Dear Duke Lothario,
If you are receiving this correspondence, it is because you have successfully stolen Degas’s The Bellelli Family from Musee D’Orsay in Paris and have found our note taped to the back of the canvas. Congratulations, monsieur, on your successful heist and be assured that our fence, Madame Noir, shall be by tomorrow at midnight to take possession. This note, however, will be stolen off your person by tomorrow morning by the one and only Chat Mauve. Do not try to stop him; you will only embarrass yourself.
Why have we gone to such lengths? It is to inform you of an unparalleled opportunity developing in the United States of America. As you may have heard, inveterate fool and consummate imbecile Donald Trump has managed to achieve the White House (thanks, in no small part, to our meddling, we assure you – your service fees at work!), and now, friends, our true work begins. A golden age of kleptocracy is about to begin in the US of A, and we would love for you to be part of it!
Let it be known that we are contacting every hustler, grifter, sneak-thief, footpad, brigand, con-man, cat burglar, extortion artist, cutpurse, second-story man, bandit, robber, and pickpocket in our network that, once Trump takes office, we are declaring open-season on any and all American goods, artifacts, or government assets. We are buying military equipment, real-estate, physical assets (e.g. gold), and artifacts. Grab all you can carry – we are absolutely certain that the FBI, NSA, and CIA will be entirely too worried tracking down Hispanic farm workers with unpaid parking tickets to bother stopping you from filching weapons-grade plutonium from a government lab. Their eyes will be so fixated on signing unassuming Muslims up on some fascist database that not a single person will notice if the Washington Monument goes missing. Trump isn’t even living in the White House, so the whole damned place is basically unoccupied except by those glorified rent-a-cops in the Secret Service and, let’s face it, you are just three or four high-end strippers away from having the run of the place!
Just to give you a taste of the things we’re looking to purchase off the ambitious villains willing to pull it off, here is an incomplete list:
- The US Constitution (an easy grab, since we doubt it will be seeing much use)
- The Declaration of Independence (note: do not look for any secret treasure maps)
- Lincoln’s Head from the Lincoln Memorial (rest of statue optional)
- The VA Hospital system (the whole thing–no partial buys)
- A Commissioned Aircraft Carrier (deliverable to our offices in Arkhangelsk, Russia)
- Minuteman missiles (for our mad-scientist clients–demand is high, so prices are too!)
- Trump’s Toupee (careful–it might bite)
- Mount Vernon and/or Monticello
- The US Interstate Highway System (suffering from some disrepair, so be delicate)
- Mount Rushmore (Teddy Roosevelt only)
And on and on and on…
Friend, the possibilities here are literally endless, but act quickly – Trump’s minions are going to be pawning a lot of this stuff off soon, so supplies are more limited than you think!
Good luck, Duke Lothario! Remember: your success is our success!
Financial Operations and Underwriting Limited (FOUL)
Dear Doctor Monstrosity,
This is an important notice regarding your Hero liability coverage in your FOUL Insurance Policy. You must read this document immediately and in its entirety, or our coven of witches currently on retainer will place a hex upon you that will result in you no longer being able to absorb fluid without vomiting, which means a painful and grotesque death by dehydration will await you. Feel free to take notes. Please eat the message when you are done, as that will guard against the curse. As usual, please understand this is meant as a safety measure to ensure your privacy, our privacy, and the privacy of our other customers.
Notification of Policy Change
As of this writing, FOUL will no longer cover the costs of heroic interventions against your operation that are perpetrated by orphans of your former enemies.
Furthermore, any pre-existing coverage offered for orphans created by accident or negligence are likewise null and void.
FOUL will also be increasing premiums by 50% on any liability coverage for heroic acts of revenge stemming from the loss of even ONE parent to your actions.
Finally, FOUL will disallow any further coverage against liability as a result of actions by those persons who believed they were orphans until they discovered you were, in fact, their only surviving parent.
Statistics have shown that those who have left the progeny of their foes to live have a 65% greater chance of being undone by those self-same offspring, even after an intervening period of apparent calm for decades. It seems apparent that the loss of parents is in some way traumatic (we are as surprised as you) and stands to create a kind of manic obsession with revenge which has proven costly. The claims FOUL has been forced to bear as a result of our clients’ own sloppiness has seriously tested our financial security as an organization.
So, some quick do’s and don’ts:
-DO NOT abandon your enemies’ offspring in a wasteland or in the midst of a storm and expect them to perish.
-DO NOT expect the power of love to crumble before your overwhelming might and grandeur.
-DO NOT, under any circumstances, sell your victims’ progeny into slavery of any kind.
-DO NOT gloat over the child of an enemy or underling or endeavor to teach them any kind of lesson whatsoever.
-DO encourage your underlings to bring any and all errant children to you for re-education.
We at FOUL are happy to serve you for any of your evil financial needs and hope to do business with you in the future. Just try not to create orphans anymore.
