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

Beyond Redemption, Beyond Reason – 6

USS Odyssey (NCC-80000), Kotaba Expanse, Swallow Nebula region, Delta Quadrant
Stardate: 78423.4
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Hearing that a Borg signal was coming from a nearby nebula, Keli felt the shivers going up and down her spine. She was trying to remain calm and professional (while on the inside, flashbacks of Frontier Day haunted her memories). That said, her heart also reached out to Gray over the fact he had become the beacon of the bad news. Everything he had shared with her over breakfast had been linked to all this. 

Now, most of the senior staff were in the Astrometrics Lab listening to what Gray and Banfield believed they had discovered. On the central wall console and holographic projectors, long-range scans of the nebula that Gray had detected a Borg signal coming from were being shown. After Banfield had revealed that it was coming from a Class Nine nebula

“In the last datastream from Fourth Fleet Intelligence, there were several reports of unusual Borg activity in the far edges of the Beta Quadrant and some spots of the Gradin Belt,” Tomaz briefed everyone assembled. “This could be linked to those reports.”

Intrigued and worried to hear that the Borg may not have been destroyed after Frontier Day, Keli knew that what everyone had dreamed was not a reality. 

“What were the Borg doing from those reports?” Banfield asked. Her question was valid to understand what the Collective’s intentions were. If there was a Collective.

“Similar to what Reuben has experienced,” Tomaz replied. “Homing signals being activated from implants, devices and other Borg technology that was once thought dead. In some cases, especially in the Gradin Belt, some of their ships have moved from once was their former territory to retrieve whatever was emitting the signal.”

“What do we know about the Borg in this region?” Duncan asked. 

“Not much,” Tomaz answered. Being the chief strategic operations officer, he had spent ages researching everything that they had on the Swallow Nebula region. “We know the Collective has entered this area from the species they have assimilated, but during its time here, Voyager didn’t encounter the Borg besides the crash remains of an assimilated Starfleet corvette.”

“We shouldn’t exclude the Collective’s ability to appear anywhere,” Keli reminded her colleagues.

No one disagreed with her assessment about that. 

“So what do we do about this signal that Reuben hears?” Duncan asked next.

McCallister, who had been leaning against one of the consoles, stood up straight with his arms crossed against his chest. “We should investigate it,” He replied. 

Keli knew he was going to say that. 

The captain continued his rationale. “If something is out there that could draw attention from the remnants of the Borg, then it puts a serious threat to the inhabitants of this area of space.”

“We’ve got one of our deep space multi-spatial probes close to that nebula; why don’t we have it swing by and take a look for us?” Banfield suggested. 

“It will take us a few days at high warp to reach the nebula,” Gray shared. 

Keli could see that McCallister was considering his options. She predicted he would send the probe and have the Odyssey jump to maximum warp to get there.

“Let’s do both,” McCallister said. 

Keli smirked to herself, pleased she had been able to predict the captain’s reaction. 

“I’ll have the Themis join us there, too,” McCallister added.

She was surprised to hear that. After the loss of the Constitution, Keli wasn’t expecting McCallister to change his policy of their squadron undertaking exploration efforts independently from one another. Maybe he wanted them closer to avoid something going wrong.

Turning to his first officer, McCallister looked at Duncan. “Strength in numbers and all that jazz, yeah?”

Duncan nodded in agreement, but Keli noticed something more between the two men. The unspoken theme of the loss of the Constitution was itched across their faces, more so Fleet Captain McCallister’s. She couldn’t blame him; none of them could, especially if they were about to engage the Borg.

“Keli,” McCallister said, grabbing her attention immediately. “Place the ship on twenty-four-hour tactical alert and start organising battle drills for every shift. I want this ship ready.”

 She got why he was taking that precaution. The last time they faced the Borg, they hadn’t been prepared. This time, McCallister wasn’t going to let their guard down.

“Can we pinpoint more precisely where this signal is coming from?” Duncan asked next.

Banfield nodded and adjusted the holographic projector. “It’s coming straight from the centre, but with it being a typical class nine, our sensors can’t penetrate it without us being in it. That said, we are detecting intermittent graviton flux at the centre, too. Without getting closer, I can’t be certain what’s there that’s creating it.”

“I could look at finding a way to disrupt the signal?” Jonarom offered from the aft of the lab.

Keli turned around to see the young communications officer standing back from the main body of officers. 

Gray instantly responded to Jonarom. “No, if I lose it, then we will lose any chance of discovering what the Borg are doing.”

McCallister looked between the two officers and agreed with Gray’s decision but turned to the communications officer. “However, Jonarom, I want you to start to work on a plan to disrupt the signal once we’ve found whatever is broadcasting it. We may have to stop the Borg from finding whatever it is.”

Jonarom just nodded in response. Keli could see that the younger officer wasn’t keen to see a repeat of Frontier Day either.  

After a lull of silence, as everyone digested the seriousness of what they were about to do, McCallister spoke up. “Okay, let’s take this one step at a time. I want constant scans for Borg energy signatures, and once the probe enters the nebula, we’ll decide from there what we do.” The captain looked around at everyone and then ordered them to dismiss.

Keli instantly approached Gray and placed a reassuring hand on his elbow. As everyone started to file out of the lab, he turned to her and smiled.

“You okay?” She asked.

Gray shrugged his shoulders, and Keli knew the answer straight away. 

“Why don’t you go and speak with Krizon about this?” Keli offered.

Gray shook his head. “Not unless he wants to get drunk.”

Pausing for a second to react, Keli smirked. “What if we had a drink with him? You need to process this, Reuben.”

Rubbing his face, Gray then nodded. “Okay, you’re right,” He admitted.

Keli smiled and went about organising when she, Gray and Hilgan would catch up, but first, she had to prepare the ship for engaging the Borg.

Comments

  • You're doing an amazing job of answering questions by giving us more questions! What's in the nebula? What's going to happen with Gray... I think Gray's story has me the most hooked right now. I can't wait to see how it unfolds. This is great stuff!

    November 6, 2023
  • It is great that they are approaching the problem from different angles and safeguarding the crew and Gray as much as possible. The point-of-view from Keli is also refreshing as she had experienced it first hand on Frontier Day and what it could do to people. better be safe the sorry, looking forward to more!

    November 8, 2023
  • James Preston McCallister

    Squadron Commander

  • Max Duncan-Court

    Commanding Officer

  • Tomaz

    Chief Strategic Operations Officer
    Chief Intelligence Officer
    Second Officer

  • Keli

    Chief Security & Tactical Officer

  • Reuben Gray

    Starfleet Corps of Engineers Unit Leader

  • Corella Banfield

    USS Triton
    Commanding Officer
    Former Captain of Science
    Second Officer

  • Jonarom

    USS Bellerophon
    Chief Science Officer
    Former Chief Communications Officer