Feast Of Skin

Jezreel's Eye, Outer Rim:

A ship bursts out of super speed and slows to cruising speed. It is a huge pirate junk ship, made to resemble an amphibian on Earth called a 'Shark'. It's main sail bears the mark of skull and crossbones. The ship is bristling with weapons and is covered in battle scars, possibly from run ins with the Intergalactic Space Navy.

On the bridge of ship, the crews are celebrating a victorious stealing of treasure and trinkets. The Captain, a shark like creature dressed in pirate garb, leans against some railing. He sneers at the others behind him. One man is a green man dressed in pirates gear and also wearing a purple bandana on his head, he is puffing on a cigar.

"Thunk them Snareships were gonna snaggle us at the Slamgate for sures…" the green man said in a husky voice, his name was DuLuth.

The Captain looked over at him, "Shoot 'an loot, DuLuth. Only way to take out a hive-shrine. Fast in – fast out -." He looked down at the other's who were dancing in among the massive amounts of treasure they had stolen, "And count the spoils at your leisure."

The men drank from gold goblets and cheered as a crew member was dressed in a silk dress, dancing around the piles of gold coins, paintings and weaponry.

DuLuth picks up a large staff with the heads of three demons on it, he looks at it with pride and shows the Captain.

"These War-Weaver ghostmasks alone are more rarer than virgins and clyster and them's no lies. We's must have nuff raregems and holytroves here to buy a blasteroid when we's land back on Tlant…"

The Captain walked past DuLuth and put his hands behind his back, "We ain't headin home just yet, DuLuth. Got us one last thirdworld just itchin to be hit. Place has some big religious procession they throw once every eight years."

DuLuth looked on while the Captain spoke.

"Ever hear of a spithole named Skirl?" The Captain sneered.

Skirl:

The sun rises above a lush vegetation. Several temples rise high above the trees and in the distance is the site of four huge statues.

SKIRL: SEVENTH WONDER OF THE QUADRANT! VISIT THE CHODDAR MADRAKH FEAST-FESTIVAL WITH ITS COLOUR AND GLAMOUR, ITS EXOTIC FOODS AND RICH PAGEANTRY! SEE THE SONGMASONS' GUILD AT WORK IN THE SHADOW OF THE THEIR ANCIENT PRE-IMPERIUM TEMPLES!

The city itself is a vast place filled with exotic buildings and rich colours blend in everywhere. The city is buzzing with excitement as people prepare for the festival. Hover barges float around buildings and small boats filled with tourists, sail through the sky as they take pictures of the city below. The people of Skirl are a Humanoid/Cat race and are master craftsmen when it comes to temples and buildings.

The city is shadowed over by the four giant statues that represent their gods. One statue has two heads, another is a skull, while the other two looked like the people of the city, one was female and the other was male.

SKIRL: FOR MYSTERIES BEYOND MEASURE

SKIRL: FOR THE HOLIDAY OF A LIFETIME

A fat tourist in a red cap watched in awe as the statues pummeled into each other in a ritualistic fight that dated back thousands of years. The man had a match stick hanging from his lip as he gazed up at the stone titans.

"They're breathtaking…"

Beside the tourist was one of the locals dressed in a green suit which resembled something of a medieval minstrels garb. He held a twisted walking cane in one hand and held a pipe in the other. He looked up at the statues, pointing at them and explaining the story behind it.

"Now you see Gom-Bejiir trying to prevent the trickster god Dengko from removing Lusk's crown." He looked to the fat man and smiled, "In Skirlish cosmogony this is the first-heresy which sowed the seeds of war in heaven."

Behind the fat tourist was his wife, dressed in pink trousers and a low cut pink top. Her hair was heavily permed and she wore large sunglasses which nearly covered her face. In front of her was a Hovo-pram 5000 © and beside that was her young son wearing brown shorts and a blue shirt with a blue cap. He had his hands in his pockets and he didn't look too happy.

"Mu-uuum. This is boring. I want to go back to the Boatel." The kid whined to his mother. The mother looked down at him and scowled, "Hush, Lonz. Let your 4father watch in quietude…"

The boy moaned more and sulked, "Why can't we go skiffy-sniffing on Gedron Khan like all the other brooders?" he muttered under his voice.

The guide continued his information to the highly interested tourist man, "The food and gifts set out on the pyreshrines are offerings to ensure the continued fertility of-" he was interrupted by the fat tourist grabbing his arm and pointing to the sky.

"Erm, forgive my intrusion, b-but…"

Above the giant statues, a huge pirate frigate filled the yellowish sky. Several speeder bikes emerged from the main ship and quickly made their way downward. Explosions erupted in the air as the cannons onboard fired several shots.

"…are th-they part of the festival too?" the fat tourist continued.

The pirates came down on wires around the giant statues, the familiar visage of the Captain and DuLuth could be seen first. They held their flintlocks in their hands while they slid down the wire.

"Jack-Attaaaack! Disperse the mob choirs! Maximum mayhem!" the Captain shouted to the dozen other pirates on their way downwards. The Captain looked to DuLuth, "DuLuth, get the slave drover modules on the statues now!"

DuLuth looked back, "Aye aye Cap'n."

