A fiery nebula and stellar nursery

Beta

The Potemkin started off cruising through Sector 341 at a standard speed. It was the beginning of beta shift, and most of the senior staff was off duty. Arkin and Prax spent the time being reunited with each other, while Arnet sauntered down to the October Lounge to shake off his duty and verbally spar with Aren Remal. On the bridge, things were mostly quiet. Then, Ti'Brus's sensors flared to life, reading a strong gravimetric pulse.

The pulse grew stronger, but as sudden as it showed up and was reported it was gone. Prax was appraised but he left Fuller to keep an eye on the situation. With Arkin in tow, he headed down to the October Lounge to enjoy his break. Strange occurrences kept happening; shields dropped for no apparent reason. Although the bridge crew was able to restore them, it was still unclear why they had failed in the first place. The mystery would have to wait, as the intruder alert had sounded off. Hara and a security team were sent to the observation lounge to investigate. To their great surprise, the observation lounge conference table was covered in small serpent like creatures!

The crew was puzzled about this new twist and began to try and understand what had happened. Ti'Brus, in a brash act that deserved a sharp reprimand, stated that they looked edible and proceeded to eat one. It was a mistake; initial scans began showing that the snakes had complex inner structures that suggested higher development. The crew also began hearing a strange humming noise that could be a language of sorts. Melina and Ti'Brus were ordered by Fuller to try and decipher what they could.

Hara and Fuller set up forcefields to keep the snakes all in one place while it was decided what was to be done. Melina and Ti'Brus were making headway with the humming; it appeared to be language but the snakes did not seem to have any vocal chords. Suddenly, the gravimetric pulse from before appeared again off the port bow. This time it widened some more and began to display transdimensional qualities. Oddly enough, a hail began to be broadcast through the rift.

Melina answered the hail, but received only an earful of humming. She piped it through the universal translator and the program she and Ti'Brus had been working on, hoping to understand. The message was rather cryptic, saying that the ship had failed a test concerning their young. The 'Tem was ordered to release the young and that the mysterious hailers would "not return".

A second message was received. it stated that this new culture meets others by seeing how they react to the weak and defenseless. They beam their young over to different ships to see how they are treated. The message then tersely stated that one of the young was not alive and had been killed in a brutal manner. As a consequence, their would no further contact with the Federation. The young serpents were beamed out of the observation lounge and the transdimensional rift suddenly closed.

There is still much to learn from the universe.

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