It was late one night as the Rangers
were camping at their yearly August holiday in the hills of southwestern Pennsylvania,
when the events began to unfold. The skies were their usual dark selves at this
time of night, finding the Rangers sitting around a campfire, bundled in cloaks
and blankets, cuddling various warm and warming potables.
Tomcat came running out of the woods, his trusty flashlight in hand.
Fraggle looked up from her cup of hot chocolate and deep thoughts "What did you find this time Tom?"
The group slowly turned, numbed by cold and an amount of jadedness to Tom's 'discoveries'.
"They finally showed up!! I told you it would work!!" Tomcat said joyously.
A hush fell over the group. Everyone knew what he was talking about and dreaded this day deep in their hearts.
Tipping his hat back on his head, Keltic Tommy broke the quiet of the night.
"Who Tom? Who showed up?" He knew the answer; he never would have asked if he didn't.
Pointing back to the woods, "The aliens, they saw the light and they landed...really." Tomcat motioned with the flashlight towards the trees.
A deep sigh was heard from the smoke side of the fire, "Tomcat, how many times have I told you about signaling the aliens?? Hu? How many?" Bryian paused to sip from his cup of coffee, his usual extra appendage. "Well...looks like we had better go see, and everyone."
Before Bryian could finish, they all said in unison "We know...Never say we'll be right back..."
Moving not so gently into the night, the group passed a porta-potty and found the last of their missing members, "The Fish"
"Wait a minute, let me grab my camera and a tape and." Daniel began to count off on his fingers.
In a way still not fully understood by science, Fraggle produced his camera bag, tape, tripod and belt pouch from under her cloak, "I think this is everything..." This was immediately followed by the now customary group blink at what just happened.
"Um..Yea." Daniel added, slinging his pouch over his shoulder and falling in with the group as Tomcat brought him up to speed on the situation.
Slowly the group edged to the road to look out upon the large field not far from their base camp. Moving more cautiously now, they slipped behind an orange construction fence.
Keltic Tommy turned to Bryian and asks, "OK...what's the plan?"
Pondering for a moment then answering in a cryptic manner, "Plan?" Bryian whispered to the group.
Turning to sit with her back to the fence Fraggle lets out, "Great. Just great. All the time you have been sitting around talking about 'When they do show up I'm going to do this and that.' Now that they are here you don't have a plan. Great."
Frowning, Bryian replied, "Give me a minute...we need to see what they are going to do first...sheesh"
Out in the field a small dot of light could be seen slowly growing in an eerie bluish luminescence. Larger and larger it began to spread, lighting the area to a dim bluish haze. Floating in mid air, it bounced slightly on the wind, a soft humming echoing its presence.
Suddenly, like a landslide, Bryian seemed to mentally break free. "OK, Dan, set up your camera...Fraggle, watch his back...Keltic Tommy, turn on your stealth suit and out flank them to the left. Tomcat stay with Fraggle and Dan....and give Fraggle the flashlight."
With what would appear to the untrained eye as practiced precision, the team began to fan out, jumping immediately to their tasks. Fraggle turned and whispered, "Bryian...what are /you/ going to do?"
"Simple..." he replied, " I'm going out there...."
Checking his pockets, Bryian produced a cigarette and lighter, taking a long slow drag. "Here goes nothing...." Standing, he started towards the field.
"Perfect...now he thinks he's John Wayne " Fraggle joked quietly, knowing he was actually trying to keep from doing something in his pants he hadn't done in many years.
Halfway across the field, Bryian flicked away the last of his cigarette and continued towards the ship.
Off in the distance, Keltic Tommy was sneaking around the edge of the field, watching the blue light and their somewhat questionably sane leader. Finding a conveniently placed bush, he knelt down behind it, blending in with the night and the shrub like a bizarre bearded mystic, disappearing from view...or so he thought.
"Simple...walk out, act like you have a clue and don't mess your pants...what could be easier?" Bryian thought to himself. "Prolly just campers from outer space...yea...they're here to get some R&R too..."
Back behind the fence, the camera was rolling for the records. Either way it would be proof of the first contact or great proof for the insurance bills they might have. For once the judge might actually believe Tomcat, " It was the aliens, your Honor..." Daniel turned to Fraggle with a grin and a thumbs up, a joyous grin on his face, "This is great...Spielberg eat your heart out.." Tomcat meanwhile found a nearby tree to gain a convenient perch in, a branch thicker than a five-gallon bucket and twice as useful to him. Pen in hand he began taking notes in his ever present notebook, adding in times, dimensions of the craft, date, possible cultural markings, guessing at favorite foods and the like.
