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Book: Vengeance of the Lump-Being
Chapter 43: Fish Eggs

“Remarkable! Absolutely remarkable!” Peter the Ace said. He looked up and down the curvaceous metallic blue cyborg body. Every seam, joint, rivet, and panel was fitted with consummate precision, and every bulge and curve carefully designed to ooze sensuality, and titillate the nether regions of even the coldest of humanoids.

The bounty hunter returned his gaze to the female humanoid head that was seamlessly connected to the neck of the cyborg body. “My dear, you are stunning. I’m not sure what your previous body looked like, but it certainly could not have been more pleasing than this! You must be over the moon!”

The girl looked back, a single tear swelled in the corner of one eye, and then escaped slowly down her cheek.

Peter the Ace turned and looked at Panman. “Is there something wrong with her?”

“I think the whole experience of loosing her body so violently affected her mind somehow.” Panman replied, casually.

“How did she loose it?”

“Justin sliced it off with his circular saw attachment.”

Peter the Ace frowned. “I’m hoping he had a good reason for doing so.”

“Yeah, he did.”

Peter the Ace nodded and turned back to the female cyborg. He spoke calmly and assuredly. “What’s your name?”

The female cyborg responded to the bounty hunter’s soothing tones. “Anelianioniathama.” She said, her voice tinged with a synthetic timbre.

“Really?” Peter the Ace said. “Nice. But far too long.”

“My family call me Anelia.”

“Much better!”

“What is to become of me?” Anelia asked.

“You’ll be coming back with us to the Palace of Amino. The hyper-advanced technology that you contain must not be allowed to fall into the wrong hands.”

Anelia looked worried. “I’ll be a prisoner?”

Peter the Ace laughed. He gently stroked her face. “No, of course not. Although, you will not be allowed to leave. At least not without an accompanying bounty hunter. And bounty hunters are always busy so that’s unlikely. Still, the honour of living at the Palace of Amino is extraordinary, so I doubt you’ll ever want to leave anyway.”

The female cyborg did not seem impressed.

Peter the Ace continued. “There’s a thriving cyborg community north of the palace that’ll gladly accept you. You’ll be with your own kind, so you’ll be perfectly happy there. A dumpy old lady named Martha Raisindough runs the place. She set up the community many years ago. She was once a full humanoid, just like you. I’ve forgotten exactly how she lost her body.”

“Eaten by a fuck off subterranean beast!” Ross Mental shouted from the other side of the lab.

“Ah yes. Thank you.”

Old Rinkle had been leaning against the wall of lab next to Ross Mental. “We can integrate into palace society together, Anelia.” He said, cheerfully. He stumbled and whirred towards her, his new artificial arms spread like wings for balance. “It will be a struggle, but we’ll adapt.”

Anelia looked at the part-mechanised old man as he approached. It was a very odd sight, especially his glowing metal eyes. “That would be… nice. I guess.”

Peter the Ace clapped his hands together and smiled. “That’s what I like to see – cyborgs working together for the common good of their kind. Very touching.”

An alarm sounded. The Blenheim’s computer spoke. “A MAGNITUDE FOUR ENERGY DISCHARGE HAS BEEN DETECTED ON THE SURFACE OF GUN-LOC. THE EMITTER HAS FIRED.”

“Fuck!” Ross Mental exclaimed with his usual perspicuity.

Panman frowned, looking very serious. “We’d better get to the bridge and have a look.”

Peter the Ace nodded in agreement. He looked around the lab and focused on Jodi Funk Junky, who was leaning lazily against the construction unit. “Miss Funk Junky? Stay here and keep the new cyborgs occupied.”

The lesser bounty hunter nodded. “OK, but I’d rather…”

“What you’d rather do is of no concern to me at the moment, young lady.”

Jodi Funk Junky bowed her head. She knew her place.

Peter the Ace turned to Justin, who was standing next to Jodi Funk Junky. He was looking in fine shape. His new and polished components gleamed like precious gems, and his new transparent skull cap and chest doors revealed an interesting array of flickering lights and spinning wheels. “Justin, stay and help Miss Funk Junky.”

Justin replied in his usual mind-numbing manner. “I obey.”

Peter the Ace, Panman, and Ross Mental headed out of the cyborg construction lab.

Panman made a quick call. “Jemima?”

Jemima Murma, the Blenheim’s assistant, answered cheerfully. “Hi! What can I do for you?

“We’re off up to the bridge. It’s a serious situation, and it requires serious refreshment. Bring pizza, curry, buttered baps, sliced honey-roasted ham, a variety of jam sponges, and a jug of strawberry and banana smoothie up there immediately.”

No problem.

“And a large mug of strong milky tea.” Peter the Ace added.

“And a fuckin’ melon!” Ross Mental demanded. “With clotted cream!”

“Did you get all that?” Panman asked.

I did indeed. It’ll be with you in a few minutes.


The bridge of the Blenheim was dark and brooding, illuminated by nothing more than the glow of display screens and control surfaces.

Peter the Ace and Panman sat in their respective chairs at the front of the bridge. Ross Mental stood behind, along with Sebastian Blood.

The main view screen displayed an incredibly chilling sight. A thick beam of purest purple could be seen radiating from the surface of the planet Gun-Loc. Around the source of the beam, the landscape was glowing brightly, turned to liquid by the astonishing temperature. A ring of devastation was spreading from the epicentre.

Panman was examining his screens. “The city of Ry-Fol has been roasted away to dust! And everything within a thousand kilometre radius of the emitter beam is burning fiercely.”

“It’s obviously inefficient.” Peter the Ace said. “The emitter’s focusing system must be quite severely damaged to release such a harmful amount of lateral energy.”

Ross Mental laughed. “A good job we damaged that fucker like we did, otherwise all that lateral energy would have gone straight to the palace and fucked up our home!”

