36,400,000. That is the expected number of intelligent civilizations in our galaxy, according to Drake’s famous equation. For the last 78 years, we had been broadcasting everything about us – our radio, our television, our history, our greatest discoveries – to the rest of the galaxy. We had been shouting our existence at the top of our lungs to the rest of the universe, wondering if we were alone. 36 million civilizations, yet in almost a century of listening, we hadn’t heard a thing. We were alone.
That was, until about 5 minutes ago.
The transmission came on every transcendental multiple of hydrogen’s frequency that were listening to. Transcendental harmonics – things like hydrogen’s frequency times pi – don’t appear in nature, so I knew it had to be artificial. The signal pulsed on and off very quickly with incredibly uniform amplitudes; my initial reaction was that this was some sort of binary transmission. I measured 1679 pulses in the one minute that the transmission was active. After that, the silence resumed.
The numbers didn’t make any sense at first. They just seemed to be a random jumble of noise. But the pulses were so perfectly uniform, and on a frequency that was always so silent; they had to come from an artificial source. I looked over the transmission again, and my heart skipped a beat. 1679 – that was the exact length of the Arecibo message sent out 40 years ago. I excitedly started arranging the bits in the original 73x23 rectangle. I didn’t get more than halfway through before my hopes were confirmed. This was the exact same message. The numbers in binary, from 1 to 10. The atomic numbers of the elements that make up life. The formulas for our DNA nucleotides. Someone had been listening to us, and wanted us to know they were there.
Then it came to me – this original message was transmitted only 40 years ago. This means that life must be at most 20 lightyears away. A civilization within talking distance? This would revolutionize every field I have ever worked in – astrophysics, astrobiology, astro-
The signal is beeping again.
This time, it is slow. Deliberate, even. It lasts just under 5 minutes, with a new bit coming in once per second. Though the computers are of course recording it, I start writing them down. 0. 1. 0. 1. 0. 1. 0. 0… I knew immediately this wasn’t the same message as before. My mind races through the possibilities of what this could be. The transmission ends, having transmitted 248 bits. Surely this is too small for a meaningful message. What great message to another civilization can you possibly send with only 248 bits of information? On a computer, the only files that small would be limited to…
Text. Was it possible? Were they really sending a message to us in our own language? Come to think of it, it’s not that out of the question – we had been transmitting pretty much every language on earth for the last 70 years… I begin to decipher with the first encoding scheme I could think of – ASCII. 0. 1. 0. 1. 0. 1. 0. 0. That’s B… 0. 1. 1 0. 0. 1. 0. 1. E…
As I finish piecing together the message, my stomach sinks like an anchor. The words before me answer everything.
Here are two photos of beautiful Copenhagen and I had two wonderful days! We were all way too drunk (I even messaged my teacher if he wants to drink with me), we were all too tired for everything we had to do today BUT I am home and falling asleep. Good night xx
The first night living together,
we piled our suitcases in the corner;
warmed up a frozen pizza,
and sat criss-cross applesauce
under a broken coffee table,
drank water in paper cups,
and tried to imagine how our lives
would grow within these walls.
We were two lovers
living on the floor,
and battered blinds.
All we had to boast for
is a padded air mattress,
a set of silverware,
and a cactus that somehow
survived the winter.
We had everything.
This is white America. And when it comes to the minorities; especially
black - we as a people, for the past 400 years - is the greatest example
of behavior modification in the history of civilization. We have had
everything taken away from us, and yet we have all learned how to
Sorry if this is a weird question, you just seem like the person to ask this kind of thing. How do you balance maturity and enthusiasm? I'm a really eager person and I always worry that people won't take me seriously because I'm very excitable. You seem to have struck this perfect balance of being poised without ever selling yourself short, and just. How. ???
aw, bub. as someone who cares very deeply about being and appearing professional in the workplace, i definitely understand where you’re coming from.
listen. i have an 8X11 picture of nate mcKinnon with a speech bubble that says, “What did i ever do to you?” on my desk. i have a tiny hedgehog statue that i accidentally stole from an intern. for christmas last year, my boss bought me a little superhero stuffed monkey with the penguins logo on it. (his name is Super Mario. he is my best friend and i love him.)
my point is: liking things is cool. we’re taught for some reason that it’s Cool to Not Care and that being aloof is the same thing as being interesting, but like… it’s not? in all the jobs i’ve ever had, with all the people i’ve ever met, liking things and being excited about them has never made someone think that i don’t also take my work seriously or that i’m not good at it. i mean, that being said, i’m not showing up at board meetings in a penguins jersey singing “holiday sweater” or anything, because it’s important to remember that there is a time and place for everything. but it’s okay to be enthusiastic. in fact, most people prefer it.
what it comes down to, at the end of the day, is that people respect competence and hard work. so do your best and let your weird little heart shine, my friend.
Staring at your ceiling,
laying on your bed,
we used to talk
about our greatest fears together
so they seemed less scary
when we said them out loud.
