“Say boss.” It was Apocalypto Pickle. And he was interrupting my discussion with the villain Magneto.
“Can I help you?”
“Well, I heard about what you did for Gun Nut,” he said. “You know, made her—”
“Yes, what about it? Magnus and I are having a nice chat while enjoying tea. Well he is, I don’t drink it myself obviously.”
“Well, I was just thinkin’ I’m kind of a misfit, always have been.” For once, Pickle’s gruff exterior crumbled away, revealing a lonely man beneath his façade. “No one’s ever done anything like that for me… This is kinda awkward, a man askin’ a man like this.”
“Don’t be silly. Throughout the more civilized species of the galaxy, love between two of the same gender does not carry the hostility or prejudices that it does in much of this world.”
“Is that so?” Magneto asked, suddenly gaining interest. “Er, I mean this is quite interesting, of course.”
“Yes. In fact as a race, the Haartarians have 12 distinct genders. Very often, they do not even care what gender they are partnering with as long as the two partners form an emotional bond.”
“So do you think you could do that for me?” Pickle asked. “You know, what you did for Gun Nut?”
“Oh by my dark lord no. I don’t ‘swing’ that way, as your kind often put it.”
“If I may, Pickle,” Magneto offered. “If it is companionship that you seek, my own henchmen have a place where they often hang out.”
“Really?” Pickle’s eyes picked up.
“Yes,” the mutant master of magnetism continued. “I hear them talking about it often. They call it the Y, evidently, and they say that it’s fun to go there. Perhaps I could have them take you there some time.”
“Really?” Pickle asked. “That’d be swell!”
“I’m sure it would. Unfortunately, it is time for my team to gather together. We must discuss my plans for the next challenge.”
“Well, it was very nice having this discussion with you, sir,” Magneto stood up and gathered his long brightly colored cloak. “I must be on my way as well.”
“Then I bid you good day. Perhaps we could pick up our earlier discussion at another time. Now, Apocalypto Pickle, gather the team!”
My four henches were quickly gathered and I introduced them to my plan.
“The plan is very simple. There is a country in Central America that has been in economic turmoil for several of your decades now. They are fighting amongst themselves and the government is run by a cruel, uncaring dictator. This will become our new base of operations.”
“I love the sexy Latinas,” a grin cracked across Iron Butterfly’s face. “What’s the plan once we get there?”
“The plan is so simple that I have no doubt that we will have easy success.”
“Well what is it?” Pickle growled impatiently.
“Quiet you,” Gun Nut warned.
“We will travel in my personal ship, its cloaking device and superior technology will surely get us there without incident. Once there, we will use the advanced technology at my disposal to erect an impenetrable base from which my true plans will come to fruition.”
“And what are those plans, boss?” Butterfly asked.
“We will slowly introduce my technology to the natives of this area, influencing its government, infrastructure, and culture. Then in less than 200 years of your time, this country will be an economic and military powerhouse, able to strike out at others with impunity!”
My four henches quietly stared at me. They stared at me quite a while. Bob the Goon almost said something, but then quietly resigned; unable to articulate his thoughts.
“I may be new to this whole evil mastermind thing, but isn’t this where you tell me how great of a plan this is?”
“Well you see, boss,” Bob began. Once again, he could not continue.
“We’re not going to be around for 200 years!” Pickle finally spat out.
“What, of course you are. You’re my henches, you’re not going anywhere.”
“What we’re trying to say, Doctor,” Gun Nut attempted to carefully phrase her words. “People like us don’t live to be over 200 years old. We might live to be 100 or so, but not much more.”
I stared at them through my clear brain containment tank.
“Well, this does speed up the timetable a bit, I suppose.”
“Yeah, that’ll work if we speed it up, boss,” Bob said. “We’re s’pposed to lure a hero there anyways. Why wait 200 years?”
“Well, I am a patient brain, but I do see your point. Instead of slow and steady, we shall take over the country quickly and haphazardly. Yes. I can’t see anything going wrong with this plan.”
“One more thing, Doctor,” Gun Nut looked at me with her stunning eye. “What country are we going to?”
“The country, my dear friends, is Sierra Gordo.”