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Nearly the whole of Avkar Prime had gathered for Commandant Diabolus’ speech. A grand march was held prior to the speech, to which all were required to attend. Of course, everyone also wished to attend. Just about every man, woman, and child on the whole of the planet stood in the streets of the capitol. Many held a poster or a banner bearing Diabolus’ likeness or slogans proclaiming “Commandant Diabolus: Peace in our times” and “Safety and security”. Other persons held banners displaying the symbols of the Avkar Solidarity. “Today, my loyal friends, we embark on a great endeavor. Three years ago, I came to you, still under the oppressive yoke of the Dominion, and set you free,” Erik Diabolus intoned. He’d been speaking for an hour and a half now, building to this point—the crescendo, the triumphal ending that would solidify the Avkar’s loyalty to him alone. Resplendent in a black tunic with red trim and adorned with many medals of valor, Diabolus exhorted the crowds below the balcony where the whole crowd could see his visage. Compassion, basking in her Master’s triumph, stood nearby out of sight. He went on, “In the coming days, a wave of action will sweep across this part of the quadrant. We will not just show our flag, but show our might as a true solidarity.” The crowd erupted in loud cheers. Diabolus continued, “Our forces are staging now for attacks on the Federation starbase, their colony, as well as any Dominion installations within our borders. Their defenses are nowhere adequate to protect them against our might. We will demonstrate in a clear gesture of strength that we will not be slaves to anyone, nor will we be ground under by the overreaching influence of the Federation and its allies. These intrusions, these thefts of Avkar treasures will no longer be tolerated.” More cheers and applause. Shouts of “Hail Commandant Diabolus!” and “Strength to the Avkar!” sounded among the bystanders. Diabolus relished this. Finally, he was receiving the respect he was due—the respect he’d earned. All was according to the plan. He trusted the Virote; one does not deny the voice of true super beings. Perhaps even gods. They knew his past and what he’d endured. Now they would reward him. He would be proud to lead the Avkar into their new destiny. Soon, the solidarity would become the empire. He would take his place as the emperor. “My friends,” he said, quieting the crowd once more so that he could make his concluding remarks, “This will be a time of celebration, but it will also require sacrifice. We must triple our weapons production and double our ship building. You may be asked to give of what you have. But such sacrifices are not in vain. You will be rewarded for them, and they will be remembered with honor when we are the masters of the galaxy. Remember my people, we are Avkar! We will take what is ours!”

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Episode #302 “The Mission” Written By Michael A. Slagenweit-Coffman

Personal Journal – Stardate 61045.3 Dana, Ted, Kevin, Izak, and I are returning to the Deep Space Fifteen following an enjoyable return home for my daughter’s wedding. After all we’d been through recently, being in the correct time was more than refreshing. I anticipate that we will be getting back to our exploration mission upon our return to the Gamma Quadrant, which I am looking forward to.

Kevin Doran piloted the Runabout Mississippi while Bruce and Dana reclined back at the other stations in the cockpit; all savoring the last little bits of shore leave they could enjoy. For the Eagle Star crew, their experiences on Earth—more precisely, Earth’s past—and the growing buildup of Avkar military forces outside of the territory held by the Federation’s Alliance, had caused Bruce much unrest. Attending his daughter Kristi’s wedding was a welcome respite. Since all the Spaces served in Starfleet, finding family time at home did not happen frequently. Bruce and Dana relished being with their children—and now with their growing, extended family. Kristi had looked like a princess during the wedding; a stark contrast to her normal tomboy nature. Dana still wondered how her only girl had turned out that way. She grew up with her father and two older brothers after her mother died from cancer, so she could be a tomboy with the best of them. Still, motherhood grew on her and she embraced her femininity—and she thought she passed that on to her daughter. The more she thought about it, the more she realized that Kristi was like her, just in a different way. They were talking about the incident that got Kristi and Neil together. Dana said, “She’s her father’s daughter.” “And her Godfather’s daughter too,” Izak Ison added. He and Ted Space were coming from the back compartment. Izak went on, “She has a stubbornness only a Russian could have.”

