Whom Gods Destroy

By Gale Force

Authors note:

This story doesn't include the Star Trek: Enterprise episodes as part of the equation of early Trek. As far as I'm concerned, that series never happened!

Introduction – The Prime Directive

Today, it is axiomatic that no member of the Federation can interfere in any way with the indigenous inhabitants of a planet. Indeed, the inhabitants are never even know that the Federation exists, unless and until they develop spaceflight capability of their own.

It was not always this way.

It was the events that happened on the planet of Axanar, and its aftermath, that caused the development of the Prime Directive.

Here is that story.

Part 1 – The Discovery

Axanar was, and in a sense still is, a Class-M planet in a small, out-of-the-way solar system, a little closer to the unexplored territory of the ever-expanding Federation than the unexplored territory of the ever-expanding Klingons.

Axanar had, quite independently of Earth, evolved from its own Stone Age to Bronze Age to Iron Age, to the Medieval Age. As with most planets on which humanoid forms resided, the history of their interaction was warlike. For decades various nobles – in the southern hemisphere, -- had fought each over over land, and their religion, and so on, until one man had achieved the power to establish hegemony over the rest. The kingdom was called Izar, the man who ruled it, King Gaveston. At his side throughout his battles had been his efficient General, Simov, who was really responsible for most of Gaveston's victories – his command of strategy and more, implementing that strategy, was masterful.

When peace broke out, Simov retired and was given estates near the village of Chaels by the grateful king. Being a literary man, with lots of time on his hands now, despite an ever growing family, he wrote histories of the battles, and books explaining tactics. The southern hemisphere was united under Gaveston's rule, but the peoples of the northern hemisphere were not to be trusted…the martial arts had still to be practiced.

Young Garth was a peasant lad, who lived with his family in the village of Chaels. The village was adjacent to the King's Forest, and in the distance, from Sunrise Hill – as Garth called one of the nameless hills that surrounded his village – he could see the spires of the Castle that was the residence of Baron Simov.

Every morning, Garth got up in darkness to do his first chores of the day, quickly and efficiently, and when they were done he would set out on a race, a race to beat the sun to the top of Sunrise Hill. And he always won.

From that hill he stared at that castle so far away, for as many minutes as he could before his duties called him again. He had no dream of becoming a lord and sitting in idleness on a velvet throne…it was people he longed to see – people he didn't know, the travel away from his village, to places he didn't know like the back of his hand, and events that he wanted to have happen, different, something different, something unexpected... instead of the same old routine that was life in small Chaels. He loved his family, and his friends, but one day he would journey away from his village. One day he would set out to explore all of Izar..and then, all of the world!

One night, when Garth was eight years old; and when all were asleep in their homes, a fireball might have been seen streaking through the sky, and hitting quite near the village of Izar.

Of course, hitting is not the right description, but that is perhaps what an untutored eye would have made of it. The shuttlecraft, disguised now, had made a pinpoint landing. Within, three members of the merchant marine arm of the Federation, in their grey jumpsuits, fixed themselves coffee. The leader of the expedition sighed.

"I hate landing at night. All the sensors in the world don't mean squat. We could still hit something."

The second man shrugged. "Orders. We stay incognito until we find out if there's anything worth having here."

"Anything worth having?" rapped the third man, drinking his coffee with fingers that trembled. "I never saw such readings. This planet is a miner's paradise. We're going to be rich."

"We still have to check the readings. Our technology isn't perfect. We've been wrong before."

"Technology," scoffed the leader. "How long have they been promising us some kind of beam…some kind of matter transporter, so we don't have to take a shuttle down to planets like this, but can just, you know…he snapped his fingers…like that."

"Never going to happen," said the second man. "It's just not possible. Someone's writing science fiction."

After a good night's sleep, for at least two of the men, the Federation explorers donned rough garb and exited the shuttle craft. Taking what to today's eyes would be a primitive tricorder, they made their way carefully through the deserted landscape, just south of the village of Izar, until they came to a series of gorges which looked as if they'd d been gouged out of the land by a giant, running his finger through it. Each man held a tricorder. Each tricorder went crazy.

The three men slapped each other on the back and laughed exultantly.

"Gentlemen, we're going to be rich," said the third man. "Let's get back to the ship and send in our claim right now. In another few years…"

The three men cast their eyes over the peaceful scenery. "In another few years, this will be home to the sweetest mining equipment you ever saw. We'll bring technology here so fast, the digs (short for indigenous) won't know what hit 'em."

