Chapter 4
A Watery Transformation

Inside the ScotCorde, it was eerily silent. No one moved, no one spoke... but every muzzle was plastered to the windows, all trying to get a peek into this new environment they'd entered!

Alex Mathisen, Angus Wynne, and Ginger Flewharty had everyone's attention as they discussed the fact that there was no visible BOTTOM.... and that the blue color of the ocean continued to darken as the jet continued its downward path.

"Look at that huge FISH!" Angus said in amazement. His gasp drew the group to the port side of the plane, where everyone gazed in wonder as an enormous whale shark seemed to take no notice, but swam slowly away from the unusual metal invader who flashed past, headed for the bottom.

It quickly became a game of "can you top THIS?" as everyone began squinting into the murky ocean, searching for equally amazing sights to share with their friends.

It was Kelley Lyons and Bert Williamson, though, who had everyone suddenly speechless.

Bonnie Belle McAfee Bush had spotted a beautifully silver-colored fish, with black horizontal lines running from his head to his tail. Her comment about the light, yellowish color on his sides quickly drew Kelly and Bert into the conversation.

"Oh, that's a surgeonfish," Bert replied nonchalantly, as he continued gazing out the window.

"REALLY?" Bonnie was surprised at Bert's knowledge of the ocean fish species.

"Does it have a reddish orange spot on its side, back near the tail?" Kelly asked from across the aisle, where she was watching out the starboard windows.

"Yes, it sure does! How'd you know?" Bonnie turned and looked at Bonnie.

"Ahhhh, well's actually an ARABIAN surgeonfish," she replied, smiling.

"Ohhh, you're right!" Bert agreed, adding, "good identification, Kelley!"

"OKAY, then..... name THIS ONE!" Bonnie Belle challenged, as she described an orange fish with three large, white stripes around its body.

"Ohhhhhh, that's EASY!" Bert laughed, then turned and deferred to Kelly.

She smiled back at Bert and then with a twinkle in her eye, she replied....."NEMO!!"

"Nemo is REAL??" Bartholomew van Dulken asked.

Bert was thoroughly enjoying himself.

"Noooo, well, yes....," he answered. "Nemo was a character, but the species he depicted is real. That fish you saw is a clown anemonefish."

The BASH terriers were shocked and amazed at the information that Kelley and Bert was able to share with them.....and the next few minutes were spent trying to "Stump the Ichthyologists"!

Agatha Bruce and Reagan Wion just KNEW they had them stumped, when they began describing a very ODD-looking fish.

"He's UGLY!" Reagan began.

"And brown, and bloated-looking," Agatha added.

"And he's got this long antennae sticking out of his fore-head, hanging out in front of his mouth! WEIRD!" Reagan finished.

Agatha and Reagan both turned from the window, folded their paws across their chests, looked at Kelley and Bert, smiled wickedly..... and waited.

Bert casually stepped over to a nearby lounge chair, and motioned for Kelley to take the seat. When she was comfortably seated, he perched on the arm, then smiled at Kelley.

"Well, with the 'fishing rod' hanging off his forehead, it must be an anglerfish," Kelley concluded, her eyes twinkling brightly.

"And," she glanced at Bert, who nodded, then let her continue, "we WOULD have said 'anglerfish'...but they're yellow and flat.......SOOOOOOOO......"

Kelley turned to Bert, who finished with, "That must be the NEW species of anglerfish that scientists have recently discovered at the mid-depths...... COOL!"

At which point, both Kelley and Bert raced to the window to get a quick glimpse of the new type of fish before Sleek 1 slipped out of range.

Bartholomew was the first to notice the change in the ScotCorde's descent angle.

"Hey, GUYS," he interrupted, "we've leveled OFF! We're not diving any longer!"

Everyone suddenly looked around, and realized the truth of Bartholomew's words. They had, indeed, reached a level plane.... and were coming to a stop!

They heard the cockpit door open, and turned to see Captain Scotty enter the Main Lounge.

"Well, wee ones... this is our jumping-off point. We'll stop here on the ocean floor, at the edge of this plateau for a moment, and check our instruments."

From here, just over the edge of that abyss ahead of us, the depth drops straight down..... to 35,000 feet. We must make certain that all of the ScotCorde's alterations and modifications are working properly before we descend any further."

The terriers looked around the cabin. They saw no changes, no modifications. Everything appeared normal.

The Captain smiled. "No... exterior changes. When we entered the ocean, Sleek 1 changed her appearance. Her exterior hull altered to accomodate the greater pressures we'll be experiencing. She now has a workable rudder, along with countless other modifications."

"And, with the changes that we've made, I think it only proper that we rename our Sleek 1 for this Sub 1!"

Wild applause erupted, as everyone turned and gently patted the mahogony-paneled walls of the cabin.... "GOOD, Sub 1," they coo'ed, smiling broadly... "Good GIRL, Sub 1!"

Turning to Gracie Kubicek, Captain Scotty added, "Thank you, Gracie Girl. The alterations to Sub 1 would not have been possible without your help."

And with that, he stepped over to the smiling scottie lass, gently lifted her fore-paw and kissed it.

Gracie blushed from her muzzle to her ears!

"You're MORE than welcome," she managed to reply. "Anything you need....anything at ALL! It's not a problem....just let me know!"

Captain Scotty winked at Gracie, then turned to the group.

"I've got to go check the aft cargo hold, to make certain that those supplies are strapped down, and inspect the modifications."

He started down the aisle, then stopped, and turned to the BASH volunteers.

"Ohhhhhhh, there IS one small modification you might find interesting," the Captain added.

If you go down these spiral stairs to the lower gallery, then head forward, you'll find that the forward bulkhead where the forward pilot's lounge was.... has now been turned into a glassed Observation Lounge. The entire nose of the ScotCorde is now constructed of 10" thick sections of glass."

Gasps of delight echoed around the cabin...

He had to leap back out of the path of the charging terriers, as everyone raced for the staircase to the Lower Lounge.

"For your VIEWING PLEASURE!!" he shouted as they raced past.

