The Yes Album: Star Beagle Adventures episodes 3-6


The Star Beagle Adventures

Episode 4: Starship Trooper
Scene 10: Lessons

Loneliness is a power that we possess to give or take away forever...


The four young marines had been captured by klingons, they had been terrified by klingons, they had been chained by klingons, and now they were being feted by a huge banquet room full of klingons. Each marine had to tell the story over and over of how they had, with nothing but a Star Fleet runabout, managed to hold their own for nearly 40 minutes against an orion slaver mothership and its small coterie of short range fighters.

The klingons took particular delight in PFC Guz Maxwell’s description of how the marines had frustrated orion attempts to beam them out of the Bluebird.

“A historic cultural dance?” Colonial Shozek asked, amidst a storm of laughter.

“The inhibitors we rigged up created a feedback loop to help prevent their transporters from locking on, but we had to keep moving or the transporter would override the inhibitors,” PFC Sasha Soko explained.

Guz Maxwell got out of his chair and demonstrated the signature dance moves made famous by John Travolta centuries ago, which threw a room full of laughing klingons into near total chaos as several klingons got up and imitated the move.

But one person in the room was quite clearly not enjoying the merriment the young marines had brought to this feast: Commander Garse. The klingon who had appeared on the Bluebird’s viewscreens and who later had meted out a ferocious beating to Lance Corporal Petra Spitze. His evident grumpiness got him called out.

“Commander Garse,” said Colonial Shozek. “Why did you not tell me about this magnificent battle? Why did I have to learn about it from your crew and from your ship’s recordings? Did you not think their story an important lesson in valor for your fellow warriors in this hall?”

The room grew silent - there was a menace underlying Shozek’s seemingly light-hearted question.

Garse shifted uncomfortably in his seat. “They’re Star Fleet Intelligence. They have to be! Do you really think a mere foot soldier could have done what they did?”

Tarron Rerg, who was seated close to Shozek, laughed quietly. “You have never been a foot soldier, have you Garse? I have. It was long ago, but I remember it well - the terror - the determination to keep my soldiers together. The Lance Corporal’s story rings true to me. These people are not intelligence agents. They’re terrified children, just barely managing to hold it together and trying desperately to survive for another 15 minutes. I remember that feeling.”

Guz Maxwell sat down and focused on his meal. He was terribly hungry. Fortunately, the marines had been trained on klingon food - what they could safely eat. Exactly how much bloodwine they could drink. He began to shake a little as the truth of Rerg’s words sank home. He had been running on adrenaline. For a moment, this had been a room full of allies enjoying his story.

Now it was suddenly grim and quiet and serious. A room full of the most dangerous adversaries humanity had ever faced. Guz was terrified that he had forgotten that - even if only for a moment.

“Garse…” said Shozek. “You have served me well. You are one of my best hunters and you have never held back on me before. You have been a particularly useful commander. Did Tarron Rerg make you a promise?”

“I did indeed,” said Rerg.

Col. Shozek was immediately enraged. “You made that promise out of your own anger and arrogance, Rerg!” Shozek shook his finger at the older klingon “Those things will be your undoing! And this man is useful! He produces!”

“Every klingon has a purpose,” Rerg said quietly.

“So said Kahless,” said Shozek. “Even if that purpose is to serve as an example.” The young colonial rolled his head back, then turned to look at the older klingon. “I hate it that you are right. Because you are right for the wrong reasons. Now you must keep your promise.”

In response, Tarron Rerg stepped in between the banquet tables. “Choose your weapon, Garse.”

Tarron Rerg was somewhat smaller and slighter of build than most klingons. He did not appear to be an imposing figure, unlike Commander Garse - large, fierce, and full of angular movements.

“I want a bat’leth,” the klingon commander said.

Colonial Shozek rose. “You may carry mine today, Garse. You will not find a better weapon.”

One of Shozek’s bodyguards stepped around the table, bringing the curved klingon sword to Commander Garse, who appreciatively put it through a few quick motions.

“Choose your weapon, Rerg,” said the klingon commander.

“You misunderstand, Garse,” said Colonial Shozek. “This is not a battle. It is an execution.”

For the first time since he had entered the banquet hall, Commander Garse smiled. He flipped the borrowed bat’leth easily and expertly: “Today is a good day to die!”

“I’m glad you think so,” Rerg calmly replied.

Garse attacked like a whirling forest of blades.

Rerg stood, completely relaxed, and then moved with what appeared a slow and inevitable grace. In a series of connected moves, he evaded the blade, captured the back of the sword, broke Garse’s grasp on it, took it from Garse, slid behind his opponent and brought the sword down on Garse with so much force that it separated Garse’s head and right shoulder almost entirely from the rest of his body. Rerg rocked the blade back, bringing it out of Garse’s body, launching a spray of thick, gooey, pink blood that splashed onto Sasha’s plate, Guz’s hands, Raanda’s face and Spike’s uniform, leaving all four marines shaking with pure terror.

