Yesterday, Ruff Rodgers was a normal, happy-go-lucky eight year old, with a
spring in his step and a penchant for shiny marbles.
Today, he's transformed into a ruthless, sadistic killing machine.
It was the Summer holidays, and Ruff scampered out of his house, and up the
road to the park. He enjoyed it there because it had loads of different
places to play, not like his Mum's garden with its clipped lawn and tidy
flower beds. And anyway, he could show of his brilliant marble collection
to the other kids there.
This particular evening, though, there was nobody else in the park. As he
walked through the gates sunlight dimmed, as though a storm was coming; and
suddenly the sky was filled with black clouds. A strong wind picked up and
whistled through the trees, creating... well, an interesting atmosphere,
let's put it that way. For added effect, it also rustled up some dead
leaves from the ground and showered them in all directions. This would
have unnerved most people, but not Ruff. He'd seen all this kind of stuff
before, mostly when he was daydreaming in a boring History lesson, and he
was ready for any nasty things that might come for him from out of the
woods. It was then he saw it; just a glimpse out of the corner of his eye.
A bright light, shining into the trees from just across the other side of
He padded carefully towards it, holding his heavy bag of marbles tightly in
both hands, ready to swing it into action should anything horrible appear.
As he drew closer, he noticed that the source of the light, a tiny hole in
the ground, was marked with an equally tiny sign, which read: WANT TO
An arrow pointed towards the hole.
Ruff looked around, just to make sure that nobody was playing tricks with
him (and so he didn't look stupid to any of his friends, of course), and
then knelt down before the light. Reaching his hand into his bag, he
pulled out a marble: a big, red shiny one; his favourite kind. Carefully
he aimed towards the hole, and fired. Plop! The marble rolled down, out
Almost immediately there was an unearthly roar from under Ruff's feet, and
the ground began to shake violently. Still kneeling, he started to sink
into the earth, and he tried - too late - to get to his feet. The ground
collapsed, and he fell into a brilliant white light. Ruff landed, heavily,
in a tree-lined cave. He rubbed his grazed knees and elbows, and looked
up. Curiously, the hole he had just fallen through had disappeared. Even
more strangely, his bag of marbles had gone; and a large gun lay nearby
with a note attached to it. The note read:
`Master Rodgers, I'm afraid i've had to confiscate your marbles, dear
fellow. I'm incredibly evil, you see, and I need them to power my supreme
machine which will help me take over the world! Ha ha ha!'
A sudden clap of thunder made Ruff jump. Bloody theatrics, he thought, and
then read on.
`But because I'm a sporting kind of chap, I've decided to allow you a
chance to get your marbles back. Grab the gun, climb into the teleporter,
and you'll be taken to my secret netherworld. Of course, you've got no
real hope: even if you get all the marbles, I'll just have to kill you.
Yours evil-ly Doctor Destiny' "Oh yeah, you and whose army?" shouted Ruff,
to nobody in particular. As though in answer the note continued:
`PS. Er, my army, actually. I built them myself. I call them the
Tinheads, and they're programmed to blow the pants off anybody who tries to
come and take the marbles away. Especially you, of course, my dear boy.
To rise to my evil challenge and face them, climb into my clever teleporter
and prepare to meet your Destiny! Ta-ta.'
Almost immediately he read the words there was a blinding flash, and when
the smoke cleared, before him stood a bright metal box - a sort of steel
phone booth. A door in the side opened, revealing another sign: IN HERE.
He'd never heard of theso-called `Doctor Destiny' before, but already he
was building up an intense dislike for the man. Anybody who calls himself
such a jumped-up name must be a bit of a megalomaniac, he thought. And in
all the movies, it's always the megalomaniacs who eat their words in the
Confused, but annoyed that the rotten git had taken his prized marbles,
Ruff scooped up the gun and ammo, swung them over his shoulder, and
clambered into the teleporter. How tough can these Tinhead things be