Previous Next

Walsh's Big Game Hunt

Posted on 20 Sep 2015 @ 5:19am by Lieutenant Commander Terry Walsh

Mission: History
Location: USS Xerxes, Holo-deck, 1935 hours
Timeline: 2377

Terry had been in the holo-deck just over an hour. After his encounter with Thomas, he really needed to cut loose and enjoy himself. And what better way that to go big game hunting. In this particular program he was in Argentina hunting Ibex. He was tracking one when suddenly the environment changed from the Argentine mountains to the Arctic tundra. Oddly enough, he was kneeling next to a green leaved oak tree.

Terry shook his head. “Computer, restore program Walsh 012A.”

The computer made a few obnoxious beeps that sounded like it was blowing a raspberry and did not comply.

“Computer, freeze program.” Nothing.

“Computer, end program.” Nothing.

About that moment, Terry saw a large polar bear charging him at a distance of several meters. He took aim and fired. The bear kept in charging. Terry grabbed his K-bar knife and quickly attached it to the end of his hunting rifle. He preferred the use of old style weapons that relied more on human skill. He braced himself as the bear lunged. Terry ducked, bayoneted the polar bear in the chest, and used all his strength along with the bear’s momentum to roll the bear behind him. He quickly got up and fired the weapon still lodged in the bear’s carcass. He then pulled it out and instinctively cut the bear’s throat. With the frigid wind blowing, he managed to get the rope from his pack, throw it over a strong limb on the oak tree, and hoist the bear so it could properly bleed out.

The computer announced “Mission accomplished” and shut down the program…except for the Oak tree and the dead polar bear hanging from it.

Then he tapped his commbadge. “Walsh to Engineering.” Man, they are not going to believe this, he thought.

“Ensign Harack, here. Go ahead.” It had been too quiet of a night so far, which wasn’t characteristic for the Xerxes.

“Sorry to bother you at this hour, but I’ve had a bad glitch or something in the holo-deck. Normally I would’ve just filled out a maintenance request and turned it in. But I doubt that the next person would be too keen on finding a dead, bleeding polar bear hanging from the limb of an oak tree. That’s the only thing that the crazy computer left active when it finally shut down the program on its own.”

Harack shook his head. There was no way.... Sure, the holo-deck was known for its problems, but this was ridiculous. It sounded too preposterous. “Sure, okay, I’ll grab a damage control kit and head your way. Harack out.”

The Ensign was quite taken by surprise when the holo-deck doors opened. “Well, I’d say ‘good evening’ but doesn’t look like it was, sir.”

Terry laughed, “Not for the bear.” He paused, and then said, “I’m off duty. Tomorrow morning I’ll be an officer again. But in the meantime, call me Terry.”

Nodding, Harack made his way over to the tree and looked up, "It seems like a rather odd combination. You know, polar bear and an oak tree. Exactly what program was this supposed to be anyway?" Kneeling down, he opened up his kit and pulled out a diagnostic tricorder before glancing around for the closest access panel.

“Technically, it was supposed to be Walsh 012A. Practically, it was a big game hunting program of mine. I was tracking a transplanted Ibex in the Patagonia region of Argentina back on Earth. Next thing I know, the Argentine mountains, and the Ibex, are gone and the Arctic tundra was laid out in front of me. And I was kneeling next to that green oak tree. I tried to vocally restore the program, but the series of obnoxious beeps I got in reply sounded like the computer was blowing a raspberry at me. The computer finally announces ‘mission accomplished’ after I kill and hang the charging polar bear. But instead of taking away everything, it left that.”

"Fantastic," Harack replied, frowning. "I’ve worked on holo-decks with issues before, but none quite like this though." Having spotted an access panel, he carefully opened it and leaned the panel against the wall.

“Again, I really am sorry to bother you at this late hour.”

"No need to apologize. It's my job after all. Things never seem to break on a convenient schedule. Besides, I have to admit I enjoy challenges. And this is a big one." Tapping a few commands into the tricorder, he waited as it ran a diagnostic on the holo-deck's programming.

“So it’s the thrill of the hunt…so to speak. You find the tracks, follow them to the problem, and take care of it. Although, I’d imagine that it’s a whole lot more technical than that.” Smiling, Terry said, “You’ll have to overlook the simple Marine take on engineering things. Way out of my league.” He paused and looked at all the…stuff…inside the access panel.

“Sometimes it’s more technical, sometimes not. In some cases, the easiest answer ends up being the real answer. Of course, I’ve rarely come across those, but still,” Harack replied. “No worries; what you do is way out of my league, so I think we’re even.”

“Well, flying is not as much technical as it is tactical…at least for me. Point it in the direction you want to go, give it enough power, and it goes.” He grinned and said, “The tactical part comes in when you’re trying not to get your wings shot off.”

As the tricorder beeped, Harack scrolled through the diagnostic results and frowned. “Hmm…looks like an anomaly in the matrix diodes. I’ll have to replace them. I’ll have to run another diagnostic to determine exactly which ones need replaced and then go through and replace them individually. Shouldn’t be too bad, but it won’t be just a ten minute fix.”

Terry shook his head. “Guess dad was right. He always said, ‘Son, when a Starfleet Marine does something, he does it big.’ I suppose that goes for breaking things, too.”


Previous Next