A fiery nebula and stellar nursery

Ringing In, Or Bowing Out

In attendance: Admiral Warp, Commander Bom, Commander Arnet, Commander Jordan, First Lt. Rollands, First Lt. Melina, Nurse Ceja, Ensign Aklar

The Potemkin was recalled from detached duty to provide security for the New Year's Eve celebrations on Earth, after reports of unrest in the Orion Syndicate's leadership. It was Starfleet Intelligence's belief that the head of the syndicate, Thadial Bokar, was killed by rivals in the organization several days prior. His death was reported as a mining accident, but the circumstances, naturally, were highly suspicious. Historically, leadership squabbles in the syndicate have been settled through demonstrations of power by those seeking to increase their prestige within the organization, so naturally, on an occasion such as New Year's Eve, Starfleet was on high alert. Starship patrols were increased in orbit, and security was out in force on the ground in major cities celebrating the holiday.

While Potemkin security teams were utilized through the city, the bridge crew was placed on foot patrol on the grounds of Starfleet Headquarters on the Presidio of San Francisco, California. While the Doctor groused about his usefulness and the weather, Bom and Aklar tried to outdo each other in their misunderstanding of the Earth holiday. Rachel Jordan's thoughts, meanwhile, were on her home in Sacramento, so close, and yet so far away.

While on their stroll, the bridge crew ran into a surly, drunken group of cadets. Their self-appointed spokesperson, Joral Nobu, made the mistake of insinuating that Admiral Warp might himself predate the Federation Charter and that he was a UESPA "thug." While the bridge crew debated ways in which the cadet might be flayed, tarred, and feathered, Admiral Mitchell kept a cool but stern head and saw to it that Nobu's friends--after a bit of a dressing down--escorted him directly to the Academy police.

Mr. Bom had just remarked that if drunken cadets were the worst thing the Potemkin crew had to deal with that night he would be "a happy horlack," when a bright flash erupted in San Francisco Bay, near Alcatraz Island. After an ominous pause, the shock wave of the blast caught up with the light, and the Potemkin crew was just able to throw themselves to the ground before it swept through. Others were not so lucky--or so able to help themselves--and as soon as they could get to their feet the Potemkin crew was off to help survivors. Doctor Arnet, Nurse Ceja, and Ensign Aklar rushed to immediately help the victim of a fallen tree, while Bom, Rollands, Melina, and Jordan hurried to the freezing cold water of the bay to rescue a number of civilians knocked into the water.

While rescue operations were underway, everyone's communicators conveyed an ominous message: "The Army of Orion claims responsibility for this demonstration. We are capable of much more. Our demands are few: cease interference and recall your infiltrating agents. Federation citizens will be punished for any non-compliance."

The away team had little time to worry about terrorist threats, however. After seeing to the immediate safety of those around them, the Potemkin crew was rounded up by Admiral Warp--Admiral Sorin had already been in communication with him, and wanted the bridge crew back on the Potemkin post haste. Leaving the situation in the hands of teams of well-trained cadets and civilian authorities, the away team beamed up in a seething blizzard of blue and white not unlike a quantum snowstorm. Those who were dry assumed their posts forthwith; those who had taken a swim in the bay made detours to their quarters, and returned to the bridge in short order--Commander Jordan even forgetting to take the wrapped towel off of her head.

Admiral Sorin checked in to let them know, in his usual curt manner, that Starfleet had reason to believe the perpetrators of the attack were at that moment attempting to flee Earth. Sensors detected a cloaked vessel, which fired phasers at the Potemkin--while cloaked, to the bridge crew's surprise--as it passed. Standing in at tactical, Commander Bom caught the ship with a tractor beam, and defused its cloak with a well-placed phaser pulse. The ship proved to be a small Orion Raider, with sensors detecting the lifesigns of only one occupant. To the Potemkin crew's surprise, that person turned out to be a bound, gagged, and very frightened Thadial Bokar.

Bokar strained against his bonds, trying to speak, but the same voice that had made the pronouncement on the Presidio does the talking for him: "This is the fate of those who cross us." Before the Potemkin could react, the Orion Raider exploded, knocking out the Potemkin's shields and scarring the hull. The bridge crew did not escape injury either, with Ensign Aklar, in particular, enjoying the attentions of both Doctor Arnet and Nurse Ceja.

When the dust, as it were, had settled, Admiral Sorin contacted the Potemkin to tell Admiral Warp what the crew had already guessed: that the Orion Raider was a diversion from the real terrorist escape. The other Orion ship was pursued by the USS Rutledge, but it escaped, managing to disable the Rutledge in the process. As Doctor Arnet and Nurse Ceja hurried off to help Doctor MacCoroy take care of the Potemkin's wounded in sickbay, the Potemkin limped to spacedock with Admiral Warp sure this was not the last the Potemkin would hear from the Orion Syndicate in the new year...

Special notes: Tonight marked the ninth anniversary of Warp taking over as CO of the Potemkin!

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