No matter what your job is, you gotta take some kinda pride in doing it well. Now me, I had a rather unusual occupation -had it for over 25 years. See, I was a flunky -a goon, a hired hand, a lackey...I've heard it called all sorts of names in my day but it all boils down to the same thing. There are a lot of evil, crazy buggers here in Khazan -I mean some really twisted characters -but no matter what their psychosis they all want the same thing...flunkies. That's where I came in. See back in my wild youth I was a tough guy -strong, fast, fearless and unfortunately -stupid. I was in and out of prison and the money was running low when a buddy hooked me up with some nutball who went by the name of The Evil Minute. This guy was a real piece of work. His thing was clocks and he wanted a couple of guys to dress up in these green suits with clocks all over 'em and kinda act as his heavies. Well, it sounded pretty crazy to me, but I needed the cash so I did it -and y'know what? It was a lot of fun. I got to ride around in his crazy flying clock-car and we pulled off some pretty big heists -so what if he insisted on calling me Tick-Tock? Best of all though, I went head-to-head with some of the biggest heroes of the day...sure, I got my butt whooped, but it gave me some pretty good bragging rights to say I even squared off against one of those guys. Over the years I got more and more jobs and worked for different villains until the money ran out or we got busted by some hero or another. As the years passed, I got better and better at what I did, not just at being a thug but playing the role too. The costumes, the nicknames, the high-tech weaponry...after a while you start to forget about plain ol' Dodge Murphy and lose yourself in what you're doing. I worked for all the craziest villains -Santa Fett, Evil Malpractice Hologram, the Vote Mongerer...the money was good and the challenge was there -so what if every now and then I had to dress like a complete idiot? After a while though, things started to grate on me. I had been in and out of prison for close to 3 decades. I didn't have a family or any real friends. I was 45 years old and the work was drying up -and fast. The villains wanted younger flunkies, stronger, more technically-skilled. There was no place for an old-timer like me and, truth be told, the older I got the more ashamed I was about what I did. I mean, regular folk my age have kids, little houses in the suburbs and the respect of their peers. What did I have? A trunk full of ugly costumes and the memories of days gone by. I was pushing 50 and desperately trying to find a job taking orders from some super-powered 20-year-old who should be locked up in the loony bin. I was risking what was left of my life for another man's psychosis and it just wasn't right. That's why I've decided to stop. I'll never take orders from anyone again -from now on Dodge Murphy is his own man. So what's an old washed-up has-been like me gonna do? I'm gonna take on some of Khazan's finest -heroes, villains -whoever I need to beat to gain the respect I've never gotten. A suicide mission? Probably, but if I'm going to go, I don't want my tombstone to read "Tick-Tock", I want it to read "William 'Dodge' Murphy". I'm going not going out as a flunky...I'm going out as a MAN.
Iron Will: Ultimate
It's amazing what someone can do when their back is up against the wall. Just last year I was working for The Semi-Rational Penguin (like I said, work has been lean). Anyhow, he had us dolled up in tuxedos and off to some dive in Lowtown to chase down a pilot he wanted to use for some purpose or another (he wasn't very talkative, even as penguins go). Anyhow, turns out the pilot was none other than Texas Durrigan herself, and she wanted no part of the deal. Me and Jimmie, of course, tried to turn up the heat on her and being big strong thugs, overpowered her pretty quickly. We took her out to the alley and worked her over pretty good. Looks hopeless for her right? Think again. Backed into a corner, she pulls Jimmie's jacket over his head and knees him right in the nose. Before I can even throw a punch she kicks me in the face and I'm down for the count. Now we gave her a fair beating - she had some cracked ribs and could barely stand - and she took the both of us out inside of 15 seconds. See, she didn't have anything to lose. She was able to suck it up and take that beating and risk it all because we left her no option. That's how I feel right now. I know I'm in for a world of pain but I've got no choice but to bite down and keep on fighting, 'cause once I've got no more fight in me, I'm done anyhow. Needless to say, that was the last time I could get work with the Penguin, too - he won't stand for bloody tuxes.
