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Rated: E · Fiction · Action/Adventure · #2293060
Episode V: Part IV - B'alos is destroyed by Intolerance & Hate / Return to Vulcan
Part IV

Stardate: Sept. 17, 2097

Ordered to escort Gella and Ragel separately and away from each other, security officers maintained a constant presence around the two B’alosians as the Stargazer continues on its journey to B’alos. Allowed to speak and interact with crew members, both Gella and Ragel attempt to enlist the sympathies of the senior officers and crew while en route to their home world.

Approaching B’alos, Beta analyzed the sensor readings from her station on the bridge. She swiveled her chair in the direction of Foxwell. “Captain, sensors have detected massive destruction of major cities. Fires and secondary explosions continue to erupt all over the planet.”

Foxwell stood. “What the hell is going on down there? Do sensors indicate or confirm any interplanetary attack from known or unknown vessels?”

“Negative,” Beta replied. “The destruction appears to be solely the result of conflict on B’alos. It’s reasonable to assume there has been a major escalation of their global civil war.”

“What’s your best initial assessment?”

Beta pressed her lips together, then sighed. “Total worldwide destruction, Captain, with no indication of any living humanoids remaining on the planet.”

Foxwell stood. "Xuriya," he shouted while staring at the main viewing screen. "Open all channels … position all communication arrays in the direction of B’alos. Commence standard communications protocol.”

“All channels open, Captain; transmitting on all frequencies.”

“Maintain a continuous transmission loop.”

“Aye, sir."

Foxwell turned in the direction of his Chief Security Officer. “Lieutenant Warwick. What’s the status regarding our guests’ whereabouts?”

Warwick glanced at the crew locator on his control panel. “Gella is in the crews lounge,” he replied. “Ragel is in the security department. Both are under escort.”

Foxwell craned his head in the direction of the communications station. “Anything?”

“No response, sir.”

Beta returned to her station. She leaned over and reviewed the sensor readings before turning in the direction of Foxwell. “Sensors confirm more than a billion dead … the remaining population of the planet. It appears they have mutually destroyed themselves as a consequence of their ongoing political conflict.”

Foxwell ambled slowly in the direction of his security chief. “Have security escort Gella and Ragel to my ready room,” he ordered, his tone of voice somber.

“Aye, Captain.”

Captain’s Ready Room:

Informed by the Foxwell of their findings, Gella and Ragel are offered a choice of beginning a new life on Vulcan or Earth, imploring them to give up their mutual hatred of one another, reminding both that same antipathy resulted in the destruction of their planet and genocide of their people.

Ragel turned and stared at Gella, an expression of hostility contorting his face. “You … you and your people did this," he raged, “you uncivilized representative of all that’s putrid and evil. You destroyed our planet and killed my people.”

“I killed your people?” Gella screamed back at Ragel. “No, it was you … you and your pathological megalomaniacs who have wielded all power and control for centuries. You destroyed our planet and killed my people.”

Ragel and Gella lunged at each other, both grasping the other by the neck. An audible and noticeable energy aura appeared around both as they struggled in the small compartment comprising the ready room. A security officer attempted to separate them, but was thrown backwards by the energy generated by the electromagnetic field.

“Enough,” shouted Foxwell. “Keep this up and you’ll accomplish the same thing that has occurred on your planet. You’ll kill each other or destroy the Stargazer. Neither of you will survive.”

Releasing each other, they doubled over, both exhausted from the struggle and ensuing energy drain.

“Again, I appeal to both of you to set aside your hatred,” Foxwell implored. “You are the only survivors of a destroyed world. Accept our offer of a new life on Earth or Vulcan.”

“Captain Foxwell is correct,” Chu’lok joined in. “Accept the offer extended and return with us to begin a new life. It is the only logical alternative.”

“I prefer to return to my home world,” Gella demanded.

“I too, prefer to return to B’alos,” Ragel insisted.

Strolling over the faces of the last living survivors of a worldwide armageddon, Beta again attempted to persuade Gella and Ragel to reconsider.

“Your planet is a dead world,” she reminded them. “There are no living B’alosians remaining. The infrastructure has been totally destroyed. Your decision to return is totally unreasonable.

