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Book: The Face of Satan's Bog
Chapter 15: A Thousand African Bees

“This sucks!” Brother Drool yelled as another blast hit. The tank was hurled through the air forcing him to grip tightly on to the hand-holds on the sides of his seat. A vehicle as small as the Morbid Tank could not be fitted with gee-dampers, and this made the whole experience highly nauseating.

“Why don’t you fuckin’ relax?!” Ross Mental said.

The tank slammed into a rock face then tumbled back to the cave floor. Molten rock - the result of the tremendous heat from the giant turd’s weapons - quickly surrounded the vehicle. The display-screen showed the deepening sea of glowing lava.

Ross Mental pushed hard on the speed-controller sending the tank splashing through the liquid rock.

Brother Drool stared at the image on the display-screen. “This really sucks!”

“Shut the fuck up!” Ross mental shouted. He spun the tank round and operated a few complex controls. Three green cross-hairs appeared on the display-screen. The tank shuddered as three bursts of energy lashed out from its turret’s cannon. The resulting explosions on the hull of the giant turd were extremely satisfying.

“Ha!” The bounty hunter laughed.

“We’re idiots!” Brother Drool said. “Taking on a behemoth of a warship with only a puny tank is, like, suicide, or something!”

The tank rocked violently as yet another blast hit. An alarm sounded. Ross Mental silenced it immediately. “You sad little fucker!” he said angrily as he began targeting the forward section of the giant turd. “With an attitude like that you’ll never fuckin’ graduate!” He fired. More satisfying explosions spread across the giant ship’s hull. Ross Mental accelerated the tank through the lava and towards the ship. In less than a minute they were under the monstrous vessel. All was strangely calm. “Ha! The fuckin’ idiots can’t blast us here!” The bounty hunter aimed the tank’s fusion cannon at the underside of the giant turd and fired. Shattered and smouldering armour plating scattered everywhere. “Fuckin’mega!” Ross Mental engaged the auto-fire system and sat back. The cannon began a rhythmic one-burst-a-second firing pattern. “Let’s just sit here for a while and watch the fuckin’ show!”

“We’re doomed!” Brother Drool said. “You’re insane and we’re doomed!”

Ross Mental turned to his assistant. “Were not fuckin’ doomed, you moron! But I am insane.”

Brother Drool was shocked and perplexed. “So you admit that you’re insane, then?”

“Of course I fuckin’ do! It’s the reason I’m so fuckin’ cool as fuck! All bounty hunters are insane!”

A look of deep concern spread like lemon curd across Brother Drool’s face.

Ross Mental noticed his assistant’s anxiety. Although insanity was a subject not taught until late in the training, he decided he’d better give a brief explanation. “Insanity is nothing to be fuckin’ afraid of. A bounty hunter feels insanity flowing through him. It’s all around, in the trees and the lakes and the bars and casinos, and even out in the near-vacuum of deep space. A bounty hunter’s feeds on insanity.”

Brother Drool was flabbergasted. “Like, are you saying that I need to go insane?!”

“Fuck yes!”

“So what’s wrong with sanity?”

The bounty hunter grunted. “Sanity’s for the plebeians - those that don’t have to fight evil fuckers. As bounty hunters, we need insanity. Insanity binds us, makes us grow - in body as well as mind.” Ross Mental flexed his biceps. The sleeves of his jump-suit swelled impressively. “Did you think these massive and dense muscles were the result of decades of hard-core body-building? Fuck no! Insanity! Fuckin’ insanity built these fuckers! I haven’t been in a gym for fuckin’ centuries!”

Brother Drool looked at his own arms. They were puny in comparison. Suddenly, thoughts of bulging body parts entered his consciousness. He looked up and smiled, suddenly realising what he could become. “Can insanity really build me up into a muscular freak?”

“That’s what I fuckin’ said!”


Vivid flashes of heat and light filled the main display-screen as the tank’s cannon continued its automated onslaught.

Ross Mental examined the sensor data-screen. “We’re slowly breaking up their armour, but its tough fuckin’ stuff! This tank may run out of energy before we get through!”

Brother Drool was concerned. “We can’t sit under here forever, and help won’t arrive for another day! They’re bound to send vicious things out to get us, or something!”

Ross Mental glared at his assistant. “Hear you nothing that I fuckin’ say! Insanity got us into this, and insanity will get us the fuck out! Relax!”

Brother Drool tried hard to comply.

“Report!!!” Lawrence screamed. The rage of a thousand African bees pounded through his veins.

“The tank is still underneath us.” One of the executives said meekly. “A flaw in the design of this ship means we cannot fire on it if it remains in that location!”

“Insolence!” Lawrence kicked the executive hard in the groin. The executive doubled over. With a mighty thud, a leathery fist smacked down on the back of the executive’s head sending him smashing into the floor. He lay their, moaning like a monk.

“There is no flaw in my design!” Lawrence yelled.

Dull reverberations echoed through the Satan’s Bog as the tank’s relentless attack continued. The ship’s female computer-collective made an announcement. “70 PERCENT ARMOUR LOSS. LOCATION: UNDERSIDE HULL, FORWARD SECTION, ZONE 3.8. HULL BREACH IN ONE MINUTE.”

“We must launch now!” Lawrence shouted, walking over the floored executive. He stomped over to another of the executives who was sitting at the helm control station. Lawrence leaned close to the man’s right ear and screamed. “Launch now!!!”

The executive winced as his ear drum burst. He gripped his right lobe. “There’s another minute of the warm-up sequence left. Controls will be locked out until the sequence is completed.”

“Press the override button!!!”

“There is no override button. Everything is run by the ship’s computer-collective. You’ll have to persuade it to ignore safety parameters.”

