We Play The Game
The Hirogen move the hunt for the Voyager crew to the Holodecks.
25th - 27th June 2014
Machines thundered down the valley, attacking anything else that moved. The machines ranged from small knee height with eight sharp legs, to ones as tall as the buildings. People were scattered, most of them running away from the mechanical foes while firing phaser type weapons at them. None of the hits seemed to even dent the larger machines, the smaller ones would be stalled for a few seconds at least.
A dozen humanoid figures merged from the swarm of machines, each one covered head to toe in mechanical body armour. One of them proceeded to remove their helmet to reveal his Hirogen features. The pair beside him gave him a disapproving look, he was too focused on the battle ahead to really notice it.
Straight ahead of them were a group of humanoids fiercly battling against the robotic horde. One of them seemed to be slicing through them with ease, the weapon looked like a sword but its blade was made of light. The hunter smiled, he had found his target.
"You would weaken yourself, here, now?" somebody beside him snarled.
"I will face my prey, look her in the eye," the helmet-less Hirogen said, marching ahead. "Besides, I've got to get the face reveal sooner rather than later."
"This is a fanfiction," another man muttered to himself.
The rest of his group spread out to pursue the other humanoids, meanwhile the Hirogen marched straight for the one with the blade.
She seemed to be attempting to rally her remaining troops. There were only two of them, the rest were either down or had already fled. The pair were the unlikely pair of Thompson and Chakotay, and Chakotay was the one who looked like he was itching to run like the others. Thompson was armed with a gun like the rest of the soldiers, but Chakotay only had a pair of sharp claws on his hands for his defence.
"It's all right, with this sword on our side we can repel them," she said with a smile.
"You're out of your mind, Dunway!" Chakotay snarled. "I'm getting out of here."
Thompson smirked with confidence. "I'm with you, lets send these things to the scrap heap."
The woman turned her head to look over her shoulder, Chakotay got a glimpse of her stubborn smile. Normally it would be a one he knew so well but would make him nervous all the same. Now it just annoyed him.
"You want to die so badly, don't bring me into it Hero," he spat at her before running off, away from the approaching machines.
"No Chakkar, don't be a fool!" Kathryn yelled for him. Then she realised the Hirogen was heading right for her, flanked by human sized machines. She smiled and raised her sword. "What's this, you're no machine."
"You are resilient prey. I admire that you have gotten this far," the Hirogen taunted her.
Thompson meanwhile fired on the nearest robots, unaware they were surrounding him at the back. One swung its metal arm at him, knocking him flying backwards. Kathryn backed away from the Hirogen to briefly check on him, then she noticed the fleeing Chakotay had been surrounded during his escape.
"Is that all we are to you? Prey?" Kathryn growled.
"No," the Hirogen answered. He swung a sharp weapon at her, which she dodged. Her own weapon flew out to defend herself from continous attacks. She raised it up to swing it at his head, he took that opportunity to strike her body. It worked, the sharp weapon plunged into her stomach. "You are mine. Now and after death."
The Hirogen watched her fall to the ground before bringing out a commbadge. "Sickbay, this is Holodeck Two. Janeway requires medical assistance."
Kathryn lay on the solo biobed at the back of Sickbay, surrounded by two Hirogen. One of them was the one who put her there. The other biobeds were full of other crewmembers, one of them Chakotay.
"She'll survive," the second Hirogen said.
"What about her neural interface?" the first one questioned.
The second one reached out to grab at her chin, then forced her head to one side to scan her. "Stable."
"Are you sure?" Hirogen One asked. "There were times when she seemed... aware of who she is."
"Impossible," said the other Hirogen. "I was monitoring the crew during the entire simulation. She believes she's whoever we program her to be." Hirogen One didn't look convinced. "Should I return her to the robot simulation?"
"No," Hirogen One answered. "Someone else can play that role now that it's been demoted to side kick. I have found another program I want to try." He glanced back to check on the other patients, mainly Chakotay. "Him as well. His role has changed."
"What is this other program? Another game?" Hirogen Two asked.
Hirogen One didn't feel the need to answer directly. "Turanj should find this one... stimulating."
"Oh black magic..." a woman started to sing until she was whacked over the head.
"No! Don't ever do that again." The person responsible placed the bottle he used back on the bar. He waltsed off, quickly followed by the rest of his group.
