A fiery nebula and stellar nursery

The Modern Prometheus

Two weeks after restoring the warp core and ensuring there were no traces of the virus that had crippled the Potemkin left, the ship was back on a course toward the anomaly. The fortnight has been uneventful, but then during Alpha Shift sensors detected a metal mass on a nearby planet that could be a crashed ship. Fearing something had occurred to another ship in the convoy heading toward the Stellar Fountain, Warp decided to investigate.

The planet was frigid with arctic conditions, so a bundled up away team gathered in the transporter room to assess the craft and search for any survivors. Making sure their cold-weather gear was all in order, Nguyen transported them onto a dark plain in the middle of a light snow storm.

Prax ordered the security officers to spread out while the engineers located the vessel and the rest to scan for lifesigns. Tora located the craft, buried in a snow drift a short distance away. It was about the size of a Federation shuttlecraft, and there were faint lifesigns aboard.

The crew were able to find a hatch not covered by snow, like much of the rest of the craft, but there was only a bit of power left in the shuttle and no response to banding, so Tora had to open the hatch with some strategic phaser fire.

Arnet's tricorder sprang to life, determining there was someone inside the ship. The doctor impetuously entered before anyone else and found a frail looking humanoid figure huddled underneath a ragged blanket. As the rest of the crew entered, they found that what little power was left in the shuttle was being shunted to the life-support systems to keep the shuttle warmer than outside. Tora and Micheal found the vessel to be in rough shape, not only from a crash, but the occupant had obviously beginning to cannibalize parts.

With so many people now around him the occupant stirred, but was disoriented and confused. Arnet diagnosed that hypothermia - a rough equivalent - might be setting in and decided the man needed to be taken to sickbay. However, as he was lifted out of the ship, the occupant mumbled that he could leave because he had to find "him" - there was a second person somewhere on the planet nearby.

Arnet and the survivor were whisked away to sickbay, while the rest changed from a recovering to search-and-rescue mission. The tactical officers began to fan out while Arkin and Rollands searched for, and surprisingly found, another lifesign. It was coming from several hundred yards away, near a rocky outcropping that could be a cave. Fuller headed in that direction, although because of the darkness and snow the visibility was only a few feet.

Back at the shuttle Bom made a discovery - the back sections was packed with survival gear that by now had been well-used, suggesting the survivor had not crashed there by accident. He also found a powerful energy hand weapon that appeared to be plenty lethal.

Fuller picked up the lone lifesign on his tricorder and began to follow it. After leading him some distance it suddenly changed direction as if to flank him. Then, out of nowhere, something swung out of the darkness, hitting Fuller in the face and knocking him down. What ever it is was strong, throwing him to the ground before he even had a chance to defend himself. But the attack was over in a second, and Rollands, Arkin, and Melina were there seconds later to find Fuller sprawled on the ground without a sign of the attacker.

Meanwhile the person transported to sickbay demanded to speak with the Potemkin's captain. When Warp and Jordan arrived he begged to be sent back. The person, identifying himself as "Viktar," said he need to return to the planet because "it was still out there."

Planetside, the crew rallied to where Fuller had been assaulted, except for Bom and Micheal who stayed behind to fix what they could on the shuttle. The two tinkered away, receiving an extra power cell from Nguyen. Prax and the small group with him ran into Fuller and the rest and decided to check out the cave they had detected earlier. After stumbling toward it in the snow, they came across an outcropping that would provide some protection from the elements.

Inside they found candles -still burning - blankets, books on a variety of subject, and large animal bones. Something had been living there and had killed and eaten some large prey.

In sickbay, Warp and Arnet were being told a fantastical tale by Viktar, who said that he once was a "Franken" from a planet called Stein. His father was wealthy and sent him to several university's off-planet to study. And after years of intense - too intense - research, Viktar claimed that he had discovered how to create life! Arnet scoffed at the prospect, but Viktar assured that he was not crazy and he had made the discovery. Then, in the worst mistake of his life, he had tried to actually do it.

What he created was a hideous creature he named "Daaman" after a mythological being of his world. Disgusted by what he had done, he had fled, leaving the thing to its fate. But years later it had somehow followed him back to Stein and killed his brother and his father maid before approaching Viktar, demanding that the Franken make him a mate. Viktar had refused and fled again, but the beast followed him and killed one of his friends out of spite. Then, in the ultimate evil, it followed Viktar when he married and killed his bride.

So Viktar had sworn to follow it and destroy the foul creature. He had been chasing it for sometime, always just moments behind. Often it had left taunting clues to follow, and he had chased it from system to system until arriving at this place, where he feared he would give his last breath as part of his desperate chase.

While Arnet and Warp listened intently, if a bit incredulously, to the story, the away team continued to search the cave and surrounding area for clues as to the thing's whereabouts. It was then that Aston, making sure Fuller wasn't too injured from his encounter, noticed that security officer's comm badge was missing. And upon asking for more supplies, Bom found that Nguyen was no longer answering hails.

Prax realized the being they were dealing with was obviously intelligent and may have seen him offer a comm badge earlier to Arnet to help beam the injured Viktar to the ship. It may have attacked Fuller for the express purpose of gaining one too. He ordered everyone back to the damaged shuttle, which Bom and Micheal had made temporarily space-worthy.

Warp was contacted by Lieutenant Castleman, who had stopped by to give some to Nguyen, and found the transporter chief had been attack and was out-cold on the floor. Warp ordered a yellow alert and security to come to sickbay immediately. But it was all too late, for the Daaman had indeed made it to the ship and at the moment walked into sickbay.

The creature, seeing his creator so fragile, seemed to pause. After learning from Arnet that Viktar was close to death, it teared up and said that it had no idea what to say now that the long chase was over. It had loved and hated Viktar for making it and abandoning it. But now, all was of no value. So it told Warp that should Viktar wake again, to tell the dying man that he, Daaman, would go away.

The away team arrived right at the end to discover the sorrowful creature pledge to return to the planet and live out the rest of its existence there. Warp agreed and promised to give Viktar the final message. And so the creature left for its self-imposed exile, and the strange tale of Viktar and Daaman came to an end.

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