“You have a brother?” said everyone in the room apart from Professor Procto.
“No?” said the Prof. “Wait.. Did I say brother?”
“Hell yes!” Said Henry.
“Henry!” Mrs Featheringay snapped. She was not one for swearing even though she had very nearly become a victim of her own mouth earlier on.
“Sorry Mrs F.”
“I didn’t mean brother.” Continued the Professor. “I meant to say nemesis. Dr Malevolent is my nemesis.”
The professor went on “Back when I was studying SCIENCE at the UNIVERSITY I shared a room with Malevolent. We were both top of our respected fields, although we differing views on how science should be used to help humanity.
Where I concluded that science should be used as a tool to shape mankind, making it stronger, smarter and more robust, he had the idiotic idea that science and technology should be used solely to make life easier for everyone…. The fool!”
It was Henrys turn to frown. “I don’t understand Prof. What’s wrong with making life easier with machines and stuff?”
The professor pointed an accusing finger straight at Henry and said “See! My point proven yet again.”
“Machines make life easier. You don’t have to think anymore. Machines do all the thinking for you. Until the day they stop. And then what will you do?” His rhetorical question hung in the air daring somebody to try and answer.
“What happened to him?” Mrs Featheringay could always be counted on to push a conversation toward its conclusion.
“It wasn’t long before He was thrown out of the UNIVERSITY for inventing a working perpetual engine.” Said the Prof.
“A what-what?” asked Henry, who was now showing himself to the idiot in the room (not that was any doubt from the others already there).
“Put simply a perpetual engine creates more energy than is needed to run it.” Interjected Lemiwell, who was the sort of person would could interject properly.
“Yes.” Agreed the Professor. “His engines output so only slightly greater than that need to run it, but still – that energy had to go somewhere. The longer it ran, the more energy needed to be released. If I hadn’t used my destroy-o-matic to ..y’know.. destroy it, it would have caused an incredible amount of damage”
“Is that what happened at the Orphanage?” Henry was now officially pushing his luck.
“I don’t want to talk about the Orphanage.” Said the Professor, blankly.
“So what is this mad man doing back in Stockdale?” Mrs Featheringay pondered.
Lemiwell and the Professor looked at each other knowingly.
It was Lemiwell who spoke first. “If he has sent one of his lackeys to spy on us, as Henry saw earlier, then it can only mean he wants to stop me from being elected next year!”
Henry huffed. “Maybe he’s not after you. Maybe he is after revenge on the professor for destroying his machine…”
“Could be.” Agreed the Professor very VERY reluctantly.
“Whatever the reason,” said Lemiwell “We have to be on the ball. Anyone of us could be in his firing line…. Even you Henry.”
“Either way. Plans must be made. This is why group 8-10 was created. We have to stop Malevolent before he can put his plans into action….Mrs F?” Lemiwell pointed to the housekeeper in question. “Put the kettle on. We’re going to pull an all nighter!”
“I have one last question.” Said Henry.
“Go on.” Said Lemiwell.
“What does TWWBM mean?” he asked.
The professor took a deep breath and told him.
“Really?” Said Henry. “That’s a bit cocky isn’t it?”
Outside Mrs Featheringays house, The tall stranger known as Dr Malevolents assistant Barnabus, finished writing in his pad and walked back to the secret hideout on the edge of town.
Protruding from his pocket the top of his notepad could just be seen. As an imaginary movie camera zooms in slowly to the sound of ominous music some words could be seen.
Zoom even closer…..
There it is…
Malevolent's mantra: The World Will Be Mine.
to be continued.....
to be continued.....