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Book: Vengeance of the Lump-Being
Chapter 32: Detonation Signal

An astonishing sense of relief flooded over Senior Operator Ramalama Dingdong. “It’s working!”

Supervisor Tyrsum approached. “You had better be right!”

Ramalama nodded. He pointed. “Look, supervisor. It’s initialising!”

The supervisor looked at the console’s round screen. Lines of blue text scrolled up the screen, describing various low-level and exceedingly boring start-up sequences. “Good work. How long until it’s operational?”

“Just a few minutes.” The senior operator answered proudly. “Then the firing cycle can be re-programmed.”

“Good. And this time transfer the firing cycle to the emitter itself. Whoever caused all this damage can do it again. The emitter must fire no matter what.”

“Yes, supervisor.”

The supervisor looked to the console opposite. “What about the power levels?”

Ramalama’s voice lost its pride. “Still down. There’s nothing we can do.” He tensed up, ready to be beaten for his failure. But for once, the senior operator need not have worried.

Supervisor Tyrsum took a long deep breath. “Hmm… That will have to do. At least we still have a working weapon. And twenty-eight percent of a colossal amount of power is still a colossal amount of power.”

Ramalama nodded furiously. “It is! That’s a very positive way of looking at the situation!”

The supervisor’s tone darkened. “But I still want to know what happened at the core. And I want to know very soon.”

“It was probably attacked by whoever caved in the chamber, supervisor.”

Ramalama moaned as Supervisor Tyrsum’s knee collided with his genitals. The senior operator buckled over, and then collapsed to the floor. Tears flooded his eyes.

The supervisor crouched down next to Ramalama. “Any more insolence like that and I’ll remove all of your teeth. Understand?”

Ramalama nodded. “Yes, supervisor.” He said weakly.


With the silence and stealth of a Som’Nambulia sly slug, Panman had crept from one damaged console to the next, crawling slowly and carefully under twisted metal and contorted corpses to conceal his presence. At various well-chosen points, he had left an armed PUSS charge, which immediately went into stand-by mode, waiting for the bounty hunter’s detonation signal.

It had taken Panman more than an hour to lay all the charges. And he had done so completely undetected. He had even crawled on his hands and knees right behind the supervisor, who had been too busy smashing people around the head to notice.

Now, Panman was crouching at the front of the emitter control room, right next to the huge hole blown out by the collapse of the chamber roof. The bounty hunter peered round a smouldering console. Most of the operators, and the supervisor too, were gathered around a console at the back. They were talking in quite an animated fashion – obviously they had had some success in repairing some equipment. It was quite possible that they had regained control of the emitter.

Making a rapid and exceedingly good assessment of the situation, Panman realised that he had to detonate the charges as soon as possible. And he also realised that he could not easily escape the control room the way he had entered. He turned and looked out of the hole into the emitter chamber, and at the rock-covered emitter dish hundreds of metres below. That was the only way out.

Cautiously, soundlessly, and fearlessly, the bounty hunter crept forwards and out over the lip of the hole. He began to climb across the rock face of the cavernous chamber.

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