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Part of USS Odyssey: No Good Deed

No Good Deed – 4

USS Odyssey (NCC-80000), Gerina IV, Gerina System, Swallow Nebula region, Delta Quadrant
Stardate: 78620.52
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Within the confines of the turbolift, Duncan, McCallister, and Banfield stood in a silence that was almost tangible. Duncan’s mind was a whirlwind of thoughts, his lips curling into a wry smile as he pondered the irony of their situation. How many times had they found themselves on the precipice of yet another crisis? And how many more times would they be thrust into such a predicament? The memories of their past trials and triumphs flooded his mind, each one a testament to their resilience and camaraderie. 

Considering this interruption to their diplomatic brunch, Duncan had assumed that McCallister would be more annoyed; instead, he appeared more relieved when the call came through. They had attended several functions over the last few days with their Entharan hosts. The call to red alert was a change of pace for them all. 

As Duncan’s gaze fell upon Banfield, he was struck by a wave of admiration. It seemed like she had joined the ship just yesterday, her purpose entirely different from where she found herself now. Her rapid integration into the crew was nothing short of a miracle. Banfield had gone on to stay with them to ensure that what was to happen (temporal mechanics and all) would happen correctly. Now, all of that seemed like a distant past. Banfield was part of their inner circle, which had been developed over many years among the senior staff. She had gone out of her way to get to know others and share a side of herself that made her relatable. Though there had been some hiccups along the way and a few disagreements in staff meetings, Banfield’s loyalty to the ship, its crew, and its commanding officer was unwavering. She and McCalister had developed a strong rapport over the past year, and McCallister had done what he had always done, proven himself to be a capable leader, and earned him her respect, from what Duncan could see. Her Klingon side had grown to see him as a man of his honour. Duncan had never second-guessed the notion that she would become loyal to McCallister. They had all been through too much together. 

Then, looking at McCallister, Duncan knew what was going through his commanding officer’s mind right then. What were they about to engage with? Would they get out of it alive? What implications would their actions have for them and their time in the Delta Quadrant? And a million other questions. Duncan knew every single dilemma that would be racing through McCallsiter’s mind, as they were rushing through his as well, adding to the suspense and uncertainty of their current situation. Then, as the turbolift started to slow down and approach the bridge, Duncan knew what would happen next. McCallister took a breath in, turned to Banfield and him, gave them a reassuring smile, and then turned around when their cart stopped and the doors opened. McCallister stepped out, shoulders back and ready to deal with the crisis before them, a clear determination in his eyes that ignited a spark of hope in the crew’s hearts. 

Following McCallister out, Duncan caught the eye of his husband, who was now rising from the centre seat on the bridge. Court gave him a wink as he gave McCallister an update on what was happening. A Hirogen hunting party were firing spatial charges against the Entharan’s research outpost. They were not quite directly assaulting them but doing their best to irritate them and cause some damage. The outpost, which had members of their crew on it, had sent out a distress call, but the nearest help from the Entharans wasn’t close enough. The Odyssey was, and it would be down to the Odyssey to distract the Hirogen long enough to hold the line so the Entharans reinforcements could eventually arrive.  

As he surveyed the rest of the bridge, Duncan noticed they were missing a few key people at their stations. He waited for the exchange between McCallister and Court to finish before getting to work. Though the bridge felt busy, especially with its crimson shadows bearing down on them, Duncan was reassured by the readiness he saw. He wondered how ready they truly were, but deep down, he knew they were prepared for whatever was about to come. 

“Is everyone back from their breaks?” He asked, moving behind McCallister to take his chair to McCallister’s right.

“Almost,” Court replied. “The last of those who were, let’s say, further afield, are now beaming up.”

“What about Rosle and the starfighter pilots? Are they all back?” McCallister probed as he noticed Jen, Marova, and a few others arrive via the other opposite turbolift they had used earlier.

Court nodded. “Yes, and she’s already got them ready to launch on your orders, sir.” 

“Give the order for them to get underway, commander,” McCallister ordered Court as he took his chair. 

“Bridge to engineering,” Duncan called down to their chief engineer. “Tierra, we’re about to take on the Hirogen, and we’ll need as much power as possible for the defence systems.”

“We’re already on it, sir. I’m re-enforcing the shields with the main deflector and increasing power to our phaser yield,” Tierra replied. 

At that point, the other turbolift doors to the bridge opened, and the final remaining members of the bridge crew arrived, all led by Tomaz. Duncan suppressed a smirk at seeing their chief strategic operations officer entering the bridge wearing his casual clothes. He wasn’t the only one; most of them were out of uniform and enjoying their time off. 

