Sunday, November 30, 2008

On Space Station Alpha, Part IV

“Where is he?” Major Rocksun yelled. “Where’s Hudson?”

“I’m not getting a readout.” I smacked the side of the motion tracker. Smacking it may not have helped. But it couldn’t hurt, right?

“We need to find him.” Queen Galacta looked worried.

“What if there isn’t anything left to find?” Rocksun asked.

“We can go to his last location and work from there,” I said. “Figure out just what he made contact with.”

“Your Highness, once again I must take this opportunity to remind you of the dangers we’re about to face,” Rocksun said to the Queen. “I recommend that you do not accompany us on this.”

“Nonsense, Major,” she replied. “I know you are concerned, but if something out there is dangerous enough to take out a marine, then you’re going to need all the help you can get.

“This is going to suck,” I said as I looked up into the vent. Then the tracker started beeping again. “Wait, I got something here!”

“Looks like he moved… or got moved… up two levels,” Rocksun said as he looked at the screen. “What’s there?”

“Storage, I think,” I answered.

“Plenty of room to hide just about anything,” Rocksun nodded. “We need to hurry.”

“You are right,” Queen Galacta nodded. “Time is of the essence.”

“Let’s take the lift,” I said as I pointed to the elevator.

“Yes, the lift,” Rocksun agreed. “Let’s go.”

We quickly made our way to the level that Hudson’s signal was coming from and looked around for Hudson.

“Over there.” Rocksun pointed.

“Careful, Major,” I said. “I’m getting a lot of unusual readings on this thing.”

Major Rocksun followed the barrel of his pulse rifle into the murky storage area. “Holy frack!”

I don’t think I ever heard Rocksun swear like that before. I caught up and looked at what he saw. The whole open deck was filled with odd egg-like… things.

“Oh God…” I couldn’t believe it. “Xenomorphs.”

“Kill… me…”

That came form Hudson. He as pasted to the wall by some sort of resin. I dashed over to him.

“We’ll get you out,” I said as I pulled on the gooey webbing encasing him.”

“Look man,” Hudson gurgled. “We’re surrounded. Get out of here.”

“No way,” I said. “I’ve almost got you.”

“Look out!”

I turned and saw a facehugger sailing through the air right at me.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

On Space Station Alpha, Part III

Jo Jo the Monkeyboy Sr.’s lifeless body slumped lifelessly in the containment chamber.

“Oh my daring dashing deft delightful dear darling…” Gladys the Monkeygirl sobbed softly.

“He’s dead, Jon,” Private Hudson said grimly.

“The poor pathetic creature,” Queen Galacta bit her lip.

“Amazingly brave,” Major Rocksun nodded.

“Wait a minute,” I said. “This isn’t right. Jo Jo Jr. survived a radiation leak just like this. Jo Jo Sr. can’t be dead.”

“Hey, I am feeling better.” Jo Jo Sr. rolled over, planted his head on his hand and dug his elbow into the deck. “Wow, it’s like a new lease on life. A lease with an option to buy!”

“Oh my Monkeygod,” sighed Gladys. “You’re OK?”

“Am I OK?” Jo Jo hopped up on his feet and began bouncing up and down. “I’m better than OK. I’m as fit as a horse, as healthy as a fiddle!”

“Well, that’s great to hear,” Hudson rolled his eyes.

“Get that thing out of there and scrub him down,” Rocksun ordered.

Suddenly, a shot rang out from the air vent. Rocksun, Hudson, and I immediately returned fire with our weapons. The vent quickly became a smoking mess of twisted vent metal.

“Hold it, hold it!” Rocksun called out. “Cease fire.”

Hudson took three or four more shots, then one more, before lowering his pulse rifle.

“Someone’s in there, but he must’ve retreated after taking that shot,” Rocksun said.

“Then I’m going in,” Hudson replied. He let his body armor clatter to the ground and pulled off his helmet.

“Private Hudson, there is no doubt of your bravery,” the Queen said. “But I cannot let you go up there by yourself and unarmed. This task is too dangerous.

“Don’t worry,” his eyebrows wagged as pulled out his pistol. “I’m not going in unarmed. Game over for whoever’s in there. Game over, forever.”

“If you’re going to grease yourself up, I might throw up,” I said. “I don’t think this is a good idea either. Who knows what you’ll face up in there.”

