Shtankadoodle's Online Diary

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Apr 26, 2014

Destiny II Mission

Category: Star Cats
Posted by: weedles

I licked my fur a little and layed down on my bed.  24 hour shifts suck.  Bad.  Too bad to even think about it.  I yawn and squish my feet up underneath my body, wrapping my tail around them to keep them warm.  My eyes almost instantly fall shut.  Instantly, everything turns black.

1 hour earlier: "Pretty crazy shift today huh, Spot?" Ensign Lucky remarks as she climbs out from under one of the shuttle pods she had been working on.  The entire crew had had a weary trip crossing space and nebulas.  Their imperative mission was to deliver medications and probiotics to the deathly sick scientists on one of the farthest away moon bases, Destiny II.  It made the situation worse, since the starship, Catnip, didn't have nearly as many crew members as it should.  Ensign Spot silently munched away on his lettuce-meat wrap in the corner.  Too tired to say anything.   Too tired to make an expression. "I hear the captain has been up all night too, poor Shtankadoodle."

"Poor me." A raspy, disconcerting voice came from the corner.  

Ensign Lucky continued after a refreshing sip of water, ignoring Ensign Spot, "I think he's about to get off in an hour, though.  Let's see..." Ensign Lucky glanced down at her watch and grimaced.  A smile quickly crept over he face.  That was how Ensign Lucky was, almost always optomstic.  Almost everybody on the crew liked that about her too,"Well, I still have five more hours until my shift ends, but it's alright.  The last time I checked I had 5 hours and nine minutes until my shift ended."  Ensign Spot took another bite out of his wrap.

"My shift already ended three hours ago.  Bum de bum de bumm I'm still awake.  Bum de bum de bumm." He said, not even attempting to try to sing the last part of his sentence.  Ensign Spot said it in the manner that would be absolutely hilarious if he smiled right after his remark.  He said it with his eyes narrowly open, in a gruff voice, his ears tipped slightly backwards, the lettuce hanging out of his mouth, and the bitter chewing completed the scene.  This wasn't at all funny, though, since Ensign Spot didn't take a notion to even think about smiling.

"Come on, Ensign Spot.  I need company, there's only a few up this late anyway and the time seems to drag on so long when you don't have somene to talk too!" Ensign Lucky emerged from under the shuttle pod she had been working with a grimy, dusty filter in hand,"Look at it this way--the time feels the same right?  I mean look," Ensign Lucky pointed with her paw to a large window in the shuttle hatch,"It's not like you're on Earth, the sun doesn't rise and the moon doesn't rise, just pretend it's morning, that should be pretty easy, huh?" Ensign Lucky stood up, a little wobbly at first, and put the filter on a work bench for cleaning.

"No." Ensign Spot responds from his stool in the corner.  Ensign Lucky bit her lip in the awkward silence that followed.  She spun around.

"Look!  Ensign Ricky could be here with me now, and he's more fun to talk to!  He just isn't going to start his shift until mine ends!  So stop with the grumpy attitude and go-," Ensign Lucky stopped.  Ensign Spot wouldn't listen to her.  He had already fallen asleep with his head slumped against the wall."-to sleep, I guess."  Ensign Lucky finshed her sentence and silently began cleaning the filter again.

Currently: A red light flashed before my eyes.  The first thought that entered my mind was, "I didn't set my clock to go off!"; my second thought that raced through my blurry mind was "What idiot attached a disco ball in my room?"; and then the third thought.  It raced throughout my mind and troubled me in that moment of ackknowledgement.  It scared me and yet awoke my senses to a challenge.  It made me aware of everything around me, but it made me freeze in my tracks.  I felt helpless, like I couldn't move, like I couldn't do a thing.  There was only one thing I could do in that moment of silence.  It wasn't really silence, as the ship buzzed back to life, and ensigns and lieutantants scrurried about, throwing on their uniforms half backwards and unbuttoned.  It all felt silent to me though, as what was happening really seeped into my mind.  I choke on my breath, realizing I hadn't been breathing during that moment of achknowlegement.  My third thought was: We're being attacked!!!!  I begin to hear the siren that had followed the light the entire time.  What had happened during those two mere hours of sleep?  I wonder this as I scurry out of my room and into the already active corridor.

