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The Island of Doctor Meiyou, Part II

Posted on Mar 27, 2017 @ 2:33am by Finn Shackleton

Mission: Section 31


FINN SHACKLETON
in
"THE ISLAND OF DOCTOR MEIYOU"


CHAPTER TWO

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Location: Taino Resort, Risa
Stardate: [2.17]0326.1835
Scene: The Royal Sandal Hotel, lobby


Finn Shackleton, intergalactic agent for Section 31, entered into the lobby of the six-star Royal Sandal Hotel, ran a hand through his thick black hair, and instantly relaxed. The place was like a Renaissance palace on Earth - everything was tinged with gold and highly-burnished precious metal. The floor was a smooth, cool marble and the tapestries and rugs on the floor were all rumoured to be hand-made with Aamazzarite silk. The quiet, melodic chimes of Risian xylophone music were playing over invisible speaker, just loud enough to add another layer of perfection to the overall ambience.

There were beautiful people everywhere, and Shackleton cast appreciative glances at the curves, top and bottom, on every female humanoid he could see. He was in such a good mood right now that he'd even give it (hard) to one of the ugly ones.

This hotel - the Royal Sandal - was one of the finest hotels on Risa, and Taino was one of the planet's most beautiful resorts. White sands, sparkling blue-green ocean, and a cloudless sky - and best of all, Starfleet was footing the bill. One of the benefits of having a bottomless expense account that he could easily afford to stay in places like this, score with hot women like these, and live the life of an intergalactic playboy.

It wasn't all breaking hearts, though. He was here to do a serious job - the Section 31 agent known as Bentley had gone missing on Risa several weeks ago while investigating a strange thaleron signature from somewhere on the surface, and Shackleton was here to find out why. However, the mission had gone wrong almost straightaway - the man who had met him at the spaceport had not been from the Royal Sandal. He had been a paid assassin who had tried to murder Shackleton on the road between there and here, and had chosen a gruesome death on the blade of his own monofilament knife rather than say who had sent him. The assassin had also indicated that Bentley was dead, having been murdered for snooping, but no other information had been gleaned except that Bentley had been living here, at the Taino resort, in the few months leading up to his abduction. Whoever was behind Bentley's death was probably also behind the assassination attempt on Shackleton, and it was likely that the failure would soon be reported.

Shackleton crossed the floor and swanned past the line of people waiting to check in. He sauntered up to the desk that had a sign reading 'Latinum Club'. There were a female Terran receptionist and a male Risian concierge behind the counter - the latter was busily working on a computer, but the receptionist was free and easy. She looked like she wasn't long out of her teens, with a dazzling smile, a pretty face, and a body that would look just fine perched on top of Shackleton's -

She looked up. "Can I help you, sir?" she asked sweetly, but Shackleton saw something else. The hottie ran her eyes up and down his body hungrily - and why wouldn't she, he mused. He'd killed a man not an hour ago in single combat and was probably radiating testosterone. Every female in this room was probably suddenly ovulating in direct response to his pheromones.

Shackleton tossed his credit chip on the counter. "The best room you have. And I mean the best. I'd also like to be fitted for a new dinner jacket as a matter of urgency, so make sure to send up a tailor. Also, a bottle of champagne and two glasses."

Nearby, the concierge looked up in irritation.

The young receptionist's eyes were flaring. Oh, she was into him alright. He could practically see her salivating. Delicious. "Will sir be having a second person in the room?" she asked coyly.

Shackleton turned the full force of his glittering green eyes on her. "Whenever you're finished, feel free to call up and see me for some rumpy-pumpy." He eyed her spectacularly pert butt. "You supply the rumpy, and I'll supply the pum - "

"Perhaps I could be of more help?" said the concierge, expertly sliding in between Shackleton's sleaze and the giggling teenage receptionist. He had a dark skin, thick lips, and, rather oddly, blue eyes. His face was crowned with a Risian tattoo on his forehead. With a look, he dismissed her - disappointed, Shackleton watched her wiggle her way to another counter while the concierge swiped his credit chip through the computer. "The Sovereign Suite has been allocated to you, Mister Shackleton, along with all your requests. If you'd sign here?"

