A fiery nebula and stellar nursery

The Very Young

The Potemkin received news of sensor reports of an unidentified ship along the Federation-Romulan border. Sensors showed that it was not a Romulan warbird, but couldn't give any further data. The 'Tem was sent to investigate. The ship had no transponder and wasn't transmitting, so Warp ordered hailing frequencies. The response was nothing more than a fit of giggles before the channel was cut again. After a moment of confusion Warp ordered the ship hailed again, but only received more laughter from the denizens of the unidentified vessel.

After having a conversation about how funny the name "Potemkin" was, Warp requested visual communications. To the great shock of the crew, they were greeted with the view of seven children, looking from ages five to twelve. The children seemed equally perplexed at the sight of "the old ones" on the 'Tem's bridge. They spoke of how "old ones" could not operate starships and that they couldn't not learn at all. The leader, named Hathar, proudly proclaimed that he had "eleven sun rounds" and explained that after 16 "sun rounds" it was impossible for one of their kind to be on a ship. In fact, the normal range for a crew was 6 to 10 years old.

Suddenly realizing that they were dealing with basically ship full of savants, the crew began formulating a new game plan. Out of nowhere, the computer picked up a subspace disturbance and tachyon buildup, indicating a ship decloaking. Warp tried to tell the children to leave the area, but they mistook this advice for wanting to play hide and seek. As a D'Deridex warbird decloaked and began taking pot shots at the 'Tem, Hathar's ship suddenly dropped into their own cloaking shield.

The Romulans began firing, and Warp ordered to return fire and pull away from the warbird. Several more exchanges were had between the two vessels, and Warp tried to contact the warbird to tell them to stand down because of innocent bystanders in the area. However, before anyone could fire another shot, the young one's craft decloaked and shot out a purple beam that brought both ships to a halt. Hathar announced that "old ones" shouldn't fight and suggested that both sides contact their "young ones" so they could come take care of them.

Communications broke down and the Romuans were able to fire on the 'Tem again. Prax initiated a dangerous maneuver by which the Potemkin jumped to warp backward and came up behind the warbird. The firefight ensued with the 'Tem taking heavy damage. The children cut back in, freezing the two waring vessels once again. At this point, Arnet stepped forward and tried his hand at explaining about how the different species aged. Only after some convincing did the young ones start to understand. At this point Hathar announced that he would like to trade information, and the crew got a look at their technology - a rather impressive non-tactical control console.

Before anyone could trade information, however, there was still the matter of the Romulans. The children seemed to have a grip on this too; they all concentrated and interacted with their consoles and the warbird disappeared in a flash of light. They explained that they sent the warbird back to their homeworld so they would not be a bother again. Arnet took the opportunity to invite representatives from Hathar's ship to tour the 'Tem.

Hathar and a scientist named Arnor beamed over to the Potemkin. Then, in company of Arnet, Warp, and Prax, they went to take a tour of the ship and exchange information.

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