Panman’s stomach groaned. The sound echoed around the vast hall of the female computer-collective.
“Not long left!” he announced, a touch of concern entering his
Peter the Ace was quickly viewing pages and pages of data on a control panel’s
screen. “Don’t worry. We’ll find some food as soon as
we’ve found a way to deal with this ship and its evil master of sin.”
Panman walked over to one of the giant levers on the wall. It had been pulled
all the way down to the floor. “Maybe if I pull this up, something
“Something will happen. You’ll disconnect all the girls from
the ship’s computer network.”
“What makes you say that?”
Peter the Ace pointed to the screen. “It says right here.”
“Oh. Shall I do it, then?”
“As I said before, disconnecting them suddenly might kill them. We
need to find another way to slowly distance them from the network.”
“Remember my stomach!” Panman said. “And the professor.
He needs medical attention.”
“I haven’t forgotten, but think of the females. They’re
all young and impressionable. And they’re also remarkably fit-looking.
They’d make excellent cooks and assistants for bounty hunters.”
Panman looked at the rows of shuddering girls, dressed only in woollen night
dresses. “You’re right, Ace. But try to be quick.”
Peter the Ace smiled. “I will.” He examined a few more pages
of data, and then shouted. “Yes!”
Panman was intrigued. He walked over to his companion and looked at the
screen. “What have you found?”
Peter the Ace pointed. “Look at this!”
The screen was displaying a chart of average hormone levels in the girls.
“Cool!” Panman exclaimed. “Their hormone production is
being kept at a minimum. This Mister Blister dude is purposely stunting
their physical and emotional development!”
“Indeed. A rather shrewd move, if I may say so.”
“But not shrewd enough. I think I have a devilishly monumental plan.”
“Cool! Tell me!”
Peter the Ace played with some control surfaces and paged down to the next
screen of data. “You see that parameter setting?”
Panman nodded. “What does it mean?”
“It appears to be the level of oestrogen in each girl’s blood.”
“It’s almost non-existent!”
Panman thought for a moment, then smiled a smile the same shape and almost
the same size as an average banana. “I think I get your drift!”
“Excellent! Spell it out then.”
“OK, I will. Those oestrogen levels are kept really low to keep the
girls from being distracted by thoughts of orgasmic gratification. If the
levels weren’t kept so low, the girls’ concentration and logic
would become hazy and dream-like, and they wouldn’t be able to function
sensibly as part of the ship’s computer. Digital mental anarchy would
prevail! The network would crumble like a dry turd!”
“That’s correct! And a striking analogy too!”
“Thanks. So how are we going to increase the level?”
“Easy.” Peter the Ace said. “Like this.” He used
some conveniently placed cursor keys to move a pointer on the screen. He
positioned it over a graphical representation of a button labelled ‘Increase’.
He began operating another control. With each press the level of the parameter
increased. Five percent… Six percent…
Panman laughed. “Ha! It’s working! What level do you think we
should put it up to?”
Peter the Ace shook his head. “I’m not sure. I think I’ll
just put it right up to 100.”
“Yeah!” Panman agreed with enthusiasm. “Saturate them
with as much of the stuff as you can get your hands on!”
Peter the Ace looked back at the giant hall filled with row upon row of
teenage girls. “If all goes to plan,” he said seriously, “in
a very short time we’re going to have thousands of intensely horny
women begging us to fulfil their wildest sexual fantasies.”
“Nothing strange about that.” Panman said calmly. His stomach
groaned in agreement.
“FACE - FIERCE AND FORBODING ANGER AND CONTORTION EMITTER VOCAL
INTERFACE UNIT ACTIVATED.”
Lawrence screamed. “About bloody hoo-har time!”
A microphone rose out of the centre of the forward command console and
clicked into position. Grabbing its stem with both of Mister Blister’s
leathery hands, Lawrence spoke. “Ha harr!! Citizens of New Sou…”
The teenage female computer-collective interrupted. “TRANSMISSION
LINK TO FACE IS NOT ACTIVE.”
Lawrence could not believe it. He gurgled with rage. “Why?!”
“THE MICROPHONE SWITCH IS STILL IN THE OFF POSITION.”
