Social Schizophrenia

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Regret
Shakespeare: World's a Stage
cat_exploded
Title: Regret
Author: eponine254
Fandom/Character(s)/Pairing(s): Original
Genre: Fantasy/humour
Rating: PG13
Words: 2073
Challenge/Prompt: fictionland #09: These Pens Were Made for Writing. Prompts 1 (Prompt: Bravado) & 3 (Style: No dialogue).
Warnings: Language
Notes: This needs way more editing. Maybe another time.
Summary: An evil genius reflects on what went wrong.

Regret

To a point, the plan had gone well. Like, really well. For the first time, actual world domination had really been in my sights. There had been other plans, too, and they’d been ok, for the most part, but this one, this one was the real moneyspinner. Yet somewhere along the line, something had gone horribly wrong. To the extent that I was now bleeding rather slowly and painfully to death, which wasn’t exactly the outcome I’d have put on the PowerPoint presentation. I rolled over, my hand pressed to the wound in my side.

Lasered. Of course. I thought it was the bad guys who were supposed to have the monopoly on lasers, but apparently Lord Lightning had also got in on the ray gun action. I would have pegged him more as a sword type, myself, but at this point, that was neither here nor there.

What very obviously was here was a hell of a lot of pain, a good deal of wounded pride, and just a sprinkling of thoroughly-pissed-off to tie the whole thing up nicely.

So where did it all go wrong?

It had started off very promisingly. The plan was a classic: create an army of mindless zombie slaves through the use of a patented mind control device, and use them to take over the world. Straightforward. But where the real genius came in was in making zombie slaves who were more than just mindless shuffling drones. Yes, making little geniuses – genii, whatever – of the zombies themselves, so that they carried out my bidding, but also had a certain je ne sais quoi, which came in handy when fighting off superheroes. Most mindless zombie drones were incapable of any sort of individual planning, which could really get in the way of executing any course of action beyond “walk at them and shuffle”. No, my zombies knew how to be strategic. In short, how to take out those annoying superheroes who put so much effort into thwarting all my well thought out plans.

The zombie drones had definitely not been what went wrong. In fact, they had nearly won me the world – in bits and pieces, of course; only comic book villains actually seem to believe you can control the world from one centralised take over, usually a big American city, which shows a certain North American bias which had always got under my skin. It was why, just to be stubborn, I had initially tested out my zombie drones on Azerbaijan before hitting Beijing, then Paris, then London, then a few other major centres of interest before I even thought about getting to the guys over the pond. It’s amazing how much not believing there are other countries helps an evil genius along – they didn’t know what was happening until I was already on their shores, by which stage the rest of the world was mine.

Yes, go on, make the joke... Mine, mine, mwa ha ha ha. Ha ha. Like I haven’t heard that one before.

Mad scientist, some said, but I preferred “evil genius”. Judgmental, but not uncomplimentary. I never felt like “mad scientist” really gave the scope of my plans, which, by the way, were fucking brilliant. I’d grown up ordinary enough, no radioactive disasters or bizarre brain anomalies which led to my becoming a genius, and no family tragedies etc. to account for the evil part, either. I’d been the smart awkward kid at school, which is basically a prerequisite for becoming an evil genius, and I’d grown up to discover that I could come up with brilliant evil plans better than anyone else.

When I’d decided to put these plans to use in the field of world domination – a competitive one, at the time, what with the then-recent boom in evil geniusing. I’d put careful thought into it, starting with my name. My real name, I guess I don’t mind telling you now, is Englebert. I know, right? Not exactly supervillain material, unless you have a really keen sense of irony. As it happens, I do, but I thought the headlines would prefer something punchier, and I had to think of my public. So I went for Draconis. It’s got a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Unique without being too wacky, easily identifiable without sounding like something out of an epic fantasy novel. A name that managed to be sinister without crossing that very fine line into ridiculous. I was not, after all, applying to become a dark wizard or a Sith lord. Easily Googlable, too, which was a plus, from a publicity perspective. Maybe it’s a bit prosaic for a supervillain, but I’ll have you know that a good portion of my income came from advertising revenue from my blog. You’d be surprised how the more tech-savvy superheroes (and god knows, there are very few of them) tried to find hidden clues as a means of finding me. I was happy to mislead them, besides which I particularly enjoyed the thought that my greatest enemies were funding my freeze ray, mind control device, and various sundry evil gadgets used to terrorise the cities of the world.

I’d even planned my outfit carefully. I know, it’s a cliché to have only one supervillain outfit, but in the end, it’s all about personal branding. If I rocked up in Time Square in jeans and a tshirt and announced my plans to take over the world, I’d have been laughed out of town. But, hey, I’ve read the Evil Overlord list – I wasn’t about to go the easily-caught-in-propellers cape route either. So I compromised on evil, yet chic, all black, with a token mask and practical boots, with a hint of capiness about the whole ensemble which seemed to work. For reasons of hygiene, I also had several versions made. Hey, nobody said being evil precluded doing laundry.

(That said, I should add here that it almost certainly precludes doing your own laundry. You should at least have a mindless zombie drone for the task. It’s hard to do a convincing maniacal laugh while reading the instructions on a bottle of detergent. But I digress.)

