Lawrence stood in a particularly evil way as he watched the image on the main view-screen.
The passenger liner was almost entirely inside the front bay now.
One of the executives spoke. “My lord, I have just accessed the ship’s
Lawrence turned and heaved the corpse of Mister Blister over to him. “What
have you found out?”
“There are three hundred people onboard, mostly economy-class peasants
and completely insignificant. But there are some first-class passengers
of reasonable value, most notably three academics - Professors Rottingliver
and Hàgênmåclídensõn, and Doctor Charlatan.”
“Ha harr!!” Lawrence laughed. “I am an extraordinary genius!”
He pranced around the bridge. “When the Palace of Amino hears that
three academics have been taken prisoner they’ll send their best people
to rescue them! When they arrive I’ll mutilate them like hogs in a
garbage masher! Sweet vengeance will be mine all mine all mine!!!”
Another executive spoke. “The passenger vessel is now secure in the
front bay. The bay door has been sealed and the bay pressurised. What are
your orders, my lord?”
Lawrence calmed himself. “Have the three academics taken to the detention
cell in my private chambers where I can torture them at my leisure.”
“What about the other passengers?”
“Put them in a room along with a legion of my Unholy Army of the Night.
Arm the legion with rusty knives and hooks, activate them, and then have
them massacre the passengers. When the carnage begins, put it on the main
view-screen for my entertainment. Go down to the front bay now and deal
with it personally.”
The executive got to his feet. “As you wish, my lord.” He walked
briskly off the bridge.
Lawrence pointed at another executive. “You! Send out a message to
the entire sector announcing what we have done. And let them know I have
a terror weapon of demonic magnitude, and that I intend to use it on a suitable
planetary target as soon as possible.”
“Yes, my lord.”
“And when you’ve done that, set a course for the nearest inhabited
world at maximum velocity, I wish to demonstrate the full power of this
ship on a densely populated city.”
“Yes, my lord.”
Lawrence hauled the mass of Mister Blister back over to the main view-screen.
“Yes!” he shouted with diabolical glee. “Soon the bounty
bastards will be hacked to a paste! I will become the unquestioned ruler
of the universe!” With a mighty roar, Lawrence raised Mister Blister’s
arms high and shook them violently. He screamed. “I have absolute
The two remaining executives shuddered at the display of supreme madness
It took only a few minutes of brutally efficient herding to drag all the
passengers and crew out of the Korma Sauce and gather them on the rust-coloured
deck of the cavernous forward bay. Several dozen heavily armed semi-mechanoid
guards clothed in leather studded robes surrounded the terrified group.
Peter the Ace, Panman, and Sind’a Thighs stood at the very front.
Panman looked around. “This is an unusually melancholic design.”
He said. “A depraved lunatic must be behind all this.”
“Indeed.” Peter the Ace agreed.
At the far side of the bay a set of double doors creaked open and a tall
and thin man walked briskly over to the passengers. His tight black and
studded PVC uniform squeaked with each step he took. The squeaks echoed
off the walls.
Once he’d reached the passengers, he raised his arms to silence
the moans of distress from the group.
Peter the Ace smiled as he noticed the pink lacy cuffs on the man’s
sleeves. He whispered to Panman. “Be careful, that guy’s a
certified butt hunter!”
Panman chuckled. “Without a doubt!”
“Be silent.” The man said.
A hush fell across the forward bay.
The man continued. “I am executive Chester Bolus. By command of
his lordship, Mister Blister, you have been taken prisoner aboard the
Death-Ship Satan’s Bog.”
With outstanding stupidity, Professor AmpléBläckett Hàgênmåclídensõn
stepped up to the front of the passengers. “This is an outrage!
You have violated all laws of decency by kidnapping us!”
The semi-mechanoid guards readied and aimed their weapons at the professor.
Executive Chester Bolus waved at the guards. They held their fire. “Mister
Blister does not recognise any laws of decency. In fact, he recognises
no laws at all.”
“I demand that you let us go this instant!” the professor
“You are in no position to demand anything. Speak again and you
will be silenced.”
