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.

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