Shackleton held his thumb over the computer scanner. Little Miss Rumpy was gone now - he'd been shot down by this man, and his mood fouled. Still, perhaps the concierge could be of some help. "I believe a friend of mine used to stay here. Name of Bentley. Do you know him?"

The concierge raised an eyebrow. "Yes, I remember Mister Bentley. He's been missing for some time. The hotel, of course, hopes that he will return and has kept his accounts open. He was a very generous tipper."

Shackleton raised an eyebrow as the two men eyeballed each other. "You can close Bentley's accounts and take a gratuity for yourself. Put it on my account."

"Sir is very generous," said the concierge greedily.

Shackleton's finger hovered over the scanner. "Did Bentley get up to anything while we was living here in Taino? Friends, hobbies, projects, things like that?"

The concierge lowered his voice and looked around conspiratorially. "He developed a sudden and strong interest in fishing."

"Fishing?"

"Yes, sir. He regularly chartered a boat down at the docks. Used to spend all day on the water."

Shackleton touched the scanner as the concierge looked on, waiting for his money. "I don't suppose you know which boat he chartered?"

"Why yes!" exclaimed the concierge as Shackleton's thumb came back up, locking in the tens of thousands of credits. "There is a Terran fisherman down there named Bowman. Your friend Bentley used to spend days on end on the water in Bowman's boat."

Shackleton picked up his key, credit chip and bag. He had a look around for Little Miss Rumpy but she was nowhere to be seen. Sighing, he turned on his heel and walked to the elevator. No play, then. It was to be work instead.

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Location: Taino Docks
Scene: Wharf
Time Index: A couple of hours later


The Sovereign Suite had been magnificent and the Risian tailor who measured him for a new suit of clothes had been suitably obsequious. The champagne had been adequate, but alas, there had been no sign of Little Miss Rumpy. In the end, he had dressed himself in his new dinner jacket and headed out.

Evening was drawing on, and the azure sky took on a new hue of burnt orange as the two suns began to dip below the horizon. Taino was getting ready for another long hot summer night - there would be beach music, dancing, cabana parties, and more, but Shackleton wouldn't see any of it, at least not right now. Somewhere in this resort lay the key to solving the disappearance of Bentley and the source of the mysterious thaleron signal.

There were dozens of boats along the waterfront wharf, all laid out and parked up by rows. In the centre, nearest the big hotels and well-lit jetties, lay the yachts of the billionaires with ostentatious names like 'Summer Breeze', 'Wind Dancer', and 'Zephyr'. There were a few that betrayed an element of humour in their names, like 'She Worthy' (female captain, no doubt), 'Eat, Drink, and Remarry', and 'A Yacht of Fun'.

There weren't that many charter boats available on the Taino docks, which surprised Shackleton. Given Risa's reputation for being a pleasure planet, he imagined that many people would come to a resort like Taino and take to the water, but perhaps not. Maybe most visitors preferred to simply relax on the beach when they weren't plowing jemaheron workers.

Bowman's jetty lay almost out of sight of the waterfront. It was a small thing, just a shed made of corrugated iron dredged low in the water, and well back from the main promenade. The sounds of merriment, music and laughter all faded into the background. As Shackleton approached, he caught sight of a tall, strong-looking black man sitting down by the open door to the shed. The man was wearing a red shirt, blue shorts, and was barefoot. A bottle of something dangled from one hand, and he looked to be half-asleep, staring out onto the darkening ocean.

Shackleton slowed his pace, trying to get closer and remain quiet at the same time. He was about ten paces away from the dozing man, and with the sounds of the parties ringing in the background, he thought he might be able to get right up to -

"Who might you be, mister?" asked the black man, his eyes still closed.

Shackleton stopped. The game was up. "I'm looking for a Human named Bowman," he said evenly. "I have some questions for him."

