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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
Standard Earth Date, June 12th, 2399

It was Arachnidus' final test of his Senior year at Starfleet Academy. He'd spent the past four years training to be an officer, and that day was rapidly approaching. All he had to was pass this final, infamous test. The Kobayashi Maru.

Every single wannabe-officer had to take this notorious test. Starfleet required it. Most people said that it couldn't be defeated, and that there were only three ways to handle the situation. The first and likely hardest one was you either managed to save the Kobayashi Maru, a simulated civilian cargo vessel, perhaps losing your ship and crew in the progress. The Admiralty Board's reasoning was likely that if you were capable of saving the ship, even against such tepid odds, then losing your crew was of no consequence; you had done the impossible, and every captain could face such a situation, where the 7,500 person crew of the Maru would outnumber even the largest of Starfleet craft. The needs of the many, as they say.

The second possibility was that you saved a portion of the crew of the Maru and your ship, and managed to escape the attackers. This one would seem to be the least challenging, however, the failure rate for those who attempted the maneuver was still hovering at around 40%.

The third and most intriguing possibility to Arachnidus was the one that would net any person who did it successfully the James T. Kirk Commendation for Ingenuity, or, as his best friend and notorious campus womanizer Mark Parker put it, "what you get for cheating". This option would involve reprogramming the holodeck simulation in the most ingenious way possible. You would have to retake the test, but there was a curve applied to your score. Or something like that, Arachnidus couldn't really see how someone would apply a curve to such a "test".

Wanting nothing short of a giant publicity stunt and a challenge, Arachnidus went with option 3. The reason it was so coveted was because it involved sneaking into the campus serverhouse, or finding a way past the Campus Security that guarded it, and reprogramming it directly. In fact, that was part of the test. I don't think anybody realizes just how funny it is that they condone this, Arachnidus thought, as he crept out of his dorm to find his best friend and compatriot in the test tomorrow.

Mark was going down the yellowshirt path, for security officer. The board now allowed students applying for command(which Arachnidus probably wouldn't be ready for any time soon, unless something horrible happened to the Captain on his posting, which is a horrible thing to think of) to choose their own crew, and, with Mark being his best friend and one of the highest scoring students on the Weapons Targeting and other ship related tests necessary for his posting, Arachnidus demanded that he'd be his Chief Security Officer and Conn Officer for the KM. But first, they needed to do some server tinkering.

The halls were dark, as it was 1:40AM PST. Arachnidus had just gotten back from visiting his mother in New York City during Finals Week, after finishing his tests, and wasn't acclimated to his now standard time zone. As such, he was perky and awake as if it were the brightest day of the year. He'd chosen the time because this is when most people would either be at end of year parties(he'd seen several of his classmates carting some definitely non-synthaholic beverages to some dorms) or asleep. What he didn't count on was his best friend and dorm mate's disturbing ability to get with women. So he had to do something he'd hoped he'd never have to do; sneak down a hallway of Starfleet Academy's McCoy Dorm, using a tricorder he normally used for his classes, to find the biosignature of his best friend and whoever he was currently intimate with.

After ten minutes of searching, he'd approached the room, which, to his surprise, read as three life signs, not two. Well then, this is probably going to scar me for life Arachnidus thought. He pressed the door ringer and awaited it's opening. Instead, he got a surprising response.

"Richard! Go away!"

His best friend loved to use Arachnidus' human translation for his name. And, in this instance, it was being used to shoo him away from passing the most important test of his career. Not entirely unsuspecting this possibility, Arachnidus pulled out an OSD he'd set up two days ago with a door cracking program and loaded it into the maintenance panel next to the dorm. With one command from his phone (the tricorder was issued by the academy, and did not have the ability to connect to Ad Hoc connections, only the campus Wi-Fi used for the labs), the door opened up and, to his surprise, he didn't see anybody. Just a bed.

A bed with the blankets horribly warped and the shapes of three people underneath. Mark's head quickly popped up from the middle and Arachnidus had to suppress the urge to collapse in laughter as he spoke.

"Hey, buddy!"

"Mark, come on, we've got that thing we were talking about. You can finish up here later."

"Gah, fine. Ladies, I'm so very sorry."

After he spoke, two human girls, both of whom he recognized as Sophomores, sat up in the bed. The one to the left noticed Arachnidus and smiled, then spoke.

"Hey, Richard. Good luck on the Maru tomorrow."

"Thanks, Michelle." Arachnidus wanted to spend as little time as possible here, especially considering they had a limited window of opportunity to do this.

It took ten minutes, but the pair of friends were out of the dorm and approaching the Montgomery Scott Engineering and Computer Center. The paths across the beautiful campus were lit with low power solar charged lights, giving the exciting situation a calming tone. In the distance, Arachnidus could see the most famous city on Earth as of the 22nd Century. San Francisco was alight, and though it wasn't nearly as much of a sight to behold as the stratospheric skyscrapers of New York City or the Space Elevator in Havana, seeing the Golden Gate Bridge beset by a backdrop of a glowing city, where skyscrapers rose into the heavens and shuttles whirred past, Arachnidus almost felt himself completely entranced. Luckily, he was too nervous to get distracted.

As they entered the building, which was oddly unguarded (likely as there were students still studying at this hour), they approached the server room, which was guarded.

Arachnidus and Mark pressed up against the walls on either side of a standard pneumatic door. Arachnidus hoped the lifesigns inhibitors he'd fabricated, with the help of one Cadet Sasha Lawson, a few days ago, had not failed them. He pulled out his tricorder and saw that there were only two lifesigns within 30 meters of the scanner's location; the two guards in the server hub. Now, the plan would come together, and it was time for Mark to fulfill the role Arachnidus had dragged him along for.

"Alright, man, it's time for you to act your best, drunken self you can" Arachnidus whispered to his friend.

"I gotchu, man. You are going to owe me so much for this."

"Yeah, whatever. Do your thing." Arachnidus ran into the shadows of the staircase about fifteen feet to the left of the door and awaited the culmination of his friend's experience. The doors slid open and Mark waltzed in.

"Hey there buddies, do you-" he stopped and punctuated with a burp, then continued. "Would either of you guys know where I could find my lobster? I love that guy. He's awesome."

The lifesigns detector showed the two security officers moving towards his friend.

"Sir, you need to leave this room."

"Aww, come on dude, I'm just having a time. Besides, I need to find that ******n lobster. He owes me money."

Arachnidus could only imagine the looks on the guard's faces. It was 2:00AM now, it'd been about 20 minutes since the "operation" started. They were wasting too much time. He hoped Mark had an ace up his sleeve.

Unbeknownst to Arachnidus, he did.

"Woops, I think the lobster spiked my drinks. Goodnight, fellas" Mark said before faking collapsing.

Arachnidus paid close attention to what he could hear.

"He's still breathing. Hey, I think this kid's in my C-Band Physics class."


"Yeah, he hit on my girlfriend a few times. Let's dump him somewhere."

Two things came to Arachnidus' mind. First, how ******n stupid are these people?. And, second, they must be using students to guard the servers for the test...then again, these aren't the real server houses, just the holodeck memory banks.

After a hilariously awkward moment of watching the two lumbering Seniors carrying out his best friend, who looked at him without them noticing, and gave Arachnidus a facial expression that could only mean "I'm going to murder you. In your sleep.", Arachnidus rushed stealthily into the server room.

From there on, he just uploaded his custom program and went back to his dorm to sleep, where he found his best friend in the bed opposite from him, a human phallus drawn on his forehead.