Finally left alone in his quarters, Zechs Marquise removed his uniform jacket with a sigh of relief and unbuttoned his shirt as he moved to the small cooler and pulled out a beer. He seldom drank the stuff – Treize would have given him a despairing look for doing it – but he felt he needed it right about now.
Zechs groaned as he heard the chime on his laptop, signalling a new email message.
He'd been on this piss-poor excuse for a base for less than 24 hours. One problem after another, complaints, stupidity…
He still shuddered as he thought about the mechanics' log book. It was no wonder this place lost more suits than any other outpost. 'Almost replaced the coolant cells on the starboard engine' was not an acceptable response to the complaint 'starboard engine prone to heat spikes – coolant cells almost need to be replaced'!
Still grumbling, he brought his beer with him and sat down in front of the computer. "I told them not to disturb me unless a Gundam showed up…"
His eyebrows went up – he had two emails in his inbox, one from Wufei, which brought a smile to his face, and the other from an address he'd never seen before. Saving the best for last, he pulled up the strange email –
----- begin message -----
So you're the one who's been sending Wu-bear all those emails that leave him smirking all day long, eh? Never knew you had it in you. I'm copying you a message he sent to Q –- email addresses removed for security's sake, of course – since you figure in it quite prominently. Enjoy!
Hugs and kisses,
The God of Death
PS- can I see a copy of that picture Wufei refers to – the one taken in
Morocco? If it's good enough to get him all hot and bothered, I think
it's worth sharing. Pretty please? :)
----- view attachment -----
> Things I Will do Whin I Become an Evil Empress…
Zechs continued reading, and found himself laughing so hard he had tears running down his face. He smirked as he reached the end of the email and figured out which picture Duo had been talking about in his email. Shrugging, he hit [REPLY].
----- begin message -----
Dear God of Death,
Thanks for the email – I enjoyed it immensely. The requested picture is attached for your viewing pleasure.
----- end message -----
Zechs laughed as he hit send; Wufei would probably have a fit when he found out, but it would be worth it. The blond smiled – he doubted Wufei knew quite how adorable he was when he was angry.
And speaking of said Dragon… He took a long pull on his beer and pulled up Wufei's message. "My turn, indeed," he remarked, as he finished reading. A smile stole over his face as he hit [REPLY].
----- begin message -----
TO: “Zechs Merquise” [maskedavenger@specials.OZ.mil]
FROM: “Chang Wufei” [FireBreather@dragonpower.org]
SENT: 16 March AC196, 2014:52
MESSAGE: Your Turn
It seems we are all to fall prey to Maxwell's latest email craze. I recently received my email – from Winner, of all people!—and since I actually enjoyed the pointless exercise, I decided to share the joy.
If Maxwell can be considered a Sidekick, after all, you can certainly fit into the category I chose for you.
Don't work too hard (or at least remember to take some time to sleep, since I know you will work too hard.)
[Z. Merquise wrote] Dragon,
You are quite right – I have been working too much, and Treize would kill me for it, especially since I have been sitting here, drinking a beer as I enjoyed your message. You should have copied me on your message from Winner; a certain friend of yours made sure I saw it anyway. He also requested a copy of that picture from our Marrakesh trip, which I was only too happy to provide.
Before you get all angry at me, intelligence caught pictures of him with his significant other taking some R&R in Hawaii not long ago. It is more than a fair trade, I assure you.
Anyway, thanks for the message, and my responses are attached. I hope they will give you as much of a laugh as they gave me.
When do we get to see you again?
----- end message -----
----- view attachment -----
The Evil Henchman's Guide
General tips for henchmen of all varieties:
1. Avoid getting sent to rough up the hero(es). Ransacking hotel rooms is probably safe, but going 'round to beat up the good guys is a sure ticket to the bottom of the Thames. Remember, however, that all Heroes get roughed up at least once, so if this has never happened to the Hero, go for it!
[Z. Merquise wrote:] I believe that Yuy has been *roughed up* many times… blown up, even. And I refuse to stoop to ransacking hotel rooms.
2. When the hero or his sidekicks are at your mercy, don't stop to gloat.
[Z. Merquise wrote:] Have I ever gloated? Well, I did gloat when we finally got you into bed… but that doesn’t really count.
3. If you can't resist gloating, don't boast about the reward you expect to receive from your master for bringing them in or killing them off.
