Some of my favorite villains are the ridiculously big terrorist organizations. Cobra, Hydra, AIM, HIVE, the list goes on. They can always be counted on for a fun story, even if they’re just serving as a bunch of cannon fodder for Captain America or the Justice League to plow through. Here’s a little tribute to the organized henchman. About 750 words.
Lenny pointed his fists at the moon, bright and full in the skylight, and braced his feet, as though tugging on the distant satellite with a lasso. “And then, it’s easy enough to just drop it right on her house!”
Richard spared a moment from glaring at his cell phone to glare at Lenny. “I mean plan for dinner. Dinner. It’s where you eat stuff. Not destroy your ex girlfriend. Which wouldn’t be an issue if you’d taken my advice and not mingled with the minions in the first place.”
Lenny straightened and smoothed the creases out of his uniform, a green jumpsuit highlighted with purple stripes. “Yeah, I guess you’re right. I could just send one of the new RX-500s to deal with her.”
Lenny and Richard stood on a catwalk high above a bustling factory floor. Long assembly lines clanked and whirred below as robotic arms and servos worked. At the far end of the factory, crews of men in simpler versions of Lenny and Richard’s uniforms fed assorted raw parts into the assembly line. Beneath the catwalk where the supervisor’s stood, massive armored engines of destruction lumbered fully complete from the end of the line, their programming already directing them toward the ammunition loading zone nearby. The next line over, a group of workers inspected and packed jet packs. The organization operated five such factories. Each produced enough weaponry every year to overthrow almost any given nation in the world.
They mostly used it to harass superheroes and secret intelligence organizations.
Richard’s cell phone finally launched into a sing song ring tone. He quickly answered before Lenny could make fun of him.
“Yeah…no…no, he’s here. Yeah he’s pissed. About that girl. What’s her name. The minion.”
“Katey! She’s an engineer!”
“Wait, hang on.” Richard held the phone away from his face. “Katey? The one in Department 4?”
“Engineering team Despayr, yeah.”
“Jesus Christ. She was Section 8 six months ago. She doesn’t even work here anymore, dufus.”
Lenny stared. “Wait. Section 8?”
“She’s crazy. Certifiable. Cracked up. Doc said something about how she empathized too much with that little Austrian town we torched last year.” Richard turned back to his phone. “So yeah, what’s the plan for dinner?”
Lenny looked out over the factory, gripping the catwalk railing with white knuckled fury. She’d never mentioned that she’d been fired, he thought. She still occasionally wore her uniform, as though she’d just come from a field mission or headquarters. She griped about Janet, the woman she carpooled with and who apparently stole her pens every day. None of it made sense.
“Okay,” Richard stepped up, pocketing his cell phone. “We’re heading to Outback. Jeff and Adrian will meet us there.” He cocked his head, apparently noticing for the first time how upset Lenny had become.
“Hey look, man, it’s okay,” Richard sympathized. He hesitantly laid a hand on Lenny’s shoulder. “We’ve all been burned by some crazy bitch at some point. But it’s been weeks. You need to move on. We’ll talk to Adrian tonight, maybe she can hook you up with someone in the Death Ops squad.”
“It hasn’t been weeks,” Lenny whispered. “I talked to her yesterday. We were going to make up, try to work things out.”
“Ah, well, okay…”
Lenny hung his head. “I invited her here. To meet up with us. To go to dinner.”
Richard staggered, stunned. The location of the factories was kept a strict secret to any personnel who didn’t work there. Telling anyone else was an executable offense. Telling someone who’d been thrown out of the organization months ago? And who was apparently still pretending to work there?
“She’s a damn mole!” Richard cried.
As if on cue, several trucks at the far end of the factory exploded, scattering crew and equipment. Helicopters soared overhead, obscuring the moon. Troops repelled from the choppers, and in moments Lenny and Richard heard the patter of combat boots across the roof. United Nations troops poured through the entrances, overwhelming the organization security in moments.
Richard sprinted toward the stairs. “We’ve got to get the 500s going! If they reach the control room it’s all over!”
Lenny shook his head. Rifle fire filled the air. Crews at the end of the assembly line scrambled to get the untested jet packs powered up, but started taking fire from the shattered sunroofs above them. Lenny looked up at the moon, full and bright and beautiful.
“I would have given her the moon,” he said. “Would have dropped it right on her house.”