Lion Fish (posted 31 March 2016)
Lion Fish are a species of fish that are from the south waters of Florida. However the bad thing is that they are an invasive species. They have already spread out to the Caribbean sea, the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic.
Another bad thing is that they have no predators to eat them in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic. The reason they spread out so fast is actually because they lay their eggs in the water instead of in nests meaning the eggs will travel long distances with the current and when they hatch, it will have spread to a new location.
One of the ways Lion fish survive is by feeding on prey that are the same size as themselves or smaller. But this fact also depends on how large the Lion Fish is itself. The way these fish catch their pray is quite interesting. Because of the fact that they are floaters instead of swimmers, they use their unique fan-like fins to herd prey into a corner, then attack them. However they do have a time eating schedule. They come out at around 4:00 or 4:30 and than finish at maybe 6:00 or 6:54. I don’t really know exactly because I never snorkel at that time of day.
Some other ways that their species survives is that they can have 30,000 eggs per spawn. As said before about their eggs, they don’t lay them in a nest. They lay them in the water. This means that when they lay their eggs, 30,000 Lion Fish eggs are released into the ocean traveling with the current to different parts of the ocean.
Lion fish can be pretty nasty when it comes face to face up close with them if you don’t back off. They have some pretty powerful tools that they can use against you. Lion Fish however are not aggressive. First off, they do not just use their fanned fins just for herding food. Lion Fish also use them as a warning sign to warn their predators to stay back.
Another tool of theirs is their 18 nasty venomous spines on there fins. Since they are not aggressive, they would warn you first. But if they don’t and you try to do something to it like touch it, which I don’t think anyone would be stupid enough to do except for instance Jar Jar Binks, the Lion Fish’s spikes on their fins would be pushed down, the venom gland would be activated and then the venom would be released.
If you are stung by a Lion Fish you should call for help, check for any pieces of spine in the wound, soak it in very hot water and then take a pain killer like Tylenol. Lion Fish are also very good food. They are not just used as human food, but are also used as fish food. The spines still contain venom even when the fish itself is dead, but although the spines are venomous, the flesh can be eaten. You just have to be careful not to touch the spines when cutting the flesh. When it is cooked, the fillets are firm, and the fish has a non-fishy taste. Actually Lion Fish are so good that some restaurants sell this type of fish for dinner. It even can be substituted in recipes.
Lion fish at this point have spread out so much that I don’t know if we will be able to stop them, but right now, we might be the only ones who can. I have some doubt that we will stop this invasive species but I hope we can. But to do this, we must work together to try to end them. Right now the number is fine but I have a feeling, the number of Lion fish is growing larger. Let us hope that we can stop them before they stop the other fish, and if we succeed there still will be lots of fish in the ocean.
A Visit from a Playful Pod
Dolphins are sea creatures that are truly interested in people. They like to play and are fun to watch. These mammals come in all different colors and sizes, and while we have been sailing we have been visited by both spotted Atlantic dolphins and gray Bottle-nosed dolphins. Both species travel, hunt and play in groups called pods. The bigger the pod, the more exciting they are.
Dolphins love to surf the bow wave of your boat, so, if you are lucky, the pod might come swarming over to play as you sail by. They swim alongside and sometimes even roll over on their sides to look up at you. Somehow they can tell you are standing by the bow watching them. I think the most exciting thing about these creatures is that they leap in the air now and then. I really wish they did it more.
Dolphins are very similar in body form to Orcas (A.K.A-Killer Whales), which are actually part of the dolphin family, but Orcas are a bit bigger and stronger. But I have to say between those two, I would choose dolphins. They are my favorite sea creature and the most exciting type I have ever known. They are somewhere in my top three favorite animals in the world.
A Visit to St. Pierre on Martinique
When I went to Saint Pierre, the city did not appear as I thought it would. I imagined it to be a large well built town with many people. But it was not. Saint Pierre was a dusty town with very few people, and buildings that looked like ruins. In 1902, the now dormant volcano called Mount Pelee destroyed the entire town, creating a huge amount of debris and destruction. After the eruption, the town never recovered entirely. It killed 30,000 people, leaving only two alive. It caused the population to drop from 30,000 to just two! Over time, people started moving back there. There are now 5,000 people living in St. Pierre, but they are still thinking of Mount Pelee’s eruption in 1902, because there are still ruined walls of buildings everywhere. People use the old walls when they are building new houses. Since 1902 the volcano has been quiet and will probably stay that way for a while. But the longer it stays quiet, the bigger the eruption will be if it does awaken again.
