SovietSuperwoman suggested I do a piece on what Kim thinks of other villains.
Decided to tie this in with the recent story.
The large screen at the front of the room came to life, as Kim loaded the presentation she had prepared. She only had an audience of one, but it was an important one. The source and nature of Typhon's AI was still a mystery, but it seemed to still be in an early stage of development. Kim wanted to make sure it developed in a way that was compliant to her desires.
"Ok Typhon, we have already gone over some aspects of how this society functions, and the 'Heroes' roll in it."
Typhon nodded, "Laws are created to bring order to society. Heroes enforce the laws to protect the people, even though the laws are set to the advantage of the powerful, and exploit the weak."
"Yes. The heroes can be useful at times, such as protecting against external threats. But they fail at helping those they claim to protect by letting the system continue as it is. But such exploitation is human nature. Most of those that are weak would be just as exploitative if given the chance. Many revolutions are brought about by appealing to, and using the weak, but end with just a new group of powerful being in control."
Kim started the presentation on the screen. "Now, today we will talk about people who have been labeled 'Villains'. These are people who have gotten some measure of power, either actual meta-human, or unique equipment and abilities, but do not seek to enforce the current order. Instead they usually seek to benefit themselves. The majority of these fall into one of three groups. First is the small time criminal. These usually act as mundane criminals, but with some advantage of their abilities. The second category have some power, and are seeking to increase their abilities. The third major category are the world conquerors. Gaining some measure of power, these individuals think themselves unstoppable, and seek to take control of the world."
Typhon interrupted, "Does one such person control the world?"
"No. While they seek to control it, they tend to grossly overestimate their abilities. If they ever became a serious threat, the nations of the world would develop methods of dealing with them. Some nations have develop such counter measures in case they become needed, but as the Heroes usually handle such people, the nations are content to let the heroes do the fighting."
Kim laughed, "In a way, the heroes are doing those villains a favor."
Typhon tilted his head in curiosity, "A favor? Please explain."
"Most of the 'conquer the world' types seem to have fantasies of sitting on a throne, surrounded by wealth, servants, and maybe a harem."
Kim smiled and shook her head, "Another time maybe. The point is that while such people seek to rule the world, most of them never consider what is involved with actually ruling. If you asked them what they plan to do about poverty, health care, unemployment, countless wars based on racial or religious differences, limited resources, environmental problems, they would likely not have a single thought. Now then, here are some examples of the villains that operate in this area."
The screen transitioned to a pictures and video of a powerfully built blond woman.
"Ilsa Hauppman, also known as Genocide. Leader of an organization called the 4th Reich. She is one of the 'take over the world' types. Her organization is very well disciplined, highly trained, and well equipped. As an organization they are dangerous. Ilsa herself, in addition to being a brilliant scientist, is extremely powerful in her enhanced form. She is amazingly strong, and has the ability to quickly regenerate most damage. Her organization could conceivably take over some small countries. I do some business with them, to a limited degree."
"You do not believe they can succeed, then why do you work with them?"
"I do business with people for my own profit, or benefit. In dealing with them I gain access to some technology and information that might not otherwise be available. However, dealings with them are best kept on the business level only. While powerful, their organization has some fatal flaws. The main one is it is based on a fanatical racism, the belief their particular race of humans are superior to all others."
"Are they superior?"
Kim shook her head, "No, the differences between races are largely cosmetic. In being based on the false belief of their superiority, they unnecessarily make enemies of most of the population of the world. Plus it cuts them off from the talent and resources available from those they consider inferior. The other problem with them is there are others in the organization that would take control of it, deposing Hauppman. If I am seen as being her ally, then those people would plot against me as well. I keep out of their internal fight, and will work with whoever is in charge."
The presentation advanced to the next subject.
"Next we have Robin Grant, known as Skyscraper. Currently she has the power to greatly increase her size, though she is searching for ways to increase her power. An admirable goal. I wonder what she will do if she ever reaches the level of power she seeks. She is a close ally, performing missions for me, in exchange for materials she needs to further her research. One of the few people I would consider a friend. However she is not very skilled at combat, relying on her size and strength too much. I may send you to assist her."
"You wish me to train her in combat?"
With a chuckle, "No, she is not ready to train on your level. You would be sent to accompany her while she performs a mission, and protect her if she is attacked."
Typhon's claws clacked together, as if in anticipation of a fight.
"Next is the Occupant." The screen showed a question mark. "No confirmed images of him exists. Reports indicate he is a rather powerful telepath, with the ability to alter perceptions of people in the area, and even alter memories. It is unlikely he would be able to influence you though. He falls into the small time criminal category. With his ability he could accomplish much, but limits himself to organized crime. A waste of talent. There is some rumor that he is dead, but I rarely count someone as no longer a threat without a confirmed body."
