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Part of USS Odyssey: First Excursion

First Excursion – 3

USS Odyssey (NCC-80000), Verkien System, Kotaba Expanse, Swallow Nebula region, Delta Quadrant
Stardate: 78500.23
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“Cadets, this will be a short training excursion,” shared Captain Reyas from the podium she stood at. Behind her was a large wall monitor, and on either side of her were holographic projectors. “Our primary objective will be assisting with mapping this M-class moon orbiting the sixth planet in this system. This J-class planet is your run-of-the-mill gas giant. Nothing exciting unless you’ve never seen a gas giant before.”

Like others in the lecture hall, Brook chuckled at the captain’s remark. He sat there listening intently as Reyas continued with her briefing. Brook was so excited to hear that the entire cadet unit was finally undertaking their first mission off the ship and being left to undertake an assignment on the Telemachus. He had been itching to do field work since they entered the Delta Quadrant, but every cadet had been denied the chance. However, he understood why they had not been left alone yet. Frontier Day. Neither Captain Reyas nor Commander Jirani needed to say it, but they clearly wanted the unit to prove themselves a success. It was etched across their expressions. Hence, a small excursion was a step in the right direction. Both women appeared confident and optimistic as they continued the briefing. Giving everyone a detailed account of what they will be doing, Reyas provided tips and hints along the way. 

Before he could listen more, Brook had noticed how closely Alfie McCallister was beside him. Though they had started to hang out more in recent weeks, mainly in the gym or undertaking Klingon martial arts, Brook had considered him a solid friend. Someone he was happy to get to know more. That said, since arriving for the briefing, Brook had noticed how touchy and close Alfie had been with him. Brook couldn’t deny it; Alfie was a handsome guy, and he did fancy him, but Brook didn’t think that Alfie was into him like that. Brook had noticed Alfie’s clean appearance when he arrived in the lecture hall and how clean he smelt. Though Brook knew himself that he was a huge flirt, it was one of his many charms; he had not noticed Alfie like that before. If anything, Brook had been confident that the captain’s son was more interested into the likes of his twin sister or Beatrice Grant. Maybe he was reading the signals wrong. He wasn’t sure. Shaking his head, Brook re-focussed his work on the rest of the briefing. 

“Now, as many of you know, the Telemachus and every other Aquarius-class support ship attached to the Odyssey has received the misfortune of getting a reputation for being lost,” Reyas stated. “I want to break that bad luck cycle.”

More chuckles filled the lecture hall. Brook had overheard such things from his mother and father. 

“We don’t want to give Fleet Captain McCallister a heart attack, so let’s ensure we all come back in one piece, ship and crew!” Commander Jirani added.

Agreeing with her deputy, Reyas told everyone they were dismissed and off duty to pack and prepare for their departure at nine hundred hours tomorrow morning. She added another final note, telling the cadets she was sending their quarter allocations for the Telemachus. Instantly, Brook looked down at his PADD and saw the document come through.

“Looks like we’re all stuck together,” remarked Jordan Duncan-Court, sitting on the other side of Alfie. He had already skimmed the message from their superiors. “Don’t worry, guys. I’ll make sure Jameel and I keep out of your way, ” he whispered with a smirk.

Confused by that comment, Brook looked at Jordan, whose smirk had grown into a huge goofy grin. He then turned to Alfie, who was now blushing as red as his uniform. Was there something more he was missing here? Brook had learned that Jordan, though attractive to look at and clever in most things, hadn’t gotten the hang of certain social norms since joining the Odyssey’s crew over a year ago. 

Deciding to ignore the comment and Alfie’s reaction, Brook shrugged them off and looked over to the other side of Jordan, where Jameel sat. The half-Deltan-half-Boslic cadet had short purple hair, a trait he had picked up from one of his mothers. Jameel was a quiet guy, and he rarely socialised with them all. He kept to himself most of the time. 

“Jameel, do you fancy grabbing a bite to eat later?” Brook offered to him.

The Deltan-Boslic cadet looked up from the PADD he was focussing on and smiled at Brook. “Umm,” He stuttered at first. “Sure?”

“Why don’t we all go out later?” Brook suggested to Alfie and Jordan. “Seeing as we’re going to be stuck together over the next few days, we should get used to it sooner.”

Alfie agreed with that idea. “Why not!”

“I’m game!” Jordan replied before he looked at Alfie, seeking assurance that he had gotten that phrase right (Alfie just nodded silently). 

“Excellent!” Brook said, smiling as he picked up his belongings. “Shall we meet up in The Barn and go from there?”

