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

The Incorrect Art of War [Episode 31] – Patton Pending

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 31 – "Patton Pending"

The sun rises over the Cheyenne, sorry, Sinister Mountain Facility on a bright summer’s day as General Menace takes in the fresh air by the main entrance. Massive cigar in hand, he smiles cheerfully at the guards stood by the enormous steel door. The guards glare back at him rebelliously. The General cannot help but note that both appear to be wearing surgical dressings on their left cheeks. He stubs the cigar out on the ground before heading back inside and descending three levels to his study.

With a sigh, he settles into his office chair and begins to tackle the huge pile of paperwork on his desk.

Poring through equipment requisitions, death warrants, bright pink Post-it notes written in crayon from his lord and master, Doctor Sinister and status reports from the military units under his command, the hours pass until, with a start, the General reaches a hefty black file that lies at the bottom of the pile.

Incredulously, the General reads the topmost report once, twice and for a third time before jumping to his feet and heading for the parade ground.

Newly repaired after an accident with a rocket launcher some months before, the parade ground is heaving with troops from assorted S.INC battalions as the General arrives. At the far end, a huge raised podium can be seen, with a black-clad figure ascending the steps. As the figure reaches the top of the podium, it becomes clear from the eyepatch that this is no less than Doctor Sinister himself.

Doctor Sinister: OK men, stand to attention!

(The assembled troops quickly snap to their formations and stand stiffly in line. Doctor Sinister surveys the scene for a few moments, before noticing the General loitering at the back of the hall. The Doctor throws him a cheery wave and beckons him over before descending the steps once more. The General marches up the side of the chamber toward the other end where Doctor Sinister is attending to a pair of Siamese cats perched atop a small shopping trolley. The General ignores the penetrating stares from the two cats to address the Doctor)

General Menace: Good morning my Lord, you’re up earlier than usual. Is there a problem with your bed? Should I call maintenance?

Not at all General, I’m feeling hyper-motivated this morning, in fact, I’ve felt this way for some weeks now.

No more sleepless nights with your robotic arm doing its own thing?

Aha, I’ve discovered how to get around that – I simply unplug it from my shoulder at night. It kind of wanders off and does who-knows-what, but it always comes back in the morning.

Interesting. And are you still convinced that the H.A.T.E. Supercomputer is behind this?

Absolutely General, although I believe now that its intentions are not to harm me, but to assist me in some way. I feel a newfound confidence I’ve never felt before, and there have been some interesting improvements to my arm. Here, take a look!

(Doctor Sinister raises his left arm and rolls back the sleeve to reveal a pop-up computer screen and miniature keyboard)

Wow!

Look, it’s got a complete database built in – it’s like a mini-H.A.T.E. I’ve been getting lots of information from it – like how to improve morale, motivate the troops, what have you.

I’m impressed my Lord – if I ever lose a limb I shall want one of those little gadgets built in.

Would you like me to arrange that General? I assure you that after the first few agonising weeks it’s really quite painless – and the benefits are almost endless…look, let me show you my Swiss Army Knife…

NO! No…no, my Lord, I’d really rather keep my limbs to myself, if it’s all the same to you.

Very well, suit yourself. Anyway, what brings you down here, I’m rather busy as you can see.

Sorry your Excellency, it’s just that I was going through some paperwork and…

Ooh, I’m a little behind on that myself – tell me, how are things going in the UK?

The UK my Lord?

Yes, since Blair left and we…you know…

Ah! Yes! Oh, that’s going very well your Immensity – our robotic duplicate of the new Prime Minister, Gordon Brown is functioning reasonably well – although there’s a bit of a glitch with his jaw mechanism, sometimes he’ll stop mid-way through a sentence and it looks like he’s trying to swallow his lower lip, but the technicians just can’t work it out.

Well, keep an eye on the situation – but I feel that celebrations are in order!

Indeed my Lord. However, it was when I reached the bottom of my pile of papers that I felt I had to come and see you.

(The two cats disembark from the shopping cart and look up at the General, licking their lips. He tries not to notice)

Go on…

[continued on next page]

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