"The Ron Trap"
from one space to another are indicated with a
The holographic readout flashed, indicating all systems were reading green. The grey-shirted man at the console turned, the spider web network of veins across his bald head pulsating ever so slightly.
"Captain, the ship is ready to embark," he said in an almost bored monotone.
"Thank you, Mr. Frege." said the man seated in a nearby raised chair, his gold uniform decorated at the chest and upper arms. "Lieutenant Propriov, set a course for secondary home base."
"Aye, Captain," answered the younger man in red sitting at the front, as he input their destination. "Course is set."
"Mr. Luloni, take us out."
"Yes, sir," said the red-shirted man next to the young lieutenant. "I'm really feeling good about this time, Sir."
"Heard that one before," Propriov muttered quietly as he proceeded to strap himself into his station.
The captain smiled but gave no other indication that he'd heard. Knowing it would be at least a few minutes before they arrived at the secondary base for refueling, he casually pressed a button on his chair's miniature console.
"Captain's log, 7032.3" his calm baritone voice spoke into the built-in recording device. "I find myself in a rare, quiet moment aboard this ship. I'd like to take this time to pause and reflect, something I'd been hoping to do much earlier, in light of this vessel's recent anniversary. Eighteen years… my God, has it really been that long?"
He paused for a moment, stroking his chin. Behind him, in a rather form-fitting pink uniform, a young woman stood, clearly waiting for the captain to finish. She had to force herself not to absent-mindedly tug at the hem of her uniform's uncomfortably short skirt. It was a futile effort, she'd learned. Any attempts to preserve the modesty of her upper thighs would only allow the one-piece dress to show even more of her cleavage.
"Eighteen years and four days ago, this ship was launched into active duty. Not the fastest ship, or the best armed, but with a service record that speaks for itself. In no way the prettiest, but with … undeniable charm, a sort of magnetic attraction that pulls you in at first glance. I'm not the first man to fill this seat. I only hope, when the time comes, I can step down as graceful-
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"Mr. Luloni, report!" shouted the captain, pausing the recording device as the sirens sounded and the warning lights flashed.
"Slight problem, Captain," answered the helmsman, weakly.
"Of course," sighed the captain as he raked his hands back through his mess of unruly blond hair in a clear gesture of frustration. "Mr. Frege, how slight?"
With obviously practiced ease, the Science Officer called up the appropriate diagnostic protocols. Warnings flared in bright, insistent red.
"Stabilizers have failed to compensate, Captain," he said, calmly. "This ship is now completely out of control. Crash is imminent."
Instead of shock at the lack of panic in Frege's prognosis, the captain slumped in his chair and shook his head slowly. With a sigh, he swiveled his chair to the right so he could face the man in the far corner. Headset and channels already set, the red-shirted officer knew the order was coming but, as always, waited on the captain to give it.
"Lt. Indlebe…" he began, his voice barely more animated than Frege's had been, "Alert all decks, brace for impact."
"Yes, Captain," he said, before speaking into the open channel. "Attention, all decks brace for impact."
"Damn it, Rick," came an irate shout from one of the rooms down the main corridor. "I'm a doctor, not a crash test dummy!"
In one of the lower decks, a heavy set man in a red uniform looked up from his work.
"REPEAT, ALL DECKS BRACE FOR IMPACT!"
"0730 hours already, is it?" he said in a thick Scottish accent, not needing to look at his chronometer. "Ach bless me… Where does the time go?"
With a sigh, he replaced the tools on his belt and strapped himself into a nearby seat.
Back on the command deck, everyone, with the exception of the lady officer in pink, were secured in their seats. She looked around unsuccessfully for an empty seat, until her eyes came to rest on the captain. With an almost expectant look, he made a very subtle gesture towards the open space on his lap. Cursing herself for even leaving her quarters, she reluctantly sat down. His arms circled her waist, to brace her of course. No sooner had she sat down, than the whole ship was rocked by a massive collision. Lights flickered, consoles sparked, the captain's hands accidentally drifted a little too far upwards, followed by an accidental elbow to his face. In moments, everything was still again. When it was clear the ship had settled, captain and crew removed their restraints, all looking more annoyed than afraid.
