This is a PSL (Personal Story Line) and doesn’t fit into the prime timeline. It is a kind of What-If.
Lance sits in Finnegan’s, its night, the sound of the ocean is in the distance through the open windows of the tavern. The floating city was in a warm spell right now, so the windows were open to get some of the fresh air, fresh sea air. The gentle smell of salt and ocean wafted into the tavern from outside. The place was pretty much empty at this hour, even Finnegan had gone home and due to his station Lance was there alone. There wasn’t even a bartender around, though Excalibur Kaethe, his XIA from the Galatine, who acted as his personal assistant and sort-of keeper was sitting on the table, regenerating her Spacial Variance Reactor while Lance ate. Rather than the normal gourmet looking burger and fries he normally ate, he was eating something he made himself in the kitchen, a ham sandwich on rye with an ice tea.
He had, of course, neglected to lock the doors while he sat there. It was dark, but mildly lit up, just a light in the kitchen and the light above Lance’s table.
Footsteps can be heard. Those of heeled boots for social situations, not for duty and unlikely for casual outfit. It was then when a humanoid, horned woman walks in, a rather slowly and careful due to being this late and everyone gone home. But to leave the door to the Tavern open like this, certainly enticed her curiosity about what would be going on there. Almost immediately, she looks at the two, resulting in this brief but awkward feeling on her, thinking she may be an intruder in a somewhat private moment.
“Oh, sorry–I didn’t know…”
Lance had heard the footsteps, Kaethe had powered up and glanced over. Lance looks at the dragon-girl who entered the tavern, “It’s alright.” he says, “Everyone has gone for the night though, it was a quiet night. Told Finnegan to take the rest of the night.” He looks her over for a moment, “What brings you into a darkened tavern in the middle of the night?”
She makes a few steps foward, feeling the breeze of fresh sea air right after. She closes her eyes for a moment and enjoys a slow but deep breath
“My, so long since I felt this” she says, now walking towards a window she could use to look at the sea. “This reminds me of the stories I heard, of a thriving people who existed since… probably the beginning of history itself. Cities which were the marvel of technology, perfectly in balance with the nature.” She now turns around and looks at Lance. The sight of that woman near a window with such landscape, the sound of sea and the breeze of fresh air, is not easily forgotten. “I decided to take a stroll in a hour that there would be less people around, and try imagine this as the city of the story. Maybe… like this… I could feel myself more into the story and imagine how it could have been.”
“I’m not sure where this city came from,” he says, which isn’t exactly true. Of course he couldn’t go into the full history of the city which was found in the database. It spoke of a lot of things, and it is possible that a city like this was such a city on some world in some other reality – or even a different galaxy of this reality. He lets the silence sit for a moment, stretch out just a bit before he continues, “I wouldn’t ever say anyone was in perfect balance, but we try.” he smiles at her – wondering if she knew where the city came from. Most just thought it was a construction of Solas Tempus or something, not that it came through a splice and was infested with an aggressive alien race or that they had to damn near crash it into the planets ocean before the shield fell.
He came out of his reverie and motioned to a seat, “Feel free to have a seat if you want.” he looks at her, “It’s a beautiful planet here, a lot like Earth was a very long time ago.”
She nods and lets a smirk come out, walking over to the seat. She first moves the tail to a comfortable way for her to sit. It is long and could get in the way.
“Well…” and she takes a good look at the tavern from her seat before saying “Maybe this can be one of many legends about lost civilizations. El Dorado, Shangri-La, Atlantis, Venthur…” after a brief moment, she continues “Oh, you must pardon me. I enjoy reading everything I can find about legends. Sometimes the way they are described, are so alike that I think they may be related somehow, like pieces of a puzzle.”
He nods with a smile, “Myths and legends can reveal more than one might think.” Again, he couldn’t be too gung-ho on telling this dragon lady about the other things that the group was up to. Still he knew that a lot of myths and legends were in fact related. He started there, “On planets with related populations, many times the myths and legends are inter-related.” he says, “There’s a myth from Ancient Earth about having to prove one is king through having carnal relations with a horse.” he chuckles, “Of course it was symbolic, but the legend spread over most of Europe and into Asia.”
She smiles once again, also raising an eyebrow “Really?” then leans her back on the seat “This is… crazy. It’s a thing I think I’ll never get used to. I found so many references to carnal relations during my first visit. Even on commonly spoken expressions. Imagine the few and weird situations I went through because I was learning not only a new langauge but also a totally different culture.” Only to think about her saying profanity words would be a weird enough thought.
