To Space Or Not To Space

Episode 4

Title

Tituba – Supreme Commander (Bombay Cat)

Jule Verne, Boost, and Toby – The Three Tuxedos

Bach, Beethoven – The Scientists

Theodore Roosevelt – Assistant to the Scientists

James Patterson and Buck Rogers – The Three Tuxedos Advisers.

Django, Cobain, Ginger, and Mr. Boots – Security to The Three Tuxedos

Donna Noble and Toppie – Advisors to Supreme Commander Tituba

Bagheera and Shanti – Coolville

When we last met we saw The Three Tuxedos in the War Room with their advisors and scientists. Ms. Toppie has just brought some very disturbing news from the Cats Paw explorer ships about the “space junk” and The Three Tuxedos have just pushed the three buttons taking three planets to war status.

Jules Verne looks across the table at his scientists “Mr. Beethoven do we have any more data that could tell us what this cloud of junk is or its intentions?”

“Sir, it appears to be a series of remote controlled ships that we have never seen before. From what we can see in the center of this mass there are several large objects that could be large enough to be manned ships. As of right now we have been able to make out four of them from the scans the Cats Paws have sent in. All the other “junk” appears to be drone ships made to look like junk and wrecks.”

Mr. Patterson speaks up “As of right now we are to consider their intent hostile primarily due to the way they are moving in our space and the lack of communication. Also, because of the projected origin being around the Dog Star. The only missing item is a declaration of war. We need to prepare our CatAttacks and destroyers to move on the invader.”

Mr. Boost tries to calm James Patterson down. “James, just because we have not heard from them yet does not mean they want war. As, yet they have not taken any hustle action against us or one of our ships. We have been sending messages out asking who they are and what their intentions are. I do not understand why a peaceful ship would disguise itself as “space junk” but we do need to give some leeway not knowing the exact origin of the craft.”

Contrary to normal protocol in the War Room Ginger, one of the Royal Guard, speaks up “What happens as the forces you have sent out get closer? Speaking as a soldier, I would take that to be an aggressive action. We have an unknown force coming into our territory, we send out a small force to scare them. To this point they have not communicated their intentions, so we need to consider them hostile and be prepared with more than a few CatAttack ships in place sir. This is just a suggestion from one of your elite trained soldiers sir.”

Toby says “Thank you, Ginger. That does show this in a different light. We still know very little about the threat and as you remind us, no communication, so we may want to move forward with a bit more aggressive attitude, so they read our intentions if they push too hard against us. Mr. Rogers activate ground and space bases, missile batteries, and move some destroyers into position. Mr. Teddy please show us the latest visual feed from the Cats Paws.”

Buck Rogers and Teddy say at the same time, “Yes Sir.”

Teddy continues, “Feed from Cats Paw I on the left monitor is from ahead of the invader and Cats Paw II is from the rear where we now see five larger craft that appear to be controlling and steering the overall cloud.”

“We may want to pull the Cats Paws out soon as this is looking more and more like an invasion force,” says Toby. “We may want to replace them with military ships before we get to the point they are trapped where they sit.”

Buck Rogers points out “Right now it would take one of our military observation units two sun cycles to get in position and that’s just getting ahead of the mass. It would take at least one more cycle to put a unit behind where cats Paw II is. If we recall the Cats Paws now we will be effectively blind against the threat.

“Not good,” says Toby. “They will have to stay on-station until new units arrive even though they are not war ships. I just do not like having private vessels trapped in a possible war zone.”

Jules Verne responds, “We know how you feel Toby, but we are going to have to take the chance this time. That’s why I am giving the captains final say due to their crews safety coming first.”

Mr. Patterson injects, “Replacement ships have already been dispatched but, as was said, are two cycles out at the current speed of the invader. We are still trying to contact them to find out their intentions.”

Mr. Verne looks around the table at his team and across at The Royal Guard Cats and says, “Gentle cats we may have to leave the War Room and head to one of the space platforms in order to be closer and to get a better view of the situation. This will not be done in haste however. I am just giving you notice, so we can do it safely and smoothly if we have to do so.”

Django, being commander of the Royal Guard, says “I will notify platform Alpha One to prepare the Tuxedo Suite just in case we have to move. How many cats do we project for sir?”

Jules Verne counts and replies “I would say around a dozen including the Guard”

Django responds “Very good sir. I will update the commander.”

“Mr. Boots”

“Yes sir Mr. Verne?”

“Please have the stewards bring some food and fresh cream for all in attendance in The War Room. That includes you four as well.”

“Very well sir, It will be done. And thank you sir from all of us.”

“In my opinion the guards, stewards, and other service personnel are just as important to the operations here as we are Mr. Boots. Without you we would be useless. And you may share my opinion with anyone you wish.” With that Mr. Verne salutes his guard cats and stewards.

