A minty white mist swirled over his head, forming odd geometric shapes and symbols, and finally, a face. Was it Jesus? Or Richard Dreyfuss?
‘Name?’ The voice was cold and distant, like a frozen pizza buried on Pluto.
‘Evil,’ replied Evil.
‘No, thanks. I’ve just eaten.’
‘Hey — untie these laser cuffs and I’ll somersault.’
‘Okay, okay. I’m an editor.’
The lights dimmed momentarily and the face hiccuped in the air like a smoke signal rising from the epicentre of an earthquake. Surely not another will you take a look at my manuscript moment?
‘You stalk and eat other species?’
‘No, no, I — yes, yes!’
‘Claw, fang or sting?’
The face drew back an inch or so. Interpreting the body language of alien invaders from another world wasn’t Evil’s strong point, but all his years of experience with agents and writers told him straight away he’d just witnessed a look of witless confusion.
‘With my laptop,’ he continued, emboldened, ‘I have the power to create and destroy whole worlds at my fingertips.’
Evil lowered his voice. ‘Before you sucked me from my desk with that giant hoover of yours, I was about to lay waste to the entire Query Nebula.’
Again, the lights dimmed, only this time for longer. And music played. In the half-light, EE wondered if he’d done enough to save his own skin. No — edit that thought. “...whether he had single-handedly saved the whole of mankind with his trademark stud muffin charm.”
His thoughts were interrupted by a huge blubbery sucker which slapped against his chest and bundled him into the yearning darkness.
‘Looks like we found the leader first time of asking. Destroy his universe immediately — we’re taking him home to Mama....’