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Book: Mechanism
Chapter 25: Suction Cups

“Look at that!” Harrison Ectoplasm yelled, pointing at the Amino Battle Command’s fabulous main view-screen.

The rest of command centre’s staff including Commander Pepe followed the advice of the head of internal defence. What they saw was the first positive image that the screen had displayed since the crisis started that morning.

“Get some external reports!” the commander ordered excitedly. “I want verification of what we’re seeing.”

Harrison nodded and scurried over to the communications array.

Commander Pepe continued to watch the view-screen. The multi-mechanoid beast had suddenly collapsed less than two hundred metres from the Central Tower. For some reason the cyborgs had disconnected themselves from each other as if their motivation for whatever it was that they were attempting to do had disappeared. Aimlessly, the insane machines began to wander around in all directions. They were clearly lost and bewildered. Sixteen accurate blasts of energy fire from above blew apart several of the mechanoids - now easy targets. Two bounty hunter ships could be seen thrusting away between the magnificent towers of the palace’s central districts. Three squads of the internal defence force took advantage of the situation and moved in for the kill. The commander watched as a barrage of automatic fusion fire cut into the wandering machines with calculated brutality. Dozens more cyborgs suffered terminal damage and crumpled onto the road surface. Clouds of smoke from electrical fires and burning oil quickly shrouded the scene.

One of the battle command’s deep space sensor array operators hailed the commander.

“What is it?”

“Sir, I’ve been monitoring that strange beam that penetrated our defence field. It’s ceased transmitting!”

Commander Pepe sighed. “Excellent news young man. That’s excellent news.”

“It’s stopped controlling the cyborgs sir!”

“Yes, I can see that.”

“We’re saved!”

Commander Pepe smiled down at the young cadet. His innocent and child-like excitement reminded him of himself when he was growing up on Traumatika IV. That planet was constantly being raped and plundered by its nearest neighbour and furious battles with blunt hand weapons occurred almost every day. The sense of relief that the teenage Pepe had felt every time he had escaped death and mutilation must have been similar to that which the sensor operator was experiencing now. “Peter the Ace and Panman must have done it!” the commander shouted.

The entire staff of the command centre cheered loudly. An Image of Peter the Ace and Panman appeared and stretched the full height of the ten metre screen. Everyone turned to face it then dropped to their knees with the deepest of respect. Even Commander Pepe bowed in their virtual presence.

The image slowly faded and was replaced with a scene of the streets above. The cyborgs were still being picked off randomly.

“Commander,” Harrison Ectoplasm shouted. “I have confirmation from more than a hundred bounty hunters that the cyborgs have given up on their mental attack. Its officially over!”

“Thank you Mister Ectoplasm.” the commander said. “Order all bounty hunters and internal defence staff to cease fire immediately. Those mad mechanoids are no danger to us now. We must save as many of them as we can. Digital cooks are in short supply and the remaining ones must be preserved.”

“Yes sir!” Harrison turned back to face his communications array and issued the orders. They were obeyed instantly and the fierce firestorm of energy stopped.

Commander Pepe issued more orders. “Have the surviving mechanoids rounded up and taken in for servicing.”

“Yes sir.” Harrison answered.

“Not Justin though.”

“Why, sir?”

“He seemed to be their leader. If he’s one of the survivors, have him taken into custody immediately.”

“Of course, sir.”

Harrison issued more orders through his array.

The commander watched as his devoted staff took control and carried out his wishes. Another successful outcome to another potentially deadly...

A whooping siren echoed loudly around the Amino Battle Command centre.

“What the hell is that?” the commander shouted.

“I don’t know sir!” Harrison yelled back.

“What do you mean you don’t know?!”

“I’ve never heard it before!”

“Find out or lose your rank and privileges!”

“Immediately, sir!” Harrison charged around the command centre in a frenzy of anguish. “I can’t find it, sir!”

“Look in the bloody manual, you babbling moron!”

Harrison nodded and ran over to his desk. From one of the draws he pulled out a thick, dusty folder and slammed it onto the hardwood surface. Notes, forms, letters, and three issues of ‘Jugs’ magazine scattered through the air.

“What does it say?”

The head of internal defence scanned the index and found the appropriate page number. He operated a few controls on his console. The sound was silenced. The giant view-screen switched to another image.

The commander was frantic with curiosity. “What was it?”

Harrison didn’t look too happy. “That was the GOAT Collide sensor alarm!”

