AOH :: GEIGER05.TXT|
"Q and A" 5 of 16
Amused expressions made the rounds of the
Bridge as Riker ordered "Screen off."
"Is he serious? Our shields can absorb
all the power he's got and still operate at peak
efficiency," said Ensign Harris.
"I don't know, Ensign. Deanna, any
"Commander, I sense that he is serious.
Admiral Kirk sees us as a threat that he must deal
with," replied the Counselor.
"Excuse me, sir, may I say something?"
"Is it relevant, Mister Gawron?"
"I think so, Commander. About this time,
the Federation experienced a series of border raids.
Many people blamed the Klingons and Romulans but
nothing was ever proven. Starfleet's main computer
was even broken into once and some information
about Starship design stolen. Captain Kirk may
think that we are actually a Klingon or Romulan
attempt at a Federation Starship."
"Thank you, Ensign. Now all we have to do
is prove that we are members of the Federation.
Hmm ... Ensign Gawron, I've got a job for you.
Get down to Holodeck 3 and program it for a 23rd
century Starship Bridge. Better make it one grade
higher than this time's Enterprise, just to be
"Aye, sir, I'm on my way," said Gawron,
running to the Turbolift.
"Not so fast, Chris. Ensign Harris, you
go with him. Use the replicators to make appropriate
uniforms for all members of the Bridge Crew.
Hurry or Kirk may call for reinforcements."
"Yes, sir. I'll model them after Admiral
Kirk's," she said, swinging her Ops console out of
the way. She walked up the ramp and left the
Bridge with Ensign Gawron.
"Mister Crusher, have you had any luck in
your experiments to export Holodeck matter into
the external environment?"
"Uh, yeah. Well, sort of. I can produce
holograms outside of the Holodeck, but they have
no substance," answered the Helmsman hesitantly.
"Could you channel the images through
shield control and use them as a sort of cloaking
"Probably, Commander," said Wes.
"Get on it now. Use Holodeck 1 and get
Geordi to help you. Move it." Wes left the
"Ensign Ferrar, summon the replacement
Bridge Crew up here. You remain here as well,"
Riker ordered Ensign Gawron's replacement.
"Okay, Deanna, down to Holodeck 3."
The Counselor and First Officer entered
the Turbolift and went down to Holodeck 3, where
they joined the rest of the Bridge Crew, already
in their 23rd century uniforms. Riker and Deanna
accepted their uniforms from Ensign Harris and
entered the changing room. They soon emerged,
Riker as a Captain and Deanna as a Science
Riker ran down the corridor to where Wes
and Geordi were working at the wall panel outside
"Commander, I was just about to contact
you," said Geordi. "We need to know what design
to use for our shields. What should we turn the
"Change us into the same configuration as
the Hood from our time, hull registry NQ - 3000.
Make sure you center the 'Bridge' on Holodeck 3."
"Aye, sir. But NQ?" asked Geordi with a
"He is the reason that we're here, after
all," Riker said as he turned and jogged back to
"Well, now we just need a name," said Geordi.
"I have an idea, Geordi, from my Ancient
Earth history class," said Wes.
They set to work.
In the meantime, the others had taken their
Riker turned his chair in Ensign Gawron's
direction. "Good job, Chris. Only one thing left
to do. Link Communications from here to the real
Bridge. It must appear that this is a fully
"Way ahead of you, Commander, uh, I mean
Captain. The computer will mirror the main view-
screen on this viewscreen. All communications will
appear to originate from here. In addition, there
is a hole in your armrest to accommodate your combadge
so that you can talk intraship normally."
"I hope you're right because we're out of
time. Mister Crusher, Geordi, are you ready?"
Riker asked, tapping the combadge in his chair arm.
"Yes, Commander, just finished," they
"Will your illusion interfere with the
transporters in any way?" asked Riker.
"No, sir," answered Wes, "it's just a
sophisticated light show."
"Then on my signal: 'Lower shields', be
ready with your illusion. Riker out."
