Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Astro-Vampire attack, "Shake, Rattle & Rocket!"

Eddie trained his eyes on the attackers, fingers curling about the hand-grip triggers. Each time a new target presented itself, he squeezed off a sizzling ray-round. Their return fire glanced off the X-9, rocking it. But the scientist had constructed it to withstand such attacks. It held.

"Keep the ship steady," Eddie shouted.

"I'm tryin', I'm tryin'!" Spunky strained at the levers.

An intense fusillade of infra-jolts scattered the swooping Astro-Vampires. They scrambled away.

"Very good, Captain Atomic!" Kioko ran to his side. "It would appear they are retreating."

Relieved, Spunky fell back in his driver's chair. He glanced through the wraparound windshield. Eyes wide, he again bolted upright. "Don't break out the cigars, yet!"

Two remaining Astro-Vampires had secured themselves to the X-9's hull. Flapping menacingly, they glared through the window.

Young Spunky veered and swayed the ship, but to no avail. "Can't shake 'em!"

Eddie raced to the port exit. "Keep steady, boy! I'm going out there!" Snatching a bulky space-suit, he admonished his colleagues. "You two stay put! Let's not have any heroes!"

Kioko protested. "Captain Atomic, I'm going with you!"

"Like fun you are!" Eddie pulled on a strap. "Those things are playing for keeps! It's going to be a free-for-all out there, and I'm not going to have you in the middle of it!"

He became practical. "Besides, if anything happens to me, Spunky'll need your analytical acumen to pull him through, get him back on Terra Firma. You're a very important robot, you know!"

She drifted, lovely eyes downcast. "Yes... A robot..."

In the cool blackness of space, Eddie spider-crawled around the X-9's outer shell. A tri-woven, plasti-fibre cord secured him to the ship. His eyes searched for the uninvited visitors.

He soon found them. "Sorry, boys." He clenched his teeth. "But, I happen to know that the Captain takes a dim view of stowaways!"

Throwing both arms around one fanged horror, he pried it away from the window. The two wrestled in the slow-motion agony of gravity-free space. Eddie's every muscle strained against inhuman peril, his bulky space-suit inhibiting defensive motion.

The lifeline grew taut. Teeth gnashing, maw dripping, the Astro-Vampire swiped at the line. In counter-move, Eddie twisted the monster off balance. He pressed the ray-gun tip to a wing.


The blast seared a hole through the appendage, rendering it useless. The enraged creature fell into random floatation. The remaining intact wing flapped vainly.

Eddie directed a second, fatal ray-pistol blast straight into its chest.


The Captain smiled. One down, one to go.

But this was the larger of the two, and it attacked from behind. Wrapping a forearm around the scientist's throat, it squeezed until Eddie felt his head would burst inside the space helmet.

The Captain grimaced in pain. His frantic hands clawed at space.

The Astro-Vampire opened wide its foul, slavering jaws, exposing dagger-teeth yearning to tear and ravage Earth flesh.

Desperate, Eddie wrenched the static-antennae loose from the creature's head. The unearthly thing became frantic, its arms and legs jerking spasmodically.

A well-directed space-boot kick sent the vanquished beast arcing into the void.

The battle finished, Eddie held tight to the starship's hull and turned back toward the door.

Then he saw Kioko.

"Captain Atomic, I'll show you who's just a robot," she declared through their helmets' communication link. Salvatory guide line in hand, she inched toward the scientist. "Take hold of this and follow me."

Eddie saw a third Astro-Vampire rise up behind the unaware girl robot savior. It raised its arms, poising to strike.

Without thinking, the scientist fired his ray-pistol.


Kioko shrieked as the ray beam passed her delicate ear and found its target, just over her shoulder. The crispy and shriveled space menace wafted away.

Enraged, Eddie crawled across the hull to Kioko. Jerking her erect, he snapped. "Now you get something straight, girl! I'm the captain of this ship and what I say, goes! There are to be no more cockamamie stunts! Understood?"

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