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Evil Overlord List commented by Evil Overlords (inspired by Seawasp's post) Part 01
Inspired by:

My Evil Overlords want to comment too! (Why did no one invite them to the panel, they wonder. Just because no one knows of them doesn't mean they don't have an opinion!)

Introduction and some backround on Arentus and Thalos:

Thalos gives his age as 92 (centuries), Arentus makes up a random number whenever he's asked, Thalos knows though, and gives Arentus' age as 89 (centuries).

Around 10k years ago, when the humans on the Earth with Magic got smart enough to use said magic (and a few found out where it was possible in the first place), their history branched off from ours. (Naturally. A world where humans can use magic would take a different path.)

Those with the right talent (or were taught how to do it) even found out how to prevent ageing. There are other talents, one of which enables one to watch our (real) world, same time, any place (called Farseers).

There were as many different kinds of people as there are now; nice ones, nasty ones, crazy ones, and everything in between. Arentus and Thalos were among the nasty ones from the start. They met early on and found they have the same mind set.
For the curious:!original/alt.fiction.original/JLmVo8AbWno/AmpocQUULI0J (Part 1, starts elsewhere but Arentus is met near the end.)!original/alt.fiction.original/enIBugovtEU/32GbbuNuMq8J (Part 2, Arentus as viewpoint.)
(I should really polish them one day, without word limit. [sigh])

The amount of magic is decided by raw brainpower at birth (like hardware) within a certain range, and then grows 0.25% per year, so over the millenia those that stuck around from back then got to be considerably more powerful than any newly born people.

Eventually they all worked together to scare the newer people into living in certain protected areas; everyone got their own little plot to rule as they saw fit. Over time, their original description; Magician (powerful user of magic) was shortened to Shan. So now every Shan rules what's called a city (but might not even qualify as village, depending).

Arentus and Thalos of course didn't like others being around, never mind that they minded their own business. So over the millinia they schemed to whittle away at the numbers. At the start of the story, there's only the insane, deluded, narcisstic, might-once-have-been-nice-but-was-driven-nuts, paranoid, uncaring, and similar left. 28 of them. With only the two main ones deliberately nasty and enjoying it. Ironically (or maybe not; it _is_ planned), their two plots are the best places to live in - as long as you don't draw their attention upon you.

(There's also the rest of the world; the Evil Overlords and Ladies only cover the landmass equivalent to the North American continent.)

Arentus looks like he's in his mid-thirties. He has a very pale complexion, black hair and eyes, black trousers and shirt. Handsome, with a beak-like nose marring the picture. He comes across as relaxed, or maybe bored, or distracted and amused by something no one else can see (which is quite possible; they can watch other places without needing to look into/at something solid).

Thalos looks like he's in his early to mid-twenties, has a bearing of a spoiled rich son. He's most likely playing with his food like a bored three-year old and not giving the impression that he's paying attention.

On to the commentary!

1. My Legions of Terror will have helmets with clear plexiglass visors, not face-concealing ones.

Arentus: Legions? Oh, you mean guards. Yeah, I have guards. He even has female ones. They don't need helmets. They're not there to fight anyone.

2. My ventilation ducts will be too small to crawl through.

Arentus: Ventilation ducts? Air's exchanged with magic, all set up automatically. Besides, I don't mind visitors wandering around in the bunker. Might spark something interesting.

3. My noble half-brother whose throne I usurped will be killed, not kept anonymously imprisoned in a forgotten cell of my dungeon.

Arentus: Brother? Throne? Make sense, man.

Thalos: He means whatever siblings your actual father might have sired.

Arentus: I know that. My answer amuses me more.

4. Shooting is not too good for my enemies.

Arentus: How inefectual. Shooting those nuts would just annoy them, far too much work to smooth the waters again. Now killing one, or two-

Thalos: Or three,...

Arentus: Yeah. I take every chance there is that will let me get away with it without the whole lot of them coming after me.

Thalos, to Dark Wanderer's comment: You know, even that wouldn't work on most of our enemies. To kill a Shan you have to be fast, and unexpected, with magic. Without that that stupid cow would have long since bombed all our places.

Arentus : And wouldn't that have been a waste of good toys.

5. The artifact which is the source of my power will not be kept on the Mountain of Despair beyond the River of Fire guarded by the Dragons of Eternity. It will be in my safe-deposit box. The same applies to the object which is my one weakness.

Arentus: Yeah, I keep my brain well protected. And with me at all times. Need it to think, you know.

6. I will not gloat over my enemies’ predicament before killing them.

Arentus: That'd kind of prevent killing them, see 'fast and unexpected'.

