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Part of USS Bellerophon: Volleyed and Thundered and USS Odyssey: Volleyed and Thundered

Volleyed and Thundered – 23

USS Bellerophon (NCC-74705), Deneb Sector, Alpha Quadrant
Stardate: 78195.67
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It happened so fast. It was almost like a quick blink. It had thrown up in their face in an instant. None of it was expected. The sensors had missed that the Dominion were prepared for them. Now around them, destruction reigned.

The agony screamed across his body, but Fleet Captain McCallister ignored every muscle that didn’t like what had happened to him. He pushed himself off the deck and instantly felt his head ached. Pushing his hand up where it hurt, James saw blood in the palm of his hand. Blinking a few times, he was a bit disorientated at first before he felt a pair of helping hands pick him up. He could hear a familiar voice speaking to him. Turning his head a bit too fast, he saw Banfield helping him.

“Are you okay, sir?” She asked. Banfield was also injured; a cut down the side of her cheek was bleeding. Her Klingon side was ignoring it. 

“I am,” McCallister replied as he looked around the bridge of the Bellerophon or what was left of it. They were both by the aft stations. He had been knocked to his feet during the battle. He saw his brother lying unconscious on the floor by his command chair. “Horatio,” He mumbled as he pushed his way forward, under the handrail, and quickly to see to his brother. “Is he okay?” He asked Lieutenant Jarata.

The pilot had a medical scanner out and was checking his captain’s life signs. Jarata nodded before answering. “Just, I can bring him around, but we need to get him to sickbay. He has a cracked rib and some internal bleeding.”

James gave the pilot the nod to bring his brother around before calling out to anyone. “Are transporters online?” 

Banfield answered as she moved to help Jirani to her feet by the security and tactical console. Once the Bajoran woman was up, Banfield had looked over her controls. “We only have site-to-site. Give me a moment to bring them back online.”

“That’ll do,” James ordered just as Horatio started to wake up. He smiled at his brother. “Take it easy, H.”

Horatio coughed and then winced in pain. “What happened? Are the crew okay?”

Placing a hand on his brother’s shoulder, James imagined that Horatio could probably see the destruction around him. One of the main bulkheads had fallen down. Smoke filled the air, almost appearing like a thick fog was everywhere. Sparks flew across, and there was a fire near the operations station. “We’re assessing everything now; you’re injured, H. We need to get you to sickbay.”

The younger brother just nodded and showed his appreciation that his brother was with him. “Okay.”

“Transporters are back online. I’m energising now,” Banfield announced. 

James smiled at his brother before disappearing within the matter stream, and Banfield announced that he arrived safely. He got up his feet and checked to see if Jarata was okay before looking around the bridge.

“By the Prophets!” Jirani exclaimed after she had moved across the bridge towards the operations station. “Chief Bronden is injured. He’s trapped.”

Jirani, Jarata and McCallister moved across the bridge to help the chief of operations, and the fleet captain paused as he noticed Horatio’s first officer lying under the fallen bulkhead. Her eyes were wide open, her hair sprawled across the deck, and a shocked expression plastered across her face. He had taken the medical tricorder from Jarata and confirmed that the Trill commander was dead. “Commander Jaz is dead,” He announced to everyone as he leaned through the wreckage and closed her eyes before taking his jacket off and placing it over her as a mark of respect. He knew he couldn’t mourn her loss as they needed to help others and secure the ship. After freeing Bronden and beaming him down to sickbay, they organised for Jaz’s body to beamed down to the morgue. She probably wasn’t the only one who had lost her life.

Now wearing only his undershirt, McCallister assumed command. “Bridge to engineering. Is anyone down there?”

T’Penni, here, sir.” The Chief Engineer replied. 

“Status report, lieutenant,” McCallister asked as he made his way across the operations console. Nostalgia returned to him as this was the same post he held on his first assignment after the academy. It all came back to him naturally.

The chief engineer answered him back with almost the normal calm tone that most Vulcans used. However, her words showed a slight hint of panic and concern. “We have lost the port nacelle, and I had to eject the warp core before it overloaded. I have many injured here, captain. Along with a ruptured plasma conduit. Suffice to say, the Bellerophon is in no fit condition.”

Everyone looked at McCallister at that point. They were beyond being in no fit condition. They were crippled. Dead. 

“Very well, lieutenant; deal with your injuries and then work on securing the ship’s primary systems. McCallister out,” The fleet captain tapped his combadge before turning over to where Jirani and Banfield were at the security and tactical station. “What’s our situation with the enemy vessel?”