“Goats?! What the hell are you talking about?!”

“It’s never sounded before. Apparently it stands for Gargantuan Object About To Collide.”

A crater faced youth shouted from the front of the command centre. “There it is!”

The Image on the view-screen was now much clearer. A massive purple pyramid, truncated at its tip, was heading straight for at them.

The commander was anxious for knowledge. “Give me some details now!”

Crater face read his instrumentation. “It’s almost two thousand kilometres in height! It’ll hit us in fifteen minutes!”

The commander fell back into his chair. A bad day, which had just become good, had once again become bad. Very bad, in fact. Even his naked and heavily drugged masseurs could not soothe him this time. He grabbed a pen from his console and looked at it. Straight up the nose and into the brain. A quick and efficient way to avoid dealing with this problem. After a few seconds he threw the pen down and slapped himself. Suicide was not an option. Not for a commander, anyway. He shut his eyes and tried to concentrate on the problem. He needn’t have bothered. His communications panel bleeped furiously.

“What is it?” he asked tiredly

Communications cadet Morris McPherson the 2nd speaking, sir.

“Can’t you see I’m trying to think, Morris! This better be good!”

It is, sir. I have Peter the Ace and Panman on the line for you. Priority plus infinity!

Commander Pepe was happy beyond hope. “Put them through!”

The marvellous faces of the two greatest bounty hunters ever to breath air in a multi-dimensional environment appeared on a display unit in a true colour ultra-high resolution comb-filtered wide-screen format. Panman was munching on a handful of chicken wings.

Commander Pepe,” Peter the Ace said. “It’s good to see you again.

“Not as good as it is for me to see you.” the commander replied. “How did it go?”

Very well, we were totally successful in a multitude of ways and even managed to find Ross Mental!

The commander was visibly shocked. “Amazing! How in Beelzebub’s citadel did you manage that?”

All I can say at the moment is that the object that caused our cyborgs to riot is from another galaxy billions of light years distant. It apparently picked up Ross Mental’s ship as our foul mouthed friend was trying to get home after helping destroy the dough monster.

“A fluke beyond forever!”

Indeed. And what’s more, our dark and murky adversary Lawrence was with Ross Mental at the time. We have him in locked up in one of our detention cells at this very moment!

“You two are awesome!”

“Of course we are.

“Lawrence will finally be tried and punished for his dreadfully grisly crimes against life as we know it. You are both heroes of perfection!”

I can’t disagree with you there!

Commander Pepe glanced at the command centre’s giant view-screen and was reminded of the gargantuan object that was heading towards him. “What’s the giant purple thing that’s approaching us?”

Ah yes.” Peter the Ace said. “That thing is known as the Mechanism. Why it wanted to control our cyborgs and flood our world with lava is unclear, although we do know that its two occupants wanted to absorb everything in some way. We have destroyed its power core but are unable to halt its approach. I’m afraid it will collide with Enchantia and shatter the entire planet in thirteen minutes.

Commander Pepe sweated profusely, the result of intense stress. “What, with your god-like wisdom, do you suggest?”

Panman has come up with a cunning plan of devious simplicity. I’ll let him explain.

Panman swallowed the last of his chicken wings, including the bones, and began to speak. “All bounty hunter ships must be launched at once. They must head for the Mechanism and attach tow cables of phenomenal strength to its surface. Their combined power should be enough to alter the Mechanism’s trajectory and place it in a high orbit around Enchantia.

The commander looked puzzled. “Surely it would be easier to simply cause the Mechanism to pass by our planet and drift away. Getting it into orbit will be intensely difficult.”

It must be kept within the vicinity of the palace.” Panman said. “It will be of great use to us.

“Why?”

I intend to convert it into a travelling theme park of mayhem and blood-spilling madness. We’ll make billions and bring pleasure, pain, and nausea into the minds and bodies of all who dare enter it!

A large smile spread like influenza across Commander Pepe’s face. “What a cool idea! It’s definitely worth the extra risk and effort, and with the Blenheim leading the fleet, success is assured!”

I’m sorry,” Peter the Ace said. “But we will be unable to help our fellow bounty hunters on this occasion.

“Why the hell not?”

As you may have noticed, the pyramid is missing its tip. That part of the Mechanism detached itself a few minutes ago and is heading further into the galaxy. Panman and myself must follow it and obliterate it completely before it destroys any of the nearby populated worlds.

