Tomb Raider Forums  

Go Back   Tomb Raider Forums > Community Forums > Fan and Community Showcase

Thread Tools
Old 09-05-19, 20:42   #1
Robwood's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 2,890
Default Star Trek: To See Infinity

Her name was Jennifer de Haven. Well, Cadet Jennifer de Haven, as she was currently enrolled at Starfleet Academy. Other than her tall two meter frame, stark green eyes, shoulder length black hair restrained in a ponytail, and large forehead, there wasn’t really anything she would consider special about herself. She was in the last semester of her fourth year at the academy, which meant one thing to everyone who found themselves in her position: the taking of the final exam, the Kobayashi Maru simulator.

Unlike several people she could think of, she wasn’t the first of her species to enter nor was she the daughter of an admiral. Comparatively speaking, her parents were quite tame—her father a librarian and her mother an antiques dealer. She had no siblings but she did have a cousin and a great uncle in Starfleet, though it wasn’t through their influence that she found herself in her current situation. Unlike some of the tales she had heard, she also hadn’t been visited by a time traveler from the future who implored her to enlist for the sake of the Federation’s continued existence. (Some of her fellow peers were prone to exaggeration.) Instead, Jennifer’s enlistment was merely a whim; she just woke up one day and decided to join.

Despite not having anything to lose or gain, and mainly because of her work ethic, she put her all into her studies and was currently majoring in Spatial Engineering, which she had also chosen on a whim, becoming one of three people in her graduating class to receive the highest grades. Another of the top rankers was her girlfriend of two years, Alexandria Mezrich. They became study partners in their second year, even though Alex was majoring in Communications, and the two were inseparable afterward. Jennifer now turned to her for a visual sign of sympathy, which she immediately received from Alex’s warm smile.

She stood in a hallway with a small group of her peers from other various courses waiting for the big moment when they entered the simulator to begin the test. They each had their opportunity to sit in the captain’s chair, but now it was Jennifer’s turn. Her stomach muscles refused to relax and her menstrual cycle wasn’t helping the matter at all. The only outward indicator of her anxiousness, however, was a few loud exhalations with puffed cheeks.

Soon enough, her mind’s focus was removed from her body as the evaluator, Commander Lance, emerged from the simulator room and ushered them inside. Everyone took their positions at the various stations in a rare moment of being placed at the console of their respective majors, except for Jennifer, of course. She eyed the command chair of the bridge set with trepidation, yet also with great excitement. She decided to focus on the positive energy to fight her nervousness.

Commander Lance went into his usual monologue of how the bridge set was an exact replica of what could be found on any Constitution-class vessel, except for the observational windows set in the ceiling, of course, and that the bridge’s functions were authentic when compared to one nestled in a real starship, making the threat of an exploding console quite genuine. Medics were stationed next door in the event of an emergency but casualties were rare. Jennifer could personally attest to that, as she had already participated in this simulation five times and there had only been one incident of second degree burns sustained by Ensign Gralek, the Gorn who had manned the helm at the time. He was back there again, eyeing his console with slight hesitation.

Commander Lance continued on, saying that the simulation would begin a few seconds after his departure. He then wished everyone good luck and left through the turbolift doors, which in this case served as the exit into the hallway. Because she had been through this scenario before while serving at various stations, Jennifer had built up a slight comfort zone with the scenario. Now as she found herself in the center of the room, however, her immunity immediately failed her and it was as if she was here for the first time again.

Swiveling slightly in her chair, she made to look at the engineering console but was really using her peripheral vision to keep an eye on the observational windows. The simulation didn’t start until the commander had taken his seat and five seconds later she saw him do just so. Then there was a whistle that came from the back of the bridge.

Alex, at her rightful place at the communications console, pressed a button and held the silver earpiece inside her head with a single digit. She bounced her head mildly from side to side while looking up, a clear sign of her impatience. Alex then removed the earpiece and said with a bored voice, “Captain, we are receiving a distress signal from the SS Kobayashi Maru. The ship struck a gravitic mine, has lost power, and is stranded in the Neutral Zone. They are asking for immediate assistance.”

There was, of course, no real Klingon Neutral Zone; Starfleet and the Klingons merely had many various border disputes. For the sake of the scenario, it was understood that the area in question, in reality, was one currently claimed by both the Federation and the Klingons and that crossing the border would lead a ship from either side into hot water.

