Episode #15, "The Last Builder"
by TS Caladan
The starship Enlighten made an "impossible" discovery deep into the Alpha Quadrant, relatively close to borders of Beta Quadrant. The SC flagship was far from home and any assistance in a fairly uninhabited portion of outer space. For some unknown reason, Commander Staak suggested this direction and this area that had not been charted previously...
No one had ever expected to see a legendary "Bryson Sphere," whose diameter exceeded 50 million miles! Today was the day of discovery. Today, made Starwalker History.
[Theodore Adorno Bryson of the planet Tavis was a brilliant mathematician, astronomer and theorist in the 22nd Century. His well-known and utterly incredible theory was considered "pure fantasy" by Galactic Tech, Centauri Academy and other reputable scientists. Mystics weren't too sure and allowed the idea of a real Bryson Sphere "possibility" somewhere in the universe].
Scanners displayed ancient, abandoned ruins and rubble from countless settlements on the Sphere's massive exterior, located extremely sporadically. Presently. NOTHING was alive on the outside, which in itself was a shocker for how large a surface area and the great age of the structure. From any point on the exterior, the horizon appeared as a perfectly straight line in the very far distance, but was actually a big curve...
Dr. O'Leary and Boots Randolph walked onto the bridge almost at the same time and soon after they heard the news.
There was silence, almost.
Communications Officer Freeman contacted the Space Administration and also Central Intelligence quickly, beyond sub-light.
Ben's fellow crewmates were as speechless as he was. No one said a word as they came out of Warp near it and scanned during a long approach. Then, words were heard like, "Phenomenal," "Wow," "That's a sphere?" "What's inside? How do we get in?" "Do we want to go in?" "Amazing," "Can we get readings on the interior?" and "There's really an inner sun inside?"
Ben walked close to Staak and Captain Church and expressed one word: "Fuck."
Everything seemed DEAD on the Great Exterior: a super OLD, artificial habitat, an abandoned Super Sphere. Readings from the first scans only appeared now~
...Before Commander Staak stated answers to some of the questions, according to the data...
...THE STARSHIP WAS CAUGHT BY MAGNETIC FORCES OF AUTOMATIC DOORS AND PULLED IN!
"Compensate!" Staak yelled at the forward navigators, before the Captain yelled at them. The unexpected thrust was unanticipated. Alarms sounded and emergency lights flashed. In a short period, balance was restored. Emergency lights ceased and also the alarms. The Enlighten was well inside as the mammoth doors shut closed...
The ship was placed in full reverse, as if it helped the situation?
Captain Church's first words were a rhetorical question: "Ever have the feeling...you're only a fly and you've been caught in a flytrap?"
Dr. Ben added another unanswered question, "That what this is? A trap for anyone coming along close by?"
John Church faced his Communications Officer. "Alice. On com channels, inform the crew we're stable now. We've reached normality...and, and we'll be just fine. You tell them that."
She replied, "Will do, Captain."
O'Leary told Nurse Rowe in sickbay where he was if he was needed?
Captain turned the ship around. In a moment, everyone on the bridge and everyone onboard who viewed out portals in the proper direction...
Did not see what they expected. The Starwalkers expected to view an internal SUN, the heart, heat, fire, light, energy and radiant, generator-engine of the whole Big Ball interior. Instead. The crew viewed an extremely weak, barely visible center, millions of miles away that hardly flickered at all. Only a micro % of the sun's original power, heat and illumination existed in the present state. Everything seemed dark and dead on the Great Interior as well. Only a very faint light from center star (now a collapsed white dwarf) shined on the insides, which produced a bizarre and mysterious atmosphere.
The Captain asked his First Officer, "Staak? Why was it...meaning your Academy...why was it stated that Brysons were...impossible? Well. Son of a gun, my friend. We found one!"
Ben said, "How about that, Commander?" The Doctor crossed his arms in front of his chest as if he personally proved the Remoran in error (not the case).
Staak turned to Church, "To answer your question, Captain. There's not enough material in even an enormous solar system of many massive planets...to create a Super Shell completely around a sun..."
"Then where'd they get the material? It's a big fucking Ball," the Captain asked with emotions.
Staak responded: "That is a good question. WHO did it?...would be another."
