Departing from her office, Corella Banfield made her way out into the large corridor as she headed to the exit, happy to be calling it a day. Though she had not worked a full day today, her half day had felt like she had worked enough. Standing just above five foot five, she was currently a professor of history, though had a reasonable list of degrees and doctorates to her name, her other passions in the sciences included quantum mechanics and astrophysics. In the past sixty four years, she had developed a fine career for herself in Starfleet, working on various assignments and when she had the time would continue with her own studies. Science was always her passion, but this had never been a surprise to her parents. She had always kept her head in the sciences and her father, in particular, had encouraged it.
Walking across the transparent aluminium balcony to head down the flight of stairs to the ground floor, Banfield was making her way to meet with her husband for lunch. Enjoying the delights that came from being a professor on Mellstoxx Three, the Klingon-Human woman made her way through the crowds of cadets with relative ease as they either moved out of her way or paused to let her pass in front of them. Appreciating the sign of respect they showed her, especially as she wasn’t in her uniform but they knew she was a commander, Banfield nodded gracefully to them. She had always shown respect to those cadets who gave it to her, it was one thing she had insisted on doing as she had never experienced it herself while she attended Starfleet Academy.
“Professor Banfield!” A voice called for her from behind, just as she started to step down the stairs.
Looking over her left shoulder, she recognised the eager cadet from her contemporary-Federation history class. “Yes cadet.” She said, deciding to continue with her walk while he chased after her and caught up.
Huffing and puffing, the Bolian cadet started to walk almost one step behind her. “Can I talk to you about my recent assignment?”
Holding back the urge to roll her eyes backward, Banfield carried on walking. “During office hours, then yes cadet that would be acceptable.” She replied.
“Sorry ma’am, but your office hours are awkward for me.” He answered back with.
Not holding back this time, she just shot him a glare and then looked forward as she spoke back in a sarcastic tone. “Oh, I am so sorry to be an inconvenience, cadet.”
Appearing to ignore her comment, the cadet continued. “You see, the issue is I don’t want to study about the Cardassian occupation of Bajor.”
Her younger self would have snapped further at him by now, but the more wiser woman, the more experienced officer in her kept herself calm. “Cadet, you do realise the current era we are studying is around the Cardassian occupation of Bajor, right?”
“Yes ma’am, I know that.” The Bolian said quickly. “I just want to add in about the occupation of Bajor during the early stages of the Dominion War.”
Now stopping in her tracks, she turned to look at her student. “There was no occupation of Bajor during the Dominion War, you do know that, correct?”
“I’d like to test my own theory that actually when the Federation retreated from the Bajoran sector after losing their battle for Deep Space Nine, that when the Dominion boarded the station that was the start of a new occupation era.” The cadet shared passionately.
Wincing somewhat at trying to get where he was going with this, Banfield shook her head. “I’m not sure where you’re going with this cadet, especially as the Bajoran Republic had signed a nonaggression treaty with the Dominion prior to that conflict. There was no occupying force on Bajoran soil.”
“That’s where I disagree ma’am, I think by occupying the station I have a strong argument that there was a second occupation of Bajor.” The cadet spoke, sounding more proudly with his idea.
Sighing to herself, she resumed walking and agreed to his idea. “Very well, do a compare and contrast piece though.”
“That’s great ma’am, thank you.” The cadet said, showing his excitement in his face. “Oh also, one more favour.”
Pausing again, she turned around to look at him. “Sure, fire away.”
“Can I get an extension please? I’m behind on my assignments in other classes and I am really eager to attend a fellow classmate’s wedding this weekend. It will be my first traditional Betazoid wedding.” He pleaded.
“Oh, well my husband wants to take me away this weekend to the great lakehouse up north but I’m not sure if my kids are all keen to go, plus I really want to spend this weekend just at home, doing not much.” She looked at the cadet, who was completely confused as to what she was going on about. “Oh, I’m sorry I thought we were sharing one another’s plans for the weekend?”
The cadet continued to stand there looking perplexed.
“No extension,” Banfield said as she continued to walk down the staircase. “Enjoy your nude wedding though!” She called out as she reached the foyer area of the building and was pleased to see her husband waiting for her.
Noticing her straight away, Carter Westerham smiled at her and she smiled back. Almost a foot taller than her, he pulled her in for a short kiss before she intertwined her arm with his as they walked out into the main courtyard.
“Did I hear you giving another one of your cadets a hard time again, Corella?” He asked as the cool Mellstoxx fresh air hit them as they made their exit.
“I have no idea what you’re talking about Carter!” She denied with a slight twinkle in her eye and a wry smile that followed. “Anyway, I’m not here to make their lives easier. It doesn’t help them when they’re out there in the field.”
