From:The Q Continuum
Subject:Vulcans Address Betazoid Petition

[The image of the haloed delta, the symbol of IDIC and the seal of the State of Vulcan appears on the screen. It fades to the image of a podium emblazoned with the same seal. A somewhat aged and regal Vulcan woman steps up to the podium. A caption appears on the screen: First Minister Soveral of the State of Vulcan.]

"Good evening, gentlebeings. After great deliberation, the Vulcan High Command wishes to address the recent petition put forth by the Betazed Council of Vellora.

"Ambassador Amores assumptions are correct -- these weapons represent a dark period of Vulcan history. A period of savagery. Of destruction. A period which we are oft reluctant to acknowledge. But her analogy to the destructive capacity of a Federation starship is weak at best. These weapons represent a level of destructive capacity scarcely matched by modern technology. No shield can deflect them; no armor can blunt them. With them, our ancestors ripped vessels out of the sky and rend them asunder, with nothing more than the power of the mind. Our reluctance to see them put into widespread use should be understood -- we have seen similar weapons used against our own, first-hand.

"After the attack on Vulcan, we agreed to allow the deployment of fifty of the weapons in the Starfleet and train qualified telepathic officers in the use of them; indeed, Ambassador Amores niece is one of the few non-Vulcan telepaths that we have authorized for operation of the weapon. We feel that this number is strategically sufficient to defend the core member worlds who are the most likely targets, and refuse to see these weapons of terror put into general use.

"We understand the pain that must still be felt so many years after the loss of Betazed and Earth. We know that the grief over these tragedies will linger for years to come. But lashing out against Vulcan because of this pain will not cause it to fade, nor will it restore your homeworlds. The proposed petition to cut off Vulcan from trade serves no purpose. It is a petty act of misdirected revenge, born of intellectual and emotional immaturity. It will neither force us to act against our better moral judgement, nor will it prevent further attacks on the Federation.

"It must be understood that the choice to deploy the weapon was not made lightly. When it was first learned that the Ooare may possess a weakness to telepathic influence, the discussions began. When Betazed fell to the wrath of the Ooare, we questioned the morality of reviving such a dangerous technology. When Earth fell, we knew that we had acted too slowly... but still we debated. The choice was not finally made until violence came to Vulcan.

"Some will see that choice as self-serving. Others will recognize that it was an act of simple self-preservation. We chose to release our darkness back into the universe instead of dying. It was neither an easy nor rash choice, and one we hope that our compatriots in the Federation will recognize the difficulty in which it came. Thank you."

[The First Minister steps down, and does not take questions.]