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Book: The Impaler and the Slim-Jims
Chapter 8: Huge Servo-Locking-Mechanisms

Ross Mental opened his eyes. A searing pain stabbed through his brain and across his forehead. He closed his eyes again and the pain eased slightly. Memories of what had happened - the ugly dudes in white coats and the giant needle plunging into his guts - returned rapidly.

“Fuckers!” he shouted, opening his eyes again.

He tried to sit up and to his amazement, he could. The straps that had been holding him to the bench had been left undone. He looked around. The domed room that he was in was dark and deserted. Ross Mental took a few seconds to compose himself, and then got to his feet. The smooth floor was icy cold to the touch. Fuckin’ odd? He though. He looked down and noticed that his boots had been removed. “The little repulsive fuckers’ took my fuckin’ boots!” he exclaimed. “Those boots are fuckin’ T-Uff-As-A-Rhino Quality Brand Back-Breakers, the toughest fuckin’ boots in the fuckin’ galaxy! The most fuckin’ expensive, too!” The bounty hunter punched the air with both fists. “The fuckers’ll pay for this!”

Ross Mental made his way over to a door at the side of the dome. It was locked. In a fit of raving madness the bounty hunter leapt into the air, somersaulted, and then kicked out hard. The soles of his feet connected with the door at immense speed, sending it crashing to the floor. A huge chunk of the wall was ripped out along with the hinges. The furious bounty hunter stomped down a long corridor shouting at the top of his voice. “Where are my fuckin’ boots!”

At the end of the corridor another door presented itself. Luckily for the door, it slid quietly open before the bounty hunter had a chance to beat it senseless. Ross Mental stepped into what appeared to be a lobby and walked over to the main entrance. The main door did not open automatically, and it was much too heavy for even Ross Mental to break through.

“Fuck!”

The bounty hunter looked around for the door’s control system. It was then that Ross Mental noticed the noise from outside. Although faint, he could definitely hear screams, profanity, and the crack of breaking bone. Something important was definitely happening out there, and with no windows to see what it was, Ross Mental rapidly became wild with impatience. Someone out there had his boots and he wanted them back. He frantically searched his utility belt for his trusty six-shooter. It wasn’t there. Neither were his two fusion pistols or his sonix-grenades.

“Fuck!”

Ross Mental was about to slam his head through a wall in frustration when he remembered something. The micro-grenades! He always kept a few in his collar for emergency use. He’d never used them before. He felt around his collar and to his pleasant surprise they were still there, over-looked by the ugly dudes when they stripped him of his weapons. “stupid careless fuckers!” he said, laughing demonically. He placed two of the grenades on the floor next to the door, primed them, and then ran into the corridor at the back of the lobby.

A double flash of brightest blue was followed instantly by a thunderous crack of sound. Tonnes of debris scattered violently around the lobby.
Ross Mental let things settle for a few seconds then took a peek at the damage. Very impressive for such small devices! The thick metal door had been torn completely apart by the blast, its complex internal workings were now clearly visible. Its huge servo-locking-mechanisms had been either melted or buckled and were currently embedded in the lobby walls.

The bounty hunter smiled wryly then walked through the debris and out through the hole at the centre of the door. He was too enraged to worry about the jagged metal fragments that cut into his bare feet.

Ross Mental stood just outside the domed building and looked around the cavern. At the cavern’s centre, less than a hundred metres away, was a collection of small buildings surrounding a tall platform. And in amongst the buildings was a crowd of beings. They were shouting and screaming, and beating the shit out of each other with clubs and sticks. There also seemed to be an energy weapon of some sort going off in there as well. Body parts were freely flying through the air.

With a strong sense of determination, Ross Mental stomped down the hill towards the affray. As he approached the two sides of the battle became more distinct. One side seemed to consist of the grotesque white-coated beings that he’d seen earlier, and the other consisted of tall and exceptionally thin creatures in brightly coloured clothing. The bounty hunter’s DBA (Digital Battle Analysis) brain implant assessed the situation. A stalemate situation seemed to have been reached. If this continued both sides would almost certainly wipe each other out.

