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Chapter Notes:

Investigator Buttans Ngumbo goes hunting with his half-sister and her sons across the wilds of Africa...

Star Trek Hunter
Episode 11: Intersections and Reunions

Scene 10: Serengeti National Park, Tanzania


Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

Across a green and amber sea of mixed grasses and brush, a number of hunters were following a faint trail. Tactical Specialist Belo Rys found it impossible to keep up with the tall, swift Africans, but she had the stamina of a bajoran and the tolerance for heat of a cardassian – the Serengeti in September was a comfortable place for her and she caught up with the four hunters every time they paused. She was glad of the traditional garb they had provided her that served to identify her with this nomadic group, provide camouflage in this environment and comfortable protection for her skin in the mid-day African sun.

Even among his own family, Investigator Buttans Ngumbo was unparalleled for both his speed and his tracking ability. He had eschewed his usual dark suit for traditional raiment as well. He raised his fist and the other hunters – a woman who shared his features but with no sign of bajoran ancestry and two boys, one a gangling teenager, the other about 10, hunched down into the grass and gathered around him. All four were armed with spears, knives and phaser rifles.

Belo Rys caught up with them, scuttling several yards in a low run to conceal herself in the brush. 

“Three have broken right, five went ahead,” Buttans said, “all heading toward water. Notice the shape of the prints around the toes? Not to mention their size and weight…”

The younger boy responded quietly, “Hippopotamus. They will try to find the shallows.”

The woman clapped him on the back, “Good deduction, Lemauni. This means we are looking for killers and they will not hesitate to kill us.”

“Phasers on heavy stun,” said Buttans. “Hippos are very resilient and it will take a sustained burst of at least ten seconds just to slow them down. What else can you tell me?” he asked of the boys.

The older boy responded. “They know we’re here. They’re more interested in us than their prey. They will try to trap us from two sides with the water to our back.”

Buttans smiled grimly. “You are very probably correct, Legishon. So how do we take them when they outnumber us and set a trap for us?”

“We set a trap of our own. Your woman is not fast, but she has good instincts…” 

“Well planned,” said Buttans. “Oloturoi, you are our secret weapon...”

Belo Rys grimaced. She had agreed to come along for the unique opportunity – the Massai almost never allowed outsiders to join the hunt. The price for her participation was to help keep Ngumbo’s family from trying to marry him off to any number of local candidates. It was a favor she would happily provide to any friend, but she had carried a torch for Buttans for some time and the irony was just a little bitter for her. She wasn’t certain what Oloturoi meant, but it was obviously a term of endearment.

“Better to set a trap on three sides,” Buttans continued. “Mingati?” The name had once meant killer of lions. It was now given to the protectors of lions.

In response, Buttans’ half-sister, Dr. Naisiae Mingati Sereng, disrobed to her thong, revealing an athletic physique that was the female image of Buttans – flawless black skin, powerful, ropy muscles. She slung the phaser rifle on her back and headed off at a run, breaking farther right than the trail Ngumbo had spotted.

Buttans Ngumbo and his nephews, Legishon and Lemauni Sereng, took off at a run, following the secondary trail. Belo Rys did her best to follow them. The path winded down toward a broad, muddy river.

As they got close to the river, Buttans and his nephews suddenly vanished into the underbrush. Belo Rys slowed, watching the underbrush carefully for signs of movement. A telltale lump of thick, darkened hide was visible in some brush near the river’s edge – that was one. She could see movement in the grasses a few dozen yards from her – too much movement to be the Africans. That was two, which meant the third one was very close. Her nose told her where to aim her phaser and she fired into a brush only a few feet from her – a solid beam that produced a low-pitched bellow of anguish. A green disrupter beam erupted from the bush, firing upward into the sky for just a second. 

