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Chapter Notes:

Investigator Lynhart Shran and Assistant Ground Operations Director 2nd Lt. T'Lon lead a team into Lower Trantor to search for the hostages...

Star Trek Hunter
Episode 13: The 15,000 Cities of Cun Ling

Scene 11: Lower Trantor


Lower Trantor

While 2nd Lt. T’Lon was officially in charge of the rescue mission on the ground, she had allowed Investigator Lynhart Shran to take the lead and put together the response team. Shran had recruited three Trantor natives: Flight Specialist Dih Terri as well as Tammy Brazil and Thomas Hobbs from the engineering department. Shran had also included the bolian field agent from the Trantor Police, Anana Lynarr, with the promise that she would not interfere with the Hunter’s investigation but would help coordinate with the Trantor Police. Investigator Buttans Ngumbo was the seventh and final addition. No one was in uniform - all were wearing casual clothing in the style popular in Trantor - fewer earth tones with a greater emphasis on blues, grays and whites.

Shran had banished Tactical Specialist Belo Cantys to the Hunter to work with Lt. Tauk to process information the ground team gathered and uploaded.

“They say all canals lead to Trantor,” said Flight Engineer Thomas Hobbs. Hobbs had a thick Scottish accent heard in several of the oldest areas of Trantor – the warehouse, transportation and machinery centers that supported the planetary engineers. These were the grimy parts of the federation’s greatest city and a significant portion of the early population had been Scottish. “What they don’t tell you is that all tunnels lead to Trantor as well.” Hobbs was middle aged with gray eyes, gray hair and a gray mustache and goatee. At the moment, he was leading the Hunter’s team through Lower Trantor toward a series of gates. 

Midshipman Tammy Brazil had also grown up in Lower Trantor, as these sectors were referred to – quite literally in the lowest lying areas of the city, below the waterline of the central and outer lakes. Elevators and tunnels ran from these areas directly down underneath the lakes to the chasms on all sides of Trantor so that the enormous machinery that engineered and maintained the planet could be quickly and efficiently moved in and out of the chasms for repair and renovation.

“What I don’t understand is how they got around the transporter blocks,” said Agent Lynarr, “No one should be able to transport anything inside Trantor – in or out – without an approved transit code to get through the shielding.”

“Ah now lass,” Hobbs replied, “Anything can be had in Trantor for the right price. Even your precious transporter codes. That’s our first stop – the Trantor underground market. The market master keeps tight control over the most valuable commodities, and transporter codes are right at the top. And they deal strictly in ferengi currency.”

Dih Terri nervously brought her hair down and her collar up to cover her spots. Lower Trantor was a place she had avoided all her life. “I’m not sure how much good I can be down here. I grew up in Middle Trantor in the fountain district. I think this is the first time I’ve ever been at street level,” she said.

“Then keep your eyes peeled, your collar up and your hand on your phaser,” Lynhart Shran replied.

A fair amount of traffic was passing through a series of turnstiles at 16 gates – 8 inbound, 8 exits. The inbound gates were heavily guarded. 

“Does anyone ever try to get in by jumping the exit turnstiles?” asked Dih Terri, nervously.

Shran pointed toward sniper windows above the gates. “They might, but I doubt they would be conscious when they get in,” he said.

As the party stepped up to one of the turnstiles, Hobbs offered seven slips of gold-pressed latinum to one of the guards, who deposited it, then held out his hand and said, “Your weapons, please.” Hobbs responded by depositing seven strips of latinum in the guard’s hand. The guard stepped aside, allowing the Hunter’s hunting party to enter the Trantorian Underground.

- * - 

Deep inside the Trantor Underground, more latinum was on offer, this time from a friendly looking human with a brown beard and friendly brown eyes, to a number of extremely seedy-looking ferengi. These slips and strips of latinum not only made the ferengi talkative, but also purchased evidence from the them, including a bloody human thumbnail…

- * - 

In another part of the Trantor Underground, still more gold-pressed latinum was changing hands – only instead of slips or strips, a single bar of gold-pressed latinum was on offer. A small party consisting of four andorians, two cardassians and a well-dressed human were allowed into a meeting that they had not been invited to. A room full of andorian workers turned baleful eyes and antennae on these human and cardassian interlopers, only to be astounded as they and their andorian escort walked straight through the room toward the stage and the speaker that the workers had come to listen to. The speaker, a well-dressed andorian, stepped aside deferentially…

- * - 

In yet another part of the Trantor Underground latinum was not on offer. A contingent of 30 Andorian Imperial Guard troopers had overwhelmed an outpost guarded by a small group of humans and bajorans – most of whom were now dead, all with extensive phaser burns. Commander Oshreb Sav was using his Ushan-Tor to remove clothing piece by piece from the two surviving human prisoners.

Commander Sav wasn’t asking questions… Yet… Just making it clear how sharp and effective the andorian ice-cutting blade could be. Over the years he had found that humans in particular did not like being naked and they tended to be far more cooperative under interrogation after their clothing had been stripped from them.

- * - 

In the Market District in the middle of the Trantor Underground, Thomas Hobbs was offering additional latinum to a representative of the market master in exchange for information. 

In four different transactions under Trantor, two fueled by gold-pressed latinum, one enabled by latinum and fueled by soaring rhetoric and one driven by combined phaser fire and knife work, the same name came up: The hidden city of th’Istel…


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