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The Eclectic Pen - Eb N' Lafe Save the Galaxy

By: Herbert M. (vunderbar)   + 5 more  
Date Submitted: 1/2/2007
Genre: Humor & Entertainment » Humor
Words: 2,441

by Billy Whiskers

Viceroy Snip-Snap groaned as he peeled himself off the deck. "Oh my aching carapace. I think my shell is cracked. What happened"?

Admiral Click-Clack snapped his pincers. He was so agitated he was blowing bubbles. "We had to hit the emergency bounce button". He reared back on his four hind legs and roared loudly, "TU-LEEVER !!!!! To the bridge on the double" He looked around and saw a skinny green leg sticking out from under the console. Grabbing it with a pincer he held the green frog upside down and stared balefully at him. "Trying to hide again? Can't you at least find a new place"?

"But, but. I didn't - I wouldn't - I couldn't"

" Will you listen to this idiot? I ask the Grand Council for a scout and what do they send me? An AMPHIBIAN. They said all their crustacean scouts were tied up".

"Why did you bounce"?

" Because this blithering idiot", he shook Tu- Leever till his pink tongue was hanging out. "tried to pet the Fugozian ambassador".


"But-but, he was so cute and cuddly".

"Cute and cuddly and the fiercest, most war like species in the known space-time continuum." He dropped the frog on his head. "there was an entire war armada on our tail. In a few seconds they would have been in range so I had to hit the emergency bounce button to get us out of there fast".

"Where are we"?

"Well that's the problem. In a controlled bounce we always know where we are, but the whole point of an emergency bounce is that it's entirely random. That's why the Fugozians couldn't follow us. We could be anywhere in a literally infinite space-time continuum".

His navigator turned from the console. "Shall I activate the homing bounce sir? We could be back in the Federation in no time".

"Oh sure, back home in disgrace with nothing to show for our expedition. We'd all be scraping algae off rocks for the rest of our lives".

Behind his back a small blue light lit up. There was a soft beep, then another beep. This was followed by beeps that grew louder and closer together till it sounded like a hundred pound canary. His biological officer came running onto the bridge.
He looked at a screen, punched a few buttons and the beeps stopped. On the screen was a series of numbers that grew bigger by the minute. He scuttled back and forth in agitation. "My claws and flippers. I never saw anything like this before. There are thousands of different life forms on just one planet".

"Well, well", said the Admiral," Gentlemen, we might have gotten lucky after all. Which one? Where"?

"That little one, way across the galaxy there. Let me get it on the screen".

A pinpoint of light grew bigger as they sensors zoomed in on it, till a picture of the Earth appeared. "That's the one".

