When I Come Home (Challenger)

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With the death of Admiral Thenev Pev, Commanding Officer of the 7th Fleet, the Challenger was ordered to take his body to Neven IV for burial. His widow was to accompany the body back to her homeworld, which was somehow saved by the Admiral during the first contact situation with the Nevenians.

On the way to Neven IV, an intruder was discovered in the Jefferies tube on deck 14. After a brief struggle, the creature was apprehended by several security officers as well as Ensigns Ternok and Turc Brakur and transported to the brig. An engineer, also suspiciously in the area at the time, was brought to the brig. Marine 1st Lieutenant Hella was injured and taken to sickbay, while security chief Lt. Commander Ashley Boles-Barnes was also minorly injured.

The creature was examined in the brig by Doctor Brenna Parker, who determined the creature was a distant cousin of the Gorn, with the ability to absorb other DNA patterns. During this time, fluctuations to the warp core caused the Challenger to drop out of warp. Meanwhile, on the bridge, Ensign Ivan Petrov discovered that one of the convoys following them to honor Admiral Pev at his funeral service was putting out a fake signal. After determining the convoy was in fact one vessel, Gorn in origin, the crew shot to action, preparing for an assault and boarding party.

With a sense of timing known to all the great Starfleet Engineers, Lt. Commander Aleana Netal managed to bring warp drive back online, allowing the Challenger to leave her Gorn opponent in the dust . . . for now. The Gorn boarding party was repelled and captured thanks to 1st Lieutenant Iolo Llewelyn, whose Marines suffered many injuries at the hands of the Gorn.

The Gorn were relocated to the Brig after some quick transporter action, where they remained until the Challenger reached Neven IV, where their entire fleet was waiting. In attempting to correct the Nevenians' impression that their beloved Admiral was alive and coming for a visit, Fleet Captain T'Pen informed them that Admiral Pev was dead, and the Challenger had come to Neven IV with the intention of following out his final wish -- to be buried on the planet. Refusing to believe these 'lies', the Nevenian fleet attacked the Challenger without mercy.

The Challenger, with the assistance of her Marine fighters under the command of Lt. Colonel Samal Frazier, was able to destroy a few Nevenian ships before the outcome of the battle became clear. Giving the order to abandon ship, Captain T'Pen waited on the bridge of the Challenger until every member of her crew had left the ship, only then leaving herself, but not before aiming the Challenger at the heart of two enemy vessels. In her destruction, the Challenger took out both ships, further crippling the Nevenian fleet.

Crew in the escape pods and shuttlecrafts attempted to band together, but the Nevenians continued to fire on the helpless pods. At the recommendation of Lt. Commander Netal, most pods shut down, drifting cold in space to avoid showing up on sensors.

Onboard the Medship, however, Dr. Parker was in the midst of a complicated surgery on 1st Lieutenant Llewelyn, and was unable to shut down her pod's power supply until the operation was complete. In a heroic effort to draw away fire, Ensign Ivan Petrov drove his pod straight at the enemies, cleverly maneuvering too close for their weapons to be effective. 2nd Lieutenant Mathew Walker also assisted, with Mrs. Pev onboard, in drawing fire toward his escape pod until the procedure could be completed. In an astonishing turn of events, however, the Gorn vessel that had been shadowing the Challenger after transporting its team aboard (all of whom perished aboard the Challenger in the explosion) attacked the Nevenian vessel firing upon the pods, destroying it. It is still unknown at this time why the Gorn took this supporting role to the crew of the starship it had been attempting to take over.

Meanwhile, another vessel had been firing upon Captain T'Pen's pod. Commander Toni Turner ordered Ensign Turc Brakur to transport the Captain aboard his shuttle, and no sooner had he done so then the Captain was transported away by the Nevenians.

Although new to the first officer position, Commander Turner took immediate command of the situation, beaming aboard the shuttlecraft Scobee along with the majority of the senior staff and setting a plan of rescue in motion. The team determined that the Captain was most likely being held on the base on Neven III, and set off to prove their hypothesis and rescue T'Pen. Ensign Sam Watson took the helm, stealthily moving the Scobee into range of the planet, while the medical team was beamed aboard the Irwin under the command of Lt. Commander Jerry Reid, who had taken over in his capacity of CMO. The medical officers continued to treat the wounded Marines from the Gorn attack in the narrow confines of the shuttlecraft.

A daring rescue plan was formed -- the Marines, under the command of Lt. Colonel Frazier would attack the shield of the base so the rescue team could get a transporter scan through to locate the Captain. Then, the team would gain control of the shield grid and flicker it long enough for the away team to gain access to the facility, yet short enough for the Nevens not to notice the problem. In case it became necessary to forget stealth altogether, explosives were added to the towers to drop the forcefield permanently, so the Marines could assist.

The plan went off with an added bonus -- Starfleet reinforcements arrived in time to simply beam up the away team and Captain T'Pen from their separate locations. The crew has been reunited aboard the USS Churchill, which is headed back to DS24 to deliver the Challenger's crew as they await word of what will happen to them. Will they be separated onto other ships? Or will there be another Challenger awaiting them?

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