Emperor Mollusk versus The Sinister Brain
A. Lee Martinez
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Intergalactic Menace. Destroyer of Worlds. Conqueror of Other Worlds. Mad Genius. Ex-Warlord of Earth.
Not bad for a guy without a spine.
But what's a villain to do after he's done . . . everything. With no new ambitions, he's happy to pitch in and solve the energy crisis or repel alien invaders should the need arise, but if he had his way, he'd prefer to be left alone to explore the boundaries of dangerous science. Just as a hobby, of course.
Retirement isn't easy though. If the boredom doesn't get him, there's always the Venusians. Or the Saturnites. Or the Mercurials. Or . . . well, you get the idea. If that wasn't bad enough, there's also the assassins of a legendary death cult and an up-and-coming megalomaniac (as brilliant as he is bodiless) who have marked Emperor for their own nefarious purposes. But Mollusk isn't about to let the Earth slip out of his own tentacles and into the less capable clutches of another. So it's time to dust off the old death ray and come out of retirement. Except this time, he's not out to rule the world. He's out to save it from the peril of THE SINISTER BRAIN!
another robot. “I don’t have time for a subtler method.” “I thought you said everything would be fine.” “I also thought storing my most dangerous technology on a dimensionally unstable island full of mutant dinosaurs would be safe. Much as it pains me to admit it, I do make my share of mistakes.” I instructed the forty-two remaining robots to assemble and gave Snarg an order to destroy them. She gleefully carried out the command, devouring the robots. She loved exotic alloys though they did
battle. Even you, the great and feared Warlord of Terra, Emperor Mollusk…” He stifled a chuckle. Or pretended to stifle it. “…trembles at her mere arrival and gave up your senseless fight against us.” “Oh, I think there’s been a miscommunication. I’m not here to offer my surrender. I’m here to negotiate the conditions of yours.” The Warmaster and his guards laughed. “Emperor…if I may call you Emperor…” I nodded. “Emperor, you’ve put up a hell of a fight for this little world of yours. Given
I asked, “So how can I save you today?” Because the creatures had no official name for themselves (and indeed the very concept seemed to elude them) I settled on calling them Stalks. They seemed confused by the concept of needing an identifier, and from snippets of conversation, I surmised that they were the only form of life, aside from a red fungus they fed on, in the cavern. Even the fleshy pudding beast we rode was one of them. Less of a beast of burden and more of a peculiar mutant
door opened, and Zala entered. “I thought you were going to get some rest,” I said. “You’re not much good to me exhausted.” “It’s been nine hours, Emperor.” “Has it?” I studied the latest batch of spectroscope readings. “Must have lost track of time. Wonders of scientific exploration and all that. Have a nice nap?” She stretched. “That couch left a kink in my shoulder.” “You could’ve used a hotel,” I said. “I wouldn’t have left without you.” “I’m not leaving you unprotected.” “Very
out. I punched several buttons and remotely activated the Gunslinger unit. It clomped over, bent down, and scooped me up in its hands. The process took longer than I would’ve liked, but it wouldn’t do to be squished by my own exoskeleton. The exo dropped me into the pilot’s seat. The dome sealed. There wasn’t any water in the storage tank to make the ride more comfortable, but I had other concerns. An explosion destroyed the lift and when the smoke cleared the assassins were moments away from