Page 38 of 42

Posted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 10:14 pm
by BrockthePaine
Fergie quickly scanned through the file on how to use the Glitter Drive. He could tell a technician had written it in a hurry, as the syntax and grammar was unpolished, and the spelling was horrible. But the gist of the instructions were simple enough: input coordinates, match relative speeds, and activate the drive.

Only thing was, Fergie had no clue what the proper coordinates were. He found a load of coordinates already in the computer, and scanned through the list looking for something close.

"If we just get close enough, I think we can use the ship's antigravity drives to fly the rest of the way," Calbeck offered. "Why don't you try just jumping to the one closest to our destination."

Fergie shrugged. "Sounds good to me. Let's see. Enter coordinates..."


"Uh... I think it accepted them... no, some kind of error box... 'Coordinates on Planetary Surface, Continue, Abort, Fail?' Well that's easy. Abort is bad, Fail is bad, Continue! Activate."

The destroyer made a faster-than-light jump over the millions of miles seperating Uranus and Earth, appearing inside a swirling wall of energies. The autopilot kicked in and raised the shields at the last moment, as the energy wall swept aside a large building and demolished it in a flash of eldritch fire.

Fergie stared out the viewscreen. "Uh-oh."


Gil was just reaching the head of the road when Fergie got on the bonefone. "Gil, I have a problem."

"What? Don't tell me you blew up Uranus or something, because if you do, I swear on mother's purple powersaw that I will..."

"Gil, I parked the destroyer on an occupied building and squashed it!" Fergie exclaimed.

"What? What building? Is anyone hurt?"

"My maps say this is the... uh... 'The Tehran Presidential Complex'. Should I be wor-"

Gil was laughing too hard to answer for a few minutes. "Don't worry about it, Fergie. I don't think there's any intelligent life there."

"Well, even so, it looked like a nice building... uh... there's a tank shooting at us."

"What? Are you taking damage?" Gil demanded.

Fergie laughed. "The shields are rated for getting hit by relativistic weapons, Gil... a 21st Century tank is more of an amusement."

"Right... so why don't you get your little destroyer across the ocean and we'll deal with the political fallout of decapitating Iran's leadership some other time. Unless you also want to squish a few other targets while you're over there?"

Fergie sighed. "Right. We'll be there in about ten minutes... right after I figure out how to work the atmospheric drives."

Posted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 8:49 am
by Calbeck
Roy spent the better part of two minutes, while Fergie was on the phone, white-knuckledly clutching the barely-padded armrests of his seat and staring at the main tactical plot which showed elements of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard converging from all directions. The forward screen also showed a small, scraggly-bearded camel in a leisure suit pounding on the ship's hull and mouthing unheard profanities.

He managed at last, in a somewhat high-pitched voice: "Fer-gie?"

Captain Ferguson looked up from the manual, flicking one ear irritatedly at the interruption. "Yes, Roy, what is it?"

Roy reared his head back and belted out "I think it's MY TURN to drive! Gott in Himmel...!"

See unicorn. See unicorn hyperventilate. Can you say hyperventilate? That's right! Can you say "imminent mutiny"? I knew ya could!

Posted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 2:03 am
by Tbolt
Meanwhile, on the opposite side of the planet....

The warm afternoon sun dappled through trees as Red wheeled Syrryxys around the inner courtyard of the hospital's convalescent ward. They had so many things to talk about, the past and the memories of things gone by. The present and the wonder of things immediate, like the business of bees droning about the flower garden. And the future, where would faith and love take them?

Noon passed on into evening and the evening meal. The pair re-entered the hospital to return to Syrryxys's room. As Red wheeled her out of the elevator, a nurse cautioned them, “Sorry, but you two need to be a little more careful now, while you were out in the courtyard, a new patient arrived. She's suffering from..." the nurse paused, a strange look on her face, "well, now it's just exhaustion. But in any case she's been through quite an ordeal. I've drawn the privacy curtain, but just know she'll probably be trying to sleep.”

When Red and Syrryxys entered the room, they could indeed see that the “privacy” curtain had been drawn. A soft breathing could be heard coming from behind it, punctuated by the occasional beep of the monitoring equipment.

Soon a tray arrived holding Syrryxys evening meal.

Red accepted the tray from the nurse with a nod of thanks. He took the tray to Syrryxys's bedside, grinned and softly said, “Oh, look, iss bounty of the hospital, shall we see what culinary delights await you my love?”

The nurse smiled and shook her head as she left the room.

“We have...”



“Brown lumps in tan sauce...”



“Green balls in grey sauce...”



“A pile of white stuff, with black specks...”



“And a blue block that jiggles and you can see through it, and has white foam sprayed on top!”

Syrryxys sighed, “You make it all sound so appetizing, Red.”

“Iss first rule of hospital; Make patient want to leave as soon as possible! Now where do we begin?”

Posted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 7:00 pm
by Sharuuk
Somewhere around mid afternoon, the doctor was making rounds and entered room 8512 to check on Lauril. A nurse accompanied him with a tray of dressings.

At the bedside, the doctor, a handsome young Golden Retriever called softly:

"Lauril.....Lauril...can you hear me?

The sleeping chipmunk stirred slightly.

Mmmmmm? Errflll....

