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The Cepheus cruised slowly near the Ecleon Expanse. Though its design architecture was a little more dated in comparison to the Excelsior classes that had begun populating Federation space, the Constellation-class still cut a handsome figure, or at least so her Captain thought. In his ready room, just off the bridge, Captain Alessandro Zareh sat contemplatively on the small couch drinking tea. His eyes danced over the status and fleet reports that had came in earlier in the morning. Things were going rather well, it seemed. A further round of peace-talks with the Elasians and the Troyians were set to begin soon; the Federation and the Klingon Empire were going to be launching a joint venture to combat a plague that had broken out on the Klingon side of the old neutral zone; the 5th fleet was engaged in combat exercises outside of Andor; the Gorn were being rather frisky and shaking down, but not attacking, civilian ships near their borders and Starfleet was contemplating dispatching more ships to their frontiers. Fairly routine. For their own part, Cepheus was concluding a survey of the Ecleon Expanse, the seventh such Starfleet survey, and had found it to be rather normal with the exception of a strange band of thetrion particles emitted every thirty hours. None of which was new information, either. Still, Zareh had almost come to enjoy when everything was boring. He’d led enough excitement for one lifetime, to be sure. Putting the status reports--which had come on some new-fangled device called a PADD--down, he took back up his cup of tea. Standing, he straighted his red uniform and buttoned the flap before heading out onto the bridge, and was quickly welcomed by a crisp attention by the officer on deck, a young junior grade lieutenant getting his first crack at the big chair. “Captain on deck!” Zareh smirked. “Don’t strain anything,” he said. “Carry on.” The lieutenant sighed, though whether it was out of relief or something else Zareh wasn’t entirely sure. He smirked wider though, trying to remember when he’d been that young. “Status report?” The Lieutenant quickly jumped out of the command chair and did his best to keep from babbling, and only partially failed as he updated Zareh on the status of their mission, which was almost over anyway. Finally he concluded with the note that communications had just received an encoded transmission from Command and were decoding it as he spoke. Zareh nodded his approval. “Excellent work, Komanti,” he said. “I am assuming those are new orders. We’re practically done here.” Komanti nodded. “Aye, sir.” A few moments later, the comm’s officer on watch presented a PADD to Zareh, his eyes danced over it. TO: USS CEPHEUS, CAPTAIN ALESSANDRO ZAREH, COMMANDING FROM: FLEET OPERATIONS COMMAND, VICE-ADMIRAL NICHOL HARRISON RE: NEW ORDERS The USS CEPHEUS is to conclude her survey mission and report with due speed to Starbase 39 where you will link up with 5th Tactical Squadron of the 4th Fleet in support of the USS CALIFORNIA and after quick refuel, repair and resupply deploy with 5th Tactical Squadron to Federation-Gorn Border. He frowned. “Lovely.” “Captain?” “Once the science geeks have gotten back from collecting their sensor buoys,” Zareh said, “lay in a course for Starbase 39 at Warp 7.” Without hesitation Komantii nodded. “Yes, sir.” “You have the conn Mister Komanti,” he said “I’m heading down to get some sleep.”