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Operation Lovely Angel was the official designation for the first strategic simulation exercise conducted on behalf of Starfleet in late 2365, under the observation and mediation of Zakdorn master strategist, Sirna Kolrami.

Kolrami lays out the groundwork

This wargame simulation took place in the Braslota system, between the USS Enterprise-D, under the command of Captain Jean-Luc Picard, and the eighty-year-old star cruiser USS Hathaway, under the command of Captain William T. Riker.

Initially, Picard resisted the request to conduct the simulation, due to the belief that "Starfleet is not a military organization," but rather, that their "purpose is exploration." He eventually recognized the need for his crew to practice their combat skills the recent discovery of the potential threat that was posed to the Federation by the Borg. He felt that by going through with the simulation, it would allow an officer an opportunity to consider multiple options.

The Hathaway's disheveled bridge

An away team of forty crewmen from the Enterprise, led by Commander Riker, boarded the obsolete and deactivated cruiser Hathaway and reactivated its systems in the space of 48 hours.

Both ships were armed with laser pulse systems and allowed 48 hours to prepare. During battle, all "hits" were recorded electronically and, according to the rules, "if the computer registers 'damage,' it would react accordingly, shutting down the affected areas for the appropriate 'repair' time."

However, the Hathaway was no match for the top-of-the-line Galaxy-class starship, and so Riker's team prepared a few surprises. Riker's first officer, Lieutenant Worf, hacked into the Enterprise's tactical systems

Picard begins with the Kumeh maneuver

The war game began with Picard taking the first move, by initiating the Kumeh maneuver at full impulse on the course of 223 mark 375. Picard's tactics were quickly realized by the Hathaway's crew as a "recognizable ploy" designed to tease Riker into revealing his tactics on Picard's terms.

Worf countered with the Talupian maneuver on instrument sighting, which began at three quarters impulse before ramping up to full impulse. As the maneuver was engaged, Worf prepared a "little surprise" by overriding the Enterprise's sensor codes.

The Hathaway scores a hit

As Picard ordered the next course change to 31 mark 73, he wanted the Enterprise to come in showing minimal aspect before jumping to warp one before attacking the Hathaway with an optimal spread on simulated photon torpedoes. However, before the maneuver could be implemented, Enterprise tactical officer Ensign Burke detected an incoming Romulan warship approaching fast from astern, which appeared as a hologram on the viewscreen. This forced Picard to bring the Enterprise about and disengage her modified beams and reengage full weapon systems. During the bout of confusion, the Hathaway drew first blood and scored several hits on the unsuspecting Enterprise.

The Enterprise retreated at warp three in order for Picard to regathered himself, reset the ship's weapon systems, and evaluate their damage. According to first officer Data, the Enterprise computer reported heavy simulated damage to several aft decks, with the computed repair time of 3.6 days. After changing the sensor codes, Picard prepared a counterattack in the posture of "circumvental attitude", with the modified beams set for photon mode.

Ferengi run interference

Meanwhile on the Hathaway, Riker knew that Picard was not though coming after the Hathaway, leaving Riker to plan his next trick, their warp jump.

As the Enterprise prepared for its attack run, her sensors indicated a second intruder's ship, they were altogether ignored on the belief of they were experiencing another sensor hack, however in this case the incoming vessel, a Ferengi Marauder, was real. The Kreechta attacked the Enterprise (whose crew had originally thought that the Marauder's appearance was another trick programmed by Lieutenant Worf) and disabled the larger ship, leaving it powerless to defend the smaller Starfleet vessel. Bractor demanded that the Hathaway be turned over to him, with the belief that the two Starfleet ships were engaged in some sort of internal struggle over something of value.

The Hathaway seemingly destroyed

Fortunately, an act of subterfuge by Wesley Crusher had provided the Hathaway with a small amount of antimatter to power the ship's warp drive. Riker and Picard devised an elaborate illusion in which the Enterprise appeared to destroy the Hathaway with torpedoes, but in actuality the Hathaway escaped in a brief two-second warp jump to the far side of a nearby planet, where it was able to hide. Worf then programmed a sensor shadow into the Ferengi ship's computer, making it appear that Starfleet reinforcements were approaching the system. Apparently outnumbered and with its potential booty seemingly destroyed, the Ferengi ship retreated. (TNG: "Q Who", "Peak Performance")

The name "Operation Lovely Angel" comes from an okudagram shown in the briefing lounge, which shows three of the system's planets, code-named Kei, Yuri, and Totoro. Two of the planets' names come from characters in a hit anime series, The Dirty Pair, which was popular among the TNG production crew. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion (2nd ed., p. 92)) The main characters Kei and Yuri preferred to be known as the "Lovely Angels," yet were almost always universally referred to as "The Dirty Pair". The remaining planet was named after the titular character out of the Hayao Miyazaki animated film Tonari no Totoro or My Neighbor Totoro.