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Part of USS Odyssey: Beyond Redemption, Beyond Reason and Bravo Fleet: We Are the Borg

Beyond Redemption, Beyond Reason – 2

USS Odyssey (NCC-80000), Kotaba Expanse, Swallow Nebula region, Delta Quadrant
Stardate: 78422.8
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“Chief Security and Tactical Officer’s log, stardate seven-eight-four-two-two point eight. Our joint project with the Benthan Guard to establish a temporary hyper-subspace amplifier has been a security and tactical nightmare. Though the amplifier will be brought online today, trying to ensure others don’t attempt to steal the technology has been a headache.”

The Auditorium was filled with a steady stream of people bustling about, chatting and laughing. Keli could see the breakfast buffet table from a distance and noticed that a few people were standing in a queue, eagerly waiting to grab their first meal of the day. She joined the line, excited to sample the delicious breakfast offerings. Keen to have a mug of coffee, Keli asked the waiter for one before picking her own plate up to choose from the selection of food on offer. 

Shortly after, she had her breakfast tray and was trying to find somewhere to sit. Noticing someone sitting alone by one of the windows, Keli wandered over and asked Reuben Gray if she could join him.

“Please, be my guest,” Gray responded by pointing towards the empty seat opposite him. 

“Thank you, sir,” Keli replied as she sat.

Before placing a ration of bacon in his mouth, Gray scuffed at her. “Please, Keli, call me Reuben; I hate being called a sir.”  

She chuckled; she knew he wasn’t someone who kept to formality with other members of the senior staff in a social situation. Keli liked that about him. “You do technically outrank me.”

“Only by half a pip,” Gray reminded her after swallowing his food.

“True,” Keli said as she placed her napkin on her lap. “How are you doing today? Did you sleep much?”

Gray sighed and shook his head. “Not really; I’m certain it’s being back in the Delta Quadrant.”

Concerned by hearing that, Keli showed an expression of care to him. “Reuben, don’t you think you should go and speak to Counsellor Hilgan about this? I mean, it’s been almost a month, and you’ve not slept properly in that time.”

“Nah,” Gray shrugged it off. “It’s probably this project that has me stressed.”

Keli could appreciate that; she hadn’t slept well since Fleet Captain McCallister had informed them of the project after he and Flemen had spent time negotiating with the Benthans. Today would be the day when they would witness the fruits of their labour come to fruition. “Yes,” but she countered his point as she knew this was much more serious than the engineer was letting on, “You’ve been having the same similar dream of you being assimilated way before the Benthan deal was complete.”

“I’ll be fine once the amplifier is up and running,” Gray said, shaking it off. “The sooner it is up and running, the sooner we might be able to detect any signals from the Constitution. That’s something the captain is eager to see happen.”

Keli couldn’t deny that. The loss of the Constitution last month had been a blow not only to the entire squadron but, more importantly, McCallister. Using his authority as squadron commander, McCallister had assigned the Themis to find out what had happened, as he knew he was too close to it to be able to keep an objective mind. The loss of his brother’s ship must have been heartwrenching for their commanding officer. Keli knew if she had ever lost her sister, Kylieev, she wouldn’t be able to cope, and Keli wasn’t sure if she would be able to sit on the sidelines and let someone else conduct the search. She admired that about the fleet captain; he was someone who would step back and consider all angles if the situation allowed him. 

Returning her focus to Gray, Keli knew she had to do something, but she would now trust her friend’s instinct and watch from a distance. She wouldn’t be a good security chief if she didn’t care for her comrades. “When’s the final briefing?” Keli asked him. 

Gray paused himself from drinking from his mug of tea to answer. “Ten hundred hours in engineering. Are you attending?”

Keli shook her head. “Unfortunately not. I’ve got a meeting with the Benthan liaison officer to discuss final tactical preparations.”

“Sounds like fun,” Gray remarked with a smirk. 

“Jerrith is a kind spirit,” Keli stated, referring to the Benthan liaison officer. “Though he is a bit-”

“Clumsy?” Gray interjected. 

“I was going to say uncoordinated,” Keli said with a raised eyebrow. She had liked Major Jerrith and didn’t want to say something behind his back that unkind. “Though, there’s a sort of attractive quality about how he goes about it.”

Gray appeared staggered by that revelation. “Do you have a crush, Keli?”

“Absolutely not!” Keli quickly responded. She couldn’t believe that Gray would ask her that. “I just said-”

“His clumsiness is an attractive quality.” Gray quoted her. He smirked as he went back to his bacon.

Keli chuckled, knowing she would later regret saying that, but on the other hand, she was glad to get Gray’s mind off his sleepless nights and the dreams that chased him.

Comments

  • Aww the cozy character development between Gray and Keli is nice and how Keli distracts Gray mind on what has been happening to him. Its quite warm and fun post to read! Thought I do wonder if Gray will go to the counselor for his ....medical problems or he keeps ignoring it. Awesome work!

    October 29, 2023
  • I enjoyed the conversation and character development between Gray and Keli. It seems Gray has had a lot on his mind lately which could be causing the nightmares. Though I wonder if Gray should really see a counselor, what if there is something more to it than just the project they are working on. However, I like the end where Keli unknowingly at first was able to get him to focus on something other than the sleepless nights. Can't wait to see what happens next!

    November 1, 2023
  • Such a great moment of character development here, teasing in old stories, setting up new ones. It's a great moment between a couple of friends. I love how we get a good glimpse of how Gray is handling things, or maybe how he's *not* handling things. I think all of us have been in the "I can't deal with this right now, so I'm not gonna" position before lol. Great job! Looking forward to more!

    November 2, 2023
  • Awesome character development here. I like the banter between the two, the fact that they know each other well enough to do so is obvious. Great way to touch on the backstory, but I do like the way you hint at what’s coming up. More than that, I liked the way you brought out Gray’s humanity, even though we know he himself doubts it. Looking forward to reading more!

    November 6, 2023
  • Keli

    Chief Security & Tactical Officer

  • Reuben Gray

    Starfleet Corps of Engineers Unit Leader