Star Trek: Emergency Deep
S01 E03 “Juggernaut in the Cloud”
- Stardate: 58465.8 20th Jun 2381 1200 hrs UTC.
- Location: Paulson Nebula.
A New Mission
It has been three days since the USS Östergötland NCC-72227 was sent to the Paulson Nebula to investigate an anomalous signal detected by the SS Extropia. Admiral Kathryn Janeway – who earlier saw the launching of the vessel – has ordered Captain Greg Ellison to stand down from the investigation of the disappearance of Commander Sally Ellison, his sister who was replaced by a Romulan agent.
Ellison meets with the ship’s counselor, the dolphin Temrak. After the session, Temrak is satisfied that Ellison will be able to work unimpaired by his sister’s disappearance.
Hours later, they arrive at the nebula. There are intermittent electrical discharges within the cloud. Conn Officer Commander Morpheus Drake pilots the ship to where the Extropia detected the anomalous signal but sensor range is limited by the nebula’s flood of ionising particles.
Lieutenant Commander Tosk the Studious scans the cloud & finds the region of the nebula swamped by high-energy exotic particles. Tosk’s initial scans reveals a method to bypass the particles’ interference. Drake takes the ship closer, but a lightning bolt hits the ship several times, disabling the bridge’s MSD & Engineering stations.
Further scans gives Tosk the information his needs. He sets the ship’s shield frequency modulation, protecting her from further lightning strikes. Then, Captain Ellis orders Lt. Leopold Hill and his science team to take the shuttle Hjälmaren, staying at the outskirts of the Paulson Nebula scanning the cloud as the Östergötland dives in to investigate.
Into the Paulson Nebula
As they are cruise deeper into the nebula, Tosk detects an anomalous reading 17,000 kilometres away. Ellison immediately orders a probe launch. After a while, the probe detects a huge organic object in the cloud, excreting exotic particles. It seems organic – a cosmozoan unlike any seen before. The closest creature they have in their database was Gomtuu the Tin Man, encountered by Starfleet at stardate 43779.3. Ellison orders Drake to remotely land the probe on the cosmozoan’s skin. Suddenly, one of the orange-glowing cracks on the cosmozoan’s skin flashes and spits out what seems to be a missile. The projectile appears to be made completely out of magma. Drake evades the magma missile skilfully.
On the surface of the 1.2km long object, the probe detects silicon-based cellular structure & a circulatory system under its tough skin. The magma of the magma missile too seem to consist of complex organic molecules.
Suddenly the cosmozoan approaches the Östergötland at incredible speeds using unidentified methods of propulsion. Ellison quickly orders Drake to back off. He reverses their direction and now the creature is chasing them. As Ellison tells shuttle Hjälmaren to hold her position, the thing grabs the Östergötland with a tractor beam.
The main viewscreen shows that the cosmozoan is pulling them towards itself. Suddenly, four magma missiles streak towards the Östergötland.
As Drake raises shields, Ellison says, “What the…!”