Creative fun in
the palm of your hand.
Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/campfires/item_id/2114462-He-Men-and-Monsters
by Twiga
Rated: 18+ · Campfire Creative · Fiction · Action/Adventure · #2114462
March is Women's Month? Well is making this March about celebrating Men and Male Monsters
[Introduction] This is a story about Manly Men and Monsters, Why is it that Women have an Entire Month but Men have only International Men's Day in November? And even then that Day is derided and ignored (Last year Google did no sketch for International Men's Day)|

Well as a Fat Tomboy who never got along with Girls at school, here is an RP celebrating Manly Men and Monsters

Two Rules:

1.The Player Characters are to be entirely new characters, they can be Humans, Anthros or Aliens but they have to be new creations
2.Someone can make a Female Player Character, but the Female PC can not be a feminist 'man-hater' the Female will be extremely appreciative of Men even if she isn't in a romantic relationship, and regardless of if she's a an action loving tomboy or a feminine maternal figure
3.Characters can be straight,gay or bi...Heck even Asexual despite the Title the PCs don't all have to be Lumberjacks and Wrestlers a Character could be a camp gay twink but he must not be a self-hating man
I guess since I am the only girl in this campfire I'll make the only girl character

Name: Creatura
Age: 18
Sex: Female
Species: Mutant Flea
Occupation: Scout Currently, Slave Laborer Formally
Sexuality: Asexual
Personality: Adventurous, Intelligent, though due to her upbringing, doesn't have the best social skill and often puts her foot in her mouth.
Background: Originally known as Flea # 1 Creatura was a Prototype Mutant that was designed for Manual Labor, she worked in a steel factory until the Mutant Liberation Act of '06 Since then Creatura joined the 'Adventurer's Club' as a Scout
Favorite Color: Black
Favorite Music: Rock n Roll
Favorite Food: Blood (She's a Flea she can't eat anything else)
Name: Rodger
Age: 27
Sex: Male
Species: Anthropomorphic Wolf
Occupation: Special Forces Soldier
Sexuality: Straight.
Personality: Gruff, somewhat Boisterous, Protective towards those he cares about, Hostile towards those he doesn't like.
Background: Rodger is a soldier, first and foremost. He has served since he was eighteen. Originally part of a team sent on highly dangerous missions, his commanding officer recommended that he undergo Special training, along with a number of other candidates, and was one of a very small group that passed the requirements to be a member of the Special Forces.
Favorite Color: Red
Favorite Music: Country
Favorite Food: Raw, or Rare, Meat. Of course, some fruits and vegetables are very tasty.
Character: Lars Frankl, anthropomorphic Eagle. He too is career military. He served as a fighter jock on an aircraft carrier until an accident during a landing grounded him. Upon examination he was found to have astygmatism of the right eye, which did not end his military career but did prevent him from flying fighters again. In most cases the condition in Lars' eye would be corrected but Lars is allergic to a medication needed to perform the surgery. Therefore he has been reassigned as a special forces commander.

Lars is 35 years old. Prior to serving in the navy he had never seen a body of water bigger than the small creek that ran by his small southern Arizona home. During the worst storms of the rainy season one could easily step across it without getting one's feet wet. This in part led to Lars' enrollment in the naval academy. His love of flying of course came from the fact that he was a bird. However there is a feeling of awe one gets when you are going mach three trying to avoid a missile closing at mach eight that Lars found fascinating. When he could no longer fly Lars found that same fascination with combat on the ground. First and foremost in his mind however was the safety of his men. He took every precaution to avoid confronting the enemy unless specifically ordered to attack. He found the cat and mouse to be just as fascinating as aerial combat.
Name: Granny
Age: old
Sex: female
Species: human
Occupation: herb doctor, witch, baker, psychic, musician, artist
Sexuality: too old for most stuff, but...
Personality: Has lived a very full life and is still going strong. Believes perseverance conquers all and hard work and problem solving are what life is all about.
Background: Has worked many different jobs. Her favorite was playing sax in a jazz band.
Favorite Color: Silver
Favorite Music: Jazz
Favorite Food: tiny shrimp sautéed in garlic and butter, roast chicken, baked potato, Texas garlic toast, spinach salad, lemon meringue pie
Creatura had returned to the states after a very long trip to the Amazon Rain Forest searching for plants that can create new medicines. Today Creatura was sad, but she didn't understand why, she had had a great trip as she walked along the dirt country road, people were friendly and greeting her.

Finally Creatura sat down beside the Granny's Domicile and started to weep...Don't ask how tears come from from segmented eyes.

Granny heard and stepped outside and saw the Mutant Flea weeping.

"Dear Creature..." Granny said "Why are you so sad?"

"I don't know...That's the thing." Said Creatura

"Why don't you come inside for something to eat..." Said Granny

"I can only eat blood." Said Creatura "I don't want to such your blood I normally get Livestock Blood from the Mutant Mart.:"
At this, Granny took a wooden spoon and thwacked Creatura on the head.

The mutant flea rubbed her head. The blow didn't hurt, but it was annoying. "What was that for?"

"As if I didn't know what you eat," said Granny. "I'd be a poor sort for a grandmother if I didn't know what people eat."

"What do you mean?" Creatura asked.

"I have plenty of pouches of blood," said Granny. "There's always someone who needs it, for one reason or another."

"Um, thanks," said Creatura.

"Beside, I have plenty of livestock that could stand to lose a cup or two of blood," said Granny. "Especially this one big bull with a mean kick. He could stand to lose at lest a quart's worth."
"In that case I accept your invitation," Creatura said and stepped inside Granny's cabin.

Granny pointed her to a chair and the mutant flea sat down. "So tell me a little about yourself whilst I prepare us a meal, Granny said.

Creatura sat silently for a second as if in thought but begann talking before the old woman whacked her on the head for being rude. Creatura kknew nothing of her own grandparents but knew enough about grandmothers in general to know they commanded and expected respect. If Granny said talk Creatura knew it would be considered disrespectful of her not to do so.

"My name is Creatura. I am the only one of my kind that I know of. I was created by scientists at Westford Laboratories. I really don't know how old I am. All I can tell you for certain is that I am more than fifteen years old, which for a flea is very old. I was created by splicing the genes of a flea to the genes of a horse and the genes of a human mutant...."

"I don't know beans about splicing a pair of jeans to another pair of jeans and making a creature like yourself and I really don't care. I don't want to know how you were made because that stuff is far beyond me. I would simply have thrown some herbs together and used them to cast a spell and created you that way. This science stuff though.... So tell me about you as a person. Where are you coming from? What brings you to my doorstep? What makes you tick?"

"Tick, oh my! I didn't know I was ticking! If i am i must leave for my presence puts you in great danger!"

Creatura stood up to leave. "Sit back down there young lady! You're a little slow socially aren't you? When i said i wanted to know what made you tick I didn't mean that you were literally ticking and might explode! I meant that I want to know about you as a person. I want to know how you think, what you''ve been through, etc."
I really haven't done much or thought much," Creatura said. "I was a slave laborer for what seemed like forever and I usually tried not to think about it much. I called it zoning out. It was like I was sleepwalking, I guess."

Granny smiled. "Did your slave career end when the Mutant Labor Liberation Act was passed?"

"Yes. At first, I didn't believe it. I didn't know what to do with myself. Then I thought I I can do anything now. I can see the world! And I joined the Adventurer's Club."

"Are you on your first adventure now?" Granny asked as she sat a plate of oatmeal cookies on the table.

"I just a finished a big adventure and I feel sad for some reason. I don't know why."

Meanwhile in NYC
Rodger was busy training for his next mission. He didn't know what it was, or where it would be, but he was training in a number of simulated environments; urban, in-house, jungle, field, caves, and more. He didn't know where the mission would be, but the less he knew, the less the enemy got, no matter who the enemy was.

His last mission had been a simulated attack on some dictator's residence. Said dictator had claimed that his well-trained bodyguards, who were all Special Forces operatives in his nation's military, could repeal any would-be attempt to invade his domicile, and abduct him. The U.S. military had said, "Let's put your money where your mouth is," and had made a deal; the U.S. would simulate an abduction, with simulated weapons, and the dictator's bodyguard, with simulated weapons, would try to prevent it. If the U.S. was successful, the dictator was to shut their mouth about how powerful his bodyguards were. If the dictator's bodyguards were successful, there'd be a nice fat check in their Christmas stockings. The dictator agreed, and added that, if the U.S. was successful, they could post naked pictures of him on the internet. Needless to say, Rodger had taken the pictures of said dictator in the nude, and while the dictator was nothing to speak of, he now had nothing to say.
"What was your big adventure?" Granny asked.

