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Book: Vengeance of the Lump-Being
Chapter 17: Colossal Magnitude

With a helpful push from Sebastian Blood’ ship, the Hooded Whore, the crippled Blenheim slinked into a low orbit above the planet of Gun-Loc several hours earlier than expected.

“There!” Panman said, pointing to the map that had just appeared on the main views-screen. “Found him!”

Peter the Ace leaned back in his command chair and examined the map. There, over a coastal mountain, a P.A.C.T. (Palace of Amino Cyborg Transponder) icon flashed slowly. Justin’s designation – CYB-8827-0334 appeared to the right of the icon. “Excellent. About time, too. I thought we’d have picked him up hours ago.”

Panman looked at his colleague and nodded. “Yeah. It’s probably because he’s two kilometres underground.”

“Don’t you mean three kilometres?” Peter the Ace said, motioning towards the view-screen.

Panman looked. “Oh, yeah. Strange. I must have read it wrong. But so did you.”

Peter the Ace folded his arms. He frowned. “I don’t think I did.”

“Then look!”

Peter the Ace looked at the map. Panman was right. “Hmm… Four kilometres… Now five.”

“Whoa!” Panman said. “What’s he up to?”

“I guess we should ask him.”

“Good idea!” Panman opened a focused scrambled encrypted encoded secure narrow beam communications channel and directed it to Justin’s transponder coordinates. “Yo, metal buddy. Panman here. Glad to see you’re still functioning. What are you doing?”

There was the usual crackle of digital static. A weak but audible reply was returned. “I am plummeting at terminal velocity down a power core shaft.

“You’re falling? Again?” Panman said. He laughed. “Why are you doing that?”

An explosion occurred whilst I was protecting Ross Mental from hostile activity. The force of the explosion pushed me into the shaft.

Panman was confused. “Protecting Ross Mental? Why would he need protecting? His weapons and armoured clothing are…”

All his weapons and clothing were confiscated when we infiltrated this facility. He was in imminent danger of capture or termination when I left him.

Either option was almost unthinkable for a bounty hunter. “We’ve gotta help him!”

I also require assistance. The explosion, combined with my high-velocity collision with the city of Ry-Fol, has left me critically damaged. I am in urgent need of repair. My artificial brain will go permanently offline in…

Peter the Ace interrupted. “We’re sorry to hear that, Justin, but we need to know all the details of what you and Ross Mental have found out if we’re to help either of you.”

That is a logical statement. I have fifteen point one giga-quads of information relating to an imminent threat of destruction of the Palace of Amino.

Peter the Ace raised his eyebrows with surprise. “Really? A threat to the palace this far away? Are you sure? You’re not mad, are you?”

In answer to your four questions: Yes. Yes. Yes. No, my mental capabilities remain intact.

“Hmm… Well, you’d better transmit all the data that you have immediately, you may be destroyed at any moment, and we wouldn’t want to lose all that information.”

There was a moment’s silence before the cyborg replied. “I obey. Transmitting now.

The communications panel beeped twice.

“Got it.” Panman announced. He directed his voice to the ship. “Blenheim, analyse the data Justin just sent. Create a detailed audio and visual presentation of the information.”


Peter the Ace spoke to the cyborg. “Justin. We’re going review what you sent us. We’ll find a way to save the palace. I’m sure you’ll be slamming into the bottom of the power shaft shortly so we’ll let you get on with that. Bye.”

Before Justin could respond Panman closed the communications channel.

“Sebastian Blood ought to see this.” Peter the Ace said. He operated his command console and opened a channel to the Hooded Whore, still docked with the Blenheim’s topside. “Sebastian Blood, we require your presence here on the bridge immediately.”

The reply was slow and unprofessional. “Um… Yeah. I mean, yes. I’ll be down soon. Um… In a few minutes.

Peter the Ace’s voice became stern. “You have five minutes, Mister Blood, no more!”

Um… Thank you. Um… That will be enough.” A faint giggle was heard in the background, and then the channel closed.

“Interesting.” Peter the Ace said. He smiled at Panman. “I do believe our well-toned assistant has seduced our young bounty hunter friend!”

Panman laughed like a gibbon.

The presentation finished. The image on the main view-screen changed to a forward view of the planet Gun-Loc.

After a second of stunned silence, Panman made the first comment. “I thought we wiped out those fat ugly stinking leathery terrorist arse bastards!”

“Calm yourself.” Peter the Ace said, turning in his command chair to face his colleague. “It’s obvious that we didn’t. We must accept that fact.”

Panman took a deep breath. “You’re right, as always. I just feel like going down there and gutting that flabby Fump-Fester shit bag right now!”

“You may get your chance.” Peter the Ace said seriously. “We’re going down as soon as possible. We have to get inside that chamber and disable that emitter. And we have only five days to do it.”

“Yeah. And we need to rescue Ross Mental. He’s weaponless and armourless! He’s never been in that situation before!”

“Indeed. But if anyone can survive such a situation, he can. I don’t think we need to be overly concerned.”

Sebastian Blood was standing at the back of the bridge. “This is terrible! We must warn the palace.”

Peter the Ace turned and faced him. “Of course we must.” The top-class bounty hunter directed his voice to the ship. “Blenheim, how long will an ultra-space transmission take to reach the Palace of Amino?”


“Hmm… That may just be fast enough. Create a message and attach the presentation you just showed. Add that Panman and I are attempting to disable or destroy the emitter, but a plan must also be formulated to defend the palace if the emitter does manage to fire.”


“Label the message as ‘Profoundly Critical’, and encode the message as DEEPSHIT.”

Panman and Sebastian Blood gasped. Never, since the Palace of Amino had been created centuries ago, had an encoding of such colossal magnitude been used.


Peter the Ace gave the final command. “Send the message.”

There was a moment of profound silence.


“OK.” Peter the Ace said, turning to face Panman. “We have no time to waste. I think it’s time you came up with one of your inspired, intricate, and infallible plans of attack. Meanwhile, I’ll go and recall the warrior babes – there’s no reason for their mission anymore.”

Panman grinned, and started formulating his plan. “This is going to be cool!”

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