"Onward To Battle!"

Author: Captain Ryan Evans
Date: January 27, 2384
Location: USS Ronin

It had been exactly one week since the *Ronin* first docked at DS9 and an anxious one at that. A lot of the *Ronin*s crew were straight from the academy, others had never been in a combat situation before. Also Ensign McMillan who hadn't actually set foot aboard the *Ronin* yet, had been temporarily transferred to the *Leviathan*. How ever, after all the mission briefings it was now finally time to get underway. Ryan sat on the bridge, staring at the view screen. It displayed the image of the fleet encircling DS9. He still worried that Starfleet was taking to big a risk sending in a fleet of such old ships. But there was nothing he could do a bout it. These ships were all Starfleet had left after the dominion war. Ryans concentration was disturbed by the hissing of the doors behind him. He looked up as Commander Heim and Ensign Benosk took they're stations. Now that the full crew was aboard, it was just a matter of waiting for the signal from the Leviathan.

[Captain, McQueen here. The engines are operating fine Captain, we can leave when ever.]

"Thank you Lieutenant" Ryan returned his concentration to the screen. He noticed a few ships breaking off and turning he then turned his attention to the *Leviathan* and the *Knight* which began moving away from the upper pylons of DS9.

"Captain, we are receiving a signal from the *Leviathan* to get into position" called Heim "Take us into position Commander" The image on the screen changed as the Ronin started to move away from the larger ships and into a group of smaller ships and runabouts which were assigned to shoot down the decrum torpedoes. Every ship just hung there in waiting, as the *Leviathan* slowly moved into the bottom right of the screen and disappeared in a flash of light. Various other ships then warped off.

"Commander Heim, engage!"

"Aye sir" and with that the *Ronin* sped off into warp.

Later, Ryan was awakened by the door chime ringing continually...

"Yes! What is it?" he shouted. Commander Heim entered.

"Captain, I'm sorry to wake you but I need to speak to you."

"About what? Can't it wait until morning?"

"I'm afraid not Captain."

"Well then spit it out! I need to get back to sleep!"

"Ok then sir...." Heim hesitated. "You can't be a Betazoid without picking up certain things." he said. "I've noticed that you seem to have different ideas about the way this should be done. You seem to think that Starfleet is going about this the wrong way, sending out these old ships and all."

"It's not against Starfleet regulations to think that command has made a mistake now is it Commander?"

"No Captain, but it is against regulations to put your crew in unnecessary danger"

"Excuse me?!"

"I've also found that you feel this ship is not able to perform what is required of it. You think its undermanned and will not hold together against the huge Barien ships and their torpedoes."


"You subconsciously think this mission is going to fail and that could jeopardize the safety of this ship and crew"

"Are you saying I am unfit to command?!" said Ryan standing up.

"I'm saying that maybe you should think more positively about this mission. The USS *Defiant* is famed for its success in battle. Also the crew, I know its very small, but they're a good crew and I'm sure they'll do they're best."

"Even so, what do you think! Do you think we can complete this mission!?"

"I think if we put our minds to it, yes"

"Fine think what you will, but don't involve me in it. And in future, STAY OUT OF MY MIND!!!! Dismissed Commander!" Heim turned and left. Ryan sat back down on the bed *what if he's right? What if I am a danger to this crew?*