The first angel appeared in outer space, between earth and mars. The earliest satellite photographs of the “object” made headlines worldwide and NASA confirmed that they were “studying” it and working up a report. The object’s familiar outline excited intense religious speculation and almost overnight an industry grew out of the “space angel” and what it meant for mankind: schlock TV documentaries, tabloid and magazine exposes, everyone from the Vatican to the latest self help gurus and leading atheists chiming in. Was it a blessing, or a sign of the end times? There was some hysteria but the whole circus was expected to die out once the object was identified.
Of course, that never happened. The “object” circled mars a few times and was joined by others. High resolution satellite photographs confirmed their outward appearance. They looked like angels and within weeks close to a hundred of them had congregated around mars. NASA and other space agencies would only acknowledge that the phenomenon was real and that science was unable to determine the nature of the objects without more data. For a full day the angels congregated in space, not moving; and then they left mars behind and started for earth. The circus was far from folding.
Global pandemonium broke out. New religions, religious revivals, reprisals from rationalist groups and the scientific community, arguments without end everywhere. The media forgot everything else. The angels were coming: to save us or destroy us? A few things were known: angels (even the scientific community was calling them that, although they always enclosed the word in quotes – “angels”) were thirty feet tall, angels could survive in the vacuum of space, angels moved faster than the fastest spacecraft. The public ate up and obsessed over every detail, as little information as there was.
Figures for adult baptism exploded, it was impossible to calculate, repentance was on the mind of millions. The “Angel Countdown” preoccupied everyone on earth, ticking off the hours, minutes and seconds to their arrival. They were expected to reach the earth in fewer than thirty days. As they made their journey, they were joined by others of their kind. The final number was something like three hundred thousand but it was difficult to calculate for certain.
An international conference was assembled and protocols for greeting were worked out. I won’t go into any of that because it turned out to be both unnecessary and impossible. Whatever means, technological or spiritual, arranged to attempt communication, when the angels arrived it was clear that they had no intention of taking notice. As they approached, some were sent out in advance and they destroyed all of our satellites. They regrouped and then separated again when they breached the atmosphere; they spread out evenly over the globe and got to work immediately . . .
(C) Vincent Asaro 2014
The complete story will be included in my upcoming short story collection Something In the Dark, to be published December 2014. For details visit my webpage: