Observing the last of the omega molecules be neutralised, James moved his vision from the small scope that had been set up as the bright turquoise hue of the surviving molecule eventually faded out from existence. The procedure was done and the threat was finally over. He couldn’t quite comprehend what he had just witnessed. The destruction of the most powerful molecule to exist. It was something so unreal that he couldn’t put any words to the whole experience.
A sense of relief flooded over him as he gave out a huge sigh as sat down on the deck floor. “Computer,” He said as he rubbed his face. The sense of exhaustion was overwhelming but he knew he wasn’t completely done with the directive. “Scan the harmonic resonance chamber, confirm complete neutralisation process of the omega molecule.”
“Scan complete, there is no sign of the omega molecule.” The computer said after a melodic chime.
“Run a level four diagnostic on the chamber and repeat the scan.” He ordered. James had to be sure this was complete.
The computer beeped in response as it undertook its own self-check and ran the scan again. He looked around the shuttlebay before closing his eyes. He wasn’t one to meditate, in fact he found the whole ordeal ridiculous but he remembered walking in Captain Adelaide taking a moment in her ready room after a very strenuous mission had ended. She had always insisted that taking a moment to compose oneself helped her to remain calm and focussed.
The computer beeped and spoke up (interrupting his calmness), “Diagnostic completed. The Harmonic Resonance Chamber is operating within normal parameters. Scan complete, there is no sign of the omega molecule.”
Tapping his combadge, James spoke over the intercom. “McCallister to sickbay, doctor report.”
“The procedure was a success. Captain Donlar’s short term memory has been wiped and she is currently asleep.” The EMH shared.
“Thank you doctor. Have the captain placed on the Chieftain. McCallister out.” James tapped his badge to close the channel. Getting off the floor, he tugged on his jacket as he headed to main engineering.
“That’s the last of the connections.” reported the Caitian holographic engineer. “The cloak is disconnected.”
“Thank you, have it transported to the Chieftain.” McCallister said in a nonchalant tone. He was currently at the main command station in engineering, inputting a range of codes while the engineering holograms undertook his orders. “Once it is secure on the shuttlepod, then will you all deactivate yourselves.”
The holograms nodded as they complied with their orders. “Computer, initiate fractal encryption code omega one and lockout the main computer.”
“Voice authorisation clearance is required.”
Sighing that everything required his clearance codes, James responded back. “Computer, this is Captain James Preston McCallister. Confirm computer lockout request, authorisation McCallister-one-seven-alpha-tango.”
“Acknowledged. Ship-wide computer lockout in effect.”
Knowing that the ship’s computer core was now heavily encrypted meant that if anyone ever got its hand on it then they would find it difficult to break the lockout and discover what the Aquarius got up to. That said, James had further plans to prevent that from happening. Feeling that he was now complete, he left engineering and on his route to the bridge, gave out further orders to the computer.
“Computer, deactivate all command functions except the auto-destruct sequence and prepare to transfer all control of the Aquarius to the Chieftain. Authorisation, McCallsiter-one-seven-alpha-tango.” He commanded as he got into the nearest turbolift and took himself to deck one.
“All command functions suspended except the auto-destruct sequence.”
“Sickbay to Captain McCallister. Captain Donlar is on the shuttle, still asleep.” The EMH said after the intercom chime went off in the corridor.
“Thank you doctor, please deactivate yourself now.” McCallsiter commanded as he stepped out onto the bridge.
Instantly the ECH recognised his presence and turned her attention to the captain’s arrival. “Sir, have you disabled all of the ship’s primary control systems and encrypted the main computer?”
Nodding, James confirmed he did.
“How come?” The ECH inquired.
“Omega has been neutralised, so we must ensure that all information to this mission has been removed.” James justified it.
Confused as to why he had done that, the ECH asked. “Sir, Starfleet has strict protocols in the deletion of all of our computer banks in regards to a mission related to the Omega Directive. Your actions are not warranted.”
“I know, but I want to be sure there is nothing that will come back and cause us any issues later on.” James stopped, he didn’t understand why he was explaining himself to the holograms.
