As soon as writers, astronomers, philosophers and military men represented the first contact of mankind with extraterrestrial intelligence. And the receipt by the Earth's observatories of meaningful signals from deep space. And the discovery of space artifacts or even living aliens during the excavation of ancient burial mounds and pyramids. And the appearance of sinister alien starships over the largest cities of our planet. The fall of celestial bodies, the crash of all kinds of UFOs. Meeting with "brothers in mind" on distant planets. Invasion. War. Extermination of all living things...
However, what was happening most of all resembled someone's stupid joke, hoax or annoying advertising, and therefore humanity did not immediately believe in the reality of the First Contact. It's just that on various television channels of the Earth, a shaggy mug of a humanoid began to periodically appear, somewhat reminiscent of a Bigfoot with thick dark red hair. This tall, upright creature with piercing black eyes, a flattened dark nose and a wide mouth was dressed in either metal armor or a spacesuit without a helmet and waved its clawed paw up in the air at the audience. With a strong accent, the humanoid uttered the same text, albeit in different terrestrial languages, depending on the country of broadcast:
“People of the Earth, by the right of discoverers, the civilization of Shiharsa declares its power and jurisdiction over your world. We guarantee one tong of the safety of your home planet, but then the fate of the human race will depend solely on you. People, you have already reached the threshold of development, from which it is possible to participate in a big game that distorts reality. So take part in it and earn the right to enter the ranks of the great space races!
Then there were shots of some incomprehensible schemes and drawings, after which the fifty-second video ended. You understand, it was foolish to hope that anyone would fall for such a primitive and unsophisticated fake. Even the most gullible spectator understood that in front of him was just an actor dressed in a shaggy suit, clumsily advertising some kind of another computer game.
For those naive viewers who still doubted and began to ask questions, the experts invited to the television studio analyzed the so-called "drawings" given in the commercial. So, even the most superficial study of the circuits showed that this is generally complete nonsense - the equipment shown in the video did not imply a connection to the power supply at all and could not work in principle.
The interest of viewers in videos with a furry alien did not last long. Then the effect of such intrusive advertising, suddenly interrupting interesting films and sports broadcasts without warning, became sharply negative everywhere. Dissatisfied viewers cut off the telephones of television studios, wrote letters complaining about annoying advertising to various authorities, or simply switched the channel.
The authorities were fighting the ad infection and threatening the unknown hackers who staged this stupid prank with the most serious consequences. Television workers quickly enough learned to quickly block the broadcast of the video that bothered everyone. Information security specialists tried in various ways to determine the artfully disguised source of the signal and claimed that they would soon be on the trail of these brazen hackers. And although the attackers were never found in the end, after a few weeks the broadcasts stopped by themselves, and everyone breathed a sigh of relief.
Thus, the greatest event in the history of mankind, which put an end to the centuries-old dispute about the possibility of the existence of other intelligent races in the Universe, was very chaotic, crumpled and, although it was noticed by many people, practically none of them understood.
Although there were still single enthusiasts who decided to learn more about the "game that distorts reality." Despite all the revelations of experts and the repeatedly voiced absurdity of the above schemes, these stubborn eccentrics continued to believe in a miracle and even built the device depicted in the drawings ...
The long-awaited First Contact with an alien civilization that happened, people frankly did not understand. Just as our humanity did not believe that the time allotted for the Earth to protect against invasion from outer space is very, very limited. But after the First Contact, a mysterious game remained, brought by aliens to our world. The goals of this game are vague, the servers are not clear where, and the principles of operation are inexplicable. But this game is gaining momentum, drawing in more and more people, and soon it becomes difficult not to notice that game events directly affect our reality. And not only ours...
Meanwhile, while people deal with this mysterious game, the countdown timer is ticking, and it is completely unclear what will happen when the protection period for our home planet expires.