When the third hummingbird bullet struck him in the throat the force was sufficient to blast the cleanly cut chunks of his upper body in a hundred different directions.
Raylene held the gun between her teeth with her tongue through the trigger guard. She spit it out onto the floor and sagged back down onto her side.
"I've had a lot of practice." Raylene murmured.
The bridge of Party Up smelled like sweat, shit, and various other bodily fluids. Every possible horizontal surface was covered ten-deep with Crutch Limply, and he was fucking the shit out of himself.
"My god," ambassador Magnus gaped.
"This is hideous." Admiral Regel added.
"It is not very pretty," offered the original Guthry, "but it's about to get even worse."
The Guthry simulacrums opened fire on the writhing mass of flesh. Weapons of terrifying power lanced out in brilliant bursts of energy and incinerated dozens of the Limply duplicates in seconds. More and more kept appearing to take their place. The small group was forced to move like explorers with machetes through a deep jungle, hacking and blasting with weapons as the tangled humping meat of Limply reformed in their wake.
"He's in the disco ball up there!" One of the Guthry duplicates gestured to the armored sphere hanging above the bridge.
Limply stood in the command bridge watching the group's progress. He was not nearly as haggard as his duplicates and he watched the events unfold below him with a keen interest.
When the gaggle of Guthry finally hacked its way onto the command bridge they found Limply lounging in one of the chairs next to the strategic display. He picked absently at a scab on his arm and nodded in their direction as they entered.
"You dumb fucks really wanted to come see me, didn't you?" Limply laughed but did not even bother to look up.
"Yes, Crutch, I need to talk to you." The original Guthry stepped forward. "You've experienced something very traumatic and I want to help."
"Why would I need your help?" Limply asked. "I just took down a whole ship full of nasty alien invaders. I could probably take over all of the other ships out there."
"You could quite easily I'm sure." Guthry placed a hand on Limply's shoulder but Limply shrugged it off like a petulant teenager being touched by his mother.
"You're damn right I could."
"That's not what you're going to do though. That's not what you need to do."
"What do I need to do?" Limply asked with venom.
"I brought Fleet Admiral Regel all this way to sign surrender documents with you and a representative of the humans of earth."
"You what?!" Admiral Regel barked, but one of the Guthry duplicates silenced him with a hand gesture.
"Your name will be forever remembered as the savior of mankind." The original Guthry continued. "More importantly, you are going to be famous. Beloved! You're going to be up to your knees in grabnak."
"Pussy," one of the Guthry duplicates interjected.
"Yes, women are going to throw themselves at you. You could take them by force, but it will be so much nicer to have willing participants. Just think of the amazing videos you could make. Ten Crutch Limplys putting it to a model, preserved in your database for all of eternity."
"Yes." Limply whispered. "Yes, I think I might like that."
"It will be a dream come true." Guthry nodded.
"Bring me those fucking papers."
A version of Linus Guthry popped into existence with a silver attaché case. He snapped it open and produced two pens.
"Ignominious retreat." Admiral Regel clucked with disgust as he scanned the terms of withdrawal and non-aggression.
"It beats never having been an empire at all," shrugged the original Guthry. "If you don't sign he doesn't father the awakened and I'm never born. If I'm never born your species rots on Imperatrix for 10,000 years until it's destroyed by an asteroid."
"Point taken." Admiral Regel swallowed his pride and awkwardly signed the surrender documents with his pen.
Are you concerned that you may be a character trapped in a Tom Waits song? Be smart and learn the warning signs before it's too late. Also, it's too late. It has always been too late.
I'm haunted by a recurring vision of a skeleton flipping me off. To avoid seeing this terrifying image in bumper sticker form, I pay someone with a blank bumper to drive in front of me at all times.
Featured articles and columns that don't fit anywhere else on Something Awful.