“Did we know the Hirogen were going to gatecrash our break?” Tomaz asked as he headed over to his station.

“I think they’re pretty upset we didn’t invite them, Tomaz,” Duncan replied.

Tomaz smirked as he pulled up a holographic display of the battle scene. “Two Venatic-class ships backed up by three escorts,” He reported. “This is going to be a tough one, sir.”

“Suggestions?” McCallister asked Tomaz. Duncan could see McCallister was considering whether this was a good idea or not. Going up against a Hirogen hunting party, even with how big the Odyssey was, wasn’t the greatest odds in their favour. 

“Voyager was able to disable one Venatic-class ship with a precise phaser assault and another with a full spread of photon torpedoes. They are big and bulky, and their hull plating is strong. We need to be quick if we want to get the upper hand,” Tomaz advised. 

Nodding in appreciation for Tomaz’s ideas, McCallister ordered Keli to load up the attack patterns that Voyager once used. He turned to Duncan, “We may need to prepare to separate the ship, Number One.”

“I’ll make preparations,” Duncan replied as he turned to his own console. He knew that it was rare for McCallister to want to engage the multi-vector assault mode, but McCallister would not shy away from using it. 

“Transporter Room One reports that everyone’s back, sir,” Court announced from the mission ops station. 

“Then let’s go,” McCallister ordered.

Moments later, the Odyssey approached the ninth planet. The massive gas giant almost resembled Saturn without its rings. The Hirogen ships were at a high point, firing their charges towards the planet. 

Banfield broke the silence that hung in the air on the bridge. “Their charges include a proximity sweep. Perhaps their sensors can’t detect Cloudbase.”

“The base does move its position often to help with its studies,” Marova shared from the helm. “Professor Mettex had shared that information last night.”

“Has Cloudbase moved? Can we find them?” Duncan asked Banfield.

“I’ve got their last known coordinates based on what the Entharans have shared with us before Doctor Slyvexs and Professor Mettex visited them today,” Banfield said. “But, if Cloudbase has moved itself, we may have the same difficulties. They are nestled within the cyclohexane layer.”

McCallister looked over at Jonarom at the communications station. “Any response to our hails, lieutenant?”

Jonarom shook his head. “Nothing, sir.”

“Then open a channel, all subspace frequencies,” McCallister ordered. Jonarom replied with a nod, indicating the captain was on. 

Duncan held his breath, wondering what type of threat McCallister would give the Hirogen. They weren’t known for being receptive or diplomatic; however, protocol required them to try before opening fire. 

“Hirogen vessels, this is Fleet Captain James Preston McCallister of the Federation starship U-S-S Odyssey; stand down from trying to attack this civilian research station,” McCallister warned. “Your hunt will not give you the trophy you seek. Furthermore, Entharan reinforcements are on their way. I recommend you leave now.”

McCallister gave it a few seconds before looking at Jonarom, who had just shaken his head. The Hirogen had ignored him.

“How far away is the nearest Entharan vessel?” Duncan asked aloud. He knew the same thought would be racing through McCallister’s mind.

Banfield was the first with the answer. “At least seven minutes away. There’s nine small craft all at high warp.”

“They may be small, but the Entharan weapon technology is more advanced than ours and the Hirogen,” Tomaz reminded everyone. 

“The last volley of Hirogen charges are getting closer to where the last known coordinates of Cloudbase were,” Kelli reported from tactical. “If we’re going to do something, sir, we must do it soon.”

Duncan turned to McCallister, “What are your orders, sir?”

Scratching his chin, McCallister appeared to be considering his options. “Keli, fire a full spread of photon torpedoes at the pathway of the Hirogen and then destroy each with a phaser blast. The photonic shockwaves they should create should be enough to blind their sensors long enough for us to hit their two lead ships hard. I want quantum torpedoes and phasers firing when those shockwaves occur. Let’s not give them a chance to blink.”

“Aye, sir,” Keli responded swiftly. 

“Marova, take us in, attack pattern omega,” McCallister commanded. 

She nodded in acknowledgement as she adjusted the controls at the helm and moved the Odyssey towards its targets.

“Bridge to Commander Rosle. The moment we launch our attack, I want the starfighters right behind us, opening fire on those smaller escorts,” McCallister ordered over the intercom to their lead pilot. “Annoy them long enough for us to get a firing pattern in place for them.”

“Acknowledged, sir,” Rosle replied. 