"Is that a fact?" The man's eyes slowly yawned open, and he lazily got to his feet. Alarmed, Shackleton saw that he was six-and-a-half feet tall and corded with muscle. "Could be that you've found him, fancypants."

Shackleton fixed his bow-tie. He looked a million credits, and this guy was just jealous. Not every man in the galaxy could carry off a tuxedo like Finn Shackleton. "A man named Bentley used to charter your boat, Bowman," he said, making sure his voice sounded serious. "He spent several days on the water with you. I want to know what he was doing."

"Oh, really." Bowman put down the bottle of whatever-it-was. With blinding speed, he suddenly rushed at Shackleton, tackling him hard across the waist, knocking them both off the jetty to land with a heavy thump on to the beach.

Shackleton immediately got a handful of the grainy sand and flung it in Bowman's face. The man yelled, blinded, and Shackleton, still on his back, delivered a punch into Bowman's liver. Bowman was winded by the sudden pain, and rolled sideways onto the sand, and Shackleton followed up with a merciless punt into Bowman's balls. The man yelled and curled into a fetal position, the fight kicked out of him.

Shackleton, breathing heavily, dusted down his dinner jacket and kneeled down beside Bowman. The man's eyes had rolled up into his skull and he was groaning.

"Bentley was a close friend," explained Shackleton, grasping Bowman by the throat. "Now why don't you tell me where you took him on the days he chartered your boat?"

Bowman looked like he was about to throw up, but managed to get some words out. "Coral... Key..." he gasped. "An island... couple of miles... south."

Shackleton nodded. Taino was its own island on the western coast of Risa's southern continent, but it was part of an archipelago. Coral Key must be one of the smaller islands nearby. "What was Bentley doing there?" he grated, keeping a grip on Bowman's throat.

The huge black man was slowly recovering from Shackleton's kick. "He wanted... samples. Brought some sort of... science kit... with him, like something... Starfleet would use. Took scans of... the rocks... and soil."

"Did Bentley say what he was scanning for?" asked Shackleton harshly, but the suspicion was growing in his mind now. Did Bentley pinpoint the thaleron signature to Coral Key?

Bowman was recovering now. Shackleton released him and let the man sit up. Slowly, Bowman got his breath back. He turned his dark eyes on Shackleton. "Bentley was Starfleet, wasn't he?" the big man asked.

"Something like that," nodded Shackleton.

"I thought you had come from Coral Key," said Bowman. "Sometimes, people who get too close to that island go missing, just like your friend Bentley."

"I'm not from Coral Key," said Shackleton. "Something might be happening there, something that got Bentley killed."

"I liked Bentley," mused Bowman. "He seemed a genuine guy."

Both of them got to their feet, Bowman towering a good six inches over Shackleton.

"I'm sorry I messed up your clothes," said Bowman.

Shackleton nodded. "I'm sorry I kicked you in the balls. Listen, I might need to head out to Coral Key tomorrow. Would you take me? You can name your fee if you do."

Bowman thought about it. "My fee's going to have lots of zeroes, my friend. Enough to get me off this world if you go missing, too."

"Bentley's friends are the paying kind," said Shackleton. He turned away and started back up towards the waterfront promenade. "See you tomorrow, then."

He trudged back up towards the lights and music, aiming for the Royal Sandal. Suddenly, out from the crowd stepped Little Miss Rumpy. She was wearing a grass skirt and not much else, smiling flirtatiously at him, lips wrapped around a straw that was sticking up from some sort of cocktail.

"Well well," said Shackleton hungrily. It looked like being a good night after all. He got right up to her and put his arm on the small of her back. "If it isn't the cutest receptionist on Risa." He leaned forward and whispered in her ear. "Would you like to have some sex on the beach?"

The girl giggled and pretended to be shocked. "What?"

Shackleton took her cocktail from her and held it up, nodding to the bar. Together, they headed back up towards the lights and the music and the dancing.

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NRPG: This is the second chapter of Finn Shackleton's adventure on Risa, with tongue planted firmly in cheek ;)


Jerome McKee
the Soul of Finn Shackleton
Agent
Section 31

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