The Fighting Snare Line

Hometown: Massapequa, NY
Major/Year: Entomology, 2019
Instrument: Snare
Previously Known As: "I've Been Higher", "Dying at an Alarming Rate"
Let me tell you about the best part of New York State. You guessed it, Long Island baby. Why is Long Island the best you ask? WHY DO YOU EVEN NEED TO ASK. How about our beaches? Spend a summer renting a beach house on Fire Island, then come talk to me about the Jersey Shore. Don’t even talk to me about Jersey, the entire state is a dump. “The Garden State?” Have you even SEEN the Meadowlands? Then of course we have THE city. People around here think they’re cute and ask me “which city is that?” You know which one I mean. The one that’s largest in the world by area and second in the world in population, that city. How can you even seriously call anything else on the east coast a city? Nothing even comes close. My town has a larger population than the “city” of Ithaca. Broadway is at my fingertips. The financial stability of the world kneels at my feet. I am battle hardened by walking the sidewalks. Don’t get in my way, I will mow you down. Then you have these fools try to serve me a pizza. You disgust me. It’s not that hard guys; bread, sauce, cheese. Dammit. It’s like being served vomit on cardboard. I’d rather have Dominoes at that rate. It’s bad but at least it’s consistent and I know what I’m getting into. And it’s a pizza pie. Don’t give me a stupid look when I order a plain pie, just give me food. And CTB, would it kill you to make better bagels? You have a bagel named Long Island, and that’s just pretty much an insult to the entire Island. We wouldn’t be caught dead serving that. And why has nobody built a good deli around here yet? Can we just secede already?

Hometown: Lorbrulgrud, Brobdingnag
Major/Year: Spacing Out, 2019
Instrument: Snare
Previously Known As: "A Tight...DRUMHEAD", "Big Booty"
I had worked tirelessly my whole life for this point. Countless hours spent, working through nights and weekends. Missing birthdays and weddings, outings with friends, but it paid off. Only two others are here with me. They said 15,000 applied. Fifteen THOUSAND. That’s more than the population of my hometown. And I was chosen. I was one of the best, they said.

I’ve dreamed of visiting the new planet ever since they discovered it when I was in first grade. A second Earth, they said. A place we might actually be able to use to escape our dying home. This mission could save all of mankind. I would be a hero for the rest of humanity. I thought this was everything I’d ever wanted.

The earpiece crackles to life: “Starship 2, you main fuel tanks are fully pressurized. T minus 3 minutes to launch.” “Roger. Out.”

I am personally against the name. Note the number 2 there. Starship 1 had a critical failure just over a year ago. A static shock caused one of the digital clocks to reset. Only the right half of the solid rocket boosters fired correctly. By the time the left side fired half a second later, the entire 40 story launch vehicle was nearly horizontal. It hit the waiting back up rocket at over 300 miles an hour. They told me they fixed it, had their brightest engineers look at the problem. But they could never tell me what the issue actually was. Curious what they actually changed. Forgive me if I didn’t want to keep the name.

The hardest thing was going to be leaving my wife. We were the classic high school sweethearts. We did everything together, went to the same university, and then both ended up working for the Space Agency. We never left each others’ sides. The mission profile has no return to Earth planned, so I’m not going to see her again. However, we agreed that this mission is greater than either of us. She’s in Mission Control right now commanding the launch. I wouldn’t want to hear anybody else on the other side of the mic.

“Control has been handed off to Starship’s computers. T minutes 20 seconds.”

“Engines are go for launch.”

“Primary ignition confirmed, T minus five”

I prepare myself for the feeling of being hurled upwards by five million pounds of thrust. I rest my hand on the control console, and watch a spark jump from my fingertips.

Hometown: Fairfield, Connecticut
Major/Year: Computer Science, 2020
Instrument: Snare
Previously Known As: "GummyTBD"
This is not the story of my life. This is the story of the day my life changed forever.

It was at some high school event, the details of which I’ve forgotten. I didn’t even care at the time what is for. The only reason I attended were those four immortal words, those which still haunt me to this day:

“Snacks will be provided.”

