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Book: The Nomads and the Mind Machine
Chapter 37: Drug-Laden Masochist

Sovereign Tihsadeen stared at the data and imagery on the crisis bridge’s huge screens.  He could not believe what he had seen.  “They were completely ineffective!  Why did they not fight?!”

“They tried, sovereign.”  Crisis Engineer Pug Peelsadeen said.  “Unfortunately our support cruisers suffered much more damage than this ship.  They had no shields and minimal power, but they did delay the bounty hunters.  I’m actually surprised they lasted as long as they did.”

The sovereign found the engineer’s last words highly irritating.  “Lasted as long as they did?!”  He yelled.  “They were both destroyed within a minute! How, in Gorpsadeen’s cradle, is that a long time?”

The engineer lowered his head, embarrassed.  “I apologise, sovereign.  I was merely trying to look at events in a positive manner.”  He looked down at his console’s screens.  “Ah, the resolution of our visual scans has improved.  We can now see a detailed visual of the bounty hunter ships.”

“Show me!”

The large screen at the front of the bridge filled with the image of the bounty hunter ships.  Although the light levels in the void were low, the enhancements to the image showed remarkable detail on the four ships.  The ships had taken up a strange-looking formation, with one of the smaller ships flying extremely close to the underside of the largest ship right beneath a large emission of light.

The sovereign pointed.  “What are they up too?  What is that light?”

The crisis engineer interpreted the image.  “It looks like the larger ship has opened up its lower hull – perhaps a door to a hanger bay or cargo area?”

A bright light appeared from the top of the smaller ship.  An object, large and round, drifted up and into the larger ship.  The object appeared to be moving.  A few seconds later the light disappeared.  The ships moved apart.

The sovereign was confused.  “What did they just do?”

“They transferred something from one ship to another.”

“That is obvious!  But what was it?  Replay the transfer, and this time zoom in on the object being transferred.”

Pug played with his console for a few seconds.  “Starting the replay now.” 

The object being transferred now filled the screen.  It was a pinkish white colour, and seemed to undulate as its large rotund form spun through space.  It seemed to have thick arms and legs, one of which was no more than a stump.  There was a mass of what looked like huge balloons flailed around on its front.

The sovereign watched with amazement.  “What is that?  Are those tentacles?”

The engineer, his eyes wide with astonishment, ventured a guess.  “I don’t think so.  I believe they are breasts.  That must be one of their females.”

The sovereign shook his head.  “That is the most peculiar thing I have ever seen.  Why did they transfer a female between ships in such a manner?”

“Perhaps the larger ship has no females on board?  Maybe one was required for impregnation and had to be transferred from the smaller ship?”

“But that female is tremendously obese, and as ugly and furless as a force-fed butsadeenous!  Only a drug-laden masochist would have the desire to impregnate that?”

The engineer nodded.  “I think the bounty hunter’s idea of an attractive female must be very different to ours.”

Sovereign Tihsadeen could not disagree with Pug.  “I guess it must.  I could never contemplate impregnating such a beast, especially after it had been transferred through a vacuum in such a manner.”  He shook his head.  “It is a disgusting way to treat a female, no matter how hideously undesirable she is.”

Pug was looking at his screens.  “The bounty hunter ships are breaking formation and accelerating, sovereign!  I think their attack is imminent!”

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