A countdown begins

Metallicus crossed Doctor Zero's lawn in a few absurdly long strides. Raven turned from her examination of Doctor Zero's solid steel door to face her partner. "What's going on next door?"

"Some sort of secret society meeting. We should probably check it out, but first..."

"Right. Here's the plan" said Raven.
"Taking down that door is sure to set off some sort of alarm. We'd lose the element of surprise” Raven said softly. “You give me a boost up to the roof, I'll go in through the skylight and meet you at the back door.”

“Or,” said Metallicus slowly, “we could go in the front door.”

“Now why” said Raven, clearly exasperated, “would you say that?”

“Because it's open?” said Metallicus, looking past Raven at the entrance just as the voice of Doc Zero announced:

“Welcome, Raven, welcome Metallicus, I've been expecting you.”

Raven whirled around but the doorway was empty, the door wide open.

“I'm downstairs in my evil doctors lair, why don't you come and join me?” Raven realized the voice was coming from a speaker over the door. She motioned for Metallicus to follow her in.

There was a long pause before Zero spoke again. “I hope you're not expecting an evil laugh from me. Whenever I try and do an evil laugh, it makes me cough: broo-ha-ha-(cough cough) see? I don't have much of an evil persona at all, actually. I'm basically a soft-spoken, polite, understated individual who has dedicated his life to heinous crime, brutal violence and all things evil. I'm not quite sure why I dedicated my life to evil, exactly. It just feels right, I guess. I'll tell you all about myself when you get down to my lair. You just go down the stairway you see to your left. I've added a few sub levels to my humble bungalow, so don't be surprised if you have to go a long way down to get to my level, so to speak, broo-ha-ha ( cough cough). Oh, and there may be a few surprises along the way."

“Deathtraps!'' Whispered Raven.

“In case you get past all my surprises, I'll get out some tea and cookies. Do you like peek freens or chocolate chip? Oh, and I've started my evil doctor's countdown timer. You have 13 minutes Broo-ha-ha (cough cough)."

"Until what?" yelled a seriously pissed-off Raven.

"That, my dear, is another of the surprises. Broo-ha- I mean, ta ta."

“Lets go.” Metallicus strode past the stairway to the cast iron stove in the corner, and, encircling it with massively strong steely arms, lifted it off of the floor without apparent effort.

“Metallicus! What are you doing with that stove?” A startled Raven said.

“It's not a stove.” said Metallicus. “It's a surprise detector. Observe.''

Metallicus tossed the heavy stove down the stairs as if it was a beach ball. It crashed halfway down the stairs, then suddenly stopped dead as a dozen long steel blades shot out of the walls on either side of the stairwell, skewering the metal stove like a pincushion.

''Man,'' sighed Raven ''that would have seriously messed up my spandex clad superheroes butt.''

The End

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