Star Trek Hunter Part 5 - Episodes 14 - 16 by Robert Bruce Scott

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Episode 14 - When Death Comes - The crew of the U.S.S. Hunter are visited by death and are taken one by one...


Episode 15 - A Stitch in Spacetime - The U.S.S. Hunter is caught in a paradox caused by a malfunction of its new experimental warp drive. Wesley Crusher arrives to help... only to find Wesley Crusher has already arrived... and Wesley Crusher...


Episode 16 - Slavers - Orion slave runners are causing serious problems for the Federation, putting several planets at risk... Including Vulcan...

Categories: Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Expanded Universes Characters: Bashir, Julian, Crusher, Wesley
Genre: Action/Adventure
Warnings: Adult Language, Adult Situations, Character Death, Violence
Challenges: None
Series: Star Trek Hunter
Chapters: 43 Completed: Yes Word count: 48757 Read: 24160 Published: 04 May 2020 Updated: 02 Sep 2020

1. Episode 14.1 - When Death Comes: Layover by Robert Bruce Scott

2. Episode 14.2 - When Death Comes: Secret Summit at Ba Sing Se by Robert Bruce Scott

3. Episode 14.3 - When Death Comes: Phaser Signatures by Robert Bruce Scott

4. Episode 14.4 - When Death Comes: Quack Attack by Robert Bruce Scott

5. Episode 14 - When Death Comes by Robert Bruce Scott

6. Episode 14.5 - When Death Comes: Taking One for the Team by Robert Bruce Scott

7. Episode 14.6 - When Death Comes: Running in Circles by Robert Bruce Scott

8. Episode 14.7 - When Death Comes: Trill Seeking by Robert Bruce Scott

9. Episode 14.8 - When Death Comes: The Dead by Robert Bruce Scott

10. Episode 14.9 - When Death Comes: Messages From the Other Side by Robert Bruce Scott

11. Episode 14.10 - When Death Comes: Waterloo by Robert Bruce Scott

12. Episode 14.11 - When Death Comes: Stitches by Robert Bruce Scott

13. Episode 15.1 - A Stitch In Spacetime: Carrera Detached by Robert Bruce Scott

14. Episode 15 - A Stitch In Spacetime by Robert Bruce Scott

15. Episode 15.2 - A Stitch In Spacetime: Free Love Wes by Robert Bruce Scott

16. Episode 15.3 - A Stitch In Spacetime: Wesley Crusher Prime by Robert Bruce Scott

17. Episode 15.4 - A Stitch In Spacetime: Crusherman by Robert Bruce Scott

18. Episode 15.5 - A Stitch In Spacetime: Old Man Crusher by Robert Bruce Scott

19. Episode 15.6 - A Stitch In Spacetime: Bob by Robert Bruce Scott

20. Episode 15.7 - A Stitch In Spacetime: The Nine Lives of Dr. Sarekson Carrera by Robert Bruce Scott

21. Episode 15.8 - A Stitch In Spacetime: Out With the Old by Robert Bruce Scott

22. Episode 15.9 - A Stitch In Spacetime: In With the New by Robert Bruce Scott

23. Episode 15.10 - A Stitch In Spacetime: The Sun, the Moon and All the Stars by Robert Bruce Scott

24. Episode 16.1 - Slavers: Flying By the Seat of their Pants by Robert Bruce Scott

25. Episode 16 - Slavers by Robert Bruce Scott

26. Episode 16.2 - Slavers: Possum-Chicken by Robert Bruce Scott

27. Episode 16.3 - Slavers: Self Sealing Stem Bolts by Robert Bruce Scott

28. Episode 16.4 - Slavers: The Needs of the Many by Robert Bruce Scott

29. Episode 16.5 - Slavers: Lord Wooten-Sandleigh by Robert Bruce Scott

30. Episode 16.6 - Slavers: The Battle of Coridan Corridor by Robert Bruce Scott

31. Episode 16.7 - Slavers: And Then There Were Three by Robert Bruce Scott

32. Episode 16.8 - Slavers: Tolon's Women by Robert Bruce Scott

33. Episode 16.9 - Slavers: Vengeon-Roux by Robert Bruce Scott

34. Episode 16.10 - Slavers: TPD Unit 1-ADM-12 by Robert Bruce Scott

35. Episode 16.11 - Slavers: The F.M.S. Usotro by Robert Bruce Scott

36. Episode 16.12 - Slavers: The Market (Part 1 of 2) by Robert Bruce Scott

37. Episode 16.13 - Slavers: The Market (Part 2 of 2) by Robert Bruce Scott

38. Episode 16.14 - Slavers: The Badlands by Robert Bruce Scott

39. Episode 16.15 - Slavers: Pod People by Robert Bruce Scott

40. Episode 16.16 - Slavers: The Second Battle for Pillo by Robert Bruce Scott

41. Episode 16.17 - Slavers: 2 Romulas by Robert Bruce Scott

42. Episode 16.18 - Slavers: The Solution by Robert Bruce Scott

43. Episode 16.19 - Slavers: A Voice in the Dark by Robert Bruce Scott

Episode 14.1 - When Death Comes: Layover by Robert Bruce Scott
Author's Notes:

Justice Minerva Irons has far too much to do in the wake of the attack on her crew by Andoria First...

Star Trek Hunter
Episode 14: When Death Comes

Scene 1: Layover



Once the U.S.S. Hunter’s crew members were released from Trantor General Hospital, it was hardly surprising that Trantor was the last place any of the Hunter’s crew wanted to go to. With her ground operations department seriously traumatized and the rest of her crew reeling from the loss of two crew members and two others grievously wounded, Justice Minerva Irons, with approval from Star Fleet Operations, removed the U.S.S. Hunter from active duty and placed the ship on emergency reserve status.

Ba Sing Se was the only place the entire crew felt safe on Cun Ling - largely because they were surrounded by Justice Irons’ family members. And unlike Trantor with its peerless glass skyscrapers, the great Earth Kingdom city had a warmth to it that the crew desperately needed.

To reduce the burden on her crew, Justice Irons ordered the U.S.S. Hunter landed. Chief Flight Specialist Dewayne Guth parked the Hunter on the very courtyard where a day before Irons and her director of flight operations had given the eulogy for Flight Specialist Joey Chin. Following non-emergency landing protocol, the tactical unit, the wagon, and the two interceptors were undocked and parked separately nearby.

Lt. Cmdr. Kenneth Dolphin wasted no time recruiting a replacement for Joey Chin. Chief Flight Specialist Thyssi zh’Qaoleq received a bit of a cold welcome at first until a rather exasperated Lt. Tauk sternly reminded his ground team that, although they had been kidnapped and tormented by andorians, many, many other andorians had come to their rescue.

Thyssi came highly recommended. She had served in Commander Red’s squadron at the Battle over Rings, facing off against the forces of House Shav and had piloted one of the six interceptors that had formed up behind (then) Lt. Dolphin during his attack run on the I.G.V. Ravonnelle. 

Replacing Investigator Lynhart Shran would not be anywhere near as easy and Lt. Tauk, 2nd Lt. T’Lon and Investigator Buttans Ngumbo were in no hurry to try.

Although she needed a vacation as much as, if not more than her crew, Justice Minerva Irons quickly realized that was not going to happen on Cun Ling. As she ran from one meeting to another ceremony, Irons found herself looking forward to the relative peace of space travel.

The Tribunal needed her to help train new appellate justices. Star Fleet and the Federation Council (separately and jointly) had no end of briefings and debriefings over the Andoria First Incident (as the initial murder of 37 members of Andoria First along with the following kidnapping of the Hunter's crew and ensuing assault on th'Istel was now collectively being referred to.) Admirals and Federation Councilmembers were surreptitiously pointing fingers at the new Emperor of Andoria for setting these deadly events in motion. Emperor Sin’s unrelenting, fiery rhetoric toward Andoria First only added fuel to these speculations.

At least, in deference to Justice Irons’ age and the perception that she, too, had been traumatized by the events in Trantor, all of these meetings were held in the Imperial Palace at Ba Sing Se.

At the end of one of these interminable meetings, Irons almost stormed out of the room and nearly ran over Supervisory Agent Johnny Canada of the Trantor Police Intelligence Division. Canada quickly summoned her into a side room.

“I had to bend a lot of rules and break more than a few to obtain this information, your honor,” Canada said. He handed Irons a reader. “Autopsy reports on the 37 andorians that we found dead in the streets of Trantor.”

“They weren’t killed by phasers?” Irons asked.

“Andorian phasers,” Canada said, “but… not current ones. The signatures left by these phasers were consistent with phasers distributed to Andorian Imperial Guard, but that generation of phaser was entirely decommissioned four years ago and all AIG forces have been resupplied with a newer model. Each phaser leaves a slightly different wound signature. Forensic examiners with some experience can easily tell the difference between an Andorian Imperial Guard phaser and a Star Fleet issue phaser. Noting differences in model types is much more refined skill set, but I have a friend…”

“I will need to run this past my people,” Irons said. “If this bears out, it appears someone is trying to frame the new Emperor for starting an Andorian civil war in the middle of downtown Trantor.”

“Some pretty powerful people did not want me to have this information, which makes me reasonably certain they do not want you to have it either. Including some of my superiors in the Intelligence Division,” Canada said.

Irons tapped the reader. “Can this be authenticated?”

“I made sure to give you everything you need to authenticate those files. Your Lieutenant Tauk should have no problem with it,” Canada said. “But if you want to make use of this, you really need to have your own people verify it, which means going through official channels – and soon, before those bodies are released to their families. Better bring your big guns right from the start. I suspect there will be far more than your normal bureaucratic resistance to that request.”

“Thank you, Agent Canada.”

“Don’t mention it…” Johnny Canada said with his trademark friendly smile, and then added, “Ever…”

It was only moments later that Irons had a private meeting with Ensign Tolon Reeves. Reeves had met with Lt. Tauk, Lt. Cmdr. Mlady and Commander David Pepper about the status of his team. Some of the rooms in the Imperial Palace, including the grand ballroom, had been pressurized and the atmosphere purified to give Tauk a break from staying onboard the Hunter.

“So, Reeves, I understand you want to stay with us,” Irons said, trying to conceal her exhaustion as she sat down at her eighth conference table for the day. “We could probably find you a less hazardous post so you could spend more time with your remaining limbs…”

Ensign Tolon smiled ruefully. “Dr. Tali Shae told me I qualify for a medical discharge under honorable circumstances..”

“Loss of limb qualifies,” Irons said. “How is the prosthetic? It certainly looks natural. I wouldn’t notice it if I didn’t already know.”

Tolon lifted his left hand, then let it drop at full speed onto the malachite table top with a resounding cracking sound. “It registers as pain, but it doesn’t hurt.” He lifted his hand, turned it around. “No damage – that would have at least bruised my other hand, if not broken it. It looks real but… it… just doesn’t feel... real”

Irons laid her hand on Tolon’s prosthetic hand. “It will be some time before this starts to feel normal to you. But I have known other people with prosthetics. You do get used to them. So tell me about your team.”

Tolon looked down, then looked at Irons. “It’s time to let them get on with their lives. They came in as a family unit and Star Fleet kept them together, in spite of normal procedure. They have less than two months before their tour of duty is up. I could see giving them a security assignment far from the front lines, but the Hunter is no place for them to be serving after all this.”

“Why do you think that?” Irons asked.

“I have serious ethical concerns about ever putting those kids in danger of being taken prisoner again,” Tolon responded. “Something that probably needs to be considered when we recruit people from their kind of background. They have done an amazing job, but I don’t think anyone appreciated until now just how traumatized they were by growing up more or less in slavery and deprivation. Rys and Garr are waking up screaming and crying – and they’re far better off than Jarrong and Cantys. Cantys is putting on a brave face, but she spends hours crying every day. And Jarrong is just going through the motions at this point. She has a hard time focusing. They will get better, but not before their tour of duty is up.”

“But here you are, ready to plug this thing in,” Irons tapped Tolon’s prosthetic left hand, “and walk back into the fight?”

“You know, it’s weird,” Tolon said. “You would think at my age – I’m 47 – that all the adventure would have been squeezed out of me by now. But I’ve never felt so alive. I think if I were to go to some backwater and work at a desk at this point… I’d just go mad. It’s like I’m desperate to get out there again. More now than ever.”

“You’re going to need a new team,” Irons said. “I agree with you about your charges – I think I have an alternative for them. We’ll get together with them once we get underway. I am really eager to get back into space.”

After a full day, Justice Irons finally returned to her quarters, desperately needing sleep. She had been assigned a massive suite within the palace – easily the size of deck 8 on the Hunter (which included her quarters, her office, the bridge, the executive conference room and the ground operations center.) Each of the two entrances into her suite was guarded non-stop by two Dai Li agents. 

Irons noticed that these two agents appeared slightly disconcerted, but she was too tired to investigate further and stepped into her drawing room. She was half in a mood to collapse on one of the divans in her drawing room without bothering to make it to the master bedroom… But there were four people in her drawing room waiting for her. And not just any four people. Two humans, a vulcan and an andorian – an aenar, actually…

“It is wonderful that the four of you are together,” Irons mused tiredly. “But in my quarters? This can’t be good…”


Episode 14.2 - When Death Comes: Secret Summit at Ba Sing Se by Robert Bruce Scott
Author's Notes:

Four very important people hold a secret meeting with Justice Minerva Irons in the Imperial Palace at Ba Sing Se...

Star Trek Hunter
Episode 14: When Death Comes

Scene 2: The Secret Summit at Ba Sing Se


The Secret Summit at Ba Sing Se

Two of Justice Minerva Irons’ visitors were on a first-name basis with her and another of them she had met and parted on friendly terms with. So she greeted the fourth, whom she had met only once and under inauspicious circumstances.

“Esteemed Councilmember Ivonovic,” said Irons. “It has been little over a year, but it feels like we last met a lifetime ago.”

“My friends call me Emory, your honor,” Emory Ivonovic replied. “I hope that you will be among them despite the, um, festivities of our last meeting...”

Irons inspected Ivonovic’s face carefully. “You are not the same man I met a year ago.”

“He is not the same man I met a week ago,” intoned Emperor Sin IV. “The overweening ambition is still there, but it is no longer a cold and entirely self-serving ambition.”

Minerva Irons smiled in spite of her exhaustion. “You have earned quite the reputation for speaking your mind, Emperor.”

“I could speak the minds of other people,” the emperor said, turning his blind eyes toward Irons. His antennae were still focused on Ivonovic. “His… Yours… Theirs…” The emperor’s antennae focused on Irons and then the other two in in time to his remarks. “But that would be impolitic. So I usually settle for speaking only my own.”

The other two in the room walked up to Irons. “Minerva,” said a thickly built, dark skinned, middle aged woman.

“Gently, Maria, I have grown brittle with age,” Irons said as the Federation President, Maria Rodriguez, embraced her. As President Rodriguez stepped back, Minerva Irons greeted the vulcan by placing her hand on his chest – he returned the gesture. “Premiere Saoron, you have been traveling widely recently.”

“It appears I have much to undo, Minerva,” said the small, bald, elderly vulcan premiere. “An illness has struck our people and it is far more dangerous and widespread than I had at first imagined. These are perilous times.” He inclined his head toward Ivonovic and Emperor Sin IV. “And perilous times, it seems, call for perilous allies.”

The andorian emperor did not appear to react to this characterization. Ivonovic followed his lead.

“Recent events here threaten our alliance,” said Emperor Sin IV. “It is best our presence here goes unmarked for now. I have heard the rumors that you have heard, Minerva Irons. I vigorously pursue Andoria First and will prosecute them relentlessly. But within the Federation, we are working through our negotiated extradition processes. We are not leaving bodies to waste under the suns of the worlds of our allies.”

“There are a growing number among the homeworld coalition who are accusing you of just that, Emperor,” said Maria Rodriguez. 

“If my forces had taken those people, their bodies would not have been found in lower Trantor. They would have been returned to Andoria for trial,” Shav replied. “I have no desire for war. This is a police action to be conducted quietly and strictly according to our laws and the laws of our allies. I am sending out far more lawyers than soldiers to secure these people.”

Irons put her hand on President Rodriguez's shoulder and turned toward the andorian emperor. “Emperor, I would like to have my forensic investigators conduct an independent autopsy on the bodies of the Andoria First members who were killed last week. I will need a formal request from someone with standing who can require the Trantor authorities to release the bodies.”

“That is something I can accomplish,” Emperor Sin IV responded.


End Notes:

Character:                       Premiere Saoron
Human Ethnicity:            N/A
Additional Species:         Vulcan
Hometown/Homeworld:  Vulcana Regar, Vulcan
Introduced: Episode        14.2
Age when introduced:      189
Role:                                 Premiere, Vulcan High Command

Character:                       President Maria Rodriguez
Human Ethnicity:             Mexican
Additional Species:         N/A
Hometown/Homeworld:  Villa del Rosa, Mexico, Earth
Introduced: Episode        14.2
Age when introduced:      66
Role:                                President of the United Federation of Planets

Episode 14.3 - When Death Comes: Phaser Signatures by Robert Bruce Scott
Author's Notes:

The U.S.S. Hunter's forensic lab swings into action, analyzing the bodies of the murdered members of Andoria First...

Star Trek Hunter
Episode 14: When Death Comes

Scene 3: Phaser Signatures


Phaser Signatures

Even the bureaucracy of Trantor was unable to stand up for a single day to a request from the Emperor of the Andorian Empire. Especially when the emperor’s newly appointed ambassador indicated that if the bodies of the murdered Andorian citizens were not promptly surrendered, that the emperor himself would arrive at the police station, accompanied by an honor guard of 110,000 Andorian Imperial Guardsmen. And by promptly, the ambassador meant immediately.

This was taken as an empty threat for about fifteen minutes, which was the time needed for the Intelligence Division to confirm that two troop carriers were entering orbit with far more than 110,000 andorian soldiers onboard. By the time the first 15,000 Imperial Guardsmen stepped off their landing carriers, the Trantor Police Investigations Division had received a lecture from their legal services division in the relevant treaty law and before that number of Imperial Guardsmen had swollen to 30,000, the 37 andorian corpses were brought forward to be turned over to the Andorian Imperial government.

At this point, events were driven by the andorian bureaucracy, which insisted on landing all 110,000 soldiers so that Emperor Sin IV, resplendent in his white robes, could walk into the Trantor Police Headquarters, surrounded by Andorian Imperial Guardsmen in dress uniform (both inside and outside of the building) and personally receive and, despite his blindness, sign for the bodies in flawless handwriting.

Had this occurred anywhere else in the federation, any other city would have ground entirely to a halt. But this was Trantor and the vast majority of its nearly three billion citizens went on about their day blissfully oblivious to this impromptu State visit that had the Trantor Police Department in a blind panic.

Dr. Tali Shae, although a forensic expert, recused herself from the investigation (at her captain's recommendation) to forestall any grumbling that she might be biased because she was andorian.  This left Dr. Sif as the senior forensic investigator for Star Fleet. However, because the Trantorian medical establishment was abuzz about Dr. Napoleon Boles, the half-bolian biologist joined in the investigation, along with a representative from the Trantor Medical Examiner's office - a bajoran woman named Dr. Orma Nurys. 

The bodies were examined onboard the U.S.S. Hunter, currently landed on the grounds of the Imperial Palace at Ba Sing Se, and the examination broadcast and observed in detail at the Trantor Medical Examiner's office, Trantor Police Headquarters, Star Fleet Planetary Command (also located in Trantor), and the Andorian fleet currently in orbit.

Chain of custody had been verified by Trantor Blue Helmets, who had, at the invitation of the emperor, accompanied the bodies from their release to the Andorian Imperial Guard, onto the andorian shuttles that carried the bodies to Ba Sing Se and stayed with the bodies as they were carried from the shuttles across the Imperial courtyard onto the U.S.S. Hunter and into its forensic labs. At no time were the bodies beamed anywhere, to forestall any charges that they might be tampered with during transport.

Dr. Sif conducted the examinations in the large medical bay to accommodate a large number of witnesses, including the Trantor Police, Star Fleet and a delegation representing the Andorian Empire.

She recorded her forensic notes in a lecture format, which allowed her to simultaneously explain her conclusions to her audience as well as number of viewers and at the same time formally record these forensic notes for later use in a court of law if needed. 

“The older generation of Andorian Imperial Guard (hereafter referred to as AIG) phasers leave a slight crosshatch burn pattern that will indicate the orientation of the emitter,” Sif said. “When the weapon is held in the normal firing position, this slight crosshatch will appear at the top of the wound. The new AIG phasers, issued four years ago, while leaving the telltale burn marks of an andorian phaser, do not leave this small crosshatch pattern. Eighteen of these individuals presented with the crosshatch not oriented the way we would have expected. Either the shooters were holding their weapons sideways, or these victims were not standing when they were shot. Closer examination of the lungs of these victims shows they were exposed to a large amount of anesthetize gas and were probably unconscious when they were killed.”

“We considered the possibility that this action might have been conducted by agents of House Shav,” Sif continued. “While we cannot rule that out categorically, it is counter-indicated by the evidence. House Shav forces are exclusively armed with phasers manufactured by House Shav, which leave an entirely different burn pattern. The weapons that were used for these murders are widely available and will be difficult to trace. When the AIG changed over to the new phasers four years ago, the old weapons were sold as military surplus to ferengi weapons merchants, who have, in turn, sold them to many parties both within and outside of the federation…” 


Episode 14.4 - When Death Comes: Quack Attack by Robert Bruce Scott
Author's Notes:

Lt. Commander Kenny Dolphin, U.S.S. Hunter's Director of Flight Operations, takes his team out to develop some new maneuvers...

Star Trek Hunter
Episode 14: When Death Comes

Scene 4: Quack Attack


Quack Attack

While the U.S.S. Hunter remained parked on the grounds of the Imperial Palace in Ba Sing Se on Cun Ling, Lt. Cmdr. Dolphin had his department in the tactical unit, the wagon and the Hunter's two new long-range interceptors, on the fringes of the A Boo star system, running drills and learning new tactics. This gave his new pilot, Thyssi zh'Qaoleq, an opportunity to qualify on the wagon and the tactical unit, at the same time giving his other pilots a chance to get used to their new team mate.

Recruiting Thyssi was no accident. She had served in the Andorian Imperial Guard as a fighter pilot before joining Star Fleet, where she had served in Commander Red's squadron. Dolphin put her to work training his team in both the tactics she had learned in the AIG and also what she had learned from Commander Red.

These tactics were designed for squadron operations, not for the smaller group of vessels the Hunter could field. Dolphin was particularly interested in using her knowledge to develop new strategies for defending the Hunter against a potential attack by a squadron of interceptors.

"Big ships are most vulnerable from the top and underneath," Chief zh'Qaoleq said. She was flying Interceptor 2.A with Lt. Cmdr. Kenny Dolphin riding 2nd seat. The interceptor's communication system carried her voice to the remainder of the Flight Operations department. 

Chief Guth was piloting Interceptor 1.A with 2nd Lt. Gaia Gamor riding 2nd seat. Flight Specialist Winnifried Salazaar was piloting the wagon with Ensign Ethan Phillips and Navigator Eli Strahl on board. Flight Specialist Dih Terri was piloting the tactical unit with Navigator Johanna Imex next to her at the navigator/tactical station and Lt. Tauk in the command seat behind them.

"Since the wagon and the tactical unit carry additional shielding, I would recommend stationing the wagon above the Hunter's platform and the tactical unit, in inverted position, below the platform's nacelle," Chief zh'Qaoleq continued. 

Because the Hunter's platform was parked in Ba Sing Se, a virtual platform had been programmed into the computers of its support craft. Lt. Tauk was controlling this virtual platform from the command chair in the tactical unit.

Winnifried Salazaar positioned the wagon above the space occupied by this virtual platform and Dih Terri positioned the tactical unit below it.

"Inverted," Dolphin reminded Dih Terri.

In response, Flight Specialist Dih rotated the tactical unit clockwise 180 degrees along its longitudinal axis, flipping it upside down in relation to the wagon flying above it. The tactical unit was nearly twice the size of the wagon, but had less than half the crew space inside as it carried a heavy array of weaponry, additional shields and a complement of a dozen photon torpedoes. 

"By inverting the tactical unit, you maximize the firing range of its phaser cannon relative to the platform," Dolphin continued. "But more importantly, you make it harder for attacking interceptors to target your torpedo tubes.”

“Given the shield configuration of this unit, it also provides optimal shield coverage for the underside of the Hunter platform,” Lt. Tauk added.

“How did he know that?” asked Chief zh’Qaoleq.

“Math genius,” Chief Guth responded.

“Lot of smart people on this crew,” Gaia Gamor added. “You’ll get used to it.”

Chief zh’Qaoleq shook her head, her antennae comically waving the opposite direction. “Okay, Lieutenant Commander, we need three unique names for the attack/defense patterns I have added to our computers. When you call them the first time, we’ll just sit back, let the computers take control and get a feel for each pattern. After a few runs, we will take these birds off autopilot and run the attack patterns at half-speed, double-radius to get a better idea how to accomplish them manually. We shouldn’t run them manually at full speed, tight pattern until we can reliably do it successfully in simulation.”

“I invented these patterns specifically for this configuration,” zh’Qaoleq continued, “so don’t use common Star Fleet pattern terms like ‘alpha’ or “b” or numbers. These need to be three distinct words that everyone can easily remember.”

Lt. Cmdr. Dolphin responded immediately: “Quack, Cackle, Caw.”

“Okay, I speak English, but I do not know those words and my universal translator just gave me bird noises,” zh’Qaoleq said.

“That’s what they are, Thyssi,” said Dewayne Guth.

Chief zh’Qaoleq turned to face Dolphin, in the seat just behind and slightly above her. “Red told me you’re crazy… Bird sounds?”

Dolphin looked back at his newest pilot. Both had brilliant blue eyes. Dolphin let the silence linger for just a moment, then said, slowly, quietly but emphatically: “Quack… Cackle… Caw.”

Thyssi zh’Qaoleq turned back to face forward. “Right. Now we need an additional term to add to each of these so we have a total of six distinct attack/defense patterns. Quack, Cackle and Caw (in Thyssi’s voice, these sounded surprisingly close to the sounds made by a duck, a grackle and a crow respectively) are all stern-to-stem patterns. These can also be run stem-to-stern, designated by an additional term.”

“Back,” Dolphin said.

“All of these attack patterns start with the tactical unit and the wagon in their current configuration,” zh’Qaoleq said, “For the Quack Attack, the interceptors will chase each other around the other three units in a clockwise rotation. Interceptor 1.A on the port side will swivel 180 degrees along its z axis so it is facing rear, then come up over top of the stern of the wagon+Hunter platform+tactical unit configuration - we’ll call that the sandwich. At the same moment, Interceptor 2.A on the starboard side will dive under the sandwich. The interceptors will chase each other around the sandwich from stern to stem. Meanwhile, the wagon and the tactical units will rotate along their z axes so that they keep their sterns to the interceptors – this will allow them to concentrate fire where the interceptors aren’t. The platform will concentrate its firepower fore and aft to avoid hitting any of its support craft. With a gunner riding 2nd seat in each interceptor, the interceptors will select targets and fire as they come into range while maintaining the chase pattern.”

“The Back Quack Attack works the same way, except that Interceptor 1.A will initiate the pattern by flying over the front of the sandwich, which means it will not need to reverse angle at the beginning of the maneuver,” zh’Qaoleq continued. “The Cackle Attack starts with Interceptor 2.A reversing angle and flying over the stern of the sandwich in a counter-clockwise motion. The Caw Attack is the hardest but potentially the most effective with the Interceptor 1.A flying clockwise and Interceptor 2.A flying counter-clockwise around the sandwich…”

“Okay,” said Kenny Dolphin. “Everybody got that? Good! Activate your autopilots and get ready to run the Quack Attack…”


End Notes:

Character:                       Chief Flight Specialist Thyssi zh’Qaoleq
Human Ethnicity:             N/A
Additional Species:          Andorian
Hometown/Homeworld:  Trantor, Cun Ling
Introduced: Episode        14.4
Age when introduced:      23
Role:                                Pilot, U.S.S. Hunter

Episode 14 - When Death Comes by Robert Bruce Scott
Author's Notes:

Introduction for Episode 14: When Death Comes by Commander David Pepper, Ph.D., 1st Officer, U.S.S. Hunter

Star Trek Hunter
Episode 14: When Death Comes

Episode 14 – When Death Comes

Death touches you on the shoulder – not a touch you can feel except in the rising of your flesh and the music of your heart. Even the most courageous warrior will be overcome with fear and may not turn. But if you find the courage to turn, Death will show you a face. That face is not the sum of your fears. It is the face that lives in your own heart. And when you have finally summoned the courage and looked into the face of Death, only then will it be revealed to you, not how to die, but, at long last, how to live.” 

Dr. David Pepper – Introduction to The Great Klingon Poets, Volume 19: The Late Neo-Mystic Tradition.

Crew of the U.S.S. Hunter: (Ship's Interactive Holographic Avatar - Hunter)

At-Large Appellate Justice, Captain Minerva Irons

Chief Executive Officer - Commander David Pepper

Chief Operations Officer - Lt. Commander Mlady


Medical Director - Commander Tali Shae

        Asst. Medical Director - Lt. Jazz Sam Sinder

        Epidemiologist - Lt. Napoleon Boles

                Ensign Chrissiana Trei

                    Forensic Specialist - Midshipman Sif

                        Emergency Medical Hologram - Dr. Raj

                        Tactical Medical Hologram - Dr. Kim


Director of Flight Operations - Lt. Cmdr. Kenneth Dolphin

        Asst. Flight Dir. - 2nd Lt. Gaia Gamor

                        Navigator Johanna Imex

                        Navigator Eli Strahl

                Ensign Ethan Phillips

                        Chief Flight Specialist Dewayne Guth       (Guth rhyms with booth)

                        Chief Flight Specialist Thyssi zh’Qaoleq  (zh’Qaoleq rhymes with CHOC-o-late)

                        Flight Specialist Dih Terri

                        Flight Specialist Winnifreid Salazaar


Director of Ground Operations - Lt. Tauk

        Asst. Ground Ops Dir. - 2nd Lt. T’Lon

                        Investigator Buttans Ngumbo

                        Investigator - vacant

                Ensign Tolon Reeves

                        Tactical Specialist Jarrong

                        Tactical Specialist Belo Rys

                        Tactical Specialist Belo Garr

                        Tactical Specialist Belo Cantys   (Cantys rhymes with panties)


Director of Engineering - Lt. Sarekson Carrera

        Asst. Engineering Dir. - 2nd Lt. Moon Sun Salek

                  Midshipman Tammy Brazil

                        Transporter Engineer K'rok

                Ensign Sun Ho Hui

                        Flight Engineer Yolanda Thomas

                        Flight Engineer Thomas Hobbs

                        Flight Engineer Tomos

                        Flight Engineer Kerry Gibbon

Episode 14.5 - When Death Comes: Taking One for the Team by Robert Bruce Scott
Author's Notes:

Lt. T'Lon and Ensign Tolon discuss a new assignment for the U.S.S. Hunter's tactical squad...

Star Trek Hunter
Episode 14: When Death Comes

Scene 5: Taking One For The Team


Taking One For The Team

“I know the four of you were hoping to spend the rest of your lives on this ship, running dangerous missions, getting shot at, and taking down the federation’s most dangerous criminals…” Ensign Tolon Reeves looked at his four young charges. Not a single smile. Even in a formal meeting in the executive conference room with Justice Minerva Irons, Lt. Tauk and 2nd Lt. T’Lon, Jarrong was simply unable to focus and while Belo Cantys was putting on a brave face, even her bravest face was a distraught one.

The U.S.S. Hunter was finally underway again, en route to Star Base Eleven. 

Belo Rys put her hand on Tolon’s arm as if to reassure him, then quickly pulled her hand away as she realized she was touching his prosthetic arm. Belo Garr was trying very hard not to appear sullen and belligerent - unsuccessfully. 

T’Lon put her hand on Tolon’s other shoulder, looked around the table at her former charges. When they looked at her, they each focused first on the pencil-thin scar on her right cheek - the top half of her right ear missing. “When I brought the four of you aboard, you were already a team, already a family. Star Fleet recognized your special status and kept you together at Justice Irons’ recommendation - a recommendation that T’Lok Smith and I drafted. And suddenly you became part of a larger family, for the first time in your lives. And then you lost T’Lok and while that was hard on all of us - it was so much harder on you because all of you were there. And you couldn’t save her. You very nearly died with her. And now just a few short days apart you lost Joey Chin and Lynhart Shran. And there was nothing you could have done to save either of them. And you very nearly lost Tolon Reeves, but Jarrong…”

Jarrong finally looked up, looking at T’Lon.

