Admiral Phutphungus filled the sumptuous command chair at the centre of the theatre-sized
bridge of the Slaying Mantis, the side of his guts pushing far over the
arms, obscuring several important control surfaces. The bulk of his robes
did nothing to hide his abundant and disgusting frame.
Sub-officer Shym-Sham Shawallihoo approached, his footfalls silent on the
deep luxury blue and gold carpet. “Your tea, admiral.” He croaked.
The sub-officer stooped low and placed the beverage on the table beside
the admiral’s chair.
The admiral looked up. Shym-Sham’s face was still swollen and bruised
from the powerful punch the admiral had given him several hours earlier.
The admiral smiled. Serves Shym-Sham right for suggesting I should lead
this deadly mission. “Thank you.” The admiral said, frowning.
The sub-officer nodded, and then sat on his high stool beside the admiral.
The thirty-metre wide view-screen at the front of the bridge was currently
showing a wide-angled view to the rear of the Slaying Mantis. Hundreds of
bounty hunter ships of varying shapes and sizes were spread out behind in
a tight spiral formation. It was a stirring sight, and for a moment Admiral
Phutphungus forgot his annoyance at being there. He revelled in the majesty
of the moment.
After a few seconds his thoughts returned to the current situation. He sighed.
Sitting on the bridge with the ship in cruise mode was a completely uninteresting
experience. Just for something to do, the admiral barked a command. “Jim
Jam! Situation update.”
Two levels down at the front of the bridge, the ship’s stocky pilot
turned to face the admiral. The pilot’s tall and gelled cone of blond
hair glistened under the spotlight above his console. The pilot spoke, his
voice one of the deepest ever heard. “We are still cruising at sub-space
eight, admiral. All drive systems nominal. We will reach the third planet
of the Humki Pumki system in four hours – right on schedule.”
The admiral nodded. “Good.” He said with minimal enthusiasm.
He looked around. The bridge crew – twenty fourth-class bounty hunters
of diligent attitudes and impeccable efficiency - worked quietly at their
consoles, engrossed in their tasks. Only the deep background rumble of the
sub-space drive disturbed the silence.
Admiral Phutphungus was bored beyond his wildest dreams. Even his incredible
unease at having to command a ship that may soon have to absorb the full
might of the emitter blast did not occupy his mind enough. With a groan
of discomfort, the admiral heaved himself out of his command chair. He looked
at Shym-Sham. “I’ll be down at one of the restaurants. You’re
in charge. Inform me when we are about to arrive at the Humki Pumki system.”
The sub-officer got to his feet and nodded. “Yes, admiral.”
The admiral waddled heavily towards the exit.
Shym-Sham stepped over to the large command chair and prepared to sit down.
“Don’t you dare!” the admiral bellowed.
Shocked, the sub-officer straightened up and looked at his superior. “What
mustn’t I dare, admiral?”
Admiral Phutphungus scowled. “That’s my chair, you emaciated
nincompoop! Only I can sit in that chair!”
“But admiral, this is the command chair.” Shym-Sham croaked
steadily. “Whoever is in command of this vessel is entitled to sit…”
The admiral was in no mood for such insolence from one of his inferiors.
“Get back on your stool! Now!”
The sub-officer knew when not to argue. “Of course, admiral.”
Admiral Phutphungus waited until Shym-Sham had sat down. “That’s
better.” He turned, and then wobbled off the bridge.
“DECK THIRTY-SIX – RESTAURANTS, CAFES, AND THIRST-QUENCHING
ESTABLISHMENTS.” The elevator announced.
The elevator doors parted with a gentle whoosh.
Admiral Phutphungus stepped out into the wide arched passageway. Several
passing technicians recognised him and bowed their heads. The admiral
nodded in acknowledgement, and then walked by. The delectable aroma of
a thousand different dishes filled the air. The admiral smiled - his mood
had been lifted considerably. This was just what he needed.
The passageway was lit by a multitude of contemporary chandeliers, and
lined on either side with more than twenty diverse and splendid eateries,
each with a unique theme, and most bustling with activity. As the Slaying
Mantis was still many hours from its destination, many of the crew’s
bounty hunters were making the most of their free time and indulging in
copious amounts of food and beverages.
