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THE BRIDGE OF THE USS ENTERPRISE

Frank Grayson prepared to fire the Photon-torpedo. If he missed the missile, the torpedo would continue on, and according to the computer, it would hit somewhere on the Asia continent. Knowing his luck, Frank thought, that probably meant China. What if he blew a hole in the Great Wall? He shook his head, and tried his best to forget the image.

"And I always wanted to see the Great Wall someday." Frank said out loud, mournfully.

Instantly the main screen switched to a nice panoramic view of the Great Wall. Frank smiled.

"Why thank you, computer." Frank said softly.

Of course, there was no response.

Having switched over to Sulu's station, Frank gazed back into the targeting viewer. It wasn't as difficult as he thought it was going to be. The display inside the viewer was not much different from a game he played in his youth at the old Video arcades. It was a video game called Battlezone which was a very primitive video game, by 2013 standards, but it was fun back in the day. The Enterprise targeting system's graphic display wasn't that much different, but with far much more detail. But the stakes in this 'game' were far more high, and deadly.

His eyes squinted as he eyed the target. In his head he went over all of what he had read moments earlier. Because he wanted to be precise, he had taken his time. Now there was only just over an hour to destroy the missile. He held his finger over the button that would be pressed. And once it was pressed, the Photon-torpedo, a science fiction version of a submarine torpedo, would streak out from the ship and, with any luck, strike the missile. He took a quick and deep breath. He pressed the button.

He watched on the screen as the ball of energy headed straight for the falling missile. And though it came real close, the Photon Torpedo sped past the nuclear-tipped missile.

"Shit!" Frank cursed at himself.

Frank shook his head as he watched the torpedo smash into the Great Wall, causing a giant explosion.

"Was that really necessary?" Frank asked the computer.

: Negative. Simulation complete:

The background bridge noises, which Frank always found annoying when he watched the show, was just as loud as it had been, but had faded into the background as he became more accustomed to it. He stood up and stretched his legs. He took a deep breath. It was time for the real shot. He sat back down, and steadied his nerves. It was now, or never. He leaned in and gazed inside of the targeting viewer. And this time, when he decided to press the button, a real Photon-torpedo would burst from the Enterprise, and hopefully, for real, hit the "falling" nuclear missile.





NORAD COMMAND CENTER; Deep within the Rocky Mountains


Gen. Morton sat behind his desk. He was not a happy man. He lit another cigar, it was his 15th this day so far, sat back, and went over the dire situation in his head one more time. The two specially designed F-22s that were outfitted with intercept missiles just for occasions like this had been deployed to Iraq one week earlier due to threats from Iran to launch against Israel. NORAD could attempt to shoot the falling DiVAQ down with another DiVAQ, but one falling nuclear missile was bad enough, without doubling the danger. So far, the entire escapade had been kept top secret; well, except for the fact that the Russians and Chinese knew. Suddenly Major Wilson came into the office.

The Major, who was accompanied by a very attractive young woman, offered a chair for the young lady. As she sat down, with her gaze away from Gen. Morton, as she settled in to her chair, Gen. Morton looked up to Maj. Wilson, and arched both his eyebrows, at the same time, twice. Morton was also about to make the squeezing melon motion with his hands again, but the Major shook his 'no' in very quick motion.

Maj. Wilson sat in the chair next to the reporter. Morton ogled the woman's ample breast, under the guise of reading her visitor badge. She was wearing a nice white blouse that accented her curves very nicely. His well-honed horn-dog eyes could also detect a very stylish lace bra beneath her blouse. Gen. Morton reached under his desk, and pressed the secret button that activated the office's nice and very cold air conditioner.

"This is Ms. Angela Hanes, General." Maj. Wilson said finally.

"Very pleased to meet you," Morton said, as he took a drag on his cigar. "I hope my men have treated you and your camera man with the usual Air Force pride.'

Hanes smile back at him. "Oh yes," she said to Morton, "they have been very respectful. But is there any special reason why my assistant and I can't leave?"

Morton found her very sensual smile, and very bright eyes, intoxicating. She also wore a strawberry scented perfume, or maybe, better yet, it was a body spray. Whatever it was, the smell aroused him.

Wilson cut in. "Sir, I told her about the unexpected drill."

Morton nodded his head. "Yes, Major Wilson is quite right." Morton said to her. "Due to sensitive reasons, which I cannot go into, you and your camera man will have to stay in the compound."

She smiled again. "Is shooting down the USS Enterprise one of those sensitive reasons?" She followed up with.

Morton just kept smiling. "How do you know about that?"

She pointed behind her back at the main display screen, which she had just walked passed, in the command center. It still showed the live feed of the Enterprise.

