"We've got an unidentified fighter diving into the crossfire."
"Is it one of our boys?"
"Who is it then?"
"The ship is reported as stolen. Its AUTO-HUD AR ID's aren't registered in any galaxies in this quadrant. It's actually just coming up on the screen as an image of a... middle finger."
"So it's hostile?"
"Not sure. We've yet to make contact, sir."
"What are you waiting for? Engage. We cannot allow anything to endanger this mission. For the sake of the human race."
The food-covered pilot snickered, amused at the confusion his presence caused. He spotted a floating snack bag and clapped it with his chubby hands. The bag popped, causing salty green orbs to float about the obese slob's crammed cockpit.
The fat pilot gripped the ship's steering handles and skilfully swerved out of the path of an enormous destruction beam. The line of purple light blew up three ships behind him. He dodged three more such attacks while eating the salty floating orbs using only his mouth.
"This is Assistant to the Admiral Janek Pulitzen. You've entered an active combat zone between the GFHI and a hostile group of Pandolian seperatists. Promptly identify yourself or be destroyed."
"Ohhh! You sound SECK-SEEEEE! Babe you got video transmission on that shiny ship of yours? Nothing turns me on more than having a hot babe watch me kick maximum assage."
"Excuse me? I'll have you know I'm a respected fleet coordinator and a--"
"Blah, blah, blah. Are you showin' me tits here or what?"
"Over my dead body, creep. You are violating seventy-six counts of personal craft space regulation. Operating an unregistered and outdated space vehicle Piloting a fighter-class ship housing war-grade technology and weaponry. Entering restricted airspace. Harassing an GFHI officer. Refusal to--"
The interloper's space junk encrusted craft expelled an enormous cloud of radioactive pollution from its rearmost exhaust.
"Make that seventy-nine," the pilot jeered, speeding straight into the Pandolian vanguard.
The alien's ships were odd, resembling large glowing orbs. The blue bubbles fired tiny purple laser pellets at the dingy brown spaceship. The dirty ship activated its bottom thrusters at the last second and shot upwards. Missing, the two Pandolian ships were hit by their own fire. Their ships quietly popped-- immediately suffocating all inside.
"Under the Foreign Species Cooperation Act of 7840, you are to submit to the will of the Galactic Force of Human Isolationists. Remove your ship from hostile territory and dock with our flagship at once."
"Sorry sexy, that act don't apply to humans and I'm as human as they come."
"How can we confirm your humanity? Your ship is not registered in any human galaxies."
"If you boot up that cam of yours I'll let you check. If you play your cards right, I'll even give ya proof of gender."
"Fine. I'm initiating visual communication, now. Gender verification is... unnecessary."
The ship's greasy windshield blipped and projected the face of a very professional looking young brunette in a white GFHI uniform.
"MMMMM... SEXXXXY!! Oh that uniform... Who knew extremists had such style? This will really get my juices pumpin'."
Seeing the grotesque blob of a man on screen, the girl's face contorted into reflect her disgust. Her lip trembled.
"What's wrong, baby doll?"
The pilot flew three loops around the rouge Pandolian fleet, causing three more incidents of friendly fire. He nearly crashed into a four ship wide cruiser, but pulled down at the last second.
"Don't forget that the video transmitter adds at least ten pounds."
"The Fat Asteroid..."
The admiral's assistant immediately cut off communication, ending both visual and audio contact.
The portly pilot grinned ear to ear. The cruiser dropped a massive bomb down below. Rather than evade, the pilot ejected a stringy white goop into a space. He fired a radioactive pulse, causing the gook to solidify into a sloppy, pancake-like shield. The bomb bounced off the white shield and collided into the cruiser. The beat-up brown spaceship dove down even further, escaping a massive explosion that not only took down the cruiser, but the five fighters surrounding it.
"Admiral Arkclaysx, I've identified the unknown craft..."
"It's the Fat Asteroid. I made visual contact with Regs Bilken. There's no mistaking him. Looks just as gross as the posters."
"Son of a bitch... What's that psychopath doing here?"
"The same thing he always does by the looks of it."
"Admiral? What should we do? Pull out?"
"YOUR MOM SHOULD HAVE PULLED OUT. Hyoohhhh!"
"Bilken!? This is a secure channel! How did you...?"
