A fiery nebula and stellar nursery


The Potemkin continued through the Beta Quadrant, approaching a nebula by the Romulan/Klingon border for scientific study. It has been several weeks since the virus incident; there were still some bugs left in the computer systems, but nothing major.

As the sim opened, the 'Tem pulled into the nebula at one quarter impulse. It was full of x-ray and gamma radiation, but Melina was able to help set a course around the more dangerous patches. However, the question on everyone's mind was what was to be done with HIRAM. He had certainly helped with the Wotal virus and it didn't seem right to leave him stuck in the computer core. Bom and Micheal postulated various options, including building an android body or trying to reverse engineer a mobile emitter, while Arkin, Arnet, and Warp tried to reason out what was the best outcome for the hologram.

Sensors suddenly pinpointed a star system inside the nebular with seven planets and two asteroid belts. The sixth planet appeared to be M-class, and Warp had Melina and Ryan plot a course toward the planet while skirting areas of high radiation. As the ship gracefully soared through the nebula at half impulse, the inertial dampeners failed to compensate for a routine maneuver. This troubled both Bom and Micheal, as a recent diagnostic had said the dampeners were working properly. Meanwhile an automated hail came in from the planet the ship was approaching. Ambient radiation distorted the message, but it seemed to be asking for some sort of clearance code and warned that the 'Tem was entering a "Code 2 Area." The message repeated once, but then fell silent.

Arkin was asked to search the database for a reference to a "Code 2 Area", but she kept coming up with an LCARS error. As the 'Tem came close to the sixth planet, another message came through stating that the ship had passed into a "Code 1 Area." Warp ordered Melina to transmit the standard friendly greeting, but this only elicited a response that said the "DA Sequence" was not confirmed. Meanwhile, Micheal and Bom could not figure out what had caused the malfunction of Arkin's console. LCARS didn't seem to be working, even though diagnostics said otherwise.

Arkin suddenly detected an unusual thermal energy signature on the sixth planet. Readings soon confirmed that it was a chemically powered rocket being launched at the 'Tem. Even though it did not seem like much of a danger for the ship, Warp ordered a yellow alert and had the ship draw back. Another rocket was launched from the surface; just as the first rocket's top most section suddenly split open and revealed a group of sub-objects. Bom was able to finally find out what "Code 2 Area" meant, but found that internal communications had gone down when he tried to warn the bridge.

The sub-objects from the rockets started giving off massive radiation signatures - before striking the shields repeatedly and causing massive amounts of damage. The shields held, but everyone was rocked off their feet. The pieces started to fall together as another message played; the automated messaged warned that the "Earth vessel" should depart from Romulan space immediately. Warp and Bom figured out that this had to be some forgotten outpost from the Romulan Wars. There was very little time to dwell on this as the second warhead was still on the way. Unfortunately, the helm had been knocked off line by the last attack, causing Warp to ask engineering to fire up the warp engines to do a random jump.

However, the second rocket hit before the ship could escape. Another series of explosions rocked the ship hard; this time they knocked out the long range sensors, inertial dampeners, and shields. Fuller and Hara were dispatched in the Tiber to try and shoot down any other rockets before they could injure the 'Tem more. Arkin tried to find some old Romulan codes to maybe shut down the automated system, but was not having any luck. While Micheal and Bom worked down to restore vital systems, the internal comm sprang to life...and HIRAM announced that he might be able to help solve some of the engineering woes.

As the hologram began to work on the inertial dampeners, Micheal and Bom both turned toward helm control. At the same time Hara and Fuller tried to shoot down the missile heading for the 'Tem. Their shots pot marked the outer surface of the missile, but shielding prevented any serious damage. The rockets came closer and closer to striking the 'Tem and Warp gave the order to abandon ship. He would belay that order when a second round from Hara and Fuller managed to rupture one of the fuel tanks on the missile, the resulting explosion taking out the nuclear warheads and sending the Tiber rolling end over end through the nebula! HIRAM managed to bring the internal dampeners back online and the engineers were able to give Ryan some helm control.

Warp turned his attention toward the runabout left drifting in space, and quickly ordered a tractor beam - only to be told that it had been caught directly in the blast and was inoperable. With no other choice, Ryan and Melina were asked to plot a course to approximate the runabout's spin and basically "swallow" the smaller craft. The move was successful, albeit a bit rough for Hara and Fuller. With engineering in some working order, the ship powered up and headed out of the nebula and far far away from its dangers relics of an ancient war.

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