L Squad Profile: George

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.

L Squad Profile: Kip

Kip is an eyeball. Kip hails from a planet of giant Cyclopes who, as they die, shed their eyes. I guess it’s more accurate to say, the eyeballs shed the carcass of the deceased Cyclopes. The eyes, in turn, are sentient beings known as Ops or the plural Opes. “Die” isn’t the right word. It’s more like a snake shedding its skin or a caterpillar emerging from a cocoon as a butterfly. It’s beautiful.

Yortians mature from a mostly physical existence, as a Cyclops to a predominately cerebral one, as an Ops. They crawl out of the eye socket like a bird would emerge from an egg, except they retain the full consciousness of the Cyclops from which it descends. The Cyclopes reproduce by producing a clutch of eggs. As the Cyclops dies, the remaining “cocoon” acts as a nest for the eggs that remain inside. When the new baby Cyclopes hatch, they eat the cocoon, which lasts until they are big and strong enough to fend for themselves. The Opes are asexual and cannot reproduce once in that state. This is getting weird. Is this too disturbing for a children’s story? It’s backstory, who cares?

Kip, as an Ops, has arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet, toes, and a mouth. Kip doesn’t eat but is instead solar-powered. The eyelid remains attached and the eyelashes act as Kip’s hair when open. The eyelid is very tough, which allows Kip to close… Kip and roll like a ball or be swung like an old-fashioned ball-and-chain flail. This is called the Patented Yortian Ball, patent pending. When balled, Kip’s arms and legs retract into the protective shell.

Kip, short for Kipp, is from the planet Yort, short for Yortt. Kip was constantly teased for being a purple eye. On Yort, the lighter shade an eye is the weaker it is considered to be. Even though science has proven that assertion to be false, there are still those who cling to the old superstitions.

On Yort, the Cyclopes do the hard labor and construction, while the emancipated Opes handle the science, engineering, doctoring, teaching, sewing, and such. The Cyclopes are also the lawyers. When the Yamfennians initiated contact and opened the universe to the Yortians via their wormhole warps, the Yortians wanted to send out the Cyclopes to explore for safety reasons, but logistically it made much more sense to send out the Opes, who are, obviously, far smaller and carry a significantly lower weight.

As the Yortians exploration of the universe expanded, Kip was part of a research mission to Nasga. Kip was the first Ops with a purple iris to be included in any such mission. The superstition of the inferiority of the purple Ops couldn’t hold up against Kip’s test scores. Kip was already excluded from multiple such missions, but Kip’s tenacity and abilities were not to be ignored.

Kip was a hero for lighter-colored Opes throughout Yort. Kip’s status as a hero didn’t reach the other members of the expedition. Kip was immediately the outcast of the small crew. Kip was called pejorative names and made to do the most menial tasks. Kip endured. Being a member of the space program and an astronaut, courageously venturing where no Yortian has previously ventured, was so important to Kip that Kip took the teasing and happily did the tedious tasks assigned to Kip.

Kip wasn’t the only Yortian on whom the journey was rough. The Yortian envoy had the misfortune to be on the planet Nasga when The Tyrannical Tyrannosaurus Gregory LambaDambaBottom attacked. Upon learning of the invasion, the Yortians tried to flee but were too late. They were caught off guard by the swiftness with which 3T.G.L.D.B. seized the planet. Yortians were still relatively new to intergalactic space travel and were naïve to the ways of the universe. They had never even heard of a planet being usurped. Being visitors, they weren’t kept informed of what was happening and, since everyone who lived on Nasga was so involved, no one thought to warn the Yortians. Their ship was confiscated and they were trapped.

Likewise, 3T.G.L.D.B. knew nothing of Yortians, but he disliked and distrusted them immediately. He felt like they were always watching him. Not knowing they needed the sun to not only function but survive, 3T.G.L.D.B. banished all Yortians to his newly constructed uranium mines. Within days, they became sickly and started dying.

3T.G.L.D.B. decided Yortians were worthless and ordered them all executed. Once they were brought back to the surface for execution, the suns splashed over them. The dual suns, known as a binary star, present in the Iisneent System offered the Yortians a much larger dose of solar rays than the single sun of Yort. The effect of which made the Yortians stronger than they had ever been, almost like superheroes or ants.

Given their pitiful weakened state in the mines, security was minimal for the six remaining Yortians. They easily overpowered their captors and fled into the wilderness. 3T.G.L.D.B. was infuriated that his orders were not carried out and that his cronies were ineffective and so easily subdued, but he didn’t care enough about the Yortians to send anyone after them. He simply executed the executioners instead.

As easy as it was for them to escape, the six Yortians, even energized by Nasga’s binary star, couldn’t liberate an entire planet. They stayed in hiding and tried to come up with a plan. It goes without saying that a plan in which six eyeballs fight off an oppressive dictator and his army to liberate a planet didn’t come quickly.

Kip came up with a few plans. Kip was largely ignored. There were a few sneering remarks made about plans coming from a purple Ops. They weren’t bad plans. In the view of the other Yortians, they just came from the wrong Yortian.

Their first attempt was a haphazard assault on a group of Lambads escorting slaves to the uranium mines. Assuming the shape of the Patented Yortian Ball, the six Yortians rolled down a hill targeting the Lambad guards. They appeared to be a rock slide. The Lambads even later reported the event as a slave rebellion initiated by a rock slide.

The Yortians didn’t really have a plan beyond rolling down the hill. Kip suggested knocking over the guards and taking their guns. Since it was Kip’s suggestion, the others refused to appropriate any guns. It was just a stroke of good fortune that a Wemeselsimian named Grek was among the captives being transported. Wemeselsimians are large agile beings well suited to aid in a slave revolt. Grek had the additional attribute of being a master of strategy. Following the Yortians’ initial disruption, Grek took it the rest of the way.

In no time, Grek was the leader of the rebellion the Yortians started. They were ecstatic to have someone to guide their efforts. The number of freed slaves grew rapidly from there. These six eyeballs officially started a revolution.

The growing group of rebels stayed in hiding for years. They would free those they could and their small rebel forced grew into a large rebel force, but it was still far too small of a force to reclaim the planet. They only had a few weapons they could procure from the Lambad guards they accosted. As time passed, the pollution from The Tyrannical’s mining accumulated in the atmosphere. As the pollution built up, less sun power could penetrate the atmosphere and the Yortians got weaker.

The Yortians started getting sickly and dying again. They had to get off this planet if any of them were to survive. They were already down to three: Kip, Falc, and Nium. The need for actual change was obvious. They needed real weapons to affect real change. Along with their band of rebels, they made their way to 3T.G.L.D.B.’s warehouses. There were rumors that 3T.G.L.D.B. ordered new weapons and a fleet to be designed and built, all of which was to be stored there. The rebels planned to raid a warehouse and take as many weapons as they could.

They made it to the warehouses and were elated to find the rumors were true. The rebels were greedily grabbing all the weapons they could when they were approached by a young Yamfennian scientist named Abby. Grek and Abby formulated a new plan.

The new plan was to commandeer one of the ships and load it with as many people and as much technology as they could. The Tyrannical was already planning to abandon the planet he renamed LambaBad. The resources were diminishing and the aforementioned pollution from his mining boom and usage of archaic power sources was making the planet dreary and unhealthy for everyone, not just the Yortians.

The fleet was being created to evacuate LambaBad and search for more worlds to dominate, which meant they were already being fully stocked with supplies, weapons, and technology. 3T.G.L.D.B. invaded the planet literally by himself. Now, the Nasgans who had submitted to his domination had become his Lambad army. He also wanted to bring those who tried to resist as slaves. He theorized that one can never have too many slaves. He needed a full fleet to carry his new attack force. Most worlds wouldn’t be as easy to conquer as Nasga.

Abby was heavily involved in the fleet project and had a full range of access to the warehouses. She helped the group hide and enlisted the other scientists in the plan. They were all enslaved by 3T.G.L.D.B. and forced into their positions, so they were all eager to participate. Now, they just had to figure out how to get a ship, sneak people aboard, and take one of the massive motherships without anyone noticing.

No one would notice if the scientists loaded some extra stuff onto one of the ships. The hard part was to sneak people aboard. They had to be extremely careful with this part. If anyone noticed them sneaking refugees aboard a ship, they would all end up back in the uranium mines.

The plan was time sensitive. The planet was dying and the Lambads were planning their exodus in three plaros. When they liberated everyone they could without raising suspicion, the escapees launched into space. Grek was named the captain of the ship and, though they were followed by another mothership, they managed to escape through the Yamfennians’ wormhole system superhighway long enough to make it to Earth.

A plaro is a three-day span. The binary star provides a lot more light than a single sun and the rotation of Nasga is slower than that of a typical M Class planet, so days are measured differently. Three plaros is roughly two and a half Earth weeks.

Earth wasn’t their destination. They were fleeing an oppressive dictator, a dying planet, and ship a full of Lambad minions. The refugees were simply trying to escape. Their ship took damage and was nearly apprehended around Earth, so that’s where they crash-landed. I mean, seriously, who would intentionally go to Earth?

The sun of Earth was more potent than that of Yort but not as potent as the binary star of Nasga, which allowed for the Yortians to be more physically powerful than they were naturally but not as super as they were on Nasga. When the Refugee Allied Defenders (R.A.D.) was formed, it was decided the Yortians would be split up between squads.