Anse Bourg, Les Saintes: a Photo Essay
Anse Bourg is a town in Les Saintes, islands in the French West Indies just south of Guadeloupe. What is it like, here? These photos shows some of the highlights.
The Saintes are very different from my home in Washington, Connecticut. The big difference is that they speak French here, while at my home in Washington, they speak English. It is very hard for me down here because I am not familiar with French. Also, the town is not in as good shape. The small roads are cracked, not the nicely built two way lanes at home. Some of the roads go in between buildings so close, that it seems like going through a big alley. On the other hand, Anse Bourg is nice in many ways, The direction billboards are built on stands, and are blue and white, even though I can’t read them because I do not read French. The Recycling bins are placed around town, and are two different colors: the paper and plastic container is green and the glass bin is blue. Over all, the real difference is that they do not have as much money as we do. That is the reason it is not as in good shape as our town. But it is still a great town and a pleasant place to visit.
When I got to Deshaies on Guadeloupe, my dad and I saw three lion fish swimming around the mooring block we tied onto. But those were not the first I have seen on my trip aboard Strider. The first one I saw was when I went to Barbuda, when I was exploring a reef off of Spanish Point. The lionfish that I saw was in a crevice in the coral. I was so exited that I yelled “lionfish”! As soon as I said that word, my sister screamed. I was so exited about the fish that I gave it a name, Spike. The reason I named him that is because I was so impressed with his fins and I thought his spikes were really cool. A lionfish is a type of fish that you don’t want to startle or touch. Their bodes are dark red with white zebra stripes, and they are covered with a layer of point like fins. These fins have venom in them, which ejects when touched. They are also not as slow or clumsy as they look. They are actually quite fast. But they are only fast for a short distance, which makes them easy to keep up with. When they swim fast, it is more like they are darting than swimming. These types of fish live in deep crevices in coral and rocks, which makes them difficult to spot.
Lionfish are an invasive species and we should do something about them. This type of fish was originally found in the Pacific Ocean, but it has spread, and they are now found throughout the Caribbean Sea, into the Gulf of Mexico and all the way up the East Coast as far north as Chesapeake Bay. They have also found a few of them in Connecticut and Rhode Island! The reason we need to do something about them is because lionfish have no natural predators and they eat any other fish up to 2/3rds of their own size. Since they have no predators, their populations is expanding and they are out competing other fish in the contest for food. If this continues, the lionfish will break the food eating world record, and other fish species will go extinct. I feel bad for the lionfish because people have been asked to kill them whenever they see them. If you are trying to kill one, I recommend going up quietly and using a long weapon. I would not advise trying to kill one with a weapon like a dagger. And most importantly, look out for the spikes. Would you like me to tell you what happens when you touch them? Ok, when touched, the spikes are not the only thing that causes injury. The venom also can cause nausea and breathing difficulties, but it is rarely fatal.
In the end, we know what will happen. Either lionfish will take over, or we will stop them. Since I am living on a boat, my family and I go out and explore lots of different reefs. And every place we go, when we go to a reef, I always look for lionfish and enjoy them because they look so much different from most of the fish I’ve seen. But I also think this…. It will be very hard to do something about them with so many and since they are hard to spot. But with the right gear and the right strategy, I know that there might be a way.
Once we were on the beach, the water taxi driver introduced himself as Goldilocks, and he offered to take us to see the town and the frigate birds. We followed him over a short sand dune to get to his boat on the lagoon side. But instead of being tied to a dock, the boat was anchored in chest-deep water! It didn’t matter because we were soaked from the rain and landing on the beach, but it was a surprise. His boat was like an old Boston Whaler. The boat was beat up because it was used as a fishing boat. It was equipped with a 40 HP 2-stroke engine. It was a very rainy, wet ride, but I had my raincoat. My sister Megan had hers, too.
By the time we got to the town, we had escaped from the rain. Goldilocks left us in the middle of town so we could explore. We saw lots of strange stuff that we were not familiar with. There were very small houses that were out of shape. The people were all black, and my family and I were the only white people. I felt very different. It was a holiday, and people were dancing in the street and enjoying the day. There was very loud music in the middle of town. The rest of the town was quiet, but I still felt uncomfortable because it was such a new experience to me.
