The Odyssey Project (Starbase 118)
|StarBase 118 Ops|
Just as things seem to settle into a fragile ‘peace’ in the region, sudden and violent reports begin coming in to Starbase 118 regarding seemingly random attacks on ships throughout the area surrounding the Azure Nebula. While little is known about what’s going on, a short clip from a more heavily armed ship manages to make it back to the station showing a very static filled frame on which a strange shadow can be seen seemingly feeding on members of the crew of that ship. More reports state that attacked ships are left to drift, after being ripped into disrepair and left with no survivors. As a result of the attacks, the USS Victory is deployed to investigate just as two members of the crew, Commander Cody, and Anya Nicholotti, go missing.
Lost, perhaps, to the annuls of time and space, knowledge of Odyssey station, and its purpose, doesn’t exist to the crew of Starbase 118. So, when a strange ‘corridor’ is found within the nearby Azure Nebula on accident by the USS Victory, which seemingly transports the entire ship to a location about 50KY outside the galaxy from the Alpha and Beta Quadrant borders, the officers and crew scramble to uncover how it happened and what the station is that appears before them. More of the creatures are discovered around and in the station, so now, the crew must battle time to uncover what they are looking at and save anyone or anything aboard.
Aboard the borrowed ship, the USS Columbia, the crew of Starbase 118 Operations heads out towards the source of numerous attacks and the location of the mysterious gravity well that has formed within the Azure Nebula. They arrive on station just moments before an attack on their own ship, during which 4 large dragon-like creatures tear holes in the hull and find their way inside. These creatures are only held by the highest level forcefields for a short time before they find ways out, which include ripping their way through the Jefferies tubes that go throughout the ship. At least two members of the crew are killed, with numerous others, including the Chief Engineer and Chief Medical Officer, injured requiring surgery.
While the matriarch of this particular group of dragon creatures tears apart sickbay, a child-like of the species makes contact with members of the senior staff on the bridge. While speaking, out loud and telepathically, the creature Puncdor begins the transition to adult-hood and is nearly rendered unable to communicate. Thankfully, a solution is devised by science that would halt puberty and which has a permanent effect, allowing Puncdor to remain a child and never make the transition into the aggressive and terrifying adult that the other creatures have become.
Captain Nicholotti orders a meeting in one hour to discuss the damage to the ship, the fact that only a thin electromagnetic shield is keeping the adult creatures from overrunning the ship and eating them all, and solutions that would allow them to lead the rest of the adult creatures back through the gravity well to their own home corridor and the crew to Odyssey station.
Prior to the meeting, Captain Nicholotti was confronted with a new concern. Her First Officer, wounded in the attack with the dragon creatures, had been brought to the temporary sickbay unable to speak coherently. Worse, a short time later she was informed that "Scott" a sentient Shadow-like creature had taken up residence within the man and was offering his assistance. Despite the offer, she was unable to allow the security risk involved and had to move onto the meeting without him. During the meeting, she was further demoralized by the news that the ship wasn't in a condition to make the transition to Odyssey station due to the creatures attacks. That it had been determined they could injure the creatures through red/orange lasers was a small consolation.
Moving to "Plan B" it was determined that the runabout would make the trip, with the fighter wing providing cover fire. The crew moved to prepare for that, and the inclusion of Puncdor into that plan. Meanwhile, the wounded Doctor MacLaren spoke to, and completed a mindmeld with Commander Walker and "Scott". During the meld, the three came to an agreement to put "Scott" into a deep, coma-like sleep for the duration of the mission.
On the runabout, the Captain thanked everyone for their work and dedication, giving out battlefield promotions to the now Lieutenant MacLaren, Lieutenant JG Nevarass, and Marine Captain Dubeau. On giving them the news, she warned everyone to strap in as she prepared to pilot them to the station.
The trip to the gravitic anomaly was almost anti-climatic after everything the crew had been through to that point. Enough so that the marine flight jokingly offered the Captain to go first into the wormhole. As the shuttle and fighters passed the event horizon however, the first of the challenges were realized. Each person in the crew found themselves living through images of alternatives to their lives, leaving most sickened and shocked. Commander Orman, thanks to a previous action, was unaffected, and Doctor MacLaren quickly determined that the effect was a mental wave. Theorizing that the wave was intended only to understand them better, or any traveler, the shuttle was allowed to be brought into the station. The Marine fighters were not pulled in, and had to find their own way, taking long minutes to regather with the rest of the crew as they entered Odyssey station.
The initial entry into Odyssey was held back momentarily by the announcement from a Greeter that no harm would be allowed, and that their weapons would not function. A likely similar effect was preventing the ability to track the missing crew, but Commander Walker was able to work with Commander Breeman to modify the "Morgan coins" that Commander Cody had previously used to begin tracking them through the station. While doing so, other travelers were met and revealed the station's ability to send people where they most desired. Unfortunately, it was more accurate to say they were sent to where they sub-consciously desired. This effect was apparently not limited to specific areas, as Doctor MacLaren's dog, Hope, suddenly found herself with the away team. Acting on the need to move quickly, Hope and Puncdor, utilized her scenting ability and his flight to quickly find the missing crew. Meanwhile, Commander Walker worked with the marines and Lieutenant Livingston to create a series of transporter enhancers to allow their quick withdrawal. Thankfully, the alternate plan created with Lieutenant Silveira to use sonics to shatter the crystals used by the Greeters was not required.
Worried about their ability to return home, a Greeter appeared to say that Anya had chosen to be a physical creature and they were free to return home. Exhausted by the events they'd already gone through, they gladly did so.
Arriving at the base, Captain Nicholotti gave everyone the day to recover before any mission logs were required and prepared the crew for shore leave.
The next day, a new wrinkle appeared. Lieutenant Commander Matthews was being transferred to Ops to take the position of First Officer. While publicly accepting the move, both Captain Nicholotti and Commander Walker found themselves upset and suddenly at odds with each other over the move. Thankfully, their previous bond, though tested, held firm. Commander Walker took the position of Second Officer, and suggested their debriefing take the form of a beach barbecue.
While there, the Captain gave out promotions to Silveira and Livingston, and restored Commander Walker's previous rank of Captain. There was food, singing, and a circus where the crew were the stars. The crew took advantage of the time to get to know each other better, including Lieutenant Jade Matthews, pregnant wife to the new FO!