For a moment the ECH, the ENH and ETH processed what the captain had explained to them. A second later they all stood to attention with the ECH remaining as their leader. “Then captain as per the directive, you must now delete our programs. It has been our honour to serve with you.”
Appreciating the gesture and realising he was too quick to judge them, James smiled at them all. “You all have performed your duties exemplary, for that I am thankful.”
All of them smiled.
“Computer, delete all Emergency Holographic Programs on board the Aquarius, including their backup modules. Authorisation McCallister-one-seven-alpha-tango.” James instructed.
Complying with his direction, the computer deleted the holograms across the ship. As it did that the photonic beings on the bridge fizzled out from life. Feeling some regret that he ended their short lives, James sighed heavily again. An act he was finding himself doing too much of lately. Still wanting to make sure nothing was left, he walked over to the engineering control, released the lockout to the console. After accessing the optical processor control he started to charge the secondary power relays. The process would take almost two minutes as there were only a handful of holographic emitters installed on the ship. By destroying the holographic systems, no-one could restore anything from the emergency holograms.
Starting to feel that he had almost wrapped up every loose end, he accessed the ship’s navigational controls and had the ship begin a course towards the class nine nebula. “Computer, begin auto-destruct sequence authorisation McCallister-one-seven-alpha-tango. Override further confirmation with the omega-alpha-one clearance.”
Recognising that the ship was still under the omega directive, the computer acknowledged James’ orders to by-pass the requirement of other senior officers to confirm the self-destruct program was activated. “Command authorisation accepted. Awaiting final code to begin autodestruct sequence.”
“This is Captain James Preston McCallister, destruct sequence omega one. Ten minutes countdown…” James paused, he would have the ship interlink with the arming sequence of the gravimetric torpedoes in the armoury to detonate alongside the auto-destruct program. This was it. One breath and then he said, “Enable.”
“Warning. Self-destruct sequence has been initiated. Auto-destruct in ten minutes.”
Taking one more glance around the bridge, James smiled in appreciation for the ship’s sacrifice to ensure that what he did here to ensure the Omega Directive was achieved would never be shared with anyone else.
He hastily left, making his way down to the shuttlebay. This would be his last walk through the corridors of the Aquarius. His mission was finally over. He could return home.
USS Odyssey (NCC-80000),
Gradin Belt, Delta Quadrant
Noticing the proximity alarm going off, T’Rani looked at the helm controls and had to double check what her sensors were detecting. The moment that she had registered was confirmed, she looked over her right shoulder towards Commander Cambil. “Commander Cambil, sensors are detecting the arrival of the Chieftain.”
Cambil, who was leaning against the mission ops station discussing their plan B with Lieutenant Tomaz, stood up and walked over to the helm. “As in the Aquarius’ type-ten shuttlecraft?” She clarified with the Vulcan pilot.
“Indeed.” T’Rani said, with a raised arched eyebrow.
It was clear she was just as perplexed as Cambil was with the arrival of the small shuttle and not their support craft. “Scan for the Aquarius.” The Bajoran commander ordered as she made her way over to the centre seat.
Shaking her head, T’Rani reported that she could not see any sign of it.
Lieutenant Commander Jen spoke up from the ops station shortly after. “Ma’am, the captain is sending an encrypted message to us. He is requesting permission to dock and has a set of instructions for Commander Hunsen, myself and a separate set for Doctor Slyvexs. Again those orders are protected and are marked for our eyes only.”
Wondering what he was doing, Cambil told Jen to proceed with the captain’s orders and to share the rest of the information with those he had selected. Glancing over to Karyn Reyas at the science station, the two women shared the same expression of frustration of not knowing what James was playing at.
“Cline, have the Kraylor reacted to the Chieftain’s arrival?” Cambil asked the security chief.
Checking his tactical readings, the Tiburon shook his head. “No sir.”
“Send a message to them, informing them that our captain has returned.” She ordered. “I don’t want them opening fire on him and making this a more tense and complex situation then it already is.
