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Book: Mechanism
Chapter 28: Wretched Violations

A fluke the size of several moons blessed the Palace of Amino on the day that the Mechanism hit. It was a fluke greater in strength than those experienced by the ferocious fluke fiends of Ohm’Bavor-Khail’Le’La’Treistaar-Pah. Those fiends of vicious intent are under constant bombardment by volcanoes and meteorites and have been for millennia, yet not one of them has even been scratched by the molten debris that falls their way. What a remarkable fluke that is. Even more remarkable perhaps is the fact that they can all pronounce the name of their planet without ever faltering once, even when inebriated beyond recovery.


Commander Pepe stepped out of the elevator and walked across the richly carpeted lobby of the Central Tower. The lobby was huge, over a hundred metres in height, and was lit by several giant chandeliers suspended high above. Dozens of glass elevator shafts whisked their passengers up to the tower’s heights or down into its subterranean chambers. The commander had just come up from one of those chambers. One of the deepest chambers, in fact. The Amino Battle Command - five hundred levels and almost two kilometres straight down into the iron-solid crust of Enchantia.

Accompanied by the scantily clad Suzanna Havabanana, Commander Pepe walked towards the main doorway that led out into the street. This was the first time that he’d visited the surface since the Mechanism hit Enchantia two days ago. The giant ship had hit the planet several hundred kilometres east of the palace and gouged out a groove fifty kilometres wide and fifty deep. It had sent a billion tonnes of molten earth and rock thundering into the sky and caused major ligament snapping earthquakes all over the planet. Fortunately the Mechanism bounced away from the surface just as it reached the bounty hunter haven. It had missed ripping off the top levels of the Central Tower by a mere thirteen metres.

Through the glass of the main doors the commander could see dust, tonnes and tonnes of dust. It had been falling like snow for the last thirty six hours and covered roads, parks, and buildings a metre thick in some places. Ground cars, joggers, and street entertainers were having great difficulty going about their business. The clean-up operation had begun almost immediately but it would take a couple of weeks to completely clear away the fallout.

Several members of the Central Tower security forces saluted Commander Pepe as he walked by. He acknowledged them then walked out into the street. A deafening cheer erupted from the crowd outside. They clapped and waved at their leader, kicking up a cloud of dust as they did so. Several of them started coughing and spluttering, and then fell to the ground as their lungs filled with ash. Medical teams dragged them out of sight. Several hovering tele-video cameras drifted above the crowd and focused on the commander.

“My friends.” he said joyously. “The crisis is officially over!”

The crowd cheered again.

“Apart from all of this annoying dust, we are completely out of danger. How do I know this, you may be asking yourselves?”

“Yeah,” shouted a spotty adolescent at the front of the crowd. His long and dribbling nose twitched nervously. “How do you know?”

“Because, my repulsive and acne-covered friend, I received a communication less than ten minutes ago. A communication of ultimate importance.”

“From whom?”

“None other that Peter the Ace and Panman!”

The crowd went wild at the mention of their heroes’ names.

“What did they say?” the crowd shouted gleefully.

“They have eliminated the final alien dude that was controlling the Mechanism!”

Several members of the crowd dropped to their knees in respect and awe. They were rapidly consumed by dust. Medical teams moved in.

“That is not all.” Commander Pepe said with importance. He loved the way the crowd was responded to his words. He also loved the way Suzanna was caressing his body. “Whilst onboard the Mechanism, they found Ross Mental frozen in a pod. Our foul mouthed mentor has been found and they’re all on their way back!”

The crowd could not take any more excitement. They cheered, and then cried, and then some collapsed with delight into the dust. The tireless medical teams moved in once again.

“That is the end of my statement.” Commander Pepe said after waiting for several hundred people to be bundled into ambulances. “But, if you look up into the sky you will see a shape that will fill your souls with ecstasy and admiration. It’s a shape that will be all too familiar and all too astounding for your minds to assimilate into coherent patterns of mental activity.”

The remaining members of the crowd followed the commander’s gaze. Far above them and descending rapidly was a black object. Its movements seemed erratic, and smoke was billowing from its backside. Although it looked in pretty bad shape, it was obvious what it was. It was the Blenheim.

