As the captain materialized in the chamber of the Zadmeen ship it took a few moments for his eyes to adjust. The bright lights mixed with the explosion of white colors all around him were disorienting at first. As his eyes finally caught up to their surroundings, Jerok nodded his away team of Lieutenant Zemess and Dr. Benner.
Dr. Benner spoke up over the sound of her tricorders scanning, “Looks like the ship’s atmosphere is picture perfect for Human life.”
“Interesting,” Jerok calmly said.
As two doors swooshed open, previously hidden in the sea of white, a young looking man stepped out wearing a long white robe. He smiled as he walked towards the away team and explained, “Not as interesting, Captain. The ship scanned your ship’s database as you approached and was able to create an approximation of your homeworld’s atmosphere.”
The young man looked both Jerok and Zemess up and down as if criticizing them for existing. Realizing that he was staring he finally said, “Sorry, I don’t mean to judge. But you two do not appear to be of the same species as your vessel’s origination?”
“I’m a Romulan. This is Lieutenant Zemess, he is Saurian. Neither of us are from Earth, but Earth is a member of a peaceful coalition of many worlds called the United Federation of Planets. Zemess’ world is part of the Federation, and I have called it home for many years now,” the Captain elaborated.
“Peaceful coalition structure. Interesting,” the AI responded plainly.
“Do you… your people have some sort of structure? A leader?”
“Presumed hierarchical structure when none exists. Fascinating. No, I was created by the ship to interact with you,” the AI explained briefly.
Jerok sighed lightly, “What is the purpose of this ship? We’ve never seen anything like it before.”
“This is the last great bastion of the once powerful Zadmeen Sovereignty. A species that originated many galaxies away from here many eons ago,” the AI continued to explain as a holographic image of a humanoid adjacent life form flickered to light next to the AI. “They fell prey to a colossal cataclysm. When it became apparent that they couldn’t save themselves, this ship was built as their ark. Their chance to build anew. It contains the genetic material and technology to rebuild the Zadmeen civilization on exactly one planet.”
Jerok’s interest was fixated on this explanation, and judging from the other two away team members they were as well. This was exactly the sort of thing that Starfleet officers dreamed of encountering. Collecting his thoughts Jerok asked the next logical question, “And the star?”
“Ah yes,” the AI turned as one of the glaringly white panels on the wall of the ship slid open to reveal the surface of the star. “This ship uses an enormous amount of resources leading up to the terraforming process. Based on required parameters, the ship will finish consuming this star in three days at which point it will move onto a planet approximately 2 light years away and begin the terraforming process. Unfortunately, it appears that the planet is now inhabited, which was not the case when it was originally scanned 3,000 years ago.”
The wall panel came to life even more as a holographic representation of the planet appeared along with a charted course for the Zadmeen ship to reach it from its current position. The captain was sure to take a mental note of where the planet was. It was one the Yorktown had passed only a few days before.
“Three thousand years ago?” Zemess asked with no hesitation and was filled with shock.
“This ship is very old and the processes it goes through take many millennia. The terraforming process itself will take approximately 5,000 years until complete, at which point nature will take its course,” the AI further explained.
“Surely the ship won’t terraform a planet that has been inhabited?”
The AI looked over a small panel on the wall, “Unfortunately, once the final sequence is locked in to begin terraforming it cannot be undone. The ship has already prepped too many biological samples to begin the process elsewhere.”
“Will it kill the inhabitants?” the captain asked.
“Not if they’re able to breathe an argon-based atmosphere,” was the cold response from the AI.
“Most people in our part of the universe can’t do that,” Dr. Benner quipped.
Turning to his away team, the Romulan began to game plan, “We need to get to that planet and warn them.”
“What about this solar system?” the doctor asked.
“Uninhabited. The star dying shouldn’t affect any life forms,” Jerok said as he turned back to the AI, “Don’t go anywhere and don’t start terraforming yet. We’ll be back in two days.”
With a nod, the away team bunched up and the captain tapped his comm badge, “Jerok to Yorktown, we’re ready to return.”