The Villain's Convention – The Conclusion
Jack Hench wandered around the ruins of the convention center, staggered by the amount of the damage. He was just thankful that he was insured and not liable. It was the only thing that was working in his favour right now.
He walked past the remains of Phil Phobos' Photonic Phasers, his destroyed inventory mixed in with Sam's Discount Deathrays. The was nothing left of either business' stock. To his right was the smoldering remains of Crazy Lee's display tank. It had taken an early hit and little remained of it beyond scrap metal.
He walked past many more displays on his way to the presentation stage. Everyone had cleared out except for his own staff, who were picking through the rubble, trying to salvage what they could. It didn't hurt to see if he could maybe find something that could boost his own bottom line amongst the remains left by their owners. Maybe even something that could make this convention worthwhile again.
When he finally got back to the stage, there was little that was recognizable. Shattered wood lay strewn about. The curtains that had hung in the background still smoked. And his prize, awarded to the winner of the contest, lay in ruins, his advanced bio-generator totaled completely. It would take a month to build anouther one, at considerable expense.
But one thing remained intact, something that shocked and surprised him. The ballot box, where the villains had placed their votes for best story, remained where it had been located when the contest had started. Despite all the chaos, it survived.
Acting on a whim, Jack Hench popped the top off the ballot box. It didn't matter right now, but it was something to do, and his curiosity was getting the better of him. Plus, he knew the villains in attendance would demand an answer sooner or later. He'd just have to toss them some other piece of tech to keep the winner happy.
But Jack Hench's mood soon soured as he began counting the ballots. "This... this isn't possible." Tossing them onto a flat piece of rubble, he counted them again, still unable to believe it.
"The winner is... Yono the Destroyer?"
Jack shook his head, trying to figure out how it had happened. All his guests were running for their lives when the tale of Yono was concluded. None of them should have had time to vote, put their ballot in the box, and then continue running for their lives. Yet somehow, the Yono had managed to win as a write-in ballot.
Jack Hench sat down hard on the rubble, wondering what he could do. He couldn't give the award to the individual that had ruined his convention. It would set a bad precedent. Every villain would start trashing his shows if they thought that was the way to win and get attention. With a final sigh, Hench rose to his feet. "I'll just have to tell them Senor Senior Senior won. At least that man knows how to deal properly for all his villain merchandise." And with that, Jack Hench rose to his feet and headed out, hoping to put this whole weekend out of his mind as quickly as possible.
Author's Notes – Congratulations to our winner JAKT, writer of the Yono the Destroyer chapter of this story. It is by far well-deserved, and fit this story so well. I'd like to thank all the other participants for their contributions, and all the readers who took the time to read, review, and vote, and hope you'll join us for the next Zaratan contest slated to start in just a few minutes called... Cheerleader Tales. You don't want to miss it!