This was not a normal BASH.......and that was evident from the very beginning! We headed for the airport, but this time we weren't going to the commercial airport. We raced toward Barksdale Air Force Base!
As we approached the main gate, the extreme security was clearly evident. I pulled to a stop at the gate, and looked at the guard approaching my driver's window. I hesitated. What would I ever tell him?????
That apparently wasn't a problem. The guard took one look in the back seat, saw Katie and Riley sitting there....and snapped a smart salute. He then told me that we were to report immediately to the flightline. I didn't question it.....I simply drove where he'd directed.
As I approaced the flightline, the flurry of activity became evident. There was a crowded atmosphere, everyone rushing around.....trucks racing across the wide concrete tarmac. I pulled to a stop near the flightline gate, and helped Katie and Riley gather their equipment from the car. We turned around to find Murray Reyner, Webber Riches, and Campbell Donnelly racing toward us. They eagerly helped Katie and Riley with their bags.....and the five of them then tore off in the direction of the tarmac.
I looked across the wide expanse, and saw Sleek One. My breath caught in my throat......this was NOT the Sleek One that I was accustomed to!!!!!
Sleek One sat on the tarmac, bathed in floodlights. She'd been completely transformed for this mission. Her sleek, polished metallic skin had been painted a flat, dull black. If the spotlights hadn't been focusing directly on the huge plane, she would have been impossible to see in the evening dusk.
The only concession to the Terrier Rescue Force was the expected nose art on the front of the huge jet....painted in a muted gray was a snarling terrier, with its teeth bared.
I watched the flurry of activity around Sleek One.....saw the now familiar plaid flight suits as the Rescue Task Force hurriedly loaded Sleek One.
I watched as Captain "Scotty" stepped to the door and called down to the Rescue Force on the ground. Telling them that time was desperate, he stepped back into the plane. The Rescue Force hurriedly loaded the last of the equipment in the great doors at the back of the plane.....then hurried up the steps and onto the plane.
Katie and Riley stopped at the top of the steps...turned and waved.....then disappeared into the dark, ghostly plane. The doors closed, the ground crew completed their tasks, then stepped back. The engines roared to life and Sleek One began to taxi. As the plane left the lights that had bathed it in light......it seemed to disappear into the darkness. The only evidence that Sleek One still existed was the roar of the engines.....even the lights on the wings had been darkened. The huge jet moved to the end of the runway, turned, then stopped .....waiting.
Staring toward the far end of the runway, I could see no plane. It was as if Sleek One had evaporated into the night. Only the roar of those massive engines betrayed the plane's presence..... and as I listened, the sounds from those engines increased until even the ground beneath my feet trembled from the force.
Suddenly, the far end of the runway lit up, as Sleek One began streaking down the runway....an orange glow behind her as she sped into the distance. The nose suddenly turned skyward, the orange glow of the engines raced heavenward, as Sleek One tore upward, heading toward its destiny.
Only the dark, empty night was left behind.
Sleek One quickly left Earth's atmosphere, and headed out into deep space. The huge engines roared with power as the dark, ghostly ship streaked through the voids of space.
Inside Sleek One, excitement reigned. Gasps of delight could be heard from many experiencing their FIRST flight on the legendary plane.
As Katie looked around the luxurious cabin, she noticed Bridget Neal and Abby May smiling broadly, thoroughly enjoying their first BASH adventure. They couldn't contain their excitement, as they talked and chatted, pointed and stared. Several experienced BASH'ers had strolled over, and were sharing tales of daring and adventure. Riley, along with Simon Livingston, Ali Riches, and Hoagy Devine had the girls gasping, wide-eyed, with their tales of past trips. Katie smiled behind her paw, as she watched Riley wink at Simon and Ali, then began exaggerating their feats of daring.
She strolled toward the rear of the plane, and opened the door to the back cargo bay. She found the entire Guardian Brigade force hard at work. Ty and Dom, along with Jubilee, KayCee, and Gracie were sorting and stacking equipment into the battle cruisers that were parked in rows along the far side of the bay. Honey Bear Sluss was taking advantage of her huge malamute size to pull the last of the battle cruisers into line, with help from the newest Guardian, the handsome 130 pound hunk, Grizzly Sousa. The two of them had their huge heads together, laughing at some private joke as they maneuvered the cruisers into position. Katie smiled at the pair, then asked the Guardians to report to the main cabin for a Woobidoor update.
The Guardians and Katie returned to the main cabin. Katie found Webber and sqeezed into the seat next to him, while the Guardians continued toward their places at the front of the cabin.
Jubilee noticed a group of young pups huddled in the corner and found Dougan Gray, Bailey Doud, Lenni Goetz, Casey Grieco, and Stewart Almandinger challenging each other with their teefers, snapping them dangerously at each other. Then, they would all fall onto the floor, laughing uproariously, before hopping back up to repeat the challenge. Jubilee just shook her head, afraid to think of what these youngsters, with their dangerous teefers would do on the journey.
The door of the cockpit opened, and Captain "Scotty" entered the cabin. The 105 volunteers of the Woobidoor Rescue Task Force came to attention, and the cabin grew quiet as they waited for Captain "Scotty" to begin.
Captain "Scotty" paused at the front of the cabin. He leaned up against the back of a seat, and with one hand idly scratching the ear of his huge german shepherd, Champ, he began explaining their mission.
"Woobidoor is under attack," Captain "Scotty" began. He looked around the cabin, saw the looks of fierce determination in the eyes of his Terrier Force. He smiled confidently, then continued. "They've sent word that they can't last much longer. They are in desperate need of our help, and know that we're in route to assist them. It will take each and every one of you to save Woobidoor. I know that we are a small force, but we're a Terrier force such as the world has never seen before!"
Smiling, Captain "Scotty" added, "well, including the 40% of this group that is NOT terrier! But, you have the Terrier Spirit.....and that will, in the end, win the day."
"You have been divided into squads, and your Section leaders will give you furter instructions. Now, if you'll each................."
Captain "Scotty" turned as the cockpit door flew open. Charlie Mathison had remained in the cockpit to monitor communications while Captain "Scotty" addressed the troops. Charlie now burst through the door, looked at the Captain and said simply, " INCOMING !!!!!"
Bedlam broke out in the cabin as everyone prepared for action!!!!!