“I will leave you now,” Commander Pepe said. “And journey up the tower to greet our unfathomable monumental heroes.”

The crowd was moaning and swooning with blissful happiness. They rapidly became overwhelmed with emotion. The sight of the flagship of the bounty hunter fleet was too much. The entire crowd gasped then fell backwards into the dust. They began to suffocate instantly. As usual, medical teams began pulling them to safety. Even as they neared death, the still conscious members of the crowd continued to watch the mighty ship as it manoeuvred into its huge hanger bay hundreds of levels up the side of the Central Tower. They smiled, even though their lungs burned and ached and their faces blistered and cracked. They cheered, even as their throats melted and their tongues solidified and rolled out of their mouths. They strained to stay alert just a few seconds more as the Blenheim disappeared from sight into the monolithic building.

Commander Pepe and Suzanna wandered back into the tower leaving dozens of medical teams to clear up the mess of choking bodies.


Peter the Ace and Panman strode confidently down the exit ramp of the Blenheim and onto the polished surface of the Central Tower’s prime hanger bay. A roar of delight almost deafened the two returning champions as it echoed around the massive room. The hundreds of technicians, engineers, electricians, and games designers dedicated to the sole task of keeping the Blenheim in tip top condition had gathered to welcome their beloved idols home. The two first class bounty hunters nodded their heads in polite appreciation for what was to them an every day occurrence. Panman took four chocolate éclairs from a container on his utility belt. “It appears that we have increased our level of mega-hero-super-stardom once again!” he said through a mouthful of cream and chocolate.

“Indeed we have.” Peter the Ace agreed. “But it’s hardly surprising.”

“Really?”

“Of course not! Our exceptional intellectual powers coupled with our muscular perfection and fearless disregard of safety regulations during impossibly hazardous situations makes us virtual gods to these people.”

Panman looked around at the screaming crowd. Many of them had collapsed with pleasure, especially the women, and were being carried away by medical teams.

“I think your right.” he said through another mouthful of cream.

“I am!”

A man in an overall approached, smiling broadly. It was prime hanger bay chief technician Doctor Eric Brillo BSc BEng MSc MEng PHD.

“Welcome back!” he cried, slapping the two bounty hunters on their shoulder armour. He looked up at the damaged Blenheim. “You’ve really pushed this baby to the limits this time, guys!”

“And beyond!” Panman said as he finished his last éclair.

“That’s impossible!” Eric said with disbelief. “I set those limits myself. The maximum speed, rate of turn, and holo-game difficulty levels were the highest that my century of full-time training could devise!”

“We increased them with ease.” Panman said calmly.

“It’s a shame they all decreased on the way home though.” Peter the Ace added. “It took us two days to get back here when it should’ve taken only two hours. Those engines are pretty lame.”

The chief technician bowed his head with disgrace. “I apologise for their lack of performance. What punishment must I endure to obtain your forgiveness?”

Peter the Ace looked at Panman. Panman shrugged and shook his head.

“We’re not sure.” Peter the Ace said finally. “I hadn’t really considered it. Maybe you could clean the dust off our apartment windows without a safety harness and using only your tongue?”

“I’ll get started right away!” Eric said, eager to appease his superiors.

The chief technician scurried away towards the express elevator that would take him up to the penthouse apartments thousands of metres above.

“There goes one loyal member of staff!” Panman said.

“Indeed.” Peter the Ace agreed. “I hope he doesn’t leave greasy lumps of saliva everywhere, though.”

They watched as an elevator car appeared and opened its doors. Eric stepped in. Two figures, one round and portly, the other slim and sexy, stepped out.

Peter the Ace smiled. “Looks like the commander’s come to praise us deeply for our extraordinary accomplishments a couple of days ago.”

Commander Pepe approached smiling broadly. His female companion grinned inanely. “Welcome home! I must praise you deeply for your accomplishments a couple of days ago.”

“Thank you commander.” Peter the Ace said. “In return I will praise you for following our recommendations and saving the palace from total devastation.”

The commander dropped to his knees in appreciation for the kind words bestowed upon him. After a few seconds he looked up. Tears had suddenly welled up within his eyes. “I have devastating news.” he said solemnly. Suzanna licked the tear drops that dribbled down his face.

