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Posted on May 29, 2007 in Armchair Reading, Front Page Features, TIAOW

The Incorrect Art of War [Episode 30] – CyberSinister

By A J Summersgill and Jim H Moreno

I am indeed. Although…I am concerned that he might have located my online presence through the computers here. I had them routed through an external ISP, but H.A.T.E. has eyes everywhere…

My Lord, perhaps you’ve been down here too long, H.A.T.E.’s never shown any sign of wanting to get at you…

Don’t be so sure General. He’s an incredible machine, but I think it might be wise if we weren’t to rely on him too much. Which is part of the reason I’m down here. Anyway, what did you want from me? I’m kind of busy here right now as you can see. Although if you have a few moments, I could do with some deodorant and maybe a wet sponge, you know, just so I can have a bit of a bath.


Well, your luminousness, I was…erm…concerned…for your safety.

Oh, well, there’s no need to worry General, I’ve locked myself away here for a reason, nothing less than the ultimate culmination of all my plans for global domination. Come, pull up a chair!

(The General lifts a chair from a neatly stacked pile in the corner and tries to clear the tin cans away from a few square feet of floor)

I’m all ears my Lord. So, what’s the plan?

General, prepare to be amazed, I have, in the last, however many days, built an enormous network of followers for the new age of warfare. I have been nurturing and honing the skills of highly trained agents and warriors all around the world, at a moment’s notice, we will soon be able to field the greatest army the world has ever seen.

The new age of warfare, your Excellency?

Yes General! Having seen the capabilities of H.A.T.E. I came to the realisation that information is power – and on the basis that computers are the repository of all modern knowledge…whoever controls the computers controls the world!

Ah, yes, I think I see where this is headed, you are talking about Cyberwarfare.

Yes! Cyberwarfare!

Well, it’s certainly an interesting area my Lord. With modern digital battlefields, encoding systems, satellite positioning, and massively expensive weapons platforms crammed to the gills with electronics, control of information has never been so important as it is now. In fact I read only recently that a series of cyber attacks took place last April, apparently of Russian origin. Websites belonging to the Estonian parliament, banks, ministries, newspapers and broadcasters were swamped, all over the Estonians’ row with Russia about an old Soviet war memorial. They called it the Estonian Cyberwar – so, for once, you are right on the cutting edge my Lord!

Yes, I know. Truth be told, I have neglected this field in the past, but the capabilities of the H.A.T.E. machine gave me new respect for the subject. That, and his apparent electronic infiltration of my robotic arm. His abilities are seemingly endless, but that means that it is vital, VITAL that he does not discover my plan – this is something I need to do on my own in case H.A.T.E. is ever taken out of action by an enemy counterstrike in my planned Cyberwar, not to mention the fact that the very attack I am planning may render him useless in any event. Because, General, within days I intend to launch an all-out offensive on all the major computer servers around the globe!

Wow, your plans must be incredibly advanced! I know that the US has been subjected to Cyberwarfare attacks from Russia and China in the past, but judging by your scheme, those attacks were a mere drop in the ocean. If I recall correctly, there was some suspicion that the "Moonlight Maze" attacks on the US in 1999 were aimed at obtaining classified Naval codes and information on guided missile systems. Then, in 2003, an attack named "Titan Rain" by the US intelligence services ostensibly originated in China, possibly from military hackers, but no-one knows for sure. But your scheme is vast by comparison – you plan on seizing control of all the major data networks in the world.

Yes General. (Doctor Sinister stands, in triumph, not without some effort as his inflated stomach is trapped below the lip of the desk. There is an ominous pop and the tube leading to the lavatory drops to the floor. General Menace pretends not to notice) My simultaneous attack will render all computers subservient to my will alone, and with the world held to ransom, planet Earth will have no choice but to bow down before me! No one will have any more secrets, I will hold all the world’s data and with that power, I will be unstoppable!

(General Menace also stands and applauds frantically) Oh bravo your Magnificence! Bravo! I must admit, there are times when I have had my doubts about you in the past, but this plan is genius, sheer genius, and now it becomes clear why you’ve locked yourself away for so long and, erm, (looks the Doctor up and down) apparently gained about six stone in weight. (Holds his nose) And not changed your underpants in nearly a month.

(Sitting down with some effort and a bone-snapping crunch as the chair partially collapses with the sudden weight) Mere trivialities General, the ends justify the means. It was mandatory for me to have been sat here for so long all this time – do you know how many followers it was necessary for me to have gathered around me for this enormous task?

Oh, please do tell my Lord, I’m simply agog. I think you may have finally cracked this world domination lark.

On one network alone I was able to swiftly gather a virtual army of over 500,000 loyal followers under my banner, and as you can see, I am plugged into all the major networks around the world.

Brilliant my Lord, and, I see, you’ve even got time for a short break.


(Gesturing to the nearest screen) I see you are playing World of Warcraft. It must be nice to be able to play games again every now and then after all your hard work.

Erm, I don’t quite follow you General.

(Not really paying attention) And over on that screen, if I’m not mistaken, you are playing EVE Online – a fantastic space’ sim if ever I’ve played one. Oh, and on that machine you appear to have Second Life running. Wow, you’ve really got heavily into the MMORPG scene. It’s a wonder you can find the time to play all these games, what with you being so busy…  


(General Menace stares at the Doctor for what seems like an eternity and the penny drops)


General, this IS my army. Before you, half a million Orcs stand, awaiting my command to unleash hell on the computer networks of the world. Oh, and wait until you see how many Warriors and Paladins I’ve got in the wings – that’s my reserve, you see, I’ve been following your lessons closely. Oh yes, it was in the midst of wading through that list of books you gave me, I then happened to read about this World of Warcraft thing, did you know that there are over eight million soldiers simply awaiting a leader on the global servers, it was only a matter of time before someone such as myself should come along to provide the spark of genius that would unite this enormous army in the name of one cause – the cause of Sinister!

(Buries his head in his hands) Oh…my…God…

Look, this is so cool, I’ve created a little Troll thingy for you to command when battle commences…it’s SO you! Look! I’m the big Orc person stood next to you…how brilliant is that? When we launch our Cyberwar, the enemy will be so overcome with fear it will take mere moments to seize control of Cyberspace and sweep into power!

(General Menace slowly stands and heads to the door, Doctor Sinister remains engrossed in his evil scheme)

And as for EVE Online, I have amassed a loyal fleet of three hundred heavy cruisers – only yesterday, we secured two more complete sectors under our absolute command…when the Cyberwar is upon us, my battlefleet will not be found wanting and we will destroy any resistance that dare oppose us – victory is assured. What’s more, I have fifty thousand Stormtroopers in Star Wars Galaxies, I thought that might appeal to you General, since I’ll be requiring you to lead them into battle. When we throw in the troops from Everquest II, your army will be invincible. Oh! Oh! And just wait until you see this….

(General Menace closes the door behind him and heads to the stairs, smoking an enormous Cuban cigar…)


Will Doctor Sinister ever get a grip on reality?

How long will he be able to last without Doritos?

And will General Menace still be there when he finally comes out?

Find out in the next humiliating episode of…The Incorrect Art of War!!

A J Summersgill and Jim Moreno.

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Visit the Incorrect HQ for more episodes!

World of Warcraft

Second Life

EVE Online

Star Wars Galaxies

Everquest II

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