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Book: Bounty Hunters of the Palace of Amino
Chapter 17: Ugly Fish

"Escape shuttles!" Jayne Eye-Catcher said with delight.

The small hanger bay that she had aimlessly wandered into contained two tiny black and silver craft. Their sleekness and aero-dynamic design impressed her. Placing the completely unconscious Lew Brain Ache carefully on the floor, she attempted to open the hatchway of one of the shuttles. It opened. She dragged the flabby frame of Lew Brain Ache into the craft. Straining hard, she managed to strap him into the small back seat. His head fell back and his jaw dropped, dribbling saliva over the front of his suit. Jayne Eye-Catcher winced in disgust then took her position in the pilot’s seat. It was cramped. The hatchway buzzed shut automatically. A comforting hiss of air confirmed that the shuttle craft was sealed. Several display screens glimmered to life showing the shuttle's status in a very strange language indeed. Jayne Eye-Catcher's exceptional knowledge of hundreds of different types of transportation devices and her innate good luck allowed her to quickly grasp the gist of what it all meant. A small graphic image of a doorway lead her to believe that it was the hanger bay door control.

"Here we go!" She exclaimed, pushing the button.

The door opened and the bay was flooded rapidly by an immense surge of sea water. Using her measureless intelligence, Jayne Eye-Catcher powered up the thrusters and directed the petite craft out into the depths. Warning lights flashed in the hanger bay as the shuttle left.

They're onto us, she thought as she accelerated across the ocean floor, bright flood lights illuminating the way ahead. The shuttle's scanners showed that the larger craft was turning to follow. An alarm sounded - weapons lock. A torpedo was cruising rapidly towards her. With awesome skill she ducked the craft into a deep abyss. The torpedo missed and exploded above. The shock wave was astonishing. The shuttle shook violently. Warning lights flashed and then several displays went dead. The craft was plunging, uncontrollably into the blackness. Jayne Eye-Catcher attempted to regain control but it was no use. The directional thrusters had suffered complete systems overload and had ceased to function in a useful manner. On the only working display screen, several incomprehensible warnings were flashing. Even Jayne Eye-Catcher could not decipher them.

"Not good!" She said, looking back at Lew Brain Ache. She noticed the red glow behind his eyelids.

"Great!" She exclaimed. "Just when I need Lew Brain Ache's superior cognitive powers, he's high on some drug."

After several minutes the small shuttle came to rest on a ledge deep down the abyss. It creaked under the immense pressure of the water.

I hope Lew Brain Ache's megatronic brain is still transmitting that distress signal to the Palace of Amino, Jayne Eye-Catcher thought, looking out of the forward viewport at the floodlit rocks.

A small, ugly fish swam smugly by, vomiting gently. It seemed surprised at the food that had suddenly appeared in front of it. The fish eagerly gulped down the regurgitated nutrients and carried on its way, puking once again. It seemed surprised at the food that had suddenly appeared in front of it…

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