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Book: Mechanism
Chapter 11: Enormous Alien Thing

Justin continued to stagger and stumble across the Satyr’s hull, kicking and punching it with all the strength that his artificial musculature could muster. After a drunken-like struggle, he had managed to make his way to the engines and was currently attempting to rip them to shreds.

Sarah Savage monitored the cyborg with concern. She had been ordered not to harm him, but she was finding it increasingly difficult to refrain from flipping her ship over and vaporising Justin once he had fallen away. All she was allowed to do was send a burst of power through the engines to deter him from tearing them apart. This was working, but it did not protect the rest of the Satyr, which was slowly but surely being skinned alive.

Something else was worrying Sarah Savage. The Lake below was rapidly filling up with molten lava. Justin’s hole had penetrated Enchantia’s crust. Clouds of steam bellowed around the Satyr as the lake’s water was boiled away. Could that have been the cyborg’s aim all along? She had contacted Amino Battle Command straight away.

Hello, Sarah!” Commander Pepe answered. “Sorry I couldn’t speak to you before, but I needed a massage. One of the privileges of rank!

“That’s no problem.” she said. “I hope you enjoyed it.”

I always do. It was strange though. When I came out of my massage chamber, Chief Officer Chimpapazapadon was waiting for me. He looked extremely distressed and begged me to let him use it!

“Really?” Sarah Savage said, trying to sound surprised.

Yes. Normally I would have court marshalled him for insolence and insubordination, but he seemed desperate beyond the usual definition of desperation. Anyway, I let him use it. I must keep my officers happy and content mustn’t I?

“Of course.” she agreed. “Anyway, I called to tell you what’s happening here at the lake.”

Are you going to tell me that molten rock is oozing up through the hole that Justin made?

“I am.”

Well there’s no need. All of the holes dug by all of the cyborgs are leaking lava too!

“Wow!”

Wow indeed. I’m not sure why they did this, but it’s going to cause us considerable problems if we don’t plug the holes.

“That’s easy!” the bounty hunter said. “All we have to do is blast them with a potent beam of puissant energy and they’ll cease spouting magma.”

It’s not that simple.” the commander said. “Hydroxide Jones tried that up at the northern foothills. As soon as he fired, the cyborg that was beating up his ship leapt off and began drilling again. It seems that the mechanoids intend to keep the lava flowing.

“It looks like we may have to destroy them after all.” Sarah Savage said solemnly.

That may be true, but we must hold back from that action for a while longer. Panman and Peter the Ace need more time to try and sort things out at their end.

“I agree. But they’d better hurry!”

Keep in touch.” Commander Pepe said. “Amino Battle Command out.

A flash of bright red light lit up the Satyr’s cockpit. The ship shuddered wildly as several thousand tons of liquid rock buffeted against its under side. Sarah Savage reacted quickly and took the Satyr up to a safer altitude. She noticed that Justin had returned to her ship’s nose. He was wiping molten material off his arms, legs, and face. He was not looking too good. Parts of his outer coating had melted away leaving him looking severely scarred and battered. After cleaning himself up a bit, he continued with his destruction duties, this time aiming for the forward view-ports. Although they were made of super-mega-hyper-toughened electrically shielded double-glazed ultra-glass, they were the weakest points on the ship, and this worried Sarah Savage more than ever. Justin punched at the glass rhythmically and with immense force, causing the thick panes to warp and buckle visibly.

Sarah Savage sat down in the cockpit’s command chair and tried to ignore the deafening thuds emanating from the window. She operated a few controls and displayed a picture of Peter the Ace and Panman on her main view-screen.

“I hope you guys sort things out soon.” she said, staring at the image of her two awesome superiors. “Otherwise your cyborg assistant is going to receive a blistering blast up the butt that’ll end his career instantly in a cloud of supersonic debris!”


The Blenheim, current holder of the Palace of Amino’s Most Wondrously Armoured Starship award, spiralled through a dense collection of the giant antennae at breathtaking speed, barely avoiding the blinding rays of deadly energy that flashed all around. The ship’s commander, Peter the Ace, was indeed the finest pilot in the galaxy; the result, no doubt, of three centuries practice, and countless hours of intense video gaming.

With extreme precision, the Blenheim pulled up and accelerated into a mathematically perfect parabolic arc, cunningly avoiding even more antennae with millimetres to spare. It wasn’t quite as successful in avoiding the energy rays this time. One of them hit the ship’s top side, gouging away several tons of dense armour plating and sending the Blenheim wildly off course. The ship collided with one of the antennae and scraped along its length for several kilometres. Sparking debris scattered in all directions. More energy rays attempted to slice up the ship without success. The Blenheim’s quick thinking mega-pilot pitched the craft sharply forwards, ricocheting the front end off the antenna and propelling the ship up at a splendid rate of knots. In true pinball fashion, the Blenheim bounced and rebounded randomly between several antennae, confusing the energy rays’ targeting systems and creating an expensive amount of damage.


“I can’t believe that their first hit completely destroyed our shields!” Panman said, looking at his data-screens. “The power they have must be phenomenal!”

“Indeed!” Peter the Ace said, guiding the Blenheim between two more antenna at a speed of ten thousand kilometres per hour, and with a clearance of just three millimetres. “They may have more power than us, but ours is the superior intellect.”

“How do you know that?” Panman asked, as a glancing blow shook the ship.