"Why was it constructed, if I may ask, Commander?" Alice Freeman asked.
Staak thought he'd test the young, Russian navigator. "Could you answer the question?" He looked directly at Bellikov.
The talented ensign replied, "Of course, sir. Theodore Bryson stole his concept from Russians..."
"There's no Russia."
"I don't mean to correct the Capt'in..."
Church looked at Staak, rolled his eyes; he'd heard it before.
"Please answer the question," Staak pressed the ensign.
"No wasted stellar radiation."
"Everything is used. Every photon, light-ray that struck the interior was used to maximum," Ensign Bellikov continued. "The energy was stored and collected. Theory is...its construction provides a potential mega-utopia for those within, especially in feared times of depleted power and Energy Crisis."
Dr. O'Leary had a logical, basic thought and expressed it: "So. What happened to Paradise? Is it as simple as the obvious: Inner sun eventually got old, collapsed, no longer a viable energy source? And everyone fled? Yes? No?"
John Church murmured, "Hmmmm."
The Commander said: "Time may give us the answers."
Boots noticed a light that suddenly blinked at Staak's Science station. "Commander?" He pointed at it.
"What's that?" John asked.
"Initial scans were cursory. It took time to receive results from secondary and more thorough searches. There appears to be a single power source, barely beating or transmitting from one point on the interior." Staak added: "The possibility of life, sir."
Church commented, "And the possibility of getting some answers? Ugh. Mm. Navigator. Take us in close, right down to the beacon, or whatever it is, on the surface."
"Aye, sir," Ensign Ito replied and hit the right buttons.
Ben was unsure. He asked John, "Captain? How we going to get out of here?"
Church's firm, cocky answer his crew trusted was: "Don't worry about it, Ben."
"Look at that. It's HUGE!" John Church nearly screamed to Commander Staak and three Security Officers when he first spied the slight power source over a rocky ridge.
All five members of the Away Team had on heavy gear that comfortably handled intense pressures discovered on the surface of the Great Interior. Only the thick, protective suits made the group slow and restrictive in movements. They spoke over communicators.
"That is one of the strangest ships I've ever seen. Looks organic, like bones! Familiar with the design, Commander?"
"Not even remotely. Are we certain it is a vessel, sir?"
"What?" Church wondered if his Science Officer was correct.
"I don't think it is."
The party of five marched closer to the bone-like, curved structure that protruded out from the rocks for miles.
"Elementary. It's too big."
"Staak. You're saying it's too large for the portal-door that pulled us in?"
"Precisely, Captain. Can't you tell? Sir?"
"Well. No. Don't have the proper, ah...perspective. But I agree with your assessment..."
"How can it be a spaceship if it cannot fit through Bryson windows when scans showed no openings larger than the 365 octagonal doors? Unless the Bone-Ship is a vehicle made to travel the insides only. Possible," said the Centauri.
"Time will tell...as you said, Commander."
Finally. Three Security and two top Officers of the Enlighten made it to the massive, wide-open, curved entrance. It was titanic in height. They watched the odd (type of target) opening in the structure for a half-hour before they reached it.
Staak wondered if the Captain thought the same thoughts he did as they stepped inside. "How would you describe the big doorway, Captain? I mean, in a report, sir?"
"I know why you asked me. I would describe it as a 'Big Pussy'...but I might use different words in the report."
Two of the Security team laughed a bit at the remark. Not Staak.
Later. The Away Team arrived at the central core of the alien "thing." All passageways led to the middle, which was a tremendously large opening and contained only the smallest traces of LIFE somewhere on the vast insides of a Bryson Sphere.
The explorers walked closer and closer to what appeared as the pilot of the craft or an astronomer or gunner that may have one time ignited, fired or somehow used a huge apparatus that stood in front of the creature. Was it a dashboard? The creature seemed solidified or encrusted within a coating of a dirty gold-colored substance. Was it frozen, dead or in suspended animation?
Commander Staak had an idea. "Maybe I can merge with it, Captain?"
"Really? You think you can?"
"Possibly. Psychometry works with inanimate objects and very well with the living. The giant was once alive. Knowledge is right there. I only need touch it to have access, sir."
"Proceed," John clearly stated.
