by Luke Brown
(Confidential: For Supreme Pontiff Only)
To: His Holiness Pope Victor IV
10 August 2047
From: Celestial Being 01 Commission
Subject: Initial Findings Report
The PSS Elijah has made initial contact with Celestial Being 01 (CB01). Our route took us just past the orbital range of Neptune before arcing back to be in a parallel course to CB01. According to CB01’s trajectory and speed, it is confirmed to be taking a direct route towards Earth, projected to be within the Moon’s orbit in thirty-two months. We remain at what we assess is a safe distance, using our remote probes for most of the observations.
Be advised: CB01 is currently determined to be a high risk to human safety and well-being based on the observations and findings listed below. We hope your Holiness will consider our reporting and discussion with the severity which we accord to it.
Our probe confirms CB01 to be roughly spherical with an approximately 1500 km radius, slightly smaller than our own moon. Gravitational readings show the mass to be 2.4 x 1016 kg, just over half the mass of the moon. This means CB01 has a very low density, possibly hollow in structure.
Close visual inspection via our remote probe showed striking resemblance to the angels described in Ezekiel Chapter One, in the prophet’s vision. Though CB01 is not composed of concentric wheels, across its spherical body are continuous bands of very large eyes lined in a longitudinal fashion. With its pitch-black body against the background of space, it gives the appearance that there is nothing but rings of floating eyes moving together. A detailed look at the surface of CB01 showed that its dark mass is covered in an array of smaller visual organs surrounding the large lensed eyes.
We are still receiving the electromagnetic signal broadcasted from CB01 within the radio bandwidth. Telemetry patterns remain similar to those we first observed eleven years ago when observatories first picked up the signal. Our on-board processor is no closer to deciphering any intelligible information embedded within the signal. If the Church’s Earth-based AI systems are able to decipher and reproduce communicable signals for CB01, the team is willing to broadcast and monitor for further testing in that regard.
All efforts to communicate with CB01 have so far failed. Individual and group prayers, invocations and rituals held within and without the PSS Elijah chapel have not elicited any change in behavior from CB01. We have run through the summoning practices using the Church’s comprehensive list of 128 major angels’ names and sigils. We have exhausted all pronunciations and spellings in English, Spanish, Latin, Modern and Ancient Greek, Hebrew and Sumerian. Broadcasting the spelled names and sigils from the probe’s holographic projectors within CB01’s presumed visual range shows no change in behavior.
Only one test yielded any noticeable result. When the probe played back a real time recording of CB01’s own electromagnetic signal, a bright, high-energy pulse emitted from one of the large eyes, destroying the probe.
Despite the remarkable visual similarity to angelic beings as described in the Bible, we have been unable to observe any further confirmation that CB01 is indeed an Angel sent from God to meet humanity. If the Vatican has any other recommendations for steps our on-board clergy can take to further this line of study, they will be implemented as quickly as allowed. Additionally, if the screening of viable prophetic candidates has yielded any promising results, we are willing to coordinate observations with any Earth-initiated experimentation.
Thinking outside the Divine Angel Theory, our more secular team members have come up with several theories grounded in our modern understandings of biology and physics. CB01 exists in an environment with zero gravity, the vacuum of space and electromagnetic radiation being the only reliable energy source. A lifeform forced to evolve in such an environment would likely take advantage of the lack of gravity to grow to a very large size. This would exponentially increase its surface area, providing greater opportunity for light energy capture. Using a process similar to photosynthesis we see on Earth, light from stars would provide the energy for this lifeform to grow, reproduce, move and respond to change.
The destruction of our probe gives evidence to how it can do so. The large lensed eyes of CB01 may not be to focus external light onto photo-sensitive sensors but to channel light emitted from within it. With changes to energy levels, wave frequencies, focal points and pulse rates, CB01 can use a single or multiple “eyes” to create a light-based propulsion through space or a high energy laser to destroy or avert incoming space debris.
Another theory arose when continuing from the basis of the non-divine life form theory. This theory treats the behavior of CB01 as one like that of a single-celled organism or a cell within a larger system. Moving through space and responding to stimuli interpreted through some form of genetic code. It didn’t respond to our decades of random radio signal pollution being sent out through space as it wasn’t recognized within the code. Though it’s possible that the signal pollution had attracted CB01 close to our solar system, CB01 only changed its extrasolar course to head directly towards Earth after we broadcasted its own signal back to it.
Based on the destruction of our probe after our signal playback, we cannot be sure that it will express friendly or cooperative behavior upon reaching Earth. After receiving our transmissions, CB01 may interpret the broadcaster as competition within its territory. Or perhaps, the broadcaster could be seen as a maligned, cancerous lifeform within the same species which must be culled. This could come from our signals being distorted by the noise of our radio signal pollution or upon visual inspection as when CB01 observed our probe.
Discussion (Confidential Message from: Archbishop of Luna)
Though the initial discovery of extraterrestrial life in 2036 was a major disruption for the Church and all religious institutions, CB01’s resemblance to canonically accurate Angels was quite literally a Godsend. Surely the Church’s influence on the scientific endeavors of the last decade would not be possible without this heavenly confirmation.
Regardless of the initial troubles we’ve faced in making further divine confirmations, my faith in the Lord and his celestial messenger remain strong. However, I sense trials of faith amongst some within the Committee, including clergymen. The theories described above have gained traction amongst the scientific specialists on board.
I retain sole authority on the contents of our research communications back to Earth, but eventually pressures to publish more details or our arrival home will allow these dissenting theories to spread quickly.
I would hope that your Holiness considers these theories, regardless of source, with the full weight of their implications. The Church will need to have prepared counter arguments driven by the pulpit and scientific publications. I will continue to send more detailed reports as these theories develop or as our observations change.
One last note. On the off chance that these theories are true, CB01 with its size and destructive power may be the herald of the apocalypse after all. Divinely driven or not, we must prepare the Church for the end.
End of Report.
Luke Brown spends his summers in the wilderness fighting wildfires, staring at trees and thinking up funny little stories in his head. In the winters he forces himself to sit down and finally put those stories down on paper.
While speculating on how life would or could evolve in the ecosystem of outer space, I realized I accidentality created a creature that visually resembled the “Biblically Accurate Angels” of the Old Testament. This led to an opportunity to explore the intersection between scientific and religious discovery and how human society reacts to them. How would our world views change given undeniable evidence of the extraterrestrial? How would the balance between the secular and the spiritual change given undeniable evidence of the supernatural? What would happen in the world when it was no longer a matter of faith to believe in God?