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The End Of All Our Exploring

The Odyssey discovers an abandoned ship with no clues as to how it got there

So The Day Begins

USS Odyssey NCC-80000, Beta Quadrant
Stardate: 76036.64

Captain’s log star date seven six oh three six point six four. We have finally completed our mapping survey of the Hellian Expanse two weeks ahead of our schedule and we are now returning to Deep Space Five for some well-deserved maintenance. Due to the crew’s amazing hard work and effort, I have granted everyone extra R and R. This is something I have realised we have not been able to do in a long time, so I am hoping that everyone takes this time to relax before our next mission orders.

Sat eating his way through his morning meal, a full English breakfast, Tobias Court was focussing on what he was eating and reading what was on his PADD. He was preparing the final list of maintenance requests for when they arrived at Deep Space Five. As a result he was completely oblivious to everything else that was going on around him in the auditorium. The ship’s huge crew lounge was semi-busy with some of the crew in uniform and others in their civilian attire. Every morning the stewards would put out a large buffet table of breakfast foods from all over the Federation. It was all freshly made from the galley as Odyssey had one of the finest chefs in the fleet.

Snacking on a piece of toast with butter on it, Tobias just finished reading the last sentence of the report when a shadow formed in front of him over the table. The moment he noticed the silhouette he looked up to see Commander Max Duncan stood there, in full uniform, holding a tray with a plate of his breakfast (scrambled egg, bacon and fried bread) and a mug of what looked like raktajino.

“Morning Tobi, do you mind if I join you?” Max asked.

Simply nodding in agreement, Tobias placed his PADD down and finished his mouthful of toast. “I didn’t know you’re on duty today Max?”

“I swapped a shift on the bridge with Cambil so she could finish the crew evaluations from the mapping mission. I was late getting them to her, so I said I would pay her back.” Max answered as he moved his cutlery around before tucking into his breakfast. “You’re not on duty today?”

Tobias looked down at his clothes, he was not in uniform, instead he wore a plain black top with a pair of dark grey jogging shorts. “No, I got today off. I’m going to head to the gym this morning then I’m babysitting the McCallister boys for the afternoon once they finish school.”

“So how come you’re working?” Max asked, indicating with his butter knife the PADD that Tobias had just put down.

Smirking at that question, Tobias picked up his glass of orange juice before answering. “Occupational hazard I suppose. I wanted to get all of the reports that needed the captain’s approval sorted by today. What are your plans after your shift on the bridge?”

“Well thankfully my counselling staff have no more open cases of support required for anyone still dealing with the destruction of the Holt. We’ve actually got it easy for a bit, so after I finish my shift I plan on catching up on some sleep.” Max answered prior to him placing a fork load of bacon in his mouth.

“That sounds boring Max, come on you’ve got to do something better with your time off.” Tobias teased. “Surely there’s a holonovel you want to run?”

Shaking his head in disagreement, Max replied with a simple no as he gulped down what he had just finishing chewing. “I really cannot be bothered at the moment.”

Rolling his eyes at his comrade’s defeated attitude, Tobias placed his glass of orange juice down. “I’m not having it, so once I’ve finished with the McCallister boys this evening I’m taking you out!”

Max smirked at that statement and Tobias’ attempt to get him out of his slump. “Seriously Tobi, I’m good. I just want to chill out and do nothing.”

“Rubbish,” Tobias instantly replied with. “I’ll let you have your afternoon nap, but then I want you turning up at my quarters at twenty-hundred hours for dinner. We’ll then come back here for the stand-up comedy night they’ve got planned at twenty-one hundred hours. We’ll get some drinks and make a night of it!”

“And if I say no?”

“I’ll send my godsons to track you down and drag you to my quarters!” Tobias stated. “Come on Max, it’s been a long time since you and I did anything together.”

“Alright, it’s a date!” Max said, finally agreeing to Tobias’ proposition.

“Perfect, make sure you’re wearing something nice as I want to turn up here tonight and make some people jealous about the eye-candy I’ve brought with me.” Tobias said as he finished his breakfast and started to stand up.

Wincing inwards, Max looked up at Tobias as the yeoman started to pick up his tray and head out. “You’re not going to use me to make a certain operations manager jealous are you?”

“Pfft, you wish!” Tobias heckled back as he left the auditorium.


Switching off his console, James Preston McCallister gave out a loud yawn as he saved his log entry. For the first time in ages he had a day off, as a result he and Karyn were going to be spending it together…however they had to wait for their sons to leave to go to school.

Walking out of their private study and into the main living area where the boys were all packing their school bags, he smiled at them as they quietly got on with it. After finishing breakfast earlier, on some level he and Karyn were quietly counting down the minutes until they had time to themselves.

“So what are you two going to do today while we’re at school?” Theodore asked he placed his final PADD in his bag and threw the whole thing over his shoulder.

“Your father is treating me to a visit to the Hoobishan Baths,” Karyn answered from where she sat on one of the armchairs. “Then I think we are having lunch on top of the Eiffel Tower.”

Crunching up his nose, Alfie sniggered at his mother’s words. “All on the holodeck? None of it is real though!”

“That’s the fun part!” Karyn said as she got up and walked across the room to grab herself another mug of coffee from the replicator. “Now don’t forget, Uncle Tobi is picking you guys up after school and then we will see you all tonight for family time!”