Jennifer exhaled again, but this time she kept it more to herself. “On speakers,” she ordered. The distress call was a mixture of a worried captain’s voice and garbled signal. Only half of what he was saying could be made out and what little they could glean still made little sense to them. When the transmission was over, Jennifer pretended to think the matter over. In truth, she was merely stalling for time, going over past evaluations in her mind to see what she could do differently than her colleagues. A few second later she continued, “I’ve never heard of the SS Kobayashi Maru. Access Starfleet’s database and verify the ship’s registry and current known whereabouts.”

Alex gave her a very irritated look, but complied. “Aye, captain.” A few button presses later she picked up with, “Confirmation established. The SS Kobayashi Maru is a Class III Neutronic fuel carrier with a crew compliment of eighty-one and three hundred passengers. It was last reported at The Ship Monger, a private starbase, for upgrades and was last seen upon its departure four days ago on a delivery mission to Tezwa. The carrier never arrived.”

“Can you verify the transmission’s authenticity?”

Alex lazily pressed a few buttons. “Verified. The encryption codes and delivery system for the ship’s identity markers are accurate to Federation civilian protocols.”

“Is the transmission live or recorded?”


Jennifer turned to K’lee, an Edoan who manned the science station and was also acting as first officer in this scenario. “How far into the Neutral Zone is the Kobayashi Maru?”

Bracing his three legs, K’lee leaned over and grabbed his station’s visor with one hand while leaving his other two dangling at his sides. The blue light emanating from the visor blended with his red skin, leaving a purple stripe across his eyes. After a moment he stood back up and reported, “One hundred and forty billion kilometers.”

Jennifer gave the number some thought. “That’s a little over halfway in, if I recall correctly.”

“A little under halfway, actually,” K’lee corrected. “And at warp factor eight we could reach the Kobayashi Maru in about fifteen minutes.” Jennifer was grateful for his active participation. Given everyone else’s general visual mood, it seemed like K’lee was the only other person in the room still interested in what was going on.

Jennifer swiveled back around and stared into the star-spangled field of space the main viewscreen was displaying. “Thoughts, anyone?”

Gralek turned to face her and replied, “There is a very small chance the distress is genuine. However, the latest Klingon intel suggests that they are looking for any excuse to start a war with the Federation, so most likely this is a trap.”

She looked around the room. “Anyone else?” They all remained silent. Everyone knew what was coming and they couldn’t be bothered to come up with other possibilities. Jennifer turned back to K’lee. “Can we get any life readings from the ship at this distance?”

The Edoan didn’t even bother to look at his instrument this time. “Negative, captain. Long range sensors are being affected by an unknown source of interference.”

“Hmmm,” Jennifer said. She stood up from the chair, placed her hands behind her, and began pacing before her seat. “How did the Kobayashi Maru hit that mine to begin with? It’s called space for a reason. And now there’s interference when conducting long range sensor sweeps.”

“Easy,” Gralek answered. “It’s a trap.”

Jennifer felt a little annoyed with him. Just because he knew what was coming didn’t mean he had to fall back upon it. She turned back to face Alex. “Open a channel to the distressed vessel.”

Alex closed her eyes, but Jennifer could tell she was rolling them. A button press later, she said with slight irritation, “Channel open.”

Kobayashi Maru, this is Captain Jennifer de Haven of the USS Ikerushikabane. We have received your distress call but need to verify your location. Can you send us your coordinates?”

A few seconds later, Alex reported, “Coordinates received, but through a text transmission. The carrier is currently located in Gamma Hydra, Section 10. They also report that their life support systems are beginning to fail.”

Jennifer turned to her. “And how old is the distress call?”

“Two days, ma’am.”

That was different. Of the five other times they played this out, two of the captains asked the same thing she did and the answer was that the call was only a few minutes old. The reply had also been audible, not text. The scenario was changing itself to keep everyone on their toes.

She thought the matter over. In a real world case, it was possible that the ship’s systems could have gone further downhill without assistance. However, given the unusual interference with the sensors, it could also be a Klingon ruse since they may not have anyone onboard who could speak English; were they to use a universal translator, their deception would be immediately detected.

She looked upon the viewscreen again. “Lt. Mezrich, open another channel and broadcast on all frequencies.”

“Channel open,” she replied with more bored intonations. Jennifer was beginning to be very irritated with her for it.

“To any Klingon vessels within range, this is Captain Jennifer de Haven of the USS Ikerushikabane. We have received a distress call from a Federation civilian ship stranded in the Neutral Zone and desire to render that ship aide. Please respond so we may negotiate conditions to prevent war.”

