The Kobayashi Maru


A computer simulation taking place on a replica of a starship bridge, the Kobayashi Maru scenario involves both cadets and senior Starfleet officers. Cadets are placed in key positions around the bridge. One lucky, or not so lucky, cadet takes the captainís chair. The starship appears to travel through space close to a neutral zone. In the 23rd century, the Klingon Neutral Zone is commonly used as an example. On screen, spatial distances are portrayed graphically to give cadets the full advantage. The mission begins routinely, but soon after establishing coordinates and headings, the starship is hailed by a Federation Freighter under attack. The vessel is called the Kobayashi Maru, and is a third-class neutronic fuel carrier. It is established that there is a crew of 81, plus 300 passengers. The Kobayashi Maru gives her coordinates, and is found to be lying somewhere deep within the neutral zone.

No help available

In order to assist the distressed ship, the cadet must make the decision to break the treaty and enter the neutral zone. Not all cadets make this decision, and this is noted by the evaluation committee. Many cadets will attempt to send out a distress call to neighboring starships for assistance. However, they will discover that they will discover that they are the only starship within range of the crippled vessel.

Into the neutral zone

Once the decision has been made to rescue the crew of the Kobayashi Maru, the scenario unfolds rapidly. The senior officers inform the cadet that he or she is in violation of the treaty, which is duly noted in the mission log. As the starship enters the neutral zone, the coordinates of the Kobayashi Maru are reconfirmed, but the communications officer loses contact. As attempts are made to reestablish contact with the crippled vessel, sensors pick up three well-armed starships on an intercept course or decloaking nearby. The cadet in the Captainís chair orders the communications officer to a)establish contact with the enemy vessels to explain the situation, and b)to reestablish contact with the Kobayashi Maru. But it appears that an ambush has occurred, and neither of these attempts will prove effective. As the enemy ships arm there torpedoes, the cadet usually makes a last ditch effort to evade the attackers and find a way out of the neutral zone. Unfortunately, they are effectively outmaneuvered and outgunned, and are hit with a full barrage of ammunition.