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by herdygerdy

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Ruling the Universe - by Dr. Frank Sloth

     

      “B efore trying to take over the world, it’s perfectly fair to give yourself an unfair advantage.” - Dr. Sloth

     Preface

     Congratulations, puny simpleton! You have purchased the greatest book ever written. You have purchased it, right? Copyright pirates will be exterminated with extreme prejudice!

     In this book, I, the incalculable mind that is your benevolent dictator, will allow you to learn some of the secrets that propelled me to become the most powerful person in Neopia!

     Don’t go getting any ideas, though. Neopia only has room for one evil dictator, and I’m far better at it than you could ever hope to be!

     Read on, then, pathetic mortal, and commence your enjoyment!

     That is an order.

     Chapter 1 - Perfecting that Dastardly Smile

      any ruler must make his people know how inferior and worthless they are in comparison. There is no better way to get this across than to make merciless humour out of their suffering.

     Now, of course, a mere smile is not enough. You have to practice it — make sure the grin is ruthless enough and that there isn’t any pity in your eyes. Remember, you are laughing at the pathetic wretches, not with them. Not that they should be laughing — if they are, you need to up your random acts of punishment quota.

     For the most part, you will simply need to smile while you are vaporising towns and killing innocents, but it is important that you also master the evil laugh, for use after you have finished monologuing. Remember, and evil laugh must begin with, “Mwahaha!”

     Other variants merely make you look stupid.

     Chapter 2 - Getting Minions

     Now, any self-respecting dictator can’t be expected to do all the work of surprising the population. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day, and besides, we have death rays to build. No, you need someone to carry the load. Especially any literal loads that need carrying. Minions to carry out your despicable deeds are therefore essential.

     Good minions have unquestionable loyalty, which can be difficult to muster when you are going around burning homes and abducting people. For this reason, I find two methods work extremely well — mind control, and payment.

     If you haven’t heard of my mutant Grundo army, send me your address and you soon will. Each is a mind-controlled Neopet. Simpletons since birth, Grundos were easy to enslave and now serve me unquestioningly.

     Of course, sometimes you may encounter one of those awfully annoying strong-minded people. They, it turns out, will normally work for you if you offer more money than anyone else possibly could. Given that ruling the universe normally generates an obscene amount of Neopoints, this shouldn’t prove too difficult.

     Chapter 3 - Dressing Well

     No one could be expected to bow down and worship an evil mastermind who was dressed in pink. Always think about your wardrobe, and pick one clearly definable outfit so you can be recognised and feared even from a distance. Black is slimming, so I hear. Of course, I hear it because if I don’t, I will have people vaporised.

     A long cloak also allows you to hide ray guns, laser swords, and even a magazine for those times when whoever is trying to overthrow you is really bad at it. Remember though, cloaks and machinery do not mix.

     Chapter 4 - Death Rays

     You simply cannot beat a good death ray. Sometimes I dream about them and wake up feeling refreshed. Of course, in today’s fast-paced and ever-changing world, death rays are no longer strictly for death. You can use them to produce any number of mutations, freeze your targets, set them on fire, shrink them — the possibilities really are endless.

     The best death rays are always those you design yourself, but an efficient ruler will have an entire department in their evil empire dedicated to their construction. On Fridays, I allow them doughnuts. It’s the little things in life that make designing and building weapons of mass destruction such a rewarding career.

     Chapter 5 - Dealing with Do-gooders

     As an all-powerful and globally feared individual, you may occasionally come across those who have a conflicting world view to yours. Namely, they want to live, and you want them to die. This is an unfortunate state of affairs, but necessary and ultimately quite enjoyable, as you get to make lots of enraged threats.

     Most such do-gooders are rebels, mere mortals who think themselves resourceful, intelligent, or worst of all, plucky. Oh, how I hate plucky people. Thankfully, all of the above can be hastily dispatched with a generous application of corrosive acid. If you want to be really classical about it, put them in a situation with an unnecessarily slow moving-dipping mechanism. It works a treat.

     However, worse than mere heroes are Faeries. These annoying creatures have the audacity to be nigh immortal, making your stockpiles of acid largely useless. Rudeness, that’s what it is. No, Faeries must be either contained or distracted. Luckily, they are very stupid creatures prone to acts like pity and mercy. I once sent the Space Faerie all the way to the Octozodi System just because I told her a few billion people were dying. What an idiot.