The blonde girl pouted and got back to work.
Dressed in a blue uniform and giant hat, the two Hirogen hunters looked completely out of place already. Armed with what appeared to be twentieth century guns they paced the short path back and forth. Alongside the pair was a metal train track, which they seemed to watch with interest. Eventually their attention perked up as a train finally arrived and slowed down to stop beside them. They pointed their weapons at the vehicle and waited.
They didn't have to wait very long. The doors opened, but no one emerged from there. Instead figures flung themselves out from windows to take the Hirogen security guards out by surprise. One of the last people to jump out appeared to be Tuvok with ridiculous baggy pants and a vest top. He gave the last remaining conscious guard a punch in the face. As soon as he did so another figure jumped off the roof of the train and tried to land near him cooly.
"Ow! Note to self, don't do that in heels," she winced mid hop on one leg.
"Yo, come on bunny. We haven't got time to mess around," Tuvok called out for her. He then ran off towards the only exit. The people who had jumped out before him were way ahead of him.
Her blue eyes narrowed, her hand instinctively went to the tight bun on top of her head. "Bunny? You don't see me calling you tankytoppy. Why I oughta..." she marched forward to make sure he heard her. Unfortunately though the first Hirogen down wasn't really down. He leapt to his feet and got ready to fire. Kathryn wasn't about to let that tiny detail get in the way of her and ripping the grouchy Tuvok a new one. One swipe with her weapon knocked him flying back down. She marched outside to catch up to the group messing around with a metal gate. "Rip your pointy ears off, then shove your stupid little bombs down your throat and..."
"Remind me again why you hired Miss Crazy," one of the group asked, which was Triah sporting long hair tied up in a pony tail. The other members appeared to be Foster and Sid.
Tuvok shrugged. "I didn't, blame it on our singing barmaid. She likes to recruit crazies she finds lying in a gutter all the time."
"What?" Kathryn snapped, she looked confused.
Tuvok smiled at her. "Decided to join us have we? I didn't get your name."
"Way," Kathryn answered.
Foster snorted into laughter, "what kind of name is that?" He looked up from his hacking to see the death glare was still working, he trembled and got back to work.
"Is that a code name or..." Tuvok asked but the stare from Kathryn hadn't wavered. "Fine, what should I expect from a member of the elite army?"
Triah gasped and glanced up at him, "elite? Why do we have one of them on our side?"
"Wow, nobody knows anything. She just showed up and suddenly on the team huh," Sid commented. "This is a really bad attempt to explain what's happening but cut straight to the action."
Tuvok glared down at him then back at Kathryn. "She's not anymore, she's a mercenary. Now we need to get into the factory sometime today." The other three nodded, each of them worked faster. "I'm Turett and try to keep up." Right on cue the metal gates opened.
Unknown to them they were being watched via a security camera. The Hirogen man stood next to a pool of blood, watching the screen in front of him. The blood itself was dripping from the nearby desk, a body slumped over it with a sword sticking out of his back.
"Why can't we kill them now?" the young Hirogen snarled.
Another figure walked around the desk to join him. "That is not how the story plays out," he answered. The Hirogen flashed his angry eyes at his superior, the Hirogen who had stabbed Kathryn earlier. "In this setting your task is to lure the prey to the final battle. Destroying them now would be pointless."
The young Hirogen's eyes jumped to the sword impaled in the man on the desk.
"Play the game," Hirogen One said dangerously.
Hirogen Two didn't say anything, he only gave him a slight nod.
A small explosion ripped open a hole in the wall big enough for anybody to step through. One by one Tuvok's group leapt through the still flaming hole to get outside. Kathryn was one of the last to jump out and look around at her surroundings. They seemed to be in a back alley, surrounded by large buildings. Nobody was around but they all could hear a panicked bustle in the air.
"One plant down, seven to go," Tuvok said to the others. He frowned, "where's Si..."
Sid jumped through the hole like the others, the only difference was he was on fire. He ran circles around the group, disturbing Kathryn the most as he was laughing, not screaming. Eventually Tuvok got sick of him and pushed him to the floor, forcing him to land in a puddle.
"Aaaw," he moaned.
Kathryn's eyes were wide, "um?"
"Don't ask. We'd better hurry to the train station or we'll miss the last train," Tuvok said. He got impatient as nobody moved, "now!"
