Part 1- here
Part 2 -here
Part 3 -here
Part 4 -here
Part 5 -here
Part 6 -here
“Does this crossbow make my butt look big?”
“Okay, how about the war hammer?”
She sighed, “No.” The rats, sorry shrews, were known throughout the universe for their rather sticky fingers and on a station as large and obtuse regarding law enforcement they accumulated the largest random arsenal this side of a deathstar. Hellena practically squealed as she took in all the goodies, a bit like a homicidal maniac in an armory.
Pearl was finding it hard to keep lying to the Amazonian as due to the cramped conduit system that made up the shrews life all that contained her world was Hellena’s posterior. She had to lean to the left lest the small laser pistol she cluelessly picked up dug into her hip. Her people were known best for not requiring weapons.
“Wow, this thing is amazing. I wonder what this button does. Oops!” On cue the group dropped down as another lancing green blast arced across their heads. “Sorry,” Erica called from the far back, grinning sheepishly. It hadn’t taken much to rouse her from her shrew-induced nap (a quick splash of old mop water) and she took the news that a horde of space born rodents had ordered the group kill something called a Kouban lest they themselves be killed rather irritatingly well. She’d spent the entire claustrophobic trip pushing the demo buttons on a laser sword, and left a very convenient burn trail should they need to get back unguided.
We are getting close, I can smell them
“Oh, thank the creators,” Pearl exclaimed, fighting back the urge to scream and dig the walls to pieces. Instead she shrank in on herself finding comfort in the black folds.
“Hey, ratty,” Hellena started, poking the guide the Killer Shrew king gave/forced upon them.
For the last time my name is not ratty. It is Spidey, I am the fourth Spidey in our generation.
“Yeah, whatever. You guys got any fully automatic laser guided nuclear warheads?”
Spidey, gaping up at the strange red woman turned his attention to the one in black, The Kouban are here. I can smell them his little nose twitched either from a bad smell or allergies or possibly both You will descend out of these ducts onto the ground below and smite our enemies
After having been nearly vaporized by a strange green/yellow face, nearly stomped to death by a rampaging horde, wormholed, whatever that Volman woman was and now attacked by giant killer shrews (how in the hell do you get shrew in space anyway?) Pearl was getting a bit snippy. “So we just waltz down there, say hi and then blast this Kouban into smithereens?”
For some reason sarcasm was a national pastime of the shrews And maybe you can have some milk and cookies after
Erica settled in next to Pearl, “What are these Kouban anyway?”
“You’ve never heard of them?” she was getting more and more confused as to what exactly she was good at guiding for.
“There are over 3,000 different species on this station not including the rat thing here.”
Shrew, for the last bloody time. I’m a shrew
Hellena joined in on the cozy huddle, dropping the war hammer with a loud bang ahead, “Hey, why don’t we kill ratty and then escape. No one would know.”
Spidey – 4 shifted back and forth on his paws Ah but you forget, I uh I have this telepathic connection. Yes. All of my fellow Shrews would know the second you tried to lay a finger on me
The Amazonian grinned, in the torchlight her face twisted like a mountainous god that just found a new blasphemer to play with, “I bet we could squish you into a stain before they got two feet out of their little hole.”
Pearl, for some reason the silently democratically appointed leader, leaned her head back against the cool bulkhead, “No, we won’t kill the rat, shrew, sorry. What are the Kouban like, their strengths and weaknesses?” But the rat, sorry shrew didn’t stick around long enough to answer. It knew that glint in the red one’s eye and left little tracks in the metal as it scrabbled back down the ductwork to find a safer vantage point for the slaughter.
“Damn, shoulda let me kill it. I bet roast shrew’s pretty tasty with the right sauce. Maybe ketchup.”
I’m trapped in a tiny metal coffin with a woman who’s armed to the teeth and another that will probably shoot off our feet before anyone elses and no one knows we’re here. Think, now is not the time to panic, think, think. There ahead of them sat a small ventilation grate in the floor of their little metal tunnel. Pearl gathered up her robes and slid forward pushing Hellena with her to take a peek down at the open world nearly throwing up as she did.
The floor fell away a good two stories to a shadowy concrete floor below. Only a single lamp illuminated the circle, throwing the two parties that were meeting across enemy lines into deep shadow. It was like something out of a really bad gangster film.
Light dimmed momentarily as one of the shadows stepped in. From her vantage point all Pearl could make out was a very bald head and a lot of shiny duds. “We Are The Kouban. All Of Your Technological And Biological Advances Will Be Added To Our Own. Resistance is Futile. Have a Nice Day.”
A familiar laugh chuckled from the other side of the circle. “Oh yes, I certainly am,” into the light stepped a fedora and khaki covered woman . . .
“Steph!” Hellena shouted, the sound bouncing off each metallic surface and echoing back upon their ears. Erica and Pearl glared at her, lowering her volume, “What’s she doing here?” the Amazonian mimed.
Pearl shrugged and Erica followed suit uncertain if she should know this person or not – maybe she was on one of those reality shows like Death of a Celebrity or Wheel of Mammals, she never watched any TV anymore. Luckily the shout did not catch the attention of the players below.
“You Have Brought The Package,” The Kouban demanded, extending an arm that looked like it belonged in a starship manufacturing plant not attached to someone.
Steph grinned, “That’s what I like about you Kouban’s, all business.” She turned and struggled to drag out a long package almost twice her height and placed it on the ground in front of her.
