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The U.S.S. Hunter comes to a complete stop and goes dark, making the ship very hard to detect...

Star Trek Hunter
Episode 4: Run To Earth

Scene 12: Dark Mode


Dark Mode

The U.S.S. Hunter was dark, its decks illuminated only by luminescent panels, radiating out the light energy the chemicals inside those panels had been absorbing from the general lighting. A dim blue glow - just enough to see by. The only control panels that were powered were the ones that Dr. Sarekson Carrera and his engineering department needed to evaluate the condition of the engines. Only the Medical bay, which included the brig units, was fully powered. This was the most heavily insulated area, deep in the interior of the boat.

With the exception of the engineering department and four staff on the bridge, most of the crew was gathered in Medical. T’Lok’s body was in cold storage. 2nd Lt. Tauk, Lt. Dolphin, and Ensign T’Lon - all awakened from their long, involuntary slumbers - were present, huddled together, T’Lon’s team crowded in close around them. Tactical Specialist Belo Cantys and her half-brother, Garr, seemed momentarily unwilling to step aside to allow Justice Minerva Irons to step up and place her hand on Tauk’s chest. The little ferengi barely moved. 

“Tauk, I’m sorry,” Irons said. “You have no defenses against the Breakfast Killer. She tried to kill Lieutenant Dolphin. If she had tried to kill you as well… Our only choice was to keep you sedated so she couldn’t find you.”

Tauk nodded numbly. Investigator Lynhart Shran stepped up behind him and placed a hand on the young lieutenant’s shoulder. 

Irons continued, “Lieutenant, as assistant director, until I name a new director, you are in charge of ground operations.” 

Tauk started to nod, then turned and called to the medical director: “Dr. Shae - can we link the forensic work stations to the data for ground ops?”

Tali Shae looked at Tauk, but her antennae twitched toward the forensic work stations located in the forward surgery. “It’s all one computer,” she said.

Tauk and his staff gathered in the forward surgery. “Before we can capture our Breakfast Killer, we have to find her. So someone tell me how we know it is a female?”

Shran spoke up. “On the beach, when everything went sideways, BK2 was reaching out to us. Looking for anyone who had been looking for her. The Judge and me - we don’t have much in the way of telepathy, but we do have some defenses. But T’Lok could sense her - she told us it was a female mind - a very powerful one.”

Belo Cantys winced slightly when Shran said T’Lok’s name and looked at T’Lon, but the ensign registered no emotion. 

Tauk reacted to a different part of Shran’s response. “BK2?”

“Breakfast Killer... number 2... We know she’s not the first one. And using an acronym will help - take it from an old manhunter. The target is a target.”

“We’re trying to capture this target, Lynhart, not kill her,” Tauk said.

“That is going to be a very tall order, boss.”

“Worked like a charm on me,” Tauk responded, slightly acerbically. He turned toward T’Lon. “Ensign, I would like to use your squad to do some detective work.”

T’Lon responded evenly, “Put us to work, Sir.”

Tauk took a moment to adjust - he had outranked T’Lon since he met her, but they had always been colleagues working for T’Lok. He had never given her an order and only now realized his request had to be construed as one. He took a deep breath, then plowed on, now addressing the squad members. “I need you to each take one of BK2’s victims. Start with the humans. Trace their movements over the past three years. We are operating under the assumption that BK2 used repeated mind-melds to install… instructions. What we’re looking for is a correlation that places the human victims in proximity where BK2 would have had prolonged opportunity to conduct a number of mind-melds. Probably over the space of several days, if not weeks. Investigator Buttans, I want you to supervise. Make sure all the human victims are followed, then do the same with their spouses. If my theory is right, they will all pass through one or two different places. If you get that far, start looking for any female vulcan/betazoid hybrids in those places at those times.”

Shran smiled. “Amazing what a good sleep will do for you, boss,” he said. “So what do you want me to do?”

“I assume you’ve been putting together a plan to kill her,” Tauk said.

“Until about five minutes ago, I had an idea…” Shran started.

Tauk cut him off. “I want you to come up with a plan to capture her and render her powers inert.”

Shran shook his head, his antennae comically moving the opposite direction from his face. “I just knew you were going to say that, boss”

Tauk turned and put his hand on T’Lon’s arm. “T’Lon, this is not an order, but our biggest clue is in Dr. Dolphin’s mind. Can you find it?”

“I can try.. I want to try. If he will allow me. It may take a lot of time.”

“Take all the time you need - and only if he will allow it. But he needs to consider this,” Tauk continued. “Whatever BK2 put in his head - the compulsion to kill on her command - it’s probably still there. And you are probably the only person who can dig it out of him. I’m sure he will want to be rid of it.”

Dr. Tali Shae stormed into the room, her antennae twitching. “Alright, what are you people doing on my forensic workstations? Get back to your own room!”

Justice Irons was behind the doctor, laughing quietly. “We’re clear for warp eleven. You can go back to the ground ops center now. Investigator Shran, do you have some answers for me about what attacked us?”

“I think so, boss.”

“Lieutenant Tauk, I want you, Buttans and Shran in Conference Room 1 in twenty minutes. Be ready to talk about the attack,” Irons concluded. “Lieutenant Commander Mlady, bring us to warp eleven and get us to Earth. Executive staff meeting in twenty minutes, Conference Room 1.”

The communication system carried Mlady’s voice back from the bridge, “Aye, Captain.”


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