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Book: Vengeance of the Lump-Being
Chapter 13: Inconsistencies and Spelling Errors

“Those are astonishing outfits!” Sebastian Blood said. “Absolutely astonishing!”

The warrior babes, Suzanne Nag-Witch and Ginny the Screech ‘n’ Wail Mistress, had arrived only minutes before, and were now sitting opposite Sebastian Blood at the table in the Blenheim’s conference chamber.

Suzanne Nag-Witch smiled and shook her ample breasts from side to side. Her chain outfit rattled. “Thanks. We made them ourselves.”

Ginny the Screech ‘n’ Wail Mistress giggled, and then rattled her chains even louder.

Sebastian Blood leaned back in his leather chair and shook his head in admiration. “Astonishing!”

The door to the conference chamber slid open. Jemima Murma entered and swayed sensuously over to the table. The new figure-hugging ankle length white dress she was wearing drew the gaze of all three bounty hunters. With great dexterity, she put down the two trays of snacks she had been carrying. “Please help yourselves.” She said. “There’s plenty more if you need it.”

Sebastian Blood reached for a small slice of spicy bruise-beast butt-hide. He chewed hard on the tough snack, his eyes widening as several delectable flavours flooded his taste buds. It was one of the most sensational culinary experiences he had ever had. He looked up and noticed Jemima Murma grinning at him. He swallowed and then grinned back. “Now I know the second reason!” he said.

“Welcome, everyone.” Peter the Ace said, walking purposefully into the conference chamber. He was wearing black and polished body armour that accentuated his already impressive densely muscled physique.

Panman followed immediately behind, dressed in similar body armour. Without acknowledging anyone he sat down in front of the snacks and began eating.

Almost by instinct, Sebastian Blood, Suzanne Nag-Witch, and Ginny the Screech ‘n’ Wail Mistress got to their feet and stood to attention. The warrior babes’ chain outfits rattled loudly.

Peter the Ace took position beyond the head of the table, in front of the room’s largest view-screen. “Please sit down.”

The three lesser bounty hunters sat down. They all watched Panman as he gorged his way through several well-stuffed moonhog rolls. Their expressions gave away their deep respect for the first-class bounty hunter. They had all heard the stories of Panman’s gastronomic exploits; stories that were highly revered by all other bounty hunters, especially in the lower classes.

Panman looked up at his audience. He nodded, finally acknowledging their existence, and then returned his attention to his food.

Jemima Murma watched as half the food she’d prepared was rapidly devoured. “I think I’ll need to prepare another tray.” She said. “I’ll do it right away.” She walked quickly out of the conference chamber. The door slid closed behind her.

“Right.” Peter the Ace said. “In a moment I’ll bring you all up to speed on what’s happening. I’m sure you’re all eager to know why we issued an I.M.O. command. But first, I must be the bearer of tragic news. Another bounty hunter, Fearless Jimbo Bones, was supposed to be joining us, but less than half an hour ago we received a message from his foul-faced assistant, Brenda Thunda. Unfortunately, his clandestine mission on a Ken Kasino gambling station in the Puuk Nebula took a sudden and deadly turn for the worse.”

A concerned look spread across the faces of the three lesser bounty hunters. Panman poured himself a large glass of Doublegut’s Special Brew, gulped back a mouthful, and then went back to his eating.

Peter the Ace continued. “Apparently, Fearless Jimbo Bones’s cover as an elderly prostitute named Leisurely Susan was a little too convincing. Two days ago he was proposition by a deviant one-tonne Sapien ape with an unhealthy desire for old humanoid females. Let’s just say that the ape would not take no for an answer.”

Suzanne Nag-Witch gasped. “What an awful way to go!”

“Yeah.” Panman said between mouthfuls. “According to Brenda Thunda, Jimbo’s body was ripped apart right up to his chest. That was one well-endowed ape!”

“Oh my!” Suzanne Nag-Witch said, shocked, and also a little aroused.

Peter the Ace returned a more serious tone to the room. “He died in the course of his duties.” The first-class bounty hunter said solemnly. “He will be remembered with honour and respect. His name, his image, and a detailed account of his death will be displayed, as tradition dictates, in the Palace of Amino’s hall of Dutiful Demise.”

Everyone nodded. All except Suzanne Nag-Witch, whose thoughts had drifted away.

