A fiery nebula and stellar nursery

The Horror, Part 1

After three weeks at high warp, the Potemkin has reached its next destination: the fame Deep Space Nine. However, there is no time for pleasure, as Colonel Kira Nerys, commanding officer of DS9, has the 'Tem's next assignment. The mission is to enter the Gamma Quandrant and head to the remote planet of Marlow V, where a Vulcan scientist named Surtok has gone missing. Gathering all the information from Surtok's reports, the 'Tem set a course heading through the wormhole.

An away team was assembled, consisting of Commander Arkin, Lt. Commander Arnet, and Lieutenant Hawk. Their mission was to find Surtok on the planet, and bring him to safety. Since it was a proto-Vulcan pre-warp culture, cosmetic surgery and native costuming was a must. The trio headed down to sickbay in order to prepare for this new mission. They were greeted in sickbay by Lt.Cortan and his interesting uses of holography, but they quickly were transformed into natives of Marlow V.

While they beamed down into Surtok's bunker, ships sensors picked up an unusual reading. There was a crashed ship on the far side of the planet. After some more readings were made, it was determined that it was in fact a downed Breen ship--quite a surprise for the crew. Captain Mitchell decided to send a second away team down to investigate the crash, and (even more importantly) attempt to find a working Breen dampening weapon, the one that had destroyed the original USS Defiant. Commander Prax was immedietely dispatched to investigate, along with Lieutenant Hara, Lt. Cortan, and Ensign Zurec.

The first away team found Surtok's bunker completely trashed, but there were no signs of any real struggle. There was no blood to indicate a wound. PADD's were strewn about, and all of them were filled with Starfleet regulations, one was even qued up to the Prime Directive. The team found his last log, dated two months prior. A group he was watching was about to make a grand evolutionary breakthrough, but due to their nomadic nature, he would lose sight of them. Therefore, he had chosen to follow after them. Feeling very cautious, the team had no choice but to follow after him.

The second away team is beamed down right next to the Breen ship, and they find it completely without power. Several Breen bodies were strewn about, adding to the scene. After a few moments investigation, the team felt the wind suddenly shift in direction. It was accompanied by a loud humming sound being generated from a small hill nearby. The tricorders all read power signatures, when suddenly the hill turned into a massive power generator, shooting some type of energy into the sky...and hitting the Potemkin!

The ship rocked as the ablative armor absorbed much of the blast, but not enough. Main power was knocked offline, as well as most systems. Communications with the 'Tem are cut off...

Prax's team turns their attention back to the Breen ship, hoping to be able to use it's systems to contact the Potemkin. However, they aren't at it long before a strange rustling begins to be heard from the bushes nearby. Drawing phaser, the team prepared for anything...except for a rock thrown directly at Ens. Zurec and missing by mere inches. Cmdr. Prax stepped in, trying to communicate with whoever is around them. However, a dozen Romulans burst out of the bushes, holding disrupters and surrounding Prax's team!

Meanwhile, Arkin's team has left the bunker in search of Surtok. They soon pick up lifesigns of three natives following them, although out of sight. As the proceed on their search (with the natives shadowing them the whole way) the team encounters a torn Starfleet uniform, and a smashed combadge. There is no time to ponder what has happened, as a few axe-weilding natives spring out of the woods and demand that Arkin's team follows them. They speak of "the Great Surtok" that had requested an audience with them. Unable to resist, the team is led to a small encampment, only to find themselves witnesses to some sort of ceremony. A screaming native, charged with "failing Surtok," is carried to a large stone in the middle of the camp. Suddenly, from one of the small huts, Surtok, dressed only in a loin cloth, appears. Then, to the horror of the away team, he beheads the terrified native in one quick chop!

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