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

Where You Belong, Home

Stardate: 77873.47
USS Odyssey (NCC-80000), Gradin Belt, Delta Quadrant
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The senior staff briefing was lightly attended. With a good number of the senior officers all still resting in their quarters from the trauma sustained from the telepathic pitcher plant encounter, it was now down to those left to carry on. 

“And that’s the plan,” Commander Duncan finished as he looked up and down the table at those assembled in the observation lounge. He was standing in front of the large wall console after explaining his and his team’s plan to remove the remaining blood dilithium crystals from the region.

“Seems simple enough,” Court commented.

Tomaz agreed with that assessment. “As the commander said, we need to get in and out quickly, and time is definitely not on our side. The sooner we start, the better.”

“The modified probes are all ready to go,” Banfield announced. “We’ll be in range of the class two nebula within the hour to test the first one.”

“And our team on the Telemachus have already made the modification I sent them earlier,” Jen reported. “We’ll need to beam over the other modified probe for the second phase.”

“The sooner we resume our course to the Sanctum, the better,” Jines shared. “We will definitely have to enter grey mode sooner. I’m worried the moment we enter the Sanctum area, we may need more power for our shields if a stray anomaly hits us before we reach the Brenari colony.” 

“If we go to grey mode, don’t we lose the use of Penelope and the other holographic personnel?” Marova checked.

“And many other systems,” Abbej added.

Seeing these department deputies stepping up to the plate brought a slight smile to Duncan. They continued to impress him with their professionalism during this crisis.

“Then all departments will be overstretched due to the lack of crew who are fit to be on duty,” Slyvexs added. She turned to her deputy, who was also present at this meeting. “Remi and I are finding it hard to keep on top of the medical needs the Brenari need. Many of them have injuries inflicted on them by the Devore.”

“How bad is it?” Duncan asked, with a concerned tone in his voice.

Forbes answered. “Pretty much all of them are suffering from malnourishment.”

“Along with a good number having broken bones, bruises, cuts and scars from the torture they endured while in captivity,” Slyvexs added. “We’re prioritising treatment, just like any mass triage, but the moment we enter grey mode, sickbay’s services will be limited.” 

“It’s the same for the counselling department,” Horin shared. “Between helping the Brenari and our own crew, we are stretched beyond capacity.”

“Surely, the Brenari could handle their own people once we arrive at the colony?” Banfield asked aloud. “Shouldn’t we focus on our own people?”

“That’s not really who we are,” Horin reminded the chief science officer. “I’m not prepared to pick our own crew over those in need.”

“Likewise,” Slyvexs agreed.

Duncan sighed at that news, “Then we’ll need to deal with what we have for the moment. Hopefully, this is short-term.” He crossed his arms against his chest. “Any signs of any nearby deuterium that we can access?”

Abbej shook her head. “Astrometrics hasn’t had much luck.”

“And once we enter grey mode, then astrometrics will be deactivated,” Banfield reminded the group.

“So we could end up stuck in orbit of the Brenari colony?” Tomaz asked the group.

Jen nodded. “I’m afraid so.” He sighed. “I am preparing a plan to augment the warp cores on our shuttles and runabout to support power needs on the Odyssey, but it won’t be enough.”

“Could we not send a message to Starfleet and see if they could send us some help?” Marova offered as an idea.

Duncan agreed with it. “Yeah, we’ll need to see which ships are nearest to us.” He paused and looked at McCallister. “Is there anything else you want to add, sir?”

Everyone assembled looked at the captain at that point. McCallister had been sat in his usual chair at the head of the table and had remained quiet. He shook his head. “No.” He said.

“Then we go ahead with the plan?” Duncan checked. 

McCallister nodded as he sat up. “Absolutely, but I’ll take command of the Telemachus.”

“Sir?” Duncan asked, curious to know why McCallister had said that.

“You should remain here in command of the Odyssey, Number One. You’ve got the experience to support the crew and our passengers. Corella, Decter and Marova can join me to complete this.” McCallister stated. “It shouldn’t take us too long.”

Duncan, Horin, Slyvexs, Banfield and Tomaz shared the same expression of concern with his reasoning. Banfield sat up, “If we’re going to go, then we should go soon and ensure we have a full crew on the Telemachus to guarantee success.”

McCallister nodded with that idea. “Corella, see to it that crew assignments are made and that we don’t leave the Odyssey any more understaffed than it already is.”

