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Part of USS Odyssey: No Good Deed

No Good Deed – 10

USS Odyssey (NCC-80000), Gerina IX, Gerina System, Swallow Nebula region, Delta Quadrant
Stardate: 78624.12
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As McCallister strode onto the bridge, he was jolted by the commotion that greeted him. “Status report,” he barked, his voice cutting through the clamour. 

Tomaz knelt on the deck, the cool metal pressing against his knees as he worked feverishly to treat the injured person lying flat beside him. His brow furrowed in concentration. He didn’t immediately respond to McCallister’s inquiries; instead, he focused on the readings from the medical tricorder on his side. A heavy sigh escaped Tomaz as he reluctantly abandoned his efforts to aid the person before him. McCallister peered around Tomaz and quickly identified the individual who had been the focus of Tomaz’s attention. 

Marova. 

McCallister came to a sudden halt as the realisation hit him like a ton of bricks. Marova, their helm officer, was no longer among them. She lay motionless on the floor, her face marred by a severe burn. Her vacant eyes stared into the distance, devoid of the spark of life. Meanwhile, Reyas hurried to Tomaz’s aid, enveloping the grief-stricken young commander in a tender embrace to provide solace in the face of their profound loss.

“Tomaz, she’s gone,” Reyas whispered to him.

Tomaz nodded as he stood up and looked at McCallister. His expression was solemn and apologetic. “Sir, she didn’t have a chance.”

McCallister placed a reassuring hand on Tomaz’s shoulder as medics arrived to remove their helm officer’s body and take her to the morgue. “What happened, Tomaz?”

“All systems were fine one minute, and then the next, we started to register computer malfunctions, then explosions erupted in the storage bays.” He answered, trying to compose himself. “With the malfunctions, we had systems overloaded by the power grid. That’s what happened to Marova. She was by the helm, then a surge went through it and blasted across the bridge.”

At that point, the other turbolift doors opened, bringing Duncan, Court, Jen and Rosle to the bridge. All four stopped in their tracks as they took in the mess that was now the bridge. Rosle made a shock inward noise as she saw the medics take Marova’s body, now draped with a sheet over it, off the bridge. 

Realising he needed to take command of the situation, McCallister assured Tomaz one more time before he started issuing orders. 

“Lukiz, we need to know what is causing our computer malfunctions,” McCallister ordered his ops officer. 

“I’m on it,” Jen said as he rushed across the bridge and took over at ops. 

“Max, Tobias, I need a full damage report; get me some answers to what is working and what isn’t,” McCallister told his faithful first officer and senior officer of the watch.

He turned to his wife next, “Karyn, see if the sensors are up and running; we need to know what’s happening outside the ship and if we can get anyone from the Entharan colony to help us.”

“Tomaz,” McCallister looked at the commander and realised that, at that moment, his Barzan strategic operations officer probably needed to be elsewhere. “Who has your son?”

“Craigen, sir. He was babysitting for me tonight.”

“Then go see him and make sure S’Tem is okay,” McCallister said, knowing that Tomaz would likely be worried about what state S’Tem is in.

“Thank you, sir,” Tomaz was grateful as he almost sprinted across the bridge.

Turning to his Rosle next, McCallister told the pilot to take the helm. “I know it’s not your normal station, Commander, but I need someone to help secure the ship.”

“Aye, sir,” Rosle said. She hesitated initially, knowing she would be stepping into Marova’s position. However, she also knew this was a state of emergency, and she needed to be where her captain put her. 

“Alfie, Jordan, make yourselves useful, find a station that’s not being manned and man it!” McCallister told his son and son’s best friend. 

As the two cadets dashed over to the auxiliary stations, McCallister looked at his chair in the centre of the room. He wouldn’t sit in it; he didn’t have time to do that. 

“Sir, I’ve isolated the main computer core, along with the secondary and backups,” Jen announced from ops. “But I can’t determine what is causing the malfunctions from up here.”

Frustrated to hear that, McCallister looked at his first officer. “Max, how bad is it?”

“We’re in a pretty bad state,” Duncan announced from the engineering station. “Most primary systems are offline, emergency systems are operating.”

“We’ve got hull breaches in the stardrive section; emergency forcefields are in place and are holding,” Court added.

McCallister gave out a long sigh. He was about to tape his combadge when his son spoke up.

“Captain, Doctor Slyvexs is reporting forty-seven dead and a hundred twenty-one injured so far,” Alfie said in a concerned tone.  

Flashbacks to Frontier Day raced through his mind; McCallister, like so many other Starfleet captains, had lost a number of their crew on that day. Now, several months later, he was dealing with more. He tapped his combadge; he would speak to Slyvexs shortly; in the meantime, McCallister wanted to know what was happening in Main Engineering. “Bridge to Engineering. What the hell is going on down there?”

He was surprised by who responded; McCallister wasn’t expecting to hear from his second officer. 

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

Instantly, McCallister looked at Duncan, Jen, and Court and signalled for them to go. “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 through gritted teeth.

“Aye, sir, Banfield out,” 

Hearing that Korvain’s device had caused this damage frustrated the hell out of McCallister.

“Sir, the storage bay where the explosion took place, it’s where the resources from Korvain were placed,” Rosle remarked. “Do you think this is some sort of plan for him to destroy us?”

“Or disable us,” Reyas said from science. James, look at this,” she said, indicating to her husband to join her. “We’ve got partial sensors, but I’m detecting a small group of ships leaving Cloudbase and making their way here.”

McCallister had moved to stand behind her to see the readings. “Why do I feel they’re not coming to help us?”

“Probably because they’re coming with their shields raised and weapons charged,” Reyas added. 

