Star Trek: Odyssey

Ship of Theseus
Stardate 50359.7

After a few months of quiet travel, the fleet ratifies an official accord, a treaty between the Sikarians and the Starfleet, Klingon, and Romulan crews. As a surprise part of that ceremony, Commander Sebastian moves to utilize an obscure Starfleet regulation to promote Captain Tchang to Commodore, representing her seniority amongst the captains of the fleet. The new Commodore gives a brief speech, then returns to duty.

The fleet winds up in range of a new planetary polity named the Rilnar. After a little time watching their subspace broadcasts, the crew learns they have a strong affinity for medical technology and have developed a cellular regeneration process that could repair all manner of serious injury. The Odyssey goes in with the Alanel to learn more of the Rilnar firsthand, and perhaps trade and have shore leave. All of this is established, along with and invitation for Commodore Tchang, Commander Sebastian, and Lt. Annira to attend a luncheon with First Speaker Gennal.

At the luncheon he speaks of their journey, learned via the Odyssey sharing it’s logs, and offers the three senior officers an opportunity to have their scars and injuries, like Annira’s leg and Sebastian’s spine, repaired. He leaves them to ponder the offering, and the officers seek out information. Tchang involves Selveth to examine the procedure, who seems it safe. Sebastian goes and finds a bar, talking to the laypeople of Rilnar. He learns that the cellular regeneration tech is used well now, but social pressure to remove scars and disabilities is moving the Rilnar to a dark place.

Sebastian and Annira work out an arrangement for two thousand of the fleet’s most injured to receive treatment, paid via matter conversion of raw materials to building materials for the Rilnar. And of the three free offers, the Commodore and Annira agree to the process. The Commodore’s symbiont, damaged from all the warping of time behind them, was restored to physical fitness. Annira’s neural pathways were healed fully from the trianic energy attack, and her lost left leg was restored. But she struggled with adapting to her renewed body, especially after growing accustomed to her prosthetic she had programmed herself.

With only a minor hiccup when other Rilnar saw the Klingons and Starfleet on shore leave with scars and injuries abounding, the fleet refugees who warranted the most care were treated by the Rilnar over ten days. The Odyssey also took on medical supplies for the journey. Before they leave, First Speaker Gennal visits Sebastian in his quarters to ask him why he refused their gift.

Sebastian provides the speaker with a heartfelt speech underlining the need for bodily autonomy as a right, and how their society borders on turning their miracle into eugenics or worse. He asks Gennal for a different gift – to hold a place for those in their world who do not want to conform. Cowed, the Speaker agrees, and leaves to let Sebastian ponder the stars.

Broken Time
Stardate 50030.3

The Odyssey crew gathers in the brig, learning all they can from Annorax. The reason? Kalen’s been leaving the details of their trials in a temporally shielded probe, and discovers suddenly that there are hundreds of file fragments – along with one of Kalen, shouting instructions. They’ve been stuck in a time loop for a while now, endlessly dying trying to stop the weapon-ship. Worse, they learn from the captured ship captain that the weapon is heading for the fleet to obliterate them. The Odyssey leaps to warp, racing to help their allies.

The team of Selveth, Kalen, Domino, and Vulmos study all the information gathered. Between Annorax’s knowledge, the blueprints, the file fragments, and disabling the safety limits of simulations, they assemble a plan of attack. It’s incredibly risky, but despite the odds, Captain Chang orders it to be set in motion.

When they arrive, they see the weapon-ship menacing the fleet. The ves’Targ, its open hail featuring the ship’s bridge crew singing a Klingon Opera, attacks the Krenim weapon immediately, drawing its attention. Their remaining allies screen the fleet while the Odyssey itself careens at the weapon, ready to enact its plan. Fire pierces the shields, damaging the saucer and the the ship’s star drive section, as well as one of the warp nacelles. But Domino keeps her course and Kalen keeps the engines running long enough for Commander Adams to fire a series of modified torpedoes. His salvo pierces their shields, damaging the temporal core enough to render it vulnerable. With another precisely aimed torpedo, Adams destroys the ship’s core.

