Star Trek Hunter
Episode 12: Prisoner in the Ice Castle
Scene 6: Sister Ship
Lt. Commander Mlady, Lt. Kenny Dolphin and 2nd Lt. Gaia Gamor were rotating shifts in command. Ensign Ethan Phillips and 2nd Lt. Moon Sun Salek had more or less camped out in the tactical unit, anticipating deployment at any moment. The untimely death of Empress Zashah zh’Ithirith had brought about a perennial crisis within the Federation. Under the Federation Charter, andorian imperial succession was to be mediated by a non-andorian representative of the Federation Tribunal who was required to be expert in andorian law and admitted to the Imperial Court.
While the Andorian Imperial Guard was officially non-partisan, many of the flag officers came from one or another of the three succession-qualified royal families and open civil war had occasionally broken out among guard units during previous succession disputes. Additionally, each of the three succession-qualified houses maintained their own small fleets of interceptors and at least one larger war ship.
At the moment, two Intrepid class starships – the U.S.S. Vox and the U.S.S. Intrepid - were currently stationed in orbit of Rings, the gas giant about which Andoria orbited and an Escort class starship, the U.S.S. Valiant, was in orbit of the home-moon of the Andorian Empire.
The U.S.S. Hunter, small, squat and dark, was not as impressive as these larger and more heavily armed starships, but oddly had a disproportionate impact because of Lt. Dolphin’s reputation following the Battle for Pillo, in which he had more or less single-handedly destroyed three nausicaan heavy cruisers in less than three minutes.
Several parties were counting on that reputation to help prevent the dozens of andorian heavy interceptors being fielded by the various royal families from firing on each other or on Andorian Imperial Guard vessels – or on Star Fleet - as had happened during the last succession mediation fifty years previously.
Lt. Commander Mlady was in command when the Hunter’s sister ship, the U.S.S. Prowler, fresh out of space dock, arrived. While the operation was under the actual command of Captain Serge Mykel Chekov of the U.S.S. Intrepid, communications were being coordinated through the U.S.S. Hunter to serve as a constant reminder to the andorians of Lt. Dolphin’s presence. Following this unusual protocol, the captain of the U.S.S. Prowler reported in.
“U.S.S. Hunter, this is the U.S.S. Prowler, Sagittarius Hunter commanding.”
“Prowler, this is the U.S.S. Hunter, Mlady commanding. Did I hear your name correctly?”
“Affirmative, Hunter, this is Captain Hunter, commanding the Prowler. The irony is not lost on me.”
“I was referring to your given name, Captain,” Mlady responded.
“Oh... Um... Well, my sisters' names are Aquarius and Gemini and my brothers are Taurus, Cancer, Libra and Leo,” Captain Hunter replied with a faint smile. “Mom's a bit of an astrologer. I brought along some friends. They’re currently grouping on the far side of Rings.”
“I’m glad they came along. We have been monitoring increasing movement and grouping among interceptors we suspect are being piloted by Shav supporters. We may need to show some teeth.”
“We will be ready, Lieutenant Commander. I checked in with Captain Chekov a few minutes ago and Commander Red’s squadron are checking in with him now.”
“They gave Red a squadron? Wasn’t she on suspension four or five times at the academy – and a few times since?” Mlady asked.
Captain Hunter smiled. “Red’s a firecracker and would just as soon punch you in the mouth as talk to you. But she has a killer’s instinct for combat and an ability to get people to follow her into battle. If things get ugly up here, we’ll be glad she’s here.”
Navigator Johanna Imex, currently standing watch at the tactical and communication station, interrupted, “Sir?”
“Thank you Captain Hunter," Lt. Cmdr. Mlady said. "It appears duty calls. Someday I would like to introduce you to the U.S.S. Hunter,”
“I heard your ship is artificially intelligent," Captain Saggitarius Hunter replied. "I will look forward to meeting him, Lieutenant Commander. Prowler out.”
Mlady swiveled to look at Imex.
“I’m sorry to interrupt," Navigator Imex said. "But we have a Commander Red requesting permission to board. She wants to meet with you, Director Dolphin and Doctor Jazz.”