Coming soon…

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Space Cadets: Series 2

If you’re new to the series or want to catch up and remind yourself where we left off, the previous series is here: Space Cadets Series 1

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How the last series ended:
‘Fascinating,’ observes Spock. He puts the tricorder down. ‘Let me try something, Captain.’
Spock reaches across the console. He presses three keys, one after the other: Ctrl-Ale-Delete.
Everything goes black.

What next for our gallant Space Cadets? Tune in on Friday!

Space Cadets Holiday Special – Part Two

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Previously…/

I lean forward and tap on the blank viewing screen. ‘Can you get her back, Harris?’

Harris fiddles with the comms controls. ‘Nope. She’s gone.’

Stevens looks up from his side of the console. ‘There’s no trace of Greta’s Ark.’ He holds up his hands in frustration. ‘Doctor,’ he says swivelling around in his seat to face the time lord, ‘can’t you take us back in time to before she disappeared? Like when you saved us from the black hole?’

The Doctor shakes his head. ‘Sorry Stevens, it’s a good idea in theory, but the black hole was fixed in space and time. We’ve no idea where young Greta is on the space-time continuum. That monkey chap disabled her ship’s stabilizer and the Ark is spinning out of control.’ He taps his sonic screwdriver against the side of his head. ‘We need to find her.’

The Doctor starts to head towards the Tardis, but suddenly he stops and spins around to face us. He waves his sonic screwdriver at me. ‘Jemma, how did you lot manage to summon me just now? You had no idea where I was did you?’

The Doctor’s right. We just have to use our imaginations.

‘Genius, Doctor!’ cries Harris.

I look from Harris to Stevens. ‘We need to imagine Greta on her ship, just as we saw her. That should take us to the Ark, don’t you think?’

‘In theory,’ adds Stevens.

‘What about us?’ asks our new friend, David Attenborough. ‘What can we do?’

I glance at the Doctor. ‘The same: picture Greta on the Ark.’

‘Well, I guess that won’t do any harm,’ replies the Doctor. ‘I just want to check on something,’ he bounds over to the Tardis. ‘You carry on.’

‘Okay, guys,’ I say. ‘Now concentrate.’

David walks over to the console and leans on the desk opposite me. He looks up to the ceiling for a moment, then bows his head and closes his eyes.

I close my eyes and focus.

Space Cadets Christmas Special Greta Thunberg

Once again, the power of our minds works almost immediately and Greta appears back on the screen. The monkeys have vanished, and the only sign of the earlier disturbance is the broken down door in the background and the sight of her lieutenant patiently re-attaching the stabilizer lever on the control desk.

Greta smiles at us and leans on her folded hands. ‘What happened to my monkeys? They seem to have vanished.’

Suddenly there is a cacophony of screeching behind us.

‘Wait! No, come back with that!’ The Doctor is shouting from inside the Tardis. I turn to see the baboon and the spider monkey bowling out of the Tardis with the Doctor in hot pursuit. He grabs the spider monkey’s arm and prises a large silver key from its paw. ‘He’s only tried to run off with the Tardis’ ignition key!’

‘Doctor, what happened?’ I dodge the baboon, as it leaps onto the desk. Before the Doctor can reply, more monkeys spill out from the Tardis, screeching delightedly. ‘Did you bring them onto the Tardis?’ I say, edging away from the desk nervously as the baboon bares his teeth at me.

‘I don’t think so,’ replies the Doctor, dodging around a tiny marmoset which scrabbling about on the floor by his feet.

David Attenborough looks slightly sheepishDavid Attenborough raises his head. ‘I’m afraid that may have been me,’ he says rather sheepishly. ‘I was thinking about the way they were behaving.’ He eyes the two monkey ring-leaders who are both now perched on top of the console. Harris and Stevens are fighting to prevent them fiddling with the ship’s controls. ‘Sorry,’ he holds his hands up.

‘Okay, one thing at a time.’ The Doctor approaches the screen. ‘Are you all right, Greta?’

Greta nods.

‘And your ship is working correctly now?’

Greta nods again. ‘We’re back on course,’ she glances at her lieutenant who gives her a thumbs up.

