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I am a self-made entrepreneur who runs an e-commerce giant which has morphed into one of the most powerful and wealthy companies in the world. However, my business is actually a front for my secret organization bent on world domination. We have successfully reached our tentacles into various nations, and have numerous bases around the world, including the most badass one built into the side of a volcano. These bases are guarded by mercenaries hired from 1-800 DIAL-A-HENCHMAN, an outsourced hiring agency for mercenaries looking for work. However, my ingenious plots have consistently been thwarted by pesky super agents working for world governments, such as the 00's. These agents continue to break into my bases to foil my schemes, killing the men that I have paid good money for and destroying my facilities. My expenses are high enough without these government spies causing havoc. On top of having to rebuild new facilities, I continue having to pay good money to replace the men that have been killed off. My organization has been getting a bad reputation as being a place where life expectancy is fairly short, which has discouraged henchmen from signing on to my projects, forcing me to shell out even more money for their services. In addition, many are asking for outrageous benefits, such as life insurance for their families in case of death, all of which are ridiculously expensive. Some have even requested that I sponsor a retirement fund! With an employee match! This absurdity is a steep price to pay for individuals who are essentially cannon fodder meant to be mowed down. Fortunately, I am not the typical Hollywood comic book villian. Unlike the jackasses you have heard of, I am smarter than they are and pride myself on being two steps ahead.

Artificial womb technology has advanced to the point where it can be afforded by the affluent middle class. With my large corporation's access to the latest tech, we can build a system in which children are mass produced on a grand scale and grown to adulthood fairly quickly. These children will be given the equivalent to an adult education while in these artificial tanks, as well as raised to be loyal to me, readying them for service when they are fully grown. While the initial investment is expensive, over time I will save on costs and effort. Through this process, I will be able to grow hundreds or even thousands of minions at once and grow them to adulthood. They will be completely obedient to my wishes and willing to die at a moment's notice. Then they can be easily replaced within a matter of months, giving me an endless supply of people to perform my bidding. Best of all, they work for free, and receive no life or health insurance, increasing my profit margin.

I can only see the benefits of this policy. What would prevent this from being a viable solution to outsourcing my security?

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    $\begingroup$ This kind of disparaging thinking about a skilled workforce makes your organization vulnerable to unionization. $\endgroup$ – user535733 Apr 21 at 12:54
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    $\begingroup$ @user535733 'This kind of disparaging thinking about a skilled workforce makes your organization vulnerable to unionization' Yep, which makes them more expensive & the clone army an even more attractive option by comparison // it's a vicious circle of self fulfilling prophecy ;)) $\endgroup$ – Pelinore Apr 21 at 17:10
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    $\begingroup$ "These bases are guarded by mercenaries hired from 1-800 DIAL-A-HENCHMAN, an outsourced hiring agency for mercenaries looking for work. However, my ingenious plots have consistently been thwarted by pesky super agents working for world governments, such as the 00's." - Have you been listening to the Kill James Bond podcast by any chance? This is just like their "HENCH" app for Uber-izing the henchman industry! $\endgroup$ – AJM-Reinstate-Monica Apr 22 at 9:51
  • $\begingroup$ See also this question, which is very similar but for menial workers and not henchfolk. $\endgroup$ – Cadence Apr 23 at 4:20

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Your Accountant

"I'm sorry, Count de Bloochump, but you just don't have enough money to build a secret cloning/zoomwomb/indoctrination base under Mount Rushmore. Let alone the monumental bribes and effort required to keep it secret once built. Let alone operate it."

"To get your secret base built, you must hire, then monitor for secrecy, then murder upon completion the entire tunneling and construction corps. You must erase the paper trail of all the supplies and equipment and fuel and food that they purchased for the job, which will require teams of burglars and hackers (who must also be monitored, then murdered). You must placate, daunt, or coerce to quiet the hundreds of relatives who will notice when their loved one doesn't come home after their 'under-the-table job.' It's an enormous operation that brings in no revenue. Security estimates that your minion-in-charge will require at least 40,000 square feet of Class A office space in a major city to house the staff required to keep construction secret...who must also themselves be monitored and then murdered when the job is complete."

