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THE ASTONISHING ADVENTURES OF MISTER GUNN, AGENT 18, in...
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...Gunn escapes death and races to de-activate the dreaded Planetary Disintegration Ray, only to discover it's already been sabotaged by Karkaz, who is now in possession of the power source...to get their revenge, the Empress and Doctor Warlock use the weapon's last remaining power to fire at Karkaz's ship (with Dixie and Coogan still aboard)...the strike fails...but provokes return fire from the rocket...Gunn decks Warlock and Murdock...but the last we saw, as the missiles (46 of 'em, not 47) were in-coming, and the base was counting down to self-destruction, was Gunn falling to his death...


Chapter Fifteen -Happiness is a Warm Gunn


"A S MISTER GUNN FELL RAPIDLY TOWARDS THE COLD, hard ground, the artificial atmosphere of the alien base whistling through his tousled hair, he realized that he needed to do something very important (apart from, well, the obvious task of saving his own life) . . .

"Butter my buffalo biscuits!" Mister Gunn said as he fell.  "That Empress is one hot broad!  I can't let a dame like that deactivate!"

Mister Gunn pointed his right arm out towards the Empress Cleopatronica.  He pressed one of the brass cufflinks on his right jacket sleeve.  A fine wire blasted out of the jacket sleeve, rocketing straight for the Empress!  The wire wrapped around the Empress's slender waist.  For a moment, Mister Gunn thought he might be able to use the beautiful, buxom body of the elegant, evil Empress to break his fall, but alas, that was not the case.  The mini-reel inside his jacket sleeve whirred into action, hauling the Empress off the weapons platform with an abrupt jerk and sending the gorgeous leader of Neptune straight into Mister Gunn's waiting, falling arms.

"Oh, goody," said the Empress through clenched teeth.  "I get to die in the loving arms of Mister Gunn."

"Hang on, sister," said Mister Gunn.  "Nobody's dying today.  Okay, scratch that - thousands of Android Princess Warriors'll be kicking the bucket in horrible fashion, but you and me, baby . . . we'll be just fine."

With only mere inches of air separating the falling bodies of Mister Gunn and the Empress from the concrete floor, Mister Gunn pressed a button on his tie tack.  The button activated Mister Gunn's teleportation device.  In a flash of light, Mister Gunn and the Empress disappeared from the underground base, reappearing in the cockpit of Scorpio Two.  As their molecules coalesced and reformed inside the safety of the American spaceship, they could hear the massive sound of thunder as the massive self-destruct bombs went off inside the faraway base . . . and then a second blast as the laser missiles collided with the smoking remains of Neptunian might.

"You had," said the Empress, staring at Mister Gunn, "a teleportation device?  The whole time?"

"Yep." Mister Gunn lit up a fresh cigarette.  "Sure did, sweetie."

"Then why didn't you use it before?"

"Because it uses a lot of power," said Mister Gunn.  "Lousy thing shuts down for a week or two after I activate it, so I know not to use it unless I'm in deep sheep.  Secondly, those lousy egghead scientists keep telling me not to use the damn thing, that there's a good chance that repeated use of the device might rupture the fabric of the space-time continuum and eventually cause the degradation, collapse, and decay of the known universe . . . what?  What are you staring at?"

"Nothing," said the Empress with a sigh.  "You're an obsequious cretin, Mister Gunn."

Mister Gunn grinned happily.  "Thanks, baby.  You ain't so bad yourself."  He grabbed the wire wrapped around the body of the beautiful Empress and cinched it tight.  "Shame that you'll be spending the rest of your life in a six by nine prison cell under Crimson Omega."

"I shall escape," said the Empress.  "I shall have my revenge.  I shall -"

"Stick a sock in it, sister," said Mister Gunn, settling behind the controls of Scorpio Two.  "I've heard that sad song before." His strong hand gripped the atomic throttle of the ship, coaxing its engines to life.  Scorpio Two leapt up into the blackness of space, racing past the blackened soil and fresh craters coating the Martian surface . . .

*****

"Hang on," said Coogan.  "We've got company."

"What?" Dixie got out of her chair, and leaned over Coogan's shoulder.  "What are you talking about?"

"Look," said Coogan.  He jabbed a finger at the radar screen.  "Something's headed right for us, and fast.  I don't know if I can evade it."

"Can we fight it?"

