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Part of USS Odyssey: Volleyed and Thundered and Bravo Fleet: The Lost Fleet

Volleyed and Thundered – 2

USS Odyssey (NCC-80000), Bentheria II, Kotaba Expanse, Delta Quadrant
Stardate: 78124.32
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“The Alpha Quadrant?”

The same distaste for the news was shared across the entire senior staff of the Odyssey. Hearing it from Counsellor Horin only reinforced that Starfleet’s orders were not only a surprise to listen to but unwelcome. The Betazoid counsellor’s face said it all too. She rubbed her heavily pregnant stomach as she tried to make herself more comfortable.

“Does Starfleet think we’ve done something wrong out here in the Delta Quadrant?” Slyvexs asked. The doctor’s question was warranted, especially as they had been heavily involved in the politics of several key locations. She apologetically looked towards Flemen, instantly sharing she was not blaming anything he had done, which he appreciated. 

“I find it difficult to understand why Starfleet wants us back in the Alpha Quadrant. There’s not been much happening that would require the entire squadron to return.” Spouted out, Lieutenant Keli. The chief security and tactical officer showed her confusion like the others. 

Tomaz agreed with her assessment. “Besides the continued ramifications of the Paulson Nebula storm and the collapse of the Star Empire of Rator, Keli is right. Most things are relatively quiet back home.” The Barzan said between breaths. 

“Captain, we’ve not been given the chance to explore the Swallow Nebula region. Our squadron should remain here at the forefront of the exploration efforts. We are one of the most advanced squadrons in the fleet.” Tierra stated. The Deltan chief engineer was adamant she wanted her point of view heard. “We’ve barely got our toes wet.”

McCallister looked at his first officer; they shared a similar exchange with his brother and Cambil. He sighed as everything they had all said were the same arguments they had raised moments before.

“All of your points are valid, but our orders stand,” Duncan sighed. “We’ll be leaving straight after the signing ceremony tomorrow.”

“At least Starfleet is allowing us to finish that job,” Court remarked, which elicited a round of agreement from others. 

“I’ll inform the Benthans of our change of plans,” Flemen said. Though he was okay with what Slyvexs had mentioned earlier, the work he had put in with the Benthans was now coming to an abrupt end. Their agreement to support one another was no longer needed. He didn’t understand why the signing ceremony would remain.

“We still have teams out visiting the Benthan colony; I’ll arrange their return,” Jen said, sounding bitterly dismayed at their situation. “We’ll also need to recall some of the deep space probes we sent.”

“I’ll organise that, Lukiz,” Banfield offered, sharing in the same tone as the Trill officer. “I had hoped to get more data on that Demon planet with the Silver Blood, but I suppose that will have to wait.”

Everyone went silent. 

McCallister then looked at his pilot. “Lieutenant Marova set a course for the nearest underspace aperture.” 

The lieutenant nodded and replied simply: “Aye, sir.” 

The captain pushed his chair back and ended the meeting. The atmosphere of disappointment and frustration lingered in the air. He walked out before anyone else and noticed his first officer following behind in his shadow. Making their way across the bridge and towards the ready room, McCallister motioned for Duncan to come in with him.

Once the door was sealed behind them, Duncan spoke up. “You didn’t mention the reason why to them.”

McCallister had headed to the replicator to order a mug of tea for him and Duncan. “I will, eventually. Though I cannot see the reason why Starfleet wants us back is ahead of Frontier Day. But I suppose I see some sense in it.”

“And the issues with the civilians not remaining on board any of the ships?” Duncan asked as he approached his superior officer. 

“Again, I’ll get around to it.” McCallister’s response was quieter. He knew that those topics would be challenging for the crew. He still needed time to get his head around it. How the hell could he live with the changes that Starfleet was now imposing on them? The replicator made him their drinks which he shared with Duncan. “Max,” He motioned for them to sit on the sofas nearby. “I took this position so I can have my family near. Odyssey is my home. I’ve raised my family here, as have you. How can we send them away?”

“I know,” Duncan agreed. “I cannot think what it will be like without Jordan or William.”

