The Cedarbrook Capsule

All Rights Reserved ©

Chapter 10: The Key

Monday, January 12, 2009

Following the ASF announcement confirming the alien origin of the capsule, the two translation teams persisted in the struggle to translate the remaining two artifacts. Karpov and Lessing, especially Lessing, were extremely frustrated and disappointed with their teams. Lessing informed the Dallas squad they needed to find something so he would no longer have to share his dismal status reports with Sanger.

The Popov find months earlier had failed to generate renderings of additional symbols. An individual “scratch” did not necessary equate to a specific “letter”. They had found repeated strings on some of the stones as well as the same arrangement of certain markings likely indicating a common thought.

Two translation members were forced to resign from their teams due to illness before the end of 2008. Elaina Popov stepped down from Karpov’s team, returned to her position at the university, but, regrettably, passed away within the next year.

Dr. Donald Galvin of the “Gamma” team developed pneumonia over the winter and was bedridden for weeks. Upon his return to the Lessing team in early 2009, Dr. Lessing concluded his efforts were no longer needed. Therefore, he, too, was dismissed from the project. Dr. Buhr’s journal reveals Dr. Galvin was the most supportive of Buhr’s efforts on the team and that support likely cost him his position. Galvin left the Institute by the summer of 2009.

Meanwhile, Dr. Buhr pressed on with his efforts. Following a January weekend in which he set aside his work and spent much needed time relaxing, Buhr returned to his office and reviewed the notes he had taken over the early months of the project. Nothing caught his attention during this review, so he sat them aside and decided to spend some moments in prayer. While praying and seeking wisdom from his God, the linguist felt a calming peace in his soul and an urge to read the Scriptures. Ending his prayer, he retrieved the Bible he kept in his desk drawer and opened it to the very first verse, Genesis 1:1.

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”

He laid the book on his lap and reclined in his chair reflecting on those simple words.

“How can this verse be reconciled with the clear evidence of the ‘Alpha’ stone?” the expert pondered silently. “If God did create everything out of absolutely nothing then he must have created those who dwell on Proteus as well. But no such life form is ever mentioned in the Scripture. Could the Word of God be wrong? I know that’s what Lessing and most others think.”

In that instant, Buhr recalled the day Popov discovered the translation of the etchings meaning “world”. Buhr had found the identical etchings at the very beginning of the first “Gamma” disk. And here, in the English version of Genesis, the word ‘earth’ is present.

“We who live on the earth could translate this verse as ‘In the beginning God created the heaven and the world.’ So could any life form on any space body if God created all such life forms!”

Excited, he grabbed his copy of the first Gamma disk and carefully examined the very first string. There were the symbols representing the word ‘world’. As he studied the string, another group of symbols grabbed his attention. He had seen those same markings in section four several times. Quickly, he pulled out some of the photocopies of “Gamma-4” and carefully moved through it, noting that specific string.

Then, his mind recalled the string count from the notes he had taken several months ago. According to his journal, Buhr attributed this moment of inspiration to God Himself. He halted his search for the string and grabbed his Bible once more. He turned to the very front of the book and began reading the introduction provided in his copy. Flipping pages, he saw a header which read “Content”.

“God’s book is the fascinating story of the interventions of God as He reveals Himself as not only the Creator of all but also as the only Redeemer of His people. We may divide the Bible in the following two major divisions: The Old Testament (comprised of the Law, History, Poetry, and Prophets) and the New Testament (comprised of the Gospels, History, Epistles, and Prophecy).”

Buhr sat upright in his chair and re-read the section. None of the information was new to him, but, somehow, it seemed new with the discovery of the “Gamma” stones. In his mind, he went backward in time to a college course he took years ago called “Overview of the Bible”. His instructor had taught him the Old Testament was written in two related languages, Hebrew and Aramaic, and the New Testament was written entirely in Greek. In addition, the Hebrew people, the people of God in the Old Testament account, divided their Hebrew Scriptures into three, not four, divisions: The Law, the Prophets, and the Writings.

Buhr jumped out of his chair, staring into the distance, chills running up and down his spine. Over and over in his brain ran a single thought.

“Law, Prophets, Writings, New Testament. Four sections, four sections. Is it possible that explains the four ‘Gamma’ divisions? Surely, that cannot be.”

Then, a second thought set off more chills, this time on his arms, raising goosebumps.

“The strings! What about the strings? What if one string equals one verse! But, how could any of this be possible?”

Standing before his desk, Buhr rapidly flipped the pages of his team notes until he reached the string counts: 5900, 9300, 8100, 8000. He sat down and turned his attention to his laptop computer. As he typed, he found himself in such a hurry he had to backspace and correct his typing errors. What he typed was one simple question: “How many verses are in the Bible?” In a matter of seconds, search entries appeared and Buhr selected the very first one. What he read set off another round of chills throughout his body.

