This posting tells what little is "officially" known of Miramanee's world. But the Star Trek novel Preserver expands significantly on the story of Miramanee's "Wise Ones." Star Trek novels aren't considered part of the canon, but as far as I'm concerned, they should be.
Preserver takes place in the The Next Generation era. James T. Kirk died in Star Trek: Generations but was, er, reconstructed. He joins Spock, McCoy, and Captain Picard's crew in battling Tiberius, emperor of the Mirror Universe.
According to Preserver, Captain Kirk discovered the first Preserver artifact: Miramanee's obelisk. By the time of the novel, the Federation has discovered another 117 obelisks, none of which they can figure out. Then Kirk stumbles across the 119th obelisk, which was manufactured only six years previously.
Far from vanishing billions of years ago, the Preservers are still alive. More to the point, they're still manipulating people and events. In addition to seeding worlds with humanoid life, they've created duplicate Earths (e.g., Miri's world in "Miri").
What Preserver says
Here's Preserver's description of the origin of Miramanee's world:
That was where the name "Preservers" had come from. For on the Class-M world, it had been the obelisk that had protected and maintained the original culture of the transplanted humans. At the time, the abduction event itself had seemed to McCoy to have been a benign intervention in the history of a troubled and warlike world--Earth.
The proof was illustrated by the likely fate the tribal group on the Class-M planet would have suffered on Earth if they had not been abducted. The histories of a hundred different worlds contained examples of what happened during the initial stage of global exploration and expansion--when two cultures meet, the culture that is least technologically advanced seldom survives.
For all that Starfleet pressed for the ongoing exploration of the galaxy, it wasn't just McCoy who understood the unspoken question that accompanied each unexpected first contact: What would happen to the Federation when it finally met a more advanced culture that had no Prime Directive?
Many of the Preservers' manipulations revolve around Captain Kirk. They may have intervened to give him command of the Enterprise early, and sent the Vulcans to meet Zefram Cochrane's first warp flight. Kirk and crew are stunned at the magnitude of these acts: the power to manufacture whole planets and arrange events eons in advance.
Our heroes even wonder if the Preservers created the Mirror Universe. As it turns out, no, but they anticipated its creation and used it in their plot. Again, the scope of their machinations is almost impossible to grasp.
Everything they've done has served to bring Kirk to a single time and place. Billions of years of scheming finally culminate in Kirk's meeting them and learning what they want.
What the Preservers believe
The Preservers disagree with the Federation's Prime Directive. Their philosophy is that moral beings must intercede to help each other. Their actions--spreading life and saving people from extinction--exemplify this credo.
They've chosen Kirk, who has never liked the Prime Directive, to convey their age-old beliefs. To be a new kind of "preserver." His career of aiding others stands as a rebuke to the Federation's hands-off policy. It signifies that the Federation must change its detached ways or suffer disastrous consequences.
This is a powerful conclusion because it ties together so many Trek threads: the many Earth-like races and worlds, Kirk's "luck" at being in the right place at the right time, and his ambivalence about the Prime Directive. And it all stems from one little story about a Native world. Because Kirk met and fell for Miramanee, the future of the galaxy has changed.
The Prime Directive in reality
Are Kirk and the Preservers right about the Prime Directive? You could apply this conundrum to America's history and see what you get. Are Indians better off because Europeans brought their arts and sciences and technology along with drink, disease, and death? Hard to say.
You could apply the conundrum to Iraq too. Are the Iraqi people better off with Saddam Hussein gone and their country in ruins? With the hope of democratic peace and the reality of civil war? Again, it's hard to say.
Preserver is a thought-provoker. Unfortunately, the nitty-gritty of its storytelling isn't quite as impressive as the big themes I've outlined. Still, it's a fine Star Trek novel.
Rob's rating: 8.0 of 10.