Commander Pepe looked worried. “Our hopes of slowing that massive Mechanism thing are greatly reduced without your divine assistance, but you are right to follow that other object. I will do as you request and launch all of our ships immediately.”

Peter the Ace smiled in a very calm way. “Thank you, commander. As always, you are a wise and understanding leader of ample and overhanging proportions.

Commander Pepe bowed his head in thanks for the compliment bestowed upon him. The image of Peter the Ace and Panman faded to black.

After a second of deep thought and breathing, the commander turned to face his staff. “There is no time to loose!” he shouted. “Harrison, order all bounty hunter ships to launch immediately!”

Harrison Ectoplasm looked up at his commander. “All of them, sir?”

“That’s what I said you hard-of-hearing semi-sentient barf warbler!”

“But there are more than eight thousand of them!”

“Do as I order or be banished to the Aloa-Vera springs forever!”

The head of internal defence cringed at the thought of all that disgusting tropical plant juice swilling around his body. “Yes, sir!”

As Harrison carried out the orders Commander Pepe entered the details of how to slow and alter the course of the Mechanism into his console. The details would then be automatically transferred to all the ships involved in the operation and allow them to co-ordinate themselves to best effect.

The commander finished quickly and leaned back into his chair. There was nothing more he could do now. The large graphic display showed the trajectories of the ships that had launched - more than three thousand already. All qualified bounty hunters were highly intelligent and skilful people and he trusted their abilities without question. Out of all the beings and entities in the galaxy, only they had the knowledge, the training, and the insanity to succeed during this time of impossible danger.


It had taken less than five minutes to launch all of the 8,346 ships of the bounty hunter fleet currently stationed at the palace. The largest ones, some almost as large as the awe-inspiring Blenheim, lead the massive squadron as it blasted its way across the expansive void of space towards the Mechanism. The smaller ships, some only five metres in length, brought up the rear and seemed to buzz around their larger companions like insignificant insects. Indeed, from a distance, the entire fleet could have been mistaken for a swarm of huge killer bees rampaging wildly for no apparent reason.

Blasting through the giant squadron was a deceptively old looking ship only eight metres in length. It overtook the other ships effortlessly as it made its way to the front of the fleet. It’s styling, similar to that of an ancient Earth bi-plane aircraft known as a Sopwith Camel, was very distinctive and could only belong to one bounty hunter. That bounty hunter was Farqhar Alqurseltsa, a bounty hunter of great lineage and historical knowledge.

Amazingly, Farqhar Alqurseltsa had been a pilot during Earth’s First World War. Due to bad navigation and unexplainable freakish fuel economy, he had flown off course one day during a mission over no man’s land. After a couple of days flying, he crashed onto an ice flow close to the planet’s northern ice cap. The incredible heat of his engine melted the ice and his entire plane sank into its frigid depths. Farqhar, unable to escape because of the badly designed buckle on his harness, was engulfed by the ice and frozen solid. He lay there, cold and still, for a long long time.

Three hundred years later, he was accidentally thawed out by a villainous bastard known as Crumpled Paper Face. Crumpy Pap, as he was known to his friends, had stolen all of the Earth’s ice fields and had stashed them at the heart of a hollow asteroid somewhere in the crime infested Odious sector. His naive plan had been to sell the ice back to Earth when water supplies became unbearably low.

Anyway, to cut a very long story very short, Farqhar Alqurseltsa managed to get his plane into the air and had flown around inside the asteroid, machine gunning to death all of Crumpy Pap’s ice chopping staff. A bounty hunter spy within the villainous bastard’s organisation had witnessed Farqhar’s courageous act and immediately invited him to enrol as a trainee bounty hunter. After hearing about the Palace of Amino and its opulent standard of living Farqhar eagerly accepted, but on one condition: his trusty Sopwith Camel would still be his fighter. That condition was accepted, and his flimsy aircraft was converted into a space faring ship of unpredictable power.

Farqhar Alqurseltsa, the appointed squadron leader during the mission to the Mechanism, guided his plane swiftly up to the front of the fleet, rolling and twisting around, over, and under the ships of his colleagues. He reached the front and took up position ahead of the multitude of well-designed battle craft. In front loomed the vast purple pyramid known as the Mechanism. It almost filled the entire field of view.

Farqhar leaned out of his cockpit and looked back at the massive collection of star ships behind him. To keep the feel of his craft authentic, he had decided not to have an air-tight canopy fitted. Instead he chose to wear a space suit and allow himself the chance to ‘lean over the side’ whenever he felt like it. Although it was a pretty stupid idea, it did give him a unique view of his surroundings.