"Um...HI!" Bryian shouted out. "Wonderful...first contact and all you can say is hi...friggin brilliant.." he thinks to himself.
Slowly a beam of light appeared below the ship. From a shower of glitter appeared a bipedal creature with something on a leash. The bright light hid its features from clear view, but the sound of the thing on the end of the leash echoed through the night. A combination of metal in a blender, a fish out of water and Rush Limbaugh backwards, the blobish thing made its presence known to all.
"Welcome to Terra...third rock from the sun." Bryian spoke out from the dim afterglow. He paused for a reply as he watched the biped.
"Terra....welkoum...fauna???" replied the blob.
"Oops...faux paus..." Bryian mumbled to himself as he shifted his gaze to the blob. "Yea...I guess you could class me as fauna...I'm a human...well, according to some, but not to others..."
Suddenly the biped produced a sheet of paper of some sort, covered in a script that looked like someone dipped a chicken's feet into it and then chased it back and forth across the paper.
"What's that?" Bryian inquired. "Looks kind of official...in a way."
The blob motioned with a psuedopod towards the document. "Permission to...permit me to...to..."
"To what? Park? Camp? Travel?" Bryian helps.
Almost barking, "NO...Hunt."
Swallowing once calmly, "Excuse me for just a moment..." He turned around and began to gesture as he spoke.
"Um...Everyone...Your attention for a second?? Just so you know, I mean like this is important..."
Back behind the fence, Fraggle commented, "What is he yelling about?"
Dan turned from the camera, "I don’t know...but he's gesturing a lot. Tomcat, you speak gesture, what's he saying??"
Standing on the branch, Tomcat steadied himself on the trunk "Looks like...Iguana...yea, Iguana...lip sink ...brain hemorrhage...run...panic...no, pancake tree house...dogs ...no fly...without umbrellas...." He shrugged, "Not sure really...whatever it is, we can ask him in just a minute...here he comes." Tomcat pointed to Bryian as he began to move.
Meanwhile, behind the bush, Keltic Tommy watched the exchange from a little closer range, actually able to pick out the words 'Hunting permit' " SHIT!!!!" He stood up and began to bolt for cover with the others as a beam of light from the ship illuminated him, making him look like a cross between a pedestrian crossing sign and a deer in headlights with a Cheshire cat smile. "OOPS...." Motivated by common sense and a goodly amount of adrenaline, he made a safe at home sliding stop behind the fence.
Bryian turned back around to the alien with a smile, "Thanks. I just have one problem with this, mister...mister...Anyway, we don't see ourselves as prey. So if you will excuse me...." With a sudden bolt in reverse, Bryian broke into a run, backwards. Moving like the wind, only in reverse, he reached the fence and promptly flipped over it backwards with a heavy thump. "We got problems..."
Booming from hidden P.A. system on the ship the voice of the blob spoke out, "We give you 2 orgats and then we hunt!!!!"
"Orgats? What the hell is an orgat?" asked Keltic Tommy.
Shrugging, Bryian replied, "Hell if I know, I have enough problems with metrics, let alone alien time. Best bet is to get out of here and get ready."
"Your best idea all night..." Fraggle added.
"Tomcat, help Dan with the equipment...everyone back to the camp." Bryian barked out.
The group grabbed their equipment and began a controlled fall back down to the valley. "Hey...you ever seen 'The Blob' from about 1954??" asked Dan.
"Yea...it sucked out loud." replied Bryian.
"You remember how they killed it with the cold from the fire extinguishers?" added The Fish
"One step ahead of you...we have one in camp. Somehow though, I don't think that will be enough...break out the weapons box. Keltic Tommy."
Through the night, Tommy's evil grin gleamed through. "Strike team??"
Shaking his head as he turned to enter the camp, "Naw...I think we can be a match for the blob and his trained critters...least I hope. Nearest strike team is over 2 hours away and we don't know how much time we have." Bryian spoke as he striped off h is tunic. "Time to show them what a good old Terran ass-kickin' is..."
