“C’therax! W-why h-haven’t you been t-t-transmitting?” Sarah said at the hologram. For months C’therax had been providing her information to share with the stranded Martian community on Earth. The past several weeks the signal had been silent and many of the underground Martians were getting worried.
Outside she had her speaker blaring rock and roll to ensure her neighbors would not hear her talking to a Martian. They already thought she was “guilty of treason against the Human Race.”
Dia’dymn gave a squeak and all eight of his legs broke out in a happy dance when he saw the image of C’therax and Sp’Rark on the hologram.
“I -er I am really really sorry Sarah…”Ctherax began. Sp’Rark gave him a shove.
“Don’t be so down!” she said.
“S-Something w-wrong?” Sarah asked.
“Well…the Regime is currently launching a pretty effective campaign of character assassination against the Muckraker. It’s a long story involving my health and the sins of a former colleague…. The Martian people have solidified in support of us, but several powerful forces on other planets want the libel laws to be stretched like putty and well…to put us all in prison. So I er, just wanted to warn you I may not be able to sway things towards reconciliation with Earth for much longer. I am sorry…”
“C’therax! D-don’t be so-r-r-ry! You have b-been my bravest a-ally! And…I am so so s-s-sorry that you…y-you…you are facing t-this…risk…” Sarah began. How do you comfort someone who might be jailed for speaking the truth? Everything Sarah could think of saying felt shallow.
Sp’Rark pushed C’therax over. “The Martians are a good people. A strong people. I don’t know how this plays out…but the Muckraker won’t die. At least what the Muckraker stands for won’t die. ”
C’therax smiled at Sp’Rark. He always admired her strength.
“I wish I could…” Sarah didn’t even know how to finish the sentence.
“Just keep standing for our brethren down there. And we are able to do one last thing for you…” C’therax said.
“What’s that?” Sarah asked.
C’therax held up a small sphere. “Sp’Rark and Dr. Vyryn were able to miniaturize the tech behind a tachyon parser. We think they are small enough for us to run several of these past Earth’s Great Barricade in a drone. And once that happens you have access to the opportunities of the Hyperspace Tachyon Transmission Protocol.”
“Is t-that like…an i-internet?” Sarah asked.
“It’s a better internet than what you Earthlings have ever had. Information banks can be transmitted universe wide, and the signals can be picked up without any corporation or government serving as an intermediary between you and the information you want. And unlike the terminal you are using to talk to me now, it will have reach not just to Mars but all throughout the known galaxy,” C’therax said.
Sp’Rark continued, “Because tachyon information banks actively transmit their signal through hyperspace, anyone can tune in, like a radio almost. No registries required. The parser can discover new information banks on its own just by looping through the standard frequencies. The amount of information transmitted can be much more complex than an Earthling radio. As long as the transmitter is up, it’s signal cannot be jammed, censored or blocked.”
Sarah’s eyes widened at the possibilities.
Sp’Rark continued, “In the event that C’rululian authorities seize the offices of the Martian Muckraker, several of our employees have already made plans to go underground and transmit resistance signals demanding the release of C’therax, myself and whoever else they arrest. Losing the status of a proper newspaper will make it harder for them to do data collection, but we are hoping they keep the spark alive until the Muckraker can come into the open again. Anyhow, we hope these tachyon parsers will help you stay informed about what is happening outside Earth’s Barricade in the event C’therax and I get arrested.”
“An uncensorable internet…” Sarah whispered amazed. “Will I be able to transmit with the miniaturized parsers or only pick up signals?”
“You can transmit. But I warn you, the Regime has run a pretty strong campaign of character assassination against you ever since we started sharing your story to the stars. It doesn’t matter how open an information system is, if the minds and hearts of the people are not open as well,” C’therax said.
Sarah closed her eyes and calculated. Then she smirked. “C’therax, run those past the Barricade. If you can get them past Earth’s defenses, I think I can light this information war up…”
To Be Continued…