"It's not just a few tunnels and stick-the-vats-in-Tunnel-#3. Once construction is complete, you cannot have any smoke emissions, no radiation emissions, no thermal emissions detectable in air/water/ground, no mysterious ground tremors, full utilities and network access from some secret provider, a completely camouflaged rocket pad, your completely camouflaged secret escape route, the self-destruct system, an entrance road for all the food and weapons that's perfectly concealed from the neighbors, and all the logistical traffic conducted in complete secrecy. All of that is hideously expensive and some of it is labor-intensive. I have no idea how Batman does it; I only know that your (surviving) engineers give me an amount that's way outside your budget. You cannot scrimp on this -- thorough concealment is your only real defense. If it slips, your entire investment is wasted."

"Also, once in operation, you must bribe the entire Park staff (you can't replace them with vat-goons -- the tourists would notice), and find blackmail material on each one to ensure they stay bribed. Maintaining and monitoring that cover for leaks is a whole operational department on it's own. Even manned with vat-goons, the folks in that department still need (expensive) food, entertainment, and leadership if want them to last more than a few weeks. If it slips, your entire investment is wasted."

"Had your schemes to hold the Eiffel Tower for ransom, or your missile base on the Moon, or that chain of weight-loss clinics been successful, you still wouldn't have enough money. "

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    $\begingroup$ I want to give more than just the one upvote for this, just for the weight-loss clinics. And of course another upvote for everything else. $\endgroup$ – Paul TIKI Apr 21 at 14:55
  • $\begingroup$ Not just the secret base. You have to grow and TRAIN the minions for years on end. Aka you need a LOT of extra area on top of the growing labs $\endgroup$ – Hobbamok Apr 22 at 8:35
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    $\begingroup$ The only problem with this answer is that the OP already has several "secret" bases, so clearly they have already solved the secret base problem. $\endgroup$ – Matthieu M. Apr 22 at 8:44
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    $\begingroup$ @MatthieuM. perhaps, but the OP states "These agents continue to break into my bases to foil my schemes"...so perhaps not. I think of it as a gray area. $\endgroup$ – user535733 Apr 22 at 9:41
  • $\begingroup$ tl.dr.: The location is the most vulnerable by a magnitude, and keeping it secluded is just not within scope. $\endgroup$ – Egor Hans Apr 23 at 6:23
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Time

A period of months constitutes a long time when you have a job ready to go. I need minions NOW.

Expense

For many purposes, hiring a minion off the street is literally free, because he gets killed, and his family doesn't know about the job. Others can be paid a pittance.

Experience

Scads of jobs have experienced hands complaining about completely educated newbies who know everything except the actual most basic stuff. There is no substitute for actual on the job experience, especially for things where muscle memory is involved.

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Supply and Demand

There are several large problems with vat-grown minions. The first is that, because of the vagaries of bio-engineering, they are all broadly susceptible to the same diseases. All it takes it one 00 sneaking into the lab or deploying an aerosol tailored virus when attempting to infiltrate your facilities and all the vat-grown minions are done for. Off the street henchmen are by their vary nature unique, making it impossible for them to suffer mass-casualties in such a fashion.

Vat-grown minions are also a single point of failure for a variety of other disasters. A large cloning facility that gets blown up brings your entire minion supply to a screeching halt. The same goes for whatever creches you raise young minions in. Even worse, a sneaky 00 could do something to the training regime or the grow-vats themselves, and suddenly every minion from that batch which you THINK is loyal has hidden programming to murder you on sight, or always miss when shooting at a 00, or any number of other problems. Meanwhile if anything seriously delays minion production you're unlikely to be able to hire off-the-street mooks to fill in the missing numbers because your money is tied up in grow-vats and education devices and care and feeding of vat-minions etc etc etc.

On the other hand, while off the street minions may have a higher cost to bring into your organization on the face of it, their overall cost is likely to be lower than a vat-grown minion. The most expensive part of any army (and let's face it your mooks are basically that) is training and supply. Street mooks already know how to walk and talk and dress themselves and may even know how to operate vehicles, shoot guns, and a variety of other tasks. Meanwhile vat-grown minions have to be taught all that AND fed/watered/housed while that takes place. Sure you can grow them from fetus to mindless adult drone in 6 months, but that's still 6 months of paying for a worthless-at-the-moment body! If a mooks life expectancy is a year of active service (damn the 00s, they take out SO MANY minions!) that's 1/3 of a vat-grown minion's employment cost spent when it's doing nothing for you. Meanwhile your off the street minion needs a week of orientation and one day off a month. Sure you pay into their retirement fund, but only 2% matching donations and they're dead in a year anyway! Much more bang for buck!

