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Seen or Unseen (Ronin)

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Stardate 238607.17

With morale high the crew of the USS Ronin gathered for the annual fleet awards and promotions banquet. In Holodeck 1 aboard DS17 Captain Benjamin J. Walker called the celebration to order and the proceeding began. Three Ensigns – Prox, Jassa, Teller – were awarded promotions based on their recent performance. Even Fleet Captain – also a former captain of the Ronin – Idril Mar stopped in via hologram to give out the awards presented to several members of the crew.

After the awards and promotions were concluded the reception and banquet began. From this point on Captain Walker began displaying unusual behaviour and engaged in sometimes outright bizarre attempts at antagonizing several members of the crew. After several erratic incidents were reported – and at least one incident of violence among the crew – Lt Cmdr Assanti sealed the holodeck doors. An attempt at a full headcount was interrupted by an altercation between the already strangely acting "Captain Walker" and a visibly angered Lt (jg) Trolin. By the time the Andorian – Trolin – was talked down from continuing the fight it was clear: Captain Walker was not on the holodeck with them.

The *holodeck simulation* was shut down and the crew immediately beamed to the Ronin. Captain Walker was now confirmed as missing and presumed to be in danger. As every effort was being made to track down the Captain, the Ronin – now under the direct Command of First Officer Lt.Cmdr. Jackford B. Kolk – came under attack by a small armada of 6 to 8 Romulan Warbirds. The unprovoked attack led to some tense diplomatic posturing between ‘Captain Kolk’ of the USS Ronin and ‘Sub Commander Almat’ of the Romulan fleet. The Romulans claimed they had only one objective: acquiring Captain Walker and returning him to Romulan space.

The diplomatic session was interrupted with the arrival of Lt (jg) Teller on the bridge. The lieutenant had gone ahead and ordered multiple surgeries to give himself the appearance of being Captain Walker. During his arrival a Vulcan shuttle was detected on the far side of DS17. The shuttle was deemed the probable location of the missing captain. Lt.Cmdr. Assanti was neurologically attacked while attempting to make a telepathic connection with the captain, however she was able to continue in her duties.

At this point a daring 3 part plan was put into motion under the executive order of LT Cmdr and Acting Captain Jackford B. Kolk.

  • Dr Teller would proceed to DS17 with a large platoon of security and marines. The security officers – under the Command of the Ronin’s Chief of Security LT Readdy – would assist in the defense of DS17 and attempt to repel the Romulan strike force. Dr Teller would attempt to get himself captured and infiltrate the Romulan flagship. He would then install an overload type virus made by Chief Engineer Lt. Falcon at the first computer access terminal found. Once the ships shields had dropped to a weak enough point he would be transported back to the Ronin.
  • LT Cmdr Cura Assanti would lead Lt (jg)'s Jassa and Gregory after the Vulcan shuttle. Their orders were simple: retrieve the captain and return to the Ronin.
  • Kolk and company would assist in the defense against the Romulan armada while attempting to engage any kind of diplomatic insurance to safeguard the station and the Ronin.

The three part plan was met with heavy resistance in all areas. As the security teams squared off against the Romulan attackers, DS17 Commander Michael Carrigan was killed in action by a Romulan sniper shot. Shortly before that Lt Readdy was hit by multiple disruptor blasts and beamed back to the Ronin, leaving Command of the security forces resting with her direct subordinates in the field: Ensigns Am'tra and Acel'a. Dr Teller put his ruse into motion and was captured by a forward operating group of Romulans. He was taken from the station and the remaining Romulan strike forces were able to establish a small but stable security perimeter on the promenade. The fighting on DS17 soon grew into a stalemate.

Surrounding DS17 the fighting was fierce. The Romulans employed "strafe and cloak" firing tactics to great effect during the early stages of the battle. While the Ronin was able to track the signatures of the Romulan ships at times during the fight, they were effectively on their own. Due to internal docking problems that were plaguing DS17, many of the starships fit for battle were docked on the outer ring of the station. Those ships served as sitting ducks and were effectively neutralized by the repeated Romulan strikes. The USS Stanton and USS Callahan were only able to break free of their docking clamps when the Romulans blew the ships to pieces. An effective counter attack was launched by the Ronin and its fighter wings. The already deadly skirmish took a disastrous turn as possible cease fire talks with the Romulans turned into a kamikaze attack by a Romulan shuttle. The bridge of the USS Ronin was abandoned and the bridge officers regrouped quickly in the Flight Operations Center. The saucer section of the Ronin was evacuated and eventually used as a massive projectile. Seeing the Ronin lost, Captain Kolk ordered the rest of the ship evacuated. Staying behind – Lt (jg) Trolin also remaining – Kolk attempted to provide cover fire for the escape pods before the Ronin was no more.

The Runabout USS Wye gave chase to the Vulcan shuttle. Deep in the nebula, LT Cmdr Assanti attempted to talk with the Vulcan Captain "Sopek" regarding Walker. "Sopek" would not acknowledge that he had the missing Ben Walker in his custody but he did invite Assanti and two officers aboard for further discussions. LT Jg Gregory stayed behind and transported Assanti and Jassa over to the Vulcan Science Vessel Revelation. Their plan involved bargaining with the Vulcans using the newly formed Wormhole as a hostage. Assanti and Jassa were met by Romulan Tal Shiar agents who coldly informed them Captain Walker would be returning with them to Romulus.

Naturally it had been a fairly intense experience for everyone involved. When Kolk and company found themselves back facing the artificial walls of the DS17 Holodeck once more there was mass confusion. Assanti and Readdy's team – along with a restored Dr Teller - stood in horror, many of whom had seen their lives flash before their eyes just moments earlier. Captain Walker stood at the front of the room and addressed the crowd. He explained that what they had experienced since the awards and promotions ceremony was an elaborate simulation to test their limits. Emotions swirled around the room as the Captain announced the evening's fun and relaxation on the promenade of DS17 would be on him.

The entire ordeal of the simulation brought up different emotions in different people. Some felt hurt, betrayed, even angered. Others felt amazed, embarrassed and overwhelmed by what had just taken place. The crew had come together in a difficult situation, kept cool heads and showed commendable optimism during an increasingly difficult scenario. The mission while not ‘having any lasting physical consequences’ has proved both a valuable training and bonding experience for those who believed themselves to be risking their very lives on the people they serve beside every day.

While the USS Ronin finishes up its routine maintenance checks at DS17 the general feeling around DS17 Station is one of ‘anticipation’. Detailed scans of the nebula begin to pile up adding additional confirmation that the newly created subspace aperture ‘Wormhole’ has at least one end completely anchored at this point in the galaxy - The Vulcan Harp Nebula.