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ABOARD THE USS ENTERPRISE

Frank Grayson ran as fast as he could down the corridor. He found the closest Turbo-lift and entered it. He reached out and pressed the control switch.

"Bridge!" He announced to the computer. Suddenly, the Turbo-lift whisked into motion.

"Computer, how long is it now until the missile will hit the Enterprise?" Frank asked quickly. He couldn't help but think he was in some kind of twisted Star Trek episode. But he didn't have time to screw around. If this was real, and it was really happening, any misstep he made could cause even more problems than the missile hitting the ship.

: Seven minutes and five seconds:

"Go ahead and display the navigation/helm manual I was reading earlier on the main viewing screen on the bridge. Also, activate the weapons targeting system." Frank added. Moments later the doors swooshed open and deposited him on to the bridge. He saw the tech manual pages displayed up on the screen. He took a deep breath. It was now or never.

He hurried down to Chekov's station and sat at the navigation consol. As he did he could see the weapons targeting system viewer rising out from what would be Sulu's consol. Frank pressed the com switch on Chekov's consol.

"Computer, if I were to fire a torpedo at the missile, and missed, what would happen to the torpedo?" Frank asked.

: Insufficient Data, Restate the question:

Frank was getting impatient with the computer and now understood why Kirk did as well. "What happens if I miss? Where would the torpedo go? Would it hit the damn planet?"

: Affirmative:

"Shit, then I can't risk firing a torpedo at it." Frank said to himself. He then continued on his other line of strategy. He looked up at the tech pages that were displayed on the screen. He read as fast as he could, making sure he wasn't totally confused. He read about plotting, and instrument configuration and usage. But he absolutely took his time, because if he didn't, everything could go terribly wrong. He looked at the old style digital clock counting down; it was located between the navigation and helm controls and it read; 06:31.

NORAD COMMAND CENTER, DEEP IN THE ROCKIES

The activity of the command center was at a fevered pitch. General Morton stood above it all and watched the men and women shuffle below and various computer posts. Major Irv Wilson was down in the 'pit', the area which housed most of the control stations, and was giving orders. The DiVAQ was equipped with a Five Megaton nuclear device.

The blast, in space, would have to be explained to other countries, but that wasn't Morton's job. But Morton was quite sure that the Russians, and Chinese, were probably already monitoring the situation as well. Morton could only hope that CNN or FOX didn't have a secret pipeline into either Norad, or, its Chinese/Russian counterparts. Keeping this from the public was priority one.

Morton watched as Maj. Wilson walked up the steps, out of the pit, and came over to make a report.

"Give it to me." Morton said, puffing on his cigar as he did.

"All stations report nominal on the DiVAQ. We have positive control of the missile, and detonation solutions as well. As best as we can tell, the missile is being tracked by the Russians and Chinese radar. They must be aware, sir, of why we have launched." Maj. Wilson said.

"Believe me; they are." Genl. Morton said to Wilson.

Both of the men stared up at the live image of the USS ENTERPRISE, as it literally hung there in space above Earth.

"Sir, we have a small problem though." Wilson continued.

Morton blew out some smoke, this time aimed directly at the scurrying officers below, just to let them know he was there, watching over them. "Go ahead." Morton said.

"We had a local reporter from a Colorado news station here today. Her name is Angela Rodriguez and she was here doing a fluff piece on one of our pregnant officers." Wilson told the General.

"Don't tell me," Morton said with a slight sound of anger, "she's still here."

Wilson nodded. "I'm afraid so sir. We have her isolated in one of the upper level food courts. But she is starting to demand answers since we confiscated her assistant's camera and both of their cell-phones."

Morton shook his head, and then he contemplated his next move. The Gen. moved in closer to Wilson, not wanting to be heard. "Does she have big tits?" Morton asked.

"Ummm," Wilson said, confused, "I am not sure sir."

"Get up there, and I find out Major. I need know." Morton said, pressing the matter.

"Why?" Wilson asked.

Morton took a very deep drag on his cigar, and then he blew the smoke up into the air. "Major, I know women," Morton said, "I've been married to one for over twenty years. They are a strange kind of animal."

"Yes sir." Wilson said, just pretending to be going along with the Gen.'s line of thought. But also wondering how someone as nutty as Morton Drake could even become a general.

Morton continued, "I have noticed that the bigger their breasts are, sometimes, the more ambitious they are in certain careers, in this case, TV news, or in my wife's case, trapping me when I was a young man with her fine rack."

Wilson nodded in feign agreement. "I see sir."

Wilson thought to himself; How did this neaderthal get this far?

Lt. Jackson walked up, ready to give a report, and listened as Gen. Morton continued.