Mr. Boots and Mr. Django get large grins on their faces as they salute back, “Yes sir, and thank you sir.” Mr. Boots heads out of the War Room door to tell the stewards what they need and to include themselves in that service.

On his return he looks at the monitors and does not believe how the images have changed in just the few minutes he was gone. Django, Ginger, and Cobain are also staring at the monitors in disbelief.

As food and cream arrive every cat divides their attention between monitors, plates of meats, and bowls of fresh cream. As instructed servings for the stewards who do not have clearance to enter when classified materials are outside folders or being shown on monitors are served in a separate room. Cobain and Ginger decide to eat with the steward cats as they grew up in the same neighborhood prior to being selected to work for The Three Tuxedos.

After the meal service its full steam ahead. New information is coming across the CATNET from both Cats Paw explorers and Ms. Toppie and Ms. Noble. Space platform Alpha One is adding the military data to the mix as it gives updated CatAttack and Destroyer positions. All ships are still one sun cycle from the invader.

“As we look at the incoming information we are seeing this must be controlled by more than one creature.” Bach points out, “It appears we have at the least five control platforms and will somehow need to disable them all at once. I know I am not a battle strategist or used to this type action, I am a scientist, so I can only look at it from that view, but even in nature you take out the heart to destroy something.”

As The Three Tuxedos sit there listening they are nodding agreement and Jules Verne looks at the advisors and Django to ask for suggestions.

Boost puts in “we start by trying to thin down the cloud mass with CatAttack ships and part of our destroyer fleet.”

Django speaks up, “We need to take a few of our CatAttacks and four Destroyers to go behind the cloud and bring down at least part of their control center. This will disable some mass making the rest easier to handle.”

Boost chimes back in with, “Django, you set up the rear attack, and we can set up the front. How many ships would you need?”

Django, Cobain, and Ginger put their heads together then Django looks back at Boost, “We figure, in all cat logic, give us four destroyers and maybe thirty CatAttacks to complete the mission. We catch them by surprise and move in quickly. We should be able to disable all units in no more than sixty time units. This would make it possible for you to finish up on the cleanup. The surprise factor will depend on you keep the attention focused on a full-frontal attack.”

Boost agrees to this and says “We have half a sun cycle to complete planning and to prepare for attack if we get no response from the mass.”

Mr. Toby says, “Since we still have no response on any frequency we must consider this to be an unknown species with hostile intent. Because of that we are now in war mode.”

Mr. Verne chimes in, “As we plan for final approach and attack we need to head to Platform Alpha One. Django, notify the platform Commander we are on our way.”

“Yes Sir”

And with that everyone heads for the Capitol Spaceport and Tuxedo One, The Flying Command Center, en route to the command platform circling Catdromida. In just over one hundred time limits the new War Room is fired up and The Three Tuxedos with their team and Django with his security unit are in place.

As Boost, Toby, Django, Cobain, and Ginger look over the tactical maps on the giant table screen they start seeing a pattern.

“It appears the center two large units are doing most of the control,” Cobain says. “That is where the strongest signals appear to be coming from.

Ginger adds, “The three outer units must be relays to boost the signal to the outer port of the cloud. We take out…”

“Yes, we take out those two, the largest ones, and we should be able to take out the mass.” Toby puts in, “Once we…”

“Take them out, we immediately take out the other three with properly positioned Destroyers,” Boost adds to the discussion, “Add four additional Destroyers to the back fleet.”

“Will do,” Django says.

“Done,” says Ginger.

“Time to intercept?” asks Mr. Verne.

“Approximately ninety time units’ sir,” says Ginger.

“Engage frontal attack at time of intercept and prepare the back fleet for immediate engagement when in position.”

“Very good sir.”

“Mr. Boots, as our primary medical specialist, how do you view the potential of our wounded and killed in this situation?” Toby asks.

“Sir, I would say if we are able to distract and evade on the front side we should have minimal death and injury since most of our attack will be destroyer based. My best estimates would put us at no more than seven to ten percent loss and injury. We do have our best pilots in the CatAttack fighters and our best commanders in the destroyers.

“Good, it appears we are ready gentle cats, let us get some nourishment then be back here in forty time units. And Cobain, if you and Ginger don’t stay out of the center of the display screen how are we supposed to follow the action?”

“Sorry Mr. Verne. We will do better, ” they both say with sad looks on their faces.

Then someone calls “MEAT” and the War Room empties in a flash of whiskers.

So what are The Three Tuxedos going to do?” Are they going to follow the recommendations for the attack? Are they going to actually get a message from this weird mass entering their space? Is it from the Dog Star or somewhere else?

To Be Catinued

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