The moment of truth

The sun fell from the sky; the stars fell into it. A host of suns, somewhere, to some, if the scientists could be believed. Michael wasn’t about to bet either way.

The probe had gone out seven centuries ago, with power enough to send back one message: yes or no, although not in so many words. There was no back-up. If the lights had gone out along the way, they would only find out now.

The world gathered in shopping malls and city squares, twelve billion eyes fixed on the holography. Michael, who did not want to know, stayed home.

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