Once confirmation that the message had been received, Cambil relaxed and just wondered how much she would know now. Her guess was it would be very limited.
“Captain’s log, stardate seven-six-four-seven-nine-point-two. Encrypt log entry. The Omega Molecules have been dealt with and we can start to put this mission behind us. We just have to deal with the Kraylor and I have to say I am impressed with the ingenuity of my crew in dealing with a situation that could have gone extremely wrong. This will be my last encrypted log concerning the Omega Directive. The classified datafiles will now be destroyed.”
Opening her eyes slowly, Donlar was blinded by bright white light and soon realised she was in a room that she did not recognise straight away.
“Easy.” A friendly, soft and feminine voice said calmly. An alien woman with huge blonde hair approached her with a medical tricorder. “It’s good to see you looking a lot better Captain Donlar.”
Looking at the stranger who wore a blue uniform, one she didn’t know, Donlar then looked to the other people near here. Another man wearing the same uniform from a different race was nearby. He had short brown hair. Behind him was another man of the same race, this one wearing a pure red top. Another woman stood next to him wearing the matching uniform but had ridges on her nose that made her almost look like she was a Kraylor, but she didn’t have any chin gills.
“Where am I?” Donlar asked.
The group all looked concerned as they exchanged looks with one another. The man in the red uniform stepped forward. “You’re on board the Federation starship U-S-S Odyssey. I’m James Preston McCallsiter, her captain. We responded to your distress call.”
“These kind people have been looking after you.” spoke a familiar voice. Donlar blinked and noticed another figure. A tall Kraylor man in an armed service uniform. She smiled. “Jerek, what are you doing here?”
“Responding to your distress call as well.” Her comrade remarked. “How are you feeling?”
“Dizzy, my head hurts like hell. What happened to my ship? My crew?” She asked, sounding almost panicky.
“Please be calm.” The first alien woman who spoke to her instructed as she placed a hand on her shoulder. “You’ve gone through quite an ordeal.”
“Your ship was heavily damaged from some sort of explosion.” mentioned Captain McCallister.
“We arrived first and saved your crew.” spoke the man who looked a lot younger than McCallsiter and wore the blue uniform. “We’ve already introduced ourselves to you but your crew became ill.”
His colleague, the tall alien woman with blonde hair explained further. “I’m Doctor Slyvexs, the chief medical officer. A strain of the Torothka virus has infected your people. We’ve treated you all and everyone is okay.”
Looking at Jerek for clarity, Donlar was pleased that he smiled and nodded with approval. “These people have taken care of you all well and now you are free to return to your ship.” Jerek spoke.
“Why can’t I remember anything from it all?” Donlar quizzed as she sat up right completely.
“This particular strain affected short term memory, I’m sorry but my medical staff did their best to do what we can but we were not successful in restoring your memories.” explained Slyvexs.
Looking between them all, Donlar was not sure what to say or do now. “Well I can only express my thanks to you and your crew then Captain McCallister.”
“You’re welcome.” He answered. “We will leave you in the capable hands of Doctor Slyvexs and Counselor Duncan to see you and your crew off our ship. We’re glad we could help.”
Donlar bowed her head graciously to him and he soon left with the other woman that hadn’t said a thing during their conversation.
Returning to his ready room, the ride in the turbolift with Cambil had been a silent one. The moment they stepped into the private confines of his office, he ordered himself a cup of tea and a Bajoran deka tea for his first officer. Once both drinks materialised, he passed her the cup and took his own.
Sitting down on the sofa, he knew they had a lot to discuss. She had decided to remain standing, so he took a sip and then looked up. Before he had a chance to begin she raised her hand to stop him.
“James, before you say anything. I’ve got one thing I need to say.” Cambil said as she pulled out a small PADD from her trouser pocket and handed it to him.
Expecting it to be a ship status report, the colour from his face just drained from the moment he read the subject title. “You can’t be serious Bexa?” He questioned, almost stuttering as he spoke.
“I am.” She assured him with a single nod. “I’m resigning from Starfleet, effectively immediately.”