Kip’s role and roll in the rebellion on Nasga weren’t enough to earn Kip the respect of Kip’s fellow Yortians. Based on assertions from Falc and Nium, who were brown eyes, that Kip’s lighter purple tone made Kip weaker, Kip crash-landed on the L Squad. The captains of the various factions of the R.A.D. didn’t understand the Yortians’ superstitions, but they did view Kip as being antisocial. They thought Kip was the one who had a hard time working with others.

The L Squad was the weakest of the squads in the North American division. The testing seemed to support Falc and Nium’s claim, but Kip was just intimidated by the other two, which adversely affected Kip’s performance. It didn’t matter. Kip liked the rest of the squad of outcasts and fit right in.

Kip’s main attribute, as far being a member of the R.A.D., was Kip’s hard shell. Kip was also an excellent shot with a blaster. Being giant eyeballs gives Yortians amazing eyesight. Kip was also trained as a medic. Kip was the least self-centered of the squad and the kindest and most compassionate. This gave Kip the best demeanor to be the doctor. Kip also really liked the sound of “Dr. Kip,” though they only ever called the Yortian, “Kip.”

L Squad Profile: Hitch

Before Hitch was the impulsive, impetuous, quixotic, captain of the L Squad, he was Crisphitchenstaub Aurthorius Krakenswav III. He was the first Zechistenian with that name. His mother thought it would make him look prestigious to add ‘the third’ to his name. It would seem it only made him three times as wild and crazy and hairy. That last one’s not true. All Zechistenians are hairy.

Hitch is about four-feet tall, weighing in at about 95 pounds. He’s covered in brown hair, over which he wears a faux pleather jacket. Not real pleather, that’s cruel. He has pointy triangular ears that sit on the top of his head. He has a little knobby tail that sits on the top of his butt. Humans might say he looks like a cross between an Ewok, a Mogwai, and a koala, but more athletic. He can run, jump, and roll. He doesn’t waddle. Of course, you’d want him as a pet but he wouldn’t go for that.

On his home planet of Zechisten, Hitch was always getting into trouble with his impulsive ways. He’s smart and always had the potential to do great things, if he put his mind to it. Unfortunately, his mind was always secondary to his impulse. It was that impulse that tore him away from everything he knew and loved.

One day, some of Hitch’s friends were going up to the orbit of Zechisten to race their pods. Hitch heard about the race and assumed control of the rules. He stretched the limits of the race to well beyond Plactiousun, the fourth-most distant moon from the planet. All the other racers gave up and returned home before they made it to the finish line. Their pods weren’t made for actual space flight. They could make it up to one of the inner moons and back, but that was their limit. Some of the distant moons were beyond reach.

Hitch was so set on his objective that he was oblivious to the other racers falling out. He reached the finish line and zoomed right past it. Zoom, zoom, Hitch. He had pushed his pod well beyond its limits and it was stuck at full speed. He was headed straight for an asteroid belt, but fortunately, or not depending on one’s point of view, he plunged into a wormhole.

There was a series of wormholes, constructed by the Yamfennians, that every species capable of interstellar travel used to traverse the universe. This was not one of those wormholes. The wormhole Hitch found was naturally occurring.

He was spat out somewhere in the Iisneent Solar System. Hitch tried to gain control of his pod and turn around back to the wormhole, but pods weren’t made for that kind of travel at that kind of speed. He zoomed on for awhile. Then, his engines gave out completely. He was fortunate that life-support subsisted or he would have died within a few hours. The pod was solar-powered, which kept everything functioning indefinitely even after the engine burned-out.

He floated aimlessly for days. For someone as restless and impulsive as Hitch, being locked in the tight confines of the dysfunctional pod was torture. He tried to keep himself busy playing games comparable to Earth’s Solitaire. He played Froiinkle, Splonx, and Prubbbl. He even tried counting the stars. None of that helped. As anyone who’s ever played Earth’s Solitaire knows, it is no cure for boredom. In fact, it can be a major cause of boredom.

The food producer kept him supplied with food and beverages. He couldn’t have elaborate meals. The food producer needed raw materials like grains, water, and so on. As I’ve stated, the pods were not made for long-distance travel. For that reason, the pods weren’t loaded with many raw materials to make food. The majority of their usage is for snacks for pods trips. As impulsive and impetuous as he is, Hitch knew he had to use his food supply sparingly. Even rationing, his food ran out on the fourth day. For the first time, Hitch started genuinely worrying that he might not survive this ordeal.

You know fudge dang well he survives. The opening line of this bio states that he’s the captain of the L Squad. That couldn’t have happened if he died before the L Squad was even formed.

Hitch was found (Surprise!) and saved by a cruise ship from Nasga. He had gone a few days without food and was barely alive. The pilot of the ship spotted the lifeless pod floating aimlessly. It piqued his interest and he deviated from his course to investigate the mystery. The pilot, we’ll call him George, because that was his name, had Hitch brought aboard. He didn’t even have to buy a ticket for the cruise. The ship’s doctor, we’ll call him the ship’s doctor, because I don’t know his name, took care of him until their cruise was over and they could take him back to the vacation/refugee world of Nasga.

By the time Hitch was nursed back to health, his pod had floated away and the wormhole was nowhere to be found. It was assumed to have closed. George flew Hitch around where he found him. They found no trace of the pod or the wormhole. They did find one of the doodie packs Hitch ejected from the pod, but that was no help. Over time, Hitch resigned himself to the fact that he would never see his home again. He reluctantly accepted that Nasga was his new home. He started to make friends.

His first friend was assigned to him. She was a misanthropic Yamfennian scientist named Abby. She was actually assigned to him more for her benefit than his. Like all people who are assigned to be friends, it worked out perfectly. Abby’s job was to help Hitch adapt to his new planet and get over the loss of his home world. She had some experience with this and was having her own problems adapting. It worked like an immigrant, which made sense since they were both immigrants. Abby was reluctant at first but acquiesced. Hitch was outgoing and charismatic. He eventually won her over and they both had someone to talk to who understood their situation.

Hitch and George would become friends as well. George did save Hitch’s life. They also shared an affinity for pod racing. The renown George acquired for saving Hitch even led to a career as a professional FastPod racer. Their relationship didn’t develop as quickly, though. George’s job as a cruise ship pilot meant he spent way too much time off world to make friends on Nasga.

Life was good on Nasga. Hitch was away from his home, his friends, and his family, but he was adapting. He was making new friends. Nasga was a beautiful planet. If he had to be stranded somewhere, Nasga wasn’t a bad choice to have forced on him. Still, Hitch longed for action and adventure. Of course, when action came, he longed for the quiet serenity it destroyed.

When The Tyrannical Tyrannosaurus Gregory LambaDambaBottom arrived, Hitch wanted to charge in and fight off the fiend. He was on a picnic with Abby and some other friends who weren’t assigned to him. His friends restrained him, which probably saved his life. He never forgave them for it as he thought he could have single-handedly fought him off despite the fact that The Tyrannical Tyrannosaurus Gregory LambaDambaBottom was much larger, stronger, and better equipped for a battle.

The Tyrannical Tyrannosaurus Gregory LambaDambaBottom easily conquered the planet. At first, everyone was assigned to work digging mines. The Tyrannical Tyrannosaurus Gregory LambaDambaBottom was searching for uranium to power a new fleet he planned to have built. 3T.G.L.D.B. studied his new slaves and started picking out the scientifically minded and engineers to start on his new fleet and make new weapons. Abby was among the first to be pulled from the mines. It was good for her but bad for Hitch. When Abby, and her calming influence, was taken out of the mines, Hitch started to rebel. He was confined to working in isolation, so he couldn’t be a disruptive influence on the others. Hitch quickly grew lonely in isolation, with no one to talk to except the guards who whipped him for talking. The lone bright spot was he didn’t have to smell the Splorg farts.

By the time Nasga was due to be abandoned, Hitch was marked for death personally by The Tyrannical Tyrannosaurus Gregory LambaDambaBottom for his rebellious ways. Hitch was to be among those left on the dying planet. 3T.G.L.D.B. had polluted Nasga, which was renamed LambaBad, to the point that it was quickly becoming uninhabitable. Shortly before the evacuation was to begin, Hitch’s friend, Abby, arraigned to have him sneaked aboard a ship she and others had commandeered to escape. Hitch put in another request for them to free his friend George. Abby was very important to the escape plan and was granted any reasonable request by Grek, the leader of the rebellion. Not only did they free George, he got to be the pilot.

Hitch hated fleeing the world that had become his home, but he also had strong hopes that a venture back into space would somehow find him back home on Zechisten. Grek, who was elected captain of the ship, had no real destination in mind. It was imperative that they got away the from The Tyrannical Tyrannosaurus Gregory LambaDambaBottom and the slavery and destruction that he brought with him. Grek was happy to help Hitch look for the wormhole through which he ventured. They needed to find any planet that could support life and Zechisten would do. Those plans were dashed when they realized they were being pursued. They couldn’t intentionally lead the Lambads, formerly Nasgans who became minions of The Tyrannical, to an inhabited planet.

The refugees had an advantage over their pursuers. Many of the beings on board were actually the ones who made the ships. They knew all the strengths and weaknesses of the ships and that knowledge would help them stay ahead of the Lambads. George was a former cruise ship pilot and cargo ship pilot, so he was familiar with the Iisneent System and the Yamfennian universal superhighway of manufactured wormholes.

