Having set out from Starbase 118, the crew of USS Excalibur-A set a course for an empty asteroid field that was to become a training grounds for the crew. Before setting out upon their true mission of exploration, Fleet Captain Kalianna Nicholotti ordered a simulation to test the capabilities of the ship and crew, as well as give them a chance to learn to work together. The officers nominated Nicholotti to be their adversary in the mock-combat; she selected two officers – Lt. Commander Katy Orman and Ensign Azin – to assist as shipboard accomplices. Lt. Commander Brek was appointed Second Officer.
The simulation tested the crew’s abilities, pitting them against hidden weapons platforms and internal sabotage. As Excalibur headed into the asteroid field to get cover from some of the weapons, the saboteurs managed their greatest feat. Shields faltered, then fell. The deflector lit up, funneling the ship’s power out into space. The damaged deflector left them in the asteroid field with no protection. Calling an emergency stop to the engagement, the ship carefully worked its way out of the field as Captain Nicholotti rejoined the ship.
The crew spent the evening preparing reports, repairing damage, patching up emotional wounds, and welcoming aboard a new members of the crew: Marine Officer Debra Cross and Daniel Underwood, their newest Helm Officer. In a surprising turn of events, Lieutenant Luna Walker was reassigned to USS Atlantis with little opportunity to say farewell to the crew.