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May 1, 2016

The Sun Colony: Part 1

Category: Star Cats
Posted by: weedles

 

A small in stature, spotted brown-and-white cat lets out a whistle, but the closest his mouth can muster is a long, doubtful meow.  His eyes gleam in the darkness of the corner he had found himself whisked away into.  One of his three siblings whispers something into his triangular, kitty ear.  He flicks it, annoyed.

“And you can’t go down on the price even a little bit?”  He says, slowly, cautiously.  Desire burns in the eyes of his siblings.  If he didn’t play this right, their opportunity would be blown.  His youngest brother—somehow even smaller than him, mews impatiently.  He paws at his brother.  The spotted cat turns and hisses.

“Just buy it now, while we have a deal this good,” The smallest cat urges.  The little ball of fur snaps his tail back and forth.

“Not now!  Stop making me lose my focus!  Dad taught us to be good negotiators, right?”  He glares at his brother.  His tiny brother threateningly blows up his fur before retreating.  He knew he couldn’t blow this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“I’m afraid that is my final offer, Klein.” The cat that Klein, the spotted brown and white cat, had been talking to says, shuffling his four shoulders smugly.  Klein sneaks a doubtful glance at his siblings.

“I think the price is too high,” Klein squeaks to his two brothers.  Even though he was doing a good job at hiding it, his insides erupted with uncertainty.  His sister doesn’t seem impressed.

“And I think that we won’t be worried about the price of anything, if this deal is successful.  Just buy the repulser ray, already.”  His sister remarks, anger framing her voice.  Klein wished he hadn’t let his siblings push himself into this position.  Why couldn’t he pursue his dream—the one that had led him away from his family in the first place? 

“You say it like its just some normal space-grade equipment, Felina,” Klein trembles, losing his composure.  “This is dangerous!  This is illegal!”  Felina furrows her eyes.

“You could always buy the Star Convoy approved equipment,” The dealer teases Klein.  “You’ll be able to move a particle of dust around the room, that way.” The dealer scoffed.  The largest cat emerges from behind his siblings letting out a long growl.  His fur is matted and his legs muscular.  His collar reads, ‘Burly.’

“Enough talk.  We’ll buy it.”

I hack and cough.  Even though I, Captain Shtankadoodle, find hacking and coughing to be a very ordinary endeavor, this is a different kind of hacking.  A worse kind.  I know that it is only going to be ten minutes until I meet the new recruit, and my tail swishes around, eagerly.  Usually, I’d be taking my customary, “captain’s nap”, at about this time, but because I have work to do, I can’t afford to slip into the grasps of a dreamy doze.  But for once, I don’t mind.  I have a creeping suspicion, that for perhaps the first time ever, everything is going to be okay.  I have a tingly feeling that unlike on our last mission, things are going to be relatively no-fuss.

The moment Subcommander Ocee walked on board several weeks ago, everything had immediately regained order.  In fact, I had my hopes so high for my new ensign because she had been the one to locate him, and she—as I know best—has quite the reputation for getting things done right.  That’s also why I had my head in the clouds—er, stars—about our most recent Star Convoy mission: It was bringing us to the Solera Station.

Sure, the Solera Station had been one crazy cat’s dream of having full-time residence as close to the sun as possible without being incinerated, and somehow he had accomplished just that, but even though the precarious situation begged for trouble, I found myself unworried.  Subcommander Ocee was back, and with her was something that I had desired the entire time she had been away.  Order.

I couldn’t wait for the order that my starship, Catnip, would also regain when I finally got a new ensign.  My tail flicked faster at the thought of all the undisturbed sleep I would be able to get, with my gap for one more crew member fulfilled, and I was eagerly awaiting the equilibrium that would be attained in—I glance up at the clock—seven minutes.

