Amor Omnia Vincit
, poets have proclaimed since Vergil
. If that were
true, I would have long crushed the rebel opposition to my puppet
government in San Pablo. Unfortunately, it has been my experience that
rather than conquering anything love only adds unnecessary
complications. This morning, for instance, brought any number of
circumstances that normally would require my personal attention; the
standard assassinations, the preliminary hearings of an anti-trust
suit being lobbied against ChanceTek, and the sabotage of an
increasingly irritating Poetry Festival
in Little Beaver, Idaho. But
rather than attending to any of those matters, I found myself on the
phone making dinner plans with Erik
"Hello darling, I have a few minutes before Italian class. I was wondering about
dinner? It's a little late, but I can probably still make reservations
Erik always sounds half-asleep on the phone, "Isn't that the place
that got good reviews for their pan-seared foie gras?"
"That's the one."
"We can't eat there. Foie gras is cruel."
The bound and gagged figure at my feet stirs and moans through the
duct tape covering his mouth. I give him a sharp kick to the ribs to
silence him, "Foie gras isn't the only thing on their menu."
"Yeah, but how can we patronize a place that actively supports
Erik is always concerned about inhumane practices and the welfare of
others. It's endearing, but it makes finding a nice restaurant an
exercise in world diplomacy. I try another option, " Why don't we have
we have dinner at Orchid. It's a little last minute, but I'm sure I
could get reservations."
"It's Friday, Julian. Orchid is always booked solid. I don't know who
you'd have to kill to get a table."
"Oh, it wouldn't take anything as complicated and messy as murder,
maybe a little light extortion. No objections to the way they cruelly
blanch the asparagus before grilling it?"
Erik laughs, "If you can get us a table, I think I can overlook the
vegetable rights violations."
I reach over to my desk and pull out a dossier on Orchid's maitre d',
flip to page four, jab at a relevant sentence with my dagger and smile
to myself, "Your wish is my command. Dinner at eight too late?"
"Perfect, but you're used to hearing that word from me."
"You tend to inspire excellence. Love you."
"Love you too," Erik hangs up just as my guest regains consciousness
and widens his eyes in terror. I lean over, close enough so that he
can feel the heat of my breath on his cheek, and whisper, "You have
been unreceptive to all my gestures of friendship so far. This
He makes a sad attempt to vocalize. I rip the duct tape off his mouth
before answering his muffled question, "Who am I? Someone whose
friendship you should endeavor to cultivate,"
His jowls quiver as he attempts to blubber something. I am unable to
conceal my disgust, "You have met with three of my agents, each has
offered you considerable rewards for minimal effort. You need only
provide information," at this I notice a dull look of recognition,
"yet on each occasion you seemed to be afflicted with some sort of debilitating, temporary amnesia. Either that or you are telling my men deliberate
falsehoods," my eyes narrow with displeasure, "I do not like liars, Mr. Davis."
"You're the one looking for the --"
I jab three fingers into his solar plexus, "I also dislike being interrupted. I'm afraid this makes me a most unsatisfying conversationalist. Now that we're both aware of what I am anxious to acquire, perhaps your memory will make a miraculous recovery," I glance at him with mock benevolence, "You may speak."
"Only a dozen were ever made, and of those only three --"
"I'm aware of that fact. I grow impatient. Tell me what I want to know," I press the point of my dagger against his neck for emphasis.
He snivels and his already bulbous nose begins to swell. I sigh,
resigned, "I'm not above torture. I have tried to be a gentleman, but
if you persist in being intractable --"
"I have one. In my safe."
"Excellent. You are a reasonable man. I'll be by this afternoon to pick it up. You will have it ready for me."
I press a chloroformed cloth over his mouth and nose. Arlington will
return him to his store relatively unharmed. Erik will be pleased; he
adores comic books and a first edition ShadowSeraph will be the jewel
of his collection. He'll never know how I acquired it. Love makes
liars of us all.
The Von Wicked Chronicles
by Excalibre and Evil Catullus
I remember when it was me who made you want to take over the world and enslave humanity
Latex. High heels. Knives. (Excalibre's writeup)
It's not my fault that I'm so evil
I was a teenage Overlord
Lady Deathblast's Lover
This little light of mine
The Thanksgiving battle
My funny villaintine
Robots and comic books
This wicked life
The education of little overlords
All things truly wicked
Darkness lights its own way
How it all began
Sometimes I think you love that doomsday machine more than you love me.
They are mine. They are dead.
There is a crack in everything