The two bounty hunters’ DSAs (Depression Suppression Actuators) flipped into immediate overdrive.

“And what might that be?” Peter the Ace asked calmly.

A hush of respect spread throughout the hanger bay.

Commander Pepe’s lower lip wobbled. “Your cyborg assistant Justin, during his phase of insanity, dismembered Sarah Savage and impaled her through the chest using her own sword!”

“Is she alive?”

The commander was blubbing. “When she was brought back to the palace her brain was still active, though her harshly sexy body was hacked to pieces. Her solar-plexus was split in two and her gorgeous legs were mangled to a pulp. Litres of blood had completely soaked her tattered garments and torn flesh hung from each orifice. She’d started to go rotten. She stank like...”

“So is she alive?” Peter the Ace interrupted.

Suzanna massaged the commander’s buttocks and he calmed down. “Her head was removed and is being held within a stasis field until her private medical team can think of something to do.”

Panman had an idea. “How about a cyborg body?”

The commander started to weep. “That would have been the ideal solution,” he said shakily. “If it wasn’t for the fact that Sarah insisted long ago that if brutally crumpled and disfigured, she was never to be mechanised even in a small way. She hates droids of any kind.”

“There is always a solution.” Peter the Ace said with maximum optimism. “I will order the private medical teams of Panman and myself to take care of our battle worn friend and nurse her to health.”

“What about her splattered body? It’s irreparable!”

Panman thought. “She could live as a disembodied head!” He said excitedly. “She could have nutrition and propulsion systems connected to her neck and float around freely!”

“That would be too close to being a cyborg.” the commander said dejectedly. “She would never accept it.”

“I guess so.” Panman said. “Never mind. Our medical teams are far superior to any others here. They’ll find a unique and cunning solution.”

Commander Pepe nodded and thanked the two great heroes of the galaxy. Suzanna Havabanana nuzzled up to the commander’s groin and he felt a little better. “I have some other bad news.”

“Tell it, man!” Panman said.

“Justin was blown to pieces.”

“Completely?”

“No. Just one arm and both legs are gone. But he’s badly damaged.”

“Where is he now?” Peter the Ace asked.

“He’s in custody. He led the assault on the palace and, of course, was responsible for the dissection of Sarah Savage. He must be punished severely.”

“But surely he’s only a machine?” Panman said. “He was programmed to do that by Xjaq Dominator in the Mechanism.”

“True,” the commander agreed. “But he is also partly biological, even if only by three cells. He should have been able to overcome the forces acting upon him. His weak will cannot be ignored and he must be tried as a traitor.”

“I see your point.” Panman said. “Have you decided upon a punishment?”

“No, but the trial is tomorrow. You’re welcome to attend.”

“Will it be televised?”

“Of course!”

“I’ll just watch it at home if that’s okay?!”

“Fine by me!”

Just at that precise moment, Ross Mental strode down the Blenheim’s exit ramp. He was carrying the naked and sweaty Carmen in his arms. “Pepe, you fucker! Great to see you!”

The commander smiled. “Great to see you, my foul-mouthed champion!”

Ross Mental grimaced. “This bitch is fuckin’ heavy. Is she densely fuckin’ muscled, or fuckin’ what?”

“She is indeed.” Peter the Ace agreed.

Commander Pepe stared at the mounds of flesh on Carmen’s chest as they heaved up and down. “What happened to her?”

“We think she was partially absorbed by Zyix Taskmaster.” Peter the Ace said. “We scanned her on the way home. Her brain has been reduced to the size of a maladjusted pea. No hope of recovery, I’m afraid.”

“That’s such a shame. I heard that she was such a promising student.”

“She was indeed.”

“Still, her stimulating body must not be wasted. You’d better take her down to Doctor DeMorgan’s medi-lab on level forty four. He’s the expert on mechanisation.”

The foul mouthed bounty hunter nodded. “No fuckin’ problem.” He slung Carmen over his shoulder and stomped away through the crowds.

Commander Pepe smiled sympathetically at Peter the Ace and Panman. “I’m sorry that you’ve had so much trouble and anxiety during your mission.”

“We are able to cope better than anyone else.” Peter the Ace said. “It’s no problem.”

Panman suddenly got excited. “I’ve just remembered! Lawrence is in one of the Blenheim’s detention cells!”

