The Tyrannical Tyrannosaurus Gregory LambaDambaBottom: The Making Of A Villain

The Tyrannical Tyrannosaurus Gregory LambaDambaBottom was just a spoiled rich kid on his planet, XaXet (Zak-Zit). He’s like Earth’s extinct tyrannosauruses, but only 8 feet in height weighing in at about a tonne, or 2,204.6 pounds. He can best be described as an anthropomorphic tyrannosaurus or a cross between a human and tyrannosaurus. People from XaXet have human-like abilities such as communication, technology, reason, working society, thirst for destruction, and the like.

Gregory LambaDambaBottom was born of a short line of conquerors and destroyers. When he was very young, his father, Aloysius LambaDambaBottom, and older brother, Aloysius LambaDambaBottom, Jr., voyaged off on a mission to forcefully add another planet to the growing number under the flag of XaXet.

Space travel was still a relatively new advancement for the XaXets and they were greedily conquering every inhabited planet they could find. Neither Aloysius LambaDambaBottom ever returned. They were both assumed dead, though no evidence of their demise has ever been discovered. Gregory’s grief-stricken mother, Grushenka LambaDambaBottom, started to coddle her young “Greggy.” Most other children on XaXet were raised to be warriors. With the endless planetary war between tyrannosauruses and dragons finally ending, the new generation was being bred to be conquerors. They weren’t raised to be mama’s boys and they certainly did not get cutesy nicknames like “Greggy.” The other kids his age teased him about being one of the new domesticated dinosaurs.

Gregory started to rebel and lash out violently. A legendary warrior, who was also teased as a child, heard of Gregory’s troubles and took him under his wing, literally and figuratively. He spent the majority of his life fighting in the XaXet wars between the tyrannosauruses and dragons. He was on the opposite side but developed a great respect for Aloysius LambaDambaBottom. When Nakedfoot, The Naked-Footed Dragon learned of the woes of his former rival’s son he stepped in to help. Yeah, his name is Nakedfoot, The Naked-Footed Dragon. What are you going to do about it? O.K., it’s not his real name. You’ll have to read his bio for more details on that. He earned the moniker in battle. It’s a highly respected and revered name on XaXet and feared throughout the rest of the universe.

It’s a beautiful thing when dragons and tyrannosauruses put their differences aside and learn to work together, except when they come together to pillage and destroy. Nakedfoot, The Naked-Footed Dragon started meeting with Gregory a few times per week. Grushenka LambaDambaBottom was elated that the famous warrior was showing an interest in her son. She hoped this new friendship would pull her Greggy out of his bad ways. It had been awhile since Aloysius disappeared. Grushenka was enjoying the attention she was receiving from Nakedfoot. She was even starting to have visions of little dragosaurus babies, which would be awesome. If she had known what they were doing in these meeting she wouldn’t have been so happy.

Nakedfoot, The Naked-Footed Dragon started teaching Gregory right away. He taught him battle strategies. He taught him how to fight and be a warrior. Most importantly, he taught him how to channel his anger. Gregory learned how to save up all the anger from the other kids teasing him and unleash it on an enemy. Fighting every kid who teased him at school was a waste of energy and only got him in trouble. Nakedfoot, The Naked-Footed Dragon taught him to save it up for the biggest, meanest kids. After Gregory took down a couple of them, no one teased him again.

When he came of age, but was still a frustrated and virtually friendless youth, Greggy added “The Tyrannical Tyrannosaurus” to his name and set out looking for a planet to conquer. Nakedfoot, The Naked-Footed Dragon wanted to go with him, but he respectfully declined his mentor’s assistance. He was determined to prove to everyone, especially himself, that he was a warrior and worthy of the LambaDambaBottom name. Like most bullies and conquerors, he settled on a planet whose inhabitants are much smaller and weaker called Nasga. He single-handedly, he literally did not use his left hand at all, conquered the planet and renamed it LambaBad.

The native dominant species of Nasga were a very kind and accommodating people. In fact, Nasga was a refugee planet. Species from doomed planets, conquered planets, lost space travelers and those who just wanted a new place to live were welcomed and eagerly accommodated. Nasga was the number one vacation planet in the universe. Nasga was a near utopia.