“Okay chaps.” he said into the communicator. “This is going to be a tough but exhilarating experience for us all. All I can ask is that you try your best and succeed totally. Failure will result in the destruction of our casinos, restaurants, health clubs, and meditation centres and we can’t allow that, now can we?”

The word ‘No!’ was broadcast from each of the other ships.

“Good show!” the squadron leader said. “Now, you all know your positions behind that massive alien blighter, so act like the bunch of bally heroes that you are and give it what for!”

The gigantic fleet broke formation and spread around the Mechanism. If a special effects film studio had had to reproduce such a scene it would have cost millions per second.

Looking like tiny specs of dust when seen against the Mechanism, the bounty hunter ships made their way low over the surface of the giant pyramid. They had only seven minutes left before the extra-galactic behemoth pulverised their home. There was no time to loose.


Commander Pepe and his devoted staff watched the vast tactical displays as the bounty hunter ships took up position at the rear of the giant pyramid. Various tele-video screens displayed images from the dozens of camera satellites that had followed the fleet and were now co-ordinating their efforts to produce live coverage of ‘Operation Pull It Away’.

Squadron leader Farqhar Alqurseltsa’s voice could be heard. “We’re almost ready. Prime your tow cables, there’s good chaps!

Johnson Proto-Fut’Odour, a bounty hunter of strange but useful ideas contacted Farqhar. “Squadron leader. The tow grid prediction parameter is weakening at section eight. I suggest we spread positioning six point one degrees to compensate for hyperbolic drift.

Jolly decent thinking mister Proto-Fut’Odour. Consult with Bernhardt Twist-Grip, Okenfold Articulator, and Arabella Juice-Filtration-Unit. Define your strategy and deploy in thirty seconds.

Yes, squadron leader.

One of the tele-video screens tracked Johnson Proto-Fut’Odour’s ship as it sped up the side of the Mechanism weaving in and out of the lengthy protruding antennae. Another screen showed Farqhar Alqurseltsa’s bi-plane positioning close to the purple pyramid’s truncated apex.

The squadron leader spoke again. “We have less than six minutes’ chaps. Are you all in position? Please confirm.

One of the tactical view-screens at the Amino Battle Command was displaying the instrument readings from Farqhar’s cockpit. His fleet status system had registered 8345 confirmations - one short.

The squadron leader was heard to query this. “Gerardo Blazin’Socks, you have failed to confirm. Anything the matter, old bean?

One of the camera satellites locked onto Gerardo’s star ship, named the Undulator, and broadcast its image back to the palace. It was a weird vessel, thirty metres in length and shaped like a multi-segmented caterpillar. It’s red and black markings gave it a fierce and repulsive appearance. “Yis.” the bounty hunter answered. “Mi kinfirm bittin is knit wirking. I will hiv ti kinfirm bi vice inly.

Can’t understand a bally word you’re saying old fruit. Maybe your confirm button isn’t working properly. You’ll have to confirm by voice.

Thits whit I jist sid!!!

Can you confirm?

Yis!!!

What?

Yis, I kinfirm!!!

Awfully bad accent you have there, old bean. Unable to make anything out I’m afraid.

I kinfirm I kinfirm!!!

No, sorry. It’s no good. Break formation, there’s a good chap. I’ve no room for incomprehensible buffoons in my squadron. Return to the palace and enrol at the academy’s Faculty of Pronunciation.

Yir kinnit di thit ti mi!

Farqhar Alqurseltsa was loosing his patience. “Do as I say, you blithering nonsense babbler! I’ll have your trousers ripped off and your bottom slapped by a pregnant gorilla if you disobey!

Gerardo said nothing. He obviously knew his place. The Undulator banked and flipped over, and then rocketed back towards Enchantia.

Right.” the squadron leader said. “We now have only five minutes. Everyone fire!

Commander Pepe and his staff watched as the camera satellites broadcast images of the bounty hunter fleet. Thousands and thousands of tow cables could be seen shooting through the antennae and towards the Mechanism’s backside. They slammed onto its detailed surface, suction cups the size of golfing umbrellas gripping tightly to the purple hull. Within seconds, all ships were joined to the massive pyramid.

Jolly good show!” Farqhar Alqurseltsa said. “Commander Pepe, awaiting your permission to commence Operation Pull It Away.