Captain "Scotty" hurried to the cockpit, and scanned the instrument panel as he sat down. The long-range radar showed a vessel, closing rapidly. He quickly began activating the specially designed battle systems on Sleek One. He notified the main cabin......"radar shows a vessel, closing fast. As soon as it comes in range of our space-cam, we'll know who we're dealing with. I expect all Section Leaders to have their groups ready for action."
Immediate chaos broke out in the main cabin. Tas Flewharty leaped up from his seat,brandished his prized light sabre, and began calling the members of his "Squad". "Connor Bruce, Cammeron Meverden, Sophie, Pagan, Hannah Livingston, Mac Tracey, Maggie Reyner, and Chak Stacey.....step forward! You're now members of the 'WONDER WARRIORS' !! We're in charge of the aft laser weapons! Let's GO !!!" The Wonder Warriors cheered loudly, then all raced toward the aft cargo hold.
As the door closed loudly behind the Warriors, another Squad leader was already gathering her troops. Agnes Donnelly was calling for Billy Delli Carpini, Zoe Gray, Midget Wion, Sammy Neal, Judson Meissner, Bionic-eyed Floyd Johnson, Haley Devine, Maggie Mac, and Emmitt Nuckles. " We're in charge of the port lasers. You're now part of my 'Rambo Rowdies' ! Let's MOVE, troops!!!!" She smiled broadly at Emmitt, threw him a huge kiss, then raced toward the front of the cabin, followed closely by a beaming Emmitt and the rest of the Rowdies.
Dunc McGillivray quickly moved to the starboard laser mountings, stepped up onto the nearest chair, and smiled wickedly. "Okay, team......I need Bartholomew van Dulken, Duffy Tracey, Prince Maxxie Meverden, Robin Baillargeon, Brewster Wynne, Izzy Murphy, Frasier Seeger, Quincy Nuckles, Puck Grieco, MacKenzie Quigley, and Spencer Goetz." Dunc was about to speak again, when he heard "MEEEEEEEEE!!!! MEEEEEE!!!!!"
Looking across the cabin, he saw his sweet lass, Spoiled Stormy Kubicek, hopping up and down, waving her paws wildly in the air. He smiled broadly, turned to his "squad" who gave him the 'thumbs up', and motioned for Stormy to join his team.
Stormy sashayed over to her Dunc, threw her arm around his neck, and planted a kiss on his furry muzzle. Dunc smiled, then whispered briefly into her ear. Stormy jerked back and gasped, her mouth open in shock! Then, after a second, she broke into a huge smile. She nodded gleefully to Dunc, as he announced to his team....."you are now part of a noble group, the 'Hunk-ly Hunks' !!!"
Stormy smiled happily as she saw the jealous gleam in the other girls' eyes! Then, Dunc grabbed her paw, and turned her around to the business at hand. Quickly, the Hunk-ly Hunks prepared their lasers for action.
As the rest of the terriers in the cabin looked on, feeling very left out.....Riley stepped forward. "Never fear, fearless friends....you're essential to our safety. If you will ALL move to the rear, Katie awaits you in the aft cargo hold."
Excitedly, the rest of the terriers hurried to the rear of the plane, and into the cavernous cargo hold. They gathered around Katie, who stood in the center of the room. She quickly organized the terriers into teams, with the more experienced battle cruiser pilots giving quick instructions to their teams.
Soon, all was in readiness aboard Sleek One. Katie radioed the cockpit, reporting that all was ready in Cargo 3. The other teams quickly reported their battle readiness. The excitement around the plane was palpable....all faces were grim with determination, teeth bared, eyes flashing. These terriers were ready to go hunting!
Captain "Scotty" spoke to the plane, "....very well. Sleek One is cleared for action. The vessel is now coming into range of our space-cam. The computer is processing the information." There was a long pause, then they heard, "WELL, now!! LOOK who we have HERE!"
The Rescue Force waited, hardly breathing....then were shocked to hear Captain "Scotty" actually LAUGH !"Youngsters!!!!" he chuckled. "We're being approached by an OOOOOLD friend. Are you ready to "play" with the GORKONS again!??!?!"
"Well, here they come!!!!!!! Let's show them some more Terrier Hospitality!!!!"
Sleek One's wings swept back into battle mode, the lasers hummed in readiness, the plane hovered in the darkness.............WAITING !!!!
Sleek One sat poised to strike, silently hovering.....waiting for the dark, rusting, manta-shaped hulks of the 'Gorkons' to close the distance. He thought back to their last encounter. He had no doubts about the outcome of this meeting....he had his Terriers.....no force in the universe was as fierce and determined in a "scrap" !
The instrument panel suddenly began to light up, alarm bells sounding the approach of the Gorkon ships. "Heads UP," he announced. "Here they come! Wait for my signal."
The Terrier Force became rigid with anticipation......several of the youngest had to be physically restrained, else they would have begun firing the lasers themselves!!
Closer and closer the Gorkon ships came. Capt. "Scotty" had his finger poised, ready to signal the attack, when an amazing thing happened! The Gorkon ships turned their ships belly UP, and stopped a short distance from Sleek One.
"Hold your fire!" Capt. "Scotty" shouted. He immediately called Judge Brimley and GREAT Grandma Inky to the front, along with the Guardian Brigade. After much consultation, they decided to see what the Gorkons were up to. They watched as a small vessel left the largest Gorkon ship, moved to a distance midway between Sleek One and the Gorkon ships....then it waited.
"Come ON," he called, then proceeded quickly to the aft cargo hold. Jubilee, Gracie, KayCee, and Nurse Bear Powers were given instructions to take care of Sleek One....he reminded them that Charlie Mathison was still in charge of communications in the cockpit, and would keep them informed of any news. He then moved across the cargo bay and spoke quickly with Riley. He then boarded the nearest battle cruiser, and was quickly followed by GREAT Grandma Inky, Judge Brimley, Ty, Dom, Honey Bear, and Grizzly. The last one in was Riley, who slid into the pilot's seat and powered up the engines. The cargo bay doors opened, and the cruiser slipped smoothly out into space, then banked sharply, heading directly for the Gorkon vessel.
