Chapter 2 - Docked

Genma slowly made his way down the corridor of Starfleet Command's main building, his assistant, Ensign Yuji Sasaki a few steps behind him. His destination: Conference Room Three where he was scheduled to meet with Starfleet's Chief of Staff, Admiral Kevin James, Councilman Adrien Laurent, and a couple of other relevant admirals whom he had not been made aware of yet.

He was certain none of them would be pleased with the news he was bringing. Despite Ranma and his crew’s excellent work in dealing with the Orions and strengthening the Federation's ties with both the Cardassians and the Bajorans, the admiralty seemed more concerned with problems than they did with successes.

Genma and Yuji both walked up to the large, sliding doors. Genma entered in his passcode, then waited patiently for the computer to chirp its happy chirp and slide the oversized doors open before walking into the brightly lit room.

Genma, like his predecessor, felt these rooms were well overlit. It was one of the reasons he seemed to prefer the Starfleet Intelligence building across the bay in Alameda.

It was not dark, per se, it just was not... bright.

Genma sized up the group of five as he took his seat. As he expected, James was there, as was the Councilman. A Vulcan Starfleet Intelligence Admiral was there that he knew as Savon, as well as an Andorian female whose name was Zlath. Finally, as quite a shock, filling the final seat was Happosai.

“GENMA!” Happosai bellowed. “I see you've grown up!”

Genma stammered for a bit, before realizing he was losing face in front of the others and his assistant. “I took Admiral Larson's position, yes.”'

Happosai smirked a bit and got ready to belt out some more belittling commentary onto Genma, but James began to speak, stopping him.

“Since we seem to be all acquainted, we won't bother with introductions,” he said, turning towards Genma. “Since time is of the essence here, will start with the most pressing question. What's the status of the Sisko?”

Genma sighed. “At the top speed they can hold from their current location to the location of the incident, it will take them three and a half days.”

“They've given us a twenty-four-hour deadline,” Laurent groaned.

Genma nodded, sighed again, and shrugged. “Unless research and work can be completed on a transwarp network from one side of the quadrant to the next in the next few hours, there really isn't anything we can do about it.

“She might be able to hold high warp for long periods of time, but she can still only move so fast.”

James looked to his PADD, then turned to Happosai. “Looks like the Sarasota has a marine compliment. How long will it take them to get there?”

Happosai shrugged. “Probably about twelve hours.”


“If they are where I told them to be. Some of my ships have the nasty habit of deviating from their assignments.” Happosai looked to Genma and cackled. “They don't all have the discipline of my disciple!”

The room looked to Genma who had turned white as a ghost.

“Okay...” James slowly mumbled. “Well, please get them moving that way as fast as possible.”

“Aye, aye!” Happosai said, bouncing out of the room, the eyes of the others watching him, then moving back towards Genma, who was sweating profusely.  

Zlath finally broke the awkward silence by pointing out what was likely obvious to everyone in the room.

“The marines on that ship are not trained for storming an embassy. This will likely end in casualties.”

James nodded. “I know, I know. But we can't just sit back and allow the people in there to be murdered.”

James sighed heavily, before dismissing the group. Genma, Yuji, and Laurent stayed with James. James looked to the three before turning back to Genma.

“How long?” he asked.

“At least another month, closer to two.”

James, again, sighed heavily.

“What's the hold-up?” Laurent asked.

“The ship that was meant for them was given to Captain Saotome,” Yuji answered for Genma. “So, they had to build a new one.”

“And,” Genma continued, “of course work had to stop on that when the Sisko was sent back to Chii for repairs and upgrades after the Jem'Hadar incident.”

James and Laurent nodded, content with Genma's answers, although not happy with them. James pulled out a PADD and handed it to Genma.

“I know you have a captain in mind-”

“She declined.” Genma interrupted.

“You gave her a choice?” Laurent asked.

Genma nodded. “I'm not going to break up my son's crew forcefully. They are very good at what they do and damaging they cohesion by creating that kind of ripple could cause God only knows what kind of damage to their effectiveness.”

