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Book: Bounty Hunters of the Palace of Amino
Chapter 3: Reeking Roger's Roulette Paradise

"RE-ENTERING NORMAL SPACE. LOCATION: THE PLANET REPUGNIUS, ODIOUS SECTOR. EXECUTING LOW ORBITAL PASS."

The Blenheim decelerated rapidly, its reverse thrusters firing an inferno of red energy forwards.

"What a disgusting looking place!" Justin said.

The planet loomed large on the main view screen, its black and green clouds enveloping the entire globe.

"It may be a filthy hive for criminals and low-life failures but it has the most marvellous casinos!" Panman said excitedly.

"Indeed." Peter the Ace agreed as he fiddled expertly with the communications panel. "Repugnius flight control, this is the starship Blenheim requesting landing authorization."

"This be Repugnius flight control." A strained voice replied. "State yer destination city and the amount that yer wish ta gamble."

"Our destination city is Hadus. The amount that we wish to gamble is one million credits."

"Big spender, eh! Okay, authorization is given. Approach on flight path twelve, landin' station thirty four B. Yer be havin' a good time now."

"We certainly will!" Peter the Ace said.

Peter the Ace punched in the new course and the awesome craft descended into the dense atmosphere below. The lights of the city slowly became visible. Various vehicles could be seen speeding through the air below, some flying above the towers, others flying between them. Occasional bursts of laser fire in the back streets signified yet another crime spree. Ahead, the brightly lit spaceport came into view. The Blenheim started its final approach, diving below the tops of the tallest buildings. A police skycar pulled along side, shining its dazzling searchlights across the ship’s port bow. After a few seconds it banked away and thrusted off into the distance, satisfied that all was well.

Less than two minutes later the Blenheim touched down perfectly. The low hum of the engines faded to silence. The ship powered down.

"Another brilliant landing!" Justin exclaimed.

"THANKYOU." The ship replied politely.

"Justin," Panman said, "this could be dangerous, you'd better stay here."

"Awe, come on!" The trainee wimpered, annoyed. "I can handle myself!"

"Panman is right.” Peter the Ace said. "Anyway, we'll probably need someone on board in case of emergencies."

Peter the Ace and Panman left the bridge and walked into the armoury.

"We're going to need some small but devastatingly powerful weapons." Peter the Ace said.

"Right!" Panman agreed. He liked weapons.

They both began to load up. Peter the Ace picked up a neural disruptor, complete with wave amplifier and extra power pack, an ear-mounted armour piercing micro grenade launcher, and a twelve inch Warrior battle knife. Panman, on the other hand, picked up a pair of electrified, razor sharp knuckle dusters, an Excruciator Blaster (Pat. No. 17335 1BD) and a boring but reliable laser pistol.

"We're ready." Panman said. "Lets hit the streets!"

They both walked down the exit ramp and onto the landing platform. The air did indeed smell of worn socks. Many onlookers had gathered and were staring in awe at the extraordinary ship that lay before them. The two bounty hunters walked proudly down the steps and into the street below. Creatures of all types wandered by, some of them tall, bony, with many layers of thick, dank clothes, some of them short, obese and wearing minimal garments.

Panman looked up as they wandered through the throng of life-forms. Endless buildings seemed to rise forever into the blackened skies.

"This place is huge!" He exclaimed. "Where should we start?"

"In there!" Peter the Ace said, pointing to a large doorway across the roadway. The huge, purple neon display above it said 'Reeking Roger's Roulette Paradise'.

"Sounds interesting." Panman said.

The two first-class bounty hunters crossed the street. A ground car travelling at an illegal speed swerved to avoid them and ploughed into a nearby market stall. There was a gargled scream, a crunch of bones and the distinctive 'crack' of snapping ligaments as the owner, Bowel-Barf Gutz, a centenarian of little value to society, was crushed against a concrete wall. Blood of the deepest red spurted in all directions, showering passers by. His last thought was of his son, Duo-Denum Gutz. What a sad future he will have.


Panman and Peter the Ace arrived at the doorway. They wandered inside. The casino was an enormous place. Roulette tables, over a thousand of them, were surrounded by eager players; dense smoke from their reefers filled the air. That, combined with the dim lighting and excessive heating created a very overbearing atmosphere. Only the hardened players ever came here.

"Are you members?" A tall robed figure asked, walking towards them.

"Err… Yes!" Panman answered confidently.

"Prove it!"

"Certainly."