Unfortunately, not even a new ensign could fix the current problem plaguing the ship.  I sure do hope I'm right about not having a very strenuous mission, I think longingly, and that this is the worst things get.  A clump of fur floats by my desk and anger is incited inside me.  Something already had happened to this mission, I realized, again hoping nothing worse would betake my starship, the Catnip.  In fact,  the most terrible, deplorable, egregious thing to ever strike the starship I call home had pounced upon us like any cat other than I on a mouse (I’m not very athletic).  Well, it was the worst thing since about this time last year, anyway:  Shedding season.

There was no way around it.  Each year it happened, and despite my desperate attempts, I couldn’t find any way to avoid this most dreadful feline impediment.  And trust me, I’ve tried looking at alternatives.  I had considered only hiring furless cats, and had almost gone through with the notion until my subcommander had pointed out that I had fur.  Lots of it.  In fact, I might be the furriest cat on the ship.  Another concept was to make all of my crew members where bags on their bodies, and while I personally, felt just as on-top-of-the-world as I always do, all of my crew members complained of dizziness and lack of oxygen.  So that plan hadn’t worked.  My most recent idea included blasting all of the air conditioning until literal icicles were forming on the handrails and snow was coming out of the shower heads—who needs showers, anyway?—so that I could trick my crew member’s bodies into thinking it was winter.  It had nearly worked too, when the cafeteria became a winter wonderland after Ensign Ricketta’s birthday cake candles triggered the sprinkler system on the ship.  It was actually pretty neat.

Unfortunately, even though starships have pretty advanced air conditioning to defeat the intensely hot solar systems or stars they might find themselves orbiting, ours couldn’t hold the temperature below zero temperature for very long.  Not since we’re flying into a sun. Oh—And that’s another thing:  We’re flying into a sun!  What an inconvenient time for the air conditioning to go out!  And worse yet, my plan had backfired.  Shedding was at an all time high!

That’s another reason I was beyond happy to get another ensign on board my ship.  With the right amount of crew members, I might just be able to get the new fellow onto what Star Convoy labeled “least priority”, and get more than just one crew member onto fixing what should be “top priority”, in my mind—the air conditioning units.

All this thinking made me remember just how miserable and sweltering it was, not just in my office, but in my ship.  I empathized for Ensign Ricky.  He was the one in charge of getting the massive cooling systems working, climbing through hot, sticky, and furry conduits to do so.  The only other crew member available had wound up being Ensign Ricketta, and I wasn’t at all surprised that Ensign Ricky had politely turned her assistance down.  I would have done the exact same thing.

After all, everybody knew the cold hard truth: Ensign Ricketta was expendable.  She seemed to be a magnet for harm.  And honestly, it wasn’t all that bad.  She had a life-time subscription and had also been featured on ‘First-Aid Feline Magazine’, and she got invited to do a lot of fun stuff that if I had enough courage and time, would probably do myself.  Like skydiving.

Last visit to Earth, she had been personally requested to go sky diving with my superior, Admiral Meowsers.  At first I thought it was prank, but I later learned that Admiral Meowsers had wanted to keep Ensign Ricketta around so that any ill-happenings while on his trip would happen to her.  Naturally, it had, which is what both proves and concludes my point, being that Ensign Ricketta is both the most valuable, and most terrible crew member I could possibly have.  She's also an insurance risk, I feel I have to tell myself.

I glance back up at the clock on my wall, a mirage of wavy water billowing in front of it.  One more minute.  My air-conditioning fix-it recruit would be here soon!  My mind suddenly, irrationally, turns to food.  That is kind of the thing with me:  I can never keep solid thoughts for to long without eventually returning to my primal desire for food.

I hop up from the fur magnet that my beloved Captain’s chair has become, and order some food from the low to the ground, cat-sized regenerator that somehow poofs food out of nowhere.  Or atoms.  Or something.  Don’t ask me how it works.  I don’t know how 99% of the things on the Catnip work. They just…do!  As I lap up my King's Buffet (Sure, it's some cheapo brand from the planet Lactolia that I'm pretty certain isn't officially registered as legal, but hey!  I happen to have a taste for cheapo stuff sometimes...) from the dish—a delight almost more precious than air-conditioning itself.  Almost.

