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[2005: APR-MAY] The Art of Deception


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"RED ALERT!!" shouted the Half - Romulan commander as a blast from nowhere shook the ship, "ALL CREWMEN YOUR POSTS."

Officers began scurrying to stations. Sparks began flying, and smoke began filling the room as another blast struck the vessel. Brushing the smoke from his eyes, the Commander punched the buttons on the arm of his chair.

"Engineering," the Commander began barking orders. "Emergency Powers to the Shields. Helm .. Reverse Engines Full, back us off. Tactical ... ready plasma banks and cloaking device. Security .. lock down secondary systems to reserve power."

A chorus of 'Aye Sirs' filled the air as the Romulan Warbird slowly began crawling in reverse. Their commander maintained his grim look of determination as he scanned the view screen before him. A couple more phaser blasts from the Federation Vessel rocked the ship hard. When the announcement came that the plasma torpedos were ready to fire, He gave the command to fire.

"Fire!!" demanded the Commander, "engage cloak!"

"Cloak engaged," replied the Ensign.

The enemy vessel stopped firing, but didn't leave. He knew what the Enemy Commander was doing.

Softly he spoke, "Power down all systems save life support and thrusters. Engines on stand by."

"Aye, Sir."

He knew the weaknesses of his ship .. and it's strengths. She was an old ship, over a century behind in technology to be exact, but it was all he had to evade his persuer. Many of the weaknesses of this century old warbird were common knowledge. So he had to compensate. The ship sat there in the emptyness of space, face to face with the much newer and far superior Federation vessel.

"Navigator," began the Commander, "plot a course to the nearest system."

A moment later, the Navigator piped up, "Sir?" the nearest system is the Gaspla System. One hour at maximum warp."

The Commander thought for a moment, and then inquired, "Specs on the Gaspla System?"

"4 planets, 1 gas giant, and 3 class B, 2 suns, outter edge is an asteroid belt." recited the Navigator.

Pounding his fist on the arm of the chair, the Commander exclaimed, "Perfect!! Helm .. set course for the Gaspla System, maximum warp!"

The Engines roared to life and the aged vessel streaked off to it's destination. The Commander sat in the command chair deep in thought. He knew that his enemy would scan their warp signature and follow them. The question was how long it would take them. He was familiar with his enemy and knew that it wouldn't take long. As if reading his mind, his tactical officer spoke up.

"Commander," said the Tactical Officer, "Enemy vessel is in persuit and will be able to over take us before we arrive to the Gaspla System. Estimated ... 15 minutes prior to entering the System."

The Commander only nodded in reply. He figured as much. His enemy wasn't stupid. In fact, his enemy was a talented tactician. He has been studying his enemy over the past week of 'Cat and mouse' games. He needed a way to end the stalemate, and that would be at the Gaspla System. As he sat back in his chair, he relaxed a bit while he was able to.


"Yes, Ensign?" asked the Commander.

"How is it that we are still involved in this ... battle? By all my calculations, we shouldn't have survived the first encounter." inquired the curious young officer.

Smiling, the Commander replied, "It's simple, Ensign. You're calculations fail to include the unfactorable variable .. resolve."

Puzzled, the Ensign questions, "I don't understand, sir. How does ... resolve ... factor into the equation?"

The corners of his mouth turned up to form a smile once more as the Commander began his explaination. "Resolve, Ensign, is our ability to persue success, even in the face of failure. Quite simply .. it's the refusal to accept defeat. It is that which has enabled us to continue, and it is that which will see us through to the end of this battle."

The young Ensign thought and calculated what his superior spoke of. Nodding in reply, the Ensign turned back to his duties. As the hour rapidly passed, the Commander stiffened as they neared the system. Right as was expected, the Tactical Officer piped up.

"Sir!" exclaimed the Tactical Officer, "Enemy Vessel is now over taking us."

"ETA to Gaspla System"

"14 minutes, 30 seconds"

As the Commander straightened up in his seat, so did the other officers. As he sent a ship wide communication warning of the upcoming battle, replies came in from all over the ship announcing their ready status.

"Sir," spoke the Tactical Officer once more, " Enemy Vessel has dropped out of warp and is awaiting us on the edge of the system."

"Drop us out of warp, disengage cloak, ready all weapons, and raise sheilds." demanded the Commander.

The command to fire was given as soon as they came into range. The ship rocked back from the volley from the Enemy vessel. The aged ship weaved as the pilot engaged evasive maneuvers, and headed for the asteroid belt. The Ship rocked, and the Bridge sparked from the damage being inflicted by the Enemy Vessel. As the ancient ship floated helpless and damaged in space, the Commander growled.

"Status report!"

"Weapons offline, Shields down to 20 %, engines off line, and there are hull breaches on decks 6 through 9." recited the Tactical officer.

"Do we still have tractor beam?" asked the Commander.

"Yes sir, bu ..."

"Engage Tractor beam!" inturrupted the Commander as he stood up.

"Tractor Beam engaged," replied the Tactical Officer, " Enemy Vessel locked."

"Throw all power to the front shields!!" ordered the Commander as the ship rocked from a volley to break the tractor beam. "KEEP THAT LOCK!!!"

As he bounced out of his seat, he headed to the Tactical Station and punched several buttons then spoke. "Computer, activate self desctruct. Time elapse ... 15 seconds." Turning to the Tactical officer, the Commander nodded, and listened to the Officer give the confirmation code. An eerie silence fell over the bridge as the 15 seconds passed. A brilliant flash appeared, an explosion, and then darkness.

* * * * * *

Jalek rubbed his eyes and looked around the empty Holodeck. Five feet away, Jessa stood with her arms folded glaring at him and tapping her foot.

"OK .. what was that all about?" she asked sternly."Will we never break this tie?"

Jalek shrugged and replied, "No defeat .. no surrender .. that leaves only two other options ... Win .. or Draw."

Jessa glared at him, then cracked a smile, "Best Three out of Five?"

Jalek grinned and bowed deeply, "As you wish, oh captain my captain"

Jessa giggled as she walked over to the Archway to restart the program. "OK .. one more time .. but no self destructions this time. ok?"

Jalek chuckled, "Ok .. no more self destructs. Besides .. I got something else up my sleeve this time."

Jessa sighed, mimicing Jalek, "Marvelous!"

* * * * * *

"RED ALERT!!" shouted the Half - Romulan commander as a blast from nowhere shook the ship, "ALL CREWMEN YOUR POSTS."

Edited by Jalek
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