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They all stood in the hallway corner, talking excitedly: representatives of every research discipline currently involved at the Arch, a place with the subaquatic capacity of half an Alpha orbit station and the curiosity of an interstellar species or two. Researchers threaded through the social knot they formed, turning back and forth between each other, talking. Some were leaning back on the wall with deep sighs and wide eyes, or clutching their heads and laughing. There were serious hushes, hands in front of mouths. The Hoopoe was there, Buckminster and Arjun Woollibee were there, Arys Steinman was there, Maryan Waters was there – anyone who wasn’t there didn’t hold a leading research position, but they most certainly did hear the building-wide broadcast of the classic tune, ‘Major Breakthrough’ by Silken Tongue.

In the past forty-eight hours (during which some had not slept), they’d been able to interpret the data they were receiving, then they’d translated it to human-range audio and listened to it, then they confirmed its origins, and now everyone here needed to know.

Leading up to this, they’d translated layers of patterns from their readings, which had been gaining in depth and texture of reception through their advancements. Their compartmentalized projects seemed to have co-evolved into sudden cooperation. ME & TH discerned and sorted timing signatures. EG & MW discovered and quantified tonalities. AL monitored and analyzed conditional factors. PM measured recurrence and reverberative derivatives. PR recorded particle arrangements as wave shapes. MC made amplitude comparisons. RH worked on recognizing nesting while RS & AS interpreted shapes. PA identified conjoining characters. RS calculated radiance and decay. KU wrote data-interlocking equations. RL sussed out source coordination. BW & AM kept up and kept ahead with instrument reception tuning. JM spearheaded creation of gap algorithms. Out of every 1-6 person team, some of them were here. Someone produced a camera and got them all to look at it, incredulous faces filling a hallway, five and more people deep.

They were all discussing the audio track they’d been listening to, which was not the song called ‘Major Breakthrough’. The implications of its evidence broke the rules of this world open to reveal another, real yet other. They’d suspected enough to get that far, but this told them so much more in a stunning fashion. What did they believe should be done about it?

Pointing to the papers in his hand, Arys Steinman turned to The Hoopoe asking, “Can we make a composition like this?”

“I’m going to say yes,” replied the lad, “but it will only be like it in certain ways, with our specific dimensional fingerprint, the way it contains its dimensional fingerprint. But I think I can make it fit like two halves of a locket, and please don’t ask for more explanation at this point. I’m pretty sure what I need is a specialty 6/15 Live Selector MatrixCube.”

Steinman received multiple key points from this reply one after the other for the first time. “Guessing from your context, that sounds like an item for music production.”

“Yeah. I’d want to order it custom, which I wouldn’t consider cheap, and will take a little more time than instant acquisition. Like the Charged Filter. And I need the premium software, and I’m going to mod it, which will void support and might mean legal fees. You can tell I’ve already thought about this.”

“If it’s mass market, then it costs no more than our toilet paper, even at custom rates. I second your request. We’ll have it sooner than anyone else can get it, and you can order the gold trim. We might even get them to work for us.”

“I think all we need to do is order one. We have to wait for a surfacing until we can send for it, right?”

“We’ll be coming up really soon. Priority.”

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