I live! I started watching an old British cartoon called TUGS, which covers the lives of a group of tugboats in the roaring twenties. We know a lot about the characters, all except for the ocean-going tug Hercules. Since he has a strong bond with the main character Ten Cents, I wanted to write up a story about how the two became as close as they were.


(12/6 UPDATE) I fixed up some minor details, and my brain forgot to add that Hercules was red -_-

Captain David Starr sat down on his chair, yawning rather loudly. He often woke up early to get ready for work, but today required him to arrive an hour earlier than normal. He looked at a sheet of paper that was on his desk, reading its contents thoroughly. He then read another paper, sighing loudly as he looked at the ocean. Hopefully the decision he made would benefit him and his fleet of tugboats.

At sunrise, the fleet slowly awoke from their slumber. These tugboats made up the fleet of the Star and Marine Company, one of the most successful maritime companies on the east coast. Although each tug had their own personality, they all worked together as a team to make sure that contracts would be completed. However, they began to complain recently about being overworked and having to do responsibilities that took time away from other tasks. This grumbling forced Captain Starr to find a solution, and fast.

The fleet saw their crews board, bringing with them sponges and buckets of soap and water. Ten Cents, one of these tugs, got curious. "Morning! Is something happening?" He asked, looking at one of the men. "Captain Starr has some important news, so he wants you all spic and span!" The man smiled, scrubbing the dirt from the previous day's work off the little boat's body.

Ten Cents' fleet mates were also quite curious. Top Hat was in no mood to reason with, as he was cross at being woken up so early. Big Mac, on the other hand, was neutral, not giving a moment's notice to the issue at hand. Warrior and OJ were quite content, and took the chance to get a few more minutes of sleep while their crews worked on them.

After cleaning was finished, all turned their attention to Captain Starr. He grabbed the needed documents as well as a megaphone before walking up to the window. He soon started the morning briefing. "Morning Star Tugs!" He shouted, prompting a myriad of good mornings from the fleet. "Now, you may be wondering why we're all getting woken up and cleaned at this hour. The reason is, we are getting a new tug!"

The announcement caught everyone off guard. "Is it one of those diesel tugs sir? They are quite loud and smelly." Top Hat asked. Diesel-powered tugboats were starting to pop up in harbors, and some owners were using them to replace some of their older, steam-powered counterparts. Captain Starr looked at the paper and shook his head. "No, it is steam-powered. If you complain about smell again Top Hat, then I will assign you to garbage duty!" He glared at Top Hat, silencing the large tug.

He looked at a photo attached to the papers and soon said, "Now our new tug will be coming here from San Francisco to assist us!" Grinning widely, he eagerly asked, "Are you familiar with the Valkyries?"

All gasped. "The Valkyries! Who are they?" Ten Cents asked with fascination (he had never left Bigg City). "They're celebrities among us tugboats. They are extremely kind and brave, always going out to sea to save someone in need." OJ explained, prompting gasps from Ten Cents and Warrior.

"Aren't the Valkyries an all female fleet?" Top Hat asked. "Nah, they got a male boat in there if I remember right." Big Mac explained, prompting a grumble from Top Hat. "Looks like Top Hat is jealous." Ten Cents chuckled, and a chorus of laughter rang throughout the dock. Captain Starr trier to restore order, but the banter got louder and louder.

A loud and booming "QUIET!" threw the Star fleet off guard. They all quieted down, and slowly, each head turned to try and find the source of the noise. Even Captain Starr was caught by surprise, almost dropping the things he had in his hands. No one could not identify the voice straight away, but their questions were soon answered when they spotted a red tugboat steam into port.

The tug was larger than the other tugs. Even Warrior gulped at the sight, sweat slowly rolling down his face. The sunlight reflecting off the tug's sunglasses did not help, making him all more intimidating. They watched as he steamed up to the dock, glancing at his new fleet mates. The tug soon stopped right next to Big Mac and killed his engine. Big Mac turned to see an unfamiliar tugboat, and strange tug only cracked a small grin, wanting to ease the tension.

"Something the matter darlings?" He asked, his voice surprisingly cheerful. No one dared to answer him, and the tug's expression became serious. "I apologize if I scared you senseless with that, you all looked very distracted."

Captain Starr glared at the fleet for their banter before picking up his megaphone. "Right… this is Hercules, who will be Tugboat Number Six if all goes smoothly!" He explained, trying to be as calm as possible. "Smoothly?" Warrior whispered. "It's complicated, purchases and all that." Top Hat replied, getting memories of when he was bought.

"Stop gossiping you two." The voice of Captain Starr was now stern (as it should be). "Hercules will be responsible for doing long haul duties, as well as rescue missions on behalf the Navy." He continued, relieved that all had their undivided attention. "That way, you lot will have more time to focus on things in and around the harbor."

The five Stars sighed a breath of relief, glad that someone would get to do things that took so much time away. "However, Hercules will need to learn about this harbor. San Francisco and Bigg City are two different places, so he will need time to adjust and learn about this city before he can go out to sea." The man added. "Hercules cannot rely on charts and Morse code alone, so all of you must show him around."

"All of us?" Ten Cents asked, feeling quite nervous. The new tug was quite large, and quite frightening. He even almost scared Captain Starr to death with his booming voice! "Yes," Captain Starr explained, "Hercules was very kind when I met him, so don't let this encounter get to any of you."

With a chorus of 'Yes sir', the Star Fleet soon departed to do their tasks for the day. However, Ten Cents and Hercules were told to stay behind. "Now Ten Cents, you will need to show Hercules around." Captain Starr explained. "You are my number one after all!"

Poor Ten Cents wished he wasn't!