- For other uses, see Preserver.
The Preservers were an ancient race of aliens known to have existed within the galaxy. They were known for visiting planets and removing specimens and transplanting them to other worlds.
The Preservers were a largely unknown civilization. Due to the absence of any reliable data, it was theorized that they deliberately wiped out all traces of themselves. It wasn't even certain if they themselves were humanoid or had chosen to spread that form for some unknown reason. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge) However, in 2409 it was revealed that they were Humanoid, and that they were the same race as the Progenitors. (STO mission: "Cold Storage")
It was known that they lived in the Rimward end of the Orion Arm, and they were believed to have seeded worlds on all sides of the Arm with humanoid life. As the historical record of earlier times indicates that the humanoid form was never as common as it was after the Preservers, it was supposed that they were laying the groundwork for humanoid mastery of that area of space. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge)
The Preservers coded themselves with genetic memory, storing the memories of their entire race into their DNA. Each Preserver, therefore, remembers the entire history of their species. (STO mission: "Cold Storage")
It was theorized that the Preservers were preceded by the "seeders", the group that placed humanoid life throughout the Milky Way Galaxy. (Last Unicorn RPG module: All Our Yesterdays: The Time Travel Sourcebook) Furthermore, the collective history of their society was stated to have spanned in excess of 2 billion years and thus made them one of the oldest corporeal species in the galaxy. (TOS novel: Preserver)
The Preservers were thought to be active between 38,000 BC (reference stardate -400/00) to 18,000 BC (stardate -200/00). The period was known as the Preserver Era, and was a relatively quiet period of galactic history, with only a handful of technologically advanced civilizations around, most planet-bound. If the Preservers had a significant empire, then it met with no opposition. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge)
At some point, the Preservers were known to have placed the Aegis that surrounded the galaxy in order to protect it from an unknown outside threat. To accomplish this feat, they created a number of outposts around the galaxy which were responsible for maintaining the barrier. Such outposts included one at Loken 5 which were not intended to last forever but to a time when the younger races had evolved to the point where they could defend themselves against these threats. (TOS comic: "The Enterprise Experiment, Part 5")
- Captain's Glory states that the Progenitors were responsible for creating the Galactic barrier in order to protect the younger races from the Totality. This could potentially mean that the Progenitors and the Preservers are the same species though this is speculation.
Amongst the many races that developed afterwards that were considered the children of the Preservers included the Organians and the Metron civilizations. As both races evolved into incorporeal beings, they became part of a number of elder races that were bound by the legacy of the Preservers which included a directive that prevented the interference in the development of the developing races. Afterwards, it was known that the Preservers left the galaxy for parts unknown and left their various outposts abandoned which ran on automated systems. In the aftermath, the elder races continued their duty entrusted to them by the Preservers with the mandate to allow the younger species to evolve naturally. This was because the Preservers desired that all their children grow and evolve by their own accomplishments. Over the course of tens of thousands of years, the various outposts of the Preservers that maintained the Aegis around the galaxy began to weaken as the equipment responsible for it began to fail. However, the Organians continued the duty charged to them of ensuring that the Preservers legacy was not abused. (TOS comic: "The Enterprise Experiment, Part 5")
It was known that one of the species that the Preservers took a special interest in was the Edosian race who had a special destiny placed upon them that was necessary for the galaxy in future years. As a result, Preserver outposts were instructed to transport any Edosian to their location for an unknown reason. (TOS comic: "The Enterprise Experiment, Part 5")
Around 38,000 BC (stardate -400/00), the Preservers were known to have visited the Rigel system in order to trade, like thousands of races before and after them. They started small and increased to a flood of ships, after which they faded away. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Deep Knowledge)
The Preservers disappeared around 18,000 BC (stardate -200/00). By apparent coincidence, the Orions were discovered on Rigel VIII 2000 years later, though it was previously thought to be uninhabited. Ancient Orion legends and lost records theorized that they were placed on the planet by aliens, suggesting that they were also a product of Preserver relocation. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge)
One of the first recorded actions was the transplantation of several Native American tribes from Earth. (TOS episode: "The Paradise Syndrome") It was also theorized that the Preservers also seeded 892-IV, or Magna Roma with Earth Romans, who established a parallel Roman Empire which lasted at least 20 centuries. (TOS episode: "Bread and Circuses"), TOS novel: Ex Machina) Despite these suspected involvements with the Preservers, there was very little evidence of their true identities although a Preserver space buoy was analyzed at Starbase 25 in the 23rd century. (TOS reference: Who's Who in Star Trek, Issue 2)
