White Flight to the Stars

enneth E. Butler

6714 General Drive                                                                                           about 12,521 words

Richmond, Texas 77469

(281) 545-1114


















by Kenneth E. Butler


Chapter I

Captain James T. Kirk of the USS Enterprise stared at the chessboard in front of him. His brow was furrowed in thought. Suddenly, a voice destroyed his concentration.

“It’s your move, Captain,” stated the logical alien first officer, Mr. Spock.

“I know that, Mr. Spock. “If only though he knew where to move! Aha! King to Knight’s Pawn Three placing the Bishop in a defensive position.

But Spock saw this move, saw an opening, and took Kirk’s queen. The ship’s communicator interrupted their game.

“Captain Kirk, Trilate is ahead: please report to the bridge.”

“Coming,” Kirk said into the ship’s intercom.

On the bridge, and on the ship’s view screen, he saw a planet covered by clouds. Underneath the clouds he could make out a vast expanse of desert land interspersed with green oceans, and, he could see small particles of mulch and other fertile areas.

“Status report, Mr. Spock,?” he asked.

The first officer  looked up from his library computer where he was listening to the output, as he was the only person on board the ship who could read the electrical bit noises directly without the benefit of the universal translator.

“Class M planet, sir, helium-argon-oxygen atmosphere, 58%, 22%, 20% respectively. The oceans comprise approximately sixty percent of the planet’s surface. Humanoid inhabitants. Shall we send an exploratory team down, Captain?”

“First, let’s get some background information on the populace.”

If he was going to send his people down, he wanted to know what type of people they would be dealing with.

“Computer, personality and socio-analysis of major races on planet,” Kirk said.

– INSUFFICIENT DATA ON THIS SUBJECT -, intoned  the female voice.

“I thought the planet had been explored, Mr. Spock?” questioned  Kirk.

“Apparently, Starfleet was in error,” Spock hypothesized , “Perhaps it was only noted and mapped. “

“Give us a visual and sensory scan of the major population centers,” stated  Kirk.

Cylindrically shaped edifices appeared on the main viewing screen of the ship’s bridge : the buildings appeared to be rods of glass or some kind of translucent plastic. Solid glass tubes connected the buildings in which black  people were being whisked to and from buildings. Other similar cities appeared in the fertile areas.

“Attempt communication,” Kirk said to Lt. Uhura.

The communications officer replied, “I’m getting a signal, Captain.”

“Display, Uhura.”

“Yes, sir.”

A pisogram of a very dignified elderly black man appeared standing in front of Kirk. He was about six feet tall, wearing very flamboyant clothing, colored in red, blue, and yellow. He also wore a headdress of red, blue, and yellow globules and what appeared  to be feathers of some kind of bird.

“I am Min Son Kee Tra 712,” the alien said , “Who may I ask are you?”

“I am Captain James T. Kirk, commanding the USS Enterprise, a vessel from Starfleet sent by the United Federation of Planets, what can I do for you?”

“You can send down a search party,” the alien said in a telepathic transmission. Although what Kirk heard was, “Welcome to my planet. What is mine is yours.”

“I appreciate your hospitality and every effort will be made to get along with you. We will beam down a greeting party soon. Until then, Kirk out.”

Kirk quickly put a search party together in his mind. He would send his first officer, Mr. Spock, whose scientific and engineering expertise would be useful. Also, Lt. Shieh, a physical scientist of Chinese descent with PhD’s in physics, chemistry, and mathematics; Ensign Welch, a very attractive blond  that also happened to be an esteemed anthropologist; and Second Sub lieutenant Decker, a historian, who was well noted for his diplomacy. Decker had bartered with the Romulans for dilithium crystals from the asteroid Riga.

Leonard McCoy had raised objections to Kirk wanting to send a search party instead of a plasma drone. However, Kirk felt diplomacy and speed were needed. He sincerely hoped he was right.

His thoughts were interrupted by the beep of the communicator: “Captain-” and that was that.

Spock, Shieh, Decker, and the beautiful Ensign Welch landed. Specifically, they were in a building, in an office of Kee Tra 712. He stood in front of them in a regal costume.

Spock managed a hello, saw the flash emerge from black uniformed guards on the underside of the office, and then the lights went out. Spock managed to contact the Enterprise before losing consciousness.

“Where are we, Mr. Spock?” Shieh asked despairingly.

“We are precisely at latitude 24.13579, longitude 28.29654,” said the Vulcan.

“Sir?” Decker and Welch questioned.

Then Decker, “Please, Mr. Spock. Oh, never mind.”

To be truthful , the crew of the USS Enterprise was standing in a large cave. The walls and stones were a grayish-white. Hanging along the roof were thousands of sharp stalactites. On the floor of the cave was a similar pattern of stalagmites. The Enterprise crew was enclosed in a glass cage.

Spock felt for his communicator, however, he discovered it was gone. The rest of the crew found their equipment missing also. Presently, a large portly black man entered the cave. He was dressed in a white costume that was neatly molded to his entire body. Attending him were several white women clad in bikinis.

“What is your purpose with us?” Spock asked.

“Shut up, slave,” the man said viciously as a ray of purplish-blue light emanated from his gun and hit the Vulcan.

Spock was immediately aware that the pain was the most intense he had ever felt in his memory. Immediately, he decided it would be wise to obey this alien, if he desired to escape. Therefore he obeyed.

“We shall teach you discipline, Vulcan,” the man stated.

Spock immediately answered, “Yes, I shall obey.”

“Bend down and pray.” He immediately did so. However, realizing that his crew would lose respect if he continued behaving in a subservient manner, Spock reached out with his right hand and yanked the man’s ankle. The man fell hard to the ground letting out a yelp. The Vulcan then dispatched him with a nerve pinch.

“Let’s go!,” Spock yelled.

Decker, Welch and Shieh then proceeded to follow the Enterprise’s first officer out of the cave, and were immediately greeted by a dark South-American looking rain forest. Amidst the forest was a trail made up of gold stones, which seemingly continued forever. Nonetheless, there was a veer in the trail that led to a large golden edifice.

Immediately upon seeing the trail, Welch exclaimed, “Why it’s beautiful.”

Spock, after hearing the emotional outburst, stared hard at the beautiful anthropologist.

Welch blushed and looked away.

“I am much more interested in your evaluation of the society, Ensign Welch,” Spock said.

Welch became her professional self, “It appears in the group we have so far encountered, the dominant race is black whereas the subservient race is white. This situation is in marked contrast to the United States on Earth where blacks were utilized as cheap labor beginning in the 1600s and extending into the middle of the 19th century.”

“Yes, as I recall, they were freed by the prominent American President Abraham Lincoln,” replied Spock.

“Unfortunately, Mr. Spock, I believe we are regarded as only slightly better than animals,” Welch said.

Decker looked disgusted and said, “Well isn’t it just like the human race to put its brothers in bondage.”

“Indeed,” the Vulcan said.

Shieh said something for the first time on the trip, “Well, shall we proceed?”

The others nodded their heads in agreement and began to walk. They passed through rich, multicolored vegetation on either side of the trail. Curiously enough, Spock noticed the vegetation did not extend past an imaginary plane perpendicular to the ground on either side of the trail. The Vulcan theorized it was a force field.

After walking about thirteen kilometers, the castle loomed above them. It appeared to be no more than two thousand kilometers in the distance. It was extremely elegant being made of gold and shaped like a giant bell with blocklike extensions on either side of it. Covering the castle were figures that appeared to be chiefs.

