RAIKENOFF’S FOLLY NEBULA — While studying a nebula, the USS Darwin discovered cosmozoans and a hidden Numiri installation and made first contact with a new species.
After a brief shore leave following their exploratory mission into the Dyson Sphere, the USS Darwin-A was once again assigned a scientific mission that would result in several firsts. The Darwin was to explore the nearby Raikenoff’s Folly nebula in the Delta Quadrant. Upon arrival, their sensors, limited by the nebular interference, picked up some type of artificial structure hidden within the nebula. Two away teams were organized, one to investigate the structure, the other to analyze and organize sensor data in advance of the Darwin, to extend the parent ship’s range.
Lieutenant Commander Rendal Rennyn, Lieutenant Randal Shayne, Lieutenant JG Iniko Mpeba, and Ensign Christopher Lambert were to take the modified shuttle Santiago to help boost sensor data and help guide the Darwin within the nebula. Their mission changed once a group of cosmozoans was discovered. The large space-dwelling creatures resembled a school of space fish, each as large or larger than the shuttle.
The Darwin decided to use its containment sphere to capture several of the cosmozoans for study. Fleet Captain Renos and Lieutenant R’Ven coordinated efforts from the bridge, while Lieutenant Commanders Brell, John Valdivia, and Emery Rhyn entered the sphere in EVA suits to study the cosmozoans up close.
Commander Varaan, Lieutenant Commander Nicu Icavoc, Lieutenant Isabel Pond, and Lieutenant JG Kurt Logan were tasked with taking the shuttle Ayora to investigate the structure hidden inside the nebula. After docking the shuttle in the newly revealed space station, the group explored the derelict station, discovering a Numiri corpse but little else.
All too soon, the Darwin was under attack by a predator cosmozoan as large as the ship. It was unclear whether it was protecting its territory or after the smaller species within the sphere. The captured cosmozoans began to display signs of generating electrical bursts from their bodies, and the sphere team was forced to abandon their study.
The Santiago team discovered that the cosomozoans somehow were able to generate a wormhole, which was how they spawned. Additionally, a first contact with an alien race almost ended in disaster as the team began to show the affects of mind control. The Santiago diplomatically took their leave and returned to the Darwin, who had released their specimens and gotten rid of the predator.
The installation team found themselves in a much more dire situation. A computer booby-trap separated Varaan and Pond from the others with an explosion. Varaan was injured, and an emergency amputation of his left leg was performed by Dr. Pond. Icavoc and Logan had to deal with robotic guards before they were able to beam their trapped comrades to safety and return to the Darwin. With everyone back on board, the Darwin returned to Outpost Unity to start shore leave.
“They were so unreal,” recalls Lieutenant Martin Jones, the containment sphere lab supervisor, in reference to the cosmozoans. “I mean, you read about them in textbooks… but you never expect to actually see one, let alone a whole school of them!”