In 2188, the USS Argonaut made contact with the planet Capella IV and learned more of the society's history from the story in Lay of the Mountaintops which spoke of gods that placed the Capellans on their world. This led to speculation that the Preservers or perhaps Sargon's people were responsible for seeding Capella IV with life. (Decipher RPG module: Worlds)
In 2266, a month after the Romulans were visually identified as resembling Vulcans, the Vulcan Science Academy issued a theory postulating the Preservers as responsible for the two races' shared heritage. (FASA RPG module: Star Trek IV Sourcebook Update) In addition, during this age at a previously unexplored world, scientists from the Romulan Star Empire uncovered a series of ruins that belonged to the Preservers as well as a Stone that contained inscriptions to an unknown chemical formula. (FASA RPG module: Graduation Exercise) By the 23rd century, there was evidence of Preserver ruins on the planet Altair. (FASA RPG module: The Federation)
In the 2370s, there were a number of recorded encounters with constructed duplicates of important worlds which was presumably a part of the species preservation efforts. Starfleet managed to uncover at least three duplicate Earths, four duplicate Qo'noSs, two of Vulcan and one duplicate Andor. These worlds were kept highly classified by Starfleet for fear of the panic it would create to members of the United Federation of Planets. (TOS novel: Preserver)
In 2376, Julian Bashir theorized that the Preservers, as well as the Founders, could have been responsible for the genetic changes to the Yrythny. (DS9 novel: This Gray Spirit) Late in that same year, a Preserver device used to shrink a planet and save it from its primary's supernova was recovered by the USS da Vinci along with Araneus, the member of the planet's race entrusted with keeping it safe. Araneus reported that the individual from which they received the pyramid-shaped device resembled a member of their own race, the arachnid-like Koas, though this could merely have been an illusion in order to better blend in on their planet. He also reported their people had made a vow to the Koas six million years ago, and though the Preservers were almost gone in the present time, they still upheld their vow through saving their planet from destruction. The planet was successfully expanded at the star Mu Arae by Bart Faulwell, ship's linguist; it proceeded to reshape the entire star system as well, moving a number of gas giants into more stable orbits that would not negatively impact the Koa homeworld, quite blatantly demonstrating the level of their engineering achievements. (SCE eBook: Small World)
By the year 2378, there were many critics and proponents on the matter of whether the Preservers were real or not. However, it was discovered that the Preservers were responsible for placing one of their obelisks at a secret base used by the First Federation in order to prevent it from falling into the hands of Emperor Tiberius Kirk. They were also involved in deploying a much larger obelisk around the Mirror Universe counterpart of Halkan and attempted to destroy the Mirror Universe by channeling a massive amount of energy into the alternate reality but these actions were stopped by James T. Kirk. (TOS novels: Dark Victory, Preserver)
One of the worlds seeded by the Preservers was Defera, home of the Deferi. The relics and ruins left behind by the Preservers in Deferi space were sought after by the Breen. In 2409, when Starfleet interfered to protect the Deferi, they uncovered clues about the Preservers which would lead to the discovery of the Preserver Archive. (STO mission: "Cold Call")
When they discovered the Archive, it was learned that a number of Preservers were still alive inside the Archive, "asleep" for many thousands of years. They had placed themselves into stasis, waiting for some of their descendants to find them and reawaken them. (STO mission: "Cold Storage")
- It is possible that the Anu'anshee race may have been the Preservers.
There was much controversy over the existence and actions of the Preservers.
Critics of the theory argued that the preservation efforts that were documented were similar to the colonization as well as the spread of many space-going civilizations. They believed that the myth of the Preservers were actually the efforts and accomplishments of dozens of unrelated extinct cultures. These critics thus did not believe that all their actions were attributable to a single all-encompassing civilization.
Proponents, however, pointed out the existence of the Preserver obelisks as proof that a single culture was responsible for the seedings of various planets in the galaxy. But critics were quick to point out that other races may have duplicated the construction of the obelisk and that they served as a universal cultural talisman for the efforts made in preservation.
Those who practiced Psychohistory believed that the Preservers were a guiding force in the development of the Federation. In fact, they were believed to be directly responsible for influencing events as diverse as first contact between Humanity and Vulcans to the assignment of James T. Kirk as captain of the USS Enterprise. To the psychohistorians, the Preservers were responsible for choosing such individuals to command positions in order for them to serve unwittingly as their agents. (TOS novels: Dark Victory, Preserver)
The Preserver hoax was a scandalous incident in the 23rd century in which three non-related but friendly Orion families sold counterfeit Preserver artifacts and documents to gullible Federation historians. They made a small fortune, while several reputations were shattered. (FASA RPG - The Orions module: Book of Common Knowledge)