Part of USS Odyssey: Shattered Storm and Bravo Fleet: The Stormbreaker Campaign

The First Number One

USS Odyssey (NCC-80000), Paulson Nebula, Beta Quadrant
Stardate: 63772.36 (9th October 2386)
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Though the chroniton-infused serum was working, McCallister still found this whole experience one massive headache. He found the whole experience of meeting his son from the future one of the most bizarre moments in his Starfleet career. Still wondering if there was more of this possible alternate future they had encountered that they didn’t know about, the captain had hoped that if they could reset the ship back to its original timeframe then maybe he could do things differently. 

Crawling through one of the many jefferies tubes heading through deck eighteen so they could get to cargo bay four, he was just behind Jen. To avoid either him or Jen seeing too much of the ship’s possible future, it was decided they would focus on areas of the ship that were identified as being in timeframes from their past. 

“Sir, do you mind if I speak freely?” Jen asked as they reached another mid-level access hatch and stopped as he started to use the manual ride to pump it open. 

“Sure, Lukiz.” McCallister replied as he paused and scanned the next section ahead of them with his tricorder. The tricorder and the equipment they had been given by Captain Tomaz were all infused with casings that had the serum in them, thus allowing them to pass through the temporal barriers that separated each timeframe from one another.

 Pressing a few buttons, the pump was released and he started to push it back and forth. “Admiral Duncan mentioned that you have already picked those we plan to recruit with our efforts, but I can’t work out how you’ve already done that if you’ve not done it.” Jen remarked.

“Again, temporal mechanics doesn’t always make sense.” McCallister stated with a smirk. “Perhaps in the original timeline, I was careful on who I picked as I knew I could trust them, but the list that Max presented to us are the people I trust with this.”

“And I thought having to deal with multiple lifetimes of experiences and memories was difficult, this stuff definitely doesn’t make sense.” Jen commented as the access hatch popped open and allowed them to continue their journey. “This whole situation is just crazy.”

“You said it, Lukiz.” McCallister agreed as they pushed themselves further down the small passageway before they got to the end and got to the last hatch. Again Jen activated the manual override and pushed the small door open. They were finally in cargo bay four. 

Tapping the portable holographic projector attached to their left sleeves, their uniforms were replaced by the era-specific Starfleet uniform. The mid-2380s uniform, one that McCallister started to wear shortly after taking command of the Odyssey, was one he preferred. Not wanting to attract too much attention from those they may interact with, McCallister and Jen kept to themselves as they moved across the large cargo bay and as they passed around a few containers they came across their first possible barrier to their work. Before them, the entire room was filled with Romulan refugees. 

Jen looked to McCallister for an idea on how to proceed. “I don’t recognise this timeframe, sir.”

“Don’t worry, we’ll be safe,” McCallister replied quietly. “This looks like one of our many missions in rescuing Romulan refugees who were fleeing the Star Empire.” Squinting his eyes further he soon remembered which one. “This is the Vorash mission.”

“The one where Odyssey had to protect a large caravan of ships from being attacked by Nausicaan raiders?” Jen checked. 

“I think so,” McCallister answered. “Follow me.” He then moved through the crowds of Romulans who were moving around talking to one another. Some were huddling in groups feeding their children or comforting one another. As the two Starfleet officers walked past them they didn’t pick up too much attention. Then a Romulan woman approached McCallister.

“Are you the captain of this ship?” She asked, holding her infant child in her arms. Her appearance was not the greatest. Smudges were across his face, arms and hands while her black hair was tied up in a dishevelled state. Her clothes were ripped in certain areas as well.

Smiling at her, McCallister answered. “I am Captain James Preston McCallister.”

Automatically she threw her arms around him and hugged him, while still holding on to her child. “Thank you so much, captain.” She sobbed into his arms. 

A sense of deja vu overwhelmed him as McCallister remembered receiving a similar reception to other civilians they had rescued. “It’s my pleasure.” He answered, hugging her back. “I’m sorry that we don’t have more ships to help.”

“You’re here and you’ve saved my son and me. For that, I am grateful, captain.” She said after letting go. “Do you have children of your own, captain?”

About to say yes, McCallister realised that in this timeframe the boys hadn’t been born. “No, but I look forward to the day I am a father.”

“Then I wish you all the best.” She said with a smile and then returned to the small crowd she was with. 

Appreciating the sentiment, McCallister thanked her, assured her group that they would be given access to somewhere to get fresh clothes, a warm meal and medical attention. After excusing himself, he and Jen moved to the area where the modifications to the ship they needed to do were located. Pulling the panel off the wall, they started on their work when they were stopped by a voice that was familiar to McCallister.

“Captain, what are you doing down here?”