The plan now falls to Domino and Kalen. Both pilot and engineer volunteered, briefed on the fact that protecting the crew from the temporal changes requires them to do this without shielding to prevent a paradox. Exposed to the coronal implosion, Domino pilots the Odyssey directly into a space-time breach formed by the implosion.

The bridge freezes save for Domino and Kalen. Domino’s mentor (long thought dead) steps out, now a being known as a Traveler. He explains that he’s been trying to lead Domino here to solve this problem, and the pair’s solution needs only a cosmic nudge from him to succeed. He offers to solve it, and return things to some semblance of normal, in exchange for them accompanying him beyond this reality. Domino agrees without hesitation, and after consideration, Kalen does as well.

The Traveler unpauses the rest of the bridge so that they may say goodbye. After the explanation and confirmation that both are interested in the offer, the Captain affirms that it was an honor to serve with them, and the trio of Travelers leave.

They pass through the breach and everything is calm again. Sebastian has returned, the Tiro is in the bay, the colony ship has even avoided the catastrophic damage from the jump to this sector. However, occupying the time loop means that nine months have passed outside of it.

Light two members of the family, those remaining on the Odyssey set a fresh course home, the fleet following behind.

Passata Sotto
Stardate 49471

The Odyssey licks its wounds after the skirmish with the weapon ship, and Captain Tchang is becoming increasingly focused on dealing with this Krenim superweapon as it continues taking lives around them.

Selveth visits the captain privately – she isn’t the confidant that Sebastian was, but she is a scientist, and thinks she can merge a shuttle’s shields with the temporal stasis field that protects the weapon-ship. The captain asks for volunteers for a rescue mission for Annira, and the first two to step up are Selveth and Kalen. The team decided, Adams is placed in command of the ship and they begin preparations.

The second Type-9 shuttle onboard, the Volga, is modified. The shield systems are tuned to the weapon ship’s, the chroniton warheads from the troop transport are moved into its torpedo launchers, and the captain has Kalen set a remote self-destruct for the shuttle – just in case. Kalen rigs up life support belts with temporal shielding, and the group departs from the Odyssey.

They’re able to follow the weapon ship’s ion trail, and Kalen is able to mask their warp signature in order for them to fall into the ship’s warp wake and follow along. As they maneuver to get into the field though, the ship abruptly drops out of warp to change course, and the turbulence causes the Volga to veer more than a thousand kilometers away from the weapon – who spots them and starts hauling them in via tractor beam.

While the shuttle is tractored in, Kalen acts quickly, utilizing the shuttle’s transporters to relocate them aboard the ship, near Annira. Once freed, the operations manager also frees an older Krenim man named Annorax, who claims to be the designer of the weapon. For the moment, the ship isn’t aware of their presence on the ship, having towed an empty shuttle into their launch bay.

Kalen proposes breaking the group into three, and all heading for the temporal core. There, whoever reaches the core can use their tricorder as a targeting beacon in order to beam one of the shuttle’s chroniton torpedoes to the core, hopefully disabling it. Selveth and Annira head for the computer systems, in an attempt to provide overwatch. Kalen and Annorax make for the core, with the captain taking another route solo.

Kalen makes good use of Annorax’s knowledge of the ship, managing to stay largely hidden. He’s also able to make a backdoor in their security systems with minor assistance from Annira. The Romulan and his Krenim ally arrive at the core, and after a few scans, Kalen places his tricorder for maximum effect before heading back. On the way back, as though fate were displeased with his success, Kalen runs into a group of Krenim security. But quick thinking (and an excellent shot at a wall power tap) disables the group and Kalen calls to the away team to evacuate.

The captain, meanwhile, has gotten involved in a firefight. She found Obrist, the commander of the ship, and the two exchange fire while he calls for backup. The jig up, the Captain finally manages to stun Obrist and hauls him along with her to the launch bay, where they all pile into the Volga and blast off as they trigger the torpedo transport.