The professor fumed, his face red with rage. “How dare you threaten
me?! Do you realise who and what I am?!”
The executive turned to one of the guards. “Low power blast to the
A bright burst of red energy erupted from the guard’s weapon and
hit the professor right below his double chin. He gargled and grabbed
his neck with both hands, then dropped to his knees, gasping.
“Next time, your guts will be incinerated.” the executive
Sind’a Thighs stepped over to the professor and helped him back
to his feet. His neck was blackened and blistered and he was finding it
hard to breath. He nodded in thanks.
“Right.” executive Chester Bolus said. “I trust there
will be no more interruptions?”
None of the passengers responded.
“Excellent. Mister Blister commands that you be split into two groups.
Will the following three people step forwards: Professor Wigfield Rottingliver,
Professor AmpléBläckett Hàgênmåclídensõn,
and Doctor Lesley Charlatan.”
Peter the Ace and Panman stepped forwards in a genuinely fearless manner.
“We’re being singled out!” Panman whispered. “Perhaps
our cover’s blown?”
“Perhaps,” Peter the Ace said, “but unlikely, otherwise
Professor AmpléBläckett Hàgênmåclídensõn
wouldn’t have been mentioned.”
“Oh yeah, you’re right.” Panman thought for a second.
“Then it must be our bogus academic status!”
“Just what I was thinking.”
With the support of Sind’a Thighs, Professor AmpléBläckett
Hàgênmåclídensõn approached the two bounty
hunters. Peter the Ace noticed with delight that the trainee’s thighs
were flexing strongly. She was obviously bearing most of the professor’s
“Thank you, my dear.” the professor croaked.
The executive spoke again. “Mister Blister has special requirements
for the three of you. You will be detained in his private chambers.”
He turned to the rest of the passengers and crew. “As for the rest
of you, you will be sealed into one of the ship’s catacombs.”
The executive waved at some of the guards. They immediately started to
herd the passengers towards the rear of the bay.
Sind’a Thighs was anxious. “I wish to be with you and Panman!”
Peter the Ace smiled and whispered back. “Of course you do, you
have the same throbbing biological urges as other females.”
“Yes, but I mean here in this hazardous situation! I am not ready
to be on a mission on my own!”
Peter the Ace stroked her left cheek. “You may only have a couple
of years training behind you, but you are now on the fast-track training
programme. You will have to be stronger than this if you are to survive
that. It will be far tougher than anything this ‘Mister Blister’
can throw at you.”
Sind’a Thighs nodded reluctantly.
Peter the Ace noticed that a guard was approaching. He spoke quickly.
“Remember what you have learned, it can save you. And you can use
it to save the others.”
The guard grabbed the trainee and pulled her away. “I will not fail
you!” she said. She was pushed back into the crowd of passengers.
Executive Chester Bolus spoke. “You three will come with me.”
He started back for the double doors.
Peter the Ace, Panman, and the professor did as they were told and followed
the executive. Three of the semi-mechanoid guards followed close behind.
“Status!” Lawrence yelled.
One of the executives spoke. “We have just entered sub-space and
are en route to the planet Elddem-Ssor.”
Lawrence shook Mister Blister’s head. “Not that status! The
status of my prisoners!” He smacked the executive on the back of
Nervously, the executive operated some controls and a new image appeared
on the main view-screen. “The three academics are on their way to
the detention cell in your private chambers.”
“Ha harr!!” Lawrence shouted with glee, pointing at the screen.
“Look at them with their long beards, their bushy moustaches, and
their impractical heavy robes! They are more intellectually significant
than I thought! What a catch!” Lawrence started to pant like a dog
and shuffle round the bridge. “What a catch! What a catch! What
a catch!” He slinked up to a wall and kissed it tenderly. “You’re
my wondrous tool of doom.” He said to the ship in a heavy Lancashire
accent. “You mean almost as much to me as slaughter and pain.”
The executive dared to interrupt. “Excuse me my lord, but the other
prisoners are entering lower catacomb four.” He altered the image
on the main view-screen.
