A fiery nebula and stellar nursery

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A week after the Potemkin encountered the long lost Saravejo, the ship was still traveling at low warp with course toward the Idran Terminus. They had the battered Istanbul-class vessel in tow as they made their way back to the wormhole. On the outskirts of a small Mutara-class nebula, where the ship had stopped to recalibrate the tractor beam, sensors had picked up a small metallic object on the cusp of their range. The 'Tem turned to span the short distance to the readings.

As the ship drew ever closer, crossing half an AU of space, readings began to come in. Apparently the object was made principally of aluminum and steel and a cone approximately four meters long and six meters wide. It seemed densely packed with computer equipment and trace biological readings. Rolland's readings confirmed it to be nearly 200 years old. Bom was asked to rig up a way to interface it's systems with the 'Tem's in an attempt to find out more about it. Melina was ordered to tractor the object aboard and Bom was to take the computer in Cargo Bay 1 off the network to study the object, just in case of any potential viruses. Arnet and Ensign Aston were sent to evaluate any biological hazard the object might pose, while Rollands also came along to evaluate the scientific angle.

Once in the cargo bay, the team found the conical object to look worn and covered in frost. There were no windows to speak of, but a door had been riveted on the right-hand side. There was a broken antenna on top that seemed to be transmitting a faint radio signal. The signal turned out to be in a guttural language that the universal translator could not translate. While marveling over this, suddenly all tricorders in the room reset mid-scan. They booted up again, but when they were used again, a warning came on, saying that the memory banks were full. Bom contacted the bridge at this point, and Warp and Prax agreed to come down to observe the craft before opening it. At this point the tricorders acted up again - Arnet's displaying the schematics of the ship in the odd language from before, Rollands's showed detailed scans of the interior, while Aston's showed a picture of a humanoid that seemed a cross between a human and a canine. They didn't have long to ponder this mystery; all the tricorders shut down again.

By this time the rest of the bridge crew arrived. Arkin's tricorder also came under effect of the craft, hers began displaying crude images of the object being launched. With all the system malfunctions, it was decided that the best course of action was to just open the vessel and get a look at the insides. Bom set to work opening the one door, while Arkin's and Arnet's tricorder began displaying more information in the odd language from before. Finally, the door swung open revealing a few fascinating facts. There were a number of bones scattered around, but not an intact body. Furthermore, there seemed to be an old punch card computer located on the console, prompting Bom to ask how could such an antiquated machine possibly broadcast to tricorders. Arkin, meanwhile, found a blinking node attached to one side of the hull. The tricorders began to reset again, some returning to normal while others were displaying more data.

Bom then noticed that the punch card computer was not actually working. At the same time Arnet and Aston established that the bones showed a 70% DNA match to Terran lifeforms; the "dog person" had developed on a world very similar to Earth. The node that Arkin had discovered blinked again - and the punch card system began working again. Study of the node itself showed that it was only seventy years old and made of a duranium. This caused some initial confusion, as the bones and the craft were still registering as two centuries old. However, Rollands was finally able to get the signal translated. Briefly, an alien voice said that they had taken the body for preservation, but set adrift the ship for others to find and learn about.

Realizing the purpose of the craft and the node, Warp decided to send the craft back to open arms of space. Bom was ordered to encode a star fix on an isolinear data rod and reseal the craft - thus preserving history for others to find. With the pod being made space worthy and the 'Tem adding its own data while taking samples for its records, it was transported back to its original trajectory. Prax said a couple of words about the event and then the crew went back to its standard duty.

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