The Space Case

Whatever you do, DON'T BINK! Bink, and you’re garbled!

The evil scientists from The Bark Side are out to take over the universe. It is up to the Shubin Cousins and their new friends the Cat Commanders to put a stop to the nefarious plans. 
Published: 2013
Artwork: Jon Shubin
Characters: Nichol, Skyler, Olivia, Silas, Zahra, Georgie, Trinity, Anika, Kyra, Faith, Henry, Amara, Lily, Gabriel (mention)
Character Order on Cover: (top left to right) Nichol, Skyler, Georgie, Zahra (left of center, top to bottom) Anika, Kyra, Trinity, Faith, Henry (right of center, top to bottom) Lily, Silas, Olivia, Gabriel, Amara
Story Location: Real: Shubingrad–George & Rachel Shubin's Farm.


The three cats (Sleuth Cat, Shrodinger, and Lily) and two dogs (Ally and Drake) live on the farm. Sleuth Cat was named for the cat character in The Red Sled Rescue.


The Space Case on Amazon

First Chapter


The impenetrable darkness of space was all they could see. Even the pinpoints of the stars seemed to be too distant to give any comfort. It was too quiet out there.

The captain stood on her bridge staring out at the forward screen.

“Where did they go,” she mused aloud.

“I don’t know, Captain,” her first officer answered. He wasn’t looking at the huge forward screen, instead he was examining a side monitor and kept swiping it to a different view. “I was sure they were here a minute ago.”

Captain Nichol trusted her first officer like a brother, not only because he was the best to graduate early from the academy, but also because he was in fact her brother Skyler.

“Wait,” Skyler gasped and straightened up. “I think . . .”


Before Skyler could finish his sentence, the front screen exploded into light and the bridge crew was blinded for a second.

Over the com’s speakers a maniacal laugh cut over all the warning blares.

“Did you think you could sneak up on Captain Georgie, Space Pirate extraordinaire?”

“And his extra fancy crew!” chimed in his first mate Trinity.

“Take evasive measures,” commanded Captain Nichol. She wondered about Olivia’s and Skyler’s warning that there might be a mole among her crew. Could the undiscovered spy have tipped off the pirates to their flying route? It didn’t matter. Her bucket had more punch than the pirates could expect.

Nichol was proud to see her bridge staff jump smoothly into action. Over her commands the voice of Captain Georgie and First Mate Trinity were still broadcasting over the com system.

“Trinity,” chided Captain Georgie, “our crew is not extra fancy. Fire again.”

Another explosion rocked Captain Nichol’s ship, but it was not as close as before.

First Mate Trinity’s voice came over the speakers, “It is since we bought those new uniforms last month.”

First Officer Skyler had to shout to be heard over the space pirates arguing. “I think I can get us around them.”

“Do it!” commanded Captain Nichol. “And launch counter missiles.”

“Missiles away,” yelled Munitions Officer Olivia.

Overhead the pirates could still be heard arguing. “Being extra fancy does not strike fear into the hearts of victims,” Captain Georgie insisted.

“I don’t see why not,” added Crewman Anika.

A huge explosion cut off their transmission.

“Good shooting, sis!” commended Captain Nichol. “Now let’s finish these pirates once and for all!”

As the two spaceships maneuvered into stand-off positions everything went black!

A tremendous groan erupted from both sides of the room as Mommy Rachel shut off the computer. She said, “Auntie Kathy and your cousins Amara, Lily, and Gabriel have arrived. It’s too nice for you to be playing inside. Now shoo!”

The six cousins: Nichol, Skyler, Olivia, Georgie, Trinity, and Anika groaned again but only in feeble protest. It was very nice outside and there were many fun things they could do on the Shubin’s nine-acre farm. As they passed through the kitchen, they saw Mommy Erica cooing over Gabriel, Amara and Lily’s new brother.

They stepped out the back door to find the remainder of their cousins jumping on the trampolines. Silas and Zahra – Nichol, Skyler, and Olivia’s siblings – were helping Amara and Lily onto one of the trampolines. Kyra, Faith, and Henry – Georgie, Trinity, and Anika’s siblings – were showing off the flips and tumbles on the other trampoline.

