A fiery nebula and stellar nursery

The Dig

A few days after retaking the ship from the Miino, the Potemkin received a transponder signal from the USS Goodall, a long-range archeological research vessel and the only other Federation starship out that deep in the Beta Quadrant. The 'Tem contacted the Goodall to arrange a meeting spot at a planet 2 light years away in order to return Doctor Cassar's team and the Ishikari. The Goodall also noted that they had readings from that planet which matched the ones from Erum.

The Potemkin came into orbit and picked up the Miranda-class vessel waiting for them - along with the readings that matched Erum. However, Rollands couldn't pick up an obelisk anywhere on the planet.

The Goodall hailed, and Captain Katenga, looking a bit out of sorts, greeted the crew. After arranging the transfer of Cassar of the Ishikari, Katenga asked for the crew's help. It seems he had lost two away teams on the surface - going native - and he believed it was due to the energy readings. He asked for the Potemkin's assistance to meet a security force he was sending down.

Prax assembled an away team consisting of Rollands, Melina, Fuller, and Aston. However, Warp worried that too much exposure could have the same effect on the Potemkin's away team, so ordered Bom to assemble a second one to replace Prax's after 15 minutes or so. Bom called on Tora, and then Jordan and Arnet - who had been deep in conversation about Andrea's condition - to join him in the transporter room.

The away team led by Prax materialized on the surface next to an archaeological dig in lush countryside. A security team from the Goodall arrived a moment later. Prax ordered the away team to begin the search, and Rollands and Melina found their tricorders are dominated by the energy signature. The security team spread out and started moving toward a group of trees.

Out of nowhere a tall figure, dressed in black armor, appeared before the security team. A yellow beam shot from one of his eyes, scanning the team. "You have been catalogued," it said. Then, in the blink, a blue beam shot out from the other eye and disintegrated the security forces!

Nguyen was ordered to beam Prax's team up, but his transporter lock was disrupted. Fuller fired on the figure, but the phaser blast was absorbed by the figure's armor. The figure made the announcement "New energy signs detected. Life signs worthy of cataloguing. Preservation underway." All phaser fire was absorbed by the figure's armor and it made the small comment "Cataloguing resisted."

Bom and the rest couldn't get the transporters to beam them down to the planet, so they transported to the shuttle bay and headed straight for the Tiber. Prax and his team were evading the figure when Aston knocked over the remains of columns. But behind the column they could see green-tinted triangles covered with gold decorations - an obelisk, like on Erum, and been buried!

The floor below the away team suddenly gave way, and they tumbled 10 feet to where the base of the obelisk was. But looking up they discovered it wasn't the floor cracking so much as a door opening. They had tumbled into the obelisk itself. Strangely enough, Rolland's tricorder began picking up two life signs, 30 meters on the other side of a wall. That number continued to grow until a few minutes later she was picking up 18 life signs.

Meanwhile the Tiber descended toward the planet, picking up the away team's tumbled into the ground and headed that way. Upon landing they armed themselves and headed out to find their comrades.

Down in the obelisk, Prax decided to investigate and ordered the team to set phasers to level 2 and blast through the wall. It disintegrated under the brunt of phaser fire and Prax and the rest found themselves in central computer room, bathed in subtle green hue, and there were 18 humanoids in the glass cases around the worlds - the Goodall's crew! It was only their clothes that had been vaporized while they had been transported here.

The away team moved around the glass tubes, ensuring the team's well-being, and asking the purpose of this room. "Preservation," said a voice behind them. The figure had returned, standing in the middle of the room and monitoring their presence. When questioned about why it was doing this, it answered that "the centrifugal world," a "place of preservation," was coming back. Preservation was needed, because anything not preserved would be destroyed, it said.

Warp, Bom, Tora, and Arnet reached the hole where Prax and the rest fell down and, much to the doctor's dismay, followed after the other away team. Warp contacted Prax to let him know they were closing in on his position. The figure heard the communications and declared that "Nothing can stop Preservation.'

When the two teams met up, the figure tried to scan Tora - who hit the figure with the butte of his rifle while Warp fired his phaser. Once again announcing that Preservation was being resisted, the figure sent an electric bolt toward Warp's feet.

Knowing it was useless to shoot the figure directly, Bom aimed at the ceiling and brought down rocks on the it. The figure was buried in a small cave in, and the team rushed to save the Goodall crew before a cave in buried them all. A transported trip later, they were all on the Tiber and Warp rushed to get the shuttle off the planet.

And while the various away teams left the surface, down in the earth a voice was calling out "New bio-organism catalogued. New bio-organism catalogued. New bio-organism catalogued..."

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