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"Captain Barron, the Excalibur has been tasked as envoy to the Catechumen."

"Thank-you, General," Rolland replied through the communication console at his desk.

"The most direct route will take you through Alliance territory. They have agreed to permit access through their Gates, provided you escort a research vessel, the Avalon, to an unexplored sector near Clarion. The coordinates will be provided to you. You are authorized to allow the Avalon access through Federation controlled Gates for the escort." Rolland nodded along as the General spoke. "A senior diplomat, Erin Locke, has been designated as official ambassador to the Catechumen. She will be joining you on board the Excalibur. Jordan Rattan, a compliance officer, has also been posted to the Excalibur. They both have their orders." Rolland nodded along as General Qarin Shinn spoke. "And Captain?"


"I appreciate your concern for the people of Clarion. But there is a greater purpose being served here. Your orders are simple: make contact with the Catechumen, assess the threat, and leave on good terms. This is nota rescue mission."


"So I can trust you to carry out your orders to the letter?"


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