“True, but have you heard of giving leeway?” He asked as they walked across a path in between two rows of bushes.
Rolling her eyes now at her husband, she chuckled before responding. “Not all of us take your approach in using our charm and good looks to get what we want from our cadets.”
Westerham was a handsome man in his late fifties. He was well liked by the cadets he taught and many of them were eager to take his classes in engineering. Though he had served in Starfleet, he had left the service a long time ago and was now just a civilian based professor. “How else am I supposed to keep my fan club alive?” Westerham cheekily asked back.
Laughing, Corella decided not to answer that but instead she would enjoy the quality time with her husband as they headed to go and get lunch together before heading home later that afternoon.
After a delicious meal and brief transporter beam to their home, Corella had decided she would take the time to catch up on some reading. Sitting in her study that had a holographic fireplace that was simulating burning logs (including the heat), she was nestled into one of the sofas with a blanket around her shoulders, reading the text on the PADD intently. She was so focussed on what she was reading that she didn’t hear the knock on the doorway made by her youngest child, Logan until he spoke up.
“Mom!” The teenager called for her.
Snapping out of it, she turned around to see what Logan wanted. “Yes honey, what is it?”
Logan, a fourteen year old teenager, shared his handsome looks with his father that were complimented by some Klingon ridges that he had inherited from her. His jet black hair was parted down the middle. “Mom, someone has just arrived to speak to you. A guy called Admiral Bennet?”
Placing her PADD down on the glass coffee table, she instantly stood up and threw the blanket back over the sofa. “Show him in, then Logan.” She insisted.
Logan went back out into the hallway and a few seconds later Rear Admiral Zack Marshall-Bennet walked in. “Hello Corella.”
“Admiral, it’s good to see you.” Banfield said, welcoming him with a warmer smile compared to the cold expressions she had shared with her cadet from earlier that day. “Please come in and take a seat.” She offered towards the arm chairs around the study.
“Thank you.” He replied as he took a seat in a nearby dark green one. Looking around the room at the impressive stack of books on shelves, he smirked. “You have a lovely home.”
“You honour me with your visit, sir.” Banfield said, realising a bit of her mother’s tone coming out there. Deciding to ignore it, she continued to speak. “How can I be of assistance?”
Taking out a small disc, a micro-holoprojector, the admiral placed it on the glass table and tapped it. A holographic display of a Starfleet ship along with some recent log entries and sensor readings then appeared in mid-air. “I hate to pull you away from the academy, Corella, but I need your expertise and past experience on a situation that has developed.”
Glancing at the information originally, Banfield looked back at her guest. “Oh?”
“This is the U-S-S Odyssey.” Bennet said and he started to recall to her their most recent mission during the Century Storm crisis. As he started to wrap up his recount, he sighed. “I know you’ve not been an active field agent of the Department of Temporal Investigation for sometime but with what has happened most recently to the Odyssey and several other vessels during this crisis, both Starfleet and DTI believe it would be in our best interests for someone with a wide field of expertise to lead the debriefing and investigation into what happened to the Odyssey.”
“How long will the assignment last?” Banfield checked as she leaned backwards.
“A few weeks, maybe a month. It depends on what you find out.” Bennet answered honestly. “You’re the best person to do this and to make recommendations to Starfleet and the DTI. I’m sorry to pull you away from your classes but this is a priority.”
Nodding, she knew she couldn’t get out of it. “Very well admiral, when do I report to the Odyssey?”
“Captain McCallister is obviously dealing with the impact this has had not just on his ship and crew, but also his family, so his first officer, Commander Max Duncan is waiting to meet with you in two days time.” Bennet replied. “That said, Captain McCallister is a key player in understanding a lot of what had happened and he knows he needs to participate in the debriefing and investigation.”
“Understood.” Banfield said as she looked back at the hologram of the ship. “Is the ship remaining at Starbase Bravo?”
Nodding, Bennet clarified that the ship was docked at one of the maintenance and repair yards for now. No-one was going anywhere until her work was complete. “I have placed someone else on Odyssey. Commander Louwanna Horin, she was originally assigned to the vessel before this incident to assist with the crew dealing with the impact of another traumatic mission. I trust her as someone you can confide in with regards to the crew’s wellbeing. Any other questions?”
“No, but I assume I’ll have other DTI agents with me?” She questioned.
“Indeed, the department is sending over six others and the sector director is keen to have daily updates.” Bennet stated. He then rose from his chair to extend his hand towards her. “Good luck, commander.”
“Thank you, sir.” Banfield replied as they shook hands.
After he was gone, she sighed wondering now if whoever covered her academy classes would give her cadet from earlier the extension he had asked for. Annoyed at that prospect, she gritted her teeth before picking up her PADD and reading more about the Odyssey and what had happened to it.