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.

They were surrounded.

The vampires of Planet Mohtihvayshunhad quickly formed a ring around the TarSweet officers, after their immediate attack on the red-shirted crewman. Before you go back to Part 2 wondering if you forget to read that part, don’t bother. It happened during the commercial break, and then reception messed up, so you don’t get to see it. But, because I dislike torturing reader-viewers, suffice it to say, he got attacked, with a bite directly in the bull’s eyes. The Plingon had been impressed and gave a quick thumbs up before realizing his error. Now they were surrounded. Captain Jim Wirkout, Sock, the Plingon who still hasn’t revealed his name, and Engineer Mott pointed their carrot-shaped lay-z-lazer guns (now on the Garlic flavored setting) at the vampires that included an old, white-bearded man in a red jumpsuit, and a baker’s dozen of hungry, short (really, really short) people with pointy ears and bells on their green hats. It could not be recalled whether the ears were pointy prior to their becoming vampires. The officers were protecting Dr. Grones, at work with treating the fallen Red Shirt.

“Captain,” she said.

“Yeah?” asked Captain Wirkout. “‘Sup?”

“Good news, Captain.”

“He’ll live?”

Grones laughed. Sock chuckled, his long ears twitching with amusement. “No, Captain. He’s a Red Shirt. Already dead. Probably will be a vampire in a bit, which is kind of a promotion from being a Red Shirt. But, I was able to identify the particular viral agent in their blood that’s caused vampirism.”

“You figured it out pretty fast,” replied Wirkout.

She held up her medical device. “iPhone 327 M. There’s an app for that.”

The doctor went back to work. After a few minutes, she stood up. “Hand me your LZL.”

The captain handed her his gun and the other officers expanded their focus as several vampires took a few steps forward. The main vamp, who had greeted them, now sported a pair of pitch-black eyes and was drooling copiously. A puddle formed in the dirt and then seemed to attack the dirt with little blobbish swats. Grones linked her iPhone 327 M to the LLZ, thanks to Bluetooth.

“There. New ring tone,” she said, then she went to work at the other officer’s LLZ guns. One vamp rushed forward on its own and got a garlicky blast in the face. He screamed and then his head liquefied, which was rather gross. Even the Plingon’s stomach churned, and the air suddenly smelled like an Italian restaurant. They would not be going out for Eggplant Parmigiana anytime soon, which is alright since that always puts them over on their calories for the day. There’s a silver lining to everything. That’s the lesson that you should take from things like this, even a vampire’s head turning to mush.

“Alright, now,” said Grones. “On the count of three, you we dial each other with the LLZs. Captain, you call me and I call you. Sock and … Chief Plingon, you call each other. Mott, call yourself.”

“Yes, Doctor, sir!” said Mott.

“3…2…1…go!” Their LLZ guns rang with what seemed to be a disco beat, and the vampires grabbed their heads, howling with unrestrained fury, then collapsed all at once.

The doctor rushed over to the leader and jammed her iPhone into his side, pressing buttons on the touch-screen and then reading.

“It’s working, Captain,” she said. “They’re turning back to normal.”

“Stellar Job, Grones,” said Wirkout, putting his LLZ away. Sock nodded as well and smoothed back his ears.

“Agreed, Captain,” said Sock. “Now remains the question of the blob monster–”

“Yes, yes, the blob monster,” interrupted Wirkout. “However, it’s salad break time, and we should wait for these guys to wake up, anyway.”

So they had their salad. This time, there was a tahini-flavored dressing. The Plingon so thoroughly enjoyed it that he was a bit noisy eating the salad, resulting in Sock slapping the Plingon’s bumpy forehead with his ears. This is a questionable thing to do. One should keep one’s ears to themselves, especially where a Plingon is involved. Anyway, restraint was exercised and the salad break was over before you could say Sock’s My Monkey’s Uncle.

Just as they put away their salad discs, the villagers woke up. They sat up and stretched with various yoga poses.

“Feeling better?” asked Wirkout.

“Like rain on an April day,” said their leader. “I love me a nap. Ok, Captain, now that you’ve taken care of our unexpected and out-of-place vampirism, this being a science fiction, I’d like to fill you in on something quite vital. We were not able to share this on the forums, in part because of people’s likeliness of posting lolzcats with messages like ‘why u so worry?’, but in essence, we’ve discovered the blob is just a minion.”

“The blob is an onion!?” exclaimed Engineer Mott. How he detested onions.

“A minion. It’s a follower. Not an onion. Minion,” said the leader.

Wirkout nodded, patting Mott to calm him down just a bit. The engineer was still gasping. He pulled out a paper bag and began to breathe in and out, in and out, a crinkly paper breathing.

“Please,” said Wirkout. “What’s the scoop?”

“It’s the Porg.”

A hush fell over the crowd. Surely, not the Porg. Yes, reader, he said the Porg. Of course you know all about the Porg. Half pig, half machine. Stinky, noisy, and dedicated to turning the universe a little more porcine. Their spherical ships, glittering silver in the night, made one want to either flee or dance to Staying Alive, Travolta-style. Either choice is not a proud act.

There was then a loud crashing noise, just over the hill, the sound of wood splintering and a building collapsing to the ground.

“Its taken out the sauna!” shouted one villager. The others began to wail.

“Where will we get to relax, post-workout?” cried another.

The leader stepped closer to Captain Jim Wirkout, and his large, ample belly pressed into Wirkout’s. He tried to ignore this. Difficult, considering his phobia of bellies.

“Captain Wirkout,” said the leader, “You have GOT to help us.”

Wirkout spun and faced his crew. Each had their attention riveted on him, ignoring the ruckus on the other side of the hill and the impending globbish gloom that it signaled.

“Chew ’em if you got ’em,” said Wirkout. And they all popped sugar-free gum into their mouths.