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    $\begingroup$ +1 for the part about a monoculture being susceptible to the same kind of disease. $\endgroup$ – Kartik Soneji Apr 22 at 5:08
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    $\begingroup$ +1 for explaining stormtrooper aiming. $\endgroup$ – John Apr 22 at 16:59
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Obviously there are a lot of pros to growing your own minions, and it can seem like a very viable option at the time. However, here are a few things that the salesman of grow-a-hench™ might have omitted in his overly enthusiastic sales pitch:

Costs of creation
Artificial womb technology, as in the machines needed, are fairly cheap. It's a decently sized investment, but for a man of your stature not much more than buying a decent set of power tools. However what they don't tell you is how much energy and matter it takes to create an artificial minion. The technology's equivalent of printer fuel is not only fairly expensive, but you would need a very large amount of it to create a decently sized human body. Sure, if you're growing babies or kids for lonely adults unable to conceive, this isn't too bad. But the costs for a fully formed adult is exponentially higher. The larger the army, the more these costs spiral out of control. And I'm not even talking about the amount of energy needed to run this machinery for extended amounts of time.

Longevity
A common bugfeature with the "Fiercely loyal" package, is that the grow-a-hench™ comes out with lessened ability to think for themselves, and subsequently a nearly non-existent sense of self preservation. The normal henchmen tend to avoid unwinnable fights that get them killed, and tend to fight in a way that prevents them from dying. Whether this is favourable or not, one cannot argue that a fair few of them do tend to stay alive for a bit. Whereas the grow-a-hench™ will mindlessly attack any and all threats in sights to defend their great leader, and give the so called "heroes" no other choice but to dispose of them. This leads to you needing nearly twice the amount of grow-a-hench™ minions per attack as opposed to regular ones.

Mutations
The technology is still being developed, and as all technology, it comes with its own issues. One of these is that due to the speed at which these minions are grown, there is an increased chance that any errors or mutations get amplified rather than suppressed. While it might sound cool to have a mutant henchmen working for you, far more often it's not Draggo lobster-arm the painful pincher, but rather blind Igro three-eyes with sideways knees.

All in all, it's best to take another look at your options, as the technology isn't as up to speed as it might seem. Perhaps it's best to sell it to the public for a bit first, and to take a look at the reviews they post on one of your well known sales platforms.

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  • $\begingroup$ Cost; that would be my vote. As cool as it would be to have an endless amount of minions, its got to be mad expensive to grow tons of complex humanoids. Plus it would take time to do, and sometimes crime just cant wait! $\endgroup$ – Len Apr 21 at 14:17
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    $\begingroup$ Can't the reactor be fueled with the corpses of killed minions? $\endgroup$ – Egor Hans Apr 23 at 6:29
  • $\begingroup$ @EgorHans Good point, that might actually help a bit! Or you could recycle their organic matter instead. It's the perfect kind of morally questionable too! $\endgroup$ – Plutian Apr 23 at 6:31
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    $\begingroup$ The printers are cheap, but they really gouge you on the ink. $\endgroup$ – mob Apr 24 at 16:45
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You twirl your mustache. "HaHA! My minion factory is almost up and running. It won't be long before I TAKE OVER THE WORL..."

"Sir?"

You look up, disturbed from your exposition to an empty room. "... yes?"

"Urgent report, a world-reknown super-secret agent has just destroyed our minion factory".

"What? But my recurring minion had captured him! He was planning on a monologue followed by an unecessarily slow execution while they left the room! It was good as done!"

"It seems the spy escaped sir".

You sit back. "Just... Get Bob to order some new henchmen to replace the one's we lost. And set up a few small Minion facilities. Perhaps we can build enough to at least replace some of the henchmen".

You sit back and mull it over. "Perhaps we can introduce a stronger breed of minion, ramping up the difficulty for the secret agents slowly and raising the stakes to keep viewers interested...". You try an evil laugh, holding it just long enough for the camera to zoom out of your evil lair.

