Part of USS Odyssey: Between The Feathers Of Destiny and Bravo Fleet: Sundered Wings

A Blast From The Past

USS Odyssey (NCC-80000), Beta Quadrant
Stardate: 77363.1
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The entire senior staff had assembled in the conference room ahead of the captain’s request, however, not all of them were sat down. McCallister and Duncan were still in the ready room speaking with Rear Admiral Bennet. Most of them were still wearing their outfits from the barn dance-themed evening that had been interrupted earlier. That was all of them besides Banfield. She was sitting at one end of the table with a mug of raktajino and a PADD in front of her. She was purposely ignoring the conversations going on around her. All of them were debating about what the admiral was briefing the captain and first officer about.

“Knowing our luck, we’ll end up being sent to the Gamma Quadrant.” grumbled Hunsen before he took a sip from the glass of water he held in his hand. Leaning against the long conference table, he was trying to sober up after having a few beers over his dinner date with Horin. Even though Slyvexs had injected them all with an anti-intoxicant, he was still feeling some of the effects of the alcohol he had consumed. He wasn’t the only one.

Horin was standing opposite him, perching on the edge of the wall console station that was used during all briefings. She held a hot chocolate in her hands as she spoke back to him. “Wrestling with the Jem’Hadar would be a change of scenery.”

“No one wants to take a rumble with the Dominion.” Slyvexs remarked as she sipped on her Tarkalean tea.

Banfield, hearing the mention of the former enemy of the Federation from over thirty years ago, looked over to Slyvexs, “Did you have a bad experience with Jem’Hadar and their Vorta babysitters, doctor?”

“Just a few,” Slyvexs answered, “I was on the Venture for the entirety of the war. We were on the frontlines quite a bit.”

Leaning back in her chair, Banfield had not known that the Denobulan doctor had been in Starfleet that long ago. “I thought your first ship was the Trinity, with Captain McCallister?”

Shaking her head, Slyvexs corrected the half-Klingon science officer. “No, I had resigned my commission after the war to spend time with my family. I returned to active service before Captain McCallister received his field promotion to captain of the Trinity. Didn’t I see in your service record you served on a Klingon ship during the war?”

Impressed the chief medical officer had done her research, Banfield nodded but didn’t share that actually during the war she was transported back in time to relieve the whole war more than once. Her posting to the Klingon battlecruiser, the Vor’nak, had been one chapter of her career she had enjoyed quite a bit. “I did, witness their warrior cultural in full gear was quite an education.”

“And I suspect gave you a higher appreciation for your mother’s heritage?” Slyvexs asked.

“Indeed.” Banfield replied simply and lifted her raktajino towards the doctor in an almost toasting-like manner. 

Slyvexs smirked at the science officer before grabbing the attention of Court, who had just walked passed her with two steaming mugs of tea in his hands. “Tobias my dear, did you hear what the admiral wanted to share with the captain and your other half?”

Court, ignoring the casual tone that Slyvexs took with him as that had been their relationship for years now, placed the two mugs down at the end of the table where McCallister and Duncan always sat at. He shook his head. “No specifics, besides it being an alpha priority call.” 

“Alpha priority?” Hunsen repeated before confirming his suspicions, “that settles it then, it’s definitely the Dominion!”

“My money is on it being the Borg.” Lenjir said as he stifled a yawn with the back of his hand. He had been slanting against the large floor to ceiling windows with T’Rani, Jen, Flemen and Tomaz. 

Confused by that statement, Jen looked to his friend. “The Borg? Really?”

“How did you reach that conclusion?” T’Rani interrogated. Her hands were grasped behind her back at the bottom of her spine. She took was intrigued by her friend’s proposition about the cybernetic civilisation that had also been belligerent enemies of the Federation in the last century.

“We’ve not heard anything from the Borg for years,” Lenjir stated, “And I reckon one of the ships sent to the Delta Quadrant have found an entire secret armada that’s heading towards the Federation. Starfleet is assembling an armada to take them on.”

“You have such a vivid imagination, Cline, you really do.” Jen said as he dismissed his friend’s idea with a shake of his head and took his usual chair in the centre of the table.

“Romulans.” Banfield stated.

“Pardon, commander?” Jen asked her. 