Hitch did all he could to not go out of his mind. He couldn’t believe they were running instead of fighting. Captain Grek learned of this and summoned Hitch to his side. Captain Grek explained to Hitch that the number one rule of being a leader was to know when to stand-up and fight and when to regroup and fight another day. The people on the ship, and the ship itself, were far too valuable to risk a fight now. Any delay they made would give The Tyrannical Tyrannosaurus Gregory LambaDambaBottom a chance to reorganize and send more ships out after them. They had this chance to escape and they needed to seize it and squeeze the juice out of it. Having no choice but to acquiesce, he did so and Captain Grek took him under his wing, even though Wemeselsimians don’t have wings. Maybe he took him under his tail. Oh… Yeah, gross. Anyway, he promised to teach him everything he could.

They flew along at max speeds and traversed many wormholes. They were never so happy about the series of wormholes laid out by the Yamfennians. The Lambads stayed right with them the whole way. As they vigorously attempted to out-fly their pursuers, scanners picked up a Class M planet, a planet capable of sustaining carbon-based life such as those on the ship. It was near the center of a solar system tucked inside an enormous asteroid belt. They came to find out later that it was the planet Earth in the Milky Way galaxy. Surprise! You didn’t see that one coming a parsec away. Oh, you did? Dang it!

The refugees emerged from a wormhole just outside of the asteroid belt, called the Kuiper Belt, that bordered the solar system. Captain Grek and George tried to hide the ship among the asteroids, dwarf planets, and bodies of ice or K.B.O.s (Kuiper Belt Objects) in the Kuiper Belt. Since they were being pursued, they entered at too high of a speed and collided with a few such bodies. They were slowed to the point that the Lambads caught up with them. George was able to continue evading them until they encountered another asteroid belt. The Lambads took out the refugee ship’s booster engines with a well-placed blast and grabbed onto them with their tractor beam.

They were close to the Class M planet. Captain Grek knew there was life on the planet, they picked up transmissions emanating from Earth, and he didn’t want the Lambads to be able to enslave another planet. Captain Grek came up with a plan. He decided to fire the ship’s lasers and a torpedo directly into the tractor beam. The subsequent explosion separated the ships. George couldn’t regain control in time to avoid plummeting into Earth’s atmosphere. The Lambads’ ship was crippled by the explosion and sent tumbling into the planet below. Both ships crash-landed into unpopulated sections of Earth.

The refugees, who landed in the Canadian wilderness, were surrounded by the American military and the Canadian Mounties, eh. The Lambads crash-landed into the base of Sara Sara, an active volcano in Peru. They went mostly unnoticed. The Lambads took the opportunity to stay hidden and disappear into myth. The refugees were held in quarantine for years. They were slowly accepted by human societies and allowed to be free. Separate, but free.

The refugees formed the Refugee Alien Defenders with the sole purpose of defending Earth from the Lambads. There were those on Earth who believed that the Lambads either didn’t exist or didn’t pose any real threat and decried the tax dollars that went to the organization. There were also those who thought the refugees, themselves, were the real threat and should be locked up.

During the training and aptitude testing of the refugees, Hitch’s leadership abilities scored off the charts. Unfortunately, his recklessness was also off the charts. He lost at least most of his team in every simulated mission. When his adrenaline (or the Zechistenian equivalent) kicked in, Hitch always, without fail, forgot all his training and went on impulse power (that’s a bad pun). Given his potential, Captain Grek still gave him his own squad. It was the squad composed of the lowest scoring members, but it was his. There were some perks. His friend, Abby’s, misanthropic tendencies landed her on the squad. George’s penchant for crashing landed him on the squad. With the weakest squad comes the most mundane missions. They were assigned a lot of community service. Until dot dot dot. What? Oh … Like that? All right. Until…

Rewriting Puberty

Yesterday, I finished my latest rereading/rewriting of The L Squad. I’ve long since lost count of how many times I’ve read through it. It’s been awhile since my last full reading. I can’t believe how many changes I made. I expected to find a lot of typos. In the end, following Ragnarök, Armageddon, the apocalypse, Revelation, whatever you want to call it, there will be cockroaches and typos. After all the times I’ve considered it done, I didn’t expect to make so many changes, big, small, additions, subtractions, rewordings, breaking up paragraphs and chapters, etc…

The book is still largely the same. Anyone who’s read it before might not even notice the changes. It’s more like it’s gone through puberty. It’s a little hairier, but I hope I’ve removed, at least, most of the blemishes.

R.A.D. Profile: Captain Grek

Worminton Grekorey Thaddeus Von Splorkleson VIII is technically a native of Nasga. His grandparents were among the first to settle on Nasga following the spread of wormhole warp technology by the Yamfennians. The Nasgans have always been a warm welcoming people who happily accepted small numbers of immigrants from a multitude of worlds. Immigration had to be kept to a reasonable number in order to keep from rapidly overpopulating the planet. The Yamfennian warps opened up many worlds to trades, which made it possible for the more popular planets to accommodate an influx of population without overtaxing a planet’s natural resources. There was also an exchange program initiated wherein any being on a world that accepted immigrants would be offered a place on the world from which said immigrants were emigrating. This system opened up the possibility for great diversity throughout the universe. Though the offer was made to everyone on Nasga it was an extreme scarcity for anyone to actually accept. Nasga was a paradise planet and by far the most diverse in the universe. While many moved there permanently, there were even more who vacationed there regularly. Nasga was the superlative vacation place in the universe.

Grek’s people were originally from the planet Wemeselsim. Wemeselsimians are comparatively large. They’re not on the scale of The Tyrannical Tyrannosaurus Gregory LambaDambaBottom but are typically larger than most other species they encounter. They come in a variety of colors, most commonly green, red and orange with abstract designs on their backs. Grek is a dark green with orange circles and squiggly lines on his back. Wemeselsimians have a prehensile tail to go along with the soft fur that covers their hard, armor-like scales. They are very agile for their size and can naturally run, climb, jump and swim very well.

Grek also had the singularly Wemeselsimian trait of flagitation. When he found himself in a state of flagitation, or he became flagitated, he would be so angry he farted. Oh yeah, there are fart jokes. Don’t go anywhere. The etymology of flagitated is the combination of flatulence or flatus and agitated. They fart when they’re angry.

In spite of all his physical attributes, and that one disturbing detriment, Grek has always relied on his mental abilities more than physical prowess. Though he had only known advanced civilized civilizations that had done away with wars and violence generations ago, Grek had an affinity for old-fashioned military-based strategy games. He loved to outthink an opponent. He got to the point that he was so good that he had to play against the computers because no one would play with him.

The only real outlet Grek could find for his leadership skills was as the regional manager for a string of luxury hotels called the Garnak Revolt And Spawn Luxury Hotel Conglomerate. People from all over the universe not only came to Nasga to vacation, but it was the perfect climate for having children, which, with all species, is gross, thus the ‘Spawn’ and ‘Revolt’ respectively in the title. Since Nasga was the vacation capital of the universe, hotels and resorts were big business and the competition was fierce. Grek’s natural affinity for strategy and leadership made him, and the Garnak Revolt And Spawn Luxury Hotel Conglomerate, very successful. He made the Garnak Revolt And Spawn Luxury Hotel Conglomerate a lot of money, which, in turn, made Grek a lot of money. Grek should have been happy, he was rich, successful, and greenishly handsome, for a Wemeselsimian, but something was missing.

Grek wanted to do something that would challenge him. Running a successful resort conglomerate on the universe’s premier vacation planet was easy. Even the worst, cheapest, sleaziest motels on the planet were wildly successful. Beating out the second best hotel conglomerate on the planet was easy. Rontuian Lavishly Opulent Hotels & Resort Accommodation Company was a distant second. Come on, ‘lavish’ and ‘opulent’ mean the same thing. Who are they fooling? The word ‘company’ doesn’t sound nearly as imposing or impressive as ‘conglomerate.’ Their narktopuloid baths didn’t even use real narktopuloid. They use that cheap synthetic stuff made on Mubatuhackfadah. Most importantly they didn’t have the universally, literally, known and trusted name of Garnak.

Grek yearned for action and adventure. When it finally came he would have given anything to go back to being the regional manager for the Garnak Revolt And Spawn Luxury Hotel Conglomerate.

It was a beautiful sunny day, with a mere four or five clouds in the sky, when The Tyrannical Tyrannosaurus Gregory LambaDambaBottom dropped his first exploding bomb. He had experimented with non-exploding bombs, but he found they didn’t do as much damage as quickly, nor did they evoke the same fear. That first exploding bomb exploded on one of the Garnak Revolt And Spawn Luxury Hotel Conglomerate’s busiest luxury hotels. The hotel exploded right along with the bomb. The damage was catastrophic. Worse, the whole planet went into a state of terrified pandemonium. Very few people on Nasga had seen such an act of destruction. Most had never seen an explosion at all or even heard of a bomb.

Nasga was swiftly conquered. The Nasgans succumbed to the will of their new ruler, The Tyrannical Tyrannosaurus Gregory LambaDambaBottom. Anyone who wasn’t quick to conform to the new rules set down by 3T.G.L.D.B. was imprisoned and forced into slavery. Those who did submit were either initiated as 3T.G.L.D.B. cronies or forced to work for ridiculously low wages.