For some reason his team decided to leave one at a time, each one stopping to look around suspiciously every now and then. Kathryn shrugged and followed Tuvok up the nearby steps.
"Nobody's in a bigger hell than me right now," she sighed.
On top of a very high grassy hill, Tom, Craig and an unknown girl were watching the machines converge on a large town miles below them.
"This isn't possible," Craig stuttered.
Tom nodded, "I know. Shouldn't I get the girl? I'm obviously taller, better looking and the muscle of the group."
Craig turned his head and scowled at him, the girl did the same thing. They then glanced at each other. "What are you saying and why is it funny to me?" he asked.
Tom scoffed, then pointed at the town in distress. "Look, people dying. Priorities guys!"
Craig rolled his eyes. "Fine, but what are we going to do? Without Dunway we have no way to repel them."
"Perhaps Rom here can charm them away," the girl smiled.
Tom pouted and folded his arms. "That hurt."
"Let's go, we should be able to teleport down. If we sneak behind them, get Dunway's weapon, we should be okay," Craig said. Tom and the girl nodded.
Seven pushed the till closed with an annoyed sigh. "If we keep getting the same business, we won't be able to afford anymore bombs."
"What do you expect, there's like five people living in this village and Turret here chased them out with his gun," Kathryn said, pointing a smirk towards the Vulcan bullying a punch bag.
"This is our hideout," he grunted between punches.
Seven giggled, "it's also the only bar in town."
"Exactly. They'll come back," Tuvok said with a smirk.
Kathryn rolled her eyes. "Whatever, I've done my bit. Where's my pay?"
Seven handed her a small coin, the older woman glowered at her for it.
"You'll get paid when the job's done," Tuvok said.
Kathryn stomped over to him only to glare up into his eyes. He felt his insides quiver in fear. "You mean after I help you destroy all eight power plants?" He barely nodded. "That's not what I signed up for. I'm leaving." She wasted no time heading for the door.
Tuvok glanced towards Seven, she looked a little distraught. He gave her a nod and she ran off to follow Kathryn.
"Wait! You promised," she cried.
"I did no such thing," Kathryn said before turning around. She was greeted by a very close, almost personal space invading Seven with pleading eyes. "Put those away before I poke them out."
"But... don't you remember me? You promised you'd look after me," Seven stuttered.
Kathryn laughed and continued to walk out of the bar. Seven grabbed her arm.
"Please. Those bad men are destroying the planet. We must stop them."
"Good luck with that," Kathryn grumbled as she pulled her arm away.
"Here," Seven whispered. She handed the money retrieved from the till. "You'll get the rest at the end." Kathryn smiled smugly, the ex-drone got a confident nod.
Both Tom and Craig had been ruthlessly tossed to the ground, barely able to move. One lone machine the size of a house stood in front of them, taunting them with bloodied claws. Behind it, the unknown girl was lying on the ground, about to be attacked by smaller robots.
"Well that went very well," Tom mumbled.
Craig tried to reach for the sword lying on the ground near him. It was the sword Kathryn had used in the beginning. His body was too weak though, he could barely reach it.
Inside the giant robot, Hirogen One sat at the controls staring at the humans on the screen. "That should give them a push. This will be an interesting hunt. Time to..."
The comm beeped, echoing around the insides of the machine. Hirogen One sighed and tapped a commbadge to answer it. "Karr here, why am I being interrupted?"
An unknown male voice answered him, "We need your assistance in Engineering. The warp plasma network has become unstable."
"Very well," he said.
The giant robot began to glow, then it shot off into the sky. The other machines started to follow suit.
Craig and Tom still struggled to pull themselves up. "Wait, she was hot. Get back here... how could you!" Tom screamed up at the sky.
Craig managed to roll his eyes but still couldn't get back up.
As they were too busy struggling, they missed a few humanoid looking robots collect the injured woman and carry her away.
Tuvok's group now had two new members; Neelix with red in every hair on his visible body, and a wary of him looking Chakotay. They seemed to replace the trio of Triah, Sid and Foster, who were nowhere to be seen.
"I don't know, he was trying to eat me before," Chakotay said to the others.
Neelix chuckled, "oh don't worry. I was just putting on an act. I also wasn't."
"Wasn't what?" Kathryn stared at him suspciously.