James nodded. “I agree.”

Laurent shrugged. “Obviously, I will defer to you guys.”

“I appreciate that,” Genma smiled.

“As I was saying,” James continued, “I think this officer would make a good leader for the operations team.”

Genma looked over the PADD a bit, blinking a few times in awe. “Is all the information on here, right?”

James smiled and nodded.

Genma continued to read before finally setting the PADD down and staring at James in shock.

“She's a child!”

James laughed loudly. “She's not a child. That said, she's quite young, which is why I'd like for her to spend time on the Sisko with their team till their ship is ready.”

“Okay,” Genma shrugged.

James just smiled at Genma.


“I want you to go and meet her first,” James continued to smile. “She's on Cardassia Prime.”

“What's she doing there?”

“Teaching the Cardassians how to defend themselves,” James grinned.

“I see,” Genma nodded. “Well, I will need to arrange transportation.”

“I've secured you a Runabout already.”

Genma eyed James suspiciously. “I smell a scheme.”

“No scheme!” James said, waving his hands. “Though, I haven't told her she's moving,” James paused, “Oh, you're going to promote her to Commander as well,” James looked to his PADD again, “and the Sisko doesn't know you or she are coming, and we're technically not authorized for two NEO ships.”

Genma blinked.

“To be fair,” Laurent piped up, “the Executive Order didn't say we COULDN'T have two, or three, or five hundred.”

Genma looked to James. “You don't know anything about this, do you?”

James pointed to his collar and the trim on his jacket sleeves. “Red.” He then pointed to Genma's. “Black.”

Genma laughed. “Yeah, yeah. I get it.”

“Have a safe trip,” James smiled. “Wherever the hell it is you're going.”

Genma smiled, stood, saluted James, shook Laurent's hand, and he and Yuji walked out of the room and headed back towards the transporter room.


Ranma dropped into the large, faux leather recliner he had grown so fond of that sat next to the large observation window in his and Akane's quarters. Except for when he absolutely HAD to, this was the place he chose to do his log entries.

The chair, given to him by T'Pah, the – lover – of the Vulcan Defense Minister Saanik who had died assisting him and the rest of his crew in saving the Federation from Salek and Councilman Young's schemes, had belonged to Saanik.

T'Pah said that Saanik would sit in it nightly and reflect upon the day and think towards the next and how he could improve upon the past, regardless of whether that day went flawlessly.

She pointed out that he had the chair positioned so that it looked out a large window that allowed him to gaze upon the Vulcan desert, something that brought him contentment and allowed him to contemplate in peace, and that Ranma should do something similar.

Ranma wondered how he would do that since the scene out his windows changed from day to day, but he of course realized that the simple passing of the stars brought him great peace. It had been something he loved, for many years, and despite which stars they were, they would indeed, bring him peace.

Ranma allowed himself to melt into the chair a bit more as he looked out the window. The stars were not streaking this evening as they had arrived at Deep Space Nine. In fact, they were securely bolted to the station, spinning around Bajor with it.

Ranma had made a point of having Ikuhara secure them to the port airlock so that he would not need to stare at a docking arm out his starboard window.

It's good to be Captain.

That said, he could still see the hideous station well past the edge of the ship. Ranma sighed wistfully as he flipped his pigtail onto his shoulder. It would just be something he would have to deal with.

“Begin recording,” Ranma ordered.

The computer chirped at him as Ranma melted even further into the chair. He was beginning to wonder if he was even going to make it to the end of the log.

“Captain's Log, Stardate 62724.8. We have successfully concluded another operation and our first since being repaired after the ordeal in The Badlands and receiving several upgrades.”

Ranma took a sip from a cup of tea he had on a small table next to him before continuing.

“My dream of having an engineering team that is fully trained on the engines is starting to see fruition. We picked up five new engineers, and Lt. Devall was given a crash course on the mechanics of everything. For once my father was quite useful in getting something done by pressuring the shipyard into at least giving us that amount of self-sufficiency.