"I need you to wake up so that I can examine your wound and change your dressing."

Lauril, still somewhat groggy from the pain killers managed to respond a bit more coherently.

"Okay....I'm awake, I think....where am I...I'm in a bed...OK....where's the's in a room....what room...this room..who are you....?"

"I'm Dr. Nelson and this is Nurse Tanner. You are at Malarkey County General Hospital. You were pretty much out of it when you were brought in earlier this morning. We were told that you'd been shot, but your wound looked more like a burn, as though you'd been touched with a white hot piece of metal or something. It's only a surface injury, but with the level of surface tissue damage, I'll bet it's been quite painful."

"Level of tissue damage....I'm going to lose the leg, wonderful, I'll be running aroung on won't do, have to get another leg.....oh bother, where am I going to find another leg....?"

" you are not going to lose the leg. Your wound was pretty well cauterized so not only did you not lose very much if any blood, it sealed the wound against bacteria. You're going to be fine."

Taking a pair of scissors from the tray he began to gently and carefully cut through the wrappings aroung her leg.

"How does it feel right now....still hurt pretty much?" really doesn't....actually it doesn't hurt at all."

Suddenly her eyes got real wide.

"Oh no....nerve damage....I've got massive nerve damage, I'll be dragging a dead leg around that can't feel could get cut off and I wouldn't know it until I bled to death.....I don't need this, I really don't need life is complicated enough...this is just to much...!"

Grasping her toes in one hand the doctor squeezed hard enough to make the babbling chipmunk yelp slightly.

" you know that your leg isn't 'dead'....whatever nerve damage you may or may not have will all be localized at the wound site."

He finished cutting thru the wraps, and removed the drainaged stained gauze pads. His normally calm face took on a slight frown and a highly perplexed look. Nurse Tanner as well had a perplexed look on her face as they both stared the wound site.....or in this case the absence of wound site.

There was no evidence of any kind of a wound on Lauril's leg...even all the fur was in place though slightly matted from the serous fluid on the dressing.

"Nurse you were correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't I shave an area 1 inch away on all sides from a 5in long, 1/2in wide and 1/4in deep burn on this patients leg just this morning?"

" did, and I debrided and thoughly cleaned the wound before applying this very dressing. Doctor....there was a wound here less than 7 hrs ago.....I'll swear to that." Said the now slightly freaked out nurse.

"So why then are we staring at a perfectly healthy leg on this young lady?"

Hearing this conversation, the normally hyper Lauril's imagination now kicks into overdrive.

"W-what's the matter? My leg's healed already? Oh metabolism has speeded up to where I'll be old and dying before I should be.....why oh why did I ever leave home....first the people at the diner, then that strange professor, then the soldier from the future, the aliens....I shouldn't even be here...."

She put her head in her hands and began mumbling unintelligibly.

"Lauril!!!" The normally mild voiced doctor shouted as he grasped her arms.

"Listen to me.....there's nothing that I can see that's wrong with you other than exhaustion and a slight case of dehydration.....your leg is perfectly fine....there's absolutely no trace that you were ever injured....and that's the only thing that has me completly baffled. There's no reason that after a good nights sleep you can't be discharged.

"Now I want you to just relax, you're fine but you need a bit more rest. Dinner will be around shortly and tomorrow you'll be discharged."

"Th-thank really mean that I'm alright?"

"Absolutely....your leg is perfectly healthy. I have no answer for how you've so totally healed this quickly other than a miricle or a level of medical science that I can't even begin to conceive of. Now all I need for you to do, is eat your meal and get some more rest and tomorrow you go home."

He smiled reassuringly, patted her on the shoulder and wrote a few notes in her chart. As he started to leave, he looked back at Lauril, shook his head with a slight smile and left the room. "This is one for the books." She heard him say as the door closed quietly behind the pair.

Posted: Wed Sep 13, 2006 12:10 am
by Wayfarer
As the doctor left, Lauril turned her head and nuzzled the side of her face into the pillow. Her head still throbbed, as was usually the case when she needed sleep. And she most certainly still did… but…

Now that she was awake, her mind was whirling. The leg – the leg was more than enough. How…? She gave up before she began. And yet, that was not all. Everything… everything since the night before… her mind darted to and fro, unable to decide where to dwell, even for a moment.

“Books…” she muttered to herself, “Nleeth. I could use a book right now.” An anchor for her thoughts… a distraction.

She sighed. No use. Probably wouldn’t be able to concentrate, anyway. Closing her eyes, she let the thoughts chase around, running to and fro between connections, trying to tie things together in understanding. About twenty minutes passed, and her mind had finally begun to bog down in sleepiness again.

When the phone rang. At the unexpected sound she nearly jumped. Then she looked around… and it dawned on her that she was actually the only one around to answer it. Who could be calling? She reached over and picked up the receiver. “Hello?”

“Hello? Is Lauril there?”

A smile broke over the chipmunk’s face, and her sleepiness retreated a few steps. “Mommy!”

“Oh, my Sweet Baby! Finally! What’s going on? What happened? Wait, hold on – Dad’s here, too, and he wants to hear. I’m going to put it on speakerphone.” There was a moment’s pause. “There, can you hear okay?”