Lawrence punched the executive hard on the back of the head. He fell forwards, hitting the console. His nose spread itself over a wide area. “Safety parameters were not part of my design! Who in Beelzebub’s tool shed put them in?”

No one answered.

The ship’s computer-collective made another announcement. “86 PERCENT ARMOUR LOSS. LOCATION: UNDERSIDE HULL, FORWARD SECTION, ZONE 3.8. HULL BREACH IN 25 SECONDS.”

With the impatience of a pregnant mongoose, Lawrence spoke to the ship. “Computer-collective, launch this ship immediately!!!”


“Bastard machine! Do as I say!”


“There is a good reason, you sad bunch of brains!”


“Because that shit-mother tank has almost pierced your belly!!!”


Lawrence was ecstatic. “Ha harr!!!”

Like deranged god of levitation, the Satan’s Bog lifted slowly off the cave floor.

Brother Drool stared at the display-screen. He was relieved. “It’s leaving us alone! It’s letting us live!”

“Letting us fuckin’ live?!” Ross Mental said in disbelief. “We’re the one doing the fuckin’ attacking, you dumb fuck!” The bounty hunter continued to fire the Morbid Tank’s cannon at the giant ascending turd. He turned to his assistant. “That bastard-mother-fucker is running! Running like a fuckin’ headless chicken!” He smiled crookedly. “The stupid fuckers’ in that thing don’t even know who I am yet and they’re still scared as fuck! Just wait until they find out my identity, and the true nature of the insanity inside me. They’ll fuckin’ freak like geeks!!!”

Brother Drool had to agree with Ross Mental. The bounty hunter had already freaked him out, and they were on the same side. He could only imagine what it must be like to be on the receiving end of Ross Mental’s special kind of justice.

Ross Mental’s attention had returned to the task at hand. He was fiddling with some more controls. “I’m not going to let that fucker get away from me!”

Brother Drool shook his head. “Even a second class bounty hunter like you can’t catch something that huge in something this small.”

“Don’t be so fuckin’ defeatist!”

The main display-screen showed a high-definition wide-screen image of the giant turd as it rose higher and higher. Ross Mental operated a track-ball controller and positioned a small graphical symbol over the backside of the ship. “Watch this!”

There was a loud thud. A small hook-like device shot out of the tank and slammed into the giant turd. It stuck.

The bounty hunter laughed. “Wherever it goes, we go!”

Brother Drool nodded in polite agreement, but his expression betrayed his lack of confidence.

Ross Mental pressed the H.R.S. (Hook Retraction Switch) and the Morbid Tank lifted off the cave floor. It swung to-and-fro as it pulled itself up towards the hull. “Don’t look so fuckin’ glum!” the bounty hunter said to Brother Drool. “Out of all the courses of action we had, this was the most insane! And it’s that fuckin’ insanity that makes this the right choice for a bounty fucker!”

Lawrence screamed like a cheerleader. “Kill it! Kill it! Kill it!”

The image on the main view-screen showed the tank swinging underneath the ship. It was pulling itself up to the hull.

“I keep telling you that we can’t!” one of the executives said. “It’s too close to the hull. We’ll end up destroying ourselves!”

“Then get us out of this puss-cradle mountain!”

The executive nodded. “I think we can manage that, but it may cause severe damage to the ship. We really need to wait for the doorway to be cut.”

“Bollocks to the doorway!” Lawrence yelled. With great effort he bent the tough body of Mister Blister over. He reached down and took off one of his slippers. The executive covered his face as Lawrence slapped him hard with the shoe. Lawrence whispered. “Leave the mountain now!”

The executive sat down at the helm station. “Engaging thrusters.”

The Satan’s Bog lurched forwards. The image on the view-screen changed to a forward view. The ragged cave wall approached.

“Velocity one-hundred metres per second.”

The female computer collective made an obvious statement. “WARNING: COLLISSION WITH THE CAVE WALL IS NOT A RECCOMENDED COURSE OF ACTION.”

“Shut-up!” Lawrence yelled.


The ship hit the rocks. A crunch to beat all crunches reverberated through the bridge. Lawrence was thrown forwards. He only just managed to stop himself smashing his head onto the main view-screen.

The executive at the helm station increased the power to the thrusters. The Satan’s Bog pushed hard against the rock. The cave wall crumbled like pie crusting under the incredible power of the ship’s engines.

“Yes!” Lawrence shouted excitedly. “This is awesome! That bastard little tank will be ripped apart!”

Several alarms began blurting.


“Be silent, you bunch of harridans!”

After a few seconds of darkness, the image on the main view-screen changed to a stormy scene of high velocity blizzards.

The executive at the helm station examined his data-screens. “We’ve cleared the mountain!”

“Ha harr!” Lawrence laughed. “Show me!”

The view-screen image changed to a rear view. The mountain was in a mess. Tremendous clouds of dust and rock were spreading down into the valley below, and a kilometre-wide hole could clearly be seen.


The executive continued to examine his data-screens. “My lord, we have suffered extensive damage to our sensor arrays, weapons systems, and hull.”

Lawrence turned to face him. “Forget the damage. What about that tank?”

The executive examined several other screens. “As I said before, our sensor arrays have been damaged, but as far as I can tell, the tank is no longer with us.”

“Ha harr!” Lawrence bounced the corpse of Mister Blister around the bridge. “Crushed it was! Crushed like a coconut! Pummelled to powder!! The bounty bubbler inside has been banished to the depths of eternal solitude! He’ll be there forever, darning wet socks and sucking dung out of constipated camels!” Lawence held Mister Blister’s arms high. “Ha harr! I am the finest motherfucker of all time!!!”

The Satan’s Bog left the atmosphere of Drazzil-B and headed out into the frigid void of space.

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