They don't call me "Dodge" Murphy for nothin' y'know. Back before I ever got involved in the flunky biz, I was a pretty fast guy - fastest in my neighbourhood. I saw a lot of guys come and go trying to stay in the fight, toe-to-toe, blow-for-blow and I saw those same guys getting the stuffing kicked out of them as soon as someone bigger came along. I learned early on, you gotta be fast if you want to survive in this business. The big oafs were always getting pounded by the heroes, whereas I scurried off to fight another day. Not exactly noble, I admit, but it saved me a lot of prison time. Along the way of course, I worked for a lot of fast villains and faced a lot of fast heroes, so I picked up a few pointers where I could. If you can't duck and cover when you're staring down the barrel of a HTTSBRYBSREC Ray GUNN with Joe Bigg Gunns on the trigger, then brother, you're reading this from the afterlife.
I've always been a fair shot. A good eye and a quick trigger will serve you well in the flunky business. Your average super-villain, now he doesn't take much time going over these things with ya. He hands you your pistol or your "death ray phaser" or whatever and says "can ya shoot it?" and if you say "Hell yeah" then you're hired. Some of them are a lot more particular though. Take for instance Santa Fett, now that guy was a real piece of work. He had us dressed up like Stormtroopers for most gigs and on our first night out we get stumbled upon by Jack Spanky. Well things heat up pretty quick but I manage to level off my blaster rifle and hit him square in the chest. That bought us enough time to escape and I was pretty damned proud of myself, but Fett was furious. See, he was one o' those Star Wars purists, and he wanted us to fire off as many rounds as possible, but to never actually hit anybody - made us look more like real Stormtroopers he said. Well, it sounded crazy to us but he signed the cheques so we spent the next few weeks practising the art of missed shots. Y'know what though? I learned more about controlling my shots in that time than the years of target practice I spent before - maybe that Fett wasn't so crazy after all.
Projectile Attack: Superior
Over the years I've used just about every kinda weapon you can think of. When I worked for Mean Cuisine, I was armed with a meat cleaver and a rolling pin. Evil Donut Man had me throwing exploding crullers at people. You don't even want to GUESS what Whiplash Smile had us armed with, but suffice to say we went through a helluva lot of batteries. My place is littered with high-tech attack weapons and low-tech curiosities, but I'm leavin' all that behind now. I'm sticking with "Ol' Reliable". She's a shotgun - top of the line, but still just an ordinary shotgun. She's powerful, don't get me wrong but when I pull the trigger, no cloud of knockout gas comes out or a bolts of lightning or a stream of super-adhesive glue. Nope, just plain ol' blow-yer-head-off-if-yer-standing-too-close shot. That's all I need.
Body Armor: Standard
I tell you - I've worn some outrageous getups in my day, but no matter how crazy the costume villains always forgot one important thing - protection. Oh sure, a Starfleet uniform looked good on me, but when the cops started firing it didn't do me much good. I asked Evil Malpractice Hologram for something a little more durable, but he scoffed at the very idea - even after I'd been shot in the shoulder. It was easy for him to dismiss it - he's a frigging hologram... the bullets passed right through him! A lot of villains are like that though - comes with the territory. Trevor Bouvier commanded a whole army of souped-up, armour-plated machines, but when he hired a few humans what did we wear? Lab coats. Ordinary lab coats. I tell ya, at the first sign of trouble I was hiding behind that big mother mech Neo... I'm no dummy. Now that I'm on my own though I'm thinkin' safety first. I got me some lightweight Kevlar which will offer me as much protection as I can get while still keeping me fast and agile. It ain't much, but it's something.
