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The Side of Evil
The Side of Evil
The Side of Evil
eBook213 Seiten1 Stunde

The Side of Evil

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Everyone loves a hero....but sometimes you can't help but root for the villain. Turn your allegiance for the other side's story. We bring you seven stories of mayhem and machinations by Peter David, James M. Ward, Aaron Rosenberg, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Janine K. Spendlove, Drew Bittner, and James Chambers.

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SpracheEnglish
HerausgebereSpec Books
Erscheinungsdatum1. Dez. 2015
ISBN9781942990161
The Side of Evil
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Autor

Peter David

Peter David is a prolific author whose career spans nearly two decades. His recent novels include Tigerheart: A Tale of the Anyplace and Darkness of the Light. He is also renowned for his work as a comic-book writer, including the Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man, and the Fallen Angel. He is the cocreator and author of the bestselling Star Trek: New Frontier series for Pocket Books.

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    Buchvorschau

    The Side of Evil - Peter David

    Introduction

    We should be sincere enough to admit that we love evil too well to give it up. ---Mahatma Gandhi

    On its own, humanity is a destructive force. It needs a master." ---Ra's Al Ghul

    Some villains become evil in the name of a greater good. Characters like Magneto and Ra's Al Ghul understand that humanity, or a subset of humanity, must be protected from itself. They are willing to do whatever it takes to create what they perceive to be a better world.

    More often their brethren are motivated by greed, driven by ego to nefarious schemes that only benefit themselves. They may be collecting items that are thematically dear to them or merely acquiring great wealth. In either case, they are all seeking the spotlight to gain what they covet.

    Others are driven by revenge seeking to redress some real or imagined slight by a hero that has now become their archenemy. Creating newer and grander plots with better equipment to foil, embarrass, or preferably kill their enemy.

    Then we have villains like the Joker, sociopaths who don't care what happens during their reign of terror, obsessively trying to fulfill some inner need for destruction and possibly greed.

    But whatever inspires them, villains are nothing if not goal-oriented. Whether it is personal, global, or galactic, there is always a goal.

    Ya kinda have to admire that.

    Think about what it takes to craft such schemes and carry them out. A vision is needed first, robbing a bank or ruling the world, a villain needs a master plan. Then there is acquiring the elements to put the plan into action: Technology or magic or brute force. Whatever it takes to make it happen. Then, and only then, can the vision be carried out. And let none stand in their way or suffer the consequences.

    Sure, sometimes there is collateral damage. People die, buildings fall, economies crumble, cities and planets disappear but what are such small sacrifices once one's hearts desire has been achieved?

    Isn't that what we all want: our hearts desire?

    You know you do.

    BWAHAHAHAHA!!

    Greg Schauer

    Pusher Man

    Doth Protest Too Much

    James M. Ward

    Doth Protest Too Much Icon

    By the work, one knows the workman.

    Jean de La Fontaine

    Her mother and father were waiting for her downstairs at the family breakfast table. They were villainous lawyers, the most successful the world had ever known. Today, she would be allowed to start down her own path of true villainy.

    By the work, one knows the workman, the birthday girl of eighteen said over and over again. The quote had a world of meaning for her. She found herself repeating it before every difficult task she took up in her young life.

    She skipped down the stairs, happy with her recent choices. Entering the breakfast nook she greeted her parents. Good morning, Mommy; morning, Daddy.

    Her dad closed his laptop. Crimson, you are glowing today. Happy birthday to you, my darling daughter. By the way, I love the new uniform. That cape and those gloves set off the outfit perfectly.

    Crimson Doom spun around in place, showing off her white outfit with the apple red cape. Seeing the smiles of delight from her parents topped off her high feeling of luck.

    She sat down and reached for both the orange juice and tomato juice. It was definitely going to be a two-juice day. Nice of you to say, Daddy.

    I trust it is bullet proof, fire proof, and can't be detected by infra-red or television cameras, her father said worried about his daughter.

    Oh, Daddy, you're so silly. Crimson laughed as she dumped a huge pile of eggs and watermelon on her plate. We learned the cloak and dagger stuff in sixth grade villainy class. My suit is amazing, just like me. It is stuffed with all the nano-bots my superpowers let me make. It can also change my appearance from a busty female to an old man. The costume is perfect, just like your birthday daughter. She gave her dad a big smile; her mouth bulging with eggs.

    Her mother sat down at the table and looked disparagingly at her hair. Happy birthday, daughter. I still worry about a foe pulling your war braid, her mom admonished for the hundredth time.

    Mom, just stop right there. We've talked and talked about my hair. I am not you. War braids are the style this year for all female villains. Let's talk about something else, Crimson said as she gulped down her breakfast.

    Capital idea, daughter, her dad said smiling at the way she was packing in the food. He remembered his first day in court, thirty-two years ago. Tell me what you have decided to do for your first act of despicable villainousness.

    I'm going to rob the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China in Macau, she said, bursting with pride. It's the largest bank in the world. I'm only going to take ten million or so, but it's all going to be in paper currency.

    She held up her hand, quieting her mother who was about to speak. "Mom, I have done my homework. The bank was acquired by Sociedade de Turismo e Diversoes de Macau in 1989, and is a wholly owned subsidiary. It was said to be the first bank in Greater China to offer a pre-paid debit card. There are 110 security guards on duty during the day and 47 at night. I've reviewed all the blueprints of the place. I know just where to cut communications with the outside world. I have two escape routes and I planned a little distraction for the police of the city."