“Hey, Pumpkin. How’d you end up in the hospital? Are you okay?”

Lauril’s grin continued growing, and she closed her eyes. It was so good – after all that had happened, so very good – to hear their voices. “Yes. Yes, I’m okay. Ummm… actually, I’m not even really hurt anymore… don’t ask. Just – not yet, we’ll get to that. Oh, goodness, where to start?” Where, in all the craziness? The extreme craziness. She gave a small laugh. “So… Mom, Dad… I’ve been kidnapped by a sci-fi movie. On the bright side of things, there are a bunch of other folks in the same sci-fi movie with me, so I don’t think it’s just me going insane. On the down-side, though… that sorta means that some of the things in the movie are real…”

“… And that leaves me here: really tired and missing my car and all my other things except my purse, but still alive with a mysteriously, miraculously healed leg.”

“That – wow.” Her mom replied.
“Definitely pretty amazing,” her dad agreed. “But what’s the plan now? If you’re going to be released tomorrow, we’re going to need to come get you.”

“Yes, I’m going to need you to come pick me up, and since my stuff’s all gone, I’m going to need you to bring some clothes. But…” she paused, a bit troubled “I haven’t had a chance to say thank you to any of the folks who came to help get me from the stream. They all went to go help the prisoners I was told about.” A thought struck her. “And wait- it might not even be safe yet. I mean, those aliens that attacked me might still be out there right now.”

“Well, then what are you going to do?” Lauril’s mother asked worriedly.

Lauril thought a moment. “Well, I could ask here at the hospital about nearby hotels… and stores. If you’d be willing to transfer some of my savings money to my checking account, Mom, I could manage a day or so, I guess. And in any case in the morning I can call the folks who helped me and ask what’s going on. And… I don’t know, it’s not ideal, but…”

“I’ll tell you what,” her father answered after a moment’s thought. “In the morning you call your friends down there and ask your questions. When you’ve done that, you call Mom and I and we’ll talk about what needs to be done. We’ll plan on coming to get you sometime tomorrow, but we’ll settle our plans once we know what we’re dealing with. That sound good?”

“Yeah. Yeah, that’ll work.” Lauril sighed. “I look forward to seeing you two.”

“Oh, goodness, we look forward to seeing you, too, Honey,” her mother replied. “We’ve missed you this week.”

“I missed you, too.”

The last words were spoken with a yawn, and Lauril’s mother said, “Oh, you must be so tired. We’ll go so you can sleep now. But we’re so glad you’re okay. We’ve been so worried about you.”

“Awww. Yeah. Yeah, I probably should go sleep. But thanks so much for calling. And- hey, wait, before you go-?”


“Do you think the Larkmans would be willing to let me take the car a week early, if I don’t get my car back?”

“I think they might be willing to do that. We can call and ask for you,” her father replied. “What a blessing that we had already decided to replace your car, huh? Now you get some rest, and we’ll talk with you again soon, okay?”

“Okay. Thanks so much, Mom and Dad. I love you.”

“We love you, too, Sweety. Talk to you in the morning.”

Lauril could hear the click of the line on the other end of the receiver, and she, too, hung up the phone. She sighed and yawned again. I really should try and get to sleep again. She lay her head down and closed her eyes, but she had not been lying there long when a nurse came in with her dinner tray. After checking to make sure everything was still okay, she admonished the tired chipmunk to eat before going back to sleep, then pulled the privacy curtain shut around her for when she was ready to nap. And then… Lauril had just barely closed her eyes after finishing her food when she heard voices and the sound of people entering the room. At the exchange about the food, Lauril grinned slightly and reached to pull the curtain aside a bit. “Well, I won’t say it’s the best food in the world, but it didn’t kill me.” She looked out to see… that fox from the diner the week before... and a gray fox with… what were those on her head? “Ummm… hi,” she finally managed.

Posted: Wed Sep 13, 2006 5:06 am
by Spacewolfomega
Mac checked his sensor readings again. Power signatures had gotten stronger from the Viledarian encampment.

"We've got multiple energy readings, Skip!" Mac said aloud.

Omega checked his controls and pulled up the necessary screen.

"Not to worry," Omega replied. "Probably some basic ground-to-air defenses... I'm sure they picked us up on their scanners. We're not a Cling-Free Bird of Prey or anything, y'know..."

Mac considered explaining the difference between fabric softener and some characters in a movie he had shown Omega not too long ago, but decided there were more important things at stake.

"Okay, gang," Omega said over the ship's internal communications. "We've got to do this quickly. The Viledarians are probably aware of Lauril's escape and that she would be able to give us an idea of how to find them. There's a good bet they've done what they can to prepare for us. Let's just hope they weren't expecting the Wolfstar."

Posted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 3:29 am
by Tbolt
Red turned at the sound of the curtain being drawn back. A chipmunk peered from behind it.

“Well, I won’t say it’s the best food in the world, but it didn’t kill me.” she smiled, then she boggled, staring for a moment at the antennae on Syrryxys's head. “Ummm… hi,” she said after a slight hesitation.

It took a second before Red could recognize her face. “Good evening, comrade chipmunk, you were pessing through diner heer last week, no? I hope you had good journey...”