Lawrence swung the body of Mister Blister round. The screen showed a dark-green
egg-shaped room, at least a hundred metres long. A thin mist gathered
near the ceiling and condensation glistened on the bare metal walls. Artificial
ooze dribbled from every nook and cranny. At the near end, passengers
and crew were being pushed into the room through a large hatchway. They
tumbled on top of each other, kicking out teeth and suffering dead legs.
“Ha ha harr!” Lawrence laughed, bouncing the gut of Mister
Blister up and down. “They haven’t a clue what’s going
to happen!” He turned to the executive. “Warm up the legion!”
The executive pressed some buttons.
The many voices of the pre-pubescent computer-collective made an announcement.
“LEGION-FOUR RE-ANIMATION SEQUENCE ACTIVATED.”
The image on the main view-screen showed the hatch to the catacomb being
sealed. The passengers were milling around aimlessly. They were completely
unaware of the terrors lurking in the dark at the far side of the room.
“NUTRIENT INJECTOR PUMPS PUMPING.”
“CYBORG MOTOR SYSTEMS ENERGISED.”
“ELECTRO-BRAIN STEM INITIALISED.”
The passengers were now all staring into the darkness. Something had caught
their attention. They stood there, motionless.
“RE-ANIMATION OF LEGION-FOUR COMPLETE.”
“Ha harr!!!” Lawrence bellowed. “Run program seven!”
“PROGRAM SEVEN: CANNIBALISTIC BUTCHERY - EXECUTING.”
One of the female prisoners screamed. Then another. And then another.
The passengers began to back away from the darkness. And they were right
to do so, because out of that darkness an unspecified number of lumbering
and lurching shapes emerged. The shapes groaned and moaned, then hissed
and wheezed, all with an evil tone of brainless hunger, hunger for the
blood of those that still lived. Brandishing hooks and knifes of all shapes
and sizes, the squad of death advanced.
“Yes!” Lawrence shrieked with furious pleasure as he watched
the events on the view-screen. “My glorious Unholy Army of the Night
The panic and fear of a sacrificial lamb welled up inside Sind’a
Thighs. It was almost overwhelming. She closed her eyes tight. With all
the mental power she could find, she crushed those emotions way down into
the deepest backwaters of her mind. Remembering the words of Peter the
Ace, she concentrated only on her insanity. She shut out the cries of
terror from the crowd around her, and beat to slush the despair of what
appeared to be a hopeless situation. Only her deep-rooted insanity could
save her from the shadowy brutes that approached. And only her insanity
would enable her to see her idols once again.
She opened her eyes.
A stinking semi-decomposed humanoid with one of the rustiest daggers in
history stood before her. It wailed coarsely like a ghum-thorn panther,
and then brought the dagger up towards her chest. The trainee bounty hunter
responded instantly. With a swift motion she kicked hard into the air,
catching the humanoid’s arm. The knife slammed into its face slicing
off its lower jaw. The jaw clattered onto the bare metal of the floor
and cracked in two. The rancid humanoid attacked again, this time more
successfully, cutting wide open Sind’a Thighs’s tight jacket.
Mad at making a mistake, she tore off the jacket and leapt into the air.
Before it knew what had happened, she had landed on the pungent humanoid’s
shoulders and wrapped her well-toned bare thighs around its neck. She
squeezed tightly. Foul-smelling puss leaked out of the zombie’s
ears. She squeezed harder. The humanoid waved the dagger above its head
in a vain attempt to cut her but she dodged the uncoordinated slashes
Then she twisted.
A dull wet snap was heard from inside the neck of the deathly humanoid
as Sind’a Thighs fell to the floor. A tearing noise followed. She
looked at her legs. Still gripped between her thighs was the humanoid’s
head, oozing vital fluids. Its body lay near by, convulsing wildly. Sparks
flew out of its damaged cyborg implants.
Trying to ignore the disgusting nature of what she had just done, she
got to her feet and kicked away the head.
She looked at the dire chaos that surrounded her.
