Through the glass of the door, Kipper saw the pointy ears and orange fur of her brother and sister. They faced the other way, seated at a table and watching a television screen on the wall. The screen showed a pug dog gesticulating wildly. Trudith and Lucky also sat at the table, but they seemed preoccupied with something Kipper couldn’t see.
The Jolly Barracuda docked at Deep Sky Anchor for the first time since Kipper had joined the crew. She watched the gray metal habitat rings of the rotating station approach on the main bridge’s viewscreen, and she remembered all the times she’d watched space fly by through one of the porthole windows elsewhere on the ship instead. She was sure that those windows were all crowded full of the pug faces of miserably wet Persians now, but she wasn’t among them. She was on the bridge, manning one of the stations. She had come a long way. Continue reading “Otters In Space 2 – Chapter 32: Earth”
The first of the Kipper Brighton: The Hero of Europa videos hit the sketchier parts of the interwebs before Kipper’s friends and family even knew if she’d survived the rescue mission to Europa. No one in the rest of the Solar System knew what was happening in orbit of Jupiter. Had the Jolly Barracuda succeeded? How many had they rescued? Or was the Jolly Barracuda just another ship smashed to pieces by the raptors? Continue reading “Otters In Space 2 – Chapter 31: The Solar System”
For all the responsibility hanging on her shoulders, Kipper stood uselessly in the dark, watching Emily’s spacesuit-wrapped tentacles fly around, working the panels. The glowing lights on the panels danced, and Kipper watched their reflections play across the bubble of helmet over Emily’s eyes. None of it meant anything to her, but clearly it meant something to Emily.
Kipper’s paws itched to sign questions at Emily: “What are you learning? What does it say? Can we use this base for anything?” But she kept her paws to herself, endeavoring to stay out of Emily’s way and keep from distracting her. It would do her no good to act like an impatient kitten, swatting at anything she saw just to evoke a reaction. Continue reading “Otters In Space 2 – Chapter 30: Europa”
In the hidden base on Europa, the minutes passed like hours, but back on Earth the hours passed like minutes. Trudith’s apartment had become the spontaneous headquarters for her scramball team’s efforts. Dahlia and several of the other dogs, at Trudith’s request, had brought laptop computers with them. Now they crouched around the different computer screens haphazardly arranged on the coffee table. Clips of Kipper played on all the screens. Continue reading “Otters In Space 2 – Chapter 29: Earth”
In the middle of the Europan ice desert, many miles beyond New Persia and under the watchful eye of Jupiter’s great red spot, Kipper and Emily sank into the moon’s interior on an old, abandoned elevator. The shaft rose up around them, shrinking the circle of sky they could see. They deeper they sank, the smaller it got. Kipper turned off her helmet light and stared up at the receding stars. Eventually, a metal iris closed above them, sealing them into the darkness. Continue reading “Otters In Space 2 – Chapter 28: Europa”
While the dogs of Trudith’s scramball team worked out their plans to elect a President Brighton, the newly minted Captain Brighton discovered the terrors of her own command inside the cramped, foreign vessel she could now call her own.
Spinning like a whirligig, the two winged ship Brighton’s Destiny disembarked from the Jolly Barracuda’s cargo bay. After a few dizzying swerves, the vessel straightened into a slow arced course for Europa. From inside, Kipper watched the Jolly Barracuda, the ship that had been her home for many months now, barrel past on a fast, straight course to the same destination. Continue reading “Otters In Space 2 – Chapter 27: Jupiter System”
While Kipper contemplated the opening moves of the interplanetary war facing them all, Trudith was hard at work trying to affect the war’s mid-game by laying the groundwork for putting another Brighton at the forefront of the action.
So far, she had called a meeting of her scramball team and spent the morning scurrying around, gathering supplies for hosting the team properly at her apartment. Pork rind curls, Munchy-Crunchy peanut butter balls, and beef sticks sufficed for snacks. A good spread of snacks could put any group of dogs into an agreeable mood. Well, almost any group of dogs — all those Shelties at their big Sheltie meeting hadn’t seemed too agreeable, and their food had been super fancy. Continue reading “Otters In Space 2 – Chapter 26: Earth”
While Trudith phoned her scramball mates, rallying them to her cause, Kipper floated inside the Jolly Barracuda, treading water and watching Captain Cod sign a description of his battle plans for defending New Persia. Most of the crew assembled on the bridge to watch him, even Emily and the rescued octopus.
Captain Cod’s paws moved with a deliberation and certainty that they rarely held. “We are about to embark on a dangerous mission. The Jolly Barracuda is not a warship, but she will not shirk from battle if honor calls for it. Nor will her crew.” Continue reading “Otters In Space 2 – Chapter 25: Jupiter”
With Kipper gone, Trudith and Petra found themselves alone with each other again. Although it had only been a time-delayed ghost of her, Kipper’s presence had filled the space between Trudith and Petra, bridging the gap between them. The emptiness she left behind was like a giant chasm. The tenuous bridge she had provided, crumbled away, leaving them with a gulf of silence. Continue reading “Otters In Space 2 – Chapter 24: Earth”