Michael Fiorito

Brevity is The Soul of Twitter

     Trump writes on his Twitter feed that the administration is cutting all scientific research funding related to SETI. 
     SEARCHING FOR ALIENS is so sad and a waste of taxpayer money! My WALL MONEY is needed!!
     No one, but no one, expects what follows.
     Of course, the SETI scientists respond, as does the religious right, launching a mini war on Twitter.
     Then, one of the replies, written in mathematics, is posted but initially ignored. 
     N = R* x fp x ne x fl x fi x fc x L
     JUST ANOTHER LIBERAL ELITIST SCIENTIST.  Satanist.  These atheists think they know everything.
     Why build a telescope when you can BUILD A WALL? Losers.
     But some take notice. The reply, it turns out, is Drake’s Equation.  Developed by astronomer Frank Drake, the equation estimates the number of active, communicative extraterrestrials in the Milky Way and predicts the possibility of life in the universe.
     Hours later a photo appears in one of the replies. It is a photo of the Earth as seen from Jupiter. Scientists worldwide scour the catalogue of photos. Some say it looks like a new photo.  
     Then two scientists from Europe’s CERN Institute, Dr.’s Vito Tuttolomundo and Guido Mangacavallo, offer evidence that these are current photos. Close examination reveals shadows from other planets proving that, in fact, the images are taken from the day they were posted on Twitter.
     A day later, another photo appears. 
Trump writes in response that if North Korea or Iran took these photos, he considers it an act of war. OR COULD JUST BE FAKE NEWS. Or Democrats.
     Now scientists world round confirm that the photos reflect the current configuration and motion of planets.
     The world reels.
     Trump brags further on Twitter that he’s the most intelligent person to have ever lived and that “they’ve” come to meet him. That the aliens have been waiting for his arrival since humans BECAME SMART.  He doesn’t say anything about primates or mention scientists standing on shoulders of those who came before them. 
     Instead he continues gloating. 
     Now the dialog has moved off Twitter. All televisions and internet sites simultaneously show a film. The film is of the melting of the glaciers, the flooding of cities. Animals trapped and dying. Cities ravaged by fires. The rainforest in flames. Missiles launching, nations declaring war on each other.
     Trump returns to Twitter. WHOEVER THIS IS should be worried about the VERY STRONG U.S.  We are locked and LOADED.
     Now there is silence on Twitter. No replies.
     Next, there are a series of flashes on screens everywhere. Algorithms. Scientists and mathematicians claim that these are equations for technologies. Quantum computers. Particle accelerators. Time travel devices.  Schematics.  Music compositions.  Things no one understands.
     But Trump rages on Twitter saying that only he can read these messages. He fires his science administrator, the Secretary of State, the Vice President. Dismantles NASA.  Threatens the pope.  All on Twitter.
     The equations and other messages cease. 
     Other world leaders beg Trump to stop. To listen.
     Never leaving his room, still in his bathrobe, orange wig sitting on a table near his bed, Trump declares war on North Korea, on Iran, on Iraq. On Canada, because Trudeau is a NASTY PERSON.  AND NOT NICE.  He bombs Greenland, claiming eminent domain.
     World leaders assemble.  Who will rein in the United States?
Nations tremble, awaiting what will happen next.

Mike Fiorito is an Associate Editor for Mad Swirl Magazine and a regular contributor to the Red Hook Star Revue.  

His book Call Me Guido was published by Ovunque Siamo Press. Mike has another book scheduled to publish in 2021 by Bordighera Press. 

More info: