Blip. Blip. Blip.
“What the hell is that? Computer, analyze.” “Holometric particles, approaching from all directions.”
Sh’ill slowed the Liris down to a halt. Suddenly, 20 ships encircled the Liris from all directions.
His ship’s bridge suddenly flooded with the message: “We are the Eka-Borg. You have 10 minutes to surrender your ship, or you will be destroyed.”
“Computer, shut that noise off!!” Sh’ill yelled at the computer. “That is impossible. They are using hyper-luminal waves to transmit it directly here.”
What Sh’ill didn’t know was that there was actually only one ship, all the others were being holoprojected. The projections were made possible by projecting into specific areas of the nebula, and refracting the photons to a selected location.
Sh’ill had to think quickly. In 10 minutes, either he would be out of the nebula, and on his way to Aldebaron, or he would be destroyed by whoever the “Eka-Borg” were.
“Wait, computer, pull up local energy reading on screen.” And the readings were just as he had thought. Holometric particles were being radiated by every ship.
“That means.. that every ship out there is holographic. That’s not possible, because something has to be projecting them. Computer, fact check me: either the ships out there are being projected by some ground-based projector, or one of them is real, just rigged to emit particles. Correct?”
“That is correct.”
Sh’ill was already on it. He knew that he’d have to stall for time to finish setting up the deflector.
Roughly 5 minutes later
“Your time is up. Surrender your ship. We must also ask that you stop modifying your deflector.”
“How the hell do they know? I’ve been masking every reading from this ship ever since I entered this nebula.”
“Hand over your ship. Now, or we will be forced to open fire.”
Sh’ill started stalling: “So, what are you doing here?”
“That is of no concern to you. Lower your shields.”
As the Borg was finishing up his sentence, Sh’ill had finished.
Now, let me explain how and why the Eka-Borgian was letting him finish. Well, mostly because he thought that he knew what he was doing, and so had prepared a defense. From Sh’ill’s point of view, all that the Borg was doing was setting himself a trap.
Sh’ill’s device was ready. As soon as the Eka-Borg had set the trap for himself, Sh’ill would beam the device straight into the phaser couplings, emit a wide-angle burst to disperse any holometric particles, and then he’d know which one’s the real ship. There was a slight chance that the device wouldn’t work, and he’d possibly be assimilated, but that’s a risk that he’d have to take.
He input the necessary commands, and was holding his finger over the button. Now, all that he could do was hope.