The others agreed before he said goodbye and started to make his way out. Before he could get out of one of the exits, he heard Alfie call after him. Freezing in his steps, he turned around to see the young man dashing after him. 

“Everything okay, Alfie?”

Alfie hesitated to respond straight away and seemed a bit flustered. “Brook,” He started and stuttered like Jameel had just done. “I-I-I,” Pausing, Alfie took a deep breath in. “Listen, I’m sorry for Jordan’s comment.”

Somewhat relieved at hearing that, Brook sighed a bit and relaxed his shoulders. “It’s okay; it was just a bit out of the blue.”

Scratching the back of his head, Alfie agreed. “Yeah, I know, it’s just-” He hesitated again. “It’s just Jordan thinks I like you.”

Brook felt his heart stop for a second. “Come again?”

“He thinks I like you,” Alfie said in a hushed tone as a few cadets passed them. He then pulled Brook by the arm so they were out of earshot of others. “He got the wrong end of the stick from something that happened earlier, and I’m sorry-”

“Well, do you?”

Alfie froze and looked at Brook. He blinked a few times before answering. “Well, I-I-I,” Alfie didn’t know what to say.

“Listen, Alfie, I don’t mind waiting while you think about it, but just know, I like being your friend, and if you want more, that’s cool,” Brook said without hesitation and leaned in and kissed Alfie’s left cheek. “That’s just a taster for what could happen.” He winked at him before walking away. Looking over his shoulder, he gave Alfie one more smirk before making his way down the corridor, not realising he had just stumped his fellow cadet.


Still standing there, bewildered at what had just happened, Alfie blinked a few times. 

“I told you he liked you!” Jordan said as he approached Alfie with his goofy grin. 

Alfie shook his head. “Shut up, Jordan,” He replied before shoving him gently as they made their way down the other direction from where Brook had walked away. 

As they passed another crowd of cadets, Beatrice Grant looked at Alfie and gave him a look that could have killed him. Instantly, he knew she had seen what had transpired between him and Brook and what Jordan had said. 

Why did everything have to become so complicated, he wondered. 

“Cadet McCallister-Reyas!” A stern voice said from behind Alfie and Jordan.

Alfie groaned inwards as he recognised those familiar, motherly tones. Turning on the heels of his boots, he gave Jordan a look to say he would catch up with him before he faced his mother. “Captain Reyas, yes, ma’am.”

 “My office,” Reyas indicated towards the door on the opposite side of the corridor.

Acknowledging her orders, Alfie followed her into the room before it was just the two of them. She gestured for him to sit on the long sofa in the centre of the room. The doors closed behind them, and the captain ordered herself a mug of tea and one for him, too. After handing it to him once it was made, she sat on the armchair opposite him.

“You okay, Alf?” She asked her son sincerely before sipping her tea.

Alfie was starting to think that today would be filled with so much bafflement. “Ma’am?”

“Drop the rank, Alf. It’s just us two. Mother and son,” Reyas insisted.  

He sighed. “Yeah, I’m fine, why?”

Reyas squinted her eyes at him. “You sure?”

“Positive.”

She glared at him one more time. Alfie was sure she could read his mind without being a telepath. “Okay, it’s just your father, and I have noticed you’ve been a bit distant recently.”

“I’m fine,” Alfie insisted. “I suppose I’m still getting used to not having Theo and Henri around.”

His mother nodded. “Understandable.”

“And, it’s still weird to come to terms with-”

“Me coming back from the dead?” Reyas guessed.

“Yeah,” Alfie agreed. “It’s still weird to think about.” Automatically, he noticed that his mother couldn’t disagree with that sentiment. 

“Weird is certainly part of this job,” she advised him. “I just noticed you’ve been spending a lot of time with Brook. You two seem close.”

Alfie really did want the universe to open beneath him and suck him in. Being abducted by some sort of subspace creature would be really helpful right now, he thought. “What do you mean?” He asked in between sips.

Reyas looked at him sternly. “A mother knows best, Alf.” She said, “Just be careful how you play with others and their hearts. That’s all I’m saying.”

Alfie blushed again. “Mom, please, it’s embarrassing enough hearing the sex talk from dad. I can’t bear it with you either.”

“That’s charming,” Reyas said in a mocking tone. “But, I mean it when I say your father and I are always here for you. Just be careful.”

“I always am, Mom, I promise.”

Though he hadn’t entirely convinced her, Alfie knew it was enough as she let him leave her office. Instantly, he hurried back to his quarters to escape from everyone. Alfie hoped packing for his trip would bring him peace and quiet from all the drama he found himself in.