Discussion: Chapter 4: encounters and transmissions

Burdened with his laptop case hanging by a strap over his right shoulder, he held a paper cup with coffee in his left hand. At the welcome table, he was greeted by a cheerful man who spoke with a Scandinavian accent, as he held out his hand.

The laptop case strap slipped off Louis’ shoulder as he extended to shake hands. temporarily delaying the gesture of goodwill, Louis placed the case on the floor beside him, this time completing a successful handshake.

“ Allo, Olav Whitouse at your service! Welcome to the annual Pennsylvania Conference. What is your name please?”

Louis gave his name and told him he was the first presenter - the warmup act. The greeter gave Louis a customized badge and program, then directed him to an aide whose job was to assist presenters. Louis thanked the greeter and left, but not without noticing what Olav and the other two greeters were wearing. Olav wore a green tee shirt printed with the recycling logo and the word ‘Karma’ in the center. Another greeter wore a purple “Make America Disclose” hat, and the other wore a black tee shirt with the image of a Grey alien head in white and the words, “I Believe”. He exchanged smiles with them.

It was thirty minutes before the start of the conference and Louis noticed people coming in to form lines. He was led to the auditorium having a capacity of 420 according to the posted sign by the local Fire Marshall.

Interesting number,” he smirked. It was the perfect capacity for the conference. The aide, a young collegiate woman, did not know who Louis was.

“Did you write a book?” she inquired while leading him to the podium.

“No…not yet,” he sheepishly. She seemed disappointed.

She showed Louis the podium and offered to help connect the laptop to the system’s projector.

“I should have looked at the program,” she apologized. “What is your presentation about?”

“Inter-terrestrials,” he replied with the enthusiasm of a young exhibitor at a school science fair.

“Inter-terrestrials? You mean beings that live on Earth with humans?” she asked.

“Exactly!” Louis smiled, raising his right index finger like a gameshow host responding to a contestant’s correct answer.

“Interesting…” the thought amused the aide. She quickly connected the laptop to the auditorium’s system and tested it.

“You are good to go Mr. Sivani. Good luck and here’s a bottle of water,” she said, leaving the room.

“It’s Silvani!” he yelled as she disappeared through the doors.

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