My Horror Zone
When I went to Savannah Bay in the British Virgin Islands, we traveled to a coral reef and went snorkeling. We saw cool fish like yellow tail snappers, damsel fish, stoplight parrot fish, and blue tang. The kinds of coral we saw were staghorn coral, brain coral and fire coral. I was swimming with my new snorkel gear which was really exciting because I had never used it all at once before. As we were exploring the edge of the reef, my dad found a small passageway between the coral heads that was deep enough to swim through. The passageway led farther into the reef. As we were swimming, we split up to check out interesting fish and coral. I kept swimming farther into the reef when I realized I was in the middle of a deep circle surrounded by fire coral and sea urchins! There was an open passage, but it was too shallow for me to swim through, and I was not able to walk out of the circle because I had my flippers.
I had no choice but to float out of the reef’s death trap. So I put myself in a position that would make me float on the very surface of the water and used flutter kicks to swim against the wind and tide. When I finally got out of the horror zone, I headed back to the dinghy where the others were. It was a long swim, but I did not really care. I was just glad I was out of the passage. As I was getting to the edge of the coral reef, I had a new problem. My mask was filling up with water and my snorkel was clogged. I was kind of bummed, but I did not mind really because I am getting better at clearing them. As I got in the dinghy, I started up the engine while the others worked on pulling up the anchor. After that, we zoomed home.
My Visit to Harry Potter World
In the last past weeks, I have done some cool things. One of these adventures was going to Harry Potter World in Orlando Florida with my grandmother for a few days while my parents were sailing Strider from Virginia to the Caribbean. When I was there, I got some Harry Potter supplies like a Slytherin cloak and scarf, and a wand. The first wand I tried out at Olivander’s Wand Shop caused me to accidently smash a ladder and kill some flowers because it did not choose to belong to me. The wand that did choose me was made out of elder wood and had a skeleton head on the tip of the handle. Once I had my wand, I did some spells, explored Diagon Alley, and even went on a ride at Gringott’s Bank. We also visited the Island and Adventure Park in Orlando, where my favorites were Jurassic Park Adventure and several simulations. The other rides we went on were very fun, but by the second day they were kind of an overload. The hotel we stayed in had a pool and nice restaurants. The room was very cozy. It had a nice bathroom with a shower that warmed up fast (unlike Strider, which has no shower), comfy beds, a big window with a great view of the pool, a TV, and lots of space (also unlike Strider). Near the pool, their was a little bar were you could order some food, and enjoy watching people swim. If you ever go to Orlando Florida, stop by Harry Potter Land, because it is very fun.
Weapons and Armor of the Jamestown Virginia Settlement (1607)
The Matchlock Musket was first used in Europe in the mid-15th century. This design removed the need to light the gun powder by hand every time the gun was fired, and made it possible to have both hands free to keep a firm grip on the weapon when firing it. The problem was you had to keep the match constantly lit. A musket cost less to make than a rifle, so that is what the colonists used.
The colonists also had rapiers. A rapier is a slender, pointy, sharp sword used mostly for thrusting attacks. It was used mainly in Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries. These swords often had a hilt designed to protect the hand of the person wielding the sword.
The colonists used steel breast plates and Cabasset helmets to protect themselves. Almost every man kept his breast plate hanging by his bed so he was ready for an attack. The helmets weighed 4 pounds, which meant that men going into battle who were wearing this helmet had four pounds of steel on their heads. The good thing about steel helmets and breast plates is that things like arrows, or stones, bones, antlers, and wood thrown by slingshots could not penetrate the steel. As a result the Native Americans were no match for the colonists.
Maryland River Otters
Today when I went to the Calvert Marine Museum, I met two river otters, Bubbles and Squeak. I only got to see Squeak in action because Bubbles was sleeping in the sun. Squeak was swimming, sliding down a rock water slide and even gave us a tour of her habitat. Otters are active during the night and nap during the day, which makes them nocturnal. When they swim, they tuck in their feet and use their powerful tails to propel themselves through the water. Their diet includes catfish, frogs, salamanders, crayfish and occasionally even ducks! An otter’s actions are very enthusiastic, but they can also be very heavy sleepers when they use up all their energy. When they are awake, they are very playful, very curious, and very friendly. When they are tired, they relax on rocks in the sun and mostly sleep.
The reason river otters are called that is because their habitat is river banks. The countries that they are found in are the United States and Canada, in both fresh and salt water rivers. River otters have been threatened by people trapping them for fur, and by the pollution and destruction of wetlands.
