“Chief Medical’s log stardate seven-seven-eight-three-seven-point-five-one. My current analysis of the effects of the Blood Dilithium phenomena has yet to produce any desired outcomes: no treatment, no discernable pattern, and no explanation of how it affects our telepathic crew. In the meantime, the Odyssey has rescued the Brenari scout vessel. My staff have been treating their injured, just like some on Odyssey; they have also suffered strange side effects from the shockwave the Telemachus encountered yesterday.”
Standing in the medical research lab, reviewing the latest analysis, Doctor Slyvexs sighed heavily as, once again, further tests did not present any valuable data. One of her research assistants that stood by her mirrored a similar expression. Their work was interrupted by Commander Hunsen entering the lab from the far side.
“Doc, do you have a moment?” The chief engineer asked her after he tracked her down.
Looking up from the central circular console she had been working on, the Denobulan woman smiled at the Betazoid man as he approached her. “Tremt, how’re the headaches?”
Rubbing the side of his temple, Hunsen answered with a slight look of despair but one he could bare. “The cortical inhibitor seems to be working,” He pointed at the device behind his left lobe and, at the same time, took a breath before passing her a PADD in his hands. “Repairs to the Telemachus have been completed, but we ended up pulling micro fragments from its hull. They all match the data that Starfleet and the USS Sarak sent us. They are Blood Dilithium.”
“So that confirms that planetoid had them in it,” Slyvexs stated as she read the report that Hunsen had given her.
Hunsen nodded in her assumption, “It does; Corella has already conducted a long-range scan of the remains of the planetoid. She is absolutely certain now that the Devore were trying to mine it but got a bit carried away with their efforts.”
“Just like the Klingons did with Praxis,” Slyvexs said with a slight shake of her head. “What has happened to the fragments from the Telemachus?”
“They’re currently in an isolation field, but we’ve also found similar fragments in the Brenari scout,” Hunsen replied. “The captain has agreed with their captain to scuttle their vessel to prevent the Devore from getting their hands on it.”
“That makes sense,” Slyvexs said.
“How are you getting on?” Hunsen said, gesturing towards her work behind her.
Shaking her head and shrugging her shoulders, the doctor crossed her arms before responding. “I’m not getting anywhere fast. I can only determine that everything everyone has been feeling or experiencing is linked in the same timescale of the sudden arrival of the Blood Dilithium.”
“Damn,” Hunsen said. “Is there any way we can combat it further?”
“Besides rolling out the stasis chambers for every telepath on the ship, I’m unable to come up with a long-term solution. I’m about to start researching the possibility of setting up a low-level neurogenic field to counter its effect; however, I’m not hopeful it will work.”
“Well, if there’s anything I can do to help, keep me posted.” Hunsen offered.
“I appreciate it, Tremt,” Slyvexs said with a sincere smile.
Hunsen nodded to her and turned around to leave the lab.
We are here
You can hear us
So long, we’ve been waiting
To let go of ourselves and feel alive
The door chime went off a few times before T’Rani opened her eyes and got up from her meditation. Ignoring what she had heard in meditation, she rolled her shoulders back to compose herself. Walking from the private confines of her bedroom, she made her way across her quarters towards the door before pressing the release button. She had placed the entire room in privacy mode and wanted to complete some meditation after her first shift on the bridge since returning to the ship. However, she could guess who was waiting for her on the other side of the door.
“Samris,” She greeted her visitor, “It is agreeable to see you.”
“Likewise,” The Romulan counsellor said with a grin, realising that they were safe with privacy before he stepped in and leaned in to kiss her.
Automatically, T’Rani returned the gesture of affection and pulled her lover close as they embraced tightly. Almost like a pair of ravenous predators, they kept kissing one another, almost like they were out of control. Ripping Samris’ uniform jacket off from him, T’Rani continued with the need to be so intimate with him as he tried to undo her jacket. Almost instinctively, T’Rani took control, moved his hands away from her uniform, and pushed them to her neck as she ripped off his undershirt. Her actions caused her cortical inhibitor and monitor to come off. Overcome with the need to mate with him, T’Rani could no longer suppress her instincts as the Ponn Farr fever engulfed every part of her.
“What do you think you are doing?” She asked him, in between kisses and as they made their way towards her bedroom.
