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Storytime Blog Hop, Jan. 2022 – The Space Ranger

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Robot staring into the mirror

Time for a blog hop. In case you’re wondering, it is when a group of authors get together and post a short story on their respective blogs. Then they link to the other writers’ websites so the readers can discover new stories and authors they may not have known about before. Sort of like a literary pub crawl.

This came about as I was trying to work out some ideas for a character I wanted to write about.

Be sure to visit the other authors participating in the blog hop and read their stories. You can find links to them all at the bottom of the post. Enjoy!

The Space Ranger

Space Ranger Talen soared through the vast, empty cosmos in his ship, The Mighty Endeavor. He was a member of the Galactic Patrol, a dedicated force of men and women, human and alien, all united in one purpose – to uphold the principles of decency and mutual co-operation, and to bring harmony throughout the galaxy. Of course, if they had to blow the pieces out of a planet or two along the way, well, that was all in a day’s work.
Talen was on patrol – which meant that he was flying a set pattern within a region of space, hoping to run into a spot of trouble. Whether it was space pirates, or a stranded passenger cruiser, or an alien amoeba space orgy, Talen was on the lookout. Forget that the odds were almost infinitesimally small that he would actually run into something this way, given the aforementioned vast, empty cosmos. Still, he was a dedicated member fo the Galactic Patrol and this was his mission and he was going to do it to the best of his abilities.
Fortunately, he had periodic check-ins to headquarters, that helped relieve the boredom and monotony of the job. Even through ninety-nine point nine percent were almost always the same, he made them anyway, because those were the rules, and all good Space Rangers followed the rules.
He thumbed the switch on the communications array, opening a channel to headquarters.
“This is Talen, in The Mighty Endeavor, calling Galactic Patrol Central. Come in, please.”
After a few moments , he tried the call again. A voice came back this time, a pleasant female voice. “Galactic Patrol Central responding. This is Muriel. Do you have anything to report?”
Muriel, it must be said, was a beautiful Earth woman with fiery red hair and devastating green eyes, and not coincidentally, Talen’s girlfriend.
“Yeah, gorgeous. All clear in sector 3482. How’s things back there?”
“Situation normal – all boards are clear. So, when you get back, how about taking me out to dinner at Lurid Larry’s?”
“Ah, you’re in a dancing mood again, are you? Well, I think that might be arranged.”
“It’s a date then. See you when you get back, hero.”
“Looking forward to it.”
The instruments on his panel went crazy. Gravometric and energy sensors were pegged as high as they could go.
“Blazing asteroids! Muriel, things just went wild out here. My instruments are straining like a balloon about to burst.”
“What’s wrong, Talen? Do you need help?”
“Not yet. I’m going to investigate. I’ll call you back when I know more.”
“Just don’t use this as an excuse to try and weasel out of our date, mister!”
“I wouldn’t think of it. Talen out.”
In front of his vessel, space warped and twisted as a wormhole erupted out of nothingness. Talen brought his ship to a halt.
“Ho ho, what’s this?” He flipped switches to start recording the event.
Soon, the wormhole started vomiting forth long, reptilian creatures. Talen thought they looked like crocodiles from Old Earth, but instead of scales they had smooth, grey skins. There didn’t seem to be an end to the stream of creatures coming through.
The nearest ones took notice of his vehicle and changed course to come directly at him. Jaws opened and rows of sharp looking teeth clamped down on the hull of his craft.
“Yikes!” Talen turned his ship around and hit the thrusters. “Let’s see if I can dislodge these biters.”
He put the ship into a roll, diving forward like a corkscrew in space. Several of the space crocodiles released and fell off but one remained. He pulled out of the roll and banked hard, hoping the sudden change in direction and velocity would shed the creature. He weaved back and forth until the jaws unhinged and released his ship.