“Aye, sir,” Banfield said with a nod. 

“We should explore asking the civilian population of the ship to assist with ship business,” Court proposed. “There must be some we can rely upon?”

“I’ll look into it,” Duncan replied. “Is there anything else?”

No one said anything. 

“Thanks, everyone. Dismissed,” Duncan ordered.

Once the room was empty besides the captain and first officer, McCallister pushed his chair and rose to his feet. 

Duncan spoke up at that point. “Are you okay, James?” 

Pausing in his tracks, McCallister looked at his first officer. Rarely did he call him by his first name in private, let alone in public. “To be honest, Max, no, I’m not.”

Looking up at him, Duncan, on some level, was pleased McCallister shared that. “The whole mutiny business or the hostage situation with the boys?”

“Both,” McCallister admitted before slumping back in his chair. “Did Tobias tell you what they said while holding the boys hostage?”

Duncan nodded. “He did some pretty intense stuff.”

“But on some level, there’s some honesty there, some truth,” McCallister remarked. “Then the anger that Tremt possessed was truly incredible, and I know you’re going to say they weren’t themselves.”

“But I bet it hurt,” Duncan offered.

“It did,” McCallister acknowledged. “Both physically and emotionally.”

“The former counsellor in me would advise you to write your thoughts about everything you endured,” Duncan said. “So you can see it in plain black and white with your own eyes. Then you need to delete that list.”

“Easier said than done, Max,” McCallister returned. “I just feel guilty too and how badly Henri and Theo got involved with all of this. How am I supposed to command a ship and raise three boys but be forced to choose between them and everyone else?”

“First off, they’re not boys anymore,” Duncan reminded him. “They’re young men, and you’ve done a great job since Karyn was lost. From what William told me, Henri and Theo were a force to reckon with and protected him, so for that, Tobi and I will be grateful. Secondly, you didn’t make those choices alone, the rest of us had your back, and we put plans in place to protect them, just like everyone did for us when the Hazari came after Jordan and William.”

“True,” McCallister admitted.    

 “And the final thing, this crew is loyal to you. If anything, what happened has proven to us that it takes a lot to shake us, but even still, we are still standing together.” Duncan finished with a reassuring smile.

McCallister nodded in agreement. “You’re right; I just need to shake these feelings off and see where we rebuild what we’ve lost.”

“And rebuild, we will,” Duncan guaranteed. “We’ve got through a lot worse and come out on the other side still intact and together.”

“Wise words, Max; thank you,” McCallister said, showing his appreciation.

“Now, are you sure about you commanding the Telemachus?” Duncan quizzed. “The last time you commanded our Aquarius-class ship, you didn’t come home with it? I believe you came back in its shuttlepod, and we don’t have the power to come and rescue you guys.”

“No promises, but I’m planning not to request a new Aquarius for a little while, Number One,” McCallister stated as he got to his feet again and tugged on his uniform jacket. “Let’s get this final part started sooner rather than later.”

“I couldn’t agree with you anymore, sir,” Duncan said as he got up, and the two men walked out of the observation lounge side by side. 

Comments

  • And now he said it. The way McCallister was shaken by the mutiny --even though the crew was double possessed-- had suggested he feared there may have been kernels of truth bubbling up from the mutineers in their words and actions. And then all that compacted with the natural terror of being a captain with children aboard a starship! It was a relief to read how openly he could confide in Duncan and say those things out loud. Even just saying it to Duncan must have been a weight off as much as writing that list and deleting it. I'm really looking forward to this crew finding their way forward as a family!

    December 11, 2022
  • Glad we can dig in on McCallister's feelings. His family was broken, and while none of the underlying issues Princess used to help stoke the crew's anger remotely justify anything more than a bit of an argument, it's going to hurt for them to be used in something so horrible and personal in every way. It's nice to see Duncan giving him advice and reminding us of his past as a counsellor. I rather feel like McCallister's taking the Telemachus not just because Duncan's qualified to take care of the Odyssey, but to give him a sense of control - and, hopefully, victory - over SOMETHING.

    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

  • Slyvexs

    Captain of Medicine

  • Louwanna Horin

    Captain of Counselling

  • Abbej

    USS Themis
    Chief Science Officer
    Former Senior Assistant Chief Science Officer

  • Remi Forbes

    USS Themis
    Chief Medical Officer
    Former Senior Assistant Chief Medical 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