A fiery nebula and stellar nursery

Nguyenfinger or All That Glitters is Not Gold-Pressed Latinum

The Potemkin, with the Sarajevo in tow, was still making its way toward the wormhole and anxiously awaiting the ability to return to the Alpha Quadrant. The crew was on edge after a month trapped in the Gamma Quadrant and chatting about how many times they had been presumed dead by Starfleet. Just when it seemed all odd adventures were over, Rolland's announced that her sensors showed a vessel about the same mass as a Borg cube on an intercept course. Warp ordered a yellow alert - and then the ship arrived. It was not the Borg, but was still a massive vessel that dwarfed the 'Tem.

The ship did not arm weapons or raise shields, and it didn't even response to hails. Finally, however, it scanned the Potemkin with a strange sensor beamed that almost seemed like a transporter. As the beam ran over the ship, the 'Tem rocked hard. As abruptly as the vessel had arrived, it turned and sped away at warp. The incident was strange, but with the alien vessel gone all seemed normal. Prax began scanning the ship for any damage while Warp ordered a course back toward the wormhole. At the last moment, however, Prax called for him to stop and revealed that the ship's warp coils were gone - and that they had been replaced with gold!

At the same time, Bom contacted the bridge to reveal that a similar thing had happened in Transporter Room 1 - except much worse. Warp and Arnet made their way to deck two, where they found the surprising sight of Bom standing over what appeared to be a solid gold statue of Nguyen! Scans showed that it wasn't pure gold - it was gold pressed latinum with traces of Nguyen's DNA pressed into the gold. Warp immediately ordered that the 'Tem chase after the mystery vessel, but it was impractical since warp drive was impossible. He thought of using the Sarajevo, but the crew still hadn't gotten the warp drive up and running over there yet. Finally, Warp called an away team to the Tiber to give chase.

Warp, Arnet, and Nguyen (such as he was) beamed to the runabout, while the rest of the away team made their way their from the bridge. Melina and Rollands took over flight control as the Tiber gracefully slid out of the hangar bay under the watchful eye of T'Par. As the little runabout sailed along, a general hail was received. Surprisingly enough it was an advertisement for a nearby trading station that advertised a wide array of Alpha Quadrant goods. As the runabout approached the station, Bom contacted Warp to inform him that their was traces of transporters working in the warp coils and the transporter room. Oddly enough, the trace in the transporter room seemed more like the 'Tem's own systems than anything else...

The Tiber approached the space station, and found it teeming with vessels from the Alpha Quadrant. Orbiting around it was a small squadron of Caitian fighters. The runabout docked and the away team, with the golden Nguyen in tow, entered the packed space station. They were approached by a group of six Caitians who seemed very interested in Melina - and Nguyen. The leader of the group asked if they were going to see "Elric Latiner" about trading the gold statue and indicated that she even knew Nguyen - biblically. The cat people led the group to Latiner's antechamber, a place completely covered in gold pressed latinum.

Latiner, a fat Tellarite, soon entered the room and asked if the group was there to trade. He indicated that he dealt only in gold pressed latinum and was very interested in the statue of Nguyen, even though he denied ever having met the man. When Warp refused to play ball, Latiner suddenly mentioned that he had warp coils for trade. When the crew still refused to cooperate, the Tellarite suddenly ordered his Caitian force, led by the formidable Flying Fug, to seize them. Yet the cats had no sooner grabbed the away team then they turned on Latiner! They claimed that Latiner had failed to pay them their do fish. The Tellarite then called for his bodyguard, a large Pahkled called Ogjub, but the Fug turned on him as well and yelled at the away team to save Nguyen.

The crew broke into the next room over, only to find the transporter chief strapped to a table and about to be cut in two by a laser. Warp managed to disable the laser by smashing it with the golden Nguyen statue, but the real Nguyen suddenly called out that they had to stop the transporter in the corner; it was set to transport a silithium bomb into the wormhole and destroy it. Prax managed to make it and defuse the bomb just in time - just in time for Ogjub the Pahkled to suddenly burst into the room! With lightning like reflexes, Nguyen sprang up and electrocuted him with a handy little device he had on him.

As the Caitians brought in an infuriated Latiner, Nguyen began to explain. The Tellarites plan was to stockpile Alpha Quadrant goods, then destroy the wormhole. This would drive up the price of his stock among those stranded in the Gamma Quadrant. Upon further inquiry, he revealed that he was actually an operative of Section 31 - Starfleet covert ops. When the 'Tem had been stranded, his contacts had informed him to go after Latiner and his operation. The gold statue was his own doing, something he had on board for some time just so he could fake being abducted. With everything now out in the open, the Caitians offered to replace the warp coils, with their fee eventually being negotiated as the golden Nguyen - so they could buy many many fish.

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