Creatura smiled. "I was in the Amazon Rain Forest looking for medicinal plants. I love the jungle. So many new animals and plants to see and the various native tribes of Indians."

"No problem with the snakes and bugs?"

"Hey, I'm a bug myself!"

Granny laughed. "I forgot! Oh! I better check on your blood pouch in the kitchen. It should be nicely warmed by now."

"I don't like it hot, just warm."

"I know. That's why I was taking special care to warm it up very slowly. I don't suppose you would try one of my oatmeal cookies?"

"Sorry, Granny, but a flea eating grains isn't going to happen. I'm sure they are very good, though."

"Everybody loves them. Well, the grain-eaters love them."
As Creatura enjoyed her meal Granny mused to herself. "I think I know why you were sad."

Creatura looked up at Granny

"Ever since you became free, you have a lot of acquaintances but no real friends...You need some deeper relationships, because you feel lonely."
Rodger was in the middle of a training exercise. In this exercise he had to camouflage himself and take out a target in a house. This sounds simple enough until you factor in that he had to move through an open field patrolled by scouts who were looking for him. There was a scout about every fifteen feet and Rodger had to move cautiously and slowly in order to take the shot. Once he was within range the target would be sitting on the porch and Rodger would eliminate him by taking aim with a laser weapon that would activate a target the mark would be wearing. An additional problem was that Rodger had been given very limited knowledge of who the target was. All he had was a picture of the man's face and nothing more. This he had committed to memory. His orders were to cross the field under cover of darkness, wait for daylight, eliminate the target and then escape undetected. One thing was certain. His commanders didn't ask for too much from him! Rodger was fond of saying "In the army the hard to do is accomplished immediately, the impossible takes a few hours, and miracles are done by special request!"

This mission was not a miracle mission but the odds of failure were high. If he failed he would have to continue practicing until he could successfully accomplish it repeatedly. Even now he knew that this drill would be repeated again and again over the next several days. If he was going to make any mistakes, make them in practice. In theater mistakes were something he may not survive.
"Granny, that's easy to say I need deeper relationships," said Creatura, "but how do I get them?"

"You have to be willing to spend a lot of time with one person instead of a little bit of time with a lot of people."

"I don't think anybody wants to spend a lot of time with me."

Granny bit off a piece of oatmeal cookie and washed it down with some tea. "There is always somebody. You can't recall anyone wanting to spend more time with you?"

"There was this soldier named Rodger at the camp where we were temporarily held when slaves got their freedom. He seemed interested in me, but he seemed like such a rough type that I was afraid of him. Anyway, it might have just been my imagination that he liked me."

"Something must have triggered your imagination?"

"He was always wanting to talk to me or buy me a snack."
Eventually Creatura left Granny and continued her journey
Rodger found himself in position, and carefully checked his rifle. He wore a suit that made him look like a bush from a distance. His rifle was in working condition. He then checked his sidearms, for the rifle would be useless in the escape, where rapid firepower would become more important than stopping power. His sidearms were ready, with special paint capsules, whose contents were hard to wipe off, as it would create a big smear, if nothing else.

He looked down at the porch, and saw his target come out. He lined up his rifle, and pulled the trigger. At this, the sensor on the target's vest went off.

"I just got out!" the target yelled. "Where is he at?"

"Try that bush!" one of the sentries yelled out.

One of the other sentries ran to the bush in question, only to get hit by a capsule. "I'm out!"

Several more sentries ran towards the bush, and fired at it.

"I think we got him!" one yelled.

"Sniper, stand if you've been hit!" the instructor called out.

However, there was no movement.

"Check position," said the instructor.

A sentry walked forward, and stepped on the bush. "He isn't here!" Just then, he felt something hit him in the back. "Hey! The instructor called 'Check!', not 'Time In!', Rodger."

The instructor chuckled. "In that case, Time In!"

The other sentry got hit. "That's got to be cheating."

The rest of the sentries started running, and got hit from a number of directions.

"Where did that come from?" asked a sentry, who had yet to be hit, in part because he was ducking behind a porch swing.

"Sniper! Stand up!"

Rodger stood up.

"Sniper! How did you take out those five sentries?"

Rodger held up a remote. "I got five nests set up, fully automatic."

"You had enough time to rig up five nests, and get to a good hiding spot?" the instructor said.

"Yes I did," said Rodger. He then pulled out one of his sidearms. "I also have these two as well."

"Outstanding," said the instructor.

"Thank you," said Rodger.

"Let's go through it, again!"
Creatura walked away from Granny's house wondering if she had just made what Granny had referred to as a friend. She determined that she would visit the old witch again someday soon. She also thought about Rodger. Could his interests in her have been more than just a friendly gesture? If so, then he was thee only person who had ever attempted to befriend her. In pondering it she determined that her years in the slave camps had perhaps made her a little cynical. She also determined that she was going to find Rodger. Granny had asked her what her next adventure was going to be. She had been unable to answer because up until then she didn't know. In retrospect she realized that her sadness had stemmed from not having any real sense of purpose and from loneliness. Granny's words came back to her in saying that if she wanted a friend she would have to allow herself to be friend. Of course that could well mean being rejected and hurt but the potential pay off was well worth it. The last she had known Rodger was in the special forces. As a member of the Adventurers she was well trained in special operations, evasion, survival, and weapons. She was going to find Rodger and enlist her services as a mercenary for whatever cause he was fighting for. She really had no idea what that cause may be but she had a hunch that if Rodger was involved in it then it was probably a just and noble cause. if she hired on as a mercenary perhaps the military would permit her to work directly with Rodger. The two of them would be unstoppable.
At the Mercenary Hiring Office, Creatura had to fill out a short form.

"No living relatives?" said the clerk. "No home address? That's good. You have the right social status to be a mercenary. Unattached people function well in this environment. I do have to give you some physical fitness tests and check your fighting and weaponry skills."

"I have no problem with that," said Creatura. "Is there anything like a directory where you can locate other mercenaries?"

"I'm afraid not," said the clerk. "Many mercenaries are in secret locations. A directory of where they are is just not a good idea."

"I don't suppose so," said Creatura. She could see that finding Rodger would not be as easy as she first imagined.
As she sat in the Lunch Room drinking some Diet Blood, a News Report flashed on the TV

"Breaking News! Scientists have discovered an Asteroid on the Outer Rims of the Solar System that seems to be coming dangerously close to Earth!"

An Eagle-Man who had been sitting at the table behind Creatura became very shaken up
Back at the Base, Rodger was cleaning his gun. Granted, he hadn't used it that day yet, but one should always keep their gun ready. That was when he was jostled by one of the other soldiers.

"Have you seen the new lady they have serving chow in the Mess?" the soldier asked. "Bet you that I'll be showing her my gun within a week, and filling her target with plenty of bullets."

Rodger glanced at the other soldier. "I've seen her; she's good with those knives. Bet you she can use them to cut more than just meat."

The other soldier grinned. "What makes you say that?"

"Her brother is in Unit Charlie, and he specializes in knives," said Rodger. "Probably taught little sis a thing or two."

"Do you think you could do better than me?" the other soldier asked.

Rodger grinned. "I don't know if I'll be sleeping with her, but, by the end of the month, she'll at least be dining with me, when I get Leave, and it will be at a nice place, instead of at a private cabin that just so happens to have little more than a table and a bed. If nothing else, I'll see to it that I don't end up as a pair of fuzzy slippers."
"What's the matter," Creatura asked the eagle man.

"There's an asteroid coming dangerously close to earth," the eagle man said. "What if it doesn't miss us? What if it hits us? What are we to do then?

"We'll survive like we have always done," Creatura rplied.

"That's easy for you to say. You're a bug and you'll survive anything. Not so for the rest of us."

"The news report said the asteroid is still way out there in space. It could takes years, even decades to reach Earth. Even then nobody knows what it may do. It could miss us completely."

"That's easy for you to say. You have nothing to fear in the event of a global catastrophe. You're a bug so you'll survive regardless!"

"And live on what," Creatura answered, getting irate at the eagle. "There'd be no food and even I must eat."

The eagle man jumped up and down. "Do you know they have found ants trapped in amber preserved from prehistoric times? Ants! They will inherit the earth."

