DATE / TIME MARK: 8-899^120*096 (estimated)
FROM: sQreev-Y, Prime Sentient Component of Transgalactic Probe tYx^951*332.
TO: sWomglu-K, Coordinating Overseer of pRuglugrion Scientific Exploration Bureau.
RE: Long-range data compilation mission to rWezik Galaxy / Sector DdF^893.
PREFACATORY NOTE: Please accept my regrets for the inefficiency of the primitive digital transcription and data storage method I am compelled to utilize in compilation of this report. In explanation, it must be noted that Exploration Probe tYx^951*332 experienced a de-orbiting incident resulting in an uncontrolled atmospheric entry. This caused the probe to impact a planetary surface as detailed later in this report. At that time, all of my telepanscription technology was rendered non-functional by a major system disintegration.
After fully regenerating from my organic malfuncions, I was eventually able to locate a quaint and time intensive device called a Dell Optiplex GX745 Core 2 Duo, which seemed to possess rudimentary information compiling capacity. Although my non-organic database had been erased, my organic databanks retained sufficient memory of ancient pRuglugrion technological history for me to extrapolate and reconstruct the crude techniques necessary to preserve this report.
I appeal to your Primeness’ logarithmic prowess to calculate the statistical probability of my capacity to compile this report by any more adequate means, within the limitations of the circumstances herein described. I am confident that in the event that this record comes into the possession of fellow pRuglugrions, it will be capably decoded into a more readable format. I trust its contents will reassure all sentient components of the pRuglugrion Scientific Exploration Bureau that I, sQreev-Y remained true to my mission until the final logoff of my organic systems.
After a routine transport, we disengaged the Probe’s baryon propulsion engines in order to drop out of hyperdrive. We remained in transwarp until our quark confinement status had achieved chromodynamic equilibrium. Then using our thrusters, we maneuvered to our target coordinates and assumed orbit around the planet that was to become our next subject of study. We were precisely on schedule.
The planet proved to be a relatively small one, positioned third from a class ^5 star in Sector DdF^893, which was itself located in an obscure section of the galaxy designated “rWezik”. As our preliminary long-range scans had suggested, the planet was indeed inhabited. Short-range scans confirmed that it was cluttered with life forms of an unexpectedly wide range of complexity and variety.
Accurate and complete data, however, was impossible to collect, because our scans were severely compromised by a number of factors.
First, the stratosphere of the planet churned with debris. It resembled an asteroid belt, except that the majority of the debris appeared to be metallic and bore unmistakable evidence of having been assembled by intelligent design. Of the thousands of items orbiting the planet, 85% were fragmentary or non-functional. To our great frustration, these tended to drift across our scanning grid, just at the moment when a critical computation was being formulated, thus skewing our results, and requiring us to re-initialize the entire scanning process.
However, some of the debris appeared to consist of functional devices. Of these, the majority seemed designed to capture sonic, photonic, or electro-magnetic radiation and reflect it back to a non-standardized variety of towers and parabolic discs on the planet’s surface. The devices emanated just enough energy to create feedback on our sensors. We could determine no practical purpose for such an array of devices, and finally determined that they had been planted in position to serve as a planetary defense shield to prevent effective scanning by a non-indigenous culture such as ours.
It should be noted that the Probe’s Technical Intern, sTwox-P proposed a hypothesis that the orbiting devices were some form of primitive communication network. I was able to convince him of the logical fallacy of his hypothesis by pointing out that as underdeveloped as this culture obviously was, yet the fact that they had mastered the rudimentary science of successfully placing reflective devices into orbit, presupposed that they had a working comprehension of basic electromagnetic theory. Therefore, the reason they would expose themselves to the danger that microwave radiation poses to the cellular structure of carbon-based organic life forms must be a compelling one, and beyond the scope of mere convenience. I am pleased to add that sTwox-P accepted my argument and retracted his flawed hypotheses.
