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Part of USS Odyssey: We Shall Not Cease From Exploration

We Shall Not Cease From Exploration – 6

USS Odyssey (NCC-80000), docked at Starbase 38, Benzar System
Stardate: 78330.001
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“Welcome aboard the Odyssey!” spoke the charming young woman who stood before the transporter platform. “I’m Cadet Beatrice Grant, and I have been assigned to welcome you both to your new assignment.”

The two figures that had been materialised onto the pad looked at one another and then back to the young woman before her. The young man smiled and extended his hand out towards her. “Hi, I’m Brook-”

“Cadet Brook Westerham-Banfield,” Beatrice said, shaking his hand firmly before dropping it. “Yes, I know who you are,” Straight away, she had noticed his flirtatious behaviour before she ignored it and placed her focus on the other person. “You’re Athena. You’re both twins.”

Nodding and smirking at the cadet, Athena Westerham-Banfield extended her hand towards Beatrice. “It’s a pleasure to meet you,” She chuckled a bit as they shook hands. “Seeing someone point my brother down within a few seconds of his arrival has been the highlight of my day.”

Beatrice copied the smile. “Then we are going to get along while.”

“Hey!” Brook defended himself. “I wasn’t flirting.”

“Oh please, Brook, it was too obvious,” Athena rolled her eyes. “I’m assuming there’s no one else here to greet us?”

“I’m afraid Captain Reyas, our new training lead, is in a staff meeting, but she assigned me to bring you both on board and give you the tour of our accommodation,” Beatrice replied. 

Both cadets appeared let down by that statement.

“Shall we?” Beatrice said with a warm smile, gesturing towards the door before thanking the transporter chief as they moved out. 

 Pulling their bags over their shoulders, the twins followed their tour guide out as she started to talk about the Odyssey

“Though she was the prototype for the Odyssey-class, I can assure you that the accommodation you’ll be staying in isn’t like a California-class or even a Galaxy-class starship. Cadets share quarters, but the only real sharing you will be doing is the shared living space.” Beatrice explained.

“We get our own rooms?” Brook asked with excitement.

“In most cases, yes, but with Fleet Captain McCallister expanding our crew size before we return to the Delta Quadrant, some cadets have agreed to share a room,” Beatrice replied. “I hear neither of you have decided to share with your parents?”

Athena shook her head. “No, I’ve enjoyed my independence to have my mother or father breathing down my neck again.”

“Likewise,” Brook added cheekily, raising his eyebrows. Obviously, he was insinuating something more than what his sister meant in regard to what he did without his parents’ knowledge.

Beatrice looked at Brook and shook her head before turning to speak to his sister. “Is he always this cheesy?”

“Only with people he likes the looks of,” Athena whispered. “Take it as a compliment; eventually, he will tire and chase something else with a pulse.”

“Well, Athena, you’ll be lucky to hear that you’ll share with me.” Beatrice shared.

“I’m happy to share with you!” Brook added.

“Brook, enough!” Athena told him sternly, making her sound like her mother.

Appreciating the help, Beatrice looked at Athena. “Don’t worry, I appreciate the attention.”

“Oh, why? Is there not someone here you like?” Athena asked, intrigued as they entered a turbolift.

After the doors closed behind them and Beatrice had called for them to take them to their destination, she replied with a wry smile. “There was, or is, his leaving the ship soon.”

“Sounds complicated,” Athena replied. “Though I think everyone is feeling that way after Frontier Day.”

Brook shuddered at the mention of that event. “I never thought I’d be happy to be stuck by the Paulson Nebula. The thought of becoming a Borg gives me the creeps,” He said.

“Yeah, it wasn’t the best experience,” Beatrice said quietly.

Realising she had endured it, Athena placed a reassuring hand on Beatrice’s shoulder. “I’m sorry, Beatrice, we should have been more sympathetic. I forgot how much the Odyssey endured, and you guys were actually at ground zero with it.”

“Watching the captain stun his own son on the bridge will certainly be with me for some time,” Beatrice admitted. 

“The captain’s son?” Athena questioned.

Beatrice nodded. “Yeah, Alfie, he’s a cadet too. In fact, he and his brothers all grew up on the Odyssey. Alfie is one of the triplets.”

“Triplets?” Brook repeated. “I’ve never been with triplets before!”

“Brook!” Athena cursed his name and glared at him. “Keep it in your pants for one moment!” She shook her head. “I’m sorry; I swear his Klingon libido controls his brain more than anything.”

Beatrice chucked. “It’s okay, but Alfie is a great guy. I’ll make sure to introduce you both to him and his brothers before they leave.”

 “Leave? Where are they off to?” Athena asked.

“Henri and Theo are moving to Cestus Three. Henri has a sporting thing while Theo has been accepted to some music college.” She smiled. “Theo is a great singer and musician and normally performs in The Auditorium.” She blushed.

“Sounds like Theo is going to be leaving some fans behind,” Athena said as she noticed what Beatrice had said and joined the dots herself. Theo was obviously the one that Beatrice meant earlier. “Were there many cadets who got shot by the captain?” She asked, changing the subject.

Beatrice chuckled. “Only those of us on the bridge, I think Captain Duncan and Commander Court had to deal with their son, too.”