The admiral recognised a few of the restaurants as he passed. There was
‘Madame Armpit’s Cookie Club’ - a cramped but cosy little
concern, popular around the Palace of Amino with younger bounty hunters
and trainees. And opposite was ‘Liquidized Animal Remnant Dumplings’
– affectionately known as ‘Lardy’s’ by its regulars.
Neither interested the Admiral, though. He was looking for something with
a little more class, and with a more relaxed atmosphere. And then he found
it; his favourite establishment back at the palace - ‘The Blood
Box of the Feral Empire’s Mystical Chilled Meat Alliance’.
As with all that restaurant chain’s outlets, the main entrance was
flanked both sides by two plump and bespectacled ladies, both of whom
were dressed in loose-fitting black ankle-length ball gowns. Each lady
had a large lump of uncooked flesh resting on top of her head, carefully
positioned so that blood and juice ran evenly down over her ears and onto
her pale skinned neck.
Admiral Phutphungus approached the restaurant’s entrance.
One of the ladies spoke. “Welcome, admiral. My name is Abunda Bountious.”
She bowed politely, sending the lump of flesh sliding off her head. She
caught it and then tossed it back into the air. It landed with a squelch
back on the top of her head. “Would you like to dine with us?”
“Of course.” The admiral said. “I want the table with
the best view. If you have views, that is.”
Abunda replied softly, her fat ruby lips forming each word with perfect
eloquence. “We do indeed have views. We have panoramic windows at
the back that look down into the main gymnasium. Many of the crew’s
most alluring female bounty hunters and trainees maintain their toned
bodies there. Does that view appeal to you, admiral?”
The admiral suppressed a wide grin. “It sounds mildly interesting.
That will have to do.”
“Please follow me.” Abunda said. She turned and wandered into
Admiral Phutphungus followed her. He looked down at her wide generous
backside. “For someone so obese, you have quite a sexy walk.”
“Thank you.” She said, leading the admiral to the back area
of the restaurant. “You are kind to say so.”
The admiral had always thought of himself as charming. Still got it! He
Abunda stopped in front of a wide and tall window area. She motioned towards
a small table, immaculately set with the finest cutlery. “Please
take a seat, admiral.”
The admiral sat down. The chair creaked as his enormous weight pressed
“Can I bring you a drink?” Abunda asked.
The admiral thought for a moment. “Bring me a litre of your finest
Grunk Nail Ale.”
Abunda nodded, and then waddled smoothly away.
Admiral Phutphungus turned his attention to the view out the window. It
was an impressive sight. The main gymnasium was actually a huge hollow
white sphere stretching across ten decks. It was filled with numerous
split-level platforms, each equipped with the latest, greatest, and most
excruciating resistance machines ever created. There were quite a few
bounty hunters down there, pounding their bodies with incredible enthusiasm.
Most were on the machines, but one was busy climbing up one of the dozens
of ropes that hung from the gym’s domed ceiling.
Many of the bounty hunters down there were female, all toned and tanned
to perfection. The admiral started thinking. His favourite bounty hunter
– the one he lusted after the most - had been assigned to this ship
last year. I wonder if she’s down there, he thought. It’s
a long shot, but just maybe. He squinted as he gazed down, trying to identify
those far below.
“Your drink, admiral.”
The admiral sat back, startled. “Oh! Um… Thank you.”
Abunda smiled. “I think you’ll find it easier with these.”
She handed the admiral a pair of fine leather-bound binoculars.
The admiral blushed. “Thank you. Although I was only examining the
um… wide variety of potted plant’s down there.”
“Of course, admiral. Are you ready to order?”
“Indeed!” the admiral said, happy to change the subject. “What
do you recommend?”
“Our dish of the day is proving popular. It’s called the Farquar
Alqurseltsa platter, named in honour of our recently deceased captain.”
The admiral nodded. “A thoughtful gesture. What’s in it?”
