A little something entered for the bad boy blogfest, a fraction early, since I have just found out that I will be playing cricket for much of tommorrow. Still, given the time difference, that should get me back just as everyone else comes on line. Probably.
The dress code for the annual villains’ ball was not so much black tie as simply black. After much deliberation, Lord Giles the Generally Unpleasant had settled on his second best armour, deciding that the set with all the spikes probably wasn’t suitable. After all, partners generally preferred it if they didn’t get impaled in the middle of the foxtrot.
Not that there seemed to be much danger of anyone dancing with him at the moment. Instead, Giles found himself forced to sit off to one side while that irritating fool Duke Nasty got all the attention, evil sorceresses and witch-queens practically fighting one another for the next dance. Or actually fighting, in the case of a couple of barbarian types who had drunk a little too much.
It had been the same, even at Madam Illiot’s School For Young Darklords. Young Giles would do his best, working away at cheating with the rest of his year, and then Nasty would breeze past with a casual sneer and take top marks. Even in monster wrangling, where Giles had spent ages rearing a Thousand-Handed-Thing, Nasty had managed to go one better. He’d used some of the family fortune to bring in an honest-to-evilness dragon, which had proceeded to eat Giles’ Thing deep fried.
Giles brushed away a tear at the memory. Poor Fluffy…
Ten years of assorted villainy hadn’t changed a thing. Giles had set up his Tunnels of Agony, and Nasty had come up with a dungeon complex that made it look like a Maze of Mild Discomfort by comparison. Giles had plotted to achieve favour with the Great Red Eye, and Nasty had overtaken him by the simple expedient of delivering a tanker-load of eye drops. Nowadays, when heroes fought their way through the cunning traps protecting Giles’ evil stronghold, it was mostly just so that they could ask directions to Nasty’s place. Of course, Giles had them horribly killed, but that wasn’t the point.
And now he was up for the MVV, the annual Most Villainous Villain award, at just the point when Giles had wormed his way onto the nominations list. It just wasn’t fair, even by a standard that normally saw that as simply a description of those maidens you threw to the dragon as a treat.
Giles looked up, or rather down, at his goblin henchman, Tilesbury. He just about restrained a sigh. Giles knew that a proper goblin henchman should be an evil, capering thing, with a name like “Snot”, not somebody who dressed like a particularly green penguin, spoke like an earl, and had twice stopped rampaging troupes of heroes in their tracks by asking them to head around to the tradesmen’s entrance.
‘Is everything in place?’
‘Indeed, sir. I fear I must ask again if this is entirely the best course of action. Stealing the presentation trophy for the annual Most Villainous Villain award does seem a trifle… risky.’
‘Just so long as I can make sure Nasty doesn’t get it, I don’t care,’ Giles snapped, and then realised that, as a proper evil overlord, he should probably add some sort of threat. ‘That is, fetch it for me, or I will take your liver and… and…’
‘Feed it to the Nameless Beast of Phlal?’ Tilesbury suggested.
‘Very good, sir.’
The goblin hurried off. Giles kept his eyes on Nasty, allowing himself an evil smile. As a result, he wasn’t really in a position to notice that an assortment of other hench-creatures were making their way from the hall.
‘What are we going to do?’ An ogre henchman demanded in a whining voice. ‘What are we going to do?’
‘Oh, hysterics,’ Tilesbury sighed. ‘Would somebody slap him please?’
A dark-elf in frankly not quite enough leather obliged, sparking a brawl somewhere towards the back of the storeroom the assembled hench-creatures currently occupied. Several of the others stepped discretely away. One, a goblin that went by the rather more traditional name of Grag, raised a hand.
‘What are we going to do, though? I mean, your boss wants the trophy, and my boss wants the trophy, and my cousin Snag’s boss-’
‘Everybody’s employer wants the trophy,’ Tilesbury interrupted, on the basis that they didn’t have all night. ‘The urge to nobble one’s rivals through a little simple larceny probably falls under the general heading of “evil”, you see.’
‘Yes, but we can’t all give them what they want.’ The other goblin shuddered. ‘Master gets upset when he doesn’t get what he wants.’
There was a general chorus of assent from the others. Tilesbury grinned, dragging a big box out from among the other boxes in the storeroom. When he opened it, a large number of very shiny, very gold plated, and above all very trophy like objects were plainly visible.
‘It’s just as well I planned ahead then, isn’t it. Now, what shall we say? Three gold each?’