"You’re once, twice, three times a homicidal automated machine…."
Mr. Sneer went into the Baron’s inner chamber. There, he found Miglionicco sitting at the dinner table, a plate of breakfast in front of him as he read the newspaper. He stood there uneasily, not sure how to let the Baron know he was there. Finally, Miglionicco’s voice drifted from behind a newspaper. "If you’re going to stand there like a potted plant, please go next to the credenza. You’ll look better over there."
Mr. Sneer sneered, "I just wanted to tell you, Baron, still no luck on the DanZero front."
"Zero… Zero. That’s the Capper who left to ‘find himself,’ right?"
"Yeah. ‘Himself’ is a pretty cunning guy. We’ve tracked him through four false-I.D.s and nine fake-passports and we still *can’t* find him!"
"A man who doesn’t want to be found … being hunted for by a man who no one wants to look for. Hm. No matter." He put down the paper and picked up a clipboard. Raising a red pen, he crossed out DanZero’s name. "Splendid, then. We’ve knocked the Cappers’ numbers down to a meager four."
"You want we should take them out, too?"
The Baron paused, ruminating. "Call me an old softy, Sneer, but I’m just so eager to plunge Caption City into despair that I think we can start my cunning plan. Is that so wrong?"
He sneered, "Not at all, boss."
"Like your opinion matters." He took a drink of his tea.
"But… uh… Baron? I thought what we were doing, you know… putting all the Cappers out of commission…. THAT was your cunning plan."
"Do you know what I’m thinking, Sneer? How someone with the I.Q. level of a can of root beer could get into Supervillain University." He set down his teacup. "You imbecile, my plan hasn’t even begun yet! Now, gather the others. It’s time to do a little sabotage." He paused. "One moment. Tell me, how *did* you get into Supervillain University, anyway?"
The Hall Of Captions was a huge structure in the center of the city, a special reward to the Cappers for all their years of crimefighting. Once filled with the sounds of heroes talking about enemies fought and disasters averted, it was now silent. The only ones within the complex were those Cappers who hadn’t been attacked by the Cadre. They were all within the Capping Gallery, the Hall’s meeting room. In the Gallery, The Gray Zombie and Amon_OfA1000Handles sat at the large table, while GlitterRock monitored the huge CapAlert computer network.
"… Batqueen didn’t even know what’d hit her!" Amon finished.
Zombie shook his head sadly. "MSTieLyn and Torgone will be in traction for at least a month!"
Glitter turned his attention from the computer to look at them. "Like, our group is falling faster than my disco single, ‘The Hip Booty-Booty Shake!’"
"This is depressing," Zombie said. "What about Keogh?"
"No one’s seen him," Amon replied.
"My news isn’t any better, guys." They all turned to see Animebabe come in, a newspaper in her hand. "Cyberbeast’s in the hospital now." She sat at the table as they all groaned.
Gray Zombie said, "The Conglomeration wee never this much trouble before. I mean, it was all the same old same old: they threaten to destroy the city and a day or two later they were behind bars."
Amon added, "And a day or two after THAT, they broke out."
"Exactly! That was their routine. But now they’ve become The Cadre. It’s all flip-flopped around."
Animebabe pushed the newspaper to him. "I think we all know what the change in them is." On the front of the paper was the headline "BARON’S REIGN OF TERROR ENTERS SEVENTH DAY! CAPPERS UNDER SIEGE! ZACK NORMAN IS SAMMY IN ‘CHIEF ZABU!’"
Zombie called over to the green-afroed Capper at the computer. "Any word on this Miglionicco yet, Glitter?"
"Like, nothing, man! There’s no listing for him anywhere. Even Google’s coming up zip!" He put the computer on automatic-monitor and joined the others at the table, picking up his guitar and strumming a chord.
Amon shrugged. "Maybe he took one of those by-mail supervillain courses from Sally Struthers."
"Don’t be a meathead!" Anime said, "He’s an unknown element, and that means trouble."
"You don’t need to tell me!" Glitter put the guitar down. "His cats did a number on the GlitterDome while I was on duty last night. When I got in, I found the place in ruins, SideMan with two broken arms, and my hot wings gone!"
Zombie patted GlitterRock on the shoulder. "We’ll avenge you, buddy. We all known how much those hot wings meant to you."
"Trouble is," Amon said, "we can’t get a bead on them! They attack one or two of us at once, then they skulk back to their hideout, wherever that is."
"That’s it!" Zombie snapped his fingers. "We need to find their headquarters. And to do that, we’ll need to turn the tables on them!"
The others were quiet. Anime asked, "You mean… turn *our* tables on them?"
"No," Amon interjected, "he meant we turn their tables on *us*!"
Glitter laughed. "I get it, underwear-dude! We *take* their tables away from them… then when they order new tables, we get their hideout’s address, disguise ourselves as delivery men, and get ‘em!"
"That’s stupid, Glitter!" Anime said, "We don’t even know where their tables are!"
"I’ve got a hunch," Amon said with a telling grin. "We should check in their dining room." Anime and Glitter nodded in agreement.
Zombie shouted, "Shut up!" Once he’d gotten their attention, he said, "What I meant was they’ve been ganging up on us where there’s only been one or two of us. I saw we turn the tables on them—we gang up on one or two of *them!* Then, we find out where their lair is!" The Cappers all nodded. "The question is… how do we get them where we want them?"