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Bruce, about to make a cutting remark, didn’t get a chance. Dana interrupted, “Priority Alert from Deep Space Fifteen. The station has been attacked by the Avkar.” “Increasing speed,” Bruce said, working the console. He added, “Contact the Eagle Star and the station. Alert them to our revised ETA.” Dana sent the message, then replied, “I can’t get through to the Eagle Star and the station’s comm system is jammed with a million transmissions. I think I’ve gotten through, but I’m not sure.” “I’m bringing the runabout's weapons online,” Kevin said.

Ops buzzed with activity when Bruce, Kevin, and Dana entered from the turbolift, after having docked the runabout without the standard clearances. Admiral Bolter and Commander Tricacious were at the master command display directing both the pursuit of their Avkar attackers and damage control efforts on the station. Tricacious said, “They’ve crossed back into their territory, Admiral. They’re gone.” “Pull the Eagle Star and Firebrand back, Commander,” Bolter replied, “We’re going to need their help.” Bruce asked, “You sent Xanthus after the Avkar?” “They were out of range when the first attacks came in. It made sense for them to pursue.” “What caused them to suddenly go on the offensive?” Kevin asked. Tricacious said, “Unknown, Commander. We have only speculated that it is in retaliation for our advance into what they believe is their territory.” “More likely it’s because we got at the information in that library,” Bruce replied. The speculation continued for a few minutes while the Eagle Star and Firebrand returned. Bruce and his officers were about to return to their ship when the science officer announced, “Admiral, there’s another squadron coming in.” “Avkar?” “No. Dominion.” Tricacious checked his display then added, “Confirmed, but the ships are not in an attack formation.” He paused, “I am receiving a message, Admiral. They state that they have a Consul Iselte on board and are here to provide assistance.”

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Bruce raised an eyebrow. Bolter said, “Signal the Dominion ships that their assistance is welcome and—” A transporter beam fizzled to life before the mater operations table, depositing a female shapeshifter and a Jem’Hadar guard. The Dominion still had an upper hand when it came to technological achievements, Bruce thought. And beaming through shields. Bolter quickly held up his hand to hold of security rushing in. She said, “I am Consul Iselte. I have been sent here to assist the Federation, as we have been mutually attacked by the Avkar.” “I’m Admiral Karl Bolter, commander of Deep Space Fifteen. This is Captain—” “Captain Bruce Space of the Starship Eagle Star,” Iselte finished, “We are quite aware of your personnel and your commanding officers, Admiral. I was sent here to offer assistance, but also to collect any information you may have recently gathered on the Avkar’s theft of ancient artifacts that belong to the Dominion.” Unsure of what she meant, Bolter said, “May I show you to the conference room?” Bolter indicated the turbolift. Iselte turned to Bruce as she passed, saying, “And Captain Space, order Ninth Sandarklan to report to the flagship. This exchange between the Dominion and Starfleet is ended.”

Bruce stepped onto the Eagle Star’s bridge finding it much the way he left it. Given the battle at the starbase, he figured that he’d be dealing with a mess. Xanthus sat in his chair, but rose upon seeing his captain. Xanthus said, “Captain on the bridge.” “At ease, Lieutenant Commander. Damage report?” “Lieutenant Thompson is still assessing, however, shields are at forty-four percent and weapons at sixty percent.” “I want the ship ready by the end of the day to head back out to the library planet. There’s a reason it’s so important to Diabolus. I want to know why.”

An hour later Bruce reading over reports in his ready room. He set down the padd he'd been reading and said, "Come." Sandarklan entered. Bruce said, “Crewman, there is a new Dominion consul here on the station, talking with Admiral Bolter as we speak. She ordered the exchange program ended and you to report to her dreadnought.” “I understand,” he said, then said after a long pause, he added, “I am a Jem’Hadar. I serve the Founders in all things.”

