Hornbuck

Octavio Briswald’s field notes

January 29, 2118

...and that, gentle reader, was when I had my stroke of genius!

I raised one trembling hand in the sky. “Thou craven toadlings!” I boomed. “Thou wretched, thou paltry, thou most pusillanimous of peoples!”

I pressed a button on my wrist digiband, activating my booster boots. As I rose slowly in the air, the villagers cowered and wailed. “I am your god!” I bellowed. “The Great God Bris! Look on my works, ye tiny, and despair!”

Cries of terror, writhing bodies, the gnashing of teeth; it was all most satisfactory. As they prostrated themselves on the ground, I winked at Fitzmurdle, who was still hiding in the rushes. We’d have the location of the hornbuck in no time.

Leonard Fitzmurdle’s personal log

January 29, 2118

It worked for a while, I’ll give him that. They did help us find a herd of hornbuck. I wondered a bit about the ethics of it all, but a happy few days sketching in the bush distracted me from my moral questions.

When I emerged, I discovered that their natural credulity had reasserted itself. Briswald was tied to a water pump in the center of town. Villagers were flinging rotten vegetables and other objects at him, chanting, “Overthrow the Overseer! Overthrow the Overseer!”

I didn’t have my laser pistol with me, so I set off a minor explosion at the forest’s edge. In the ensuing confusion I untied the captain, and together we ran for the ship. We made it through the hatch and shut the door in the nick of time; a single spear reverberated in the wall in front of us as proof of our close call.

It took Briswald over an hour in the bath to get all the egg and produce out of his hair, but he was in remarkably good spirits. “After all,” he said, “It isn’t every day that you can nudge a whole a civilization toward atheism!”

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Other mentions:  In In 2366, two Mintakans hunting a hornbuck made a startling discovery (TNG).