Aug 26th 2011, 8:57 by E O Hatterpol | 1228 AU FROM SUN
"Nixie! Stay with me!" I cried, struggling against the supercharged female zonbi gymnasts holding me back. "Remember the bookstacks!"
"Nothing doing, E O," Heartbreak replied with syrup in his throat. "She belongs to me now. She IS me now."
The mechanical bug chattered in Heartbreak's palm, vibrating about nervously. That was Nixie's life force, and she wouldn't be herself again until I smashed it, or killed Heartbreak.
"And now that I've got the last zonbi I need to turn Starbase Octopus into a massive extension of myself, I think we ought to put my plan into action. Ladies!" he called firmly.
Across the Octopus from Heartbreak's gym, way down Tentacle Six past all the construction tape, Heartbreak's Haitian bokor abilities linked him to a great army of zonbis. The one with a deep laceration in her thigh - the one I had defeated at Heartbreak's Ragga Dancehall - pulled an enormous lever on the wall from "On" to "Off".
Instantly the entire Starbase was thrust into the utterly complete black darkness of outer space. Only the stars were visible, peering eerily onto the chaotic scene like curious ghosts.
Slot machines at the Calamari Casinos quit their tinkling blinking; the fate of the latest dice roll at the crabs table where I had first met Heartbreak went unlearned; the StarLight Espresso Bar's bright silvery machine quit its brewing; some poor bloke about to beat his lap record on Ferrari F355 Challenge never got to the next corner; alien skrippas fell clean off their poles.
Supercharged female zonbi gymnasts poured out in droves from Tentacle Six, and nearly half those in Heartbreak's gym flooded out as well, and all was a bedlam of anarchy and lawlessness and pandemonium. They used innocent old men for uneven bars; did flips and kartwheels on the spines of pregnant women like they were pommel horses; stuck their dismounts onto children's faces. No man, woman or child was safe from their compact, puberty-retarded bodies.
The Carptain left off flirting with D D Mayfield and set off immediately for the Whale's Eyes; Colonel Condor stopped mid-toast with Sergeant Likes-to-Fight and gave the Roosterman a weary look; Captain Makemake smiled broadly as his cell door swung wide open. He stepped into its frame, only his bright white teeth visible in the perfectly sable shadows.
"A Get Out of Jail Free card," he said, meteoric laughter rumbling up from deep inside his guts and shaking his entire frame, "now THAT'S how you play the game, E O."
And then he dashed off at full tilt into the chaos.
TO BE continued with choices on Monday! Don't miss Octopus finale week - it's jam-packed with nonstop intensely chaotic action leading up to a Friday cliffhanger that will BLOW your mind!!