Captain's Log, Stardate 130728

This leg of our mission began after the rescue of the civilian hostages from the Naasirkhans, who had kidnapped them while under the influence of some powerful energy beings called the 'Spouwwqna'. We immediately set course back the way we had come, to the last known position of the USS Neil Armstrong.

She had been following us for some days just out of sensor range, in order to be of assistance if necessary. Unfortunately we had not been able to contact her for some time. I had been deeply concerned that they might be under psychic attack from the Spouwwqna and was most anxious to find them.

We increased to warp nine, but were unable to locate them until we were 10 minutes away from the outer membrane of the Taakar Nebula. Although our systems were affected, we were able to extrapolate from various readings collected before our sensors went down, a possible course for the Armstrong. We reduced speed and entered the Nebula, shields held but other systems were affected. Engineering supplied auxiliary power to the frequency generator which was keeping the Spouwwqna at bay. At last we found the Armstrong, adrfit in the Nebula, shields down and not responding to hails. Although sensors were operating at diminished capacity, if at all, we were able to ascertain one shocking detail: no life signs aboard the vessel.

At that point it seemed the only choice was to board the Armstrong and try to find out what had happened to the crew. Hopefully we would not find a slew of dead bodies... Due to the volatile nebula, it was felt that beaming groups over would be unsafe. As I had in my possession the command codes for the Armstrong, I determined the best course of action would be for me to beam over and then open the shuttle bay doors for the rest of the away team. I informed the bridge crew of this plan, and gave my away team assignments, but had to contend with the protests of both Commander Markus (XO) and Commander Barbosa (Security). I appreciated their concern but disagreed with their suggestion that someone else should go, as I had the necessary information. I asked Captain Quar to beam me to a shuttle on the Armstrong shuttle bay, to give some further protection should there be an issue on the Armstrong we were unable to detect. He concurred.

I gathered my supplies and proceeded to the transporter room whilst the away teams assembled on our shuttle bay and launched a vessel. As communications, both internally and ship to ship, were spotty at best, I told Commander Barbosa to watch for the Armstrong's shuttle bay doors to open. At that point she would know it was safe to come aboard.

I arrived safely and exited the shuttle. It was very eerie, to be on a large, cold, deserted vessel. I was able to access shuttle bay controls at the console and proceeded to engage force fields and open the bay doors. In a few minutes the shuttle had landed. The two teams had their individual assignements - Team 1 was to access engineering and install a frequency generator as well as assess the condition of the ship. Team 2 was to go to the bridge and check various records, logs, and other data to see what we could find.

We confirmed that noone was on the ship. After investigating thoroughly, we came up with the theory that the bulk of the crew had been transported to a planet in a system within the Nebula. A skeleton crew had then taken the Armstrong some distance away, left her adrift, and had taken a shuttle back to that planet. With the frequency generator installed, and working, our next task would be to inform the Argonaut of our findings, and together set course for that planet to find the crew of the USS Neil Armstrong.