Here's my entry. If this doesn't make it, nothing I make that isn't a game will. The story was helped by me being a little irritated, so I got really really strange.
I present: Quacksalvatiquas!
Relevance to the topic: The main character is escorting a ship. He does so very well.
The incredible, explosive tale of an invincible duck’s defense of a puny human ship.
On the bridge of a perfectly normal medium cargo vessel, travelling perfectly normally through perfectly normal space, there was a pacing figure. This figure was perfectly normal, if you were not expecting something without feathers. The pacing figure was perfectly abnormal if you were expecting the human vessel travelling in human space to be carrying humans – it was in fact, but also carrying the figure. The figure was a duck, five feet tall, seven feet long, and five feet wide. The ship’s floorboards creaked in protest at the duck’s pacing, even more so that at the strains of warp rail travel.
The duck’s peculiarities did not end at its remarkable horizontal dimensions. It also possessed a monocle, through which it squinted fiercely, a fedora that it couldn’t tip for lack of an arm, an incredibly well-starched uniform, a minigun, and a German accent marred by the number of quacks the duck would emit during conversation, and by the duck’s pretense at a Scottish accent. Yet more peculiar was the fact that this particular duck possessed, in accordance with its stupendous cubic measurements, the ponderous name of Lord Quacksalvatiquas. The name was a horribly mangled combination of the duck’s native language, Latin, and too many drinks on the part of the duck’s parents; it signified, “Salvation for all ducks.”
The duck bellowed forth at the perfectly normal human figures on the bridge, “Hi! Any suyn o’ hosssstiless quyin’ in?”
Their response was strained. They had difficulty discerning the communication behind his sentences, but he had been asking the same thing every few minutes for days. “No, we aren’t under attack yet.”
To which he responded in the time-honored duck tradition: “QUACK!”
This was repeated for over an hour, as this particular duck, Lord Quacksalvatiquas, was of a singular mind, and had a singular intention to apply to that singular mind. He desired struggle, the glorious conflict with a superior force and his inevitable triumph, for truly he was salvation for all ducks. Primarily he simply sought salvation through the elimination of anything that could threaten salvation. The easiest way, and coincidentally the most fun, was the utter elimination of anything non-duck. Occasionally, as now, he had to make use of some non-ducks to achieve his ends, but time mends all, he reflected. Besides, these overcomplicated apes he flew with were much less dangerous than the foe he was hoping to encounter on this journey. Which reminded him:
He inquired once again, “Hi! Any suyn o’ hosssstiless quyin’ in?”
Surprisingly, their response was the same. “No, we aren’t under attack yet.” These creatures had a remarkable ability to be utterly boring.
Twenty minutes later...
Lord Quacksalvatiquas was beginning to wonder whether his objective would be more easily accomplished if he were to remove the inhabitants of the vessel. There was a slight complication in that he lacked the necessary manipulative appendages to pilot the craft, and it was headed for a planet to land, but that could be dealt with, he was sure. Most fortunately for the continued existence of the apes, one of them announced the detection of a vessel, coming in on an intercept course. Before anyone could open their mouths to reply, the duck had contemplated the utter uselessness of mouths when compared to his magnificent and glorious bill, shaken his head at the stupidity of evolution at its decision to so inferiorly endow the apes, then made his gun ready, then crossed the pathetic distance of four meters to the ape who announced the contact, then took a moment to admire the handsome footprints now embedded into the floor panels, made yet greater by the magnifying properties of his lordly monocle, then barked at the ape in a tone fit to be heard in Andromeda, “Quindly infohm me o’ anee inquackshun stahhhhtussss!”
The human understood this only because he knew the duck’s intention. He clenched his teeth and gritted out the title that the duck had forced all who spoke to or of him to deliver appropriately to his person: “Most noble duck Lord, the vessel is a Rogue. They will board in one minute on their current vector.”
The duck spun on his expansive webbed feet to face the captain of the ship, an ape who was deserving of some slight respect, if only for the inherent dignity of his position, lessened as it was by the installment of such a lowly creature. He proceeded to inquire in a yet higher decibel level, “Paaaaaaarmissshun t’ bate ze quack outtuvem?!”
Permission was immediately given, and before the humans on the bridge could betray their delight that their dangerously loud guest was taking his leave, he had done so.
He marched straight to the airlock, hopped in, cycled it, and leaped into space on a perfect intercept course for the incoming vessel. On the way, he had ample time to meditate on the sheer wimpiness of the squishy apes. He himself considered the vacuum of space merely a cool bath, or warm if near a star, could withstand impact into a star, and eat whatever he wanted, guns included. Lots of iron in guns, and they were better than fizzle drinks if one ate them while they were loaded. Speaking of guns, the target suddenly realized that he was there and that he had egressed from their own target. They unleashed a barrage of lasers and pulse cannons. He merely bellowed in laughter as they lit up his feathers like a jazz club, tickling him a little.
