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A verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's printed on.
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A spread of torpedoes flies from the Enterprise toward the alien vessel. Just before each torpedo makes contact, however, the alien vessel dances out of its way. The torpedoes continue on their original trajectory in infinite bliss, unaware of the blatant violation of the physical laws of the universe they just witnessed.
Spock: "Total miss. The alien's weapon is charging again."
Once again a wave of energy surrounds the Enterprise, which shudders like a leaf entering the furnace. Then...
Spock: "Shields collapsing, captain."
When the attack subsides, damage control struggles to preserve life support throughout the ship. However, with shields destroyed and weapon systems inoperative, you realize that you have joined the cheese on the trigger of a cosmic mousetrap...