Rachel ran as fast as she could, losing her footing on some loose rocks as the pterodactyl swooped down on her, its talons narrowly missing her back. She dropped into a roll, the alien warship bringing its canons to bear on her just as she rose to her feet. Superheated light blasted the spot where she’d just been standing, following behind her feet as she ran behind a rock outcropping. Once there, she saw another woman with her, her workout clothes stained with sweat. They both smiled, high-fiving each other.
On board the ship, Chairman Dread watched them through a giant screen, his fingers drumming across his control panel. He turned his chair to look at the room filled with men and women, a faint smile across his lips.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you the future of fitness: Lethalmetrics. There’s no diet plans, no expensive specialty meals, and no gym equipment you’ll give up on after a few weeks. You can eat what you want, do what you want, and exercise as little as possible, but still lose as much as ninety percent of your body mass!”
He stood up, sauntering across the room to another giant screen. “Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Well, let’s just ask some of my clients!”
Three doors opened up, each holding a bed that was covered in blood. Shapes that looked vaguely human were under the sheets, a plethora of tubes and electrodes coming out of each of them. A doctor moved from the shadows of one room, pulling back the sheets over one man’s head. His voice was a hoarse whisper as he tried to speak past the tubes that had been built into his throat.
“I used to be a fat, disgusting creature. I had a happy wife and a successful love life, but I knew that people were only humoring me. At 180 pounds, I didn’t have the chiseled, airbrushed frame that every man had in magazines and movies. I knew it was just a matter of time before the beautiful people in my town came to my house, weapons in hand, and drove me into the cold embrace of the sewers. Knowing nothing of being a ninja or about how to become a reptile, I knew I had to change my life for the better. Chairman Dread helped me do all that with his Lethalmetrics program.”
The video screen changed again, showing the women who’d been running before. They were smiling at each other, but Rachel’s look turned to horror as a mine burst under the other woman’s feet, blasting her legs off.
The other woman screamed, but there was still a smile on her face. Rachel leaned down close to her, trying to keep her leg stumps elevated to slow the blood loss. She elbowed the injured woman in the arm.
“Both legs? They weigh what, like twenty pounds each? So jealous. You’re going to look so hot in your wheelchair.”
The other woman shuddered, her body going into shock. “I’ve…I’ve got the perfect dress for it.”
Chairman Dread took a laser pointer, directing it to a fleet of tanks coming up a hill near the women. “Lethalmetrics is a new and exciting way to lose weight. I let you do whatever you want for as long as you like, until I find you. Once I’ve spotted you, I’ll dog you with every weapon and dinosaur at my disposal until you’ve lost me or I’ve killed you. It’s intense cardio and hardcore weight loss, all wrapped up in one cheap package! Let’s talk to another success story!”
He turned to the doctor, who was shaking his head while standing over another bed. Chairman Dread smiled, gesturing to him to try the next one. The doctor walked over to the last bed, standing over a beautiful woman, her long blond hair flowing down off the side of her head that wasn’t scarred by Captain Dread’s flamethrowers.
“I used to be an unsightly abomination, having to fight to get into my size six dresses. Now, with Captain Dread’s Lethalmetrics, most of my body parts are emaciated, since his powerful ray guns have sheared most of the muscle from my bones. Now, I can fit into anything I like!”
Captain Dread drew out a handful of sign-up sheets. “Friends, you don’t have to make everyone you know and love sick at the sight of you any more. All you have to do is be willing to be hunted down when you least expect it, chased by every weapon the empire has, and all for the low price of five dollars a month! Now, who wants to get on board?”
The room erupted in cheers, even as a huge Tyranosaurus foot crushed Rachel and her friend on the screen behind them.