Commander Storvik, USS Murgatroid (storvik) wrote,
Commander Storvik, USS Murgatroid

Running The Gauntlet

After Lothar disabled the USS Yamato (and made a waving motion at them as we passed by) the next ship to come in at an interception course was the USS Sovereign. They did not drop their shields, but matched our heading at maximum range and fired warning shots across our bow. "You will shut down all systems," they ordered, "and step outside your ship or else we will destroy your vessel." For the most advanced model of starship in the fleet, they sounded very nervous. I wondered how much they were able to detect of what happened to the Yamato. "I have a plan," I explained to Lothar, as I donned a space suit and we stepped out of the airlock.

During the trip to Earth, I had spent a great deal of time searching for security flaws in the standard Starfleet operating system, in an attempt to close said backdoors and loopholes to make the Murgatroid more secure from outside influence. Of course, I also knew that I could exploit these same flaws in any other Starfleet vessel, should we be opposed by them. The main problem with Starfleet computers is that they are far too trusting and obedient; they attempt to execute just about any command which they receive. System security, such as it is, attempts to keep invalid commands from reaching the central processor – however, if one can get one's command through to the central processor (by using a secure terminal on the ship's bridge, or using the ship's prefix code to automatically bypass system security) than the ship's computer will do whatever you ask it to. The key is to get the command into the central processor – by choosing a route which isn't filtered or blocked.

"Stay where you are," I heard the Sovereign command into my helmet speakers. "Our shields are up and we have tractors ready if you attempt to move, with or without your ship. We shall keep you here until reinforcements arrive." Lothar shrugged at me – from which I infer that he has nothing to counter tractors or shields. "We are broadcasting a one-way signal. Do not attempt to reply. All incoming signals have been blocked." No matter.

I pulled a flashlight off of my spacesuit's belt, and pointed it at the Sovereign's main sensor array. I flicked it on and off rapidly, using an archaic Terran encryption protocol known as "Morse Code". The ship's computer recognized that there was some kind of pattern in my blinking light, and turned it over to the central processor for analysis. The central processor ran a number of regression algorithms and pattern recognition routines on it before identifying the signal as Morse code. It then, automatically, began to translate the code.

I had to run through the message three times before it finally took effect. The message that I was sending was a command to the ship's computer to eject the warp core and shut down all systems. I knew that reinforcements would arrive long before the lack of environmental systems caused any medical problems, but this would require that the reinforcements stop to aid the Sovereign rather than pursue us.

As the Sovereign went dark, Lothar and I re-entered Surak's Razor and continued our trajectory toward the sun. It looked like the next ship ahead which could intersect our course was an old Excelsior-class vessel, which was monitoring solar activity. "My turn," Lothar said.

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