"We can't take off until tonight." Cautioned the second man. "No need to panic these people until we're ready to take over."

The three men returned to the shuttlecraft. The leader and the second man passed the time away watching videos or reading…the third man simply lay in his bunk, eyes on the ceiling above him, dreaming of what he'd do with his riches.

It was going to take a few years, of course. Travel those many years ago did not take place at the greater warp speeds of today. It was a six-month's journey back to the nearest Federation outpost, and from there they'd have to go through all the red tape of laying claim to the mining rights of the planet, and establishing their business plan to ensure the digs were well-compensated for the mines that would completely alter their way of life… but soon…very soon… he'd be rich.

Part II – The Castle

The King of Izar was come!

Every year, the King made a procession to one or more of the castles he had gifted to the nobles who had helped him establish his kingdom in the War. While the king was in residence, the entire village was allowed to come into the castle, and watch various events – now that soldiers were no longer needed to fight wars, they fought for the entertainment of the populace. There would be much food, much dancing, much entertainment.

Garth was so excited he felt as if he would burst.

He and his family were in the last cart heading up the road to the castle, through the King's Forest. Garth had started out by running alongside the cart…he'd been too impatient to ride and thought he could run all the way to the castle. After all, he could run all the way up Sunrise Hill! But after an hour he'd been exhausted and climbed into the cart to rest, and marked in his mind a few lessons he would always remember – don't be impatient, and don't overestimate your abilities. He rested his head on his mother's shoulder and tried to ignore his sore feet.

There was not room enough within the castle for all the villager, of course, so pavilions had been set out on the lower greens, for the peasants to congregate and sleep. There was free food and free entertainment there as well.

Garth spent the day between his mother and father, holding on to the hand of his sister, as they watched all this glorious pageantry unfold. He did this because his feet felt too sore for him to go anywhere!

But the next day, he received permission to wander around on his own. There were no worries – the whole village was there and they knew Garth and he knew them. And he knew better than to go inside the castle buildings, his parents knew. He would wander in the vast grounds, and be perfectly safe.

In one section of the castle grounds, a barrier had been set up, so that two knights on mounts (the equivalent to Earth horses) could ride along and tilt at each other. (It was similar to the way it had been done on Earth, and indeed on all M-class planets where human spores had come to rest.)

Garth gazed up in awe at the huge beasts, so easily controlled by the tiny men who sat upon them. He was going to have one of those beasts someday, he promised himself.

Garth gazed around, trying to find a better vantage point from which to see the jousting. As he looked, he saw a group of boys wander into an inner courtyard, laughing. They must be the sons of nobles, he deduced, dressed as they were in silk finery. And there..there was a column with a flat top on which he could sit. Garth strode toward it quickly.

As he stood balancing on top of the column, he only vaguely listened to what was occurring in the inner courtyard. It seemed the boys had tired of watching the joust and wanted to hold one of their own. They were persuading the groom of the stables to let them ride two… Garth didn't understand the word, but presumably they would be younger and smaller versions of the great mounts that the knights were riding.

There was much laughter, one of them pitched higher than the others. Garth turned to look behind him. A young boy, about four or five, he guessed, was on one of the mounts, holding on for dear life as his friends held him upright in the saddle.

Suddenly, for no reason Garth could see, the beast reared up on its hind legs, and the boys holding onto it fell away. The boy on top of the beast screamed and held on tighter. The scream seemed to frighten the animal, it reared again and then started running toward the open space, out into the outer court where the jousting was going on. In its madness, thought Garth, the beast would run straight into the joust, and the boy could be killed, if he didn't fall off first and be trampled.

Garth had only a few seconds to think. Should he jump on the beast's neck, try to drag it down? Should he jump for the boy, knock him off the beast, and cushion the fall with his own body? The beast ran by, the child screaming in fear, though he still held the reins. Garth launched himself into space, landed behind the boy on the saddle, and reached around him for the reins. He hauled on the reins with his right hand, instinctively knowing that this would cause the beast to turn right. As indeed it did, avoiding the two great beasts and the mass of people in the center of the courtyard.

Now, how to stop it? Oblivious of the screaming around him, from the spectators, from the knights whirling their mounts around to see what was happening, from the child in front of him, Garth pulled backwards on the reins with his left hand. His right was useless, he was using it to hold the child in front of him so he should not fall off at this great speed, even as his knees gripped the great beast's flanks in desperation.

If only he could use both hands…

But the creature was driven by fright and continued its flight. It swerved past the spectators and out of the gates of the castle ground itself.

