E.M. Chapter Nine: "Brilliant Entrances" or "Utensils of Justice"

It was ten o’clock when we finally reached the driveway and I did a neat bit of parallel parking to stop nicely beside the curb… well, it was actually ten-oh-three and twenty-four seconds, but who’s that precise? Anyway, the parking job was marvelous. I was about four inches off the curb by my front and rear tire, and there was plenty of room to spare between my car and those in front and behind me… then again, that may have been because there were no other cars parked on the side of the street.

Anyway, after admiring my parking job with my evil sidekick and minion for a good thirteen minutes during which we mused about the meaning of life and it’s relation to parking until we ran into redundancy, we went up to the house to see if we could still get a good deal on minion services even though it was so late.

I had my minion knock on the door. After all, when one is an evil mastermind, one never knocks on doors. One has minions to do that kind of stuff. Then my minion rang the doorbell. Then I got tired of waiting and decided we should all charge the door.

As inevitably happens when three people charge a locked door, it swung open just as we were crossing the threshold, and the three of us fell in a heap against the wall inside. There was laughter behind us and we all craned our necks to see who it was from our awkward positions.

"Nice entrance, Rach," Nikki said, closing the door again, "so what brings you three here this morning?"

"I’ll tell you," I said, "As soon as these two get off of me! Stacey! Get off!"

"I can’t! Katy’s on top of me!"

"Katy, get off!"

"I can’t! Stacey’s on top of me!"

"Well, I can’t get up until you two do!" I groaned in exasperation when I craned my neck again to see what exactly we looked like. It was a mess of tangled limbs, everyone seemed to be on top of everyone else. This was not part of the plan.

We eventually got out of that mess, wriggling free of our captors and finally finding enough room to stand up. The four of us then went downstairs to further our plans.

"You want to do what?" Nikki asked, a skeptical look on her face.

"You don’t think we can do it?" I asked.

Nikki smirked, "Normally, I’d say no… but with you leading them it might be possible… if only by sheer dumb luck."

"Hey! I take offense to that, you know! I’m an evil mastermind! There’s nothing dumb about me!" I exclaimed.

"And you’re going to take over the world." Nikki said, "With a camel."

"Ye—NO! The camel isn’t for taking over the world!" I exclaimed, "It’s just a means of getting the goat and the tiger! They’re for the taking over the world part of our scheme! Haven’t you been listening to anything I said?"

"Oh, I’ve been listening," Nikki assured me, "I’m just having a hard time believing what you’re saying… you said you already have an actual camel…?"

"Yep," I confirmed, "now, are you in or not?"

"You guys are going to California?" Nikki asked. I nodded. "Well… I guess I could hang out with you for a little while… I mean, there’s no harm in that, right?"

"Sure," I shrugged, "But once we cross the state line you’ve got to be in for the long haul."

Nikki seemed to weigh her options mentally, then nodded, "Sure, I guess. What’s in it for me?"

"Five percent," I answered.

"Wait, how come she gets five percent?" Stacey interrupted, "I only got two percent!"

"Well, you were cheap, early morning help," I explained, "Nikki’s not-so-cheap, not-so-early morning help. Besides, two percent of the world is a lot. Don’t be so greedy."

"You want to rule the whole world and you’re telling me not to be greedy by wanting more than two percent?" Stacey exclaimed, "This’s hypocrisy! That’s what this is!"

I rolled my eyes and exchanged a side-glance with Katy, "They don’t make evil minions like they used to."

Katy shook her head, "Nope. Now they demand pay and everything. I remember a time you could hire minions based solely on fear…"

I blinked, "You do? Funny, I don’t. You must’ve been in the evil business longer than me."

"Well… actually, I just read about it." Katy corrected, "It was in some Superman book, I think."

"Oh… yeah, I read something similar in Batman."

"Superman’s better."

"No, Batman is."

"Superman’s got laser eyes, how much better can you get?"

"He wears stupid red and blue tights. He’s an eyesore, at least Batman’s outfit is cool."

"He dresses like a giant bat, what’s so cool about that?"

"Have you seen that guy’s belt? He’s got everything in there! Superman could never match his coolness when it comes to Utensils of Justice."

"’Utensils of Justice’? Sounds like a bad soap opera."

"He’s got a Batmobile. Superman doesn’t have a Batmobile."

"That’s cause Superman can fly."

"Superman’s an idiot! Batman’s a genius!"

"He is not!"

"I’m the evil genius, I know genius when I see it! Batman equals genius, Superman does not." I quickly turned away from my sidekick before the quarrel could grow deadly (as arguments regarding the superiority of Batman or Superman are wont to do.) and turned my attention back to my newest recruit, "So, five percent sound good to you?"

"Make it six and you’ve got a deal," Nikki said.

I shrugged, "Fair enough."

"Hey!" Stacey said, "I want six percent too!"

"You agreed to two percent," I said, "I believe your exact words were: two percent sounds just great! There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for two percent!" I repeated in a voice with far more enthusiasm than Stacey had originally used.

"That was sarcasm you idiot," Stacey growled.

I shrugged, "Well, you agreed, sarcastic or not."

Before anyone else could interrupt me again, I stood up and started to the stairs, "No time to dally! The world is waiting, we must press on with our plan! Come, Illustrious Goat Cheese Master and minions! We depart at dawn!"

"But… it’s almost noon, now," Katy commented.

"Well, we depart at noon then! It doesn’t sound as cool, but it works for me." I decided, then stomped, loudly, up the stairs.