A fiery nebula and stellar nursery

'Round Perdition's Flame, Part I

After Doctor Arnet was assaulted and stabbed on Starbase 27, Captain Mitchell immediately had the attacker transferred to the Potemkin's brig and set course to a small planet to Acoria. As the sim began he called the crew to the observation lounge to explain his orders.

First, Doctor MacCoroy revealed that not only was the wound nearly fatal to Doctor Arnet, it turned out that it was dipped in some sort of poison that was slowly killing him. There was no antidote that they knew of, and that if nothing was done, Arnet would be dead in seventy-two hours. At this point Warp revealed that the man was an Acorian, a species that the 'Tem had encountered five years ago. They were a race scared of death and had developed a system to expand their natural 40 year life spans -- by harvesting cells and tissues of other species and injecting them into their bodies. They had tried to do this to the 'Tem, but failed and Arnet had destroyed their equipment and Kanton, their prime minister and chief scientist. Thus, all those who had depended on those machines to survive for the past couple of centuries would now die. Added complications was that the whole race had been proved to be sterile. In short, Arnet was responsible for the destruction of the Acorian race.

Arriving at Acoria, they hailed the prime minster. He, a man named Foran, gruffly greeted the ship, but said that he would not help or hinder the investigation. As consequence, Captain Mitchell assigned Ryan, Fuller, and Uatu to investigate the Acorian in the brig while he and the rest beamed down to the surface to gather more clues there.

The interrogation was going slowly. The older Acorian was not very responsive to Uatu's pheromones, but it became apparent that he was some sort of religious zealot. He spoke many times about the "end" and "the boiling sea" that was to come. There was something oddly similar to his rantings, leading Uatu to search in the database. He found the text came from the apocalyptic literature of Coret Prime. That just raised the question: How did a cult on Acoria start up with such outside literature?

Down on the surface the away team led by Captain Mitchell found an utterly devastated planet. Most of the population was dead or dying. The main city was nearly deserted, except for a few cultist in black robes who mournfully marched by. Arkin, remember from her past visit, led them toward the main medical center. Once there they were greeted by a doctor named Ganth. Upon inquiry, he revealed that the poison was Acorian and had been developed there as a means of assisted suicide. However, he also revealed the worst news possible - there was no cure!

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