“Marinated squid, jahrph yak liver, and poose giblets, garnished
with nettles and roach shells.”
The admiral nodded. “That sounds fine.”
Abunda nodded, and then slinked away.
As soon as she was out of sight the admiral raised the binoculars. He
peered down into the gym, recognising some of the bounty hunters immediately.
He spotted Ferdinando Commando, pumping up his award winning biceps to
even more absurd proportions. And there was Macaroon Doom Boom, practicing
his famous frog-march kicks. On the next level up, the lesbian sisters
– Ursula Often Nasty and Prissy Rough-Skinned Elbows - were racing
each other in the jet-ski tank.
At the far side of the gym the bounty hunter that had been climbing the
rope reached the top. The admiral did not recognise her – strange,
as she was extremely captivating, and in possession of some of the largest
and firmest breasts he had ever seen. She was sweating profusely, and
hanging onto the rope with only one arm. The admiral watched as she looked
casually down towards the floor of the gym, forty metres down. Then, with
a loud shrill scream, she let go of the rope.
Admiral Phutphungus gasped. Surely she would perish on impact! He need
not have worried. With elegant calm, the bounty hunter landed feet first
into a small deep pool of bubbling water. Some of the other bounty hunters
applauded her stylish fall.
The admiral turned his attention elsewhere. Is she here? He wondered.
Then he noticed that one of the ropes near his window was shaking. Someone
was coming up this side. Leaning on the window, the admiral peered straight
down, trying to catch a glimpse of who it was.
For a few seconds he could see no one.
Then she appeared. Using only her arms, she made swift progress, moving
fluidly up the rope as though she had been born for that very purpose.
It was definitely her! Admiral Phutphungus was excited.
It took the bounty hunter only another few seconds to reach his level.
There she stopped, her back to the window. Like the previous bounty hunter,
she hung there with one arm and looked down below.
The admiral beamed. He gazed longingly at her gorgeous curvaceous body,
pleased that her minimal orange leotard left virtually nothing to the
imagination. Suddenly she turned and peered into the restaurant. Her deep
brown eyes met the admiral’s.
The admiral leaned back, surprised by the sudden eye contact. Even though
he had dreamt of it often, he had never been this close to her before.
It was an experience he had yearned for for many years. But now the experience
was here he had no idea how to react, or how she would react. Would his
rotund form sicken her? Would his many chins make her laugh insanely?
He need not have worried. The bounty hunter simply smiled pleasantly at
Feeling more relaxed, the admiral made the most of the moment, letting
his eyes wander around her luscious figure, letting his mind race through
various unlikely sexual scenarios. Boy was he feeling horny!
But then, with a wave of her hand, the moment was gone. The bounty hunter
slipped out of view, plummeting gracefully down, and out of the admiral’s
Although he tried, the admiral did not see where his favourite bounty
hunter landed. But from the round of applause given by the other bounty
hunters in the gymnasium, she had landed very well indeed.
A large plate of food was placed in front of the admiral.
“I see that Inga Clench-Buttocks is working out again.” Abunda
Admiral Phutphungus looked at the corpulent waitress. “Does she
do this often?”
“Several times a day.”
Abunda smiled. “I expect I’ll be seeing you here again, admiral.”
“Possibly, my dear. If the food is as good as it looks.”
“Of course.” She said. “Enjoy your meal, admiral.”
Abunda turned and walked away.
An idea popped like a cork into the admiral’s head. It was an idea
he had no choice but to act on. It was his only chance of relief. He turned.
Abunda stopped and looked back. “Yes, admiral?”
“When do you finish?”
“You are my last customer for the day, admiral. I finish when you
finish your meal.”
“Excellent. Would you care to join me in my quarters later?”
The hefty waitress’s eyes widened. Then she smiled. “That
sounds like a nice idea. I would love to, admiral.”
The admiral’s jaw dropped. “Really?”
“Of course, admiral. I’ll be ready when you are.”
“Great!” the admiral said, excited. “I’ll be done
in five minutes!” He could not believe his luck. He proceeded to
gobble up his meal at an astonishing pace.