Like a wounded and mildly arthritic sea cow, the Blenheim limped painfully towards
the planet Gun-Loc. What remained of the ship’s engine section still
sparkled as its torn energy conduits leaked power. Trails of coolant vaporised
into the void, leaving a pale tail in the ship’s wake.
Even though Gun-Loc was no more than nine million kilometres away, with
only manoeuvring thrusters available it would take almost twenty hours for
the Blenheim to reach it.
The flagship of the bounty hunter fleet was in desperate need of help.
Three soft tones sounded.
Peter the Ace opened his eyes. He yawned. “Enter.”
The door to his quarters whooshed open. The bounty hunter squinted as
the bright lights of the corridor streamed into his dark quarters. A well-toned
athletic female stood in the doorway, silhouetted against the light.
“Breakfast!” Jemima Murma said, cheerfully.
The bounty hunter sat up. “Excellent! Thank you my dear. Lights.”
Four sets of ambient lights faded up.
Jemima Murma gasped as she saw her master’s naked torso. She walked
over to the dining table at the far corner of the room, trying not to
stare at the perfect example of masculinity before her. Jemima Murma’s
normally powerful legs felt weak with desire at the sight of Peter the
Ace’s chiselled chest and abdomen. It was a sight few ever got to
see. She placed the tray of food down, feeling tremendously privileged
to be one of those few.
Peter the Ace threw back the luxuriant covers of his large bed, and stood
up. He grabbed his blue and gold Palace of Amino dressing gown and put
it on, tying its chord round his waist. The Palace of Amino’s insignia
glistened on the gown’s breast pocket.
“A bowl of grapefruit, and a plate of bacon, two eggs, hash browns,
and a dollop of ketchup.” The Blenheim’s assistant said, breathlessly.
“And a pot of coffee to wash it all down.”
Peter the Ace nodded. “Just what I need to start the day.”
He couldn’t help noticing her new outfit. She wore nothing more
than a 10-centimetre long red-leather mini-skirt – perfect for showing
off her tanned and toned legs - and a pair of coin-sized silver nipple
cups which, by some miracle, managed to grip on to her pert breasts. She
wore nothing on her feet. Her dark hair was now arranged into a neck-length
“I’d better get back to the galley.” Jemima said. “Panman
just ordered a stack of pancakes and he won’t be able to stand waiting
too long for them.”
Peter the Ace sat down at the table. “Of course.” He said,
filling his mouth with sliced pig.
Jemima Murma bowed, and then swayed sexily out into the corridor. The
door closed behind her.
With a touch of a few controls on the table, Peter the Ace activated the
wall-sized view-screen opposite. He flicked through a few tele-video channels,
stopping on a local news channel. An image of what looked like an impact
crater filled the screen. Interested he turned up the sound.
“…worst disaster to hit the city of Ry-Fol since the genital-decay
epidemic two centuries ago. Almost all of the city’s central area
is destroyed, and with more than half-a-million citizens still unaccounted
for, the death toll is likely to be extreme.”
The image changed to a glowing object high in a clear blue sky. The camera-work
was unsteady and amateurish as it followed the object.
“The unusually clear day allowed market trader Dumus Gasbug to record
these images of the object before it hit the city. The object, flaming
as it speeds through the atmosphere, is estimated to be no more than three
metres in length, but the incredible speed of its impact released an enormous
amount of energy.”
The object hit, generating a blinding flash that washed out the image.
The aerial view of the crater returned.
“Investigations continue as to the nature and origin of the object.
Now, over to my colleague, Huctur Pisinwind, for the day’s business
A bald spectacled man appeared on the screen. “The disaster in Ry-Fol
continues to have a detrimental effect on Gun-Loc’s business community,
with the planet’s largest fast-food restaurant chain, Uncle Butt’s,
falling another twenty points to an all-time low of…”
Peter the Ace muted the sound. He activated the communicator. “Panman?”
There was a moment’s silence. “Yo!”
“How are things up on the bridge?”
“Dull.” Panman answered. “We’re making slow but
steady progress. Still almost a day away from Gun-Loc.”
“Any sign of assistance?” Peter the Ace asked, pouring himself
a cup of coffee.
“No! I’d hoped one of them would have turned up by now.”
“Patience, my friend.” Peter the Ace changed the subject.
“I was just found out something interesting on one of Gun-Loc’s
“What was that?”
“Apparently, the planet’s largest city was hit by some object
from space. The whole centre of the city has been destroyed.”
“Hmm… That’s odd. We didn’t detect meteors nearby.
Unless… You don’t think that…”
“I do indeed.” Peter the Ace said.
“Whoa! Do you think he could survive such an impact?”
“I’m not sure. He’s certainly not designed for that
kind of thing.”
“Well, if he did survive, he’ll be in one hell of state!”
Peter the Ace laughed. “Indeed! It’ll be interesting to find
“It will! Hold on…”
“Sensors indicate a ship just emerged from subspace two-million
kilometres behind us. I’d better check it out.”
“OK.” Peter the Ace said. “I’ll join you after
breakfast.” He switched off the communicator, took a sip of coffee,
and then tucked in to his fried feast. The thought of Justin slamming
into the city kept the first-class bounty hunter giggling for the next
The main view-screen showed an image of the unidentified vessel, surrounded
by statistical information automatically generated by the Blenheim’s
complex sensor array. The unidentified ship was unusual in design, resembling
a squat mushroom. The head of the mushroom was almost featureless, and
had a brushed metal hull, dark grey in colour. The stubby stalk was packed
with weaponry and sensory equipment. At only fifteen metres in length
the ship was small, almost small enough to fit inside the Blenheim’s
main cargo bay.
