“I am Secretary General Cas Torrin of the United Republics of West Lorim, speaking to the visitors to our humble star system. After your long and no doubt arduous journey across the depths of space, both in space and time, we welcome you in a spirit of good will and comradery. We welcome you to make contact with us, to share your wisdom and stories with us so that we may know our galactic neighbours better. While we might not be as technologically advanced as your people, we hope that our humble world can provide some respite from your long trek.”
“On behalf of the Monarchy of Krem, her peoples and his Imperial Majesty, Emperor Tovan, seventh of his name, Defender of the Throne, Keeper of the Faith, Guiding Light of the People and rightful ruler of all of Tarela, we offer this warning to the alien ship visiting our star system – do not approach our world. Do not attempt to interfere in the affairs of this planet or in any of the activities undertaken by the Monarchy. If you attempt to approach our world once more, we will be forced to respond with deadly effect.
Mission Day 59
“Well, that was a contrast in messages,” Tikva said to herself as she sat back after viewing the two messages that had been left in her inbox. They had been flagged with a priority just under the recently received missive from Starfleet about changes in organisational structure, still unread.
She leaned back in her chair, eyes turning towards the ceiling. The Prime Directive was pretty direct here – no contact with pre-warp civilisations. She’d already broken the bit about not even being seen, but that was always based more on known or thought to be known technical capabilities after all.
Not the good old fashion evolutionary based eyeball. Or your local biological equivalent.
“Computer, is there enough of a message from the Secretary General to make a composite message?”
“Insufficient data. Content of message would need to be provided.”
She sighed at that response. It wasn’t unexpected. Rapidly on her feet she approached her window and looked out on the desolate planet below. It was as lifeless and arid as Mars was when the first settlers had arrived – as it mostly was today after events over a decade ago. But it was heavier and had retained a thicker atmosphere. Geosciences gave it a favourable rating for eventual terraforming to M class, with a hefty investment however.
Something the Tarelains would have to look forward too – being a mutliplanet species.
“Computer, I want to compose a message using the video footage from Secretary General Torrin, chopping it up to deliver the message. I don’t want it smoothed out; I want it intentionally rough. The message is: To the peoples of Tarela, we bring you greetings and well wishes. Unfortunately, our own laws prevent us from directly interacting with societies below a certain technological barrier, in order to allow them to grow and develop without outside interference. Our detection was not intended. You are well on your way down the road that so many others have already walked. We await your eventual arrival on the galactic stage and wish your people a bold, prosperous and peaceful future, for through cooperation and mutual understanding you can and will achieve great things.”
There was a momentary wait, then the computer chimed. “Message compiled. Would you like to preview it?”
“Certainly. Native language mode too please.” She didn’t understand a word of the local language, doubted she ever would, but it gave her a feeling for how the message played back. It was as she intended it – choppy, broken and distorted. The computer had sliced phonemes from across the original message and simply stitched them together as required. The visual imagery jumping slightly from sound to sound added to the distraction of the bad sound and would help sell the alien angle.
“Save message and secure it with my command codes. I don’t want this sending without my approval.”
Did she send the message and let them know without a doubt that an intelligence was watching them? Did she not and just let them worry and panic about otherworldly visitors? The balancing act was further thrown around when she considered what Command might think or do when they read her reports, her only saving grace right now being a week one way for subspace comms and nearly two months one way for the Atlantis at high warp.
Reprimands perhaps. A long speech she’d have to listen to. Recall? Unlikely.
She threw herself into her chair once more and pulled up the missive from Command. Official business distraction might help.
Lieutenant Commander Ra-tesh’mi Velan looked over the padd in his hand and nodded in the affirmative. “Shouldn’t be too difficult. Are you sure about being this radar reflective though?”
“I want them to find it eventually. We’re dumping it out in the Oort cloud, sort of as a calling card.”
“On the grounds that they’ll probably only get out there if they’re warp capable?”
“Well, if they get out there in fusion torch powered ships after spending months under acceleration to get there, then don’t you think they also deserve it?”
Velan stopped to stroke his beard momentarily in thought before smiling. “Fair enough. One hunk of radar reflective duranium, etches included, coming right up.” He went to stand but stopped when Tikva raised a hand gently in protest.
“No duranium Ra. Local materials only. We’re just giving them the Federation’s location and the name of who visited, no metallurgical breakthroughs.”
“Steel it is then. Should last…oh, forever?”
“They’ll put your handiwork in a museum. Isn’t that what all artists want really?”
“My handiwork, your name on it,” he chuckled and stood. “I’ll have it ready by morning Captain.”
“Thanks Ra. Oh, and tell Stanley to begin recalling all the probes. I know it’s early but we’ll collect up all our stuff, drop off the calling card and then get underway again. Leave these people to their business.”
“Aye ma’am. Oh, and poker tonight if you’re interested. XO can’t make it, thought you might like to join us.”
“You know what Ra, I think I will. As long as we are using Mac’s newly replicated cards. I heard that Ch’tkk’va had kept his ability to see mostly through the cards secret until recently.”
Velan smiled and actually laughed as he stepped towards the door. “Most certainly. 2000HRS, my quarters.” And with that the Efrosian engineer stepped out on to the bridge.