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Posted on Oct 29, 2007 in Front Page Features, TIAOW

The Incorrect Art of War [Episode 35] – Return Of The King

By A J Summersgill and Jim H Moreno

Well, aren’t you pleased to see me?

Pleased to see you?  I thought you were dead?!  I knew you were dead, I saw you die!  In that chamber beneath the Cheyenne Mountain Facility.  H.A.T.E. killed you! #1

This is all true.

Then who, what…HOW?

Take a seat General, it’s a long story.

(General Menace sits down again and pulls out a cigar from his pocket…Doctor Sinister takes it from him and throws it to the floor)

Now now General, you know how I feel about smoking.

You never used to mind…


Well, I’m not quite myself…as I’ll explain…

First things first, whoever you are, about this base, we saw it destroyed#2

Actually we didn’t see anything of the kind, we assumed it to be destroyed, but it turns out our science division wasn’t quite as incompetent as we might have thought.


Two minutes before the first nuclear warhead arrived, an automated defence mechanism we’d installed three years previously suddenly activated itself and threw a particle shield over the island – the whole 400 mile width of it.  It had never functioned properly before, but the shield prevented the missiles from penetrating and they exploded harmlessly away from the island.

Then our escape, our travels, our efforts to re-establish the organisation…

Were totally unnecessary, yes.  Our entire command staff and indeed the entire population of the island has been here all the time, quite unharmed, awaiting our return.

But, hang on, that American Major at Guantanamo Bay said they’d carried out surveys of this area and there was nothing here. #3

Yes, he would think that.  At the same time the particle shield decided to start operating, a companion system switched itself on – it’s an invisibility shield, it means that the island is protected from view by any passing satellites, ships or planes.  It works with RADAR and SONAR as well.  Only vehicles on close approach can even see that we are here, and we can…deal…with them. 

Oh, that’s really rather cool.

Isn’t it?

OK, so what about you – you’re dead, so whoever you appear to be, you obviously aren’t him, the real Doctor Sinister I mean.

On the contrary General, I am as real as he ever was.

Go on then, make up some weird story about how you escaped death…

I didn’t.

Pardon me?

I was eliminated.  Outright.  You saw correctly, H.A.T.E. killed me.  But I’m back.


You recall me telling you once that my full name was Doctor Augustus Julius Sinister the 4th? #4

Yes, that does ring a bell…

Well I’m not any more.  General, meet  Doctor Augustus Julius Sinister the 5th.

(General Menace leaps up and looks frantically around the room)  Where?

(Laughs)  General, sit down, it’s me!

(He sits down again, incredulous)  You?  You’re his…son?

No, I’m a clone.  I’m the fourth Doctor Sinister clone to be activated in fact, hence the name.

The fourth?  You just said you were the fifth.

Of course, the first Doctor Sinister wasn’t a clone.

I see, but you are?

(Patiently)  Yes.  The four Doctor Sinisters that have followed were clones – so that makes five. I’m the fifth.

And how many of you are there, will there be?

There is no limit.  But there can be only one of us around at any one time.

Please can you explain before I go totally insane…

Deep in the bowels of this complex is a chamber, it contains the most advanced cloning equipment known to man – it’s bombproof, radiation proof, tamperproof and totally sealed from the outside world.  The original Doctor Sinister set it up before he was assassinated by a traitor in his…in my…organisation.  Sorry, it’s a problem sometimes realising that we’re actually the same person…you must excuse me if I swap tenses sometimes.

I don’t understand…

Inside my brain, inside the brain of any Doctor Sinister clone, and indeed the original man himself, there is a device constantly linked to the cloning generator in this base.  The device records my thoughts and deeds, but the moment those thoughts are interrupted, or in other words, the moment I die, the machine begins a process to create a new clone and brings it to maturity, uploading all the recorded memories into the new creation before unleashing it upon the world.  After the first Doctor Sinister was assassinated, Doctor Augustus Julius Sinister the 2nd emerged, two hours later, with all the memories and thoughts of the original, and exacted revenge upon enemies who had no idea that their target had essentially returned from the dead.  Indeed, I hold the thoughts of both in my head right now.

But…your arm appears to still be robotic?  And your eye still has a patch over it…

Yes, the original Doctor Sinister suffered from those afflictions, so all the clones do as well.  It would be easy enough for the machine to recreate me as I appeared originally, but the arm is useful, as is the eyepatch – maybe I’ll show you how one day.


General, I cannot die.  Imagine the repercussions of this…

(Under his breath)  I’m trying not to…

…Once I have established control over the planet, there will be no more conflicts amongst the ruling classes – for there will only ever be one ruler, me!  There will be no power struggles, no dynasties, no disappointing offspring squandering the wealth gathered by their forebears – it will be the ultimate form of government, just me, in control, forever, constantly building on my own achievements.  This is why I am destined to become the ruler of all.

Right.  Well, of course I’m with you on all of that.  But our worldwide exploits have kind of blown our cover haven’t they?  I mean, we’re not exactly a clandestine organisation any more, how do you propose to conquer the planet now?

General, come with me…

(Doctor Sinister leads the General to a door at one end of the war room behind which is a small length of corridor containing various elevator doors.  They head to one and enter.  Once inside, Doctor Sinister presses a button and the elevator hurtles up several levels before halting)

My Lord…

Oh, so you accept the truth of who I am now?

[continued on next page]

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