[Z. Merquise wrote:] *smirk* I thought you said my gloating was exciting when we played out that fantasy… And I seem to recall you enjoyed watching while I claimed my *reward.*
4. If you gloat and boast, don't be surprised if a comrade of the person you have at your mercy jumps you from behind while you're distracted with your boasting.
[Z. Merquise wrote:] Hmmm, being jumped by Maxwell, in certain circumstances, could be a very pleasurable experience. Remind me to ask Yuy next time I fight him.
5. If you fail to complete your mission, skip town. Returning to the Evil Overlord to report on your failure will usually get you killed.
[Z. Merquise wrote:] Hardly. Removing people for minor failures would be a waste of resources, remember? Besides, you know Treize isn’t like that. Lady Une, however, is another story.
6. Avoid killing people not actively involved in the rebellion; the Evil Overlord has enough enemies as it is. Especially don't kill relatives, significant others, or best friends of the hero. Normally after the Evil Overlord is overthrown, henchmen can get off with a few hundred hours of community service, but if you off the Hero's loved ones, he'll make lasagne out of you.
[Z. Merquise wrote:] I would never intentionally target innocents. And if I *were* so inclined, *you’d* make lasagne out of me for even thinking about it.
7. Unless the Evil Overlord pays extra for indiscriminate slaughter, avoid it. Why should you give your services away for free?
[Z. Merquise wrote:] Indiscriminate slaughter isn't elegant enough for Treize, you know that. Besides being immoral. I wouldn't put it past Lady Une, though. Scary woman.
8. As tempting as it may be, never try to ravish the Evil Overlord's beautiful-but-wicked daughter. She can probably mop the floor with you. Daddy will not try to stop her.
[Z. Merquise wrote:] Why would I want to ravish the daughter when I already have the father? And the father's pet Dragon...
9. Learn where the trap door is in the Evil Overlord's audience chamber. Avoid standing there, especially when bad news is brought to the Evil Overlord.
[Z. Merquise wrote:] Treize would never be so crass as to have a trap door in the floor.
10. While the Evil Overlord is gloating over his anticipated success in the venture he is about to launch, it is considered impolite to ask "And if you fail?" You probably won't be flogged, maimed, or killed for your temerity, but why risk it?
[Z. Merquise wrote:] When have you ever heard Treize gloat? He’s been confident, yes, but gloating? I just can’t see it happening.
11. As soon as the evil lord has the hero in his power, seek the nearest available escape route. The fewmets are about to hit the windmill.
[Z. Merquise wrote:] That would be when Maxwell arrives to rescue Yuy, correct? Escape might be an idea at that point. I do *not* want to be in Maxwell’s way if he has to rescue Yuy.
12. Learn to distinguish Heroes from Sidekicks. Heroes are usually taller and more somber, while Sidekicks dress with more flair and tell more jokes. Taking on the Hero when you only have enough manpower/firepower to take on the Sidekick will earn you an all-expenses-paid trip on Stygian Cruise Lines.
[Z. Merquise wrote:] I do believe whoever wrote this list definitely had Yuy and Maxwell in mind for this question. Though, shouldn’t it be changed to ‘Taking on the Sidekick when you only have enough manpower/firepower to take on the Hero will earn you an all-expenses-paid trip on Stygian Cruise Lines.’ in this case? Maxwell is the self-proclaimed ‘God of Death’ after all.
13. Never allow yourself to be provoked into doing anything stupid by insults from the Hero or Sidekicks.
[Z. Merquise wrote:] Yuy doesn’t use stupid insults to provoke people. Maxwell is another story. I’ll make sure to have our other pilots concentrate on him.
14. No matter how attractive the captured heroine is or how seductively she bats her eyes, she really does not want to sleep with you. Do not unlock the cell door.
[Z. Merquise wrote:] Why would I want to sleep with her? Now, if you were in my dungeon, nothing would stop me from unlocking your cell…
15. If the heroes give you a chance to surrender or flee, take it.
[Z. Merquise wrote:] Sorry, can’t do that. Yuy and I have a fight to finish. Actually, we have two to finish. Would you mind making appointments with him for me?
16. If you surrender to the Hero, don't try to stab him when his back is turned; the Sidekick will get you first.
[Z. Merquise wrote:] Firstly, honour and decorum would never permit me to go back on my word if I were to surrender to anyone, as unlikely as that would be. Second, Maxwell would not only get me first, he'd make me beg for mercy before he finished with me. The boy can be quite scary when he wants to be, no offence meant to your friend, of course.
17. If the seemingly helpless person you have just cornered is confident and unafraid despite being outnumbered and surrounded, you have encountered a Hero in disguise. Run while you still can.
