"Banes of Existence"

It was a quiet day in space. The starship Enterprise was on a new mission. It was a rescue mission. Rested, the captain appeared on the bridge.

"Jim," Lieutenant Uhura rarely stated, "Starfleet orders have arrived."

Sulu, at the helm station, took a glance back at her.

"Alright," the captain replied, "feed the message to Mister Spock's computer."

She acknowledged the order with the press of a button as the science officer applied an earpiece to his ear. Funny sounds emanated from the computer as Captain Kirk made his way over.

He engaged, "Spock?"

In a flash, the science officer switched off the computer. Swiveling in his chair, he started, "As it was officially reported on the news – the planet Kano is at the end of its lifecycle."

"Does life exist on this planet, Spock?" the captain hesitated to ask.

With a thought, he responded, "That's what puzzles me."

A pause took place. Sulu glanced again with all hanging on Spock's every word. It was fear the Vulcan began to feel. Then he said, "We are close to the Neutral Zone, and a mere two hundred primitive natives live there."

Instinct told them that conflict with the Klingons was inevitable. It was only Kirk who knew the course of their next action. He ordered Ensign Chekov to engage at maximum safe cruising speed. Kirk did not care how much time it would take to complete the mission. It would be completed just the same.

Kano was a small world. It had lots of life, though. Kirk and Spock would beam down alone – this kept the crew safer. Sulu was in command until the two finished the mission.

The captain talked into his communicator, "Landing party to Enterprise – our beam was successful. Kirk, out."

As they walked, Spock used his tricorder to take readings, "We are near a village. It seems to be the only one."

"It doesn't add up," the captain replied. "Only two hundred people or so? This planet is teeming with life, and its most evolved species is only two hundred in number."

Natives fumbled about. Little was said. Nothing was stolen from them, but the two were taken violently towards a village by captors armed only with spears and shields. Starfleet officers were trained for these scenarios.

In a small cage at the heart of the village, natives danced around them. Kirk and Spock still had their weapons. The chants used by the natives caused Spock to use his tricorder as a universal translator.

"Anything, Spock?" Kirk asked brushing the sweat from his eye. Since he knew cannibals danced before they ate, he dared not to speak too loudly.

Deep down inside, Spock was just as scared as Kirk was, "According to my readings, the speech used in their dance is not consistent with a working language."

"Oh, my," Kirk inquired. "Are you telling me they can't talk?"

In an instant, Kirk quickly took out his communicator to speak to the Enterprise with a chill running down his spine, "Sulu, please help us."

In the stars above, a daring space battle was being fought, "Sulu here, Captain. We are a little busy at the moment."

"What's happening to the ship?!" Kirk demanded.

Klingon warships were engaging the Enterprise and appeared to protect something in the system, "We can't talk right now, sir. Is it important?"

"Are shields up?" the captain asked him.


"Alright," he said. "Kirk, out."

The party of music and dancing stopped for a time. It became necessary for them to use body language to communicate with their captors. It turned out to be an endeavor that could have ended better.

They were in serious danger. Sulu came down with a security team. It was a failed attempt at rescue. They were captured. It was proved that hand phasers did not work on Kano. Luckily, Scotty repaired the ship enough to use transporters.

In a race for the bridge, Kirk asked Scotty, "How did you repair the damage this time? The ship must have been a complete mess."

"I can't understand it either," the engineer noted. "We were out of power. Then, for some reason, power came from the surface. I never saw the like before."

"It says here that energy came from the planet core once being siphoned from our hand phasers," Spock said returning to his station.

Kirk said, "It was a miracle."

"Miraculous is not what I would call it," McCoy added. "We have injured officers in sickbay because of you."

Kirk responded with innocence, "I am not about to take responsibility for Klingon oppression. None of us signed on for that."

"Sure you didn't," McCoy told him.

Spock chose to speak up, "Captain, the natives were obviously put on Kano by the Klingons. We rescued them from death, but that does not alter the fact that we violated the Prime Directive."

Just as the planet was about to explode, Kirk looked at his yeoman with a smile to respond, "Yes, it does. In about five…four…three…two…."

With that implication, Chekov steered the ship away from harm. The Enterprise was taken a safe distance as to enter warp speed. This would cause an interstellar incident as the Klingons claimed that combat took place on their side of the Neutral Zone. It was remapped for this. Kano would explode in moments.

The End