On the planets that had life forms, the mental essence could sense the difference between individuals and groups. The difference between single cell and gigantic organisms. Unfortunately making a connection strong enough to see, feel, or think with one of them was beyond some evasive threshold.
There was something else, expectation.
For the mental essence anxiety, expectation, distinguishing between organic and inorganic, and the difference in the motions among planets and galaxies was just a sense. There were no names for different shapes, colors, and sizes. There was no language. There was no love or friendship. Things change.
"Sensors indicate some type of transmission within the electromagnetic formation. It requires the entire grid to distinguish random energy patterns and intentional transition," ending 9595-ap.
"Can you detect direction of origin, language type, transmission signature?" ending Base LD-1.
"The grid is too small to establish patterns. Origin of transmission must have been a great distance because the detectable patterns have no clean edges. This is the oldest transmission pattern in my database by hundreds of billions of years," ending 9595-ap.
"This is the first signal from that direction and apparent distance we have received. I'm going to send additional grid equipment to grid 3. Maybe we can detect enough signal with a larger grid to refine the signal to an understandable pattern," ending Base LD-1.
The mental essence was unaware that it was approaching Loma Dena, the home of the Ree. It had passed through the outer most grid designed to detect meteors and other objects that might pose a threat to navigation. This grid also acts as a communication device. It is usually comprised of small devices evenly spaced over an area of one square light-year. The Ree were now going to expand grid 3 to 10 light-years by 10 light-years. This would effectively create a grid with 100 times the capabilities.
For the Ree this was not out of the ordinary. They are a civilization that has had a written language for more the 2 billion years. They have outlived their first home world Loma, their second Loma Sat, and are now halfway through the life span of their present planet Loma Dena. They also have a planetoid, MP 1; they converted to a transport for moving their entire civilization from planet to another.
The most significant accomplishment of the Ree is their development of GRAVITIRIUM. Gravitirium is free-form gravity formed into energy and finaly a solid base matter. Gravitirium cannot be damaged, worked, or manipulated in any way once it is formed. In short, it is indestructible. The Ree use it to make everything from parts for artificial organs to housing, to spacecraft. The beings from other planets call the Ree the Makers because they make things out of gravitirium for as many beings as they can at no charge. The down side to gravitirium is the difficulty in producing it. The production process is difficult and time consuming. It requires one year to produce the equivalent of one-half cubic meter of gravitirium.
Over the Millennia the Ree have encountered many civilizations. Most faded away, but a few have survived. Encountering new worlds, civilizations, and beings was a common occurrence. The mental essence however was going to be much more.
"Could I speak to Hiret please?" asked Mr. Tollma who was operating the base station on Lomea Dena.
"This is Hiret," a gravelly voice declared.
"There is something here you might be interested in. It seems to be a very old transmission. Very old, as in billions of years old," said Mr. Tollma.
"Where is it coming from?" asked Hiret.
"From the constellation Lumbarla. It's much older than Lumbarla," said Tollma.
"Just gotta have first meal, and I'll be on my way," said Hiret.
Expanding grid 3 in time would be easy; it would take almost six years for the mental essence to travel that far. Among the Rees accomplishments was being able to travel at many times at the speed of light. Communications could be up to 100 times the speed of light. The only limiting factor to the velocity of free form gravity, energy, and / or matter is interaction with other free form gravity, energy, and / or matter.
The grid had been completed two years before the mental essence's arrival. On hand was one probe. There was no need to have a living being present to monitor an ancient radio transmission.
"Probe 14 - IP! A foreword monitor has detected the electromagnetic formation. From here all equipment shows functional. Are you ready?" ending Base LD - 1.
"All systems are functional," ending Probe 14 - IP.
Two weeks later the mental essence made contact with grid 3.
"LD - 1 this is Probe 14 - IP. The grid has been detecting the transmission for two days. There are no discernable words, but for some reason there is build up in the energy around the grid," ending Probe 14 - IP.
"Is the energy build up a danger to the grid?" ending LD - 1.
"There is no apparent danger." ending Probe 14 - IP.