What could he do, Garth wondered desperately. Perhaps just keep the beast going in a circle around the castle until it tired itself out? Desperately, he hauled right on the reins again, and indeed the beast turned to the left, even as it seemed to speed up.

Then, incredibly, Garth heard hoofbeats. On his left, and on his right, two other mounts, ridden by the knights who had been jousting, appeared. They each grabbed at the reins, and in a few short seconds the mount had come to a halt.

The knights dismounted. One of them grabbed down the child, the other roughly caught Garth by the arm and flung him to the ground from that great height. "Villain!" cried the knight. "You attempt to kidnap the son of Baron Simov?"

"I didn't," yelled Garth, getting to his feet, only to be knocked down again. He took the momentum of the shove and rolled a few feet before rising again, balancing on the balls of his feet. "The beast was trying to run away! I was trying to stop it!"

"Yes, leave him alone," piped up the child, running to Garth's side and grabbing his hand. "He saved me!"

The knight took a deep breath. "I beg your pardon, boy."

At this point, the rest of the spectators arrived….as did Baron Simov, his wife and the boys who had been in the inner courtyard. They all explained what they had seen, even as Garth's parents came to stand at his side.

Finally, Baron Simov approached them.

"Your son did a brave thing, and he very likely saved the life of my son. I would like to reward him by taking him into my household. He will be my son's squire."

The eyes of Garth's parents widened at this signal honor, and Garth himself could hardly contain his joy.

Part III – The Friendship

Great changes had come to Axanar in the last ten years since Garth had entered the household of Baron Simov.

It had started out slowly enough. First, Garth did not become Simony's squire, but rather his friend, as close as a brother. This was because Garth displayed such physical ability, and such quick intelligence, that Simov himself took the boy under his wing, teaching him all he knew about tactics, and warfare, and the knowledge of the enemy. Garth became a knight himself, embracing the arts of war and mastering them – both the physical and the tactical.

But that was not all. Garth, born to charm easily and without effort, got along with everyone, peasant and noble alike. Though there might have been ill-feeling among the other children of the nobility in the household, it vanished within minutes of meeting Garth. He was too big for anyone to try to bully, and too intelligent for anyone to try to verbally abuse him, and once they got to know him they were friends for life. Garth in particular found favor with the girls in the household as well..which might have caused some unpleasantness except he found himself falling in love so quickly with Issobel, daughter of Simov's brother, and she returned his regard. The other girls sighed and turned their attention elsewhere.

So charming was Garth that Simony even made a joke about it, one day. "I swear, Garth, you could charm the whole world into deposing my father and making you King. You could be Lord of the Universe."

Garth had laughed, and said, "I like that idea," and indeed, for the next several weeks the children of the castle played that game – Garth as lord of the universe, Issobel as his queen, and the other children as his subjects.

And as the children grew, the technology on Axanar grew as well, for the Federation arrived. Shuttlecraft landed behind Gaveston's castle, and ambassadors from the Federation explained who they were and what they wanted. They showed all their technology, and how it worked, and they promised to bring Axanar into the twentieth century.

Two hundred years of cultural education and evolution in ten years…

The kingdom of Izar embraced the newcomers, and the technology. The nobles benefitted the most, of course, as they were well compensated for the loss of their land, and the peasants quickly learned to use the mining machinery, and the interiors of their homes were soon filled with electricity, and refrigerators, and television sets. The video, the motor-car…the Federation brought the people of Axanar along gradually, believing that the technology level of the 20th century (rather than the 23rd) would be sufficient for their needs. Nothing was done for the people of the north, who had no minerals of interest to the Federation, so they remained where they had been, and whispered about witchcraft and devils when they saw the aircraft in the sky over Izar.

One day, Garth and Simony took their motorcycles out to ride along Simov Gorge. What there was of it still open to be ridden. Much of the gorge was covered by mining machines. Indeed, only the mining machinery was 23rd century, and the peasant/miners knew that technology was being kept from them, but at this point they little cared.

Garth, at age eighteen, had hit his height, just a little over six feet. He was broad shouldered and muscular, with sandy-brown hair and grey eyes that could glow like ice. His nose was long and straight, his lips well-formed, his chin had the shape that showed he was determined. He had worked, with the aid of various of Simov's courtiers, to acquire the knowledge of etiquette that a man of the court would require, and many was the maiden whose heart had been torn asunder, by his absolute, almost savage martial prowess on the tournament field, and his courtly manners and gentleness in the banquet hall and at the theater.