Thalos: Plus gloating might prevent them getting into a convenient situation where killing them is possible. Some of those nuts are so easily upset, and once they hold a grudge it lasts centuries.

Arentus: Also, gloating is boring.

Thalos, to the pro-gloating faction's comments: That's what toys are there for.

7. When I’ve captured my adversary and he says, “Look, before you kill me, will you at least tell me what this is all about?” I’ll say, “No.” and shoot him. No, on second thought I’ll shoot him then say “No.”

Arentus: The Shans know what it's all about, that's why they're weary. Those that think the lines are finally drawn and relax learn otherwise sooner or later. But until that sooner or later, it'll be more convenient to leave them in that delusion at least. Makes the fast and unexpected more likely to present itself.

Thalos: You're just lazy.

Arentus: Yeah.

Thalos, to master Wieran's comment: You are starting to remind me of Aleveyn. You have nothing in common with the little rat, but those hyper-ventilating outbursts do resemble his paranoid screeching a lot.

Arentus : What about our good lady here and Cassalena?

Thalos: Later.

Arentus, to Endgame's comment: That kind of behaviour has ruined Ghaveen's little plot every time. And then she comes running to me to poke some life back into her toys. That's work! Came.

Thalos: It was an accident. She didn't realize that following me to complain about my sudden disappearence wasn't a very good idea. She should have known better, but like Arentus said; she was never very good at considering consequences.

8. After I kidnap the beautiful princess, we will be married immediately in a quiet civil ceremony, not a lavish spectacle in three weeks’ time during which the final phase of my plan will be carried out.

Arentus: Marry? Never mind that such pointless activity isn't even known in Solid City. I have enough troubles keeping those fools off my back as it is, I won't be tied up with some hysterical bitch.

Thalos , then turns to Thornfalcon: Aleveyn thought setting a horde of large predator cats on my guests would upset me. I consider it a loss-less opportunity for him to think he got back at me for disrupting his boring fair. Bound and gagged on the other hand is always entertaining, as is giving people the choice of risking that fate and charming them into picking the wrong one. Puppets on the other hand would be utterly boring.

Thalos, to Master Wieran after his rant #11: Why get so worked up at what some mere toy thinks of you? They don't get it, that's part of the joke. People are so predictable, they think of you in terms they understand. That leaves them wide-open for you to present a nice picture, until they're ripe to be jumped on with what you're really like, to harvest their delightfully outraged reactions.

9. I will not include a self-destruct mechanism unless absolutely necessary. If it is necessary, it will not be a large red button labelled “Danger: Do Not Push”. The big red button marked “Do Not Push” will instead trigger a spray of bullets on anyone stupid enough to disregard it. Similarly, the ON/OFF switch will not clearly be labelled as such.

Arentus: Self-destruct mechanism on what?

Thalos: Maybe your city.

Arentus: Oh. Well, blowing that up wouldn't need some technology that does things at best half as well as magic. But why? Rebuilding is so much Work.

Thalos: You're just lazy.

Arentus: Yeah. Really. A generation of puppets, and steering the lot of them to produce and raise the new real people into the right culture and mind-set? Not if I can help it. That's at least two decades of work.

Thalos , then to Dark Wanderer: Why blow everything up after you're dead? You won't be around to enjoy the reaction of those who would be disheartened by all the casualties.

10. I will not interrogate my enemies in the inner sanctum — a small hotel well outside my borders will work just as well.

Arentus: Inner sanctum?

Thalos: Maybe he means the bottom of the bunker; your bedroom.

Arentus: How's that special, apart from what I choose to do there? It's not as if the others can't pop in any time anyway. And interrogate whom?

Thalos : If we really want to know something a toy has in their head, we catch them. Takes some of the fun out, though. And it's not as if there's anything we need to know from them.

Arentus : The other Shans are as predictable as gravity, well, as predictable as gravity that has not been meddled with with magic, anyway.

Thalos: And for plain old torture, any place that the ignorant may not wander into and get prematurely spooked will do. Well, any comfortable place.

Arentus: Bedroom fits that just fine. Though he's the messy one, I prefer things not so bloody. Or noisy.

11. I will be secure in my superiority. Therefore, I will feel no need to prove it by leaving clues in the form of riddles or leaving my weaker enemies alive to show they pose no threat.

Arentus: Of course I'm the power. But letting my toys know what I'm really like drip by drip is half the fun. And propping them back up when they get disheartened, in preparation for the next blow.