All inhabitants of the planet, now known as LambaBad, were split into two categories. There were the scientist and engineers and the physical labour. It used to be spelled ‘labor,’ but 3T.G.L.D.B. preferred the English spelling and, as one of his first acts, had it changed. The scientists and engineers were sequestered at the new warehouses 3T.G.L.D.B. had built. There they worked on new weapons, robots, which are called Lambots, and a fleet of starships 3T.G.L.D.B. could use for further domination of the universe. The physical labour was forced down into the uranium mines to grow bananas. Wait… No, they were sent into the uranium mines to mine uranium. That sounds better, not for the people doing it, but for the story. The uranium was to be used to create more powerful weapons and to power the fleet.

Grek’s size alone was enough to decide his fate as physical labour. He spent his days slaving away in the uranium mines. He spent his nights crammed into a cell that was much too small for him. He wasn’t one of those who submitted, so he was forced into slavery, which meant he wasn’t paid and he didn’t get to go to one of the slave camps.

One day, coincidentally, it was a day much like today, Grek was being led to the mines with the other slaves working in his sector. It was the normal grueling routine. They were all chained together and forced to march under the supervision of Lambad, formerly Nasgan, guards. Without any warning, six rocks rolled down a mountain and knocked the guards to the ground. At first, the workers were so stunned they didn’t do anything. As one of the guards started to rise, Grek realized what was happening and smacked the guard with his tail and knocked him into another guard who was trying to get up.

Grek had heard the rumors about a group of eyeballs who had broken free and escaped into the wilderness, but he didn’t believe it. Now that an eyeball, which he had mistaken for a rock, had taken the controls from an unconscious guard and was unlocking the chains, he began to think there might be some validity to the story.

Grek looked around and counted six Yortians urging the now freed slaves to follow them into the wilderness. Three of the guards had gotten back up and were trying to subdue the slaves, but Grek did some fancy fighting moves and took them out. Actually, he just grabbed one with his tail and shook him back and forth knocking him repeatedly into the other two. It was more slapstick than fancy. After that, all the guards who were still conscious just ran away. They had never encountered a slave who wasn’t submissive and didn’t know how to handle it.

The group fled into the wilderness until they felt there was no further danger of being pursued. In the days that followed, the idea of rebellion began to be bandied around. The Yortians had no real plan. They had only recently escaped and saw an opportunity to free more helpless victims from the tyranny of The Tyrannical Tyrannosaurus Gregory LambaDambaBottom. This first attempt was a resounding success, but further attempts, especially when the Lambads may be aware of them, may not be as successful. It was true that they now had more participants, but that could also make them more detectable.

The first order of business was to nurse the starved and exhausted former slaves back to health. None of them could play any part in a rebellion, or even a single rescue operation, in their current state. They then commenced discussing strategies. It was obvious they couldn’t follow the same plan every time. Security was sure to be heightened and the first thing they would be watching for is the rolling rock play.

Grek dominated the majority of the strategy meetings. He was relishing his role as strategist and the opportunity to discuss all his strategies with others. The whole time he was in captivity he was formulating strategies to rebel but had neither the means nor the people to execute them. Now, he had both. His mind raced and new strategies were conceived too rapidly for him to relay them. He spoke so rapidly, as he sketched his plans on nigk tree leaves, that his companions couldn’t keep up. There’s no dirt on Nasga on which to draw. It’s a very clean paradise planet. Can you imagine dirt in paradise? Yeah, it wouldn’t be paradise. It would be dirty.

It didn’t take many strategy meetings before Grek was elected leader of this band of weary rebels. He reluctantly accepted. He loved coming up with the strategies, but he was wary of sending his people out to actually confront the Lambads. His plans were strategically sound, but they weren’t tested. A lot can happen between strategy and execution. He could overestimate his people’s abilities. He could underestimate the Lambads’ abilities. Someone could trip at the wrong time and the whole plan could be blown. He could, in theory, be sending his people out with the perfect plan, but, in reality, be sending them back into slavery or even to their deaths. That thought sickened and terrified him. In the end, they convinced him that he was the best Wemeselsimian for the job and they had a much better chance with him than they did without him leading them.

As the successful rescue missions accumulated, Grek’s confidence grew. His strategies started to get even more elaborate. Of course, on the other side, the defensive strategies became more elaborate and guard details expanded from a few to a score or more. Soon, the Lambads’ countermeasures grew to the point where some of Grek’s strategies failed. It helped a little for Grek to know that the good he was doing greatly outweighed the losses. Everyone who went on a rescue mission was a volunteer who knew the risks they faced. He still hated to lose people even more than he detested the failure of one of his missions.

When he had compiled enough successful missions, Grek wanted to get bold. There had been rumors of 3T.G.L.D.B. having warehouses built where he was forcing scientists and engineers to build weapons, robots, and a fleet of battleships. Following some of the rescue missions, rebels reported encountering some new Lambots, which gave some verisimilitude to the rumors. Grek decided that his troops were trained and experienced enough to hit a warehouse and get some actual weapons.

There was no shortage of volunteers or enthusiasm for the mission. Given the highly delicate and dangerous nature of the mission, Grek decided to lead it himself. He couldn’t send his people into such a perilous scenario while he was safely hidden in the wilderness. If anything were to go wrong, having him there to quickly reassess the situation and come up with a new strategy could be paramount to the potential success of the mission.

This is a profile, not an adventure story, so I’ll just say that the mission was more successful than anyone could have hoped. Grek met one of the scientists who was forced to work in the warehouses. The Yamfennian scientist confirmed the rumor that they were building a fleet. Grek floated the idea of commandeering a ship. The scientist was all for the idea. She told Grek they could do it in three plaros. They couldn’t wait too long. 3T.G.L.D.B. was already planning an exit of his own. On top of that, the more they spread the word the more likely it was that 3T.G.L.D.B. would learn of their plan. The scientist said she would spread the word and load the selected ship with all the supplies and technology they could. Meanwhile, Grek would ramp up rescue missions and free all the people possible.

In three plaros time, the rebels sneaked back into the warehouse where they rendezvoused with the scientists. The scientists got the ship as loaded as they could without arousing suspicion. They even found a pilot. Grek had heard of him as the Garnak Revolt And Spawn Luxury Hotel Conglomerate sponsored his racing pod, before the invasion. He didn’t have the greatest confidence in the pilot since he was known to crash more often than he finished races. Grek didn’t assume authority over the scientist and he was indebted to them for all they had done to facilitate this escape, so he acquiesced to the little Yortian scientist’s nominee. He even personally led the mission to free him.

The chosen pilot was much more than just a pod racer. Grek had to admit that his résumé was impressive. In addition to his pod racing, this pilot had been a cruise ship pilot and a cargo ship pilot. He had no casualties on his record. In fact, he had actually briefly been a semi-pseudo-celebrity for rescuing a stranded traveler floating in space.

Grek’s fears were both circumvented and realized. The pilot, George, got them to a habitable planet, safely might be the wrong word, alive. The ship would never fly again, nor was it in a condition that could be identifiable as a ship, but everyone survived. The rough landing wasn’t all George’s fault. They were pursued by another ship, full of Lambads and Lambots, the whole way. George did a tremendous job of getting them to a planet which could sustain carbon-based life forms without being apprehended or destroyed in space. All things considered, he did a great job. The Lambads also crash-landed on the planet and also survived.

Grek had to assume some of the responsibility for the happenings of the voyage as well. Before they even launched, Grek was chosen to be the captain. His contribution to the success of the escape and his leadership skills were recognized and he was the obvious choice.

The first thing Captain Grek did, once they were assimilated into the societies of Earth, was to set up the Refugee Alien Defenders. He felt responsible for bringing the Lambads to Earth. He would not allow them to regroup and leave the defense of this beautiful planet to the strange creatures of Earth. The Earth creatures had an affinity for violence but were technologically inferior. They barely even used solar power. They used something called ‘fossil fuels,’ which were apparently made from the decaying of deceased plant life and organisms from millions of years prior. They probably died out because they didn’t use solar power either.

Captain Grek was determined that this planet would not succumb to the same fate as Nasga. He split R.A.D. into at least one faction per continent. Each faction’s top priority was to guard against a Lambad invasion. Their second priority was to round up the rogue Lambads who were now loose on Earth. They knew that the Lambad ship was also damaged to the point that it would never fly again, but they didn’t know the state of their communications. It was imperative that they collect all the loose Lambads before they could establish communications with 3T.G.L.D.B. and initiate an invasion of Earth.

Before the split, all the scientists, engineers, and anyone physically able was put to work salvaging everything they could from the wreckage of their commandeered mothership. The scientists and engineers set to work designing and creating headquarters for each division of R.A.D. The refugees who were mechanically skilled put together the machinery. Those less scientifically minded did the heavy lifting and building of the headquarters.

Captain Grek assigned leaders to each division on each continent. The captain of every division was to be of equal rank with Captain Grek. All of R.A.D. would cooperate when appropriate, but would predominantly act as its own entity. There was no one individual who oversaw the entirety of R.A.D. The captains would meet frequently to make all organizational decisions, with each captain having equal input. Captain Grek was to be in charge of the North American chapter. He handpicked a few of the refugees who played important roles in their exodus from LambaBad and worked directly with him to remain under his command.

Every single refugee went through rigorous testing and training before it was determined to which division they would be assigned. They were all known to be capable and resourceful. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t have survived this long. Every one of the refugees now on Earth was part of the rebellion on Nasga and they all played a significant role in their escape. There were still some who showed more aptitude in certain areas than others. The goal of the creation of R.A.D. was to make each division as strong as possible. Every individual’s strengths and weaknesses had to compliment or counterbalance the rest of their division.

