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Rigel VII had been chosen many years earlier to host
the games of the 103rd Olympiad, now an interstellar competition encompassing
hundreds of worlds (both members and non-members of the Federation, and some
that were downright hostile). The Olympic Games, which used to have a separate
winter and summer session, had long since been combined into one competition
every five years, and expanded to include dozens of games from a myriad of
Federation worlds which would provide the greatest athletic challenge.
Now, for the first time ever, Klingons and Romulans
were also invited to participate in the games. While outwardly hostile towards
the Federation, neither empire was currently at war with the UFP. With
sufficient pressure from Romulus and the Klingon home world, Olympic officials
finally caved in and allowed them to compete.
Captain Tanya E. Lawrence had been told it was an
honor for the USS PHOENIX to represent the Federation as the official flagship
of the games. What worried T.E. the most was the Klingon/Romulan presence.
For security reasons, the Klingon and Romulan
contingents were allowed one transport vessel and one unarmed escort. To further
keep a close reign on their comings and goings, a Federation destroyer has been
assigned escort duty from the time the ships crossed their respective neutral
zones until the completion of the Olympics and then back to their own space.
The PHOENIX has dwindled down to a skeleton crew. Many
of the security officers has volunteered to serve as staff security for the
games while the majority of the crew had taken a much needed R&R to observe the
events which would cover a three week period spanning one planet, two moons and
an asteroid field not far from Rigel.
Captain Lawrence was slightly fatigued as she sat in
the center seat. Her bridge crew appeared to be in similar spirits. They would
all get their turn on Rigel… T.E. would see to that. She had hoped to take in
the zero-grav equestrian events and the asteroid slalom next week. But right now
her focus was on the PHOENIX and exactly why she had been assigned this duty.
Did Starfleet expect something major to happen? In the past, only frigates and
scout-class vessels had been chosen for patrol duty at the games. Now two
destroyers, the USS AL MAHDI and USS JENGHIZ, orbited Rigel. The Olympics had a
historical reputation for defections. Was Federation intelligence aware of an
attempt by one of the Klingons or Romulans to defect?
Lawrence decided to cross those bridges when and if
she came to them. For now she thought of her crew on Rigel VII, having the time
of their lives at the greatest sporting event in the universe.