And Garth had embraced the new technology as it was offered. He particularly enjoyed the videos, the plays of great authors such as Shakespeare of Earth, Tebbroc of Altair IV and Metaxa of Orion.

"If I were not a knight, I would be an actor," he had told Simony once. "Imagine…as an actor you can be …well, anyone you imagine! Ruler of the world! Of the universe!"

Garth looked at Simony now. The little boy whose life he had saved those many years ago was now a mature fifteen. He bestsrode his motorcycle and looked out over the gorge at the beautiful mining facility with a savage look on his face.

Garth knew exactly what the boy was thinking, and it weighed heavy on his heart.

"Have you heard the latest news, Garth?" Simony said angrily. "The Federation is to send a fleet here to guard us! The Klingons are making noises that Axanar belongs to them. My planet belongs to them?"

"No, it doesn't belong to the Klingons, Simony," Garth said calmly. "It belongs to us. But we need the protection of the Federation. Surely you see that. Otherwise the Klingons will just…come in…"

"Just like the Federation did," Simony said bitterly. "We had no choice then, either. And now the Federation is coming in force…to protect us, so they say. If they had not come here to mine our ore, none of this would have ever happened. We would continue to live in peace. Now we must live in fear."

"Don't be silly, Simony," Garth said bracingly. "The Federation would never let anything happen to Axanar. We are too important to them."

Simony grimaced. "So you say, Garth. And so they say. But look what they have done to Izar. All this technology…in so short a time. There are three prisons here now. Three! Where once we had no crime, now not a day goes by that someone doesn't try to steal something. That is what their civilization has done to us. I don't like to look at my people anymore. They have such…such a look in their eyes. This technology has come too fast…they…there's something wrong with them…their minds are touched."

"Simony…you must not distress yourself so. Such would have happened anyway. With the peace of Izar, we were beginning to develop our own technology, weren't we? All this would have happened eventually, and these changes …they still would have happened."

"It's happened too fast," Simony said obstinately. "My people don't know who they are anymore. Or where they are. And the Federation. These people from the Federation…telling King Gaveston what to do, ordering the nobles around, as if they were not of noble blood…and who are they --- they are just peasants!"

"Nothing wrong with being a peasant, Simony," Garth said with a grin.

Simony punched his best friend in the shoulder. "Yes – those with merit should be raised to the highest ranks. But these Federation people…they wish no ranking at all. They have a democracy." He almost spat the word. "The next thing you know, they'll demand that Gaveston abdicate and declare Izar a democracy too. All the castles will be raised to the ground and office buildings built in their place."

"They would not do that," Garth said, confidently. "They have the mining rights, that's all. They can not alter the way we live."

"They've already altered it," Simony shouted. "All this technology, these luxuries, dropped in our lap! We didn't earn any of it, it just appeared. And if you don't earn what you have, you don't appreciate it, do you? Or understand it. You know that, Garth. You spent ten years in my father's court, learning how to be a nobleman."

Garth shrugged. "You under-estimate our people, Simony. They can learn, too."

Simony just grimaced and kicked a stone away from his boot.

Garth took a deep breath. Now was perhaps not the time… but…

"Simony... You remember how we used to talk of travelling all over Izar? Now, now, because of the Federation…we can travel throughout the entire universe."

Simony froze suddenly. He knew his best friend very well. "Garth…what are you saying?"

Garth tossed out his hands. "I am going to ask your father to recommend me to the Space Academy."

"You mean…you mean…you're going to leave Izar?"

"I will never leave Izar, Simony, you know that. I will carry it always in my heart. But…I want to see the galaxy. I want to see…everything…"

"You're going to leave Izar?" Simony repeated… "You're going to leave me, my father? You'll even leave Issobel?"

Garth flushed. "I will leave Issobel only for a time. Once I have graduated from the Academy, I will send for her. I have talked to her about this."

"So I am the last to find out?"

"I knew you would take it like this, Simony. But consider. As the son of Simov, you are assured a place in the Academy too. In just another three years, you'll be able to join me!"

"I will never leave Izar," Simony said, very quietly.

"You say that now," Garth said, also quietly, "but in three years you will change your mind. The whole galaxy is before us, Simony. People we've never met, places we've never been to. We can go anywhere."

"To find yet more planets full of mineral wealth? To take over those planets, and destroy the people and their customs, with no regard for them at all?"

"No," said Garth. "To keep them safe from the Klingons. Just as I will keep Axanar safe."

