A To Z Challenge N: ¡No Más!

I am officially admitting defeat in the A To Z Challenge. I alluded to this possibility in a previous post when I first started. My life is in shambles right now. I have a lot going on. I had to go out of town for a couple weekends. One right at the beginning of the challenge and last weekend. I inherited a lot of furniture, which are all upgrades. Anything that wasn’t an upgrade got donated or trashed. So, the house is chaos.

I live with my best friend in her house. We moved in just as a family she knew needed a place to stay. We all moved in at once. Things got put in places for convenience and never moved. They were here for about four months. That was a few years ago.

One of the many things I got was a new desk. It wasn’t inherited, but that’s a different story. Someone’s moving and gave it to me at the same time. I piled it in the U-Haul on top of all the furniture I inherited. I thought it would be nice to have a desk that wasn’t primarily composed of particle board. Parts of my old desk disintegrated in the rain when we moved in. I wanted it in my bedroom where my other one was. I got it in there and tried to put it back together yesterday. It didn’t come close to fitting.

My bed room is becoming an office. My friend paints, so her painting studio is moving out of the living room into the newly minted office. My exercise room is becoming my bedroom, which it was initially supposed to be after everybody else moved out. I’m hoping there’s still room for my exercise equipment and space to use it. The dining room is going to become a dining room. Imagine that.

In the meantime, everything is out of place. My desk is sitting in there in pieces with my bed and a really heavy dresser that’s facing the wall and blocking the doorway. There are books all over the floor in two different rooms. The empty book cases don’t look right of fit anywhere I can think to put them. There are boxes full of stuff that keep getting moved from room to room to room and back and back and back. I’m stuck with a dresser I didn’t want because it’s in what’s becoming my room and there’s nowhere else for it to go. Everything that moves necessitates moving something else. It’s like moving but worse because things are already in the way.

I’m using the dining room table as a desk right now. I’m surrounded by chairs, a dresser, a coffee table, shelves of DVDs, leaves for the dining room table, books on the floor, two TVs, a random stool, a cabinet full of video games, and a box full of James Brown, Lou Seal, and ET among other random objects.

The garage is full of old furniture, new furniture, and stuff we’re trying to organize for a community garage sale at the beginning of next month. That’s on top of the garage’s normal chaos. The car can’t fit in there. I can’t get to my weight bench that lives in there. I’m probably way too physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted to use it anyway.

In addition to that chaos, I found a dying rabbit in the gutter in front of my house this morning. It survived some kind of animal attack to die in a gutter. I’m still waiting for animal control to get here. It’s been over an hour. I have a blood donation appointment, that I’ve already rescheduled, and a dentist appointment next week. We won’t even get into my personal life, which is literally so personal that it’s just me sitting alone in the dark with my computer.

The point of all that is I don’t have time to write. Writing is all I want to do other than form some semblance of a personal life. I’m going to try to still do my normal weekly challenges, but I don’t know. I did start an M story. I hope to finish that and get it up. This is my N, and I’m pretty sure N was yesterday. I’ve enjoyed the challenge and want to finish, but it’s not happening.

Thank you to everybody who read my stories. I’m sorry I didn’t make it out to read more of other people’s, but, you know, this. You can read the rest of my A To Z Challenge stories.

I hope this came out more coherent than my house.

The garbage truck is here. The rabbit is lying next to the garbage can. I hope they don’t smash it. I can’t look.

A To Z Challenge: Lambads

Keep up with all the amazing installments of the A To Z Challenge. Yes, that does sound kind of bossy. Sorry. It’s more of a suggestion than a command. Do it! If you want.

I wanted this to be a comprehensive understanding of the enemies of The L Squad. I don’t have time for that. It will be a minor miracle if this is complete and coherent.

I wrote this in about 15 on my phone with a headache, no sleep, and a lot to do today. It should be much better, but I don’t have time.


Nasga was a beautiful planet. It was warm, in climate and spirit, and inviting. Nasga welcomed people from all over the universe. Some came as tourists. Some came as immigrants. Some came as tourists but converted to immigrants.

That all changed when The Tyrannical Tyrannosaurus Gregory LambaDambaBottom invaded. He easily conquered the peaceful planet. He enslaved any who opposed him.

The Nasgans, the original natives of the planet, didn’t know how to deal with an extraterrestrial threat or any threat. They quickly acquiesced.

