Feeling nauseous the moment he stepped through the temporal barrier, Alfie McCallister had to pause as he felt his stomach perform several cartwheels. He wasn’t sure if it was celebrating that it had got through the time-shift without any issues or if it was setting off an internal alarm stating it shouldn’t be there. Either way, Alfie had to hold onto the side of the nearest bulkhead to steady himself and take several deep breaths.
“You okay?” asked his companion.
Turning around, Alfie gave a weak smile and nod to Jorgeh. Placing a caring hand on Alfie’s arm, his friend offered some sound advice. “Didn’t Doctor Obrith say we may suffer from nausea and dizziness as we pass through the barrier?”
Alfie just nodded as he straightened his back up. Appreciating the concern from his friend, he looked around to where they were and was happy to see that they were in an empty junction. “We should activate our camouflage.” He suggested.
Jorgeh nodded and without hesitation tapped the mobile projector on his left arm and instantly his appearance changed. Alfie did the same and both men no longer looked like each other, but instead this timeframe was before either of them were old enough to be adults. As such they had programmed the projector to change them to look like their fathers. Alfie smirked at seeing Jorgeh looking like a young Tobias Court while Jorgeh did the same back at seeing his friend appearing like a young version of James Preston McCallister.
Taking out his scanner, Jorgeh started to determine where they needed to start their work. Alfie was somewhat pleased that Jorgeh was with him. The two of them had grown up together on the Odyssey, knowing that one day both of them would be involved in this mission to save their home. Jorgeh had followed his adoptive fathers in joining Starfleet once he was old enough. In fact Jorgeh and Alfie had gone to the academy campus on Mellstoxx together. Alfie had gone down the route of becoming a pilot while Jorgeh had enjoyed his time in security and tactical. Now both of them served on the Odyssey in the future. Alfie was first officer while Jorgeh was second officer as well as chief security and tactical officer. Both men had remained close friends over the two decades since Jorgeh and his brother Wylem were rescued from the Quirennal. Alfie had wondered if they would ever enter a timeframe where that event took place. Would he or Jorgeh ever encounter their younger selves? For now they had a lot to do.
Disguising themselves as their fathers seemed like the best option for now. The holographic camouflage would make anyone they encountered think they were Odyssey’s commanding officer and command chief. The ship’s computer would also think that too, especially as both Alfie and Jorgeh had their father’s clearance and command codes for this period of time. Looking at themselves they looked down at the uniforms they found themselves in.
“Remind me again, why does Starfleet change its uniform so often while the Klingon Empire has pretty much had the same style for almost two centuries?” Jorgeh complained, the holographic camouflage kicked in and his voice was altered to sound like Chief Tobias Court.
“If I remember rightly, a certain academy professor of ours who did temporal mechanics had a theory that it would help those of us who time travel to work out when we are in Starfleet’s past.” Alfie answered, sounding like his father. “It’s not the official line that the quartermaster likes to keep the style fresh and appealing to those who join Starfleet.”
Chuckling somewhat, Jorgeh couldn’t get over how much Alfie sounded like his father. “That voice is creepy to hear.” He mentioned as he carried on with his scans. “Plus when did your father ever have so much blonde hair?”
Turning around to check his reflection out in the mirror, Alfie snorted somewhat at his appearance. He had seen pictures of his father from this era, he vaguely recalled his early childhood when his father looked so youthful but from what he always knew his father had darker hair and as he got a lot older it went completely grey. Returning back to look at his friend, Alfie commented back. “Jorgeh, I don’t know what you’re talking about. I can’t ever remember seeing your father with tousled curly hair like that.”
Jorgeh groaned as he copied his friend and inspected his reflection. “Wow, our dads really knew how to live in style in their youths.” He sarcastically said.
“It was the style in the late eighties and nineties!” Alfie said, carrying on with the sarcasm. He took out his scanner once they had finished insulting the looks their fathers had enjoyed from their youths. Looking at the scans, Alfie’s expression changed. “Jorg,” He said, grabbing the attention of his friend by using the shortened name he had created years ago for him. “I’m detecting over forty-seven life signs ahead of us in the arboretum and most of them are Reman.”
