Badoodoo yelped as his chubby face was pressed hard against the window.
Lord Ecnerwal shrieked. “I asked you if you could see the wonderous event! Answer me!”
Badoodoo grimaced. “But my lord,” he said, his voice muffled, “I don’t know what I’m looking for!”
“Perhaps you should get a little closer.” Lord Ecnerwal said, pushing harder on the back of Badoodoo’s head.
There was a cracking sound. Badoodoo screamed. Blood flowed from his now broken nose. His eyes watered. There was no chance of him seeing anything now.
Badoodoo, his mind filled with pain, said. “No! I see nothing!”
Lord Ecnerwal released his grip. Badoodoo slumped to the floor. “You unobservant vole impression!” He shouted, pointing out of the window to the artificial sky above the jungle. “It is raining! It is raining to provide moisture for my egralons! Humidity is rising to soften and moisturize their gargantuan hides!” He raised his arms. “The eco-system I developed is better than any that nature has created!” He looked down at Badoodoo and squinted. “Don’t you agree, grease vomit?”
Badoodoo wiped the blood and tears from his face. “Yes, my lord.” With his vision clearing he could now see the sheets of rain out above the jungle. “It is an impressive sight.”
Lord Ecnerwal laughed. “Of course it is!” His laugh turned into a girlish giggle and he clasped his hands together. “My eco-system is secret now, but one day I shall be the most respected, revered and honoured artificial environment creator ever! I shall be showered with praise and adoration and love, and receive some of the most intense female attention ever experienced by any intellectually-superior man!”
Badoodoo was finding his lordship’s ever-quickening plunge into mental oblivion quite difficult to comprehend. It was a startling experience, and deeply unnerving. But his urge to please his master overcame all that. His personal reward when his lordship’s scheme succeeded would be something very special indeed. He did not want to jeopardise that at all. With a groan he hauled his small chubby body back onto its feet. He sniffed back some blood. “I have an update for you, my lord – two pieces of information that will please you immensely.”
Lord Ecnerwal scowled. He pointed at the chamber’s central console which was glowing steadily in the dark chamber. “Then show me, fungal glaze!”
Badoodoo nodded and then scurried over to the console. He activated some controls and brought the huge oval view-screen opposite to life. An image of a large and yellowish spacecraft appeared, surrounded by numerous tables of complex and unnecessary data. With the taste of blood still in his mouth he spoke. “Firstly, the collection vessel has reached its destination. It will begin planet fall within a few minutes.”
Lord Ecnerwal gave a shallow nod. “That information does indeed please me.” He paused for a moment and pursed his lips. “Although not immensely so.”
Badoodoo continued. “Initial detailed scans by the collection vessel indicate that there will be at least three million subjects ready for collection.”
“That pleases me more,” Lord Ecnerwal said, “although I would still not describe my pleasure as immense. Your next piece of information had better do as you promised. Otherwise I will have to hurt you.”
His master seemed taken aback. “Your confidence in the face of threatened pain is startling. Will the next piece of information really give me such pleasure?”
Badoodoo nodded. “It will, my lord.”
Lord Ecnerwal yelled. “Tell me, then, thong fabricator!”
Badoodoo changed the image on the view-screen. A star map appeared. “The location of the Palace of Amino has been found.”
Dropping to his knees and screaming with delight, Lord Ecnerwal shuddered and shouted. “Oh, yes! Oh, how wonderful! Oh, Badoodoo, my pleasure is indeed intense now! Thank you!”
“You are welcome, my lord.”
Lord Ecnerwal stretched his arms out to his sides and swayed left and right. The enormous sleeves of his robes billowed. “Pleasure is rarely so pleasing!”
Badoodoo spoke again. “I can also confirm that the bounty hunter, Sadie Stick, has received her first instructions.”
Lord Ecnerwal squealed. “It gets better!” He leapt to his feet and his expression became eerily serious. “She is not aware of that, is she?”
“No, my lord. The subliminal nano-interface appears to be functioning well.”
“And the signal was not detected by those bounty scum packers?”
“No, my lord. The quantum-band wave-encrypted ultraspace transmissions are, as you predicted, undetectable.”
His lordship gasped. “My pleasure has risen to a level far beyond intense!” He turned and headed to a large arched doorway in the side of his chamber. “I must retire to my bed immediately.”
“Of course, my lord.”
“Inform me of any more news as soon as possible.”
Badoodoo nodded. “Yes, my lord.” Knowing what was sure to follow; he turned and headed for the exit as quickly as he could. Within seconds he was through the main doorway, across the bridge that spanned the green-lit slime, and heading into the asteroid’s dark passageways. He had made it!
And then his wrist communicator bleeped. Badoodoo looked down at it. When he saw the caller’s name his heart sank. He activated it.
A voice, high, tinny and strangely sweet, called out. “Badoodoo?”
Badoodoo sighed. “Yes, my lord?”
“You fornicate with rodents!”