With awe-inspiring precision, the Blenheim emerged from the inter-dimensional
confines of sub-space. A bright red glow was ejected forwards as its retro-engines
fired a ten second burst of deceleration particles.
Peter the Ace and Panman watched as the turquoise disk of the giant gas
planet Ye'Est filled the main view-screen. Four members of its six moon
system could easily be seen.
"Looks nice." Panman said, trying to ignore the ache of hunger
within his belly.
"Indeed!" Peter the Ace agreed. "I'm ashamed that I never
knew this place existed."
Panman nodded. "Me too."
"Blenheim?" Peter the Ace said. "Put us in a non-standard
ellipsoid orbit around the third moon."
The ship's sub-light thrusters automatically and accurately guided the
stunning vessel swiftly towards the yellow tinted target moon, the colouring
obviously caused by the millions of acres of wheat fields spread across
"NON-STANDARD ELLIPSOID ORBIT ACHIEVED."
"Excellent!" Peter the Ace said. He operated the communicator.
"This is the star ship Blenheim. Request permission to land and feast
upon your titillatingly resplendent bread products."
"This is Ye'Est three flight controller Foxtrot-Alpha-Tango-Sierra-Omega-Delta."
Came the static-filled reply. "Permission denied."
"Bastards!" Panman shouted, leaping out of his seat. "Prepare
for total devastation!" He energised the Blenheim's advanced weapons
"Calm yourself!" Peter the Ace said with complex assertiveness.
Panman stopped his demented arming of the ship's nuclear arsenal. "Sorry."
he said sitting back down. "I'm afraid my stomach achieved temporary
control of my mind."
"If you say so."
"If you hadn't forced yourself to fast for the last twenty hours,
you could have avoided that unprofessional outburst of fallacious emotion."
"True, but I wanted my gut to have the maximum space available for
"I've never known you not to have enough space." Peter the Ace
turned his attention back to the flight controller. "Why did you
deny us permission to land?"
"We deny all large star ships permission to land. To maximize the
available space for wheat farming and bread manufacture, all visitors
must arrive on small shuttles. We have no landing room for a ship of your
"We have a shuttle." Peter the Ace said proudly. "It's
one of the most marvellous shuttles ever constructed!"
"Then permission to land is granted."
"Whoa!" Panman screamed.
The flight controller continued. "You may land on pad twelve, Level
nine, at the Dick Burton Feasting Tower. Engage approach vector one. Flight
controller Foxtrot-Alpha-Tango-Sierra-Omega-Delta out."
"No problem." Peter the Ace said, deactivating the communication
Panman leapt out of his seat. "To Baby Blenheim!" he shouted.
Ten minutes later, the Baby Blenheim was speeding low over the moon's
wheat fields with refined accuracy. Auto-flight was engaged, and cruise-control
was set at a rather sedate six hundred and forty kilometres per hour,
the maximum allowed at this level.
The Baby Blenheim was quite small, only ten metres in length, and looked
like a smaller, stubbier version of its mother ship. Its most distinctive
features were a large, two metre, domed view-port on its front side, and
a semi-concealed quad-barrelled pulse cannon on its under side.
"There it is!" Peter the Ace said, pointing towards the giant
edifice that was now clearly visible through the bowl-like front view-port.
Panman consulted the on-line Ye'Est information service. "Whoa!"
He said excitedly, gazing at his view-screen. "It says here that
the Dick Burton Feasting Tower is a two kilometre high collection of over
three thousand inspiring and thought provoking bread restaurants, capable
of seating more than four hundred thousand people at any one time!"
"Excellent!" Peter the Ace said.
With great prowess, he switched the shuttle over to manual control and
directed it along the digital flight path that appeared on the holographic
heads-up display. Flying by hand was much more fun than using the auto
The tower now filled the view ahead. Hundreds of small craft flitted in
and out of its multi-level landing bays. External glass elevators zipped
up and down the tower with breath-taking speed.
"This is going to be so cool!" Panman said with delight.
"Absolutely!" Peter the Ace agreed.
The communicator bleeped.
"Yes?" Peter the Ace said.
"This is flight controller Foxtrot-Alpha-Tango-Sierra-Omega-Delta."
"Hello flight controller. What do you want?"
"Why are you flying on manual?"
"I like flying on manual."
"It's against regulations. Our auto-direct flight path system must
"Don't worry." Peter the Ace said in calm, assertive tones.
"I am a most excellent pilot!"
"That is irrelevant. Switch back to auto otherwise your permission
to land will be retracted."
"Do as he says!" Panman said anxiously, his stomach rumbled
audibly. "I can't last much longer!"
Peter the Ace noted his companion's distress. He engaged auto-flight.
"Thank you." the flight controller said in a self-important
manner. "Flight controller Foxtrot-Alpha-Tango-Sierra-Omega-Delta
"If I ever meet that flight controller," Peter the Ace said,
“I'm going to cauterise his tongue into non-existence, and then
replace it with an indefinitely preserved high fibre bap!"