This brought the other two klingons out into the open. The one closest to her leapt out of the grass only to crash down onto his face, his throat slit by the 10-year-old boy who had gotten up behind him and leapt onto the warrior’s back. The other warrior, near the river’s edge, received a spear in his chest and was pulled into the river almost the moment he stood up. Lemauni walked swiftly to the klingon whom Belo Rys had stunned and efficiently slit the giant warrior’s throat. “Thank you, Star Fleet,” he said to Rys. “You have good instincts.” Belo Rys was taken aback by the boy’s casual attitude toward killing. She had grown up having to fight for scraps in a backwater cardassian colony, but she could not imagine herself killing with such ease at this boy’s age. This was clearly not the first time he had killed.

“That disrupter blast will bring the other five,” Lemauni said. “Help me prop the bodies of these two against that tree.” Even though he was only 10, Lemauni was strong and was able to move one of the warriors by himself as Belo Rys struggled with the other. Lemauni used his phaser to punch holes through the dead klingons that allowed him to drive branches through their bodies to prop them up. He spat on each of the faces, looked at Belo Rys. “Poachers. Hunting the hippopotamus – they think it a glorious beast to fight. If they were human, or denobulan, or cardassian, I would desecrate their bodies. But klingons don’t care what is done with the body after it is dead. Now we hide, and wait for the others…”

Five more dead klingons and several hours later, the group had retired to a temporary encampment. The Massai were on the move, traveling with the herds that they protected from those few poachers who managed to make it past the many devices, scanners and operators that protected the African wilderness. The nomads were the last line of defense for wildlife that had been brought back from the verge of extinction only two centuries previously.

Legishon had remained behind to prevent the vultures and other scavengers from eating the alien remains and contaminating the ecosystem. Other children were sent to fetch the remains and, along with Legishon, had brought them back to camp.

Dr. Naisiae Mingati Sereng lifted a balthleth. “We will break these, and the bodies of their warriors and all their possessions so there is nothing of value that can be inherited. They were dead the moment they decided to defile our home and steal the lives of our animals. By our separate treaty with the Klingon Empire, their families will be made to pay for the freight of all the pieces we send back to them along with a separate bill for the killing of each, itemized as dishonorable killing for cowardly thieves!”

This brought a shout followed by an alcohol-free celebration. Belo Rys ate lightly simply because there wasn’t much that appealed to her. The meal consisted largely of cow and milk products.

After seeing to the ceremonies, Dr. Sereng walked over to join her half-brother. “Ngumbo,”  she said, sitting next to Buttans and Belo Rys. “We have fertility experts here who could help you and your Oloturoi speed the day you bring children to us.”

Belo Rys answered. “I have already made an appointment with Doctor Amporn Pali, Doctor Sereng.” At least this much was true, Belo Rys had set the appointment – though not for herself and Buttans.

“Ah, well, we have no one who approaches Doctor Pali’s reputation. Then I will not worry,” Dr. Sereng said. “Ngumbo, tell me, how are your sisters?”

“They prosper,” Buttans replied. “One of them has married and has two daughters now.”

“Do not let them forget their grandfather. He has taken another wife – a wild klingon woman who lives on the southwestern continent of Qo'noS. Hopefully when he returns in three or five years, he will bring her here with him. And she has already given you two new half-sisters.”


Chapter End Notes:

Character:                        Dr. Nasiae Mingati Sereng (Mingati)
Human Ethnicity:             Masaai
Additional Species:         N/A
Hometown/Homeworld:  Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, Earth
Introduced: Episode        11.10
Age when introduced:     33
Role:                                Wildlife Protector

Character:                        Lemuani Sereng
Human Ethnicity:             Masaai
Additional Species:         N/A
Hometown/Homeworld:  Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, Earth
Introduced: Episode        11.10
Age when introduced:     10
Role:                                Wildlife Protector

Character:                        Legishon Sereng
Human Ethnicity:             Masaai
Additional Species:         N/A
Hometown/Homeworld:  Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, Earth
Introduced: Episode        11.10
Age when introduced:     15
Role:                                Wildlife Protector

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