A complex collection of energy beams buffeted the Blenheim as it approached
to within one thousand kilometres of the hijacked star ship Morbid.
"Eat this, captain scalp!" Panman said excitedly, returning
fire. He watched the main view-screen with delight as his shots found
their mark. The Morbid's shields glowed brightly under the onslaught.
"Your aim is impeccable!" Peter the Ace said.
"It certainly is!"
The Blenheim shook as another barrage hit.
Peter the Ace looked at one of the smaller view-screens. "Lawrence
is still firing at the surface!"
"Yeah. He's blasted away almost a whole mountain! I still can't scan
anything. If Ross Mental was down there he must have been destroyed!"
"Never!" Peter the Ace said. "Ross Mental is a supreme
bounty hunter of inexhaustible expertise, second only to you and I!"
"That's true. Then he must have found a unique and inventive way
to shelter from the attack."
"He'll be fine." Peter the Ace said with justified confidence.
"Ross Mental knows how to look after himself. What we have to do
is get Lawrence out of that ship."
"Yeah. Is your plan set up?"
"Dick is in his quarters now, warming up. He'll be ready in a few
"Yes!" Panman laughed. "Lawrence won't know what hit him!"
"Indeed!" Peter the Ace agreed. "He certainly will not
be expecting this kind of attack." He got out of his command chair.
"I'll join Dick in his quarters." He said, wandering off the
bridge. "Keep that evil alopecia dude occupied with some more precision
Panman smiled. "Absolutely no problem!"
Peter the Ace reached Dick's guest quarters and pressed the entry button.
The door opened. Lisa stood before him, sweating and breathing heavily.
Her long dark hair, usually neat and tied back, was bedraggled and hung
over her face. Peter the Ace looked down and noticed, without too much
surprise, that she was almost naked. He found the small blue hand towel
that was wrapped around her slender waist difficult to describe as clothing.
Lisa brushed the hair from her face in an attempt to look more composed.
"Hi." she whispered, smiling broadly.
Peter the Ace smiled back. "Having fun?"
She stroked his face, and then gently caressed his unbelievably well developed
pectorals. "Oh yes!"
The bounty hunter grabbed her hand and kissed it. "My dear."
He said sweetly. "You are indeed an alluring humanoid of enchanting
beauty, but I have business of galactic importance to attend to. Please
return to your quarters."
She gazed into his eyes, nodded, and then wandered off down the corridor,
fondling herself and moaning quietly.
With unmeasurable will power, Peter the Ace forced her image from his
mind and entered Dick Burton's quarters. Dick was stood in front of a
mirror, brushing his hair. He put the brush down and turned to face the
bounty hunter, his quiff of dark hair perfectly placed.
Peter the Ace spoke. "You were supposed to be rehearsing!"
"I finished ages ago!" Dick said. "Anyway, Lisa came round
and we got talking."
"There's no need to hide anything Dick," Peter the Ace said,
grinning. "Only super-beings with perfect will power, like Panman
and me, can resist such wondrous females."
Dick blushed. "Let's get on with it!" He said, embarrassed.
"Right." Peter the Ace said in a perfect business like tone
of voice. "Get your guitar and sit in front of the communicator."
Dick did as he was told. The Blenheim was buffeted by another attack.
Peter the Ace operated some controls. "Panman?"
Panman replied. "Are you ready?"
"Yeah. Dick's sitting down and preparing to play!"
"Cool!" Panman said. "I'll prepare the Secret Unbreakable
Bounty Hunter Inter-Ship Com. Channel. Panman out."
Dick was tuning his guitar. "I guess I'm ready."
"Great!" Peter the Ace said. "Which song have you chosen?"
"If you must know," Dick said, twanging his instrument, "it's
an ancient song from far away - planet Earth, I think."
"Planet Earth, eh. Interesting. What's it called?"
"Flaxen. It's by some primitive band who called themselves Dayglo
"That name sounds strangely familiar!"
"Really?" Dick said surprised. "It did for me too when
I first heard of them a couple of years ago. It was as though I'd always
"Yeah!" Peter the Ace said. "That's how I feel right now!"
Peter the Ace thought for a moment. "I'm almost four hundred years
old," he said. "Maybe during my first one hundred years, I spent
some time on Earth?"
"That's what I thought too!" Dick said.
"Yeah! With the old life extension technology," Peter the Ace
said, "it used to be the case that at the age of about two hundred,
the first century of memories faded and were lost. That problem doesn't
occur now. Unfortunately that was too late for me and I can't remember
my first one hundred years."
Dick Burton nodded. "Me too!"
"Really? Panman and Ross Mental are the same, I think."
The communicator bleeped. "Should we go for it, or what?" Panman
asked as another impact rocked the Blenheim.
"Are you ready Dick?" Peter the Ace asked.
"Yeah. Although, I'm still not sure why my singing will help!"
"Well," Peter the Ace explained patiently. "Panman has
set up a secret communications link with the Morbid, a link that can only
be broken or muted by a true bounty hunter. When you sing over that link,
Lawrence will have no chance but to listen."
"How will that defeat him?" Dick asked.
"He'll go insane! Especially as the volume will be above the pain
"I thought he was insane?"
"He is, but this will be insanity upon insanity. It'll be really
Panman shouted. "Are you ready!"
Peter the Ace answered. "Sorry. Do it Panman!"