From another table in the lunch room a raccoon put down his oyster sandwich and said, "Hey, Eagle Man. Shut up! The world isn't going to end today. I'd like to eat my lunch in some peace and quiet, if you don't mind?"
Of course she wished she had not said that
Rodger then entered the Mess, and saw the eagle freaking out. He looked over at the raccoon. "He all paranoid again, over something that isn't going to affect us? Like that whole Soy Blight thing, which didn't do as much damage as people said it would do?"

"Yeah," the raccoon said. "Some dumb asteroid is going to fly near us, in a thousand years."

"Glad it isn't our problem," said Rodger. "Better tell the Chef to prepare a drugged fish for him, again."

"Be the third one this month," the raccoon muttered.
"This just in," said the anchor, "Our estimates of the asteroid's speed and trajectory have dramatically altered. We now predict it will pass dangerously close to Earth in three years. Don't panic though: the asteroid will still miss the Earth... unless we get a new update telling us otherwise."

"See?" Said the raccoon, "it still won't hit us, even if it comes four years from now!"

The eagle started to protest, but the Raccoon's fist silenced him. "I said I'd like to eat my lunch in peace! Would you shut up about the news!?"

Their fight was short-lived. A knife zipped by them, stabbing into the metal table nearby.

"Listen boys," said the knife-wielding mess hall lady, "I admire both of you. Lars, you've got an inspirational ability to keep your men alive. I feel safer just having you in the room. And Shard, you're probably the most handsome raccoon I've ever seen, and such a good explosives expert that just seeing you disarm a bomb makes me hear music! But to the both of you: DON'T MAKE A MESS IN MY MESS!"

Creatura cowered in sympathy for the two soldiers the mess lady had just... complimented.
Lars stared at the knife stuck in the table. "Holy Go Moly, Bernice, what kind of knife blade is that?"

The mess hall lady yanked her shank out of the metal table. "Made special for me by some diamond miners on Betelgard 3, but it ain't diamond this blade is made of, boys. It's something even harder, something secret from an Ancient Race of Cosmic Wanderers. Hahahaha!" And she waddled back into her kitchen.

Lars and Shard exchanged glances with each other. "Sometimes Bernice gives me the creeps," Lars said.

Shard nodded. "I'll give you the creeps if you freak out again about that asteroid."

Lars sat back down at Creatura's table. "Sorry about that little disturbance. I'm passionate. I get excited easily. I guess that's why I'm sitting at your table now."

Creatura had no idea what to say.
Mr. Z thanks for your addition,while I know you are a latecomer you should make your own character

Meanwhile deep in the blackness of Space the reason the asteroid was moving quicker then usual was because it was rally a cleverly disguised Alien Spaceship!

Rodger looked at Bernice. "She's really good with that knife."

"She's out of mt league," his one friend said. "I want to keep my maleness."

"You rabbits are all like that," Rodger said.

"Still think you can get her?" the rabbit asked.

"I can, at the very least, get her to dine out with me at a very expensive restaurant," said Rodger.
Creatura heard Rodger's voice and turned to verify it was him. When she saw him she was elated that her search had come to an end. She just didn't know what to say or how to approach him. however that wasn't to be a problem for he walked directly over to her.

"I remember you. You're Creatura, the mutant flea who worked so hard in the slave labor camps. i always felt so bad knowing that you were working that hard and getting no reward. I understand that you've joined the service as a merc and asked to be assigned to my unit. I have to tell you that you couldn't have asked for a harder assignment. I also have to tell you that as your non-com I can't show you any favoritism, even though I like you. You've got stamina, perseverance, guts, brains, skills, and everything else required to be a good soldier. It's a shame that I have to put you through the wringer to undo all of that but the military wants machines instead of free thinking individuals. Basically I have to turn you back into a slave but this time you're a slave by contract and not by force. You'll be paid well for your service. Now, onn your feet soldier. We have to get started with your processing. By the way, did they tell you that due to your education, life experience, and past training, all the things they want me to train out of you, they have given you the starting rank of sergeant first class? You'll be second in command under me and my personal assistant."
"No," replied Creatura, "All they told me was, 'go sit over there.' But I'm glad I'm assigned to you."

"Heh. You'll be hatin' me soon enough..."

After lunch, Rodger marched her outside to begin her grueling regimen.

"What do you think of the newbie?" Shard asked as they left.

"Dangerous. She's gentle now, but you can see it in her multifaceted eyes: she could turn her emotions right off, like a frickin light switch, long enough to tear a man to shreds and not even flinch. I think we've finally found someone who can survive Rodgers's Death March."

"You still haven't told me how it got that name," said Shard.

"You'll see soon enough. Just check in on them every once in a while..."


Meanwhile, on the planet Tarsch, dust kicked up in clouds behind a convoy of trucks. As it approached a road flanked by boulders, one of the soon-to-be ambushers made his way to another.

"Damn it! Why are there so many of them?" Tresk cursed. "There is no way this place can be that profitable!"

His team mate chuckled.

"After today, they'll be saying the same thing..." He did a final check on his anti tank rifle. A rail gun that could cut a wide path through almost anything, leaving an hourglass-shaped hole in its wake, engineered by his mother of all people. Tresk swore one of these days there'd be songs about that rifle, not to mention the pair of pistols this guy kept strapped to his side. He didn't know what they'd be called, but still.

"How can you be so calm, Kelson? Aren't you scared?"


Name: Leslie Kelson
Age: 23
Sex: Male
Species: half human, half Tarschi
Occupation: thief, hijacker, kidnapper... Currently employed as a sort of privateer for the destitute monarchy of Littis on his home world. He kills off corporate platoons and keeps half of the spoils. They get the other half and give him a safe place to restock. You would not believe how much a refuge means to an outlaw.
Sexuality: straight
Personality: often detached, as if he believes he's playing some kind of game, or acting out a part. Some say he went crazy long ago.
Background: His mother was a human enslaved by a mining colony on the far side of Tarsch. While there, she managed to build better drills for the mines, mostly upgrading the Sesma Beam, a Tarschi novelty, to cut through rock. Some years ago, the colony was attacked by a rival to the mine's parent corporation, and its inhabitants were either killed or captured to work elsewhere. Kelson, fourteen at the time, managed to evade capture in the mines, refitting one of his mother's prototypes as a rifle to turn the tables on his pursuers. But he never saw his mother again. Since then, he's taken jobs for pretty much anyone willing to pay. But none are quite as fulfilling as his current one. The same company that attacked the mines is now after a resource directly under the fragile kingdom of Littis. Easy pickings, right? Wrong.
Favorite Color: Purple, (which as it so happens is the color of Sesma Beams.)
Favorite Music: Rock n Roll
Favorite Food: Sweet Potatoes (yeah, they have those on Tarsch. You'd be surprised how much those little suckers get around. They're were Earth's main export long before anyone on Earth knew there were aliens out there.)
Kelson stared off into the distance.

"Kelson?" Tresk said.

Kelson's eyes came back into focus as he looked at Tresk. "No, I'm not scared. I haven't been scared of anything since I was 5 years old."

"What happened when you were 5?"

At the Mercenary Camp, Creatura worked hard all day and was dead tired and sore all over by nightfall. She managed to get a hot bath and then quickly fell asleep. Her last waking thought was how handsome Rodger looked all day. He had a red scarf around his neck and something about that pleased Creatura.
When she woke up it was time to get to work again Rodger was ready for her
"Alright," Rodger said, as he looked at the assembled group. "You all have your positions, from the lowest to the highest, according to slips of paper." He glanced at Creatura. "Those are all worthless, meaningless, and can change at any time. I do not go by slips of paper." He walked among the rest of the group. "Slips of paper are written by desk clerks who know nothing about fighting. If I deem that you are capable of more than what your position says you can do, I will promote you. If I deem that you are incapable of doing what your position demands, you will be demoted. This goes for everyone here. If you feel that I'm being too hard on you, then you file the appropriate papers that either transfers your sorry behind from my sight, otherwise, I'm your mother, father, big brother, big sister, and that guy that shoves you into the locker every time I feel like it, whenever I feel like it! What I say, goes. If I tell you to run twenty miles, you will run twenty miles, in full kit. Everything is in full kit - you will have a pack filled with three days of supplies, a first aid kit, one half of a tent, toiletry kit, three days worth of clothing, to say nothing about weapons and ammo. If you think that's too much, let me know, and you'll be stuck hauling the rest of the supplies. Do you understand me?"