[Z. Merquise wrote:] Either that, or my sister. She will be in for a rude awakening one day when Heero *doesn't* show up to save her.
18. If the Hero you are sent after dresses entirely in black, he is even more dangerous than the Evil Overlord suspects; double all requisitions for men and firepower.
[Z. Merquise wrote:] Yuy dresses in green shirts, from what I’ve seen. Maxwell dresses in black. Does this mean that the ‘Sidekick’ is more dangerous than the ‘Hero’?
19. Practice your "accidental" sword/gun dropping technique. It's the only thing that can save you when the hero is winning.
[Z. Merquise wrote:] Does this mean that *you* would not save me? I'm hurt, Dragon.
20. When you have someone at gunpoint and that person says "you haven't got the guts to kill me," prove him/her wrong.
[Z. Merquise wrote:] Put that horse's ass of a mobile doll designer, Tsuberov, in front of me, make him say the line, and I would be happy to oblige.
21. The Evil Overlord will not risk his life to save yours. Why risk yours for him?
[Z. Merquise wrote:] He would challenge God, Himself, to a duel if it would save either of us. I think Treize should test your *loyalty* when you come to see us next, as payback for this. This idea has some serious possibilities…
22. If the Hero is using you as a human shield and the Evil Overlord asks you if the Doomsday Weapon is prepared, say "no."
[Z. Merquise wrote:] I think Treize would wrap the command codes to his new battle station in bright cellophane and ribbons and had it over cheerfully to any of you pilots before he'd ever consider trading my life for victory. Okay, maybe not – we're soldiers, after all. But it's a nice fantasy, isn't it?
23. If the Evil Overlord orders you to kill some prisoners and then departs for business elsewhere, leave as quickly as possible; there is about to be a successful rescue attempt.
[Z. Merquise wrote:] You pilots take good care of each other. There will be a successful rescue attempt, even if he doesn't order anyone to kill you, which he'd never do, anyway. There are times when I think he enjoys watching you five find new, creative ways of rescuing a comrade.
24. Never wear gender-inappropriate underwear if swords are common. The Hero will slice your suspenders, causing your pants to fall and exposing you to ridicule.
[Z. Merquise wrote:] You know I am a ‘briefs’ man… when I wear underwear. I do NOT wear women’s underwear! Besides, *you* were labelled the 'Evil Empress,' if memory serves. I think you're not telling us something.
25. Never allow yourself to be turned into a vicious, ravening beast to defeat the Hero. It never works, and your girlfriend will not understand. She will dump you for one of the Good Guys.
[Z. Merquise wrote:] The only time I turn into a ravening beast is when I’m with you and Treize. And you two would never dump me for that, would you?
26. Never hold hostages at point blank range. Anyone quick enough to even back into the role of Hero can punch you out faster than you can pull the trigger.
[Z. Merquise wrote:] I would never take hostages to begin with. It’s dishonourable, not to mention that whiny hostages are very annoying.
27. When disposing of bodies, dump them in the Evil Overlord's territory, and not in neighbouring lands presently outside of his control.
[Z. Merquise wrote:] Lady Une recommends dropping them out of airplanes at very high altitudes. What do you think? Good idea?
28. Find out where the Evil Overlord has installed the self-destruct switch for his secret base (the real switch, not the decoy), and disable it at the first opportunity. The base will get blown up anyway, but your chances of escaping are better.
[Z. Merquise wrote:] Honour demands that I go down with the ship, my dear Dragon. Moral of the story – don't let it come to that!
29. Don't let the Evil Overlord use you as a lab animal.
[Z. Merquise wrote:] Animal? I thought you were Treize’s pet… at least that’s what he implied in his email…
30. If you can't avoid being used as a guinea pig by the Evil Overlord, any powers you gain from the experiment will make it needful for the Hero to kill you at some point during the Heroic Struggle. Change sides and take your just revenge.
[Z. Merquise wrote:] As if I would ever abandon Treize like that. Or you for that matter. Hmmm… that puts me in quite the quandary, doesn’t it?
Hitting [SEND], Zechs lifted his beer to his lips and grimaced as the no-longer-cold liquid bubbled its way down his throat. He stood and took the bottle to the sink to pour it out. The stuff tasted vile enough when it was cold!
Resigning himself to a tall glass of cold water, he moved to the window and looked up at a star-filled sky. Zechs smiled wistfully. "I miss you, Wufei. You, too, Treize."
Gundam Wing II
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