“Romulans.” She reiterated before explaining her idea. “There’s still a lot of instability in the three powers that succeeded the former Romulan Star Empire. I suspect that something has happened within one of them. We’re close to their space and with the ship’s history of being close to the Romulan evacuation, it comes to reason that Starfleet would want to send someone like Captain McCallister and this crew to deal with such an issue.”

The whole room had gone quiet as they listened to Banfield’s theory. 

Hunsen then broke the silence. “I’m still thinking it’s the Dominion.”

“It’s the Borg.” Lenjir argued with a smirk.

The port doors then opened allowing for McCallister and Duncan to enter. 

“That took a long time.” Court remarked in a concerned tone, only loud enough for Duncan to hear. He passed the mug he had prepared for his partner.

“Thanks.” Duncan whispered before he took the drink. He nodded in agreement with what he and the captain had just heard from the admiral. 

“Thank you everyone for being so patient,” McCallister said bringing the meeting to a start. He gestured for everyone to gather around and sit down. Seeing the drink waiting for him, he looked up to Court and thanked him. “It’s not good news, I’m afraid.”

“When is it ever?” Slyvexs countered as she took her chair beside Court. 

“Starfleet Intelligence has been monitoring a situation that is taking place in the Romulan Star Empire.” McCallister began to explain what was happening that had everyone in the top brass concerned. During his explanation most of the senior staff had glanced over to Banfield over the fact her suspicions had come true. She sat there with an almost smug expression on her face. McCallister continued the briefing to show everyone the region they were about to be involved with. “Ladies and Gentlemen, let me present to you the Velorum Sector.” McCallister tapped a button on the table and activated a holographic display showing the star charts that belonged to the three Romulan nations. Another tap zoomed in on an area belonging to the Romulan Star Empire. It went from being green to grey in territorial claims. Several systems were identified with floating labels. McCallister followed on with the information they needed to know. “In its heyday, this was the pinnacle home of the Star Empire’s resources. Rich in dilithium and every other material you can think of to maintain the fleet and keep the Empire in power. It is, well it was one of the most secured areas in the Star Empire. When the old Romulan Star Empire splintered, those still loyal to the Star Empire idealogy secured the sector from anyone else grabbing it. Neither the Romulan Free State nor the Romulan Republic had a chance to take control. It has been the lifeline for the Star Empire’s existence, until recently. The sector itself has a large working-class population, most of them Reman or those undesired in Romulan society. That said, due to the wealth of the sector, it attracted some of the Empire’s finest metallurgists as well as those businesses wanting to make something out of it. However, that has all changed. The workers have revolted, a provisional government has been put in place and they’ve requested Federation aid.”

Everyone remained silent but everyone had the same question in their minds. It was plastered across their faces.

“Doesn’t that go against the Prime Directive? If we go in, aren’t we interfering with the internal matters of another state?” Flemen asked, being the diplomat in the room he knew it would be his job to deal with this matter as much as the captain and first officer.

“No,” Duncan replied instantly. “As a provisional government has been set up and their request is purely around us supporting their right to self-governance, then we have a bit of leeway. Their leader is keen for Starfleet’s assistance.”

“I bet they are.” Tomaz reacted with that notion. “What do we know about them? A disgruntled Romulan governor?”

“His Reman.” McCallister answered his strategic operations officer.

“Reman?” Horin repeated and shared the same surprise with everyone else in the room, besides T’Rani. “Am I sensing a repetition of deja vu here?”

“What do you mean Louwanna?” Duncan quizzed the counsellor.

“Haven’t we seen the Remans uprise before back in twenty-three-seventy-nine?” Horin answered back with her own question.

“Are you referring to the Shinzon coup d’état that involved the Enterprise-E?” Slyvexs asked the counsellor and she got a nod back in response from the Betazoid. “Well let’s hope we’re not about to deal with any thalaron radiation.”

Waving his hands slightly to dismiss that idea, McCallister alleviated his crew’s fears. “No, from what we’ve been briefed this has nothing to do with that incident and what Starfleet has in mind won’t involve just a single ship. The Fourth Fleet is being mobilised to render aid.”

“The admiral was pretty adamant that the top brass want this venture to go without a hitch and hopefully it will help with relations with the Romulan people.” Duncan added.

“In other words, Starfleet wants to make amends for its faux pas with the evacuation of Romulus.” Flemen summarised.

“Something like that,” McCallister assured before tapping another button on the table. He took a sip from his tea as the map zoomed in further on to one specific star system. “Anyone recognises this place?”

