****Cardhess, December, 2650***
The planet of Cardhess was on fire. Federation Directorate sent ships there on a humanitarian mission to help the Cardistanian Empire with the rescue.
Shuttles lined up to evacuate survivors, taking Cardhess, and also Cardistanians living on Cardhess, to ships that would take them to Cardistan as well as to Simto, a Federation Directorate planet, for resettlement.
Simto's solar system was on the border of Federation Directorate and Cardistanian Empire territory.
Cities all over Cardhess were filled with Federation Directorate shuttles ready to help with evacuations. Some shuttles had already picked up humans from another Empire planet in a nearby solar system that was on fire.
Ka'vorah, a young Cardhess woman, ran to a waiting shuttle after being pointed in that direction and told by the official to board it.
She ran quickly, not wanting to lose a spot on the shuttle.
The Cardhess, distant relatives of the Cardistanians, were a non-spacefaring race.
Although technically a part of the Cardistanian Empire since the planet was in Empire territory, Cardhess was a sovereign planet, one of a handful of such planets in the Cardistanian Empire.
The Cardhess were a neutral race, and stayed out of disputes. They were simply a very kind and loving race of people.
They were, for the most part, unaware of Federation Directorate and humans; mostly having only seen humans in pictures and the occasional video.
Humans, however, were uncomfortable with them. The Cardhess looked abit similar to Cardistanians facially but, due to not being spacefaring, despite technically being members of the Cardistanian Empire, were looked down upon by Federation Directorate.
They were considered primitive and uneducated by the Directorate, despite being anything but that.
As a favor to the Cardistanians, however, their longtime allies, Federation Directorate had agreed to help with evacuations despite also helping with evacuations of their own citizens from Catya, which was also on fire due to severe windstorms.
Knowing how humans felt about them, the Cardhess stayed out of humans' way on the very rare occasions they encountered them.
They loved their transport pods. They loved them the way Terrans centuries earlier loved their cars.
They loved their pods bright and very colorful. Pink, purple, blue, and yellow were some of the more popular colors for the pods.
The Cardhess loved looking out at the stars and studying the Universe, but they didn't like traveling in space, doing so only when absolutely necessary. Today it was absolutely necessary.
As she approached the shuttle, the officer by the door was about to close it.
“Please sir, please let me on! Please sir! They told me I should come to this shuttle.
“Please let me on your shuttle, Sir! I promise I'll be no trouble at all.”, she begged.
“I'm not sure I can let you on the shuttle, Ma'am. You're Cardhess. I don't know why they even sent us here to this godforsaken planet! This shuttle's full. Besides, I've got humans, my own kind, on here.”, he said.
“Please, human Sir. May I get on your shuttle?”, she asked.
He took her over to a nearby official. The official told the officer he had to allow her on the shuttle, and that she was to be taken to safety with the human refugees.
He also told the officer that she was entitled to help and should be taken care of, that she was to be treated like all the human evacuees and given assistance.
“Thank you, human Sir! Thank you so very much! I shall never forget your kindness!”, she said, smiling gratefully at the official.
As she boarded the craft, the other passengers stared at her. They were all quite uncomfortable seeing a Cardhess in their midst.
“Let's see now. There. In the back row. There's a seat. You can sit there.”, the officer said.
Ka'vorah went to the back row and sat down. The humans around her were noticeably uncomfortable around her, and unhappy about having a Cardhess around their children.
“Alright everybody. We'll be passing out bottled water and sandwiches shortly. Sit back and we'll be at our destination in about six hours. Bathrooms are in the back.”, the pilot said.
The human evacuees were given two sandwiches and water. Ka'vorah was pointedly not given anything.
One woman sitting next to her, while not at all a fan of Cardhess, was quite unhappy with the blatant discrimination being shown towards Ka'vorah. She unwrapped one of her roast beef sandwiches, then kindly shared it and her water with her. Ka'vorah thanked her.