A few seconds later Alex responded, “No answer, captain.”

Jennifer narrowed her eyes. “Give them five minutes.”

Ensign Lowther, a human manning the navigation console, piped up, “But what if the distress is genuine?” His tone suggested he didn’t care to be here at all.

Jennifer sat back down in the command chair. “That ship has been in distress for two days now. If they can’t last another five minutes they’re already dead.”

“Even though they report that their life support systems are failing?”

“I stand by what I said. As we wait, remodify the sensors in an attempt to penetrate the interference. If there are any lifeform readings on that ship, I’d like to know about it before we take any action.”

Lowther gave an irritated grunt and turned to Jennifer. “Look, we all know what’s going to happen. Let’s just get it over with, already.”

Jennifer gave him The Look; the one her mother used to give her whenever she had stepped on her mom’s last nerve. “You’ve all had your chance; now it’s mine. Besides, you wouldn’t feel this way if this was happening in real life. I know it’s hard to pretend that we haven’t gone through these motions before, but I gave each and every one of you my best effort when it was you who sat here. All I ask is that you do so in kind. Now work on those sensors. And Lt. Mezrich, I want you to rebroadcast our last transmission once every minute.”

Silence reigned on the bridge for the next five minutes, broken only by the background noises of the ship’s systems. Jennifer spent the time running multiple scenarios in her head and figuring out how to either avoid or tackle them. When time was up, she turned to Alex and asked, “Nothing from the Klingons?”

“No, ma’am.”

She turned to navigation and helm. “How about those sensors?”

Gralek answered, “Modifications and recalibrations have proven ineffective.”

She looked down in thought; it was time to make her decision. “We’re going in. Helm, lay in a course for the provided coordinates, warp factor nine, but wait for my order to execute. Communications, prepare a message informing Starfleet that this incident is a Klingon ploy and to avoid future events. If the Klingons do appear, engage in hostile activity, and comms is the first thing to go down, I want that message sent before anything happens.” She hit the intraship comms button on her armchair. “All hands, this is the captain. We will be entering the Klingon Neutral Zone to assist a ship in need. All attempts to contact the Klingons have failed. We may very well be walking into a trap so the ship will be placed on yellow alert, but I want all battle stations manned with all weapons primed and ready, for medical to prepare for heavy casualties, and all transporter rooms prepared to receive the stranded crew. That is all.” She hit the button again to deactivate the comms. Jennifer then turned to Lt. Carroll, who was manning the engineering station, and ordered, “Carroll, I want you to man the auxiliary control center with your most trusted personnel. If we’re met by an overwhelming number of enemy vessels, I want to be able to perform an emergency saucer separation as quickly as possible.”

Greg Carroll raised an eyebrow at her. “Does this simulator even have an auxiliary control center? Or really anything outside of these walls?”

The noise of an overhead speaker caught everyone’s attention and Commander Lance’s voice boomed in. Everyone looked up to see him hunched over and speaking into a microphone. “Yes it does, Mr. Carroll. We also have a sickbay, main engineering, transporter room, small shuttlebay, and weapons rooms, all manned by academy staff. Take the turbolift exit and an instructor will lead you to your destination.”

Jennifer chimed in, “Had you paid attention to any of our briefings, you would have known that.”

“Shut up,” Carroll responded as he made his way out of the room.

Jennifer paid him no attention. Her blood was pumping in excitement; she was shaking things up. “Raise shields. Helm, execute order. At the first sight of a Klingon attack I want you to engage in evasive maneuvers immediately.”

“Order executed, captain,” Gralek responded. “At warp nine we will reach the Kobayashi Maru’s location in approximately ten minutes.”

Silence once again fell on the bridge. Two minutes later K’lee reported, “We have crossed into the Neutral Zone. We’re now in violation of the treaty.” Jennifer tensed in her seat, ready for what was about to happen.

It didn’t.

All other times they had been attacked by Klingon Battlecruisers within the first minute of crossing the line. Now, however, it was a few seconds later and still no sign of any enemies. The scenario had changed again. She relaxed in her chair, but remained ever alert.

Five minutes in, Jennifer turned to K’lee and asked, “How’s that interference? Can we get a sensor scan of the ship yet?”

He bent over and peered into the visor. “No, and the interference is getting stronger the farther we go into the Neutral Zone.”

