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The Island of Doctor Meyiou, Part III

Posted on Apr 29, 2017 @ 11:38pm by Finn Shackleton

Mission: Section 31

FINN SHACKLETON
in
"THE ISLAND OF DOCTOR MEYIOU"


CHAPTER THREE

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Location: Taino Resort, Risa
Stardate: [2.17]0429.1540
Scene: The Royal Sandal Hotel


Finn Shackleton had woken up in the presidential suite of the best hotel on Risa. The sunlight had streamed in through the bay windows, shining on the naked body of Little Miss Rumpy. The girl was fast asleep and Shackleton dressed himself quickly, stuffing a phaser and tricorder into his pockets. He had an appointment to keep - today he was taking a boat to Coral Key, a small island out in the Partheous Sea that Bentley, the missing Section 31 agent, had been investigating.

On the surface of Taino, all was well. Tourists came here, to the western part of the southern continent, to indulge in both a beautiful beach vacation and oodles of jemaheron. The place was superficially polite, but behind the pleasantries was a planet of hedonism. Little Miss Rumpy was proof enough of that.

He was limited in the attire he could choose for his excursion to Coral Key. A personal cloaking device was out of the question - if whoever had killed Bentley was up to something on that island, then it was a sure bet that the place would be brimming with sensors. He wanted to appear to be a lost tourist, not a Section 31 agent on the snoop. Bentley had been investigating a thaleron radiation signature from the place before his disappearance, and now Shackleton was on his trail.

Shackleton made for the door. The noise of his footfalls woke Little Miss Rumpy, and she stirred, stifling a yawn. She sat up and opened her eyes. "Leaving so soon?"

Shackleton went over to her. "I have to be somewhere to do something," he smiled, eyes roving over her body. "Don't worry your pretty little head about it." He leaned down to kiss her, and while he was at it, got in a good grope of all her soft parts. She sighed with pleasure at his touch, and the noise of it made him grin inwardly. No woman could resist a man like him. They all pretended to be feminists, but secretly they longed for an action hero to take charge and tell them what to do, in bed and out of it. "Stay here as long as you like," he said, moving back to the door.

"Will I ever see you again?" she asked.

"Who knows?" said Shackleton with a disinterested shrug. "It's a big Federation."

He put his game face on and left her behind, not caring that he'd never found out anything about her except what she was like in bed.

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Scene: Taino Docks


Bowman was waiting for Shackleton, just like he said he would be. The sun was almost at its zenith already, and the weather was warm and balmy. Around the beach, the morning leisure-seekers were laying out their towels and preparing to go for a swim, and by the docks, several boats were heading out into the Partheous Sea for a day of fishing.

Bowman's skiff was small but sturdy, made of a tritanium-composite with an anti-grav unit mounted to the rear. It looked kind of like a dug-out canoe, but there was a stabiliser on either side of the craft. Shackleton was surprised by that - because water was much less stable a surface than land, many anti-gravity units didn't work too well on the sea. As Shackleton watched, Bowman climbed down into the skiff and opened a control panel on the unit, keying in a series of sequential commands. Shackleton guessed the unit had been heavily modified.

"Are you coming?" asked the giant black man. He was wearing a tight-fitting red shirt and old denim shorts. His hands and feet were craggy and pitted with years of work. "Time's a-wasting, and the sooner we get there and back the sooner I get paid."

Shackleton stepped lightly into the skiff and sat down on the forward bench. It had been a long time since he had travelled on water, and although he held an officer's rank in Starfleet, he had never served one day on a starship, nor any other kind of Starfleet vessel. His bosses in Starfleet Intelligence had recognised his ability to work alone early in his career, and seven years as an intelligence officer before being recruited into the new Section 31 wasn't to be sniffed at.

Bowman cast off, and the anti-grav engine kicked in. The skiff sped up to a good fifty miles per hour, hovering a foot or so over the water. Once clear of the Taino docks, Bowman turned the skiff to the south, where other islands in the archipelago jutted up from the Partheous Sea. One of them was Coral Key, the place where Bentley had been investigating.

"What do you know about the place?" asked Shackleton, the wind in his thick black hair, the sun on his skin. He was sure he looked fantastic right about now. A shame that there were no women around to see him.

"Coral Key?" Bowman shook his head distastefully. "Owned by some reclusive off-worlder who built a compound there some years ago. Jealously guards his privacy, from what I hear. Sometimes people try to land on the island, just to see what's there. Those people don't come back."

"The Risean authorites don't investigate?" frowned Shackleton.