When The Tyrannical Tyrannosaurus Gregory LambaDambaBottom arrived he immediately thrust the planet into chaos. Many of the Nasgans were quick to welcome and serve him, while others saw his demands and treatment of the other guests of the planet as contrary to their way of life. Soon, the planet erupted into global war.

The war was short-lived. The Tyrannical Tyrannosaurus Gregory LambaDambaBottom dropped one exploding bomb and the planet was his. He had experimented with non-exploding bombs before, but he found that exploding bombs did more damage and struck more fear into his enemies. Nasga had never seen war before. The only weapons on the planet belonged to The Tyrannical Tyrannosaurus Gregory LambaDambaBottom.

No one even tried to oppose The Tyrannical Tyrannosaurus Gregory LambaDambaBottom. No one on the planet had ever seen the vicious war tactics or the destructive weaponry 3T.G.L.D.B. brought with him. The war was between the native Nasgans. There were those who wanted to acquiesce to the will of The Tyrannical Tyrannosaurus Gregory LambaDambaBottom and those who wanted to fight him. The war was predominately fought with insults and the occasional slap.

The native Nasgans knew they could fight each other, but not The Tyrannical Tyrannosaurus Gregory LambaDambaBottom. Soon after the war started, Nasgans were defecting to 3T.G.L.D.B.’s side solely for self-preservation. He had already renamed the planet LambaBad and its residents Lambads.

The sensors on The Tyrannical Tyrannosaurus Gregory LambaDambaBottom’s ship indicated large quantities of uranium and coal under the planet’s surface. The non-native inhabitants of Nasga were forced into slavery. The native Nasgans, who submitted to his will and were now called Lambads, were their overseers. The slaves were given the job of digging and working in mines to mine the planet’s new power sources. Nasga had been completely reliant on solar power before the arrival 3T.G.L.D.B. whose technology was all based on the usage of fossil fuels, like coal and oil.

3T.G.L.D.B. replaced all Nasga’s technology with that of XaXet’s. All Nasgan technology was confiscated and locked away in warehouses 3T.G.L.D.B. forced the Nasgans to build. He wasn’t stupid enough to simply destroy everything. He wanted to study their technology and learn how to use it for himself. Moreover, he wanted subservience and letting the people of his conquered planet have technology he didn’t understand would be a potential blunder.

To assure order was kept 3T.G.L.D.B. called in some friends. He sent for his friend and mentor, Nakedfoot, The Naked-Footed Dragon, who kept a vigilant watch from the sky and maintained order through the omnipresent threat of raining fire. For muscle he had Nakedfoot pick up Splorg, a Splorg from the planet Splorg. Splorg would assure all went smoothly in the mines. Yes, one Splorg named Splorg from the planet Splorg was plenty to keep an entire planet’s slave labor force subservient.

The Tyrannical Tyrannosaurus Gregory LambaDambaBottom slowly pulled out any slaves who showed an aptitude for science or engineering. He had them design and build him new warehouses for all the technology he confiscated and new things he wanted built. He told them what he wanted and had them design and build it. If things weren’t up to his specifications, the whole science and engineering department was in big trouble. Being in big trouble with The Tyrannical Tyrannosaurus Gregory LambaDambaBottom was a lot worse than typical trouble for typical people.

The Tyrannical Tyrannosaurus Gregory LambaDambaBottom requisitioned a large fleet of heavily armed motherships to take his new cronies and slaves with him to conquer and colonize the next planet. Every mothership held its own fleet of smaller ships. Once he used up all the resources he could, with new technology in hand and a dying planet at his heels, set off in search of new worlds to conquer.