Their admiration was cut off by a yell in the treetops above them. Four Caucasians leapt out of the branches. One made the mistake of diving at Spock, and the Vulcan dispatched him with a well-placed kick to the groin. Meanwhile, Welch and her antagonist were wrestling on the floor. He appeared to be winning and was sexually molesting her. He had torn off her blouse  exposing her bodacious breasts. He had started to caress one before Decker landed a quick, fatal karate chop to his neck. Meanwhile, Shieh had knocked his opponent senseless. Decker was losing the fight to his current opponent. Luckily for Decker, Mr. Spock was in a hurry. The alien had Decker flat on his back and was slowly choking him to death. Decker had lost consciousness before Spock kicked Decker’s aggressor in the face.

Unfortunately for the first officer of the USS Enterprise, the man was not a bad fighter. He reached underneath his tunic producing a sharp knife. He made several passing jabs at Spock almost hitting him where his heart would have been had he been a Terran. He and Spock crouched below facing each other. Suddenly, the man ran forward and with a piercing yell lunged at the first officer. Spock was faster. He turned, wheeled, grabbed the man’s shoulder and flipped him resoundingly to the floor. Spock then methodically chopped at his face a few minutes and then walked away, leaving a trail a blood coming from the man’s broken face.

The search party of the Enterprise began to compose itself and repair their clothing. Welch had used the miniature matter-energy converter to repair her blouse .

“All right,” said the voice, “we have seen that you are good fighters, now we shall see if you are good slaves as well.”

Chapter II

Captain James T. Kirk was lying in bed with a beautiful Rigellian princess engaged in heavy lovemaking. Interrupting their lovemaking was a piercing call of Mr. Scott via the ship’s intercom.

“Calling Captain Kirk. Captain Kirk to the bridge.”

“Just a minute, Scotty,” Kirk managed to reply.

The princess asked if he had to leave and he said yes.

On the bridge of the Enterprise, Mr. Scott was looking intently at a view scan of the planet.

Kirk angrily asked him, “If that’s what you called me up here for… ” He left the sentence unfinished.

“No sir, it’s not,” he responded indignantly, “you know me better than that, sir”.

Mr. Scott pressed a few buttons and played with a few dials. The screen showed the scene on the planet a few hours ago with Mr. Spock, Lt. Shieh, Ensign Welch, and Sublt. Decker engaged in combat. The screen began to crackle and electronic noises were being emitted; then the picture became fuzzy and the screen went black. Kirk expressed his consternation, but Scotty replied that this was the signal they had, and the energy beam needed to transport the image had been rendered ineffective. Kirk than decided to call a briefing.

In the briefing room, sat the top officers of the USS Enterprise. Kirk informed all that he didn’t know what the situation was. He had pretty well decided already to send another search party down, but he wanted to know his advisors’ opinions first.

“Well, gentle beings you know the situation, opinions?,” Kirk asked.

Lieutenant M’ress purred, and then said, “Rrry not send a robot probe down, Captain Kirk?

“Yes, Captain, the probe could be made to locate a being with Mr. Spock’s specific brain waves and chemistry and beam the information aboard. Why with that pointy-eared Vulcan’s unique chemistry, it is impossible to lose him! Also we would incur no loss of life,” said the esteemed Dr. McCoy.

Lt. Uhura made the addendum that whereas the probe was useful in some ways, it still was not quite as intelligent as a human and couldn’t react as fast. Also all its actions were prerecorded reactions to other situations that it had encountered in the past and it would take some time for it to respond correctly to any unique, novel situation.

Kirk said, “Well, what I think I will do is send down some special spacers.”

The special spacers were a group of highly intelligent, well trained paramilitary human and alien personnel designed for special situations. Some had been bred so they could live in any kind of atmosphere, and others possessed incredible strength. Still others had ray-proof bodies. It was extremely difficult to kill a special spacer. That was, of course, the reason that Kirk wanted to send them.

The others agreed with a slight hesitation.   Kirk thought they were worried a life may be lost. It might happen, he reflected, but that was a chance man had been taking ever since he first ventured into the unknown realm of space. Indeed the chance had been taken ever since man was put on this earth.

However, with McCoy and Scotty’s prodding, Kirk decided that he would also send down an electronic probe to be used in place of the humans wherever possible.

Chapter III

The five special spacers and the probe stood on the planet’s surface. They were very near a large outcrop of a material that resembled gold. Surrounding them was a vast desert-like region similar in terrain and climate to the Sahara Desert on Earth. For miles there stretched nothing but sand. Nevertheless, there were a few plants resembling Terran cacti around.

The leader of the group, Chieko Moriba, stood near the largest outcropping. She was of Japanese ancestry, an attractive female. She was a slim lady, had long black hair, smallish breasts, and a full mouth. A product of the Eugenics Wars of the early 21st century, she was fluent in several languages, and was indestructible.

She turned and said, “I think maybe we should go that way,” pointing in a southeasterly direction.

The others began to follow. They kept moving through the dense vegetation without seeing anyone or anything. In fact, the trip was simply boring. Harri showed his boredom by nervously clenching and unclenching his claws.

An hour later a beeping noise came from the probe. “Ah ha!,” Dr. Person thought.

“Probe, where is the target search party?” she asked.

“The largest search party is 30 kilometers due west,” answered the probe, “that is, in Gradient 10.”

The others discussed the situation amongst themselves and then decided to proceed.

“Let us proceed,” said Chieko, then turning to the probe she said, “Probe, proceed along the path you have started, staying an approximate distance of five kilometers ahead of us at all times.” She left unstated the fact that the probe would constantly be sending back information to their party, preparing them in case they had a fight.

They then proceeded along the path indicated by the probe, it relaying back information to them. They went through the vast desert like area for several hundred kilometers until it began to encroach upon a place that looked like a South American jungle. They soon found the same golden statue that the first search party had found. They walked a little distance along the path, toward where the Enterprise group had been captured. Along the path they found a few of the articles of the crew. For example, they discovered Spock’s dropped calculator. It was apparent that the crew had left those articles in case anyone came looking for them. Soon they saw the ornate golden castle that the first group had found.

Chapter IV

Spock, Shieh, Welch, and Decker were sweating profusely. For the last nine hours they had been erecting a building to honor their captors. They had been building the structure stone by stone and were extremely tired. Welch had been the most tired of all and Spock was afraid that she was going to collapse. He tried to let her rest but their captors would prod her with an electric stunner until she resumed working. These people have no compassion at all, Spock thought, disgustinged. He turned and spat into the reddish clay. This produced a sharp reaction from the blacks.

Min Song Kee Tra 712 (whom Spock instantly recognized as they were being taken the area slightly outside the city) kicked Spock in the rear end. Then, with an evil smile on his countenance, he set his electric whip to as near kill force as he dared. When he touched Spock, Spock immediately jumped, but Spock being Spock, and stoic, said nothing.

“Back to work, slave,” Min Song said viciously, while Ensign Cheryl Welch begin to go to his side, “You there-get back to work!,” Min Song yelled at her.

Cheryl looked anxiously at Spock who made a motion for her to stay back. Nevertheless, she continued coming until Spock made a determined push against her. She looked hurt but then went back to work.

Min-Song squinted his eyes and had a cruel smile on his lips as he said, “Very intelligent of you, Mr. Spock.”

Decker flushed red with anger. “Are you going to stand here and take this abuse, Mr. Spock?”

“I am afraid you have no other choice,” said Min Song.

“Oh, yes we do, you big creep,” Decker said.

“Do you wish to be stunned, human?,” questioned the alien.

“Fuck you. Fuck you!,” screamed Decker.

The alien didn’t respond to this; and it became apparent that the alien didn’t understand the meaning of what was said. Meanwhile Decker began to calm down, and Mr. Spock said, “Don’t make any more trouble, Decker. That is an order.”

