“I’ve realized that if I blow up Last Kale’s nuclear facility, the fun will be over, because you’ll all be dead,” explains our villain. “And we wouldn’t want that, now would we?”
What remains of Last Kale’s police force listens as if in a trance. Behind the police line, a horde of reporters and cameramen film the proceedings. No one answers the rhetorical question.
Hex half expected someone to. “But I’m a man of my word. I said I would destroy the nuclear facility, and if you make me I will, but I have a deal for the people of Last Kale. If, by 10:00pm tonight, you take down the stars and stripes from the town and hall and replace them with my own colors…” He gestures to a flag hanging outside his porch. “…I will let this city live.”
He had designed the flag at age twelve, after learning all he could about heraldry. It was quartered black and gold, with a red gauntlet crushing a green apple.
“Also,” he adds, as an afterthought, “your children must, instead of reciting the pledge of allegiance, recite a pledge to me, like this:” he pauses, partially for dramatic effect, but also to compose the pledge in his head, “I pledge allegiance to the flag of Dr. Mortimer Hex, and to the tyranny for which it stands. He is our nation. He is our god. We are his playthings, his meek and worthless thralls.”
He likes the sound of that.
Sorry for my absence the past couple of days. I moved to New Mexico, and I’ve been incredibly busy. As always, if you’re not sure what’s going on, maybe you’d like to read from the beginning.