The Blenheim - a dark and moody star ship brimming with excessive weaponry
- hovered a hundred metres above the base of the column of curvaceous design
at the very bottom of the Mechanism’s power core. If anyone had been
nearby and seen such a magnificent spectacle of fine design and craftsmanship
they would have surely collapsed with pleasure, or at least stabbed themselves
in the neck to make sure that they were not dreaming. The Blenheim was indeed
a ship that mere mortals could only fantasise about between the bed sheets.
Peter the Ace leapt onto the Blenheim’s bridge and dived to the
floor. He rolled head-over-heels towards his command chair. Panman, who
had been sitting in that chair, somersaulted into the air and landed perfectly
onto his chair at the weapons console. Peter the Ace tumbled expertly
into position at his command post.
Ross Mental entered the bridge next. He tossed the severed head of Xjaq
Dominator into the air and proceeded to perform a dazzling array of snap
punches and flying roundhouse kicks heavily interspersed with the words
‘Fuck’ and ‘Fucker’. Within a second he had landed
in a proud and mean-looking pose behind his two companions’ chairs.
Xjaq’s head dropped accurately into his hands.
“Coolest flying I’ve ever fuckin’ seen!” he said
to Panman. “Fuckin’ terrific rescue!”
“That’s because I’m a cool dude who knows no fear.”
Panman said modestly. He looked at the lifeless head that Ross Mental
was holding. “Is that what I think it is?”
“Yep! May I present the fucker Xjaq. Well and truly fucked by Peter
“Cool going, Ace!” Panman said with excitement.
“It was no real problem.” Peter the Ace said calmly. “I
simply took the opportunity to test my new Assassinator Class One Super-Heated
Carnage Blade and it worked beautifully!”
“I can see that!” Panman said. “It’s a shame that
I had to break off my pursuit of Zyix Taskmaster in order to pick you
two up. Maybe I too could have bagged me an alien mind sucker of diabolical
“You made the right decision. Our priority is to disable this power
core, stop this gargantuan vessel, and prevent the absorption of all our
inferiors at the Palace of Amino.”
“And stop the cyborgs’ rampage of gore!”
Peter the Ace directed his voice to the ship. “Blenheim, how long
until this vast pyramid reaches Enchantia?”
“ACTUAL CURRENT SPEED OF THE DEVICE KNOWN AS THE MECHANISM CANNOT
BE CONFIRMED AND THEREFORE AN ACCURATE ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION CANNOT
Peter the Ace looked confused. “What the hell is the Mechanism?”
Panman answered. “It’s what Zyix Taskmaster said that this
purple monstrosity is called.”
“Oh. Okay. Blenheim, use data obtained before we entered the err...
Mechanism to provide an answer.”
“WITH REFERENCE TO VELOCITY SCANS TAKEN BEFORE ENTRY INTO THE DEVICE
KNOWN AS THE MECHANISM, THE DEVICE KNOWN AS THE MECHANISM WILL INTERCEPT
THE PLANET ENCHANTIA IN TWENTY THREE MINUTES.”
“Arm your weapons systems, Panman!” Peter the Ace said with
a touch of urgency.
Panman instantly armed everything he could lay his hands on.
Peter the Ace watched with pride as his companion energised every single
destructive force on the ship. “What do you recommend?”
Panman’s exceptional knowledge of armoury was put to good use. “Nukes,
at least a dozen. That should do it!”
Peter the Ace nodded. “Yes. That’s what Ross Mental and I
Panman fiddled with his control panel. It bleeped gently and a multi-coloured
display of trajectories and predicted levels of destruction were displayed
on the main view-screen.
Ross mental liked what he saw. “Fuckin’ devastation here we
fuckin’ come!” A thought suddenly flitted through his mind.
“Hey! Wait a fuckin’ minute! My ship is probably somewhere
onboard this fucker! We have to find it! I can’t leave without the
Peter the Ace shook his head and asserted his authority. “That won’t
be possible.” he said sternly. “Although your ship is an awesome
example of palace engineering but we must leave it behind.”
Ross Mental nodded and lowered his head. If Peter the Ace had been a lesser
bounty hunter he would have smacked him hard in the mouth for saying what
he had said and sent his teeth and torn gums flying across the deck. He
was, however, a superior bounty hunter of exceptional sentience. Ross
Mental knew his place and showed incredible restraint.
Peter the Ace noticed his companion’s quiet distress. “Don’t
worry.” he said. “The Mechanism should remain relatively intact.
We can look for it later.
Ross Mental felt better. “You’re fuckin’ right as always.”
With that small personnel problem sorted out, Peter the Ace returned to
the current task and said one of the words that Panman loved the most.
Panman slammed his tightly clenched right fist down onto a large red pad
at the centre of his console. The words ‘LAUNCHED... DETONATION
IN FIVE SECONDS.’ appeared on the view-screen.
Peter the Ace decided that now was a great time to leave the power core.
He dextrously operated his flight controls and accelerated the Blenheim
up the deep shaft.
A flash of intense light illuminated the power core almost to its top
end as twelve simultaneous fifty megaton nuclear blasts ravaged its base
with heat and energy of an almost unimaginable magnitude. Even the ultra-strong
materials that made up the column of curvaceous design could not withstand
their power. The column’s foundations crumpled and vaporised in
the intense wave of destruction that passed along its length.
The Blenheim rolled over and banked to the right. It entered the passageway
that Panman had previously blasted away, and just in time too. With unforgiving
ferocity, the destructive heat-wave ripped its way up the power core’s
shaft tearing it’s lining to shreds.
The Blenheim thundered down the crudely cut passageway with ever increasing
speed. Already, it had traversed more than twenty kilometres.