From then on, Nasga was called LambaBad, and the Nasgans were Lambads, agents of evil.

In case you’ve missed them, all my A To Z Challenge writings are gathered and streamlined for reading convenience.

Rushing right along, here’s K. I might not even have time for tomorrow’s. L may be late and lame or completely left out. I have to go out of town for a ridiculously rushed, busy weekend. Only time will tell if I have time. I already rushed through this one. The potential typos will haunt me.


The heart monitor flatlined. The patient stopped responding. It was over. There was nothing left to do.

Kip curled up on Kip’s cot trying not to wet the bed. Yortian tears are serious business.

I hate to strip down a species to a few attributes, but for comprehension purposes, I should explain that Yortians are eyeballs with arms and legs. That is a ridiculously simplified explanation. I know how bereft humans are of their knowledge of other people and cultures, especially Yortians.

Captain Grek knew something was amiss. Kip was the best shot in all of R.A.D. Kip was a quick learner and excelled at Kip’s medical training. For some reason, when the other Yortians were around, Kip’s accuracy suffered. Kip’s abilities as a medic seemed to disappear. Captain Grek didn’t know what to do about it. Kip was incredibly skilled but was heading for the squad reserved for the worst performers.

Another day of training had ended badly for Kip. Kip only hit 54% of Kip’s targets and let a medical training dummy die. Kip was the subject of subtle mockery from the other Yortians. The optic capabilities of the Yortians allowed them to mock Kip without any other refugee noticing. Kip was a light iris, which, based on an archaic superstition, was inferior to darker irises. Kip was a refugee among refugees, an outcast among outcasts.

The next morning, Kip was awakened by a tap on the door.

“Hey, Kip. I’m Hitch. You’re with me today.”


“Captain Grek broke us into squads. You’re on my squad.”

“Oh. I’m sorry.”

“There’s no time for that feeling sorry for yourself bullcheese.”

“What’s bullcheese?”

“You don’t want to know. Let’s go. I’ll meet you out there.”

“Are you sure you want me on your squad?”

“I don’t have a choice.”


“Captain Grek gave me the outcasts, the misfits. You’ll fit right in.”

“I don’t fit in anywhere.”

“You’ll fit in here. The rest of Rad already gave up on us. They don’t expect anything from us. You’re part of something special, now. We’ll show them. We’ll show them all.”

That day, Kip hit every target and saved three dying dummies. It was the first time Kip felt at home since Kip left Yort.

A To Z Challenge: Laura Juarez

Catch up on all my previous installments here.

For today’s installment of the A To Z Challenge, we’re going by Laura’s surname. This is a look into some of the anti-alien sentiment that still exists around the time of the refugee’s release from quarantine. This is a precursor to one of my favorite chapters in The L Squad. I got weird, which is fun. Here’s the world’s introduction to Laura Juarez.

Laura Juarez

A phone smashed into the wall as Laura Juarez entered her boss’s office. She jumped and winced and considered leaving. She didn’t just want to leave the room and the building but the job. She thought of quitting many times, but this was her dream job. She followed in her father and grandfather’s footsteps. Journalist was the only job for her. She would have preferred to be employed by a network other than FBS, but they’re the network that gave her a chance.

“Have you heard?” Mr. Laurasbossman asked. Yes, it is quite the coincidence that he’s Laura’s boss, and his name is Mr. Laurasbossman. I think it’s Icelandic.

“Heard?” Laura asked, trying to suppress a cough. The cigar smoke made the room look like a dirty cloud.

“The aliens. Have you heard?” Mr. Laurasbossman repeated, cryptically.

“What about the aliens?” asked Laura Juarez.

“They’re being released. They’re freeing them from quarantine,” said Mr. Laurasbossman.

“Do you want me to do a report?” asked Laura. “I could interview some of the aliens and welcome them to our planet.”

“I want you to do a report,” said Mr. Laurasbossman. “I want a report on the dangers of these aliens. I want them portrayed as vicious and blood-sucking. Tell the world about the diseases they carry.”

“If any of that were true, they wouldn’t be released from quarantine,” said Laura Juarez.

“I don’t care what’s true,” said Mr. Laurasbossman. “That’s our stance. That’s our story.”

“I became a journalist to report the news, not makeup stories,” said Laura. “What about the facts?”