Peter the Ace spoke more cheerfully. “On to the business at hand.” He touched the large view-screen behind him. The Palace of Amino insignia faded and was replaced with a rotating view of Gun-Loc and its single moon. “For several years there have been growing rumours of some kind of fanatical cult here on the planet Gun-Loc. Because of Gun-Loc’s remoteness and relatively low-technology culture, it was not taken too seriously, but as the rumours grew Commander Pepe thought it wise to send a scout to see what was going on.”

The image on the view screen changed to a picture of Jodi Funk Junky, a seventh-class bounty hunter. It was accompanied by her vital statistics, and a list of her likes and dislikes.

Peter the Ace continued. “Six months ago Jodi Funk Junky arrived on Gun-Loc. She made several transmissions during the first few weeks of her mission, but nothing has been heard from her since. Although the information she sent back was vague and full of inconsistencies and spelling errors, it was obvious that something seriously menacing was going on there, and that it had been going on for decades rather than years.”

The image on the view screen changed back to the view of Gun-Loc and its moon.

“Two weeks ago Panman and myself arrived in the Gun-Loc system, accompanied by Ross Mental with his ship, the Morbid. Ross Mental’s mission was to carry on Jodi Funk Junky’s mission and infiltrate the cult. Our mission was to investigate reports of a massive mining operation on the planet’s moon – an operation that had been delivering unusually large amounts of quadrillium-tritanium alloy down to the planet.”

Ginny the Screech ‘n’ Wail Mistress made an observation. “A backwards world like Gun-Loc could not create such an alloy.” She shrieked. “There’s no way they could create a containment matrix pure enough to allow the metallic fusion to stabilise, at least not for more than a few nanoseconds.”

Peter the Ace smiled, impressed at the lesser bounty hunter’s scientific knowledge. “Exactly. And that means that a superior technological race was responsible. What’s more interesting is that, on her last transmission, Jodi Funk Junky commented that the metallic fusion was one-hundred percent stable.”

“She must be mistaken.” Sebastian Blood said. “Even the palace’s metallurgists can’t create a perfectly stable quadrillium-tritanium alloy!”

“Very true,” Peter the Ace said. “But it is theoretically possible.”

Sebastian Blood thought for a second. “If a perfectly stable quadrillium-tritanium alloy was created it would be the strongest known material!”

Peter the Ace nodded. “Indeed it would. And due to its natural stealth properties, anything made of it would be virtually undetectable. This was demonstrated rather effectively to Panman and myself four days ago as we approached the moon. We hit a mine constructed of quadrillium-tritanium, which became embedded in our hull. It eventually detonated, destroying our engine section, and proving that even the Blenheim’s sensors could not detect it. That is why it’s essential that we stop the flow of quadrillium-tritanium down to the planet, and more importantly, find out what it’s being used for.”

Ginny the Screech ‘n’ Wail Mistress laughed and shook her chains with delight. “I’m ready to heave to it and blister some hides!”

The others nodded in agreement.

“That’s good to hear.” Peter the Ace said. “Now, Panman will brief you on your duties.”

Panman looked up. A spicy stoolbeetle leg hung from his mouth. “What?”

“It’s time for you to brief them on their duties.”

“Oh yeah!” Panman wiped his mouth with a napkin, and then got to his feet. He replaced Peter the Ace at the view-screen.

Peter the Ace took a seat next to the warrior babes and helped himself to a tall banana smoothie.

“Right,” Panman said, picking some meat from between his teeth. “This is what we’re going to do. Suzanne Nag-Witch and Ginny the Screech ‘n’ Wail Mistress, you are both going to stop all that quadrillium-tritanium getting to Gun-Loc. This must be done discreetly – we do not want to alert suspicion of those receiving the goods. It must look like some sort of manufacturing problem.”

The two warrior babes wriggled with delight. Once again, the rattling of chains filled the room.

“Sebastian Blood, you will accompany Ace and me and attempt to find Ross Mental, whom we’ve been unable to contact for two days. We have a feeling he’s found what he’s been looking for. Hopefully we’ll find our cyborg assistant, too.”

Sebastian Blood nodded. “No problem.”

The conference chamber door slid open. Jemima Murma entered carrying another tray of mouth-watering snacks. “Just in time!” She said sweetly, noticing that the two trays she had left earlier were almost empty. She placed the tray she was carrying down on the table, bowed politely, and then left the room.

Panman drooled at the lip-smacking delights before him – resistance was futile. He dived at the table. Within seconds his mouth was stuffed with lard-ridden food.

Peter the Ace laughed. “We’ll, I guess that rather ‘brief’ briefing is over!”

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