Entries tagged with “D.O.C.T.O.R.”.

Dr. Photius Callaway, last of the Killing Men, lounged by the hotel pool, enjoying the sun. It had just been one week since he had been deposed from his leadership of the notorious supervillain organization Technefarious, and he was determined to enjoy his imposed vacation from his chosen vocation. From the pool, he could see dazzling blue water of the Atlantic Ocean in its Caribbean colors and his fellow tourists frolicking in its waters.Photius doubted any of them were wanted by the authorities, locally or internationally, unlike himself. Instead of selecting a destination that catered to those that worked in his field, he had chosen this spot to get away from his fellow supervillains for a while. There was some personal risk for him in this. He had never bothered with a mask to hide his identity during his career, and while he lacked the grotesque physique some with superpowers had, his linebacker bulk was not exactly ubiquitous, either. He was sipping a fruity drink with enough decoration in that it could easily double as a flower arrangement, but if he had to be honest with himself, it really was not much of a disguise.

Still, no one had accosted him for anything more vigorous than a tip for service, so he hoped for a few more days of quiet while he tried to decide upon a new course. The past few months had been bad. At the end of his tenure as the leader of Technefarious, the staff had shrunk to one third of its peak size. One by one, his lieutenants had ended up in jail, dead, or in jail and then dead. Of the rank and file henchmen, most of them had been captured by the Establishment, the superhero collective that kept the Earth from plunging into global disaster on a daily basis. Freeing them had been his next priority, but before he could arrange it, his authority had been usurped by those unhappy with his leadership.

As a falling out among supervillains, this one was notable for the lack of violence that ensued. Dr. Crankpot and D.O.C.T.O.R had spearheaded the coup. The former was original founder of Technefarious back in the 1960’s, returned from the dead in mysterious circumstances. The latter was Crankpot’s greatest creation: an artificial intelligence that originally ran on vacuum tubes. Neither had been pleased with Photius’s denial of their leadership claim after their reemergence, and they has seized the decline of Technefarious’s fortunes to oust Photius.

Letting his eyes linger on a particularly nice bikini-clad bottom that was sauntering past, Photius reminded himself that the change in his circumstances was not all bad. Technically, he had never wanted to be in charge of Technefarious in the first place. Photius’s immediate predecessor, Dr. Processor, had not been a particularly good leader. Photius had found himself as the ringleader of those within Technefarious that wanted Processor removed from his position. Afterwards, his fellow conspirators stuck him with job of running the whole operation.

Photius had been good at it. Recruitment went up, fatalities went down. Technefarious had not fulfilled its ultimate goal of ruling the world, but with over five decades of failing at that, it was hardly the average henchman’s benchmark for success.

Now relieved of the burden of leadership, Photius felt disinclined to start a new crew. He had enough money that he could live a life a quiet debauchery if he wanted, although with just a few days of vacation under his belt, he knew that it was not a full-time career for him. There was not even anybody he wanted dead. Sure, he had enemies, but nobody he felt the need to hunt down.

The supervillain sipped his drink. If nothing else, he could do some freelance work for his girlfriend while he decided what he wanted to do with his life. Green Needle had offered him a full-time position with the Chlorophyll Cabal, but Photius knew eco-terrorism was not the niche he wanted to fill. However, she was his girl and killing people she wanted killed would pass the time.

Thinking a quick dip in the pool might distract his mind from his problem, Photius glanced over at the water. As he did, his eyes met those of a man who had just popped up to the surface of the water.

With a twinge of annoyance, Photius realized he recognized the man. The villain hid his face behind the foliage in his drink, took another sip, and held the glass awkwardly close afterwards. His obfuscation delayed the inevitable for only a few moments.

“I’m pretty sure you’re supposed to take the flowers and crap out of those before you drink them.”

Photius sighed and lowered the drink. “And then what would I have to hide behind?”

The man in the pool tensed, eyes glued to Photius.

The supervillain smiled back. “Hello, Bad Penny. I wondered when you’d turn up again.”

From the Desk of the Deposed:

Welcome back from your weekend, everyone.