 2 hours before I go to sleep.  Subcommander Ocee walks regally, and yet with a sense of undefiable sterness, over to one of the sleeping crewmembers on the bridge.  Since Captain Shtankadoodle had left for a meal, she had been in charge.  A few of the other Ensigns straightened up from their slumping behavior.  They stopped staring at the 'pretty blurry lights', and tried as hard as they could to focus on what was actually happening on the computers in front of them.  Most of the ensigns didn't find it fair that Ocee could stay up for two days straight.  Of course, Star Convoy, who had hired Subcommander Ocee, with Captain Shtankadoodle's recommendation, did not hesitate to pay minimum wage for two full days of nonstop labor.

"Lieutanant!" A sleepy, restless, Lieutantant Muffin looks up.  He immediately snaps like a cracked whip into good posture.  Before Subcommander Ocee could say anything more to Lieutantant Muffin, another crew member calls her.

"Um, Ma-Madame-No,-Uh,-Sub-Subcommander Ocee, their was a little blip o-on my radar," Ensign Grace's voice quivers as she tries to explain what she saw.  Subcommander Ocee draws a deep breath in annoyance, regretting to say anything for a specific reason--ocicat's never act emotionally when they are on active duty. "It was just a green blip.  I saw it though, and it practically grazed our ship-," Ensign Grace stops in mid sentence.

"We don't need your tiredness to get in the way of your responsibility, Ensign." Subcommander warns in a calm voice.

"It's not that," Ensign Grace responds alertly, "It's that now I just think I saw three blips on the screen."  Ensign Grace fidgets a little, "Permission to be excused to medical bay, Sir?" Ensign Grace asked, trying to avoid looking Subcommander Ocee directly in the eye as she looks upward.

"Permission granted."  Ensign Grace practically ran over Subcommander Ocee as she eagerly scurried off the bridge.  Subcommander Ocee glanced over the crew on the bridge. "Lieutanant Muffin," Subcommander Ocee, pacing around slowly, "Get Ensign Lucky to prepare the shuttle pod.  We're going to see for ourselves what's happening outside the ship."

"Sir, last time we used it in that dusty nebula, it literally ruined that filter.  It may take up to an hour to clean, repair, and install it in working order again."

"Then get them to fix it." Subcommander Ocee replied, sitting down in the captain's chair.

1 hour before I go to sleep.

Ensign Spot cheerfully pats Ensign Grace on the back.

"I did the most thorough examination I could do.  Nothing's wrong except a little stress.   Now you can get back to work before those 'big red blips' come back!"  He waved at Ensign Grace as she left.  Seeing Ensign Spot in such a cheery attitude made a small smile waver over Ensign Grace's tired face before she left.

"Bum-de-bum-de-bummm!  My shift is over!  Bum-de-bum-de-bumm!!"  He tidied one more thing up before he left the medical bay.  He had actually ended his shift two hours ago, but due to a series of rookie mistakes by most of the crew members, his medical bay had become the messiest place in the ship.  He had cleaned it up, done a voluntary check-up on Ensign Grace, and now, was about to make a happy trip into the cozy slumber of his soft, dreamy bed in his quarters.

Ensign Spot practically pranced out of the medical bay once he was done.  Nobody was going to bother him the rest of the day!   "Hello, Waffles!  Hello, Clyde!  Hello, Fluffers!"  A warm, cheery 'hi', 'hello', or 'hi doc!' was always a gracious return to Ensign Spot's kind efforts.  He especially liked it when they called him 'doc', because, he wasn't technically a doctor yet.  "Hello, Lucky!" Ensign Spot said as she flusteredy walked by.  She seemed to have not even notice anybody was there until Spot said something.  She slowly turned her head up to Ensign Spot's.  A smile broadened across her face.