Thalos: That's the sole point of keeping a city with ignorant people, you know. We don't have weaker enemies, we have Shans, and ordinary people. After all those millenia, the other Shans know what we're like. Tweaking their noses must be handled carefully, to prevent the whole lot of them coming after us.

Arentus: And toys are just that. They don't have the magic to ever become a threat. Wasting them when there could still be some use in them is, well, a waste. Better dump them somewhere else, or store them in case a use turns up.

12. One of my advisors will be an average five-year-old child. Any flaws in my plan that he is able to spot will be corrected before implementation.

Arentus: I have better uses for pretty five-year-olds with brains.

Thalos: And no plans.

Arentus: Yeah, that too. But I'll listen to what the kid has to say. They've got some vivid imagination that might prompt something interesting, something new!

Thalos: You enthusiasm has you forget that they're to scared to talk at all, unless they're a favorite.

Arentus: Well, there's that. Hey, free kids aren't scared either. I listen to them when they are evaluated for attending my school.

13. All slain enemies will be cremated, or at least have several rounds of ammunition emptied into them, not left for dead at the bottom of the cliff. The announcement of their deaths, as well as any accompanying celebration, will be deferred until after the aforementioned disposal.

Arentus: So you've met Skai? But everyone knows that he-

Thalos: Or she, no one knows.

Arentus: Yeah. Everyone knows that he -or she- will turn up again no matter how often you explode his body and spread the molecules around the globe, altered to oxygen at that.

Thalos: Everyone else works out fine with the exploding and spreading method, though. Standard procedure with dead Shans. A bit overdone, mind. Brain alone will do.

To Thornfalcon: Cassalena thinks she's nice too. Will lecture everyone on how unkind they are objecting to people just wanting to have fun.

Arentus: And on how she knows it's fun because she tried it, and the spoilsports should try harder to enjoy it.

14. The hero is not entitled to a last kiss, a last cigarette, or any other form of last request.

Arentus: What hero?

Thalos: You can be my hero.

Arentus: Don't expect me to wear tights.

Thalos: There go my dreams.

15. I will never employ any device with a digital countdown. If I find that such a device is absolutely unavoidable, I will set it to activate when the counter reaches 117 and the hero is just putting his plan into operation.

Arentus: More of this technology stuff? Who needs that when you have magic that does more things better and faster?

Thalos: Let's play along and pretend it's a timer worked with magic.

Arentus: A Shan would spot it, everyone else could not ever sense it.

Thalos: So a technology timer then, to set something magic off?

Arentus: Have you been playing with Farseers again?

Thalos: Not beyond your last one. That's the problem really. Techology would point at a Farseer involved, which would be seen as a weakness by the other Shans, and not start anything harmful to them at that.

Arentus: And with everyone else, it doesn't matter what you do, they don't have the magic to ever become a threat.

16. I will never utter the sentence “But before I kill you, there’s just one thing I want to know.”

Arentus: Why would anyone say that?

Thalos: Maybe they're bored and hope for something interesting?

Arentus: You should check with Scandrah if she ever did that with one of her toys.

17. When I employ people as advisors, I will occasionally listen to their advice.

Arentus: I've got that silly sod there. Sometimes even spouts useful stuff.

Thalos: Why thank you.

18. I will not have a son. Although his laughably under-planned attempt to usurp power would easily fail, it would provide a fatal distraction at a crucial point in time.

Arentus: I've sired some. They became boring eventually, and went the way of all ordinary people.

Thalos: Same here. Can be amusing to pretend you're a kid's father too, for a while.

19. I will not have a daughter. She would be as beautiful as she was evil, but one look at the hero’s rugged countenance and she’d betray her own father.

Arentus: I've got a currently living daughter. Raised her properly even, didn't suspect a thing. Then she became boring and I threw her out. Fun to taunt now and then. Pretty, for a woman, no grace though. They never have any. Also no heart for 'evil', the wasted whore cares about people.

Thalos glances at him sideways, then turnes to the imagined group: He doesn't like curves. But anyway, the thing about siring children, or rather the people that think it'd give them anything against us, is not understanding magic. We grew to the amount we have. And unless we meddle with the result while it's being conceived, any child will end up with the genetic heritage of what we were born with, not what we got now.

20. Despite its proven stress-relieving effect, I will not indulge in maniacal laughter. When so occupied, it’s too easy to miss unexpected developments that a more attentive individual could adjust to accordingly.

Arentus bursts out laughing.

Thalos: Trust me, he's not going to miss anything. Laughing doesn't interrupt the links to markers and catches we have.

To Amanita: He laughs because he's amused. Doesn't matter if anyone's present.


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