When Decker had sufficiently calmed down, he then began to think. He wished that the aliens would just let them go. He didn’t understand why the aliens needed more slaves when they already had enslaved an entire race. Ironically, he recalled a distant ancestors’ slave plantations.

“I guess now I know what it feels like,” he thought ironically, “When we get out of this mess, I’m going to take their goddamn heads off.”

Ensign Welch continued to lift the stones onto the temple as the guards watched her silently but with guns drawn. They had been doing the same kind of work for the past six days ever since they had been captured and she was extremely tired. At first it had not been too hard, but with just the meager rations she had been receiving, she felt her strength dwindling away. She really didn’t know how long she could hold out.

For his part, Mr. Spock, in his own Vulcan fashion, simply tolerated the bad situation. He had to find some way for his people to escape. However, the aliens had stolen their phasers and they were outnumbered.

Shieh was thinking of his early childhood on what had been called Taiwan in prior centuries but in the 23rd century was referred to as the state of Kisser: part of the southeastern area of the planet Earth. He remembered the garden he had in his backyard and his pet dragon from Esar. It was funny how one’s mind turned toward pleasant thoughts when one was put in bad situations like the one the crew of the USS Enterprise was now in. He and Spock would have to call on their vast knowledge of science to get them out of this mess. They should be able to do something he thought as he lifted another stone.

The guards watched with mean expressions and rifles ready. Every so often, one of them would shift his feet. They thought they were working by guarding these humans. They were, of course, unaware of the thoughts of Spock, Decker, and the others.

Spock and Decker continued to build the castle stone by stone. Welch was having considerable trouble maintaining the pace required by her “employers “. She would stop, falter a bit and then resume her work pace. When she fell, the guards would shoot a dirty look in her direction.

One of the guards would give her a most lecherous look. She heard the alarm. It was time to eat.

The guards served the hostages from the USS Enterprise a greenish porridge. Decker thought, “What is the stuff?” He looked at Lt. Welch. She smiled back. God, but she’s so beautiful, he thought.

“How are you feeling, Miss Welch?” asked Decker.

She decided to be honest. “I don’t know how much longer I can hold out.”

“Nor do I,” he replied sadly.

“This reminds me of the time when I was a little girl,” she narrated, “My father decided to punish me because I had been to cruel to my pet Cheehop. His punishment was that I build a house for the Cheehop.

I was not feeling very well that day – I believe I had a touch of the flu – but he made me work anyway. It was very hot and I was beginning to feel the combined effects of my illness and the heat. As I was heat-sealing a plank of plastiwood, I suddenly fell down from exhaustion. I must have passed out as I awakened in my bed by a kind old gentleman in a white lab coat. He was bending over and my father was there standing on my left, asking him who I was. From then on my father and I only spoke to each other when we had to.”

“I’m sorry,” said Mr. Spock.

“That’s OK, it was a long time ago,” responded Miss Welch.

At that moment, their eyes met, Decker looked embarrassed and finally looked away.

She asked him, “Are you falling in love with me?”

“What a question!” he replied, “but, yes I believe I am!”

He leaned over to kiss her. They kissed. She began to cough, and cough, and cough. She fell unconscious into the arms of her newly found beloved Lt. Decker.

“Mr. Spock,” Decker yelled, “Come here quick!”

Mr. Spock, who had been staring at her porridge, got up and went to the table where Lt. Welch was sitting. He occupied the seat next to her and asked, “What’s wrong, Lieutenant ?”

“I don’t know,” she replied, “I just feel very dizzy and sleepy.”

As he was not a medical doctor, Spock didn’t know what he could do for her, and wished McCoy was present. However, he had the girl describe the symptoms and knew that it was probably fatal. Then, he told her to lie down and rest.

Decker helped Mr. Spock spread out a cot for the girl to lie on, all the while hoping she wouldn’t die. Spock, of course, realized that the unfortunate girl didn’t have much longer to live although he didn’t know precisely how much longer she had.

She slept through the night peacefully enough but when she awoke she began to cry out in pain. This immediately awoke Spock, Shieh, and Decker. Shieh, the calculating man he was, inquired as to how long they expected to be in captivity.

“I don’t precisely know,” replied Mr. Spock, “Nevertheless, I estimate from a week to one year with a 95 % confidence limit.   My first priority at the moment is to ascertain Lt. Welch’s condition.”

Mr. Spock then began administering to Miss Welch, who by this time was in deep pain and crying out.

At about this time the guards arrived ready to put them to work.

“Time to get up and go to work, slave,” yelled one of Min Song assistants while leisurely kicking Dr. Shieh in the behind.

At this, poor Dr. Shieh, his nerves shot from the ordeal, began to whimper. Spock looked at him and Shieh quieted himself.

Dr. Shieh picked himself off from the rough hewn stone beds which the captors had began to use, walked over to the half finished estate that the Enterprise personnel had been working on and slowly reached down and picked up a brick. He placed the brick on top of a partially constructed edifice.

Meanwhile, as Shieh worked on this building, Decker and Mr. Spock were bent over the prone Cheryl Welch. Mr. Spock knew that she suffered from the rare disease Norine, but did not know what to do.

Norine was an iron deficiency disease in which the body excretes all iron ingested in the urine.   This is caused by a defective enzyme contracted from the planet Nori (hence the name of the disease, Norine). Unfortunately, when Miss Welch contracted the disease, Federation scientists did not realize all foodstuffs of this newly discovered planet contained this enzyme.

“Mr. Spock, I know that I am going to die, but promise me this,” Welch said, “before I die you, will get me out of here?”

“I will, Ensign,” said Mr. Spock, “I will.”

“And promise me that, somehow you will bring my body back to my home planet,” she said.

“Rest, Ensign,” Spock stated .

With this last utterance, Spock continued to work on her, utilizing every bit of scientific and medical knowledge that was applicable to her case. He took her temperature: it was 43 C. Her blood pressure was 158/100. Her pulse rate was annoyingly fast: 120 beats per minute. She was also sweating profusely, and although he had given her powerful anti-diarrhea medicine, every hour she would pass red fluid through her bowels. Spock was forced to conclude she was dying.

The rest of the captives, especially Lt. Decker, were very concerned for the young lady. Decker was especially concerned because he was falling in love with her.

The night passed slowly and no one slept well. Indeed, Decker managed to drop off only two or three hours after spending most of the time with his beloved Ms. Welch. During the night he held her hand tightly.

Morning came and Ensign Welch felt much worse. Spock knew her time had come.

They ate breakfast and Spock attended to the girl. However, the captors did not allow him much time with her before he was forced to work.

Spock and Decker worked on the now two-thirds finished estate. Decker paused in the middle of placing another brick on the building and requested his captors transport the next-to-lifeless Welch aboard the USS Enterprise where she could be treated properly. They refused. Soon after, he heard her call him. Decker slowly walked toward her. He wanted to comfort her yet at the same time he was afraid that she will break down. He knelt beside her.

“. . . Dick. . . .,” She began.

“Yes, darling,” He responded.

“I will always . . . love . . . you.”

With those last words, Cheryl Welch died. Decker was besides himself with grief, and began sobbing uncontrollably. The others: Spock and Shieh, tried to comfort him, but to no avail.

The guards, however, were insensitive to the young lady’s demise — they insisted the small contingent from the Enterprise’s crew get back to work. Kee Tra 712 yelled at Decker to get back to work.

“Get back to work, slaves,” Kee Tra 712 said with a menacing look.

The others continued sitting down in a cross-legged fashion near Decker. They felt that they had hardly enough energy to continue working.

Kee Tra 712 then pulled out his seven-foot long bullwhip and brandished it in a threatening manner.

Spock and Decker slowly started back to work. Decker, however, completely paralyzed because of his love for the young lady did not make a move.