"Oh, that," Morton said innocently. "Isn't that incredible Maj. Wilson? Are we really shooting the USS Enterprise? Are we going to be killing T.J Hooker today?"

"You mean Captain Kirk, don't you?" Hanes interjected.

Major Wilson, realizing that the General couldn't lie, at all, cut in. "No ma'am. That's just a screen saver that we nerds like to look at in our spare time."

"I see," Hanes said with a smile, "so while you go through one of these drills, you display the image of a TV show's space ship to calm your nerves."

"Oh yes Ms. Hanes," Morton interjected, "it is very supported by the works of Mr. Spock."

"You mean Dr. Spock, don't you; the famed baby doctor?" Hanes asked, slightly confused.

Suddenly, the men and women in the tactical area all started a commotion, which included yelling and shouting loud. There were even a couple screams. Lt. Jackson ran into the office.

"The Enterprise has fired a God damn Photon-torpedo!" Jackson said excitedly, and he then ran back out of the office.

Morton stood up from behind his desk, "Hey; What the screaming balls of cow shit on fire is a Photon torpedo, a sandwich?" Morton demanded as he followed Wilson, who in turn was following Jackson, out the office door, leaving Hanes all alone in the office.

Angela Hanes shook her head. "Ummm, okay." She said softly too herself. "That was kind of strange." She stood up, and took a moment to rub her arms. It was as if the temperature had dropped ten degrees since she had come into the General's office.

She turned around to see what was going on outside the office. On the large main screen she saw a ball of energy streaking across the screen. The ball of energy struck what looked like a rocket. Suddenly there was a small explosion, and then the men and women in the NORAD command and control center all cheered loudly. There was something more going than a simple training exercise, Angela's young reporter mind deduced.

She walked out of the office and over to Gen. Morton, and Maj. Wilson, who were standing on a platform that overlooked the myriad of computers and control stations below them. Several of the officers, and crew men who operated those stations, were exchanging very enthusiastic high fives.

"This is a very good set up you have here." She complimented the two officers as she joined them.

"We call that the pit." Maj. Wilson said, motioning to the area below.

Gen. Morton, meanwhile, couldn't help but notice the two very slight 'bumps' that were slightly visible on her skirt, right where her breast were housed in her bra. He smiled. He would see to it that the night time janitor found another fifty bucks in his locker the next day for rigging up the air conditioning unit in such a way.

"Do your men usually get this excited about watching a screen saver?" Angela asked innocently.

"Sir, look." Maj. Wilson interrupted.

The USS Enterprise was moving again. This time it changed course, and was actually heading toward the position of the approaching international space station.

"What's it doing? Attacking? Gentlemen; listen very carefully." Gen. Morton directed his words to those in the pit. "I don't have time for to babysit each of you and hold your hands. You all need to grow up and act like men!" Gen. Morton told them all. He looked down to Lt. Jackson, who was at one of the main control panels. "Lt. Jackson, would you mine telling me what is going on?"

"It's hard to say at this point, General." Lt. Jackson said from his post in the pit.





Aboard the USS Enterprise, Frank kept an eye on Earth below, and the space station, which the Enterprise would zip past in a few moments. Suddenly the computer said…

: Cloaking device engaged:




Moments ago, on the international space station, American astronaut Jarvis McGee and Chinese exchange astronaut Hyan Enlai were doing final touch-ups on their spacewalk. Suddenly a flash of light caught their attention, and they saw an explosion in the distance, in a slightly higher orbit than the orbit of the space station. Hyan tapped Jarvis on the shoulder and pointed at a larger object further out in space, but coming their way.

Jarvis's jaw dropped as the object was about to fly over the space station, at about a distance of nearly five miles or so. He recognized it instantly. It was the USS Enterprise, from TV's Star Trek show. And then, without warning, the ship vanished from view.

"They must have a cloaking device." He said to himself, not wanting to believe he just seen. Then he shook his head in a total attempt to forget what he saw. He wouldn't let space sickness be the cause to be let go from the space program.

"Come again?" A voice said from inside his helmet's communication device.

Jarvis smiled at Hyan, who was saying strange, and quick, Chinese words. Jarvis hadn't mastered the language Hyan spoke, the international tone was unmistakable. The Chinese astronaut was cussing words of disbelief.




Frank altered the course of the Enterprise, and actually came about. Soon the ship darted past the point from where he had taken it into drive. He went nearly five minutes past that position before he brought the ship to a stop.

"Computer, am I correct in assuming that this ship cannot be tracked while cloaked?

: Affirmative:

He took a deep breath, and breathed out. The missile disaster had been averted, but just barely. Now he had to deal with what would happen next. He couldn't live up in space on the famed science fiction ship. And if he didn't go back down, it would cause suspicion. He thought for a moment, and then he came to the only logical answer; He would have to let his wife know what was going on. He stood up and went over to Spock's station.

