Peter the Ace seated himself in the command chair. "This is it!"
He said to Panman who was busy stuffing a large cheese toasty into his mouth.
Panman swallowed hard. "I'm ready." He said, operating some complex
controls on his weapons console.
"Blenheim," Peter the Ace asked, "how long until we reach
Justin walked onto the bridge. "I'll just sit here and observe."
He said, sitting down at the back of the flight-deck.
"OK," Peter the Ace said, "but, if Lawrence contacts us,
don't say a word, he can psycho-analyze you in a second and warp you're
mind into lime jelly."
"No worries!" Justin replied.
"We'd better strap ourselves in." Panman said. "It may be
a rough ride!"
"You're right." Peter the Ace said.
The three comrades fastened their restraining harnesses.
"EMERGING FROM SUBSPACE." The ship announced.
On the main view screen the subspacial entities vanished and the Sombreus
Nebula appeared, surrounding them with its dark, gloomy clouds of gas. Immediately
a warning siren sounded.
"UNIDENTIFIED OBJECTS AT LOCATION ONE FOUR THREE POINT NINE FOUR."
Panman instinctively armed all the offence and defence systems. An invisible
shield of powerful energy safely encompassed the Blenheim. The two bounty
hunters looked at the fleet of ships that lay before them.
"Perform a detailed scan." Peter the Ace ordered.
"SCANNING…" The Blenheim thought for a moment. "ONE
HUNDRED AND ONE OBJECTS SCANNED. DIMENSION OF THE ONE HUNDRED SMALL OBJECTS:
TEN METRES BY SIX METRES BY THREE METRES. PROBABLE IDENTITY: FIGHTERS. DIMENSION
OF THE LARGE OBJECT: FIFTY TWO KILOMETRES BY THIRTY FIVE KILOMETRES BY FIFTEEN
KILOMETRES. PROBABLE IDENTITY: COMMAND SHIP."
"Wow!!!" Justin shouted. "That must be the largest ship ever!"
"It could well be." Peter the Ace replied.
The Blenheim propelled itself closer to the swarm of deadly looking ships.
The black behemoth that was the command ship filled the view screen. The
small fighters surrounded it in numerous formations.
A bleeper sounded on Panman's instrument panel. "Several fighters have
locked their weapons onto us." He stated.
"Be calm." Peter the Ace said. "Remember that Tara is aboard
that huge mother of a command ship. Her safety is in our hands."
"Oh yeah." Panman said. "I forgot."
Without warning a powerful tractor beam engulfed them.
"WARNING. THRUSTER CONTROL DISABLED. EXTERNAL FORCE INTERVENTION ON
TRAJECTORY IS PRESENT."
"What does that mean?" Justin asked.
"It means," Panman said, amazed at Justin's ignorance, "that
we are being drawn towards that massive mother of a vessel."
"Surely we could escape!"
"We could escape easily." Peter the Ace said. "But we want
to be captured. Then we can rescue Tara."
The Blenheim was pulled into a large hatchway in the side of the giant ship.
For several minutes it was drawn through a long, highly detailed tunnel
to a deep vertical shaft. A landing pad jutted out from one side. The Blenheim
was slowly lowered onto it, landing with perfect softness.
"Right!" Peter the Ace said enthusiastically. "Let's go."
"Do you want to come with us?" Panman asked Justin.
"Absolutely!" Justin said. He followed the two amazing champions
of the galaxy to the exit.
"We'd better leave our weapons behind." Panman said.
They all put down the various hand arms that they were carrying. The two
brave heroes and Justin walked briskly down the ramp and onto the platform.
A strong breeze blew on them from the towering shaft above as they strode
towards a small hairy dude who was sniggering inanely at a large open doorway.
Two large and well armoured guards stood either side of him.
"You're deep in it now!" The small hairy dude croaked.
Peter the Ace grabbed the small hairy dude tightly around the throat. "Take
me to Lawrence." He said calmly but with assertion.
Two rifle barrels were thrust into Peter the Ace's ears.
"Put him down or die!" One of the guards ordered.
The bounty hunter dropped the small hairy dude. The rifles were lowered.
Peter the Ace, Panman, and Justin were lead through corridor after corridor.
Armoured personnel, surveillance cameras and food dispensers were passed
on the way. After several minutes they arrived at the grand entrance to
Lawrence's chambers. The small hairy dude pressed his face onto a large
panel to the right of the tall double doors. A gentle bell sounded.
After a few seconds pause the two doors buzzed open. A eunuch greeted them.
"Welcome to the chambers of our Lord Lawrence." It said, inviting
them all in.
The bounty hunters and Justin entered the room, closely followed by the
small hairy dude and the two guards. Smoke could be seen rising from the
leather chair in the corner. Lawrence spun round.
"Peter the Ace! Panman!" Came a voice from above.
"Tara!" Peter the Ace said, looking up at the caged girl suspended
from the ceiling. "Are you all right?"
"No! Get me down!"
"Let her go!" Peter the Ace demanded.
"No." Lawrence said. "I brought her here because I knew that
you had a soft spot for her. Now that you're here, it will be a simple matter
for me to decimate you."
"You bastard!" Panman shouted, attempting to leap onto Lawrence.
One of the guards grabbed him and held him back.
"Kill us." Panman said. "But let her go."
Justin looked at Panman, shocked at what he had just said.
"No." Lawrence uttered quietly. "Once you are all dead, I
intend to keep her as my slave. She will service me in any sordid way that
I wish." Lawrence stood up and pressed a switch on his desk. "Chief
Technical Officer Dabamkangan?"