“I said get back to work . . . you, you disgusting human,” yells 712.

Decker did not move.

712 with whip still in hand, advanced upon Decker. He began to raise it above his head in an overhead movement. The whip descended in an arc approaching Decker’s head.

At the same instant, Decker, driven to an insane furor because of the Lieutenant’s demise, shouted, “Die you inhuman bastard,” at Kee Tra 712, and lunged at him before Spock and Shieh could stop him.

The alien 712 backed off and killed Decker with a quark gun.

Spock and Shieh, were of course, appalled by the sight of two deaths in less than fifteen minutes, but wisely made no move.

Shieh, muttered under his breath, “You alien son of a bitch,” but didn’t move.

The alien 712 and the other guard yelled at them to get back to work and they did so.

Spock slowly put another brick on the government building. Shieh did so also.

“Spock, we have to get out of here!” Shieh said.

“Dr. Shieh, I am trying my best to formulate an escape plan – however, it is difficult under the circumstances.”

“Perhaps we should just rush the guards when they were off-guard. After all, there are only four of them and two of us. With our Starfleet defense training we should be able to rush them and win.”

“At what odds,” Spock said, “Lt. Shieh, you forget they have quark guns.”

They then continued to work on the government building.

Later, after sundown, the guards gave in and allowed them to bury the two bodies. Spock and Shieh dug two graves, each about five feet deep and long enough for the bodies in the soft tropical soil. They stood side-by-side close to the graves.

“Do you wish to deliver the eulogy, Lieutenant,” Spock said to Shieh.

“Yes, sir,” responded Shieh, in a like fashion.

“We are gathered here today on the occasion of the death of two of our finest Starfleet officers: Lieutenant Cheryl Welch and Second Sublieutenant Decker. One of the officers was an anthropologist, the other a fine historian. It appeared that the two were beginning to have a strong attraction for each other, and it’s a damn shame that it wasn’t consummated,” his voice broke with emotion. He continued, “Of Second Sublieutenant Decker, I can only say this: He was just the most caring man. Of Lieutenant Welch, I can only say that she was the one of the best anthropologists in Starfleet. May their souls rest in peace.”

The Starfleet officers covered the graves with sandy loam. They then retired to the caves and slept under the watchful eyes of the guards.

During the next few days, Shieh began to increasingly rely on Mr. Spock. He was angry at Spock since the Vulcan was in command and therefore responsible for the predicament in which he finds himself. That was how Shieh saw the situation. Ordered by their captors, Shieh and Spock continued to construct the building. Spock’s escape plan was to wait one night until all the black guards were asleep and steal their quark guns.

One night, approximately a week after the death of their comrades, the two guards had been working and sweating all day putting the last few touches on the building. The guards were obviously tired out from watching the men all day. The guards fell asleep near a roaring fire with their quark guns resting lightly on their laps. Decker and Shieh feigned sleep while lying on the ground near the walls of the government structure. Spock nudged Decker on the shoulder – “time to move, Mister,” he told him.

They advanced toward the sleeping guards. Shieh had a close encounter of a bad kind when he slipped on a rock and rustled the underbrush. One of the guards shifted his weight uneasily, and turned around and lied on his back, but fortunately did not awaken. Because of this screw-up though, Shieh received a quizzical lifting of the left eyebrow from Mr. Spock.

Spock was now only four meters away from Min Song– Decker about the same distance from the other guard.

They continued to advance.

Three meters away. . . .

The guards continued sleeping; Kee Tra 712 rolled over and let out a big burp.

Shieh tried very hard to stifle his laughter – drawing a disapproving glare from the impetuous Vulcan, Mr. Spock. They continued to edge closer to the guards.

1 meter away . . .

They both anticipated holding the quark guns in their hands. Shieh perspired heavily, and Mr. Spock perspired somewhat.

There, there . . .

Spock leaned over and applied the famous Vulcan nerve pinch to the sleeping Min Song Kee Tra 712. At the same time, he grabbed the quark gun from him. With quark gun in hand, he stunned the other guards.

Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Spock and Shieh, a sentry from the golden castle had been watching them. The sentry had come to deliver a message to Kee Tra 712 regarding the appointment of new officials to the Council Of Elders in Podjay. Seeing what was going on, he quickly waved to his fellow guards.

Spock and Shieh started running along the trail from the edifice to the golden castle. Unfortunately, before they could get very far, they were met by a contingent of seven guards and the original sentry about a mile down the road.

“What will we do now, Spock?,” yelled Shieh in anger.

Spock said nothing (there being nothing to say). He drew his quark gun and managed to stun one of the guards before he and Shieh were stunned by all seven of the guards firing their quark guns simultaneously.

The contingent lashed Spock and Shieh to six-foot long poles. The poles were made of sturdy pine, and they were lashed together with heavy rope. The poles were then placed across the shoulders of two of the biggest guards. One of the guards carrying Mr. Spock was called Min Song Lee Ta 612 and the other guard was called Lin Sung Lee Tsu 512.

As they were walking, Min Song Lee Ta 612 started a conversation. “Umpf! This Vulcan is very heavy,” remarked Lee Tra 612, as perspiration dripped from his body to the lush foliage below.

Suddenly, Lin Sung Lee Tsu 512 stumbled, causing the load to shift.

“Watch it, you idiot!,” yelled Lee Ta 612.

“I’m sorry, I hit a branch,” whimpered Lee Tsu 512.

“Don’t hit branches!” yelled back Lee Ta 612, still angry over the incident.

They continued along the meandering road, grunting and heaving with the exertion of carrying the weight of the Vulcan and the historian.

For his part, SubLt. Decker was being carried by Lin Sung Nee Sha 412 and his brother Mee Sha 312. They also complained.

Later, Tsu 512 stumbled again.

“You stupid son of a bitch,” yelled Lee Ta 612 at his companion.

“Shut up!,” yelled Lee Tsu 512.

All this noise served to finally awaken the slumbering Enterprise officers. Spock looked around groggily as he tried to focus his eyes. The stun rays were indeed highly effective, he thought.

“We failed, didn’t we, Mr. Spock?,” inquired Shieh in Chinese.

“Yes, unfortunately your analysis of the situation is quite correct, Mr. Shieh.”

“I know one thing, if we ever get off of this planet, I will exact vengeance!”

“If we ever get off. . . . ”

He was rudely interrupted by Lee Ta 612 telling him to shut up. The guards, of course, understood nothing of this, never having bothered to learn Chinese.

The rest of the journey continued in relative silence. After they reached the government building, they took out some rope from underneath their long flowing robes. They untied the Enterprise officers while still having their quark guns trained on them and motioned them to some big trees similar to oak. Under protest from the captives, the guards delivered twenty lashes in unrelenting blows similar to that practiced on Earth during the slave days.

Spock declared, “I protest this action as being against all interplanetary rules for the conduct of prisoners.”

“Silence, Vulcan!,” snarled Kee Tra 712, who then proceeded to lash him ten more times. Spock refused to give him satisfaction by crying out in pain.

Chapter V

Meanwhile, the Special Spacers and the probe continued on the trail toward the Golden Castle. The probe was now less than five kilometers away from the Golden Castle, which meant the search party was only five kilometers behind the probe. They continued along the same trail that the first group had walked.

The probe remarked, “THE SCENT OF MR. SPOCK AND LT. SHIEH IS VERY STRONG -THEY CANNOT BE FAR NOW.” They continue along, hiking through the dense, blue-green jungle foliage.

“Probe, . . . wait for us,” Chieko ordered, as the probe became increasingly close to the Golden Castle. She decided not to risk having the probe seen by their captors.