Martial Arts: Standard
Y'know, being a goon ain't like it was in the old days. Nowadays your average psychotic super-villain equips his underlings with a whole whack of high-tech gizmos. Laser pistols, electric stun batons, atomic descramblers - you name it. You gotta have a PhD in engineering just to go to the bathroom in those battle armour suits. Not only do they give you these toys, they want you to use 'em - I guess they like showing off how damned clever they are and what better way to do it than blasting a hero into oblivion with one of their creations? I miss the old days though. Super-villains were a lot simpler then, y'know? Henchmen were there to rough people up, that's it - we bare-knuckled with anyone the boss asked and took pleasure in it. Every now and then though you find an old-school villain still kicking around. Take the Vote Mongerer - now that guy was a real class act. Sure he was an insane self-absorbed megalomaniac, but when he wanted to improve his electoral results he didn't have us firing hypno-rays out of giant cannons or anything - he simply sent a bunch of us down to the voting booths to do a little "polling" if you catch my drift. A few kneecaps later and his numbers suddenly jumped - ain't politics funny that way?
Terrain Familiarity: Deathtrap Equalizer
Terrain Familiarity: Standard
What is it with insane super-villains and deathtraps? I mean, you've got a hero captured dead to rights - you KNOW he's gonna try and stop you if you give him half the chance so what do you do? JUST SHOOT HIM, right? Not so with supervillains. Case and point: years back I was working for Babyface Malloy who was up to some nefarious scheme or another - hell, I've seen so many I can't even remember which was which anymore. Anyhow, we're working away in his secret weapons lab when who busts in but Sailor Archer. Now, Archer is one dangerous woman, but Babyface is a damned crafty little psycho and he manages to capture her in one of his defensive traps. I rush over, gun raised ready to rectify the problem before she figures out a way to escape but Babyface will have none of it. Instead he fills her in on every detail of his dastardly plan, puts her on a conveyor belt headed toward some kind of machine with lots of rotating knives and buzzsaws and then leaves. Worse yet I'M the poor sucker who is left to run the machine. She of course escapes at the last minute, blasts me into next week and proceeds to stop Malloy's whole scheme. I got 2 years in the pen for that little caper - damned super-villains. The only upside to it is that now I'm fairly familiar with all those deathtraps. You think a swinging scythe trap installs, tests and sets itself? It's us flunkies who do that kinda grunt work. Dangerous stuff if you don't know what you're doing - I've seen my share of hired hands chopped into mulch by not watching where those trip-wires were installed.
Some people think that to survive in this business for as long as I have you need to be damned good at what you do. This is true to an extent, but I've seen a lot of guys better than me who have been killed, maimed or busted for life doing flunky work. See, in this business, being good keeps you employed - being lucky keeps you alive. Case and point - a few years back I'm working for the Master Psychic Psycho and we're pinned down by the KPD in an abandoned warehouse (yeah, yeah - I know it's cliche, but we're talking super-villains here). So the Master is ranting and raving and turning police brains into goo while us flunkies are dodging sniper bullets from the SWAT team. This goes on for about a half hour until up rolls this monster mecha with KPD logos all over it. I had heard that some the KPD had some broad named Jennifer Chase running around in a mech, but I never thought I'd be staring it down personally. Well, Master Psychic Psycho decides that this would be a good time to make a hasty exit and bee-lines for the LOTMU Flying Car parked out back. Everyone manages to pile in before takeoff except for me and off they go. As I'm standing there waving frantically trying to get them to come back, I can here the heavy THUD THUD THUD behind me, and "Metalneck" is right on top of me. Dumb as I was, I opened fire only to watch my bullets bounce harmlessly off the hulking mass of metal. It raised it's fist and I knew I was done for, but as it came down it got snagged on a cable and impacted just to my left instead of directly onto my head. The pavement collapsed beneath me and I tumbled down into the sewers - not a pretty sight, but enough for me to skulk off into the filth and make my escape. I'm not a religious man, but you gotta wonder who the heck was looking out for me THAT day. Lady Luck has saved my ass more times than I can count and hopefully she has a few more favours to grant before I'm through.
