A fiery nebula and stellar nursery

Captains Courageous

Three days after leaving Deep Space Nine, the Potemkin was heading toward the Beta Quadrant and the mysterious anomaly detected on its far edges. It's been peaceful since the 'Tem's return and the sim opened with Beta Shift coming on duty. Alpha shift was turning over duties to their relief officers on the bridge, in sickbay, and down in engineering. Everything was going smoothly until Melina's reported picking up a ship in their path, roughly 3/4 AU to port.

Scans confirmed it was roughly the size of a runabout and of Federation origin. Prax ordered an intercept course, but asked for follow-up sensor readings to make sure it didn't present any danger. Suddenly, the deck began to vibrate and before it ended a man appeared on the bridge - dressed like an old Earth pirate captain.

Prax asked for his identity and how he managed to get on board, but the pirate captain merely observed what a fine looking vessel the Potemkin was. Finally he introduced himself as Fleet Captain John "The Fearsome" Harker and was a bit disappointed that no one appeared to recognize his name. He then asked if no one had heard of him "The Lothorio of Sin? The man who fought of a Borg cube with a cannon?"

This raised some Prax's eyebrow and he remember that, during his time with the Borg, news had gone through the Collective of someone attacking a cube with a crude cannon. The Borg, confused at the act, had tried to learn and assimilate the cannon ball instead of raising shields. After taking three blasts, the cube left the scene, afraid someone had discovered a weakness. Harker was pleased his exploits were known and proudly declared the episode gave him the nickname "Cannon Blaster."

Harker then explained he had a device, which he dubbed a "vibration-variator," which allowed him to phase through solid objects, including shields. When pressed about why exactly he had come aboard, Harker admitted that he had stolen something from the Thal people - namely, their crown princess - and he was asking for asylum on the 'Tem. He hastily explained he married the princess (his brother Bob performing the ceremony) and wanted help since technically both he and his new bride were Federation citizens. Prax had Rollands beam over the now Mrs. Harker to discuss whether the marriage was conceptual. A purple-skinned woman in Victorian-era dress appeared on the bridge and Harker introduced everyone to his lovely bride - Blurgh.

Blurgh confirmed that she was in love with "Fearsome," just before a large, bulky ship appeared on the scene and began firing on the 'Tem. Prax asked Harker what they needed to know about the situation to negotiate, but Harker slipped up and said what he had previously stated was enough for "the last captain." At this "Blurgh" turned to the "Fearsome" and berated him for not being able to stay on script. Harker called off the attack with a comm unit, telling "Bob" he had messed up again.

The crew realized the whole scenario was some sort of con and Arnet snatched away Harker's vibration-variator. Blurgh pulled out a small hand phaser and demanded it back. Ensign Aston tried to bluff that his tricorder was a weapon, which led to a small Mexcian standoff on the bridge. Calling Aston's bluff, Blurgh fired a small dart into the ensign's arm. A moment afterward Harker disappeared off the bridge, leaving Blurgh at the mercy of the crew.

Lucky for Aston the dart itself was a bluff and was nothing more than a plain a dart. Harker didn't get far; a moment later he walked off the turbo lift, with Harker in mid-sentence describing to Bob how he used a short range transporter to get off the bridge. Prax took command of the situation, keeping phasers on their "guests" and ordering Melina to have "Bob" drop shields or risk being fired upon. Harker and Blurgh were transported back to their ship after swearing they would never both a Federation vessel again. But, just for good measure, Prax took Bom's suggestion to disable their engines and have a crew from DS9 come and help clean up the mess.

The ship returned to it's previous course when Uatu contacted Bom - it seems Harker had visited engineering and plundered half a dilithium crystal and console! With a sigh Bom headed back down to engineering while Prax and Arnet agreed to catch a drink in the October Lounge.

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