Star Trek Adventures: Damocles
Season 0 – Episode 2 – The Kobayashi Maru
In Starfleet, there is a long-standing tradition. One of the last tests a cadet can face is the now infamous Kobayashi Maru. It was designed as a test of character, a no-win situation that showed how you would handle a situation where no matter what you did, you lost. Some students did extremely well, some, like James T Kirk, cheated.
For a couple of cadets, who were destined to go onto to crew the USS Damocles, it proved to be quite memorable….
Rumours had been floating around the academy or the last few months that the upcoming KM test was going to a bit different. It had been confirmed that the cadets would be testing out the proposed Damocles class design during the test – A ship that at the time was not fully operational and the KM scenario would be a perfect place to not only see how the students would handle a brand new ship design, but help to iron out any kinks in a virtual simulation – Killing two birds with one stone as Admiral T’Sel, one of the designers of the holodeck program and of the Damocles class itself put it. The simulation was not perfect, no simulations are of course, but they were confident that it was 95% accurate as it could be. Sadly the ship, due to it’s highly complex nature would not be ready for field testing for quite a while, so the holodeck was the next best thing.
The day started like many others for the cadets. A few though, through nerves and premature celebration were running late and slightly hungover. An impressive act as proper alcohol was banned from the academy.
Out of the the 6 cadets scheduled for this test, only two turned up on time – Davrin Jaan, a joined Trill and Tyraa Sh’tisrar, an Andorian. Greeted by the Tellarite running the scenario, they were commended for not only turning up on time, but showing him respect, something a few others had not done the previous day. As such they were allowed to pick the positions they would hold during the scenario. Davrin took command and Tyraa tactical.
Not long afterward the other students turned up, one still slightly worse for wear. Once they had got over the awe at seeing the bridge of the Damocles “for real”, they took their positions and got ready. It was then they noticed something they really should have noticed about the tellarite before. He was an admiral!
Once this shook quickly wore off, Admiral Mar Clavrers, introduced himself, a smile creeping across his face as he saw the shock and “oooh I’ve messed up already” expression on a few of the students faces.
Clavrers began by telling the students a brief history of the KM scenario, nothing major, just how a few notable people, like Kirk of the Enterprise and Martinez of the Sally Ride though they could “cheat” the system and this has over the years led to a major spate of other thinking they could cheat, including one unnamed incident that took a week to clean the mess it caused. As such, the students were, in a limited capacity, “allowed” to cheat, as long as it stayed in the confines of the holodeck.
The logic, as Clavrers continued was that it would test the scenario program, the students and their ingenuity all at once. They are not expected to win – They would be marked on how they lost. In effect, they could do what they want, as long as they remembered that they were Starfleet and represent the academy, Starfleet and the Federation. As long as they did that, they would not fail the KM. The students were also reminded that the scenario was 95% “real” so odd things may happen. Clavers smiled again as he said this, knowing that it would make things interesting for them and anyone observing the test.
Soon after it began in earnest. The new crew setting in quite quickly, with Tyraa trying to contain her excitement on seeing the words “Multi-Vector Mode 100% operational” on her tactical display.
The USS Damocles was heading towards Gamma Hydra, near the Romulan Neutral Zone, when they picked up a slightly garbled distress signal from the transport freighter Kobayashi Maru. They had hit something whilst traveling and were now adrift. They had a large amount of fuel and passengers on board and needed help – Their warp engines and transports were offline and the captain and many of the crew had been killed. They needed help…fast!
Raising shields and going to warp 7 they quickly arrived at a point right on the edge of the RNZ. A quick scan from the ship’s sensors soon picked up the freighter, adrift in Romulan space, as well several odd small energy based anomaly. These could be easily avoided for a ship like the Damocles, but it was obvious what had happened. The KM had hit what looked like a cloaked mine and drifted into Romulan space.
It was at this point that three Romulan Warbirds decloaked and started heading towards the KM.
