A hundred light-year quarantine zone protects the primitive jungle tribes of the Platypus Planet from unauthorized interference. But not from BastadoCorp acquiring mining rights through bribery and fraud.
When Dirk Beretta's girlfriend tells him to get off the couch and look for a job, he finds the perfect opportunity, thousands of light years from her, with free guns and beer, as security chief for the mines.
But no-one told him what happened to the previous security chief, or that the Platypoids would rather die fighting than see their land defiled.
Should he follow his new boss' orders, and nuke the jungle until it glows... or save the furry native girl with the leather bikini, and risk a messy death in Bastado's grinding machines?
Length: 12,000 words
Dirk Beretta was a character I invented some years ago in a writing example for a web forum, but somehow he just seemed to stick. I liked the idea of the tough, but not terribly smart, ex-space marine who had been inducted in some wacky religion by a crazy cult leader, fighting space weasels.
A version of this story was originally published under a pen-name. When I first released it I thought I should keep the funny SF stories separate to the more serious stories I’ve been writing under this name, but I later decided I should really keep them all together. So I’ve tweaked and edited the original versions and I’m re-releasing them under my name.