Devilish Dark Deal-making Destiny Disrupts Dr Doom's Dark Deal-making!

Greetings proud citizens of Latvaria - as well as future proud citizens of Latvaria. I see you have been searching for a tale of interest. Allay your fears of boredom - as ever, Doom is on hand to mercifully meet your needs.

You see, that - the merciful meeting of the needs of the lesser - is one characteristic of Doom which is fundamental to his being, and no amount of slander from the international community and Richards to the effect of calling me a super villain will ever change that. Any citizen of my kingdom is free to ask my assistance at any time. Granted, I may not actually help them, but such is the burden of Doom - I always have something to being doing.

In fact, so merciful is Doom that on rare occasions, when in an unusually good mood, I may even lend aid to the cretinous fools who make it their business to tarnish Doom's name and interfere in his plans! When a threat looms which Doom cannot handle by himself (an infrequent occurrence, let me assure you) Doom can swallow his pride for a few minutes and stand beside Richards to face it. Doom is a dignified man. Unlike Richards.

But sometimes, it's not a case of planetary survival. Sometimes, it's a case of simple charity. It has often been written that Doom's heart is too large, and as such he is driven to always give support and aid even to the most reprehensible simpletons on the planet. It's a flaw I'm working on.

One such simpleton is the one known as Spiderman. Spiderman has steadily become one of Doom's more irksome opponents. His costume's garishness is matched only by the sheer vexatiousness of his blathering speech.

(Doom has been told by his editor that his vocabulary may unnerve some readers. To him I say, Bah! But for the slower-witted of you, I am saying that Spiderman says annoying things.)


But alas, such is Doom's crippling disposition toward goodwill that I will even lend a helping hand to the caterwauling wall-crawler. Allow Doom to regale you with a tale wherein he attempted to aid the fool Spiderman - but for dark reasons indeed, it was not to be.

It was a day quite like any other for Doom. I had spent the daylight hours in one of my many laboratories, specifically examining the medical applications of cybernetics. One of Latvaria's mines had recently been suffering from a series of cave-ins, and while Doom had obviously repaired the area's structural integrity in a matter of minutes, there were several miners who had been injured, with broken bones being especially prevalent. I find the conventional means of healing a broken bone to have any irritatingly slow pace, particularly when the patient is lying in a hospital bed when he should be out collecting important resources for his loving king. As such, I conducted several experiments regarding how to replace bones with my copious supply of robotic surplus. The results were interesting. So far, the Doom had found that the most important step was to quickly stop the copious bleeding.

Despite spending the day on such charitable pursuits, by nightfall I once again found myself undergoing a confounded insomnia. Doom admits that some of his past decisions have been, shall we say… somewhat inconsiderate of others. A lesser man would be a babbling wreck of guilt and shame. Doom occasionally has difficulty sleeping.

Thankfully, when such a night accosts me, I have many sanctuaries to which I may retreat, and each offers me piece of mind in a different way. Considering my kingly actions, I felt it appropriate that on that night I would ease my conscience by sitting on my throne.

There I sat for a few hours. Doom could attempt to explain some of the issues he pondered in his infinitely clever mind, but such an attempt will doubtlessly be in vain. All you have proven to Doom so far is that you can read - you have yet to show any credentials in astrophysics, nuclear chemistry, xenobiology, quantum mechanics, Sanskrit riddles, geology, or the arts, both in the mystical and "ordinary" variety.

As purveyors as a story, all you need know is this - very late into the night, as Doom was considering how best to make the awkward Gregorian calendar more efficient, when Spiderman materialised in my throne room. He was coated in a blue aura and floating next to his head was a small eye of the same hue. It does not take a learned genius like Doom to figure out that this was not the physical Spiderman, but rather a magical projection. Considering the late hour in my homeland, he was likely operating from New York City, where it would be a relatively more reasonable hour.

Not the least bit thrown, for such occurrences are common in Doom's life, I greeted "Ah, Spiderman. What suicidal whim are you following that urges you come before Dr Doom so late in the night?"

The holographic Spiderman blinked at Doom. "L-late? Oh. Yeah. Time zones, I guess."

Something was evidently gnawing heavily at the moron's mind if he had abandoned his usual bothersome method of speech. I was about to demand he came out with it, but he rudely interrupted me before I had even begun speaking!

"Look, Doom," he began. No nicknames? He was clearly in a troublesome predicament indeed. "I know you have absolutely no reason to help me, but, I've tried everyone else… Please, I'm begging you!"