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    $\begingroup$ I especially like the fourth wall break towards the end. $\endgroup$ – Egor Hans Apr 23 at 6:52
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Time and Money.

You can’t instantly grow an embryo into an adult; there are physical limits on how fast a creature can grow. In addition, artificial womb technology will never be cheaper than the biological free alternative.

And even if you do grow henchmen, you still need to train and feed them. You’ll be paying everything it would cost to hire henchmen, in addition to the cost of the artificial womb, and the cost of feeding and educating them for 20 years before they become useful.

Also, it now takes 20 years to get more henchmen. Even if you engineer them to grow faster, 10 years is probably the limit, and it’’s still a huge time and money sink.

In fact, even if you can physically grow them to adulthood in just five years, it will still take 10 to 15 years to train and educate them.

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  • $\begingroup$ 'You can’t instantly grow an embryo into an adult. sadly all too true, but, on the other hand, a new born elephant weighs something like 120 kg to 165 kg (for a male African calf) with a gestation period of roughly 2 years while your average adult human is around 62kg // so a one year gestation in this artificial womb to grow a human size minion may not be too implausible // that's not 'a few months though, it's a whole year. $\endgroup$ – Pelinore Apr 21 at 17:33
  • $\begingroup$ '10 to 15 years to train and educate them' also sadly all too true & I don't see a but or proviso for this one // if the OP only wants goons with the limited language skills of a two year old he could probably get this down to one year with a modicum of plausibility but that's not what he says he wants. $\endgroup$ – Pelinore Apr 21 at 17:41
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    $\begingroup$ That said I don't think he was asking for a reality check on the tech was he? I think the tech is just assumed & not part of the question isn't it? I do think it's a valid frame challenge though. $\endgroup$ – Pelinore Apr 21 at 17:46
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You are an employer

Maybe normal minions aren't as cheap as vat-grown minions... But remember that a lot of governments would give you a lot of tax breaks and various incentives if you bring employment.

The evil lair is a big boost for the economy of the surrounding area: hundreds of minions who go shopping in the towns nearby, who fill hotels and ski resorts in their days off and so on. A lot of local governments, while maybe slightly critical of your purposes, would surely be happy to host one of your evil lairs!

Obviously this doesn't happen if you employ vat-grown minions: they aren't local citizens and don't vote, which means that even if you employ lots of them, the local governments would receive no advantages. The clones don't like shopping, don't want to go in holiday in exclusive resorts and in general, don't boost the economy.
And in this case, you would receive no tax breaks and no incentives! The money saved thanks to such incentives is still more than the money saved by growing your own minions.

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Too Little Reward for Too High Costs

The thing about it is, even if they get an education, would they be any good at defending your base? Mercenaries for hire are probably well-versed in, well, mercinary work. They would be usefull as meatshields or something of that sort, but actually protecting the important things in your base will need some sort of experience in the field, which lab-grown minions won't have. Furthermore, a large cloning facility, as a lot of other people say, is a poor idea.

No matter how safe or protected it is, if the good guys catch wind of it. It would be a major target for them to attack. They don't even need to invade. If it's not close to a city or populated area, they could blow it up easily, or if its near a populated area, get into it, and destroy it that way. That would be a massive loss in profit and time. If you have smaller facilities, but scattered around the world, the costs in transportation would be high. So, if the large facility is what you're after, an agent would likely destroy it, then launch a few operations against you. Your soilders would die, and be very hard to replace. You will then have to go back to mercinarys-for-hire, and have the same problem until you can rebuild.

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You clearly stated the answer in your question.

Outsourcing.

It would not be economical for him to grow the clones himself. (I am assuming the question is primarily about him producing the clones, as once acquired clones are pretty much identical to henchmen from a utilitarian perspective - see 'rental' below).

If you already outsource your screening and recruiting of henchmen for economic reasons, you would also outsource the production of clones to an outside agency. In that manner, going to Henchmen-for-hire would be no different than going to Clones-R-us. In both cases, he is getting a finished product in a timely manner when needed. Just-in-time delivery, as it were. Indeed, Clones-R-us may even have a rental option. His workforce could expand and contract as necessary, making clonepower a manageable recurring completely deductible expense instead of an amortized expenditure. He would be trading 'wages and benefits' for 'rental fees'. And certainly, the clones would be insured the same way any asset (automobile, camera, industrial robot, etc.) are insured, except the insurance proceeds go to the owner, not the beneficiary.

