Six years after a billion-dollar experimental time portal was opened, the world’s citizens are mobilizing in response to the first message from the future ever received. It says: “prtct jstin.”
The vague instructions arrived Monday at 5:23 a.m. EST. Within a few hours, people around the world were leaping into action. While interpretations vary, most of the world’s seven billion inhabitants seem to agree that “prtct jstin” is a clear order to protect the 19-year-old Canadian pop star Justin Bieber.
The message is the highly-anticipated answer to the question sent through the time portal six years ago: “What can we, in 2007, do to ensure a peaceful future?” The question was formulated by a committee of scientists, intellectuals, and religious leaders from the world’s biggest nations.
Because every letter and character sent to the future requires a mind-boggling amount of energy, the committee was restricted to a short message, but one that was nevertheless vital to our survival as a species. The time portal was calibrated to send the message to the device’s technicians sometime in the beginning of the next century.
“One can only wonder what grand feats Justin Bieber will accomplish to make his survival vital to our own,” said Anuja Jaiswal, who oversaw the construction of the time portal.
Critics of the project had been calling for it to be scrapped, citing high maintenance costs of around ten million dollars per day. Now that a message from our descendants has been received, the project will certainly be funded for the foreseeable future — or at least for the next 100 years, until after the date on which the message from the future is sent.
A few skeptics are voicing opposition to the popular interpretation of the message.
“What if the message has typos?” said the writer Richard Omega. “What if it was supposed to say ‘project Justin,’ as in, project his image onto a giant surface, such as the moon? We just don’t know.”
Others suggest the message may refer to a different Justin altogether.
“Justin Timberlake is arguably as important as Justin Bieber, so maybe we need to be protecting him instead,” said Laurie Dee, a popular celebrity blogger. “Of course, Justin Timberlake’s fans might all be dead in 100 years. Not Justin Bieber’s, though. They could still be alive then.”
“Or maybe it’s Justin Theroux we need to protect,” Dee added. “He’s a great actor with a bright future.”
Justin Bieber, who is in Dalian, China for a concert on October 2, has not publicly commented on the message, nor has he tweeted about it to his 45 million followers on Twitter.
However, as news broke of the cryptic message from the future, Bieber was spotted giving autographs outside Conrad Dalian, the city’s most luxurious hotel where he has been staying. As reporters, paparazzi, and frenzied passersby closed in on Bieber, hundreds of his adolescent fans locked their arms, forming a circle of protection several screaming-girls thick.
The Chinese government confirmed in a statement to the press that Bieber was taken by helicopter to a secure compound in an undisclosed location.
“We always believed there was something very special about that boy,” Jaiswal said. “Now we are sure.”
The United Nations had set up an informational page at www.un.org/protectjustin/ that will outline the international community’s efforts to protect Justin Bieber.