“Close. It is Nemonok.”
“Nemonock?” he asked.
“No, say it like this: Nemonok.”
“Nemernok?” the clone trooper attempted again.
“You still aren’t getting it right. It is pronounced Nemonok.”
“Here, let me give you a little mnemonic to help you with the pronunciation. ‘Dr. Nemonok is the leader of the Dr. Nemonok Gang.’ Now you try it.”
“Uh,” Army of (Cl)one stammered for a moment. “Dr. Nemonok is the leader of the Dr. Nemonok Gang?”
“Very good. That wasn’t so difficult was it? Now that that business is out of the way, what were we about to talk about?”
“Well, you see, all my life I’ve been a clone,” the clone said.
“Always just a number from a batch,” he continued. “Just a faceless cog in a giant faceless machine. A man without a name, without a destiny except to fight and die for my Empire.”
“Interesting. Go on.”
“I’ve seen some pretty horrible things,” he added. “I’ve seen death hundreds of times and faced it dozens of times myself.”
“Indeed. And you do not like this destiny?”
“No, that’s not it,” he replied. “It’s just that I’m supposed to be a nameless, faceless part of a legion, that’s how I was made. But I’ve been developing this individuality.”
“Yeah, it started really slow,” AOC said. “But then, I got posted somewhere and I kind of noticed a few things that the other clones didn’t. Then I got sent to the Amazing Mutant Race and Last Gladiator Standing, then this competition. Then I started noticing women.”
“You started to notice women?”
“Oh yeah,” he nodded. “Did you know they come in all kinds of different shapes? They’re all beautiful, too. In fact, I had this one commander who used to take good care of me. Wow, she was a hot one.”
“She used to take care of you?”
“I mean, she used to treat me as a person,” AOC clarified. “She treated all her clones with respect. It was weird.”
“And you did not like this?”
“No, I did like it,” he insisted. “It’s just that how can I be a nobody if I’m a somebody? I’m supposed to be faceless, but I’m not. I have a face.”
“You pose an interesting question. Unfortunately, our time for today is up. Perhaps we could talk about it again next week. However, think about this as you go: I am faceless as well, and yet I clearly am an individual.”
“Yeah, you’re right. Thanks a lot, Dr. Nimonik.”
Having helped the clone with his issue as well as putting another of my competition deeper into my (proverbial) grasp, I was ready to lead my troop of evildoers on our next mission. I quickly assembled them in the newly constructed office of our Sierra Gordo base.
“Lady and gentlemen, our task for today is to join an evil organization. I have plans to join the evilest one of all.”
“Is it the Brotherhood of Evil?” asked Apocalypto Pickle.
“Is it the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants?” asked Iron Butterfly.
“Is it Hydra?” asked Gun Nut.
“Is it Cobra?” asked Bob the Goon.
“No, my loyal henches, we will be joining Halliburton. My Shadow Stealthship is prepared for takeoff, in just a few short hours we will be in the Emirate of Dubai.”
“That’s in the Middle East, ain’t it?” asked Butterfly.
“Yeah,” laughed Pickle. “I better bring my sunscreen, huh?”
We made it to Haliburton headquarters and easily made our way to the executive offices and found many of the officers in a meeting. Butterfly pressed his cybernetic auditory receptor against the door and listened.
“So it is settled, we’ll feed spoiled food to the troops in Iraq,” the chairman laughed. “Then we’ll overcharge the American government on all our contracts with them.”
The laughter of the board members was quickly interrupted by my henches bursting through the door into the meeting room.
“What are you people doing here?” a man stood up and angrily demanded. “I am David J. Lesar, CEO of Haliburton and whulp!”
Lesar stumbled back and clutched his arm in pain. The bullet from Gun Nut’s firearm cleanly tore through his arm tissue without hitting bone.
“Nice shooting, dear.”
“Let me kill ‘im, lover” she growled. “Just one shot.”
“Now now, we have been under scrutiny for the past two challenges for being a little too trigger happy. There’s no need to kill this man when I am certain that he will gladly cooperate with us.”
“Never!” he grimaced. “I don’t know who you freaks are, but you’ll pay for this outrage!”
“Yes, of course we will. Apocalypto Pickle, take him away to the dungeons of his office building here. Introduce him to some of the tortures that we villains love to use: water boarding, dogs snapping at his heals, sing to him off key. Have fun with it.”
“Whatever you say boss,” Pickle snarled gladly. He then grabbed the CEO by the collar and dragged him out of the room.
“Now ladies and gentlemen of the board, I have a proposal. My little gang and I are hereby joining your company. All in favor?”
The rest of the officers looked at each other uncomfortably. One finally spoke up “We’ll gladly let you join, you certainly have got the stuff for it. But we have to answer to the Boss first.”
“Your boss? Didn’t I just have him hauled away?”
“No, not him,” the crisply suited man stammered. “The Boss.”
“And who is this Boss?”
“I am,” came a voice from the doorway. “What is going on with my evil corporation?”
“It’s the Penguin!” cried Bob the Goon.
“Not quite,” the Boss answered as he strode forward towards me.
“Vice President Dick Cheney,” Iron Butterfly gasped.
“That’s right, you iron-clad Bozo, wa wa,” he snarled. “And who are you clowns?”
“Please allow me to introduce myself, I am Dr. Nemonok, psychiatrist extraordinaire and this is my gang, Gun Nut, Iron Butterfly, and Bob the Goon. Apocalypto Pickle just took your CEO away, or should I say your former CEO?”
Heh heh, former is right, I think,” Cheney leered an evil leer. “Nemonok, is it? I’ve heard of you. You work for Galactor the Evil Galactic Overlord, don’t you?”
“That is true. I am surprised that you know of him.”
“Oh, I am a big fan of his work,” the Vice President smiled. “In fact, I’m following his footsteps in what he did on Tarkuhn V right here on Earth. Slightly smaller scale, of course.”
“You know, Nemonok, I like you,” he nodded with another smile. “I like your crew here and I like how you operate. I was getting tired of seeing what Lesar was doing around this place and I can’t tell you how happy I am that you shook things up a little bit. His spot is yours.”
“Oh no no, I couldn’t. I am no evil businessman, just an evil psychiatrist.”
“And you’re modest as well, wa wa.” Cheney’s evil fangs glistened through his crooked sneer. “I really like you. Say, would you like to go hunting with me this weekend? Just you and me.”
“That sounds delightful. Unfortunately, I do not have the ability to carry a firearm.”
“Don’t worry, my friend, wa wa,” Cheney grinned. “I’ll carry one for both of us.”