“Indeed it would,” Peter the Ace said, solemnly, “but then the city of Ry-Fol and a huge area of the planet Gun-Loc would not have been cremated, and millions of life-forms would not have been wiped out. Were we justified in causing all that damage to the emitter which merely diverted the destruction across the surface of the planet and away from the palace?”

Panman punched the air. “Yes we were! Want to know why?”

Peter the Ace smiled. Panman never failed to justify anything he was involved in, no matter how shocking and ghastly. “Indeed I do. Please explain.”

Panman explained. “It’s simple. If we had not caused the damage to the emitter to divert some of its energy across the surface of the planet, that energy would have reached the Palace of Amino. It could have been just enough to breach whatever defence plan battle command has devised to defend against the beam, thereby destroying the palace and most of the bounty hunters, and maybe even the Superior Beings themselves. The central and surrounding worlds would have been left defenceless against the conniving forces that seek to eradicate all civilisations, and billions would have perished in torment beyond the imagination of even the most cerebrally enhanced intellectual. Therefore, the energy we diverted, which has cooked and vaporised millions of unaware individuals, was a minuscule price to pay to help ensure the continuation of all the enlightened and superior civilisations and the way of life that we all hold so dear.”

Everyone applauded.

“But what if the palace is still fuckin’ destroyed?” Ross Mental yelled.

Peter the Ace nodded. He looked at Panman. “That’s a good point.”

Panman grinned. “Our actions are still justified. If the palace is destroyed, we will have spared millions on the planet Gun-Loc from the humiliation and misery that they would suffer when, in the absence of bounty hunter resistance, the degenerate leaders of doom take control of their world.”

Everyone applauded once again.

“Bravo!” Peter the Ace said, clapping rapidly.

Jemima Murma entered the bridge wearing nothing more than a tight pink pair of hot pants and a blue and yellow striped boob tube. Her hair was gelled into a dozen disorganised spikes. “Snack time, everyone!” She announced. The Bleinheim’s assistant placed the two trays of food and drink she was carrying down between Peter the Ace and Panman. Everyone tucked in.

“Marvelous spread!” Sebastian Blood said, smiling cheekily at Jemima.

“Thank you.” The Blenheim’s assistant said, blushing ever so slightly. She looked at Peter the Ace. “The warrior babes have docked and are now onboard. Should I send them up here?”

“No. Show them to the banqueting room and ply them with Champagne and fish eggs. We’ll be heading back to the palace soon. Once were underway we’ll join them to toast our success.”

Jemima Murma nodded. “As you wish.” She turned and headed off the bridge.

The Blenheim’s computer made an announcement. “THE ENERGY DISCHARGE FROM THE SURFACE OF THE PLANET GUN-LOC HAS CEASED.”

Panman’s console was bleeping. The top class bounty hunter looked down at his display. He wiped his screen, brushing away a mass of crumbs and butter. “Whoa! Take a look at this, guys!” He said through a mouthful of Sloppy Guiseppe pizza. The bounty hunter transferred his display to the main view screen. A diagrammatic image of the entire planet Gun-Loc appeared, surrounded by complex tables of data. The others quickly absorbed the information.

Ross Mental made the first, and loudest, comment. “The fucker’s stone cold!” He said through a mouthful of clotted cream.

Peter the Ace added his bit. “And it’s contracted. The diameter of the planet is now almost two hundred kilometres less. I’ve never seen that happen before.”

Panman nodded. “That emitter sucked literally all the geo-thermal energy out of the planet’s core. It effectively aged the planet by more than two billion years in only three minutes!”

Sebastian Blood had been reading some of the other information. “All the other cities on the planet have been devastated. And the ecology’s in turmoil. I think they’re done for!”

“It does seem that way.” Peter the Ace agreed. He sat back and rubbed his chin thoughtfully. “But there will be survivors. And in time, over the next couple of centuries, those survivors will rebuild their civilisation. Eventually the inhabitants of the planet Gun-Loc will look back on this appalling day as an immeasurably positive event - the event when their world was cleansed of all the ruthless corruption and sickening depravity that had spread like fungus throughout their society. They will heed the warnings of the past and build a civilisation based on trust, peace, and innocent pleasures. They will use their time for the pursuit of knowledge, and for the exploration of the limits of artistic expression. I’ll be interested in returning here to see the enlightened culture that develops.”

“I’m not coming back!” Ross Mental said, frowning. “Sounds like it’ll be as boring as fuck!”

Peter the Ace smiled at his foul-mouth companion. “You do have a point. In fact, now that I come to think of it, I’m quite bored of this place right now!” The bounty hunter directed his voice to the ship. “Blenheim, set a course for the Palace of Amino. Interface with the Hooded Whore, the Drug Abuser, the Morbid, and the Superfluous Third Nipple. Utilise their subspace engines and take us home, maximum speed possible.”

“INTERFACING WITH ALL DOCKED VESSELS… INTERFACE COMPLETE. COURSE SET. ENGAGING SUBSPACE INTERLINK SEQUENCERS… SUBSPACE INTERLINK SEQUENCERS ENGAGED. ”

The bridge shuddered mildly as the Blenheim slipped from normality and entered the realm of subspace.

“SUBSPACE TRANSITION COMPLETE. CURRENT VELOCITY: SUBSPACE 7.1. JOURNEY TIME TO THE PLACE OF AMINO: SIX MONTHS, TWO WEEKS, FOUR DAYS, TWENTY-ONE HOURS, AND SIXTEEN MINUTES.”

“Cool!” Panman said. He got to his feet. “I don’t know about you guys, but I need fish eggs!” With a determination rarely seen in a humanoid, the top-class bounty hunter marched off the bridge.

Without hesitation, everyone else followed.

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