Panman glanced quickly around. No one was watching. With the speed of a charging megamouth wilderbeast the bounty hunter swung hard with his right arm, his electrified knuckle duster sparking and fizzing brightly. It connected with the figure's face, shattering his lower jaw and sending blood stained teeth and gums in all directions. The electric shock stunned his brain. He fell, unconscious, to the floor. Peter the Ace pulled the slowly twitching body into a corner, kicking away the teeth that were strewn across the floor. He positioned the figure carefully to avoid suspicion.

Peter the Ace looked at Panman. "Nice one!" He said, impressed.

"No problem!" Panman replied with satisfaction.

"Right." Peter the Ace said. "Lets split up and mingle!"

Peter the Ace headed towards the bar where a particularly hefty group of pig like thugs were drinking and laughing heavily. Panman made his way to the nearest roulette table. The players looked at him with malicious glares as he approached.


From one of the darker corners of the casino, a perspiring mound of blubber watched the two bounty hunters with evil delight. Trog-Head smiled, its blackened teeth becoming visible.

'I have you now!' It said to itself wryly. Trog-Head walked down a wide, shallow staircase and entered the playing area. Panman did not notice the blubber monster that was approaching him from behind.


"Twenty nine red." Panman said pushing five one thousand credit chips onto his chosen square. "I've a good feeling about that number!"

The other players groaned noisily. Panman had only been playing for a few minutes and had already turned his original stake of fifty credits into thirty thousand.

The ball bounced erratically as the red and black wheel spined smoothly beneath. Without warning the ball found its destination.

"Twenty nine red." Announced the cyborg that was in charge of the table. It pushed one hundred and seventy thousand credits towards Panman.

"The bastard's cheating!" A particularly well muscled Tricepticon shouted.

"I never cheat." Panman said, calmly arranging his chip mountain into neat columns.

The Tricepticon snarled furiously and leapt towards the bounty hunter trying to perform a swift roundhouse kick to his neck. Panman ducked. As the creature’s leg flew harmlessly over his head, Panman pulled out his Excruciator Blaster (Pat. No. 17335 1BD), primed it, and then fired. A red beam of glimmering energy laced into the Tricepticon's huge chest. The muscular being screamed thunderously as its ribs split apart with a dull crunch. The Tricepticon's internal organs were incinerated out of existence. The Tricepticon’s smouldering hollow husk fell to the floor. The other players backed away.

"Please credit these to my account." Panman said to the cyborg croupier.

The cyborg took the bounty hunter’s chips and did as it was asked. Panman felt a tap on his shoulder. He turned around and puked violently onto the repulsive sight that lay before him.

It was Trog-Head. "Got you!" It said, gargling through a face full of vomit.

Trog-Head grabbed Panman by the throat, shaking him violently. He tried to reach for his blaster but his strength was fading fast. Trog-Head hurled Panman across the roulette table. Chips sprayed into the air. He landed hard onto the tiled floor. Trog-Head marched confidently towards him, laughing inanely.

Peter the Ace had noticed the commotion. He armed his neural disruptor and strode off in the direction of the disturbance. It was hard to see what was going on through the haze of tobacco smoke. He heard Panman's cry.

"Ace, I need assistance. Fast!"

Peter the Ace was shocked at the flab ogre that was attacking his comrade. Regaining his composure he aimed his weapon at the head of the creature.

Trog-Head was now standing over Panman. "I am going to sit on your face, bounty hunter." It said dryly. "It's such a stimulating way for me to kill someone!"

A stream of green charged particles entered Trog-Head's skull. It began shaking violently, bile and saliva leaking from its chapped lips. Panman took the opportunity to escape towards Peter the Ace.

"That was close!" Panman said, disorientated from his ordeal. He brushed himself down.

Peter took his finger off the trigger. Trog-Head shuddered and fell to the floor with an almighty crunch. The two bounty hunters walked cautiously over to the shivering mound of bloated fat.

"It's still alive." Peter the Ace said. "A twenty second blast of this weapon usually kills anything!"

"That's Trog-Head." A small midget who was standing nearby said. "It's a fearsome beast, best to be avoided."

"Stab it!" Panman shouted.

"No. We must question it." Peter the Ace said intelligently. "Lawrence may have sent it to kill us. It may know where he is."

Peter the Ace pulled out of his utility belt a large syringe. "Yes!" He said triumphantly, holding the syringe above his head. "Cerebrula truth serum - very potent!" Pushing hard to penetrate Trog-Head's thick, warty hide, he injected the fluid. "In a few minutes, this abhorrent individual will tell us all it knows."

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