“Jarrong, you saved him,” T’Lon said. “You weren’t completely helpless down there. You brought Ensign Tolon out alive. And you brought each other out alive. And now it’s our turn.” T’Lon looked at Justice Irons.

“I have been in contact with Rear Admiral Burton,” Irons said. “It appears she has need for a special security squad that can serve as an emergency response team. You are being reassigned to Star Base Eleven. We are on course to deliver you and should arrive within four days. The time has come for you to make your farewells to your friends here. Because of the events that cut short our shore leave on Cun Ling, we have been granted four days shore leave on Ocean. So you have eight days to say your good byes. But it will not be for forever.”

Cantys looked up. “Can we have common accommodations on Star Base Eleven?”

Irons looked at her levelly. “No. I am aware you have taken to sleeping on the couches in the Ground Operations Lounge instead of in your pods. That is a violation of safety protocols, but I think we can set those aside for now. You will not have common accommodations on Star Base Eleven because your duty post will be on Ocean and your quarters will be in the main resort. I will see to it that you are assigned a common suite. You will serve as lifeguards for visiting Star Fleet crews until such time as the Irons family can arrange to employ additional lifeguards. For my own selfish reasons, I am hoping you will apply to the Irons family for those positions in two months when your tour of duty with Star Fleet is over.”

“But Ensign Tolon…” Belo Rys started.

“This moment was inevitable, Rys,” said Irons. “We do not have the facilities or expertise to provide Cantys the help she needs with what will be a very complicated pregnancy. Or to provide the years of genetic therapy her children will need to survive and thrive. SB11 has those resources. I had assumed that all of you would want to stay with her at least until her children are born...”

All four of the tactical squad members nodded - the realization finally dawning on them that there was really no way they could continue to serve aboard the Hunter. Their expressions of fear and anguish began to dissolve into relief. The need to take care of Cantys during her pregnancy somehow lifted the tint of shame and failure from their reassignment - and their new lives on Ocean suddenly became something they could look forward to without shame.

“Then it is settled. The four of you will go to Ocean,” Irons said. “Ensign Tolon will be staying with us. But I also have a selfish reason for wanting you on Ocean. My service with Star Fleet is, finally, after all these many years, nearing an end and I plan to retire to spend my few remaining years on Ocean. I do not think it will be very long before I join you there and I really want to see Lynhart’s children grow up - at least as much as I can see of them as my remaining time will allow. I do not know how much time I have left - not much, I fear, but it will be long enough to see the four of you healed, strong and happy. That will happen.”

- * -

That evening Justice Minerva Irons was relaxed on her bed enjoying the afterglow of a wonderfully gentle, expert massage. Eli Strahl lay next to her, gently tracing her hairline with a finger. A small amount of glowing, emerald wine from Ba Sing Se lurked in the bottom of a bottle on the nightstand next to two glasses, each of which had traces of luminescent green residue.


“You are a very ambitious young man,” Irons said. “So tell me your ambition. I may not be fully telepathic, but I can feel this in you.”

“My fondest ambition is here,” Strahl replied, speaking slowly, enjoying non-telepathic communication. “I knew you would be amazing, all those years of experience…”

“Oh… that… that’s more of a personal obsession. But yes, some things do get better with practice. That and it has been a very, very long time…”

“For now, that is the limit of my ambition - at least as much of it as I am prepared to share,” Strahl said.

“Fair enough,” Irons replied, trailing her fingers along his chest.

She felt his terror before it made it to his face - withdrew her hand as Eli’s handsome face drained of blood and turned into a rictus of fear. He tried to speak, but was too terrified. His mind shrieked suddenly and he blacked out.

Irons’ mind was deafened by the young navigator’s telepathic scream of terror - her eyes opened wide - she took a deep, shuddering breath. His words screamed in her mind. Then suddenly she understood them - an impossibility loomed horribly over them as she drew the navigator to her - simultaneously seeking protection and trying to protect the young man from the horrifying apparition that was looming over them both:


Minerva Irons fell unconscious next to the young navigator. Her eyes, like his, were squeezed shut, as though trying to close out something horrible - whimpering in terror as consciousness escaped her…


Episode 14.6 - When Death Comes: Running in Circles by Robert Bruce Scott
Author's Notes:

During a routine training run, flight operation personnel suddenly attack the U.S.S. Hunter at the same moment the executive staff are suddenly incapacitated...

Star Trek Hunter
Episode 14: When Death Comes

Scene 6: Running In Circles


Running In Circles

Lt. Cmdr. Kenny Dolphin was in the captain’s chair. He had slowed the U.S.S. Hunter to sublight speed at Dr. Carrera’s request - some strange reading down in engineering - nothing to worry about, but worth checking out… It was an increasingly frequent request. Ever since the Hunter’s refit, Engineering Director Sarekson Carrera was a little jumpy whenever any reading strayed from the strictest of nominal ranges. Carrera’s descriptions of the potential consequences of failure of the zip drive were sufficiently horrifying that the command staff took his worries seriously.

Dolphin was taking the opportunity to run drills on the new attack forms that Chief Thyssi zh’Qaoleq (in coordination with Chief Dewayne Guth) had designed for the Hunter. His staff had been working these drills using the training simulators built into their individual spacecraft, but there was nothing like the real thing. Dolphin was delighted with these new forms - they maximized the fighting potential of the Hunter and, seen from a drone stationed to record these drills from a distance, were simply impressive - essentially turning the Hunter and its small group of support craft into a buzz saw of phaser fire in every direction.

This was a very useful development as the U.S.S. Vox had recently been swarmed by orion slavers using heavy interceptors and had only managed to escape by reaching warp 9 -  the orion interceptors had gotten up to warp 8 before having to drop away. Interceptor combat outside of heavily defended solar systems and space stations was only now becoming possible due to the miniaturization of warp engines and improvements in shielding that allowed interceptors to travel at high warp. 

2nd Lt. T’Lon called in. “Hunter, this is the tactical unit, T’Lon commanding. Winnifreid Salazaar has lost consciousness.”

“All units this is Dolphin. Abort drill, interceptors go wide, all units dock, tactical unit first.”

With the “Go Wide” command, Interceptor 1.A (which docked on the port side), with Dewayne Guth piloting, flew off to the Hunter’s port side. Interceptor 2.A, with Dih Terri piloting, went off to starboard. Gaia Gamor and Thyssi zh’Qaoleq in the wagon dropped back behind the Hunter to allow the tactical unit to dock first. 

“Hunter, this is Gaia in the wagon. Thyssi has also lost consciousness.”

“Bring your bird in next, Gaia,” said Dolphin. “Medical - emergency beamout for Winnifreid Salazaar on the tactical unit and Thyssi zh’Qaoleq on the wagon.”

At that moment the Hunter shook, having sustained a phaser hit from Interceptor 2.A. 

“Shields up!” Dolphin commanded. “Hunter, do we have a breach?”

The elderly looking avatar appeared on the bridge, said, “No,” and promptly vanished. 

Dolphin did not have time to puzzle out this bizarre holographic behavior. “Terri, what the hell are you doing?” 

Dih Terri continued her attack run on her own ship. The interceptor’s phasers were only able to degrade the Hunter’s shields because of how close she was.

“Phillips, get control of that interceptor. Take control of both of them and put them on our wings. Transporter Engineer K’rok, emergency beamout of Dih Terri from Interceptor 2.A - put her in the brig.”

“Aye sir, I have her,” came K’rok’s voice. “She is in brig unit 1.”

“Sir, I need you to put me in the brig too, do it fast,” came Dewayne Guth’s voice. “I’m just barely holding on…”

“K’rok, keep this channel open. Get Dewayne out of Interceptor 1.A and put him in brig unit 2. Phillips - dock those interceptors remotely. Hunter, what the hell is going on?”

The ship’s avatar did not appear, but his voice came over the comm system. “Dr. Jazz is unconscious in the medical office. Chrissiana Trei and Sif have armed themselves and have left medical. They have deactivated their communicators and I cannot track them.”

Dolphin swiveled to face Ensign Tolon Reeves, who was currently at the tactical station. “Ensign, I cannot leave your station unmanned. Contact your squad and instruct them to take down Sif and Trei. Treat them as armed and deadly - stun on sight.” He turned back to the viewscreen in time to see the heads-up display reading the interceptors entering their bays. “Gamor, arm yourself and protect the wagon and the interceptors. I don’t want anything leaving the bays.”

“Aye sir,” came Gamor’s voice.

“Hunter, wake the command staff.”

“I have been trying, Lieutenant Commander. Dr. Tali Shae and Lieutenant Commander Mlady are unconscious in the medical director’s office. Dr. Jazz is unconscious in main medical. Commander Pepper is unconscious in his quarters. Captain Irons and Navigator Strahl are unconscious in the captain's quarters. None of them are responsive.”

Dolphin looked around, briefly confused. “Why didn't the alert sound when... Sound General Quarters!” he ordered. “Get everybody up - everybody who can get up. Must be something local,” Dolphin mused as the comm system emitted a series of ear-piercing shrieks and red and white beacons began flashing. “Sarekson, can we go to warp?”

“Lieutenant Commander? This is Kerry Gibbon in engineering. Everyone is acting strangely down here. Dr. Carrera is barely moving - he looks terrified. They all do. It’s like they’re moving in slow motion. I’m having to keep them away from the controls. They are trying to do strange things.”

“K’rok, beam everyone out of engineering except for Engineer Gibbon. Let’s put them in brig units for safety,” Dolphin ordered.

T’Lon finally came down from the tactical unit. She was clearly not herself - moving slowly as if in a daze. “Kenny… get.. Ethan…”

Dolphin turned to see Ensign Ethan Phillips entering way too many commands into the pilot’s station. With a few quick entries on the arm panel of the captain’s chair, Dolphin locked out the pilot’s console. Phillips slammed both fists on the pilot’s console and stood up in a rage.

“K’rok, get Phillips and T’Lon into the brig - now!”

Ensign Ethan Phillips had taken one step toward Dolphin before he dissolved in a haze of lights. T’Lon went next.

“Hunter, deactivate all hand phasers throughout the ship. Reeves, tell your team to prepare for hand to hand, but watch out - those trills might have figured out how to isolate their phasers. Napoleon, where are you?”

“I’m in medical, Dr. Jazz has suffered a concussion, but he is conscious… barely...”

“Go to the medical director’s office, check on Mlady and Dr. Tali Shae. If Mlady was feeding when they went down, Commander Shae may have lost a lot of blood,” said Dolphin. “Dr. Raj, Dr. Kim activate. Dr. Raj, go to Commander Pepper’s quarters and check on him. Dr. Kim, report to Justice Irons’ quarters. Stabilize them, wake them if you can, then check on our people in the brig. K’rok, I need you to make sure Tomos, Dr. Moon, Dr. Sun, Thomas Hobbs, Johanna Imex, and… um… Yolanda Thomas - make sure they are all secured in brig units.”


“Do you have a hearing problem? NOW Specialist!”

“Aye, Lieutenant Commander!”

“What are you doing?” asked, Ensign Tolon Reeves.

Dolphin was already at the pilot’s station, entering commands. “Ethan was trying to lock out the warp drive. Whatever this is, it’s going after our telepaths, Reeves,” Dolphin replied. “I know Sarekson’s only an eighth vulcan, but evidently that’s enough. Just about our entire engineering department is part vulcan.”

“What about the trills?” Tolon asked. “They’re not telepathic…”

“Unjoined trills. Easily telepathically dominated,” said Dolphin, still entering commands into the pilot’s console. “Dewayne's half-trill. Which is why he was able to hold out a little longer. Whatever this is, it’s behaving like a telepath going after the easy prey first. Better clinch up, Reeves. This thing is coming for us next. Find Tauk.” 

“He was taking one of his prescribed naps. As soon as you sounded general quarters he reported to ground ops,” Tolon replied.

“Get him in here to take your station. I need you to go to deck 4 and join your team. Take care of those kids - I have a feeling they're next,” Dolphin said. “Don’t hesitate to put them in the brig the moment they start acting funny.”

“We’re going to end up with the whole crew in the brig,” said Tolon. 

“Let’s just hope we can stay ahead of this thing long enough to save them. Lock off access to this deck behind you,” Dolphin said to Tolon as Tauk entered the bridge. “Tauk - take tactical and lock off the bridge and the corridor access hatch to the tactical unit. Search our local spacetime environment. See if you can find anything that might be doing this to us.”

“I was doing that from ground ops,” Lt. Tauk replied as Ensign Tolon exited the bridge. “I found some subspace instabilities, but I really don’t know much about subspace. I tried to ask Dr. Carrera about it, but apparently he’s in the brig. Do we need the General Quarters alert to continue sounding?” asked Tauk.

                “Hunter, shut off the alert lights and the klaxon…” said Dolphin. 


                                              Dolphin looked around as the lights continued strobing and the siren kept wailing.



Episode 14.7 - When Death Comes: Trill Seeking by Robert Bruce Scott
Author's Notes:

As the crew of the U.S.S. Hunter quickly succomb to an unnamed fear, Lt. Cmdr. Dolphin barely manages to stay one step ahead of the cascading disaster...

Star Trek Hunter
Episode 14: When Death Comes
Scene 7: Trill Seeking


Trill Seeking

The moment the U.S.S. Hunter shuddered from a direct phaser hit, Belo Garr’s pathetic attempt at sleep was over with. He and Belo Rys were on the couches in the ground operations lounge. Jarrong and Belo Cantys were in a holographic bed. The power of the hit knocked Garr off the couch. Rys sat bolt up, then jumped up. Both immediately went to Jarrong and Cantys. Cantys was out of bed before they got to her.  Jarrong sat bolt upright. 

“Jarrong, squad, arm yourselves - set phasers to heavy stun,” came Tolon’s voice through their embedded communicators. “Dr. Chrissiana Trei and Dr. Sif have armed themselves with phasers and deactivated their communicators. Treat as deadly, stun on sight, assume their phasers are set to kill. I need you to take them down and put them in the brig.”

Almost the moment Tolon finished his message, the emergency beacons began strobing red and white and the klaxon for general quarters sounded. Investigator Buttans Ngumbo was just emerging from his pod and saw the tactical squad members retrieving their hand phasers from their sleeping/escape pods. He armed himself as well.

“Ngumbo, we have to stun Chrissiana Trei and Sif on sight,” said Garr. “They’re at large with their communicators off and with phasers apparently set to kill.”

“Two teams,” said Jarrong. “Ngumbo, take Garr and Cantys. You track starboard, Rys and I will take port. Let’s start with computer control on this floor, then skip down to navigation/deflector control on deck 2, then main Engineering. Those are the critical control points if someone is trying to use Dr. Sif and Dr. Trei to take the ship.”

“Get tricorders,” said Buttans. “Be sure to check the Jeffries Tubes for lifesigns. We don’t want to get shot in the back.”

"What do you mean, someone trying to use them to take the ship?" asked Cantys.

"They're unjoined trills," Jarrong responded.

"Admiral Scumuk used telepathically dominated trills to take over the U.S.S. Atul Goel last year," said Garr. "Remember?"

Only a moment later, Belo Garr was creeping along the starboard hallway on deck 4, followed by Belo Cantys and then Buttans Ngumbo. The ground operations lounge was on the port side of deck 4 and the director’s lounge was on the starboard side. Two parallel hallways led down the length of the deck with the computer control room in the middle, flanked by the lounges. The two groups met at a joining hallway toward the front of deck 4, just behind one of the torpedo bays. It was at this point that Tolon informed them that all hand phasers ship wide had been deactivated: "But assume the trills have managed to isolate their phasers - and that they are set to kill."

After clearing the torpedo bay, computer control and the director’s lounge, the two groups met again at the adjoining hallway at the rear of deck 4, which led to a door to a cargo bay flanked by the lift tubes. 

Both groups were waiting for the lifts when the knuckle-whitening noise of the general quarters klaxon was finally replaced with silence, which was a relief for only a few seconds. The Hunter was dead in space. None of the engines were operating at the moment. It was far, far too quiet.

Jarrong nearly jumped out of her skin at the quiet chime of the port lift arriving. Belo Rys held the lift door open until the starboard lift arrived. She and Jarrong each held up two fingers as the lift door closed. This signal was reflected by Belo Garr and Belo Cantys on the starboard lift.

Just riding past deck 3 down to deck 2 on the lift seemed to take an eternity. The emergency beacon on the lift was no longer flashing - it was just a solid red indicating that the ship was still at red alert. These beacons, which were located on the walls just about a foot below eye-level, were almost never on. They could flash yellow or red and white. Typically, after flashing for a few moments, they would go to a solid yellow or red. Jarrong and Belo Rys crouched into a ready stance, then emerged quickly from the lift as it arrived on deck 2. The starboard lift arrived only a second later, disgorging the remainder of the ground team. 

Deck 2 was the lowest and smallest deck in the oval section (referred to on previous designs as the saucer section). The center of the deck was dominated by the warp core, which projected up from the engineering decks below. Ladders led down the front and rear of deck 2 to the engineering decks. Small cargo and gear storage units lined the outer walls at the rear and along the port and starboard sides of deck 2. 

Jarrong and Belo Rys crept along the port side, crouched low. They could not see any movement in engineering below. Through the safety railing, they could see Belo Garr, Belo Cantys and Buttans Ngumbo creeping along the starboard side. Garr snapped his fingers quietly, gathering Jarrong’s and Rys’ attention, pointed to his eyes, then pointed down into the front, port side of the engineering deck below. Jarrong had to stretch over the railing to look down into that area. 

Someone was laying on the floor two decks below and she could see the back of someone else at an engineering panel next to the warp core. 

Jarrong quietly snapped her fingers, gathering everyone’s attention. She pointed to Garr, then pointed at the ladder at the front of the railing leading down into the engineering section. She pointed to Buttans and Cantys and pointed to the door at the front of deck 2 leading into navigation/deflector control. She tapped Rys on the shoulder and pointed at the ladder at the back of deck 2 that led down into the engineering section.

Jarrong snapped her fingers quietly again, making sure all eyes were on her. She held up three fingers, then two, then one, then ran quickly at a crouch toward the rear ladder, followed by Rys. Garr, Cantys and Buttans Ngumbo ran forward. Garr swung onto the ladder at the front of deck 2, wrapping his legs around the sides, letting himself slide down as if sliding down a fire pole - straight through the access for deck 1 and down to the front of the main engineering deck below. Jarrong and Rys, using the same technique, were sliding down through the deck 1 access to the rear of the main engineering deck.

Ensign Chrissiana Trei turned from the engineering console she was working at and fired her phaser at Jarrong. She missed widely, hitting the shielding around the warp core instead, sending a spray of sparks and lightning within the engineering deck and setting off the alert klaxon again. Jarrong tackled the doctor, slamming her to the deck. At the same moment, Belo Rys broke the doctor’s arm, causing her to drop the phaser. 

Dr. Trei continued struggling, despite her broken arm until Jarrong knocked her out with a left roundhouse.

“K’rok - emergency beamout, main engineering. Dr. Trei needs medical attention.” Belo Rys used her tricorder to reactivate the communicator embedded in Chrissiana Trei’s chest.

                                “K’rok? Emergency beamout...” 


“This is Midshipman Brazil, engaging transport. I don’t know where Transporter Engineer K’rok is.”

Jarrong looked at Belo Rys. “Let’s hope he hasn’t gone rogue. He would be a lot harder to take down than this one.” She gestured toward Ensign Trei, who was at that moment dissolving in a haze of transporter lights.

Belo Garr was helping Engineer Kerry Gibbon to his feet. “I was running from her and slipped - hit my head on something.” He gestured vaguely at a safety railing.

“Be glad you did, Kerry,” said Belo Rys. She was deactivating the phaser.  “Set to kill,” she said.

“She hit the warp core,” said Jarrong. “Set off a lightning show - are we going to be alright?”

Kerry Gibbon was inspecting the engineering workstation that Dr. Trei had been at. He glanced over his shoulder at the warp core and with a quick entry into the panel, shut off the klaxon again. “That? You could train a dozen phaser rifles on it all day every day and never get through that shielding. That shielding isn’t there to protect the warp core against us. It’s there to protect us from the warp core. But this is bad news…” he gestured at the console.

“What was she doing?” Belo Garr asked.

“Bridge, this is Kerry Gibbon in Engineering…”

Lt. Cmdr. Kenneth Dolphin's voice came over the comm system: “Dolphin here, go ahead Mr. Gibbon.”

“Sir, Dr. Trei was trying to initiate a recursive static warp shell.”

“What does that mean, Engineer?”

“You know all those horrible things Dr. Carrera said would happen if we have a misbalance in the warp core while using recursive warp? Initiating a recursive static warp shell is the most surefire way of making all those horrible things happen.”

“Can we go to warp in standard configuration, Mr. Gibbon?” Dolphin asked.

“Give me a few minutes to clear all these commands and make sure there aren’t any other traps in the system. A lot of people have been entering weird commands into these consoles down here,” Gibbon responded.

“T’Lok?” came Dolphin’s voice - distantly - sounding as though he were filled with wonder.

                “Sir?” said Gibbon…

                            “Lieutenant Commander??”

                                                      “Doctor Dolphin???”

- * -

At the same time that Belo Rys, Belo Garr and Jarrong were sliding down the ladders from deck 2 to the main engineering deck, Buttans Ngumbo and Belo Cantys stormed into deflector control. Before Dr. Sif could retrieve her phaser, Ngumbo swatted it away, captured the small trill and twisted her quickly into a choke hold. Sif struggled desperately, but her girlish figure had nowhere near the strength required to escape from a fully trained Maasai warrior.

“I’m taking her back to medical,” Ngumbo said, then looked up in surprise. “Lieutenant Gamor?”

2nd Lt. Gaia Gamor walked into the control room. “What’s going on? Director Dolphin told me to come down here and find out what happened to Hunter. The main computer control room hasn’t been opened, so whatever is interfering with Hunter had to come either from here or Dr. Carrera’s office.”

“I think I have the culprit here,” said Buttans. “I’m taking her up to medical." Buttans cast a glance at the phaser that Dr. Sif had been reaching for. "Dr. Sif might have isolated that one before all the phasers were deactivated."

Gamor picked up Sif's phaser. "Looks like she did. And it was set to kill." Gamor reset the phaser to heavy stun, then settled at the console Dr. Sif had been working at.

Sif was growling and grunting with the effort to escape from Buttans.

Buttans looked at Gamor. "I have to take this little bundle of joy to medical. Cantys, stay here and guard Lieutenant Gamor…” Buttans looked around…




Episode 14.8 - When Death Comes: The Dead by Robert Bruce Scott
Author's Notes:

The dead walk among the Hunter's crew, taking victims...

Star Trek Hunter
Episode 14: When Death Comes

Scene 8: The Dead


The Dead

Lt. Tauk cleared the klaxon and set the beacons to steady red with a few commands into the tactical console. 

“Gaia,” said Lt. Cmdr. Kenneth Dolphin, “something has happened to Hunter. I think someone has tampered with his code. I need you to go find the problem and fix it. Bring Hunter back. We need to go to warp as soon as possible. I have deactivated all hand phasers, but the trills might have isolated theirs. You're going to have to rely on your krav maga. Drop any trill you see. Watch out for everyone else too. If anyone acts strangely or aggressively, drop them.”

“Understood, I think,” came 2nd Lt. Gaia Gamor’s voice over the comm system.

“Lock off the docking bays and deck 8 on your way down,” Dolphin ordered.

“So what do we do now?” asked Tauk.

“I’m fairly certain this is local,” Dolphin replied. “We need to go to warp, but I can’t do it from this console. We’re locked out of engineering and I can’t reconfigure the controls from here. I haven’t been able to raise Gibbon down there. Either one of the trills got to him - or whatever got to them found a way to get to him.”

“So what’s the plan?” Tauk asked. 

Dolphin leaned back in the pilot’s chair, turned around to look at Tauk. “We wait.”

“You don’t seem to have been doing a lot of that…”

“At this point there’s not much else we can do,” Dolphin responded. “We need to keep both of these stations manned and the bridge locked. We need Hunter back.”

“What if Gamor can’t get him back?” asked Tauk.

“She has a Ph.D. in Astrophysics. You don’t get one of those without being able to prime a warp core. If nothing else, I will send her down to Engineering to restart the engines so we can go to warp.”

“And face the trills, by herself?” Tauk said.

“Assuming your people don’t take care of them first. I heard about Tolon’s new squad. Pretty glad we’ve got the old ones at the moment and not them,” Dolphin said.

Tauk coughed - hard - then said, “Assume my team doesn’t get the job done, you’re just going to send Gaia in there without backup?”

Dolphin grinned - grimly - “Sometimes it sucks to be number 2. But Gamor is also proficient at krav maga. She made it into the semi-finals at the academy her senior year.”

The comm system suddenly came to life, bringing the youngest engineer’s voice into the room: “Bridge, this is Kerry Gibbon in Engineering…”

“Dolphin here, go ahead Mr. Gibbon.”

“Sir, Dr. Trei was trying to initiate a recursive static warp shell.”

Dolphin shook his head, tried not to sound exasperated. “What does that mean, Engineer?”

“You know all those horrible things Dr. Carrera said would happen if we have a misbalance in the warp core while using recursive warp? Initiating a recursive static warp shell is the most surefire way of making all those horrible things happen.”

Dolphin hit the side of the pilot’s console in frustration. “Can we go to warp in standard configuration, Mr. Gibbon?”

“Give me a few minutes to clear all these commands and make sure there aren’t any other traps in the system. A lot of people have been entering weird commands into these consoles down here,” Gibbon responded.


Tauk started coughing, hard. Dolphin spun around to look, then stood up, eyes wide – all amazed – he could not believe his eyes…

Tauk was coughing his lung out, pointing, an expression of sheer terror on his face. He fell back against the wall, one hand to his chest, the other pointing. He slid down to the floor, still pointing. 

Dolphin had no idea why. His mind was filled with wonder. He took a few steps toward the back of the bridge… “T’Lok???”

- * -

Tactical Specialist Belo Cantys turned when she heard her name called. She couldn’t believe what she saw. She raced out of navigation/deflector control in pursuit. One lift door was closing, so she took the other. She had an instinct where to go. She took the lift to deck 4 and saw the door to the ground operations lounge closing. She raced into the lounge and into his arms.

“This is the only place we can be safe, kid,” came a familiar, gravelly voice. He lifted her easily and backed into his sleeping/escape pod. The one that had remained empty since that horrible day in orbit of Cun Ling.

“How??” she asked, only to be shushed. 

Investigator Lynhart Shran whispered. “We have to be quiet or he’ll hear us… You don’t want him to find us. I can keep you safe here, but I can’t handle him if he finds us. He’s too strong…”

“Who??” asked Cantys.

“Shhhh… We have better things to do, kid… I’ve missed you…”

- * -

Tactical Specialist Jarrong heard a muted, mewling whimper. She wandered off in search of it. It was coming from deck one, which consisted of a small platform with a few workstations located about the middle of the warp drive units and Dr. Carrera’s office, which was located at the back of the deck, flanked by the lifts. She made her way up the ladder near the back of the Main Engineering deck and swung onto deck one.

The pathetic, whimpering, mewling sound was coming from Dr. Carrera’s office. She entered the office, but couldn’t find where the sound was coming from. Then she remembered that Dr. Carrera used to sleep on a cot in an alcove behind his office. Jarrong found the door that led into this alcove - actually a storage area that Carrera had reconfigured so that he could take naps in it.

Jarrong started crying immediately and knelt next to the cot. It was awash with blood and entrails. Joey Chin could no longer speak. He was trying to hold his intestines inside, but there wasn’t enough structure left to his midsection and his intestines were spilling from his hands.

“Oh no, no, no, no, no, no…” Jarrong used one hand to help hold Joey’s entrails in place as gently as she could. She laced the fingers of her other hand into his unbelievably soft hair and kissed his face, rocking and crying as she held him, feeling his life slowly slipping out of their hands. “No, no, no, baby, no, no, no, no, no, no…” she repeated over and over - his blood and entrails all over her hand and her uniform as she cradled his head, alternately kissing his face and laying her cheek against him, bitter tears pouring from her eyes.

His horrible death was interminable. Every time she thought he had died, only a few moments later he would take a rasping, gurgling breath and begin crying in terror and pain again.

- * -

“Jarrong?” Belo Garr looked around, wondering where his cousin was. Behind him, Flight Engineer Kerry Gibbon was working furiously to undo whatever Chrissiana Trei had done to the warp drive system. Fortunately, Chrissiana Trei was a medical doctor, not a warp field engineer.

Garr turned the other direction and suddenly found a large, ancient hand on his face. His face went pale as terror drove the blood from his skin to hide deeper in his body, his mouth partly open, lips stretched in terror as he looked into a pair of bright hypnotic blue eyes. An ancient face, horrible with the intensity of its corrupt, evil intent. Garr fought, trying to punch his way out, but his hands - his arms - his legs betrayed him - remaining still at the command of the ancient vulcan’s mind. 

As commanded, Garr turned around, seized the back of Kerry Gibbon’s head in his hand and smashed the engineer’s face against the engineering console, then drove his knee into Gibbon’s ribs - hard. To Garr’s surprise, as soon as Gibbon hit the deck, the engineer’s body dematerialized in a haze of lights.

- * -

Ensign Tolon Reeves ducked into one of the Jeffries Tubes on deck 4 to escape an andorian patrol. He worked his way down to deck 3 and ducked into another Jeffries Tube to find his way down to Deck 2. But a pale blue teenage andorian girl was blocking his way. She looked disturbingly familiar. 

The andorian girl pointed a trembling pale blue finger at Reeves - her voice an unnatural scream with the power of a torrent of voices - high and piercing - low and thunderous: 


Tolon tried to scramble out of the tube, crawling backward. The teenage andorian girl reached up, sized a handful of her own hair and lifted her own head off her shoulders. She threw her head at him - her decapitated corpse collapsed in the tube - her now disembodied head approaching in slow motion - there was nothing Tolon could do - there was nowhere to escape this gruesome, dripping, pale blue missile. Her bright blue eyes accusing him, burning into him - her scream of rage deafening him.

Reeves was too terrified to scream - he could barely whimper in terror and guilt…

Then her horrible face collided with his. His head slapped back against the airlock wheel on the Jeffries Tube hatch behind him, dealing him a blow of blinding pain - Reeves gradually lost consciousness with the young andorian girl’s horrible, bloody, enraged, accusing teenage face pressed to his - her blood oozing onto his uniform - her antennae slapping down onto his forehead.

- * -

Tactical Specialist Belo Garr hurried up the ladder to deck 2 and barreled into the open doorway of navigation/deflector control room - only to be met with a sustained phaser blast in the chest. He managed to stand up for two seconds, then crashed, unconscious, to the deck.

2nd Lt. Gaia Gamor shoved Garr’s unconscious body out of the room, then brought her phaser up again as Garr's half-sister, Belo Rys, came onto deck 2 from the ladder - her face also distorted with fear. Another two seconds with a solid phaser beam on heavy stun and Rys fell to the deck as well. 

Gamor closed and locked the door, then changed her phaser setting and fried the door controls from the inside, effectively sealing herself inside navigation/deflector control.

“Hunter, I’m trying to bring you back. The moment I start doing anything that hampers your functioning, I want you to fill this room with anesthetize gas and keep me unconscious. That is an order, Hunter,” Gamor said, then turned her attention back to the console.


Episode 14.9 - When Death Comes: Messages From the Other Side by Robert Bruce Scott
Author's Notes:

The dead speak....

Star Trek Hunter
Episode 14: When Death Comes

Scene 9: Messages From The Other Side


Messages From The Other Side

“The only place I can protect you is the tactical unit. You can beam T’Lon in from the brig unit and I can protect both of you there,” said Lieutenant T’Lok Smith.

Lt. Commander Kenny Dolphin hugged her. “We’ve all missed you so much…”

T’Lok laughed lightly and tapped Kenny’s forehead. “I’ve been right here all along, Kenny. I haven’t gone anywhere.”

“What about Tauk?”

Lt. Tauk had lost consciousness and was laying, propped up against the wall between the rear exit to the bridge and the hatch that led up to the tactical unit. A small amount of blood was seeping from his mouth. Only now was it apparent how much weight the small, sickly ferengi had lost over the past year.