“As an added bonus, because of his additional understanding of the mechanics of the warp field, Lt. Devall was able to get us a much-needed speed boost which allowed us to run down the Orion ship and rescue the hostages in a very efficient manner.”

Ranma smiled as he lazily tossed one of his PADDs to the floor and began to look over another while he spoke.

“Apparently snagging that dreadnaught was the best decision I ever made because Starfleet already managed to reverse engineer it to a point and have a prototype 'mini-Blackout' device installed on the Sisko.”

Ranma sighed a bit. “It doesn't work as well as the Jem'Hadar version did, but it worked well enough that running silently, we were as good as cloaked sneaking up on the Orion ships. Engineering cautions against using it too often as there was residual damage to the sensor and targeting arrays, however, it's a good start and hopefully, Starfleet can make some improvements to it.”

Ranma turned his head as the doors to his quarters opened. He smiled at Akane as she walked in. Akane smiled back but said nothing. She knew that when Ranma was in that chair, he was either in deep thought, or in the middle of a log entry, and as such, would not disturb him.

She ambled into their bedroom to change as Ranma continued.

“I have some concern about the new turrets. My father mentioned 'radiation', so I have the engineers reinforcing the area around them. If there is any sign of increased radioactivity, I am going to request they be removed, despite the added defensive capability they bring to the ship.

“The NSO teams performed brilliantly. I wish they'd have been able to save all of the hostages, but the fact that they were able to save as many as they did is a testament to the quality of their work.

“My father tells me that we're to hang out here for a few days, and then he'll be visiting. I'm not sure why, and he's not telling me, which is a little concerning. Hopefully, everything is okay.”

Ranma sighed, tossed the remainder of his PADDs to the floor, and shrugged. “Guess I'll find out. End recording.”

Akane walked back out into the couple's living room, having apparently just gotten out of the shower and was now simply wearing a robe and a towel on her head. She looked to Ranma as she sipped on a cup of coffee as Ranma looked out the window a moment more.

“I...” he trailed off, continuing to look out the window.

“Hmm?” Akane asked, moving closer to him, setting the coffee down on a table as she passed. Ranma's wife slowly walked up behind the chair and allowed one of her hands to rest on Ranma's left shoulder.

Ranma took his right arm and rested it across his chest, his fingers finding Akane's hand. He allowed them to trace the contours of her hand before he took her hand in his.

“I sometimes have to laugh at how fate...” he continued, “ destiny works.” Ranma laughed slightly, still staring out the window, his eyes not really focused on anything. “It's been nearly three years now since we first left space dock. They tried so hard to make a fool out of me-”

Ranma sat up slightly, his eyes moving towards the station, then back towards the ship.

“A fool out of everyone.”

“They didn't,” Akane pointed out.

“No,” Ranma laughed as he gripped Akane's hand a bit tighter. “No, they didn't.”

“Quite the opposite, in fact,” she added.

Ranma nodded, finally turning towards Akane, shifting in his chair. “I sometimes wonder,” Ranma said, looking into Akane's eyes, “had the freak and my father not tried to conspire against us if you and I would ever have come together.”

Akane looked away slightly. “I... I don't know.”

Ranma reached his other hand up and softly turned Akane's face back so she was looking at him again.

“You know I always loved you, don't you?”

Akane nodded.

“And you?” he asked.

Akane again nodded.

“But,” she said softly, “being apart would have...”

Ranma nodded as well before pulling Akane into the chair with him. Akane yelped a bit from the sudden motion, before giggling. Ranma smiled as he ran his free hand around her face, then down her neck before working his way under her robe.

“Absence makes the heart grow fonder,” Ranma pointed out as Akane moaned slightly due to Ranma's 'handy' work. Ranma smiled at both the sounds he was causing Akane to make and the look she was making.

“That said,” he whispered as he took his other hand and began to pull her robe apart, “there are certainly benefits to having you onboard.”

Akane couldn't speak. She could barely nod in agreement.