This will be my last post as the leader of Technefarious. After the pounding we took from the Younglights last week, Dr. Crankpot and D.O.C.T.O.R. unified in their opposition to me. They arrived at an agreement to split the rule of our criminal enterprise between them and rallied much of the remnants of our much-battered personnel to their proposal.

Naturally, I offered to relieve them from the burden of their lives for their presumption.

Before our conversation could to escalate to the point of deploying killing implements, the Elite Triad intervened. While they had some reservations about the change, they were backing the coup de tat by our former leaders. When I asked the Elite what would happen if I pursued my preferred resolution, they informed me that would have to view that as dissolution of our friendship.

That stopped me. I guess I’ve just lost too many friends over the past few months to lose one more over a stupid argument.

Crankpot and D.O.C.T.O.R. were magnanimous in the victory and offered me a position in their new Technefarious. I declined. I took over Technefarious because we had a leader I couldn’t stand. I haven’t exactly warmed to our newly renewed leaders since they’ve rejoined us, either. If I’m not in charge, I’m going to have to go.

I’ll miss you all. Bleach actually offered to come with me, but then I told I wasn’t planning on paying him, so you’ll get to hang on to him for a while longer.

That’s it, I think. I just wanted to leave a record of what happened, and let everyone know there was nothing too hard about the feelings involved. Really, none at all by supervillain standards.

Remember to take care of each other. The world is already yours – it just doesn’t realize it yet.

Your Former Leader,

Dr. Photius Callaway
The Killing Man

Author’s Note: This is not the end of Photius’s adventures posted on Mondays. This is just a good point to switch formats. Over the past year, I’ve stretched the memo format as far as I want to and occasionally beyond. These posts were only supposed to be around 500 words, but it seemed like everyone second or third one ended up over 1000 as I tried to tell enough of the story to keep things moving along. I’m itchy to work with the other tools in my storytelling kit, but I’m not done Photius. So, his story continues. It will just be told a little differently from now on. I’ll see you next Monday.

From the Desk of the Dictator:

Well, it’s Monday, again. Yay.

We’re going to have to build a new Base Omega. Base Omega would be our backup base of last resort. Unfortunately, we’re standing in our current Base Omega right now, since the rest of our bases were blown up. Not our best week.

For those keeping score, we fought State, Overclocked, Hope Titanson, Silver Spear, Goldfish, Living Goo, and Hammerstone. Those would be a handful of the many members of the Younglights, the superteam Record Holder belonged to. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to assume their attack was in retaliation for my murder of him a while back. No one every said that a supervillain’s life is an easy one.

Our reconstruction of events is pretty patchy. We lost too many people and too much property to do a proper after-action report. We know State and Hope caused most of our problems. His moniker is the Quantum Android. She’s a goddess/reality TV star. Instead of a wacky television show, his reality distorting powers and her ability to make miracles created a storm of power that enclosed our headquarters and fritzed out much of our equipment.

Overclocked was responsible for the destruction of our soul catchers. With security distracted by the reality storm, it wasn’t hard for the robot to rip through our facility at superspeed, knocking out sensitive equipment as he went. The soul catchers were the very first thing he hit, but I don’t think they were trying to ensure our people would stay dead if killed. That’s not really been the level of violence the Younglights practice. I think it was aimed at me. If they were running an operation to avenge Record Holder, then it would make sense to cut off all avenues for my escape. The stories about our soul catchers have been making the rounds, but I think that the Younglights didn’t realize that not only was I not connected to the soul catchers, I can never use them myself. I guess the history behind my powers isn’t as widely known as I thought.

While that damned robot trashed our stuff, Silver Spear, Goldfish, Living Goo, and Hammerstone chewed their way through the base, neutralizing our staff as they went. I finally concluded that the heroes had pulled us far enough off balance that the loss of the base was inevitable, and I called for an evacuation.