Seconds later, he found himself alone in the long, luxurious Main Lounge. Smiling, he shook his head and continued toward the rear of the jet, to make his final inspections.

The Captain heard the sounds of much laughter and exclamations of surprise as he moved farther down the length of the plane. He knew that from here on, there would BE no opportunity for play... let them have their fun.

"Okay, Sub 1," he said softly, "let's see that you're ready for this party we're invited to."

Fact or FICTION?!?!?!
The odd-looking anglerfish described by Reagan & Agatha...

Recently discovered!! Seeing is BELIEVING!

Chapter 5
Did You HEAR Something??

Captain Scottie completed the final inspection of Sub 1, then returned to the cockpit, and began preparing to get underway.

He had completed most of the pre-flight checklist when he heard the BASH terriers returning to the Main Lounge. Their good-natured laughter brought a smile to his face.

Turning around, he gazed back into the Main Lounge, and whistled. Every furry head turned toward the cockpit.

"We're about to begin our descent, wee ones. Take your seats, and buckle in... we aren't sure what we're going to encounter. So, get seated, and get READY!"

The BASH volunteers began shoving and pushing as they hurriedly claimed their favorite lounge chairs. The scotties were eager to come face to muzzle with the mysterious Skozians.

"Let's GO get 'em!" they shouted, the Terrier instinct glowing brightly in their eyes.

Captain Scottie checked his gauges, made a final adjustment to the trim stabilizers, then set the course into the computer.

Sub 1 eased forward and quickly began picking up speed, its powerful engines humming. The Captain quickly scanned the depth guages, and saw that the ocean floor had disappeared beneath them... they were now descending into the dark and menacing abyss.

Captain Scotty FELT the tremor in the wheel first......a shudder. Then the sound echoed through the bulkhead.... a wrenching sound of bending metal.

His attention immediately focused on his guages, the lifeline to his beloved ScotCorde.

His fingers flew over the switches and knobs as he quickly tried to diagnose the problem. He frowned, and double-checked his data. The engines were working at peak efficiency, rpm's at maximum efficiency, everything was working perfectly!

But, they weren't MOVING!

He turned to the panel behind the pilot's seat, and redirected the external sensors, along with the camera that was housed on the tail of the ScotCorde. He flipped the switch to active the external monitor.

He looked once....then looked again.....

"UHHHHH OHHHHHHHH!!! This ISN'T good............."

Chapter 6
Terrier'd UP and Loaded for Action!

Everything seemed to happen at once. The alarms in the cockpit erupted in piercing tones that echoed throughout the cabin. Captain Scotty quickly began scanning the guages, checking on the status of their critical systems.

And it was at this moment that Bailey Doud raced into the cockpit, followed closely by Duffy Tracey, Hoagy Devine, Darby Yeager, Chak de Mitey, Mr. Murphy Williamson, and Karey Lawrence.

Bebe Henderson tore into the cabin and skidded to a halt right behind the group of excited, growling terriers. They were all jabbering at once, their eyes flashing, their tails stiffly erect and twitching ever-so-slightly.

"It's HUGE!"Bailey began. "MONSTROUS!"

Darby interrupted, "It's wrapped around the SUB! ALL OF IT!"

"Can we go GET 'im?? CAN WE?" Duffy and Hoagy asked in unison, their teeth bared, as they grumbled low in their throats.

"It'll take more than just TWO!" Karey retorted, "but we can ALL go get him! WE wanna go play, TOO, ya know!"

Captain Scotty stared at the bedlam that had broken out in his cockpit. He looked from one agitated terrier to the next. Then, he saw Bebe, standing at the back of the group, just barely in the room. He could tell by the arched back and bottle-brush tail that Bebe was one VERY angry cat.

"We don't have much time, Bebe.... what's going on?" he asked.

"PFFFFFFFFTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!" Bebe began. "The Guardians have their paws full down below! There's a....... MONSTER covering the observation glass, and all the scotties and their friends are trying to get out to GET him! The Guardians, guite frankly, are overwhelmed! Rosie and Claire are holding the terriers away from the outer doors.... Callie, Scooter, Reggie, and Belle are running around, grabbing the hammers, knives, and diamond rings...trying to keep the scotties from cutting HOLES in the observation deck's glass.

"Jake, Berrie, and Reggie are just trying to herd them into a small, tight MASS that would listen to reason!"

"Old Jack, the donkey, has threatened to kick any scottie who gets near that outside hatch..... clear into next TUESDAY!"

"Poor Bug-a-Boo had to take shelter on Hamburger's BACK, to escape the stampede when the scotties first SIGHTED "IT"! Whatever it'd best get DOWN there!!! If they succeed in breaking that glass, then we'll ALL go down like a rock!! And, if I'm not mistaken.....there's no ocean FLOOR beneath us!"

Bebe took one huge, gasping breath, and finished with a loud, disgusted "PPPPPFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFTT"!

The Captain already knew what/who had attached itself to Sub 1... he'd seen it from the external cameras that were attached to the hull. He had planned to settle the issue from HERE.... but with Bebe's frantic description of the happenings in the lower Observation Lounge, he quickly realized that the situation was, indeed, desperate..... not from the danger of the menace on the OUTSIDE of Sub 1, but in danger from the fearless terriers WITHIN!

"HURRY, Captain!" Chak encouraged, his paws pushing Captain Scotty out the cockpit door, toward the stairway. "We wanna go TOO, and if we're late getting back down there, we won't GET to go GET 'im!!! They'll leave WITHOUT us!"

"Ohhhhhh, good GRACIOUS!" Captain Scotty mumbled to himself, then began running through the Main Cabin. He reached the spiral staircase, and sprinted downward, clearing 3 steps at a time.

As Captain Scotty reached the lower Observation Lounge, his blue eyes quickly took in the scene. The Guardians were in danger of totally losing control of the enraged terriers, who were standing at the ceiling-high glass wall.

The scotties stood stiff-legged, feet braced widely apart.... their noses literally TOUCHED the glass pane, as they curled their lips back, snarling at the massive deep-sea creature who had attached itself to the nose of Sub 1.

