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Part of USS Odyssey: Into The Jaws of Death, Into The Mouth of Hell and Bravo Fleet: Blood Dilithium

Two Minutes Past Midnight

USS Odyssey (NCC-80000) Gradin Belt, Delta Quadrant
Stardate: 77836.07
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Hissing open, the turbolift doors parted, allowing the group to enter the bridge. 

“I really hope this is a sensor glitch, Lukiz,” Commander Hunsen stated as he led the group out of the lift.

The Trill operations manager turned in the captain’s chair to see the return of the senior staff who had been visiting the planet below them. “It’s no glitch, I’m afraid, commander.” 

Hunsen groaned as he made his way to the engineering station and rubbed his template. “Any signs of any bad guys out there?” He asked the joined Trill.

“No,” Jen said, shaking his head. “However, the amount of interference between us and the relay makes it difficult to get a proper readout.”

“I’ll get to work on recalibrating the lateral sensor array,” Hunsen said. He proceeded to call engineering to get the work started.

Stifling a yawn with the back of her hand, Counsellor Horin took her usual chair to the captain’s left. “Do we know what happened to the Telemachus?”

Again, Jen shook his head. “No, it’s just an automated distress call.”

Lenjir, who had taken over the security and tactical station, spoke, “I reckon Lukiz was getting bored of us having a good time and was getting lonely up here.”

“I’m sure the commander was enjoying his stint in the centre chair,” Doctor Slyvexs said in defence for the ops manager. “Does anyone want a coffee?”

The doctor got a round of acknowledgements as she went to the replicator and ordered many drinks. 

“How was the festival?” Jen asked as he tapped several commands into the holographic controls hovering above the arms of the captain’s chair. 

“Probably our first diplomatic function where nothing bad happened,” Tomaz said from where he was sitting at the mission ops station. “Craigen didn’t get kidnap and worshipped.”

Jen chuckled at hearing that and saw Flemen shake his head at the cheap joke used at his expense. “So, you’re telling me nothing exciting happened?”

Everyone shook their heads, with a couple saying ‘no.’

“Glad I missed it,” Jen said as the Denobulan doctor carried a tray of replicated coffee mugs towards him, “Thanks, doc. Did Mettex get a chance to ask why they called this area the Gahery Sanctum?”

Slyvexs chuckled, “That he did, and apparently, Senior Mayor Adale said it was purely down to what the Devore had called them for years, and they wanted those who were feeling like outsiders by the Devore that there was a place for them somewhere in the galaxy!”

“Fair enough,” Jen said in between sips. 

Seeing that Slyvexs had replicated her hot chocolate, Horin thanked the doctor. “Did you read my mind, Slyvexs?”

“I know how much you love chocolate, and the caffeine is never good for Baby H,” Slyvexs said, pointing her eyes towards the small bump that Horin was carrying. “Are you sure you’re needed up here, Louwanna? I’m certain the captain would understand that you need to rest. If he needs a counsellor, he could always call Samris up.”

Horin rubbed her forehead, “You may be correct, it has been a busy evening, and I am feeling exhausted from all of the mental interaction I had with the Brenari tonight.” She looked over at Hunsen, who she saw giving her the same look Slyvexs had. 

“I’m glad she listens to someone around here,” The chief engineer quipped. 

Horin relented and stood up, “Okay, okay, I’m going.” She said as she shuffled over to the turbolift. “I’ll get Samris to cover for me.” The counsellor eventually left the bridge after the brief nagging she received.

Slyvexs made her way around the bridge towards the mission ops station and stopped by the young diplomatic officer. “Are you okay, Craigen?” She asked as she passed the final mugs to both Flemen and Tomaz. 

Flemen nodded, “Yeah, just tired, and like the counsellor and Commander Hunsen, I was also interacting with the Brenari telepathically tonight.”   

“I didn’t think Lumerians were telepathic?” Tomaz asked as he took a sip from his coffee. “I thought you were all empathic?”

“It turns out the Brenari are strong enough telepaths to communicate to my species via our empathic abilities. It was quite the experience,” Flemen said before returning to work. 