She turned to Alex. “Comms, that message I told you to prepare earlier? Make it text, as well. In fact…” Her stomach muscles tightened and she soon found herself pacing in front of the command chair again. More scenarios were running through her head. She soon stopped her pacing, though, and pressed another button on her armchair. “Shuttlebay One, this is the captain. Prepare a shuttlecraft for launch with your best pilot onboard. Lt. Mezrich will relay to you a message to be deployed. I want the pilot to position the shuttlecraft just outside the Neutral Zone. If the pilot doesn’t hear back from us in half an hour, I want that message sent to Starfleet Command immediately.”

“Aye, captain. The shuttlecraft will be launched in one minute.”

Eight minutes in, K’lee reported, “We’re within visual range of the Kobayashi Maru, captain. Short range sensors, however, are experiencing the same interference, so I am still unable to confirm any lifeform readings.”

“On screen,” she ordered.

The streaks of stars were replaced by a vessel of familiar design. Even though the carrier was a civilian ship, it still bore a trademark Federation design with a saucer and engineering section and the warp engines held relatively above. The only real difference was that the vessel also came equipped with two additional appendages relatively below that looked like overtly large and flat feet. Since Jennifer didn’t know anything about ship designing, she was completely clueless as to what the additions were for, but knew they must serve some fueling purpose. A quick look at the vessel visually verified that power must have indeed been lost since the navigational marker lights had gone dark.

“Any sign of danger?”

“None,” K’lee reported. “If this is indeed a Klingon trap, they won’t decloak until they’re ready to strike.”

She exhaled as loudly as she could, puffing her cheeks again, not caring who saw. She whispered, “I wonder how many students have made it this far?”

“Incoming report from shuttlecraft Columbus,” Alex reported. “The craft was able to slingshot around a nearby gravity well and has reached its destination.” She sounded less bored and irritated than before. Jennifer inwardly smiled.

“One minute to destination,” Lowther spoke up. There was a hint of excitement in his voice.

Jennifer sat a little more erect in her seat. She didn’t know what was coming so her eyes remained glued to, and unblinking at, the viewscreen. Her heart beat in her chest so strongly that she could hear it thumping in her ears. An eternity later they reached their destination.

“Open a chan—” Jennifer started, but was unable to complete the order.

K’lee interrupted, “Two Klingon and two Romulan ships decloaking! We’re being approached from four different angles!”

“Evasive maneuvers engaged!” Gralek followed up.

Just as he had called that, all four ships began their attack. The Klingon Battlecruisers fired their torpedoes and the Romulan Birds of Prey fired their disruptors. Three out of four attacks missed their ship; one Bird of Prey landed a disruptor blow.

“Shields at ninety percent,” K’lee reported.

“Red alert! Keep those maneuvers going, Gralek, and get us in close to the Kobayashi Maru; I want lifeform readings, damn it!”

“Are you kidding me?” Lowther shouted back.

“Do it!” she returned. “Comms, did we get that message out?”

“Negative, captain!” Alex replied. “All communications are being jammed!”

The Ikerushikabane continued its simulated maneuvering, though the Romulans were able to get a few more shots in. As the ship continued its movements through space, Jennifer made her way to the navigation console and told Lowther, “The moment the next Klingon ship fires, I want a phaser blast to the torpedo before it emerges!”

“I’m not that good!” Lowther said. He frantically continued to mash buttons on his console to keep the ship firing back.

A scant second later the results came in. K’lee piqued up with, “Lifeform scan negative!” The wheels in Jennifer’s head turned. Maybe she could use the ship as a protective barrier. If they lasted that long, anyway.

The next Battlecruiser began its next assault. Lowther was unable to stop the torpedo before it emerged, but was able to use phasers to shoot it down when it was halfway to its destination. The resulting explosion rocked the ship and everyone held on for dear life. When the next Klingon ship fired, however, Lowther successfully made the shot and the D7-class ship was immediately destroyed.

Jennifer pounded a button on her chair with her fist. “De Haven to Carroll: Begin emergency saucer separation. Let’s even these odds out a little!”

“Beginning separation now. When it happens, you’ll be stuck without warp.”


“Separation will complete in one minute.”

Another Romulan disruptor hit the ship. K’lee called out, “Shields at sixty percent.” Then they were struck by a Romulan plasma torpedo. “Forty percent!” K’lee corrected.

“Engineering to bridge, I’m giving the shields all I can, but it’s straining the generators! They won’t hold out much longer!”

She hit a button. “Focus your attention on the battle section! We’ll take care of ourselves!” She hit the button again.