"Computer, go ahead and lock the ship in this position above Earth. Then display an overhead image of San Diego California." That was where he and his family lived.

Seconds later, the image of San Diego became viewable in the viewer-thingy that Spock always looked into. Frank looked into the device as well. Using the dials nearby, as he had read about earlier, he zoomed into the area. In seconds he could see his house. He smiled. He could only wonder how Jennifer was going to react to what was going on.

"Computer, how many life signs are inside the structure?" Frank asked.

: There are two life forms:

Frank couldn't just beam the two life forms up. He had to determine who they were. He fished inside of his pocket and pulled out his cell phone. Just as he was about to dial his home number, he stopped. What if the signal from his phone could be tracked out into space? He didn't know if it could or couldn't. All he really knew was that he couldn't risk it. He gambled that one of the signals was that his wife, Jennifer. The other life sign had to be either their daughter, or their son. It could also be Jennifer's sister, Marissa. In fact, he realized, it could be anyone!

"Computer; get a lock on those two life forms, then relay them to the transporter room." Frank said. "Hey," he said to himself, "I think I'm starting to get the hang of this." He said with pride. "That actually sounded pretty good!"

He stood up and headed toward the transporter room. He stood in the Turbo-lift and told it where to go.

"Transporter room," he told the computer as he racked his brain for the right one. "Ummm, Transporter room, number three." He finally said. "God, I'm a dork." He said with a laugh. He took a moment to think his situation through.

Firing torpedoes, and moving the ship was one thing. Operation of the Transporter machine was another. One wrong move and he might turn someone inside out, just like the monkey in that movie the Fly. He tried to put that image out of his head. And, he recalled the information he had read earlier on how to operate the Transporter machine. Then he realized that he would have to deactivate the Cloaking device to use the Transporter, which would make the ship visible again.

"This should be fun." He said with a wry smile.



The Grayson Home; San Diego


Austin sat on the floor of the living room inside of his house, his back up against the couch. His mother, who was stoned from eating his specially made cookies, was sleeping soundly on the couch. He could only hope that his friends were able to get away after he smashed the police sedan's window with that rock. They had a pretty good head start on the cops, Gordon and West. And no doubt, like his mother, the two policemen were most likely stoned as well, which would hamper their pursuit abilities.

And once they figured out they were stoned, they would no doubt want to spare the embarrassment of being stoned on the clock. Austin hoped that meant he was safe; for now.

He was getting a little hungry himself. Then he realized he had two of the cookies in his pocket. He was about to get one of them to eat, when he thought better of it. He looked over to his mom, who looked so peaceful, as she slept on the couch.

He knew from conversations with his parents that they had smoked pot when they were dating in high-school. Austin suspected they still did now and then, and that was why he thought his parents were so cool. But he doubted his dad ever got his mom stoned, or the local policemen as well!

He would wait a couple more days before even thinking about baking another batch of cookies. And because Sally Inglehopper might have known more than she seemed to, Austin decided to move his stash from the garden once he had the time to.

The bedroom of the door next to the living room was wide open. And, oblivious to Austin, the window of the other room provided a direct view into the living room. Little did he know, but he was being watched by Sally Inglehopper.

Sally was watching Austin as he propped himself up against the couch.

"What a sweetie you are." She said to Austin, knowing he couldn't hear her, but wishing he did. "Looking after your mom like that? You are the best son a mom could ever have hoped for!" She smiled. "I love you Austin Grayson." She said softly. "And I can't wait until we go to the dance next week."

She imagined what that night would be like. He would come to her front door, and her parents would let him in. He would be dressed in a very dashing tuxedo. And then, with much fanfare, she would come down the stairs in her flowing white gown. She would go up to him, and he would take her hand, and kiss it, as he knelt to the floor, like a knight. Then he would stand, and prepare to pin a corsage to her dress.

She blushed at the thought. But then, suddenly, as she watched Austin, a strange thing happened to his body. It began to shimmer, as well as his mom's body too. And in mere seconds; they were both gone. Instantly Sally fainted.





USS ENTERPRISE
THE TRANSPORTER ROOM


Frank Grayson watched as his wife, Jennifer, and son, Austin, materialized on the Transporter platform. She was apparently a sleep.

Austin buried his head in his hands, and then he opened his eyes to look around. At that moment Frank ran over and knelt down next to his wife.

"What's wrong with mom?" Frank asked his son.

"Ummm… dad?" Austin said, as he looked around worried. "Where exactly are we?"

Frank looked to his son. "Where do you think are?" Frank asked.

Austin looked around, again, and started to worry. Maybe there was something more than just pot in that stash. Maybe the seller had blended it with something else.

"Dad, I think I've had an overdose." Austin said as he buried his head into his hands again.

