The Prime Directive:” As the right of each sentient species to live in accordance with its normal cultural evolution is considered sacred, no Star Fleet personnel may interfere with the healthy development of alien life and culture. Such interference includes the introduction of superior knowledge, strength, or technology to a world whose society is incapable of handling such advantages wisely. Star Fleet personnel may not violate this Prime Directive, even to save their lives and/or their ship unless they are acting to right an earlier violation or an accidental contamination of said culture. This directive takes precedence over any and all other considerations, and carries with it the highest moral obligation.
(Star Trek: The prime Directive)
She is Tashi of the Khandromas. The Lucky One, among the Celestial Beings. An elect Daughter of the Conquerors. She is the last of her kind. After her, her race disappears from the face of the Earth.
At night, alone in her forbidding mountain fortress, alone with her sophisticated machines, her screens and her sensors, she surfs the Elven Innernet, looking for those little purple flames that would signal to her that she has found a successor, someone to take over her work, this endless scrutiny of the subtle life signs that indicate Evolution in the Land.
The Elves are ready, more than ready, she mutters to herself, bundled up in her thick blanket against the cold of the altitude. The screens that monitor the Elves are like a new spring after an icy winter, chockfull of purple daffodils.
But the humans? Oh dear. No. Certainly not. Humankind is still in its infancy, a troubled infancy, from what she gathers from the mass media that she is watching.
The Neanderthal brutes…will they ever learn not to clobber each other over the head?
We did give them a chance though, she thinks. “We” meaning her people, descended eons ago from Lambda Draconis in their slim silver starships.
We did implant them with consciousness. She still feels outraged. Of all her Companions, she had been the only one to disagree about the genetic manipulation of human DNA.
She had been a very young scientist back then, all those millennia past. She had been enthusiastic about space travel, about the wonderful possibilities, the opportunities to observe primitive life forms on all sorts of planets.
Ah yes, she smiles drily to herself, and primitive brutes they had been on planet X-88, wild apes roaming the snowy plains they had been. And then we gave them a new lease on Life, implanted them with a gene from our own home world, and the whole panorama of Evolution changed on this blue planet.
Oh she had screamed and raged, most unscientifically-like, to her Companions, that it was wrong. Let them grow as they should! Let them disappear if they kill each other off, if it must be! Do not touch them! And what about the Prime Directive!…It is dangerous to voluntarily change the Path of Evolution on a foreign world. There is no measuring the consequences! But her superiors had deemed the implant an act of generosity on part of Lambda Draconis. Implanting an outback planet with consciousness, a priceless gift! A show of goodwill. A most interesting experiment…
Ah well, so much for the Prime Directive, she thought wryly. Now see what we have done: a whole experiment gone awry.
A new race appeared on X-88, the Cromagnons they were called, much, much later on. She thinks, it wasn´t really an implant. It was just a little “tweaking” of their DNA. A little bit more intelligent they did become, after all.
After that first “tweaking”, that little “tsewang” of Life Empowerment, when the new race battered down the apes, trampled them to oblivion, when Sapiens became sapiens sapiens, they actually did become more intelligent, she reasons, contrary to her feelings.
And then…something went horribly wrong.
The Cromagnons, like the Neanderthals before them, just went on clobbering each other, but this time with an intelligent purpose: to be “more”, to be “better”, to become bigger and rule the planet, their pathways now determined by a flaky gene from Lambda Draconis.
A little “tsewang” goes a long way,…she laughs to herself, without any mirth. The Elves were the real blueprint! And they stayed in the Imagi-Nation, in the right-hand brain of humans. The Elves – the People, as they call themselves – never transferred to the real-Earth, as it was meant to be. The apes never developed their frontal lobes, their neo-cortex, as it was meant to be. Or…what ? Not yet? So many centuries, and still nothing…
When her Companions went back home in their silver ships, she stayed behind on X-88, feeling responsible, sheltered underground in the highest mountain of the Roof of the World. She became the Watcher.
Mercifully, the Companions left her with some good Draconian material, screens, replicators, even a whole alien chamber for her survival, dug deeply under the mountain. Mount Tsarang the mountain is called these days, and it became a sacred place, where the devotees, without knowing it, were revering the Star Travellers from Lambda Draconis, the “gods” of so long ago; the pilgrims chanting their devotion to the Mother Mountain without knowing of the presence of the Watcher, deep inside its snowy folds.
And there she lived, alone with only her own mind for company, unchanged, growing old by millennia rather than by years, waiting, waiting, monitoring her screens, looking for the Sparks, the little purple flames that would signal to her that the Draconian Fire of the Soul had finally caught in the human brain chambers. And waiting for that moment when she could finally forget her burden, and at long, long last, go to her final rest into the Great Sleep.