Samris pulled away for a moment from their embrace, “Enjoying myself?” He replied sincerely. He had never felt this amount of passion from T’Rani before, and he couldn’t repress what he was feeling either.
“Excellent,” She said before resuming their lustful actions. Pushing Samris hard down on her bed, she almost gave him a snarl-like expression as she looked at his half-naked body. Like a beast ready to feed on its prey, she didn’t hold back as she jumped onto him and resumed planting quick hard kisses across his face, neck and chest.
“T’Rani, are you sure…we should…be doing…this?” Samris asked in between kisses and catching his breath. “I mean, the doctor did say we should all be-”
T’Rani placed a hand over his mouth and then put one finger on her mouth, indicating for him to be quiet. Yanking off her jacket and letting her hair down, she pulled Samris closer and placed both her hands across his face. “My mind to your mind, your thoughts to my thoughts….”
Samris started to scream in pain as T’Rani tightened her control over him.
No one could hear him.
We were stumbling
Looking in the dark
We’ll find a way
You’ll be our light
“Come,” McCallister ordered from behind his desk in his ready room. The captain was sitting quietly, catching up on the latest reports from the elements from the Fourth Fleet that were now in the Delta Quadrant, assisting with the Blood Dilithium situation in the Gradin Belt.
Striding into McCallister’s private confines, Commander Duncan walked over to pass McCallister the PADD in his hands. “Just an update, sir.” He handed the device over. “The Brenari scout has been completely emptied, and we are now ready to destroy it.”
“And our guests?” McCallister asked as he took the PADD.
“Those who are not injured are all settled into guest quarters, while some remain in sickbay,” Duncan replied before a wry smile flashed across his face. “I’m sure Adale will be happy we rescued them.”
“I’m sure the Chief Mayor will appreciate our efforts,” McCallister said, not responding to the bait his first officer was putting out.
“Maybe they’ll show their appreciation in a certain manner?” Duncan teased further.
Putting the PADD down on his desk, McCallister looked at his first officer. “Max, for the last time, nothing happened between myself and Adale. Now drop it.”
“Is that an order?”
“Understood,” Duncan said with a sigh, “but she’s awfully nice.”
McCallister glared at him again, not believing the nerve his first officer had. “Remind me again, which one of us has upset our other half recently with another love revelation in a staff meeting?” The captain walked over to his replicator and ordered himself and his first officer a cup of tea.
Duncan raised his hands in defence at the shot fired by his captain, “Tobias is now fully briefed about my…encounter with the Sarak’s first officer from our academy days.”
“Well, you may want to do more damage control if we ever have to meet up with them,” McCallister warned as he picked up the replicated beverages and handed one to Duncan.
Looking up suddenly, Duncan showed a sense of worry at hearing that. “Are we meeting up with the Sarak then?”
McCallister chuckled slightly at how evil he had been in paying Duncan back for the teasing he had endured about his relationship with Adale. “Who knows, but at the moment, they are dealing with something that involves the Kadi. We’re to remain here and monitor the situation with the Devore.”
“Talking of which,” Duncan said before sipping on his tea. “The subspace anomalies in this region are making it difficult for us to keep on top of tracking the Devore from earlier. Remnants from the planetoid’s shockwave are playing havoc with our sensors. We’ve had to re-align them several times in the past hour.”
“That’s not helpful at all,” McCallister remarked as he sat on the curved sofa under the sloping bay window. He gestured for Duncan to join him, “Any suggestions on how we can overcome it?”
“Corella and Lukiz are looking at other ideas as we speak; their primary idea is to launch several probes and connect them as a large network. If one loses sensor resolution, then the others nearby can compensate.” Duncan shared.
“Is it worth us doing such a thing and using such a large amount of our resources?” McCallister questioned.
Before Duncan could respond, the ship went to red alert, and the voice of Tomaz came over the intercom. “All hands to battle stations, Devore warships detected off the port bow.”
Both men immediately rose and, quick as a flash, darted for the door back to the bridge.
“Report, commander,” McCallister stated in a firm tone as he approached the centre of the bridge to see Tomaz standing up from the middle chair.
Tomaz cleared his throat as he responded, “The Devore warships we detected earlier have suddenly arrived out of nowhere. They’re coming into weapon’s range, captain.”
“So much for trying to track them,” Duncan said as he took his seat to the captain’s right.
