A Plain and Simple Series, #23

Things I Will Do If I Am Ever The Hero

(Cronan Thompson)


The Things I Will Do if I Am Ever the Hero

        Those of you who read much speculative fiction
are familiar with the plot device of having the hero do
something consummately stupid, in order to prevent him
from ending the book too quickly, which leads to much
suffering and strife until the hero finally wises up.
To counter this, and as an answer to Peter's Overlord
list, I present the Things I Will Do if I Am Ever the
1. I will maintain no association with sidekicks who
make use of prostitutes. They are too often spies for
the Evil Overlord.
2. I will design my ship's tactical systems so that I
do not have to personally direct every single shot
3. I will ignore the Evil Overlord's arguments
revolving around honor and/or morality. If he were
really all that concerned about either, he would never
have become an Evil Overlord in the first place.
4. I will put surge suppressers in the circuitry of my
ship, so that a shot striking some distant portion does
not cause a control panel on the bridge to explode.
5. When the Evil Overlord takes hostages, I will
presume the hostages dead until the Evil Overlord is
overthrown and the hostages are rescued, and I will
summarily ignore any promises he might make regarding
their safe return.
6. I will design my ships so that command and control
functions cannot be hot-wired from a wall panel in the
recreation bay.
7. I will not walk alone and undisguised into a bar in
the Evil Overlord's territory in order to meet with an
ex-associate who said a bunch of damaging things about
me in one of the Evil Overlord's propaganda pieces.
8. When the Evil Overlord is hanging on the cliff by
his fingers, I will not try to help him up.
9. When combat is imminent, my ships' computer will be
programmed so that enemy troops that beam aboard will
be immediately beamed into empty space.
10. When I am advised to destroy a potent talisman
captured from the Evil Overlord, I will do so.
11. When the enemy ship de-cloaks and is arming
weapons, I will not wait for it to fire three or four
times before instructing my officers to return fire.
12. Anyone inquiring after the secret of my strength
will be fed a line of unmitigated bull as to how this
strength can be lost. If the bogus advice is followed,
the leak shall be properly investigated.
13. When a comrade defects to the enemy, I will have
all passwords changed, and as soon as it is practical I
will have the computer disconnected, its memory
flushed, and the original approved software loaded from
the original CD-ROMs.
14. Anyone who cannot be entertained by books, music,
and a well-stocked bar will not be allowed to crew my
ship. Hence there will be no need for holodecks.
15. After capturing a space station from an enemy, I
will have the enemy's computer systems completely
removed and melted down into slag, and a new computer
16. I will take no oath of unquestioning obedience, nor
any oath of obedience to persons of unproved character.
17. If I have a comrade who is a sanctimonious coward
who continually gets us all into trouble through his
greed, I shall, after the third or fourth episode of
this behavior, act to preserve myself and other
comrades only, and let him be destroyed by the mess he
made for himself.
18. I will reveal to each comrade a different clue for
distinguishing me from an impostor, so that if one of
them betrays me and an impostor is sent in my place,
the others will still be able to catch on to the
19. Under no circumstance will I agree to not develop
or employ any particular technology.

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