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“Is there a problem?” He’d picked up on the hesitation in his helm officer’s voice. He didn’t often hear that. Sandarklan’s eyes fell to the floor, then back up to Bruce, “I feel… conflicted, Sir. Bruce nodded his understanding. He felt it too. Sandarklan went on, “I have become familiar with this crew. I have earned your respect, been allowed to determine my own destiny, and now...” “Now you’re being asked to become just another faceless, nameless soldier again; a soldier that is replaced as quickly as he was lost.” “Yes.” Bruce rose, slowly making his way to the other side of his desk. Sure, he’d not wanted him on the Eagle Star when he was first assigned to the ship—just as much as Sandarklan didn't want to be there—but they’d gotten over that in the last two years. Bruce did respect him, hell, he even liked him. He’d needed, at first, to make the crew accept Sandarklan, but now many considered him a friend. He didn’t want to lose him. Bruce asked, “Sandarklan, do you want to stay?” The Jem’Hadar inhaled, deeply, then released it, “Yes, Captain. I do want to stay.” “Then I will do everything I can to honor your request.” The intercom signal chimed and Dana said, “Bridge to Captain Space.” “Go ahead.” “Admiral Bolter and Consul Iselte are requesting your presence on the station in the conference room. Apparently the consul has some questions for you, regarding Commandant Diabolus.” “I’m on my way.” He tapped his combadge closing the line and said to Sandarklan, “I’ll speak with the consul about this. In the meantime, see to your duties, Crewman.” “Aye, Sir.”

“Over the last three weeks, the Avkar have made numerous attacks against the Dominion. We do not share this information lightly, but as the Federation has also been attacked, it stands to reason that our respective governments ought to work together to stop them,” Consul Iselte said. “On that point, I believe we all agree," Bolter said.

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“The Dominion also has reason to believe a Founder has been… corrupted… by the Avkar.” Bruce asked, “What do you mean by ‘corrupted’?” “No Founder would willingly cooperate with the Avkar, Captain. Two years ago, a Consul was dispatched to assess the move of this station into section AC-21.” “Consul Vinshar.” “Exactly. He was to provide assistance to the Federation in securing this system. An exchange of information and resources were to be results. Then he pulls said resources and disappears. He has never returned from that mission and the recent Avkar attacks in Dominion space were all in areas that he oversaw.” “So this is the reason you now propose we work together, Consul?” Bolter asked. “Yes. We lack understanding of their ability to manufacture weapons so quickly; how they are able to penetrate our defenses. We also lack understanding of Commandant Diabolus.” She pointed her last statement directly at Bruce, who near the center of the conference table. Bruce looked inward a moment. Bolter and Iselte were right in their feelings. The efforts to unlock the Spires only brought up old memories. Xanthus discovered that they couldn’t be used as weapons. And even though, they’d collected a myriad of data from the library planet, little of it made sense. Yet. If they just learned why Diabolus was so hell-bent on collecting the Spires, Bruce could put a stop to the problems Diabolus and the League caused. Besides, there was something going on that he needed to find out about. The Spires, the library, those voices he’d heard when recovering from the bombing... they were all... connected somehow. He needed to know how. Bruce rose from his seat. Here we go, he thought. He said, striding slowly toward the head of the table, “I can’t speak exactly as to how he rose to power on a planet on the other side of the galaxy from Earth. I knew him as a young, brilliant, businessman when he worked for my father’s manufacturing company, over three hundred years ago. He thought he should be my father’s heir, but my father and I saw what he was. Unethical, spiteful, greedy, and power-hungry. He tried to wipe out my family when my father passed the company to me and my brother and succeeded in killing my parents. It’s no surprise that he’s now trying to finish what he started. He has a mind that can think two steps ahead, which made him great at what he did, and likely, what he is doing now. All said though, Diabolus is also a victim of his own brilliance. He craves power, which his position provides, but not enough for his needs.” “You believe his desires will be fulfilled when he has conquered the Dominion?” “I don’t believe that Commandant Diabolus’ desires for power will be satisfied until he’s conquered the Dominion, the Federation, hell, the whole galaxy."