“No one cares about the facts,” said Mr. Laurasbossman. “People want sensationalism. They want to be scared. More importantly, they need to know that these aliens are a threat to our planet’s safety.”

“I don’t believe that,” said Laura. “I think…”

“Enough!” yelled Mr. Laurasbossman, shaking free the ash from the end of his cigar. “That is the story we’re telling. Now, go tell it or go back to whatever local news channel you escaped from before coming here.”

Laura paused. She pondered the value of her integrity. She wondered if the job of her dreams, the career she worked all her life to get was worth selling out her values and her forebearers. Rage swelled up inside her at the thought. It wasn’t worth it. The time had finally come for Laura to tell this megalomaniac what she really thought of him. He could take this job and…


Laura left and got to work on her report.

A To Z Challenge: Inept, Incorrigible

Doing the A To Z Challenge reminds me of Sesame Street every day. I. I is for intelligent, ink, isosceles, interrupt, internet, infidel, incest… So far, I think I’ve been pretty good at providing stand-alone stories that also interlink and provide some insight into the characters of The L Squad while filling in the time between The L Squad Bios and the books. Some stories have suffered from being rushed. This is hard to maintain every day. That’s why it’s a challenge.

This is the first one I feel might not work as well as a stand-alone. I’ll provide a little background. Previously on A To Z Challenge… A group of various species of aliens has escaped a tyrant and crash-landed on Earth. Following a quarantine, they have finally began preparations to defend themselves and the planet from the tyrant they’re sure will follow them. Captain Grek, the head alien in charge, has formed the Refugee Alien Defenders broken into eight divisions with each division containing multiple squads. In today’s story, Captain Grek is being questioned about his weakest squad by the other division heads. That’s why you should read them all and try to keep up.

Inept, Incorrigible

“Are you really letting Hitch have his own squad?” asked Captain MkFlooffeepence.

“The R.A.D. is your creation, but Hitch seems inept and his squad incorrigible,” said Captain Meestuh Squawklebolce.

“Tomfoolery!” said Tomfoolery.

“Those are valid points,” said Captain Grek. “I see something in all of them that gives me hope.”

“You’re not the type to base anything on hope,” said Captain Schmargf. “What’s really going on?”

“Hitch is reckless,” said Captain Chugklet. “He’s going to cause problems if he sees action.”

“I believe I can have Hitch and his squad in shape before that happens. We’re dealing with refugees here, not soldiers,” said Captain Grek. “It’s up to us to turn them into soldiers.”

“How much time do we have to do that?” asked Captain Gronult.

“There’s no way to know, but they’re worth the time and effort,” said Captain Grek. “Even if the Lambads survived their crash with the capabilities to send messages back to LambaBad, it will take years for the messages to get there and for an invasion force to return.”

“And if they prove incapable?” asked Captain Doogleynobbz.

“I agree with Grek,” said Captain Kruwkedpinz. “They are each capable of extraordinary things. If they can come together and work as a squad, they could be among the best.”

“Exactly, George’s test flight times are off the charts,” said Captain Grek.

“When he finishes the course,” said Captain MkFlooffeepence.

“He’ll improve,” said Captain Grek. “Kip is one of the best shots we have as well as a quick study as a medic.”

“When the other Yortians aren’t around,” said Captain Schmargf.

“There’s something odd about Yortian dynamics,” said Captain Kruwkedpinz. “The others won’t be on the squad.”

“All right, but what’s going on with Abby?” asked Captain Doogleynobbz. “She always does the minimal training and seems to prefer to be alone.”

“Abby’s the most gifted scientist we have,” said Captain Grek. “You all want her in your division.”

“Yeah, in the science department, not in a squad,” said Captain Meestuh Squawklebolce.

“She’s the catalyst. She will make that squad live up to the potential of its members,” said Captain Grek. “Hitch needs her.”

“Is it worth risking one of our top scientists on missions?” asked Captain Chugklet.

“Her knowledge and abilities could be invaluable on a mission,” said Captain Grek. “Having her on a mission could mean the difference between success and failure. Her intelligence and quick thinking will save lives.”

“Given all their unique individual talents, wouldn’t they be assets on other squads where their abilities were brought out?” asked Captain Meestuh Squawklebolce.

