Star Trek Hunter Episode 20: Survival

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Robert Bruce Scott, Jan 20, 2023.

  1. Robert Bruce Scott

    Robert Bruce Scott Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jun 18, 2021
    Continued from Episode 19: The Ivonovic Commission

    Star Trek Hunter
    Episode 20: Survival

    Episode 20 – Survival

    “The harsh discipline of mercy is a lesson every doctor learns at some point in a career of medicine. That lesson is the harsh discipline by which Star Fleet Temporal Division must abide in every moment, lest we be tempted to play God. Our work as observers and guardians of our own histories requires us to engrain that discipline into every fiber of our souls. The more we learn about the unfathomable chains of consequences, the harder temptation becomes to avoid.”

    “In temporal operations, just as in medicine, it is very easy to forget that life is precious precisely because it is ephemeral.”

    Dr. Tali Shae – The Ethics of Temporal Mechanics.

    Crew of the U.S.S. Hunter: (Ship's Interactive Holographic Avatar - Hunter)​

    At-Large Appellate Justice, Captain Minerva Irons .​
    Chief Executive Officer - Commander Kenneth Dolphin .
    Chief Operations Officer - Lt. Commander Tauk .​
    Medical Director - Commander Tali Shae .
    Assistant Medical Director - Lt. Jazz Sam Sinder .
    Epidemiologist - Lt. Napoleon Boles .
    Ensign Chrissiana Trei .
    Forensic Specialist - Midshipman Sif .
    Emergency Medical Hologram - Dr. Raj .
    Tactical Medical Hologram - Dr. Kim .​
    Director of Flight Operations - Lt. Gaia Gamor .
    Assistant Flight Director - 2nd Lt. Ethan Phillips .
    Navigator Johanna Imex .
    Navigator Eli Strahl .​
    Ensign Chelna Zusa .
    Chief Flight Specialist Dewayne Guth (last name rhymes with Booth) .
    Chief Flight Specialist Thyssi zh’Qaoleq (last name rhymes with Chocolate) .
    Flight Specialist Dih Terri .
    Flight Specialist Winnifreid Salazaar .​
    Director of Ground Operations - Lt. T’Lon .
    Assistant Ground Ops Director - 2nd Lt. Tolon Reeves .
    Chief Tactical Specialist Rumi Grace .
    Tactical Specialist Dasare Eba (rhymes with Cabaret Nina) .
    Tactical Specialist Veri Geki .
    Tactical Specialist Ranni Neivi .​
    Ensign Eykirros Jones (nickname is Ike Jones) .
    Investigator Buttans Ngumbo .
    Special Agent Anana Lynarr, Trantor Police Intelligence Division (temporary assignment) .​
    Director of Engineering - Lt. Moon Sun Salek .
    Assistant Engineering Director - 2nd Lt. Sun Ho Hui .
    Midshipman Tammy Brazil .
    Transporter Engineer K'rok .​
    Ensign Geoffrey Horatio Alstars .
    Flight Engineer Yolanda Thomas .
    Flight Engineer Thomas Hobbs .
    Flight Engineer Tomos .
    Flight Engineer Kerry Gibbon​
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2023
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  2. Robert Bruce Scott

    Robert Bruce Scott Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jun 18, 2021
    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.

    20.1 (of 14)​
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  3. Bynar0110

    Bynar0110 Captain Captain

    Sep 25, 2022
    Ohio Valley, USA
    Wow, awesome appearance by Hugh.
  4. Robert Bruce Scott

    Robert Bruce Scott Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jun 18, 2021
    He is a fan favorite... Thanks for the kind words! rbs
  5. Robert Bruce Scott

    Robert Bruce Scott Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jun 18, 2021
    Star Trek Hunter
    Episode 20: Survival
    Scene 2: The First Signal

    The First Signal

    Dr. Tali Shae had appended Dr. Napoleon Boles to her department as the ship’s Epidemiologist more than a year ago, although there was almost never much in the way of epidemiology for him to do. But the U.S.S. Hunter’s crew had benefitted from his presence in many other ways. He had come up with surgeries that had saved Lt. Cmdr. Tauk’s life and Midshipman Tammy Brazil’s breast. While people often avoided Boles because of his caustic humor, there was no one better on the ship for solving practical problems.

    Then there was the body odor. One of the biggest challenges of getting members of several different species to live together in peace - especially on a small, cramped space vessel with no outside air - was aligning the body odors so that everyone, especially the olfactorially gifted bajorans, could live in some modicum of comfort. Having a ship full of hybrids simply randomized this effect. Everyone on the U.S.S. Hunter made an effort - except Boles.

