A dazzling display of stars seemingly dancing past the Deneva-class Transport had captivated Commander Arcos from the messhall. He had been there all night, relaxing with a drink of a berry smoothie, and of course getting caught up on the status of new assignment now parked at Vulcan.
//-- three months prior --//
"Arcos, I understand your angry about my summon. It is just that your retirement has been arranged for your own protection." the special ops commander tried to explain. The two sat in a room aboard a rundown science facility on an asteroid.
"So you want me to do what?" Arcos said calming down a bit. The lighting dimmed, a generator beeped, and then power returned and the lighting returned to normal.
"Arcos, as you may realize special ops sometimes requires scientific research experience for off worlds so extremely politically dangerous all attempts at negotiations fail." The special ops commander explained.
"Yes, I think I would understand that. Science does sometimes meet the needs chemical and biological warfare defense." Arcos agreed with the statement. "But why me?"
"Well, to tell you the truth. I read the research involved during the period in which you were given the Manheim award. Plus your ability to take charge in scientific matters has made you a prime candidate..."
"So who declined your first request?" Commander Arcos asked as the lighting dimmed again.
"Perceptive.... all the more reason I am glad I selected you. Lt Commander Stylea, was injured during the near the end of the two month training exercise two weeks ago... you're it. Should you choose to accept my offer, you'll ship out for an abridged training session lasting one month. Then we'll take you to a nearby planet where your mission will launch from."
"Ok. So say I agree to this, will my retirement be lifted."
"Provided everything goes well, yes. Should you decline, however... you will be headed to a court marshal for your neglegance while in temporary command of the Warrior."
"Wait a minute! there was no investigation... I just went back to science."
"There is always an investigation!"
"So I take it this is something to do with the same area?" Arcos inquired as the power failed.
"Yes. The Dominion are on the move. The culture you visited and agitated so very much are on the decline. We think it has something to do with a serum of ketracel compounds genetically altered for the federation union leaders."
"So in other words the guys that handed us our rears are now getting brainwashed." Arcos said in the dark.
"Yes and no." The special ops commander began to explain as the lighting flickered on again. "The original Ketracel compound used on our people is not entirely effective. Something about their cybernetic implants..." He paused, the lights flickered again, then he took out a bottle of Saurian brandy and poured to shot glasses. "However, a second compound is being established on a base that's where you're going to help us."
"So... in other words you want me to go covertly with a team of ops, find the prototype and get the hell out?"
"The team will do most of the work. Don't expect to go in guns flying... but the base isn't entirely built yet. Expect Jem'hadar... Vorta... Cardassians... and semi-brainwashed Union of federation operatives."
"Alright I'll do it."
"...It's not like I have a choice."
//-- Aboard the USS Fargo, Deneva class starship, three months later --//
Arcos put down the altered report that explained his absence from the fleet as being a family matter. His cybernetic arm as being a result of a rock slide while climbing, and the matter of his error in judgement while the brief time warrior XO one year ago as being formally resolved. Arcos began to look at the science personnel aboard the Charon. "There is some good crew aboard the Charon." Arcos said to himself while reading. He would be at Vulcan in two hours.