“Yeah, put Hitch under Gremenski Fhart or Chuckinstuf where he’ll get some discipline,” said Captain Schmargf. “It could work for all of them.”

“Given their abilities, what they could do as a squad could be exemplary,” said Captain Grek. “Once they learn to work together, they’ll play off each other, which will bring out the best in all of them.”

“Tomfoolery?” said Tomfoolery.

“Yeah, what about Charlie?” asked Captain Gronult. “She just appeared one day.”

“Records show she was in the infirmary for an extended period following the crash,” said Captain Grek.

“How did she end up on that squad?” asked Captain Kruwkedpinz.

“I don’t know, but given how much training she missed, it seems like the right place for her,” said Captain Grek. “For whatever reason, Abby’s performance has vastly improved since she joined the squad.”

“I hope you’re right about them,” said Captain Meestuh Squawklebolce.

“I hope they’re worth the frustration,” said Captain Doogleynobbz.

“Me too.”

A To Z Challenge: Hitch

Today’s A To Z Challenge is H, I hope. I don’t even know what day it is. It could be Cucumbersday for all I know. Time is an illusion and Eereeeníans are immune to it. That’s my story, and you’re sticking to it. Today’s story is about Hitch. It includes some callbacks to previous A To Z Challenge stories, Abby and Charlie. This is fully functional as a stand-alone but reading the others will provide a more in-depth story.


“Gorgonzola,” Hitch swore, as he lay on his back looking up at the sky.

Cheese is highly regarded on Zechisten, as it should be on all planets. References to cheese, when used as such, are considered high profanity and thus popular among the youth. His time on Earth has given him a whole new list of cheese varieties to blaspheme.

After the day’s training session, Hitch received a visit from his best friend, Abby.

“What’s going on with you?” Abby asked, commencing a conversation that would sound a lot like something one might see on one of Earth’s sitcoms or afterschool specials.

“I should be one of the squad leaders,” said Hitch.

“I think Captain Grek agrees,” said Abby.

“Then, why does he push me so hard?” asked Hitch.

“He knows you can do better, and he needs you to be your best,” said Abby.

“Golly gee whiz! I thought if I won the big sports game match, Dad would love me,” said Timmy.

“Your father loves you just swell,” said Mrs. Dad.

“I heard rumors that Fhart is going to be a squad leader,” said Hitch.

“I think it’s pronounced ‘Fot,’” said Abby.

“Whatever,” said Hitch. “I’ll end up on a squad under Captain Fhart Gobbler. He hates me just because I made a fart joke one time… or seven… teen. It’s funny. I can’t help it. Why in the universe is his name Fhart? Wouldn’t you change your name to something yelpsnig like Hitch?”

“You just have to learn not to be so reckless and cavalier,” said Abby, “and focus better.”

“You’re right,” said Hitch. “I’ll show them. I’ll be the fastest and bravest. I won’t take any cheese from anybody.”

“That’s not what that means,” said Abby.

“Yeah,” said Hitch, with a dreamy look in his eyes. He ushered Abby out before she could elaborate on his deficiencies and ways to fix them, which was one of his deficiencies.

The next day, Captain Grek set-up an obstacle course. Hitch threw himself into it. He got out to a considerable lead over the others in his group but failed to plan and strategize. He took a wrong turn and ended up not finishing the course.

A week later, Hitch found himself grouped with George, who broke records with half his flight tests while crashing the other half of the time, Kip, who could only perform when the other Yortians weren’t around, and Abby, who didn’t seem to care about training at all. Hitch had his command, and this group of outcasts and underachievers was to be his squad. It crossed his mind that he may have just been put in charge of the janitorial staff.

One morning, Abby brought him into her room. There, Hitch was introduced to someone he had never seen before. The R.A.D. was full of a plethora of species of aliens, but he had never even seen one like this.

“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.”

“Hitch, this is my dog, Charlie,” said Abby.

“What in the universe is a dog?” asked Hitch.

“I am,” said Charlie. “I’m a dog. Well, sort of. You see, I used to be a dog. Now, I’m… Well, I’m still a dog…”

Abby looked up dogs on the human’s archaic, low-powered version of the Intergalactic Interweb. This only served to confuse Hitch more.

“What’s a pet?”

Further explanation got Hitch up to, “Are we pets? The humans kept us in quarantine for a long time.”

