How NOT to Save the World Original Scripts

PAGE 1

PANEL 1

MB is sitting behind a desk, reading over something on a clipboard. Amal sticks hir head in the door.

HEADER NOTE

T Minus 2 years.

MB
Not relevant. Interesting. Ooh! I like that one…

AMAL
Good news, salar. The World Government has officially handed over power. Congratulations, as of 1400 Greenwich, you the ruler of the world.

PANEL 2

MB drops the clipboard.

MB
Excellent! Activate the plans to move into the official government offices, have the heads of the current government departments gather for a meeting in 24 hours, and tell everyone “Good work.”

PANEL 3

Amal nods, and makes notes on a holographic PDA.

AMAL
It will be done. Several of your loyal minions have been plotting a ‘surprise’ celebration for you. They’re setting up the Green Room now.

MB
Alright. I’ll be there in 30. Tell me Wart isn’t cooking?

AMAL
Of course not. I am.

PANEL 4

MB stands up and heads for the door, herding Amal ahead of him.

MB
Well then, what’s the delay?

PANEL 5

MB dashes back and grabs the papers off his desk.

MB
I almost forget. Urgent priority, have Cindy turn this into a poster for my new office.

AMAL
Sure. What is it?

PANEL 6

Sheaf of papers with ‘Evil Overlord’s List’ across the top.

MB
Just something I found in the archives while I was researching world conquest.

Notes: Amal was the original version of Wu. Zi got a mild remake when I learned that all Zoroastrian dragons are evil. As much as I wanted to do something other than the ubiquitous Chinese dragon, I decided ‘cultural background I was at least moderately familiar with’ needed to be my first criteria.
I’m not sure when MB and Amal/Zu’s relationship shifted from genial boss/second to kinky&intimate
.

PAGE 2

PANEL 1

MB addressing room of bureaucrats. NOT in western business suits. Try and come up with ‘futuristic’ garb that is a mix of various cultures.

HEADER NOTE

T minus 1 year 364 days

MB
I have good news and bad news. The good news: all of your parasitic bureaucracies will be untouched as long as you don’t give me any trouble.

PANEL 2

Very relieved bureaucrats.

PANEL 3

Back to view of MB addressing the room.

MB
The bad news: It will be your jobs to implement and enforce some new policies. Effective immediately all income taxes are raised by 15%, and I am instituting a world-wide of sales tax of 9%.

PANEL 4

Bureaucrats react with hub-bub, MB speaks over them.

MB
Unemployment is now illegal. All currently unemployed persons have three months to find a job or they will be given mandatory employment through the government.

MB
(small)
Exemptions are as noted in your briefing packets, including for students, one member of each household with small children, and self employed persons who file for a self employment license and can document a minimum of 20 hours of paid work a week.

PANEL 5

MB addressing the room. Little group of huddled bureaucrats in the back of the room.

BUREAUCRAT 1
It’s okay. He hasn’t said anything about the monsters yet, we may be in the clear.

MB
All non-human sentients are as of this moment full citizens, with all the rights and privileges. Each of your departments will have new policies in place reflecting this change by the end of the week.

PANEL 6

Bureaucrat from huddle shrieks, rest of the room falls silent to stare, MB smiles.

MB
Of course, “all rights and privileges” does include the new taxes and mandatory employment.

Note: MB was much more obviously an Evil Overlord in this version.
Also, having recently been fighting with Social Security over how my part time freelance work and book royalties affect my ability to get on disability, I have a very different view of that self employment ‘exemption.’

PAGE 3

PANEL 1

Battle Butler sticks her head in MB’s door. MB is at a new deck in a new, much bigger, office. The is a poster on the wall titled “Evil OverLord’s List” (don’t worry if title isn’t fully readable)

HEADER NOTE

T Minus 1 year 361 days

BUTLER
Hey boss, I’ve got that engineer you’ve had your eye on.

MB
Send him in.

PANEL 2

Battle Butler opens the door for Bunny Ears Engineer. Engineer is wearing a scruffy pants, steel toed boots, a button down shirt and long bunny ears.

NO DIALOGUE

PANEL 3

MB face palms.

MN
I should have expected a mad scientist.

PANEL 4

Bunny Ears throws his head back and screams. MB and Butler cringe away.

BUNNY EARS
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!

PANEL 5

Bunny ears buries his face in his hands, utterly dejected.

BUNNY EARS
Why? Why does everyone always say that?

PAGE 4

PANEL 1

MB and Bunny Ears are talking in MBs office.

