My lab assistant recently built a device that he calls “World Breaker.” Given that there’s a few pieces of proprietary technology, not to mention that he came up with the diabolical device on company time, is it good form for me to go ahead and hold the planet hostage with it?

Finger on the Button in Nevada


You need to go back to the drawing-board with this whole scheme. Good form or not, you seem to be making some major errors in judgement. Firstly, it’s clear that you’re not a villain on the scale that we’re discussing here and ultimately wouldn’t have what it takes. On the other hand, your assistant probably is and it’s unlikely that your argument about company time would prevent him from killing you and recovering his device. My advice is that you just destroy the World Breaker and fire your assistant.

The lesson here? Being a super-villain requires more than mere opportunity.


Company Man


I’ve created one of the ultimate superweapons, but like a fool I did it on company time. Thanks to policy, they technically own the rights to my Planet Buster 4k. I suppose I could use the weapon to threaten them into keeping the rights, but if I let them know it exists I won’t have a patent before the design leaks. Any thoughts?

Company Man in Albuquerque

Company Man,

So you’re saying that they don’t know it exists? If you were a man who lives by a transcendent code of honour, I would suggest that you tell them and surrender your designs, consistent with your own ethics.

However, you designed a superweapon on company time, which leads me to believe that you may have less of a “code” as much as you have a nihilistic manifesto on the back of a beer-stained napkin. As such, it would do no harm to your conscience to smuggle the plans out of work, quit and then claim to have designed it on your own time.

All that said, you should consider the idea that your employers might actually know about the Planet Buster 4K (really?) and are already making plans to seize it. When the authorities inevitably get involved, choose this day how much credit you want to take for something that, ostensibly, could literally destroy Earth.