A short time later, the group reassembled near the now dying fire. "Ok, Fraggle with The Fish...Tomcat with me, Keltic Tommy you have the point..."
"The point? Why me?" asked Tommy.
"Simple...'cause your a Kelt...." Bryian added as he sank his falcata into its sheath.
Keltic Tommy nodded. "True...good answer..."
Time passed slowly for the group as they began to set a trap for the icky alien and his minions.
Keltic Tommy, using his almost inhuman knowledge of the woodlands, started trapping the area around the camp with ever-smaller rings of traps, providing a defensive barrier. Bryian moved out and scouted the sides, setting trails for the aliens to follow, hoping that their advances in technology had made them also become somewhat dim. Moving from tree to tree, Tomcat acted as a second set of eyes from above as Bryian worked at his nefarious contraptions.
Back at camp, Fraggle devised a simple yet effective plot of her own. "Give me Bryian's coffee cup Dan....I have an idea."
With a shrug Dan grabbed the cup. "You're not going to do what I think you're going to do, are you?"
Smiling innocently, "Now, would I do something like put his coffee in the path of the aliens?" she replied.
Nodding somberly The Fish replied, "In a heartbeat...you have no pity for those aliens, do you?"
Starting down the path with a slight chuckle, "Nope...not a bit." She stopped part way down the trail and taped a flashlight to a tree limb that shone a focused beam down on the trail. Inside of the spot of light she placed a full, steaming cup of coffee. "There...can't miss that." Turning, she started back to the encampment.
Booming through the countryside, a voice could be heard. "Your time is up! We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming..."
"How long was that?" Bryian asked, looking up to a tree.
"One hour, fifteen minutes, give or take a minute," came Tomcat's voice from another tree.
"Ok, now we know that an orgat is about forty-five minutes...for all the good it does us..." Bryian said as he picked up the remnants of his roll of duct tape.
With the daintiness of a bulldozer, a group of the aliens began to move through the woods, trying to track the Rangers. Stopping at a small intersection of two trails, they saw a paper sign with duct tape streamers dangling from a string high above, fluttering in the winds.
"Or glaop hod ldsh` hels xpaz'," barked out one of the aliens. A leash was released from a psuedopod and one of the bipeds scrambled up a tree to grab the sign. With a tug he pulled it free and a single *snap* could be heard. Before they could turn and look, a set of logs came swinging from above, missing their heads by a good three feet. Ducking, what can be assumed to be laughter echoed from them at about the time two more traps popped up at low level and exploded, sending several pounds of small n ails through them at the speed of sound.
After a brief flurry of screams and sounds of the woodlands awakened in a start, the sign floated to the ground. It simply said on it, "GOT YA!"
Not too far from the explosion, Keltic Tommy chuckled as he headed deeper into the woods like a shade from the moors.
Jumping with a start from the explosion, Tomcat and Bryian reenter the camp. "What the hell was that?? " asked a startled Dan.
Chuckling, Fraggle answered "Simple...one for our side."
With the sudden clarity of mind that occasionally hits him, Bryian asked, "Um...anyone seen my cup?"
Pointing to the road, Fraggle answered, "That cup?"
Nodding, Bryian started that way. "Yep...what is it doing out there???"
From down the trail a short way the sound of approaching steps and a slithering sound could be heard. "Here people, people, people...here people, people, people..." The voice was a raspy kind of sickening sound reverberating through the trees.
Stopping for a moment, Bryian watched the trail, waiting for visual conformation of the beings that were approaching.
Calmly Fraggle looked to Dan and Tomcat, "Best you don't look...and I think we should get down. He's only had one cup since his nap."
The two men gasped and did what any right-thinking person who knew Bryian would have done at that stage, they dove for cover.
Slowly, the alien horde began towards the cup in the road. "Orgah `kin loha do twzx?"
Bryian drew his handmade falcata from its sheath with a sickening *snik*. "Get away from /my/ coffee you alien sonsofabitches!!!!"
The bipeds raised their arms and extended eerie, greenish looking claws. "Bfe gelf hin to gat!!" The blob released the straps, "mK DoK!"