An otter’s body is soft with brown fur and a patch of white under its neck. This is the reason why otters are threatened, so that people can use their fur for jackets and coats. Their webbed feet help them move through the water, which is good for swimming. Their eyes, nose and ears are close together so only their small head can be seen above the water and they can stay hidden with their bodies submerged. River otters spend a lot of time grooming, and their fur has around 300,000 hairs per square-inch. These trap air so their skin doesn’t get wet.
My favorite thing about river otters is that they are very wonderful creatures. Bubbles and Squeak were not very shy of people like most animals. Since we are now making coats out of polyester fleece, there is no reason to hunt the otters anymore. To let them live, we just have to make more polyester fleece coats and they will be as playful and happy as we are.
The Two Antique Engines I Saw In Oxford Maryland
When I went to the Oxford museum with my family, we saw lots of cool things back from the 1800’s and early 1900’s. I came across a Palmer engine and a Kuhner engine. The Palmer was a Marine 1906 Model L four stroke engine. It had 1 cylinder, 1 fly wheel and was made in Syracuse, N.Y. The Kuhner was a 1911 engine that had 2 fly wheels, and was made in Oxford, Maryland. It was used to power the machine shop at a boat yard in Oxford. Both the Palmer and the Kuhner are antiques, have 1 cylinder, and are over a hundred years old. That is why they are on display in the Oxford Museum. Did you know, even though the Palmer is older than the Kuhner, it is a lot more common. There is only one Kuhner around these days and it is at the Oxford Museum. If you go there, I am sure you will know what I am talking about.
How The Population of Oysters Has Changed On Chesapeake Bay
Oysters filter all the water in the Chesapeake Bay. In the 1800’s the oysters filtered all the water in 3 to 6 days. Today, oysters filter the Bay water in 365 days. The reason for this change is because then there were a hundred times more oysters in the old days than there are today.
This huge decline of oysters has been caused by a number of problems. The causes are disease and pollution like oil and pesticides. Other pollutants like nitrogen oxides, fertilizer, and manure cause algal blooms, which block the sunlight from reaching the bottom of the bay and feed bacteria that use up all the oxygen in the water, so the oysters suffocate. Also, overdevelopment and deforestation cause silt to fill the bay, smothering the oysters. Finally, over-fishing, especially by dredging, destroys the oyster reefs. Because of these reasons, the population of oysters has gotten smaller and smaller.
Ways to help oysters from becoming extinct in the Bay are to stop polluting and doing all these terrible things to these sea creatures. I am guessing this population will become extinct because the population is only down to 1% since the 1800s. The only way to help it survive is to stop polluting and help the population instead of destroying it. If we do this, we will have millions of oysters in our world and let them live happily.
You want to find an alligator? I would not recommend going looking for an alligator in the city or the ocean. If you want to find one, I would suggest going to look for one somewhere like a marsh or a wetland. If you went to a place like that, I’m sure you would find one. But keep your eyes sharp! They blend in to stuff in the marsh, like tree shadows. They also like to hang out on logs. As I said, they are very hard to spot, so let me tell you some things about alligators to help you spot one.
Alligators resemble lizards in their shape, but their bodies and tails are thicker than those of most lizards. Their eyes stick up above their skulls so that alligators can see above the water while their bodies are beneath it. They use their short legs for walking, and they can run short distances. Alligators swim by moving their tail from side to side.
Alligators’ habitat includes lakes, swamps, rivers and wetlands along the Gulf of Mexico and on the Atlantic coast as far north as North Carolina. They used to occur far up the Mississippi River, but so many alligators were killed for their hides or for food and sport that they became scarce. In 1967, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service classified the alligator as an endangered species. But by 1977, alligator populations had increased so much in Florida and other southern coastal places that they were reclassified as threatened.
Female alligators make their nests out of rotting leaves and other plant materials. She will make a pile about 3 feet (0.9 meters) high, and 7 feet (2.1 meters) across. She will then lay 20 to 60 eggs in the center of the pile, where the nest is moist. The eggs are white, hard, and all slightly larger than hen’s eggs. The young alligators hatch from the eggs after about nine weeks. When first hatched, young alligators are about 9 inches (23 centimeters) long. During the first six years of their lives, both males and females grow about 1 foot (30 centimeters) each year. After this time, the females grow more slowly but the males continue to grow at the same rate for several years more. Alligators probably live up to 50 to 60 years! Alligators eat many kinds of small animals that live in or near the water, including birds, frogs, small mammals, snakes, and turtles. Alligators tear these animals apart by grabbing hold of a part of a animal with their jaws.
