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From: John and Roxanne Leary <realjtl@s...>
Date: Wed, 25 Nov 1998 22:19:12 -0800
Subject: Gunslinger

Commadore Lord Brian William Kesington XIII, Royal New Tasmanian
on loan to the Free Cal-Tex after completing the briefing of the
senate panel investigating the threat that the 'Forge Worlds' 
presented to humanity, stopped and looked.   Around the bridge of
the FCT SDN 'Trial by Combat', recently launched and undergoing trials,
the crew was intent on the exercise that lay before them.   
     The exercise was simple, seek and 'destroy' the Mimic class
frigate that was acting as an enemy capital ship.   This was a new 
ship and things were not going well,  The crew were using standard
sensors to search as the superiors and phased array imaging radar were
being repaired due to malfunctions in both systems.  The Commadore
thought that the infant mortality in the systems was higher than it
should have been, but the array system was new technology, it would
work out given time.	  

"Commadore we have a contact!" shouted Ensign Jones (sensor officer)
"No need to shout Ensign, we are on intercom.  Make report."
said the Commadore.

Ensign Jones: "Oh, aye aye Sir.   Green 15, range 100 mu, mass 220,
	       speed 8."
BWK13 says: "Commander Butt, Battle stations, drill only." 
Cmdr Butt responds: "Aye aye Sir.   Lieutenant Turner, sound 
		    'battle stations, drill only."  
Lt Turner: "Aye, aye Sir."
Claxtons sound in background.
Cmdr Butt says: "Lt. Fox has changed the scenario format, he should
		only be simulating a mass 150 ship."
BWK13 says:  "Starboard 15, increase speed to 8.  Eyes, is the array
	     repaired, I have a bogey at 12 o'clock and want some data."
'Eyes' (Short form for Duty Sensor Officer) responds: 'Ready for a
       trial Sir, scanning, recording, WE ARE BURNING!	 Powerdown!
       Hit the extinguisher! .....It's out.  Sir, the array is fried.
       We did get a couple good scans prior to the burnout.  Give me
       a minute to get to the Eng console and I'll process them.
BWK13 says:  "Well Butt, we have probably just witnessed the most
	     interesting part of this cruise."
Cmdr Butt: "Chuckle, Aye Sir."	  
Eyes says: "Eyes to bridge, I am just about ready to bring the data
	    up on the main bridge holotank, on your command."
Ensign jones to Captain: "Sir, the bogey just put up force 2 screens."
BWK13 to Eyes: "Bring it up, Eyes.   Commander Butt, things have just
	    gotten much more interesting.   Sound battle station, this
	    is no drill.   Screens up, dump the simulation, load the
	    combat programs."

In a backwater system near a planet called 'harmony', a new ship,
and a new crew were going to have a "Trial by Combat".

Bye for now,
John L.

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