Colonial Shozek shouted in anger: “Remember this lesson! When you steal anything from me, this will be your fate and your due. And there is no thievery worse than hiding the truth from me. This man died today because he lied to me! Howl for him if you will. Not long ago he was a man of honor and perhaps that will be enough.” Shozek nodded toward Tarron Rerg.

Rerg knelt quickly, turning Garse’s nearly severed head up toward him as more of his blood pooled onto the floor. Rerg held open Garse’s dead eyes and stared into them, then raised his head and began the death howl. Every klingon in the room, including Shozek, joined him in the death howl - deafeningly loud - a sound that would have lions fleeing in fear.

Spike was just as terrified as her three teenaged charges. The four of them sat seemingly glued into their chairs, trembling with shock. Hyperventilating.

Raanda threw up.

Tarron Rerg was the first to notice. He looked at the young marines - there was almost a look of compassion in his eyes.

Then his expression hardened as he looked to someone behind them and said, “Shoot them.”


The Star Beagle Adventures

Episode 4: Starship Trooper
Scene 11: Illumination

Though you've seen them, please don't say a word...


PFC Sasha Soko woke up and immediately regretted it. His spine felt like it had been hit between the shoulders with a 9-pound sledgehammer. Pain whipped up and down his spine and rang his skull like a bell. Waking up was definitely a bad idea.

“Ugh… Lights… dim…”

Surprisingly, the lights, which were far too bright, dimmed in response to his voice.

Not enough.


Still too bright…


That was much better. There was still illumination, coming from a viewscreen that displayed a moving field of stars. Sasha couldn’t look at them. They made him nauseous… More nauseous…

He reached out and touched Spike’s shoulder. “Spike?” He shook her very gently.

“I don’t wanna go to school, Mommy…” Spike mumbled. “I feel sick…”

Sasha reached over to his other side, squeezed Raanda Habib’s shoulder. “Raanda - you okay?”

“Give me a few definitions of okay and I’ll let you know… Tomorrow…” Raanda responded.

“Guz?” Sasha asked.

“Did anyone get the registry number of the starship that ran us over?” PFC Guz Maxwell was squeezing his temples between his palms.

Lance Corporal Petra Spitze - Spike - sat up straight suddenly. “Report, Private!”

It was only at this moment that it registered to Sasha that the four of them were in the flight cabin of the Bluebird. He ran a diagnostic. “All systems nominal, responding to warp 7.5 and we are on course for our rendezvous, but 103.6 hours behind schedule.”

“All of the crates are where we left them, and lashed down…” Guz reported.

“Ewww… There’s still blood on my face,” said Raanda.

“And some vomit on your uniform,” Sasha added.

“Um, Spike?” said Guz. “There’s a button over here with a note on it that says “Push this when you are all awake…” Should I push it?”

“Push it, Songbird,” Spike said.

The image of Tarron Rerg appeared on one of the side screens.

“Star Fleet Intelligence is aware of this station, which is why you are still alive. When you submit your reports, they will be classified. Whenever you are tempted to talk about your experiences here with anyone other than your authorized superior officers, I encourage you to remember Commander Garse.”

“Your ship is repaired and my soldiers have verified that all of your cargo has been returned. We have analyzed your logs and put you on course for your rendezvous.”

“You will find a case in the back of the flight cabin with four pints of saurian brandy. I know you humans don’t like the taste of it…” Rerg looked down for a second. “No one likes the taste of it. Not even the saurians. But drink up. It will help with the pain and speed healing. It will also impair your judgement, but not any more than the pain is already impairing it.”

By this point, Sasha was handing out pint bottles of the famously foul-tasting liquor.

“Lance Corporal Petra Spitze…” (Spike almost came to attention.) “A data rod has been adhered to one of your green hairs. It is keyed to General Krank’s blood - in case you run across my old teacher. And one more thing… We intercepted the probe that was following you. Commander Garse was reading its telemetry and following you under cloak to see who was tracking you.”

“The orions were also reading the probe’s telemetry. But it was not their probe.”

“Someone else is hunting you."

"I would count on them being not friendly.”

Tarron Rerg’s image vanished from the side screen.


The Star Beagle Adventures

Episode 4: Starship Trooper
Scene 12: Donation

Speak to me of summer...


The sleeping cots had been moved all the way to the back of the Bluebird’s rear compartment. They were lashed firmly to the cargo, as a precaution so they would not be lost if another hostile boarding party were to need to be vented to space. Given the recent traumatic events they had endured, none of the marines wanted to be alone in that area.

Raanda slept only fitfully. Spike’s presence was comforting. Guz and Sasha were in the flight cabin up front. Raanda could tell that Spike wasn’t sleeping either.

“You all right there, Boyfriend?”

“Yeah. Can’t sleep…” Raanda Habib rolled over - which was a delicate operation on the cot. “Did they do klingon week when you were coming up?”