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“And your intention, Captain Space, is to prevent that?” “Not only my intention, Consul, but my mission. Some view it as a personal vendetta, but if you truly understand Commandant Diabolus as I do, you would understand. This destructive course that he’s set won’t end until he has destroyed everything I hold dear.” Iselte set her gaze on Bruce, judging the sincerity of his words. She had no doubt that the two humans were old rivals, but certainly Diabolus’ actions justified the captain’s desire to ensure the safety of his people. Diabolus reminded her of why the Founders distrusted solids. Captain Space, perhaps, gave her feelings pause. A little anyway, not entirely. Admiral Bolter asked, “So, how might we prevent a further attack?” Bruce said, “I don’t think there is any way to stop another attack. What Diabolus is after is power. That’s why he tried to keep us from coming back here. That’s why he drove us away from the library planet. He saw the Spires as something that gave him more power. And he was determined to use it.” “That is the reason why the Avkar were so attracted to him. He promises power and has delivered on that promise,” Iselte said. Bolter looked questioningly at the shapeshifter, who went on, “Consider the structure of their society, Admiral. Under the Dominion, their military had first rank, followed by genetic scientists. Women occupy the lowest part. As an occupied people, they were always craving power. Now someone has given them a taste of it and they want more.” “Can he be stopped, Captain?” Bolter asked, turning back to Bruce. “Any enemy, even powerful ones, can be stopped, Admiral. The question is, are you willing to do what needs to be done?” Bolter glanced at Iselte before giving Bruce a very stern look. He didn’t like being forced into a corner. He knew Bruce Space well enough to know when he was being deadly serious. In over ten years of friendship, Bruce only used this tone a handful of times. Bruce did this to force a point he thought right. And while this was right, it didn’t make this less hard. He asked, “Are you, Captain?” “Are you ordering the Eagle Star to go after Commandant Diabolus, Admiral?” “We’ve spoken a lot about threats and attacks, but obviously, the time for debate is over. It’s time for some action.” “I’m all for that, but I'm going to need some things if this is going to work. I need a new chief medical officer ASAP. I want the Firebrand and one other ship working with us.” “I can get that. I believe that the Salk has arrived with the extra medical personnel I requested. I’ll pull someone for you. How soon can you be ready?”

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“Repairs on the Eagle Star are nearly complete. We should be ready for departure in six hours.” “What's your plan?” “A significant amount of progress has been made with those charts we found at the library planet. I think we may well be able to pinpoint the origin of the Spires.” “Make it so.” Bruce rose from the conference table and started for the door. He reached it, but then turned back to Consul Iselte, “One other thing, Madame Consul. I’d like my helm officer back.” The Consul seemed taken aback for a moment. She was not used to being spoken to in this manner. But then the Starfleet captain softened his tone, “He’s proven himself to be a valuable resource in our understandings of the Avkar, shown initiative in helping us out of some sticky situations, and he’s liked by a number of my crew. More to the point, Madame Consul, he wants to stay.” Iselte raised an eyebrow, as much as a Founder could, at Space’s last words. Jem’Hadar did not have any wants other than a desire for combat. Perhaps this was the reason for his request? She rather doubted it. Though, if the Starfleet captain wanted cannon fodder on this potential fool’s errand… She nodded, “Very well, Captain. I will hold Sandarklan’s transfer.”

Because of the recent attack on the station, Admiral Bolter ordered a standing security alert, until the danger of a secondary attack lessened. With the station needing fresh supplies and medical personnel to deal with the crisis, Admiral Bolter sent a call back to the Alpha Quadrant. The Starship Salk responded. A rather pale man in a blue medical uniform stepped out of the airlock into the corridor looking around. It had been a long time since Mark Carin seen a deep space Starfleet base. He spent most of his time now in civilian work. Still he remembered what life was like for him those many years ago in Starfleet; he hadn’t been anxious to return to it. Still, Starfleet Medical liked to pull the reserve activation clause when tensions ran high. Given the completion of the Tholian conflict and the brewing Avkar crisis, now might be an appropriate time to get back into the game, he thought. Mark Carin was a man on the side of everything: on the tall side of medium, his hair on the light side of auburn, and eyes on the pale side of green. Acquaintances over the years stated that he could stick out in any crowd; nothing he could do about it, he just had that way. What his “looks” might detract from him, his intellect made up. Carin was on the smart side of brilliant. Maybe not perfect, but he had an uncanny ability to remember facts and retain knowledge quickly when needed.

