As told by the various participants....
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
This summer has been a long busy season, full of sorting, craft shows, and generally trying to keep up with life. With the Shows over and done with, both Nanuk and Mother Hen (A.K.A. Mom) decided that we needed one last summer fun trip, a road trip to a quaint little community called Talkeetna, where if the sky is clear, one can see Denali in all its splendor. Personally, I think Nanuk wanted me out of the house for some reason.
The only orders I got from one certain person upon hearing of our plans was, Have fun, and dont hurt yourself! Seems he thinks Im a little accident prone. As I sit here favoring many bruises, I feel I must plead my case. And I have witnesses! So, here follows the actual events of the Great Roadtrip of September 18th, 1999, told from the many points of view of those involved....
I didnt put up a fuss at the idea of a trip, and called up a new Alaska fan, Bobbi, asking if we could crash at her house enroute on a road trip. Using a few BotP episodes as bait, er incentive, I mean as a bribe....oh, whatever, she readily agreed. She even asked to go with us on the road trip! Brave girl. So, Friday night Mother Hen and I packed up the car and headed to Anchorage, Nanuk waving goodbye to us from the porch. I tried not to think about the state the house would be in upon our return....
We arrived in Anchorage Friday night. After a fun night of watching all sorts of G-Force episodes, we retired. The next morning we decided to head to the bridge over the Little Susitna River, on Hatcher Pass Road, to take some pictures before heading off to Talkeetna.
The drive up was great. A perfect way to end the summer...
Usually I dont do this sort of thing, writing I mean. Just dictate to Julieann because the computer keyboards arent really made for typing with polar bear paws. But for this she insisted. She seems to think she might be in trouble by a certain someone, so she insisted.
Im going to be brief, to save time so I can go out fishing in a few minutes (great late salmon run here BTW), I saw Mother Hen and Julieann off on their big trip, and then settled down for a weekend Polar Bear Party. Um, the less said about that the better.
Anyway, the next morning, as I was sleeping in, a loud roar overhead startled me awake, as did odd noises from the side of the house. Moving paper plates and cups out of my way, I crept out of the house. Seeing a shadow I pounced....
Im happy to say Mark did forgive me, and no lasting damage was done. The entire house was in shadow by a massive ship. Seeing that several of the neighbors were peaking through their curtains, and not wanting to tick them off any more, especially after the moose in the swingset incident (forget I mentioned that, too), I quickly asked what they were up to.
Turns out they had received a tip that Spectra was in the area, and wanted our help, since we were more familiar with the area. Only, I had to tell them I had never been to the area around the old Independence Mine. But Julieann might have been, and she wasnt home. Mark insisted we find her, so getting the directions Julieann had jotted down to get to Bobbis house, off into the Phoenix we went. I figured with as early as it was, we might still catch them before they had left for Talkeetna...
What the h***!?!?!?!?!?
The doublewide trailer started shaking violently. "Thats it," I thought. "Heres the big one!!" I was sitting in the window minding my own business, keeping an eye out for wayward cats. I hated those guys! How dare they come onto MY property!!
When the house started shaking, my first instinct was to run. Hide under the waterbed, its always safe there! Then I saw it, the ship was smaller than I expected. I knew it instantly ... the Phoenix! It was Moms favorite, long before the "Enterprise-D." I saw the polar bear first. Nanuk. I heard Mom and her friend talk about him. He hopped off what looked like a platform on the underside of the ship. He was followed by two winged guys. I know them. Theyre Mark and Jason.
Suddenly, they stopped and stared at Moms truck. Their jaws fell. It seemed liked they were there forever. Meanwhile, I watched Nanuk lumber up the sidewalk. He tried the door. I hoped he wouldnt break it down, Mom will be really mad. Apparently, he decided breaking the door down wouldnt help. He went back to the truck and jumped onto the topper.
Please dont break her truck, Mom WILL have your butt!! Nanuk seemed to just look at them for awhile. I couldnt help but feel their shared thought as their eyes lit up and smiles began to grow on their faces: We have ANOTHER fan in Alaska!! I knew what they had been staring at, the license plates: "7ZARK7."
Nanuk began signing wildly, I would guess to partly get their attention. "Doors locked." He had to do it at least three times when Jason finally snapped out of it and said, "Ive got it."
He walked up the sidewalk quick and sure. I jumped down to meet him at the door. Only seconds went by and I met him face-to-face. Who are you?" he asked.
