What does a man do when he’s become king of the world? When all that power has been handed over to you?
As someone who has told the world to bow before me, I have firsthand knowledge of what it’s like. First off, there’s the pants policy. I take those bad boys off and just walk around anywhere I want. Sometimes I leave my underwear on. Well, my boxers. Now that I have balls again, I don’t like any clothing crowding in on them. My boys need their freedom. I’d say “Let freedom ring,” but that sounds painful in this context. Just trust me on this, any women readers.
Anyways, once the pants came off, it was time to start working on the throne. Now, hear me out on this: gold. It’s a softer metal, gaudy, and not very intimidating, but I figure if I sit in it long enough, it’ll began to mold to fit my ass for a more comfortable fit. I suppose I could just cover something else with gold and try to make it work, but that wouldn’t conform as well, and it’d make me seem gilty.
While thinking over the throne situation, I still had to deal with a new capital. And a Cabinet, or some sort of organization. Technically, my corporate plan of using criminals in various fields could still work, only this time the criminals are politicians. Like the Russians. Some diplomat from the Russian Federation came forward to offer me his president’s aid in establishing a strong rule over the world, with perhaps some consideration for him having been among the first to join up. Yeah right. If I know Putin, and that’s an answer he does not want to hear, he’s probably trying to spike my food with plutonium. If he offers someone a bright blue drink with an umbrella in it, it’s best to check if the blue comes from Cherenkov radiation.
Still, the Russian diplomat’s overtures set off a small flood of others and made me realize I needed to work on some policy crap. Ah yes, policy. Taking over the world is a bit like a drunken Vegas wedding; I’ve had the fun part, now I get to put up with the nagging. I looked down at my receiving line of diplomats as they stretched out from my temporary throne made of some sort of ordinary wood. Bit of a letdown there. If they don’t get me a gold one quick, I might start shopping around with some of the monarchies around. Oh, that reminds me of the big pronouncement I came up with while looking down at all of them.
“That’s it! No more nations!” I stood up and yelled.
“Excuse me?” asked some nearby reporter, so I excused him. Doesn’t take many nanites to cause an embolism. Death by gas. Not necessarily a noble death, unless perhaps the man had been injected with helium, neon, radon, xenon, argon, krypton, or ununoctium. His body helped to punctuate the importance of my statement. I might need to kill someone every time I announce something. Sure shuts people up. Just so impersonal to do so using the nanites instead of getting my own hands dirty, but it helps to remind people why I’m the one giving orders and they’re the ones taking them, hard, over and over again.
And, at times, it can be really fun to handle things impersonally. This guy put a video out on Youtube, surrounded by a bunch of his buddies in camo, claiming he would fight to resist me and that they were holing up in some compound, daring me to come fight him. One drone later, he and his friends learned about the joys of napalm. Then again, is it really impersonal when I have so much fun doing it?
Well, that’s a question to leave to someone else. I had to lay out my plan to the world about their new system of governance. Yep, big announcement time. Well, a few big announcements. After I shouted about no more nations, I realized I had some ass covering to do in case I should somehow happen to ever be dethroned. Just a bit of thinking that most dictators wouldn’t think to add, except maybe Lord Vetinari. “But first, a couple of legal statements to help clarify things. First off, anything Emperor Psycho Gecko the First does is legal. Also, the new nation of Planet Gecko hereby prohibits the passing of ex post facto laws.”
Stroke of legal genius, that. Ex post facto laws are basically retroactive laws. If someone did the now-illegal thing in the past, they could be arrested and convicted, even though it wasn’t a crime at the time. They’re kind of a dick move like that. It’s also ripe for all sorts of abuses by countries if they don’t have prohibitions against them. How does this protect my glorious imperial booty? In combination with that whole “Everything I do is legal,” thing. If something should happen to remove me from power but keep me alive, a legal argument can now be made that, since nothing I’m doing from here until then is a crime, they couldn’t go after me for any of it.
I mean, not that they’d follow that, but every tyrant’s got to try at least a little bit of preemptive legalese protection. The brilliant political strategist Havelock Vetinari once noted that being an absolute ruler today is not so simple, at least if you want to be an absolute ruler tomorrow. Which reminded me that I really need to organize some partying. Something to get people’s spirits up. But first, on to business.
“Now that’s clarified, no more nations. All of you who are here on behalf of a ruler, you’ll want to go home. I’m done with you. Countries don’t exist any more. I’m going to scribble up a map where the world is divided into 100 sections of, say, between seventy and eighty million each. Gives it a little leeway. Each province will choose their own representative within the next two weeks however they want. Democracy, civil war, arm wrestling; I don’t care, just get it done within two weeks or I’m picking someone myself and possibly killing whoever the hell wasted my time in the first place. And let’s remember that while I come from another universe, I am an American supervillain, so I won’t care about which of you is to blame for inconveniencing me.” I glared down at them.
Ah, so nice to see people actually shake with fear. I think it was the makeover. I went pale, like a vampire, and grew out my hair. I then did up the hair like three thick ponytails, one on each side of my head and another atop it. Then I dyed them. Purple, green, and yellow. Along with my rather liberal use of red lipstick, I like to think it hits an instinctively fearful part of the human soul.
