Cardio gazed through his cockpit’s narrow viewport at the incredible
sight ahead. Almost filling the view, the densely armoured might of the
200-metre long Blenheim, almost black against the star field of deep space,
drifted like a deadly walrus, its massive engines pulsing through shades
The seventh-class bounty hunter had wished for this moment ever since he
had qualified as a bounty hunter, but now that the moment had arrived he
found it almost impossible to comprehend. Very few bounty hunters of his
class – indeed, very few bounty hunters at all – had ever had
the opportunity to get this close to the most famous and formidable ship
in the Palace of Amino fleet. And even less had had the opportunity to dock
with it. This could possibly be the most momentous moment of his life.
Following an automated flight path, the Gash Station drew alongside the
Blenheim’s port side. Jack Cardio watched through the viewport and
monitored his wrap-around display-screen as his ship, dwarfed by the Blenheim,
slowed and gently connected with the airlock. A rapid series of muffled
thuds sounded as docking clamps secured his ship.
Jack Cardio took a moment to relax. He breathed deeply, calming his body
and mind. Feeling serene, he operated a control on his chair. Immediately
the chair dropped down to his ship’s habitation level, spinning as
it did so to face the opposite direction. He was now in his living quarters.
Ahead, Justin could be seen through the open hatchway to the cargo bay.
He was still lying there, unable to even sit up in the cramped bay. The
cyborg’s red emotionless eyes stared back. To the left, the three
child survivors were still sitting cross-legged on his bed. They stared
at him, their eyes wide and their expressions full of confusion, shock and
The bounty hunter stood and spoke to the children. “You’re all
being transferred to another ship. Follow me, please.” He turned to
his right and operated a control. A panel on his ship’s starboard
side slid open revealing the entrance to the airlock. He pointed. “Go
Justin spoke. “They are unable to understand you. Their language is
unknown to Palace of Amino auto-translation devices.”
Jack Cardio scowled. “I know that, cyborg! They understand gestures,
don’t they?!” The bounty hunter pointed again. “Now, please.”
Cautiously, the three children climbed off the bed and walked slowly towards
the airlock, and then stopped halfway. They looked nervously at Jack Cardio,
and then at Justin. With a whirr of servos and hydraulics, the cyborg reached
up and pointed to the airlock entrance. The children started walking again
and entered the airlock. With a swish of his long brown cloak, the bounty
Justin attempted to squeeze through the cargo bay hatch. “I will accompany
Jack Cardio turned. “No way! You’re too big.”
“I must return to the Blenheim. I am in need of further diagnostic
tests, and I have duties to perform.”
“You can’t come this way, idiot! Once were out of here you can
seal that hatchway and go out through the external door. I’m sure
the Blenheim has plenty of large cargo bays you can get into.”
After a second of digital thought the cyborg responded. “I obey.”
Jack Cardio nodded. “Good.” He turned and joined the children
in the airlock. He thought for a moment. For them this was just another
bewildering experience to add to all the others they must have gone through
since their home world was devastated. He felt sorry for them. There was
no way for them to realise just how privileged they were to be visiting
the Blenheim. Perhaps one day they would look back on the experience and
appreciate the true magnitude of the occasion.
Sind’a Thighs stood at the centre of the Blenheim’s port side
reception area and faced the airlock entrance. Despite being surrounded
by the luxurious carpeting, artwork, deep leather sofas and subtle ambient
lighting, she did not feel relaxed. She felt nervous, excited, sweaty
and thirsty. She dreaded meeting Jack Cardio again, but she also craved
his presence and warmth.
She was confused.
A control panel next to the airlock bleeped twice, and the light above
Looking down, the bounty hunter straightened her pink waistband, and then
ran her hands over her hips and thighs, pressing out any creases in her
white translucent body suit. And then she stood up straight, took a deep
breath, and spoke. “Open the airlock.”
With a smooth whoosh, the airlock’s door slid sideways.
Three very clean-looking children stood there, their large cute eyes staring
directly at Sind’a Thighs. The bounty hunter stared back at them
for a moment, before turning her attention to the tall cloaked figure
behind. The figure spread his arms and ushered the children forwards.
They all stepped into the sumptuous reception area.
Sind’a Thighs nodded, her heart thumping. “Welcome onboard
The children immediately crowded round Sind’a Thighs, naturally
drawn to an older female for protection.
“I was hoping you’d be here.” Jack Cardio said.
Sind’a Thighs looked at him. His dreadlocks, flowing down over his
broad shoulders, send a shiver of desire through her body, but a sense
of shame made her look away. “I guess you’ve heard about my
disgraceful performance, then?”
Jack Cardio stroked her cheek. “I was shocked to hear of your failure
and the loss of your ship. But from what I gather you’ve more than
made up for that. I’m so proud of you!”
Sind’a Thighs looked at him. “Thank you.” Leaning forwards
she kissed him deeply.
The dreadlocked bounty hunter responded, wrapping his arms around her.
He moved his hands gently down her back until they rested on her toned
buttocks. He squeezed. “I missed you. I wish my previous mission
had not been so long and remote.”
Sind’a Thighs smiled. “So do I. I was anxious about seeing
you again after all this time. I thought you’d have found someone
else on your travels and forgotten about me.”
Jack Cardio smiled. “Actually, I did find someone. A curvaceous
beauty named Kaela. She’s a stripper on the Damx Elation Station.”
Sind’a Thighs was shocked. She took a step back.
The dreadlocked bounty hunter laughed at her reaction. “Don’t
worry! I wanted her for sex only. Her body, although nowhere near as toned,
reminded me of yours. Each time I pleasured her I was thinking of you.”
Sind’a Thighs narrowed her eyes. “Sure?”
He nodded. “I used her to release tension. She meant nothing more
to me than that.”
Sind’a Thighs signed with relief and smiled. Playfully, she punched
his shoulder. “Good!”
Jack Cardio smiled, and then looked around. “It’s hard to
believe that I’m actually on board the Blenheim! This is really
“It is a remarkable ship. I was lucky when Peter the Ace and Panman
rescued me from a life of drudgery within the Impaler Community. When
I hear other bounty hunters speaking of how much they would like to visit
this ship I realise just how fortunate I’ve been. Most of them will
never even get close, let alone come onboard.”
Jack Cardio nodded. “You are very lucky. Maybe you could give me
a quick tour?”
“Maybe,” she teased, “but first I must take the children
to one of the guest quarters.”
“Of course. I’ll come with you, and then we can…”
The communcations panel on the wall of the reception activated. Peter
the Ace spoke. “Mister Cardio, thank you for dropping off Justin
and the children.”
“Sind’a Thighs will take care of them now. Please return to
your ship and detach. We are about to reach the Cifitra and could use
Jack Cardio’s expression changed momentarily to disappointment,
but he quickly regained his composure. “Of course.”
“Excellent! Peter the Ace out.”
Sind’a Thighs smiled sweetly. “Later?”
Jack Cardio nodded, and then grinned. “Later!” With a swish
of his cape, he turned and strode purposefully into the airlock.