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Chapter 2

     The Story The Authors
Dr. Phibes gently cradled the late Stumpy's head in her arms, blood dripping from the nose and ears staining her white lab coat. She'd only let him off for a moment to chase tennis balls and next thing he took off after some Setter in heat. Oh the humanity! And now the rotten bastard who killed him had left him dead in the street and run off. Dr. Phibes vowed revenge. She would track this filthy murderer and makethem pay for their crimes. Hastily she scrawled the license plate number of the offending car onto her lab coat with Stumpy's blood ( no other writing source being available) and scooping up the poor dog's corpse took off at a run to back to her laboratory and her work. Perhaps, perhaps Lanark

...perhaps I'll persuade Monty out of that costume yet, thought Barbara. Sitting in the passenger seat with the Darth Vader helmet in his lap and his face ashen white form the gory sight of the dea dog, he looked very small: a sad child being driven to a Halloween party. Barbara felt a sudden rush of maternalin from her maternal glands. She reached over and placed her non-driving hand upon Monty's where it gripped the glittering black helmet. "It'll all be okay, Monty. I promise you."
"It will?" He looked at her, bloodshot eyes squeezing the reluctant upper halves of tears all along their pink perimeters. "You really mean that?"
"Cross my heart and hope to die. Say, whattaya say we get a drink, hey? You look like you could use a good stiff one. It has to still be Happy Hour somewhere..."
"Yes... Yes, Barbara, I'd like that." He stared at her with renewed interest, even a shade of disbelief. This your goddamn boss, he told himself. The boss who supposedly doesn't drink... The only person in the world it's harder to hide a hangover from than your own conscience... What the fuck am I doing? But look at her: all woman.
She gave him a wink and a reassuring smile as they swung a right off Haight onto narrow, snakelike Gumberton Terrace. "Where are we going?" Monty asked her.
"A bar called Easter Island. It's an authentic tiki lounge... Martin Denny's led the house band for over fifty years, and I want to share a scorpion bowl with you... Several of them, in fact. I've been wanting to do this for a long time, Monty."

Meanwhile, back in Dr. Phibes' laboratory, a strange thing was occurring...
Having examined the ruins of her beloved mutt, the good Dr. had concluded that nothing could be done for the poor pooch. She was too tired and grief-stricken to do anything about it tonight she wanted a good stiff drink, too, (adult America being so thoroughly original in its choice of post-workday relaxation techniques) she locked the clinic and headed off for The Fistaloo Saloon, a lesbian cowgirl bar whose George-Jones-and-Wanda-Jackson-laden jukebox appealed inordinately to her sadness over the loss of her canine companion of so many years...
After she'd left, though, movement began to evidence itself beneath the white sheet covering the dog's corpse. Subtle at first, then ever more jerky and capricious: signs of life... but in a corpse? How? And then the sheet began to rise... slowly... but inexorably... until the weight of it, in its hang, gave shape to the form which it covered... unmistakeably canine... before the sheet began to be shrugged away... jerk, toss, shrug... there it goes... an inch or two of fabric at a time, it's difficult for the quadruped, for the opposed-thumb-impaired... but nonetheless, the bloodsoaked sheet at last fell free... and... with a ghastly bone-rattle of a yip...

Joselito looked around his new (he had just been promoted) control room. He couldn't figure out what was happening. The Weirdness Monitors were going wild, this puppy had a high motion rating but no heartbeat, Barbara's alcohol level was starting to grow, Monty was wearing a Darth Vader suit and scaring people, and several hundred other unexplainable things were happening. Maybe there's a virus in the system, he thought. But even as he thought it he knew it wasn't true. These computers were virus proof. So what was going on??? Carolyn

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