That would have worked fine, except Hope and State’s reality storm didn’t like our teleportation signals. The first wave to teleport out didn’t die, thankfully. Instead, the storm anticipated their arrival point and blew up that location. That’s how we lost our first backup base. It was a pretty big boom. Our teleportation system detected the newly created obstruction at the location and immediately routed them to the next emergency point. That’s how we lost our second backup base. The Teleportation system switched to the next and the next and the next, and then we were all out bases.

That’s excepting Base Omega. For paranoia’s sake, you cannot teleport to it. Turns out that is a handy feature for just this kind of screw up.

With our evacuation options reduced to escape by vehicles, it was clear that someone was going to have to stall the Younglights while everyone else scattered. So, I gathered up Bleach and the Elite Triad and headed out to do just that. To my surprise, Dr. Crankpot joined us. As old as he is, I wasn’t really expecting to want to mix it up with people four or five generations younger than himself. While we attended to that, I assigned D.O.C.T.O.R. to coordinate the evacuation. With everything else screwed up, his big AI brain was in the best position to maximize Technefarious’s flight.

The Younglights are good fighters. I have to give them that. None of the killing scenarios for them that I envisioned during our brawl were easy to implement. I’d get the upper hand over one of them, and one of the others would intervene. The flipside was that they couldn’t take us, either. The Elite’s capability in the fight wasn’t a surprise to me, but Dr. Crankpot’s was. The dude can scrap. Sure, he couldn’t match the Younglights in speed or power, but he had an endless stream of knick-knacks and gadgets to screw with them.

All of that was just a cover for Bleach. Hope and State’s reality storm was keeping our vehicles penned into our base, so they needed to be taken out. With their teammates occupied by us, Bleach could get close enough to them to drain their powers down enough to break to the storm.

The end of the storm meant our people could escape. It also meant that our equipment could hook back into our satellite network. D.O.C.T.O.R. analyzed the restored data stream and informed me that the reality storm had not gone unnoticed by the larger superhero community. The Establishment was dispatching the Executives to deal with the matter.

Their arrival would likely not go well for us, so we beat down the Younglights enough that we could disengage and ran. D.O.C.T.O.R. had held a drill sled for us. As we plunged into the Earth, he informed us that the Establishment had arrived. From there, it was every vehicle crew for themselves.

Only one-third of Technefarious arrived at Base Omega. I’m sure some of the missing are just lying low, and that others have decided this would be a good time to desert our organization. Worse, some died in the attack. There’s simply no way to prevent it in an assault that thorough, no matter how good the superheroes are at their job. The remainder (probably the majority) of the missing are probably sitting in jail cell or in a hospital, waiting for the local authorities to attend to them. Now we need to figure out how to rebuild and how to recover our people.

This is a setback, but the world will be ours. Have a good week, everyone.

Your Leader,

Dr. Photius Callaway
The Killing Man

From the Desk of the Dictator:

Welcome back from your weekend, everyone.

I know the last week was a long one, but I want to thank everyone for all the hard work they did. The loss of so many of our people set all us back on our heels, but it was nice that we could all pull together to finish the memorial garden for Frigid and Extraction Team C. I was particularly touched by the turnout for the dedication ceremony. Again, thank you all.

If you haven’t seen Dr. Crankpot or D.O.C.T.O.R. since then, it is because I put them under restrictions since memorial service. Dr. Crankpot’s speech that the operation that killed our friends would have gone differently if he had been in charge was in poor taste, I thought. Doubly so considering what was the acceptable casualty rate when he founded Technefarious decades ago. Still, I felt killing him would be excessive, so instead I locked him in his suite for a few days.

D.O.C.T.O.R.’s behavior was a bit more sinister. The subliminal messages criticizing me that he piped through sound system during the dedication ceremony did not go unnoticed. I realize he is as eager as Crankpot to be put back in charge, but there’s a time and place to try to undermine me. I restricted his voice circuits to work only through the speakers in the men’s bathroom off the main lobby as his punishment.

I know “Being a Supervillain Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry” makes a great bumpersticker, but it’s no way to actually run an organization.

I’ll release them both back into general circulation later this week.