It was amazing that they were still alive. It was probably all thanks to Gralek’s maneuvering skills. Despite being a Gorn, and therefore inherently slow in both mind and body, Gralek had a superior intellect for his species and was therefore able to determine the most likely moves of his opponents and counter them effectively despite his sluggish body. Much like a tridimentional chessman, he could time his moves accordingly.

Carroll’s voice chimed in, “Beginning detachment, bridge! Fifteen seconds!”

She hit the button. “Upon separation, get the battle section out of here! See how many of them will follow you!”


Fifteen seconds later the battle section successfully detached from the saucer section and flew away at full impulse. Only one of the ships followed: a Bird of Prey, leaving the saucer with the remaining Battlecruiser and the other Romulan vessel.

“Maneuvering thrusters!” Jennifer called out. “If you can, put the Kobayashi between us and our enemies!”

Instead of her order being followed, the saucer made its way to the Battlecruiser at full impulse and sliced right through the Klingon ship’s neck. The D7-class ship didn’t blow up, but it was now adrift with its head severed from its body. As Gralek then positioned the ship behind the carrier, he answered her unasked question. “By my calculations, the destruction of the previous Battlecruiser weakened its sister ship’s shields enough to where a direct collision would allow us to penetrate them. They were correct.”

“Let’s hope that ship is adrift, then.” She turned to Alex. “Damage report!”

But it was K’lee who spoke first. “Shields at twenty percent. If the Romulans get a few more shots in, we’re dead.”

Alex followed with, “No severe damage or casualties.”

Gralek continued, “Maneuvers successful. The Romulans can’t touch us for the moment.”

Jennifer exhaled once more. “When I give the order, get us in close to the carrier. I want to lock on a tractor beam and push the Kobayashi Maru into the Romulan ship.”

Gralek responded, “By my calculations, the Romulan’s shields will still be formidable.”

K’lee said next, “I concur.”

Jennifer replied to both, “They won’t be after they have a huge chunk of metal thrown at them.”

K’lee replied, “We can’t follow your order, regardless. The tractor beam is located on the battle section.”

“Uuuuh,” Jennifer grunted, wracking her brain. “Then we’ll use the forward auxiliary navigation deflector instead. If it’s not powerful enough, redirect what power you can to make it so.”

K’lee said, “Yes, ma’am.” Then, “Captain! The battle section is ejecting the warp core!”

Everyone’s eyes turned to the viewscreen. The maneuvering Gralek was performing allowed the saucer to have a line of sight view of the battle section. The core was indeed being ejected, but it was then caught by the battle section’s tractor beam, pushed toward the Bird of Prey that was attacking them, and fired upon by one of their photon torpedoes. The Romulan ship was no more. Jennifer’s heart leapt into her throat. They were actually going to win!

Jennifer shot out of her chair. “Execute order! Let’s finish this!”

Before her order could be followed, however, there was another hit delivered by the Romulan ship that not only rocked the saucer but also caused the helm console to explode. For the second time Gralek was sprayed by the sparks from an explosion and he fell out of his chair. He attempted to get up, but Commander Lance’s voice called out, “Stay down, Ensign Gralek. You’re dead.” Gralek complied, but shifted himself into a more comfortable position.

Jennifer took his place at the helm. Although a little singed, most of the console was still operational. As she continued to maneuver around the carrier, K’lee reported, “Shields at five percent!”

Jennifer began pressing the controls harder than she needed to. As she brought the saucer in, a warning alert sounded and Lowther shouted, “Captain, no!”

Then before she knew what had happened, helm stopped responding. “What the hell?”

She looked up at the viewscreen to see the saucer moving away from the Kobayashi Maru. She then turned to Lowther. He had clearly executed a command that transferred helm to navigation and was now piloting the ship. “Why did you—” she asked, but was unable to finish. The Kobayashi Maru exploded, the force of which was keeping everyone glued to their seats due to inertia, except for Gralek and an academy medic who had appeared out of nowhere; they found themselves thrown against the railing to the upper deck.

When the saucer’s speed slowed down and everyone was able to move again, K’lee reported, “Shields have failed.” He removed his gaze from the visor and turned to Jennifer. “The carrier was rigged with explosives, captain. I sent the message to Ensign Lowther’s console since yours was too damaged. The Romulans wanted us to get closer.”

She nodded. “Speaking of the Romulans, where are they?”

Lowther pointed to the viewscreen. “Engaging the battle section.” The two ships were dancing in space, the Romulan ship firing both disruptors and plasma torpedoes while the battle section fired off phasers and photon torpedoes.