     Chapter 6 - A Fortress

     If you’re going to take over the known cosmos, you are going to need a mothership. Oh, sure, a castle might do for those provincial rulers down on the surface of Neopia, but I have a little more class. And by a little, I mean a great deal.

     My flagship is the pride of my fleet. It is unnecessarily large — almost, but not quite, to comical effect. It has enough heavy ordinance to destroy a reasonably sized planet. It has a main laser cannon, secondary smaller laser turrets, a pair of rapid-fire plasma guns, plasma mines, homing quantum missile launchers, and dual cup holders on the bridge. The shields on it are impossibly strong, able to withstand hours of constant incoming fire, making it the most heavily fortified place in the known universe. In fact, I would go as far as to say that the only thing that could destroy it is the ship’s own self-destruct mechanism, which of course only I can trigger. And I don’t see that ever happening.

     Chapter 7 - Robots

     Sometimes, in fact quite regularly, organic beings will fail you. Something about having a spleen must make you unreliable. Of course, failures are not tolerated and offending parties must be vaporised, but then thoughts must turn to replacements.

     I highly recommend robots. Of course, it is a lot harder to build a robot than mutate an orphaned child, but the rewards are greater. For a start, robots can carry large rocket launchers — children lack the upper body strength.

     You may even create robots in your own image. My robotic Sloth clones are feared across the galaxy. You can even use them as decoys against the aforementioned stupid, gullible Faeries. They really are idiots.

     Chapter 8 - Escape Routes

     Only a nitwit would allow themselves to be backed into a corner with no way out. I always make sure I have an escape tunnel, personal escape pod, or rocket concealed nearby. Or even just a personal site-to-site teleporter on my person.

     Ideally you should not be in a position where you need to flee, as you should have flattened your enemies long before they rose up. But sometimes the incompetence of your minions makes such things inescapable. Do you see? I made a joke.

     Laugh. That is an order.

     Remember, the beauty of evil schemes is that you can always come up with a new one should you fail.

     Chapter 9 - Legitimate Fronts

     It is important that you have a means of financing your acts of unspeakable evil. Atomising people does not come cheap, after all. I founded Virtucorp (TM) a long time ago and now Virtupets (TM) brand technology powers pretty much anything electronic on Neopia — even the Alien Aishas use it. All profits go directly to me, and let me tell you, there are a lot of them.

     Another devious little side effect is that a back door subroutine placed in every single Virtucorp (TM) product can, at the push of a button, give me complete control. Neopians don’t know it, but they are already at my mercy.

     Chapter 10 - Know Your Target Market

     Many evil masterminds have touched down on a new planet and started to melt things with a sludge ray — just another Sunday afternoon — only to discover that the local residents are already made of sludge and are immune to your efforts.

     As such, it is vital to know every last detail of the population you are oppressing. I have studied Neopia since life here began, and gave countless hours of surveillance videos from across the planet. I have personally abducted and experimented on hundreds, discovering in the process that Neopets are fatally allergic to being killed. I wrote a thesis on that. Ah, those were fun times.

     Surveillance has other uses, of course. Should they ever try and mount a coup, amusing as they are to crush, you will know their movements and numbers in advance.

     Chapter 11 - Sell Yourself

     A dictator cannot be everywhere at once. But they don’t need to know that. Posters of your stunning visage should fill the streets. Your menacing glare should gaze from every billboard, and speakers should broadcast your motivational quotes to the masses around the clock. My favourites are:

     “You are worthless. Remember that.”

     “Working for Sloth is working for progress. And avoiding atomisation.”

     “You! Yes, you! I’m watching you!”

     Chapter 12 - Know Your Limits

     Naturally, no one can be perfect at everything, though I come pretty close. My pursuit of magical power, the only thing I lack, led me to the Staff of Alhasutek. Unfortunately, it was destroyed, but I’ve since sought out new, more interesting magical devices.

     The Space Faerie’s Token is something I captured from her a long time ago (Faeries being very easy to trick, remember?). Legend says that its power can be used to do a lot of things, including defeating me. I intend to turn it to work for me, or at very least destroy it. I am currently testing it aboard my flagship. Some say that it is foolish to have something that can defeat me so close by. To those people, I send my Grundo Enforcement Officers to have a little chat. They certainly stop saying things quite soon after that.

