“You can’t leave that there.”
Professor Deathstroke turned to see who had spoken. A woman in a dark uniform with yellow stripes around her hat, a traffic warden.
“Move it now,” the traffic warden continued, “Before I write you a ticket.”
The professor was incensed. “Do you know who I am?” he seethed.
The traffic warden looked him up and down, taking in the wild hair, the red-rimmed eyes, the plastic jumpsuit. “Confused, are we? Where’s your carer?”
“How dare you?” the professor’s shoulders heaved. “I am the embodiment of evil. I am the reason why Mankind should never dabble with science. I am –”
“You’re illegally parked, is what you are. What is it, any road? Some kind of funfair ride?”
“Funfair? FUNFAIR? Madam, what I have in mind will be neither fun nor fair. Perhaps you’d care for a demonstration of my vehicle’s capabilities? A quick blast from the lasers will wipe that supercilious look off your chops.”
“Threats now, is it, sir? Oh dear.” The traffic warden clicked her ballpoint pen. “Name?”
“As if I’d tell you!” Professor Deathstroke folded his arms in defiance.
“Not to worry, I can get your details from the registration – oh, dear. I take it this ‘vehicle’ isn’t registered. No licence plates. No tax disc… Oh dear, oh dear.”
She wrote copious notes.
“Dirty great lobster, clogging up the high street…”
“Crab!” the professor cried.
“It’s not a lobster, it’s a crab. Don’t you know your crustaceans?”
“Listen, mate, the only crustaceans I know are King’s and Charing.”
“Never mind. Look, it’s been a long shift. My feet are killing me. Just move your crab thing and I’ll say no more about it.”
“Oh, no,” said the professor. “I’m not leaving it there.”
“The situation, I mean, not the giant robotic crab. That’s staying where it is while I pop into the little Tesco for some bits.”
“Then you leave me no choice.” With a sigh of resignation, the traffic warden unclicked her pen and tucked the pad into her satchel. She telescoped until she was the size of an office block, her eyes glowing bright blue. She picked up the giant robotic crab and hurled it into the air. It arced out of sight, pincers flapping. In the distance, a splash as it hit the lake at the golf course two miles away.
The traffic warden dusted off her hands and shrank to her usual size.
“Impressive,” the professor had to admit. “How would you like a job?”