HEADER NOTE

T Minus 1 year 361 days

MB
I’m told you are the best there is at space-based engineering, and a fan of ancient science fiction.

BUNNY EARS
Y-e-s.

MB
And what would you say to a chance to build Troy?

PANEL 2

Bunny Ears blinks.

BUNNY EARS
Troy?

PANEL 3

MB activates a hologram of a giant sphere with stats and a picture of a hoplite’s helmet*.

MB
Troy? From the Troy Rising trilogy? 9 mile diameter space fortress made of a ballooned asteroid? Mile and half thick metal walls? Terawatt lasers?

PANEL 4

Bunny Ears switches image to classic Death Star with stats.

BUNNY EARS
Why not just build the Death Star? It’s what Troy wanted to be when it grew up.

PANEL 5

MB examines the stats on the Death Star

MB
I don’t think we can manage the Death Star in two years.

BUNNY EARS
Mm.

PANEL 6

MB fiddles with display and Death Star Blows up.

MB
Besides, Troy was designed by engineers who understood things like protecting exhaust ports.

BUNNY EARS
Good point.

* Description of Troy from original series: When the fire cleared, on five hexants of the battlestation, there were meters deeply etched into the nickel iron, the clear silhouettes of a helmeted hoplite with a legend λιον. There was a smaller emblem on the door and under it the words “Born of Winter.”

PAGE 5

PANEL 1

MB and Bunny Ears looking at space fortress hologram.

HEADER NOTE

T Minus 1 year 361 days

BUNNY EARS
I’m a geek and an engineer. This is like unbelievably amazing. But two years? It takes longer than that to design space craft, never mind build them.

MB
Well, I can promise bureaucracy will be non-existent and funding will be as close to infinite as I can manage.

BUNNY EARS
That will help.

PANEL 2

MB presses buzzer on his wrist PDA.

MB
Also, you won’t be doing this alone.

BUNNY EARS
I won’t?

PANEL 3

Office door wooshes open and Crone walks in.

MB
No. You’ll handle the engineering end, Crone here will deal with the magic.

PANEL 4

Bunny Ears and Crone stare at each other.

BUNNY EARS
You do realize that in 200 years NO ONE has successfully combined magic and technology?

CRONE
You do realize that you look like an **** [ableist slur].

PANEL 5

MB grins.

MB
Play nice, kids. Or I’ll take your toys away.

PANEL 6

Crone signs a quick sigil in the air. Bunny Ears’ ears start twitching.

BUNNY EARS
Hey!

Note: you might notice that Amal is the only character with a name. This story really did begin as ‘everyone is a trope!’ MB, by they way, is short for Magnificent Bastard. (Un)luckily, Amal’s tropes were The Dragon and Our Dragons Are Different. So I kind of had to figure out HOW the dragon was different from the get-go. That… didn’t work out so much.
*Sigh* yeah, the internalized ableism was deep when I wrote this.

Page 6

PANEL 1

MB is examining holographic blueprints while Bunny Ears looks on. Amal is reading off some reports.

CAPTION

T minus 1 year 355 days

AMAL
…and of complaints from several groups about the mandatory employment.

MB
Any of them worth listening to?

PANEL 2 (OVERSIZED)

Mini scenes of different groups as Amal talks off panel.

AMAL
The indigenous peoples say forcing them into western style-jobs is discrimination. The disabled say they can’t work. The elderly say you didn’t include a retirement age. The trust fund idiots say that golfing IS their job.

PANEL 3

MB rubs the back of his neck as Bunny Ears switches the display to a new view.

MB
Alright, the indigenous groups are exempt as long as they are self sufficient. Optional retirement age is two-thirds of whatever the demographics life expectancy is.

PANEL 4

MB paces back and forth, stepping though a magic circle Crone is in the middle of scribing on the floor. Much to her annoyance. Amal takes notes.

MB
Get a 10 person panel put together, 6 disabled people and 4 doctors. They can figure out how to get as many disabled working as possible, and hand out exemptions for the ones who can’t even lie in bed and talk on a phone.

PANEL 5

MB walks off panel.

AMAL
What about the trust funders?

MB
(Off panel)
What about ’em?

Note, I don’t remember if this was more of MB being actually EVIL or if I really did think expecting Indigenous groups to be self sufficient after (in story) 500+ years of resource theft and forced migration was reasonable. Of course, in the current version, North American Indigenous groups, at least, reclaimed much of their ancestral land a while before the story started… yeah, anyway you get it, this was just a shit line.