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LIU FONG'S JET: SOMEWHERE OVER THE PACIFIC OCEAN
The jet was four hours from its destination; Denver Colorado.


Liu Fong, member of the secret Chinese sect known as Nine Dragons, feeling freshened after a little nap, enjoyed a bowl of cereal; Total Raisin Bran. He truly believed this cereal was all a person needed to live a healthy life. He was busy reading the USA TODAY as he ate his modest breakfast.

The Jet had stopped over in Honolulu for fuel. While there, Fong's assistant, Wei-Chun, saw to it that the current American newspapers were brought aboard.

Liu Fong liked the USATODAY the best. It was nothing short than a microcosm of Americana. He would always start with the sports section, he had a soft spot in his heart for the Los Angeles Dodgers, then the life section, just to get a grip on what the American culture was being attracted to. Then, after that was done, he would read the front section to see where American policy was headed in public, and what, if anything, could be reasoned from it all. After reading the paper he realized that, as usual, the American public was being diverted from real issues by sideshow stories about a Polygamist sect in Texas, and the ongoing problems of Rihanna and Chris Brown. Wei-Chun came into the seating area of the jet.

"Sir, we just got a signal from Beijing. The resources will be available by the time we land in America." Wei-Chun said.

Lee Fong looked up from his USATODAY.

"That is very good news indeed." He contemplated what was to come. "The little girl may actually get the chance to live, if her father does as we ask of him."

"And if he doesn't?" Wei-Chun asked.

"Then she will die." Fong said with a frown. "Some of my critics in Beijing may think this course of action is not honorable. But, in the end," Fong said as he sipped on a glass of orange juice, "no act that leads to China's survival is dishonorable."

Wei-Chun bowed once, and then headed out of the seating area. Liu Fong went back to reading the USATODAY.





THREE HOURS LATER
NORAD COMMAND; ROCKY MOUNTAINSCONFERENCE ROOM J-47


General Drake Morton, Major Irv Wilson and Lt. Leonard Jackson all sat down around the large table in the conference room adjacent to the General's office. They were preparing for a classified call from the Pentagon, and the Pentagon wanted answers. Major Wilson handed the General talking points for the coming meeting.

"What am I looking at?" Gen. Morton asked, as he sipped on a cup of coffee.

Before Maj. Wilson could answer, local news reporter Angela Hanes came into the room as well.

"Can I help you?" Major Wilson asked, as he stood up to greet the very attractive reporter.

She looked a little dazed, but she didn't let that stop her. "So, from what I gather, this USS Enterprise is the real deal."

Maj. Wilson nodded. "Yes, it is." He told her. "And to answer your next question; it isn't ours."

"It isn't ours; yet." General Morton corrected him, as he read the talking notes.

Hanes walked over and sat in one of the seats across from Gen. Morton. Without missing a beat, she continued. "General Morton; is this why my cameraman and I are not being allowed to leave?" She let her anger come through her words slightly. "I have a two year daughter with my mom. If I don't pick her up in about," she looked at the clock, "two hours, my mom is going to get worried."

Gen. Morton looked up from the paper, nodded his head at Major Wilson, and then turned his attention toward the young woman, "Its policy, Ms. Hanes." He told her. "I'm sorry about your little girl, but Maj. Wilson will see to it that she is picked up from your mother's home and taken a secure location. We will also contact your station and, well, they won't be missing you either. Now Ms. Hanes, if you play your cards right this could be the story of a life time." He added with a smile.

"And quite a feather in your ball cap as well." She threw back at him.

He nodded with a devious smile. "I see we understand each other." He looked over to Maj. Wilson and winked. "So, Major Wilson; are these the talking points you want me to give a Five Star General?"

Angela Hanes took out her notepad and started to take notes. She looked over to Morton. "Can my cameraman at least start getting some of this on tape? Someday the decisions you make here during this situation might be important for historians."

Morton agreed. "Very well," Morton said to her, he looked over to Lt. Jackson, "please have one of the airmen retrieve her cameraman, and have him brought here."

"Yes sir." Lt. Jackson replied, and he headed toward the exit of the conference room to do as ordered.

"Oh," Morton added before Jackson had made it out the door, "have the laundry press my dress uniform. I want it done in fifteen minutes or there will be hell to pay."