    So Tali was surprised when she walked onto the bridge on her way to the captain’s office to find not the Hunter’s first officer, nor its second officer, nor any of the department directors or assistant directors in the captain’s chair.

    “Why are you in command, Boles?” Tali asked.

    “Commander Dolphin’s orders,” Boles answered. “I think he’s punishing me for something…”

    In spite of herself, Tali Shae smiled and her antennae spasmed with mirth. Boles’ dry humor could occasionally also be one of his redeeming qualities.

    “He’s been trying to come up with a reason for me to like him,” Tali said. “Looks like he finally succeeded.”

    Boles made an amused noise. “Well, maybe he can work on me next.”

    “And undo everything he’s been trying so hard to accomplish?” Tali taunted. “As you were, Lieutenant,” she said and headed to the captain’s office. The door opened just as she arrived.

    Justice Minerva Irons’ voice could be heard within: “Come in, Tali.”

    Just as Tali stepped off the bridge, 2nd Lt. Tolon Reeves, standing watch at the tactical station, said, “There it is - one!”

    “Get me a bearing, Lieutenant,” said Boles.

    “Not much to go on, sir,” said Reeves. “I’m feeding the coordinate range to Winnifreid, but we’re already trending almost to the center of this range.”

    “Mr. Salazaar?” said Boles.

    “I am adjusting our course to the center of the range, sir.” Flight Specialist Winnifreid Salazaar was still making adjustments at the pilot’s console.

    “What about the tracking of the gamma bursts? I don’t want us under one of them or traveling through one of them,” said Boles.

    “Our course puts us well above them, sir,” Salazaar replied.

    “Commander,” said Boles, “We just received the first beep.”

    Commander Kenny Dolphin’s voice came to the bridge over the comm system. “How strong was the signal?”

    Boles turned to face Tolon Reeves - gestured at him.

    “It was a fairly strong signal, Commander,” Lt. Tolon said.

    “Napoleon, keep your eyes peeled,” said Dolphin over the comm system. “If we’re reading it five by five, chances are the romulans heard it too. Let me know the moment you get any hint of their scent - warp trails, sensor ghosts - even a glitch.”

    “Got it, boss,” Boles replied.

    “What was that?” Dolphin asked.

    “I said, Aye, Commander.”

    “Thank you Lieutenant.”

    Dr. Tali Shae retreated as quietly as possible into Justice Minerva Irons’ office.

    20.2 (of 14)​
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  6. Robert Bruce Scott

    Robert Bruce Scott Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jun 18, 2021
    Star Trek Hunter
    Episode 20: Survival
    Scene 3: Grooming Napoleon

    Grooming Napoleon

    “Do you think you’re being a bit tough with him?” Lt. T’Lon raised her eyebrows.

    Cmdr. Dolphin and Lt. Cmdr. Tauk had taken over the engineering conference room and had been, along with at various times, Lt. Moon and Lt. Gamor, exhaustively reviewing the operation of each of the ship’s operations departments. Now it was T’Lon’s turn with ground operations.

    Tauk was coughing quietly and occasionally wiping his mouth. His voice had grown much softer over the past few days. “He has to be. He doesn’t have long to get Boles into shape.”

    “Childhood is over for Napoleon,” Kenny Dolphin said. “I need him to grow up and make some friends.”

    “You want to promote him?” T’Lon was surprised.

    “You have confused want with need,” said Dolphin. “He has way too much potential to leave on the table. I need what he can give to this crew.”

    “Do you really think you can groom him for command?” asked T’Lon.

    “Not if he gets the idea that’s what Kenny is doing,” Tauk observed. He started coughing painfully.

    “Time for your nap,” said Dolphin.

    It wasn’t, but Tauk got up, picked up his cane and made his slow exit anyway.

    T’Lon was unable to keep the concern from her face as she watched the small, sick ferengi moving slowly away from the engineering conference room toward one of the lifts. “He is in a lot of pain.”

    “He is in the final stages,” Dolphin observed. “From what I understand, his immune system is now attacking the organs Dr. Boles installed in his lung to generate new lung tissue. He might be able to survive a few more surgeries, but he is nearing the end and he knows it.”

    “You intend to replace him with Napoleon,” T’Lon observed.

    “When the time comes,” said Dolphin. “I’m sorry, T’Lon. I know it’s been a bit of a grim lottery around here. Some people think I’m grooming Dr. Moon for the job. More think it’s Gaia. Most probably think it’s you and I’ve been letting them think that. Boles won’t learn what I need him to learn if he thinks he’s up for the promotion.”

