Consciousness returned. And so did an ocean of pain.
“Nice of you to wake up.” A voice said, tailing off into a long
Ross Mental opened his eyes to a roar of hate. He squinted, taking a few
seconds to focus. A vast crowd stared at him. They were chanting, their
voices filled with loathing. “Dissection! Dissection!”
The bounty hunter struggled, but he was firmly strapped to something. He
looked down and noticed a thick waistband. He was tied to round post –
exactly like old Rinkle had been during his dissection. He looked round,
assessing his situation, looking for any means of escape. When he looked
to his right he was met by a hideous sight, a sight that sent a shock of
rage surging through his mind. It was Rinkle – still tied to his post.
All his limbs had been brutally burned off, and both his eyes were no more
than black pits. He was whimpering like a puppy in a mantrap. Ross Mental
expressed his disgust. “Fuckin’ fuckers!”
The voice spoke again, ignoring the bounty hunter’s outburst. “Before
you awoke your punishment was decided. As you can hear, that punishment
The bounty hunter focused on the voice. It was coming from a black-cloaked
figure standing a few metres away. The figure was wearing a reflective spherical
helmet. It was Supervisor Tyrsum.
The supervisor continued to ignore Ross Mental. “The extraordinary
and wicked nature of your crimes requires an extra slow and particularly
painful dissection. It is the only way to purify you, and cleanse you of
the malevolence that grips tightly to the very essence of your tainted soul.”
Ross Mental could not believe what was being said. “Fuckin’
bollocks!” he yelled. He spat accurately at the supervisor, landing
a thick globule of saliva onto the front of his helmet.
Supervisor Tyrsum paid no attention to the spit as it dribbled slowly down
the centre of his field of vision. He was obviously used to it. “You’re
incredible acts of evil against our venerable cause make this need for dissection
a very exceptional one, requiring an exceptional and benevolent audience.”
The supervisor spread his arms and looked up. He spoke with reverence. “All
hail the intellectually sophisticated and empathically sagacious one who
leads us all safely through the frigid jungle of depravity. All praise the
arrival of he who is faultless in conduct and flawless in thought and action.
All cheer the descent… of the Inductor!”
The crowd looked up and cheered, many screaming with joy.
Ross Mental followed their gaze. The thick clouds covering the ceiling of
the gigantic chamber burst into a spray of dazzling light, which then faded
rapidly. From out of the dispersing clouds a dark saucer-shaped object began
a fast and near freefall descent. The crowd applauded with great enthusiasm,
tears streaming from their adoring eyes.
Only seconds from impact with the smooth marble of the chamber’s floor,
the saucer decelerated and came to a swift halt a few metres above some
of the recruits, and ten metres directly in front of the bounty hunter.
The top of the saucer began to spin. It lifted up, unscrewing itself from
the saucer’s base, and then rose several metres. There it hovered,
silent and perfectly still.
The crowd gasped.
On the base of the seven-metre wide saucer, in a pool of amber syrup, sat
the lump-being Pys Phecees. He was flanked by two black-cloaked black-helmeted
Ross Mental notice movement behind the lump-being. It was the shit-shovelling
female he’d seen in Pys Phecees’s chamber. The same one who
had said she would help him. How could she possibly help me? The bounty
hunter asked himself. Lying fuckin’ bitch!
Supervisor Tyrsum raised his arms. The crowd fell silent. He turned to face
the saucer. “Master, please sanctify this dissection with your immaculate
words of wisdom.”
Pys Phecees extended his stunted arms out of his flabby frame. He spoke,
his tongue slapping wildly over his wide thick lips. “This infiltrator
is ruthless beyond hope, and insane beyond reasonable doubt. Dissection
is the only hope of salvation for his soul.” The lump-being looked
down at the supervisor. “Begin the procedure.”
As Supervisor Tyrsum raised his weapon, Ross Mental yelled. “This
is your greatest mistake, you fat fuckin’ shit bag arse fucker!”
The supervisor fired. A bright beam of searing energy cut into the bounty
hunter’s left knee. Ross Mental shrieked as his flesh and bone turned
to vapour. After a few seconds there was a thud as the bounty hunter’s
lower leg fell onto the polished floor. Ross Mental looked down in despair
at his newly cauterised stump. He’d lost his right foot the day before,
and now his left one had gone too, along with the calf muscle he spent centuries
building up to extreme strength. Such a waste of time and protein!
