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Book: The Nomads and the Mind Machine
Chapter 5: Foam

Mama Flesh screamed as the grappling hooks pulled at her flesh, dragging her across the landing pad and then up into the air.  She screwed up her folded face and spat bile.  “Bastards!”

Cardigan Moth, dressed in a deep blue velvet cloak, stood next to his ship, the Horizontal Assassin, and watched as the writhing deca-whore was lifted up by the Morbid hovering right above.  “The top cargo bay door is now open.”

Ross Mental replied.  “I see it.  Just wide enough to accept this fat fucker!

Around the landing pad several media craft had appeared.  The automated vehicles, covered in recording equipment and bright floodlights, hovered less than a hundred metres away, eager to record the antics of the bounty hunters for their broadcast channels as they manoeuvred the deca-whore.

Mama Flesh was now dangling a few metres over the Horizontal Assassin’s open cargo bay.  She was still struggling and spitting – a good show for the cameras.

Ross Mental spoke.  “Right.  I’m going to lower her in.

Before the Morbid started to descend there was a wet tearing sound.  With a gurgling scream the flab-loaded whore fell into Cardigan Moth’s ship.  There was a muffled thud.  A weak moaning could be heard.

Cardigan Moth looked at the hooks.  Two small chunks of bloodied fatty flesh remained there.

Ross Mental laughed.  “I should’ve embedded those fuckers deeper!

Cardigan Moth nodded.  “In hindsight that would have been sensible.”

I’m coming back down.  Go and deal with that whore.  Foam her wounds.  I want her to survive to experience fuck off Amino justice.

“Right away.”

The fourth-class bounty hunter climbed the short ramp up into the oval hatchway of his ship.  Once inside he grabbed a small medical kit and walked along a cramped white passageway to a heavy doorway.  Opening it, he stepped into the cargo bay.  They bay was relatively large for such a small ship – more than three metres wide – and almost always empty.  Cardigan Moth rarely transported anything.  Now though it was far from empty.  At the cargo bay’s centre was the blubbery mass of Mama Flesh.  She was groaning weakly and pushing at the floor with her massive arms in a pathetic attempt to move.  Her breathing was shallow and laboured.  Blood oozed from her mouth.

Cardigan Moth activated a control on the wall of the bay.  The cargo bay door in the ceiling slid shut.  There was a short hiss as the bay was sealed.  The noise of the city and the wind outside ceased.

The whore coughed.  “You have abducted me!  And now you wish to rape me, I presume?”

The bounty hunter opened the medical kit and took out a can-shaped device.  “I have no such intention.”  He flipped a switch on the can.  With a whirr a small nozzle extended.  “My intention is to sustain your existence, nothing more.”  He stepped around the considerable mound of Mama Flesh and squatted down at her back.  Her wounds were, as he had expected, deep and wide.  Amongst the torn layers of fat and muscle could be seen exposed bone and cartilage.  Blood continued to dribble out.

Mama Flesh let out a gargling laugh.  “So you want to take me from behind, I see!  Go ahead, bounty hunter.  Indulge your fantasies!”

Ignoring the whore, Cardigan Moth activated the can.  A fast white spray erupted from the nozzle.  The deep wound on Mama Flesh’s butt-cheek filled up quickly with a white foam.  She screamed, writhing in obvious agony.  The foam hardened.  The bounty hunter moved on to her shoulder wound and continued spraying.

The deca-whore’s body wobbled and undulated as she struggled.  Her numerous breasts slapped noisily against the metallic floor.  “Bastard!  Do you torture all your lovers this way?!”

Cardigan Moth finished spraying.  “I am preventing your lingering and excruciating demise.  Show gratitude for my action, or terminate your ranting.”

Mama Flesh turned her head in an attempt to look at the bounty hunter.  The folds of fat in her neck creased up.  “I offer myself to you for free and this is how you repay me?!”  She spat, barely missing the bounty hunter’s face.

Cardigan Moth smashed his bony fist hard into the whore’s face.  The whore’s head was forced down, slamming into the floor.  She stopped struggling and said no more.

Ross Mental had arrived just in time to witness the punch.  He clapped.  “Good move!”

Cardigan Moth got to his feet.  He took a cloth from out of the medical kit and wiped off some foam that had gotten onto the front of his cloak.  “She is a highly debauched individual.  I have never encountered her like before.”

“Then you haven’t fuckin’ lived!”  Ross Mental said, turning.  “Come on.  Our mission is complete.  Let’s fuckin’ celebrate!”

Cardigan Moth followed the foul-mouthed bounty hunter out of his ship.

Out on the landing pad Governor Ykcor was waiting for them, his robes flapping in the strengthening evening wind.  “You will be leaving now, I presume?”  He asked.

Ross Mental stepped off the Horizontal Assassin’s ramp.  “We fuckin’ won’t.  You owe us a night out.”

The governor frowned, and then sighed.  “Where would you like to go?”

“I’m fuckin’ starving.  The best restaurant you know of would be a good start!”

Cardigan Moth stood next to Ross Mental.  He nodded.  “Yes, a visit to one of your finest eating establishments would be desirable.”