The shuttle gets clear of the weapon and the Captain sets up an attack run on the temporal core just as two Krenim warships drop out of warp, protecting the weapon. She attempts to threaten Obrist to make the Krenim withdraw, but discovers the Krenim Imperium isn’t aware of the movements of the Weapon ship – whatever the weapon’s mission, it acts independent of the Imperium. The second torpedo is fired to distract the warships as the Volga retreats. The weapon still survives, but Annira is now safe – and they have the weapon’s designer aboard.

Stardate 49458

The Captain’s using the Holodeck, having an unproductive session with a holographic therapist, when Annira calls from the bridge – their probe reports the weapon is moving. It destroys the probe and sets course their direction.

The fleet is rearmed, and the Odyssey leads the strongest ships to a neighboring polity, the Nihydron. On the way they see the weapon-ship on long-range sensors, and contact the other half of the fleet, scattering them and setting a rendezvous in a few weeks’ time. The anchorage is vaporized by the weapon ship, which gives chase to the Odyssey’s portion of the fleet.

After dodging Krenim patrols at the edge of Nihydron space. An unexpected skirmish with a Krenim warship in a nebula shows the crew their temporal shielding isn’t completely effective against their chroniton torpedoes, and one of the appropriated Zahl cruisers, captained by Carela Tann, peels off to fight them, disappearing into a nebula. She doesn’t rejoin the fleet, and they’re forced to move on without one of the cruisers.

The rest of the detachment meets Admiral Traken of the Nihydron. He and his eighteen destroyers have been holding off the Krenim for months, and they’re willing to assist in bringing down the weapon-ship. The coalition realizes that the weapon ship is tracking the Odyssey, and use it to spring a trap on the weapon.

It shows up, five times as long as the Odyssey, and hails. Its commander, Obrist, declares them an anomaly, and quickly reveals his intent to remove them from time. Before doing so, he somehow transports Selveth and Annira off the bridge, and then fires its temporal weapon. Interceding, Kalen overcharges the ship’s shields, which prevents almost all of the damage. The weapon’s beam strikes the remaining Zahl cruiser and it disappears. The Nihydron attack, as well as the ves’Targ, though few of their weapons seem to impact the weapon-ship’s temporal shielding. Having planned ahead, Kalen and Parker have modified five torpedoes with the same chroniton module of the Krenim’s weapons, taken from the troop transport they appropriated. Working in tandem with the on duty Conn officer Ensign Casse, Parker concentrates torpedo fire on the weapon-ship’s temporal core. The fight is serious, with heavy losses for the Nihydron, but the temporal core is temporarily disabled, and Kalen is able to transport Selveth off of it, but is forced to leave Annira behind. The weapon-ship seriously damages the Odyssey’s port nacelle, disabling warp drive, and then escapes. When the chaos quiets, a damaged Odyssey, the ves’Targ, and four Nihydron ships remain.

Opening Moves
Stardate 49448

The timeline has changed. Sebastian died at the beginning of their mission – Selveth took over as XO. The Tiro was destroyed, the Sikarians are divided… Many things are the same, but many things are different. The chroniton wave, triggered by the Krenim weapon, affected everything, including the fleet.

The discovery that the fleet experienced a shift to a new timeline prompts Captain Tchang and the crew in the know to prepare to track down the weapon that caused the timeline change, and stop it from activating again. The Captain orders the fleet to retreat to a chaotic space anomaly nearby, using its effects on space as a place to hide while the fleet affects repairs. Leaving the ves’Targ to watch over them, the Odyssey separates from the fleet and starts investigating, heading first to the site of the first weapon detonation. Kalen establishes temporal shielding like the ves’Targ’s, and builds the tech into a handful of life support belts for an away team to be protected.

Arrival at the system where the weapon was used is heralded by severe subspace turbulence. Domino safely brings the ship out of warp, and the sensors and science teams aboard the Odyssey get to work. Analysis starts by comparing the system in two timelines, thanks to Zahl records before and after the timeline change – and the system’s third planet is missing. Celestial events in the system were altered by this, and the star is now dying. They do detect something though – an ion trail, seemingly fixed in time, not decaying. They can track the culprit.