Sensors bonged on his panel.
“Blazing asteroids! That whole stream is coming after me!” He pushed the thruster controls to their max limit.
His ship leaped forward under the sudden thrust, but the stream of space reptiles kept coming for him.
He darted back and forth to see if he could shake the swarm but he had no luck.
He thumbed the communications switch. “The Mighty Endeavor to Galactic Patrol Central. Muriel, come in!”
“Hey, flyboy, I read you. What’s up?”
“I’ve got a swarm of space crocodiles being spewed out of a wormhole into our Universe. It looks like they’re hungry, and I’m just the small fish they all want to chow down on.”
“Talen, get out of there!”
“I’m trying to but so far, nothing I’ve done can shake them.”
“I’m sending in back up!”
“Thanks, but unless I do something soon, I won’t be here long enough for them to arrive.”
“What are you going to do?”
“I’m thinking.” Talen looked at the wormhole. The space crocodiles were no longer streaming forth. “That looks like all of them that are coming through. I’ve got a stream behind me that must be a mile long.”
The wormhole fluctuated, and it looked like a wave rippled across the opening.
“I’m not sure but I think the wormhole’s stability might be breaking down. That gives me an idea.”
“Don’t do anything foolish.”
“Me? When do I ever do foolish?”
“There was that time on Delta Pluribus ….”
“Let’s not rehash that again. Trust me. This is going to work.”
“What’s going to work?”
“Well, they say the only way out is through. I’ll let you know when this is over.”
Talen dropped the thrusters and flipped the ship end for end, and now he faced the stream of space crocodiles. He shoved the thrusters to near max again, heading directly into the stream. He opened up with his forward blasters, forcing the reptiles to clear a path for him. As he guessed, the reptiles turned and followed him.
“This is going to take expert timing.”
He headed directly toward the wormhole. The crocodiles didn’t have the same maneuverability as he did and he was counting on them to not be able to turn in time.
“Come on, come on, almost there….”
He dove toward the wormhole. At the last moment before he thought he was about to hit the event horizon, he pushed the thrusters to max and pulled up, skimming the opening of the wormhole. He looked below him and saw the stream of crocodiles re-entering the wormhole. he pulled back on the controls and sent the ship flying away from the wormhole.
“Fortunate for me they have a strong ‘follow the leader’ instinct.”
He watched the last of the space crocodiles funnel back into the wormhole, which then collapsed and vanished.
He thumb the communicator. “Hey, beautiful, still there?”
“Talen, what happened?”
“The swarm is back in their own section of space, wherever that is. The wormhole closed up and vanished. I guess we’ll never know where they came from or why.”
“Send me your co-ordinates. I’ll tell Command to put a warning buoy there in case anyone else gets in that area.”
“Good idea.”
“Of course. Now, when are you getting back to take me out for a night on the town.”
“I’ve still got a few hours on my patrol, but as soon as that is done, I’m all yours.”
“Looking forward to it, hero. Galactic Patrol Central out.”
Talen shut down the comm system. He wondered where those crocodiles came from and why. He felt like this wasn’t over. He shoved the ides aside and focused on his upcoming date with Muriel. It was sure to be more enjoyable than dealing with a hungry swarm of space crocodiles.
He hit the thrusters and continued his patrol.

I Dream of a Snowman by Jemma Weir
Rescue Mission by Gina Fabio
The Space Ranger by James Husum <– You are here
Bad News For GRIT by Bill Bush
The Beauty of Rainstorms by Katharina Gerlach
Dustin’s Chair by Sue Abrie

6 thoughts on “Storytime Blog Hop, Jan. 2022 – The Space Ranger”

  1. Pingback: Storytime Quarterly Blog Hop January 2022 - Juneta Key

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    1. Thanks for the feedback.
      I want to do something with these characters, just not sure what exactly yet. This was just sort of noodling around trying to get a feel for them and what I might do. I’m glad you liked it.

  3. Pingback: I Dream of a Snowman by Jemma Weir - Jemma Weir

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