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Episode 3: Part 45


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The Federation Star Defense TV Tropes page!

8/2/22:
The early negotiations with the Romulans were previously seen in Episode 2: Part 1.

This concludes Episode 3: Tajaran Attack! As mentioned at the end of the comic, we're taking a 2 month break and coming back on October 2nd. I know that's a longer hiatus (though not as long as my poor Planescape fans usually wait), but we need to script, build sets, get more pointy eared minifigures, and get ahead on photos. If anyone would like to be notified when we resume the comic, you can email me at travers@swiftbow.com or follow our Facebook page. Or, of course, just come back here on October 2nd/3rd (depending on your time zone)!

Also, as always, we will read the Tagboard, so feel free to continue the conversation. It's great to hear from readers! Thank you, and see you all October 2nd!

Transcript
Panel 1:
Andre Peters: Okay, that's mostly right... but not those two circuits. You'll kill us all.
Crewman Jeena Jones: Right, sorry, sir!

Panel 2:
Andre: Oh, Commander! Glad to see you up and about.
Commander Dale Zurkett: Andre... how much damage did we take?
Andre: Quite a lot... but that's why I installed the landing gear!
Dale: So we're planet-side? What did I miss?

Panel 3:
Andre: Well, after we took down the Slug, the cruisers scattered. Some of them made for the surface.
    But they don't have warp, so between our fighters and the Intrepid, they finally gave up.
    Then with Bokchow dead and a few surface shots to drive home the message, their ground army surrendered, too.
Dale: Wait, so we have a few hundred Tajarans being held prisoner?
Andre: A few thousand, actually. But the Wogglenathers are holding them for now.
    I suppose it's up to the Admiralty what happens to them next.
Dale: That's a call I'm not looking forward to.
Andre: Jeffrey's talking to them now, I think. You could pretend to still be unconscious!
Dale: No... I'd better head to the bridge.
Crewman Glana (aside): Hey, watch it with the tail!
Ezzok (aside): Sorry.

Panel 4:
Commodore Jeffrey Bannister: So, it's going to be at least 3 or 4 days to complete repairs, sir.
    Plus, the Wogglenathers have another feast planned, and it would be rude to miss it.

Panel 5:
Senator Joe Dreyer: Of course, Commodore. And you say they want to increase their dilithium trade with us?
    Give them our thanks.
    And the President commends you and your crew.
Jeff: Thank you, Senator!
Admiral Tom Benson: Now, as to the other matter... we have a rather delicate situation for you to handle.
    Once you complete essential repairs, of course.

Panel 6:
Benson: Captain Picard and the Enterprise were engaged in high-level negotioations with the Romulans.
    But the Enterprise has been called away. There's an odd matter with some colonies missing on the edge of Federation space.
    Large sections of land, people, and buildings are simply gone... like they were scooped up and stolen. But never mind... that's not your mission.
    Your mission involves a border dispute. We'll send over the details.
    Suffice to say that it is very important to resolve this issue at Spling-Splang-Sploogie and prevent a larger Romulan conflict.

Panel 7:
Dale: Of course, sir... but wouldn't checking on those coloneis be more up our alley? We're not stocked up on diplomats.
Benson: Ah, Zurkett... thank you for joining us. We're so glad you've recovered.
Dale: My pleasure, Admiral.
Jeff: He makes a good point, sir.
Benson: In this case I disagree. The Romulans are trying to present a show of force. Your ship's armaments make a similar gesture on our part.
    A balanced scale for peace talks.
Lieutenant Zack LeRoux (aside): Wait... this is a joke, right? It's not ACTUALLY called Spling-Splang-Sploogie?
Helmsman Talia (aside): Giggle!
Jeff: I understand. We won't let you down!
Benson: I'm sure you won't. Starfleet Headquarters out.

Panel 8:
Jeff: Well, I think that went really well!
    Commendations from the President!
Dale: I dunno. I think Benson would rather court martial us. Or at least me.
Jeff: Really? He's always seemed cheery to me!
Lieutenant Commander Natashia Staratt: In any case, I have some small familiarity with Spling-Splang-Sploogie.
    I can prepare a report.
Jeff: Excellent, Natashia!
Zack: Okay, c'mon... Are none of you going to joke about that planet's name but me?

Panel 9:
Dreyer: Well, I see you refrained from court-martialing any of them!
    Despite their disobeying your orders.
Benson: Yes, well, you told me I couldn't.
    In any event, with the Tajaran government disavowing their attack fleet, the matter is mostly moot.
Dreyer: Hey, this is just what we wanted, Tom... Good publicity for the President!
    "Federation Star Defense saves innocent world."
    That could win the election by itself.
    Sending them to clean up the Sploogian mess, though... What's your thinking?
Benson: SImple enough. I'm sick of dealing with that backwater planet. We have more important matters.
    But I can't ignore it completely or we lose face.
    What I don't get is the Romulan claim that we stole a cloaking device. I'd definitely know we'd done something like that.

Panel 10:
Benson: Wouldn't I, Senator?
Dreyer: Do you really want to know, Tom, or do you want to maintain plausible deniability?
Benson: I see.
Dreyer: I'll say this... if a device like that WAS stolen, it was destroyed. There's no evidence such a thing ever happened.
    There's nothing to worry about.

Panel 11:
Dreyer: ...Nothing at all.
Location Text: Meanwhile, about 5 light years from the Scoggo Sector....
Chief Science Officer Crabjug: Tajara... Come in Tajara High Command...

Panel 12:
Crabjug: This is Chief Science Officer Crabjug.
Tajara High Command: We know of your failed mission, Crabjug. How have you survived the death of your Admiral?
Crabjug: I escaped our doomed flagship at the last moment.
    In so doing, I obtained a working warp drive AND a cloak of invisibility.
    I suspect that these devices, combined with my intellect and new upgrades to my slow dimension tech will overcome Bokchow's idiocy.
    Or shall I fly on and find another buyer?
Tajara High Command: ...
    You have clearance to return to Tajara, Chief Crabjug.
Narration: Federation Star Defense will return October 2nd for...
    Episode 3: Queen Natashia!



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