OUR STORY OPENS IN ONE FRIGHTFUL EVENING IN THE FESTERING HEART OF NUGA CITY. AMIDST THE SPECKLE LIGHTED SKYSCRAPERS STOOD ONE LIT ONLY BY THE MOON. ENSCONCED IN ITS TWISTED BLACK WALLS OF DOOM AND DESOLATION LURKED A FIENDISH POWER, A MALIGNED SCOURGE, THAT STULTIFYING BANE OF COGNITION, NEURON SHORTSTOP, A.K.A. THE MASKED IMBECILE! STORMING THROUGH HIS SPRAWLING, METROPOLITAN PILLAR OF PERPETRATION, THE MASKED IMBECILE WAS DEVISING HIS CUNNING PLANS TO SUBVERT AND DESTROY THE MENTAL FACULTIES OF THE UNSUSPECTING CITIZENS OF NUGA CITY AND ASSERT HIMSELF AS THE REIGNING INTELLECTUAL POWER IN THE UNIVERSE! HE WAS PACING AND RAGING AND CROWING HIS VILE INTENTIONS, AND ONLY ONE BORE WITNESS: HIS MALICIOUS, COLD-BLOODED, BLACK-HEARTED HENCHMAN, THAT APISH MINION OF MALEVOLENCE, NODDLE BUNGLEDRIP!
"It's just not fair!" Neuron Shortstop raged, black cloak billowing as he swooped through the crooked labyrinthine corridors of his dark hive. "All I want is all the money and power in the world! Is that so much to ask?" His furious voice shook in time with his knotted, gloved fists, poised defiantly above his head. "But alas, I am foiled at every turn, outsmarted by the very people I seek to rob! Just this evening, I accosted an old lady, and after a trio of devious tactics -- first cold logic, when I reasoned she'd be dead soon anyway, and her money would be put to better use with me, then subtle guile, when I told her that, oops, my money had fallen out of my pocket and into her purse, then blatant honesty, when I pointed out that she was not I -- all my efforts were rebuffed irrevocably with all her cunning wit manifest in but a single word! 'No!' 'No!' she said! How am I to cope?"
"Maybe you could have clubbed her on the head," the desiccated raisin with limbs said timidly.
"Oh, do think before you speak, Noddle," Neuron scoffed, shooing the nebulous mass of organism out of the way of his storming tantrum. "If I had clubbed her over the head and knocked her unconscious, how then, my dear vacant Boeotian, would she have handed over her fortune?"
"Ah, I never thought of that," Noddle conceded, the spark in his eyes withering to match the rest of his diminutive physical presence.
"The time has come for me to be the smartest, the wisest, the slyest in all Nuga City!" Neuron declared triumphantly, his black robes careening around misaligned corners to keep up with his frenetic pacing.
"How're you gonna make yourself smart?" the stunted servant asked, toddling in tow. "You can't afford a brain surgeon."
"And WHY not?" Neuron oozed, whirling abruptly and seething as his cloak settled about him. "Why, after I've outsmarted enough people out of their money, I'll be able to afford anything! I'll buy all Nuga City if I want to! I'll fritter my loot away on third world countries, just because I can. I'll squander it on celebrations in my honor, and I'll even have enough left over to buy more money! I'll even pay the outrageous fees of the psychiatrists who will charge trillions per hour to treat me after my inevitable capture and committal to an asylum for the criminally insane! But wait!" Neuron cut his joyful ranting short with a hand to his mouth. "This time -- this time -- yes, yes, it's all coming together now -- this time I'll be too smart to be captured! I'll outwit them all! I bet I'll even figure out how to foil that dreaded entrapment ploy, 'Hey, what's that thing behind you!?' I just know there's a devious way out of that one. I just know it."
"How about not looking at all?" Noddle said, tripping on the rug and collapsing in a very small dingy heap.
"Noddle, my dear prosaic residue of hebetude, did I not just tell you to think before you speak rattle-headed ideas? If I don't look, how am I to learn what is behind me? I suppose I could carry a mirror or something. But, I'm getting ahead of myself. The point of all this is that when I become smart, I'll be able to redress such ploys of guile with ploys of my own, ploys I think up quite readily on the spot to suit the circumstances."
"But how are you going to get smart?"
"That's easy! I'll--" Neuron paused, limbs poised dramatically in the air, mouth open to speak, but there were no words forthcoming.
"Instead of making yourself smart, why not just make everyone else stupid?" the blithering bulbous Bungledrip suggested.
"--just make everyone else stupid!" Neuron finished. "Wait a minute, you addle-pated clod," he added, slapping Noddle on his clingy scalp. "How am I suppose to make everyone stupid?"
"You could club them on the head."
"You idiot! You insufferable festering conglobation of ashes! Do you--" The Masked Imbecile froze, the cogwheels in his evilly depraved cerebrum churning. "Yes," he said slowly. "Yes, I believe that's an excellent idea. I'll construct a dreaded doomsday weapon and hit everyone over the head with it. It'll suck their brains dry, and then I'll be the reigning intellectual power in the universe! Muhuhahahahahahaha!!"