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Posted on Jul 31, 2007 in Front Page Features, TIAOW

The Incorrect Art of War [Episode 32] – The Night of the Long Diodes

By A J Summersgill and Jim H Moreno

Oh, they went missing last week after I asked them to take the Dinosaurs for a walk.

But…this is disastrous!

You’re telling me, those cloned Dinosaurs don’t come cheap you know and I can’t have them choking on bones.

Please, my Lord, you must understand the severity of this situation, our defences have been stripped and we’re wide open – and right now we’re about fifteen minutes away from a trip to Guantanamo Bay.

Relax General, Cuba’s quite nice at this time of year as it happens. We can say hi to Fidel…I mean…I don’t agree with his politics but his uniforms are really chic…

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(Obliviously tapping away at a keyboard) I still don’t understand it though. I mean, even given the fact that our elite forces are apparently preparing thermos flasks and ironing Nehru jackets, the regular forces and the automatic guns should have held the US for at least thirty minutes. As it is, it didn’t take the US Army long to breach the outer perimeter and get inside – I just don’t get it, it’s like they knew exactly where our automated defences were and they just bypassed them somehow. The alarms didn’t sound until one of our men activated them manually…

We’ve been betrayed General.

I’m afraid that’s the only explanation your Majesty. Our only hope is to get deeper inside the base and make our way to the escape pod – this room is a natural barrier between the entrance and the interior (indicating the open doors on the other side of the room) we can safely leave that side.

We’ve got a few minutes haven’t we? How long will that door hold?

Ten minutes at most until they bring up the heavy equipment. Why?

I want H.A.T.E. to tell us what’s going on, but since we’re on emergency power he’s refusing to respond.

(General Menace checks a readout on his console) Well that shouldn’t make any difference, H.A.T.E. has his own generator, he’s totally autonomous from a power point of view.

(Doctor Sinister taps uselessly at a keyboard) H.A.T.E.?! H.A.T.E.??!! Answer me damn you!

(There is no response)

Maybe he’s been got at. Hang on…does the readout on your arm work? You said there was basically a duplicate version of H.A.T.E. running on the screen?

(Checks) Well, the data is all there, you know, all the historical stuff he loaded into my cybernetic prosthesis, but not the interface, it’s like H.A.T.E. has ceased to exist.

I expect the US Army had a back door and switched him off.

(There are loud rumbling noises on the other side of the door. General Menace brings up an internal display to show the other side of the door)

Uh-oh, they’ve brought a Tank inside the base. We’ve got to go…NOW.

(The two men hurriedly gather their possessions and walk swiftly to the exit. Doctor Sinister turns to take one last look at the central monitor screen and the command centre that has been his home for the last six months before activating the door, sealing the chamber. There is a loud roar and the corridor shakes)

That tank is blasting its way into the command centre – but they won’t be able to take it inside to have a crack at the door on the other side. That gives us a bit of time to make our way to the pod.

(As the two men walk swiftly along the miles of corridor, troops stationed at regular intervals step into line and escort them through the base)

When I find the one who betrayed me I’ll…I’ll…I’ll be very annoyed.

I can imagine you would be Sagacity. I just can’t think who it would be – I mean, you pay everyone well enough.

(The ground shakes and dust falls from the ceiling)

I had really grown rather fond of this place you know.

We too, although we were kind of dicing with death though your Excellency – I mean, this place IS right in the middle of the continental USA. It was only a matter of time really…

I had the most marvelous idea to undercut the local Wal-Mart and sell genuine Mountain Dew from source.

Erm…I beg your pardon my Lord?

Mountain Dew, I was going to collect it from the mountain and sell it to the locals – at half price I’d still have made a profit, the size of this mountain there must be tons of the stuff out there every morning…

My Lord…I feel I must correct you…

(The ground shakes again and there is more dust – in the distance, explosions can be heard. Regular thumping sounds can be heard through the walls. An armed guard rushes up from an adjoining corridor and whispers into the General’s ear)

Well that’s torn it…it seems the Army have called in Air Force bombers – the entire mountain is being pummeled from the air and our way to the escape pod is…

(There is an earsplitting explosion and the lights go out…)

* * *

(It is some time later, Doctor Sinister and General Menace lie half-buried in a pile of rubble some twenty feet apart. The corridor around them has collapsed; the guards are nowhere to be seen. A raucous wailing noise can be heard nearby. General Menace stirs…)

My Lord? Your Excellency? (Doctor Sinister does not move) Majesty? Sir? Please, are you OK? (Doctor Sinister murmurs slightly and stirs his head) Oh, thank God for that, you’re alright.

M…Mountain Dew. I was going to…sell it…

Yes, yes my Lord, that’s correct.

Bloody stupid idea if you ask me – I mean, it’s not as if the stuff really comes from a mountain is it?

Erm…no…my Lord? Are you OK?

(Doctor Sinister snaps fully awake and looks at the General) Well of course I’m alright, I’m invincible don’t you know!

Well…

[continued on next page]

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