From there, each division of R.A.D. was divided into squads that would perform various missions. There was an attempt to find a balance between the squads, as within the divisions. Despite all attempts to create near-perfect units, there were always those who didn’t work well with others for various reasons. Perhaps they were too cavalier or anti-social or they smelled bad. The squads were to be ranked A-L. The degree of mission difficulty determined which squad would be assigned to the mission, with the most challenging going to the A Squad and the easiest missions being assigned to the L Squad.

It took a long time to get everything set up and running smoothly, but it happened. These refugees crash-landed on a new planet and were able to be accepted, sort of, and create a system of defense for the whole planet. Now, they just had to hope they did it in time.

R.A.D.: A Brief Profile Of The Refugee Alien Defenders

R.A.D.:

Refugee Alien Defenders

 The Refugee Alien Defenders, or R.A.D., had a rough start to their life on Earth. It actually started out beyond Earth’s atmosphere, when a ship pursuing them across the universe caught up with them. After bouncing around the universe for months, dipping in and out of wormholes, their stolen ship found the outer edge of the Kuiper Belt. Scans showed that this ring of ice, asteroids and dwarf planets was the border of a solar system that holds a Class M planet. The refugees had never been more appreciative of the system of artificial wormholes, or warps, created by the Yamfennians. They plunged forward into the Kuiper Belt.

 The ship’s pilot, George, was almost as proficient in evading objects as he was at hitting them. George entered the Kuiper Belt at speeds much more conducive to the latter and collided with a few K.B.O.s (Kuiper Belt Objects). The mothership they commandeered for the adventure was strong enough to take a hit or two or seven, but the impacts slowed their pace. The pursuing ship entered the Kuiper Belt at much lower speeds and was much more capable of evading K.B.O.s. They were consequently able to maintain a higher average speed and caught up with the fleeing ship.

 For the first time since escaping the planet LambaBad, the refugees were within a solar system that provided hope for finding a refuge. It was also the first time they were within reach of their pursuers. They exited the Kuiper Belt with laser blasts flying around them. George was able to evade the blasts. He set a course for the pale blue dot in the distance that was capable of supporting life. Before they could reach it they encountered an asteroid belt.

 George was much more cautious traversing the obstacles in this inner belt. While George had the ship dancing around asteroids and dwarf planets he was caught by a blast from the ship behind. The blast took out their booster engines. The pursuing ship grabbed the refugee ship with its tractor beam. The Lambads plotted a course for the Class M planet and dragged the refugee ship along with them.

 The Lambad plan was to land the ships on the planet’s surface, seize their master’s chattel and signal for the ruler to come get them. Their plan didn’t go as planned. As the ships entered the gravitational pull of the planet, the captain of the refugee ship, Captain Grek, ordered laser blasters and torpedoes fired on the ship holding them captive. The refugees fired directly into the tractor beam. The ships were violently separated. Each was sent tumbling through the planet’s atmosphere. The Lambad ship crash-landed at the base of Sara Sara, a volcano in Peru. The refugees landed in the Canadian wilderness. Neither ship would ever fly again, but the people and supplies inside survived surprisingly well.

The refugees used to live on a beautiful planet called Nasga. Nasga’s reputation as a beautiful, welcoming planet made it a premier vacation spot and a new home for many refugees. The Nasgans were quick to welcome all visitors and immigrants. The welcoming attitude of its natives and its alluring beauty and climate made Nasga the most diverse planet in the universe. Nearly every peaceful planet with the capability of interstellar space flight was represented on Nasga. The advent of artificial wormholes by the Yamfennians had much to do with the influx of Nasgas tourism and immigration.

 Alas, the serenity of this utopia was not to last. It was another picturesque day on Nasga the day The Tyrannical Tyrannosaurus Gregory LambaDambaBottom arrived. The first bomb he dropped was also the last. Nasga was a civilized planet. By definition, that meant they had no weapons and no need for weapons. That’s the universal definition, not the Earthly definition. Maybe that’s why Earth isn’t one of the planets in the Universal Union Of Utopian Worlds. Perhaps if Earth spent less time on destruction and more time on inventions, innovations, and education they, too, could join.

 The only problem with being civilized is expecting others to also act in a civilized manner. Nasga was completely unprepared for the barbarity of the XaXet warrior. At first, the Nasgans tried to be cordial and welcoming. This attitude gave way to fear and, in the spirit of self-preservation, the Nasgans submitted to their conqueror.

 Initially, the Nasgans were divided on a course of action. It goes completely against their nature to not be hospitable to a guest to their world. Some, however, recognized the descending evil and strove to resist. Others acquiesced immediately. The dissenters were easily swayed by logic and the imposing figure of The Tyrannical Tyrannosaurus Gregory LambaDambaBottom. In the end, The Tyrannical Tyrannosaurus Gregory LambaDambaBottom single-handedly conquered Nasga. He literally did not use his left hand. He dropped one bomb on one city and the planet was his.

 Many of the settlers tried to form a resistance but were easily subdued by 3T.G.L.D.B.’s new Nasgan army. Within days, all who resisted The Tyrannical Tyrannosaurus Gregory LambaDambaBottom’s new rule were rounded up and enslaved. The planet was renamed LambaBad and its natives were renamed Lambads.

 These slaves were divided into two groups. There was a group deemed physical labor. They were put to work digging uranium mines and mining the uranium from those mines. The other group was composed of scientists and engineers. Their job was to create ships and weapons to aid The Tyrannical Tyrannosaurus Gregory LambaDambaBottom in conquering new worlds.

 They built three types of ship. The largest and most important were the motherships. They were massive interstellar fortresses. The motherships were like space stations that were built for war and could travel at near light speeds. They were equipped with virtually impenetrable shields and heavy weaponry, but more on that later. They had tractor beams powerful enough to pull another of the motherships. They could emit pulse waves that would knock out the power of anything with which it came into contact. That could be a powerful and deadly tactic in space. If a spaceship were to suddenly lose all power, it becomes a cold drifting coffin. The ships could spin like a top and stop instantly, which acted as an extra precaution in case the blasters on any side malfunctioned. The most important feature of the motherships was the other ships.

 Each mothership was host to a fleet of smaller ships. These ships were designed to hold small crews during planetary invasions. They would emerge from the mothership and descend on the planet like a swarm of bees spreading The Tyrannical Tyrannosaurus Gregory LambaDambaBottom’s reign of honey… I mean terror. There are worlds where it rains honey. It might sound delicious, but it’s deadly. No one can go out when it’s raining. Imagine drowning in honey. No, thank you. That sounds awful. The smaller ships’ weaponry wasn’t as potent as the mothership, but they were still well shielded and came equipped with blasters and torpedoes. They weren’t capable of long distance space flight, but they were fast and sturdy.

 The third type of ship resided inside both the mothership and the smaller attack ships. Each ship was loaded with a one or two person escape pod. Even the escape pods had blasters, torpedoes, and shields. As far as The Tyrannical Tyrannosaurus Gregory LambaDambaBottom was concerned, it was pointless to have anyone escape if they weren’t going to continue the attack.

 The ships’ blasters and torpedoes were heavy. The motherships’ blasters were designed to be strong enough to damage even other motherships. The attack ships’ weapons weren’t that potent but could damage other attack ships. The hand-held blasters weren’t meant to cause as much damage. The Tyrannical Tyrannosaurus Gregory LambaDambaBottom wanted to stun victims, not kill them. I know what you’re thinking, “Aah, what a big softy.” No! He wanted to procure slaves. Dead slaves don’t get much work done. They’re only good for eating and fertilizer and XeXats had no need for fertilizer. He’s a tyrannosaurus. What do you think he eats? Kale? Carrots? Celery?

 The scientists and engineers also designed jetpacks. Yeah, awesome! Another slave catching weapon was the net-gun. It pretty much does exactly what it sounds like. It shoots a net at an enemy, with the intent of capturing said enemy.

 The most diabolical weapon was the F-Bombs, or flatulence bombs. Everyone on LambaBad was fitted with a special belt that captured all flatus passed throughout the day and stored it in a mini-tank on the belt. At the beginning and end of each day, the tanks would be collected and replaced with new tanks. The tanks would be emptied into the bombs where they would be stored until needed. None were more potent than those of The Tyrannical Tyrannosaurus Gregory LambaDambaBottom himself, except, of course, Splorg. When the F-Bombs were dropped, they would explode and the gas inside would be released. Every living thing in the vicinity would be subjected to the feculent aromas and would often pass-out. Those lucky enough to retain consciousness would flee, but would still smell of farts.

 The robots proved to be their finest achievement outside of the ships. The Lambots, as they came to be known, were the greatest thing since porkled quasklops. If you’ve ever had porkled quasklops, you know what I’m saying. They were very strong and hard and smelled of oil. The Lambots were a lot like that, but didn’t smell of oil. They were modeled to look a little bit like the Lambads, but robotic. They hovered and could even fly via a built-in jetpack. Built into each shoulder was a blaster with adjustable damage capabilities. The blasters ranged from a mild stun to a ship damaging power. Hidden in their chests were saw blades that could extend out and were strong enough to cut into a ship. Their arms, which usually dangled at about one meter, could extend to five meters and could send jolts of electricity through to whatever they clamped. If they were blasting enemies in front of them, they could also reach out with their arms and grab and stun enemies on either side of them. Their sensors kept them, and their Lambad companions, alerted of any approaching life forms or ships with a range of about a kilometer and a half. To further aid with the capturing of slaves, the Lambots had net-guns, similar to the hand-held weapons of their Lambad counterparts. They weren’t as powerful as the attack ships, but their armor was almost completely resistant to any of the hand-held weapons. In case there was ever a malfunction, they were implemented with a backdoor control override by remote via a secret frequency. They were close to the perfect soldier.