“Hey, it’s just like being a tunnel rat,” he grinned. “Or like going through the vents in the terraforming colony on some rock. Easy as pie, and I love pie.”

“Yeah, but those vents could be a maze,” I said. “You might never find the shooter or you might get lost.”

Now that I think about it, this doesn’t sound like a bad idea.

“Track me on this.” Hudson unclipped the motion tracker from his web belt and tossed it over to me. “Get a good reading of me and you can radio me the coordinates of whatever’s in there.”

“OK, I guess that’ll work,” I shrugged. “Wouldn’t it also work if you carried it though?”

“Sorry can’t hear you, man!” Hudson was up and into the vent and quickly low crawled out of sight.

“That is a brave marine,” Queen Galacta said as she looked at the vent.

“Brave or stupid?” I asked.

“I vote stupid,” Rocksun said as he looked up into the vent.

“Jon, this is Hudson, over,” I heard his voice crackle over my Wristcomm.

I keyed the mic. “This is Jon.”

There was a long moment of silence.

“You didn’t say over, over,” he stated.

I looked at Major Rocksun and he rolled his eyes.

“You’re right, I didn’t say over,” I said. “But we’re the only two on this frequency and we’re broadcasting multichannel so we don’t have to key and unkey the mics.”

There was a long pause.

“It is always proper to use proper radio procedure, over.”

“Fine, then please refer to me by my call sign that you got from your Radio Operator’s Handbook, over,” I growled at him.

He was silent for a moment.

“I don’t have one,” he said quietly.

“Hey while you two are goofing around, it looks like Hudson’s about to make contact,” Rocksun showed me the tracker. “Multiple contacts.”

“Hudson, you’re about to hit something,” I called into the mic. “There are 10 readings right around the corner from your position.”

“Well, I’ll just take a little peek around the corner and OH MY GOD!”

“Hudson! What is it?”

I heard shots ring out.

“Come on! Come on! Come and get it, baby!” I could hear Hudson yelling as he fired his weapon. “Come on! I don't got all day! Come on! Come on! Come on you bastard! Come on, you too! Oh, you want some of this? Take this you stupid bugs!”

“Hudson, report!” Rocksun yelled into my Wristcomm.
“Bugs, man!” He yelled. “Get ‘em off! Get ‘em off me! Aggggghhhh!”

Hudson’s radio fell silent.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

On Space Station Alpha, Part II

I tackled the assassin as the bright flash of energy shot from the phase pistol. As he went down, I wrestled the weapon from his hands. As I hauled him back to his feet, I looked over and saw the scorch mark in the bulkhead mere inches from Queen Galacta’s head.

“Wow, that was close,” I said, my eyebrows were hitched high.

“Thank you once again, Gladiator,” the Queen nodded. “The galaxy owes you another debt of gratitude.”

“Think nothing of it,” I replied. I then grabbed the assassin and brought him close to me. “Too bad for you, buddy, you missed. You lose.”

“Hardly,” he replied. “I am only the first. We are the Demon Claw and we are many. Chop off one of our hands and two will take its place.”

“Yeah, where have I heard that line before?”

“My Queen, are you all right?” Major Rocksun sprinted up to where she was standing.

“I am fine, thank you,” she responded.

“Our plans are in motion!” the assassin suddenly screamed. “We are Demon Claw and you will not get off this space station alive!”

There was a cracking sound from his mouth and he suddenly slumped lifeless. Rocksun dug his two fingers into the man’s mouth.

“Poisonyde,” he said grimly. “Held in a hollow tooth.”

“That was some fast acting poison,” I said. “I mean jeez, we didn’t even get a chance to save him or slap him or anything.”

“That’s how poisonyde works,” Rocksun responded coolly. “But what about his final warning that we’ll never get off the station alive?”

Suddenly alarm claxons sounded and red lights flashed all throughout the corridors.

“You had to ask,” I replied.

“Power core meltdown in five minutes,” a calm voice announced to us and the entire space station.

“The power core!” I yelled, but Rocksun was already three steps ahead of me and running towards the lift.

“Queen Galacta, I cannot allow you to come with us,” Rocksun blocked her entrance into the lift. “You need to evacuate Space Station Alpha immediately.”

“Nonsense,” she pushed past him and into the lift car. “I will not leave my favorite major and Intergalactic Gladiator here to die.”