“No, we were more prisoners,” said Abby.

“What’s the difference?” asked Hitch.

“Pets are subservient but willingly so,” said Charlie.

“Subservient?” asked Hitch.

“One who obeys someone else,” said Abby.

“Are we Captain Grek’s pets?” asked Hitch.

“Does he lavish you with love and affection?” asked Charlie.

“No,” said Hitch.

“Then, you’re just his subservient,” said Charlie.

Abby and Charlie finally got Hitch to understand the completely alien concepts. He wasn’t out of questions, though.

“So, how is your dog standing upright and speaking English?”

“I invented an anthropomorphizing device,” said Abby.

“Now, you’re not speaking English,” said Hitch.

“It means I gave Charlie Yamfennian-like qualities,” said Abby. “My device made it so she can stand upright, speak English, and use her paws like hands.”

“What are you going to do with her?” asked Hitch. “How are you going to hide her?”

“We’re going to hide her in plain sight,” said Abby. “She’s going to be part of our squad.”

“Our squad is already the lowest ranked in R.A.D. This is only going to make it worse,” said Hitch. “Captain Grek can’t find out about this, Abbs.”

“I have a plan,” said Abby.


For more on Abby’s plan see Charlie’s A To Z Challenge

A To Z Challenge: Genesis: The Captain Grek Dialogues

The A To Z Challenge is testing my alphabet skills. Who knew I would use that after kindergarten?

Today’s letter is G, which comes after F and before Q. There may be some letters in between, but I’m pretty sure Q is imminent. I’m continuing with my L Squad theme. I’m still filling in the time between the The L Squad Bios and the Vignettes and my first novel, The L Squad. I’m imagining these combined with the bios and vignettes will come together like Voltron to form a prequel tentatively title R.A.D.: Refugee Alien Defenders (An L Squad Prequel). This one is about Captain Grek and the genesis of The Refugee Alien Defenders.

Genesis: The Captain Grek Dialogues

“We’ve done it,” Captain Grek said to the chosen few he gathered in his quarters. “We’re free. The humans have agreed to end our quarantine.”

A chorus of cheers arose in the room.

“Tomfoolery!” said Tomfoolery.

“No, Tomfoolery,” said Captain Grek. “We don’t need you to spread the word.”

“Tomfoolery?” asked Tomfoolery.

“Because most people don’t understand you,” said Captain Grek.

“Tomfoolery!” said Tomfoolery, angrily.

“There’s no need for that tone or language,” said Captain Grek. “This is a time for celebration.”

“Tomfoolery! Tomfoolery! Tomfoolery!” said Tomfoolery, as he stormed out of Grek’s quarters.

Captain Grek called PolleeAnnuh. He quickly explained the situation and had them find Tomfoolery and try to get him under control. He dismissed the rest of the room but retained his hand-selected confidants.

Captain Grek looked around his quarters at Schmargf, Meestuh Squawklebolce, Gronult, Doogleynobbz, MkFlooffeepence, Chugklet, and Kruwkedpinz.

“The defense of this planet has just fallen to us,” said Captain Grek. “You seven are my most trusted soldiers and advisers. As the rest of the refugees put their faith in me, I’m putting my faith in you. You all played integral roles in our escape from LambaBad and saving as many lives a possible.”

“We wouldn’t have gotten anywhere without you, Captain,” said Kruwkedpinz.

“I couldn’t have gotten anywhere without all of you,” said Captain Grek, “which is why I want each of you to head up one of our divisions.”

“That’s quite an honor, Captain, but why split us up?” asked Meestuh Squawklebolce.

“It’s part of the agreement with the humans,” said Captain Grek. “I told them we would separate ourselves into divisions to reduce response time for any potential disasters. In reality, they want us divided in case we turn on them.”

“Do they really think we’re going to turn on them?” asked Chugklet.

“They are a suspicious species,” said Captain Grek. “It’s the result of being a greedy, destructive people.”

“Can we be as effective in defending the planet when he comes if we’re divided?” asked Schmargf.

“I think we can,” said Captain Grek. “We can be more responsive. While we’re waiting for the attack we all know is coming, we can help deal with domestic threats. The more we help the humans, the more they’ll accept us.”

“All right, how are we doing this?” asked Doogleynobbz.

“Captain Schmargf is leading a division in Africa,” said Captain Grek.

