That's my Q #138 - "Floyd of the Apes"


[Third treetop to the right, West African jungle, late 1800's]

The sun slowly rose above the horizon to mark the start of a new day on the "dark continent". Moments later the sun had climbed high enough to pierce through the faint fog above the treetops. Increasingly powerful rays were flaring into a man's eyes, who lay on the highest possible branch of a huge tree. A bit annoyed by the sun's rude awakening the man blinked fiercely, looking away from the sun. He stretched and yawned and then put a hand before his eyes to protect his eyes. He looked around suspiciously as if he heard something. He had the feeling he was being watched…

The one watching him was closer than he could possible imagine, namely within his own head. He was being observed through his own eyes by someone who tried to figure out what had happened. That person was Russell D. Floyd, vaguely remembering what got him into this mess… Entering the costume party on the starbase together with his wife dressed up like Tarzan and Jane and then suddenly a white flash after the uninvited guest spoiled the party. <Another reason why I should not have put on this costume...> he thought <Damn you, Q!> But there were also other faint thoughts and instincts present, those of Tarzan the ape man, wondering what the heck happened to him. All together very confusing on this early morning.

Still looking around and then looking down sent a shiver through the ape man's body. A shiver instigated by Russell when he discovered how high up "they" were. He wasn't afraid of heights normally, but being on the top branch of a tree as high as a fifteen storey building without safety gear startled him. It was best to let the ape man's instincts take over in this matter, which he did. He swiftly grabbed hold of the tree trunk and climbed down to the lower branches with amazing agility. It took quite a few jumps and swings to get down to the ground. He took a quick look around just to find his bearing. This was a familiar part of the jungle and he knew which way the river was. He quickly headed in that direction to take a quick dive to freshen up. <I hope Laura is all right…> the thought quickly crossed his mind.

[Jane Porter's quarters, Arrow, near the West African coast]

A young girl woke up from the noise on the ship. It sounded like a mutiny was going on. She sat straight up in her bed, looking around a bit dazed. She felt different, a bit strange, as if there was another presence with her in her room. She shook her head. It was impossible because she securely locked the door each night. She didn't trust any of the rowdy crew aboard this ship. <Ship? I thought I was on a starbase?> was the first thought that ran through her head. It was of course Laura Floyd coming to her senses. It made it even more confusing for her. She stood up and walked to the mirror next to her bed. She looked at the appearance of a blond young girl, Jane Porter, thinking <I wished I still looked like that…> with a smile on her face.

There was a loud knock on the door. "Jane, dear? Would you please get up? We're going ashore." It was the voice of Professor Porter, her father. She could hear a slight tremble in his voice, as if the situation aboard the ship was very tense. "I'll be there in a minute, …father." She answered a bit hesitant. He was her father but then again he wasn't. This was very confusing. She looked around to find her clothes and spotted her dress lying on a nearby chair. She quickly put it on and checked herself again in the mirror. Satisfied with her appearance she unlocked her door and headed for the upper deck. Somehow she exactly knew where to go.

When she got to the deck she saw that the ship lay anchored out of the coast of Africa. A part of the crew was preparing to board the boat to go ashore. They insisted on `Ladies first' so Esmeralda, Professor Porter's servant, and her climbed down the ladder to the boat. Professor Porter and Clayton followed them to the boat with some of the rowdy crew of the ship. They set of to the coast. Laura could see the jungle on the coastline in the distance behind a wide beach. Her thoughts wandered off to Russell. What fate would have become him over there between the wild animals and other dangers of the jungle? She hoped she would see him shortly.

[Tarzan's cabin, West-African jungle]

A certain memory in Tarzan had directed him to the cabin of his parents near the coast. What he found there shocked him. The place had been trashed as if certain people had been looking for something. Looking at the ocean he saw a ship lying off the coast. A small boat with about eight people in it was slowly headed for the beach. He immediately suspected them of having something to do with the thrashing of the cabin. One of the people in the boat he recognised, at least he thought he did. The blond girl aboard the vessel must be Jane, or if Q had done his homework correctly, it should be Laura. The Russell part wanted to jump out of the tree and rush to the beach to greet his wife. But the large number of armed seamen withheld him from doing so. <I'll bet Q hasn't built in some holodeck safety. Those guns will probably kill. And I guess they'll see a man dressed in a leopard skin coming out of the jungle as a threat.> he thought to himself smiling a bit. <Just wait until we have a quiet moment alone.>

At the same moment the boat landed on the beach. Two of the taller seamen got out the boat and dragged it onto the beach so it wouldn't go adrift. The rest got out keeping their feet dry. "Why are we going ashore here?" Jane asked. "There's nothing but jungle out here."

"Don't break your head about that, girl." Professor Porter said. "But the sailors who went ashore this morning discovered something remarkable. Yes, something truly remarkable indeed."

"What do you mean?" she semi curiously asked. Somehow she had a faint idea of what they might have found. Some traces of Tarzan perhaps or something of the other inhabitants of the area.

"They found a cabin built high up in a tree. They searched it but found nothing of value. But I want to take a look at it. Maybe they have overlooked something." Professor Porter answered.

"I'm pretty sure we've done a thorough search, old man." A rowdy rat- faced sailor said. "Nothin' but ol' junk if you ask me. Bows and arrows, junk!" He wasn't at all happy about this, he thought it was a waste of time.