Athena nodded as she listened. “Captain Duncan is the first officer, right?”

 “Yes, that’s right. He’s married to Commander Court, and the Jupiter Signal also took over their son, Jordan.” Beatrice informed before sighing again. “Jordan’s another great guy.”

“More competition for me?” Brook asked.

Beatrice rolled her eyes again. “Jordan is sweet, though completely oblivious to most things. He and Alfie are joined at the hip as best friends. They do everything together, but they’re good friends of mine. In fact, I would say they have been of enormous help to me in dealing with what happened on Frontier Day. I don’t think any of us will be the same again.” 

“Try finding out your father was replaced by a changeling!” Brook counted.

“Brook!” Athena swore. “Jeez, read the room, will you?” She exclaimed. 

Beatrice smacked her forehead. “I forgot that you both went through that, too,” She paused. “All of us were shocked when Commander Westerham turned out not to be himself. I’m glad your father is safe now. The real one, that is.”

 Athena chuckled. “Me too,” She paused. “Talking of which, do you know where our parents are?”

As if on cue, the doors opened straight away; standing before them were Captain Banfield and Commander Westerham.

“Right where you need them!” Banfield replied with a smirk as she pulled her arms around her children as they approached her. “It’s good to see you both.”

“It’s good to see you too,” Athena paused and whispered to her mother. “Do we call you by your rank or your other job?”

Banfield chuckled. “You can call me Mom for now, but it’s Captain Banfield in front of everyone else!” 

After their brief reunion, Banfield explained that their father was still working in engineering but was planning a huge meal for later. “Please tell me you’ll come.”

“I’m not saying no to a home-cooked meal!” Brook told his mother.

“Good,” Banfield said, still smiling. She turned to Beatrice. “Cadet, I expect you to ensure these two do not get lost in finding my quarters.”

“Yes, ma’am!” Beatrice nodded with a smile.

Seeing her children not pleased with that, Banfield winked at Beatrice. “And I’m going to leave you all be, as I don’t want to cramp anyone’s style while you settle in.” After saying her goodbyes and kissing them both, Captain Banfield left her children and their guide.

“I’m sorry about that,” Athena said. “I promise you, we love our parents, but having the distance does help.”

“I get it,” Beatrice replied. “My parents are both Starfleet officers, serving on Deep Space Nineteen.”

Eventually, they arrived at Brook’s quarters. Beatrice explained his roommate would be joining him soon. “Cadet Jameel is in the process of moving in, too.”

“Ah, cool, we’ll have much in common then!” Brook hoped.

After leaving him in his quarters, Beatrice showed Athena to their shared quarters. “I hope you don’t mind,” Beatrice stated, “my former roommate left abruptly and never returned.”

Athena turned around after looking at her new home. It was bigger than she imagined. Almost the exact size of her room back in her home on Mellstoxx. The only thing she didn’t have was her annoying brothers and her parents. “This is perfect, Beatrice, thank you.”

The door chime went off, and Beatrice responded to it. The doors opened to reveal too young men in similar cadet uniforms.

“Ah, just on cue,” Beatrice said, smiling. “Athena, let me introduce you to the two who keep me out of trouble and are my knights in shining armour – Cadets Alfie McCallister-Reyas and Jordan Duncan-Court.”

Looking at both cadets with a friendly expression, Athena extended her hand to them both. She could see why Beatrice liked them and knew straight away her brother would want to meet them both immediately. They were both cute. “It’s nice to meet you, and I’m glad I’m not the only double-barrelled name cadet on this cruise who has their parents on the senior staff.”

“It’s certainly a conspiracy that we’ve all been brought together,” Alfie joked. 

Jordan turned to his friend. “It’s no conspiracy, Alf; our dads run this ship.”

Alfie shook his head at his friend, not getting his humour. “Jord, man, I’ve told you before; stop ruining my jokes.” He turned back to Athena. “But, yeah, a few of us here are fortunate to have our parents around.”

“Everyone does love a bit of narcissism!” Jordan said, trying to sound funny.

“Nepotism, not narcissism, Jord!” Alfie corrected him. He turned back to Beatrice. “Beatrice, I’m going to take this one away now before he puts his foot in it anymore, but don’t forget to come to The Auditorium tonight! Theo’s last big going-away concert is happening; we’re all meeting in The Barn for drinks first!” 

“Don’t worry, I won’t miss it for the world,” Beatrice replied as Alfie pushed Jordan towards the door. 

Alfie looked at Athena, “It was great meeting you, Athena! You should come along tonight!”

“Thanks, nice meeting you both and yeah, sure, I’ll be there!” Athena said, smiling, and the moment the two of them left, she turned to Beatrice. “Now, I need to find a way to get out of dinner with my parents.”

“And that’s why I didn’t want my field studies on Deep Space Nineteen!” Beatrice said before offering to help her unpack.

Athena accepted the offer, went to her room, and smiled at the single bed in it. It was small but cosy. This was her sanctuary, away from her parents and her brother. After dropping her bag, she laid down on it and wondered if it was too late to request a transfer to another field assignment. 

Westerham to Cadet Athena Westerham-Banfield.” spoke her father over the intercom.

Damn, she thought, it was too late!