The sheer foolishness of the comment hit Red as soon as the words escaped his mouth. His ears immediately collapsed in embarrassment as soon as he finished the statement. “Oh, I am sorry, if you are heer, you must not have had pleasant journey.”

Syrryxys laid a paw on Red's shoulder. A gold band topped with a bright diamond stood out in contrast to her black velvet fur. “Red, you met her, before?” She looked at Lauril, whose eyes still seemed magnetically attracted to the antennae sprouting from the top of the vulpinian's head. “My name is Syrryxys, but you can call me Syr, I am pleased to meet you, your name is?”

Posted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 12:39 pm
by Wayfarer
Lauril blinked a couple of times. Sci-fi movie, remember, child? Staring, rude, quit it! Shifting her eyes briefly to the faces of the pair and then to the wall slightly to the side of them, she tried to compose her mind to answer. "Mmm... Lauril. My name is Lauril. It's good to meet you, Syr. Yes, I met... ummm, Red?-" she looked questioningly at the fox, "very briefly... about a week ago, now. I was passing through the area on my way to visit some friends." A slightly sheepish look crossed her face as she said, "I was sorta lost. That was... at least part of the reason I ended up stopping. Goodness, that was an odd day," she added, half to herself. "Not nearly as odd as yesterday and today, but..." She paused, then shook her head a little.

"But anyway - I actually did have a good trip for the most part. The rest of the way to my friends' house went fine, and I really enjoyed my time with them. It was just heading back home that gave me trouble." She smiled. "Seems I can't pass through this area without making an unplanned stop. 'Course this raises the question: if I went ahead and planned on stopping, would I be forced to drive right through?" She laughed a little, then glanced briefly back at the pair before looking down to the floor. "Sorry, I'm bad: I babble." A pause, then the chipmunk continued, a little more subdued. "So... ummm... what's been going on around here? I mean, since the day I was here - with, ummm... all the stuff that was... happening. I heard just a little bit, but... what exactly was - or... after last night, I'm guessing still is - happening?

Posted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 3:32 pm
by BrockthePaine
Calbeck wrote:Roy spent the better part of two minutes, while Fergie was on the phone, white-knuckledly clutching the barely-padded armrests of his seat and staring at the main tactical plot which showed elements of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard converging from all directions. The forward screen also showed a small, scraggly-bearded camel in a leisure suit pounding on the ship's hull and mouthing unheard profanities.

He managed at last, in a somewhat high-pitched voice: "Fer-gie?"

Captain Ferguson looked up from the manual, flicking one ear irritatedly at the interruption. "Yes, Roy, what is it?"

Roy reared his head back and belted out "I think it's MY TURN to drive! Gott in Himmel...!"

See unicorn. See unicorn hyperventilate. Can you say hyperventilate? That's right! Can you say "imminent mutiny"? I knew ya could!
Fergie glanced at Roy and sniffed in amusement. "Be glad I'm driving and not Gil. And for what it's worth, I figured out the hyperdrive. One quick little jump..."


"...and we're here."

A few moments later, Fergie walked down the destroyer's ramp into the hands of a burly Sheriff's Deputy.

"Mister Gilchrist Ferguson?"

"Uhhh... look, if this is about landing on the Iranian Presidential Complex, I assure you it's all a case of... erm... mistaken identity or something like that..."

The deputy looked at Fergie in confusing. "Dispatch just called me out and asked me to pick you up and then drop you off at some road intersection. Your friend can come to if he likes," he added, nodding to Roy. "But I understand there's something going down with "aliens". Perhaps you'd care to fill me in?"

Posted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 2:25 am
by Calbeck
Staggering slightly for comedic effect, Roy walked down the ramp and nodded to the officer, his horn glinting in the daylight. At the "aliens" bit, he and Fergie exchanged knowing glances.

"I think I'm along fer th' ride on this one...besides, this thing ain't really a single-seater. I won't be doin' anyone any good stayin' behind."

He removed his cigar for a moment and spat on the ground. "B'sides...if yer gonna keep flyin' like that, I figger I better savor what life I got left."

Posted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 3:30 am
by Tbolt
"So... ummm... what's been going on around here? I mean, since the day I was here - with, ummm... all the stuff that was... happening. I heard just a little bit, but... what exactly was - or... after last night, I'm guessing still is – happening?” asked Lauril.

Syr's antennae drooped, and her ears flushed a bit.

Red looked at Lauril quizzically. “I thought what happened last week was pretty much over in one day. A lot of people were freed from the bondage that held them.” He gave Syr's paw a reassuring squeeze.

“Everyone came out of it all right, though, but what happened to you last night? Why are you here? What do you mean, still happening?”

Posted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 6:05 am
by Wayfarer
"Well, it was the same aliens everyone was worried about last week - I think? Yes. Yes, because he even mentioned the fight - that attacked my car last night."

"Attacked your car?! What do you mean?" Red stammered in shock.

"Oh! They- where to start? where to start? I was on my way home from my friends' house..."