Suddenly the capuchin leaps onto the Doctor’s shoulder and launches itself at the viewing screen. It peers at Greta. She leans past him. ‘You have the monkeys now?’

‘I’m afraid so,’ says David, reaching over to remove the capuchin. ‘You’re a nice little chap, aren’t you’ he murmurs to it, stroking its head. ‘Doctor, if I can lead the monkeys into the Tardis, will you be able to take us to Greta’s Ark?’

‘Just so long as they behave themselves,’ the Doctor frowns at the baboon who is now engrossed in watching Harris playing ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ on the pop-up screen in front of him.

David looks at Greta. ‘And you can be ready to receive them?’

Greta looks at her lieutenant. ‘I’ll get right on it,’ he says.

Apart from the baboon, who’s still mesmerized by the video game, the monkeys are screeching excitedly and chasing each other around the flight desk. The mess they’re making is unbelievable. What can they have been eating?

‘Righto,’ says the Doctor, raising his forefinger in the air. ‘I’ll get a fix on Greta’s Ark and, David, you round up this lot.’ He points at the excited animals. ‘I think we’ll better lock them in the basement.’ He dashes into the Tardis.

David feels in his jacket pocket and pulls out a small banana. He crouches down and holds it up to the nearest monkey. ‘What have I got here then?’ he whispers to it gently. The monkey puts his head on one side. David starts to peel it and the monkey lets out a squeal of delight. He breaks off a piece and hands it to the monkey. He breaks off another piece and gives it to the tiny marmoset which has climbed up onto his knee. Soon all the monkeys are crowded around him; even the baboon tears himself away from Harris’s game.

David produces more bananas.

‘Did you bring those with you?’

‘I didn’t, no, Jemma. They just seem to have appeared. It just occurred to me that they might be useful. It seems your ship obliged.

‘Way to go, David,’ says Stevens admiringly.

I’m reminded of the ancient Pied Piper story as David begins to lead the monkeys into the Tardis. We follow too, watching as they troop down to the basement. Soon they are all secured for the transfer.

‘Ready to roll then, David?’ says the Doctor springing up the stairs.

Regretting that we are unable to leave the ship, we watch over the monitor as the monkeys are safely delivered back to Greta’s Ark and safely locked in their cages.

Greta, flanked by David and the Doctor, waves her thanks. The Doctor turns to David. ‘Can I give you a lift back to the BBC? I was in the middle of a spot of filming with Professor Cox; quite a bright chap, by human standards.’ The Doctor winks at us.

The screen goes off and we’re alone again. I wonder what our Professor’s doing right now.

The Space Cadets will return with a new series later in the year.
Meanwhile, the Head Scriptwriter has a novel to finish.

Happy New Year

Space Cadets Holiday Special – Part One

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As promised, our gallant Space Cadets return to your screen…

I’m woken by a vaguely familiar song playing over the star-ship’s hailing channel. Rubbing my sore neck, I look around. I must’ve been out for some time. Stevens and Harris are in their seats on either side of me, heads lolling. Stevens is snoring gently.

Then I hear a voice. ‘May Day, May Day! This is Greta’s Ark. Anyone receiving? May Day!’

The voice is lost in a burst of static. Greta’s Ark? It sounds familiar. Then it dawns on me. We’d learned about Greta Thunberg when we studied early time travel. She was the girl who travelled back two hundred years to the 21st century to save the Earth’s animals. How can we be receiving a distress call from the long distant past?

I jab angrily at the console, trying to get the message back. What’s wrong with the ship now?

‘Hey, what’s the drama, Jem?’ Harris has finally woken up.

‘Comms aren’t working. Drat this ship!’ I prod at the console again.

The static clears and we hear Greta’s voice: ‘May Day, May Day! This is Greta’s Ark. Come in, somebody… please!’

Harris puts his ear to the speaker. ‘Wow! That’s the Thunberg girl, isn’t it? Cool!’ He pulls an uncomprehending face at me. ‘But hold on… she was, like, a hundred years ago…? How come she’s hailing us now?’

