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Book: Vengeance of the Lump-Being
Chapter 9: Chaffing

“Got you now, you little bastard!”

Suzanne Nag-Witch punched her control surface. She watched through the Drug Abuser’s large multi-paned cockpit window as a beam of intense blue-green energy connected with the small and squat vessel ahead. The vessel burst apart in a haze of fire.

“Ha! Yes!” Ginny the Screech ‘n’ Wail Mistress said, shrieking with excitement. She pushed her stick control, sending the ship into a steep dive to avoid the spray of debris from the explosion. She levelled the ship off only a few metres above the still surface of the lake below.

The two fifth-class bounty hunters – also known as the warrior babes – sat on chain-hung swing chairs at the front of the Drug Abuser’s spacious and leather-lined cockpit. Both wore nothing but a couple of chains and black fur-lined thongs. They looked at each other, giggling like infants.

“That’s all four of them.” Suzanne Nag-Witch said with great pleasure. “All obliterated like ducks in a blender. And so far we’ve suffered absolutely no damage whatsoever. This is such fun!”

Before Ginny the Screech ‘n’ Wail Mistress could agree, a blinding wash of fire filled the sky. The Drug Abuser shuddered violently as a wave of destruction hit, forcing the ship down. It hit the surface of the lake, flipping over in a spray of water. The two warrior babes swung like pendulums in their chairs.

Ginny the Screech ‘n’ Wail Mistress fought with her stick control. “Mother of Satan!” She howled, righting the ship and banking it hard to port. “What was that?!”

Suzanne Nag-Witch played with her data panels. “Scanning now… Oh my!”

Another burst of fire expanded ahead. This time Ginny the Screech ‘n’ Wail Mistress was ready. She pulled back, soaring the ship up and over the blast. “Well?”

“It’s the Bulban defence grid!” Suzanne Nag-Witch said. “They’re firing on us!”

“But we’re here to help them fight the Raeban terror squads! They called us for assistance!”

“Obviously it was a ruse. They wish to destroy us!”

“Or capture us.” Ginny the Screech ‘n’ Wail Mistress shrieked with great insight. “Our technology is advanced and top secret. If this ship and our digital implants fell into the wrong hands the repercussions could be catastrophic!”

Another flare of destruction rocked the Drug Abuser. An alarm began howling.

“Force field is down!” Suzanne Nag-Witch shouted. She silenced the alarm. “One more hit and those deceptive bastards will blow us apart!”

Ginny the Screech ‘n’ Wail Mistress scowled. “Our mission objective has changed!” She gunned the engines, sending the Drug Abuser into a high accelerating arc. “The Bulbans’ will pay for this with their souls!”

The Drug Abuser thundered up through the upper atmospheric layers of the planet Bulbus Prime, the ship’s three Gargantua Mark-Four engines pulsing an angry shade of red. Within seconds the Drug Abuser was out in the emptiness of space. Dead ahead was the Bulban defence grid – a network of fourteen thousand energy emitters that encircled the entire planet– second in size and power only to the defence grid the circled the planet Enchantia, the secret location of the Palace of Amino.

Several more blinding fire bursts jolted the Drug Abuser, causing only minor damage. The ship’s speed and unpredictable course was making it hard for the defence grid to track and target.

Suzanne Nag-Witch fiddled with her controls. “A fusion pulse spread will do for starters.”

Ginny the Screech ‘n’ Wail Mistress rolled the ship, violently altering its course. “Cool!” she screeched. “I love those!”

Suzanne Nag-Witch punched the ‘Execute’ panel on her control surface. The ship did as it had been programmed, and released thirty fusion pulse missiles. The missiles scattered like fireflies, each one homing in on a different energy emitter.

Immediately space was filled with a criss-cross of energy fire as the defence grid attempted to neutralise the missiles. Several of the missiles were hit – some vaporised, some damaged and sent spiralling off to nowhere. But more than twenty survived and found their targets with devastating results.

The two warrior babes whooped with joy, thrilled at the chaos around them.

With the energy emitters in this region immobilised, the Drug Abuser sped unchallenged through the Bulban defence grid.

The communications control surface started to beep rapidly. A message appeared on the control surface’s display. The message’s title - the letters ‘I.M.O.’ - flashed through several shades of red and blue.

“Oh my!” Suzanne Nag-Witch said. She looked at her companion. “It’s an ‘Immediate Mission Override’ command!”

Ginny the Screech ‘n’ Wail Mistress looked mystified. “You lie!” she shrieked. “The palace is too far away to issue one of those to us. Commander Pepe would never think of trying to…”

“It’s not from the palace.”

“Then where?”

“It’s from Peter the Ace and Panman. They’re on a mission in the Gun-Loc system. We’re ordered to report there immediately and rendezvous with the Blenheim! All other commitments secondary!”

Ginny the Screech ‘n’ Wail Mistress screamed with excitement. “Its years since we last saw our heroes!”

“Yeah. On the planet Elddem-Ssor, I believe.”

The memories flooded back to Ginny the Screech ‘n’ Wail Mistress. “Oh yes! That banquet on their ship was incredible!” She fiddled with her navigation controls. “Setting course for the Gun-Loc system.”

Suzanne Nag-Witch operated the communications controls. “There’s one thing I must do before we leave.” She opened a channel. “Bulbus Central Command, this is Suzanne Nag-Witch, a fifth-class bounty hunter of sensual sophistication and dangerous flexibility. By attacking this ship you have committed a gross act of treachery against the Palace of Amino. You are now officially classed as an enemy of all bounty hunters and will suffer as a result. A document detailing acceptable terms of surrender is being transmitted now. If you value your existence, I suggest you read it and comply with its instructions.” The channel closed. The bounty hunter logged the new ‘enemy’ status of Bulbus and transmitted it to the palace. “OK. Let’s go.”

Ginny the Screech ‘n’ Wail Mistress pressed ‘Engage’. The ship’s engines whined a higher note. After a brief shudder the ship folded into the realm of subspace.

“Right.” Suzanne Nag-Witch said, getting off her swing chair. “I need to get out of these chains, they’re chaffing my nipples. I’ll be in the Jacuzzi if you need me.”

The Drug Abuser slinked like a metal coil through subspace. Its two-day journey to the remote system of Gun-Loc was underway.

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