"Bring it on slime ball..." Bryian sprang like a man possessed towards the aliens, thrashing them down like sheaves of wheat during the harvest. "Bastard! *HACK* Get back *HACK* It's MINE!! *HACK HACK*"
The combat lasted only a few moments till the aliens lay dismembered and strewn about the road like so much rubbish. Apparent was a perfectly clear spot near the cup, which seemed not to have even been shaken. As the victor approached he slipped, knocking the coffee over and watching it spill into the dust. "Dammit.."
With the movements of a man victorious, he bent over and took the cup. Standing back up, he proceeded back to the camp, covered with sweat and alien slime. "That was kinda fun..." He sats slowly down in his chair. "Your turns." Looking around the cam p, he asked, "Any coffee left?"
Looking over at Bryian, Tomcat spoke, "That was easy...I'm going to go get a few myself." With this he picked up his staff and headed out into the woods.
Elsewhere in the woods, Keltic Tommy was scouting back behind the enemy lines. Near the field he spied what appeared to be some kind of communications array pointed to the sky. Sitting in some sort of chair was another of the blob creatures operating some equipment, guarded by two of the bipeds. Common sense being the better part of valor, he decided to retreat and get a little help. Tomcat began to wander through the woods till he heard a noise up ahead. Moving with his practiced cat-like dexterity, he bounded up into a tree, stick in hand. Walking down the trail were four of the bipeds and an icky alien, with the bipeds on le ashes but armed with some sort of firearm.
Waiting up in the tree, Tomcat devised a plan. As the aliens passed below his branch he bolted into action. Like a scene from a long ago forgotten cheesy kung-fu movie, he dove in the middle of them. Falling into a split, he narrowly avoided being s hot by one of the bipeds, who obligingly shot one of his comrades, turning him into a small wrinkled mass of jelly.
"Skrrooch?" came from the mouth of one of the aliens just before Tomcat smacked him behind the knee, sending him into a full flip onto the ground with a moist cracking sound. Jumping up, Tomcat braced himself on the staff and sent a kick through the head of another one, providing him with a slick footing on one side. Trying to regain his balance, he slipped and triggered one of the alien weapons, scrooching the icky alien before he could even make a noise. Feeling very full of himself, Tomcat tried t o strut off, but slipped and fell right next to one of the dead alien bipeds. "OH MY GOD!" he shouted out as he made a discovery about the aliens.
Back at the camp, Keltic Tommy came in. "Hey Dan…wanna give me a hand for a bit? I think we can knock out their shields...or communications...or whatever this thing I found controls."
"Um...sure..." Dan replied as he picked up the fire extinguisher. The two men continued off into the woods, "Let me tell ya of my plan...ya see..." continued Keltic Tommy as his voice faded off into the woods.
"Well, looks like we have the upper hand...wonder if we can get them to surrender?" Bryian asked between drinks.
"Somehow I don't see it..." Fraggle added as she sat down in her chair.
Somewhere in the woods the quiet was broken by Dan's voice, "You want me to do what?!?!"
"Simple, be a diversion while I wire a 220 volt cable to the equipment, then when we get clear I'll throw the breaker." finished Keltic Tommy.
"Oh...simple, right...sure it is." Hefting the extinguisher, Dan continued, "We'll see later if it was simple..."
Approaching the field from the blind side, the two men crept closer. Keltic Tommy gave the signal and The Fish proceeded forward towards the aliens and their machine.
"Excuse me, Mr. Alien-Blob?" asked Dan as he stood with his hands behind his back. "Allow me to introduce myself...Mr. Daniel G. Trout, Esquire and this is my diversion..."
The alien turned at the sound of the voice just in time to look straight down the barrel of Daniel's fire extinguisher. "Eat CO2!!!" he yelled as he set off the extinguisher in a cloud of white, cold, death.
Slowly the cloud cleared, showing two frozen bipeds and a greenish blob-cube that was sitting at the console. "Hey Keltic Tommy...it Worked!!"
From behind the console a ratchet could be heard, then it suddenly stopped as the familiar black hat emerged from behind. "Wow...kewl. Let's get out of here.." Turning to the power line, Keltic Tommy followed it back towards the breaker line for the campers.
Dan dropped the extinguisher and walked proudly past the console. "Never ever mess with the press, bud..."
Back at the camp, a somewhat panicked and out of breath Tomcat ran in like a man on fire. "Faces! The face...toy…play…girly things...big...oh big..." He gestured in sign language, but since neither Fraggle nor Bryian understood it, it was wasted.