"We get you, Sir!" came the reply.

"Outstanding! Now, get kitted out, before I change my mind, and make it forty miles!"
Rodger didn't give them time to doddle. It seemed like it was only five minutes later he was yelling "Formation!"

They all knew that when the call for formation was issued they had better hit the pavement running.

"This guys killing us," said a young otter.

"You always have the option of transferring," Lars answered. "However before you do that I'd consider two things. One, this guy is the best of the best. Shut your hole and listen and he'll keep you alive. Two, the next commander may be twice as bad anyway."
Name: Sophia

Species: Kangarolf

Gender: Female

Orientation: Bisexual

Age: (physically fifteen but looks oddly childlike.)

Size: about around 3 feet.
Sophia stood still in a corner, alone... wondering why she couldn't get anyone to notice her yet.
"Hey! You! Kangarolf!" Rodger yelled.

Sophia pointed at herself. "Me?"

"You're the only Kangarolf here. Get in formation.... now!"

"Yes, sir!" Sophia said. Well, she had been noticed.

On the planet Tarsch, the ambushers Tresk and Kelson hid among the boulders, waiting for the right time.

"Stay low until the last truck passes us," Kelson said. "Then we take out his back tires. With any luck the rest of the convoy won't even notice he stopped."

Tresk spat on the ground. "Kelson, don't you reckon they got radios?"

"Of course they got radios. That's why we got this." He pointed at his backpack.

"Oh yeah, the jammer. I forgot."

Later during supper, Creatura asked Rodger about Sophia as she had never seen anything quite life her before.

"Sophia is a Chimeric Mutant." Rodger said as he took a bite out of some rare meat, "I think the story is some scientists wanted to create some real life Wuzzles to be sapient pets, of course the Mutant Liberation Act of 06 passed, you know the drill...Sophia is an adult but she seems both physically and mentally stuck in some form of arrested development."
"So, what are you going to do with her?" Creatura asked.

"Frankly, I'm surprised she signed up," said Rodger. "I have half a mind to have her placed in Supervised Care, or have her sent to a School for a few years, until we can be sure she isn't a child."

"Why is that?" Creatura asked.

"Sending a child, or someone who suffers from certain medical conditions, into battle, is a surefire way to get a court-martial, or get charged with a War Crime," said Rodger. "I don't feel like getting involved on the wrong end of those."

"So, you're going to transfer her out of the unit?" Creatura asked.

"It's for her safety, and my peace of mind," said Rodger.
The convoy slowly passed and finally the last truck rolled by. kelson took careful aim with a crossbow and easy shot out the truck's back tire. When the driver felt the flat tire he dropped out of the convoy and parked the truck. Once the motor was shut down Kelson attacked. "Now," he ordered. "Surround the truck quickly. Don't fire unless you are fired upon. let's try to capture some prisoners. I'm sure Intel will want to have a long talk with them."

Tresk and the others filed out to surround the truck as Kelson jammed the truck's radio signal. Within seconds the team had the truck surrounded and the driver and passenger lying face down in the dirt.

"You'll pay for this," the driver said angrily. "Our bosses don't take high jacking lightly."

"Our bosses don't take being invaded lightly either. Now shut your hole or I'll gag you. You'll have plenty of opportunity to talk when Intelligence interrogates you. I'm just a grunt."
Sophia couldn't help but chime into her superiors conversation. "I'm not a child, I'm fifteen! I only look young but I've got the peak mental age of a twenty year old... I may have a physical condition that makes me look like a kid but I assure you I'm an adult." Sophia says.

The next day.

As it turns out, "insubordination" applies to those your superior intends to eventually transfer out of his platoon-type-thing. Furthermore, as it turns out, insubordination is rewarded with 60 miles in full gear. Finally, as it turns out, while Kangarolfs may be small and adorable and precious, they can take a beating.

The kit trailed behind Sophia by a long strap. Since HQ had given her the standard size tent, clothing and food, the kit weighed more than her, but she hadn't told Rodger that. It seemed like a bad time, after all.

Her fur was matted with sweat and dirt. Her legs were in that state past pain where they just feel light. And the sun had stopped bothering her. She has completed 40 miles so far, but the last 20 no longer seemed like a problem. Hell, she could keep walking like this for the rest of her life. It was almost calming.

Rodger's Jeep drove up to her and parked. "Corporal tells me you've been at this for over a day."

"Yes sir." She replied, still walking.

"Carrying a standard issue kit is one of the requirements for being on the front lines. Do you understand that?"

"Yes sir." She kept walking. He got out of the Jeep and walked alongside.

"Punch this hand," he said.

"Yes sir." Her first was firm, forceful, the fist of someone who could walk another hundred miles and still have strength. She grabbed the strap again and kept walking.

Rodger didn't want to throw away this kind of determination... Or surprising strength, he noted from the throbbing in his hand. But to be honest, turning someone over to Granny was hardly "throwing away" anything. And he couldn't really use some one whose total weight was about equal to the recoil on the standard issue rifles. If she pulled the trigger, she'd fly. Granny could use her. In fact, if it was Granny, she'd appreciate this little gift.

"Alright, you've impressed me. I still can't have you in my platoon, but there are other ways to use your grit. In Arizona, there's a house. I'll have my corporal write you directions to it. It's run by someone who appears to be human and appears to be old and harmless. Given the things she knows and the strings she can pull, I have my doubts. I know this sounds like I'm just getting rid of you, but before you get your tail in a bunch, meet her. That's my last order as your direct superior. Am I understood?"

"Yes sir."

"Good! Now for the love of all things holy and a hell of other things besides, stop walking and eat something, kid!"


"Rodger, you'll always have your doubts," Granny said to her chalk as she drew a sigil on her floor, "but that doesn't make me any less human."
It was another three weeks before Sophia arrived in a military jeep. Granny helped her haul her luggage into the cottage and talked the jeep driver into staying for some milk and cookies.

Later, after the driver left with the jeep, Granny sat at the table with Sophia and said, "Now what am I going to do with you?"

"You don't know?" Sophia said.

"There are several possibilities. I'm trying to decide which one is best."

Meanwhile, on the planet Tarsch, Kelson and Tresk had captured a truck and were joy riding it through the desert. "Yahooo!" yelled Tresk as he spun donuts in the sand.

At the Special Forces Camp, Lars, Rodger, and Creatura were talking. "Have you heard anything from Granny about Sophia?" asked Creatura.

"Not yet," said Rodger.
Creatura for her part felt her life finally had meaning
"So, why did you have Sophia transferred?" Creatura asked.

"Too young," said Rodger. "Fifteen years old, it's not old enough to join. If she was seventeen, I might have been more lenient, as it takes at least a year to train a good soldier. That being said, three years at the Academy, might turn her into a decent officer. I don't train people just to see them get killed, especially if it's a stupid death. If you're going to die, make it mean something. Folks think that you can just hand people a gun, point them in a certain direction, and tell them to shoot that way, because the enemy is that way. That is not a soldier - it's just an armed civilian who will mess their pants at the sight of a proper soldier looking right at them, without even carrying a weapon. A properly trained soldier is worth a hundred armed civilians, both figuratively and literally, for he doesn't scare easily, but he's also smart enough to know when the odds are against him, and if he should run to fight another day, or if it's necessary to hold his ground, and perhaps die for something more than himself."

"Have you ever been in those types of situations?" Creatura asked.

Rodger nodded. "A few times, usually from the other side though - if anyone is to die, make sure it's the other person that does the dying for their cause."
"That sounds like smart advice," said Lars.. "I know that it's smart coming from you."

"It would be smart coming from anybody," Rodger replied. "No soldier ever helped his cause by dying for it. Once you're dead your usefulness is over. At that point whatever you died for becomes somebody else's problem. The smart soldier, and one who wants to make a difference, will help the enemy die for their cause. After all, living enemies can fight again. Dead enemies weaken the enemy's cause.
Sophia stared at Granny for a few moments, wondering what she would do.
Granny, for her part, just drew her chalk across the floor, and started talking to herself.

"Oh Leslie dear!" she said, as a sinister-looking pentagram took shape underneath her. The incense smoke swirled and thickened.

On Tarsch, Kelson tapped Tresk's shoulder and yelled, "Oy! Nature calls!" Once Tresk had slowed the truck to a reasonably safe speed, Kelson jumped out, rolling two or three times before throwing up his hand in a thumbs-up motion. Seeing this, Tresk sped off and continued his donuts half a mile away.