She then takes a deep breath “I’m more interested in the kind of legends I mentioned. Ancient but advanced civilizations that simply… are no more. Or even doings that were thought impossible for the era, hinted to use a kind of machinery that historical and archeological study have not much light on it, leaving only the legends.” Almost look like she’s looking for answers instead of studying as simple hobby.
“Carnal relations have always been powerful, from the act of love-making itself in the romantic sense to the act of sex tied with reproduction. On Earth many cultures used to be matriarchal which linked the power of the Earth itself and thus the crops to the fertility of the matriarch.” He smiled, and at this now Kaethe is paying more attention, her tiny body turned just slightly to better listen to Lance talk. After a pause to drink he continues, “Even if the mystic arts there are legends, many, of sexual encounters being used to raise the power of the spirits, seal connections, bond people together.” He shrugs, “It’s an integral part of every culture I’ve ever studied.” It is here that his former training in Starfleet become more visible, that he is more than just a battle-hardened spy.
Still, he listens to her talk about the legends she’s fascinated by, “Long ago societies that are no more, yes… I agree, those can be among the most fascinating to study. Hell, the Promellians fought their great war when humans were just figuring out how to build a clock.” he nods at that, “Puts things in perspective. Imagine, being one of the designers of the old Constitution Class in the 23rd century and still having to work to have a tactical command system as effective as a race that died out almost a thousand years before.” With has significantly amused him and he chuckles a bit. “Though you mention Atlantis and the like, so I guess you mean those legends where the people vanished without a trace.” he nods at that too, “There was a proposition once, to use our time travel technologies to go looking for something like Atlantis.” he shakes his head at that, “Like that would ever be a good idea.”
She chuckles for a second “I guess I can’t agree more than I already do.” she then pauses for a moment, looks at the window once again then back at him “But… There are also times I’m conflicted with the thought that those are no more than just legends, made up by people dreaming of a perfect place in an imperfect world. Maybe a near future when things would be better, or even a civilization like the Promellians–advanced in technology but made up as fairy tales as a goal for explorers to find whatever that is still out there, when their true history wasn’t told yet.”
Now she smiles, displaying confidence in the middle of doubt “But when I started to study those legends, the how some of them are described and diving more into the people’s past and culture to understand the legends a little better, I am lead to believe that there might be some consistent truth behind. Like a footprint, identical in all of these legends. My theory is that before the Starfleet even existed, before many worlds even dream about life outside their own planets or perhaps even millenia before any of that, there indeed existed this ancient society which had a similar goal as Starfleet today. But different from our pink skinned friends–” she interrupts herself, realizing what she just said “Oh, no offense.” even though her tone was more of neutral and logical, not mocking or belittling
“But yeah. Different from them, this society had no problems with intervention. For civilizations in early eras of their history, that would result in sudden increase of knowledge, religions and even our topic of study, legends. A fact that upholds this theory is how my people and some of the eastern cultures of Earth have some things in common, even with our worlds being one quadrant away from each other.” So this may be the answer she’s looking for. The how her own people is connected to Earth.
He listens to her and he smiles as she talks. He chuckles a bit, “I’ve seen a lot of history,” he begins and then considers for a moment, “In my study of history and actually given some of the periods I’ve seen, the Federation…” he stops and looks at her. He knew more than he could say, again, someone didn’t usually hit on so many aspects that he couldn’t talk about for – well obvious reasons. He pauses a moment, “The Federation could have been, there is a version of reality where the United Federation of Planets was something like you describe. Unfortunately, well, this isn’t that reality. As far as some ancient civilization that was similar to Starfleet and the Federation…” he considers, “There is evidence to support that, though we have very little about that culture, rumors of a computer program hidden in the very DNA of creatures. Well, if they are to be believed, there might have once been such a Federation eons upon eons ago.”
“If they are to be believed, what kind of program would it be? There are so many types of known computers that we could stumble on the program and we wouldn’t even recognize it.” She now seem more comfortable to talk. And you don’t even know her name. She’s not even wearing the wrist communicator. “Maybe DNA itself is a program being constantly executed by organic computers known as people. If something is in there that could be executed by another kind of computer, first we need to find the said computer to determine what kind of language it understands on a low level, then find the program now that we know what to look for.” she shrugs lightly “I don’t know. I think to play mythbuster can be an interesting hobby. But one of this magnitude can be quite the challenge” She finishes that last sentence with a smile.