The tape in the cassette player clicked to the end for the third time in a row. Reaching one paw down from the steering wheel, Lauril removed the tape and set it on the passenger seat next to her purse, then fumbled amongst the other tapes nearby for something new to listen to. She glanced down for a moment, both to aid in finding where to put the tape and to check the time. 10:15 pm. Ridiculous, she thought. Just plain ridiculous. She should’ve been long home by now. Even leaving Mark and Sue’s at 10:00 that morning, she should’ve been home. But then she’d hit the road construction. And then the standstill from the accident. And then… somewhere’s rush hour, and… it had been a LONG day.

She sighed. It looked like she was going to have to find a hotel somewhere. At least she’d called home to warn Mom and Dad that was a possibility. But still…

A bit more than a half-an-hour passed. Lauril yawned and then shook her head. Gonna have to find somewhere to stop soon… Her eyes roved the dark two-lane highway ahead of her. Where was she now? Oh, yeah. Route 470. Probably the part I missed when I got lost coming through here last time. At the thought, she sighed. She’d toyed with the idea of stopping on her way home to visit the group she’d encountered on her “detour” the week before, but the more she thought about it, the less she could work up the nerve. Of course they had been nice – really nice, in fact, and it would’ve been fun to get to know them. But… It’s not like I really know any of them… or like they know me. In all likelihood it would just have ended up being strange and awkward. And besides, there were also those… problems that had been starting when she’d left. She wasn’t sure what was going on now, but if there was still some sort of threat… Just what they’d need – someone completely clueless hanging around and tripping them up when they were trying to fight. I know it sounded like something big was happening, but if it’s still happening, and those… whatever-they-weres are still around… I’ll help the most by staying away. Lauril stared pensively at the road for a few moments, then smiled wryly, looking at the clock again. “Maybe it’s a good thing I didn’t plan on stopping by. It’s a bit late for visiting, anyway.” She yawned again. “Goodness, I should’ve just gotten off at that last exit… what was it? The Metlinsville exit?” Oh, well. It’s not like I’m not used to staying up late. Goodness, in college this would –

Suddenly a loud bang from the tree-covered, rocky hillside on the right side of the road interrupted her thoughts. Another followed almost immediately, and this time it shook the car. “WHAT-!?!” she cried in bewildered distress. The car was driving funny, leaning down toward the front right side. The chipmunk’s grip tightened on the steering wheel as her mind raced to try and make some sense of the situation, to figure out what could be happening and what to do. The sound of more gunfire followed, and car shook again, now leaning entirely to the right side. Her mind froze in panic, and her heart thumped wildly. From somewhere – somewhere sidestepping all conscious thought processes and reasoning – an overwhelming urge to get out of the car and run seized her. Hardly even knowing what she was doing, she slammed on the breaks, grabbed her purse, and flung the car door open. Along the edges of an almost-consuming blank terror, her mind registered a vague impression of the car rolling slightly as she dashed away from it, of shouts and more gunfire behind her, of thumping on the road that sounded like feet.

The forest on the other side of the road loomed in front of her. Thoughts still refused to form in her mind, but an inarticulate necessity to get into the forest, into the shadows among the trees, propelled her forward. The sounds of shooting and of pounding footfalls continued as she burst through the bushes into the woods. A rustling of bushes behind her followed soon after. A few moments, more firing, and more rustling flight and pursuit passed. Then came another, barely-noticed bang, and suddenly she stumbled forward with a loud yelp of pain. She grabbed instinctively for her leg, and it responded with a jolting throb. The rustling drew closer, and she tried to scramble to her feet, but her leg wouldn’t hold her, and she fell again. Then, from behind and above, she heard a low voice say, “I am sorry.” Immediately she felt a sharp pain to the back of her head, and then she knew no more.


“Sgt. Thorkelgt, report!” the command snapped through the darkness as the Viledarian captian who had issued it left the side of the abandoned car and approached the tree line across from it.

“Hit and killed, sir,” the soldier emerging from the forest replied promptly, holding the limp form of the chipmunk high as he spoke.

“Hmph,” the captain responded as he drew closer, noting through the dark the outline of the lolling head and hanging limbs. “Our first kill during capture. But once again, not even a fight. These Terrans are pitiful.” He lifted a comm unit to his mouth and spoke, “All units return to ambush site.” He looked back up at Sgt. Thorkelgt. “Dispose of it and report back to camp,” he ordered dismissively, then turned to begin directing the dismantling and removal of the vehicle on the other side of the road.


A nudging. A voice. Slowly, awareness returned to her – of dark, and increasingly of pain.

“Nnnngnnh,” she groaned quietly, wincing.

“Small Terran, wake up. You must wake up now.” The voice sounded gruff, but urgent. “Now, Terran. We have not much time.” Then, in a near-mutter, the voice added, “The only chance we’ve had, and it would have to be a child. It will not make it.”

Make it? Child? Who’s… a child…? And "it"? Lauril opened her eyes to look around. A giant, strange-looking form loomed over her in the nighttime shadows. Her eyes widened with a sudden, rushing return of panic. She thrashed and kicked, trying to get away… then cried out when her leg was suddenly wracked with pain. Immediately a large, lumpish hand covered her mouth, and another pushed her to the ground, restraining her.

“Quiet, Terran, and be still! You are wounded. I have bound your leg, but you may still make it worse.”

She struggled for a moment more, but the hands seemed immovable, and the pain from her leg soon overwhelmed her. She collapsed back to the ground, gasping shallowly for breath as her heart raced.