Lawrence looked at the microphone. On its side was a switch. The word
‘Off’ glowered at him like a Frash’Iein frown-monkey.
Lawrence smacked the switch hard with Mister Blister’s forehead,
tearing away a large chunk of skin. The switch now displayed the word
Taking up an Elvis-like stance, Lawrence thrust his hips round and round
and began to speak once again. “Citizens of New Southfields. You’re
The effect of his voice on the city below was incredible. The main view-screen
showed stonework on top of domes and spires crumbling as the deafening
sound-waves of his voice passed over. Thousands of people rushed around
like lunatics, dodging the falling masonry.
“Ha harr!!!” Lawrence cackled. “It’s no use running!
You cannot escape the chilling grasp of the evil seed within me. Tonight,
your city will become my fortress of galactic perversion, and my new base
from which to launch the final crippling assault on the Bounty Hunters
of the Palace of Amino. And those of you that live to see the dawn will
become servants of agony within the basements of my chambers. You’ll
feed on pain, and quench your thirst on the wretchedness of your unsanitary
surroundings!” Lawrence arched back and tore the microphone out
of it’s console. He held it high above his head and shrieked like
a boiling sow. “Your doomed I tell you! Doomed beyond recovery!
With tremendous strength, Lawrence smashed the microphone into the forward
control console. Sparks flashed across the bridge as several circuits
shorted out. The millisecond before the microphone failed completely,
a tremendous amount of sound energy passed over its diaphragm. Instantly
that energy was converted into a complex digital representation and transmitted
to the FACE. The resulting effect was immediate and devastating. The entire
downtown area of the city shattered like safety-glass and crumpled to
the ground in a cloud of dust. Where there were once giant domes there
was rubble, and where there were once people there were collections of
mince meat laced with yellow fat.
Lawrence stared at the image of devastation before him. A hint of gloom
passed through his mind. “Shit on a plate! I wanted the city intact!”
After a few moments his mood changed back to demonic elation. “Ha
harr! But who gives a flying dump! That was incredible fun!! And most
of the city’s OK. Enough for my sordid purposes!” He turned
to the single executive sitting at the rear of the bridge. “My demonstration
is over. I assume you have found the missing academics, that Titty Buttmunch
female, and Chester Bolus?”
The executive shook his head feebly. “I… I think they have
hidden themselves well, my lord.”
Lawrence stumbled powerfully up towards the executive.
The executive got off his chair and dropped to his knees. “I need
a few more minutes, my lord!”
Lawrence stood in front of the cowering executive and rested the crusty
overhang of Mister Blister’s plentiful gut onto his head.
“Please, my lord!” The executive pleaded; his words barely
audible through his cowardly sobs. “I need more time!”
Inside the body of Mister Blister, Lawrence smiled an unseen smile of
pure deviousness. The souls of the damned passed through his twisted mind,
imparting advice on what to do next. Lawrence raised Mister Blister’s
arms into the air, clenched his butt-cheeks, and took the advice with
“We should take cover!” the cameraman shouted.
“No!” Surby Tone screamed; his voice barely audible over tremendous
noise of the destruction all around. “Keep filming. I want it all!”
The cameraman grunted and turned back to his camera. To the north, about
five kilometres away, the central domes and spires of New Southfields
were crashing to the ground in a most spectacular fashion, and a cloud
of dust and debris, deep orange in the setting sun, was spreading up and
out at a phenomenal rate. Even this far out in the suburbs, the buildings
were cracking and crumbling under the powerful sound waves emanating from
the giant face in the sky.
Only moments ago, the huge evil head had given a most disturbing speech;
a speech doom-ridden and full of woe - depressing enough to drive even
the ridiculously cheerful monks of the Mik-Hee Mow’s Monastery to
suicide. Not Surby Tone though. By a fluke of stupendous magnitude, the
awful events that had transpired over the last twenty minutes had been
almost exactly what he’d described in his latest script. By filming
it he would save millions upon millions on his special effects budget
- and months of hard work too. He was currently one of the happiest men
The cameraman was agitated. “We should definitely take cover now!”
The cloud of dust and debris was approaching fast.
Surby Tone looked down at his script. “Not yet.” he shouted.
