"I have a visual on the Euphoria!" Panman said with cool excitement.
"It's a few kilometres down that shaft." His excitement faded
rapidly. "Let me correct myself," He said, "I have a visual
on the Euphoria's wreckage." He pointed to the shaft's location on
the digital map that appeared on the main view screen.
"Interesting." Peter the Ace said as he guided the Blenheim artfully
into a hovering position directly over the deep orifice. "I wonder
how that happened?"
One of the Euphoria's navigation lights had survived the energy blast and
blinked invitingly. Panman tried to communicate. There was no reply.
Suddenly a red light on Panman's console started to glimmer in an attractive
way. "Whoa!" He exclaimed. "I'm getting a signal from Jayne
Eye-Catcher's life-sign emitter!"
"Oh… No it isn't excellent." He said with total seriousness.
"She's on the verge of death!"
"Do you have her location?" Peter the Ace asked with the same
amount of seriousness.
"Yeah, right at the shaft's base, about seven kilometres down."
Peter the Ace operated a few controls and the Blenheim dropped at four times
free fall acceleration into the shaft. On the main view screen the jagged
walls of rock whooshed by. The light levels outside quickly dropped to almost
"This is as far as we can go." Peter the Ace said, bringing the
Blenheim to a rapid halt just above what remained of the Euphoria. "The
shaft is too thin for the ship."
Panman spoke wisely. "One of us will have to go down on a lifeline!"
"Absolutely!" Peter the Ace said. "I will go!" He got
to his feet and ran towards throught the Blenheim’s lavish passageways
to the lower exit bay. On reaching the bay doors he slammed his fist onto
the large red knob marked 'Open'. The doors at his feet hissed sideways
to reveal a sheer dark drop of three kilometres directly below. A warm breeze
flooded the compartment. Peter the Ace grabbed hold of the hook and line
that was connected to the ceiling.
"Panman?" He said into a communicator. "Set the descent rate
to free fall, slow me as I reach the bottom."
"No problem." Came the reply.
The bravest bounty hunter of them all took a deep, relaxed breath and jumped.
Within seconds, Peter the Ace was plummeting down the shaft at almost three
hundred kilometres per hour. Using his Bio-Tech vision augmentation (BVA)
implant, he scanned the shaft's base. He could see a small red shuttle craft
and a crawling figure. He could also see a long trail of blood. Thirty seconds
later he landed heavily less than two feet from Jayne Eye-Catcher.
"Jayne!" He said. "Good to see you again."
Jayne Eye-Catcher groaned.
"Where are Belinda and Kathwoman?"
"Belinda is no more." Jayne Eye-Catcher moaned with great effort.
Peter the Ace spent the next second suffering grief of a most intense kind.
With immense will power, he quickly composed his thoughts. "How did
"Kathwoman let her fall into a bubbling lava pit."
"Bitch!" He said. "I must find this evil female and slice
her muscles from her bones!"
"I have dealt with her." Jayne Eye-Catcher said faintly. "She's
dead." The wounded bounty hunter’s consciousness departed at
Peter the Ace grabbed Jayne Eye-Catcher under her arms. "Bring us up!"
He said into the communicator. Peter the Ace and Jayne Eye-Catcher began
to speedily ascend into the darkness above.
"I need to use the ultraspace communicator now!" Lawrence demanded,
marching onto the expansive bridge of the late Kathwoman's mothership.
"By whose orders?" Georgio Ignoramia asked, a moronic commander
of large blubberous proportions.
"Insubordination!" Lawrence screamed. The heinous lord of dark
events pulled out a glinting blade of pure steel and thrust it hard into
Georgio's throat. The commander gargled in torment as blood gushed into
his oesophagus. Lawrence pulled down hard, splitting the commander's solar-plexus
and opening up his ample gut. Red stained entrails flopped out onto the
floor. Lawrence stamped on them. "Ha harr!"
Georgio Ignoramia sank to his knees, overwhelmed by the agonizing pain.
"Finish me!" He gargled, unable to cope any longer.
"No." Lawrence said. The dark lord left the commander to die
in anguish. He turned and shouted. "Prepare the ultraspace communicator!"
"It's ready for you." An insignificant trainee said.
Lawrence walked over to the communicator and entered a few top secret
codes. "General Gaunt?" He said powerfully.
The reply was fast and clear. "Yes, my lord?"
"Execute your mission."
There was a momentary pause. "But you haven't told me what it is
"Insolence!" Lawrence shrieked.
"I'm sorry my lord, but the crew of my fleet are boiling over with
The lord of filth calmed himself. "Your mission is too secret for
even you to know." Lawrence said quietly. "What is your current
"We are orbiting the star, Sterilia, as ordered."
quot;Good. All you have to do is enter the following code into your command
ship's central navigation system. I pre-programmed it with your mission.
The ship will perform the mission itself."
"Are you sure you can't tell me the mission?"
"Impudence!" Lawrence screamed, slamming his fist into a nearby
officer's face. The officer died instantly and crumpled to the floor.
"What is the code, my lord?"
Lord Lawrence spoke more sedately. "The code is G. W. E. N. A. N."
There was a two second pause.
"The code has been entered, my lord."
"Good! Execute it now."
Onboard his huge command ship General Gaunt did as he was ordered. His
ship's powerful engines began to thunder violently.
"What's happening?" He asked one of his officers.
"The ship is turning towards the star!" Came the reply.
"My lord, why are we heading into the Sterilia star?"
"Ha ha harr!" Lawrence laughed over the communicator. "I
suppose I can tell you now. Your mission is my last resort weapon. Because
my mothership has been destroyed, I have decided to use your ship to cause
Sterilia to go super-nova. As you enter the star's atmosphere, your fusion
reactors will detonate in a predetermined pattern. The chain reaction
will cause a cosmic cataclysm that will destroy everything within a radius
of over one thousand light years. The Palace of amino will be crushed
and vaporised. At last, the core systems will be unprotected and Lord
Gastronemus, ruler of the galaxy, will bow down to me. I will rule all
systems! Ha ha harr!"
"You're insane!" General Gaunt yelled, his lower lip quivering
like a live plucked chicken in a fridge. He turned to one of his officers.
"Cut the engines!"
The officer blubbered like a child. "I can't! The ship is accelerating
at a phenomenal rate!"
The general slumped despairingly into his command chair. He looked out
of the main view port. The blinding brightness of Sterilia loomed ever
closer. He turned his gaze back to the communications panel. He could
hear and see Lawrence, cackling dementedly. The general cut the link and
the image faded.
"We're entering the star's corona!" An officer shouted.
The giant command vessel began to shudder violently.
"Hull temperature twenty thousand degrees celsius and rising!"
The ship continued its final journey into the heat and heart of the star.
"Shield failure in five seconds! Hull temperature now half a million
Buffeting of a most serious nature shook the huge starship as it approached
the centre of Sterilia. General Gaunt vomited with terror.
"Oh my! General, the shields have failed!"
Command consoles all over the bridge exploded in an abundance of sparks.
The crew screamed in terror as their uniforms and skin burst into flames.
The general grimaced as his face blackened and his eyes boiled and burst.
The G. W. E. N. A. N. program executed its final piece of code one millisecond
before it too was terminated. The command ship's five fusion power generators
went into instant overload and detonated…