“Calm. Be calm, child,” the giant above her urged as she stilled. “You must be calm and listen. I cannot remain long, or they will grow suspicious. Even now – ” The dark form’s lumpish head turned, though both hands remained in place. “I do not know for certain that the captain did not have me followed. I reported you dead… showed him, so he has no reason to suspect… but….” The voice trailed off, and the head turned back. “Now, Terran child, if you wish to live, you must trust me. I will release you if you will sit still and listen to my instructions. Do you agree?”

Lauril’s eyes were still wide, her mind and head both still spinning, but she managed a slight nod.

“Good.” The hands released her. “Now –”

“‘Terran’…” Amidst the whirl of fear and pain and confused thoughts, Lauril voiced the first question that formed itself in her mind. “What do you mean – ”

“No time, child!” the giant shot back, exasperation tingeing his voice. “There is no time for questions. Do not interrupt!” Lauril drew in a startled breath, but remained quiet. “Now first: you will have to make your way out of the woods for yourself. I have brought you to this stream,” the head nodded toward something as it spoke, and Lauril turned her head to see the stream bank and outline of the water in the darkness. For the first time, she also noticed the burbling sound of the liquid as it rushed past. The speech continued, “but if I took you farther I would raise suspicion; it would take too long. So when you leave this place, you will need to follow the stream. It leads to some cabins, where you can get help. You must follow the stream and reach help.

“As to your question – I mean by ‘Terran’ that you are such… and I am not. I come from a planet called Viledaria, the others from there and various planets throughout the Viledarian empire. For the past week – ever since we lost a battle and a large number of prisoners to a group of Terrans in this area – my unit has been assigned to collect Terrans in order to continue the study of which our previous prisoners had been a part. So far most – ” the alien broke off, and when he began speaking again, there was an edge of helpless anger to his voice, “ – most are still alive. But this will not be so for long. The last phase of testing begins the day after tomorrow.

“And now you must pay close attention: I am going to tell you where the camp and prisoners are located. It is of the greatest importance that you remember this and that you find someone to come and free them. This has been my first chance to send for help, and it may be the only one that could bring the help in time. Here, then, is where we are hidden.” The Viledarian proceeded to explain the location as clearly as possible. He then prompted Lauril, who had been listening to his speech in staggered silence, to repeat the directions back to him. When at last satisfied that she knew them, he repeated once more, “Remember that. You must remember.

“And now, Small Terran, we must both go our ways at once. Let me help you up.” The alien lifted the chipmunk to her feet, then steadied her as she nearly toppled with both dizziness and a head rush. Helping her lean against a tree, he went off for a moment into the woods, and returned with two sticks for her to use in walking. Finally, from somewhere within his pack, he pulled out Lauril’s purse and handed it to her. “You had this with you when you were running. I had to hide it when I took you to the captain, but here it is.” Then he stepped away from her and said, “Go, Terran. I will watch you begin.”

For a moment Lauril stared – dumbfounded, overwhelmed, determined, dizzy, her mind numb and her head and leg both shouting pain. Then she managed a nod, and then a step, and another. The alien nodded once in return, then turned and began walking the other direction into the woods. As he went, he turned his head and added earnestly, “Please make it to the cabins. And please send help.” Then he increased his pace to a jog, leaving Lauril alone by the stream in the woods.


...So I was trying to make it down that stream up until earlier this morning. And then..." Lauril broke off and laughed, shaking her head. "Then my cell phone beeped at me from my purse." The chipmunk laughed a bit harder. "And right after I'd prayed, too. Oh, goodness, I couldn't believe it. It was just... wait! like... oh, that's so perfect! Sorry," she added abruptly, looking up at the pair listening. She took a deep breath and stilled her laughter. "Just- the irony of that amuses me so much-" she looked back down at her bed, "and I just thought of something else-

"But anyway, after that I was able to call for help. And I talked to the Professor, and - oohhhh, let me think a minute... my memory's gets sorta fuzzy by that point... - it was Kerry, and I think... Mr. McClaw, and... two captains? Does the captain have a twin? How in the world did the twin end up back here from the future, too? Anyhow, they came to get me and brought me here. And I really hope they're able to help the other prisoners, too. I wonder how that's going...." The chipmunk paused for a moment, collecting her thoughts. "And aside from the fact that my leg is completely healed and no one knows how, that's pretty much the entire story. I've had a chance to talk to my parents, and they'll probably pick me up tomorrow when I'm released." She paused for a moment, then looked over at Red and Syr with a smile. "So, are you sorry you asked yet?"

Posted: Sun Sep 17, 2006 7:40 pm
by Sharuuk
Omega couldn't believe what he was hearing. He clenched his fist and repressed the urge to snarl.

"Look, S'aaruuk," he began, "I know you're doing what you think is best and if Lauril checks out, that's great... but I'm still not convinced. We'll try and play it your way, but if things get dicey, I'm not playing with the Viledarians, alright? There's innocent people down there and the Great Alpha only knows what the Viledarians have done or are going to do to them."

Mac spoke up. "Skipper, we got 'em on the scanner."

Omega turned. "You sure?"

"Either that or there's a pretty big cookout going on that no one invited us to."