A good number of them did by their reaction. Tomaz, Banfield, Horin and Flemen didn’t. 

“The Vorash system,” T’Rani stated. “Is this our intended destination?”

“Indeed.” McCallister answered with a couple of soft nods.

“Talk about a blast from the past.” Jen muttered.

Those who were not aware of it looked to their peers for answers. 

“What’s so special about the Vorash system?” Tomaz queried. 

Banfield sat up straight, “Is this the system where after you all saved a large convoy of refugees from Romulus and Remus from Nausicaan attackers that you help settle on?”

“Top marks for our chief science officer,” Slyvexs said with a small clap. “If memory serves me well, the Vorash system sits on the edge of the Velorum Sector and quite close to the Romulan Republic.”

“It does,” McCallister stated. “As the closest ship and the one that has the relations with its inhabitants, Starfleet wants us to go in and check a few things out.”

Jen, who had not been on the ship during this mission did though know what had happened from his own experience of travelling with the captain into the ship’s past during the recent temporal paradox they had encountered. He looked down at the captain, “Didn’t you tell me, sir, that the refugees you all saved saw you all as local heroes?”

“Hence why we are being sent in. Our presence may help resolve a situation that we’ve been informed of.” McCallister acknowledged as he activated another set of displays on the large wall console that sat behind some of them. “For those of you who are not aware of who we dealt with during that mission, let me introduce you to Jew’leanar.” A picture of a Romulan woman wearing a navy blue large headscarf appeared. “Jew’leanar is the leader of Qowat Milat covenant on Vorash.”

“Qowat Milat?” Banfield questioned.

“Romulan warrior nuns who are obsessed with absolute candour.” Court filled her in on.

“When we last left Vorash, the inhabitants who were all refugees had agreed that they didn’t want a planetary government set up. They just wanted a quiet life after everything they had gone through. So they left most of the administration to the Qowat Milat. Vorash itself was an old mining colony that had been abandoned for almost a century, however, the Reman miners that had joined them had discovered a large deposit of dilithium crystals that had never been found before. Star Empire officials at the time had insisted that the settlers either leave the planet or a military presence would be placed to oversee them. With our help, Jew’leanar negotiated a deal which ensured that the settlers remained a part of the Star Empire but in return, no military presence was allowed to touch foot on Vorash. As part of that agreement, a third party was brought in to assist with the mining of the new deposits of dilithium. This person was,” McCallister paused as he activated another image on the display. This time a Ferengi woman appeared, “DaiMon Deliaros.”

“The life and soul of the new Ferengi Alliance female business movement,” Lenjir remarked. “She was quite a…vibrant soul .”

“That’s one way of saying it,” Duncan muttered as he shuddered at the mention of the DaiMon. “She is the epitome of what the new reforms of Ferengi society wanted when they gave women the right to make a profit. She was a spoiled, shrill, gold-digging socialite who earned most of her money on the back of her former husband’s businesses.”

Hunsen chuckled somewhat. “She had a thing for Max during this mission,” He briefed the others that had not been there to experience the delights of this Ferengi. “When we first met her she normally had a glass of some alcoholic drink in her hand and was demanding her crew and servants to do things for her like you wouldn’t believe.”

“She sounds charming,” Horin remarked. “How was she involved in all of this?”

Concealing a smirk as he looked at his first officer at first and then at the counsellor, McCallister answered her question. “Max was able to convince her to change her ways after he showed her the impact her work could have on those who were suffering. It turns out that the DaiMon did have a heart.”

“Buried under layers and layers of pure darkness,” Duncan added. “She kept on calling me ‘honey’ and her voice could pierce right through parametallic hull plating. 

“Anyway, she agreed to support the refit and rebuilding of the mining operations for a very small fee as well as providing the transports between the settlement and the rest of the Star Empire. The only thing that the Romulan Star Empire had to do was provide military aid to the planet.” McCallister reported. “We remained at Vorash for a long time, almost four months, where we helped build the infrastructure of the settlement. Homes, power grids, a hospital, you name it we did it with the settlers. We installed a communication network in orbit as well as several other satellites so they could monitor who was approaching and entering the system. Before we left though Max pulled one more trick out of its hat and got DaiMon Deliaros to use some of her influence in providing further business opportunities to the planet so that they could use the resources it did have to purchase further items like medicines and equipment. She agreed, again for a small cut of the farming communities they were establishing. The last we heard everything was running smoothly.”