"Snatus repoht, Mistuh Frenge," said the captain, rubbing his sore nose.
"All systems back online, Captain," Frege answered, no more lively after the crash than before it. "We can be under way in the next few seconds."
Lt. Commander Luloni sheepishly rubbed the back of his neck, glad the chair at his station was turned away from the rest. He didn't have to look to his left to know that the navigator was glaring lasers at him.
"Don't worry too much about it, Mr. Luloni," offered the captain, doing his best to sound sympathetic. "At this point, it just isn't morning 'til we've had a good crash. Better than coffee."
Luloni winced, but managed a smile and a mumbled agreement. Quickly, he added a "Sir" at the end, just to be safe.
"Just get us back on course," he continued, showing no real anger. "We're behind schedule for the refuel and they'll scan us for external damages when we get to base."
They were moving again in less than a minute, the crew rapidly recovering from the latest of a few thousand crashes. Frege ran more diagnostics, discretely marveling at the resilience of the otherwise unimpressive ship. Propriov didn't bother removing his restraints as he focused on his duties, plotting a course he hoped even this navigator couldn't screw up. The young woman brushed herself off before attempting to fix her uniform without flashing everyone on the bridge. She succeeded, sending a frustrated sigh through the room, which she tried desperately to ignore.
"I was doing something before we crashed," mused the captain, reminding the woman what had brought her to the bridge to begin with. "What was it? You see, that's what I hate about the crashes. Completely throw me off my game."
"Captain Haupt," said the female officer, as politely as she could manage. "There's something I think you and I need to discuss, and I would appreciate it if we could get to it before you start another log entr-"
"That's what it was!" exclaimed the captain, with a snap of his fingers. "Don't know what I'd do without you Counselor Sofia. Captain's Log, supplemental..."
Haupt had already pressed the button before she could say another word. Sofia just stood there, not sure whether to slap the man or just return to the quarters and let the whole ship go to hell. She knew she'd decide on neither, as usual, no matter how appealing it would be knock some sense into the man. All that mattered was what was best for the ship that had, against all logic, begun to feel like a home. After a few deep breaths, she took a step back, deciding to wait until the captain had finished. She listened quietly as he continued.
"… As was mentioned in the previous entry, this vessel has celebrated its eighteen years of service, but not with pomp and circumstance. Not with speeches or commemorative plaques. No, the fates sent this crew into a baptism of fire. The attack was swift, brutal, and it took every ounce of our might, our wit, and our will to drive our enemy back to the fell, putrid pit that spawned them."
The counselor bowed her head. The invasion four days prior was the worst she'd seen since she'd come aboard a little more than a year earlier. Many good men had risked their lives and it was a miracle the casualties were so low. Of those that died, she hadn't known any of them that well, but she felt they deserved better… at the very least, they deserved a better speech. It took everything in her not to start giggling at the captain's soliloquy. Then, unexpectedly, Captain Haupt's speech took a different turn.
"Some of us didn't live to see the sun rise on the first days of our eighteenth year. We miss them, we honor them, but, more than anything, we'll keep doing what it was that got them killed in the first place. We'll defend this ship, and each other, out of pride and out of love. My name is Richard C. Haupt and I am privileged to serve as captain of the H.S.S. Ron Stoppable."
"Sir, we've arrived at Secondary Home Base. Initiating docking procedures as we speak"
The navigator's voice snapped the captain and the counselor out of their trances, both of them snapping their eyes up to the main view screen.
"What?" demanded the captain, clearly confused. "When?"
"Somewhere around 'fell, putrid pit,' Captain," answered Frege, not showing even the slightest smirk.
Sofia mentally kicked herself, knowing she'd have to wait even longer to voice her concerns. The base opened, revealing a comfortingly familiar fixture at the Ron's second home.
"Captain," announced Mr. Indlebe, "we're being hailed."