"Im K.C." I replied.
"Casey? As in Casey at the bat?"
"Not really, I was named for the Kansas City Royals."
He had a puzzled look on his face, to which I sighed and said, "K period, C period."
"Oh." Was the slightly embarrassed reply. I could have sworn he was blushing.
"Come on, we dont have all day!" I saw Mark behind him outside the second door. "OK, K.C. Where is Julieann?" Mark questioned.
Everyone already left.
I heard Nanuk groan. He signed, *Off to Talkeetna, then!*
"I heard they were going to Hatchers Pass first." A collective gasp was heard as I said the second location. I knew we were in trouble. "Whats up?" I asked.
Mark somewhat slumped a little, "We think the Spectra base is somewhere around Hatchers Pass."
Then we better find them before Spectra does. Jason said.
Then Im going. No one touches Ma! I said, leaping towards Jason. Instinctively he reached out and caught me, just as I figured he would. I stared up at his startled face. Well, lets get going!
Once on the ship, Mark gave Tiny the new coordinates, quickly answering Princess as to where their mission helpers were. She looked as shocked as the others had at the answer. "Are you sure thats where they went?" asked Princess. I nodded.
Nanuk sniffed around Tinys chair, and Tiny shooed him away. Thats my spaceburger, Nanuk. Paws off!
*But I didnt even get breakfast!* Nanuk signed.
And I havent had lunch yet!
Nanuk looked downcast, and then he looked towards me....
"Dont even think about it buster!" I said forcefully. I saw the look in his eyes, heard the growl in his stomach, "Im not a snack!!"
We should be there. Princess said, and the Phoenix front screen panned on different views.
*Her car!* Nanuk jumped up and down wildly, eyes glittering at seeing her Honda below. I looked into the viewscreen that was just to the left of us. The little guy, Key-Op, right? Happily volunteered his lap for me. After that was such a blur ...
The ground was still wet from the recent rain. I was not too thrilled about getting my fur wet and dirty, and I said so. The next thing I knew, Keyop sat me on top of Nanuk. Nanuk trotted after Jason, towards the little red Honda.
"I don't think they are in the car." Jason said as we neared.
"Then we split up and look. They have to be around here somewhere." Mark said.
"Roger, Commander." Princess and Keyop said, and they streaked off.
"Nanuk, K.C., stay here, in case they come back to the car." Mark said.
With a sigh, Nanuk sat on his haunches, forcing me to grab his fur to hold on. I scrambled to his shoulder. "Warn me, will you!"
*Boring* Nanuk signed, sighing again. I heard his stomach growl, and I shifted uncomfortably. *Time to eat*
"Just don't look my way, buster." I said sternly.
Nanuk's ears perked up and he stared intensely at the bushes. Pricking my ears, I heard the sound of something large moving through the bushes.
Before I could say anything, Nanuk surged forward, and I clung to his fur with all my might to keep from falling off...
* * *
The day was beautiful, the clouds skirting the horizon not bothering us a bit. Mother Hen and I split up with our cameras, to take photos of different aspects of the Little Susitna River and the small bridge that spanned it. Bobbi wandered away to do some exploring of her own.
Crawling up, around and over rocks and boulders, I concentrated on getting different views of the water cascading over the rocks. Eventually I found myself on the rocks under the bridge, looking out, angling myself to get a picture of the water just before it swept into the shadows of the bridge. Getting the light and focus just right, I really wasn't paying attention to my surroundings.
All I know was that one second I was listening to the restful sound of rushing water echoing under the bridge, and the next I heard what sounded like a cat screaming and the sound of stampeding feet and hooves.
The next second was a total blur. I found myself knocked off the rock, flying towards the water. Into a little puddle between two rocks I went. My left hand swung out to try and arrest my fall. Unfortunately, that was also the hand that held the camera. I heard the horrible clink of the camera against a rock and sucked in my breath as my fingers jammed into it and the rock.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a lump of white fur just before it disappeared into the underbrush right behind a rack of fast moving moose antlers. Then a familiar roar reached my ears.
"Look at what Nanuk flushed out." An amused voice said to my right. In the bushes past the bridge, the moose and the chasing Nanuk streaked past, K.C. still yeowling.