I finish up licking my dish clean, before bringing it to another computer thingamajig.  This computer thingamajig is at about the same height and size as the regenerator that I had ordered my food from.  They stand side by side each other, almost identical, but I can smell the smell of fresh cut wood, where the ensigns had sawed into my room for space to put this machine into the wall, and I deliver my empty dish to it now.  The quite-stained stainless steel still has a shimmery-gleam, and I remember all over again the newest invention to sweep Star Convoy by storm.  The invention that MY ship is the first to have.  I make a mental note to tell my new ensign all about it, as soon as I see him.  Even I rekindle some excitement.

“Ooh.  That’s cool!”  My ensign has just walked into the room, and for once, I had actually remembered the mental note I made!  Normally they are just pointless.  The ensign turns his furry white and brown spotted head toward me.

“A degenerater, you say?”  He asks me, daring to reach out and paw at the smooth stainless steel.  It was one of the few things that was actually cool in the room.  I nod eagerly.

“Yes, Clown,” I say, excitedly.  Recently, Subcommander Ocee has stressed the importance of calling new crew members by their names, and I decide to start with this one right here.  Clown scrunches up his kitty forehead.

“You mean, Klein?”  Clown corrects me, skeptically.

“That’s what I said: Clean.”  Clown still looks doubtful.  I don’t get it.  I secretly wonder if Subcommander Ocee was wrong about the comfort people feel when their names are remembered.  As far as I was considered, Window Cleaner could feel enough comfortable ’warmth’ anywhere on the ship, name remembered or not.  I direct my new ensign over to my desk, even though I can tell he is still quite fascinated with the degenerater invention I had shown him.  Unfortunately, so was the rest of the crew, and hardly any work was being accomplished because of it.  A part of me understood, though.  Who would have thought—finally, the invention to get rid of all the junk everybody generates in the regenerator.  Brilliant!  I remind myself to empty the closet in my quarters that I’ve shoved full of King's Buffet cans, and other dishes and novelties.  Somehow, I have the feeling this won’t be the mental note I’ll wind up remembering.

“Soooooooooooo.”  I drag my ‘so’ out for an awkwardly long time, trying to remember what I wanted to talk to my ensign about.  Somehow, my thoughts had been derailed onto thinking about more food.  Mmm.  “Have you been briefed about the mission we’re on?”  Klutz’s (or Window Cleaner's or Clown’s or Klein’s or something like that) eyes light up.

“Oh yes!”  Klutz says, his smile almost as brilliant as the degenerater invention.  “My dad built the Solera Station—or as so many people call it, ‘the Sun Colony.’-”  My ears are eager to hear the rest of the passion that Kilt has to say, but his words have already sent my mind ticking.  I can’t help but interrupt him.

“Wait, Kilt,”  My mind is shooting off like the Catnip through space.  Kilt rolls his eyes.

“Klein.” He manages, with frustration.

“Whatever.  I thought I heard you say, ’as so many people call it,’”  Fear knots inside my stomach.  I hope that the knot can stay there long enough to rid me of my parasites, but Doctor Spot says that fear can’t actually knot inside my stomach—it’s actually just muscles contracting—so there’s no use in getting hopes up.  Who would have thought?

“Yeah, so?” Kid asks me.

“And by what do you mean, ‘so many?’”

“Uh.  Like…thousands.  I don’t know.  Everybody I seem to talk to wants to live or visit the Solera Station.” His eyes light up again; Mine grow dimmer.  “My Dad did a great job at getting his dream accomplished, huh?  I’ve heard rumors that the sun the Solera Station orbits has the most beautiful solar flares, too.  It draws people from all over the galaxy.” Rolling clouds in my eyes almost seem to block my view of my new ensign. “The flares can be pink, red, orange, blue…even green and purple—sometimes all at the same time!  I’ve always wanted to see them myself, but my career in Star Convoy has kind of kept me away.  In fact, I’ve only been on the Solera Station two times in my life, once when I was a kitten.”  Kid’s eyes lose some of their brightness, but they can’t compare with the blackholes spiraling in mine.  Something he said has REALLY got me down.  “Too bad I’ll never get to see those stunning solar flares.” Kid mumbles dejectedly.  My mind is spinning to fast as to inquire about why he just made the statement he did.  Not that I would have questioned it, even if my mind wren’t sidetracked.

