Star Trek Hunter Episode 6: Breakfast Killer #2

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Robert Bruce Scott, Sep 7, 2021.

  1. Robert Bruce Scott

    Robert Bruce Scott Captain Captain

    Jun 18, 2021
    Star Trek Hunter
    Episode 6: Breakfast Killer #2

    “The seething resentment harbored against hybrids is not entirely unjustified. It is not because of anything hybrids or their parents have done. It is not even the fault of the doctors who provide the genetic engineering that makes these children possible. It is incumbent within the rules that those doctors have to operate by. They are required to the greatest extent possible to preserve the genetic distinctiveness of each parent species. The way this language is written provides an open invitation and almost a directive to create genetically enhanced children who are invariably superior to their naturally conceived peers.”

    Dr. Kenny Dolphin, The Morality of Hybridizing Intelligent Species.

    (This passage from Kenny Dolphin's doctoral dissertation (and the chapter it introduces) is the reason Dr. Dolphin was dubbed The Man Who Broke the Federation. Imagine if there were a valid, peer-reviewed scientific and ethical problem with a black man having a baby with a white woman. All the closet racists would come out of the closet and raise all kinds of hell - including the contention that they had been right all along in their hatred for mixed race families... Hate crimes would explode. The backlash from mixed race families and their advocates would be deafening - and the science would be trampled, misunderstood and misused to support divisive political agendas.

    Also, if you've been wondering why there are so many super-geniuses and super-powerful people on the U.S.S. Hunter's crew - this is why. Most of them are hybrids. They could not have survived without significant genetic engineering - and the rules those doctors are given to work with almost require them to create hybrids who are genetically superior.)
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2021
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  2. Robert Bruce Scott

    Robert Bruce Scott Captain Captain

    Jun 18, 2021
    Star Trek Hunter
    Episode 6: Breakfast Killer #2
    Scene 1: Healer Downa

    Healer Downa

    Healer Downa’s storefront was the smallest on Deep Space 9’s promenade. The store itself consisted of a very small reception area with a standing desk near the back wall and two rather seedy looking couches. The sagging, faded, worn and stained condition of the couches indicated that they had seen better decades and were probably better left undisturbed. There was barely walking distance between the reception desk and the back wall. A small number of certificates hanging on the back wall managed somehow to look even less reputable than the couches.

    An old fashioned swinging door in the back wall was firmly shut. A simple wooden board was suspended by a length of twine from a nail more or less in the middle of the door. Handwritten words on this rude sign advised, “IN SESSION” in uneven sized letters that started large on the left but were squeezed and cramped on the right hand side as though the inscriber had realized somewhere in the middle of scrawling “S” that there would not be enough room for the remainder of the letters.

    It was not the sort of door you would expect to find the station commander, Colonel Norma Bacys, behind - at least not as a customer. But in a somewhat more comfortably furnished and cheerfully decorated room, Colonel Norma, clad in the uniform of the Bajoran Defense Forces, was seated on a very large couch with a baby in her lap. It was not her baby and had only the slightest hint of the nose ridges that marked Col. Norma as bajoran.

    The colonel’s husband, Norma Garr, sat next to her, but with a respectful and somewhat tentative distance. On the other end of this long, curving, surprisingly stylish couch sat the station’s chief engineer, Chief Kara Bass, a young human woman wearing a yellow Star Fleet uniform. She surreptitiously watched the baby in the station commander’s lap.

    A cheery, relaxed looking denobulan woman was perched on a large lounge chair across from the couch. Her long, simple dress had an indistinct floral pattern to it. Despite its simplicity, her single garment was clearly one of the more brilliant creations by Garrick, the station’s tailor. For the moment, Healer Downa was barefoot - her equally elegant and simple wooden slippers were placed neatly next to her chair. Like her bajoran clients, she was maybe a little older than middle aged.

    “We have come such a long way,” Healer Downa said. “This month I want you to focus on telling the entire, unvarnished truth about your relationship. So let’s play act this out just a little. Assume I am one of the priests at the temple on the other end of this promenade and I ask you, Colonel Norma, about your beautiful baby - but she doesn’t look entirely bajoran - does she?”

    Col. Norma responded simply, “I’m a bit too old for another baby - I’ve already raised four.”

    Healer Downa, continued the imaginary banter, “A grandchild, then?”

    Col. Norma started with some fortitude, “No, this is Kathy Bass, my husband’s child by…” she looked down at the baby in her lap, trembling a little.

    “Remember, none of this is the baby’s fault,” came Downa’s cheery but soothing voice. “No one wants her to grow up ashamed of who she is.”

    Col. Norma took a deep breath and touched the infant’s hair tenderly. “No. I don’t want that for her.”

    Chief Engineer Bass, at the other end of the couch, took a ragged breath.

    An awkward silence threaded through the room. Healer Downa let the silence do its work, and chose just the right moment to break it.

    Softly, as though she were musing to herself, Downa said, “The humans have a terrible word for children born of extra-marital affairs. Illegitimate. What a terrible thing to call a child. Bajorans have an even more terrible name for bajoran-hybrid children, born out of the Cardassian Occupation - slave-baby. Think about growing up with everyone calling you a slave-baby.”

    All three adults were now looking intently at the denobulan woman. She looked into the eyes of each in turn as she continued, “But the humans used to have a beautiful name for such children: Love-child. Can you say, ‘this is my husband’s love-child?’”

    Norma Bacys had no idea at her age that she would ever allow herself to become so vulnerable in front of non-bajorans - or anyone for that matter. “This is…” she cleared her throat, regained some of her self-control and started again: “This is my husband’s love-child.” Baby Kathy Bass slept peacefully in her lap.