Certainly, under a rental option, such costs as maintenance (medical costs) and upkeep (clothing and hygiene costs) could be negotiated.

It's all about economics of scale. To be profitable, this 'grow' operation would have to mass produce these clones. Breeding tubes would be expensive, so to maximize return they would have to be used continuously. Assembly line production. Clones-R-us would be churning out clones for any number of entities and organizations. They would have several models, all with varying skill levels, at various price points, a product of specific gene lines and length of training. Everything from the grunt soldier up to the platoon leader. You would not want a workforce comprised of all grunts, no leaders, nor would you want a work force of all leaders, no grunts.

Only through economics of scale could this be a viable operation. For this entrepreneur to be as successful as he is, he would need to concentrate all of the company resources on the specific objective. Having to divert time, attention, energy and more specifically money to a side project, is a misuse of resources. Every breeding tank he owns means less money for his prime objective. Every research scientist he employs is one less person he can employ to meet his prime objective.

He just wants the end product, not the means of production. Why would he pay for the means of production? It's entirely incidental to the operation of his company, and returns nothing on the investment.

By obtaining the product from Clones-R-us, the overhead and back-end costs are amortized over many, many customers, leaving him to pay only the incremental costs and just a portion of the sunk costs.

It is one of the prime economic reasons for the demise of Western-style slavery - it turned out to be cheaper in the long run to 'rent' (pay an minimal hourly wage only for the 'production time') to a worker than to 'buy' the labor unit and be stuck with the full costs of upkeep, amortization, training, maintenance, replacement, food costs, clothing costs, housing costs, non-productive 'manufacturing' (growing up) time, and up-front purchase costs, of the production unit. It turned out that paying a miniscule wage was, in the long run, cheaper than ownership, provided oppression, suppression, and domination over the labor unit could still be achieved. The concept of an indentured servant was much more economically viable.

Of course, to be viable, these clones would have to be prevented from being considered 'persons', with the full rights of 'persons'. They would have to remain categorized as 'production units'. Once they achieve person-hood, they become no different than hiring henchmen.

But the idea begs the question be asked, if these clones 'accidentally' kill someone, would it be murder, or an industrial accident? The remedy, simply to recall and replace the 'defective industrial unit'?

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Vat malfunction.

Of the Edgar Rice Burroughs Mars books, Synthetic Men of Mars is my favorite. The mastermind of Mars has vat grown henchmen called hormads. They are pretty messed up but they get the job done. The Mastermind is called away and our hero is left in charge of the vats.

Something goes wrong. "Perhaps you had better have a look in there..."

From Edgar Rice Burroughs: Synthetic Men of Mars.

“Something has gone wrong in No. 4 vat room,” he said. “Perhaps you had better have a look in there.”

When I reached No. 4 the sight that met my eyes was one of the most horrible I have ever looked upon. Something had evidently gone wrong with the culture medium, and instead of individual hormads being formed, there was a single huge mass of animal tissue emerging from the vat and rolling out over the floor.

Various internal and external human parts and organs grew out of it without any relation to other parts, a leg here, a hand there, a head somewhere else; and the heads were mouthing and screaming, which only added to the horror of the scene.

“We tried to do something about it,” said the officer, “but when we tried to kill the mess, the hands clutched us and the heads bit us. Even our hormads were afraid to go near it, and if anything is too horrible for them you can’t expect human beings to stomach it.”

I quite agreed with him. Frankly, I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t get near the vat to drain off the culture medium and stop the growth; and with the hormads afraid to approach it, it would be impossible to destroy it.

When your vats go haywire, 00 agents step back to #2 on the list of pressing problems. You and your henchmen might find yourselves teamed up with the infiltrating 00 agents as you all try to save your hides from the abomination emerging from Vat #4. You will say "I have never been so happy to see a 00 agent"!

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  • $\begingroup$ Sounds like a great plot point! $\endgroup$ – Egor Hans Apr 23 at 6:41
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The solution is not about getting more "cannon fodder". This is a political problem, not a forces problem.