“And the fact that Starfleet wants our entire cadet unit assigned back to Mellstoxx is another kick in the teeth,” McCallister remarked, shaking his head before bringing his mug to his lips. “Where did we go wrong?” The captain took a sip. 

“I don’t believe we did,” Duncan said before siping his drink. “Surely, the admiral will tell us why this has happened upon our return. I hope.”

McCallister shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t know. His orders were quick, short and straight to the point. But, of course, everything will change once we arrive at Starbase Thirty-Eight.”

“For everyone,” Duncan agreed, resting further on the sofa. “I’m pretty confident Bexa was close to a warp core breach when she realised what it meant for her. Like us, she only took command of the Themis to have her family close. This complete ban on civilians cannot be permanent. I suppose Horatio is the luckiest of us all, where he has no civilians on board the Bellerophon.”

McCallister considered their predicament for a moment. Seeing Rio, Bexa, and Horatio react as they did when they saw the admiral’s orders would be something he knew he wouldn’t forget for a long time.  “I’ll inform the squadron once for the reasons why before we enter the underspace corridor. Then, it will give everyone time to begin packing.”

“What will you do with the boys?” Duncan asked as he finished his drink and slouched back into the sofa.

“I suppose Alfie will go to the Mellstoxx campus. I’ll ask my parents if they have Theo and Henri.” McCallister answered. “You?”

Duncan scratched his chin as he considered his response. “Like Alfie, hopefully, Jordan will stay with the other cadets on Mellstoxx, but I suppose we’ll have to ask Tobias’ parents if they would have William.”

Silence fell between the two fathers as they considered the changes occurring in their families and wondered why their superiors were making such a big thing about it. Would anything go back to the way it was? What would be different by the time they returned home to the Alpha Quadrant? 

These questions and more lingered upon them both.

Comments

  • Even so far from home, the damage of this conflict is being done. Emotions are high, people are angry (to say the least), seeds of distrust are quietly being sown and you portray the mixture of characters really well. The fathers know what needs to be done, and they know that they have to follow orders, but families are at stake here. I wonder how the sea of characters will change once the cat is out of the bag and they realise why they have been recalled.

    May 6, 2023
  • Far from home, being pulled back home with no real explaining as to why. I feel guilty to see the Captain struggle with the orders. The perm ban on civilian on the ships is also another thing that hit me, they are going to do something that requires to keep the civilians safe. I look forward to more <3

    May 6, 2023
  • Wow, hopefully, the ban on civilians is just temporary and once everything is said and done things will go back to normal. I enjoyed the development going on within this chapter, the frustration, anger, and the unknown. Why is the captain holding back information? Hopefully, as the story progresses we get answers to all these questions, I can't wait to read more!

    May 7, 2023
  • When we watch Trek, so often we (and the writers) focus on the battles, the aliens, all that stuff, but in just a few words, you did such a great job reminding us of the fact that for many, the starship is a home where they raise their families. To me, that was what jumped out the most, the fact that not only are they being recalled from where they want to be, but they are also having their home environment forcibly ripped away from them.

    May 8, 2023
  • Fine, go ahead and open the conflict on the emotional battlefield why don't you? This was some serious talk here and dang did it set the terms going in. Really feel for all these characters having to leave a core part of who they are behind, some without the full context of why yet, if not all so far. Your characterisations are again top notch!

    May 8, 2023
  • Lolololol, I love how much your characters hate the Alpha Quadrant. Especially if they're being asked to separate from their families. That's absolutely the heart of Odyssey. Damn you, Starfleet Command. Let them live their Voyager fantasies! It's just a Breen border skirmish anyway. Given the cloak and dagger, I'm anxiously awaiting how those same crew members will respond when they find out what's happening in the Deneb Sector.

    May 8, 2023
  • Oh hitting hard there with the feels and tearing families apart (albeit temporarily) from the get-go! I like how this ramped the tension up immediately and they don’t know what they’re facing yet. I can’t help but wonder how their initial feelings about being separated are going to change as more information is revealed. I really liked the last section, with both Duncan and McAllister, highlighting the pressures of command, as well as the hint of cloak and dagger.

    May 29, 2023