With the temporal shielding only just working, the ship opts not to immediately engage the ship. They know too little, but at least now they can keep an eye. The ship launches one of its multispatial probes, using it at a distance to track the superweapon while they investigate further. With the intel they gained on Zahl, they identify a research station behind Krenim lines that is pursuing temporal research – that becomes their next stop.

Managing to avoid Krenim patrols, the Odyssey drops out of warp hidden behind one of this system’s two gas giants. The station orbits the other. Parker assembles an away team of Domino, Kalen, and Vulmos, and the four take the John Stewart over in order to learn what the Krenim have created. They stealthily beam aboard and take some readings, learning quickly that the station is civilian – none of the 13 Krenim aboard are armed, and none are wearing uniforms. Emboldened by the lack of obvious resistance, Parker leads the team to contact the researchers in person. Domino takes the lead, her genuine curiosity about their research and her honesty about not being from this timeline disarms the civilians, and they wind up investigating the chroniton residue left on the crew from their interaction with the weapon on Zahl.

The crew learns much – this timeline ceased research into temporal incursions, the weapon that removed that planet from time. A scientist 200 years ago named Annorax developed two incredible (and highly dangerous) theorems relating to time. The first was the method of creating incursions, and the second was a method of arresting entropy, preventing aging, systems breaking, or things decaying. Thanks to the Krenim building computers that exist slightly out of phase with normal time, the crew locates incomplete technical specs for the weapon Annorax intended to design. The ship itself is equivalent to Kirk-era tech beyond the weapon and its shields, which use the entropy arresting effect to prevent any weapons from penetrating its defenses.

They don’t have much time to process the information, as the Odyssey informs the away team that Krenim scouts are on the way – Krenim sensors aren’t as good as the Odyssey’s, so they have a narrow window to escape. Chief Hegrom starts to beam them up just as the station’s shields go up, almost trapping the team if not for the chief’s experience completing the transport around the interference. The station hails the Odyssey, and one of the senior researchers curses Captain Tchang and the Odyssey, calling them filthy aliens. She was the one who alerted the military, and the Odyssey leaves before they get close.

Their presence now known to the Krenim, the ship considers its options and heads for a Zahl anchorage in the records they retrieved. The possibility of munitions, fuel, and other tech would be a boon since in this timeline the Odyssey has half the torpedoes they did. The Anchorage sits on the far side of an energetic nebula, and after getting singed a bit heading through, the Odyssey finds the anchorage – along with a Krenim strike team boarding it.

Parker gathers another team – himself, Domino, Kalen, and Lt. Mackenzie. The Odyssey confirms that the Krenim’s troop transport is empty, and they’re the only life signs aboard the anchorage. So the team beams to the transport itself, docked with the station. Investigation confirms that the Krenim happened upon the secret base and are preparing to scuttle it with charges. Thinking quickly, Parker asks the chief to beam the charges planted into space. One activated one is beamed out a soldier’s hand, which alerts the soldiers to intruders. They race back to their ship, only to see it flying back toward the Odyssey, with the away team waving to the soldiers as they depart. Stuck on an airless base with limited oxygen available, it’s a quick process to prompt the soldiers to surrender and take them into custody.

Time now on their side, the crew takes inventory, and learns the true value of this anchorage – in addition to hundreds of photon torpedoes, weapons, antimatter, and spare parts, two Zahl heavy cruisers were docked here for repair, and the two thousand refugee Sikarians aboard the Odyssey are ready to get their hands dirty making them spaceworthy. Captain Tchang contacts the fleet and provides the location for the anchorage while the rest of the crew begins the fastest refit possible. The Krenim patrol won’t be missed for another two weeks – they have that long to prepare for war.

First Contact
Stardate 49430

Captain Tchang assembles an away team consisting of herself, Adams, Selveth, and Kalen. The four join Plogh aboard the ves’Targ and range ahead of the fleet as they mend their wounds. They make contact with the Zahl via subspace, who invite them to their planet to trade and exchange information. The trip is several days at warp speed, but it passes uneventfully.