Frank didn't want to believe his son. "No you haven't Austin," Frank said, "we are really aboard the Starship Enterprise."

Austin could only shake his head. He reached into his pocket and pulled out one of the wrapped pot-laced cookies. Frank took the cookie, opened, and then he sniffed the cookie. Frank almost fell over from the smell.

"Jesus Christ, Austin!" Frank said. "I thought you learned your lesson last summer when we caught you with that joint in your backpack."

Austin shook his head. "I know dad, but come on, it isn't that easy. All of my friends smoke weed, it's not like I go out and kill people for drug money. It's harmless fun. You even said you did it when you were my age."

Frank shook his head. "So that's why you don't have your plasma TV any more. You sold it for drug money didn't you?"

Austin nodded. "I don't even like to watch TV, dad."

Frank breathed in deeply. He had to remind himself that simply because he was somehow beamed aboard the USS ENTERPRISE it didn't mean he could just forget his real life. He pointed at Austin, and even poked him in the arm a couple times as he spoke.

"You can't spend your life getting high; Austin." Frank said. "Yeah, I know sounds cliché but it's so true. Yeah, and I know I did it too. But promise me you're going to try to ease out of it."

Austin nodded his head. "I'll try dad. Just don't make me stop seeing my friends."

Frank thought for a moment. "You're getting to an age I can't control every aspect of your life. We've raised you to be independent, and that's what I like about you. I just hope you got some common sense in your head, as well as pot."

Austin laughed. "Don't worry dad, I won't let you down." Austin replied.

Frank looked at Jennifer, his wife. "Now; what's wrong with your mom. Why is she so tired?"

Austin could only tell the truth. "She's stoned too."

"Shit," Frank said as he rested his head on his wife's stomach. "Anyone else I need to know about?"

Austin nodded yes, "Just those two cops; Gordon and West.

"You got two cops stoned?" Frank asked as he shook his head in disbelief.

Austin nodded, and then he looked directly at his dad. "Dad, where are we?" He said as he looked around at the strange surrounding.

Frank stood up. "We're aboard the starship Enterprise."

Austin could only manage one word in reply. "Cool." He stood up too.

"What do we do now?" Austin asked.

Frank leaned down and picked his wife up in his arms. "We'll take her down to sickbay to see if we can do something to help snap out of it."

"Ummm… sickbay?" Austin managed to ask as they walked out of the TRANSPORTER room and turned the corner.





A JET FLYING HIGH OVER CHINA


Liu Fong sat on one of the large chairs that were arranged in the large meeting area of the jet. The jet had just taken off moments earlier, and was on its way to Honolulu Hawaii, and then, from there, Denver Colorado.

Liu Fong, although he at times worked for what was best for Beijing, also worked for what was best for the Nine-Dragons. The Nine-Dragons were a secret society that had secretly guided China's course for nearly two thousand years. This meant having to prod the mass of humanity that populated China in ways that might seem questionable, but had to be followed through with none the less.

The 21st century had already proved to be the century of China; as prophesized by the American President Richard Nixon. And if somehow the Americans had constructed a fully operational USS ENTERPRISE, then it fell upon the Nine-Dragons to either seize the vessel, or destroy it. Liu Fong was the Nine-Dragons most capable agent; he would not fail. He would kill, or have killed, anyone who stood in his way.

His number one assistant, Wei-Chun, handed Liu several files, as well as a cup of hot tea. Chun bowed his head, and then silently left the room.

Liu Fong looked at three files. Because there wasn't much time to plan a more covert operation, Liu would have to find a more direct way to obtain up-to-date info on the mysterious ship that was somewhere in orbit of Earth. To do that, he would have to find a way to gain leverage over an officer who was stationed inside the American complex at NORAD.

Each file provided a possibly weak link into the nerve center of the top secret Rocky Mountain command platform. But after nearly 15 minutes he came to a conclusion as to which option to initiate. He clapped his hands twice and Wei-Chun returned.

"Have you made your selection?" Mr. Chun asked as he came back into the main room.

Liu sipped from the teacup and smiled. "Yes I have Mr. Chun." Liu handed We-Chun the chosen file. "Please make the necessary arrangements in Colorado. I will send a coded message back to Beijing to see to it that the necessary stem-cells are procured."

"The use of stem-cells, in this manner, is outlawed by American legislation." Wei-Chun reminded liu.

"Since when has American law altered our plans? Just make sure we have access to the target's little girl; when the time comes." Liu-Fong ordered.

Wei-Chun eyed the folder. "It shall be done." Wei-Chun replied. He looked down one more time at the name of person who would provide a direct link to the inner workings of NORAD. It would be a young African-American male named Lt. Leonard Jackson.

CONTINUED…


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