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Carin headed straight for the station’s infirmary, rather than finding the quartermaster to get his room assignment. He’d always felt the need to be prompt and punctual to things. Having looked up Dr. T’Para’s service record during his transport from the Alpha Quadrant, he knew her reputation for being a stickler for such things. He thought it best to start things on the right foot. Fortunately, she was taking a moment’s respite from a bustling infirmary when he came in. He offered her the padd with his orders and said, “Mark Carin, M.D., reporting for duty.” “I would welcome you to Deep Space Fifteen, Doctor Carin. However, you have received new orders,” she replied. “I have?” “The Starship Eagle Star is in need of a new chief medical officer. Admiral Bolter has assigned you to the position.” The day just keeps more and more interesting, Carin thought. He thanked Dr. T’Para for her time, wished her well, and headed for a transporter bay.

Dr. Crowson slipped the scanner back into his medical tricorder and said to Lieutenant Al-Rashid, “You’re good to go, Tariq.” Xanthus and Cammy came down to Sickbay to see Tariq off, as he was transferring to the Firebrand and just getting a last medical check before heading over. In the hour since Captain Space returned from meeting Admiral Bolter and Consul Iselte, a flurry of personnel changes had come through, mostly transfers onto the ship. The security checks he’d had to run took most of the hour so taking this break with Cammy was a very welcome diversion. “And that’s all she wrote for me,” Crowson said. “Are you sure you don’t want to stick around, Doc?” Xanthus asked, jokingly. “Nope,” Crowson said, “I’ve done my time, enjoyed it, but I’ve earned this. And besides, the missus wouldn’t like me sticking around any longer than I need to.” Xanthus smiled. He could understand Crowson’s feelings; especially given recent events. He didn’t blame him for wanting to take his earned retirement. At the same time, though, Eagle Star needed a good doctor right now. Especially given recent events. There was just so much change happening and it didn’t sit well with him. Change is tough, Joe had been reminding him since the night of his promotion. And his promotion changed a lot of things for him. Good ‘ol Joe. Always there when you needed him. Crowson took a last turn around the room, then headed out to the transporter room. Silence filled Sickbay following Crowson leaving. Cammy asked about a replacement CMO, but

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Xanthus hadn’t heard yet about a new doctor coming on board. He’d become used to Dr. AlRashid; even with her strange methods of practicing medicine, hadn’t been a completely bad person. Despite betraying them and helping to maroon the rest of the crew in Earth’s past, he didn’t entirely blame her for what she did. He’d done his share of things he now regretted all in the name of escaping the Dominion. “Transporter Room Four to Commander Talkart.” Xanthus tapped his combadge, “Go ahead, Chief.” “Our new chief medical officer has beamed aboard, Sir. Where does he need to report to?” “Sickbay. I’m there now.” “He’s on his way.” Dr. Carin strode in a few moments later. He handed Xanthus the same padd he’d handed Dr. T’Para and said, “Lieutenant Commander Mark Carin, M.D., I am told that I have been assigned here rather than the station.” “Welcome aboard, Dr. Carin. I’m sorry that I or Commander Doran weren’t there to meet you in the transporter room, but we didn’t know when you’d be arriving.” “I did not know either.” “This is Lieutenant Cammy Spencer, ship’s science officer. I’m tactical and security chief,” Xanthus said, introducing Cammy. She shook hands with him and then excused herself. “I have to check on some things in the lab,” she replied. “Nice to meet you, Miss Spencer. I expect to meet you again during crew physicals.” Carin said. She left in her turn and Xanthus showed Carin around Sickbay. When they got to the medical lab, Carin’s eyes almost bugged out at the mess inside. He asked, “What on earth? I take it my predecessor was a botanist on the side?” “No. Not really. Dr. Al-Rashid’s medical practice included what she sometimes called a ‘botanical-organic’ approach. She said she preferred more natural treatment methods to conventional treatments. Some of her prescriptions were rather effective.” He didn't want to get into that she was also a spy from another universe. “Ah. I assume her research is in the medical database?” “Yes, it is.”