“Until now?” Hunsen guessed.

Nodding, McCallister went on. “With the changes in the Velorum Sector, Resak the new leader of this provisional government has lost contact with the Vorash system. DaiMon Deliaros also reported that contact has been lost with two of her freighters who were on their way to the settlement for their routine collection. To top it all off, long-range scans indicate that a Romulan warbird, belonging to the Republic, has been spotted heading towards the system. We’re going to head out there, see what is happening and provide whatever support we can bring.”

“Is Starfleet only sending us?” Tomaz asked.

“We’ll be the only Starfleet vessel going, for now, if we require further support then relief ships will be sent across the border,” McCallister replied. “However, we won’t be going alone.” He then turned and smirked at Duncan to explain the next bit.

Sighing heavily, Duncan spoke up. “DaiMon Deliaros will be joining us. She is bringing her flagship, the Breevahosen, to meet us on the edge of the Vorash system.”

A few chuckles were elicited at hearing that news, including one from Court who got a stern look from his partner. He returned the expression by grabbing hold of Duncan’s hand in support but still laughing somewhat. 

McCallister spoke over the top of them to bring them back together. “She also kindly agreed to send a hospital ship plus cargo vessels containing resources to support with any humanitarian aid needed for the colony.” 

“That’s very generous of her,” Hunsen stated with a smirk, looking at his friend who was annoyed at the situation they were about to be in. He knew just too well how much time and effort Duncan had put in with that woman. She was a constant flirt back in the day and thoroughly enjoyed her time with Duncan. “What is she expecting in return?”

“Starfleet agreeing to send us as her escorts is all that she officially wants, but that said the admiral did pass a comment that she had asked if Max was still with us. She appeared quite excited that he was now the first officer.” McCallister explained. “Are there any questions?”

Everyone was still amused by the apparent upcoming shenanigans they may witness their first officer dealing with. 

“Good, then T’Rani set a course for the Vorash system. The rest of you I want you to review our records and the latest reports. Let’s get this right and see what is happening out there. Thank you, dismissed.”

As everyone started to file out, Duncan remained behind and looked at Court. “I hope you plan to defend my honour against this DaiMon?”

“Are you kidding me?” Court said as he stood up and looked up at his partner, “I’m planning to cheer the captain on in whatever he has planned on using you to our advantage.”

“Oh, thanks!” Duncan protested slightly as he got up too. “Maybe the boys will protect me.”

“You’ll be lucky!” Court remarked as he took hold of Duncan’s hand and placed a kiss on his cheek. “They’ll be more interested to know how you convinced a Ferengi businesswoman to become the good Samaritan.”

“Which I’m sure you’ll enjoy explicitly telling them?” Duncan checked as they started to head out towards the exit.

“Absolutely.” Court returned as they went through the threshold. 

Chuckling at hearing the exchange between his first officer and master chief, McCallister picked up his PADD and mug before he noticed Banfield still sitting. “Everything okay commander?” 

Banfield looked at him. “Yes sir.” She paused before speaking again. “Permission to speak freely?”

Wondering where she was going with it, McCallister gave her the nod to do so. 

“Commander Jen implied he knew about this mission in front of everyone, he was referring to your experience during the Century Paradox.” Banfield stated.

“Your point?” McCallister asked after a heavy sigh.

“It will be admissible of me to say that it goes against the Temporal Prime Directive for him to share such knowledge,” Banfield stated.

  Shaking his head, McCallister couldn’t believe that Banfield was raising this. “Nothing from our mission on Vorath is classified under any directive, including the Temporal Prime Directive. On top of that commander, may I remind you, that you were the one that has debriefed everyone who was in this room and even briefed those who need to be aware of what may happen in the future? I trust these people to do their jobs.”

“That does not excuse-” Banfield started but was stopped mid-sentence by McCallister.

“Enough!” McCallister commanded in a stern voice. “You agreed to join this ship to help prepare us for what is going to come. I do not have an issue with what Lukiz raised and neither should you. Am I clear Commander Banfield?”

Realising she had struck a nerve, Banfield nodded. “Aye, sir.”

“Good, you’re dismissed, commander.” He said emphasizing each word and glaring at her before she moved and left his company. 