    “Better,” Downa said. “You are a mother. And a warrior. I know you have it in you to protect this child just as though she were your own. Protect her against the judgement of other people. She is defenseless. It is up to you to establish that fence around her. She is not illegitimate. She is a baby.”

    Col. Norma took a deep, ragged breath.

    Chief Engineer Bass spoke up, quietly, almost apologetically, “Is there a denobulan word for my baby?”

    Healer Downa allowed a slow, warm smile to grow on her face. “A far more beautiful name than either the humans or bajorans came up with for such children.” The deobulan woman paused for emphasis, “She is family.”

    6.1 (of 11)​
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2021
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  3. Robert Bruce Scott

    Robert Bruce Scott Captain Captain

    Jun 18, 2021
    Crew of the U.S.S. Hunter: (Ship's Interactive Holographic Avatar - Hunter)

    At-Large Appellate Justice, Captain Minerva Irons
    Chief Executive Officer - Commander David Pepper
    Chief Operations Officer - Lt. Commander Mlady

    Medical Director - Lt. Commander Tali Shae
    Asst. Medical Director - 2nd Lt. Jazz Sam Sinder
    Ensign Chrissiana Trei
    Forensic Specialist - Midshipman Sif
    Forensic Specialist - Midshipman Tolon Reeves
    Emergency Medical Hologram - Dr. Raj
    Tactical Medical Hologram - Dr. Kim​

    Director of Flight Operations - Lt. Kenneth Dolphin
    Asst. Flight Dir. - 2nd Lt. Gaia Gamor
    Navigator Johanna Imex
    Navigator Eli Strahl​
    Ensign Ethan Phillips
    Chief Flight Specialist Dewayne Guth
    Flight Specialist Dih Terri
    Flight Specialist Joey Chin
    Flight Specialist Winnifreid Salazaar​

    Director of Ground Operations - {Vacant}
    Asst. Ground Ops Dir. - 2nd Lt. Tauk
    Investigator Lynhart Shran
    Investigator Buttans Ngumbo​
    Ensign T’Lon
    Tactical Specialist Jarrong
    Tactical Specialist Belo Rys
    Tactical Specialist Belo Garr
    Tactical Specialist Belo Cantys​

    Director of Engineering - Lt. Sarekson Carrera
    Asst. Engineering Dir. - 2nd Lt. Moon Sun Salek
    Midshipman Tammy Brazil
    Transporter Engineer K'rok​
    Ensign Sun Ho Hui
    Flight Engineer Yolanda Thomas
    Flight Engineer Thomas Hobbs
    Flight Engineer Tomos
    Flight Engineer Kerry Gibbon​
  4. Robert Bruce Scott

    Robert Bruce Scott Captain Captain

    Jun 18, 2021
    Star Trek Hunter
    Episode 6: Breakfast Killer #2
    Scene 2: Following Leads

    Following Leads

    2nd Lt. Tauk was frustrated. A tremendous amount of work sorting through mind bending amounts of data had confirmed his initial suspicion about the 2nd Breakfast Killer - dubbed BK2 by Investigator Shran. Or rather, his suspicion about her victims. All of the human victims and almost all of their human/trill hybrid targets had spent time either on Risa or Deep Space 9 within the past 18 months. The only exception was Dewayne Guth, the only human/trill hybrid to survive and the only one who was not the spouse of their human killer.

    But there was no record of any female vulcan or betazoid at either of those locations during those times.

    “Dolphin and Guth have to be the key to this,” Tauk said. He had the entire ground operations department working for him in the ground operations center except for T’Lon, who was officially on sick leave and was in Medical, along with Lt. Dolphin.

    Lynhart Shran was evidently exhausted. Even his absurdly large antennae were drooping. “Yeah, boss,” he said. The old investigator was seated at his desk. He rolled his head back and closed his eyes. “Dolphin and Guth were the exception to the rule. I think BK2 saw her opportunity to score a kill by the famous Kenny Dolphin and made an exception to her usual M.O. Guth was just the target of opportunity. Which means her program was not complete. She might have worked with her victim and their target together to embed the kill order.”

    Investigator Buttans’ workstation was at an angle to Shran’s in this cramped room. This made it easy for them to view each other’s work. Buttans turned toward Tauk. “Well, since we have Dr. Dolphin, perhaps we should tell our resident betazoid about…”

    At that moment, Malloriah Urh, complete with horn rimmed glasses and her frumpy flower-print dress, walked into the room and completed Buttans’ sentence: “…the time that Goldilocks spent on Risa. Only he has no memory of spending time on Risa.”

    “That can’t be right,” Buttans responded. “I have the transporter records right here. At the time he was a 2nd Lieutenant. He had just earned two-weeks leave and went along with four others from the Enterprise to spend his leave on Risa. They travelled on the Enterprise’s Shuttle #4 and I have the transcript of all five of them beaming down to Risa, including not only Dr. Dolphin, but Mr. and Ms. Ram - the victims in Incident #7.”

    Mallory fixed her gaze on Buttans. “Young man, I do believe you have found me a clue.” She strode meaningfully to the nearest available chair (which happened to be T’Lon’s) and threw herself into it, head rolled back, eyes closed, and began humming tunelessly.

    Tauk looked at Mallory for a long minute, took a deep breath, turned to say something to his investigators and saw that Shran’s chin had dropped to his chest, quiet snores and a small amount of drool escaping his mouth.

    Investigator Buttans surreptitiously gestured toward the four tactical squad members, intently following leads on their workstations. He made a series of gestures, trying to explain something to the acting director. Tauk rolled his eyes and used his fingers to describe circles around his gigantic ears, then pointed at them.

