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Things Are About To Get Interesting

       "Are you sure about that?" shouted Deb, trying to be heard over the rising cacophony now engulfing the bridge.

       "That's confirmed, General," came the instantaneous reply. "Those ships definitely belong to Starfleet's Second, Fourth and Eighth Battle Groups."


       Things were happening very quickly....too quickly to suit Deb Matthews. This entire situation was well beyond bizarre. There were so many questions. And as soon as one was answered, another popped up to confound them even more.


       First was the sudden attack by the Breen, a species many considered nothing more than a myth. At least that question had been laid to rest once and for all. Yet to be answered was why the Breen, with their far superior fire power, took a couple of pot shots at Reaent and then broke off their attack.


       Next came the surprise of the century. The Klingons were back. Long believed to have been driven to extinction, they were not only very much alive but extremely well armed. As overpowering as they appeared to be, the Klingons seemed totally disinterested in the NFP. They parked themselves a discreet distance from People's Head and waited. Deb had wondered why. Now, she was beginning to understand.


       The Klingons knew about the Third Fleet's demise prior to their arrival. There was a good chance they also knew why Duren was so interested in People's Head. Deb wasn't sure how the Klingons obtained their information. She had a couple of ideas but they would have to be fleshed out at a later time.


       But Matthews was now certain that whatever was going down on People's Head was of the utmost importance to Duren. That's why he had a clandestine comm relay maintaining constant surveillance of the entire system. Thanks to the relay, Duren knew, within minutes, that the Third Fleet had been destroyed. He also knew who was responsible and how they accomplished the task. 


       The Klingons knew about the comm relay as well. They surmised Duren wouldn't take kindly to the destruction of his Third Fleet. More importantly, they knew how important the People's Head project was to Duren. All they had to do was sit and wait. And so they did.


       General Matthews was sure Duren would send someone to investigate and so were the Klingons. It was just a matter of time before the UFP's Tenth Battle Group arrived, rattling their sabers. That was just what the Klingons were hoping for. They were itching for a fight with their long time nemesis and they'd come prepared. Taking on the Tenth was a dream come true for the Klingons. They now had a chance to strike back at those responsible for nearly exterminating their race.


       "Are the Klingons still engaging the Starfleet's Tenth Battle Group?" called Deb.     

       "Affirmative," shouted one of the bridge officers. "Their fighters are swarming those guys."


       Although she had yet to see the Klingon vessel up close, Matthews knew it was vastly superior to the Reaent. It could have squashed the New Federation's four ship task force in a matter of seconds. But they didn't. Instead, they waited patiently for Duren's ships. Deb made an educated guess that the Klingons would go after the UFP's Tenth.  That was the only reason she hadn't immediately recalled the shuttle when the enemy ships first arrived. That and she really needed to know what Duren was up to on People's Head.


       Now they had more company and these folks were about as unexpected as the Klingons had been.  Deb glanced at George McLean as he came to stand beside her. "As of two days ago, the Second, Fourth and Eighth Fleets were at Nimbus," he said calmly.


       Matthews nodded. "And we just received word the Romulans kicked their collective butts out of the system."  The CO paused a moment, crossing her arms in front of her. "Let me see our latest guests," she ordered. "Zoom in on one or two of the largest ships. I want as close a look as possible."


       A moment later, those on the bridge were carefully examining two Ambassador class starships and three or four smaller vessels. They all appeared to be in remarkably good condition. "They're in pretty good shape," offered George.


       The two senior officers slowly looked at each other. A small grin creased McLean's lips. "They sure don't look like a defeated fleet," said Deb quietly. "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

       "That depends on what you're thinking," replied McLean, still grinning.


       Deb Matthews smiled and turned to Brian Smythe. "Tell Kroells to continue air support for the shuttle. Remind him the fighters are not to engage the UFP or the Klingons. And get in touch with Major Scherer. Tell him he has five minutes to finish gathering data and get back to the shuttle."


Deb continued standing, her arms crossed in front of her. She learned a long time ago to trust her instincts. And right now, her instincts told her things were about to get very interesting.



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