It is three thousand light years to the Vatican. Once, I believed that space could have no power over faith, just as I believed that the heavens declared the glory of God’s handiwork. Now I have seen that handiwork, and my faith is sorely troubled. I stare at the crucifix that hangs on the cabin wall above the Mark VI Computer, and for the first time in my life I wonder if it is no more than an empty symbol.
This episode of the Drabblecast concerns creation and destruction. In the drabble, creation after creation questions its creator’s role in its existence before wandering off into cyberspace. In the feature, a Jesuit priest, also an astrophysicist, aboard a space exploration vessel struggles with a crisis of faith. While investigating the remains of a planetary system destroyed when its sun went supernova, the crew unexpectedly discovers one planet that was distant enough to survive the explosion. There, they find an enormous vault containing the complete records of an advanced civilization that, realizing years ahead of time that their sun was going to explode, hoped to preserve their history and culture for someone to find so that their existence and destruction would not be in vain.