In Galaxy 1000, on the Planet of the Blues, the 140 year-old leader of the Blues, known as Head Blue, felt a terrible pain in his heart. The pressure of his chest was unbearable. He dropped the holy book he was studying. His son, Kochav, who was studying with him, stared at his father in surprise. It was eleven o’clock in the evening. The wife of Head Blue glanced at her husband from her comfortable chair nearby and shivered seeing the whiteness of his face.
“What’s matter?” she asked in alarm.
“My heart,” her husband whispered.
Their son, Kochav, stood up from his chair. “Father, are you all right? Did you take you pill today?”
Head Blue couldn’t answer.
“Call B.E.S. quickly!” the wife said. “We have to get him to the hospital.”
B.E.S. meant Blue Emergency Services. “NNNN,” the aging leader groaned, shaking a hand in protest.
“B.E.S. is controlled by the Reds,” the son explained. “I’ll call the Blue Planet Nationals. We can still trust them.”
The conflict was as old as time itself. Millenniums before, the Creator of Galaxy 1000 had created four planets, for the Blues, the Reds, the Greens, and the Yellows. The Blues were entrusted with the laws of the Creator. They were given the task of teaching the laws to the other peoples of the galaxy. The close relationship that the Blues had with the Creator caused the other planets to rise up in jealously. One after the other they attacked and conquered the Blue Planet and scattered the Blues throughout the galaxy.
They rebelled against the Creator and invented false “creators” of their own. Conquerors came who were conquered in turn until only tribes of nomad Reds remained along with families of Blues who had never left the Blue Planet. After a long and difficult exile, a new variation of the Blues developed who called themselves the Blue-and-White.
Unlike their downtrodden Blue brothers who strove to cling to whatever laws of the Creator they could on the alien planets where they were scattered, the Blue-and-Whites possessed a revitalized passion to return to their own Blue Planet with the dream of establishing a utopian society of their own which wouldn’t be beholden to the rule of foreigners nor be obligated by all of the ancient laws of the Creator.
Along with a small number of loyal Blues who shared their yearning for the Blue Planet, they returned to conquer their cherished homeland from its usurpers. Nevertheless because the victorious Blue-and-White forces were relatively few in number, many Reds remained on the planet claiming that it was theirs, even though they possessed a large planet of their own.
Slowly as the numbers of Reds increased, and as the Blues-and-Whites weakened from constant fighting, a new variation of the Blues arose. They called themselves the Whites. Rebelling against the laws of the Creator completely, they wanted to be just like the Reds, the Greens, and the Yellows. They dreamed of establishing in a new Universal Galaxy of Peace. Many Blue-and-Whites adopted their ways. Many others abandoned the planet seeking to assimilate amongst the citizens of alien planets.
A small group of loyal Blues remained, but the Blue-and-Whites, and the Whites outnumbered them. Defiantly, they called themselves the New Blues. Inevitably, instead of working together to rebuild the Blue Planet according to the original Blue way, the different variations of Blues fought amongst themselves. Sensing that the New Blues had lost their staunch beliefs and valor, militant factions of Reds grew bolder, waging a war of terror against the divided Blues.
Aided by money and widespread Galaxy support from alien planets, they established strong conclaves and demanded a Red State of their own on the Blue Planet. Longing for peace, the New Blues conceded more and more to the demands of the Reds. Gradually Reds began to replace the Blues in their jobs. The replacement began slowly without anyone paying attention.
At first, the New Blues were happy to let the Reds do all the menial work and the building. When Head Blue rose to the leadership of the loyal Blues he warned about the quiet takeover, but few people listened. Then, seemingly overnight, the Reds were everywhere. Instead of Blue salesmen in stores, there were Reds. Instead of Blue pharmacists, there were Red pharmacists. Reds drove the buses and trains. The Reds even had their own political parties in the Senate of the Blues. In order to rule, the New Blues had to make dangerous concessions to the Reds.
And, to return to our story, Red workers dominated the Blue Emergency Services as well, which forced the still-loyal Blues to create an Emergency Service of their own.
Kochav dragged his father’s chair into the Dematerializing Booth in the salon of their home. “Call Dr. John and ask him to meet us in Central Blue Hospital,” he told his mother. “I’m going with father.” Once in the Dematerializer, the son recited a code and gave a vocal command. Within seconds they disappeared. A moment later, they recomposed in the emergency room of the Central Blue Hospital.
Immediately, Kochav noticed that all of the nurses, and orderlies, and doctors were Reds. He didn’t see a Blue, or a Blue-and-White, or a White anywhere among the workers in the busy emergency room. Doctors and nurses glanced at the new arrivals but no one approached to help. “Reds,” the son thought to himself in distress. “The entire staff on duty are Reds!”
Head Blue was breathing in gasps, as if every breath was his last. Certainly everyone recognized him as leader of the loyal Blues. He was one of the most famous figures in the galaxy. But no one seemed to care. Or perhaps they were acting that way on purpose. “Excuse, excuse me,” Kochav said again and again as attendants, nurses and doctors walked by, all to no avail. No one paused to listen.
“My father needs help!” the distraught son finally called out loudly, but still no one paid attention. “Put my father on a Stabilizer! I want my father on a Stabilizer!” he yelled and yelled.
The Stabilizer was one of the many life-saving medical inventions created by the Blue scientists and computer experts on Planet Blue. It resembled a large CT machine of old, but in addition to providing a scan of all physiological functions of the body, it stabilized heart and respiratory function while maintaining a balanced metabolism until the necessary medicines could be administered, or until surgery by computerized robots could repair whatever organ damage had been caused by a physical accident or disease.
