Star Trek Hunter
Episode 20: Survival
Scene 8: The Ghost
*note: Episode 1 was based on this scene
“It looks like a subspace distortion – a powerful one!”
Lt. Gaia Gamor was already shutting down the warp drive as Commander Kenneth Dolphin gave the order: “Bring us out of warp!”
“The reading is about 30 light minutes ahead of us and closing fast – should we go to quiet mode?” asked 2nd. Lt. Tolon Reeves, currently at the tactical station.
“Shields up, power weapons, intercepting fire, now!” commanded Dolphin. “Dr. Moon, transfer additional atmosphere and plasma to the tactical unit. Lieutenant Commander Tauk to the bridge!”
Tolon had the shields and phasers up, but wasn’t certain what he was supposed to be shooting at until two romulan warbirds decloaked just as they were coming out of warp. One of them almost immediately sent out a spray of torpedoes toward the U.S.S. Hunter. Tolon’s hands were suddenly busy warding off a half dozen torpedoes. At least one torpedo got close enough to briefly overcome the Hunter’s inertial dampeners and rock the ship.
Lt. Gamor sang out as a reading flashed on the navigation station next to her. “The third beacon signal just came through! We have a fix…”
One of the romulan warbirds turned immediately and went to warp at the same moment that Lt. Cmdr. Tauk arrived on the bridge, cane in hand.
“And they read it too,” Gamor continued. “They’re headed straight for it.”
“Staff tactical!” Dolphin ordered.
Just as Lt. Cmdr. Tauk disappeared into the hatch for the tactical unit, Justice Minerva Irons came out of her office: “Commander Dolphin…”
“Yes your honor?”
“I want her back. Alive if possible, but I want her back.”
“Aye, Captain,” Dolphin said, then followed Tauk into the hatch and up into the tactical unit.
The little ferengi, now seated at the navigation/tactical station, was giving himself an injection in the neck with a hypospray unit. For the first time in months, his eyes opened all the way and he took a deep, shuddering breath.
“Are you okay, Tauk?”
“Hurts like fire!” Tauk replied. “But I feel like I could wrestle an armored grummerhog to the ground and tear it apart with my bare hands!” He was visibly shaking. “Napoleon says I have about 6-10 hours of this, then I’m going to crash, hard. I don’t want to think about how that’s going to feel. Am I talking too much?” he asked as Dolphin, now in the pilot’s seat, hit the launch button at the very moment Justice Irons’ order came through:
“Launch tactical. Simulate breach! Quick Quiet! Unnngghhh!!”
Tauk and Dolphin both held on as the tactical unit lurched hard on launch, ejecting the additional atmosphere and plasma to make it appear the Hunter had been destroyed by a near torpedo explosion.
The deception almost worked too well.. The plasma between the tactical unit and the Hunter’s platform ignited, driving the two units apart and causing the tactical unit to tumble. With only minimal inertial dampeners online, Tauk and Dolphin found themselves made nauseous by the G-forces. But there was no time to indulge in that feeling.
“They’ve gone to warp,” said Tauk.
“Without even coming over here to check their handiwork? That’s too sloppy for a romulan…” said Dolphin.
“Are we going after them or not?”
“Hang on to your walking stick…” In two swift moves Dolphin righted the tactical unit, then went to warp, tearing after the two giant romulan warbirds.
- * -
“Supreme Commander, the Pistris has…” Admiral Ekot had started speaking into the comm system, but within three words, Sela left her office and stepped onto the Bestia’s spacious bridge. Ekot walked toward her. “The Pistris and the Simiae have engaged the ghost.”
“Admiral, Supreme Commander…” Commander Hundeeth was in the command chair. “We just received the third beacon. And the Simiae has broken off to head for the beacon source.”
“Put us on course for the ghost, Commander,” Sela said. She ran her hand through her short, thick blonde hair, then made a fist. “Got them!”
Admiral Ekot raised his eyebrows.
“Oh, let me have a moment…” Sela said, then immediately her face hardened. “No, you’re right, no weakness. It’s just so tempting to give in to my human nature for a moment.”
Hundeeth spoke up. “The Pistris reports the ghost is destroyed and they are on course for the beacon source.”
Sela stormed to the command chair. “How long until we reach the contact point?”
“Three minutes, Supreme Commander,” Commander Hundeeth replied.
“Keep us cloaked when we come out of warp,” said Sela. “Then I want a thorough search pattern.” She turned to another officer. “Get me the Pistris telemetry from that fight now,” Sela turned toward the admiral of the first fleet. “Admiral Ekot, who is commanding the Pistris?”
“Commander Sillila,” Ekot responded.
“And her second?”
“The Pistris is now Commander Thutuk’s command and Centurion Sillila goes to engineering…”
Commander Hundeeth interrupted. “You will want to see this… We are in sensor range and we're picking up a ship there…”
Sela whirled and looked at the image of the U.S.S. Hunter (sans its tactical unit) on the screen. “I was right! It is a swaeshaeul!”
“Prowler class,” said Ekot.
“Registry reads N.D.C. 1201, U.S.S. Hunter,” said Centurion Cireeka.
“Not N.C.C.?” asked Sela.
“N.C.C. designates ships constructed for Star Fleet under a contract with the United States Navy and Curtis Industries out of San Francisco, California on Earth,” said Commander Hundeeth. “The Prowler class are constructed under the same contract by the Daystrom Institute at New Eden, Mars. N.C.C. stands for Navy-Curtis Craft. N.D.C. is Navy-Daystrom Craft.”
Sela raised her eyebrows. “You are a walking university, Hundeeth. I’m willing to bet there are a lot of Star Fleet officers who wouldn’t know that. That swaeshaeul should easily fit in our large hangar. Remain cloaked. Tie in the dampening generator to the tractor beam, kill that ship and put it in our large hangar. As soon as it is there, physically strap it down.”
Sela turned toward Admiral Ekot. “Belay that order about Commander Sillila. She didn’t just leave without confirming a kill – she left a fully functional Star Fleet vessel unmolested in romulan space! I want her publicly stripped, striped and sent to the farms. From now on, she is Field Hand Sillila. She flew off, thinking she had destroyed this ship and left it right here, safe and sound. They must have blown out some of their own atmosphere and plasma to simulate a breach. Notify me when the Hunter is secured. I will be in my office reviewing the telemetry from Pistris.”
- * -
Your honor… Justice Minerva Irons was reclining on the chase in the medical office. She had suffered a cracked rib from being thrown against her seat restraint during the fire fight. The voice in her head came from Chief Tactical Specialist Rumi Grace – which meant it was urgent. We are not alone. There are almost a million minds out there. A cloaked ship. It has to be a battlegod.
Tell Gaia to take us to…. At the very moment Irons was thinking the word “warp” all the lights and control panels shut off. Irons found she suddenly had navigator Eli Strahl’s voice in her mind.
Minerva – the bridge has lost all power. I reached out to Dr. Moon. She told me all power systems have failed.
Rumi, Irons thought, broadcast to all hands – prepare to be boarded. Tell Anana to hide. Irons pictured Navigator Eli Strahl in her mind. Eli, I need you to wake up the borg in my office and give him the following detailed instructions…