Man with a Plan
A great warrior once said "I love it when a plan comes together!"... oh wait, that was Hannibal from "The A-Team". Still though, that was a damned good show and Hannibal kicked ass. The man always went into a situation knowing more than his opponents - he always had a plan. Now, working for super-villains will certainly give you some insight in this area. I mean, these guys are obsessive planners - coming up with intricate, outrageous schemes is what they do best. Take for instance Dr. Humidifier. I worked for him way back when he first started out and let me tell you, this guy could PLAN. He had a major hate-on for Air-Conditioning Man, but he didn't just jump in and attack him while he's waiting for a bus or something. No, he stalked him for months while he set up his elaborate revenge scheme. He had me going through the man's garbage and following him around 24/7. He built huge humidifying machines in his abandoned factory. He ran through scenario after scenario with test targets. He calculated every variable to maximize his chances of success. It was only after every concievable detail had been perfected that he lured him into his trap. Every action A-C Man took, the Doc had a pre-planned response to counter it. It was only dumb luck and sheer determination that allowed A-C Man to escape, but as soon as Dr. Humidifier got out of prison he was right back at it - planning his next attempt, learning from his mistakes. That's the kind of attitude I gotta have if I want to take this all the way. I've come this far and luck and speed, but now I gotta use my brain if I wanna be top o' the heap.
Terrain Familiarity: Bar Fight
Terrain Familiarity: Standard
You probably already guessed this, but I spend and awful lot of time in bars. There are a lot of filthy gin-joints in Lowtown and I've closed 'em all out at some point in my life. The lowest of the low, though, has to be The Dizzy Weasel. If this place were any more of a dive you'd need scuba gear to get in. So why go there? Work, that's why. See the Weasel is where super-villains go to hire heavies like me. What, you thought they just took an ad out in the paper - "THUG WANTED, experience a must"? All my flunky buddies go there and on any given night you can find a whole assortment of costumed megalomaniacs too. Just the other night Ryan, Evil Genius was in, drinking his coffee steeped with Bailey's. He was ranting and raving as usual about what a smart guy he was and how when he runs the Fallen the world will tremble before him and yadda yadda yadda. In the end, he was passed out in a booth before he even managed to get around to hiring anyone. Cho Zen Wan was there too with a few of his martial art warriors - sucking back ricewine and breaking boards with their heads.. you know, the usual. They eventually carted ol' Wan out after a little too much Elixir Vitae, if y'know what I mean. Most villains are like that - can't handle their liquor. Well, except maybe the Beer Witch - now that old broad could drink you under the table without popping a wart! And then of course there was the time the entire crew of the Dark Galleon showed up with a yo-ho-ho and 40 crates of rum... but that's another story altogether.
Immunity: Emotion Control
When you work for insane super villains, you really gotta keep yer wits about you. These guys are master manipulators and damned crafty - not qualities you usually want in a boss. Take for instance Deva Peron, the singer/actress/president/dictator. I did some specialty work for her a while back (can't say what exactly, but let's say it involved a world leader, a hooker informant, 4 bottles of whiskey, a camera and an aluminum baseball bat and leave it at that, okay?). Anyhow, the job was done and I came 'round lookin' for my paycheque. Now, supervillains are notoriously cheap and despite Deva's lavish lifestyle she was just as much of a miser as the rest of 'em. She starts turning up the charm, espousing patriotic nationalist speeches which would have made the Queen of England rush out and join the Argentinian military - Falklands be damned. Well, that kinda pitch might've worked on some other flunky, and he would've woken up 3 months from now digging ditches in some South American jungle somewhere wondering what the hell he was thinking. Not me. When I wouldn't buy the patriotic version, she suddenly got all friendly - VERY friendly, if you catch my drift. Seems that when you are a beautiful, sexy world leader, you don't usually have to pay men to do your dirty work - at least, not money anyway. Now Deva is a real looker but I kept my cool. There's only two things I love more than a quick fling with a beautiful woman and that's whiskey and money to buy whiskey. I wasn't about to be duped outta what's owed me. Eventually she gave it up (the cheque that is) and I celebrated at a local gin-joint. Dodge Murphy ain't played so easily.