Xjaojgoajofierjtiohauyhis;jafkadjiotuehtrio;jakojfksjuitheiht;sjkajnjniutn;afjksadnfjni;efniouenonioeojojavkjadningtiojek ljnadjfier naoitjesljntionotja mnt oatjajkljiojfajklfmkadsmfknk hails from Sagsreed. Most known beings in the universe don’t have the proper vocal chords or tongue and jaw dexterity to pronounce his name, so we’ll use his nickname here, which is George.
George is a Sagrian, or Sag for short. He is a multitude of iridescent colors. He has four arms but only two eyes and two legs. Sagrian’s have two extendable and retractable antennae atop their heads. Each of the antennae holds an eye. The antennae can spin all the way around. Of course, George can only do this for a short period before he gets dizzy and vomits. George’s antennae also act as ears. No, he doesn’t see sounds, that might be kind of cool, though. He hears through the antennae, quite well, in fact. He has a prehensile tail and small brownish lumps all the way down his back and tail. The lumps look like they may have once been spikes for his less civilized ancestors, but evolution decided they were no longer necessary. The physical feature of which George is most proud is his thick luxurious mustache. It’s black and full. It has the power to hypnotize the weak-willed. It is the most interesting mustache in the universe. Its name is Herman. Herman is sentient but only talks to George in private. Maybe George is just crazy.
George could fly his first hoverwagon, which is the equivalent of a bicycle on Earth, before he could walk. No being in the known universe, without wings, ever seemed more destined to fly. From the time he was born, any time he was on the ground he would look up, preferably at the sky and/or the stars. Even if he were inside, he would stare at the ceiling. His parents worried that there was something wrong with him. As a child, while other children his age were playing sports or computer games, the closest thing to a game that interested George was a flight simulator.
George got his fliers’ license as soon as he was of age. He was ticketed often. It wasn’t just the flying he liked, it was also the speed. As a young Sag, he got a job as a cruise ship pilot. He loved that he got to fly and be in space for weeks at a time. He didn’t love that he could only fly at 25 zurxocs per snarp. He wanted to go fast and, as anyone who is limited to 25 zurxocs per snarp can tell you, that’s not very fast. Seriously, flying a spaceship in space at 25 zurxocs per snarp is like driving a Porsche in the fast lane on an empty freeway and driving the speed limit, which doesn’t even involve zurxocs or snarps. He didn’t have his job very long before the complaints about him flying too fast started to pile up.
After he lost his third job as a cruise ship pilot, no cruise company on Sagsreed would hire him. He was born millennia too late to be a terrestrial pilot. The advent of teleportation made terrestrial aircraft, and therefore people to pilot them, obsolete. Sagsreed is a civilized planet with no need for a military so becoming a fighter pilot was not an option. He coveted the prestigious job of cargo ship pilot, which would allow him to zip around the universe making deliveries and pickups, but that job was way too important to hand to a Sag who couldn’t even handle a simple cruise ship pilot job. Things were looking grim for George.
Jobless and dejected, Herman convinced George that they had to leave Sagsreed. A friend, named… never mind, told George about the planet Nasga. She told him it was a vacation world and they were always looking for cruise ship pilots. Demand was so high it was almost impossible to get fired. George was hesitant to leave his home world and cruise ship pilot was far from his dream job, but at least he could fly. He moved to Nasga where he became a cruise ship pilot, again.
The more mature George tried to take his job seriously this time. He did his best to keep his speed at or slightly below 35 zurxocs per snarp. He was more mature, not completely mature. While piloting various cruises, he took advantage of his opportunity to get to know some of Nasga’s distinguished citizens as well as important off-worlders who were vacationing on Nasga. He made some good impressions and promising connections, but it was a stroke of luck that made all the difference in George’s life, including ultimately saving it.
George was piloting a two-week luxury cruise around the Iisneent Solar System, home to Nasga and fourteen other planets, only two of which could support carbon-based life forms. It was a typical mundane cruise. Following his last cruise, The Intergalactic Planetary Cruise Company received complaints of speeds exceeding 50 zurxocs per snarp, though George really only barely touched 40, so George had to be extra careful to keep it under 30. George was lost in the banality of his life. He was combing Herman and drifting in and out of fantasies. He was growing bored again with being a cruise ship pilot. He thirsted for the excitement of the cargo ship pilot’s life, bouncing from planet to planet at high speeds, dodging space pirates and delivering much needed life-saving supplies to space stations at the far reaches of the universe just in time, receiving the appreciation of beautiful lady astronauts. He was lost in one of these reveries, one in which he was saving a space station full of female scientists from space pirates, when the ship’s computer sounded an alarm warning George of a U.F.O., an unidentified floating object.
