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

Bigger Fish To Fry

USS Odyssey (NCC-80000), Paulson Nebula, Beta Quadrant
Stardate: 69346.2 (6th May 2392)
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The time barrier that helped them enter deck eleven to enter the main shuttlebay was located between the corridor and one of the entrances. As a result the door sensor at first didn’t recognise the arrival of Captain McCallister and Commander Jen. 

“This is annoying.” McCallister mumbled. 

Jen took out his tricorder and scanned the large rectangular door. “You’re not going to believe this sir, but the sensor is stuck halfway between the barrier.”

Sighing heavily, McCallister took out his own tricorder and looked over the scans, the same ones that Jen was seeing at that point. “The time differential will make it difficult open the door straight away.”

“We might be able to send the signal, then give it a second to see if there’s a delay?” suggested Jen. 

Shaking his head, McCallister showed he was not prepared to wait. “No. The irony is we don’t have the time to give it time. Let’s open it with the manual release.”

  Jen nodded in agreement, knelt down onto the floor and opened the panel. Tapping away at the console, the Trill operations manager was able to by-pass the system and then the computer spoke up. 

“Manual release is online.”

Jen looked up at McCallister who just gave him the nod to proceed. Yanking on the release the manual levy was unlocked, allowing for him now to start pumping the door open. While he did that McCallister took out an emergency hand actuator and placed it on the wide cargo bay doors. Next he started to push the door open. Between the two of them they were able to part the heavy set of doors, wide enough for them both to enter. 

Squeezing through they entered the shuttlebay and straight away McCallister realised when they were. “Stardate six-nine-three-four-six-point-two.” He said. 

“Ah, yeah.” Jen agreed as they looked around the room and saw multiple spaceborne lifeforms flying around the room or attaching themselves to the various bulkheads and auxiliary craft that were located in the bay. “The evening we succumbed to spaceborne offspring.” 

Sighing with another heavy heart, McCallister played back in his mind this entire incident. While patrolling the Romulan border, deep in the Beta Quadrant, the Odyssey came across a school of small bioplasmic organisms that was able to penetrate their shields, by-pass the hull and take refuge in the ship. All of them were attracted to the Odyssey’s warp signal. The spaceborne aliens looked like fat blue and white starfish. In the centre of them they pulsated through their transparent sack like scales a deep red. 

“Without access to deflector control in this time frame, we won’t be able to encourage them to leave the ship, sir.” Jen advised the captain.

Concurring with a nod, McCallister went out of his way to avoid the two nearest space starfish that were close to him. “Let’s get started on those modifications.” He stated.

About to make their way to the nearest set of gel-packs, both men were stopped when they heard their names being called out by a familiar voice. “Captain, lieutenant, what are you two doing here?” questioned a strong female voice. 

Turning around, McCallister and Jen were met by Doctor Slyvexs and Lieutenant T’Rani. “Doctor Slyvexs, I could ask you and T’Rani both the same thing.” 

Thankfully in this timeline the two visitors from the future could count on their own uniforms not letting them appear too out of place. The only thing the holographic camouflage did was make them appear younger and Jen’s rank was one that showed him as a lieutenant instead of a lieutenant commander.  

Slyvexs still looked like the same woman they knew from their timeframe. Curly blonde hair that bobbed just under her jawline while her bright turquoise piercing eyes appeared as mesmerising. T’Rani looked the same while on the other hand there was one slight difference: her hair. While similar to Slyvexs’ style, T’Rani had loose curls from their timeframe, in this period of time she had grown her black hair long, kept it straight and tied it back into a loose low ponytail with curtain bangs. 

T’Rani’s eyebrows raised somewhat at the captain’s comment before she answered on behalf of Slyvexs. “Captain, we just called into the bridge that one of our pilots was injured by these spaceborne creatures.”

Looking at T’Rani and then back to the captain, Slyvexs quizzed the captain further. “My medical team went through the door you entered about ten minutes ago, did you not see them in the corridor?”

Shaking their heads, Jen answered with a straightforward ‘no’.

“Very well,” T’Rani said, not sounding convinced in her cold Vulcan tone. “I assume there is a shipwide emergency as we have not been able to raise anyone else and we detected a significant high level of chronitons around two of the other entrances into the shuttlebay.” The Vulcan pilot opened the tricorder she had in her hands to show the captain her results. Right in front of them were the readings showing the existence of the barriers. “Are these readings due to the appearance of these creatures from subspace?”

“Not quite.” McCallister answered.

“There’s something else going on here, isn’t there?” Slyvexs deduced. “We tried to use one of the runabout’s sensors to get a better image and all we got was interference from similar readings we took around the door.”

“The high amount of chronitons would indicate a possible temporal anomaly has affected the craft.” T’Rani added.

Realising there was no point trying to hide anything anymore, McCallister tapped his camouflage emitter and deactivated the holographic disguise of what made him look younger. Jen did the same thing. Both women reacted in a calm and collected manner.

“Well that’s different.” Slyvexs commented. “You’re not our Captain McCallister or Lieutenant Jen, are you?”

Jen shook his head. “The captain and I are from a few years in your future. This event with the space-starfish has already happened for us.”

“Then how did you travel to this period of time?” T’Rani questioned.

McCallister took a huge breath and then started to share the account of what happened to the ship in their timeframe and what they were doing now with others.  Furthermore he added that this entire situation with the space-starfish was resolved however he needed their help to inject the serum into the ship’s systems and make the modifications required. Both women agreed to help them but then T’Rani explained that some of the starfish had latched themselves to areas that would prevent them from accessing.

“We need to remove them.” Slyvexs suggested. 

“In our timeframe we had to adjust the ship’s warp signature for them to think we weren’t their pack leader.” Jen suggested. “But we can’t do that in this timeframe.”