One day, I’m going to marry someone
who isn’t you.
One day, I’ll be helping my babies
with bright eyes and their father’s laugh
into the car
and our eyes will meet across the street.
One day, you’ll be walking your wife
to the store, picking fresh apples
for a pie tonight.
One day, everything we had
will flash before our eyes
and we will be able to do nothing
nod at our new lives,
and wish each other well.
It sucks that we aren’t together anymore. But I can’t keep waiting for my phone to ring when I know it won’t be your voice I hear. I’m letting you live your life in peace. Now its time that you let me live mine.
Fandom, I love you, and you are an ace fandom, but I REALLY VERY STRONGLY feel that there are ways in which we could do better. Namely, in our appreciation for Chiyoh*. THIS IS A BADASS AND SUPER IMPORTANT CHARACTER AND SHE ONLY GOT 4 EPISODES BUT BELIEVE YOU ME SHE WILL BE BACK. So without further ado…
An Appreciation Post for Chiyoh (Lecter)
First of all, as you can tell by the parentheses there, I see Chiyoh as Hannibal’s adopted sister/replacement Misha**
Because she is connected to Misha and it’s important to point out that this was the catalyst in Hannibal’s life that started him on the path to becoming who he is and Chiyoh is the only living person who was a part of it.
There is quite an age gap between Chiyoh and Hannibal so if indeed Chiyoh met Misha and was closer in age to Misha than Hannibal, then Hannibal might have been a great deal older than Misha. Misha’s death might have happened much sooner than originally thought (or at least I thought. I always thought that Misha died when Hannibal was VERY young, like… 10 max, but given the difference between Chiyoh and Hannibal and how Chiyoh is so dedicated to Misha, it makes me think Hannibal was quite a bit older as an older brother. Which means her death was still fresh to him by the time he gets to Florence and Happens. Also I always thought Hannibal lost his parents and sister around the same time, but that might just be my continuity errors.)
The proof that Chiyoh and Misha were close and that Chiyoh became Hannibal’s surrogate sister is shown in their relationship and the reasons Chiyoh gives for it:
Chiyoh is here, guarding the dead, keeping Hannibal’s secrets, and ultimately saving his life, NOT for Hannibal’s sake, but for Misha’s. She explicitly says so. So I also REALLY WANT TO ADDRESS the fact that, even after all this time, Chiyoh is here because she cares about Misha, not Hannibal.
(I ship Chiyoh/Misha hardcore, I think it makes a LOT of sense about why she stays, why and how she bonds with Hannibal. That Misha’s death is what they bond over and the foundation of her loyalty to him. Which she all but says: she makes it very clear that she does not do Hannibal’s bidding because she’s in love with him, unlike some people we could name. She does as he asks, but of her own free will. He does not hold the same manipulative sway over her he holds over others.
And he knows and respects that, given when she decides it’s time for her to leave, he doesn’t ask her to stay, he only asks if she will continue watching over him. She chooses to stay and to take care of him, in dedication to Misha, in her memory. That’s significant in so many ways, but most of all that Misha is the link between Hannibal and Chiyoh and Hannibal has no other relationships with a middle man, as it were. Chiyoh’s distance from Hannibal himself means she is removed from his manipulation in some ways. That’s AMAZING.)
Also, note: Chiyoh is here out of conscious choice, the same thing Hannibal loves about Will and demands from everyone. Chiyoh and Will are VERY UNIQUE in that they are the only people who are with Hannibal out of conscious choice alone. Chiyoh is also here out of a sense of duty, but duty to a memory is 99.9% conscious choice.
She KNOWS Hannibal as well as Will does. Let’s just take a moment to appreciate that she knows Hannibal and Hannibal respects her too much to kill her and TRUSTS HER enough not to have to keep a hawk eye on her.
Also let me repeat that: HANNIBAL TRUSTS HER. HANNIBAL. TRUST. HANNIBAL. Please let those words in that specific order sink in for a minute. Hannibal doesn’t even fucking trust Will guys.
She is the only person we know of to have kissed Will Graham and not be on Hannibal’s death watch. (Arguably, Molly will be spared, at least we have no confirmation that either Will or Hannibal will ever contact her and Walter again. But Margot and Alana are both on his To Kill list, so there’s something to be said with Chiyoh not even being threatened.)
Also can you IMAGINE Hannibal’s reaction when he finds out Chiyoh kissed Will before him? As if kissing him period wasn’t bad enough, Hannibal’s been waiting SEVEN YEARS, Chiyoh meets him and less than a week later there is lip contact. Betrayed practically by his own blood. …I don’t know what Hannibal’s going to do when he finds out, but I know I’ll want popcorn to watch. (Also, smart move on Will’s part for saying she pushed him off a train and not that she kissed him before she did that, one of these things Hannibal can appreciate, the other induces murder.)