The Battle Cruiser closed to within feet of the Gorkon vessel, then slowed to a halt. The docking clamps came out, and the two vessels came together with a final clank. Honey Bear reached over and turned the lever, opening the hatch to the Gorkon ship.
Captain "Scotty" and his team had already decided that they would not take a chance on being cornered in the Gorkon vessel, so he motioned for the Gorkons to board the Battle Cruiser.
The team backed up, with the Guardians placing themselves strategically around the bridge, in case they were needed. They watched curiously as three very tall, slimy green creatures ducked their antannae as they boarded the cruiser. Massive gobs of green slime oozed from the creatures as they stopped in front of Captain "Scotty".
GREAT Grandma Inky frowned furiously as she watched the floor of the bridge become slick with the green ooze. Dom patted her paw quietly, shaking his head to convince her to remain quiet.
Captain "Scotty" stepped forward and activated the Universal Translator on the console. He then turned toward the Gorkons, careful to avoid the slime, and said simply, "Welllllll????"
The Gorkon closest to the Captain began chirping. "We come not in anger. We come not to fight. We come not to make trouble. We come to warn. We come to help. We come to warn you. We care not for fight.....not with you....never with you." He began bowing quickly, nodding vigorously with each bow."
The Gorkon looked at the Captain, and seeing that the Captain was not convinced, and was still very ready for action, he continued chirping...."we come to warn you. We have news of your journey. The Alliance knows of your coming. The Alliance knows that you come to make them leave what you call Woobidoor. The Alliance does not fear your coming. They see you as only one small vessel. The Alliance has placed its ships across the galaxy, between you and your Woobidoor."
Captain "Scotty" glared angrily at the Gorkon, as the alien continued chirping rapidly... "The Alliance plans that you NOT reach your Woobidoor. The Alliance has many vessels, all ready to make you go away.....to go away forever. They are many ships and much power. They fear NO small thing.....and you, they consider to be a small thing...."
The Gorkon looked directly at Judge Brimley and GREAT Grandma Inky. He then continued quickly...."they know of your small warriors...they know you have only a small force....they know your warriors to be small.....your warriors are only small beings....small and USELESS !"
GREAT Grandma Inky had been standing quietly next to Ty, trying very hard to ignore the slime puddle on the floor. Her head snapped up as the translator reported the Gorkon's last words....."small and USELESS" !
She leaped forward, her teeth bared as she snarled at the shocked Gorkon, who began backing rapidly away. Captain "Scotty" lunged forward, grabbed GREAT Grandma Inky around her middle, and pulled her to his chest....careful to avoid the snapping jaws that were pointed at the quaking Gorkons.
Captain "Scotty" then leaned forward, allowing GG Inky's jaws to become tantalizingly near the slimy aliens. The Captain's voice had a dangerous pitch to it, his anger evident in every word.
"You want to see USELESS!!! Let my wee ones SHOW you useless, my slimy, useless friend. You want dangerous, you need look no farther than these SMALL creatures that you consider USELESS ! We may be a small force, and our warriors ARE small,.........but, my friend, you may not EVER live to see warriors such as my wee ones!!!!"
He continued to walk forward, allowing GG Inky to become ever-closer to the retreating Gorkons. The Gorkons turned and fled.....back through the docking chamber, to their own vessel. With one last fearful bow, they slammed their hatch. The Guardian Brigade smiled broadly as they closed the hatch, releasing the two vessels.
The Captain gently placed Great Grandma Inky on the deck. She turned and said, "Sorry 'bout that, Captain....but those slimy worms just made me so danged MAD!!!!" She snarled at the hatch door to show her continued OUTRAGE.
Captain "Scotty" flashed GG Inky one of his devilish smiles....then with his blue eyes twinkling, he added "well, GG Inky.....I think you gave the Gorkons just the answer we needed!!" With an affectionate scritch to GG Inky's ear, he turned to Riley. "Take us back to Sleek One, Riley."
The Battle Cruiser banked sharply, quickly returned to the great jet, and soon settled softly back in the cargo bay. The Captain quickly exited the cargo bay, and headed toward the cockpit. The Guardians were much slower leaving the cargo bay. They were having too much fun relating the events on board the cruiser.
Soon, the tales of GG Inky's heroics were spreading across Sleek One....with several of the wee-est pups looking in awe at the grande dame of the scotties.
As the battle teams stepped down from their posts, the cabin of Sleek One returned to a more relaxed atmosphere. There was much laughing and talking....much talk of things "small and USELESS" not being as innocent as they appear !!!
Captain "Scotty" came over the intercom. "Okay, small ones...." he laughed, then added, "let's go find the Alien Alliance that considers us to be so "small and USELESS!!!!!!!"
A wild cheer erupted from the cabin. Small and USELESS, indeed!!!!!
The mighty engines of Sleek One roared to life, the jet leaped forward, as the Woobidoor Rescue Task Force raced boldly into the dark depths of space...determined to show the Alliance what "small and USELESS" truly meant !!!!!!
Captain "Scotty" knew that this trip to Woobidoor would be much different than their last. This time, the Terrier Force would have to deal with an alien Alliance that was putting an entire armada in their path, and they were determined to prevent the Terriers from reaching Woobidoor.
He was just as determined to see that his wee Terriers DID reach their destination. He reached over to the console, and adjusted the long-range scanners. He wanted maximum coverage of the sector they were crossing. He checked his instrument panel, and reassured that all was functioning properly, he turned to look at Charlie Mathison, sitting in the co-pilot's chair.
Charlie's attention was fully focused on the communications panel beside him. He was listening for any intercepted communications between the Alliance vessels. Looking up at the Captain, Charlie shook his head "no", and returned to his task.
Captain "Scotty" flipped the intercom switch, and spoke to the Rescue Force..."attention. We're entering the Alliance sector, and we will be encountering heavy resistance any time now. Everyone to their stations.....stay alert.....move it, 'small and USELESS'!!"
Captain "Scotty" smiled broadly as he gazed through the open cock-pit door at his Terriers. His wee Terriers were scurrying to their assigned stations....but not without much growling, snarling, and teeth-baring....as they responded to the Alliance's opinion of the Woobidoor Rescue Task Force. He knew he could depend on these small firecrackers. They, and their many friends, both large and small, were a force to be reckoned with....that was certain. Now, it was only a matter of showing the Alliance just how dangerous "small" was!"