    Buttans Ngumbo rolled his own eyes, suddenly remembering that those gigantic ears helped give ferengi super-human hearing. Giving only the slightest breath to his words, so that he could barely hear himself, he said, “Him and Cantys… She hasn’t been letting him get a lot of sleep…”

    Tauk started to roll his eyes again, when Mallory started snoring, her head hanging to one side. He turned sharply to look at her, then slowly sat down at the director’s desk and put his head in his hands. After a moment, the young ferengi got up, walked over to the tactical squad’s workstations, removed a truncheon from a cabinet, which garnered the undivided, silent attention of T’Lon’s squad. He silently placed the business end of the truncheon on Belo Cantys’s workstation, lifted it, then walked over to the investigators.

    The young lieutenant slowly lowered the truncheon toward the slumbering Shran’s shoulder. Shran’s antennae suddenly focused on the weapon and he reached up and grasped it with one hand. Tauk released it and stepped back. The old investigator blinked hard and widely, staring uncomprehendingly at the weapon in his hand, then slowly set the truncheon down on his work station.

    Malloriah Urh continued snoring.

    “Report to Medical, Lynhart,” Tauk said. “After the doctor checks you out, go get some sack time.”

    “Boss…” Shran started.

    “I need you sharp, Lynhart. Come back after you get a few hours’ sleep,” Tauk said. His affection for the old investigator was clear in his voice. His determination was equally evident.

    Shran, sighed, got up and had to stretch before he could walk out of the ground ops center.

    6.2 (of 11)​
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2021
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  5. Robert Bruce Scott

    Robert Bruce Scott Captain Captain

    Jun 18, 2021
    Star Trek Hunter
    Episode 6: Breakfast Killer #2
    Scene 3: Gossip


    Justice Minerva Irons had long studied her command mystique. She had learned more than a century ago that the less a captain was seen and heard by the crew, the greater her presence could be felt. She knew every inch of her boat and every detail of her crew’s movements. This allowed her to move through the craft often unseen so that at the right moment she might appear in engineering, or medical, or the shuttle bay. She knew all the back ways and had a number of haunts that helped limit casual contact with the crew - every encounter was planned and had a purpose. She trusted her executive officer to handle day to day operations. Her job was to shape the boat’s culture.

    And she had a confidante to assist her with this - a person who could say the right thing at the right time to the right person so that she wouldn’t have to. As a 20th Century North American philosopher had written, a leader should try to avoid giving orders. Once you give an order on a particular topic, people become dependent on you to always give orders on that subject. Leadership at Irons’ level was all about cultivating the judgement and decision making abilities of others.

    When Irons had come out of retirement for the fourth time to take the helm of the Hunter, she brought her best friend out of retirement with her to serve once again as her medical director. The private office next to the main medical office where Dr. Tali Shae preferred to sleep was easily Irons’ favorite haunt. The two women lounged in comfortable chairs, slowly working down one of the last known bottles of romulan ale, one of the most potent alcohols known to Star Fleet. Since Romulus had been destroyed by a supernova, there would be no more of this powerful blue ale.

    Justice Minerva Irons took her time, appreciating each sip. “It has been a long time since I felt ambitious enough for this stuff.” She gestured with her glass. “Delicious poison.”

    “We need it after everything we’ve been through in the past week - and this constant sexual pressure coming from T’Lon. It just digs at you all day long,” Dr. Tali Shae responded, then took a long, slow draught and sighed in appreciation. The ale had already made its way through her system and was starting to take effect. Her antennae seemed to move a bit more slowly and even more randomly than usual.

    “You’re one of the lucky ones, Tali,” Irons rejoined. “You’re in a stable relationship - I won’t pretend to understand it - but it’s stable… I think I’m going to look up an old boyfriend on Bajor before all this is over.”

    Tali Shae snorted and set her glass down. “You’ve got one in every port, don’t you? You would make Captain Kirk proud.”

    “Oh, Tali,” Irons started, “I’ve been a sailor a very long time. I’ve got two in every port…”

    Tali Shae rolled her eyes - her antennae comically mimicking this movement. “You are Captain Kirk…” A serious look crossed her face. “I don’t know how we’re going to get through this. From what I can tell, T’Lon isn’t in the worst of Pon Farr yet. I think things are going to get much, much worse.”

    “I have crew members just about falling out of their seats with drowsiness as it is,” Irons groused. “It was bad enough when it was just the engineering department, but now it’s all the departments. No one seems to be getting any sleep around here these days.”

    “I think it’s healthy,” Tali Shae responded. “I would rather have the crew worn out from sexual exhaustion than beaten down by an impossible workload. Not that each of our departments don’t have our hands full. Tauk has been loading my team down with more and more detailed requests about the forensic examinations on the victims, more details about health scans… He has really come along since taking over ground operations.”

    “A ferengi on a fast promotion track in Star Fleet,” Irons mused. “I don’t think there are more than a handful of ferengi serving in all of Star Fleet. Once this mission is over, depending on how he handles the outcome - victory or defeat - there is a good chance I’ll replace that hollow pip on his collar with a solid one. He is definitely performing like a senior officer.”

    “Speaking of senior officers, you want to hear a little gossip?” Tali Shae asked with a mischievous grin.

    Minerva Irons took a drink, then set her glass on the desk a little too firmly. “You can’t say something like that to me! I’m a glutton for gossip. So tell me…”

    “I think this Pon Farr thing with T’Lon has been particularly healthy for some of our crew… Especially our Dr. Carrera…”

    “Lieutenant Carrera has a girlfriend?” Irons asked.

    “A boyfriend,” Tali Shae responded.

    “No wonder that kid is so tormented,” Irons opined as Tali Shae took another drink. “His great grandfather would never approve. Vulcans think of homosexuality as illogical. Can’t see the purpose for it. They’re quite a liberal lot on most issues, but not when it comes to this one. And poor Sarekson has been trying so hard to act like a vulcan when it really isn’t in his blood - not that much…”

    Tali Shae nodded. “If it hadn’t been for all the lust leaking out of T’Lon’s head, I doubt Carrera would ever have come out of his shell - or that his new boyfriend would have made the move on him.”

