Dariel Lin concentrated on the roster as if he was defending his thesis again. Somehow this felt more dire. A thesis could be reconstructed and re-defended. A fantasy team could not. He felt good about his offense, defense and utility choices, but who to put at Big Man? Everyone would place Tam there. He knew that. So he felt he needed to be more brilliant than to do the obvious.

He began to look over the eastern division teams again when something began to distract him.

What was that buzzing?

ACK! It was an alarm. No. THE alarm. The whole reason he sat in this empty shack night after night agonizing over his fantasy team alone. In case the scanner found something. And by bush it had found something.

He fought back the panic who h had been driving him to throw switches, and pull levers, and pull up screens. But there was nothing like that to do. He had one job. Verify the software hadn’t made an error and call the boss.

The verification was an automatic process that had spooled as soon as he sent the alert into the non-networked server. This insured someone on the Mesh hadn’t spoofed them. He had his hand on the phone and waited for it to run.

Green light.

He called.

Within four hours the shack was crammed full of officials, scientists and unexplained hangers on, all listening to the repeating message that had set off Dariel’s alarm.

“Hello Earth, this is Citadel 32 on the Moon. We have been out of contact for an undetermined amount of time. Several hundred years. Our colony has survived but only now recovered communications, please respond.”