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The episode starts in the dark of the night with Fred washed up on an unknown island on an unknown planet, with no memory of how he ended up there.

An abrupt sound startled him. He quickly transforms into Pawthorne. Again he heard the sound, and again. Somewhere, off in the blackness, someone had fired a weapon three times, and Pawthorne’s ears, expert in such matters, could not be mistaken. It came out of the darkness, a high screaming sound, the sound of an animal in an extremity of anguish and terror.

Pawthorne: I guess I’m not alone on this island. Maybe whoever it is knows how to get out. He doesn’t sound too friendly though.

But what kind of person, he wondered, lived in so forbidding a place? An unbroken front of snarled and ragged jungle fringed the shore. Bleak darkness was blacking out the sea and jungle when Pawthorne sighted the lights. He came upon them as he turned a crook in the coast line; and his first though was that he had come upon a village, for there were many lights. But he saw to his great astonishment that all the lights were in one enormous building – a lofty structure with pointed towers plunging upward into the gloom. His eyes made out the shadowy outlines of a palatial chateau.

Pawthorne: Am I seeing things? This has got to be a mirage.

Pawthorne lifted the iron gate and reverted. Fred knocked on the door. A large humanoid alien came down the marble steps, advanced to Fred and held out his hand.

In a cultivated voice marked by precision and deliberateness, he said

???: It is a very great pleasure and honor to welcome Fred Blake, the celebrated hero, to my home.

Automatically, Fred shook the man’s hand.

???: I am Don Regulus.

He was a gigantic creature, solidly made and black bearded to the waist. His coat was lined with fur. He rested his hand on his dagger which is suspended by a tasseled cord from the belt at his waist. He also wore a sword. On his cap hung a pin comprising the representation of a skull.

Don Regulus: Come, we shouldn’t be chatting here. We can talk later. Now you want food and rest. You shall have them. This is a most restful spot. I was just about to have dinner before you came.

The dining room to which he was conducted to had a medieval magnificence about it. About the halls were mounted the heads of many animals –Panuncians, Ziboson, Wigsilian Org Beasts…

Fred: This place is amazing.

Don Regulus: I do my best to preserve the amenities of civilization here. Please forgive any lapses. We are well off the beaten track, you know.

Fred: By the way, would you mind telling me where we are? Is this your home planet?

Don Regulus: This is my personal planet. This isn’t the home planet of my species.

Fred: Mind if I ask what species you are?

Don Regulus: I am a Genteel Troglodyte.

Fred: So what do you like to do around here?

Don Regulus: I have but one passion in my life, and it is the hunt.

Fred: You have some wonderful heads here. That Ziboson is the largest I ever saw.

Don Regulus: Oh, that fellow. Yes, he was a monster. Hurled me against a tree and fractured my skull. But I got the brute.

Don Regulus: *sips his wine* Here on my planet, I hunt more dangerous game.

Fred: Is there big game on this planet?

Don Regulus: The biggest. It isn’t here naturally though.

Fred: What animals do you hunt?

Don Regulus takes from his pocket a gold cigarette and lights it.

Don Regulus: No, hunting animals ceased to interest me some years ago. I exhausted their possibilities, you see. No thrill left in animals, no real danger. I live for danger, Fred. I’ll tell you. You will be amused, I know. I may say, in all modesty, that I have done a rare thing. I have invented a new sensation.

Don Regulus puffs at his cigarette.

Don Regulus: Hunting was beginning to bore me! And hunting, remember, had been my life. I had no wish to go to pieces. Now, mine is an analytical mind. Doubtless that is why I enjoy the problems of the chase.

Fred: Yeah, no doubt.

Don Regulus: So, I asked myself why the hunt no longer fascinated me. Simply this: Hunting had become too easy. There is no greater bore than perfection. No animal had any chance with me. This is no boast it is a mathematical certainty. Instinct is no match for reason.

Fred leans across the table, absorbed in what Don Regulus is saying.

Don Regulus: It came to me as an inspiration what I must do.

Fred: And that was?

Don Regulus smiled a quiet smile.

