The Ragnar Imperium troops were just outside the throne room. The starmetal door glowed with a dull-orange hue as the blazra-torches seared the opposite side, looking to carve a way in. It was only a matter of time before the barrier gave, and when that happened the Galactic Empire would crumble as well.

“Do you have the Transdimensional Comm-Relay Telephaser up and ready yet,” General Vet yelled at the soldiers who were attempting to fix said device. Vet was a grizzled old Garidian warrior. He looked like bipedal bulldog mixed with a dung beetle – his species had been voted Universe’s Cutest on the Tain-U-Webs every year since 8493.687. Right now however, his countenance was fierce. “We haven’t got much time.”

“For goodness sake’s, who could have sabotaged the Telephaser,” King Xaraxathris worried, playing at the tentacled chin of his amphibious face with worry.

“Who indeed?” Voidwyrm, the royal vizier asked rhetorically. Voidwyrm was a member of the spacelizards, an ancient and revered race that predated the Galactic Empire. If upright reptiles had hair that could have grown into curly mustaches, Voidwyrm would have been twirling the hell out of his that moment. Instead he simply chuckled knowingly to himself. No one seemed to notice.

“We’ve got to summon Stardragon!” Xaraxathris declared for the hundredth time since the attack had begun. The king loved to summon Stardragon. He had grown fat in his old age and often requested Stardragon, Defender of the Galactic Empire, get him late night snacks, or the remote control. When danger threatened he called him even more. With the Telephaser down, Xaraxathris was almost in a fit.

“We’re trying, your Highness!” Vet assured him, sighing to himself.

“Do you think that’s wise?” Voidwyrm asked, “Should we really fix the device and summon Stardragon?”

“Well, he is the defender of the Galactic Empire and might be able to defeat the Ragnar Imperium single handedly and save our lives while he is at it. Is there some reason we shouldn’t?” Vet wondered. Voidwyrm looked shocked.

“Uh, well, I didn’t think that far ahead. Yeah, I guess there is no reason you wouldn’t summon him…” It had sounded so good in his head. Voidwyrm was a class 11 hypergenius among the spacelizards. It offered a stark reminder of the species’ average intelligence.

“Sir,” a robot that looked like a giraffe called, “it’s working again!”

Vet nodded. “Good, you know what to do.” A long pause of inactivity. “Oh by the seven moons of Dath: ‘This is the sort of non-trivial and absolute peril for which we need a hero like Stardragon.’” Engi had installed the voice code after the King had last called the Defender of the Galactic Empire to start him a bubble bath. The code hadn’t slowed Xaraxathris down. With the phrase uttered the robot was able to boot up the transdimensions and pull in Stardragon. There was a electric whir and the pop of displaced air. Five creatures about the size and shape of Popples appeared in the middle of the throne room.

“G’day, Your Highness; Cap, Engi, Navs, Seq, and Doctor Snuggles reportin’ for duty. What can we do for ya?” Cap had the equivalent of an Aussie accent in the Galactic Empire. He was the leader of the five gestalt creatures that made up one form of Stardragon.

“Yay! The team is here!” The King exclaimed.

“Cap, good to see you.” Vet growled through his jowled beetle pinchers.

“Vet, you old spacebum! ‘Ow’s it goin’?” Cap asked jovially.

“Not good, Cap. We have a full legion of Ragnar Imperium troopers just outside the door. They’ve taken over the entire planet. Somehow they bypassed the defense nets.”

“Somehow indeed!” Voidwyrm declared happily. “I finally have it! The Sword of the Galactic Empire. And with the Ragnar Imperium to back me -” Voidwyrm stopped as he tugged on the intricate claymore that was locked into a solid piece of starmetal on the floor. It was the aforementioned Sword of the Galactic Empire, the most powerful weapon in known space. Whatever technology drove its miraculous powers had been lost in time – it was considered nigh magical by all the starfaring races. Voidwyrm had started his victory speech before testing the draw on the weapon. He put every bit his weight into it, but even with all his spacelizard strength the sword wouldn’t budge.

“Ho ho, mate! Looks like Stardragon’s gonna have to sort you out!” Cap chortled, “Alright gang, let’s form Stardragon!” The four other members of the team called their agreement, except the grumpy Doctor Snuggles, but he still obliged. They each took a step back and ran at each other at full speed, colliding like waves of colored oil and water. Skin, fur, tissue and organs smeared into a giant blob that burbled and burped amidst the center of the throne room. Three of the royal guard began throwing up all over themselves, while a Tralock eunuch fainted in horror. However, a moment later the crime against nature had reformed into a brave and handsome giant spacelizard. The indomitable Stardragon. Stardragon opened his mouth to speak and –

“RRRRRAAAGGGGHHAAAAAAHAHHGAHGAHGHAHGGHAGHAHGGHAHGA!!!!!!!!!!”

Stardragon bellowed. Voidwyrm had a class 11 hypergenius spacelizard intelligence. Stardragon was slightly above average. So blessed, he was able to stop his killing rampages more often than not when presented with space orphans or cosmic-nuns. But the sight of the arrogant Voidwyrm drove his battlerage to new heights. Stardragon smashed into Voidwyrm with a crash that shook the palace to its foundation as the two began to wrestle for victory.

But Voidwyrm was a supergenius, which meant he was also a superwuss. Stardragon had him pinned and subdued in a few minutes.

