Captain's Log, Stardate X: After acquiring supplies and personnel from Station B-90, the Enterprise has been assigned to investigate an unexplained burst of energy originating in the Halus system. As it has been unoccupied and quarantined for the past thirteen years, the cause remains unknown. There is only so much that can be determined from a distance; however, we've been advised to use extreme caution. Kirk squeezed the armrest of his chair before standing. "How far out are we, Mr. Sulu?" "About 20 minutes, Captain. We should be getting initial readings in any moment." Sulu glanced down at his console, pressing a couple of buttons. "There'll be no shortage of parking spots. Nothing left to orbit anymore since their star went nova and cleared the place out." Spock looked into the screen, his body bent over his station. "No sign of the unusual readings, sir. I am detecting nothing outside of normal parameters for this star system." He glanced over his shoulder. Kirk frowned. "Strange. We know that there was definitely something here. Speculations, Mr. Spock?" Spock tilted his head slightly to the side in thought. "Perhaps a spike was caused by emissions from a passing ship's propulsion." "Somebody with a healthy disrespect of Federation mandates, you mean." His expression changed from pensive to worried. "Mr. Sulu, are you detecting any signs of debris?" "No sir. Nothing new. And any leftovers from the explosion would've long since drifted away." Sulu swiveled to face Kirk. "You could hardly tell there'd ever been worlds here." His face drooped solemnly. "It's always tragic to lose a system, Lieutenant." Kirk bowed his head. "Especially when the wealth of its knowledge was yet untapped. Halus VI had a civilization similar in development to that of 17th century Earth." Spock lifted his head to find McCoy's eyes trained on him. "I sense you are about to interject, Doctor." McCoy glanced down at his clipboard. "I didn't say anything." "Maybe not vocally, but your eyes spoke volumes." Spock raised an eyebrow. McCoy paused. "That's pretty cold, isn't it? Measuring the worth of people by what they know instead of who they are?" He crossed his arms. "There was a time when even you couldn't add two plus two." "Yet the potential to expand my mental abilities as I matured was already there." He paused to give McCoy sufficient time to roll his eyes and throw his head back as if to say 'here we go again'. "Furthermore, Vulcans had already attained a higher level of thought collectively by that point." Kirk stepped in between the two men, putting a hand on each one's shoulder. "Now, now. You two can butt heads later. We have more important things to do." Spock nodded. "I agree, Captain. We can discuss this another time." He looked up as a black haired man in a blue uniform stepped onto the bridge, carrying a handful of memory tapes. McCoy huffed. "You just want to stop because you know I'm right, and for once you can't argue otherwise." He smiled smugly. The man approached from behind Lieutenant Uhura's station and waved the tapes in front of her face. She turned to look at him and smiled, accepting the tapes from his hand. He leaned in and nodded at her, before straightening up and heading up the steps. Spock glanced his way and caught McCoy's eye."If you are still in a philosophical mood, Doctor, perhaps you could continue this discussion with Lieutenant Moss." Kirk cocked his head to one side. "That's a good idea. I think you'd like Zachary, Bones." McCoy pointed with his thumb over his shoulder. "Well, we'll have plenty of time to get acquainted over a routine physical. I haven't seen any of those transfers since we picked them up. He's a sociologist, right?" "Yes. His thesis on the Eskabi Gamma riots was very well received." Spock clasped his hands behind his back. "He had a most extraordinary theory as to their root cause, and his predictions about the fallout prove true to this day." "Beyond that?" McCoy muttered drily. "I regret that I cannot tell you how he likes his eggs, Doctor, nor his preferred sleeping position. If you are curious beyond that, I suggest you save your questions for him." With that, Spock returned to his station. McCoy just shook his head and said nothing. Kirk smiled and closed his eyes. Somehow, though completely in monotone, Spock's form of humor always gave him a chuckle. McCoy sighed. "Insufferable…Jim, I am this close to locking myself in sickbay and putting up a 'no logic allowed' sign." He pinched his fingers together within an inch of each other to show just how just how close. Kirk shrugged. "Don't blame him. You walked right into it, Bones." He walked up the steps towards the exit, stopping and turning midway up. "Inform me when we've arrived." Chekov started at his console readings. "Keptin, I am picking up something very faint on the monitors. It wasn't there a moment ago." Kirk lingered, frowning. "Well, now we're getting somewhere. Where is it coming from?" Chekov paused a moment, trying to be sure of what he was seeing. "It appears…to be emanating from a point in space just in front of us." Kirk walked back toward his chair. "Is it having any effect on us?" Sulu looked around his console to check the readouts. "No change in ship's functions, but as for the crew, I can't be sure." Kirk turned to look at Bones, who shrugged. "It's just a ball of energy, but completely unknown to us. I can't say for sure, but I wouldn't wait around here unprotected while there's the possibility." "Noted." Kirk sat down. "Mr. Sulu, raise shields." Sulu pressed a few buttons. "Shields raised, sir." "Lt. Uhura, are we picking up any other activity in the area? Perhaps on long range sub-space channels? It could be a reflection, possibly a trap." He leaned forward, chin resting on one hand. Uhura held the earpiece to her head and listened. "No, nothing that sounds unusual. Normal chatter between ships passing in neighboring systems, but other than that, we're alone." "Fluctuating at a rate of 710 pulses per second. High concentrations of hydrogen, helium and anthospadrium." Spock looked up, brow furrowed. "Highly reactive, sir. Likely a byproduct of the supernova that decimated the system." He checked the screen again. "I would concur with Dr. McCoy. A closer examination, while warranted, would be best done in a heavily shielded shuttlecraft. " "Right. Sulu, pull us back." Kirk pressed a button on his chairside comm. "Mr. Scott?" "Scott here sir." "Prepare a shuttlecraft. Heavy shielding." "I'll have it ready in half an hour, sir." "Don't sweat it, Scotty. The anomaly's going anywhere. Kirk out." Kirk ended the call. "Spock, put together a science team." "Already on my way, sir." Spock disappeared into the turbolift. "Sir?" Kirk looked up from his hands at Chekov. "Getting wisuals now." "Onscreen." Chekov leaned forward and pressed a button, and the screen filled with golden swirling light, loosely collected into a lopsided sphere. Clouds of gas surrounded the pulsing, glowing orb."Eet is quite…mesmerizing, is it not, Keptin?" Kirk's face shone golden from the reflected glow of the image. "Yes…yes it is." The orb pulsed and twisted in place, twinkling as the crew watched it.