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Book: Bounty Hunters of the Palace of Amino
Chapter 52: Coat of White Fur

Two cool ships, the Satyr and the Morbid, melded their way through subspace.

"Two minutes and we'll arrive at the fuckin' palace!" Ross Mental said over the communicator.

"Yeah!" Sarah Savage replied, stuffing her face with a raw slab of steak. "A bit of peace and quiet before our next mission will be most welcome." She looked back at Angharad who was chewing on a cinnamon stick. "What are you going to do when we get back?"

"I think I'll go for a jog around the palace perimeter." She replied.

"That's a hundred and twenty kilometre long run!"

"Yeah, I know it's quite short but I'm not as fit as you are. You top bounty hunters probably run three or four times that distance every day when you're at home."

Sarah Savage remained silent for a couple of seconds. "Err... Yes! We do." She said.

The Ship's console bleeped excitedly. "We've arrived!" Sarah Savage exclaimed, happy at the opportunity to change the subject.

The two craft transcended the dimensions back into normal space, and into the centre of a wreckage strewn orbital battle field.

"Fuckin' fuck!" Ross Mental shouted as his ship smashed into a formation of three skull fighters, shattering them into small fragments.

"Death!" Sarah Savage screamed, her natural killing instincts had been aroused once again. She fired her craft's pulse cannons directly into the engines of small, badly damaged battle cruiser. Shieldless and armourless, it exploded in a most satisfying manner.

Three kilometres above, one of the few remaining squadrons of skull fighters had noticed the emergence of two new targets. They began a steep dive and released a wave of energy beams. The Satyr and the Morbid shook as blasts of light connected with their shields. With awesome courage, both ships set an intercept course with the fighters, firing beams and missiles with ferocious exactitude. Several of the skull ships were vaporised instantly. The rest, shocked by the phenomenal piloting of the two bounty hunter vessels, broke formation and thrusted away. Ross Mental and Sarah Savage, with the excited encouragement of Angharad, began an attack run on the large command ship that loomed before them. All around, spectacular dog fights continued as other bounty hunter ships slowly but surely reduced the enemy fleet to dust. Below, Enchantia's orbital defence grid continued its cold, automated wipeout of anything evil that strayed too close.

Down on Enchantia's surface at the edge of the Palace of Amino, the ground battle raged with barbarous intensity. The trainee bounty hunters ran around like violent crazed fibre fiends, blasting the zombified corpses that marched unevenly towards them. Blood soaked decaying bones, muscles and tendons scattered into the air. The pungent stench of rotting flesh was unbelievable.

Thirty members of the unholy army of the night had managed to break through the line of fire and were currently wandering through the streets of the palace's outer residential districts. Jon Bilbarph, the assistant manager of the Preamius five-screen holo cinema, the Palace of Amino's second most popular multi-dimensional movie theatre, was taking his small white haired old hound, Akash, for a walk. Every morning, before getting on the Hov-Rail network and commuting to work, he would do this without fail. Today, even though the entire palace was on its highest state of alert, he decided not to break the routine that he had kept to for the last fifty-six years. Big Mistake!

As Jon reached a small area of parkland outside his apartment building, Akash decided that he needed relief and wandered over to a nearby tree. Jon waited patiently. The sound of laser fire echoed through the buildings. Looking up, he could see the distant battle raging in orbit. Maybe I should have stayed home? He thought.

It was to be his last thought.

A crunching sound behind him was immediately followed by an instant of agonizing pain. A lumbering zombie had just taken a huge, skull penetrating bite out of the back of his head. Jon's whole body shuddered as his brain was sucked out and chewed. The mindless hulk of his body slumped to the floor, spouting blood in several directions.

Akash, seeing that his master was in trouble, barked in outrage and leapt at the masticating undead corpse. The hound found it easy to rip the flesh off the zombie's bones. The undead being’s lack of coordination and its decaying structure made it vulnerable to Akash's salivating chomping jaws and, with its leg muscles munched to a pulp, the zombie fell to the floor, quivering erratically. Akash's seething attack continued. He managed to rip the shivering corpse's head clean off.

"Whomph! whomph!" Barked Akash excitedly.

The little white hound began to lick out the flesh from the zombie's neck. What a feast! His master only used to feed him chicken organs and custard. This meal was so delicious. The sound of uneven footsteps distracted Akash. He turned around to find several more mucous dripping corpses staggering towards him. He leapt towards them, howling savagely.

Two trainee bounty hunters appeared from behind one of the buildings and began blasting the undead. With Akash's help, they proceeded to rid the streets of the repugnant creatures of doom. Shreds of putrefied flesh scattered all around. It was not long before Akash's coat of white fur had changed to dark red.

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