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Megalomaniac Monthly Interviews Sludge Vohaul
by Laurie Neptune      

      In this very special issue of Megalomaniac Monthly, we interview a brilliant individual who has, without a doubt, left his mark on the field of intergalactic domination. Sludge Vohaul's accomplishments throughout both space and time are well-documented, and he has recently completed a follow-up to his Vohaul Award-winning book Sludge Vohaul: Memoirs of an Evil Genius, entitled Ridding the Universe of Your Do-Gooder Archnemesis in Twelve Easy Steps (Planetary Press, $59.95 hardcover). Throughout his long career, Vohaul has hatched a number of diabolical schemes ranging from the so-called Sarien Encounter to his attempt to unleash a horde of genetically-engineered insurance salesmen on the galaxy. In fact, Vohaul even managed to conquer the entire known universe and chronostream before being foiled by sanitation engineer Roger Wilco. In the alien-eat-alien world of intergalactic domination, Vohaul serves as a testament to hard work, determination, and the unadulterated lust for power. We recently caught up with Vohaul at his secret lair on the outskirts of the galaxy. This is what he had to say.

Sludge Vohaul Laurie Neptune: Good afternoon, Mr. Vohaul. I'm glad you could take time out of your busy schedule for this interview.

Sludge Vohaul: First and foremost, Miss Neptune, it's Doctor Vohaul. You do realize that I hold advanced degrees in genetic engineering, physics, xenobiology, artificial intelligence, robotics, interpretive dance, and temporal mechanics, don't you?

LN: My apologies, Dr. Vohaul.

SV: It's quite all right, Miss Neptune. I have grown to expect such incompetence from mental midgets like yourself.

LN: Uh... okay. Anyway, I suppose we should start at the beginning. What inspired you to become an evil genius bent on intergalactic domination in the first place?

SV: Well, young lady, I have never considered myself as an evil genius, per se. Doubtlessly, the "genius" portion of the title applies quite aptly. What, however, makes a genius "evil"? Do the mere facts that I desire power above all else, and that I am more than willing to destory or enslave anyone who stands in the way of my achievement of that power, make me "evil"? If so, then I suppose that I am an "evil genius," as you so quaintly put it.

To be quite honest, I would have been content to live out my life merely as the single greatest mind in the history of Xenon. Is that so much to ask? When the imbeciles on the Xenonian High Scientific Council took the Star Generator Project out of my hands, however, I came to the realization that their worthless planet had never appreciated my true brilliance. They had merely used me. Me, Sludge Vohaul! I had constructed a weapon that could have made Xenon the most powerful planet in the quadrant--if not the entire galaxy! They, on the other hand, wanted to waste its unparalleled destructive potential in the interest of their so-called "greater good." The only way that I could show those simpletons on the High Council--along with all the other fools who had doubted me through the years--the error of their ways was to make them pay the ultimate price--the destruction of their pitiful planet. Unfortunately, as you may know, my machinations did not come to fruition exactly as planned.

As for my inspirations? At the risk of sounding trite, I have always admired such great so-called "villains" as Darth Vader, Ming the Merciless, Earth's Martha Stewart, and Vril Dox of Colu.

LN: Just out of curiosity, do you think that having a name like yours might have created a self-fulfilling prophecy in terms of your eventual career choice of would-be intergalactic conquerer?

SV: I am not sure that I follow your line of questioning. What do you find strange about the name Vohaul?

LN: Actually, I was thinking of the "Sludge" part.

SV: What are you implying, Miss Neptune?

LN: Never mind. Let's talk a bit about about your revenge following the so-called Sarien Encounter. What exactly did you hope to accomplish by unleashing a horde of bioengineered insurance salesmen on the unwitting galaxy?

SV: What do you mean, "what did I hope to accomplish?" They were bioengineered insurance salesmen. I think the sheer brilliance of the plan speaks for itself. Next question.

LN: All right... tell me a little about your brother.

SV: Which brother?

LN: You have more than one? I was only aware of your brother, Slash. I understand that he was also involved in the Star Generator Project. In fact, some sources contend that he was responsible for many of the critical breakthroughs that made the project possible.

SV: Yes... of course I have only the one brother. <laughs> What was I thinking? To be quite frank, Miss Neptune, Slash and I never saw eye to eye. He was a thorn in my side from our childhood, and he was no different than those fools on the High Council with his talk of "reviving dying solar systems" and "saving untold numbers of lives." Those who claim that he was the driving force behind the Star Generator are simply rewriting history to suit their own purposes. It's little more than rubbish and poppycock--mere propaganda. And to think that people call me a villain!

LN: Whatever happened to Slash, anyway?

SV: Between you and I, Miss Neptune, let's just say that I eventually dealt with the problem of that simpering fool of a sibling. Of course, I'm sure that at least a few of his molecules are still floating around somewhere in Sector R7 even to this day. <laughs>

Sludge VohaulLN: That's... er, very interesting, Dr. Vohaul. Now, tell me a bit about Roger Wilco.