I hope I have successfully conveyed at least some of the reasons why Chiyoh is SO FUCKING IMPORTANT: she is Hannibal’s ONLY remaining link to his childhood, he TRUSTS her with that vulnerability, he shares Misha with her, and he can’t manipulate her EVEN THOUGH he owes her his life and safety.
I don’t know if you’ve been watching the Hannibal ‘I murder everyone who gets in my way or might get in my way or I just generally don’t like’ Lecter show, but THIS IS FUCKING SIGNIFICANT.
“But Lemon!” you say, “If she’s so important WHY was she only in 4 episodes??? And what makes you think she’s coming back???”
WELL, my friends, allow me to take you on a magical journey of headcanonland and The Most Plausible Survival Theory Yet. Buckle up, it’s gonna be fun…
The LAST time we ever see her she’s in a tree watching over Hannibal, gun
ready as promised, and he basically calls her off because he has to go
spend 3 years in purgatory to prove his love. You can BET Chiyoh has BSHFCE staked out and keeps careful track of
what’s going on in Baltimore, even if she’s not there in person.
I would bet money she was at the trial, didn’t testify, because no one knows who she is, doesn’t say anything, but she’s there. Because that’s her JOB and her promise to Misha is to look out for her brother.
SO when Hannibal “”“escapes”“”“ can we really believe Chiyoh has NO idea?
(Also, from a showrunning standpoint, even considering this was the last season and they had to rush things a little, given that this was such a FASCINATING character who
entered our lives with the sole purpose of revealing more of who
Hannibal is, why cut her out immediately? There’s SO MUCH potential there. Of course we don’t see her while Hannibal’s in jail, there’s nothing for her to do. But is it likely she comes in to drop some knowledge and then just disappears off the face of the earth? It would be very naive, I think, to say that she wasn’t going to come back; she’s WAY too useful)
But we also know Chiyoh is not the type to show her hand or stage a daring rescue. She is the type to wait and watch EVEN MORE SO than Hannibal. After all, she shoots Will at the last possible second, she saves Jack at the last possible second, that’s kind of her style.
I will bet she was somewhere at that house outside watching it all go down. Annnnd she probably was monitoring the escape like a hawk. So she was there earlier for the Not At All Foreshadowing conversation about the cliffside and erosion and Gosh The Waves Look Choppy Today, How Would You Like To Go For A Swim Will? Let Me Just Look WAY OUT Over The Edge, Will.
…I’m just saying.
So given she’s there for Hannibal’s HINTY HINT HINTS about how this whole thing is gonna go down, she probably installs some failsafes while baes are making love I mean confessing love I MEAN getting drunk because last night on Earth and won’t you kiss me before we die? …no that one stays because that one ACTUALLY HAPPENED.
She’s probably been working all afternoon setting shit up. She KNOWS as much as Hannibal and Will know that everyone is going to die, one way or another, it all ends now. But given Chiyoh sees that, she has time to plan.
Now, I always picture a big net under the cliff, but she probably has a way better plan than that. At the very least, she’s down at the shore with emergency medical
supplies and a boat going ‘you dumb fucks, get on before you die for
And I will EAT MY HAT if she is not involved with their escape, I SWEAR
TO GOD, her WHOLE LIFE is about saving Hannibal’s ass, WHEN HAS HIS ASS
EVER MORE NEEDED SAVING?
So. That is my fan theory about how they survived tied in with an epic Chiyoh Appreciation Post. I hope you enjoyed. Good night.
@kristsune for making me talk about this REALLY OVERLOOKED character
*According to the Hannibal wiki, Google, and AO3, it’s with the H; according to IMDb and Japanese, it’s without the H. I have no idea whether I should take linguistic authority or creative authority on this one as names are always in that weird intersection between etymology and creative control. So… ¯\¯\¯\¯\_(ツ)_/¯/¯/¯/¯ For the purposes of this post I have gone with the H.
**From my dim memories of looking it up once, Misha can be spelled with or without the C, however, with the C is masculine DEPENDING on the language of origin as Misha is found in many Eastern European tongues. I spell it without the C, in part, just so I’m not picturing Mischa Collins as Hannibal’s sister. (Also, pretty sure Thomas Harris spelled it without the C, but I am too lazy to look that up)
***Fun Fact: The actor is Tao Okamoto and according to IMDb HANNIBAL IS THE THIRD PIECE OF FILM SHE HAS EVER DONE. EVER. IN HER LIFE. JUST FUCKING BURY ME, I WILL NEVER BE AS TALENTED AND COMPOSED AS THIS WOMAN. FUCK.
you're strong and wonderful, you're gonna feel better soon, please just talk to someone, give things a different perspective xxx
i am a firm believer in therapy, but in my experience (and i think im different from most people in this way), talking to someone doesnt make me feel better at all. there’s nothing to work through. the facts of the matter are too difficult to live with
hello! i think i totally forgot to mention this at any point- but I am at a family reunion/on vacation in FL for the next few days so I shan’t be around. i think i have enough in the q but sorry if messages are not responded to! be back on monday or tuesday!