The boys all answered back with a ‘yeah, yeah, yeah’ kind of response and began to say their goodbyes, each of them hugging their parents.

“Have a good day lads.” James called after them as they walked out of their quarters. The moment the doors closed both parents gave out a cheer and jumped into a hug of gratitude. “Finally, a whole day to ourselves!”

“Let’s not waste any more time starting then Mister McCallister!” Karyn commanded with a teasing tone.

He saluted to his wife and said. “Yes ma’am!” as she led him back to their bedroom and pulled him in for a long kiss.


Quietly sat on the floor of her quarters, Lieutenant Commander T’Rani continued to meditate with a single candle lit in front of her.

As she remained focussed on her breathing, she could sense her husband moving around in the room next door. Feeling as if she could not continue with the distraction, she opened her eyes and stood up in the darken room and walked out to find her husband collecting a range of PADDs and placing them into his satchel.

“S’Tefe you are one point three minutes late from leaving our quarters. What is troubling you husband?” She asked in her normal logical tones.

Her husband, who was one of the ship’s teachers for the children, closed his bag as he responded. “I had misplaced an assignment I had finished marking last night. I have it now. I do apologies for disturbing your meditation my wife.”

Raising her eyebrow, she knew it was not like him to lose something. He seemed distracted. “It is of no consequence,” She replied, “Are you well S’Tefe?”

“Yes, why do you ask T’Rani?” He turned to look at her cautiously.

“You are acting uncharacteristically.”

“I am late for my class, perhaps we can discuss this matter further tonight when I am home. Good day my wife.” He replied as he reached the doorway.

“Good day my husband.” She answered back in a calm manner, still intrigued at what was bothering her beloved.

So The Day Begins (Part II)

USS Odyssey NCC-80000, Beta Quadrant
Stardate: 76036.64

After finally completing her review of the crew evaluations, Commander Cambil made her way through the corridors of the Odyssey. For the first time in weeks, she would be arriving on time for the morning service at the Bajoran temple. Odyssey was one of the few ships in the fleet that had such a place dedicated to the Bajoran faith. This was mainly due to the fact that with a crew compliment of two-thousand and five hundred souls, the ship had a number of Bajorans onboard (one-hundred and twenty-one to be precise). Therefore, when it became clear that the Bajorans were using the holodecks on a regular basis to conduct acts of worship it was only right that something more permanent was made. Captain McCallister had agreed to it shortly after Bexa had become his first officer. Thankfully they did not need to have any clergy members assigned to the ship, instead some of the crew had become worship leaders after receiving remote training from the Bajoran Vedak Assembly. They could not lead any ceremonies like weddings or blessings of new borns, however they could lead in worship for groups of people. Their morning and evening services had become part of the ship’s daily life. Almost all of the Bajorans, that were not working, attending them and they even welcomed those members of the crew that did not come from Bajor but were curious to their faith.

Wearing just a simple outfit, it was nice not to be in her uniform for once, Cambil entered the Bajoran temple and was welcomed by one of the crew who was gently shaking the chimes indicating the service was about to start. She smiled at the friendly gesture and her worries and concerns soon left her as she entered the temple. This would be her time.


Finishing the last of the calibrations on the warp core assembly, Commander Tremt Hunsen could hear the relief coming from around his engineering crew. Smirking to himself, he too felt the pride that their work was now complete. Even though they were heading to D-S-Five, like any good chief engineer, he was not keen to let the maintenance crews get their hands too dirty and deep into his ship’s systems. As such all he wanted the team at the station to do was to do the checks, re-supply the ship and let them get on their merry way.

After pulling an all-night session, Hunsen turned to those who had been on duty with him since the previous evening and told them to all go home as the team for alpha shift were now arriving. Handing command of main engineering over to his second-in-command, Tremt was pleased to be heading back to his quarters to get some sleep. He would be having the next two days off and he could not wait another minute longer. Looking up at the large warp core that sat in the centre of the room, the huge device was impressive. Pleased to see it back and alive again, he told his deputy that the bridge could take the ship back to warp. Even with their quantum slipstream drive sat only a few meters away, Captain McCallister preferred to use the warp drive when they were in no hurry. Hunsen knew his skipper was keen to take their time to return to Deep Space Five, especially as they had completed their survey mission ahead of schedule.

As he strutted out of engineering, the Betazoid command unzipped his jacket while he rolled his head and neck to help relieve himself of having any more pains he had from starring at diagnostics controls for so long. Approaching the nearest turbo lift, he tapped the controls and waited for the doors to open. Around him he could see that the corridors were pretty empty. Everyone was taking the opportunity to enjoy the R&R that the captain insisted they all take. As a result, a skeleton crew would run the ship for the next few days. Everyone would have limited shifts while a majority of the systems were placed on automation. Even though the ship had a large crew, its highly advanced computer systems did mean that it could still operate effectively with a hundred of them still on board. Hunsen had even read somewhere that the Odyssey could operate with just a handful of staff. Its emergency holographic crew could assist in an emergency, but Tremt had hoped that McCallister was never put in that position. The turbo lift doors opened and he entered the cart, happy to be heading home at last.


Trying his best to listen to Doctor Sylvexs (and failing), Lieutenant Commander Lukiz Jen had noticed at the corner of his eye the departure of Tobias from the Auditorium. From a distance, at the breakfast bar, the joined Trill operations manager had watched as his former lover had finished his breakfast with Counsellor Duncan, smiled deeply at the therapist before getting up and leaving.