When you are going to look for an alligator, don’t hunt for one, because their species is already endangered and lots of people are hunting them. Trust me, it is a lot more interesting and fun to look at them and enjoy them than hunting them. That way everyone who wants to see an alligator can see one. Just remember this, as I said earlier, you can not find them in the city, towns or the ocean. The place to look for one is in a marsh, wetland, rivers and places like that. Look for one there instead of going to a zoo or an aquarium. But remember, when you find one, look at it, don’t hunt it or try to catch it. It won’t help the species, it will only make things worse for them.
My Favorite Things About New York
This year I went to New York City with my family on my boat Strider. How we got there was by sailing down Long Island Sound, then entering Hell Gate into the East River. We motored past the United Nations building, under the Brooklyn Bridge, then into New York Harbor towards Liberty Landing Marina. On the way, we saw lots of cool stuff. We saw a speedboat called the Beast. The boat was green with a monster-looking face on it, similar to Godzilla’s face in the original 1960’s version. A crowd of people on board screamed with joy as big waves splashed by and soaked them with seawater. We also saw a Coast Guard boat equipped with an awesome-looking machine gun. The boat was guarding the United Nations building from people who might want to blow it up or do something like the attack on the Twin Towers. Probably the best part of our voyage was seeing the Statue Of Liberty in real life. When I saw it, I was so exited that it was the actual thing and not a photo on Safari or Google Chrome. We saw people in crowds going on tours and seeing the Statue, then getting transported back to the city by ferry. When I go back someday I will make sure to visit more places and maybe even go to the Statue of Liberty or on the Beast. Right now I am on the Sassafras River in Maryland on my way to the Caribbean.
My Favorite Things I Did In Maine
One of my favorite things I did in Maine was sailing my Beetle Cat Quick in races and sailing with my parents. I even sailed it with my sister to Torrey’s and back, but, in the end, the sail with my sister did not turn out so well. After a few weeks, I started sailing Quick by myself. About one week later after we arrived in Maine, we sailed in a Beetle Cat called Crush in the Chowder Race. My dad and I sailed Crush, and my mom and my sister sailed Quick. In the race, my dad thought of a trick we could do to get ahead of the other boats. Since the Herreshoffs could not go over shallow points, we went over some rocks which were in a shallow part of the course, and just cut right ahead of all the boats and thankfully, some of the other beetle cats did no follow us. During the last few days, I went for a long sail along one part of the course. When I got back, my last sail on Quick was over, and right now it is most likely being taken out of the water along with the other boats. I will do the same with it next year.
Another thing that I enjoyed was going on my Grandfather’s tractor and driving the make-and-brake. (really I do not know how you spell it, so that is the spelling, even if its not right). The tractor is a large old fashioned Join Deer model A tractor. I am not going to explain all the parts because it will take up to much room, so here are some of the basic parts. It is green and yellow with two large back yellow wheels, two front slanted small yellow wheels next to each other, a fly wheel, a throttle, two cylinders, and other stuff like that. Some of the parts on it we don’t see anymore and some still are around, for example, fly wheels to start tractors or other things like that. An example of what is still around is spark plugs. The tractor runs on gasoline and kerosene. This year, I did not get to go on it a lot is because it had a leak in its tank. The problem was that the gasoline tank and the kerosene tank were leaking into each other, so it pretty much had to be fixed. The time I drove it this summer was at a cookout at Nonnie and Pop Pop’s house. Over the past few years, it has been harder for me to drive because I don’t have a lot of room to sit on the seat with Pop Pop, so it has been harder to set myself up in a driving position. But still, I like it a lot. The one thing I like most about it is driving it and having a good time and having fun.
The make-and-brake is a vehicle similar to the tractor. It is a much older machine than the tractor though. It does not have as many parts as the tractor because it is a smaller engine, which I’m’ pretty sure is the reason. It is basically a lawnmower body equipped with a make-and-brake engine. I am only going to explain the parts I really know of so here they are: the make-an-brake has four basic wheels, a copper cone-like funnel, a copper front, two fly wheels, one cylinder, a choke, a clutch and a clutch brake.
