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How to betray your master

****Just as it is the way of corporations to grow ever larger, and it is the way of mountains to crumble into the ocean, it is very nearly a law of nature that an evil supervillain has at all times a gang of minions plotting to bring about his or her destruction. In the cycle of nature, the top predator is is subject to predation by its packmates, a supernova can be consumed by a black hole, and the dark lord can be supplanted by a lowly henchman in less time than it takes to realize what is happening.

*Evil plotpoints

  1. Know yourself. How you go about the betrayal depends on a number of factors. What are your main motivations: money, revenge, a lust for destruction? Will you be escaping or are you hoping to stay there and take over? Not to put it too delicately: Will the operation be a total liquidation or will the previous master be around to seek revenge afterwards?
  2. Element of surprise. If you work for an evil master, chances are you will not be able to count on surprising him because he likely betrayed his master, and that one before him, and so on. Even if you plan to betray a good master you cannot always count on your treachery being unanticipated because that person could possibly be good but suspicious at the same time. Still, even if the target knows in general terms of your intentions, it is of great value to conceal any inkling of the exact time and place the blow will be struck.
  3. Irony. The best kinds of betrayal occur at the exact moment when the dramatic irony of the situation is greatest, perhaps with a small and insignificant little act at first which sets the whole scheme into motion, or alternatively with a big conflagration that takes everyone not in on the scheme by surprise.
  4. Mop up. Remember that regardless of how awful your previous master may have been, your fellows may not be of the same mind as you as to the desirability of your new regime. You and your trusted lieutenants should not stint on the job of moving systematically through the ranks to identify sympathizers with the old guard and to root them out.

! Strokes of genius

  • Betraying a mistress. Gender-specific considerations may come into play here as cultural influences can alter the normal power relations between minion and superior. It will be nearly unavoidable to have the treachery interpreted as a direct attack on the legitimacy of your mistress owing to her feminine status (even if you yourself are female), which you are free to turn to your own purposes if you are savvy about it. As a corollary, if your plans do not include liquidating your previous mistress, you should pretty much plan to face a long struggle where she turns all her energies to your downfall in turn. Just sayin'.
  • Plan B. Refer to the writeup on How to avoid a gruesome demise for tips on what to do if the tide turns against you, and to How to flee your pursuers on how you might be able to make it out alive. You now have a new archenemy to center your schemes around, but if you are prudent you may find you have a new set of allies who would stand to benefit from your survival and opposition to the old evildoer.

!! Traps for mere fools

  • Double double cross. This is the maneuver where the master provokes an underling into making a move only to catch them unprepared, thus strengthening and consolidating his own position against any contenders. The only good way to defend against is this is to obtain enough high-quality intelligence on your master's capabilities and intentions to be sure that there is no trap in store for you.
  • Your fellows. When you are plotting against the boss, the most dangerous person is not in fact the boss but your closest peer. That person may also be planning to betray the master and want to spoil plans to make their shot possible. They may have pledged loyalty to the current regime and not want to see that brought down. Or they may simply have a loose tongue and spread the news of your deceit at just the wrong time.

+ Precious and needful

  • Cold, blank stare.
  • Synchronizable wristwatches.
  • Prepared speech. If you plan to hold the final degrading showdown in person, rather than at a safe distance. It's your party.


Further plotting

Created by: CapellaNovafyre. Last Modification: Tuesday 23 of June, 2009 07:46:06 EDT by CapellaNovafyre.

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