“They’ve been doing that for hundreds of years now,” Spike responded. “The first hundred or so prisoners of war the klingons took among us died from diseases they caught from eating the food. The lucky ones died from food poisoning.”

“Yeah… I used to gross the other trainees out by chowing down on the gagh,” Raanda snorted. “Turns out it’s the safest klingon food for humans - especially if eaten live. I kind of aced klingon week…”

Spike made an amused noise. “Your family… mostly doctors?” she asked. “Why did you join up?”

“All the United Earth Governments military forces are the same… They’re fielded by the old nation states, but they’re all UEG, you know?” Raanda patted the subdued UEG flag on her shoulder - just above the subdued U.S. flag and below the subdued United Federation of Planets flag. “But at the same time, they’re not. Each service still has a lot of its historic traditions…”

“Mmm hmmm,” Spike responded.

“Same thing with the way the old nation states work. I was born Israeli. Became American when I was 12. Americans are really proud of their military tradition, but most of them don’t ever serve. Israelis all serve. I never thought of not serving. Everyone in my family serves. My parents served. Their parents. All my uncles and aunts, cousins, my sisters, my brothers… All military. Most of them Israeli Army, but for me and my siblings, it’s the U.S. Marine Corps…”

“Yeah, but you could have chosen planetary duty,” Spike rejoined. “Quartermaster. JAG. Military Police. Port duty…”

Raanda rolled into a position where she could see the older marine. “Not for me. I figured I’d go out for the easy duty. Space Hound. Travel the galaxy. Meet interesting people…”

Spike laughed.

“My family never went for port duty. Kind of something unspoken among us. We serve on the front line. A lot of us died there. I’ve lost two sisters and my oldest brother is still missing. Whatever we do with our lives… I have an uncle who just sits on a beach and stares into the bottom of one beer bottle after another. Another who is a champion bicyclist. Whatever we do with our lives… we earn it on the front line. How about you… why did you sign up?”

“I didn’t,” Spike replied. “I was born a U.S. Marine. Seriously,” she added in response to Raanda’s suppressed guffaw. “Mom’s a master gunnery sergeant. Granny’s still alive - she was the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps - highest NCO position.”

“What about your father?”

“Don’t have one,” Spike responded. “Our family tradition. Men are good for a weekend of sport and sperm donation. That’s it. I have no idea who my sperm donor was. Could have been any of a dozen guys. Same way for Mom. And Granny. And Great Grandma.”

“You don’t want to get married? Have a family?” Raanda asked.

“Family, yes. Marriage, no.” Spike picked her canteen up off the floor, unscrewed the lid and had a drink. “When it comes time that I want a pup, I’ll screw a lot of different men so that none of them ever get to pretend to have a right to me or my child. Sperm donors. Nothing more.”

“You’re serious,” Raanda said, letting it sink in.

“Like Mom said, never sleep with a man. Ride them till they pass out and try to arrange it so that they never see you again.” Spike yawned cavernously. “I know you’re still seeing that klingon commander’s blood… how gross his body was when that scary guy about carved him in half. How scary that klingon was… Tarron Rerg…”

“Yeah…” Raanda squirmed a little. Uncomfortably.

“Bastard beat the shit out of me. Was a heartbeat away from spilling my guts all over his d'k tahg. Garse. That was his name. Bastard deserved what he got.” Spike’s voice dripped with venom.

Raanda shuddered a little. “And the scary one - Tarron Rerg?”

“He likes us. I guess we remind him of his kids or something. I don’t know. He’d kill us without hesitation if he thought that’s what he needed to do. But all things being equal? He’s just as happy not to.” Spike made an amused (if sleepy) noise. “Damn I’d love to be able to fight like that…”

Spike turned to look at Raanda. “Remember them telling you a klingon feast is incomplete until the first dead body hits the deck? Not so funny now, is it?”

Raanda’s response was very quiet: “Nope. Not so funny now…”

I remember when I was 12 or so asking my parents for a drum kit because I wanted to be a drummer. They gave me a guitar instead and within a day I had it tuned and was playing a few simple songs on it from the book that came with it. I occasionally had a teacher show me a thing or two, but if you really want to learn, you teach yourself and instructors just provide some guidance.
I think of learning like that as developing vocabulary. With learning the harmonica, I started by learning simple riffs, two and three note combinations. Each new combo is like learning a new word. Then you just put them together in some reasonable syntax. The same for writing or many other things.

I think of learning like that as developing vocabulary. With learning the harmonica, I started by learning simple riffs, two and three note combinations...

As a lead guitarist and keyboardist, I often tell people that what you don't play is more important than what you do play. I will often sit out the first 1/3 of the song and just wait to come in. And just as often, I'll drop out for significant portions of the song. What I'm not doing IS what I'm doing.

