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Chapter Notes:

Rear Admiral Serge Mykel Chekov and Commander Kenny Dolphin visit the giant waterbirds of Pern - and slip away to conspire...

Star Trek Hunter

Episode 19: The Ivonovic Commission

Scene 14: Return to Pern


Return to Pern

Rear Admiral Serge Chekov was not a tall man. Short, potbellied, mostly bald with an unflattering comb-over, his ruddy face pockmarked. But there was a restless energy and a relentless cheerfulness to the man that seemed to make him larger than life in spite of his looks. The moment he entered a room, his presence filled it. His mouth didn’t smile, but his eyes did. He was accompanied by an attractive female ensign who was clearly part orion and part vulcan. 

At Chekov’s request, Commander Kenneth Dolphin had brought Chief Flight Specialist Dewayne Guth with him. At Guth’s request, Dolphin had also brought Chief Flight Specialist Thyssi zh’Qaoleq. Lt. T’Lon had also joined the party. They beamed over from Starbase 51 to the admiral’s shuttle, en route to Cun Ling. 

“I did not approve of your promotion, Commander,” Chekov said. “But if I had known you had a man like Guth here on your staff, I would have felt quite differently. Especially when I heard you personally played a role in these negotiations.”

Dolphin was a bit mystified. He took a small shot glass as Chekov handed them around, neglecting only the green-skinned ensign who was piloting the shuttle. 

Chekov opened a bottle of vodka, poured a small amount into each glass, then lifted his own. “To a successful negotiation and conclusion to several months of work!” 

The vodka had a strong mint flavor and an oddly fishy aftertaste.

Guth started coughing, hard.

“You’re the lightweight?” Chekov asked. “I did not see that coming. I figured it was blondie here who wouldn’t be able to hold his liquor.” Chekov raised his glass to Dolphin.

“Dolphin, Dolphin, Dolphin, Smith and Asher, Attorneys at Law,” Dolphin said. “My dad would inflict thunderous sermons on anyone who had the audacity to suggest wine instead of grape juice for the sacrament… And he kept a fifth of Glenlivet XXV in his desk drawer. Which I discovered when I was ten.”

“So you cut your teeth on the good stuff…” Chekov laughed. Just a second later, the shuttle landed. “You might not be so bad after all. But it’s your man Guth here that today’s all about.”

The aft door of the shuttle opened. Mayor Tala Ocompo was waiting. They had landed just on the outskirt of her city’s central park. She ushered them out and pointed to the sky. 

Chekov, Dolphin, T’Lon, zh’Qaoleq and Guth all followed her gaze. Guth was the first to start laughing as a dozen giant waterbirds drifted down out of the sky over the City of Pern.

Ensign Shilola (Chekov’s half-orion pilot) joined the group as the birds landed.

“Hello Dewayne Guth,” came an odd, deep musical voice. The bird’s enormous beak and tongue barely moved – the powerful, sonorous voice seemed to come from somewhere deep in its throat. “I am not yet skilled in your language, but I have been enjoying the thought of greeting you.”

Guth deliberately calmed himself as the bird lowered its gigantic beak slowly until it touched his shoulder. He recalled seeing the waterbirds at the sanctuary on Cohpus II behaving this way toward their vulcan caretakers and he imitated the vulcan reaction – gently touching the side of the bird’s beak. 

“Destim Ski,” Guth said. “I was hoping you would be part of this expedition.”

The bird took a step back, raised its beak to the sky and shook its head, then its wings, then the rest of its body. The other birds who had landed nearby followed suit.

By this time, Maa and a number of other vulcans had joined Mayor Ocompo. “Hello Mr. Guth. I am gratified that you can see the result of your advocacy. Destim Ski recruited me and a few others to help with the new colony. Over the next few years we plan to increase the population of the waterbirds here to about 400. That should be sufficient to establish a genetically stable population here…”

As Maa, Guth and Ocompo were speaking and Destim Ski joined the conversation, Rear Admiral Chekov put his hand on Dolphin’s shoulder:

“Walk with me, Commander.”

Ensign Shilola noticed as Dolphin and Chekov strolled away from the group and headed deeper into the park. She moved to follow them. Chekov caught her eye and shook his head quickly, then returned his attention to Dolphin.

“Battles over territory, planets, strategic locations – today is one of those rare days I feel like my grandfather,” said Chekov. “Not a soldier, but an explorer. All this war and death and politics… Who knew such magnificent creatures existed? Giant talking birds! And we get to help them colonize another world – to come live with us! This is why I joined Star Fleet. Not to point phaser cannons at romulans.”

Dolphin made an amused noise. “I never saw them before today, but Dewayne could never stop talking about them. This was his dream – to help them start a colony here. I wish I could leave him here to celebrate this.”

“Are you going somewhere, hero?” Chekov asked.

“Probably not unless I can get some help. I haven’t been authorized to tell you where we just came from…”

“The other side of the Romulan Star Empire.” Chekov grinned at Dolphin’s surprise. “I have my sources,” he said. “Your buddy Ivonovic told me.”

“We left people back there, Admiral. We need to go back for them.”

“And you think I might be willing to help?” Chekov asked.

“You built your reputation on not leaving people behind,” Dolphin replied.

“It seems you have found my weakness, hero,” Chekov said. “Tell me everything. I don’t care how classified. If you want me to go out on a limb and break any number of regulations to make it possible for you to go back, you’re going to have to trust me.”

Dolphin took a deep breath.


Chapter End Notes:

Character:                       Ensign Shilola
Human Ethnicity:             N/A
Additional Species:         Vulcan, Orion
Hometown/Homeworld:  Eden, Cun Ling
Introduced: Episode        19.14
Age when introduced:      19
Role:                                 Pilot, U.S.S. Milky Way

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