What nautically-minded evildoer wouldn't enjoy a collection of stately pleasure ships adorning the marinas of some island hideaway, ships in a bathtub on the grandest of scales? More massive by far than any vehicle able to travel on land or by air, ocean liners will always represent a solid investment that can cement the reputation of a monstrous criminal in the minds of the many, and with a modicum of genius can be adapted to serve the daring outlaw in many useful capacities.
As with any grand larceny, the operation must be planned to the utmost detail, with virtually no room for improvisation or contingencies. Even those cruise ships not under the protection of superheroes require a deft touch during acquisition lest the attempt fall apart in a spectacular fashion potentially dooming the mastermind that dared to covet them.
- Your raiding party. They need to be well versed in propulsion, navigation, engineering, military tactics, and culinary technique. Both muscle and swiftness are needed to subdue the crew and to navigate the labyrinthine passages of the cruise ship. It may be best if they are unable to speak one another's language, so they must obey the chain of command with yourself at the top. Do not scrimp on the number of personnel you acquire for these operations, as you will find that the bodycount is almost always larger than originally estimated for any number of reasons.
- A moment of weakness. This can be identified naturally or manufactured. An example of the first is the tricky maneuvers in a foreign harbor, where you may contrive to introduce a counterfeit pilot boat to lead the ship astray. Or, strike while many of the crew are occupied, such as during lifeboat drill or when the ice sculptures are brought out. The other kind might include misdirection of the crew through a rumor of some disgusting epidemic disease which will lead the crew to abandon the vessel to your forces.
- Speed. Though an ocean liner is a monumental and massive structure, do not be fooled by this into adopting a siege mentality. You must strike decisively and rapidly, for if you cannot declare total victory in a half hour or less, the sheer complexity of the enterprise will make any kind of triumph impossible. Drill your attackers to reach their individual objectives on schedule and without slipups and liquidate those who cannot do so.
- Casting off. Usually easily done, provided that you are not still moored to a port. Your pilot will usually find the keys in the ignition.
- Getting away. Once you have secured the ship, remember to arm up your band to repel law enforcement flotillas or paramilitary air wings coming to the vessel's aid as well as the important chore of terrorizing any remaining passengers into submission. Make pursuit more difficult by disguising the ocean liner as a container ship, a tanker, a garbage scow, or a rock formation. Or, if your talents are more cosmic, retrofit the hull into a planetary cruiser where your foes may be ill-equipped to pursue you. You may even contrive to transport the ocean liner forward and backward in time to obliterate your trail.
Strokes of genius
- High and dry. Siphon the water from around the ship and leave it beached. Install huge artificial reefs to be thrown up in the path of the ship as it is making way at full steam, with crush zones so the ship will not be completely wrecked. With proper care, these remote control shoals can be reused again and again.
- Lawyer up. If you are conducting operations in plain sight rather than as an underground renegade, you may need to protect your ship-thieving interests from the other brigands you need to deal with daily. Acquire specialists in this line of legal subterfuge, as the law of the sea is little understood by most.
- Marine allies. It is at least twice as easy to overwhelm an ocean liner if you can attack not only along the surface, but from underwater as well. Thus evil merfolk, trained sociopathic whales, and waterborne nanotechnological rustbots all can find an honored place in ones arsenal. And if you can tame a kraken to lend an arm or two, so much the better.
- Drydock. When it is out of its natural element, an ocean liner is completely helpless to a determined group of raiders. The main obstacle is in transporting the hundreds of thousands of tons of ship to where you want it.
Traps for mere fools
- Supermarines. These include sea elves and aqua-rangers.
- LoJack tracking devices.
- Iceberg fields.
- Bermuda Triangle.
- Red skies at morning.
Precious and needful
- Something for the punch. Replace the fuel with a substitute, to be revealed only when the vessel is safely out of sight of land.
- Backup boarding party. Because you never know.
- Rum. Light, dark, and 151 proof will be needed to stock your many bars.
- Boat shoes.
- Sea bands.
- Depth charges.
- Trained sharks.
- Mind control projector.
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- Image credit The Wake of the QM2 by Jill Clardy
- Image credit Rusty chain by MookyLuv
- Image credit Pirate's Flag by Ben Walther
Created by: GrinningSkull. Last Modification: Wednesday 01 of September, 2010 22:42:38 EDT by .