The Probe

“If you’re ready doctor, we’ll go ahead and begin.” The man nodded that he was ready. “Excellent. And we’re rolling in 3, 2, 1... I’m here with Dr.Marcel Weiss in an exclusive interview covering the recent findings of the alien probe that recently crashed to Earth. Dr.Weiss has been the lead researcher on the project to uncover its mysteries and we’re honored to have this exclusive interview. Dr.Weiss, thank you so much for being on the show.”
“The pleasure is all mine, Mr.Brody,” Weiss said with a smile.
“To start, I guess the question on everyone’s mind is: what sort reality shattering mysteries did your team manage to uncover?”
“That’s the funny thing,” Weiss said with a slight chuckle, “we really didn’t find anything reality shattering.”
“Seriously?” The interviewer asked.
“Yes. Based off of the information within the probe, the race that sent it was much like our own. A little further along on the technology scale, but not a level that we wouldn’t reach ourselves within the next hundred or so years.”
“That’s absolutely fascinating. Modern science fiction has conditioned us to expect any sort of technology from beyond the stars to be light years ahead of us.”
“Yes, we ourselves were surprised to find how alike to our own technology the probe was.”
“Were you able to tell where the probe came from?” Brody asked.
“We were. As soon as we figured it out we trained every available telescope we had to the probe’s world of origin to see what we could discover.”
“And? Don’t leave us in suspense, doctor!” Brody leaned forward in excitement, ready for the revelation of the century.
“Nothing,” Weiss replied.
“What do you mean, nothing?” Brody asked.
“We found a dead world, or at least what we believe to be a dead world. Based on what we could decipher from the probe, it was launched sometimes during the reign of dinosaurs here on Earth, but the planet itself is only a few hundred light years away. This means that if there were any sufficiently advanced life on the planet, at least as of a few hundred years ago, we should still be able to detect any signals coming off of it. We scanned every spectrum we’re capable of reading and detected nothing.”
“I hate to be the one to say it, but that’s rather anti-climactic. Is there any indication as to what happened?” Brody couldn’t help but shrink back into his seat and let disappoint creep into his voice.
“We can make a very educated guess, based off of the information in the probe,” Weiss’ voice suddenly got quieter. “Much like us, the aliens went through a period of rapid industrialization that began to have runaway negative effects on their homeworld. Much like Earth, their average global temperature began to increase year after year. Carbon dioxide in their atmosphere began to increase exponentially. Food became more and more difficult to grow. 
“They eventually hit a point of no return and built the probe as a last ditch effort to preserve their culture and their heritage. The probe was programmed to wander space and search for any artificial signals and follow them to their world of origin. We just happened to be the first world it found meeting those criteria.”
“So the probe itself is a warning to any species that may find it?” Brady asked, his face somewhat flushed.
“Indeed. Thankfully the probe contained schematics for it’s more advanced technologies and the secrets to things like nuclear fusion, which probe’s creators cracked right as they were experiencing full collapse. I think, in my heart of hearts, if we take the probe’s tale seriously there’s still time for us to avoid its creator’s fate.”
“One can only hope,” Brody said. “We’ll have to end our interview there for now. We’ll be conducting a more extensive interview and a full length documentary in the coming weeks, so keep your eyes open for that. Until then, Dr.Weiss thank you so much for your time.”
“Thank you,” Weiss said.