Episode 36 – Blue Eyed Bugle Boy

Cyanos Geosynchronous Orbit: Group Conference, Secure Channel

Commander Ddraig – CSA-TET-1
Commander Tova: CSA-TET-2
Commander Kranz: CSA-TET-3
Senior Officers: CSA-TET-1,2,3
Chancellor Saxe: Cyanos Central Committee

Monday – Late Evening

In the fog of battle many things happen quickly and it can take a little time for the situation to clear. Following the destruction of TET-4, it seemed as if time had slowed for a few moments, enough to allow the collective consciences of those left, to catch up with the reality of the events that had just transpired.

Whether the Bugaarian Queen was wary of further core blasts from the TETs; or whether she needed time for her own ship to recover from its own discharge – or both; for now it seemed, that the venom death shot of the Bugaarian ship could also be used only once, with a period of recovery required. The Bugaarian ship along with its fighter bugs, had retreated back to the Cerulean Meridian. How long they would remain there was unknown.

The remaining TETs had stood down from condition RED to ORANGE, with the fighter drones reforming again into defensive positions.

Chancellor Saxe: With great sadness we acknowledge the loss of Commander Kaerulaus and his crew. This is a grave and serious loss for the people of Cyanos – but it is not a defeat. We must not let this incident define who we are.

We will need to urgently combine all of our skills, talent and knowledge both in orbit and on the ground to overcome this invading menace.

Commanders – do we have any data or observations that may help us, at this point?

Commander Tova: I attempted to intervene before Commander Kaerulaus engaged his fighters. Unfortunately he was not receptive. We know the result.

Every commander knows that firing the core is the weapon of last resort – it takes some time for the core to fully recover following such a discharge. What remains unclear is why the direct hit on the Bugaarian ship was virtually ineffective.

Rönd: I concur that the hit was direct. By my calculations the power of the blast should have obliterated the Bugaarian ship completely. There must be something that we are missing.

Calico: Geomagnetic plasma storms.

We know that the Bugaarian ship emerged from the Aurora Viridis. This is an area of space that no starship known to us, would ever attempt to navigate. This is because of the severe geomagnetic plasma storms that the aurora produces. These storms would normally rip the structural integrity of any ship apart. The Bugaarian ship must have developed some kind of immunity to these auroral storms and this protection may well have saved it from the the geomagnetic core blast of our ill-fated TET.

Commander Kranz: If this is correct then this puts us in a severely vulnerable position. We now know that a single blast from our TET core is not sufficient to destroy the Bugaarian ship – indeed it seems to have no effect at all. There is no reason to believe that even if all three remaining TETs fired their cores in turn, or even at once together that this would be successful. We need to find a weakness in their defenses and we need more fire power. Power we currently don’t have.

Commander Ddraig: My crew have reported some interesting analysis of the Bugaarian ship. From the readings they have taken, the ship appears to be bio-mechanical – a part living creature, and part machine. My inquires with my people are continuing, but there are records of a nomadic insectoidal race that parasitically adapts and enslaves other insectoids into bio-mechanical machines to run their factory ships and even into space faring starships. If the Bugaarian ship is in fact part living and part machine, the biological part could very well, as Officer Calico suspects, have developed an immunity to the effects of geomagnetic storms.

Commander Kranz: We will need to find a secure way for our teams to communicate. Our regular broadband communication links are too easily intercepted.

Commander Tova: We can use our high gain, ultra narrow-band directional transmitters to provide hard linked secure channels between all our teams and back to the surface. This method does have significant limitations, our navigation and positioning will need to be extremely precise, or the signal will be lost. Our three GENOs will certainly have their work cut out for them keeping the stations in position. I will task my COMMS, TETNO, and ECHO, along with their counterparts on TETs one and three to set the links up.

Calico: Super secure lemon squeezer network? Wolf, Hanne, me and the rest of the gang are all over it. Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

Commander Tova gave Calico a slight side eye and the hint of an eye roll, but said nothing. Calico was a damn fine ECHO and knew her job backwards. Just as long as the coffee kept flowing.

Commander Kranz: So let’s work the problem people. Let’s not make things worse by guessing!

Chancellor Saxe had been thinking contemplatively, while listening to the discussion.

Chancellor Saxe: I have been chasing a thought around in the back of my mind that I can’t quite put a claw on. It’s something to do with an old story or legend.

I do know of one person who may be able to help us – he is fairly old, but I do have an inkling that he may know of something useful.

