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Part of USS Bellerophon: Order To Choas and USS Odyssey: Order To Chaos

Order To Chaos – 7

Chimera, Darla system, Gradin Belt, Delta Quadrant
Stardate: 77977.7
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“And it’s the Chimera by light-years!” screamed Lieutenant Jarata as he jumped out of his seat, fist-bumped the air and turned to his co-pilot to high-five him.

Slapping the young pilot’s palm with his, Horatio McCallister cheered with delight at their victory. “Damn, that feels good, Rubon!”

“It sure does, sir!” Jarata replied as he sat back down in his chair and pushed the Delta-class runabout into a nose spin followed by a loop-the-loop manoeuvre. He was showing off to all of the spectators the pride in the Starfleet team. 

“The Bellerophon is hailing us!” McCallister announced from his station behind Jarata and pressed the answer button quickly. “This is the Chimera; go ahead, Number One!”

“Congratulations to you both!” Commander Jaz said over the channel. “I’m sure the folks back at home will be happy to hear you defended Starfleet’s honour!”

Both men chuckled. 

“Thank you, Lirissa,” McCallister replied. “We’re heading back now.”

“The champagne is on ice! Bellerophon out!” 

“Take us home, Mister Jarata,” McCallister ordered. 

Jarata did as he was told, nodding with acknowledgement and grinning and piloted their ship back to the Bellerophon

McCallister shared his smirk as they flew past the other racers, knowing they had just won the Antarian Trans-stellar Rally. In his early forties and in his second year of commanding the Bellerophon, Captain Horatio McCallister was pleased to see this mission end. Though it had resulted in a win for him, the crew and the Federation, it had been a long one. Being the younger brother of the McCallister family, Horatio had always thought he had more energy than his two older brothers, James Preston and Conrad. However, now forty-one, he was starting to find himself sounding more and more like his brothers in how they complained about their older age. The other day, Horatio had discovered a stray lick of grey and silver hair in his fringe. Straight away, he changed their colour and booked an appointment with the barber to ensure he could stimulate a bit of hair growth. He refused to become like Conrad and have a receding hairline. Though his brother James Preston had embraced his older age (Horatio’s sister-in-law had called it his Silver Fox years), Horatio knew that his brother was just as conscious about his appearance. Horatio had uncovered that on more than one occasion, his brother James had some work done to remove a few wrinkles and the odd grey hair. He made a Son’a’s need to have a facelift look ordinary. Unlike his brother, who commanded one of the most powerful ships in Starfleet, Horatio did not share his blond hair. Instead, he appeared more like his older brother and mother, with dark brown hair and brown eyes. The only things that Horatio and James did share were their strong jawlines and boyish grin with dimples. Clean-shaven, Horatio knew how to not only use charm to get himself out of a tricky situation but to also impress those under his leadership and those he wanted to pursue romantically. That said, Horatio was more successful in the former than the latter. For instance, he was not with anyone at this point, and he found himself contemplating whether or not that was a good thing. Focussing on his career, especially as he had only made captain over a year ago, had been his driving force. Now he felt more settled; the idea of being with someone had crossed his mind more than once. 

The Chimera eventually landed on the floor of the Bellerophon’s shuttlebay. The gentle bump caused the captain to come out of his trance and focus on powering down the ship. 

“Captain,” Jarata said after flicking the last switch in the opposite direction, “thank you so much for letting me participate in the race and being my co-pilot.”

Smiling in appreciation for his pilot’s kind words, McCallister responded. “It’s been a privilege being your teammate, Rubon.” He stood up, “Now, I don’t know about you but I am itching to get out of this flight suit and enjoy that glass of champagne that Commander Jaz mentioned.”

Jarata looked down at his flight suit. The standard white, grey, black and maroon pinstripe outfit wasn’t the most comfortable to wear. “I agree with you, sir, but thank you again.” He extended his hand out to his captain.

“Bring it in,” McCallister told Jarata as he pulled the young pilot in for a brief hug. The two men had been flying the runabout for so long they had bonded over their love of flying, and a new fresh closeness now existed between them. Most Starfleet captains wouldn’t have allowed such close connection, but if that was one thing Horatio was not going to be and that was a stuck-up captain that kept his distance from his crew. 