“Perhaps we should do the opposite.” T’Rani suggested. “We could modify one of the shuttles to emit the signature they are attracted to and then perhaps set it on auto-pilot to leave the ship. They may follow it in its wake.”

“The only issue is they may not survive the transition from one timeframe to the next.” McCallister stated. “I’m not prepared to kill them by erasing them from the space time continuum.”

“I don’t think they’ll be affected by it sir.” Slyvexs said as she took out her tricorder and showed him some scans she took earlier. “One of the space-starfish materialised halfway in one of those time barriers you mentioned earlier, it didn’t appear affected.”

“If that’s the case, we could change the systems on one of the shuttles with the same modifications we’re doing to the Odyssey…” Jen shared. 

 “…And send it out off the ship for the space starfish to follow.” McCallister finished, nodding in approval. “They may consume the shuttle but at least they’ll be off the ship and not endangering our mission.

“Then let’s get started!” Slyvexs suggested in an enthusiastic tone. 

The four officers began the work on one of the shuttles. Jen and T’Rani, the two old friends from the academy, worked in sync while McCallister worked with his doctor to make sure their plan didn’t harm the space-starfish. 

“Tell me something,” Slyvexs asked him once they were away from the earshot of the other two. “How many crew are we going to lose from today until your time?”

McCallister had a tricorder in his hands, he lowered it and looked at her before he replied. “Let’s just say, we’ll suffer casualties like any one, we’ll also gain new members as well.”

“And promotions as well?” Slyvexs checked. “From my perspective, Lukiz has only been with us for a year as chief operations officer, from that extra pip on his uniform I take it that he gets a promotion at some point in the near future?”

“Most of you do.” McCallister answered. 

The Denobulan doctor gave out a small chuckle, “For me to get a full set of three solid pips, I’d have to undertake the advanced bridge officer’s exam. There’s no way you’ll get me doing that.”

It was now time for the captain to chuckle. “We’ll see.”

Slyvexs just gave him a look of curiosity before returning to her scan, considering his words carefully.

The Wheeler had been picked to be the shuttle that was to be sacrificed to the space-starfish, so Jen and T’Rani were quickly working on it within the cockpit. T’Rani was sitting in the pilot seat carrying her work while Jen was lying with his back on the floor with his hands working through the controls under the main cockpit controls. 

“I am curious Lukiz,” She said, still focussed on what she was doing. “Is there anything interesting that takes place for any of us?”

 Looking away from the opened access panel he was at, Jen pulled himself up on to his elbows. “Are you asking me what happens in the future?”

“Not quite.” T’Rani asked. 

“Temporal prime directive, lieutenant.” He reminded her and carried on with his work. 

“I appreciate that, however I do not see the logic in concealing anything especially if this plan of yours means that myself and Doctor Slyvexs may remember what has happened once you return the Odyssey back into sync with your timeframe. Surely it is vital that we are aware of certain events to ensure they take place correctly or this paradox we find ourselves in may not happen and something else may take place instead. The ship may be lost.”

Snorting with laughter, Jen just shook his head. “I forgot how much you used to love using logic to get your way with things, even if it comes close to bending a regulation or protocol.” He told her after shaking his head. 

“Very well, I will not place you in an uncomfortable situation.” T’Rani stated, sounding almost defeated in her tone.

“Just know this,” Jen said as he sat up straight by her side. “Whatever happens in your future, just enjoy what comes your way.”

“Vulcans do not ‘enjoy’ what we deal with. We may appreciate events as they unfold but we do not find joy in them.” T’Rani said in an even more cold tone. 

Shrugging his shoulders, Jen returned to his work. “Then I can’t help you.” He added.

“Do S’Tefe and I have children?” She quickly asked. 

Surprised at that direct question, Jen looked at her and didn’t say anything. 

“You are my friend, Lukiz. I know Trills, like humans, Tiburonians and Bajorans, value their friendships and the honesty between them.” T’Rani stated. “Both S’Tefe and I are about to enter our pon farr cycle. Will we be successful this time?”

Now he felt guilty for trying to remain optimistic with her. How could he not tell her that was not the case? Could he tell her that her beloved dies when the Klingons attack? But then could he tell her about the amazing relationship she starts with Samris? “Temporal Prime Directive.” He answered in a low tone. “I’m not saying anything.”

“Your lack of honesty and expression tells me that we are not successful and something else may happen.” T’Rani remarked as she paused her work. 

Shaking his head, Jen countered back. “That’s not what I’m saying, T’Rani. I’m saying it’s not my place to tell you what may happen between you. That’s for you and S’Tefe to work out.”

“Very well.” She said again and returned to her work. Her comment sounded like she was annoyed with him further for not telling him the truth. 

Eventually they completed their work and the Wheeler was ready for launch. Setting the small ship to auto-pilot, the entire computer followed the instructions that they had programmed into it. It’s warp field came to life while it hovered just about the deck plating, automatically the space-starfish moved from their positions dotted around the shuttlebay. Hanging around it, they started to change colours. The entire spectrum appeared as they lit the entire hang in a flood of colours. It was like sitting up close and under a rainbow. The four officers appreciated the spectacular event taking place before them. It wasn’t long until the shuttlecraft carried out its next time-delayed instruction as its thrusters came to life and it started to leave the bay. Following in its wake, the space-starfish were keen to see where their new master led them. As they went through the forcefield of the shuttlebay the shuttle hit the time barrier, appearing to have pierced it before the space-starfish attached themselves to it. Seconds later and a bright white light appeared where they all seemed to have disappeared.

“They took the shuttle into subspace.” Jen announced after using his tricorder. 

“Looks like you two need to carry on with your original mission.” Slyvexs said. “We can help.”

“Let’s get it done.” McCallister said with a smile, knowing that some good may actually happen today.