If you’re wondering what the heck is going on, go here to start at the beginning of the episode and here to start at the beginning of the universe. In the meantime, let’s see how Captain Jebediah Seip-Tiberius chandles a family squabble.

This is how I envision Jeb. Don’t judge!

Captain’s Log, Intergalactic Date 67688.986

As we await the data gathered by my away team, I decided it was best to give my cousins a little cool down time. I have assigned them adjoining quarters, so Bobby could freshen up, and J.R. and Ellen Sue could discuss whatever was eating them. Meanwhile, I’ve set my engineering and ops departments to figure out how we can safely tow the Lone Star home. I want us to be able to take action if we find it prudent to leave quickly.

One of the best parts of being a HuFleet Captain is the ability to tell my people, “Figure it out, and report to me.” Times like these, it’s vital. I’m thrust into the role of diplomat and counselor, and even though I don’t know these distant cousins personally much, it’s all the harder for them being family.

Capt. Tiberius entered the guest quarters he’d assigned to J.R. and Ellie Sue. From the moment Minion O’Tin had registered the alert on the bridge, Jeb had regretted giving the couple privacy to work things out. At least, he had left the security team outside their door. Those two had rushed in to pull J.R. off his wife, whom he was choking, and then two more had to be called in to stop Ellen Sue from attacking them. Jeb stepped in to hear profanities and excuses being shouted at top volume.

As soon as JR saw him, the man’s face took on an even deeper shade of rage red. He lunged toward the captain, but the guards held him tight. LaFuentes had trained them well.

“Jimmy Rae, you may be my cousin, but keep this up and I’ll call your momma.”

“Leave her out of this!”

“Then calm down. I’m shocked at this behavior, especially from a Seip. We don’t beat our women, not in this century and not two hundred years ago, either.”

“And we don’t steal each other’s women, especially from family. How dare you seduce my wife?”

Ellen Sue cut in. “I tried to tell him it was just a squeeze of the butt. It was a religious experience.”

“Oh, right! You used to say that about us.”

Jeb sighed. Well, he knew that evangelization had its pitfalls as well as its perks. “In this case, it’s literal. Observe. Minion Brahe?”

Minion Brahe checked to ensure Ellen Sue was calm, but that his partner had a good grip on her, anyway. Then he went to join the captain for a demonstration of their faith. There were only four other followers of Kreptar on the Impulsive, so it was a remarkable coincidence that they happened to get so much screen time. It has nothing to do with quotas or plot machinations, just happy happenstance, to be sure.

“Kra Kreptar, Captain!”

“Fruliogri Kra, Brahe.”

They slapped their own butts, then squeezed each other’s. This time, however, the retained their grips while the captain intoned, “Great Kreptar, who expelled the first gasses that created our amazing universe, may peace and understanding surround this couple like a fog. Bless those who dealt it regardless of whether they smelt it. Kra Kreptar.”

“Fruliogri Kra!”

Brahe returned to Ellen Sue’s side, but she, at least, had clamed down, and in fact had placed her own hands on her round derriere. Of course, the placement was all wrong, not to mention the way she rubbed her cheeks made Jeb vow to get the ship – and himself – some shore leave, and soon.

He pushed the thought aside, and turned to J.R. “See? Actual religion, albeit alien. I can squeeze yours now if you’d like to ask for forgiveness.”

His cousin gaped at him. “You’ve all gone mad! That was praying? ‘Kra Keptar,’ my ass!”

“Kra Kreptar – and it’s everyone’s assess whether they believe or not. Ellen Sue, for your safety and so my security crew can get back to their jobs, I’m going to have to move you to another room. Brahe, make it happen, and have sickbay send someone to take care of her bruise. J.R., you’re confined to this one until you calm down enough to apologize, and if you raise a stink, I will call your mother. Kra Krepar.”

“Fruliogri Kra!” Brahe called out, but Jeb had already spun and left the room, ignoring J.R.’s protests. His away team had better find some answers, and soon. He was already getting tired of his family.

“Captain! Jeb!”

He pulled up short. Figures. He made a short prayer that she would not throw herself into his arms, pasted on a neutral but gentlemanly smile, and turned back to his cousin.

She stopped two respectable steps in front of him. Prayers answered. “Jeb, don’t be too hard on him. I don’t know what’s gotten into him. I mean, J.R. has always been jealous, but never violent.”

Jeb cocked a brow. Seemed his security team would disagree.

She caught his unspoken meaning. “To me, I mean. I’ve never seen him like this. He’s usually so charming, especially with people he needs to influence. But today, he’s practically barbaric. It must be the stress, or maybe he got hit in the head… I’ll go quietly to my room, now. Don’t judge him too harshly.”

Jeb watched as she meeky followed Brahe to a new room, but his mind was on the angry cousin he’d just left. Maybe he would talk to J.R.’s mom after all. Ellen Sue could be a woman defending her man, but she could also be right that this wasn’t his usual behavior.

And if that was so, something on that planet changed him. And that meant Jeb’s people were in danger, too.

I love Capt. T. He really tries to stay on top of things. Speaking of, I had promised to start my regular newsletter in April, but instead I got a new job, which is much more profitable and a lot of fun. I’ll get to it…eventaully. In the meantime, follow me on Facebook and keep coming back for the exciting adventures of Space Traipse!

BTW, the job is marketing communications specialist at NEWSCYCLE Solutions. I’m having a blast!