 All these inventions were rigorously tested. Any weaknesses or malfunctions were met with severe punishments for every scientist and engineer. Then, the malady was to be corrected. Early machinations of providing such an evil power with subpar equipment were extinguished.

 Everything was supposed to be powered by the uranium from the mines. The scientists and engineers were all from civilized worlds, so they only knew how to use solar, wind, water, geothermal and the like for powering anything. They had never even heard of nuclear power or even fossil fuels. Everything was built to run on solar and wind power with long-life battery back-up. They had to go back and add the uranium power ability. Their ignorance of nuclear power would prove to be the greatest attribute to everything they invented during their days in captivity.

 Through the sheer will and determination, and some luck, a few prisoners escaped. They helped free more prisoners. Eventually, they had a small band of merry…well, a wide conglomeration of species. The refugees set-up camps in the forests. From there they planned raids to free others. It was kind of like the old story of Fluhggoppin Lopkin. I think it’s originally a story from Rarish, pronounced Raw-Reesh. Fluhggoppin Lopkin and his band of married men would sneak out into the woods at night to make tree forts. There they would camp out all night hiding from their wives. Rarishian women are very horny and I don’t mean that in a provocative way. They are dangerous, especially if they toss and or turn in their sleep. It’s actually a really good story. You should tell it to me sometime. Right now, I need to get back to Nasga, which is now called LambaBad.

 Over time, the refugees became rebels. They got more and more bold with their raids and were still almost always successful. With every successful raid, they freed more prisoners. Every freed prisoner was a new addition to their rebellion. They elected a quasi-leader, who planned every successful raid. He even planned the failed raids. He was ethnically a Wemeselsimian, but he was third generation Nasgan. His grandparents moved to Nasga from Wemeselsim long before his parents were born. His name was Grek.

 Grek decided it was time to take this rebellion seriously. He planned a raid on the warehouses where all the weapons and technology were stored. It was a mission so dangerous he decided to lead it himself and only accepted the most qualified of volunteers to join him.

 Grek and his party arrived at the first warehouse. They crept up to a back door and were shocked to find it open. They proceeded to sneak in and quietly spread out in search of weapons. They were again shocked to not find a single guard. They did find a huge cache of weapons.

 “Don’t take too many or somebody will notice they’re missing,” said a little voice from a little pinkish scientist. “It’s probably too late for them to do you much good anyway.”

 Her name was Abby. She was a Yamfennian. Yeah, one of those Yamfennians. They were a brilliant species. The science and engineering department was full of them. It’s a shame about Yamfenn. The little pinkish Yamfennian scientist named Abby told them about the planned exodus from Nasga, which she refused to call Lambad. XaXets had no understanding of solar energy, so The Tyrannical Tyrannosaurus Gregory LambaDambaBottom banned it. He opted for the power sources that were in use on XaXet, like nuclear and coal power. There was no slow progression and Nasga’s atmosphere couldn’t handle all the mining and nuclear testing. The planet was quickly becoming polluted to the point that it would soon no longer be inhabitable. The Lambads were leaving and setting out for the next planet to conquer. That’s why there were no guards. They were all making preparations for the journey.

 The Tyrannical Tyrannosaurus Gregory LambaDambaBottom didn’t worry about the scientists and engineers rising up against him. He didn’t give a thought to them stealing weapons or ships. As far as he knew, they were all nuclear powered and the uranium was kept in a separate warehouse away from the science labs. They were only brought enough uranium for tests to be completed and they were always supervised during those times. This is where the solar power capabilities, and The Tyrannical Tyrannosaurus Gregory LambaDambaBottom lack of understanding those abilities, were so important. They didn’t need the uranium to make everything work.

 Grek started formulating a plan of his own. Grek asked Abby if it would be possible for them to commandeer one of the fully-loaded motherships. Abby said it could be done, but it would have to be done within the next three plaros. The Lambads were commencing their migration in six plaros, but the warehouses would be constantly swarming with Lambads starting on the fourth plaro. Grek agreed. They set out to make the most of the three plaros they had.

 Abby recruited the rest of the scientists and engineers. Everyone she approached accepted before she could even finish explaining the plan. Anybody who knows anything about Earth’s history with science knows scientists are very brave people. They loaded extra weapons, technology, and other supplies on the mothership they were planning on taking. No Lambad questioned it. They were preparing to evacuate the planet and they were supposed to be preparing the ships. The Lambads just didn’t notice that one ship was being loaded a little more than the others.

 Grek and his rebel force did their best to free as many people as they could. The only way they could assure survival for anyone was to get them on the ship they were stealing. The rebels had to be simultaneously extra bold and extra careful. They had to be bold to free as many as they could in the limited time available. They had to be extra careful because anybody who was caught ran the risk of being left behind on the dying planet. Even worse, if the Lambads found out their plan the whole thing could be shut down and everybody would be left behind.

 Grek would sneak people into Abby and Abby would make sure they were hidden in the ship. That was the hardest and most perilous part. No one would question supplies, but if they were caught smuggling people aboard there was no way out of that.

 The rebels ran special missions to find friends and family members. Abby even made a request for her friend to be saved. Abby’s friend, Hitch, made a request for his friend, George, who once saved his life, to be saved. Given Abby’s importance to the escape and the danger she was personally incurring, Grek was happy to oblige her every request and even that of her friend. Grek was familiar with George and had doubts about his piloting abilities, but found solace in Abby’s confidence in him.

 On the third plaro, Grek’s rebels made one last raid to maximize the number of prisoners they could free. Even with that, Grek always lamented those he couldn’t save. The raid was successful and everybody was loaded onto the ship. Early in the day, another Yamfennian scientist, named Gumford, opened the convertible roof of the warehouse just enough for the mothership to soak up some solar rays. By the time they were ready to go, it was fully charged. George was selected as the pirate pilot of the ship. He launched, crashing through the roof, in typical George fashion, and had them off the planet in no time. The whole plan went off without a hitch. That might be a poor choice of words. Hitch was aboard the ship. The plan was successful and there were no problems. Then, there was a problem.

 It was impossible for a ship of that size to leave the planet without someone noticing. Everyone noticed. The Tyrannical Tyrannosaurus Gregory LambaDambaBottom ordered another ship loaded with Lambads and Lambots after them. After a high-speed chase through the universe, literally nearly the fastest speeds possible, we arrive back at the beginning of our story.

 Both motherships were damaged beyond repair in the crashes. The Lambads crashed into the base of a volcano, called Sara Sara in Peru. Using the remains of the mothership they turned that into a base inside the mountain. Any humans who came snooping around were apprehended and set to work under the mountain digging tunnels. The Lambads quickly faded from human memory to the point that they were relegated to legend and folklore.

 The refugees crash-landing in Canada was higher profile and helped the Lambads fade into obscurity. They were rounded up and kept in quarantine. Humans wanted to be sure they didn’t carry any diseases that could spread throughout humanity. They didn’t seem too concerned with the aliens catching human diseases.

 During their time in captivity, the refugees had a chance to adapt to the gravity of Earth. The gravity on Earth was slightly lighter than that of Nasga/LambaBad. It made zipping around on jetpacks easier, not that they got to use anything that could be considered a weapon while in quarantine. Walking was hard. The refugees practically had to learn to walk all over again. They had a feeling like they were almost walking on clouds. The lighter gravity gave many of the refugees a feeling of dizziness and nausea. A Yamfennian scientist named Ortesque rectified it by creating heavier boots. The added weight was slowly removed as the refugees adapted. For a while, everything seemed lighter and they all joked about how strong their journey to Earth made them.

 Everyone was fully adapted in a couple weeks. The process of adapting to the lower gravity was actually drawn out significantly by the Ortesque shoes, but they got to forgo the dizziness and nausea. They soon grew bored and frustrated with their captivity.

 Grek tried to warn their new captors about the threat posed by the Lambads. He was ignored. The humans had no proof of the Lambad ship and decided their instruments malfunctioned when they showed two huge motherships plummeting to the earth. They decided the refugee ship was so big it was read as two. Another theory was that something broke off the refugee ship that accounted for the other reading.

 Grek was furious and demanded they be released. He also had a deep feeling of guilt. He knew it was because of their escape that the Lambads were now loose on this planet. They had no other acceptable choice. They had to escape. He just would have preferred they did so without the Lambads acting as chaperone.

 It was these circumstances that first inspired thoughts of the Refugee Alien Defenders, or R.A.D. for short. Everyone in this quarantine had played an important role in the escape from LambaBad. They all had usable skills, which could be applied to an organization devoted to the protection of this new planet. This was their new home. They had no way to get off of it and nowhere to go. The humans didn’t even believe the Lambads existed. It was up to them to keep Earth safe.

 Grek started a training regimen immediately. There wasn’t much they could do while in quarantine. They didn’t even have access to weapons or other gadgets. Grek had them do the only thing they could do, exercise. They got a lot of exercise. Grek kept a close watch on everybody. He was constantly evaluating them. He kept a mental record of everyone’s work ethic, demeanor, intelligence, social aptitude, etc… He would make a note of anything he thought was important and he thought everything was important.

