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

Order To Chaos – 21

USS Bellerophon (NCC-74705), System VDQ-505, Gradin Belt, Delta Quadrant
Stardate: 78005
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Though eager to impress his brother, Horatio McCallister had second doubts now. And third doubts. And fourth. Without a doubt, he was doubting his decision with this whole situation. Sending several teams ahead of him to secure the crash site had seemed like a wise choice, but now as he flew the Bellerophon’s Aeroshuttle Deliades, he was starting to hear his first officer’s multiple concerns buzzing through his mind. 

How was Lirissa that good at knowing the difference between a mad idea and one that could lead to disaster? 

Shaking the idea out of his mind, the captain pushed the support craft through the atmosphere of the moon they were investigating. Their probe had discovered the Borg escape vessel’s remains crashed in the north pole region. It had an M-class atmosphere but was like Andoria’s below-zero degrees icy conditions. Pieces of debris had been discovered, and so far, the excavation team hadn’t encountered any dead drones. Now that his security chief, Lieutenant Commander Jirani, had determined that it was safe to visit the site, he had eagerly volunteered to fly the Deliades down (along with extra supplies and extra members to join the team). 

Wrapped in arctic gear, minus the thick gloves, Horatio was enjoying what should be his captain’s yacht, but the Intrepid-class ship’s auxiliary support vessel was designed for more research missions. As their Delta-class runabout, the Chimera, was already in use along with a couple of other shuttles, using their Aeroshuttle felt like the right choice. 

Beside him at the co-pilot chair was Ensign Jonarom, his chief science officer, who was now joining the team. Though not wearing the larger puffer coat, the Ardanan had his silver outdoor trousers over his undergarments held up by braces.

“Have you visited any cold planets, sir?” Jonarom asked as they passed through a thick cloud coverage.

Nodding, Horatio answered him. “I did survival training on Andoria and Delta Vega. And Lirissa once took me skiing to the Tenaran Ice Cliffs.”

“On Trill?”

“Yeah,” McCallister nodded before adding one more fact. “On the holodeck, though.”

Jonarom chuckled. “My arctic training was conducted in Antarctica. I’ve never set foot on an ice-like planet since then.”

“Then just make sure you wrap up warm,” McCallsiter advised. “And watching your footing.”

The ensign nodded. “Aye, sir.”

“We’re approaching the landing coordinates,” McCallister announced as they cleared through the skyline, and they could see the massive stretch of land covered in thick snow and ice. Before them, their teams had set up a rudimental research station with tents and the use of their shuttles. Spikes of Borg debris pushed up through the snow. Carefully, he landed the craft beside the camp before announcing to everyone else, a mixture of more security, science and engineering officers; they were down. McCallister took the lead, and after pulling up his hood, placing on his gloves and making sure he had his phaser rifle slung over his shoulder, they left the Deliades.

“Welcome to the New Fire Caves!” Lieutenant Commander Jirani said with a huge smile across her face as she joined the team in the middle of the snowy field.

“You’ve got to be kidding, commander?” Jonarom stated. 

McCallister chuckled at his security chief’s wit. “Of course she is; the Bajoran Five Caves aren’t that cold.”

“Depends who you ask,” The Bajoran chief security and tactical officer remarked. “However, we are in the middle of danger; it was the best idea I had at the time.”

“Very well,” McCallister said, mildly amused. “Report, commander.”

She gestured for them to follow her into one of the field tents they had set up. Once they were through the doors, it was a bit warmer, and the snow scene had evaporated to be replaced by something that would have given any child nightmares. Before them standing tall like a statue, was a piece of technology that surprised them all.

“That looks like a gateway.” Jonarom started but paused as he tried to come up with further words.

McCallister felt himself swallow hard at the device. He turned to Jirani, “Is it what I think it is?”

She nodded. “Aye, sir. It’s a spatial trajector.” Jirani stepped towards it while other members of the Bellerophon crew were analysing. “It is completely dead, though.”

“Are we sure?” McCallister checked, still feeling a bit uneasy at finding such a find. 

“It is, captain.” spoke his chief engineer, who came from behind the tractor with a tricorder in one hand. The Vulcan woman was wearing similar warm attire as she joined her captain. “As we know, when a Borg vessel is destroyed, its critical systems self-destruct.”

“Is there anything of it that can be salvaged, T’Penni?” Jonarom questioned as he pulled out his tricorder to scan the device.

“No,” T’Penni said with a shake of her head. “Unless a Borg vessel was to arrive and salvage the remains, I cannot determine how to make the device operational.”

Crossing his arms against his chest, Captain McCallister started to consider the implications of their find. The others continued with their discussions about the trajector and other discoveries. It was only recently that Starfleet had discovered that the Borg possessed such technology, but now it was right before him. He knew Starfleet Intelligence and Starfleet R&D would have a field day if they brought one of these home. Studying even a broken one would keep Starfleet engineers busy for a long time. Tapping his combadge, he called up to the Bellerophon and asked his first officer to put him through to his brother.

“What have they found down there, sir?” She asked.

“Let’s just say that once again, you were right.” He replied.

Jaz chuckled. “Glad to be of service, but is it that bad, Horatio?”

“I may be overthinking it, but I’d prefer to play it safe. Have we discovered anything else from our scans of the moon?

 “No, your location is the only vicinity where the Borg debris lays.” She answered. “I’ve got your brother for you.”

“Patch him through to the Deliades,” McCallister said before he pulled his hood back over his head and left the small base camp to update the squadron commander with their find. During his trek across the snow, he wondered what James would do once he briefed him. He knew that it would be an impressive report; however, knowing James, he wouldn’t be happy with the threat it may bring.