“Is there anyway…you can…make the Solera Station less popular?” I sound pretty weird, almost like a cynical villain.  Clicky looks confused.

“What do you mean?”  I shake my head, knowing Clicky doesn’t get it.

“Never mind,” I sigh, watching my chance for a normal, subdued mission go out the window.  Already the chances were pretty slim that nothing peculiar was going to happen while I was at the Solera Station—but now that I knew the station was popular (contrary to my original belief)—there was no way something wrong wasn’t going to happen.  It was the law of being a starship captain: If some place is popular and all viral and stuff, then it’s going to get thrown in danger’s way.  Worse yet, everybody knows about it, so I won’t be able to justify not taking action when the entire station gets roasted, or whatever.  Hey, I’m just saying, It's literall next to a raging sun.  What would anybody else suspect to happen to it?  Bleh. Now we have to be heroes again.

“Captain?” Clap asks me, waving his paws in front of me as if I had just zoned out.  To be fair, I had just zoned out.

“Oh!  Yes!  Uh,” I find it hard to shake myself of the imminent doom the Solera Station would soon be in.  “Yeah.  Um.”  Clap turns his head sideways, as if straining to hear me.  He was trying to encourage me to spit out what I had to say.  “Well, uh…You told me about the history of the Solera Station, but you didn’t tell me why we’re headed there.”  Clap beams again.

“Because we’re transporting supplies there!”  This time, it’s my turn to strain my head at Cackle.  There was something he was forgetting.  My head straining wasn’t necessary; all it did was successfully get a kink in my neck.  Cackle was already getting on to the rest of what I wanted to hear.  “And of course, we’re transporting several new colonists!  Captain, did you know that the colonists have to be on a seven year waiting list to be transported to the Solera Station?  And then they have to be interviewed to see if they meet the standards?”  Cabin asks me, as if I hadn’t listened to the briefing Subcommander Ocee gave me.

“No, I did not.  You’re dismissed.”  Cabin was right:  I hadn’t listened the briefing Subcommander Ocee had given me.  It was so boring!  Not unlike Cabin’s tidbit of information.  But that wasn’t the reason I was kicking him out of my furry, hot office anyway.  It was more that I had a kink in my neck that I couldn’t shake, and didn’t want to look like fool in front of my new recruit.

“Hey,” I say, just before Catapult leaves the room,“Head on down to engineering and ask for Lieutenant Lucky.  She’ll direct you to where Ensign Ricky is, and I want your first assignment to be there,”  I decided to omit ‘fixing the air conditioners,’ as I had considered adding to the end of my sentence.  He would figure out soon enough.  “Also,”  Catapult looks back up at me,“When you’re on your break, head on over to the cafeteria.  They have several of those degenerater thingies.”  Catapult smiled and gave a firm nod of affirmation.  As for me?  Well it’s time for me to NOD off.

“Hello?”  A voice echoes through a long narrow, shaft, that somehow Ensign Ricky has found himself wedged up in.  Fur flies every which way, a blanket of it lying on every uncomfortably hot, metal surface.

“Yes?!”  Ensign Ricky responds, putting down his equipment.  It doesn’t lay flatly in the cylindrically shaped tube, but it remains still, all the same.  Ensign Ricky isn’t ashamed of the desperation in his words.  For ten hours he had been cooped up, alone, in just about every ventilation system in the ship, unclogging them from the pounds of fur that held them hostage.  He just hoped he could work fast enough to clear all the vents and still have time to fix the air conditioning units, themselves.

