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

Where do we go from here?

USS Odyssey (NCC-80000), Gradin Belt, Delta Quadrant
Stardate: 77873.4
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“Lukiz, do you have a moment?” Commander Banfield asked as she entered main engineering.

Looking up from the central command table, Lieutenant Commander Jen paused the work he was doing and smiled at the chief science officer. “Sure, commander; what is it that I can help you with?”

Holding out a PADD in her hand, the half-Klingon-half-Human woman handed him the specifications they had just received from the USS Discovery. “It would seem the answers to this entire mess with the blood dilithium crystals have been solved.”

After taking the PADD, Jen started to read its contents and nodded away as he digested what the Discovery had created. “This should be quite easy to sort out,” He confirmed before passing the device back to Banfield. “I can spare a few engineers to assist.”

Smiling in appreciating her motives in visiting him, Banfield chuckled. “Are you sure? I know the captain has left you in charge of engineering while Tremt and Tierra are recovering, and you have your hands in full in keeping us going with so many Brenari on board.”

Jen nodded with confirmation. “Well, how many probes are you hoping to modify?”

“At least one test on the blood dilithium we collect from Princess and those shattered pieces that lodged themselves the Telemachus,” Banfield explained. 

“We can do that,” Jen answered. “Are there any subspace anomalies nearby?”

“Long-range sensors have detected a class three nebula with a subspace vacuole near the centre, acting as a gravitational anchor for the surrounding gas. It’s out of the way of anyone, and the nebula should be enough to protect us from any side effects.” Banfield answered. “However, that shockwave from that planetoid, the Devore were mining, has saturated this entire region with further fragments of the blood dilithium. I don’t think this vacuole is powerful enough to suck up all of the dilithium.”

“Is there anything else we could use?” Jen asked. 

Banfield nodded and showed him the PADD again, with another document open. “The small planetoid the Devore destroyed somehow caused a subspace tear. It’s powerful enough to do everything we want it to do.”

The Trill ops officer read the new sensor readings and then looked back at the science officer. “That is one powerful subspace tear. Any theories on how the Devore caused it?”

“Two theories, actually.” She replied, “Either they overmined it and were being callous with their safety precautions. Or they detonated an isolytic burst.”

“Subspace weapons?”

She shrugged, “Maybe, we know some other Delta Quadrant races have the technology, so it’s possible they got their hands on it in an attempt to crack this planet and gain access to its dilithium deposits.”

Taking a seat on one of the stalls, Jen gave out a sigh. “This could become much more dangerous if we do it.”

Banfield nodded in agreement. “Unfortunately, so, and to make matters worse, that Devore squadron Penelope disabled are making their way back to it all. Tomaz thinks they are going to try and finish what they started.”

“And with the way we are now, there’s no way we’ve got the extra power reserves to stop them and look after all of our Brenari passengers,” Jen noted. “Do we have any other options?”

“Commander Duncan and Tomaz are working on a plan with a team,” Banfield stated. “In the meantime, can we get started on those probes?”

Jen nodded before calling for some engineers to join them.


Shaking his head, Commander Duncan didn’t like the odds that he was seeing. “There’s no way we can do this,” He complained as he rubbed his chin. “Every simulation we run, either we run out of fuel, or we’re too late in stopping the Devore.”

Though astrometrics was rarely used for planning such large-scale missions, its mighty viewscreen, multiple holographic projectors, and consoles gave what the team needed to work out their new problem. 

“I still think looking at the refractive shielding technology is worth a shot,” Lieutenant Marova suggested. “If we can use it to slip by them, then we are in a better place to avoid them.”

Shaking his head, Tomaz turned the pilot’s idea down. “There’s no way we could generate enough power on the Odyssey to adapt the technology to our systems and use it without compromising life support and environmental controls.”

“Then maybe we’re overthinking the problem,” Lieutenant Jines offered. “Perhaps we should scale down our approach.”

Intrigued by that statement, Duncan turned to the Rutian male. “What are you thinking, Decter?” 

“Don’t use the Odyssey,” He answered as he stepped forward and activated a new holographic display that sat beside the other ideas they had floating in the centre of the room. “Instead, use the Telemachus.”

Lieutenant Abbej nodded in support of the idea. “Good idea Decter and that would make more sense,” She said. “The Telemachus is fast enough to get ahead of the Devore squadron in their damaged state.”

“And it’s much smaller than the Odyssey, so the refractive shielding could be easily applied,” Marova added. “It also means the Odyssey’s ETA for the sanctum would be on time, which helps us avoid using more energy with our guests.” 

“Do we have the time to test the first probe so the Telemachus has time to get ahead of the squadron?” Duncan questioned. 

Marova started to work out the calculations with Jines and Abbej. She looked up, “It will be tight, but yes, we could do it.”

Duncan looked at Tomaz, “What do you think?”

“I think it’s worth a shot,” Tomaz nodded. “We get in and out before the Devore can interfere with our plans. It also means this area becomes less interesting for them to explore any further, keeping the Sanctum’s location quieter for a lot longer.”

Crossing his arms, Duncan agreed with that conclusion. “Very well, I’ll speak with the captain and get things into motion.” He looked at the three lieutenants, “Well done, you three. It would seem the captain’s faith in having you three step up to run your departments was a wise choice.”

They all appreciated the compliment, and Jines spoke up. “I don’t think I had much choice with Lukiz taking over in main engineering.”

“The needs of many, Decter, the needs of the many,” Tomaz reminded the deputy ops leader.