Looking at the wide viewscreen that showed both Devore warships heading straight for them, McCallister could see the damage they sustained from the earlier explosion. “They don’t appear so scary,” He stated.
Tomaz had already moved over to his station while Lenjir gave a tactical analysis. “Though they heavily damaged, sir, their defences are operable, as are most of their weapons.”
“We should be able to survive anything they assault us with to escape,” Tomaz announced.
Pushing his shoulders back, McCallister wasn’t prepared to give in to the local bullies of the Delta Quadrant, not yet, anyway. “Cline, get a weapon’s lock.”
Lenjir did as he was told and just nodded to confirm that the Odyssey’s weapons array was active. At the same time, he did that, the bridge turbolift doors opened, allowing Hunsen, Flemen, Banfield and Jen to arrive.
“I take it the bad guys arrived?” Jen asked as he took over at Ops from Jines.
“There’s always a party gate crasher,” Banfield said as she took her post at science.
“Finally, some action,” Hunsen muttered as he sat at the engineering station.
Sharing a quick glance with each other, McCallister and Duncan had both picked up on Hunsen’s comment and knew it was not like their chief engineer to say such a thing. Before either of them could say anything, Jen announced that the Devore ships were hailing them.
“Onscreen,” McCallister said as he sat down in his chair.
The viewscreen changed to show the image of a Devore Imperium officer looming down at them with only a few lights overhead. The dark shadows around them were meant to intimidate their counterparts. The Devore was male, mostly bald, besides the white whispers around the sides. “Gaharay vessel, prepare to be inspected. Crew members are instructed to step away from their stations.”
McCallister then spoke up. “I’m Captain James Preston McCallister of the Federation starship, U-S-S Odyssey-”
He was cut off as the Devore continued with his speech. “Sidearms and scanning equipment are to be set aside. Deviation from this or any other inspection protocols will not be tolerated.”
Flemen, who had slid into the tertiary chair to McCallister’s left, was taking notes on a PADD as the Devore officer spoke. At the corner of his eye, McCallister could see that the diplomatic officer had written down that the Devore was following classic protocol when dealing with a ‘gaharay’ vessel. Flemen had briefed everyone about the Devore and what it meant if they ever had to endure an inspection. McCallister was never going to allow that to happen.
“Are you quite finished?” McCallister asked the Devore officer.
“I beg your pard-”
Not giving him a chance to finish his sentence, McCallister played a bit of a psychological game with the man who spoke. “As I said, I am Captain McCallister of the U-S-S Odyssey, representing the United Federation of Planets. Although you outnumber me, I don’t believe you outgun me to demand an inspection. On top of that, I don’t recognise your claim to this territory.”
“Gaharay vessel, you are far from your incursion fleet, and you will submit to our inspection, or we will take your vessel by force.”
“You really want to take on the most advanced vessel in the Federation fleet? Do you even know we are?” McCallister questioned the Devore, remaining calm and cool in his chair.
“It is of no consequence to us who you are, captain. We know you are transporting telepaths. Your ship will be seized, and everyone on it sent to detention camps.”
McCallister shook his head, “No, it won’t, not by you or anyone else. Now, you are far from your territory, and if you don’t know who I am or my crew, then let me tell you that the Odyssey is at the pinnacle of Federation design, but that’s not just it. In the last few months, we’ve been engaged in diplomatic efforts with many of the local races in the Gradin Belt. Not only have we secured a range of relationships with them, but exchanges in technology have given us quite the edge.”
“You are no match for two of our warships.”
“Your ships are heavily damaged, and my vessel is armed with some of the best weapons that the Delta Quadrant has to offer. Along with the Borg-inspired cutting tractor beam, I’m pretty keen to try the quantum-phasic torpedoes that Qomar gave us,”
“Don’t forget the Kraylor cloak we have, captain,” Flemen pipped up, adding to the bluff. “We could easily just cloak, and they would never see us.”
“That is true, but I’m not someone who likes to play hide and seek.” McCallister turned back to the Devore. “So, shall we dance?”
“You are harbouring known criminals, hand them over to us, and you may proceed without any further harm.”
“No,” McCallister said; he then looked over to Lenjir. “Commander, arm a full spread of high-yield quantum phasic torpedoes and target their warp cores. Standby to fire on my command.”
Playing along, Lenjir did as his captain asked but just armed a full spread of quantum torpedoes. “Torpedoes armed and locked on, sir.”
