The Android Princess Warriors from Neptune

A 15-Chapter Star-Spangled Serial in Space!

by Mike Ferguson
About the author

Previously: Dixie Sterling and Agent 18 are given a spaceship and asked to deal with an alien menace.  The Scorpio One is shot down on Mars with Butch Murdock and Jack Coogan.   Dixie and Coogan are captured and threatened with torture...Escape only to encounter Karkaz, Soviet Agent Number Four, who they knock out with a drug...Gunn, meanwhile, is thrown in to the Arena...Dixie and Coogan flee in a spaceship and, thinking Gunn is already dead, fire missiles to destroy Mars...The missiles turn out to be special Soviet anti-Gunn missiles...

Chapter Twelve -It's a Wonderful Death!

CERTAIN DOOM REACHED A COLD, ICY HAND out towards Mister Gunn, as the Soviet anti-Gunn missile shattered through the arena ceiling, heading straight for the American super-spy, and as a thousand pretty fingers gently pulled the triggers of high-energy death ray guns . . .

"Only one chance," Mister Gunn said.  As a thousand bolts of lethal energy whizzed towards his heart, Mister Gunn suddenly leapt into the air, jumping onto the main body of the anti-Gunn missile itself!  He flipped the missile around, standing up on its metallic hull, riding it triumphantly not as though it was a dastardly instrument of death, but as . . . a surfboard.  A flying surfboard.

Doctor Warlock buried his face in his hands.

"Side effect of the medication," Doctor Warlock muttered to himself.  "It's got to be a side effect."

The petite, perfect jaw of the Empress nearly hit the floor.  "No!" she shouted.  "This . . . isn't . . . POSSIBLE!"

"Sure it is, baby," shouted Mister Gunn.  The Android Princess Warriors continued to fire upon Mister Gunn and his missile/surfboard, but he easily spun and flipped past them, flying easily around the arena.  "You're looking at the San Juahistan County Surfboard and Skeet Shoot champion, 1951 and 1953.  Piece of cake, if you know what you're doing."

"I will kill you," the android Murdock said quietly, through chrome grated teeth.

Mister Gunn put a hand to one ear, as if he hadn't quite heard the android Murdock.  "Funny," Mister Gunn said mockingly, "I've heard that before, skippy.  Gosh, I'm scared.  In fact, I'd stay a while to shake in my boots, but I've got more important things to do, like recover a neutral gear mini-marshator and destroy a Planetary Disintegration Ray. See you in the funny pages!"

Mister Gunn turned his missile/surfboard towards the exit, still weaving through enemy fire.  He saw his rumpled blue suit neatly hanging from a clothes hanger right next to the doorway.  As he shot out of the arena, Mister Gunn grabbed his suit, narrowly avoiding an energy bolt to his head as he plucked his duds off the hook.

"There," said Mister Gunn.  He put on his suit while simultaneously riding his missile/surfboard, weaving through a labyrinth of corridors and passageways at hundreds of miles per hour.  "That's much better."

Riding like a Trojan warrior upon his steed, Mister Gunn flew into the main hangar of the Android Princess Warriors.  His eyes scanned over the thousand of deadly machines sitting in the hangar, looking for the right one . . . until he found it.  He saw the Planetary Disintegration Ray.  It had to be the Planetary Disintegration Ray, reasoned Mister Gunn, just because it looked way bigger any way cooler than every other instrument of death in the hangar.  It was a gigantic black cannon the size of the Eiffel Tower, its long, sleek barrel pointed straight into the sky at the bluish-green marble known as Earth.

"Whoa, Nelly," said Mister Gunn.  "Time to stop."  He pulled his pistol out of his jacket, and fired a bullet into the nose of the anti-Gunn missile. The missile flew out of the air and screeched to a halt, sending sparks into the air as it hit the hangar floor.  The missile finally stopped right in front of the Planetary Disintegration Ray.

"Nothing beats a forty-five caliber brake," said Mister Gunn.  He stepped off the dead missile towards the Planetary Disintegration Ray.  A long flight of stairs spiraled up from the floor towards the main controls of the Ray.  Mister Gunn hit the stairs at full speed, hoping he could do his job before hordes of Android Princess Warriors could catch up with him . . . and found the android Murdock waiting for him in the control center.

Mister Gunn opened his mouth, but no sound came out.  Instead, he just pointed at the android Murdock, thoroughly confused.

"What can I say?" said the android Murdock with a shrug.  "I'm real quick."

