A fiery nebula and stellar nursery

Proteus in Blue, Part 1

It has been a month since the 'Tem's misadventures in the Alternate Universe. After returning and engaging in some fun politics with the Ferengi, the crew was debriefed at Starbase 22. Admiral Sorin, not sure whether he could trust the 'Tem, sent the ship on a long-range survey mission, to ensure that no alternate versions of the crew were serving on the front lines. 5 days ago, Starfleet Command lost contact with the USS Gilbert. 4 Days ago, Sorin contacted the Potemkin and ordered the crew on a rescue mission. The ship headed to the last known coordinates of the Gilbert, only 3 days out from the Galactic Core and Great Barrier.

The Potemkin came out of warp, the crew guessing where the fate of the lost Gilbert. Most were pessimistic, venturing that the Romulans had destroyed it. Suddenly sensors sensed an incoming vessel. It appeared to be Starfleet Intrepid-class, but the sensors could not make out a registry number. Visual sensors brought up the distinct image of a Intrepid-class vessel, but surrounded by a mysterious blue haze.

It became evident that is was, indeed, the Gilbert, but it did not respond to hails at all. Suddenly, a loud squelch flooded the 'Tem's bridge on the empty channel. Communications were terminated, but the ghost ship hailed again. More noise came out of the loud speakers, but this time it was more like many languages sounding at once. Suddenly, all redundant memory on the 'Tem was miraculous fulled to capacity. The hail then shut off.

Stranger things followed. The power fluctuated, but only for 1.005 seconds - and when the lights came up the memory problem was suddenly fixed and the Gilbert had lost its blue haze. The 'Tem's shields suddenly dropped and shots range out, hitting the 'Tem full on. Nguyen then sent a message that transporter activity had been detected. At the same time, one of the turbolift cars suddenly activated and smashed into the shaft's ceiling...right outside the bridge.

Suddenly, a Vulcan stepped out of the turbolift. He was elderly, with deep gray hair and beard. When questioned who he was, he only responded that he was "one of many" and gave other elusive answers with a bass flanged voice. When anger he proclaimed he was Zeus, and struck Arkin with a lightning bolt. At the same time, all efforts to take him down were futile. He suddenly grabbed Warp in a mind meld telling him to "share his pain" and then lunged at Arnet.

Both Warp and Arnet were suddenly accosted by memories of their deepest pain and regret. Arkin tried to incapacitate the Vulcan. As she did, a blue vapor seeped through the deckplates. The Vulcan collapsed and both Warp and Arnet were unresponsive. Meanwhile, the vapor traveled through the bio-neural gel packs of the ship and emerged in engineering. There it dived into Bom exclaiming "Join, Me Bom. Be the god you want to to for Jordan."

The Vulcan suddenly seemed frail, and introduced himself as Sybok, the brother of Ambassador Spock. Suddenly, Warp and Arnet lunged at the frail Sybok will out of control anger and were just barely incapacitated. At the same time, Bom/Zeus boarded a turoblift and headed for the bridge.

Sybok explained that Zeus used a technique he once used to heal as an attack on Warp and Arnet. At that moment Bom/Zeus arrived on the bridge, declaring that he was now in controlled. He hurled another bolt at Warp, sending the Captain flying, and was able to bend all phaser blasts around him. He programmed the navigational computer to take the 'Tem to a certain set of coordinates. Arkin managed to blow up the console, and stop his plan. Prax used this distraction to tackle Bom/Zeus and send them all hurling down the turboshaft.

However, Bom/Zeus (more of the latter) stopped their descent just before hitting the bottom of the chamber. He did the same thing to Prax that he did on Warp and Arnet - and began to ascend upward again. He proclaimed that the crew was allied with Hyperion and, therefore, his enemies!

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