Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Derek Mackie: Star Trek - mission Aotearoa

The Starship Enterprise   <->    Star date 2222 

CK: Captain Kirk / Sc: Scotty / Sp: Mr Spock / McC: Dr McCoy / J: Jacinda Ardernia 

CK: How long until we reach Earth orbit, Scotty? 
Sc: As long as the warp drive holds and the di-lithium crystals dinnae disintegrate we should be there by dinner time. 
CK: No chance of arriving sooner? 
Sc: I cannae change the laws of physics, Captain! 

Sp: Why the rush, Jim? We’ve been away for 5 years. What’s a few hours more? 
CK: Just keen to get home, Mr Spock. 
Sorry, that’s insensitive of me. I realise Vulcan is your home planet. 
Sp: Indeed Captain. Although - suboptimal as Earth is - I have developed a certain attachment to this small, insignificant ball of rock. Humans are relatively primitive and barbaric but they do exhibit some endearing qualities occasionally. And it is a consolation to be the most advanced life-form on a planet. 
CK: Modest as ever, Spock. 

CK: There is another reason I’d like to get there promptly. StarFleet Command have sent through a last-minute final mission. 
We’re to pay a diplomatic visit to the Aotearoans who inhabit two small islands in the southern hemispheric quadrant. 
Sc: But that shouldna be a mission for a starship, surely. Can they no' send an ambassadorial delegation? 
CK: It’s somewhat of a hermit kingdom, apparently. Closed off from the rest of Earth and very secretive. In fact, we know more about the peoples of our own galaxy than we do about Aotearoa. 
All flights are banned and they have an anti-nuclear policy. We’ll just beam down so we don’t breach any of their entry conditions….which are extensive! 

Sp: Who will be in the landing party, Captain? 
CK: Myself, you Mr Spock, and Dr McCoy. We’ll keep it small. Don’t want to alarm them. 
Our main purpose is to find out what makes the place tick then report back.

 3 hours later 

Sc: We're now in geostationary orbit directly over Aotearoa 
CK: Beam us down, Scotty. 
Sc: Aye, Captain. 


McC: Well, what a beautiful place! A veritable paradise, Jim. 
CK: Yes, Bones. Wasn’t sure what to expect but I must say I’m pleasantly surprised. 
Sp: Who are we meeting, Captain? 
CK: The leader of the Aotearoans - Her Esteemed Kindness Jacinda Ardernia. She was very insistent that she manage our visit personally….along with her extensive PR and Communications Team. 

McC: Seems spookily quiet. Where is everyone? You’d think they’d be outside enjoying the lovely weather and scenery. 
Oh look! There’s someone. Are they wearing a facemask? 
Sp: Perhaps an inter-planetary plague has struck Aotearoa and many have perished. 
CK: I’m sure StarFleet Command would have mentioned that, Spock. 
Ah, here she is now. Smile, gentlemen. 

J: Welcome to Aotearoa. Where is the rest of your party? 
CK: Just us three, your Esteemed Kindness. 
J: Please, call me Jacinda...unless you feel more comfortable with my official title.
Oh, but that is disappointing. Your group exhibits a total lack of minority, age, gender and ethnicity balance. Something we pride ourselves on in Aotearoa. 
Is everyone pale, male and stale on your starship? 
Sp: Not at all.  Only the ones best qualified to do their jobs, Madam. Something we pride ourselves on and an essential requirement for the efficient and safe operation of the ship. 
CK: Yes, it’s very much a meritocracy on board, ensuring we get the optimal and most productive outcomes. 

J: We Aotearoans prefer inclusivity and positive minority discrimination. I find productivity and efficiency rather cold, unfeeling attributes when weighed against well-being and kindness. 
McC: We should have brought our Chief Engineer, Mr Scott. He would have enjoyed debating with you on that. He’s rather traditional in his beliefs. 
J: Another white, middle-aged male, I’m guessing. 
McC: And Scots to boot. 

J: Say no more. Anyway, your special entry visa is only valid for two hours, due to our strict quarantine rules, so we shouldn’t waste any more time. 
I have instructed my officials to organise a virtual tour which shows you a typical cross-section of Aotearoan life. 
I will accompany you at all times and you will have a full security escort to ensure you receive no disinformation from radical elements and leave knowing exactly what is important and fundamental to my government. 
CK: We would also like to interact with everyday Aotearoans and seek their personal opinions. 
J: That won’t be possible, I’m afraid. Due to low natural immunity we prevent all unnecessary contact with aliens. 

McC: When we arrived I only saw one person outside and they were wearing a facemask. Is there some temporary sickness? 
J: Not at present. But facemasks must be carried at all times, even at home, and must be worn whenever outside to instil in the population a constant state of alarm and preparedness for any biological hazard that may infiltrate our borders. 
Citizens are publicly rewarded for informing on neighbours, friends and colleagues who break the rules. 
Apart from critical government employees, most Aotearoans work from home so they have little need or opportunity to travel. 
McC: I find that extraordinary. 
J: You clearly know nothing of our history, Doctor! 
Aotearoans still vividly remember - through constant government propaganda and our progressive history curriculum - the great Covid pandemic of 2020, some 200 years ago. Only the inspired actions of my great-great-great-great grandmother, who was Prime Minister at the time and is my namesake, saved the country from a disease which enacted a devastating toll on the rest of the planet. 
In addition, there was the ongoing threat of apocalyptic climate change to deal with. 
CK: Turned out to be a storm in a teacup, that one. 

