Sitting down to have a nice meal without interruptions was something that Captain McCallister was looking forward to. He and Karyn had just arrived at the top of the Eiffel Tower and were being seen to by some polite and courteous holographic waiters and waitresses. Bringing over to them a bottle of Chateau Picard, a bottle of the ’86, they poured them a glass each. Out across the City of Lights, Paris was in its summer and many notable landmarks could be seen. James could name most of them, Notre-Dame de Paris, Sacré-Coeur, the Louvre Museum, l’arc de triomphe, les champs de mars, the river Seine (and all the bridges) plus so many other sites. James couldn’t quite recall the last time he had visited the French capital, the real one that was.
“I know it’s not real, but this is bliss.” Karyn remarked prior to taking a sip of her wine.
Nodding in agreement, James took a swish of his drink too. “I was thinking earlier…”
“Before or after that massage?” Karyn quickly interjected.
Recalling their trip to the Trill Hoobishan Baths, James smirked at the memory from this morning. “During actually.” He answered, “So as I was saying, I think we should take the boys to Earth and do big long holiday site seeing and travelling all over. What do you say?”
Placing her glass down, Karyn agreed to the idea. “I think that sounds like a great plan. I would love to take them proper camping.”
“We’ll do that too, along with a bit of surfing along the Gold Coast.” James added.
“Plus, some skiing on the Alps?” Karyn included.
“Definitely need to take them to Egypt to see the Pyramids, perhaps have a real pizza in Rome.” He added.
Loving what she was hearing, Karyn continued to put more ideas in. “A fly over the Grand Canyon.”
“Sounds perfect to me.” James smiled back. “We’ve got over five months saved up of shore leave, why don’t we do it soon?”
“It would be nice to take a break from everything out here on the final frontier.” Karyn stated. “Would you be happy to be away from the Odyssey for that long?”
Nodding to confirmation, James told her he was fine with that. “Bexa is confident leader. She’ll cope while we are gone, plus Max is itching for more command experience. He’d make a good acting first officer.”
As their starter arrived, Karyn waited for the waiters to leave them before she asked him another question. “I was going to ask, when do you think you’d ever give it all up?”
Curious as to what she was getting at, James placed his cutlery down and took swig from his wine before he replied. “Do you mean Starfleet?”
Karyn nodded as she dabbed her lips with napkins in between mouthfuls. “Yeah, do you ever think about it?”
Pondering with his glass still in hand, James looked out across the Parisian skyline to find his answer. He didn’t get chance to answer as the intercom went off.
“Bridge to Captain McCallister.” Spoke Commander Duncan over the speakers.
Sighing slightly, both husband and wife placed everything in their hands down as they knew their plans for the day would most likely be put on hold. He tapped his combadge and replied. “Go ahead Max.”
“I’m sorry to disturb you sir, but we have come across a ship that I think you need to see.” Stated the counsellor.
James gave his wife a curious look. “We’ll be there shortly, assemble the rest of the troops for me. McCallister out.” He tapped his combadge to close the call. “Sorry my darling, duty calls.”
“Well at least we got to see the Hoobishan Baths.” Karyn groaned slightly with as they ended the holodeck program and headed to the ship’s bridge.
Returning to the bridge didn’t take too long and James was pleased to see most of the senior staff had turned up. None of them were in their uniforms, except for Commander Duncan. The counsellor had been on duty on the bridge and was stood by the main science station when they all arrived.
“Captain, you may want to take a look at this.” Duncan remarked, pointing at the top screen. “It appears to be a Kaplan F-Seventeen Speed Freighter. We’ve carried out thorough scans of the ship. There’s no power whatsoever and no life signs. It’s just lying there in space.”
James crossed his arms as he read the scans too. Karyn had leant up against the bulkhead while Commander Campbil stood behind Duncan. As they spoke more of the senior staff arrived.
“So, what, it’s a ghost ship?” Karyn asked aloud.
Everyone laughed slightly at that quip.
“Any idea on how it got out here?” McCallister questioned next.
Duncan shook his head. “There’s no ion trails, nothing that could explain how it arrived here. We think it has been slowly drifting, but it’s momentum is barely enough to register.”
Look at the others, McCallister’s curiosity did get the best of him. He did enjoy a good mystery now and then. “Thoughts? Ideas?” He threw out to his crew.
Commander Hunsen, his chief engineer spoke up first. “I noticed it has no name or listed register. No transponder either. No distinguishable hull markings either. I don’t think we are going to get any more answers from scans sir.”
“I was thinking the same.” Lieutenant Commander Jen said. He had sat at the secondary science station and was reviewing the same sensor readings. “We need to go over and find out where it is from. Most of its systems appear not to have been tampered or damaged.”
“There does not appear to be anything from stopping us from transporting over. The away team will need to wear EVA suits though.” T’Rani added.
After hearing from his pilot, operations manager and chief engineer, James looked to his first officer as well chief security and tactical officer. “What do you two think?”
“It seems safe enough.” Campbil answered, as she read the findings.
Lenjir crossed his arms. “I say we send in the Hazard Teams first.” He stepped forward and slightly leaned over Jen’s shoulder and zoomed in on the picture of the freighter. “We could send in all five teams to secure the craft. Two teams at either end followed by one in the middle. We could then send over an engineering team to begin recovery operations.”
Doctor Sylvexs then arrived, “My apologies, what did I miss?” The Denobulan medical officer enquired.
Campbil brought her up to speed. “So that’s where we are, do we send over people or not.” The first officer finished with.
“If we don’t do it, then some others may do it later or it may end up being stolen.” Slyvexs concluded.
“Alright then, let’s do it.” James ordered.
“Sir, if you don’t mind. I’d like to lead one of the teams over to the freighter. I’ve not led an away mission for some time. With your permission of course?” Duncan wondered.
Looking to his first officer who just nodded with an agreement, James turned back to the counsellor. “You best suit up. Godspeed!”
Duncan smiled at the response he got and left the bridge with Cline to get ready for their beaming out.
Still staring at the readings on the science station, James was fascinated with what they had just found. “Lukiz,” He said calling for his operations manager.
The joined Trill stopped what he was doing and looked up at his superior officer. “Yes sir.”
“Check the Federation database one more time, see how many ships match this one. We might be able to find one that’s gone missing.” James ordered.
“Aye captain.” Jen said as he got on to work.
Looking to his first officer he asked her to inform Deep Space Five they may be late arriving due to them investigating this empty tin shell.