Captain Scotty was momentarily taken back by the sheer ferocity of his wee ones. He never could get over the sight of his terriers, while short in stature, having the most incredible set of seriously-large TEETH he'd ever seen!

The Captain took a deep breath, then stepped carefully around the group until he'd placed his body between the angry terriers and the glass wall. He put his fingers to his lips, then gave a piercing whistle.

The Scotties and their friends only BEGRUDGINGLY turned their attentions to the Captain, as they watched him with ill-concealed frustration.

"Listen, you can NOT go out and "GET" him. Not like THIS! Now, if you'll let me handle this, we can soon be back underway."

He turned toward the monster, still attached to the huge glass wall. Motioning, he said, "This is not a 'monster'. It's a giant Squid, who obviously has mistaken us for a sperm whale. Now, while I do appreciate your willingness to take ON this battle, I DO think that we could solve this problem MUCH more quickly if you allow ME to handle it."

The terriers began grumbling under their breaths. Angus McTuff King cast a sly glance around, then angrily kicked the glass with his rear paw, growling under his breath. Brody Gamble Meadows clasped him around the shoulders, and pulled him away.

"Save it, Angus m'man," Brody said. "Save that for the Skozians. We'll NEED it then. Let the Captain take care of this 'sushi' that's hanging around here!"

Angus took a breath, then smiled, as he and Brody joined their friends who were heading back toward the Main Lounge.

It was the sound of tearing METAL that brought everyone to a dead stop..........


Chapter 7

The sound of tearing metal changed everything.

Captain Scottie whirled around and sprinted across the lower Observation Lounge.

"Make a HOLE!" he shounted to the terriers blocking the stairway back to the cockpit.

The terriers heard the command tone, and immediately parted, allowing the Captain free access to the stairway.

Captain Scotty was back in the cockpit within seconds. A quick scan of his instrument panel revealed the source of the sound. The Aft Lounge was taking on water!!

The Captain turned and raced through the Main Lounge. As he neared the Aft Lounge, he saw Big Billy Bad Butt, Allie Graves, Bella Gilmore, Ginger & Murphy Kilpatrick, Hamish MacBeth Wilson, Bo'sun Howatt, Brewster Wynne, Reagan Wion, Andy Oglesby, Mikey Quigley, Maggie Mac, Duncan Lyons, Angie Riches, and Emmitt Bad Boy racing OUT of the Aft Lounge. They were dripping wet...and MAD!

"There's a HOLE where the WALL used to be!" Bella shouted, as she wheeled around to stand behind Captain Scotty.

The others skidded to a stop as soon as they saw the Captain. They knew HE would fix it!

Captain Scotty saw that the terriers were only wet, not injured. He quickly moved to the door of the Aft Lounge, and surveyed the interior. He saw a tear in the bulkhead where water was rapidly pouring into the cabin. One quick glance around the cabin showed that it was empty.... that none of the terriers had been left inside.

He quickly stepped back, reached for the massive door, and with a great heave, he swung it closed. He gave the lock a quick twirl, then turned to the instrument panel on the wall next to the door. Adjusting the air pressure inside the now-sealed chamber, he soon had the inbound flow of water down to a trickle.

Captain Scotty turned to the wet and grumbling terriers. Looking at Emmitt, he asked, "Okay, what happened?"

Emmitt put his paws on his hips and began,"We were having a discussion of successful methods to get our way with our Mams and Dads.... quietly, well-behaved even!!! Then the WALL tumbled in!!! It just bent in!!! Murphy SWORE he saw some long arm reach in, but we were all trying to get to the door, since the water was POURING IN!!"

"YEAH," Bella replied. "The wall just TUMBLED IN!"

One voice in the back of the group offered, "Now, Murphy, Hamish MacBeth, and Duncan Lyons were sitting over there, so maybe they took the screws out of the wall...but it just BENT IN!!"

Captain Scotty raised his hand to quiet the angry group. "No, we've been attacked by a giant squid. The other terriers, in the Observation Lounge, have had an up-close view of our guest. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go convince him to release us. You all go on up to the Main Lounge and dry off. Wait for me there."

The Captain was about to turn back toward the front of the sub, then paused and added, "Ohhh, and I wouldn't touch the outer bulkheads if I were you!"

With a wicked grin, the Captain wheeled and sprinted back to the cockpit. Once inside, he quickly evaluated his sub for any further damage. Seeing that everything else appeared to be in order, he proceeded with his plan.

It only took him a couple of minutes to make the adjustments. When he was ready, he opened the intercom to the rest of the sub and made a quick announcement.

"We are about to make Sub 1 rather UNappetizing to our giant squid guest. I will send a small electric current throughout the sub's bulkhead... not enough to harm our guest, but enough to surprise him, and make him realize that we're NOT the appetizer he THOUGHT us to be. I want ALL of you to move AWAY from the outer bulkheads. Find the nearest cushioned chair, and lift your feet. I'll tell you when it's safe to move about the cabin again. Remember, do NOT touch the outer bulkhead walls! Move NOW!"

Captain Scotty could HEAR the stampede of paws as everyone raced to a safe, cushioned lounge chair. He could just IMAGINE the pushing and shoving that the terriers were adding to the game as they scrambled for a seat.

It only took the Guardians minutes to check all of the BASH guests, to insure that each one's paws were safely tucked up and away from the bulkheads. After all had been accounted for, Jubilee hurried up to the cockpit and announced, "Ready when you are, Captain."

She moved to the lounge chair right outside the cockpit door, where she circled in the seat twice, then found JUST the right position and plopped down, her paws tucked neatly beneath her.

The Captain opened the intercom microphone and began to explain the events as they unfolded.

"Okay, I've changed the polarity of the electrical systems running through the hull. This should create a negative flow throughout the bulkheads. You'll probably hear a hum for the duration of this procedure. I'm watching the exterior cameras.....if you look to your overhead DVD panels, you'll also be able to observe our guest."