“Lights off,” Ranma ordered.

The lights in the room shut off as Ranma pulled the robe off the now heavily breathing Chief Medical Officer.


JC watched approvingly as three members of the Sisko's damage control team climbed off a ladder and ran tricorder scans.

“This bulkhead is now three meters thick and will absorb at least 25 sieverts of anti-proton radiation per hour,” one of the engineers reported.

JC smiled. “Perfect. Residual radiation from the turrets is only around five sieverts.”

Another engineer nodded. “Most of that is discharged when the gun is active anyway, and that's when it's in space, not when it's stowed, so not even sure why this is necessary.”

JC shrugs. “Eh, if the Captain wants to be overly safe, there's no harm in it.”

The other engineers mumble agreements. They all freeze, however, and stared wide-eyed at what they see coming up behind JC. JC notices this and slowly turns around. He instantly face-plants into the floor.

The assistant chief engineer slowly crawls back to his feet, dismisses the other engineers, then walks towards what he can only assume is Usagi, dressed head to toe in an EVA suit with a radiation suit covering that.

“What in God's name are you wearing?” he asked.

“I'm so hot,” she whimpered.

“I'll bet,” JC sighed.

Usagi took a couple of steps, walking like a robot; her mobility strictly limited due to the various layers of clothing she was wearing, before dropping to the deck.

JC laughed at her for a moment before realizing she was making no attempt to get back up.


Usagi didn't move.

JC hit his communicator. “Medical emergency, deck three, section 62.”

“On the way,” sickbay replied.

JC quickly began to rip off the radiation suit. He then began to disassemble Usagi's EVA suit. Again, JC face-planted when he found her wearing another radiation suit underneath her EVA suit.

“For fucks sake, Usagi,” he mumbled as he stripped off as much of that as he dared.

Medics began to arrive. “What happened?” one asked.

“She's probably dehydrated,” JC explained. “She was... improperly... wearing an EVA suit.”

The medics began to inject Usagi with hyposprays and check her vital signs. One turned to the other. “Yes, dehydrated, otherwise fine.”

Usagi began to open her eyes. She looked around a bit, then started to flail like crazy.


JC sighed, rolled his eyes, then slapped her. Both the medics stared at JC in shock, although not as much shock as Usagi had in her eyes.

“You need to stop overreacting,” JC told her. “You nearly killed yourself for no reason.”

“But the Admiral said-”

“Do you see me wearing a radiation suit?” JC asked, tugging on his uniform.

“No...” Usagi trailed off.

“Who do you think knows more about this stuff? Some guy who works in a building on Earth or me?” JC asked her.

Usagi slowly sat up with the assistance of the medics. “You.”

JC opened his tricorder, did a scan, and showed it to Usagi. The scan showed that there was no ambient radiation in the area.

Usagi, again with the assistance of the medics, stood up. She looked sheepishly at JC and sighed. JC looked to the pieces of the EVA suit and turned back to her.

“And really, haven't you had EVA training? Don't you know that wearing something like a radiation suit underneath it will mitigate the cooling and hydrating systems of the suit?”

Usagi just glowered. “Now is not the time for this conversation.”

“Um, you should probably come with us,” one of the medics said to Usagi.

Usagi nodded and turned to leave with the medics. After a couple of steps, however, she turned back to JC.

“Don't ever hit me again,” she said, very quietly and deliberately.

Usagi continued with the medics. JC looked down at the EVA suit parts before picking them up and taking them with him.


Shampoo slammed Amanda up against the wall and stared into her eyes. Shampoo's eyes, a mid-toned purple, Amanda's, a dark green. Amanda's breathing was heavy, as was Shampoo's as she stood there, her nose even with Amanda's mouth as Amanda was about seven centimeters taller than Shampoo.

Because of this, Shampoo could feel the blonde's breath on her face. In contrast, Amanda could feel Shampoo's on her bare neck. The heat coming from her blowing the beads of sweat that were there around, causing them to dance slightly.

