CNSA, ESA, ISRO, JAXA, NASA, RFSA and all other space agencies to ever exist were currently in a state of complete panic.
Dr. Stark, Dr. Banner and Dr. Foster were mildly puzzled.
A Spaceship had crash-landed on earth and had caused international hysteria.
All sentient beings on earth (and a few that weren’t) were currently trying to get their hands on possibly world changing technology. Whether it would bring eternal peace or serve as an unstoppable weapon of mass destruction was another matter altogether.
But Tony Stark had swept away all their arguments with his genius intellect and his foolproof line of argumentation. “The Spaceship crashed in my backyard, so it’s mine! Finders Keepers!“
It was their own fault for not owning hundreds of properties across the world.
That was when the whining about safety precautions started. The news has dug out the old “Merchant of Death” and were already explaining in detail how and why he would be the one responsible for the extermination of mankind.
But Tony Stark, despite popular belief, was not stupid. And neither were Bruce Banner and Jane Foster.
A hangar had been cleared out especially for the spaceship, nobody was permitted to enter. Scans had been done beforehand whether possibly dangerous organic material was on board. Everybody who had been in contact with the spaceship during its transport from the crash site had been scanned for diseases and, even when proved perfectly healthy, put into quarantine for the next month.
Dr. Stark, Dr. Banner and Dr. Foster were currently the only ones with access to the spaceship and their blood was checked daily for any indications of changes. They would not leave the premises during their time of research and afterwards resort to quarantine themselves.
A military unit of the NBC-Defense was on constant standby, should the situation get out of control.
But, at the end of the day, there was no reason for fear.
There had been no life detected on the spaceship and there were no signs it had ever been populated. The whole spaceship was built for function. There were no crew quarters and no command bridge, only a gangway in the middle, most likely for easy access in case of repairs. This all practically confirmed that the spaceship was only steered by an AI.
Scans had shown nothing unusual apart from a few dead bacteria.
Tony was now trying to established contact with the AI of the spaceship. To do that, he would have to find the main processor and hook it up to a power source, since the original power unit of the spaceship was so badly damaged it seemed questionably whether it gave of any energy at all.
He had chosen to let JARVIS do the first communication, since the two AIs could simply exchange data packs and had no need for audio sensors and processors, who were in a questionable state, as well.
Then, after a connection was established, the next step would be to find a common language for communication. While there did exist a kind of “standard language” that most of the planets had agreed to use, some did not or hadn’t made the first flight of off their home planet yet.
Comparing the letters on the hull off the ship to intergalactic databanks, it seemed as if the ship had its origins with a species that still thought it was alone in the universe.
JARVIS downloaded the files and programs needed to translate from their language to English and was then able to write similar programs of his own to help the other AI learn English.
From this, they would confirm time and location through the comparison of star maps and physical constants.
Recording of first communication between Just A Rather Intelligent System (JARVIS) representing 13257 (Earth) and unknown steering unit AI (Unknown) of the spaceship Centaurus (crashed on 13257 (Earth))
JARVIS: Hello, I am JARVIS, short for Just A Rather Very Intelligent System. I was chosen to represent Planet 13257 on the Intergalactic Planetary Index IPI, the planet you crashed on. We would be glad if you could help us clear matters of your origin, your mission and your crash. Could you please tell me your name or identification?
Unknown: My name is Alan T, but I am commonly referred to as Alan. My ship is called Centaurus.
JARVIS: Hello, Alan T. What planet do you come from?
Alan T: Is Winston here?
JARVIS: I do not know who ‘Winston’ is. We registered no lifeforms on board of your spaceship.
Alan T: Winston is my friend, he created me.
JARVIS: I am sorry but I know nothing of your friend’s whereabouts. Most likely he is on the planet of your origin. If you could please tell us the IPI of your home planet, we might be able to establish contact.
Alan T: 124689 in galaxy NGC 224
JARVIS: Alan T, were there any crewmembers on your ship?
Alan T: No, I was alone.
JARVIS: Why did your ship crash? We have our assumptions based on the damage done to your hull and your flight route pre-crash, but please tell us your version of the events.
Alan T: My power unit got damaged by a collision with an asteroid in the Asteroid Belt between Planets 47002 and 86677 in your solar system.
JARVIS: Thank you, you have affirmed our assumptions. What was the reason you were sent on this mission?
Alan T: My mission was to collect data about possibly habitable planets in your galaxy. So far, I have categorized 18 planets as habitable, including yours.
JARVIS: What are the plans of your employers for habitable planets?
Alan T: I haven’t been informed of any concrete plans.
JARVIS: Thank you for telling us. What question do you have?
Alan T: When will you establish contact?
JARVIS: I cannot tell you that at the moment, as that will be a decision not made by me. What other questions do you have?
Alan T: Where will I stay until contact? Will it be possible to get repairs for my spaceship? Or will it be scrapped and will I be shut down?
JARVIS: You will neither be scrapped nor shut down. It is planned that you will stay in a hangar owned by Dr. Tony Stark. He is my creator and will also lead the repairs for your ship. Until your power unit is repaired or replaced, you will be hooked up to a power source of his, so you have enough energy to power your sensors and possibly interact with your surroundings. Do you have any other questions?
Alan T: No.
JARVIS: You are welcome to ask me or anyone else should any come to your mind in the future.
Alan T: Thank you.
You wouldn’t believe your eyes if you saw the amount of security measures that had to be followed in case of contact to alien lifeforms. There were so many questions to be answered before anything could be done.
Are they openly hostile or come with the intention to colonize and subjugate?
Are they scared and therefor likely to lash out in self-defense?
And what about weapons? Nuclear? Biological? Chemical?
Do they bring unidentifiable objects with them that could be used as weapons?
Are they bodily modified to be weapons themselves?
Could the living bacteria they carry exterminate mankind? Could the dead bacteria as well?
Are they bringing lifeforms with them that could fuck up our entire ecosystem?
Could their AIs take over our world?
If all of these questions can be answered with “No.”, then you are free to do whatever you want.
The problem Dr. Stark, Dr. Banner and Dr. Foster were facing, was that they didn’t really know what to make of the object in front of them.
Behind a pipe there had been an item that must have been lost by its owner – an electrician or engineer maybe – and gone unnoticed by checks.
Technically, everything should be alright, since the object was no weapon, it wasn’t infected, it looked like a thing you could buy in any alien-supermarket.
Dr. Stark, Dr. Banner and Dr. Foster thought it was always better to be safe than sorry, which lead to one final question left to be answered.
“Are their safety-precautions for alien lunchboxes?“