"Alright, let's do this," Omega said and then closed communcations so only the bridge could hear. "Aldar, if they've got any defenses, we take them out first. No holding back. We can't play around with these guys... you know that. After that, we'll try and stun the ground forces, if possible. If we can't or if it looks like they're about to do anything with the prisoners... you do what you have to to stop them."

Aldar nodded.

As the image suddenly went mute the big wolf shouted:


Everyone jumped slightly at the volume S'aaurrk's voice had risen to. And while no-one understood the curse in his native tongue, everyone pretty much knew what he meant.

"Well....that tears that." He said with obvious irritation. "He's gone off to free the prisoners by himself and is now running almost totally on emotion and not rational thought. He's letting his hatred of the Viledarians control his actions."

*Glances at everyone in the den....all eyes are on him.*

"Well, it looks like we're going in sooner than expected, and with virtually no tactical intel."

*Addresses the white mink.*

"Xenda....would you care to ride with us? If you wish I can drop you off at the campgrounds enroute as I doubt you want to be in the assault."

"Thank you Professor, but I have my own car and I can....."

Before she could finish, Ben laid a paw on her shoulder and with a mischievious grin said:

"Come with us, you'll be safe....and trust me, it'll be a whole lot faster and waaaaay more interesting."

"Well....if it's not an imposition...I accept....thank you Professor."

"You're quite welcome.....*turns toward the hidden elevator*...."Well everyone, let's go."

Since all the others had been in the cavern hangar, this was no real surprise. However, when the doors opened to reveal the W'ykkryn floating just above the floor, Xenda's eyes went wide and her jaw dropped in disbelief.

"Wh-wh-what IS that?" She stammered....staggering slightly at the visual overload.

"It's a spaceship Hon....and it's his."

"You're kidding."

"No, he isn't" S'aaruuk said. Stepping a bit closer to the pair, he gazed directly into her bright blue eyes, his own taking on a pale blue tint.

"She's my own ship that I've pretty much hand built and have been flying for nearly 300 Terran years. Aboard her, you couldn't be more safe than if you were in your mother's arms.....and yes, this is all real."

*Turns to address everyone else*

"Everyone, please, over to the table here. Replacement comm links if you've lost yours. Kerry, I've made a special shield harness for you to not only fit around your wings, but to protect them as well. The energy field won't interfere with your flight dynamics and should keep you from getting any holes in your wing leather."

He hands Ben a harness that has a considerably larger medallion on it.

"This will protect you much better than the other one. I've modified a vehicle shield system for you....much higher rate of protection."

Turning to the wide-eyed mink:

"I'll do everything in my power to keep my friends safe"....*smiles*..."and I have considerable power."

*Turns and walks a few steps away*

She blinked several times trying to process the information her brain was receiving. His eyes were so soothing and reassuring....she really wasn't sure what to do or say....she turned to Ben and just looked at him as he donned the harness.

"Trust him Hon....I do...unconditionally." He paused: "There is just one other thing you need to see though."

"What? What could possibly surprise me after...*gestures toward the ship* this?"

He grinned slightly, eyes sparkling....

"Turn around."



The beautiful mink turned just in time to see the beginning of S'aaruuk's de-compressing of his form. As the glow faded she now saw the professor as he truely was.....she had to crane her neck slightly to look him in the face. It was all too much too fast and she began to collapse in a swoon right into Ben's arms.

Posted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 3:18 am
by Tbolt
The color faded from inside Red's ears a he listened to Lauril's tale and his tail began to flare. To think that such terrible things were happening so close to where he lived was more than he could bear.

A moment of awkward silence passed between the three. “You said that Comerade Professor already knows of this as well as several others?”

The chipmink nodded.

Red tapped the side of his head, and uttered a curse in an unintelligible language. “I forget communicator!”

He turned to face Syryxxys. He enveloped one of her hands within his own. “Syr, my love, my comerades are probably now on their way to face this danger. I cannot sit idly by while they face it.”

“But what about me?” Tears began to form in Syr's eyes.

“When you are healed, we shall fight side by side.”

“But they might break you again!”

Red held Syr's paw and pointed to the ring it now bore. “I haff given you this token of my commitment. I promise you that, God willing, I shall return to claim you, my love. I fail once before to protect those I care about, it is burden I carry for many years. My life was empty shell, I fill with work and learning. You giff me reason to live again. That is something I fight to protect!”

The two touched foreheads and nuzzled. Her antennae practically clasping his face, burying themselves in his fur, remembering his feel. Syr drew a shuddering breath. “Then go, my love and return quickly, I shall wait for you until time claims my body, and the pit claims my soul. So help me I shall wait!”

Red broke off and proceeded to the door. “Thank you comerade Lauril, I hope we shall meet again.” In a second he was gone.

Syr and Lauril were now in the room by themselves, together. Syr covered her face with her paws and sobbed. “Why did I ever curse this world with my presence?” she said into them.

Red moves as quickly as he could through the corridors of the hospital. He had not patience for the elevators, so instead he found the stairwell and sprinted down like a silver flash. Soon he bolted into the parking garage where his car waited. The hemi engine roared to life sending power to each of the car's four wheels. In a flash he was out of the parking garage and heading on the interstate towards his home. Soon the needle was buried as the car raced dangerously at over 140 Miles per hour, the wind rushed angrily past the windows, reflecting the mood of the driver.