When Lily spied her cousins coming out of the house she gave an extra large bounce. “Imagination capes! Imagination capes!” she squealed showing off her newest prized possession.

Lily had just gotten her own imagination cape a few weeks back and wanted to play with her cousins any chance she could get.

Her older cousins grinned. It wasn’t often they were all together and nothing made playing with each other more exciting than having their special imagination capes make their make-believe seem more real.

Georgie held out his arms and Lily jumped into them. “Anything you say, Lily-girl.”

“As long as it’s not a princess tea party,” Silas added quickly. It seemed any time his girl cousins got an imagination cape the thing they wanted to do most was have a tea party.

“Yea!” shouted Faith. “Let’s get our capes!”

The thirteen cousins scattered to get their capes from cars, drawers, closets, and bags. None of them traveled without their capes if they knew they would meet up with their cousins.

Everyone came back securing their capes around their necks.

“What shall we play?” asked Kyra.

The cousins looked around. The farm was full of different places to haunt such as the back field, the deep ravine, the front orchard, the goat shed, behind the out building, even the comfortable front porch.

“Let’s do something different,” suggested Silas.

“We’ve done pirates, safaris, treasure hunts,” listed Faith.

“And fairy tales,” added Anika.

“What about we pretend we are on a farm,” suggested Amara. “We can pretend we are friends to the cats and goats and . . .”

“Amara,” sighed Zahra, “we’ve got the whole universe to imagine and you want to imagine a farm while being on a farm?”

Skyler snapped his fingers, “Great idea, Zahra.” He turned to Georgie, “I want another go at you space pirates. We nearly had you in that last battle.”

“Did not!” said Anika. “We were about to pulverize you!

“I don’t want to pulverize Skyler,” insisted Amara.

Sensing her sister’s distress, Lily added, “No Skyler pulrverlize.”

Olivia suggested, “How about being space explorers?”

Henry was enthusiastic about the idea. “With alien monsters that shoot goo from their ears and makes you blow bubbles instead of talking?”

“Uh, only if we run into one,” Kyra replied.

“Then what’s the use of us exploring?” Henry pouted.

“Because,” Georgie patted his little brother on the head, “you never know around what corner you will find an ear-goo monster that makes you blow bubbles.”

That seemed to satisfy Henry, and he once again smiled enthusiastically.

Nichol looked over her cousins and called out, “Everyone ready to beam up?”

“Ready!” they all chimed back.

Nichol snapped her wrist as if opening a cell phone. Instantly she was dressed in a strange but cool looking suit that seemed to look as if she was heading out for a rough expedition but made with futuristic cloth that seemed to shimmer in the daylight. In her hand was a black communicator with a mesh screen that flipped open. She twisted a dial and tapped a few buttons then called out, “One intrepid crew to beam up!” And she jumped up onto the trampoline. The others followed.

ZHHHHHWOOP! All the cousins were instantly transported onto the zero-gravity observation deck of some remote space station.

On top of gently floating in the non-existent gravity, the room was huge and dark. The only light came from an enormous observation window that took up most of one wall and flowed onto the ceiling. The cousins were drawn to the amazing view of space. They were on some sort of space station consisting of two round platforms, one on top of the other. The two platforms rotated in opposite directions around a central column. Below lay a beautiful blue and green planet.

“Wow!” whispered Zahra.

“This is cool,” added Faith bouncing herself off a wall.

The others nodded in agreement not wanting to break the magic of the completely relaxing atmosphere.

A slam and odd galloping sound shattered the stillness. The cousins spun around.

An odd alien plunged into the observation room. It had four thin legs, a stout body covered in a caped unitard bearing the phrase “I ♥ Fish”, a long neck, a small head and overall could only be described as goat-ish looking. The cape flapped with the speed of the goat’s progress and showed some sort of backpack underneath.

The goat alien looked like it was dashing for its life. It kept looking over its shoulder as if it were being chased. The goat noticed the Shubin cousins, but it did not want to slow. “Keep them away!” it pleaded. As it clattered past in two zero-gravity bounds, it again bleated, “Please, keep them away.”


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