… there lived an Empire that enjoyed calling itself The Land of the Free, Home of the Exceptional and Brave on a Shining Hill..or some such tra la la… Like most self-chosen garble-worthy epithets, there was an enormous irony to that self-designation, but most of her citizens had not only largely forgotten from whence the designation had arisen, but also missed the wry humor of it.
This iteration of the Land of Nod was ruled by a hideous Vampire Vulture who squatted on an enormous pile of shoelaces confiscated from those his minions had imprisoned since his rule had begun. An ungodly throne it was, but one he had chosen to act as a cautionary tale. When the Lord Vulture adjusted his fat royal arse now and again, the laces writhed like snakes, and even made a hissing sound that caused shivers among his fawning courtiers. In one talon he held he held his scepter, a four-foot carrot tipped with finely wrought enameled greens that caged a softball-sized orb of polished diamond whose interior swirled with changing images.
Now the Lord Vulture’s mama hadn’t raised her no idiots, and he knew that he was at least somewhat vulnerable to revolutionary regime change, no matter how many alliances he had built both around the world and within Nod, no matter how many people his armies had killed or subjugated around the world; no matter how many he’d confined in the vast array of dungeons across his own land.
Consequently, he’d developed a first-rate intelligence apparatus comprised of hordes of Flying Monkeys that ranged in size from demitasses to smallish blimps, each equipped with two pulsating eyes as red as hellfire. They were, in fact, crystal orbs whose liquid centers recorded images that were sent to the parent device on the Lord Vulture’s scepter. His castle sat, not surprisingly, on a hill strewn with flakes of silicon and clear quartz that not only grandly reflected the rays of the sun, but also acted as sorting mechanisms for the images broadcast by the Flying Monkeys. Only the most interesting and useful ones were sent to his own device.