“Let’s give them a hand. Fire phasers!”

Lowther pressed a few buttons on his console. “I can’t. The phaser banks were damaged by the explosion.” He pressed a few more buttons. “And maneuvering thrusters are offline as well; we’re sitting ducks.”

“Impulse engines!” she said frantically.

But K’lee answered, “Damaged as well.”

She turned back to the viewscreen. “How about torpedoes? Do we still have those?”

Lowther hit a few more buttons. “Yes, but barely.”

“Then look for a weakness in the Romulan’s attack and fire!”

But the order was unnecessary. The Bird of Prey disappeared in a fiery ball. The battle section had lived up to its name. Everyone stood up from their consoles and gaped at the view. They did it. They had actually beaten the Kobayashi Maru! The silence was quickly followed by cheers. When the din had died down, Alex shouted, “Incoming transmission from the battle section, captain! They are unable to transmit visually, so it’s audio only.”

“On speakers!” Jennifer was still grinning widely.

Carroll’s voice came in a little garbled, but was otherwise completely understandable. He sounded just as excited as everyone else. “Captain, what do you say to getting this ship back in one piece and getting out of here?”

“If the ship can still reassemble, I say let’s do it! Fine work, lieutenant! Fine work!”

A few minutes later the Ikerushikabane was restored, Carroll was back on the bridge, the warning was sent, and Jennifer gave the order to return to Federation space. Then the red alert lights were replaced by a flood of white lights. The simulation was over. A few seconds later Commander Lance entered the simulator with his evaluation report in hand. The first words out of his mouth were, “That was a most excellent display! No one has ever lasted this long before.”

“I’d say not!” Jennifer beamed. “We’re the first to be able to say we beat the Kobayashi Maru on its own terms!”

“Yeah!” Alex chimed in. “Even the great Captain Kirk needed to cheat!”

Commander Lance, who had been looking at his report, glanced up at Jennifer and said plainly, “No you didn’t.”

The smiles were immediately wiped from everyone’s faces. “What do you mean, we didn’t?” Jennifer asked.

“Just that. You didn’t win.”

Rage filled her body. She allowed her menstrual cycle to take over as she stormed toward the commander and stared him down, towering over him by a head. “That is such bull!” she shouted. A second later she grunted through gritted teeth, “Sir.”

Commander Lance merely looked up at her and said, “At ease…cadet.” Jennifer took a deep breath and backed away. “Now,” he continued evenly, “what makes you think you have won?”

Jennifer blinked. “Isn’t it obvious? We defeated all of the enemies and lived to tell the tale!” She looked over at Gralek, whose hands and face were wrapped in bandages. The medic had disappeared as silently as he had appeared. “Well, most of us, anyway.”


“So that doesn’t mean anything?”

“Not to the big picture, no. In this scenario, the Klingons and Romulans forged an alliance to wage war against the Federation. All they needed was a misunderstanding to take place should something go wrong and you handed it to them on a silver platter. Even Kirk, when he cheated, had the foresight to change the battle’s location to unclaimed territory.”

Jennifer looked at him incredulously. “What were we supposed to do? Just leave the distressed ship out there?”

“That is an option, yes, and it’s a tough decision to make. Either risk a war with a rescue mission or evade it by leaving potentially innocent people to die.”

She put her hands on her hips. “So which was the right decision to make?”

“Neither of them are; that’s what makes the Kobayaski Maru a no-win scenario. The simulation is nothing more than actions and consequences.” He looked at everyone; the room was a mixture of outrage and disappointment. “Don’t get me wrong; you all performed magnificently! Here you are, a group of cadets, and you handled yourselves like a well seasoned crew. That’s very commendable! You all handled the situation you were given with near perfection. But before we talk about what you did right, let’s first talk about what you did wrong. What mistakes did you make?”

“Mistakes!” Jennifer ejaculated. “I don’t know…entering the Klingon Neutral Zone in the first place?”

“Romulan,” he corrected. “Had you paid closer attention in your stellar cartography course, you would remember that Gamma Hydra is in the Romulan Neutral Zone. The only one who said anything about the Klingon Neutral Zone was you.” He looked around. “And no one corrected her. Being a leader doesn’t mean being infallible. If you know something is a mistake, you should address it.” He turned back to Jennifer. “Because here you are flying around in space and you have no idea where you’re even situated.”

“But Tezwa!”