My newest ensemble, Tilt-A-Squirrel, just recorded some very high quality, professional videos, which will hopefully start showing up on my YouTube channel next week. The producer just sent me some of the draft material tonight and it looks and sounds great.

Thanks!! rbs

The Star Beagle Adventures

Episode 4: Starship Trooper
Scene 13: Interesting People

What I don't know, I have never shared...

Interesting People

“I don’t know why,” said PFC Guz Maxwell. “Everything just… stopped. The warp engine is running, but we’re not going anywhere.”

“Shut it down,” ordered Lance Corporal Petra Spitze. “We’re feeding something. Stop feeding it.”

“It’s down,” Guz reported.

“It’s a web,” PFC Raanda Habib, said. She touched a control and a series of interconnected white lines appeared in front of the stars on the viewscreen.

“Oh crap…” said PFC Sasha Soko. “I recognize that pattern… Tholian…”

“Is the web fully formed?” asked Spike.

“Looks like they’re closing it now,” Raanda Habib responded. “We didn’t see them because they were on the other side of it.”

“It’s a small web,” Sasha observed. “Tailor made for a ship this size. Would the tholians be using a ferengi probe?”

“Unimportant,” Spike rejoined. “They’re about to vent heat into this cabin. Everything in the crates will be fine, but we’re about to get roasted. We’re going to them. No phasers, no spitfires, no explosives - we don’t want to ignite their atmosphere. Arm yourselves with bullpups and can openers.”

“Combat suits?” asked Sasha.

“We’re going to have to use the replication circuit and hope that new program works,” said Spike. “I’ll program it. Get me a bullpup and a can opener.”

Raanda Habib was already at the crates. She handed bullpups (small, automatic rifles that looked like two largish pentagons jammed together - a short barrel sticking out one end and a shoulder pad on the other) and can openers (heavy, triangular maces that could be used either as an axe or a sledge hammer) back to Guz, one at a time.

Guz passed these weapons on to Sasha, who in turn handed them to Spike, who looked back, confirmed everyone was armed, then hit the transporter control.

The transport sensation was the oddest any of them had ever experienced. They arrived, empty-handed, in a hellish, poisonous soup of a red environment. But because they were still in transit, the transit field held the environment back as a EVA combat suit was replicated around each marine. Their weapons transported last, arriving in their gloved hands.

The bullpups came equipped with clips that allowed them to be clipped to a tether on the front of their combat suits. The marines were just securing their weapons when two tholians entered the rear compartment.

The tholian ship was about twice the size of the runabout. The marines had beamed into what was apparently a storage compartment. The walls were divided into a honeycomb of hexagonal compartments - several of which contained brightly glowing gems.

Someone in Star Fleet had dubbed the tholians “Crystal Lobsters,” but they looked more like glowing ants... glowing red ants with a white stripe that included their eyes that glowed even more brightly.

One of them raised something that looked like a gun.

“Scatter!” Spike ordered as a visible wave of force pulsed through the atmosphere. Guz had dived forward and spread out flat on the deck. The others had leapt to the sides and the wave of force sent them to the corners of the room.

Guz had his bullpup in front of him and was the first to open fire, shattering the head of the tholian who had fired. Raanda and Spike fired next - a burst of about 20 bullets converged on the head of the second tholian, shattering its head.

Both newly headless tholians immediately charged forward. Guz concentrated his fire on the chest of the first one - dozens of armor-piercing rounds chipping and shattering what were, apparently, layers of crystal.

Sasha let his bullpup hang by its tether. He stepped out with the can opener (kind of a cross between a tomahawk and a hammer) in his left hand, knife in his right. Spike, who had been next to him, switched her bullpup to her left hand and hefted her can opener with her right. On the other side of the room, Raanda stopped firing, but did not lower her bullpup.

Despite their layers of crystal, the headless tholians weren’t much slower than their human intruders. Guz kept firing until Sasha kicked the bottom of his foot. The tholian in front of him unlimbered a pair of scythe-like weapons as Guz rolled to the side. Sasha stepped forward and brought the cutting edge of his can opener through the creature’s chest, then reversed the weapon to cut back upward again, causing the front half of the creature to split. It fell, inert, to the deck.

Spike used a downward blow with her can opener to open the hole in the 2nd tholian’s neck, then jammed the barrel of her bullpup into it and sprayed armor-piercing rounds directly into the creature.

“Okay,” said Sasha. “They can survive getting their heads blown off and still see us somehow. Aim for the chest.”

“These might help,” said Spike, picking up the weapon dropped by the first tholian. She tossed it to Sasha and unlimbered another from a holster on the second tholian. “We have to get to the flight cabin.”

The door at the front of the bay was a sphincter that opened in response to a touch, leading to a long corridor with a single door opening off each side and another sphincter-like door in the ceiling at the front.