The captain’s ready room doors opened, and Captain McCallister stepped out, still wearing his dress uniform like the rest of them, along with Commander Duncan and Master Chief Court. 

“Lukiz, is everyone back on board?” McCallister asked, making his way over to the centre of the bridge. 

Jen had stood up the moment the captain had returned to the bridge. “Yes, sir, the last group just returned.”

As Jen took over at ops from Jines and Duncan took his usual seat, McCallister remained standing in the centre of the bridge, “Good, then let’s get underway.” He then sat down in his chair. “Red alert,” He called out and then looked at the helm. “Lieutenant Marova, take us out of the Gaharey Sanctum at once. Follow the same flight path that the Telemachus used. Let’s see if we can find out what happened to them.”

The Hekaran pilot nodded and tapped away at the console before her. Breaking orbit, the Odyssey moved out at full impulse as it got underway.

“Sir, we’ve got an incoming hail from New Brenar; Chief Mayor Adale wants to speak to you,” Jen announced after a few minutes. 

Surprised to hear Adale calling him, especially as they had just spoken about her people not relying on technology on their planet. “Put her up,” McCallister ordered.

The main screen changed to show the Brenari leader standing in a room McCallister hadn’t recognised. “Adale…I mean, Madam Chief Mayor, is everything okay?” He asked her, correcting his slip-up and trying to remain professional. 

“James,” She said, choosing not to return the professional courtesy he offered her. “I’ve just been informed by one of our transport captains that one of our scouts hasn’t made it to one of their check-in spots. Whatever happened to your vessel may have happened to them as well. Can you look out for them, please?”

“Of course,” McCallister acknowledged. “Transmit their information to us, and we will search for them too.”

“Thank you, they may have picked up more refugees and been delayed, but I know the scout’s captain very well; he wouldn’t miss his check-in,” Adale said, sounding extremely concerned. 

“Leave it with me,” McCallister said with an assuring smile.

“You’re the best, James. Safe journey,” Adale said, smiling and giving him a quick wink before closing the channel. 

Duncan just turned to McCallister and gave him a look of curiosity in understanding the exchange they had just witnessed between their captain and the Brenari leader. “What was that?” He asked quietly.

McCallister frowned at his first officer, “What do you mean?”

“That!” Duncan said, gesturing between McCallister and the main screen. “She was flirting with you.”

“Don’t be absurd, Number One,” McCallister said, ignoring Duncan’s remarks. 

“We’ve got the missing scout’s data,” Jen announced, slightly breaking up the conversation between McCallister and Duncan.

“Lukiz, I want you and Tremt to start analysing it so we know what to look for,” McCallister ordered. He turned back to look at his first officer, still staring at him with a huge smile. “Max, wipe that grin off your face.”

Leaning in, Duncan kept his voice low. “Something happened between you when you left the festival, didn’t it?”

“I was a perfect gentleman,” McCallister responded before telling Duncan to drop it. 

“She’s gorgeous,” Duncan said after a few seconds, which resulted in McCallister glaring at him. Duncan was about to say one more thing but instead received a gentle slap on the back of his head.

“You’re meant to be a married man,” His husband reminded him as he walked past behind the commander’s chair. “You’re not meant to be looking.”

Rubbing his head, Duncan turned to his husband. “Obviously, not as gorgeous as my incredibly hunky husband.” 

“Much better,” Court stated with satisfaction as he sat at one of the science stations. 

Ignoring the domestic between the two men, McCallister looked over at Lieutenant Abbej, who was at the primary science console. “Abbej, the moment you get a clearer sensor reading, start scanning for the Telemachus and the Brenari scout.”

“All ready to go, sir,” The Senior Assistant Chief Science Officer reported. 

“Good,” He then looked over his shoulder, “Cline, start looking out for any other ships, especially the Devore.”

“Understood, sir,” Lenjir replied.

 Calling out for his chief strategic operations officer and chief diplomatic officer, McCallister issued further orders. “Tomaz, Craigen, go through the databases and make sure you know how to deal with the Devore diplomatically or tactically.”

“Sure, captain,” Tomaz replied. 

“On it, sir,” Flemen said a second later. 

Clutching S’Tem in his arms as they walked down the corridor from the transporter room, Jordan Duncan-Court held back a yawn. 

