Doctor Zero's Lair

It made sense that Doctor Zero's lair was in the most expensive residential tax-bracket in the city.  Where else would it be?   

Of course, Raven knew where Doctor Zero was.  It was like they had an unspoken bond or something.  She knew how that Pernicious villain thought.    He was more infuriating than a tax-official.  In fact, he was a tax-official.  It was a misfiled Form 8853 that gave him his overbearing intellect and his insatiable craving for control.

"You sure you're up for this Em--Raven?"  Metallicus asked.  "You're still kind of new at this.  Maybe we should go practice on some video-store overdues or something."

"There's no point."  Raven responded crisply.  "It's a doomed market, anyway.  Netflix and Consoles.  Pirate torrents, and--"

"Did you say Pirates?"  Metallicus perked up immediately. 

"No, dear.  I said pirate torrents.  Like in the computers?"

"Damn."  metallicus slammed one fist against the other with a pure and unadultered C-sharp.  "A torrent of pirates.  That's got to be, like, a whole lot of them.  Where do we find these dastardly villains?"

"Alan.  Stop it."  Emma snapped.

Metallicus immediately stopped.  He almost seemed to deflate under Emma's withering glare.  "It's not funny.  You know I've always wanted to be a pirate."  Alan sniffed.  "It's even why I became a Pastafarian."

Emma shook her head, trying to withhold the snort of derision that would probably shatter Alan's self-esteem.  It was possible this whole thing might not be about seeing her in a skin-tight purple catsuit.  It was possible that having a metal skull had given Alan more than a few other problems than a five-hundred pound standing weight.

"Alan--Metallicus.  If I'm ever going to get this Zero off my back, we've got to find him and I've got to beat the living crap... I mean, beat him in mortal combat.  Only then can I prove to him that I am my own woman.  And I can't be grounded and given a curfew. And that I can see who I want, when I want, even if it is a school-night."

Metallicus swallowed.  "Honey.  Raven.... Emma.  I still think we better practice first.  I mean...  You've never taken on something this big before...."

So, it wasn't long before the found their way to the giant metal gates of Doctor Zero's nefarious lab.  It looked rather a lot like a modest tax-accountants' bungalow in the better part of town, but Metallicus knew the difference.  He could tell a hawk from a handsaw when the wind was southerly.  Damned straight.

Metallicus puffed himself up to his most impressive seven feet of rippling bio-metal.  He cracked his knuckles (D-sharp, A and B-flat) and strode confidently up to the gate. 

Three more of the black-clad minions stood there.  metallicus noted that they weren't wearing any silver cannisters.  Only those silly, unconvincing black suits with white shirts and black ties.  Only the stupidest normals would mistake them for real people.

"It's time."  Metallicus growled.  It was hard to growl without any rolling consonants.  Mostly, he hissed.  But he wasn't a villain, so he tried never to hiss.  "You boys can stand back and stand forward.  Either way, I'm coming in."

One of the minions raised a hand.

Metallicus stood there for a moment, as if in uffish thought.  "Uh... yes?"

"Yeah.  This is 664 Greymalkin lane.  We're the neighbors of the beast.  Try next door."

Metallicus glanced over at the embossed gold numbers inset into the stonework around the gate.  "My mistake."

"No problem!"  the minion offered cheerfully.

The End

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