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Episode Six

I'm getting to hate alligators - but maybe that's because I'm always meeting them shortly after saying hello to the ground and they're always chewing my brains out. Maybe some day 1'11 get to know one a bit better and find out that at heart he's a basically nice guy, but just has an uncontrollable urge for eating peoples brains.

"Come on, Gil Dupe, wake up, you're ok now, your assailants have departed."

I was rudely interrupted from my cogitations about alligators by someone shaking me vigorously by the shoulder. As my eyes sorted themselves out, I saw, not Rudy or that 10 ton mass of flab I'd expected, but some tall guy with a tan that could only have been gotten by ten years under a solar lamp.

"Who in Christ's name are you and what happened to that jerk Rudy?" I asked. I tried to get up but that bloody alligator appeared and advised me to stay put.

"I'm Foster," he replied. "I was supposed to meet you here, but when I arrived, the human you call Rudy and his, ah, rather over'weight companion were already here, so I was forced to remain unnoticed, in order to ascertain for what reason they were here. When you arrived, it was obvious they were awaiting you, and intended to terminate your existance. Luckily I was able to convince their somewhat feeble minds that Rudy's first blow had killed you."

It seemed that this creep with his Oxford University language (well whaddaya expect with a name like Foster) was the guy I was supposed to meet. I can't say I exactly went for him the way Petal would go for a man with a bit of power or big muscles??!! (know wot I mean), but it seemed that his organisation had saved my life for a second time. I chewed over what he had said for a few moments, and then nailed the alligator's feet to the floor and got to my feet.

"That's all very well, but now that Rudy, and I suppose our friend Ginsberg, think that I'm dead, how in hell's name am I supposed to help you break up his grip on the world?"

"We have already thought of that," he replied. "My superiors have beamed to me that we are to replace Rudy with you."

"Whaaaat ... ??" I drew back aghast - that's a ... (Hard luck son, we've already had that joke - Ed.) "For Chissakes, how d'you expect me to impersonate a weirdo like that. He's not even human and I look like him as much as MW plays guitar like Carlos Santana.

"Do not worry, my friend." Foster was as unruffled as if changing someone's entire physique was an everyday affair. "There will be no problem. I have been instructed to take you back to our solar sector base on Jupiter IV where all the necessary alterations will be performed and you may perfect all of Rudy's behavioural characteristics. When we are satisfied, Rudy will be eliminated and you will replace him."

Foster took out some funny looking contraption from his pocket and spoke into it: "Beam us up, Scotty, sorry, Lieutenant."

At which point my whole body seemed momentarily to disappear.

TO BE CONTINUED

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