Part 2
They had used the cautious approach. If they decided to enslave the planet they wanted it to come as a complete surprise.
Tu-Leever had landed at the lower end of Horrible Hollow. It was a spot where the branch flowing through the hollow ended up in a rather large bog. He now sat up to his neck in mud and swamp water. He was throwing mud into the air so it landed on top of his head and ran down over him. "What a great planet", he thought. "I wish the wife and tadpoles were here to see this. I wonder if I can get the Federation to give me this bog for a Summer home"?
At the edge of the hollow, Eb 'n Lafe stood behind a clump of brush and watched.
"Who in tarnation is thet"?,asked Lafe. "Never seed him around before. Queer lookin feller ain't he"?
"Dang if he ain't. Looky them bug eyes an green hide. An they ain't a hair on him nowheres".
"Iffen he's tryin to take a bath he got strange notions how to do it".
They had been tracking a razorback hog all morning and thought he might be here in the hollow. Now they had forgotten all about the hog. This was more interesting.
Just then Tu Leever stood up and walked onto the bank.
"Say now", said Eb, "Betcha I know who thet is. Not in particular mind but sorta in general. Ye recollect thet bunch up on Pinchbone Mountain? Whut they call them? Thet bunch thet never come out".
"Ye mean the Tullivers? I ain't never laid eyes on them"
"Seed one onct. I were huntin ginseng. They been inbreedin so long they all looks a mite pecoolyar. One I seed had webbed toes, an bug eyes Jest like thet feller".
"Reckon we best go down an be sociable. This yere is kinda our neck of the woods".
Tu-Leever froze when he saw them. They walked up and Eb said, "Howdy. Reckon yer name'd be Tulliver".
Tu-Leever's jaw dropped open when his earpiece translated. "By the great Horny Toad", he thought, "Telepaths. How else could they know my name"?
"Have ye a snort", said Lafe, proferring the ever present jug.
Tu-Leever thought it best to act friendly till he figured things out. He tipped up the jug and took a big swallow.
"Wal dang!", exclaimed Eb, "Looky ol' Tulliver dance. He could work on thet singin' a mite though".
Tu Leever was jumping and stomping around in a circle, making, "WOOF WOOF", noises as he tried to get his breath.
Lafe got out his harmonica and started playing, "Skunk A'crossin the Road"
"YEEE HAW", cried Eb, throwing a few fancy clog steps of his own.
Viceroy Snip-Snap and Admiral Click-Clack were seated by the boog tank nibbling on tasty boogs as they talked.
"Telepaths you say?" asked the Viceroy. "How interesting. Do you have any idea how much a telepath slave brings on certain planets"?
"That's what the communication from Tu-Leever said. And according to our biologists there are countless millions of them there".
"Telepaths can be very tricky. It wouldn't do to alert them to our intentions. We have to capture the entire planet in a matter of hours, before they can organize".
"Yes. I'm recalling our scout immediately. We'll have to return to the Federation and come back with an entire armada. Once the Grand Council hears what we have found we'll be heroes; and I might add, very rich ones".
"You know", said the Viceroy,"You'll have to get rid of this illegal boog tank. Pity. They are so tasty".
"Oh I wouldn't come any where near a Federation planet with boogs on board. You remember what happened to the planet Damitall when boogs got loose there".
"I hear the entire planet had to be abandoned. The boogs ate everything in sight and the natives were starved out".
Just then the hatch opened and an Ensign stepped inside. "The scout Tu-Leever has returned, Admiral".
Tu-Leever entered carrying a tote sack tied tightly shut. His skin was pale and his eyes were fiery red. "Do you mind if I sit Admiral? I don't feel well".
"Not till after I hear your report. You haven't caught some native disease have you"?
The scout leaned against the boog tank to steady himself and the enitire thing tipped over. Boogs scuttled everywhere.
"You idiot!!!", shouted the Admiral. then to the Ensign. "Seal off this whole end of the ship quickly before the boogs get into the rest of the compartments".
When all the hatches had been slammed shut, the Admiral turned to the scout who stood slumped over, holding his head in his hands. "Now, your report. I was going to give you a generous 1% of the profits but after that you can just share with the rest of the crew". He didn't mention that he and the Viceroy would split 98% between them. "What's wrong with you anyway"?
"It all started yesterday when I told Eb and Lafe I was leaving. He invited me to a feast of sow belly, corn bread and greasy greens. His wife Becky is some sort of Priestess. Eb told me she was a very religious cook. He said everything she cooked was either a burnt offering or a sacrifice".
The frog belched, then held his head and groaned again.
"Will you stop that!!!",roared the Admiral. Tu- Leever cringed at the loud voice.
"Then Eb said we'd better go check something they called a still and Lafe said he thought that was a crackin' good idea. Apparently checking consists of swallowing large portions of something called shine." He smiled wanly, "It takes a little getting used to and after a while it makes you feel strange but very happy".
"And what is that thing you're carrying?", asked the Admiral, pointing at the tote sack.
"I was coming to that. After we drank sufficient shine Lafe said he felt like hunting and Eb insisted I join them. We started running through the trees and bushes in the dark chasing a strange animal that was chasing another animal and being very noisy about it. Eb and Lafe were as happy as I was and we kept running into trees and falling down and laughing a lot. Both of them kept hollering, 'Git 'im Revalation. Git 'im.' We finally caught an animal they call a possum and he's in this sack".

