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Posted on Nov 30, 2007 in Front Page Features, TIAOW

The Incorrect Art of War [Episode 36] – A Slip (Or Two) In Time

By A J Summersgill and Jim H Moreno

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Starring:

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Doctor Sinister.An evil Supervillain with an insane lust for power. Resurrected after saving the world from a power mad supercomputer, the new version of Doctor Sinister still harbours a desire to become Supreme Emperor of the planet Earth. Enjoys the company of cats, cloned genetically modified Dinosaurs and people who say “yes” all the time.

And featuring:

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General Menace. Graduated from West Point Military Academy with honours, served for twenty-five years in the US Army, reaching level of 2-star General in command of training facilities before being recruited by a previous incarnation of Doctor Sinister to command his New Model Army of World Domination. Has a penchant for cigars and Alyssa Milano.

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EPISODE 36 – “A Slip (Or Two) In Time”

Night is falling on Sinister Island as General Menace stares out of the huge window in the wall of Laboratory Centre 347, high atop the mountain that houses the Sinister Imperial Command Complex. Below, in the towns and cities across the island, lights are flickering on and people are going about their business during what seems to be a normal quiet evening.

Except there is nothing normal about this evening…and it will be far from quiet for the General.

The General turns from the window with a sigh and stares at the massive machine occupying the centre of the pristine white lab’ room. A large platform is suspended some six feet from the floor of the laboratory on a metal gantry. Arranged around the periphery are twelve crystal-tipped angled spikes, all pointing to the centre of the platform. To one side, Doctor Sinister, deep in conversation with a worried looking scientist looks up momentarily and beckons the General over…

Doctor Sinister: General, we’re ready!

General Menace: We are Sir? Oh dear, I’d rather hoped we wouldn’t be. Can’t I talk you out of this just this once? Can’t we think about it just a bit more? Say, for another fifty years or so?

Nonsense General, that’s just butterflies in the stomach – we’re all set and you’re coming with me.

But…

No buts, now come on up here while they charge the equipment – we have to stand in the very centre.

My Lord, I couldn’t help but notice that these Scientists all seem rather…nervous.

As observant as ever General. Pay it no heed, the equipment will work just fine.

Then why are they all looking at us like that? Some of them seem to be praying…

Oh, it’s just their way, I told them I didn’t need to sign their disclaimers, there would be no recriminations…but they insisted I do so anyway.

Hang on a moment – disclaimer? You had to sign a disclaimer?

Yes.

My Lord…why?

Oh, just to reassure them that I wouldn’t have them all shot if I were killed.

Sorry, could you repeat that? They are worried that if you die, you’ll shoot them?

Well, not me personally of course…

Oh, thank God for that, I thought you were talking about becoming a ghost or something…

Oh no, I’d be signing the paperwork, but I rarely do the actual shooting.

You’ll be signing the paperwork – after you’re dead?

Yes, don’t you remember General? My little revelation? I cannot die! If this machine should kill me, I’ll be back within a few hours in a fresh body.

Oh yes, of course, now I understand. But, hang on, what about me?

No time to be cloning you General – I’m afraid you’ll be as dead as a Dodo.

Terrific…

(Leafing through some notes) Now then, let me see…

So, my Lord, where are we headed first?

Well, our first target is George Washington. An expert leader, militarily and politically, he’ll be a worthy asset to our cause.

OK, that makes sense. But just to check – we’re not removing him from time completely are we?

Oh no no no, we’ll just go back in time, chloroform the chap, bring him back here, clone him and take him back again – he won’t even know he’s been gone.

OK. Because respectfully my Lord, I really must be absolutely sure that we’re reading from the same page on this one – we’re NOT allowed to alter the timestream in ANY way!

General, Scout’s honour, we will not.

That doesn’t work – were you ever a Boy Scout?

Yes, for about two weeks then I jacked it in – I didn’t like the discipline. Dammit, I wish these scientist chaps would hurry up and do what I tell them. There’s just no discipline around here you know. It’s almost making me want to shoot them out of principle. (The lights dim as the equipment powers up) Aha! Come on, we have to stand right…here!

(The two men position themselves in the middle of the podium, the crystal-tipped spikes aimed right at them, throbbing with power, glowing with energy…and then…with a sudden flash of light, the two men are gone…)

* * *

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