Following their efforts at the Menthar Anchorage, the Mercury’s crew relaxed in a holodeck scenario designed by acting CO Harrison Ross. However, they did not count on the return of Captain Kells, very recently returned from his trial on Deep Space 10. Kells called out Commander Ross and Lieutenant Commanders Rahman and Saveron and dressed them down for holding a celebration without finishing their mission and this — along with the the captain’s meetings with several others — sparked and then fueled rampant rumors of what may have happened during his trial. Meanwhile, Ross, Rahman, and Saveron were tasked with preparing the ship to follow up on the most promising lead they’d discovered at the Anchorage: the independent trader Treasure Sprite, which was thought to have information about the supposed Iconian gateway. And though the Mercury found the Treasure Sprite quickly, the away team led over by Ross found little information and only corpses; assistant CMO Kotir Arith removed one of these to the Mercury’s morgue for further study. However, under the leadership of Lt. Cmdr. Rahman, the ship’s historians, [PNPCs] Kvitova and Gupta determined a useful search criterion for the gateway; the crew soon tracked it to the second planet of the Nygel system. Once there, Commander Ross set out again with an away team — but this time, the Mercury has company: A Keldon-class Cardassian warship equipped with an experimental cloaking device. With one shot, the Cardassian ship disabled the Mercury and thereafter tractored it, threatening the crew with death if they didn’t provide details on the gateway….