"Don't worry about that, baby. Just got back from the Pandolian CO's ship, and boy did that scaly mofo make me an offer. 300,000 damels. Yeah, I know. Coins? What a hassle! But no, I'm totally into that vintage stuff. Speaking of stuff I'm into, what kind of underwear you got on, babe?"
"You'd betray your own race for a mere heap of coins? Pathetic..."
"Do you know the exchange rate of damels to MWD? It's worth over a cool mil. That's nothing to shake a snake at. No, sir. Damels are classy as shit. Plus, they're all those old rest stop vending machines will take."
Assistant Admiral Janek fell silent. She looked down at her communicator, receiving a pulse inside her head. It was a message from the President of Unified Space Warp Affiliates-- the group holding the largest share in the GFHI. A message to her... a lowly space dog, from arguably the wealthiest man in the universe.
MSG:// 0:5456 - DONZA KEROGUN: Start a bidding war with the Pandolians. Allow it to rise to any amount. I will cover any expense. Do not attempt to outbid them. Stall the Fat Asteroid. Your reward will be great.
"We'll offer you 1.3 million MWD for your... services," Janek bid.
"Halls yar, we got ourselves a biddin' war," Regs Bilken, outlaw and pilot of the Fat Asteroid, cheered. "Let's put Papa Pandolian on the line, shall we?"
Janek stumbled back, suddenly face to face with the rough scaly face of the Pandolian Leader and the Regs Bilken's greasy jowls.
"Hope you don't mind me overriding that little block you set on visual communication," Regs laughed, licking crumbs off his face. "I just want to make sure I have your full attention."
Jenek hid her blinking wrist communicator behind her back.
"Gyurh som tonkeh shegale fanto don kegon," the commanding Pandolian croaked hoarsely.
"Speak Humandarin, idiot," Regs said. "You think this chick speaks your language? Of course not, she's part of an army of freaking bigots. Why do you think you guys are fighting in the first place?"
"Bigots!?" Janek echoed. "As if a man of your moral bankruptcy has any space to pass judgement."
"Do not deny ear to the Pandolian pilgrim's plea," the alien grunted. "I repeat: our offer is now double."
"HELL to the YES," the Fat Asteroid chanted. "You bubble boys got some deep ol' pockets. What now, my deliciously racist little muffin top? Does your company want to keep the Milky Quadrant human only, or will it let these big bad lizards come in and mine up all their asteroids?"
"Three million MWD," Janek replied.
The Assistant Admiral's high bid caused a stir on the Pandolian side, causing them to murmur amoung themselves.
"Tonkeh shegale dyukn don GOTTA!?"
"Forba... tanken kudo farra gon kor lie temba menka forba jungsta."
"Forba don... jungsta?"
The head Pandolian looked up and nodded.
"We bid four million..."
Before the aliens could finish their bid, Janek but in with her own.
"4.5 MILLION," she burst.
The Pandolian shook its head and grinned.
"You do not lend ear for all plea. Pandolians bid four million... damels."
Janek's entire body shook, astounded that the small army of refugees had so much coin to spare. The Fat Asteroid's greedy eyes ignited with a tremendous green fire.
"HOLY CRAP ON A PANDOLIAN PANOLI! DING DING DING. WE GOT OURSELVES A WINNER. LOOKS LIKE I'M BUYING CHICKEN DINNER FOR ALL THE BABES IN BABYLON-SIX!"
"Calm down," the Admiral Assistant snapped. "You still haven't heard my counteroffer yet."
"No, that I have not," Regs said eagerly.
"10 million MWD."
The Pandolians laughed.
"What's so funny!?"
"This plea... it is made under a false tense," the Pandolian CO said, grinning.
"Yeah, no crap," Regs said, changing his cheeky demeanor to a much more serious one. "Your group, the GFHI, is funded by special interest groups-- mainly human-lead corporations looking to eliminate competition from alien-run corporations. They don't even shell out a full million for services rendered. "
"What? How do you--"
"What's wrong, sexy? You prone to judging ships by their paintjob? My brain is the same size as my gut. That's how I've managed to get this far doin' what I do and stayin' alive."
"You use your unstoppable dogfighting skills and stolen tech to interfere in space battles and hold both factions hostage until one outbids the other... then you completely destroy the opposing side. You're a murderer, an extortionist and a thief. You don't have brains... you have reflexes and good ship."
Regs Bilken chomped a stray green puffball floating by and smiled.