The lump-being was laughing loudly, and farting even louder.
Ross Mental screamed. “Rancid dung fucker!”
Supervisor Tyrsum fired again, this time aiming for the centre of the bounty
hunter’s right thigh with a narrow beam. He slowly brought the beam
down, splitting Ross Mental’s leg in two with phenomenal precision.
This was obviously the supervisor’s favourite part of his dissection
The pain was so incredible that the bounty hunter didn’t scream. He
just watched, his mouth wide open, as the blistering beam sliced through
muscle, tendon, and bone. The smell of charred flesh was almost overwhelming.
Ross Mental looked up at Pys Phecees and mouthed several profanities at
The lump-being continued to laugh, his whole corpulent frame wobbling like
a jelly. “Excellent work, Supervisor Tyrsum. Your accuracy is outstanding!”
A tremor, powerful and deep, swept across the huge chamber.
Supervisor Tyrsum stopped firing and turned. The western side of the huge
chamber was visibly shaking. Hundreds of chunks of rocks were falling, crushing
the recruits who had the misfortune of standing in that area. Behind the
flattened recruits, the wide toughened door to the emitter chamber was buckling.
Pys Phecees was no longer laughing. He shouted, sending a litre of phlegm
spraying out of his mouth. “What is going on?!”
A second tremor, much stronger than the first, passed through the chamber.
The door to the second chamber clanged and crunched as it buckled some more.
Several large rocks fell from the ceiling, one of them hitting the floor
right next to Pys Phecees’s saucer. Sixteen recruits were mashed into
an unrecognisable state. Desiccated guts splashed in all directions. The
thousands of recruits who had been watching the dissection panicked. They
began running in all directions, yelling in a highly incomprehensible manner.
“What is going on?!” The lump-being demanded once again, wiping
smears of blood and guts from his face.
“I’ll find out, master.” Supervisor Tyrsum said, alarm
obvious in his normally calm voice. He operated a control on his wrist.
“Operator Dingdong? What’s happening?”
“It’s fallen in!” came the response; a roar of background
noise almost drowning out Senior Operator Ramalama Dingdong’s terrified
The supervisor was confused. “What’s fallen in?”
“It’s awful! Charts are off the scale! The windows here have
been torn out! Six operators fell! There’s snow and rubble over everything!
I can’t get any readings from…”
Supervisor Tyrsum interrupted. “Shut up and answer my question! What
has fallen in?”
The senior operator was breathing heavily. “The chamber roof!”
The supervisor turned to Pys Phecees. “Master, apparently the roof
of the emitter chamber has…”
The lump-being shouted, his voice booming. “I heard, you idiot! Get
up to the control room. Sort things out!”
Supervisor Tyrsum nodded, and then rushed away.
Despite his pain, Ross Mental managed to laugh. It was obvious to him what
had caused the disaster. “You’re fucked now!” he said,
smiling broadly. “Fucked like you’ve never been fucked before!”
Pys Phecees glared at the bounty hunter. “My emitter is far more robust
than you could possibly realise. It will fire on schedule.” The lump-being
reached down and picked up a small weapon. He raised it and aimed at Ross
Mental’s head. “It’s unfortunate that you will not remain
in existence to see it.” In the excitement, the lump-being let loose
a loud burst of wind, and a long log of defecation. He spoke to the young
female behind, keeping his gaze locked onto the bounty hunter. “Clean
The female, wearing a flowing red gown, stood up. She was holding a shovel
in one hand, and a bucket in the other.
Ross Mental took a deep breath, ready to accept what appeared to be the
inevitable end to his long, violent, profane life.
Pys Phecees was laughing again, and relishing his power of life and death
in the stereotypical megalomaniac manner. “Prepare to loose your
mind, bounty hunter.” He placed his fat turd-like finger on his
weapon’s trigger and squeezed.
A high pitched shriek echoed round the chamber.
Ross Mental was very pleasantly surprised at what he saw next. The female
shit-shoveller brought her bucket smashing down onto Pys Phecees’s
head. It was enough to spoil the lump-being’s aim, sending the scorching
beam from his weapon half a metre off target.
With another shriek, the female stabbed the side of the lump-being with
her shovel, breaking through his tough leathery hide.