The five special spacers and the probe continued toward the Golden Castle. They stopped right outside the entrance to the Golden Castle. They waited and sought shelter in some large caves which overhung the clearing where the Enterprise crew was kept in captivity.

“Status Report – Probe,” Chieko inquired of the machine.


This last statement had Chieko very worried. Although she would have preferred to wait to obtain some more information, she realized that there may not be time. She didn’t want to be responsible for the death of one of the best science officers in Starfleet.

Meanwhile, Spock was still being whipped by Kee Tra 712. His back was now covered with more than thirty bloody red welts. However, he still had not given the guards satisfaction by crying out.

The probe shifted slightly. Some dirt rolled down from the cave to the clearing below, and made a very slight sound.

Spock with his acute Vulcan hearing, heard this. He swiveled his head in the direction of the noise and spotted one of Krosnevik’s tentacles, and then his head. Shieh looked in the same direction to see what Mr. Spock was looking at. Unable to contain his excitement  at anticipated freedom, Shieh yelled. Their captors turned around to see where the noise was coming from.

Chieko yelled, “Let’s move out,” The five ran down from the caves into the clearing below. Harri swooped down from the caves gliding on his wings. He landed on top of a guard and bit him delivering a poison that rendered the victim unconscious for five to six hours.

Chieko ran into four guards. Before they had time to pull and fire their quark guns, she knocked them down. She front kicked one in the groin while simultaneously double punching two guards on either side of her. The fourth guard raised a club over his head and began a downward descent toward Chieko’s head. She blocked with a high block while stepping in and delivering an elbow strike to her attacker’s rib cage. She then followed with a left hand elbow strike toward the face. The guard tried to ward off the blow, but to no avail. He attempted a Shito strike toward his neck, but it wasn’t successful and Chieko flipped him. He landed on the floor. While the guards struggled to their feet, Harri pressed a lever on his arm and shot a sticky web over them. Phaser and quark gun fire was exchanged between Ramus Krosnevik, Karen Person, Madam X, and the three other guards. Harri ran over to Spock and cut his bonds with a wingtip .

“I will take you to safety,” yelled Harri above the din of the battle while reaching out toward Shieh and Spock.

Mr. Spock declined to be helped. “I shall fight!,” yelled the normally passive First Officer.

“Then I shall fight too,” reiterated Dr. Shieh.

Mr. Spock made two or three indecisive steps before regaining his balance. A guard came up to him and pointed his quark gun.

“Prepare to die, Vulcan,” said Lee Mung T’al 610.

“O.K.” replied Spock before jumping up and kicking the gun out of the black man’s grasp. He then stepped behind the guard and applied his famous Vulcan nerve pinch. The guard slumped to the ground and was out.

Shieh, apparently weakened by his wounds, fell to the ground. Effortlessly, Harri picked him up and flew toward the cave that the group had previously used for cover. He tended to the human’s wounds. Using his mandibles, he applied sticky gauze to the wound. Dr. McCoy had remarked in the past that it was a most effective dressing.

Meanwhile, the battle still raged on. Ramus Krosnevik, and Madam X were still exchanging weapon fire with two guards. Karen and another guard were lying on the ground. Karen was dead, but the guard was merely stunned. Spock was fighting with a guard. He used his martial arts skills and physical prowess to best the guards. He then managed to escape into the hills. Ramus and Madam X managed to stun the other two guards with their phasers. Madam X yelled in pain after being hit with a quark gun.

The battle was finished after Karen chops Kee Tra 712 with the edge of her right hand and felled him. During the whole battle the probe had not bothered to join in the fracas. It had merely stood in the background observing the fight.

Spock decided to call Kirk on his communicator.

“Spock to Enterprise. Come in, Jim,” Spock said to Kirk on the communicator.

Meanwhile, on board the starship, Captain Kirk was discussing with Mr. Scott and Dr. McCoy the fate of the search party and the original contingent consisting of Spock, Decker, Shieh, and et cetera. Of course, he had kept in touch with the special spacer search party so that he had no questions about their fate. However, he was very concerned about the fate of the others.

“I hope they are still alive,” Kirk mused hopefully.

“I think they probably are,” said Dr. McCoy, “It’s amazing what the human body can stand Jim .”

Scott sat morosely at the end of the table aware of the fact that the sensors had still not been able to penetrate into the mysterious dark clouds that surrounded the planet. The formless clouds swirled into a mystical pattern forming images of mythological creatures such as a centaur, and a unicorn. He was also very painfully aware of his failure to modify the sensors so that they would penetrate the planet’s cloud covering.

“Have you been able to modify the sensors, Scotty,?” Kirk asked.

Scotty was morose, but had no answer except to tell the truth. “No, sorry, Capt’n. I dinna ken find a way to increase the power of the transreceiver of the secondary sensor to enable it to see through the clouds.”

“Scotty, I want to be able to see what’s going on!,” Kirk yelled.

“I’m doing the best I can, sir !” Scotty yelled back.

“Do better,” Kirk replied testily.

Uhura’s voice broke through the discussion in the briefing room.

“Captain, I’m receiving a transmission from the planet !,” She said.

McCoy, Kirk, and Mr. Scott all stared at each other for a second or two. Then Kirk grinned broadly and said, “Patch them through, Uhura.”

Kirk then heard his communicator beep. He took it off his belt and flipped it open.

“Spock to Enterprise. Come in, Jim.”

“Spock, is that you ? Are you all right ?,” Kirk asked.

“Of course it is me, Captain. And I am in perfectly good health, I assure you!”

“Tell me what happened, Spock !”

Spock then proceeded to tell him the events of the past few weeks.

“Well I’m glad to see that everyone came out of the situation, OK. I want you to take the prisoners to the glass city of Podjay. I will beam down a small party, say two dozen security guards to take over the city and free the white slaves.”

“But, Captain – that would violate the prime directive. We would be interfering in their culture,” Spock protested.

Kirk knew that he was right. However, in his heart he also knew that he could not allow one race to enslave another. Especially, not a white race  very similar to appearance to his own.

“Spock, it is true that the black culture is progressing but the white culture is stagnant. The prime directive refers to vibrant cultures – not stagnant ones. We must give the white people an opportunity to develop.”

“But, sir, the prime directive instructs us not to interfere under any circumstance. If we are to interfere we could be severely reprimanded by Star Fleet Command.”

“Mr. Spock, this discussion is finished. You have your orders. Kirk out.”

Spock thought that was the end of their conversation. He was not happy with his orders, but on the other hand what could he do? He decided that he would try to persuade Kirk one more time.

“Spock to Enterprise.”

“Kirk here. What is it, Mr. Spock ?,” Kirk inquired.

“Sir, logic dictates that I try to persuade you to reconsider.”

“Spock, I’ve made my decision!,” cut in the Captain of the USS Enterprise, an angry edge to his voice.

“Captain Kirk, if I may continue!,” responded the Vulcan empathetically.

Kirk sighing, said, “Continue, Spock . . . ”

“I would like to point that we do not know what the effects of freeing the whites would be. They could be so incensed that they kill their former captors. By freeing them we may be responsible for much bloodshed. They also have no experience at self-government and may not know how to get food, shelter, and other things that they require. It will be very expensive for the Federation to train the whites.”

Kirk had calmed down and merely replied, “Spock, I’ve already considered your comments. And I appreciate them. But I think the blacks can be made to help educate and train the whites. The Federation will send down a team to assist where necessary. Now, please, Spock follow my orders, Jim out.”

“OK, sir, Spock out.”

Spock then flipped the communicator down and slid it inside his pocket. He then had no choice except to follow orders. Soon the guards on the ground began to awaken. They all began to stir.

“What will you do with us now, ” asked Kee Tra 712.