“So, I told Mettex that there was no way the captain would agree to such a huge course correction…” Sylvexs said as she picked up a glass of fruit juice that was pink in colour. Instantly the chief medical officer noticed that everything she had just been saying had been ignored. Not intentionally but due to a distraction. Smiling with her huge Denobulan grin, she looked at the younger officer behind her and attempted to regain his attention. “When are you and Tobias ever going to speak again?”

Shaking his head, the joined Trill lieutenant commander turned to look back at his companion. “Sorry Sylvexs, what did you say?”

Walking away from the buffet table, she led them over to an empty table, far away from where Jen’s eyes had been starring at for the last few moments. As they glided around the room, avoiding bumping into anyone with their trays, she answered him. “I said, when you are you and Tobias ever going to speak again?”

As they placed their trays down and pulled out the seats, Jen had a perplexed expression plastered across his face. “What do you mean? We talk all the time?”

Rolling her eyes as she sat down. The Denobulan doctor took her napkin and laid it across her lap after crossing her legs. She reached the yellow fruit that was in a small bowl and started to pick at it before taking small mouthfuls. “Please Lukiz, I have seen how you around each other. You say to us all that you parted on amicable terms, but you cannot deny you two had…now what is it I’ve heard Counsellor Duncan call it. I believe the phrase is ‘a thing’.”

Now it was Jen’s time to roll his eyes as he took his mug of coffee and took a sip from it. “Please, that was a long time ago. We were practically kids, plus I’m sure he has other interests.”

“Really? Like whom?” Slyvexs enquired as she placed her empty bowl down and wiped her hands with her serviette.

Putting his mug down, Jen looked at her. “Well, I heard from Cline that he and Counsellor Duncan spend a lot of time together.”

Laughing out quite loudly, which caused others to look at her, the Denobulan doctor had to place a hand over her mouth as she calmed herself down. “Oh that’s absurd Lukiz. Max and Tobias are not dating, they are good friends.”

“I’ve seen them spend a lot of time together recently as has Cline.” Jen countered back with as he started to eat a piece of hot croissant that he had just spread butter and jam over.

“Max has just lost his father, if you knew his background you would understand why Tobias and he are spending time together. Tobias is just being a very good friend.” Slyvexs said defending the counsellor and yeoman. “Remind me to have words with Mister Lenjir about being a gossip. Talking of which, where is that lovable Tiburon?”

Smirking, but not believing her entirely, Jen answered the doctor’s question. “Cline said he would be spending most of his morning off in the gym. You know what he is like, he rarely eats breakfast.”

“Well I do hope he doesn’t think he could build anymore muscles or be any further ripped than he is. I’m worried he is trying to become a Brikarian with the number of workouts he does on a daily basis.”

“That’s Cline for you, if he isn’t in the gym then he is doing something physical when off duty. He never stops.” Lukiz remarked as he began digging into his breakfast, but from the corner of his eye he was keeping an eye on Counsellor Duncan. He didn’t quite believe everything that Sylvexs was saying.

The Enigma

USS Odyssey NCC-80000, Beta Quadrant
Stardate: 76036.64

Approaching the turbolift, Commander Duncan was pleased to have finished his breakfast and start today’s duty shift. Pushing out any creases he had in his uniform jacket, he waited patiently for the cart to arrive. Eventually the doors parted open and he saw Odyssey’s security and tactical chief standing there with his arms crossed against his chest, wearing a black vest and short. He appeared exhausted and the sweat around his chest made it apparent he had just finished a round of exercise.

“Morning Cline.” Max said as he entered the lift and spoke to the Tiburon man.

“Hiya Max, sorry I’ve just finished a workout in the gym. I’m heading home for a shower.” Lenjir remarked. “Where are you heading?”

“The bridge.” Duncan explained and then ordered the computer to take him there. “I’m in charge of alpha shift today.”

“Ouch.” Lenjir winced. “I thought Commander Cambil was on duty today?”

Shaking his head as the lift proceeded upwards, “I owed her a favour.” the counsellor said. “What are your plans today?”

“After this morning, I’m planning to meet up with a few others in the security department for a round of velocity.” Lenjir said as the lift stopped. It was his deck and as the doors opened he turned to the counsellor, “enjoy the bridge!”

Max smirked at him back as the doors closed and he entered the bridge. The entire alpha shift was on duty, well not the normal alpha shift but those that had been put on so the rest of the crew can have some down time. Walking towards the centre of the room, Max made his way over to sit in the captain’s chair. “Report?” He asked aloud to those around him.

“All is quiet for now.” Spoke Ensign Chet, the Boilan at the helm.

Getting comfortable, Max looked at the man. “Let’s make it so.” He took out a PADD and started to read the contents of it. In it was a letter that his late father had written to him. It was just before he had died and Max had yet to read it, until now. In it his father had written how proud he was of his son with his accomplishments and the type of man he had become. As always the late Fleet Admiral Duncan always finished his letter asking when was he going to be made a grandfather. Max felt bitter that he had never given his father the chance to enjoy the responsibilities of being a grandparent. He knew that he would have made an excellent one.

His thoughts were interrupted when Ensign Chet cleared his throat. “Sorry to disobey you sir, but we’ve got a craft along our flight path that appears to be adrift.”

