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Book: Hippies
Chapter 11: Bipedal Machine

Two well-toned female security guards helped Peter to his feet. He rubbed his face and looked around. Everything was a blur, his tongue felt like leather, and his head pounded with pain. Exactly like waking up from an alcohol-induced coma, he thought, remembering several intense binges he’d only just managed to survive back at university.

“You were lucky, sir.” One of the security officers said in a sensuous manner. “That weird multi-coloured stuff was all over you.”

“What happened to it?” Peter said, starting to feel a little better.

“It just slid off you, turned black, and then went back into the hanger bay.”

Peter looked down at his armoured jump-suit. “Whatever this is made of, it must have repelled it.” He suddenly remembered his friend. “Where’s General Kath? Is she all right?”

The security guard’s face took on a sad appearance. She shook her head. “The stuff got inside her. The general floated off down the corridor.” She pointed.

Peter pressed the activate button on the communicator located on his chest plate. “Ross? Pan? Are you there?”

Pete! We though it’d got you too!” Chewing noises could be heard over the com channel.

“It almost did, Pan, but this body armour I’m wearing protected me. Kath’s skin-tight body suit was obviously a poor defence.”

Yeah, we just saw her on one of the screens floating down a corridor! Spooky, or what?

“We’ve got to find her.” Peter said. “There must be a way to get that stuff out of her.”

We’ll join you down there. Sensors show she’s still on your level.

“OK, I’ll wait for you here. I’m with two well-toned female security guards who should be able to help us.”

The two security guards giggled with delight at being noticed.


“They are! Did you sort out Lawrence?”

Yeah.” Pan said. “He’d completely lost it! I had to smash his bollocks to get him to stop. He’d vomited on nearly every console and ripped the breasts off two crewmembers with his teeth! There was pendulous melon flesh everywhere!

Peter cringed. “That is sickening!”

Ross joined the conversation. Distress obvious in his tone of voice. “Yeah! Four great fuckin’ tits – ruined!

“What about the male members of the bridge crew?”

Lawrence killed them with deep bites to their necks. He’s a vampire with a fuckin’ breast fettish!

“Is he secure now?”

Yep! I hog-tied the fucker and hung him from the periscope shaft. He ain’t goin’ fuckin’ anywhere!

“Good stuff. Now let’s go and sort out Kath so we can get back to dealing with those bastard hippies.”

Seven lentil escape globules bobbed on the surface of the blue planet’s endless ocean, each globule was tied to its neighbour with tough resin-coated lentil vines.

On top of the centre globule, Commander A’Doner sat with his private pleasure mistress, Daisy Muff, and puffed deeply on three spliffs. He was sweating profusely, the twin suns that blazed overhead were rapidly heating up his hefty flab-ridden body. Daisy lifted up his clothing and nuzzled into the folds of his belly, lapping up the pools of perspiration and fungal matter to make her master more comfortable.

Around the commander, on top of the other escape modules, the other surviving hippies had broken into their emergency reefer rations and were also puffing away.

Now that his inferiors seemed nicely relaxed, the commander decided to speak. “Out of the five-thousand strong crew of the Lentil Seed, we twenty are the only survivors.”

The other hippies cheered. One of the older crewmembers fell off his globule and splashed into the ocean.

“It’s nothing to be proud of!” the commander shouted. “That ship was fitted with a thousand escape globules. Why, in the Bowel Lord’s name, didn’t more of the crew get into them?”

Doey Limprist, the Lentil Seed’s abnormal chief engineer was sitting on the escape globule next to the commander’s. He answered. “Probably because they were, like, too slow in getting into them.”

Commander A’Doner fumed. “Obviously, you shit farmer!”

Doey smiled. He found his commander’s bad temper quite arousing.

Daisy’s nuzzling calmed the commander. He continued. “Enough about our fallen comrades. They were slow and as thick as marmalade and got what they deserved. We must quickly devise a cunning plan to board that British submarine and complete our mission to rescue the Supreme Layzee Sponjer.”

“Impossible!” Doey said. “Just give it up! There’s no way to get off this planet? These globules are, like, useless.”

The commander was sick of the strange engineer. He got heavily to his feet, knocking Daisy off his undulating gut and onto her back. He pulled out a small gun, pointed it at Doey, and flicked a switch. The gun powered up and hummed deeply. “You’re insolence and negativity will end now!” he yelled.

Before the commander had a chance to pull the trigger a chilling scream and splashing sound disturbed him. He looked round. Several of his stoned crewmembers were looking down into the water.

“What’s going on?!” the commander demanded.

“It’s, like, old Tom.” One of the hippies said. “He fell off his globule and was trying climb back up when something grabbed him.”

“What do you mean, ‘something’?”

“It was, like, weird and swirly and psychedelic. It, like, wrapped around old Tom, turned as black as my little goatee beard, and then pulled him under.”

The commander was dubious. “How much have smoked today?”

“I’m not hallucinating!” the hippy said. “At least, not too much, anyway.”

The hatch on the commander’s escape globule flipped open. Commander A’Doner looked down to see Moonbeam looking up at him. He still looked dazed from the beating the commander had given him before they splashed down. “Commander? There’s something huge in the water below us! The globule’s sensors have detected something really massive!”