“Damn it,” McCallister cursed. 

“Let me take over at tactical,” Reyas told him, indicating that no one was there when she got up from her station to take over.

“Rosle, where do we stand with engines?” McCallister said as he returned to the centre of the room. 

“We’ve got half impulse and some thrusters, no warp drive, though,” She replied. “Sir, I would suggest that we launch our fighters, but the hanger door isn’t opening, and from what I’ve just heard from the hanger chief, it’s a mess down there, and some of our fighters are damaged from the explosions.”

“That’s fine, Rosle; I wouldn’t want to launch only a few fighters, especially against the Entharans; remember how much of a punch they threw at the Hirogen,” McCallister replied. “But, engage impulse engines and see if we can distance ourselves from them.”

Rosle nodded with an ‘aye’ as she brought the Odyssey away from the approaching craft. 

“Where do we stand with shields and weapons, Karyn?” McCallister asked next.

“Shields are at seventy-two per cent; we have a few phasers working and one aft torpedo launcher; however, targeting scanners are offline,” Reyas replied.

“Then prepare to fire manually,” McCallister said. 

Reyas called for Jordan to join her at the tactical station so she could have an extra pair of hands if needed. 

Walking down to the ops station, McCallister sat in Jen’s vacant seat. It had been years since he had been at the ops station. Though his first posting on the USS Audacious, where he was chief operations officer, had a different layout to the Odyssey, it felt good to be back in something familiar to him.

“Captain, there’s an issue with the warp core,” announced Rosle.

“What kind of issue?” McCallister asked as he brought up the ship’s status readings on his main console. 

“The containment field is beginning to fluctuate,” Rosle shared.

Localising the problem on his display, McCallister was about to call engineering when he saw that Banfield had activated the emergency ejection systems. He had to trust that she knew what she was doing, whatever was happening. In a split second, something changed. Checking the readings, he saw that her husband and Jaceon had re-established power in the containment field, and the warp core was stabilising. Relieved they were saved from having to dump the core or from it breaching, McCallister turned his attention back to their incoming ‘guests’.

“They’re still coming,” Reyas announced from behind him. She knew what her husband was thinking and anticipated every possibility he could take. “Shouldn’t we hail them?”

If he was younger, if this was his first command, if the ship hadn’t been badly damaged, then McCallister would have gone in phasers and torpedoes blazing. However, McCallister was older; he had commanded the Odyssey for over fifteen years and knew the chances of the ship surviving would increase if he could find a diplomatic solution. He agreed with Reyas’ suggestion and immediately pressed the button on his console to open a channel to the lead Entharan vessel. They acknowledged they were responding. Deciding to take a firmer stand, McCallister stood up and indicated for Alfie to take over for him at ops for this bit before he ordered the computer to put the incoming call up on the main screen. 

Korvain’s face appeared across it. “Fleet Captain McCallister, you appear in quite the disarray.”

“Indeed we are,” McCallister replied. “But we have things under control.”

“Why don’t you slow down and let my teams board you to provide assistance?” Korvain offered with a smile. 

“Thanks for the offer, but we’re good,” McCallister answered politely. 

“Please, captain, I must insist.”

“And I politely decline; please tell your ships to break away to avoid them receiving any damage,” McCallister stated. McCallister was trying his best to keep his temper in check.

“I appreciate that you must be under a lot of stress, captain, so my ships will dock, and my support teams will help you,” Korvain said. “If you don’t accept, you will cause a massive diplomatic incident.”

“If you want to avoid a massive diplomatic incident, then I suggest you fall back, especially as it was your PADD and your resources that caused the damage to my ship,” McCallister countered.

“You can’t prove that, captain,” Korvain replied. “Please do not insult my generosity.”

“Your generosity has killed forty-seven of my crew; I promise you that you’ve not heard my insults yet,” McCallister said in a firmer tone. “Now, as I said, tell your ships to stand down and leave us alone.”

Korvain smirked. “You honestly think your lies about my good nature will bother anyone else?”

“My crew are preparing to send a message to your government now; I’ll let your local law enforcement agencies decide on that,” McCallister replied as he crossed his arms against his chest.

“Ha!” Korvain chuckled deeply. “Captain, I own them all; you really think someone with my wealth and connections won’t get what he wants? Please don’t insult your intelligence, captain. Now, I suggest you slow down and allow my teams to be on board so we can peacefully take your ship without anyone else dying.” 

“What’s wrong, Korvain? Asking someone to surrender isn’t in your wealthy terminology?” McCallister argued back. 

Korvain remained amused by his exchange with McCallister. “I get what I want, captain, and after seeing your ship in action against the Hirogen, I promise that once I’m done with it, it will become the flagship of my business empire. Now, stand down, and I will ensure your crew won’t be harmed when they become my company employees at our dilithium mining facilities.”

“Employees? Is that what you call slaves? Prisoners?” McCallister shook his head as he finally saw Korvain in all his colours. “You really are something, Korvain.”

“Thank you, captain.” He proudly replied. “Now, what about those shields?” 

McCallister shook his head. “I’ll destroy this ship before you get your hands on it.” 

“I don’t think you will, especially as your family reside on it,” Korvain pointed out. “And with so many Federation lives at risk. I also don’t think you understand that once your other ships come to find out what happened here, they will be easy to enlist into our ranks. Now, do we have a deal or not?”

“Never,” McCallister said before he gestured to Alfie to close the channel. 

“He’s charging his weapons,” Reyas announced. “James, we’re no match against them, even in our best state.”

“I know, Karyn,” McCallister huffed as he slumped into his chair and considered his options. There weren’t many left. “I know.”