Snapping out his reading straight away, Duncan looked at the Bolian officer. “What type of craft Mister Chet?”

Returning to his console for further clarity, he answered the question swiftly. “It appears to be a civilian ship sir, a Kaplan F-Seventeen Speed Freighter to be precise.”

“Life signs?” Duncan asked.

“None, the ship appears to be badly damaged. I am detecting a hull breach on the port side. No power at all.” Chet added.

Not surprised that his shift would not be a quiet one. “Slow us down so we can approach them. I want full sensor scans completed now before I get the captain.” Duncan commanded to the bridge crew. So much for a break from the norm.

Interruptions From An Empty Tin Shell

USS Odyssey NCC-80000, Beta Quadrant
Stardate: 76036.9

Sitting down to have a nice meal without interruptions was something that Captain McCallister was looking forward to. He and Karyn had just arrived at the top of the Eiffel Tower and were being seen to by some polite and courteous holographic waiters and waitresses. Bringing over to them a bottle of Chateau Picard, a bottle of the ’86, they poured them a glass each. Out across the City of Lights, Paris was in its summer and many notable landmarks could be seen. James could name most of them, Notre-Dame de Paris, Sacré-Coeur, the Louvre Museum, l’arc de triomphe, les champs de mars, the river Seine (and all the bridges) plus so many other sites. James couldn’t quite recall the last time he had visited the French capital, the real one that was.

“I know it’s not real, but this is bliss.” Karyn remarked prior to taking a sip of her wine.

Nodding in agreement, James took a swish of his drink too. “I was thinking earlier…”

“Before or after that massage?” Karyn quickly interjected.

Recalling their trip to the Trill Hoobishan Baths, James smirked at the memory from this morning. “During actually.” He answered, “So as I was saying, I think we should take the boys to Earth and do big long holiday site seeing and travelling all over. What do you say?”

Placing her glass down, Karyn agreed to the idea. “I think that sounds like a great plan. I would love to take them proper camping.”

“We’ll do that too, along with a bit of surfing along the Gold Coast.” James added.

“Plus, some skiing on the Alps?” Karyn included.

“Definitely need to take them to Egypt to see the Pyramids, perhaps have a real pizza in Rome.” He added.

Loving what she was hearing, Karyn continued to put more ideas in. “A fly over the Grand Canyon.”

“Sounds perfect to me.” James smiled back. “We’ve got over five months saved up of shore leave, why don’t we do it soon?”

“It would be nice to take a break from everything out here on the final frontier.” Karyn stated. “Would you be happy to be away from the Odyssey for that long?”

Nodding to confirmation, James told her he was fine with that. “Bexa is confident leader. She’ll cope while we are gone, plus Max is itching for more command experience. He’d make a good acting first officer.”

As their starter arrived, Karyn waited for the waiters to leave them before she asked him another question. “I was going to ask, when do you think you’d ever give it all up?”

Curious as to what she was getting at, James placed his cutlery down and took swig from his wine before he replied. “Do you mean Starfleet?”

Karyn nodded as she dabbed her lips with napkins in between mouthfuls. “Yeah, do you ever think about it?”

Pondering with his glass still in hand, James looked out across the Parisian skyline to find his answer. He didn’t get chance to answer as the intercom went off.

Bridge to Captain McCallister.” Spoke Commander Duncan over the speakers.

Sighing slightly, both husband and wife placed everything in their hands down as they knew their plans for the day would most likely be put on hold. He tapped his combadge and replied. “Go ahead Max.”

I’m sorry to disturb you sir, but we have come across a ship that I think you need to see.” Stated the counsellor.

James gave his wife a curious look. “We’ll be there shortly, assemble the rest of the troops for me. McCallister out.” He tapped his combadge to close the call. “Sorry my darling, duty calls.”

“Well at least we got to see the Hoobishan Baths.” Karyn groaned slightly with as they ended the holodeck program and headed to the ship’s bridge.


Returning to the bridge didn’t take too long and James was pleased to see most of the senior staff had turned up. None of them were in their uniforms, except for Commander Duncan. The counsellor had been on duty on the bridge and was stood by the main science station when they all arrived.

“Captain, you may want to take a look at this.” Duncan remarked, pointing at the top screen. “It appears to be a Kaplan F-Seventeen Speed Freighter. We’ve carried out thorough scans of the ship. There’s no power whatsoever and no life signs. It’s just lying there in space.”

James crossed his arms as he read the scans too. Karyn had leant up against the bulkhead while Commander Campbil stood behind Duncan. As they spoke more of the senior staff arrived.

“So, what, it’s a ghost ship?” Karyn asked aloud.

Everyone laughed slightly at that quip.

“Any idea on how it got out here?” McCallister questioned next.

Duncan shook his head. “There’s no ion trails, nothing that could explain how it arrived here. We think it has been slowly drifting, but it’s momentum is barely enough to register.”

Look at the others, McCallister’s curiosity did get the best of him. He did enjoy a good mystery now and then. “Thoughts? Ideas?” He threw out to his crew.

Commander Hunsen, his chief engineer spoke up first. “I noticed it has no name or listed register. No transponder either. No distinguishable hull markings either. I don’t think we are going to get any more answers from scans sir.”