Spinning back around to look at his friend’s readings, Jorgeh peered over his shoulder. “Reman? When did the Odyssey have Remans on it?”
Trying to recall that event from the ship’s past, Alfie couldn’t quite remember. “Computer, what stardate is it?”
“The stardate is six-seven-two-two-six-point-two-two.”
Muttering the numbers to himself, Alfie then realised the year as Twenty-Three-Ninety. “Ah crap,” He added. “This is the time when the Odyssey took a Federation delegation to meet with representatives from the Romulan Republic, then the Tal Shiar turned up and tried to assassinate the lead delegate by beaming over drugged induced Remans.”
“Drugged induced Remans?” Jorgeh repeated, not sounding convinced at what his companion said.
“Yeah, they ended up pumping them with some sort of narcotic that brought their primal urges to fight to the forefront while their conscious and reasoning elements were subdued. Doctor Slyvexs was able to create some sort of cure for it that she ended up spreading through the ship in a gaseous form. It ended up knocking them all out.” Alfie explained.
“So with the ship split into too many timeframes to count and we know that sickbay is in our timeframe, we can probably be certain that gas won’t appear.” Jorgeh said after realising the seriousness of their situation.
“When you put it like that…” Alfie started and then Jorgeh finished his sentence.
“…ah crap indeed.” The security chief said. “Ideas?”
“We need to do the work and then get out of here as quickly as possible.” Alfie answered.
“Dressed like the captain and command chief?” Jorgeh checked. “We could end up being taken by these crazy Remans?”
“Drugged induced Remans.” Alfie corrected him.
“Are we really going to squabble over semantics?” Jorgeh countered back. “Either way neither of us are armed.”
“It looks like we’re on deck seventeen section twenty-one-alpha.” Alfie stated and then looked around the empty corridor before beginning to walk down the corridor cautiously. “Which means the main entrance to the arboretum is just around that corner and there should be a weapon’s locker nearby.”
“No there shouldn’t be. It was removed years ago.” Jorgeh said as he followed his friend.
Shaking his head, Alfie reminded Jorgeh that in this timeframe the weapon locker still existed. As they approached another junction, Alfie went over to the locker and used his fake credentials to open it. Swinging around in a one-hundred-eighty turn, phaser rifles appeared with handheld phasers next to them. Placing his hand on the scanner to authenticate who he was, Alfie was surprised that the holographic camouflage worked as it detected his father’s handprint, recognised his voice clearance and confirmed that his DNA was a part of the McCallister lineage.
“I don’t understand why anyone thought having a weapon’s locker next to a large indoor garden was a good idea.” Jorgeh groaned to himself as he carried out his own checks. “I mean who invades a ship and thinks the best strategic place is the ship’s inside park? Which then results in Starfleet Security thinking let’s place some weapons nearby for security teams?”
Alfie ignored Jorgeh’s rant instead he held his breath hoping that the camouflage showed that he was in fact Tobias Court with the handprint and voice recognition system. The only thing that could let them down was the DNA scan. Thankfully Jorgeh’s DNA was altered several years ago during a mission in the Delta Quadrant. An alien race, who claimed to be members of Jorgeh and Wylem’s species, attempted to kidnap them in an attempt to open a Ryslanti artefact. To stop this from happening Doctor Slyvexs used a retrovirus that changed Jorgeh and Wylem’s DNA to appear human. The DNA itself was a combination of their parents and thankfully the aliens then stopped harassing the Odyssey. Both Jorgeh and Wylem decided not to have the retrovirus removed from them, so over the years their DNA had slowly became more human with the Duncan/Court genes.
The computer then beeped and confirmed it recognised him as Tobias Court.
“Oh thank god.” Alfie mumbled as Jorgeh took out the rifle and phaser.
Smirking at his friend, almost in a cocky way, Jorgeh showed he was ready for them to move forward.