 The humans held debates about the fate of the refugee visitors to their planet for months. It may have been years. Tempers flared on both sides of the argument. It was the biggest and most controversial issue on Earth.

 People for the containment of the aliens used pictures of Grek, Gargsnops, and Kip to advance their cause. Grek was much larger than the majority of his companions. He is dark green with orange circles and squiggly lines on his back. Wemeselsimians have a prehensile tail to go along with the soft fur that covers their hard, armor-like scales. He looked like he could and would tear a human into two pieces and eat them raw. Gargsnops was a Rarishian. As we discussed earlier in the tale of Fluhggoppin Lopkin, Rarishians are covered in horns and look vicious. He has horns on his head and his nose. He looks like he’s from Earth’s 1970s with his short curly black hair and mustache. Unlike a gentleman from Earth’s 1970s, his torso is covered in scales, while the rest of him is covered in fur. His tail is not prehensile but is laced with spikes. Kip is a Yortian. Yortians are basically eyeballs with arms and legs. They used Kip as an example of just weird and creepy.

 Yamfennians and Hitch were used by organizations trying to free the refugees. Abby was chosen to be the poster-Yamfennian for their cause, with Ortesque and Gumford standing behind her. Abby looks like Easter and smells like cotton candy. She’s small, pink and yellow. There’s a white blaze down the middle of her face with two short swirly antennae on the top of her head. She’s fluffy and even has a white puffy cotton ball tail. The other two look similar, but Abby has a less-imposing feminine charm. Hitch is a fur-ball. He looks kind of like a cross between a Mogwai, an Ewok, a koala, and a kiss from a unicorn. If you saw him you’d want to hug him, snuggle with him and take him home as a pet, though he would not like that. That’s exactly what the liberation organizations were trying to relay. These are cute, cuddly, harmless creatures.

 The arguments for keeping the refugees in quarantine indefinitely were plentiful, if not completely invalid. “Look at them, they’re vicious.” “If they don’t eat your kids they’ll at least give them fleas, space fleas.” “They probably have space rabies.” “They’ll take jobs from hard-working natural-born citizens of Earth.” “They smell like rotten milk and Tabasco sauce.” “They came from Uranus to enslave us all.” “They don’t have any money and will be a drain on resources.” “One of them ate my daughter.” “They stole my pick-up truck.” “They don’t look and act just like me. That makes them scary.” “They don’t even speak our languages.”

 The case for releasing them was also abundant, if not bizarre. “They’ll make great pets.” That’s kind of the opposite of setting them free. “They look like Easter and smell like cotton candy.” That one’s just Abby. Gargsnops smells more like rotten milk and Tabasco sauce. Gramscul smells a lot like Uranus. “They are adorable and therefore probably harmless.” “I want to pet them.” “I like cotton candy.” “They’re sentient beings and deserve respect and basic rights as such.”

 Celebrities came out with their opinions. Nearly every musician, actor, athlete and reality star expressed their opinions using partial and misspelled words on social media. Most were irrational, incoherent and painfully devoid of vowels, but people listened. As any Earthling knows, when it comes to matters as important as the fate of society and the world, the only opinions that matter are those of celebrities.

 It should be mentioned that no unauthorized non-military personnel had ever even seen them first-hand. Knowledge of them had only spread via illicit cell phone pictures posted on social media sites. There were plenty of people who thought they were a hoax. All governments denied their existence and tried their best to convince people they weren’t real.

 Ultimately, they were set free. It wasn’t because of any of the arguments, though the comment by Kandi Korni Kiddie on her Instastuff profile reading, “kl! lns” did sway more than a few. Kandi was paradoxically famous for being famous. Somehow her post was interpreted as, “Cool! Aliens!” but no one really knows for sure if that was indeed her intent. When asked for a comment for the biggest news story of the day, Kandi was unable to articulate an actual thought as her communication skills were non-existent. She looked good in the picture, though, for a human, at least.

 The refugees ended up buying their freedom. They offered to share their technology. The aliens could do things humans could never do. Humans were still using something called fossil fuels and nuclear power. They actually burned the remains of plants that were millions of years old for energy. They knew about solar, wind, water and geothermal energy, but hardly used any of them. They were boldly marching down the path toward the fate of LambaBad. With the sun, a G-type main-sequence star, at the center of the solar system any Yamfennian could power the entire planet with a few dozen large solar panels and some batteries. They also offered up solar-powered hover cars with silent fans in the grill to harness wind power as they drove. They really just converted Earth cars to something resembling transport pods like those used on Nasga. They built filters that could convert sea water to drinking water.

 They could have done more, but that was enough to earn them their freedom. They had a lot of their own work to do. By the time they were free, Grek had a clear plan in his mind of what Refugee Alien Defenders would be. The refugees set-up their base in the Canadian wilderness, right where they crashed. The ship itself was the base. I can’t tell you exactly where it is, in case you ever go to Earth or if this ever makes its way to Earth. The governments of the world helped to create a perimeter to keep anybody from wandering into the secret location, inadvertently or otherwise. Grek had a radar blocker set-up that hid them from all of Earth’s radar and satellites.

The days were reserved for training. They ran drills, exercised and familiarized themselves with their new weapons. Most of them had never used any kind of weapon before. There were a lot of accidents at first, resulting in the unfortunate loss of tails, horns, an eyeball or two, not Kip, and, worst of all, the occasional mustache met its demise.

 At night they learned. They knew nothing of the planet they now called home. While in quarantine they weren’t taught anything. Nor were they allowed to access computers and research for themselves. Earth was as alien to them as they were to it. They learned quickly, though.

 Grek decided that each continent would be home to a division of the Refugee Alien Defenders. Antarctica was nearly devoid of human life, so it wasn’t necessary to have one there. Conversely, Asia would have three, given its size and population.

 Grek chose a captain for each division. Once one was designated a captain, he or she was on a level equal with Captain Grek. After that, they formed a committee and made all decisions as a group. Captain Grek was still the most respected and had the most authority if any dispute arose.

 Captain Grek got to stay in Canada as the captain of the North American Division of the Refugee Alien Defenders, or N.A.D.R.A.D. He even got to handpick a few of the refugees with whom he worked closely during the escape from LambaBad to be in his division. After the other captains decided who would be assigned to which continent they held a draft. This assured that the divisions would be composed of equally skilled members. After the draft, there were a few trades to even things. For example, if one division had too many aliens who profiled as pilots and too few who profiled as engineers they would swap with a division with the opposite imbalance.

 The next step was to divide the divisions into squads. Each division was divided into 12 squads of five to seven each. The squads were to be assigned a letter designation of A-L. Their letter was also their rank, with A being the highest rank and L the lowest. Grek helped the divisions with the composition of their squads. He knew everyone’s abilities better than everybody else. He even knew one’s abilities better than that one knew his or her own abilities. He had been grading everyone since they were rebels on LambaBad.

 Grek made sure every squad had one captain, and at least one pilot and one scientist or engineer. They were supplemented with two to four other aliens who would be trained to be experts in weapons, medicine or jetpacks. The captains strove to put people in the squads who would work well together.

 A lot of aliens were left off squads. Every base needed a large number of people to keep it functioning. The left-overs were trained as guards, medics, computer technicians and more. A lot of scientists and engineers were assigned to remain at the bases. They were valuable out on missions, in case something malfunctioned and needed immediate repairs or to take care of other variables. The scientist and engineers were also far too valuable to risk losing too many on potentially dangerous missions. Keeping them in the labs also increased the possibility of technological growth, which is always extremely important.

 That’s when the real training began. It was paramount that each squad learned to work together as a unit or a squad. They ran drills together. The Squads played games against each other to build team loyalty and cohesiveness. The games were also a good way to rank squad and individual performances.

 When it was finally deemed that the refugees were trained beyond what they were getting from the games, they separated. Each division was sent to its assigned continent. Construction of headquarters for each division began right away.

 Each division took an equal portion of the remains of the mothership to use as material for their base. The bases were built in remote, secret locations. They were usually underground or in mountains. Before the split, all the scientists and engineers worked on the design of the bases. Using one design would save time and energy later. It also gave them the benefit of having more minds working together to calibrate the logistics. There were small variations for each base given the various terrains with which the settling aliens would have to work.

 The sight of all these spaceships hauling large portions of another spaceship in broad daylight caused quite a stir among humans, or it would have if anybody took their eyes off their cell phones long enough to notice. Actually, the ships moved so quickly and flew so high that even if humans were physically capable of removing their eyes from their cell phones they still probably wouldn’t have noticed.

 From the time they regained access to their computers, Grek had been monitoring the entire planet. He used Earth’s satellite system and their own technology to scan for any Lambad activity. He found none. That was both encouraging and perplexing. It gave him a little hope that the Lambads didn’t survive the crash. If they all died in the crash, they couldn’t cause any chaos on Earth and they couldn’t signal The Tyrannical Tyrannosaurus Gregory LambaDambaBottom. If 3T.G.L.D.B. showed up on Earth, there was a real possibility he would do the same thing there that he did to Nasga. If they did survive and he still couldn’t find any signs of them, that was scary. Evading Earth’s satellites was understandable. Earth technology was so antiquated it could hardly be called technology at all. If the Lambads were evading sophisticated alien technology, that was bad.