“I was thinking the same.” Lieutenant Commander Jen said. He had sat at the secondary science station and was reviewing the same sensor readings. “We need to go over and find out where it is from. Most of its systems appear not to have been tampered or damaged.”

“There does not appear to be anything from stopping us from transporting over. The away team will need to wear EVA suits though.” T’Rani added.

After hearing from his pilot, operations manager and chief engineer, James looked to his first officer as well chief security and tactical officer. “What do you two think?”

“It seems safe enough.” Campbil answered, as she read the findings.

Lenjir crossed his arms. “I say we send in the Hazard Teams first.” He stepped forward and slightly leaned over Jen’s shoulder and zoomed in on the picture of the freighter. “We could send in all five teams to secure the craft. Two teams at either end followed by one in the middle. We could then send over an engineering team to begin recovery operations.”

Doctor Sylvexs then arrived, “My apologies, what did I miss?” The Denobulan medical officer enquired.

Campbil brought her up to speed. “So that’s where we are, do we send over people or not.” The first officer finished with.

“If we don’t do it, then some others may do it later or it may end up being stolen.” Slyvexs concluded.

“Alright then, let’s do it.” James ordered.

“Sir, if you don’t mind. I’d like to lead one of the teams over to the freighter. I’ve not led an away mission for some time. With your permission of course?” Duncan wondered.

Looking to his first officer who just nodded with an agreement, James turned back to the counsellor. “You best suit up. Godspeed!”

Duncan smiled at the response he got and left the bridge with Cline to get ready for their beaming out.

Still staring at the readings on the science station, James was fascinated with what they had just found. “Lukiz,” He said calling for his operations manager.

The joined Trill stopped what he was doing and looked up at his superior officer. “Yes sir.”

“Check the Federation database one more time, see how many ships match this one. We might be able to find one that’s gone missing.” James ordered.

“Aye captain.” Jen said as he got on to work.

Looking to his first officer he asked her to inform Deep Space Five they may be late arriving due to them investigating this empty tin shell.

The Welcoming Party

Unknown Vessel, Beta Quadrant
Stardate: 76036.991
The moment the transporter cycle was complete, Commander Duncan raised his phaser rifle high and the light from the torch on its top shone through the black darkness that filled the ship’s bridge. His hot breath hit against the screen of his EVA suit as he and his team looked around at their settings.

“Move out.” He called over the intercom to them all. Like a tool of precision, the team moved out to secure the bridge of this unknown freighter. Moving forward slowly, Duncan made his way forward and opened a channel with the ship. “Duncan to Odyssey, we’ve arrived sir.”

“Excellent, Hazard Teams Beta, Delta, Gamma and Omega have arrived safely in their locations and are beginning their search.” Spoke Captain McCallister. “Any signs of life or who the ship belongs to?”

“None yet, sir.” Duncan answered coolly. They could barely see anything that would give them a clue yet.

One of the engineer specialists assigned to alpha team spoke up. “Sir there’s an active console over here!”

Moving at an almost snail’s pace, Duncan joined the Efrosian engineer who was scanning the console that showed a standard Federation LCARS display. “Ensign is it safe to use?”

Nodding to confirm, the engineer accessed the console with Duncan’s blessing and soon enough power throughout the entire ship came alive and every console switched on. The sound of the life support and environmental controls activating could be heard through their helmets speakers.

Odyssey to Alpha Team, we are detecting power coming online across the entire ship.” Spoke Commander Hunsen. “You should be able to breath the air shortly.”

“Acknowledged Odyssey.” Duncan replied, but he didn’t plan to take his helmet off just yet. As the ship came to life a hologram appeared in the centre of the bridge area. It’s appearance was neutral in expression, gender – in fact in all areas.

Activating his helmet’s camera sensors, Duncan spoke into the intercom. “Duncan to Odyssey, are you getting all of this?”

“Acknowledged Max, we can see clearly. Is that a hologram?” Captain McCallister asked.

“Aye sir, it is.” Duncan answered.

The captain’s voice was replaced by Commander Hunsen’s, “These freighters are equipped with an emergency holographic package that includes holograms that assist with medical, engineering, navigation, tactical, command and control as well as entertainment matters.” The Betazoid engineer explained. “But from what I can see Max, you’ve activated the default setting.”

“What do you mean the default setting Tremt?” Max asked as he studied the hologram, just like everyone else in his team.

Max was surprised that it wasn’t Tremt who answered but Lukiz Jen instead. “He means that hologram is the default template. Those packages normally require the captain of the ship to determine what they will look like. Most freighter captains use themselves.”

“I’m just checking the scans of that hologram now Max,” Hunsen added. “You won’t believe it but from what I can see this is the first time it has been activated.”

Before anyone could react, the freighter’s computer voice (a low but sultriest feminine tone) spoke. “Activating Emergency Holographic Crew Package, please stand clear for scans to be undertaken to determine visual appearance.”

Startled at that announcement, Duncan hadn’t had a chance to move before the computer scanned him with blue beams of light and then changed the hologram to appear like him. “Oh damn it.” He said.

“Oh damn it.” The computer repeated and copied his voice and then before long the hologram repeated the same phrase in the same way he had just said it.

Eyes wide open at the sight before him, the hologram then came to life. “Welcome, I am your Emergency Command & Control Hologram. Please state the designation of this craft and your name.”

A slight chuckle could be heard over the intercom and Captain McCallister’s voice could be heard next. “Seems you’ve made first contact there Max.” A pause followed and the captain commanded the counsellor to answer the hologram.