"Baps!" Panman said, drooling. "Tasty."
The Baby Blenheim was guided into a landing bay on the lower south side
of the tower.
“Welcome to the Dick Burton Feasting Tower." A green headed,
tentacle armed creature said as the two bounty hunters left the Baby Blenheim's
port side hatch.
"Thank you." Peter the Ace said.
"Where do you wish gorge yourselves?" The creature asked.
"In your best, most exclusive restaurant of course!" Panman
said impatiently, gripping his mid-section.
"Ahh yes!" The tentacled guy said. "That would be Mister
Burton's Private Gluttony Stronghold on level five hundred and fifty five,
right at the top."
"Sounds perfect!" Peter the Ace said.
"It's outrageously expensive!" The creature said. "Most
visitors can't even afford the entrance fee."
"No problem!" Peter the Ace said, flashing his Trans-Galactic
Bank of Excessive Amounts gold card in front of the tentacle creature’s
eyes. It was accepted in over six trillion establishments’ galaxy
The creature smiled broadly. "Very nice indeed! This way please."
The two bounty hunters followed the creature to the landing bay exit.
A glass elevator glided up to their position and whooshed open.
"This will take you all the way up." The green guy said. "Enjoy
and eat loads!"
"Of course we'll eat loads!" Panman said angrily. Extreme hunger
shortened his temper to minuscule levels.
Peter the Ace and Panman entered the elevator. It closed and began its
rapid ascent. Panman was too preoccupied with his hunger pangs to notice
the expansive view of wheat fields that could be seen through the elevator's
clear panelling. He was breathing heavily.
"Not long now, my friend." Peter the Ace said.
"Bread!" Panman gurgled.
The elevator stopped, two thousand metres above the moon's cultivated
surface. Another green faced, tentacle armed creature greeted them. "Welcome
to Mister Burton's Private Gluttony Stronghold."
"There is no time to waste." Peter the Ace said. "My friend
is desperate. We need a table for two. Now!"
"Yes sir! This way."
The two bounty hunters were lead into a relatively small but richly decorated
room. One wall was made completely of glass, giving breath taking views.
"Please sit here." The green creature said.
Peter the Ace took his seat in a sumptuously upholstered chair. Panman
struggled into his. "I can't last much longer!" he exclaimed.
"Waiter." Peter the Ace said seriously. "Bring ten kilos
of titillatingly resplendent garlic bread now!"
"Yes sir!" The creature said. It scurried away.
Panman looked pale and sick.
"Hold on, buddy." Peter the Ace said. "Nourishment is on
Three of tentacled dudes appeared, each carrying a large tray of bread.
Before the food was even placed on the table, Panman had begun to eat.
And eat. And eat.
Peter the Ace could not keep up with the noisy chomping, guzzling and
gulping of his companion. The other restaurant patrons watched in awe
and envy as Panman effortlessly stuffed kilo after kilo down his throat
as though it were his sole purpose in life. It was a sight never before
seen outside of the Palace of Amino's inner sanctums. The people that
witnessed this miraculous happening were privileged beyond belief.
Panman was, indeed, an eating machine!
It took more than one hour, and thirty kilograms of garlic bread, onions,
cheese rolls, and wholemeal toast to satisfy Panman's voracious appetite.
He sat back and patted his gut. "Outstanding!"
Peter the Ace, who had only managed to eat just over a quarter of the
amount that Panman had eaten, agreed. "Indeed it was!"
"Hey waiter?" Panman said, shouting across the room.
The green waiter approached. "Yes, sir?"
"Your glorious bread products have saved my life!"
"I'm glad to hear that, sir."
"Could you get Dick Burton, the owner of this tower, to come to our
table? I would like to thank him personally."
"Mister Burton does not visit tables."
"It is beneath him."
"Then we'll visit him!" Peter the Ace interjected.
"Great idea!" Panman said. "Take us to him, please."
"Do you have an appointment?"
"Of course not!"
"Then I'm afraid I can't take you to him."
"Then we'll make an appointment!" Peter the Ace said assertively,
getting to his feet.
The power of the first-class bounty hunter’s massively muscled physique
sent ripples of fear shuddering through the tentacle armed waiter. "You
can't." it said quietly, shivering.
"Mister Burton doesn't see anyone by appointment."
Panman was rapidly loosing his patience. "You said the only way to
see him was to make an appointment. Now you're saying that he doesn't
"Yes." The waiter whimpered.
Panman stood. "Is that beneath him too?"
"Yes." The green guy snivelled. Mucus dribbled from its nostrils.
"You're an incompetent, jabbering snot drizzler!"
"Calm yourself Panman." Peter the Ace said. "Waiter?"
"Do you know who we are?"
"We are bounty hunters of the Palace of Amino!"
The waiter gasped in adoration. It dropped to its knees. "Please
forgive me!" It pleaded.
