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It is five weeks into Captain James T. Kirk's tenure as captain aboard the Enterprise and he and his First Officer are playing chess in Rec. Room 3. This is the 11th game they have played and, so far, the Captain has won every game that was not drawn.

They play for about half an hour in silence until the Captain speaks. "It won't work, Spock."

"What will not work?"

"Trying to play my game. Not even you can play logically illogical chess."

Spock says nothing but abandons the attempt at imitating a style of play which has given him much more trouble than he had anticipated. He has lost more games in the last five weeks than in the whole of the previous five years put together. They play for another ten minutes.

"It will not work, Captain."

"What won't work?"

"Trying to persuade me that you play this game as some sort of idiot savant, and that your playing style is the product of mere instinct and what I believe is known as 'dumb luck'. I am very well aware of the intellectual effort that results in your victories, it is merely the nature of that effort which has so far eluded me."

The Captain grins but says nothing. They play for another five minutes.

"You know what, Spock?"

"I cannot know until you tell me."

"I think this is going to work. You, me, the ship, I mean - I really think it's gonna work."

"I believe you may be right, Captain."

"Oh and Spock."

"Yes, Captain?"

"Check. Mate in four."


The End

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