Author : Patricia Stewart, Staff Writer

“Damn, there’s nothing there. I don’t like this one bit,” said NASA’s Jim Mason to his fellow astronomer. “Based on the perturbations to the orbits of Neptune and Uranus, the computer says the damn thing has 45% of the mass of the sun.”

“That’s impossible,” replied Jed Simpson. “We’d be able to see a star that big. Even a dwarf star that died ten billion years ago would still be omitting in the infrared. And, if it were a black hole, Chandra would have picked up x-rays as it gobbled up Kuiper belt objects. Let’s face it Jim; it’s some kind of dark mass.”

“Dark mass? You mean Baryonic? Are you nuts?”

“No, no, not dark matter, dark mass. I mean some kind of super-Jupiter that didn’t go nuclear.”

“Well, that’s just stupid,” snapped Mason. “All of a sudden, the four fundamental forces don’t apply to your super-Jupiter. Are we supposed to ignore a hundred years of proven science? What’s next, the Earth is really flat? Let’s stay focused Jeb. There has to be a good reason that we can’t see anything.”

“Okay,” replied Jeb, raising the ante. “Maybe it’s stealth technology. Some alien race is attacking us using some gigantic invisible spaceship. How about that?”

Missing the sarcasm, Mason latched onto the idea. “Hmmm. Okay, let’s follow that path. But, it doesn’t have to be an invasion. Maybe it’s just a natural progression of an alien technology. For example, could it be a Dyson Sphere? Maybe they didn’t intend for it to be invisible. They just made it so efficient that energy doesn’t escape. We can calculate its coordinates from the effects on the gas giants. All we have to do is aim the Hubble II at it and see what’s there.”

A few days later, the Hubble II revealed that the anomaly was a Dyson Sphere, approximately forty million kilometers in diameter, which was probably surrounding an M2V red dwarf.

When the giant sphere crossed Jupiter’s orbit, it launched thousands of massive spaceships, which swarmed through the asteroid belt like angry hornets. As the weeks progressed, the sphere continued on its way past the sun and out of the solar system, but the spaceships stayed behind. Then, one by one, the spaceships left the asteroid belt and flew toward the sun; stopping just outside the orbit of Mercury. They would only stay a day or so, and then return to the asteroid belt is steady fashion.

The two NASA astronomers, along with seven billion concerned Earthmen, watched the extraterrestrial caravan for months. “Why don’t they answer our transmissions?” asked Mason. “Surely they know we are here. What do you think they are doing?”

“It’s obvious. They’re constructing another Dyson Sphere. They are probably autonomous construction ships. There’s no one there to answer us.”

“But if they are building a Dyson Sphere near Mercury’s orbit, won’t that block out the sun. The Earth will freeze.”

“Oh, we won’t have to worry about that,” replied a somber Simpson. “The asteroid belt only had 4% of the mass of our moon. There isn’t enough material there to construct a Dyson sphere. It’s just easier to get to. Eventually, they’ll need more raw materials. They will have to dismantle all four inner planets, including the Earth to get it. I estimate we only have a couple of years to figure out how to stop the invasion.”


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