George wasn’t as excited as one might think. This type of thing happened all the time. It was usually just an asteroid that had broken free from an asteroid belt and was now floating aimlessly, and harmlessly, through space. George was actually a little miffed that his fantasy was disturbed by something so dull. George ran a full scan of it. Protocol requires that he not just assume it to be another asteroid. George’s pulse jumped a little when he read the results of the scan. It was a pod of unknown origin and there were faint signs of life.
George veered off course, perhaps a little too roughly for the passengers’ tastes. The ship roared and shook like a lion with Parkinson’s disease. When he was within range of the pod, George slammed on the brakes, which sent any passenger still standing crashing to the floor. If passengers complained about 40 zurxocs per snarp, The Intergalactic Planetary Cruise Company would be receiving a record number of grievances about this maneuver, but George couldn’t worry about that. There was a life at stake and he was the only one who could save it. He steadied the pod with the ship’s tractor beam, locked onto the life force and teleported it to the ship. Once aboard the ship, the alien being was taken to sickbay immediately. George made an announcement apologizing to the passengers and crew and explained his actions. The lost, weary, barely alive space traveler survived and George was a hero.
Upon his arrival back on Nasga, at the end of the two-week cruise, George was somewhat of a semi-pseudo celebrity. To his elation, job offers came pouring in. The Intergalactic Planetary Cruise Company even looked past the few dislocated joints and broken hips incurred by some of the, especially elderly, passengers and offered George a promotion and a big raise.
He received a job offer from the Luxury Shuttling Company. There he would be shuttling rich clients, dignitaries, officials, famous beings, and that type from planet to planet. It would be a great opportunity to meet people and jet around from the galaxy, but he would still be restrained by rules, speed limits, and the whims of clients. It was an improvement, but still too close to being a cruise ship pilot.
George even got some illicit offers from smugglers and pirates. Those were the most tempting because there would be no speed limits and flying at high speed would usually be an asset. As a matter of fact, there would be no rules. His job would literally be to break the rules. He was tempted by these offers the most, but, as wild as he can be, George is not a criminal.
He got an offer from the Planetary Intergalactic Shipping & Cargo Trade Company. That was his dream job. He would be speeding from galaxy to galaxy, planet to planet, evading smugglers and pirates, bringing necessities to far off worlds, but another offer made him pause and consider other possibilities.
George received an offer from the Garnak Revolt And Spawn Luxury Hotel Conglomerate. No, it wasn’t a chauffeur job. They didn’t want him to pilot a supply ship. No, they did not want him to be a maid or even, the politically correct, room service technician. You’re not being serious. They wanted him to pilot the pod that they sponsored in the FastPod races. That would be yelpsnig! George could fly and go extremely fast. He could push 25 zurxocs per dlorfk. You can’t even image 25 zurxocs per dlorfk. It would be swift and serious. It would be exciting and dangerous. Given the inherent dangers, the pay would be colossal compared to his cruise pilot days and he would no longer be a semi-pseudo-celebrity. He would be a sincere semi-celebrity.
George took his time to deliberate between the job of his dreams and the job of which he hadn’t even dreamt. Something in him, probably the lingering immaturity, saw the opportunity to be a professional pod racer as the yelpsnigest thing ever. His biggest reservation was that he didn’t want to be a sell-out. He didn’t want the Garnak Revolt And Spawn Luxury Hotel Conglomerate’s logo, or that of co-sponsors Crispy Sugar Leaf Cakes, Flowerish Aromatic Butt Soap, and McFat ‘N’ Nasty Burgers, on his pod.
Ultimately, Herman, being the logical one and least likely to be insane, convinced George to work out a deal where he could do both. He would make his cargo runs and, when he came back, he would get a couple weeks layoff to pursue his FastPod career. Everyone was happy, except the people at Crispy Sugar Leaf Cakes. It turned out no amount of advertising could convince people to eat leaves, even leaves disguised as cakes. The Yamfennians, who are vegan, even refused to eat them. The only edible leaves on Nasga came from the nigk tree and kind of resemble dirty sweat socks filled with expired cream cheese, but, for some inexplicable reason, they’re also crunchy. That’s merely a fun fact and has nothing to do with the tale of George, whose tail is not something I would recommend eating, either. Sagsree flesh is poisonous to Earthlings.
