posted by coyote
When I dropped by Mister Sloppy's Centretown lair the other day to wish him a belated happy new year - or whatever passes for "happy" among elite-level evil geniuses - he was frenetically stuffing mailer boxes with gift coffee mugs. Given the guy's "It is Better to Swipe Outright than to Give or Receive" schema, it seemed out of character.
"No, no. Not really," he grinned, blue eyes bright with merriment and the usual insanity. "Didja read that news item the other day? The one about the transatlantic flight making an emergency landing because the pilot spilled coffee?"
Suddenly wary, I eyed the stacks of mugs sporting myriad famous high tech logos, and reached for the Rolaids. Sloppy was up to no good again.
"You, ummm, had something to do with that?" I asked.
"Not a thing! But it gave me a great idea! Every major lab in the world is fueled with caffeine. Heck, I've even been known to abuse the stuff slightly myself, on my own projects! So I just figured, you know, anonymously send all the researchers gift coffee cups with their company logos on 'em."
"Aaaaannnnddd?" I asked. When Mister Sloppy is happy, there's always an "Aaaaannnnddd?"
"Of course there is," he said impatiently, apparently reading my thoughts.
"Creepy," I thought. "I might need to check into that."
"No. You don't," Mister Sloppy said out loud. "It's a whole other thing. Nothing to do with this. Lookit, I'm proud of these. Every science guy in the world takes their coffee cup everywhere. These mugs are my new memory-enhanced nanoceramic. They're programmed at the atomic level to scan nearby computers or test equipment, then transmit a quantum-burst packet of all their data to my stealth server farm. Oh. Then they spill hot coffee on everything and short it out."
"So you're actually stealing...?"
"The sum total of the world's latest research. It's all good!
Maybe for evil geniuses. I declined a complimentary gift mug on the way out. And behind me, Mister Sloppy's laughter echoed like cats fighting in an alley...