“I’m Commander Max Duncan of the Federation starship U-S-S Odyssey.” Duncan said greeting the holographic version of him that was stood in a black neck collared jumper, black trousers and boots.

“Greetings Commander Duncan, as you are a Starfleet officer am I to assume this vessel is under the direct control of Starfleet Command?” The hologram enquired politely.

“Not quite.” Duncan said, “Can you tell me how this ship got out here?”

Looking at the floor slightly, the hologram appeared to be searching the database as white lines appeared across its eyes. It then stopped. “There is no record on this ship’s database on how it came to be located at these coordinates.”

Rolling his eyes at the lack of getting anywhere, Duncan asked another question. “Where was the ship constructed?”

The hologram did the same again and checked the computer’s data at lightspeed. It then looked back at Duncan. “There is no record on this ship’s database of where it was built. The vessel has no set designation or commanding officer. Do you wish to establish yourself as its commanding officer Commander Max Duncan?”

“Max do it.”  McAllister commanded.

Regretting his choice to join the away team, Duncan spoke up. “Yes I do.”

“Command protocols have been transferred to Max Duncan; this ship is now under his command. Further data is required for starship operations to be assume.” The hologram stated.

“Clarify.” Duncan asked.

“The vessel has no set designation.” It repeated.

“Name it.” McCallister ordered.

Not known to be original in his creativity or naming ships, Duncan thought about it for a while. “This ship is known as the Troy.”

“The Troy, really?” spoke Doctor Sylvexs, almost mocking the choice.

Supporting Duncan was Commander Reyas who came to his defence over the intercom. “Troy, as in the city that Odysseus left and returned home from. Good choice Max.”

Ignoring the exchange, which he imagined was happening on the bridge of the Odyssey, Duncan focussed back on the hologram.

“Acknowledged. This ship is now known as the Troy. All ship systems are accessible to Captain Max Duncan of the Troy.” The hologram stated.

“Knew he was trying to go for a promotion.” Cambil amusingly commented on. The First Officer chuckled slightly at her own remarks before speaking further. “Max, have it open all systems to everyone. We may be able to find a few more pieces to the puzzle with full access.”

“Understood,” Duncan said and then he looked over to the hologram, “I want you to open access to all ship systems to any user.”

The hologram looked startled at that order. “Are you sure? Such a request could cause damage to the ship’s system. You can recede the request at a later stage though.”

“Do it.” Max said.

A second after completing the work, the hologram looked back at Duncan. “Request completed. Is there anything else you need?”

“Not for now.” Duncan answered.

The hologram then deactivated itself.

“Hold on Max, I’m heading over now with an engineering team.” Hunsen announced.

“Once the ship is fully secure by Hunsen and his people, we’ll dock it with the Odyssey and then resume our course to Deep Space Five.” McCallister stated. “We can work on the Troy on route.”

“Understood sir.” Max said. He looked around the ship and just wondered why a brand-new ship would be left in the middle of no-where.

Chaperon Crusade

USS Odyssey NCC-80000, Beta Quadrant
Stardate: 76039.5

“Captain’s log star date seven-six-oh-three-nine-point five. While our journey home to Deep Space Five has been on the whole uneventful, the mystery ship that we have dubbed the Troy continues to plague my crew from where it came from. In the meantime Counsellor Duncan seems to be enjoying the possibility of having his own ‘runaround’.”

Sat with his own thoughts, Commander Hunsen with fiddling with a PADD as he reviewed the latest reports on the Troy. The enigma that surrounded this smaller vessel had perplexed almost everyone that was involved in investigating where it had came from. Starfleet Command wasn’t interested with it when Captain McCallister had reported their find and had told him to hand it over to Deep Space Five on their arrival. The idea of finding out where it was built, by whom and how it got to be left in open space had seemed irrelevant to them. As a result Odyssey was now back at its cruising speed of warp eight and would be arriving at the station within the hour. Frustrated that he wouldn’t be able to solve the mysterious that surrounded the Troy, Hunsen was giving it one more shot before they had to hand it over to the team on D-S-Five.

After spending almost the entire morning on it, Hunsen had become so engrossed that if he hadn’t heard the thoughts of his close friend approaching him, he was certain he would not have been disturbed. Looking up from his PADD, the chief engineer smiled at Commander Max Duncan. “What’s up Max?”

“Just checking into see how your last-ditch effort was going.” The counsellor answered. “Any further?”

Shaking his head in defeat, Hunsen placed the PADD down on the table where he was sat. He had been sat around the main ‘pool table’ within main engineering. It was the central location of where he would normally work and issue out orders. It was placed just under the large warp core, while opposite to where Hunsen was sat he could see the drop-down area that held the ship’s quantum slipstream drive. Seeing as the latter was offline, while the former was strumming away like a beating heart, the noise level in engineering was at an all-time low.

“Unfortunately not.” Hunsen added to his defeat. Rubbing his eyes with both hands he leant back in his chair. “I’m thinking the Troy maybe a lost cause. Sorry Max, it seems your first command maybe coming to a swift end.”

Chuckling at the remark, Duncan just waved it off. In the last day or so since he led the team that recovered the ship and its onboard computer had made him defacto captain, many on the senior staff had joked about how Duncan was now all ambitious to be in the command division. “Don’t worry about it Tremt. The captain told me he has got somewhere with Starfleet Command. The Pasadena is being sent to D-S-Five to take over the investigation.”