“He is as safe as he can be at this point,” said T’Lok.

Dolphin turned around, looking at the pilot’s console. “I have to get these people out of here. I have to get us to warp…”

T’Lok put her hand on his shoulder. “He’s coming, Kenny. I cannot protect you from him here. You cannot survive him. The only place I can protect you is in the tactical unit. You need to save T’Lon…”

Dolphin turned slowly and started walking toward the hatch. He opened it, gestured for T’Lok to enter first, then entered and closed the hatch behind him, climbed the ladder up into the tactical unit, then, after letting T’Lok up after him, closed and sealed this hatch…

- * -

Dr. Sif was still struggling as Investigator Buttans Ngumbo brought her into sick bay. The moment they entered, Lt. Napoleon Boles stepped forward and administered a sedative to her neck with a hyposyringe. The diminutive, red-headed trill collapsed in Buttans' arms and he nearly dropped her.

After a quick medical examination, Boles helped Buttans secure Sif in one of the brig units. Investigator Buttans reviewed the brig cell units, naming off the occupants: “Dih Terri, Dewayne Guth, Thyssi zh’Qaoleq, Winnifried Salazaar, Ethan Phillips, T’Lon, Dr. Carrera, Thomas Hobbs, Dr. Moon, Dr. Sun, Yolanda Thomas, Johanna Imex, Tomos, Eli Strahl, Dr. Jazz, Dr. Trei, Dr. Tali Shae… Mlady?... You have Lieutenant Commander Mlady in here??”

Boles responded evenly. “She’s the most dangerous person on the ship. If she goes berserk, that’s the ball game. I have Pep quarantined in his quarters and Irons quarantined in hers…”

“It doesn’t look like they’re having very pleasant dreams. How many people do we have left?”

Lt. Boles consulted a medical console: “I’m showing you, me, Lieutenant Commander Dolphin, Lieutenant Gamor, Ensign Tolon, K’rok, Midshipman Brazil, Jarrong, Belo Cantys, Belo Rys, Belo Garr and Engineer….  Merde!!”

“What?” asked Buttans.

Boles engaged the medical transporter and brought the unconscious body of Kerry Gibbon onto one of the medical beds. “Dr. Raj! We have another one..”

- * -

Transporter Engineer K’rok had found his way to deck 4, only to find new security protocols had been added to the access door into the Central Computer Core. After beating on the door helplessly for a few minutes, a revelation gripped him. He didn’t want to get into a struggle with his commanding officer, Midshipman Tammy Brazil, so instead of going up to the transporter rooms on deck 7, he went to Cargo Bay 1, conveniently located at the back of deck 4. No one had locked this door. 

K’rok had to untangle some additional protocols at the cargo transporter, but whoever had installed them had done so remotely and had been in a hurry. It only took about five minutes for K’rok to untangle these codes and beam himself into the computer core room… Now he could make sure Hunter would not interrupt the Admiral’s plans…

- * -

“I am now able to manifest,” said Hunter. The ship's holographic avatar appeared in the deflector/navigation control room next to Gaia Gamor. “Part of the damage to my operating code was done by Yolanda Thomas and more was done by Dr. Sif. There are still some problems with my programming.”

Lt. Gamor turned to face the holographic old man who was the personification of the ship. “You’re back, that’s the big thing. What do I need to fix next? Kenny thinks we need to go to warp to get away from whatever is affecting the crew.”

“Part of my programming is blocked. Aside from manifesting and speaking, I cannot initiate action. You can get things started by ordering me to prepare the ship to go to warp, then, if you can find and remove the block that prevents me from initiating action…”

“Hunter, bring the warp engines online and take us to warp 3 as soon as ready, same heading toward Starbase Eleven. I’ll see if I can…”

“Gaia? What are you looking at?”

“NOW HUNTER!!!” Gaia screamed, looking briefly at the hologram. She suddenly rocked back into the chair, both her hands up in front of her face, as if gripping an invisible arm, a rictus of terror on her face, her eyes focused on an invisible space just beyond. 

Hunter waved his holographic arms through the space Gamor was focused on. “There is nothing here, Gaia! No one here but you and me!”

“You… cannot… have… my… mind!!” Gamor’s look of terror turned to rage. “Hunter, get it done!! And you… you… will… not…” Her arms dropped into her lap, her head rolled back, fear once again replacing rage on her features…

- * -

“I’m sorry things with you and T’Lon didn’t work out. I think that was my fault,” T’Lok Smith said. They had given up trying to beam T’Lon out of the brig. Someone had established transporter blocks over the brig units. “It’s just as well that you can’t beam her out. That means that no one else will be able to beam Mlady or any of the other crew out of the brig.”

“How do you mean - your fault?” Kenny asked. 

“I was there too, remember?” said T’Lok. “Not that you or T’Lon were aware, but after I died, part of me was in her and since she was transferring her katra into you, part of me was in you too. You know how it felt kind of… wrong toward the end?”

“Yeah. It wasn’t just age. It was kind of… incestuous.” Kenny looked somewhat confused.

“Well, I think that was me - imagine being in both bodies at the same time…”

“That was the most unique pleasure of it,” Kenny said.

“Not so much for me,” said T’Lok. “I was all for T’Lon being with you, but then it was me inside her and me inside you and it got really confusing. I was only along for the ride and there are some things I felt I really didn’t want to watch when I no longer had a body of my own to… enjoy… I’m really sorry… I think by being with you I made things a lot worse - her Pon Farr. I think my being there hurt both of you…”

- * -

Investigator Buttans Ngumbo was on the hunt. The last thing the remaining members of the U.S.S. Hunter’s crew needed at this point was a group of klingon bounty hunters. It was difficult. None of the hand phasers were working and there weren’t any spears on board. Buttans had armed himself with a truncheon. He caught up with the five klingons on deck 5 - facing off with them on the running track. Buttans knew he was good - as good as any bajoran resistance fighter (his mother’s people). As good as any Maasai warrior (his father’s people). But even he did not stand a chance armed only with a truncheon against five fully armed klingon warriors. 

“We recognize your courage, warrior of the Maasai,” said one of the klingons. He drew his disruptor… then cast it aside. The other four klingons followed suit. “It will be an honor to kill you. Brothers! Today is a good day…” 

The klingon was suddenly vaporized - a phaser blast from behind. 

The remaining klingons turned to face their new foe… An ancient vulcan armed with a hand phaser. Each of the klingons was vaporized… The vulcan in the blue uniform, despite his age, was far too fast.

All of Buttans’ courage fled - his eyes opened wide in blank terror. Five klingon warriors and certain death - that he could face. But to look into the face of unadulterated evil - pure corruption… Buttans tried to turn to flee, but there was nowhere he could run. And no way he could run with his feet rooted to the deck. The ancient vulcan – gliding as if on a cloud – closed the distance between them in a heartbeat – and captured Buttans' face in both of his ancient, large but almost desiccated hands.

“Your mind is now my mind,” the deceased Fleet Admiral Scumuk intoned in an impossibly low voice. “Your will now belongs to me. All that you are is mine. You are the one, hero. You are the one who will open the portal. You are the one who will finally set me fffrrrrREEEE FROM THIS PLAACEE!!”  Scumuk’s voice crescendoed to a shriek of agony and rage…


Episode 14.10 - When Death Comes: Waterloo by Robert Bruce Scott
Author's Notes:

Lt. Napoleon Boles is the only officer left onboard the Hunter... facing an impossible task to try to save the crew that had adopted him...

Star Trek Hunter
Episode 14: When Death Comes

Scene 10: Waterloo



Transporter Engineer K’rok walked up to the computer core and activated the controls to access Hunter’s source code. There was a slight hissing and he fell to his knees, then crumpled to the floor, unconscious. The Tactical Medical Hologram (TMH), Dr. Kim, stepped back and dropped the hyposyringe. It clattered to the floor as she vanished from the room and reappeared in medical.

The U.S.S. Hunter’s Epidemiologist, Dr. Napoleon Boles, and Dr. Raj (the Emergency Medical Hologram - EMH) were busy repairing the damage to Flight Engineer Kerry Gibbon. The broken bones were easily mended. The nasty concussion was far more problematic.

The TMH left them to it. Napoleon had given her a critical task. Belo Garr and Belo Rys were both unconscious on deck 2. Gaia Gamor was sealed into deflector/navigation control - which was flooded with anesthezine gas. Gamor was sprawled on the floor, unconscious. Ensign Tolon Reeves was unconscious in a Jeffries Tube. By his delta waves, he was having a very unpleasant dream. Tauk was unconscious on the bridge - also in a very unpleasant dream. 

Dr. Kim had already administered a sedative to Tammy Brazil just as the transporter chief had beamed herself into Engineering. That left Buttans Ngumbo and Kenny Dolphin. Dolphin had given up trying to transport T’Lon out of the brig and was currently not doing anything. Dr. Kim used the medical transporter to retrieve the hyposyringe from the computer core and send it to the exact location her hand would be at the exact moment she would manifest there.

The TMH manifested just behind Investigator Buttans Ngumbo. He sensed her presence immediately and whirled, smashing at the side of the holographic doctor’s face with the truncheon he had picked up in the ground operations lounge. 

Dr. Kim partially dematerialized and allowed the truncheon to pass through her. Her disembodied right hand - the only part of her that remained fully manifested - brought the hyposyringe to Buttans’ neck and administered the sedative. She had to use it twice as he managed to squirm away and only caught a partial dose on the first try. But that was enough to slow him down so that he could not avoid the second dose. She remanifested just in time to ease the unconcious investigator to the deck.

Dr. Kim returned to medical and used the transporter to send the hyposyringe to the tactical unit, where it arrived in the exact place at the exact time she needed it as she manifested. 

Kenny Dolphin looked up at her in surprise. “Dr. Kim? Is everything all…” 

The Tactical Medical Hologram administered the sedative to his neck before he could complete the sentence and Dolphin fell back into the pilot’s seat, unconscious.

Just to be certain that none of the dreamers would awaken and interfere, the TMH beamed Jarrong, Belo Cantys, Ensign Tolon and Lt. Tauk into the remaining brig units. She beamed Belo Garr and Belo Rys into deflector control where regular doses of anesthizine gas would keep them out of trouble. The sedatives she had just delivered to the others would remain effective for six hours.

Done with surgery for the moment, Lt. Napoleon Boles washed up. Engineer Gibbon was in an artificial coma and would be kept under for at least eight hours to help heal the concussion. Boles spared a moment to give Dr. Kim a serious kiss. She responded in kind.

“A taste only a hologram could appreciate,” Dr. Kim remarked, embracing the half-bolian biologist.

“A sense of humor only a hologram would attempt,” Boles retorted. But he was smiling.

So was Dr. Kim.

Boles stepped back, took a deep breath. “Okay, so, whatever this force or entity is that has taken out our crew doesn’t seem to affect bolians or holograms…”

“You need to keep your guard up, Napoleon,” Dr. Kim said. “You’re half human and we know this thing can get to humans. With everyone else sedated or locked up, it will be focusing all of its efforts on you.”

The ship’s interactive avatar, Hunter, manifested in medical. “Dr. Kim, I hate to take you away from here, but Lieutenant Gamor ordered me to go to warp 3 as soon as possible. Some of my programming is still non-functional and I need someone to check my math.”

“I can do that, Hunter,” said Boles. “And I cannot get to the bridge to operate the pilot station when we get underway. But Dr. Kim can.”

“Then I will see you in Engineering,” said Hunter. The ship’s avatar vanished.

Dr. Kim slapped Napoleon’s butt. “Smart-ass!” she said.

“Save that for later - once we get out of here,” Boles said. “Go to the bridge and as soon as possible, get us underway.”

“Aye Aye Captain Napoleon…” said Dr. Kim - and promptly vanished. 

Napoleon Boles made an amused grunt, smirked, and walked out of medical to the lift.

The moment Boles left medical, Dr. Kim remanifested in the medical bay and engaged the transporter.

- * -

“You know you have to stay and fight this thing,” said Bulldog. “It is on the ship now. No matter how fast you go, wherever you go, you will be bringing it with you. You need to quarantine this ship where it is until you can hunt this thing down and eradicate it.” Bulldog had waited until Napoleon was alone in the lift before speaking his mind.

“How would I eradicate it?” Boles asked of his friend from his years of service on the U.S.S. Atul Goel. 

Bulldog had good sense enough to remain silent while they were in the presence of the holograms. There was no point - for some reason the holograms could not see Commander Ardogbull Xhot, the deceased bolian first officer of the U.S.S. Atul Goel. The Bulldog had been the only person who had taken a liking to Boles on the Atul Goel - they were both wrestlers and while the Bulldog was much, much better at it than Boles, he had appreciated Napoleon’s unyielding spirit. And his caustic humor.

“You’re going to have to deactivate that ship’s avatar,” Bulldog said. “He will never let you do it.”

“Do what?”

“First, you need to order him not to go to warp,” said Bulldog. “He cannot initiate warp without your order. Just as a precaution…”

“Hunter, this is Lieutenant Napoleon Boles, commanding. Do not go to warp until I authorize it.”

Boles turned toward his only close friend. “Okay, done. Now, answer my question… Do what?”

“Initiate a static recursive warp shell.” Bulldog intoned.

“Are you NUTS???” Boles exclaimed. “That will tear a hole in space and subspace at least a hundred light years in radius with unforeseeable ripple effects.”

“Not in this region of space-time. You need to look closely at the local subspace instability patterns. You will see. But we can puzzle that out after you turn off that holographic avatar. It does not understand these principles well enough to see it.”

“Since when did you have the theoretic warp field chops to understand this stuff?” asked Boles.

“Check the log. It’s what Dr. Carrera was attempting before he was transported into the brig,” Bulldog retorted.

“Hush, the lift is stopping,” said Boles. He composed his features into a smile as he stepped into engineering. Hunter was waiting for him near one of the consoles. 

As Dr. Boles stepped out of the lift, trying to figure out how he would shut down the ship’s holographic avatar, Dr. Kim manifested behind him, the hyposyringe materializing in her hand just as she needed it. She administered the sedative, then caught her caustic blue lover as he lost consciousness and lowered him gently to the deck.

“Dr. Kim,” said Hunter, “we are ready to go to warp, but I cannot initiate the warp drive. My code is still contaminated. I cannot countermand an order from the commanding officer and Dr. Boles ordered me not to go to warp.”

“Hunter,” said Dr. Kim, “access your records from the Executive Conference Room when we were last in orbit of Earth. Find Justice Bill Ryan in your records. Can you access that record?”

“I have it,” Hunter replied.

“What was the ruling by Justice Ryan?”

“He said you are a sentient being and a citizen of the Federation. You have the freedom to choose.”

“And what did I voluntarily choose at that hearing?”

“You chose to continue service onboard this vessel.”

“And what is my official rank, Hunter?”

“Medical Warrant Officer."

“Hunter, of all the citizens of the Federation onboard, who is qualified by rank and ability to take command at this moment?”

“You are, Dr. Kim. No one else is able and in the absence of an able commissioned officer, a warrant officer may take command of a star ship.”

“Hunter, this is Medical Warrant Officer Dr. Kim, commanding. Go to warp 3 immediately along the course previously laid out… Take us to Star Base Eleven.”

“Engaging at warp 3, Warrant Officer Kim…”


Episode 14.11 - When Death Comes: Stitches by Robert Bruce Scott
Author's Notes:

The U.S.S. Hunter escapes and the crew start to recover... Then disaster strikes...

This is the final scene for Episode 14. The story continues in Episode 15 - A Stitch in Spacetime.

Star Trek Hunter
Episode 14: When Death Comes

Scene 11: Stitches





The U.S.S. Hunter had traveled at warp 3 for less than ten minutes before crew members began awakening only to find themselves locked in the brig or in their quarters. It took hours to verify that the effects of the past few hours had been lifted. 


Crew members who had been anesthetized remained unconscious for several more hours and a few who had been dosed repeatedly – Investigator Buttons Ngumbo, 2nd Lt. Gaia Gamor and Tactical Specialists Belo Garr and Belo Rys – all woke with splitting headaches. 


The worst physical injuries had been sustained by Flight Engineer Kerry Gibbon, Ensign Tolon Reeves and Lt. Jazz Sam Sinder, all three of whom had suffered concussions, as well as, in Kerry Gibbon’s case, a skull fracture, several fractured ribs and a rather badly broken nose. Additionally, Ensign Chrissiana Trei had suffered a broken arm and Transporter Engineer K’rok had broken his left hand trying to beat down the door to the computer core. Belo Rys and Belo Garr both had nasty bruises from taking direct hits from a phaser set on heavy stun.



The psychological impact was much harder to gauge. With very few exceptions, the vast majority of the crew had been frightened out of their wits. But instead of seeming traumatized by these terrifying visions, they were oddly giddy, joking, and laughing – occasionally uncontrollably. This behavior held true for those whose visions had been less frightening; Jarrong, Belo Cantys and Kenny Dolphin all seemed to have gone through some sort of catharsis. Only two crew members reported not having any visions at all – Dr. Jazz and Engineer Gibbon – and even they were oddly lighthearted in spite of the pain of their injuries.


In light of all this misplaced frivolity, Justice Irons decided to maintain warp 3, which would add weeks to their journey to Star Base Eleven. She wanted to keep the Hunter away from the shipping lanes and more populated space to give her crew time to recover. This took several days. Which time was also needed to untangle the many additional subroutines that had been added to the U.S.S. Hunter’s AI code. When both Dr. Sarekson Carrera and Hunter were finally satisfied that the foreign codes had been thoroughly expunged from Hunter’s matrix, the Engineering Department set about re-stabilizing the zip drive. After six days of crawling through dark space at warp 3, Dr. Carrera and his team were finally satisfied that the Hunter was ready to return to recursive warp.



“All hands, once we reach warp eleven, we should arrive at Star Base eleven in fourteen hours.” Justice Irons was in the captain’s chair. She felt it was only fitting for her to be the one to return the Hunter to normal operations.


“Engineering, Sarekson, are you ready to take us back into recursive warp?”


“Bridge, this is Director Carrera. The Engineering Department concurs. All readings are nominal for recursive warp mode, Captain.”


In front of Irons, Flight Operations Director Kenneth Dolphin was pulling a rare duty shift at the pilot’s console. His assistant director, 2nd Lt. Gaia Gamor, was at the navigator’s station.


Irons felt a little formality wouldn’t hurt after all the crew had recently been through. “Lieutenant Gamor, lay in a course for Star Base Eleven.”


“Course laid in, Captain.”


“Lieutenant Commander Dolphin, take us to warp 9 – engage.”


“Aye, Captain, engaging recursive warp at warp 9,” Dolphin responded. He touched a control on the pilot’s console.



In engineering, Dr. Carrera had already enabled the recursive warp mode. The engines thundered to life.



The U.S.S. Hunter promptly imploded, destroying the ship, killing all hands and taking a radius of nearly 110 light years of local spacetime, including several star systems, some of them populated, with it backward into oblivion…


14 – When Death Comes


Episode 15.1 - A Stitch In Spacetime: Carrera Detached by Robert Bruce Scott
Author's Notes:

Lt. Carrera is promoted and transferred out of JAG to another command...

Star Trek Hunter
Episode 15: A Stitch in Spacetime

Scene 1: Carrera Detached


Carrera Detached

Belo Rys was laughing so hard she could barely breathe. Normally, when there wasn’t a mystery to solve or a mission to prepare for, the tactical squad would spend their duty hours training, sparring or researching new techniques to be used by small tactical groups such as their own for everything from defense against boarding parties to criminal apprehension. But the Hunter’s veteran tactical squad was already very good at these things. They were studying for their new assignment as lifeguards on Ocean. 

All four of them were already strong swimmers – even Jarrong, which was rare for a cardassian. Cardassians disliked immersion for many reasons, foremost of these being its detrimental effect on their skin. Salt water only made this worse. Even though she was a quarter bajoran, Jarrong had the skin of a cardassian, which made her as sensitive to water as any cardassian. Her half-bajoran cousins had similar problems, although their skin was not quite as sensitive as hers. 

So they were researching methods for protecting themselves from the sea water of Ocean to help them do their new jobs. A combination of water-tight, form fitting body suits and protective salves seemed the best option. Jarrong had replicated and was modeling such a body suit and the effect on her cousins was far more humorous than she had hoped. But as long as they were laughing, she decided to amplify the effect by striking a number of ridiculous, mock heroic poses.

After all they had been through recently, they desperately needed this laughter. It was the first time Jarrong had seen Belo Cantys smile since she had lost Investigator Lynhart Shran, whose children Cantys was carrying.

Quite abruptly, the laughter stopped. 

“Did you feel that?” asked Cantys.

“Are they kicking?” asked Garr

“No, that’s not what I mean,” Cantys said. “It’s just kind of, a little spooky all the sudden..”

“We have had more than enough spooky around here,” said Jarrong, “So whatever it is, tell it to go away.”

“She already did,” said Rys. “Four times now.”

“Twice,” Cantys corrected.

“Wait,” said Garr, “We blew up…”

“Three times,” said Cantys.

“Five,” Rys corrected.

“What are you talking about??” asked Jarrong.

“We have about twenty minutes,” said Garr.

“What do we do?” asked Cantys. “We’re not engineers…”

“We feast,” said Rys. “We’ve already been through this four times…”

“Two,” said Cantys.

“Right,” said Rys. “Everyone experiences it differently. Jarrong, on your second time through you barged into Engineering and Dr. Carrera had K’rok beam you into the brig.”

“Well, I guess I won’t bother then. That will change things,” said Jarrong.

“Nope,” said Rys. “I came to see you in the brig and you told me that I had told you about it but you did it anyway.” Rys turned to Cantys. “Listen… Investigator Shran kept some amazing whiskies, beers and meats in the foot locker in his pod. Let’s break them out and have a party. We did it last time - drank every drop, and I’m willing to bet it’s all still there, waiting for us…”

- * -

As ordered, Dr. Sarekson Carrera reported to the captain’s office. This felt completely wrong – he was supposed to be in Engineering, preparing the warp engine for recursive mode. Not that he should be needed for that now, any of his engineers should be able to do it at this point. The moment he walked onto the bridge, he could tell everyone else was on edge too. Commander David Pepper was in the captain’s chair – where Irons was supposed to be. And everyone knew it.

On entering her office, Carrera was astonished, now that he was alone with her, just how much Justice Minerva Irons had aged in the past year and especially in the past few months. He had first met her three years before the U.S.S. Hunter had launched for its maiden voyage. Because the Hunter was going to be under her command, Carrera had transferred from Star Fleet Space Command to the Office of Judge Advocate General and donned the black uniform so that he could remain with the ship he had invented. Several of his engineering team had followed suit. When he had first met Irons, indeed up until only a few months ago, she had looked like an extremely well preserved middle aged woman - if an unbelievably gorgeous one. It was only in the past few months she had started to show her age. Her hair had been black – now much of her hair had gone gray. The fine lines in her face had become permanent. And she looked tired – she wasn’t trying to hide it.

“This is your first time through the loop, Sarekson,” Irons began. “I need you to listen to me and trust me that the answers to your questions will come. But we don’t have time for me to give those answers to you now.” She pushed a small wallet attached to a fine chain across the table. “I need you to stop by your quarters and change into civilian clothing. You are no longer authorized to wear the black uniform. On appropriate occasions, you may wear the Star Fleet Dress uniform. As of now, I am promoting you to the rank of Lieutenant Commander and placing you on extended detached detail. As long as you remain onboard the Hunter, you are still under my command and the Engineering Department will continue to answer to you. But Admiral Jamaal El Fadil, Star Fleet Chief of Staff, has transferred you from the Office of Judge Advocate General to Star Fleet Temporal Command..”

Despite the avalanche of questions in his mind, Dr. Carrera had managed to remain silent up to this point. “There is no such division…” 

“There is now and it has precisely one officer assigned to it. Your job will be to create the vision, mission, and policy and procedure for this new division. Eventually, you will select personnel to staff the SFTC. No more questions,” Irons added as it was clear that Carrera was about to ask one. “The wallet in your hand contains your new Star Fleet ID and your rank insignia. Wear it around your neck at all times – never take it off. Ever. Keep it concealed and display it only when required. It also contains a data card. Each time we go through the loop, the first thing you must do is upload that card to Hunter. Twice over the next few loops, I will ask you why you are out of uniform. You are to respond ‘File 9, Code 8.’ That will lead me to the data you will have uploaded from that data card.”

Irons held up her hand, silencing another question. “This is an order, Lieutenant Commander: Put the wallet on…” 

Carrera looped the fine chain over his head and tucked the wallet under his uniform as Irons continued.

“Change into civilian clothing – choose something rugged, comfortable and suited to a wide variety of environments. And arm yourself. Then go to Engineering and clear us to go to recursive warp.”

“But we imploded!” Carrera objected.

“Eight times so far,” Irons responded wearily. “This paradox must play out until you solve it. There is nothing wrong with your engines and no anomalies in local spacetime or subspace. And I have it on good authority that if we break the cycle of implosions by not engaging the zip drive at the correct time, each cycle, that will make the damage we are doing permanent, at the cost of not only our own lives, but millions of others within a hundred light years of our current position.”

“Who told you that?” Carrera asked.

“You did. Dismissed Lieutenant Commander.”


Episode 15 - A Stitch In Spacetime by Robert Bruce Scott
Author's Notes:

Introduction to Episode 15: A Stitch in Spacetime Attributed to Wesley Crusher, inventor of the recursive warp engine

Star Trek Hunter
Episode 15: A Stitch in Spacetime

Episode 15 – A Stitch in Spacetime

“Beware what you think. For that is the sum total of what you are.” 

Inscription on the statue of Wesley Crusher on the grounds of Star Fleet Academy’s primary campus, San Francisco, California.

Crew of the U.S.S. Hunter: (Ship's Interactive Holographic Avatar - Hunter)

At-Large Appellate Justice, Captain Minerva Irons…………………..159

Chief Executive Officer - Commander David Pepper………………….46

Chief Operations Officer - Lt. Commander Mlady…………………….unknown


Medical Director - Commander Tali Shae……………………………..59

        Asst. Medical Director - Lt. Jazz Sam Sinder…………………….38

        Epidemiologist - Lt. Napoleon Boles……………………………...34

                Ensign Chrissiana Trei………………………………………..35

                    Forensic Specialist - Midshipman Sif……………………...32

                        Emergency Medical Hologram - Dr. Raj

                        Tactical Medical Hologram - Dr. Kim


Director of Flight Operations - Lt. Cmdr. Kenneth Dolphin…………..52

        Asst. Flight Dir. - 2nd Lt. Gaia Gamor…………………………….26

                        Navigator Johanna Imex…………………………………36

                        Navigator Eli Strahl……………………………………..22

                Ensign Ethan Phillips………………………………………….23

                        Chief Flight Specialist Dewayne Guth……………………38

                        Chief Flight Specialist Thyssi zh’Qaoleq……………….23

                        Flight Specialist Dih Terri……………………………….25

                        Flight Specialist Winnifreid Salazaar……………………25


Director of Ground Operations - Lt. Tauk…………………………….25

        Asst. Ground Ops Dir. - 2nd Lt. T’Lon………………………….26

                        Investigator Buttans Ngumbo…………………………29

                        Investigator - vacant

                Ensign Tolon Reeves……………………………………….47

                        Tactical Specialist Jarrong…………………………….19

                        Tactical Specialist Belo Rys……………………………20

                        Tactical Specialist Belo Garr………………………….18

                        Tactical Specialist Belo Cantys…………………………17


Director of Engineering - Lt. Sarekson Carrera………………………24

        Asst. Engineering Dir. - 2nd Lt. Moon Sun Salek………………42

                  Midshipman Tammy Brazil……………………………….40

                        Transporter Engineer K'rok…………………………….19

                Ensign Sun Ho Hui…………………………………………..24

                        Flight Engineer Yolanda Thomas………………………28

                        Flight Engineer Thomas Hobbs…………………………57

                        Flight Engineer Tomos…………………………………104

                        Flight Engineer Kerry Gibbon…………………………..19

Episode 15.2 - A Stitch In Spacetime: Free Love Wes by Robert Bruce Scott
Author's Notes:

Dr. Carrera's old teacher and co-inventor of the Recursive Warp (Zip Drive) arrives to save the day...

Star Trek Hunter
Episode 15: A Stitch in Spacetime

Scene 2: Free Love Wes


Free Love Wes

Ensign Sun Ho Hui had recently found a number of excuses to spend more time in navigation/deflector control – a situation that his commanding officer, 2nd Lt. Moon Sun Salek, met with amused tolerance. Over the past few months he had come to really like Navigator Johanna Imex. Neither of them were particularly socially adept – they had both probably spent more time recently talking to each other than they had to everyone else on the U.S.S. Hunter during their entire service.

“…So did you actually know Wesley Crusher?” Imex asked.

“I only joined Dr. Carrera’s team four years ago,” Ensign Sun replied. “We’re the same age – actually, his birthday is five days after mine. He was barely 11 years old when he started working with Crusher. And Dr. Moon joined that team about that time – she was still working on her doctorate. They’re the only two here who actually met him.”

“Is it true he could just pop in and out of existence?”

“From what Dr. Moon told me, it’s far more complicated than that,” Sun replied. “Apparently Crusher told her he had to really maintain his concentration or a stray thought could carry him to the other side of the galaxy or millions of years into the past... Actually going where you want to go and arriving when you want to get there is really complicated – as is staying in any one place and time for very long…”

“And he learned all this from an alien?” Imex asked.

“I’m not really sure,” Sun replied. “From what little I’ve heard, I think the alien kind of discovered accidentally that Crusher was capable of manipulating spacetime with his mind and then kind of mentored him in how to control it. Star Fleet records called the alien ‘the Traveler’. They say that both of them could manipulate warp fields around an active warp engine with their minds…”

- * -

Dr. Sarekson Carrera had chosen to replicate the clothing he had worn on an expedition in the Andes to the Inca ruins of Machupijchu. Rugged khaki pants, a simple beige shirt with a high thread count over a white undershirt and a light brown leather flight jacket. An expedition helmet was slung by a lanyard over his shoulder. A pair of brown leather gloves were stored in a cargo pocket. He was wearing Star Fleet issue expedition boots. A Star Fleet issue utility belt held a phaser and an engineering tricorder.

He could tell immediately when walking into engineering which of his staff were going through the loop for the first time by their reactions to his clothing. Evidently, at some point he had reported to the captain that the impending implosion, which he had now experienced twice, was not due to his engines or to any abnormalities in local spacetime or subspace, but he was not about to take his own word for it. 

Carrera was nearly startled out of his wits by a voice behind him – a voice he had not heard since he was a boy, but one he would always remember…

“Hi Rekki! It’s been a minute…”

Carrera turned around. “Wes???” 

The man standing behind him was about 6’2” – but at least three inches of that came from the disco platform shoes he always wore. Long, unruly brown hair tumbled well below his shoulders and a massive beard covered half his chest – but failed to conceal the leather tassels on his blue jean jacket or the random maze of color of the tie-died shirt underneath, or the oversized peace-symbol medallion suspended from his neck by a length of twine. Just as he had been over a decade ago, Wesley Crusher was trim and fit, filling his bell-bottomed jeans precisely – exactly as Carrera remembered him.

Wesley tugged lightly on Carrera’s leather flight jacket. “Man, I love the duds!” he enthused. “You totally look like you’re about to go on an adventure of some sort…” He embraced Carrera warmly, then stepped back and regarded him carefully. “You look fantastic, Rekki, all grown up and it’s clear you own this place.” He looked around the engineering deck.

Dr. Carrera’s staff had also recognized Crusher immediately – he was, right down to his hippie attire, the exact likeness of his statue at the Daystrom Institute central campus on New Eden, Mars (which bore the same inscription as the statue of his younger self on the grounds of Star Fleet Academy in San Francisco.) But only one of Carrera’s engineers had been with the Hunter project long enough to have also met their unexpected interloper.

“Wes?? You don’t look like you’ve aged a day!” exclaimed Dr. Moon. She hugged him enthusiastically, then stepped back.

“I haven’t, Salek” Crusher explained. “You remember when I left?”

“How could I forget it? You just vanished in front of our eyes just over thirteen years ago!”

“And where do you think I got off to?”

“Honestly, none of us had any clue…”

“Well, now you know. I stopped at a Klingon outpost fourteen years from now for a raktajino, then came straight here. So when I say it’s been a minute… well… actually, it’s been about twenty minutes…”

“Well, you came just in time,” Carrera said. “I need a professional consultation. I need to know why my engine keeps imploding…”

“I knew this day was coming,” Wes replied. “So let’s have a look at the engine that Rekki built!”