"Yes my lord?"
"Yes my lord."
Lawrence smiled. "Prepare for death, bounty hunters. This is going
to be so entertaining!"
A panel on the far wall disappeared into the floor. From the darkness beyond,
the distinctive whirr of servos could be heard. An awesome and giant freak
of a cyborg emerged into the chamber. Peter the Ace and Panman remained
calm. Justin's jaw dropped. The metal creature was almost three metres tall,
two metres wide and had the most evil looking head ever. Its red laser eyes
scanned the room and locked onto the two bounty hunters.
"YoU WilL BE MutilateD TO DeatH." The cyborg said deeply as it
began to stomp its way towards them.
"Goodbye." Lawrence said happily.
"No!!!" Tara screamed.
The two guards and the small hairy dude moved away from Peter the Ace, Panman,
and Justin as the robotic beast advanced heavily towards them.
"Do what you can." Peter the Ace whispered to Panman.
Panman nodded and turned to Justin, who was shaking with terror. "As
soon as it reaches us, run and hide." He murmured to the trainee.
Justin nodded between shivers.
The massive cyborg reached them and swung both it's huge arms in the air,
ready to swipe them out of existence. Justin did as he was told and dived
behind the most conveniently place sofa.
Panman screamed in true martial arts fashion and leapt into the air, kicking
the cyborg squarely on its massive chest plate. Peter the Ace performed
a miraculous flying spinning roundhouse to the machine's neck. It grabbed
him and threw him to the ground. Panman fell next to him. They both instantly
got to their feet and charged at the metal beast’s legs in an attempt
to push it off balance. The cyborg kicked Panman hard, sending him flying
into the guards that were standing in the corner of the room. The guards
were knocked instantly unconscious. Peter the Ace managed to hold onto one
of the cyborg’s legs. It tried unsuccessfully to shake him off. While
the cyborg was occupied with Peter the Ace, Panman took the opportunity
to grab one of the guard's rifles. He aimed at the robotic giant's head
and opened fire. Rapid pulses of radiant energy slammed into its face. Sparks
and flames flashed across its upper body. It was stunned for a split second.
Peter the Ace used the time effectively.
"Shoot the chain above Tara's cage!" He shouted.
Panman aimed and fired. The chain melted instantly and the cage fell. Tara
shrieked. Peter the Ace left go of the metal monster's leg and ran towards
where the cage would fall. His hugely muscular body allowed him to catch
it with ease. Panman picked up the other guard's rifle and hurled it to
Peter the Ace. He continued to fire at the cyborg's face. Peter the Ace
fired at the cage's lock. It melted away. He pulled open the door.
Tara rushed out and flung her arms around him. "Thank you!" She
said with deep lustful affection.
Peter the Ace had no time to respond to her affection. The small hairy dude
was holding a fusion pistol. He started firing at Peter the Ace and Tara.
They both ducked as a couple of shots fizzed overhead. Peter the Ace returned
fire, hitting the small hairy dude in the right shoulder and blowing his
arm clean off. The small Hairy dude howled in pain and fell to the floor.
Panman continued to fire at the cyborg. It was having no effect. The huge
mean machine began to advance towards him. Panman backed away, keeping up
Lawrence was insensed. "Kill them!" He demanded.
The cyborg responded. "YoU WilL BE MutilateD TO DeatH” It said
deeply. Its eyes glowed brightly.
Peter the Ace took the chance to fire at Lawrence. The eunuch saw what was
happening and dived in front of his master. He took the full force of the
blast and was ripped to shreds. Charred flesh and bone were scattered throughout
Lawrence could see that the situation was wildly out of hand. He sat down
in his chair, tapped in a secret code and disappeared into the floor. A
panel closed behind him.
"No!" Peter the Ace said, annoyed that he had missed. "Justin,
open the chamber door!"
Justin peered out from behind the sofa. The route to the doorway was clear.
He crawled unsteadily towards it. As he passed the groaning, moaning small
hairy dude he grabbed the fusion pistol. Justin reached the door. Looking
back he could see Panman and Peter the Ace pounding the cyborg with heavy
fire. It continued to shrug off any attack and stomp around after them.
Justin tried to operate the door controls without success. He took a step
back and fired the pistol at the control panel. Sparks flew and the double
doors opened. "I did it!" He shouted above the commotion. "It's
The two bounty hunters and Tara ran to the doorway, closely followed by
the huge metal psychopath.
"Let's get out of here!" Peter the Ace said.
The four of them left Lawrence's chamber. Several guards appeared at the
far end of the corridor and began firing. Panman and Peter the Ace fired
back. The guards internal organs erupted out of their bodies and were plastered
against the walls. What remained of their bodies crumpled to the floor.
The cyborg was about to come through the doorway.
"Shut the door, Panman." Peter the Ace said.
Using his artificially enhanced intelligence, Panman swiftly fiddled with
the door's circuits. The double doors slammed shut just in time. Dents immediately
started to appear in it as the robotic maniac tried to punch its way out.
"Let's get back to the Blenheim!" Justin shouted.
More guards appeared and began firing. Peter the Ace and Panman confidently
blew them away. Yet more guards appeared.
"There's too many of them!" Panman said, continuing to fire. "The
way back is blocked."
"We'll have to find another route." Peter the Ace said, blowing
a guards head clean off.
Tara was highly distressed. She fainted.
"This way." Peter the Ace said, grabbing Tara. He carried her
off down the corridor.
Justin ran after them.
Panman followed at the rear, decapitating any guard that dared to appear
in his field of vision. This is going to be tough, he thought. He grinned,
relishing the challenge.