Gonzaroolio had found himself back in his cell. After lying around and trying to think, mostly about squirty flowers and exploding cars, and occasionally about other stuff - his attention was once again drawn by the funny machine across from the bed.
He walked over to it and began examining the metal frame closely. Eventually he spotted what was missing and a quick search around the cell brought forward the missing handle , which was resting on a small ledge cut into the stone.
Gonzaroolio reached over, picked it up and inserted it into the first cog-wheel where it gave an excited and happy 'click'.
He gave it an experimental half-turn - the wheels turned and the drums spun quite satisfactorily.
Turning around he squinted - the drippy candle in one holder gave out just enough visible light - he espied sitting unobtrusively in the corner a small butt, which had been collecting rain water dripping down through the stone above him.
Slowly he reached up and behind his ears and removed the hooks that secured his curly green wig to the top of his head and carefully pulled back the comical curls and with the other hand stroked the fine down that feathered his near perfectly bald head.
Kneeling down on the cold slabs he began to wash his hair.
Gonzarolio polished his head lovingly, setting the wig out to dry. His bald pate, glowing gently in the darkness. Tired, he sat in his safe corner, his mind drifting inexplicably to wrought-iron laundry wringers...
Richter was still droning on about the Druids, and had somehow managed to get the Knight Templars, Rosicrucians, CIA, Mafia and the former British Rail into the conspiracy. Robin had begun loosing interest and had turned on the Crime-View TV, and tuned it in to Sky News while Richter rattled on in the background.
"...Which explains the career of Mr. Schwarzenegger rather neatly, I think. The only thing left to puzzle out is the identity of the mysterious tool of evil that will bring about this cataclysmic doomsday... I confess I'm rather stumped at that..."
"Um...Boss? I think you should see this..."
"...If it isn't the Jackson Five then I'm left without a leg to stand on... fits the pattern, you see..."
Robin, pale-faced and stricken cried out: "Boss - Please! look at this..."
Richter finally turned his attention to the TV. Coverage of the American election was airing, and the new independent candidate was taking questions from the floor.
"Oh my... God help us all."
The World had indeed turned and in that time Rasputin was already one step closer to world domination. From behind the podium he leered out at the press Corp and addressed the prettiest reporter.
"No, Natasha, rumours of my death were greatly exaggerated."
"Im quite alive and... supple." His dead eyes flashed and Natasha giggled girlishly.
A far more sober- looking reporter stood up
"Wait, I'm pretty sure you're dead. We did it in high school history. Are you sure you're Rasputin?"
The monk bared his teeth.
"Are you sure you're not...a chicken?"
And suddenly the reporter wasn't. He doubled over and began scratching in the carpet with his head and flapping his arms about at the elbows. The assembled media clapped politely.
Rasputin spread out his arms like a great black crow and a hush fell over the stadium. When he spoke, although it was
hardly a whisper, it carried to the farthest reaches of the vast echoing space. This isn't magic, though - it's called a microphone.
"I'd like to end by reminding you that my opponent claims to get his authority from the Republican Party. Myself, I cut out the middle-man - and get my powers direct from Satan!"
He clicked his fingers and the terrified reporters found themselves applauding madly.
Richter sat down heavily, his face ashen.
"Good lord! The power - he could destroy us all."
"Is it time to drive the car yet boss?"
"Not yet, Robin. But soon."
And on TV it was time for The Analysis. The anchors pontificated uncertainly.
"Bit of a risk of alienating the religious right there, don't you think."
"Yes indeed, he's quite an odd duck that Mr. Rasputin - but courageous, doesn't mind nailing his flag to the mast, so to speak - I think the voters will respect him for that."
"What do you think Claire?" the two anchors leaned in the female anchor's direction.
"I think he's a wonderful man who truly deserves the Presidency."
"You alright Claire? You've gone all flushed..."
Rasputin's influence spread across the American networks...his will bending people to his power.
In Anytown, USA, Joe Sixpack squirmed into a more comfortable position on the couch and called his wife, Mary Sixpack.
"Did you see that guy on the Telley-viz-ion just now?
He went an' god-damned hypnotised the other guy.
Just like that David Blaine fella!"
"Hot damn!" said Joe, cussin' like a sailor.
"Well, I'd vote for him!" Mary cooed, blushing.