“Highly illogical, Chu’lok noted. “Long term survival will be impossible,” he warned.

Gella and Ragel continued to insist they be returned to B’alos.

Foxwell shook his head in quiet contemplation and sighed. “There is no recourse but to grant their requests,” he sadly acquiesced. Walking quietly around the cramped compartment, the Stargazer’s senior officer stopped, looking outside the ready room’s only viewing port at the surface below. The starship was close enough to view thousands of fires still raging across the battered globe, the resultant smoke and ash rising up through the atmosphere, slowly spreading over its once living green surface and blue oceans like a metastasizing cancer.

The ready room’s companel emitted a hailing signal.

“Foxwell here.”

“Captain, our trajectory toward B'alos remains unchanged,” the navigator cautioned. “If we continue on our present course the Stargazer will breach orbital parameters and enter the planet’s atmosphere.”

“Prepare to assume standard orbit," Foxwell ordered.

“Aye, sir.”

Foxwell spun around and faced everyone in the ready room. “Although B’alos is now a dead world, neither Gella nor Ragel have committed any crime that would require they be returned to Vulcan or Earth to face charges. And we cannot force them against their will to remain with us.”

Beta nodded. “The reasonable expectation would be for the only two survivors of B’alos to remain with us … but I agree they cannot be forced to do so.”

“And I concur,” Chu’lok noted. “It is the only logical alternative, but I acknowledge they have the right to exercise their own choice ... even if that choice ultimately proves to be illogical."

Foxwell glimpsed at his first officer. “Make preparations to ferry our guests to a non-battle zone of their choice on the planet’s surface. Chief of Security Warwick and two of his officers will accompany you. Gella and Ragel will be restrained in separate seats in the rear of the shuttle. Arrange for a containment field to be activated in a manner which ensures our B'alosian guests remain separated."

"Aye, Captain."

Standing next to Chu’lok on the bridge and observing the shuttlecraft depart on the main viewer, Foxwell sadly declared all Gella and Ragel have left is their mutual hatred of each other. “There is no question they wish to continue the fight, even if it means the total extinction of their species.”

“The last two sapient life forms on a dead planet,” Chu’lok dispassionately noted.

Foxwell watched the main viewer as new fires and secondary explosions continued to erupt on the surface of B’alos. “It’s difficult and frightening to believe Earth came close to suffering a similar fate,” he confessed to Chu’lok. “Our planet was on the verge of a global civil war; intolerance and hate had escalated to the point liberals and conservatives had drawn up their plans to annihilate each other ... but cooler heads finally prevailed. A catastrophe was averted. Now we look back and wonder how that even happened. It’s required reading at the academy.”

“And I confess past events were very similar on Vulcan,” Chu’lok acknowledged. “We were once an extremely violent and emotional people. War, paranoia, and homicidal rage was common, to the point our violent nature threatened our own extinction as well. It was only through a culture of strict discipline, study, and meditation that we evolved and replaced emotion with a mastery of logic in nearly every aspect of our existence.”

Foxwell sighed deeply. “It’s a tragedy that what worked for Vulcan and Earth was never given a chance on B’alos. All those misguided people had was their mutual intolerance and hatred, and they couldn’t evolve beyond it.”

Xuriya swiveled her chair in the direction of Foxwell and Chu’lok. “Captain, Commander Beta reports she has returned Gella and Ragel to the planet’s surface. There were no issues. The shuttlecraft is on a return course to the Stargazer.

“Very well,” Foxwell replied, returning to the command chair. "Helmsman, Navigator," he shouted out. “Prepare to set a course for Vulcan as soon as the shuttle and its crew have safely returned to the hangar bay.”

“Aye, Captain,” they replied in unison.

Foxwell gazed quickly around the bridge before returning his attention back to the Vulcan diplomat. “We have a group of Vulcan exchange students who are eager to begin their journey to Earth,” he announced, a tired look in his eyes.

The bridge crew looked around at each other. They were again perplexed by Foxwell’s use of a certain adjective within his pronouncement.

Chu’lok portrayed a contemplative expression. “Did you say …. ‘eager’ Captain?”

The End

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