A/N: A tryst with old foes in this next chapter:

The root of all evil

A secret underground lab

“We’d better get outta ere before we choke on these fumes…! ” Martin muttered, his voice sounding funny as he pinched his nose in order to keep out the stench of burnt metal emanating from the metallic spiders. “No…What bout Alice?! ” Matt reminded, refusing to budge. “Matt…where could she possibly be…” Martin exclaimed, throwing his hands up in exasperation. “Well…how come we haven’t noticed that crack? ” Gia interrupted, pointing to a narrow opening stretching across the rocky exterior. “What cr…Where’d that come from? That wasn’t there before! Where’d it come from?! ” a befuddled Martin cried out, shrilly. “We don’t wanna know where it came from. We wanna know where it leads to.” Jefferson declared, inching closer towards the crack from which a beam of light seeped out.
“What’s that rumblin sound? ” Martin muttered, backing away as it grew louder. “Let’s get out…quickly! ” he ordered, watching in horror as the walls of the cave shook and the crack widened, giving way to a room. “Not before we check out the secret room! ” Jefferson decided, his eyes widening on seeing the spacious room. It resembled a lab with its spick and span white tiled floors and scientific equipment lined atop the numerous steel tables. What took them by surprise though was the gigantic metal creature that came lumbering along – a spider surpassing the size of the ones they’d encountered earlier! “That’s a rip-off of Dr. Loveless’ invention from Wild Wild West! So unoriginal! ” movie buff Gia mocked. “Don’t expect anythin original from twisted Raleigh! He’s been stealin ideas ever since we’ve known im.” Matt revealed, shooting daggers at him as he spoke. “Try to find the root o’ the problem, an’ ya end up findin the root o’ all evil!” Martin insulted, looking up to see an old foe sitting atop the creature behind its controls. “Now, now…no need for all the praise!” a simpering Raleigh exclaimed, using a joystick to lower the creature to the floor before hopping off. “Ya rascal…! Where’s my Alice?! I know yer creatures brought er in ere! Now, where’s she?! Tell me before I end ya! ” a brave-sounding Matt yelled, rushing at him and shaking him by the collar of his lab coat. “You? You’re gonna end me…ha! ” the evil man scoffed. “Matt, allow me. Tell me where she is before I end ya! ” a braver-sounding Martin threatened, baring his teeth as he pinned Raleigh against the wall. “Why’d that scare im when ya did it?! ” Matt complained, backing off and feeling useless on seeing the bad guy tremble when threatened by his brother!
“All bark an’ no bite, that one! Believe me, I’ve dated him!” a familiar voice interrupted their heated conversation. Martin let go of him, turning around to see an Angels reunion. Madeleine and Anita sneered at him, digging their long, painted nails into Jefferson and Gia’s arms as they tightened their clutches to prevent the squirming couple from running away. He watched in disbelief as Matt was overpowered by his own wife who had the same wicked sneer on her face. “What’ve ya done to er, ya bastard?! What’s wrong with Alice?! ” he demanded an answer, shocked to see his sister-in-law join their ranks. “Willing lab rats are so hard to come by. Wish my spiders had brought y’all in earlier…” Raleigh replied, with a mysterious grin. “L…L..Lab rats…for what?! ” a clueless and slightly frightened Martin stammered, on hearing him.


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