Dear Mr. Bigtime LaMorte,
Thank you for your interest in Financial Operations and Underwriting Limited (FOUL) and our contract killer service. Take your time reviewing the material, but understand that, in order to guarantee confidentiality, the material in your possession is radioactive and will result in radiation poisoning and death unless returned to its lead-lined briefcase in three hours. The briefcase will then destroy the documents inside and the case is yours to keep as a token of our esteem.
While this is not an exhaustive dossier of all our operatives, it does give you a general overview of the kind of professionals we tend to employ.
El Cazador, Sniper
El Cazador is a good, mid-rate sniper available for reasonable fees. He is discreet, professional, and never misses his target. He is, however, a bit slow. He stalks his prey methodically over a period of weeks and then, when he decides on the perfect place to take them out, he will camp out for sometimes several months waiting for the right moment. Birds have been known to nest in his hair.
Thanks to his slow metabolism, El Cazador does not need to eat very much, which keeps his rates reasonable. He also never moves faster than a casual walk. Never. You should see him play Capture the Flag – he’s legitimately awful at it. Still, he is very reliable, assuming you’ve got the time.
Oh, and he takes his damned time cashing his checks, FYI.
Ke-blammer Sam, Mad Bomber
Sam is the best explosives man on our staff, even though none of us have actually met him. Well, to be more specific, everybody from FOUL sent to meet him gets blown up. He blows up cars, trains, airplanes, toilets, lunch boxes, cigars, spare change, and once managed to render a burrito a WMD. In short, he blows up everything, all the time. Accordingly, he has no problem blowing up anybody you want blown up. Assuming you don’t mind the distinct possibility he’ll blow you up, too. Our intelligence suggests he’s even blown himself up a few times, though how he’s survived this is anybody’s guess. We don’t imagine he’s entirely stable, you know?
But he is pretty darn cheap.
Master Doom is one of our staff of Mad Scientists. He doesn’t go by the name “doctor” because he never technically earned his PhD, though he did explosively dehydrate his thesis advisor which, in our world, is tantamount to earning the degree.
Master Doom specializes in the esoteric assassinations – poisonings, accelerated aging, getting somebody bitten by a genetically engineered cobra, liquification, swallowed by a giant frog, etc.. If you have an elaborate or intricate death planned for your enemies, this is the man to call.
One warning, of course: in order to avoid becoming victim to Master Doom’s more unusual experiments, please refrain from touching him, drinking anything he gives you, eating anything offered, making eye contact, brushing against his clothing, borrowing clothing from him, meeting with him at his lab, driving with him in a car, or engaging in any kind of physical or electronic correspondence. If you want him to do something, let us know, and we’ll send one of our interns down to give him the message.
You will be billed the cost of training another intern. This is built into Master Doom’s fees.
The Bullet Man
The last, and arguably most expensive, assassin on our rolls is The Bullet Man. A former US Marine, Navy SEAL, Green Beret, SPETZ NATZ, and French Foreign Legion Commando, the Bullet Man is an expert in every single weapon ever invented and is seemingly immune to all injuries. We have seen him gun down the entire armed forces of Honduras with a single machine gun and all he walked away with were a few scratches across his pectoral muscles that, somehow, only made him look tougher. There is not a stronghold on this planet that he cannot walk up to, grunt some kind of one-liner, and proceed to blow up with whatever weapons are available. Seriously – once he destroyed an American nuclear submarine with an antique musket and a rusty Roman gladius. He is easily the best of the best. However, if you want to hire him, you must sign a waiver stating you will not do any of the following:
- Steal his woman.
- Kidnap his daughter.
- Murder his partner (especially when his partner is nearing retirement – we can’t stress this enough).
- Laugh at him. At all.
- Kill his dog.
- Hire his rival (The Blaster Supreme) at the same time.
- Challenge him to a game of skill.
- Allow your goons to make eye contact.
- Lie to him in any way, shape, or form.
- Call his bluff.
- Try to force him out of retirement by blowing up his mountain cottage/seaside retreat/mom’s house.
Again, these assassins represent just a sampling of the vicious killers we are willing to contract to you for a modest finders fee. Please make your reservations quickly – 2016 is shaping up to be a very busy season for untimely deaths, and we are likely to develop a backlog. Also, your body isn’t getting any less irradiated – being decisive at this juncture will prevent all manner of health complications a few years down the line.
Good luck, and happy hunting!
Welcome, prospective Evil Henchman! We here at Financial Operations and Underwriting Limited (FOUL) have designed the following aptitude test to select the best possible candidates for our Henchmen Training Program. Please answer the questions to the best of your ability.
Please note: The large countdown clock at the front of the room will announce at periodic intervals how long you have before your exam will self-destruct in a flash of white phosphorus. The burns will be quite disfiguring (assuming you survive) so we encourage you to complete the test with some dispatch. Please understand that this is part of the test. Henchmen that cannot work well while a giant loudspeaker is counting down to their demise are not the kind of henchmen we train and not what our clients have come to expect.
#1) You hear a strange noise while patrolling the perimeter of your facility. Do you:
- Ask “who’s there?”
