Lt. jg Flemming’s personal log, stardate 48175.3

Per­son­al log, star­date 48175.3, Lieu­tenant (junior grade) Ike Flem­ming record­ing. (Diplo­mat­ic Offi­cer, USS Armstrong)

Our mis­sion to recov­er the miss­ing sci­en­tists led us to Orgun III. The plan­et itself is fas­ci­nat­ing, as it is pop­u­lat­ed by a mid 21st cen­tu­ry tech-lev­el race sim­i­lar to Earth lemurs. I will write a full and for­mal study of my obser­va­tions as we com­plete our return jour­ney to Naren­dra Sta­tion. I want­ed to write now to clear my mind of two issues which are trou­bling me. I have tried to prac­tice the folk music of my ances­tors to soothe me but with the rest of the crew seem­ing­ly too occu­pied by sur­pris­ing­ly urgent tasks to be an audi­ence I will see if jour­nal­ing helps.

Both issues relate to the res­o­lu­tion of events on Orgun III. As I will detail else­where we found the miss­ing sci­en­tists’ ship, were escort­ed by the locals to their main set­tle­ment – replete with exquis­ite amber coloured amber struc­tures – met the sci­en­tists and dis­cov­ered a) that the world was under exis­ten­tial threat from seis­mic activ­i­ty and b) there was a mys­te­ri­ous ener­gy source under­ground. Sens­ing the away team’s uncer­tain­ty over the impli­ca­tions for the Prime Direc­tive I high­light­ed that if this ener­gy source could be proven to be alien inter­fer­ence with the natives we could make a case to avoid the locals becom­ing the 49th civ­i­liza­tion the Fed­er­a­tion would have to aban­don to its fate. How­ev­er, it is the events that occurred below ground inves­ti­ga­tion that now dis­turb me.

We found the alien ener­gy source 5km below ground. It was an extra­or­di­nary set of machin­ery – not like any­thing I had seen and with the clos­est com­par­i­son per­haps being the rep­re­sen­ta­tion of future sci­ence in those ter­ri­ble mid 19th cen­tu­ry Earth films Ensign Tan has made me watch. The sys­tem was clear­ly unsta­ble and it would need a care­ful inter­ven­tion to bal­ance it again – an inter­ven­tion that could only hap­pen if I could some­how trans­late the sym­bol­o­gy on the machinery.

Ini­tial­ly, I tried an octal sys­tem, as I was get­ting a strong sense of the num­ber eight from the appa­ra­tus. How­ev­er, regard­less of whether I tried it with a recur­ring pho­net­ic motif or not, I had no suc­cess. Then the Cap­tain gave me a rous­ing peptalk and it some­how helped me to recall the mem­o­ry I need­ed. At the Acad­e­my, I had made my life hard­er by choos­ing a project on new­ly dis­cov­ered lan­guage – after all, the exot­ic is always bet­ter. It wasn’t until a chance con­ver­sa­tion with the groundskeep­er about how Earth’s grav­i­ty impact­ed the shape of flow­ers that I had cracked it. I realised that a sim­i­lar approach was need­ed here. Once I had the break­through, it was sim­ple and I was able to pro­vide instruc­tions to the Lieu­tenant on the engi­neer­ing approach need­ed. With some care­ful changes the machine was sta­bilised and the plan­et was saved. Alas, while this could have a been a moment to show to my supe­ri­ors the Untapped Poten­tial that I know I have with­in me, it was un-com­ment­ed upon, show­ing once again, that what you do only gets you so far. I need to let this go and yet I seem­ing­ly can­not. The frus­tra­tion at the fail­ure of my empath­ic skills to pro­vide an insight is then com­pound­ed by a lack of dra­mat­ic recognition.

To make mat­ters worse I am not sure that our inter­ven­tion is com­pli­ant with the Prime Direc­tive. Close inves­ti­ga­tion of the alien machin­ery has revealed that it is ancient. So ancient it would appear to be pre­date the local civ­i­liza­tion. Worse than that, Orgun III itself has been moved out of its nat­ur­al orbit. This sug­gests to me that the entire cur­rent civ­i­liza­tion is there­fore a cre­ation of aliens. We are not there­fore sav­ing a civ­i­liza­tion from alien inter­fer­ence but instead with the nat­ur­al progress of events. I do not there­fore believe that we should have become involved. What was cre­at­ed by these unknowns will also be destroyed by their tech­nol­o­gy. There is a nat­ur­al sym­me­try that I do not think we can jus­ti­fy break­ing. I sought to make this case to the Cap­tain but sensed this was not wel­come. I did not push it, as I am care­ful – there are always con­se­quences. But now, at this hour I am absolute­ly con­vinced the Cap­tain has made a mis­take and breached the Prime Directive.