The petrified screams of innocent men and women echoed round the metal-clad
room as dozens of decaying hulks hacked and slashed them to pieces. Slabs
of skin and bone scattered into the air. Sind’a Thighs was shocked.
Even the Ceremony of Impalation back on her home world was not as gruesome
With anger to be proud of, she grabbed the nearest attacker and jabbed
her knee hard into the middle of its back. It’s vertebrae shattered
and it fell limply to the floor. She grabbed the hook it was carrying
then slammed it hard into the creature’s face. The point penetrated
deep. She pulled hard, ripping off its cheekbone and part of its forehead.
Rotting brain and electronics were exposed.
Sind’a Thighs moved on, wading through a sea of blood and flesh.
Some of the decomposing attackers had started to eat their victims and
were sitting in small groups munching steadily. The trainee bounty hunter
could not resist booting them in the back of the head as she passed by.
Already, over half the passengers and crew were dead. The attacking humanoid
creature things were relentless. An ugly old woman up ahead seemed to
be defending herself admirably, but she was weakening. Her attacker was
swinging his knife back and forth in front of her. She was backing away,
but the wall was just behind her. It stopped her retreat. A second later
the inevitable happened and the rusty blade slit her open from her waist
to her neck.
Sind’a Thighs started to run to her, leaping over several portly
men who were being gutted and eaten alive. She reached the woman and grabbed
her attacker, punching it fiercely in the chest. She punched it again,
then again, splintering its ribs. The rancid creature buckled over, its
chest cavity caved in. Sind’a Thighs kept up a steady rain of blows
- some heavy thumps to its back, some jabbing upper-cuts to its face.
The bloody fluid from the attacker’s innards dribbled down her arms.
She stopped for a second and allowed her opponent to stand up straight.
It did so, albeit in a very unsteady and dazed fashion. With one final
almighty punch, Sind’a Thighs pierced its chest cavity completely.
Grabbing the nearest organ, she pulled. Out popped its heart. The rotting
creature looked down at it, and then crumpled to the floor.
Sind’a Thighs smiled at her handy work and tossed the heart away.
She felt invigorated. She had often doubted the wisdom of her decision
to become a trainee bounty hunter, but not anymore. This incident alone
confirmed that she was right. The exhilaration was quite astonishing.
After snapping the neck of another attacker who’d stumbled nearby,
Sind’a Thighs crouched down next to the ugly woman. She’d
collapsed into a pool of blood. Her entrails were creeping slowly out
of her massive wound.
The trainee bounty hunter smiled sweetly at the woman.
The woman spoke, her voice weak and gravely. “Get word to Barnaby.”
“Who’s that?” Sind’a Thighs asked.
“Is he here?”
“No.” croaked the woman, coughing large quantities of blood.
“He’s at home on Gumbut IV. He hate’s space travel.”
“What do you want me to tell him?”
The woman was growing weaker. “Tell him he’s…”
She coughed, and then her head slumped to one side.
Sind’a Thighs shook her. “Tell him he’s what?”
The woman awoke briefly. Her eyes were drifting, unable to focus. “Tell
“Tell him he’s an adulterous piece of shit!”
The woman vomited an enormous amount of blood, and then relaxed totally.
The trainee stood up and stared at the lifeless old lady, her face screwed
up in disgust. “With a face and body as hideous as yours, I’m
not surprised he went with someone else!”
Sind’a Thighs heard a grunt and turned. Three grim attackers were
stumbling towards her; one of them was still chewing at the bloody end
of a severed arm.
With her true destiny finally clear, the trainee emptied her mind of questions
and let the insanity of her situation take full control. As if guided
by an inner power, Sind’a Thighs leapt into action and let loose
a startling array of kicks and punches. Skulls and sternums shattered
like pottery. Flesh and tendons tore like tissue paper. Cyborg attachments
malfunctioned like photo-copiers.
From out of the bloodshed and carnage, a glorious and beautiful sight
had emerged - graceful in its brutality, and deadly in its poise and confidence.
The insane inner-self of Sind’a Thighs was finally free.