“Number One, open a channel to the fleet.” Bennet said as he rose from his seat, still staring at the viewscreen showing a number of ships that were prepped and ready to go.
“Channel open.” Rider replied after following his commanding officer’s orders.
“This is Commodore Zack Marshall-Bennet of the Discovery, all ships prepare for departure stations. The wormhole is about to open, prepare to follow the Discovery’s lead.” Bennet took a breath before adding one more single word. “Godspeed!”
While he stood staring at the viewscreen waiting for the wormhole to open, Rider spoke up after a signal came through to his station. “The fleet’s responded sir, they’re standing by.”
Within a few seconds alerts began to beep at the science station and Discovery’s Bolian science officer looked at them before looking across her commanding officer. “Commodore, the wormhole is about to appear.”
“Onscreen Gailwon.” Bennet ordered immediately.
Once again the screen changed and this time it showed the magnificent image of the Barzan wormhole opening. The unusual disc-like shaped wormhole was unique with the various blues, purples and blacks that almost swirled inwards towards its center.
A round of applause erupted on the bridge and Bennet just smiled at his crew’s eagerness. “Number One,” the commodore said, still grinning at the image before them. “Inform the fleet to engage!”
Discovery led the pack of Federation explorers as one at a time they entered the Barzan wormhole. One at a time they followed each other through the subspace corridor that eventually deposited them in the deep reaches of the Delta Quadrant.
The moment the Century-class flagship was through its commander requested a status update and once everyone had reported they were all fine, then Bennet waited to see every ship that followed come through the wormhole without any issues.
“Everyone is through sir.” announced Gailwon. “The wormhole has closed behind us and the verteron array has ceased operations.”
“Sir,” puffed out Lieutenant Caitheris from her breathing apparatus. The Barzan woman was at the ops station and was obviously reconfiguring the ship’s systems to adjust to their new location. “We are getting a transmission from Kadi Station Delta One.”
Impressed to see that they were being hailed already, Bennet looked to his chief counsellor/chief diplomatic officer and second officer. Commander Natashar Rozan, the Betazoid he had trusted for a long time now, shared his surprise. Turning his attention back to Caitheris, Bennet ordered his ops manager to open a channel as he sat himself back down in his chair.
The viewscreen flickered and a Kadi man, wrapped in burgundy clerical robes appeared. He appeared younger than Bennet with small wisps of blonde hair tied back and underneath his head scarf. His distinguished bulbous, bifurcated forehead was prominent. Bowing his head, the monk then smiled and spoke. “Distant voyagers who have departed the confines of their dependency and origins, we welcome you into our dependency, our origins. Accept this greeting of our purity and the Goddess Mother’s blessing.”
Bennet had spent the day before with Rozan practising the different range of Kadi greetings and soon it clicked in his brain that it was the reverse opposite greeting that they were providing. “Wonderous and humble hosts, on behalf of my home, my family, we accept your gracious reception and thank you for your welcome to your home, your family.”
Smiling with thanks, the Kadi monk introduced himself as Abbot Jamin the leader of the outpost. “We have been expecting your arrival, Commodore Bennet.” He added.
“We are very happy to be here.” Bennet replied. He considered every word carefully to avoid any diplomatic incident with the Kadi. “My ships are elevated to begin their exploration of this region.”
“I am sure they are.” Jamin responded back with. “Besides your own ship, I bestow to you all the Goddess Mother’s guardianship to begin your voyages.”
“Thank you Abbot Jamin, I believe I will be attending a retreat with Superior Abbott Tomin on the Kadi home colony tomorrow.” Bennet said for clarity.
“Indeed you are. Good voyages to you and your crew on your path to our home, our family.”
Smiling and bowing his head, Bennet thanked the abbot and the channel was closed. He leaned into his counsellor. “Remind me never to go into the priesthood.” He said quietly before ordering his chief helmsman to plot a course to the Kadi home colony while his first officer ordered the fleet to move out.
Operation: Delta Expedition was now a go!