Slowly she unwrapped the string and lifted the lid off the box to introduce the harsh light to. . .
“THAT’S MY SWORD!” Hellena roared, forgetting the echo problem.
“Hellena, shut up!” Pearl shrieked at her.
“But THAT IS MY SWORD! The little NERFHERDER stole it!”
“I never could figure out what in the hell a nerfherder is. It isn’t that hard to keep track of those little foam footballs,” Erica unhelpfully added as she, bored with the proceedings below, took to fiddling with her weapon again.
“Shhhh!” Pearl waved her arms madly trying to get everyone to stay quiet, but it was too late.
The Kouban turned on its rather stylish heels and looked up at the grate. “We Are Not Alone.” A red robotic eye zoomed in on the source of the sound and scanned the area. Three life forms found, destroy with extreme prejudice. Maybe go out for soup later. Tomato. Initiating kill sequence. Steph stepped back, unhooking her whip as the weird cyborg’s chest whirred, lasers and other weapons appearing as chunks of its chest opened and shifted.
Huddled around the grate, Pearl and Hellena watched helpless as the small bald man transformed into the deadliest fighting force this side of the Killer Shrew army. For one last touch it pulled a pair of ray bans out of its pocket before taking aim at the ductwork.
“Oh gods, RUN!” Pearl screamed, Hellena fast on her tail.
“Hey guys, whatcha think this button does?” Erica asked as the other women tried to shove her back down the ductwork getting clogged in a mass of limbs.
“Bon Voyage, Baby,” the Kouban said before firing one well timed shot towards the sound of the strange interlopers and returning back to his business. It would have worked too if not at that exact same second Erica lost her balance a bit from all the shoving and pushed the final button on her weapon. A long beam of energy lanced out slicing through the floor, the ceiling and the very important support that was the only thing holding the duct work away from the very hard floor.
“AAAAHHH!” All three women screamed together as their world fell out from beneath them.
Erica tumbled out first, Pearl smashing into her tender hold and cracking her fingers. The two rolled end over end screaming as the concrete floor came up to smash their bodies to very bad broken bits.
Steph looked up at the familiar women and smirking to herself cracked her whip past the Kouban that was shaking its fist up and down trying to unclog its arm. “Gotcha,” and just as Pearl and Erica were about to meet the ground on very unfriendly terms pulled a palette of boxes in the way.
Time slowed, literally, as the boxes contained their own micro black hole and each event horizon combined to lower the speed of the women’s decent. “AAAAAaaaa aaa aaa?” Pearl cried as her fall turned into more of a controlled bounce in a pool, she righted herself and landed feet first crushing the only blue hole in the known universe.
Still caught up in the drama Erica waved her arms like mad though now it looked more like someone messed up the speed on their camera and was making fun of grandpa. “NOOooooo!” she shouted mere inches from the end of the fall.
“Are you quite finished?” Pearl asked.
Erica landed, and looked up at her coyly, “Yes. Sorry.”
“Well, I’m really glad that worked out so well for you both but I could really use some HELP!” dangling precariously off her finger tips swayed the Amazonian from the remaining wreckage of the ductwork.
“We’ll get you down,” Pearl called and turning to look at the smuggler who also noticed Hellena paled, “Can you help her?”
“Shit!” was all Steph said as she tried to scoop up the sword that weighed about as much as her and scurry off.
“Oh no you don’t you little thief!” Hellena cursed. Rocking back and forth once more she let go of the bulkhead, “SMEG HEAD!” and thanks, perhaps, to the small black holes and the Amazonian’s legendary gymnastics team she landed in front of Steph hard but still in one piece. “Drop. My. Sword!”
The smuggler looked down the slotted arrow gracing the crossbow Hellena managed to keep cocked and aimed her entire fall and made the economical decision to write this one off as a loss. She tossed the sword towards the Amazonian’s feet her hands raising of their own accord.
“DUCK!” Pearl yelled. The two hit the ground, Hellena making sure to get to the sword first. A flaming ball of fuel passed inches over their heads burying itself into the wall behind. The Kouban having finally gotten itself cleared out came around for another shot. Pearl shook her small phaser up and down, uncertain how to take the safety off. As Kouban calculated his shot he took deadly aim and rebooted as a phaser cracked into its skull plate.
Pearl stepped back, the pieces of the phaser clattering to the floor. “What was plan B?” Erica asked as the Kouban started to twitch and move towards them.
“Um, that was Plan B.”
The red eye refocused. “I’m Sorry, I Can’t Do That Dave.” And once again the Kouban took aim (about all it seemed capable of), Pearl opened her mouth to scream when the door whished open and a short person entered.
Her eyes glittered like Hellena around a Guns N Ammo magazine, a giant power washer strapped to her back. “I’m lil monmon. I’m here to kick ass and look at donuts and I’m all out of donuts!” She screamed as the contraption on her back unleashed a caustic stream of a russet burning liquid at the Kouban. It smelled of late nights and breakfast near an oven on clean mode as the Kouban began to shake and smoke as open circuits met liquid..
“RUN!” someone shouted and they all made for the door except for the Kouban who was quickly melting away in a pool of coffee without a biscotti in sight.
From far above hiding in the still intact metal maze Spidey – 004 watched the carnage sending his report back to the King of Killer Shrews.