Suddenly, the alarms on the instrument panel sounded. He spun around, and peered closely at the long-range scanners...they had company!!!!! His screen showed incoming vessels, small and fast......4, 5, no....9 !!!
"We have COMPANY!!!!" Captain "S" announced calmly. "Ginger Flewharty, Heather Sue Devine, and Bucky Sheets...report to the cock-pit.....front and center!!!"
The teams immediately began checking their weapons.....the pilots raced to the aft cargo hold to prepare their ships....Ginger, Heather Sue, and Bucky hurried forward.
"Ginger, Bucky, Heather Sue.....I need you here on the nose laser weapons. You'll have a screen to show you position, angle, and speed. It'll take all of you to man the weapons. Ready for action?"
All three nodded eagerly, then climbed down through the hatch into the compartment directly below the pilot's chair. They left the hatch open to better hear Captain "Scotty's" instructions.
"All stations manned and ready, Captain!" Katie reported.
"Good job, youngsters!!!! Get ready, we'll make our first pass to bring our starboard lasers to bear.......then we'll whip around and make another pass for our port weapons. Aft lasers and nose lasers......fire as we come around!!!!!!!!!!"
Captain "Scotty" sounded confident and eager as the Rescue Force felt Sleek One leap forward. Everyone was tense with excitement. The Guardian Force was hard-pressed to remind everyone to WAIT patiently for the targets.
Gracie took Bailey Doud by the paw, quickly led him over to the "Hunk-ly Hunks", and assigned him the task of keeping a close eye on the screen.....to let the team know when the Alliance vessels came into range of their weapons.
"Can you do this for them, Bailey?" she asked, hiding a smile. She'd seen him jumping up and down in his seat, so eager to help.
Bailey nodded excitedly, then turned, and very seriously began watching the screen, his teeth gritted and his eyes twinkling.
Grizzly had watched Gracie take the wee youngster to a safe spot that would still allow him to be a part of the "action". He quickly gathered Stewart Almandinger and placed him with the "Rambo Rowdies". Emmitt patted Stewart on the back, welcoming him to the group. Stewart beamed broadly, eagerly watching the magical screen.
"Starboard lasers, FIREEEEEEE!" Captain "S" ordered.
Immediately Sleek One banked into a sharp turn. Brewster and Puck aimed Laser 1 at the closing target....then fired. The target exploded...but they had no time to celebrate.
At the same instant, 4 more Alliance vessels came into range. Izzy and Spencer wheeled Laser 2 around to take the lead vessel....and fired. One exploded almost on top of Sleek One, vibrating the great jet.....the other passed out of range. Bartholomew immediately swung his Laser 3 around, and opened fire. The laser beam glowed brightly as it raced toward its target. The Alliance vessel immediately broke apart and exploded.
"Coming YOUR way !" Maxxie Meverden shouted to the aft laser team.
The Wonder Warriors immediately brought their lasers to bear......Maggie Reyner and Connor Bruce took aim at the Alliance vessel as it came onto their screen...."FIRE!" Maggie shouted..........Connor led the vessel and gave a short burst. The Alliance vessel exploded, filling the screen with an orange glow.
Meanwhile, Taz and Pagan were swinging their lasers on the fast approaching Alliance ships.... both lasers firing as one. A huge light broke through the dark emptiness as both enemy vessels exploded simultaneously. They winked at each other, gave high-five paws....and swung their lasers back onto the next targets.
"Another one....get it....get it!!!!!" Angie Riches hollered.
"Coming around....he's coming around!!!!!!" Stewart shouted.
"Got him....I've got him !!!!" Quincy barked.
"Watch it....watch it!!!!!" Bailey screamed.
"Watch OUT!!!!!" shouted Bartholomew. "They're coming around!!!" He aimed Laser 4 at the lead ship and fired. As it exploded, 2 more vessels took its place.
"Get 'EM!!!" Emmitt screamed, as he swung his Laser 5 to the closing target. He squeezed the trigger, destroying the Alliance ship. Agnes wheeled Laser 8 around, drew aim on the Alliance ship closing rapidly, and fired. The explosion was immediate. At the same time, Midget Wion turned her Laser 7 to the vessel turning out of range. She gave fire to the fleeing ship, hurring him on his way.
"Cease FIRE !" Captain "Scotty" called. He turned quickly, looking back into the cabin to check his wee ones. He smiled as he saw their faces. Not one look of fear among the entire Force !!!
He looked at the furry face of each member of the Rescue Force, and saw the same expression on them all......a devilish gleam in each eye, fierce breathing between clenched teeth , ears back, tail stiff and erect, feet spread wide apart, braced for action. His Terriers were amazing!!!
Captain "Scotty" reached onto the console and put Sleek One on auto-pilot. With a quick word of warning to Charlie, he headed toward the main cabin.
"Well DONE, youngsters!!! VERY nice job!" he said, patting each small trooper as he passed. Every face was alive with excitement.
"How 'bout a little TREAT for your efforts!! Look under the seats...PRIME RIB jerky treats for EVERYONE!!!" he announced.
Immediately, the fierce warriors left their posts.....their tummies taking over for the moment. Quickly, the only sounds that were heard in the huge cabin were the chomping and slurping as each pup relished in the treat between each pair of paws.
Captain "Scotty" smiled proudly at his Terriers, and leaned against the forward bulkhead, patting Champ, who was thoroughly enjoying his jerkey treat.
Suddenly, Charlie shouted from the cockpit......."Captain, we've got MORE COMPANY !"
Captain "Scotty" calmly said, "Okay, youngsters....let's DO it AGAIN !" Then he sprinted back to the cockpit.....
Immediately, Sleek One banked sharply to port, engines roaring.
"INCOMING! Starboard side ! FIREEEEEEEEE!!!"
For hours, the routine aboard Sleek One was the same. Alliance ships would appear. Heated battles would last sometimes over an hour, followed by brief periods of quiet. The laser crews would use the rare quiet to rest, ease their sore muscles, and nibble on jerkey treats.
Honey Bear noticed the exhausted defenders, and asked Ty about alternating the crews to allow rest time. Ty quickly gathered the Guardian Brigade together, and they began placing rested Rescue Force volunteers into the overworked laser teams.