The three guards watched carefully in the background. They were ready with Fasers and communicators if the situation called for drastic measures.
The Commander crawled closer to the head of the horrible-looking creature with an array of solidified tubers (as if trapped in pilot's seat) everywhere and out of every solid orifice.
In a moment, communication with the "Denbu" was achieved. Staak's technique of "Merge" functioned through the heavy gear, to a degree.
"Captain. I am able to disassociate from the Denbu, not become the creature. I see and, and understand its history, its whole history. I know what happened here, Captain."
"Denboo? What happened?" the curious Captain inquired.
The Remoran was in an ultimate trance because he touched one of the gods~
Staak started with: "The Bone-Ship is a spaceship. Sphere built around it. And creature, the pilot seated here..."
R'maugzhe Staak snapped out of being stunned. He sincerely expressed to John, "Beyond Large Care-Takers and Qs...this guy here, in the Big Chair, my friend...is GOD."
"What's God need a spaceship for, Commander?" the Captain quickly asked in an attempt to understand.
"Travel. They were called BUILDERS in their own time, way back at the very beginning of our Big Bang. His kind constructed stars, made planets, designed beautiful order and the patterns of stellar clusters, which led to the development of life. John: all Life. All forms of humanoid and alien life from every dimension and level, believe it or not? Came from these giants. He's the last director, engineer. The Last Builder."
"I'm not sure, sir."
"Much more. I know how the Sphere was built."
"Tell me," Church coaxed Staak.
"The bizarre design to God's Ship created a power field: conduit, corridor or channel..."
"...Unlimited amounts, infinite amounts of matter/material for the Shell were siphoned here into our material plane from the Great Beyond...or one of the great beyonds," Staak explained.
"MACHINES, John. Giant Machines, miles high, were the mindless, robotic constructors, of course, who did the actual work for the Great Designer. Over and over (like building an immense geodesic dome) the Gigantors did their job well and connected each section around a strong, yellow star. Paradise lasted for a millennium on the inside of the Big Ball to fantastic numbers of humanoids and alien lifeforms, many were giants themselves. Utopia ended because something from the Outside entered our world, Captain. No entity ever expected a total ALIEN, an opposite or anti-life being, to pass through the corridor/conduit, something so utterly dark and EVIL..."
"What happened to everyone inside, zillions of lifeforms, Staak?" the Captain blurted out an excited question via his suit-communicator.
"The Giant constructors were to be disintegrated after the Sphere was completed, but that did not happen. This intangible EVIL from another universe slowly corrupted and controlled the Machines, who were always obedient servants to LIFE. They changed to gigantic units of ANTI-LIFE. They were called 'Terminators'..."
"Terminators? You're not saying, Commander?"
"Yes, sir. Inner Life did not leave the Bryson because an old star died out."
"Giant Machines, products of Builders...killed everyone, Staak?"
As hard as it was to report for the Centauri, R'maugzhe Staak told John and the others the truth: "Everyone," First Officer stated with sadness in his voice. "They killed them all. In less time than you would imagine," Staak said callously, yet John knew the Remoran hid strong emotions very deep.
"Let's switch gears, Staak."
"What happened to God, here? He seems dead."
"Yes, God, the pilot and space-traveler. Not clear, sir. He, it...the God energy of love, light, and divine compassion, ah, went into a kind of hibernation."
"The Creator, Builder of universes...froze over? What? God's traumatized because of Paradise Lost, the Beast unleashed out into our world? His fault, that it?"
"Essentially. That's all I have, Captain. I'm receiving no more."
John Church pointed at the static monstrosity apparently in a self-imposed stasis. "...Talk to God?"
There was only an awkward pause because nothing further emitted from the pilot. "I would say...no, sir," the Commander answered.
But the Last Builder and creature underneath ages and ages of dust, chemicals, emulsions, mummification, radiation, entropy, etc.
...Breathed! The creature with hard, encrusted tubers in the Big, Big Chair breathed more steadily. His eyes suddenly came to life and shifted toward the men in spacesuits. God said, "I WOULD SAY YES, SIR," Thoughts were conveyed telepathically, clearly heard by all.
"Say again?" the Captain questioned God.
