Prisoners on the Pleasure Planet! Chapter Eight

Chapter 8

Dirty Vexa, Crazy Covalent Blonde

Vexa piloted her stolen pink aircar into the jungle. She maneuvered carefully through the foliage, keeping a careful eye out for her prey. She didn’t like being in the midst of all this…nature. She was a being of metal and circuitry, if one discounted her organic brain, and uncomfortable among trees and animals and insects.

She thought crabmen looked like giant insects, as a matter of fact, which is why she thought killing one would be an easy introductory job.

It hadn’t turned out that way, but Vexa was still intent on seeing the mission through, killing King Zixtik, getting paid, and finding a new apartment. She was hoping for something with a view this time. Right now she was subletting her cousin’s flat, right next to the aquatic processing plant. Which was a fancy term for a giant factory where they chopped big fish into small pieces and stuck them into cans, jars and boxes. Vexa disabled her olfactory receptors when she was home, but the smell still stuck to everything she owned and people looked at her funny when she rode the subway. Once a pack of Cargarian felinoids followed her all night, their eyes dilated and their noses twitching. They finally scattered when she got pissed enough to throw a hovercycle at them, rider and all.

So moving was the first thing Vexa was going to do, after she killed King Zixtik and the green chick and the crazy blonde. She wasn’t going to get paid for the last two, but at least she’d get some satisfaction out of it.

Vexa brought the stolen taxi to a sudden halt. There, wedged between two trees, was the aircar she had been chasing. The crabman king was sprawled in front of it, apparently unconscious, and the green chick was lying prone across the front seat. The blonde was nowhere in sight.

Vexa got out of the cab, clapping her hands together.

“Nice try,” she said over the metallic ringing. “I’m kind of annoyed that you think I’d fall for such an obvious trap, though.”

Vexa walked toward the aircar. She smiled as she got closer and kept an eye out for the crazy blonde, expecting her to jump out of the bushes at any moment. Vexa hoped she was that stupid. She moved closer and closer to the aircar, then stopped and looked around, still waiting for an attack. When nothing happened Vexa shrugged and moved right up to the transport. She got close enough to touch the green girl. So she did.

She gave her a quick poke and then jumped back, readying herself for a fight. The green girl didn’t move. No one leapt at her from out of the bushes, and no one jumped down on her from the trees above. She frowned and leaned forward, giving the green girl a pinch before once again jumping back.

Still no reaction. Vexa frowned. She studied the situation again. The green female remained motionless, seemingly unconscious. The crabman hadn’t moved an inch. And the blonde was still missing.

“Maybe this isn’t a trap,” Vexa murmured. “Maybe it’s…”

With a loud scream Vexa jumped towards the green girl again. She brought a metal fist down right at her head, stopping mere inches away.

Still nothing. No one moved, or screamed in fear. No one jumped out of the bushes at her.

“Son of a bitch,” Vexa exclaimed. “That psycho must have really crashed!”

Vexa strolled over to King Zixtik. She looked down at the crabman and cracked her metal knuckles. They made a sound like a small caliber bullet bouncing off of steel plating. She couldn’t believe that, after being crushed by an escape pod and having a wild chase over Zaladon IV, it was going to be this easy. Searching until she found a rock big enough, Vexa carried it over to the prone form of King Zixtik and held it above his head.

“Sorry, pal,” she said without a trace of regret. “But I really need a new apartment.”

As Vexa lifted the rock up high, King Zixtik opened his eyes. They widened in fear as he saw the cyborg assassin about to crush his head.

“Unable to translate,” he screeched.

Vexa looked at him curiously. “Okay, well, nice talking to you, too.”

Just as she was about to bring the rock smashing down on the crabman’s head, there was a loud cry from out of the jungle. Vexa didn’t know who Tarzan was, much less Johnny Weissmuller, but if she had she would have instantly recognized the sound as a fairly close approximation of the actor’s famous jungle call. The cry stopped the cyborg in her tracks, just long enough for Covalent Blonde, swinging in on a jungle vine, to crash into her. The pair went sprawling into the dirt and the rock flew out of Vexa’s hands.

“I knew this was a trap,” Vexa growled, grabbing Covalent Blonde’s neck in her metal hands.

“Shows what you know,” Covalent Blonde sneered in return as she broke the cyborg’s grip and put her in a wristlock. “I crashed that damn aircar! It wouldn’t fit between those stupid trees!”

Vexa used her superior cybernetic strength to break the hold and threw a punch at Covalent Blonde’s head. “Then you’re a lousy driver! You were never going to get through that gap!”

Covalent Blonde ducked the punch, then threw a kick that knocked Vexa back several steps and followed that up with a flurry of blows. “I’ve made it through tighter spots than that, you metal bimbo!”

Vexa blocked some of the blows, but others connected. She couldn’t keep up with the other woman’s attacks and so, in frustration, charged right at her. The momentum drove them both into a large pool of mud and the battle continued. Vexa threw punch after punch, none of them connecting as Covalent Blonde ducked, dodged or blocked them all. Going low, the human woman caught Vexa at the knee, twisted, and sent the cyborg splashing into the mud. With a triumphant cry Covalent Blonde used her leverage to force Vexa’s face down deep into the muck.

“Suck on that, you bitch!” Covalent Blonde looked up to see King Zixtik, standing close to the mud pit and waving his pincers at her. She gave him a questioning look.

“I’m sorry to interrupt,” he said. “I don’t really know much about cyborgs but… Do they need to breathe?”

“Aw, fuck,” Covalent Blonde cried as Vexa suddenly leapt upright, sending her flying into the mud. She started to rise but the mud was slippery and she couldn’t get to her feet. Vexa grinned at her then moved toward the crabman, picking up the large rock that she had dropped.

“Now,” the cyborg said, lifting the rock high above her head as she advanced upon King Zixtik. “Where were we?”

Covalent Blonde slipped and fell into the mud as she tried to get to Vexa. King Zixtik’s eyes grew wide as the cyborg bore down on him.

Then the sound of a blaster rifle tore through the jungle. The rock Vexa was holding shattered, raining dirt and rock fragments down on her head. All three looked up to see armed men in tan uniforms standing in the nearby jungle. The men all pointed their deadly-looking weapons at the trio.

“Unable to translate,” King Zixtik cried. “Unable to translate!”


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