A fiery nebula and stellar nursery

Truth And Consequences, Part III

With less than seven hours before the makeshift darkening of the Rogasa sun is over, the Potemkin sat and broadcast sensor ghosts with the deflector dish. However, it was still a gamble if all their preparations would pay off in the end. With the Ascendant only a few minutes away, Warp ordered the ship into full power saving mode, cutting all emission and exterior lighting. Arkin was able to confirm that the Ascendant were conducting heavy scans in the area, in the neighborhood of Rogasa V and IV. Suddenly, the Ascendant went into the orbit of Rogasa IV and Warp, alarmed, ordered a course set and a full power up on his mark.

It turned out to be unnecessary, as the dangerous amphibious species suddenly broke orbit for Rogasa II. Warp used this moment to power up and confront the Ascendant. They hailed the 'Tem, saying that the ship had hid the path to their Fablehome. Warp tried to negotiate, find a better way for both sides to agree peacefully, but the commander, Pok'rush, swore that they would face his wrath. They charged weapons and Warp ordered the 'Tem to get out of the system. The Ascendant got off a shot, hitting the aft shields and beginning to drain power. Warp ordered helm to swing around and fire at the enemy, but they were able to hit a septet of torpedoes with their weapons and make them explode harmlessly. On advise from Tran, Warp had a course set for the nearby asteroid belt.

Seeing very few options, Warp authorized the used of a Tricobalt device, which seemed to at least slow the Ascendant down before they fired their energy draining beam again. Aft shields failed as the 'Tem cruised into the asteroid field and Fuller was told to implement his idea of using the tractor beam to hurl asteroids at their pursuers. Unfortunately, the Ascendant used this to their advantages and caused the asteroid to explode - and peppered the 'Tem's unprotected aft with shrapnel. Even worse, there energy drain suddenly zapped main power, leaving everyone scurrying with limited energy. Suddenly though - it all just stopped.

The Ascendant vessel ceased firing and hung there in space, not moving at all. Fuller called for the replication of mess of swords, just in case of another boarding attempt, while the rest of the crew scrambled to used this break to restore what power they could. The Ascendant then showed their hand, starting to blast away several asteroids into a shower of pebbles before turning and leaving the asteroid belt - effectively trapping the 'Tem in a ring of rocks with no shields to protect them. A spread of photon torpedoes managed to blast a hole in the field, but it quickly closed again. Warp then ordered another spread, quantum torpedoes this time, and ordered the 'Tem to plow through any hole that appeared.

The 'Tem shot forward toward the hole at full speed, but it was not fast enough and the hole closed in on itself. Warp ordered a full stop; unfortunately, it was not quick enough and the ship plowed right into a hail of asteroids. Reports of hull breaches came pouring in, and casualties were reported on several decks. The Potemkin was free, but badly damaged. Once in the clear, sensors showed an ion trail leading out of the system - the Ascendant had moved on. With over 60 casualties reported and two fatalities, not to mention the current status of the ship, things looked grim. Just as the crew realized their predicament the Rogasan sun suddenly lit up back to its original glory. The 'Tem had saved the Rogasnas, but at a terrible cost.

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