A fiery nebula and stellar nursery

Stranded, Part II

The Potemkin remained in orbit around the planet Xenia. It's diplomatic mission has now turned into a rescue mission to find the lost away team. Captain Warp, who was already on the planet starting the negotiations, has been detained due to the fact that no away team has been beamed down and the shuttle looking for the away team came to close to the planet. Jordan and Fuller were still trapped in a desert landscape with an ant creature, while Arkin and Melina were slowly freezing to death.

Bom, Arnet, Hara, and Ryan had to pull up in the runabout to avoid being shot down by Xenia patrols. They rethought their plan and decided to head to search the two Xenian moons, as the planet showed no life signs aside from Warp and the Xenian. Uatu, Cortan, and Micheal were able to get the communications up on the 'Tem and contact the Huang Ho for a status report. They didn't have much to report aside from communications being restored. Meanwhile, Arkin was leading Melina away from the constant howling of beasts and doing her best to keep each of them from thinking of their frozen fate. Jordan and Fuller deftly escaped from the giant ant and made their way toward the mountains. However, in the distance they caught sight of something moving underneath the sand dunes...

The Huang Ho flew toward the first moon, a clear M-calls desert. Hara and Ryan trying hailing the missing away team, and finally Jordan and Fuller answered. They reported that they had not seen Melina nor Arkin, and were ready to be rescued. The runabout flew in to get to transporter range, while the mysterious figure running through the dunes loomed even closer. It was soon evident that it was four of the giant ant creatures, moving quickly for the meal. Even worse, there was a suddenly shifting of sand and a thud behind the pair - a truly massive ant, possibly a queen, roared in anticipation of their meal. Right before the insectoids could devour their meal, the runabout reach ed transporter range and initiated beam out. The transporter sputtered a few times, but finally the two officers were safely beamed aboard.

At the same time, Arkin and Melina were slowly trudging out of the ice caves were they had been trapped. The howls of creatures of behind them slowly faded into the distance, but that guaranteed nothing for their long term safety. Finally both collapsed to the ground, nearly unable to continue. They shared stories of each other's home world to distract from the rapidly onsetting hypothermia. Finally Arkin removed Melina's helmet and started to half drag the Argosian toward the mouth of the cave. They emerged to a snow covered valley where the sun warmed them both, just a bit.

The Huang Ho had turned its attention to the icy moon before them, but still did not find any signs of their missing crew. Jordan and Full er slowly recovered from their experience and joined in the hunt for Arkin and Melina. With no hails being answered from the ice moon, the runabout began to head toward the third moon - a lush green planetoid. However, on the Potemkin Micheal and Uatu were able to bring the sensors back online and finally pin pointed the weak combadge signatures - on the ice moon the runabout just passed.

The Huang Ho made an instant turnabout, but it was far from the moon in question. The 'Tem also jumped to impulse to get there quickly. It was a good thing too. The "teddy bears" had returned and, in a flash, knocked Arkin several feet in the air, and Melina into a lake. Melina began to shut down form the sheer cold, and Arkin also was in an out of consciousness while the beast formed around them to feast. The runabout finally made it, nearly burning out its engines, but Bom's attempt at transporting failed. The atmosphere would not allow for a transport beam!

On the Potemkin Uatu had identified the problem as a faulty phase discriminator and he and Nguyen raced to fix the system and rescue their nearly frozen comrades. Bom took the runabout into the atmosphere to dive down and rescue Arkin and Melina. The creatures were closing in on the frozen Arkin, while Melina was only saved by virtue of a small hot spring that heated the water somewhat around her. With bare seconds left for them to live, Nguyen was able to finish the transporter cycle and bring the two safely aboard.

The Huang Ho landed in the hangar and Cortan and Arnet both rushed to Arkin and Melina's side to give pressing medical care...

Later, Warp was able to resolve his situation peacefully and was able to beam back aboard. There Micheal was finally able to explain what had occurred - a plasma storm had spread ionization throughout the atmosphere that wasn't detected and this shunted the transporter beam to the two nearest sources, or the moons. It was freak accident, but everyone had survived.

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