Every year Christmas seems to get earlier and earlier. It’s the middle of November, and I’ve seen houses fully decorated, I’ve heard endless Christmas music played in shops and I’ve even overheard people talk to each other about how they’ve completed their Christmas gift shopping.
It’s been no different in our underground lair, as from about November 10th, all Her Evilness has done is talk about her Christmas plans, or at least, what her Christmas plans should be.
Oh, where are my manners? Well, I’m an evil henchman, I’m not supposed to have manners. Nonetheless, hello again, my name is Bert, robotic assistant to the evil Dr. Meow, half-human-half-cat scientist and the world’s most infamous villain.
Christmas has always been Her Evilness’ favourite time of year, though she may deny it. Often, you’ll hear her say ‘Bah, humbug!’ or she’ll claim the reason she stole presents or tried to zap Santa or tried to zap people dressed as Santa was because she “hates Christmas”, but she’s always happier than usual around the holidays. Just last week, her plan to flood the city with wet food was foiled by a certain superheroic dog, and today, I see her pacing around the room, smiling and muttering to herself about her many ideas.
She and I had enacted many of the archetypical seasonal plots; we’ve stolen presents for ourselves, we’ve tried to weaponize Santa’s sleigh, but both of us know this year, we have to up our game.
Last week, fellow villain Flamefan attacked a fireworks display with a giant bonfire monster, along with a robotic rocket that soared across the sky with a vacuum that sucked up the money from people’s pockets. He was defeated when that superhero dog, the same one I and Her Evilness battle, came in and extinguished the fire monster with her breath. Nonetheless, most other villains agreed that it was a spectacular attack, especially since before then, no other villain had enacted a plan based around Bonfire Night. Now, my mistress racks her brains on how she could top such a thing.
‘I know,’ she says to me, pointing at the air, ‘you know The Nutcracker?’ Not only do I know of it, I have ETA Hoffman’s book downloaded in my brain. ‘We gather some mice, and not only do we brainwash them into serving us, we create a giant mutant mouse king!’
‘I don’t think that’s a good idea, my mistress,’ I reply, though the sudden thought that I might have ruined her good mood makes my circuits feel like they’ve frozen, ‘wasn’t the Mouse King quickly defeated, and off-screen? Besides, that makes me think of that Magnificent Mega Rat you told me about.’
‘Oh yeah,’ Her Evilness replies, putting a claw on her chin, ‘I remember how quickly he fell.’ She cackles as she rubs her stomach. ‘I might still get some mice for the plan, just in case I get hungry.’
‘Well,’ I tell her, ‘keep in mind we have an entire month until Christmas, so we have plenty of time to…’
‘No, no, no,’ replies Her Evilness as she grabs me by my metal shoulders, ‘you know how quickly the years pass. People will be expecting us to bring forth a grand Christmas scheme, and if we don’t think of one now, we might suddenly find ourselves on Christmas Eve without a plan. I mean, you look at all these people shopping early…’
‘That’s it!’ I say, ‘I know we’ve stolen Christmas presents before, but the problem with that was that those presents were brought back because they could be brought back. Instead of stealing presents, why don’t we destroy them? Just imagine, all those people who made sure to buy their presents the month before, seeing all their presents disappear into nothing on Christmas Eve!’
Her Evilness gives her seal of approval: a wide grin and a long, malicious laugh. ‘Good idea, Bert,’ she replies, rubbing her hands together, ‘and I’ve got just the thing to accomplish that!’
She leads me to a table where she has a number of blueprints, books and even half-finished villain songs lying around, but brings to my attention a blueprint featuring a number of insects. ‘I thought of a plan to turn insects into “This-Insect’s-Greats”, which can disintegrate anything I tell it to. A push of a button and anything they’re on will be reduced to almost nothing. I’ve just been trying to think of a good scheme for them.’
‘Wonderful,’ I reply, ‘Once you’re done with the presents, we can put one on that dog too!’
‘No!’ barks Her Evilness, before composing herself and adding, ‘We don’t want to kill her! It’ll be more delicious to see the look on her face when she sees my plan come to fruition!’
I’ve told you before about the dog. That super-powered heroic dog that just happened to show up when Her Evilness threw away one of her inventions. There’s an unwritten rule that any villain responsible for a hero’s origin becomes that hero’s arch-enemy, and Her Evilness loves being an arch-enemy.
When she deals with people in the streets, Her Evilness blasts them with her ray gun or throws an exploding cat toy at them. When the dog invades our lair, Her Evilness ties her up in easily-breakable rope, dangles her above a vat of acid which she is slowly lowered into, and Her Evilness doesn’t even stay to watch.
Yes, the dog always escapes, and I let her escape; I love seeing my mistress happy.
She is certainly happy when we work on creating the This-Insect’s-Greats, creating bubbling green potions, pouring them over butterflies and cockroaches and watching them reduce cardboard standees into nothing. Both of us imagine a man pulling presents out of his cupboard, only to see them vanish before his eyes, and both of us have a good laugh.
It even feels like Christmas came early.
After the insects have been mutated, we put them in their own little enclosure, and Her Evilness goes to bed while I shut down for a few hours to recharge my batteries.
The first thing I see upon being booted up again is Her Evilness’ grin.
‘Bert, I can’t wait! Let’s send out the This-Insect’s-Greats today instead! I mean, it’ll probably be less malicious than actually doing it on Christmas Eve, and they’ll buy more presents, but doing that’ll mean they’ll have less money and that’s still evil!’
I don’t protest. How can I? She’s as happy as…well, a child on Christmas.