    “I’ve been a bit worried about you, Kenny. Ever since you took this promotion, you’ve become a little… well, I think the term I’ve heard humans use is, a hardass.”

    Dolphin laughed. “This has to be a first - a human officer chided by a vulcan for being too much of a disciplinarian…”

    T’Lon wasn’t smiling. “I sincerely doubt that.” She put her hand to Kenny’s face. “I know humans. Sometimes better than you know yourselves. You have an illogical tendency to do to others what you are illogically doing to yourselves. I worry about you sometimes, Kenny. Did you see Captain Red while you were on the Milky Way?”

    Dolphin sat back, sighed. “No. She has been given a new command. Not that there’s any deep connection there. I am only one among her many lovers. She keeps a rather large stable.”

    “She likes you,” said T’Lon.

    Dolphin made an amused noise. “I might as well try to catch a river.” He took a drink.

    “Either way, you might at least get wet.”

    And the drink came out his nose.​

    “You did that deliberately!” he spluttered.​

    “You might be right about Boles,” T’Lon mused as Dolphin obtained a napkin from the replicator and wiped his face. “It will be tough to replace Tauk. But Napoleon has seniority. It will keep the department directors where you need them and however people feel about him, everyone admires his quick mind and ability to improvise. Out here with nothing but enemies and no backup, we’re going to need that.”

    “I’m not being tough on him to get him ready to be a second officer,” Dolphin replied. “No one needs to like the Chief Operations officer. They just have to obey. Being afraid of them is just as useful as liking them, if not more. Tauk is a total perfectionist, so he fits the role perfectly.”

    T’Lon raised her eyebrows, nodded.

    “I need Boles to be able to win friends and influence people because…”

    “You’re grooming him to be a first officer,” T’Lon concluded.

    “He’s about as qualified for the position as I am. I’m never going to be Pep. I might as well try to grow up to be seven feet tall. Boles might as well try to grow green antennae mounts and turn his skin brown. But he’s going to become a legendary starship captain someday and the way things are going, Star Fleet is going to need him.”

    20.3 (of 14)​
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  7. Bynar0110

    Bynar0110 Captain Captain

    Sep 25, 2022
    Ohio Valley, USA
    Grooming Napoleon I couldn't help but to find that funny.

    I enjoyed your latest updates a whole lot.
  8. Robert Bruce Scott

    Robert Bruce Scott Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jun 18, 2021
    Star Trek Hunter
    Episode 20: Survival
    Scene 4: A Woman’s Intuition

    A Woman’s Intuition

    “No - that’s a Star Fleet signal. I can feel it.”

    Sela deeply hated humans - particularly their inability to recognize the ancient wisdom and genius of the Romulan people. She hated humanity for leaving her without a mother. But she monitored everything happening on her bridge because she had one thing pure romulans did not have. An instinct - an intuition about humans - a gift from her treacherous, ungrateful human mother.

    The moment she had heard her bridge officers start talking about a signal they had received from the eastern end of the empire, near the confluence of the borders of the Romulan Star Empire with the Dead Zone and the Klingon Empire, Sela had stepped out of her office onto the bridge and demanded details. The signal had a borg technological signature, but was on a subspace channel used almost exclusively by tholians. This mish-mash of technologies confused her officers. To Sela, it screamed humanity loud and clear. It was exactly the type of trick humans would use to confuse romulans and klingons.

    “It is a beacon, but it does not carry any information. No coded message,” said Commander Hundeeth.

    “Confirmed,” Centurion Cireeka agreed.

    “That means that beacon is for one person and all the information they need is the fact that it is a borg signature on a tholian frequency coming from romulan space. It has to be that Star Fleet swaeshaeul that has been sneaking about in our space,” Sela groused.

    “The ghost?” asked Cireeka.

    “I should get angry at you for calling it that, but that is what everyone is calling it,” Sela replied.

    “They have to be using a cloak. We should declare the Federation to be in violation of the Khitomer Accords,” Cireeka said.

    “That would be unwise for a large number of reasons,” Admiral Ekot observed. “The Khitomer Accords establish our border with the Klingon Empire. Declare it void and the klingons would take a number of important worlds and the federation wouldn’t stop them.”

    “The klingons would upgrade their disruptors to be able to fire immediately on decloaking,” Commander Hundeeth added, “and the Federation would have functioning cloaking devices on most of their capital ships within a year…”

    “And it would give the Federation an excuse to close the traffic lane between the empire and Vulcan,” Ekot continued.

