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Chapter Notes:

Lt. Dolphin meets the top two officers in Section 31...


Star Trek Hunter
Episode 11: Intersections and Reunions

Scene 8: Anna's Egg, Bolshaya Neva River, St. Petersburg, Russia

 

 

11.8

Anna’s Egg, Bolshaya Neva River, St. Petersburg, Russia

 

After making arrangements in St. Petersburg, including arranging for a small watercraft, Lt. Kenny Dolphin spent the night aboard the U.S.S. Hunter. Like all Star Fleet vessels, the Hunter’s chronometer was synchronized to the Central North American Time Zone to coincide with Star Fleet Command in Dubuque. 

 

Since St. Petersburg was 18 hours ahead of the Hunter, Dolphin could only sleep a few hours. He met Lt. Tauk in the Director’s Lounge only long enough to exchange a few words as he donned an outfit that 2nd Lt. T’Lon had prepared for him on the captain’s orders – white slacks, a skin-tight blue and white striped body-suit, navy blue peacoat and deck shoes.

 

On returning to St. Petersburg, Dolphin found Justice Minerva Irons waiting for him at the public pier near the Museum of History on Zayachiy Island. A small, battery-powered boat bearing the inscription —–—– –––— (Anna’s Egg) was readied for them. Irons was wearing a similar navy peacoat over a black body-suit and similar deck shoes. A brisk September wind lifted her long black and silver hair. Seeing her in this new setting drew Dolphin's attention to her face, reminding him strongly of her Chinese ancestry.

 

 

“I assume you know how to pilot one of these?” she asked as she ushered Dolphin aboard Anna’s Egg, then followed him onto the motorboat.

 

“Yes, your honor,” Dolphin replied, taking the pilot seat.

 

“Minerva,” Irons replied.

 

“Captain?” Dolphin asked.

 

“It’s time to drop the ranks, Kenneth,” Irons replied. “No one will ever believe I would allow anyone to use my influence the way you have unless it was someone close enough to be on a first name basis with me.”

 

“I knew there would be consequences,” Dolphin replied. “I didn’t think familiarity would be one of them…” Dolphin paused, then added awkwardly, “Minerva.”

 

Irons laughed. Dolphin could never remember seeing her so much at ease. “It’s a fitting punishment, Kenneth. You’re far less comfortable with familiarity than you would be with a reprimand and a stint in the brig.”

 

Dolphin gave a rueful smile, then laughed. “True.”

 

Irons removed a hypo-spray unit from a pocket of her peacoat. “Before we get underway, I need to give you an injection.”

 

Dolphin raised his eyebrows, then dutifully pulled down his collar, allowing her to administer the injection to his neck.

 

“Quadropseudoprozadiazomine,” Irons said. “Just a precaution. It’s going to play havoc with your perceptions at first, so we need to wait about 10 minutes before we get underway. We will head south along the Bolshaya Neva. At the last pier we will pick up a couple of passengers, then head out into the bay. This is a very small boat. Can you handle it in chop?”

 

“I used to pilot something very similar – even smaller – down the Providence River and into the North Atlantic. Back when I was a stupid, immortal teenager. I don’t think I’ve lost the knack,” Dolphin replied.

 

“Following your meeting at Star Fleet Headquarters, Fleet Admiral Stewart has taken a week’s leave of absence,” Irons said.

 

 

Dolphin blinked and looked around, trying to make the large orange and purple spots go away. They stubbornly refused to leave, apparently having decided to merge and change shapes instead. He was distracted by small waves barking like drunken dogs against the side of the boat. He shook his head again, trying to clear it, then asked, “Why?”

 

 

Irons removed a pad from an interior pocket of her peacoat. It took a few more minutes for Dolphin’s vision to clear so that he could see on the screen an image of Fleet Admiral Miriam Stewart working at her desk. He turned toward Irons. “What am I looking at?”

 

“Fleet Operations security video,” Irons replied. “Your surmise about an order placing former governor Ivonovic off limits was correct. Miriam tracked down the time and workstation that order came from and sent me the security video.”

 

“The order came from her???”

 

“Which is why she has taken a week’s medical leave. She doesn’t remember giving that order. Nor does she remember giving me the direct order to extract Ivonovic almost a year ago. She has checked herself into a private facility and taken a full dose of quadropseudoprozadiazomine.”

 

Dolphin patted his neck. “This stuff?”

 

“What I gave you amounts to an inoculation. Miriam needed the cure. What you’re recovering from now is nowhere near as intense as the next 30 hours will be for her. The hallucinogenic effects are powerful and extremely unpleasant. No one takes a full dose of this drug unless they have to shake the effects of repeated mind-melds.”

 

 

Once they were out on the river, Captain Irons brought Dolphin up to speed about the Gamma Gun Galaxy, the Hulk and the impending doom hanging over all life in the Alpha Quadrant, stopping occasionally to point out particularly interesting landmarks or impressive boats. Her cheerful demeanor was wildly at odds with the information she was imparting to her director of flight operations. The battery powered motor was nearly silent. Even with the slap of the waves against the hull of Anna’s Egg, the ride was very quiet.

 

“You seem quite at ease for all the horrifying things you’ve been telling me, Minerva,” Dolphin said. “The Federation still bitterly divided over homeworld and hybrid issues, top admirals at Star Fleet telepathically compromised, covert attempts at genocide against Federation populations, an impending disaster along the romulan border that could lead the romulans into aggressive war against us or the klingons, increasing piracy, refugee populations being driven into the Federation along both the romulan and cardassian borders and now our only hope to avoid having our entire species wiped out by deadly gamma radiation is to make some sort of a nightmarish deal with the borg?”