Cleared for landing by Trade Minister Paajik, the ship is landed proficiently by the ship’s newly minted pilot, Heklara. As they land though, a tremendous flash temporarily blinds the view screen, and as the ship touches ground, they are no longer where they were. The tiled buildings of the arid planet were now smashed into rubble and ruin after orbital bombardment.

Using a probe borrowed from the Odyssey and what little the sensors could provide through the sudden spike in unusual radiation, the crew learns a little. First, that some distant event outside the Zahl system caused a chroniton wavefront to sweep through it, altering things immensely. The Zahl homeworld now seemed conquered by their Krenim neighbors, and several upgraded Krenim warships now orbit above. The timeline has been changed.

In search of more information, the team departs the ship to visit the half-destroyed government building they landed near. Selveth stays behind to analyze all they have learned. Inside the building, they find freedom fighter Paajik, who they convince to provide them with coordinates to a cache of governmental records and data. They grab survival gear and head off, carving a path toward their goal via the Captain’s navigation skill and the rest of the team’s combined skills in fire team tactics. They recover Krenim Comms after ambushing and knocking out a patrol, and make it to their goal, where Parker briefly channels his agrarian roots and digs up the cache. The team copies the data and returns the cache – just in case these changes are permanent, and the records are still useful to the Zahl.

With all the information they can gain at hand, the crew makes a stealthy retreat to the Raider. With more pieces to the puzzle, including detailed scans of the Krenim patrol’s weapons, more theories emerge. The Krenim may have developed some form of time-altering superweapon, and it should have affected the ves’Targ, if not for an experiment Selveth had brought aboard with her – a fluke, but useful knowledge.

A daring escape involving their last probe and the sacrifice of an unmanned shuttle gets the ves’Targ clear of the Zahl homeworld and they arrive back at the fleet – and it isn’t long before they notice things are different. When the Captain steps upon the bridge, the biggest change is evident – Commander Sebastian is dead!

Steps Along the River
Stardate 49416.4

The Odyssey has remained in the system with the moving asteroid belt full of syrillium for two reasons – to fill their holds with the energetic material to offset their fuel, and to finalize coordinates for the gravitic displacement drive Kalen reverse engineered from a Federation database. A Starfleet crewman, briefly ‘upgraded’ by a species known as the Cytherians, relocated a Starfleet ship 30,000 light years in order for the Cytherians to make first contact. Kalen had work with scientists in the fleet for months to test the feasibility of using it as a means for a shortcut. The coordinates required were extremely detailed – it wasn’t like the bearing system used by Starfleet to navigate. But the Banean star charts, retrieved almost a year prior, gave a map for the fleet to try to use in order to take a shortcut.

A few things came up in the fleet while they worked. Lt. Hansen’s appointment to the Posel has revealed an issue with the infrastructure set up by the Sikarians, and Adams’ newest deputy is trying to handle as much as he can alone. The captain’s struggles with her hosts point to Dane, the most severe and most intelligent of her former hosts – but something is preventing the two from connecting. The EMH’s prescriptions and meditation are holding her up for now.

Kalen handled the tech. The EMH tried to counteract the physical effects reported from the jump. Domino handled all the logistical concerns. So when the time finally came, the fleet bid adieu to the Talaxians who had helped them mine, and activated the displacement drive, coordinates set for a small bubble far ahead of the bulk of the mapped space in the star charts. Domino had pored over the charts and selected this spot after considering all the available options, and considered this – a landing zone over 9,800 light years distant, where Baneans had been watching the growth of a chaotic space anomaly – the best option, based on distance and danger.

The transition went smoothly enough – unlike the trajector, which was relatively instantaneous, the drive built up a red-hued subspace rift, the fleet was all tractored together via the Harge, and when the rift was large enough to admit the tethered fleet ships, the Odyssey pushed them forward into it, and far, far away.