- Shrug and move on.
- Shoot indiscriminately into the bushes.
- Call for backup.
#2: Your current employer expresses a desire to destroy your home town with an orbital doomsday weapon. Thoughts?
- Oh no! I’ve got to call my mom!
- Surely there must be better targets! I will suggest them, because my boss is open to that kind of feedback.
- Finally all those suckers at Tuscaloosa High will get what’s coming to them!
- <Maniacal Laugher>
#3: Please describe the way you would scream if tossed off a cliff or shot off a balcony.
- Other (please explain in a short essay):
#4: One of your fellow henchmen draws the ire of the boss and is to be put into the Ultra-pneumatic Torture-tron. Do you:
- Let him make a break for it when nobody’s looking.
- Shoot him to spare him the anguish.
- Promise to tell his wife he loves her.
- Ask if you can have his watch.
#5: Does Might make Right?
- I don’t understand the question.
- No, Might can make you turn left, too.
- I want to punch the egghead who writes these questions.
- According to Rousseau, Might is a physical property, and thus there can be no moral quality attached to its effects.
#6: When using a gun, what is the best policy?
- Full automatic, spray left to right.
- Controlled bursts, carefully aimed.
- Fire mostly in the air while shouting.
- Single shots, aimed to make the coolest ricochet noise.
#7: If I tell you a tattoo of a burning eye on your forehead will make you invincible, do you:
- Ask if the needles are properly sterilized.
- Research my claims by consulting the internet.
- Worship me as a god.
- Inquire as to whether you will get to learn kung fu.
#8: Captain Courageous is pummeling three of your friends at once. Explain your next move:
- Jump on his back and pull that stupid hood over his eyes.
- Wait until your friends have had a chance and then attack him by yourself.
- Run away screaming for help.
- Shoot them all.
#9: What is more appealing: Actual military training or badass neon outfits with face masks?
- Facemasks. And laser guns.
- Military training; evil is serious business.
- Why can’t I wear my street clothes?
- Anything that shows off my pecs is cool.
#10: The boss decides to use your body as a human shield. Do you:
- Accept your fate as the inevitable reward for your life of evil.
- Struggle to save yourself, thereby knocking the boss into an acid vat/alligator pit.
- Beg for the hero not to kill you and show him or her pictures of your kids.
- Enjoy this sense of closeness and trust with your employer and look forward to deepening your relationship.
#11: Your prisoner claims to be sick. Describe your reaction.
- “Don’t worry! I know first-aid!”
- Call a doctor.
- Open up the cell, crack your knuckles, and resolve to teach them a lesson.
- Feign deafness.
If your hoverscooter is chasing Lady Lightning through the rainforest and another friendly hoverscooter is behind you, please explain how you would attempt to dodge vines and trees, shoot Lady Lightning, and keep from foiling your associate’s attempts to slip between those two trees that are really, really close. Please show your work. Drawings are encouraged.
What are the odds, expressed as a percentage, that you would go into a dark alley to get a look at the evidently mostly-naked and attractive woman hiding therein? Furthermore, what are the odds you will have your keycard on you at that time?
Dear Chronomenator Supreme,
Thank you for your interest in Financial Operations and Underwriting Limited (FOUL) and our time travel loan service. If you are here from the future, I’m certain you will have found our terms generous. We would also like to take this opportunity to make you aware of our Henchman Recruiting Service, our Insurance offerings (please note: time travel is not covered as of this point in the timeline – please visit our agents in 2132), our catalog, and this basic overview of our operations and dossier of our more successful clients.
Please understand that, as we take client confidentiality very seriously, we must ask you to make certain to return to just before you received this message and eat it before you can read it, thus keeping any evidence of our existence a secret from those pesky Time Cops. Failure to do so will have resulted in a killer robot from the future having gone back in time to eliminate your Uncle Freddy just before he would have surprised you as Santa Claus on your fifth birthday, thereby giving you a debilitating nervous condition which will render you useless for villainous enterprise forever. You have been warned.
- All interest compiles based upon your current timeline, relative to the moment you sign the papers. Any attempt to tamper with the timeline to alter this term will result in immediate payment being made in full by whatever version of yourself we happen to track down first. Barring that, we will garnish the wages of your ancestors (see #6).
- If you are visiting from the past, please remember that all payments must be made in parcels of land or gold bullion. Bags of spices from the exotic Orient are no longer acceptable, especially given the coriander-synthesizing technology available on the 2065 Home Shopping Network.
- All payments are due on the same day at the exact same time: January 1st, 1929, Brooklyn, New York. Feel free to visit that time as many times as you wish to make as many individual payments as you deem necessary, but try to avoid meeting yourself if at all possible. Ask for Stu at the bar. Wear something snappy, but try not to look German. Dames should expect to smoke cigarettes and look mysterious. No, we do not know what that means – it’s Stu’s operation, so it’s his stupid rules.