By the way, before you can start it, you have to turn on the gas and give the valve a turn, for example, one full turn. After you have done that you make sure it is retarded, not advanced. Then you turn the choke so it is closed I think, and give the oil one half turn. I can not remember exactly if that is everything before you start it or if there is one more thing. There have been so many things going on since then, I can not remember everything to do before you start the make-and-brake. So after that, you press a button in the back that allows you to pull it through and then you are all ready to drive it.
Actually, since I have grown out of space on the tractor like I was talking about, I kind of like the make-and-brake a little better. Because I am the only one on the seat, it gives me a little more control and gives me a more easy driving position. The real reason why I enjoy the make-and-brake better is because I am the only one on it when I drive it. It just makes me be proud of myself and I always have a lot of fun. I also feel a little more secure on low ground instead of high ground. I enjoy driving the make-and-brake and the tractor and they both make me feel very proud every time.
My third and final thing is, and my top favorite thing I did in Maine, was going to the Blue Hill Fair with Megan and Nonnie during the last few days in Maine. Megan and I went on lots of rides together and had a great time. Here are a few of the rides we went on: the Thunder Bolt, the Zipper, the Gravitron, the Hurricane, an upside down Ferris Wheel, which was a lot more exiting than a regular Ferris Wheel, and other cool rides that we went on. Before we went to midway park where the rides were, we went to see the animals, since midway park and the rides did not open until 12:00. We looked at sheep, horses, cows and other animals that were very cute. After we saw the animals, we headed towards midway, but we stopped to get some lunch because we got hungry. After we went on most of the exiting rides, we talked about heading back to the car. But then I decided to encounter the Zipper which is a ride where you go upside down and go in summer saults and movements like that. Before the ride started my sister asked for a ticket because she was all out of tickets. When I gave here six tickets to go on the Zipper with me, she decided she did not want to go but I said that, since she had already decided to use my tickets that I gave her, she had to use them for this ride. The Zipper turned out to be extremely scary but in the end, it turned out to be not so bad. After that, we headed home and it turned out to be an awesome, exciting day for the three of us.
The Rodent War Of 1985
The Story the Rodent War Of 1985 does not explain much of what happens in the field, and also does not have much detail of the event. Sorry about that. But I hope you enjoy this funny, action-filled story and always remember the good rodent soldiers who fought for us in America.
Chapter 1: Rise
(1984/ Rodent Training Camp)
The Rodents were preparing themselves for the attack on Brazil at the Rodent Training Camp. There were five different Rodent training squads in different areas around the campsite. The campsite was divided into different sections not based on the soldiers’ species, but on their size. Area one was meant for small rodents like rats and mice, area two for squirrel-sized rodents, and so on.
There were five different captains, one for each squad. The rats’ leader was a smart and intelligent rat named Remi. She was the second best leader of all the rodent captains. She was the best, until Spike stepped up and became leader of the squirrels. Spike had more experience than Remi but was not as fast and acrobatic. He also had more trouble with failure. His one big advantage over Remi was his strength. He had a stronger squad, was stronger himself and could take more damage than Remi. However, Remi had a big advantage too. Her squad took orders better and was faster than Spike’s squad like she was herself. Her two best soldiers were named Bumble and Jazzmine. Bumble was smart and quick, with excellent reflexes. She was also a very good chewer. Jazzmine was fast, a good snatcher and was excellent at hiding. But they were also troublemakers. The least experienced of the team was a white rat named Smudge. Her brown nose was a good design for hiding in the dirt while sniffing. But she also had a lot of weaknesses. She could only run fast in a short distance, and she got very tired. Remi’s second in command was a rat named Cookie. She was not as slow as Smudge, but was slower than Remi, Bumble and Jazz. But she had great skills as a spotter, and she was an excellent digger. She had the most success in dirt and mud. Her dark skin gave her great cover, and it was difficult to spot her in dark spaces.
All the rats at the Rodent training camp had just completed their last day of training. The next day Remi, Spike and the rest of the squad leaders talked about their plans for war. They told the teams that some of them might need to be upgraded if they were going onto the battlefield. No one knew that Bumble and Jazz had already put a plan of their own in place. After the meeting was over, the team went to get their gear. They had to move fast if they were going to catch their flight. Over by Bumble and Jazz’s locker was a cloak that was covering something.
“Jazz, you get the robot ready, I’ll get the paint,” said Bumble.
