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Part of USS Odyssey: No Good Deed

No Good Deed – 9

USS Odyssey (NCC-80000), Gerina IX, Gerina System, Swallow Nebula region, Delta Quadrant
Stardate: 78624.12
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Banfield had felt the rhythm of the music, the warmth of her husband’s hand in hers, and the carefree joy of dancing on the holodeck fade abruptly as the alarms blared. The song “This Will Be An Everlasting Love,” a cherished melody from their wedding, had abruptly been cut off as red alert klaxons filled the space. Now, rushing through the smoke-filled corridors of the USS Odyssey, she could barely remember the last peaceful moments they had shared.

Hand in hand, Banfield and Westerham sprinted through the ship’s twisting passages, their minds racing as fast as their legs. The Odyssey had taken severe damage, and the journey to Main Engineering felt like an eternity. Banfield was wearing a long navy blue silk dress. As she started to sprint from their date on the holodeck to Main Engineering, she tore the slit that ran up the side of her left leg a bit further so that she could move better in it.

As they rounded the final corner, the imposing shutter doors of Main Engineering loomed before them, sealed shut against the chaos within. Banfield’s captain’s instinct kicked in as she took charge. 

“Manual override,” she ordered, her voice steady despite the urgency. 

Westerham nodded, and together, they pried open an auxiliary access panel. It took all their combined strength, but they managed to force the heavy doors apart just enough to slip through.

Inside Main Engineering, the scene was apocalyptic. Sparks rained down from broken conduits, fires crackled from shattered consoles, and acrid smoke filled the air. The usually pristine heart of the Odyssey was now a wreckage-strewn battlefield. Whatever had hit them had some how overloaded a number of power conduits in engineering. 

Surveying the entire room quickly, Banfield knew what they needed to do first. “Help those who can still walk!” Banfield commanded, her voice cutting through the din. She spotted Tierra, the chief engineer, pinned under a massive beam. Banfield raced to her side and knelt, trying to lift the heavy metal.

“Corella, it’s the alien PADD we were working on,” Tierra explained, her voice strained with concern. She was trying her best to keep it together in her current state. “It’s somehow come to life, infected the computer core, and taken control. It overloaded the power grid.”

Banfield’s brow furrowed. She had heard of such phenomena before—alien technologies with a mind of their own, wreaking havoc aboard unsuspecting starships. The scientist in her wanted to find out why, but she knew if it posed a security threat, she had to deal with it now. 

Tierra pointed towards her office, where the door and the wall that separated it from the rest of engineering had all been blown away. Now, the entire office was part of Main Engineering. Banfield turned to see Jaceon, his cybernetic implants glowing faintly. He had somehow connected himself through his assimilation tubule, which was now active from his wrist. They were accessing the alien PADD, and it looked like he was in a deep trance. Whatever he was doing was keeping the device, which had connected itself to the console in the room, from causing any more harm to them. However, Banfield knew that If the alien PADD gained full control, the consequences could be catastrophic.

Not wasting a moment, Banfield sprinted to the nearest weapon locker in Main Engineering. With practised efficiency, she retrieved a phaser rifle, quickly scanning it to ensure it was operational. Satisfied, she aimed it at the rogue PADD, her finger hovering over the trigger.

Jaceon, his face a mask of concentration, barely registered her presence as he battled the alien intelligence within the ship’s systems. She could see that whatever Borg technology was left in the former drone, the young man was adamant about keeping it at bay. The PADD had ensnared him in a digital duel, its tendrils of code reaching out like tendrils, probing for weaknesses in his defences. Banfield was not going to let him loose. After taking out a tricorder and scanning him and the device, she could see that it was safe to do what her Klingon side wanted to do.

“Jaceon!” Banfield shouted, her voice cutting through his trance. “Move away from the PADD!”

Jaceon hesitated for a split second, torn between the fight and Banfield’s command. With a surge of determination, he disconnected his Borg implants from the device, severing the link with the alien PADD.

Banfield didn’t hesitate. She fired the phaser rifle, the bright beam lancing out and striking the PADD with precision. The alien device sparked and sputtered; its insidious presence was finally neutralised. How it had come to life didn’t matter; it was now dead. 

As the smoke cleared, Jaceon blinked, disoriented but free from the PADD’s influence. He turned to Banfield with gratitude in his eyes, knowing she had saved him from a fate worse than assimilation.

“Thank you, Captain,” Jaceon said, his voice steady as he refocused on the task at hand. “I didn’t know what else to do, but it was a sophisticated computer program that was able to get through a lot of our computer’s security programs.”

“You did good, Jaceon,” Banfield assured him as she dropped the rifle on the desk before them. “I still need you to help us here. Are you okay to lend a hand?”

