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On a tropical paradise planet, Mariner questions Commander Ransom on how he structures his away team. Boimler makes a bold career decision.



In a dimly lit room, Martok boasts about his glorious life as a Klingon warrior, and how his accolades have guaranteed him a place in Sto-vo-kor when he dies, as he has honored his house. He then asks the viewer if they will do the same.

Ensigns Beckett Mariner, Brad Boimler, D'Vana Tendi, and Sam Rutherford are actually in the midst of playing a game called Bat'leths & BiHnuchs, and as the game starts, the four give a battle-cry.

Act One[]

The ensigns play their game as Tendi notes how nice it is to be together without anything major going on. Mariner is a bit frustrated as she's not been able to get much downtime for herself, as Commander Jack Ransom has been watching her every move, since being assigned to her. At that moment, Ransom calls her on her combadge and tells her to report to the briefing for their upcoming mission, despite it not starting for another hour which he says she's almost late for being early. As Mariner leaves, Boimler notes how Ransom's supervision has been surprisingly beneficial for her, as she's been kept out of trouble lately. Tendi agrees, noting she's making the best she can of her situation, comparing her to Captain Vendome. Boimler laughs at the comparison, unable to believe that Vendome has received such a promotion, but both Tendi and Rutherford confirm that he transferred to the USS Inglewood months ago and received a field promotion that stuck after a temporal rift turned his previous captain into a baby. Shocked, and bummed to hear that Vendome just "lucked" into such a promotion when Boimler has been working hard to earn such a promotion, Tendi notes how Vendome always put himself out there for new opportunities, and this gained him recognition. Boimler is skeptical that approach would be for him as he doesn't like taking risks. Martok then addresses him in the game, saying his character has discovered a shortcut through the Caves of T'rachmor, and asks if he enters. Boimler declines, preferring to stick to the path, but upon rolling, his character is ambushed, and his character ends up begging for his life. Consequently, the character lives out the remainder of his life as a dentist.

The USS Cerritos comes upon the planet Dulaine. As the planet has a thermosphere of charged ions, making transport to the surface impossible, the people therefore rely on orbital lifts to get to space from the surface, and the Cerritos has arrived to repair one. Ransom takes Chief Engineer Andy Billups, Mariner, and Rutherford to the lift as he talks about their mission. The Cerritos takes aboard any stranded Dulainians aboard the lift, while the away team coordinates repairs from the surface. As the Dulainians are very social and hospitable, she's eager to go to the surface, since she believes she and Ransom will be coordinating from the surface. To the others' surprise, however, Ransom orders for Billups and Rutherford to head to the surface to coordinate repairs instead, while he and Mariner remain to carry them out. Mariner objects to this, as both Billups and Rutherford, being engineers, are the most qualified, and suited to the task. Ransom replies that they are more than capable of fixing the lift and tells her not to question his orders. Surprised at this turn of events but eager to go to the surface, Billups and Rutherford take a shuttlecraft down, leaving Ransom and Mariner to begin their work.

On the Cerritos, Boimler indeed confirms that Vendome has made captain, and even has an entire bridge crew comprised of Bolians. He feels downtrodden that no matter how hard he tries, he feels like he will be an ensign for the rest of his life. Tendi once more advises him in being more assertive, noting her own experience with recently beginning training for senior science officer, and tells him to try new things. At that moment, a crew member, Sherwyns, walks by and tells Boimler that there's an open position in their upcoming springball tournament, and invites him to join. Boimler at first declines, but when Tendi reminds him of Vendome, he immediately decides to try it out.

Boimler performs rather poorly in the tournament, but after getting tackled by Shaxs, Shaxs immediately takes note of his sustained scream, and invites him to partake in his Bajoran dirge choir, as he's in need of a soprano. Boimler accepts the invitation to participate.

As the choir performs, Boimler's performance impresses Shaxs to tears, and he tells Boimler that he'd be more than willing to give him a favor should he ever need it. At that moment, Lars Lundy takes Boimler by surprise, and notes that Boimler's thin build would be perfect for his figure painting session, asking Boimler to model for the class. Boimler once again accepts.

Back on the orbital lift, Mariner is struggling with repairs, while Ransom works out. Billups hails them and tells them of the wonderful treatment both he and Rutherford are receiving, noting they're going to be partaking in a dance, a feast, and a drinking competition. Ransom tells them that they'll join them once repairs are complete, and Billups asks if Ransom remembered to decouple the flow inverters before reconnecting the conduit piping. Ransom is unsure but says he did as they end the transmission. Mariner asks if he really did, and Ransom repeats that he did and tells her to focus on her own work. Mariner once more says that Billups and Rutherford are better for their job, and as Ransom objects, a pipe bursts overhead.

