"Return of the Hunter"
[previous post "Plans Within Plans"]

Setting: MASQUERADE DREAMS, Lower decks
Stardate: 30152.1315

Being 6 feet, 11 inches tall had made him being a member of the maintenance team difficult to start with. Being a Hirogen had not made things easier.  As long as Uxtar limited his travels to the lower decks there had been less of a chance for him to start something by is mere presence.  That he liked it or not, anyone who knew of his race instinctively gave the Hirogen a clear path.

The mission that he had received from the Admiral had been a simple one.  Uxtar had to find the man before he could set and detonate the bomb.  The task seemed almost too simple for a Hirogen hunter to bother with, but Uxtar had never been one to turn away from a hunt.  It also had not been in him to refuse an assignment handed to him by a commanding officer.

The bomb had been constructed using common materials, so scanning for it had not been an option.  The description of the would-be bomber had been extremely general further challenging the hunter.  The more Uxtar worked on this mission, the more he found himself driven by the hunt.  The prey had been a difficult one to find and track but he had been close.  Very close.

Setting: MASQUERADE DREAMS, Rear observation deck
Stardate: 30152.1340

There he was. Uxtar could smell his fears from where he stood out of the way of the other passengers.  To those around him, the man had simply been someone preoccupied, nervous and hurried. To the Hirogen hunter he had been his prey, the one person he had been searching for since having boarded this ship.

To conclude the hunt now would have raised too many questions and scared a lot of innocent people.  If cornered the bomber might even detonate the device early, so Uxtar decided to wait.  He would be able to stop him easily in one of the side corridors without attracting too much attention from others.

The man rushed down the corridor without noticing the large figure around one of the corners. Uxtar had done his best to hide, but still the hunter found it amusing that he had not been noticed.  As the Hirogen stepped into the corridor he felt something crash against his form.

"I am truly sorry about that Miss," the Hirogen politely stated as he offered a helping hand.  "It was not my intent to be in your way.  That said, may I ask as to the reason for your apparent hurry?"  Normally Uxtar would have wanted to continue tracking his prey, but there had been something about the woman that caught his attention.  She felt out of place, as if her place had not been here on this ship.  His Hirogen instinct demanded that he resumed the hunt, but his Starfleet training required him to further investigate.  Whoever this woman was, she had been involved in this in some way, that the hunter knew for sure.

Her gaze felt as if it had been reaching into his soul, and for an unknown reason Uxtar began to recall his time on board the ANUBIS.

"Are you alright Miss?" the hunter asked, worried that maybe this crash would jeopardize his mission. Remaining an unknown face amongst the maintenance staff had been essential to him in order to complete the mission, and now time was against him as his prey drew further and further.

A strange sensation took over Uxtar as he felt his memories being scanned.  The woman clearly appeared Humanoid but her ability to look into his mind had belonged to another race.  For an instant the hunter thought of reaching for the woman's neck and snapping it, allowing him to end this and resume the hunt, but something stopped him.  When the image of Admiral Koniki flooded his mind, the Hirogen knew that the woman had not been a regular passenger.

"Erik, do you know a Hirogen named Uxtar?" The hunter heard the woman say.  Who had she been speaking to?  Had she been using some sort of invisible communication device and had the 'Erik' she mentioned been the one from his past on board the ANUBIS?

The expression on her face spoke of a unheard reply to the Hirogen. She had been speaking with someone, but who and what had been their reason for being here on this ship?

"Well, he is here standing in front of me," she stated as she accepted the Hirogen's assistance to get back onto her feet before continuing, "but we have a bigger problem. There is a man on board the MASQUERADE DREAMS with a bomb which is set to detonate at 1400 precisely."

"It appears that we are after the same person and for the same reason," Uxtar said, already several steps away from the woman he had just helped back to her feet.  He would be able to figure out who and what she was later, right now the prey had taken a strong lead on them, a lead that they needed to cover apparently with the greatest of speed and urgency.

Mark Hutchings

Lieutenant JG Uxtar
Currently on an undercover mission