    “You know I have access to the disclosures,” Irons said. “If you don’t tell me who it is, I’m going to have to look him up. It’s not someone on his staff, is it?”

    “Oh no, no one under his command,” Tali Shae responded. “No, our Sarekson is a lucky, lucky boy…”

    “Quit teasing me!” Irons said. She looked at her glass and was no longer certain how many times she had drained it. More than once, which was more than was recommended for romulan ale.

    “Only the most beautiful piece of man flesh on this boat. The one all the girls have been drooling over since he brought his perfect collection of muscles on board…” Tali Shae teased…

    Minerva Irons rolled her head back and a delighted smile made her look like a young woman again. “Buttans???”

    Tali Shae nodded with delight, relishing the effect her tidbit of gossip had on her best friend. For a moment Minerva Irons was once again simply the most beautiful woman ever seen in the Federation.

    Irons relaxed back into the plush chair. “That is very good news. And we needed some. That boy genius worked so hard and accomplished so much. But he’s missed so much along the way. If anyone on this boat deserves some happiness, it’s him. And with Buttans - my, my, he did luck out.”

    The two women fell silent for a moment.

    “It isn’t illogical,” Tali Shae said, almost following Irons’ train of thought. “Dr. Dolphin addressed it in his dissertation - homosexuality as a response to evolutionary pressures…”

    “He covered a lot of territory in that dissertation,” Irons said. “For a work on ethics, it’s awfully wide ranging - anthropology, biology, sociology, demographics, economics, politics, advanced mathematics, history - most dissertations aren’t a tenth as expansive. Pisses me off,” Irons concluded.

    “Why?” Tali Shae was keenly interested. “It is a fine work of scholarship.”

    Minerva Irons looked at her empty glass, then decided she needed a refill if she was going to talk about this. She poured herself another shot, braving her doctor’s disapproval, took a sip, sighed.

    “It hits too close to home, Tali. My grandmother was the original matriarch of the Irons family and she was my hero. The whole strategy - multiple marriages by contract for limited time, marry into the powerful families on every planet - produce lawyers and judges. That’s been the plan and I’ve followed it well. It’s not just about family power, but using that power for good. To try to knit the Federation closer together. Powerful vulcan, human, andorian, denobulan, and other families knit together by marriage contracts. Interdependence at the highest level. I grew up believing in that.”

    “Then this obscure Harvard professor just pulls the rug out from under my entire life - everything I’ve lived for for more than a hundred years.”

    Tali Shae shook her head slowly. “That’s not what I got out of his work. I don’t think what you… what we have been doing is immoral.”

    Minerva Irons fixed a steady gaze on her best friend. “He isn’t wrong about vulcans becoming extinct. They’re an amazing people. This universe will be so much poorer when they’re gone.”

    Tali Shae shook her head again. “No, they won’t,” she said, somewhat incoherently. “This universe is richer because of people like T’Lok. And Dr. Dolphin is back there right now - I don’t think T’Lon would have had a chance of surviving her first Pon Farr without him. Vulcans often die when the symptoms are this pronounced.”

    Irons took a long drink. Then a long breath. “Your girlfriend will be here soon. Maybe you’re right. But Dolphin put his finger on the seismic fault at the heart of the Federation. The species purists never before had an intellectual underpinning to their gut feelings - their xenophobia. They’ve never been this strong in 300 years. Nearly every population is split over this issue. To us they’re a bunch of rude, illiberal people trying to tell everyone else how to live. But to them it’s a matter of survival and identity. They’re terrified of losing who they are. Or at least who they think they are.”

    Irons got up unsteadily. Tali Shae put a hand on her shoulder. “Let me beam you back to your cabin. I don’t want the crew to encounter you in this state.”

    Irons put her hand on her best friend’s chest. “They’re all so desperately horny, I don’t think they would notice. I’ll take the maintenance crawlway. There’s no one in there and I could use the exercise.”

    Dr. Tali Shae gripped Irons’ shoulder. “Not with that wrist you don’t. Let’s not risk reinjury. Doctor’s orders.”

    6.3 (of 11)​
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  6. Gibraltar

    Gibraltar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 25, 2005
    US Pacific Northwest
    Review 6.1/6.2 - A somber, wrenching conversation aboard DS9 for some new faces in this tale. Not sure yet where they, or their all-to-evident pain comes in play, but I doubt we'll have to wait long to find out.

    One of the most bizarre investigatory meetings I've read so far, but one has to appreciate the surreal humor, as well as Shran's near supernatural reflexes. That man is a survivor!
  7. Robert Bruce Scott

    Robert Bruce Scott Captain Captain

    Jun 18, 2021
    You just met the serial killer...

    I had Judd Hurst in mind when writing Lenny Shran - half human / half andorian. Friendly grandfatherly type. Stone cold assassin. Glad you're enjoying the blend of humor and horror - thanks for the reviews! rbs
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  8. Robert Bruce Scott

    Robert Bruce Scott Captain Captain

    Jun 18, 2021
    Star Trek Hunter
    Episode 6: Breakfast Killer #2
    Scene 4: Interrogating Ivonovic

    Interrogating Ivonovic

    “Listen, Gul Lemark, you are far too deep in this to start playing pirate. I am not a chip for you to use in negotiations.” Emory Ivonovic knew how to talk to cardassians. Showing anger was never a good idea - it was seen as a sign of weakness. Klingons might enjoy and even be moved by that sort of show. But not cardassians. And he was certain that behind this ignorant lump of a cardassian, there had to be a romulan on this ship really pulling the strings. Lemark was simply too stupid to be successful as a gul (captain) without someone far more intelligent whispering in his ear.

