After all the times you have thwarted me... After all the times my plans for world domination were foiled by your meddlesome interference... After all the countless times you escaped at the very last moment, finally, I, Gorzo The Mighty, have defeated you, Crash Comet, Space Commander From The Year 2000!

How long I have awaited this glorious triumph! The Emperor Of The Universe has secured his dominion on this day! And now that my long struggle is over, how about a little... amusement?

With a clap of my jewel-bedecked hands, I summon the scantily clad dancing girls of my Pan-Galactic Slave-Harem.

I have destroyed your accursed vessel, Star Of Freedom III, and melted it into slag, from which the galaxy's greatest artisans have forged a grand, towering statue... of me! A statue even larger and grander than the one you toppled, pinning me under its plinth, the day you nearly destroyed my Throne Room! The statue stands here in the Grand Ballroom of my Great Celestial Palace, covered in a gigantic space-tarp, but not so fast, Crash, we are not yet ready for the grand unveiling.

I have captured the traitorous Princess Sultrania and her rebel allies from the Spaceship Gallant and immobilized them in geo-stationary orbit above my palace. At the merest touch of a button, I can activate the Astro-Detonator and delight the assembled billions here with a fireworks display the likes of which the great Gorzonian Empire has never seen! Princess Sultrania may be my own daughter, but that will not stop me from turning her and her fellow Comet-lovers into space-dust. Even now, helplessly strapped into titanium space-manacles, they witness all I say and do on the Projecto-Screen of the Gallant. Hello, my fair daughter. How does it feel to lay eyes once again on your own... DOOM?

Ha ha ha ha ha!

See how I have seized your puny Earth friends, your scientist helper Professor Zircon and boy sidekick Buddy Jeepers? They too shall be forced to look on as I gorge in ecstasy at your failure and destroy your planet! Even now, I can see they long for me to discharge the Fang-Creatures of Carnivoron into their glass-walled prison, thus releasing them from the agony of witnessing my victory... But no! First, they will watch you writhe in defeat!

And that is not all, Crash Comet! Surely, even slung in your titanium chains above the Flames Of Hate, you can see that to my right I have, held at Blasto-Ray-point by my Robo-Legionnaires, bound and displayed for all to see... Prince Kazak and his Rocket Squad! Reptillion, the Talurnian walking-lizard spy who betrayed me by joining you! Wotanus, commander of the Valkyrie War-Jet Platoon! And last but not least... your beloved April Van August!

And now, with the merest wave of my Hypno-Scepter... Watch as your darling Earth lady-friend tumbles under my spell. DANCE! Dance for my amusement! Let the sight of your seductively writhing body, contorting itself for my viewing pleasure, be the last thing Crash Comet sees before he is lowered into the Flames!

Tears?! Do I see tears in the eyes of the manly Crash Comet? Oh-ho! Even I, in my most sinister, depraved dreams, would never have imagined it!

DANCE FOR MY AMUSEMENT, EARTH-WOMAN! NEH-HEH heh-heh-heh-heh! HA HAHAHAHA!

How glorious! At last, with trumpet fanfare from my Astro-Orchestra, I order the curtain raised from my statue and...WHAT?!! ... It's a newly rebuilt Star Of Freedom IV! And who is that emerging from the gangplank? Crash Comet, himself?!

NO!

Buddy Jeepers has activated a hidden radio signal! The Rocket Squad is bursting free and shrinking my Robo-Legionnaires into nothing with Transmut-O-Bracelets concealed in their manacles! Wotanus swings his mighty Space-Mace, smashing the controls to my torturous devices! My Hypno-Scepter, forced from my grasp by Prince Kazak's Magneto-Shooto-Beam! April Van August, running free into the awaiting arms of... CRASH COMET?

Then, who is the prisoner suspended above the Flames Of Hate? What? Emitting the telltale sparks and ear-smoke of an android double? Drat! It's nothing more than a simple robo-mannequin decoy!

Aiyeee! The Spaceship Gallant, with Princess Sultrania at the helm, is dive-bombing the Great Celestial Palace! Billowing clouds of space-smoke! Crowds running everywhere! Kaff! I'm choking! Kaff, kaff! Victory has—kaff—slipped through my fingers—kaff, kaff!—once again! Kaff, kaff!—CURSE YOU, CRASH kaff COMET! Kaff! CURSE kaff YOU kaff FOREVER! Kaff, kaff, kaff, kaff...

 

Gorzo The Mighty, Emperor Of The Universe, is an award-winning columnist and public speaker. His weekly column is syndicated to more than 300 newspapers nationwide by the Knight Ridder News Service.