Stardate 87305.1 – Two days after the start of the invasion
Quinn felt the tension rising behind his eyes, and it was only 0900 hours. He needed another raktajino.
He sighed and picked up the PADD on his desk again, avoiding looking at the captain standing expectantly on the other side of his desk.
"So you want to make two smugglers, an Academy washout who ended up in a penal colony and an ensign with a penchant for joyriding into an elite team?"
"And the Klingon," Paris responded. "Don't forget Guroth."
"How could I forget Guroth," Quinn answered dryly. "According to his personnel file, even the KDF thinks he's a madman. It's only a matter of time until he blows himself up.
"Tom, we've known each other a long time," Quinn continued. "There's no one I trust more than you. But … this isn't the time for crazy ideas. You know how badly things went for us at New Romulus and Lae'nas."
"That's exactly why it is the time for crazy ideas," Paris responded. "The standard battle tactics aren't going to work. Not against the Iconians."
"I've seen the projections," Quinn said. "They're not good."
"So why send a hundred ships to die when a handful can do the job? Give me these guys," Paris said. "Let me try something different. And if it doesn't work out … you've said it yourself. They're not your best and brightest. What are you going to lose?"
"Six ships," Quinn answered. "And one of the best known and most capable captains in Starfleet."
"I know the risks," Paris said. "But this could work. These guys – they're just like I was once. And they're good. Really good. Some of the best pilots I've ever seen."
"You had Janeway and seven years in the Delta Quadrant to temper your rebel tendencies."
"Do we have time for that?" Paris asked. "The Iconians are here. You know what's happening on Qo'noS right now could be on Earth this afternoon."
"You've got your task force," Quinn said after a long moment. "But I'm adding a seventh team member. Someone reliable."
"Thank you Admiral," Paris said. "I'll start pulling them together immediately."
"You know, I remember when you had this job," Quinn said. "And I was on the other side of this desk asking you for a favor."
"So do I," Paris said. "Works out better this way. I was never admiral material."