Ensign Klein clambered up the tube with Ensign Ricky.  It was dark.  Ensign Klein shivered, remembering the shady place his siblings had brought him not all that long ago.  He was glad Ensign Ricky couldn’t see him close his eyes tight in fear.  What if Felina gets hurt?  Ensign Klein worried, to caught up in thought to pick up any of the tools Ensign Ricky had laid out and assist his crew member.

His sister was the one who had wound up operating the repulser ray, after a round of rock-paper-scissors between her and Klein’s smallest, rascally brother, Tiny.  Klein trembled again, remembering that the repulser ray wasn’t illegal for just any reason.  It’s power came with a price: An extremely unstable radioactive core.  What would that mean for Felina?!

Klein brought himself to pick up some of the tools and help Ensign Ricky unscrew, filter, and then re-screw one of the vents.  They proceeded to do the same with two more deck levels on the ship.  When they were done, they were all extremely hot and covered from head to tail in additional fur.  Like they needed more of that.

Ensign Ricky emerged from the tube first, letting his eyes adjust to brightness of the surrounding ship.  Not only had he been cooped up in a nearly lightless tube for fifteen hours, but the Catnip was also drawing nearer the Solera Station.  Or, ’the Sun Colony,’ as Ensign Klein had informed Ensign Ricky.  Defying his inner instinct to make a beeline for engineering and fix the circulation of the ship as soon as possible, Ensign Ricky paused, scratching his eyes with his hind leg.  He turned to help his temporarily blind crew member out of the ventilation repair shaft.

“Whoa!” Ensign Ricky took a startled jump back.  “What is wrong with your ears?”

“Nothing…why?”  Ensign Klein answered.  All he could see was a blinding brightness.  His eyes adjusted to see his blurry crew member gawking at him.

“Oh no!  There is definitely something wrong with your ears,” Ensign Ricky remarked, wide-eyed in disbelief.  Ensign Klein reached up to touch his ears.  They felt…soft…fuzzy…mashed.  Normal.  Suddenly it clicked as to why Ensign Ricky was gawking at him.  A surge of self-consciousness hit him, but he swallowed it and let out a laugh instead.

“Oh…my ears.  I’m a Scottish Fold cat.  That’s all.  My breed just has a unique genetic defect,” Ensign Klein let Ensign Ricky poke at his ears.  “Actually, I’m pretty proud of my ears.  My human pets say it makes me look cute!”  Ensign Klein said hopefully, trying to shake the awkward situation.

“Huh,” Was all Ensign Ricky could manage.  “Well.”  He couldn’t take his gaze off of Ensign Klein’s ears.  “I guess…we ought to head on down to engineering.”  Ensign Ricky started off trotting down the ship corridors.  He had already regained his vision, but even if he hadn’t, he practically knew the ship’s hallways by heart.  And, now, the ventilation shafts, too.

“Are you trying to keep your distance from me?” Ensign Klein called out, speeding around turns and corners he had never seen before to keep up.

“No!” A panting reply came back.  “Just your ears!”

— 

Initially, Felina had been giddy to operate the repulser ray—and not just any ray, but the illegal one that she and her litter-brothers had been eager to spend a hefty portion on.  The R.R., as it was called.  Now she was second-guessing herself, though.    Why is everything blinking at me?  What in the world is techno-tape?  Am I supposed to use that?  Why do I need to plug in this techno-tape?  Why are there so many buttons?  Why is it so tight in here?  Burly waved Felina goodbye while her youngest brother, Tiny glared at her.  He stuck his tongue out.  Ugh.  Tiny should be happy he doesn't have to use the R.R.  It's so...intimidating, Felina felt bad admitting, remembering how much she had wanted to prove to her brother’s she could handle the “big equipment”.

In a way, Felina could relate with Tiny.  He was usually overlooked by all of his siblings, because, well, he was so tiny.  That, and he was the youngest.  Somehow, that gave Tiny the least respect in the family.  WELL, Felina chuckled to herself, Respect can be something that we can all buy after we're done with this job.  Felina meowed at the computer to put it on auto-pilot.  She didn't know how to do much else.  Every single page of the manual had been written in Lactollian.  Well, no, that isn't true, Felina admitted to herself.  There was one page that read, "This manual has been printed in Lactollian."  Felina watched the stars fly by her, taking a deep breath and trying to stifle her claustrophobia.