"Calm down and try English, Tomcat..." Fraggle commented. "We don't understand you...not like that is something new." She handed him a can of Mountain Dew, "Here...drink this."
"Their faces…oh how horrid!!" Tomcat continued between drinks, "Evil vile nasty things…they look just like...like.."
Bryian and Fraggle asked in unison,"Yes? Like what??"
Tomcat answered like a man who has seen hell itself. "Like...Ken and Barbie...evil incarnate."
Guiding Tomcat to a chair, "It's ok...just relax. We have them on the run now, so just mellow out."
From one of the trees nearby, a Barbie-faced biped sprang out and tried to rake Fraggle with her claws, but succeeded in only ripping the sleeve of her shirt . Spinning around to meet the gaze of the biped Fraggle screamed, "You BITCH!!"
From years of personal experience, Bryian knew exactly what to do. Moving like greased lightning he lunged from the chair and using a single finger, poked Fraggle in the side, retreating just as quickly, hoping to get out of range.
Fraggle spun with a shriek like a banshee and let loose with her left arm, hoping to smack whoever poked her. But things being as they are, she soundly whacked the Barbie clone in the head. Recoiling from the sudden placement of a solid object in the path of her flail, she jumped again, hitting the clone with her knee in the leg. As the clone tried to grab at her, Fraggle twisted and brought an elbow directly down on the base of the Barbie's neck, shattering it. The camp again fell silent.
Fire burning in her eyes, Fraggle turned to Bryian. "Don't do that!!!"
A moment passed as Bryian took a sip from his cup. "One on one the Barbie stood a half way decent chance of kicking your butt, so I gave you an advantage...that's all."
Looking down at the carnage at her feet, Fraggle let out a simple comment, "Fa...I did that??"
Nodding, Tomcat answered, "Yep...we saw the whole thing too."
Bryian slid a chair over to him, "Take a seat and relax, Dan and Keltic Tommy should be back soon..if not, we go looking for them."
Fraggle complied and sat down as Tomcat handed her a mug of hot chocolate. "Never did like that plastic bitch..she has everything..."
At the power pole, Keltic Tommy waited for The Fish to catch up," Hurry up man..c'mon!"
Dan strode towards the pole. "We kicked their alien asses...Do blobs have asses to kick?"
Keltic Tommy shrugged as he threw the breaker, watching the equipment burst into a shower of sparks. "I dunno...and I don't want find out...just don't go there, ok?"
The Fish nods, "Good point…lets get back."
As the two Rangers began to move back to the tree line to pass out of sight, they observed several aliens and their biped minions returning to the ship. One group at a time they began to beam up into the glowing blue thing. "Let's get back and see what's up, Dan," whispered Keltic Tommy as he moved back into the woods.
Dan replied, "I'm with ya, Tommy...lets get out of here.."
A short time later, Keltic Tommy and The Fish returned to the camp to find the others around the fire, drinking and talking as usual. "Welcome back, guys...grab a seat." Bryian said as he motioned to the chairs. "How did it go?"
Keltic Tommy chuckled and popped open a bottle of dark beer. "Pretty good. Dan got three with the fire extinguisher and I toasted their equipment. Last we saw they were loading up to get the hell out of Dodge."
Dan nodded and added, "I think that this place just became a No Hunting Zone."
Fraggle kicked over the clone from her chair, "Look what we found out. Tomcat spotted them first. They're all Ken and Barbie clones."
Dan chuckled. "Figures...all that tech and those aliens didn't know /real/ people aren't built like Barbie and Ken."
Keltic Tommy nodded and tipped back his bottle for a long slow drink. Up in the night sky a single streak of light could be seen rising off into the universe, leaving earth far behind. "Just like a bunch of alien bimbos to try and crash our party…damn stupid." With a chuckle, Bryian turned to Tomcat, "Hey Tomcat...why not throw another Barbie on the barbie, eh mate??" Pulling a cigarette out of his pack he light it, blowing the smoke into the night sky. "I do so like vacations..."
THE END (?)
all information, images and characters associated directly with 'The Cyclone Rangers', all characters listed on the main page and 'The Adventures of The Cyclone Rangers', any attached pages through electronic links except Hanoi Xian and Dr. Buckaroo Banzai ,are©B.E.Winner 1996,1997,1998,1999,2000 all rights are reserved.