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Book: Vengeance of the Lump-Being
Chapter 14: Obedience Algorithms

A huge crash caused Ross Mental to jump. He removed his welding mask and looked around. Justin had dropped yet another focus modulator. “Stop dropping those fuckin’ things!”

The cyborg turned, his two piercing red eyes focusing on the bounty hunter. “The hydraulic motivators in my left arm are not functioning. I am unable to put things down. I can only drop them.”

Justin turned and headed back across the giant disk, his damaged feet banging and scraping across its smooth surface.

“Where the fuck are you going?”

The cyborg turned his head round, continuing to walk. “I must fetch another focus modulator.”

“I want to talk to you, you fuckin’ idiot! Get back here now.”

“Our next rest period is not scheduled for another...”

“Shut the fuck up and do as I fuckin’ order!”

Justin turned his wrecked metal body around and headed back towards Ross Mental. “Talking during our work assignments may raise suspicion.”

“The fuckin’ rest periods are only five minutes long!” The bounty hunter said. “If we only talked then, this device would have been finished and fired years before we got round to discussing or doing anything!”

Justin halted a metre away from Ross Mental. He looked down at the bounty hunter. “Your final statement was devoid of any accuracy.”

Ross Mental ignored the cyborg’s last comment. “The reason that we’re up here pretending to fuckin’ work is so that you can find out about the transmission system of this fuckin’ device and come up with a more accurate prediction as to when it will fuckin’ fire.”

Justin responded. “I acquired the necessary information regarding the transmission system of this device thirty-six minutes ago.”

The bounty hunter couldn’t believe it. “Then why the fuck didn’t you tell me?!”

“It was my plan to inform you during the next designated work break.”

Ross Mental punched the cyborg hard in the face. “Inform me now, metal fucker!”

Justin spoke. “The transmission system of this device uses a low order magnitude-four ultra-space emitter.”

Ross Mental thought for a moment. “Hmm… That doesn’t sound too bad. How does it affect your estimate?”

“That alone does not affect my estimate.”

“Excellent. That mean’s we’ve still got about ten fuckin’ days to…”

Justin interrupted. “But the fact that the ultra-space emitter is focused through a sub-space funnel alters my estimate to five point seven days.”

“Fuck! Are you sure?”


“Somehow we have to stop this emitter becoming operational!”

Justin continued to be the bearer of bad news. “The ultra-space emitter is already operational. The sub-space funnel will be operational when all focus modulators are installed.”

Ross Mental looked around the giant dish. Dozens of red-coated recruits were busy welding focus modulators to the dish’s rim. He himself had installed three in the last hour. “By the look of it, all the focus modulators will be fitted within a few hours. We’ve got to do something fast!” He frowned, looking at the cyborg. “We could really do with some fuckin’ backup! Peter the Ace and Panman should have arrived by now. They should be able to pick up your transponder once they get close.”

There was yet more bad news from Justin. “I have deactivated my transponder.”

The bounty hunter was outraged. “Why the fuck did you do that?!” He kicked the cyborg hard, dislodging a small piece of charred chrome plating.

“My primary power generator suffered critical damage during impact. To conserve my limited auxiliary power I shut down my transponder.”

“Turn the fucker back on now!”

“I only have thirty-three hours of auxiliary power left. If I reactivate the transponder I can only remain operational for a further twelve hours.”

“Do as I fuckin’ order!”

Justin’s high-priority obedience algorithms took control. “I obey. My transponder has been reactivated.”


“I must inform you that once my auxiliary power is exhausted I will suffer a complete shutdown. All information in my memory systems will be lost with no chance of recovery.”

“In case you hadn’t noticed, we happen to be on top of the largest fuckin’ power generator ever known! We’ll find a place where you can recharge.”

The cyborg issued a warning. “One of the black-cloaked figures is approaching.”

Ross Mental looked up. “OK. Back to work. But as soon as he’s gone, we fuck to it! OK?”

Justin answered, making an assumption as to the meaning of ‘fuck to it’. “That is a logical course of action.” The cyborg turned, and then headed away across the dish to retrieve another focus modulator.

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