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MIT Technology Review | April 1, 2050 - by Ann Odell

Will a suspect, high-tech, centi-billion-nonagenarian, unstable genius lead us to a profound new relationship with…? At 99, recluse Mike Evans is a transformed man not only through the wisdom of years but through a lifelong journey of invention and enterprise most recently punctuated by an individual extraterrestrial encounter like no other, ever. Reporting this week confirms Evans has achieved neurological-level exchange with the verifiable ‘unknown’. Since founding his nascent space enterprise 48 years ago, whose mission touted establishing our earth-bound humanity as a spacefaring, multi-planet civilization -specifically by adding Mars to our conquest of the moon- Evans has sought to push boundaries and distinguish himself as a visionary provocateur at the nexus of colossal ideas, empire-building and positively aimed Universe denting. With some hits and plenty of misses, including his $5b starship reusable rocket collaboration with NASA, which successfully landed on the red planet in 2026 but -due to faulty instrumentation readings returned without completing any of the planned probes- Evans soldiered onward, enlisting big corporate and private donors to the tune of $325b over 21 years to eventually declare victory in 2047. His team not only landed trained astronauts on Mars but successfully deployed the foundations of a surface-level workstation, over a 3-month period, the nucleolus of his next big vision steps to come. Although NASA is still a space partner, the required level of funding forced Evans’s greenlighting of commercially focused initiatives, with strings attached, and thus a bumpy devolution of reputation, consistent throughout his life. Even as a severely flawed person, some say wholly unfit, Mike Evans is still considered one of the greatest influencers of the new millennium, and his extensive thought leadership continues to ripple. His car company singularly shifted, at scale, the burgeoning US auto and residential energy industries to clean and regenerative, supercharging an entirely new economy in its wake, including governmental policy support, revamped value chains, infrastructure development, and plenty of new jobs. His brain-computer interface company daringly advanced the notion of implants from 68 hearing loss and Parkinson’s disease to recapturing memory loss, mitigating paralysis, and reducing insomnia by ultimately fusing humankind with artificial intelligence. His new mobility company reduced the cost of underground tunneling to realize efficient transport infrastructure for people and commerce, although in some cases, the environment paid a very high price. His satellite network exploited low orbit earth to deliver new 21C standards of internet service, unilaterally changing the night sky’s appearance, and his space company inserted Mars into the everyday lexicon of an emerging global society -promoting the notion of travel beyond earth as a human imperative. But as of last Wednesday, a new, very curious wrinkle has developed given The Washington Post’s reveal of a secret informant providing the publisher with key details about the planet-pioneering juggernaut’s latest inner workings and discoveries over the last year that have never been made public. The undisclosed source, code name Andromeda, indicated that following stabilization of the Martian facility’s infrastructure, extended sustainability operations, and reconnaissance equipment by last February, a manned exploratory probe traversed some two kilometers beyond base camp in a routine geological sample sweep, including two core tubes containing material up to 17 centimeters below the surface. Only 50 meters out from the compound upon their return, a spiraling pearlescent plume of vapor focused their attention, and upon close scrutiny, revealed what appeared to be three contiguous, unremarkable bulb-like shapes of organic matter, about 17 centimeters in circumference and indistinguishable in color from the surface aggregate. Following the first month of rigorous and extensive in-lab testing, the space research cohort identified the densely biotic specimen as having some molecular compatibility with the earth’s alkaline-acidic composition profile but also detected profound differentiation, pointing to its primary reliance on carbon dioxide intake while expelling oxygen. The Martian atmosphere is primarily composed of carbon dioxide (95%), molecular nitrogen (2.8%), and argon (2%). Including the assembly of a contained environment replicating its reverse growth requirements, observers then watched the dismal gray matter develop over the next six months into a nebulous, vastly interconnected network, holographic in appearance. In addition, the initial brain-computer interface data feed indicated an abundance of gamma and theta waves consistent with humans, matched by an immense variety of other enigmatic activity yet to be decoded. At this early stage of discovery, Andromeda further explained that space analysts, along with the enlisted support of top neurologists at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, had identified the organism with a medium to high-level intelligence capacity with more testing underway. All involved participants were under enhanced non-disclosure agreements, and all content was sequestered periodically. 69 Part 4: Sustainability & Technology 70 71 Part 4: Sustainability & Technology As if none of these insights wasn’t newsworthy enough, an even more radical inflection point transpired the morning of January 29th of this year. When, what the elder Evans perceived as, failure by technicians to neuro-link his brain directly to the organism, the fractious steward forced a more direct approach. Against his entire senior advisement team’s strong urging, Evans -then heavily under the influence of his son, and fifth wife - demanded to ingest the mysterious substance in its simplest and most immediately impactful form, by placing a quarter teaspoon of the flash-dried and finely ground fleshy, fibrous sampling under his tongue. Monitored intensively with state-of-the-art, full body-brain MRI, sonography, and echocardiography, Evans endured an intensive period of unconsciousness approximately 30 minutes in, immediately followed by exaggerated brain wave activity, including similar graphic patterns as seen generated by