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Book: Bounty Hunters of the Palace of Amino
Chapter 30: Smooth Bloody Paste

Peter the Ace laid back in his bubbling, exorbitant Jacuzzi and gazed through the huge nearby window at the magnificent panoramic view. From this five kilometre high penthouse apartment, mountains, lakes and valleys over one hundred and fifty miles away could be seen. Far below, numerous skycars and larger craft went about their business amongst the lesser towers of the Palace of Amino.

"fantastic!" Jayne Eye-Catcher said sexily from the opposite side of the spacious whirlpool bath.

"It was indeed!" Peter the Ace replied.

"No," she said, "I mean the view!"

"Of course you do."

A maintenance craft thrusted by the window, on its way to perform a Complete Systems Status Verification (CSSV) on one of the defense posts that orbited Enchantia.

"I must go." Jayne Eye-Catcher said standing and stepping out of the foaming water. Her naked, athletic, tanned body glistened in the ambient glow of the apartment’s expensive but subtle lighting system. She grabbed a large towel and slowly wiped herself dry in a most sensual manner. Jayne Eye-Catcher put on a small, black gown and swayed towards the exit. "I'll see you in the great hall this evening."

"Absolutely!" Peter the Ace said.

The door closed and sealed behind Jayne Eye-Catcher. The apartment was almost silent, except for the gentle bubbling sound of the Jacuzzi.

Let's liven this place up! Peter the Ace thought. He operated the control console next to the bath.

"READY." The console announced.

"Activate video archive, planet Earth, year nineteen ninety-four, The Simpsons, random episode. Play."

"PLAYING…"

The seven metre, wide screen, high definition tele-video screen glimmered into life on the far wall. A familiar theme tune filled the air. Peter the Ace dialled a number on the communications panel. After a few seconds a reply came.

"Yo!"

"Panman." Peter the Ace said "Simpsons session?"

"Too right!" He replied. "I'll be over in five minutes."

"Excellent! I'll get Belinda to make a couple of pizzas and a few kebabs."

"Awesome!" Panman said, ending the link.

Peter the Ace climbed out of the whirlpool which immediately deactivated itself. He grabbed a towel. "Belinda?"

The door to the kitchen swished open and a young, blonde, scantily clad girl wandered into the room. She sighed as she saw his fantastic physique. "What can I do for you sir?" She asked breathlessly.

"Could you make a couple of pizzas and a few kebabs? Panman is coming over. We're having a Simpsons session."

"Sounds like fun!"

"It is. When you've finished cooking you may join us."

Joining Peter the Ace and Panman for a Simpsons session was considered a great honour. "Thankyou!” Belinda said excitedly. “I will!" She turned and wandered back into the kitchen.

Belinda was Peter the Ace's cook, cleaner, maid and masseur. She had worked for him for two years and was also one of the top ranking trainee bounty hunters. All trainees were expected to work for the higher ranking bounty hunters. It helped them to learn about the individual skills of these astonishing people and also to see the extravagant lifestyle that they could lead if they too reached these exalted levels of success.

Peter the Ace had just finished dressing when the front door bleeped.

"Enter." He said.

The door slid open and Panman entered carrying a sextet of ale. He lived in an equally lavish apartment opposite Peter the Ace's. Only the four Superior Beings had homes larger than these. For security reasons and because of their nauseating ugliness, the Superior Beings dwelt three miles underground in huge artificial caverns and lived lives of pure opulence. Originating from the Mantara-Tania-Nusia galaxy more that three billion light years away, these six thousand year old, nine thousand IQ creatures, after seeing the high levels of violent crime in the Milky Way galaxy, constructed the planet Enchantia and the Palace of Amino to oversee the recovery and maintenance of galactic peace and harmony. They are consulted regularly before missions. As face to face conversations induces vomiting, the Superior Beings must encase themselves in one metre thick steel cylinders, with only their eyes showing, whenever any other life form wishes to speak to them directly.

Once she had finished serving the two bounty hunters their food, Belinda sat down to enjoy The Simpsons.

After seven side-splitting episodes had been and gone, the door bell sounded.

"Yes?" Peter the Ace said.

"It's me!" A synthetic voice said over the intercom.

"Justin! Come in."

The cyborg trainee walked through the now open doorway and over to the two bounty hunters and Belinda. His eyes focused on Belinda’s two well toned thighs, partly covered by her very short skirt. He felt nothing. Strange.

"What do you want?" Panman asked.

"There's a bungee jumping session going on from the roof, shall we go?"

"You do realise that you are probably too heavy for the rope, now that you're ninety percent machine."

"I checked. I'm only one kilogram over. The guy who organised it said that it should be fine."

"Well if you want to risk it that's fine by me!"

"Me too." Peter the Ace said, getting too his feet. "Let's go."

The two bounty hunters and Justin headed for the roof. Belinda stayed behind and cleared up. The Central Tower was oddly shaped and had a large landing platform on its summit that jutted out over three hundred metres with a sheer drop right to the surface. A huge, five metre wide communications mast towered a thousand metres into the wispy cirrus clouds above.

Peter the Ace, Panman, and the servo assisted Justin arrived on the landing platform and were met by a group of twenty fellow bounty hunters. Four of them sprinted off the edge and disappeared below, their two kilometre long bungee ropes following them down.

"Peter the Ace! Panman!" A purple faced official shouted. "Welcome."

"Thank you." Peter the Ace said. "When can we jump?"

"Now, we have three ropes ready."

"Excellent!"

Within less than a minute, the three adventurous types had bungee ropes strapped to their ankles.

"I think your glass domed friend may be too heavy." The official said.

"Don't worry." Panman said. "He says its OK."

"Alright then." The official said, pointing to the edge. "Off you go!"

Panman and Peter the Ace needed no encouragement. They ran and jumped. A few seconds later Justin followed.

"Bitchin'!" Panman shouted as he plummeted towards the towers and streets below.

"Thrilling stuff." Peter the Ace said calmly, tumbling slowly.

Hmm… Thought Justin, following close behind in a spread-eagled position. It doesn't feel as thrilling without a biological body.

They plunged for a full thirty seconds until the elasticity of the rope decelerated them rapidly.

"Whoa!" Panman said. "We've all reached full stretch at the same time!"

The two bounty hunters and Justin gazed down to the roadways half a kilometre below. Panman was the first to start his ascent, closely followed by Peter the Ace. Just as Justin's rope was about to begin retracting, it snapped. The mechanised trainee began to plunge towards the ground, rapidly reaching terminal velocity. His metal arms flailed in all directions.

"Shit!" he exclaimed quietly.

Peter the Ace and Panman looked down at the fast falling metal trainee.

"I did warn him!" Panman said.

"Indeed you did!" Peter the Ace agreed with composure.

Justin slammed into the roadway below with extreme force. His metal body was able to withstand the impact. The glass dome around his head was not. It shattered instantly, sending his face smashing into the rock hard surface. The Justin's skull fractured in three hundred places, mashing parts of his brain into a smooth bloody paste. The small amount of blood that was used to keep his head alive splattered over a nine metre square area. Luckily, the passing pedestrians were all fully qualified bounty hunters whose training allowed them to avoid the large falling object.

Peter the Ace and Panman were pulled back onto the roof of the giant Central Tower.

Panman spoke to the official. "Call a Medi-Car, send it to the south tower base!"

"No problem." The official said, producing a small communicator.

"Tell them that a cyborg with a human head has plummeted into the ground from an outrageously elevated altitude. They will need to perform a brain recovery and skull replacement operation immediately."

The official passed on the message.

Panman was concerned. "We'd better go down and see how he is."

Peter the Ace nodded.

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