The inside of the repulser ray was barely big enough for the seat she was sitting in, and everything was pitch black inside except the many, multi-colored LEDs.  Safe to say, it was uncomfortable for a cat with a lack of fondness for tight spaces.  The white-noise hum of the unstable R.R. both induced Felina into a wide-eyed paranoia, but also her body into a much-needed catnap.

Beep. Bleep. Beep. Bleep.  Felina shook from her slumber into the room she wanted least to wake up in.  The room who’s cramped and already small walls seemed to be closing in on her.  But now, things were even worse!  Lights were spiraling around the teeny-tiny dome like a disco party, and noises were sounding off on her!  She looked at the computer screen.  What was going on?  Felina pounded on the dashboard with a loud groan.  Everything was written in Lactolian!  I'm going to go crazy in here!  Felina looked up from the bleeping, blinking dashboard up to the only porthole sized viewing window on the front of the R.R.  She didn’t need a dashboard to tell her why all the alarms on the vessel were sounding:  She was flying directly for an asteroid.  She let a smile come over her pursed kitty mouth.  I guess everything isn't so bad, is it?

I decide to go the ship cafeteria.  I need to get out of the fur covered volcano that is my office.  Sure, that means risking actually meeting the colonists I’m transporting, which I really have no desire to go do, but staying in my sweltering office simply is out of the question.  I exit my office through the plastic cat flap door, avoiding the fur drifts that have collected on the sides of the walkways.  The automatic vacuum cleaners are too full of fur to suck any more, and now, at least in the most trafficked areas, fur was piling as high as the ceiling.  I didn’t bother to look behind me.  I knew that I was the one contributing to most of the fur everywhere.

“Captain!” I roll my eyes.  Just what I didn’t want.  To have to socialize with the colonists being transported on my ship.  I’d rather socialize with the supplies my ship is transporting.  Supplies don’t yammer on and on.  I look around the corridor, but I don’t see anybody calling my title.  I wonder if what I heard was just a hallucination from the overwhelming heat.

“Captain!” I hear my title called again.  I do a double take.  Still, I don’t see anything.  I fasten my pace, realizing that my immense hunger might be causing my deliriousness, too.  Somehow, I feel that this time isn’t different than most every time.  I feel that I am wrong.

“Subcommander Ocee?” I wonder aloud.  Her fur might cause her to camouflage into the drifts gathering along the wall.

“No!  Look down here!”  I bring my gaze to the floor.  A slight lump in the floor—er, in the fur—gathers my attention.  I paw at the floor, not afraid to look like a moron in the eyes of my crew.  That’s because my crew already suspects that I’m pretty dim.  Like unburying a treasure chest, I find a tiny black Scottish Fold hidden amongst the fur.  Unlike a treasure chest, I don’t find any precious valuables inside.  I don’t recognize this cat, and I suspect, by his casual wear, that my lack of recollection doesn’t mean something is wrong with my memory, like usual.  This cat is a colonist.  I silently groan as the teeny tiny, all-black Scottish Fold pads through piles of fur to catch up with me.

“Captain!” I can here the colonist’s voice clearer now that he isn’t buried in fur.  “I’ve been waiting all day to meet you in person.  I’m Tiny!  My brother is a part of Star Convoy!”  Tiny tells me, his miniature legs driving through the fur fast to keep up with my big, limping ones.  I prepare myself for an incredibly boring meal at the cafeteria.

“Tiny!” Another colonist I hadn’t seen come up on us demands.  “Come here!  Something went wrong!  Something went really, really, really wrong!”  I’m too relieved that I don’t have to carry out my conversation any longer—and that Tiny doesn’t have to carry out his conversation with me.  I continue my walk, satisfied to end it in the cafeteria in peace.