“We are going to the glass city of Podjay,” replied Spock coolly.

They then began to walk along the trail toward the glass city of Podjay. They walked through the jungle, pushing black vines as they strode, back along the same trail from whence they had come.

Kee Tra, not having much else to do, struck up a conversation with Mr. Spock – he was trying to get the Vulcan first officer to sympathize with him and thus perhaps let him go. Spock, for his part, of course knew that he was merely playing psychological games with him.

“Mr. Spock, do you not agree that the whites are savages, uncivilized and uncouth. I do not think these savages are capable of governing themselves. We, the rulers of this planet, have merely been taking care of an inferior race. We provide them with food, shelter, and all the necessities of life, ” argued Kee Tra 712.

“Except for one thing, Kee Tra,” said Spock.

“What’s that, Mr. Spock ?,” he asked.

“Liberty,” replied Spock.

“Again, Spock, I do not think that the white populace would know what to do with this so- called liberty.”

“Ahem, ahem!,” were murmurs of ascension heard from the other captives.

“Yes, but perhaps they could learn,” disagreed the Vulcan, although he still had doubts whether they could.

“They are not capable of learning, Mr. Spock,” insisted Min Lee Song 612.

“Every mammal known in the galaxy is capable of learning. These mammals are humanoid and thus should be expected to learn much more. Indeed, I would think that they might even be capable of learning how to read and write,” responded Spock.

“Ha! Ha!,” responded the rulers of the planet in disbelief.

“In fact, they might even be capable of doing higher mathematics such as vector and tensor analysis; and of writing great novels similar in quality to Charles Dickens’s Oliver Twist, and Twadon’s Gods of Plenty,” stated the Vulcan emphatically.

This last statement clearly astonished the blacks who let out an angry din of protest. They simply could or would not believe what they were hearing.

Before Spock or the ex-captors could reply, ten blacks jumped out of the dense foliage surrounding a bend they had come to. The blacks leveled quark guns at the trio.

“Give up,” yelled the leader, “put down your weapons!”

The answer to this demand was a blast of phaser fire from Spock, Chieko, and the entire Enterprise contingent. Spock managed to stun five of the party with an entire sweep from his hand phaser before being hit in the gun hand with a quark blast. The gun battle raged on.

Chieko fired her phaser at one black who had ducked behind a palm tree at the same instant that Spock had fired the first phaser blast.   Chieko exchanged gun fire with him before finally hitting him full in the stomach with a blast from a phaser rifle. This blast knocked the man back through the foliage, where he came to rest his head on a boulder.

Harri and Ramus were fighting a losing battle hand-to-tentacle with four of the blacks. Their phasers had been knocked to the ground earlier in the battle. The power had been drained from them. Ramus had been severely injured when one of his tentacles had caught a full blast of quark power. The blast had drained a large portion of his strength. Harri also received a quark blast that amputated his left wing. The blacks were beating them senseless. Spock jumped into the fray, however, and dispatched two of them with well placed nerve pinches.

Meanwhile, the original captive blacks, still bound, tried to help their fellow comrades. They were rattling their handcuffs and making quite a racket.

While the fierce fighting was going on, the probe had been given the task of guarding the captive blacks. It stared at them with his internal phasers locked on them.

Madam X and Shieh had taken refuge behind a tree and spotted the lone black running away; they quickly cut him down with phaser guns.

Soon the fight was over as superior fighting ability and advanced weaponry combined to defeat the blacks . They quickly handcuffed the blacks with force field-type handcuffs and they continued trudging along toward the glass city of Podjay. The crew was now less than one kilometer away from the glass city of Podjay,

The terrain became increasingly rugged and quite mountainous. The foliage became sparse and had more of a brown, rather than a green tint; the vegetation had changed from tropical to deciduous forest.

The blacks trudged along; they began talking amongst themselves but Spock ordered them to shut up. The crew was less than 1/2 kilometer away from the city. The lights on the probe began to blink on and off.

“What is the problem, probe? Do you detect something?,” he questioned it.

-THERE IS A PARTY OF FOUR BLACKS IN THE TREES BESIDES US- the probe reported in its dry mechanical voice.

Then, quark fire again hit the contingent. Madam X went down – she had been disintegrated into nothing.

“No!,” yelled Ramus. Insane with fury he fired his phaser at random, destroying trees and sending wild animals yelling and running from the forest. However, the random phaser fire managed to kill two of the aliens.

Chieko tried to get Ramus to calm down. “Calm down, Ramus, you are destroying everything that is precious on this planet. If you cannot control yourself, I will have you court-martialed.   Your actions cannot help Chieko now. This is not the kind of action that one would expect a highly trained special spacer to take.”

These last words had a sobering effect on Krosnevik. The probe quickly located one of the blacks by his body heat and stunned him with a phaser blast. The other black fired a quark blast at Shieh, but Shieh managed to duck behind a tree. Shieh and the black exchanged fire.

“Come out, and give yourself up, you don’t have a chance,” yelled Shieh.

The black refused to answer. Shieh thought probably the black cannot understand. He borrowed the universal translator from Spock and tried again to no avail.

His only answer was a blast from a quark gun. In turn, he replied with a phaser blast. The black reloading his quark gun with a cartridge from his belt made the mistake of leaving his head exposed outside the tree. At that instant, Shieh cut through a line of trees while the black was distracted. The black leaped out from the tree cover and fired at the tree where Shieh was. Of course, Shieh was no longer there. He had snuck along a tree to his left and had succeeded at putting himself at a 45o angle to his opponent. He quickly fired a phaser blast at his opponent while his opponent fired at him. The blast stuns the black. Later, all the blacks were gathered up and handcuffed and they proceeded toward Podjay.

Soon, they were on top of a mountain which overlooked the famed glass city. They do not know exactly what to do and decided to wait until Kirk beamed down the security forces.

The city was awesome, replete with many tall glass buildings that have rod-like shapes. Some of the buildings were of different colors: red, green, blue, although most of them were clear. The buildings were connected together by glass tubes which were large enough to convey the packages and people that were to be conveyed. A few of the buildings were shaped like triangles or squares.

The security team headed by Lieutenant Spielman arrived. He lead a party of twelve heavily armed security personnel equipped with phaser rifles, photon grenades with their launchers, and sonic disruptors. They were a tough looking lot – all trained in various methods of combat. All of them had black belts in the martial arts, in addition to a master’s rating in weapon expertise. Each of them had a particular weapon that they were experts on.

Lt. Spielman reporting, sir,” said the lieutenant.

“At ease!,” replied Mr. Spock.

There followed a moment of awkward silence. Finally, Mr. Spock chose to speak again. “Well you know why you have been called, lieutenant, and what is necessary. I only hope that you are prepared to do it.”

“Indeed, I am,” replied the lieutenant, and indeed he was. The lieutenant had spent most of his adult life, and some of his younger days training for the security forces. He was well versed in the subtile martial art of aikido, and also the brutality of the phaser cannon.

Spock then confided to the young lieutenant, “Ok, this is the plan: I will have Captain Kirk knock out all the people in the city, and any advancing armies with the ships’ phasers. It will be up to your contingent to secure the city. You must set up communications with the leader.” Spock knew how important it was that he emphasize to the lieutenant exactly what he wanted done. He then proceeded in detail to explain the plan to the young officer.

According to Spock, the security team would move in three task forces across the city. Each task force would consist of four people. Initially, two task forces would take over the government buildings by approaching them from either side. The third task force would approach the city from the rear, preventing any of the population from escaping.

