“Our multi-spatial probes are fully operational and transmitting back everything they come across on both short and long range sensors.” Commander Reyas identified as she showed those behind her the results of her department’s work.
Pleased to see that everything was working well, Commander Cambil patted her friend on the shoulder as she praised her further. “Great work Karyn. It may make our exploration of this region slightly easier if we know what’s coming up.”
“I don’t know why we didn’t do it sooner.” Reyas remarked as she secured the link-up with the tiny fleet of probes.
Responding sarcastically, the Bajoran first officer answered the El-Aurian science chief. “Oh I don’t know, two weeks of trying to help people who don’t like us may have gotten in their way.”
Grimacing at that response, Reyas couldn’t but not agree with Cambil’s assessment of their previous mission. After moving the Uxali to their new homeworld and helping them establish their new homes, the Uxali were quick to say thanks and goodbye to the Odyssey. Not wanting to overstay their welcome and cause any further unnecessary friction, Captain McCallister agreed to move on and now they were stuck waiting for further orders. During this lull they used the time to begin mapping the area further.
There was a beep from the operations station and Lieutenant Commander Jen looked at his console, tapped away at it and then looked over to Cambil. “Ma’am, we’re picking up a distress call.”
Instantly Cambil looked over to the Trill and asked him the standard questions when such an announcement was made. “Anyone we know and how far?”
“It’s coming from a Kraylor ship and they’re about two light years away.” Jen reported back.
The ship suddenly stopped and the powering down of the engines could be heard.
“I am reading all stop.” declared T’Rani from the helm. “I cannot determine what has caused us to stop but our engines will not respond to my commands.”
Concerned about what was happening to them, especially as they had just detected a distress call, Commander Cambil moved herself away from the science station to be in the centre of the bridge. “Do we know what caused it?”
“Checking.” The Vulcan pilot stated but before she could do anything else a message appeared on all of the bridge’s displays. Confusion appeared on everyone’s faces. The computer wasn’t responding to anyone.
Recognising it as the Greek letter Omega, the blue large shape was everywhere and stopping them all from doing their jobs. Tapping her command codes into the console that sat in front of her chair, Cambil got annoyed that nothing was working. “What is going on? I can’t access anything.”
“Bridge terminals and command controls have been locked out.” Jen stated as he turned around in his operations chair. “I can’t work out what the command is or where it has come from.” The Trill officer was blocked by the computer with every attempt he tried to bypass it.
Seconds later the captain’s ready room door opened and McCallister stormed out. His face looked serious and worried. Behind him was Lieutenant Tomaz, the ship’s new strategic operations officer from Barzan that had joined them at Starbase Thirty-Eight. The two of them had been preparing the report for the Uxali and it would seem their meeting was now at an end.
“Don’t do anything, let me deal with this.” McCallister called out to everyone as he approached his command chair in the centre of the room. He inputted some codes into the console secluded into the left arm of his seat and then the lockout message was gone. “T’Rani keep us here until I say so. The rest of you don’t touch anything and await further instructions from me.”
McCallister then headed back to his ready room. As he walked over, Commander Cambil called after him. “Is there anything we can do sir? We did pick up a distress call sir from a Kraylor ship.”
“As I said, just keep our position here and do as you’re told Number One. The distress call will have to wait for now. That’s an order!” He snapped back just as the ready room doors opened and he left the bridge in a hurry.
Confused as to what it all meant, everyone turned to look at the captain’s wife who was just as perplexed as they were. Realising she was being encouraged to find out more, she got up from her chair and followed in her other half’s footsteps. Approaching the ready room, the computer indicated that the door was locked and the captain had activated the do not disturb mode. No-one could reach the captain right now.
Turning back to look at Cambil, Reyas had no idea what her husband was up to and for the first time in their marriage she had seen him get angry while on duty. It was unlike him not to agree to jump to high warp and save someone. It had something to do with that message and none of them knew what it meant, except him.
Lieutenant Commander Lenjir, who had been on the security and tactical console this whole time, spoke up. “What do we do ma’am?” He asked Cambil.
Baffled as to what to say, she was still in shock with how McCallister had spoken to her. Instead Reyes answered on her behalf.
“We follow out the captain’s orders.” She said sternly as she returned to her station.
“Are you serious Karyn?” Questioned Counsellor Duncan from the chair to the left of the captain’s. Again he had been sitting quietly reading a PADD when everything had happened. “We can’t just remain here when someone is calling for help. It goes against Starfleet protocol and what is expected of us.”
“I’ve got a bad feeling about this.” Groaned Jen, joining in with the collective concern.
“I’ve not known the captain long enough, but that message was more than enough to spook him to do something different. It must be a level ten clearance directive that we don’t know anything about.” Suggested Lieutenant Tomaz as he sat at one of the mission ops stations behind at tactical.