“You, okay? You want me to carry him?” Alfie McCallister offered in a whisper.

Jordan shook his head, “No, I’ve got him, but thanks.” He replied in a similar low hush tone. “However, tell me, how did our brothers get out of babysitting duty for Commander Tomaz?”

Alfie smirked before whispering his response, “He can’t order them like he can with us cadets; plus, think how it looked to the rest of the senior staff when we offered to help?”

“We?” Jordan replied in a louder whisper as he pulled the young boy closer to him to avoid dropping him. “Alfie, you were the one who offered.”

“Us first-year cadets must stick together, Jord; we can’t let anything get between us!” Alfie responded in defence of his action.

Jordan just glared at his friend and shook his head in disbelief. 

Turning down a corridor, they almost collided with another cadet.

“B-B-Beatrice,” Jordan said, stumbling out his words. 

“Hi, Beatrice,” Alfie quietly said, a lot calmer than his friend.

“Oh hey, guys,” Beatrice Grant said after stopping herself from stumbling into them. She then saw S’Tem with his arms around Jordan while his head was snuggled under the crook of Jordan’s neck. “Oh my goodness, guys, he’s adorable.” She quietly said, after realising he was fast asleep. 

Jordan blinked a few times and wasn’t sure how to respond, leaving it down to Alfie to continue the conversation with her. “This is Lieutenant Commander Tomaz’s son, S’Tem; we’re just taking him back to his quarters to babysit. What are you doing up so late?”

Cadet Beatrice Grant was a third-year cadet with short, bobbed blonde hair. She was only a couple of years older than Alfie and Jordan but had gone out of her way since they joined the training unit on the Odyssey to include them in any exercises she and her fellow squad were doing. She was very popular among the cadets and was someone who worked hard on every assignment she was given. “I’ve just finished working in sickbay for the evening; where have you two been this evening?” She then gestured at their dress uniforms before realising. “Let me guess; you guys were invited down to the planet for the Festival of Honesty?”

Jordan just nodded while Alfie explained the situation further. “Yeah, our dads wanted us all to go tonight, but when we all got called back, we offered to babysit S’Tem.” 

“Oh my gosh, guys, that’s so cute of you both. You guys are just as adorable as this little guy,” She flashed a smile at Jordan before saying she needed to go get some sleep before she started her next shift. She wished them goodnight before both lads watched her walk down the corridor and right down another. 

Jordan gave out a huge sigh which caused Alfie to look at him for a second. “You’ve got a crush on Beatrice Grant!”

“No, I don’t!” Jordan said in a stern but whispered tone.

Suppressing his chuckle, Alfie placed his hand in front of his mouth as he noticed how much Jordan was now blushing. “Jordan, you’ve gone redder than a bussard collector; admit it, you like her!”

“Beatrice is a…she’s…a nice person.” Jordan eventually said before starting to walk down the corridor they were initially heading down. “I only like her as a fellow cadet.”

Shaking his head in disbelief that his friend wouldn’t admit it, Alfie started to follow him.  “You keep telling yourself that, my friend.” He teased.

“Stop it, Alf!” Jordan told him in a firmer, “Now, are you going to help me get this kid back to his-”

Jordan’s sentence was interrupted by the sudden call for the ship to go to red alert, the crimson lighting starting to flash, and the klaxon going off. 

“Just great!” Jordan growled as S’Tem began to stir.

Walking up to Jordan and ignoring the little tantrum he just had about his teasing, Alfie placed his hand on the back of the little boy and smiled at him.

“Hey, S’Tem, everything’s okay.”

“Wh-what’s happening?” S’Tem asked as he rubbed both his eyes and blinked a few times. 

“We’re back on the Odyssey, and Jordan and I are going to look after you,” Alfie answered reassuringly.

S’Tem looked around at his surroundings, “Where’s my daddy?”

“He’s on the bridge with our dads,” Jordan replied. 

“Why?” S’Tem asked.

“They were needed to do their jobs,” Jordan answered.

“Why?” S’Tem asked, “isn’t it nighttime?”

Jordan looked at Alfie for help. 

“It is,” Alfie confirmed, “but they’re needed to do the jobs as one of our ships has asked for our help.”