In the Cerritos lounge, which is crowded with Dulainians and a number of other aliens who were stranded on the orbital lift and are being hosted until the repairs are complete, Boimler approaches Tendi and tells her that he's indeed been trying new things, and it has worked out great for him so far. Boimler says that going forward, he will say yes to everything, intending to be a different person. As he says this, an alien named K'ranch, who had been working the room, approaches the two, and explains that he was supposed to be back on the planet by now, but that the lift is still broken. As his species has an undeniable natural urge to hunt, the delay has been strenuous on him and asks if either would be willing to be hunted by him. Tendi declines the offer, but Boimler, true to his word, accepts the challenge to be hunted. Tendi pulls him aside and tells him he doesn't need to do such a brash activity, but Boimler is unmoved, and accepts K'ranch's offer. K'ranch roars and then removes a tooth to draw a line of blood on Boimler's forehead marking him as his prey, declaring that the hunt will begin in one hour. As K'ranch leaves, Boimler says that it won't be as bad as it sounds, but Tendi urges him to run as he only has an hour to prepare.

Act Two[]

On the orbital lift, Ransom is watching an instructional video on how to conduct the repairs, unable to comprehend the instructions being given to him, as Billups hails him. Billups alerts him to a problem that has happened on the surface. As they entered the Dulainian's sacred hall without exposed navels, the Dulainians take offense to their attire, and Billups asks for assistance. Mariner is eager to help, but Ransom declines Billups' request, telling them to show their belly buttons and that they respect all cultures. Billups and Rutherford are unsure but agree to try. Mariner once more urges Ransom to go to the surface to smooth things out, noting that his desire to annoy her should not come at the expense of endangering fellow crewmembers. Ransom only responds that she needs to put more trust in her senior officers' abilities.

K'ranch hunts Boimler

The hunt begins

Boimler visits K'ranch on the Cerritos and asks if the hunt is more metaphorical. K'ranch tells him of two of the three kinds of prey, identifying Boimler as the first type: one that is immobilized by fear. The second type tries to scurry away and hide only to delay the inevitable. Boimler asks what the third kind is, only to be told it's a winged lizard-type creature that doesn't apply to him. Boimler then asks when the hunt begins, only for K'ranch to respond that it already has. At that moment, K'ranch lunges at Boimler and chases him through the halls of the Cerritos as Boimler runs and screams in terror. Chased into Cetacean Ops, where Kimolu and Matt scold him for jumping into the water with dirty shoes. Boimler screams that someone is trying to kill him before diving down to a Jefferies tube to escape K'ranch, as Kimolu remarks about how Boimler is a "drama magnet."

Boimler exits the tube into a hall and comes upon Captain Carol Freeman. He gets her attention and tells her that he's being hunted. Alarmed by this, she calls a security team to the deck, much to Boimler's relief. Boimler tells her about his encounter with K'ranch at the bar, but upon learning that K'ranch is hunting him, Freeman calls off the security team, noting that she and K'ranch had a lovely brunch together, and that she's happy he found someone willing to partake in his Venarix hunt. Boimler pleads with Freeman to have her call off the hunt, but Freeman tells him that they have to respect his culture and reminds Boimler that he did in fact agree to it. K'ranch then finds them, and Boimler runs off again as K'ranch briefly stops to thank Freeman for the mimosas they shared together, to which Freeman says it was her pleasure and wishes K'ranch a happy hunting.

On the orbital lift, Rutherford contacts Ransom, asking for his help as driver the Dulainians noticed Billups' outward navel, they intend to sacrifice him to a sentient volcano named Morgo. Ransom tells him to demand a parley, and to tell them that they cannot sacrifice Billups. Rutherford expresses concern that their leader is either a telepathic baby or ancient god. Ransom expresses confidence in his ability, as he continues to fumble with the repairs. Mariner, losing patience, decides to take matters into her own hands, and rushes away. Grabbing an EV suit, she puts it on, and opens a nearby door, exposing her to the planet's atmosphere. She then skydives off the platform.

Act Three[]

As Mariner plummets to the planet's surface, Ransom hails her. She answers, trying to keep her cool. Ransom finally admits that Mariner was right, and that he was trying to prove she would disobey his orders if she felt she knew better and commends her for staying on task. As Billups and Rutherford are in over their heads, he decides that it's time to go save them, and tells Mariner that he'll meet with her shortly. A frustrated Mariner pulls her parachute, and rushes to start climbing back up the lift.