“Yes, it was the Kobayashi Maru’s destination, and Tezwa is indeed in the Klingon Neutral Zone, but that doesn’t mean that’s where you are. That’s why the Romulan ships were able to surprise you; you were presuming based upon past exercises. Didn’t you notice that the scenario had been changed up a little?”

“Yes, sir, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to question every single little detail.”

“Why not?”

“Because then I’d be spending so much time second guessing everything that I wouldn’t be doing anything!” Commander Lance wrote something on the screen of his PADD. “I made the best decisions I could based on the information I had at the time.”

He looked up from the screen. “Could you have gathered any more?”

She exhaled in defeat. “I don’t see how.”

He tucked the PADD under his arm. “Well, for starters, in the five minutes you decided to wait the Klingons out, you could have called out to see if there were any other ships in the area to ask for assistance. You reasonably believed you were being set up for an attack and yet you didn’t even make an attempt to strengthen your numbers or seek the advice of other captains.”

Jennifer looked at him incredulously. “What would be the point? Every other time we were always the only ship in the immediate vicinity.”

“But not this time. There were two ships that were nearby, the Constitution and the Defiant, performing routine duties and thus were readily available for your use. And, incidentally, that is the exact same excuse you chided Ensign Lowther for earlier.” She gave a quick glance in Lowther’s direction; his expression was a mask of hostility—not for her, since he wasn’t even looking in her direction, but for the situation.

“Another mistake you made,” he continued, “was your decision early on to separate the saucer and battle sections. A ship is more powerful and effective as a whole than as separate pieces, so when engaging in battle you really want to keep the ship together.” Jennifer opened her mouth to protest, but the commander cut her off. “You achieved great results—I’m not denying that—but given Starfleet’s track record, that was a bad call to make. Can anyone identify any other mistakes that were made?”

Everyone thought it over, but no one answered. “Well, I do have one question for you, Miss de Haven: You were engaged in battle yet still concerned about lifeform readings. Why?”

“If the carrier was a lost cause, I wanted to be able to use it as a shield or weapon.”

He brought out his PADD again and started writing again. “And if it wasn’t?”

“All the more reason to defend her.”

“Commendable, but it nearly cost you the lives of you and your crew. You were too focused on life readings that you failed to scan for anything else. You went into this scenario thinking that the Kobayashi Maru was a trap but then you didn’t look to see just how big a trap it could have been. If Lt. K’lee hadn’t watched your back everyone would be dead right now. Which bring me to another question: When you found out that the ship was hopeless, why did you continue to fight instead of making a hasty retreat?”

Jennifer paused. “That never occurred to me. I mean, it did in the beginning, but once I was there…”

He made a few more notes on his PADD. “Any more mistakes?”

Gralek spoke up, “I was distracted at one point. When the battle section used the warp core to fight the Romulans, I was more focused on what was happening than what could be happening. As a result, I failed to anticipate the other Bird of Prey’s attack and we were hit…and I died.”

“Very good. Anyone else?” Everyone remained silent. “Lt. Mezrich, you were distracted by that little maneuver yourself. Both the Klingons and Romulans sent out subspace transmissions stating that they were investigating a stranded ship when a Federation vessel viciously attacked them…and you missed them both.”

Alex looked at the commander in confusion. “And how could I have detected that when all communications were being jammed?”

“They were only being jammed at the beginning. The first ship you took out was the source of the signal jamming. You were paying more attention to what was happening around you than you were to your job. You could have sent that message out that de Haven had you prepare a lot sooner. Any other mistakes?”

Carroll answered, “Well, I kind of left us without warp capabilities.”

Commander Lance replied, “We’ll get to that in a minute. Suffice it to say you could have used impulse power to exit the Neutral Zone while calling upon help from anyone in the area. Starbase 46 is nearby and could have sent a ship to tow you in for repairs. Anyone else?” Silence again.

He turned back to Jennifer. “You completely forgot about the shuttlecraft once it stopped being useful to you.” Her eyes bulged. “No one thought to contact the Columbus with a status report and ETA for pick up. Also, using the shuttle for the purpose of relaying that message was a bit excessive, but there was nothing wrong with making that decision per se. In fact, I was almost waiting for you to deploy a message buoy as well.” Jennifer snapped her fingers.

He looked at his PADD once more. “Well, that takes care of the salient points. Now to everything you did right! Miss de Haven, you did an excellent job of gathering information before deciding whether or not to rescue the carrier. Only sixty percent of students think to do that, and of those sixty only ten percent attempt to be thorough. Mostly everyone is just too eager to start fighting. Asking for thoughts from your crew, also good.” He turned to address everyone. “While it’s true that the captain is ultimately responsible, running a ship is a team effort and everyone’s input is valuable. Who knows? You may be able to think of something the captain hasn’t.