Peter the Ace spoke. “Blenheim, scan the Mechanism’s energy
systems and give me a report.”
“THE ENERGY SYSTEMS WITHIN THE DEVICE KNOWN AS THE MECHANISM ARE
Panman shouted with glee. “Whoa! Cool multiplied by ten, or what!”
His glee diminished as he thought of something. “Oh no! What if
this mammoth vessel falls apart? My theme park of gruesome hazards will
never be realised!”
“Calm yourself.” Peter the Ace said. “Blenheim, give
me a report on the structural damage generated by our magnificent series
“THE STRUCTURAL DAMAGE CREATED BY THE NUCLEAR DETONATIONS WAS LOCALISED
AND AFFECTED AN AREA OF FIFTY THREE SQUARE KILOMETRES ALONG THE LENGTH
OF THE POWER CORE.”
Panman sighed and relaxed.
The Blenheim burst out of the passageway that Panman had blasted and entered
the tube that led to the outside.
Ross Mental had a thought. “Why didn’t this fuckin’
Mechanism fucker have any internal defences inside that fuckin’
power core? It let us destroy it without any fuckin’ resistance!”
Peter the Ace answered wisely. “That’s the mentality of evil
alien dudes from this galaxy and beyond. Without fail, they always assume
that their outer defences are impenetrable and therefore omit to install
adequate defences deep inside their motherships.”
The foul-mouthed bounty hunter laughed. “Fuckin’ idiots!”
Still accelerating, the Blenheim reached the end of the tube and blasted
out into space. The blur of unusual entities around them indicated that
they were still travelling in sub-space.
“The power to the Mechanism’s engines has obviously been maintained.”
Peter the Ace said as he calmly guided the ship in and out of the masses
of giant antennae that protruded from the purple pyramid’s hull.
Ross Mental stated the obvious. “That fucker’s going to collide
with the fuckin’ palace at a fuckin’ fuck off speed!”
The Blenheim looped, wove, rolled, and ricocheted through the spiky protrusions.
“WARNING:” the ship announced. “THE SUB-SPACE FIELD
SURROUNDING THE DEVICE KNOWN AS THE MECHANISM IS COLLAPSING. FOUR SECONDS
TO COMPLETE FAILURE.”
“Brace yourselves!” Peter the Ace said.
The Blenheim lurched violently as normal space surrounded it and the laws
of sub-light physics tugged at its structure. All around, the antennae
bent and broke away as the uncontrolled emergence from sub-space created
tremendous forces that ripped across the Mechanism’s hull. Several
chunks of debris, some more than a kilometre in length, smashed into the
Blenheim. The flagship of the bounty hunter fleet shuddered as the strength
of the impacts dented and buckled its hull.
Alarms sounded. “STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY FAILING.” the ship announced
in its usual and computerised way.
Peter the Ace utilised his centuries of flying experience to zigzag the
ship to safety. The Blenheim left the debris and destruction behind. The
alarms were silenced and peace and quiet returned.
The three bounty hunters smiled at the image on the main view-screen.
The planet Enchantia, home of the Palace of Amino, filled the screen.
The planet’s luscious green continents and cool blue oceans relaxed
the three heroes’ souls. Ross Mental in particular was glad to see
his home planet once again.
“Fuckin’ cool as a fuckin’ fucker!” he yelled
Panman was busily tapping away at his control panel.
“Is something up?” Peter the Ace asked.
Panman looked at his colleague. “Yes.” he said solemnly. “Two
things, in fact.”
The view-screen’s image changed to an image of technical data and
“The first thing,” Panman said. “Is that the Mechanism
is still heading towards Enchantia at a closing speed of more than three
thousand kilometres per second. At that speed it will collide with the
planet in fifteen minutes!”
“That’s pretty bad.” Peter the Ace said.
“And,” Panman continued. “The fact that it’s more
than two thousand kilometres in height means that the defence grid around
the planet will have virtually no effect upon it. The collision will decimate
the entire globe!”
“Fuck!” was all that Ross Mental could think of to say.
Peter the Ace was more relaxed about the situation. “And what was
the other thing?”
Panman altered the view-screen image. “The pinnacle of the pyramid
has detached itself and is thrusting away at tremendous speed.”
Peter the Ace thought for a few milliseconds. “Zyix Taskmaster?”
“Let’s get the fucker!” Ross Mental screamed as he dropped
Xjaq Dominator’s head and punched the air with both of his fists.
“Wait.” Peter the Ace said. “We have a dilemma here.
Do we go after Zyix or do we attempt to save our planet from complete
“Which is the most important?” Panman asked.
“Well, saving our planet would preserve the bounty hunter society
which would then continue to save countless lives over the next few millennia.
But, the incredible mass of the Mechanism would make it pretty difficult
to stop and our chances of success would be low.
“If we choose the other option and go after that rogue globular
dude in his miniature Mechanism, we could be sacrificing our incredible
organisation. We would, however, stop Zyix from destroying countless civilisations
on its trek of destruction through the galaxy. The miniature Mechanism,
according to out scans, is more than a hundred kilometres across and considerably
larger and more powerful than any ships of the defence forces of the populated
systems. They would have no chance without our intervention.”
Ross Mental and Panman thought deeply about the two options.
“We’re fucked!” Ross Mental said uselessly. He was ignored.
Panman suddenly looked at Peter the Ace and smiled.
“What is it that’s making you so happy?” Peter the Ace
“I have a plan that’s as cool as a frozen cucumber!”
Peter the Ace loved Panman’s plans. “You’d better tell
me about it then.”
Panman explained his idea with great excitement. The other two bounty
hunters laughed at its cunning simplicity.
“That is as cool as a frozen cucumber!” Peter the Ace said.
“Why didn’t I think of it first?”