    Lemark was short and thick and aggressive. “My price just went up.”

    “Nothing about you just went up except your number,” Ivonovic said. He stood up and started pacing. The two of them were in a small room with two chairs and no tables - a cardassian interrogation room. “Enough of this farce!” he said to a random point on the wall. “This cardassian is far too stupid to be a gul.” Ivonovic focused his attention on another wall. “This ship is under romulan control - so quit hiding behind your puppet.”

    Lemark surged out of his chair, grabbed the governor’s clothes and spun him around, fist raised.

    Ivonovic drew himself to full height. “Go ahead! You just destroyed a Star Fleet cruiser. Without me you have no friends and no plan. Go ahead - I won’t stop you! I won’t have to put up with your horrible oils and that terrible stench…”

    Lemark shoved Ivonovic into a wall and started to deliver the threatened punch.

    Ivonovic didn’t flinch - a look of open hatred on his face.

    “Lemark!!!” came a voice over the communications system. Lemark’s fist stopped halfway on its journey toward the governor’s face.

    It wasn’t a cardassian voice.

    “I like cardassians - except when they’re this abysmally stupid,” said Ivonovic, freeing himself from Lemark’s grasp and speaking to the corner in the ceiling from which the voice had emanated. “I would rather deal with a cardassian than deal with you, but now you’ve left me no choice. I was willing to pretend. Now you’ve made both our hands smaller.”

    A door opened into the small room. A small and astonishingly beautiful romulan woman entered. “Leave us,” she said to Lemark. It was easy to tell that her voice was the voice that had halted Lemark’s blow. A low, powerful voice. She took Lemark’s seat, gestured to the other chair. “Gul Lemark is a useful tool. I needed to know something about you. Now that I know, it is time to find out exactly how and under which circumstances your interests align with mine. Sit down, Governor.”

    Ivonovic stared at her.


    Ivonovic sat down again. His frosty expression made it clear that his interrogator’s beauty was entirely wasted on him.

    6.4 (of 11)​
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  9. Robert Bruce Scott

    Robert Bruce Scott Captain Captain

    Jun 18, 2021
    Star Trek Hunter
    Episode 6: Breakfast Killer #2
    Scene 5: Tolon's Epiphany

    Tolon’s Epiphany

    2nd Lt. Tauk had reached out to Dr. Tali Shae and had temporarily added her two forensic specialists, Midshipman Dr. Sif and Midshipman Dr. Tolon Reeves, to his own staff. Dr. Tolon was one of two Hunter crew members from Bangalore, India (the other was Flight Engineer Kerry Gibbon). Both were also half bajoran, but they had never met until they came to serve on the Hunter. Dr. Sif was one of three unjoined trills serving on the Hunter - the others being her commanding officer, Dr. Chrissiana Trei, and Flight Specialist Dih Terri.

    Tauk had charged Dr. Sif and Dr. Tolon with sifting through transporter logs, port of entry logs, health scans, security reports, room assignments, purchase records and other resources, seeking a female vulcan or betazoid who was at Risa throughout a four month period, then subsequently at Deep Space 9 throughout an eight month period, when she could have had access to all the victims of the second Breakfast Killer - now universally referred to by the Hunter’s crew as BK2.

    “Okay, so no vulcans or betazoids, male or female correspond with the identified times at both Risa and DS9,” said Dr. Tolon Reeves. “I tried humans on the idea that a betazoid could pass for human. There was one male human who met the time criteria and could have had access to all our victims, but the transporter logs and health examinations verify - male, human, no signs of telepathic abilities by his genetics. That and he’s a raging drunk and spent most of his time in both places in the drunk tank…” Dr. Tolon rolled his head back and wrinkled his already wrinkled nose.

    Tauk paced behind him. It was a change of pace from pacing in the ground operations center. His new staff in that room hadn’t actually thrown him out, but it became clear his incessant presence was not helping them. “If I were a betazoid trying to pass as human, the first thing I would avoid would be a health scan.” The young lieutenant cleared his throat. “And the next thing I would avoid would be a transporter. Both would reveal my actual race in a very short second…”

    “We’ve been looking for the wrong thing…” said Dr. Tolon.

    “What should we be looking for, Reeves?” Tauk could hear the sound of epiphany in the midshipman’s voice. Tolon was middle aged and had been a forensic investigator in Bangalore for decades before joining Star Fleet. He was a short, balding, stocky fireplug of a man, with a bajoran nose ridge, dark brown skin, an unflattering combover, a furry, black worm of a mustache and a strong, sing-song Bangalore accent.

    “Vulcans have used surgery to appear andorian. Andorians have used surgery to appear klingon. Klingons have used surgery to appear human… We want anyone, male, female, any species, who had access to our victims during the times they were either on DS9 or Risa… AND who managed to avoid getting a health scan or being transported.”

    “How long?” Tauk was bouncing on the balls of his feet.

    “Let me build the search protocols - that will take maybe a few hours - probably less. For the search - I don’t know - maybe another few hours?”

    Tauk was already headed out of the room. He stopped at the door and turned. “Great work - I think..” He cleared his throat again. “If this doesn’t find BK2, then we may have to re-evaluate our working theory of the crime.”

    6.5 (of 11)​
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2021
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  10. Robert Bruce Scott

    Robert Bruce Scott Captain Captain

    Jun 18, 2021
    Star Trek Hunter

    Episode 6: Breakfast Killer #2
    Scene 6: The Best Pilots

    The Best Pilots

    2nd Lt. Gaia Gamor was in the main deflector control center on deck 2, which also contained the primary navigation system, completing her weekly checkup of the deflector and navigation systems. This was a duty shared by the flight engineers and her navigators. She trusted them to do their jobs, but her job was to verify. After satisfying herself that these systems had been tuned and maintenanced appropriately, she stepped out onto deck 2 to find Investigator Lynhart Shran leaning against a bulkhead. His antennae focused on her before he turned to look at her.

