"We’ve been examining the dust, trying to understand how to reverse its effects in the atmosphere."
"Well, we haven’t learned much about the dust. Actually, we don’t have the slightest idea how it works yet or how to get rid of it. It will probably take us years to understand, much less to do anything about it. … But we have figured out something."
Adrian leaned back. “Yes?”
Stephen opened a window in his table screen and entered a few commands. A display of the spinning Earth appeared with a simulation of clouds floating like pulled cotton across its surface. Stephen entered a few more commands, and about twenty to twenty-five colored lines appeared crisscrossing the globe.
"What’s this?" Adrian asked.
"Atmospheric encoding." Stephen rubbed his finger over the screen to maneuver the image and then zoomed in to show a closer view of the lines that divided the atmospheric layers of the earth.
Stephen smiled. “It’s a method of etching a basic operating system into the earth’s atmosphere. It would be powered by the sun and invisible to the naked eye.”
"For what purpose?"
"There are a lot of ways we could go with this. We’re still experimenting. We were kinda hoping that you might have some ideas." Stephen tossed Adrian a memory card. "Here are the schematics for the system and our current methodology. … For now, we are only uploading a message that’s a warning to others about what these aliens have done to us. We set it to emit an intermittent signal so that if some intelligence comes along, they should be able to detect the program."
"Like the aliens who attacked us," Adrian said.
"Maybe—well, yes, they would be able to detect it. But like you said, I doubt they care."
—Jennifer Marie Brissett, Elysium