Torpedoes Incoming!

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Tactical officer Emma makes the urgent announcement: Queen Elcyra has launched a barrage of torpedoes at the Kodiak! Captain James Anchor gives helmsman Gerald and weapons officer Jason some quick commands, and then announces an alert to the rest of the ship! Zik gets his crash helmet ready and moves to the secondary weapons console.

Meanwhile, there’s nothing Queen Elcyra likes better than crushing her enemies! She cackles with glee, giving Zik’s nickname for her more truthfulness than he probably anticipated!

Down in the medical bay, Fiona is helping Vera into a medical diagnostic pod. It doubles as an escape pod in case the attack goes badly for our heroes! Trent and Amelia aren’t sure what the alarm means, but Fiona explains it quickly. She’ll have to get some proper space-worthy clothing for Amelia and Trent! You don’t want to get sucked out a hull breach wearing a t-shirt or a robe! Fiona has a spare flight suit that should fit Amelia, and she offers Trent some body armor. Will the Kodiak survive the onslaught?

Defiance

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Queen Elcyra seems quite put out that an entire ship of people would laugh at the opportunity to escort her illustrious person to meet with their leaders.

Zik can’t take her arrogance any longer, and cuts her off mid-sentence! He gives her a piece of his mind and lets her know that Zoz has no leaders, nor does it want any! The long and violent history of humanity since the dawn of civilization has proven the point: people who submit to authority inevitably get tyranny!

The crafty, crazy Queen doesn’t seem too bothered by Ziks tirade. She orders her Clonoids to open fire on the Kodiak!

Laughing In The Face Of Danger

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Queen Elcyra has arrived! She opens her first official dialogue with a Zozian vessel by mocking the Zozians. Diplomacy isn’t important to a tyrant!

James Anchor gives a polite response with a stoney expression. Zik isn’t impressed either, but for him things are already personal – after all, Elcyra just killed a bunch of his new friends!

Elcyra introduces herself with the grandiose titles she has bestowed upon herself and tells the Zozians that they can have the honor of escorting her to meet with their leaders.

Zik and James look at each other with bemused expressions. Did she just say “Take me to your leader” to a ship full of anarcho-capitalists? The situation is too ludicrous for words, and everyone on the bridge cracks up laughing!

Confrontation

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James Anchor formally welcomes his guests to the Kodiak, but as Vera’s lung cancer acts up, he realizes that they need a check-up to make sure his crew isn’t in any danger. After all, there’s a thousand years of colds and flus that have had a divergent evolutionary path! The Kodiak’s medic Fiona is tasked with checking them over in the infirmary. But no time for chit-chat, the captain is needed on the bridge!

Zik and James head up to the command bridge and get a report from tactical officer Emma. A huge ship is inbound! There’s only one person that could be! Gerald, the pilot currently manning the weapons systems while Jason finishes stowing the shuttle, is ordered to ready all weapons systems.

Sure enough, Queen Elcyra arrives in her capital ship, mighty pleased with herself for catching the Zozians before they can leave!

Takeoff!

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Zik starts his ship and gives Seamus access to monitor the systems to keep an eye on the damaged engines. Meanwhile, Amelia has a million questions about the ship and how it works! Zik promises to teach her to fly when they get back home to Zoz. Speaking of heading home, it’s time to start that journey! The small fleet of ships takes off, heading for orbit, while the Zernabian prison factory burns in the distance. They have to travel carefully, trimming the use of the main engines once the ship gets high enough to go the rest of the way on the auxiliary maneuvering thrusters. They approach the Kodiak, which is drifting in orbit waiting for them, surrounded by the wreckage of some more Zernabian patrol ships! It seems the pilot, Gerald, has been busy!

A New Dress

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Our refugees board the shuttle and James Anchor gives the order to take off. The first stop: Zik’s ship! As the shuttle rises into the sky, Vera peers out of the window and bids her dear friends an emotional farewell. Soon, the shuttle and its Chadee escort arrive at the cave where Zik’s ship is hidden. Zik and Seamus, the Kodiak’s chief engineer, get out to go and inspect the ship. A curious Amelia tags along. Seamus pronounces the patch job to be good enough for now while Zik changes clothes.  Our hero steps out in his new (old) outfit, and Amelia praises his fashion choices!

Tanaka

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Tanaka jumps out of his snub fighter and gives a huge high five to Zik. Now we finally see what a Chadee is! They are a race of genetically engineered chimpanzees, who were given the ability to speak and understand at a human level by one of the geneticists that helped rebuild Earth’s ecosystem on Zoz. The full story about that, and the huge controversy it started among Zozians, will be told in a comic exclusively for Zik site members! Make sure you sign up so that you can see it when the time comes. There will be all kinds of extra back-story type of stuff available to patrons! I’ll also be filling in the information into the Zik Wiki that’s available for members. There’s so much amazing stuff for people who sign up!

Meanwhile, as Zik begins to explain the story to Amelia (who has never seen an Earth animal), James Anchor interrupts to remind Zik that they aren’t safe where they are and need to evacuate as quickly as possible.

Reunions

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An elated Zik rushes back to find Amelia with Vera and a recovering Trent. He assures them that the new spaceships that have appeared are friends who have arrived to rescue them. The shuttle doors open and Zik eagerly greets his good friend James Anchor, who has brought some muscle to back him up. While Jason and Seamus keep a watchful eye for trouble, Zik quickly introduces his new Zernabian friends to James, and tells him about the insanity of Queen Elcyra. Zik also tries to compliment James on an incredible shot, but it was Tanaka who took out the giant clonoid from his snub fighter! The fighter lands, the doors open… and Amelia screams! What has she seen?

Timely Bullseye

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The Clonoid super-soldier is shocked as a large rail-gun round bursts through his heart! His thick skin may be able to withstand sidearm rounds, but this is significantly bigger! The Clonoid falls, the giant chunk of rubble he was hoisting crushing his head. Zik is taken aback, unable to comprehend what has happened until, through the smoke, he glimpses the familiar sight of the shuttle and two fighters from the Kodiak inbound! James Anchor has arrived just in time!

Bear Hug

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The Clonoid has waited until Zik was close, and it grabs him in its giant arms! Zik realizes his mistake too late as the Clonoid squeezes him in a crushing bear hug! Something snaps, and the Clonoid tosses Zik aside. Our hero can’t breathe! The chest plate has been crushed and it’s preventing Zik from being able to fill his lungs! Luckily, Zoot is always monitoring things, and ejects the body armor before Zik is suffocated. In the meanwhile, the Clonoid has grabbed a giant chunk of rubble. It heaves the huge boulder over its head and prepares to crush Zik with it! Is this the end??


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