Plotting evil is a skill.
A highly developed, refined skill, honed only after many years of trial and error even by the most brilliant minds, of which Lex Luthor certainly counted himself among.
Like any skill, mastering evil was part innate talent, part focused determination, as well as part pots of burnt coffee at midnight and stale donuts at dawn.
Carrying out an evil plot, however, was work for lesser beings.
Lex didn't like handling dirty deeds himself. That's what minions were for, both the witting and the unwitting. He preferred to sit back and watch his plans unfold like a concerto; smoothly ascending, note after gorgeous note, onwards to their inevitable and terrible climax.
Unfortunately, things rarely worked out that way.
The quality of available minions -- never that good to begin with -- seemed to be declining every year. Not once did they get to anywhere near the Machiavellian level of skill required by Lex's complex ideas, thus causing the failure of said plans on a disturbingly regular basis.
Something like a one-hundred-percent basis, to be precise.
And that just wasn't right.
Thus, on one snowy winter's morning, Lex Luthor decided a change had to be made. And since the minions were proving themselves even more incompetent than usual, it appeared he had to start thinking outside the box and take on a bit more responsibility into his own, more capable, hands.
But whatever the plot was, it couldn't be too complicated.
While more than competent at delegating various evil tasks -- wire tapping, drink tampering, moving apartment furniture around without telling the occupants so they tripped and fell down -- he wasn't sure he could handle the truly disordered work on his own.
Much as he was loathe to admit it, Lex Luthor just wasn't a "hands-on" sort of guy.
So, he put his mind onto a different track, determined to utilize the skills he had in a way that would bring his plots to a victorious conclusion.
Enamoured with this new line of thought, Lex pondered deeply throughout the morning.
What was it that Thoreau said again?
Oh, yes. Simplify, simplify.
What he needed was a vehicle for his plan, a robotic conveyance of terror, one that wouldn't question his orders -- or if it did, its questioning could only make the situation worse.
It couldn't be a thinking being (his minions never could stop interjecting their own inferior thought processes into his perfect plans), but it couldn't be totally without brains or knowledge of some sort either.
It had to be as ruthless and just as focused as he prided himself on being, yet willing to submit to whatever information it was fed, without sense of cause or consequence.
In short, it had to as evil and single-minded as he was, but without independent thought of any sort.
But where could he find such a terrible entity?
Suddenly, the answer came to Lex as if carried in the heart of a lightning bolt. His jaw hung and his heart pounded with joy as he booted his laptop and fired up the printer.
With trembling hands, he started to type:
*//Attn: Internal Revenue Service
Re: Errors on Previous Tax Returns
To whom it may concern:
After some consideration and deep soul-searching, I've decided to write to you today in regard to some "errors" I've made on my previous tax returns, from the year 2010 onward to present, in regard to income received and accrual of net worth over the period of the past decade.
I've come to the conclusion that my conscience can no longer abide by these discrepancies, so enclosed please find my adjusted tax returns and claims, now totaling in a tax debt much greater than at first acknowledged.
I look forward to consulting with your agents and auditors regarding these adjusted filings and will willingly accept all fines, penalties and, if need be, prosecution that may be recommended under United States law.
Thank you for your time, and I look forward to meeting with you.
Tax ID Number: #453-09-1830//*
With a howl of wicked laughter, Lex closed the file and yanked some blank tax forms from his desk, to be filled out in the most diabolically "creative" way of them all.
Oh yeah, Superman was going down. Once the IRS sunk its claws into that tacky cape of his, not even his alien prowess could save him.
In fact, nothing was going to save him.
With that pleasant thought in mind, Lex Luthor got to work on the evilest, greatest, bestest master plan of all time.
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