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Book: Mechanism
Chapter 12: Thickly Haired Cranium

A loud belching sound reverberated around the cockpit of the Satyr. Sarah Savage put down the now empty three litre beer bottle that she had just drank dry and licked her lips.

“Gorgeous stuff, this Undesiria Protactinium Ale.” she said. “I’ll have to go back there and get some more.” Her console blipped. She leaned forwards and looked at one of her numerous data-screens. “Another beam has hit!”

She looked out at Justin. He was stood on her ship’s nose in front of the view-port and was shuddering violently. It was as though some kind of massive electrical surge had passed through his body.

The bounty hunter was thoughtful. “I don’t recall him acting like this when the last beam hit?” she said. “This one must be extra strong, or something.”

Suddenly, Justin turned and stared directly at Sarah Savage. She found it very disconcerting, and looked away. “Freaky or what?!” she said, a chill trickling down her spine.

Without even a seconds warning, a large metal fist crashed through the forward view-port, showering Sarah Savage with shards of razor edged glass.

“I must dismember you.” a deep, emotionless voice said.

The bounty hunter leapt out of her seat and dived towards the back of the Satyr’s cockpit. She watched as Justin ripped out the view-port’s frame and rolled head first into the ship and on to its main control console, his large weighty frame crushing many vital pieces of instrumentation. Sparks and flames danced through the air. He rolled to his feet, flattening the command chair with a crunch of collapsing steel and the tear of fine quality brown leather. “I must dismember you.” the cyborg repeated.

Sarah Savage grabbed her broadsword from its display cabinet on the cockpit’s ceiling. “I’m sorry Justin.” she said. “But I’m going to have to dismember you first!”

The bounty hunter lunged at the mechanoid and swung the sword high and hard, a difficult thing to do in such cramped conditions. The blade connected with Justin’s neck with a deafening clank. No effect. The cyborg waved the sword away, slamming it into the side wall. It was stuck! Sarah Savage tried frantically to pull it free. She did not succeed. Justin punched her hard on her shoulder, sending her flying out of the cockpit and into the habitation section directly behind. She rolled across the floor and smashed her head into the personal hygiene unit. Recovering quickly, she wiped some blood from her eyes and got to her feet. Justin entered the room. Thinking at the speed of light, she dived towards her bed and reached underneath. There it was; the smooth metallic feel of a pulse pistol. It was not her weapon of choice, but it would have to do. She grabbed it tightly and smiled. “Now I’ve got you!” she said with quiet confidence.

Something grabbed her right leg and dragged her from the bed. Justin pulled her up into the air and swung her around his head. She yelped as her thickly haired cranium thudded off every storage cabinet in the cabin. With unparalleled willpower, she somehow managed to aim and then fire the pistol. A beam of red energy hit the manic cyborg on his left shoulder. There was a bright flash. Justin’s arm, the arm he was holding the bounty hunter with, flew off. Sarah Savage was propelled through the air. After a second of uncontrolled flight, the arm and the bounty hunter landed hard, back in the cockpit. Sarah Savage recovered quickly once again and tried to get the large metal arm to let go. It was no good, and time was of the essence. She aimed the pulse pistol at the arm and attempted to blast away its servo mechanisms. That plan backfired in a most horrific way! The bounty hunter had triggered a safety device that tightened the arms grip if damaged. This was supposed to stop Justin from falling if he happened to be hanging from the ledge of a cliff while under fire from a demented enemy strike force. It was not supposed to rip off someone’s leg right below the knee. Sarah Savage stared in disbelief as the metal hand squeezed and squeezed and squeezed until her right calf muscle, tendons, and bone were crushed to a mushy, blood-oozing pulp. A flood of pain transmissions reached her brain. She found them impossible to ignore and screamed in agony.

Justin appeared and stared down at her, his eyes red with demonic rage. The bounty hunter fired the pistol rapidly, blasting huge chunks of metal plating away from the cyborg’s power-packed torso, and revealing layer upon layer of dense circuitry and complex motion mechanisms. “Bastard machine!” she screamed.

Justin was forced back into the habitation section. The bounty hunter stopped firing and pulled herself along the cockpit’s floor, leaving a rich trail of blood. I must contact Amino Battle Command, she said to herself. With total determination, she reached the communications panel, then activated it.

“Commander Pepe?” she said Breathlessly. “Justin’s inside my ship! I must destroy him!”

Sarah!” Commander Pepe said. “You must show restraint!

“Restraint?!” she exclaimed, not believing what she was hearing. “He just tore my leg off!!”

The cyborg’s remaining fist smashed the communications console, ending the conversation. Sarah Savage turned and aimed the pistol. Before she got the chance to fire, Justin grabbed her arm and crushed her wrist. She winced and dropped the gun.

“I must dismember you.” he said once again.

“Go and wet yourself!” the bounty hunter screamed in defiance.

Justin placed one of his plate-like feet onto her gut and rested his entire weight on it. She vomited beer and felt several litres of blood rush uncontrollably up to her head as her stomach, liver, and intestinal tract were flattened, just like pastry under a roller. Breathing became painfully difficult. Justin hadn’t finished yet. With a swift yanking motion, the cyborg ripped her right arm away from her body. The sound of tearing flesh, snapping ligaments, and crunching bone was tremendous.

Sarah Savage couldn’t believe what was happening. She felt around with her left arm on the off chance of finding an awesome, fully charged weapon somewhere within reach. She found nothing. When she saw what the demented cyborg was preparing to do, she relaxed and waited for the inevitable.

Justin had reached over and pulled her broadsword out from where it was stuck in the wall. He held it high over her body and brandished it like a giant dagger with the straight and serrated blade pointing downwards.

For a few seconds, Sarah Savage and Justin stared into each other’s eyes. All was quiet.

The sword descended so quickly that the bounty hunter had no time to react. The sword’s one point two metre blade thrust through her breast plate and into her chest, splitting her rib cage in two, slicing up her bronchial tubes, and severing her spinal column. But it did not stop there. It continued out of her body and through the floor, cutting through the ship until its bloodied tip appeared from out of the Satyr’s lower hull.

Sarah Savage looked down. The sword had been pushed through right up to the hilt.

She looked up and tried to focus on Justin, but could not. She tried to breath, but could not. She tried to think, but could not. The taste of blood was the only thing that her mind was registering now, but even that was fading fast…

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© Copyright Peter Fothergill 1992 - 2017

 
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