A sly grin crossed Shampoo's face as she noticed Amanda swallow. Likely trying to keep down whatever shame she felt for the feelings she may have had.

The feelings were an opening.

Shampoo gripped the sides of Amanda's gi, wrapped her left leg around Amanda's right, and picked the taller woman up, seemingly effortlessly, and flipped her over her shoulder, slamming her to the mat that was on the deck.

Amanda groaned as she hit the mat. Shampoo stood over her, smiling smugly.

“Never let guard down,” she instructed, holding out her hand.

Amanda rubbed the back of her head and looked up to Shampoo. It was quite difficult to NOT get distracted and let her guard down considering her very sweaty lover seemed to be wearing her gi as open as she could, AND she seemed to have just worn a regular bra underneath it.

Nonetheless, Amanda nodded and reached up to take Shampoo's hand. Once she had a good grip on it, she pulled Shampoo down, placed her foot on Shampoo's stomach, and pushed, while pulling Shampoo over her, in an attempt to flip her onto the mat.

Amanda underestimated Shampoo's training and Shampoo effortlessly rolled through the flip and ended upright and on her feet, the smug grin on her face replaced with an even smuggier one.

Amanda hopped up and assumed a fighting stance.

“You never beat me,” Shampoo taunted.

“You cheat,” Amanda groused.

“What?” Shampoo laughed.

“Your tits are hanging out!”

Shampoo looked down and noticed her bra was exposed slightly. Shampoo again laughed, adjusted her gi a bit, and went back into her stance. “Better?”

“No,” Amanda complained.

Shampoo laughed loudly as Amanda attacked. Shampoo grabbed her arm and flipped her to the mat, again causing Amanda to groan. Shampoo chuckled a bit as she stood over Amanda, again offering her hand.

Amanda slapped it away and stood up on her own this time.

“No be mad,” Shampoo reminded her.

“Take me seriously,” Jansen growled.

Shampoo lost her grin for a second. “I take you serious, Amanda, I kill you.”

Amanda bit her lip, eyed Shampoo for a moment, then attacked. Again, Shampoo dodged her attack with ease before grabbing her, spinning her around, and sending her to the mat, face down.

In this attack, however, Shampoo went to the ground with her. Amanda struggled to get from underneath the Sisko's Executive Officer, but Shampoo had her wrapped up quite well.

Shampoo leaned in and brought her mouth right up next to her ear. Her lips slid across her earlobes, sending a shudder through Amanda's body, and instantly stopping her resistance.

“If you fight normal person...” Shampoo whispered, making sure she exhaled hard enough that her breath would blow across Amanda's earlobes, again, causing her to once again shudder. “Amanda will destroy them.”

“I can't beat you,” Amanda whispered.

“No,” Shampoo whispered back. “No, Amanda can't.”

Shampoo suddenly did some amazing Amazon trick that ended up flipping Amanda over and had it so she had the woman pinned down again. Shampoo brought her face to Amanda's and moved her mouth over hers. Amanda did what she could to move her head up to kiss Shampoo, but Shampoo stopped her, instead, choosing to taunt her.

“Only one person ever beat Shampoo,” she whispered before she ran her tongue around Amanda's neck, licking off some of her sweat, before moving her head back to Amanda's face and looking her dead in the eyes.

“Shampoo not be hurt again,” she whispered as she moved her lips to Amanda's. Amanda's hands gripped the mats on the floor as Shampoo kissed her passionately, the taste of both Shampoo and herself on her lips.

“I...” Amanda finally began to mumble. “I won't hurt you.”

Shampoo simply smiled as she began to kiss Amanda again, a single tear falling out of her eye and hitting Amanda's face.


Ryouga was rather pleased with himself. Halfway through his patrol route and he had not gotten lost even once.

In fact, it was his partner that had gotten lost.

“Wait,” Ryouga said out loud coming to a stop. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a small PADD and looked at the writing on it.

'SHIFT ASSIGNMENT: Patrol Deck 5 for tourists and other non-authorized personal who come through the port airlock attached to the station.'