Meanwhile, aboard the Enterprise, Captain Kirk would stun all of the military and advancing parties and would also stun hostile forces. Of course, the security teams would also be prepared to deal with the others if they became hostile. Once the city had been secured, Kirk would tell the people on the Enterprise loudspeakers that they were free. The security team headed by Lt. Spielman would also inform them of their rights. The security team would also force the emperor to communicate to the other cities that they must come to a meeting.

The plan was put into action. Lt. Spielman and the others began to move down the mountains. They inched their way slowly down the mountainside.

Meanwhile, Spock called up to Captain Kirk, “Captain, please stand by, we are almost ready to put our plan into action.”

Kirk sat in his command chair on the bridge. From his position he could swivel around and see all the subcommand stages on either side of him. There was Lt. Uhura, the lovely Bantu woman to his left; Mr. Sulu and Chekov directly in front of him, manning the navigational console; and to his right was the library computer station which would have been manned by Mr. Spock had he been there, but instead, was manned by Mr. Dyadik – a Deltan male.

Kirk nervously waited for Mr. Spock to give him the command to fire his phasers down at the populace. He was ready to fire at a moments notice.

Dr. McCoy stepped out of the turbolift onto the bridge of the Enterprise. “Good morning, Captain, are you ready to put your plan into action?”

“Yes, Dr. McCoy,” said the Captain.

“Well, I hope that it works,” said the medical doctor – somewhat roughly, it seemed to Captain Kirk.

“Well, doctor, I for one do believe it will work,” said the Captain with irritation.

Suddenly, Kirk heard his communicator beep, “Spock to Captain – are you ready?”

“Yes, Mr. Spock,” said the starship commander, “I am quite ready.”

The lieutenant and his contingent then quickly moved down from the rocks into the camp.

The security teams were headed by Lt. T’Cael, a half-Romulan, half Vulcan, who was known for his mind and agility with figures, the lovely sergeant Ms. Janette Wu, and, of course, Lt. Spielman. Ms. Wu happened to be an expert in ten martial arts, including, but not limited to, Shotokan Karate, Ju-jitsu, Tae Kwon Do, Shaolin Kung Fu, and Hapkido. Mr. Spock would be in charge of the first team which would advance toward the front of the city, and Lt. Spielman would be second in command. Lt. T’Cael would advance from the side perpendicular to that of Mr. Spock. Sergeant Wu decided that she would remain at the back of the city to prevent any of the men from escaping. Spock also decided that he would remain in the caves to observe what progress was being made.

They advanced down the rocks into the city. At first they met very little resistance and their presence at the camp was quite unexpected; and therefore, of course, quite surprising. Meanwhile, Kirk, on board the Enterprise, fired a phaser blast. However , they met up with some slight resistance outside the emperor’s palace.

Spock stood outside the emperor’s main gate. “I wish to speak to the emperor,” he yelled at the entrance to the palace.

The frightened security guards yelled back, “The emperor is not here.”

Spock, of course, realized the guard was frightened, but was not so easily dissuaded from what he saw as his appointed task.

The palace guards, meanwhile, grew quite nervous and wary as time goes by. They did not know how to get rid of the Vulcan, but they felt that they must. “Please leave,” they yelled at Spock.

Spock, of course, bound by the Vulcan sense of duty and out of loyalty to his friend and Captain refused.

“No, I cannot leave. I must speak to the Emperor Kee Tra 712! I must convince him that what he is doing is wrong!”

The blacks then began to group en mass. There were approximately twenty of them, strong, lithe, and ready to fight. They were replete in gold and silver dress, and carried baskets of gold and silver jewelry. Their faces reminded one of Halloween – some of the warriors had a skull painted on their forehead. Others in their group have what appeared to be a cross painted on their cheekbones. All in all, they appeared to be a very frightened, but dedicated group.

One of the blacks stepped forward. He was an imposing figure, and stood perhaps seven feet tall. What looked like an ostrich plume came from the top of his head and rose straight up to make him appear even taller.

“I am called Lin Trong See Tra Da 604,” he said in flawless English, “Who might you be? And what do you want?”

“I am Spock – first officer of the USS Enterprise. I must speak to your emperor. He must understand that what he is doing is wrong. All people were equal and must be treated as such. I have come to liberate the whites and will not stop until they are liberated. I demand to speak to the emperor!”

“You are not in a position to demand anything, you insolent bastard,” yelled 604, his face contorted with rage, “I, on the other hand, I’m in a position to grant whatever I choose.”

Hearing these words, Spock decided that it was time to show the people of this planet that he meant business. He then reached down in his uniform and picked up his communicator. He flicked it open.

Not knowing what it was, the blacks were mystified and began chattering amongst themselves. Meanwhile, Spock was trying to get in touch with the Captain.

“Captain, ready your phasers to fire.”

Kirk then replied, “Kirk here, standing by to fire at your command.”

“Captain, stun the guards at coordinates 6 mark 7.3 by 12.”

Kirk who was sitting in his command chair on the bridge of the starship Enterprise then decided to lay a path of phaser fire down on the planet. He followed Spock’s request to the letter, stunning the guards and leveling the rather beautiful facade outside the palace. The other guards were quite surprised by the action the captain of the Enterprise had taken. They became quite agitated, chattering excitedly amongst themselves. This chattering, which was quite unintelligible to Spock, made him nervous.

The other guards proceeded to look up rather nervously at Spock. They looked at him in awe, uncomprehending the fate that had felled his comrades. Spock peered from his vantage point and saw armies advancing from the south and east toward the city. They appeared as staid warriors ready to fight.

The other warriors were, of course, milling about. One of the guards stepped forward, his name was Han Lee Tran 804.

“I am Han Lee Tran 804, now we will see who will be in charge of what is going on. I will be in charge!”

Spock merely looked him straight in the eye and said, “No!” With this last remark, he then signaled up to Kirk on the Enterprise.

Kirk laid out a steady stream of phaser fire that caused the advancing army to collapse. With his last shot, he was confident that the resistance had crumbled.

Han Lee Tra 804 looked terrified. He did not know what to do. Kirk, Spock, and the mighty power of the starship Enterprise had made him very afraid. He looked into Spock’s eye and said, “I will accede to your request. Whatever is your desire let me know, mister.”

“This is my list of demands, forthwith,” Spock began:

“(1) I demand that you release all the whites and make them equal to yourself.

(2) I further demand that you contact the emperors of the other cities and tell them to come to Podjay.

(3) I demand to see the emperor.”

“Yes, I will do it,” stated the palace guard. He then went with three others into the palace. After a brief interval, the emperor Kee Tra 712 came out.

Meanwhile, the others who have been sent into the city encountered varying degrees of resistance. Lt. T’Cael stunned approximately half of the troops that he battled with. He ordered the remaining troops to sit down and wait out the proceedings.

Miss Wu had apparently nothing to do since no one saw fit to leave the city. She had patiently been awaiting the outcome, in constant, although brief communication with Mr. Spock’s unit. Luckily for the success of her mission, and her own sanity, she was used to the inattention.

Spock then decided to call all of his commanders to the Emperor’s palace. He sat heavily down on the ornate golden bench outside the palace that was inlaid with rubies and emeralds.

“This is Commander Spock. I hereby request (read order) that all my commanders meet me at the emperor’s palace as soon as possible. Is this understood? Please respond. Spock out.”

Lt. Wu, camped out with her three assistants, was the first to respond. She replied, “Aye, sir, my estimated arrival time is three hours.”

Lt. T’ Cael who sat underneath a tree watching his men, who in turn, watched about fifty conscious troops, and another fifty to sixty more unconscious troops responded next. “I estimate my arrival time to be roughly three and one half hours, T’Cael out.” he said. He turned to one of his most trusted men, Sergeant Dickerson and asked him to take over. He told Sgt. Dickerson that he was extremely tired and planned to sleep. He then went inside the tent, and without bothering to take off his uniform, fell fast asleep,

The men brought the unconscious prisoners around with some awakening gas. The prisoners awoke, although they were still groggy. “What — what the hell is going on? What are we doing here?”

