From the Desk of the Dictator:

Welcome back from your weekend everyone.

Frigid and I had a long talk before I wrote this post, and I ran the final draft past her before I put it up. She’s still more than a little irritated with me, but she said there’s enough rumors floating around about why things went down they way they did that an accurate explanation won’t upset her more than the rumors.

We wrapped up Project Cut Flowers last week, and it didn’t end as most of you expected. My apologies for that, but operation security required keeping this one close until I was ready to implement it.

As Suncloud personnel massed to attack our skyship, the Dimension Projector began its final countdown. The Projector is an ugly piece of business. It takes everything in its field of fire, disconnects it from its home universe, and throws it away. At the range we were at, it would take out the entire Suncloud and anything attached to it and turn them into a bit of flotsam bobbing in the reality streams between the universes.

I clapped Pipewrench on the back to get his attention as he gave orders to repulse the Suncloud’s assault. He turned on me in irritation then collapsed as the Incapacity Restraint I had slapped on him coursed through his body. It’s a useful little gadget if you don’t have to worry about your prisoner walking on their own feet or answering questions. With Pipewrench safely out of the command loop, I issued my own orders for Technefarious staff to teleport away, starting with those attending to the Projector and finishing with those holding off the Suncloud’s forces.

I stayed behind, waiting for the countdown to get closer to zero. I wasn’t really expecting anyone from the floating island to get to the command center in time to shut it down, but I also didn’t want to take that chance. We have enough enemies on this planet without squaring away an opportunity to get some of them off of it.

That’s when Pipewrench surprised me by talking. I’m still impressed by that. The Incapacity Restraint is pretty hefty piece of technology, and he had started to work around it in just minutes with no tools handy. He was curious about what I was up to. Well, curious understates his intensity. Sufficient to say, despite the effort it took him to gasp his words, he still took the time to pepper his questions with cursing. He couched his question in the form of an accusation, but I felt he deserved an answer.

I told him I had offered the Positronic Ghost a part in Project Cut Flower in exchange for money. The Ghost declined, citing Pipewrench’s involvement with the project. This struck me as curious. Certainly, Technefarious has its share of bad blood among its former employees, but it’s at rate far lower than most villainous organizations, even after factoring in the number that have personally died by my hands. It seems sometime before I joined the organization, Pipewrench had decided the personal limits of Frigid’s chosen moniker. This was unwise, as Frigid’s powers are well balanced between offense and defense. Pipewrench survived the experience, but there were rumors about it even back then. The Positronic Ghost’s vices include recreational snooping, and he happened to catch the event firsthand. When I asked about his distaste for Pipewrench, he shared this bit of history with me.

Although it was before my time, I still frown strongly on criminal activity practiced on fellow members of Technefarious. I have, in fact, slain henchmen for the inability to get along with their fellows. Nevertheless, I am not a hasty man, so I approached Frigid to discuss the matter. She was not pleased with me for bringing up her past with Pipewrench, but as my second-in-command, she has a significant say in our organization. Unaware of their history, I had agreed to set up Project Cut Flowers for him without consulting her. She saw through my soft selling and told me that if she wanted Pipewrench dead, she would have done herself. Furthermore, she then forbade me to kill Pipewrench on her behalf.

My hands tied, I proceeded with Project Cut Flowers as quickly as I could. Despite how irritating I found working with Pipewrench, he never presented an excuse to dispose of him. His use of Technefarious would even ensure he’d succeed in his efforts to send his former countrymen of the Suncloud adrift in the multiverse. Our contract, however, did not say whether or not Pipewrench would accompany them on the journey. After modifying his designs in our drive to save time, my staff had pointed out to me that if certain safeguards were removed, the Dimension Projector would end up traveling with its target, lost among the worlds. Before we had launched the attack, I had made sure those safeguards were removed.

In pain-filled grunts, Pipewrench told me he’d kill me himself. The countdown was almost complete by then, but I took a moment to answer him with some satisfaction that I certainly hope he tried as I was fairly certain Frigid would forgive me for self-defense. Then I allowed our teleportation teams to rescue me from the doomed vessel.

Satellite imagery indicates the skyship with the Dimension Projector disappeared from the Earth the same time as the Suncloud.

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