Mister Gunn took two quick steps towards Murdock.  He pointed his pistol at Murdock's head. "You ain't firing that ray gun, buddy," said Mister Gunn. "At least, not until you tell me when the real Murdock is?"

The android Murdock laughed.  "Fool!" he cried.  "There is no real Murdock. I was placed in the American Rocket Corps ten years ago by Doctor Warlock, as a spy!  For ten long years, I worked and plotted for this day, the day when I could steal the neutronium mini-reactor from the proto-analyzer, and load it into this Planetary Disintegration Ray . . . to destroy the Earth! HA! HA!"

Mister Gunn scratched his head.  "Wait a darn-tooting minute," said Mister Gunn.  "You were sent to Earth ten years ago to steal the mini-reactor? How?  The mini-reactor didn't even exist ten years ago!  Neither did the American Rocket Corps?  How . . ?"

"A time machine," said Murdock.

"Ah," said Mister Gunn.  He nodded in approval.  "Those things usually wrap up all the loose ends, I've noticed."

"But enough chit-chat," said Murdock.  "Time to blast the Earth into bits." He reached for the main trigger of the Planetary Disintegration Ray.

Mister Gunn chuckled.  "That won't work, blender face," he said to Murdock. "The mini-reactor's a fake.  That cannon's about as limp as a hairdresser's wrist."

"What?  Impossible!"  Murdock took his hand off the trigger.  He reached inside a small hatch between the main control panel and a button labeled MASSIVE SELF-DESTRUCT COUNTDOWN. He pulled out a small object, one which resembled a tennis ball wrapped with baling wire and spray-painted gold. Mister Gunn immediately slapped the object out of Murdock's hands, and held it up high in the air.

"Ha!  Sucker!" said Mister Gunn.  "Wow, you're stupid.  You really believed me, didn't . . . wait a minute, it is fake.  It really is just a tennis ball wrapped with baling wire and spray-painted gold."  He brought the fake mini-reactor up to his nose and sniffed it.  "Smells like borscht.  That Commie no-goodnik Karkaz must've stolen it!"

"My goodness, you're right," said Murdock.  He pointed towards a shadow in a dark corner.  "Say, Mister Gunn, what's that?"

"What?" Mister Gunn turned and looked over his shoulder.  "I don't see . . ."

Mister Gunn never finished the sentence, as his jaw was suddenly socked by Murdock's metal fist.  Mister Gunn dropped to the floor, unconscious.

"Now, who's stupid?" hissed Murdock.

"You both are," said Doctor Warlock.  He ascended up the stairs to the controls of the Planetary Disintegration Ray, accompanied by the Empress Cleopatronica.  Brushing past Murdock, Doctor Warlock examined the instruments of his galactic death machine.  "Not enough power to destroy the Earth," he muttered, "but there's some residual power in the main energy banks.  The Ray must have absorbed some energy from the real mini-reactor, up until this Karkaz chap stole it away from us."

"So?" the Empress snapped impatiently.  "What do we do?"

"We get a little revenge," said Doctor Warlock.  He spun some dial in rapid fashion.  The planet Earth moved out of the electronic crosshairs of the Planetary Disintegration Ray.  The gunsight instead floated over through space until it found a new target . . . a Soviet spaceship.

"If we can't have the neutronium mini-reactor," said Doctor Warlock, "then no one will have it."

"And after we atomize that spaceship," declared the Empress, "I will personally lead the Android Princess Warriors from Neptune to invade the Earth!"

"Stop . . . posing!" said the android Murdock.  "Let's just do it!"

The android Murdock reached for the main trigger of the Planetary Disintegration Ray.  He pulled the trigger, and a thunderous bolt of azure energy leapt into the Martian sky, blazing murderously towards Dixie Sterling and the Soviet spaceship.  Glass shattered and ceiling tiles crumbled inside the hangar as the recoil of the Planetary Disintegration Ray kicked through the base of the Android Princess Warriors.  The control center platform shook wildly, knocking Murdock to the ground, and the Empress into Doctor Warlock's arms.  Mister Gunn was already snoring on the floor, so he didn't really move much at all.

Helpless and unconscious, Mister Gunn lay at the feet of the power-mad Empress, unaware of the destructive force heading straight for Dixie and Coogan . . .

Previous episode: Courage Ain't Nothin' But Stupid Misspelled!
Next episode: Russian Rocket Roulette!

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The Android Princess Warriors from Neptune is copyright Mike Ferguson.