“Tea, hot with sugar.” He said to his ready room’s replicator that was behind him. It complied and created his beverage within an instant. Sipping on the English breakfast tea brand that he favoured all the time, McCallister could not for the life of him work out what this latest part of the puzzle meant. Standing up, he walked around his desk and leant on one of the beams that held up the massive bay windows he had. He stared out into space, looking at the debris field that was slowly being collected in by the Odyssey’s engineering team.
The door’s chime went off and without looking over to the entrance, he simply answered with “come in”.
Stepping in and walking over to him was his son, Alfie. “Hey dad, hope it’s okay coming up to see you?”
Straight away, he went from captain mode to dad move. James smiled deeply at his son, “Alfie Bear!” He greeted by using the nickname that he used to call him when he was a lot younger. “It’s good to see you, thanks for coming.”
Rolling his eyes at the use of his old pet name, Alfie just wandered over and gave his father a hug. “I heard what happened dad, just wanted to check that you’re okay. I know Commander Hawkins meant a lot to you.”
Smiling and returning the hug (something he rarely got from his sons these days), James was happy to see his twelve-year-old boy. “Zack meant a lot to a number of us buddy.”
“Do you know what happened to his ship yet?” Alfie asked after letting go and looking up.
Shaking his head twice, James answered him back honestly. “Not yet, we’re working on it though.”
“Will you and mom be home for dinner tonight?” His son asked. “Because if not, Uncle Tobi said he would look after us.”
Rubbing his forehead, not knowing if he would get home tonight, James answered his son. “I’m not sure yet Alf, mom and I have a lot of work to do. Let me chat it over with her and then we’ll let you know. Anyway, I thought you were going over to Sammy’s place tonight for a sleepover?”
Rolling his eyes again, Alfie shook his head. “Dad that’s tomorrow night! Don’t you ever listen?”
“Sorry man, I thought it was tonight, must be getting my day’s mixed up.” James remarked back apologetically.
“It’s a good thing you’ve got Uncle Tobi to keep your schedule up to date.” Alfie commented on.
“Truer words were never spoken.” James admitted. “That’s why his just not your godfather but also my yeoman and chief of the boat. His very talented!”
“Well dad, I better get back home. I’ve got homework to do.” Alfie said before leaning in to give his dad another hug. “See you later tonight, hopefully.”
“Definitely bud,” James replied as he held onto his son and kissed the top of his head quickly. “I promised Henri another chapter of Sherlock tonight before bed.”
“I’ll hold you to that.” His son said as he let go and walked out of his office.
As Alfie walked out of the doorway, Lieutenant Commander Jen walked in. The joined Trill gave Alfie a friendly smiled as he went on by and looked at the captain.
“Is it okay to come in sir?” The operations manager asked.
Nodding and gesturing for the younger man to do just that, McCallister answered, “Yes of course Lukiz, please tell me you’ve uncovered more that may help us with this.”
“Yes and no sir. I’ve just left a set of sensor logs with Commander Reyas to review, but I think I know how the Holt got here.” He answered.
“How?” McCallister asked, eager to know.
Jen passed him a PADD he had been holding, “A soliton wave.” He shared.
Sitting in the conference room behind Odyssey’s bridge, the senior staff remained quiet as Lieutenant Commander Lukiz Jen presented to them what he had found out about the destruction of the Holt.
“I’ve pieced together a majority of the records from the log buoy and I can summarise that the Holt’s destruction was caused by a soliton wave.” The Trill operations officer explained as he manipulated the large size console and monitor that took up the length of the wall parallel to the drooping bay windows. He first brought up a navigational log from the Holt. “The ship was originally stationed here, between Cestus III and the Betreka Nebula, conducting a patrol of the Klingon-Federation-Gorn border. Captain Hawkins did not raise any concern until his last log entry.”
“The one he had prepared to send to me?” McCallister asked from the head of the table.
Jen turned to look over his right shoulder. “Yes sir. Obviously, the message was confusing with what he said about his next log entry being done at Starbase Eighty-Six as they were patrolling our side of the Gorn border.”
“What he said sounded as if he knew they may not survive.” Cambil added with.
Agreeing further with the Bajoran commander, Jen shared his thoughts. “I think I know why. The Holt had detected some unusual subspace and gravimetric readings during their patrol. Thinking it was cloaked vessels, Captain Hawkins investigated and when they arrived in a neutral system along the Gorn border they encountered natural forming soliton waves. However, while they were there, they found a Gorn ship too.”
Interrupting the operations officer, Commander Reyas tried to jump the gun slightly. “Is that who attacked them?”
“No, I think there was some confusion. When some of the soliton waves increased in size and power, the Holt attempted to destabilise them with a spread of torpedoes. The Gorn took it as a sign of aggression and fired on them, a wave then hit the Holt. Captain Hawkins had the sent out a distress call as the wave swept them away at high speeds, almost close to transwarp speeds.” Jen said as he brought up further sensor readings from the destroyed Federation ship. “Captain Hawkins ordered a spread of torpedoes again to stop the wave however as the wave they were riding on had accelerated and had gained energy in the process, they had not considered this when they destroyed the wave with more torpedoes. The high subspace distortion was enough to destroy the Holt.”
The room fell silent.
“That sucks.” Spoke the gruff tones of Commander Tremt Hunsen. The Betazoid engineer did not show any empathy to their fallen comrades. His expression appeared more let down at the mere fact that the Holt had been lost due to a natural phenomenon and not in a heroic way. Obviously picking up the captain’s thoughts through his telepathic abilities, Hunsen cleared his throat to look at his captains. “The high amount of subspace radiation we found on a number of hull fragments would support Lukiz’s evidence sir.”
“Is there anything else we need to know?” Doctor Slyvexs asked from the opposite end. The Denobulan doctor had remained sat up straight in her chair during the entire briefing.
Jen shook his head. “Nothing I’m afraid doctor.” He took his seat in between T’Rani and Lenjir.
Taking in a deep breath, McCallister leant forward and spoke in a solemn tone. “Can I ask you all to finalise your reports and I’ll inform Starfleet of what we’ve investigated. Thank you everyone.”
That was his cue for everyone to leave, however his counsellor remained behind and approached the captain after getting out of his chair.
“Captain do you have a moment?” Commander Duncan asked.
Nodding, McCallister replied with a simple ‘yes’.
“Sir, as Captain Hawkins was a big part of our crew, I thought it would be appropriate we organise a memorial for him and his crew.” Duncan suggested.
Nodding his head in agreement, McCallister allowed it. “Go ahead Max, make whatever plans you think are appropriate.”
Standing up, Duncan thanked the captain and left him.
McCallister stared out of the large windows and wondered where he would find the strength to speak to Starfleet about the loss of the Holt and his former first officer and good friend, Captain Zack Hawkins.