“No response to our hails.” Duncan announced. The counsellor had taken over communication control as Jen was still working with Reyas on the harmonic chamber.
“Lifesigns?” McCallister asked next.
Tomaz, who had taken over at tactical, carried out the function and scanned the ship. “Twenty-one, but they are weak.”
“What did I miss?” Asked a voice coming off the turbo lift. Everyone turned to see Cambil entering the bridge.
“Not much.” McCallister answered back, still looking at the ship on the main screen. “Torpedo status?”
“Cline is loading the last lot on the Aquarius as we speak. We’ve got crews working on more for Odyssey.” Cambil answered as she took her seat.
“Captain, their aft section seems to have been ripped off by the trailing edge of an explosion. I’m detecting a high concentration of theta radiation around the surrounding damaged bulkheads.” Tomaz shared. The Barzan took a breath. “The pattern is consistent with them just missing the full force of a subspace explosion.”
“Can you calculate where the explosion may have been?” McCallister inquired.
Interrupting the line of questioning, Cambil spoke up and sounded irritated with her captain. “Don’t you think we should save the Kraylor first?”
“Any other time I would agree but we need to ensure we are safe first. Lieutenant Tomaz, carry out my orders. Use the astrometrics sensors to assist.” The captain replied. He stood up, “Start beaming the Kraylor survivors to sickbay. Max, I want you to meet with them and see what they say.”
Duncan stood up, “aye sir.”
“Don’t share anything they say with anyone else except me.” McCallister commanded.
Nodding to show he understood, the counsellor made his way towards the lift and headed down to sickbay.
Looking to his first officer next, McCallister issued more orders. “Have a repair and rescue team meet me in transporter room three. Lieutenant Tomaz, you’re with me. The bridge is yours Number One.”
Cambil didn’t say anything. It was clear she was still annoyed with the secrecy on the captain’s behalf. Tomaz acknowledged his orders and followed the captain as he headed to the other lift as well.
Kraylor Survey Ship 1721
Gradin Belt, Delta Quadrant
Beaming over onto their bridge was relatively simple. It was no bigger than a Defiant-class ship, however with all of the damaged systems and power fluctuations the room appeared bigger due to the limited light.
Peering through the broken cabling and fallen bulkheads, Captain McCallister led his team through as they sifted through to find anymore survivors. Along their way they had discovered some bodies, all of which were tagged and beamed over to the Odyssey’s morgue.
Some of the bridge consoles were active.
“Tomaz, start downloading their entire computer core.” McCallister ordered, gesturing towards one of the operational consoles. “I want to know what hit them and what they were up to.”
“Sir, I’d be negligent if I didn’t say, isn’t that against protocol?” Tomaz questioned. “Don’t we need to gain permission from the Kraylor first before we do such an act?”
Taking a breath, McCallister was not used to having to tell his crew to get on with it when he knew protocol was being breached. “Lieutenant, for the duration of this mission anything I order I expect to be followed. All protocols and directives are rescinded. Am I clear?”
The Barzan swallowed his pride and just accepted his dressing down. He took out his tricorder, bypassed their lockouts (which was easy to do as they were damaged and corrupted) and started to gain access. “Download in progres sir, it should only take a few minutes.”
“Good, when we get back to the ship I want you to assist me in accessing it all.” McCallister said but he stopped when he noticed something out of the corner of his eye. Something moved under one of the forward consoles. A shadow.
Pointing his wrist torch in the direction, he came across one of the survivors. Rushing over, he pushed some debris out of the way and found a young Kraylor officer in military attire hiding.
“I’m James McCallister, captain of the Federation starship Odyssey. We’re here to help. Stay still.” He offered as he took out his tricorder. “What’s your name?”
“Samken. Midshipman Samken. I’m the helm officer.” The scared man said as he was helped out after McCallister scanned him. Samken was probably the same height and build as Tomaz.
“I can’t see anything wrong with you, but we should still get you checked out.” McCallister suggested. He turned to Tomaz. “This is Lieutenant Tomaz, my chief strategic operations officer.”
“Nice to meet you.” Tomaz offered with his boyish smile.
Samken copied the same gesture and thanked him. “Do you know where my captain is? She was injured when a plasma conduit exploded.”
“Hopefully she’s back on our ship being treated.” Tomaz assured.
“What happened to you?” McCallister quickly asked.
Hesitating at first, Samken eventually answered. “We were hit by a subspace shockwave. Our shields weren’t strong enough and our warp core was damaged. It was ejected.”
McCallister carried on with his questioning, “Do you know what caused it?”
Again more pause before an answer from Samken, “I can’t remember, sorry.”
“Okay, let’s get you over to our sickbay.” McCallister said, disappointed he couldn’t get anymore. Tapping his combadge, he placed a tagger on Samken and ordered for him to be beamed over to the Odyssey.
“Not quite honest was he?” Tomaz remarked after Samken left.
Ignoring the comment, McCallister went over to the console. He was eager to see the sensor logs. Using his tricorder he bypassed the security lockouts with ease. Starfleet decryption algorithms had advanced significantly in the past two decades thanks to the study of Borg algorithms and Romulan techniques. Eventually he found what he was looking for and the sensor logs confirmed what he had suspected.
The Kraylor had been playing with Omega on this ship. There was an entire block of data dedicated to their research.
“Tomaz, take over here and transfer the last of the downloads to the Aquarius. I want them encrypted too.” McCallister ordered.
“Aye sir.” Tomaz said.
“Once we’ve searched the whole ship for survivors and we are sure we’ve got everyone then let me know.” McCallister requested. He picked up his tricorder. “I’m heading down to engineering before returning to the ship.”
McCallister made his way throughout the rest of the ship, seeing what else he could find about their work around Omega. He wouldn’t leave any stone unturned and for the first time since all of this started his conscience was starting to debate what was right and what was wrong, nevertheless the proceeding thought that omega must be found and destroyed was overriding all moral objections he was having.