This is something of a mixture between The Dark Things and Mother Meki.
Except this is more of a sidestory for Mother Meki. This isn't even the first time I've talked about it!
The Cosmic Paternity.
So what's this story about?
2039. The same year that the beginnings of the Fourth Empire of France began when Melissa Seville demanded to be a princess to her billionaire father, thus setting in motion the events of Mother Meki (that would finally start about 62 years later, of course), many many miles away, another event began to unfold. And when I say "many many miles away", I do mean "many".
Not hundreds. Not thousands.
No, not millions either.
Not even billions.
TRILLIONS. 25 trillion miles away, in our 2039, another major event occurred in another civilization's history.
The kimvosi species on their planet, Riomasi, have finally mastered radio technology. It's been a very long time coming, but it's done. For them, it's the 8436-E, their 'fifth' age of civilization (not true; civilization for them only began a few thousand years prior).
And this is the year of Contact. First Contact. In retrospect, at least.
At the time, they detected these powerful signals coming from outer space, and the scientists in charge of running these stations are confused by what they're detecting. Some think these are just natural signals that they're accidentally detecting— religious and technoskeptic officials use this to "prove" radio is a hoax.
But you see, the scientists on this installation have actually picked up an interstellar radio signal from Earth. It was sent out 4 years prior, in 2035, as part of our SETI mission. To the kimvosi, it was like the Wow! Signal, except for one critical difference— this signal lasted for thirty minutes. It reappeared several hours later, and at the same interval for the next day.
The scientists had no clue what could have caused the signal, and it was not until a few years down the line, in 2042, that they considered that the signal could have originated from an extraterrestrial civilization. They sent a signal back, but we missed it. Sol was in the way at the time it arrived. They tried again in 2058.
Success. We received their message in 2062 and confirmed that it was intelligent in nature. We also determined that it came from Proxima Centauri— a fact that shocked many of the discoverers, and horrified more than a few due to its implications (implications involving the Great Filter in particular). We sent more messages throughout 2062-2065, and finally received a response in 2066. We used these responses to discover a language in their signals, including mathematics and hieroglyphics. We used our super-powerful (at the time) computers to deconstruct their language in a way so that we could ultimately communicate with them.
Communication began in 2074. We shared histories with each other to get a feel for who we were dealing with, and it very quickly became clear that humanity was the more advanced of the two species.
The kimvosi had covered up their contact and continued communications with aliens the best they could, but the secret had been blown to the public. Whereas with humanity, AI helped to make this the best-kept secret in history up until 2121.
Final Contact takes place throughout this time, from 2039 to 2074. It follows several kimvos-beings as well as the humans and artilects on the other side. Our cosmic contact.
The overarching story is a tragedy for the kimvosi, as I mentioned a year ago (how time flies!). But at this juncture, they don't know that. The discovery that they're not alone in the universe fosters dreams of escaping their own hellhole of a planet and transcending biology.
For them, futurism began in 2039. Our non-congruent histories could have been more alike, but alas, fate determined that we'd be the elder race.