“The number of verses in the Christian Bible depends slightly on the translation used. The approximate count for the Hebrew Old Testament is 23,300. The approximate count for the Greek New Testament is 8000.”

Scanning down his search list, he clicked on another entry. The subsequent article broke down the counts by Biblical book. Buhr did an approximate count of the three Old Testament divisions and gasped when he completed summing each section.

“The Law: 5900. The Prophets: 9300. The Writings: 8100.”

“It just isn’t possible!” the linguist shouted to himself. Dr. Galvin, whose office was just next door, heard Buhr’s exclamation, rose from his desk, and walked to Buhr’s door.

“Something wrong, Zeke?” he asked.

Buhr longed to share his findings with someone. But, he knew Galvin was already in Lessing’s crosshairs and any further involvement with himself would likely doom his future at the Institute. Furthermore, his teammate was still weak from his lengthy battle with pneumonia.

“No, Don, just one of my weird moods,” he answered knowing full well he wasn’t convincing his friend. Galvin smiled and retreated from the door.

But, he just had to talk with someone. He quickly called Dr. Patricia Collins and asked her to meet him in an available conference room on the third floor of the building.

Collins was as brilliant as Buhr and as despised in Lessing’s eyes. She, too, was a fellow believer in Christ and such an individual always raised suspicions in the mind of the leader. She agreed to meet and, within minutes, the tall, thin brunette with the large glasses entered the conference room where Buhr was waiting.

The excited linguist looked up at the brunette, his face expressing shock, and motioned Collins into the room and to close the door. The fellow linguist did as asked, taking a seat on Buhr’s left. He spoke quickly and shared with her what he had discovered.

“Come on, Zeke, you must be reading something into all of this,” Collins replied. “What you are implying is that an alien race on Proteus has translated the Christian Bible into their language, recorded it on the ‘Gamma’ stones, and then sent it to us in a capsule? Now I believe the Bible as much as you do but all of this seems far-fetched.”

“I really think I’m correct, Pat,” Buhr replied in a whisper. “The number of divisions on ‘Gamma’ and the number of strings per section are just too coincidental.”

“But Zeke, why, for what reason would an alien race do such a thing? Of what value would it be for us to have our own Bible in their tongue?”

“I don’t know.”

“Furthermore, where did they get a copy of the Bible in the first place? I’m not aware of the entire Bible being anywhere on that Golden Record. The numbers have to be coincidence.”

“There are no coincidences, Pat, you know that,” Buhr answered, his voice calm but restrained. “Everything is according to God’s providence. He has providentially brought this to pass and placed me in this position for reasons only He knows. I’m sure I’m on to something.”

Collins found herself agreeing with her colleague. Yet, she could not understand how any of this was possible or how to reconcile the capsule and its contents within God’s Word.

“Zeke, I guess I see your point, but I am not fully convinced. And I can assure you if you share with Lessing what you just told me, you’ll be out on your ear and you know it.”

Buhr lowered his head even as he nodded in agreement. He knew Collins was correct. He would need much more proof in order to convince his team leader.

As his female co-worker left the room, Dr. Hezekiah Buhr resolved to continue down this path, assuming the “Gamma” disks were the Scriptures and that each section represented one of the four divisions of the Bible. Furthermore, he would translate with the assumption the strings on the stones were the verses of the Scripture.

What he discovered is remarkable!

Within minutes of Collin’s departure and his return to his office, Buhr was busily searching the web once more. He quickly found the information he was seeking: a breakdown of the number of verses in the Greek New Testament. Matthew, Mark, and Luke, the first three books in that Biblical section, contained 2887 verses. Next, he used the search engine to locate an online copy of the Greek text of the fourth New Testament book, the Gospel of John. Adding the number of verses in the first two chapters brought his total to 2963. If his assumptions about “Gamma” were correct, the 2964th string of “Gamma-4” should place him close to the beginning of John chapter 3.

The excitement swelled in his heart as the brilliant linguist reached for the photocopies of “Gamma”. His hands flipped the pages, noting the markers for every 100 strings added earlier by himself. Finally, his finger reached the marker for string 2900. He carefully counted another sixty-three strings and made a notation on the copy that read “John 3”. Taking a deep breath, he moved his finger forward across the alien symbols, counting fifteen more strings, bringing him to his target.

And there it was!

The alien markings pointed to by his finder formed a set that frequented all the Gamma stones. He grabbed his copy of Gamma-1 and checked the beginning of the stone. The same collection was the first markings of that disk! Furthermore, Popov’s markings for “world” were found in both strings.

Buhr leaped from his chair in both shock and excitement. He knew he had an answer, at least a partial solution to the translation of the stones. One thought repeatedly raced through his mind.

“Gamma IS the Bible! I have found our Rosetta stone!”

Continue Reading Next Chapter

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.