"On the contrary, I tend to save lives," Regs corrected. "Fun fact: most of the conflicts I resolve involve a surrender. Instead of the loss of lives, money is lost."
"Greed can be good if the greater sum lies in the hands of the worthy," the Pandolian CO said. "While you war for a cause you do not fully understand, the Pandolians wish to simply make a peaceful life. A free existence. Eons of lightyears away, our planet Pandola sits in a remote corner of the Gunkryar Galaxy. It is cold and dark, relying on a the bubbling of phasomian--"
"Get to the point, grandpa," Regs said with a yawn. "This is an auction, not a history lesson."
The grizzled Pandolian leader nodded.
"We escaped tyranny only to face oppression. This 'Fat Asteroid' to us... is a beacon of hope. The savior of our entire species. All our collective life-savings, these damels, they are well spent... to save our lives."
"I don't care what that sentimental alien says, Fat Asteroid," Janek said bitterly, "you're still a greedy pig if you capitalize on war for your own gain."
"That's the price of business, babe," Regs Bilken laughed. "I only ask for money when my ship needs upgrading or I feel like splurging on some gourmet grub. It just so happens I need quite a bit for something, but I'm in no rush. Hell, normally I just do this for kicks. You're only bidding with money, but if you knew me you'd try something else. Catch my drift, sexy?"
"Something else? Oh God, you can't possibly mean..."
Regs Bilken blushed and started snickering like a girl-obsessed school boy. The fat pilot's laugh was extremely high-pitched and awkward... and always ended in a snort.
"Uron don korsh-korsh dykun don tago!?" the Pandolian roared furiously.
"It wouldn't be the first time," Regs smirked. "Or the twenty-third."
"Your race does not face danger," the alien protested. "I am not at understanding. What creature would value a reproductive act over great wealth?
Negotiations halted, abruptly falling silent. The only sound to be heard was Regs Bilken's creepily excited panting.
"If I show you my breasts, will you decimate the entire Pandolian fleet?" Janek asked softly.
"YUM TON KEEDO KOOGLA! Laugh worthy... There exists no man who would allow genocide just to see a pair of--"
"DEAL! HEHEHEHEHEH, SNORT!"
"KOOGLA TABU! DON NOKO KOOGLA KUMBA KO!!"
"That's quite enough of that," Regs laughed, booting the raging Pandolians out of the channel. "Mmm, let's see those chim-cham chillies, baby."
Janek faked a smile weakly, using every last ounce of her willpower not to vomit. Good thing Regs had kicked the Admiral from the channel. Her father would die of embarrassment if saw his daughter debasing herself in such a way. The Pandolian ships began to glow purple, preparing to mount a retreat.
"Hurry up girl, the Pandolians ain't gunna wait for your foreplay."
The young woman sheepishly tapped the yellow squares on her top, causing it to disappear.
"OH YEAH BABY, LINGERIE! WE GOT OURSELVES A DIRTY FLIRTY. MMMMM...."
Assistant Admiral Janek Pulitzen's hand hovered over her bra, vehemently opposed to exposing herself to such a horrid man.
"C'mon, baby... Don't fight it... Show Daddy Bear the way to the honey trees. Let the Bees out of the hive. Or are they D's? Oh boy, I hope they are... Heheheheh. SNORT!"
Janek's face crumpled up, no longer able to stomach the outlaw's disgusting behavior.
"PEZT, PEZT... KOOOOOOM!"
The image of the Fat Asteroid's face turned to static and the line went dead.
"What the hell!?" Regs shouted into his mic. He darted his ship back, narrowly evading another hit.
"Babe, are you there!? Did you see who sucker punched me?"
"Bah, that shot must have busted my communicator! Screw my luck. I was totally about to see some boobs..."
The Fat Asteroid's windshield blipped, showing he was receiving another call.
"Mmm... yeah! You're back, babe. I can't wait to see what letter we're working with. What have you got for me? "
Rather than breasts, the image of a still faced man with long white hair, pale blueish skin and big green goggles appeared on screen. The man was decked out in sleek white leather attire, adorned with detailed steel plating. The entire cockpit was ominously dim, lit only by the green glow given off by the ship's touchpad control panel.
"A quick death," the man replied coldly.