"Yes sir." Jackson added as he darted out the door.

General Morton began to read his talking points. "So let me get this straight, Major Wilson," Morton began to say, he took a deep drag off his cigar, and then he continued. "This ship is nearly 290 meters in length, has a crew of over 400, can reach a top speed of Warp 9, and is outfitted with Photon-torpedoes, phasers, Transporter Rooms, and force fields, and apparently, a recently acquired Cloaking Device."

Maj. Wilson nodded slowly. "Yes sir."

Gen. Morton continued, reading from the notes. "Several hours ago it obliterated one of our DiVAQ missiles with one of these a Photon-torpedoes, and then we lost sight the ship after it activated the Cloaking Device."

Ms. Hanes shook her head as she wrote it all down in shorthand. "That's' pretty amazing material." Angela Hanes said with a slight laugh, and then she looked up at the General, who was looking back at her with a cold glare. "Sorry sir." She said, trying to regain her composure.

"That about sums it up sir." Maj. Wilson said to the General.

"You do know it sounds," Morton said as he exhaled some smoke, "FUCKING UNBELIEVABLE!"

Angela Hanes was startled by the outburst, but Maj. Wilson was not.

Morton reclaimed his composure, and looked over to Hanes. "Sorry about that Ms. Hanes," Morton said, "but I feel like a complete fool reading something like this." He said as he slapped the piece of paper down on the desk.

She nodded her head. "It's actually a character defining moment. Too bad it wasn't on film. My friend's grandfather actually interviewed General Patton during World War II. And from what I heard about it, Patton was very prone to outbursts like that."

Morton smiled at the comparison. "I like you Ms. Hanes. Next time I have an outburst, and if your camera-man is here, have him film the left side of my face. I think I look more stoic from that angle."

"I'll remember to tell him that." She smiled back.

Wilson looked down at a flashing light on the table top.

"Sir," Wilson said, "the call is coming in from the Joint Chiefs."

Morton stopped him from answering the call. "Jesus Christ, Maj. Wilson! Don't answer it; not yet!"

Maj. Wilson, was about to press the button, next to the light, stopped from pressing it at the last moment, "Why?" He asked.

"Because I want that fucking camera man to get his ass down here and I want to be wearing my dress uniform, before I talk to the Joint Chiefs. This is my moment, our moment, Major." Morton said. "And I want to live it up as much as I can. Who knows," he said as he looked over to Angels Hanes, "I might have an outburst or two."

Maj. Wilson nodded. "Very well sir." Wilson agreed, wondering, inside his mind, how someone like General Wilson was not in a padded cell somewhere.

General Wilson puffed on his Cuban made cigar, and then he looked over to Angela. "I'm going to say something profound, so jot this down in your notebook." Morton told her.

She nodded to him. "Go ahead, I'm ready."

Morton stood up and put his hand on his heart for a second, as he gazed at the American Flag that was proudly displayed in the corner of the room. "No greater honor can come from serving this great nation. We have our problems now and then, but let this be said," he said as relit his cigar, while eyeing the fire sprinkler system nearby, "there is no power, short of God, in this universe as mighty as the United States Air Force!"





Deep In space…


Meanwhile, at that very moment, trillions upon trillion upon even more trillions of miles away, deep into the vast reaches of space; the Romulan Bird of Prey was motionless. Commander N'vraln had ordered the ship to a complete stop until all systems were back on line, and readied for whatever was to come next. Nearly two cycles had passed, and the crew was getting restless. But N'vraln did not feel restless at all. James Kirk was a legend, and not only to the Romulans; but to the Klingons, Gorn and Tholians as well. Kirk was not to be taken lightly.

The reports that his officers were handing him, as the data kept coming in from the various science stations, was thoroughly unbelievable. The sensors could not get an exact grip as to where their position was. For all intents and purposes it was as if they had slipped through a door and into another universe. But if that was true, then where was the Enterprise? Where was Kirk's ship? These were questions he did not have answers to; now.

But he did know one thing. One of the Centurions was able to beam over to the Enterprise before what ever happened, happened. There was a good chance that the Centurion survived Transport, and was undetected, somewhere aboard the Enterprise. N'vraln smiled at that prospect…and he was right!

CONTINUED


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