Lieutenant J'van D'nalls stepped heavily as he crossed the threshold of his quarters. He had quite a long day, between gathering intel on Cardassia, training, and dealing with the emotions that he was feeling over this mission. As he sat heavily into his black lather couch, he leaned his head back and stared at the ceiling. He could handle almost anything, and up until a few weeks ago, he was confident that he could handle any problem, win any battle, and outwit every enemy. But what happens when the enemy is his own conscience? His conscience told him that if Rhiannon were to be lost to him now, than he would have a very difficult, if not impossible life. He had let himself get in too deep, but there was no way to fix it. For that matter, he didn't want to fix it. Life at her side was far more appealing now then a life of distinguished military service. But that did little to deter his mind from that matter at hand. Cyanah was picking up some hand to hand combat skills, and picking them up well, but she would be no match for the average Cardassian soldier, much less an Obsidian Order operative, who more then likely will be the ones that we will deal with. She would be as prepared as possible, but it was really a feeble attempt. Of course, getting her confident in her abilities was far more important then actually making her a killing machine. A confident fighter is a powerful fighter, more so then training, confidence and being able to maintain ones right mind was crucial. She did that perfectly, and she was a prime example of someone that would be highly underestimated in combat. She had a better then average chance. But that was not enough. It was not enough that Rhiannon was a fairly decent fighter in her own right. Yes, they could fend of an attack by a few unarmed soldiers, but that was highly unlikely. If anything, they would be meeting a squad of armed soldiers. Neither one of them was great with a weapon, but marginal to good. He so needed to be there. If it came to a firefight, he was one of maybe 20 people in the Federation that could handle it. As he thought of it, he remembered his conversation with Krelok from a few days back. It was his abilities as a combatant that earned him his boon with such an influential Klingon. It was on Habtel 4, a planet that was within the sphere of influence of the Dominion and was a settlement world of the Cardassians. There was a major ship building facility there, as well as a mining operation, which mind the ram materials needed for the ships. It was one of the joint strike forces first objectives. His team was sent in first, they took out a few key long range sensor arrays. As the plan went, right after that, the Klingons landed 3 Companies worth of men to destroy to mine and its supporting military camp. Just as he transport ships reached the atmosphere, they were surprised by 9 Kelvan class destroyers. The virtually unarmed transports were no match for the war ships, and 80 percent of them were destroyed in the atmosphere and fell to the planet as little more then ashes. The rest made it to the ground, in various stages of damage. Aboard the lead ship, Krelok's father, General K'marl was with his command group. The invasion force had gone from 3000 to 600 or so. As soon as they set down, they were set upon by the military camp's reserves, 1000 Cardassians, who had the advantage of terrain and familiarity of the plant. It was bleak at best. To say the least, the fighting was savage. Klingons and Cardassians are fairly well matched one ot one, and after the first 36 hours, 320 Klingons were dead, an unknown number of Cardassians were as well, and the remaining Klingons were pinned down in a valley, surrounded by Cardassians who were taking shot at them pretty much at their leisure. The Cardassians held their ground, waiting for an additional company to come in and charge the valley. K'marl did all he could to rally his weary troops, but the situation was hopeless. Of course, J'van was lucky enough to have his squad smack dab in the middle of this valley, with little hope of ever leaving it. J'van looked over various data on the planet, and found something interesting. He approached K'marl with these findings. "Sir, I am from the Fleet Marines Spec Op Command. I was wondering if you had a moment to look over some data?" He asked the very tall, somewhat portly in his advancing age, Klingon. "Data? What by Khaless' sword is going to help us that will be found in that Data, Marine?" The Klingon bellowed a huge laugh as his white beard seemed to dance on the hot dry winds of the valley. "Well, I think I have found a way to get out of this Valley. Look at this …" J'van stated as he moved closer and showed him the PADD that he was alluding to. K'marl looked over the data and stroked his beard. His old, battle hardened face seemed to light up as the ingenuity of the man before him became obvious. "The caves are located to the north east. We take a small team threw there, and look; it leads right into their main mining shaft. Now, if I am right, and the data does support this, there is an abandoned Dilithium mine there. See, right there on the map. We take a few cart loads of Dilitium, sneak it back here. Then, we plant chunk of Dilitium and explosive charges along the ridge line, at night, when we will not be seen. We can also planet some in the caves, in a few places that just happen to be directly under the ridge where the main group of Cardassians is. Come sun up, when they get ready to advance on us, we wait for them to crest the ridge, and then detonate. Seconds later, we detonate the caves, where the troops fall back to regroup. Once that is done, the rest of the troops will be stunned, cut off from each other, and fairly certain that their position is about to be blow up as well. They will eventually fall back to the compound. Unfortunately, for them, the compound is built around the mine. We leave a surprise in the Dilitium mine, and boom…. No more settlement…. No more Cardassians." J'van finally finished. "I like you, you think with the mind of a strategist, like Khaless himself! This plan is all we have it would seem. I do believe, Mister Marine, that you have saved us a long slow rot in this incredibly dry and hellish place. Now, take whomever you need, and get to work." The Klingon stated in his loud, booming voice as his heavy hand crashed down upon J'van's shoulder so hard that he wondered if it was in congratulations or meant to cause injury. The plan worked, and the Klingons were able to take the camp and what was left of the mine. K'marl offered J'van a place in the Hosue of K'marl, but he did not accept, instead, he merely took his friendship and the hope of future assistance if needed. Now, it was certainly needed. Though K'marl died soon after that, his oldest son, Krelok was more then happy to repay the debt. It seemed that he too had a bone or two to pick with the Cardasians. After all, it was a Cardassian that had eventually killed the great K'marl. Revenge was the greatest honor to one's death. Krelok would be grateful to shower the name K'marl with more Cardassian blood given the chance, and now he had it. No doubt, the Klingon task force was already in position. Unfortunately, J'van would never get to thank them, for if they were to go into action, it would only happen if he were to be lost on this mission. Not a pleasant thought, but yet it was someone nice to know that his death would too be avenged. Of course, vengeance would not bring him or Rhiannon back. If they died, they would hopefully spend eternity in each other's presence, but, that was not all that comforting. He wanted his time with her now, and for as long as mortally possible. "Computer, open Duty Log, current Stardate." He spoke to the ceiling. "Open, begin recording." The mechanical female voice responded with a beep. "All is set for this mission we are about to embark on. Well, all that we can possibly have ready. We are trained, and prepared, but we have no idea what we are going up against. No one here does, and that is probably the worst part of it all. The reports about the Cardassian Union are helpful, as everyone seems to think that they are in no position to start hostilities toward the Federation, but, they are still Cardassians, and Cardassians have a knack for being unpredictable. I do not fear them, but I do know full well not to trust them, or things reported about them. Should anything go wrong, precautions have been taken, as well; proactive measures will be taken should we fail. I am entering a formal protest, as the Captain should NOT be on this mission, as she is taking a risk above and beyond what is required of her. This protest has been noted, and subsequently forgotten it seems. At any rate, as this may be my last entry before the mission begins, I am opposed to her doing this, as it is far too great a threat to her personal safety. With that said, please note that all my belongings and personal affects have been inventoried. As well, they have been listed as to whom they will be presented to should I not return from this mission. May the Gods of Betazed watch us all in this difficult time. Computer, close log, record and encrypt. Standard encryption key." He finishes as he opens his eyes and looks over his quarters. The light of the stars streaming by was the only light illuminating the various pieces of art and furniture with the cabin. "It is not our time, Rhiannon." He whispered in the cold quiet night, knowing she cold not hear his words, but she certainly would know them to be the trust.