‘The timey-wimey thing?’ Making air quotes with my fingers, I mimic the Matt Smith version of the Doctor, who saved us from the black hole.

‘She sounds as if she’s in trouble,’ Harris says.

I roll my eyes. ‘Yes, right. So fix the console so we can find out what’s wrong!’

‘What gives, peeps?’ Steve rubs his eyes and yawns.

I can’t hide my sarcasm. ‘Welcome back, Steve.’

Harris, meanwhile, is fiddling with the comms system; the static whines and crackles. Finally, Greta Thunberg’s face appears on the view screen. I catch the end of what she’s saying: ‘… and they’re going ape!’

Space Cadets Christmas Special Greta Thunberg

I lean forward. ‘This is Jemma Kirk. How can we assist, Greta?’

‘Thank goodness.’ She doesn’t seem surprised that I know her name. ‘Listen, the monkeys have escaped and are causing mayhem. We need to get these animals under control before they do any more damage to my ship.’ Behind her we see a young man in a khaki uniform fighting to hold the flight deck door closed against a barrage of blows which are accompanied by excited screeching. ‘Please, get me David Attenborough!’

‘Who?’

‘He’s the naturalist from the 21st century who’s been helping us gather the animals. He’s from the BBC, you must have heard of him.’

Stevens is busy searching the ship’s data banks. A clip from an ancient British TV series pops up at the side of the viewing screen. I recognise the man who is crouching in a leafy rain forest next to a group of gorillas.

‘Yes, that’s him,’ Greta exclaims! ‘I’d go myself, but I can’t leave the ship.’

‘Well you can’t be in two places at once…’ I begin.

Greta cuts in. ‘I can actually, aren’t you familiar with quantum superposition?’ She throws her hands in the air. ‘Look we’re wasting time. Can you get hold of Mr. Attenborough, or not?’

‘We’ll get the Doctor,’ I say confidently.

‘Doctor who?’

‘No, just the Doctor. Don’t worry, he’ll track down your Mr. Attenborough.’

I glance at Harris and Stevens. ‘Okay, let’s do it.’ I turn back to the screen. ‘Hang on in there Greta, we’ve got this.’ I signal to Harris to cut the comms.

‘You hope…’ says Stevens.

I look from Stevens to Harris. ‘Come on, guys. We need to focus.’

All we need to do is imagine. That’s how our ship works – powered by our minds and guided by our imaginations – although I’m not sure how Greta’s distress call fits in, but there’s no time to worry about that now.

Space Cadets 5 by Chris Hall lunasonline

‘Guys, think of the Doctor! Imagine the Tardis!’

Almost immediately we hear the familiar sound of the Tardis materializing, and sure enough, the iconic blue police box appears at the other side of our flight deck. We’re getting good at this!

The door opens and I’m delighted to see the Matt Smith version of the Doctor.

‘Hi guys,’ the Doctor lifts his hand in greeting. ‘You seem to have summoned me.’ He frowns. ‘Slightly inconvenient, but I’m sure it’s important.’

‘It is, Doctor,’ I assure him.

‘So’, the Doctor claps his hands together, ‘what’s the problem Jemma?’

I explain.

‘Oh yes, David Attenborough, lovely man. Don’t you just love his nature programmes?’

At that moment, the Tardis door opens and David Attenborough himself appears. He looks around, a mildly puzzled expression on his face.

‘And here he is!’ announces the Doctor.

‘How did you do that Doctor?’ I ask.

‘No idea, Jemma.’

David Attenborough is scratching his head. ‘Oh, hello, Doctor.’ He gestures vaguely at the Tardis. Sorry, I must have wandered into the wrong studio.’ He looks around again. ‘Are you filming?’

‘Just the man we were after!’ The Doctor claps him on the back.

‘I’m going to be in one of your episodes?’ David exclaims excitedly.

‘Well, not exactly. A young lady by the name of Greta is asking for you.’

‘Ms Thunberg? I was only with her the other day.’ He frowns. ‘Has something happened to the Ark?’

‘She needs your help, Mr Attenborough.’ I guide him towards the console. ‘She’s having some trouble with the monkeys on her ship.’