"You can't be keeping Axanar safe if you're off exploring the galaxy, Garth."

Garth grinned. "Once I prove my mettle, I can and will request an assignment to the Axanar fleet."

"And so you'll fly in your little tin can around the planet, day after day after day, keeping us safe from the Klingons?"

Garth shrugged. "I do not believe in defensive action. If the Klingons say they are going to take Axanar, we should bring the battle to them, not wait for them to attack us. That would be foolish."

"You speak as if you are already a captain! You'll be a space cadet on board a ship, with no authority at all."

Garth's chin went up just a little bit. "I will be a captain, Simony. Quicker than any cadet has ever made it. See if I don't."

Simony actually managed to laugh. "You'll be the best starship Captain the Federation has ever had, Garth. I don't doubt that."

"And you'll join the Academy too."

Simony's smile faded. "I'll never leave Axanar," he repeated. "You keep us safe from the Klingons, Garth. I'll keep us safe from the Federation."

Part IV – The Destruction of Axanar

Garth of Izar attended space academy. The vast majority of cadets graduated at the end of four years, Garth did it in three. His skills and abilities were that impressive.

Although he requested an assignment to the squadron of ships guarding the quadrant in which revolved little Axanar, this was not granted, however. The Federation had bigger plans for him.

The Klingons were massing all along their borders with the Federation. And when the war began, Garth's ship was in the thick of it, and he quickly proved his mettle as a tactician.

Still, he had only just been promoted to captain, and could not be everywhere.

The war was going badly…and then someone blundered. The Klingons made a show of weakness near the Axanar quadrant, and the commanding officer of the squadron decided to risk half that squadron in removing the Klingon menace. It turned out to be a trap.

With half the squadron destroyed, the half that had remained in station about Axanar were no match for a full Klingon squadron that swooped in and decimated them…and Axanar itself.

Garth was in frequent contact with his family there – his parents, Simov and Simony, and his beloved Issobel, It was not instantaneous transmission, however. The messages took several weeks to travel between the planet and the starship. The messages were delivered to him by one of the communications officers on a little chip.

The first Garth heard of the loss of Axanar was when he received a message from Star Fleet command, ordering him to report there at all speed. It was a generic message – sent out to all star fleet captains that were anywhere near the area. Years afterward, his first officer could still remember the shocked and horrified look that passed over Garth's face when they received the order. It had vanished within a second to be replaced by his normal "Captain's face," but the first officer knew right then and there…or so he claimed later… that that was when Garth first looked over the abyss and into hell.

A couple of days later, Garth received two messages on chip from Axanar. One was from Simony, and one was from Issobel. They had been several weeks in the transition.

He took the chips to his quarters, and played the one from Simony first.

The transmission was snowy and crackly…the Klingons were trying to jam all signals emanating from the planet. But the wealthy could buy the most powerful equipment in the universe, and everyone in Izar was wealthy. Simony's face looked into his.

"They attacked three hours, Garth," he began without preamble. "The Klingons. They landed on Axanar and started massacring us! You want to know where your damn Federation is?" He held out his hand to reveal a pulse rifle. "No where! That's where they are. These are all we have to stand against us and those Klingons you were supposed to protect us against!"

Simony's voice had risen to a shout, now he stopped, swallowed, wiped his eyes, gave that little boy smile that he had first given Garth all those years ago, "You're my new brother," he'd said then…tears ran unchecked down Garth's face.

"Sorry," whispered Simony. "Sorry. It's not your fault. It's the damn Federation's fault. Well we shall fight them as long as we can. But I'm sending you this message, Garth. Avenge us. Avenge Izar."

A loud noise caused Garth to jerk back…the sound of a door being kicked inward. Simony looked once more into the camera screen. "They're here," he said quietly. Then Simony's back was to the camera, and he raised his arms as if to fire his rifle, and then his back hit the camera as if a projectile had struck him with great force, and the screen went black.

Without wiping away the tears; with trembling fingers, Garth inserted Issobel's chip. He braced himself for her words…a reproachful look, a wish that he was there to save her…but she said none of that. Her face, too, stared at him out of snow. She was so beautiful, and her face was proud and without fear. Her voice was steady. "The Klingons are here, Garth, they're killing everybody. I'm going to try to take mother and the children (Issobel was a school teacher) to the caves. Perhaps we'll be safe there. We'll wait until…" she paused here. Was she about to say, "Until you come to rescue us."? She didn't say it. Instead she said, "We're going now. I love you, Garth. I'll love you forever."