“Ah man, they’re handing it over to a California-class?” Hunsen said with displeasure. “Don’t get me wrong, the crews of those ships do a lot of the background work for Starfleet but we’ve got state of the art equipment here that they don’t have.”

Duncan understood where his friend was coming from. “I get it, but from what I overhead Commander Cambil knows the skipper of the Pasadena and apparently it’s just finished its major refit. I’m sure they’ll work something out for us.” Pausing in what he said, the counsellor then continued changing the subject. “Anyway, I was wondering if you fancied joining Tobi and I tonight for a meal and then we’re heading off to holodeck four to go to a rock concert.”

“Geology has never interested me Max.” Hunsen replied back at his friend.

Laughing at the engineer’s misunderstanding, Duncan shook his head. “No, I don’t mean a concert on rock studying I mean a music concert on rock music. Tobi has a holo-program of some of the best concerts from Earth’s twentieth century.”

Considering the offer for a moment, Tremt thought it would be a nice change to do something different. “Deal, but I’m not playing chaperon with you two.”

Protesting straight away, Duncan raised his hands. “Tremt, there is nothing going on between Tobi and me. Why does everyone on this ship think there is?”

Looking up at his colleague and close friend, Hunsen answered honestly. “Because last night at the comedy show in the auditorium, Tobi was without a doubt flirting with you to make Lukiz mad.”

“And I wasn’t doing it back!” Duncan continued to protest.

“But you weren’t stopping it.” Hunsen reacted back. “Come off it Max, I know Tobi wants to get back at Lukiz but it’s been years since they broke up. I can’t understand why he is now making a scene about it all.”

Shrugging his shoulders, Duncan honestly replied. “I don’t know either, but I’m only helping a friend out which is why I want you to come along tonight.”

“I knew there was something more.” Hunsen said. “What do you want?”

Duncan played with his hands, it was obvious he was worried or anxious. “I just want you there to help me ensure Tobias doesn’t think I want anything more!”

“Ha! Knew it!” Hunsen said. “And I didn’t even have to read your mind to confirm it.” Chuckling a bit more to himself, Hunsen agreed to the request. “But that said Max, if you and Tobi did want to get together, what’s stopping you?”

“I dunno, I just find it weird as I’ve never ‘looked’ at him in that way.” Duncan replied.

“Well-”

Before Hunsen could speak anymore, the entire ship went to red alert and the captain’s voice came over the intercom calling for everyone to report to their stations.

“Damn it, what now?” Hunsen cursed as he and Duncan rushed out of engineering and into the nearest turbolift to head up to the bridge.

Two Sides To Every Story

USS Odyssey NCC-80000, Beta Quadrant
Stardate: 76039.52

Seated in his chair and after calling everyone to red alert, McCallister was not expecting what was now showing on the main bridge viewscreen. A single D’dreridex class warbird was flanked by two Valdore classes, all three ships were bearing down on the Odyssey now.

“Any sign of them returning our hails?” McCallister asked his operations officer that sat in front of him.

The joined Trill just shook his head. “I’m afraid not sir. We can outrun them sir.”

“I know we can, but the idea of three heavily armed Romulan ships this far in Federation space and being left to their own devices doesn’t fit with me.” McCallister stated. “Lukiz, send a message to Deep Space Five, informing them that we are dealing with a possible hostile force of Romulan ships and we require back-up.”

Jen got on with his orders while McCallister ordered his first officer to go and prepare for starship separation. She would take command of the stardrive section. The captain then ordered his wife to head down and begin procedures to launch the Aquarius, their attached escort. Both women didn’t hesitate in questioning their orders and made their way towards the turbolift. As the doors opened, Counsellor Duncan stepped out with Hunsen in tow. Allowing them to leave the cart, both women stepped aside before taking it for themselves.

McCallister turned to see his next two most senior officers enter the bridge. “Gentlemen, I think we could be finding ourselves in a tricky spot any moment now.” McCallister informed them both. “

Duncan, being the Odyssey’s third officer took over from Cambil’s duties by taking her seat to the right of the captain’s while Hunsen headed over to his engineering station.

“Their weapons are powering up.” Lenjir announced from tactical.

Without taking another second to think about it, McCallister looked down at his pilot. “T’Rani drop us out of warp and bring us about to a gradual halt.”

The Vulcan pilot complied and dropped the ship to sub-light speeds. “Reading all stop.” She announced seconds later.

Copying the Federation ship, all three Romulan ships dropped out of warp and took up flanking positions around it.

“We’re being hailed sir.” Jen declared.

Remaining seated in his chair, McCallister ordered for a channel to be open. “I am Captian James Preston McCallister of the U-S-S Odyssey. You have committed acts of aggression against the United Federation of Planets by trespassing in our territory without proper authorisation and refusing to answer our original hails. Explain your actions at once.”

The holographic viewscreen flickered to show the face of his foe. A Romulan woman wearing the uniform of an admiral in the Romulan Star Navy, except she wore the emblem belonging to the Romulan Republic. “I am Admiral T’Lauran of the warbird Veldern. I believe captain you are in possession of a ship that belongs to the Romulan Republic. Please hand this over to us.”