 

Irons laughed, squeezed Dolphin’s shoulder and smiled. He marveled at her unparalleled beauty despite the fine lines and subtle markers of age on her face – if anything they made her even more beautiful. “Kenneth, I am nearly 160 years old. The human race and the entire Alpha Quadrant have always been on the brink of disaster. But look around you! St. Petersburg is beautiful! The Neva is clear. The weather’s gorgeous, if a little brisk. And you are so young, so very young. What are you – 52? You have to learn to enjoy this life while you have it. We will always be facing down doom and disaster – laying down our lives to protect our worlds from it. If you can’t laugh in the face of that, you will never laugh at all.” She gestured to the bank ahead on the port side of the boat. “Stop at that pier – I see our passengers.”

 

 

Dolphin pulled the small motorboat up to the pier at Fontanka, at the mouth of Neva Bay, then stood up to assist two men onto the boat. The first was a severe looking, elderly vulcan dressed all in black. The other, a small, fit, cheery, middle-aged man with olive skin and handsome, aqualine features, dressed all in white. “Hello, sailor,” he said to Dolphin with a distinct British accent, then eyeing Minerva Irons, with a very different emphasis repeated, “Hellooo sailor!”

 

Irons laughed. “Kenneth, may I introduce Chief Justice Scrivax and Chief Justice Julian Bashir… Chief Justices, my director of flight operations, Kenneth Dolphin.”

 

Chief Justice Scrivax favored Dolphin with a slight nod, then took a seat in the back of the boat. Julian Bashir shook Dolphin’s hand vigorously, looked him in the eyes. “So you’re the infamous Dr. Kenny Dolphin. What a pleasure it is to meet you,” he said, emphasizing the words ‘you’re’ and ‘you.’ “Philosopher, pundit, daredevil pilot and secret agent – interplanetary man of intrigue… When I grow up I want to be just like you…”

 

Dolphin laughed as he retook the pilot seat. Bashir was immediately and immensely charming, but there was a warning sign in the man’s expression and in the way he emphasized his words. Dolphin had seen this warning sign before… With a shock, he realized that under the charm, Bashir was concealing an intense antipathy toward him. He wasn’t certain which man was more dangerous – the unsmiling, silent vulcan or the charming, gregarious human who was now flirting playfully with Justice Irons.

 

 

Dolphin was maneuvering Anna’s Egg through medium chop in Neva Bay and finally managed to tune back into the conversation. He had been listening not to the words, but to the tone. It was clear Bashir and Irons were more than friends – they were co-conspirators. It was equally clear that their seemingly innocent, flirtatious conversation was more for the benefit of their two observers in the boat than for their own. 

 

Only now was Irons getting around to explaining just how bad the outlook for the Federation was and the conversation had turned serious. But she didn’t tell Bashir about Fleet Admiral Stewart or the quadropseudoprozadiazomine. 

 

 

It was at this moment that Chief Justice Scrivax broke his silence: “Now.”

 

Julian Bashir’s voice took on a ring of authority that clearly came naturally to the man: “Station keeping, Lieutenant.”

 

 

Dolphin turned Anna’s Egg into the swell, applied a choke to the wheel and reduced power to the motor to allow the boat to maintain its relative location, moving forward at the same speed that the waves were pushing it back. He turned to face the passengers in the rear of the boat only to find the elderly vulcan’s hand on his face. The old vulcan moved with the speed of a snake and initiated a mind-meld. Dolphin could feel the old man probing his thoughts, rifling through his memories as if they were files in a filing cabinet. This mind-meld was different from any Dolphin had ever experienced – he felt like an observer, watching the elderly vulcan – not one and the same with him as he had come to expect from previous mind melds. He also felt (though did not try) as though he could safely hide memories and thoughts from Scrivax.

 

As quickly as it had begun, the mind meld was over. “He’s clean,” Scrivax said.

 

 

Kenny Dolphin shook his head to make the orange and purple spots go away again. That was a memory Scrivax hadn’t seen.

 

 

“Trustworthy?” asked a skeptical Julian Bashir.

 

“Above normal,” Scrivax replied.

 

“Welcome to Section 31, Kenny Dolphin,” said Bashir. “This is not an invitation. This is an induction. You are already far more deeply involved in our activities than you realize. Minerva will explain the rest to you. The time has come to return us to Fontanka.”

 

“And if I refuse?” asked Dolphin.

 

“How well can you swim following a vulcan nerve pinch?”

 

There was something deadly serious in Bashir’s voice. Kenny Dolphin responded by turning to the wheel and steering Anna’s Egg back toward Fontanka.

 

 

The ride back to the pier at Fontanka was silent. After Bashir and Scrivax disembarked, Kenny pulled the boat back into the Neva River, headed back toward the museum. For a few moments he and Irons rode in silence. Irons put her hand on his back.

 

“Scrivax?” she asked.

 

“He’s dirty,” Dolphin replied – surprised at the sudden awareness – grimacing and blinking back tears for the loss of such a magnificent mind – the loss of what once was a great man.

 

Irons wrapped an arm around Dolphin’s shoulders, squeezed. “You did well, Kenneth. Really well. Welcome to Section 31.”

 

11.8


Chapter End Notes:

Character:                        Vulcan Chief Justice Scrivax (Scrivax)
Human Ethnicity:             N/A
Additional Species:         Vulcan
Hometown/Homeworld:  Buenos Aries, Argintina, Earth
Introduced: Episode        11.8
Age when introduced:     177
Role:                                Chief Justice Federation Tribunal, Chief of Staff Section 31


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