I am Lt. Thacker of the IKV Blackstar. I serve as Chief Medical Officer and Chief Science Officer. Serving as CMO is light duty, not much to do so I double as Science Officer. I am a Betazed female. How does a Betazed female find oneself serving on a Klingon Battleship? My family was wiped out during the Dominion invasion of Betazed in the early part of the war. Well I was rescued from Betazoid by the IKV Blackstar, and decided to replace their previous CMO, who died in battle shortly before I came aboard..
I feel honored to serve here. My mentor, Capt. Mara, is teaching me about the Klingon culture. My keen empathic and psychic abilities are welcomed. My medical duties mostly consist if treating those who are not Klingon and convincing Klingons that they need treatment. I bluntly state that they must want to die without honor because that is what would happen if their current conditions were not treated.
Klingons deep-rooted sense of honor in battle overrides and they reluctantly submit to treatment. I make it discreet so no one else knows. Some come to me on their own. I have developed a rapport and receive deep respect.
My science duties get me access to all parts of the ship. I can quickly hone in on anyone in need of my medical services.
I sense unrest among the crew. It has been a long time since anyone has recreated. I will speak with 3 of 1 about arranging a good party. Rednecks sure do know how to party. Sometimes 3 of 1 is not taken as seriously as he deserves. His intelligence is masked by his fun antics and his odd backwoods accent.
Capt. Mara spoke of an upcoming mission to Afarensis where Rajuc will negotiate for hunting privileges for the Klingon Empire. Once negotiations are over Rajuc and a band of crewmembers will stay for a week camping and wandering the planet for live game. They will sit around the evening campfire, drink bloodwine, fill their bellies with the day’s kill, sing songs and tell stories of legends long ago. Each Klingon needs to stay in touch with their inner beast and hone suppressed instincts. Suppression makes many go mad. I am to go along to study the plants and wildlife. I can also be nearby if my medical services are needed. Some become braver than for their own good.
We had to take a shuttle to the surface. The protective force field around the planet prohibits beaming down. Once we landed, we were seated and the negotiations began. The proprietors were lizard looking creatures. They walked upright on T-rex looking legs and had webbed feet. They were green brown in color and had no odor. I sense they are a confident and a proud race. They call themselves the Komotos.
There was much to discuss like territory, terrain, size of parties kind of game, what primitive weapons will be used, length of time for the expeditions. There is no lodging or facilities. This planet is strictly primitive and the use of primitive weapons are strictly enforced. There is 21 hrs of darkness on Afarensis and 21 hrs of light. Both daylight and nocturnal hunting is permitted. Everything captured must be consumed on site or let go. For those who cook may do so but near a body of H2O. Only proper disposal of bodily waste is permitted. All other trash generated must be taken up when leaving. Further hunts will be prohibited if a mess is left. There must be utmost respect for the land and its creatures.
The first night was spent scouting. This meant miles of walking. The terrain was densely wooded foothills with streams of purple blue H2O. I would catch pungent whiffs of rotting mulch of underbrush. I also caught faint whiffs of what reminded me of the scent of lavender and honeysuckle. Above were points of light and 2 lighted moons. Both were side by side and were at 3/4 crest.
We were exploring the course of a winding creek about 40 ft across and from 3-6 ft deep. We scoured the banks tracking claw prints in the soft dirt. As we turned a large bend, we encountered a 7 ft beast that resembled both a saber tooth cat and an elk. It had horns of an elk but the head, body, claws and graceful movements of a cat. The beast lunged forward towards Rajuc. Rajuc lodged the shaft of his gIntaq (a traditional Klingon hunting spear) in the rack of horns and twisted the beast’s neck exposing its underside. He then swiftly brought his leg up and kicked it in the throat . The creature flailed. Rajuc brought the blade of his spear down and slashed its throat. The beast lunged forward thick red-black blood spewing forth. The creature bought its front claw upward and raked Rajuc across his chest. I saw blood oozing from his uniform. Rajuc caught his blade in its horns again and twisted. Its gaping wound opened further showering a fountain of black-red. Claws furiously flailing caught Rajuc across the left side of his ribs. Rajuc buried his gIntaq in the creatures flank. Rajuc withdrew the spear and the beast stumbled to the ground. Its breath was irregular and quick then abruptly slowed and became more shallow. Rajuc bent to the ground and opened its eyes and mouth. The lights of its eyes faded away then it was dead. Rajuc then took his d'k tahg, cut open its chest, and withdrew the creatures beating heart. He then spoke and thanking the beast for its sacrifice so we can eat and gain its strength. Rajuc then bit off a corner of the heart and passed it to the rest of the party.
They carried the beast to the camp. As our hunting party approached the camp, we smelled a repulsive stench. When we arrived at the camp, we saw 3 of 1 attending a fire in a box. He was charring a carcass. Rajuc said, “What is that and what are you doing.” 3 of 1 replied, “wez is havin what they call a barbeque. I rigged up a barbeque grill from a food replicator . I’m cookin catfish I caught in that there pond over yonder. You want some? What did ya catch? I got barbeque sauce ready for grillin.” Rajuc gave a disgusted snarl and said “Klingons don’t eat their meat cooked." To tell you the truth I am glad 3 of 1 did that. I was not relishing the thought of a meal of raw tiger elk. Actually, the fish was delicious.
That night we sat around a campfire and talked of other hunts, of victories in battle and of ancestors long ago. It was a sultry humid night. Sounds of chirps, squeals and buzzing announce their presence. When I came here, I never thought I would battle something as small as a few millimeters. Insects were eating me alive. I will have to make a balm from the flowers I saw during our hunting expedition. No one else is complaining. The little critters must not like Klingons.
I feel a sense of pride and anticipated excitement from our hunting party tonight. Stories about us will be told for eons. They will talk about Rajuc and his party’s adventures. This planet will become very popular among Klingons.
I don’t know whether it was the bloodwine or the long journey but I suddenly felt exhausted. I needed to sleep. I went to my lean-to formed from branches. I had prepared my bedding and laid down my head. I do not remember thinking about anything before I fell asleep.
I awoke with a start. I was dreaming about something. Oh yea.It was about Rajuc. I must warn him. There is another hunting party nearby. We are the prey for they are hunting us. I know Rajuc will victor gloriously, though I still worry. I do not want to think about telling Capt. Mara he died an honorable death in battle. I then heard a loud screeching sound. I quickly dashed from the lean to and saw a flying pterodactyl looking creature above. It swooped downward and scooped a furry teddy bear with fangs and claws. It swiftly disappeared into the horizon. I saw movement toward the tree line and saw 3 of 1 exiting with an armload of dead timber. As he was tending the campfire, he said he was fixin' to make a mess of scrambled eggs and asked me if I would like some. I asked him where he found eggs. He said, “I climbed that there big ol' tree over yonder and got them down from that big ol' nest up there.” I started to laugh and said, “Sure I’ll try them.” He took some campfire embers, placed them in the box, and then placed the rack over the coals. Using a griddle he formed from a flat sandstone type rock, he rendered piece of fat from last night’s beast. Using a forked twig 3 of 1 began furiously beating the eggs in a bowl made from a coconut shell. He then poured the mixture on the stone and scrambled them. I must say the eggs were very good.
While 3 of 1 was preparing breakfast, I asked him if Rajuc was still around. He told me they left sometime ago and was heading north. I must have looked upset because 3 of 1 asked me what was wrong. I told him about my dream. 3 of 1 assured me that he had full confidence in Rajuc’s ability to defend himself.
To be continued...