“Sensor logs show that the battle cruiser has escaped, but our weapons did some damage to their starboard nacelle; however, the fighter that rammed our port nacelle appears to have spun out of control. It’s in pieces a few thousand kilometres off our port bow.” Banfield announced.

“We’ve got only one operating torpedo launcher, a single phaser array and shields are below ten per cent,” Jirani added. “We’re in no fighting condition.”

McCallister nodded at both women as he tried to see what power systems he could restore control to, but he wasn’t have much luck. He moved to look at the status of the rest of the ship. Bellerophon was in a dire state. “I’m reading multiple hull breaches across the entire ship. Emergency force fields are in place and holding for now. We are on emergency power only.”

Jarata looked over his shoulder after returning to the helm. “Shouldn’t we abandon ship, sir?”

Understanding why the lieutenant had asked that McCallister considered the idea momentarily and then shook his head. “No, but we need to make a call to the rest of the squadron and tell them about our status.”

“The long-range subspace transmitter is down, sir,” Jirani shared. “Without it, we can’t send a secure distress call. If we do anything else, the Dominion may return to finish us off.”

“Is the distress beacon still operational?” McCallister asked.

“It is,” Jirani said, “But sir, did you hear what I said. We can’t send a secure message to the others without being seen as a target.”

“I know, commander, but we don’t have a choice. Launch it and activate it at once,” McCallister ordered. He didn’t bother looking at her as he continued to assess what else was working on the ship. There wasn’t much. “Lieutenant Jarata, get down to engineering and give Lieutenant T’Penni a hand. See if we can get impulse engines or thrusters operational.”

The pilot nodded as he got up and left the bridge. 

McCallister moved from ops, headed towards the middle of the bridge, and made his way towards his brother’s chair. At first, he hesitated in sitting in it but dropped down in it to use the command console between his chair and the first officer’s chair. McCallister tapped a few buttons, and the computer wasn’t accepting his codes. He sighed and realised why. “Computer, this is Fleet Captain James Preston Harvey McCallister; activate Emergency Fleet Access Program Alpha-One-Alpha. Authorisation McCallister-two-one-alpha-tango.”

“Voice authorisation confirmed. This ship is temporarily under the command of Fleet Captain James Preston Harvey McCallister. Emergency Fleet Access Program Alpha-One-Alpha is in effect. You have two hours to comply with Starfleet regulations.” The computer announced. 

Now his access codes were fully recognised, and he had temporary command of the Bellerophon; James could access other command systems. Before he could run his check on what was available, the proximity alarm went off.

“Who is it?” McCallister asked, looking over his right shoulder. 

Banfield answered. “It’s the Themis with two Cardassian ships. We’re being hailed, audio only.”

McCallister signalled for her to put it through, and the bridge’s speakers crackled before the friendly voice of Captain Cambil appeared. Bellerophon, this is the Themis; we’re here to help. Standby.”

“It’s good to hear your voice, Bexa,” McCallister replied. “However, the Dominion surprised us by concealing their warp signature. We thought we were taking on a fighter, but instead, a battle cruiser was waiting here for us. They’ve escaped and got the metagenic weapon on board.”

“Damn it, we’ll give chase shortly. Let’s give you a hand first.” Cambil announced. 

“Bexa, I can see Gul Jacet’s ship is with you; send him and his ships after them,” McCallister.

“Are you sure, James?” Cambil checked. 

James confirmed he was, and Cambil got on with telling Jacet to get underway without them. She had suggested that Triton join them, which McCallister agreed to. “We’re beaming your injured over now. Themis out.” 

“At least we won’t need to get into escape pods,” Banfield shared after the channel was closed. 

McCallister smirked at that idea. “Yeah, thankfully.” He admitted. “Right, we have a ship to sort out.”

Comments

  • I was really taken in by the stark change in tone with this chapter. Your style is so warm and conversational normally. The staccato nature to your prose here --the short sharp sentences-- quickly located me into a far more harrowing story. Hot Captain Horatio incapacity and XO dead! I never expected that. You evoked the cost of war in such a smaller personal manner (in such contrast to a billion causalities). After his heartfelt reflections earlier in the mission, I was pleased for a quick spotlight on Jarata again! As always, a voice of reason. I hope we see more of him soon.

    June 14, 2023
  • Jirani Edeena

    First Officer

  • 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

  • T'Penni

    USS Constitution
    Chief Engieer
    Former Chief Engineer

  • Bronden

    Former Chief of Operations
    deceased