    “We aren’t a party to the Gagarin Treaty - they couldn’t stop us from going to Vulcan,” said Commander Cireeka.

    “No,” said Hundeeth, “But they would use it to drive a wedge between the Empire and the Senate of New Romulus on Vulcan.”

    “Which is exactly what they wanted right from the start,” Ekot added. “That may be why they’re sending that ghost into our space to begin with…”

    “And we have no evidence the Federation is in violation of the Khitomer Accords,” Sela concluded. “We have a few scant readings of federation warp signatures and the frequencies of the photon torpedoes that destroyed Gamorlan were consistent with federation technology - but that could be fabricated. Even if the ghost is a federation starship, they could claim it is one rogue starship - we don’t even know if it has cloaking technology. It may be using some other sort of camouflage. Humans are tricky that way. They find ways around the rules. The last thing we want to do is hand them everything in the Khitomer Accords and get nothing in return.” Sela put her hand on Centurion Cireeka’s shoulder. “But it was a question well worth asking.”

    Sela turned toward Ekot. “Put us on course for that beacon as best you can determine it. Since it did not carry a message, there will probably be another signal for triangulation. Listen for it. Reach out to the Pistris, the Pardus and the Simiae. Get them headed toward it as well. Tell them to keep their sensors highly tuned - I want that ghost.”

    * swaeshaeul (Romulan - baby’s shoe (literally: toe shoe))

    20.4 (of 14)​
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  9. Will The Serious

    Will The Serious Commander Red Shirt

    Nov 5, 2022
    :borg: A prefect concept to introduce a Borg infused turn in the series.

    I love this interaction. :rommie: It is both a perfect blend of :devil: with :angel:. I'm a huge fan of dry humor, although I'm terrible at it myself.

    I'm really starting to grow fond of Sela. She is turning into a great leader beyond her hard bitterness. That takes heart, however deeply it may be buried.

    Last edited: Jan 26, 2023
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  10. Bynar0110

    Bynar0110 Captain Captain

    Sep 25, 2022
    Ohio Valley, USA
    I really enjoying reading about Sela. I can see some of her human side trying to come out.
  11. Will The Serious

    Will The Serious Commander Red Shirt

    Nov 5, 2022
    Yes. I can imagine a powerful ally, at some point in the future. Sort of like the evil queen Bavmorda's daughter Sorsha from Willow. Won over and helps the enemy she has been pursuing. Not that there's that much similarity between Sela and Sorsha, only that the more I read about her, the more I want her to switch to the good guy's side.

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  12. Robert Bruce Scott

    Robert Bruce Scott Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jun 18, 2021
    Hold on to your hats... I think you're going to like what's in store...

    When I was developing the 3rd season primary antagonist, it was going to be the Romulan Supreme Commander. One of my readers suggested Sela - and it was a brilliant idea. I think Denise Crosby would enjoy inhabiting this version.

    Thanks!! rbs
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  13. Robert Bruce Scott

    Robert Bruce Scott Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jun 18, 2021
    Star Trek Hunter
    Episode 20: Survival
    Scene 5: Rescue Planning

    Rescue Planning

    “Okay Lieutenant Commander, this is your meeting, but first, I need to ask, where is everyone?” Commander Kenny Dolphin sat down at the head of the antique teak table in the executive conference room. He had delegated the rescue planning to his 2nd officer, Lt. Cmdr. Tauk.

    Dolphin had expected Tauk to involve the entire ground operations department - or at least their officers. Neither the ground operations department nor the flight operations department were represented in this room. Only two other of the U.S.S. Hunter’s crew were present - Dr. Tali Shae and Dr. Napoleon Boles.

    “This is a job for two people, Kenny,” said Tauk. “We will need the tactical unit.”

    “Who are you going to assign this to?” Dolphin asked.

    “You,” said Tauk, “And me.”

    Dolphin did not object. He deliberately shut the thousands of objections to this idea out of his mind. There was no point discussing them - Tauk had the equivalent of a Ph.D. in game theory. He had no doubt gamed out every potential objection. Dolphin waited for Tauk to explain. But it was Lt. Boles who spoke up first.

    “I have provided Tauk some stimulants that can help him through this mission,” said Boles. “They will have a terrible effect on him, but they should get him through the mission.”

    “Will they bring him home?” Dolphin asked.