The three of us made our way to the power plant and were immediately stopped by the engineering chief.

“No one can go in there,” he said brusquely. “The deck is flooded with radiation. No one would survive.”

“What about the controls?” Roksun looked over the panels.

“Locked down from the inside,” he replied. “Someone sabotaged the rad suits, too. Anyone stepping into that chamber would die from the intense radiation.”

“So you said,” I replied.

“Three minutes to core meltdown,” the calm voice warned us.

“Gotta love those countdowns, huh?” I asked.

“Hey, what’s the op, Jon?” Private Hudson appeared as the doors to the lift opened. Jo Jo the Monkeyboy Sr. was clinging to his back like an obnoxious rucksack and singing some inane song.

“Core meltdown, deadly radiation,” I pointed to the core with my thumb. “What are you even doing here?”

“Hey, I know where the action is,” he replied. “Wait. Core meltdown? Oh man, game over!”

Jo Jo Sr. quickly jumped off his back and threw himself into the radiated chamber.

“Wait Jo Jo! Come back!” Hudson cried. “Oh man, game over for him.”

“Core meltdown averted. Enjoy your stay on Space Station Alpha,” the calm voice announced.

“Wow,” Rocksun shook his head.

Jo Jo appeared behind the radiation shielding glass and pressed his hand against its surface. He then collapsed and sputtered.

“I don’t think I’m going to make it,” he said with unusual seriousness.

“Jo Jo, you did it!” Hudson exclaimed. “You saved the ship!”

“But at… coff coff… what price?” the monkeyboy replied.

“We’ll get you fixed up,” Hudson said tearfully. “You’ll be good as new, I promise.”

“I don’t think so.” The comedy relief creature coughed again. “Tell my wife that I love her.”

“Wait, your wife?” I asked.

“Yes, Gladys the Monkeygirl. See, she’s right over there.”

I turned and saw what could only be a monkeygirl standing at the doors to the lift.

“Baby, you’re the greatest,” Jo Jo sputtered and then collapsed.

“No Jo Jo, don’t go go Jo Jo!” she cried.

“We’ll always have Paris,” he sputtered and collapsed again.

“I will always love youuuuuuuu!” she sang.

“Remember, the bananas will be with you always…” he sputtered again and collapsed again.

“You’re my special banana muffin,” she said quietly.

Jo Jo the Monkeyboy Sr sputtered and collapsed for the last time.

Monday, November 17, 2008

On Space Station Alpha

I was on Space Station Alpha located in geosynchronous orbit around Planet Hacknor (actually as far as I know, it’s geosynchronous, it may actually be semisynchronous, but geosynchronous sounds better). I had received a coded messaged from Major Rocksun asking to meet him here. Of course normally, I don’t spend my time there, it’s a little touristy for my tastes, but when one of the Queen’s guards sends a message like that, you know something’s up.

“Major Rocksun,” I said as I met him in the corridor. “How’s it going?”

“Fine,” he answered curtly. “Here’s the scoop Jon, Queen Galacta is stopping by this station on her way to the Pan Galactic Peace Talks in the next system.”

That’s Rocksun for you, all business.

“She’s here?” I asked.

“Yes,” he nodded. “Normally, I wouldn’t come to you like this, you know because you’re a civilian and all, but I need another pair of eyes on the lookout for her. We have word that someone’s going to take a shot at her here.”

“Yeah, no problem.” I’ve saved the Queen before, I’ll do it again if needed.

“OK, so just try to blend in when she passes through and keep your eyes out.”

“You got it,” I nodded grimly.

Rocksun moved on and I slid to the side, trying to move into the crowd.

“Howya doin’ Jonny Bonnie Ronnie Biscotti?” I heard a voice call out.

“No. Don’t tell me…”

“You got it, me bucko,” Jo Jo the Monkeyboy Sr. was standing there right in front of me. “Howya doin’ buddy pal chum friend bud friendo Kimosabe?”

“What are you doing here?” I hissed at him.

“I’m here for the sidekick convention! Hair Professor Doctor J J VonMonkeyboy will speak tonight! Isn’t that thrilling?” Jo Jo Sr. fluttered his eyelashes.

“Yeah that’s…” I began. “You know, normally, I have the patience to put up with you sidekick types, but I’m really, really busy right now.”

