In Catstronauts Vol. III, we meet Lieutenant Luna, a hotshot young pilot, Star Commander Leonidas, a stalwart explorer, the brothers Star Commander Zeus and Star Commander Taro, massive and fearless tiger warriors, Star Commander Hera, the most feared tigress in the galaxy, Lance Cpl. Oliver, a rising star in intelligence, Star Commander Alexandros, a decorated veteran of many galactic campaigns, Star Commander Xysto, the Felid Fleet’s most respected and capable captain, and Star Commander Buddy, whose bravery and prolific napping are the stuff of legend. (Click to view larger versions of each portrait.)
The Battle of Dog 359, Stardate 2662
Star Commander Xysto and the fleet’s flagship, the USS Sparta, led a task force to the Wolf 359 system that included Zeus and Taro on their redoubtable USS Voidclaw, and Buddy with his dependable USS Fowl Play.
After the early evening Fleetwide Nap Time (FNT), the task force engaged the Gorn approximately 6.4 AU out from the system’s binary helix and earned a resounding victory. Cats occupying the bridges, engineering decks and gunneries of all three ships broke out catnip — the good stuff laced with silvervine, not that weak ‘nip made by domestic companies — and were toasting each other when their consoles meowed warning of approaching ships.
The celebration was short-lived as the flotilla was ambushed by a larger Gorn force that emerged from the shadow of an icy moon orbiting the system’s most impressive gas giant. The Felid Fleet was victorious once more in the ensuing combat, but at a cost: both the USS Sparta and the USS Voidclaw sustained heavy damage, while Star Commander Buddy was able to avoid enemy fire by
hiding behind the other ships conducting a tactical retreat. Crew members from the other ships reported hearing Star Commander Buddy crying over the fleet-wide comms channel during the battle.
“I believe the commander was saying he was too young and handsome to die,” said Lt. Silverpaw, a science officer serving on USS Sparta. “We heard the commander’s own officers trying to calm him down, but the rumor — and again, I’m not saying this is definitely true — is that he soiled the captain’s chair before his XO was able to get him off the bridge and into his cabin.”
Star Commander Buddy, however, recounted the events differently.
“On Stardate 2262.45, the fleet under the command of Star Commander Xysto engaged with a Gorn expeditionary force that had been raiding colonies in the Outer Realm. While our forces engaged the first Gorn detachment, those sneaky lizards had a second group of ships flank us in an ambush pincer movement. Both the USS Sparta and USS Voidclaw were heavily damaged in the ambush, but my own USS Fowl Play evaded enemy fire due to my deft maneuvering and brilliant tactical handling. Taking command of the fleet, I was able to save the day. In fact, my leadership was so effective that before the battle was done, I declared I was going to have a nap and left the mop-up duties to my executive officer as I retired to my quarters.
“I recommend the admiralty give me medals and commendations and stuff, and ignore the obviously false and defamatory reports of my jealous rivals, who have concocted an absurd story about me ordering my ship to hide behind the others. I haven’t done that since I was a kitten!”
After action reports indicate Star Commander Buddy’s USS Fowl Play resumed its course in time for the regularly scheduled Fleetwide Nap Time (FNT) and returned to Starbase 12, home of the Feline Federation’s most widely celebrated restaurants, including Cluckin’ Clancy’s Turkey Extravaganza.