Captain Eo is a young, bachelor space captain who is new to the Voyager exploration crew. After an unsatisfactory mission, he is given one final chance to redeem himself in an assignment to Mars. During the grueling journey, he faces challenges and obstacles that could change the course of his future forever.
Bad: 1986-1990, Fantasy, Sci Fi Characters:
Michael, Original Girl
Jan 06, 2022 Updated:
Feb 18, 2022
1. Chapter 1 by yourburgersarethebest
2. Chapter 2 by yourburgersarethebest
3. Chapter 3 by yourburgersarethebest
Chapter 1 by yourburgersarethebest
Shooting stars were always a bad omen.
One zipped past while Eo, a young novice of the Voyager crew, stared out into the night sky from the window of a frigid starship observatory.
Eo watched the comet pass until the sparks from its tail fizzled into the ink-black space beyond the glass of the port. A small uprising of excited gasps from his comrades then filled the silence of the observatory. A group of astronauts made light conversation on how rare it was to see a comet at their distance from their home planet.
Eo's profile, made all the more boyish with his elvish nose and soft chin, remained hidden in the observatory's space, but an ocassional starlight would highlight his black, messy hair-coils or illuminate his brown eyes that were bent under his brows in deep thought.
Alike other captains in the observatory, his uniform was all-white and made of a material close to leather with many buckles and pockets for required gadgets or weapons. Eo's cape, white with a black underside, proudly displayed his rank as it blanketed his shoulders and ankles.
Eo noted there were higher-ups in the observatory who had also come to destress after a long day on-duty. They, the Commanders, wore all-black clothing paired with an intimidating pair of sleek, ebony boots and a long, inky cape. One Commander he couldn't quite place met his eyes, and nodded faintly across the room.
Eo's lips remained stuck in a thin line as his eyes lowered to his shifting white boots. His thin, caramel-skinned fingers filed once against the sill of the ice-cold port.
"Eo," greeted the deep voice from Comnander Bog.
Eo didn't flinch, expecting the voice to emerge last from the meeting room.
"What kind of face is that to make?" Bog inquired, now beside Eo. "You just had a successful mission." Bog had to mention, with a slight nudge to Eo's stone-like stance: "your first successful mission, may I add. Good work."
Eo chuckled, an automatic response to seeing the shadows of Bog's lopsided smirk in the starlight. His throat felt dry when he mumbled, "I was just following orders."
"Precisely." Bog tensed his jaw, and then searched for a constellation before him. "I suppose I should tell you the news."
Eo glanced to Bog to go on.
"The Commanders and I did not approve your promotion this year."
Eo sighed, and appeared even smaller than he already was.
"However, we have approved you for another mission. This time, to Mars. A few of the Space Academy kids need a chaperone for their first field trip out-of-planet. You're a wonderful listener, Eo. You're patient and a great teacher, not much like the other captains. Not everyone gets to have the privilege to be a role model to the students."
Eo left his starvigil and stalked towards the exit of the observatory. "Tell 'em I'm not interested," he tossed behind him.
Bog clopped his black boots swiftly behind Eo's heels. "I thought you'd be thanking me! Not every captain gets three ridiculously easy missions in a row, you know!" Bog called in exasperation. Eo was an incredibly fast walker in a temper, and Bog quickly grew winded trying to follow him on the runway towards the bunkers. "What exactly is your problem?"
Eo's cape swirled around furiously and he barked, "no one around here is taking me seriously!"
Bog glanced to a comrade who strolled by curiously.
Eo continued, more quietly. "I am the only captain not in an exploration route, and you've done nothing to change that. You're supposed to be my friend--you were supposed to tell 'em I'm ready for a real mission!"
Bog shut his eyes, exhausted at saying the same things in so many ways to his friend. He decided not to be vague. "You need more experience!" Bog faced Eo. "For all I know, it could be by pure luck that you're still alive."
Eo folded his arms.
"Your crew still doesn't respect you, your self-defense is sloppy and violent, your navigation technique is average at best, and you can be unreasonably late to meetings."
"It's not like I'd miss anything. It's just jelly donuts," Eo muttered to himself, hearing Bog's criticisms for the first time.