The return to realspace was fraught with bright white light. A collision alarm came before the viewscreen provided any meaningful data, and Domino performed evasive maneuvers on instinct, barely avoiding entering the threshold of a subspace distortion not unlike the one they just left, save flooded w/ tetryons and chronitons. The Harge and Posel are both lodged within, though, leaving most of the refugees in peril. One of the ship’s special multispatial probes, modified for anomaly research like this, is launched, and determines that while the anomaly seems to have frozen time for those affected, the Harge is also in the midst of being crumpled by the impact, and may not survive the return to real time.

With Kalen needing to step down the engines after the leap, the solution falls to Domino and Adams. Adams dislodges the Posel enough with the Odyssey’s tractor beam that they can get themselves out for the most part. While close enough to the anomaly, Chief Hegstrom fills the Odyssey with all the crew of the Harge, in case they can’t save the ship. This brings the Odyssey to very much full capacity, but the bulk of the colony ship’s crew are able to be transported over. This takes several hours, but in the meantime, Domino comes up with a plan based upon the spatial phenomena – she inverts the resonant frequency of the drive, using the deflector to fire a beam designed to close the rift. Adams aims and fires the beam, and the rift starts sealing, pushing the Harge out. Quickly, the tactical officer snares the empty ship with a tractor beam, arresting its final movement from the rift. The effort does some damage to the ship’s warp coils, but nothing crippling – Kalen may not appreciate it, but the lives and ship saved are deemed worth the effort by the captain.

The effort ends with several injured on both of the Sikarian ships, a few casualties, and the Harge in even worse shape than it was prior. With barely a third of its capacity useable at the moment, and all the biggest ships in the fleet needing serious repairs after that, the ships start looking at possibilities on the road ahead. The ves’Targ picks up traffic in the distance from two separate polities – the Zahl, and the Krenim. After surreptitiously monitoring their subspace traffic for the better part of a week, the captain decides to assemble an away team to join the ves’Targ in making contact with the Zahl. They seem peaceful, and safe harbor would be appreciated…

Rush of the Belt
Stardate 49394.6

Power rationing has begun after Cravic space. With the ship conserving power and handling other logistic concerns, a sudden interruption from Skrillix provide hope – Talaxian miners nearby are working on collecting Syrillium, a highly energetic mineral useable to offset the ship’s power woes.

Arriving near the miners, the Odyssey’s newest tactical officer, Lt. Commander Parker Adams, scans the star system and discovers the mineral-laden asteroids are being accelerated via the ultra-massive blue Star they orbit. Approach is dangerous, and the miners have a shuttle (and their captain) stranded in the belt.

Captain Tchang invites the remaining miners aboard to discuss rescue. She notes a negative reaction to the mention of Skrillix, but she volunteers to pilot a shuttle into the field in order to retrieve their Captain. Kalen joins her on the shuttle, and Adams coordinates with Astrometrics on a course out while the Odyssey carefully keeps pace with the stricken shuttle.

After some hiccups and complications, Kalen gets the Talaxian shuttle working and lashes it to the Starfleet one using docking clamps. Then Tchang manages to pilot the ungainly craft free of the belt, with some timely help from Adams and the Odyssey’s phasers.

The danger passed, the fleet joins the Odyssey, and a more serious mining operation begins. Meanwhile, Kalen’s research into gravitic displacement may lead to cutting a few years off their trip…

The Way of D'era, Part 2
Stardate 49202.7

Ulun broadcasts fleetwide: "Refugee fleet and your Starfleet minders – know that as this message reaches you, two antimatter explosives equal to 200 isotons of destructive force each have been hidden aboard ships within the fleet. I will detonate these explosives if the following demands are not met:
- The commander of the Klingon contingent and the chief engineer of the Odyssey use the Tiro to dock with the Alanel and join me aboard to discuss the terms of my surrender. A Starfleet representative may join, but if more than three beings enter the airlock, or if any of the three are armed, I will detonate the explosives.
- The Raider and the Odyssey keep their engines unpowered, and remain at least 100,000 KM from the Alanel while our negotiation takes place. If either ship comes closer than that, or any ship gets within 60,000 KM, I will detonate the explosives.
- The shuttle that is targeting the Alanel with a torpedo retreats to 60,000 KM before the Tiro docks. If the shuttle remains when the Tiro docks, I will detonate the explosives.