"Hey, I just hate working alone...I just got a one hour assignment too, and most of the engine crew is off duty or pre-occupied, so...could you just come and watch me?  Please?"  Ensign Spot hesitated at Ensign Lucky's request.  "Please?  Pretty please with a fish fillet on top?"  Ensign Lucky begged.

"Um, well, I was just about to hit the sack-," Ensign Lucky interrupted him, grabbing his arm.

"Come on!  It's only an hour, you can do it!  You have to!" Ensign Spot felt a wave of confusion hit him, and then he felt an even stronger wave of tiredness come over him.

"No, I'm sorry, but I am so very, very exhausted right now.  I've been up for nearly twenty-two hours straight," Ensign Spot paused, "I suppose I am 'dog-tired', rather actually, 'cat-tired'.  I'm sorry Lucky, but I NEED rest."  Ensign Spot broke Ensign Lucky's desperate grasp.  She jumped ahead of him, turning him around.

"No, no!  You can do it.  It's only an hour!" Ensign Lucky said, with a look of anguish on her face.  She began to push him the other direction.

"Fine! I'll stay with you once I get a sandwich wrap!  One hour, okay!!?" Ensign Spot practically shouted.  Ensign Lucky was slighty shocked by Ensign Spot's answer, and was expecting him to put up more of a fight, but she accepted it thankfully.

"All right, meet me in the shuttle dock then!"

Currently: "Make everybody evacuate both shuttle bays one and two!  Put the shields on maximum!  Fire rapid lasers!" Subcommander Ocee says with a hint of urgency on her voice.

"We can't fire rapid fire if we have our shields on maximum, sir!" Lieutantant Muffin nearly shouts.

"We're taking another bombardment of hits.  A another ship just appeared on our radar!" Subcommander Ocee's head turns toward Ensign Grace.  Red lights spin across everybody's worried faces.

"Quarters 346, 305, 398, and 427 are on the breech of being destroyed!" Ensign Ricketta calls from the other side of the bridge.  Cats occupied that part of the ship, but the starship did not have even close to 427 crew members.

"Put all of our shields to that section of the ship until they evacuate!" Subcommander Ocee turns her head back and forth as her crew members pound and tap away at the sparkly buttons.

"We have another surge!  It's...different from the other ones-Sir, these could knock out all the power on the ship!  Including life support!" A pipe in the corner blows out, releasing a cloud of smoke as Ensign Grace is talking.

"Aggh!  My face!" Ensign Ricketta screeches from where she had been standing--directly in front of the pipe that had busted.

"Send her to the medical bay--send everybody to the medical bay and put the life support on battery back up in that room!" Subcommander Ocee commands.

"I didn't know we could put life support on battery backup, Sir?" Ensign Grace turns her head toward Subcommander Ocee.

"Of course we can!  Who would design a ship to where you couldn't?!?"  Subcommander Ocee responds in an aggravated voice.  At that moment, I limp onto the bridge.  Nobody asks if I'm hurt, because I always limp.

"Subcommander, did you put the life support on bat-," I immediately ask.  Subcommander Ocee interrupts.

"Yes, we can use the space suits to preserve our air while we stay up here!" Subcommander Ocee shouts over the panicked crewmembers filing out of the bridge.

"Exactly what I was thinking!" I shout, walking toward a cabinet that has the space suits.  Another pipe breaks.  I would almost bet that the cats who designed this ship made those pipes to break when you're in battle, to add more suspense.  That is, if I didn't know that those pipes actually supplied a certain energy needed to provide the regenerator, our machine that can replicate anything, with the fuel it needed to function.  I slip on my space suit, smoke blinds my eyes and makes them watery.  Then, the power goes out.  The bridge controls were the only thing that functioned in the entire ship at that moment.   They (expensively) were designed to preserve energy for any such circumstance.  As I start barking orders to Subcommander Ocee, a heat wave hits the ship.   Subcommander Ocee puts her helmet on.  Safe.  I still wonder how this could get so bad, in just two hours of sleep though.

To be continued in: Destiny II Mission Part 2

 

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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.