I held up a hand as a signal for silence. "Doom can hardly aid you if you do not inform him of the problem," I announced as levelly as I was able. Doom is always the voice of reason.

"Oh. Sorry. My Aunt May… she's been shot. She's going to die. Please, I can't let her go yet. Can… can you save her?"

I brought my hand to my chin, a somewhat futile gesture when both parts of anatomy are encased in metal. "Give me more information. Who shot her, and with what?"

Spiderman was now wringing his feeble hands together. "One of the Kingpin's men. A sniper rifle."

"And what of the bullet?"

The idiot blinked a second time. "B-bullet?"

"Yes, bullet," I snapped, for even Doom's patience has its limit. "Is the bullet still within her body, and does it have any properties which I should be aware of?"

"Yeah, it's still in," answered Spiderman. It took his sluggish mind a few moments to process Doom's second query. "N… no. I don't think so. It's just a bullet. But the doctors say the problem is less with that and more with her age."

"Bah," said Doom, "doctors."

"So, can you help?" asked Spiderman, a twinge of hope in his pitiful, whining voice.

Under his mask, Doom's face was sporting a victorious smirk. It would be child's play to restore the imbecile's relative to full working order. The fact I had happened to have been working on cybernetic cures to physical wounds was most fortuitous for the wall-crawler. It was merely a simple matter of gathering some tools from my laboratory, asking Spiderman for the location of the hospital, and performing a basic procedure. Her aging body, an understandable obstacle for lesser healers, would be not only repaired but most likely improved with my modifications. Time was not even a factor, as Doom has an abundance of methods of travelling between two points in space in a blink of an eye. And best of all, one of my most persistent foes would be forever in my debt. How could he bring himself to oppose Doom again when the knowledge that Doom saved his aunt's life would be with him always? In fact, Doom was the only one who could do so. It was perfect.

Which is why it was all the more confusing and horrifying when I opened my mouth to acquiesce to his pleas and instead said "There is nothing I can do for you."

The only thing which matched Spiderman's woe was my baffled disgust. What the devil had just taken place? The words which had just passed Doom's lips were by no means his own, and yet it was from his mouth they were spoken!

"Are you sure?" pleaded Spiderman, begging with every iota of his being.

To be truthful, for once Doom was unsure, unsure of what dark forces were at play and how they had taken a hold of the most powerful sorcerer on the planet. Yet that did not stop Doom from saying "Yes, I am sure." Damnation, a second time!?

"No," spoke Spiderman softly. "You were my last hope. I asked everyone. Even Reed Richards couldn't help!"

This, dear readers, was the breaking point. Not only was I being denying a chance to indebt Spiderman to me, but to also miss an opportunity to prove my superiority to Richards? I felt like bellowing in rage. But instead, I told Spiderman to exit my home, which he did, leaving Doom alone with his rage and puzzlement.

I spent some time researching what had overcome me, to no avail. All I found for the most part was that all Spiderman requested assistance from, a list which includes not only the cretin Richards but also some who are at least halfway intelligent such as the Black Panther and Tony Stark, were similarly completely unable to bring themselves to help despite their various ways of solving the problem.

It was a bewildering state of affairs to say the least. One which may never have been understood had it not been for Doom's masterful detective work coupled with his arcane knowledge. I learned through certain channels - again, explanation would be a futile effort, although in this case on the off-chance you actually understand you may go insane - that shortly after our encounter, Spiderman found someone to save his aunt's life - Mephisto.

Doom may have made this clear already over the course of this narrative, but at this juncture it bears repeating - Spiderman is a complete and utter idiot.

Doom has dealt numerous times with that infernal creature, and it should be clear to anyone that he is never to be trusted! But alas, it is too late to warn the moron now. As I understand it, Mephisto altered reality so that Spiderman and his wife were never wed, and in doing do saved the life of Spiderman's aunt. Personally, Doom can not see the connection between matrimony and elderly relatives being fatally injured by sniper rifles, but sometimes demons do not operate on the earthly understanding of logic.

In closing, Doom will state that he recently came to the realization that if the deal altered reality in such a manner, even I, with my unparalleled grasp of the mystic arts, should have no recollection of my brief meeting with Spiderman. As such, I must conclude something about the deal made has went awry - in some fashion, the universe has not received it as it should.

And so Doom ends his tale. You have five seconds to get back to work before I turn off "Guest mode" on my Doombots.