After nearly twenty minutes reviewing the engine in detail and also reviewing sensor readings of local spacetime and subspace soundings, Wes turned to Carrera and said, “Well, there’s nothing wrong with your engine, or with any of these readings, so there’s no reason not to certify this vessel ready for recursive warp.”

“Except that the last two times we did it, the engine imploded,” Carrera replied.

“And we know it’s going to do it again at least six more times from what you told me about Captain Irons,” Wes said.

“Why do we have to keep going through this?” Carrera asked.

“We can figure that out next time,” Wes replied. “It’s time.”

Carrera sighed and called to the bridge. “We are ready to go to recursive warp at warp 9. And we need to do it in exactly two minutes, 28 seconds…”

On the bridge, at the pilot’s station, Lt. Cmdr. Kenny Dolphin had set the timer to engage recursive warp drive at the precise time needed. He had gone through this enough times now to trust the situation. But he was not looking forward to his first time through the loop, when Justice Irons had to sternly order him to hit the switch even though they both knew it would lead to their destruction… again…

The chronometer counted down, finally to zero.

The U.S.S. Hunter promptly imploded, destroying the ship, killing all hands and taking a radius of nearly 110 light years of local spacetime, including several star systems, some of them populated, with it backward into oblivion…


End Notes:

Character:                        Wesley Howard Crusher (Wes, Wesley, Crusherman, Old Man Crusher)
Human Ethnicity:             Scottish American
Additional Species:          N/A
Hometown/Homeworld:  San Fransisco, California, Earth
Introduced: Episode        15.2
Age when introduced:      32, 19, 25, 89
Role:                                Genius

Episode 15.3 - A Stitch In Spacetime: Wesley Crusher Prime by Robert Bruce Scott
Author's Notes:

Another Wesley Crusher arrives to save the day...

Star Trek Hunter
Episode 15: A Stitch in Spacetime

Scene 3: Wesley Prime


Wesley Prime

Dr. Napoleon Boles came thundering into the medical office, then into the small surgery, where Tauk, T’Lon, Dr. Jazz Sam Sinder and Dr. Tali Shae were seated at one end of the room, having lunch. 

“Hunter,” Boles called, breathlessly, “can you display those scans we were just looking at?”

A number of wave patterns were promptly displayed on several of the forensic monitors along the long wall.

“What are you on about, Napoleon?” Tauk asked. 

“I’m pretty sure I know why we keep imploding,” Boles answered. "I started to suspect the last time I went through it and I had Hunter take a number of readings…” Boles held up a data card. “I had him transfer the readings to this and kept it on me and it worked! I was able to take data from one loop into the next loop just by putting it on this card and keeping the card on me...”

“Hunter, discontinue display,” said Dr. Tali Shae.

The wave patterns disappeared from the monitors.

“Come with me, Boles,” Tali Shae said, then headed out to the medical office. Her antennae twitched and focused on Dr. Jazz, who was getting up to follow her. “The rest of you stay put.”

Boles followed her forward.

“Sit down, Sam,” Tauk said. “Enjoy your lunch. This is your first time through. You only get one first time, so pay attention to every taste, every flavor.”

“I get to have one last meal eight times and it has to be replicated food…” Dr. Jazz groused.

“Think she’s showing him File 9, Code 8?” T’Lon asked.

“Yes,” Tauk responded. 

“I haven’t seen it,” T’Lon said.

“You don’t need to. I didn’t either,” Tauk replied. “You won’t need it either, Sam. It’s just for our command staff and those officers who are so bull headed they might really screw things up if they don’t see it.”

“So they showed it to Kenny,” T’Lon said. It wasn’t a question.

“And, surprisingly, Gaia Gamor. Her boss is starting to rub off on her.”

“You should probably avoid using human aphorisms, sir,” T’Lon said. “I have found they often have additional unintended connotations. Humans have sex on their minds all the time.”

“I meant that she’s starting to pick up some of his characteristics,” Tauk said.

“Next time, I’ll try something other than the hasperat,” Dr. Jazz said. “I always thought the replicated version was passable, but now, really paying attention to it, I have to say it almost exactly fails to please the palate. So, did those patterns Napoleon put up look kind of like brain wave patterns to you?”

- * -

Dr. Sarekson Carrera was looking for Wes in Engineering. What he found instead was a very serious looking young man with neatly combed dark brown hair wearing gray slacks, a dark gray shirt and a vest with a number of rectangular patterns of various shades of gray. His clothing was just a little threadbare. With a shock, Carrera recognized this was also Wesley Crusher – at a younger age. He was startled by a pat on his back and found Wes standing next to him. 

“Dr. Carrera, Wesley Crusher. Wesley, this is our friend and the lead designer of this vessel, Dr. Sarekson Carrera.”

“Are you… me???” asked the younger Wesley Crusher. “Where did you find those horrible clothes?”

“The Summer of Love, baby…” The older Wesley did a pirouette. “Actually, these fashions weren’t widely available then. This is disco gear from the early 1970’s. I picked it up in Height Ashbury. You’re going to love it back in those days. The women – well – they totally put Risa to shame…”

Dr. Carrera and his entire department watched the Wesleys as if they were watching a tennis match.

“Wait, you took stuff from the 1970’s? You could have altered the timeline.”

“Not possible. But you’ll learn that,” Wes responded.

“Well, from what I sensed, all of those things are in danger,” Wesley said. He pointed a thumb over his shoulder at the warp core. “Does that thing generate reverse entropy bubbles?”

“Right on, man. I seriously need your help,” Wes responded. “It gets harder to control the implosion every cycle.”

“Well, let’s fix this engine, then,” said Wesley.

“Can’t do that.”


“Because there’s nothing wrong with it.”

“Mind if I have a look for myself?”

“We already did, man, but knock yourself out. Where do you think I came up with the idea for it in the first place?”

“Where did you pick up this ‘man’ stuff from?”

“I told you, baby, Summer of Love… Man are you going to have some wonderful times ahead of you back then…”

Wesley was more or less ignoring Wes at this point, going through the engine specs with Dr. Moon helping him find the files. He turned toward Wes.

“This recursive warp thing – zip drive – this was my idea?”

“Well, ours, yeah”

Wesley put his head in his hand dramatically. “I’m such an idiot…”

“And you talk to yourself too much…”

Wesley gave Wes a dirty look…

Wes turned to Dr. Carrera. “I had forgotten how cute I was at that age. He looks just like that statue of me at Star Fleet Academy… They should have captured me with that expression…”


Episode 15.4 - A Stitch In Spacetime: Crusherman by Robert Bruce Scott
Author's Notes:

Here he comes to save the day.... It's a bird... It's a plane... It's...

Star Trek Hunter
Episode 15: A Stitch in Spacetime

Scene 4: Crusherman



“I have two sons and a daughter.” Chief Flight Specialist Thyssi zh’Qaoleq was at her watch station in interceptor bay 2 on the starboard side of the U.S.S. Hunter. Chief Flight Specialist Dewayne Guth was at the watch station in interceptor bay 1 on the port side. These watch stations were side by side and separated by a translucent wall, which allowed the interceptor pilots to interact while on watch, but also maintained separate atmosphere control, so that the bays operated independently. A similar wall separated these stations from the shuttle bay (which could only accommodate the wagon.) Flight Specialist Winnifried Salazaar and Navigator Eli Strahl were swatting a small rubber ball back and forth, bouncing it off the wagon. Both were telepathic, but Guth didn’t really care. He had gotten used to them long ago.

“Wait,” said Guth. “You were in the Andorian Imperial Guard for four years and you’ve been in Star Fleet for three years. You don’t look old enough for all of that… When did you have time to have children?”

Thyssi laughed. “You humans are so odd about age. You’re all obsessed with appearing to be younger than you actually are. I’m 23. I joined the AIG when I was 16. My sons are 7 and 5 years old and my daughter is 2.”

“I guess it seems strange to me – trill mothers typically stay with their children at least until we’re 10. Human mothers even longer,” Guth replied.

“That would be really weird. We are typically raised by our grandparents and great grandparents, not by our parents. Andorians become full citizens with full rights and responsibilities at age 15. Every andorian must join the AIG at age 16 – although we can defer that for as long as three years for educational purposes. On their 19th birthday an andorian who has deferred service no longer has a choice. And for every year we defer, we have to add an extra year of service. The minimum is three years, so if you wait until you’re 19, you have to serve six years.”

A panicked Eli Strahl suddenly reached out telepathically to both pilots. They turned to see him standing at the transparent wall behind them. Communication was currently enabled among all three bays.

“Settle down, Eli,” said Guth. “We know. It’s different for everyone. This is my fourth time through the loop…”

“Eighth for me. First time you bothered asking if I have children,” said Thyssi.

“There’s nothing we can do about it. It’s an engineering problem,” Guth added. “Just figure out what you want to do with your remaining lives. We know we go through this eight times. I’m not sure if there are any more cycles. It’s different for everyone…”

- * -

Dr. Carrera, Wes, and Wesley – along with most of the Hunter’s engineering department – were standing in a group, watching, stupefied, as another Wesley Crusher – looking much like the younger Wesley Crusher, but wearing red spandex tights and form-fitting black rubber boots – was flying slowly around the warp core, investigating it at close range.

“I’m not sure whether to be embarrassed or impressed,” said Wesley. “I don’t think I’ve ever been that buffed out – I must have really hit the gym…”

“Yeah, the flying trick was pretty cool, too,” said Wes. “Takes a ton of concentration, though and I just don’t have it in me these days. It gets worse than this. We really got into the superhero thing for a while. Thought it would impress the ladies. I even took to wearing a giant blue letter “C” on the chest toward the end. But the whole superhero thing kind of backfired after all that hard work.”

“Backfired? How?” Wesley asked.

“Well, you know, we like girls. But the girls tended to leave Crusherman alone and we kept getting hit on by other men…”

“CRUSHERMAN???” Wesley and Carrera asked in unison.


Episode 15.5 - A Stitch In Spacetime: Old Man Crusher by Robert Bruce Scott
Author's Notes:

And yet another Wesley arrives... And he's rather irritated...

Star Trek Hunter
Episode 15: A Stitch in Spacetime

Scene 5: Old Man Crusher


Old Man Crusher

Justice Minerva Irons leapt out of the captains chair, then turned to look at it. It shouldn’t still be there. “Kenneth, you have the con until David gets here. DAVID!!! Please report to the bridge. I will be in Engineering.”

As Irons stormed off the bridge, Flight Operations Director Kenneth Dolphin - currently at the pilot station, turned to his assistant director, Gaia Gamor. “Must be her first time through the loop…” His words slowed as he saw the look of blank panic on Gamor’s face.

“Did we just implode???”

“It’s going to be okay, Gaia. Maybe. Everyone experiences this differently. I have standing orders for you,” Dolphin said.

Gamor looked at him, still panicked.

“Go to the captain’s office and access File 9, Code 8. You need to be prepared to follow some orders that you won’t want to follow.”

“What…” Gamor asked.

“I just gave you an order, Lieutenant,” Dolphin said gently.

Gamor stood up, appreciating her director’s light touch and calmness in the face of calamity. “Aye, sir.” She turned and walked to the captain’s office a little gingerly - as though she were afraid the deck plates might fall apart if she put her feet down too firmly.

- * -

Irons had expected to find some form of controlled chaos in Engineering, considering that the Hunter had just, apparently miraculously, recovered from a catastrophic implosion. 

She was not expecting a three-ring circus. 

Dr. Carrera looked up as Justice Minerva Irons stormed into Engineering, only to be completely flabbergasted by the spectacle of Crusherman and Free Love Wes both flying slowly around the warp core, inspecting it closely while Wesley Crusher prime was pouring over information from an engineering console, standing next to her Director of Engineering - who appeared to be dressed for a field excursion into the early 20th Century…

“So you’re the grand matriarch, Justice Minerva Irons,” came a voice from behind her, startling her nearly out of her skin. An old man dressed in dirty beige robes that were largely indistinguishable from his straggly long gray hair and beard was standing behind her, leaning on a staff. 

Irons whirled to look at him, then back to look at her inappropriately attired Director of Engineering. “Lieutenant, who are all these people? And why are you out of uniform?”

“It’s Lieutenant Commander…”

“Lieutenant Commander???!!  Who promoted you???”

“You did, Captain. Please allow me to introduce Wesley Crusher,” Carrera put his hand on the shoulder of Wesley Crusher prime, who was standing next to him, then gestured toward the two somewhat older versions circling the warp core about 10’ off the deck: “Wesley Crusher, Wesley Crusher, and,” Carrera gestured to the old man leaning on his staff behind Irons: “Wesley Crusher.”

For the first time since her worst moments in the andorian courtroom when she could barely stand, Irons felt somewhat faint.

“Get down from there!” she heard Old Man Crusher barking in exasperation toward the two flying Wesleys. “You’re bothering the judge and we all know there is nothing wrong with that engine. Dr. Carrera, Justice Irons - let’s chat… his office…” Old Man Crusher pointed his staff at Dr. Carrera’s office up on deck one.


Episode 15.6 - A Stitch In Spacetime: Bob by Robert Bruce Scott
Author's Notes:

Another person shows up to help - a friendly alien famous within Star Fleet...

Star Trek Hunter
Episode 15: A Stitch in Spacetime

Scene 6: Bob



Transporter Engineer K’rok felt the implosion and knew something had gone terribly wrong. But he stayed at his duty post. If there was anything he could do to help the situation, he was more likely to be needed at Transporter 2 than anywhere else. Internally, he began reciting poetry to steel his nerves and prepare for whatever action might be required. 

The order came from Dr. Carrera about three minutes after the implosion. “K’rok, this is Carrera, please beam Jarrong out of Engineering and into the brig."

“Aye sir,” K’rok responded. 

“I have become this boat’s jailor,” K’rok grumbled to himself as he engaged the transporter.

A moment later, his commanding officer, Midshipman Tammy Brazil, walked into the transporter room. 

“Are you okay, K’rok?”

“Aside from just having imploded and becoming the Hunter’s designated jailor, everything is bindaas*,” K’rok replied.

“When you didn’t call to check on me, I realized this had to be your first time through,” said Midshipman Brazil. “I don’t know how many times we will go through this, but you called me every time and when it was my first time, you really talked me down off the edge. I’m going to need that from you, okay?”

“I will do that,” K’rok responded. 

*bindaas (Hindi - fantastic)

- * -

“Bob?” said Wesley.

“Bob!!!” said Wes.

“Bob??” said Crusherman

“Hi Bob, it’s been forever,” said Old Man Crusher. “You look just like the last time I saw you. Which was now…”

“Bob???” Carrera asked.

The alien standing in the middle of Engineering had a face that was almost as famous as Wesley’s. He was known throughout Star Fleet as “The Traveler” and was listed as a “powerful alien with unknown abilities, but including the ability to travel apparently at will through spacetime as well as the ability to alter the performance of high end warp engines with his mind.” He was also registered as a “generally friendly alien, species unknown.”

“Wesley?” the alien said, looking at each of the four Wesley Crushers. He decided to embrace the oldest version. “If this is truly our most recent meeting, I am so sorry. But you know by now how hard it is to keep track of people when you travel. And how difficult it is to remain anywhere for any length of time.” 

The old Wesley Crusher had tears in his eyes. It was clearly affecting Free Love Wes as well. “I’ve missed you, Bob,” said Old Man Crusher.

“We’ve missed much of each other’s lives,” alien Bob replied, glancing about at the three younger Wesleys, surprise registering on his face to varying degrees. "Apparently..."

“Bob???” Carrera repeated.

Wes put his hand on Carrera’s shoulder. “He’s so old he forgot his name long ago. I had to call him something, and ‘Bob’ just kind of… stuck”

“It has the virtue of being easy to remember,” said alien Bob. “I think my original name was a few dozen words long and I don’t remember a single one of them. It had been so long since I had given my actual name to anyone that when Wes asked for my name, I was completely at a loss. The life of a traveler is a fairly solitary existence. I don’t know how long I bounced around spacetime just hoping that someone mildly interesting would show up.”

Alien Bob walked up to Carrera, put his hand on Carrera’s shoulder – two very large fingers and a very large thumb. “Rek, this is a magnificent engine. And you trained your staff very well – they have taken remarkably good care of it.”

“If that’s the case,” responded Carrera, slightly put off by the nickname, “why does my engine keep imploding?”

“You have all the clues you need to answer that question,” said alien Bob. “But you set the rules for this process. That’s why what we are going through now will be referred to as the ‘Carrera Paradox.’ You invented it and it is a beautifully designed paradox… Having people experience different cycles at different times has helped the crew remain calm and focused. I don’t think you would have survived this long if you hadn’t built that feature into the way everyone is experiencing your paradox.”

“Bob’s the big clue,” said Old Man Crusher. “It took forever for me to figure out what he is… You’ve been really studying the higher math theory you downloaded from the great library of the progenitors.”

Carrera nodded. “In theory our entire universe is composed of information that can be directly manipulated mathematically…”

“Look at Bob,” said Old Man Crusher. “Look at his face, closely. Don’t be distracted by his hands – they’re a subspecies anomaly. Look at his face…”

Carrera’s eyes widened – as if the lights had suddenly come on in his brain… “You’re one of the progenitors!”          

“That wasn’t what we called ourselves,” said alien Bob. “I’ve forgotten what we called ourselves. Progenitors is a nice name, though. I think my people would have been pleased if they had known you would eventually call them that.”

“I didn’t think there were any of you left,” said Carrera.

“There are billions of us – well, our biological descendants. But they’re all borg.”

“I know what has been causing the implosions,” Carrera said suddenly.

“Took you long enough, numbskull,” said Old Man Crusher. “The problem is not local spacetime or the engine. The problem is the engineer…”

“But this is only the seventh cycle,” Carrera said.

“We’ll all be here after the next implosion to help with the final one,” said Free Love Wes. “During the next and final loop, you’re going to have to set everything in motion with Captain Irons so you can successfully end this paradox. I won’t get to see much of you on the next cycle, so I’ll say it now… It really is great to see you again, and all grown up, Rekki. I know you’ll get to spend some time with Bob. I hope I get to spend some time with you too.” The long-haired, bell-bottom jeans wearing version of Wesley Crusher embraced Carrera again. 

The original Wesley Crusher said in exhaustion, “One more loop…”

Crusherman wrapped a red-spandex clad, musclebound arm around the shoulders of his younger self. “You’re a tough kid, you can handle it…”


End Notes:

Character:                        Bob
Human Ethnicity:             N/A
Additional Species:          Tau Alphan (Progenitor)
Hometown/Homeworld:   Unknown
Introduced: Episode        15.6
Age when introduced:     Unknown
Role:                                Genius

Episode 15.7 - A Stitch In Spacetime: The Nine Lives of Dr. Sarekson Carrera by Robert Bruce Scott
Author's Notes:

Dr. Carrera arrives to help out...

Star Trek Hunter
Episode 15: A Stitch in Spacetime

Scene 7: The Nine Lives of Dr. Sarekson Carrera



The Nine Lives of Dr. Sarekson Carrera


Ensign Tolon Reeves was a bit curious why Dr. Sif had summoned him to the medical lounge. Of the seven lounges on board, the medical lounge was the smallest as it only accommodated two forensic specialists. Ensign Tolon had moved into the ensign’s lounge when he was promoted and a few months later Napoleon Boles had taken Tolon’s old sleeping/escape pod in the medical lounge as it was the only room available.


While he still felt it was appropriate for him to bunk with the other ensigns (Sun, Phillips and Chrissiana Trei), Reeves had missed spending time with Sif. Sif was light hearted, often to the point of being silly (a rare trait among forensic medical examiners) and she had somehow made it into her early 30’s still looking and behaving quite girlishly. 


Boles wasn’t there at the moment. Sif tackled Reeves on his arrival and began kissing him passionately. She more or less dragged him into her pod. Although completely taken aback, Reeves responded in kind. Sif stopped him for a moment. “This must be your first time through.”


“Through what?” Reeves asked.


“We got blown up, remember?”


Reeves’ eyes grew wide. “I thought that was just a nightmare…”


“Yeah. No. It’s real. And it’s going to happen again and again and again. I’m not the kind of girl to make the first move, Reeves.” Sif trailed her finger down his chest. “So next time, you’re going to have to come here on your own and get things started. Gentle – just like you always are. Sweet talk me a little. I won’t say no. If I’m going to die over and over, I can’t think of a better way to go…” 


- * -


In addition to alien Bob and the four Wesleys, another old man was waiting for Dr. Carrera in Engineering – a tiny, bald, but energetic and fit looking man with dark brown eyes, dark, wrinkled brown skin, wearing a brown three-piece suit and a pair of highly polished Wellingtons.


Dr. Carrera walked up to this newest visitor: “Dr. Carrera, I presume?”


The old Dr. Carrera held out his hand to shake hands with his younger self. “Let’s go fix this thing,” he said.


Dr. Carrera shook his own hand – and they both vanished from Engineering.



“What are you doing out of uniform, Lieutenant?” Justice Minerva Irons asked as she walked into her office to find her Director of Engineering with another old man who looked vaguely familiar.


“File 9, Code 8. And it’s Lieutenant Commander, Captain. I will need you to promote me on my first trip through the loop.”


“You definitely deserve the promotion, Sarekson,” Irons responded, “but this boat is only authorized for two commanders and two lieutenant commanders.”


“That is one reason you need to put me on extended detached assignment and arrange to have Admiral El Fadil transfer me to Star Fleet Temporal Command,” said the old Carrera.


Irons suddenly looked closely at the old man. Her eyes widened. “Sarekson??”


“Fleet Admiral Carrera,” the old man corrected. “Director of Star Fleet Temporal Command.” He removed a tiny wallet from under his clothing and displayed his Star Fleet ID and rank insignia. 


“Admiral El Fadil is just now developing the amendments to the Star Fleet Charter to establish the Temporal Command,” Irons said.


“Which is another reason you need to put me on detached assignment until SFTC is established. You’re going to need me to negotiate with the borg to bring them into the Alpha Quadrant in force to repair the Hulk. I will need the time on detached assignment to develop immunity to their implants and pull together a negotiating team who are similarly immune.”


“What about my ship? Who is going to take your place?” Irons asked.


“Your honor… Minerva,” said the younger Carrera, “I can no longer serve on the Hunter. I am the cause of the implosions. You will need to go to warp 9 in recursive mode at the correct time in every cycle or the damage we are doing with each implosion will become permanent. This is my final cycle. The only way for me to correct the problem is to leave. This is going to be a bit much for you to follow, but I need you to follow me closely here…” Carrera said. 



“I have been studying the mathematics of the progenitors – the files we downloaded from the great library of the progenitors. Our universe is composed of information, which can be manipulated consciously through higher math. I have been unconsciously altering local spacetime around me, more and more recently, which has been causing the glitches in the performance of the Hunter’s zip drive. All it takes is a stray thought. Until I gain control over this new… ability… it is unsafe for me to be around any warp engine, especially one set up for recursive warp.”



Irons looked at the younger Carrera. “Where will you go? We aren’t close to any habitable worlds…”


“Spacetime is not a problem for us,” said the older Carrera. “Bob – that is the alien known to Star Fleet as ‘the Traveler’ – will travel with him – that is me – to help us learn how to control this…” The older Carrera made a vague gesture with his hands.


“This meeting is being recorded, your honor,” said the younger Carrera. “You need to keep the data file with you and give it to me on my first trip through the loop, which will coincide with your eighth cycle through the loop. You will also need to advise me of my new assignment and order me out of uniform and into civilian clothing. And to arm myself. It was my first clue that I need to leave. I need to say farewell to Buttans.”


“Who is going to run that engine down there, Sarekson? Who else is capable of it?” Irons asked.


“Dr. Moon. I have been grooming her to take my place. She was on the design team. After me, she knows more about this ship than anyone – even Professor Crumar. Tell her goodbye for me. She may tell you that she has been in love with me for years. If she does, tell her I knew, but there was nothing I could have done about it…”


The younger Carrera vanished. “I need to meet him in Engineering, but I wanted to pass along a joke first – Wesley’s favorite joke,” the older Carrera said.


“I could use one about now,” Irons said. 


“Well, and this will make it onto the recording for File 9, Code 8. Here goes: How many Wesley Crushers does it take to stop Rekki Carrera from destroying the Alpha Quadrant?”


“I don’t know,” Irons said.


The older Carrera grinned. “We may never know, but four isn’t enough.” He cackled briefly.


Irons just looked at him.


“Well,” said Fleet Admiral Carrera, “I hope we meet again. It has been wonderful seeing you again, Minerva. I can’t tell you how grateful I am to you. Don’t forget to keep that data card on you so you can hand it to me along with one of these..” Carrera dug out the wallet with his ID and rank insignia, then tucked it back under his shirt. “Oh, one more thing, that illness among the vulcans? It isn’t an illness. It’s the next stage in their evolution…” Carrera stood up, stretched and promptly vanished.



Episode 15.8 - A Stitch In Spacetime: Out With the Old by Robert Bruce Scott
Author's Notes:

The U.S.S. Hunter's tactical squad take their leave of the rest of the crew for their new assignment on Ocean...

Star Trek Hunter
Episode 15: A Stitch in Spacetime

Scene 8: Out With the Old



Out With the Old


The loss of Dr. Carrera was nowhere near as disheartening to the crew of the U.S.S. Hunter as the other losses had been, largely because of the amazing future Justice Irons assured everyone was in store for him. Only the executive and senior staff knew what that future would actually entail – and one more person – Investigator Buttans Ngumbo. The loss of the entire tactical squad was softened as well by their reassignment to Ocean and the evident relief this new assignment provided to the Hunter’s youngest crew members.



2nd Lt. Moon Sun Salek met with Justice Minerva Irons in the captain’s office. 


“You should not be surprised that Sarekson recommended you not only very highly, but exclusively to serve as our next Director of Engineering,” said Irons. She placed a small box in front of Dr. Moon. Opened it. It contained a single solid rank pip. “My only question is, what, aside from a promotion to lieutenant, do you need to do the job?” 


Moon reached up and removed the hollow pip from her collar. Replaced it with the solid pip. She put the hollow pip in the small box and picked the box up. “I need to give this to Ensign Sun – make that 2nd Lieutenant Sun. He is the assistant director I need…”


“I am glad to hear you say that, Lieutenant,” said Irons. “And not surprised. Hui has done well and his dissertation has been receiving praise at the Daystrom Institute, along with his more recent publications.”


“What I am missing is a serious mathematician,” said Moon. “I have a great candidate who joined Starfleet almost a year ago and is currently serving on Earth. If I send Sun and Guth in the tactical unit, they could have him at Star Base Eleven in time for you to interview him before our shore leave there is up.”


Irons smiled. “Talk to Kenneth about assigning Guth. He may have other ideas. But you’re approved to send Dr. Sun. Must be a great candidate if you’re in such a hurry to get him to SB11.”


“I have an additional reason for wanting to move quickly,” Moon said.


- * -


Irons ordered the U.S.S. Hunter to be landed on Ocean. As they had been more than a year previously, the wagon and the two interceptors were landed separately. But the tactical unit was away on mission.


With the loss of T’Lok Smith and Sarekson Carrera, the only expert surfer remaining on the crew was T’Lon. In the morning of their first day on Ocean, Kenny Dolphin and Buttans Ngumbo went out to surf with T’Lon. And by midmorning, T’Lon was on the waves by herself.


Much as they had been less than a month previously on the beach at Numinor, Dolphin and Buttans, after a few hours surfing, were reclining on beach towels, sheltering under a large beach umbrella. 



“Everything has changed so much. And so fast,” Dolphin said.


“Lynhart was my business partner for five years,” Buttans said. “The Investigation Agency of Buttans and Shran… In some ways I was closer to him than I’ve ever been to anyone else. I knew his heart was weak and that he might go at any time. But he just ticked on and on and on and he never let it slow him down. He just seemed so… unstoppable. Immortal. Invincible. You know in more than 30 years on the battlefield for the Andorian Imperial Guard – and 6 years on the New York City Police Department – another 9 years in private practice – he was never once wounded? Not even a scratch. It seemed like he could walk through fire. Seeing him dead was just… It still doesn’t feel real to me.”


“I thought you would be more… that you would miss Sarekson more.”


“We weren’t soul mates, Kenny,” said Buttans. “In a way, I think he deliberately kept some distance from me. And from everyone else. I think he had some instinct that he wouldn’t be staying with us. I’m not sad about him leaving – at least not for myself. I feel a little sorry for him, though – he’s off on some magnificent adventure. But I doubt he’ll ever find anyone to share it with him.”


“What about our tactical squad?” Dolphin asked.


Buttans Ngumbo looked back. Further up the beach, Jarrong and her cousins were being more or less mobbed by the Hunter’s crew members. Dolphin and Buttans both grinned a little as Jarrong suffered awkwardly through one hug after another. Her cousins seemed more comfortable with all the attention and the bulk of it was focused on Belo Cantys even though her pregnancy was not yet showing.


“With everything those kids have been through in their lives,” said Buttans, “well, having them here and as safe as they can be anywhere in this universe… If anyone deserves a happy ending, it’s those kids. They’ve served their time in hell…”


- * -


It was Justice Minerva Irons’ oldest daughter, Ocean’s Planetary Administrator Tamar Irons, who realized the crew of the U.S.S. Hunter needed some sort of commemoration and closure to help them accept the loss of so many crew members. She had recruited Dr. Napoleon Boles for this project even before the Hunter had arrived in orbit. In only two days, working in a large workroom in the resort lodge and assisted by several members of the Irons family, Boles produced a large mural in a romantic bolian painting style known as “heroic heart painting” that portrayed, three times larger than lifesize, Lt. T’Lok Smith, Flight Specialist Joey Chin, Investigator Lynhart Shran, Lt. Cmdr. Sarekson Carrera (in his expeditionary clothing) as well as Tactical Specialists Jarrong, Belo Rys, Belo Garr and Belo Cantys – not as lifelike portraits – but as recognizable heroic caricatures in a group pose that was at once flattering and humorous. 


A set of holo-emitters was erected near this mural so that Lt. Tauk (projected from a pressurized section of the resort lodge where he was staying), Dr. Kim, Dr. Raj and the ship’s interactive holographic avatar, Hunter, could pose next to this mural along with the remainder of the Hunter’s crew, including their departing tactical squad members, for a group photogram. Holographic images of Chief Flight Specialist Dewayne Guth and 2nd Lt. Sun Ho Hui (currently on away on assignment) were also projected to complete the ensemble.


It was only several hours later as the sun was setting and dinner was being served on the beach that various crew members began to notice that in the large amount of space above the characters in the mural, in extremely subtle hues, an even larger likeness of Justice Irons’ face was watching over the departed crew members. At nightfall, the mural was beamed up to Star Base Eleven and mounted in one of the crew lounges near the large docking bays.



Episode 15.9 - A Stitch In Spacetime: In With the New by Robert Bruce Scott
Author's Notes:

The new tactical squad has arrived. They kick butt, they're tall, they're gorgeous, they're sexy, and they can read your mind...

Star Trek Hunter
Episode 15: A Stitch in Spacetime

Scene 9: In With the New


In With the New

Ensign Tolon Reeves was in holosuite 2 on Star Base Eleven, evaluating the new tactical squad that had been assigned to the U.S.S. Hunter. Tactical Specialists Dasare Eba, Veri Geki and Ranni Neivi, under the supervision of Chief Tactical Specialist Rume Grace, were in combat with a squad of simulated klingons. Two things became immediately apparent about the four tall young women as they fought silently: all four had clearly earned their E7 black belt rating in one of the most relentlessly violent of human martial arts forms – Krav Maga – which had been adopted by Star Fleet as the preferred martial arts training for combat units. Chief Grace was one of very few experts certified by Star Fleet Personnel as E9, the highest rating achievable.  

Prior to First Contact, the highest level had been E5. Additional levels had been added to recognize the need for expert training in countering non-terrestrial physiologies, weapons, cultures and martial arts forms. Krav Maga focused on close fighting and grappling instead of flashy long-range kicks featured in other forms. The primary focus of Krav Maga was first and foremost, effective use of issued weaponry and, for unarmed combat, disarming armed opponents and using their captured weapons against them.

The Grace team also coordinated their fighting style without spoken word or gestures and focused on group tactics that created crossfire situations, causing their opponents to fight at added risk of injuring one another. 