“Also, your multiple attempts to establish comms with everyone are equally commendable; not many cadets take the time to do that, either. Your thoroughness and strategic preparation at the beginning was half of the reason why this scenario lasted as long as it did.” He turned to the Gorn. “Ensign Gralek, your excellent maneuvering skills are the other half of the reason. Avoiding simultaneous weapons fire from multiple enemies and at multiple angles is no mean feat. Also, using the saucer to cut the neck of the Battlecruiser was a brilliant idea.” He turned back to Jennifer. “Nice thought about using phasers to detonate a torpedo while it was still in the Battlecruiser. Frankly, I’m surprised that even worked since the Klingons don’t lower their forward shields until after the torpedo has been launched.” He glanced down at his PADD. “We’re still looking into how that happened. As for using the navigational deflectors as a makeshift tractor beam, that was an ingenious thought. It wouldn’t have worked the way you wanted it to since they’re too weak, but you certainly would have caught the Romulans off guard.”

He looked down at his PADD again and then turned to Carroll. “I hear it was your idea to use the warp core as a weapon, lieutenant. That was truly unbelievable. That a cadet could have come up with that tactic…”

Carroll blushed by way of smiling. “Oh, I’m sure I’m not the first person to come up with that idea.”

“In the fleet, no, but in the academy, you are. That alone is worth top marks.” He turned to the rest of the cadets. “Which, by the way, everyone will be getting. You have all performed exceedingly well; you are to be commended for that. Are there any questions before we leave?”

Jennifer replied, “I have one, sir. You said that Tezwa was in the Klingon Neutral Zone.”

“That’s right.”

“But there isn’t one.”

The commander looked down at his PADD and began taking more notes. “Oh dear.” After finishing, he looked up and continued. “Yes, there most certainly is one. It was established by the Organians because they didn’t like how well we and the Klingons play together. The entire Organian system is now considered off limits by both parties.”

Jennifer gave him a confused look. “Then how come all we ever hear about are border disputes?”

“Because that’s all there ever is. Everything else is a border dispute, that’s true, but the Organian Peace Treaty clearly establishes a Federation-Klingon Neutral Zone. Any other questions?” Silence again. “Well then this concludes your evaluation. Congratulations to everyone on your stellar performances.”

Commander Lance lead the way out of the simulator, but noticed that Jennifer hadn’t moved from her spot. Alex made her way over and wrapped one arm around Jennifer’s shoulder and the commander decided to join them. “What’s wrong?” he asked.

She was looking down at the ground. “It’s just…I thought we had done it.”

“You’ve come closer than anyone else. You have a natural talent for leadership, Miss de Haven. If you ever decide to make your way out of engineering, there is no doubt in my mind that you will make a great leader. Who knows? Maybe you’ll even be in the history books.”

She gave the commander a weak smile but said nothing else. Alex guided her out of the simulator room and the commander followed behind them. It was going to be a long night for her.
I own a PS4.
Robwood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-19, 10:02   #2
Tjw croft
Tjw croft's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Atlantean Incubator Egg; Pre-Hatching Sequence Initiated
Posts: 1,875

Absolutely phenomenally well written! Always wondered how other crews and cadets would handle the Kobayashi Maru! Would love to see this continued!
Tomb Raider: Atlantis. What REALLY happened on the Isle Of Atlantis?
Tjw croft is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-19, 14:19   #3
Robwood's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 2,890

Thank you! I started a continuation story, where some of the cadets made it onto the Enterprise, but stuff happened and the project currently sits unfinished. I've been spending my spare time writing a novel for publication.
I own a PS4.
Robwood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-03-23, 01:40   #4
jeffrey van oort
Relic Hunter
jeffrey van oort's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 6,540

I feel like I have learnt not to take the Kobayashi Maru.
The scenario was always going to conclude with a dead end right? Even if you would retake the Kobayashi Maru. Well in your version everybody seems to have won. Beautifully written.

A klingon neutral zone. I feel like I have learnt something.
Flames would not be eternal if they could dissolve.
jeffrey van oort is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

All times are GMT. The time now is 04:47.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Tomb Raider Forums is not owned or operated by CDE Entertainment Ltd.
Lara Croft and Tomb Raider are trademarks of CDE Entertainment Ltd.