As the Argelius system suffers from devastating infernos, a local resident argues Federation President Narala’s response and leadership is severely lacking.
The Argelius system is burning. All six planets of the Argelius system are experiencing rampant solar flares from our deteriorating star. As a result, each planet appears to be experiencing a dry and intermittent climate change. A single fire sparking can mean thousands of hectares up in a blaze. A collective 10.2 billion hectares have already been lost since September 2396. Argelius I has been evacuated entirely. The system has declared a state of disaster.
My planetary system calls this disaster the “Argelius Billions Blaze” for the amount of land charred across all planets. The danger zone for the fires only continues to increase, and located on Argelius II, I will soon join my fellow Argelians in facing the flames.
This is not the first time our planetary system has experienced fires because of “sudden climate change”. Some might argue that this disaster isn’t the worst in our history. But in 2397, “it’s not as bad as last century!” is hardly a reasonable response to the loss of 23 lives across six worlds in one disaster — 12 were losses fighting the fires, 11 were people trying to escape them.
Argelians demanded stronger attention from our Federation government, and for a week, we received no answer. Narala’s office had been “inundated with calls” and she was unavailable to take them.
Why? President Narala had been away on an unannounced holiday to Risa. After the fires had started. It was only when four lives were lost on Argelius II that Narala’s office suddenly announced she’d arrive in Argelius for a briefing. But it took her 48 hours to get to a communications console and organise transport to Argelius.
President Narala won her 2392 election campaign with the slogan, “We are many, but we can be one.” It was a time where planets on the outskirts of the Federation claimed to face discrimination due to their outlier locations. Many felt “unheard”, or “unrepresented”, and demanded action from the presidential office. Following her election, Narala has supported far-reaching powers of the Federation to “resolve the divide between the so-called ‘core’ Federation member planets and those nearer to the border”.
Resources, energy, and inner trade sanctions were committed to places like the Shoals or the Briar Patch, and star stations such as Deep Space 3, Deep Space 5, and Astrofori One became the focus of fleet support and Starfleet task forces. 2393 was a good year to live on the border of the Federation, and all of these commitments from the presidential office resulted in salivating photo opportunities that made Narala look good. It allows her to shake hands with the important figures of the Federation and pretend to be the leader she should be.
In her press conference here on stardate 239612.30, Narala asked us to “be kind to each other” and reject division — seemingly her one and only angle in most of her political stunts. She acknowledged that her absence resulted in our significant anxiety — and even apologised. But she ended her conference with this: “Our community’s support of the Argelius system has not changed, and we will continue to work with Argelius in these trying times.”
She then took the time to get a photo opportunity with an off duty Starfleet officer, two kids, and four members of her office.
Narala’s major contribution to my planetary system’s disaster at present has been that press conference, but she is adamant that she’s mobilizing the Federation’s best. Except, they’re on the other side of the Beta Quadrant and don’t have access to slipstream drives. Starfleet are slated to arrive next week to “assess the situation”. Admiral Kinsley Brunce claims the delay is because the fleet is stretched thin because of the Federation’s ongoing commitment to outer region worlds.
Who would have thought President Narala’s biggest selling point in the early 2390s would prove problematic in the face of serious crises as we inch closer to the turn of the century? Taking stock of the heavily reported Starfleet vessels often featured in the FNS, there are: six ships deployed in the Tyrellian sector, four ships deployed in the Par’tha Expanse, two ships near-permanently docked at Starbase 118. Not even one crew can be spared to assist?
A task force stationed nearby Astrofori One was destroyed last year alongside the station during a Tholian incursion into the Menthar Corridor. Reports claim the attack was to drive us away from the Tholian border, and they succeeded. Two starships were lost outside of Federation space.
In the Luxis system, a Starfleet embassy (also outside of Federation space), is rumoured to have burned through not one but three starships in the span of a decade. If the Federation President controls Starfleet, is this a gross mismanagement of resources on Narala’s part?
Strangely enough, executive governor of Axanar Adellia Vor, also a candidate in the 2392 Presidental Election, has ordered significant resources from Axanar to Argelius. Romulan Republic Chief of State Galura Mobek has also sent able bodies to assist with the fires. Both instances of support prove far more superior then Narala’s bold but weak claim of ongoing Federation support for a Federation system approaching 175 years of membership. Meanwhile, Nimbus III’s finest is touring the least-affected areas of the Argelius system with a camera crew and a smile.
This is a blatant lack of leadership from our Federation president. Narala’s “we are many, but we can be one” rhetoric is only for her own political gain. All this, while my home planet is burning.
Narala: do better.
Readers, please support the Argelius system by donating resources or volunteering to support displaced families.
Freya is a physical therapist and resident of Argelius II.
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