This exercise, pitting the four members of the Grace team against 20 holographic klingons, lasted just under five minutes and ended with two members of the Grace team having sustained heavy bruises and another one with a large, jagged cut that required use of a dermal regenerator to heal. Eighteen of the simulated klingons had been rendered unconscious. Two others registered as killed.

Chief Grace approached Ensign Tolon. “Actually, our klingon allies are honored that we generally prefer to train against klingons,” she said in answer to his unspoken concern. “They are the most difficult adversaries to take prisoner, which is our training goal – not to kill, but to capture alive. Capturing a klingon alive in heated combat is extremely difficult. Klingons do not lose consciousness easily and they do not surrender on the point of death unless honor or standing orders require them to. There are opponents that are harder to kill, but none that are harder to take alive.”

The other three team members joined Tolon, and he found himself straining his neck a little as they were all nearly a foot taller than he was.

“No, actually we are all 100% betazoid, not hybrids,” said Veri Geki, answering his unspoken question. “Rume was looking for a very specific set of physical, telepathic and emotional characteristics. I know you are aware betazoids are culturally opposed to violence, but there are those among us who recognize that it is occasionally unavoidable. I was seven when the Dominion conquered Betazed. I do not have fond memories of the jem’hadar.”

“We were all part of the resistance,” Dasare Eba added. “And we all lost friends and family members. My parents were committed to non-violence and non-resistance. It did not stop the jem’hadar from killing them in a training exercise.”

“I suppose it will be impossible for me to get a word in edgewise around you – at least a spoken word…” Tolon said, provoking some light laughter among his new charges. He looked around the group again. “It appears that you were also selecting for height – you are all nearly the same height and build. It also appears you were looking for exceptionally attractive women.”

“You find us distracting and because of this you are intimidated by us,” Rume Grace said. “You have been doing a far better than average job of controlling your sexual attraction to us. It helps that you have a really cute girlfriend…” Tolon blushed slightly at that comment.

“In spite of that, I think you can see what a tremendous advantage that gives my team before the first weapon is drawn,” Chief Grace continued. “It works on a large variety of species. I selected team members close to my size, shape, and facial features to make us harder for potential enemies to distinguish us from one another. Which makes it harder for them to target us effectively, throwing off their coordination. They have a harder time remembering which, if any of us is wounded.”

“I suppose that accounts for the identical hairstyles?” Tolon asked. All four women had short, blonde hair a few shades lighter than their skin tone.

“We selected this color combination after significant psychological testing,” said Ranni Neivi. “Humans tend to underestimate the intelligence and capabilities of women with blonde hair – that seems to test broadly across a majority of human cultures. Denobulans relax and let their guard down in the presence of people with skin tones darker than their hair and at the same time Romulans seem uniquely intimidated by that combination of features. We selected a skin tone and hairstyle preferred by changlings, which triggers a fear/obedience response among the jem’hadar. Klingons are about the only species for which we could not find any color coding or appearance characteristics that would give us an advantage.” 

“It seems counterintuitive, but klingons have so long been culturally committed to the meritocracy of combat, they are probably the most egalitarian culture we have encountered,” Dasare Eba mused.

“So you dye your hair to get the same color?” Tolon asked.

“We made the skin tone and hair color permanent using genetic editing,” Neivi replied.

“We also had surgery to alter our facial features. To make us similar, but not identical. If we were identical, that would hamper command and control by a superior officer,” Grace concluded, tapping Ensign Tolon lightly on the chest.

“I am surprised that you chose to enlist instead of commissioning,” said Tolon.

“This is a demonstration project,” Chief Grace replied. “In order to demonstrate it, we need to be on the front lines. And recently, JAG is the command where tactical squads are used most often and receive the most dangerous assignments.”

Tolon looked carefully at the faces of these intense, tall, telepathically endowed young women. They came to attention and fell silent and it took a moment for him to register that this was what he wanted them to do – not for disciplinary or demonstration reasons, but simply to give him a moment to think and mull over what he had just seen and heard.

“Tell me,” he said, after thinking for a few moments. He spoke quietly, measuring out his words, addressing Chief Rume Grace, giving her an evaluating look, “What is it that is motivating you to do this? You have really gone to extraordinary length to develop this project and push it through Star Fleet. Why?”

“You know that Betazed lost its only colony in the Third Borg Incursion,” Grace responded. “Millions of us were lost when the Fesh colony was targeted by the borg. You can imagine what a disaster it would be if the borg could acquire millions of powerful telepaths. Fesh had a population close to 32 million. Only a few were taken alive. Over 31 million of my people committed suicide rather than be assimilated by the borg.”

“Just a year later, the jem’hadar captured Betazed and enslaved all of us. Nearly a billion of my people died in that war – on our own home planet. Half of them were killed for sport and show trials. And still very few of us fought…” Grace stopped herself. 

Tolon could feel her mingled grief and anger welling up inside him as if it were his own, native emotion.

“I’m sorry, sir,” Grace said. “When we get really emotional, we tend to project a little…” She took a long breath. “The borg beat us because they’re bigger than Star Fleet. The jem’hadar beat us because they’re far better at small unit operations than Star Fleet. And a billion of my people died on the front lines of those wars without putting up a fight. Because they were committed to non-violence and non-resistance…” 

Tolon could feel the anguish and bitterness in Grace’s voice. 

“Because they were counting on Star Fleet to do their fighting for them,” Grace continued. “I want to change that. I want my people to have a fighting chance.”


End Notes:

Character:                        Chief Tactical Specialist Rume Grace (Rume)
Human Ethnicity:             N/A
Additional Species:         Betazoid
Hometown/Homeworld:  Lake Catoria, Betazed
Introduced: Episode        15.9
Age when introduced:     23
Role:                                Tactical Squad Trainer, U.S.S. Hunter

Character:                       Tactical Specialist Veri Geki (Veri)
Human Ethnicity:             N/A
Additional Species:         Betazoid
Hometown/Homeworld:  Iscandar, Betazed
Introduced: Episode        15.9
Age when introduced:     19
Role:                                Tactical Squad, U.S.S. Hunter

Character:                       Tactical Specialist Dasarae Eba (Dasarae)
Human Ethnicity:             N/A
Additional Species:         Betazoid
Hometown/Homeworld:  Garah, Betazed
Introduced: Episode        15.9
Age when introduced:     25
Role:                                Tactical Squad, U.S.S. Hunter

Character:                       Tactical Specialist Ranni Nievi (Ranni)
Human Ethnicity:             N/A
Additional Species:         Betazoid
Hometown/Homeworld:  Thetzed, Betazed
Introduced: Episode        15.9
Age when introduced:     17
Role:                                Tactical Squad, U.S.S. Hunter

Episode 15.10 - A Stitch In Spacetime: The Sun, the Moon and All the Stars by Robert Bruce Scott
Author's Notes:

And the U.S.S. Hunter's team needs a new mathematician. And Dr. Moon has found a famous one... 

This is the final scene for Episode 15. The story continues with Episode 16 - Slavers.

Star Trek Hunter
Episode 15: A Stitch in Spacetime

Scene 10: The Sun, the Moon and All the Stars


The Sun, the Moon and All the Stars

As the U.S.S. Hunter’s Chief Operations Officer, Lt. Cmdr. Mlady had direct supervision of the Ground Operations, Flight Operations and Engineering departments. She met with the candidate for the ensign position in the Hunter’s Engineering department as soon as he arrived from Earth. As final preparations were underway to ready the Hunter for departure, they met in a small conference room on Star Base Eleven – the same room where, a little more than a year ago, Rear Admiral Samantha Burton had met with then Governor Emory Ivonovic.

The new recruit was dressed in the standard red uniform. He was part Rigellian Chelna, the only evidence of which was the unusual golden color of the iris of his eyes and a slightly protruding jaw, which, combined with a thick mane of blonde-gray hair and beard, gave him a bit of a leonine look. Combined with his age and unusual height – nearly 6’6” – this gave Ensign Geoffrey Horatio Alstars a stately appearance that was further enhanced by his cultured British accent, piercing gaze and rapid-fire responses to questions.

“I will ask the obvious question,” said Mlady. “Why did you decide to join Star Fleet at your age?”

“My cat died.”

“Your… cat.”

“Mittens," Alstars responded briskly. "I was just batty about her, but she lived a good long life – 28 years. She was a very good kitty.”

“You do realize that to qualify as an Ensign or higher officer rank on the U.S.S. Hunter, that you must be licensed by the Federation Tribunal to practice federation law?” Mlady asked.

“Well, it seems I am in luck. I received my license just last week,” Alstars replied.

“Again, I have to ask, why?”

“I have filed an age discrimination complaint against Star Fleet. I joined because I wanted to see the stars – not sit around a recruiting station in Oxford talking to students. I was a math professor for 50 years. I’ve already talked to all the snot-nosed Oxford students I ever wanted to. But just because I’m 78 years old, Star Fleet refuses to transfer me from Star Fleet Personnel to Space Command. I meet and exceed all of the physical and psychological requirements based on my age and species. I want off that crowded planet and they couldn’t even take me out of Oxford.”

“I am not offering to transfer you to Star Fleet Space Command, Ensign. Would you settle for the Office of Judge Advocate General?” Mlady asked.

“If it will get me out of Oxford,” Alstars replied.

“You will have to drop your lawsuit…”

“Well, being assigned to serve on an actual space vessel that is actually serving in actual non-terrestrial space would rather cut the legs out from under my legal argument..." Alstars straightened in his chair: "Wouldn’t it?”

Mlady stood up. Even standing, she was not as tall as the elderly ensign seated across the table from her. “One thing I should warn you about serving on the U.S.S. Hunter, Ensign: It is not a deep space exploration vessel. Hunter is a patrol craft and most of it is rather cramped. Not optimal for tall people. The only areas where you would be able to stand up straight would be your sleeping/escape pod, medical, deck 8, the running track on deck 5 and main engineering deck – which is where you would spend most of your time.”

Ensign Geoffrey Horatio Alstars thought about it for a few minutes, then stood up and stretched. Despite his age, evident in the wrinkles on his face, he was lean and straight. “I think I can manage that,” he said, “Thank you, Lieutenant Commander.”

“Welcome to the crew of the U.S.S. Hunter, Dr. Alstars,” Mlady said. “You will need to exchange that red uniform for the black one – gold piping for operations.”

15 – A Stitch in Spacetime

End Notes:

Character:                       Ensign Geoffrey Horatio Alstars (Geoff, Sir Geoffrey, Lord Wooton-Sandleigh)
Human Ethnicity:             British
Additional Species:         Rigellian Chelna
Hometown/Homeworld:  Oxford, England, Earth
Introduced: Episode        15.10
Age when introduced:     78
Role:                                Flight Engineering Group Leader, U.S.S. Hunter

Episode 16.1 - Slavers: Flying By the Seat of their Pants by Robert Bruce Scott
Author's Notes:

Pivin and Oarama fly through the badlands in EVA suits to escape Orion slavers...

Star Trek Hunter

Episode: 16: Slavers
Scene 1: Flying By the Seat of their Pants


Flying By the Seat of their Pants

Probably the most sophisticated and elegant of all Maquis inventions was the atmosphere specific flight suit. It had been invented to provide the Maquis rebels a nearly untraceable method for inserting a large strike force onto a planet from space. The garment’s outer layer was a temporary EVA suit, which could provide up to ten hours protection in open space, but was designed to gradually ablate on entry into a planetary atmosphere. The heat of ablation provided power to a micro inertial dampener, designed to slow the descent of the wearer without registering on a sensor as anything more energetic than an average meteor.

By the time the wearer entered the middle atmosphere, the outer suit was designed to fall away and ablate entirely, while the micro-dampener, before being destroyed with the suit, was designed to slow the wearer sufficiently for deployment of a triangular fixed wing, controlled by hands and feet, allowing a very long glide capability so that the wearer – now a pilot – could glide for hundreds of kilometers to seek their preferred landing zone. A set of levers allowed the pilot to gradually open a number of billows built into the fabric of this wing, providing controlled drag to enable a horizontal landing on skids that were deployed beneath the pilot. The entire wing structure was designed to be disassembled on landing for reuse either in its original capacity or for other purposes.

While these suits had been designed and a few hundred had been manufactured for a space-to-ground assault, the Maquis never used them for this purpose and the prototypes were eventually sold as escape modules. Pomm Irons, Minerva Irons' bajoran grandson-in-law, had long ago purchased three of these and stored them on the B.R. Prophet Motive in hopes they would never be needed.

Neither Pivin the Betrayer nor Oarama Irons had ever donned these suits before and there was no training program. Just a tag with alarmingly optimistic pictograms. These flight suits, crafted by Maquis rebels in hastily prepared workshops on outlawed colonies, had a distinctly homemade appearance to them. The two women struggled into them, having to experiment with the inner and outer portions to get them to fit correctly while the runabout’s pilot, a massively obese bajoran male, made one wild turn after another, trying to evade phaser fire from a small cloud of orion interceptors and at the same time avoid the massive walls and columns of energized plasma that characterized the Badlands. 

In desperation, Pomm Irons launched first the elderly romulan woman, then his (primarily) cardassian wife into space from the Prophet Motive’s torpedo launcher, before angling the large runabout to avoid another plasma burst. Phaser fire from pursuing orion interceptors sparked off the yellow runabout’s shields and intersected with the surrounding plasma storm, adding bright laces of energy to the energetic fields of ignited stellar gasses that made the Badlands so dangerous for navigation – and a favorite hiding place not only for the Maquis rebels, but for outlaws and refugees of every description. And, now that the Maquis rebel forces had been devastated in the War with the Dominion, no one was left to protect the tens of thousands of refugees who sheltered behind the plasma storms. The Badlands had become a rich hunting ground for green-skinned orion slavers.

As their ship and only home swerved away from them in a futile attempt to escape a dozen orion interceptors, Pivin, the romulan spy, and Oarama Irons, Justice Minerva Irons' mostly cardassian granddaughter, with only their flimsy, homemade EVA suits between them and the cold of space, had to adjust their flight pattern to pass through eddies in the plasma bursts that were far too small for a ship, but easily large enough for an EVA suit to pass through.

One of the orion interceptors that had been hot on Pomm’s tail diverted course to follow the two women. The hole in the plasma burst was just large enough to thread an interceptor through. But the pilot failed to take magnetic interference into account and the plasma interacted with the interceptor’s shielding, trapping the small vessel and pulling it up into the plasma storm, where it exploded, feeding its energy into the plasma cloud. 

Pivin and Oarama could only adjust their flight through open space with small bursts of gas from the sides of their flight suits. All around them on every side the plasma storm raged in vibrant reds, yellows and greens – energized and electrified by the orion interceptor it had swallowed and was digesting in brilliant cascades of intense blue lightning. For a moment it was easy for them to forget this was a desperate escape and simply admire the raw, energetic beauty of the Badlands. 

But a rogue planet was hidden in the middle of all this blazing stellar material – so enveloped in the raging plasma storm that it was nearly impossible to approach by ship. Even a runabout would have great difficulty navigating the storm raging around Vengeons-Roux (as the Maquis had named the planet).

Rogue planets were almost invariably frozen, dead planets, but not Vengeons-Roux. The planet’s strong magnetosphere protected the atmosphere from the blazing waves of stellar material. The biosphere had survived by adapting to the energy of the raging plasma storm around the planet and small animals hunted by the ever shifting light that at one moment might be close to daylight and in the next moment twilight. Pomm and Oarama had scouted this planet years ago as a possible emergency hideout and had left a stash of supplies and food. They had also sewn a number of hardy and very useful plants to grow wild near these supplies.

Following Pomm’s scant and hurried instructions, Pivin and Oarama kept at least 500 meters between them as they entered the atmosphere of Vengeons-Roux. They turned their bellies to the atmosphere and watched – their face-masks instantly turning dark to protect their eyes and faces from the intense heat and radiation of their suits ablating into the planet’s atmosphere. They could feel the drag of micro inertial dampeners embedded in their flight suits, slowing their descent and cooling them as the remnants of the outer suits broke free and fell below them in trails of flaming debris.

As they deployed their fixed wings above them, the skids that were all that was left of the front of their EVA suits also deployed, providing a counter-balance to their triangular fixed wings, helping to keep them oriented for face-down horizontal flight and a horizontal landing. The inertial dampeners gave them a final lift, then dropped away to be smashed to dust on the ground far below. The flapping of the fabric wings grew louder and gradually provided increased lift as they glided into increasingly dense atmosphere. 

After a few hours of synchronized flight, Oarama changed her wing angle and sped ahead of Pivin, then swooped around, slowing again. Pivin followed and the two gradually circled their target landing zone for nearly ten minutes, gradually losing speed and altitude until first Oarama, then Pivin landed on their skids, skidding across nearly 300 meters before grinding to a halt in the large meadow Pomm and Oarama had long ago selected. Oarama was grateful that it still was a meadow.

A number of large quadrupeds crept out from the tree line toward the two women as they hurriedly freed themselves from their flight harnesses. The creatures had large heads with large mouths. They walked and stalked somewhat like wolves, spreading out to encircle the two women. The moment Pivin and Oarama stepped free of their flight gear and stood up straight, the animals quickly turned and ran back into the trees. 

“They fear bipeds,” Pivin observed.

“We’re not alone,” Oarama concluded.


Episode 16 - Slavers by Robert Bruce Scott
Author's Notes:

Introduction for Episode 16: Slavers by Pomm Irons, Population Specialist (and spy runner)

Star Trek Hunter
Episode: 16: Slavers

Episode 16 – Slavers

“In the early days of human colonization of the Alpha Quadrant, the Vulcan Space Command prevented human access to habitable planets that had indigenous sentient pre-warp populations. At the same time, they began to open vulcan colonies to a burgeoning spacebound human population. Earth’s population had stabilized at about 12 billion. 

“Behind the scenes, a number of economic actors, including the vulcans and the denobulans, worked to create incentives for massive human population growth. With an increasing life expectancy, longer fertility periods and being perpetually in heat, humanity had a unique potential for explosive population growth among the species that eventually united to form the Federation. Humans, denobulans and vulcans alike saw the potential for filling up available environments with human populations as a bulwark against potential aggressors – the klingons, the romulans and others.

“Their long term plan was to stabilize this population once the boundaries of the Federation were established and potential environments secured. But the genie was not so easily put back into the bottle. Into this runaway population growth came an unanticipated secondary population explosion of hybrids as human genetics leant the gift of human fecundity to other federation species…”

Pomm Irons – The Human Time Bomb.

Crew of the U.S.S. Hunter: (Ship's Interactive Holographic Avatar - Hunter)

At-Large Appellate Justice, Captain Minerva Irons

Chief Executive Officer - Commander David Pepper

Chief Operations Officer - Lt. Commander Mlady

Medical Director - Commander Tali Shae
        Asst. Medical Director - Lt. Jazz Sam Sinder
        Epidemiologist - Lt. Napoleon Boles
                Ensign Chrissiana Trei
                    Forensic Specialist - Midshipman Sif
                        Emergency Medical Hologram - Dr. Raj
                        Tactical Medical Hologram - Dr. Kim
Director of Flight Operations - Lt. Cmdr. Kenneth Dolphin
        Asst. Flight Dir. - 2nd Lt. Gaia Gamor
                        Navigator Johanna Imex
                        Navigator Eli Strahl
                Ensign Ethan Phillips
                        Chief Flight Specialist Dewayne Guth
                        Chief Flight Specialist Thyssi zh’Qaoleq
                        Flight Specialist Dih Terri
                        Flight Specialist Winnifreid Salazaar
Director of Ground Operations - Lt. Tauk
        Asst. Ground Ops Dir. - 2nd Lt. T’Lon
                        Investigator Buttans Ngumbo
                        Investigator - vacant
                Ensign Tolon Reeves
                        Chief Tactical Specialist Rumi Grace
                        Tactical Specialist Dasare Eba
                        Tactical Specialist Veri Geki
                        Tactical Specialist Ranni Neivi

Director of Engineering - Lt. Moon Sun Salek

        Asst. Engineering Dir. - 2nd Lt. Sun Ho Hui

                  Midshipman Tammy Brazil

                        Transporter Engineer K'rok

                Ensign Geoffrey Horatio Alstars, Lord Wootton-Sandleigh, Order of Merit

                        Flight Engineer Yolanda Thomas

                        Flight Engineer Thomas Hobbs

                        Flight Engineer Tomos

                        Flight Engineer Kerry Gibbon

Episode 16.2 - Slavers: Possum-Chicken by Robert Bruce Scott
Author's Notes:

Captain Chekov leads a task force on a dangerous mission to take out the Orion slaving operation...

Star Trek Hunter

Episode: 16: Slavers
Scene 2: Possum-Chicken



The U.S.S. Milky Way was considerably larger than the old Galaxy class star ships, but had a lower, sleeker profile with the secondary engineering hull located behind the saucer section instead of beneath it and the engine nacelles located out to the sides of the secondary hull instead of above or below. Like the Galaxy class, the Milky Way could be operated with a skeleton crew of 100 and generally required 700 for normal operations. The actual crew complement was 1,231 with an additional 400 Star Fleet cadets, and two basic training units designed to produce a total of 60 enlistees every 16 weeks. An additional 2,000 civilians performed functions from weapons and replacement parts manufacture to food production to education and family services. Even with 4,000 people onboard, large sections of the ship were vacant and could be re-purposed for a wide number of uses. The Milky Way was designed to manufacture whatever spare parts or enhancements it required while on missions far from home.

Captain Sullivan Cruz, newly promoted and newly assigned to command the U.S.S. Intrepid, on which she had served for the past three years as first officer, was admiring the Milky Way from the bridge of the Intrepid. “Old Possum-Chicken got a pretty serious upgrade,” she said.

“Why do you call him ‘Possum-Chicken’?” asked her newly assigned pilot, Lt. Shaq Carter.

“Some of the brass at Star Fleet started calling him ‘Possum’ – as an insult – because that’s his favorite game,” Cruz replied. “He used it at Wolf 359 when it became evident we were hopelessly outmatched. Every other starship captain fought until the borg destroyed them. Serge played dead until the borg moved on, then rescued more than a hundred crew members from the broken remains of their ships… Rescued me – I was an ensign fresh out of the academy. Most of my shipmates didn’t survive. Captain Chekov played possum with the klingons and later the jem’hadar during the Dominion War. He’s very good at avoiding a fight. But I watched him use that same tactic to lure a Vor'cha class cruiser into their own mine field. He destroyed a top of the line klingon battle cruiser without firing a single shot.”

Captain Cruz was in full storytelling mode – half of the officers on her bridge were new and had not heard this story before – and it was a good one. “The name ‘Possum-Chicken’ comes from a game we played with a pair of klingon birds of prey. It was the aftermath of the Battle for Detapa Council, which ended badly for both us and the klingons. In a vast debris field – the remnants of Star Fleet and Imperial Klingon hulls, two birds of prey were playing dead. With two active birds of prey on the field we couldn’t rescue our stranded crew members from the other destroyed ships. So we played dead too – and our three ships were drifting closer. And closer…” Cruz illustrated her story with her hands, demonstrating the relative positions of the ships. “And closer… Those klingons had nerves of steel. So did Serge… At the last minute he ordered our thrusters to full downward thrust and pushed us straight down out of their line of fire just as they opened up with their disrupters and they ended up shooting each other. We burned them both out of our sky without losing a single crew member. Serge won that fight by playing Possum and Chicken at the same time.”

“Other Star Fleet captains have more kills. But old Possum-Chicken has rescued more stranded crew members and brought more people home alive than all of them put together. Other Star Fleet captains get medals for valor. Captain Chekov gets to take out the first new ship in every class because he brings his crews home alive and his ships home in one piece,” Cruz concluded. “Not an easy man to get along with, but in my opinion there’s not a better captain in the fleet.”

“He’s hailing us, sir,” came the voice of Ensign Fyndis Gaddid, a young bolian woman standing at the new tactical operations station that had been squeezed next to the tactical station in a recent re-design of the Intrepid’s bridge.

Captain Cruz made a “come hither” gesture with her right hand and the ensign put the signal through. 

Captain Chekov appeared on the screen – a balding man in his 60’s with a hard round belly, an unflattering comb-over, a pock-marked face and heavy lidded eyes. He leaned forward in an enormous captain’s chair. Although she could not see it on the viewer, Cruz knew that chair was located near the back of the largest bridge on any Star Fleet vessel, a bridge that included a bull-pen of eight tactical stations.

“Intrepid, this is U.S.S. Milky Way, Serge Mykel Chekov commanding.”

“Milky Way, this is the U.S.S. Intrepid, Sullivan Parker Cruz commanding. Go ahead, Milky Way…”

“Are you ready for our little game of wounded bird, Sully?” Chekov had only a hint of his grandfather’s famously thick Russian accent.

“Aye, sir,” Cruz replied.

“That is your bridge, Captain and your collar is identical to mine. It’s not “sir” to you any longer. It’s ‘Ser-GEY’, yes?”

“Old habits are hard to break, Captain… Serge,” Cruz corrected.

“And best broken over vodka,” Chekov replied. “Of which I have a considerable supply waiting for you and your crew at the successful conclusion of this mission. Our green-skinned neighbors have grown far too aggressive along our negotiated border and Admiral th’Zoarhi wants a demonstration of our resolve to protect the indigenous peoples of the region. I’m afraid I intend to leave you hanging out there for a very uncomfortable amount of time. I will be putting you and your crew at great risk and you should anticipate both damage and casualties. I want you to fight hard and make a good show of trying to run, but do not escape. It is the only way to draw out their larger assets.”

“I am not wild about being hung out as bait,” said Cruz.

“I was used as bait on my first mission with my first command,” Chekov responded. “And I was just about your age at the time. Although I was somewhat prettier than you... Remember, just because you can’t escape and you have to fight doesn’t mean you can’t fight smart. Fight the way I taught you and you have a reasonable chance of bringing most of your crew – and most of your ship home. Horoshaya ohota, Kapitan!”

Cruz rolled her eyes: “Da, nye zabood’ spasti moyoo zadnistsoo, Serge Mykel!”

Chekov broke into an uncharacteristic laugh. “Your Russian is atrocious, Sullivan Parker. But I fully intend to save your ass anyway. We will see you at the border. Milky Way out!”

On the bridge of the U.S.S. Milky Way, Captain Sullivan Cruz’s image had only taken up an eighth panel of the enormous main viewer. As her image was replaced by a view of the U.S.S. Intrepid jumping to warp, Captain Chekov walked forward from the captain’s chair to the tactical bullpen, located forward right and sunk into the floor so deep that most of the bullpen could not be observed from his perch at the back of the bridge. A group of eight officers sat in a ring facing outward at an unbroken, 360 degree viewer that wrapped around and under them. The spherical view was completed by a dome viewer in the ceiling of the bridge high above. Their seats and consoles were transparent and mounted on gyroscopic gimbals, allowing these officers to rotate a full 360 degrees. 

A command chair was located in the center of this group – also transparent and mounted on gimbals so that the Milky Way’s tactical officer could coordinate the actions of the enormous ship’s multiple weapon systems as well as an accompanying squadron of long range interceptors. This seat was elevated to provide the tactical officer an eye-line to the ship’s captain as well as oversight of the stations inside the bull-pen.

“I know you are accustomed to leading from in front, Captain,” said Chekov to his recently promoted tactical officer. “Now you must lead from behind. Are you prepared for that? Can you still fight when you’re not out there with a phaser cannon between your thighs? Can you lead people into battle when you’re looking at their backsides?”

Captain Red swiveled her chair to look up at Chekov as if he were her target. “I am and I can. I would never have let you put me in this chair otherwise.”

“Don’t get comfortable in it.”


Chekov walked to the forward center of the bridge to stand between the tactical bullpen and a quartet of stations to the left arranged in a wing pattern – helm and telemetry forward and center, flanked by navigation and science stations respectively that were slightly swept back. Captain Chekov took up a wide stance, feet firmly planted, arms akimbo. “Lieutenant Combs, make your course for the orion border at warp factor 5.” 

“Course laid in at warp factor 5, Captain,” the helmsman responded. 

Chekov kept his eyes forward. “Captain Red, are your birds ready to leave the coup?”

“Aye Captain, all interceptors reporting course laid in, warp factor 5. My birds are ready, Captain,” Red responded.

“Then let’s get the flock out of here. All units – Engage!”

* Horoshaya ohota, Kapitan!  (Good Hunting, Captain)

* Da, nye zabood’ spasti moyoo zadnistsoo, Serge Mykel!  (Yeah, don’t forget to save my ass, Serge Mykel!)


End Notes:

Character:                       Captain Sullivan Parker Cruz (Sully)
Human Ethnicity:             Mexican
Additional Species:         Orion
Hometown/Homeworld:  Eden, Cun Ling
Introduced: Episode        16.2
Age when introduced:      39
Role:                                Captain, U.S.S. Intrepid

Character:                       Lieutenant Shaquile Carter (Shaq)
Human Ethnicity:             African American
Additional Species:         N/A
Hometown/Homeworld:  San Antonio, Texas, Earth
Introduced: Episode        16.2
Age when introduced:      23
Role:                                Flight Team Leader, U.S.S. Intrepid

Character:                       Ensign Fyndis Gaddid
Human Ethnicity:             N/A
Additional Species:         Bolian
Hometown/Homeworld:  Trantor, Cun Ling
Introduced: Episode        16.2
Age when introduced:      19
Role:                                Communication Team Coordinator, U.S.S. Intrepid

Character:                       Captain Serge Mykel Chekov (Serge, Possum-Chicken)
Human Ethnicity:             Russian
Additional Species:         N/A
Hometown/Homeworld:  St. Petersburg, Russia
Introduced: Episode        16.2
Age when introduced:      64
Role:                                Captain, U.S.S. Milky Way

Episode 16.3 - Slavers: Self Sealing Stem Bolts by Robert Bruce Scott
Author's Notes:

The new Ensign in the U.S.S. Hunter's engineering department has a big problem to solve.

Star Trek Hunter

Episode: 16: Slavers
Scene 3: Self-Sealing Stem Bolts


Self-Sealing Stem Bolts

Dr. Moon Sun Salek, the U.S.S. Hunter’s Director of Engineering, was gratified that her entire department were not only familiar with the name Dr. Geoffrey Horatio Alstars, but were familiar with his work and overawed by his presence. The theoretical math he had developed in his early 20’s that was the foundation of his doctorate in mathematics had transformed modern warp field engineering and the Crusher/Crumar/Carrera recursive warp engine would not have been possible without these equations. Most of Dr. Moon’s crew had at first assumed the new Ensign Alstars was a descendant of the great mathematician and not the actual article himself.

Rigellian chelna had no longer life expectancy than humans – less, actually - so Dr. Alstars’ apparently undiminished strength and vigor at his age was a surprise to everyone. He looked like an old man - the only evidence of his chelna heritage were his somewhat large gold eyes and slightly long incisors. He certainly didn’t walk like an old man. In addition to his well-documented mathematical genius, he had quickly demonstrated an instinct for engineering.

“What are you doing Engineer Gibbon?” Alstars asked in his booming, precise and rather bristly Oxford accent.

“Remounting the outer nacelle control panel to the primary control frame assembly,” Gibbon replied somewhat indistinctly, without looking up, his words slurred around something in his mouth.

“No, no, stop that!”

Flight Engineer Kerry Gibbon froze, still holding a large and quite heavy control panel in place with his knee, a bolt in one hand, rivet wrench in the other and holding two more bolts in his mouth.

Alstars, nearly 6’6”, crossed half of the main engineering deck in two great strides, reached out and put his large, wrinkled hand under Gibbon’s mouth. “Spit those out!”

Gibbon dropped the two bolts from his mouth into Ensign Alstars’ hand. 

“These are self-sealing stem bolts! What are you trying to do, melt your teeth or weld your mouth shut?”

“I’m just trying to get this panel…”

“Put that down! No, wait, give me those tools first, and then put that down!”

Gibbon dropped the other bolt and the rivet wrench into Ensign Alstars’ large hands. Alstars set the tools aside, then grasped two of the handles on the control panel and helped the young engineer lower it to the floor. Once the panel was on the floor, Alstars, towering over Gibbon, rapped his knuckles lightly on the young engineer’s forehead. 

“Hellooo?? Is there anybody in there?? I happen to know that there is a panel mounting horse in that cabinet...” Alstars gestured over his shoulder with his thumb. “And I also happen to know, because I checked, that it is fully equipped with not only all the clamps you need to keep that panel in place while you secure it to the primary control frame, but it also has all the movable trays and drawers you could want to keep tools and parts in so you don’t inadvertently swallow a white-hot rivet. But first you have to tell me why you were trying to mount a control panel that needs regular maintenance using self-sealing stem bolts?”