Amon leaned back in his chair, winking. "Oh, I think I’ve got a way…."
General Kidnap-The-Mayor and Winky the Sociopathic Robot silently stood outside of a door. "Now get ready," the General whispered. "The Mayor’s right behind that door. He’s all alone, so he’ll be real easy to get."
Winky’s eyes flashed. "General, why-are-we—biddi-biddi-biddi—doing this?"
He sighed. "We’ve got to show the Baron that we’re just as important as the others are! Why do you think we were the only ones Miglionicco didn’t send on his secret sabotage-assignment? While they’re all out doing… whatever, we kidnap the Mayor! That’ll show ‘em we’re bad-asses! Now get ready. One… two… THREE!" He pushed open the door, and the pair rushed into the office. By a picture window, there was a large desk, with the chair behind it turned away from them.
The General gave his best evil-laugh. "Hello, Mr. Mayor."
The chair swiveled around … revealing Amon! He smiled at the General’s shocked expression. "What? You were expecting Mayor McCheese?"
The two villains heard the door behind them close, and turned to see Gray Zombie and GlitterRock blocking it. "But-but-but I got a phone call from his receptionist…"
Amon asked, "And what was her name?"
"She said she was Rita. Rita Anim… e… babe…" His voice trailed as he slowly realized. He looked over at the corner of the room, where Animebabe gave him a sly wink as she hung up the telephone. "It’s a trap! Get ‘em, Winky!"
Winky turned around and started for Gray Zombie. Its huge metal arms were outstretched for him. "Time-to-make—beep-beep—Gray-Zombie-a-real-zombie."
Gray’s hands went to his belt, where many varied pieces of underwear were at the ready. "No need to get ‘shorts’ with me!" The hands whipped out, two pairs of boxer shorts in them. With keen precision, he threw them at Winky, covering his robotic head, blinding him.
GlitterRock stepped in front of General Kidnap-The-Mayor, his guitar poised. "Let’s boogie!"
The General growled, "Disco’s dead!" He launched a solid kick, sending Glitter across the room and into a potted plant. He then turned his attention to Animebabe.
Amon’s hand went to the Handle-handle at his wrist. Spinning it, the small handle’s face shone with color as it finally settled on a name: Ricardo_Amon_tal_ban. There was a flash and Amon morphed, his hair tinged with gray, and wearing a white suit with a black tie. Smiling with perfect teeth, he reached behind him and picked up the chair he’d been sitting in. "I hope you enjoy this chair… " he said, voice accented, "… lined with rich, Corinthian leather!" He swung the chair, breaking it over the General. The villain collapsed.
There was a metallic growl as Winky finally tore the underwear from its eyes. One of his flailing arms pushed Gray aside, and the robot turned its attention to the fallen GlitterRock, preparing to attack.
Animebabe leaped across the room, and went behind the robot. She reached around, wrapping her arms around it. "How about a nice *hug?*" Her arms clenched, and Winky let out a robotic groan. Its arms buckled and crushed under Anime’s *hug. * She said, "A little help here, guys. I can’t hold him forever!"
GlitterRock climbed to his feet. Seeing an endtable near the door, he picked it up and smashed it on the robot’s head. The robot fell helplessly to the floor in a heap.
Glitter smiled at the others. "How do you like that? I turned the tables on him… literally!"
"Ex-squeeze me!" Darth Binks said to Baron Miglionicco. "Meeza got terri-bibble news! Terri-ibb-bble! Deeza Genital and de Wubbot iza in da maxi jail!"
The Baron stared at him for several moments. Then he said to the other villains, "Can anyone understand what he’s saying?"
Ms. Iree spoke up. "He’s saying General Kidnap-The-Mayor and Winky are in jail."
"Ah, I see. Anyone for tea?"
"I don’t think you understood me, Baron. Two of our—"
"No, Ms. Ire. You don’t understand me. I can only guess you can’t because of the effects on silicone on intelligence. So let me put it into perspective for you. A scientist who was only trying to come up with a way to get free cable created Winky. And the General’s sole accomplishment has been … well, he’s had no accomplishments. Unless you count failing to kidnap the mayor as an accomplishment, in which case he’s had a stellar career! They’re two of our weakest links. Their arrests mean nothing."
Ms. Iree was shocked. "I… I can’t believe it. You don’t even care what happens to us!"
"Not one jot. I only care about seven people in the world, and they’re all me. If you have a problem with that – well, it’s your problem then, isn’t it? I’m sure Dark Doom and Lady Die would be pleased to have you for a roommate." He snapped his fingers sarcastically. "Oh, that’s right… they’re dead!" He rose an eyebrow tellingly at her.
Nervously, she said, "I suppose with the two of them gone, there’s more to be divided amongst the rest of us."
Miglionicco smiled thinly. "That’s my girl. Selfish, evil, and with a chest the size of a small rhino. You’re every supervillain’s dream. Fortunately I’m not a supervillain, so sod off."
Darth Binks leaned close to Ms. Iree, whispering, "Oooo. Maxi-evil da Baron!"
TO BE CONTINUED
(In part three, the Baron’s cunning plan is revealed, there’s another fight scene, and something that might maybe surprise you.)