“Captain Schmargf. I like that,” said Captain Schmargf.

“Captain Meestuh Squawklebolce will be in this part of Asia. Captain Gronult will be in this part of Asia. Captain Doogleynobbz will be in the southern part of Asia,” said Captain Grek.

“That’s a lot of focus on Asia,” said Captain Gronult.

“Asia’s a big place,” Captain Grek.

“Captain MkFlooffeepence you have Australia,” said Captain Grek.

“That’s a small place,” said Captain MkFlooffeepence.

“You can help with Asia, too, if necessary,” said Captain Grek. “Captain Chugklet, you’re in Europe, and Captain Kruwkedpinz, you’ll be down in South America. I’ll stay right here in North America.”

“What about me, Captain?” asked Uniqraw.

“Uniqraw? How do you always get into these meetings?” asked Captain Grek.

“I’m Uniqraw,” said Uniqraw.

“You’re staying here with me so that I can keep an eye on you,” said Captain Grek. “You will be the captain of underpants.”

“The war on laundry is never-ending,” said Captain Uniqraw, Captain Of Underpants.

“We have a lot of work to do. We have raw refugees to turn into soldiers. We have bases to build. We have divisions and squads to construct. We have an attack for which we must prepare and a planet to defend. Ladies and gentlemen, we are the Refugee Alien Defenders.”

A To Z Challenge: Fhart, Not Fhart

Not much has been written about Gremenski Fhart. He has a small role in The L Squad and a much larger role in The L Squad: Phase Two. He is Epatrusian from the planet Epatrus, which is where Norman Normalson is forced to relocate to in Norman Normalson & The Normals. There’s a street named after him on Epatrus. Today’s A To Z Challenge is F for Fhart, Not Fhart.

Fhart, Not Fhart

“It’s ‘Fot,’ not ‘Fart,’” said Gremenski Fhart, one of the few Epatrusian refugees.

Gremenski Fhart was on vacation on Nasga with some friends when the planet was conquered and its inhabitants enslaved.

“Do you believe that, George?” Hitch asked.

“I hope he knows how to say his own name,” said George.

“Maybe farts are different on Epatrus, and he changed it so it didn’t sound so smelly,” said Hitch.

“Farts are universally repulsive,” said Gremenski Fhart.

“Tomfoolery!” said Tomfoolery.

“Thank you, Tomfoolery,” said Gremenski Fhart. “Making fun of someone’s name does require a certain level of immaturity.”

“Immaturity?” said Hitch. “If it weren’t for me, we may have never made it off LambaBad.”

“How do you figure that?” asked Gremenski Fhart.

“I told Captain Grek we needed George to be our pilot,” said Hitch.

“That’s kind of an exaggeration of your heroism,” said Gremenski Fhart. “I think Captain Grek and even George had a lot more to do with our escape than you.”

“Even George?” questioned George. “I flew the ship.”

“You also crashed the ship,” said Gremenski Fhart.

“Nobody died,” said George.

“The point I’m making is that we all played a role in the escape,” said Gremenski Fhart.

“Tomfoolery!” said Tomfoolery.

“Yeah, Uniqraw was more annoying than helpful,” said Hitch. “He’s funny, though.”

“If it weren’t for Captain Grek, we’d all be dead by now,” said Gremenski Fhart. “He’s the real hero. That’s why he’s the one putting together this refugee defender league or whatever. What Captain Grek says goes.”

As if on queue, Captain Grek’s voice boomed through the refugee compound, which was the remains of the mothership they used to escape LambaBad and crashed on Earth. “Gremenski Fhart to Grek’s quarters, please.”

Hitch and George both got a laugh from Captain Grek’s pronunciation and its timing.

“There you have it. Fart it is,” said Hitch, with a laugh.

A few minutes later, Gremenski Fhart sat in Captain Grek’s makeshift office in his quarters.

“Thank you for coming, Gremenski,” said Captain Grek. “May I call you ‘Gremenski’?”

“Of course, sir, and of course,” said Gremenski Fhart. “We all owe you our lives. I am completely at your disposal.”

“That’s good to know,” said Captain Grek. “I need people with bravery and loyalty. As I’m sure you’re aware, I have zero confidence in our safety on this world.”

“I agree completely,” said Gremenski Fhart. “I don’t trust the humans, nor do I think The Tyrannical will abide our escape.”