Jazz and Bumble had hidden a robot that they had created themselves. They called it the Rambot. The robot was equipped with heavy weaponry and secret gadgets. For weaponry, it had two triple missile launchers, heavy fire powered machine gun, explosives, two Gatling guns, and a plasma cannon. For gadgets, it had a squeak beaker, a squeak screamer, tail grappling hooks, rocket thruster boots, a self-destruct mechanism and a ray shield. Bumble and Jazz had just made the finishing touches on their robot powered battle armor. Bumble and Jazz weren’t going into battle as soldiers, they were going to use the robot in battle. By the time the two troublemakers were done with their secret weapon, the others were ready to go.
Chapter 2: An Unexpected Arrival
The rats were all ready to go. They had their pistols and battle gear. All of a sudden, everyone heard a loud STOMP! Then it happened again. Every stomp got louder and louder! Then it entered the room. It was Bumble and Jazz’s secret weapon, their Rambot. Everyone was freaked out by it. Remi thought it was an awesome creation and also knew that the Rambot could be useful in battle. Some other rats actually started to like it too. Bumble and Jazz were very happy that their creation had been successful. Spike was not so convinced about the Rambot, but he was still happy that they had a secret weapon. When it was ready and loaded with ammo, they started it up. Then BOOM!!! There was a big explosion. They checked out the scene. The battle had come to them! It turned out that the enemy was closer than they thought. Then there was another BOOM!!! And another. Remi’s squad prepared to take aim on the roof. Spike’s squad prepared to defend the campground, while the other squad charged. Spike then joined Remi on the roof to get a better view.
“Remi, we lost our ground squad,” said Cookie.
“Ok I’ll send Bumble and Jazzmi…… Cookie, where are Bumble and Jazzmine?”
“I have no idea Remi,” Cookie replied.
“Smudge, where are Bumble and Jazzmine?”
“I’m not sure either, but to be honest, I don’t care,” Smudge grumbled. “I don’t like their behavior with me, especially Bumble’s. And as you can see right now, I’m busy taking care of these Brazilian sleepy nerds that have no respect for us.”
Cookie cut off Smudge, saying, “Smudge, just tell us.”
“But if I do, Bumble might hurt me.” Smudge hesitated. “OK, fine, but don’t tell Bumble. They said something about a robot.” Then they heard a clanking sound.
“Rambot at your service,” the Rambot said. “No need to say anything. Would you just please get out of the way of my spot? Thank you.”
There were some whispers inside. “Bumble activate all weapons,” Jazzmine said.
“Switching on all weapons,” Bumble replied. “All weapons active. Battle mode activated.”
“Good. Ready, aim, FIRE!!!” yelled Jazzmine. There was a POOF sound. The weapon system was on, but the weapons did not release from their sockets. “Mr. Rambot, did you forget to check the weapon lock? Bumble check the weapon lock on the weapon control panel. Got it ready?”
“Shoot only two missiles, so we have extr….” all the missiles went shooting out of their sockets, and landed on the enemy with a big BLAM!!!
“Sorry. I thought you said all the missiles.”
Instead they loaded the plasma cannons while in the meantime using the Gatling guns. A little while later, a huge enemy ship appeared. It looked like a huge dragon with weapons and booster jets. The Rambot had met its match. But Bumble and Jazz had a better idea, much more risky, and far more dangerous.
Chapter 3: To Hijack a Ship
Bumble and Jazz had made a plan with Remi. They would take the Rambot near the ship and try to get close enough to hop in the porthole. They would bring Smudge, but they had to count on Smudge to not fail them and fall asleep. That was one of the risks.
It actually worked. They got inside no problem and Smudge did not fall asleep once. She was starting to become a great soldier. Bumble and Jazz snuck inside the walls without being seen once. They got into the cockpit vent, then chewed their way through and entered. Jazzmine nodded to Bumble, and Bumble nodded back. She knew what Jazz meant. She snuck right up behind the untrained combat pilot and pounced right onto him with ease. Bumble gave the all clear. Jazzmine was apparently trained as a pilot for some time now. Scrolling through the ship’s datapad, she realized that it was also a driller and armed with way more advanced technology and weaponry. They scrolled through some more. They were totally in luck. The plans to the plot were there. Everything. But Jazz found something else too, the controls.
“I got an idea, Bumble said. “Let’s turn the weaponry off, set a course for Brazil, and put it on autopilot. We’ll send it back to Brazil.”