In the cabin, Sophia gave Granny the most weirded-out look she could muster, but the look had no effect. Then she saw it. A flash of light. A face taking shape from within the haze. Yes, it was true, and Sophia could not believe her eyes: Granny had a television.

The man in the TV spoke, and in a voice so silky and deep that Sophia felt instant admiration. "Looking as beautiful as ever, Granny."

"Oh stop it," The old lady responded, "You know I'm not all that." On Tarsch, talking to Granny's hologram, Kelson persisted, "Oh, all that and more. Seeing you is the highlight of my week. To what do I owe the pleasure?"

"Two things. First, that asteroid ship has veered closer to the Earth."

Tarsch's smile vanished. "Dear god! Someone will pay for this."

"So all your flattery will get you nowhere if you cannot tell me this: have you found the subspace transmitter?"

"Yes, ma'am, it's at Tarium Corporation's Stark station." Kelson replied.

"Tell me you've a way inside."

"The siege worked. Mostly. Stark offered its surrender to Littis when the last supply train got picked dry. They're probably hoping to get rid of the subspace device before we can do anything about it."

"Then do something about it before then! I need you and that rail-gun on Earth when this thing touches down. And we need the Sesma schematics even sooner."

Sophia had been studying the TV set for several minutes at this point. There was, indeed a camera. And aside from the typical rabbit ears any old console TV had, there were three or four other antennae. Not to mention a box attached to the side of the set. And way more wires than you would expect. I'd love to take this home and study it, she thought to herself, but so many questions, so little time. She decided to start with this one:

"What was with all the incense? I didn't know this kind of thing existed, but it clearly has the technology to communicate with someone planets away from us. I see a piece for calculating the interference from black holes and galactic gravity. And that one over there helps shape the signal into something FTL-ish. But the pentagram and the incense don't make any sense."

"Sophia, Sophia, haven't you ever used a cell phone?" Granny responded, "There's a very intricate dance involved in getting a good signal. You should have learned it by now." Kelson chuckled.

"I take it this is the other reason for your call?" He presumed.

"Once you get the device, you still have to hike through Subspace to reach us, and Subspace is a dangerous place," Granny replied. "I would never ask you in there without an escort."

"So this kid is tougher than she looks, then?" Kelson said, eyeing Sophia's hologram incredulously.

"You have no idea," interrupted Sophia before Granny could reply.
Kelson laughed. "I'll take your word for it, kid. As long as you show no fear, you'll do alright. You can have fear, just don't show it."

"I won't," said Sophia in a voice so solemn it made Granny smile.

Granny tapped the video screen. "He's a good-looking lunk, isn't he?"

"I guess so," Sophia said.

Kelson chuckled. "And I'm not as stupid as I look. Granny, we'll have that stuff for you as soon as possible."

"Thanks, Kelson. Say hello to Tresk for me. Over and out."
Meanwhile in the Mess Hall, Creatura was having her usual Diet Blood was Lars was telling her a story about one time he was supposed to be protecting a convention of some of the smartest People of this Planet (This was before the Mutant Liberation Act of 06) The convention was taking place in secret in a the African Rain Forest, Lars had been making his rounds, when some sticky, inky slime was squirted into his eyes, his friend and comrade a Human Woman named Polly Tix took him into the quickly constructed convention hall.

"Hey." Polly said leading Lars along "Can we please take Lars into the Washroom, he needs to wash out his..."

"Bring that filthy creature? You can't take that THING into our Washroom!"
"Always one crazy story or another," said Rodger, as he sat down next to Creatura. "He telling you about the time he got his eyes sprayed with some sort of slime?"

"Yes," said Creatura.

"He tell you the part where the woman he was with broke the nose of some politico's bodyguard?" Rodger asked.


"That was a good one," said Rodger. "Ask him what happened after the convention. Now, that right there is a more interesting story."

If an eagle could blush, Lars' face would have been bright red. "You heard about that?"

"I know that the place needed to replace the bed in her room," said Rodger. "That and some of the others in the nearby rooms heard quite a bit of screeching."

Lars cleared his throat. "An officer and a gentleman does not discuss such matters."

Rodger winked at Creatura. "Of course not. By the way, how is Polly doing?"

Lars blinked. "She's doing well."

"And her kid?"

Lars chuckled nervously. "He's doing fine."

"Just like his old man?"

Lars gulped, and nodded.

"Good to know," said Rodger.

"Now, if you excuse me." Lars got up, and walked away.

"He got a human pregnant?" Creatura asked.

"No, that was another male," said Rodger. "Still, it gave him a shock when he found out about the pregnancy, and latter to find out that he wasn't the father. Nothing is scarier than finding out that the female you had sex with turns out to become pregnant, and you're not sure if you are, or aren't the father."
Just then, a phone on Rodger rang out. He picked it up as they continued their conversation. When he turned it off, his voice was somewhat faint.

"That was HQ. Estimates of that asteroid's trajectory have changed again. Physicists are reporting that it may strike the Yucatan within five months."

Lars coughed up his beer. His pulse rose, and he couldn't steady his breathing. He was starting to panic when Rodger's hand rested on his shoulder. "It's not all bad, Lars. This one we can do something about. There's a wealthy business magnate who owns most of the tourist spots in the area. He's hired your mercenaries and made a deal with my higher ups, so my platoon and yours will stand on the front line when that thing hits."

Lars started to get a hold of himself, "so whatever that thing is," he began.

"We'll be right there to meet it, weapons ready."

Lars took his first deep breath in three minutes. "Then let's not waste any time. I hope your trainees haven't all dropped dead yet."

"Come on Lars! Are you going to give me flack for that until I die?"

Creature marveled at how the two men sitting across the table from her could be bantering like this...


Sophia bounded through the twilit wasteland that was Subspace, checking Granny's compass every now and again to make sure she was on track. True to Granny's assessment of the place, Subspace was dangerous. It was populated with giant creatures that looked vaguely like mammoths that had been run through a giant garbage disposal and then chosen to wear some other creatures' skin to replace what they had lost. And those were not the only kind of beast that lived here. She kept hearing... howls of some sort.

She was avoiding contact fine so far, but when she brought Kelson through here, his precious cargo strapped to his back, things would be much harder.

--- Three hours earlier ---

"For part one, Sophia, you go through Subspace to Tarium's Stark Station." Granny said, sliding a cookie across the table. "There's all kinds of creatures there, so be quiet about it, okay dear? When you get close, a friend of mine will remotely activate Stark Station's transmitter," here Granny slid two salt shakers apart, leaving an opening for the cookie to pass through. "That will land you smack dab in the middle of their facility. Meanwhile Kelson," Kelson here, was represented by a cookie on a plate, which she slid to the two salt shakers, "will get himself and his truck as close as possible to you. Load up the transmitter and hit the pedal." Sophia nodded, as did Kelson's image on the TV, as Granny placed Sophia's cookie on the plate, along with the Subspace Salt Shakers, and slid them in the other direction.

"For part two, get yourselves and the truck behind the walls of Littis, fire the transmitter up, and go right back into Subspace. This time towards Earth. Any questions?"
"No," Sophia said. "And I have a license to kill?"

"Of course you do," Granny said. "This isn't a kiddie cartoon, this is real life. And don't forget - it's kill or be killed. They will be coming after you."


"The subspace monsters. Haven't you been listening?"

"But I don't know anything about them, what they look like, or how to defend against them."

"Don't worry," Granny said. "In subspace everything is intuitive. Just follow your instincts. I have faith in you because you are feisty. If you are attacked, counterattack. If you are outnumbered, run!"

"What about weapons?" Sophia said.

"They wouldn't work in subspace. Think of this as a mind trip. You have to imagine survival. Have you ever studied any of the mental arts?"


"I was afraid of that. OK, you aren't as well-prepared as you could be, but just remember this: What you think is happening is what is happening. If you don't like it, then think of something else. Understand?"

"Kind of. Are you saying the trip through subspace is all in my imagination?"

Granny nodded. "Kind of. Kind of. Except in this case your imagination is so powerful it can kill you. Whatever you do, don't imagine yourself dying or failing to complete the journey through subspace."

Sophia shivered. "Granny, I'm really spooked about this. It's unknown territory for me."

