A fiery nebula and stellar nursery

Hard Aground

The 'Tem is traveling several dozen light years from the front lines, trying to investigate unsubstantiated rumors of a Romulan presence there. The ship remained at yellow alert while traveling through this expanse. The sim started with the Alpha shift about to go off duty, and the crew was beginning to relax for another day. The dullness was broken when Ryan's console displayed the readings of a Federation transponder signal just two light years distant.

The transponder signal was badly distorted, so Captain Mitchell ordered the ship at high warp to investigate. The signal was coming from the second planet of a star system surrounded by a dense asteroid field. The ship was on the Northern Hemisphere of the (now apparent) N-class planet. Visual sensors turned out the image of a downed Akira-class ship. Arkin's scans revealed one fluctuating life sign located in the ship's arboretum. Warp ordered an away team led by Prax and comprised of Ryan, Fuller, Hara, and Arnet. Just as they were leaving the bridge sensors focussed on the hull where the registry number could be plainly read: NCC-76927-C. The downed ship was the Potemkin

The away team materialized in the downed ship, and took their first breaths of the acrid air. Giving a twenty minute window before they had to beam back, Arnet led the way to the arboretum. They had to jimmy the door to enter, but finally found there way into the fresher air of the sealed arboretum. There they found something that defied all logic - a nearly dead Rachel Jordan. She had been breathing the bad air for sometime and had to be beamed up to sickbay immediately.

The news shocked the bridge crew and Warp elected to join them in sickbay, inviting Counselor Jordan to join him. Before leaving, he gave Arkin and Bom the serious order to find out what had happened. Arnet began dexelin treatments to alleviate the oxygen deprivation, along with pulmonary stimulants to ease the other Jordan's breathing. She was able to answer some of the crew's questions, but she did manage to get out that she was from nearly a week in the future. She also was able to cough out that most of the crew had died - fighting Romulans. Somehow, the ship had been caught in a temporal disturbance and tossed a week back in time, where it had crashed.

Bom and Arkin were able to pinpoint several damaged section of the hull that indicated they had been struck by energy weapons. There was some scorching along the nacelles that Bom identified as plasma burns. The other Jordan related again that everyone had died, talking about how the ship had been pushed back into an asteroid field and the main bridge had been lost. There were no time to launch the life boats. In response to this, Prax ordered the ship to red alert. Arnet then revealed that the other Jordan had inhaled too much gas - her condition was fatal.

Arnet wanted to rush her into the OR, but Jordan resisted, wanting to finish her story. She revealed how the 'Tem had crashed and the planet began killing the crew off. Each person was to memorize as much as they could about the situation, but she was only able to say there was a connection between the warp drive and a temporal disturbance. She then lost consciousness and it was time for life saving surgery. At the same time, a tachyon disturbance registered on sensors. Warp ordered the ship to leave the system instantly, but suddenly a D'Deridex-class warship decloaked blocked the escape route.

Warp and Prax rushed to the bridge. All attempts at communications failed, and adding insult to injury, a Valdore-class warship decloaked also. One of the Romulan ships opened fired, trying to drive the 'Tem back toward the asteroid field. Desperately searching for a plan, Arkin stated that the asteroids contained an inordinate amount of silithium - a substance known to amplify subspace signals. Meanwhile, the surgery was going badly. The other Jordan's vitals tanked, with the gas starting to erode the linings of her arteries and veins. Cordrazine didn't work, and she was put on full life support.

The Potemkin returned fire with all it had, but it was fighting a losing battle. With nothing left to lose, Bom suggested using verteron particles to excite the silithium in the asteroids to shut down all subspace warp fields. Warp ordered it to be done and had the deflector charged up and the warp core shut down. Meanwhile, in sickbay, the other Jordan died unceremoniously. The still very much alive Counselor did her best to comfort a saddened and disheartened Doctor Arnet.

The ship jumped to full impulse, punching through the asteroid field while releasing the verteron particles. The asteroids began to react immediately, and a full fledged firestorm started trailing the ship. The Romulan ships were caught in the deadly wave and destroyed. However, the 'Tem still had to get clear of the deadly wave and the asteroid field. Several asteroids managed to puncture the shields and scrape through the hull, and the explosions continued to stalk the 'Tem. Finally, however, the ship emerged in clear space - and still in their proper time.

Warp ordered the ship to return to the planet to finish investigating the tragedy...but there was nothing to be found! The planet now showed no wreckage, no crashed ship. Even in sickbay, there was no dead body of Rachel Jordan, not even any blood on Arnet's surgical gown. The tragedy had been completely averted. Warp announced that Alpha Shift was now relieved and the ship to carry on.

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