The two-story monstrosity strode ahead, its tentacles tearing through motorcars on the streets, throwing them aside like an overweight child who’s been denied cookies. Dr. Janus Inferno laughed as he gestured toward the creature from his space-faring dirigible, the other doctors looking on.
Dr. Inferno turned back, his cape sweeping out in a grand display, his cyborg hand closing into a fist. “Gentlemen, can you not see the brilliance here? Years of toil have gone into this creation, unmatched ability finally achieving what once was thought to be impossible!”
A man in a lab coat cleared his throat, raising his hand. Dr. Inferno waved his hand for the man to speak. “Uh, not to dampen the spirit of this grand unveiling, but how is this a cure for anything?”
Dr. Inferno turned his crystal eye on the doctor, but didn’t register his weak point readout. “What?”
The automaton tore through the side of two orphanages and a soup kitchen at the same time, reaching down with gray hands to scoop the remains into its mouth. It was careful not to soil its glowing suit.
“I’m just unclear on how to administer the medication. Does the creature bowl over the patient and crush the illness out of him, leaving only a healthy ooze behind? I admit, this does deal with one aspect of the sickness, but wouldn’t leaches or blood-letting remove most poisons from the system without rendering it into a sticky, potentially delicious paste?”
Inferno gave his suspenders a snap, a mechanized coil pulling them back into place with perfect precision. One doctor fainted in awe, his curled moustache dancing in the breeze as he dropped to the floor. “Gentlemen, we are dealing with a resistant and elusive disease, one that has survived liberal applications of mercury. Trepanation has also failed us. Even healthy, sane young men who drink their urine daily are succumbing to this illness, and I will not have it!”
One doctor walked over to Dr. Inferno, placing his hand on his shoulder. “Your knowledge of infectious disease is unparalleled, Dr. Inferno. With your own bare hands, you cured the city of the outbreak of female hysteria, saving my own wife from a lifetime of nagging and being generally rebellious. I am your friend in all things. Even you must realize this machine cannot work, though.”
Dr. Inferno turned away, reaching around his friend’s shoulders. “Dr. Calamity, I would save your wife again if you asked me, but you’re asking too much if you want me to abandon my work.”
The huge automaton reached up, gears whirring as it twirled its steel moustache, towering gramophones belching out canned cackling laughter. The machine hesitated in mid-laugh, spying a run on its tentacle garters. This drove it into a rage, the golem drawing out a titanic piece of paper and beginning to compose an irate letter.
Dr. Calamity shook his head. “You cannot control this cure, my friend. How do you know it will not seek out perfectly healthy young men and apply itself to them? Have you even thought about the effects the crushing process might have on someone who doesn’t have the illness? They could easily come down with a dangerous flu, and with no bone structure be unable to reach a doctor in time to bleed the disease out. Are you prepared to endure these consequences?”
Dr. Inferno stuck another piece of coal into the fire that crackled in his stomach, black smoke spilling out as his steam-powered legs chugged to life again. He walked over to the window, looking down as his miracle cure applied itself to a skyscraper, bringing a tower of misery down onto the healthy earth. “I did not teach myself the medical arts in my back yard to have them scoffed at, even by you, old friend. Besides, I know the real reason you wish me to stop.”
Dr. Calamity turned stiff. “How could you…”
“Your wife felt another bout of insanity coming on, and offered to share your secrets with me if I cured her while the other doctors watched. I thought they were but mad ravings, but I know now that you have built your own giant cure as well!”
Dr. Calamity sneered, backing away as a huge turtle surged toward Dr. Inferno’s creation. Six huge arms curled out from its shell, flexing over and over again while a tyrannosaurus rex wearing a three piece suit roared between them.
“Now we will see who is the master of Topical Crush Therapy!” Dr. Calamity cried.