McCallister could see himself in Jarata a lot. Being a former pilot; McCallister knew the passion for flying was exhilarating. The two men did have a lot in common. Rubon Jarata was twenty-five and hailed from the pleasure planet of Risa. McCallister was confident that he would one day make a name for himself as one of the finest pilots that Starfleet had ever seen in its time, better than Sulu, Detmer, Ortegas, Paris and Ro. For now, though, he was pleased to have Jarata on the Bellerophon. Though a similar height to his captain, Jarata’s tanned bronze skin was complimented by his fluffy, curly black hair and hazel-coloured eyes. McCallister’s first officer had once described Jarata as a ‘flirt’ and a bit self-obsessed with his appearance. He was constantly working out or doing something physical when not on duty. A keen sportsman, he was always organising a game of something between the crew or sorting out some tournament. Three months ago, he had organised a scaled-down version of the Olympics among the departments. After finding out that the captain was quite the swimmer, Rubon insisted they team up as part of a relay team with Commander Jaz. The entire thing had gone down well among the crew and brought them closer. It was another reason why when the time came to select someone to become the third officer, Horation’s choice was Rubon. He was loved by the crew, and he was an excellent officer. He knew how to lead when it was needed. Though the choice had initially been difficult to make, especially as it came after the death of their chief science officer, eventually, the captain knew who he wanted. 

The moment the duo walked down the lowered ramp, they were met with a tremendous eruption of applause and cheering from the entire shuttle bay staff. Waving and saying thanks, the two appreciated the gesture from their colleagues before making their way to the turbolift and heading up to deck two, section thirteen to the mess hall. Deck two was filled with their guests. Along the corridor, various non-Federation aliens walked the corridors or were speaking to members of the Bellerophon’s crew. The moment they were seen, more cheers and clapping took place and within a few seconds, everyone present had lined the corridor towards the mess hall’s doors, celebrating the winners. The doors to the mess hall parted, and the party that was taking place quieted upon their arrival before the praising resumed. Approaching him first was Ambassador O’Zyele, the Antarian leader with who they had developed a strong rapport over the last few weeks. 

“Captain McCallister, Lieutenant Jarata, it is my pleasure to announce you as the winners of the twenty-third Antarian Trans-stellar Rally!” The race coordinator said before shaking their hands. “What a marvellous show you put on!” 

“Thank you, Mister Ambassador,” McCallister said with a huge grin, shaking their man’s hand back. O’Zyele was of a similar age to McCallister, and his Antarian facial distinctions jiggled with his excitement. His forehead ridges, which looked like his skin was being squeezed in the middle above the bridge of his nose, looked less creased as he smiled. Though the dark spots behind his ears and down his neck appeared to get darker as he showed his joy at the success of another race among the former warring races which he represented.

“Captain, as the winning team, we would appreciate it if you shared some words of inspiration with everyone,” O’Zyele stated, gesturing towards the raised podium they had set up in the centre of the mess hall. 

McCallister looked at Jarata, who smirked back, and insisted his teammate join him on the stage. The moment they stepped on it, a ship-wide intercom channel was open, as was a channel to all of the ships assembled along the edge of the race course. McCallister took a breath in before speaking. Smiling, he had hoped his boyish grin and charm would help him with the icing on the cake.

“To say I am proud of this achievement would be an understatement,” He started. “And it is with great satisfaction that I thank everyone on the Bellerophon for their hard work in making this possible. I’d like to especially thank Lieutenant Rubon Jarata, who is one of the finest pilots I’ve known, and I know he shares my sentiment when I say thank you to everyone who participated today. We have thoroughly loved flying with so many other amazing exceptional pilots.” 

Pausing for a moment, Horatio realised he needed to go deeper with his thoughts. “I know it’s been a long time since Starfleet participated in this race, but we are greatly humbled by what we have witnessed not just today but in these last few weeks when we first arrived in the area. When we responded to Captain Joxom’s distress call,” McCallister gestured to the Terrellian captain nearby, “and began assisting the Antarian Pact Organisation in dealing with the sudden appearance of Blood Diliithum in this region, did we really see what you all have achieved here in the past two decades. The last Starfleet captain to encounter your group had high hopes of how well you would prosper. I know for a fact the moment my report goes back to Command that she will be interested to see the incredible journey you have been on since the first Trans-stellar Rally. We are among like-minded individuals who see the benefit of mutual cooperation and the importance of exploration. The fact you were prepared to allow us to enter this race, something that has become a tradition for your people, shows that your continued looking outwards with an open mind will continue to serve you well. Sitting on the bridge of my vessel is my ship’s dedication plaque. On it reads a quote from a leader from my own race’s history. He said that change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. Without a doubt, the change you sought was peace, and now it is with you all. Seeing you all work together across your vessels as mixed crews reminds me of the Federation back in the Alpha and Beta Quadrants. I thank you all again for your hospitality and time with us. We will treasure it for a long time.” 