The gas had the side effect of dulling the receptor portions of the brain. This made the prisoners very leery and nervous. The mental confusion was similar to that which would result from being awakened from a nightmare.

Sergeant Dickerson proceeded to get the prisoners ready for transportation. The company also got the captors ready for transportation. Ensign Craig directed a levitation beam at him. The beam lifted him up about three feet above their heads and they started walking. They had a long trek ahead of them, indeed. Dickerson began to wonder that the journey may take longer than he originally estimated it to be. They keep going though, first through winding roads, then through thick underbrush. Occasionally – and, of course, not at all unexpectedly – the men snag their clothes on underbrush.

“Damn,” said Julie Weintraub, a young lieutenant with the group. “My trousers caught on this bush.” The bush she was referring to was a prickly pear bush with three-inch long projectiles sticking out of it. It had been there a long time.

“Well, let me help you with that,” replied Ensign Ilya.

“No, no. It’s quite all right I’ve got it. There’s no need to bother everyone about my little difficulties.” said Julie Weintraub.

“Really, it’s OK. I don’t mind helping.” replied Ensign Ilya.

Ensign Ilya then proceeded with this course of action and with a deft swift of his wrist unsnagged the lieutenant’s pants leg. Unfortunately, however, he ripped the material slightly.

“Oh, I’m sorry. How stupid of me! Of course, I will reimburse  you for the material.”

“It’s no problem, really,” laughed Lt. Weintraub. “I’ll fix it in fifteen minutes once we get to the location.”

“Well, I’ll help you, in fact, I insist that I do.”

They proceeded along the path, trudging pass rocks and boulders along the way. After they traveled for approximately two hours they stopped for about five minutes to discuss and anticipate what will happen after Captain Kirk gives an order that the slaves will go free.

“I predict that there will be a general uprising, and that the blacks will fight to the end on this,” stated Sergeant Dickerson emphatically.

“Well, I’ll wager five to one against Captain Kirk,” replied a creature four feet high with several tentacles.

“OK, I’ll take you on,” yelled another voice.

“I’ll put twenty credits on it,” said the third member of the group.

“Hey, I want some action too,” stated one of the black prisoners.

Sergeant Dickerson blinked. The tentacled creature began laughing in his strange alien fashion. The third member looked at him amazingly. The other prisoners began talking excitedly among themselves, their communication punctuated by brief intermittent laughter. Of course, all the laughter was bound to have an effect on the state of Lieutenant Commander T’Cael. He began to move, slightly at first, but his movements increased ever so, but ever so, slightly with time. He yawned, then said, “Sergeant Dickerson, would you come here a minute please.”

“Yes, sir,” replied the sergeant respectfully. He moved toward the lieutenant slowly at first, but then moved more rapidly, albeit somewhat nervously.

Meanwhile, the lieutenant ordered his men to turn off the levitation beam and jumped down.

“Sergeant Dickerson, while you are entitled to your opinion, I do not suggest that you voice it too stridently. Certain elements might not approve. That is all. Dismissed sergeant.” With this admonishment the group continued their trek toward the city.

By the time they arrived at the city, all the leaders were sitting around.

Some of the Enterprise crew were sitting down on the steps outside the palace while others were lounging around the lush, rich grass. Others had set up tents and were merely relaxing or playing inside them. The members of many black tribes from the many cities of this amazing little planet were also present. Some of the emperors were even bigger than Kee Tra 712 and were as tall as eight feet. They were all dressed quite richly and exorbitantly. One of the black emperors wore a hat that was extremely close to the style of a cowboy hat with a Mohawk of feathers running from the front brim all the way to the back brim. The black brim of his hat was inlaid with jewels that were on gold studs. Another emperor was dressed from head to toe in a shiny silver uniform that would remind one of space traveler from an Amazing Stories short story of the 1930’s. To top it all off, and completely finish the look, he was wearing a gold helmet with a green visor on the top of his head.

Although it was not unexpected, a few women had actually shown up. They wore long flowing gowns that served to accentuate their sexuality in the most feminine and hide the unattractiveness of those women who were less good-looking. Many of the gowns had gold and silver jewels embroidered in a vertical pattern on the front of the dress starting at the breast level and extending to the hips.

Mr. Spock called the meeting to order. Kirk and Spock had arranged it so that Kirk’s voice could be blared over the 23rd century equivalent of loud speakers that had been set up especially for that purpose. Kirk’s voice then came over these speakers, “Listen to me, emperors of the planet, from now on all your people were free. The whites have just as much say as the blacks in determining their destiny. There will be no more discrimination on this planet.”

The emperor and slaves stood together listening to the speech. Some nodded in ascension while others frowned in dissent. However, the ratio of those expressing approval to the plan to those expressing disapproval was about two to one.

Emperor Kee Tra 712 began to interrupt but Kirk cut him off. Kirk then proceeded with his speech, “The United Federation of Planets will assist the citizens of the planet with the change of government. We will establish a interim period in which the government will be granted six months for the transition. We will attempt to make the transition as smooth as possible. Of course, Federation representatives will be available to assist any citizen of the planet who requests it. Do you have any questions?”

“Only one,” replied the emperor. “What will happen to the ruling class?”

“Well, not being part of the team to help you with the transition I’m not sure of the details. I will just say that . . . uh, of course, it is obvious that you will have to reduce your standard of living somewhat. You will be allowed to maintain all your personal property that has been in your family estate but you will have to give back all the public property that was put in trust or bequeathed to you.”

With that, Kirk called Scotty, “Scotty, beam us up.”

Later, in Kirk’s cabin aboard the USS Enterprise, Captain Kirk, Dr. McCoy, and even Mr. Spock on this special occasion were sitting around sharing a bottle of Rigellian brandy.

Kirk looked around focusing his eyes upon the collectable antiques. In particular, he looked at the middle of the 1970 aircraft carrier bearing the same name of the ship under his command. It was beautiful artwork and he was very proud of it. It was an intricate model of the famous aircraft carrier – accurate and precise in every detail even down to the gun turrets on the bridge of the craft. He remarked, “I often wonder what it would be like to have been commander of this ship back in the 1960’s and 1970’s. I envy the captains and skippers of old – they did not have to worry about the populations of the planets that they serviced. I hope that I made the correct decision down there.”

McCoy stretched on Jim’s bed, sipped his brandy and said, “You made a decision, Jim. A decision that I believe is correct, but to which there is no way of discerning whether it was correct or not – that is simply a matter of opinion.”

Mr. Spock, uncharacteristically drinking, replied in the same vein, “I concur. Although it is true that the good doctor and I disagree much more than we agree, I have to admit that he is correct this time.”

Kirk leaned back in his chair, looked at both of them and smiled. Dr. McCoy looked at Mr. Spock incredulously. Mr. Spock had not agreed with anything he had to say in the last six months. “Mr. Spock – I can’t believe that you are lending me a vote of confidence but thank you very much.” he said.

“You are quite welcome, Doctor, as I said, I believe that you are absolutely correct in this case. I cannot imagine that Captain Kirk had an easy time making his decision. I am glad that I am not in a position requiring difficult decisions such as these.”

Kirk replied, “Sometimes I wish that I didn’t have to make decisions like this, but it is the nature of my job and I must do it. I think the people of this planet will do all right by themselves.”

“Aye,” Mr. Spock and Dr. McCoy mumbled in ascension.

The Enterprise was like a great big silvery eagle with the stars glimmering in the background. The adventure continued.




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