In Earth orbit, two weeks later…

"Ladies and gentlemen, Vice Admiral Scott Larson!" Genma states from the podium that's placed in the Sisko's cargo bay. A tall, fairly young man walks up to it and nods to Genma. Genma walks back to a set of chairs and takes his seat next to Happosai. Next to Happosai are several suits from the Federation council.

In the chairs next on the opposite side of the podium sit, from left to right, Ranma, Shampoo, Mina, Lita, Raye, and Ryouga.

Admiral Larson clears his throat and smiles at the crowd of officers on the Sisko. He looks to his left, then right at the groups sitting there.

"During peacetime conflict is to be avoided at all costs." Larson starts. "But sometimes you have no choice to be involved in an armed confrontation. When that happens we ask that you do your best to quickly resolve the situation in an honorable fashion.

"The crew of the U.S.S. Sisko has done this in every single incident that they have been involved in. They have faced battles that no one can imagine being in. They have saved countless lives with the sacrifices that their crew has made.

"It gives me great honor as Admiral in command of sector two of the alpha quadrant to bestow the Starfleet Silver Cross for Distinguished Service to Captain Ranma Saotome and the entire crew of the U.S.S. Sisko."

Applause roars through the cargo bay as the officers all hoot and holler. Genma also applauds his son. Happosai claps as well, but it's more of a formal clap than it is a clap of approval.

Ranma stands and walks over to the podium where he accepts the award and poses for a couple of photos. Once all the photos had been taken, Ranma returns to his seat. Larson once again clears his throat which immediately causes the room to become silent.

"I also have the honor of commending one of the officers of the Sisko. Ensign Ryouga Hibiki, please step up here."

Ryouga looks around a second before realizing that the Admiral is talking about him. He quickly hops up and walks to the podium.

"Ensign, for your actions on the Kuno Cube, and from the recommendation of your commanding officers, I hereby promote you from Ensign to Lieutenant, Junior Grade."

The crowd roars its approval again as the Admiral pins a second pip on the collar of Ryouga's dress whites. Ryouga smiles and shakes the Admiral's hand. After posing for a couple of photos he returns to his seat, beaming.

Again, Larson clears his throat and shuts everyone up.

"Due to the Sisko's valiant service, it has been decided that she is not up to the everyday tasks of a starship.

"It's a new galaxy, with new, unique threats. Therefore, let it be known that on this day, stardate 60206, the Federation Council has authorized Starfleet to create a Special Operations Unit, to be known as NEO. I hereby give this duty to the U.S.S. Sisko."

Quiet murmurs go throughout the cargo bay. Ranma stands and walks to the admiral as he is handed a PADD.

"Captain," Larson states. "You are hereby requested and ordered to take command of Operation Neo. While here your ship will receive a refit and you will be equipped with new, classified weapons and devices to help you in your future missions.

"Your first duty though will be to place someone in command of a detachment of special operations officers that will be assigned to your ship."

Ranma looks at his crew, then back to the Admiral.

"With all due respect, sir." Ranma starts. "I would request that any special operations team be assembled from my current crew."

Larson looked at Genma and Happosai. Genma seemed to be giving Ranma that ‘shut up, dumbass' look. Happosai was grinning from ear to ear at the royal shellacking that Ranma was about to receive from Admiral Larson.

Larson looked back to Ranma who if he was afraid, wasn't showing it.

"Very well," Larson stated.

Happosai fell over. Genma grinned.

"Who do you wish to command this team?" Larson asked.

Ranma stepped up to the podium.

"I had the unfortunate duty of receiving a letter of resignation from my ship's counselor, Lt. Commander Raye Hino.

"I have not known her for very long, but after talking to her friends and knowing that she almost died saving members of this crew, myself included, from the Kuno cube, I have no choice but to accept her resignation from her post and place her in command of this task force."

Mina and Lita hug their friend in congratulations. The rest of the crew cheers loudly.

"Thank god." One crew member whispers to another. "I don't think I could handle another session where I left feeling worse than I did when I showed up!"

The other crew member nods in agreement.

Raye steps up to the podium. Ranma steps aside as the Admiral sizes up Raye.

"I hereby place you in command of Special Operations Team Neo, and promote you to the rank of Commander." Larson smiled, removing the hollow pip from her collar and placing a full one on.

Raye smiles at the Admiral and shakes his hand. She then smiles at Ranma.

"Thank you." She softly states before taking her seat.

"Captain, Commander, I will need a list of the officers you want on the special ops team. They will then need to disembark for six weeks for training."

Ranma nods.

"Good. Now, you guys have deserved it, so I hereby place everyone, with the exception of the officers that will be needed for training, on shore leave.

"So, let's all get drunk and play ping pong!" Larson grins.

The crowd all cheers. Shampoo stands up.

"ATTENTION!" She yells.

Everyone snaps to attention and shuts up.

"Dismissed." Larson orders.

The occupants of the cargo bay slowly trickle out. Soon all that is left is Ranma, Akane, and Genma.

"So boy, I am glad to see that you finally grew some balls and married Akane."

Ranma growls at his father. Akane just grins.

"Yes, I did," Ranma grumbles. "Maybe someday you will too and go home to Mom."

Genma starts flailing his arms as Akane and Ranma start to walk off.



"I AM AN ADMIRAL!" He adds.

To Be Continued...