The proven solution is to corrupt the leadership of the countries that are sending spies into your organization. It has worked time and time again to buy enough congress people so that they interfere with the spy organization. When the spy organization is told to leave you alone, they will. (See the instructions given by the British King to his spy organization during WWII about anything they find about the palace contacting the Germans.)

The same is true for the general population of the country. Buy a news organization that has "foxy" hosts and commentators and make it preach how good you are and why the authorities should be praising your efforts instead of sabotaging you. Make it so that you can have your security forces kill someone on the street and have everyone praise you.

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  • $\begingroup$ Hiring henchmen costs the going rate for the time they serve, and nothing else. Growing minions costs whatever it takes to raise them for what - fifteen years at least; prolly 20? $\endgroup$ – Robbie Goodwin Apr 21 at 23:49
  • $\begingroup$ Actually, there are hidden costs to hiring henchmen. When the people you want to oppress see that henchmen have been hired, it turns them against what you are doing. (See how the American colonists despised the hired Hessians during the Revolutionary war.) When we look at the problem as a political problem, hiring henchmen works only for a short time. When a longer term solution is needed, then it is important to use words and pictures to communicate ideas and convince people that your way is best. $\endgroup$ – David R Apr 22 at 16:12
  • $\begingroup$ Of course talk might be better and I thought Incognito Asked about a choice between two alternatives; not for a third and different option. $\endgroup$ – Robbie Goodwin Apr 22 at 17:06
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Heroes

This is just another ingenious plot waiting to be thwarted by a pesky government agent. It might last a wee while, until the agents start to see the vat-grown minions arrayed against them. But as soon as they twig what's up with their opposition, you can bet your cloning facility is going to be the next of your bases to be blown up. And as you say, that facility represents a very expensive initial investment. Replacing it every time it gets exploded is going to be at least as expensive as just hiring real henchmen.

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Unions.

You have tried to run a ruthlessly non-union workplace, mostly by having workers terminated at the first sign of unionism or other subversive activity. And you thought your plans were working flawlessly, right up until the shipping container full of of DNA printers arrived and they all walked off the job at once. It turns out the United Henchpersons and Dogsbodies Union had all along secretly been using the rumours about you replacing your workers with clones and robots to recruit members.

Now you have nobody in the office to set up the new genetics lab for you until those robot henches you ordered from AliExpress arrive... and you might have trouble getting the bots past the picket line outside your volcano lair.

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My respected rival!

Let me send you a word of warning about those unscrupulous liches from AWE (Artifical Womb Enterprices), who are trying to squeeze last hard-earned bloody dolar from us, so tirelessly working for humble title The Dark Ruler of Earth and Everything.

I am sure, that you had seen their contract and read also the punny small print, where they reject responsibility for unlawfull use of their machines. And that their representative laught-off those few crates of empty paper, as something, that "they just traditionally gave to each custommer, har-har" - well, those empty papers in fact contains everything, which is "not explicitely written in the contract so not part of contract" but you would expect to be automatically part of it. And trust me, that they are dimensioned to really really small prints.

I commanded the first batch of henchmen to be given all the base military knowledge (in addidion to obligatory loyality, obediency and willingness to die) and waited to overthrown some small island with them for starter. So after they was "cooked" and took out of the wombs, I also commanded to fit them with jungle cammo suits, basic weapons and proviant, to lose no time before I will send them on first mission. And waited until they woke up, to command them to conquer. So I had seen, that they may have knowledge, how to march, but they lack a skill and training to even walk. Still they tried to do so, until one of them managed to fall from a bed.

This made unexpected sound (while unit was mainly laying beds). Which was under military doctrine decoded as enemy attack and so they concluded to open fire on attackers. Bad thing was, they also lacked skill to use the guns, but they tryied hard.

Soon enought some discovered how to press trigger. Well, the discovery came sooner, then discovery how to hold the riffle, so it resulted to uncoordinated mass shooting to all directions, where the riffles was actually pointed, as well as many dislocations of wrists, limbs and eyes of those shooters. Others got the grip on shooting by this example and soon nearly every one of them was shooting and/or bleeding.

Civilian personel already runned away and hide whenever possible.

Which saved me a lot of additional expencies, when some soldiers found, that they also have grenades.