3T.G.L.D.B. had the greatest minds on the newly named LambaBad working on new weapons of global domination. His fleet could easily lay waste to most planets, but that’s not what he wanted. The Tyrannical Tyrannosaurus Gregory LambaDambaBottom wanted to take a planet for all the resources he could. This included slaves, which meant a ground assault with non-lethal weapons. They mass-produced blasters with stun capabilities, net guns, and jetpacks. They came up with Lambots, robots used to do 3T.G.L.D.B.’s bidding, especially jobs too dangerous for actual living beings. Lambots had the ability to stun and net potential new slaves. They could also procure multiple candidates at once. They created F-Bombs, or flatulence bombs, that could be used to gas entire cities. Everyone on the planet chipped in some of the ammunition for the F-Bombs. Every living being on the planet was affixed with a belt that had a tank that collected all their farts. Yeah, it’s gross. War is gross.

Plunging the planet into industrial pusuits, such as mining and heavy new construction, combined with the deactivation of solar capabilities was a shock to Nasga. Burning fossil fuels and nuclear testing pumped pollution into the atmosphere faster than the planet could adapt. As the pollution started collecting in the atmosphere, plants, animals, and people started dying. The planet itself was dying.

The Tyrannical Tyrannosaurus Gregory LambaDambaBottom didn’t care about the planet. His only problem was a small rebellion brewing. A few escaped slaves freed more slaves. They repeated this process and came to consider themselves a full-fledged rebellion. 3T.G.L.D.B. paid them little attention. He was already planning an exodus from the dying planet. The rebels would simply be left behind. He didn’t want to bring a rebellious influence with him anyway. The next planet would provide him with a new batch of slaves.

The rebels heard rumors of the weapons being built. They knew a batch of weapons would help take their rebellion to the next level. They devised a plan in which they would raid one of the warehouses and finally arm their rebellion. This band of rebels expected to find a plethora of guards. Instead, they found one Yamfennian scientist. She told them about the dying planet and the Lambad plan to evacuate.

Seeing the destruction of Nasga, now LambaBad, was imminent, the rebels conspired with the scientists and engineers to conceive a plan for escape. The scientists and engineers loaded as much of the weaponry and technology as they could aboard one of the motherships. The rebels freed as many people as they could and sneaked them into the warehouse where the scientists and engineers sneaked them aboard the ship. At their first opportunity, when they could sneak past Nakedfoot, The Naked-Footed Dragon, they left LambaBad.

As soon as he found out about the exodus, 3T.G.L.D.B. sent another ship out after them. It didn’t take long for him to figure it out. It was hard to miss the enormous mothership launching from the warehouse and ascending through the atmosphere. He didn’t want to take too many of the resources he would need for alien domination, but he also didn’t want word to get out that his slaves could escape. Following a long pursuit, a brief battle, and a tractor-beam malfunction, both ships crash-landed on Earth. The refugees were slowly accepted by the people of Earth, while their pursuers secretly constructed a mega-base out of their defunct mothership. Still, in fear of the wrath of 3T.G.L.D.B., they were fully intent on returning his chattel to him. The Lambads sent out a beacon into space, so The Tyrannical Tyrannosaurus Gregory LambaDambaBottom could track them.

After many years and many worlds conquered, and left for dead, 3T.G.L.D.B. finally made his way to Earth. As he approached, he intercepted satellite feeds from Earth. He studied the history and learned all he could. He found that the refugees had created what they called the Refugee Alien Defenders. He also learned of this planet’s dinosaur population and how they died out giving way to humanity. Even though they were separated by millions of years, 3T.G.L.D.B. blamed the human race for the fall of the dinosaurs and set himself on vengeance for what he perceived to be his deceased relatives.

L Squad Profile: Charlie, The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Tinker Bell was just a typical adorable tricolored Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, not to be confused with the much smaller snub-nosed King Charles Spaniel, or, as often happens, the Cocker Spaniel. She is also occasionally confused with Jim Henson’s Muppets. It’s not common but it happens. She was not nearly as dainty as the name her breeders gave her would suggest. She was a small dog, destined not to exceed 20 pounds, though she was very curious and adventurous even as a puppy. She was the first in her litter to exhibit any signs of intelligence but was also prone to fits of wild exuberance and a slave to her spaniel nature. She often exhibited a strong prey drive and an overwhelming desire to chase things.