"Doing it." Panman replied. "Engaging the channel... Now!"
Peter the Ace looked at Dick. "Sing!"
legendary driving, pounding,
disenchanting harmonies need
settlement inside a globe.
Relocate the spinal chimes
within its clamouring confines
of masquerading slimy, shiny,
squirming apple feasting fools."
Panman interrupted. "I'm getting a message from Lawrence!"
"Put it on our screen." Peter the Ace said.
Lawrence's face appeared. The light of the Morbid's cockpit reflected
off his bald crown. "What, in dimple cream’s ingredients, are
you doing?" He screamed.
"Just a little light music and song for your entertainment!"
Peter the Ace said.
He watched as Lawrence ran around the ship, desperately trying to turn
off the unbearable noise.
"Are you trying to turn up the sound?" Peter the Ace asked jokingly.
"Let me do it for you!" He spoke into the internal communicator.
"Turn it up Panman."
Lawrence gripped his ears and screamed. Blood could be clearly seen running
down his cheeks. "Bounty bastard mother turds!"
Dick continued to sing.
"Phantoms silhouetted sharply
petrify the incandescent
bodies that revolve around
and round the focal point of sound.
Eradicate with shrewd precision
dissonant, mischievous tones.
Purify, discreetly pulverise
the madness in their eyes."
"He's stopped firing at the surface!" Panman announced.
"Excellent!" Peter the Ace said. "It’s a good thing
that Ross Mental had that ten megawatt stereo system fitted."
Dick was really getting into the part.
"Shadows casting incantations.
Spectral ghouls from fiendish nations
trample massively upon the noise
Grievous situations need
a tireless, unforgiving breed.
The mystic mite of flaxen flesh
must rule the waves of pain."
Lawrence was jumping up and down, and pulling out huge clumps of his
remaining hair. "Bastards!" He shouted. "Elephant bastards!
Blue elephant bastardss eating apple and cinnamon cornflake vending machines!"
Peter the Ace spoke to Panman. "It's working!" he said with
glee. "Lawrence's derangement is deranging itself!"
Dick was enjoying himself. It was about time that his singing had a purpose.
"They caterwaul atrociously
then stressfully depart the sphere as
glowing, grinning, escalating
soaring symphonies unfold.
'Agonizing tones!' they wail,
cringing as their size reduces.
Flinching densely as coercion
shapes a singularity."
Lawrence was shrieking like a woman. "Toads in my toes! Get the
bastards away from my floppy disks!"
Peter the Ace and Panman watched with delight.
"He's off his head!" Panman laughed.
"Shakkar! When the walls' fell!" Lawrence continued.
Panman turned up the volume to maximum. The Morbid was shaking visibly
from the pressure of the sound waves. The view-screen image started to
"Ahhh!" Lawrence screamed, running around like a child on fire.
"Darmok and Jallad at Tenagra! Picard, his arms open wide!"
He stopped and pointed to an overhead emergency air-lock. "Lawrence
on the ocean!" He began to climb.
"Lawrence is leaving the cockpit!" Panman said excitedly. "It's
Peter the Ace looked at the view-screen. The Morbid's cockpit was now
"I'm scanning a lifeform on the ship's top side!" Panman announced.
"Show it!" Peter the Ace said.
A view of the Morbid's top side appeared on the view-screen. Lawrence
was stumbling about outside and finding it difficult to stand up in the
fast, high altitude winds.
"My plan has indeed worked." Peter the Ace said. "But I
expected him to land the ship first!"
"He's too mad to think of that!" Panman said truthfully.
"He must be mad. He's several kilometres above the surface. The temperature
up there is almost minus seventy degrees celsius, and the air's very thin!"
Ice was forming on Lawrence's face, what was left of his hair, and clothes.
He was struggling for every breath, struggling to balance. Blood poured
from his ears. He staggered, and then fell.
Panman closed the special communications channel, silencing the excruciating
sound within Ross Mental's ship. "I guess that's the end of that!"
"Let's not be too hasty." Peter the Ace said wisely. He turned
to Dick, who had stopped playing. "Great performance, thank you.
I'm going to join Panman on the bridge. Take a break."
Peter the Ace left Dick's quarters. Justin clanked towards him down the
corridor carrying Lisa in his arms.
"Justin! What are you doing with her?"
"Lisa passed by the galley as I was scrubbing out the prime food
preparation bays." The metal trainee said in a boring, synthetic
voice. "She complained of abdominal pains. When she collapsed I decided
to carry her to sickbay."
"Excellent thinking! She probably ate too much at the banquet."
"I disagree." Justin said. "After consulting my in-built
medical diagnosis sub-routine, I determined that..."
"Sorry." Peter the Ace interrupted. "But I really do have
more important things to attend to. Deal with it as you see fit."
The bounty hunter headed for the bridge.
Justin clinked and whirred his way to sickbay.
"Look at him fly!" Panman said gleefully.
Peter the Ace took his position in the command chair and looked at the
main view-screen. Lawrence could clearly be seen plummeting into a valley.
Rapidly and painfully, the evil dude smashed through the densely packed
trees of a forest and disappeared from view.
"Scan the area." Peter the Ace said.
Panman scanned. "It's unclear, but I detect no sentience down there."
Panman turned to Peter the Ace. "We should try to find Ross Mental."
"Great idea. I'll take us down for a low level deep scan of the area.
You may as well land the Morbid by remote."