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Part of USS Odyssey: No Good Deed

No Good Deed – 12

USS Odyssey (NCC-80000), Gerina System, Swallow Nebula region, Delta Quadrant
Stardate: 78624.25
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It only took her a few seconds, but Banfield knew something was off in those few seconds and instantly looked up from where she was standing beside Duncan. “Carter,” She whispered. 

Duncan’s brow furrowed in deep concern as he turned to her. “What’s wrong, Corella?” he asked, his voice filled with worry, mirroring the growing tension in the room.

“Carter,” She said, her voice now trembling with panic as she moved from where they were in the centre of Main Engineering to where he had stood only moments ago. 

He wasn’t there.

She gulped heavily as she felt her heart begin to beat heavily. “Where is he?” Banfield called out. 

Duncan shook his head. “No idea,” He looked around main engineering, “I can’t see him.”

Though still injured, Tierra tried to lift herself up from the stool she was on. “I thought he was working on the conduit-” She paused as she stopped mid-sentence and looked at Banfield.

Banfield shook her head in disbelief, “He wouldn’t. Would he?” She asked Tierra.

Tierra wasn’t sure how to respond; she was in shock. “If he did, he has only moments.”

Without hesitation, Banfield dashed the access door that would take her down to the crawlway—ignoring both Duncan and Tierra behind her. She was too fast for them. Her Klingon heritage kicked in as she moved swiftly.

After entering the first section, Banfield approached a nearby operating console and quickly accessed the internal sensors. She saw her husband heading down to the ODN conduit within the warp plasma-shaft crawlway, and more panic surged through her. The radiation levels in that area were dangerously high, and the repairs he intended to make were beyond risky.

“No, Carter,” she muttered, her heart pounding. “You can’t do this alone.”

Opening the next hatch, she knew every inch of the ship, but the crawlways were a claustrophobic nightmare even for the most seasoned officer. As she entered the tunnel, the radiation detectors on her tricorder began to beep urgently. She forced herself to push on, the tight space pressing in on her from all sides.

“Carter! Carter, can you hear me?” she called out, her voice echoing in the narrow confines.

Ahead, she saw the faint glow of his work light. Westerham was hunched over the conduit, his movements sluggish and slow. He looked up as she approached, his face pale and drenched in sweat.

“Corella, you shouldn’t be here,” he croaked, his voice weak.

“Neither should you,” she retorted, crawling closer. “I’m not losing you.”

She watched as he completed the last of the repairs, his hands trembling. The holographic engineers flickered nearby, their forms unstable due to the radiation interfering with their projectors. As the final connection was made, Westerham slumped against the conduit, his strength failing.

“Hold on,” Banfield urged, turning to the holograms. “Help me get him out of here!”

The holographic engineers moved to assist, their translucent hands carefully manoeuvring Westerham. Just as they managed to pull him free of the conduit, their projectors failed, and they vanished, leaving Banfield alone with her barely conscious husband.

With sheer determination, she draped Westerham over her shoulders, his weight nearly overwhelming her. Once again, she depended on her Klingon heritage; half of it gave her the boost she needed. The radiation alarm on her tricorder was screaming now, but she pressed on, crawling back through the tight space, every inch a struggle.

“Stay with me, Carter,” she whispered, gritting her teeth against the pain and exhaustion.

Finally, she emerged from the crawlway into Main Engineering, gasping for breath. Duncan rushed over to them both and pulled them through the access door to where Tierra was. 

“He needs medical attention,” Banfield panted. She was starting to feel weak herself. She staggered towards Tierra and took one more glance at her husband before she felt her body start to go limp. Tierra caught Banfield in her arms; Banfield could barely hear what Tierra was saying to her as the darkness began to close in. 

The last thing she saw before she blacked out was Westerham’s hand reaching for hers. 

The Odyssey buckled under another barrage from the Entharan attackers, the lights flickering as the ship fought to stay operational. Jen sprinted down the corridor, his mind laser-focused on the task ahead. Beside him, Jaceon moved with the eerie precision of his former collective, his cybernetic enhancements making him an invaluable ally in these critical moments.

“The chevron section’s main engineering is just ahead,” Jen shouted over the ship’s alarms. 

Jaceon nodded, his expression unreadable. “Understood, commander.”

They rounded the corner and burst into the chevron section’s engineering room, only to find Jonarom hunched over a console, his face twisted in frustration.

“Come on, come on,” Jonarom muttered, slamming his fist against the panel. “Why won’t you work?”

“Jonarom!” Jen called out, hurrying to his side. “We’re here to help.”

Jonarom’s eyes lit up with relief. “Commander, thank you! I’m way out of my depth here. I’ve been trying to get the warp core back online, but nothing you told me to do over the com is working.”

“You’re doing fine, Lieutenant,” Jen reassured him, quickly assessing the situation. “Let’s work together,” He suggested before gesturing to Jaceon to check the ODN conduit status and see if they had a path to reroute power.

Jaceon moved to a nearby terminal and undertook the work efficiently. “The ODN conduits are operational. The repairs made have stabilised the network.”

“Good,” Jen said. He was impressed at how quickly their holographic engineers had fixed that issue. He turnied back to Jonarom. “We can do this. Follow my lead.”

Under Jen’s direction, the three men worked with urgency. Jen’s experience with the ship’s systems allowed him to diagnose the issues quickly. He rerouted power, stabilised the plasma flow, and initiated a diagnostic sweep of the warp core’s subsystems. 

Jonarom followed Jen’s instructions, but his initial frustration gave way to a determined focus. At the same time, Jaceon monitored the core’s structural integrity to ensure there were no hidden faults.

“Jaceon, adjust the plasma injectors to compensate for the power fluctuations,” Jen instructed, his fingers flying over the console. “Jonarom, monitor the antimatter containment field. We can’t afford any instability.”