‘Monkey trouble, eh?’

Harris brings up the comms and Greta’s face appears on the screen. ‘Mr Attenborough,’ she sighs with relief. ‘Thank goodness!’

At that moment, the door behind her gives way and her lieutenant is pushed off balance. He lands in a sprawling heap on the floor and a group of around ten monkeys of assorted shapes and sizes start leaping around the flight deck screeching mischievously.

‘They’re totally out of control,’ Greta cries, ‘they’re all over the ship!’ She deftly removes a cute-looking capuchin which has climbed up onto her control desk and is peering at us on the screen.

A spider monkey appears at her side and starts fiddling with the controls on the desk. ‘Get off that now!’ She tries to bat the animal away, but he persists. Another one joins it. This one’s larger; a baboon.

David leans into the screen and points a finger. ‘Now stop that at once!’ His voice is calm but authoritative. The baboon pauses and looks at the screen, turning his head to one side. Then he turns his back on us and his large red behind fills the screen.

‘Charming,’ observes the Doctor.

The picture flickers. We see Greta desperately wrestling with the spider monkey who now seems keen to sit on her head. The baboon turns around and brandishes a large lever at us which he has clearly wrenched from the control desk. ‘No!’ Greta bellows. That’s the stabilizer!’

Our viewing screen goes blank.

‘Where did they go?’ asks David.


Will the Doctor and the Cadets be able to locate Greta’s Art? Will they be in time before the monkeys dismantle Greta’s ship? And will David Attenborough take charge of the escapees?

Find out in Part 2 – coming soon!

 

Space Cadets #10

Kirk and Spock Space Cadets lunasonline

Previously…

Captain Kirk holds up his hands. “So let me get this straight,” he looks at each of us in turn. “You imagine something and then it just happens?”

“Yes sir.” I can hardly believe I’m speaking to Captain James T. Kirk“Apparently the ship is powered by our minds and guided by our imaginations.”

Spock raises a skeptical eyebrow.

“Well, that’s what the Zyborgatron said.”

“The Zybogatron?” Kirk frowns and turns to Spock who is scanning the console with his tricorder. “Anything, Spock?”

“Negative, Captain.” He tweaks the instrument again.

“The longer we stay, the more likely something else bad is going to happen again,” I say nervously. “That Klingon and the Professor…” I glance at Harris and Stevens.

The screen on the console flickers into life. The Doctor’s face appears. “Jemma! Are you still on that ship?” He knocks on the screen. “Get off at once!” We see him peer at the screen, head on one side. “Well I never, is that Captain Kirk?”

Kirk frowns. “Have we met?

“I don’t think so, but I’ve met your Chief Engineer. It was a few regenerations ago.
I sorted out a little problem  which your holodeck caused… I’m the Doctor, by the way.”

“Doctor Who?”

“No, just the Doctor; but never mind that now. The ship you are on is dangerous, Captain Kirk! You need to evacuate. Destroy it if you…”

The screen goes blank.

Kirk’s communicator chirps. “Go ahead, Scotty.”

“Sir, we have a problem…  It’s the Klingon. He’s standing right behind me with a weapon in his hand. It seems he wants that ship you’re on.”

“Fascinating,” observes Spock. He puts the tricorder down. “Let me try something, Captain.” Spock reaches across the console to the keyboard the boys were using to play Space Invaders. He presses three keys, one after the other: Ctrl-Alt-Delete.

Everything goes black.

The Enterprise Space Cadets lunasonline
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This has been the last in the present series of Space Cadets, leaving you, in fine tradition, with more questions than answers.
Fear not, Space Cadets will return!

And, of course, we will be bringing you a Christmas Special – there has to be one, doesn’t there?

Meanwhile, the script writers and production team will be busy with some other projects. Stay tuned!

Read all 10 episodes

Space Cadets #7

Game Over Space Cadets series part 7 lunasonline

Previously…

At last the shooting stops and the Doctor and I see the boys high five each other. Harris is busy with a keyboard. Over his shoulder I see him type: DS&HH and their score.

