“Chief Science Officer’s log, stardate seven-seven-four-three-nine. Since arriving at the planet that the crew have dubbed, New Risa, our exploration of its surface continues to go without a hitch. Our detachment of cadets has proven quite useful in supporting our efforts.”
Sitting in one of the aft chairs in the cockpit of the Invicta, Banfield was reading the latest report from one survey team. Another group indicated they had not encountered any life besides plenty of flora, but no one had encountered any insects. Requesting that a team from the microbiology department be sent down to run their scans to see what they were missing, Banfield was intrigued that a planet so perfect for humanoid life had nothing on it besides plenty of flowers.
“Ma’am, we’re approaching the base camp,” announced Cadet Jorgeh from the helm.
Looking up from her PADD, she could see that the two cadets that had flown her down were now preparing for their landing. “Extend landing struts Mister Jorgeh and then Mister McCallister, take us down, nice and smoothly.”
Both cadets gave her an ‘aye’ in response. Knowing she should observe their handling of landing the Delta-class runabout, Banfield placed her PADD down on her lap and activated the holographic display to show her how well the two of them were doing. Though the forward most part of the cockpit was a squeeze for two people, McCallister and Jorgeh appeared to be fine as they carried out their work. T’Rani had done a great job getting them to learn the ins and outs of this craft in the last few days. She was impressed with their effort and work.
As she ordered, the Invicta landed with a soft thud and seconds later, Alfie McCallister stated they were down securely. At the same time, Jorgeh reported he was securing their exhaust thrust and other systems.
“Well done, gentlemen, that was executed perfectly.” Banfield praised them as she twisted her chair outwards so she could stand without hitting her knees on the console. Picking up her PADD, she was about to leave them when she paused and turned on her heels to face them. “Are you both needed back on the ship straight away?”
Jorgeh and Alfie looked at one another, then to her with a shake of their heads.
“Then go replicate some field excursion outfits; you can join me as my aides as I inspect the latest surveys,” Banfield ordered.
Pleased and highly grateful for the opportunity, both lads simultaneously stood up, resulting in them bumping into one another near the tight squeeze. They both chuckled at their foolishness before calming themselves down after seeing Banfield’s cold stare.
Moments later, trekking across an almost white sandy beach, Banfield approached her first team. Standing under a temporary shelter, analysing something under a scanner, Lieutenant Abbej was working hard and did not see her superior making her way over until the last minute.
“Commander Banfield,” She greeted her with a long smile before pushing an odd stray of her purple hair out of her face. Abbej had tied her hair into a bun after landing on the planet. It was pretty warm.
Not worrying about pleasantries, something that Abbej had got used to now, Banfield went straight asking for an update. “What’s the latest, lieutenant?
“Nothing exciting, I’m afraid, commander,” She glumly replied. “The only thing exciting is the different amount of flowers and trees we catalogued so far.” Noticing the two young cadets with her, Abbej smiled at them both. “Bringing me support?”
Disappointed to hear they had not made any more progress, Banfield ignored Abbej’s question regarding the cadets with her and indicated toward the scanner. “What were you looking at?”
“We’ve sent a few probes into the ground to see if we can find anything deeper down; I was hoping we could find some fossils, even micro ones,” Abbej answered.
Peering into the scanner, Banfield could see there wasn’t anything there. “No luck, I’m presuming?”
“It would appear so,” Abbej replied.
“This is frustrating,” Banfield stated.
Agreeing with her boss with a nod, Abbej spoke up. “Can I suggest we look elsewhere for possible signs of life, ma’am?”
“Please,” Banfield stated, sounding almost desperate for new ideas.
“The planet has huge oceans; why not let the cetacean ops team do what they do best?” She suggested.
Considering the idea for a second, Banfield nodded in agreement. “That’s a damn great idea, lieutenant.”
“I’ll liaise with them to find the best way to get them down here,” Abbej stated.
Banfield nodded to the idea before telling Abbej she was sending down the entire microbiology department to help further. She was in deep conversation with her deputy when she didn’t notice her two cadets wander off.
Looking around the beach with a deep stare, Jorgeh placed his hands on his hips. “Alf, does this place look or feel familiar to you?”
Sitting on a nearby rock and taking his boot off before emptying it of sand, Alfie McCallister looked up at his friend while he sorted himself out. He said: “What do you mean, Jorg?” He asked for further clarity.
Turning around to face Alfie, Jorgeh threw his arms up. “This place feels familiar.”
“I suppose it does look like that holoprogram we did of the Risan beach last week,” Alfie agreed.
Shaking his head, Jorgeh was now getting frustrated. “No, Alf, I’m being serious. I feel like I know this place.”
“How can you? We only arrived a few days ago.” Alfie stated.
Before they could say anything else, Alfie’s father’s voice came over the intercom to everyone. “Odyssey to all away teams, we are under attack by a group of ships, take shelter and prepare for-”
Something then cut off the channel.
“Cadets, get over here now!” Banfield bellowed with a phaser now in her hands.
As they were told, both lads ran across the beach towards their superiors but simultaneously heard the sound of a transporter effect behind them. Twisting his head around, Jorgeh saw a tall alien humanoid appear. They were reptiloid and were covered in hairless, scaly skin in shades of brown. They had slightly beak-like mouths.
“Hazari,” Jorgeh whispered in shock.