The governor looked at each bounty hunter in turn.  He nodded.  “Very well.  There is an exclusive meat restaurant called Bloodbath opposite to our main entrance down on level 300.  It should meet your requirements.”

Ross Mental nodded.  “Sound’s great!”

Governor Ykcor turned and walked across the landing pad back towards his office.  “Unfortunately I have business to attend to so I will not be able to join you.  I will have my administrative assistant escort you there.”

 “If you fuckin’ must!”

Governor Ykcor’s administrative assistant was a well-dressed, but dumpy and short humanoid, with one of the shiniest and palest bald heads that Ross Mental had ever seen.

As they descended in a cramped elevator, the bounty hunter felt compelled to ask a question.  “Hey, assistant?  Do you polish your fuckin’ head?!”

The governor’s assistant looked up at the bounty hunter.  His flat single-nostrilled face was sombre.  “My name is Albiam Muts.” He said, his voice high pitched and breathy.  “Please use it.  And yes, I do polish my head.  What of it?”

Ross Mental laughed.  “What the fuck for?!”

“It is a statement of my status in the bureaucracy of this world.  Many of my peers do the same.  It engenders respect from our inferiors.”

Cardigan Moth was standing next to Ross Mental.  He looked down at Assistant Muts.  “Perhaps when you are in the presence of your inferiors they feign respect, but when they are away from you I suspect you are the subject of ridicule to an excessive level.”

Albiam Muts stood as tall and proud as his squat frame would allow.  “You are wrong.  Many of my peers have the same cranial appearance, and they have my respect because of it.  It is unthinkable that our inferiors would not perceive us in the same way.”

Ross Mental shook his head.  “You anal bureaucrats are fuckin’ sad!”  He looked around the tiny elevator.  “And why are we travelling in this thing?  What about the huge and extravagant fuck off elevators you have in the centre of this building?  Making us use this one is a fuckin’ insult!”

Assistant Muts looked up at the bounty hunter.  “Do not be offended.  The entire core of this building is undergoing considerable renovation.  All primary elevators are unavailable, and have been for several years.”

“Several fuckin’ years?!  What kind of renovations are you up to?”

“I am unaware of the nature of the renovations.”

Cardigan Moth was perplexed.  “How can you not know such a thing?  You work here in a relatively high position.  Are you not the slightest bit curious?”

Albiam Muts took up a proud stance once again.  “I am not concerned about it.  All I am concerned about is whether or not the correct procedures were followed.  The correct planning and construction procedures were indeed followed, and the commencement form CCF478 was signed by the governor himself.  Everything is in order.”

The elevator decelerated.

Ross Mental was thoughtful.  “I was here ten years ago.  The core of this building was fuckin’ amazing – lavish elevators, swanky lobbies.  What the fuck was wrong with that?!”

The assistant spoke.  “Whether there was something wrong or not is irrelevant.  What’s important is that the correct procedures were followed before renovations commenced.”  He looked at each bounty hunter in turn.  “The correct procedures were indeed followed.”

The elevator’ single door slid open.  Albiam Muts scurried out of the elevator, his shoes scuffing loudly on the hard flooring, and lead the two bounty hunters along a bland passage way.  They passed a line of robed officials waiting to use the elevator, and then went through a doorway and out into the Government Tower’s main lobby.  It was crowded with more officials and hundreds of administrators, all scurrying around with data pads in their hands.  The sound of hundreds of mumbled conversations was remarkably loud.

The normally impressive and cathedral-like lobby was marred by a huge black construction wall that sealed of most of the area.  The wall stretched up to the vaulted ceiling more than a hundred metres above.

Assistant Muts pointed at the wall.  “As you can see the renovations are considerable.  They extend from level 800, just below the governor’s office, right down into the foundations.”

Ross Mental was surprised.  “And you have no fuckin’ idea of the nature of the renovations?!”

The assistant headed through the crowd towards the building’s towering arched entrance way.  “I have already explained things to you.”  He reached the entrance way and pointed.  “There, right across the sky bridge in the next tower, is the restaurant the governor was talking about.  I hope it is to your satisfaction.”  He turned.  “I must return to my…”

Ross Mental grabbed the assistant.  “You’re staying with us.”

Albiam Muts struggled.  “This is outrageous!  I am an official of the government of Repugnius, and the administrative assistant to Governor Ykcor!  It is a position of high office!  I cannot be handled in such a fashion.”

Cardigan Moth knelt down and drew his face level with the assistant’s.  “Ross Mental and I would prefer it if you accompanied us to the restaurant.”

“But I have documents that need to be…”

Ross Mental squeezed Albiam Muts’s neck.  “We fuckin’ insist!”

The governor’s assistant was agitated.  “But why?  We are not friends or associates.  We do not have a meeting scheduled.  And I have administrative tasks that I must…”

The foul-mouthed bounty hunter whispered.  “I want to know more about these odd fuckin’ renovations, and you’re going to tell me.”

“I told you, all I know is that the correct procedures were…”

With considerable force Ross Mental dragged the squirming assistant out of the Government Tower and into the dark and oppressively humid evening air.

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