"Investigate what? It's all nice and legal. And who's to say the missing people didn't drown in a boating accident? Which, you know, they might have." Bowman was glowering. "Your people better be good for the money I want, friend. I'm getting off this world - I think I'm being watched, probably by the people who run Coral Key."

Shackleton nodded slowly. "You'll get your money." He turned around to take in the view. The Taino shoreline was falling away quickly to stern, and they were passing through beautiful sea-stacks of rock that were clouded with alien birds. The scenery reminded him of some Asian seascapes that sometimes appeared on tourist advertisements for Earth - there was plenty of natural beauty here on Risa too, and it wasn't just the bikini-wearing space chicks.

"That's Coral Key," said Bowman. He pointed ahead to a shoreline that was dominated by a white-sand beach that ran up to a treeline. The thick vegetation at the top of the beach indicated the beginnings of a steaming arboreal jungle.

Shackleton took out a pair of optical enhancers and rested them on the bridge of his nose. The device immediately interfaced with his brainwaves, allowing him to control the view through the lens with his mind, and the HUD projected itself directly onto his retina. He zoomed in the view until he could see the beach clearly. From what he could make out it was deserted, but it bent away on both sides, and the thick trees cut off further viewing. In the far distance, behind the trees, he thought he could see a red-roofed building, perhaps the beginnings of the compound that Bowman had mentioned.

With a series of quick thoughts, he switched the views through infra-red, thermal, and high-resolution. There was nothing further of interest. Shackleton removed the optics and nodded to Bowman. "All clear. Take us in."

The big black man nodded and cut the anti-grav engine. The skiff dropped into the water with a light splash, its forward momentum carrying it silently up towards the beach.

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Scene: Coral Key beach


Shackleton picked his way through the vegetation that ran along the edge of the treeline. Fat insects droned lazily around him, and he could feel the humidity prickling on his skin. A hundred yards behind him, Bowman was busily hauling his skiff across the sand up towards the trees, anxious to hide it from prying eyes.

It probably wouldn't help, Shackleton knew. If Bowman's stories about people going missing on this island, then it was likely that there was a sensor net in place. They'd probably been seen approaching - the real mystery, therefore, was why they weren't dead already.

He froze. There was another boat further down on the beach, dragged up out of the water, a pair of oars hanging from its bow gunwale. Shackleton pressed himself against the trunk of a tree, looking around for the boat's owner. He could see from the scoured sand in the wake of the boat that it had recently been dragged on to the beach. Surely the sailor was still around here somewhere?

Then he saw her. She emerged from the Partheous Sea like Venus from Botticelli's seashell painting, kissed by the sun, water glistening on her brown skin. She seemed Human, and had a beautiful face, with dark hooded eyes, wet curly hair, and full lips. She was wearing a skimpy white bikini, and Shackleton's eyes hungrily ran up her supple legs, over the delicious mound between her hips, over her perfectly-formed, firm, ripe, plump br -

She looked up and saw him. A look of disgust creased her features and she snapped up a hand, giving him the finger. "You fucking pervert!" she screeched.

Shackleton snapped out of it. He jogged towards her, waving his arms. "Be quiet!" he hissed. "We're not supposed to be here!"

The girl seemed confused. "What are you talking about?"

"This is Coral Key!" exclaimed Shackleton. He stopped near her - not too close, in case she got spooked. "Don't you know what happens here?

She shook her head, and pointed at the other skiff, the one with the oars hanging from it. "I was looking for seashells. I make jewelry with them."

Shackleton frowned. His instincts - among other things - told him she was telling the truth. "How long have you been here?"

"Not long. What's it to you, anyway?"

"Listen, girlie - "

There was a dull thump from a distance behind them, like a muffled explosion. Shackleton turned to see what was happening, and alarm grew in him when he saw a rope of smoke climbing over the trees from where he and Bowman had made landfall.

"Damn it!" He broke into a run, pulling a small hand phaser from his pocket. Behind him, the girl followed, and together they rushed through the trees until they could again see the beach where Shackleton and Bowman had landed.

"Oh my God!" The girl's jaw dropped, but Shackleton clamped a hand over her mouth and pulled her down into the undergrowth.

On the beach, Bowman and his skiff had been discovered. A larger water vehicle - a skimmer of some sort - was speeding up the beach in the distance, churning the water in its wake. As Shackleton and the girl watched, the larger skimmer - gunmetal grey, fully enclosed and with a dangerous-looking cannon mounted on its roof - let loose a burst from its roof cannon. The green plasma shell landed dangerously close to Bowman's skiff even as the big black man turned and ran for his life.