“The Tele-Tele…” S’Tem attempted to say the ship several more times before pronouncing it correctly. “The Telemachus?”

 “Yeah, that’s right. Commander Banfield needs the Odyssey.” Jordan said with a smile. 

“Now you’ve got nothing to worry about, as we’re going to look after you until your dad comes home.” 

“You promise?” S’Tem asked, looking at both of them.

Alfie and Jordan looked at one before looking back at him and, in unison, promised they would stay with him. 

Minutes later, they were in Commander Tomaz’s quarters getting S’Tem into bed. 

“Have you cleaned your teeth?” Alfie checked. 

“Yes!” S’Tem answered before showing Alfie a toothy grin. 

“Excellent,” Alfie said as he leaned down and picked up the boy into his arms, pretending to fly him around his bedroom before landing him on his bed. S’Tem giggled at the action. 

Jordan pulled back the sheets for S’Tem to get under. He did so quickly, and then Jordan pulled the covers over him. “Well, good night, S’Tem,” Jordan said with a friendly smile. 

“What about a story?” S’Tem pleaded.

Jordan, who was almost halfway towards the doorway and stopped, just as Alfie did. Both of them turned to face the boy. 

“It’s late, S’Tem; you need to sleep,” Jordan said. 

“I want a story; I always have a story before I go to bed.” S’Tem insisted as he crossed his arms. “Plus, I need Flotter, Trevis and Toby with me.” He pointed at the cuddly toys at the other end of his bedroom. 

Realising they wouldn’t win this one, both cadets gave in. Jordan collected the toys while Alfie proceeded to find the recent story that S’Tem had been reading. 

“This one?” Alfie checked after picking up the nearest one on S’Tem’s bedside cabinet. 

S’Tem nodded, “Yeah!”

Alfie chuckled as he read the title, “The Adventures of Flotter, damn I’ve not read any of these stories since I was your age, S’Tem.”

Joining them with the stuffed toys, Jordan passed them to S’Tem. “So, who are these guys?” He asked.

“This is Flotter,” S’Tem said, pointing to the blue one before proceeding to the one next to him, “This is Flotter’s friend, Trevis, and that’s Toby the Targ!” 

“Is Toby a friend of Flotter and Trevis?” Jordan asked. 

“No!” S’Tem answered in a manner that he couldn’t believe Jordan asked that.

“Really, Jordan, have you not learnt yet that Toby the Targ is a different character from a different holonovel series and doesn’t appear in The Forever Forest with Flotter and his friends?” Alfie asked in a mocking tone. 

“Obviously, not!” Jordan said with a smirk. 

S’Tem then insisted that Alfie and Jordan sit on either side of him as they started to read the book together. “You gotta promise to do the voices. Uncle Craigen does them, as does Uncle Samris, but Auntie T’Rani is the best at doing Flotter, though!” 

“Very well, lay back and let’s start the next story, Flotter, Trevis, and the Ogre of Fire!” Alfie said in an almost scary tone. 

S’Tem pretended to be scared and then placed his arm around Tomaz’s as Alfie started the story.

“Once upon a time in the Forest of Forever, Flotter and Trevis encountered a strange element they’d never seen before…”


  • I love the fact that Duncan gave him the fifth degree on the flirting with Adale, even though the Captain was denying it, it had me chuckling at the two going back and forth. The best part was when Duncan called her gorgeous and got a smack upside his head. Now I am curious as to what is going to happen next when they catch up to their missing ship. I loved the part between both Alfie and Jordan with little S'Tem was a good ending to this story.

    November 7, 2022
  • Hunsen just calling what's likely the Devore 'bad guys' in such a matter-of-fact way feels like one of those great subtle character notes - he's very straightforward and, well, he's right! Calling the baby 'Baby H' is very cute and also deeply diplomatic. I see Jen has appointed himself the official interruptor of any possible conversations about McCallister and Adale, cutting off Duncan's teasing! Alfie and Jordan being awkward in their own flirting and taking care of little S'Tem was VERY cute, but I have a real bad feeling about how much family is getting attention when the other shoe's gonna drop... ;)

    November 7, 2022