"Supposed to eat him," Neelix said.
Tuvok and Kathryn thought they understood, their eyes widened as they glanced back at the unconscious mad scientist in a white lab coat.
Chakotay was confused. "How else would he combine your race and mine? Oh god, he wasn't doing some mutant merging thing, was he?"
Seven's eyes widened as well as she figured it out too. "Oh! Gross." Neelix stared at her, offended. "Not that you two are dudes. I just mean cos you're so hairy and weird." Strangely enough, Neelix looked just as offended as before with that explanation.
Kathryn shook her head. "Never mind that! We've done the rescuing, now we should get out of here before..." Soldiers, most of them Hirogen, ran into the room each pointing guns at them. "Get caught."
Tom was close to drooling when he and Craig entered the camp. The woman that stepped forward to greet them first was B'Elanna dressed in a short top and shorts. What appealed to him more was that she was armed with a ridiculously huge gun as well.
"Thanks for saving my brother. The kids around here love to pick on him for his name, but it still doesn't mean he can run off into a huge area filled with wolves, giant wasps, mutant bunnies and dinosaurs," she said, staring harshly at the teenager beside her. He winced at her glare.
"To be fair, I didn't run into the giant wasps and wolves," he said meekly.
Tom frowned at the word bunnies, luckily that stopped him from his almost drooling for the time being. "Why do I think that somebody would like idea of mutant bunnies? I don't know any idiots like that."
Craig only raised his eyebrow. He thought it was best to get back to the important part of the conversation. "Why, what is his name?"
The boy looked at the floor, his face turned red. B'Elanna thought to answer him herself, "Tutu."
Both boys snorted into laughter, she did as well. The boy dared to scowl at her. "It's Jutu."
"Like it matters," B'Elanna giggled. "So, I've never seen you two before. You don't look like members of our defence force."
Tom smiled smugly, he bumped his chest with his fist. He tied to hide the fact that he had managed to hurt himself doing it. It was way too obvious though. "Why, are we too butch to be some of your soliders?"
B'Elanna glanced between the two, then down at her brother. "Suddenly you're not the most annoying character, congrats."
The boy smiled, "I told you."
"Um, we're here to find a giant robot with claws," Craig said.
Tom nodded, "yes. He killed off our only female party member. You don't do that, no sir."
"God, if I roll my eyes one more time they'll probably fall out," Craig muttered to himself.
"Did she have a name?" B'Elanna asked. The boys stood in silence for a while, staring blankly straight ahead of them. "There's your problem."
"Ooh, does that mean I'm safe?" Jutu asked his sister.
"Quiet Booboo, adults are talking," Tom hushed him.
Craig tried not to smirk. "So, have you seen... it?"
"Not exactly. Our town was invaded by machines though," B'Elanna replied.
Tom did a little fist pump. "Oh right, does that mean you'll join us? You're much hotter than the last girl."
B'Elanna actually smiled at that remark to Craig and Tom's surprise. "Hmm, you remind me of my fiance." Tom's face fell. "He was annoying as well."
"Damn," Tom pouted.
"I just hope he's still alive," B'Elanna sadly sighed. Tom's face perked up again, Craig shook his head and resisted eye rolling. "My heroic Voroit," she swooned to herself. Tom looked disappointed again.
"You're screwed, he has a name," Craig whispered to him. Tom gave him an elbow for that comment.
B'Elanna shook her head. "I think if we're going machine hunting, I'd better introduce myself. I'm Sharnna."
"Rom, and the less handsome one is Crailk," Tom said.
Craig sighed. "You take overcompensating to a new level, don't you Rom?"
Tom turned to glare at his friend. "One day, I'm making better friends." Craig only smiled in return.
The Hirogen known only as Karr strode onto the Bridge. The three Hirogen manning stations looked just as out of place as he did. There was only member of the Bridge crew who looked like he belonged there.
Karr approached the Science station to glower down at the only Human on the Bridge. "Status."
Harry looked up at the towering Hirogen. "By cutting through the bulkheads on decks four, five and six, we've been able to expand the Holodeck grids by five thousand square metres."
"More," Karr demanded.
Harry sighed as he wiped his sweaty and black brow. He climbed to his feet, if only to reduce the height difference between them a little. "I can't give you anymore, not without compromising Voyager's primary systems."