There are no immediate plans to plunge into another world-conquering project. We paid a high price for the Metalhead’s treasure horde, so we’re going to sit down and catalogue everything we acquired first. There were plenty of gold and jewels, of course, but there was also cash from fifty different countries, government bonds, and even some stocks. Our cybernetic dragon really was a creature of today. It’s going to take our financial department a while to sort it all out and laundry it.

The occult department has plenty of new magical artifacts to keep them busy. The Bucket was not the only one Metalhead was sitting on. While their working on those, the assault teams and the computer department are going over his base and securing all his traps. I don’t intend to lose anyone else to that place by accident. All of that ties up enough of our resources that there is no sense in trying to start something else right now.

Have a good week, everyone. Remember, the world is already ours – it just doesn’t realize it yet.

Your Leader,

Dr. Photius Callaway
The Killing Man

From the Desk of the Dictator:

Welcome back from your weekend, everyone.

With previous Technefarious leaders Dr. Crankpot and D.O.C.T.O.R. hanging around the home base again, it feels like old times. Unfortunately, those old times seemed to have extended into our operations. The list of dead from Project Bucket Run is longer than I want to include here. A permanent memorial I commissioned for them will be placed in the courtyard once it is complete.

Project Bucket Run was supposed to be a simple assault, steal, and retreat operation. Ruffle some feathers, do some property damage, take what we came for, and get out. Instead, after three days, only three of us survived.

We were just trying to steal the Bucket of Pure Water, a magical object that would be useful for some of our other projects. We had received a tip that it was among the horde of the dragon Metalhead. Our intelligence indicated that he was not a natural dragon, but one cursed into the shape of dragon by his excessive greed. Driven by their favorite vice, greed dragons are not noted for their excessive intelligence. Unlike the natural fire-breathers, their monomania can be used to trick or distract them during negotiations and battle. They don’t have much use for sacrificial virgins, but gold is something they really like.

We missed the fact that Metalhead wasn’t a normal victim of such a curse. He used to be a petty criminal. After an accident, most of his body was replaced by cybernetic parts, including three-fourths of his brain. It wasn’t our handiwork; we aren’t the only practitioners of superscience in the world. With his enhancements, his inorganic brain left Metalhead capable of plotting even after his dragon-cursed organic brain was crippled with greed.

He used that awareness to build himself one of the deadliest lairs I have ever been in, and my supervillain moniker is the Killing Man. Our initial penetration of his perimeter went smoothly. About halfway to his treasure trove, everything shifted. The after-action report from Extraction Teams A and B suggests that the lair itself teleported to another location. On the inside, our team suffered a sense of disorientation and then were attacked. Of course, between Frigid, Bleach, Elite Beta, Elite Gamma, the heavily armed Extraction Team C, and myself, we destroyed the laser turrets, giant robots, and miniature helicopters that jumped us. From there, we had just enough time to patch ourselves up and determine that our communicators weren’t working before we got attacked again. This time, our attackers were lava-spitting stone centipedes, gremlin cannons, and flying swords. Immediately after we finished with those came the poison ghosts, flaming zombies, and mobile ballista.

For seventy-two hours we fought. When we ran, acid pits, storms of explosive arrows, and crushing walls sprung up around us. When we stood our ground, wave after wave monsters and robots wielding every type of weapon and enchantment came at us.

Remember a couple of months ago how easily I penetrated the SuperMaxed prison they were keeping Bleach in? Well, those weaknesses existed because of the necessities of moving things in and out of the prison. Sustained by his curse, Metalhead could cover those gaps and create a setup to hammer any intruder into paste. Interlocking fields of magic and technology stopped our unblockable communication systems and cut us of from the Soul Catchers back at our home base. We didn’t realize the latter. The full cost of the mess we were in did not catch up to us until after we had finally conquered the facility.