Spike knelt beneath this sphincter with her bullpup pointed directly up. Sasha reached up, touched the control and stepped back as the door opened - directly under another tholian. Spike fired a burst directly up at it, then rolled out of the way as the tholian fell out, landed heavily on the floor and thrashed about a moment before collapsing.

Spike didn’t hesitate - climbing over its body up into the flight cabin. Guz followed her up to look at the utterly alien controls.

Guz pointed at a control. “That one?”

“No,” Spike replied. “That one.” She pushed and twisted the control and the ship jerked as it released the webbing that had extruded from the back. At the same time, lights throughout the ship started flashing, faster and faster…

Spike entered a series of controls on a panel on the inside of the left arm on her space suit and the marines beamed out just as the ship started to self-destruct.

The Bluebird’s transporter beamed the marines into the back of the other tholian ship.

But this bay was crawling with tiny tholians…

“Babies?” asked Raanda.

“Hatchlings,” said Spike. “They’ll burrow through your suit and start eating you.” She lifted the weapon she had taken from the other ship, aimed it at the floor in front of them and activated it. Waves of force scattered the tiny tholians across the deck, shattering dozens of them.


Spike ran forward, leading the four young marines to the door. She touched the control, but this door appeared to be locked. She stepped back and aimed the tholian pulse weapon at it and the door blew open enough for her to push through. Guz, Sasha and Raanda followed suit - into a corridor that was swarming with more baby tholians. Guz swatted a few from Sasha’s suit. Raanda swatted a few from Guz’s suit.

Spike made it to the front and activated the tholian weapon as Raanda started screaming. She turned around and Sasha used his knife to sweep a number of hatchlings from the back of her suit, where they had started burrowing in, causing a leak that was widening.

The tholian pilot fell out of the cockpit, dead from a point-blank blow from the tholian weapon. The recoil from the weapon dislocated Spike's right shoulder. “Guz - I need you up here!”

Guz ran forward and scrambled up into the cockpit. Sasha was using the other tholian weapon to blow the tiny tholians back toward the rear of the corridor - it was a losing battle.

“Got it,” Guz called just as the lights started flashing.

Spike managed to activate a number of controls on her EVA suit and the marines were transported back into the rear compartment of the newly freed Bluebird as the second tholian ship self-destructed. A large number of baby tholians transported back with them.

“Hang on to something!” Sasha shouted. He sprinted up to the flight cabin and activated a control, blowing the rear hatch open again, venting the overheated internal atmosphere and a number of tiny tholians into space. Guz was vented out the back as well.

Dozens more somewhat larger juvenile tholians had previously been transported into the Bluebird. With the atmosphere vented, the temperature inside the runabout dropped to well below freezing. The internal lights went out inside the juvenile tholians as they instantly froze to death - their red crystalline bodies turning blue before shattering, leaving only shards.

Guz used the attitude controls on his spacesuit, little jets of gas, to steer himself back toward the runabout, grasped the top of the rear hatch and crawled back into the craft.

A few hours later, the Bluebird was underway again. The cots had been moved into the flight cabin. No one wanted to be next to the rear hatch at this point.

“Those ships are hatcheries?” asked Raanda.

“And we were to be their first meal,” Spike answered. Her shoulder had been popped back into place and she was exercising it very gently.

“Why don’t they carry food with them?” Guz asked.

“They probably do,” Spike mused. “But if that was a second round of hatchlings, they might have run out. I suspect any adults on that second craft had locked themselves away from the hatchlings.”

“Could they have been the ones using that probe?” asked Sasha.

“They were definitely not friendly,” Spike responded.

“But they were so interesting…” said Raanda. There was some grief in her voice.

“Join the Space Hounds…” Guz started.

“Travel the Galaxy…” Sasha continued. They were looking at Raanda.

Raanda shook her head slowly: “Meet interesting people…”

“Kill them,” Spike concluded.

She paused for a moment, then: “Not so funny now, is it?”

“Nope,” Raanda replied. “Not so funny now…”

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The Star Beagle Adventures

Episode 4: Starship Trooper
Scene 14: Cavalry

Spoke to me in sweet, accustomed ways...


“These guys again?” asked PFC Sasha Soko. “I guess now we know who tagged us with that ferengi probe that told every miscreant in the galaxy just where we were…”

“I thought we had a treaty with these guys,” said PFC Raanda Habib.

“Yeah,” said Lance Corporal Petra Spitze. “The only ones who pay attention to that treaty are the ones that can read. And if they can read, they probably noticed that treaty doesn’t protect us when we’re outside of Federation space…”

“One good shot and they’ll have us,” said PFC Guz Maxwell. “Shields are already down to 68% and they haven’t managed to get a direct hit on us yet. Most of that’s just due to the load on the engines.”

“We’ll last longer running than if we were to try to turn and fight them,” said Spike.

At that moment something buzzed the Bluebird, drawing disruptor fire from the four large, square ships that were in pursuit. It passed close to two of the ships, causing them to briefly fire on each other.

