In which we meet Dr Socks
Dr Socks was admiring his reflection in the bathroom mirror. He raised his eyebrows at himself, and then bared his teeth, in what he thought was a rather fetching grin.
‘What a fine looking fellow I am, to be sure,’ he announced to nobody in particular. He grabbed his comb and raked it through his hair, still grinning horribly at himself, as his plans for the day began to take shape.
Dr Socks always started the day this way. He found that admiring himself in the mirror helped to kick start the evil thought processes from which sprang his hugely successful criminal empire.
Just then, his henchperson, Vasilo Krumchek, burst in.
‘What is it, Krumchek?’ snarled the Doctor. ‘You know that I am never to be disturbed at this time of the morning.’ His tone of voice changed to a soft purr. ‘It’s my special ME time.’
‘Yes, Master.’ Krumchek spoke in a sort of hoarse croak. He had lost his voice many years before in a singing contest on the telly, and had never got it back again. Without a voice, all his hopes and dreams dashed (he knew he could never be in a boy band) he had turned to crime instead.
Now, he held out a velvet cushion, on which the Doctor’s miniature, computerised command centre (or as most people would see it, his telephone) was sitting.
‘It is an urgent call for you,’ he said. ‘It is,’ he paused for dramatic effect, ‘the Professor.’
Doctor Socks cheered up immediately. He grabbed the phone.
‘Good morning, Professor!’ he said in hollow tones.
‘Oh, just stop it,’ said Professor Glooper, grumpily. ‘Speak normally. Now, I have a disaster on my hands and I need your help.’
‘Fair enough,’ said Doctor Socks. ‘What’s up?’
‘The mice. They’ve done a runner, and I have to get them back or the Gloop Lab cannot go on!’
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