And my evil hideout? Man, my evil hideout was inspired. You see, I went for the evil island: volcano, underground lair, murderous sharks patrolling the waters, the lot. And then, I built my actual lair on the island next door, totally out of sight. And it worked brilliantly. There aren’t nearly as many superheroes around here as there used to be. And you know why? Because they all fell for the evil island trick. It’s basically in the superhero training manual. They have to believe that my evil lair is on the evil island, because otherwise the world stops making sense to them. It’s sweet, really. Well, for me – for them, it’s more a short, sharp moment of disillusionment when the entire island turns out to be electrified and covered in glue. A basic trick, but a surprisingly effective one. Take that, you flying bastards.

Lord Lightning was, I suppose, my archnemesis, to the extent that I ever had one. He lacked the brain power to be a real intellectual challenge, which was disappointing, but he made up for it in sheer bloodymindedness. Oh, he had the superhero good looks and charm and impressively dimpled chin, but in the end it was his ridiculous persistence that made him the one to beat. Plus, his always-coiffed hair annoyed me disproportionately, which was perhaps why he, of all the superheroes I’ve fought in my time as a villain, was the one who stood out.

Ok, that and the fact that he just shot me with a fucking laser. To be fair, that might have had something to do with it.

He had been the one who stood in the way of my last and best plan for world domination. Everywhere I went, he was there, as if he knew all my movements in advance. I hadn’t made the mistake of having a sidekick – much less one with a dark and bitter motive for revenge which made them a likely candidate for betrayal later on – and so it was impossible that he should know of my plans. And yet, there he was.

The battles had been epic. Really comic book style stuff. Lots of “kapow!!” and “boom!!”. I’d won… Of course. Hey, I’m dying, I don’t have to be modest. Hell, I’m a supervillain. I never had to be modest. I’d always outsmarted him. But I knew, deep down, that it was a close one.
He had even managed to escape my decoy island. Maybe that was where things had really started to fall apart. None of them had ever managed that before (and the foot bones still stuck to the beaches tell that story better than I can). I hadn’t been prepared for it when he had arrived in my real underground lair, stupid hair gelled back, stupid cape billowing in the wind which I swear to god wasn’t there, and holding his stupid laser. Actually, things still could have been saved at that point. It wasn’t like I didn’t have a contingency plan – evil genius, remember? I still had my defences. I had trapped him inside the force cage in a minute and surrounded it was a few zombie drones I’d happened to have lying around. He was trapped. He was mine!

Yes, evil laugh all you like.

In retrospect, the rest of it should have been really straightforward. I had the guy trapped. I had all the evil devices I could possibly hope for at my disposal. I had my zombie drones, my forcefield... Everything was in my favour. I could have shot the guy (or impaled him, or mind-enslaved him, or whatever you choose), and dumped him in the sea. And then I could have got back to my plan, which, by the way, was awesome. With most of the world already under my sway, I only had a few nuts and bolts to tighten before I could declare myself Supreme Ruler of the Universe and get on with dominating the world I’d put so much effort into acquiring.

And here’s the moment everything started to go wrong. Because here is where I fell into the trap supervillains have fallen into for generations. Maybe the gene that predisposes one to supervillainy also manifests in a tendency towards this particular weakness.

Monologuing.

I started fucking monologuing. Talk about a rookie error. The main reason the heroes win in the end is never their superior strength or moral goodness, whatever the stories want you to believe. No, it’s just that they have all this extra time on their hands for their slow brains to plan out escape routes, because those of us on Team Evil insist on running them through things they already know. It’s an ego thing. I guess I thought that, having forgone the cape and the use of the actual volcano, I could indulge in a few minutes of and-now-let-me-tell-you-how-I-have-defeated-you.

Damn. Damn damn damn.

I was only just getting into my stride when he managed to deactivate the force cage. The zombies were down before I could blink. Which just left me, him, and the laser. I was hoping that he would at least make the mistake of trying to turn me from my evil ways, but it turned out he wasn’t that kind of superhero. So instead, he shot me.

Which brings us to the present. I rolled over onto my back, staring up at the ceiling of my lair. I was really annoyed. What an embarrassing mistake to have made. I could see Lord Lightning towering over me, blabbing on about something. I imagine it was something to do with good and evil, and the choices we make in our lives. To be honest, I was pretty far past caring. Then again, he was very close... My mind raced.

Ignoring the agony in my side, I twisted up off the ground, managing to raise myself high enough to grab the laser gun from the hero’s hand. I considered shouting something dramatic, something nice and pithy about irony and fate, but I’d learned my lesson. So I just shot the guy. It was some consolation.

Ha, I thought, as he toppled to the ground, a look of surprise on his stupid face. One point for Team Evil. And then it all went nice and dark.

  • 1
This is really cool! Reminds me of Dr Horrible. I'm very sad that Draconis dies in the end. But You made it a funny story despite the sad ending! I love the amount of thought he put into his name, and the socially awkward school kid and the evil overlord list. But my absolute favourite part is that his real lair was next door to Evil Island. Way cool!

Also, Lord Lightning is totally a romance novel hero name! :p

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