Probe-a-phobia!

Evil alien probe.

Evil alien probe.

Module BI-10T: Alien Probes Are Always Bad

Let’s go to the twenty-second century at a time when the first warp-capable ship, the Enterprise NX-01, started roaming the galaxy. When, suddenly, an object appeared in orbit above Earth central. What was it? Alien invaders? No. A metallic organism of amazing power and might? No. Evolved ethereal beings whose purposes had yet to be identified? No!

It turned out to be one of the most hideous sights that any sentient Terran would ever want to see on this side of the universe or beyond.

It was an alien probe.

So what, you may ask? Probes are small harmless objects and no big deal. Wrong! Earth-initiated probes are small harmless objects and no big deal. Alien probes are digital representatives of the devil sent out by evil insane aliens bent on galactic destruction!

First published May 15, 2016

The demonic spawn of Satan that appeared above Earth that day took out half of Florida, most of Cuba and a good chunk of Venezuela and then tapped the self-destruct button before we could investigate, find, and wring the living daylights out of the aliens who sent it. And, yes, when the origin of this hideous mechanical beast was finally discovered, the onerous lifeforms involved were clearly and pathologically insane.

They were called the Xindi.

The demonic spawn of Satan.

Look what the demonic spawn of Satan did.

Peruse the historical evidence of their maniacal babblings: a transcript of the Xindi’s reasons for killing seven million beings previously unknown to them. “We thought, maybe, in some distant future, you may, possibly, perhaps, potentially attempt to destroy us. So we struck, hit, bombarded, bombed, torpedoed and bamboozled you first. Maybe, in some way, we, perhaps, perchance, possibly, in some way, did the wrong thing. But if you were in our shoes you would have done the same thing. Maybe.”

Oh, if only Jonathan Archer, captain of the Enterprise NX-01, had turned the Xindi to Xindust instead of shifting Earth’s wrath and vengeful attention to their puppet-masters. How glorious that war would have been! And satisfying.

Now skip ahead a century to another probe that Captain “Kill-All-The-Bastards” Kirk encountered. A wonderfully colorful cube in a worthless region of space that followed them too closely, considering that its attention was radioactive. When it got into illness-inducing distance, Kirk gave the kill-order and destroyed the mechanical Pepe Le Pew. But the owner of the digital rodent arrived in a flagship, whining that the Enterprise had destroyed his “warning buoy.”

The wonderfully colorful Pepe Le Pew cube.

The wonderfully colorful Pepe Le Pew cube.

The commander of this pretty flagship with a pretty name, the Fesarius, then started issuing orders, messing with the crew’s minds, and, lastly, issued a frightening directive. “Get ready to die!”

But this order was issued by Balok, the not-so-pretty commander of the Fesarius. This was a red flag. Pretty probe, pretty ship, and ugly commander? Come on!

Nevertheless, everything ended well when the real Balok (well, at least easier-on-the-eyes Balok) revealed himself because Kirk called his bluff. And this potentially hazardous encounter was neutralized due to Kirk’s serious and on-going gambling habit.

But consider a few other satanic spawns from hell. The Kataan probe, which took over a captain’s mind making him relive the deaths of a planet’s inhabitants who fell victim to a supernova. Leaving him scarred for life with their damned residual collective memories. And the Jaradan probe that caused a defenseless holodeck to become lethal. The Cytherian probe that conned the fool Lieutenant Reginald Barclay into bringing the Enterprise D to its homeworld. Tan ru, the alien probe that mated with Nomad and drove him insane. The Iconian probe that spread germs from ship to ship. The Borg….nough said.

Enterprise approaches Grandaddy of them all probe.

Enterprise approaches Grandaddy of them all probe.

And, of course, the granddaddy of them all, V’ger, originally known as Voyager 6. Yes, a harmless Earth probe caught in the grips of demonic alien technology. V’ger became the amalgamation of machines so evil they had the gall to form their own machine planet, presumably after destroying all the organic lifeforms who had unleashed them in eons past.

And after their machinery meddling, an innocent Earth probe became a metal behemoth that all other evil probes want to grow up to be. James T. Kirk summed up the aspirations of these mechanical demons, when he said of V’ger, “On its journey back, it amassed so much knowledge, it achieved consciousness itself. It became a living thing.”

In other words, the primary objective of this “living thing,” the most destructive probe ever to exist, was to self-actualize. (Heck, not even most humanoids want to do that.) And satanic sentience becomes a certainty when self-actualized artificial intelligence encased in indestructible alloy passively emits enough energy to destroy entire planets. When this probe becomes so self-actualized it creates another probe to do its dirty work, where does the digitized, navel-gazing infinity mirror end?

V'ger's probe to do its dirty work.

V’ger’s cleaning lady.

V’ger’s probe turned out to be as psychotic as its creator, even displaying a nervous twitch called a death grip. This replica of the previously living Deltan, Illia, not only stuck to V’ger’s initial purpose of acting as a liaison between the Enterprise’s crew and V’ger, but acted as a means for V’ger to merge with them. A frightening proposition from such an enormous entity, but on the face of it, from a Terran’s point-of-view, a much more sensible alternative than trying to help it out-humanoid humanoids (or exterminate them).

So the probe Illia figuratively mated with Humanity by sleeping with the human, Captain William Decker, who mourned and missed sleeping with the organic version of  Illia, the Deltan. And instead of producing the usual offspring through this process, V’ger “evolved” into a new living something-or-the-other (scientists never quite figured that out) and left the rest of Kirk’s crew the hell alone.

Don't look. V'ger mating..I mean, evolving.

Don’t look! V’ger mating…I mean, evolving.

Therefore, until such a time as when V’ger wants to mate and evolve again, Earth and, possibly, other planets are safe from its opportunistic and invasive practices. Let humanoids throughout the galaxy look up to the skies and pray to their respective supreme beings that V’ger’s libidinous drives remain low. And if ever another probe appears in the skies above Earth again, for God’s sake get a Deltan!

References:

Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Dir. Robert Wise. Paramount Pictures. 7 December 1979. Film. Retrieved: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Trek:_The_Motion_Picture

Sohl, Jerry. “The Corbomite Maneuver.” Star Trek. National Broadcasting Company. 10 November 1966. Television. Retrieved: http://memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/The_Corbomite_Maneuver_(episode)

Berman, Rick. Braga, Brannon. “The Expanse.” Star Trek: Enterprise. Paramount Pictures. 21 May 2003. Television. Retrieved: http://memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/The_Expanse_(episode)