"Good morning, Ron,"
"And a muy bueno morning to you, Mrs. Dr. P!" answered Ron, more cheerful than he'd been in days. "And it'll be even more bueno when you tell me there's pancake goodness to spare."
The elder lady Possible laughed as she led the young man to the breakfast table. After she'd seated Ron at his usual place, she put a six-high stack of pancakes on a plate and set it in front of her unofficial third son. She turned to grab the butter and syrup from where she'd set them after the rest of her family had finished eating.
"Well, you could smell breakfast all the way from the front porch and…" began Anne Possible, stopping short for a moment as she turned back to see an empty plate in front of the skinny blond. "And it looks like your appetite is back en force. I think it's safe to say you're over that little bug."
"Ooh butter and syrup, thanks Mrs. Dr. P, that'll go great with the next stack," said Ron as he helped himself to another six, thus saving his other favorite family from dealing with any leftovers. "Ah, yes. The Stoppable fortress of immunity comes through in the clinch once again. No sickness stands a chance!"
The red-headed matron smiled and shook her head, watching as the teen polished off the last of the pancakes with all the quiet dignity and refinement of a rabid hyena. A second look made her put on her doctors hat a few hours early. She grabbed Ron by the chin, holding him still so she could get a better look. On his forehead was a very light scrape, not even deep enough to bleed. She breathed a sigh of relief tinged with frustration as she let go of his face and started to clear the table with Ron's help, which by itself was a pleasant surprise.
"So, how many times did you fall down on the way here?" asked Anne, in a tone that suggested she was mostly asking him out of habit.
"Just the one," answered Ron, casually. "Tripped over a rake that I know I put in the garage. If I'm lying, may I never eat another naco."
"Huhn, nacos?" came a tired squeak from one of Ron's cargo pockets.
Any other day, Rufus would've been out the second his human had uttered the word "pancakes," but the faithful little rodent had been at the boy's bedside for three days and four nights, seeing him through the worst of it. Even the mention of the cheese filled, artery-clogging food of the gods had only managed get his attention for a few seconds before he rolled over and fell back to sleep.
"I know I can't prove it, but I have motive and opportunity." Ron continued, with growing determination in his voice. "That garden gnome is going down."
"Good morning, Ronald," said a friendly male voice.
"Morning, Mr. Dr. P!" replied Ron, as he finished drying his dish.
"I heard you say you fell down this morning," said James. "And then I heard you blame it on inanimate yard sculpture. I take it that means your feeling better."
"You know it," said Ron, grinning. "Ron the man is back in action! Eighteen and bon-diggity diggin' it."
"Congratulations again, Ron," offered Mrs. Dr P as she put away the last of the mixing bowls. "I know it's not fair that you had to spend a milestone like this confined to bed rest, but it's so wonderful to see that you're not letting it get you down."
"That was a real shame," her husband added, reaching for the morning edition. "First Kimmie-cub, then you? Talk about strange coincidences. I mean, you couldn't have caught it from her, right Ronald? She never left her room once the whole time she was sick, and we made sure to turn this place into a Possible family quarantine lockdown. Only way you could've gone up to see her would've been sneaking through her bedroom window after we'd all gone to sleep."
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"COUNTDOWN TO TOTAL ANNIHILATION, 30 SECONDS AND COUNTING!"
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Humanity, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Homo Sapiens Ship Ron Stoppable. His long-standing mission: To coin strange new catch-phrases. To seek out new foods and odd ways to combine them. To boldly go where a red-headed cheerleader has gone before…
To Be Continued in…
"Breakfast of Terror"
Note: I've spent a few months telling a couple of you what I think
about your stories, and now I've got one of my own. Honestly hope
you find it palatable, considering you had to read through about
three quarters of it before you ran into a single thing about Kim
Possible. Chapters from now on deal with Ron-related stuff directly.
Reviews are appreciated. Take the time to leave one, I'll take the
time to reply.
Additional Note: This first Chapter has been edited for content due to graphic logic errors.
All blessings to you from the house of unending contusions,
created by Mark McCorkle and Robert Schooley.
Star Trek created by Gene Roddenberry