“What is it?!”

“All I know is, it’s big!”

“You useless, piss-swilling idiot!” The commander kicked Moonbeam hard in the face sending him crashing back into the globule. Commander A’Doner looked around. Even though the suns were still bright overhead the ocean was darkening. The globules began to vibrate, and then the ocean’s surface turned to foam. Suddenly, and silently, an immense wall of blackness rose out of the water, completely surrounding the small group of escape globules.

The hippies shrieked with terror as the wall of blackness continued to rise. More spliffs were lit up and huge draws taken in an attempt to shut out the fear.

The wall of blackness now reached hundreds of metres into the air. It began to close in overhead like a giant aperture.

Commander A’Doner gazed upwards, a sense of complete despair filled his soul. He said the only thing he could think of. “Pants.”

Pan and Ross joined Peter down at the entrance to the main hanger bay.

“So, what are we going to do about Kath and her odd behaviour?” Pan asked.

Peter answered. “If it was someone we didn’t know, I would say that the only option we have is to flush her out of one of the airlocks.”

Pan frowned. “But we do know her.”

Peter nodded. “I know. That’s why we can’t flush her out of the airlock.”

“Come on, guys!” Ross shouted, annoyed. “Why the fuck are you discussing what we can’t do? Let’s discuss what we fuckin’ can do!”

Peter looked at his foul-mouthed friend. “What do you suggest?”

“Freeze her.”

“Nice idea.” Pan said. “Then we’ll have plenty of time to get a small sample of that weird black stuff that’s possessed her and find out what it's made of.”

“How the fuck are we’re going to do that?”

Peter answered. “This is the flagship of the British Navy, and the largest and best equipped ship ever created. It must have labs onboard.”

Ross nodded. “I guess it must. So, how are we going to freeze Kath?”

“There must be liquid helium in the ship’s heat shield.” Peter said. “We can extract some, put it into one of the flamethrowers in the armoury and spray it on her.”

“Yeah!” Pan said. “I was just about to suggest that.”

“Fuckin’ great idea, Pete!” Ross said. “While we’re at it, we can spray Lawrence, too!”

Peter pointed. “That’s the front of the ship down there. That’s where the most liquid helium will be located. I’ll go and figure out how to access it. You guys go and get a flamethrower.”

Ross punched the air. “Flamethrowers rule!”

Thirty minutes later, it was done. The freezing of Kath and Lawrence had gone entire according to plan, and their cold, solid bodies were now in the Death Reaper’s lavishly equipped sickbay.

“Well,” Ross said, still brandishing his liquid helium thrower. “It fuckin’ worked!”

In the middle of the sickbay General Kath was now frozen solid and sealed into an insulated transparent tube. Next to her, in an adjacent tube, was the Supreme Layzee Sponjer, formally known as Lawrence. He was still gagged and hogtied, but now deep-frozen.

Pan slurped down the last of his spacesuit’s Dr. Pepper and nodded. “Yeah. Easy as pie!” He thought for a moment. “Hmm… Pie…”

Peter quickly checked the transparent tubes. “He turned and smiled. “They’re in perfect hibernation!”

The Death Reaper’s chief medical officer, Dr Mario Kart, approached. “I’m-a glad-a you-a like-a my hibernation tubes.” He said proudly. “I-a invented them-a myself!”

“How long will those two possessed fuckers stay frozen?” Ross asked.

“A long-a long-a time-a.” Dr Kart said proudly. “Those-a tubes are the most-a insulated tubes ever created.”

“Cool,” Ross said, “but I think someone should stay and guard them. The two fuckers in there will cause havoc if they defrost and escape.”

Peter agreed. “Doctor, as we all need to go off and kick some emaciated hippy arse, it’s going to have to be you.”

The chief medical officer was annoyed. “I cannot-a do it! I am-a too-a busy! I-a need-a to examine that weird-a rainbow black-a stuff inside the general!”

“That’s true,” Peter said to Ross. “We need him to concentrate on that if we’re to have any chance of saving Kath.”

Ross frowned. “Then who the fuck is going to guard them?”

Two loud metal clangs reverberated around the sick bay. A semi-electronic, and vaguely familiar voice boomed. “I will do it!”

Ross, Pan and Peter turned. A shocking sight befell them. There, standing rigidly in the doorway that lead to Dr Kart’s laboratory, stood a seven-foot tall bipedal machine of incredible ugliness. It was covered in a myriad of hydraulic pipes, servos, and cables. A small pool of oil had gathered at its plate-like feet. But the most shocking part was the head. It was mainly human, encased in a thick glass dome, and connected to the machine below with a thick riveted iron collar and what looked like a vacuum-cleaner tube from the top of the skull. The head looked tiny in comparison to the bulky metal torso and limbs below.

Dr Mario Kart spoke. “Of-a course-a! I-a forgot to-a mention my-a life-a saving surgery on-a Captain Codd’s-a severed head-a!”

Ross, Pan and Peter stared in disbelief at the freakish sight before them.

After a few seconds of stunned silence Ross burst into fits of laughter.“Ha harr! It’s Justin! It’s fuckin’ Justin!”

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