“You have 30 minutes to comply.”

With limited time, the captain selects her negotiators – Kalen will lead, as a Romulan and as a commissioned Starfleet officer. She looks to Sebastian as well, who readily agrees, though he tells Kalen that the engineer will be the lead here – Sebastian will assist. With the team chosen, Sebastian works to prepare the launch while Kalen focuses on counter-intelligence. At his spurring, the captain invokes the prefix codes of the Alanel, remotely disabling all functions beyond life support. With the Alanel now unable to fully observe the movements of the crew, Kalen uses the sensors to seek any sign of the missing torpedos, the explosives that the Romulans are using to hold the fleet hostage. After some analysis, along with information from the internal scans of the Bio lab explosion, Kalen is able to determine with relative confidence that the Romulans used one torpedo to erase their evidence in the bio lab, and the other is with them on the bridge of the Alanel, behind a scattering field. Thinking ahead, Kalen creates a shutoff switch for the torpedo activated by his tricorder – however, the signal needs to be sent within a few feet to be effective.

Knowing that the Romulans do not threaten the entire fleet, the captain authorizes a risky plan put forward by Kalen – using the approaching Tiro and the retreating John Stewart as a transporter relay to beam a security team aboard the Alanel ahead of the negotiators. As the two support craft proceed with their parts of the instructions given them, Lt. Mackenzie and two other security officers are beamed quietly into a passenger cabin, where they must immediately contend with quieting the hostage Sikarians within.

Separately, Kalen, Plogh, and Sebastian board the Alanel and are greeted by Rossik, the technician of the conspirators, holding two disruptors on them. He leads them to the Alanel’s mess hall, where Ulun has made a farcical attempt at a meal to negotiate over. They sit, and it becomes clear early on that Ulun is not negotiating in good faith – he spends much of his time questioning the negotiators’ motives and philosophies, centering on Kalen in particular but Plogh as well. They do learn some information, though – Ulun and his fellows feel as though the fleet’s trek home is doomed thanks to the unknowns of the quadrant and the Starfleet tendency to prod the unknown, and see the trajector as a means to escape a situation where they have no other means to save themselves.

After the pair make clear their disinterest in Ulun’s opinion, Rossik gets angry and attempts to strike Plogh. The Klingon throws Rossik to his back on the deck without getting up from his chair and proceeds to ignore him. In response (and perhaps realizing his delay tactics are wearing thin), Ulun signals for Nalira to activate the trajector and go before surrendering to the negotiators.

Kalen disarms Rossik and discovers their disruptors have no power cells. They race to join Mackenzie and his team at the door to the bridge, where the controls have been slagged and the door sealed. They’ll have to cut through. Kalen looks to Lt. Mackenzie, who recalls a service conduit nearby. The pair hurry through the back route and corner Kumir and Nalira in the bridge as the trajector is spinning up – along with the overload of the photon torpedo, which they are using as a power source for their jury-rigged trajector. Kumir’s disruptor is not unpowered, and his initial salvo forces the pair behind cover. Trusting in Mackenzie, Kalen leaps forward out of cover as the trajector begins its cycle and dives for the torpedo, activating the shutoff signal from his tricorder as he slides close. Kumir, seeing an opportunity, rushes forward to attack Kalen – and is immediate stunned down by Mackenzie and his rifle.

The torpedo’s overload abates and the weapon shuts off. However, Nalira has disappeared, indicating that the trajector worked and sent her… somewhere. The danger passed, Kalen signals the all-clear to Sebastian, who reports in to the captain. With everything relatively in hand, Kalen hands off command of the negotiation team to Sebastian, who smiles and suggests they all head home.