“Of course!” Peter the Ace said. “I completely forgot about him!”

“We can finally punish him for his wretched violations of all that is good and holy! It could be a show trial and broadcast to the galaxy!”

Commander Pepe was gleeful. “Great idea! Show me!” He looked down at Suzanna. Her face was buried between his legs. “Stay here and strip for the engineers’ pleasure.” he said to her. “I’ll be back soon.”

Suzanna did as she was told and sensually began to remove what little clothing she was wearing. The crowd of workers cheered.

The commander followed the two bounty hunters up into their ship. He glanced behind and witnessed Suzanna’s unclothed body gyrating at the hips. He groaned. Hoots of delight emanated from the enthralled hanger bay staff.


Peter the Ace, Panman, and the commander reached the Blenheim’s detention area. Severed power conduits hung from the ceiling like slaughtered snakes, and bent and scorched wreckage littered the cracked floor. A smoky musty smell filled the air.

Panman looked around. “It looks like this section was hit pretty bad.” he said, stating the obvious.

The three colleagues walked over to the cell where Lawrence had been placed.

“Lawrence, you bald imbecile!” Panman shouted as he approached the cell. “It’s us, your awesome captors!”

The energy grid that should have sealed the cell had failed. Panman, Peter the Ace, and Commander Pepe looked inside. At the back of the cell was a two metre wide hole. Through its jagged and scorched edges could be seen the hanger bay outside. Several gay electricians, uninterested in Suzanna’s erotic dancing, waved at them in a very limp-wristed fashion.

Lawrence was nowhere to be seen.

The bounty hunters and the commander remained silent for many long seconds.

Panman spoke first. “He’s not there!”

Peter the Ace was more insightful. “Our arch-nemesis seems to have eluded us once again.”

“He must be dead.” Panman said. “He must have been sucked out into space when the Mini-Mechanism fired on us. He’ll have died in torturous agony! His irradiated remains are probably drifting through the void as we speak.”

Peter the Ace shook his head. “We can’t be sure. Lawrence may be evil, radically insane, and have an exposed scalp, but his level of intelligence and cunning is close to ours.”

“I can’t believe that!” the commander said.

“It’s true. And my humbleness allows me to admit it.”

Commander Pepe sighed deeply. “You are wise so your words must be true, but how could he survive the savage vacuum of space?”

“Who knows?”

Panman spoke. “Maybe he is dead and we should just forget about it.”

Peter the Ace grinned. “You know Panman, you’re probably right.”

The commander smiled. “Panman is right. Forget about Lawrence, he’ll trouble us no more. Let’s change to a more joyous subject. There’s a celebration planned for tonight in the Great Hall. It’s in honour of both of you!”

“That’s normal.” Peter the Ace said.

The commander continued. “Only the top one thousand members of the Palace of Amino will be allowed to attend. Even the Superior Beings are making a special visit to the surface to join in the festivities!”

“Cool!” Panman said gleefully. “That’s a first, isn’t it?”

“Your damn right it is!” the commander said. “Top engineers have been modifying their cylinders to make them transportable. We don’t want them coming up naked and making everyone empty their guts out, do we?”

Peter the Ace agreed. “A wise precaution. Their profound ugliness can kill on sight.”

The commander walked away. “You two had better freshen up and prepare for the party. I’ll see you later.”

Commander Pepe left the Blenheim via the gaping hole in the detention cell, just managing to squeeze his bulbous frame through the sharp edges. His tent-like pants ripped and his left butt cheek began to bleed. He laughed away the pain. “I’d better get that seen to!” he said, and then wandered away. The gay electricians followed him, hopeful for the chance to stroke his wide and gushing behind.

The two greatest bounty hunters of all time looked contented. Once again they had conquered the evil black forces of flesh nibbling wretchedness. Once again they had saved billions upon billions of wealthy citizens the embarrassment of encountering sick smelling peasants and low-lives. Once again they had recorded images of momentous detonations to show to their lesser colleagues. They had done real good and they knew it.

Peter the Ace and Panman laughed deeply and healthily, and then leapt into the air. They managed to somersault forty three times before hitting the floor. Then they shouted as loud as their vocal enhancers would allow.

“Bitchen’!”

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