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

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

Kip

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“What?”

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

“Oh. I’m sorry.”

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

“What’s bullcheese?”

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

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

“I don’t have a choice.”

“Oh.”

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

“I don’t fit in anywhere.”

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

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

A To Z Challenge: Distress Call

Today’s A To Z Challenge is much better than yesterday’s. I’m more functional today, and there’s a lot of dialogue. My writing flows much better when I let the characters tell the story.

If you’ve been following along, you’ve probably noticed my stories so far have been interlinked. This one is kind of a departure. I don’t have a character with a D name anywhere in The L Squad. I thought about Dangle Hartzakk from Norman Normalson & The Normals, but he’s a minor character who is pretty underdeveloped. This doesn’t fit in linearly with the rest of my A To Z Challenge stories, but you can think of it as a flashback. This is story of how our alien heroes came to be stranded on Earth.

Distress Call

“Captain, the planet beyond this asteroid belt is reading as having a breathable atmosphere,” said Meestuh Squawklebolce.

“Can we survive there?” asked Captain Grek.

“The gravity is lighter, and there’s a lot of pollution,” said Meestuh Squawklebolce.

“Can we survive?” Captain Grek asked, again, with a hint of flagitation.

For the uninitiated, Wemeselsimians, like Captain Grek, have a condition known as flagitation. The word is a portmanteau of ‘flatulence’ and ‘agitation.’ Wemeselsimians fart when they’re angry, nervous, or otherwise agitated.

“Yes,” said Meestuh Squawklebolce.

“Can you get us there, George?” asked Captain Grek.

George turned toward Captain Grek stroking Herman. “We have to take this asteroid belt a lot slower than the last, which will give them time to catch up.”

“Do it,” said Captain Grek. “Schmargf, Doogleynobbz, keep that ship off us.”

“On it, Captain,” said Schmargf.

“Will do, Captain,” said Doogleynobbz, who then turned to Schmargf, “On it?”

“Will do?” Schmargf returned.

“Kruwkedpinz, send a distress call to the planet,” said Captain Grek. “Keep me informed of any response.”

“It’s a conundrum! It’s a disaster! What should I do? Where should I be?” asked Uniqraw.

“Get yourself to a secure location, Uniqraw,” said Captain Grek, “and stay off the bridge.”

“Underpants!” said Uniqraw.

“Yes, that’s where you should be, with the underpants, doing our laundry,” said Captain Grek.

“Why did we rescue him, again?” asked Chugklet.

“Somebody has to do the laundry,” said MkFlooffeepence.

“We saved everyone we could,” said Captain Grek. “All the lives on that planet matter. I wish we could have saved everyone.”

“Except Theodore,” George mumbled to himself.

“I’m not getting a response,” said Kruwkedpinz. “I’m detecting archaic technology. They might not have the capability to respond.”

“Keep trying,” said Captain Grek.

George slowed the massive mothership and eased into the asteroid belt. He wasn’t so gentle with the Kuiper Belt, and the ship had the dings to prove it. They were about halfway through when the ship started to shake.

“George,” said Captain Grek.

“It’s not me, Captain,” said George.

“They’re catching up, Captain,” said Gronult.

“Evasive maneuvers!?!?” Captain Grek commanded, tentatively.

“I am,” said George. “We’re in an asteroid belt. I’m already being as evasive as I can”

“They’re firing in front of us,” said Gronult. “They’re not trying to destroy us. They’re trying to slow us down.”

“They’re trying to recapture us,” said Kruwkedpinz.

“I can’t be a slave again,” said MkFlooffeepence. “I can’t do it.”

“None of us can or will,” said Captain Grek. “George.”

“Seatbelt, everyone,” said George.

George pushed the speed to the limit he could control in an asteroid belt. He bounced off a few asteroids but maintained forward momentum. Schmargf and Doogleynobbz divided the blasters. Schmargf fired ahead in an attempt to give George the most accessible path possible. Doogleynobbz tried to keep the pursuing Lambad ship at as much of a distance as possible.

The ship emerged from the asteroid belt banged up but functional. George kept the course for the planet. He increased speed until…

“What was that?” asked Captain Grek. “Report.”

“We’re hit,” said Meestuh Squawklebolce. “We’re hit hard.”

“We’ve lost right thrusters,” said MkFlooffeepence.

“George?” asked Captain Grek. “What does that mean?”

“It means we’re at base speed until it’s fixed,” said George.

“What about the left thrusters?” asked Captain Grek.

“They’ll take us forward but also in a circle,” said George. “It would be faster, but we’d be spinning out of control.”

“Can we make it to the planet?” asked Captain Grek.

“Without a doubt, but the Lambads will catch us long before that happens,” said George.

“Options?” asked Captain Grek.

“We can fire back and hope to keep them at a distance,” said Kruwkedpinz.

“Can we slow them?” asked Captain Grek.

“Not without being behind them,” said Meestuh Squawklebolce.

“We have to be able to hit their thrusters,” said MkFlooffeepence.

“Can we…” Captain Grek started.

“Done,” said George.

