} [The following is an excerpt from _Zadoc: An Unauthorized
} Biography_, by Suntee O'Clare, to be published in A.D. 2068.]
} Chapter XLII
} The End of the Road
} It was a sunny day when Zadoc had been finally cast out of the
} Oracular temple. Trudging resignedly (actually rolling pathetically)
} down the stairs, he snickered joylessly to himself at the irony.
} He, the great priest Zadoc, had been cast out -- not for his
} multiple torrid affairs with the Oracle's girlfriend, Lisa, but
} because his trademark sycophantic adulation had finally gotten to be
} more than even the Oracle could stand. The single thing that had
} gotten him so far in the priesthood was also his undoing.
} Now, he was little more than a senile old man in priestly robes
} which, thanks to Lisa's keen fashion sense, made him stick out like
} a hooker in a convent. Zadoc considered giving up at that point.
} Actually, in all honesty, he threw himself in front of the first
} passing tractor-trailer out of despair. The desired effect was not
} achieved, however, for though the truck slammed into his frail old
} body at nearly sixty-five miles per hour, Zadoc was utterly unhurt.
} The truck driver gaped in awe as Zadoc stood, dusted himself off,
} and wandered off, mumbling to himself.
} Zadoc spent most of the rest of the day trying to kill himself, with
} absolutely no success whatsoever. Guns, poison, slit wrists, tall
} buildings...nothing seemed to do the trick. A thought crept from
} the recesses of Zadoc's mind. "What if..." he thought, "Yes...that
} would explain EVERYTHING." In the days that followed, Zadoc
} discovered all sorts of physical powers he had never had before. He
} seemed nearly infinitely strong and fast. He was even somehow
} suddenly able to fly. Almost without thinking about it, plans for
} revenge against the Oracle began to crystallize in his head. One
} day, he was ready, and he flew back to the Oracular temple for the
} first time since his forced departure.
} Zadoc effortlessly ripped the twenty foot high oaken front doors
} cleanly off the hinges, and advanced menacingly toward the Oracle,
} who was worryingly calm. Zadoc stopped just in front of the
} Oracular throne, and cut off the Oracle when he attempted to speak.
} "SILENCE!" thundered Zadoc, "I've figured it all out now. The
} abuse, the subjugation, all so I wouldn't discover my true
} birthright, my DESTINY! Today, you PAY for your subversion!!!"
} Zadoc felt flushed and weak suddenly, but he mentally wrote it
} off to the excitement. Nothing would stop him this time. With
} that, Zadoc produced a katana from within his robes. "There can BE
} only ONE!" he roared, and lunged awkwardly to attack. The sword
} seemed awfully heavy. Halfway to the throne, he collapsed, gasping,
} every part of his body suddenly on fire with pain.
} The Oracle, who had not moved through all of this, looked upon Zadoc
} with pity. "So close," he said, "but you got the wrong movie.
} Honestly, I'd have thought the flying was a clue. All of the
} above-ground walls in this temple, as well as the throne here, are
} laced quite heavily with kryptonite as a safety measure, a sort of
} contingency plan. Being all-knowing has its perks. Keeping you
} crawling and slaving in the underground computer labs wasn't just to
} keep your skin pasty white, you know. I doubt you even noticed
} any effect this throne had on you before you got out in the sun,
} especially considering your predilection for falling immmediately
} to your knees anyway. There was simply no power in you for it to
} sap. It was in my best interests to keep you out of the yellow
} sunshine, you see, or at least it WAS until that jerk Kent refused
} to send me my cut of his endorsement deals. The comic book, the
} movies, the action figures...we'd agreed on twenty percent for me in
} exchange for keeping you out of the picture. I don't know why he
} decided to stiff me after all this time. I tried to get him to the
} temple to discuss our arrangement man-to-man, but he's apparently a
} lot smarter than you are. I have to admit that keeping the second
} son of Krypton as my personal, snivelling, boot-licking slave had
} its own appeal, but business is business. Did you really believe
} that *I* had gotten tired of being sucked up to? Unfortunately, you
} got it all wrong, as usual, and the chickens have indeed come home
} to roost. You were right about one thing, though. There CAN be
} only one..." The Oracle calmly turned the dial on his staff of
} <ZOT> past "char-broil" and set it to "extra crispy." Then, shaking
} his head sadly, he raised the staff, and the great Zadoc's ashes
} scattered through the drafty hall.
} You owe the Oracle twenty percent of the Superman royalties from
} "Seinfeld" alone. Oh, and a grovel. THIS MEANS YOU. They'll be
} hard to come by when Zadoc's gone.