Rosie Seeger, Lucy Sheets, Bonnie Hoffman, Ace Graves, Stuart Lyons, and Avery Murphy quickly stepped over to the starboard lasers, and relieved the exhausted pups, who curled up on the floor next to their duty stations and fell asleep almost immediately.
Grizzly added Scotty Neal, Mac Broadhurst-Bristow, Bonnie Gamble, Abby May, Tucker Warner, Abby Johnson, and Rosie Goetz to the worn out crew of Rambo Rowdies, who were unwilling to give up their seats...they finally agreed that rested warriors were BETTER warriors. Agnes gave hurried weapon instructions to the new crew, then joined her team that was already asleep behind the laser station.
Millie Phillips, Maggie Nuckles, Heidi Delli Carpini,Natalie Lyons, and Ali Riches.....who looked quite suave in his custom-designed noise-proof headset.... volunteered to relieve the Wonder Warriors, and raced to the aft cargo hold to relieve their friends. They were given a short indoctrination by Taz, who moved his tired troops to a near-by corner for some well-earned rest.
The fresh warriors had only a few brief minutes to orient themselves to the weapons before the now-familiar announcement was heard over the intercom......"okay, youngsters. We've got COMPANY !"
Sleek ONE immediately banked left, engines whining from the speed asked of them by the pilot. He gave instructions to his Terriers...."starboard lasers, FIREEEEE!"
Bonnie and Ace immediately drew a bead on the fast-approaching Alliance ships, then fired in quick succession. Two Alliance ships were reduced to metallic debris.
"Watch your left!" shouted Avery, as he swung his laser around to intercept the speeding enemy ship.
"They're coming around by YOU!" Lucy shouted, then opened fire on the closest ship as he sped across their screen.
"I've got him....I've got him!" barked Bonnie as she took aim on the ship that had passed the first laser station.
"Rambos, they're coming YOUR way!!!!" shouted Stuart.
The Rambo Rowdies on the port lasers answered with devastating laser fire. Mac, Bonnie, and Rosie immediately brought their lasers around to catch the incoming ships. Laser fire leaped from Sleek One, destroying 3 of the enemy vessels.
"Watch your right!!!!" shouted Tucker, who then opened fire on the speeding Alliance ship.
"He's MINE.....I've got him!!" Abby May barked, then gave return fire to another ship.
In the aft cargo hold, activity was just as fierce. Millie and Maggie took aim on the Alliance ships as they swung around behind Sleek One, and surprised the enemy ships with destructive laser fire.
"Take him on the LEFT!" they told Heidi...who immediately began straffing the enemy vessel.
"I'll get him!!!" Natalie shouted, as she swung her laser around to yet another Alliance ship.
Everywhere, there was firing......lasers lighting up the dark void....Terriers, their teeth bared, their eyes flashing.....again and again, they met the oncoming Alliance ships.
Dr. Bucky and Nurse Bear Powers, along with Nurse Maggie and Nurse Fiona Ofria, were hard-pressed....trying to provide each warrior with as much Evian water and Frosty Paws as they could handle. They raced from one warrior to the next, offering food and drink, massaging tired paws, offering extra jerky treats.
After each skirmish, Captain "Scotty" would signal a "cease fire".....then, he'd quickly move through the cabin, patting each warrior, praising his Terriers. The Rescue Force knew that the peace and quiet would only last a short while. There was always the inevitable report......."okay, youngsters. We've got COMPANY!"
Hours passed, always the same. As they grew ever-closer to Woobidoor, the Alliance ships arrived more frequently. Always, there was a fierce battle....always, the lasers lit the dark void with their destruction. There would always be a brief respite after the battle, followed almost immediately by the call for another battle.
The laser crews began working in shifts. There was always one group asleep and resting....able to sleep even through the noises of a pitched battle...... while the other shift gave the Alliance their hourly dose of "small and USELESS".
The Rescue Force became like a finely tuned engine, each working at peak efficiency....always giving their best effort, never willing to admit exhaustion.
Sleek One continued to battle its way across the galaxy, heading always toward its goal....Woobidoor. The exhausted warriors breathed a huge sigh of relief when they heard Captain "Scotty" report......."youngsters, we have WOOBIDOOR on long-range sensors! Youngsters, we MADE IT!"
The cabin erupted in cheering......patting each other on the back, enjoying their successful trip through the Alliance Gauntlet. The celebration was still going on when Captain "Scotty" came over the intercom.
"Youngsters..................." Captain "Scotty" paused for several seconds. "Woobidoor is directly ahead. We have only one problem, now. We have only ONE Alliance ship between us and Woobidoor."
The Rescue Force smiled gleefully. Only ONE........they could do THIS with their eyes closed!!!!! It was Riley who noticed the change in the Captain's voice.
"Wait", Riley said. "He's not telling us everything......wait!"
"Youngsters......" Captain "Scotty" continued....."I know we can finish what we've started. There's just ONE ship between us and Woobidoor. It happens to be the Alliance's MOTHER ship !"
Captain "Scotty" immediately switched his cockpit scanners to the cabin screen. The Rescue Force looked up at the screen on the bulkhead wall........and GASPED !
The Alliance Mother ship filled the screen!!!!!! They were not even able to SEE Woobidoor for the massive alien vessel that hovered between Sleek One and Woobidoor.
Katie looked at her dear friends around her. Without a word, they ALL nodded.....they knew what she was asking.
She turned toward the cockpit, and seeing Captain "Scotty" watching them through the open door, she announced....."Captain, let's GET IT DONE!!!"
Without another word, Sleek ONE leaped forward......racing toward its destiny!
Sleek One began accelerating toward the massive ship orbiting Woobidoor. Captain "Scotty" ordered his troops...."ALL Laser teams to battle stations! We need ALL flight crews to their ships, NOWWWWW!"
As the cabin of Sleek One exploded into a flurry of speeding pups, all heading to their assigned stations......Captain "Scotty" added, "Guardians, break out the BOXES!"
Immediately, the huge protectors began hauling large boxes from the aft cargo bay. As Grizzly dropped 3 of them at the feet of the Hunk-ly Hunks, he stated simply, "MORE lasers!!!"
Honey Bear delivered her boxes to the Rambo Rowdies, telling them to get the additional lasers mounted immediately.
