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Posted on May 29, 2007 in Armchair Reading, Front Page Features, TIAOW

The Incorrect Art of War [Episode 30] – CyberSinister

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. Although his original secret island base was seemingly destroyed, the Doctor spent some time on the run and now occupies the defunct Mount Cheyenne facility in Colorado where he still plots to become future Emperor and Warlord of the planet Earth. Enjoys the company of cats, cloned genetically modified Dinosaurs and people who say "yes" all the time.

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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 Doctor Sinister to command his New Model Army of World Domination. Narrowly escaped the apparent destruction of Sinister Island and runs the Cheyenne Mountain facility with his lord and master. Has a penchant for cigars and Alyssa Milano.

EPISODE 30 – "CyberSinister"

The lights are dim in the lowest depths of the Sinister Mountain Complex as General Menace, electronic map in hand, warily picks his way through the rocky corridors and echoing chambers of the most newly constructed areas of the underground base.

Guards man every junction, and as he encounters each one, General Menace stops to talk to the men on duty, only to receive a shake of the head in response.

Glumly, the General meanders into a narrow access way along which a number of small doors are lined. As he passes one door, he hears a strange noise from within the room behind, and stops outside. The noises continue from behind the door and, gingerly, General Menace opens it…

Doctor Sinister: AAARRRGGGHHH! Close the door! Close the door!

General Menace: My Lord! Oh thank God, I’ve found you! I thought you’d been kidnapped or something!

Close the door! The light! It burns!!

Oh, sorry. (General Menace steps inside the room and closes the door. With the door closed, it is dark inside the cramped chamber, with only the glow from a dozen flat screen computer monitors to lighten the gloom. Doctor Sinister is sat hunched upright in at a litter-strewn semi-circular desk, computer mouse in hand, chocolate bar in the other, rapidly tapping keys on one of many, many wireless keyboards strewn across the wasteland that serves as his workstation. A dozen humming computer servers line the far wall, all plumbed into a central cooling unit which vibrates gently in the corner. Post-It notes containing obscure pieces of code or reminders cover almost every other surface. The floor is sticky and used drinks cans roll around the General’s feet as he sidles into the room. There is a funny smell in the air. Doctor Sinister swivels on his chair to look up at the General – his one remaining eye is wide open, bloodshot and twitching with a steady stream of water running from it and down his cheek)

Thank you General.

What on Earth has happened to you, your immensity? Should I call in your personal physician?

No, no, but, I wonder if you wouldn’t mind passing me that tube of cream over there would you?

This one?

The after-sun, yes. It seems I have developed a bit of an aversion to light, the last time I used the en-suite toilet I made the mistake of turning on the lights in there and my skin blistered within minutes. That was three days ago. (Doctor Sinister applies the cream to his face which is pale and sweating)

You haven’t been to the toilet in three days?

Oh, I got fed up with having to leave the desk so I ripped out some of the ducting from the air conditioning and plumbed myself straight into the pan, it saves me having to move. Just don’t knock that yellow pipe running along the floor or it could get rather messy.

Right. Erm, your Excellency, are you aware that no-one has seen you now for at least two straight weeks?

Is that how long I’ve been here?

At least, possibly longer. I was off-base for a week before that and when I returned, no-one had the slightest idea where you were. I hunted all around for you. The only clue I could find was in the catering department where I stumbled across an invoice addressed to you personally for delivery of thirty crates of Mountain Dew and two hundred bags of Doritos.

Yeah, that was a bit of a mistake.

Did you order too much?

No, I ran out of the Doritos two days ago, I need to place a fresh order.

I see.

And the fridge is broken – I need someone to bring one down from the kitchens but I haven’t had time to use the ‘phone.

But the intercom is right in front of you.

Well, I’ve been very busy. You know how it is.

Busy my Lord? Sir, I was sure you’d been taken away by enemy agents, so I’ve had the base on DefCon 2 for the last ten days. Only this morning did I find the plans for the new base extension. I wasn’t aware that we’d drilled down this far, and H.A.T.E.’s internal sensors haven’t been wired up down here yet so he couldn’t tell me where you were either.

Yes, we’re two miles underground now, and getting further down every day – isn’t it great?

Actually, the engineers are concerned about the real possibility of a complete structural collapse of the entire mountain, especially since you blasted a hole in the side of the facility last month. And at this level, we’re well below the water table; the outside pressure on the excavated sections threatens to flood the lowest parts of the base. They are recommending an immediate evacuation.

Oh tish General, I’ve been building underground bases since, well, for a while and I’ve not lost one yet.

Apart from Sinister Island.

Which got nuked, yes, and your point is?

Well, yes, when you look at it that way…

Why must you always dwell on the negative aspects General?

Apologies my Lord, you are, of course, supreme in all that you do.

Between you and me, I’m glad H.A.T.E. couldn’t find me, since I’ve been down here my arm has stopped playing silly beggars quite so much and it appears to be under control again.

Are you suggesting that H.A.T.E. had something to do with that?

[continued on next page]

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