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Part of USS Odyssey: Order To Chaos

Order To Chaos – 13

USS Odyssey (NCC-80000), System VDQ-505, Gradin Belt
Stardate: 78002
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“Dropping out of warp, sir,” announced Lieutenant Marova from the helm. The Hekaran pilot had her fingers flying across the holographic helm controls as the ship approached its destination. “Engaging impulse engines, one quarter.”

Sitting up straight in his chair, Fleet Captain McCallister felt a sense of anxiety fill his gut for the first time in their trip. This was it. This was their first time operating as a squadron. “Lukiz, inform the others to remain together as we enter the system,” He ordered his ops manager before looking over at his second officer. “Corella, commence initial scans.”

The two officers acknowledged his orders as they began seeing what was awaiting them in the system. Looking down at his left-hand armchair console, McCallister noticed the others lining up alongside Odyssey. A simple group formation kept them close together to ensure the best defence posture while they conducted scans to ensure it was safe for them to break up. 

“Curious,” spoke Commander Banfield, “the planetoid from which Voyager had rescued their Delta Flyer isn’t quite all there.”

Intrigued by her comments, Commander Duncan spoke up from his chair to the captain’s right. “Elaborate, Corella.”

“I can do better,” the half-Klingon scientist responded and activated the holographic viewscreen from her console. 

Everyone turned their attention to the image before them, which was the remains of a planetoid. Smashed apart, the planet was not what they expected. A massive chunk had been broken off from the rest of it. Smaller debris and fragments remained nearby. Slowly they bobbed within the gravity well.  

“So much for a whole planet,” Counsellor Horin commented. “What happened?” 

Banfield’s hands were dancing across her console as she attempted to find answers. “I’m not sure yet.”

“Should we launch some probes to find out?” Lieutenant Keli suggested from the security and tactical station.

“Keli, that’s not a bad idea,” Banfield agreed with the new security and tactical chief. “From what I can tell, I think this happened just under twenty-five years ago.”

“So after Voyager left?” Duncan checked, “what could cause that much damage to a planet?”

“It could be a range of phenomena,” Lieutenant Commander Tierra replied from the engineering station. “Either natural or artificially created.”

Jen looked up from his console and asked the next question, “Could it be blood dilithium?”

“I’m not detecting any traces of dilithium. The planetoid is the same one. A class M with a bemonite mantle and several active volcanoes.” Banfield said, still concentrating on her scans. “I’m linking up with the other ships in the squadron to coordinate our efforts.”

“Interesting,” mumbled Marova.

“What is it, lieutenant?” McCallister asked his pilot.

Marova pushed her long black hair behind her ears before turning around to face her captain. “From the pattern of the debris, I would say something hit the planet at an incredible speed and exploded on impact.”

“Marova, maybe right,” Tierra stated, checking her sensors. “The blast radius, I would say is consistent with a warp core detonation.”

“Your assumptions are correct,” Banfield confirmed as she looked up and pushed up another set of scans onto the main screen. “I’m detecting trace amounts of subspace radiation and antimatter residual that would be consistent with a warp core breach. However, this core was extremely powerful.”

“It’s transwarp,” spoke Tomaz from behind them as he quickly entered the main section of the bridge after being tucked away in the aft compartment. He brought out a PADD and pushed out the information he had. “I’m detecting high amounts of residual tachyons and triquantum waves. That planetoid was hit by something at transwarp speeds, sir.” The Barzan chief strategic operations officer showed his concern at his captain who immediately responded.

“Red alert! All hands to battle stations!” McCallister ordered before tapping a button that instantly linked him up to the others in the fleet. “McCallister to the squadron, tactical alert! Take up defence posture, Kirk Epsilon and start scanning for Borg. McCallister out.”

“Corealla, any signs of any Borg?” Duncan asked immediately.

Banfield was showing her frustration. “The amount of debris is making it hard to determine. I need more time, but launching probes would help us.”

“Make it so,” McCallister commanded. “Lieutenant Keli, I want everyone armed and internal defence systems ready.”

“Aye, sir. I’m already on it,” The Coridanite woman responded as she started to issue orders to everyone in her departments. 

“Sir, incoming message from the Themis. Captain Cambil wants to know if you want her to launch their fighter wing?” Jen announced.

“Absolutely,” McCallister replied as he stood up from his chair and made his way over to where Banfield was. Tomaz had joined her, and the two officers were trying to find if it was the Borg (or someone else) who had smashed into this planet. Walking over, he was handed a handheld phaser that he strapped to his side. Security guards started to arrive on the bridge, taking up secure positions in the corners. All of them were armed with phaser rifles. “Anything?”

“I’ve sent out six class five probes,” Banfield stated. “If they can detect further transwarp signatures, then we’ll know soon enough.” 

There was a beep and then several more. “We’ve got something,” Tomaz announced.

“Let’s see it,” McCallister said, eager to know if they were about to engage the Federation’s cybernetic nemesis.

“It’s coming from the larger remains of the planet,” Tomaz shared as he brought up the readings from one of the probes. 

“I can see it too, I’m sending in another two probes to help,” Banfield stated as she manipulated the controls of the probes. “There,” She pointed to the holographic readings before looking over her shoulder at her captain. “Sir, unquestionably it’s Borg.”

The colour drained from McCallister at hearing that news prior he took in a deep breath and carried on assessing the situation they were now in. “Any signs of active vessels?”

“No,” Tomaz reported. “It looks like a settlement.”

“More like a settlement developed from a crash site,” Banfield corrected. “I’d say the remains of a Borg Cube.”

“I’m getting a visual reading,” Tomaz stated. 

“Let’s see it, Tomaz,” McCallister ordered.

Everyone turned to look at the main screen again as the image appeared. The remains of a cube smashed across a huge creator were evident. It didn’t appear to be active. 

“Tactical analysis, Keli!” Duncan commanded as he rose from his chair at the chilling image before them.

“I’m not detecting any active weapon signatures, but I’m definitely seeing a shield grid in place. It’s blocking our sensors, but it’s certainly keeping whoever is down there alive from the cold vacuum of space.” Keli reported after running a scan of her own. “I’d also say this cube was a tactical-orientated one. I’m detecting a huge amount of hull armour from the hull fragments, plus the shielding being used is multi-regenerative based.”  

“I’d need to spend a bit more time analysing these readings, but I would say that whatever happened to the Cube, somehow their transwarp drive was ejected at an impressive speed that hit the planet.” Banfield theorised. “The shockwave from it all would have caused the planet to rip itself apart, especially with a bemonite mantle.”

Crossing his arms for a moment, McCallister considered his options. 

The operations console then came to life with an alarm. 

“Sir, we’re being hailed,” Jen reported.

Walking back to the centre of the bridge, McCallister took a deep breath. “Open a channel, Lukiz.”

“We are the Borg. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile!”