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Sins of Omission

Posted on Thu Jul 20th, 2017 @ 7:36pm by Lieutenant Laree Desai

Personal Log, Lieutenant Laree Desai, Chief Science Officer
Star date 25 March, 2394

This is a story my father told me…

I was working as a contract geologist on Tymor 7, and hostilities broke out between the two major powers on the planet. The minor powers asked me to help negotiate a treaty, because I was an outsider, and neutral, and was respected for my integrity. But no one could have negotiated a treaty with these men because they didn’t want peace. The one was a 74 year old infant with a glass ego and no impulse control. The other was as cold and hard as if he had been raised on the Siberian tundra by a pack of wolves. Between them they had the nuclear capacity to destroy their planet five times over, and both of them wanted nothing more than to launch missiles at each other from the safety of their underground bunkers, and watch the world burn. But they were still in the flirting stage, drawing it out, dancing slowly down the road to armageddon, sometimes the one leading, sometimes the other. I was trying to find a way through to disarmament when the Federation Star Ship Columbus showed up in low atmosphere. They had just been ambushed by some devil or other, and needed to make repairs. They had no interest in the planet they were orbiting, except as a source of supplies.

What was I to do? The negotiations were going nowhere, and the two leaders had moved on from flirting to not-so-gentle caresses. I contacted the Starfleet ship and asked them to intervene. They had the muscle to enforce a disarmament. My coworkers on the planet relaxed a little, and for a couple of days everyone thought it was going to be okay. But then we got word from Columbus—the Prime Directive prohibited them from interfering, because of some criterion or other that I don’t care about. If the people on the planet wanted to blow themselves to smithereens, that was their business and Starfleet wasn’t going to interfere. Six weeks in orbit, and Starfleet was gone.

Two weeks to the day after the Columbus departed, the nukes flew. We were gone by then, and we took as many with us as would go, which was few enough. Every living thing on that planet, the entire civilization—ashes. Today, Tymore 7 is a dead planet.

The Tymorians that escaped—mostly my colleagues and their families—brought a grievance before Starfleet. They were shuffled around six different departments before they landed in a conference room with five Starfleet admirals, the captain of the Columbus, and me. Starfleet backed their captain, and I wish I could say I was surprised. The captain hid behind protocol. But my friends… They had no hate left in them. Every molecule of horror, enmity, venom, and loathing had burned up with their world—there was no more pain left for them to feel. And from the depth of their loss they drew forth a kindness I have never seen either before or since. They kissed the captain on both cheeks and accepted Starfleet’s settlement.

....

My father would talk to me then about grace, and humanity. But always I would wonder, at what price peace?

 

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Comments (2)

By Lieutenant Yumi Han on Sat Jul 22nd, 2017 @ 5:41am

I recognize a parable about the Trump/Putin bromance destroying the Earth when I see it, lol. ;)

Quite chilling, really. There will be no rescue from the stars. Somehow, we have to not burn ourselves up with a nuclear pissing contest or our belligerent shirking of sustainable living.

By Ensign Luka Stern on Mon Jul 24th, 2017 @ 10:40pm

Great story--looking forward to getting to know this character and learn from her experience.