"Ahhhh, it seems to be rather irritating to him. He's loosening his hold with at least 3 of his tentacles. Notice how his body is extending farther and farther from Sub 1. He now seems to find us an unpleasant host. OHHHH, there he goes!! We're FREE!! I'll keep the hull polarized for the next few minutes, in case he changes his mind. Just sit quietly. As soon as he's gone, we'll begin the repairs. So, rest a minute.... we're about to be very busy!"

Captain Scotty watched the giant squid slip quietly away from Sub 1 into the darkness below. He sat for a moment as the danger disappeared, considering the possibility of keeping the terriers in their SEATS for 20-30 minutes... then shook his head to clear his mind of tempting thoughts.

"All clear!" he announced over the intercom. "We have repairs to make! Emmitt, bring your group back to the equipment room. I'll meet you there."

With a last glance at the guages, he moved back through the Main Lounge, down the stairs to the lower level, then back toward the rear, where the equipment room.....AND the escape hatch... was located.

Almost immediately, he heard Emmitt and his group galloping down the corridor toward him.

He smiled at the curious group. "You have volunteered to repair the outer bulkhead of Sub 1."

Gesturing to the deep sea diving gear, he added, "Everything you'll need to repair the bulkhead is right here. Now, get suited up. Hamburger will accompany you, to help handle the heavy steel plate."

"COOL! We get to go OUTSIDE here in the dark!!" Hamish gloated.

"My FUR will float all OVER the place.....I'll look a WRECK!" Maggie Mac groaned, but headed toward the diving helmets with a spring in her step.

"WOW... now THIS is what I call a POOL! Hmmmmmm, wonder if ya can blow BUBBLES out there??" Brewster commented, a wicked gleam in his eye.

Everyone scurried into their diving gear, then squeezed into the escape hatch compartment. Their eyes widened as the water began to flow into the small area. They watched Captain Scotty through the heavy glass window in the door. His smile and encouragment calmed their nerves.

When the room was filled with water, the lower hatch opened, and the Scottie repair squad slowly left Sub 1, for the cold dark depths of the abyss where they hovered.

The rest of the BASH gang watched eagerly from every available window, as their friends floated around outside Sub 1. Much waving and smiling was exchanged, as the repairs were made. The repair crew seemed to be having TOO much fun, as they floated far from Sub 1, only to reel themselves back in using their air hoses.

Finally, the repairs were made, and begrudgingly, the repair team returned to the escape hatch. After insuring that all of the repair team had made it safely back to the sub, Captain Scotty pushed a button that closed the outer hatch. Almost immediately, the water inside the escape chamber began draining. Within seconds, the group of terriers began taking off their helmets, and giving vigorous shakes to remove the excessive water from their fur.

Captain Scottie gave one final glimpse to his repair team, then headed back to the cockpit.

This had taken precious time... time they couldn't afford to lose.

"Take your seats," he advised to the BASH volunteers. "We've a mission to complete, we've wasted too much time.... and will now have to increase our speed into the abyss to make up for our delay."

The wet terriers had returned to the Main Lounge, and the entire group was treated to some extreme exaggerations as the repair crew told of their ordeal, their bravery, and the exploits they experienced.

And in the cockpit, Captain Scotty stared into the blackness below as he increased speed further still, racing into the depths... into the unknown.

Chapter 8
Into the Darkness!

Hours passed, as Sub 1 continued its descent into the inky darkness below. Captain Scotty never varied his course, never altered speed. The nose of Sub 1 remained at a 30 degree down angle, as the sleek craft cut through the blackness that surrounded it…. racing deeper, always deeper.

The Scotties were enthralled with this unfamiliar world. They watched eagerly from the observation deck in the boat's nose, as Sub 1 continued its descent. The powerful lights from the sub's nose cast an eerie glow that seemed unable to penetrate the intense darkness that surrounded them. The tiny beacon of light seemed to be devoured by the speeding sub almost as quickly as it appeared.

An intense air of expectation rippled through the terriers as Captain Scotty announced, "We've passed 30,000 feet... still in a steep descent. If you keep a sharp eye out the Observation port, you may see some of the bio-luminescent creatures who live down here in this stygian darkness. I'll turn off the Observation Deck beam, so you'll have a better view."

And with that, Captain Scotty reduced the light in the Observation Lounge to a faint glow. The terriers had to blink several times as their eyes adjusted to the much darker lounge area. The BASH volunteers hurried over to the massive observation window. The exterior nose lights reflected into the darkened lounge, providing the only visible light in the room. The terriers peered out, looking into the lights of the sub.

With a final flip of a switch, Captain Scotty shut down the nose lights of the huge sub. Intense, suffocating blackness suddenly surrounded the terriers. Gasps of shock and amazement were heard through the Lounge as the surprised terriers' eyes grew accustomed to the darkness around them.



The terriers' noses pushed against the glass, as they began to eagerly search into the thick darkness around them. The ocean creatures at this depth were unaccustomed to visitors, and even LESS comfortable with light. They spent their lives in this darkness, luring their prey or atracting others of their kind by the luminescent glow they emitted.

Gradually, one by one, the terriers tired of the viewing. They were drawn to the comfort of the cushioned lounge chairs around them. Soon, everyone had turned the tufted chairs into beds and snoring echoed around the Observation Lounge. The soft red glow of the night-lights in the room cast long shadows around the room, revealing that some of the scotties had not yet tired of their undersea viewing.

Katie Wild Child and Webber stood together at the Observation glass, their noses pressed to the pane, their paws intertwined, as their eyes pierced the darkness.

"To the left, a long wormy looking one!" Webber whispered softly into Katie's furry ear.

Katie laughed softly, and replied with "That puts you one up. You're sighting count is ahead of me by ONE. And you KNOW I won't let THAT last long!"

The two scotties laughed together, then turned their attention back to the dark ocean outside the sub. They both noticed the glow at the same instant. As the sub continued to race deeper into the abyss, the glow's green light lighting up the ocean ahead of them.

They grasped each other's paws tighter. Webber and Katie both knew... this was not normal, this was not a mere fluke of nature. This was not of this world, this was alien!