    Dr. Tali Shae answered. “You have to understand, Dolphin, there is nothing that we can to for Tauk now. The only person who can help him is Mlady. She can adjust his enzymes in ways that we cannot mimick. If you cannot find her, there is no hope for Tauk.”

    “I have concerns about getting her and Pep back home,” Dolphin said. “Something that’s been bugging me - how did Dr. Carrera know that Mlady might get separated from us and go into hibernation? How did he know to set up her communicator to give us a beacon when her bio-readings showed her in hibernation?”

    “I don’t know the answer to that, but I have done the math, Kenny,” said Tauk. “Even assuming they have not lost any weight, the combined mass of all four of us is within tolerance of the tactical unit for recursive warp…”

    “Why is the captain not at this meeting?” Dolphin asked.

    Dr. Tali Shae got up, retrieved an iced tea from the replicator - handed it to Dolphin. “Because this needs to be your decision. It’s time for you to grow up and make some of the tough calls so Minerva doesn’t have as many to carry around. She has made more than enough tough calls for a lifetime and this is one that will keep you up at night. Be merciful. Let her off the hook for this one.”

    For a very long, uncomfortable moment, Kenny Dolphin and Dr. Tali Shae looked into each other’s eyes.

    After more than a few heartbeats, Lt. Cmdr. Tauk interrupted by clearing his throat. “Kenny, let Napoleon brief you. He and I developed this idea together. Talking has become… painful for me.”

    Dolphin realized he could hear the pained wheezing of the ferengi’s breath - now assisted by a forced breather.

    Tauk looked at Lt. Boles, then closed his eyes and laid his head back into the headrest on his chair.

    “This plan is all about probabilities,” said Boles. “You can rely on Tauk’s numbers. I cross checked as much of his math as I could comprehend. First, we have to assume we are going to be found and there is a high probability we will be caught. There is no way the romulans failed to notice federation warp signatures after this ship has ventured twice deep into their territory. And there is no way they failed to notice federation munitions signatures after we used every photon torpedo this ship was carrying to destroy a planet deep inside romulan space - probably killing several thousand romulans in the process. And we have to assume they have intercepted the first beacon signal and will correctly interpret the next two. So the question is what do we do when they find us? They’re going to want us really, really badly.”

    Dolphin looked around the room, only to find the half-bolian epidemiologist, the andorian medical director and the ferengi 2nd officer just looking back at him. He sighed. “We need two plans. The tactical unit goes on the rescue and the rest of the ship deals with the romulans. But it is so counter-intuitive. We hand over the entire crew just to rescue two officers?”

    Tauk nodded slowly, his eyes still closed. “So we need a plan for the rest of the crew to deal with the romulans.”

    Dolphin rapped his knuckles against the table. “I am adding another person to this meeting. Someone you should have included in your planning.”

    Dr. Tali Shae held her hands up. “We need to keep this plan small for now. People talk.”

    “My call,” Dolphin replied. “Hunter? Would you join us please?”

    The elderly looking ship’s holographic avatar appeared, standing at the end of the table where he usually stood during presentations. “How can I assist you?”

    “Take a seat, please. We need your thoughts. We need to plan against several possibilities involving the romulans and you know more about the capabilities of this ship than anyone. Do you have some counter measures for boarding parties?”

    Hunter walked around the table, appearing slightly confused. He slowly drew out a chair next to Lt. Cmdr. Tauk and sat down as if he were unfamiliar with the sensation.

    Dolphin smiled. “It’s high time you had a seat at this table, Hunter. I assume you are up to speed with our discussion?”

    “What you probably do not know,” Hunter said, “because it has never come up - I actually come in two flavors.” A second version of Hunter appeared, this one in a simple black jumpsuit. “I usually remain on the tactical unit and I have never manifested because I never needed to,” said Hunter Tactical, pulling up a seat next to his usual incarnation. Both Hunters spoke in unison, but creating only the sound of one Hunter speaking: “We are one and the same until the tactical unit is launched.” Suddenly they were speaking, but clearly with two voices. “When the tactical unit is separated, we become separate entities and then reintegrate and become one again…” They spoke with one voice again: “…when the tactical unit is reconnected to the platform.”

    Hunter Tactical spoke: “It has always taken artificial intelligence to bring the tactical unit into recursive warp just the same as the entire ship. So when you and Tauk are on the rescue mission, I will be there with you.” The black clad version of Hunter vanished.

    “Anana Lynarr…” said Dr. Boles.

    Hunter, Dolphin and Tali Shae just looked at him.

    “Good idea,” Tauk said quietly, not opening his eyes.