"Next is the assassin team Rin and Poison. They are mercenaries with no real allegiance, working for their own profit. For this reason, if we are ever in a fight against them, try not to kill them. While we may be working against each other at some point, they could be hired by me at a later time for the right price. While they do not have powers, they are very skilled. Do not underestimate them. Rin is very good with blades, and likely to find some vulnerable point to exploit if given the chance. Poison is... she is insane to put it bluntly."
"What does insane mean?"
"It means her thinking and reasoning is not normal, not logical. For most people it means they do not function properly, and is usually a hindrance. In her case, she seeks to cause as much harm as possible, and can think of ways to do it that logical thinkers would not see, or would consider too dangerous to be a viable option. However, in working with her, as long as she is given someone to torment, she can be kept satisfied."
"Next is Savant. Sometimes referred to as Twisted Savant, though allies call him Lord Savant. A scientific genius, who has developed some of the most advanced technology in the world. Most of his activities that are known publicly involve taking the materials he needs to advance his research. His long term goals are for reshaping human society."
Typhon spoke up, "So he is like Genocide, one of those who desire to conquer the world?"
"No, most certainly not. Unlike most foolish would-be conquerors, Lord Savant does have ideas for dealing with the problems of the world. He seeks to use his technology to overcome the human failings that hinder our advancement."
Typhon looked at Kim curiously. "Would that not make him a 'hero'? It seems he is not working for his own benefit?"
"Savant is smart enough to know that he can achieve more if he is able to change society to one like he envisions. But his methods keep him from being considered a hero, as well as his own.. uh.. human failings."
"What failings are those?"
Kim chuckled, "Oh, his attitude towards women do not sit well with most. They would reject him despite the benefits he offers."
"You referred to him as 'Lord Savant'. Do you not reject him then?"
"No, I do not foolishly reject him. While I don't like some of the ways he treats women, I find what he offers is worth the minor indignities. If he requests something of me that I firmly object to, it is up to me to stand up for myself."
"If he is not like others who wish to conquer the world, can he succeed then? Would you still be his ally then?"
"No. While he probably has the best chance of actually doing it, I still think it is unlikely to happen." Kim considered, "But if it every looked like he was actually going to do it, I would want to be by his side. The changes he would bring would be an improvement I think."
Dismissing the thoughts of what a Savant run world would look like, Kim continued the presentation. The image of a man in armor, with a mask and a large ornate sword appeared.
"Xeranad. He is an ancient, mystical being with an incredible amount of power. He possesses an advanced regeneration ability that make him virtually incapable of being killed. Cut him to pieces, and the pieces will just reconnect. On offence, he can summon portals that can launch attacks from any direction, even multiple directions at the same time. A major threat. If encountered you should not fight him. Instead try to get away."
"Run as a coward?!" Typhon stood taller, his mechanical wings stretching out as he looked down at Kim.
'Damn,' she thought, 'must have a macho-bullshit circuit.'
"Is it brave to kill yourself? Because that is what one does when they fight an opponent they can not defeat. Far better is to study an enemy. Learn their weaknesses, and only fight them when you have a chance to win. Which do you want to do? Do you want to just be destroyed, or do you want to win?" Kim faced Typhon with a fierce expression, looking the taller robot in the eye.
Typhon returned her look for a minute. Then his wings folded in, and he assumed a more relaxed stance. "That is logical. I will not fight this being until I can defeat him. Do you know his weakness?"
Smiling to herself, Kim turned back to the display. "Magic is not a subject I have a lot of information on. I don't know any way to permanently defeat him. There are ways to deal with immortals, but I would want a better idea if they would work before trying any of them. As for what I do know, his arrogance, and the desire to cause suffering, often cause him to not simply kill an opponent. That can give one the time to act. Heroes have defeated him before more by disrupting his plans than by direct confrontation. If you can't get away, and can't disrupt his plans, or some other distraction, your best bet
would be to quickly rip him to pieces. Then you can get away while he is reforming."
Kim considered for a moment, "If the opportunity presents itself, try putting one of the pieces in a sealed container. His regeneration may be able to break out, or grow a replacement. But if not, that may be a way to contain him for a little while at least."
Typhon's claws clenched and unclenched, perhaps at the thought of tearing an opponent to pieces. "What type of villain is he? Another world conqueror?"
"From what I hear, he is more interested in destroying the world. Or conquering it in a way that would be little different from destruction for most people. Other than that, he is another insane person who wants to cause as much suffering as possible. Xeranad does have several powerful people working for him as well. Do not let then catch you unawares."
Kim's communicator beeped, indicating an incoming message. She called up the message on the HUD display generated by her mask. "We will have to continue this at another time. Some business has come up that needs my attention."