“Well, it’s definitely a message. It’s binary, very clear, quite ordered.”
The head of the agency tapped the desk. “You have a translation of it?”
“Yes sir, we think it’s decoded.” She handed him a block. “There were 1,679 blips. If the message was purposefully sent, the number probably means something. Since it’s semiprime, we set the message onto a 23 by 73 grid and raised the grid spaces that were ‘on.’ The patterns clearly indicate a message.”
He swept a tentacle across the braille. “We really aren’t alone in the universe! It has the numbers one through 10, then a code of sorts. What’s it say?”
“Get your FREE bottle of male enhancement pills from Crazy Joe’s NOW.”
This was written for the Sammi Cox Weekend Writing Prompt #111, translation. The original Arecibo Message was a 23 by 73 binary message launched from the Arecibo Observatory as part of its opening ceremony in 1974. Intended to be a publicity stunt more than anything, the message was nevertheless an informative thing indicating the presence of life on Earth for anyone who might be around to receive it. But, knowing us, we’ll send another in a few years advertising penis pills, ’cause that’s the way we do.