The Devore stared at the captain once more before suddenly closing the channel. Seconds later and they both opened fire against the Odyssey.
“Direct hit to forward shields,” Lenjir announced. “They’re down….” He paused as he checked the readings. “Ninety-three per cent, sir.”
“How’s that possible?” Duncan asked.
“They’re damaged systems,” Tomaz answered. “Their weapons are barely operational.”
“Then let’s show them what they’re up against?” Hunsen suggested, sounding annoyed they had not done anything sooner.
“I agree with Tremt,” Flemen said in support.
“I’m glad to hear that,” McCallister said sarcastically. “Cline, fire a full spread of torpedoes at both ships and then fire another spread of photon torpedoes at the Brenari scout. Destroy it before they have a chance to board it.”
The Odyssey’s forward torpedo turret came to life as twelve shots were fired towards the Devore warships. Lenjir sent six torpedoes to one and the other six to the remaining vessel. Photon torpedoes fired from the Odyssey’s underbelly and made contact with the Brenari vessel. It exploded from the multiple hits it sustained. The shockwave from it hit both Devore vessels, damaging their already weakened shields.
“We should target their sensors and shields, sir; both vessels don’t have enough shielding protecting those systems, sir,” Tomaz advised.
“Let’s do it, attack pattern alpha-two, target sensors and engines. Fire at will!” McCallister ordered as the Devore continued to assault the Odyssey.
Twisting and moving around, the Odyssey fired several shots and took out one vessel. Its shields failed, followed by its engines, and then Tomaz reported their sensors were gone. The last vessel attempted to evade the attack but was too slow to do so. Several more torpedoes were enough to break down their remaining shields, and phaser strikes took out their engines and sensors.
“Let’s get out of here, helm ahead maximum warp. Take us out of range and mask our warp trail.” McCallister commanded.
As the drama came to a calm close, the turbolift door to the starboard side opened and walking out were T’Rani and Samris. Both of them appeared smartly dressed.
“You’re both late,” Duncan said in an annoyed tone.
“We apologise, sir,” T’Rani said, bowing her head.
“We were otherwise engaged, sir, when the red alert was called,” Samris added.
“I don’t want to hear your excuses,” Duncan complained to them. “Take your stations at once. Commander Flemen can update you on what has happened.”
Flemen nodded to that idea.
“Perhaps we should use the observation lounge?” Samris suggested.
Duncan relented, “Make it quick.”
“Oh, we will, sir,” T’Rani said with a smirk as she fell behind Flemen beside Samris. Samris gave her a similar expression before looking upon Flemen’s back as they made their way into the observation lounge alone.
When the door closed behind them, Flemen turned around and was about to share what had happened when he noticed Samris closely approaching him. Samris had an expression across his face that he had never seen across his friend’s face before. He looked at T’Rani, who appeared to be sharing the same look. “Samris, what are you playing at?” He questioned as his friend approached him slowly.
“Everything’s fine,” Samris whispered to Flemen as he pushed him against a bulkhead and pressed his weight against him.
Flemen attempted to struggle out of Samris’ grip but couldn’t move. He had never known Samris to be this strong. “Samris, this isn’t funny,” He said, looking at his friend, “I’m not interested in you like that,” He turned to T’Rani, who was now standing close behind Samris. “Or you, T’Rani, no offence.”
“None was taken,” She said as she seductively looked at Samris. “Shall we do this together?”
Samris nodded, placing one hand on Flemen’s left cheek while T’Rani did the right. In unison, they whispered the exact words she had said to Samris earlier. “My mind to your mind, your thoughts to my thoughts….”
Flemen struggled one more time, trying to get them both off of him, but Samris was pushing so hard he was finding it hard to breathe, let alone stop the mental intrusion he was now feeling. Eventually, he took one more breath and succumbed to their pressure.
“This is a time of awakening, Craigen.” Samris almost purred as he remained firm against the diplomatic officer. His grip on his cheek was tight. “We are becoming one.”
Flemen then slumped into Samris’ arms. Catching him quickly, T’Rani looked at him. “We are done here, Samris.”
Flemen then stood back up straight, and a similar smirk that Samris had appeared across his face. “I understand.”
“Let us continue,” T’Rani said before gesturing for them to return to the bridge.
We’re calling out for somebody
Where are we?