 Turning around, McCallister’s heart skipped a beat as he saw standing before him was Zack Hawkins. “Zack.” He said, sounding surprised and shocked simultaneously.

In the flesh, standing before him with a confused look but a genuine warmth about him was Commander Zack Hawkins, Odyssey’s first officer. Hawkins had served on the previous ship named Odyssey as its first officer under Captain McCragg and when McCallister had taken command of the newest incarnation and the prototype of the class, he had requested Hawkins to join him. The two had become close but at this point in time they were just developing their professional relationship as Captain and First Officer. 

“Sir, I thought I just left you on the bridge?” Hawkins asked another question attempting to get some answers. 

“You did.” McCallister replied and he had a somewhat flashback to this moment. He remembered that he had sent Hawkins down to meet with the refugee leaders and to begin making sure they were all placed in comfortable settings. 

Looking at Jen, Hawkins squinted his eyes at him. “Who’s this, sir?” He asked, now sounding sceptical of what was happening.

McCallister looked at Hawkins and just knew this was it. This was the point in time that he would recruit Hawkins for this mission. “Zack, can we talk? Just us two?”

“Of course, sir.” Hawkins remarked, still sounding cautious. 

McCallister gestured for Jen to continue with the work as they had been instructed to do by Admiral Duncan before suggesting to Hawkins for them to walk away. “Zack, what I’m about to share with you is going to sound unrealistic and I know it will take a lot for you to believe me, especially as we’ve only just started to get to know one another.”

“Permission to speak freely, captain?” Hawkins requested as he tugged on the bottom of his right ear. 

Smiling at him, McCallister remembered that he had learnt over the years when Hawkins needed to offload whatever was on his chest, he would always start with that question and then his nervous twitch of pulling on his lobe followed. “Of course Zack.” He encouraged.

“From what I know from Captain McCragg and others that have worked with you, you are known as a fine officer but I get the impression you’re about to ask me to take a leap of faith with you.” Hawkins stated. 

Nodding to show he was right, McCallister confirmed Hawkins’ suspicions. “I am.” McCallister sighed and then tapped his left arm, deactivating the holographic camouflage and showing Hawkins his real uniform. “Zack, I need you to jump high for me and right now I know you can’t imagine trusting me with what I’m about to tell you, but from where I stand we have a lot of history. I come from fourteen years in the future. In that future, you and I spent a long time becoming a well-oiled machine, close friends in fact and we trusted each other a lot.”

With eyes wide open, Hawkins didn’t know what to say at first and then he eventually spoke. “Are we breaking the temporal prime directive?”

“We are, somewhat, but it is authorised,” McCallister replied with a small chuckle. “I don’t say this lightly and I am one of the last people who want to deal with temporal mechanics, but I need you to help me as the Odyssey has been fractured into different timeframes. Has anyone reported to you any problems in gaining access to other parts of the ship?”

“It’s funny you should say that, I watched one of the security officers with me disappear in a flash as he went down a junction to return to the bridge. I’ve had a team scanning the area and they detected large amounts of chroniton and tachyon radiation.” Hawkins confirmed. 

“We came through one of those barriers, you can see I am not the James McCallister from this timeframe.” McCallister indicated to the signs of grey hair and his uniform.

“Indeed. So what can I do to help?” Hawkins offered, he was starting to sound less reluctant now. 

McCallister went on to explain to Hawkins what he and Jen were doing. He then asked Hawkins if he could inject him with serum so if anything was to happen he was aware of what was going on and he could also help out with the other modifications in the timeframe he existed in. 

Once Jen and McCallister were finished showing Hawkins what to do, they began to pack up their gear, ready to move on to the next timeframe. 

“So how much of a great team will we become?” Hawkins wondered as he walked beside McCallister as they approached the next barrier. 

Knowing he couldn’t tell him what his future held ahead for him, especially that Hawkins would die in the future while commanding the USS Holt, McCallister just smiled at him. It was good to once again work with him. “One of the finest in the fleet, Number One.” He answered. “This is going to be one of the best assignments.”

Copying the same grin that McCallister had, Hawkins thanked McCallister for sharing that with him before promising he would keep what he was told a secret with him. “I’ll wait for your signal at this end.”

“Thanks, Zack, now those modifications are complete once we activate the entire system to create the chroniton field, you’ll see when things will begin. Keep safe.” McCallister said as he approached the barrier with Jen. 

“Good luck, sir.” Hawkins said as he watched both men step through and then were gone from his vision. 

Looking on from the other side, McCallister turned around and took one more glance at Hawkins. 

“Is it weird to know that we know what will happen to him?” Jen asked, almost in a whisper.

Bobbing his head in agreement, McCallister turned to his operations manager and just said: “Yeah, it sucks.”

Both men then resumed their work.