“I'll be honest with you. I want nothing to do with your kind, and never will. However, you're an evacuee, the same as all of us. You deserve the same kindness that we're being shown and given.”, the woman told her. She thanked the woman once again.
Eventually the shuttle arrived at Simto and dropped off the passengers at the local evacuation center.
“Alright everybody, we've got bags with various items in them. Each bag is marked either men, women, boys or girls.
”Please take a bag that is marked appropriately for you. There are sandwiches in each bag, along with items geared for either men, women, or children.“, one of the center's volunteers told the evacuees.
”We'll call out your name for you to come see one of our counselors to receive assistance in finding housing, as well as being given food vouchers.“
Ka'vorah looked in her bag while waiting her turn to see a counselor. It was filled with toiletries plus two sandwiches, cookies, two bottles of water, a tshirt, houseslippers, perfume and makeup. She put the makeup and perfume into her purse.
Forty-five minutes later, the lady who was running the center came over to her.
”Miss, you're Cardhess. You can't stay here. The other evacuees are very nervous with you here.“, she said discreetly.
”Ma'am, I have no place to live. I have nowhere to go. What am I supposed to do? Where am I supposed to go?
“Can't you please help me, give me some assistance, find a place for me to live like you are the humans? Can't you at least give me food vouchers like you are the others so that I can eat?
”Yes, I'm Cardhess, Ma'am. But I'm just as homeless and hungry as the humans here are.“, Ka'vorah replied.
”I'm sorry but, being Cardhess, you're not entitled to those. We can't have you here. I know you were vetted, but people here are very nervous about you being here.
“You'll just have to find somewhere else to go and fend for yourself. You have to leave now. We can't keep you here.“
”Please Ma'am. How am I not entitled to assistance, simply because I'm Cardhess? Ma'am, I've nowhere to go.
“Please, Ma'am. I'm homeless and hungry, just like all these human evacuees. You'll help them. Can't I at least have some vouchers for food so I won't starve?
“Why won't you help me, Ma'am? I'm an evacuee just like everyone else here. I'm no threat to anyone. Please, Ma'am.“, Ka'vorah begged, speaking through her tears in a normal volume.
”Miss, I really need you to leave now. Please don't make me call security to have you removed from here, especially in front of all the children. I really need you to leave...and leave NOW.“, the lady said discreetly, yet loud enough for others to hear her.
”I've nowhere to go. I have no money, Ma'am. Once I'm done with these sandwiches, how and what am I to eat? Am I to sleep on park benches or on the ground behind bushes in the cold, rain, and snow, praying I'm not attacked?“, she asked.
The lady motioned for security officers to come over to escort her out of the building. Ka'vorah, crying, compliantly collected her purse, then got up and followed the officers.
The officers were armed and more than ready to use their weapons on her if she resisted. She walked towards the door.
Speaking softly, yet loud enough for others to hear her, she asked,
”Where am I supposed to go? What am I supposed to do? Why can I not get whatever help the humans here are getting? I'm no threat to you humans! I'm homeless and hungry, just like they are.“
”Ma'am, don't make us shoot you here in front of the children. Just leave.
“Maintain your dignity and leave. You heard what the lady said.
“We don't want to hurt you, but we will.“, one of the officers said.
”But I'm entitled to assistance too. I'm hungry and homeless just as the humans here are! I've no money to buy food! I'm hungry!I've no place to live!
“It's not right! It's discrimination! It's not right that I can't get assistance because I'm Cardhess, while humans get all the help they want! It's inhumane! I'm no different than you humans!
“I deserve some help! I'm entitled to help! The official on Cardhess said that I'm to be taken care of! He said that I'm to be brought here with the refugees!
”He said I'm should be given help, and that I'm to be treated like the evacuees...the HUMAN evacuees!
“I'm supposed to be given assistance! PLEASE! I beg you, humans! Help me! I'm no threat to you!“, she begged tearfully.