Back on the Cerritos, K'ranch is still hunting Boimler, who slips into the hangar and hides. He bumps into a crate, and the tablet of their game from earlier lights up, revealing a bold Martok. While he tries to silence it, Martok tells him to fight until his last breath. Boimler frustratingly laments how while he tried to be bold, all he ended up being was prey. Martok only responds that the only way he can lose is if he lets his foe define who he is. Reinvigorated, Boimler gets some gear, paints his face, and grabs a phaser rifle, getting the courage to face K'ranch.

K'ranch takes a selfie with Boimler

"Maybe just one more. For the boys back home."

He exits the hangar and calls on K'ranch, telling him he will no longer run, as he intends to hunt him, but as he continues to speak, K'ranch throws a spear at his shoulder, pinning Boimler to the floor. K'ranch notes how the prey always tries to become the hunter and pulls out what appears to be a ceremonial weapon. Boimler pleas for his life as K'ranch leans down, and the "weapon" actually turns out to be a selfie stick, with which K'ranch takes a selfie with Boimler. K'ranch declares the hunt over, and Boimler is a bit confused that K'ranch isn't going to kill him. K'ranch explains that his race, the Kromsapiods practice catch-and-release, as they have high respect for all life during their hunts. Boimler breathes a sigh of relief and K'ranch commends him, calling him excellent prey, and promises to pass his praise to Freeman later. Boimler thanks him before passing out, and K'ranch takes one last photo before taking him to sickbay.

Mariner is rushing to get back to the orbital lift, and just makes it back as Ransom enters the room after having gone to the bathroom. Ransom tells her that since they don't have a shuttlecraft and the lift won't descend, they're going to have to get to the surface by skydiving. Mariner, who is still winded from her rush to get back up, asks for a break, but Ransom has her suit up.

They skydive down to the planet, just as the Dulainians are about to lower Billups and Rutherford into the lava of Morgo, under the guidance of their leader, Mendrick, a psychic baby, and 355, a sentient computer. Mariner expresses how complicated their system is, only further angering the locals, but before Billups and Rutherford are sacrificed, Ransom demands parley, and rips his shirt off, astounding the locals with his muscular physique. Flabbergasted at how handsome and fit he is, they agree to hear him out.

Later, after Mariner and Ransom arrive back on the Cerritos, Mariner visits Ransom, who apologizes to her for assuming she would just try and find ways to undermine him, and that he was wrong to push the issue. Mariner thanks him, noting she really does want to stay on the Cerritos. Ransom tells her she's not out of the woods just yet, and that one day's good work won't erase her prior insubordination. Before she leaves, Mariner tells him how impressive he was in negotiating with the Dulainians, but he dismisses her, telling her that complimenting him will not make her life any easier, but after she leaves, he flexes and agrees that he was pretty impressive.

Mariner joins Rutherford and Tendi for their game of Bat'leths & BiHnuchs, noting how much of a dick Ransom is, and they resume playing their game. Boimler joins them, healed from the hunt, and notes that while his shoulder will likely always feel a little off, he feels fine. Tendi apologizes to him, feeling responsible for pushing him to go against his usual planning, but he hugs her and tells her that he never got nearly as much recognition beforehand, planning to be bolder moving forward. Tendi asks to consider moderation, but Boimler says that was his old self. He rolls the dice in their game, saying his character boldly enters a bar and demands bloodwine. Martok tells him that the bartender merely rips his arm off and kills his character with it, resulting in a dishonorable death, since it was technically by his own hand. Boimler says this doesn't bother him and is still going to be bold. Martok then advertises the game's expansion pack and subscription pass as the Cerritos warps away.

Memorable quotes[]

"Ah, the blood of my enemies is forever immortalized on my d'k tahg. I can still taste their final panicked screams! Ha ha ha! My death will be ecstasy. A glorious end that will take me straight to Sto'Vo'Kor! I have honored my house, but will you?"

- Martok, beginning message for Bat'leths & BiHnuchs

"I can't believe Martok recorded all this! You'd think he'd be too busy being a chancellor and stuff."
"No, no, he didn't. It's a Ferengi knockoff. They do it for all the famous Klingons. I've been trying to get the Gowron expansion for months."

- Rutherford and Boimler

"Vendome got a field promotion, and it stuck."
"What?! But, but he's a goofball! Vendome's the guy who gets hit with a spear on away missions!"

- Tendi and Boimler

"Starfleet isn't all about being fed fruit by erotic aliens with slightly different nose ridges. Sometimes, you gotta get your hands dirty."

