First Officer’s Log, Stardate 50581.6. We’ve been quietly advancing to the fleet rendezvous point, still several days away. No Borg pursuit after the initial break from the hub means we’ve been careful, but yellow alert has been retired for the moment. However, it means for the first time in a long time, we’ve been alone for a full week, with more ahead. Given this bubble of relative peace, I’ve been trying to catch up on administrative tasks that have been waiting. Others have been participating in the storied Starfleet tradition of long warp activities. Annira has prepared a new group holoprogram, and several other senior officers have started up hobby practice throughout the ship. It’s like a small slice of home, which is buoying morale.
The same can’t be said for our… passengers.
The T’l are furious at being confined, but there is little to do about their situation. The crew tries to work at personal projects and group activity, with the Commodore in particular making efforts to be more present amongst the crew at social events. Adams develops a proposal for tracing his wife’s whereabouts around aiding the engineers working on repairing Domino’s former shuttle. Others are participating in Annira’s (with Skrillix’s help) group holoprogram: Paxau resort, a Talaxian beachfront looking out over miles of coastal waterfalls. Federation hydroscoots were added to allow for jetting through the falls in a variety of directions. Talaxians and Mylean holo-characters wander through as tourists, staff, and ‘intriguing characters’, as Skrillix put it. Annira rolls her eyes at any questions on the matter.
The week culminates in a luau thrown by the Commodore, who puts up a version of Trill roasted protein – at least, what passes for it from the stores. But the effort is matched by the rest of the senior staff, who all contribute dishes from their particular homes. As the celebration wears on, Adams notices that Commander Sebastian is being a little more introverted than usual. And a few of the engineering team are more gregarious. A quick, surreptitious scan with his ocular implant confirms verteron buildups on all those acting strangely – the T’l have somehow sprung their containment fields, and have begun possessing members of the crew like PB did when they first met.
The crew acts quickly. Adams contacts Petra and asks her to mask their thoughts from the T’l for now – something Petra’s had to do in the past and is able to do handily. Knowing telepaths are immune to the T’l’s possession thanks to PB, Adams locks the computer’s access to only the Commodore, Adams, and Petra in tandem. A T’l-containment field is placed around the warp core to protect from the T’l simply obliterating the ship. And finally, the crew assembles in Sickbay to prepare their hunt. The EMH provides neural inhibitors that suppress telepathy (and T’l possession), and Chief Hegrom relocates to Sickbay to help via site-to-site transport. Petra and Adams begin sweeping the ship, and the Commodore is summoned to the bridge by Sebastian.
A tense moment where the possessed Sebastian and the duty officers on the bridge inquire as to the computer lockout. Tchang bluffs, leaning hard on her personal friendship with Sebastian to sell the idea that the lockout is intended as a control measure against her and her recent, quiet troubles with alcohol. Sebastian buys it and she leaves, having Chief Hegrom beam Sebastian to the brig as she reaches sickbay. Adams is then summoned to the bridge because of the series of suspicious events, and when he arrives the pretense is over. The three duty officers, led by Barnett, all pull phasers on the security chief and demand he undo the lockout. Pretending to acquiesce, Adams gets into a better position before tackling and throwing Barnett into another ensign, and using Barnett’s phaser to stun the third. Clearing the room solo, he seals off the bridge and assists the EMH in dispersing neural inhibitors throughout the ship.
The T’l’s attempt at a coup resolved for now, and only a dozen officers affected, Tchang has a serious conversation with the beings in their cargo bay about the future. Eqar, the loudest spokesbeing for the T’l, led the incursion and insist upon leaving. Many of the T’l agree to this, but eighteen (who were not involved) ask to stay on with the Odyssey, content with their containment field. PB vouches for these few.
The T’l who choose exile leave Cargo Bay 2 via the external hatch, and move to a nearby binary pulsar to create a new Hollow for themselves. Shaken by the end of the luau, the crew warps away quickly, intent on returning to the fleet.