Ryouga sighed and slowly turned and looked to a door he was standing next to. His eyes focused on the placard.



Ryouga hit his communicator, perhaps a bit too hard as he hurt his chest slightly, and began to bellow.

“Hibiki to Sergeant Boran!”

“Hey Captain,” the Sergeant said, his smile obvious over the comm channel.

“Yeah, 'hey Captain' indeed,” Ryouga mumbled. “How long have we been separated?”

“Oh, about an hour and a half,” Boran replied.

“WHAT?” Ryouga screamed. “Why didn't you try and find me?!”

“Because, quite frankly, the last time this happened you bitched me out, sir. And honestly, why should I try and help you if you're going to be rude to me?”

Ryouga nearly started to scream but he realized that would just prove the enlistee's point. He instead sighed and nodded.

“Well, I'm sorry about that. Where are you?”

“Deck five, section two-oh-one.”

“Thank you, I'll be right there.”

Ryouga closed the communication. “Computer, site to site transport, deck five, section 2-0-1.”

Within a moment, the transporter grabbed him, and he was rematerializing near the port airlock. There he saw Boran, as well as several of ships security, about five detained Bajorans, and Major Norva, one of the lead marines on the ship.

Ryouga gulped as Norva turned to him.

“Captain Hibiki, good to see you,” Norva nodded.

“Major,” Ryouga nodded back.

“These guys are clean,” one of the security officers informed the marines.

Norva turned to them. “Okay, you're free to go. Please spread the word that there are no tours allowed on this ship, okay?”

The Bajorans nodded, bowed slightly, and went back through the airlock towards the station. The security detail headed off in their own direction, while Norva looked to Ryouga.

“Sir, I can explain,” Ryouga stammered.

Norva sighed. “I think you might be better off in the brig-”

“OH NO!” Ryouga cried.

Boran had to bite his lip to keep from laughing.

“Not as a prisoner, Captain,” Norva said, shaking his head. Ryouga blinked and chuckled nervously.

“I... I knew that...”

“Or better yet,” Norva pondered, “despite this... weird... ability of yours to get lost, you're such a good marine, I think I will speak with Colonel Tanizaki about getting you set up as a training officer.”

“Oh,” Ryouga beamed. “Thank you.”

Boran smiled. “Get in trouble and get a promotion. Congratulations.”

Norva smirked. “For now, we'll keep you with a reaction team. So, to the brig with you.”

“Yes sir,” Ryouga saluted and walked off.

“Isn't the brig the other way?” Boran asked.

Norva just sighed and shook his head. “Thank God they site-to-site transport...”

Boran nodded and walked off to continue his rounds.


“Mi-na-ko...” Makoto called as she walked into the lounge.

Minako looked up from the table where she and Rei were seated. Makoto all but skipped to the table and sat down, sliding her chair next to the blonde operations officer.

“Yes?” she asked.

“Guess what I just heard.”


“Guess!” Makoto demanded.

Minako sighed. “You're getting more powerful weapons?”

“No, silly! It has to do with you!”

Minako looked to Makoto for a moment as Rei looked on.

“I don't know.”


“Just fucking tell her,” Rei growled.

Makoto scowled at Rei before turning back to Minako. “Ryouga might be getting a promotion to a training officer!”

Rei raised an eyebrow. Minako took a sip of her drink and smiled. “Good for him.”

“That means he probably won't have to go on missions anymore!” Makoto smiled.

“He likes going on missions,” Minako pointed out.

“I thought-” Makoto started, confused.

“I was, I got over it.”

“Oh, well,” Makoto said, less jovial now that she was realizing that it wasn't the wonderful news that she'd thought it was.

“It's still great for his career,” Rei pointed out. “I mean, he must be really good at what he does for them to want him to train others.”

Makoto nodded in agreement.

“Mmm,” Minako nodded.

“What's wrong?” Makoto asked.

Minako sighed. “When we were back in the nebulae, I wanted to go somewhere, but he said he needed to go with them and drill.”

