A fiery nebula and stellar nursery

Truth and Consequences, Part II

One hour after the disastrous encounter with the native Rogasans, the crew assembled in the Observation Lounge to go over what away team had discovered. Bom gave a summary of what had occurred, noting that the Rogasans had the ability to see in the infrared, making any further outings to the planet for any reason infeasible. However, based on the few medical scans conducted, the Rogasans showed traces of primordial gills in their physiology. This fit in with Arkin and Melina's theory that the Ascendant were seeking aquatic and amphibian species similar to themselves. Arkin had plotted a possible course toward each of these places. She had also cross referenced any reference to something akin to "the Fablehome" and found that four of the cultures contained some elements of that folklore.

Talk then turned to what to do with the pressing Ascendant threat. Most suggestions violated the Prime Directive and were dismissed off hand. Melina suggested trying to talk to the Ascendant and offering to lead them to their Fablehome, but was dissuaded by the fact that the Ascendant were dead set on their course. Doctor MacCoroy was contacted in sickbay to find out if the new adversary also possessed the ability to see in the infrared; however, he revealed quite the opposite - they couldn't see much of the red spectrum at all.

This sparked a flurry of ideas. Warp recalled that as a young officer the ship he was on tracked what they thought was a planet - and turned out to be just a sensor ghost. He suggested jury rigging a similar trick; Bom put in that it was also possible to fill the entire system with sensor ghosts to confuse the Ascendant sensors. To keep them from finding the needle in the haystack, Arkin interjected and said that it might be possible to modify the light spectrum coming from the sun and take the real Rogasa IV out of the Ascendant's ability to see. A series of torpedoes carrying several minerals could be launched into the sun and detonated at the right moment. Warp ordered Bom, Rollands, and Savage to take a runabout to find an asteroid that could be pulverized to help create sensor ghosts. Arkin and Fuller were to modify the torpedoes with metals (for the spectrum shift) while Melina and Hara were to consider other options.

The three groups went on to their respective tasks. Melina confided in Hara that she was uncomfortable with the 'Tem's approach to the Ascendant and that she wanted desperately to contact them. Arkin and Fuller worked hard to modify a torpedo, realizing that they needed a much larger work force to get the requisite 39 torpedoes up and working. Bom, Rollands, and Savage found a large asteroid that fitted their needs precisely and towed it to the 'Tem. All the pieces of the puzzles were in place...

Two hours later, all the modifications had been made. The torpedoes were loaded and ready to launch while the asteroid was put into position in a high orbit around Rogasa IV. The 'Tem remained stationed near the Rogasan sun, waiting for the right moment. Melina's sensors showed that the Ascendant vessel was just passing into the limits of long range sensors, so Warp ordered the torpedoes launched. He then ordered the ship back toward Rogasa IV, while the torpedoes detonated in the photosphere of the sun. There was a bright blue flash and then a trail of darkness - it had worked. Warp ordered a count down to how long the deception would last, and the count for 7 hours began ticking away...

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