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Book: Rise of the Dough Monster
Chapter 4: Titillatingly Resplendent bread Products

The Blenheim, dark and threatening, cruised like a shadow away from the desert planet.


Panman noisily stuffed the last slice of the maple syrup and banana fudge cake into his mouth. He moaned with satisfaction, and then swallowed hard. "That tasted fantastic!" He said to Justin who was standing, motionless, behind him.

"Thank you." The cyborg said. Emotion was totally absent from his voice.

"It was a great idea of mine to send you to the Amino Baking Academy, don't you think?"

Justin's synthetic neural network within his quad-memetic parallel mind matrix array formulated a reply. "I would have rather enrolled at the Amino Death Squadron Training Centre."

"I know," Panman said, "but the death squadron are a newly formed, elite battle force, created as a blood-thirsty, carnage-craving team of fearless warriors, ready to serve the top bounty hunters whenever necessary. They need agile young humanoids with lightning reflexes and highly tuned killing instincts."

"I am aware of those facts." Justin said.

"Then why did you even contemplate applying?" Panman asked. "You are not agile or humanoid, your reflexes could never be described as lightning, you have no instincts, let alone highly tuned killing instincts, and you're virtually devoid of all biological constituents."

"There is always a chance." Justin said, his positive attitude sub-routine kicking in.

"It's good to be optimistic about your chances," Panman said with inordinate insight, "but it is possible to over do it."

"I believe I would have qualified."

"I'm afraid that you wouldn't."

"I think that I would have."

"Don't argue with me." Panman said assertively. "Anyway, you should be proud of yourself. You left the baking academy with full honours and the 'Most Consistently Accurate Egg Beater' award."

The cyborg was silent and still.

"You'd better go and recharge." Panman said.

Justin turned and clanked off the bridge.

Peter the Ace was staring at the main view-screen. The desert planet that they had recently left was entirely blanketed by a dense cloud of acutely radioactive dust.

"I had no idea that a pummel projection system set on overload could cause total global destruction." He said. "And in only twenty minutes!"

"Awesome isn't it!" Panman said, sighing with pride.

"Maybe we have overdone it this time."

"No way!" Panman turned to face his companion. "Remember how we decided that inadvertently destroying that city and its twelve million inhabitants would eventually save many times that amount of lives around the galaxy?"

"yes."

"Well, now that we've killed off the rest of the planet's population of four hundred million, all of whom were likely to be involved in some sort criminal activity, just think of the amount of lives that we will have saved now!"

"Indeed!" Peter the Ace said proudly, the sudden realisation of what Panman had said hitting him like an attacking mould mutant. "We could have saved millions upon millions!" He was very impressed with Panman's astonishing foresight.

Panman changed the subject. "We should decide what we are going to do now."

"Indeed." Peter the Ace agreed. "We should return to the Palace of Amino. We haven't been home for almost a year."

"Yeah. We deserve a break. We've successfully completed seven unimaginably intricate and precarious missions in a row. A bounty hunter record I think."

"Absolutely! Our hero status will be incredible!"

"It already is."

"True."

Panman spoke to the ship. "Blenheim? Plot a course back to the Palace of Amino. Put it on the main view-screen."

"PLOTTING…" Came the digital reply.

"Whoa!" Panman exclaimed, gazing at the three-dimensional star map that had appeared before him. "We've come quite a distance!"

"Indeed." Peter the Ace said. "Blenheim? Tell me our distance from the palace and the journey time to reach it at maximum sub-space velocity."

"CURRENT DISTANCE FROM THE PALACE OF AMINO: 4752.25 LIGHT YEARS. JOURNEY TIME TO THE PALACE OF AMINO AT MAXIMUM SUB-SPACE VELOCITY: 22 DAYS, 3 HOURS, 12 MINUTES."

"That's a hell of a journey!" Panman said.

"Yes," Peter the Ace said, "and we're on the tip of one of the galaxy's spiral arms. The space that we have to traverse contains very little in the way of stopping off points."

Panman spoke to the ship. "Blenheim? Name all of the places of interest along the projected journey path."

"THERE ARE TWO PLACES OF INTEREST ALONG THE PROJECTED JOURNEY PATH: 1. THE THIRD MOON OF THE PLANET YE'EST. IT IS COVERED ALMOST ENTIRELY IN WHEAT FIELDS."

"What's interesting about that?" Panman interrupted, amazed at the computer's seemingly boring selection.

"THE NORTH POLAR REGION CONTAINS SIX RESTAURANT COMPLEXES THAT CLAIM TO SERVE 'THE MOST TITILLATINGLY RESPLENDENT BREAD PRODUCTS EVER BAKED'."

"Cool!" Panman exclaimed. "Do they serve garlic bread?"

"YES."

"Excellent!" Panman's stomach was starting to rumble.

"What's the second place of interest?" Peter the Ace asked.

"THE SECOND PLACE OF INTEREST IS A KEN KASINO GAMBLING STATION, A FIVE KILOMETRE LONG MOBILE CASINO. IT IS CURRENTLY TRAVELLING AT SUB-LIGHT SPEED AT A CLOSE PARALLEL TO THE JOURNEY PATH."

The two bounty hunters looked at each other.

"Gambling is cool!" Peter the Ace said.

"Eating is cooler!" Panman said.

"You can eat at the casino."

"I know that," Panman said, "but they don't serve the most titillatingly resplendent bread products ever baked."

"They'll serve bread." Peter the Ace pointed out. "And it'll taste just as good."

Panman shook his head. "Blenheim?" He asked. "Does the Ken Kasino Gambling Station serve bread that tastes just as good as the bread made on the third moon of the planet Ye'Est?"

"PROBABLY NOT."

"And can the casino's bread products claim to be the most titillatingly resplendent ever made?"

"PROBABLY NOT."

"There you are!" Panman said, turning to Peter the Ace. "I rest my case."

"You put forward a very solid and convincing argument." Peter the Ace said. "And I must admit, I'm interested in seeing just how good this bread is."

"Cool! beyond belief!" Panman said excitedly.

"Blenheim?" Peter the Ace asked. "How far and how long to the bread world?"

"CURRENT DISTANCE TO THE THIRD MOON OF THE PLANET YE'EST: 306.34 LIGHT YEARS. JOURNEY TIME TO THE THIRD MOON OF THE PLANET YE'EST AT MAXIMUM SUB-SPACE VELOCITY: 1 DAY, 10 HOURS, 15 MINUTES."

"Wow!" Panman said. "So close!"

"Indeed!" Peter the Ace said. "To the moon of bread!" He dexterously operated his command console. The ship's powerful sub-space engines thundered to life. The Blenheim folded away from the desert planet's system, leaving the once thriving world of depravity and brutality entirely devoid of sentient activity.

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