As a precaution Panman had activated the weapons systems and locked them
onto the small ship. “Blenheim, have you got an identity for that
After a second of silence, the ship spoke. “THE VESSEL’S IDENTITY
IS CONFIRMED AS THE HOODED WHORE. IT IS REGISTERED TO SEBASTIAN BLOOD,
A SIXTH-CLASS BOUNTY HUNTER.”
The communicator bleeped indicating an incoming message. Panman activated
the channel. “This is the Blenheim, Panman speaking.”
“This is Sebastian Blood onboard the Hooded Whore – reporting
“Cool! Dock with our topside port. Once the others arrive we’ll
be giving a briefing.”
“Looking forward to it. Sebastian Blood out.”
The main view-screen tracked the Hooded Whore as it approached the Blenheim.
The mushroom ship’s retro engines glowed brightly as it began reducing
its velocity to match the Blenheim’s embarrassingly pathetic speed.
Jemima Murma entered the bridge. She walked over to Panman. “A stack
of raspberry-toffee pancakes, as ordered.” She placed the plate
of pancakes next to her master.
“Panman beamed with delight. “Thanks!” Three pancakes,
dripping with syrup, found their way quickly into his mouth. It took the
first-class bounty hunter less than a second to chew and swallow them.
The Blenheim’s assistant watched with admiration.
“These are great!” Panman said. “Even Justin can’t
make them as good as this, and he’s a machine programmed with flawless
recipes and technique!”
Jemima Murma bowed. “Thank you. I guess I have a special touch that
can’t be emulated in an artificial mind.”
“You certainly have!”
Jemima Murma looked at the main view-screen. “I see we have a visitor.”
Panman stuffed another couple of pancakes into his mouth and looked up.
The Hooded Whore was now only a few metres above the Blenheim’s
topside. It was lowering itself gently onto the docking port. The bounty
hunter swallowed. “Yeah, that’s Sebastian Blood’s ship.
You’d better go up and greet him. Escort him to the conference chamber.”
The assistant bowed, and then walked sexily off the bridge.
Sebastian Blood stepped of the last rung of the ladder and onto the floor
of the Blenheim’s topside airlock. There was a whoosh and clank
as a series of heavy doors sealed the round port above.
The sixth-class bounty hunter looked around. The airlock was round and
spacious – at least four metres in diameter – with a single
arched doorway. On three evenly spaced display panels on the wall, the
Palace of Amino insignia was displayed with the words ‘Welcome onboard
the Blenheim – flagship of the bounty hunter fleet’ written
A feeling of incredible pride and awe came over him. This was the first
time the bounty hunter had been onboard the Blenheim, an honour rarely
experienced by anyone, even by top-class bounty hunters and those in the
highest positions of power. Not wanting to appear overawed, Sebastian
Blood took a deep breath and calmed himself.
There was a brief hiss as the slight pressure difference was equalised.
A green light above the doorway was illuminated, and then door slid smoothly
open. A stunning female was standing outside. She smiled sweetly, and
bowed. “Welcome.” She said. “Please come aboard.”
Sebastian Blood’s eyes wandered, examining her toned, tanned, and
perfectly proportioned physique – her minimal clothing – a
very short skirt and tiny nipple cups - barely covered anything. His groin
ached. “Thank you.” He said; his voice a little higher than
usual. He stepped out of the airlock and into another round, but larger,
The female spoke. “I’m Jemima Murma, assistant to Peter the
Ace and Panman. I’m at your service during your time onboard.”
The bounty hunter smiled. “That’s very good to know.”
She grinned, and then turned. “I’ve been asked to escort you
to the conference chamber. Please follow me.”
Sebastian Blood followed her into the turbo lift at the opposite end of
the room. He admired the sway and contraction of her buttocks.
Jemima Murma operated a touch pad. The door to the lift closed. “Main
level.” She said. The lift began to descend smoothly.
Sebastian Blood decided to make conversation. “So, you must be a
trainee bounty hunter.”
The Blenheim’s assistant shook her head. “I did apply, but
I failed the entrance exam.”
The bounty hunter was confused. “But only trainee bounty hunters
can become assistants on bounty hunter ships. How did you get this posting?”
The lift doors opened. “Two reasons.” She answered, walking
sexily out of the lift. “One of which should be obvious!”
She looked back, a naughty grin spread across her face.
Sebastian Blood followed her, gazing at her tanned and toned thighs. They
were, quite literally, perfect. “It certainly is!” he said
with delight. He followed her down the corridor, hardly noticing the luxuriously
panelled walls. “What’s the other reason?”
She halted at a doorway. “You’ll find out shortly.”
She touched a panel next to the door. The door whooshed sideways, revealing
a large room, at the centre of which was a sleek oval table. Eight high-backed
brown leather chairs surrounded the table. The room’s walls were
lined with large display-screens, each currently displaying the Palace
of Amino insignia. Two colourful bushes flanked a curved and extremely
comfortable-looking sofa at one corner of the room. “Please wait
here in the conference chamber.” Jemima Murma said. “Peter
the Ace and Panman will be with you shortly.”
The bounty hunter nodded. “Will you wait with me?” he asked,
walking into the conference chamber. He turned and smirked. “I need
to know the other reason.”
She smiled. “As I said before, you’ll find out shortly.”
She touched the panel next to the door. Before the bounty hunter could
say anything more the door had slid shut, removing her beautiful physique
from his view.