"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 to him.

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 near 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 that the Vulcan began to feel. He then said, "We are close to the Neutral Zone, and a mere two hundred natives live on Kano."

Instinct told them conflict with the Klingons was inevitable. Kirk knew what was to be done. He ordered Ensign Chekov to engage engines for Kano at maximum safe cruising speed. Kirk did not care how much time it took to complete the mission. He would complete it just the same.

Kano was a small world. It was also a little hot. Kirk and Spock beamed down alone – this would keep the crew safer. Sulu was in command until the two completed 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 primitive 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 advanced species is only two hundred in number."

Natives fumbled about. Nothing was stolen, but the two were taken to the village by locals armed only with spears and shields. Starfleet officers were trained for scenarios like these.

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 turn his tricorder into a universal translator.

"Anything, Spock?" Kirk whispered as he brushed sweat from his eye.

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, no," Kirk inquired. "Are you telling me they can't talk?"

In an instant, Kirk quickly took his communicator out to contact the Enterprise as chills ran down his spine, "Sulu, please help us."

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

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

Klingon warships attacked the Enterprise, "We can't talk right now, sir. Is it important?"

"Are shields up?" the captain asked.


"Alright," he said.

"Kirk, out."

The dancing stopped as battle did. It was words the natives awaited. It became time to negotiate using only their hands. It was an endeavor that could have ended better.

The two were still in danger. Sulu attempted rescue with a security team. It failed. They were also captured. It turned out hand phasers did not work on Kano. Luckily, Scotty repaired the ship enough to use transporters.

In a race to the bridge, Kirk asked Scotty, "How did the ship get so damaged? It's a complete mess."

"I can't understand it either," the engineer noted. "Sulu said his hand phaser did not work. So I cut power to weapons. Power levels then came back to the engines. I never saw the like before."

"It says here that power came from the surface after it was siphoned from our weapons," Spock said as he returned to his station.

Kirk said, "It was a miracle."

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

Kirk responded in innocence, "I am not about to take responsibility for Klingon oppression. No one 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's no excuse to violate the Prime Directive."

Just as the planet was about to implode, Kirk turned to his yeoman and responded with a smile, "Yes, it is. 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 the battle took place on their side of the Neutral Zone. It was remapped for this. Kano would implode in moments.

The End