|Thursday, March 8th 2007, by Marissa A Spencer|
A Rascal Story #4: Nas Disappears!
By Marissa A Spencer
“The Catlactic Empire my eye! Another boring mission for the Starship Nano Star.” , thought Capt. Rascal.
His orange and white fur was quite in order , his claws were clean, his whiskers were long and well groomed. They were on a diplomatic mission to visit a new colony. His ship was zooming at an incredible speed. He was bored. Nothing new, nothing exciting, nothing, nothing, nothing!
He didn't mind being a house cat back on earth. At least there he could do something worthwhile, like lay in the sun and sleep. His family has gotten used to his absences, after all, he had to have a life too. He watched Nasra approach with her ever-present clip board. Her lovely orange scales were always fetchingly shiny. Her large golden eyes and purple mane were unique even amongst her reptilian race. She smiled broadly and swished her long tail. She was a healer, it was always felt nice to have her around.
“Hello Capt! How are you today. I have brought your log to sign and wondered if you wanted some treats from the galley.” She blinked and waited for his answer.
“Nasra, thank you but, no thank you. I am trying to cut back. I can barely climb a tree lately.” With that remark Rascal pinched his belly fat and grinned back at Nasra.
“No problem! Just sign this and I will be on my way. Anything you want me to do before I go back to the greenhouse ?” She waited while he signed the log.
“Well, Nas...anything there fun to chase?” Capt. Rascal grinned and Nas giggled. With that she turned and left the bridge. He winked his golden eyes at her as she left.
Mr. Barker, the dog-like communications officer suddenly growled, “Capt.! We have some kind of odd noise coming over the main com sir!” Mr. Barker's ears flipped ominously. He was in no mood for odd sounds on the com giving him a headache.
“Can you isolate it Mr. Barker?” Rascal perked up to address the issue.
“No Sir! It seems to have stopped. How odd !” Mr. Barker turned and went back to staring intently at the screen before him, growling every now and then.
Capt. Rascal was not amused. He had hoped something would change the endless monotony of this mission. He was almost hoping that something was wrong somewhere. Everyone on the ship were healthy and happy. Not a thing out of place. Perfect. He sighed to himself. He turned to the green salamander-like navigator and made a quick decision.
“ Sal, would you please bump us up to warp 8? Let's get this thing on the road shall we?” Rascal noticed a sly smile on his, or was it her face. He was never quite sure if Sal was a girl or a boy. On the planet they were from, it all depended on how hot or cold it was outside. Sal was often blue during part of the time and green at other times.
“Yes Sir!”, Sally had a slight speech impediment because they had no teeth and couldn't say “S”, so it came out Yeth Thir!” Rascal managed not to laugh every time, but always found it very funny. It might not be diplomatic, or politically correct, but he loved his crew like his own family. Even if they had their little oddities.
Suddenly a voice comes over the ship's com and it is Nasra sounding terrified. “Capt. Help! I am down here in the greenhouse and there is something here that doesn't belong. I need help quick! ” There was a scream, then the voice stopped. Rascal tried to re-engage the com but it was dead on the other end. He felt frantic.
“Barker, Sal! Get a team down there right now and find out what has happened to Nas!” Rascal sounded concerned and they hopped to obey instantly. They ran to the lift and disappears. The rest of the crew continued their jobs of maintaining the ships basic needs.
After about 10 minutes he gets a call from Barker. “Sir, I don't know what to tell you. She isn't here anywhere. We have looked over the entire area. What do you want me to do now ?”
“Get back up here you two. We can scan for her and find her.” Rascal fidgeted and his tail twitched on the end as it always does when he's in a bad mood. He didn't know what he would do if something had happened to Nas. She was always there when he needed a good word of encouragement or a bandaged tail or such.
Barker and Sal walked in. Well Barker walked, Sal rather slithered in. Rascal was worried. He ordered them to do a scan of the ship for Nas. They both reported no success. Rascal paced the bridge and made a soft hissing sound.