Commander Pepe stood at his console. His staff looked at him expectedly. “Permission Granted.”

Many thanks.” the squadron leader said. “The order is given. Bounty hunters, Pull!

The engines of all the bounty hunter ships radiated gleaming light and heat as their sub-light drive systems powered up. The tow lines tightened instantly. The battle command’s view-screens showed the whole scene in all its glory.

Thrust at fifty percent.” one of the female bounty hunters said. “No effect detected.

Noted, Sonia Por Favor.” Farqhar said. “All ships increase thrust to seventy percent.

Sonia Por Favor stated a fact. “That level of thrust will place maximum stress on the cables. Some may not hold!

Splendid warning, though we have no choice.

The bounty hunter ships did as ordered. The tension on the cables increased tremendously as the relatively insignificant little craft pulled and pulled and pulled.

The crater faced youth at the front of the Amino Battle Command control room shouted at Commander Pepe. “Sir!” he said excitedly. “The Mechanism his altered course by one degree!”

“Will that be enough?”

Crater face made a few calculations. His mood changed. “No sir.”

“Then don’t get so prematurely excited!” Commander Pepe bellowed. The commander turned his attention to Farqhar Alqurseltsa. “Farquar, you are having only a limited effect. Apply more thrust now!”

Yes, sir! All ships increase thrust to ninety percent immediately, we have only four minutes remaining!

Sonia Por Favor’s anxious voice was heard once again. “What about the cables?

Forget the cables my dear. Just blindly carry out my orders like the good girl that you are.

Sonia Por Favor and the rest of the bounty hunters complied. The strain on the lines was now colossal. Several dozen snapped and sprung away from the Mechanism. One of them hit a bounty hunter ship with such force that it smashed through the vessel’s armour plating and into its bridge section. The battle command staff held their breath and watched their screens as the unrestrained ship blasted forwards, its engines still running at almost full power. A second later, two escape capsules ejected through the ship’s top side and drifted to safety. Just in time. The badly ruptured vessel exploded violently. With frightening speed the rapidly expanding cloud of debris encompassed some of the nearby ships. They shook as tonnes of wreckage scrapped across their hulls. Luckily their cables were not cut.

Another agitated bounty hunter’s voice was heard. “É un corto-circuito!

Elena L’Apriscatole!” Farquar was heard to say sternly. “How many times do I have to tell you? Speak in English!

Dispiace - I mean sorry. My concentration is not good in a crisis at the moment. Personal reasons.

What’s the problem with your ship, my dear?

My cable controls are short-circuiting! I do not think it will hold!

An image of Elena L’Apriscatole’s ship, the Pizza Express, filled the battle command’s main view-screen. Sparks were fizzing around the area where the line was attached. The engines nearby glowed an almost blinding shade of amber white. Suddenly part of the cabling machinery broke away. The ship swung out of position and twisted away. The cable was still attached but out of line, and it was causing the Pizza Express to wobble vigorously.

Lo ho il torcicollo!” Elena L’Apriscatole screamed. “Non posso muovere la testa. Mi fa male!

In English my dear. In English!

Sonia Por Favor cut in. “She’s always like this when she’s scared, squadron leader.

Noted once again Sonia Por Favor. Elena L’Apriscatole, detach your cable. It’s too damaged to be of any use. You tried your best. Return to the palace.

Grazie. A più tardi.

The Pizza Express dumped its damaged cable machinery and headed for home.

Commander Pepe watched with dismay. He turned towards the crater faced youth. “What’s happening with the Mechanism now?”

“its course has changed by five degrees but that’s not enough. The course change has to be at least ten!”

The commander nodded. “Farqhar, the effect you and the fleet are having is still too small. You have no choice but to order all ships up to full power!”

I understand, commander.” the squadron leader answered seriously. “All ships now hear this. You will engage full thrust on my mark. You will push your engines to the limit...

Sonia Por Favor interruped. “That could destroy some of us!

Of course it could but that is irrelevant. Obey my orders or suffer instant court martial and instant execution.

Sonia Por Favor kept quiet.

Jack Dobbins however, who had qualified as a bounty hunter only thirty four minutes ago, spoke his mind. “I’ll be fucked if I’m going to full power!

Do as I say, Mister Dobbins!

No way!