- Ransom

"I was just wondering, when you say you're gonna hunt me, you mean like metaphorically, right?"
"There are only three types of prey. You are the first type, immobilized by your fear. The second type scurries away to hide, delaying the inevitable."
"Uh, what's the third kind?"
"The third is a winged lizard-type creature, that doesn't really apply to you."

- Boimler and K'ranch

"Don't jump in here with dirty shoes! That's messed up!"

- Matt

"Someone's trying to kill me!"
"Wow, that guy is such a drama magnet."

- Boimler and Kimolu

"Thanks again for the mimosas."
"My pleasure. Happy hunting!"

- K'ranch and Freeman

"The only way you can lose now is by letting your foe define who you are! Never back down! Never cower!"

- Martok

"The hunted always tries to become the hunter. Tale, old as time."

- K'ranch

"You were excellent prey, but I do have notes."
"Can you maybe give them to me in sickbay?"
"When you decide to switch up and become the hunter, you can't just announce it and stand there. Stick and move, you know?"
"Uh-huh, yeah, I'll keep that in mind."

- K'ranch and Boimler

"Wow, psychic baby, evil computer, and a volcano? You guys ever heard of overkill?"
"It provides a system of checks and balances!"

- Mariner and Morgo

"For what it's worth, sir. It was an honor serving with you."
"Oh, Samanthan. The honor is mine."

- Rutherford and Billups

"Wow. Your lava tubes are perfect."

- Morgo, regarding Random's ripped figure

"I confidently enter the bar and demand bloodwine."
"The bartender rips your arm off and kills you with it. It is not an honorable death, since technically, you died by your own hand."

- Boimler and Martok

Background information[]



Bat'leths & BiHnuchs graphic

Bat'leths & BiHnuchs graphic

Links and references[]


Special guest star[]

Guest cast[]

Characters with unidentified voice actors

Background characters[]

USS Cerritos
USS Inglewood


a la carte; access panel; afternoon; ambush; Andorian; arrow; away mission; baby; Bajoran; bar; bartender; bat'leth; Bat'leths & BiHnuchs; battle cry; "beg for your life"; beluga whale; biHnuch; black market tax; blood; bloodwine; Bolian; boomerang; bowl; boy; breakfast; bridge crew; brig; brunch; butt; California-class; candle; captain; catch and release; cave (Caves of T'rachmor); Cerritos, USS; Chancellor of the Klingon Empire; Chapman; checks and balances; chest punch; chief petty officer; choir (dirge choir); Choir Room 3; climbing wall; co-leader; combadge; comfort zone; commander; commanding officer; conduit piping; court martial; culture; d'k tahg; dampener; dance; darkness; death; Death Valley; delay; dentist; diaphragm; dick; "Dinner with Lady Lindor"; dirge (Bajoran dirge); divisions; doctor; drinking competition; Dulaine; Dulainian; elevator; enemies; engineer; ensign; exercise; expansion pack; feast; Federation standard measurements; Ferengi; field promotion; figure drawing class; flow inverter; flying turtle-like creature; fruit; goofball; governance; Gowron (Klingon); Gowron (program); guacamole; Gullible, USS; Haliian; handshake; health; hour; House K'toh-maag; House of Martok; hunt (Venarix hunt); hunter; hunting; Inglewood, USS; insubordination; ions; kilos; king; kiss; Klingon; Klingon Defense Force uniform; Klingon Empire; Klingonese; knockoff; Kromsapiod; lava; lava tubes; leader; lieutenant; lieutenant commander; life drawing; lifting; "little commanders' room"; lord; magnetic seal; Martok; mek'leth; Merp's species; method; mimosas; mission; mission briefing; mister; muscleheads; navel (aka b-button, belly button, outie); navigation computer; nerve damage; nose ridge; "number one"; oil; orbital lift (aka space elevator); Orion; PADD; parley; people; personal log; petaQ; pipe; plan; planet; pressure conduit; prey (aka hunted); Prime Directive; Prophets; psychic; racket; religion; repair bay; sacred hall; selfie stick-like device; senior science officer training; sentient computer (evil computer); Sequoia; shoulder; sinner; sir; skeletal; skydive; society; soprano; spear (gin'tak spear); spine; springball; stamina; Starfleet; Starfleet uniform; Stellar Navigation; step stool; Sto-vo-kor; sweat; T'Ana; temporal rift; thermosphere; thing; toduj; tongue; tortilla chip; tournament; transporter; type 3 phaser; Type 6A shuttlecraft; Volcanic Lord; volcano (sentient volcano); Vulcan; warrior; weight; wellness; "What the hell"; wind; winged lizard-type creature; word; wrestling

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