Karr wasn't even fazed. "Then compromise them."
"Holodecks require a lot of energy and I've already rerouted power from minor systems. Anything more and we'll start losing propulsion, deflectors and even life support," Harry said.
"I'll transfer a supply of power nodules from my vessel. Intergrate them into your systems," Karr ordered. "I want to expand the holo projectors into all surrounding sections. Replace enough emitters for the task."
Harry watched him walk away while clenching his jaw a little too tightly. He eventually said to no one, "yes sir."
Kathryn and her group ran down seemingly never ending corridors, following a trail of blood. The further they went, the more nervous they got.
"Perhaps we should continue escaping," Seven suggested just as she once again slid on some of the more fresh blood.
Tuvok nodded. "She's right. This isn't leading us anywhere good."
Kathryn disagreed, she picked up speed. "Whoever did this spared us and even let me out of the cell. I want to know why."
They continued into a nearby lift, none of them saw the pair of Hirogens standing around a nearby corner, watching them. One of them was Hirogen Two, he turned to his companion with an angry look on his face.
"The Alpha will have us continue these games until we rot," he said. The other nodded. "I don't intend to lure these programmed prey to a battle that will not happen for many hours, even days. It's pointless. The hunt should begin now."
The group didn't stay in the lift for long. It stopped and opened onto a more open floor, it looked like an office. The trail they'd been following continued up until the desk where the man impaled by the sword still lay. They slowly approached.
"I'm thinking bait and hey did you do this. That's just me though," Chakotay said.
"Why bother? We're already public enemy number one," Tuvok said.
Kathryn eyed the sword as she carefully walked a few steps closer than the others. "I know who did this."
The others saw the nearby door open automatically. Karr walked through it wearing a sharp suit. It suited him as much as a dress would suit Neelix.
"Turanj, he's alive," he said. Kathryn then noticed his presence. "For some reason he spared you, let you go free. I wonder why that is?"
Kathryn narrowed her eyes, her hands flew to her hips. "Who are you?"
"I am Karr, the leader of this company," Karr answered. "And you are not leaving."
"You don't waste anymore time, do you?" Chakotay said in surprise. He pointed at the dead man on the table, "your father's barely even cold and you're taking over."
Kathryn turned her head to one side to look at her group behind her. "Go, I'll take care of this clown."
Tuvok's eyebrow raised as normal, but he looked mad as well. "Last time I checked, I was the leader of this group."
Seven tugged at his arm, "go, I'll cover her."
Kathryn couldn't help but roll her eyes. "Am I talking to myself? Get out!" Karr smiled, he slowly approached her. Her right arm moved from her hip to her weapon, slowly.
Tuvok gestured his head to the lift, the others then hurried into it. He followed.
"It seems no matter who you are, you take the lead and fight. Admirable," Karr said.
Kathryn naturally was confused, but still determined to beat the snot out of him.
"This will be a challenging hunt. I look forward to it," Karr continued.
"Hunt? I'm right here," Kathryn snarled. "I thought I was the one stalling here, enough talk."
"Indeed," Karr agreed.
Cut Scene 2
Notes: Most episodes are written in order, but there's always at least one scene that I fancy writing earlier, while it's still word-for-word in my head. It seemed like I was approaching "Cut Scene 2" when I decided to give the episode up. Seven shouldn't have been talking about covering anyone, everyone but the team were meant to run off and then Janeway has her "bring it on" lines. It cuts to the rest as they run down some stairs. Seven's character stalls, deciding then to "cover" Janeway's character. This is when the rebellious Hirogen decides to change the plot, so to speak, and attacks early like he does in the original. As before he kills off Seven and Neelix. Neelix was to go to the other program to play the role of "weird alien that speaks cutesy" Riki, while Seven would go back to this one with her memories intact.
I imagine I was still messing around with the previous scene to make it work with below when I stopped, probably for a break. The episode seemed to be cancelled three days later.
Tuvok didn't look so sure; Seven annoyed him a lot and this was his chance to be rid of her for a short time, but he was getting tired of everyone making the decisions over him.
"I'm not leaving her," Seven said stubbornly.
"Why?" Tuvok asked, but he already kinda knew. He groaned. "Fine." The other two stared at him in shock.
"You can't leave another lady behind," Neelix protested.
Tuvok laughed, "oh we're not.