“What was that and where did it come from?” asked Sasha.

“NCC 75601 - it’s the Escort!!!” exclaimed Raanda.

The U.S.S. Escort was significantly faster and more agile than the square ships that had been chasing the Bluebird. It had passed close, dived below the group, then came back up, phasers firing in pulse configuration, passing within meters of one of its targets, pouring phaser fire directly in contact with the larger ship’s shields and escaping ahead of the shrapnel of the exploding ship.

“Bluebird this is the U.S.S. Beagle, Sakura Nakamura Holland commanding. Drop your shields, route all power to inertial dampeners and structural integrity and prepare for emergency docking.”

“Beagle this is the Bluebird, Petra Spitze commanding, copy that!”

“Got it,” said Guz. “But they’re still a light year away… what???”

The vulcan-built craft came out of nowhere and painted one of the square ships briefly with its tractor beam, pushing it off course and into the line of fire of another of the ships, which had been firing at the Bluebird.

Only a heartbeat later, the Bluebird was captured by a tractor beam from the Beagle and jerked into one of the Beagle’s shuttle bays.

Although cut off from the external views of the scrum, the four young marines in the flight cabin of the Bluebird could hear the Star Fleet side of the battle chatter.

“Package secured and the Beagle is away!”

“Escort is also clear!” came another female voice.

A third female voice could be heard: “General Krank, you are go to light them up.”

The voice from the Beagle - Sakura Nakamura Holland - could be heard again: “It worked... Confirming the two surviving targets are disabled and dead in space.”

“Deleteri vessels,” came the third female voice, “This is Commodore Yui Song. Surrender and prepare for rescue operations…”

Sakura Nakamura Holland’s voice came through again: “Mako, Escort, get clear! Reading plumes in the deleteri engineering sections. Overload imminent…”

The Bluebird, now latched down inside the Beagle’s shuttlebay, bumped slightly.

“This is Commodore Yui Song, confirming all hostiles destroyed, no survivors. Report any damage.”

“This is the U.S.S. Escort, Rhonda Carter commanding, reporting no damage, no casualties.”

“This is the U.S.S. Beagle, Sakura Nakamura Holland commanding. We have the Bluebird in our primary hangar. We took a hit to our port ventral shield and have partial damage to one of our emitters in that array. We should have repairs completed in the next 20 minutes. No other damage, no casualties.”

Couldn’t have timed their arrival better. Just like a good cavalry. :D Glad to see our plucky Hounds made it!

These characters become important to my story in a lot of ways. I understood why the franchise had its captains going bare-knuckled, rough and tumble on various planets, but that's something captains and first officers wouldn't realistically do. That's what these kids are for... They're not scientists, but they are there to protect the scientists.

Glad you're enjoying them... but they have one more hurdle ahead of them... Arguably their most daunting challenge yet...

Join the Space Hounds
Travel the Galaxy
Meet interesting people
Kill them.

Thanks!! rbs
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The Star Beagle Adventures

Episode 4: Starship Trooper
Scene 15: Surrender

Starship Trooper, go sailing on by...


“Bluebird, this is Captain Osollaa sh’Zhiathis, United States Marine Corps,” came an unfamiliar voice over the Bluebird’s comm system. “Power down all systems, open up and prepare to surrender cargo and personnel.”

“Copy that, sir,” Lance Corporal Petra Spitze replied. The only systems still operating aboard the Bluebird at this point were communication and life support. These automatically transitioned to the U.S.S. Beagle as the rear hatch opened, to reveal the four marines standing at attention in the rear of the runabout. The Bluebird was an extremely tight fit inside this shuttlebay - barely a foot clearance from the rear gate to the hangar doors.

Three humans and an andorian were waiting. Spike recognized Sergeant Chavez Lone Wolf. The andorian was in marine uniform bearing captain’s bars. A Japanese woman wearing a flower print dress.

And a Star Fleet captain - Spike felt her entire body tense and her stomach turned over. Seven years in the Marine Corps and she had occasionally been in assemblies that were addressed by a Colonial. She had never been introduced to one. A Star Fleet Captain was equivalent rank.

“Lance Corporal Petra Spitze…” This captain had an irrepressible smile - almost built into his face. Long, reddish hair that was thinning at the top. Bluish green eyeshadow and black fingernail polish. “You must be Spike.”

Spike gave a second’s side-long glance to Lone Wolf - certainly he hadn’t revealed a marine’s nickname to someone not in the service? Sgt. Lone Wolf gave the tiniest shake of his head. She quickly returned her attention to the captain. Her mouth was dry. She knew she was supposed to say something, but her mind was completely blank. The only thing that came out was a slight squeak.

“Allow me to introduce our Dean of Ship, Sakura Nakamura Holland. Sakura directs all civilian activity aboard this vessel and by ship’s policy, is to be treated as though she carries the rank of Lieutenant Commander. She is fourth in command whenever I and my first and second officers are otherwise engaged. I see you recognize the authority of Captain Osollaa sh’Zhiathis…”

“You may respond, Lance Corporal,” sh’Zhiathis said.

