The Pillars of Creation, the destination of OPERATION TALL EAGLE, as they appear today.

Registered Phenomena Code: 337

Object Class: Omega-Yellow

Hazard Types: Extra-Terrestrial Hazard

Containment Protocols: RPC-337 is to be monitored via low-orbit satellite arrays. The velocities of the involved objects should be re-calculated biannually.

A false explanation is to be given to the greater scientific community regarding the blueshift movement of the Eagle Nebula. A contingent of the Office of Disinformation and Psychological Operations has been assigned to identify and influence discussion of the phenomenon on internet forums via dedicated web crawlers. Their orders are to implement tactics whereby the accurate assessment of the phenomenon is de-legitimized and regarded as a conspiracy theory.

Due to the inconsequence that the phenomenon represents and will represent for a prolonged period of time, its abstruse nature with respect to daily life on Earth, and unanimous cooperation by multinational governments & space agencies as established by the UNAAC's Exogenous Asset Informational Compliance Act (EAICA), no other containment protocols are currently required.

Description: RPC-337 is the designation given to an unknown cosmic force directed at the Earth. Redshift and blueshift studies1 indicate that RPC-337 is pulling the Earth towards the stellar coordinates of Messier 16,2 some 6,500–7,000 light years away. The displacement of the Earth as a result of this force is approximately 3,000 km/year.

Anomalously, the entirety of the Solar System is also being pulled in tow, as if it was tethered in a dependent fashion to the Earth — something that should not be possible according to the laws of gravitational dependence.3

However, at the scales involved, the rate of migration as a result of RPC-337 is ultimately negligible.

Addendum: Subtle variations in the "color tones", or relative rates, at which the Eagle Nebula is approaching Earth have revealed that the trajectory has a remarkably high degree of specificity; that it is not simply closing the gap between itself and the Earth, but between itself and very exact geocoordinates. Through mathematical analysis of shift effects observed at different times throughout the day, and at variable points in the Earth’s revolution around the Sun, these geocoordinates have been isolated to the Leaning Tree Chapel & Cemetery in Belleville, IL.

Addendum: An informational assessment of the Leaning Tree Chapel & Cemetery revealed one connection of note; a gravesite of one Eunice Bagley Williams, born 2022 and died 2111. Eunice was the daughter of two Authority astronauts, James and Ellen Bagley, who are employed in the diplomatic arm of the joint venture between UNAAC & AEDF.

The Bagleys have reputable service records at the Authority, and are currently dispatched on a one-way deep-space mission, Operation Tall Eagle, to Messier 16 as part of a colonization and possibly diplomatic effort following [DATA REDACTED]. Shortly after matriculating into the program, the two met, and Ellen became pregnant with a girl, who they named Eunice.

Due to the impending mission, the unique demands of employment at the Authority, and hoping for a normal life for their child, James and Ellen decided early in the pregnancy that they would put Eunice up for adoption. Soon after birth, she was taken in by the █████████ family of █████, MS (address ██████████████), who were emotionally supportive. Eunice was college educated, enjoyed a productive professional life as an educator, was happily married, and had 3 children of her own. She died peacefully at the age of 89, surrounded by her loved ones. It is unclear if she was ever aware of her history as an adoptee.

Due to the carefully-selected staffing for the mission, Ellen’s pregnancy put the mission somewhat in jeopardy. However, James was able to complete his training several weeks early, with Ellen completing all but 3 weeks of it, and earning top marks during, before she was placed on medical leave for labor. She later returned after the adoption had been finalized, and finished the remaining 3 weeks of the training program in an accelerated fashion.

Documentation from joint mental well-being sessions during this time reveal a severe but expected emotional toll on James and Ellen, the decision for adoption seen by them as a painful but decidedly necessary cause.

The interstellar vessel used for Operation Tall Eagle, The Eternal Mother, was engineered pre-FARCOMM4 and had only intermittent FTL5 travel capabilities. As such, the effects of relativity meant that the passage of time for the crew would be dramatically slowed compared to that on Earth. Approximately 214 years have elapsed on Earth since the mission's start, compared to only 27 for the crew.

The mission is still operational, and HQ has received 6 updates6 since The Mother exited the functional radius of traditional communications. According to the mission's roadmap, the crew should be in their final phase, inhabiting and cultivating the target planet. The next update is scheduled to arrive to HQ within the next decade.

An addendum has been sent to The Eternal Mother with credentials locked for specific access by Mission Lead, as well as James and Ellen Bagley. The portion of the message directed to James and Ellen specifically is as follows:

Dear James and Ellen,

It may surprise you to see the enclosed file, now in the Authority database, that has already been drafted as a result of your mission. The short of it is that the operation has shed light on our understanding of some of the most mysterious and powerful forces in nature — or just outside of it.

Here’s what we know: Messier 16 alone is experiencing a blueshift relative to Earth. This is in contrast to prior observations of the nebula. Surrounding objects are experiencing a redshift, consistent with current theories of the expansion of spacetime.

For research purposes, we’d like to confirm the same from your perspective. Your Captain has been alerted to this in a separate message.

We are also hoping that you can describe your current emotional state with regards to your biological daughter, Eunice. How do you feel about the adoption, so many years later? Have you thought of Eunice often? In what ways have you or haven’t you come to terms with the separation?

The planet is indebted to your service and sacrifice. Your work means the securement and prosperity of countless new generations.

— HQ

The Bagley's reply is expected around 02.2271.

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