It was Captain Scotty who confirmed this fact. His strong, confident voice came across the intercom, as he announced,"Well, wee ones... we're HERE. We have reached our destination. The green glow you see belongs to the Skozian city beneath us."

The Observation Lounge erupted in noise and excitement as the terriers sprang from their chairs. They raced to the window, looking at the green aura that spread out beneath them. It revealed nothing, it betrayed none of the secrets it hid within its glow. And yet, the scotties were not afraid.

On the contrary, they knew that the Skozians did not know who had arrived. The scotties and their friends stood facing the green glow, their feet braced, their backs stiff... and they waited... they waited.

Chapter 9

The BASH volunteers were on full alert. They knew what the green glow meant -- they'd reached the Skozian city. The entire group had converged on the cockpit, eager to dish out some terrier reasoning to the interlopers.

Captain Scotty had stopped Sub 1 just outside the 'green zone'. He stepped into the Main Lounge and addressed the assembled terriers.

"I know you're eager to tend to these aliens, but we must follow our orders. The Council of Elders has been working on our course of action since we left the surface. If you'll follow me, we'll go find out what procedures they've decided on."

The Captain made his way through the assembled group and headed aft, to the Executive Conference Room. He swung open the double teak doors, and entered the cavernous room. The room looked more like an exclusive library than a conference room. The walls were mahogany, with teak bookshelves lining the outside wall of the room. Three chandeliers were spaced down the length of the room, casting a soft, warm glow to the well-polished conference table that ran the length of the room.

Around the table sat the Council of Elders -- Laci, Sherman Mathisen, Tidbit Rudy, Maxwell B. Knaub, Jeannie and Jamie Murray, Bonnie Gamble Meadows, Carly and Cinnamin Murray. Laci motioned the BASH volunteers into the room and they quickly encircled the room as they crowded around the table.

Haley Devine was the first to give voice to what everyone was thinking with "Let's go GET 'em!"

Gingerina Velez quickly agreed. "What're we waiting for? We came DOWN here just to RUN 'em off!"

Sherman interrupted. "Wait, we have to make sure these Skozians understand that what they're doing is HARMFUL to us! They may just not realize that what helps THEM actually harms OUR species!"

Katie Mac, Maggie Sugar, and Clio van Dulken looked at each other, rolled their eyes, then offered, "Well, fine......we'll VISIT with 'em for a minute.... THEN can we run 'em off??"

Bonnie Meadows leaned forward, cleared her throat, then explained. "An interstellar translator has been added to the nose of Sub 1. We will attempt to make contact with the Skozians, and make our case with their representatives. We hope they will be agreeable to a compromise."

Much grumbling was heard around the table, as the younger terriers argued in favor of a more 'terrier' approach to the situation.

Laci finally raised her paw for silence. She began to read off names. Teddybear, Baby, and Pattyboy Kilpatrick, Molly and Monte Reyner, Darby Lawrence, McKenzie Sue, Scarlett, and Meaghan Barfield, Sherman Sheets, Barney Powers, Lilly Gilmore, Dughul Wilson, Skylar May, Megan Wynne, Reilly Nuckles, and Henry Stewart had been selected to form a liason team to deal with the initial Skozian negotiations.

The chosen terriers looked at each other in amazement. THIS group of terriers was expected to use restraint?? to be PATIENT and understanding??? SURELY not!!!

Captain Scotty stepped forward and tried to explain, "We will need to use our most persua....."

Suddenly, throughout Sub 1, alarm bells began going off. Everyone swung around and looked at each other, confusion on their faces. But, it was the LURCH of the submarine that really got their attention, literally knocking several terriers off their paws as the sub suddenly seemed to move BACKWARDS.

As Captain Scotty raced out the door, back toward the cockpit, the BASH volunteers crowded the nearby viewports that were spaced between the shelves along the outer wall of the room.

Gasps were heard around the room as their eyes focused into the greenish glow beneath them. At the same time, Captain Scotty's voice was heard on the intercom.

"Well, it seems that our welcome wagon has arrived!! We have Skozians all around Sub 1. They have found US! I need the Liaison Team to report to the Main Lounge IMMEDIATELY!"

The chosen terriers were speeding out the conference room door even before Captain Scotty turned off the intercom. They had business to do, and they were determined to see it through!

The rest of the BASH volunteers followed on the heels of the Liaison Team. They had NO intention of being left out of THIS!

Reaching the Main Lounge, the Liaison Team pushed their way to the front of the mass of terriers.

"MOVE out of the WAY! MAKE WAY! We're the LIAISON TEAM!" they crowed.

Captain Scotty immediately saw that the terriers were on the verge of erupting into terrier mayhem. This was NOT the time for it. They would NEED that energy later! He had to get their attention...

"The lurch you felt was provided by the SKOZIANS! They're quite large, actually.....and seem to find our position here to be UNACCEPTABLE. Our massive Sub 1 has been PUSHED backwards by just ONE of these Skozian beings."

"LISTEN!" he said simply, then turned a large, neon-lit cylinder that hung just beside the cockpit door. It immediately began to change colors....from a soft blue, to a vibrating, vivid red.

The intercom began to crackle, then the sound of rushing water was heard, and then.......


The scotties and their friends turned their heads quizzically, then looked at Captain Scotty for an explanation.

"Now, let me activate the interstellar translator," Captain Scotty said.

Again, he turned the large cylinder, this time in the opposite direction. The glow changed again, from the vivid red to a fierce, cold gray.

The computer voice began its translation in a flat, monotonous tone: "KSHJFGHS - a term describing a sumptuous meal."

The computer voice summarized its translation with chilling foreboding: "KSHJFGHS refers to DINNER."

Chapter 10

"DINNER?!?!?! I don't plan to be snack food for some slimy, green party-crasher, who doesn't even ASK if he can borrow our electricity!" Maggie Reyner declared, her paws on her hips and her teeth clenched in rage.

"A meal?!!? Ole 'Green Glob' wants SUPPER??" Lucy Sheets ranted, her eyes snapping in anger. "I'll show him supper... how does he feel about being the appetizer at our next barbecue??!!!"