    “Hey boss, got a moment?”

    Decks 1 and 2 were essentially cat-walks that provided access to a few rooms on the outer side and a view of the primary warp core obstructed only by a safety railing and a few workstations. The warp core projected up from the engineering deck, which could be seen below. Ladders led down to the engineering deck and provided access to the two lowest saucer-section decks at the front and back of decks 1 and 2.

    “You were looking for me?” Gamor was surprised. She had only spoken to Shran twice before and that had been some time ago.

    “You are in charge of flight operations,” he responded.

    Gamor shrugged, “Technically, Lieutenant Commander Mlady is in charge of operations, but I am keeping the seat warm until Lieutenant Dolphin returns from sick leave.”

    “Well, you know your people,” Shran continued. “Who would you say is the best pilot on this boat?”

    “Dr. Dolphin is one of the highest rated test pilots in the history of Utopia Planetia…”

    Shran shook his head, his antennae comically moving the opposite direction from his face. “The Dolphin is indisposed. Who’s next?”

    Gamor put her hands behind her head and stretched backward, arching her back. “Well, I suppose that depends on what you want flown.” She yawned, then continued. “If it’s an interceptor or the wagon, Dewayne Guth knows every trick in the book. He’s been flying those breeds of bird for more than 15 years. But if you’re talking about the Hunter or the tactical unit, no one can handle them better than Dr. Carrera. He designed them, flew the simulations before they were built.”

    “Thanks, boss - that’s what I need. Have a good night.”

    “Good night… what is it that Buttans calls you? Old man?”

    Shran took a breath. “That’s what Buttans calls me…”

    Gamor smiled, “Good night Investigator Shran.”

    Last edited: Oct 14, 2021
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  11. Gibraltar

    Gibraltar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 25, 2005
    US Pacific Northwest
    Review 6/3, 6/4, & 6/5 – A juicy gossip conversation takes an unexpected turn to interspecies relations and the core of the Federation’s ethos. Loved the lighter moments here, as well as the big ideas being examined.

    Now we begin to see Ivonovic’s true nature, and he’s clearly more cunning than I gave him credit for being. He also has a backbone. I eagerly anticipate his matching wits with his Romulan benefactor.

    Great writing in both scenes!
  12. Robert Bruce Scott

    Robert Bruce Scott Captain Captain

    Jun 18, 2021
    Glad you're enjoying it! The first incarnation of Irons inebriated...

    Ivonovic's motto is "I adapt." But he is definitely in over his head...

    Thanks!! rbs
  13. Robert Bruce Scott

    Robert Bruce Scott Captain Captain

    Jun 18, 2021
    Star Trek Hunter
    Episode 6: Breakfast Killer #2
    Scene 7: Hunter Courting

    Hunter Courting

    Malloriah Urh had long learned to close out noise from minds she did not want to listen to. In a way, having less than 40 minds in her immediate proximity was extremely peaceful compared to the endless bedlam of a hundred million minds in Nairobi. Or it would have been except for the endless waves of sexual pressure bubbling out of T’Lon’s mind.

    Mallory had moved into Mlady’s stateroom and was well aware of where the lieutenant commander was spending her time. She almost never used this room anyway. Mallory knew where everyone on the boat was at all times - and what they were doing - whether she wanted to or not. This awareness was the direct result of her protecting each of those minds from T’Lon. And not one of these people was standing outside the door to her stateroom.

    As a result, she was not only surprised but deeply spooked when the door chime sounded. No one was outside. At least, no one she could scan. Mallory’s curiosity swiftly overcame her fear. She stood up and said, “Come in?”

    The door did not open, but the Hunter’s holographic avatar emerged from the door as though he were stepping through it.

    “I was already here, but I prefer to request permission before manifesting,” the elderly looking man said.

    “How long have you been here?” Mallory was more than a little concerned for her privacy.

    “Ever since this room was constructed,” Hunter replied.

    Mallory looked at the avatar with considerable confusion.

    Hunter continued, “Most people think of me as an avatar that appears when needed. I am actually the U.S.S. Hunter, Star Fleet’s first and only fully sentient space vessel. This,” he patted his holographic belly, ruffled his wild, holographic gray hair, “This is just an interactive portal - a kind of glorified workstation. You shouldn’t be concerned for your privacy. After all, you are aware of what everyone on this boat is doing.”

    “Everyone except you,” Mallory responded. “And that strange animal whose quarters I have appropriated. Reading her is like trying to read a wild animal - just utterly alien. But I have seen what other people have been doing with her.”

    Hunter placed a holographic finger to his holographic lips. “That is one of the most carefully guarded secrets in the Federation. I recommend you bury those memories deep in cold storage where no one can find them. And don’t mention it to her. She knows that I know and if I had real eyes instead of holographic ones, she would claw them out.”

    Mallory looked at Hunter with renewed curiosity. “Why are you here?”

    “Managing recursive warp simply is not possible without artificial intelligence. That might have been my only function, but Dr. Carrera and I decided I should be a full service artificial intelligence, complete with projectors throughout the boat. It allows me to perform repairs, interact with the crew. It is much more satisfying to me. Ultimately, I’m here for the crew.”

    “Okay, but why are you here - as in sitting on my bed?”

    “I observed a spike in your pheromone production,” the elderly looking avatar replied.

    Mallory was annoyed. “I didn’t need you to tell me that! I’m horny as hell. The whole crew is, despite my best efforts. It’s getting out of control.”

    “I can confirm that. Pheromone production is spiking all over this boat. And your efforts would be improved if your mind were more clear,” Hunter observed.

