Packing the last of their belongings into the Invictus, James looked around to make sure there wasn’t anything left around the harbour that he had missed. Satisfied that wasn’t the case, he pushed down on his uniform jacket and walked across the dock towards the small gathering of the McCallister clan. Karyn and the boys were saying their goodbyes to the others. The past twenty-fours had been eventful and now it was time for their return to the ship. After hearing the upgrades had been completed ahead of schedule the crew had been recalled ahead of what had been planned. The shipyards were in high demand ever since the destruction of the Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards, so once a job was done then the yard engineers were eager to move on to the next ship. Odyssey was being released and would finish the last little bits while in orbit of Earth.
Making his way over to the group, he said goodbye to his parents and then wished Laura and his older brother, Conrad, goodbye. Promising to stay in touch with them all via the monthly datastreams they would be sending once they got into the Delta Quadrant, the McCallister family was starting to heal a lot of old wounds. Looking over to his youngest brother who also wore the same uniform as he, James smiled at the fact they had been able to begin to repair their relationship. They would have plenty of time to do that while in the Delta Quadrant, he had hoped. It would start with James flying Horatio to the League, again ahead of everything. Starfleet wanted both ships out of the Sol system and heading to the Barzan system sooner rather than later. The wormhole was scheduled to open soon and the eagerness to have every ship in the new exploration task force at Starbase Thirty-Eight prior to this was now top priority.
Sharing their final goodbyes, James led his family back into the Invictus. Turning to his brother as the hatch closed behind them, he smiled. “Horatio, you want to take the helm?”
Smiling at the offer, Horatio accepted on the spot and moved his way over to the helm.
“Sit back boys.” Horatio said with confidence. “You’ve got the best pilot in the McCallister clan at the controls.”
James just shook his head at his brother’s lack of humility and took up a standing position at the aft raised console with Karyn to stand by him. She placed a kiss on his cheek and pulled him into a side hug. Squeezing her back with affection, the captain smiled as his sons’ watched their uncle lift off from the harbour and began their ascent into the skyline.
USS Odyssey NCC-80000
En-route to Barzan, Alpha Quadrant
Pushing its new enhanced warp drive to the test, the Odyssey was making great speed as it maintained its top speed for a lot longer than most ships in the fleet could. It was one of the newest systems installed for its trip to the Delta Quadrant. Inspecting the warp core from a far, Captain McCallister was walking around main engineering with his first officer. Both of them were catching up.
“So yeah, my baby brother who I thought was a traitor all these years is…” James paused as he gazed at the heart of the ship as it throbbed at an impressive rate.
“…one of us?” Cambil finished placing her hand on the rail before them. The two of them were on the upper level of main engineering looking down.
“Yeah.” James said blinking out of it and back at his first officer. “It’s just frustrating to know that all of this anger I’ve built up towards him over the years was for nothing. He was just doing his job.”
“I’ve come to see those who are members of Starfleet Intelligence as ones that can never truly walk away from it all and never can live their real lives.” Cambil mentioned. “Do you honestly think your brother’s taking command of the League is as genuine as you think it is?”
“I want to believe him.” James said sincerely while also sounding doubtful. “I just don’t know. I hope so.”
“If you don’t mind me saying James,” Cambil said lowering her voice further, “you’ve always been the optimistic one out of us two. Don’t lose it over this, give your brother the benefit of the doubt that this is all sincerely true.”
“I suppose.” James took a sigh, “Right, we still have several more key areas to inspect. What’s next on the list?”
“Our upgraded communication array, we get to see the latest in hyper-subspace communication with our new interplexing beacon.” Cambil answered as she led them off the upper level and down the long ladder to the ground floor. “Lukiz is waiting for us in deflector control.”
“Interplexing beacon? I do hope we’re not going to be attracting a certain collective our way?” James stated as he followed her down.
“I’ve been told the engineering principles are similar but work on a different level.” Cambil said as she waved the PADD in her hand.
“Oh dear lord, I knew I may regret agreeing to this mission.” James said as they left engineering together to see what Starfleet had done to their ship.