“Well,” Makoto said, leaning back in her chair, “that is pretty much all they do when they're not actually deployed.”

“Yeah, I know,” Minako replied. “But he was really evasive when I was pushing for an answer to whether or not it was truly 'needed' or 'wanted'.”

“You think they would have let him go if he would have asked?” Rei asked.

Minako shrugged. “He's got the shore leave banked,” she explained. Minako sighed and leaned back herself, chuckling a little. “I kind of wonder who he loves more, them or me.”

“Well, that's pretty obvious,” Rei smirked.

Makoto nodded. “He's nuts about you.”

Minako sat back up. “How do you say that with such certainty?”

“Other than him getting lost,” Makoto laughed, “one of the biggest complaints I get from my staff that gets assigned with him is the fact he won't shut up about you. 'Minako this' and 'Minako that'.”

Minako blushed as Makoto laughed. “You better hope you don't need security; I don't know if any of them would respond,” she joked.

“That's...” Minako leaned back again, “interesting to know.”

Makoto smiled as Gosnell walked up and placed a drink in front of Makoto and Minako. “There you go. Sorry it took me so long, the stupid replicator isn't working properly, and DC and maintenance have been tied up all day.”

“Where's mine?” Rei asked.

Gosnell jumped about a meter in the air and screamed in a high-pitched, girlish scream.

“OH MY GOD, COMMANDER!” he bellowed, half of the lounge patrons looking at him. “I didn't even see you there! It's like you're invisible! I'll be right back!”

Rei glared at him, then moved her glare to Makoto.

“I might have told him that you were unhappy with the new jumpsuits they gave you,” she smiled. “However, the decision to make an ass out of himself was his and his alone.”

“It's not that I am unhappy with them,” Rei said, tugging on her tricolored jumpsuit, “it's that I don't get it.”

“A mono-colored uniform can be spotted, even if it's nearly the same color as the surroundings, nearly three seconds sooner than your digital, or the official term, SFPAT, camouflage can be,” Minako explained. “I'm sure if you want a more detailed explanation behind it, Jansen could give it to you, since the basis of it was developed in the twenty-first century, but that's the gist.”

“Hrm,” Rei nodded. “Three seconds can be an eternity in our line of work.”

Makoto nodded. “I guess that's the point.”

Gosnell came back and looked around. “Where'd she go?”

“Stop being an idiot,” Makoto growled.

Gosnell frowned and set the drink down in front of Rei. Gosnell plopped down next to his wife, putting an arm around her as Makoto looked to Rei.

“What about your patches?”

“Still working on that,” Rei said, sighing. “The Captain is behind us, but Starfleet isn't.”

“Why'd they take them off?” Minako asked.

“Apparently Salek told them that he determined we were behind the jailbreak because one of the prisoners was able to describe our mission patch well enough that he was able to connect the raid to us.”

Rei took a swig and grumbled. “In the long run I don't think it mattered, but Starfleet did.”

Rei took one final gulp of her drink and stood up. “I am going to face the Admiral when he gets here and not let him leave till he makes some kind of concession, even if it's just patches and pips on the stuff like we did earlier, and nothing on the super-secret-spy business.”

“Don't see why that wouldn't be acceptable,” Gosnell noted.

“When is he getting here?” Minako asked.

“A week,” Rei replied. “He's going to Cardassia first for some reason.”

Rei hugged both Minako and Makoto and patted Gosnell on the head before walking towards the door. “Have an early morning. See you guys later.”

“Bye,” everyone called after her.

After she was gone, Kio suddenly appeared behind Gosnell. Gosnell again screamed, very much in the way a small child would, however, this scream was not so fake.

Kio jumped back quite a bit at Gosnell's outburst but then moved back to the table.

“You're coming, right?” Kio asked the group.

They all nodded.

Kio smiled. “Give us five minutes.”

They nodded again.

Kio hit her communicator. “Yuki to Kagurazaka, engage site to site Yuki Bravo three.”


Yuki quickly vanished.