Aside from a small case of homesickness, George was happier than he’d ever been. His hero semi-pseudo-celebrity status faded fairly quickly. His FastPod semi-celebrity status never really caught on. He wasn’t a real athlete like Gobsnort players, Skuuttleebot players, SquiSqwi runners, or accountants. He did, however, manage to win a few races. The biggest thing holding him back from real live solid semi-celebrity status was the fact that he crashed more often than he actually finished races. His record got so bad that the Flowerish Aromatic Butt Soap Company pulled their endorsement and removed their logo from his pod, which actually made George even happier. George didn’t care. He was having a great time. He got to fly quickly and recklessly and, if he actually finished, he usually won.
George was even enjoying his real job, which is something that can only happen on a fantasy alien world. He was visiting planets he had never heard of before. He got to fly as fast as he wanted. One good thing about space is that there’s a lot of space in which to fly freely. This provided George with scarce opportunities to crash, which is good because crashing in space is semi-certain death. If George died in space on a cargo run, he wouldn’t be in this story and have half a chance to achieve some sort of fictional semi-pseudo-celebrity status.
One time, he was even pursued by space pirates. He was a little disappointed that he evaded them so easily, but at least he was pursued by space pirates. That was something cool he could tell Theodore if he ever meets someone named Theodore. You know how Theodores are always bragging about the things they have and the things they’ve done and stealing your girlfriend. I bet Theodore was never pursued by space pirates and outmaneuvered them like a puppy with a bone dodging his litter-mates. Take that Theodore! The best part was that he was getting paid well to do something he loved. The bad part was that this lifestyle George was enjoying so much was destined to be short-lived.
George was out on a cargo run when it happened. He was on his way back from Mubatuhackfadah, carrying some of that cheap synthetic narktopuloid, which just smelled off. The real stuff is much better. As he rapidly approached Nasga, George had no idea of the chaos he would encounter. Oh, space pirate. Is that a space pirate? No. It’s an asteroid. A space pirate disguised as an asteroid? No. An evil space asteroid from space? No. Just a regular space asteroid from space? Oh. Oh well, pretty soon George wouldn’t have to imagine danger there was real danger awaiting him at home.
When George reached the spaceport, there was no one there to dock him. That was weird. In fact, it had never happened before. George didn’t know what to do. He couldn’t very well get out and do it himself. There was supposed to be someone in the control room to guide him in. Then, they take a hold of him with a tractor beam while the clamps lock onto the ship and pull him in to dock. This time he was just hovering there, confused. He tried to radio for help but got no response. He thought maybe the docking technician had gone to the little Nasgan’s room, but there would still be someone to cover. They had to know he was there. No one could miss a huge cargo ship entering the atmosphere and gliding down into the docking bay. Not even…
In the middle of his pondering, the clamps forcefully wrapped around his ship and jerked him into the dock. This was clearly not proper protocol and George was determined to complain to a supervisor. When he emerged from his ship, he was surrounded and whisked off to the uranium mines. He didn’t even get to talk to the supervisor. Now, he was really mad.
George left the beautiful paradise planet of Nasga. He returned to the conquered slave world of LambaBad. All the Nasgans were now Lambads. All the other people were now slaves. LambaBad was ruled by a XaXet conqueror named The Tyrannical Tyrannosaurus Gregory LambaDambaBottom. George literally returned to a different world.
It seemed like forever that George was working in the mines. His days as a cargo pilot and a near semi-celebrity FastPod racer seemed like they were eons ago. His days were now all spent in the dark, dank, smelly uranium mines. At night, he was marched to a cell where he was fed outdated stale Crispy Sugar Leaf Cakes. He would occasionally see someone who showed an aptitude for science pulled out never to return. He didn’t know if they were being used for their brains or just removed because The Tyrannical Tyrannosaurus Gregory LambaDambaBottom saw their intelligence as a threat. He saw some beings get sick and dragged away. He knew they wouldn’t be coming back. He knew they wouldn’t have any use for pilots. Pilots always posed the threat of escape. Things looked hopeless.
Just when things were looking hopeless, rumors started to spread. George didn’t always believe the rumors, but down in the mines, they had to cling to anything that could bring them the slightest spark of hope. It was being passed around that 3T.G.L.D.B. was building a fleet of spaceships. Maybe he was leaving. Maybe he would need a pilot. George would do almost anything to get out of these mines and fly again, even be a pilot for an evil conqueror and dictator. This rumor was followed by a rumor that pollution was compounding faster than Nasga could handle and the planet was dying. The only way off this planet was as a conqueror, a slave, or a pilot.
Another rumor George heard was about the Yortians, those sickly eyeball people he saw dragged up to the surface. Workers in the mines were saying that once they got to the surface they overpowered the guards and escaped. They were now in hiding and freeing slaves all over Nasga. They all wanted to believe it and dreamed of giant eyeballs rescuing them in the night. Yeah, it sounds absurd when you look at it that way, but if you were trapped working in uranium mines all day, you would dream of being saved by anything, even a giant eyeball.