“Doctor, they’ve won!”

The Doctor squints at the screen. “Golly, 267984!”

“That’s the highest score in the known universe!”

“Clever,” the Doctor replies.

“The boys are always playing those ancient arcade games.”

“No me.” The Doctor examines his finger nails. “I’m clever.” The central column on the Tardis’ console makes a huffing noise. “Okay. The Tardis and I are clever.” He taps on the screen. “Look out there, Jenna.”

A view of the surface of a planet comes into view… and there’s the Professor’s Special Space Machine.

“I…” he eyes the column, “….we simply reset the time-stream to bring you back to square one, as it were. All the three of you need to do now is get off the Zyborgatron’s ship before any of you imagines anything else. Come on,” he strides towards the door.

“And the number I was waiting to see before I hit the green button, that wasn’t a stardate time, was it?”

“Oh that? That was a random number, a red herring; just something to keep your mind occupied, to stop you imagining something which would interfere with the Tardis’ navigation systems.” He touches his finger to his nose. “Clever, eh?”

I frown. “I thought I’d been doing something important.”

“Sometimes NOT doing something is equally important.” He opens the Tardis’ door. “Now, come along, Jenna. Let’s get you off the ship before anything else happens.”

Harris and Stevens are still celebrating.

“Did you see that?” says Stevens.

“Indeed we did. Well done, chaps!” The Doctor claps them both on the back.

I’m feeling slightly miffed. They brought on the Space Invaders attack, even if they did achieve a mega-score to defeat them.

“Right then,” says the Doctor, clapping his hands together. “Off you all pop.” He waves us in the direction of the ship’s door. “And I hope NOT to see you again!” He touches his hand to his head in salute, spins on his heel and bounds back into the Tardis.

I glance at the viewing screen as the Tardis takes off. “Look guys. It’s the Professor!”

We watch as she emerges from her Special Space Machine. Slowly she raises her hands in the air. Another figure appears behind her.

“That’s a Klingon, isn’t it?” says Harris.

The swarthy humanoid jabs his disruptor into the small of the Professor’s back.
My heart sinks.

Where did that Klingon come from? Are there more? Can the Cadets save the Professor? 
Tune in next week for the next episode of Space Cadets!

 

 

 

 

Space Cadets #6

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Previously…

“Come on, old girl!” shouts the Doctor smacking the side of the central column of the Tardis’ console which is emitting an unpleasant screeching sound as it rises and falls.

“Is everything all right? Doctor,” I yell over the noise, gripping the edge of the console to steady myself as the Tardis bucks and pitches.

“Um, yes, just needs a minor correction.” He frowns at the column and flicks a couple of switches. The Tardis comes to an abrupt halt and all is quiet “Come on, let’s see what’s happening outside.” He motions me to stand beside him, then with a flourish he taps a button on the console. A large viewing screen flashes up on the other side of the control room.

The screen is blank.

“Ah,” he says tapping on the button repeatedly. Nothing happens. The screen is still blank.

The Doctor rushes over to the doors and flings then open.

All is black.

I follow him and peer out. “Oh,” I say. There is literally nothing there. I turn to the Doctor who is rubbing his jaw. “Where’s space gone?”

“That, Jemma, is space.” He leans out of the doors looking up and down. “Space. Nothing else.”

“But the stars and…”

“I better check the coordinates,” he says over his shoulder as he runs back to the console. “Close the doors won’t you?”

I pull the doors closed. My heart thumps. “What’s happened to Harris and Stevens? Are they all right?”

“I certainly hope so.” He pulls out his sonic screwdriver and disappears under the console.

The viewing screen flickers into life showing a view of my two shipmates sitting just where I’d left them on our spacecraft. Both have expressions of extreme concentration on their faces. In the background I can see what they’re staring at. I blink in surprise.

They’re playing the ancient arcade game ‘Space Invaders’!

The Doctor reappears from beneath the console. “That should do it. We should be able to see them now.” He glances at the screen as the Tardis shudders under a sudden impact.

“No, NO,NO, NO!” he shouts.