Murphee Reyner smiled wickedly as that notion ran through his mind. "Nah," he responded, looking at Lucy with a broad smile. "Ole Green Glob would drip onto the fire and that green smush of his would ruin the perfect heat of the hickory wood. We'd do better to put him under the broiler!"

Lucy laughed out loud at this, although Fluffy & Harvey Barfield both reacted with an "EWWWWWW! Gross!"

This produced a sideways wink from Lucy, as she smiled and ended with, "Cats.... no taste whatever!"

Other terriers were voicing similar suggestions for the Skozians' threat. Captain Scotty quickly regained control of the situation, as his deep, resonant voice called for quiet.

The BASH volunteers quickly settled down, ready to listen to their Captain.

"We must move quickly to prevent the Skozians from gaining the advantage," he began.

Turning to his Liasion team, he asked,"Are we in agreement that we have passed the negotiation phase?"

Barney Powers responded first. "They lost their chance for a quiet talk when they added us to their MENU!"

The rest of the Liasion Team agreed, and after a quick poll of the members, it was agreed that Sub 1 would move on to stage 2 in order to protect Earth and accomplish their mission.

Captain Scotty quickly moved to a nearby table in the Main Lounge, where he produced a list of all BASH volunteers. Quickly assessing available resources, he decided to use the 4-crew subs... much better maneuverability, with enough weaponry to provide substantial defense to Sub 1.

"Okay," he announced quickly. "We've got the TMV-4 mini-subs down in the moon pool. They will provide us with a great deal of leverage in this phase of our 'negotiations'... plus the fact, it'll provide 4-scottie crews for each sub. This would allow for more efficient operation. These will be the assignments..."

**TMV-4-42:call sign Teeth Terrors - Ben Riley Barfield, Bear Powers, Chevy, Lilly Gilmore

**TMV-4-38:call sign Power Plaid - Boo & Jr. Kilpatrick, Captain Eddie, Angus Wynne

**TMV-4-62:call sign Danger Dogs - Margie Mae Velez, Fala Devine, Jordan, Molly Wynne

**TMV-4-16:call sign Guardian 1 - Haley Gersch, Belle Gray, Jake Lawrence, Jubilee

**TMV-4-56:call sign Guardian 2 - Claire, Wake, Callie Howatt, Sadie Williams

**TMV-4-32:call sign No Foolin' - Agness Donnelly, Lucy Smith, Miss Sassy Williamson, Zoe Gray

**TMV-4-13:call sign Muscle Machine - Maggie Nuckles, Robbie McGillivray, Kelley Lyons, Ruby

**TMV-4-54:call sign Rowdy Raiders - Breeze Oglesby, Carly Rose Beach, Bonnie Rose King, Heather Tracey

**TMV-4-11:call sign Wee Warriors - Jaimie Sugar, Brody Meadows, Bailey Doud, Libby Timm,

**TMV-4-86:call sign Highland Heroes- Connor Bruce, Bartholomew van Dulken, Emmitt Nuckles, Robin Baillargeon

Captain Scotty continued the roster until every BASH volunteer had been assigned his or her TMV sub. He then looked up at the eager group of terriers and their friends.

"Okay, wee ones... we have a job to do. I'll man Sub 1. The Council of Elders will be here on Sub 1, coordinating the teams. We're sending two Guardian mini-subs out with the teams, but will need Reggie, Hamburger, and the other Guardians here on Sub 1 to help handle the systems. You will all need to obey my commands, instantly and immediately. Our lives may depend on it. Any questions?"

"Very well, then..... let's get you into your mini-subs."

Captain Scotty and the BASH teams hurried past the Main Lounge, into the Aft Cargo Bay. Once there, they proceeded down another level to the 'moon pool'. Here, dozens of TMV mini-subs were lined up, ready for action. Captain Scotty reached for the control panel on the console beside the pool, and proceeded to activate the hydraulic lifts that would move each sub into the moon pool in preparation for getting underway.

The BASH teams quickly moved to their assigned mini-subs, and made short work of the pre-launch check. Captain Scotty gave the group one last inspection, as he moved from one sub to the next, checking instrumentation, emergency gear, and the ever-important communication systems. When he was satisfied that all were ready, he reached over and activated his radio headset.

"BASH Warriors, I have total faith in your abilities. When you launch, I want you to take up positions on each side of Sub 1. You will be our eyes and ears. Good Luck...."

He paused for a second, then with a nod to Reggie, who had his paws on the launch levers, Captain Scotty ordered, "LAUNCH SUBS!"

The subs' engines sprang to life, creating a loud hum in the moon pool chamber. One by one, the small terrier-driven subs disappeared beneath the surface of the moon pool. Captain Scotty immediately turned to the exterior camera display on the command panel, and watched as the subs effortlessly moved through the dark waters, to take their assigned stations near Sub 1.

Closing the Moon Pool access door, he turned to his Elders. "Let's go tend to some Skozians, guys!"

Outside, the mini-subs hovered near the enormous Sub 1, their exterior running lights illuminating the inky darkness around them. They watched the activity ahead of them. They saw the movements coming out of the Green Glow that surrounded the Skozian city. They knew the Skozians were near... and they were ready.

Then, they heard their Captain's voice on the radio, "Okay, wee ones..... let's get TERRIER!"

And with that, the massive engines of Sub 1 roared to life, toward the Skozians.... the huge sub with its teams of smaller subs, all moving boldly forward, toward their destiny.

Chapter 11
Against the Unknown

The Skozians had been watching the intruders that had arrived from the "above world". They were familiar with this surface species, and they had no use for such beings.... covered with fur, walking on appendages, no means of surviving in the 'water realm'. Bizarre beings...

Noooo, they saw no purpose in these beings from the "above world".... other than as a source for power. They did realize that by draining the power that these creatures were able to manufacture, it caused great peril to this species' world. But, it was of no concern to the Skozians. They would move on when they had depleted this world's useful materials. It had always been so... it would always BE so.