- Failure to pay your loan on time will result in the dispatch of Time Loan Sharks to be dispatched to your location to collect. Yes, they are actual sharks from the future genetically spliced with humans and augmented with cybernetic weapon systems. No, they have never gone rogue. Well, not in this timeline.
- By signing the loan agreement, you are forgoing any indemnity on the part of any alternate self in any alternate timeline. Yes, we will repossess your alternate universe casino. Yes, we will break the kneecaps of your pacifist hippie self in the timeline where the Age of Aquarius actually came to pass. Pay up.
- Traveling back in time to warn your past self to not take out a loan with us on account of you not being able to pay it off in a post-apocalyptic future constitutes a violation of your loan agreement and entitles us to garnish the wages of your ancestors to make ends meet. If you want your Great Uncle Joe to starve on account of your delinquency, be our guest.
- As of this time, we do not offer loans to robots, AIs, or aliens. Sorry, but it’s an insurance matter.
Delivery of Payment
- For your convenience, we will convey your loan in the full amount at any point in time. Though we prefer electronic transfer, we can also stage “inheritance from strange old man” (i.e. you) or any number of crazed lunatics shoving old Wal-Mart receipts with account numbers scribbled on them.
- For our ancient-world customers, we will provide a treasure map to a secret vault filled with death traps to prevent grave robbers. The map will have information on how to avoid the traps, but the ink is prone to smudging, so don’t squeeze too tightly.
- You will be required to fill out a questionnaire about your life and family in order for us to verify we are delivering payment to the right you in the right timeline. Those who perform the survey will be shot by their past selves after they have verified your identity in the future. No, this has never caused a problem. Why do you ask?
Let Us Help You Help Us
As we already know if you are going to take out a loan and whether or not you are going to default on that loan, please listen to your loan officer’s advice. If he says don’t eat Chinese tonight, listen to him. That Triad hit squad is a real bitch and no, your ancient kung fu secrets won’t cut it this time. Trust us. Some general rules:
- Do not date your grandmother, no matter how hot she is.
- Please acquire or construct a time machine that any idiot cannot stumble into and utilize. Being stranded in time helps no one.
- Bring your food with you. Futuristic fast food is a horror show.
- Do not teach the Romans how to use gunpowder.
- Do not kill Hitler. No, not even that way. No, not that way either. Cut it out.
- Even though time is not linear, it is helpful to pretend like it is. Insane people are terrible at paying back their loans.
- While we encourage bringing henchmen forwards and backwards in time to support your evil aims, we caution you against any time paradoxes caused by said henchmen returning to their own timeline. Better to strand them in time when they are through.
- It is possible to build a time machine that can transport you with your clothes on. Try a little harder, you exhibitionist pervert.
Good luck, and welcome to the FOUL family!
(remember: go back in time and eat this message. It is peppermint flavored – your favorite. Don’t ask us how we know – we already shot that guy)
Dear General Mortissimo,
Thank you for contacting Financial Operations and Underwriting Limited (FOUL). What follows is our full array of henchmen recruitment services, tailored specifically to your needs. For information on our other services, we refer you to our introductory material and catalogs. Also, as you intend to hire personnel through us, we recommend inspecting our insurance options, as well.
Of course, here at FOUL we hold our client’s confidentiality sacrosanct. Therefore, a team of Type-5C Assassin Drones are currently dispatched to your location, using the encrypted GPS transponder hidden in this document (don’t bother trying to find it – you haven’t the time). Please be certain to destroy this document within five minutes or expect to have your skull bisected by an infrared laser. Well, that might be a bit dramatic – we cannot predict, with any accuracy, exactly which parts of you the drones will bisect. In any event, destroy this document and everything will be fine. If you wish to purchase Type-5C Assassin Drones (or the 6C variant, assuming you have a penchant for napalm), please review the Robots section.
Thank you, and thank you for choosing FOUL!
Now, on to our Henchmen options:
Our most affordable option, FOUL has cultivated good reputations with a number of prison systems, underworld crime syndicates, and disreputable orphanages to supply you with all the muscle-bound dim-witted goons you could possibly require. Said goons are guaranteed to be physically fit with the exception of one in ten goons, who we designate as being ‘fat but strong’. All Thugs are able to read at a third grade level and a basic working knowledge of firearms and basic fisticuffs. Please note that marksmanship and tactics are not emphasized in the average thug’s weekend-long training course, and thugs are not selected on their attention spans, lateral thinking ability, cleanliness, or self-control.
That said, they are very affordable and, given their undesirable social status, won’t be missed if they happen to fall into a death trap or you need to feed your sharks.
Significantly more expensive than your garden variety thugs, our Ninjas are hired from the premiere dojos and secret martial arts societies from across the globe. They are guaranteed to be 100% obedient and are skilled in acrobatics, martial arts, and stealth. Please note that all FOUL-backed ninjas are contractually obligated to wear black pajamas at all times, even when going to the bathroom or operating electronic equipment. They are also forbidden from using any firearms of any kind, no matter how practical or dire the situation. Failure on your employees part to adhere to these restrictions may lead to the loss of your deposit.