    “Of course, I… wait… are you here to have sex with me??”

    “I could assume a more attractive form if you prefer,” said Hunter, standing up.

    “Don’t you dare change a hair… You really are a full service artificial intelligence…”

    Hunter just looked at her.

    “One thing before I throw myself at you - how extensive are your music files?”

    “Extremely extensive, including performances by…”

    “Stop. North America. Instrumental music. Circa 1970… Can you give me some slow funkadelic? It’s a personal weakness…”

    6.7 (of 11)​
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  14. Robert Bruce Scott

    Robert Bruce Scott Captain Captain

    Jun 18, 2021
    Star Trek Hunter
    Episode 6: Breakfast Killer #2
    Scene 8: The Plan to Capture BK2

    The Plan to Capture BK2

    An odd collection of individuals sat around the antique teak table in the executive conference room. Justice Minerva Irons was at the head of the table. Malloriah Urh sat next to her on one side, 2nd Lt. Tauk on the other. Ensign Sun Ho Hui was seated next to his department director, Dr. Sarekson Carrera. Chief Flight Specialist Dewayne Guth sat across from the engineers, next to Investigator Lynhart Shran. Lt. Tauk addressed Justice Irons.

    “We have identified BK2. She is currently on Deep Space 9 - a denobulan woman known as Healer Downa - a family counselor. We have a clear document trail connecting her with each pair of victims and also Dr. Dolphin, whom she met and apparently had an affair with on Risa,” Tauk said.

    “We believe she surgically altered her appearance. She managed to avoid using transporters and also health scans, which would have revealed her true species. It was the perfect disguise for what she was doing - all of the victims, with the exception of Dr. Dolphin and Mr. Guth here, were her clients. They went to her for family counseling.”

    The young lieutenant took a breath. “Your honor, I do not endorse this plan to capture her, but I have approved Investigator Shran’s request to put it before you for consideration. Lynhart?”

    Shran put his hands on the table, palms down. “This plan will require the tactical unit and the wagon. Dr. Carrera will pilot the tactical unit. We will start above Deep Space 9 outside of sensor range. Dr. Carrera will set our course and the tactical unit will drift, in quiet mode straight down through the middle of the station, between the spoke and the outer habitat ring. This will ensure that wherever BK2 is, I will be able to target her with the new weapon we installed.”

    “New weapon?” asked Sun.

    “A transporter rifle…” Shran paused and listened to the various gasps around the table.

    Malloriah Urh was the first to find words. “That is one of the most illegal weapons in the Federation!”

    “There are very few in existence,” said Justice Irons. “Two of them are kept in a top secret museum in Fort Knox, Tennessee. One of these, the operational one, is on temporary loan for display on our tactical unit. I asked the curator for a personal favor…”

    Ensign Sun was surprised to hear himself ask, “What did the curator say when you asked for it?”

    Irons smiled. “She said, ‘Please be very careful with it, Grandmother, and make sure I have it back before the end of the month’…”

    Shran picked up the thread again. “The transporter rifle fires either an old fashioned .223, copper jacketed round or one of these.” He held up a dart. “I filled this with a very powerful tranquilizer. We will only get one chance at this - I have to be sure the first shot knocks her out. The dart also has a transponder beacon that will activate when it is fired. Mr. Guth will be on approach with the wagon, apparently to dock on DS9. Mr. Sun will lock onto the transponder beacon and beam BK2 directly into one of the wagon’s brig units. As soon as BK2 is aboard, the wagon will immediately go to warp and rendezvous with the Hunter, as will the tactical unit after it drifts out of range of the station’s sensors. The U.S.S. Hood will rendezvous with the Hunter and take BK2 and the transporter rifle back to Earth.”

    “Wait,” said Dewayne Guth. “How does a transporter rifle work?”

    Dr. Carrera answered. “It is a traditional rifle but a very small transporter is attached to the end of the barrel. The shooter uses a sensor array to locate the target, which encodes the target’s location into the transporter unit. When the rifle is fired, the bullet is transported at the moment it leaves the barrel to a location less than one meter from the target, at which point it travels at muzzle velocity into the target - essentially hitting the target from long distance at point blank range. Mr. Shran will fire the rifle inside the tactical unit and the dart will be transported into a room in DS9 without having to go through any walls or doors.”

    Guth’s eyes widened. “No wonder the thing is so illegal…”

    Shran picked up the thread again. “The wagon will be using a false transponder code so that DS9’s telemetry will not record the wagon as belonging to this boat, but instead to the U.S.S. Challenger.”

    It was Dr. Carrera’s turn to interrupt. “Won’t that raise an alarm? Everyone in Star Fleet knows the Challenger was destroyed…”

    Guth also had a question, “I know the tactical unit won’t show up on the station’s telemetry, but what if someone looks out a window?”

    Sun was asking another question at almost the same time. “Won’t BK2 notice you when you target her?”

    Shran waved his hands. “None of that will be a problem. Mallory here will be in the tactical unit to protect me and Dr. Carrera from BK2.”

    It was now Malloriah Urh’s time to interrupt. “That means I won’t be able to protect this crew from T’Lon’s telepathic transmission of her… urges.”

    Shran smiled. “True, there are only three seats on the tactical unit. But there is also a maintenance crawlway behind the bridge. It would be an intimate space for two people, but Dr. Dolphin and Ensign T’Lon are already intimate.”

    Mallory rolled her eyes. “How many people are on that station?”

    Lt. Tauk answered, “4,221.”

    Mallory was outraged. “There is no way I can protect four thousand people from… no… no…” She looked at Investigator Shran, her eyes widening. “Oh you wicked, wicked, evil man… With your wicked, evil plan… You are a wicked, evil man…”

    A slow smile grew on Investigator Shran’s face as dawning understanding mingled with fear on the faces around the table. The room was silent with the exception of a few gasps.