For the first time in a matter of days, Counsellor Horin felt quite comfortable. She was seated in the captain’s chair, overseeing the beta shift. Even though her thoughts were preoccupied with matters concerning her Imzadi, she couldn’t help but think how much more comfy the captain’s chair was compared to the tertiary command chair she usually sat in on his left. There was definitely more back support and extra padding. She would have to make a request to have similar support added to her chair. 

“One hot chocolate, Louwanna,” Master Chief Court said as he handed her a steamy mug of her favourite beverage. “With extra whip cream and chocolate buttons.”

“Ah, you star, Tobias, thank you!” Horin said with a smile as she took the mug from him. Before she took a sip, she looked up at the senior enlisted officer. “How’s your new job of taking care of the security department?”

Court chuckled before sighing, “Challenging,” He answered at first. “Not having the entire department available, due to them being relieved of their duties because they were taken over by the Princess, has caused some headaches trying to keep our guests safe.”

“In other words, the Brenari have been trying to go in places they shouldn’t be?” Horin asked after enjoying the first sip of her drink. 

“That’s one way of putting it,” Court confirmed before he headed back to the security station just behind her right shoulder. “Cline, Keli and Jisaraa run a tight department, and even though we are using other personnel from other departments to supplement security, it’s almost like I’ve thrown out a net with millions of holes in it. We’re unable to keep all of the fish in it.”

“I know the feeling,” She said, rubbing her forehead, “Being the only telepath on duty has been tough when we’ve had to deal with the Brenari leaders.”

The doors to the ready room opened, and the captain stepped out. He had a mug in one hand, most likely tea, while in the other hand held a PADD which his focus was currently on. “Report,” He asked, concentrating still on what he was reading.

“Nothing out of the ordinary to update you on, sir,” Horin announced as she started to get out of the chair. 

After taking a sip from his drink, McCallister shook his head and waved his hand with the PADD in it at Horin. “Don’t worry about getting up, Louwanna; I’m going to head down to cetacean ops to see Lieutenant Commander Quendez.”

“Everything okay, sir?” Court checked.

McCallister nodded. “Yes, fine, thanks, Tobias.” He simply answered before heading towards the turbolift. 

After the captain had disappeared off the bridge, Horin turned in the chair towards the chief. “Tobias, is it me, or is the captain being a bit-”

“Off?” He finished.

She nodded in agreement. “Yes!”

“Max and I noticed it earlier,” Court shared quietly; he didn’t want the others on the bridge to hear. “I think the mutiny has shaken him.”

“No surprise,” Horin whispered back. “And Tremt is kicking himself for it all too.”

“He can’t blame himself for what happened; he wasn’t in control.” Court said. “Don’t get me wrong, I hated seeing what he and the others did to the boys, but Princess was pulling their strings.”

Horin sighed. “I thought we had just got over what happened with the Quirennal; it seems that another trauma has hit the crew, and I’m not sure how we go about helping everyone recover from it.”

“Maybe this time, people need their time and space to do it.” Court offered. 

Intrigued by his notion, Horin gestured for him to elaborate more as she drank more of her hot chocolate. 

“I’m no counsellor, but everyone’s experience this time has caused a divide among the crew. On one side of the crew, we have those telepathically manipulated initially and then those that T’Rani and the others took control of with mind melds. They all have to come to terms with the actions they took while not fully possessing their bodies. While the rest of us who were left have to deal with what they said and did to us.” Court summarised with a shrug. 

“Maybe you should consider becoming a counsellor as well as a security chief,” Horin joked; however she agreed with his analysis. She knew it would be her job to bring them back together, but how? “The crew of the Odyssey is such a close group, I’m afraid it would take a lot of effort to rebuild what has been lost.”

“Then we best start thinking about how we bring everyone back together. If there’s one thing we’ve learnt over the years, and that’s for a vessel of this size to work, we need everyone on the same page working together as a team.” Court said.

“As a family,” Horin corrected him.

He nodded in agreement, and the two started to discuss ideas.

Comments

  • I really enjoyed the way you built a different kind of tension in this chapter. The past few have been full-on white-knuckle high-drama action-adventure that's had me holding my breath. Here you've got more of a ticking time clock, trying to balance the dwindling ship's resources, the Devore closing in, and the additional chore of destroying all that blood dilithium. It's a good reminder that they're all sitting in a tin can in a vacuum. The operational solutions to their competing priority are looking to be very tidy -- we'll see if it actually works out. My only complaint is NOT ENOUGH cetacean ops.

    December 11, 2022
  • Oof, it's not over. Cleansing the blood dilithium with a Devore squadron, however damaged, bearing down, and TENS OF THOUSANDS of refugees aboard? No small challenge. Sending the Telemachus is just wayyy more sensible - assuming she doesn't run into too much trouble. As for Horin, chaos like this is perfect time for her to shine; if this crew needs anything after all they've been through, it's Yet More Counselling.

    December 28, 2022
  • James Preston McCallister

    Squadron Commander

  • Max Duncan-Court

    Commanding Officer

  • Tomaz

    Chief Strategic Operations Officer
    Chief Intelligence Officer
    Second Officer

  • Tobias Duncan-Court

    Chief Administrative & Training Officer
    Senior Officer of the Watch

  • Louwanna Horin

    Captain of Counselling

  • Abbej

    USS Themis
    Chief Science Officer
    Former Senior Assistant Chief Science Officer

  • Decter Jines

    USS Themis
    Chief Operations Officer
    Former Senior Assistant Chief Operations Officer

  • Corella Banfield

    USS Triton
    Commanding Officer
    Former Captain of Science
    Second Officer

  • Lukiz Jen

    USS Triton
    First Officer
    Former Chief Operations Officer

  • Marova

    Former Chief Flight Control Officer
    deceased