I will coordinate with the ground teams and ensure that the secure network is set up from our end.

Now if you excuse me, its been a long day and I have a visit to make in the morning.

Aoraki Assisted Living Facility for Aged Nekomi and Hundes

Tuesday – Morning

The Chancellor’s limousine pulled into the carpark of the Aoraki Assisted Living Facility for Aged Nekomi and Hundes. As he got out of his car he attracted a few curious glances, as one or two people recognised him. He ascended the stairs to the main entrance and into the reception lobby.

Receptionist: Chancellor Saxe! Good morning – this is a surprise! How can I help you – have you come to see someone?

Chancellor Saxe: Yes I have. Thank you. I have come to see Grandpa Snow.

The receptionist gave a little chuckle and twirled her pencil in her fingers.

Receptionist: Well Chancellor, that could be a little tricky because we have more than one Grandpa here, and I’m afraid rather a few of them go by the name of Snow! Something to do with living on an ice planet – hee hee. We will have to narrow it down a bit. Species? Breed?

Chancellor Saxe: Hmm – I see. Well I can tell you that the Grandpa Snow I am looking for is a snow leopard nekomi, and I am sure that he always wears the same faded red scarf – summer and winter.

Receptionist: Ah! Now I know! That would be Grandpa Snow Leopard in chalet three! I will call Matron and get her to escort you over there. Please do take a seat Chancellor – Matron will be with you shortly.

The receptionist made a brief call and surely hastened by the name of their VIP guest, very soon a brisk apparition of red and white came marching down the corridor.

Matron Rattenfängerin: Chancellor Saxe – what a pleasure it is to have you here today. Here to see Grandpa Snow Leopard? Please – come along with me.

I do hope they have remembered to change his hearing aid batteries, he does tend to speak rather loudly when they go flat.

Matron Rattenfängerin bustled along, veil and cape flowing behind her as they made their way over to chalet three. As they arrived in the front reception hall, they could hear a commotion going on down the corridor.


Matron Rattenfängerin: Yes, yes – I was right. It would seem that we must change his hearing aid batteries before you talk with him Chancellor!

Matron Rattenfängerin disappeared down the corridor to act as referee between the booming voice and the poor care assistant who had been assigned the said booming voice for the shift. And to see that he had fresh batteries in his hearing aids.

A short time later…

Grandpa Snow: Well, well, well, if it isn’t the blue eyed bugle boy himself. Come to blow your horn?

The joke was almost as old as Grandpa Snow’s scarf, and it never changed. Chancellor Saxe had played horn in the high school marching band when Grandpa Snow was the band’s drum major.

Chancellor Saxe: Hello Snow, nice to see you haven’t changed a bit. Still giving those nurses a run for their money eh?

Grandpa Snow: Nurses? Hrumph! Always telling you that you need to do a pee or a poop, do this or take that, come here or go there… how one is supposed to get a moment to himself to take a decent uninterrupted cat-nap is beyond me!

Chancellor Saxe: Let’s take a walk outside – it’s a warm sunny day and we can go take a look at the steaming rocks near the plaza.

As they walked along in the morning sunshine, Saxe noted the surprisingly brisk pace of the one hundred and three year old snow leopard. Saxe told Snow about the arrival of the Buggarians and recent events.

Grandpa Snow: Ah yes. Bad very show that – saw it on the news. Never liked Kaerulaus – always was a pumped up little prat. Not so good for his crew unfortunately.

I wondered if you would be along to see me. Not so skeptical about the old stories now eh? Might be thinking that they have a grain of truth to them?

Chancellor Saxe: As a matter of fact – I do.

What more can you tell me about the Bugaarians and also, do you have any idea at all as to where this nest is that the Queen keeps harping on about? She claims that it has been molested and interfered with in some way.

Grandpa Snow gave Chancellor Saxe what could only be described as a hard stare. A few moments passed before he spoke.

Grandpa Snow: As a matter of fact – I do.

Previous: Episode 35 – Kaerulaus
Next: Episode 37 – Machinations

4 thoughts on “Episode 36 – Blue Eyed Bugle Boy

  1. Chris S 2 May, 2022 / 06:12

    Oooooooooooooooh!!!!! Pee and poop 😀 that was a hoot 🙂

    • Craig 2 May, 2022 / 08:53

      Fun fact: Some of the story elements may be based on real events.

    • Craig 7 May, 2022 / 21:58

      They may have something to do with it.

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