Don Regulus: I had to invent a new animal to hunt. It supplies me with the most exciting hunting in the world. No other hunting compares with it for an instant. Every day, I hunt, and I can never grow bored now. I wanted the ideal animal to hunt... It must have courage, cunning, and, above all, it must be able to reason... Life is for the strong, to be lived by the strong, and, if needs be, taken by the strong. The weak of the world were put here to give the strong pleasure. I am strong. Why should I not use my gift? If I wish to hunt, why should I not?

Fred: But no animal can reason.

Don Regulus’s left eyelid fluttered down in a wink.

Fred: But you can’t mean – you can’t be serious.

Don Regulus: Why should I not be serious? I am speaking of hunting.

Fred: Hunting?! What you’re doing is murder!

Don Regulus: Again that unpleasant word. I’ll wager you’ll forget your notions when you go hunting with me. I try to be civilized here.

Fred: Civilized? And you hunt down people?

Don Regulus: I assure you I do not do the thing you suggest. That would be barbarous. It’s a game, you see. I suggest that we go hunting. If my quarry eludes me for a whole day, they win. And if I find him, he loses. You’ll find this game enthusiastic.

Don Regulus: Tonight, we will hunt –you and I.

Fred: And if I win –

Don Regulus: I’ll cheerfully acknowledge defeat. Oh, you can trust me. I will give you my word as a gentleman. And, in turn, you must agree to say nothing of your visit here. We start now. I’ll give you a headstart.

Don Regulus, with a deep, courtly bow, strolled from the room.

The chateau gates snapped shut behind Fred. Fred fought his way through the bush then transforms into Speed Morpher –animaloid form.

Speed Morpher: I’ll give him a trail to follow.

Speed Morpher struck off and executed a series of intricate loops; he doubled on his trail again and again.

Speed Morpher: He definitely won’t be able to trace me here.

Something was coming through the bush, coming slowly carefully, coming by the same way Speed Morpher had come. It was Don Regulus.

Speed Morpher switches to Airstrike. He propels himself with a wind blast and hurls himself towards the hunter. The hunter sensed the danger immediately and leaped to the side with impressive agility. Don Regulus quickly unsheathes his weapon and nets Airstrike.

Don Regulus: Most impressive.

Airstrike: I don’t plan on losing yet.

Airstrike turns intangible and phases through the ground. He phases back up and finds himself surrounded by quicksand. He switches to Sandemon.

Sandemon: It won’t be long before tracks me down.

Sandemon merges with the quicksand and waits for Don Regulus. After a couple of minutes, he showed up. Sandemon shapes the quicksand into a fist and grabs the hunter. He tries to drown the hunter in quicksand, but he breaks free and throws a fusion grenade into the quicksand. After an explosion, Sandemon is splattered into mounds of sand on the ground. Sandemon switches to Clobberilla.

Clobberilla: It’s clobberin’ time!

Clobberilla grabs and holds him up with one hand, fiercely squeezing and harming him. However,Don Regulus ' arms aren't restrained, and he attacks with his blade. He stabs Clobberilla’s hand repeatedly until he releases him in pain, and then he latches his blade on Clobberilla's back and pulls him down to slam him against the ground.

Don Regulus: Luckily for me, I, too, have hunted in MahmiaTabi’ia.

Clobberilla breaks free of his hold and runs away. He reaches a cliff and jumps out into the sea. Don Regulus reaches the place of the sea and shrugs his shoulders before returning to his chateau. When he got to his chateau he say Fred waiting for him at the gate.

Don Regulus: How did you get here?

Fred: Swam.

A flashback is triggered…

Clobberilla switches to Orcatide and swims towards the chateau on the other end of the island

End of flashback…

Don Regulus sucks in his breath and smiles.

Don Regulus: I congratulate you. You have one the game. I’ll have my ship escort you to your desired destination. I hope we get to hunt together again someday.

Fred: Hopefully not.

Don Regulus: Don’t forget to hold on to your end of the bargain. No one must know of your visit here.

Fred: Sure, whatever.

.

.

.



The End

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