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Part of USS Odyssey: First Excursion

First Excursion – 6

USS Telemachus (NCC-80000/2-A), Verkien System, Kotaba Expanse, Swallow Nebula region, Delta Quadrant
Stardate: 78502.4
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Captain Reyas stood at the centre of the bridge of the Telemachus, her eyes sweeping over the displays and consoles as the ship cruised through the vastness of space. Commander Jirani, her first officer and deputy training officer, stood by her side, a subtle nod passing between them as they prepared for the upcoming manoeuvres.

“Alright, cadets,” Reyas began, her voice commanding attention across the bridge. “We’re approaching our survey destination. Let’s make sure we’re all on the same page here.”

Reyas took her chair and nodded to Jirani to take the lead. Over the last few weeks, the two women had shared much time, getting to know each other’s experiences and where they wanted to go with leading the Cadet unit. This was their first test to see how their cadets would respond in a real-life situation. 

“Athena,” Jirani said as she approached the helm, “Take us into a standard orbit.”

With her distinct Klingon-Human features, Cadet Athena Westerham-Banfield sat poised at the helm, her fingers dancing across the controls. She glanced back at the captain, her determination evident in her gaze. “Aye, Commander,” Athena replied crisply, her focus unwavering as she adjusted their course.

Beside her, Cadet Jordan Duncan-Court, operating the science station, worked diligently, his mind focused on the data streaming in from the sensors. Standing behind him was Lieutenant Jonarom. The young science officer was supervising what was coming through. Reyas caught Jonarom’s eyes and gave him a wink before speaking. “Cadet Duncan-Court, start your initial sensor sweeps of the moon.)

“Science readings are coming in clear, Captain,” Jordan reported, his voice steady despite the tension brewing beneath the surface. Reyas had noticed how flustered Jordan had been when he had reported to the bridge earlier. He had appeared as though he had been crying when he arrived. His usual, happy self was replaced by someone who had appeared their heart had been ripped from them.  

Meanwhile, at engineering, Cadet Alfie McCallister-Reyas, her son, meticulously monitored the ship’s systems, his brow furrowed in concentration. Unbeknownst to her, his mind was preoccupied; however, she often saw him glancing over at his best friend. Reyas wanted to know what was happening, but she wouldn’t ask. Lieutenant Commander Jayshon stood by him; the Tamarian was guiding a low-tone. She didn’t want to interrupt anything but wanted an engineering update. 

“Cadet McCallister, system status update.” 

“Engineering systems are functioning within parameters, Captain,” Alfie announced, his voice hinting at unease.

Parking her concerns to one side, Reyas continued the check-ins with everyone else. At the security and tactical station, Cadet Beatrice Grant sat with a simmering intensity, her eyes darting between Alfie and Jordan. Reyas definitely could see something was going on that Grant was aware. Reyas noticed Grant held her composure though her internal turmoil threatened to spill over. Reyas exchanged a glance with Jirani, a silent acknowledgement passing between them as they observed the dynamics of their crew. The tension in the air was palpable, though its origins remained concealed from their view. As the ship drew closer to the moon, Reyas noted the strained interactions between Alfie and Jordan, a furrow forming between her brows.

“Cadets, remember, teamwork is paramount,” Reyas reminded them, her tone gentle yet firm. “We’re a unit and rely on each other to ensure our mission’s success.”

Jirani nodded in agreement, her gaze lingering on Alfie and Jordan with a mixture of concern and understanding. 

As the Telemachus glided closer to the moon, Reyas observed Alfie and Jordan, the tension between them palpable even amidst the hum of the bridge’s activity. She exchanged a meaningful glance with Jirani, both women silently acknowledging the delicate balance of emotions that ran through their young crew.

“Everything alright, Cadet McCallister-Reyas?” Reyas inquired, her tone gentle yet probing.

Alfie hesitated momentarily, his gaze flickering towards Jordan before meeting his mother’s eyes. “Yes, ma’am,” he replied, his voice betraying none of the turmoil that churned within him.

Reyas arched an eyebrow, her maternal instincts attuned to the subtle nuances of her son’s demeanour. She made a mental note to address the matter later, once they had completed their mission.

Jordan’s fingers danced across the controls at the science station, his movements fluid yet tinged with unease. He stole a quick glance at Alfie, the weight of their shared history hanging heavy between them.

“Cadet Duncan-Court, anything to report?” Reyas prompted, her gaze lingering on Jordan with a quiet intensity.

Jordan cleared his throat, his words carefully measured. “No anomalies, Captain. Just… standard readings,” he replied, though Reyas detected a hint of hesitation in his voice.

“As we approach the moon, begin scanning for any signs of interest; if not, let’s start looking for a suitable landing zone,” Jirani instructed, her voice cutting through the tension like a blade.

A silence fell over the bridge as the cadets busied themselves with their tasks. Reyas watched as Jordan and Alfie exchanged uneasy glances, their discomfort palpable in the air.

“Jordan, Alfie,” Jirani called out, her tone firm yet encouraging. “I need you to coordinate the scans together. We need comprehensive data.”

Jordan and Alfie exchanged a hesitant nod, their eyes briefly meeting before darting away. 

“Right, of course,” Jordan muttered, his voice strained as he busied himself with the controls. 

Alfie shifted uncomfortably in his seat, the weight of their unspoken tension hanging heavy between them.

“Look, Alfie…” Jordan began, his voice faltering as he struggled to find the right words.

Alfie met Jordan’s gaze; his expression was guarded yet vulnerable.

“We need to talk,” Jordan continued, his tone softening with sincerity.

Alfie nodded, a sense of apprehension tightening his chest as he braced himself for the conversation that lay ahead.

From her chair, Reyas knew there was something wrong between her son and his best friend. She knew it wasn’t proper for her to step in and say anything; however, she couldn’t let it interfere. She looked at Jirani and gestured with her head for them to walk over to the aft station for a brief chat. 

When she was satisfied no one else was in earshot, Reyas looked at her deputy and spoke calmly and in a low tone. “Edeena, I don’t like to cross the line here with my role as a captain and as a mother, but-” 

Before she could finish, Jirani interrupted her, showing her complete understanding. “But we can’t let them go on like this,” she remarked with a nod. She considered the issue for a second and then smiled at her captain. “Leave it with me. I have an idea.”

Appreciating the effort, Reyas thanked the commander before returning to her seat. She watched as Jirani took her PADD and wrote something into it before speaking up.

“Lieutenant Jonarom, would you and Cadet Duncan-Court head to our small stellar cartography lab and start mapping the moon from there, please?”

“Of course, ma’am,” Jonarom complied before Jirani covertly gestured to check his PADD. The young lieutenant looked down and soon saw the message she had sent him. “It’d be my pleasure to sort that out, commander.” He said with a smirk.

Jirani then looked over at Jayshon. “Jayshon, I’d like a probe prepped and ready to place on the moon’s far side to assist with our survey. Can you take Cadet McCallister to oversee such work, please?”

“Soketh, his eyes uncovered,” Jayshon replied before leading the young cadet off the bridge.

Jirani turned around to look at Reyas, who mouthed a silent ‘thank you’ before quietly telling the captain she would give them an hour before looking in on them. Reyas appreciated Jirani’s efforts and hoped that some time apart may help. 

She could only hope.