"Captain, we are being hailed again,"
reported Ensign Gawron.
"Please identify yourself. This is your
last chance," warned Admiral Kirk from the screen.
"Mister Gawron, visual channels open.
Admiral Kirk, this is Captain William Riker of
the experimental vessel NQ-3000. Welcome back to
"I know this is somewhat unusual, but we're
the good guys. Allow me to explain our presence."
"By all means, proceed," allowed Kirk.
"This vessel was built in secrecy because
of recent security breaches. We were on a testing
mission when we were ordered to meet you in case
you were chased across the Neutral Zone by the
Klingons. My orders are to ensure that you reach
Earth in one piece, so you can begin your next
"They don't look like any Federation ship
I've ever seen," said a grouchy voice somewhere
"Quiet, Bones!" Kirk whispered over his
shoulder. Turning back to the screen he said,
"I'll need some proof, Captain Riker."
"Certainly, Admiral. This ship utilizes
a cloaking device which both shields and disguises
the ship at the same time. I will now put an end
to this illusion. Lower shields," Riker ordered,
leaning toward his armrest.
In the hall, Wesley Crusher tapped a touch
sensitive wall panel.
On the Enterprise, Kirk's Enterprise, the
viewscreen shifted from a picture of Riker to a
view of the other Enterprise, which shimmered and
appeared to disintegrate. It then reformed into
a 23rd century vessel of advanced design: NQ-3000,
the USS Houdini.
"Isn't that amazing, Doctor? I had no
idea that Starfleet technology had advanced that
"Jim, I'm still not convinced that we were
talking to a Federation starship. There have been
no clues as to where this ship has come from and no
evidence that shields can be used as they suggest.
Scotty could have done that already if it was
possible. And why did the markings on her hull
read NCC-1701-D, USS ENTERPRISE? I don't like
"Doctor, we have been absent from Earth
for quite awhile, in which time there may have been
a great increase in the sophistication of Starfleet
technology. As to your question, however, I do not
possess enough data to speculate," said Spock from
his science station.
"A ruse, perhaps, to scare off any foes
it might encounter," spoke up Sulu. "Many animals
employ the same idea."
"Hmm ... Maybe, but I think we'd better
see for ourselves. Uhura, get me Captain Riker."
"Aye, sir. On the screen."
"Captain Riker, that display was impressive,
but forgive me if I'm still doubtful of your
authenticity. May I beam over with a small party
to tour the ship?"
"Of course, Admiral Kirk," said Riker's
image. "I'll relay the coordinates of our Bridge
to your Transporter Room. Riker out."
The viewscreen reverted to a dark star-
field, at it's center hung the Enterprise, reflecting
the light of a million stars.
Ensign Harris looked up in horror. "They
can't beam through our shields. We can't even do
that. They'll be scattered all over this sector
"Calm down, Ensign. Riker to LaForge.
Geordi, monitor the other ship's power levels.
When they're ready to beam over, drop our cloaking
field momentarily, just enough for them to slip
through. Can you handle that?"
"Got it, Commander," came Geordi's voice
from the arm of Riker's chair. "No trouble at
"Jim, you're not seriously thinking about
going over there, are you?" asked Doctor McCoy,
"We must be sure that they are non-hostile
and that they really are members of the Federation,"
Spock said impassively.
"Are you out of your Vulcan mind, Spock.
We're still here, aren't we. If their power levels
were as high as you said, they could have blasted
us out of the sky by now. Our continued existence
is proof enough that they're non-hostile. Why does
it matter whether or not they're Federation?"
asked McCoy irritably.
"Because, Doctor, if they are non-Federation,
they still occupy a Starfleet vessel. Either they
are from Starfleet, there is a security leak some-
where from which they obtained starship plans, or
they have stolen a Federation starship."
"As none are reported missing, we can
eliminate this last possibility."
"But, Spock, --" began McCoy.