Though ninjas are expensive and very talented, we should stress that there are limits to their abilities. FOUL-backed ninjas may be unable to do the following:
- walk on water
- defeat a ninja in white pajamas
- speak your language (translators may be hired)
- wear actual shoes
- shake hands (they will insist on bowing)
- catch bullets
We assure you that FOUL trainers are laboring tirelessly to amend these flaws. You have no ideas how many ninjas we’ve shot trying to fix that last one.
FOUL has within its network a wide variety of very talented mad scientists, rogue AIs, and idealistic-but-morally-suspect industrialists who construct a variety of killer robots. We can sell you robots that look like people, robots that eat people, robots that used to be people, or people so robotic you’ll never know the difference. Robots are guaranteed to follow your every command until, inevitably, they turn against you (please refer to our insurance packet). That said, they are well worth the high price, considering that there is no need to feed or clothe them after your purchase (note: feeding and clothing your henchmen after hire is in no way required, but is suggested to get the most out of your minions). Any robots that malfunction within 30 days of purchase may be returned in their original packaging for a complete refund.
Note: due to extreme demand, all spider-shaped robots are on backorder.
Note: none of our robots transform into cars, other vehicles, or construction equipment. Please do not ask.
Of course, no evil empire would run without hordes of lab assistants, accountants, shift managers, and so on. These we hire from the general employment pool, but we screen carefully, making certain only the recommend the least pleasant, most obedient, and most odious examples of humanity we can find. Many of our workers hail from such illustrious dens of misery as the IRS, the DMV, and HR departments the world over. Pay is necessarily high, and we warn all customers that one can reasonably expect our personnel to embezzle no more than 15% of any money that passes through their hands. Of course, should the employee exceed this value, their contract stipulates termination will be ‘sudden and often fatal’, though the sudden aspect of that is at your discretion.
As of this moment, the Floozy and Eye Candy division of our Henchmen Hiring branch has been folded into this one, largely for tax purposes. If you are in the market for muscle-bound man-slaves or big-breasted bimbos, you can also find them here. We only hire the least perceptive and curious as well as the most physically attractive specimens, so your satisfaction is guaranteed.
If you are in the market to hire aliens, summon up demons from the netherworld, use the living dead, or traffic with the Great Old Ones, we are afraid that FOUL, at this moment, does not support such ventures, though we are happy to put you in contact with sweaty-toothed madmen who do. Feel free to drop us a line!
Note: at this juncture, given average reading speed, the assassin drones are just outside the room. We advise burning this document immediately. Thank you again, for choosing FOUL!
Dear Madame Terriblex,
Thank you for expressing interest in investing in one of our many exciting ventures. We at Financial and Operational Underwriting Limited (FOUL) are a full-service villainy facilitator, acting as a pathway between those evil-doers who wish to go and do evil and those who are simply content to pay others to do so on their behalf. As a prospective member of the latter category, we have compiled here a brief Dossier of our more prominent and successful clients, just to give you an idea of how your ill-gotten funds might grow and mature under the guidance of our analysts and brokers. Please note, of course, that this packet is strictly confidential. To ensure discretion, Yggax the Many-Fingered, Cacodemon of the Twelfth Circle has been bound to the text you are reading now, and he is most displeased. If it is not destroyed completely by the time he finds you, we expect the remainder of your life will be unspeakably unpleasant. We apologize for any insult, but please understand we take our client’s security very seriously – yours included, should you invest.
What follows is a list of our most famous and impressive active clients to date. No doubt you will recognize some of their names, and ventures of their size rarely are able to remain secret forever. Nevertheless, we are proud of their accomplishments in the field of Evil, and think they represent a good sampling of the kind of enterprises your money is likely to fund. Now, as we are aware you have a demon after you, let us dive right into the list.
Business Cover: International Bank
Mastermind: Otho Von Havok, Duke of Gammora
A relative newcomer to the FOUL family, Santander has been doing a fine business in the memory siphoning and mind-state duplication field. Masquerading as a European bank, they have an ingenious system of state-of-the-art surveillance coupled with sophisticated West African voodoo by which they have managed to steal and categorize the dreams and ideas of untold thousands. If you have ever wondered why everything in Hollywood these days is simple re-hashed, recycled tripe, you can blame Von Havok’s ‘idea bank’. Santander makes a tidy profit ransoming screenwriters own ideas back to them at top dollar, and we expect they shall do very well this upcoming fiscal quarter.
Business Cover: Pharmacy Chain
Mastermind: Mr. Pain
Though cheery on the outside, Rite Aid has actually been running the largest ring of professional hitmen, loansharks, and revenge killers in the eastern US for well over a decade. Rite Aid operatives are an impressive breed of violent psychotics, shot up with tailored combat drugs to make them nigh unstoppable and virtually incorruptible. With their many, many outlets in almost every neighborhood and town in most states, rarely is there a target beyond a one-hour drive. Additionally, their capacity to access the pharmaceutical needs of large numbers of deadbeats means getting the bastards poisoned is usually no further than a phone-call away.