Once the fleet is back underway, the council of captains calls an emergency session to understand the events that unfolded. Carela Tann calls for the Romulans to lose their seat on the council in light of the situation, but Tchang stands firm – they may be a small contingent, but the Romulans who broke did so as a means of trying to exert control on a situation in which they felt they had none. Taking away their sole voice in their fate only enforces what the conspirators feared. Cowed for now, the call fails, though who sits in the seat is in question for now – Selveth’s health is in question after the neurotoxin, and Kalen sees his serving on the council as a conflict of interest.

With many unknowns still to ponder, three Romulans in custody, and serious repairs to make to the Odyssey, the fleet finally escapes Cravic space and seeks a place to affect repairs.

The Way of D'era, Part 1
Stardate 49202.5

The fleet traverses Cravic space in relative peace – at least, until Kalen requests an urgent meeting with Captain Tchang. Worse, shortly before the meeting, the EMH reports that T’ven and Selveth have both fallen mysteriously ill. Recognizing the effects of the neurotoxin before, the EMH requests Plogh investigate while the captain talks to Kalen. Plogh recognizes the toxin from the Alpha Quadrant, and strangely, the RNA has his KDF identification number encoded within. This prompts Plogh to explain his familiarity with the neurotoxin to the Captain: he created the neurotoxin that killed that station of Romulans, and the title of Butcher of Adosia Station belongs to him. He and the Captain both express dismay at his checkered past, but acknowledge that this isn’t important here, save as potential motivation for the use of the neurotoxin.

Kalen explains to the captain his doings during the heist and the time since – warned by Selveth weeks prior, he rigged probes to surreptitiously scan the lab occupied by his erstwhile Romulan friends, and learned troubling things. He proceeds to lay out a timeline of events going back to when the Sikarians initially provided trajector technology to the Odyssey’s crew, that culminates in four of the Romulan contingent aboard having reverse-engineered the spatial trajector to power a jump back to the Alpha Quadrant – for them only. For those on the ship powering the trajector, likely death as the ship’s reactor overloads.

Troubled by the coincidence of the plan coming to light the same time as her chief of security and the only other Romulan likely to stop the plan falling ill, Captain Tchang orders T’ven’s available substitute, Lieutenant (JG) Mackenzie, to arrest the Romulans in the lab. They do so without incident – indeed, Ulun, the ringleader, seems to have expected this. Domino descends upon the lab, intent upon the captain’s instruction to disassemble any active trajector – but they find no active equipment. Kalen and Domino are immediately suspicious, and while she digs deeper into the lab, Kalen faces Ulun in the brig.

They verbally spar for some time, with Kalen egging Ulun on via silent disapproval and Ulun’s ego opening him up. Ulun finally acknowledges that they intend to go home, to share the trajector’s secret with Romulus. The Tiro is damaged by its energy, but most Romulan ships use different methods, and would potentially be compatible. The gain in force projection is immense, and would make it possible for Romulans’ reach to far exceed the box the Federation and the Klingons have placed them in. Before explaining everything, he stops short – and an automated program snuck into the Odyssey’s computer activates a modified trajector, transporting all the Romulans out of the brig and seriously damaging the Odyssey for its trouble.

While Kalen diverts his attention to the sudden engineering emergency, Domino and Plogh work to try and identify where the Romulans transported. With investigation and analysis, they pin the destination to the Posel, the fleet’s pleasure barge. Lt. Mackenzie and a security team beam over and are ambushed by the Romulans, who get away and traject again. Plogh orders the fleet to scatter to beyond the distance of the trajector’s range, hopefully preventing another jump. Meanwhile, Domino rigs a probe to emit a neutrino scattering field, interfering with the source of a trajection, and flies out in the John Stewart to help scan the fleet. The group look into the four Romulans’ background, and determine that they are likely Tal Shiar, and are far more trained than the crew realized. The tactical team does a manual check and realizes that two photon torpedoes are missing.

Domino spots the Alanel moving out of formation and, micro-warping to catch up before they can escape, catches them in a tractor beam, threatening them with her “torpedo” and preventing their warping away. The fleet’s ships scattered, bombs potentially hidden in them, Romulans taking the ghost ship hostage, and a dangerous trajector experiment looming, the crew is forced to consider their options…