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(Lt. Jona ch'Ranni) MSNPC Chief Scientist Hankins & NPC Coorg - Pact?

Jo Marshall

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Written by @Jona ch'Ranni - a beautiful jigsaw piece falling into play that prompts as many questions as it answers. A perfect cherry on top of a great mission.

Chefs Kiss GIF by Nick Jonas 


MSNPC Chief Scientist Hankins & NPC Coorg - Pact?

((Crew Quarters, USS Triumphant))

Hankins sat in the single lounge chair of the annoying cramped quarters he had been assigned. He held a tumbler of dark liquor in his left hand, slowly swirling the glass and watching the light refract off the container's faceted sides. He brought it to his lips and took a slow draw from the cup. Its fiery aftertaste did little to lift his mood.

Hankins: oO Who do they think they are? Starfleet can't just come in and take over! If they're such a force for order why is my invention in the hands of godless pirates? Oo

The seething anger ebbed and flowed over him like the waves of Tueno's single ocean. Normally he could compartmentalize his feelings and look at things mechanically. He knew the Federation wouldn't bully its way into BetaGen's venture. Sure, they might restrict travel or provide a warning about the park, but they wouldn't take over. Still, it felt nice to have something to target with fault - someone other than himself.

That was the real issue. Bert blamed himself. It was his Reclassifier that had brought the vultures in. He should have insisted on greater security and more intense protocols to prevent all that had happened. He had boasted to the Starfleet security officer that it would take twenty different system malfunctions to create a true threat to Dinosauria. Well, either the universe had his number or someone had loaded dice.

A chime at the door went unheeded. Bert didn't want visitors. He took another burning sip and the door chime sounded again. Why didn't people take a hint?

Hankins: Come!

The door whooshed open and Bert shot out of his chair. Coorg stood in the doorframe, carefully studying his employee and sometimes friend.

Hankins: Coorg? What a pleasant surprise! Come in, can I get you anything?

Coorg: I'd take a Slug-O-Cola if you don't mind.

Bert ordered the Ferengi's drink from the replicator hurriedly and offered him the lone chair, but the short man waved the offer away. The scientist sank back in the chair slowly, wondering at the reason for his boss's visit. Fortunately, it didn't take long for the businessman to reveal his intent.

Coorg: Bertrand, what do you think of the future of Dinosauria?

Hankins: What future?

Coorg: ::stabbing the air:: Exactly. We're sunk. Without the Fed's endorsement, we're unlikely to turn a profit in the foreseeable future.

Hankins: ::with knitted brow:: So, are you pulling out? What about the animals, the staff, the amount of research alone that we've gathered -

Coorg: ::interrupting:: Pulling out? No, of course not!

The middle-aged man tilted his head to the side slightly, not sure if he followed the Ferengi's thought process.

Hankins: I'm not sure I understand.

Coorg set his glass bottle on the tabletop and began counting on the fingers of one hand as if he were a teacher trying to simplify a particularly difficult equation.

Coorg: Bertrand, you're not thinking like a businessman. That's always been your problem. We have a great opportunity here. Opportunity plus instinct equals profit. That's Rule of Acquisition number nine by the way.

Shaking his head slightly, Bert was still in the dark. He didn't subscribe to the same belief tenets as his boss and he wasn't sure what that had to do with their current circumstances. But Coorg plodded on anyway.

Coorg: We have the opportunity. And I possess the instinct. It will all work out.

Hankins: But the Reclassifier ...

Coorg: A tragic setback. But also an opportunity. I've already graciously offered the technology to the Daystrom Institute. They've gratefully accepted and agreed to work with us in continuing our research. Of course, they will cover a portion of our expenses on Trueno. The Romulan Republic has also expressed interest in a future partnership. With the technology available to the major political powers, the device and its plans become less valuable on the black market. It's still a setback - but less of one.

Hankins: ::staring at the blank wall:: Subsidize the research ... go public ...

Coorg: There you go! Spread the wealth, spread the cost.

Hankins: ::with eyes squinting slightly:: And what's in it for BetaGen?

Coorg: Well, of course, the genetic entities we've already created will continue to be the property of the company. And you'll have full access to all our resources to continue your work. Think of it, Bertrand! I'm sure the Federation Science Council is already recommending you for their Scientist of the Year award.

Bert sat back in his chair and let out a slow breath. That's all he'd ever wanted - to be recognized for his work. He stood on the shoulders of giants, though. It wouldn't just be his own recognition but that of Rich Galen and the Ancient Humanoids that started it all, too. Could he really pass up the opportunity to advance the sciences decades through his continued research?

He hesitated for a second. Coorg stood there watching him expectantly. But Bert's mind drifted to the faces of the Starfleet team that he'd spent the last day with. What would they think of all of this? He didn't have to wonder - he knew each one of them would be appalled. But why did he care what they thought? Morality and Science were two different things. Weren't they?

Draining his glass and setting it heavily on the desk, Bert stood up with his mind made up.

Hankins: Coorg ...


MSNPC Bertrand Hankins
Chief Scientist, BetaGen Inc.


NPC Coorg
CEO, BetaGen Inc.

as simmed by

Lt. Jona ch'Ranni
Chief of Operations
USS Gorkon (NCC-82293)

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