Ross Mental stopped ten metres away from the edge of the fighting and wondered for a moment. Maybe he should let them fight it out and find out who took his boots later, after all, he could not help because he did not even know who the good guys were. He felt intensely indecisive.

Fortunately - or indeed unfortunately - the decision was made for him a second later. One of the tall beings had spotted Ross Mental and ran towards him brandishing a wooden club. Its large eyes were filled with evil intent. The being yelled a war cry, swung the club high above its head, and then brought it down hard towards Ross Mental’s head. The bounty hunter reacted instantly and launched himself into the air, swerving expertly past the swinging club.

“Slender fucker!” Ross Mental shouted as he flew over the lanky being’s head. He landed heavily then, in a split second, spun round and performed a stunningly accurate forward snap kick and punch combination into the thin one’s back. It groaned then collapsed, coughing blood. Turning its head, it glared at the bounty hunter. Ross Mental smiled, and then leapt into the air once again. He landed a second later right on the gaunt creature’s face; his bare heals connecting with its cheek bones and crushing its skull. Blood soaked brain matter was ejected sideways - just like a stomped melon.

“In your face you fuckin’ scrawny bony girl armed fucker!”

The bounty hunter admired his handy work. A sharp pain on his shoulder re-focused his mind. He turned to see a club stuck to his left side. That second, the club was yanked away, pulling out a long rusty nail from deep within his well-developed lateral deltoid. Ross Mental twisted round and saw another of the lanky dudes. It laughed manically. The bounty hunter was pissed, really pissed now! A lightning punch caught the skinny creature squarely in the forehead. It stumbled back a few steps, a dazed look spread across its face. Ross Mental ran over to it, grabbed it from behind, and held it in an unbreakable arm lock around its neck.

“You’re too thin, fucker.” The bounty hunter said through clenched teeth. He took a micro-grenade from his collar. “Eat this!” The bounty hunter stuffed the grenade into the scrawny being’s mouth and forced it down its throat. By reflex, the creature swallowed. Letting go of the lean being, Ross Mental pushed it hard and watched it stumble across the rocky surface. The bounty hunter’s action-hero-style dry cool wit was better than ever. “Time to fuckin’ explode, you fucker!”

Still with a look of confusion on its face, the skinny creature detonated. A blinding blue flash scattered scorched chunks of cooked flesh and bone right across the cavern.

Ross Mental laughed, and then turned and looked back at the main battle. The carnage was still in full swing. Now that he knew who the bad guys were, there was no reason not to join in. He stepped into the brawl.

After quickly and effortlessly tearing out the throats of two skinny creatures he encountered one of the white-coated deformed dudes. He grabbed him and held him up in the air. “Where are my fuckin’ boots?”

The white-coated dude stared at him. “I… I don’t know!”

Ross Mental dropped him and moved on to the next one. “Tell me fucker, where are my fuckin’ boots?”

The second white-coated dude was about to speak when a large club wiped away his face. The deformed dude shuddered and fell to the floor, his frontal lobes exposed for all to see.

Ross Mental turned and grabbed the creature that had clubbed the ugly dude. He snapped its neck, tore of its head, and then drop-kicked the head away over some of the buildings. “That’ll teach you to interrupt one of my fuckin’ conversations!”

The bounty hunter looked around for someone else to talk to. A few metres ahead he could see the back of a tall and strong looking man. He walked towards him. The man seemed to be someone more on his own level - someone who might be more helpful. Then he noticed the man’s boots - they were identical to his own! “That fucker’s wearing my fuckin’ boots!” The bounty hunter walked up to the man and punched him hard in the back. “Give me back my boots, fucker!”

The man turned and stared straight at the bounty hunter. Ross Mental stared back. For the first time in his life he was speechless.

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© Copyright Peter Fothergill 1992 - 2017

 
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