KayCee simply drug her boxes across the cargo bay, telling the Wonder Warriors that they now had more MUSCLE for their team!
All Laser crews soon had their extra weapons mounted, brought online, and within minutes, were ready for action.
In the aft cargo hold, the flight crews had immediately boarded their cruisers, checked their weapons, and were waiting impatiently for the "word"!
"All stations manned and Ready, Captain!" Katie reported.
"Very well, youngsters! I have total faith in your ability to get this done! Flight crews, stay hidden behind Sleek One until I give the order! Good luck, youngsters! Let's GET IT DONE!"
The aft cargo bay doors slid open, and 30 small, agile battle cruisers slid silently into space, hovering just behind the great jet.
Captain "Scotty" brought Sleek One to within laser range of the massive Alliance Mothership, and eased her to a stop. The great jet hovered silently, wings swept back, weapons charged, waiting......
Captain "Scotty" reached for the console, and activated the Universal Translator. He said simply, "Aliens, ya may want to MOVE! You're in Our WAY!"
The response from the giant, spider-shaped ship was immediate. Photon torpedoes were fired from the alien ship, at point-blank range....heading directly toward Sleek One.
"DROP!!! NOWWWW!" Captain "Scotty" ordered. Like a well-synchronized team, the entire "Sleek Fleet" simply DROPPED two hundred meters through space....to stop and hover silently....waiting!
The Alliance spidership again fired, and once again, with very little effort, the "Sleek Fleet" maneuvered out of harm's way....to once again hover silently......waiting.
"Any minute now, youngsters......" the Captain said. "Be ready!!!"
The huge spidership erupted this time with a great volley of weapon fire. As the "Sleek Fleet" once again shifted smoothly out of harm's way, Captain "Scotty" noticed that all weapons ports on the huge spidership were located within the "legs" of the huge spider.
Captain "Scotty" smiled broadly......"we HAVE 'em, youngsters!!! Aim for the LEGS...that's where their weapons are...stay away from the LEGS!!!!!"
It all happened at once.....Sleek One peeled upward, climbing vertically. The small battle cruiser fleet spread out in 3-ship teams, all headind directly toward the giant spidership.
One battle cruiser took the "point", leading the attack, and was VERY noticeable. Bonnie and Abby Gamble aroooooooo'ed loudly as their custom-made PINK battle cruiser streaked across the sky, aiming directly for the nearest "leg" ! Off their left wing, Megan Bruce and Heather Sue Devine eagerly watched the distance to the spidership close rapidly, excitement clearly written on their faces. Off the right wing, Robbie McGillivray and Terra Belle Warner smiled wickedly, ready to wreak havoc on the evil alien ship.
The three small battle cruisers raced toward the nearest leg, their agile ships easily keeping them out of the leg weapon's reach.
"FIRE!" Bonnie shouted. All three cruisers fired as one, all aiming for the base of the leg. Robbie swung his cruiser around, and fired once again at the crippled leg. Heather Sue and Megan added more fire to the weakening leg. Once more, Abby gave a short laser burst, quickly followed by fire from both Terra-Belle's and Megan's ships. The cruisers' weapons were relentless, aiming directly at the base of the now flaming leg.
Suddenly, with a loud explosion, the leg gave way....floating off into space. Robbie banked his cruiser around, and straffed the floating leg, destroying the weapon within it.
The same action was taking place around the entire width of the alien spidership.
Team Two's goal was the second leg of the alien ship. Heidi Delli Carpini and Sophie Donnelly aimed their lasers at the ship's towering leg, and fired. Immediately, off their left wing, Piper Almandinger steered her cruiser around behind the leg, closing the distance rapidly. "Fire!" Piper barked. Her co-pilot, Duffy Hoffman, eagerly aimed the cruiser's laser at the target, squeezed his paw around the trigger, and fired.
A burst of orange lit the darkness as the cruisers' pursued their target. The right wing cruiser sped around to take aim on the back side of the leg. Maggie Johnson steered her cruiser ever-closer, then turned to Sherman Mathison and nodded. Sherman quickly opened fire on the assigned target. His laser fire was joined by Duffy's and Sophy's, and they all watched as the leg disintegrated into millions of tiny pieces.
Cheering, the relentless team of cruisers raced off to locate another target.
They soon joined Team 3, and fell in behind Abby Goetz and Fiona Seeger's cruiser, who was racing straight toward a leg that was delivering blistering fire to Sleek One. They were joined by Casey Grieco and Angie Riches, who'd added racing stripes to THEIR cruiser! The five cruisers banked sharply, aiming for the weapons end of the leg. As one, the cruisers fired, rendering the spiderleg useless.
"Watch OUT!" Angie shouted. Two other alien weapons had swiveled and were directing fire straight at the grouped cruisers. Abby wheeled her cruiser around, directing her lasers at the nearest weapon. At the same moment, the alien ship fired......Sophy felt a thump, she'd been HIT! Quickly checking the instruments, she saw that the port laser was out....but other systems were still functioning. "Whew, that was close!" she said to herself, then bared her teeth, and turned the cruiser back to the action!
Robbie and Terra-Belle came streaking across the void, lasers firing as they came. With the help of Casey and Angie, they took out the weapon that had damaged Sophy's cruiser. Sophy waved to her pals as their cruisers passed, they they all swept onward, looking for more weapons to reduce to rubble.
They noticed Molly Reyner and Zoe Gray's cruiser flying alongside the cruiser of Mali May Meissner and Pogo Flewharty. That team was dealing serious damage to a couple of weapon legs. They watched as the two cruisers quickly and easily finish the job, then turned to locate other targets.
Nugget Sousa and Mandi Reyner were beginning to enjoy this! They'd aimed their lasers at the end of the leg, and were nibbling off the leg, inches at a time. They'd smile at each other, then their laser would fire again. Soon, the weapon leg was reduced to a nub, so they wheeled their cruiser, looking for another "toy" !
Ali Riches and Gypsy Rose Kitty were thoroughly enjoying themselves! Ali's specially designed noise-reduction headset added to his dashing appearance, as he boldly gripped the yoke, steering their cruiser straight toward the center of the spidership. As the cruiser raced between the firing weaponlegs, he nodded to Gypsy Rose Kitty. "Go get 'em, Kittycat! Get 'em for Linus and Maggie!" he ordered.