“RAAAAAAAAAGHHGGHHHHHHHAAAAAAA!!!”

“Stardragon sure is great,” Vet said, wiping a crystal tear from his chitinous eye-ducts.

“He killed Blandor and Puds in his insatiable battle lust!” One of the soldiers cried.

“Yeah, but he saved the Sword of the Galactic Empire! That Stardragon is a true hero!” Vet countered. The soldier saw the error of his ways.

“You’re right. Spirits bless you Stardragon!”

At that moment the throne room door melted open and hundreds of Ragnar Imperium troops began to march into the massive assembly hall.

“Fools, it’s too late!” the battered Voidwyrm declared. “The Ragnar Imperium has a piece of Suldridium with them, a spacelizard’s only weakness. Not even Stardragon can save you now! The Sword will be mine.”

“By the Spirits!” the King yelled.

“He’s right Stardragon, quick turn back into the Crew!” A moment and some vomiting later, the cap and the Crew were back.

“Crikey! As long as they have Suldridium, Stardragon is as harmless as a spacewallaby!” Cap declared.

“We have to get the sword to safety,” Seq said. He was able to pull the sword from the stone with little effort. So drawn, he began to separate it into its five components. “Here you go everyone,” Seq handed each of the other Crew a section of the disassembled blade.

“Is it supposed to do that?” The King asked. Even Voidwyrm was looking a bit alarmed. His eyes bugged out when each piece was swallowed by its recipient.

“Uh, is that a good idea, Cap?” Vet asked.

“‘Ave no fear, Vet. No one will get that fancy knife.”

“Alright, I’ll protect the King, but get the Sword out of here. It is the Empire! Only you can use the Telephaser safely; get to an escape ship.” Vet ordered, “It’s been an honor!”

“Spirits protect you,” Cap told him. He pressed the activator pinned on the left side of his chest and the Crew vanished.

“Hey wait, what?” King Xaraxathras blubbered as Vet pulled him for cover.

888888888888888888888888888

The escape corvette shuddered under plasma barrage of the pursuing Imperium frigates. Panels and lights, designed without proper surge protection, sparked and popped in a shower of metal as the attacks found their mark. The Crew worked frantically to keep the ship together.

“Those frigates are on us like stink on shit,” Seq grimaced, clicking his compu-mouse frantically to fire their own weapons in response. They were outclassed. The corvette’s blazra-rays left only shallow char marks on the Imperium war machines.

“We’ve got hull decompression!” Engi – the purple one – hollered. “Microfracture, no way to seal. Atmosphere loss in…42 seconds!”

Cap leaned on one elbow within the deep captain’s chair, always stoic. “Navs, can you plot a jump?”

“In 40 seconds while avoiding their fire?” Navs wondered, running a hand through the mohawked, green fur of his forehead. He tried to sound worried, for added tension, but all pilots were hotshots. “Think about who you’re talking to. No sweat, boss.” He began to make the calculations, while the ship continued to bob and weave.

“Jumping ain’t gonna do much good unless y’all can breathe vaccuum,” Doctor Snuggles interjected, holding on to the side of Cap’s chair as another lance of plasma smashed into the hull.

“Maybe we can’t…” Cap agreed. “But Stardragon can! He doesn’t need to breathe, remember!”

“You’re right!” They all agreed in unison.

“Jump calculated,” Navs declared, “Should put us in the Breen system, Cap. There’s a weapons depot and refueling port there. Probably still safe. Starting auto-pilot now, we’ll jump in 15 seconds.”

“Alright, mates! Let’s form Stardragon!” Seq and Engi jumped majestically over their stations, meeting the others in a holocaust of flesh and goo in the center of the bridge. Stardragon emerged from the biological wreckage moments later. In his hand was the fully forged Sword of the Galactic Empire, assembled in the transformation. However, Cap had forgotten how little Stardragon liked space travel. He coalesced, confused and frightened by the bright lights and swaying motions of the bridge. His response was swift and decisive.

“RRRRRAAAAAAGHGHGGGGGGHHHHHHHAAAAAAARRRRRRRR!!!!!”

With unfocused rage Stardragon began to hew into any blinking or blorping panel or light he saw. The Sword of the Galactic Empire was merciless, cutting through the Duratanium like a magic sword through Duratanium. The navigation console with the carefully prepared coordinates was not spared. The jump went off just as Stardragon rent it asunder. The ship vanished from known Empire space.

And reemerged in the atmosphere of a strange, blue and green planet. The ship began to rattle violently, while the viewscreen showed a bright orange hue as the ship plummeted through the air of the unknown celestial body. The heat increased in intensity, moving through the spectrum.

“Urrr?”
Stardragon paused in his orgy of destruction to realize that the ground was coming closer at a rate he was calling RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA, or way, way faster than safe. He ran over to the last console he had cut in half and started trying to crush it back into one piece. When that failed he stomped it over and over. It smashed through the Duratanium floor and out the bottom of the hull. Stardragon had to grab the nearest seat to keep from being pulled out the breach. The city of New Liberty, New York was treated to an incredible fireworks display that morning. While the line of flame was explained away as a meteor, experts never could explain the noise that accompanied it. Witnesses described it, without dissent, as the sound of a methed-up tyrannosaurus on a rollercoaster to hell.

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