“Sir, I stand ready to surrender the Bluebird to you…” Spike started.

“I am not authorized to accept this vessel,” Captain Howard replied. He took a half-step forward. “Lance Corporal, Star Fleet provided a newly constructed runabout in mint condition to the United States Marine Corps for use in this resupply mission and Commodore Yui Song will accept surrender of same tomorrow at 1400 hours - that is just under 21 hours from now. If you need to polish the fenders, you may use this facility to do so, however, Star Fleet personnel are not authorized to assist.”

“Understood sir!” Spike had a cold feeling growing in the pit of her stomach - there was a lot of repair work to do. She wanted to steal a glance at her three young charges, but did not dare to.

Sakura Nakamura Holland spoke up. Spike recognized the voice she had heard over the comm system during the battle. She had never heard so much authority in the voice of a civilian. “Why don’t you introduce your crew to us?”

“Um… Ma’am…” The word was unfamiliar and uncomfortable to Spike: “Private First Class Guz Maxwell…”

“The guitarist,” Captain Howard remarked, drawing surprised looks from Sakura and from all the marines. Howard shared a look with Sakura. He raised his right hand and briefly waggled his fingers.

She returned her attention to the young marines, then her face lit up with epiphany: “Ah!”

Spike continued: “Private First Class Sasha Soko…

“That has to be a Russian name,” said Sakura. “Did your family change the name from Sokoloff?”

“Sokolov, ma’am,” Sasha replied.

“And Private First Class Raanda Habib,” Spike concluded.

“Habib? Huh. Boyfriend,” Howard observed, earning panicked looks from both Raanda and Spike.

“So it appears you had a few adventures on your way here, Lance Corporal,” Sakura observed.

“Just a few minor bumps, ma’am,” Spike replied. She still knew she was missing something.

“I look forward to reading your detailed reports,” said Captain Howard. “Which are due at 800 hours tomorrow. Captain sh’Zhiathis, you will ensure your new marines are familiarized with our report formats?”

“Aye, sir,” the andorian marine captain responded.

“Very well,” said Captain Howard. He turned to leave, then turned back toward Spike and her marines, still standing at attention in the rear of the Bluebird. “Oh, you are permitted to board the U.S.S. Beagle, marines. Carry on.”

Spike nearly came unglued - she had forgotten to ask permission to board.

She could hear the ship’s captain and the dean of ship talking and laughing as they walked out of the hangar.

“Get down from there,” Captain sh’Zhiathis ordered, finally getting Spike and her terrified marines to move. The andorian turned toward Sgt. Lone Wolf: “Sergeant, you recommended her. Handle this situation. I’ll clear the entire unit to work on this runabout - we have a lot of work ahead of us… I want these four working on their reports…”

In the corridor outside of the hangar, Sakura Nakamura Holland lightly flicked Skip Howard’s shoulder. “You were pretty tough on those kids, Skip…”

“Got to make sure they start on the right foot,” Howard replied. “They’re going to work out. They’re a lot tougher than they look. A lot tougher than they think they are.” He took a breath. “They’re going to need some serious help fixing up that runabout. Star Fleet personnel cannot help them. But I’d like all your Nakamura Enterprises civilian staff to drop whatever they’re doing and go help those kids.”

Sakura smiled. “You got it, Skip. We’ll have it spick and span before those kids turn it over to Song.”

Starship Trooper

Author's Note: This is the final scene for Episode 4.

The adventure continues in The Star Beagle Adventures, Episode 5 - All Good People, to be posted in this thread.
A couple of quick liner notes - things I'm doing with Captain Skip Howard in this last scene. He's showing off a little.

Skip is familiar with several languages, so he easily figured out the nicknames for two of the marines from their last names: Spitze is German and means Spike. Habib is Arabic and means Boyfriend. Skip also noticed that Guz was a guitarist by looking at his hands - well kept fingernails on the right hand, heavy calluses on the fingers of the left hand. He clued Sakura into this and she figured it out a second later.

Throughout this scene, Captain Howard is setting up a situation that will build camaraderie and morale between the U.S. Marines and the Nakamura Enterprises civilian staff, both of whom are under his command. The Bluebird is severely damaged and it is only with the help of Sakura's civilian engineers that the marines stand any chance of having the runabout shipshape in time to surrender the vessel to Commodore Yui Song.

Thanks for reading!! rbs
Great episode. Looking forward to the next one. And glad to see the Hounds are sticking around. :)

These characters become important to my story in a lot of ways. I understood why the franchise had its captains going bare-knuckled, rough and tumble on various planets, but that's something captains and first officers wouldn't realistically do. That's what these kids are for... They're not scientists, but they are there to protect the scientists.