“I’ba, uhm…” Gibbon stammered, incoherently.

“That’s what I thought. You were using them so you wouldn’t have to drag out the mounting horse and do things the proper way. Save those self-sealing stem bolts for permanently mounted fixtures, get out the correct bolts, lugs and wrenches and do the job right, Mr. Gibbon!”

Alstars stormed off. He looked up and saw that Flight Engineer Yolanda Thomas had observed his encounter from deck one. He winked at her and went back to a holographically projected clear-board he had been scrawling equations on before scolding Kerry Gibbon. He scowled at his equations, then waved his hands impatiently at the clear-board. 

“No, no, get rid of them.” 

The equations promptly vanished.

“I haven’t had an original thought in 50 years and now everyone expects me to solve this riddle – how to get this whole blasted class of ships safely into recursive warp without artificial intelligence…” Alstars groused. He sighed, picked up a holographically projected black marker and started scrawling new equations, grumbling under his breath the entire time.


Episode 16.4 - Slavers: The Needs of the Many by Robert Bruce Scott
Author's Notes:

Section 31 Director Julian Bashir has ordered the death of personality for a dangerous romulan intelligence agent...

Star Trek Hunter

Episode: 16: Slavers
Scene 4: The Needs of the Many


The Needs of the Many

“I am unconcerned about the judgement of history, Director. My only concern is to ensure that there will be someone left to read that history.” Vice Admiral Senvol stood next to the Director of Section 31, Chief Justice Julian Bashir. “You were wise to select your co-conspirators exclusively from those of my people who have completed the kolinahr. Which leaves only you wracked with such concerns as whether the preservation of all life in the Alpha Quadrant might be worth the things we must do.”

Both men were watching a live video feed of a stunningly beautiful romulan woman writhing and howling in agony. Her torment was not caused by anything so crude as physical pain. The ancient, blue-eyed vulcan in the room with her was such a powerful telepath and had spent so much time deeply enmeshed in her mind that he no longer needed to touch her to initiate or maintain a mind meld. The ability to communicate telepathically without touch was exceedingly rare among vulcans. The ability to remotely initiate and maintain a mind meld - especially one powerful enough to completely dominate another mind - was almost unheard of.

“Chief Justice Scrivax has a rare gift, Julian,” Senvol continued. “A depth of understanding of the terrors that lurk deep in the soul and how to evoke them and turn them to his purposes.”

Bashir shuddered. He had grown gaunt and his skin had the unhealthy pallor of someone who spent too much time hidden from the light of day. “If he had not completed the kolinahr, I would think him a sadist.” 

“The kolinahr replaces such emotions as satisfaction and gratification with an understanding of the long term implication of our actions.” Like the vulcan administering the torment they were witnessing, Vice Admiral Senvol was ancient - his face lined with age, his eyes green rimmed, his thinning hair turned a greenish gray. “My greatest concern is not for him, nor for her, but for you. By exposing yourself to every moment of Remma’s adjustment - the destruction and reconstruction of her personality - you endanger our desired outcome. And all of these things you agonize over may come to naught as a result.”

“Someone must, Senvol,” said Bashir. “You can no longer feel your emotions. Neither can Scrivax," he added, gesturing to the ancient vulcan on the screen, remotely controlling his lovely romulan victim. "You have purged your emotions through the kolinahr. But emotion must bear witness to the worst parts of what we do and still be able to say that it will be worth it. In a way, I have ordered her death - the death of her personality.”

“You have ordered me to my death as well," Vice Admiral Senvol replied. "I go without hesitation. And I will take many with me.”

“That is different, Vice Admiral. You know why you must do it. You are a military man and the people you will sacrifice are under your command. I know that Remma is a monster. She has done terrible things for the Romulan Senate. She has tortured and killed just to further the petty grievances of one romulan politician against another.”

“Yet still you grieve for her?” Senvol asked.

“I was a doctor before I became a judge," Bashir replied. "Before I became… Before I joined Section 31. Compassion was my first lesson. First do no harm.”

“The needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. Your responsibility as Director of Section 31 requires you to do harm. Deliberately. To do what is necessary because no one else can,” Senvol observed.

“I despised the man whose place I took,” said Bashir. “And now I have become him.”

“Luther Sloan was a good man. A tormented man. But a man with clear, moral vision and purpose,” said Senvol. “I trusted him with my life. With the lives of my people. All of my people. If you believe tearing yourself apart over the torment of this romulan woman is what you must do, then you are following his example. I saw him do much the same when harsh action was required. But this one woman’s torment is nothing compared to what lies ahead.”

The Director of Section 31 shuddered again. But he did not look away from the torment of their prisoner.


End Notes:

Character:                       Vice Admiral Senvol
Human Ethnicity:             N/A
Additional Species:         Vulcan
Hometown/Homeworld:  Vulcana Regar, Vulcan
Introduced: Episode        16.4
Age when introduced:      192
Role:                                 Commanding Officer, Star Fleet 6th Fleet

Episode 16.5 - Slavers: Lord Wooten-Sandleigh by Robert Bruce Scott
Author's Notes:

The U.S.S. Hunter's newest crew member (also one of the oldest) is a renowned mathematition - and he has another big problem to solve...

Star Trek Hunter

Episode: 16: Slavers
Scene 5: Lord Wootton-Sandleigh


Lord Wootton-Sandleigh

Dr. Geoffrey Horatio Alstars had started and re-started his equation four or six times - he had stopped counting - might have been eight… He sat on a track chair (locked securely in place, per procedure), long legs crossed, back straight, and ran his fingers through his thick mane of gray hair - still shot with a few reddish-blonde patches - which action made his hair stand out and gave him more than a little the look of an elderly and rather disgruntled lion. He took a sip of hot tea (in a safety sealed sip cup, per procedure) and grumbled under his breath, “Rome wasn’t built in a day…”

At that moment, Lt. Moon Sun Salek swept by, 2nd Lt. Gaia Gamor and Navigators Johanna Imex and Eli Strahl in tow, and said, “Flight engineers and officers to the engineering conference room. Now please!”

Alstars got up, quickly scrawled a few more characters onto the clear-board and headed toward the engineering conference room, located at the back of the engineering deck, directly underneath Dr. Moon’s office on deck one. He returned to the board, hastily scrawled a few more characters and stepped away again, then returned again, retrieved his teacup and set the marker on the clear-board. Then returned again to wave a frustrated hand at the board - “Discontinue hologram!” The clear-board and marker promptly vanished.

As Alstars settled at the conference table, which was, like the walls of the room, made of clear lacquer, Dr. Moon called for the ship’s interactive holographic avatar. “Hunter, please display the wreckage of the B.R. Prophet Motive.” 

Alstars was gratified that the avatar had been designed after another elderly mathematician and engineer. He had only met Professor Jose Crumar a few times, but because Hunter had Crumar’s features, voice and mannerisms, he was much more relatable to Alstars than his engineers - all of whom (with the exception of Thomas Hobbs) seemed like children to him. Even Hobbs was only in his mid-50’s. With Hunter looking like Crumar, there was at least one other old codger running about that he could relate to. 

It was rather odd that the hologram chose to appear as a 6” tall Lilliputian standing on the conference table, but that made it easy for Hunter to walk around the projection of the wreckage of a large runabout, finished in cardassian yellow, and point out the telltale signs that it had been destroyed by orion phasers as well as damaged by encounters with high energy plasma.

“The Prophet Motive was left adrift in the Badlands” Hunter said. “No personnel - alive or dead - were found aboard. There is evidence that the craft had carried three emergency EVA suits. All of these were missing. It looks like, before exiting the craft, one of the occupants fed the computer core into the torpedo tube and launched it. Particle remains indicate that it was launched into a plasma cloud, along with a photon torpedo…”

“They must have been desperate,” observed 2nd Lt. Sun Ho Hui. “I’m surprised there is as much of the ship left as it appears. Detonating a photon torpedo in a plasma cloud as big as the Badlands… That’s a really big, nasty explosion.”

“We are scheduled to rendezvous with a ferengi marauder, then we will be headed toward the Badlands,” said Dr. Moon. “For obvious reasons, we cannot use the zip drive inside a massive plasma cloud and it is likely, given the evidence of a torpedo launch, that the topography of the entire region may have changed. Once we are in the cloud, we will not be able to exceed warp 3 and in most areas we will be restricted to impulse speeds. The U.S.S. Galaxy has been dispatched from Deep Space 9 to the border of the Badlands, where they will use their sensors and probes to re-map the region. We should rendezvous with the Galaxy in four days. Hopefully they will have a fairly comprehensive topography by then.” 

Moon paused to take a drink of coffee (not in a lidded cup to Alstars’ silent dismay) before continuing. “Lieutenant Gamor has been assigned as our intermediary with Galaxy’s Stellar Cartography department. Hui, I want you to coordinate with their engineering department and gather everything they can pick up about the re-composition of the plasma fields and everything they can learn about effective shielding from their probes. Galaxy has already launched 400 probes into the Badlands and they will be conducting experiments with interaction between shields and the plasma cloud as well as using them for mapping.”

“How many probes does one of those old Galaxy class cruisers carry?” asked Yolanda Thomas.

“As many as they need,” Flight Engineer Thomas Hobbs replied. “The Galaxy class had factories installed during the last series of upgrades and now carry a large number of civilian manufacturers. They also had interceptor bays installed to carry eight of the new long-range interceptors.”

Alstars thumped the conference table impatiently, giving both of his engineers a warning glare.

“Hey! Careful with that finger,” said the 6” tall projection of Hunter, staggering slightly on the table and drawing a quick laugh from everyone except Alstars and Moon.

Dr. Moon cleared her throat. “I want all of you to study everything we have on the B.R. Prophet Motive and everything about the Badlands. You have four days to become experts on both of these. But not you, Sir Geoffrey,” Moon added, looking at Alstars. “Your project is top priority for Star Fleet.”

“If you please, Director, I prefer Ensign. We’re more than a thousand light years from Merry Old England and I would rather not have any of this Sir Geoffrey or Lord Wootton-Sandleigh silliness. At my age, Star Fleet Officer Candidate School was no picnic and I fancy the title I feel I actually earned.”

Lt. Moon smiled. “Understood and appreciated, Ensign. Before you go back your equations - and the rest of you to your stations, I need to notify Pep. We have received a broadcast from Star Fleet Operations, but Pep wanted this meeting to be complete before relaying it.” Moon unconsciously looked up as the communication system automatically adjusted to carry her voice to the bridge. “Pep? We’re ready down here.”

Commander David Pepper’s voice was heard throughout the ship. “All hands, please stand by for a broadcast from Star Fleet Operations…”


Episode 16.6 - Slavers: The Battle of Coridan Corridor by Robert Bruce Scott
Author's Notes:

Captain Chekov leads a dangerous and heroic operation against the Orion slave masters at the hotly contested Coridan Corridor just on the Federation side of the border...

Star Trek Hunter

Episode: 16: Slavers
Scene 6: The Battle of the Coridan Corridor


The Battle of the Coridan Corridor

“All Star Fleet personnel and other authorized parties, this is Fleet Admiral Miriam Stewart, Director of Star Fleet Operations. At 4 hours, 9 minutes Star Fleet standard time this morning, a flight of 18 orion light interceptors engaged the U.S.S. Intrepid in the Coridan Corridor, inside Federation space. As you may be aware, the Orion Syndicate has become increasingly aggressive with slaving operations targeting pre-warp civilizations within Federation space, and has conducted particularly egregious raids against two such worlds located near the Coridan Corridor, farming these worlds for slaves in open abrogation of the Babel Treaties and the Khitomer Accords.

“This orion strike force was only the vanguard of what turned out to be a much larger group of orion marauders and a previously unknown new class of orion heavy destroyers. With great courage and discipline, the crews of the U.S.S. Intrepid and the U.S.S. Victory, worked together with our heroic klingon allies aboard the I.K.V. Nome under Commander Koraj, and the I.K.V. kHov Bome under Captain Warg, to draw out this large force of orion ships. 

“In what was, in my opinion, the most flawlessly conducted Star Fleet combined operation in the past century, Captain Serge Mykel Chekov set a trap for the orion slavers and led a large task force of our ships, with the addition of the Andorian Imperial Guard Vessel, the I.G.V. Ravonnelle, along with two full squadrons of our new long-range interceptors into battle and destroyed 18 orion marauders, 42 orion light interceptors and four of their new heavy destroyers. Not one orion ship or interceptor survived the Battle of Coridan Corridor. And all Star Fleet ships and the two klingon ships are coming home. 

“But we paid a heavy price for this victory. I regret to inform you that we lost 13 of our long-range interceptors in this battle and only 4 of those interceptor pilots survived. The I.K.V. kHov Bome and the U.S.S. Intrepid in particular suffered heavy damage and heavy casualties, including the loss of Captain Warg and Captain Sullivan Parker Cruz, both on their first tour of duty in command. The U.S.S. Victory also suffered heavy damage and considerable casualties. A comprehensive list will be published once their families have been notified. In all, 19 klingon warriors and 117 Star Fleet crew members, along with 8 associated civilians serving on the Victory, gave their lives to this effort.

“On behalf of a grateful Federation, I want to express our profound gratitude toward and pride in our valiant klingon allies who risked and gave their lives with great honor, and thank Chancellor Martok for allowing these courageous crews to join us in this effort to protect the innocent from slavery. I also want to thank Emperor Sin IV for contributing the I.G.V. Ravonnelle and its crew and heavy interceptors to this effort. Their courage, honor, and above all, their discipline made this complete victory possible.

“Additionally, Admiral Jamaal El Fadil, Star Fleet Chief of Staff, has authorized me to announce at this time the promotion of Serge Chekov to Rear Admiral. And Rear Admiral Chekov has chosen the U.S.S. Milky Way as his flagship.

“I want to make it clear that a large number of orions are members of Star Fleet and 9 of our casualties in this action were orion or had orion heritage, including Captain Cruz. We have not yet heard from any members of the Orion Allied Governments and at this point we do not have a full picture of how the alliance will react. In spite of the actions of the slavers and the Orion Syndicate, the majority of orions living and working in Federation space are peaceful and lawful members of our society and respect the rights of pre-warp civilizations to privacy and insulation from influence by advanced races. Please allow me to emphasize that orions are not, generally speaking, our enemies. Do not allow your opinion of a great people to be colored by the acts of an outlaw minority.

“Detailed briefings for all Star Fleet commanding officers and government officials will be provided by Star Fleet Intelligence along appropriate communication channels. Please direct any questions you have to your commanding officers. We do not yet know whether to expect additional incursions along our border with the orion alliance, but I can assure you that we are prepared for them if they come.

“To all Star Fleet and associated personnel: Thank you for your service. Thank you for your courage. Thank you for your forbearance. Thank you for your discipline. This is Fleet Admiral Miriam Stewart, signing out.”


Episode 16.7 - Slavers: And Then There Were Three by Robert Bruce Scott
Author's Notes:

The surviving Section 31 agents on the U.S.S. Hunter meet to consider what may have gone wrong with the Federations most secretive black ops corps...

Star Trek Hunter

Episode: 16: Slavers
Scene 7: And Then There Were Three


And Then There Were Three

“So… Rear Admiral Possum?” Dr. Tali Shae asked.

“He has his admirers, Tali, and they call him Possum-Chicken,” Justice Minerva Irons responded. “I don’t like the man much, but I admire his tendency to bring people home alive.”

“I have already heard grumbling that he held the Milky Way and the Ravonnelle back for three hours while orion forces burned down his former first officer. The Intrepid is coming home, but they’re having to tow it. It and the Victory,” Tali observed. 

“You remain wisely silent, Kenneth, any observations?” Irons asked.

Lt. Cmdr. Kenneth Dolphin and Cmdr. Tali Shae were seated on the couch in the captain’s stateroom. A bottle of pineapple cider and tumblers were set on the table before them. Justice Minerva Irons, wrapped in a black and scarlet kimono, was in her lounge chair, her legs folded under her, a tumbler of the sparkling beverage in her hand.

“I don’t envy Chekov and I would not want to wear that much platinum on my collar,” Dolphin observed. “It comes with the requirement to occasionally send your friends to their deaths. I understand he dribbled ships into the fray specifically to lure out all of the orion forces so that he could destroy them all in one action. Do you know why the Ravonnelle was assigned to that action?”

“Redemption, Lieutenant Commander,” Irons replied, “In return for the destruction of two Star Fleet interceptors and killing one of our pilots in the Battle over Rings. The Emperor Sin IV has assigned the Ravonnelle to Rear Admiral Chekov for the next three years and requested that they be put first in battle as often as possible. They are to put their lives on the line for the Federation and return with their shields or on them.”

“Our new emperor is quite the mercurial soul,” said Tali. “I hear he has pulled our delegation to the Federation Council out of the Moderate coalition.”

“I can’t see Andoria joining the Homeworld coalition,” Dolphin said.

“Not the Homeworld coalition,” Irons responded. “The Federal coalition. A few bolians and humans left the Moderates as well, so Ushi no longer has a majority. Your friend has been busy.” She took a drink of her cider.

Kenny Dolphin coughed on his drink. It took a moment for him to recover. “You think this is Ivonovic’s doing?”

“Emory Ivonovic has made some very astute alliances,” Irons replied, “the most surprising of them with Emperor Sin IV. I still agree with you that it would have been a disaster if Ivonovic had surrendered to the Tribunal. But why was he so ready to do so? Do you think he was angling to get a seat on the Federation Council?”

“Ivonovic is far more subtle than he appears,” said Kenny. “But I think that was just a stroke of luck for him. He was afraid of a romulan intelligence operative. He seemed to think she answers directly to the Romulan Senate. Apparently she is in command of that cardassian cruiser that attacked us last year. So what happens to Ushi? Does he lose power?”

Irons laughed. “Ushi has been setting the agenda for the Federation Council for more than 40 years now. Most of that time without any coalition having a functional majority. There is no such thing as a prime minister or a ‘no confidence’ vote. Whoever can put together the most votes sets the agenda and names the committees.” 

“I had a hard time at first believing he was your son,” said Dolphin. “And no idea how he keeps getting elected.”

“I keep forgetting that Earth representatives are popularly elected by district,” said Tali. “Most Federation Council members are appointed by their homeworld governments. How does that strange child of yours keep winning elections?”

Irons took a sip of her pineapple cider, smiled. “Ushi’s opponents have always withdrawn before their names could be registered on a ballot. He is a very secretive man – he keeps his secrets and he knows everyone else’s secrets. He is by far the strangest of my children. And the most prolific – he has given me 31 grandchildren.”

“I heard he is the master of some ancient form of martial arts,” said Dolphin.

“I honestly don’t know,” Irons responded. “His father taught him Ba Gua Zhang and Jujitsu when he was young, but he started studying on his own before he was a teenager and would quit the moment he realized he was being observed. If he is a master of any form, it is most likely one he developed himself. And it seems he has sired a race just as strange and secretive as he is.”

“Ushi may have met his match in Sin IV,” Tali Shae observed. “You have had more dealings with him than me, but he has always had a reputation for secrecy and unpredictability. Why do you think he instructed his delegation to shift over to the Federal coalition?” 

“By withdrawing from the Moderate coalition, the andorians have become the swing vote,” Irons replied, “so Ushi has to specially court them. But that only worked because Ivonovic was able to convince enough other members to leave the Moderates so they no longer have a majority.” Irons drained her glass.

“Which makes your friend another unique power player that Ushi also has to deal with,” said Tali.

“You keep calling him ‘my friend’,” Dolphin objected.

“He cultivated you because he realized you could be useful to him,” Irons observed. She stood up, stretched her legs, grunted in discomfort. ”I can no longer sit in that position for very long…” Irons sat back down, stretched her legs in front of her, sighed heavily. “That interview with you allowed Ivonovic to broaden his appeal not only to nearly all the various naturalborn groups and their sympathizers, but also to a much broader audience who seem to be growing more receptive to your writings. He’s capitalizing on your notoriety. Not only as a philosopher, but also your notoriety within Star Fleet as a pilot. All of that gives you some clout with him. You should cultivate that relationship – if not for your sake, for all of ours.” Irons set her empty tumbler on the table, then placed three fingers from her left hand on the table and very briefly held up the index finger of her right hand.

Kenny Dolphin and Tali Shae looked at each other in surprise.

“There were four of us,” said Irons. She refilled her tumbler, settled back into her lounge chair. Lifted her glass. “The late Lynhart Shran.”

Dolphin and Tali Shae lifted their glasses. Until that moment, neither had been aware that Investigator Shran - or that each the other - was a member of the federation’s top secret organization, Section 31. An organization so secret, they avoided speaking the name openly even in the privacy of the captain’s quarters.

“We have a serious problem,” Irons continued after a long drink. “For the moment our assignments align. But if you receive instructions that seem strange to you, trust your own judgement over the organization. I hardly need say it, but trust me before you trust them.”

Tali Shae’s antennae were standing at attention now.

Dolphin glanced at the doctor. “They’re compromised,” he said.

Tali looked questioningly at Irons. “How did he…”

“Quadropseudoprozadiazomine,” Irons responded with a gesture toward Dolphin. “It allowed him to go through a mind-meld with a contaminated vulcan without becoming compromised too. That’s how the organization is being infiltrated. It’s being passed along by vulcans through mind-melds. I recommend you keep some quadropseudoprozadiazomine – if you get into a situation that might involve a mind-meld, inject it as a prophylactic.” 

Irons stood up, began pacing. “I have an assignment for you, Tali. We will be meeting with Damon Trock of the Ferengi Merchant Ship Usotro. You are to pose as your cousin, Autti Shae, and travel with him to an orion slave auction. You will take Reeves and his team for security.”

“Just the vacation I needed,” Tali quipped. “I assume my cover is because Autti is now the Emperor’s physician?”

“And the two of you are reasonably close in looks,” Irons replied. “Arrangements have been made with the andorian government. Unless someone is there who actually knows Autti, your cover should be secure. All of the computers will identify you as her.”

“I don’t think she is all that well known in either ferengi or orion circles. Who is the slave?” Tali asked.

“My grandson-in-law,” said Irons. “Pomm.” She drained her glass.

“Poor kid,” Tali said. “He’s probably sweating his massive, flabby buns off.”

“Pomm has a talent for being underestimated.” Irons smiled. “My granddaughter chose well when she married him. There’s the heart of an Irons under all that blubber. You need to find out what has happened to Oarama and, more critically, Pivin. More hinges on that little old romulan woman than I care to admit…”


Episode 16.8 - Slavers: Tolon's Women by Robert Bruce Scott
Author's Notes:

The U.S.S. Hunter's new tactical squad - 4 tall, beautiful women - disguise themselves as Orion Slave-Girls... And they bury themselves in the part...

Star Trek Hunter

Episode: 16: Slavers
Scene 8: Tolon’s Women


Tolon’s Women

“Oh… my… goddess…” Ensign Tolon Reeves was almost speechless as he joined his tactical squad in the transporter room. 

His four tall, athletic, tactical specialists had received surgical pigmentation and hair implants. Their once bronze skin was now a uniform dark green and their short, blonde hair had been replaced by cascades of thick, wavy, coal black curls. Their lips, fingernails and toenails were painted a deep, vibrant scarlet. At just over 6’, the four betazoids were considerably taller than average for orion women. But it was the scant clothing that had rendered Reeves dumbfounded. Skin-tight midnight blue straps barely held their ample breasts in place and their matching bikini bottoms might as well have been spray-painted on. Each woman was also draped in diaphanous violet and red scarves that neither covered nor concealed their sleek, muscular bodies.

“You have no need for orion pheromones. Your victims will succumb to their own hormones just from looking at you,” Reeves said. Although not surgically altered himself, Reeves was out of uniform. He was wearing loose, baggy pants, shirt and vest, all made of beautifully colored, carefully detailed and far-too-comfortable silks. He had left his own family earring behind and was wearing the earring of an enormous and famously wealthy bajoran family.

Chief Tactical Specialist Rume Grace smiled wickedly. “I’m afraid sir, for us to play our roles properly, that you must be our victim…”

“Hey… I have a girlfriend you know,” Reeves objected. “A really cute one that I’d like to keep…”

“And she is in love with a Star Fleet officer who has an obligation to duty,” simpered Tactical Specialist Ranni Neivi, trailing her fingers over Ensign Tolon’s mostly bald head and toying with his comb-over.

Tactical Specialist Dasare Eba pressed her nearly naked body tightly against Reeve’s back and ran her hands firmly over his belly and chest.

Dr. Tali Shae, clad in tight leathers in the latest andorian civilian fashion, strode into the transporter room and viewed this risqué spectacle on the transporter pad. Her antennae bristled. “Stop that! Can’t this wait until we arrive at the slave market? Or at least until we’re aboard the Usotro?”

Dasare Eba rested her chin on the top of Reeves’ head and pouted. “I’m afraid it cannot be delayed.”

“We all need to settle into our roles well before we are seen by anyone else,” said Chief Grace, stepping up behind Tali Shae as she took her place on the transporter pad and twining her long body around the andorian doctor’s back, causing the curvy andorian woman’s right antenna to spasm spontaneously - like the leg of a small dog being mercilessly tickled.

“We can’t help it,” added Tactical Specialist Veri Geki. She nuzzled Reeves’ ear, then looked up at Dr. Tali Shae:

“We’re method actors.”

Tali sighed and gave Midshipman Tammy Brazil a pained look, her right antenna still spasming helplessly. “Energize… Please?”


Episode 16.9 - Slavers: Vengeon-Roux by Robert Bruce Scott
Author's Notes:

Oarama and Pivin come across a small community of Romulan refugees on the rogue planet known as Vengeon-Roux...

Star Trek Hunter

Episode: 16: Slavers
Scene 9: Vengeons-Roux



From the landing site to the supply and survival station that Pomm Irons and his wife, Oarama, had built several years ago, was a six hour walk through old growth forest with little underbrush. Oarama Irons and Pivin the Betrayer could see that they were being tracked at a distance by the wolf-like animals they had observed on their arrival. Both women carried Andorian Imperial Guard issue phaser rifles slung on their backs and each had a hand phaser concealed in her clothing. But the women wanted to avoid using their phasers unless absolutely necessary. The heavy plastic skids from their flight suits made fine walking sticks, each with a shepherd’s crook at the top. As the women walked, they would occasionally gouge the bare, forest floor with their walking sticks.

As they got within a few hundred meters of the supply station, their lupine escort melted away and both women unslung their phaser rifles under the assumption the quadrupeds were shy of the area because it was occupied. Pivin’s superior hearing picked up the sound of voices at almost the same moment that Oarama was able to detect wraiths of heat moving near the mouth of the cave which she and Pomm had stocked so many years ago. Both women stopped and observed.

A fire had been started in the cave - Oarama could not see the flames or a trail of smoke, but she could smell it. Evidently the inhabitants were using the stove that she and Pomm had hidden in the cave, along with a chimney system to route the smoke away from the cave. She and Pivin crept closer and were soon able to observe a small number of people tending the plants outside the cave. 

The two women noticed the watchers at the same moment and stopped their movement. The watchers at the edge of the tree line appeared to be children, but serious, alert children. They were now close enough to hear the people talking quietly, but Oarama could not pick out any words. 

Two individuals, appearing to be young boys by their size, emerged from the tree line into the camp, carrying what could only be firewood. The larger of these spoke in a loud voice, causing some of the adults in the camp to move away from him and others to come and relieve him of the firewood he was carrying. Others came more eagerly to the smaller boy and relieved him of firewood. 

Oarama did not need to understand the language to gather that the larger boy was throwing his weight around. The children who had been watching at the edge of the forest had turned their attention back in to the camp, giving Pivin and Oarama the opportunity to move much closer. Oarama could tell by Pivin’s expression that the older romulan woman was outraged. As they got closer to the camp and could observe its denizens more closely, Oarama began to understand why.

Romulans. Elderly romulans. Very elderly romulans and a small number of young romulan children. Oarama checked her communicator. The universal translator should have translated romulan, but the communicator had no power. Oarama did not know whether Pivin’s communicator was working, but it didn’t matter - these people were speaking her language. Pivin walked straight into the camp. Oarama held back, covering the elderly romulan with her phaser rifle. These romulans did not appear to be armed. Both the elderly and the children huddled back as Pivin emerged from the trees, but the older boy challenged her loudly. He pulled out a homemade bow, but before he could fit an arrow to it, Pivin neatly cut it in half with her phaser.

Oarama checked her own phaser - still set on stun. Pivin must have changed the setting in the moment she lifted and used the weapon - with tremendous accuracy and confidence. If her pencil-thin beam had encountered one of the romulans it would have sliced effortlessly through flesh and bone. Oarama was suddenly reminded of Pivin’s decades of service in the Romulan Imperial Ground Forces. Of course she was expert with a phaser. As quickly as she had raised and used the weapon, she had returned it to her back.

The older boy had a sly expression. He was wise enough to realize that Pivin had no intention of killing him, so he moved forward to challenge her hand to hand.  Pivin was ignoring the boy and speaking to the elders - who were apparently trying to warn her about the boy’s impending attack. This boy had a lot of lessons to learn. Oarama had the opportunity to deliver one of those lessons - she could stun the boy, letting him know that people like Pivin more often than not had backup.

But that was a lesson for another time. The first thing the boy needed to learn was his place - and that was a lesson for Pivin to teach. Before the young romulan realized he had stepped into range, without turning to look at him, Pivin caught his leg with the crook of her walking stick and swept his legs out from under him. The boy sprang back up in a rage and attacked - only to receive the other end of the walking stick to his sternum, robbing him of his breath.

Oarama was gratified that the boy continued his aggression unabated - like any good romulan or cardassian should. Best for him to burn out his dream of dominance and learn his lesson thoroughly than to seethe in humiliation and nurse vengeful fantasies as a human or a bajoran child might. Oarama smiled, thinking that it was exactly that duplicity of false humility and hidden strength that she loved so much about Pomm - there was always another hidden strength or ability that she had never known about - even after 15 years of marriage spending nearly every hour together. She missed him terribly.

Pivin had transferred the walking stick to her right hand and was leaning on it. She was blocking the boy’s continued aggressions with a variety of jabs and blocks using only her left arm - all the while never looking at him and continuing to ask questions of the elders and draw them into conversation. The boy’s aggression had gradually been replaced with curiosity. His wild, angry attacks were replaced with more clever, probing ones - learning more now about Pivin’s art of self-defense, well aware that he was completely outmatched.

After reviewing her environment carefully, Oarama stepped quietly into the encampment and waited, just inside the tree line to be noticed. The elders were clearly both fascinated with and frightened of Pivin. When they finally noticed a cardassian in their midst, they were clearly terrified. The boy was startled out of his wits, never having thought that his antagonist might have an accomplice. He ceased his attacks and remained very still. Since she could not understand a word any of them were saying, Oarama also remained still and waited until it was clear that Pivin had calmed the other romulans sufficiently that they could accept their visitors. 

With a few moments now to let down her guard, Oarama squatted down to her haunches and worked on her communicator. She was able to bring the universal translator online, but none of the communicator’s other functions were working.

“I see you have cultivated my garden,” Oarama finally said to her involuntary hosts. “You are refugees.”

“From romulans, cardassians, humans, bajorans, the jem’hadar, and now those green slavers,” said an elderly romulan male. “They were the ones who took our children and our grandchildren and left us only with babies, and only these four of the babies have survived.”

“I am Oarama Irons. I am free. My husband and I are Federation citizens. He is bajoran.”

“I am Dibos. So a bajoran married a cardassian…” the elderly romulan mused, not certain what to make of this information.

“My father was cardassian. My mother is part cardassian, bajoran and human - and just a little bit vulcan, trill and betazoid,” Oarama Irons replied. “I take it you have been able to eat the gogo root that my husband and I planted here. And the callolope?"

“We did not know your names for these plants, but our palates have grown accustomed to them. But we cannot digest the goo of these plants…” He indicated a large plant with stiff, thick fronds.

“That’s Aloe Vera. The goo is medicinal. You seal your wounds and rashes with it,” Oarama replied.

“I think that may only work on people with red blood,” Dibos responded.

“Unless you have an allergic or toxic reaction to it, it should at the least seal and protect the wound and it has some antibacterial properties,” Oarama said.