"Kelson will be with you. You'll do fine. Just back him up. Or cover his back. However you want to look at it."
The News was breaking..."Scientific Analysis of the Asteroid has detected Carbon-Based Organic Life coming from within!"

Everyone froze when they heard this
Rodger rolled his eyes. "Always something new."
"Carbon based organic life," Lars stated. "You mean that asteroid isn't an asteroid? It's an invasion ship from another planet? Now things are really getting interesting. It sounds like we're going to earn our pay."

"We're going to earn our pay and then some," Rodger replied. "Carbon based life forms? I wonder what kind of creatures we're dealing with here? I'm going to call Granny, She'll be in touch with her friend Kelson on Tarsch. If anybody knows anything about this "asteroid" it will be him."
(Okay, I wanna make this clear... Sophia is mainly meant for breeding purposes; I'm honestly not used to my characters being action oriented, so... to keep me invested in her I'll expect the occasional knock-up to happen.) Sophia felt scared already, these subspace creatures sounded pretty intense... she was starting to second-guess whether or not it was a good idea to do this.
Oh. Oops. I guess I went overboard. Anyways, I'll do my best to pull her into someone's arms by the end of my turn. It's a little too late to separate her from the action though: she's already in a crucial position! They need her! So here goes...

What if they notice me? she thought? All at once, she could sense the beasts regarding her, changing their path, veering toward her. Oh no. Oh no, this is bad! She darted toward a large rock formation and slipped into a cave in its face, but her fears were still climbing. She had panicked. She had imagined them catching her, which meant it was only a matter of time. If only... Before she could finish the thought she felt a hand on her head and screamed.

"Shh! Sorry about that," came the silky smooth voice from Granny's television set, "didn't mean to scare you."

"My God, Kelson! If you don't mean to scare someone, sneak up on them when they are not hiding from monsters!" Her voice echoed across the wasteland, probably for a rendezvous with her earlier scream. "oops."

Kelson smiled. "Well, you thought about them noticing you, right?"

She nodded, guilty.

"Then they will notice you. But you have to remember, these guys are the leftovers. Dust bunnies made out of scraps from the nightmares people were really having. Someone with your mind can sweep them to the side in an instant."

"Wait," Sophia said, "How did you get in here?"

As Kelson responded, the wall of the cave they were sitting in turned more fluid, vaguely illustrating his memories.

"I tried to sneak into the base wearing Tarium's uniforms, but apparently I'm a bit of a celebrity on Tarsch, even to them. I made it inside the base, but..."


"Leslie Kelson?" said a soldier coming out of the bathroom. Leslie turned, drawing one of his pistols, but before he could shoot, he noticed that the man's hands were in the air. "You're Leslie Kelson! I surrender!" Kelson motioned to the rifle strapped across the soldier's back, and he pulled it off and threw it to the ground. But the sound of his rifle hitting the ground was joined by a similar sound behind him. Kelson spun around, only to see another garrisoned soldier with his hands in the air, his rifle settling on the ground. This one yelled:

"Come quick everyone, and surrender! Kelson's here!"

Soon the entire base had discarded their weapons in a circle around the spot where Kelson was standing. Even the general of Stark Station arrived, presenting his sword in surrender.

"What is this?" Kelson asked incredulously.

"We were ordered to dismantle the Subspace transmitter," the general replied. "And about that: there are rumors from other bases Tarium's lost. Namely, whoever disarms one of these things gets nightmares every time he sleeps for as long as he lives. And that's if he doesn't mess up. Worst case, the whole base could be hit.

"I told my soldiers," the general continued, "that I would not disobey a direct order. Doing so would put everyone in the base in danger of a corporate subversion trial. Those can turn into mass executions or worse. However, in the case that someone infiltrated the base, guns blazing, I told them I would not hold it against them if they surrendered out of fear for their lives. Sure enough, that very same night, you come in here, pistols... almost blazing, and we honestly have no choice. I mean, there are songs about you!"

If Kelson were more savvy on corporate law, he would have understood that the general was walking a tightrope between protecting his men and following orders. His words were perfectly crafted to that end, so that no corporate court could fault a general for surrendering under these circumstances. But all Kelson understood -- or needed to understand -- was that this had unexpectedly become the easiest job he had ever undertaken.

"Well alright then!" He said, calling up the queen of Littis, "Oh, your majesty! Sorry to wake you, but I have a present!"


"So Littis showed up, and I headed in here to find you as soon as I could."

"Sorry to wake you but I have a present? You're so... cheesy." Sophia remarked.

"Psh!" he said, playfully pushing her. Their eyes locked.

"ROAR!" said one of the recycled mammoths, almost directly overhead.

"Well, time's up. Now listen Sophia, you imagined this thing noticing you, but that could end two ways. One of those ways involves you tearing its ugly hide off of its misshapen skeleton and leaving it a pile of bones. I want you to imagine the pistols you always see me with. Granny told you weapons wouldn't work here. But that's because soldiers often imagine their weapons jamming. If you imagine a weapon, and imagine it killing something, then wish granted."

She felt the weight of Kelson's pistols in holsters across her back. "Good job," he said, "now take this thing down." She knew exactly what to do, lunging out of the cave, she leapt onto the mammoth's one unbroken tusk and bounced from there, launching herself into the air. Pulling the guns from their holsters, she fired several rounds into the creature's eyes and face. White-purple plasma shot out, obliterating everything in their path. So Kelson's pistols were Sesma Beam just like his rifle, she mused. I thought so.

Behind her, Kelson emerged from the cave, and as the thing underneath her toppled to the ground, an opponent fell to his rifle too. After that, creature after creature fell to the duo. Sophia did wonder how Kelson's guns didn't jam, considering he counted as a "soldier," but she figured such musings would have to wait, as even the "distant howls" had revealed themselves. Of course the owners of these howls fell just like the mammoths, so that didn't take long.

"Finally it's quiet!" She said, sitting down at a diner she had dreamed up to celebrate.

"Yeah, you did good." Kelson acknowledged, a slight smile playing across his face.

"Damn right I did! Who's the 'kid' now?"

Kelson's answer was just a stare. They both stared. He swept the salt and syrup off the table, and threw her down onto its cool surface. Just then, a beam of light erupted in the middle of the diner.


Sophia found herself lying on the floor of a mostly metal room. She turned her head toward the middle of said room and found a Subspace Transmitter. A friend of mine will remotely activate Stark Station's transmitter when you get nearby, she remembered Granny saying. But apparently, Sophia was not merely "nearby" when it activated: she was right on top of the thing.

In the distance she heard someone yell: "Come quick everyone, and surrender! Kelson's here!" She pushed herself up off the ground as it dawned on her that Kelson had never been in Subspace. The Kelson she had met, the Kelson she had almost... anyways, he was just an imagined Kelson. She made her way out of the room just as Kelson finished his call with Littis' Queen.

"Sophia!" He yelled, excited, "They gave us the base! We don't even need to move. In an hour, soldiers from Littis will secure it, and then we can head right back in! No loading or unloading, no setup, we'll be almost two days early!" He pulled her up into a hug.

"God! You're trembling, Sophia. Did you make it through Subspace alright?" His eyes scanned her. She was covered in dirt and dried sweat, but there was hardly a scratch on her. "Huh. I guess you did." A few soldiers' heads turned.

"You went through Subspace?" one said, "alone? I thought people lost limbs doing that. Or worse."

"Not this one," Kelson said fondly. After that, they headed to Stark's mess hall, and the garrison crowded around him for stories of his adventures. It felt like minutes before they were back in front of the transmitter, bidding farewell to Littis. "I wonder," he said, as the machine whooshed and whirred to life, "they say there are some whose minds are so powerful, Subspace cannot touch them. Instead it bends to their will. So powerful they conquer the place, and use it for imaginary games or for sex dreams."

Sophia, hearing this, jumped. Bingo, Kelson thought to himself, and the transmitter took them both straight back in.

Guys, I notice I'm taking insanely long turns here, and I don't want to just hijack this story. Does anyone want me to cut back my posts a little? Like a character limit or something.
Nawww, that was a pretty good addition. Like reading a little short story. It's fine with me if you go long. Only I am confused as hell about where Sophia was. Clear that up for me. Did she time travel?

Granny sat back in her rocker, finally able to relax and beathe normally again. Although she maintained a face of calm and confidence, inside she was a nervous wreck when everything was at stake. If Sophia had been lost... but she didn't want to think about that. Sophia succeeded.