     Chapter 13 - Evil Speeches

     Monologuing is a key skill for any despot to master. Though the ability to thrill your enemies with needlessly detailed descriptions of your plans is not easy to perfect. It takes a great deal of practice — thankfully this means you get to launch maniacal schemes and claim the tax back as training expenses.

     Everyone expects an evil genius to divulge their plans to captives, and I am not one to break with tradition. Sometimes, your captives may have done the research and already know your scheme. In this case, dispose of them. There really is no other use for them, and no one likes a smart aleck.

     The key is to be sufficiently evil in your speech as to instil fear and paralysis in your audience. Also, keep the main gist of your plan as a big reveal at the end. If you tell them straight away, they will spend the remaining time calling for backup or breaking their chains.

     Most importantly of all, remember that no one loves the sound of their own voice as much as you do. Thankfully, yours is the only opinion that matters in such situations, do carry on for as long as you like.

     Chapter 14 - Time Travel

     Sometimes, your enemies might happen to be particularly intelligent or resourceful. Sometimes they may be very well-armed. Sometimes their voices may just be too annoying to deal with in person. On such occasions, I find it prudent to design time travel devices and wipe out members of resistance cells while they are still children.

     Changing history can have dire consequences, of course. But if you are at all capable, and I am, changing history selectively should be possible. Why I once changed history so that my original invasion of Neopia had been successful. I ruled as a King — though of course others meddled with the time stream to correct my actions. Always destroy other time machines after making your changes.

     And under no circumstances meet your grandparents in the past. Such things never end well for either party.

     Chapter 15 - Artificial Intelligence

     When you grow frustrated at your robotic minions following your orders to the letter instead of the spirit of the orders, you may be tempted to give their circuitry a form of artificial intelligence. My advice on the matter is: Don’t.

     I once dabbled in the area, long ago. I assembled a group of four minds so brilliant that they all suffered complete mental breakdowns after finishing the project. Truly, that is the mark of a real genius. We called it Neopet V2, and the project was equally as brilliant as it was an utter failure. It was designed to be a life form to replace Neopets after I had enslaved or exterminated them all. It had everything. Intelligence, the capacity to learn and adapt, emotions, and even access to the core systems of the space station. Unfortunately, the result was a pathetic creature who was paranoid and constantly craving the attention of I, it’s master. If we had ever installed it in combat-ready drones, the results would have been disastrous.

     We deactivated the program and archived it in the station’s sub-levels, disbanding the team who made it.

     Stupid robots may sometimes reduce the wrong planet to rubble, but that is preferable to robots that go on and on about playing games, believe me.

     Chapter 16 - Reinforcements

     Really, this should not be an issue, as I can take over planets in my sleep — if fact, I did once. Sleep dictatoring is a serious medical issue. But if you fail to take over the cosmos by yourself, there is always the option of teaming up with others to further your evil plans. There is only a little shame in doing so.

     Thankfully, Neopia is not short on diabolical villains. Dark Faeries, witches, warlocks, warriors, even evil clowns. Neopia has them all. I once held a meeting of all the greatest evil minds in Neopia where we discussed potential evil plots. I invited Jhudora, my mutant Grundos, and Hubrid Nox, to name a few. Nothing ever came of the meeting, but I am confident that if our plans had been furthered, we would have been successful.

     Remember though, that conflicting egos can be a problem in such groups. Make sure that everyone understands who is in charge — namely, you. Take a no-nonsense approach to leadership. Vaporise anyone who dissents. The others will quickly fall in line.

     Epilogue

     This concludes the wisdom I am willing to provide. There is more I could tell you of course, of the specifics of the space station, or the chemical formula for success, but a great man once said, “Always leave them wanting more.”

     Me, just then.

     I’m sure you have to agree that this has been the finest book you have even considered to read in your life, and that has nothing to do with the mutant Grundo holding a ray gun to your head. If you enjoyed it, and you did, you may also enjoy other works I have penned. Highlights include, ‘How to Make Friends and Atomise People’, ‘The Amazing Adventures of Dr. Sloth’, and ‘Barney the Adorable Mutated Abomination’. Available at all good retailers or in E-book format via Space Station Recreational Terminals.

     Your loving ruler,

     Dr. Frank Sloth

To be continued…

 
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