Keeping his poker face on, McCallister answered the older woman. Her mighty regal tone and expression made her appear more sovereign like compared to an admiral of the Romulan fleet. “It’s a pleasure to meet you Admiral T’Lauran, however you will need to be a bit more specific with your remarks. What ship do you refer to?”

“The civilian ship you acquired some days ago and are on your way to deliver to Deep Space Five.” She answered quite bluntly. “Hand it over…now.”

Realising the Troy now had some importance, the captain proceeded in delaying them as long as possible so the ship was ready to separate in a moment’s notice. He was also hoping that his message to Deep Space Five got through. They might be able to take on one of the ships, maybe two but no way could the keep up against three heavily armed warbirds. “Admiral, you seem like a reasonable woman. Someone who I assume has experienced a lot in their career. However as I said you will need to be more precise in what you want. We have several civilian ships docked inside our craft. Which one are specifically wanting back?”

Frustrated at his apparent stupidity, T’Lauran rolled her eyes. “Captain, I am a reasonable woman and true believer in the alliance between my government and the Federation. That said I will not be tested. Please handover the Kaplan F-Seventeen Speed Freighter.”

“And why would I handover a Federation ship to a Romulan ship? Even one that is meant to be my ally.” McCallister questioned. “It seems bizarre that three Romulan ships would cross over to recover such a small vessel and risk a war with the Federation.”

Before the admiral could give any more answers or clues linked to her intentions Lenjir announced the arrival of eight smaller ships. “All of them are Fenris Ranger ships sir.” The Tiburon stated. “They’re locking their weapons on the Romulan ships.”

Looking back at his adversary, McCallister stood up. “It seems Admiral T’Lauran we either open fire against one another or go our separate ways. What do you say?”

“This is not over captain!” She said frustrated and instantly closed the channel.

“The Romulans are heading off back to their space.” Duncan stated after looking at the sensors. “What in god’s name do they want with the Troy?”

“A good question Max.” McCallister said as he crossed his arms. “Let’s see if the Fenris Rangers have anything to say to us.” He ordered for another channel to be open and this time he got an answer.

A man, similar in age to him but looking more tired, appeared on the screen. “I am Arthur Duvell of the Fenris Ranger ship Silhouette. The ship you found belongs to us and unlike the Romulans we are capable of taking it back.”

Impressed with the ballsy attitude of the man talking in front of him now, McCallister kept his cool. “Mister Duvell, I do not believe we’ve met before. I would be interested to understand the claim the Fenris Rangers have on the ship. There’s no need for any threats, especially this deep in Federation space.”

“Captain I do not have time, hand over the Spectre to us or we will take it ourselves.” Duvell said.

Sitting back down, McCallister got himself comfortable. “No offence but your rag-tag fleet of older ships is no match for the Odyssey. Let us be reasonable here and find a solution that helps us all.”

Duvell ignored McCallister’s overtures and closed the channel instantly.

“Rotate the shield frequencies and increase power to them from the main deflector,” McCallister ordered. “If they can take the Troy or the Spectre or whatever it’s called I bet they will do it by accessing its automatic computer systems. If we can disrupt it enough then they may give up.”

Smirking at how well McCallister was right with his prediction, Jen stated the Fenris Ranger ships were all transmitting into subspace. “Our shields are blocking their calls for now.”

“Then let’s exercise the better part of valour. Get us out of here T’Rani, maximum slipstream velocity!” McCallister ordered. He then tapped his combadge, “All hands starship separation is suspended.”

Odyssey then moved away at high impulse from the Fenris Ranger task group before entering slipstream.

“We’re far away sir. We will be at Deep Space Five in less than hour at our current speed.” T’Rani declared.

“So the mystery of the Troy gets darker.” Duncan remarked as he took his normally chair once red alert was cancelled.

“Indeed counsellor.” McCallister remarked. Would they ever get to the bottom of it though?

Safe Harbour

Deep Space 5, Beta Quadrant
Stardate: 76039.58

Stood gazing down at the interior bay of DS5, Captain McCallister stood with Rear Admiral Gosch as they discussed Odyssey’s recent skirmish with forces from the Romulan Republic and Fenris Rangers. Within the bay now rested the Troy/Spectre.

“I am quite shocked at how both sides were prepared to do whatever it took to take that ship.” McCallister stated as he looked to his superior officer.

The Tellarite admiral was a few feet shorter than him and gave out a gruff noise in response. “Don’t worry James, I will have the best engineers take a look at her and see what it is they were after. There must be some clue we can find.”

Agreeing the admiral’s assessment, McCallister just found the whole situation strange and quite frustrating that they could not resolve this enigma. “Will the ship be looked at by the Pasadena?”

Heading back to his desk, Gosch waved the question away as he got comfortable in his dark red chair. “I’ve told Captain Remarkish that she’ll have to go onto her next assignment. I’ve got an entire division of specialists who want to take a look at her. Being one of the former stations assigned to advanced starship design, we’ve got enough people here to take a good look under the cover to see what made it such a treasure chest that others were keen to get their hands on it.”

Pleased that the mystery may be resolved sooner, McCallister gave out a sigh of a relief. He had only met the admiral a few times but felt comfortable enough to be a bit casual. “Are you aware sir what my next orders are?”

Gosch took a PADD from his desk and passed it to the younger man. “James, I think you’re going to like what Starfleet have got in store for you and your team.”