Without further discussion or warning, George swung the ship up and fired the left thruster to full. The ship veered up and hard to the right. They ended up almost exactly where they wanted to be. They were behind the Lambad mothership blasting at their thrusters.

It didn’t take long for the Lambads to retaliate. They sped up, knowing the refugees couldn’t catch them, and released the smaller attack ships. The smaller ships swarmed on the refugee ship while the Lambad mothership circled back and settled behind the refugee ship.

“George, what can we do?” asked Captain Grek.

“Cry,” George suggested. “Our ship’s too battered to outfly them. They have too many attack ships to fight.”

“What about ours?” asked Kruwkedpinz. “We have the same ships they have.”

“We don’t have enough pilots,” said Captain Grek. “These are good people, but they’re refugees, not warriors, not yet.”

“Even if we did, the majority of the people on this ship are in stasis,” said Chugklet.

“The ships are dispersing,” said MkFlooffeepence.

“Somehow, that doesn’t seem like good news,” said Gronult.

“They’re locking on to us with their tractor beam,” said Meestuh Squawklebolce.

“How close are we to the planet? Is it reachable?” asked Captain Grek.

“If it weren’t for the tractor beam, even in this condition, I could get us there within minutes,” said George.

“What if we were suddenly thrust forward?” asked Captain Grek. “Maybe tumbling out of control?”

“That’s my favorite way to fly,” said George.

“What are you thinking, Captain?” asked Kruwkedpinz.

“Schmargf, Doogleynobbz, queue up a torpedo or two,” said Captain Grek.

“They’re pulling us in,” said Meestuh Squawklebolce.

“Good,” said Captain Grek.

“Where are firing, Captain?” asked Schmargf.

“Into the tractor beam,” said Captain Grek.

“But that will…” Chugklet started.

“Send us tumbling out of control,” said George.

“If we can break the hold of the tractor beam,” said Gronult.

“If it doesn’t destroy both ships,” said Kruwkedpinz.

“Would you rather be destroyed or dragged back to a dying Nasga to be slaves?” asked MkFlooffeepence.

“On my mark, be ready,” said Captain Grek.

Everyone paused and waited for Captain Grek, except the Lambads. They kept pulling the refugee ship closer. Everyone on the bridge held their breath. It wasn’t out of concern for their lives but concern for their olfactory systems. By now, the product of Captain Grek’s flagitation had filled the bridge.

Yay for fart jokes!

“Fire,” yelled Captain Grek, who refused to allow me to revel in my delight over that fart joke.

The torpedo, Schmargf and Doogleynobbz decided on one out of concern for everyone’s lives, smashed into the Lambad ship. It hit it right in the tractor beam and caused an explosion that sent both ships tumbling out of control.

George jerked their ship and aimed it toward the planet that had become their destination. The Lambad ship tumbled the opposite direction but still had functional thrusters. They managed to aim their tumble toward the refugee ship. They motherships collided in the atmosphere. Both ships were caught in the planet’s gravitational pull. Both ships were still tumbling out of control.

The refugee ship landed in the northwestern hemisphere of the planet in the wilderness of a country the dominant species referred to as Canada. The Lambad ship landed somewhere in the southwestern hemisphere.

The explosion temporarily blinded many of the planet’s satellite systems the same way a solar flare could. The inhabitants of the planet saw the refugee ship crash. The Lambad ship went down in one of the satellite systems blind spots.

Before the refugees could orient themselves, they were surrounded by armies sent by the governments of two countries, Canada and the United States Of America. A wall was built around the ship, and the air above them was closed to flyovers. The refugees, now aliens, were officially quarantined.

A To Z Challenge: Batimus

Continuing right along with the A To Z Challenge. Today’s letter is B. B as in boy, boom, barbecue, bagel, barn, barf, bacon, broccoli, bunions… There are probably more words that start with B. In case you missed my dramatic A To Z Challenge Theme Reveal, I’m trying to focus on my sci-fi creations, The L Squad & Norman Normalson & The Normals. You can also follow along with my A To Z Challenge by following that link. I’m already regretting the path I chose for this. I’m going to want to go back an rewrite everything.

I’ve been meaning to write up a PolleeAnnuh bio but haven’t yet. For now just imagine a really cool alien version of conjoined twins. P might bring more details.

Batimus

Batimus, or Bat for short, practiced her martial arts at night, in the dark, where she couldn’t be seen. The refugees weren’t allowed anything that could be used as a weapon, even martial arts.

Batimus was named after the home world she’s never seen, Batimus Prime. Batimus Prime was home to the Batisian people. When Batimus Prime was invaded most of the Batisian survivors fled. Some went on to other uninhabited worlds and founded planets like Batimus II, Batimus The Third, and such. Some Batisians fled to established planets that would accept refugees. Batimus’s parents stayed to fight the invaders. It wasn’t until the battle was lost that they gave up their planet and escaped to Nasga. It was on Nasga that Batimus was conceived and born and given the name Batimus as a reminder of the world that was lost, the world she would most likely never see.

