ship was still following.
Chief Engine Inspector Fillop Assuna was sitting on a small metal stool
by the Nebulon’s rear maintenance viewport. He had been watching the
ship for almost an hour now, and nothing had changed. There it was, never
deviating, and never doing anything remotely interesting. Apart from its
dark, muscular and alluringly masculine design it proved to be of little
interest to the engine inspector. He was getting very bored.
Fillop had been the Nebulon’s chief engine inspector for many years,
ever since the ship’s launch from deep within Doctor Combobulay’s
fortress. Due to the almost completely automated nature of the ship’s
engines his team of inspectors was small - there were only three in total
– and they were all female. That would have pleased most male crew
members, but not Fillop: he was as homosexual as it was possible to be.
His confinement to the engine section with only women as companions gave
him almost constant sexual frustration, and he would often reach breaking
point, causing great stress to his subordinates. He would regularly force
them to dress up as men, cover themselves in his own stale sweat, shave
their heads, drink beer in obscene quantities, shout profanities in deep
voices and take it ‘Navy style’ in the showers. The women, of
course, often complained at this treatment, but Fillop knew that deep down
they were pleased to receive it. They had needs too, and although it was
not quite what they wanted, the chief engine inspector knew that they enjoyed
whatever close attention he gave them.
But abusing his female subordinates was not an available option at the moment
to deal with his boredom. They had all been reassigned to hunt down an infiltrator
and a traitor.
Fillop was completely alone.
To pass some time he started fiddling with the telescopic imager he had
set up by the viewport. He adjusted some settings - turning knobs and pushing
sliders - until he managed to improve the image resolution slightly. He
smiled as he noticed more detail appear on the image of the ship. Much more
of its very manly design could be seen, including some of the formidable
and almost phallic gun-mountings on its forward section. It had been an
adjustment well worth making.
And then the chief engine inspector noticed that something was moving.
Gasping like an ecstatic mongoose, Fillop watched as an object rose out
of the ship’s topside. After a few seconds the image became clearer.
It looked like another ship, but much smaller - some kind of shuttle craft.
Its design, although much smaller, was similar to the parent craft –
muscular, powerful, and highly desirable. The engine inspector activated
the communications panel next to the viewport. Colonel Hamblaba would be
very interested to hear about this.
There was a brief flash of blinding white light. Intense pain, similar to
a million stabbing white hot needles, spread like pressurised cheese across
Fillop’s face. He shrieked as his eyes boiled and shrivelled and his
skin bubbled into a multitude of deep blisters. Instinctively, the engine
inspector covered his face with his hands, but then he screamed as the flesh
on his hands ignited and vaporised. Spears of agony shot down his optic
With a shudder, Chief Engine Inspector Fillop Assuna slipped off his stool
and fell onto the floor’s grated surface, his super-heated skull shattering
The Baby Blenheim’s holographic head-up display showed the results
of the attack. Peter the Ace had watched the close-up image of the unidentified
vessel’s rear viewport as its occupant’s skin on his face
and hands had blistered and vaporised.
The ship made an announcement. “TARGET NEUTRALISED.”
Peter the Ace smiled. “Marvellous!” Grabbing the flight and
propulsion controls, the bounty hunter activated the rear thrusters and
edged the Baby Blenheim forwards over the Blenheim’s topside.
Within seconds the little ship was clear of its parent vessel and speeding
towards the ugly green unidentified vessel ahead.