Bog blinked curtly and met Eo's volume with a serious overtone. "Do this mission, even better than the last, and I'll consider doing a little more... persuasion. Maybe you can be a Commander sooner than you think. There's nothing more I'd love than to have you working right by my side, like old times." Bog's rare smiling wrinkles arose near his eyes and mouth.
Eo felt Bog's glove land gracefully on his shoulder. Eo's early memories with Bog, as his then equally-naiive co-captain of his starship, flashed before his eyes. Like a telepathy, they both giggled at one embarrasing incident that had sent them to maintenance duty for nearly a light-year.
"Alright, when do I start?" Eo relented. He held one raised brow at Bog for what exactly his new mission had in store.
Chapter 2 by yourburgersarethebest
Please let me know what you think
Commander Bog returned to the meeting room and found the roundtable void of everyone. At the port to the space-view at the east of the starship, Bog saw his supervisor, the colonel, looking somewhere beyond the stars with his arms crossed and his lips bowed angrily. The dark-skinned colonel was still dressed in all black, as he was when he led the commanders' discussion of Captain Eo's renewal on the exploration fleet some hours ago.
With his back to the room's entrance, the colonel said, "yes, Bog?"
"I hope I'm not disturbing you, sir," Bog greeted to his supervisor's head of greying, wooly hair when he was a welcoming distance away. "I only wanted to wish you a good night."
"Captain Eo has accepted the Mars voyage?"
"Yes," Bog said, allowing the corners of his lips to lift. "I believe he will not let us down." Bog prepared to make his exit.
"Stay for a moment, Commander."
Bog halted and returned to his post from the colonel. In case the colonel wished to tell him a longer message for his morning duties, Bog joined his gloves behind him and rested them comfortably on his back.
"I'm making Eo your responsibility for the voyage." The colonel said.
"My responsibility? What do you mean, sir?" Bog asked.
"It means that if Eo fails this mission, then you will be relieved of your duties as well."
Bog blurted an unlikely sound--a small gasp--that surprised himself and the colonel. The colonel turned to Bog and witnessed Bog's mouth slightly agape, forming one question and then a next, and a next. Bog's eyes, the colonel also observed, were--strangely--panicked, searching him desperately for answers.
The colonel went on to explain, "if Eo is as capable as you claim, then you have nothing to worry about, commander."
"That is not fair," Bog muttered to his boots, his heart hammering his ribcage.
"It's the principle of the matter," The colonel reluctantly admitted. "Eo was your recommendation when I asked for a recruit. You had promised someone brave, full of integrity, with an energetic personality, and highly advanced soft skills."
"He is all of those things and more, sir."
The colonel shook his head in a delayed reply. "I know you are good friends with Captain Eo, almost too good. You were friends since childhood; Eo told me himself. You both dated the same officer, correct?"
"I do not understand your point."
"Eo constantly undermines your authority simply because you allow it to happen. I know that it was because of Eo that you chose to invest funds from this starship's budget to support 'Taco Wednesdays' in the concession hall."
"They are named: 'Taco Tuesdays', sir."
"Ever since Eo has joined the fleet, you have began to make unusual decisions because of his private influence."
"I assure you, there is no 'private influence' as you speak of," Bog replied, narrowing his eyes at the colonel as the colonel paced in front of the port.
"His last suggestion to..." the colonel let out a rueful laugh. "...deliver his gift of music to The Queen was another waste of our resources! The Queen is not a strong ally that we should concern ourselves with. I am surprised you even thought of moving forward with a captain's suggestion in the first place."
"I will forever stand by that decision." Bog said. "Sir, we must be acquainted with whomever we can in the stars. There's no telling who has plans to attack our ship; you know that. The Queen's Whip Warriors are highly effective at combat, if we should ever need assistance. Also, it is my opinion that every officer deserves a say in our strategies. The Commanders of this star-base no longer seek to be dictators, as of your generation, and neither do I."
"The Queen threatened to use her magic to turn us all into her slaves if Eo's welcoming gift was not adequate! It was nothing but luck that she had not turned Eo's crew into...what was it?"