Batisians are furry, usually in a brown, white, and black combination. Batisians have large, piercing eyes that can actually emit light and illuminate the darkness. It’s kind of like a flashlight that can be turned on or off.

Batisians have extraordinary climbing abilities. They’re a very nimble, acrobatic species. See what I did there? AcroBATic. This gives them a natural aptitude for martial arts.

Bat’s work-out was truncated by a tall thin alien, slightly resembling a celery stick with a huge afro, running around yelling, “Tomfoolery!”

PolleeAnnuh came running behind.

“Sorry,” said Pollee.

“That’s just Tomfoolery,” said Annuh.

“He’s very interesting,” said Batimus. “What’s he doing?”

“He wanted the job of telling everyone the good news,” said Pollee.

“Is that how he’s doing it?” asked Batimus.

“Yeah, that’s why he didn’t get the job,” said Annuh.

“That makes sense,” said Batimus. “What is the good news?”

“Oh, Tomfoolery didn’t tell you?” Pollee said with a chuckle.

“I got the gist but would like a little more detail,” said Batimus.

“We’re free,” said Annuh. “Humanity has finally lifted the quarantine.”

Batimus listened as PolleeAnnuh explained the details of their emancipation. Batimus thanked them profusely. PolleeAnnuh pointed her to the person she should be thanking, a Yamfennian who was currently at work in her workshop.

Bat knocked on the door. After a few seconds of silence, she tried again. This time the door opened to reveal a small, fluffy, pink, and yellow Yamfennian with a white blaze down the middle of her face with two short swirly antennae on the top of her head. She looked like Easter, a holiday Batimus learned about mere moments ago, and smelled of cotton candy, something Batimus wouldn’t learn about until later.

“Hi, Abby. I’m Batimus.”

“Right,” said Abby, squinting and shielding her eyes. “You’re one of the Batisians.”

“Sorry,” said Batimus. “I forgot about my lights.”

Bat blinked a few times dimming the lights emitting from her eyes.

“Thanks,” said Abby.

“Yeah, I’m Batisian. My friends call me Bat. I just came by to congratulate and thank you.”

“For what?”

“Haven’t you heard?”

“I don’t hear much. Not many people talk to me. All I’ve heard recently was someone running around yelling, ‘Tomfoolery!’”

“We’re free. The humans have finally decided to end our quarantine.”

“Finally! Does this mean I can get my computers and equipment back?”

“I don’t know.”

“Why are you thanking me?”

“You were the deciding factor,” said Batimus.

“Me? Was it my essay on the cruelty of captivity?”

“No.”

“Was it my plea to humanity to see us as equals instead of animals to be tamed?”

“No.”

“Did they finally accept that our ship was destroyed, and we’re stuck here?’

“No.”

“Did they find evidence of the Lambad ship that followed us here and realize they need us to protect them?”

“No.”

“Was it my warnings about the probability of The Tyrannical Tyrannosaurus Gregory LambaDambaBottom following us here and the need for global preparation?”

“No.”

“Then, how the glaurf was I the deciding factor?”

“It’s because you remind humans of something called Easter. It’s a holiday that’s coming soon.”

“I remind them of a holiday.”

“Yeah. Apparently, Yamfennians look a little like colorful rabbits, a cute, furry animal native to Earth.”

“Humans think Yamfennians are cute?”

“They think you’re especially cute amongst the Yamfennians. So, thanks.” Abby just stared at Batimus with a shocked expression and drooping antennae. Uncomfortable with Abby’s stare, Batimus searched for something else to say, “So, what are you going to do when they finally let us out of here?”

A look of curiosity and contemplation came over Abby’s face. She distractedly said, “I’m going to get a pet.”

Abby disappeared back into her workshop.

“A pet?” Bat said to herself, perplexed. After her experiences with slavery and all her talking and writing about the atrocity of one species holding dominion over another, she wants a pet? “Yamfennians are strange creatures.”

Rondeau Challenge: L Squad Style: Another New World

I started this last week, last year, even, hahahahahahaahahahaha… dumb. The end of the week and through the weekend got chaotic, and this was lost in the debris. I’m back to pick it up and make it brilliant or at least complete.

I tried out Cubby’s Rondeau challenge. You can view my attempt here. I said in that post that I would try to “revisit these and try them in a style more befitting of this blog, meaning aliens and farts. Maybe robots and space pirates. Cheese? That would be fun.” The other being the Terza Rima, which I redid from the point of view of Norman Normalson. This time, I’m going to retry the Rondeau with an L Squad theme. Let’s see how it goes, shall we?

 

Another New World

On another new world, the third for most
Humanity’s a less than gracious host
We hoped that they would protect refugees
But the humans locked us up hastily
Their hospitality’s no cause to boast

We were quarantined, and the guards watched close
Captain Grek was the one who led the toast
When humanity finally set us free
On another new world

We’re set to defend every land and coast
On every continent, we set a post
We have to be ready for Gregory
He’ll come here to resume his tyranny
Since he turned Nasga to a world of ghosts
On another new world

It’s hard to work these into existing storylines. I didn’t include robots, space pirates, or cheese. What’s the deal?

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