Pys Phecees shuddered, and then grunted like a pig.
The two black-cloaked guards at his sides turned and reached for the female,
but she was too quick for them. She leapt into the air and soared over Pys
Phecees, grabbing the weapon from his hand. Her red gown billowed wildly
as she tumbled forwards towards the floor.
The guards drew their weapons, and managed to fire as she landed. Two blinding
beams passed through her gown causing it to burst into flames.
Rolling fast across the marble floor, she tore off the gown, threw the burning
garment away, and then got up to a kneeling position. Aiming the weapon,
she fired off two quick shots, hitting each of the guards on the front of
his helmet. The guards fell back. They were alive, but blinded, and they
scrambled around Pys Phecees like babies, splashing in his syrup.
The female aimed at the lump-being, but before she could fire the top of
the saucer fell and screwed itself back onto the base. She watched the saucer
rise up fast, and fired several shots at it. Predictably, the shots had
no effect. After a few seconds, the saucer disappeared into a dark orifice
on the chamber’s ceiling.
The young female got to her feet and walked over to Ross Mental.
Ross Mental watched her approach. She was almost naked, just a meagre set
of black underwear covering her private regions, and she was reasonably
She reached the bounty hunter and looked up at him. “I’m so
sorry that I couldn’t help you earlier.” She said; her voice
Ross Mental looked down at the alluring female. “I’m surprised
you helped me at all! Where did you learn all those fuckin’ moves?”
She bowed her head. “The same place you learned all your moves.”
She looked up again. Tears filled her eyes. “I’m afraid I failed
in my mission here.”
Realisation hit Ross Mental. “You’re Jodi Fuck Junky!”
“Funk Junky.” She said, correcting him.
“Yeah, whatever. What the fuck were you doing scooping up that fat
“Like you, I was recruited to work for the Cause. I worked down in
the power core shaft for a few days, until they discovered I had no sense
of smell. The next day I was up in Pys Phecees’s chambers scraping
up after him.” She started sobbing. “I tried to find a way out,
or a way to send a message back to the palace, but I couldn’t!”
Ross Mental was not impressed, but now was not the time to reprimand her.
And she had excelled herself dealing with those two guards. “Never
mind. Get me the fuck down!”
She nodded and walked round to the back of the pole to which Ross Mental
was strapped. Aiming the weapon, she fired, burning through the waistband
in just a few seconds.
Ross Mental fell to the floor, right onto his smouldering left stump. He
yelped like farm dog. “Fuck!”
Jodi Funk Junky ran over to him. “I’m so sorry!” She looked
at his injuries. No right foot, no left leg below the knee, and most of
his right leg split right up the middle.
Ross Mental looked at the young bounty hunter. “I think it’s
going to be fuckin’ difficult for me walk.”
“What can we do?” Jodi Funk Junky asked.
“You’re going to have to carry me out of this chamber. I need
to find a way to contact Peter the Ace and Panman.”
Jodi Funk Junky’s eyes lit up. “They’re here?”
“Of course they fuckin’ are! Who else do you think could cause
all that fuckin’ chaos in the emitter chamber?”
She smiled brightly. “Cool!”
“Now, pick me up!” Ross Mental ordered.
Jodi Funk Junky crouched in front of her superior. He put his arms round
her neck. She got unsteadily to her feet, and then headed across the now
deserted floor of the chamber.
A quiet whimpering sound reminded Ross Mental of something. “Stop!”
The young bounty hunter stopped walking. “What for?”
Ross Mental pointed. “Take him as well.”
Jodi Funk Junky turned and looked. He was pointing at the old man strapped
to the other post. “Is it worth it? He’s on the verge of death!”
“Don’t be so fuckin’ heartless! It’s my fault he
ended up like that, and if there’s even the remotest hope of saving
that fucker I’m going to do it!”
“OK.” She said. She started walking towards the old man. “I
don’t know whether or not I can carry two.”
“He’s a weak and gaunt old man, with no fuckin’ arms or
legs! Hardly any weight at all!”
Jodi Funk Junky nodded. “Of course.” When she reached Rinkle
she raised her weapon and fired, burning through the waistband that still
held him tightly to his post.
Rinkle fell, smacking his face hard on the marble floor.
“Oops!” Jodi Funk Junky exclaimed.