Oh, wait, someone had raised a hand. “What will the representative be doing?” asked someone way in the back around whom the crowd parted like he’d had a deep-fried hot dog and decided to cut loose with a fart.
“Glad you asked that.” I pointed to the man. “For your bravery, you may come forth, and help yourself to whatever that dead guy was carrying. I suggest the wallet, personally, though he’s got a nice watch on if you’re into that sort of thing. Take his shoes, see if I care. So, yeah, the representative will be the one who conveys the concerns of my new populace to me. After all, this is a whole planet. I can only deal with so many things at once and be informed of so much at once.” Perhaps not the best thing to admit. “Think of it like making a list of important things to do during my day, only each item on the list is another province. But more importantly, anybody who shows they are competent and actually give a damn about their province, I may allow them some degree of autonomy to solve the problems of their area on my behalf.”
I folded my hands and sat back down, then shifted position so I was more lounging with my legs on one arm of the chair. “Unless someone has something really important to say, I’ll also start drawing up plans for new courts in each of those areas. Any good public servants who take office early might provide some good recommendations for judges. Any bad ones will learn how I treat nepotism. Now, if anybody’s feeling up to it, I’m going to throw a party tonight at Noordeinde Palace. We’re going to rock that place so hard, Google maps will use a black bar to censor it. Everyone’s allowed to attend and it’ll be open bar. Ta ta, folks!”
Surprisingly, it didn’t take much work to throw that together. While showing a willingness to kill people for mistakes is often an easy way to make underlings come to you for advice so as not to mess up, mitigating that stick with a thick, juicy carrot can bring out the best in them. In this case, remember, I had access to all sorts of shiny things like the Dutch Royal Regalia.
Good thing that one didn’t require all my attention. I’d been ironing out some of the problems with the Electric Eyes. They’ve been passively handling the load for me as far as enforcing those little robotic laws about not harming me. Unfortunately, their uneven distribution didn’t help them shoulder the load as effectively as they could. Still, they did ultimately ship me my date for the evening. Oh how the heads turned when I walked into that palatial ballroom with by far the most beautiful belle. I led in the lovely Venus, in a Leia-inspired outfit, by her neck chain. She has a very lovely scowl at times. I had plenty of opportunity to familiarize myself with it that evening in particular.
“Are you going to gloat and say I was wrong about you?” the object of my unhealthy obsession asked.
Ignoring her, I said, “I’m thinking I’ll let people vote on the anthem. Three choices, and let them know that if the vote splits, I’ll just make it ‘Barbie Girl’ instead. Oooh, or maybe Cotton-Eye Joe. And hush, dear, you weren’t wrong about me at all. I’m owning up, taking responsibility, and turning over a new leaf.’
“I hate you.”
“That’s nice, dear, though I’m curious why you think so now. Honestly, those songs aren’t that bad.” She tried to slow down a bit, but I wasn’t having it, so I tugged her along, sending her stumbling after me. The waitress I’d been following recognized me and turned to offer refreshment. I tipped her with a gold bar I’d recently acquired on her tray, and asked Venus, “By the way, would you care for a drink?” I heard the waitress stumble off, unprepared for the gold’s weight, and go crashing into something or someone else with a sound of breaking glass.
Venus shook her head, so I pulled her over to the dance floor and wound her in tight for a slow one, despite the concert band playing a rendition of “Ballroom Blitz”. I’d revised the song selection for more interesting songs than just classical, though I mentioned to Venus, “I do regret not grabbing a pianist to play Chopin’s Etude Op. 10, No. 12. The woodwinds will have to suffice. What do you think of my ball, Venus? It got a little hairy, there, but I’d say it’s all smooth now.”
“I can’t believe you had this ready the entire time.”
“Now, now. I told you this was a last minute change. Originally, I was just going to use them to kill lots of people out of spite for their theft by you heroes, but I underestimated how cautiously the world would treat them. The idea that I could use them thanks to the alien invasion, secondary, if that. It wasn’t really on my mind until you trapped me in Antarctica. I knew you were screwing me, but I wasn’t going to lay there and take it. Nope, I screw back.” I laid my head down on her shoulder. “But I want you to know, I decided not to be the perpetual villain to give your life meaning, as I justified it to myself. “
“You think enslaving the world is better?” She tried to push me away, but I kept her on a pretty tight leash. A chain leash. I stayed right where I was.
“Relativism, pluralism, and tradition do not mean that those things are right. Progress involves change, sometimes drastically. Rarely is a government created peacefully, or do you forget that one man’s Founding Fathers are another man’s tea-wasting traitors? I just want you to understand and help me, Venus. I’ll even let you out of that stupid outfit.”
“No deal,” she responded quickly and went to pull away. This time, I let her.
Damn, she figured out I meant to have her serve me in the nude. Ah well, I’m sure the humongous workload will take my mind of things. But, compared to what people almost did to each other in the Cold War, am I really the worst thing to happen to this planet?