"There's no need for that kind of idolisation." Peter the Ace
said. "Get to your feet, little fellow."
The waiter got up off the floor. "I must thank you." It said.
"Many decades ago, my home planet of Dunk, deep within the heart
of the Languid-Death-Throb-Pillager sector, six light years into the Gouge-En-Smear
Enforcer's small but heavily armoured xenophobic empire, was under a blinding
onslaught by bizarre, rancorous, serpent-like brutes from the central
no-go areas of the Profanite System." The waiter started jumping
with joy. "Bounty hunters from your palace came and massacred the
invading forces, saving my race from total extinction. Without their intervention,
my grandparents would have perished and I would never have been born!"
It dropped to its knees and waved its tentacles above his head. "You
saved me!" It shrieked.
Peter the Ace looked at Panman. "I don't remember taking part in
"We didn't." Panman said. "We were on a much more important
mission. I think the Superior Beings sent a couple of hundred trainees
to Dunk for some target practice."
"Oh yes." Peter the Ace said. "I think I remember now."
The green waiter shrieked one again. "You saved me!"
"It was no problem." Panman said. "Now stand up and shut
The waiter did as it was told.
A tumultuous round of applause erupted from the restaurant's patrons.
Peter the Ace and Panman revelled in the adoration.
After about twenty seconds, a voice spoke. "Please be silent!"
The applause ceased.
"Who said that?" Panman asked.
"It was Mister Burton!" The waiter replied.
"Waiter?" The voice said.
"Yes, Mister Burton sir?"
"I wish to speak with our two bounty hunter guests. Please escort
them to my office."
"Yes Mister Burton sir!" It turned to the Peter the Ace and
Panman. "My saviours, please do me the extraordinary honour of following
me up to Mister Burton's grand office."
"Lead the way, little menial guy!" Peter the Ace said.
The two bounty hunters followed the tentacled waiter out of the restaurant
to the resounding cheers of the other guests.
The large, leather padded double doors to Dick Burton's office were guarded
by two minimally dressed, well toned, well armed, dark-skinned female
"Interesting." Peter the Ace said quietly.
"Absolutely!" Panman agreed.
The tentacled waiter spoke. "We are here to see Mister Burton. These
two men are bounty hunters of the Palace of Amino!"
The two alluring females looked at Peter the Ace and Panman.
"Oh yes!" One of them said, losing control. She was visibly
affected by their presence.
"Relax." Peter the Ace said to her. "There is no need to
react that way. Although, it is understandable."
She moaned with ecstasy, and then sank to her knees. The other female
had also adopted a kneeling position. She was caressing herself around
her breasts and panting heavily.
The doors swung open.
"We'd better go." Panman said. "Before these two die of
Peter the Ace nodded.
The two bounty hunters followed the waiter into the office. It was huge,
made almost entirely of toughened glass, and was the highest habitable
point within the tower. The only part of the tower that was higher that
this lavish office was a two hundred metre communications mast that could
be seen through the skylight, rising up towards the sparse cloud cover
that was scattered across the morning sky.
A man, tall and thin, and wearing a white shirt, blue waistcoat, and red
trousers, was standing by an ornate looking bar at the far end of the
"I am Dick Burton. Come over and join me for a few glasses of outrageously
"Sounds good, Dick!" Panman said.
Peter the Ace and Panman walked over to the bar. The green waiter followed.
"Waiter?" Dick said sharply.
The waiter stopped walking. "Yes, Mister Burton sir?"
"Get back to work!"
The tentacled waiter nodded and quickly left.
Dick handed Panman and Peter the Ace a drink.
"Thank you." Peter the Ace said.
Panman spoke. "I must also thank you for the superb meal that I've
"It's a pleasure to have two galactic heroes eating within my tower."
Dick said. "I should thank you." A serious look suddenly appeared
on his face.
"You seem troubled." Peter the Ace said with acute perception.
Dick brushed his hand through his dark hair, disturbing the long quiff
that hung down the right side of his face. He walked over to the east
facing window and stared out over the wheat fields far below. His face
was illuminated by the rising, orange sun.
"I have a problem." he said finally. "A problem which could
end up destroying this entire moon."
"Sounds serious!" Peter the Ace said, sipping on his glass of
Dick continued. "I had thought that all was lost and was preparing
to leave when I accidentally overheard your conversation with one of my
Peter the Ace felt a slight wave of suspicion washing over him. "Do
you often invade the privacy of your restaurant's customers?"
"Yes." Dick replied. He turned to face his visitors and smiled.
"But only in my private gluttony stronghold. The wealthiest and most
influential people of this sector often come here. I have every table
bugged!" Another look of seriousness appeared on Dick's face. "When
I heard that you two were bounty hunters, I just had to speak to you."
His voice became deep. "You are my only hope."
"Are we?" Panman whispered back.
"Yes." Dick whispered, even quieter than before.