A fiery nebula and stellar nursery

Tidings From Afar

Two weeks after the Potemkin left the Hollow, Captain Mitchell received a priority one communique from Starfleet Command. The 'Tem was to immediately head to the Neutral Zone and meet with a neutral vessel to exchange information about something large happening on the other side of Romulan and Klingon space. So far the Federation's enemies and allies had been strangely quiet about what was going on beyond their borders.

The 'Tem arrived at the Neutral Zone and slowly pulled in and transmitted a special message on all frequencies that Starfleet command had given Captain Mitchell. After only a momentary delay, the sensors came to life as a Romulan Valdore-class warbird decloaked. The 'Tem was hailed by Rokan, in his old ship the Praesidium. He explained that he was no longer an official part of the Romulan navy (which explained why he was commanding his old ship) but his status as a persona non grata in the empire meant he could gather odd bits of information from the corners of Romuland and Klingon space and pass them along to the Federation. He then gave the reason for meeting the Potemkin - there was a new threat out there.

He spoke of a race called "The Ascendant," a race from a red star sectors away from the farthest Klingon outpost. The two major powers had been skirmishing with them, but they tried to hide the outcome from the other major powers. Rokan revealed the reason why this information had been hidden; the Ascendant, while having inferior warp drives, were technologically superior in most regards. Just then Rokan got word that they had dropped out of warp a sector away. Warp, after conferring with the crew, decided to come along, but to try and establish diplomatic talks with this new race and find out exactly what they wanted.

In no time at all, they found this new potential adversary. It was a massive ship, shaped very much like a whale with two tails. Interestingly enough, there were no discernible power readings. The 'Tem tried hailing them, but were greeted by a loud squeal of what sounded like dolphin noises. The universal translator did its job and the crew were greeted by "the starcraft of the Ascendant." Warp tried to ask for an exchange of information, to which he got the the curt reply that the Ascendant were only interested in finding their "Fable Home." They also warned that if the 'Tem stood in their way, they would face the wrath of "Pok'rush" (the commander of the Ascendant vessel). Not interested in any more talk, and stating that the 'Tem was in their way and should move or die.

Suddenly, the vessel lashed out with its weapons. It hit the shields and, incredibly, started draining them! After another shot the shields were down below 50%. Fuller's station suddenly sounded alerting that there were intruders on every deck. And then, with a silver shimmer, one of the Ascendant beamed directly onto the bridge. He was roughly 1.5 meters tall with blue skin and dressed in white and gold body armor. He was carrying a sword and a meter long energy shield. Instead of directly answering any questions - he cut into Melina's console with his sword! Phaser fire bounced off his shield, and only some quick thinking by Arkin was able to disrupt it. However, another Ascendant came crashing through the doors of the Observation Lounge and began firing a purple-gray beam. Meanwhile, the first one rounded on Melina, but began to speak to her in a different tone than before.

The one from the Observation Lounge lunged at Arkin and Rollands, and Arnet fired his phaser to help the two science officer. The Ascendant's armor simply absorbed the blast, and he turned on Arnet and shot the phaser out of his hand. The hand weapon seemed to possess the same energy draining properties as their ship's counterparts, as Arnet's phaser (and hand!) were drained of energy. Arkin tried to attack the Ascendant near her while Fuller made a crude sword to fight hand to hand. He never go the chance to use it, as Warp fired his phaser and hit the Ascendant right between its chest plate. Meanwhile, the other Ascendant was still trying to communicate with Melina. He scratched a variety of symbols into Melina's shattered console. One was the symbol of the Argosian afterlife - which the Ascendant announced was "Fablehome."

Seeing that the crew was fighting back, the Ascendant next to Melina hit a jewel on his sword that transported him away. Reports came in from all over the ship that the invaders were beaming away. The Ascendant vessel, still being harassed by Rokan and his ship, suddenly went to warp, going out of view. The stunned warrior suddenly stirred, and the crew turned their attention to getting some answers. He was hostile, claiming that the Romulans, Klingons, and Federation had "defiled the path" to Fablehome and did not deserve to live. Before they could get anymore answers, the warrior produced his energy draining phaser and turned it on himself. There was nothing that could be done, he was dead. And all the crew knew - there was a new hostile species cutting a swath through the Beta Quadrant.

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