SV: I should have known that you would eventually ask about that insipid fool, the one blemish on an otherwise pristine record of intergalactic domination. What can I say? Clearly, Wilco did not outsmart me. My plans were all brilliantly conceived, yet he somehow managed to overcome them. If I did not know better, I would say that some force greater than even I can comprehend was somehow guiding him through his "space quest," helping him make decisions and avoid certain death along the way. As I have said in the past--or was it the future?--Wilco will pay. Even now, forces far beyond his limited understanding are aligning against him--forces that will ultimately allow me to exact my vengeance.

LN: Your theft of the Star Generator, your attempt at unleashing legions of genetically-engineered insurance salemen on the galaxy, and your takeover of the Xenonian Super Computer are all well-documented. Did you hatch any plans for intergalactic domination along the way that received less attention?

SV: It is funny that you should ask that, Miss Neptune. A few years ago, I devised a scheme to take over the galaxy by brainwashing the masses through the hypnotic music of a boy band that I had formed. Perhaps you've heard of them--N*Space? I even wrote their hit single, "(Baby, I'll) Clone You a Piece of My Heart." All told, I consider it one of my more brilliant schemes--if I do say so myself. Unfortunately, the little brats decided that I was "too controlling" and "limiting their careers," and they sued me. Can you believe that? They sued me, Sludge Vohaul. Thanks to the clearly biased galactic judicial system, they eventually managed to win their freedom and ultimately went on to become a huge sensation. I should have known better than to have rejected the "shy one" in favor of the "litigious one" during auditions.

LN: Very interesting. Now, you recently completed work on a book entitled Ridding the Universe of Your Do-Gooder Archnemesis in Twelve Easy Steps. I've read an advance copy, and I have to say that you have truly outdone yourself.

SV: Thank you, Miss Neptune.

LN: You're welcome. Still, I can't help but wonder if you've opened yourself to some serious criticism considering that you've failed time and time again to rid the universe of your archnemesis, Roger Wilco.

SV: Miss Neptune, did you ever stop to think that I might have a life outside of that simple-minded sanitation engineer? After all, who is to say that he is my archnemesis? For all that you know, there could be some other do-gooder out there who I consider my ultimate foe. Just because Wilco considers me his archnemesis doesn't mean that I place him in the same category.

Sludge VohaulLN: So, do you have another archnemesis?

SV: Well... no, not exactly. Still, I hardly think that the mere fact that Roger Wilco has thus far managed to somehow survive my attempts to destroy him in any way negates the impact of my new book. After all, he's nothing more than a janitor with an unlikely streak of good luck--a streak that I plan to end in the very near future. My plans to destroy him were all virtually flawless; it was only good fortune that allowed him to escape with his life time and time again. When I have finally disposed of him once and for all, however, I might consider a second printing of Ridding the Universe with a new epilogue. Which reminds me, I simply must remember to send a subspace communiqué to my agent after we are finished speaking.

LN: At this rate, you'll conquer the publishing industry in no time!

SV: Was that an attempt at humor, Miss Neptune?

LN: Uh... no. I guess not. So, what is the most common misconception that people have about Sludge Vohaul?

SV: The most obvious misconception is that Wilco somehow managed to vanquish me in our last encounter. As you can see, I am clearly alive and well. Or, at least as well as I have ever been. <laughs> I am sure that Wilco assumed he had seen the last of Sludge Vohaul. Did it never even occur to that fool that I might have made a backup copy of my brain engrams somewhere other than the Super Computer? I am a genius, after all. Wilco could not be more mistaken--which is quite a feat for that nincompoop, I might add. I won't bore you with the details of my return, but suffice it to say that I have returned--and Wilco will pay.

LN: So, Dr. Vohaul... what plans for intergalactic domination are currently on your drawing board? Can you give us a hint or two about what to expect from you in the future?

SV: I find it somewhat amusing that you would use the phrase "in the future," Miss Neptune. After all, for those of you still bound by the confines of linear, three-dimensional thought, my greatest accomplishment--the takeover of the Super Computer and subsequent conquering of the entire known universe and timestream--has yet to transpire. As for what I have planned next, I'm afraid that you will have to wait and see just like everyone else. You can rest assured, however, that I when I choose to strike again, you--and the rest of the universe--will be well aware of it. All in due time, Miss Neptune. All in due time.

LN: Well, speaking of time, I'm afraid that we're out of it for this issue. Thank you very much for speaking with us, Dr. Vohaul.

SV: Despite the somewhat banal nature of your questioning, Miss Neptune, it was my pleasure. It's far too seldom that I actually have the opportunity to share my side of the Sludge Vohaul story. After all, just because an individual happens to have an IQ of 345, an army of bioengineered apemen under his control, and a penchant for intergalactic domination, it does not mean that he's not your, ahem, down-to-earth "average Joe." Ah... you had probably forgotten about the apemen, correct? Well, I did not. But, I've already said too much. Oh, and all your readers should be sure to pick up a copy of Ridding the Universe of Your Do-Gooder Archnemesis in Twelve Easy Steps, now available at finer bookstores throughout the galaxy.

LN: This has been Laurie Neptune for Megalomaniac Monthly. Join us next month when I'll be interviewing another genius bent on domination--the infamous Purple Tentacle.

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