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

Welcome Wagon

Vorash, Vorash system, Velorum Sector, Beta Quadrant
Stardate: 77364.89
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The journey from the Odyssey to the edge of the settlement didn’t take the away team long. As expected, Doctor Slyvexs enjoyed the drive beyond belief. Several whoops and screams of enjoyment had taken place. Comments were passed that the subtle, calm doctor had shown a new side, especially one that loved risk since her ride on the rodeo from the barn dance evening in the Auditorium. Everyone appreciated it as they skidded across the rough sandy terrain. The weather changed as they approached the settlement; thunderstorms soon erupted overhead.

The four jumps slowed down as they began to deal with the weather. Activating the jeep’s shields to avoid them being doused in the rain, McCallister signalled for everyone to change into their long black field coats. 

Jumping out of their jeeps, the away team started to walk towards the Qowat Milat covenant. Before the Starfleet team entered the settlement, they had seen some inhabitants. They were wary of the group, and none of the Romulans approached the group from the Odyssey. Most of them were running to their homes to avoid the pouring rain. They were all taking shelter to keep themselves dry. The significant change in weather made the entire scene seem even bleaker than before. 

The covenant looked like every other structure of the settlement: reused sections of various ships, all of which had been adapted over the year to serve a new purpose. Some plant life had grown up and around walls. After they had arrived on Vorash, the refugees that the Odyssey crew had escorted ended up expanding the abandoned mining settlement using the vessels they had fled in. Everything was used to help create their new home; nothing was lost. As a result, the covenant was built using sections of an old warbird. The hull markings could still be seen.  

Approaching its entrance, the Hazard Team was on guard duty around the captain and the rest of the team. Everyone had phaser rifles in their gloved hands, hoods up over their heads as they walked into the atrium. No one was there. The only thing that they could hear was the heavy dripping of the rain against the walls and ceilings. Dropping his hood, McCallister looked around and recognised the area. Things had changed, including the numerous pieces of artwork painted onto the walls, the countless candles dotted around the edge, and several curtains hanging from the ceiling that were gently moving in the breeze swooshing in behind them. The flooring below them was a hard surface from the deck plating salvaged from their warbird. 

A group moved to the far side, and everyone on the away team raised their weapons. Instinctively McCallister signalled for everyone to drop their weapons as he stepped forward. Raising his hands together and opening them up, he spoke to their hosts with a slight smirk. “Jolan tru Qowat Milat. 

Stepping out of the darkness and standing before the Starfleet team, their welcoming party performed a similar gesture. “Jolan tru.” All of the women spoke in unison, followed by a slight bow. 

Before, McCallister and his crew were the Qolat Milat. They all wore dark navy blue outfits, headgear, and scarves. Their leader stepped forward with a broad smile. 

“We tried to call ahead Jew’leanar,” McCallister answered honestly. “But you seem to be dealing with some bad weather.” He indicated with both hands, pointing upwards towards the rain hitting the roof above them.

“An unfortunate turn of events has taken place here on Vorash.” Jew’leanar answered. “However, your arrival is certainly a sign of good fortune. I was told you landed that vessel of yours. I hope you didn’t land on any of our farmlands?”

“We had no choice in the matter and I assure you we kept far away from any vegetation,” McCallister told her.

Looking behind him, Jew’leanar recognised one face. “The famed healer returns to our shores too. It’s good to see you Slyvexs.”

Walking up to stand beside the captain, the Denobulan doctor greeted Jew’leanar in a similar kindly manner as she had been offered. “Likewise Jew’leanar.”

“Let me introduce you to the rest of my team.” McCallister said as he presented the rest of his senior officers and the members of Hazard Team Alpha. 

“So James, explain why our former saviours have returned to our land?” Jew’leanar asked McCallister. 

“I’m sure you won’t want to know the intrinsic political fallout that has happened across the Romulan Star Empire, but it’s sufficient to say what remained of the Empire has all but crumbled away. The Velorum Sector has declared complete independence, led by a new provisional government.” McCallister told her. “As they lost contact with you and Grand DaiMon Deliarous informed us that two freighters were reported missing in your system, we were asked to investigate.”

“We had heard rumours of the immediate collapse of the Rator Senate,” Jew’leanar said as she looked at her fellow sisters, “unfortunately, those ships provided by Deliaros were attacked by raiders several days ago. Their crews were able to evacuate and have been sheltering here with us.”

“Who were the raiders?” McCallister asked.

 Jew’leanar shook her head before speaking. “The freighter crews stated they had no time to see what ships these raiders were using. The attack also occurred on the other side of the planet that our settlement orbits. What was left of the freighters were crushed like tin cans as they fell into the gas giant. There was nothing left to salvage.” She paused as she took a breath. “As for the storm, our entire weather control system was damaged by several seismic tremors. Again, we have no idea what caused them.”