When Abby first saw Tinker Bell she was immediately smitten. Abby, being ever logical and rational, still took over an hour and a half to decide which puppy she wanted. The loneliness she carried around with her cried out to be squelched, so Abby, in a further attempt to assimilate to Earth and its customs, decided to indulge herself in the strange Earth ritual of owning another life form. At first, the thought was repulsive, but her solitude wore her down and she began researching pets. Throughout her research, she was drawn to the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’s flowing fur and calm demeanor. She continued to explore other species but kept returning to the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. She finally acquiesced to her growing desire and contacted a reputable breeder who could provide exemplary health and lineage records.

At first, the breeders were hesitant to sell one of their fine specimens to an alien. Abby initially neglected to inform them of her extraterrestrial status when she first called them. When she offered to repair a low hum their stereo was chronically making, they asked her to fix a laptop. After making quick work of a long list of technical repairs, the breeders hardly minded all the pink fur Abby left on their couch. As dog breeders, they were used to black, brown, and white fur interwoven with everything, but this pink fur was disconcerting. By the time all the repairs were done, the breeders had come to know Abby a little and had actually grown to like her. They decided she was the kind of person to whom they would feel comfortable selling a dog.

Abby finally got to meet all six members of the litter. She sat on the floor with them and they mobbed her, sniffing and licking and rubbing and crawling all over her. Abby was taken aback by the greeting she received. She was not remotely prepared for it. After a few moments of hesitation, she decided she liked being playfully mauled by these tiny creatures. Getting a pet was the right decision.

The first thing Abby did when she got Tinker Bell home was change her name to Charlie, Charlie the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. She thought she was being clever. Sometimes even those who are geniuses can be banal when to attempting creativity. She also failed to realize that Charlie isn’t a girl’s name. From there she moved along to getting all her shots and starting training.

As mentioned above, Charlie was very smart. She took to her training like a bee takes to bumbling. I don’t know what that means, either. She learned quickly. Abby was so proud of her little Charlie Belle, she brought back the Bell when she learned that Charlie isn’t a girl’s name and added the extra ‘e’ to make it feminine instead of a potential surname. Charlie was so well behaved that Abby started bringing her to her squad training. When Captain Grek found out, he forbade it. Abby was so distraught that she nearly quit the Refugee Allied Defenders (R.A.D.). She started spending less time training with the R.A.D. and more time training Charlie.

Concerned with her repeated absences, Hitch came to Abby to find out what was happening. Abby explained and Hitch flexed his growing leadership skills. He told Abby how much the squad needed her and how important she was to the R.A.D., even if the others couldn’t see it. He promised that if she recommitted herself to the squad they could make Charlie their official squad mascot. Abby reluctantly agreed. Hitch was still her best friend and the only friend with whom she could actually communicate.

The new arrangement actually made Abby feel lonelier. She was spending more time away from Charlie as she was always training. As captain of a squad, Hitch had his new responsibilities, which kept them from doing all the fun things that made them friends back on Nasga. It didn’t matter that he dragged her away from her important work to go play. Abby was torn between her responsibilities to her squad and her responsibilities to Charlie. Her loneliness was steadily increasing.

One sleepless night, while lying in bed with Charlie curled up on her chest, Abby had an idea. She remembered an invention she was working on on Nasga. It was a machine that would imbue animals with Yamfennianesque qualities. If it worked, she could instill in an animal the ability to speak English, walk upright on two legs and hold things in its newly formulated hands. Said animal would be able to think and communicate like a Yamfennian. She could anthropomorphize Charlie. She jumped out of bed, which was terrifying for Charlie who was still on her chest before being flung onto the bed and subsequently bounced to the floor. After apologizing to and calming Charlie, Abby headed straight to her workshop and got to work.

Following a few failed experiments, which lead to an enormous rat, a turtle that failed to grow or gain any noticeable intelligence, but loved pizza, an ant who would only communicate via Twitter, among various other mutations, Abby was ready to try it on Charlie. Abby closed her eyes, crossed her fingers, rubbed her foot, that’s considered good luck on Yamfenn, aimed the beam from her machine at Charlie and pressed the button. The smell of smoke and burning hair arose in the workshop. Terrified, Abby opened her eyes, but couldn’t see anything through the cloud of smoke. After a brief pause, she heard a cough. Abby frantically swatted at the cloud of smoke attempting to get it to dissipate. From somewhere in the cloud she heard, “I’m glad I didn’t end up like those other blokes.” Elated, Abby ran into the cloud of smoke, found Charlie and wrapped her arms around her.