He nodded to her. 

Smiling at his courage and determination, Banfield squeezed his arm gently before returning to where Tierra was trapped. 

After returning to Tierra’s side, Banfield tried to assess how they would free her friend. Before she could work out the best plan, Tierra interrupted her. 

“Corella, I’m fine, but the warp core…” Tierra gasped, wincing in pain. “It’s unstable. You need to check it before it’s too late.”

Banfield hesitated for only a moment before making a decision. “Carter!” she called out. Her husband turned, his face streaked with soot and worry. He had been helping those who he led to safety. “Stabilise the core. I’ll handle the rest here. Jaceon, help him!”

Both men nodded and dashed towards the central control area, frantically working together to keep the core from breaching. Banfield watched them go, a knot of anxiety tightening in her stomach, before refocusing on Tierra.

“Don’t go anywhere,” Banfield said with a forced smile, trying to keep the chief engineer’s spirits up as she carefully lifted the beam. With a grunt of effort, she managed to shift it enough to free Tierra. “Can you move?”

“I think so,” Tierra replied, wincing as she tried to stand. Banfield quickly supported her, leading her to a safer area before moving on to assist others.

“Bridge to Engineering,” spoke McCallister over the intercom. The captain didn’t pause to hold back his frustration in his tone. “What the hell is going on down there?”

Tapping her combadge, Banfield answered his call. “Corella here; we’ve got injured and are attempting to stabilise the core. I could do with a couple of extra pairs of hands.”

“I’m sending help to you now, Corella,” McCallister responded. “What caused the overload?”

“The PADD that our dear friend, Mister Korvain, left behind has somehow interfaced with our computer controls. It overloaded the power grid, sir. Jaceon was able to slow its ability to take control before I destroyed it completely. But I don’t know what else it’s done.”

“Alright, do what you can do there,” McCallister ordered.

“Aye, sir, Banfield out,” She tapped her combadge before closing the channel. Banfield tapped it again and called to sickbay. “Banfield to sickbay,”

“Go ahead, Corella,” replied Slyvexs. “Though, make it quick as I’m in surgery, and casualties are overrunning sickbay.”

“Slyvexs, we’ve got multiple people injured down in Main Engineering. Can you spare anyone?”

“I’ll send one of the E-M-Hs to you,” Slyvexs replied. 

“That’ll do, thanks!” Banfield said. 

At the warp core, Westerham and Jaceon were in a flurry of motion, hands flying over controls, rerouting power and stabilising systems. The core hummed ominously, its pulsing light casting eerie shadows across their determined faces.

“Captain!” Jaceon shouted over the noise. “The antimatter injectors are misaligned. We need to reset them manually.”

“Do it,” Banfield commanded. She had returned to their side after ensuring the most critically injured were being tended to by the activation of one of the EMHs.  Looking at the engineering controls, she could see the issues. Her husband and the young former Borg drone were working well together.

“I’ll handle the injectors. Jaceon, get ready to recalibrate the plasma flow.” Westerham ordered as he walked away from the console and headed to the maintenance shaft to access the injectors. His fingers moved with practised precision, every adjustment crucial. The seconds felt like hours, each one bringing them closer to a potential disaster.

“Injectors realigned!” Westerham called out.

“Plasma flow recalibrated,” Jaceon confirmed, his voice steady despite the tension.

“Initiating warp core stabilisation sequence,” Banfield said, her fingers dancing over the control panel. The core’s hum began to normalise, its threatening glow dimming to a more reassuring, steady pulse.

Then, an explosion erupted above them, catching them all off guard. Their relief at stabilising the warp core was short-lived as a new crisis unfolded. The containment field began to fluctuate, ominous warnings echoing through Main Engineering. 

The computer’s chilling announcement cut through the chaos. “Containment field integrity at critical levels. Warp core breach imminent.”

The colour drained from Banfield’s face as the gravity of the situation sank in. She glanced at Jaceon and her husband, who exchanged a look of grim determination. They knew what was at stake—the lives of everyone aboard the USS Odyssey.

“Corella, we need more time,” Westerhamd urged, his voice urgent but steady as he and Jaceon tried to resolve the problem in unison. “We can fix this.”

“Do what you can, but we can’t risk the ship,” Banfield replied as she barked her next set of orders at the computer. “Computer, prepare to eject the warp core, authorisation Banfield-three-seven-gamme-echo.”

“Warp core ejection system online.”

Seconds stretched into an eternity as Banfield watched the progress of Westerham and Jaceon. The Odyssey trembled around them, the tension thick enough to cut with a knife. Every moment counted, every adjustment critical to their survival. She heard the frustration coming from her husband’s voice. Then she knew she had no choice. 

She took one breath and then spoke. “Computer…”