TOP SECRET COMM. #10
FROM: THE SPY
TO: READERS OF THE BLOG
By the time, this reaches you, I’ll probably be dead. Not really … but more than likely. I’m smack dab in the middle of my next assigned. (No, can’t tell you what it is. Top secret, remember?) I’m deep undercover … really deep. And dark, too. Communication is only possible through homing bats—weird, I know. All I can say is it’s a harrowing world out here. Almost makes me wish for the relative safety of my time spent spying at the Academy of Ultimate Villainy.
You know it’s bad when a fellow gets nostalgic about three months spent studying villainous deeds under villainous professors, rooming with villainous students, and getting flunked for not cheating on villainous exams. Yeah. Go figure. Anyway, figured I’d send y’all the next lecture from Professor Hornbuckle’s class.
Hope you enjoy and learn lots of villainous little tricks so you can prepare your heroes to fight. That is why you’re reading this, right? Cause if I thought you authors were using these lectures to train your villainous characters, well, I might just up and quit.
The Spy, signing off.
Master-Minding Murder and Mayhem: A Villain’s Arsenal Part Two
Spy’s Note: Nineteen minutes and thirty seconds after class was supposed to begin, Professor Hornbuckle crashes through the door. A couple of students were already gathering up their things and preparing to leave. Before they can sit down again, guards appear and drag them away. Professor Hornbuckle doesn’t even wait for their pleas for mercy to die down before he begins.
The pop quiz will be at the end of class. We are continuing our discussion on the vast array of weapons in a sage villain’s arsenal and focusing on three main classes of weapon: force, intelligence, and subterfuge. Last week, we focused on weapons of force. Today we shall discuss, weapons of intelligence.
Weapons of Intelligence
A villain should not rely on force or strength alone to achieve his or her dastardly schemes. The second class of weapons in our deadly arsenal are of a somewhat more refined and intellectual sort … but no less dirty than the others.
To quote a rather modest and troubled young villain, “… in this splendid world of ours, information is currency.” (Top marks to the student who can recall to which villain that quote is attributed!)
Though he, sadly, was not a graduate of our nefarious institution, that in no way lessens the truth of his words. Indeed, he who holds the knowledge holds the power. There are many ways in which to gather, utilize, and disseminate information. We shall touch upon only a few.
Spies and Informants
Whether they be computer hackers, eavesdropping enchantments, or minions in disguise, spies and informants are a villain’s prime means of gathering information. Any spy ring should be multi-layered and vast, like a spider’s web. (Cliché, I know. Bear with me.) But while spies and informants are invaluable, they can also prove your greatest weakness. Rest assured that any man who is willing to sell you information is undoubtedly also willing to sell it to your enemies for an equal price. Spies and informants must thus be doubly expendable. Loose ends do not a strong spider web make.
Aside from using your knowledge of his affairs to foil your enemy again and again, blackmail is one of the most useful aspects of intellectual warfare. An army of minions and evil henchmen—excellent. A spy ring—top marks. A vast web of unconnected sleeper agents who appear to be ordinary people going about their ordinary lives, with no ties or connections to the criminal world, just waiting for the word to spring into action—brilliant! And that can be achieved through blackmail. Dig up the right bit of dirt on the right sort of people and the world will fall at your feet.
Most of the time we villains like to lay claim to our evil deeds—watching our rep and building cred and what not. But on occasion, there can be nothing more delightful than laying the blame for our reprehensible crimes on our enemies and watching their worlds crash and burn. All it takes is a little tidbit whispered here, a wad of cash inserted there, with a dash of forged evidence on the top, and voila, a masterpiece. Controlling information enables you to disseminate what you want to who you want in whatever form you want. Which brings us rather handily to our final point …
In the end, information is all about control. Selectively spreading or withholding information or seeding misinformation will enable you to govern the actions of not only your minions but ordinary citizens and those desperate heroes as well.
For example, should your civilians comes under the notion that you are a tyrant, simply spread a little panic with rumor of upcoming threats, and they’ll buckle down beneath your tyrannical rule to keep the safety it provides. And that is just one tiny glimpse of the innumerable options that control of information provides you.
Always remember, a good villain should always have another secret … and the victor writes history.
Ah, that would be the bell. It appears we are out of time. Turn over the quizzes on your desks. I hope you brought a lot of pencils—you have a lot of writing to do and only ten minutes to make your next classes—and I don’t need to remind you that you don’t want to be late.
In our next lecture, we shall move on to weapons of subterfuge. For your homework assignment, you must read pages 17-37 in Unearthing Skeletons—A Blackguard’s Guide to Blackmailing, pages 78-113 in Spy Rings for Dummies, and chapters 7, 11, and 21 in The 10 Step Plan for Achieving World Domination. I expect a twelve page, single-spaced essay detailing the various instances in which the different aspects of intellectual warfare might be most effective by tomorrow morning. Seven minutes until your next class. I suggest you get to work on that quiz…
Whew, glad I’m not in Professor Hornbuckle’s class! Do you have any tips for the aspiring villain on how to go about choosing or using intellectual warfare? If so, share in the comments!
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