I turn to him, not understanding what’s happening. The Tardis shudders again; sparks fly from the console. The Doctor points at the bottom of the screen the boys are staring at. “They’re firing at us!”

We watch as the little white aliens descend towards the Tardis.

The boys are firing back.

“No Doctor, they’re defending us.”

Or at least they’re trying to…

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Will the Harris and Stevens beat the aliens? Can the Tardis escape from the game? 
Tune in next week for the next episode of Space Cadets!

Space Cadets #5

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Previously…

“That’s a black hole!” I stare in horror at the viewing screen. “How close is it?”

 

[FIVE MINUTES TO EVENT HORIZON]

 

The red light starts to flash.

“Your doctor friend,” cries Stevens. “Call him!”

I close my eyes and visualize the Tardis. Nothing happens. I empty my mind then start to picture every detail I can remember of the familiar blue box. To my relief I hear its arrival over the shrill wail of the siren. I open my eyes to see Tardis materialize. The door opens. It’s the Matt Smith version of the Doctor.

“Ah,” he says, “spot of bother?” He bounds over to the screen. “Oh, I should say so!” He looks round at us.

“Can you help us, Doctor?” I stare up at him.

 

[FOUR MINUTES TO EVENT HORIZON]

 

“Let me think,” he says, tapping his sonic screwdriver absently against the side of his head. He starts to pace about.

Suddenly he whirls around to face us. “Okay. I’m going to tether your ship to the Tardis, then we’re going to travel back in time to before that thing formed.” He points at the screen.

“But it’ll be a supernova, won’t it?” shouts Stevens.

“Good point.” The Doctor waves his sonic screwdriver at Stevens. “Back to before the star goes supernova.” He taps his head again. “I’ll just need to make a couple of calculations.”

 

[THREE MINUTES TO EVENT HORIZON]

 

“Who’s good at maths?”

The boys look at me. “Jemma!”

“Okay, Jemma,” he nods. “Come with me.”

The interior of the Tardis looks exactly as I thought it would. The Doctor runs around the control console flicking switches and turning dials. He hums to himself as he works.

Grabbing my hand he takes me to the other side of the console. “Watch this screen,” he indicates a monitor with seemingly random numbers flashing up on it. “When it reaches 367.984, hit that green button.” He points to the button. “Don’t take your eyes off that screen; we only have one chance at this!” He rushes over to the door and pokes his head out.

 

[TWO MINUTES TO EVENT HORIZON]

 

“Remember, chaps. You must believe this will work. Concentrate on nothing else!” I glance up and see him touch his hand to the side of his head in salute.

He shuts the door and returns to the console. “The monitor, Jemma. Concentrate!” I hear him flick some more switches

I stare at the screen. The numbers continue to change.
I concentrate, willing 367.984 to appear.

 

[ONE MINUTE TO EVENT HORIZON]

 

I stare at the monitor.

The number I’ve been waiting for flashes up.

I hit the green button.

The Tardis is going to save us.

Space Cadets 5 by Chris Hall lunasonline

Will the Tardis save our brave Cadets?
Tune in next week for the next episode of Space Cadets!

Space Cadets #4

Hanson Lu on Unsplash

Previously…

“What’s that noise?” yells Stevens over the resonating sound.

“Sounds like the Tardis.” I reply, still wondering what happened to the Borg Cube which a moment ago had been poised to assimilate our space craft.

“The what?”

“It’s the doctor.” I say confidently. “That’s who I just thought of. You know how it works.”

“Doctor who?” the boys turn to be, puzzled expressions on their faces.

I roll my eyes. “Yes, that’s right. Doctor Who. From the British TV series. You know, late 20th, early 21st century? Goes around space and time saving people.” I raise my eyebrows. “Like he might be able to get us out of this mess..?”

They shake their heads. Then their eyes slide past me, widening. I spin around in my chair to see the familiar blue box start to materialize. Relieved, I try to jump up from my seat, but the safety belt restrains me.

Suddenly the ship is rocked by a huge explosion. Over my shoulder the viewing screen flashes on, showing a ball of flames and massive pieces of dark black debris scattering across the void.

