A fiery nebula and stellar nursery

Oh Captain, My Captain Part I

A week after leaving the Yahta System, the Potemkin is still looking for the whereabouts of The Ascendent and their Planet Killer. Warp, who has been allowed to resume some of his duties aboard ship, has ordered Prax to run various drills across the ship to prepare for the next encounter. Meanwhile, the JAG office had offered him a deal to drop the most serious charges against himself, Arkin, and Arnet. Unfortunately, it would mean reassignment and far-flung postings for most of the command staff. Warp decided to keep this deal to himself while mulled it over, but the crew knows something is obviously distracting him.

Prax, Melina, Little, Jordan, and Fuller were running tactical drills with simulated attacks by the Planet Killer. They had been at it for hours with little to no success. Rollands and Arkin were in one of the science offices, trying to find the Planet Killer's Achille's heel, but were equally unsuccessful. Bom and Micheal down in Engineering were discussions defenses against The Ascendent's energy draining weaponry - with similar results as the rest.

During all this Warp had been isolated in his office, thinking about the deal over and over again. Then he thought a voice in his office was calling out the name "Felix." In an instant the office seemed to change around him and he was in a plush office with a man closely resembling Arnet sitting behind a large desk. Then Warp became the man addressed as "Felix," but went by the screen name of Rick Brandley. They year was circa 1950 and the man, Walt Arnold, a wheelchair-bound newspaper editor, was talking about troubles Brandley, an established Hollywood icon, was having with the House Un-American Activities Committee. The question of the day was would he name names when he had to appear before them? The interview was interrupted by Arnold's secretary, Cori (a human version of Aren Remal), and Brandley used the opportunity to slip out of the office.

As Brandley left the office, Warp entered onto the bridge. Things still were not going well. The simulated ship had been destroyed for the sixteenth time, and working on the seventeenth. The crew was putting forth suggestions about how to best defeat the Planet Killer, but nothing that seemed viable or practical. Arkin and Rollands, in conference with Bom and Micheal, had brainstormed somehow shooting positively charged protons into the Planet Killer to react with the anti-protons already inside, but making this into a feasible plan was complicated. For just a moment, Warp swore a console looked like an old newspaper talking about HUAC investigations, but moved on.

Warp headed to the turbolift, but was joined by Jordan, who was concerned over his recent behavior. However, in the middle of insisting that Warp talk about what's upsetting him, Jordan suddenly pronounced that she couldn't hire "him." The universe twisted again and Brandley was talking to studio producer Melissa Metcalf. They were having a discussion about someone Brandley wanted to hire for his next project, but Metcalf said the studio was not going to risk hiring someone on HUAC's radar. Disappointed, but seeing that Metcalf's hands were tied by a self-preserving studio, Brandley walked away...

...and Warp exited the turbolift with Jordan, heading to main Engineering. There was a brief discussion about Bom's lack of progress with The Ascendent technology, while Jordan messed with a console to give Warp a chance to talk shop and get whatever was wrong off his mind. However, the scene shifted again and Brandley and Metcalf were now standing in the dingy office of freelance script writer Rex Chandler (a human Bom) and his assistant, Jeffries (Micheal). Metcalf let Chandler know they couldn't hire him because he was as an admitted communists, and the studio would surely be closed by HUAC and McCarthy if they hired an unrepentant communist. Jeffries asked his boss to downplay his outspoken image, butChandler pointed out that there was nothing illegal about his political views. Chandler implored Brandley to not cooperate with HUAC, but the latter mildly said he didn't think there was a choice. It was either name names or be listed as a red sympathizer. A knock on the door introduced a man named Toyo (Nguyen) who brought news that another of Chandler's scripts had been declined, the studio saying "they couldn't afford it." Seeing the excuse for what it was, Chandler asked Metcalf if this is how it was going to be for the next little while.

And then Bom said its been days since he had seen Jordan. Warp. conscious that he had zoned out most of what his CEO had been saying, apologized and excused himself quickly. Bom and Jordan talked about the captain's behavior and what could be on his mind, but neither had any answers. Meanwhile, Arkin and Rollands were heading to the holodeck to test out their delivery system for the position proton idea. They had conceived a delivery device and wanted to see whether it could be done via the deflector dish.

Warp, in the turbolift, wondered out loud if he knew what to do. The crew would definitely fight, that much was for sure, but should he let them and possibly watch while they were transferred or drummed out of the service? He stepped out into the corridor leading toward his quarters, but was met halfway by Yeoman Phozic, holding numerous PADDs. As the yeoman handed Warp a PADD, Brandley found pen and paper thrust into his hands by a Mr. Foster (a human version of Phozic), a courier delivering an important document. Brandley reluctantly signed that he had received the document in question, and, with trepidation, opened a subpoena to appear before a session of HUAC.

Time was running out.

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