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Book: Bounty Hunters of the Palace of Amino
Chapter 13: Twelve Intense Spotlights

The storm had passed. Lew Brain Ache sat at the cave entrance and stared at the star lit forests down below. The distant shrieks of nocturnal creatures occasionally broke the silence of the night.

A light of unparalleled magnitude appeared on the horizon. Lew Brain Ache covered his eyes. He suddenly felt very hot. "AHHH!!" He screamed as he dived for cover. His hands had blistered in the searing heat.

Jayne Eye-Catcher, who had been sleeping further into the cave awoke. "What's happening?" She shouted.

The light and heat had weakened to bearable levels. Lew Brain Ache sat up; a look of intense pain filled his face. Jayne Eye-Catcher sat next to Lew Brain Ache at the cave entrance. They both gazed in awe at the huge, orange mushroom cloud that was ascending slowly in the distance.

"I think the fusion containment fields on our ship just collapsed!" Lew Brain Ache said.

"How far away from the ship are we?" Jayne Eye-Catcher asked, concerned.

"Less than fifteen kilometres!"

"What's the blast radius likely to be?"

"About forty kilometres!"

A huge wall of destruction could be seen hurtling its way towards them, vaporising everything in it's path. Several life forms had suddenly become extinct.

Jayne Eye-Catcher shouted. "Our only chance is to get as far into the cave as possible. Come on!"

Lew Brain Ache followed Jayne Eye-Catcher as she sprinted through the darkness. They both energised their emergency floodlight packs on their utility belts - standard bounty hunter issue. The cave was slimey and dank. Purple mould covered most of the rocky surface. Occasional trickles of water dribbled into puddles on the floor.

The blast wave hit.

An immense thud of air sent the two bounty hunters flying forwards as the force of the blast compressed the air around them. A massive roar of sound jabbed at their ear drums. They tumbled down the passageway and into a large cavern.

"Shit!" Lew Brain Ache screamed.

The two bounty hunters were plummeting down a sheer cliff face. A couple of seconds later their fall was broken by an underground lake. Lew Brain Ache splashed around like a child, yelling helplessly. Jayne Eye-Catcher managed to scramble onto a rocky outcrop nearby.

"Grab my hand." She shouted.

Lew Brain Ache did so. Using her amazing feminine strength, she pulled him out of the water and carefully placed him on dry ground.

"This is not good!" Lew Brain Ache moaned, staring at his blistered hands.

"Where are we?" Jayne Eye-Catcher asked, shining her floodlight in all directions. "This place is massive!"

The lake filled cavern that they had fallen into seemed to stretch forever into darkness.

A warning bleeper sounded on Lew Brain Ache's belt. "Great!" He said with great sacasm.

"What?"

"The radiation level here is well above safe levels, even for our suits!" Lew Brain Ache stood and looked nervously around. "We have to find some shelter from it fast!" He said looking at Jayne Eye-Catcher. She was ravishingly sexy when she was wet.

"We had better start swimming." She said, preparing to dive into the lake.

The water started to rumble and bubble.

"What now?" Lew Brain Ache said with annoyed fear.

A large shape of mirrored metal rose majestically into the air until it was hovering three metres above the water. Twelve intense spotlights engulfed them in a creamy white brightness. A single red laser of low intensity began to probe their bodies.

"We're being scanned." Jayne Eye-Catcher said quietly.

"What can we do?" Lew Brain Ache asked desperately.

"Stay calm." She said as the beam probed her again.

Suddenly, two blue beams of concentrated energy hit their foreheads. Within a second the two bounty hunters had collapsed, unconscious, into the lake. The underside of the shape opened and four, three foot tall figures leapt into the cool waters. They swam rapidly over to the two unconscious bounty hunters and dragged them to the open hatchway. Some other three foot tall figures helped to lift them inside. The doorway closed. The gleaming craft descended into the water and disappeared from sight. The cavern, forever black and silent until this strange event, returned to its original state.

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