I had an Irish wake for the Commandos that were lost, and sent an appropriate message to their families about how great they were to serve with. Captain Vaako sends me a message that he would like to meet with me on his ship, which is now docked at the station. Thankfully our repairs are now completed. Archon asks who is in charge while I am gone, and it prompts me to look into her personnel file to see what rank she has retained. She’s still Lieutenant Commander, so that puts her in charge in my absence.
I head to Vaako’s ship, and he shakes my hand. I explain to him what happened while the ship was being repaired. I mention promoting the Sergeant, and he also has provided more naval crew for me to help with manning the Archon. Our next mission: There appears to be a Federation research ship that’s taken orbit around a star known as Nemesis. The ship appears to have been abandoned. We need to investigate it to see why it was abandoned, and to analyze whether or not it is a threat. If it is a threat, we need to make it safe enough for salvage teams. The location is considered top secret. After we are done I need to purge the location from Archon’s memory. We need to have the scientist analyze the data we recover, but we need to be careful to keep it top secret. I relay the secrecy of our mission to the crew when I return to the Archon. I privately give the coordinates to Archon, and stress that they are top secret.
During the two weeks it takes to get to the abandoned ship, I write up the paperwork for the Sergeant’s promotion. 20 minutes out from our arrival, Archon expresses concern over the coordinates and some unstable gravity. She says it’s as if there is a black hole, or a collapsing star. I warn everyone to get to battle stations, and strap in — it could be a bumpy ride.
We’ve arrived in a system with a dwarf star, which looks like it used to be a red giant before it started to collapse. The abandoned ship is in a decaying orbit, and we have about three hours before things get bad. We get on the ship and there are dead bodies that look to have been mummified and possibly charred. The TSI takes me out, and Nola deals with him. Camo researches what happened to the bodies and scientists (this is a research ship), and he stabilizes my wounds.
Camo discovers that it wasn’t Federation tech they were studying here. Something of high tech was discovered on that planet, and the scientist mentioned recovering something from the surface. One of the containers talked about the fountain of youth. There was a minor mishap, and the substance penetrated an assistant’s silicon gloves. The condition seems to have worsened over time, and it took over (the black coating on the bodies). Whatever is coating these bodies is carbon and highly infectious, and Camo is of the opinion that there is no way to neutralize the contagion. He says we need to put the ship into the sun to be safe.
Gunny finds the captain’s log, and reads through it. He shows it to me.