    “Hunter,” Boles asked, “Can you remove Anana from the crew roster and all official records - and is there a place on board you can hide her in case we get boarded?”

    “Why Lynarr?” Dolphin asked.

    “I should easily be able to create a false bulkhead for her to use as a hiding place,” Hunter said. “I have already deleted the records.”

    “Hunter, do the same for Hugh Mann… um… that is 3rd of 5…” said Dolphin.

    “Lynarr has Trantor counter-terrorism training, she’s bolian and not Star Fleet,” said Boles. “Romulans know a lot about Star Fleet tactics. Lynarr might have some tricks up her sleeve they aren’t aware of. Now we have four people to work against the romulans if they board and get to the rest of us - Hunter, Lynarr, Hugh and Dr. Raj. I will get them together for some backup planning as our last line of defense.”

    “We need several layers of planning to keep it from coming to that,” Dolphin said.

    “We need to plan the rescue mission as well,” said Tauk.

    20.5 (of 14)​
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  14. Will The Serious

    Will The Serious Commander Red Shirt

    Nov 5, 2022
    "Come on baby, let's do the twist."
    Sounds like the plot is going clubbing.

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  15. Robert Bruce Scott

    Robert Bruce Scott Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jun 18, 2021
    Star Trek Hunter
    Episode 20: Survival
    Scene 6: Dr. Prometheus

    Dr. Prometheus

    “You left me here!!! I’ve been here for nearly three years!!” The Doctor was outraged – and at the same time overwhelmed with joy to see Old Man Crusher again. They were standing on a dark, cold rock of a planet dimly lit by a distant star that remained forever in the middle of the sky, providing almost no warmth.

    “And yet I’ve only been gone about 15 minutes,” the elderly looking Crusher responded, wiping his massive beard. “I just popped in to my favorite klingon outpost about 40,400 years ago for a raktajino. Best place to bump into myself for an update. Did you do what I told you to do?”

    “It took nearly a year for me to learn how to phase – it was torment!” The Doctor’s brow was furrowed like layers of paint on a Van Gogh masterpiece. He seemed little changed by the passage of three years - not his uniform nor his expressions. Just the beginning of a deep change in his eyes.

    Old Man Crusher smiled grimly. “Sorry Doc, but you’re in for a whole lot more of that. That is the lesson immortality has to teach you. The universe is boring. And considering what you are learning now – to move freely through spacetime – there is every possibility that you may live to be several times the age of this universe.”

    The Doctor rattled on and on, hardly paying attention to what Wesley Crusher was telling him: “No matter where I went, I kept ending up back here. I would jump somewhere – anywhere – and the next jump would always bring me right back here. I would try just staying somewhere – anywhere – then bang! Right back on this barren excuse for a rock! Now I know how Prometheus felt. I was tempted to teach some primitive race of simians how to use fire just so I could deserve being chained to this damn rock!!! I was wondering when the eagle was going to show up to peck out my liver just so I could have some company!”

    Crusher was laughing raucously, holding onto his staff.

    “This isn’t funny Mr. Crusher! This is a horrible thing to do to a sentient being! Why did you do this to me??”

    “Survival training, Doctor,” Crusher replied. “Tell me, do you really care about the future of humanity? Or are you willing to just let my species die out thousands of years before our greatest potential is even possible?”

    “I know, I know...” the Doctor said, calming down. “You told me. Gamma Gun Galaxy. The Hulk. The Borg. I do want to help. But how does being chained to a rock for three years help me do that?”

    “Think of it as basic training, Doc,” said Crusher. “Tell me what the advantage of this place is.”

    “It’s the most boring hellhole in the universe,” the Doctor answered immediately.

    “Precisely. There is a grand total of one planet, one star and zero asteroids in this star system. And this star is in the middle of nowhere - it was ejected from its galaxy - that one,” Wesley pointed at a small cloud of stars that were the only other object in the sky - they were only visible certain times of the year - “more than a billion years ago. This is the most boring place I could possibly find. No life, no valuable minerals, very little warmth, almost no atmosphere, no water, nowhere near any shipping lanes. And, serendipitously, that entire galaxy is dead - nothing has ever lived there. Not even bacteria. This is home base.”

    “I don’t get it,” said the Doctor.

    “This is your escape hatch - our escape hatch, actually. You are now conditioned that if you have a stray thought or if you’re in danger, just click your heels together three times and say, ‘There’s no place like home,’ and bing! Here you are, right where no one will be looking for you. No one but me and our other team members.”

    “I don’t actually have to click my heels together, do I?” the Doctor asked, furrowing his brow.