The colonel remembered and scoffed. "In my opinion, Captain Eo and his disgraceful crew would be more useful as such." The Colonel stood still and then he busied his attention with the passing starships of the galaxy. A mammoth craft of steel appeared in Bog's and the colonel's view and flashed its orbiters just before its sparkly insignia ribboned past their gazes. The Colonel, knowing the pilot who waved, smirked at the glass. "We have a mission on this starship, to foster strong relations with reputable neighbors of this galaxy, and with their help, relocate to a new planet so our future generations will have a place to call home, just as Earth had been for our ancestors. Do you still believe in this mission? You swore an oath to protect it, after all."
"I have never questioned and never will abandon our devotion to the future of the Human Race."
The colonel nodded, looking relieved. "Yes, I know. But Eo has made you dangerous to our future, Bog," he continued. "and I am beginning to rethink my choice to make you my successor. Can you do this assignment, or not?"
Bog understood the colonel's statement wasn't a question at all. "Yes, sir."
Chapter 3 by yourburgersarethebest
CAPTAIN EO DESCENDED his spaceship into the tangerine, hazy mist of Mars' atmosphere. As his spaceshield floated to the arid rock beds of the landscape, Eo kept a steady, white glove over the hull's micro-navigators. His eyes recorded the slight twitches of his fingers and matched the tilt of the craft's wings in milliseconds. Bog, standing by his side, judged the landing silently, not impressed by Eo's ridiscovered attention to detail in his presence.
Fortunately, Bog reasoned to himself, Eo's former crew were not needed for the simple students' escort to Mars' historical sites, and they had all more than agreed to take the requested vacation from mission duty. So far and so good was the consensus Bog reached after a routine departure and close-to-final landing on Mars' grounds.
The Academy students seemed bright and obedient, for they had kept their conversations in Eo's guest bunks to a reasonable level. Bog was relieved at the laughs and jitters of camraderie he had heard during the flight through the Milky Way galaxy, for the silence of space was always deafening, nearly tangible. Eo, who knew this as well as anyone, had been difficult to make conversation with, even after Bog had attempted an inside joke, leaving Bog to ponder if Eo wasn't speaking as his usual self at the command bay for the sake of the students' poosible listening ears.
Eo's reservedness had the air of a punishment, Bog thought, and it underscored how, frankly, boring the mission truly was. As if Bog hadn't already known that on a personal level; he and Eo had seen Mars more times than a toiletseat.
Reassuming his new role not as Eo's former roomate in flight training but as his reluctant superior, Commander Bog glanced over Eo's shoulder to make sure Eo's landing was correctly within the coordinates the Colonel had sent. "Easy...and a little to the left," Bog advised Eo lowly.
Eo toggled his navigation grips sidways, and the nose of the starship squeaked before the hull leaned left.
"Not so fast!" Bog shouted, gripping a balance rail. "Your model is an older and sensitive aircraft; be more gentle."
Eo obeyed, and soon his starship restored its balance. Bog sighed in relief at his navigation gizmo when the readers of Eo's starship showed that its real position and the landing coordinates were in-sync.
"Disengage all controls," Bog announced immediately, "and input power-saving mode, please."
"I did that already," Eo muttered. "Let's get this over with." Eo said, advancing towards the cabin's where the children from the space academy were waiting. Eo felt a hand push his center square once more with Bog's shoulders.
"Not quite." Bog said. After an indifferent pause, Eo remembered and he turned off the light-beams of his starship's rears, fins, and nose beacons with gentle flicks of his controls.
"Don't make faces," Eo said, ignoring Bog's satisfied smirk.
Meanwhile, in the starship's guest cabins, the academy pupils were waiting for Bog or Eo to knock on their port and escort them to Mars' geosphere.
One alien space academy student was Org. It was a salmon colored, four-foot, squid-like anthropod that buoyed above its own gravity emitted by its body. It didn't say much because it simply couldn't say much, for it didnt have vocal chords after all.
It hoped to find some rare Martian plants it had seen in a e-log and take their measurements so it could reproduce a model of them back at its home in the star base. It did not trust the other two students, mainly because they talked much more than usual, and they didn't like to include it in their conversations.
It did not blame those Human descendants, for it could not talk after all, but it did not like the feeling of lonliness, for it had suffered a lot of it in space academy classes. Org turned its head to his center when his name was mentioned.