The entire mess hall erupted into more cheers and clapping the moment McCallister finished his speech. O’Zyele approached the captain and lieutenant, and he presented them with a giant silver trophy and a medal each that he draped over their heads. 

Almost half an hour later, McCallister had changed out of his flight suit and into his dress uniform. Standing with the delegates from across the Antarian Pact sipping on champagne and eating a range of hors d’oeuvres, McCallister was standing with Ambassador O’Zyele and his first officer.

“So, captain, what is planned next for the Bellerophon?” The ambassador said after sipping on his drink. 

McCallister looked to Jaz, who looked back at him with a smile; before answering the Antarian ambassador. “We’re planning to head to a nearby T-Cluster and begin mapping it.”

“Interesting; perhaps, I could speak to my superiors and see if one or two of our ships could join you for such an expeditionary?” O’Zyele offered.

“We’d be honoured to be accompanied by your ships, Mister Ambassador,” Jaz replied. The unjoined Trill smiled sweetly with their VIP. “However, surely the Pact will need as many of its ships to continue the recovery operation since we removed the blood dilithium from the area?” Jaz pushed her bobbed-style black hair behind her ear. McCallister was not the only one who could enchant a foreign dignitary. 

Sighing heavily, O’Zyele nodded. “Sadly, I think you may be right. Though the Trans-stellar Rally would have promoted the united among our races, the disruption the blood dilithium has caused on so many of our people will take some time to resolve.”

“Something I am certain you will be able to resolve quickly and effectively,” Jaz added.

At that point, a call from the bridge came down for the captain. Starfleet had sent him a message. Excusing himself and Jaz from the ambassador, the two Starfleet leaders departed from the party with a bit of haste to retreat to the ready room. 

“Do you think the ambassador noticed we were eager to leave?” McCallister asked his first officer the moment they got in the turbolift and the doors closed. 

She shook her head. “No way. I gave him two extra glasses of champagne to make him…happier with our efforts.”

McCallister burst out laughing after hearing his first officer had got a politician drunk to help them. “Let’s just hope that whatever Starfleet wants with us won’t require us to give Ambassador O’Zyele any more drink.”

“Don’t worry, sir, we’ve got plenty of champagne to share around,” Jaz replied as they arrived on the bridge and headed to his ready room.

Stardate: 77988 (Four days later)

“Rubon, take us out of warp and place the outpost on the main screen,” McCallister said from his command chair. 

Feeling the Bellerophon drop out of warp, the captain of the Intrepid-class blinked once, and then the image of the enormous Markonian Outpost appeared before him. After four days at high warp and the use of the Turei underspace subspace corridors, they finally arrived at the destination as ordered by Vice Admiral Bennet. 

“The rest of the expeditionary force is here, sir,” Jaz announced after looking up from the console that sat between them. “I’m detecting the Themis, the Triton and the-”

Odyssey,” Horatio said, finishing her sentence and smiling at the image of the massive Starfleet ship that now appeared on the view screen. It had been some time since he and his crew had seen the Odyssey, and he was more than eager to see its captain. His brother, Captain James Preston McCallister. “Send a message to the Odyssey, and tell them the party can start now we’ve arrived!”

Jaz chuckled as she sent the message.

Comments

  • I really enjoy the way you introduced Horatio and the Bellerophon. Very, very quickly, you've managed to situate who Horatio is in relation to his brother, what kind of leader he is, how the crew views him, and how he shows up as a galactic citizen. Nicely done! For all his charms and foibles, he's going to make a compelling lead to the Bellerophon's adventures. As always, I enjoy the way your story is steeped in continuity while making really making something new of it. I can tell the party really is ready to begin over here! I just hope there's some juicy family dynamics to make a mess of things from time to time!

    January 2, 2023
  • Horatio McCallister

    USS Constitution
    Commanding Officer
    Former Commanding Officer

  • Lirissa Jaz

    Former Executive Officer
    deceased

  • Rubon Jarata

    USS Constitution
    Chief Flight Control Officer
    Former Third Officer & Chief Flight Control Officer