Gypsy Rose Kitty immediately fired the laser, holding the trigger down until the entire section of the great hulk was a mass of melted metal. With a final affirmative nod, Gypsy Rose Kitty softly replied, "That was for YOU, Linus!" Ali smiled gratefully, then off they sped to wreak more havoc on the alien spider.
Bridget Neal and Rhett Butler raced under the great ship, seeing a weapon leg turning to fire on one of their friends' cruisers. Just as the enemy weapon fired, Bridget fired her lasers. The weapon leg exploded. At the same time, Rhett fired again......this time aiming at the missile, heading straight for a battle cruiser. The missile was detonated almost directly over the battle cruiser. Smiling at Rhett, Bridget turned her cruiser back toward the Alliance ship.
Haley Devine and Heather Tracey were also enjoying their adventure. Heather kept pointing to a spot on the enemy vessel, challenging Haley to "HIT" that spot. Haley would immediately trigger the laser, reducing the "SPOT" to so much melted metal.
MacBeth Ward and Tiger had a wager between their cruiser,the cruiser manned by Katie and Webber, and their third cruiser, manned by Simon Livingston and Bucky Sheets....who would create the most damage to the spidership. The three cruisers were fearless, racing directly into the firing weapon legs to fire their lasers. They'd wave at each other, raise paws to show the "count", then speed off to another target.
Around the Alliance mother ship, it was the same. The Battle Cruisers' agility and speed were more than a match for the great, hulking vessel. They sped quickly under the great ship, dealt a killing blow to the weapon legs, then raced onward to other targets.
Captain "Scotty" watched, Sleek One hovering at point-blank range. His laser teams aboard Sleek One were also busy. The nose lasers were spreading devastation across the massive hull of the huge spidership. The Rambo Rowdies and the Hunk-ly Hunks were just as lethal, their lasers never pausing, the great jet trembling from the force of it's weaponfire.
Captain "Scotty" suddenly noticed MORE weapon fire....this coming from the PLANET ! The Woobidoorians had joined the fight! Their weapons were aimed directly at the huge, massive spider hull.
Captain "Scotty" immediately ordered his cruisers back. "Youngsters, MOVE! We have the Woobidoorians firing on the ship from the planet. Position your selves off the wings of Sleek One.....NOW!"
The action around the great, menacing alien vessel immediately changed. What was once a huge, lethal alien ship now was a great, round hulk... great gaping holes, where the weapon legs had once stood. The Sleek One battle cruisers turned sharply, racing back toward Sleek One.
Captain "Scotty" shook his head and smiled as he watched SEVERAL of the Battle Cruisers doing aerial maneuvers as they returned to Sleek One. He knew, even in the face of danger, his Terriers would enjoy the challenge and the adventure!
The Sleek Force backed away from the Alliance Mothership, them eased to a stop. They all waited expectantly, the Battle Cruisers poised and ready, just off Sleek One's broad wings.
Captain "Scotty" ordered, "Sleek Force......on my orders, aim ALL weapons on the center of the Mothership.......FIREEEEEEEE!"
The dark void around Woobidoor lit up......Sleek One and it's fleet of Battle Cruisers all aimed laser fire at the evil giant. For several seconds, they continued the fire......watching, expectantly.
It happened quite suddenly.....all at once the entire section of the galaxy exploded in a huge flash ! The Mothership was no more!!!!!!! Only small sections of floating debris was left where once the huge spider had been.
Wild cheering erupted from the Sleek Force!!!!! The battle cruisers streaked around Sleek One, racing and rolling. Captain "Scotty" smiled, watching his Terrier Fleet. "This must be what you'd call a 'Fleet Frap'," he said to himself. ;-)
His dashboard lit up....communications were coming in from Woobidoor! After a brief conversation, Captain "Scotty" spoke to his fleet.
"Youngsters, return the cruisers to the aft cargo bay immediately. It seems we're late for a PARTY !"
He smiled as he watched the cruisers racing each other back to Sleek One. He knew this was to be SOME kind of party.
Sleek One hovered just above the surface, then settled gently to the ground. Those who were making their first trip to Woobidoor stared through the windows at the strange planet. The entire sky had a rosy glow, and as they looked into the sky, they could see several nearby planets....as well as three moons. The surface of the planet was covered in thick, plush fur in shades of blue, purple, and yellow, and was blowing softly in the afternoon breeze. Everywhere were huge round furry balls, rolling back and forth around Sleek One.
Riley stepped over to the window to explain, "Those huge furry balls are the Woobidoorians. But, I wouldn't consider them as innocent as your woobies at home. IF you look very closely, you'll notice some very dangerous teeth inside those furry mouths. Enjoy your visit." Riley smiled as he watched the newcomers stare in awe at the huge furry citizens of Woobidoor.
Captain "Scotty" stepped into the cabin, Champ close at his side. "Youngsters, your fans await !"
He led the Rescue Task Force to the aft cargo bay, lined them up in regimental formation, then activated the cargo bay doors.
The Woobidoorians rolled quickly around to the rear of the huge jet, to better see their heroes as they stepped off the great plane. They squeaked loudly as the Rescue Force marched boldly forward and lined up proudly at the base of the ramp.
Captain "Scotty" stood front and center.....Judge Brimley, Charlie Mathison, and GREAT Grandma Inky at his side. The Rescue Task Force lined up directly behind the Captain, with the always-loyal Guardian Brigade placing themselves protectively around their wee ones. The Woobidoor Rescue Task Force was ready for inspection.
The Woobidoorian Fuzzident rolled forward, gazed at their rescuers, then rolled over to a box on the groud, pushed a button, and began squeaking.
Captain "Scotty's" Universal Translator began ...."we welcome you once again to our planet. We knew we could count on you to come to our aid. We knew you to be loyal and true friends. Without your assistance, we would now be part of the Alliance....and that is not an option for us!"
The furry balls around the Fuzzident rolled back and forth excitedly. The Fuzzident continued, "we owe you our lives. We owe you a huge debt of gratitude. To this end, we present you with these small gifts. Use them wisely, as they are quite powerful."
Several fuzzy Woobidoorians began rolling from one Rescuer to the next, placing a small, glowing stone into each waiting paw. The Terriers looked questioningly at the Captain, who merely shook his head. They waited, curiosity aroused.