The moment the doors closed behind her, he dropped into his seat. Shaking his head, he started to wonder if bringing Banfield into the fold was the smartest move he had made. That said, he remembered the moves he took when he was last at Vorash and was certain he had continued to make good ones ever since then. It was the first time that he realised he didn’t have Karyn to back him up. 

It felt strange, it felt different, he felt alone. 

Comments

  • What a way to introduce readers to the crew and the story at the same time! I love the moments we get between each character(s) as a way to show us who likes who and who isn't in the fold - it's always hard to write in those elements within a story or scene without it feeling clunky and exposition heavy. Here you chart a path and weave the reader through the veterans, the new ones, and the others - giving us just glimpses without telling us everything. There's a good amount of showing here on how the crew is mostly together - the entire opening moments where they debate who the big bad could be is fun and interesting versus just existing to give us a breath before the captain shows up. What I like about this is that it feels as if we're sliding right into the scene without too much trouble - it feels like we're old friends just picking up with these characters again. Each character has their own backstory that's lightly referenced - I found myself thinking, "OK, I want to see what more I find out about her, or him as I read" and that's good stuff as a reader! Solid work. I also like the imperfections that come along with conflict between some of our officers and in the end, our captain - his got some things and some people to work through with on this mission. The ending sentence is especially powerful as it leaves the reader sitting in the moment with him and even reflecting on when we've been alone or on our own without a strong ally to help guide us/support us. I really enjoyed reading this piece and am excited to see where this takes us!

    May 30, 2022
  • I was under the mistaken impression that events in the Star Empire were pretty much as dire as they could get, then along comes the Odyssey throwing Ferengi into the mix! A novel idea that I love. This crew has so much history and it gets explored every single time in a way that just deepens our connection to each one of them. I still can't shake a feeling that there is something 'off' with Banfield. Like, not all is as it seems. I can't wait to see how the story develops further now that everyone is acutely aware of the situation and what's at stake.

    May 30, 2022
  • I enjoyed this chapter as everyone is throwing out ideas of what their next mission might be, Dominion, Borg, and Romulans. Though funny how Banfield mentioned the Romulans they sort of brush off that idea and stick with their ideas which were proven wrong when Banfield was correct. I can't wait to read what happens between Duncan and the Ferengi and what kind of shenanigans comes.

    May 30, 2022
  • Briefing time! The jests of guessing what the problem is, cut through by Banfield analysing instead of being outlandish, is a very solid depiction of the crew dynamics. Returning to somewhere once visited during the evacuation is a good story beat, I look forward to seeing what skeletons in the closets start to seep out. And a Ferengi involved? That's an interesting spanner in the works...

    June 1, 2022
  • Thank you thank you thank you. I was hoping one of these Sundered Wings missions would feature the Qowat Milat! And this one looks like a doozy, in the battle between absolute candour, absolute Ferengi greed, and who knows which Romulan splinter factions. As a new reader to Odyssey, the exposition library scene was assembled really well. The scene moved along at a good pace and I felt like I got caught up on everything I need to know. As a not ENTIRELY new reader to Odyssey, it's worrisome that McCallister and Banfield are still butting heads over the same issues. Banfield's strict interpretation of the law doesn't align with how McCallister wants to run his crew and the intensity of their fights isn't lessening. I had hoped to see a thaw in their relationship, so it's worrisome where their working relationship is headed!

    June 2, 2022
  • James Preston McCallister

    Squadron Commander

  • Max Duncan-Court

    Commanding Officer

  • Tremt Hunsen

    Executive Officer

  • Tomaz

    Chief Strategic Operations Officer
    Chief Intelligence Officer
    Second Officer

  • Craigen Flemen

    Chief Diplomatic Officer
    Staff Judge Advocate
    Third Officer

  • Tobias Duncan-Court

    Chief Administrative & Training Officer
    Senior Officer of the Watch

  • Slyvexs

    Captain of Medicine

  • Louwanna Horin

    Captain of Counselling

  • T'Rani

    USS Themis
    Chief Flight Control Officer
    Second Officer
    Former Chief Flight Control Officer

  • Cline Lenjir

    USS Themis
    Chief Security & Tactical Officer
    Third Officer
    Former Chief Security & Tactical Officer

  • Corella Banfield

    USS Triton
    Commanding Officer
    Former Captain of Science
    Second Officer

  • Lukiz Jen

    USS Triton
    First Officer
    Former Chief Operations Officer