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.