A quick discussion on what to to led to an audacious plan. Split the Damocles into it’s three vectors, two take on the warbirds and the third go toward the KM provide support and use the tractor beam to start dragging it back towards Federation space. Before this put into action though, Davrin attempted to contact the Romulans and inform them of their peaceful intentions. With no reply, a quick message was sent to Starfleet to let them know what was about to happen.
The Romulans began their attack run, one locking onto the KM, one cloaking again and the third heading towards the Damocles.
Splitting into it’s three vectors, or small ships, Alpha, Beta and Gamma. The Damocles was now more than a match for three ships. A strafing run from Alpha Vector almost took out the shields of the first warbird in one go. Things were looking up for the cadets, even though the KM had taken a hit to it’s sensors.
Gamma vector headed towards the KM with Alpha and Beta providing firing cover, whilst still on the hunt for the third cloaked warbird. A plasma torpedo came very close to hitting Alpha, but was avoided at the last moment.
When a ship decloaking near the Maru was detected, the crew was ready for more action. What they weren’t ready for was the fact that is wasn’t a warbird decloaking, but a D’deridex class vessel, a massive and rightly feared ship, bigger than the Galaxy class.
In this brief moment, Tyraa took what, if this was reality would have been the biggest gamble of her life. There is a saying that fortune favors the bold and today for her…it did.
With a speed that surprised everyone, without permission from her captain, Tyraa dropped the shields on the vector closest to D’Deridex , after seeing that it’s shields were down as well. Pushing her skills and the technology at her command to the limit a live quantum torpedo was beamed directly from the torpedo bay, into the heart of the massive Romulan vessel. This was not something that could be performed without risk as there was every chance the torpedo would detonate within the Damocles herself. But somehow, against all odds and before the D’Deridex shields could be raised, a detonation was spotted within the targets sensors cluster, effectively blinding the Romulan ship and causing secondary damage to other systems. The enemy was not out, but she was flying blind. That evened the odds a little more in their favor.
Bolstered by this success and believing that they could actually “win” the scenario, the cadets pushed forward, taking a small amount of shield damage along the way. This was it..they could do …they could win…
The KM was taking more damage from the warbirds pestering it. Without hesitation, Davrin ordered an attack on the warbird nearest the Maru.
There is another old Terran saying, especially true amongst though who played various games of chance…The dice giveth…the dice taketh away…
It was at this point, seemingly to balance out the incredible actions carried out by Tyraa that instead of locking onto and hitting the attacking warbird, the Damocles had somehow locked onto and fired on the very ship they were meant to be protecting. Seeing their torpedoes and phaser fire hit the very ship they had rushed to help sent waves of horror across the bridge, then the explosion of the freighter as its structure could not withstand the awesome firepower of one of Starfleet’s most potent ships.
They had destroyed the Kobayashi Maru.
Within seconds, the scenario was ended. Clavers was stood at the entrance to the holodeck, looking at them with utter disbelief. Next to him was another Admiral, T’Sel. Clavers verbally gave them a debriefing and in his sarcastic way that only a tellarite could, congratulated them on being literally the first cadets in Starfleet history to blow up the KM.
Davrin pointed out, quite correctly that they had been told the scenario was only 95% accurate. This outcome would never have happened for “real”.
Clavers agreed. It was for this reason that they hadn’t failed the test, and they had passed, as the rest of their actions were perfectly acceptable. In fact, Tyraa was to be given a commendation on her records for the maneuver that the crew had dubbed the “Face Hugger” after an old classic science fiction film from earth’s past.
However, this did not please T’Sel, who reacted in a rather negative way to Davrins reminder. She had programmed the simulation herself and being reminded of the flaw within it caused her to almost, just almost, get embarrassed by this. So much so, in fact, she simply turned around and left – if she was human you would have said she left fuming. This left clavers laughing and doing something he had been trying to do for decades – He managed to annoy a Vulcan.
It was lunch time by this point so the cadets were sent to the cafeteria to eat and wait for their official results. On entering, it was obvious that news of their “success” had reached the rest of the academy and they were met with a series of loud cheers and laughter. Taking it as a matter of pride the crew enjoyed their meal, probably the last one many of them would have together before getting their results and assignments.
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