"Very funny, Jason." I said as a grinning Mark helped me up. Pushing against a rock, I took ahold of one of this hands and pushed myself up. A loud grating sound startled all of us. Mark and Jason whirled around, nearly knocking me over again. Bobbi and Mother Hen ran up as we watched a door creak open in the concrete of the bridge support. We all saw the familiar symbol on the back of the door.
Mark grinned, "Well, well, well, look what we have here." While Mark called in the others on his bracelet, Jason streaked forward into the dark opening with a feather drawn.
"Spectra? Up here?" Bobbi said. "I don't believe my eyes."
"I told you my life was weird." I told her. Mother Hen nodded gravely.
Bobbi looked at the scene of bushes and brush waving and jerking wildly, "That sounded familiar."
"All clear." Jason said as Princess and Keyop joined them.
Mark turned to us with a smile, "We were trying to find you for help in finding the Spectra base in this area."
"Isn't that wonderfully ironic." I said as I tried to brush off some water, and squeeze out the end of my coat. An outraged roar echoed through the forest. Mother Hen scowled as she saw the shape of my camera lens. I pointed towards the loud sound of a struggle. She sighed.
"It would be best if all of you left the area, at least until we take care of this 'little' problem." Mark said indicating the door.
"Suits me fine. This is suppose to be a relaxing weekend." Mother Hen said. Mark ran into the darkness of the Spectra entrance, leaving us to wonder how to get Nanuk's attention so that we could leave.
"Easy. We have plenty of bait in the car." Mother Hen said.
"But that's OUR lunch!" I protested.
"Besides, it might not work. Sounds like he caught whatever he was chasing." Bobbi said. Just then an outraged roar reached out ears.
We all watched in shocked amazement as a moose, missing one of its antlers streaked out of the bushes, running directly towards us.
"Wait a sec, that's not an ordinary moose!" Bobbi exclaimed. "Its mechanical!"
As it neared I could see what she meant. Some of the hide along the right flank was ripped off, showing quite clearly some of the inner workings.
Mother Hen started to laugh, "Leave it to Nanuk to flush out the only moose in the area that wasn't edible."
"My lunch is toast." I muttered under my breath. As if on que, Nanuk stormed out of the forest in hot pursuit. The moose ran into the dark interior of the hallway beyond the door, Nanuk not even slowing down as he pursued it. My eye caught a strange dark lump on his shoulder, a lump that was being quite vocal in its dislike of Nanuk's actions.
"Was that K.C.?" Bobbi asked, stunned.
"Sure looked like a cat." Mother Hen said.
"Nanuk, get back out here!" I yelled as the Spectra door in front of us started to close slowly.
"K.C.!" Bobbi yelled as the poor cats screams echoed back at us. Bobbi shot forward into the base.
"Bobbi, wait!" I ran after her, at which Mother Hen yelled out at me. Apparently she followed, letting me know in no uncertain terms that coming into the base was a really stupid thing to do.
"Besides, Nanuk is old enough to take care of himself. He has a lot more experience with G-Force and Spectra than we do." Mother Hen said practically.
"But K.C. doesn't!" Bobbi said as she plucked the stiff and heavy breathing cat off of Nanuk, who was scowling at the moose he had been chasing. It was standing still now, in a stall, its eyes closed.
"Sorry, Nanuk, you can't eat that one." Mother Hen told him, patting his shoulder.
*Hungry!!!* Nanuk signed as he continued to scowl at the mangled mecha moose. Mother Hen opened her fanny pack and handed Nanuk a small bag of donuts. Nanuk practically ate the plastic bag in his eagerness.
Bobbi patted the groaning cat in her arms. "I'm not sure it was too smart of Spectra to use moose as their pattern for mechas, especially with it being hunting season."
I looked the direction she was looking and saw row upon row of moose, standing with their eyes closed, each completely identical to each other.
I suddenly grinned, "I bet there are plenty of confounded hunters around!"
"We should get out of here." Mother Hen reminded us."Doesn't G-Force usually blow up any Spectra base they come upon?"
"She has a point." I said to Bobbi. "That is, if we can find our way back. And open the door."
"Hhooooooooommmmmeeeeeeee." K.C. moaned.
*Team is nearby.* Nanuk signed as Mother Hen put the now-empty plastic bag back in her fanny pack.
"Can you lead us to them? That may be the safest and fasted way to get out of here." I asked.
*Always!* Nanuk grinned and started sniffing the air, and then took off. We had to run to keep up with him.
Needless to say, we were all a little nervous about wandering around a Spectra base. Turns out we had reason to be nervous when we startled a group of soldiers as we came around a corner....