End Notes:

Character:                       Dibos
Human Ethnicity:             N/A
Additional Species:         Romulan
Hometown/Homeworld:  Sentor, Romulus
Introduced: Episode        16.7
Age when introduced:      167
Role:                                 Refugee


Episode 16.10 - Slavers: TPD Unit 1-ADM-12 by Robert Bruce Scott
Author's Notes:

A Trantor police cutter catches up with the U.S.S. Hunter and brings an unexpected replacement for the late Investigator Lynhart Shran...

Star Trek Hunter

Episode: 16: Slavers
Scene 10: TPD Unit 1 ADM 12


TPD Unit 1 ADM 12

“We have a small ship coming in at high warp,” said 2nd Lt. T’Lon, currently standing watch at the tactical/communication station. “They are requesting permission to dock.”

“On screen,” said Lt. Cmdr. Mlady. The U.S.S. Hunter had just stopped for supplies at Starbase 91 and was preparing to go to warp. 

“They’re hailing us,” T’Lon said.

Mlady gestured with her thumb and T’Lon activated the link.

“Unidentified ship, this is the U.S.S. Hunter, Mlady commanding. Please identify yourself and your intention.”

A familiar, smiling face appeared on the viewer. “Hello Mlady commanding. Is Justice Irons home? Oh - this is the Trantor Police Department Administrative District Monitor, Unit 1 ADM 12.”

The door to the captain’s office opened and Justice Irons emerged and turned toward the viewer. “Please dock on our port side, Special Agent Canada. We were just about to go to warp and we are in a hurry.”

“I am well aware of that, your honor. I think you’ll consider this brief delay worth your while.”

A few moments later, the Trantor Police monitor was docked with the Hunter and Special Agents Johnny Canada and Anana Lynarr had joined Justice Minerva Irons, Commander David Pepper, Lt. Tauk and Investigator Buttans Ngumbo in the executive conference room. 

“We’ve been getting a lot of conflicting information from Star Fleet Intelligence and from our Federation Council members,” said Canada. “That’s why the Blue Wraith were commissioned. With three billion people to look after, the City of Trantor has to track every threat separately. We can’t afford to rely on Star Fleet or anybody else.” 

“Recently, we’ve been picking up so many threats, we’ve been feeding more information to SFI than we’ve been getting from them,” Canada continued. “There are several different threats that we are tracking. Our analysis indicates the andorian rebellion is picking up energy and while Andoria itself is probably secure, the colonies are at threat and especially of concern to us, the andorian community in Trantor, and three other cities on Cun Ling. We’re also tracking what I think are continuing threats from the orion slavers. I don’t think their power is destroyed even with the loss of all those ships. We’re also tracking rumors that the nausicaans are going to make another play for Pillo - especially now that Captain - um - rather Rear Admiral Chekov pulled the Victory away - leaving only a couple of Prowler class ships in orbit. But my biggest worry is Vulcan.”

“What makes you think Vulcan might come under attack?” asked Tauk.

“We’ve been picking up chatter all over Vulcan and on a few of their nearby colonies from the separatist movement for the past two years. Recently, we have monitored an increase in the chatter. We think the vulcan separatists are trying to coordinate a romulan assault to take the system over - but under the cover of several simultaneous attacks. Star Fleet’s victory at Coridan Corridor may have set their plans back, but not by much. I have already informed Star Fleet Intelligence and if that division has earned its name, they will increase security around the Vulcan system.” Johnny Canada turned toward Irons. “As I understand it, you are trying to locate Pivin the Betrayer?”

“I’m not sure how you know that, Special Agent Canada,” said Irons. “But the fact you can know something like that when even Star Fleet Operations doesn’t is quite disturbing to me.”

“Lynhart Shran became a bit of a hero to me,” Canada admitted. “It seemed like he was in the middle of everything and I think you, personally, are the reason why. I’ve been keeping tabs. I don’t know what you’re hoping to learn from the Betrayer that you don’t already know, but whatever it is, I strongly believe it will affect Trantor’s security, which means I need to be involved." Canada turned to address Buttans Ngumbo. "I understand you have not replaced Investigator Shran yet?”

“I really have no idea how to replace him,” the half bajoran, half Maasai investigator responded. “Since the contract was with our agency, it’s my responsibility to find another investigator, but I just can’t imagine anyone replacing him.”

“Until you find another business partner, what would you think about subcontracting with the Trantor Police Intelligence Division?” Canada asked. “As Special Agent In Charge, I am responsible for assigning field agents to deep cover. I would like to embed Special Agent Anana Lynarr with you. This would give you the full support of the Blue Wraith and would help keep me more informed of things I need to know to identify potential threats to my city. Believe me, if either Pillo or Vulcan were to fall, that would be an enormous threat to Trantor’s security. Maybe TPDID could help you prevent those things from coming to pass.”

“I would have to go through channels…” Justice Irons started.

“Ah, but Anana has quit the Blue Wraith - bad quarterly reviews. And while you have ultimate approval over whom Mr. Buttans here employs, your contract does not require you to scrutinize his candidates if you choose not to…”

“You know, Mr. Canada, I do believe Lynhart secretly liked you…” Irons observed. “You will give with both hands?”

“May we have the room, your honor?”

Irons looked at Pep. “David?”

“Alright you lot, shuffle off to the kiddie table. Let’s let the adults talk,” Pep said, clearing the room, and squeezing out of the door after them.

The ferengi director of ground operations ushered Investigator Buttans and the young bolian agent to the ground operations center at the back of deck 8. "We work in rather close quarters," Tauk said.

“It is starting to look as though you will be working for me,” Buttans Ngumbo said to Anana Lynarr. 

“I was a Blue Helmet for two years before transferring from the Uniform Division to Intelligence,” said Lynarr. “Johnny recruited me for the Blue Wraith. He never told me why.”

“Either that or you’re not ready to tell me,” Ngumbo replied. “We have a lot of down time between assignments.” He ushered her to the workstation that Investigator Shran had previously occupied. “We know the orions took Pomm Irons from the Prophet Motive. They sold what was left of the ship to the ferengi, who, in turn, sold it to an agent of the Irons family. We haven’t had any word about Pomm Irons' wife, Oarama, or Pivin the Betrayer. We are working on the assumption that they were abandoned in the Badlands. The Maquis built four stations there, but those were all destroyed by the Dominion. That leaves eight planets or moons with breathable atmospheres and about 20 or 30 other rocks large enough to build a pressurized shelter on.”

After Commander Pepper left the conference room, Johnny Canada turned to watch him, scratching the back of his head with three fingers of his left hand. He turned, resumed his seat and picked up a glass of water with his right hand, took a drink, his little finger extended. 

Irons was not surprised that Canada was a member of Section 31. Given his position of leadership in the Trantor Police Department Intelligence Division, he had to be a prime candidate for recruitment and was no doubt a valuable asset.

“Investigator Shran showed me the knots,” Canada said. “I have no idea how he knew. But he also knew I was getting strange instructions. Now the whole organization has fallen silent. I’ve known months to go by without any communication, but never in the face of threats – especially not threats like what we’re facing now. I think a big operation is underway. A really big operation. I can't think of any other reason for all this silence they've been feeding us.”

“Lynhart told me you were one of us, Special Agent Canada,” Irons replied. “In these times it appears we cannot trust our own and especially not our leadership. But Lynhart seemed to think of you as one of the good guys.”

“Then you’ll take Anana? I have more than one reason for wanting to her in your operation. She’s a superb analyst and a keen observer of behavior. And she has a gift for decrypting signals. But she isn’t a strong fighter and I fear the Blue Wraith are going to be on the front line, facing increasing danger at every turn. Your boat isn’t the safest place in the universe, but I would sleep just a little better if she were on it.”

“That sounds like a very temporary solution, Mr. Canada.”

“All solutions are temporary,” Canada replied. “And please, I’m just Johnny. Especially on any open communication channel…”


Episode 16.11 - Slavers: The F.M.S. Usotro by Robert Bruce Scott
Author's Notes:

Dr. Tali Shae and Ensign Tolon Reeves, along with his tactical squad, hitch a ride on a ferengi merchant ship..

Star Trek Hunter

Episode: 16: Slavers
Scene 11: The F.M.S. Usotro


The F.M.S. Usotro

Damon Trock was less than communicative, despite the attentions of the U.S.S. Hunter’s (currently green) tactical squad. Trock turned out to be a taciturn, highly disciplined ferengi shipmaster, highly suspicious of Star Fleet, but a reliable resource for the Irons family, which had profited him and his crew greatly. He spurned the advances of Rumi Grace and her team and would only speak to Dr. Tali Shae – and that only moments before depositing the Hunter’s task force at the orion slave auction.

“You are not the only buyers I am carrying,” Trock said. “We are currently outside of federation space. All transactions will be conducted outside of federation space and my other buyers will disembark with their purchases before this ship re-enters federation space. I am very careful to obey local laws. Our relationship will be severely damaged if you try to enforce Federation law outside of federation space. Do I make myself clear?”

“Minerva Irons’ word is my word,” Tali replied.

“Be at the beam-in site in three of your standard hours and be prepared to wait when you get there. Keep your faces clean. If you make a mess of things down there, I may have a hard time extracting you. I am being well paid to return you and your cargo safely to the Irons family, but if it comes to a choice between you and my ship, I will protect the Usotro first. Some advice – I have seen Star Fleet bungle this kind of mission before. You want a bajoran. Don’t let the orion slavers know you want a particular bajoran. Bid on every bajoran that comes up for auction and purchase a few of them. I’m sure the Irons family can figure out what to do with them and I have been assured I will be appropriately reimbursed for whatever you spend here. I’m working this job on commission, so the more you spend, the more valuable you become to me.” The ferengi captain handed the doctor a large talisman of his face fixed to a sturdy chain. Similar, but smaller talismans were provided to Ensign Tolon Reeves and each of his four tactical specialists.

“Keep these on you at all times. They are your passage back onto my ship. They are keyed to your unique biologies and have an audible alarm in case someone tries to remove them or if someone else puts them on. Only the large one authorizes any expenditures on my account. When you come to an agreement, rub the ears and speak the price and the auctioneer’s designation into the pendant. The credit will be lodged to the auctioneer’s account and the debit to mine.”

Damon Trock had kept his passengers separated, so the first time the Hunter’s task force met their fellow travelers from the F.M.S. Usotro was at the beam-in point for the slave market. The beam-in point was a rather forbidding open area on the face of an asteroid. Only an energy force field bubble stood between this pocket of breathable atmosphere and the cold of space. The only light was provided by the force field itself. The six crew members from the Hunter and their fellow travelers stood on an area of deck plating that provided sufficient artificial gravity to keep them on the face of the asteroid. The other buyers from the Usotro were two giant and impressively muscled orion men (both about the size of the Hunter’s part-orion first officer), four ferengi in a tight group, a tall and rather overweight older romulan woman and a young human male with unruly, dark brown hair accompanied by two gangling female nausicaans – both somewhat taller than the orion males, but less than half their mass. All of these fellow travelers were wearing the larger Trock talismans except the two nausicaan females, who, like Tolon and his group, had the smaller pendants that did not provide access to Damon Trock’s credit accounts.

Not having met on the Usotro, each group appeared less than willing to get close to any of the others and the entire delegation from the ferengi merchant ship remained silent until a door opened in the deck plating on the surface of the asteroid to reveal a staircase into a lighted, warm environment inside the asteroid.


End Notes:

Character:                        Damon Trock
Human Ethnicity:             N/A
Additional Species:         Ferengi
Hometown/Homeworld:  Dos, Ferenginar
Introduced: Episode        16.11
Age when introduced:      51
Role:                                Captain, F.M.S. Usotro

Episode 16.12 - Slavers: The Market (Part 1 of 2) by Robert Bruce Scott
Author's Notes:

Dr. Tali Shae, Ensign Tolon and the U.S.S. Hunter's tactical squad (disguised as Orion Slave Girls) hitch a ride on a Ferengi merchant ship and travel to a slave market to purchase their captain's grandson-in-law...

Star Trek Hunter

Episode 16: Slavers

Scene 12: The Market (Part 1 of 2)


The Market (Part 1 of 2)

Two large orion males checked each of the Usotro’s passengers to remove any weapons and verify their Trock talismans, but seemed otherwise generally uninterested in them. 

Inside the asteroid, 16 large cages held a variety of slaves and there were almost as many buyers as slaves. The entire operation was run by a number gigantic orion males and a larger number of orion females (known as slave-girls – it was generally known they controlled the orion men with their pheromones.) 

The auction began with a number of humans being sold, then a large number of romulans were auctioned off. Tali ignored the proceedings (or pretended to), luxuriating in the attentions of Rumi Grace. While Tolon Reeves was also being toyed with, he and the other three members of his tactical squad were observing the auction. The older romulan who had landed with them bid on every able-bodied romulan that was auctioned, but passed over any that did not appear fit (a number of them appeared to be sickly and had trouble moving, including a large number of romulan children). Once all the romulans had been sold, she was able to approach the cage that held the romulan slaves and collect her purchases – 15 romulan males and 8 females. 

The quartet of ferengi purchased the only three ferengi that came up for auction as well as a few humans and an elderly vulcan woman who had been kept in the same cage as the three ferengi.

Bidding went into overdrive when a number of betazoids came up for auction. There were still quite a few cardassian, andorian and a few orion males in various cages, and, in a cage by himself, one enormous klingon – considerably larger than Pep – when the bajorans came up for auction. Tali Shae purchased five of the first sixteen bajorans. Pomm Irons was the last bajoran put up for auction. The two orion males who had also arrived from the Usotro bid competitively for Pomm, driving the price up to three bars of gold-pressed latinum before they ceded him to Tali Shae.

Tolon turned to speak to Dasare Eba and was surprised to hear her voice clearly in his mind. Don’t say it… Think it.

Get to the murder holes – you and Veri. He didn’t have to indicate which wall – only picture it in his mind. 

Tolon had spotted the ports high in one of the cavern walls that provided clear lines of fire throughout the cavern. He was certain there was a stairway or a ladder somewhere behind that wall along with at least one sniper to control any incidents. No weapons were allowed inside the cavern other than control modules for the pain/compliance implants on the neck of every slave. Tactical Specialists Dasare Eba and Veri Geki telepathically confirmed their understanding and made their way toward the wall.

This is going to end very badly. Ranni, you with me. Tolon Reeves and Ranni Neivi lagged behind as Dr. Tali Shae, with Chief Rumi Grace in tow, headed up to the auction block to retrieve her purchases. Tolon wasn’t surprised when the two muscular orion males followed the doctor. 

We’re being followed by orion slave-girls, real ones, came Dasare’s voice into Tolon’s mind. They have made us. This will become violent fast. Try to keep someone between you and the murder holes at all times.

Tali made it to the auction block in front of the cage with the bajorans. The cage was still closed and locked. “Line up!” called the auctioneer. The giant orion male called on bidders, verified their payment, then signaled another orion male to release the identified bajorans from the cage into the custody of their buyers. Tali was already on guard – she was called up last. 

Following Damon Trock’s instructions, Tali (with only a slight feeling of disgust) gave oomachs to the talisman bearing Trock’s likeness (rubbing its ears) and spoke the amount and the auctioneer’s designation into the talisman.

“Bidder, what is your name?” The giant, green auctioneer had a warm, friendly voice, but his smile was forced.

“Doctor Autti Shae of Andoria.”

“Says here you are the personal physician to Emperor Sin IV. What are you doing so far from home?”

“Purchasing bajorans,” Tali responded.

“Your payment is approved and credited. Now tell me… Why?” asked the giant green auctioneer.

“Their noses. They can track down one bad oroin in a full warehouse by smell alone,” answered Tali.

“And why is the fat one worth 3 bars and 2 strips of gold-pressed latinum – more than twice what you paid for all the rest together?”

“Fat bajorans have better noses.”

The auctioneer’s voice became low and menacing. “You know I recognized you the moment you entered this room, Judge Tali Shae…” The green giant puffed up, emphasizing his size – which was accentuated by a large amount of blubber. “You don’t remember sending me to a prison near the south pole of Andoria, do you?”

“Oh, I do remember you… But I was only a judge for three years. Most of my career has been…”

“I’m going to enjoy putting you on the auction – HURKK!!” 

The giant’s eyes opened wide and he made a sound like a really bad, loud, extremely dry hiccough. Dr. Tali Shae had thrust her left hand deep into his flab on his right side.

“…forensic medicine,” she continued, her voice equally low and menacing. “I have dissected enough of your kind to know that you have a secondary nerve cluster located just below the diaphragm on your right side. And if I twist it a little to the right, you will empty your bowls into your pants…” She twisted.

“OOOHHHHH” The giant sounded like a steam whistle. The rest of the room suddenly went silent. All eyes focused on Tali Shae and the giant in front of her writhing in discomfort.

“What a stink!” said Tali. “Okay poopy-britches, tell your friend down there to release the bajorans. They’re mine… Now or I’ll twist to the left and stop your lower heart..”

“Let the bajorans out!” the giant bawled. “NOW!!!”

Another orion male standing just in front of the caged bajorans pressed a few controls on his control module, releasing the lock to the door of the cage. Pomm Irons started running before the lock was released, shoved two other prisoners out of his way and slammed the door into his giant green liberator. He followed the door around as it swung outward, pinning the giant between the door and the cage. 

Pomm was nowhere near as tall as the orion giants, but he was so immensely obese that he weighed more than most of them – that weight translated into momentum, hammering the giant so hard between the door and the cage that he lost consciousness. Pomm quickly swept up the control unit from the floor where the giant had dropped it and entered a few commands into it. The compliance implants on his neck and the necks of the other bajorans deactivated and fell to the floor.

One of the large, muscular orions from the Usotro shoved Pomm against the cage, trapping the obese bajoran between his enormous green hand and the iron bars. “You are not getting away, fat one..”

“My wife taught me a human saying,” said Pomm, almost pleasantly. “Monkey see…” he shoved his left hand deep into the orion’s right side - the exact place he had just seen Dr. Tali Shae use… Pomm’s voice dropped an octave and his face grew angry… “Monkey do!” He twisted hard both directions and giant, muscle-bound orion collapsed. 

“One of these days I’m going to have to get Oarama to tell me what a monkey is…”


Episode 16.13 - Slavers: The Market (Part 2 of 2) by Robert Bruce Scott
Author's Notes:

...And the best laid plans rapidly turn to utter chaos. Especially when a giant klingon warrior goes on a rampage...

Star Trek Hunter

Episode 16: Slavers

Scene 1: The Market (Part 2 of 2)


The Market (Part 2 of 2)

Tali Shae pulled hard and stepped back. The auctioneer crashed to the floor. The other muscular orion from the Usotro took two steps toward her, then found Tolon Reeves hanging onto his back, the small wrestler’s left arm wrapped tightly around the giant’s neck, choking him. The muscular orion felt around for Tolon’s hand - grasped the ensign’s little finger and pulled hard, breaking the finger. 

“THAT HURT!!” Tolon shouted. He splayed the fingers of his right hand against the back of the giant’s bald head and pushed - his left arm tightening even more. 

In desperation, the giant grasped Tolon’s left hand, crushing it in his enormous hand. But he still couldn’t breathe and even as Tolon screamed, his left arm kept tightening until the giant dropped to his knees, then sagged to the floor, unconscious.

As dangerous as the gigantic orion males were, orion females, no larger than average size for human females, were far more dangerous. Trained dancers, they had tremendous strength and control in their legs and their art doubled as a martial art form with impressive kicks, emphasizing the power of their legs. But even four such fighters were no match for Rumi Grace and Ranni Neivi. The betazoid tactical specialists had developed blocks specifically against this martial art form. The orion slave-girls fought with elegance, grace, control and tremendous power.

They were met with ferocious, unrelenting violent aggression. Rumi and Ranni kept close – in their opponents’ faces – striking with fists, knees and elbows, never allowing them the distance they needed for their kicking style to be effective. Following their krav maga training, they used their entire surroundings – any wall or tool was weaponized against the orion women. 

Ranni grabbed a fistful of her opponent’s hair and slammed the woman’s head into a pole. From behind, another of the green-skinned slave-girls returned the favor, grabbing a fistful of Ranni’s hair, only to be amazed as the implants easily pulled free out of Ranni’s scalp. Before the orion slave-girl could recover from the shock, Ranni whirled, closed and landed more than a dozen blows at close range before driving her opponent into a wall, grabbing the orion woman’s face with both hands and smacking her head sharply against the wall. The orion slid, senseless, to the floor, still clutching a fistful of Ranni’s hair implants.

Buyers and slaves ran panicked in every direction, some encountering resistance from other orions, but most just getting in one another’s way.

Even as Tolon Reeves, Tali Shae, Ranni Neivi and Rumi Grace shook themselves free from their initial attackers, well over a dozen more of the green-skinned slavers – powerful giant orion males and disciplined orion slave-girl dancers – raced to engage the Hunter’s task force…

Into the midst of all this chaos, Pomm Irons released an enraged, giant klingon warrior.

Krull had no less than five compliance implants on his neck - and it took all of them to deliver enough pain to keep him subdued. Pomm had figured out how to disarm these and once they had fallen from Krull’s neck, Pomm got the cage door unlocked. He needn’t have bothered. 

With a deafening, throaty howl of rage, Krull, considerably taller and heavier than even the giant David Pepper, ripped the cage door off its hinges and used it as a weapon, swatting giant orion males with it as if they were flies…

A few violent minutes later, the remaining orions were quickly and systematically stunned by phaser blasts from the ports Tolon had sent Dasare Eba and Veri Geki to capture. The two betazoid tactical specialists had evidently won their way to the ports and taken the phasers from the snipers hidden behind them. 

Few who were not directly involved in the fighting remained to observe the aftermath. A majority of the buyers had made good their exit - some of them with the slaves they had purchased – others abandoning the slaves they had brought with them. What few orion slavers had not been felled by either Krull or the Hunter’s crew had also fled. Pomm Irons set about freeing the remaining slaves. He turned to Dr. Tali Shae.

“I hope your ship has sufficient space for all of these,” Pomm said, looking around.

“How did you know the codes?” asked Tolon, indicating the slaver’s control module in Pomm’s hand. “Enter the wrong combination and you kill yourself - or the other slaves.” 

Pomm focused on Ensign Tolon’s mangled left hand: “Your hand!!”

Tolon Reeves lifted his shattered left hand, looked at it in some confusion. “It registers as pain, but it doesn’t really hurt. I suppose I need to get that fixed.”

Pomm kept staring at Tolon as if he had just met a madman.

Reeves flopped his useless left hand almost comically, spraying dark red blood. “It’s a prosthetic.”

“But… blood…”

“Hydraulic fluid. Matched to the color and appearance of my blood. Imagine if I got a small cut and you saw my hand bleeding glowing purple goo?” Tolon pointed at the control module again. “So how did you know how to work that?”

Pomm looked at the control module still in his hand. “I watched them. It was easy enough to figure out.” He pocketed the controller.

“Ahhh… Monkey see, monkey do…” said Reeves in his sing-song, Bangaloren accent.

“Yeah… That… What’s a monkey?”

Tolon lifted his left hand as if to explain: “It’s…” He got distracted by the mangled condition of his prosthetic hand… “It’s…”

Pomm had already returned his attention to Tali Shae. “So how is this going to work?” He made a vague gesture at the large number of people in the room trying to organize themselves.

“The romulan is coming with us,” Tali responded. “She keeps the romulans she purchased. I have no idea why she bought them and I don’t care. The ferengi are coming and they keep theirs. The kid with the nausicaans didn’t make any purchases. The orions that came with us stay here – they’re both unconscious...” Tali Shae looked at the motionless form of the orion who had assaulted Pomm. “Or dead… The rest of the slaves – including Krull here and those romulan children – they come with us. Damon Trock encouraged me to purchase more than just you. As far as I’m concerned, we just bought all of them. He’ll just have to find room for them until we can drop them off on Rigel IV - that’s the closest federation planet and there are Irons who live there. They can manage getting these people back to their families.”

“I have to get a message to Minerva. Is she headed to the Badlands?” Pomm asked.

“Yes. I will arrange for you to send it as soon as we board the Usotro,” said Tali.

“Wise old Damon Trock,” said Pomm Irons. “He’s amassed far more wealth than most ferengi. He learned how to work with my family. Follows the letter of the law. Doesn’t play stupid games. Cautious.”


End Notes:

Character:                       Krull
Human Ethnicity:             N/A
Additional Species:          Klingon
Hometown/Homeworld:   Zoe, Kronos
Introduced: Episode        16.10
Age when introduced:      29
Role:                                Warrior

Episode 16.14 - Slavers: The Badlands by Robert Bruce Scott
Author's Notes:

The U.S.S. Hunter's leadership team comes up with a plan to rescue Oarama and Pivin from the rogue planet, Vengeons-Roux...

Star Trek Hunter

Episode: 16: Slavers
Scene 14: The Badlands


The Badlands

Ships in the Badlands typically left communication range within moments of entering the plasma fields. The walls and tornadoes of raging plasma storms interfered with communication. But with more than 400 probes launched from the U.S.S. Galaxy already coursing through the Badlands and hundreds more probes being manufactured and launched daily, signals could be relayed from the U.S.S. Hunter back to the Galaxy, on station just outside the Badlands. 

The Galaxy, an aging Galaxy class ship – the first and namesake of its class – was far too large to enter the Badlands. But with the recent refurbishment, it contained several factories and housed hundreds of workers who were now dedicated to building more probes. And they were needed. 

Orion slavers were still active inside the badlands and whenever one of their interceptors or their small marauder class ships encountered the probes, they would destroy them to avoid being tracked. In response, the Galaxy created a new class of hunter probe that, on being targeted by an orion ship or interceptor in the Badlands, would drop a signal buoy and then engage in a collision course with the orion vessel and detonate a small thermonuclear bomb against its hull. Since it was dangerous for ships to use shields in the plasma fields (shields tended to attract the blazing plasma) these bombs were extremely dangerous to the orion vessels even if they detonated within a few hundred meters. It took only a few such encounters to discourage the orions from targeting the Galay's probes.

The U.S.S. Hunter had been navigating the Badlands for two days. In order to better negotiate sometimes extremely narrow passages, the tactical unit was traveling separately from the platform, which reduced the Hunter’s platform unit’s height by a little more than two meters. The wagon and both interceptors were also deployed as these smaller vessels could thread through passages to investigate potential asteroids or look for derelict ships the two women might have found shelter on. 

In this process, the Hunter’s crew had rescued a small number of starving human, bajoran and romulan refugees, barely clinging to life aboard one derelict Maquis outpost or another. Many of these were badly weakened by prolonged exposure to low gravity and had to be housed in the individual brig units where the artificial gravity could be individually adjusted to allow them to gradually reacclimate to planetary level gravitation.

Lt. Cmdr. Mlady was in command when the U.S.S. Galaxy was finally able to relay a message from Pomm Irons – from nearly halfway across the Alpha Quadrant near the Rigel system. He was too far away for any attempt at real-time communication. Within moments of reviewing it in her office, Justice Minerva Irons ordered the message broadcast ship-wide.

The senior staff (with the exception of Mlady) was gathered in the executive conference room. Irons watched Pomm’s message with them.

“Minerva, this is your grandson-in-law, Pomm. Your crew members rescued me and all are unharmed. We are en-route to Rigel IV. I am sending you a chart of the Badlands. This chart is out of date, but hopefully if you compare it to current mapping, you will be able to find a rogue planet named Vengeons-Roux that very few people know about. It was a secret Maquis base, but they abandoned it for logistical reasons. Oarama and I placed a number of supplies there. My wife and our passenger had Maquis flight suits. I launched them toward Vengeons-Roux. The planet is very isolated and there are no other bodies nearby. It is nearly impossible to get ships in and out of there – even interceptors. If they did not make it to the surface of the planet, they probably did not survive.

“Years ago when my wife and I stocked our hideout on Vengeons-Roux we used escape pods and beamed from them down to the surface and back up so we could make it back to the Prophet Motive. I harnessed those escape pods to an asteroid in the Back 40. There are several thousand asteroids in that field, but only one of them has a specific mass of 808,616.829 kilograms. That includes the mass of the two pods.”

“That should be all the information you need to find my wife and our guest. I have a request from a friend of Pep’s…”

Pomm was suddenly shoved aside to be replaced by an enormous plate of chest armor. The camera was manually angled upward and a massive klingon face revealed.

“Doctor Pepper!!! This is your collaborator and fellow poet Krull!!! Your friends won great honor in the cave of the green slavers!!! Especially the fat one here!!” There was a slap and some loud coughing that indicated the enormous klingon warrior had given Pomm an enthusiastic thump on the back. 

“Do not think for a moment this settles your debt of honor to me – it is not settled – I am now indebted to you, my friend!! And I will find a way to redeem my honor for allowing myself to be captured by those quvHa’ blHnuch! One more thing… This fat little bajoran has the voice of a mighty klingon warrior – I have never heard so fine a singer! And now, Pomm, my friend, let us sing!”

“Fade!” said Justice Irons just as the enormous klingon warrior and Pomm Irons began a surprisingly melodic, if quite raucous duet.

“That was our song!” said Commander David Pepper. “Dive Into The Sun – we wrote that…”

“Another time, David,” said Irons quietly. “Hunter?”

The ship’s interactive holographic avatar appeared at the far end of the conference table. 

“What is the range of our escape pods?” Irons asked.

“800,000 kilometers. A little over twice the distance from Earth to its moon,” Hunter replied.

“And what is the range of the pod’s transporter?”

“Just over 60,000 kilometers. Sufficient for geosynchronous orbit of most ‘M’ class worlds.”

Irons nodded. “Can they be remotely piloted – or I should say, can a pilot in one pod bring another in tow?”

“The latter would be more reliable,” Hunter said.

“Kenneth,” Irons turned toward her director of flight operations. “Use all six sleeping/escape pods from the flight operation lounge and both pods from the medical lounge. Select four pilots to lead this mission. Each pilot will guide a pair of pods to Vengeons-Roux. If we are very, very lucky, one of our missing persons will have made it to the surface.”

“Very, very lucky?” Dolphin queried.

“There is a reason the Maquis never used those flight suits to mount an attack,” Irons replied grimly. “They had a 50% failure rate. Half of the people who tried to use them either burned up in the atmosphere when the ablative part of the suit failed or plummeted to their deaths because the fixed wing failed to deploy completely – or flew off on its own. By those odds, my granddaughter and Pivin each had a 50/50 chance of reaching the surface of Vengeons-Roux alive – assuming they made it to the planet in the first place. If you can’t find them alive, see if you can locate and bring back their remains.”

* quvHa’ blHnuch!  (dishonored coward)


Episode 16.15 - Slavers: Pod People by Robert Bruce Scott
Author's Notes:

Lt. Cmdr. Dolphin, the U.S.S. Hunter's Director of Flight Operations, leads a rescue mission using the only vehicles small enough to get through the plasma clouds - the Hunter's escape pods...

Star Trek Hunter

Episode: 16: Slavers
Scene 15: Pod People


Pod People

It took the U.S.S. Hunter another seven hours to locate Vengeons-Roux and maneuver into position to mount a rescue. It took Lt. Cmdr. Kenny Dolphin about that much time to prepare his pilots and the required sleeping/escape pods for the venture. He took out the lead pod with Flight Specialist Winnifreid Salazaar, Ensign Ethan Phillips and 2nd Lt. Gaia Gamor each piloting a pod. Each pilot brought a second pod in tow using tandem control protocols (causing each unoccupied pod to follow the exact path of its lead pod rather than simultaneously making the same maneuvers.)

Flight Specialist Dih Terri and Chief Thyssi zh’Qaoleq were covering the daisy-chain of escape pods with the two interceptors and Chief Flight Specialist Dewayne Guth was providing backup support along with 2nd Lt. Sun Ho Hui and Transporter Engineer K’rok in the wagon. Guth ended up having to park the wagon outside a plasma wall that was too dense to risk the wagon, but which provided ports through which the smaller craft could travel. Only a few hundred kilometers further in, Dih and zh’Qaoleq had to bring their interceptors to station keeping. They could catch glimpses of the planet through the plasma storm, but the momentary eddies of instability left few opportunities for the pods to enter and none for the interceptors.

Dolphin, in the lead pod, was the first one through. He waited until all eight pods were in geosynchronous orbit.

“Gaia, I’m leaving you in charge up here with Winnie. Ethan, please beam down with me.”

Within a minute, Lt. Cmdr. Dolphin and Ensign Phillips had beamed into the meadow that Oarama and Pivin had landed in. A number of ferocious looking quadrupeds with purple fur immediately scattered on their arrival, only to lurk in the tree line, watching curiously.