“Rylsanti!” The Hazari in Jorgeh’s direction shouted before he took out his weapon, a plasma whip, and proceeded to blast it in Jorgeh’s direction.
“Jorgeh!” Alfie screamed as he saw his friend hit by the discharge and fall to the ground. He immediately jumped across the sand to grab his mate in his arms. In front of him, his superiors started to open fire against the alien attacker. More transporter signals came in as further Hazari beamed down.
“Get him to the Invicta!” Banfield ordered at the top of her voice as she and Abbej covered the cadets.
“Yes, ma’am,” Alfie said as he struggled to carry Jorgeh in his arms. He glanced behind him to see that a battle was in full swing. Noticing that Banfield had charged the same man that had taken out Jorgeh, the chief science officer had pulled out a Klingon mek’leth from somewhere and had knocked her attacker down in one fell swoop. Then more transporter beams appeared around them; this time, Alfie recognised the sound belonging to a Starfleet transporter. Within seconds, Lieutenant Commander Lenjir and a large contingent of security officers equipped with body armour and phaser rifles were swiftly moving forward to support their comrades against their attackers. It didn’t take long for them to take out the Hazari.
“Is everyone okay?” Lenjir called out after they defeated the last enemy soldier.
A round of acknowledgements followed as Banfield and Abbej joined Lenjir, who was making his way over to the two cadets.
“Alfie, everything is okay,” Lenjir assured him. “How’s Jorgeh?”
“He’s hurt,” Alfie stuttered after he took cover behind a large rock, still holding tight to his friend, “he may be stunned. What did they want with him?”
Lenjir was confused by that last statement, “What do you mean? What happened when they appeared?”
“They knew Jorgeh’s species,” Banfield said after getting her breath back and wiping the sweat from her forehead. “That crazy son of a bitch, wanted him.” She pointed with mek’leth at the Hazari she had knocked out in defence of the two cadets. “What happened up there?”
“Two Hazari vessels appeared out of nowhere, demanding we hand over our stowaways, and before the captain could find out what they meant, they opened fire on us,” Lenjir answered. “We took on one while the other started heading towards the planet. We detected they were trying to send down people, so Lukiz sent out a scattering field. Somehow they were able to bypass it with one or two people. Eventually, when they realised that they were no match for the Odyssey, they retreated. The captain then sent me down to bring you guys backup once Lukiz had disabled the scattering field.”
“I’m glad you arrived when you did,” Abbej said with a sigh of relief.
Lenjir’s combadge then went off, followed by the captain’s voice. “Odyssey to Lenjir, report, commander. Is the situation secure? Is everyone okay?”
Tapping his badge, Lenjir told him everything was okay now but explained that Jorgeh was injured.
“We’re bringing everyone back now,” McCallister said.
“Captain, we have a few,” Banfield paused as she looked at their attackers they had subdued, “prisoners. We should take them with us and see what information we can get from them.”
McCallister agreed to it, and then Duncan’s voice followed.
“Cline, is Jorgeh safe to transport?” The first officer asked, concerned about his son’s welfare.
“I believe so; beam him and Cadet McCallister straight to sickbay,” Lenjir suggested.
“Standby. We’ll grab everyone in one go.” Duncan replied.
Tapping his combadge, while still holding on to Jorgeh, Alfie spoke up. “Dad, Jorgeh said he thought he knew this planet just before the Hazari attacked.”
“What do you mean, Alf?” McCallister reappeared on the channel.
“He didn’t say much, except he just felt the planet was familiar to him. Maybe that’s why the Hazari attacked us?” Alfie offered.
“Let’s get you up here on the double, and then we can talk about it more,” McCallister stated. “Corella, Cline, secure the site and our prisoners for transfer. I want us out of here within thirty minutes.”
“Agreed, sir. I’ll inform my teams to pack up their gear. We can use the shuttles and runabouts we’ve used to bring everything back up.” Banfield added.
“I’ll have my teams help out after the prisoners are in the brig, sir,” Lenjir added.
“Let’s make it happen, people, and quickly. Odyssey out.” McCallister ordered before the channel closed,
Banfield knelt beside Alfie, who had slowed his breathing but was covered in sand and dirt from their recent action. “You did well out there, cadet.” She assured him with a brief assuring squeeze on his arm.
Thanking her with a slight smile, the young cadet was covered by a transporter beam seconds later and was gone.
Once they were out of sight, Banfield stood back up and looked at the other two. “Come on; we’ve got work to do.” She ordered.
As they made their way over to the fallen Hazari, Abbej raised the same question they were all thinking. “Why would the famous Delta Quadrant’s Bounty Hunters want with a kid?”
Lenjir shrugged his shoulders as he started to cuff their prisoners. “I don’t know, lieutenant, but I intend to find out.” Looking down at the cuts he had sustained from Banfield’s defence, “however, he may need some time to recover after he received the sharp end of Commander Banfield’s defence of our cadets.”
“No one comes after my cadets and gets away with just a simple scratch, lieutenant commander,” Banfield warned him as she put her mek’leth away. “That said, whatever reason they give us for wanting Jorgeh, they were willing to put up one hell of a fight for him.”
“But not as much as you, ma’am,” Lenjir commented. “I’m sure Commander Duncan and Master Chief Court will appreciate your defence of their son.”
“I’m sure they will,” Banfield said before turning to Abbej and issuing further orders to get their teams off the planet as soon as possible.