Summer in the Bigg City Port can be especially rocky. No one could forget that summer where O.J. was considered for scrap by Burke and Blaire. This year, however, it wasn't O.J. who was having trouble, it was Hercules! Hercules was often away, and sometimes the places he went to were the hottest spots in the country. On one particular morning, Captain Star was giving the Star Fleet their daily briefing when Ten Cents noticed that Hercules was still asleep. "Oy, Hercules!" I yelled. "Wake up!" Hercules spluttered, and a few puffs of smoke blew out of his funnel. He spluttered again. "What happened?" he muttered. "You were sleeping," Sunshine announced. "That's very unlikely of you!" Warrior added, not knowing how rude that comment was. Everyone glared at him. "At any rate," I continued. "This morning we will be working on the coaling contract! We will be taking the lumps of coal from the coaling plant to various spots in the port. Start your engines! It's going to be a hot day! And remember, don't let the hot coals go to your mind!" Hercules groaned, startling the other tugs.
At the coaling plant, the tugs were given loads that weighed the exact amount they could carry. Hercules, who was the strongest, got the largest load. As the tugs left, a very black puff of smoke flew out of his funnel and into the air. Sunshine, who was behind Hercules, coughed when the smoke reached his face. "Gag!" he yelled. "Sorry," said Hercules.
The tugs didn't know that Zorran, Zip and Zug were watching the sputtering Hercules with interest. "Hercules is the strongest of them all," Zorran told the two Z-Stacks. "If we find a way to make him overworked, he'll break down, and we'll have some fun!" "Oh, I love games!" said Zug. The response was a bank on the hull. "Shut up!" Zorran snapped.
"You, Hercules, are overworked!" Zorran cackled to Hercules. Hercules could tell that the Z-Stacks were up to something. "I'm not letting your comments get to me, my dears," he said patiently. "Oh, but you are all smoky!" said Zug. "You oughta go to the scrap pile!" Again, Hercules ignored them. "You look like a Z-Stack!" yelled Zip. Hercules ignored them, but that comment did get to him. The Z-Stacks knew that badgering him with words wasn't going to make Hercules crack. So the Z-Stacks tried to creep up on him. But as they got close to tailgating, there was a mighty puff of smoke, followed by a loud pop. The smoke blew in the Z-Stacks faces and they fell back, coughing. Hercules stopped in his tracks. Ten Cents looked back. "Hercules?" he asked. Hercules spluttered. "I think that I may have to go to Lucky's," he groaned. Big Mac and Warrior came forward and towed him to Lucky's.
"Overheating boiler," said the Red Cross."Has he been travelling anywhere hot?"she asked Captain Star."Well,he has been traveling around the equator a lot lately."said the captain "That must be it.Well,then,A few days rest Up River should be fine. Your class of tugboat," she continued. "Tends to overheat if they stay in hot climates too long." Hercules coughed, and a thick cloud of smoke flew out of his funnel and into the face of a nearby plane being repaired. "Hey! Watch your engine!" it said."I've seen nothing like this in my military service,not even that time in the Pacific when Kearsarge became a..." "Sorry"coughed Hercules."There's something wrong with me." "I understand."said the plane."Hey,did you work ever work near Normandy in 1944? You look familiar to