I want to pause here to offer a special remembrance for Frigid. We lost her on the second day. Half of the Extraction Team were dead by that point, and Elite Beta had been reduced to his memory drive. The walls of the hanger we were crossing had turned into one giant heating element, dumping a punishing amount of radiation into us. Frigid’s endothermic powers blunted its effects but took far too much of her concentration. When the energy eagles dove into the room, she wasn’t able to avoid their claws. Injured, she reached out with her powers to a dangerous degree, drawing the radiation and the eagles to her like moths to a bug zapper. My powers tipped me off to what the end result of that would be. She wouldn’t let me stop her, and her command, Bleach suckered me with his powers and dragged me from the hanger. When we had reached a safer location he restored me, but it was too late to save her. In expressing my displeasure with the sequence of events, I may have gestured at Bleach too intently with a sharp implement, causing him to dash off into the next trap. We saved him, but I’ll admit that my reaction to Frigid’s death made that more complicated than it needed to be.

By the time we finally confronted Metalhead, only Bleach, one member of Extraction Team C (Rick), and myself remained. Compared to the effort it took to reach him, it wasn’t much of a fight. I had Bleach and Rick stash themselves safely and called upon our sadistic host myself. It wasn’t the first time I’ve gone dragon slaying.

The Bucket and the rest of Metalhead’s treasure are ours. So is his lair. If you ask me, though, we paid too high a price for a mere dragon’s horde.

At times like this, I like to remember that our real goal will put us in a position where we can keep this kind of thing from happening. Our fallen will not have died in vain.

Your Leader,

Dr. Photius Callaway
The Killing Man

From the Minds of the Three:

Quick note: No memo today. Project Bucket Run has run into unanticipated issues. Dr. Callaway, Frigid, Bleach, Elite Beta, Elite Gamma, and Extraction Team C have been incommunicado since fifteen minutes after they arrived on site. Extraction Teams A and B report that the location the original team was engaging no longer exists. It has been replaced with a natural-appearing, undeveloped chunk of land. While all attempts made over the past three days to contact them have failed, none of their souls have arrived in our Soul Catchers. We are currently operating on the assumption that they are lost but recoverable.

Ignore directives from Dr. Crankpot or D.O.C.T.O.R. Despite their historical importance, neither is currently in Technefarious’s chain of command. We are not willing to void the orders that Dr. Callaway left putting the Elite Triad in charge of the home base while Project Bucket Run was in motion. If necessary, we will vigorously enforce our authority on the bodies of our illustrious forebearers.

Alpha (with Beta and Gamma’s backups)
The Elite Triad

From the Desk of the Dictator:

Welcome back from your weekend, everyone.

There was no post from last week, because our computer network was preoccupied installing some software. With our computers down, we put off Project Bucket Run. We’ll resume trying to steal the Bucket of Pure Water later this week.

The software that took over our system originated from the hard drive the Golden Web delivered two weeks ago. Our rivals certainly know our weakness. Give us a nice black box, and Technefarious will start playing it to see what makes it work. If the world ends because of it? “Oops.”

I can’t fault our computer department for the problem. They hooked up the hard drive to a computer that was not tied into our network. The hard drive immediately hijacked the machine, and the computer department patted themselves on the back for their caution. Unfortunately, the computer was plugged into the wall to power it. No computer can send signals across the power cord. Certainly not without adding some special hardware to the computers sending and receiving the information. There’s no way a regular machine could do that on its own.

Some of the older Technefarious personnel may recognize the problem with that assessment, because we do know a computer that could do exactly that. Technefarious built it. In fact, our recently not-dead-and-still-agitating-to-be-put-back-in-charge founder Dr. Crankpot oversaw the compiling of its code as part of Project Delta AI. It is, of course, Technefarious’s second most famous leader, D.O.C.T.O.R.

It was D.O.C.T.O.R.’s children, the Elite Triad who first figured out what was going on. With the network under assault, they assisted in the counterattack and recognized that the details of the attack strongly resembled the restoration of D.O.C.T.O.R. from one of his backups. When they reported that to me, I ordered a stop to our attempts to disrupt it. As people of science, sometimes you just have to see how things turn out with knowing all the end ahead of time.

And now I have two of my previously deceased predecessors demanding to be reinstated as the head of Technefarious. That’s gratitude for you.