And the screen went blank.

Garth sat staring at it for a long time.

Part V – The Battle of Axanar

As the fleet swept toward Axanar, Captain Garth put together a plan of attack. He then beamed over to the fleet captain's ship (for by this time the transporter had been perfected), handed that captain the plan, and told him that that was how they would recover Axanar and drive back the Klingons.

The fleet captain, who knew very well that Garth was from Axanar, took the plan and looked at it, and saw that it was innovative, and bold, and daring, and would take split-second timing among the entire fleet to work. But he also knew that it would work.

And so it did. As you know the Battle of Axanar has gone down in the history books as one of the famous starship battles of all time, and is required reading at the academy. The ground battle on Axanar equally well known…the battle that Garth himself led, from the front, with a pulse rifle and phasers slung across his chest on a bandolier.

After the battle, Garth went alone to the caves in the gorge of Marimba. His heart was in his mouth every step of the way. But he found no one in the caves, and no evidence that there ever had been anyone there. Issobel, her mother, and the children had never made it there. Their bodies were never found.

Part VI – The Madness of Garth of Izar

After the Battle of Axanar, the Klingons retreated back into their own space and a truce was called for some years. Garth's exploits at the Battle were detailed, and as well all know, became required reading at the academy. Because the planet was called Axanar and Garth styled himself as from Izar, few cadets realized the tragedy that had been Axanar for Garth of Izar. Indeed, he requested that Star Fleet command remove from his biography that he had been born on Axanar, and state that he had been born on a planet in the Epsilon Boötis system.

At this time, with the threat of the Klingons out of the way, the Federation should have retired Garth, perhaps sent him to teach at the Academy, but he would have none of it. Garth led the way for the Federation's exploration of more and more parts of the galaxy. His fame as an explorer became legendary…he was the prototype starship captain…and the rulers of the Federation believed that he had been able to accept the tragedy of Axanar as just…one of those things that happens in war.

Garth did find out the name of the man who had been in command of the Axanar squadron, and if he'd felt any rage when he discovered the man had not been brought up on charges, but rather had simply been relieved of his command and sent to an obscure outpost far, far away, he did reveal it.

But his explorations over the course of the next several years drew him closer, ever closer, to that outpost.

Then his ship received an SOS from a colony on Algol 3. Miners had dug too deep, and set off the unstable planet. It was disintegrating around them. In addition to the inhabitants of the colony, thirty miners were trapped below ground. The metal ore in the planet was of a kind that made it impossible to beam the miners up – Garth sent shuttlecraft down to the planet, and because of the extreme danger of the mission he himself took command and took only volunteers with him.

Three shuttle crafts filled with rescued miners managed to leave the planet. Garth himself chivvied the last few trapped miners ahead of him when the tunnel walls collapsed on top of him. Garth had been invincible for almost 50 years…he had never questioned his belief in his invincibility, but when he looked up and saw tons of rock bearing down on him…when he looked around and saw the miners running away without regard for him…that belief shattered, and was not to be remade even when he later learned that his own crewmembers from the shuttle had come once more into the mine to rescue him, and bring his maimed and shattered body to Antos IV, where he was healed in body…but not in mind.

The madness took hold when he returned to his starship, the USS Thunder Child, and sat in the command chair. An all-consuming desire to "take over the universe" manifested itself, a megalomania, and for some reason he decided to turn his rage on Antos IV to start with. At first his crew went along with his orders, for they were devoted to him and could not believe that he could not have good reason for what he was doing, but it was like a switch had been turned on, as if his agony in the mines of Algol had caused his mind to take refuge in some world of his own making, in which he had the power of life and death over everyone in the universe. He was quite unable to control himself or even act as if he were in control of himself, and his executive officers took the steps to arrest him and lock him in his quarters, from which he was not removed until they arrived at the first insane asylum in which he was placed.

Finally determined to be incurably insane, he was sent to Elba II (so named after the island where the Earthman Napolean Bonaparte had been sent after his defeat at the battle of Waterloo), and there he was to stay.

But Garth had been taught by the Antosians not only how to manipulate the molecules of his own body, but also how to manipulate men's minds, and he would use that power in an attempt to escape from Elba.

His subsequent defeat, ironically but perhaps appropriately at the hands of Captain James T. Kirk, the new "fair-haired Captain" of the Federation, who was starting to be talked about in the same breath with Garth, are chronicled in the starlogs as "Whom Gods Destroy."