Tu-Leever reached into the sack and pulled out the possum by the tail. The animal just hung there with it's eyes closed and a silly grin on it's face.
"Is it dead?", asked the Admiral.
"No. It's a very peculiar animal. When something frightens it, it pretends to be dead. Watch this". He dropped the opussum to the deck with a thump. It continued to lay there, unmoving. No one noticed as several boogs jumped on and buried themselves in it's fur.
"This is all very interesting.", said the Viceroy, "but there is one thing that puzzles me".
"What's that"?
"Well I understand how the homing device works but how can we return with an armada if we don't know where we are"?
"AHA!! Fortunately I was able to pull in a few favors, not to mention a considerable bit of bribe money. Gentlemen, we have aboard a brand new tracking device. All we have to do is take a reading on any living organism, such as that er peesome"
"Possum", corrected the frog.
"Yes. Well whatever ridiculous name those two strange creatures -"
"Eb 'N Lafe", corrected Tu-Leever again, "I like them. They're good ol' boys"
Admiral Click-Clack drew himself to his full height and glared at the frog. "If you're done reminiscing, perhaps I can get on with my explanation - now then, as I was saying", he paused to see if the frog would interrupt again but Tu-Leever just stood there slumped, holding his head, which had begun throbbing again with his hangover.
"The tracker will record the readings of this organism and feed them into the computer. When we want to come back the computer will run a program that will pinpoint the exact origin of signals from others of it's kind and bounce us back here, with our war armada all set to invade".
The opossum was a bit more peculiar than anyone realized. An opossum does not play dead. It has a primitive nervous system. When it is overloaded with an emotion such as fear or confusion it is as though a breaker kicks out and all but it's basic functions shut down. After a period of time it resets and the animal goes about it's business - providing something hasn't eaten it. That is the state the opossum was in right now.
When it was placed on the scanner the device was unable to pick up any readings from it's nervous system so it did the next best thing. It took readings from the boogs.

A few months later Eb 'N Lafe sat on Eb's sagging porch, whittling, spitting, passing the jug and generally having a fine old time.

"Wonder whut ever become of thet Tulliver feller?"mused Eb

"Prob'ly went back to Pinchback Mountain. Reckon he got to missin his kinfolk", replied Lafe.

"Likely so. Kinda miss the little feller. He shore loved his shine".

"And Laws could he chase after a hound? Never seed a feller could skitter cross a bog hole fast as he could. Why it warn't nothin to him".

"Reckon them web feet had somethin to do with thet".

"Mebbe he'll come back fer a visit one a these days".

Meanwhile Admiral Click-Clack had hastily assembled his armada for the invasion of Earth. 15 A class battle cruisers and 73 B class were in orbit ready to bounce to Earth. 150,000 hermit crab marines with fully armored shells were loaded aboard transports along with all of their weapons and he had been promised more once a succesful landing was made.
The Grand Council had been a bit dubious about his claims but the profits to be made from millions of slaves were too big to ignore. This mission would make or break the career of the Admiral and Viceroy.

The Admiral had his communicator order all ships to bounce simultaneously on his command. He wanted the skies of earth to be filled with warships so there could be no effective resistance.

He held up one pincer and said,"On my command. 3 - 2 - 1- EXECUTE. He expected the computers aboard each ship to read the life force of the Opossum which he thought had been fed into them, never realizing that the program carried the boog life force pattern.

Immediately every one of the ships and transports in the armada were bounced into the bottomless sumps of Boogovia, the forbidden planet.

Fortunately all aboard were either crustaceans or amphibians and were able to skitter across the surface to the bank where they watched the entire Federation fleet slowly sink out of sight into the soupy mud.

After a long trial the two were sentenced to 20 years of scraping algae from rocks and all of their fortunes, including what they had cheated Tu-Leever out of, was confiscated. The council decided it had all been a scam and there was no such place as Earth.

Tu-Leever was sitting on his custom grown giant lilly pad in his own private pond, telling the tadpoles about the legendary Eb 'N Lafe who had made him his fortune when they gave him a couple of ears of corn seed and showed him how to build a still. Every planet in the Federation was clamoring to get their share of the mysterious shine, the secrets of which were known only to the inhabitants of the Amphibian planet Bogsnfrogs. One of these days Tu-Leever would go back for a visit. He missed the fun of chasing after the old hound Revalation, stumbling along with a jug of shine and crossing bogs and streams, now and then colliding with trees in the dark. He missed them good ol' boys.


The Eclectic Pen » All Stories by Herbert M. (vunderbar)

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Comments 1 to 2 of 2
Roberta H. (brittanylovesbooks) - 1/3/2007 11:39 PM ET
Great imagination ! Are you a professional writer?
Helen K. (Billie-K) - 1/6/2007 11:35 PM ET
Oh Herbert, I had forgotten how darn FUNNY this story was, since you wrote it in segments for your fans... Thanks!
Comments 1 to 2 of 2