A full spread of torpedoes was released from the underbelly of the Odyssey towards the Hirogen ships, who were ignoring the one lonesome Federation ship for now. As the torpedoes crossed their path, each one was destroyed by a lance of phaser energy, creating the shockwaves that McCallister wanted. Each shockwave hit the hulls of the mighty Hirogen vessels. This move was soon followed by fifteen quantum torpedoes launched from the forward turret at one of the Venatic ships. It received all fifteen as they were slammed into its upper sections. 

“Direct hits,” Keli announced, “We’ve disabled one of them.”

“Good,” McCallister said, pleased, “Now onto the next one.”

Odyssey’s recharged phasers opened fire on the other Venatic, who appeared to be taking them as a serious threat as it moved to engage them. Multiple hits blasted against the Hirogen hull plating as the Odyssey glided over them, but the Hirogen then returned fire with its own phaser blast. However, it wasn’t prepared for the assault from the twelve Valkyrie fighters following in close formation behind their mothership. All twelve fighters were hitting it in a coordinated attack with their phasers. Explosions erupted over the hull of the Hirogen vessel after each precise attack. 

“Starfighters, break formation and engage the other Hirogen vessels,” McCallister ordered before telling Keli to give them support from their own weapon’s array.

“Sir, those other Hirogen ships are quicker than we are due to their size,” Tomaz replied as the ship shuddered from the assault. “If we’re going to do M-V-A-M, then we need to do it now, sir.”

“Alright,” McCallister agreed. “Max, get down to the battle bridge,” he ordered before tapping his combadge to call his wife to prepare to launch the Telemachus.

As Duncan rose from his chair and ordered Flemen and others to report to the battle bridge, Banfield called out, stopping him.

“Sir, the Entharan reinforcements have just arrived!” 

“Onscreen,” McCallister said as he rose from his chair. 

The image changed to show them being hit by the Hirogen fire with the arrival of the nine small Entharan vessels. All of them were opening firing with what looked like impressive firepower. The remaining Hirogen vessels all started to dart away in different directions.

“Talk about not messing around with the small guy,” Duncan said, impressed at how tough these little ships were. 

The Odyssey shook hard as the two Venatic class ships they had just disabled were destroyed.

“Sir, the Entharans have just used their isokinetic cannons to blast their way through the Hirogen hull plating,” Keli reported. 

“Let’s give them some breathing room, continue to fire phasers at the remaining Hirogen vessels and recall our fighters,” McCallister ordered, his expression showing how pleased he was that the battle was going in their favour. 

Duncan sat back down, sharing McCallister’s sentiments, but he was concerned about how ruthless the Entharans had been. Nevertheless, he considered that the Entharans were used to the Hirogen being on their doorsteps and taking no qualm in destroying someone who would attack them without provocation.

“Sir, the Entharans have destroyed the remaining Hirogen vessels,” Keli reported. 

The battle was over and was completed so quickly. 

“Wow, I wonder if they would let us look at those weapons,” Duncan said after a moment of quietness on the bridge. Knowing how deadly and swiftly the Entharans had dealt the Hirogen impressed and concerned him. However, he knew if they had similar firepower, the next time they engaged the Hirogen or even the Borg, the Odyssey and the rest of the squadron would be well-equipped to defend themselves easily. Looking at McCallister, though, he could see he didn’t share a similar train of thought. McCallister looked uneasy and concerned. Then Duncan realised why. 

If the Hirogen were that easy to defeat with Entharan weapons, how quickly could they disable or even destroy the Odyssey if they didn’t get their way in their trade talks?

  • James Preston McCallister

    Squadron Commander

  • Max Duncan-Court

    Commanding Officer

  • Tomaz

    Chief Strategic Operations Officer
    Chief Intelligence Officer
    Second Officer

  • Craigen Flemen

    Chief Diplomatic Officer
    Staff Judge Advocate
    Third Officer

  • Tobias Duncan-Court

    Chief Administrative & Training Officer
    Senior Officer of the Watch

  • Tierra

    Chief Engineer

  • Keli

    Chief Security & Tactical Officer

  • Rosle

    Starfighter Group Commander

  • Corella Banfield

    USS Triton
    Commanding Officer
    Former Captain of Science
    Second Officer

  • Lukiz Jen

    USS Triton
    First Officer
    Former Chief Operations Officer

  • Jonarom

    USS Bellerophon
    Chief Science Officer
    Former Chief Communications Officer

  • Marova

    Former Chief Flight Control Officer
    deceased