A fiery nebula and stellar nursery

Incarnadine Sunrise

Following its narrow escape of destruction at the hands of main computer malfunction, the Potemkin was left dead in the water. The warp core had been ejected and even after it's installed there were restoration and diagnostics left to be done. The computer for the moment remained in the failsafe recovery mode.

Most of the senior staff was in engineering for those repairs, while Fuller, Melina, Lycan and Ryan were in shuttles tractoring the warp core back to the ship. Arnet was minding the store on the bridge in the meantime.

Bom split his tasks up into priorities: sensors, propulsion, shields and weapons. Prax, Warp and Arkin each were in charge of teams to reinitialize systems and prepare for the warp core's reintegration. Fuller and Melina pulled the warp core into position, waiting for the signal to guide it back inside the ship.

As the engineering work continued (much to the pleasure of Warp and Prax, who Bom noted, were as giddy as kids in a candy story), the shuttles picked up a metallic object, three meters across, about 50,000 kilometers away from the ship. Before they could fully scan it, it disappeared.

Fuller and Lycan broke off to investigate the object, which reappeared at 30,000 kilometers before once again disappearing. It appeared again at 15,000 kilometers and seemed to be heading for the exposed underside of the ship where the warp core was positions to be reinstalled. Fuller gave orders to fire a warning shot as it moved closer, as energy readings from it spiked.

A strong communication signal, aimed at the ship, surged from the object, striking and shutting down both Melina's and Ryan's ships. Without their tractor beams, the warp core started to move dangerously close to the hull and Fuller moved in to try and nab it again. Warp ordered Arnet to raise shields, but that object, now just a few hundred kilometers off the hull and glowing white, seemed liable to explode.

The warp core was inside the shields and being lowered into its housing, but the object seemed close enough and to have enough power to render the shields ineffective. It was somehow evading pot shots from the shuttlecraft, and was now within a few kilometers of the shields - at a distance that would destroy the shuttles, the warp core, and the entire ship. Luckily Lycan managed a shot, destroying the object.

The explosion hit the shields and was deflected, but the impact caused the ship to rock and the half-inserted warp core to shake violently, almost hitting the sides of the alcove. Miraculously Warp and Micheal were able to save the core without dying themselves in the long, narrow alcove.

It was harrowing, but the moment passed - until, that is, sensors on the non-disabled shuttles and the Potemkin picked up a new signal. Metallic object, 50,000 kilometers out, and closing fast.

The warp core still needed another meter or two before it could be locked into place, but the object was hurtling toward the Potemkin, not bothering to camouflage itself this time. And then another object appeared on sensors. And another.

There were two bits of luck as the disabled shuttles managed to power back on and the warp core was fastened into place. But that luck didn't last - all three object transmitted the same high-powered communication beam and shut down power on all the shuttles which had formed a defensive line.

Everyone in engineering scrambled to reinitialize the warp core and allow the Potemkin to move and fight for itself. The objects easily moved passed the disabled shuttles and began to glow white - the ramp up to an explosion. They were now only a few thousand kilometers from the shields. The shuttles managed to power back up, but there were no guarantees they could reach and destroy the objects in time.

A glancing shot by Fuller caused one of the objects to power down and drift of course, but the other two were 30 seconds from impacted the shields - with the warp core still having 30 minutes to get fully back online. Melina and Fuller concentrated on another and, with a combined barrage, destroyed it. Some rerouted energy made it possible for Tora to release a single photon torpedo, which destroyed the last object.

Everything seemed clear, so Warp asked Arkin to study the drifting object that Fuller had disabled. She found it to be comprised of a large explosive warhead and a sophisticated comm system and computer. The computer pattern even appeared familiar - much like the 'Tem's computer when it had been malfunctioning that morning.

Warp began putting the pieces together and realized one of these objects must have been the ship they Potemkin had detected cloaking and de-cloaking earlier that morning before the trouble started. These objects were some sort of booby trap, and download a virus into passing ships, disabling them, and eventually destroying them.

Of course, the question now for Warp is why someone would design such a trap in this remote area of space. Arnet ventured that it could have something to do with the anomaly - or even that the Potemkin itself had been targeted - something Warp agreed was an all too real possibility.

Related Entries

Somnabulence, Part I 2008 Season
Somnabulence, Part II 2008 Season
Article viewed 350 times.