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Chapter Notes:

Commander Pepper's last words.


Star Trek Hunter

Episode 21: The Enemy of My Enemy

Scene 7: The Wreck of the I.K.V. ‘Iw Hov


21.7

The Wreck of the I.K.V. ‘Iw Hov


Commander Kenneth Dolphin set the reader on the tactical unit’s pilot control console and hooked its readout into the main viewer, but found himself watching the small viewscreen on the reader as much as the main viewer. Commander David Pepper had evidently recorded this message some time before the death message Kenny and Tauk had viewed nearly a week earlier on the asteroid.



“Welcome to the ‘Iw Hov. Sorry for the mess. It’s ironic. I finally get my own command and the captain has to go down with his ship. When I beamed on board to retrieve Mlady, and to make sure our klingon friends didn’t get to keep her, or the gamorlans... Well…. About the mess… You’re just going to have to see this…”


Pep’s image was replaced by what was clearly ship’s footage of one of the gamorlans, looking up at a security camera. Pep’s voice continued narrating: “Cute, isn’t he? The soft fur ridge around his face… The big sad eyes…” The gamorlan suddenly opened its mouth – wide – exposing a mass of fangs – and lunged at the camera at incredible speed - then the picture cut out. And was replaced by Pep.


“Yeah, they have claws too. And brains. Our klingon friends beamed five elderly gamorlans onto the ‘Iw Hov and those five cute little old aliens went through 23 klingon warriors like a knife through hot butter. But that wasn’t all. They tore this ship apart, quite literally. Less than half the ship’s systems were operational by the time I made it to the bridge.”


The image shifted to a view of the bridge of the bird of prey as seen from another security camera. Klingons were shooting wildly at three gamorlans, but the tiny aliens moved almost too fast for the eye to follow. They burrowed through the klingon crew with ruthless speed, then one of them crawled up under the pilot’s station and started dismantling it, taking a number of electric shocks that would have killed a full grown klingon.


“These little guys are so ferocious that Mlady had to lock herself in the brig just to get away from them. It’s important to remember these little creeps drove themselves into extinction over religious differences. I suspect they would have been even more intolerant of other species. From the technology I observed, I think they were about a hundred years or less from developing faster than light travel. I could say I’m sad they didn’t make it – but I would be lying. I think the galaxy dodged a big one when these guys snuffed themselves out.” 


“So anyway, one of them was already dead when I beamed onboard. I killed three more of them and took command of the ship. There were two surviving klingon crewmembers – Udrus Rorger and Avor Firshok. I had vented most of the ship’s atmosphere and the warp drive was offline. But the cloaking device was operational, so I was able to land the ‘Iw Hov inside one of the damaged decks of that enormous romulan battlegod, the Fero, just before they went to warp. I was hoping to resupply, but we still had a live gamorlan on board and something it did caused the cloak to go on the fritz.”


“I was only able to resupply our atmosphere and we jumped off the Fero as they were passing this solar system. Which left us in the outer asteroid belt. Udrus and Avor were doing their best to keep up with the gamorlan, but there was no way they could make repairs as fast as he was tearing things up. They caught up with him in the port wing. Here’s what the internal sensors picked up…”



The viewer displayed part of a corridor leading to an access hatch. A female klingon staggered into the picture, trying to dislodge a ferocious furry creature from her chest. His fangs were able to penetrate her armor and he bit her neck viciously, then turned around as she fell to the deck, ready to pounce. A disrupter beam passed through his head and sparked on an EPS conduit in the wall behind him, causing a series of explosions. A large hole opened, then the entire corridor was open to space, blowing out the bodies of the dead gamorlan, the dead klingon and another klingon who was still alive… but evidently not for long. Shortly after she was blown out of the breach, the wing section that had broken off tumbled back into view and the nacelle attached to the end of the wing exploded, causing the camera to go dark.



David Pepper’s face returned to the screen. “And that was the last gasp for the I.K.V. ‘Iw Hov. We tumbled without power for any system except life support for six hours. It was extremely uncomfortable because the inertial dampener was offline. So imagine spinning at about 1.4 G. For six hours. Until we finally hit one of the asteroids. At which point we lost life support. My legs are crushed. I would have died two days ago except for Mlady. I plan to record another file to provide instructions on how to safely handle her since she will soon enter hibernation. It has been a good run.”


“When I was a child I read all the heroic klingon poetry I could get my hands on. I always wanted to captain a klingon bird of prey. These are legendary ships of adventure. When I was working on my doctorate, I spent five years with the klingons, serving on their ships, living on their homeworld, the most egalitarian people I ever knew until I came to serve on the U.S.S. Hunter. Do not mourn for me. I have had an amazing life. Take care of Mlady for me. This is Commander Dave… No… Captain David Pepper of the I.K.V. ‘Iw Hov, signing off. Heghlu’meH QaQ javjam!”



As the image of his late first officer vanished and the screen went dark, Kenny Dolphin found himself, inexplicably, smiling, laughing and weeping simultaneously. It was a silent laugh, not a response to humor, but a recognition of triumph. Something magnificent had passed through the universe – and he had left his mark.


* Heghlu’ meH QaQ jajvam! (Today is a good day to die!)


21.7



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