Intro: This is a pilot really just to test how characters interact, at the urging of @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha , who wanted "yummy Vulcans and naughty Romulans". I finally got round to knocking this story out Ny! I thank everyone in advance for your comments as always! STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE ONE: "RED ALERT" Chapter 1 “HUMANS: SO EMOTIONAL, SO PREDICTABLE…” N’Koll surveyed the attacking force through telefocals and arched his dark Vulcan eyebrows. Nearby, the very human Mark Bedder sighed, but also peered out. He wiped his brow, heavy with sweat from the sultry atmosphere. Only a few silhouettes were visible beneath the violet sky at the range, stalking between jagged magenta boulders towards the strongpoint. A pair of phaser beams spat along the rocky canyon towards them. Bedder shrank into cover, but the long-range fire was woefully speculative. He leaned back out and raised his phaser pistol. “Hold your fire,” said N’Koll. “Pew, pew, pew!” Bedder mouthed instead then holstered his weapon. The stern alien ignored him and produced a communicator. “All sub-teams; leave one sentry and re-deploy to the north side. They are coming this way.” “I think they are holding position,” said Skillus, a pale-skinned Arcadian member of the squad, gazing over the durasteel battlement. The arrival of more men and women in red shirts, following N’Koll’s orders, reinforced the unit. “Of course they are,” said N’Koll, observing again through telefocals. “We have the superior position. They are trying to tempt us out.” “Cadet-officer-in-training-temporary-commandante-N’Koll!” said Bedder, directing his tricorder toward the enemy. “I think we have a problem.” N’Koll frowned at the trainee science officer. “You do not need to address me like that.” “Is it inaccurate, Cadet-officer-in-training-temporary-commandante?” N’Koll scrutinized Bedder’s face, trying to read his ironic half-smile. “In a combat situation it is too long. We need to communicate more briefly.” “Ah… but are you not taking even more time to tell me that right now? Is that logical?” N’Koll scowled. “Noted. What is the problem?” Bedder grinned his little triumph to a teammate. Then he ruffled his mop of blond hair and frowned at his tricorder. “I’m trying to scan for numbers, but these readings don’t make sense.” “Is there something wrong with your equipment?” “No. I think they’re using a tricorder too, but to project an interfering magnetic field.” “They are hiding their numbers,” N’Koll stared down the valley. “Why?” “Maybe we got less of them than we thought at that skirmish at the ridge?” N’Koll cupped his angular chin. Bedder thought about it, too. Two confirmed kills, more possible. It did not make that much difference, given that each side knew the other’s starting strengths. “No,” said N’Koll. “It cannot be that there are more than we expect. Perhaps there are fewer. But that would improve their chances of enticing a sortie on our part. It is illogical to hide it.” His communicator crackled. “They’ve come over the swamp! I can’t hold…” Muffled phaser blasts carried in the soupy atmosphere. N’Koll’s squad was thrown into confusion as attackers streamed through the base from the east, taking them completely by surprise. Shouts echoed, phaser bolts fizzed. N’Koll’s team found themselves with their backs to the very fortifications meant to protect them. The firefight lasted only moments.