Fat. The Final Frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Exercise. Its continuing mission, to shed more unwanted pounds, to seek out new life and new muscles, and to boldly jog where no one has jogged before.

Voice-over as we see the stupendous spaceship still in orbit around the same planet as last episode: If you didn’t watch the last episode, I feel your pain. There’s nothing I can do about it, though. Except, I guess, suggest that you stop reading and go back one blog post to see the first part. I believe in you. You CAN do this. Now, back to this episode, for those who loyally watched Part One. Thanks for the bouquet of flowers. I only sneezed once. Now, I have to get my Captain Jim Wirkout voice on, to complete this introduction that got waylaid.

Captain’s Diary, Stardate 87323482 pounds. Our away team is ready to go down to the planet, but I thought it would be best if I wasted a minute or two here to enter this post, because you know how things get distracting and then you forget what you planned to share on the forum. I had an NSV (non-scale victory)this morning. My belt was half a notch looser. I can squeeze my gut into that notch, but it hurts when I sit. However, the end is in sight–

“Captain, sir!” interrupted Engineer Mott.

Captain Wirkout turned away from the console, to see Mott and his other officers watching him. Sock was stretching his hamstrings, waiting on the deposit tube stage. The nameless Plingon security officer looked disgruntled, but then, he always looks disgruntled. Standing next to the others, a tall woman in a dark blue medical suit watched patiently, the ship’s Supreme Doctor Grones. The group was further supplemented by a timid-looking crewman in a red jumpsuit with black stripes, and a black bull’s eye target on his chest.

“Well, alright,” said Captain Wirkout. He nodded to the crewman at the controls, then joined the others on the stage, each standing in the center of a circle.

He started to speak, then paused, holding his hand up and turned to Sock. “Did you send the last message I requested?” he asked.

“Yes, Captain. I stated, precisely: ‘We R coming. Don’t B worried. Have guns. Smiley face. Blob thing will B taken care off. Then we will ROFLMAO.'”

Captain Wirkout sighed. “Your grammar needs work,” he said. “It should be ROFLOAO. OUR, Sock, not MY.”

Sock’s long ear’s slapped his face and his cheeks flushed green, but they all readied themselves.

“Blend us, Ensign Carbs,” said the Captain. The ensign pressed a few buttons then pulled a lever.

The circles under their feet opened quickly, and all fell into the deposit tubes, where they first were converted into localized energy, and then supplemental gelatin, mixed with glue and absurdium, was injected. Finally, the energetic concoctions that represented their individual beings were blended swiftly, poured into molds that resembled ginger-bread men. Their new temporary forms quickly set, and the launch doors opened, revealing the planet below. One by one, the machinery tilted and slid each toward the planet.

Their gelatinous bodies hurtled toward the planet at a brilliant speed, tugged by its gravity. Fires burst to life around each, but the absurdium protected them quite nicely, though the glare would have them seeing spots for a few hours, despite the fact that at present, none of them had eyes, nor anything else but yellow gelatin bodies.

When they impacted on the planet, each bounced a few times. The Plingon bounced more. It may have been on purpose. Within moments, their bodies began to revert to their normal forms, and they brushed off the excess gelatin.

“Surely, Captain, by now someone’s developed a better method of transporting us. Can’t we at least use the shuttles?” asked the doctor.

“We sure could, Grones,” answered the Captain, “but that won’t burn calories.”

He studied the landscape. Wide plains of nothing but purple flowers as far as he could see, but the rolling hills looked deep, and he knew the only town on the planet, population 15, was just over the closest hill. His eyes alighted on the red-shirted crewman, who appeared out of his wits, turning his pistol in every direction. Sock stepped to the Captain’s side.

“Seems harsh, Captain,” said Sock, “adding the target.”

“Well, Sock, I understand,” the Captain replied. “But it’s inevitable. Red shirt. Might as well make it quick. If he didn’t want to be a red shirt, he shouldn’t have gone on that career track.”

Sock nodded and looked at his captain. Captain Wirkout’s comb-over was fully lifting in the strong breeze, baring the bald glory that was his head.

“Captain …” he started to say, and Wirkout looked at him.


“Nothing.” Sock’s left ear was likewise hovering skyward in the breeze, which Wirkout did not fail to notice.

“Alright, peeps,” said Wirkout. “Let’s get a move on. Chop chop.”

After about 27 seconds, Wirkout called for a halt, raising his hand.

“Salad break!”

Immediately each pulled out a thin disc from behind their backs, then popped them open into sturdy bowls. They peeled off the fork stickers, gave them quick snaps so they became firm plastic. The doctor opened a case full of mixed salad greens, slivered carrots, olives, and walnut pieces, topped with a lite-calorie, lite-sodium, muscle-enhancing asian dressing. Each forked a portion into their bowls and began to eat.

After a few minutes, it was Sock that spoke first, with his usual seriousness.

“You know, Captain, there was this one time…”

“Yes?” asked Wirkout, who forked in another bite.

“I used blueberries. A handful.”

Murmurs of appreciation went through the group. Even the doomed red-shirted crewman thought this was splendid.

“You don’t say!” exclaimed Wirkout. “Well, there’s Mulcan ingenuity for you.”

When each finished their snack, they collapsed the bowls and forks into discs again and wiped the lingering dressing on the red-shirted crewman’s back, then tucked the discs away.

“Now we’re adequately fueled for the task,” said Wirkout. “Agreed, Grones?”

Grones gave two thumbs up. They began to march single-file up the hill, the Plingon taking the lead. At times they had to pause, for the Plingon had a habit of shadow-boxing every now and then. When they reached the top, jaws dropped one by one.

The town was clobbered. Of the 20 structures that should have been there, only the gym remained, surrounded by the residents. A wide slimy trail formed a path away from the town and over the next hill.

The crew jogged down the hill, slapping their knees as they went for the extra burn. When they at last made their way through the wrecked remains of the town and approached the gym, a portly man with a white beard and a red outfit rushed out of the building. He wore a reindeer necklace for some reason.

“Captain, thank God you’re here!” he cried, shaking Wirkout’s hand vigorously.

“That’s what we do,” said Wirkout, standing tall and proud. “That’s how we roll.”

“Captain,” said the man. “It’s gone for now, but it keeps coming back.”

Wirkout nodded. “That seems to be the norm in episodes like this.”

The man tugged his beard, looking wide-eyes, and seeming awkward. He looked over each crew member’s face, and his eyes fell on Wirkout’s neck.

“There’s something you’re not telling me,” said Wirkout.


“Speak, man, speak!” insisted the Captain.

“Captain, it’s just that,” said the bearded man, whose face looked absolutely wretched with hunger, “I think we’re vampires now.”

“Sock, ready the garlic!” shouted the Captain, as they all stood back to back with each other, except for the red-shirted crewman, who stood alone in a panic, trembling visibly.