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Same Difference

Posted on Wed Sep 15th, 2021 @ 12:10pm by Captain Abigail Laurens & Commander Ichiko Gail

Mission: Double Bind

No sooner had the doors closed behind them, Abigail turned on her heel to face Ichiko. "Does the Ts'usugi have a prime directive?" she asked before heading toward the replicator, the usual order being places of two cups of tea and a plate of ginger snaps and carrying them back to the seats near the windows.

Ichiko waited to answer, either gathering her thoughts, or picking up her tea. "Nothing quite as... contested and debated as yours. We have a policy of non-involvement with races that have yet to leave their own system." she pointed out. "Any race that can't get off their own planet would only be harmed by proof of the existence of an interstellar empire. Our philosophers realized that such a revelation would either make them abandon star travel altogether out of the notion of there being no point to travel, or they would seek our aid and invalidate all the progress they would have made on their own."

"The theory goes that if you are hungry, you seek a way to make your own meal, but if I *give* you a recipe you no longer waste time figuring out how to make a meal." a pause, "All those stumbles and progressions along the way are gone." she shook her head slightly, "But, that's how the policy came about. In the interest of not pruning the intellect of the cosmos, we don't interfere until they are at least outside their own system. However, much like how there are seemingly countless exceptions to your directive, we have two."

"Koldarans, and Fera." she stated after a beat, "Koldarans enjoy the notion of a defenseless world. To them, an emerging species is just easy fodder. We repel the Koldarans, not so much in the interest of the native species but to deny the Koldarans resources. Once the threat has passed, we help the natives cope with their new world view."

"In the case of Fera, we blockade the world to prevent any further contact and contamination. If the world has the capacity, we very cautiously monitor any evacuations for a time. Mostly it depends on the degree of contact, but once that time has passed, we turn the ships around, and rather than preventing new contacts in, we stop the exodus. Nothing leaves without being scanned. There are policies that take place then, protectorates, but none of them matter or apply here." she actually waved her hand to seemingly dismiss this part of the discussion.

"We have two exceptions. Neither of them apply here, but I do imagine that from an outside perspective looking in, that could sound a bit heartless, cold... uncaring." she joined Abigail by the windows, taking a ginger snap as payment for council. "We're not as vast as the Federation. We're not as inclusive, not yet anyway. We cannot afford to take those kinds of risks, or be that flexible. That entire discussion out there proved the danger of being flexible in regards to the policy so important and integral to the Federation that they decided to give it the number One." another breath, another nibble of her cookie.

Abigail took a sip of her latte, her attention firmly fixed on the planet visible through the window. "This situation..." she she shook her head slightly. "Is any rule, even a rule as paramount as the Prime Directive, worth the loss of an entire civilisation?" she finally asked quietly.

"You're asking the wrong person, I'm afraid. My people are a people of protocol." Ichiko explained, before she started to go through the most unusual series of steps. One by one, she removed the pips from her collar.

"As an officer of this ship, I must advise that your directives and protocols must be adhered to." pip. pip. and then her collar was bare. Next, she carefully pulled her comm badge from her chest. There, in her hand, rested the entirety of her career in Starfleet. Pips and badge.

She released the snap of her collar, giving her neck a little extra room before she took a breath, "As your friend, I advise you to do whatever you can, whatever you must, so that tomorrow morning you can look at yourself in the mirror." Ichiko responded, her posture far more relaxed than it was with the weight of Starfleet's regalia on her person.

"I'm at your side. If we burn, we burn together." and with her heart having spoken its piece, the rabbitess began to reapply the marks of station and rank.

"As it was said, there are numerous times in the past that the directive has been lax. Also, we are *quite* a way away from Starfleet headquarters." Ichiko the proper had returned, with a solution that fit all her nuances.

Abigail turned toward Ichiko, a ghost of a smile on her lips. "Thank you, friend," she said quietly. "I need you to open the Observation Lounge for me please and inform the crew that I will be addressing the entire crew within the next twenty minutes." Her gaze drifted back to the planet beyond the window. "I need to make some decisions."

Ichiko moved up so that her reflection shared the 'glass' of the window. For a species that held no reflection in their eyes, they could appear so enigmatic in mirrors. "I'd be a terrible friend if I didn't offer to help. I'd be a terrible ship's second if I didn't support you." she paused and gave a nod, "Twenty minutes, all hands, observation lounge." she repeated the request, as though she'd forget any of this.

"I want you to know. These are some of the most painful and troublesom memories I've ever had to make, so far." she said, but her tone was far from accusatory. "Knowing that I'm making them with a friend helps. No regrets, no judgement, no matter what you decide." she reassured Abigail before she moved towards the door. She paused only at the door for a moment, a soft smile towards her friend. "I trust you."

Abigail remained silent as Ichiko exited the ready room. The statement required no affirmations, instead she continued to stare at the planet below, contemplating the sheer impossibility of the dilemma in front of them.


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