“Gotcha!” cries Harris, punching the air.

“Way to go!” cheers Stevens, leaning across the console to give Harris a high five.

So that’s what’s happened to the Cube. “How did you do that?” I ask.

“Hit the red button,” Harris indicates the joystick in front of him.

I turn back to see the Tardis start to fade. “Come back, Doctor!” I cry. “We need your help!”

“We don’t need help from some old doctor. We’re fine,” says Harris smugly. “I just blew up The Borg.”

“Er, I’d not be so sure,” says Stevens pointing at the viewing screen.

black hole guardian.com

How will the Cadets escape from the Black Hole? And who imagined that??
Tune in next week for the next episode of Space Cadets!

Space Cadets #3

Space Cadets by Chris Hall lunasonline
Source

Previously…

The music fades out as we leave the planet’s atmosphere. The viewing screen blinks.

[STARDATE: 2607.7 – DESTINATION: SECOND STAR ON THE RIGHT]

The letters dissolve. The screen is filled with huge rocks, hurtling towards us.

“Asteroids!” yells Stevens.

The warning siren starts to wail and the red light flashes.

“Does this thing have shields?” I wonder out loud.

[SHIELDS ACTIVATED]

A medium-sized asteroid glances off the screen; the ship slews. Only our seat straps save us from being thrown to the floor.

“How do we steer?” shouts Harris.

A joystick, with a large red button on the top, sprouts from the console in front of him. He grabs hold and his eyes fix on the screen. His tongue pokes out of the side of his mouth; his gaming face. The control is hyper-responsive. Harris dodges nimbly through the asteroid belt, blowing rocks to smithereens with a dab of his thumb.

Then we’re through. The asteroids are behind us and all we can see is the inky blackness of space, peppered with bright pinpricks of light which are the stars.

All is quiet. We sit back and admire the view. My thoughts wander.

 

A huge black cube appears on the left of the screen. It glitters menacingly.  

[You will be assimilated]

Stevens peers at the screen. “The Borg Cube!

The ship is being pulled towards the vast angular vessel. Sirens wail, warning lights flash. 

“But that’s not real!” Harris protests as he wrestles desperately with the joystick.

The ship judders ominously.

[Resistance is useless]

Stevens turns to me. “Hold on. Remember what the Zyborgatron said?”

I think for a moment. “Something about the ship being ‘guided by your imaginations.’ “

“Okay, who imagined The Borg?” Harris growls.

“Never mind who’s responsible. Just think of something else; something friendly!” I yell. “Hurry!”

The Borg Cube fills the screen. Harris jabs the red button repeatedly.

The viewing screen goes blank.

 

Then I hear a familiar sound.

Tune into episode #4

Virtually all the fun of the fair!

Virtually all the fun of the fair Chris Hall lunasonline
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In response to The Haunted Wordsmith’s Three Things Challenge:
Holodeck, Klingon, Doctor Who

With apologies to the creators of Star Trek and Doctor Who

The doors to the holodeck swooshed closed. Ensign Marcus Bain felt a warm breeze ruffle his crew cut and the midday sun on his skin. Dressed in appropriate time-period leisurewear he plunged into the fairground crowd.

Garish colours, distorted sounds and the smell of fried food assaulted his senses. He checked the handful of notes and coins which had been issued to him with his slippery pale blue nylon outfit. There had been some orientation information on the pre-entry briefing screen, but he’d barely skimmed it in his impatience to visit late-twentieth century Earth.

He stared about at the crudely-made mechanical rides from which music blared and people screamed. The young ensign selected a ride at random and proffered a handful of coins. The operator raised his eyebrows and laughed, saying something Marcus didn’t catch, before showing him to one of the little rubber-rimmed cars which people were driving around the smooth oval-shaped rink.

Marcus had only just wedged himself into the seat of his little green car when someone bumped him hard from behind. He swivelled around, but the car had already reversed away. Then another slammed into him from the side. “You drive like a Klingon on Rackta,” he yelled at the driver who gave him a thumbs-up sign before driving off to bash a little blue car. Marcus clutched the steering wheel and depressed the single pedal on the floor. The car moved forward, describing a graceful arc.