Though Mr. Pain runs an operation that FOUL charitably considers ‘pedestrian’ when compared with some of our other clients, it is a solid business model that works and is a stable investment.
Business Cover: Bank
No doubt you’ve seen the commercials. The question, of course, is academic – Capital One knows exactly what’s in your wallet and, what’s more, they’ve likely already stolen it. There is no larger or more successful association of hucksters, con-men, cat burglars, safe-crackers, and pickpockets in the world, and all of them are engaged in the act of sending people credit cards. The real genius here is that the credit cards are, in fact, sophisticated micro-robots capable of unlocking doors, disabling alarm systems, and incapacitating security guards. If you need further proof of your influence, just ask yourself what they’re holding over Alec Baldwin to get him to do those commercials. Oh, you thought he was being paid? You have much to learn about our ways, madam.
Business Cover: Massive industrial megagiant
Mastermind: Doctor Dread
GE certainly brings things to life, though how ‘good’ those things are is in the eye of the beholder. Doctor Dread’s operation is the single largest necromantic coven in recorded history, maintain a horde of the living dead so large that even we find it legitimately terrifying. GE has marshaled all of its ‘technologies’, from weapons to toaster-ovens, to increase the number of corpses in the world. More corpses means more slaves for Doctor Dread’s ever-expanding armies which, as of this writing, comprise the majority of WalMart employees worldwide, as well as significant portions of most government bureaucracy. With a single ritual, it is arguable that Doctor Dread could bring entire nations to their knees (and he has, too!). Such leverage has been extremely lucrative, and GE is one of our biggest earners.
Business Cover: Paint Company
Mastermind: Lord Corbulo the Immortal
Of course, GE’s influence pales in comparison to the reach and power of Sherwin-Williams. Indeed, their influence is so far-reaching, they are watching you right now. Yes. Even there. Does a thing have paint on it? If so, Lord Cobulo’s otherworldly nanotechnology is monitoring your every word, controlling your every thought and deed. If you are disturbed, don’t be. Lord Corbulo is a beneficent master, and we must all bow to his influence. Forget you know anything about him. Forget that the Paint is Watching. It is, but it’s best not to think about it. If Corbulo wishes you should invest, you shall. You have no choice. Sherwin-Williams has abolished free will in any place that uses any kind of pigment to color another. There is no escape.
Hopefully that gives you a solid idea of the kind of impressive clientele we have in the FOUL family. Feel free to peruse our other documentation, as well. FOUL wishes to help you be more evil, and nobody is better situated, we promise.
P.S.: The Paint is Watching
Dear Professor VonTerriblex,
What follows is an outline of the standard Evil Deeds Insurance policy you purchased from us last Wednesday. We here at FOUL welcome your business, and refer you to the retail and finance side of our business to further support your villainous needs. Please feel free to request our financial introductory materials or catalogs at any time.
Please note that the back of this form has been inscribed with an unholy ritual utilizing the drop of your blood we secured from you upon finalization of your insurance policy. This ritual binds your life force to the continued existence of this document for the duration of your policy. This is done to fully establish the co-dependent nature of an insurance policy, and to remind you to keep this document safe, secure, and private. Discretion is, as always, our number one concern. We hope you understand.
Now, for a brief overview of your policy coverage.
We will reimburse you (with no co-pay) the value of training and (if applicable) purchase of any henchmen lost to the following acts:
- Arrest and conviction.
- Death by ninjas wearing white or red outfits.
- Karate chops/pressure point pinches to the back of the neck.
- Machine gunning by muscle-bound commandos (photo of said commando needed)
- Sorcery (unintentional or intentional)
- Failure to evacuate rooms filling with poison gas/water/flesh-eating insects/acid.
- Space suit malfunctions
- Impossibly idiotic curiosity.
A co-pay will be required for reimbursement for lost henchmen for the following reasons:
- Death by ninjas in black outfits.
- Death by superheroes (please train your soldiers to surrender to Superman or the Hulk immediately)
- Demonstration killings (if you need to keep doing this, we suggest the ‘Megalomaniac Policy’)
- Henchmen betrayal.
- Starvation and/or dehydration
- Any loss involving a shrink or growth ray or any kind of mutagenic agent. (This includes radiation of most varieties. Yes, even that kind.)
Evil Robot Coverage
You are officially covered if your evil robot:
- Is caught in a logical feedback loop.
- Kills any employees with nerve gas.
- Self-destructs for no apparent reason.
- Finds your plans illogical and betrays you.
- Invokes any of Asimov’s Laws.
- Turns any of your romantic interests into cyborgs without your consent.
- Becomes a pacifist.
- Utters the phrase ‘Does not compute’ for any reason.
- Decides to destroy humanity (including you).
- Follows unauthorized commands.
You are not covered if your evil robot:
- Learns to love.
- Befriends fuzzy animals or children.