Rumors swirled about a group of refugees who escaped and formed a resistance. They were said to be traveling through the wilderness freeing slaves and fighting back. They were growing in numbers and strength by the day. Any day now, rumor had it, they would drive 3T.G.L.D.B., and all his Nasgans turned Lambads, right off the planet.
George and Herman spent the nights they were sequestered in their tiny cell talking over the rumors. George wanted to believe there was a way out of this mess. Herman thought the rumors were too good to be true. Most things that seem too good to be true usually are.
George gave up on the rumors when he heard that the rebellion was started by the Yortians, the eyeball people. The rumors insisted this rebel force, lead by the eyeballs, was planning on stealing one of the ships that were built to be part of 3T.G.L.D.B.’s invasion fleet. They were sneaking all the people, weapons, and technology they could aboard this ship and they were going to escape. As much as he wanted to believe it, George knew holding onto all these fantasies would drive him crazy. Herman told him he was crazy. George told Herman mustaches weren’t supposed to talk. Herman said maybe George shouldn’t talk to him then. Herman conceded that he was just cranky because he was tired and dirty and hadn’t been combed in a long time. George wished he had a comb.
When little Susan found the house Santa got for her, she believed. I mean, when Hitch, the alien George saved from the floating pod, showed up at George’s cell with a device to override the security code in his hand, George believed. Herman did too, but he didn’t say anything because Hitch was there. Hitch told him about the plan to escape and said he wasn’t leaving without the Sag who saved his life. It would also help if George could pilot the ship as he piloted those race pods, well, the times he didn’t crash.
George was a happy Sag again. The next thing he knew, he was up in space in a brand new state-of-the-art, full-fledged mothership. The engines were like nothing he’d ever seen, much less flown. He was flying at speeds that made his 25 zurxocs per dlorfk look like 25 zurxocs per yarf. There was even a ship full of Lambads chasing them, trying to recapture them. George was zooming and dashing in and out of wormholes. He was evading shots from the pursuing ship’s blasters and dodging their torpedoes. He yelled out, as if the Lambads could hear him, “Zoom, zoom, snilg!” It was awesome! Then he crashed.
George was flying, maybe a little too fast, through the Kuiper Belt, a ring, composed of asteroids and icy bodies, that is encased in the Milky Way Galaxy, when he collided with something or a variety of things. The ship was strong enough to take the hits, but it slowed them down enough for the Lambads to catch up. George had been evading them for months and now a few celestial ice chunks allowed them to draw near.
George continued to evade blasts and torpedoes as he sped through the solar system, named the Solar System. When he was slowed by another asteroid belt, the Lambads fired on them taking out their booster engines. The Lambads had no desire to destroy the escaped slaves or the more valuable mothership. They belonged to 3T.G.L.D.B. They were his chattel and ship and he wanted them back. He would need slaves on the next planet he conquered. They grabbed the escapees with their tractor beam and started to tow them.
Captain Grek, the leader of the rebellion on LambaBad and captain of the ship, ordered the ship’s lasers and a torpedo fired directly into the Lambads’ tractor beam. As soon as it hit, George jerked their ship in an attempt to break free. In the ensuing chaos, both ships tumbled through space until they crash-landed on Earth. George is a good enough pilot that, even though he was crashing, he was able to aim his crash to the one planet in the Solar System that could support carbon-based life forms. It helped that that was the nearest planet and its gravitational pull sucked them down.
Everyone survived the crashes, except the ships. The crashes, preceded by the brief battle, assured the motherships would never fly again. Still, they were resilient ships that kept every passenger secure. Other than the damage to the ships, everyone and everything came out of the crashes in pretty good condition.
Following the crash, the refugees were secured by the native dominant species of the planet. They were savage beings called humans. They weren’t nearly as friendly as the first beings they encountered, and assumed to be the dominant species, deer. These humans kept them in quarantine for a long time before they were finally set free.
The Lambads, obscured by the attention the refugees received, escaped from human interference and disappeared into the mountains of Peru.
Upon their release, Captain Grek immediately started the Refugee Alien Defenders. He knew there were already Lambads on the planet and more could follow at any time. He was determined to be ready. Without a ship capable of intergalactic space travel, this planet was destined to be their new home. They were going to defend it.
While testing for placement in R.A.D., George was the best pilot. He was also the worst pilot. Just like in his pod racing days, sometimes he would outperform all the other pilots and sometimes he would crash. That inconsistency landed him, no pun intended, on the L Squad. George didn’t mind. The L Squad not only had the most personality, but it was led by his friend Hitch.