The guards pulled their weapons on her. She promptly dropped her purse and the bag she'd been given, and raised her hands in the air.
“Ma'am, this is your last warning! Walk out the door or we WILL shoot you.”, they shouted for all to hear.
“Alright. It's not fair, but I will leave.”, Ka'vorah replied. She picked up her purse and bag, then walked compliantly towards the door.
As she was about to leave, the human woman from the shuttle, said,
“WAIT! CARDHESS WOMAN! WAIT!”
Ka'vorah stopped and turned around.
“This is wrong!
”What they're doing to you, how they're treating you, is just plain wrong. We humans are supposed to be better than this!
“Here. It's not much, but here's an extra sandwich and a voucher for a meal. Here's an extra tshirt as well. I'll get more from the lady in charge. You take care of yourself, okay?“, she said, giving Ka'vorah a hug.
People were shocked to see and hear what was going on.
Ka'vorah hugged her back, thanking her profusely, then walked out the door.
Once Ka'vorah had left the building, the security guards locked the door to make sure she couldn't get back in.
She started wandering. She found a local restaurant and had a hot meal. An hour later she came across a shuttle. A man was offering flights to Phion S-Nine, the next planet in the solar system. She explained her situation to him. He offered her passage since she'd been refused help at the center, but at a steep price.
In centuries past, it would've been called highway robbery. Desperate, she agreed and paid him his asking price. While she had no money, she DID have some family jewelry in her purse. She sold him some of it in exchange for passage.
Ten minutes later they were out of the atmosphere and in the blackness of space. Ten minutes later they were at Phion S-Nine. It was a beautiful vibrant blue planet.
"This is Phion S-Nine, your new home planet!", the pilot said as the passengers all cheered.
"It's beautiful!", Ka'vorah said. The passengers saw three moons as they flew closer to the planet.
They finally arrived. It was time to leave space and start the descent into Phion S-Nine's atmosphere.
As they flew closer to the area they were traveling to, the pilot didn't decrease their speed.
Below them they saw what looked like cities, towns, lakes, rivers, mountains, canyons and, at one point, an ocean.
"We're about 10 minutes out.", the pilot said at one point. It appeared to be snowing heavily.
Suddenly the shuttle started shaking.
”WE'RE GOING DOWN! HOLD ON!“, the pilot shouted.
The shuttle lost altitude fast. Once on the ground, it bounced several times, flipping several times, then skidded 1/2 mile through woods before crashing into several ancient redwood trees.
Everything went black as she passed out.
When Ka'vorah woke up, she was in pain. She was injured, suffering a twisted ankle and wrist, plus bumps, cuts, and bruises. Her ankle was sprained so severely that it was possibly broken.
Looking around her, she checked on the others. They were dead. Her eyes filled with tears.
She was on a strange planet, her fellow passengers were dead, she was badly injured, and she had no idea where she was or where to go for help.
It was extremely cold out, since it was the Cold Season in that part of the planet.
Ka'vorah stayed by the shuttle, sleeping sitting up against the outside of the craft since she couldn't walk due to her injured ankle. It was too dangerous to stay in the shuttle due to live wires hanging down.
Four days after the shuttle crash, the sandwiches, cookies, and water were long gone. A blizzard had moved into the area.
She had no Winter clothes since she'd left Cardhess with only her purse and the clothes on her back.
Ka'vorah had managed to salvage a light blanket from a passenger's belongings, but she was still extremely hungry, very cold, and in alot of pain.
With the blizzard coming in, she knew this would be her last night of life. She knew she wouldn't survive the night due to the cold. She also knew she wouldn't survive inside the shuttle due to the live wires. She knew the only thing crawling inside would do would be to hasten her death.
Despite all that, she refused to just crawl in there and let the wires kill her. She refused to kill herself just to end her suffering. Ka'vorah also knew her death would be painful if she did that.
She preferred to pass as peacefully and painlessly as possible. She made her peace with God, and prepared herself for the inevitable.
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