Count von Batstein III’s latest form was not without its own set of enviable strengths and devastating weaknesses.
I was granted far more mobility than Count von Batstein I, and greater maneuverability outside of aquatic prisons than Count von Batstein II. Unfortunately, as every great evil mastermind is forever doomed to suffer, I was surrounded by idiots.
I refused to believe that this flea-bitten worm was a “hellhound” and not an overgrown bat who met the wrong end of dark, terrible magicks.
The vampires, too, were no more useful than my canine brethren. Could she understand none of my revelatory musings? None of my evil plans that would restore me to glory?
If not for certain of her…assets, I would destroy her without hesitation.
No, I required a new minion, one who would serve Count von Batstein III to the best of their meager abilities.
The ever-changing, cruel tides of fate at last turned in my favor when I was reunited with my most loyal minion of all.
With whatever traces of my power remained, I commanded her to choose me above the imbeciles that surrounded us, binding her malleable will to her all-knowing dark master’s once more.
Ignore them. Can you not see how they drool, how they voice no objections to the ridiculous costumes those imbecile vampires subject them to?
Swear your allegiance to Count von Batstein III, the one with the fluffiest tail, cutest ears, and sharpest wits, and you will be rewarded.
Yes, she would obey me, as she always had.
As I soon discovered, this form possessed strengths for which many of the greatest warlocks would sacrifice their beloveds (or mothers) without a moment’s hesitation.
Yes, a great many strengths.
But I was also faced with my two greatest nemeses: the roaring pool of concentrated evil…
And the one who would be party to Count von Batstein III’s total annihilation…
But even the most loyal of minions desired minions of their own.
I took many pains to show this worm precisely whose property this minion was.
“Should he be doing that, O…?” the worm questioned her, as I exerted my dominance.
“He’s so cute in a dark, evil sort of way, isn’t he? He thinks my leg is his true love…” said my minion. And soon I was cradled against her soft, pillowy flesh, so evocative of her magnificent mother’s…
“Batty, you smell,” she said. “You need a B-A-T-H. Who’s a dirty boy?”
Count von Batstein III is a very dirty boy.
But the worm was dirtier, to soil her pale flesh with his hands that stank of death…and not in the way of an all-powerful warlock’s.
However, when my minion exerted dominance over hers by mounting him before the expansive sight of our joined portraits, I approved. Let him know whose hold on her reigned above all others…
And at the end of the night, it was Count von Batstein III who shared her bed, his fur warming her soft, lithe body beneath the covers.
Yes, there were worse corporeal prisons to be bound to…
But I couldn’t let her fleshy delights distract me from my true mission: the destruction of the queen of light. On rare occasions, I caught her scent on the wind, this key to my freedom…
And then, after weeks of inadequate progress, the scent filled my adorable (yet undeniably evil) doggy nostrils.
Stop, I commanded my minion.
“Batty, do you have to go potty?”
No, I must mark this place with a powerful stream of darkness, you imbecile.
And then I was accosted by a great hairy, drooling beast.
Another one of the queen of light’s minions? Her influence remained vast, even now…
And then it dared challenge me–me, Count von Batstein III.
But I would not submit, no matter my present size and limited power.
“Poor Batty,” said my minion, after she extracted me from the situation and returned me to my lair. “Was that bigger dog mean to you?”
Yes, I told her. Now make it up to me, minion.
And she did.
Yes, this form would suit Count von Batstein III–for a time…