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“Then I’d like to request the plants go back to the botanical and airponics laboratories. I would like the medical lab to be used for medical purposes. While I do appreciate alternative forms of treatment, this is a little out of hand. I'll read up on her research in the database. It may well prove helpful later on." “I’ll see to it.” “Thank you, Commander Talkart.” Xanthus turned and began walking out of sickbay when Dr. Carin asked, “By the way, Commander, what species are you?” Xanthus turned back to look Carin square in the eye. He replied, very bluntly, “Human.” “You’ll have to forgive me, but you don’t look human.” “The reason for my appearance is in the files, Doctor.” “I look forward to reading it.” Xanthus headed out of sickbay leaving Carin alone. This was indeed going to be interesting, he thought. A crew with some unique personnel.

Bruce, Kevin, and Dana all sat around the coffee table in Bruce’s ready room, reading through records and drinking a fine Japanese green tea—Kevin’s contribution to the meeting. Making sure that everything was prepared for the mission, including all the data from the library planet, hadn’t proved easy. So much to sift through. So much to plan for a mission that they may well not return from. “Talkart to Captain Space.” Bruce tapped his combadge, “Space here.” “I just wanted to let you know that our replacement CMO has arrived. Dr. Carin is settling into Sickbay now.” Both Kevin and Dana jumped when they heard the name. Bruce asked, in a rush, “Wait? What did you say the doctor’s name was?” “Carin, Sir. Dr. Mark Carin.” Bruce’s eyes drifted to the tabletop. This couldn’t be right. It had to be some kind of mistake. Mark Carin was what Erik Diabolus should be: dead. He glanced over at Dana and Kevin, who’d clearly had the same reaction. He replied, “Uh… Thank you, Commander. I’ll be on the bridge shortly. Space out.”

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“This is not possible,” Dana said, “We all saw his body. Mark is dead and this person can’t be a descendant because Mark didn’t have children, nor a family.” Bruce exhaled and a little smile played on his face. He said, “The tangled we that we have been caught in continues to grow more complicated.

Bruce was on the bridge and was reading through AJ’s status report on the completed repairs, preparing for departure for the library planet, when Dana said, “Captain, I’m picking up a distress signal.” “From where?” “Dekaniza, Sir.” “Put it through.” The image that came up on the view screen was garbled and badly distorted; as if a major source of interference cut in on the signal. Bruce could just barely make out the image of Prime Minister Mahlk, but he could hear the desperation: “This is Prime Minister Mahlk of Dekaniza. We have just been attacked by the League of the New Order; they’ve detonated a biogenic charge in our atmosphere. The planet will be uninhabitable in ten hours.” Bruce turned to Dana, “Patch this through to Admiral Bolter.” “He’s already got it.” Mahlk was finishing his plea: “We request any vessel near our system with the ability to take even a few people to assist us, please. Not for us, but for our children.” The transmission faded at that point. “Their planetary communication system is probably overloaded, but their message did get out.” “Space to Bolter. Did you receive all the message, Admiral?” “We did, Captain,” Bolter replied, “Take the Firebrand and the Highland. The Highland will be able to help bring refugees back here. I’ll make some contacts and do what we can to assist them.” “Understood and acknowledged. Space out,” Bruce rose and said, “Make ready for launch in fifteen minutes.” Kevin rose and coming up to Bruce said, “What if the Avkar are still there. It may be a battle we can’t win with three starships trying to aid a planetary evacuation?” “It’s a chance we’ll have to take, Commander.”

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Star Trek: Eagle Star Episode #302 “The Mission” Written By Michael A. Slagenweit-Coffman Based on “Star Trek” Created By Gene Roddenberry Star Trek®, Star Trek: The Next Generation®, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine®, Star Trek: Voyager®, Star Trek: Enterprise®, and all associated marks are registered trademarks of CBS Studios Incorporated. All rights reserved. No infringement is intended. No profit whatsoever is coming from the use of "Star Trek" by this fan fiction.

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Eagle Star #302 - "The Mission"  

The Avkar, emboldened by Commandant Diabolus, attack Deep Space Fifteen. Recognizing the need to find a means to stop Diabolus, Captain Spa...

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