It worked. Abby had actually created a device that could anthropomorphize an animal. Charlie was now officially a sentient being. Well, she was already a sentient being. She was a… a… a person. She could now walk upright on her hind legs. She had hands instead of paws. Well, they were hand shaped paws. She could talk. Most importantly her intelligence level was now Yamfennianesque. She wasn’t as smart as Abby, but she would make a serviceable assistant and a friend.

There was one side-effect that Abby would have to fix if she ever attempted to anthropomorphize anything again. Charlie developed a disturbing affinity for puns. Abby wasn’t sure if it was something in Charlie’s nature, something caused by the device, or something Charlie picked up watching television. She was sure she was going to have to train it out of her.

In the morning, after staying up all night talking to Charlie, Abby called Hitch. She had to share this amazing news with her best friend. Now, she had two best friends and she wanted them to be best friends. Hitch was amazed and speechless. It’s a good thing Charlie could talk now or the conversation would have run quite dull. After Abby explained everything to him, Hitch panicked. He told her that she had to keep this a secret. If anyone ever found out, she would be in big trouble and her invention would be confiscated.

Abby explained that she went a different route. She hacked into R.A.D.’s computer system and enrolled Charlie into R.A.D. Hitch could only slap his forehead. Abby went on to explain that she retroactively added Charlie to the manifest of their escape ship as a passenger, so it would appear as if she had been with them since Nasga. Anyone who doubted her legitimacy need only check the records. Charlie was now a refugee Niibellian from the planet Niibell. Abby had to hope nobody did further research because it wouldn’t take much to learn that Niibell doesn’t actually exist. She couldn’t find a planet that was home to anthropomorphic dogs, so she made one up.

When Hitch assured her that someone would notice a new member of their squad Abby reminded him that no one outside the squad pays any attention to them. They’ve been deemed the dregs of R.A.D. and no one on any other squad even acknowledged them, except to taunt them. Abby’s recent inner turmoil and withdrawal made the L Squad’s performance drop even further, leading them to be labeled ‘hopeless.’ They could easily sneak in a new member without anybody outside the squad noticing. They only had to tell the squad. If anybody did notice they would all vouch for her and direct them to the records, which would support their assertion that she’s always been there. Hitch grudgingly agreed, but only because they were best friends who had traversed the universe together. Abby did save his life by sneaking him aboard their escape ship. The least he could do was let her have a dog.

Charlie’s training revealed that her transition to a fully anthropomorphic Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was not so full after all. While most of her intended transformations were amazingly realized, she did retain some of her natural instincts. Her spaniel instincts remained intact. All her training was still liable to be overridden by irrational spurts of excitement. She still loved chasing things and would often streak away after something, usually a rabbit, which Abby found disturbing.

Even when the L Squad was eventually sent out into the world for their, often mundane, missions, Charlie would have to be kept on a leash, which Charlie resented. She frequently tried to talk Abby out of making her wear her leash, but every time Abby relented Charlie would run off and end up in trouble. That only made more trouble for the squad, which got into enough trouble before the addition of Charlie. Now, Charlie’s leash is omnipresent on every mission unless she is given a specific task and it’s better for the mission that she is released.

If Charlie weren’t anthropomorphic and lived in your time this is what she might look like (Photos Courtesy Of Lavender Cavaliers):

This is what Charlie might look like if she had a different life and was on a bed with her Aunt Holly Rose and Uncle Paxton:
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If she were on a log with her Aunt Holly Rose & Uncle Gizmo:
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On the beach:
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If her tongue were hanging to the side:
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If she were Wilson from Home Improvement:
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If she were forced to play dress-up as an elf and not happy about it:
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If she were forced to dress-up like Santa Chuck:
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If she had a stick (or a stick blaster as in The L Squad: Phase Two):
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(She looks kind of savage in this one.)

If she were babysitting:
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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…

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