“QUACK QUACK QUACK QUACK QUACK!!!”
The target appeared rather disturbed, and fired one of his favorite massage devices at him. Deuterium fusion had such a delightful punch to it, and was quite helpful for breaking up gas sometimes, if he had too much dry ice cream for dessert. He thankfully turned around to receive the gift on his backside, which was sore from all that pacing.
When the flash subsided, he realized he was drifting away from the target. This was an absolutely unacceptable situation. The nerve of that Rogue, tricking him with a gift that in fact was preventing him from accomplishing his destined mission! He gave a tremendous quack in anger, forgetting to wonder how that even worked in space, and fired his jetpack built into his impeccable uniform.
Except both jetpack and uniform had been decommissioned by the nuclear blast. He would have to resort to other measures. Fortunately, the Rogue had launched another massage device at him, and he swung up a foot, deftly catching it. Apparently it had an impact fuse, not a proximity fuse. He used it as a makeshift jetpack to steer him on a perfect course for the Rogue. Ten seconds before reaching it, he dismantled the missile. Wouldn’t want to risk losing all the fun with a single boring Big Bang, he thought. He tossed the warhead into his bill and chomped on it before waltzing straight through the Rogue’s hull. For some reason the shields hadn’t stopped him, which was a bummer. They tingled so delightfully, and caused all kinds of mechanical havoc in a ship if one knew what to do in their grasp.
No big deal. He was inside the ship, which they had left pressurized, like all the other puny idiots in the universe. He delighted in the tug on his feathers as guns, men, and various loose items flew out through the hole. He took a moment to admire his own handsome lines silhouetted in the hole’s shape. He then had a good look around. Seeing a door, he marched over to it and casually punched it in.
Immediately he felt the rain-like patter of bullets as they impacted on him. A small squad of fifty faced him. He felt slightly disappointed, but it was better than nothing. He swung around his minigun. It had been very hard to construct a weapon that would survive his many rampages and still keep working, but he had managed it. It was constructed of such a strong material that he himself was unable to break it. He had contrived its manufacture with the convenient assistance of Sagittarius A. It ran on the space-time continuum itself, thereby never running dry. He pulled the trigger and laughed maniacally as he commenced salvation of all his kind. Bullets streamed forth like a degenerate star’s jets, tearing lines through the ship as they passed through all matter in their path, causing nuclei to rip apart. Men exploded in clouds of red, steel melted in showers of bright yellow, alloys also melted. Bright flashes were everywhere he pointed the gun. Nothing withstood the near-unnatural forces that powered his weapon.
All too soon, there was nothing left to shoot at. He sadly ceased his expulsion of power and glanced about. It seemed he had inadvertently sliced the ship into three parts. He was in the smallest part, and the other two drifted off lazily. One of them contained such delightfully pop-able materials as the reactor, engines, and fuel tanks. He spun up his weapon once again, bellowing a war cry.
Before he would have liked, there was nothing left but small fragments dashing in every direction. He whipped around and kicked off from the wreck he was on, on a direct path for the third piece. He directed the magnificent extinguishing capabilities of his device to his former position. Delighted, he watched as the weapon stripped chunks off in brilliant nuclear blasts, and idly tried to carve his name into it. He only got as far as the “u” before there was no longer enough space, so he stopped firing the weapon and slung it on his back, ready for a more personal method of destruction.
Shortly he arrived at the final chunk. He plopped onto it, and promptly drove his powerful bill straight into it like a woodpecker. A single blow, and the surface crumpled like tin. He leaped through the gap, and was faced with another seventy men. These had more advanced weapons than the first, and the room was lined with powerful turrets.
Blue, red, and green lightning flashed as they fired at him. He casually strolled up to them, glaring through his monocle. He reached the first one, who dropped his weapon and swept out a bright energy blade. Lord Quacksalvatiquas was undeterred, and gave the man a power kick that hurled him straight through the back wall. Picking up the sword with his most ubiquitous bill, he tossed it at the nearest man with such power that it also went through the wall after going through him. The duck spread his wings, and twirled about the room like a ballerina turned helicopter rotor. He decapitated five men unfortunate enough to be in his path, and the others began to run to a door in the back. He couldn’t have that, so he grabbed a plasma grenade off a carcass and tossed it at the wall next to the door. His aim was impeccable as always, and the explosion welded the door to the twisted wall. He then began disposing of meatbags one by one, with kicks, headbutts, bill smashes, wing swings, and a couple good ol’ belly bumps, singing “Sweet home Quackabama” all the while.
Soon there was only one man left, who seemed to be the captain. He looked very panicked as he pulled out a small controller. Lord Quacksalvatiquas identified the function the captain’s finger was over as a detonator. The duck snapped a wing up in a smart salute as the man pressed the button. The ship-third exploded violently.
Two weeks later...
On a perfectly normal ship travelling perfectly normally through perfectly normal space, a large duck’s figure was pacing.