Trapped is the third episode of TUGS: The New Series. It was written by Trainferry88.


There are days when, incredibly, Star Tugs and Z-Stacks have to take on a big job together. That was a week after the big naval incidents on Wake Island and Guam. The Japanese had swiftly captured it, and Pearl Harbor was still licking its wounds. All the men volunteered to go out to fight Japan and Germany. There were recruiting stations everywhere. And when there’s a bustle in Bigg City, that means that there are always many ships outside the port, just waiting to be docked. I advised my son, Jonathan Star, to send out Ten Cents, Emily, Big Mac, and Hercules to go take some of the naval ships into port. I didn’t know how much trouble it would cause.

“All right tugs, we have a lot of work to do. Ten Cents, Emily, Hercules, and Big Mac, I want you guys to go out to the estuary and get those naval ships where they need to be. Sunshine get a barge. You’re going to need it to get the new rails from Frank and take them to Ralph. Top Hat, you’ll need the Frank and Eddie to take the Starlite Express with Danny to the other side of the river. And Warrior, I’ve got some trash for you.” said Jonathan Star. He didn’t tell that the Z-stacks were going to be there too.

"This is going to be fun,” said Emily. “We’re actually going to take an aircraft carrier into port! That’s one thing you don’t see up there every day.” “Don’t get your hopes up, my dear. The ships we’ll be taking in will probably be no bigger than Lillie Lightship.” said Hercules. “Oh yeah? Then what’s that?” said Ten Cents.”What?” “That!” said Ten Cents captain, leaning over the rail and pointing at a large fleet of aircraft carriers and battleships. “I’d recognize that scratch anywhere!” said Hercules. “It’s USS Tornado!” “But who’re those tugs over there?” “My golly,” said Big Mac. “Those are the Z-Stacks!”

The tugs steamed over to the Z’s. “Why are you guys here? This was our job first.” frowned Emily. “No, it was ours” said Zorran. “No, it wasn’t. Captain Star gave us this job before you guys even woke up!” yelled Ten Cents. “How do you know?” “Because I do!” “Okay guys, why don’t we compromise. The Stars can have one type of ship, and the Zs can have another.” said Ten Cents’ captain.”I agree.” said Zorran’s captain. “Fine.” said Emily. “But we get the carriers!” “Who cares,” muttered Zorran. “The battleship is the pride of the fleet anyway.”

As the Star Tugs were working with the carriers, Zorran was thinking how they could do all the work now. Then he saw Zug accidentally jam the USS Safeguard in front of all the other battleships. Then he got an idea.

"Chaaarge!” said Zorran, leading the Z-stacks on pushing the ship “What’s going on?” asked Ten Cents. Suddenly a large battleship appeared coming toward the Star Tugs by its side and got wedged between two carriers. The carriers were next to Dender Rocks, so the tugs couldn’t get in. “Zorran let us out of here this instant!” cried Emily. “It’s bad enough your doing this, but to a lady, well that’s unlike a gentle tug. You should be ashamed of yourself.” said Hercules. “This contract was ours first and we’re taking it back!” yelled Zorran in response. “But Zorran, you don’t understand. You know how this week is the Z-Stacks 30th anniversary? Well, Captain Zero was going to have a big party, and the present for you guys was special welsh coal, which is in really good quality. He gave it to us because, well face it, we’re more responsible than he is. And only we know where it is!” said Ten Cents.”And I’m already starting to feel low on fuel.” said Zip. “So am I.” said Zebedee.

"Ok, fine. We’ll let you out. Z-Stacks, follow me!” yelled Zorran. They tried to move the battleship, but it was too wedged in. “Again!” said Zebedee. The Z-Stacks pushed even harder, but it was no use. The battleship scraped a large hole in the left carrier which started sinking. “Yay, we can get out now!” said Emily. But the carrier had stopped sinking. It had landed on a coral reef! “Oh, come on!” said all the tugs.

Then Ricky and Billy Shoepack steamed down from Up River. “What’s going on guys?” he asked. “Billy! There you are! Could you put some dynamite on this battleship?” asked Zug. With those words, every crewman on deck jumped overboard. “Sure, buddy.” said Billy. “Billy, I really don’t think that’s-“said Ricky, before being interrupted. “Don’t worry, buddy.” said Billy, grinning. He had already laid the dynamite. “Get ready everyone!”he yelled. “No, but Billy-“cried everyone except Zug and Billy. “Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one!”

BOOOOMM! The tiny pieces of metal flew in the air. But the ship didn’t sink. The ship’s thick armor and the small amount of dynamite caused a small explosion, but nothing more.

Top Hat, Frank, and Eddie were just about finishing their rounds when they saw a small light in the distance. “It’s a dockside celebration!” said Frank. “Don’t.” said Top Hat. “Last time you did that you gave me a boiler attack. Still, I wonder what that light was. ” Then Sunshine chugged up. “Hello, Top Hat. What’cha watching?” “A light that just flashed over by the estuary. I’m going to go check it out.” “Can I go?” “Fine. Just don’t make any trouble.” said Top Hat. “Trouble? What trouble?” asked Bluenose as he steamed up. “Has standard procedure been broken? Soldier, I need official descriptions, whereabouts, reasons, times and other about the action on the double! I’ll go notify the Coast Guard before-““No, Bluenose, it’s nothing like that. We were just checking a light we saw out in the estuary.” “Oh, well then I’ll go with you.” He said.

"Z-Stacks! What are you guys doing here? And Where are the Star Tugs?” growled Top Hat. “They’re behind the battleship.” said Zebedee. Now, like the other Z-Stacks, he was just floating in the water. “We could use your-““Say no more, tugboat. I have a plan. We’ll do it the Navy way. Okay, all the ships on the other side get against the battleship. Larger in the front, smaller in the back. Everybody on this side get your tow ropes on her. You two carriers move on my mark. Let’s do this, people!” yelled Bluenose.

"Ready, set, now!” said Bluenose. There was a tremendous scraping sound, and the battleship finally broke through. The ships on the other side streamed out. “Brakes on now! We will head to the port in single file, larger in the back, smaller in the front. Tugboats, get ready. Move!” “Um, over here.” said Zorran, beckoning to the floating Z-Stacks. “Right, um. You, you, you, and you, give the Z-Stacks some coal.” he said, beckoning to Ten Cents, Emily, Hercules and Big Mac. Directed by Bluenose, the tugs finally were able to dock the naval ships.

When they arrived late at the Zero Dock, Captain Zero was very angry at them. “Where have you tugs been?” he roared. When the tugs explained, he got even angrier. “You did what! How many times do I have to tell you? Don’t bother with the Star Tugs! That mission was supposed to be so you guys could work together, not slam one fleet in behind a battleship! I’m suspending all Welsh coal for a week!” And then he stormed off.

In the end, Walter Zero wasn’t happy about what his tugs did. He was even angrier that the Z-Stacks knew about his surprise, even though the Star Tugs told them. It goes to show you that the Z-Stacks didn’t have good reason to shut them in there. If Z-stacks and the Star Tugs had just worked as a team, none of this would have happened.



  • The USS Henbourough is repeatedly referred to as a battleship by both the Star Tugs and Z-Stacks, but it is an Fletcher-class destroyer, not a battleship.

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