The Skozians watched as the "above world" species approached. They thought it pathetic that the species weren't even capable of existing here without extraneous equipment.

"A truly insignificant species," thought the Skozians.

So, it would not have concerned the Skozians to know that the 'insignificant species' was angry, was ready to 'get terrier' with these aliens, had no concept of size limitations, and were quite capable of taking care of business!

Captain Scotty turned on the heat sensors, and quickly counted 25 aliens, moving out of the Green Glow, and approaching the Sub 1 armada in a widely scattered formation.

"Power Plaid... take the 3 Skozians to your left. They're trying to come around behind Sub 1."

"Roger, Sub 1. Moving into position now....."

"Highland Heroes... take Danger Dogs and Teeth Terrors. Reinforce our rear.... to the REAR!"

"We're ON it, Sub 1. Come ON, Terriers, let's HOLD 'em!"

The three mini subs banked sharply and raced to the aft portion of Sub 1, where 10-15 Skozians were assembling for attack.

"Guardian 1... move to intercept those 4 coming up from below your position. Rowdy Raiders, you're being flanked on the port side, aft! MOVE IT!"

"Wee Warriors! Watch your starboard side!! You have incoming, multiple images, high speed!!! DIVE, DIVE!"

"We're on 'em, Sub 1....Guardian 2 here, we're taking a flanking position on Wee Warriors! No Foolin', take our port side. We've drawn 8 Skozians here.....they're centering in on our blind side!"

No Foolin' swung around sharply and settled in beside Guardian 2, with Muscle Machine right behind them. They immediately began firing on the Skozians who were converging on Wee Warriors.

Everything seemed to happen at once. Skozians, able to slip seamlessly through the water, were attacking from several directions. Sub 1 had launched a robot drone ahead of the sub fleet, to assess enemy strength. The Skozians suddenly turned and headed directly for the drone. One alien, in a close pass, slowed enough to lay one slim appendage on the surface of the drone. IMMEDIATELY, the drone lost all power, and became a powerless hulk. Within 20 seconds of losing power, it suddenly exploded into almost microscopic pieces.

"BASH fleet.....BASH fleet!!" Captain Scotty shouted. "Beware the Skozians! Do NOT allow them to touch your sub!!! I repeat, avoid direct contact with the Skozians AT ALL COSTS!! Their touch drains all electrical power, and somehow triggers a system wide explosion. Use evasive your inbounds!"

And, with that.... the battle began in EARNEST...

Chapter 12
Sweet Scottie Voices

"Bank hard LEFT, Terrier Tornados!! You have incoming!!"

"Super Scotties...reverse thrust, NOW.... MOVE, MOVE!!!"

The Guardian subs were hard-pressed, as they tried desperately to provide cover for their terriers. They saw the Skozians spreading out, trying to out-flank the Terriers on all sides... and they were expected to keep the terriers safe, from aliens whose mere TOUCH would bring widespread devastation. For the first time in the Guardians' history, they wondered if they would be able to fulfill their mission.

Inside each of the mini-subs, the combatants were almost overwhelmed. The radar screen showed an ever- increasing number of Skozians emerging from the Green Glow of the city in the deep abyss of the ocean floor. Each sonar was manned by a terrier whose job was to keep the pilot of the mini-sub notified of the Skozian whereabouts. Another crew member had to watch the topography, making sure that the mini-sub avoided the rocks, outcroppings, and canyon walls that surrounded the fleet. The radio operator in each sub had to maintain constant communication with the other subs, coordinate operations with the fleet, and provide Captain Scotty with a second-to-second report on their status, location, and projected path. The pilot of each sub had the unimaginable task of processing information from the rest of the sub's crew, reacting to that information, from all sources... at the same time, pilot the sub safely and aggressively.

One by one, the frustration began to mount in each of the mini-subs. They weren't accustomed to having to retreat!! Terriers NEVER retreated!

Captain Scotty also heard the increasingly angry tones in his wee ones' voices on the radio. He sensed their frustration and grew more worried by the moment. He knew that this attitude of theirs would result in hasty judgments, poor battle choices, and could even result in the loss of terrier subs!

The Captain let his mind drift toward different possibilities, even as his voice and hands maintained lightening fast reactions as the battle raged around Sub 1. It only took a second to realize the error of their strategy!

He smiled broadly, as he activated the system-wide radio...

" HEADS up, TERRIERS!! We're handling this battle like a litter of PUHDULS!!! We know how to handle big game better than THIS!!"

 "COME on, terriers.....THINK!! How do you handle larger opponents??"

"Now, the FIRST thing I want you to do is to turn on your exterior microphones on your subs... let's have some terrier NOISE with this! Come on, we're not going to have these green, slimy Skozians thinking that we're wee in ability as WELL as stature, are we???"

"LET'S get TERRIER about this!!!"

Captain Scotty immediately ordered a change of tactics...."Power Plaid... Highland Heroes.... Guardian 2... move around on the far side of the Skozians. We'll work at their heels! Run in, give them some terrier teeth, then move OUT, FAST!! Keep 'em turning, keep 'em LOOKING for us!! Show 'em your TEETH, terriers!!"

It was only a matter of seconds until he saw the complete transformation in his small fleet. He could tell that the attitude had changed, he could see it in the way the mini-subs were banking, to get around behind the aliens. He could see the mini-subs taking on the terrier temperment. He watched on the underwater cameras as the mini-subs began to race around behind the Skozians, to nip at the aliens' rears, to give them a strong dose of mini-sub armament, then to wheel around and sprint away from the lethal grasp of the Skozians.

Within moments, the mini-subs had developed a sophisticated tag-team match to combat the Skozian threat. The subs began to work as teams, one darting in to deliver a quick blow, while the other sub diverted attention. The results were nothing less than miraculous... the Skozians were not accustomed to the constant, never-ending assaults that these furry beings were producing. They'd never had beings who refused to realize that they were overpowered, that they were outsized. The Skozians were suddenly on the defense, trying to protect themselves from the stinging barbs from these mini-subs that seemed to be everywhere at once.