She put on a Gerry Mulligan album and got out the pan to sauté some shrimp.

Meanwhile, on board a certain spaceship disguised as an asteroid, a carbon-based life form studied maps and made plans. Captain Moab, who possessed more carbon than most, held up a map with three of his tentacles while a fourth tentacle pointed at a particular spot.

"We land in the middle of the night, doing our fireball impersonation on the way down, and burrow into the ground until the ship is completely hidden. Do we have enough propane for a good fireball?"

"Yes, Captain," said Half Captain Juice. "But will not the locals not find it strange that there is not an explosion?"

Captain Moab frowned at Half Captain Juice. "While I appreciate your compliance with my instructions to speak English so that we get used to using it, even you must see there were too many negatives in that sentence."

"Not a problem, Captain. Not that I am not trying, but switching to positive thoughts is not easy for me."

"You're still doing it! And we can fake an explosion. A good-sized boom is all we need. We don't have to blow the hills apart."
Creatura was with the other soldiers as Rodger showed them the sonar pictures of the 'Asteroid'
Rodger looked at the images. "There's always something going on. Granny and them better get on with the information. Need to know if they are hostile or not."

"What if they are hostile?" Creatura asked.

"Then we fight," said Rodger.
"I look forward to a good fight," Lars replied. "Afterall I'm a soldier. I didn't join with intentions of sitting around doing nothing."

"I'd be careful what I wished for," Rodger said. "After all, you might just get it. We don't need gung ho around here. We need soldiers who obey orders and stay alive."

"You're right sergeant," Lars said. "I just wanted you too know that I'm ready to face whatever happens to be inside that asteroid ship."

"I wish Granny and her people would hurry up with information. Why is it that military intelligence always takes so long? Military intelligence. Now there's an oxymoron for you. Most generally military intelligence couldn't find their butt with both hands," Creatura said.

"I agree in most cases," Rodger said. "However I know Granny. She's very proficient at what she does. If she gives you information you can bet it's verifiable intelligence."

"Granny just reported," L ars interrupted. "The asteroid is a hostile ship coming in disguised. Our orders are to meet it before it touches down. We're going into space and boarding it. The order is to move out immediately and go the the space port for transport."

"I thought that might be the case," Rodger replied. "I hate space travel but it's part of the job. Okay, saddle up and let's move out. Leave your gear. We'll be issued new gear on the ship. Most of our equipment won't work in space. They'll issue modified versions that will work. Time to intercept this thing Lars?"

"0530 tomorrow," Lars stated. We'll be traveling on a subspace transport."

"Great," Rodger said. "I love to fight in my dreams."
Anonymous, I know you wanted a sex scene or two, but I've never written steamy literature. Nothing even close. I'm not sure I can give you that.

Everyone else, I'm confused by the hierarchy between Rodger, Lars, and Creatura. I get that Rodger seems to be higher than both of them. But who's higher between Creatura and Lars, and are they part of the same company/platoon/whatever-it's-called? Someone please leave an entry in my notebook explaining all this. Since it's my turn, I'm going to make a few assumptions.

Assumption 1: Creatura is a mercenary. She's with Black Lion.

Assumption 2: Black Lion is an organization formed to address interplanetary threats. They have acquired various pieces of alien technology over the years, and they use these to launch campaigns most governments do not want to acknowledge the existence of. The U.S. might hire them, for instance, if it wants to get rid of the contents of an asteroid without tipping off its inhabitants that said contents could destroy them all.

Assumption 3: Rodger is indeed a part of the U.S. military, as stated earlier. The reason he is working with Black Lion is that the U.S. is impressed with Black Lion's technology, but disappointed with their level of battle training. Not wanting to employ an organization that doesn't meet its standards, the U.S. sends its own special forces operatives to train -- and complete missions with -- Black Lion battalions until such a time as Black Lion is more capable of fending for themselves. Rodger is one of those.

Kelson and Sophia trekked through the dark wasteland.

In Kelson's backpack was a hard drive holding Lara Kelson's modified Sesma schematics. It was dozens of terabytes of data, but given an hour and a half, these schematics, and Black Lion's... unique 3D printers, the mercenary organization would be able to produce a batch of standardized Sesma rifles. Tamer Sesma rifles than his -- Black Lion had chosen to cut back on the firepower offered by Kelson's prototype and reserve that firepower for cannons and emplaced guns -- but Sesma nonetheless. Which meant that someone was about to lose a harvest vessel.

But someone had that coming. Who in their right minds sends a harvest vessel to a third-world planet like Earth? he wondered, is someone really that poor that they need to attack billions of defenseless beings? he lost sight of Sophia for a bit behind a rock and when he found her, another beast was dead at her feet. Mostly defenseless, I guess.

"Are you Earthlings all like this?" He said, "I've heard a lot about Subspace trips, but they sounded much more... eventful. Dangerous."

"I'm just practicing what you taught me..." she said, then cut off.

"What do you mean what I taught you?"

Sophia quickly turned away. "Nothing!"

"Seriously, Sophia: what happened in here last time?"

"Nothing!" She screamed. But in spite of -- and because of -- her attempts to suppress the thought, they both found themselves in a diner. Another Kelson and Sophia were sitting at one of the tables.

"Whoa!" said Kelson, staring at his own image.

"No!" yelled Sophia, trying to push the two, or hit them, or affect them in some way. To no avail: Subspace was giving Kelson a full replay of what had happened in Sophia's first trip through Subspace.


"It's called a harvest vessel," said Granny over the phone, "it's an asteroid that burrows into a planet's surface, then uses its propulsion systems to pull the planet into the Carbon Galaxy, where all of its culture is appropriated, all of its inhabitants are corrupted by loose morals and dangerous substances, and all of its art and literature is carried off. Their star systems ran out of original ideas millennia ago, so they've been stealing content from other systems ever since. However, once they've drained Earth dry of entertainment value, they'll also take all of Earth's helium. They're pretty damn short on that as well. And probably its iron. And frankly, there won't be much left of Earth when they're done."

"How long does it take?" Asked Rodger.

"Once the asteroid burrows down, it'll take thirty years to get Earth into the Carbon Galaxy, and once it gets into Carbon, it'll take another thirty years to drain us dry."

"They can corrupt us in less than one generation?" Said Rodger. "I thought our morals were stronger than that!"

"It all depends on which captain is piloting that contraption," said Granny. "The devious bastards holding the controls for the ship blend in with Earth's populace and take positions in government and the media so we can't see through them. They adopt our language and culture too, so it's impossible to tell. Anyways, If it's Captain Moab, we're in trouble.
Captain Senab and we're in luck. If it's Abs, we won't last a decade."


"I'm beginning to understand this," said Kelson, "a little. So that kangarolf was you. And the stud with the sexy voice was me. But from two hours later than this version of you. And she summoned this hypothetical, imaginary, future me... to have a sex dream with?"

"Not only sex! You also helped me survive the mammoths!"

"huh? Yeah, I was wrong: I'm not beginning to understand this. Anyways," Kelson checked his compass, then hoisted his backpack in one hand. "Three seconds." A beam of light shot up from the ground nearby, and Kelson threw his backpack in. The white light swallowed the backpack, then the beam thinned and disappeared. "Just as it was needle thin, a piece of paper floated out, and Kelson examined it. "Delivery complete. Black Lion got the goods."

Kelson scrawled something on the piece of paper just before another beam of light shot up fifty feet to their right. They walked over to it, but as Sophia tried to step in, Kelson pulled her back. He pushed a piece of paper into the beam instead, and in a few seconds, it closed again.

"What are you doing?" said Sophia, "We were supposed to go through that one! It was supposed to take us back to Granny's!"

"Don't get ahead of yourself." Kelson replied, pushing her against a rock, "if that little video we watched was accurate. We didn't finish."


The sound of the Subspace transport filled Granny's house, and the room lit up. Then the light and noise died. But instead of Kelson and Sophia standing in the middle of the room, Granny saw a note floating toward her on the transport's breeze. She lowered the phone for a moment and snatched it from the air. It said, "invoice. Your items have been delivered to Black Lion HQ. You owe me a batch of those cookies you've been talking up. Also, please activate the device in an hour or two to pick us up."

"Oh my," said Granny.

There you go Anonymous. I'm sorry, but that is as steamy as I'm going to get.

Z out.
"Incoming," said Half Captain Juice.

