Monday, September 29, 2008

Vignette: Confessions of an Evil Mastermind--World Domination Rant

"Like the song says, I used to rule the world.

On three occasions, in fact. The longest lasting 52 hours and 23 minutes. Not that I was counting.

Let's get some things clear. Anybody--well, a surprising number of people, enough so that you really shouldn't sleep well at night, believe me--can build a doomsday device and hold the world hostage. That's impressive after a fashion, I admit. I wouldn't have done it myself if it wasn't worth doing.

But you don't start the 'sole sovereign master of the globe' clock until you get formal recognition of your terms and the capitulation of the major nation states and international corporations, in writing.

You'd be surprised how many would-be conquerors forget about the business side of the domination equation. And it's actually helpful. Once the cream of the Fortune 500 recognizes that your ironclad control will be offset by the chance to pursue all those shelved R & D projects without fear of safety regulations or lawsuits, they're all too happy to jump on board. And then you've got something better than orbital laser cannons when it comes to persuading the leaders of the developed nations. You've got lobbyists.

And yes, I said developed nations. This isn't the General Assembly of the UN, where a majority vote counts for anything. You need the economic and military powers of the world recognizing your power. Everything else falls into line after that. At least in theory. Besides, even a world conqueror has to draw the line of pragmatism somewhere. Is my robot army really going to put me in charge of the border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan? No. Can I get a private autobahn named after me built across Europe? Absolutely.

The Guinness Book of World Records currently lists the "Longest Rule of Earth by an Individual" as just under two weeks, said record belonging to Kronos. This is unadulterated crap. For starters, any primate can see that giving a record based on temporal units to a time-manipulator is idiotic. But let's concede that point for the relativity-challenged. The simple fact that nobody alive during that time has any memories of what took place during ten of those days should be a clue that something is fishy. Like, say, she skipped the entire planet ahead in time. That's right, Kronos is just a David Copperfield ripoff in a cape and heels, and I've got the orbital position data to prove it.

I thought about obliterating the Guinness people out of spite, but frankly I'd just have to establish a new institution to record my achievements later. But don't think there won't be corrections made the next time I'm in charge of it all.

Regardless, I was the real deal. That last time I even had my own currency printed up. You can still find the occasional bill on ebay, but don't look at the pictures too long in ultraviolet light. It has something of a hypnotic effect. (And when you do it anyway, because you people never listen, the new address for minions to report to can be found by turning the maze on the back of the latest package of Sugar Bombs upside down and staring at it until the map forms.)

I'll let you in on a dirty little secret in the super villain community. The biggest threat to your imperial status isn't the good guys. It's the other high profile villains. We tend to be a hyper-competitive, individualistic lot who don't respond well to authority. Otherwise we'd just get rich and powerful living amongst the unwashed masses, like all the heroic hypocrites.

Plus you tend to end up with severe ideological differences. The messiah of a new race of mutants isn't going to play nice with the undead sorcerer, who in turn has a fundamental philosophical conflict with the scientific mastermind. Even during my reign, I had to grant control of the world's oceans to that saltwater snorting prick The Atlantean. If you can't get some kind of truce negotiated beforehand, be prepared for the spandex avengers receiving a little behind-the-scenes assist from someone nominally on our side of the fence.

In my more melancholy moments, I think this inability to cooperate is what ultimately dooms the elite among us to failure. Then it occurs to me that the solution might be to set up a coalition to conquer alternate Earths, so that everyone gets a big blue marble to play with. I get this one, of course.

Sound hard? Of course world domination is hard. If it was easy, every megalomaniacal superman or woman would do it."


Heyoka said...

I really enjoyed this! Faint echoes of "Dr. Horrible", but more...Lex-Luthor-y. Comic-book-universe-y. (Leave me alone, I didn't get much sleep last night.)

Aaron DaMommio said...

Hey this reminds me of _Soon I Will Be Invincible_, of course. But that's not a bad thing. That voice is a great voice.

Doug said...

Yep, I just finished reading Soon I Will Be Invincible, of course. Liked some things a lot about the book, others a little less so. Dr. Impossible is a great character, but he doesn't seem like a super-IQ guy, just a good gadgeteer. And Blackwolf doesn't fit any autistic profile I've ever encountered. The idea was cool, but his character needed to act quite differently to fit the concept.