“We’re top class bounty hunters from the Palace of Amino!”

“Oh yeah!”

Panman looked at his data-screens. “We’re only twelve kilometres from the pyramid’s surface!”

“We have to find a way inside.”

“That’s going to be difficult.” Panman said. “The density of the antennae is increasing rapidly. It looks like a jungle out there!”

“Tell me about it!” Peter the Ace said as he yanked the flight stick from side to side, causing the Blenheim to bank, tumble, and swerve through tighter and tighter gaps. Energy fire was still a major problem.

“I can’t get a clear scan of the surface.” Panman said.

“Wait until that pyramid sends out another of those beams to the palace.” Peter the Ace said with sagacity. “All you have to do is find out where it’s emitted. It’s such a wide beam that the orifice from which it emerges should be large enough for me to fly us in to.”

Panman smiled. “Cool idea!” With augmented intelligence, he swiftly programmed the ship’s scanners to find the source of the beam. “Done!” he said proudly. “All we have to do is wait for it to fire.”

Another energy ray slammed into the Blenheim, this time on its starboard side. The ship rocked in a super-violent manner and spun out of control. Alarms sounded loudly.

“WARNING: HULL BREACH, SECTION NINE C. COMPARTMENT SEAL ACTIVATED.”

Panman silenced the annoying alarms. “What’s section nine C?” he asked.

“SECONDARY CARGO BAY.”

“No!” Panman screamed.

Peter the Ace was confused. “Why are you over-reacting so insanely?”

“I had a consignment of double chilli deep-pan pizzas in there!”

“I see.” Peter the Ace was thoughtful for a second. “Just because the cargo bay has depressurised, it doesn’t mean that the pizzas are destroyed.”

“No?”

“Of course not. Blenheim? What is the status of the consignment of pizzas in the secondary cargo bay?”

“THE CONSIGNMENT OF DOUBLE CHILLI DEEP-PAN PIZZAS ARE NO LONGER LOCATED IN THE SECONDARY CARGO BAY.”

“Where are they?” Panman asked anxiously.

“THE CONSIGNMENT OF PIZZAS IS ADRIFT ONE POINT SEVEN KILOMETRES TO OUR REAR.”

“Is the casing intact?”

“AFFIRMATIVE.”

Panman was distraught. “We have to go back for them now!”

“Calm yourself.” Peter the Ace said as he continued to fly the Blenheim through the maze of antennae towards the pyramid’s surface. “We have a mission to perform. We’ll get them on the way back.”

“But they’re double chilli!” Panman pleaded.

“Focus you despair and anger towards the enemy. We may need those dark forces to help us win!”

Panman accepted the wisdom of his peer without question. “Your right.” he said. He looked at the scanner view-screen. “Those bastard alien things inside that enormous alien thing ruined my next meal! They’ll pay dearly for that!”

“That’s the spirit!” Peter the Ace said, happy that his companion was feeling better. “Let’s concentrate on finding a way inside it.”

The scanner bleeped.

“They’ve fired another beam!” Panman exclaimed. “I’ve got a fix!”

“That was quick! Well done! Export the co-ordinates over to my navigation console.”

Panman did as requested. Peter the Ace examined the information while simultaneously flying the Blenheim through the gaps between seventeen criss-crossed antennae.

“It’s three kilometres away up the pyramid’s forward face.” Peter the Ace said. “We’ll be there in one minute.”

Another energy ray cut into the Blenheim, this time on its underside. Shock waves of nasty intensity made their way through the ship. The alarms sounded once again. “WARNING: HULL BREACH, SECTION 12 B. COMPARTMENT SEAL ACTIVATED.”

Panman silenced the alarms. “Twelve B? That sounds familiar.”

“That’s Justin’s quarters!” Peter the Ace said. “He’s lucky he’s not here. Remember what happened to him when this happened before?”

“Panman smiled. “Yeah. He was sucked out into space and his body was blown away by Kathwoman’s mothership. It was only by sheer fluke that we found his head!”

“Indeed. And due to a lack of nutrients and oxygen, all but three of his brain cells shrivelled and died!”

Panman and Peter the Ace laughed loudly.

After a few seconds, Peter the Ace spoke. “We shouldn’t laugh really.”

“You’re right.” Panman agreed, calming himself. “That accident ruined his chances of achieving even one percent of our success as mega-beings.”

“If he ever had a chance at all!”

“True.”

Peter the Ace continued to manoeuvre the Blenheim through the net of antennae and heavy barrage of energy rays. The surface of the pyramid was now only five hundred metres away. With the skill and dexterity of a canyon rat undergoing brain augmentation drug therapy, the bounty hunter pulled back on the flight stick, skimming terrifyingly close to the pyramid’s detailed hull. He banked hard, bringing the Blenheim round to the massive craft’s front side, antennae and energy fire creating a torturous and challenging set of obstacles. Straight ahead, a one kilometre diameter hole could be clearly seen. The strange beam that had sent the palace’s cyborgs insane had ceased firing.

“We’ll,” Peter the Ace said. “I guess we should go inside.”

Panman was excited. He loved to infiltrate the inner sanctums of gigantic alien mega-ships. “Go for it Ace!” he shouted.

The Blenheim twisted, turned, and then dived into the large orifice.

“Cool!!!” the two exalted bounty hunters screamed in unison.

The Blenheim disappeared into the darkness.

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