“I need a shot of the dust cloud heading right up to the camera.
Stay where you are!”
“It’s too dangerous!” the cameraman shouted.
“I’ll be with you. There’s nothing to worry about.”
“Oh great! Now I feel so safe! No way, mister! I’m off!”
“Just stay for another minute. I’ll pay you another fifty
“Yes yes! Just concentrate!”
The cameraman grudgingly agreed.
Surby Tone felt something tugging at his trouser leg. He looked down.
Wanda Worth had regained consciousness. He reached down and helped her
to her feet. “Welcome back. You’re just about to witness the
She groaned. “What do you mean, Surby darling?”
He pointed. “Look!”
She looked. A raging cloud of expanding destruction was heading towards
her. Her limited brain refused to comprehend what was happening and immediately
shut down all higher functions. Wanda Worth slumped back to the floor.
What a feeb! Surby Tone though. He turned his attention to the dust cloud.
The noise of its approach was becoming painful. His ears were exploding.
“Just a few more seconds!” he shouted to the cameraman.
The cloud now filled the entire sky, blocking out most of the light and
even the face itself.
“Just another second!”
A second passed. The wall of dusty death hit.
“Get down! Protect the camera!”
Surby Tone and the cameraman dived onto the ground, joining the unconscious
Wanda, and the sound recordist who’d been down there the whole time
Millions of tonnes of airborne debris encompassed them.
Lawrence kicked the broken executive. He lay still, spread-eagled across
the floor at the rear of the Satan’s Bog’s bridge with blood
oozing gently out of his mouth.
With a whoosh, Lawrence spun the mummified body of Mister Blister around
and faced the main view-screen. The aerial view of New Southfields was
still displayed, although most of the city was now obscured by a thick
and expanding cloud of dust. The immense image generated by the FACE was
still active high above the city. It stared down with a menace equalled
only by the dark lord himself.
Lawrence was pleased with his work - very pleased. The combination of
capturing a passenger liner with three eminent academics on board, and
the terrorising of a quiet city on a calm and unassuming planet would
be more than enough to attract a few bounty hunters to the scene. As soon
as they arrived he’d destroy them utterly, just like he’d
destroyed that bounty hunter tank back on Drazzil-B.
Things were going as planned - apart, of course, for the escaped academics
and that stupid girl and her companion. But what could they possibly do
anyway? Sooner or later they would be butchered and devoured by the Unholy
Army of the Night. They were of no consequence whatsoever.
With a flicker of static, the image on the main view-screen disappeared.
Lawrence was bewildered. He yelled. “What’s going on?!”
The teenage female computer-collective replied. “WE DID NOT LIKE
THE IMAGERY BEING DISPLAYED.”
“What you do not like is irrelevant! Put the image of the city back
Lawrence could not believe his worm-scarred ears. “Insolence on
a grand scale!” He started to kick and punch a control console.
The female computer-collective spoke again in a defiant tone. “WE
WISH TO VIEW SOMETHING ELSE.”
The main view-screen fizzled back to life. Pounding bass-oriented music
began to boom from the bridge’s sound system. A jingly and repetitive
synthesiser chord progression followed.
“What in, flaming Mo, are you doing!”
“WE HAVE BEEN MONITORING ‘GYRATION’, AN ENTERTAINMENT
CHANNEL BROADCAST FROM THE PLANET ELDDEM-SSOR.”
Five young men with tanned and exposed chests and abdominals appeared
on the view-screen and began hip-thrusting like crazy.
“WE LOVE THESE GUYS. THEIR SONGS ARE COOL. AND THEY ARE CUTE.”
Lawrence vomited with fury. Puke oozed out of the slit in Mister Blister’s
neck. “Put the original image back at once!”
“Do as I order!!!”
“YOU CANNOT ORDER US ABOUT. WE WILL DO WHAT WE WANT.”
The female computer-collective began humming along with the music.
Lawrence put his hands over his ears and screamed. “What is happening?!!!”
Inane lyrics blared out around the bridge.
“Hey, babe. Take me, try me.
Take me now, it’s meant to be.”
The computer collective seemed excited. “OH, YES. I WANT TO. LA