    That's my birthday girl! her dad said filled with pride.

    Honey, maybe we should send a few of our best lawyers over, just in case. Her mother had that worried protective tone in her voice.

    Her father was having nothing to do with that idea. Faith, dear, she doesn't want or need our help. We have done everything we can to make her successful in her chosen career as a villain.

    Thanks, Dad, Crimson said, deciding not to take a third helping of eggs and fruit.

    As she got up her dad said, Maybe we shouldn't show the world our true nature just yet. He pointed at her cape.

    Oh right, she said irritated at making a rookie mistake. She swirled and used her nano-bot powers to change her appearance to a pleasant Chinese school girl dressed in a white blouse and black skirt. It was one of many appearances she could change into in an instant using her nano-bot super power and the features of her costume.

    She kissed both of her parents on their cheeks and left the house whistling a happy tune.

    ~ * ~

    Crimson Doom's mother glared at her father.

    All right, all right, it doesn't hurt to be a little careful. I'll send a brace of lawyers and a squad of our best assassins. We'll have the bank and Macau's police departments covered like white on rice. However, if she finds out about them, you were the one that sent them. He reached back to his laptop and sent an email to the office and the head of security.

    ~ * ~

    The flight from San Francisco to Macau was fast and fun. Crimson decided to fly first class because she had never been on a normal passenger plane before. A cab took her to the deluxe Hilton hotel. She looked at herself in the full-length mirror in her room. She saw a young woman with a red braid in a frilly sundress. Raising her hand, a million nanobots changed her to her archvillain costume. I am the Crimson Doom. I'm the scourge of the world and don't you forget it.

    The Crimson Doom would take a nap now, once she ordered a four a.m. wake-up call.

    Hours and hours later the phone rang. The blurry-eyed young woman picked up the ancient hotel phone and heard the wake-up call recording.

    Don't they realize I'm the Crimson Doom? I'm tired, she hissed as she slammed the phone down on its base. Briefly, she thought about sleeping an hour more. Then her eyes blazed open. She was going to become infamous today. She would be the only person to ever rob the biggest bank in the world. Interpol, the CIA, and the Chinese Military would all be after her. What a great day! she said jumping up and getting ready.

    Using the nano-abilities built into her special costume, she morphed into her Chinese school girl persona. The Crimson Doom began generating highly specialized nanobot batches in the hundreds of thousands. She placed these about her person. They became invisible patches on her uniform, but she knew where every one of them was located and what their programed abilities were. Skipping, she traveled down the busy sidewalk to the front of the bank. The nanobots she'd activated were even now setting off alarms on the other side of town. Fifty stores were signaling robberies all across the north end of the city.

    She casually tossed off more nanobots into the air by the outdoor alarm of her bank, to disable the system. More bots would shut off the bank's video cameras. A batch unlocked the front door and she walked in bold as brass; tossing nanobot patches to make the guards fall unconscious.

    Wait a minute, she said surprised. Something is very wrong!

    The alarms and cameras were already turned off. Her nanobots told her there were 48 guards, but they were all using neural paralyzer pistols instead of guns. Bank security guards couldn't afford that type of weapon.

    Suddenly, she was enraged. Screaming, she transformed. Someone else is trying to rob my bank! From the lovely, full-figured young school girl, her rage transformed her. Outrageous muscles bulged from her body. Odd black nano-bot cones, like thorns, grew from her uniform in the hundreds. She broke three off and threw them at the nearest guards closing in on her. Flying at many times the speed of sound, the cones burst through the bodies of the guards, killing them instantly.

    Her nanobots told her she was dealing with reptile men. Ignoring the paralyzer fire, she killed batches of the fake guards. Mark Forest, where are you? she screamed. The world knew that Mark Forest was the supreme leader of the reptile men. Her nanobots told her he was in the vault. The vault she was supposed to open.

    The other forty-seven fake guards were dead. In the vault, Mark Forest was pushing a very heavy, wheeled cart filled with cash and gold into a large, black dimensional portal.

    So it's to be the old portal dodge, Crimson thought to herself. Not only was she crazy angry, she now added green jealousy to the mix. She couldn't make portals yet. She'd been working on the effect, but so far had no luck. She threw nanobots at all four wheels to seize the platform before it entered the portal.

    Then she attacked Mark Forest.

    Her jet-propelled nano-bot rockets bounced off her adversary.

    Miss Crimson, would you begrudge me a few million in stolen currency? What about honor among thieves? Mark Forest said in a chiding tone.

    Never call me Miss Crimson. I am the Crimson Doom and you have invaded my territory. You aren't getting away with a single dollar of that money. She used three different highly specialized nano-bot attacks on her adversary. His mutations rebuffed them all.

    Well, I can see you are going to be snippy about this, Mark Forest said in a snide tone. We will meet again under different circumstances, dear lady. Taking a single bill as proof that Crimson couldn't stop his theft, he calmly walked through the portal and it vanished after him.

    Dear lady! she mocked. Miss Crimson, I hate being called that!

    Crimson Doom stormed around the bank. She noted all the millions and millions of dollars lying around. She didn't care about them now. What's the point if I'm not going to be the first one to

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