Taking her usual seat, Cambil appeared to have calmed down since McCallister’s outburst. “Commander Reyes is right. We follow the order and let’s keep the speculation to absolute zero. The captain told us to wait, so we wait.” Deep down inside though she wanted to know what McCallister was up to and what had caused him to bark at her like that.
Feeling his stomach do several back flips as he stepped back into the private confines of his ready room, Captain McCallister ordered the computer to lock the door and not to let anyone else enter without his prior authorisation. Taking a moment to get himself comfortable and composed at his desk, he pulled his seat forward to ensure he was sat up straight. “Computer, access secured datafile Omega one.” He ordered.
Beeping in acknowledgement, the computer responded. “Voiceprint confirmed. State clearance code.”
Another breath came out as he kept his posture while answering the computer. “McCallister-one-seven-two-one-red. Clearance level ten.”
“Confirmed.” The computer appeared to pause as it brought up the current records from the ship’s scanners. “Sensors have detected the Omega phenomenon within two point three light years of this vessel. Implement the Omega Directive immediately. All other priorities have been rescinded.”
Tapping his confirmation into his desktop computer, McCallister zoomed in on the most recent sensor data and there before him was a holographic recording of a map showing the Odyssey and the location of the Omega phenomenon. “Computer cross reference with the location of the distress call that we picked up earlier. Are the coordinates the same?”
Working on his request, the computer then placed another overlay and showed the location of the vessel in need of help. It’s location had it within the two light year radius coming from the point where Omega was meant to exist.
“Damn it.” McCallister muttered to him. “Computer, open a code forty-seven alpha priority transmission to the U-S-S Discovery, marked for the explicit attention of Commodore Bennet.”
“Working.” Came the cool reply of the feminine voice of the computer.
There were several more beeps from the computer and then the commodore’s face appeared on the holographic displays.
“Captain McCallsiter, let me guess Omega?” Bennet questioned and brought further surprise to McCallister with his opening question.
Nodding to confirm, McCallister went on with the reason why he called. “We’ve just detected the phonenema, how’d you know it was Omega?”
Appearing irritated at the news, Bennet answered swiftly. “You’re not alone with detecting it. I’m getting calls from many captains stating they are picking up Omega molecules across the Gradin Belt. I’ve just spoken with Admiral Beckett back in the Alpha Quadrant and it would seem that this is happening across the entire galaxy.”
“Damn.” McCallister answered. “I take it the directive still stands?”
“It does.” Bennet responded. “However, do not expect us to have any specialist teams arrive anytime soon. I can’t imagine them arriving to prevent a catastrophe from happening where you are. You’re one of our furthest ships but you must proceed with the directive whatever it takes.”
“Whatever the cost?” McCallister checked.
“Without revealing it to anyone else, then yes.” Bennet replied. “Keep me posted, good luck. Bennet out.”
The transmission was cut and James just shoved the pile of PADDs stacked on his desk off the floor in frustration in response to the situation he now found himself in. “Bloody great.” He mumbled sarcastically. “Computer, display the Omega Directive briefing material, authorisation McCallister-one-seven-alpha-tango.”
The holographic display changed and he now looked at everything he needed to prepare for. His worst nightmare since being promoted to captain fifteen years ago was now a reality. A headache started to form as he began revising his training. He had to act fast so he started to write a list of commands he would need to issue. This was going to be the toughest time in his career. How much he now wished he had been left in the Alpha Quadrant.
Almost fifteen minutes later, McCallister allowed for Cambil and Reyas to see him. Both women looked pretty annoyed with him for not engaging with them and the others like he normally did. Nevertheless they remained professional as he asked them to take a seat on the sofa that stretched under the sloping window.
“Listen, you both need to understand that there are some things that only I’m privy to as captain.” McCallister started with.
“We understand that James.” remarked Cambil. “Captain’s eyes only and all of that.”
Appreciating the support, McCallister continued. “Well we are in one of those moments now and I don’t have the time to explain that to everyone. Odyssey will be engaged in a classified mission that rescinds all other orders and directives. I need you both to trust me that what I’m doing is for the good of all and I must carry out these orders whatever the cost.”
“Now you’re scaring me James.” spoke up his wife. Concern was now flashed across her face.
Nodding in agreement, McCallister understood it. “I know that’s not the norm for me, but please don’t ask any more questions. Everything is classified. Am I clear?”
Looking at one another, both women then nodded back to him.
“Good, here is a list of assignments I need to be carried out without any questions and I can only provide the data that has been given.” McCallister said as he gave them a PADD each.
“What about the Kraylor distress call?” Cambil probed.
“Tell T’Rani to set a course at once.” McCallister said, “but I give the orders for everything that takes place. Is that clear?”
“Clear.” Cambil replied.
“Dismissed.” McCallister said and he ended their chat.
Walking past her husband with Cambil beside her, Reyas grabbed his arm and gave him a reassuring clasp. He smiled back, cherishing the gesture.