 The Lambads were, in fact, evading all scans, sophisticated and otherwise. They were spending most of their time inside the aforementioned Sara Sara. They didn’t venture out beyond their crash site. The mothership, though it would never fly again, provided them with everything they would need to survive. They dug deeper into the mountain where the mothership started a nice crater. Much like their counterparts in the Refugee Alien Defenders, they turned the remainder of their ship into a base. The mountain itself hid them from most human radars and satellite surveillance. They used the mothership’s radar blocker to elude the R.A.D.’s searches.

 Eventually, the Lambads ventured out. The majority of their missions were to gather food and forcefully recruit more workers. Such missions were typically scarce and brief. Captain Grek watched from his office, which he dubbed Grekquarters.

 When the first images of Lambads on Earth showed up on the giant screen in Grekquarters, Captain Grek was excitedly dejected and dejectedly excited. All the time he had spent monitoring had finally paid off. The sighting was even in North America. The Lambads were smart enough not to reveal themselves too close to home. A sense of urgency rushed through him. He had to round up all the Lambads. He had to stop them before they could do something diabolical. His division finally had an opportunity for some real action.

 Captain Grek hailed his top squad, the A Squad. He briefed them briefly and sent them out. Their mission, the first ever official mission by the Refugee Alien Defenders, was to apprehend the Lambads and bring them back for questioning. The A Squad launched and headed straight for the coordinates. Before they arrived, the Lambads were back aboard their ship and activated the radar blocker. The A Squad searched the area for clues but found little.

 Subsequent missions were predominately assisting humanity. They put out fires. They helped to land malfunctioning airplanes. They rescued abused animals. They caught bank robbers. They helped cats cross the street. They helped get old ladies out of trees. They ate watermelon, that one wasn’t as much a mission as it was going out for a treat. They scarcely caught a glimpse of any Lambads. A few were captured but refused to share any details of their existence on Earth.

 R.A.D. did accomplish a few things during that time. They got to put their skills to use. They were able to see how their training played out in real-world situations. They made mistakes and were able to learn from them and improve their skills. Most importantly, they started to assimilate into human cultures. They gradually succeeded in becoming more accepted by humanity. There weren’t sweeping reforms in the attitudes toward them, but incrementally people started to accept that there were aliens living amongst them. They still had more than their fair share of detractors, but it was a small improvement.

 Captain Grek’s biggest problem wasn’t the Lambads or the humans. Barring an all-out assault by either of them, his greatest difficulty was right there in his own headquarters, among his own division. It was one of his squads. The lowest-ranked squad, the L Squad.

 The L Squad was the lowest ranked for a reason. That reason is they consistently came in last in every category. They were all capable performers for the most part, but they each had weaknesses. As a squad, they had one big weakness; they seemed incapable of working together. As I mentioned previously, one of the criteria for becoming a squad was that they worked well together. It wasn’t that there was friction within the squad or their personalities or skill sets clashed. Their problem was that everyone was an individual and acted as such instead of as a part of a team. Being an individual is a beautiful thing, but there come times when one must strive for the greater good. The members of the L Squad simply seemed incapable of putting aside their own quirks and working as a unit.

 The L Squad is a five-member squad. They are the outcasts. They are the misfits. They are the ones who didn’t fit into any other squad but were too skilled to waste on mundane work around the headquarters. They are Hitch, Abby, George, Kip, and Charlie.

 Hitch is a Zechistenian originally from the planet Zechisten. He’s the captain of the L Squad. Captain Grek recognized the potential for leadership in Hitch shortly after their meeting. He has an infectious charisma that others want to be around and follow. He also has an impetuous nature, which gets him, and everyone who follows him into trouble.

Abby is the scientist of the squad. She’s a genius, but you already know that from everything leading up to this. She’s also a misanthrope. That’s her biggest fault, from a squad standpoint. She doesn’t work well with others but prefers to work alone in her workshop. She often gets lost in her own mind. Captain Grek hoped that assigning her to a squad headed by her friend, Hitch, would help Abby ease into more public endeavors. He further hoped that Abby’s presence on the squad would help Hitch to not be so impulsive.

I guess by now you would find it odd if George weren’t the pilot of the squad. He is the one who piloted the mothership from LambaBad to Earth. He’s also the one who crashed it. That pretty much sums up George. During preliminary testing, he was the best pilot of the bunch. He was also the worst. He is an extremely skilled pilot, but he likes to fly fast, often too fast, which make many of his landings accidental landings. Most of the squads were terrified to have George as their pilot. George and Hitch go back a long way and they’ve each save the others life. Hitch was happy to have George as his pilot… sometimes.

Kip is the eyes and ears of the squad. Actually, Kip’s just the eye. Kip is solar-powered and the sun is stronger on Earth than it was on his home planet, Yort. On Yort, the Opes, or eyeball people, were predominately cerebral beings. The Earth’s sun made Kip much stronger and therefore more of a warrior. Kip has a hard shell and can roll into a ball, which allows Kip to charge enemies and act as a bowling ball. Kip is also the semi-trained medic of the squad. Really, Kip was just in charge of keeping the supplies stocked. Kip has no real defect that landed him on the L Squad. Other Yortians convinced Captain Grek that Kip was weaker because his iris is purple. An old superstition on Yort says that a purple iris makes one weak. Due to the taunting of the other Yortians, Kip scored lower on the testing than Kip would have normally.

Captain Grek didn’t remember Charlie from Nasga, the escape voyage or even quarantine. That was very unusual. He dug into the records and she was accounted for in every location. Completely lacking any evaluation of her skills, he wasn’t sure what to do with her. She seemed to stick very closely to Abby. In fact, Abby appeared to keep her on a leash, so Charlie was assigned to the L Squad.

Charlie is the lone Earthling member of the R.A.D. Officially her records show that she’s a Niibe from the planet Niibell, which actually doesn’t exist. Charlie was Abby’s ordinary Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy until she used an invention to imbue her with Yamfennian-like qualities. Now, Charlie can walk upright and speak the Queen’s English. She can use her paws like hands. She still retained some of her spaniel instincts, which makes her a liability to even a tattered squad like the L Squad. She will often get overexcited and chase things. When she gets excited she forgets her manners and barks like a crazy person… or a dog.

Those are the crazy characters we’ll follow on their adventures through books, movies, video games, cartoon spin-offs and licensing. That’s my hope anyway. Let’s work together to make that a reality, shall we? Oh, you want to read about one of the good squads? In that case, you’re reading the wrong story.

A Brief Synopsis Of The L Squad

The L Squad has always been the bottom rung of the North American Division of the Refugee Alien Defenders (N.A.D.R.A.D.). Their blunders have become legendary fodder for the rest of the Refugee Alien Defenders (R.A.D.). While all skilled and competent in their own right, they’ve been unable to form a cohesive unit. Hitch, the captain of the L Squad, is too cavalier and jumps into action without forethought. Abby is a genius, but her anti-social behavior makes it hard for her to work with others. George is a brilliant pilot but is also a thrill-seeker, which habitually endangers the squad. Kip was just given a poor reputation due to the slander of the other Yortians in the R.A.D. for having the wrong eye color. Charlie is also cavalier. She is literally a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Abby adopted and anthropomorphized via a device she invented. Charlie has all the skills necessary to be a member of the R.A.D., but she is still susceptible to her canine instincts, which cause chaos.

They hit an all-time low when they are sent on a mission, which is basically a shopping trip, and end up destroying a hotel and getting arrested. Captain Grek, the head of the N.A.D.R.A.D., demotes the L Squad to the janitorial staff just before the oppressive dictator they fled to Earth to escape arrives and starts bombing San Francisco with F-Bombs, which are, of course, flatulent bombs.

While the rest of the N.A.D.R.A.D. is dispatched to face The Tyrannical Tyrannosaurus Gregory LambaDambaBottom (3T.G.L.D.B.), Captain Grek deems the L Squad underqualified and unprepared to go into battle. He, instead, sends them to clean the showers. Unsatisfied with this role, the L Squad defies Captain Grek’s orders and joins the fight. The L Squad subsequently handicaps N.A.D.R.A.D.’s last chance of defeating 3T.G.L.D.B. resulting in the capture of the few remaining Refugee Alien Defenders left on the battlefield. The L Squad is forced to retreat to headquarters where they are immediately locked in a holding cell.

Undeterred, Hitch leads a failed escape attempt, which nearly turns his squad against him. Fueled by the desire to fix all the chaos they caused, Abby convinces the rest of the L Squad to regroup and work together. Using teamwork and Abby’s plan, Hitch leads a successful escape. Along the way, they inadvertently release other prisoners and have a run-in with security and Captain Grek. When they finally do escape, they get to work on putting right everything they messed up.

Can the L Squad overcome all the obstacles in their way? Can they continue to put to use the teamwork they recently learned? Will they save the rest of the N.A.D.R.A.D. from the mess they got them into? Will they save Earth from the oppressive, destructive, tyrannical rule of The Tyrannical Tyrannosaurus Gregory LambaDambaBottom? There are only nine ways to find out. First, and my preferred method, read the book. Second, wait for the movie to come out. There’s no guarantee on that one, but I have written the script, and it has received positive feedback from two professional sources. Third, look for spoilers online. Fourth, find the book somewhere and skip to the end. Fifth, ask someone who has read the book. Sixth, just assume everything works out all right. It is a kids’ book. Seventh, wait for the actual events to unfold in real time in the real world. It should only be a hundred years or so. Eighth, write your own version. That way it will come out however you want and assure you won’t be disappointed. Ninth… Eight. There are only eight ways to find out. First…

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