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Fanfic / The Headhunt

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The Headhunt is another entry in the growing body of Star Trek Online fics by StarSword, written for Literary Challenge 65: Myths & Lore on the STO forums.

The USS Bajor responds to reports of a break-in at Facility 4028, and security chief Lieutenant Dul'krah, Clan Korekh is assigned to investigate.

This work provides examples of the following tropes:

  • The Alcatraz: Facility 4028 is supposed to be this, but Dul'krah remarks that "for a supposedly utterly secure prison, 4028 has had remarkable difficulties of late."
  • Bio-Augmentation: The Mottas have been known to get their soldiers genetically enhanced on independent fringeworlds like Adigeon Prime where such augs are legal. Dul'krah also reveals that his entire species is genetically enhanced to be resistant to disease and radiation and "able to subsist on materials that most would not even consider edible," which they believe dates back to the aftermath of their self-inflicted Apocalypse How.
  • Call-Back: By the parameters of the literary challenge Lore's head was transported to Facility 4028 after he was killed by the Enterprise-D crew in Star Trek: The Next Generation: "Descent, Part II".
  • Code Name: The files regarding Lore are classified under the code word "ICARIAN BRIGHT GEPPETTO". May qualify as a Meaningful Name, too: "icarian" is an Icarus Allusion, and "Geppetto" was the toymaker in Pinocchio. Both could be applied to Noonien Soong, the creator of Lore and Data who was murdered by the former.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Eleya derides the Motta-controlled USS Enterprise-A as a "hundred-twenty-five-year-old museum piece with some newer tech bolted on" before casually catching up to it when it's going flat-out and blasting it out of warp in about three seconds.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: According to Dul'krah's religion the god of the night is a watchful guardian deity rather than an evil one.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Told from the perspective of Dul'krah, Clan Korekh, the Bajor's security chief, rather than Eleya, and highlights his psychology. Among other things his internal monologue refers to himself and the other command crew members of the Bajor as "elders" and Captain Kanril as the "great elder".
  • Generic Ethnic Crime Gang: There's a mention that the Ver Eshalakh have had encounters with le Milieu, a.k.a. Corsican mafia. It didn't go well for le Milieu.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Columba Ungaretti is half-Italian, half-Orion.
  • Homage: The scene where the Bajor casually catches up to the Enterprise-A and blows it out of warp was directly based on the similar scene in Star Trek Into Darkness, with the Bajor standing in for the USS Vengeance.
    Author's Note: Say what you will about the writing and scale issues, but [J. J. Abrams has] the imagery cold.
  • I Am X, Son of Y: Dul'krah introduces himself as "Dul’krah, son of Var’takh, Home-Clan Korekh, Blood-Clan Rustra, Ship-Clan Bajor."
  • Ignore the Fanservice: Thanks to preparing beforehand, Dul'krah is immune to Columba Ungaretti's feminine wiles when she turns them on him. With the pheromones from her Orion half chemically blocked, he doesn't find her attractive because she has "too few horns."
  • Inertial Dampening: An inertial damper failure on the Enterprise-A reduces the entire crew to a reddish goo.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Subverted. Dul'krah extracts the information he wants from Columba Ungaretti by drawing a knife ... then picking his fingernails with it for over half an hour, all the while just staring at her. The fact that he's nearly seven feet tall and "built like a Cardassian main battle tank" in Eleya's words, and has lidless vertical slit pupils helps, too.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: The logical result of a Phlebotinum Breakdown in a starship's Inertial Dampening systems.
    Lieutenant Kate McMillan: Where the hell is the crew? And what the hell is this shit?
    Nameless security guy: L.T., this shit is the crew.
    McMillan: (throws up)
  • The Mafia: The break-in at Facility 4028 was orchestrated by the (fictional) Famiglia Motta, a member of La Cosa Nostra that branched out into space after humanity went FTL. They've reportedly formed alliances with alien organized crime such as the Orion Syndicate, and seemed to have dropped the male domination used in present day settings (Dul'krah interrogates a female capo).
  • Meaningful Name:
    • In their own tongue, the name of Dul'krah's species, "Pe'khdar", means "the last Clans", which is what they were reduced to after they nuked themselves into oblivion.
    • The USS Brisbane is first on the scene at Facility 4028. Brisbane, Australia was one of the places convicts Sentenced to Down Under were shipped.
  • Narrative Profanity Filter: Lore's head has just enough time to say "something uncomplimentary" before Eleya turns him off.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • Dul'krah mentions a prior break-in at Facility 4028 carried out by a rogue Starfleet group with a Section 31 obsession.
    • The Ver Eshalakh's prior encounters with le Milieu.
    • Tess Phohl mentions a "clusterfrak at Torgo VII a few years back" involving the Motta family.
  • The Only One: Played with. The Bajor is actually the second starship to respond to the break-in at Facility 4028, but the USS Brisbane is a much older and less-capable Miranda-class. The Bajor takes the lead in dealing with the problem due to having capabilities the Brisbane doesn't.
  • Rugged Scar: Commander Imara Stadi is described as having one that starts next to her eye, crosses her mouth, and ends under her chin.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Discussed. A conversation between the nonhuman members of the Bajor command crew reveals that the Federation law banning Augments from Starfleet or public office (see DS9: "Dr. Bashir, I Presume") not only runs counter to Federation values but is actually unconstitutional. However, the humans are terrified of Augments thanks to the Eugenics Wars, and because they have so much political mojo in the Federation nobody's had the balls to mount a legal challenge and get it struck down.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Discussed. Tess Phohl notes that a good part of the reason so many Augments turn bad is because the Federation treats them like crap, whereas "folks like the Mottas actually appreciate them."
  • Shout-Out:
    • There's a reference to a Noodle Incident where some rogue Starfleet officers with a Section 31 obsession broke into Facility 4028 to extract an ally. This is a reference to the Foundry series Star Trek: Allegiance.
    • The C.O. of the USS Brisbane is named Sumati Chennapragada, the viewpoint character of a Star Trek lemon titled "A Bad Day for Shore Leave" (which we won't link due to it being massively NSFW).
  • Space Police: Dul'krah used to be part of the Ver Eshalakh, his species' military police.
  • Take That!:
    • Eleya is overheard ranting at somebody who wants to have the Bajor be used as the set for a movie, meant to poke fun at one of the other prompts for the LC.
    • A pair of them directed at the Vocal Minorityinvoked wanting to see Constitution-class and Miranda-class starships playable at endgame in STO, an idea to which the author is vocally opposed on the forums. The fact that the Miranda-class USS Brisbane is still in one piece despite being over a century old is described as miraculous, while the Bajor delivers a massive Curb-Stomp Battle to the USS Enterprise-A.
  • Vomiting Cop: Kate McMillan upchucks upon finding out that the gunk coating the inside of the Enterprise-A's bridge is the crew, after an Inertial Dampening failure.
  • Weapon for Intimidation: Dul'krah uses the mere presence of a combat knife as part of his "interrogation by glaring and looking scary" technique.
  • You're Not My Type: Dul'krah is apparently the only humanoid in known space with no interest in Orion females, if what he says when he rebuffs Columba Motta's seduction attempt is any judge.
    "And without [your pheromones], your form does not attract me: you have too few horns."