My pursuit of interesting experiences in the world of super-crime has resulted in an unexpected consequence. I think I might have more insight into the inner workings of supervillain mind than anyone else in the world. I’ve been on dozens of jobs with dozens of different groups, hundreds of supervillains, I’ve studied them up close think I have a unique perspective on these guys.
There are all kinds of books out there about the psychology of “big time” evil people written by doctors and other smart people. Spoiler alert, the guys trying to take over the world or kill half the world’s population? They aren’t right in the head.
The funny thing I’ve learned is that a lot of the mid-level guys aren’t really that bad. If they didn’t have powers or a super-serum or a butterfly gilder or a magic pogo stick they wouldn’t be criminals at all I don’t think. They’d be truck drivers or bricklayers or what have you and they’d drink a little too much beer and have a mild porn addiction and watch lots of sports and wonder why their lives were so disappointing. Normal boring guys.
But when these buys fall into a vat of radioactive rats or they touch an ancient idol from the Congo or an alien drops their watch in their yard they think “this is my chance!” But they’re not smart enough to really take advantage of their powers. They blunder from disaster to disaster because they’re just a truck driver or a bricklayer that happens to be able to melt stone or fly or eat glass without getting hurt.
It’s pathetic in a sort of endearing way, like a minor league baseball player closing in hard on forty who thinks he still has a shot at the majors. That’s some of them. Then there are the “no honor among thieves” real bastards.
Everything was going according to plan. There isn’t even a human security presence at government supervillain technology storage warehouse #107, just cameras and sensors and alarms to summon whoever has to keep track of these things if someone does break in.
Mean Machine and Magnum Master and I were able to bypass all that security remotely without any issue. We drove up in our van that looked like all the vans that come and go from that place and the guy who asks too many questions broke down a super-door with his super-strength. It was just that easy. We were inside opening up boxes to get the suits I was interested and everything was going swimmingly.
That’s when Buzzer and Shockmaster and Womanpuncher and whoever the hell else is part of the biker gang showed up. Their asses were chapped that I didn’t want them for my mission so they came to crash the party. But how did they even know about what the mission was ibn the first place? I never said anything to them about the job was because I got rid of them tout de suite. But there they were, screwing up my plan.
I can’t rule him out completely, but I don’t think Jack would sell anyone out. Samurai honor and whatever. That means that most likely someone on the team must have betrayed me to them. I’m a little less inclined to think it’s either of the M&M boys because I think they’re smart enough to know that’s bad policy, but I can’t cross any of them off the list for sure. My initial instinct was that the guy who asked too many questions was the quisling but since he saved my life it’s probably not him.
What would have been nice is if the traitor revealed himself to fight alongside the Australian wasteland warrior mohawk and vest crew. Supervillains do that sometimes. Instead of laying low and seeing who’s going to win out they’re all “Haha, I tricked you, I was working for the Ghost Cartel all along Dr. Destructus!” They’re like bad con artists, instead of prioritizing getting away with it they want you to know how smart they are.
That didn’t happen though.
My first idea was to ask lots of questions during the planning so I could get as much facetime with Helen as I could. That backfired on me though because I could tell she was starting to think that I was a real dumb-dumb because I was asking so many questions about things that were pretty straightforward honestly.
I knew that I had to switch strategies. I’m not a great tactical thinker, I know that, but I came up with a good idea. Instead of going at Helen directly, started talking to everyone else. Like team-building in an office job, get everyone involved and that way I could get Helen talking too without seeming like I was fixating on her.
One day during a break from the planning and everything we were sitting around eating some fast food burgers so I asked about some of their crazy on the job supervillain stories. Everybody’s got a story about their cape getting stuck in an elevator door or walking in on a hero banging their spouse or the time their crime-mobile lost a wheel and the payday got away, it’s a reliable way to get people talking.
When it came around to me I told them about how I worked with Ballbuster Val once in a group I don’t even remember the name of. It wasn’t much of a story really, I was just banking on the comedic appeal of a supervillain whose sole gimmick was abusing men’s genitals. Everybody was laughing and carrying on and having a good old time as I told them about old Ballbuster, everybody except Helen. I tried to rein things because I thought she might be offended but it was too late. Once people get started making dick jokes there’s no good way to stop them.
I wasn’t sure if Helen was not pleased with all the penis jokes or if she was friends with BB-Val but she didn’t seem in on the joke. Afterwards when the group took another break I went to apologize to her but when it was just the two of us she gave me a little smile. “I was Ballbuster Val you know.”
You could have knocked me over with a feather! And that’s taking into account that I’m really hard to knock over. She said that the Ballbuster persona was something she did on a whim one time but that’s the one that people still talk about. She laughed and then after she thought about it she did remember me! “You’re the guy who was fighting on the bridge with that Stars and Stripes guy when Wargun blew it up right? I figured you were dead.”
She remembered me! After that I think she started warming up to me a little.
I was impressed by how well thought out her plan was. She had things plotted out to the smallest detail, down to the paint we used on the stolen van, things like that. She had all the schematics and the schedules and everything for us. Lots of supervillains putting together heists have plans but they all seem pretty half-assed, like we don’t really need to worry about it because if things go sideways we can just use our powers. This was like a real heist like in a movie.
When the day came I was more nervous that I’ve ever been before a job. I didn’t have that much to do really, just bust down a door and help carry stuff, Helen and the two tech guys had the hard jobs, but I was sweating bullets. Figuratively I mean, not like the Amazing Bulletman.
Everything was going great until the Choppers showed up to steal our ill-gotten gains.