Breaking Cliches: Musings of a Minion

Heroes have overwhelming expectations placed upon them, and villains are pressed into stereotypes, but one role no one expects much from are the under-appreciated minions. As this anonymous letter from a minion, delivered by Kirin testifies, they work hard too and would like others to know it.

To whom it may or may not concern,

Everyone has a trade or craft or position of some sort, from smiths to farmers to architects to florists. I so happened to be a sharpshooter.

Not a minion.

A sharpshooter.

I am a skilled professional, hired at a fair price by someone who…dabbles in the grayer side of morality. Personally, I prefer the chink of coins to dusty arguments about morality. Especially because heroes are more likely to get you killed than we are.

Not that anyone mentions that.

We aren’t henchmen. We aren’t groveling slaves. And we aren’t minions.

We’re people, same as you.

And sure, there is a strain of humans who don’t think for themselves, and some of them follow so-called villains without a second thought. Others attach themselves to heroes or CEOs or really anyone they fixate on. So why are they held up as a picture of a villain’s following and no one else’s?

It’s almost as if the rest of the world doesn’t want to admit that thinking, rational people decided to side with someone they don’t agree with.

We have loyalties, duties, likes, dislikes, and families. We aren’t some brainwashed mass who does a villain’s bidding. Oh, sure. Sometimes we’re blackmailed. Sometimes we make mistakes, the same as anyone else anywhere else.

Finding an employer who provides enough to keep a house warm and table filled isn’t easy these days so don’t judge.

And stop acting like we’ve lost a portion of ourselves in the one we work for. Is a soldier any less a person because he serves under a general? Absolutely not.

No one, hero or villain, can do everything. So they hire helpers. Or collect volunteers. They collect us.

Speaking of which, how do you think they decide who to accept? By us being their only choice?

Sometimes that happens, but plenty of people are normally eager to serve. Some are quality, most are not. Regardless, we aren’t just handed a weapon and position. We prove ourselves worthy of them. We earn our way up.

If we deal in security, then we’re a notch above the average shot or swordsman. If we work indoors, we’re constantly on the alert. Our rise and fall is intimately connected to that of our employer (job market aside, do you know how hard it is to find another employer after others have labeled you a minion? There’s a reason most of us never get out; the side of good is walled off with so-called justice).

This is also the reason a good villain will hire his helpers. Because we then want him to succeed. We aren’t looking the other way as men slip by, or fall asleep while guarding prisoners.

Bribes are another matter, to be fair. It depends on the quality of our employer and what we think the long-term damage of a betrayal will be. The best course of action is to acquire the bribe and then go to an employer with the information.

Hey, you don’t expect us to act honorably anyway. Why should we?

One thing we don’t do is fight among ourselves. There’s a code among us, that we follow for our own good. Sometimes, I admit, one of our own gets ambitious, but such uprisings are generally put down swiftly.

So, if you meet one of us, just remember. We come from all walks of life and for all kinds of reasons. Adventure. Love. Revenge. The need to provide for a family. The experience.

If we maim or capture or kill you, it’s not personal. It’s our job and we do it well because if we fail, there are punishments like anywhere else. But if we work hard, we’re able to make a decent life for ourselves. And sometimes even a great one.

Remaining nameless to protect myself,

A Sharpshooting ‘Minion’

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One Comment

  1. Love these! Please bring back the letter Kirin once found about sidekicks too. 😀

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