"I AM NOT DENBU. YOU HAVE HEARD MY MEMORIES, BUT NOT SEEN MY FEELINGS. YOU CANNOT HELP ME, CHILDREN. I WAS PUT TO SLEEP LONG AGO BY THE IMPRISONMENT AND CANNOT MOVE: SADNESS WOUNDED ME, CAGED ME. HOW MANY HAVE BEEN TRAPPED INSIDE, WHO HAVE DIED THROUGHOUT THE PASSAGE OF TIME? WE CANNOT LEAVE, CHILDREN. IT HURTS MY SOUL TO ONCE MORE SEE LIFE STRUGGLE TO ESCAPE AND FAIL...WHILE I AGAIN LIVE ON AND ON IN CAPTIVITY, UNTIL THE NEXT TRAVELERS GET CAUGHT IN WHAT I HAVE CREATED, WHAT I HAVE WROUGHT? THE MACHINE I HOLD WOULD HAVE SENT EVIL OUT OF THIS WORLD, RETURNED IT BACK TO HELL AND SEALED THE RIFT. I WAS STOPPED. NOW IT IS TOO LATE. I AM VERY SORRY, CHILDREN. YOU STRANGE VISITORS FROM ANOTHER TIME AND PLACE ARE ALSO SEALED HERE, FOREVER."
Captain Church was befuddled and plainly declared with all the confidence in the world: "What are you talking about? We can leave anytime! You're God?" He was a bit confused.
The Engineer of Life was more confused. "THE SPHERE IS MY PRISON, CHILDREN. HOME, NOW. NO ONE HAS EVER LEFT. NO ONE CAN EVER LEAVE."
"Builder? My starship can blow any side of the Sphere to smithereens."
John Church pointed to Staak and urged him to, "Tell Him."
"Quite true, Builder. Photonic missiles would take longer to get through what is now petrified nesium. Mega-Fasers should do the job in less than a minute," the Commander informed the small group, along with "God."
"WHAT?" God couldn't believe it. The Being was so happy and elated with joy and awe that it cracked through the hardened exterior on its big body. The exterior pealed and broken off like a cocoon or outer skin. God moved! It performed locomotion for the first time since 'Dark Days' when it nearly succeeded in the elimination of evil with the huge Good Gun. God now had hope for the future of Life and of this particular universe...
Thanks to tiny, strange co-prisoners. Times had changed dramatically for the "flies" caught in what had become a cosmic "flytrap." They were mighty.
Inner sun (Radon) was ignited, re-lit to medium-yellow by futuristic technologies that laid beyond a frozen, suspended God.
The Last Supreme Being cherished the moment when it was finally, finally...
A Super Being was freed from a very prehistoric prison that the creature believed was an eternal cell. Little humans blew apart a large portion of the Sphere.
Added bonus was the fact that most of the Sphere may harbor incredible numbers of lifeforms once again. The sun would shine for millions of years. Who knows what creatures will thrive on the Great Interior in all that time with a new sun?
God-Thing Pilot was no longer a tall, bald, grey giant in robes as it was before memory. It was a different type of creature in the negative world. It retained a nasty appearance of a Terminator. But the BIO-MACHINE was in reality: one of the sweetest and one of the most powerful lifeforms in countless universes. It was, possibly, the kindest energy, and most beautiful and loving soul in existence. Goodness was unleashed upon a [dark/cruel] universe.
Appearances were deceiving. It wanted to FLY, see, hear, touch, taste and experience the OUTSIDE world like an excited child, a realm that was not finite in any sense: a wonderful world that was INFINITE! The only negative thoughts that came to the conscious mind of the Great God was:
"IN ALL THIS TIME, WHAT HAD HAPPENED TO EVIL, THE 'BEAST' THAT MATERIALIZED HERE LONG, LONG AGO? WHAT DID IT DO? WHERE WAS IT NOW?"
Fate may or may not provide answers for the warm, bright Angel of Light, Love and Life. Appearances were greatly deceiving. The original Space Traveler or GOD was free and bio-mechanical. It grew giant Wings. The lovely creature of ancient grace, glory and grandeur flew far away. It flew to distant galaxies and dimensional realms in search of its own answers~
It smiled. It blessed the New World...
Comments are welcome to Tray at firstname.lastname@example.org