Down below the city was in panick, people were running and screaming everywhere. They never expected such an attack on their peaceful planet.

The fat tourist was pushed towards his family by the tour guide.

"Marauders! Merciful Dengko, RUN! Save yourselves! Back to the Boatel as fast as you can!"

The speeder bikes hovered above the streets and fired its Auto Burst Cannon at the crowd. People dropped everywhere into bloody heaps and the ground beneath their feet tore up around them. The pirates were enjoying the carnage.

"Ha ha watch 'em scatter!" one roared as he firmly had his finger pressed on the Auto Burst. The shells from the bullets flew out from the side of the weapon.

The fat tourist ran through the street dragging his son, while his wife ran as fast as she could pushing the pram.

"Keep running Shirfla! Don't look b-back!" he roared over the cannon fire.

He skidded to a halt in the alleyway as suddenly his path was blocked by two pirates, one of them DuLuth.

"Well looksy heres? Tourlings! Some holiday to member hey?" He smiled at them and reached for his flintlock, he fired round after round towards the tourists, just hitting the ground before them, "Dance little piggy!"

The woman screamed while the fat tourist jumped in front of the pram. The pirates laughed heartily at the tourists jumping to each shot.

Above on the skull statue, Captain stood proudly on its shoulder, while inside some crew operated the controls for the stone titan.

"Ground crews, mop up the street shrines!" the Captain ordered. The giant statue moved towards the temple nearby, each footstep booming through the earth below.

"I'm gonna check out the big temple on the city perimeter! If it's anything like the Cryocombs of Charn…we're rich men!" The statue continued towards the giant domed temple.

On the streets, the pirates plundered all the shrines and took the jewellery off the women citizens of the city. One of the pirates caught a cat woman and took the necklace forcefully from her neck, "Hey scope out these brooch totems!" He yelled to his fellow pirate.

The man laughed at the situation, "Easy as snatchin' floots off a joppajire!"

The other pirates were busy loading large treausre chests full of gold and other trinkets of value onto the speeders. It was truly a fine prize this festival was turning into…

The giant skull statue walked into the city, crushing many citizens under foot. They screamed in terror as they seen what the pirates were going for…their precious domed temple. One citizen looked upon them and roared out in terror, "Sweet lusk no! Its headed for the scourge cage!" The people panicked and fled as fast as they could, others tried in vain to stop the beast and got crushed bloodily under foot.

One citizen dropped to his knees to pray for salvation, "Our martyr who wert imprisoned, harrow us this day…thy freedom come, thy feast begun on Skirl as it wert in Heaven!"

People poured out of the temple as two massive hands burst through the domed top, sending masses of stoned debris upon the citizens below.

A huge gaping hole was left in the dome and the statue moved closer inside it.

The Captain moved off the shoulder and stepped carefully onto the broken stone, tyring to look inside the darkness of the dome. His eyes widened as he felt a cold shiver down his spine for the first time since the Carnage At Beldrommel. He backed off slightly.

"Not sure about this people…looks like something is alive in there…"

He heard a small low tone buzzing sound and suddenly he roared in terror as out of the darkness came a black squid like creature with the wings of a bee and three suckers on its face.

"Holy Mother!" The Captain screamed as he jumped back onto the shoulder of the statue. Within seconds he was surrounded by a dozen of the creatures. They held down his arms and wrapped themselves around his neck and torso.

"Get 'em off me! Get 'em off!" He screamed in vain.

Down below the people screamed in terror as something worse than pirates suddenly poured out of the dome in a big black wave. Thousands of the creatures filled the sky and swept down on everyone in the city. People ran as fast as they could as the bugs homed in on each and every living person.

"They're everywhere!" somebody screamed in the crowd.

A pirate fired his flintlock at one but missed, the bug attached itself to his face. The pirate beside him ran as fast as his legs could muster, "Holy Skatl! Back to the ship!"

The Mayor of the city struggled as a bug wrapped itself around his shoulders, "The scour-cage is breached! Run for – Aaaiiiieeee!"

Everyone around him was being attacked, the sky had turned black with the bugs and the screams of the people did not die out for another hour. Streams of the bugs flew through buildings and drove people outside to be taken. It was the end…

Duslan to Hortiss! Sweet to see you homebound, guys! How'd the slayride go – over?

The pirate frigate had come out of super speed to a slow cruising speed. It had then just received a message from their home planet.

Aboard the ship, the Captain looked on at the viewscreen. The left side of his head had a pulsating creature attached to it, sucking at him. Pink veins had grown through his skin and moved through his eyes. He seemed docile and calm. DuLuth, beside the Captain, had a creature on his neck, the tentacles wrapped around his shoulders. In the background some other pirate stood still, looking on as one of the creatures sucked from his skull.

"Mondo-Tops, Duslan! Got us a haul like you won't believe. Should make planetfall in ten, so you can see for yourselves." The Captain said in a toneless voice as he looked down at the cargo below him.

The bridge was filled to the brim with black, thousands of creatures were packed tightly together. They hummed quietly, waiting to feed on many many more humanoids.

Yeah then we're gonna throw ourselves a party to remember!

Over…

The Captain watched down at the others silently as the communications were cut.

The ship descended towards the planet…