Better Angels: Big Shot of The Villainous Nine

Big-ShotWritten by Greg Stolze, illustrated by Kurt Komoda, (c) 2014.

In a lineup full of prosocial juggernauts—whistle-blowers, clean-governance advocates, philanthropists—Mack Cready would stick out like a sore thumb.  Mack started as an oil roughneck, struck it rich on a long-shot wildcat investment, transitioned into real estate and routinely told anyone who hit him up for a donation just where they could get off.  (Specifically, where they could get off his property, which was a sprawling ranch in Texas.)

Cready married a beauty queen half his age, invested in art and sports teams, drank expensive scotch, and got bored.  He got really, really bored.

Unlike some of his peers, he didn’t really feel threatened by the poor—hell, he’d been poor.  Other millionaires spent their time and efforts at high culture, but Cready just didn’t have the background.  Still others involved themselves in politics of the right or left, but all Mack ever heard from both ends were how their efforts backfired and how those heartless conservative bastards (or liberal, depending) were now more powerful and dangerous than ever.  It was all a lot of BS.

Catching his young wife with a young lover wasn’t the last straw.  Realizing that he didn’t really care—that was the last straw.  So he revamped a half-baked charitable institution he’d started for oil-field workers too injured to work and put all his money into it, except for $100 (because he didn’t want to be destitute).  He cut up his credit cards, sold his houses and property and dumped it all into that nonprofit.  The sole exception was two cars, one of which he figured his wife would take in the divorce.  (She did.  She also got fifty of his last dollars, but the attorney he hired to set up the trust fund worked really well with his divorce lawyer.)

At the age of 47, having been poor and rich and now poor again, he started over.

When General Null heard the story, he immediately set out to recruit Cready, seeing in his story a parallel of the life of Siddhartha.  It took him five months to track down the former millionaire, who was working as a dishwasher in North Carolina.

“Hey,” Null asked. “Ever wanted to be a supervillain?”

“Not really,” Cready replied.

“You will,” Null responded.  He was right.

Of all the Villainous Nine, the Big Shot is easily the most flamboyant.  His cowboy outfit is black, with red fringe and white rhinestones.  A huge hat compliments his black domino mask and pencil-thin mustache.  Naturally, he’s got spurs and a pair of six-shooters, which make a nice compliment to his other attacks.  (They’re big bulky +2 Advantage revolvers.)  He likes to start out with a Dominator Strike (which looks a lot like a tracer round) and then follow up with gunshots and surprise Telekinesis attacks.  His Carapace expresses itself as a shimmering wall of shiny black interference, like visible heat-haze.  Sadly for him, when his Giant aspect activates, it shreds those garments, leaving him a towering middle-aged white guy with his tackle hanging out.

CUNNING 1, PATIENT 1
Greed 0, Generosity 1
Espionage 1, Knowledge 1

SLY 3, OPEN 3
Cruelty 4, Courage 3
Cowardice 1, Endurance 3

DEVIOUS 1, INSIGHTFUL 2
Corruption 1, Nurture 2
Deceit 2, Honesty 2

POWERS: Dominator Strike (Enervating), Telekinesis

ASPECTS: Carapace, Giant

PRIMARY SINFUL STRATEGY: Sly

Better Angels cover

About Arc Dream Publishing

Arc Dream Publishing creates roleplaying games and fiction including Delta Green, Godlike, Wild Talents, Monsters and Other Childish Things, Better Angels, The Kerberos Club, The Sense of the Sleight-of-Hand Man, and the award-winning magazine of Cthulhu Mythos gaming, The Unspeakable Oath.