“The Delta Quadrant?!”
The same question that Captain McCallister had thrown back at Admiral Gosch had just left the lips of his chief medical officer. It was rare for the Denobulan doctor to question much during their briefings but McCallister couldn’t blame her for the surprise announcement.
Confused, just like everyone else around the table, his first officer was the next to ask the question. “Does Starfleet feel we’re ready to go onto a deep space assignment?” The Bajoran woman knew the answer, however understanding the thinking of the top brass removing them from the Alpha and Beta Quadrants appeared completely out of the blue.
“Captain, there has been no unusual activity in the Delta Quadrant for almost three months near to the Barzan Wormhole.” spoke Lieutenant Commander T’Rani. The Vulcan pilot appeared to be understanding the logic behind their new orders. “It seems highly illogical for Starfleet to choose this moment to send the Odyssey on a long-range mission so far away from Federation territory.”
“That all said,” interjected Commander Hunsen from his chair. “We’ve been out in space for nearly twelve years now. We’re ready for such an assignment! The Odyssey is one of the most advanced starships in the fleet. We should be on the front line of Starfleet’s exploration efforts.”
Pleased to hear the positive comment from someone in the room, McCallister smiled towards the Betazoid engineer.
“How many ships will we be joining?” Counsellor Duncan asked where he was sat next to McCalliser’s left.
“A few.” McCallister answered, “All of them are on a direct course for Barzan. The expeditionary force will be rendezvousing there in less than a week. Captain Zack Marshall-Bennet is mobilising the fleet at Starbase Ninety.”
Looking up from his PADD, Lieutenant Commander Jen had obviously done the calculations at how long it will take them to journey to Guardian Station. “At maximum velocity it will take us three days twenty-five hours to reach Starbase Ninety.”
The whole room fell silent. “I have gone through all of your questions with Starfleet, but it would appear that they want us doing more good in the Delta Quadrant than here.” He paused as no-one else said anything to him. “Their orders stand.” He looked to his right-hand woman, “Number One, set a course for the Barzan system.”
Quietly snoring on his chair in the ready room, Captain McCallister had fallen asleep while reading a PADD. As a result he hadn’t heard the door open and the person walk in. However in a split second the Starfleet captain woke up and looked up at the window he was facing to see the reflection of his guest looking at him. Turning around in his chair he placed the PADD that he had in his lap on to his desk and took in a breath before smiling at his visitor.
“Hey.” He said sweetly to his wife, second officer and chief science officer.
Returning the smile, Reyas approached his desk further and took the seat that was opposite to him. “Hey,” She said as she leant across and took his hands in hers. “Sorry for waking you.”
Yawning a bit, he shrugged it off. “Don’t worry, I probably needed to wake up anyway before Tobi comes in to collect these reports.” He indicated to the pile of PADDS piling on his desk. “You okay?”
“Yeah,” She answered back simply. “I just need to know where we stand with this whole new mission to the Delta Quadrant? I mean, do you want to go and take the boys as well?”
At the back of his mind, McCallister knew this conversation was coming and he was kicking himself for not having it sooner with his wife. Could they really raise their boys in the Delta Quadrant? “I’d like to do it,” He replied. “But only if you want to and if we both agree that the boys should be with us.”
“I have to admit, I wasn’t keen on the idea initially.” Reyas replied.
“Me too.” McCallister said swiftly. “The moment the admiral explained it to me, I considered resigning there and then as I didn’t want to consider losing you or the boys out there.”
“Let me guess though, the idea of showing them a new area of space sounds more exciting then hanging out around the Alpha and Beta Quadrants?” Reyas enquired.
Chuckling slightly as he let go of her, McCallister confirmed her suspicions. “The more I considered our options, I just felt like the dangers of living on a starship here in the Alpha and Beta Quadrants is just as high as it may be in the Delta Quadrant. But at least out there we may be able to make a difference and we would be able to do the one thing we both love doing. Exploring!”
“Good, because I was going to hate myself if I hate to convince you to go.” Reyas remarked. “I cannot wait to take our family and start a new chapter out there.”
Smiling with gratitude for her support and love, McCallister leant across the desk and kissed his wife on the lips softly and sweetly. Perhaps the new chapter for the crew would do them all some good.