|Season 3, Episode 5|
The Next mission begins, as do where many of them do, on the bridge and at the command of FltCapt Renos. The USS Darwin is to set course towards the Raikenoff’s folly, a nebula in the Delta Quadrant and engage at cruising speed. Lt Merrick R’Ven is asked to give the bridge crew a highlight of the last time they encountered this region. At last scan it was a class 2 planetary nebula, 10 AU in diameter, larger than what is thought to be standard for this class of nebula. Also that it should not adversely affect Shields, propulsion, weapons, however sensors will only have a range of several kilometers and communications will be reduced or intermittent. Additionally the region is turbulent and possesses volatile gasses and chemicals. Weapons discharging into the nebula will create a chain reaction in that region which will further inhibit sensors. Lt Randal Shayne tells them it will take 7 hours 34 minutes to reach.
With that in mind Renos asks LtCmdr Nate Wilmer and Ens Luis Esqueda to use the data from R’Ven to try and boost the sensors to make navigation within the nebula easier. Their work makes it difficult for R’Ven to work since they all at the same station. In an effort to help R’Ven sends Wilmer and Esqueda the data from the Darwin’s last visit. LtCmdr Rendal Rennyn also came to help and after looking over the notes he told Wilmer and Esqueda that he had something to show them in the cargo bay and they left the bridge. This was just fine with R’Ven as it left him unfettered use of the science station again.
As the ship continues towards its destination Rennyn down in Cargo Bay 2 displays to the group a few modified Aids to Navigation, and the three of them: Rennyn, Wilmer and Esqueda begin working on the probes, getting them ready for possible deployment. Meanwhile on the bridge R’Ven does note that there has been an increase in metaphasic energy in the nebula and that it may affect the the shields requiring an adaption. He recommends using probes to analyze the interior of the nebula. Shayne on the other hand suggests using a shuttle to enter the nebula and investigate and with R’Ven’s help they can adjust it.
R’Ven, with permission from Renos relays all the salient information to several of the department heads: Lt Graeme Cook in Sickbay, LtCmdr Brell in Engineering and LtCmdr John Valdivia and Ens Christoper Lambert in the Astrometrics Lab. Most of them already have varying degrees of knowledge about their destination and request to be kept in the loop. To which R’Ven agrees.
With that done Renos lays out plans for the Darwin. They would send in send the Darwin and deploy both probes and shuttles strategically to map and explore this nebula and they were to find the best places to deploy and work on coming up with a search pattern.
Just as that was R’Ven was displaying a grid pattern on the screen Doctor Cook arrived on the bridge, and that he needed to speak with him about a patient. after a few words to the Captain they both went into the the ready room, and for the first time R’Ven is left in charge of the bridge and that he was to contact Cmdr Varaan and update him.
In the ready room Cook reveals that the patient is none other then the Captain! Cook asks the captain about Zackdorn, The QSD and Raikenoff, wondering if this will cause an outburst. It does not, in fact Renos appreciates the concern, something that stuns the doctor. Shifting to his tricorder for a more thorough diagnosis Cook and renos continue to discuss the nebula. After Cook gives Renos a clean bill of health Cook sits down to discuss Dr. Tarna and getting him a proper burial, but his body was still part of an ongoing case. Renos admitted to the need to catch up on things and they talked of Rosek and the difficulty in getting the body back.
Meanwhile back on the bridge, Merrick’s surprise and being ‘given’ the bridge was broken as Valdivia calls the bridge and shares with R’Ven his theory that the rise in metaphasic energy is not natural but due to a weapon that the Numiri have developed and that he would be in hazmat trying to confirm it and to let the captain know.
Agreeing R’Ven closes the channel and opens one to Cmdr Varaan and relays Valdivia’s news as well as the Captain’s update. With that done he returns his attention to Shayne where he asks him for his assistance in creating the most efficient search pattern.
Meanwhile as the Darwin and her crew continues on its journey towards Raikneoff’s Folly, a region of space that seems to have undergone a strange change. However even as they approached something deep inside the region uncoiled itself, moved and then flickered in mix of starlight and unbridled energies! It raised its head erect as if tasting something new in the offing and then moved on.
What was it and what other secrets was the nebula itself holding? It will all be revealed in . . .