“Furthermore, we’ve lost a lot of good people from these unexpected quakes. Storms are ravaging the main colony along with settlements we established on the outer edges. Our main hospital was hit, and so was the orphanage. To top it off, the tremors have caused several cave-ins. We lost contact with our Reman brothers and sisters who took to living underground in the mining facility.” Jew’leanar finished sharing what was happening to the inhabitants of Vorash with a glum expression. “We are unable to deal with every emergency.

“Then it’s a good thing we turned up when we did.” Slyvexs mentioned.

Nodding in agreement, Jew’leanar replied. “I may start to believe in miracles.”

“My crew and I will provide you with all the help you need, Jew’leanar,” McCallister stated. “My only worry is that a number of your fellow brothers and sisters weren’t too keen on seeing us. I don’t want any issues arising from our help. Is there anything else I need to know?”

“James, I can see you have not forgotten our honest ways,” Jew’leanar countered back to McCallister. “And in response to your remarks, I won’t hide you from the truth. The feelings toward the Federation are not receptive among those that live here on Vorash.”

“Why?” McCallister asked straight away. “When we left you, everyone said you wanted to self-govern and be left alone from any outsiders. What’s changed?”

“Let’s just say that old sentiments from others across the Star Empire have reached our shores. After your departure, a further hundred souls have joined us. Though they agreed to our way of living, their hatred for the Federation, especially Starfleet, had a ripple effect across our community. We couldn’t prevent it; even Veruk tried.” Jew’leanar replied.

Hearing the name of the Reman leader, McCallister almost scoffed at the idea that he, of all people, tried to defend Starfleet’s honour. “Talking about that tall, husky guy, where is he?”

“Trapped with the other miners,” Jew’leanar answered. “Without his support, a sense of uncertainty now exists among our people.”

“Then let’s change that and show that we are here to help.” McCallister turned to Slyvexs and ordered her to take some others back to the ship to inform Duncan of what was happening. He then told Lenjir to take Hazard Team Alpha to the mining shaft to get an idea of the damage caused before they begin rescue operations.   

While the captain made plans, Tomaz and Flemen looked at one another. 

“How well does the captain know this nun?” Tomaz whispered. “I’ve not met anyone who has used the captain’s first name so casually.”

Flemen shrugged his shoulders. “I was thinking the same thing.” He said in a low tone. “Anyway, I wouldn’t want to correct her, especially with that large sword attached to her back.”

“Agreed,” Tomaz said with a nod before they returned their attention to what the captain wanted from them. “Although the captain seems quite at home here.”

“He does; I wonder what else happened here that isn’t in the official reports?” Flemen whispered. 

“I’ve got a feeling we’re about to find out.” Tomaz indicated as McCallister beckoned them over to him. 

“Jew’leanar, how about Tomaz, Craigen, and I sit down with you so you can catch us up on what’s happened here in Vorash since our last visit.” McCallister suggested. 

“Indeed, we have a lot to discuss.” Jew’leanar said as she gestured for the three men to follow her and her sisters further into their sanctuary. “To start off with, where’s that wife of yours?”

Tomaz and Flemen both paused in their stride as they saw the captain clench his jaw before he answered the senior nun. 

“Karyn is no longer with us.” He said.

“Absolute candour, James. What happened to Karyn?” Jew’leanar probed as they carried on walking down a long corridor.

“She was lost while trying to save the Odyssey.” McCallister answered in a very simple way. 

Noticing the pain that caused the captain, Jew’leanar rubbed his shoulder. “I am sorry to hear that. She was a fine and generous woman. And if memory serves me well, an excellent fencer.” 

“She would be gutted not to be able to show you some of her moves, Jew’leanar.” McCallister remarked. 

“I already mourn her loss, James,” Jew’leanar replied. “I hope you continue to honour her well.” She then turned to Tomaz and Flemen. “And I hope the same is said for the rest of the Odyssey’s crew.”

“We do ma’am.” Tomaz said. 

“The entire crew miss her tremendously.” Flemen added.

“Ast they should,” Jew’leanar stated. “I will say a pray for her to ensure wherever she is now, she finds peace.”

“Talking of peace, let’s find how we can restore it to Vorash,” McCallister commented as they entered the main room where the Qowat Milat would meet. “If we can sort out what’s plaguing your world then I am sure your people would appreciate it.”

“That is an absolute truth there, James.” Jew’leanar said as she gestured for the men to take a seat on the pillows lying on the floor before them so they can begin their discussions.