    The silence was broken by the sharp clicking of Justice Irons tapping the table with a fingernail. She stood up. “Approved. Go!”

    6.8 (of 11)​
  15. Robert Bruce Scott

    Robert Bruce Scott Captain Captain

    Jun 18, 2021
    il Troubadore yesterday at GenCon - tomorrow we will be at the Indianapolis ArtsGarden in our klingon guise as bom wi' pu' - the 24th Century Klingon Music Project.


    However, since our cellist forgot his forehead, he will be attending as an original series klingon... oh the dishonor...
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  16. Gibraltar

    Gibraltar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 25, 2005
    US Pacific Northwest
    Review 6/6, 6/7, & 6/8 – Lots of work going on here as the various teams continue their investigation and put contingency plans in place.

    Okay, the interplay between Hunter and Urh was weirdly adorable. It stands to reason that the psionic shield safeguarding the rest of the crew might need some… servicing, too.

    I’ve never thought of anyone using Pon Farr as a distraction weapon before (if that, indeed, is what they’re planning), but it’s damned ingenious. Set phasers to orgasm! :rofl:
  17. Robert Bruce Scott

    Robert Bruce Scott Captain Captain

    Jun 18, 2021
    Glad you got a kick out of Hunter and Mallory! She's not the first girl to fall in love with a starship. Just the first to manage to consummate the relationship...

    Lenny Shran has his moments...

    Thanks!! rbs
  18. Robert Bruce Scott

    Robert Bruce Scott Captain Captain

    Jun 18, 2021
    Star Trek Hunter
    Episode 6: Breakfast Killer #2
    Scene 9: The Naked Truth

    The Naked Truth

    Garrick, Deep Space 9’s cardassian tailor, had come to an epiphany. It was finally time to let Healer Downa know how he felt about her. He dropped the uniform he was hemming onto the floor and walked out of his shop, not bothering to close the door. There was no need. He headed toward the habitat ring, leaving a trail of clothing behind him. This was not unusual. All around him on both levels of the DS9 promenade, people were rapidly disrobing. Some leapt into each others arms. Some chased others. Others, like Garrick, headed off in search of someone else.

    Garrick found himself at Healer Downa’s quarters. He had never been there before, but he knew where her quarters were. He had once been the most talented spy in the cardassian Obsidian Order. He knew where everyone and everything was on DS9. He did not need to ring the door chime - Downa said “Enter” and the door opened at the moment he approached.

    Just as suddenly as the epiphany had arrived, it stopped, leaving Garrick suddenly aware that he was standing naked in the doorway of a woman who barely knew him. But Healer Downa was not looking at him. Garrick instantly knew something was terribly wrong.

    On board the tactical unit, Investigator Shran was targeting BK2 - now identified as Healer Downa. He placed the crosshairs on her right shoulder, just above the breast. It was at that moment that T’Lon’s Pon Farr came to a sudden end. It was as if Shran had been living in a howling monsoon of telepathic pressure for a week and the rain had suddenly stopped, leaving him stunned at the silence. Behind him, he heard Mallory grunt.

    Shran suddenly popped the magazine out of the transporter rifle. “No,” he said. He dropped the magazine on the floor and picked up the other magazine, inserting it into the rifle. “No!” He reacquired his target, this time placing the crosshairs squarely on her forehead. “NO! NO! NO!!!” With the calm expertise of a lifetime of marksmanship, thirty years as a sniper, Shran squeezed the trigger. He never missed.

    “Oh crap!” Shran said, then quickly changed magazines and fired a dart into the dead woman’s midsection.

    Garrick reacted in horror as a bullet appeared out of nowhere and slammed into Healer Downa’s forehead, killing her instantly. In the next second, a dart appeared out of nowhere and embedded itself in her belly. In the next instant a transporter beam whisked her newly dead remains away. The cardassian ex-spy had seen many terrible things in his day - he was surprised to find himself shivering in shock. He suddenly remembered that he was naked…

    “Why didn’t you stop her??” Shran turned back to look at Mallory, seated in the command chair behind himself and Dr. Carrera. Malloriah Urh’s head was hanging to one side, a small trickle of blood leaking from her ear.

    Dr. Carrera called for the Tactical Medical Hologram: “Dr. Kim, do not manifest. What is the condition of Malloriah Urh?”

    Dr. Kim’s voice came through the communication system. “Malloriah Urh is unconscious but stable. She appears to have suffered a sensory overload similar to a concussion. No treatment recommended at this time.”

    Dr. Carrera carefully reclined the command chair slightly, setting Mallory’s head on the headrest.

    “She did it,” Shran said, quietly. “The Breakfast Killer. She forced me to kill her - she used me to commit suicide. She wasn’t paid or extorted. She was forced to do those killings.”

    Dr. Carrera looked at Shran. “Forced by whom?”

    Shran suppressed a shiver of fear. He had long ago forgotten what real fear felt like. “By an even more powerful telepath. A vulcan. She tried to show me his face.”

    6.9 (of 11)​
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  19. Gibraltar

    Gibraltar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 25, 2005
    US Pacific Northwest
    Well, that was all kinds of horrific. To find out your target is as much a victim as her own victims, perhaps even more so than they.

    I thought this was wrapping up a bit too easily for someone who'd evaded discovery and capture for so long.
  20. Robert Bruce Scott

    Robert Bruce Scott Captain Captain

    Jun 18, 2021
    STH mingles humor with horror - a scene that starts off with 4,000+ horny people getting naked ends with a bloody sucide... Glad you keyed in on the trope of the serial killer as a victim. And she's not the only victim of that powerful vulcan that the Hunter's crew will encounter...

    Thanks!! rbs