Saturday, June 24, 2006

31st Century Nights

It was not long ago that my good friend Scipio regaled readers with tales of his time in the 31st Century. But were you aware that I have also spent time in that far future? It is a popular vacationing spot for time traveling types -- villain or hero. The galaxy may be crawling with pathetic super-heroes by that time, but it's also very clean. I value cleanliness.

Anyway, a little known feature granted me by my magnetic powers is the ability to travel through time at will. So a few years ago I took a trip through time to relax in the era of the Legion. But the story gets weird pretty quickly. So bear with me.

It was my first night there, and I was relaxing at a high-class drinking establishment enjoying an excellent martini when a woman sat down on the empty stool next to me. She was wearing my least favorite color -- green -- but I was willing to overlook that because she was absolutely gorgeous.

"Nice cape," she said to me.

"Thank you," I replied. "It was made for me special by a master tailor after I kidnapped his family." She laughed at that -- and what a delightful laugh it was! I introduced myself as Doctor Polaris: Master of Magnetism. She told me she was called the Emerald Empress. A moniker which, I will admit, worried me a bit. But then she had laughed at my remark about that vicious kidnapping. I decided the press further.

"Are you... One of those super-heroes?" I asked with some trepidation. Her brilliant green eyes grew dark.

"How could you say such a hurtful thing?" she replied. It seemed that I had wounded the lady. I quickly apologized, and explained that I myself was a famous supervillain -- from the 21st Century! That seemed to renew her attention. She explained that she was a member of an evil consortium herself, and that she often clashed with the Legion of Super-Heroes. Well, that was all it took to make up my mind!

We spent several more minutes chatting and enjoying each other's company. We swapped stories about our villainous exploits until she excused herself to go to the restroom. After she left, I pondered my good fortune. It was then that I noticed something at the other end of the bar. I nearly choked on my drink when I saw it.

It was a terrifying, floating, disembodied green eye! It hovered above a mug of poor-quality Venusian beer, and its cruel gaze seemed to burn into my soul. I turned away; it was too terrible to comprehend.

Moments later the Empress returned; I suggested that we might leave for some place a little more... Comfortable. She readily agreed, and we quickly exited the bar. I kept my gaze away from the... Eye...

It wasn't long before we arrived at her hotel room. Of course, she invited me in. Things proceeded smoothly from there. I don't think I need to spell it out for you. But it was later when things went all wrong. I'd had a strange sensation the entire night. I'd felt as if someone were... Watching me. It grew even worse as the night wore on. I was certain that there was someone -- or something -- there! It was then that I spied a glint of green light from the slightly ajar closet door!

I leapt out of bed, throwing the Emerald Emperess off balance.

"Darling, what's wrong?" she gasped.

"There's something in closet!" I replied. With that, I used my magnetic powers to tear the door from its hinges.

There, hovering among the linens was a terrifying, green, disembodied eye!

"What the hell is going on here?" I shouted. The Empress did not seem overly stressed (which I admit, perplexed me).

"Oh, that's just my Emerald Eye," she said casually. "It likes to watch. Now come back to bed." Well, that was certainly enough for me. The filthy Eye had been watching us the entire night! Without a word I grabbed my cape and made for the door. I heard the Emerald Empress calling after me -- but I didn't look back. I knew the Eye was still watching me.

So that's the story of my first night in the 31st Century. The day started well, but certainly didn't end that way. But the rest of the trip made up for it. Lots of ladies in the Legion, after all. And most of them haven't heard of my reputation...

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