“Perhaps Sir, we should check the greenhouse again. Maybe you can sense something we missed. You are very perceptive that way Captain.” Barker smiled and wagged his tail. Sal grinned slightly as always and said nothing. Rascal was in agreement.
“O.K. Let's go and check it out.” Rascal said as he hopped down from the command chair. It swung and almost hit Sal in the back. They got into the lift and Barker orders the lift to go to the greenhouse. They stand silently as they are transported to the aft deck.
They leave the lift and go down the corridor and suddenly the lights dim. They freeze and stand motionless. Rascal is immediately on alert and motions the other two to be watchful. They arrive at the door to the huge greenhouse where they grow their food. He hears something odd on the inside. It sounds very, very strange.
“Shh! Do you hear that?” Rascal asks his two crewmen. His eyes are huge and his fur is bristled all over. His tail looks like a squirrel's tail.
“Hear what Sir ?” says Barker. He stands and cocks his head to one side as if to listen.
Sal just shrugs his/her green shoulders and smiles again. The Captain motions them to stand back as he carefully puts in the code to open the door. The door whooshes open and it is dark inside. It looks like a moonlit night and the trees and shrubs look like a forest. The three of them enter carefully, ready for anything. Rascal is listening intently. He hears some murmuring sounds and some crunching as if someone is walking on leaves. They freeze their movements again. Rascal's eyes are open all the way and he peers into the darkness.
He sees a slight golden light near the fish ponds. Rascal turns around to mention it to Barker and Sal and they are gone! Where did they go to? He looks up and sees nothing. What is going on? He keeps walking toward the light and thinks he might
grab a stick or something to protect himself with. He has left his Hyper Matter Stun Gun in his cabin. He thinks something just flew over his head! Just a bird.
Rascal has gone back to his roots. He is creeping on all fours a few inches at a time. He smells danger in the air. His tail is twitching. He is hunting. He is about to leap into the clearing. He waits. He waits. Now!
He jumps to the edge of the pond and immediately regrets it. He falls in and is soaked to the skin. As he is crawling out of the pond, a great shout greets him.
“Happy Birthday Captain !” All his crew are there with party hats and balloons and noise makers. They are jumping and laughing and Nas is standing there holding an immense birthday cake. It has a large number of candles on it.
She giggles. “Captain, I am so sorry about you falling into the pond. We just didn't know how we could throw you a surprise birthday party without you figuring it out.”
“Well, you are right. It is hard to surprise me! Anyone have a towel?” Someone threw a towel to him and he dried off as best as he could. He smiles and says, “Let's all have some cake then !”.
“No problem sir, first you have to blow out the candles! Oh, and make a wish !” Nas stands there holding the bonfire with the cake under it. Rascal takes one huge breath and is barely able to blow them all out. Everyone cheers! They are all soon eating cake and discussing the joke they played on the Captain.
Nas says, “Hey Captain, what did you wish for ?”
“That is supposed to be a secret !”, chuckles Rascal. He smiles and there is a piece of frosting stuck to his whiskers. She grins and wipes his whisker and gives him a wink with her huge eyes sparkling in the dim light.
He finally says, “What is up with so many candles on that cake ?” Seeing so many made him feel old. Not good. Feeling old and wet is no fun. Not to mention how he smelled when he was wet. Nonetheless he kept his face cheerful.
“Well, Sir. The only one we could ask was Barker. All he knows about are dog years!”
© March 7, 2007
Category: For Children
Other entries in For Children
Wednesday, October 22nd 2008: Trick or Treat for UNICEF
Monday, February 26th 2007: Henry's Magic Wish
Friday, February 18th 2005: A Gift for Rascal, story 3
Tuesday, December 14th 2004: Mistletoe the Merry Mouse: revised
Sunday, August 29th 2004: Bumper Sticker
Wednesday, April 7th 2004: A Favorite for Rascal, story 2
Saturday, April 3rd 2004: Rascal Goes for a Ride?