Captain Moab said, "What?!" and looked at the screen. "Put up the shields. I wonder how they spotted us?"

"Maybe their technology is more advanced than we were told."

"Maybe. I guess we don't need to pretend to be an asteroid anymore. If anything looks threatening, blow it out of the sky."

"With pleasure, Captain."


"They aren't in subspace anymore," Lars said. "Apparently they've decided to drop their disguise. It's a fully shielded battle cruiser."

"Might as well test their shields," Rodger said. "Are ours up?"

"Yes," Lars said. They were riding in one of the small 5-man combat ships known as a Jackrabbit. It carried several different types of energy and projectile weapons and one heavy duty missile designed to take out cities or battle ships. Lars armed it. "Ready to fire."

"Fire," Rodger said. They watched the monitor as a pink line inched out from the green icon for their ship and extended toward the red icon of the enemy ship. When the pink line touched the red icon, another icon flashed HIT, but the red icon remained unchanged.

"Damage assessment?" Lars said.

"No damage."
"Right," said Rodger. "Concentrate firepower on one spot, and turn up the juice."

"Will that work?" Creatura asked.

"It's like a knife," said Rodger. "Punch through one spot, and you have a bleeder."
Mr Zaborskii I defined what I believe to be each of the character's ranks for you. Rodger is in charge. he is an officer now. Creatura is his aide and first sergeant. On the battlefield first sergeants often assume full command responsibility. Creatura is basically the non-commissioned leader of a brigade. lars is a staff sergeant and commands a platoon. he is well subordinate to both Rodger and Creatura. If that's not right somebody let me know.

"Target their engines. If I'm right they use matter and anti-matter to power their ships. It won't matter if their shields are up or not. A direct hit on a nacelle and they will blow up."

"Belay that order," Creatura said, making Rodger very angry. "If we hit an antimatter core it will blow up the ship but it will also blow up subspace. It will destroy us."I've never known of a matter-antimatter explosion that didn't result in a tear of the fabric of space and time. If that happens it could suck Earth and the solar system in,"

"That's just a chance we're going to have to take. I'd rather try to neutralize a singularity than fight whoever or whatever is piloting that ship. From the information we have on them we won't be able to determine who the enemy is. We have to destroy them while they are far enough away that the gravitational effect of any resulting singularity will have noo effect on Earth."

"Sir, Ma'am" to do that we would have to lure the ship back out of the solar system and at least a light year from Earth. We'd have to engage them in space and get them too go into star drive to pursue us, then drop out of star rive two or three light years out, and then target their engines. When they explode we'll have to be back into star drive ourselves to escape the singularity then we'll have to go back and fire a specially designed missile into the singularity to destroy it."

"Do we even have the technology to destroy a black hole," Rodger asked. "I wasn't aware of it if we do."

"The technology exists," Lars replied. "I studied it when I was at the university. It was well above top secret. Even world leaders were ignorant of its existence. I know because I not only studied it, I designed it. It's called a niner two niner foxtrot or a plasma implosion device. I guess you could call it a niner two niner impact bomb."

"How about we call it the gravity killer since it destroys the strongest gravitational fields in the universe," Rodger asked.

Sir, you can call it whatever you want to call it but its military designation is "niner two niner foxtrot."

"Got you Staff Sergeant," Rodger said. "First Sergeant Creatura, we have to leave subspace and do a little fighting. I want to engage the battle cruiser and entice it to change course to pursue us."

"Yes sir Lieutenant," Lars replied. "You're the boss."
Sophia glares at Kelson, suspicious of what he just said.
Before he could explain anything, however, an explosion had sounded off in the distance.

"Looks like the battle has started," Kelson observed. Above the rock and dirt of Subspace, the ships went at each other, firing bright, explosive projectiles. Blasts of air -- the ripples from the battle -- kept hitting Kelson and Sophia.


On board the asteroid, Captain Moab yelled, "let them breach the hull, Juice! When they land, take the form of their leader and lead them towards the beasts in hangar five!"

"Sir, we cannot let them breach. They've stopped not firing. Their ship is not just dancing, not in front of not our most powerful guns!"

"The nerve. They dare taunt me this way. Show them how quickly they will die by not dancing!"
The two spaceships spiraled around each other firing their weapons. Lars' little Jackrabbit was too fast and agile to take a hit. Captain Moab's battleship was too heavily shielded to take any damage.

By skillful piloting, Lars had gradually moved the fight farther and farther away from Earth. Where were his reinforcements? It seemed insane that one little Jackrabbit had to hold off an alien invader by itself.

What he didn't know was that the aliens had hacked his comm system and sent simulated messages to Earth that all was going well. No help needed.

In spite of that, Earth launched ships. A rag tag fleet of military and police vessels, none of them as awesome as Captain Moab's ship, but adding up to a formidable force. They had already decided to use the time-honored technique of concentrating every ships' weapons on one spot on Moab's battleship in hopes of breaking through his shield.
One Ship decided it would end the Alien Invaders by ramming into the Alien Spaceship, they didn't flinch, the rammed themselves into the Invaders' ship like Kamikazes, it left a gaping hole in the Invaders' ship the void of space came through
Rodger frowned as he looked at the hole. He then got on got on the communication system. "Who was the idiot that did that stunt?" he yelled. "They'd better damn well be alive, so that I can kick their ass myself!"

He soon got an angry response in Japanese. Loosely translated, the message said - I did it! - and then there was a few other things, including an insult about someone's mother, which didn't need to be translated in full.

Rodger rolled his eyes. "Same to you, nutjob!"
Air and carbon shot out the hole, and Moab yelled, "who was the idiot that did that stunt?" Like Rodger, he soon also got an angry response in Japanese, but in Moab's case, none of it was ever translated.

The asteroid's temperature lowered. "This asteroid is falling to pieces!" Juice yelled.

Moab put his hand on Juice's shoulder. "That sentence was grammatically correct," he said, sparks raining down, "I knew you could do it."

Juice smiled. "You can't not expect me to pull through eventually."

"Activate the gravity field," Moab said, "It looks like that suicide ship hit a vital, so the best we can do is pull this fleet into the explosion. Meanwhile," He activated a Subspace transport, "You and I get out of here."

"Activating gravity field, and not leaving hangar 5 closed," said Juice.

"Good thinking," said Moab, and they both disappeared into Subspace.


In Subspace, Sophia began hearing voices. "Help us! Help us! One who controls Subspace! We need your womb!"

"Kelson, there's something going on," she said, "are you hearing this?"

"No. Are you alright?"

"They're saying they need me. They're calling me... a mother of some sort."

"Do we need to get you out of here?" He said,

"No." she replied, "we need to figure out who these people are, and whether they actually need my help!"

Soon Kelson was jogging along behind Sophia, trying to keep up. As they lunged into a closing beacon and catapulted to a faraway planet, he wondered what he'd gotten himself into.


"What's going on!?" Rodger yelled. The ships in the fleet were drifting toward the asteroid. The asteroid, for its part, had pulled itself into the atmosphere of a large planet, and was crashing into its surface.

Thankfully, they had made it a few solar systems away from Earth by this time, but now they had an explosion to escape. And in the exceptional gravitational pull, their ships were grounded. The asteroid's impact was followed by the beasts from hangar 5 came flooding out. Gruesome beasts. Horrific beasts. Standing between them and the dying asteroid ship.

"Sir, we can't activate the niner two niner until we get at least two miles away from this thing! And we can't do that until that gravity field is turned off! It's coming from the asteroid ship!"

Rodger stepped onto the foreign planet, clutching one of the brand-new Sesma rifles. "Then I guess it's time we try these things out."
Rodger aimed his Sesma rifle at a nearby rock face. A purple beam of intense energy vaporized a hole into the rock.

"How many shots do we get?" Lars asked.

"Theoretically infinite if the fusion power pack never fails, but there's a recharge time between shots. Around a second or so. It varies depending on what part of space you are in."

By then they were close enough to the fracas to start shooting.

Fortunately for the Earthlings, the Battle was Frozen by the Advanced 'Beyonder' Race they instantly banished the Invaders to 'A Safe Place where the food is bad and taxes are high' thus saving the Earth VIA Deus Ex Machina

(Sorry for the Cheap Ending, best I could do)

The End!

© Copyright 2017 Twiga, BIG BAD WOLF is Howling!, Chris Breva - Graduate Student, Steev the Friction Wizurd, Mr Zaborskii, Anonymous One, (known as GROUP).
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