Morton smiled at younger officer; Jackson, "Come on Mister Jackson, I want you to hear this. The major and I we're just talking about women with big boobs." Morton said, with a friendly smile, "Now, men, I've met your wives at the various picnics we've had, and just like my wife, I noticed that your wives have big boobs too. No doubt, like me, you had several women buzzing around you when you were young single fellas', and eventually you chose your wives, based in no small part, on the size of their boobs. Am I right or am I right?" His hand making the motion as though he was squeezing melons.

Lt Jackson and Maj. Wilson nodded their heads to accommodate the General.

"Good to see we agree about women; men." Morton said with a warm smile. "I can't trust a man who doesn't like big breasts on a woman. It's un-American." He looked up at the American flag hanging near the main entrance, and put his hand on his heart.

"What does this have to do with the reporter sir?" Maj. Wilson asked.

Morton took out his cigar, flicked some ashes on to the ground, next to the emergency fire hose that was incased inside a glass-housing, and then continued, "She is no doubt trying to make a name for herself in her business. A woman cannot make it big in her line of work without a nice rack. If you don't believe me, look at all the locak news babes doing the weather reports. Anyway,if she has big ones, this tells me she is ambitious. So, if I use that to my advantage, and something big comes of this Star Track crap, I can finally put a higher rung on my ass and get me a new billet for Brigadier General. If I do, then I'll take you both with me when I plant my ass in the Pentagon!"

"And so your next career jump, heck ours too, are only possible because this woman reporter may have big breasts?" Maj. Wilson concluded for the General.

Morton nodded his head. "You got it."

"Did you have a report to give?" Maj. Wilson asked Jackson, wanting to change the subject.

"Ahhhhh, yes sir," Jackson said, as he took in what Morton has just said, "I do. We.."

Suddenly the alert klaxon sounded.

"What's happening?!" Gen. Morton screamed.

"Sir, look!" Maj. Wilson said, pointing at the large, main screen that was displaying the live image of the USS ENTERPRISE. "The damn thing is moving; in reverse!"

Suddenly another alert, of a higher pitch, started to blare as well.

Wilson's eyes darted over to the where the second alert was coming from. The DiVAQ control section of the command center. Lt. Jackson was already over there getting a report from the men, and women, who were in that section.

"What's going on Major?" Gen. Morton asked softly.

"I'm not sure sir. Here comes Jackson now." Wilson answered.

Lt. Jackson's face was grim with concern as he rejoined the two senior officers.

"What's the matter?" Wilson asked Jackson.

"The bogey, by going into reverse, has somehow confused the targeting computers and the onboard RGMS stabilizers on our missile." Jackson said.

Morton chimed in, "Lt Jackson, I am a highly decorated General in the United States Air-Force, so I have no idea what the fuck that means. In English; please!"

Wilson sighed deeply, and then took over for Jackson. "The bogey's movement has confused the missile. It is having trouble maintaining a lock on the bogey."

Morton shook his head. "Shit!" Morton came back with. "These were supposed to be top of the line assets."

Jackson nodded in agreement. "Yes sir, they are," Jackson said, "but we have never really tested them at depths in space this far."

Suddenly another klaxon, the third one to go off in less than two minutes, began to sound off. It too came from the DiVAQ section. Jackson and Wilson looked at the readouts displayed on one of the DiVAQ screens.

"What is it?" Morton asked as Wilson and Jackson shared a concerned glance.

Major Wilson, with all seriousness, shook his head. "The on-line computer has armed the warhead solution, and because the targeting system can't maintain a lock, the missile has gone into some kind of reboot phase. It is malfunctioning."

"So?" Morton replied. "Activate the fucking override and blow it up!"

"The manual override isn't working!" Maj. Wilson said, in a very worried manner.

"The manual override is not working and all, Major? This is so 'Star Trek'" Jackson dead panned.

"Can the missile escape Earth orbit?" Wilson asked Jackson.

Jackson shook his head. "No sir. It will fall back to Earth. It probably won't survive re-entry, but the warhead could possibly detonate on mere impact with anything, even a satellite, in orbit. And if I recall today's briefing, the international space station should be coming through that area in about two hours from now."

Morton took off his baseballcap, which proudly displayed his rank, and rubbed his forehead. "Are you telling me this missile of ours might blow up that idiotic space station?"

Jackson nodded. "It's possible sir. The missile just ran out of fuel. It will take nearly two hours for it to fall back into the atmosphere from where it is now." Jackson pointed at another tactical screen that displayed the missile's position, and the space station. "If I read my telemetry correctly, it is going to be pretty damn close to where the space station will be."

"Do you want me to get the reporter now?" Wilson asked, in all seriousness.

Morton shot Major Wilson a very pissed off glare.

CONTINUED!


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