“Over here!” Ensign Ricky calls to Ensign Klein.  Newbies, always so hard to teach, Ensign Ricky shakes his head at himself.  He had lost any empathy for his crewman’s new career when he had first seen Ensign Klein for real.  He was freaky!  Mashed down ears!  Small body!  Ensign Ricky knew he would have to get over this at some point, though--just not now!  Ensign Klein was tampering with a control panel.

“That’s not where the air conditioning units are managed.   Now, come on!”  Ensign Ricky, urged, losing patience.  Ensign Klein looked up; Ensign Ricky almost wondered if he was scared.

“Yes, but I need to sign in!  It’s protocol!” Ensign Klein trembled, hoping his lie would hold long enough to get what he needed to get, accomplished.  Again, he wished he hadn’t let his greedy siblings entice him away from his career.  Now where is the history on this computer?!  Ensign Klein pecked away as fast as possible, trying his hardest not to arouse Ensign Ricky’s suspicion.  There!  Ensign Klein let out a happy sigh.  He had managed to find the history on the computer.  If everything went according to plan, I'm not a minute to late, too.  He checked the ship’s scanners.  Good.  Felina did her job.  Now it was okay to delete the history on the ship’s scanners.  He felt a twinge of worry for his sister.  What if something had happened with Felina while she was in the R.R.?  He hadn't heard from her yet...

Lieutenant Lucky came out of the converted broom closet she had made into her office.

“Hello!”  She said cheerfully, making her way over to Ensign Klein.  Ensign Klein panicked, pounding the controls desperately.  He glanced back down at the control panel.  Data deleted.  He let himself breathe.

“I need to uh—go help Ensign Ricky,” Ensign Klein excused himself.  Lieutenant Lucky grinned.

“Good, because I need to do some maintenance on this control panel.”

My ears perk up.  What was that?  I let the customary nonsense fork I’m using in front of the other dining colonists drop.  Did I hear what I thought I heard?  The message came on the main speaker again, and a wave of scared whispers sweeps across the room.  Attention!  Captain!  Crew!  An asteroid is heading directly for the Solera Station!  I feel more delighted than even my taste buds did when I was savoring my King's Buffet cake with tuna ganache.  This news meant that I didn’t need to transport any of the colonists!  Not since, as I suspected, the Solera Station was going to burn up in the sun!  I could shoot all of the colonists out in the little survey vessels and tell them to go colonize another planet or something!  The hassle would be off my paws!  And then it hits me.  This is what I had been dreading the entire time.  This is what made having a popular space station so terrible.  People would realize that I didn’t try my hardest to “save the Sun Colony”, and then my career would be ruined.  Bleh.  If only the Solera Station weren’t such a "hot" topic…

 To be continued in: The Sun Colony: Part 2.
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The behind-wiggling sequel to 'The Big Dent' Part 1.

Nov 19, 2016
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With Captain Shtankadoodle's prized vessel now all-but-destroyed in a brutal comet collision, the crew (Shtankadoodle included) isn't certain what to expect on their return to earth!  Find out in: The Big Dent, Part I
Oct 1, 2016
Category: Star Cats
Posted by: weedles

As if the threat of a comet bound for the Solera Station didn’t seem looming enough, with the entire ship induced into a nervous, whispered panic, Subcommander Ocee could only keep from biting her claws and resisting the impulse to shrink away into a tight cranny—a box, a nook in the insulation, a raccoon trap—anything would do, really, to get away from this news:  Lieutenant Lucky had just confirmed that the comet everybody was worried about was only seventeen minutes from impact.

Aug 31, 2016
Category: Star Cats
Posted by: weedles
Whisker's crossed!  It's Captain Shtankadoodle's fur-blowing trilogy to, "The Sun Colony, Part 1,".
Jul 18, 2016
Category: Star Cats
Posted by: weedles
Does this Star Cats addition meet the expectations set by the previous, The Sun Colony: Part 1?  Once you read it, you'll know as sure as "the day is red on Hewen IV!"