As the last glowing stone was handed out, the Woobidoorian Fuzzident continued, "these are our most prized possessions. They are now yours. Each of you now has the power to make ONE wish. Use it wisely.....for after your wish has been made, the stone will cease to glow. We thank you for saving Woobidoor !"
As the Fuzzident stepped back, the entire group of furry balls began sqeaking and rolling around rapidly, clearly excited!!!
Judge Brimley stepped forward, and began "we Terriers and the members of the Woobidoor Rescue Task Force thank you for this treasured gift." He held out his paw, to reveal the glowing stone that he gently held. Then he continued, "we are known to be a loyal friend and a truly devoted companion. To that end, we would never turn our back on our Woobidoorian friends. We will always be here for you. If you ever find yourself in need of assistance, simply ask.....we'll always be here for you!"
With that the Rescue Task Force began cheering and arroooooooo'ing, clearly pleased with Judge Brimley's speech. Just as the Judge returned to the Captain's side, Emmitt Nuckles, Bartholomew van Dulken, and Robbie McGillivray stepped forward.
The surprised Rescue Task Force watched eagerly, curious about what these lads were up to. Emmitt moved forward, Bartholomew and Robbie on either side. He began by thanking the Woobidoorians for the generous gifts....then added, "we know that your planet has sustained extreme damages and devastation. To aid in your recovery, we the three members of the "Planetary Finance Fund" now provide you the means to restore your planet to prosperity. We give you our most cherished possessions, to aid you in the rebuilding of your planet.....we are going to finance the Woobidoorian National Debt! These gifts are limitless, and your wish is their command."
Smiling brightly, he nodded to Bartholomew, who stepped over to the Woobidoorian Fuzzident. Bartholomew smiled proudly as he placed his Mam's credit card into the Fuzzident's furry appendage. He was followed closely by Emmitt and Robbie, who also placed their Mams' credit cards into the Fuzzident's hand.
The Rescue Task Force broke into wild cheers.......their three friends had made the ultimate sacrifice...giving up their own luxuries for the sake of their Woobidoorian friends. Wild cheering filled the furry landscape.
Captain "Scotty" stepped forward. "Okay, youngsters.....if you'll look to your right, you'll see that the Woobidoorians have arranged a party in your honor. You are now dismissed, to go enjoy the afternoon !!"
The Rescue Task Force broke into wild aroooooooo's, then raced gleefully across the furry meadow to the wide field, laid out with all manner of treats and good things to eat. The Terriers and their friends spent the afternoon blissfully rolling among the soft fur, nibbling on treats, watching the rosy sky, telling tall tales of their exploits, and predicting what the Mams of the "Planetary Finance Fund" would do upon finding out that they were financing the rebuilding of a planet!! Then, they'd fall over onto the furry ground, giggling and laughing.
Captain "Scotty" watched his youngsters as they rejoiced in their galactic victory. He glanced around, and was not surprised to see the ever-alert Guardian Brigade sitting on the hill overlooking the party, faithfully watching over their wee ones.
He glanced at the sky, and seeing the rosy glow fading on the horizon, he got up....reluctant to leave this peace and tranquility.
The Rescue Task Force knew as soon as Captain "Scotty" got up, that it was time. They began gathering their things, telling the Woobidoorians good-bye, and heading back toward Sleek One.
Ty and Dom trailed the group....they knew what to expect. And they were not disappointed. Dom snuck around a low hill, saw Bailey hiding in the deep fur, took hold of Bailey's collar and escorted the reluctant lad back to Sleek One. Ty had to round up Stewart Almandinger, who was collecting as much ground fur as his little paws could carry.
Champ and Grizzly made one last round of the area, insuring that all of their Task Force had returned to Sleek One. Back aboard Sleek One, a final head-count was made, and finding that all were present and accounted for, the Captain closed the aft cargo bay doors.
Sleek One rose gently from the surface, made a final, graceful pass over their Woobidoorian hosts, and sped off into deep space.
"Youngsters," Captain "Scotty" said......"let's go HOME!"
Sleek One's engines rumbled as the great jet leaped forward, taking its wee heroes home.
Sleek One streaked silently across the depths of the universe. But, inside Sleek One....things were anything BUT silent.
A party of galactic proportions was going on.....dancing in the aisles....jumping over seats....throwing bones and treats.....singing and playing. Stories were already growing large beyond belief. Each exploit became more daring than the last. The younger terriers were gleefully wreaking havoc on their elders..grabbing whiskers and tails....swinging on collars....nibbling on exposed toes and noses...only to race away before the tired warriors could retaliate.
Dunc and Stormy sat quietly together, retelling their adventures, sharing their treats, and exchanging occasional nose-rubs. Close by, Millie and Brewster were comparing their parents' house rules....laughing occasionally at what their Mams and Dads THOUGHT they were doing.
Katie and Webber laughed and joked...then would look around the cabin gleefully...trying to decide the quickest way to liven things up aboard Sleek One.
Riley, Connor, Puck, and Emmitt cruised the aisles, chatting with the lasses, telling of their bravery and heroic exploits.....occasionally giving a gallant kiss to a wee lass's paw.
Everywhere, there was happiness and joy.....laughing and gaiety.
Captain "Scotty" nodded to the Guardians.....he knew they'd watch over the devilish terriers and their friends. The Guardians had done this too many times before.
The huge Guardians watched as, gradually, the wee ones began slowing down....their furry heads drooping from the exhaustion of the past several days. It wasn't long before the quiet extended across Sleek One.
The Guardians smiled to each other.....they knew time had been their best friend.....had crept over the weary Rescue Force, allowing Sleek One to carry its sleeping warriors gently homeward.
As the universe sped by the windows of Sleek One, the Guardians stood watch over their beloved wee ones.....delivering each to their own bed, to rest in the loving arms of their Mams and Dads....until the next BASH call beckoned them once again toward adventure.
This adventure, the Guardians knew, was now history.....written only in the pages of their memories.
And Sleek One sped on through the night, ever homeward...........
So, once again we find ourselves at the END of a BASH Chronicle......our
105 brave wee warriors have been delivered safely home......and because of
them, the universe is a safer and happier place tonight.