From the Desk of the Dictator: 

Welcome back from your weekend everyone.

Well, that was plan 1,782 for world domination into the recycling bin. Most of them never make it out of the planning stages, but this one actually looked like it might succeed for a few days.

Our initial plan (with the full title of PROJECT JELLY DOUGHNUT: GIANT EARTHQUAKES FROM SATTELITE BASED EARTHQUAKE MACHINES) worked well. All the resources were assembled with minimum losses on our part. The equipment built worked within expectations. Things did not fall apart until the implementation of the last part of the project, Operation Flat Pancake. The initial developments went well: the world knew we were demanding their capitulation, the earthquake machines worked well, and the Establishment was off balance. Delivering our message to the entire world at once undermined the public’s confidence in their governments, making the world’s nations more susceptible to our threats. The earthquake machines could focus sharply enough to target conventional military equipment. We proved that by picking off of several fighter jets in mid-flight while we were roughing up the armed forces of the more belligerent nations. Which just left the various unconventional forces of the Earth.

Considering how many millions of superpowered people we have on our planet, it’s surprising how few offensive superpowered units are part of any of the world’s standing armies. I suppose that’s partially influenced by superhero traditions that sprang up over the course of the last century, then reinforced by treaties worked out by the victors of World War II to set limits on the escalation of warfare fueled by superpowers. I know the Iron 56 incident in Germany near the end of the war scared both the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R. pretty badly. Even now, Earth acts as the home to at least fifteen beings that could destroy galaxies or entire universes. The idea of setting their patriotic planet killers against each other gave the world leaders pause, and the resulting treaties are thought to have prepped the ground for later treaties about nuclear weapons and other WMD’s. 

The Establishment, of course, doesn’t belong to any nation. Its Board of Directors is drawn from the global superhero population, theoretically making in neutral in international politics. This gives it the strength to coordinate the superpowered population for the Earth’s regular repulsion of extra-dimensional and extra-terrestrial attacks. By the same token, the Establishment rarely interferes with anyone’s domestic or international politics. So if we can ever convince the nations of the world to surrender, the Establishment is less likely to continue the fight. At the very least, it would shrink the pool of resources its leadership can draw from.

Of course, first you have to convince the nations of the world that the Establishment can’t come to their rescue. So they found our satellites pretty early in the first day but had trouble doing anything about them. Technefarious has decades of data about superpowers from which we developed defenses for the satellites to hold off the Establishment. According to our models, each could stand up to ten thousand years of attack. We actually hoped they would stand up to an average of about eight hours of abuse, because ours is a weird world, and there’s always some new power source popping up. Of course, we had three warehouses full of replacement satellites that we could teleport into orbit whenever one got destroyed. They kept the Establishment busy. So busy that it really unnerved the national governments that the Establishment could not just stop the earthquakes. Unfortunately, the Establishment could have kept popping our earthquake machines pretty much indefinitely, and their own bases are turned out to be mostly immune to the satellites. Our intelligence department chalks that up to all the oddball powers the Establishment has access to, so we had to take to fight directly to their leadership.

This is where things fell apart. Dealing with the Suit and his elite Executives is never easy, but it had to be done. While our assault teams conducted distraction attacks against the Establishment’s regular forces, I lead a direct assault against the Executives. I can’t give you a firsthand account of most of the fight. I targeted Suit himself, naturally enough. On paper, the man should only be a second tier hero, but his decades of experience leading the Establishment make him too dangerous to leave breathing. He used those decades of experience to take me off the board. I spend most of the battle trapped in a “dead room,” where Technefarious’s remote equipment could not reach me. I could have gotten out of that easily enough, but the Suit had dug up a guy called Grimmed.

I can kill anything. It’s my most notable superpower. What I can’t guarantee is that my victim will stay dead. Grimmed died a lot over the next few hours but was back and intact with seconds. When I tried to leave him just maimed, the little bastard killed himself. If Bleach had not eventually convinced Green Needle to have the Chlorophyll Cabal join our assault, I’m not entirely sure when I would have gotten out of there. Green Needle eventually tracked me down, and she solved my problem by hitting Grimmed with a paralyzing need, followed up with another shot that put him to sleep.

Despite my personal problems, we actually made a good accounting of ourselves. Technefarious left three Executives dead (although I’m sure they’ll be back among the living soon) and completely trashed their base. Unfortunately, by then it was a moot point.

The Executive Gearhead had managed to break away early in the fight to continue his research on the beams our satellites were emitting. While the Establishment’s base collapsed around him, he managed to develop a counter-field and deploy it. Within seconds of turning it on, our satellites became useless. The Establishment still hasn’t found everything we put in orbit, but with the heroes’ new ability to stop our earthquake machines with a flick of a switch, we’re going to have to file Project Jelly Doughnut in the failed plot drawer. 

Oddly enough, we suffered no deaths this week. Our base was never compromised, so the soul catchers and cloning equipment never went offline. I think this is the first time we’ve ever run the final operation of a project and none of our people died. It feels strange.

In any event, this memo is running long, so check the bulletin boards for this week’s events.

Have a good week everyone. And remember, the world is already ours – it just outfought us this time.

Your Leader,

Dr. Photius Callaway

The Killing Man