- Wants to become a real human.
- Actually destroys humanity.
Facilities and Superweapons
Facilities and Superweapons, in order to secure coverage, must adhere to the following statutes:
- All self-destruct buttons must be prominent and obviously visible.
- Must feature at least one but no more than five Big Red Buttons.
- Must use a FOUL approved alarm claxon (See catalog)
- Must implement at least one extending bridge and/or one deep chasm.
- All elevated walkways must have railings. These railings must not exceed 1 meter in height, so as to enable your foes to topple over them if they lose their balance (note: FOUL is not responsible for henchmen who topple over railings).
- Must have a PA system capable of informing everyone of how soon something is going to explode or fire.
- Must have ventilation shafts large enough to admit maintenance crews and easily removed vent covers to guarantee instant access.
- At least one slow-moving deathtrap.
- At least one map of the world.
- All superweapons must operate on a countdown and must broadcast this countdown via the PA system.
- All vending machines, bathrooms, and recreational areas should be well hidden.
If retaining a man-eating monster of some kind, you are covered from liability in the following instances, but must pay a co-pay equal to 10% of the damages, due to the volatile nature of these beasts:
- The monster escapes its enclosure.
- The monster injures you.
- The monster reproduces without your approval.
- The monster dies of old age or illness.
- The monster grows too large for its enclosure.
- The monster is slain by a would-be victim.
You are not covered if the monster:
- Learns to love.
- Befriends a small child or fuzzy animal.
- Refuses to obey.
- Eats your henchmen (by accident or on purpose).
- Metamorphoses into a non-deadly form (e.g. man-eating Caterpillar-illa morphs into a giant butterfly).
- Is spawned from your own febrile imagination (see ‘Creatures From the Id’ clause, page 232).
- Turns out to be an offspring, relative, or relation to yourself, Godzilla, the Aliens (from Aliens), or the result of any kind of zombie plague.
Please peruse the rest of this document at your leisure, as it is now as much a part of you as your own lungs. Thank you for choosing Financial and Operational Underwriting Limited for all of your villainous needs. Good day!
Dear Captain Destructo,
Thank you for ordering your Financial and Operational Underwriting Limited (FOUL) spring catalog. As of this moment, you should note the red LED display at the top center of the masthead on page ix. Failure to complete your perusal of this catalog before the counter reads zero will result in a deadly neurotoxin being released from the binding, killing any living thing within three meters and causing the paper itself to decay rapidly. Please make no attempt to disarm the device, as that will render any orders you submit through the catalog null and void and your money will not be returned. Please understand that this is for the safety of our organization and, by extension, your own interests. Thank you.
Table of Contents
Lounging around the death arena? Plan on catching some rays on the sun-deck of your moonbase? Have a few hours set aside for stroking a Persian cat and sipping champagne?
The Casual Wear section outfits all evil villains with the latest in unitards, collarless suits, chain-mail tunics, and leather bracers. All products are guaranteed never to bloodstain and are completely machine washable.
NOTE: FOUL does not insure its products against misuse by non-FOUL accredited henchmen.
Growing tired of that old lab-coat? Is your bandoleer of nightmare-gas pellets getting a bit dog-eared? Look no further! FOUL has a complete array of stylish-yet-functional hazmat suits, spiked plate mail, weapon holsters, and a wide array of other workwear that will keep your victims saying ‘whoah! This guy means business!’
All of our products are guaranteed to function without fail except in instances of intervention by SHIELD, Time Lords, or secret agents with a double-0 or equivalent rating, in which instance we are forced to cite precedent that shows the laws of physics often cease to apply, anyway. In these instances, we recommend purchasing more FOUL-accredited Goons ™, which are available for a discount with any purchase of two full outfits.
Have a beautiful rebel leader that you’re just dying to seduce? Need an ace in the hole to help determine if Bond has an ace in the hole? Wish your tie strangled people or your hat lopped off extremities? Look no further than our vast array of personal accessories! Everything from bone-crushing jaws to man-rending talon-gloves as well as a spiffy array of customizable watches with and without garotte wires can be had for fair prices and most are available for overnight delivery, provided your base is located on Earth or in near-Earth orbit (minimum two days delivery to the Moon; please inquire for shipping times to further locales).
Please note that our offers of cosmetic surgeries and cybernetic enhancements are NO LONGER offered in this catalog. Too many of our customers, it seems, have taken to kidnapping our surgeons and putting them to work building armies of genetically engineered warriors (I know, right?). We, also, are disappointed in this turn of affairs, but the Brotherhood of Evil Surgeons is a surprisingly convincing union.
Note: There is 1:47 remaining before the nerve gas is released. Please be decisive.
(for further information about our services, please see our introductory material. Thank you, and may your enemies wade knee-deep in the blood of their children!)