Another student, a ebony-skinned, almond-eyed, and short-haired girl named Zephyr, had told it, "Org, you're so boring it's annoying. Anyway," she then turned to the third student who sat next to her on a comfortable bed.
Zephyr continued sharing to her partner that she wished to see all the nature that Mars had to offer, and hoped to take plenty of pictures to show her family, astronauts, and friends. She secretly hoped that during their tour, her knowledge of Mars´ geography might impress Xavie beside her, who was the last Mars exploration student of their group assigned to Captain Eo.
Xavie, olive-skinned and athletic, shared to everyone that a group of older classmates had betted that he would fail a ritual they had all done on their past visit to Mars, which was to go to the scariest part of the planet's ruins to touch 'the thing'.
He recoiled at Zephyr's zealous encouragement, but tossed her a nervous smile in knowing that her words were good-natured. The two humans, mostly Zephyr, talked on aimlessly.
Org did not look forward to being an outcast for the day, but it was inevitable, it seemed, that Xavie and Zephyr were getting along more by the minute. Org made a quiet burble to itself, looking low. Suddenly, it turned to the port when it heard a knock on the port.
Eo ushered all the students outside. "We have arrived on Planet Mars, known by Martians as the Red Planet. Your current position is safely within the free-exploration section of Mars' ancient ruins. I am sure you have heard before that ninety percent of the ruins are prohibited to non-Martians. Pause for effect." Eo recited to the students with his eyes glued to his gizmo's reader. "On Planet Mars, your objective is to learn all about the...."
Eo squinted at his gizmo, and then glanced at Bog, who Eo realized had inserted a hard-to-read correction to his briefing.
"Components of the universal geospheres, and the philosophies and anthropological origins of extraterrestial civilizations." Bog said.
"That," Eo continued, "and to complete all essential benchmarks needed to fulfill the requirements of your very first mission badges." Eo moved on to attendance, "Okay, let's take roll. Zephyr?"
"Present!" She said.
"It's Zay-vee." Xavie said.
Eo shrugged and texted himself a reminder. "Org?"
Org's tentacles breathed in place.
"It looks like everyone is accounted for. On to the ruins."
"Hold on," Bog interrupted quietly. "You forgot safety."
"Bog. It's an abandoned rock garden."
"Anything could happen. Please just follow protocol."
Eo adjusted his boots to a comfortable stance before his long recital, and then sighed, "It is important for everyone to remain safe at all times, inside and outside of a spacecraft. At all times we will use the partner system. You may know that the space force's motto has always been 'no man left behind' for centuries. That applies then, and that applies today, and for every single mission, including field trips. There will be no person seen alone, and if I see anyone alone, neither of you will earn your mission badge today."
Bog nodded with approval, and added, "You have been equipped with a safety laser on your toolbelts. Have you all been trained on it?"
The students agreed.
"Excellent. We are sure you will never have to use it, but if you may use it, always use two hands, and never aim at anything if you do not intend to stun it. Is that perfectly clear?"
"Yeah," Xavie said, "but how come you guys have two lasers and we only have one?"
" 'Cause one's for killing," Eo replied.
Bog regarded the students' excitement and reminded them, "it is highly unlikely we will ever need to use our other lasers, it is only for your safety. Now, to the ruins, shall we?"
The teens went ahead, with Org floating behind them at a distance.
"Eo, don't encourage them!" Bog said once the students were out of earshot. "They're unpredictable and unruly as they are!"
"I just told 'em the truth," Eo chuckled.
Bog huffed. "This may seem like a simple student's excursion Eo, but one slip-up, and...." I'll lose everything, Bog thought to himself.
Eo fixated on him with an incredulous glare. "What makes you think I'm going to mess this up?!" Eo accused.
Bog recovered, "just please follow my lead exactly this time, Eo, and we'll both be sure to get home safely."
"How about this? I'll follow my own lead, because I know exactly what I'm doing!!" Eo said. "And it's 'captain' to you, from now on." He recallibrated his guns and stalked ahead.
Bog sighed behind him and then he tracked Captain Eo and the space academy students towards a labryinth of massive, orange canyons on the horizon that led to Mars' ancient ruins.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.