The terriers quickly began to actually enjoy this combat tactic,and soon had the Skozians desperately lashing out as the mini-subs raced around, between, and over the Skozians. Almost immediately, the terriers began vocalizing on the exterior sub speakers.

"Wee Warriors, GOOD hit!!"

"Swing IN to 'im, Rowdy Raiders"

"Way to GO, No Foolin' !! ARRROOOOOOOOOO!!!"

Captain Scotty immediately noticed the effect......"it's the NOISE!" he shouted over the radio. And with that, Captain Scotty turned the external speakers on and issued a sharp sound burst. The mini-subs could almost feel the sound concussion as it passed through the water. All eyes were glued to the green light that pulsated from the Skozian city.

As the burst of sound from Sub 1 reached the Skozian city, the Green Glow began to flicker, blinking on and off rapidly. At the same moment, the Skozians began to react violently as they spun around and sped back toward their underwater city.

"That's IT!" the terriers agreed gleefully, almost overloading the radio with their excitement.

"Turn your volume up, terriers, and give the Skozians some Terrier Talk!" Captain Scotty ordered.

Paws in each mini-sub immediately reached for the controls, turning the volume knobs wide open...... then the Scotties added their VOICES to the battle.






Everyone's focus was on the Skozian city. They watched as the soundwaves reached the Green Glow. The reaction was immediate. The green light that surrounded the alien city began to pulsate, slowly at first, then more and more rapidly... with the Skozians reacting more and more desperately as the soundwaves affected the city.

Seeing that their voices was having a dramatic effect, the terriers redoubled their efforts....... Suddenly, the green glow that surrounded the Skozian city flared to a blinding brightness, pulsed quickly for a few seconds, then imploded in on itself, taking the Skozians, their city, and all evidence of the aliens with it...

The BASH fleet was stunned... suddenly everything was quiet. The terriers grew silent as they stared into the darkness. The subs slowly and cautiously began to move forward, to peer over the abyss at the Skozian city. Gasps could be heard over the open radios as the terriers gazed down into the abyss.

Where once a Skozian city stood, now there was only dark, murky darkness. Where once there had been a surreal green glow on the deep ocean floor, now there was only the bioluminescent glow of the natural inhabitants of the inky darkness.

Only the terriers knew their accomplishment, only they understood the great and noble task they'd taken on. Their gazes once again scanned their surroundings. The quiet darkness around them was profound, the peace surrounded them like the warmth of a loving hug.

And it felt so RIGHT.....

Chapter 13
Mission Accomplished

Sub 1 had completed the retrieval of its mini-subs, and all had been made ready to return to the surface. The terriers and their friends had greeted each other with joyous abandon as they'd returned to the Main Lounge.

The sub crews were soon regaling each other with tales of the battle, which quickly turned into a good-natured contest of who could tell the boldest tale.

But, it was Captain Scotty who had the entire group of BASH volunteers reduced to silence as he announced the location for their victory celebration.....Angelfish Reef, off Norman Island.

When the scotties and their friends shrugged their shoulders questioningly, Captain Scotty finished with "Ohhhhh, I think I forgot to mention ONE little detail. This party will take place 80 feet down!"

The Main Lounge erupted in wild cheering at the thought of a BASH party on the ocean floor! Smiling, Captain Scotty headed to the cockpit and soon had Sub 1 headed toward Angelfish Reef, and one very memorable party!

Sub 1 made the trip to Angelfish Reef underwater, at the request of the BASH volunteers, who'd turned the lower Observation Lounge into party headquarters.

The party that was held on Angelfish Reef was one that would go down in the BASH chronicles as one of the most unique and most wondrous BASH parties ever held.

Captain Scotty had allowed the scotties and their friends to play among the coral all afternoon, and only called the 'scottiefish' inside as late afternoon began to turn to evening.

The BASH volunteers changed into dry, warm clothing and almost immediately began to claim their favorite chairs in the Main Lounge for the return trip home. They had had a very long BASH adventure, had saved the Earth from evil aliens, and had spent the entire afternoon on the ocean floor, playing among the fishes.

Exhaustion was catching up with our brave, bold heroes, who were soon curled up in their cushioned chairs, their muzzles resting on their paws, their eyes closing slowly, as they slept the sleep of the angels.

The sleeping warriors didn't notice Sub 1's massive acceleration, nor did they feel the extreme upward angle as the mighty submarine raced for the heavens. The terriers would have thrilled to feel the submarine's extreme power as it raced toward the surface, but they had had enough excitement for one BASH, so they were unaware of that incredible moment, just below the surface, when Sub 1 made its final transformation, when the enormous delta-shaped wings emerged, and their beloved Sleek 1 reappeared.

The slumbering heroes would have been mesmerized by the sight of their legendary Sleek 1 emerging from the ocean, its engines providing the incredible power needed to resume flight, its nose pointed towards the sky, water pouring off its fuselage in the sunset red sky.

As Sleek 1 reached its cruising altitude, Captain Scotty turned once, to look back into the Main Lounge, at his sleeping wee warriors. It always amazed him at their bold bravado, their fearless determination, and their unwillingness to allow size to be a determining factor in ANY situation.

He smiled as he saw the Guardian Brigade, spread out in the aisles, their muzzles turned to rest on weary paws... this had been one that even the Guardians had doubted.

Once again, though, the BASH terriers had prevailed. Captain Scotty smiled at the sleeping forms in the Main Lounge, and with the flip of a switch, he brought the cabin lights down to a soft glow.

Turning his attention back to the cockpit, he watched the sunset ahead of him, turning the sky deep shades of red, purple, and mauve.

"A sunset on another successful BASH adventure," he thought to himself. Then, banking the plane, he began his flight pattern to deliver the wee warriors to their homes.

And, as this BASH ends, we see Sleek 1, flying off into the sunset, its great, silver wings reflecting the glow of another unimaginable tale.


This ORIGINAL story has been created and written by Carol Johnson.
Original artwork is the exclusive property of artist, Karen Donnelly.
This is NOT to be reproduced in ANY way
without the EXPRESS written consent of the author !!!

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