|Star Trek: Justice episode|
|Original post date:||2013-05-07|
|Next episode:||"Vengeance (Star Trek: Justice episode)"|
Prime Directive is the second story in the Star Trek: Justice fan fiction series, set a few months after "Cadets" and continuing the adventures of the USS Justice-D. Much of the story focuses on the character of Velma Garcia.
A whole planet under religious control. A disastrous First Contact mission. The limits of the Prime Directive are put to the test...The crew of the USS Justice faces a moral dilemma like no other. What happens when a species that is about to become warp-capable has ideals entirely against everything the Federation stands for?
"Prime Directive" at FanFiction.net
The story opens on the bridge of a small Lotoran freighter as it comes out of warp over a large moon. The Lotoran captain cautiously orders a scan for any Federation vessels. The scan is negative, but the science officer reports their sensors are unable to penetrate the atmosphere of the moon. Sensing a trap, the captain orders his helmsman, Mi'kay, to retreat, but before he can the ship is hit with phaser fire from inside the moon's atmosphere. Moments later, the USS Justice-D emerges from the clouds and hails the disabled Lotoran ship. Admiral So'Gam announces that the Lotorans are under arrest for smuggling. The Lotoran captain taunts So'Gam for using such a large ship to capture a simple freighter, and claims that the Lotoran leader has already escaped on another ship. So'Gam replies that he knows the captain himself is the leader of the Lotorans because one of his officers has infiltrated the Lotoran ship. At this point, one of the Lotoran bridge officers deactivates a holographic disguise, revealing herself to be Ensign Velma Garcia. The other Lotoran officers attempt to shoot Velma, but as she was given access to their weapons locker, she has already disabled them. Velma brags about how easy this was, but So'Gam reminds her not to taunt their new prisoners.
Back aboard the Justice, So'Gam calls Velma into his ready room to tell her that he is promoting her to Lieutenant for all her hard work and her skill in bringing down the Lotoran smuggling ring.
That night, Mi'kay dreams of being called to Jil'eesa's quarters in the middle of the night, revealing his attraction to her. Meanwhile, So'Gam receives a communique from Captain Va'Kel Shon of the USS Enterprise-F directing him to rescue an officer captured while observing the Regorlians, an oppressive and violent religious society on the verge of developing warp drive. While the Enterprise deals with Tholian attacks on Romulan Republic ships, the Justice is to make the official first contact with the Regorlians while clandestinely rescuing the Federation observers.
The next day Velma is promoted to lieutenant in a formal ceremony. Jil'eesa asks her why the room in which the ceremony was held is called the "Hall of Justice," prompting Velma to explain to her the concept of superheroes from ancient Earth popular culture. Jil'eesa asks how such beings could be trusted to abide by their high moral codes to help the innocent when they had potentially unlimited capacity to do harm and Velma is unable to answer the question. She is called away by So'Gam who wishes to discuss the mission to Regorlia with her. He asks if she is familiar with Enlightenment Theory, the idea that societies must restructure their belief systems to embrace a more scientific and less religious outlook before developing advanced technologies like warp drive. He tells her that the Regorlians are an exception, a society ruled over by a strict, oppressive, theocratic government. Velma is surprised that such a society exists, and even more so that they are making first contact with them. She predicts disaster, but volunteers to help out. So'Gam then waits for her to review the data, after which they discuss the possibility that a civil war would break out on Regorlia, sparked by the government of the continent Grelade, which has been relaxing its laws and allowing more religious and civil liberties for its citizens. These actions have enraged the rest of the planet and placed Grelade under threat of invasion. So'Gam and Velma discuss whether or not they should get involved in the civil war, which could cost millions of lives, or allow it to play out as the Prime Directive suggests.
Meanwhile, Mi'key approaches Jil'eesa in the Hall of Justice and, knowing an emotional argument will not sway her, tries to make a logical argument for her to go out with him. She turns him down as she is not interested in him that way, and further she is a lesbian, a fact which neither he nor Velma knew.