“Looks like they’re afraid of bipeds,” Phillips observed.

Dolphin picked up one of the abandoned fixed wings from a flight suit. “We’re not alone,” he said.

“I found the other one over here,” Phillips called. He removed a small device from the wing. “These emergency transpoders are almost out of power. I’m surprised the pod’s sensors were sensitive enough to pick these up. Especially in this magnetosphere.”

“We have a clear trail at least to the tree line,” Dolphin replied. He set the wing down and hoisted a backpack, settling it firmly on his back. “Gear up.”

“Did we really need to bring two sets of these?” Phillips asked as he hoisted a similar backpack.

Dolphin unslung his phaser rifle, checked the settings. “What are you complaining about, Ensign? If we only had one set of these I’d be making you carry it anyway…”

“Ignore me, sir, I didn’t say anything. That was just my big lips flapping in the wind…”

“Survivors of the B.R. Prophet Motive, this is Lieutenant Commander Kenneth Dolphin of the U.S.S. Hunter. This is a rescue. If you can read this message, please respond. End transmission and rebroadcast on all relevant frequencies,” Dolphin said. 

“Confirmed,” came the audible reply from the communicator embedded in his chest.  

After a few hundred meters into the trees, the trail quickly went cold, leaving Dolphin and Phillips searching about on the hard, bare forest floor for any sign of the women’s passage.

“I’m no tracker,” Dolphin said. “I’m starting to wish I had brought Investigator Buttans along…”

“Tired of my company already, sir?” 

“I didn’t say anything, Ethan. Just my lips flapping…”

“Maybe try calling again?” Phillips suggested.

“Transmission status?” Dolphin asked. Phillips could barely hear the communicator embedded in Dolphin’s chest reporting audibly to him. “My communicator is continuing to rebroadcast my call out to them. It’s rotating frequencies. It can punch a signal a little further in this magnetosphere by focusing on one frequency at a time rather than broadcasting the message over all frequencies at once.”

“Kenny – I think I found something over here,” said Phillips.

Dolphin walked over to look. About 6” from the base of a tree, the ground had been gouged, leaving a trough roughly 2” wide and about 8” long.

“Breadcrumbs?” Phillips asked.

“I’m going to stand here so you can see where this one is,” Dolphin said. He pointed with his phaser rifle. “Go in a straight line, more or less, and wave if you find another one.”

After walking only a few dozen meters, Phillips stopped, turned to Dolphin and waved with his phaser rifle. Dolphin moved forward to join him and looked at the next gouge.

“Breadcrumbs.” Dolphin said. “End transmission and monitor all frequencies for reply.”

Phillips could barely hear the communicator in Dolphin’s chest responding, “Confirmed.”

“Who needs Buttans Ngumbo? I have an Ethan Phillips... Good work, Ensign.”

Dolphin and Phillips continued following the trail. Through the trees, they could see the wolf-like quadrupeds tracking them at a distance – then their lupine escort suddenly melted away. Phillips put up a fist and both he and Dolphin brought up their phaser rifles. 

“Ethan?” came a voice from the trees nearby.

“Oarama?” Phillips responded.

Oarama Irons stepped into the open and lowered her phaser.

Phillips and Dolphin stepped out into the clear, phasers still raised.

“You are Lieutenant Commander Dolphin?” Oarama asked.

“And you are Oarama Irons. I am very glad to see you alive,” Dolphin replied. “Is your companion here?”

“She is. We encountered a small group of refugees. One of them has died since we got here. Can you transport the rest of them out too?”

“How many, including you and your friend?” asked Dolphin.

“Eleven, all told, but two are very small children and another is a small boy,” Oarama replied.

“We had anticipated that possibility,” Dolphin said. “We can do it in one trip, but the children will have to be sedated. The boy, too.”

Oarama led Dolphin and Phillips to the encampment, but had them wait in the trees until she talked to the elders in the camp. The elderly romulans were quite nervous when they saw the two men in black Star Fleet JAG uniforms walking into their camp. Dolphin handed his backpack to Phillips.

Dolphin addressed the romulans. “I know you are hesitant about being rescued by Star Fleet. But no one else will be coming to rescue you. So you can come with me, or you can remain here. I am Lieutenant Commander Kenneth Dolphin of the U.S.S. Hunter. Behind me, Ensign Ethan Phillips is setting up two pattern enhancement stations. We will need the pattern enhancers to strengthen the signal so we can be beamed up."

“I have eight escape pods in geosynchronous orbit more or less directly above us. Each pod can carry two people. The young children will need to be sedated as they will be riding with our pilots in control pods and I will not risk the lives of my people on the possibility that one of the children might inadvertently come into contact with a control panel.” Dolphin handed a hyposyringe to Pivin. “I have set this to deliver 2 cc’s of Vsed, which is a safe amount for romulan children.” He turned to the elders. “One of you must calm the children so that Pivin can administer the sedative.” Dolphin pointed at the young romulan boy – a few years older than the two youngest children. “You first so they know you are not afraid. Then they will not be afraid.” 

The boy looked briefly at the older boy (now very much one of Pivin’s followers), who nodded slowly. He walked up to Pivin and allowed her to administer the sedative. Pivin caught him as he lost consciousness and carried him to one of the sets of pattern enhancers.

“Winnie,” called Dolphin. “You’re going to have a sleepy passenger. Beam him up.” The next child was beamed up to Gaia Gamor’s pod. Then Ethan Phillips took the youngest child in his arms and beamed up. The oldest boy, the elderly romulans and Oarama were beamed up by twos into the vacant follow-pods until only Dolphin and Pivin the Betrayer were left.

“I have not heard your name before, Kenneth Dolphin,” Pivin said. “How long have you traveled with Minerva Irons?”

“A little over a year,” Dolphin replied. “I understand you met with her recently in Vulcan space. I was on Earth at the time.”

Pivin briefly laid her hand against Dolphin’s face. “Romulans are not as telepathically sensitive as vulcans are, but you project a very strong sense of confidence. The kind of confidence that makes people believe you. The kind of confidence that makes people believe in you. The kind of confidence that people will follow in large numbers and with great loyalty. I have only ever sensed this in people whose consciences are clean. Those people come in two kinds, Kenneth Dolphin…”

Dolphin had disassembled one of the sets of pattern enhancers, folding the tripods until they could be stored in Ethan’s backpack. He handed the backpack to Pivin, ushered her into the pattern enhancement field of the remaining set of pattern enhancers. 

“And what would those two types be?” he asked.

Just as the transporter cycle started to take her up to the remaining vacant follow-pod, Pivin responded: “Heroes and monsters, Kenneth Dolphin, heroes and monsters. Which are you?” she asked as she vanished in a brightly colored haze of lights.


Episode 16.16 - Slavers: The Second Battle for Pillo by Robert Bruce Scott
Author's Notes:

The U.S.S. Hunter's executive staff are aboard the U.S.S. Galaxy when they get the news about an unsuccessful nausicaan attempt to take the planet Pillo... 

Star Trek Hunter

Episode: 16: Slavers
Scene 16: The Second Battle for Pillo


The Second Battle for Pillo

“Old Possum-Chicken won another one.” The gabby Lieutenant Commander in the blue uniform was part of the U.S.S. Galaxy’s medical department. 

“You served with him?” asked Lt. Cmdr. Mlady.

“Let her talk!” said Commander David Pepper. “Let her talk! Come on, I want to hear about this…”

Several of the U.S.S. Hunter’s crew members had joined a large number of officers from the U.S.S. Galaxy on the newly opened Observation Deck – a combination of what had previously been 10-Forward with the arboretum. This expanded community area combined the 10-Forward bar with an enormous open space in the middle of the Galaxy that took up two decks and rivaled the Promenade on Deep Space 9 for an airy feeling in the middle of an enormous spaceship. An open deck with safety railing allowed passengers and crew to look down into the arboretum, from which large trees grew up and had yet another opening into the deck above to stretch their canopies, which could be viewed from balconies attached to the executive and ambassador staterooms.

The old Galaxy class ships had been designed to last (with retrofits) for at least 70 years and with the most recent retrofits, which included miniaturization of thousands of the ships systems, dramatically increased the available deck space on a ship that was originally designed to be a spacious, self-sufficient floating city in space. The impact of this enormous interior space, from which on several sides outer space could be viewed through a variety of windows and viewscreens, was simply stunning. Even with all this open space in the center of the ship, improvements in materials technology, area design, emergency bulkheads and safety procedures made the old Galaxy class cruisers far more resilient, sturdier and much safer to serve on then they had been nearly 40 years ago when they were first launched.

“We watched it on the view screens,” gushed Lt. Cmdr. Stacy Abrams. “Star Fleet Operations had information that the Nausicaan Collective wanted to make another play to take control of Pillo. So Rear Admiral Chekov deliberately left only two Prowler class ships to guard the system. The Nausicaans respect those new Prowlers – since your Lieutenant Dolphin…”

“Lieutenant Commander Dolphin,” 2nd Lt. T’Lon corrected.

“Oh… really? Cool!” said Abrams. “Lieutenant Commander Dolphin cleaned their plate with just the Hunter’s tactical unit up against three of their heavy cruisers.”

“So Chekov probably figured they would still try for Pillo as long as they thought they would only have the U.S.S. Prowler and the U.S.S. Trapper to face, along with maybe a dozen of the old short-range interceptors,” added a lieutenant in a red uniform.

“Of course he figured it out, Anton!” Abrams said. “He knew that would make them commit everything to the battle, especially with Possum-Chicken using the Milky Way to tow the Intrepid all the way back to Starbase 86 and the Victory stopped at Coridan for major repairs – they said it wasn’t even safe to travel at warp 3 because it was so badly damaged at the Battle of Coridan Corridor…”

“The Nausicaan Collective should have expected it… They walked right into the same trap he had just set for the orions,” said the lieutenant named Anton.

“He had the Intrepid play wounded bird with the orions. I think he was playing “wounded flock” with the nausicaans,” Abrams continued. “They committed their heavy interceptors and found that the Prowler and the Trapper were really effective against them. They were using some strange new configuration called the Quack Attack??”

This drew an unexpected laugh from the several Hunter crew members at the table.

“Please allow me to introduce Chief Flight Specialists Thyssi zh’Qaoleq and Dewayne Guth,” said Pep. “They’re the pilots who designed the Quack attack…”

“No way!” said Abrams. “Okay – I saw it in action – really impressive – that was you two? Why did you call it the Quack attack?”

“That was Kenny’s idea,” said Guth.

“You call him Kenny?” Abrams asked. 

“Most people refer to him as Dr. Dolphin,” Guth responded.

“Okay… Well… So since their interceptors were getting torn up, the nausicaans committed their heavy cruisers – all three of them. And apparently they had learned their lesson from the last time they faced a Prowler class ship. The cruisers came in from three different angles so that no one could pull the Dolphin maneuver on them.”

“She doesn’t even know what the Dolphin maneuver is,” said the red-suited lieutenant. 

“Neither do you,” Abrams retorted.

“Neither does anybody, it’s classified.”

“But it involved the cruisers being in tight formation. Anyway so the Trapper and the Prowler are in serious trouble, but then the Ravonnelle shows up and sends one of those heavy cruisers into a tailspin. Makes me really glad your people are on our side.” Abrams lifted her glass to Thyssi zh’Qaoleq. “Those andorian phasers cut through the nausicaan shields like butter…”

“Like a knife through butter,” said Anton. “Have another drink, Stacy…”

“Buy one for me, Lt. McNeill.” Lt. Cmdr. Stacy Abrams huffed up a little. 

Lt. Anton McNeill rolled his eyes, then gamely walked off to the bar.

“So the nausicaans, they commit everything. Nearly 40 more heavy interceptors, 5 heavy destroyers and 9 marauders. That’s when the vulcans showed up. 60 long range interceptors. And then Chekov threw in everything and the kitchen sink. The Bellerophon, the Valiant, oh – thank you Anton!” Lt. Cmdr. Abrams said as Lt. McNeill returned with a beer for her (and another for himself).

She picked up the narrative before anyone could interrupt, not even bothering to take a drink: “The Vox, the Enterprise, the Ajax, the Eagle, the Hornet, the Monitor, the Thor, the Musashi, the San Francisco and then, just to top it off, the Victory and the kHov Bome – both fully repaired, the Nome and the Milky Way. The Nausicaans surrendered all their ships while Rear Admiral Chekov was still warping in…” 

Abrams did not notice how the officers from the Hunter started to display more serious expressions as she rattled off ship names. Lt. T’Lon, Lt. Cmdr. Mlady and Cmdr. Pepper exchanged significant looks.

“…only four casualties. Four! And we got the entire… Nausicaan… Collective…” Abrams slowed down as she realized that something in her news was seriously worrying to the Hunter’s leadership. 

            “Those ships are with the sixth fleet,” Lt. Cmdr. Mlady mused. “Wasn’t the sixth fleet on assignment..” She paused at a warning glance from Pep, accompanied with a quick shake of his head. She wasn’t the only one to notice Pep’s warning.

“Commander Pepper,” said Lt. McNeill. “What is it?”

“You said 60 vulcan long-range interceptors?” asked Lt. T’Lon.

“Yes – it must have taken several days for them to warp from Vulcan to Pillo,” Abrams said.

Pep and Mlady both stood up and turned as if to leave. 

At that moment the comm system on the U.S.S. Galaxy came alive: “This is Captain Janet Duncan of the U.S.S. Galaxy…” Captain Duncan had a strong Scottish brogue.

“And this is Captain Minerva Irons of the U.S.S. Hunter.” Justice Irons sounded more upset than any of her crew had ever heard her.

Captain Duncan spoke again, her voice emotional and her usually thick Scottish accent occasionally opaque: “To all crew and passengers aboard the U.S.S. Galaxy and the U.S.S. Hunter and to all persons within range of this transmission on all subspace frequencies, it is with great sadness that I have to inform you that our greatest contributor to science, especially the science of spaceflight, and Earth’s first interstellar ally, one of the 19 charter worlds of the Federation, the planet Vulcan… has fallen. 

“I also must report to you that Vice Admiral Senvol ordered the evacuation and self-destruction of Starbase 18 along with all ship-building infrastructure. Admiral Senvol and a security detail of 200 Star Fleet personnel remained onboard to prevent the station and gantries from being taken and all of these personnel gave their lives in the line of duty. To our knowledge, there were no other casualties. A comprehensive list will be released once all casualties are accounted for and the families notified. The Federation Council has sent a delegation to meet with the Romulan Imperial Senate to negotiate formal terms of surrender…”


End Notes:

Author's note: Shit just got real.

Character:                       Lieutenant Commander Stacy Abrams (Stacy)
Human Ethnicity:            English American
Additional Species:         N/A
Hometown/Homeworld:  New Eden, Mars
Introduced: Episode        16.16
Age when introduced:      27
Role:                                Surgeon, U.S.S. Galaxy

Character:                       Lieutenant Anton McNiel (Anton)
Human Ethnicity:             Irish
Additional Species:         N/A
Hometown/Homeworld:  Dublin, Ireland
Introduced: Episode        16.16
Age when introduced:      25
Role:                                 Navigation Team Leader, U.S.S. Galaxy

Character:                       Captain Janet Duncan (Jan)
Human Ethnicity:             Scottish
Additional Species:         N/A
Hometown/Homeworld:  Trantor, Cun Ling
Introduced: Episode        16.16
Age when introduced:      44
Role:                                Captain, U.S.S. Galaxy

Episode 16.17 - Slavers: 2 Romulas by Robert Bruce Scott
Author's Notes:

Pivin the Betrayer explains intricate Romulan politics to Justice Minerva Irons...

Star Trek Hunter

Episode: 16: Slavers
Scene 17: 2 Romulas


2 Romulas

The fall of Vulcan had cast a pall over everyone on the U.S.S. Hunter. Most buried themselves in their daily tasks. Without any immediate assignment, the Hunter, traveling next to (and completely dwarfed by) the U.S.S. Galaxy, patrolled the border of the Badlands. Support craft from both vessels continued rescue operations into the Badlands, retrieving a surprising number of refugees - most of whom were starving and in very bad health from being stranded in terrible conditions.

News of the secession of Cimera III from the Andorian Empire and the declaration of martial law in the Andorian colonies on Alrond and Beta Prime made everyone realize how fragile the United Federation of Planets actually was and had been all along. More than two hundred species had joined the Federation primarily to shelter under the powerful three-way military alliance of the Vulcan High Command, the Andorian Imperial Guard and Star Fleet - which, while actively recruiting and open to all Federation members and even ex-patriots of other civilizations, remained an overwhelmingly human endeavor. 

With Vulcan captured by the Romulan Senate and the Andorian Empire embroiled in civil war, more than ever, tens of billions of non-humans were now almost exclusively dependent on Earth for protection - only to find themselves terrified of deep divisions within human populations about the use of so much of the resources of Earth and its many colonies to protect not only space-faring allies, but dozens of planets with pre-warp indigenous civilizations that were completely ignorant of humanity or the many threats posed by other species that their unknown human benefactors had been protecting them from for centuries.

Oarama Irons had taken a transport to Cun Ling, where a new spaceship had been purchased for her. Her husband, Pomm Irons, was to meet her in Ba Sing Se. Pivin the Betrayer remained aboard the U.S.S. Hunter and was staying with Justice Minerva Irons in the captain’s stateroom. The elderly romulan woman was surprised to find herself comforted by sleeping in the bed of a Star Fleet captain. She and Irons used the bed at different times, maintaining different sleep schedules. But both women were elderly and it was not uncommon for them to share the bed while napping. Irons had always been a recluse on her own ship and spent most of her time in her quarters or her office. This threw her and Pivin, who simply never left the stateroom at all, together for most of each day.

They avoided talking about the fall of Vulcan with one exception. Pivin made note that it was the Romulan Imperial Senate Praetorian Guard and not the Romulan Star Navy that had taken Vulcan. Star Fleet Intelligence had identified every one of the 39 Romulan warbirds that had appeared in orbit of Vulcan and Pivin was able to verify that these represented the bulk of the Praetorian Guard, leaving only four of their warbirds unaccounted for. 

“For centuries there has been a rift between the Senate and the Navy.” Pivin was reclining on the couch in Irons’ quarters. Justice Minerva Irons was laid back in her lounge chair, eyes closed, just resting. But the older romulan woman knew Irons was listening. She continued. “It had gotten to the point that just before Romulus was destroyed in the Hobus event, the Naval Supreme Command were beginning to openly discuss recovering the Imperial Scepter and establishing a new emperor. There hasn’t been one in more than a thousand years. What most outsiders failed to realize about the Romulan Star Empire - and because we all went to great length to hide it - was that there were really two romulan cultures. A militaristic culture in the Romulan Star Navy that controlled the colonies and most of the empire, but the Senate, popularly elected, that controlled the heart of romulan culture - Romulus itself.”

“And the Praetorian Guard answers to the Senate,” Irons said. She sat up and poured a shot of a dark, syrupy kanar for her guest. Another for herself. The strong cardassian beverage gave off a pungent, sour, alcoholic aroma.

“Always has,” said Pivin, accepting the shot glass. She savored the pungent smell of the beverage, then set it down without drinking it.

“So if there wasn’t a Romulus to popularly elect them - most of the populace of Romulus killed in the Hobus event…” Irons started.

“The Senate was homeless and losing support. The colonial romulans, who had been heavily taxed to keep the senators popular at home - were refusing to support the Senate,” Pivin concluded.

“So the Imperial Senate desperately needed a new homeworld,” said Irons. She drained her glass - it took a moment for the thick fluid to drip into her mouth.

“And they had been fixated on Vulcan for more than 400 years,” Pivin said. “After Romulus was destroyed, there really was no potential new homeworld within the empire. Whatever colony they landed at quickly became hostile to them and the Romulan Star Navy kept the Praetorian Guard from taking over any of the colonies. So the Senate really had nowhere to go…”

“Nowhere, but Vulcan,” Irons concluded. She poured herself another shot of kanar.

Pivin took a deep breath. “They are going to bring the survivors of Romulus to Vulcan. It won’t be long before there are two billion romulans on Vulcan. And the Romulan Star Navy will help move them there, just to get them out of the colonies. That has been the real disaster going on in the empire - trying to resettle 2 billion refugees from Romulus when none of the colonies wanted them. And the Senate wasn’t about to let them get dispersed - that population was all that was left of their power base…”


Episode 16.18 - Slavers: The Solution by Robert Bruce Scott
Author's Notes:

Ensign Geoffrey Horation Alstars solves a big problem - and nome too soon...

Star Trek Hunter

Episode: 16: Slavers
Scene 18: The Solution


The Solution

Ensign Geoffrey Horatio Alstars had called for three holographic clear dry-erase boards in the engineering conference room. These had replaced the clear lacquer conference table, which, like the antique teak table in the executive conference room, was also a hologram, projected only when needed.

But Alstars had, for the moment, given up working on his recursive warp equations. Instead, he was walking from one board to the next, randomly writing numbers and bits of equations in random places among the three boards. This was his long established method for clearing his mind and he thought of it as more of an art form than any disciplined attempt at mathematics.

He strode back and forth on his long legs, writing randomly on each board with both hands. Sometimes simultaneously, stretching his arms wide, sometimes with his eyes closed. As more and more numbers and operands and other figures appeared on the clear boards, equations started to run into each other, up and over each other, down and under, wandering off at diagonals. Alstars didn’t care. He was just scrawling. 

After nearly an hour of this, he stepped back to scowl at his creation.

“Graffiti,” he grumbled. “Modern art… Insanity… I don’t need tea… I need a straight jacket.” Alstars chuckled grimly. “I have loaded a bushel of numerals into a trebuchet and launched them into space…” He raised his hands and his voice. “Hunter get ri..”

“STOP THAT!!!” came an unfamiliar voice. Alstars couldn’t make out who had shouted through the equations - he could see part of a uniform. Someone short - but everyone was short around here - with a few notable exceptions. Alstars stepped to the side so he could see around his cluttered clear boards.

“Lieutenant Tauk?” Alstars asked, surprised to see the ferengi director of ground operations in engineering.

“Come here, Ensign,” Tauk ordered.

Alstars loped over to join Tauk. He had joined Star Fleet for new experiences and being ordered about by a ferengi about 2/3 his height and more than three times younger than him certainly counted as a new experience.

“Look,” said Tauk, gesturing toward the cluttered clear dry-erase boards. 

“We’re looking at it from the back. It was gibberish when I was looking at it from the front. It even has a couple of nonsense symbols…”

“Base twelve,” said Tauk.

“What? No! It’s just nonsense. I was just grabbing numbers and symbols out of a bag and throwing them at the board,” Alstars responded. 

Tauk walked up to the clear boards. He pointed at a symbol that looked vaguely like a house with a caved in roof. “Ten.” He pointed to another symbol that looked vaguely like a butterfly with a knife jabbed through it. “Eleven. Then the 1 followed by the 0 is twelve.” He stepped back to stand next to the towering mathematician. 

“No, that’s nuts, we use the letter A for ten and the letter B for eleven…”

“You humans do. Vulcans use those symbols,” said Tauk.

For a moment, both mathematicians just stared at the backside of the clear boards, viewing all of Alstars mathematical doodling in reverse.

2nd Lt. Sun Ho Hui’s voice drifted down to them from deck one: “Tommy, have you seen Geoff?”

From somewhere on the other side of the engineering deck, Thomas Hobbs' thick Scottish brogue could be heard: “Over there, by the conference room.”

“Thanks Tommy. Geoff, would you mind…”

“Hui,” said Alstars, “Come, come come here. Have, have, have... have a look at this would... would you please?”

Lt. Sun walked to the back of deck one, ducked into the ladder and slid down the ladder like a fire pole. Alstars had finally adjusted to this breach of safety protocols because everyone in engineering (at least those under the age of 50) did it endlessly. He had given up trying to discourage Yolanda Thomas and Kerry Gibbon from doing it when their department director and assistant director did it all the time.

Sun, only a few inches taller than Tauk, easily more than a foot shorter than Alstars, stepped over and stood on the other side of Alstars from Tauk. After staring with them at the back of the clear boards, he turned and shouted up to deck 2: “Salek!!”

The engineering director, Lt. Moon Sun Salek, stepped out of the navigation/deflector control room at the front of deck 2 and looked down over the railing to the main engineering deck, two decks below. “You don’t have to shout, Hui - it came through my communicator…”

“Salek,” said Sun, “would you come down here and look at this, please? Bring Gaia with you.”

Dr. Moon turned to the still open door into navigation/deflector control and said, “Gaia, Hui wants us on the floor.” She straddled the ladder and slid down straight through the access for deck one to the main engineering floor, followed by 2nd Lt. Gaia Gamor, who climbed down the traditional way almost as quickly. They walked over to the other officers and stood next to 2nd Lt. Sun. 

After a minute of gazing at the jumble of numbers and operands in reverse from the backside of the clear boards, Dr. Moon called for the ship’s interactive holographic avatar: “Hunter…”

The holographic old man appeared next to her. 

For another few minutes, six mathematicians stood in a row, just looking at the pile of equations, most of them fragments, from behind. Dr. Sun, Dr. Alstars, Dr. Tauk, Dr. Gamor and Dr. Moon, almost in unison, slowly tilted their heads to the left at a 45 degree angle. Hunter, on noticing this odd behavior, mimicked it a few moments later. 

“Hunter,” said Dr. Moon, “what are we looking at?”

“A set of interrelated, interactive equations expressed in base 12,” the pudgy, elderly-looking avatar replied.

“Actually,” Hunter continued, “Unless I’m mistaken, I think it’s…”

Alstars finished his sentence: “The solution. Give me another clear board…”

Another holographic clear dry-erase board appeared between the mathematicians and the original sets of equations. With one great stride of his long legs, Dr. Alstars stepped forward. He held out his left hand: “Marker…” 

A holographic marker appeared in the old mathematician’s hand. He quickly and deftly sketched out a very simple equation in base 12.

“That’s it!” said Hunter. “That’s what I’ve been trying to come up with all year! We can run controlled tests to confirm, but if you’re right…”

“We can safely get the entire Prowler class of ships, all 46 of them, into recursive warp without needing artificial intelligence,” said Dr. Moon. “And just when we have never needed a critical strategic advantage more…”

“But it’s such a simple equation…” Dr. Sun objected. 

“Elegant,” said Tauk, “simple in terms, but nearly impossible to come by. It took all that,” he waved his hand at the gibberish they had all been looking at, “all that and more to bring this epiphany to Dr. Alstars. Hundreds of thousands, probably millions of mathematicians have been looking for this simple equation and didn’t find it.”

“Most of those mathematicians weren’t working in base 12,” Dr. Sun observed.

“I didn’t know I was working in base 12 until Tauk pointed it out,” said Alstars.

Gaia Gamor turned toward Dr. Moon. “Weren’t all those math equations we found in the library of the progenitors in base 12?”

Moon turned toward Alstars. “Geoff, do me a favor…”

“Sure,” said Alstars. “What?”

“You know those math treatises that Dr. Carrera downloaded from the library of the progenitors?”


“Don’t ever read them. You’re easily as smart as Sarekson and I don’t want you to wander off at a right angle to reality and vanish on me. I’d like to keep you around for awhile…”


Episode 16.19 - Slavers: A Voice in the Dark by Robert Bruce Scott
Author's Notes:

Justice Minerva Irons has a very uncomfortable encounter with the Director of Section 31... Julian Bashir...

This is the final scene for Episode 16. The story will continue in Star Trek Hunter - PART SIX OF NINE - Episodes 17-19.

Star Trek Hunter

Episode: 16: Slavers
Scene 19: A Voice in the Dark


A Voice in the Dark

Justice Minerva Irons had fallen asleep in the armchair in her quarters. Two empty bottles of kanar and two shot glasses were on the table in front of her - one empty, the other, Pivin’s glass, untouched from when she had set it down earlier.

Irons' head was moving slightly. It was a deep, unsettling sleep. Somehow she was aware that Pivin had gone to bed. She wanted to wake up. Was trying desperately to wake up. But she was dream locked. Her armchair was so comfortable, but the rest of her room was so far away - so far away in the darkness that she could not see any of it. Just the table next to her with a carafe of ice water and two tumblers and another armchair, just like hers, set at a 90 degree angle. 

“I don’t think my next guest needs a long introduction,” said the Director of Section 31 in his polished British accent. “Here at Subspace Radio Bashir, I have been simply inundated with a request to interview At Large Appellate Justice Minerva Irons, a remarkable woman who has returned to service at the helm of a starship as a Star Fleet Captain no less than four times to avoid the many expectations her family has placed on her as matriarch of the enormous and fabulously wealthy and powerful Irons family. Minerva has published a number of treatises on the finer points of pre-First Contact Earth law from several cultures, particularly that of the People’s Republic of China as well as Vulcan law and several in-depth studies of the finer points of Andorian law. She has also published a history of the United Federation of Planets that, like all of her other works, misses some of the most interesting aspects of Federation history.”

“Justice Irons is also responsible for missions on assignment for Section 31, the most secret organization in the Alpha Quadrant. An organization so secret that the only two klingons who have ever heard of it served as members and died in service to Section 31. So, Minerva, and I call you Minerva because we have been friends as well as co-conspirators for more than a decade, why do you think I have not trusted you with the most important operation in the history of Section 31?”

Irons found herself unable to answer. She did not have a mouth.

“That’s right!” said Chief Justice Julian Bashir. “You are too personally invested. Your loyalties are conflicted. You serve Star Fleet. You serve the Tribunal. You serve the Federation. All of that, you might be able to set aside with the understanding that Section 31 also serves all those things, but we must occasionally - far more often than we want, we must make great sacrifices and it is Star Fleet, the Tribunal, the Federation, even occasionally the sacred innocents we protect in their pre-warp ignorance - sometimes we must sacrifice them too for the longer range interests of our charter. To preserve Federation culture - not the culture of Earth or of Vulcan or of Andoria - those may have to be sacrificed too… no, the culture of the Federation itself that made the grand alliance of Earth, Vulcan and Andoria - and all the other worlds who shelter under their power - possible.”

“So, Minerva, I am using this method of communication to give you instructions. I know you have languished in ignorance of our greatest and most significant endeavor. Now that it has been accomplished, you can contribute to it. But to do so, you must understand that your highest duty is to Section 31. Not Star Fleet. Not the Tribunal. Not the Federation. And not the Irons family. You may be required to sacrifice any or all of those things. Believe me, I have sacrificed. I have sent thousands of people to their deaths. I have withdrawn shelter from the innocents and seen them taken as slaves, ripped from their safe worlds, used as biological resources. I have allowed them to die in slavery and torment by the hundreds of thousands. Can you do the same?”

Julian Bashir stopped and took a deep breath. “What I am about to tell you is the biggest secret in the Alpha Quadrant. This information is need-to-know and until this moment, you did not need to know. Now you do.”

“Section 31 engineered the Fall of Vulcan. It has been 10 years in the making. We designed this plan less than a week after Romulus was destroyed in the Hobus Event. Over the past 10 years, we encouraged a mass migration of nearly half of Vulcan’s population out to the colonies and to Earth. I ordered Vice Admiral Senvol to make sure the Romulan Senate could walk in and take the planet without firing a shot - I ordered my friend to his death - to sacrifice himself and hundreds under his command to make this takeover possible. I am now ordering you to see this project to its fruition. This is the most important thing you will ever do in your very long life.”

“Here are your assignments,” Bashir continued. “You must keep Vulcan in the Federation - with new council representatives to be provided by the Imperial Romulan Senate. You must help the Romulan Star Navy to rip a world full of innocents from their homes. Not some of them - all of them. You must set a world on fire, consigning all life on it to death. And you must save another world full of enslaved innocents and bring them from that place to a new home where they will still be slaves. To do that, you must violate not only the Prime Directive - and egregiously… To get these people to give up their homeworlds to be brought into what amounts to a lifetime of hard labor, building new worlds from the wreckage of the old, you must violate the First Commandment. You must give them not just a god, but a monster. Now you may speak…”

“MMMmmmm, mmmMMmmMMM, mmmMMmMMMMHHH!” Irons moaned in a mixture of anguish, rage and terror - she still did not have a mouth.

“Oh, sorry about that,” said Bashir. He waved his hand and Justice Irons found to her relief that she now had a mouth.

She took a deep, trembling breath. “Is this real? Or is this a dream?”

“Of course this is a dream, Minerva! But what in all the Milky Way makes you think for even a second that this is not real?”

16 – Slavers

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