Sp: It truly is a fortuitous coincidence that you’ve been elected to lead your country and follow in your ancestor’s footsteps. 
J: No coincidence about it. The female line of the House of Ardernia has ruled since the Great Reset of 2020 and the people are grateful for it. 
CK: You are a democracy though, aren’t you? 
J: We are a progressive, neo-marxist democracy which has evolved to the point where elections are no longer relevant. The people only get stressed and confused when too much choice is presented to them. 
What they want is certainty and a rigid structure of rules and regulations to micro-manage their lives, and I revel in being selected to fulfil their wishes. We are but public servants to serve the people. 

Sp: But how would you know if you don’t give them the means to choose through fair and free elections? 
J: Choice is vastly overrated when faced with a world filled with danger and fear. 
That is one of the key messages our state-funded and controlled media are responsible for reiterating indefinitely. 

CK: It would be educational to visit a workplace producing a key Aotearoan export commodity. What is the country most famous for? 
J: To reduce our environmental footprint all work, apart from government bureaucracy, takes place at home. This reduces energy waste and eliminates the need for private vehicles, with the exception of those allocated to critical government workers. 
Trade with the outside world only encourages infection so we avoid it at all cost. 
Sp: So what do most households produce to generate wealth? 
J: Meat and dairy products are banned due to the high methane emissions so all households are mandated to produce a quota of vegetables. A percentage is for private consumption while the rest is donated to the state to feed government officials too important or busy to produce their own.
McC: Is that it? 
J: Of course not. We lead the world in face-mask production but it is entirely for the domestic market. 

Sp: How do you generate your power? I know you are anti-nuclear, the dominant source of power generation these days, and anti-fossil fuels, which most of the world transitioned away from about a hundred years ago.
J: We did have hydro power but all our dams silted up over a century ago. We are strongly pro-environment, so no new hydro dams are possible, and we remain staunchly anti-nuclear, in line with the founding doctrine of Aotearoa, He Puapua, which was brilliantly conceived by the original Ardern government. 
We are proud to be 100% reliant on wind and solar power. 
CK: Which are far from 100% reliable or environmentally friendly and were abandoned by most of the Earth’s nations a long time ago, I think you’ll find. 
J: And that statement demonstrates the reason why Aotearoa remains insulated from the rest of planet Earth - to prevent disinformation from causing dissent and possible revolution in our peaceful land. 

McC: So, what exactly will we be able to see? 
J: We have a government video which we will screen in a moment. This will showcase the natural beauty of our nation and amply demonstrate the stoic and resigned acceptance of the Aotearoan people to make the best of what little is allocated to them. 
CK: What we saw when we first teleported from the Enterprise does confirm the beauty of this land. At least your people have a wonderful country to explore. I believe you have a world-class network of walking tracks through breath-taking scenery. 
J: Those were closed long before my time. Our avid environmental watchdogs realised that to preserve our natural beauty all human interaction with national parks and the outdoors had to cease. Removing transport options helped enormously with that and a large part of the country is now a human-free zone, apart from unrestricted access for our indigenous people who are held in especially high regard. 

Sp: It would appear that most of your population is effectively under house-arrest. 
J: How insightful of you, Mr Spock. So much easier to ensure their safety and monitor their activities. 
Now, we just have time for a light meal before the screening. 
McC: Let me guess…strictly vegan. 
J: To cater for our foreign visitors, which are few and far between, we do get the executive government bistro to stock some of the traditional items like fine French cheeses, pate, and some very succulent venison. 
Sp: So you do trade with the outside world? 
J: Only for the essentials which are strictly controlled and awarded to the very highest echelons of government officials. 

CK: Jacinda, I’m afraid we’re pushed for time and will have to forego your meal and your propaganda film. 
J: Oh well. Waste not want not, as my great-great-great-great grandmother used to say. Or was it "let them eat cake"? 
McC: It’s certainly been an eye-opening visit. Yes, it reminds me of the ideology promoted by the more extreme Green environmental movements around your esteemed ancestor’s time. 
J: Why thank you, Doctor. I take that as the ultimate complement. 
Sp: Live long and prosper, Esteemed Kindness. 
J: Prosper is not a term I’m comfortable with. Certainly not something we encourage our people to contemplate. I prefer subsist
Perhaps we can organise another brief staged visit in the next few years.

CK: Perhaps. Beam us up Scotty. 
Sc: Right away, Captain. 


CK: Well, what did you make of that? 
McC: It’s life Jim, but not as we know it.  Or would wish it, even for a Klingon! 

Derek Mackie is a geologist with a keen interest in current affairs.


Ray S said...

Brilliant, again.
Not sure about the distant future aspect tho' seems more like today to me.

Doug Longmire said...

Derek - that's brilliant !! What a biting satire !!
I'll be sharing that with my brother, for a good laugh.

Well Done, and so, so true.

Ted said...

Derek, are you sure you weren't just reading the 'news' when you wrote this ?
Isn't there a saying "many a true word spoken in jest" ?