The Land Saved by Garcia de Marones

Table of Contents

Editor’s Note:
This story is a revised version of the work that received the “Genron SF Newcomer Award” at the first Genron Ohmori Science Fiction Writers’ Workshop, which began in 2016. The members of the selection committee were literary critic Nozomi Ohmori, SF writer Hirotaka Tobi and Hiroki Azuma, representing Genron. This is the debut work of the award recipient, Kei Takagi.

At the beginning of the seventeenth century, humanity, having made contact with aliens in the previous century, discovers on the exoplanet Senekia the corpse of a strange being resembling Jesus Christ, along with a large right hand orbiting the planet. Garcia, a Dominican priest who visits the planet to conduct a survey, asserts that this phenomenon is a miracle, and to prove his hypothesis, he plans an experiment. His hypothesis is that if he uses faster-than-light correspondence based on the special gravitational waves created by the aliens, it would be possible to make contact with God, who exists beyond space. However, at the same time, this plan poses a threat to the life of his fellow passenger Catalina, a member of the second committee of the Dominicans.
At the same time, the corpse of a settler with his brain completely removed is found buried on the planet. Based on a survey by a priest at the site named Mateo, the priests conclude that the planet itself is a living creature with a large brain. The large right hand and the creature resembling Jesus are all embodiments of images depicted by the planet’s brain, and the priests debate over whether or not God is the cause.
At the conclusion of the debate, the experiment is conducted, and both Garcia and Mateo’s theories are proved correct. They establish that based on distortion at the site of gravity, an extremely small black hole is created, and the images thought of and depicted by the planet Senekia are transmitted as information to a realm beyond space; when it returns to space, it manifests as a large hand in a satellite orbit. However, the images that the planet Senekia draws are images received from those who die on the planet itself, so Senekia attempts to bring about its own death by making the large hand fall on the planet surface. When catastrophe seems imminent, Garcia avoids disaster by transmitting an image through his own brain and overwriting the image held by the planet. Due to this action, Garcia becomes one with the planet. Garcia, under a sky full of stars, gazes on as the priests’ spaceship departs.