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Book: Bounty Hunters of the Palace of Amino
Chapter 50: Melting Faces

A dark cylindrical object, three metres in length, thrusted silently towards the battle scarred hulk of Kathwoman's mothership, weaving its way through the debris of a thousand unwillingly fragmented fighters. A communications link was established with the mammoth vessel.

"Get me Kathwoman!" Lawrence ordered as he guided his escape pod dexterously around several charred and irradiated bodies.

"Kathwoman has not returned to this ship." Came the sonorous reply.

"Where is she?"

"She was deep below the surface of Epicuro but her life sign emitter ceased transmitting fourteen point two minutes ago."

"Are you telling me that she could be dead?"

"Yeah, I guess so."

"Excellent!" The death lord screamed hysterically. "You are all now under my command!"

Lawrence began to laugh inanely for five minutes. The communications link remained open the whole time and his manic chuckling was heard throughout the giant starship.

Finally Lawrence calmed down. "Prepare to take me on board." He said.

The tiny, black pod was encompassed by a radiant glow of deep blue as a tractor beam of power and awe dragged the little craft into the mothership.

The unholy army of the night, within its dark kilometre long armoured block-like craft, made its way up a flourishing valley towards the Palace of Amino that stood majestically on the horizon. It rumbled forebodingly as it followed the contours of the undulating hills with flawless definitude. In a few minutes it would reach the perimeter of the palace and unleash the beasts within its confines.

With unseen precision, sixteen astonishing ships of densely weaponed destruction fell from the sky in a controlled hyperbolic arc. Before connecting with the foliage smattered ground they performed an awe-inspiring tangential course correction that brought them into line with the black monolith of death. What was even more awe-inspiring however was that the bounty hunters that were flying them were doing so manually, without the use of digital auto-flight pre-programmed attack path systems (AFPAPS). Weapons lock was instantly achieved. Blazing streaks of flaxen energy burned huge gorges in the black vessel's hull as the bounty hunters went nuts with their ship's cannons. Molten debris scattering into the air as the waves of power cut into the gloomy craft. It continued on its course, unhindered by the aggressive onslaught.

Commander Pepe watched the attack on several of the huge view screens in Amino Battle Command.

"They're not going to have time to destroy it!" Chief Officer Chimpapazapadon announced. "Its armour plating is too thick!"

"Are the trainee bounty hunters ready?" The commander asked.

"Yes. They're lined up at the western palace limits with weapons of total domination. Whatever's in that thing, they'll be able to deal with it."

"I hope so. Tell them to open fire in a most frenzied fashion as soon as they want."

"Yes, sir."

Chief Officer Chimpapazapadon went away to carry out his order.

"Concentrate all fire power on the planet's defence grid!" General Blubbard screamed.

Over one thousand energy cannons situated around his mammoth command ship discharged beams of crimson power towards Euphoria's defensive satellites that were currently blasting away at the relentless swarms of skull fighters.

"The grid is weakening but not in any substantial way." Bristow said.

"Keep firing!" The general shouted, punching Bristow hard in the face.

"But we have very little power left!" The officer said through a mouthful of blood. "Those blasts that took out our shields also drained a huge amount of our energy."

"Then get the fighters to do it!"

"But we only have twenty percent of our fighters left. The rest have been obliterated!"

"Then ram this ship into the grid! That should get us through."

"But without shields our hull will be breached in seconds. Thousands of personnel will suffer agonizing deaths!"

"Who gives a free-falling shit?!" General Blubbard screamed, kicking Bristow hard in the gut.

The officer buckled in pain.

"Do what I say and do it now!" The insane general yelled.

Bristow carried out the order. The enormous starship started to descend.

The general walked over to sub-cadet Theresa. "Hello." He whispered sweetly into her left ear.

"Hello, general." She whimpered, still distressed about her lover's rapid demise.

"Have you discovered why Lawrence's mothership is not responding to our calls?"

"I think so." She replied quietly.

"Then please tell me."

"I think it has been destroyed."

"Impossible!" The general shrieked, grabbing Theresa’s head and biting off both of her ear lobes.

The sub-cadet got to her feet and ran off the bridge, sobbing hard.

"You!" The general shouted, pointing to a security guard that was standing nearby. "Go after her and amputate her limbs."

The guard nodded and sprinted towards the exit.

"And bring them to me to prove that you've done it!"

The large dark craft that carried the unholy army of the night came to a halt at the Palace of Amino's perimeter and hovered menacingly. The legion of trainee bounty hunters opened fire with some of the most awesome hand weapons ever devised. The air attack on the deadly vessel continued.

After a few seconds, a ramp opened up on the black vessel’s underside and lowered to the ground. Immediately, dozens of armoured ground vehicles appeared and trundled rapidly down it, firing wildly from their top mounted turrets. The exchange of high energy bursts of death was a sensational and terrifying sight.

It took no more than three minutes for forty vehicles to exit the craft and drive their way up to the courageous bounty hunter trainees. The deafening weapons discharge continuing ruthlessly.

Without warning, hatches on the armoured vehicles opened. Several hundred beings of unreasonable ugliness climbed out and lurched their way into the palace. It was the unholy army of the night. With mucous dripping from every orifice, these long dead corpses stiffly stumbled across a breach in the palace’s perimeter wall under the control of digital implants deep within their decomposing brains. These small devices were one of Lawrence's most immoral inventions.

The unholy army of the night and the trainee bounty hunters met. Total carnage ensued. Exploding heads, flaming bodies, spouting arteries, splitting cartilage, snapping tendons, and melting faces was suddenly commonplace.

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