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Book: The Impaler and the Slim-Jims
Chapter 2: Spinal Fluid

A haze of confusion oozed through Ross Mental’s mind. It was an odd feeling, probably similar to the sensation of having your brain sandpapered by a bamboozled flower child. The bounty hunter noticed that a headache of biblical dimensions was developing.

It would take eight bottles of whisky to generate this kind of fuckin’ hangover, he thought. That must have been one fucker of a good evening!

A strange odour entered his nasal passageways. It was strangely clinical, and very unfamiliar. Ross Mental decided that now was a good time to open his eyes.

A face, contorted and scarred, was staring down at him.


The bounty hunter tried to move. It was no use; his wrists, ankles, waist, and neck were strapped tightly to whatever he was lying on. He looked left then right. Several more ugly beings were standing either side of him, all wearing long white coats. Higher up on a gallery others were staring down. Ross Mental could not believe what was going on. He was strapped to a bench in the middle of a large dome surrounded by repulsive and blemished individuals.

The nearest and most deformed spoke. “Welcome, bounty hunter. I am Injr’d, the senior genetic researcher here. It is a great honour to meet you.”

“Fuck off!”

“You are very rude, especially to someone who just saved you from your chronically mangled star ship.”

“Undo these fuckin’ straps, you unsightly fucker!”

“Not possible,” the deformed one said. “Bounty hunters are famous for their strength and cunning. I wouldn’t want to risk having my limbs torn off.”

Ross Mental struggled like a fish. “Detaining a bounty fucker is a crime of the fuck most severity!” he shouted. “Free me now or suffer the fuckin’ consequences!”

“Relax. The procedure will be painful but quick. Cease struggling and you’ll survive relatively unscathed.”

The bounty hunter glared at the ugly dude. “What the fuck are you on about?”

“Oh, did I forget to mention the procedure.” The white-coated deformity paced up and down the length of the bench. “We are scientists intrigued as to why bounty hunters are so cool. I need to take a sample of your spinal fluid for examination.”

“You can’t tell how cool someone is from their fuckin’ spinal fluid!”

“We can.” Injr’d said. He waved at one of his hideous colleagues. “Prepare the device.”

The colleague nodded and operated a small control panel that was embedded into the side of the dome. With a crunch, a large portion of dome above the panel opened outwards. From the darkness a gleaming metal contraption extended out to a position above Ross Mental’s chest. It stopped with a clunk. A needle, half a metre in length, extended from its tip.

“What the fuck is that?!” The bounty hunter yelled.

“It’s a sampling device.” The contorted being explained proudly. “I designed it myself actually. It’s the most advanced spinal fluid extractor in the galaxy.”

“Why is it so fuckin’ big?”

“Because it has to penetrate all the way through your belly to get to your spine.”

Ross mental laughed. “You fuckin’ idiot. If you took the sample from my fuckin’ back you’d only need a needle a couple of centimetres long!”

The expression of annoyed embarrassment on the deformed one’s face proved that he’d had not thought of that. “Enough banter!” he shouted. “Begin the procedure now!”

The bounty hunter smiled. He loved to cause extreme annoyance in his adversaries. His smile soon disappeared when the giant needle started to descend. “Hey! You forgot the fuckin’ anethestic!”

The contorted dude smiled. “No. I don’t think I did!”

Ross Mental watched in horror as the needle touched his body armour just below his ribcage. The needle pushed but didn’t penetrate. “Ha harr! You stupid fucker!” the bounty hunter laughed. “You didn’t anticipate Amino fuckin’ body armour did you? You’ll never get through this fucker!”

“You’re mistaken.” The deformed one said. “The needle is composed of a rare and super-tough alloy.” He turned to his monstrous colleague. “Increase pressure to maximum.”

The contraption started to hum loudly. The needle pushed with all its might.

Ross Mental took on a pained expression as the pressure increased on his armour plating. He felt himself pressed harder and harder against the bench.

“See!” the bounty hunter said with shaky confidence. “It’s holding! You’ve failed, you fuckin’ repulsive fucker!”

Ross Mental’s belief in his body armour was admirable but misplaced. It gave way. The bounty hunter yelped like a puppy as the lengthy, centimetre thick needle plunged into his flesh. In less than a second it had passed right through his stomach and crunched through a vertebrae. It began sucking spinal fluid. Pain washed up and down Ross Mental’s back. He watched as a small tank above the needle filled slowly to its brim. Without warning the needle retracted rapidly, almost pulling the bounty hunter off the bench. Once again he yelped. Blood pumped out of his wound.

What appeared to be a female approached the bench and produced a small device from her pocket. She stuck it into the hole in the bounty hunter’s gut, and then smiled at him. “This will ease the pain and help repair the damage.”

Ross mental noticed that she was far less deformed than all the males in the room. In fact, she was not deformed at all, and quite attractive too.

The deformed one approached and waved her away. She took her position back with her gnarled male associates. “That’s my daughter,” Injr’d said. “She is very beautiful, and very well toned.”

“How could such an ugly fucker like you be the father of someone that attractive?” the bounty hunter said, wincing as pain still bounced around his midsection.

“You obviously have no awareness of our cultural ways.”

“I have no fuckin’ interest in your cultural ways. Let me go, fucker!”

“I don’t think I can. Not yet, anyway.”

“You’ve got your fuckin’ sample. Let me go!”

“We need to test the sample first. If it’s adequate, then we’ll take you out to the wastelands and free you.”

Ross mental struggled. His patience had ended. “Let me go you fuckin’ disfigured fucker of a fucked-in-the-head fuck off contorted fuck fucker!”

“All in good time.”

Injr’d reached under the bench and pulled out a hammer. “In the meantime, get some rest.”

The ugly dude swung the hammer high into the air and smashed it hard onto Ross Mental’s forehead.

The haze of confusion returned…

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