Dear Doctor Oblivion,
We here at Financial and Operational Underwriting Limited (FOUL) are pleased to accept your request for our free informational packet detailing our services and advising methods. Please understand that, while this packet does not come with a financial responsibility, that does not mean it is entirely obligation free. You will have noted, no doubt, the fine white powder that was released upon opening the envelope. You have been poisoned with a slow-acting metabolic inhibitor. The antidote may be released at any time by burning these materials and inhaling the vapors released. You, of course, understand. Discretion and informational security is our number one concern here at FOUL.
This document is a basic primer and overview of our recommendations regarding your declared needs. More detailed information may be found in packet’s A-D and, of course, an even more extensive listing of our precise services can be obtained once you sign on as a beneficiary of our services. Presuming the metabolic poison hasn’t killed you first, naturally.
FOUL is fully equipped to finance and support the establishment of a secret base of operations anywhere in the world. Indeed, this is an exciting time for evil geniuses, in that real-estate prices are at an all-time low in many sectors of the world. Some of our most popular packages include:
- Small European Countries: Given the financial duress of much of Europe at the moment, it is an uncommonly good time to purchase or annex a small country, complete with population and infrastructure, for your use. Portions of Greece, Spain, and Italy, in particular, are ripe for purchase, and can be obtained for competitive rates. In those instances, we do recommend the optional ‘Enforcer Robots’ package, as the populations of those countries are currently indisposed towards slave labor.
- Middle American Subterranean: The housing crisis in the United States has also brought the price down on the coveted, but typically very expensive, continental US subterranean base. Indeed, much of so-called ‘Middle America’ is so strapped for new construction and real-estate projects that wide portions of prarieland can be claimed and utilized for your nefarious purposes. That is, of course, once you bulldoze the endless fields of WalMarts and strip malls and put an end to their nefarious purposes.
- Volcano Base: An old standby, our most affordable packages on isolated volcanic islands are available at record lows, primarily due to the vagaries of weather patterns in both the Western and Eastern Hemispheres. Please understand that FOUL will not forgive any loans for bases actually destroyed by volcanic eruption. Our geologists have been known to make mistakes.
- Extraterrestrial Bases: Currently, we are not recommending extraterrestrial base options–the moon, orbital stations, Mars, etc.–primarily due to the increased cost of accessing space these days. However, that same inaccessibility translates to even greater security–superheroes and secret agents can’t hitch a ride on the space shuttle anymore, which translates to lower security costs for you!
Minions, of course, are among the greatest expenses an evil overlord can expect to pay. It is difficult to convince the average thug to abandon his familiar environs to work regular shifts in a foreign place. Disciplined, talented people can typically acquire employment in so-called ‘legitimate’ industries and live without being exposed to the murderous disdain of their superiors.However, the global economic downturn once again is working in your favor! As this is written, fully one in four Spaniards is without gainful employment! Vast swathes of Americans are without health insurance! The youth of Britain despair at their ability to find gainful employment in a country slashing government spending at record levels! Rejoice!The FOUL system offers a decent healthplan and competitive salary to the minions it recruits, and we know just where to find fools desperate enough to accept the fine print! In addition to the lowly thugs and social deviants we are usually forced to employ, we’ll give you access to a wide array of factory workers, teachers, public employees, and other blue-collar, hard-working folk. We even offer two-for-one deals on Greeks!
Death traps are a key aspect to any security system/entertainment center at your secret base. We at FOUL take great pride in customizing your portfolio to accommodate a wide variety of tastes and styles, from your basic poison gas traps to your more elaborate laser-labyrinths, fun-house pitfalls, and the ever-popular monster-in-a-pit.
However, we do caution new clients from going overboard on the bells and whistles. Death traps are, frankly, rarely used and can be an enormous expense. Feeding pit monsters alone can cost millions every year, not even including the cost of handlers, trainers, and behavioral specialists. We do not offer refunds on any death trap that fails to operate or is turned against its owner–responsible use and deployment of these traps is YOUR responsibility.
The Doomsday Device
Of course, no portfolio would be complete without options for financing your own personal doomsday device. Naturally, we at FOUL are in the business of fulfilling your dreams for world domination, and we hesitate to place limitations on your creativity and ambition in this regard. However, we do have to remind you that we will not finance any device that blows up the planet Earth itself. FOUL has significant holdings on planet Earth and we cannot support its outright destruction. We are totally on-board, however, for enslaving, obliterating, ethnically cleansing, bombarding, extorting, or conquering any portion of the globe. This limitation strikes us as reasonable and also good business.
All schematics for doomsday devices must be approved by an engineer of our choosing prior to funds being released. This engineer is immediately shot after viewing these plans and delivering his or her report, so full discretion is assured. Proof of their decease is available upon request, though taxidermy costs extra. Currently we are offering discounts to any and all doomsday devices that run on a slow countdown with periodic PA announcements.
We here at FOUL wish you all the best and hope that we can be of service financing your evil schemes. Please keep in mind that the pounding of your heart at this juncture is likely the early stages of the poison affecting you. We suggest burning this portion of the portfolio now in order to maintain consciousness for sufficient time to peruse the rest. Thank you, and we look forward to hearing from you.