Yes, makes sense. And a good thing to do in the more casting-flexible prose format. As you say, it's obvious why the TV shows did what they did, but in a real military/exploration setting, Kirk should just have been beaming down a dozen or so redshirts and/or science specialists every week and then waiting to read their report once they got back (or if they got back in the case of the redshirts :weep:).
Great episode. Looking forward to the next one. And glad to see the Hounds are sticking around. :)

Yes, makes sense. And a good thing to do in the more casting-flexible prose format. As you say, it's obvious why the TV shows did what they did, but in a real military/exploration setting, Kirk should just have been beaming down a dozen or so redshirts and/or science specialists every week and then waiting to read their report once they got back (or if they got back in the case of the redshirts :weep:).
Unless, of course, there are girls. Then the captain's diplomatic presence is required.

The Star Beagle Adventures Episode 5: All Good People

Notes: Throughout this episode, snippets of lyrics are quoted. These are from the song, "I've Seen All Good People" by Chris Squire. The song first appeared as track 4 on "The Yes Album", 1971, Atlantic Records. The first movement of the song, "Your Move," peaked at #40 on Billboard.


The Star Beagle Adventures
Episode 5: All Good People
Scene 1: Survey Run

Take a straight and stronger course...

Survey Run

Lance Corporal Petra Spitze was delighted to be detailed to protect Captain Skip Howard whenever he was on an away mission. She was still unreasonably terrified of the man even though he was physically no bigger than she was and seemed incapable of not smiling. But there was something about him that was clearly born to power.

Spike had been less thrilled to learn she would be spending several days camping with a pack of tellarites. The porcine-faced aliens were often compared with pigs. Nothing for a marine to be frightened of, but famously unpleasant company.

She had no idea what a biological expedition with a dozen tellerite biologists would be like.

Serrat Prime had an enormous variety of environments. The survey team from the Tellarite Biological Survey chose to start with a forested environment. They set up base camp in a high, well-drained area a few hundred feet above the swamps.

The group was up well before dawn. While Spike, her squad of three (Privates Guz Maxwell, Raanda Habib and Sasha Soko), and Captain Howard were enjoying their morning coffee, Drisk javWalirsh and his team were crawling about, snuffling and conferring. So much of their language just didn’t make it through the universal translator. The English language Spike was accustomed to simply didn’t have terms to describe the blend of emotions and odors that the tellarites were communicating.

Spike was amazed at the diversity among the tellarites. There were the gigantic bear-like tellarites - their bodies covered with fur, like the director and his family. Norkaond Vef - only 4'5" - was the smallest of the tellarites - bright pink skin and only a small tuft of white hair at the top of her head.

“Better drink up, get up and gear up, marines,” said Captain Howard suddenly. “They’re getting close to making a decision. When they do that, they’ll take off and it won’t be easy to keep up with them.” He drained his coffee and set the cup inside the camp lockbox.

Drisk javWalirsh, the tellarite director, was enormous - almost 7 feet tall and nearly 500 pounds. While aboard the Beagle, Drisk tended to wear brown denim overalls with flannel shirts. Here in the forest he was stripped down to a pair of brown, denim, cutoff shorts. Not that he appeared underdressed - his entire body was covered with a wooly coat of brown and gray fur. He draped a massive paw across Captain Howard’s shoulders.

“Do you think these pathetic, overdressed children will be able to keep up with a biological survey?”

Howard smiled. “We’re about to find out.”

The gigantic tellerite ambled over to Spike, his enormous, bare chest in her face. Four large, dark brown nipples. He bent down until his huge tusks were almost touching her ear. His foul-smelling breath moving her hair. His voice just a slight whisper: “Make sure your puppies don’t stub their toes, Stinky.” He emphasized his point by tapping two, long, clawed toes on her boot.

Spike turned until her mouth was almost touching his tusks and very quietly replied: “You got it, fart-breath…”

Drisk raised up to full height, let out a single, loud, “Ha!” He twisted impossibly and in a single bound vanished into the trees - along with all the other tellarites and Captain Howard.

Spike, Guz, Raanda and Sasha looked at one another in surprise, then went tearing off in the last direction they had seen the tellarites.



Star Beagle Adventures on Trek BBS:​

Episode 1: The Eye of the Beholder
Episode 2: Astral Traveller
Episode 3: Yours is no Disgrace

Episode 4: Starship Trooper
Episode 5: All Good People (you are here)
Episode 6: Perpetual Change
Episode 7: The Roundabout
Episode 8: South Side of the Sky
Episode 9: Long Distance Runaround
Episode 10: Schindler's Fish
Episode 11: Heart of the Sunrise
Episode 12: Close to the Edge part I - The Solid Time of Change
Episode 13: Close to the Edge part II - Total Mass Retain
Episode 14: Close to the Edge part III - I Get Up, I Get Down (now in drafting)
Episode 15: Close to the Edge part IV - Seasons of Man (projected)​