Wednesday, 30 July 2008

When Doves Sigh

Dr. Septopus sat on a three-legged stool at a desk raised especially high so that he could fit five of his seven limbs under it. On the desk was a thick, leather-bound diary. Dr. Septopus was writing in it. One tentacle was holding a thick-barreled pen, and the other compulsively smoothed the left-hand page of the diary down. The words on that side were slightly smudged.
'The Council of Nastiness is meeting, but nothing is happening,' he wrote. 'I try so hard, but no matter who I invite to join us the meeting always ends up in an argument or a fight. My core members hate each other, and so must have agenda of their own for coming. At least half of the extra members I invited are dead, usually at the hands (and paws) of the core members. I despair of it all, I really do. I know the good guys don't have these problems. They seem to get it genetically, they see one another and instantly form a League, or a Division, or a Squad. There's even a Girl Scout Troup of Underage Superheroines. And I can't have one small Council of Nastiness!"
He sniffed, and clacked his beak-like nose sadly. "I wonder if I could defect to the good guys side? I used to think that no-one would believe I was a good guy -- I'm a deformed octopus for the love of Dagon! -- but if the Kalahari Kalamari can make it, then there's hope for me. And being the good guy is easy; it takes brains, planning and cash to organise a supercrime, but you just need a police scanner and maybe some ESP to be a superhero. Maybe that's all it takes. One last crime, to kidnap some orphans, breed ESP into them, then liquify their brains and inject it into my skull to obtain the superpower, and then it's 'Goodbye Dr. Septopus!' and 'Hello spider-Kitty!' I'll need an extra leg, but there's still those orphans..."

In the room below Dr. Septopus's, the Green Lightbulb was contemplating committing suicide. In his hands he held Silvestra's latest range of cosmetics, which he'd already exposed to his green radiation. The heavy metals contained in the cosmetics greatly magnified the effects of it, and the superpowers that had given him leukemia and would slowly kill him had made the cosmetics lethal for even him. His favourite go-go boy costume was laid out on the bed, the sequins glittering in the dim electric light, and his padded thong was tossed lazily on the back of his chair. If he put the costume on, and then the cosmetics, then it would look like Silvestra had murdered him. He giggled to himself, stroking the pouch that held the cosmetics, and wondered if he had the courage to go through with it this time.

The room below the Green Lightbulb's was rented out to a Mr. Giuseppe who was of medium height and build, had thinning orange hair and the steel mind of a homicidal accountant. On his desk was a calculator with the bare minimum of functionality -- the number buttons, addition, negation and multiplication symbols, and an equals button that glowed red. Next to it was a letter of extortion, addressed to Silvestra, regarding the location of her factory for producing her cosmetics. Silvestra, had she been there, would have cursed and launched into a diatribe that one of the problems of being a supervillain was having to hang out with other villains. "There may be honour among thieves," she would have said, "but there was no respect, and certainly no chance of not getting rolled at the first opportunity. Half of her overheads," she would have said, "were keeping other villains from revealing her location, her secret identities, and her actual taxable income. Life," she would have said, disemboweling the accountant, "was indescribably hard." Then she would have gone on to rant about the hardships of being female, and that would undoubtedly have segued into another pet hate, until the listener realised why no-one really wanted to work with her.

The accountant pushed the equals button, the Green Lightbulb put his costume on and added some more padding to the thong, and Dr. Septopus closed his diary.

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