(( Daaka Waters ))
How did one explain the concept of ‘so bad it is good’ to an alien? Beyond saying ‘humans are crazy.’ Which they were, no doubt about it. But then again arguably so was every other species in the galaxy.
Some days Cade Foster believed that madness was the only constant in the universe.
Foster: yes! Like if you watch a little kid perform. They’re not good and you don’t expect them to be good. But you enjoy it anyways.
Mo’kana: So Ferengi are children?
He hid a smirk behind his helmet. Many would say that was accurate.
Tannhauser: don’t let a Ferengi hear you say that.
Mo’kana: Ah, so Ferengi are not children. But they act like them?
T’Seva: :: laughing :: Sometimes. In this case, though, it is an example of somebody trying to make money off of another person's culture, without understanding enough about said culture to pull it off. Not really childlike, just not thought through.
Tannhauser: I think we all can act like children sometimes.
T'Seva: Not just can, but should!
He considered this for a moment and decided to test the limits of the translator.
Foster: Mo’kana, is there a difference in your language between ‘child-like’ and childish?
She slowed in the junction between current pathways and considered the question as the translator worked through the words.
Mo’kana: I think I understand. One is … is the word immature? The other is keeping joy?
Cade smiled and offered a nod.
Foster: Exactly. Then hopefully there’s a common concept between all of our peoples that one is bad, and one is good.
She waved her fins in what appeared to be a gesture of assent.
Tannhauser: speaking of acting like children: are we there yet?
T'Seva: :: laughing :: I don't know...I don't know which of those buildings it is, if it's any of them.
Bubbles rose around Mo’kana’s fins and she flipped in the water herding the trio into the last current,
Mo’kana: Yes, yes. Almost there! Ride this current to the large pink coral structure.
Cade scanned the watery horizon and was surprised to see a deep mauve coral structure covered in pink flowering growths. It was spectacularly warm and colorful, highlighted by biotechnologically enhanced lights.
Like a living glowing flower garden and building all combined into one. And underwater.
Soon they were close enough to leave the current and float freely in the open space. What land dwellers would call ‘pedestrian’ space.
Mo’kana: There, you see? The brightly colored building with sculptures in the surrounding kelp.
T'Seva: In that case...
T’Seva sped off – or swam as fast as her suit would allow, which was more than a little amusing to watch.
Cade opted for enjoying the very scenic view and casually floating forward at a measured pace that fit his age – and kept him from looking too awkward in the suit.
Foster: Go right ahead. Don’t mind me, I’m enjoying the view.
Mo’kana split the difference, staying halfway in between the fastest and the slowest of her charges.
T'Seva: Is that sculpture intentionally built to provide a habitat for those fish?
The Xindi guide floated closer and flipped in the water once.
Mo’kana: It is! They are call colealoc fish, and we noticed that the coral structures that we use as buildings in Daaka – while perfectly melded with the vast majority of the flora and fauna here, were the perfect nesting and breeding grounds for the colealoc’s most notable predator. To solve this we created safe nesting grounds for them.
Foster: And did you specifically engineer them to be artistic
Bubbles rose from Mo’kana’s gills and she seemed to smile.
Mo’kana: No, the originals were bulky and unattractive. But we had a local artist by the name of Ji’haya who decided that they would be more accepted by the population if they could be turned into art. And it worked, very well! You will see these sculptures all over the city.
Mo’kana: They are stocked with eggs and ample food each breeding season and then emptied as the fish inside reach maturity. They are far less susceptible to predation once they reach maturity, so this keeps a balance between species.
Foster: I’d love the see the data on the species renewal.
He said, the scientific part of his mind was turning.
Mo’kana: I am not a scientist, but I know they publish moon-cycle reports. Including tracking all known species in and outside the city limits.
Cade was impressed. The Xindi seemed to have an intense focus on natural preservation and natural resources.
Lt Commander Cade Foster
Chief Medical Officer