The Idic Epidemic
I.D.I.C -- Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combination. More than just a simple credo, for those of the planet Vulcan it is the cornerstone of their philosophy.
Now, on the Vulcan Science Colony Nisus, that credo of tolerance is being being put to its sternest test. For here, on a planet where Vulcan, human, Klingon, and countless other races live and work side by side, a deadly plague whose origins has sprung up. Aplague whose origins are somehow rooted in the concept of I.D.I.C. itself. A plague that threatens to tear down that centuries-old maxim and replace it with an even older concept.
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Pocket Books/Star Trek
February 01, 1988
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Excerpt from The IDIC Epidemic by Jean Lorrah
ONLY THE MEMBERS of the Nisus Council were in the refectory, and only computerized food was available. The kitchen was closed for the duration of the epidemic.
Thought Master Korsal dialed up coffee, black, the way Cathy had taught him to like it, and started toward a table where two Vulcans and an Andorian were seated.
"Korsal!" His name was softly hissed in a voice he knew well. It was Borth, the Orion representative to the council. "Come, sit with me." He drew Korsal to a two-person table and activated the privacy shield.
The Klingon reached for the switch to turn it off, saying, "We have nothing to hide from the rest of the council; why make them suspicious?"
Borth blocked his hand. "They suspect us anyway; what difference does it make? I would know what you plan to do about the plague."
"I am an engineer, Borth," Korsal replied. "There is nothing I can do, except vote for stronger quarantine measures. If you are asking whether I will vote to ask the Federation Council for medical aid, yes, of course I will."
The Orion shook his head, thinning his lips in disgust. The flat headdress he wore hooded his yellow eyes. With his green skin, it gave him a reptilian look. "No, fool. What will you report to the Klingon Empire? Communications records show that you have made no report for sixteen days."
"Under quarantine conditions, scientific progress is halted. There is nothing to report." Korsal took a long swallow of coffee, ignoring the fact that it was too hot. He wondered, not for the first time, why such a bitter brew should be so comforting. Taking strength from that which is harsh, he had long ago learned, was something Humans and Klingons had in common.
"No?" Borth continued his line of thought. "Consider what a weapon this plague could--"
"Do not continue!" Korsal told him, getting up from his chair. Heads turned at the other tables. He leaned forward, hands on the table, to keep his words within the privacy shield as he stared into the cold yellow eyes. "A weapon which can turn as easily upon its user as upon his enemy is no weapon at all. Try to sell this virus to my people, Borth, and you will have the Klingon Empire as your enemy!"
Korsal straightened, crushing his plastic cup, not even noticing the last of the coffee burning his hand. He tossed it into a receptacle as he stalked out of the refectory.
There was no place to go except back to the council chamber; everything else in the Civic Center, as with all other public buildings, was closed.
The Civic Center containing the council chamber of the science colony Nisus was situated near the gigantic dam and power plant that provided both water and electricity to the valley below. The dam was a product of Earth engineering, a technology centuries old on that water-logged planet, but only a generation old on three Klingon worlds where famine had been conquered by such dams in Korsal's own lifetime.
The Klingon engineer went to stand at the huge window that overlooked the valley. The view of the mountains was blocked by the immense mass of the dam. Some might say that the solid concrete grayness was ugly; to Korsal it held the beauty of power. He watched the tamed river surge through the locks, tumbling downhill in controlled energy. It was divided below into an irrigation system for the fields -- designed by Hemanite farmers to prevent erosion -- and a water system for the small city where lived and worked scientists from all races of the Federation... and a few from outside the Federation as well.