Tales of Heroics and Villainry, Volume 6!

October 5, 2007

“The only way to win is not to play the game.”

Mr. Catastrophe was proud of his island fortress. Schemer, the monthly supervillain magazine, had rated it as the top lair in the business, with a 100% success rate against superhero raiding teams. A maze filled with highly trained guards, ferocious monstrosities and ingenius death-traps, heroes had been lost for weeks trying to get to the center and confront him directly… but they always emerged as beaten figures, if they emerged at all.

He admired the design of the place – though from a distance. He didn’t actually live there. Instead, he resided in a nice, comfortable penthouse, telepathically sealed from searching minds and seeking spells. The lair was simply there to give a nice, obvious target for heroes to hurl themselves against. Truth be told, he’d never even visited the place.

He also wasn’t a seven foot tall mutant in bronze armor, with scaled skin and an aura of flames – that was merely the computer simulation with which he broadcast his demands whenever he was threatening to unleash some form of property damage or another. No, he was a slim young man of mixed descent who enjoyed dressing in loose, comfortable garb. And when he did actually unleash his death rays or killer robots or laser-wielding death monkeys?

All just smoke and mirrors. Targets to distract the heroes and the city while his elite units would infiltrate the headquarters of powerful corporations, conveniently located far from the catastrophe, and make off with trade secrets, private research or insider knowledge. In and out without leaving any sign of their presence, while the only ones capable enough to spot their passage were busy with distractions. Paid well enough to stay silent, something he could easily afford as their acquisitions allowed him to play the stock market, or develop his own advanced research far ahead of the competition. With every day, more companies fell under his sway, without even realizing who ran the show from behind the scenes.

The only real downside of the business was not being able to share his genius. It would have been nice to gloat about how thoroughly he had played the heroes for fools, time and time again – but the plan only worked so long as no one knew what he was up to. As long as no one even knew he existed, really. So no fancy speeches, no smug explanation of his genius.

A shame, the lack of recognition for what he had accomplished. Fortunately, there were few things in the world for soothing melancholy as vast piles of cash and control of a world-wide empire.

And Mr. Catastrophe, feared supervillain – or, more accurately, Marcus Murphey, successful nobody – had both in abundance.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: