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Welcome To The Jungle

Posted on May 27, 2017 @ 6:14am by Lieutenant Tomas Vukovic

Mission: The Romulan Way

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"Welcome to the Jungle"

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Location: Starbase 56
Scene: Merchant Zone, a new shop known as 'Needful Things'

Maury R. Tee, Professor of English Literature, Ret. snapped the brilliantly white apron flat and tied it about his waist. He gazed about the tiny place. Space on a starbase was always expensive, and he was on a somewhat limited income at the moment, so his new place here was just a tiny hole in the wall. Needful Things, the sign said, and as usual it omitted saying a very great amount at the same time. Back on GATEWAY STATION it hadn't been a lot bigger, but as Professor Tee had often pointed out, size could be deceiving.

"H.W."

"You rang?" a spherical droid dropped down from its perch on the overhead.

H.W. was a Holmes/Watson Security Droid, modified specifically to Tee's needs. Pity the poor shoplifter who tried to nick anything from Needful Things.

"We're about to open. Configure for observation mode."

"Roger that."

It was about to float away again when Tee reached out a hand and held up one finger. H.W. stopped.

"Observe," Tee smiled his very white, very sharp smile. "We're about to see an old friend."

H.W. seemed to disapprove, if a semi-autonomous, lethal security system can be said to disapprove.

"Shameful," it replied.

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Scene: Promenade

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Tomas' Alexei Vukovich stepped out of the hyperlift, adjusted the collar of his brand spanking new Star Fleet uniform. He'd never worn one before. He'd never done much of anything like this before. He hitched his duffel bag up tighter to his shoulder.

A voice rang out across the Promenade.

"Are you lost, young Borg?"

He turned abruptly, his face, his borrowed face for the moment, quite literally a mask.

"You!" he snapped.

"Yes, me," Professor Tee smiled back at him. "It's been a long time since GATEWAY."

"Not long enough," Tomas' gritted his teeth.

"And why are you going anywhere looking like that? They do know you're BORG, do they not?"

Tomas' glared at the old man.

"Of course they know. I'm trying to be ... discrete. Something you apparently know nothing about."

Tee feigned shock

"You do me great injustice, young BORG. I am just a simple merchant peddling my wares, as it were."

Tomas' left hand blurred, liquefied, it seemed, creating an electronic interlock port. He opened his mouth and a series of tones came out in a rush. H.W., who'd been hovering nearby, drifted placidly over and settled on his hand.

Tee looked like he was going to vomit.

"What! What did you do?"

Tomas' smiled, hefted the droid up into the air again.

"We have an understanding," he said. "Don't test me, old man."

His hand reverted, but this time his entire appearance changed. The uniform remained, but the body inside it was his own again. His left hand laced with electronics, his right eye BORG green, and his head shaven clean.

He turned and walked toward the boarding gate where incoming crew would step from the station onto the USS PHOENIX. A pilot coming home.

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NRPG: Permission to come aboard?

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Kenneth Field
aka Tomas' Alexei Vukovich
FCO, USS PHOENIX

 

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