Farquar Alqurseltsa had no choice but to follow wartime regulations. He launched a torpedo that had been hanging between the thin rubber wheels of his bi-plane’s landing gear. It zigzagged its way through the fleet leaving a trail of smoke and flame as it did so. In less than two seconds, it identified Jack Dobbins’s ship and slammed into its side. Normally, a torpedo of this size would have had little effect on a bounty hunter ship. Their shields are way to strong. This was a unique situation though. As Jack had refused to obey his superior’s order his vessel’s defence systems had automatically powered down. This left him open to capital punishment if necessary. It was definitely necessary in this situation. The torpedo penetrated the hull and detonated at the heart of the ship. The small craft blew apart and vaporised. Nothing remained.

Sorry about that,” the squadron leader said. “Essential wartime justice and all that. Right, everyone ready?

Confirmation signals were sent from all ships.

Spiffing show! Full thrust now!

Each of the remaining bounty hunter ships applied maximum power to its sub-light engines. Blinding light and streams of energy blasted into the vacuum of space.

The commander was biting his nails with tension. The massive view-screen was displaying the events around the Mechanism. Hundreds of cables were snapping under the extreme forces exerted upon them. Several ships lost control and crashed into each other. As energy shields clashed, sparks and arcs of power crackled across their hulls. An overload occurred. They were destroyed in a momentous way. The remaining ships strained like they had never strained before. More and more cables snapped.

Keep it up chaps!” Farqhar shouted as he strained to keep his own craft in one piece.

The crater faced youth issued a report. “Almost eight degrees!” he said. “We’re almost there!”

The view-screen was showing more and more cables snapping. Several more bounty hunter ships blew apart. Fortunately most of their occupants ejected in time. Dozens of small escape capsules drifted through the crowd of pulling ships.

“How much now!” Commander Pepe screamed stressfully.

“Eight point eight.” crater face said. “And we only have one minute left!”

“Pull Harder!” the Commander yelled. His face was red with distress. The veins on his neck could be seen pulsing rapidly.

We’re beyond maximum thrust now.” the squadron leader said with forced calm. “One hundred and six percent actually. The very best we can do I’m afraid!

“You’ll have to do better!”

Sorry. No can do, and all that!

The Commander flopped into his chair like a lump of quivering jelly. He couldn’t take much more of this. He stared at the huge data screens ahead and analysed their output. The Mechanism was almost upon them now. Its speed was reducing rapidly but not rapidly enough. It would hit them in seconds.

“The degree of course change won’t be enough!” yelled crater face.

Bounty hunter ships continued to explode under the strain. More than half of the cables had snapped. Surely they had failed in their task.

Commander Pepe felt useless as he watched the events on the view-screens. His comrades were dying and there was nothing he could do to help them.

A strange silence filled the Amino Battle Command control centre. All eyes were fixed on the graphics now displayed on one of the large view-screens. What they saw terrified them to the bone.

Tears ran down crater face’s face as he made a solemn announcement. “Sir, the Mechanism has entered Enchantia’s atmosphere.”

The view-screen’s image changed to a view from the top of the Central Tower. A few hundred kilometres to the east a glow of white heat could be seen. Rapidly it parted the clouds and descended to the mountains and forests below. It hit only a second later! Rock and soil and trees and creatures were vaporised instantly as one of the pointed corners of the Mechanism gouged away a deep strip of land. Massive dust clouds sprayed into the upper atmosphere, darkening the skies around the alien object.

“It’s approaching us at an incredible speed!” crater face shouted hysterically. “It’ll be on top of us in seconds!”

The commander felt a strange sensation of calm flood through his soul. He never expected to feel quite this relaxed at the moment of his death. He felt sad of course that his beloved organisation would be destroyed. It had mutilated a huge amount of criminals and evil dudes and had improved the quality of life on all of the upper class worlds. He felt sad but content. Content that he had made a big difference to the galaxy and maybe even to the universe as a whole. . It was a shame though that the good work would not continue. But then again, maybe it would! Peter the Ace and Panman would more than likely live. Maybe they would rebuild the Palace of Amino and carry on the good work of the organisation which they helped to found three centuries ago. Yes, that’s what would happen. Commander Pepe drifted into a fantasy world where a huge kilometre tall statue of himself stood at the centre of the new palace. On the plaque would read: ‘Commander Pepe, brave and fearless leader of the Palace of Amino’s Battle Command. Destroyed just outside his massage chamber by the Mechanism, Earth Reference Year 2392.81 A.D. 19:37 hrs. His enormous physique will never be forgotten.’

Crater face made a final announcement. “Fuck!”

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