    “No, but it would be really entertaining…” Crusher mused. “What was the longest time you could stay in one place and time?”

    “Three days, almost,” the Doctor replied. “But on average, about two hours.”

    Old Man Crusher stood up straight, raised his eyebrows. “I’m impressed. You learn quickly. Took me nearly a decade to achieve that level of control.” He touched the Doctor’s emitter with the tip of his staff. “Either way, you should now be able to come to this place about this time at will. Emergency home base.”

    “So, does this mean I’m… free?” the Doctor asked.

    “Not exactly,” Crusher replied. “You can go, but it will be quite some time before you can go wherever you want. Until then, you should regularly return here just to make sure you have it programmed in as an involuntary reflex. Believe me, you will need a safe place to retreat to and there is nowhere in all of space and time that is safer. Once you are able to stay in one place as long as you want to and have gained precision control over your timing - which may take you a few decades - meet me here five minutes from now.”

    “Is this the kind of tortured use of verb tenses I can look forward to from now on?” the Doctor asked. “You time travelers should be arrested just for the damage you’re doing to the English language. What makes you think I’m going to show up five minutes from now?”

    “You’re welcome to wait around and see,” Crusher answered. “Unless you’re already too bored to be bothered. I told you, the universe is a boring place. But when you come back, there’s something important that needs to be done and it will probably be somewhat interesting.”

    “Interesting? Interesting??? We’re talking about bringing the borg back to the Alpha Quadrant! It’s going to be terrifying!!”

    “Exactly!” enthused Old Man Crusher. He let his staff lean against his chest and rubbed his hands together and cackled briefly with glee. “See you in five minutes - well.. four minutes, thirty…”

    And with a wink, he vanished.

    20.6 (of 14)​
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  16. Will The Serious

    Will The Serious Commander Red Shirt

    Nov 5, 2022
    O○Ooo o o o ° o . . . I can't wait to see what can happen in the course of five eternal minutes. Well, four minutes and....


    Robert Bruce Scott likes this.
  17. Bynar0110

    Bynar0110 Captain Captain

    Sep 25, 2022
    Ohio Valley, USA
    I enjoyed the last two chapters a lot. Nice appearance by Wesley.
    Robert Bruce Scott likes this.
  18. Robert Bruce Scott

    Robert Bruce Scott Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jun 18, 2021
  19. Robert Bruce Scott

    Robert Bruce Scott Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jun 18, 2021
    Star Trek Hunter
    Episode 20: Survival
    Scene 7: Blue Morning, Blue Day

    Blue Morning, Blue Day

    “You stink, Boles.” Commander Kenny Dolphin was neither being mean nor joking. It was just a straight statement of fact.

    Dolphin had requested this meeting in the privacy of the small surgery between the medical office and the larger surgery.

    “You are human,” Lt. Napoleon Boles countered. “Humans are often…”

    “Agent Anana Lynarr is full blood bolian and she does not make me wince when she walks into a room,” Dolphin countered. “You do. We have andorians, humans, bolians, betazoids, bajorans, ferengi, rigellians, vulcans, trills, and a veritable menagerie of hybrids living in extremely close quarters on this vessel. I never get any foul odor complaints about anyone except you.”

    Boles was taken aback – again, Dolphin’s tone was not hot, just matter-of-fact. “My body chemistry…” he started.

    “Napoleon, you are the most creative person on this boat,” Dolphin interrupted with some exasperation. “You are an expert biologist and an expert chemist and you have access to expert chemists – notably Dr. Tolon and Dr. Trei. You have earned a reputation as a problem solver. This is a problem. Put together a team and solve it. That is an order, Lieutenant.”

    Boles snapped to attention. “Yes sir!” – almost too emphatically.

    Dolphin sighed. “Pull whatever resources you need. Ask Sam to help as a control – he’s fully bajoran and has the most sensitive nose around here. And one more thing, Napoleon, for both our sakes.. When you ask your crewmates for help with this, let them think it’s your initiative and that I authorized the project at your request.”

    “Are you instructing me to lie?” Boles asked.

    “I am recommending you dissemble,” Dolphin replied. “If you tell people you really want to do this and that I authorized it, that would not be a lie. But telling people I bluntly ordered you to… resolve this issue… it would just cast both of us in an unfavorable light. Better to play the humble hero of this story than the victimized outcast.”

    About an hour later, Boles was working with Dr. Jazz Sam Sinder, the first person whom he had approached about the issue.