"I should have known you were behind this," Regs muttered, attempting to dodge the rapid fire of laser blades being fired at his beat-up brown junker. "I knew she was bluffing. Stalling me. I just ignored it cus she was hot as hell."
"Incorrect, the man who issued your bounty is 'behind this,' Bilken."
"Well, if you want to get technical about it..."
A ship suddenly came into view, turning off its cloaking device. Rather than a massive warship, the craft appeared to be no bigger than a recreational space cycle-- a black speeder module made for fast travel. The typically peaceful vehicle had been heavily modified, making it into a lightning fast killing machine. It housed only one weapon, a micro-compressed laser blade blaster. The ship's owner had decided to allocate the majority of its resources into evasive and boosting capabilities. The weapon itself actually borrowed power from the thruster system, meaning it had to slow down to make strong attack, or make rapid sweeping attacks at close range. It was a ship the Fat Asteroid met in combat many a time, though in various incarnations.
The ship's name: RS-VPX.mrk.7. Better known as the Response. Piloted by the half-human half-Xeli bounty hunter... Xylo Exodus.
"Do not attempt an escape, Fat Asteroid," Xylo warned coldly. "A time-space stasis barrier has been cast around the entire battlefield. This time, there shall be no warping away. There will be no escape. Only consequences."
Regs Bilken bit his tongue and tapped away at the various buttons on his chair. Two pods opened from the side of the Fat Asteroid firing off a barrage of missiles large enough to wipe an entire army.
"I know better than to run from you, asshole," Regs replied, spewing out more white goo. "The only thing faster than your 'Response' is your dad's sexual stamina."
"Incorrect, my father is a Xeli," Xylo said sedately, effortlessly dancing through wave after wave of missiles. "Our race only mates one xox out of the annual cycle, or 2.5 of your 'months.' Thus we develop a--"
"Yeah, and you take after him because you have no concept of what goddamn joke is," Regs scoffed, firing a laser at each glob of gook, evaporating them.
"Incorrect, I am still half-human," the bounty-hunter asserted, landing a brutal, laser-tipped ram to the Fat Asteroid's hull. "I understand humor. You simply lack the ability to execute an amusing quip."
"I'll execute YOU, you little bitch."
The Fat Asteroid and the Response clashed again and again. While neither ship could land a significant blow to the other, the Response's quick, weak strikes were steadily whittling down at the Fat Asteroid's shields. It was only a matter of time before Xylo outlasted Regs... and he knew it.
"Submit, Bilken," Xylo ordered.
"Pass. I know you want to salvage all the nifty gadgets on my ship for yourself, and I just can't let you have that pleasure."
"If I'm going to go out, I'm gunna do it being the biggest asshole possible.
"Dying as you lived."
"You know it, bitch," Regs Bilken laughed, popping open a minifridge. He pulled out a large frosting-rich pastry. "Now if you don't mind, I'm gunna commence dying as I lived."
The Response's engines revved deafeningly loud, his thrusters primed and ready.
"So be it."
Xylo attempted to land the coup de grace on his longtime rival, but he found his vehical unable to boost at all. Instead of a fatal dash and slice, the Response chugged forward at a snail's pace. The black speeder collided with the Fat Asteroid with a tiny tap.
Regs Bilken had his cake and ate it too, smirking all the while. He soaked in the bounty hunter's silent dismay, savoring each savory moment.
"Whasfst's wffong, Exoffdus?" Regs taunted with his mouth full.
He swallowed a hearty gulp of moist cake.
"Something gumming up the works?"
"Xylo, you're fast, I'll give you that... but you're oh so careless."
"Plytanium. That's what the goop is called. It's an experimental weapon made by the Vridianites. They gave it to me as a gift for settling their dispute with Syphlons five months ago. That's 2 of your 'xoxes.' Cool stuff. Starts out flabby and mushy... but when exposed to a certain type of radiation it completely solidifies. While you were busy dodging missles, I dusted the stuff all around us. I missed you on purpose, not wanting to prematurely harden the plytanium. I let the radiation from your engines do that job. The way you sped around... I knew you'd completely total your ship."
Xylos eyes narrowed. His hands began to tremble.
"Yeah, asshole, your whole ship is utterly useless now... leaving you to float helplessly in space. Even if you somehow find a way out of this, you're still fucked. You'll never get the plytanium out of your engines. Time to start from square--"
Xylo ended transmission.
The fat pilot frowned, polishing off the last of his cake.