Welcome to my Evil Lair!

I fought against the bonds that pinned my wrists and ankles to the examination table, struggling helplessly. “Release me, foul doctor!” I shouted out into the darkness.

“What- oh, is someone there?” drifted back a response.

I paused. “Hello? Yes, please, I have been captured and need your assistance!” I called out next, pitching my voice a bit lower. Perhaps this was a janitor, not understanding that he cleaned an evil lair, or maybe a beautiful daughter that I could seduce to earn my freedom-

“Give me a minute,” the other voice called out, and I heard someone shuffling about, muttering to himself. Probably not a daughter, then, but I pinned my hopes on the janitor theory.

I heard something click, and the hum of electricity. After a moment, bright lights came on, blinding me. I tried to raise one hand to shield my eyes but then remembered, oh yeah, bound to an operating table.

After a few blinks, my eyes started to adjust. I peered up into the light, looking for my potential savior – and froze.

“Doctor Infernal?” I asked in disbelief, looking up at the man grinning down at me from the balcony above my prison.

The doctor gave me a friendly little wave, his white lab coat fluttering from the movement. “Hello there!” he called down to me. “And who are you, now?”

“I…” I glanced down at my own outfit, wondering if the armored suit had changed. “I’m the Falcon, here to foil your evil plans.”

“Oh. Well, that’s a bit mean, but you seem nice enough,” the doctor replied. He paused to remove his spectacles, polishing them on the corner of his lab coat before slipping them back on. “Now, are you comfortable? Hungry? Thirsty?” He gestured up at the huge, hulking machine that hung poised above the operating table.

I tried to think, but my throat did feel a bit dry. “I guess I’m kind of thirsty.”

The evil Doctor’s expression changed to concern. “Oh, that’s not good. Forgive me, please. I’m not the best host, but I’m trying – I just don’t usually get visitors. Evil lair, and all that.”

“Perhaps if you disabled some of the Doom-Bots that patrol the corridors,” I began, but Doctor Infernal had already turned away. I heard more clicking and tapping as he fiddled with the controls above me.

After a moment, with a creak of hydraulics, the massive machine above me lowered. I closed my eyes and gritted my teeth against the pain of his torturous experimentation, but instead of unceasing agony, I felt something bump against my lips.

I opened my eyes, and found a straw dangling down. Cautiously, concerned that it might dispense acid or some terrible mutagen, I took a little sip.

It turned out to be carbonated fizzy water. Quite refreshing, too.

“Good? Anything else?” called down Doctor Infernal, his shock of pure white hair once again appearing over the edge of the balcony. “Sore muscles? I think I can get a massage going.”

“No, no thank you,” I replied, defaulting to politeness. I grimaced, rallying my righteous anger. “Now, release me, so that I might put a stop to your evil plans!”

The Doctor frowned. “Well, I’m not sure about that. You seem like quite the nice hero, but I’ve worked very hard on these plans, and I’d hate to see something go wrong at the last minute.”

“Well, perhaps you could release me and instead give me a tour of your lair?” I tried instead, thinking hard. “After all, that is the suitable thing to do for guests, offer them a tour.”

The Doctor’s eyes widened. “Of course! Yes, how foolish of me! I’m so sorry, Penguin-”

“-Falcon-”

“-about that little slip of impoliteness.” He moved back to the controls once again. “Release, release, where’s the button sequence for release… Ooh, let’s try this.”

I heard the clicking of switches. The massive machine above me twitched a couple times, and a mechanical arm appeared, jerkily extending towards me. In its fierce claws, the arm held what appeared to be a sardine and watercress sandwich.

“That’s the food sequence,” I called up to the Doctor.

“Oh. How about this?”

Doctor Infernal pushed another button, and heard a brief screaming noise as the chamber suddenly filled with eldritch, unholy light. He frowned, pushing the button a few more times, until the sound and light went away.

He turned back to the balcony, peering down at his visitor, but it seemed that the fellow had departed. He left behind a rather greasy, dripping black stain on the examination table, which seemed a bit impolite, but there wasn’t any other sign of him. Not even a note.

Doctor Infernal sighed. He so rarely got visitors these days, he thought sadly to himself. It was nice, when someone came by to distract him from his work.

Now, what had he been- oh, yes! He snapped his fingers, returning back to his workshop down the hall. He’d had a brilliant idea for a new way to solve global warming, simply by shutting down the sun for a few hours. It would be an amazing plan, as soon as he figured out how to turn the thing back on again.

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