The Nautilus (USS Oumuamua)
Returning to the Gamma Quadrant, the Oumuamua responds to a distress call from the Esh-o, a pre-warp civilisation whose home star system has become the site of a strange stellar event. A micro-nebula has inexplicably covered their local space and is disrupting almost every aspect of Esh-o's vibrant culture.
A flotilla is deployed to the Gamma Quadrant after the loss of the USS Caboto, but while they depart from Port Coray, the Oumuamua receives a call from the UDP who pass along a distress signal from a pre-warp people known as the Esh-o. Since the UDP and Starfleet’s existence is already known, Headquarters indicates the Prime Directive does not apply. Commodore Ossa V’Airu takes the bridge along with Lieutenant Katsim Peri and Ensign Josh Herrick. Lieutenant Kammus Corelli takes on a different role, and he along with Lieutenants Jack Kessler and Avander Promontory and Toxin Arlill are to accompany him as they make first contact and act as a courier. Meanwhile, Commander Etan Iljor, Lieutenant Anton Richards, and Ensigns Lina Dahlquist and Charles Tyber will search for answers to a mysterious radio signals at the center of this nebula which is not only much smaller than usual, but also moves an has engulfed the Esh-o’s planet, hence their need for assistance.
V’Airu asks if Katsim or Herrick have seen anything like this before. Herrick has not, but finds the view calming, while Katsim, an astrophysicist, gives some theories as to what they might expect as far as makeup. As she runs some initial scans, she manages to get some information despite the interference, including the makeup of the gases, which include helium, nitrogen, and hydrogen as well as sirillium and detects some strange energy readings. She inquires as to whether or not the makeup of the nebulae would give insight into its nature. Suddenly V’Airu feels a wave of anger, which passes quickly, but makes her wonder what caused it. Because of this and because of Herrick’s reporting that he feels calmness, she decides to call a medical officer, Ensign Enzo Solari to the bridge, then asks Katsim to elaborate on the readings she registers.
On the Shuttlecraft Nichols, Etan, Dahlquest, Richards, and Tyber make their way toward the nebula’s center. After noting the increased particle density, he orders Dahlquist to monitor the nebula’s composition, Tyber to watch long range sensors, Richards to analyse the radio signal. As the officers fall into their tasks, Etan sees a sudden burst of emerald light at the center just as Richards registers an uptick in the radio signals. Dahlquist finds the nebula is made of helium, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, but also a higher than usual level of carbon. She is unable to determine how that would influence any radio signals, but notes that radiation, such as electromagnetic radiation, can cause distortion, then discovers there’s been a spike in X-ray radiation at the same time Richards noticed the tick. Certain phenomena can naturally produce X-rays, but the Esh-o have not reported the existence of any in the area that would. Proceeding deeper, Etan orders the officers to scan for any further X-Ray spikes and see if they can triangulate their source.
Suddenly, a bright, blinding flash of sickly green light closer than before. As they look outside, the nebula seems distorted, as if they were looking at it from inside a bubble.
Corelli meets his team in the shuttle bay in preparation to launch the Shuttlecraft York and inquires if anyone has any experience in diplomacy before ordering that they prep for launch. Arlill begins the prelaunch sequences after inspecting the vehicle. Promontory gives what information he has been able to glean about the Esh-o and theorises they might have been able to develop warp, but simply chose not to, then gets enthused when he realises this is a first contact situation - at least for him. Corelli wonders why the people didn’t wish to leave their home system, and asks for updated charts systems before noting their first stop is a trade hub. Uncertain how warp would affect the nebula, he elects to have them travel at warp 1 to determine that. When they try, the warp field collapses, but the computer can’t determine why, and he asks if they are able to glean *any* information. Kessler points out a change in gravity distortion within the nebula around the shuttle which jumped significantly and caused the field to destabilise.
Kessler adjusts the sensors while Promontory reroute auxiliary power and they try again. The field immediately collapses, and the gravity wave continues to prevent formation of the field. Unable to determine if it is the nebula causing the problem, Promontory theorises that if such a situation is natural to the area, it could be why the Esh-o didn’t develop warp, and also ruminates over the possibility of an inhibitor would require one that is massive, and would be a technological feat, but could also be used as a powerful weapon.
- Commanding Officer, Commodore Ossa V'Airu
- Executive Officer, Commander Etan Iljor
- Intelligence Officer, Lieutenant Avander Promontory
- Chief Science Officer, Lieutenant Peri Katsim
- Science Officer, Ensign Lina Dahlquist
- Chief Medical Officer, Lieutenant V'Len Kel
- Medical Officer, Ensign Enzo Solari
- Chief Tactical Officer, Lieutenant Jack Kessler
- Security Officer, Lieutenant Anton Richards
- Security Officer, Ensign Charles Tyber
- Chief Engineer, Lieutenant Kammus Corelli
- Engineering Officer, Ensign Josh Herrick
- HCO Officer, Lieutenant JG Toxin Arlill