He smiles at her, “One of the many holes, but…” he looks at Kaethe for a moment, she gives a very slight nod, then he turns back to this person in front of him, “Suppose for a moment,” he continues to smile, “that there is some kind of program code embedded in DNA of races scattered all over the galaxy. What, would that mean?” He pauses for another moment, “And what if I was to tell you that the rumor was true, that I knew for a fact it was true? Hypothetically of course.”
“I…” she exhales, grinning awkwardly for half a second “I don’t know what to think, honestly. The first thing I would do is to find it and determine its purpose. Maybe would lead us to meet the creator of the code?” she pauses for a moment, thinking more about it “Unless… the code was hidden there not as treasure to be open and enjoyed by the generation who opens it… but to keep it away from who would misuse it. Knowledge is good, but greater is the wisdom to use it or else it becomes a curse.” she now looks away for a moment, speaking her thoughts loud “Maybe it could be why some of those advanced civilizations disappeared. The misuse of their knowledge. Knowledge that brought blessing but also destruction. But it couldn’t simply be erased to prevent misuse–some other civilization would discover it–” she suddenly starts to speak faster “–and face the same fate unless they knew what would happen, then they save it somewhere that can be found but still well locked so only the correct people could find it and make good use of this damn old capsule of time buried in the living beings themselves–.” she interrupts herself, looking back at Lance “Hypothetically of course. It’s a possibility. But there is also the other one which we make the devil out of who put the code there, meaning that it must not be executed at all.”
He grins at her, “Oh, I think I like you. What did you say your name was again?” he could look it up in the database, and surely Kaethe knew what it was by now, but he preferred to just ask, “This incident is buried in mission reports, but the USS Enterprise encountered just such a code in 2369, embedded in the DNA of several different races. What do you think it did?” he asks her, seriously curious as to what she would say to this.
“Oh! Right. My name is Sarah. I know it’s a terran name, but it’s an adaptation for english of my actual name, Sara. And I have no idea. My bet would be that if the computer capable of executing the program, has read the DNA, the program became active.” That’s a very specific bet.
He smiles, “Language is funny that way.” he comments. Then he continues, “Well, it is nice to meet you Sara,” he uses the way she pronounced her actual name, “I’m Admiral Thomas, Lance Thomas that is. And, as far as what happened. The program reconfigured the sensor diode of a tricorder and beamed a hologram with a message of peace in it.” he nods at Kaethe, who flies up from where she is and project a hologram – a recording of the hologram produced in fact.
“So all humanoid…” she pauses for a moment, at least impressed “Would it mean that the humans and dragons indeed have something in common? If my DNA were to be studied, would the program code be found on it as well?” She may be right. Even though some dragon subspecies may not be humanoid bipeds like her, something may still exist there.
He shrugs, “I don’t know. Might be interesting to find out though. I remember when I was studying at the Academy,” he doesn’t mention which Academy, “There was a fascinating article written on whether or not the bipedal form was just the most effective evolutionary step or whether something else was at work. Most of us laughed a bit at it, and the article was a bit tongue and cheek of course. But, I suppose we have our answer.”
“Now that you mention it” she puts a hand on her chin “Maybe something more effective may exist. You see, our kind is meaning for diversity due to being compatible with another species. Each of our subspecies are unique on their own way, sometimes being similar to different animal breeds on Earth and sometimes going beyond. Because of our culture, each subspecies inherit an element for its name. In my case, I am a Water Dragon. But this subspecies has some physical variations which are not humanoid at all. Some are quadrupeds but can stand in two feet like bears, being digitigrade and thus, possessing a different mobility. Earth Dragons are more like humans, except that their physical strength is a little higher due to how the muscles and bones are formed. Water Dragons are usually only good swimmers, and the physical variances bring different special abilities. Bipeds are fast, quadrupeds jump higher and the ones with tentacles can use of their psionic abilities to levitate. But all of them are mentally and psychologically identical. Because of this, when I was studying Earth’s taxonomy, I had some difficulty to find a suitable group for my kind. Fits in mammal, amphibian and reptile, and this diversity may make each subspecies effective on their own wa–” she interrupts herself again “Am I talking too much?”