“I understand that, fella, jella, mella yalla a capella,” the monkeyboy gave me a mock salute.

“Hey Hudson! Watch this thing will you?” I yelled out to the passing Colonial Marine.

“Sure, hey!” I scooped up the monkeyboy and threw it right at Hudson. He staggered around for a moment with it adhered to his face before stumbling away.

I turned in time to see Queen Galacta striding through one of the connecting doors that lead to the command center. There was a quiet moment, and though the station was filled with beings from every corner of the galaxy, it seemed like only she was there. She seemed to dress down a bit, but she was unable to hide her regal countenance.

Somehow, I felt that something wrong, it just didn’t feel right to me and I looked around to determine the cause of this unease.

Suddenly I found it: An assassin with a phase pistol and the weapon was pointed right at the Queen. I reached towards the assailant but it felt like I was swimming in soup as he pulled the trigger.

I saw the gun discharge with a bright flash of energy.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Next Week... Someone Will Die....!

Ladies and gentlemen, this is not a hoax, this is not a “What if?” This is not an alternate reality, a flashback, fever dream, hallucination, or a shift in time.

Starting next week, someone very near and dear to all of my Jr. Intergalactic Gladiators everywhere, will die.


Who will it be?

Stay tuned!

How’s that for a tease?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Baracking the Vote

Well as everyone can guess, I didn’t actually win the election for president. Barack Obama, as it turns out, ran a really strong candidacy and though I have to admit that I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t get the chance to debate him, I’m still proud of his win.

I think there was a key difference between our campaigns and that’s what really got me. Obama had a very effective television/newspaper/radio/Internet-based campaign while mine was mostly housed within this blog. I think there was a bit of a difference in the spending of campaign finances as well.

That’s OK though. I’ve got a full plate as it is, I really don’t have time to be the leader of the free world. Just look at all the stuff that I have to do.

This week, I’m helping out a friend of mine who needs a deputy while his is out for a short while.

Next month, I’m testing a new warp drive with Commander Hugh.

After that, I am going to be fighting a runaway robot.

Of course, there are always space zombies to fight.

About 6 months from now, I’ll be wrestling a woolly mammoth.

And early next year, I’ll be going on a ride along in a brand new rocket sled with the Space Patrol.

So there you go, I’m just really too busy to be president right now. Sure, it would be fun and all, but I just don’t have the time for it.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Rocking the Vote!

Good day, I’m Hector Ramirez and welcome back to 20 Questions Live.

Today on Election Day, there is a tight race for President of the United States. A race between several thoroughbreds of politics where the front runner may determine who will be champion and who will be put out to pasture.

And who is the front runner right now?

Here we are, with just over 12 hours left in the day on the East Coast and four hours more than that on the West, clearly Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator has taken an early and dramatic lead. Of course at this juncture it would be foolish to call him the victor, but it seems clear to me and the rest of the 20 Questions News Team that Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator is clearly America’s choice in this election.

Hold on. I’m getting word now that Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator is about to address his fans. Let’s see if we can get it on camera. Ok, here he is now.

Look at that! Just look at that. In this day and age of the Internet and the Interweblogbloggers, Jon goes old school and shows the actual front page of the Chicago Daily Tribune declaring him victorious over his competition. He is literally beating the monkeys, beating all of the monkeys in this presidential race.

Oh my goodness, Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator just held up another newspaper declaring that he beat the creepy old doctor that he’s running against. Isn’t it amazing, ladies and gentlemen? The excitement is so thick that you can literally taste it right now! That creepy old doctor is going to think twice about running for president after the sound thrashing he got today.

Wait! Wait! Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator’s not stopping there! He just held up an actual paper declaring that he beat the lizard. That lizard didn’t stand a chance.

The crazy old guy! The crazy old guy! Jon the Intergalactic just beat the crazy old guy. That’s one maverick that just got broken. Broken compliments of Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator.

The guy who was looking for change was just beaten by Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator. Isn’t it amazing folks? Look at me, I’m getting a little sweaty here! Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator is literally laying waste to the competition and he’s proving it by holding up these newspapers, these actual, real-life, un-doctored newspapers that are declaring him the victor. It’s a new day in America, viewers, and the man who calls himself the Man of Action has proven just that.

We’ll be right back with more election coverage. For 20 Questions Live, I’m Hector Ramirez.