Shackleton watched helplessly. He didn't have the firepower to take down something like that. He released the girl and pulled out his tricorder. She scurried away from him, hiding in the nearby undergrowth as he tried to read the scans, but nothing was coming. The skimmer was there, he could see that, but aside from the heat signature of its plasma exhaust, he couldn't see it on the tricorder. Invisible to sensors, then.

He looked up, hoping that Bowman could make it to the treeline, but the skimmer was fast. It moved from the water to the land effortlessly, and even sped up once it hit the beach. Bowman looked back over his shoulder in terror, running hard for the treeline, but the skimmer's roof-mounted cannon zeroed him quickly. It belched forth another plasma shell that arced through the air, landing right behind Bowman even as the big black man sprinted towards the trees for all he was worth. The explosion threw up a shower of sand, and when it spattered to earth like rain, there was nothing left of Bowman except a splatter of gore spread out over a wide area. Bowman wouldn't be getting paid after all.

The skimmer stopped. Shackleton looked at the girl. She was terrified, and one look at her let him know that she was just some innocent caught up in all this mess. "Hey," he whispered. "What's your name?"

"Tiki," she whispered back. "Tiki Devine."

Shackleton raised an eyebrow. "Keep your head down, Tiki. They might not bother scanning for us if they think that Bowman was the only one on the island."

"Won't they see your footprints in the sand?" she asked, and Shackleton's heart sank.

The skimmer turned on its axis and shot forward like a greyhound out of a trap. Before Shackleton and Tiki could even turn around, a green stun-beam lanced out from the skimmer's roof-cannon, pummelling them both into oblivion.

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Location: The nearby compound
Scene: Bedroom


Shackleton woke up. He came to slowly at first, but reality quickly asserted itself and he rubbed his eyes open. He felt lethargic, and realised that he and Tiki had been shot with a stunner on the beach. As full awareness came back, he realised his new surroundings were very different.

He was lying on a single bed in a tastefully-decorated bedroom. A few feet away, parallel to his own bed, lay another holding the unconscious Tiki. The beds were plush and lined with satin sheets. The walls were bare and featureless, but coloured a pleasant shade of lime green. There were no windows, but there was a tritanium door in the opposite wall, and a small table and two chairs sat near it. In one corner, there was an antechamber that led to a bathroom and shower.

As if on cue, Tiki began to stir, and Shackleton got out of bed and went over to her. "Are you alright?"

She looked around in confusion. "Where are we?"

"I don't know," he said.

There was a hiss from the tritanium door, and it slid open, admitting a small Ferengi who was carrying a tray, upon which sat a crystal decanter of water and two cups. The diminutive alien was dressed in an impeccable tuxedo, the black-and-white of his clothing standing out garishly against his orange skin. As Shackleton and Tiki watched, the Ferengi put the tray down on the table, turned to them, and bowed.

"Good afternoon," he said in a high-pitched voice. "I have brought refreshments." He indicated the bathroom. "You will find a replicator and bathing facilities in there. In one hour, dinner will be served. The doctor would be delighted if you'd join him."

Shackleton raised an eyebrow, wondering who the 'doctor' was. He decided to play it cool. "Tell him I'll be delighted."

"He will be most pleased, Mister Shackleton," said the Ferengi. "I will return in one hour." He bowed again, and backed out of the room like he was leaving royalty. The tritanium door slid shut behind him.

"He knows my name," Shackleton murmured to himself. He remembered back to when he had first arrived on Risa, at the Taino spaceport. Mister Jones, the assassin who had posed as his driver, had also known who he was. It seemed that this mysterious doctor was was privy to much knowledge.

Tiki got out of bed. Shackleton put his arm around her, but she shrugged it away. "Get off me," she grated. "The Ferengi said your name was - "

"Shackleton. Finn Shackleton."

"Whatever. Listen, what's going on here?"

Shackleton stepped closer to her, but she backed away. He rolled his eyes. "Suit yourself, sweetheart." He went over to the table and poured himself a glass of water, realising that he was both hungry and thirsty. "If you want to get out of here you'll do what I say when I say it. I'm in no mood to put up with an uptight bitch."

Tiki chuckled. The noise of it made him turn in irritation. "What?"

She twirled a finger in the air. "Nothing you can do will make me interested in you, Mister Shackleton," she smiled. "I'm not that way inclined."

Shackleton shook his head in confusion.

"I like girls," Tiki said. "Not boys. Get it?"

"Oh." Shackleton's eyes narrowed like he didn't believe her. "If you say so."

"Not used to being rejected, are you?" she smirked, strolling past him into the bathroom, wiggling her butt.

Shackleton sighed. There was nothing to do now but wait.

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NRPG: This is the third 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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