Ba'ku tortoise, Ba'ku goat

Leonard Fitzmurdle’s personal log

September 20, 2113

“I have a hunch.“

I have learned to both fear and respect these four words when spoken by the captain. They are almost always immediately followed by a variety of mayhem, danger, and physical distress. However, it is undeniable that the scientific payoff has often been equally dramatic.

We were lying in a gully, chests heaving, having finally escaped the angry pack of villagers who had been chasing us through the jungle. After weeks spent undercover winning their trust, we had been foiled by the simplest of mistakes. While out with a hunting party, we encountered a charming sight: a Ba’ku goat, standing on the back of a large tortoise, so as to reach the fruit on a high branch. Briswald stopped with an exclamation of delight, and I immediately pulled out my sketchpad. But when we looked back to our companions, we found we had made a grievous error. Bantas, the leader of the village, was glowering at us from under his considerable brow. He had been suspicious of us from the start, and now his doubts were confirmed.

“Outsiders!” he growled. “Who else would find such a sight unusual?” And moments later we were sprinting through the woods, dodging laser blasts and hanging tree branches with an agility I would not have thought us capable of.

But now we appeared to be safe, and Briswald had a hunch. “I don’t think those villagers really know where the butterfly is to be found at all,” he said, his breathing already returning to normal. “I think we need to seek it in the place where men fear to tread.” As one, we turned to look at the far-off peak of Mount Thragor. “That’s right, my boy,” said Briswald happily. “There’s pterosaurs in our future!”

To my surprise, I felt nothing but excitement at the prospect. To be sure, it would be a massively dangerous and possibly fatal undertaking, but what is life without a little risk?

“And look,” said Briswald suddenly, pointing behind me. “Now you can finish your picture.” Turning around I saw three more tortoises, each with a goat astride his shell. The day was shaping up splendidly.


Read part 2: Ba'ku pterodactyl



Other mentions: Ba'ku tortoises appear in a children's book illustration (TNG). Ba'ku goats look uncannily similar to Earth goats (TNG). Both live on the planet of Ba'ku.