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[Scene:&#160 aboard Pegasus.&#160 Now only a couple dozen light-years from the homeworld of the Shelliak Corporate, four Shelliak warships face off against our intrepid heroes.

The bridge turbolift doors slide apart, and out walks a hooded figure that one can only presume is His Rudeness&#153, since the cloak is the same one that was worn during the first encounter.&#160 Underneath the hood, the eyes are once again glowing purple.

[Gee, I wonder if I could get him to teach me&#160 that trick.]

KORRIOTH:&#160 No.&#160 It’s unnerving enough when he&#160 does it.

[Damn.&#160 I never get to have any fun.]

KORRIOTH:&#160 What do you do with that outrageous salary he pays you?

[Salary?&#160 Please to explain this concept.]

T-BONE MCMANX:&#160 Conscript, Captain.

KORRIOTH:&#160 Oh.

HOODED FIGURE:&#160 Ssssh!&#160 (to Korrioth) Report, Captain.

[The voice is once again a foreboding baritone.&#160 Korrioth resists the urge to jump…but it’s close.]

KORRIOTH:&#160 Four Shelliak warships blocking our path, sir.&#160 They have powered up their batteries and achieved weapons lock.&#160 I have raised our sheilds and ordered them reinfor—

K’HADIBAK’H:&#160 Incoming!!!

[On the screen, disruptor fire lashes out and hits Pegasus.&#160 The ship bucks; bodies go flying.&#160 But not the hooded figure – with one hand on the deck railing, he may as well have been a statue.&#160 He walks over to offer Korrioth a hand.]

HOODED FIGURE:&#160 You’re bleeding, Captain.

KORRIOTH:&#160 I…(shakes head, as if to clear cobwebs)…will be alright, sir.&#160 (to K’hadibak’h) Report!

K’HADIBAK’H (climbing back into seat):&#160 Sheilds down three percent, Captain.&#160 No appreciable damage to the ship…but I don’t recommend sitting here and taking much more of that.

HOODED FIGURE:&#160 Agreed, Lieutenant.

[The cloaked figure raises one outstreched hand.&#160 Korrioth grabs the arm.]

K’HADIBAK’H:&#160 M’liege, taking one of those ships out nearly killed you.&#160 You don’t have the strength for four so soon…!

HOODED FIGURE:&#160 That’s not what I had in mind, Captain.&#160 Watch and learn.

[The hooded figure again stretches out his hand as if searching.&#160 After a few seconds, he moves his hand over slightly and repeats the procedure – then again, and again.

The Shelliak contingent breaks formation and moves to surround Pegasus, though not quite directly in line with her anymore.]

HOODED FIGURE:&#160 Report, tactical.

K’HADIBAK’H (gaping at his readouts):&#160 They’ve…they’ve dissolved their target lock, sir!&#160 This is impossible…they…they seem to be targeting each other!!!

HOODED FIGURE:&#160 Z minus 5,000 meters until we’re clear of them, Lieutenant, then ahead on our original course to the Shelliak homeworld.&#160 Keep the Shelliak vessels on screen throughout.

[K’hadibak’h is quick to comply, moving Pegasus&#160 down and around the Shelliak.&#160 As Pegasus&#160 clears, the Shelliak vessels begin firing on each other.&#160 One is immediately vaporized; the remaining three batter each other mercilessly.

All except the hooded figure gape with widened eyes at the screen.&#160 Korrioth is first to find his voice.]

KORRIOTH:&#160 My lord…how…?

HOODED FIGURE:&#160 It’s nothing you couldn’t have done yourself, Captain, although you would need more Vulcan blood in you to affect all four minds simultaneously.

[The figure’s voice no longer resonates as it did.&#160 Korrioth merely stares at the figure in wonder.&#160 He notices the eyes no longer glow purple.]

HOODED FIGURE:&#160 I merely planted the idea in all four ship commanders’ minds to forget about us and shoot at other targets.

[A look of understanding crosses Korrioth’s face.&#160 The hooded one goes and eases himself into the command chair.]

HOODED FIGURE:&#160 It requires a lot less power than, say, overloading an entire ship’s operational systems.&#160 (to K’hadibak’h) Standard orbit above the planet, K’hadibak’h.&#160 Locate the planetary government headquarters and lock quantum torpedoes thereupon.&#160 Mr. McManx, raise the High Command of the Shelliak Corporate.

K’HADIBAK’H, MCMANX:&#160 Yes, m’lord.

(To be continued…)

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(KORRIOTH:  Oh, great.  More wormholes.)

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