warpfairy: (vulcan calm)
Author: warpfairy
She's got her hair tucked behind her ears. She's wearing one of her Davlian outfits, with the buttons over the shoulders and embroidered blue diamonds.

"Hello. My name is Isabella T'Mir. Some of you may have heard of me; six years ago I was imprisoned on Niamh 6 for violations of the Prime Directive, and following the subsequent well-publicized jailbreak I sought refuge on an unaligned world and stayed there until my recent amnesty. You can hear about my criminal history, as it were, in my other video; this one is about what happened when I came home. It occurred to me, when I heard that I'd been pardoned, that it might be some kind of trap; that the news might have been falsified. It turned out that the amnesty was genuine. The 'repatriation ceremony' to which I was invited on New Vulcan was not. It was an attempt at rape, authorized by the Vulcan High Council and perpetrated by their agents."

Emotionlessness falls over her like a veil, and she continues levelly.

"In order to explain the form this attempted violation took, it will be necessary for me to disclose some features of Vulcan biology which are traditionally kept secret from members of other alien species outside of dearest intimacy. It is my hope that no one will abuse this information to ask deeply personal questions of Vulcans they are acquainted with or to generate cruel stereotypes. I am sharing it only to illustrate the vulnerability of myself and another, anonymous unless he chooses to reveal himself, party, and my distress should not be used as a weapon to embarrass others.

"Full Vulcans, beginning in puberty and every seven years thereafter, enter a mating cycle called pon farr. If unaddressed, it is almost invariably fatal. It can be ridden out with a combination of intensive meditation and medication, which will preserve life in ninety-five percent of cases, more in older individuals, but the only guarantee is to satisfy the drive the cycle evolved to enforce. This is part of what the custom of childhood betrothal is meant to do - to ensure that no one waits until too late to choose a mate, and that youthful impetuousness doesn't lead Vulcan adolescents into an early grave. Partial Vulcans, such as myself, sometimes do not experience pon farr at all, but when we do, it does not first strike at a predictable time. Within Vulcan-specific law that, due to the private nature of this phenomenon, is not duplicated in Federation lawbooks, individuals experiencing pon farr are responsible for engineering their circumstances during their cycle to avoid causing harm, but beyond that are not held accountable for any actions attributable to the hormonal imbalance. I point this out to clarify why I accuse the Vulcan leadership, and not the anonymous party, of attempted rape; the situation was of their engineering, and not his."

The emotionlessness dissolves; there is light in her eyes again.

"I appeared as invited to the ceremony, the day before I expected my own cycle. It began innocently enough, until I attempted to excuse myself to be with my human fiancé in time to address my needs. I was not permitted to leave. I was informed that, subsequent to the death of my Vulcan father during the destruction of the homeworld, and in spite of the continued life and health of my human mother, the Vulcan High Council had opted to act in loco parentis for myself - among others - and arrange betrothals, within the species, to avoid outbreeding or excess reliance on the hazardous option of meditation and medication. Vulcans are, after all, now an endangered species, and concerned leaders of the people have found that those who were small children when the planet was destroyed, now coming of age, and those whose spouses were lost in the destruction, are more and more often choosing not to stay within the small selection pool afforded by the survivors. The fact that I am half-human was, if relevant, a side concern; the fact that I was already engaged was not considered, if it was even guessed; the fact that I did not want to handle my cycle with a stranger selected for me by others at the last moment was an annoyance.

"I engineered my circumstances as best as I knew how; I had my chosen mate within arm's reach, and his advance consent. Others, who never tried to approach me about the future of the Vulcan species openly, who never even asked about my marital status despite the fact that I had been in hiding for nearly six years with no contact with anyone from the Federation, who timed my entrapment for the moment at which I would be most vulnerable - attempted to supplant that engineering.

"My fiancé - now my husband - came looking for me when I did not return to him on schedule, and I invoked an archaic right which - when I describe it - I expect my listeners to be astonished that it is still in practice in any Federated world. My available recourse, when I wanted to reject the man who was chosen for me and when he was not in a condition to voluntarily back down, was to ask my preferred mate to fight him on my behalf. Traditionally this would be to the death; it also suffices to break the hold of pon farr, where applicable, even when both participants survive, as they did in this case. It is my great good luck that this fight went in my husband's favor, as I would have found myself without other means to decline the stranger if he had won instead. It is my great good luck that the agents of the High Council who orchestrated and oversaw this situation did not attempt to deny me even that much power over the outcome.

"The Vulcan High Council's attempt to manage the population it oversees is better suited to a species of domestic animal than to people. I hold its members collectively responsible for my attempted rape by unwitting instrument, and for an unknown number of others attempted or successful, and for the deceitful manipulation of personally innocent patsies such as the anonymous party. If my father's people today attempted to join the Federation, the dismantling of whatever legal scaffolding they used to justify this denial of autonomy would be a condition of membership. I submit that they have, accordingly, demonstrated themselves unfit to administer a member world of a Federation that calls itself civilized, and call for their immediate removal and a new election."


This one she does in Earth clothes, borrowed from Renée, and her hair is down, although the points of her ears stick out a little.

"Hello. My name is Isabella T'Mir. Six years ago I was imprisoned on Niamh 6, a Federation political prison, for violations of the Prime Directive. The charges were all completely true. My trial was held privately, because they didn't want to give anyone ideas. I'll give you those ideas now.

"Federation worlds exist in a condition of post-scarcity. Friendly unfederated worlds, who retain complete independence but do not assume a hostile posture, benefit from Federation policies of free trade and open collaboration. Civilizations with warp drive of whom the Federation is aware fall into four categories: Federation worlds, with the associated standard of living; those so close to it as to make no material difference; voluntary isolationists; and those who have traded shots with Starfleet vessels within the last forty years.

"Worlds that do not have warp drive are left to fend for themselves.

"Under any and all possible circumstances.

"Starfleet will not interfere with a pre-warp world in any perceptible way, even if their entire species is about to be wiped out by disease, disaster, or unfriendly neighbors.

"This is on the grounds that interfering with pre-warp civilizations will harm them."

Isabella pauses for a few seconds, looking at the screen, without even the excess snark of a raised eyebrow, before continuing.

"This is intended to be a series of videos; in later installments I plan to address various reasons why that is even more obviously wrongheaded than it seems on first inspection. In this one I will talk about what I did, and what the Federation did in reply.

"I had a ship, called Prometheus; I suppose I have it again, now that I've been pardoned, and I can probably collect it out of impound. Some of you may understand why I named it that when I tell you that, between cover survey missions, I used it to deliver anonymous warp plans to worlds that were close enough to the breakthrough to be believable, but not so close that I wasn't accelerating their calendar to speak of. Each subsequently achieved warp one and became worthy of Federation notice. Several of them have joined the Federation. Two have opted to go it alone, but will find that their opportunities are greater now that they can seek them in more parts of the galaxy.

"The reason I have been pardoned - or at least part of it; my suspicions about other possible reasons are alluded to in my other video - is that my Promethean activities have been rendered worse than useless. It is now Federation policy to refrain from recognizing any civilization that shows signs of having developed warp inorganically, with those it has already contacted grandfathered in. If I attempted to continue my work now - or if any of the people who were inspired by my unsuccessfully hidden crimes did so - it would be worse than useless, delaying the possibility of productive contact by years or decades.

"This removes the incentives to distribute warp.

"It does not make the Prime Directive less of an atrocity.

"My next video in this series will address the prejudiced idea that contacting low-technology civilizations will inevitably result in their worshiping their visitors."