the organism in earlier testing. Utilizing his most recent brain scan augmentation software, real-time 3D visualization of his entire experience was displayed on-screen for witnesses. Through the course of impact, Andromeda provided The Washington Post with both a verbal accounting, as well as some of the digital images, ranging from black voids to quantum size light flickers to a nebulous, fibrous compound network with a similar DNA imprint to the specimen. The gauzy amorphous circuitry then evolved through a series of bizarre, unidentifiable creatures, each morphing into the other to again, a black screen, with only the faintest indecipherable outline -much vaguer than the resolution of the previous content. The emergence of the last image coincided with an extreme drop in Evans’s blood pressure and paused pulse. As the team poised itself for advanced resuscitation with the means to target every human organ function -they sharply withdrewprompted by the sound and sights of Evans’s vitals vigorously back in rhythm. Upon regaining consciousness, Evans appeared incredulous when told he had been out for only three hours, as his own perception was that of a lifetime and more. Evans accounted for everything the room had seen, in approximately the same order, adding in his own emotional perceptions. As for the image presented just before his vitals dipped, he indulged in a lingering, long pause, ostensibly at a loss for words. Although he claims to have actually seen the faintest gesture of something with him, he initially felt the strength of its presence transmitted through a distinctive, low-toned vibration -curiously in the exact off-set sync of his pulse. The visitor, as he identified, moved around him, even through him, like a mission-driven vapor on reconnaissance -sensing, perceiving Evans’s physical scope, as it found nothing impermeable, and as if it might be reporting back to its origins. This swirling ephemeral, light touch probe continued until culminating into what Evans described as his full envelopment within a dense cloud. At that point, he was airlifted -feeling weightless and in transport but unable to perceive anything about his circumstances or what might come next. At this point, experiencing fear and agitation for the first time, he felt regret for potentially compromising his life for the effort -but no sooner had this negative registered, he was overcome by a sudden injection of warmth, first at the back of his head, moving over the top of his skull and settling between his eyes. The glow, as he expressed, continued its movement from the top of his spine down throughout his body, networking in a darting rhythm from its starting point, shooting outward-downward to what seemed like targeted pinpoints, each generating a capacious sense of calm, rejuvenation, and deep relaxation. Evans described the overall feeling as inwardly liberating and expansive, at which point he instinctively closed his eyes, captivated by a sense of connection with the visitor and at the same time sensing the brightness of the space he was consumed by. He then described a transmission of content channeled throughout the brain and body that he was hard-pressed to recount in any detail. In general terms, he perceived it as a metaphysical vacillation in scale, experiencing smooth shifting between the very minute, as in quantum particle size, to the very vast, as in yottametric, colossal, galactic size. At this point, Evans fell silent, reflective, and introspective. Beyond follow-up with a full range of medical testing and careful analysis of his in-experience monitor readouts, along with his visualizations, nothing else is known regarding his current condition, as per the TWP account. Is it any wonder that this eccentric mastermind now stands poised to connect us with an entirely new civilization light-years away through what might be described as an extremely tenuous and ephemeral portal? That such a controversial figure might lead us yet again into an extremely different kind of space, not just physically alternative but cognitively too? Potentially a new inner-outer space requires our suspension of belief regarding just about everything we think we know. A space teaming with uncertainty for sure, and potentially diverse mutant life, complex value systems, and seemingly ambiguous, even serendipitous, function and relationship. What will be our response? Based upon the TWP article, representatives of the Global Low Orbit Earth Counsel are scheduled to convene tomorrow to review the implications. They have requested a full debrief from his space company, as well as its NASA oversight committee. In addition, other behind the scenes press leaks to report several global corporations, including Apple, Amazon, Sinopec Group, and Saudi Aramaco, will hold a round table early next week, while several high-profile citizen science groups, including Academy to the Stars, are already organizing rallies worldwide in an effort to persuade the powers that be to ’venture in peace’. If there was ever a defining moment to characterize who we Spaceship Earthlings are, it’s

now.

And with the near end of Evans’s live presence on our home planet, will we soon recall a

courageous Transformative Leader, exceptional at bringing together diverse experts to

drastically accelerate the development of innovations previously limited to academic

labs for the greater good, or that of a Kook, whose potentially final peek into the future

will be slammed shut by his successors fearing market-driven blowback due to its fantastical nature, his latest inter-planetary encounter relegated alongside the dusty coffers

housing decades of UFO accounts, all because it’s just too out-there to consider, too

threatening to what we’ve already settled on, built for, invested in?

When asked for comment, Abebe Kanumba, the first-ever NASA trained African astronaut

to command a lunar landing during the 2020’s Artemis Program and the crew member

who secured the mysterious matter at the outer limits of the preparatory Martian epicenter, was reminded of a quote by the previous century’s prolific cosmologist and astrophysicist Carl Sagan:

‘We can judge our progress by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers, by our willingness

to embrace the unknown, rather than our blind commitment to what makes us feel safe and secure.’

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