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Chapter Notes: The Opening Move...by Mick
Story editing by Ln X


Chapter I
The Opening Move

“Checkmate,” said Kirk as he moved his king onto the middle level of three dimensional chessboard. The captain of the starship Enterprise fought the urge to smile as he watched his opponent admit defeat.

Spock raised an eyebrow as he said, “That is your third attempt in the last six months to use a variation of the Kolchinsky maneuver against me. If I had realized it sooner I would have countered your last move no more than six moves ago.”

“Come now Spock,” said Kirk now smiling as the sat across from each other in one of the Enterprise’s recreation rooms, “Admit it, you let me win.”

“I did not Captain,” replied the Vulcan.

“Say what you want Spock, but I figure that your sub-conscious wanted you to let me win while your conscious mind tried to fight it but lost,” said James Kirk.

“If I require a psychological evaluation, I will see Doctor McCoy to do so,” said the half-human Spock. “Your remark shall I say is, insulting.”

Kirk then said, “Spock, your human side must be fallible, prone to making mistakes. Admit it, you let me win.”

“Again I did not sir,” said Spock, “if you are trying to bruise my ego you are forgetting that I am a Vulcan, I have none to bruise.”

“Your half-human Spock,” said Kirk, “certainly you can not do things perfectly every single time. Even logic can be flawed once in a while, interpreted incorrectly. I used the same maneuver on you again hoping that you would notice, and learn from that.”

“I do not see how repeating the same action over and over would grant you a different outcome,” said Spock, “some would argue that it is by definition called insanity.”

“One man’s insanity is another man’s logic,” countered Kirk. “Would you like to play again?” he asked.

“Another time,” said Spock, “I am due in the Science lab shortly to continue an experiment I have been running.”

“Oh, on what?”

“Single cell organisms in an airtight environment,” said the Vulcan.

“Say again,” said Kirk not sure if he heard Spock correctly.
“That was an attempt at a joke Jim,” said Spock, “I actually have to take inventory of the equipment.”

“Oh you should try that one out on McCoy, he’d find it hilarious,” said the captain.

“Indeed I shall,” replied Spock.

Captain Kirk groaned internally as he heard the comm terminal chime, “Bridge to Captain.” it was the voice of Lieutenant Nyota Uhura, the ships communications officer. Kirk got up from his chair and walked over to the wall mounted comm terminal. He pressed the control to open a channel, “Kirk here,” he said into the speaker.

Uhura then said, “We are picking up a distress call from the freighter Draco. They report they have struck a mine and are adrift. Life support is failing.”

Kirk did not waste anytime, “Yellow alert. Lay in an intercept course to the Draco’s last known position and engage at warp factor seven.” Not thirty seconds later did the yellow alert klaxon sound as the small crowd began to break up in the rec room. The captain of the Enterprise began to walk down the now crowded corridor with Spock right behind him. They quickly entered the nearest turbolift, Kirk grateful that it was empty. Spock twisted the control handle and gave the computer their destination as the turbolift car began to move toward the highest point in the ship. The turbolift doors opened quickly allowing the two men to exit out on to the Bridge, the main control center of the starship Enterprise. Captain Kirk took a moment to straighten his gold command tunic as he eased down into the almost throne like command chair in the center of the room. “Report,” he called out.

Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu turned from the Helm station and said, “On course to intercept the Draco. Estimated time of arrival is eight minutes at present speed.”

Captain Kirk nodded as he turned in his command chair to see Spock looking into his viewer at the Science station. The Vulcan stood straight as he turned around and said, “I have located the Draco on sensors. Their position is within the disputed zone with the Klingon Empire.”

Kirk nodded in acknowledgement before saying, “Let’s hope we can get to them before the Klingons do. He then slammed his right fist down on the arm of his chair opening a comm channel, “Bridge to Engineering.”

“Scott here sir,” came the reply of Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott.

“Mr. Scott, I could use a little more speed out of the warp drive,” said Kirk.

“Aye sir,” replied the Scotsman, “and you’ll have it. I can give you warp seven point eight.”

“Thank you Scotty,” said Kirk as he closed the channel.

“New E.T.A. is four point six seven minutes,” reported Sulu.

The captain leaned back in his chair as he considered his next move. Given the position of the freighter it would be tough to perform a simple rescue because of the chance the Klingons could get to the freighter’s crew before the Enterprise could. “Uhura,” he called out, “their distress call, it was a gravitic mine that they had hit and sent them adrift?”

“Yes sir,” she replied.

“Spock, this sounds very familiar,” said Kirk as he got up and walked to the edge of the railing by the Science station.

Spock raised an eyebrow before saying, “The Kobayashi Maru scenario.”

“Precisely,” said Kirk, “the only problem is that the solution I used will not work this time.”

“Agreed, since this is not a simulation,” offered the Vulcan.

“There has to be something that we can do,” said Kirk.

“We could enter the disputed zone, but the Klingons make take an aggressive stance towards us if we did. Also, it is possible that is all an elaborate ruse to lure the Enterprise to this location,” said Spock.

“For what purpose?” asked Kirk.

“Unknown,” replied the Science officer.

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