“Plasma injectors adjusted,” Jaceon confirmed. “Power flow is stabilising.”

“Containment field holding steady,” Jonarom reported, his voice steadying as the warp core hummed to life.

Jen’s eyes scanned the readouts. “We’re almost there. Initiating warp core start-up sequence now.”

The room was filled with the deep thrum of the warp core as it came online, the power surging through the ship. Jen’s fingers danced over the controls, fine-tuning the subspace field parameters.

“Warp core online,” Jen announced, relief evident in his voice. “Now, let’s modify the subspace field to encompass the entirety of the Odyssey. Jaceon, bring up the field modulation matrix.”

Jaceon’s fingers danced across the terminal, his eyes staring intently as he processed the data. “Field modulation matrix engaged. Adjusting parameters now.”

Jonarom watched the readouts, his hands ready at the controls. “Field integrity is holding. Modulation complete.”

Jen nodded as a determined smile appeared on his face. “Excellent. Let’s get us moving.” Immediately he tapped his combadge and called the bridge, telling the captain the excellent news.

The bridge was a flurry of controlled chaos as Fleet Captain McCallister held on tightly to the arms of his chair. The ship rocked under the relentless assault from the Entharans. McCallister’s mind was racing with the plan Duncan and Banfield devised to outmanoeuvre their enemy.

“Captain,” came Jen’s urgent voice over the comm. “The chevron’s warp drive is online and ready to go.”

McCallister’s lips curved into a determined smile. “Good work, Lukiz. Stand by for further instructions.”

As he cut the channel, the bridge was filled with a tense anticipation. The plan was audacious, but it was their best shot. They would make it look like the Odyssey had been destroyed while slipping away at warp speed.

“Captain,” Alfie McCallister, his eldest son, called out from the ops station. “Korvain is hailing us again.”

Looking at everyone else around him, McCallister told them to stand by to implement the plan. “Open a channel,” McCallister ordered, his voice steady.

The viewscreen flickered, and the visage of Korvain, the Entharan businessman, filled the screen. His eyes glinted with malevolent glee. “Fleet Captain McCallister,” Korvain sneered, “I see you’re still stubbornly refusing my offer. Please surrender before any more of my future employers are hurt.”

“Korvain,” McCallister responded coolly. “This ends now. If you don’t cease your attack and leave us alone, I’ll destroy the Odyssey.”

Korvain’s laugh was a harsh, grating sound. “As I said, I don’t think you will. You’re bluffing.”

“Am I?” McCallister’s gaze was steely. “Keep firing at us, and you’ll find out. Our warp core containment is already compromised. One more hit might be all it takes.”

Your threats are empty,” Korvain said dismissively. “We both know you lack the resolve.”

At tactical, Reyas glanced up from her console. “James, our shields are at twenty-one per cent. We can’t take much more.”

McCallister gave a slight nod, keeping his eyes locked on Korvain. “You’ve left me no choice, Korvain. I warned you.”

Korvain’s ships fired again, the Odyssey shuddering under the impact. McCallister waited, his muscles tense, as another volley rocked the ship. Alfie cut the channel with Korvain. McCallister was pleased his son knew what he wanted.  

“Rosle,” McCallister called the pilot, “prepare to engage the warp drive. Get us to that class nine nebula.”

“Aye, Captain,” Rosle responded, her hands moving deftly over the helm controls.

“Alfie, prepare to eject all shuttles, runabouts, and fighters,” McCallister continued. “Karyn, Jordan, fire our remaining torpedoes at them the moment I say so.”

“Ready, sir,” Alfie said, fingers poised over his console.

“The last torpedoes are armed, sir,” Jordan announced. 

“They’re locked and loaded,” Reyas confirmed, her eyes hard with determination.

McCallister waited for another heartbeat. “Now!” he barked.

In perfect harmony, Rosle engaged the warp drive. The Odyssey surged forward, the subspace field enveloping the ship. Alfie initiated the command to eject every shuttle, runabout, and fighter from the ship’s bays. Simultaneously, Reyas and Jordan fired the last torpedoes. A massive explosion took place behind them. 

The bridge was filled with the roar of engines and the deafening blast of explosions. The viewscreen showed a massive burst of light and debris as the ejected craft detonated, creating the illusion that the Odyssey had been obliterated.

The Odyssey vanished into the depths of space at warp speed. The crew held their breath, the bridge eerily silent as the stars streaked past.

“We’re clear,” Rosle reported a note of awe in her voice. “We’re approaching the nebula.”

“Take us in!” McCallister ordered.

Alfie let out a breath he hadn’t realised he was holding. “The decoys worked. The Entharans believe we’ve been destroyed.”

McCallister leaned back in his chair, relief washing over him. “Excellent work, everyone. Rosle, can you find the best spot for us to hide?”

“We’re already on our way, sir,” Rosle shared. “We can wait here until we need to contact the Themis.”

Reyas moved from tactical to approaching her husband. She placed a hand on his shoulder. “We did it, James.”

He looked up at her, his expression softening. “We did. But we’re not out of the woods yet.” 

“You seem more worried?” Reyas noted.

McCallister nodded as he stood up and pulled on his jacket. “I am, as I don’t think Korvain will rest until he finds us again.”

“We’ll be ready for him,” Reyas assured him.

“I hope so, Karyn,” McCallister replied. “Because there was something in him that made me think he’s the not type to give up easily.”

“You make him sound like the Borg, Dad,” Alfie remarked as he stood up from his station to stand with his parents. “But we beat them. We can beat Korvain, too.”

“The Borg aren’t hell-bent on profit margins and business reputation. Korvain is. That makes him more dangerous than ever.” McCallister remarked, worried for awaited them now.