jumble of data streams. We’ve been working hard all month to sort it out, but it was almost a million different fragments; that’s not an easy task. Imagine knotting up a thousand balls of twine and trying to unravel them, but each one is invisible, and made of jumbled code.

It’s a challenge, is what I’m saying.

Is it a year ago already? Dear me.

Yes, I was at ELSA while we were investigating the signals. I know there’s a lot of conspiracies, but what frustrates me is how little we really know. Everyone is sure they know exactly what happened, everyone except the scientists with the full picture. We don’t know a damn thing, it just doesn’t make any sense.

The problem is the signal wasn’t just junk code. If it was random noise it’d just be another Wow Signal problem; some quasar far away screwing with our instruments. But it wasn’t noise; it was voices, songs, people talking and laughing and telling stories – but not our own. Not our stories. Not stories that we would ever tell.

For the length of the broken eclipse, we were connected to something else. And that’s unnerved the whole damn populace.

Well, the prevailing theory in the last few years has been some alternate Earth; an opposite of ourselves. The thinking being, well, I’ve compiled a few of the quotes myself, judge for yourself:

“Another sunny day, I met you…”

“Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

“She thinks we give the sun a different name at night!”

These people talked so casually about the sun, about light. Do they somehow survive in that burning light all the time?

They speak the same language as us; that has unnerved many, I can tell you. These aren’t strange beings from another world; they are strange versions of ourselves, from…another Earth?

They even spoke of an eclipse of their own, though, well;

“We’re gearing up for the eclipse any minute now! We’re being warned that now would be the time to put on jackets, as the light fades the world is going to get very cold!”

Somewhere, the space between where the sun must shine and where it must not, broke for a moment. We have glimpsed some reflection of ourselves, I am sure of it.

We can theorise all we want. We’ll never understand all the signals from ELSA. But I can tell you, the next time the sun pokes its nose where it isn’t wanted, we’ll be broadcasting an awful lot more into the light. It’s a scary place, out of the dark; but now we know there are folk somewhat like us already there, perhaps it’s not quite so awful.

Do you think they heard us, this time? Does their equipment even work without the sun? Did someone, somewhere on that bright Earth, hear whisperings from the comfortable dark?

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