“Good Idea Bumble, we will save the whole camp! Starting course now.”
The two rats smiled.
Chapter 4: A Deadly Duel, A Squeaky Victory
Remi and Cookie were with Remi’s squad, and they were crushing the enemy. They had just made a great victory when the leader of the army walked up right through the flames. His name was Grambol The Deceiver . He had black fur and red skull tattoos. He was about Spike’s size, very strong and fierce. He stepped up and pulled out two fire-bladed swords.
Remi drew her one single-bladed energy sword, while Spike drew his mini double-bladed dark saber. Remi made the first move. The rat duel had begun.
The duel lead them out to the courtyard balcony. Remi was swinging, trying to confuse Grambol, who had the advantage of an extra sword. She struck for the head, but he parried it with a ground stroke, although losing a whisker from Remi’s strike. Remi just jumped away, avoiding the blow.
With Grambol focused on Remi, Spike looked for an opportunity to push Grambol off the roof. Remi knew that the drop would not be far enough down for them to defeat Grambol, but it would slow him down a bit. Spike’s target squeaked and pulled out both swords, sending the roof crashing down. “I guess that wasn’t the best idea,” Grambol thought to himself. They all landed right in the courtyard below.
After a few seconds, Spike stuck the front end of his dark saber into the ground while trying to hit Grambol’s foot. Grambol hopped away just in time and then struck for the head, pulling both swords out. Spike ejected the back end of his weapon, pointing it into the air and blocking the attack, while Remi went for another strike. However Grambol was able to block the attack with his right sword, kicking Remi away as Spike attacked. Grambol blocked Spike while also avoiding Remi’s under-sweep with a backflip in midair. Then Spike did a double flip, landing on the right side of Grambol. With Grambol focused on Spike, Remi did an unexpected attack, but Grambol blocked it with ease. Remi tried to catch him with her tail, waving it as a whip; Grambol ducked, avoiding it and sending a massive kick at Spike, who went flying across the courtyard. Remi tried to end the duel with an overhead strike in the air. Unfortunately, Grambol blocked it and pushed Remi back with his big tail, smashing her against the wall and knocking her unconscious. A second later Spike locked onto Gambrol, using all his strength to hold the lock with one paw, while he twisted Grambol’s right paw. Shrieking with pain, Grambol dropped both swords, leaving him defenseless. Spike went for the final blow, and Grambol tried to bite him.
“Why don’t you go eat somewhere else,” came a voice. It was Remi. She knocked Grambol out with a boxing glove. That is when they all heard a grinding sound getting closer. All of a sudden Grambol fell down a large hole with a machine coming right out of it. There was an announcement that came from the driller. ‘HAVE NO FEAR THE DRILLERS HERE!!!’ That is when two little heads popped up. It was Bumble and Jazz in a driller escape pod.
“Shouldn’t you be back with the squad?” asked Remi.
“Sorry Supreme Leader. We just thought we would check in,” squeaked Jazzmine and Bumble.
“Supreme leader? Uh, Spike’s the supreme leader. I prefer Captain if you don’t mind.”
“Ok, captain it is.”
“Ok now go back to the camp. And take care of the robot mess.”
“Uh Supreme Leader…I mean Captain…,” said Jazz.
“I thought you were headed back to camp as ordered.”
“We just thought you might need a transport for Spike.”
“Well, that would be helpful.”
That is when they went back to the camp and had a nice lunch. Smudge and Cookie were already there having their favorite meal, peas and yogurt. Remi was trying not to think of their duel with Gambrol, but she had a troubling memory. Grambol’s symbols, they were not ordinary. But she just erased it from her mind and went with Bumble and Jazzmine to join them. Spike had a bandage on his leg, but he was ok. Their victory had come at last, and they all did a big squeak.
But far deep in the underworld, something was rising, Something sinister? Remi knew that the vision she had had was mysterious and unnatural. Little did she know, her vision was right. Grambol was not the key for ending the war. Something else was rising, something sinister. Little did the rodents know, it was just the beginning.
I hoped you enjoyed this story and loved the characters. I don’t know what you liked most, but I really loved Bumble and Jazzmine. I loved their funny events and their actions. My favorite chapter was An Unexpected Arrival. My name is Owen Farrar, and if you loved this story and want to comment on it, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am thinking of making a second Rodent story like this one. If another one does come out, it will be a post called Rodents 2#: Ordeal of Lava on my web page at svstrider.org