Another factor that corrupted our data scan was the presence of massive chemical, particulate, biological and gas cocktails that hung suspended over much of the planet. These appeared to consist primarily of methane, byproducts of hydrocarbon combustion, and a small percentage of highly hazardous chemicals. The pockets appeared most concentrated over areas of high population density. Once again, their function appeared unclear, but it is possible that these were artificial atmospheres precisely mixed according to the inhabitants’ unique physiology in order to maximize the beneficial effects upon their respiratory systems.
A third factor was the constant occurrence of abrupt thermal activity that appeared at unpredictable intervals across the planet’s surface. In certain subcompact regions it seemed that thousands of thermal explosions were occurring simultaneously. These explosions varied widely in frequency, size and duration, however we also noticed that they seemed to be accompanied by a concentration of biological life-sign, many of which would vanish or fade after each thermal burst. The only conclusion we could draw is that these represented weapon discharges.
We had nearly determined that the planet did not fit the parameters requisite for a scientifically viable survey when I spotted a large land mass in the northern quadrant of the western hemisphere not far from the northern polar icecap, which appeared remarkably free of interference. There was no artificial atmosphere, we detected few weapon discharges and I could discern a visible break in the orbiting debris.
Hoping to justify the resources already expended on this mission, I determined to descend to a low altitude above that point. I calculated that I should be able to obtain a relatively clean, if limited scan, and then we would move to the next destination in our itinerary.
Just as I was maneuvering to initiate descent, Probe tYx^951*332 was struck on her starboard stern by a piece of debris that had been orbiting at a higher altitude than I had guessed possible. As we were knocked into an uncontrolled atmospheric entry I was able to briefly observe the debris. It appeared to be some type of small pod containing two hatches. I believe it was nearly white in color, with the designation “Frigidaire” inscribed on its fuselage.
The collision had damaged our starboard thruster array. Caught in the planet’s gravitational pull, it was impossible to engage our baryon engines. I did not regain control of the Probe until we were just above a dense cluster of green, obelisk shaped vegetation growing beside a geometrically asymmetric conduit, through which flowed a solution of hydrogen dioxide and silicon dioxide.
Beside the conduit I observed a single life form. It was a biped, ^03 nOrkins tall, with a small cranial capacity and a profusion of filaments protruding from the bottom of its elliptical head. It was grasping a narrow flexible shaft in one of its upper appendages. From the flexible shaft was suspended a small-diameter filament which the life form seemed to be dipping in the dioxide solution.
Upon observing the Probe’s arrival, the life form emitted a piercing sonic tone, released the dipping shaft and followed it into the solution. The life form was borne some distance in the current, primarily submerged, but periodically displaying an appendage or head, until it emerged in a quadruped state 4^60 nOrkins from the location where it had entered the solution.
It then emitted a series of harsh staccato sonic tones accompanied by the expulsion of a jet of dioxide solution from an orifice concealed within its head filaments. Slowly, it reverted to a biped state. Upon completion of this change, it removed a tubular metallic device from a compartment positioned low on its torso and pointed it at our Probe. The tubular device abruptly discharged a thermal burst precisely like the ones we had previously observed. As a result, a tiny cylindrical fragment of lead and copper was projected at our Probe.
In retrospect, I can only conclude that against the exponentially unlikely probability, that tiny metal fragment entered the Probe’s antiquark venting port, traveling up the asymptotic tube until it reached the baryon manifold. Of course, the lead and copper reacted with the bWabnium isotope bank, effectively destabilizing the chromodynamic equilibrium of Probe tYx^951*332.
As the only sentient component of the Probe that proved to be salvageable, I have not been able to locate either resources or technology adequate to construct another Probe, and thus expect to prematurely experience organic logoff. Now that I have located this Dell information storage device and entered this final log, I must regretfully request that I be relieved of duty. I can no longer fulfill my obligations to the pRuglugrion Scientific Exploration Bureau. I expect to occupy my remaining time avoiding the biped life form who seems intent on capturing me. My thoracic carapace is becoming quite discolored from the quantity of lead and copper fragments that the biped has discharged against it.
Proud to have served pRuglugria, I remain her loyal component,