    “I’m really glad you asked me,” said Jazz, “and that you asked me first. We can structure the investigation first and then bring other people in as we need them. I have actually helped several crew members with controlling their atmospheres to an acceptable norm.”

    “I really should have asked you some time ago,” Boles replied. “My last post had a large number of bolians – so many that I just generally spent more time with them.”

    “And bolians, being carrion eaters, are a little more… um… appreciative of a broader bouquet of aromas,” Jazz concluded.

    Boles laughed. “I have never heard it put so politely.”

    Jazz smiled. “Most people think of themselves like moving boulders of flesh.” He thumped his chest. “They think they begin and end at their skin. Truth is, we’re more like walking planets. We have atmospheres and leave a trail of chemicals everywhere we go.” Jazz tapped his nose ridges. “Bajorans are acutely aware of this, but bolians, humans – everyone on this ship has a good enough nose to see our environment as a chemical soup. I know within minutes when someone gets horny even when they’re on another deck. Or mad, or injured, or drunk. With training and discipline, you can too. But the first step is to become acutely aware of your own chemical trail.”

    “So you’re saying I should actually be… sniffing everyone?” Boles ran his blue hand over his deep blue scalp, squeezed the back of his neck.

    “And I know every time you do that,” said Jazz. “When you squeeze your neck like that, it releases gasses trapped in your throat. Most people wouldn’t notice, but…” Jazz tapped his nose ridges again.

    “I didn’t realize I was such a seething gas bag…”

    “Everybody is. Dolphin put you up to this, didn’t he?” asked Jazz.

    “He was pretty direct about it,” Boles answered.

    “He runs a very different ship from Pep,” Jazz observed. “Everyone loves Pep and Pep has been in Star Fleet for more than a decade – he graduated near the top of his class at Star Fleet Academy. Dolphin came in five years ago with a Ph.D. and six months’ Officer Candidate School, but he runs a much tighter ship.”

    “You like it,” Boles said with some surprise.

    “I joined the Bajoran Resistance when I was 11,” said Jazz. “No uniforms, no rank and file, just a bunch of desperate kids, farmers and old men fighting the cardassians any way we could. I barely escaped a couple of cardassian prisons. We didn’t stand a chance. Sooner or later the cardassians would have ended us. Then the cardassians thought they would start a war with the Federation. My uncle managed to sneak me off planet to serve with a Federation medical unit as an observer and volunteer. I hated the cardassians and their boots and their uniforms, but Star Fleet – those people were professional. Really polished.

    “When we got captured, they put me in a Star Fleet uniform and pretended I was one of them. The cardassians treated their Star Fleet prisoners very differently from the way they treated bajorans. It was like they were almost afraid of them. They tried to act tough, but I could see the fear in their eyes when they talked to our lieutenant – and he was a doctor – he had never carried a weapon.” Jazz brushed and straightened his uniform. “This is just cloth, but whenever I put it on, I feel like I’m putting on armor. People are having to work a little harder with Dolphin running this boat, but they’re walking just a little straighter too. Feeling a little tougher. I like that feeling.”

    Boles made a harrumphing noise. “Not how I was feeling about him…”

    Jazz smiled. “Pep would never call you on an odor. He has a little bit of halitosis himself. Most people don’t notice it because his mouth is up here…” Jazz waved his hand about a half-foot above his head. “That’s where we need to start for you, too. Since you’re part human, there are lots of highly processed human foods you can digest, but you probably don’t digest them very well, and that will cause gasses to come out of pretty much every corner of your body – mostly your mouth. I’ve handled this sort of thing a lot – we have a lot of hybrids. In Pep’s case, he loves his meat, but he’s a quarter andorian and a quarter orion, neither of whom can handle red meat at all. So, let’s start by reviewing your diet…”

    20.7 (of 14)

    Author's Note: If you go back to Episode 8, where Napoleon Boles was introduced, you may notice that nervous habit he has of running his hand over his scalp then squeezing the back of his neck. I had him do it consistently, just to give him a sort of signature fidget.

    When I introduced Anana Lynarr, I gave her that habit too. It just sort of neatly paid off in this scene. Later, when I introduce Napoleon's grandfather, I think he does it too. It's a Bolean thing.

    Last edited: Feb 1, 2023
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  20. Bynar0110

    Bynar0110 Captain Captain

    Sep 25, 2022
    Ohio Valley, USA
    Has anyone ever called Commander Kenny Dolphin, Flipper?

    Napoleon Boles is an interesting name for Bolian.

    I enjoyed the chapter alot. It was a fun read.