STARFLEET ACADEMY--TACTICS 101
"Now that we have studied the Battle of Midway in detail, what can we learn about the tactics involved?" Captain Eugene asked.
A cadet raided his hand.
"Sir, we have learned that even in adverse situations, when you're hopelessly outnumbered, you can still achieve victory," Cadet Simpson said.
"No. We have learned that too many Japanese sailors had to die to achieve that victory. The American airmen should have found a way to disable the Japanese carriers, even with their antique weapons. There is no need to kill the enemy with lethal force when you can just disable their ships."
"Uh, sir, isn't that philosophy the reason why we keep getting our asses handed to us in war after war, and why we need allies like the Klingons, who actually have warships?"
"That's dangerous talk, son. You're awful close to sounding Unenlightened."
Captain Eugene changed the front view screen to a starship schematic. "Okay, now to our present tactics. One of our strictly guarded secrets is our shield harmonics. If anyone gets their hands on our shield frequencies, we'll lose good ships."
Cadet Simpson raised his hand. "Sir, wouldn't that problem be rectified if we just, you know, put some nice thick armor on our starships?"
"Armor is too warlike, Cadet."
"But it doesn't have to look warlike, sir. If we can warp spacetime to go faster than light, couldn't we make armored hulls that looked, I don't know, politically correct or something?"
"And if an alien ship scanned one of our starships and saw the armor, what would they think?"
"Not to mess with our ship, sir?"
"No, they would think we're an aggressive culture and attack."
"Unlike what they do now when they see a big, fat, easy target that could be toasted after a simpleton figures out the shield frequency."
"Enough, Cadet. Now that I've warned you about the dangers of revealing our shield inadequacies, we need to discuss the tactics involved in combating a cloaked ship."
Cadet Simpson raised his hand. "Sir, why don't we have cloaking technology?"
"We signed the Treaty of Algeron."
"Why the hell would we sign a treaty that puts us at such an obvious strategic disadvantage? Did the Romulans have a few things on the members of the Federation Council at the time that they threatened to go public with?"
"No, we signed it because we are a peaceful, benign people."
"Who keep getting our asses handed to us in war after war. Only the divine intervention of the Great Bird of the Galaxy and his minions keeps the Federation from falling to any tinpot alien dictator with half a strategic brain."
"I'm sorry, sir, but our ships are crap. They make lovely cruise liners to cart children and scientists around, but as defensive warships they're crap."
"Get out of my class, Cadet. You're not fit to be a Starfleet officer."
"You'll probably stick me in a red shirt anyway."
"They're yellow now, mister."
"Oops, my bad."