"With what?" snorted Coogan.  "Every weapon we had is busy burning a hole straight into the center of Mars.  We can only hope for the best, Dixie."

"Don't worry about it, bub," crackled a cheerful voice from the galactic communicator.  "The best is on its way."

"It can't be . . . can it?" Dixie peered out of one of the rear portholes of the Soviet spaceship.  What she saw was a dream come true.  The bullet-like form of Scorpio Two filled the porthole, grand, glorious, and bigger than life.  She could see the one and only Mister Gunn at the controls of the ship.  She waved at Mister Gunn, and felt her heart race as he gave her a wink and a wave right back.

"We're safe," she called to Coogan.  "It's Mister Gunn!"

"Good gravy, he made it," murmured Coogan, a hint of awe in his grizzled voice.  "Didn't think he would . . . good, good.  I'll start docking procedures, then."

A few minutes later, when the Scorpio Two and the Soviet spaceship were properly linked together, Mister Gunn stepped through the airlock and saluted Coogan.

"You did a damn fine job," Mister Gunn said to Coogan.  "Couldn't have done this without your patriotic assistance, sir."

"Aw, it wasn't nothing," said Coogan.  "Truth be told, Dixie did the lion's share of work.  We'd be Commie prisoners right now if it wasn't for her."

"That right?" Mister Gunn sauntered over to Dixie, and wrapped his arm around her perfect waist.  "You little firecracker, you.  Ain't life grand?"

"Sure is, Mister Gunn," Dixie said with a smile.  "Want another ten rounds with the Knockout?"

"Uh . . . Mister Gunn," said Coogan with an emphatic cough, noting the grabby hands of Mister Gunn getting uncomfortably frisky, "I hate to interrupt, but what about Murdock?  Did he make it?"

"Murdock?  Uh . . . well . . ."  Mister Gunn let go of Dixie for a moment.  His eyes faced the floor, unable to look Coogan straight in the eye.  "He was an android, soldier.  One of them Neptunian no-goodniks, right from the start.  You partner was a toaster-headed traitor, and I had to send him straight back to the scrapyard, pronto.  I'm sorry."

"Don't be," Coogan said quietly.  He calmly lit a Cuban cigar and clenched it in his iron jaw, staring out into the vast emptiness of space, not noticing that Dixie and Mister Gunn had decided to get extremely frisky once more.  "I suspected that Murdock might be a traitor.  It might have been that nervous twitch in his right eye, or the way computer tape covered with alien lettering used to come pouring out of his ears.  Or maybe it was the alien pistol he kept in his holster, I don't know.  How could I have been so blind?  Murdock was like a little brother to me . . . I'll miss him."

"Yeah, whatever, that's swell," said Mister Gunn.  He loosened his tie.  Dixie sat on Mister Gunn's lap, her banana yellow cocktail dress practically falling off of her body.  "I'm touched, really.  A tear doth come to mine eye . . . say, Coogan, can you fly this Russkie jalopy and our Commie spy-friends back to Crimson Omega?"

"Sure thing, Mister Gunn.  Why?"

"'Cause I got some . . . business . . . to take care of in Scorpio Two," said Mister Gunn.  "Business with Dixie Sterling . . . and maybe even with our prisoner the Empress."

Coogan winked at Mister Gunn.  "I think I got things taken care of," he said.

"Good," said Mister Gunn.

"Super," purred Dixie.

Mister Gunn carried Dixie back into Scorpio Two.  The docking hatch slammed shut.  Coogan watched as Scorpio Two pulled away from his own ship, heading back to the soil of the good old U.S. of A, a shade with the words DO NOT DISTURB pulled over Scorpio Two's windshield.  As Scorpio Two slowly began to rock its way back to Earth, Coogan puffed on his cigar and smiled.  The United States, heck, the whole world had been disastrously close to total annihilation by an alien army of androids hell-bent on dominating the human race.  Only one man, one patriot, one hero had been able to prevent the unthinkable . . . and that man was Victor E. Gunn.

Coogan gave a crisp salute to the disappearing form of Scorpio Two.  "Godspeed, Mister Gunn," he said softly.  "You represent everything that's great about America."

With that, Coogan returned his attention to the controls of his own ship, and started the journey back home, back to America . . .

The End.


Previous episode: Gunn's Last Stand!!!


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The Android Princess Warriors from Neptune is copyright Mike Ferguson.