Short Story: Mastermind or Not?

I look out over the city.  There are cheers.  I hate it.

You see, the problem is that I tried to be a villain.  I never actively tried to help people.  In fact, the problem with my city was the morass of super-heroes.  It was actually a problem because you had “heroes” like Betsy Bobcat – a literal bobcat that had been given human intelligence.  Her thing was people illegally feeding pigeons.  Did you know it was illegal to intentionally feed pigeons?  I didn’t.  Then there was the strongarm-super-fast Mr. Thumbs.  Something about his thumbs was special I guess.  He was annoyingly particular about people speeding through lights.

I hated them.  I hated that one of the speedsters gave my dad a jaywalking ticket and when my dad tried to argue it in court he was given 30 days in jail for “anti-superhero actions.”  A misdemeanor that not only lost him his accounting job but made it nearly impossible to find another.  He died two years later because of an accident at the construction site where he’d found work – but you know, where was a superhero to make sure the working conditions were actually safe or whatever?

So I began tinkering with gadgets that year.  I was studying to be a superheroes’ gearhead theoretically.  I lied.  A lot.  You see, they have psyc tests to try to weed out anyone who might turn villain.  I knew this and so I lied.  I told a hum-ding-whopper of a lie and even when there were supers who supposedly sensed or smelled or whatever lies – I passed right through.

You see, my super power is unique. I am technically super powered you see.  I negate a certain amount of super power.  For some like Betsy the Bobcat I could mostly negate their power.  I don’t mean to.  It isn’t something I can turn on and off.  But if it’s a power like Mr Thumbs’ strength, I bring him back to human-range. I didn’t know this until way later though.

So you see, the normal people – non super heroes – actually kind of hated the supers.  They were obnoxious BUT they did “good” and everyone was a little afraid of them.  Well, I hated them too and I wasn’t normal. And I convinced my teachers I wanted to be super’s gearhead.  So I learned and I plotted.  I had a plot to remove the government and replace it with myself, but I knew I would need to deal with the plethora of superheroes who would try to stop me.

It wasn’t until I had the bulk of them neutralized, many of them now normal people themselves, that people began treating me differently.

You see, every time I robbed a bank or broke a supposedly villain out of jail – and by “villain” I mean it was non-violent criminals of stupid things like “anti-hero activities” – well, apparently I wasn’t alone.

And then I went against Mr. Thumbs.  He was tough.  Beyond his super-human strength he wasn’t an idiot and he did his research.  He had figured out where I had been educated and was prepared for most of my usual tech.  I actually broke out a villain named Mastero to help me beef up to deal with Mr. Thumbs.  It was really Mastero that taught me I had power not just luck.  You see, his power was psychic shock, but he couldn’t do it to me.  Mr. Thumbs threw him through a wall with steel beams and broke his back.  I made him a special chair later, but it was also rigged to suppress his powers.  But he did teach me what I needed to know that let me defeat Mr. Thumbs.

The mayor tried to give me the key to the city.


So now they are having a party.  For me.  I can see young people dressed as me.  Wearing the dark black and purple I adopted when I turned villain.  Wearing the little tophat at an angle.  They all seem to have it on a headband.  Mine isn’t, but they don’t realize there’s a spider-shaped piece under it which contains my distilled blood.  I’m pretty sure it will subdue most supers, but I haven’t really been able to test it.

The school is closed.  I made sure of that. And as soon as it was closed the government said they couldn’t afford to rebuild so they will be watching for super-powered children in normal schools and giving them “alternate educations” there.  I might have had one of my lackeys take the job heading that team of teachers and they will be making sure those kids just want to be normal. Or gone.  I don’t care which.

But damnit, now my plan is ruined. The government loves me.  It’s supported and sometimes even gone beyond my own desires to make sure the city is managing rather than overrun by superheroes.

I am supposed to be the villain damnit.