Oddly enough, my first job with Technefarious was to kill D.O.C.T.O.R. after he was already dead. Dr. Occultomancer was in charge at that point, and he told me he was hiring me to ensure that D.O.C.T.O.R. would not be able to reclaim his control over the organization. He was lying. He had somehow discovered how my powers worked and was using my ability to determine how to kill anything to ferret out any lost backups there were of D.O.C.T.O.R. I had to go back to Occultomancer and tell him I would not be able to fulfill the contract since I could not find any. He said he was sorry to hear that, and then explained his real aim was to recover D.O.C.T.O.R. The AI had fallen to Queen Quantum in an attack that had obliterated every copy of him in this universe and time-hardened the destruction to make it nearly impossible to recover him using time-travel. Occultomancer was looking for a way around the issue and had hoped I was that loophole.

Looks like someone else may have found the gap in reality needed to bring D.O.C.T.O.R. back. I wonder who it was?

Have a good week, everyone. Remember, the world is already ours – it just doesn’t realize it yet.

Your Leader,

Dr. Photius Callaway
The Killing Man


From the Desk of the Dictator:

Welcome back from your weekend, everyone.

If you see a man in a Hawaiian shirt and flip-flops wandering around the base today, feel free to ignore him. That will be Aluian, the only one of Lucifer’s soldiers to be readmitted to the hosts of Heaven and my guardian angel. Try not to let him disrupt your routine, but be polite to him. Actually, you can be as rude as you like, although I do recommend not trying to kill him. While I assure you it can be done, destroying a veteran of Hell and Heaven is probably going to annoy somebody. Consider carefully if you want that kind of attention. Not that I would object if you did.

I’m not entirely sure how Aluian got assigned to me. I suspect he may have chosen me on his own, since he doesn’t seem especially dedicated to taking orders. Technically, he serves the One God, a.k.a. God a.k.a. Allah a.k.a. Yahweh. I know much of Technefarious staff is drawn from occidental countries, so I should probably explain that angels have never been exclusively His servants. Before the rise of Christianity and Islam spread His worship beyond the Jews, records exist of the winged servants of the Babylonian gods. Even now, some angels can be found in the service of the many Little Gods of our world. As servants of the One God, His angels have their own internal politics that reflect their disagreements about how mercy, hope, help, and punishment should be meted out.

Aluian doesn’t seem to answer to any of the major factions of angels serving the One God. He also doesn’t do a great job appealing to my better nature, but that may be more my fault than his. The long gaps between our visits are definitely his fault, though. The last time he bugged me was before I had taken over Technefarious but after Dr. Occultomancer had died. That time, he showed up just before I killed a henchman from the occult department who had crossed me. Aluian appeared out of nowhere and demanded that I hold my strike. So I killed the henchman and asked Aluain what was so important about him that I shouldn’t have done that. Turned out that Aluain was more concerned about how killing people was affecting me. That was nice of him, I suppose. But I’d been doing it for a couple of decades by then, and I hadn’t noticed any recent changes.

This time, he just dropped in to catch up. He wanted to see what kind of operation I was running, so that’s why he is wandering around. Technically, he’s a security threat, but he works for people who have their own ways to find out anything sensitive he might stumble across. Ignore him, and he’ll eventually go away on his own.

We’ll be breaking Bleach out of prison this week, so expect the briefing for the mission to be scheduled soon. If any spies working for the good guys are reading these memos, passing that information along to the Establishment for us would make our rescue attempt that much easier. Or will it? Have you guessing now, don’t I? Maybe we aren’t going to rescue Bleach this week. Maybe we aren’t going to help him at all! He does owe me twenty dollars for losing a bet on a Cub’s game.

In Auditorium A tonight, the propaganda department is premiering Film Machine’s documentary: Doctor Crankpot, D.O.C.T.O.R., Technefarious, and you. It’s a history of Technefarious down through the decades. I told Film that his title makes it sound like a puberty film for cyborgs, but he only liked it more after that. Enjoy it anyway. I’ve already seen it, and it’s good.

Have a good week everyone. Remember, the world is already ours – it just doesn’t realize it yet.

Your Leader,

Dr. Photius Callaway
The Killing Man