The Villain's Convention

Jack Hench looked out over the convention center floor, looking out over the various booths and stalls that were making him money. Throughout the aisles, villains of every shape, form, and style wandered up and down, looking for the latest gadget or toy that would serve them well in their latest quest for world domination, or at the very least their latest scheme to destroy something. They were predictable in their habits. Just phrase some device the right way without really lying, and they would line up around the block to get their hands on whatever it was. That is what made Jack Hench rich before his fortieth birthday.

Climbing down from his overhead perch, he made his way to his goal, his schedule keeper beeping as the task he assigned himself beckoned. Yes, it was always good to make money, but sometimes, you just had to do something to draw them all in here. That was the purpose of his next contest.

Usually, he just did a draw to win some death vehicle or maybe some ultra super-weapon, something cheap he had his boys throw together to draw in the rubes so that they would buy his stuff. It worked every time, the attendance numbers increasing with every quarterly show he held. With the higher numbers, more money came in. The more money, the more he could develop, and the more that he could make... all in this perfect spiral that had served him well.

And then came the Lowardian invasion. It had torn a hole in the world that many nations were still trying to fix. One would think, with all the chaos, that the super villain community would be almost joyful at the conditions, conditions just perfect for taking over a country or two. But that didn't seem to be the case.

Instead of boosting sales, the plummeted. His last quarterly convention, the first one since the invasion, had seen an attendance drop of over sixty percent. Those were figures that Jack Hench, owner and CEO of Henchco, could not abide by. So, he had come up with a plan, one that he hoped would boost sales and return things to where they should be.

Instead of the normal draw, he was going to have a contest. All the villains would come up to the stage, one by one, and tell the story of their first act of villainy. Then, those in the audience would vote on the best story of the lot, with the winner walking away with the big prize. If it worked, it would be brilliant. Villains always loved to boast, and the thought of winning something just for doing so would draw them all to the convention. Plus, maybe the stories would inspire new villains to get into the game, thereby increasing his sales further. It was a plan that was sure to succeed!

Stepping up to the stage, he drew the attention of every villain there. They all knew what he was doing, and all were eagerly awaiting their shot at wowing the masses. Smiling, he stepped up to the podium, clearing his throat before he began.

"Ladies... gentlemen... other... beings. Welcome to the Winter Villain's Convention of 2008. I am your host as always, Jack Hench. Now, I know what all you fine folks are looking forward to," Jack paused as the crowd cheered loudly, "so, without further ado, you know what is at stake."

Jack waved to the large, covered object behind him, a hidden mystery to all the guests, though he guessed Doctor Ocular, who was able to see through solid object, already knew what it was. "Behind me is the prize you would kill to discover, but dismemberment is not necessary. No folks, all you have to do is come up here and tell the tale of your first true act of villainy. Then, once all the stories have been told, you fine people will judge the best of them. That lucky villain or villainess will then win the grand prize. Couldn't be simpler, right?"

Jack smiled as he stood before the spellbound mass. He had them, and he could hear the money rolling in already. "That's right folks, just tell us your story and you could win. And the first on our docket to tell their story is... Falsetto Jones! Unfortunately, he couldn't be here in person, but we have some video of him telling his story that he said I could share with you all. Enjoy!"

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Author's Notes – All right folks, it's time for anouther Zaratan story contest. This one is simple. The authors taking part will all send me their chapters for their selected villain or villainess, telling their own story of their first act of villainy. On July 8th, I will take all the submitted chapters and post them into this story as separate chapters. At that point, voting will begin in my forum for the best chapter of the bunch, as voted by you, the readers. Finally, one final chapter will be posted, naming the winner of the contest.

So, if you want to take part, stop by my forum, in the June Contest topic, and find a villain not selected by someone else. Get the chapter back to me by June 30th, and you can be entered as well.

And remember folks, have fun and enjoy!