Star Trek Hunter
Episode 20: Survival
Scene 1: How Did Hugh Know?
How Did Hugh Know?
“Subspace sector W.28.theta, cell range 261 through 355.”
“That is a very specific range… um… Mr. Five?” asked Justice Irons.
“You can call me Hugh. My actual designation is 3rd of 5, but my friends call me Hugh.”
Of all the things Justice Minerva Irons had never expected, casually interviewing a borg in her office was about at the top of the list. It only made sense that his communication might be somewhat cryptic. Borg drones were famous for communicating everything in their minds all at once all the time. Even if Hugh had been free from the collective for apparently a few decades, spoken communication still must feel like crawling compared to traveling at warp speed.
“I am confused, Hugh, did you…”
“You need to monitor those frequencies. Before he left, Dr. Carrera modified the animal’s transmitter. When she goes into hibernation, it will send three short bursts. If you catch all three of them, you can triangulate…”
“Tauk,” said Commander Kenny Dolphin.
“I’m on it.” Lt. Cmdr. Tauk had already stood up, picked up his cane and turned toward the bridge exit from the captain’s office.
“How do you know she will go into hibernation?” Irons asked as her 2nd officer limped out of the room.
“I don’t,” Hugh answered. “I think Dr. Carrera considered it a high probability that you would need to find her and that she might hibernate.”
“That would be Fleet Admiral Carrera?” Dolphin asked.
“I have only ever met Commander Carrera. He also provided me the formula to manufacture this…” Hugh held up his mechanical right hand, index finger extended. A small knife emerged from his index finger. He cut across his left wrist, took a flask and collected about 2 cubic centimeters of thick turquoise fluid from his opened vein.
If anyone else had slit their wrist in Dr. Tali Shae’s presence, all hell would have broken loose.
But Tali was already in shock that she was talking calmly to a borg. She took the flask rather numbly and just looked at it.
“That should help you for a few hundred days. It should rebalance your metabolism temporarily. When you need more, wake me.”
“Wake you?” Tali asked.
“I will need to reduce power to minimal amounts,” Hugh said. “If you would please provide a recharging station in one of the cargo bays or pretty much anywhere. In your lexicon, there are people looking for me and my power signature is not that difficult to locate.”
“Why?” asked Irons.
“So they won’t find me," Hugh replied. "When I am at minimal power, I am very difficult to trace.”
“Not what I meant,” said Irons. “Why are they looking for you?”
“Bob taught me to phase," said Hugh. "My former colleagues would very much like to know how to do that. I do not think that is an ability you want them to develop. I could go somewhere else, but then I wouldn’t be here when Dr. Carrera comes looking for me.”
Justice Irons got up from her desk, carefully omitting the grunt and sigh that she had recently begun to afford herself when getting out of a chair in private. She walked to the front corner of her office. “I have always thought this corner is one of the most awkward corners in the ship. I considered building a cabinet here, but I really don’t have anything to store in this office.” She turned toward Hugh.
Hugh turned and walked over to the corner. His movements were disturbingly robotic until he turned and backed into the corner, rolling his shoulders against the metal wall.
“Cozy,” he said. He produced a chip from a compartment in his right arm. “I would build this myself, but I really need to shut down so that we don’t get noticed. If you would, please…” then leaned his head back against the corner, closed his eye and slumped slightly, becoming silent and motionless. There was the slight whine of tiny whirring servo motors slowing and stopping.
Commander Dolphin held his hand out. Justice Irons dropped the chip into his hand.
“I’m not sure why you would want him right there,” said Dolphin. “That would have me completely creeped out every time I look up…”
“Oh, I want him where I can keep an eye on him,” Irons said.