Posted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 8:29 pm
by Earl McClaw
Pulling the Hummer to a stop, McClaw gestured for the refugees who immediately began crowding around to follow him to the back bumper. He had the rear hatch open by the time they calmed down enough to speak in turn.

"N'marra's missing," Tandelli said, referring to a pretty young female who could pass for a dark-coated leopard.

"Anyone else?" asked McClaw as he began unloading and passing out the equipment he'd brought from the Professor's storehouse. Only a few refugees hung around to hear the rest of the confersation. *Look at them go!* the tiger thought. *Give these people a goal and the work for it!*

"No," Tandelli answered. "But if the Villies have her..."

"If they do, she'll be brought out with everyone else," McClaw interrupted, pointing at the comm device in his ear. "It'd be hard to do worse to the Villies than what's already in the works. Here," he finished, passing the refugee leader one of the last two devices he'd taken from the Hummer.

"What about that?" Tandelli asked, pointing to a large metallic box that filled most of the back of the vehicle.

McClaw grinned. "That's what I want Myree doing."

"Oh, so that's the..."

Interrupting again, this time with a raised hand, McClaw was looking past the refugee leader toward the stream. There two felines had just emerged from the brush on the far side and were leaping the water.

"N'marra!" came the cry from several throats, for one of the felines was indeed the missing refugee. The other was the Terran jaguar who'd been "adopted" by the refugees. He left N'marra to the welcome and chastising she was due and approached McClaw instead.

"Where'd you find her?" McClaw asked.

"Down by some reeds past the stream," explained the jaguar. "You seem to have brought what you said."

"I hope the Professor doesn't mind. I was a little rushed, and may not have let him know everything I took."

"From how you've described him, I don't think he'll mind. It's for a good cause."

As the two felines joined the preparing refugees, McClaw said "Um... there's something I've been meaning to ask you."


"It's kind of embarassing. You see... uh... What exactly is your name? I mean, what do you want to be called?" :oops:

Posted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 8:43 pm
by Wayfarer
Lauril sat in her bed, watching awkwardly as the fox in the bed next to her wept. What should I do? She wanted so much to say or do something to offer comfort, but… She doesn’t know me; I don’t know what’s going on; I wouldn’t know what to say, anyway… Her sister would have been across the room in a second to offer a hug, some encouraging words… something. But Belicia can just do that kind of thing. She can do it, and it seems perfectly natural and fitting. But me…? Awkward. It would be completely awkward, awkward, awkward, odd, threatening to both sides… Please help her, Lord…? she prayed mutely, pouring into the petition both her wish for the hurting stranger’s comfort and her deep desire not to have to break the silence, not to have to step beyond safe predictability into action.

The fox lay down and turned slightly away from Lauril, still sobbing quietly.

Botherbotherbotherbother… She couldn’t just continue to sit there, saying nothing.

“Can I… do anything?” she finally managed to ask.

Posted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 3:33 am
by Tbolt
Syr looked at Lauril, then at the small fox plushie on her nightstand. "I don't know," she shuddered, "I just don't know. I'm sorry...."

Posted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 5:06 am
by Wayfarer
Lauril sat there for a moment, still at a loss for what to do. Then, simply in order to look somewhere else, she followed Syr’s gaze to the nightstand.

“Hug me, Darn it!”

Lauril blinked. Now that’s just not fair play! she cried inwardly. But the pout was more than half laughter. Who was she to argue with that?

“Well, personally, I need to get out of this bed.” As she spoke, she swung her legs slowly around to the side of the bed. She looked down for a moment at the edge of the hospital gown she was wearing, then carefully stood and wrapped a blanket around herself.

Then she walked over to Syr. “I’m sorry he had to leave,” she said quietly. Then she leaned over and gave the fox a small, slightly awkward hug.

Posted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 6:36 am
by The JAM
Earl McClaw wrote:"It's kind of embarassing. You see... uh... What exactly is your name? I mean, what do you want to be called?" :oops:
The jaguar chuckled, "I guess introductions aren't one of my better talents. I AM THE J.A.M.," he announced. "But you can just call me J.A.M. I was just an obsucre tourist getting some video footage of my road trip when I stumbled into this rather....interesting town. Nobody at home is going to believe THIS little adventure of mine," he hefted his DVD camcorder. He then noticed the fox twins nearby, which reminded him of something. "Well, what's next on the agenda?"

Posted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 8:24 pm
by Earl McClaw
The JAM wrote:[J.A.M.] then noticed the fox twins nearby, which reminded him of something. "Well, what's next on the agenda?"
"We finish setting up," said McClaw. "Lauril came down the stream, so the Villies might try it too once the Professor and the others kick over that particular ant's nest. Besides, they might want to try to 'reclaim' these people. Speaking of which..."

The tall tiger paused as N'marra came jogging up excitedly. She dipped slightly toward McClaw in what had proven to be a common greeting among some of the refugees, then turned to THE J.A.M. and gave the jaguar a grateful hug. "Thank you! I might never have known what was going on if you hadn't found me."

McClaw grinned and looked away. *Well, he's made a friend,* thought the tiger.