A fiery nebula and stellar nursery


After completing its in-depth search of the wreckage of the Hawking Array, in which was found no evidence of active Borg technology and most of debris was beyond salvaging, the Potemkin set course again to Starbase 22 at warp 5. At that speed it is a two week journey and the 'Tem was on day four.

The sim opened late into Beta Shift, with most of the senior staff off duty; Bom, Fuller, Melina, and Xan were manning the bridge. Things were going smoothly, Prax taking a moment to visit with the bridge crew. Unexpectedly, Lieutenant Drass Kebron, the Brikar engineer in charge Main Engineering, heard a power level alert which lasted only for a moment before being silenced. The same alert showed up momentarily on Melina's console, however this alert also disappeared instantly and all systems continued to register as normal.

Another alert sounded, lasting just a tad longer, but settled back down again. This time Kebron ran a low level diagnostic and found that the 'Tem's anti-matter supply had dropped from 93% to a scant 16%. Melina's console now lit up with alerts about dropping power levels. To Kebron's amazement the levels kept dropping. Soon it had dropped down below 10% and an automatic yellow alert kicked in. Bom ordered an all stop so the problem could be examined.

By now Warp was on his way to the bridge and Kebron was running full tests on the anti-matter containments systems. Scans were made behind the 'Tem to determine if there was a leak of some kind - this seemed unlikely as a leak that large would have surely blown up the ship. Frustratingly, all the test came back negative. The storage units and transfer systems all seemed to be working fine and there was no trace of a leak. Getting back to Starbase 22 was now going to be a problem and Bom had Melina try to find the nearest port with anti-matter storage.

Warp, feeling a bit out of place, decided to retire to his quarters and leave everything in Bom's capable hands. Prax had a bit of a harder time convincing the off duty and out-of-uniform Arkin to not take over the science console. All scans still showed nothing was wrong, but the anti-matter storage dropped down to 7%. Fortunately, Melina was able to find a port - Dunharrow III. At Warp 3 it would take at least five hours to reach. What's more, Dunharrow was a hard port to get into (it being built so that Romulans could not get to it easily) and Warp asked to be informed when they reached the outskirts of the Dunharrow system.

The anti-matter continued to drop faster than it was being expended. The cause of the drops could not be explained, and the time to Dunharrow stretched to eight hours. The levels continued to drop, reaching 3% and drying up most of the anti-matter tanks. Micheal and Hara, now in engineering, were still not able to pinpoint a reason for the failure. With the replies running low, they had to fire up the anti-matter generator, which began converting slush deuterium into anti-deuterium (at 1/10 the mass). At this juncture, the engineers discovered that the anti-matter flow seemed to be at rations fit from Warp 5, not Warp 3.

Meanwhile, Arkin and Prax had become lodged in a turbolift. There was little time to get them out, however, as Bom ordered to the ship to low power mode to conserve fuel. The engineers were still having problems; they confirmed that the warp core was burning fuel at a warp 5 level. The deuterium levels were being quickly diminished, even though it would take several hours to burn off. The levels were holding steady at 3% when Ensign MetallicA made a startling announcement - he found a subspace field emission coming from inside the ship.

Micheal, Hara, Kebron, and MetallicA went in search of the subspace field emission; readings placed it on deck 11 - about halfway between the anti-matter pods and the warp core. Right after they left engineering, however, the warp field suddenly sputtered and collapsed. The field reinitialized, but in a static fashion - the ship wasn't moving. The engineers finally found the right wall panel and pried it open for a look. Instead of a magnetically enforced anti-matter conduit, they found nothing at all. Then there was a blue dart that seemed to travel in both directions along the conduit. Micheal opened the next panel over, to discover that the anti-matter was slowly being dissolved away, most likely from the blue pulsating light.

Prax was able to MacGyver his tricorder to make the turbolift system think that deck 3 had called for their car, releasing himself and Arkin. Meanwhile, the engineers began to piece together that this blue light was acting like a dilithium crystal of sorts - its subspace field was caused by, and feeding off of, the interactions with anti-matter. The simplest thing to do was to shut off the anti-matter flow. This Micheal did, and the blue light pulsated purple and then took off through the conduit. It dove straight into the anti-matter storage tanks, draining them dry. After that, it shot through the deck, passed Micheal in engineer, upward right in front of Prax and Arkin, and then through the bridge, out the skylight, and into space.

During this the generators were still going, and the anti-matter level rose to 1%. Bom had Fuller raise the shields, just in case the blue entity got hungry again. Orders were given to repair the broken conduit, then to restart warp drive as soon as possible and make for Dunharrow III. The situation seemed resolved at last, and the Potemkin slowly limped toward port.

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