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Title: Gabel's Machine

Gabel charged out of the cave and slid to a halt next to a small mound of rocks. “It’s ready!” he shouted as he clambered up the mound. He laughed. “It’s finally ready!”

The small crowd that had gathered cheered and whooped. Several small females dropped to their knees in thanks for Gabel’s momentous achievement. They wept with joy.

When the crowd heard Gabel clearing his throat they fell silent and waited for his words of wisdom.

Gabel, standing proudly, began to speak. “My friends. My good and patient friends. After several decades of painful toil and mental torment working in my cave my machine is ready for its first test.”

One of the male crowd members, filthy and spotty, spoke. “What are you talking about?”

Gabel looked confused. “My underwater transportation device of course!”

“What about the acne cure?”

“What acne cure?”

“The one you’ve been working on for decades! Look at our repulsive faces. We need it desperately!”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Gabel said. “I haven’t been working on anything like that.”

The man was annoyed. “The high council of the village annually gave you three gold nuggets to purchase what you needed from the city. Our taxes were raised to fund the grant that enabled you to continue your research. And you’re telling us that for the last thirty years all you’ve been doing is building an underwater machine!”

“All?” Gabel said. “It’s taken all of my immense skill and knowledge to put together that device. Why the hell should I bother curing your spot infestations? That is an irrelevant and superficial problem and is beneath me. Whatever gave you the idea that I was working on it in the first place?”

The man was fuming. “The proposal you submitted to the high council, of course!”

“That didn’t mention an acne cure?”

“Yes it did. I had a chair on the council at that time and I distinctly remember it mentioning a spot cure.”

“No way!”

The man said nothing and reached inside his cloak. He pulled out a dull and rusted pistol and pointed at Gabel. “You’ve wasted our money and dashed our hopes of craterless faces. You’ll suffer for your crime!”

Gabel turned and ran towards the cave. If he could get to his machine he’d be safe. Several shots fizzed by as he ran, chipping bits of rock off the side of the cave. What the hell had made them think he’d been developing an acne cure?

Shouts echoed through the cave. “Get the harsh deceiver!” “Kill the turd-encrusted liar!”

Panting heavily and sweating like a fat dancer, Gabel rounded a corner and into a floodlit cavern of mammoth proportions. There before him suspended by cables from the high ceiling was his underwater transportation device. It was tube-like in shape, eight metres long, and as black as the darkest of nights. Below it was a deep pool of still water. Gabel sprinted up a gang plank and onto the top of his machine. Another shot rang out. The bullet clanged off the side of the machine. “There’s the fraudulent obtainer of funds!” The crowd shouted. Gabel jumped through a hatchway and into his machine. He closed it and pressed a small control marked ‘Seal’. There was a hiss of air then silence. The noise of the maddening crowd was gone.

Gabel sat himself in a sumptuous black leather chair and sighed with relief. “Power up all systems.” he ordered.

The machine began to hum. Several display screens within the cramped cabin flickered to life. A strange monotone voice spoke. “SYSTEMS INITIALISED. POWER-UP COMPLETE.”

Gabel smiled as he watched his invention come to life. “Energise weapons systems. Target the approaching people. Display on main view screen.”



Gabel watched the view screen. The underwater machine shuddered as a rapid-fire gun on its topside let loose a barrage of small projectiles towards the crowd. He smiled sadistically as his former friends where cut to pieces. Torn flesh, ligaments, internal organs, and litres of blood scattered through the air. After a second all was quiet. The decimated crowd lay still.

“Release cables.”

The machine splashed into the water and descended quickly into the depths of the pool. Gabel laughed loudly. His device was functioning perfectly. He had planned to use his device for the good of his fellow villagers but they had treated him like stale urine. Now he would use his device for pure evil and take over the planet. The megalomaniac side of his personality could finally flourish.

Life was bitterly sweet!

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