So, this sucks. I’m not going to lie. This was rushed and is really just a retelling of Charlie’s Profile. I’m really tired and have been distracted all day. My mind is mushy. I did a post earlier about why. Things have actually gotten more stressful since. I’m having a hard time focusing. I wanted to prepare these ahead of time to avoid this but only made it through the first two. I am a little embarrassed about posting this. It should be much better, but it has to be up today. I would normally do a few rewrites. I only gave this a quick read through. That’s the A To Z Challenge. I might not make it through this successfully. Last month would have been fine. The timing is not working in my favor.
Captain Grek, the head alien in charge of the refugees, didn’t have any rules against pets. The idea of a refugee alien having a pet never crossed his mind. He had a lot more urgent matters on hand, like escaping LambaBad, formerly Nasga, finding a safe planet to hide and regroup, escaping the ship of Lambads that pursued them across galaxies and through wormholes, the fate of the ship that crash-landed at the same time they did, the well-being of the aliens in his charge, getting the humans to release them from quarantine… The list goes on ad infinitum. When the refugees were finally released from quarantine, his list grew even longer. Abby decided it might be best to keep her pet a secret.
Following their release from quarantine, Abby spent most of her time researching pets. She decided that a fish would be the easiest to keep secret, but the least likely to be fun or provide companionship. The most fun would be a kangaroo, kangaroo rat, giraffe, koala, monkey, or dog. Rabbits looked too Yamfennian to be a pet. She decided a small dog would be the most fun, provide the best companionship, and be the easiest to conceal. Following her meticulous research of dog breeds, she decided on a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
Having a puppy turned out to be a lot more work than Abby’s research led her to believe. Charlie loved to tear asunder whatever she could find. She also expelled waste wherever she wanted, and it was an unpleasant waste. Abby worked with her continuously. She studied every training technique she could find. It would be a lot easier if they could communicate. Abby found that no one had ever learned to translate dog language into English. Abby had an epiphany. She would resume work on her anthropomorphizing device.
Her first experiments were on inanimate objects. She had early success with a towel. It just screamed a lot and talked about its horrible life drying butts. Abby took it out into the Canadian wilderness and released it into the wild where it would never have its face shoved into a butt again.
Her successful experiment encouraged Abby to try living creatures. She gathered up any other animal she could find and hold secretly. No animals were harmed through the duration of Abby’s experiments. She started, like any clichéd scientist, with a rat. Ratchet, Abby was not good at naming things, got very large for a rodent. That was it. She released it into the wild where it became the king of rats. It ruled over them with iron whiskers it had made. The anthropomorphizing device may have had some weird side-effects. She followed that up with a turtle, named Turt, that failed to grow or gain any apparent intelligence but loved pizza and an ant, named Anty, who would only communicate via Twitter. Various other mutations came along before Deertorious, which was, yes, a deer with some variation of a faux ancient Roman name.
Abby was walking Charlie in the woods around the crash site/refugee alien compound with her device. They were supposed to take their blasters anytime they were outside of the compound. Abby inadvertently grabber her device since it was the main thing on her mind at the time.
When a deer jumped out of the bushes and ran straight for them with his antlers looking particularly dangerous, Abby pulled out her device and blasted him. She grabbed Charlie and dove out of the way. The deer stumbled and rolled into more bushes. The deer stood up on his hind legs and gave Abby a peculiar look. It was almost as peculiar as the word ‘peculiar.’ If there’s any word that should mean what it means, it’s ‘peculiar.’ ‘Whimsy’ is another one.
“Hello,” said Abby, tentatively.
“Hey,” said Deertorious.
“What’s your name?” asked Abby, with growing excitement.
“I’m a deer. We don’t have names,” said Deertorious.
“How about Deertorious?” Abby asked.
“Sure,” said Deertorious.
Abby asked a series of questions before excitedly returning to her workshop. She wanted Deertorious to come back with her for further tests and inquiries, but he wanted to remain in the woods where he belonged. In the end, it was his decision. He was a lot bigger than her and had antlers.
When she returned to her workshop, or Ab’s Lab as it had become known, Abby couldn’t resist the excitement of a successful anthropomorphization. She looked at Charlie who looked back at her with her big, loving eyes. Abby held her breath, closed her eyes, rubbed her foot, and zapped Charlie. Abby heard a cough. She opened her eyes, but all she could see was a cloud of smoke.
A voice emanated from inside the cloud. “I’m glad I didn’t end up like those other blokes.”
“Charlie? Charlie, is that you?”
“That’s my name. Don’t wear it out,” said Charlie. “You know because your name’s Abby, and if you try to wear my name out there, it won’t go over well.”
Her first attempt at a pun wasn’t a winner, but it was a precursor to the pun machine she would become.
Abby and Charlie talked all night. Abby was elated to have someone to talk to. Charlie was happy that Abby could finally understand what she was saying. Most of it was requests for food.
In the morning, Abby brought her best friend, Hitch, into her room.
“Who is this?” asked Hitch.
“I’m Charlie. You must be Hitch,” said Charlie. “I’ve heard ever so much about you.”
Hitch looked at Charlie, confused. “I haven’t heard anything about you.”
Abby explained Charlie to Hitch.
“Captain Grek can’t find out about this, Abbs,” Hitch said.
“I have a plan,” said Abby.
Abby hacked into the computer system. It was easy for her. She was one of the lead designers and programmers of the system. Within minutes, Charlie was a Niibellian from the planet Niibell and assigned to Hitch’s squad. Hitch informed the rest of the squad.
The next day, when the squads were lined up for training exercises, Captain Grek stopped by Hitch’s squad.
“Something’s different,” said Captain Grek.
“We’re lined up correctly,” said Hitch.
“That is unusual, but it’s not what I meant,” said Captain Grek.
“We’re prettier than usual,” said Charlie.
“You,” said Captain Grek. “Who are you?”
“Charlie,” said Charlie. “Who in blazes are you?”
Abby tugged on Charlie’s tail and whispered, “Charlie, quiet.”
“I’m the Captain of the Refugee Alien Defenders,” said Captain Grek. “How are you here and don’t know that?”
“She’s cranky today, sir,” said Abby, shoving Charlie behind her.
“Who is she?” Captain Grek asked, again.
“She’s Charlie, from Niibell,” Abby said, nervously.
Captain Grek tapped on his wripter and brought up Charlie’s profile. It was all there. Abby added every necessary detail and some extra information to flesh out her back story.
“Hmm…” said Captain Grek. “Why does she seem so unfamiliar?”
“I don’t know, sir,” said Abby. “You’ve been very busy with making sure we’re all all right and forming the Refugee Alien Defenders and our training.”
“That’s true,” said Captain Grek, “but I made these squads. I am intimately familiar with everyone’s skills and weaknesses.”
“You have been known to forget a face or two,” said Hitch.
“Have I?” asked Captain Grek. “You might be right. Carry on.”
As soon as Captain Grek turned his back, Charlie saw a rabbit hopping through the grass. Charlie was in pursuit of the rabbit before Abby could say anything. Captain Grek turned around, glared at Abby and farted.