Sometime later, on Regorlia two brothers, Mergot and Krelot, are working on the planet's first warp drive. As they work, Krelot gives all credit to their god, Lord Regor, while Mergot wonders what other species they'll encounter when they venture out into the universe and openly questions why the Regorlians should be the only ones who know about Lord Regor, if he really is the creator of the universe. Krelot rebukes his brother for such thoughts, and just then So'Gam and Velma beam into the room and greet the pair. They introduce themselves and invite the scientists to board their starship, where all their questions about the alien visitors will be answered. After a long tour of the Justice, the brothers are taken to the Hall of Justice where they are offered replicated refreshments from their homeworld. Krelot then asks how it can be that they have developed such advanced technology without the help of Lord Regor. So'Gam answers that they achieved it by logic and reasoning, which Krelot declares the greatest enemies of Regorlia. He says that anyone who does not follow Lord Regor is a servant of The Evil and wants nothing to do with the crew of the Justice or the Federation. He tries to persuade Mergot, but Mergot is interested in the aliens and refuses to go along. He leaves without him to contact Regorlia's Grand Ruler.
Meanwhile, the Grand Ruler himself is interrogating the captured Starfleet officer. He holds up a combadge, demanding to know what it does. The officer shows him how to activate it and then shouts over the open channel for an emergency beam-out. He is transported to the Justice before the Grand Ruler can shoot him.
With the prisoner retrieved, Velma and So'Gam turn their attention to the immanent civil war on Regorlia, questioning Mergot on the situation. Mergot expresses disgust with the world government of Regorlia, that twists his religion to support a war of extermination on the people of Grelade. However, he believes that the war is inevitable without the direct intervention of the Justice. As they're discussing it, the government of Grelade makes an official announcement, seceding from the world government of Regorlia and signaling the beginning of the civil war. Velma and So'Gam realize they will have to make their own decision on whether or not to violate the Prime Directive in this case, as they do not have time to contact Starfleet Command.
In order to help her reach a decision, Velma consults with Car'los, who has deeply-held spiritual beliefs. He tells her that spirituality is a natural outlet for some people and does not exclude scientific thought. At the same time, he is deeply opposed to the central government of Regorlia as it has twisted the Regorlian religion to suit its own needs until no trace of healthy spirituality remains.
Down on the planet, the people of Grelade are preparing for an unstoppable invasion. They see the Grand Ruler approaching with a fleet of hovercraft, but suddenly the Justice descends through the clouds and positions itself between Grelade and the invaders. The invaders fire on the starship, but their weapons are so ineffective that Vi'cky cannot tell whether they've damaged the ship's shields or if the shields are experiencing normal fluctuations. The invading army retreats and the Justice arranges to mediate the dispute. At the mediation, the Grand Ruler accuses So'Gam and the Justice crew of working for The Evil and Mergot defends the aliens, asking. The Grand Ruler then pulls out a phaser, captured from the Federation observer, and attempts to kill Mergot with it. Velma pushes Mergot out of the way and is hit instead. The Grand Ruler then prepares to kill So'Gam, but before he can do so, Velma stands up, alive thanks to her personal shield. The Regorlians declare it to be a miracle and the Grand Ruler says it is the power of The Evil. He says that Lord Regor will perform a similar miracle, to prove the divine support of the Regorlian world government. He shoots himself with the phaser, but as he has no personal shield, he is vaporized. With his death, Grelade is safe and Mergot and his brother are reunited.
Back aboard the Justice, Velma is treated for injuries resulting from being thrown into a wall when she was hit by the phaser blast. So'Gam informs her that Starfleet Command has tentatively approved their actions on Regorlia, though they are temporarily banned from further first contact missions, pending a full review. Later, as Velma meditates on the holodeck, Jil'eesa comes down to her and they return to her earlier question about superheroes. Velma reflects that the question isn't so far removed from the situation they encountered on Regorlia, where they had the capacity to destroy the Regorlian civilization but Mergot trusted them to preserve it. She answers that sometimes you just have to have faith.