Green-looking goons stood in front of us, looking as if they couldnt believe their eyes. I know these idiots, theyre the cannon fodder. I couldnt just sit there. With a war cry to curdle the blood, I leaped from Moms arms. I grabbed onto a goons face, and refused to let go, kicking all the while. I learned long ago this was my best defense, especially considering that I didnt have any claws up front.
Out of my peripheral vision I saw Nanuk swat one goon with one of those huge paws, Mother Hen hit another upside the head with her purse and Julieann hit one with camera, cracking the lens even more from the sound of it. But Mom was in trouble. The only thing she had were keys and...
A goon grabbed me around my neck and I couldnt break free. I tried to wiggle free, kick him, jab at him with my keys; nothing. Oh, great. My first interaction with my favorite team and Im gonna die. I pushed the thought out of my head. Im in the military, for Gods sake! I should be able to get out of this. Just then, the grip became tighter. Then suddenly, slack. I turned, the goon was dead alright.I could see the Death Certificate now: "Cause of Death: Featherto the throat."
"What the hell are you guys doing here?" my fave Condor yelled. I snapped out of it.
"Nanuk, K.C., a moose; do you really want an explanation?" I asked almost half-heartedly, still catching my breath.
Jason simply shook his head, "No, we dont the time."
Just then his communicator went off, Princess just set the last charge" Mark said, Head for the surface.
What rude people. Nanuk, we need to talk about your impulsiveness. Mother Hen muttered at the pile of green cloth on the floor, checking her camera for damage. Nanuk grunted from where he sat on top of another.
Was that Mother Hen I just heard? Mark demanded. I grinned at the dismay in Marks voice.
Ill explain later. Ill take them up with me. Jason said, resigned. Looking at all of us, he said bluntly, "Lets move!"
Much to my delight, he grabbed my wrist and we all started running. It was amusing to see the reaction of the general goon to the sight of the scowling face of a G-2 and a huge galloping polar bear bearing down on them in the narrow hallways.
Making his own door through a wall, we suddenly found ourselves no longer in the Spectra base, but instead a mineshaft. Not only that, but it was obvious we had interrupted a, up to this point, rather boring tourist tour. No mistaking it, we were in the Independence Mine.
The rest of the G-Force team emerged out of another mineshaft and reached us just as the Earth started rumbling underneath us. Wait, this was no ORDINARY Alaska earthquake.
G-Force quickly and efficiently herded all of us, including the tour group, out of the mineshaft as we were showered with dust. Once outside, they ran off to join the just landing Phoenix. Over the hill, we caught sight of the huge head of a mecha moose. We practically died laughing at the sight of it as the members of the tour group looked on at it in horror. Mother Hen caught Nanuk looking at it with a gleam in his eyes, at which Mother Hen told him, Dont even think about it.
Even as bright flashes lit up the side of the mountain, Mother Hen took stock of the situation, and before I knew what was happening, had whipped out a few paintings from her purse (ala Mary Poppins) and was busy selling them to the tourists, all the while chatting with them and saying demurely, G-Force? Oh, theyre old friends. Nice looking bunch of kids, arent they? She enlisted the help of Nanuk and K.C. in her spur-of-the-moment selling spree as Bobbi and I began the long walk to retrieve the car. Fortunately there was enough room to maneuver the car around the large piece of mecha moose antler that had landed partially in the roadway. By the time we got back to the Independence Mine, Mother Hen and her helpers had sold enough to pay for a new camera lens for my camera. Claiming that he had helped sell the paintings, Nanuk maintained I couldnt be mad about him accidently knocking me into the river.
The rest of the day was uneventful, thank goodness, as we continued on our road trip to Talkeetna. Nanuk and K.C. played on the railroad tracks and harassed the local population of dogs. Bobbi wanted to see G-Force again, especially one member, but I had the feeling they would be busy with debriefing for the next few days.
Once back at Bobbis house, we popped back in the quite entertaining videos 7-Zark-7 had put together of some of G-Forces past missions. We laughed our way through those, taking everything with a grain of salt, knowing full well the, shall we say egotistical?, Changes Zark made to al the actual mission logs. In any case, we had plenty of fun. Bobbi has given orders to be invited the next time the team comes to the house for dinner, which I have no problems with, since it might keep Jason away from my car during his visits....
...see, Jason H., the bruises weren't my fault!