We're not going to travel by transporter, though. It made Arunga so ill the first time around that we couldn't risk it again. Instead, we will be travelling by shuttlecraft, and for the first time it occurred to me to question why the Dirrians hadn't ever visited Tikarra Island by air. They might be afraid of the water, but flying? That was different, surely? I was astonished that I hadn't thought about it before. Traeth was standing beside me so I asked him and he laughed.
"Having been off world, I can tell you that Dirria is the most peculiar of places. While we do have scientists, they are a strange breed and not at all like those of other worlds. You have seen for yourself that we have very little technology indeed. The planet is very civilised but quite simplistic. As to flight, we have no such capability at all. Dirrians have never sought to conquer the sky."
"But your parents were astrophysicists, killed in a shuttle accident."
"Yes. When Dirria made first contact with the Federation, my parents became very interested in them. They learned about Starfleet and its Academy. They managed to secure themselves places on a study programme and left Dirria forever." Traeth's eyes became dreamy as he remembered. "They travelled the stars and they loved it."
"That must have been a really big thing … leaving Dirria, I mean."
"It was. Dirrians don't like off-worlders and don't want to have anything to do with people who aren't Dirrians. As far as they are concerned—" I noted that Traeth spoke of Dirrians rather than 'my people'. "—it was treacherous. My parents were shunned and considered traitors to Dirria. It's why they never had any intention of returning here. They knew they would never be accepted back."
"Oh my goodness!"
"And that's another reason why I've never been able to reintegrate back into Dirrian society. The sins of the father … isn't that something a Terran says?"
"So how and why did Dirria open communications with the Federation in the first place?"