powerful flow of frigid water flooded into the BULIT Diver. After the initial
pressure subsided, Panman clambered out, safe and cosy in his sealed environment
suit. He looked around and grinned. His amazing subconscious skills had
surprised even him. With accuracy beyond comprehension he had guided the
BULIT Diver directly into what appeared to be a gigantic submerged vessel,
and a rather weak-hulled one at that.
A loud clanking noise started. Rapidly, the water around Panman disappeared
as it was pumped away. A short piecing hiss echoed round the chamber he
had crashed into. He looked up. The hole in the ceiling had been sealed
by a toothpaste-like substance - crude, but effective.
And then a doorway in a nearby wall whooshed open.
With the reactions of a wartugger, the bounty hunter pulled his pistol from
his suit’s thigh holster. He dropped to his knees and aimed. Two figures
dressed in black armoured suits appeared at the doorway. Panman fired, sending
blinding beams of death through their bodies. Their armour, useless against
such a fierce onslaught, melted like cheese on a hotplate. The two figures
dropped to the floor, white flames rising from their wounds.
Pleased with his work, Panman got to his feet and stepped over to the door,
ignoring the weak groans from the mortally wounded figures lying at his
feet. He peered out into the vaulted corridor beyond. It was wide, and lit
in shades of amber and green – a revolting combination. It seemed
deserted. As he started to take a step forward, the bounty hunter saw a
hint of movement at the far end. Immediately, he ducked to his knees again
and took aim. He fired. A lethal beam of energy laced forwards, burning
into a bulkhead. It exploded in a violent spray of molten debris. In the
distance, a figure, cloaked in blue, rolled across the corridor. Panman
fired again, just missing the figure’s noticeably plump midsection.
For such an overweight individual, the figure was moving with remarkable
speed. Panman was impressed.
A voice, female and assertive, shouted. “Cease fire! Yellow frogs
wearing sandals are composing symphonies and cooking lentils!”
Panman immediately recognised the coded sentence. He shouted back. “Understood.”
The blue-cloaked figure emerged from behind a bulkhead and ran towards the
bounty hunter. Within seconds she reached him. Panman pulled her into the
chamber, almost tripping over the still-moaning guards on the floor.
Panman looked at her. He opened his visor. “Sind’a Thighs! I
was wondering what had happened to you!” He looked up and down her
apparently fat and uneven body. “You’re physique is not as pleasing
as it used to be. Have you been letting yourself go, or something? I’d
heard that you were a gym junky. You look more like a lard junky!”
She shook her head. “No! My body is still toned and alluring. This
is all padding. I’m disguised as someone else.”
“Hmm… I see. The person you’re disguised as obviously
has a hideous waistline and butt-shape, and the most lopsided breasts I’ve
ever seen. What made you choose that person? In fact, why are you down in
this submarine in the first place?”
Sind’a Thighs bowed her head. She was obviously ashamed. “My
ship was shot down and I crash landed.”
Panman shook his head. “Not a good result for your first solo mission,
and with a new ship, too. From the schematics, the Butt Muffin looked like
a superb piece of design and engineering – especially the bathing
The lesser bounty hunter kept looking at the floor, and at the groaning
guards that still lay there. “Yes, its shower was incredible.”
“After I realised that the Butt Muffin was irreparable, I left to
explore. Shortly after I saw some giant humanoid-shaped machines, known
as Kretins, come out of the ocean. They destroyed my ship.”
Panman gasped. “A capital offence!”
Sind’a Thighs nodded. “The ship’s defences managed to
disable one of the machines. When the others had left I climbed inside the
remaining Kretin. It was there that I met Rebecca Moul, the only surviving
crew member. I forced her to drive the Kretin to its base deep under the
sea. When we arrived, she died. So I took the opportunity to disguise myself
Panman nodded. “Cool idea!”
Sind’a Thighs continued. “It was then that I was told that Doctor
Combobulay, the person running this operation, would like to see me. When
the doctor arrived at the base she took me onboard this submarine –
know as the Nebulon.” The bounty hunter looked up and grinned at Panman.
“By sheer fluke I found myself promoted to third in command of this
Panman did not hide his admiration. “Whoa! Fantastic! Your error in
letting yourself get shot down has been well and truly cancelled out by
that insane turn of events!”
“Amazing! It’s not usual for recently qualified bounty hunters
to infiltrate deviant organisations that successfully, and to that level.
It usually takes a decade of tough and near-fatal missions before that happens.
Sind’a Thighs beamed. “I was rather pleased with myself.”
“You should be. Peter the Ace will lavish you with praise when he
finds out. He’s up on the surface creating nuclear havoc as we speak!”
The lesser bounty hunter’s eyes fluttered at the thought of being
lavished by Peter the Ace. Quickly, she regained her focus. “Yes,
I saw the Blenheim earlier. A large number of Kretins have been sent to
Panman grinned. “Cool! The diversion worked as planned!” His
face turned serious. “Now, we must plan the downfall of this doctor.
She sounds like a formidable person, strong and muscular, with a cunning
and astute mind.”
“Actually,” Sind’a Thighs said, “she’s a wiry,
smelly and incontinent old woman who travels around in an electric wheelchair.”
Panman entered a thoughtful pose. “Interesting. I wonder how she got
into this position of power?”
One of the moaning guards on the floor lolled his head onto Sind’a
Thighs’ left foot. She kicked him away, and then shook her head. “I’m
not sure. But I do know that there are hundreds of those Kretins, and they
are about to commence their primary mission, whatever that is.”
Panman’s eyes widened. “Then we must act!” A groan from
the floor interrupted him. The bounty hunter looked down, aimed his pistol,
and then fired a low-powered burst into the head of each of the guards.
The groaning ceased.
Sind’a Thighs was unfazed. “What do you suggest?”
Panman continued. “Well, normally I would find the power source of
this ship and cause it to overload. This vessel will be destroyed, taking
the incontinent doctor with it. Problem solved.”
“But, I’m intrigued by this doctor. I’m usually aware
of the demented megalomaniacs in this galaxy. It’s rare that I come
across one that I’ve never heard of. This Doctor Combobulay seems
to have come out of nowhere.” He grinned. “You are her third
in command! You can take me directly to her! Id like to chat with her before
I detonate this ship.”
Sudden realisation smacked into Sind’a Thigh’s mind. “I
can pretend you are my prisoner!”
Panman laughed. “Awesome!” He reached inside a compartment in
his utility belt. He held up a handful of grenades. “We’d better
make my capture look convincingly difficult!” Arming one of the grenades,
he chucked it out into the corridor.
A second later, a flaming wall of chaos shattered the calm.