At first they worked on a panel just outside the arboretum and injected the gel-packs with the serum. Once they were finished they moved into the huge plant-based sanctuary/indoor garden. In the distance they heard phaser and disruptor fire, instantly both men raised their rifles to their sides as they moved swiftly and carefully through to their next target. The main area of Odyssey’s arboretum was a massive dome shaped place. Within it were small paths in between large swathes of grass, trees, plants and bushes. Small streams ran through it that all connected into a wider river and then a waterfall at one end where a large rock face/cliff was. There had been many times in his childhood that Alfie had climbed it, in fact one of the first things he remembered from his early days of his friendship with Jorgeh was them trying to grapple it. The whole incident ended with both of them splashing into the huge lake that the waterfall led into. Jorgeh didn’t know how to swim so Alfie ended up pulling him up. Both of them had laughed so much that day with their brothers. It was a sweet memory. Remembering it brought a smile to Alfie now as they walked through the arboretum.
“I hope you’re not planning on pushing me into that waterfall anytime soon,” Jorgeh joked from Alfie’s side.
Snorting somewhat at the idea and liking the fact that Jorgeh was thinking the same thing as him, Alfie just shook his head. The noise of the phaser fight was getting louder as they got closer to their target.
“Captain!” shouted someone from behind them before saying it again and in a much louder tone. “CAPTAIN!”
Realising that he was in disguise as his father, Alfie stopped and turned around (Jorgeh did the same). Running up to them with several other security officers beside him was Cline Lenjir. Lieutenant Cline Lenjir. The young Tiburonian held a phaser rifle tightly as he caught up with both Alfie and Jorgeh. He didn’t realise who they really were as the camouflage was doing its magic.
Registering that he needed to become his father, Alfie spoke up. “Lieutenant, I don’t think I should remind you that screaming my name while we are being boarded by Romans…I mean Remans, is a good tactical plan.” He said, kicking himself for that mix up.
“Sorry sir,” Lenjir said, sounding breathless, “but I was told you and the chief were on the bridge.”
“I…we…were on the bridge.” Alife replied, “but something came up that we had to deal with.”
“Oh? Nothing too serious I hope?” Lenjir checked, his breathing was now slowing down.
“Not at all.” Alfie answered, remaining strong with his response and trying to impersonate his father as best as he could. He looked at Jorgeh, “Chief care to elaborate to the lieutenant?”
Jorgeh glared at Alfie through his own father’s eyes before turning his attention quickly back to Lenjir. “We heard that Alfie, the captain’s youngest son, was last seen here. He did a runner from his quarters when the intruder alarm went off. The little tyke has done that a few times.”
“Oh, that makes sense. We can help you look for him!” Lenjir offered.
Alfie looked at Jorgeh, slightly shaking his head at the implication that his younger self would do such a thing. He was only a toddler in 2390. Remaining composed though, Alfie carried on to act like his father. “Yes, please send your teammates into pairs to see if they can find Alf before any Remans do.”
Lenjir gave out his orders to his large team as Alfie and Jorgeh turned away to quietly discuss their plan of action.
“What the hell was that?” Alfie quizzed in a low but harsh whisper.
“I was trying to think on my feet.” Jorgeh complained in a similar low volume. “It makes sense as to why the captain and the command chief have left their posts. Remind me again who your father and godfather are?”
“Alright, alright, but this wasn’t part of the plan.” Alfie said back, looking over his shoulder to see if they still had time before Lenjir finished.
“Yeah but we know that Cline is one of the people that is recruited to help. This is probably the timeframe in which that happens.” Jorgeh encouraged, still saying it quietly.
“True.” Alfie agreed as Lenjir finished and they turned to face him.
His team started to disperse as he looked at his superior. “It’s probably best I remain with you sir, you know tactical directive thirty-six.”
Alfie just looked blanked for a moment as did Jorgeh.
Looking between both men, Lenjir showed he couldn’t understand why his superior didn’t know what he was going on about. “Tactical Directive Thirty Six: the captain will not engage a hostile force without the protection of a security officer.”
“Ah yes, that one!” Alfie said, making it look like he knew what Lenjir meant before gesturing for him to take the lead as they headed toward their target.
Jorgeh just shook his head. “We are going to be in a lot of trouble if we don’t pull this off.” He whispered to Alfie.
Alfie just nodded as they moved forward with their mission.