"Gentlemen, gentlemen, please," interrupted
Kirk. "We can settle this later. For now, let's
get down to the Transporter Room. Come on, Spock.
"Of course, Captain. I have to make sure
you don't break your fool neck in some adolescent
stunt while trying to save the universe singlehanded,"
said the Doctor grumpily as he, Kirk, and Spock
entered the lift. The Doctor's grumblings could
still be heard for a few seconds after he had left
"Do you think that's such a good idea,
Commander? I mean, we can't let them out of here
to see the rest of the Enterprise," objected Ensign
"On the contrary, Ensign. That's exactly
what we're going to do." Everyone on the 'Bridge'
looked at Riker, shocked. They awaited his
"All the other Holodecks except Holodeck 1
have been programmed to be various areas of the ship.
We can use the intraship transporters to move
from Holodeck to Holodeck. There should be no problem
as long as no one tries to enter the Holodeck that
we're in at any given moment. If we had refused
to let them beam over, they would have become
suspicious. By giving them a guided tour, we'll
allay those suspicions."
"Mister Gawron, make sure you send the correct
'Bridge' coordinates. It wouldn't do for the most
famous captain in Starfleet to end up in a wall or
on the real Bridge," warned Riker. "Better make
sure that you drop our shields long enough to beam
them over. Cut it as close as possible to avoid any
problems. Better jam their sensors just in case."
"I verified the coordinates by computer before
I sent them. They will arrive in the area in front
of the command chair. Our computer is tied in to
their transporter and will drop shields for a
split-second during transport and block their
sensors," reassured Gawron.
No sooner had he said that, than three
columns of light appeared and coalesced into the
forms of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy.
"Welcome, Captain, Mister Spock, Doctor."
Riker shook hands and gave the Vulcan salute where
applicable. "I'd like you to meet my Bridge Crew.
Science Officer Deanna Troi, Communications Officer
Lieutenant Christopher Gawron, Helmsman Lieutenant
Margaret Harris, and Navigator Lieutenant David
Callari." Riker pointed to each in turn.
Fortunately, he had had the foresight to temporarily
promote the members of the Bridge Crew. Captain
Kirk would have been skeptical of a Bridge full of
ensigns. David Callari was filling in for Wes, who
was monitoring his cloaking device.
Kirk and Spock were looking around the
Bridge attentively, McCoy was looking bored.
"Doctor McCoy, would you like to see our
Sickbay?" asked Riker.
"I'd rather see my own Sickbay right now,
but as long as I'm here, why not?"
Riker surreptitiously hit his combadge and
said, "Doctor Pulaski, teleport to the Bridge
"Aye, Captain, I'm on my way." Doctor
Pulaski shimmered into existence next to Riker's
command chair. "How may I be of assistance?"
"Please beam over to Sickbay with Doctor
McCoy and give him a guided tour," said Riker.
"Sure thing, Captain. Come along, Doctor.
We're off to Sickbay," she said as McCoy moved to
stand next to her.
"What do you mean 'beam over to Sickbay?'
What ever happened to walking?" McCoy asked
"We use transporters to travel throughout
the ship. It's much faster that way and cuts down
on the need for turbolifts so we can have more room
for equipment," answered Pulaski.
McCoy had grown noticeably paler by the
time the transporter took effect. They both
dematerialized into their component atoms, to be
reconstituted in the bogus Sickbay located in
By now, Kirk and Spock had completed their
tour of the Bridge.
"Well, gentlemen," said Riker, "are you
ready to see the rest of my ship?"
"By all means, Captain, lead the way," said
Kirk, moving toward what appeared to be a Turbolift,
but was actually the port side head.
"Wait, Captain. We don't use Turbolifts
to get around any more. As Doctor Pulaski said, we use
intraship transporters. It's much more efficient than walking.
Mister Gawron, if you'd please send us to Engineering."
"Aye, sir," said Gawron, his hands flying
over his control panel. Most of it was for show.