"Mind your language, mister!" William Clayton said. "You will treat the Professor with respect."

"Mind yer own business, lad, I'll call the ol'bugger names if I want to." The rat-faced sailor answered and his hand went to the gun in his belt to enforce his threat.

"If you dare use that weapon, you're even a bigger coward than I take you for, mister Snipes." William Clayton answered and turned his back to the sailor.

This one saw the opportunity and pulled out the gun. He slowly aimed it at the young man who had turned his back on him. He was the kind of coward that would shoot a man in the back. He had done that before when he and his henchman muted on board of the ship and took control over it. He had murdered the officers of the Arrow, the ship the party used to travel to the African continent.

Russell had been watching this situation from a nearby bush. His Tarzan instincts told him to do something to help the young man. He had brought some of the weapons the sailors had left behind in his cabin. He threw one of the spears in the direction of the rat-faced sailor and hit him in the shoulder. The party was shocked by the sudden appearance of that weapon from the bush. Snipes fired the weapon but luckily it missed Clayton entirely.

Jane saw the direction the spear came from and ran of into the jungle in search of the mysterious person that threw the spear. The Laura in Jane knew it had to be Russell, or in this part of the woods an apeman known as Tarzan. But she didn't want to yell out his name to prevent the sailors to get on his track. In the dense jungle she quickly lost track of where she had to go. Convinced she walked in the right direction she continued her search, but took a wrong turn and wandered even deeper into the woods.

After a while she felt she was being watched and had the idea she was far enough from the rest to attract Russell's attention. "Tarzan? Russell? Is that you?" she yelled. Before she could say another word three natives jumped from the bush and grabbed her. "NO, let me go!" she screamed and kicked fiercely. One of them grabbed her around the neck and arms to stop her yelling and screaming while the others tied her up and made sure she couldn't call for help anymore. They now put a long pole through her bound arms and legs so they could transport her quickly back to their village in traditional cannibal fashion.

Meanwhile near his cabin Russell was inspecting the crowd near his cabin. Seeing that Jane wasn't one of them made his heart miss a beat. Where could she have wandered off too? With nightfall only hours away he had to find her quickly. With the familiar aggressive ape tribe in the area and the native village nearby he knew the dangers of this part of the jungle. He decided to check out the village first, because if she had been captured she would have been brought there as a trophy and perhaps to be supper. He rushed in true Tarzan fashion through the woods muttering "Damn, Q, enjoying yourself? If anything happens to her, I'll…"

Just before the darkness fell over the jungle Russell reached the tribal village. He saw that Jane was being held in the centre of the village near the great fire. The natives were gathered around in a circle with their leader performing some sort of ritual. In a special corner of the village he found the spot where the villagers offered food and arrows to what they considered the evil spirit of the woods, Tarzan. He had a bow with him and some arrows, but not enough to take out an entire village. He decided to take the offered arrows when it was completely dark and then try to scare them out of their village so he could free the young girl that had to be Laura.

An hour later it's pitch black in the forest surrounding the village. Because of the bright light of the fire the eyes of the natives were not used to the darkness, Russell knew that this would work into his advantage. He went to the offering place at the edge of the village. As luck would have it there was also a long rope. That gave Russell a great idea for a diversion. He tied the rope into a lasso.

The leader was still performing a ritual when suddenly loud screams of a native interrupted him. While screaming and struggling he was dragged from the circle into the woods. Because of the darkness the other villagers couldn't see how he was being dragged away. The entire village was in panic. They were running around gathering their weapons, screaming things about the evil white spirit of the jungle.

Russell quickly dragged the native into the darkness out of the village. While the village was panicking he quickly bound the rope around the arms of his victim and hung him from a tree a few hundred meters from the village. That way he would be able to scream for help and hopefully get the entire village to his rescue. The plan seemed to work. While the village calmed down, they could hear the screams of their missing inhabitant. They all rushed to the rescue, completely forgetting their prize tied up in the centre of their village.

Meanwhile Russell had taken a slight detour to reach the village again in time to see them rush out in the direction he had kidnapped the native. Now he could safely head over to Jane tied down next to the fire. "Look at them go." Russell said softly while rushing over to Jane with his hunting knife ready to cut the ropes.

"I knew it had to be you…, Russell?" She said when he removed the rope over her mouth.

"Me, Tarzan." He said smiling, staying in his role. "But you may call me Russell." He said while he picked her up and embraced her. "Let's get out of here before they come back."

"Good idea." Jane (or Laura) said, following him into the jungle. "You really seem to know your way around here." She said.

"I was born here, remember?" Russell smirked, but his broad smile could not be seen in the dark. "This way." He said, guiding her trough the dense jungle by holding her hand. "I think it's about time Q gave up on this charade. This has gone far enough. If I hadn't found you in time, you might have ended up being their late night snack."

"Everybody knows you should not eat right before you go to sleep. You might get nightmares." Laura joked.

"I think they got their nightmare before they even ate." Russell replied referring to the natives he scared the hell out of. "Come on, Q! Get us out of here. We're done playing!"


Lt.(jg) Russell D. Floyd MD aka Tarzan Chief Medical Officer Starbase Ronin (SB47)


Laura Floyd MD aka Jane Starbase Ronin (SB47) (NPC played by Russell)