Star Trek Hunter
Episode 25: I Dream of Shiva
Scene 12: Dr. Who?
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25.12
Dr. Who?
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Haanti Peda ran her fingers through luxuriant reddish gold fur and felt deliciously naughty. Bajorans, like humans and denobulans, were far more liberal about interspecies relationships than most humanoid species. But Peda wasn't sure the creature lying next to her exactly qualified as humanoid… and he had been with her sister before her, which clearly pushed this encounter much further into taboo territory.

She took a breath, rubbed her face against the strong-smelling fur and gazed out the window, where she could see about half of the U.S.S. Hunter – the port half – which was docked to the outer ring of the Deep Space 9 space station. Unlike other Star Fleet ships, it was not a comforting or inspiring sight. Star Fleet was famous for ship designs that were uniquely beautiful and fast.

By all accounts, the U.S.S. Hunter was far, far faster than any other known design, but it was far from beautiful. Dark, squat, businesslike – if anything, the Hunter was intimidating, even if it was one of the smallest deep space vessels in production. Peda couldn't look at it too long. She knew the Federation attack on Trillus Prime was well justified, but she couldn't stop imagining a swarm of these predatory looking little black ships appearing in the skies over Bajor and raining down terror the way they had at Trillus Prime.

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And now her beastly lover was assigned as a senior officer on that ship. But this wasn't a love affair. More like a three- or four-night stand.

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Peda could tell that Grorher was awake. "Do you think she would have minded?"

"You staying in her quarters?" rumbled Lt. Grorher. "Why would she? They're still assigned to her until the commemoration and you need to be sure to remove all of her things and direct them to their proper destinations…"

Peda laughed and lightly twined some of Grorher's chest fur. "Not me being in her room. What I've been doing in her room…"

"Making a mess? Eating food you dropped on the floor. Yeah – that might have bothered her a bit…"

"It was still in the plate!"

"It isn't my taboo," the furry pilot rumbled. "I know Irda never ate from a plate that dropped on the floor…"

"I'm sure she never dropped a plate on the floor in the first place," Peda pouted.

"Not that I ever saw." Grorher rolled over to face the sister of his deceased lover. "Peda, I knew your sister for almost a year. We were very close. I miss her and you have been a great comfort to me. Which I am certain that she would find comforting. I have visited the families of all of my wing, including your parents. Twelve grieving families. And now, because of the inquest, I'm stuck in bajoran space for another 20 days, at least. I think Irda would be happy that you're here with me." Grorher rolled out of bed and shuffled off toward the shower.

Peda found herself moping for the few minutes that it took the furry lieutenant to clean himself. When he reappeared, he was wearing the solid black Star Fleet Judge Advocate General uniform with yellow piping around the collar and cuffs. With his almost golden fur and long blonde hair, it created a striking effect. The word handsome simply did not apply to Grorher in any coherent way, but he did have very much the look of a hero.

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Lt. Grorher was brushing his facial fur. "How about a tour of the U.S.S. Hunter?"

"Can you get me clearance?" Peda asked.

"Considering that I'm the senior officer on duty today… chances are good…"

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A few hours after having escorted Peda through those parts of the U.S.S. Hunter that were cleared for civilian access, and having returned with her to the Promenade on DS9 for lunch, Lt. Grorher was back on the bridge of the Hunter. With the ship on Emergency Reserve status, only four stations were required to be staffed. Midshipman Carlos Datsun was on station in Transporter Room 1. Ensign Geoffrey Horatio Alstars was pacing around Engineering by himself.

And along with the Hunter's new Director of Flight Operations, Lt. Grorher, in the captain's chair, Ensign Eykirros Jones, who was part human and part kitarran, was standing watch at the tactical/communication station on the bridge. Jones looked more kitarran than human, with the telltale crenellations on her forehead that mimicked the crenellations of her enlarged neo-cortex. The only indication of her human ancestry was the light caramel color of her skin from her African American heritage. Like most kitarrans, Ensign Jones was very slight of build.

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Grorher sniffed. Ensign Jones' pheromones had suddenly changed - a smell of fear and a new scent. "What is it, Ike?" he rumbled as he turned the chair, only to see a new person on the bridge - a small, balding, dark-skinned young man wearing a leather jacket with an expedition helmet slung over his shoulder by a lanyard.

"Where is Captain Irons?" the intruder asked. He had a distinctly South American accent.

Lt. Grorher rose from the captain's chair. He noticed that the intruder was armed and held his left hand up, made a gentle patting gesture toward Ensign Jones. "Easy, Ike."

Eykirros Jones relaxed a little, but she kept her hand on the phaser on her belt.

"I'm sorry," Grorher rumbled. "I don't know you and I've never heard of Captain Irons. Captain Dolphin is taking shore leave on Bajor."

Jones tensed slightly as the stranger reached to his neck and tugged gently on a chain, removing a small wallet from underneath his shirt. He opened the wallet.

"Rear Admiral Sarekson Carrera, Director of Star Fleet Temporal Command," he said. "And you are, Lieutenant…"

"Lieutenant Grorher, Director of Flight Operations for this vessel. I am currently the ranking officer on duty."

"You're Doctor Carrera?" asked Jones.

Grorher turned and looked at her: "Doctor who?"

"I'm sorry sir, you've not been here long. Doctor Carrera invented this class of ship. He was the Engineering Director before Doctor Moon." Jones turned her attention toward Carrera. "Sir, Justice Irons retired from Star Fleet and from the Tribunal - or something… I'm not really sure. I think the captain would like to know you're here…"

At that moment the ship's interactive avatar appeared on the bridge. "Sarekson!" The elderly looking, pudgy avatar stepped around the new (and furry) flight director and embraced Carrera.

"And…" Carrera was surprised by the hologram's evident emotion. After a confused moment, he patted Hunter's back, then hugged back. "And how have you held up, Hunter?"

Hunter stepped back. "We lost Pep and Tauk. There are a lot of new people around here," said Hunter. "I'm reasonably sure Kenny will want to see you."

"That's what everybody says, but nobody seems to be calling him yet," Carrera observed…

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25 – I Dream of Shiva