Arrogance

Arrogance
Author: Katarzyna Marcinkowska, markablue@vp.pl

They came to what seemed a long deserted two storey building. The walls
appeared to be made of thick stones but even with their tricorders on
they couldn’t find any way to enter it. The group of Starfleet officers,
a standard away team, stepped back for a short briefing. The first officer
asked for reports.
‘There is nothing here, commander,’ said the science officer in blue uniform.
This planet appears to be totally deserted, with just this building here.
‘Are the weather conditions likely to change any time soon?’ Asked one
of the men, who was clearly uncomfortable with the tropical conditions
they found there.
‘Negative, lieutenant. I suppose it’s a regular pattern for this world.
40 degrees Celsius is the usual temperature here with likely only a few
degrees less at night.’
‘So where do these readings come from? Have you confirmed their location
in this site?’ Inquired the first officer.
‘It’s difficult to say. Something is jamming the signal here, I can’t
get clear readings, sir. I think that if there’s anything interesting
it would be inside this structure,’ she added, pointing at the mysterious
building in front of them.
‘So there’s no way around it. Only how can we enter it? There are no obvious
signs of any kind of entrance. No doors, no windows, nothing.’
‘I say, we simply burn a whole in it with our phasers. The rock appears
to be solid but with enough power it will simply vaporize.’
‘I hate to destroy anything but in this case I don’t think we have a choice.
Proceed, commander.’ He gestured for the woman to take a position.
‘Set on the highest level and on my mark… one, two, three… mark!’
They fired simultaneously for a short moment and almost immediately, a
whole appeared in the wall in front of them. They took some additional
scans and, since they indicated nothing dangerous, decided to step in.
The sicience officer turned the small wrist lighter on and led the group
inside. The first step she took was accompanied with a loud crack. She
immediately stopped and looked down. The floor of the structure was covered
with something that looked like colourful glass paneling. They reflected
the lights momentarily and the beams of light danced around the people
now standing cautiously. Nothing more happened, though, so they decided
to move on. Only with every step they destroyed more of the paneling,
since it was clearly very delicate and couldn’t withstand the weight of
humans.
Otherwise the room they were now in seemed empty. There were absolutely
no items in the way of furniture or pictures on the walls, nor any control
panels or any kind of machinery they had expected to find there. Just
four bare walls made of the same rock as the outside of the building.
‘I thought it was bigger from the outside,’ remarked the lieutenant, at
least relieved since the temperature inside the building was decidedly
lower.
‘Maybe there are more rooms outside these walls,’ said the woman. ‘The
tricorder still doesn’t show anything coherent.’
‘Should we try and break another of these walls?’
‘We may. Let’s try and walk through the whole structure to see what’s
on the other side. Still, whoever built this place must have had some
teleportation ability. There are no hidden mechanisms to open any doors.
Let’s do it then.’
Once again they tried their phasers at one random spot on the wall ahead
of them and fired to vaporise another piece of rock. The room which revealed
itself before them was exactly the same as the previous one. The away
team ended up vaporizing a few more walls along with a piece of floor
and the ceiling in one of the rooms only to find themselves walking around
empty rooms through the shattered glass panels. Finally, they decided
to give up and beamed back to the ship. There was no way for them to find
out the purpose of this sole building in the middle of nowhere on this
abandoned planet. The continuous scans from the ship revealed nothing
more than the initial weak signature of artificial energy. They set off
to seek out other new life forms and new civilizations and wished to have
better luck the next time.
A few hours after they left the orbit, something started happening inside
the building. The walls began to rebuild themselves ever so slowly and
some faint light appeared inside the rooms. The light started pulsating
slowly in different colors and it originated from the unbroken panels
of glass on the floor. There were no people inside now to hear the silent
humming in the air and recognize the patterns of light. If there were,
they could perhaps notice that the patterns were somewhat regular. After
some study they might even come to understanding the simple language based
on the beams of light coming off and on. They might be able to understand
the conversation that took place in this strange building long after they
had left.
‘Do you think these aliens are worthy of contact?’ The green light beams
conveyed this message. After a moment of darkness, the response came in
purple light.
‘They are very primitive forms. And they rely too much on their technology.
Without it, they are deaf and blind.’
‘True, but they are curious. That’s the first trait of an advanced species.’
That opinion came in the form of pulsating blue light.
‘Curiosity is not everything. Long ago we agreed that we would only seek
contact with peaceful races. They were not peaceful. They came here, destroyed
out home, killed many of us by simply walking on them and didn’t even
seem to notice.’ The red light beamed again somewhat faster.
‘Perhaps because we are so different. Maybe we should have attempted contact,
then they would’ve noticed us.’
‘And would likely have killed more of us. No, I think it’s better like
this. They’re gone and we are again in peace. Once they mature enough,
perhaps one day we’ll establish contact. As it is now, they have a lot
to learn. The Great Order of Non-Interference should be extended over
them.’
And slowly the lights became dark again. On some deserted planet, in the
middle of nowhere, the dark, mysterious building remained, waiting to
lure in other explorers who might be sensitive and cautious enough to
be worthy of the first contact.

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