Last week As you recall, Dr. Smith had been captured by a mysterious stranger.
Who, as it turns out, was neither mysterious nor a stranger.
|-=fig. 626: captured. again=-|
“Von BadGuy?” Dr. Smith groaned.
“Von TipRău!” Screamed Villiam Von TipRău. “How Many times do I have to tell you!”
Dr. Smith passed over the obvious question of ‘What Do You want’ Because he already knew.
“I Suppose you a vundering vair you are?” Taunted Von TipRău.
“I already know.” Replied Dr. Smith, “Judging by the weird lighting and those sirens, we're in the low-rent district. Fallen a bit from your usual impressively evil lair, have we?”
Von TipRău Sneered, “Lairs take money, vich I do not have anymore, thanks to you. And after our last encounter, zey are patrolling zee undercity vith regularity. But none of zat matters, now zat I have captured you.”
Dr. Smith sighed. “What is it this time? Sharks? Pirañas? A giant swinging ax? You know I'm going to escape, why not just shoot me!” Dr. Smith didn't really mean this, but Von TipRău really annoyed him.
“Ha Ha HA HA! I see you have figured out my plan!”
“What? So it is Pirañas?”
“NO DOCTOR SMITH, IT IS BULLETS!”
Before Dr. Smith had time to react, Von TipRău had drawn a gun, and fired.
From point-blank range, he couldn't miss.
“MWAH HA HAHAHA!”
|-=fig. 627: the ghost of smith present=-|
DOCTOR ZACHARIAH SMITH.
“You know the rules.”
And lo, Dr. Smith lived again.
“AAH!” He screamed. The blood rushed in his veins, the hole in his head healed, and he reflected yet again that there's nothing quite like dying.
“But…But…How?” Stuttered Von TipRău.
“You Know how some people cheat Death?” Dr. Smith asked, and without waiting for an answer continued “Well Death cheated me. And I won.” He saw a question forming on Von TipRău's face. ”No, I'm not a zombie. I Assure you, I'm quite alive.” And to prove it he snatched the gun out of Von TipRău's hand, and bent it in half. This was a neat trick and a side-effect. For the next six hours he would be invincible. But there would be a price. There's always a price.
Dr. Smith lifted Von TipRău up by his neck. “I suggest that you let me go, Von TipRău. And I might, maybe, let you live.”
Von TipRău seemed to consider this, and Dr. Smith tightened his grip.
“I See. Good Evening, Von BadGuy.”
“You'll never make it our of here alive!”
Dr. Smith smiled. “As I believe I've demonstrated, that's not really a concern of mine.” He then tightened his grip until Von TipRău went slack. As much as he put on a tough guy act, Dr. Smith couldn't have killed this brilliant mind. Evil, Yes, but brilliant. Maybe after he revealed the secret of his near-perfect clones, Or why he was always trying to kill Dr. Smith.
Dr. Smith dragged the peaceful body over to a corner, and searched the room for his hat and briefcase.
They weren't there.
He would have to look in the other room.
He injected Von TipRău with a sedative, so he couldn't get away even if he came to, and kicked down the other door.
This was a mistake.
Dr. Smith lay still at the bottom of the shaft.
Luckily his six hours wasn't up yet, or else he would have died. Again.
|-=fig. 628: the true lair=-|
“I hate cloners.” Dr. Smith replied.
“Mwah Ha HA HA! So. Vair Is your brown friend? Zeh vun who allvays turns up to rescue you? Hmm?”
“He'll Turn up!” Dr. Smith lied “He always turns up.”
“Monoids!” Von TipRău commanded, “Make our friend…Comfortable.”
|-=fig. 629: a proper cliffhanger=-|
It occurred to Dr. Smith, as it never had before, how attached to his legs he was.
That was when he noticed the shark.
Von TipRău laughed maniacally.