Kochav’s gaze surveyed the large emergency theater. On the other side of the modern facility, a Stabilizer Room was vacant.
Head Blue fell forward in his chair and gasped. Dragging his father in the chair, Kochav rushed forward to the doctor’s station where a physician was speaking calmly on the telephone. “My father needs help!” he insisted. The Red doctor glanced at the stricken leader of the loyal Blues with a look of indifference. “Everyone needs help here,” he said. “You’ll just have to wait your turn like everyone else.” Turning his back to Kochav, the Red physician resumed his telephone conversation. “Order tickets to the ten o’clock showing of the movie,” he said in a jocular voice. “I’ll meet you in the restaurant at nine. We’ll have plenty of time to eat before the film begins.”
“There’s a Stabilizer that’s not being used!” Kochav shouted.
A Red nurse turned to the panicking Blue son. “This is a hospital, sir,” she said with a voice of authority. “If you don’t control yourself, I will have Security remove you from here.”
“Please, please, help my father,” Kochav begged, wondering how people could be so inhuman.
The nurse strode away. Silently, Kochav appealed to the Creator. He reciting a prayer. Gazing around in a panic, he spotted Dr. John hurrying into the large emergency room followed by a small squadron of Blue Police. Alongside Dr. John was the head of the hospital, Professor Grey, a loyal Blue.
“My father needs oxygen!” Kochav yelled.
Dr. John rushed over and searched for a pulse. “He’s in cardiac arrest!” he shouted.
“Get the patient to a Stabilizer!” Professor Grey commanded.
“There is no one to operate it,” the Red doctor told him.
“I will operate it!” Dr. John replied. “Take him to the Stabilizer Room!” he ordered the policemen. Kochav knew he could operate the device because Dr. John had been on the technical team which had produced the miracle machine.
“What do you mean there is no one to operate it?” the hospital head asked the Red doctor.
“Two of our physician-technicians are in the middle of operations in the surgery theater,” he answered. “At this time of the night, we are working with minimum staff.”
“Hang on, Father, hang on,” Kochav urged as policemen carried the leader of the Blues to the large glass-encased Stabilizer. They placed his inert body on the machine’s mattress while nurses and doctors hooked him up to the tubes, wires, adhesive defibrillator pads, and intravenous lines which connected the patient to the life-saving device. Dr. John gently placed the old man’s head into a soft-plastic helmet which controlled breathing and brain-wave function. Then with the flip of a switch the patient was moved automatically forward until he disappeared under the domed roof of the Stabilizer.
“Why don’t you have Blue doctors and nurses here?” Kochav angrily asked Professor Grey.
The head of the hospital stiffened defensively. “This is what we have. These people are all highly qualified medical professionals. Who would you rather have treating your father? A top-notch Red doctor or a Blue medical student?”
“A Blue medical student,” Kochav answered. “Someone I could trust.”
Dr. John glanced up from the dial-filled control panel of the Stabilizer. “I’m having a little trouble with the machine,” he reported. “This is a new model with which I am not familiar.”
“I’ll take over,” a voiced say with assurance. A Red doctor-technician dressed in a surgical gown and gloves made his way through the crowd and entered the Stabilizer Room. “Everyone please step outside,” he ordered. Quickly and efficiently, he readjusted the wires and electric shock pads. Diligently, he adjusted the dials. Only Dr. John and Professor Grey were present with him in the room when he activated the machine.
In the emergency room, Kochav stood amongst the crowd staring at the computerized screen which registered patient status. Before the Stabilizing process began, the board had barely registered any signs of life at all. Suddenly, a strong heartbeat flashed on the screen. Blood pressure rose like a missile. Pulse increased and plateaued at a steady 80 beats per minute. Brain activity flickered and began to flow like gentle waves in a pond. Joyous cheering spontaneously broke out in the emergency room, Reds and Blues together. By the time Dr. John and Professor Grey walked out of the Stabilizer Room, all vital signs were glowing in the green safety zone on the control screen.
“With thanks to the Creator and the professional staff of the hospital it looks like we are out of the woods,” the hospital head happily announced to the crowd.
Everyone applauded. For the first time in over an hour, Kochav breathed with relief. But before he could call his mother to tell her the happy news, a warning alarm sounded loudly from the computerized control board. The green safety lights on the screen disappeared. Blood pressure and heartbeat sank as fast as they had risen. A warning light flashed over the door of the Stabilizing Room. The control screen went dead. Kochav felt his heart fall as well. Everyone turned in stunned silence toward the Stabilizing Room. After long suspenseful seconds, the door opened.
The Red physician wearing the surgeon’s gown and gloves was the only person in the room. Head Blue lay lifeless inside the glass-enclosed machine. Kochav rushed through the crowd toward his father. In tears, he fell forward on the glass wall of the Stabilizer. His father, the leader of the Blues, lay dead.
“Too bad,” the Red doctor said. “The damage was irreversible. After a very brief comeback, the patient suffered massive heart failure. There was nothing I could do.”
The Red doctor’s words echoed in the ears of Kochav. They echoed in the ears of Dr. John and Professor Grey.
“There was nothing I could do. There was nothing I could do. There was nothing I could do.”
Tzvi Fishman was awarded the Israel Ministry of Education Prize for Jewish Culture and Creativity. Before making Aliyah to Israel in 1984, he was a successful Hollywood screenwriter. He has co-authored 4 books with Rabbi David Samson, based on the teachings of Rabbis A. Y. Kook and T. Y. Kook. His other books include: "The Kuzari For Young Readers" and "Tuvia in the Promised Land". His books are available on Amazon. Recently, he directed the movie, "Stories of Rebbe Nachman."