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The Prometheus had been orbiting Alpha, Nede to the Velathra, for six-weeks now.  Marcus was in his office off the bridge.  He was at his desk writing his log.  His desk was cluttered with papers (he preferred hard copies to electronic format but was quickly realizing that the ship’s paper supply was dwindling fast).  There were various reports on the alien civilization and its planet. A cup of warm coffee was next to his keyboard.

September 9, 2143, 01:33 Earth Standard.

It’s been nearly one year since we left Earth on our voyage to a truly “New World.”  Progress was slow at first, but our mission is progressing more rapidly now.  Alpha, or Nede, as the natives call it, is a virtual paradise.  It has a large temperate zone and is rich in minerals and fossil fuels.  The biologists have found some interesting flora that may have some very promising pharmaceutical applications.  We are still hampered by being restricted to relatively uninhabited regions of the planet, but what we have found is a veritable treasure trove.

Great progress has been made with the alien population as well.  We have extracted 15 subjects to date.  The neurological blocks appear to be effective and the subjects have no memory of their visit to the ship.  We have been able to acquire the subjects early at night and usually hold them no more than six or eight hours.  The ship’s computers, with the aid of Doctor Barnes and Doctor Gorko, our linguist, have been able to master the rudiments of the language of the aliens in the region on which we are focusing. 

From what we have gathered so far, the region we are concentrating on is typical of the other settlements.  Technological advancement seems to be fairly equal among the various native settlements.  Apparently, they have developed a sophisticated trade system, which led to technological exchanges. 

The aliens are social and appear to be very communal in nature. Their surname is written or stated before their personal name.  The governmental structure is much like that of the ancient Greek City-States, albeit without the institutions of slavery or the exclusion of certain demographic members from democratic participation.  Day-to-day matters are handled by a city council that is elected by popular vote.  The city council elects from its membership a chancellor who serves as the chief executive.  Little else is known at this time about the structure of their government.

Economically, the Nedians have developed a rudimentary version of a private market system and there is a sophisticated trade system between city-states. The natives have developed trade guilds.  The guilds appear to be controlled by large extended families.  These families or “Houses” control a great majority of the trade and commerce of the city. 

Technologically, they are far behind Earth.  In fact, there is little industrialization. Little else is known at the time.

The oddest thing thus far is the apparent lack of a military institution.  With their level of technology, one would expect primitive firearms, but there is no indication.  The subjects don’t even understand the concept of warfare.  Maybe this is paradise.

If all goes well, Ambassador Sokolov and I will make our first official contact with Vexian Solus, the leader of the city state of Lexthra, a week from today. 

Marcus got up from his desk, turned off his computer, grabbed his coffee, cup and went over to the coffeepot.  It was nearly two o’clock in the morning, and he had been up since five a.m. the previous morning.  But he had planned to interview the last subject to be taken tonight before he and the ambassador made “official contact.”  He didn’t like playing the part of the “alien abductor” and was glad this would be the last night.   He reached the coffee pot on the counter and poured himself his eighth cup of coffee for the day and walked over to his bathroom where he grabbed a couple of stimulant pills.  His office door chimed.

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