That day I was thankfull for goverment, that its military controll randomly discovered and confiscated cargo of land mines, so the delivery was not realized yet.

Also that day I discovered, that those nice glass tanks, where you can see you minion grow, are not only extremely fragile, but also "critical part of growing unit", which was probabely listed on those empty papers along other spare parts that AWE sell separatly - so save you some time, I can ensure you, that ANY part of that Womb (to last control light LED) is on those empty papers so AWE does not sell it separately, as it is nor bounded by contract to that - so ANY scratch on a Womb means you have to buy a whole new unit. Damned "not written in contract" letters!

So I ordered new set of AWE units and organised some "learn walk as child first" curses for my new minions (I hope, that all those mysteriously dissapiered nurses from weight-loss clinics did not bother you, as I can see, that my minion is losing weigth each day, they work for me, so I suppose your minion also do not need their service).

It cost me only few more sets of AWE units (and just few years) to be able raise my artifical minoins to stage, where they could be armed and used for some basic security routes around base.

But you know those 00's, they still make problems. One of them, when cornered, start threatenig my heavily armed guardians with pocket knife, yelling something like "who of you @#$% want die for your leader first!" You guess right - they all formed queue and got stabbed to death with 2 inches long pocket knife. I lost whole army and he also damaged those AWE units by accindent on his escape route.

The next one stole bed sheet and kept it in his front, loudly stating, that he is out of Line Of Sight, so he cannot be realibly hit (which sadly was in accordance with the military materials and they luckily had not aerial support or long range artilerry so they just let him in and out without much collateral added to what he did). I had to get rid of that batch and grow new one with this hole ina manual fixed.

But the 00's are such cheaters, that the next one came in open and blatlantly LIED them, that he is ultra rare endangered plant, which cannot be touched. And also vandalized those AWE Wombs with some stupid grffiti, so I was forced order new set in addition of getting rid of this batch.

Next batch had instructions to trust no one than me, but that went wrong too, as they tried to capture anybody I put on command, I had to ordered then to everything, like eating, lacing their boots etc. etc. and then some of them mistook AWE Wombs for masked enemies and shoot them down, when they refuse go to the jail.

Took me few more iterations, until I got something vaguely useable as last druked street homeless and it cost me so much, that I was forced to spend my exotic vacation on one of my at least month old luxury yachts - just try imagine, how much I must be broke to go so low!

And when I returned, I ofcourse found, thet they terribly screewed again. I was so angry, I ordered their leader to kill himself in the most painfull death on the spot. And he ofcourse did - he slowly chopped small parts of his body, making mess over whole my audience room and all the time he looked on me with so much of love and happiness in his eyes. And none of others was trembling in fear, but they looked on him with jealousy and whispered, that even when he failed his mission, he was personally assigned another difficult mission diretly from me. And you do not want to know, what happened after I leaved that room with curse "F*ck you all!" on my lips.

Trust me, I snapped at the point. It is not possible to spread terror and fear with such material around. Those old mercenaries from 1-800 DIAL-A-HENCHMAN with all their quirks, insubordinations, wages and whatsever proved a million ways cheapear and easier to manage.

With regards "Let Earth scream under my feets"

yours eternal rival and arcenemy

Gilhad the Black Plague

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Poor psychological makeup.

For an effective soldier you need a mixture of a brutal willingness to kill and loyalty to an employee. Being loyal and being murderous are not easy traits to produce with education.

Governments have tried for a while. They would love to be able to forge people into assassins. The end result, most of the time? The person chickens out, or immediately turns to the enemy.

This is a big issue in wars. A lot of soldiers simply don't fire their guns when they get into battle because they don't want to kill people.

So, when you make your clone armies, why are you assuming you'll have better luck?

We at 1-800 DIAL-A-HENCHMAN have experimented with this. 1/10 clones are acceptable henchmen, and only 1/100 are exceptional. When you try it what happens is most of the clones freeze up, because war is scary, a huge number defect because they don't care.

It comes down to economics.

It might cost $500,000 to raise a clone to adulthood with a decent education. For that, 1/10 will be decent mercenaries. You're paying 5 million for each soldier. You can get a lot better bang for your buck if you let governments foot the bill to raise and train your soldiers and hire those that excel after.

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