Young and foolish as I was, I believed these lies, these promises of grandeur. I went to the event. I sat through the opening speech - the longest, most painfully dull speech I’ve ever endured. Only the promise of free, tasty snacks kept me from crying out in agony and rushing from the school.

Eventually, mercifully, the speech ended. The announcer invited us to go obtain our hard-earned award: donuts. I leapt eagerly from my seat, rushing to the snack table. I selected what appeared to be a plain powdered donut and took a huge bite.

As my teeth sank into the donut, I realized the terrible truth:

It was jelly-filled.

I didn’t cry out in disgust or anger as I chewed the unfathomable monstrosity. I didn’t say a word. I just stared, heartbroken, into the distance. What world is this, I pondered, that can so quickly betray a teen on the cusp of greatness? That can hide its dark, gooey, “fruit”-flavored secrets so easily behind an inviting facade of sugar and dough? That can, in moments, destroy any perceived notions of trust?

The answer came easily: it is not a good world. But, I slowly realized as I crushed the remains of the offending pastry in my hand, perhaps I can make it one.

And that is the day I decided to become a supervillain.

Hometown: Clarksville, MD
Major/Year: Economics, 2022
Instrument: Snare
I have crash landed in foreign territory.

I look around. I’m in a fairly small enclosed space, some sort of room. I’m elevated, possibly on a mountain or an elevated protrusion of bedrock.

“Come in, Star Command.” No response. “Star Command, come in. Do you read me?” Nothing. Why the hell don’t they answer??

Something out of the corner of my eye catches my attention. Oh, gosh, my ship! Blast! This’ll take weeks to repair. I need to put this in the log.

[Mission log, stardate 4-0-7-2] My ship has run off course en route to sector 12. I’ve crash-landed on a strange planet. The impact must’ve awoken me from hypersleep. Terrain seems a bit unstable. No readout yet if the air is breathable. And there seems to be no sign of intelligent life anywhere.

Suddenly, a foolish cowboy man appears out of nowhere, screaming, “HELLO!” In the face of extreme danger, I immediately activate my defense mechanisms. I am ready to blast him into oblivion. He says something, but I am not listening. I circle around him, analyzing the most vulnerable part of his body to strike with my unstoppable laser.

But wait, he has a badge! Finally, it’s about time local law enforcement got here. I explain the situation, and it’s not a good one. But wait, danger! New life-forms! Ah, they’re friendly. I introduce myself to the native species. They’re a weird bunch, but everyone seems to admire my various talents, as they should. Well, everyone except for him!

How dare he insult me?! I am no toy. As a member of the elite Universe Protection Unit of the Space Range Corps, I protect the galaxy from the threat of invasion from the Evil Emperor Zurg*, sworn enemy of the Galactic Alliance. He doesn’t think I can fly? I could fly around this room with my eyes closed! I’ll show him. Stand back everyone! I climb up to the edge of the mountain, take a deep breath, and close my eyes.

To infinity and beyond!

Hometown: Mentor, OH & Fulshear, TX
Major/Year: Underwater Basket Weaving, 2022
Instrument: Snare
I’m fish,
RED fish,
Bro fish.
Black & blue knees
‘Cause I zoom, bish.

This knee has a giant scar.
‘Cause this fish zooms fkin’ far.
I am one who likes to run.
I run on North and drop my drum.

Oh me! Oh my!
Oh me! Oh my!
I face-plant, but I don’t cry.

I am a fish who has two feet,
While I march, I tend to yeet.
Cadencing near Gates Hall in four,
*trips* AHHHH-- shoot, I’m on the floor.

Why fish have legs, I don’t know...
Some are fast. And some are slow.
But I’m the fastest, I just GO!
Can’t wait for winter with the slippery snow.

Say! What a lot hills there are.
Some are steep. And some are far.
Some I think give me bad luck,
One of which is by Louie’s food truck.
Some are long, and some are bad.
Don’t believe me? Go ask my dad.
He would say:
“He has adapted to college pretty well given we dropped him off at a toga party on our way to the hotel last night!”