“Exactly,” said Captain Grek. “To further complicate matters, we have no information on the Lambads who followed us here. The humans won’t accept their existence. We don’t know if they survived their crash or if they have contact with LambaBad.”

“Yes, sir,” said Gremenski Fhart.

“I believe it’s imperative that we form some way to defend ourselves and the planet,” said Captain Grek. “I’ve been trying to figure out the logistics of how we can do that.”

“It has to depend on when and how much freedom the humans give us,” said Gremenski Fhart.

“I’ve been working on a deal with them,” said Captain Grek. “I think our freedom is imminent and will be absolute. Humans have a history of segregating themselves. They’ll want the same from us. It will be a while before they accept us, but we will be free, and we will be allowed to arm ourselves and prepare for the dangers that will follow us here.”

“How can you be sure?” asked Gremenski Fhart.

“Public opinion is turning in our favor,” said Captain Grek. “This planet has a history of denying rights and fighting change, but change always wins. Change is our biggest bargaining chip. We have technology they can’t imagine or figure out. We can clean up this planet’s pollution problems in months for free. Most importantly, as much as they don’t want to believe there are threats out there heading our way, they can’t ignore it. We came here. We’ve proved there is life out there. They have to accept the probability of some of it being dangerous.”

“Will they trust us with weapons?” asked Gremenski Fhart.

“No,” said Captain Grek. “Trust will take years to earn, but they know we can’t defend anything without weapons, and our technology is vastly superior to theirs. They’ll monitor us, or they’ll try. We’ll give them what they want to see and what they need to see. Their numbers is what will make them feel secure with our weapons. We don’t have enough people to fill one of their cities. I’m purposing that we divide even smaller.”

“Divide ourselves? How?” asked Gremenski Fhart.

“We’re going to split into eight divisions,” said Captain Grek. “I’m spreading the divisions throughout the world. I’m sending one to each continent, with three in Asia, due to its size and none in Antarctica, due to its lack of population and horrendous arctic conditions. Within each division, we’ll have squads. Each division will have a captain, and each squad will have a captain.”

“Won’t that be confusing with so many captains?” asked Gremenski Fhart.

“Don’t bust my tail. I’m making this up as I go. My thought is I want everybody to be as equal as possible. Titles and commands are just for organization,” said Captain Grek. “By the time we’re released from quarantine, this group of battered refugees will be a finely tuned machine with units within units prepared to defend this planet from anything and everything.”

“That’s good to hear,” said Gremenski Fhart, “but why are you telling me all this?”

“I want you to be a captain,” said Captain Grek. “I want you to command one of the squads here in my division.”

“I’d be honored, sir,” said Gremenski Fhart.

“Excellent, Captain Gremenski Fhart,” said Captain Grek.

“It’s Fhart, not Fhart,” said Captain Gremenski Fhart.


A To Z Challenge: Excellent!

Today’s A To Z Challenge is a little one because I need it to be. I have a lot going on, which is making it hard for me to keep up, and I don’t have any characters whose names start with E. I have the planet or Epatrus and it’s people Epatrusians, from Norman Normalson & The Normals, but I didn’t feel like writing, or think anybody felt like reading, a history of a planet or the people who inhabit that planet. On top of all the stuff I talked about in this post, my roommate, who’s a dog breeder, and I are dog sitting for another dog breeder, but that’s a different post.


The refugee’s distress call was never been received or returned by the people of Earth. They still got the message when the enormous mothership they refugees commandeered to escape the planet LambaBad crash-landed in the Canadian wilderness.

The message didn’t reach its intended recipient. Instead, it floated around space. It pinged off satellites and traveled through wormholes. It was picked up by other ships and forwarded. It spread through the Intergalactic Interweb.

It took a while, but the distress call sent out by the refugees escaping the once lush, beautiful, vacation planet Nasga reached the usurped, polluted planet now called LambaBad.

A former Nasgan, who was now defeated and forced into a life of servitude as a Lambad, brought his tyrannical overlord the message. He displayed a map of the universe.

“Sir, we’ve found the escapees. They sent a distress call from here. They’ve survived and appear to be on this planet. It’s an uncivilized planet with barely beyond barbaric forms of technology. We’ve received follow-up messages from the ship you sent after them that they are stranded.”


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