A fiery nebula and stellar nursery

Opus 32, Part 1

After a definitive Federation victory at Khitomer, the allied forces of the Federation, First Federation, Gorn, Tzenkethi, Ferengi, and Klingons decide for a massive push into Romulo-Cardassian territory. Their target, suggested by Chancelor Martok, was to the retaking of Qo'noS. The planet had been taken early in the war and would represent a grand strike against the enemy. The Potemkin, leader of Group Gamma, was assigned to escort ground forces and combat the heavy Qo'noS defense systems.

The sim started off with the crew at their usual posts, waiting with bated breath and the whole of Group Gamma behind them, for the order. There was a tension in the air with most going over their stations to make sure everything was in order. Finally, Admiral Atherton contacted the 'Tem to inform them that they could engage the enemy. Prax quickly announced this to the crew, while Warp opened a channel to the group to spread the announcement. And with that, the Potemkin jumped to warp nine toward Qo'noS.

The crew was all a jitter at the battle soon to be joined; however, the ship suddenly dropped out of warp early. A Romulan Interceptor appeared on sensors off the port bow; Warp ordered the a weapons lock but to hold off on firing. The Interceptor only hesitated a moment before jumping to warp again. Even though they now knew that they were expected, the order was given for the fleet to continue with the original formation and heading. However, a flotilla of Cardassian ships suddenly decloaked and started targeting the largest vessels - those of the First Federation.

Warp and Prax decided to have the ships with ground troops move to the outside of fleet, as the enemy would suspect that those in the middle would be the most protect and, ergo, the ones with the troops. Then he gave the order for the fleet to engage. The Gorn vessels laid down heavily fire as the 'Tem headed toward the Klingon homeworld and punched through the Cardassian defense fleet. Landing troops was the number one priority, and Fuller was doing his best to hit the Cardassian vessels to allow that to happen.

However, Warp began to feel that something was wrong. It was a bit too easy. Sensing the same thing, Prax had Arkin scan the Cardassian ships for lifesigns. To her great surprise, there was not a single Cardassian aboard any of the ships. Warp immediately ordered the Potemkin to turn around and go back into the middle of the fleet. There was an idea to board the ships and maybe seize them, but then one of them automatons plowed directly into a Ferengi maurader!

Seeing that more kamikaze attacks were imminent, the order was given to head to Qo'noS immediately. However, getting back through the Cardassian flotilla would be incredibly difficult, so Warp gave the command to widen any hole in their defenses before sending any forces through. Suddenly - in a shocking turn, tendrils of energy began to lash out and cut off the Group from any opportunity to escape. It only took a few minutes to figure out the Tholians were now involved - and were blocking the only exit out of the danger zone!

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