All he did that mattered was to send a pre-recorded
message to Transporter Chief O'Brien that told him
what to do.
Riker, Kirk, and Spock became columns of
light and faded to nothingness as they were beamed
to Holodeck 5 to see the fictional Warp Intermix
Chamber. After a thorough tour of 'Engineering,'
they went to see the Rec Deck, Computer Center,
Mess Hall, Conservatory, Gym, and Weapons Control
Room. Finally, they went to Sickbay to pick up
The four of them beamed back to the Bridge,
leaving Doctor Pulaski in Sickbay.
"Well, Captain, are you satisfied that we
are who we say we are?"
"Definitely, Captain Riker. I'm sorry I
ever doubted you," replied Kirk. "Any problems,
"Yeah, Jim. I'm a Doctor, not a ping-pong
ball. I'm tired of being bounced all over the place
by that transporter beam. Let's just get back to
the Enterprise and go home."
"As you wish, Doctor. Well, it appears
that we must bid you farewell, Captain Riker. I
hope we meet again soon."
"Me too, Captain Kirk, me too. Goodbye,
Captain, Commander Spock, Doctor McCoy."
The three Enterprise senior officers
dematerialized on Kirk's command to Scotty: "Three
to beam up."
"Well, that's that. Computer, discontinue
programs in all Holodecks except Holodeck 1,"
The Bridge disappeared to be replaced by
a small room with a yellow grid etched into the
"Come on, everyone, back to the Bridge."
All of the crewmembers left through the
door in the far wall. The Holodeck lights went
out as the doors closed behind Riker, the last
person to leave. As everyone else went to the
Turbolift, Riker walked the other way to congratulate
Wes and Geordi who still stood outside Holodeck 1.
"Good work, gentlemen. Your illusion appeared to be
very convincing. May I ask just what this ship looked like?"
"See for yourself, Commander," said Geordi.
"What do you mean 'see for yourself'? How can I see
for myself? Our cloaking device was just a computer generated
image, wasn't it?"
"Not exactly, sir. We needed a physical model to
project onto the outer hull of the Enterprise. That's why
I've been using the Holodeck as the basis for my experiments,"
"What we've done is in effect to turn the Holodeck
inside-out. Rather than modeling something from the outside
world in the Holodeck, we've projected something from the
Holodeck into the outside world. We still have the image in
the Holodeck. Come on in," urged Geordi.
The doors slid open and Wes, Geordi, and Riker entered
Holodeck 1. They appeared to be walking on nothingness. The
walls, ceiling, and floor had become starfields, stretching
away to infinity. As the door slid closed behind them with
a faint grinding sound, the illusion became complete, if a
little disorienting. Directly ahead of the trio hung a long,
low starship. It had an almost flat saucer with immense
impulse engines at the rear. A short neck connected the
saucer to a long, graceful secondary hull. The warp nacelles,
almost double the length of the secondary hull, rose just
above the top of the saucer. They were connected to the top
of the engineering section by narrow, right-angled warp
Riker walked around the ship and whistled
appreciatively. "I'm impressed. I just have one question:
What would have happened if we needed to fire phasers or
"No problem, Commander," answered Wes. "We lined up
the forward torpedo tubes on the Houdini with those on the
Enterprise. We lined up the phaser banks on both ships as
closely as possible, too. Watch."
"Computer," he said, raising his voice. "Superimpose
Galaxy class Enterprise onto existing image of the Houdini."
The light blue image of the Enterprise shimmered into
existence around the Houdini. The Enterprise's saucer section
dwarfed the Houdini's. The bridge of the Houdini was located
in the center of the Enterprise's saucer. As Wes had said, the
photon torpedo tubes lined up, as did many of the phaser banks.
The ships were the same length, but the Enterprise was much
wider, yet still the more graceful of the two.
After studying the ships for awhile, Riker said,
"Come on you two, we've got a job to do."
As the doors shut behind them, the Holodeck went dark.
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