"Captain," the Larned's XO stated, "There's a ship decloaking — bearing 285 mark 5."
"Red alert," Captain Olmstead stated. "Raise shields and ready the weapons."
"Understood," the tactical officer answered. "Shields up, phasers and torpedoes standing by."
A Romulan Warbird decloaked beside the Larned. "Ensign," Olmstead said to the tactical officer, "hail them and determine their status."
"She's weakened, Captain. I having problems hail—" Before the officer can reply, the Warbird suddenly exploded.
"Could someone figure out what the hell is going on. Get me Starfleet command."
The doorbell rang in Patrick's ready room. "Enter," Patrick answered.
"Good morning, captain," Sara said as she entered the ready room.
"Good morning, Lieutenant," Patrick answered. "What can I do for you?"
"I just received a message from JAG headquarters. Learned encountered the Romulan Warbird Ronax near the Bryma sector."
"The Romulans have been routing their supply runs through that area. What's so strange about that?"
"The Ronax apparently exploded with all hands before Captain Olmstead could respond."
"I'm sure the Romulans aren't too happy about that. I suppose that JAG is planning to have you investigate the matter."
"Yes, and I may need some help with some astrometric data."
"Sounds like a two Sarah job. Lieutenant Allison will be made available to you for this mission."
"Thank you, Captain," Sara answered. "So, how are you and Bridget now that you've tied the knot?"
"We're doing good. Dr. Bratney has been keeping an eye on the baby. Mom and child are healthy so far. Then again, Bridget has been craving carrots and sliced cucumbers ever since she found out she was pregnant."
"Still hoping to have a girl?" Sara asked?
"Still hoping to have a girl," Patrick responded. "Let Laura know where you want to go."
"Laura," Sara said as she exited the ready room. "Set course for D.S. Nine, warp 5."
"I take it we're meeting Larned there."
"How did you know about Larned?"
"Nothing travels faster than scuttlebutt," Laura answered. "Aye, Lieutenant, course laid in."
"Lieutenant," Sara Jackson said as she entered the Warroom, "have you downloaded the logs of the Larned?"
"Still working on it," Sarah Allison replied. "The Larned's data link is a bit slower than most."
"While we're waiting for the data to come in, you think you can help me interview Captain Olmstead?"
"Sure thing," Sarah answered. "Is this the first time you've taken the lead spot in a JAG investigation?"
"Yes, it is."
"Enter," Captain Olmstead said as the doorbell chimed.
The investigation team entered the room, "I'm Lieutenant Sara Jackson, JAG officer assigned to the Baldwin. " Sara motioned to acknowledge her accomplice, "This is Lieutenant Sarah Allison, astrometrics officer and data compiler for this investigation."
"Lieutenant," the captain said as he greeted Lieutenant Allison.
"Why don't we get started," Sara continued. "Could you please describe the events that lead to the incident with the Ronax."
"We were on a patrol run in the Bryma sector. Our sensors indicated an anomaly in our vicinity, so we dropped to impulse to investigate."
"What kind of anomaly?"
"Tachyon readings were off the map. It could have been a ship with a cloaking device that is improperly installed or malfunctioning. It turned out to be the latter."
"What happened next?"
"When we discovered the Romulans decloaking, we immediately hailed them to see if they needed any assistance. They blew up before we could get an answer."
"Thank you for your time. We'll let you know what we find out."
"Good morning," the JAG officer stated as she entered the Astrometic warroom.
"Good morning," Sarah Allison replied. "I've just had a look at the sensor logs. Right now, they seem to confirm Captain Olmstead's story. Here's the sensor reading as of Stardate 53649.975 - about 4 minutes before the Romulan ship exploded. The tachyon surge was first detected at this point: 250,000 kilometers almost in line and due to port."
"Continue," Sara Jackson stated. Lieutenant Allison advanced the animation. "It's clear that the tachyon surge is moving at ship speed. Go ahead and pause this here." The JAG officer took a look at the timeframe, "Stardate 53649.977 - so, in about a minute, the surge has moved towards the Larned with respect to Captain Olmstead's course, and the Larned has taken an investigative stance."
"Exactly," Sarah continued. "By the time we hit 981, the surge has closed to within 20,000 kilometers."
"And thirty seconds later - at 982 - the surge becomes a decloaking vessel. What was the Ronax's apparent course?"
"Based on the direction she was heading at the time, the best guess is along the shipping lane to the Cardassia system."
"Looks like mostly duranium and dilithium. Sound like standard raw materials for the Cardassian rebuilding."
"What apparently caused the ship to explode?"
"I'm not sure; however, since the Romulans use an artificial quantum singularity to power their warp core. It doesn't appear to be due to problems with quantum singularities."
"That's something we can eliminate. Looks like it's time to take the next step - Jackson to bridge: Laura, set course for the incident site, warp 7."