He cruised around the rink, skilfully avoiding attempts by other cars to bump him. It was a bit like steering a star-ship through a meteor shower; not that he’d actually done that other than on a simulator. Marcus was oblivious to the hostile looks from the other drivers as he evaded their challenges and failed to make any contact himself. Then three cars came at him at once, one behind and two on either side, driving him edge of the rink. There was nowhere for his little green car to go. Marcus swung his car around to face them and stopped. He could feel the pressure from their cars push against his, which was tight up against the rim of the rink. The electric charges from the poles mounted on the back of the cars crackled brightly on the conductive mesh above their heads. The three guys scowled at Marcus. All were dressed in tight cut off t-shirts which revealed hostile-looking tattoos on their arms. He saw the man on his right crack his knuckles.

Marcus was up and out of the little green car before they had a chance to move. He hesitated for a few seconds, then seeing them hoist themselves out onto the busy rink and advance towards him, he set off at a run. The nylon fabric of his clothing slid unpleasantly over his skin as he looked around for somewhere to lose his pursuers.

Marcus noticed a door flapping open at the rear of one of the flimsy buildings. He dived through the door slamming it behind him. It was very dark. Marcus felt his way along a narrow corridor. His stomach knotted as he heard his pursuers enter behind him. Marcus groped his way along the passage until he found another door; he opened it cautiously and slipped through.

It was suddenly very bright; the walls around him were lined with mirrors which distorted and multiplied his reflection. He rounded a corner, hurrying past the grotesque versions of his reflected self into a mirror-lined corridor which twisted and zigzagged before opening into a large, triangular-shaped room. He heard a shout: ‘split up, get him.’ Heavy footsteps pounded on the wooden floor; the mirrors shook. Before Marcus could decide which way to run, three figures appeared each from a different doorway. Marcus was trapped.

‘Exit!’ shouted Marcus, remembering the escape command.

‘We’re not going anywhere,’ one of them grunted. The three men closed in on the now desperate Marcus, who knew he was not immune to blows from holographic foe.

‘Exit!’ Marcus yelled again. Why didn’t the program end?

Vworp! Vworp! The three men stopped and turned to see a large shape materializing in the middle of the room. Marcus sighed with relief. But what appeared wasn’t what he’d expected. Rather than an archway, it was a big blue box, taller than a man and a little wider than the double doors in the side which faced him. Perhaps this was a new version of the Arch? He wished he’d read the briefing more thoroughly. One of the doors opened and a figure in a long brown coat and an even longer stripy scarf appeared. He raised his broad-brimmed hat revealing a shock of unruly, curly hair.

‘Good afternoon, gentlemen,’ he said. He looked at Marcus, ‘You’d better come with me ensign.’

Marcus hesitated; his three would-be assailants stood open-mouthed.

‘Come along Ensign Bain, hurry up now,’ the man said, beckoning to him. ‘This way.’

Marcus hurried toward the blue box. ‘Who are you?’ he asked his rescuer as he drew level with him at the doorway.

‘I’m the Doctor,’ he replied, offering Marcus a toothy grin as he ushered him inside.

Doctor who?’ asked Marcus.

‘Have a jelly baby,’ said the Doctor, offering him a crumpled paper bag.

Marcus stared around him.

‘Welcome to the Tardis! Bigger on the inside, yes, I know,’ said the Doctor, beaming wide-eyed at Marcus. ‘Now let’s get you back where you belong,’ he said as he pushed buttons and pulled on levers at the central console.

Before Marcus could take stock of his surroundings, the Tardis materialized in the engine room of the USS Enterprise. ‘Home,’ said the Doctor, helping a dazed Marcus out.

‘Aye, another one, is it Doctor?’ said Scotty, the Chief Engineer.

The Doctor nodded. ‘Your virtual reality toy keeps causing a tiny rift in the space-time continuum. You need to fix it. I’ve better things to do than scoop up young ensigns on their day off.’

‘Aye, Doctor,’ said Scotty, ‘we’ll get onto it right away.’

©2018 Chris Hall