The Quadrocoptor

In the second installment the quest for the meteor is sidetracked almost immediately by an unexpected discovery. Also, your friendly narrator would like to briefly remind you there was a man named Alan Watts.

The song is this episode is 28 Ghosts IV by Nine Inch Nails which is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike license.

Episode 2: The Quadrocoptor
The morning after the meteor fell I hadn't yet learned how largeit was, how many people saw it, that it was visible hundreds of miles away.

Being ignorant of these facts I assumed it was small and likely had come down near my house. The streak across the sky appeared to lead towards a small subdivision less than a mile from my house.

So I started out for a walk that morning, unsure of how I would search for the rock, but as it happens, my search didn't last long.

A few hundred feet down the road I found it, sitting next to a storm drain. No, not the meteorite.

The Quadrocopter. A small radio controlled drone. Sitting there in a puddle. No apparent damage, it didn't look like it'd crashed, simply landed.

I picked it up but decided to leave it on the front porch in case anyone came looking.

As it happens, aside from finding the drone my search was uneventful and I came home feeling a bit silly.

A few minutes of searching the web made me more embarrassed. The fireball had ended up on the news, recorded on video and a number of photographs and had actually landed a good hundred miles southwest of me.

However the more I read, the more my perception of the seriousness of the event grew.

And that Quadrocopter, well in a way hadn't the meteor led me to that?

After an hour the urge to examine the drone grew and grew. Retrieving it from the porch I figured out how to open it up, disconnecting the battery lead from what seemed to be the control unit.

Underneath that I found a USB key, wrapped in a translucent rubberized yellow material. There was some sort of button in the center.

When I squeezed it, the button pulsed red three times, fading slowly in and out.

More and more curious, I plugged the key into my MacBook. It registered as a drive, with a single folder in it. Inside of that were several files, each of which was a few hundredmegabytes in size. I didn't recognize the format, but clearly these were video recordings.

Doing some quick research I leaned that I needed to power up the drone itself to access some of the files - which meant id need to charge the battery.

But one file stuck out, it was a regular old .mov and not a long one.

Loading it up, it took me a second to realize what I was looking at.

The video was steady, if it had been shot by the drone then the machine was clearly on the ground at the time.

It took me a few seconds to realize what I was seeing.

The video was of a bungalow style house, with a small front porch lined by a row of hedges, rather like my own home.

Then I noticed the window, the large picture widow, and the silhouette of a person sitting at their desk. 

I felt my skin begin to crawl as the person stood up, turned and faced the window.

This can't be, I thought. But I couldn't resist.

So I stood up, turned, and faced the window.

And there was the second Quadrocoptor.








The Meteor

The first episode of Seven, in which I introduce one of the key events in the saga. I hope you'll bear with me as I get my footing with this production. Lets see if this format works. 

Oh, something you should know about this whole thing. Its interactive. The story will change and expand over time, and you can get involved. If you care that is.

Also, none of this is true. Its not a metaphor either. This absolutely, positively didn't happen and anyone who says otherwise is LYING.


** Introduction ** 

When I was a kid my dad drove a Subaru Justy wagon. Theres nothing really special about that, except it tells you a bit of the kind of person he was and by connection I am. 

A few years ago I bought a second hand WRX, ripped out the exhaust, learned to program the ECU and tweaked the turbo. Theres nothing really special about that except it tells you a bit about the kind of person I am and by connection what my dad was like.

Whats more interesting, if you ask me, is that If you look at the emblem on the front of my car, you’ll see them. The sisters, the Pleiades. 

The daughters of the Titan Atlas and the Oceanid Pleione. 

Doggedly pursued by the hunter Orion until Zeus transformed them into a cluster of stars.

There are five hundred or more of them in the cluster, part of the constellation Taurus.

We can see seven of them with our naked eye.

But we’ll meet many more of them before this story is done.

But thats a long way off and we have to start somewhere, so lets start with the meteor.

** The Meteor **

Sometime in the evening on September 26,2013 I was sitting at my desk, working on editing the first episode of my first podcast. It was an interview with my friend Zac, in which we discussed the works of Ken Wilber, the concept of Integral Theory and the ancient wisdom of Chaung Tzu’s Taoism.

Brainy stuff.

I remember the evening well, as it was a mixture of heady enthusiasm and anxiety. Would anyone appreciate what we discussed? Would they reject it? Would everyone laugh at me, at my friend Zac?

Or, perhaps more terrifyingly - what if they loved it? What if it were successful and it couldn’t be recreated? 

As everyone knows, the most important part of any project is naming it. Babies, software variables, cars and podcast episodes, they need good names, names with hidden meanings that trigger smiles in the mind.

So, knowing that it’d be something my friend Zac would appreciate, I decided to name the episode “Ten Miles High”, and moments after I typed the keys on my Mac it happened.

My office slash studio sits in the front room of our house, in the corner. A picture window is at my left, and three windows are directly in front of me. Facing south, this setup gives me a lot of light during the day, something I find energizing.

At night, aside from the faint glow from behind the shades of our neighbors, all I see are stars, peeking out between the branches of that abut our home. Sometimes they scratch on the windows, giving me a bit of a jolt.

But that night it was still. When it happened, the only sound I heard was my wife in the other room with our newborn daughter. 

The light came before the streak, I remember that. The sky suddenly appeared as bright as midday, casting an eerie glow into my darkened office. 

My heart jumped as the streak began to arc across the sky. The arc was so low, the trajectory so flat, at first I couldn’t make sense of what I was seeing.

And then the explosion.

And the color. From white to blue, then expanding out in a flash of green. 

An emerald flash, or, as my wife later commented a peridot green - the color of our daughter’s birthstone. 

In the half second or less that the green streak took to arc across my field of view I considered that it might have been a plane, a small rock, an icbm, or a texas-sized planetoid intent on wiping out the species.

Whatever it was, it was coming down right by me. CLOSE. 

I held my breath for a second. Would I hear a boom, a crash, or would I be instantly vaporized along with millions of tons of the earths crust?

What would it feel like to be vaporized. Can I even be sure it didn’t happen? 

Well, of course not, thats silly.

Only two people died. Look it up, the video is on YouTube. That part of the story is definitely true. It was on the news.

But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I sensed the portentousness of the event. Like the hawk that kept appearing and swooping in front of my car for the previous several weeks. This meant something. Something more than the fact that Earth was passing through a rather crowded bit of space.

In the 9th month of my 32nd year, a year that had been all about birthing new ideas and leaving old ones behind, about rethinking identity and relationships, about becoming a father, at the very moment I was working on what for me was a terrifying step into the world of expanded consciousness and brave interaction, at the very moment I titled that first piece of work “Ten Miles High”

At that moment, a meteor shot through the atmosphere above Ohio and exploded, raining green fire in a spectacle seen for hundreds of miles, killing two people, and opening my eyes.

At that moment I decided I was going to find that meteor. Wherever it landed, it was going to have some answers.