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Claims to Earth
"In conclusion I move that since Minion has indeed failed and that his sponsor has either been destroyed or is too scared of this council to dare show his face, all claims made by the Master be stricken from the record."
As Garvin, a low ranking official within the Alliance of Evil finished his speech, the assembled members nodded in agreement. It had been a lengthy enquiry into the events surrounding Minion, Maxell had been keen to ensure that there would be no further objections to his rightful control over the Alliance of Evil.
As he looked down at the assembled villains, he could tell that the vote was a certainty. It was only through deference to proper procedure that he bothered with a show of hands as the votes were counted and weighted according to the political standing of each member. He glanced at the result and noted that with a single spoiled vote, the decision had been unanimous. Earth was open for the taking again; this would be when the real arguments started.
"The vote is carried, we will now move onto the next item of business," he stated, wishing that things could be that simple. As Master Vile rose from his seat though it was clear that nothing within the Alliance could be that straightforward.
Maxell had chosen a high table for this debate, allowing him and the senior councillors to look down on the more powerful members that made up the core of the forum. To the far left sat Master Vile, his son Rito Revolto and daughter Rita Repulsa. Rita also held the voting rights normally reserved for her not-quite-dead husband Lord Zedd; the demon was still searching for ways to regain a physical presence and was largely ignored by the proceedings. Mother D, the appointed head of the Dianthe Kingdom while he daughter Divatox was absent, was sitting close by with her son General Havok; the Dianthe Kingdom had yet to express an interest in Earth although Divatox had made a formal petition to approach the planet.
At the far-right hand side of the chamber stood - for they found it extremely difficult to sit - the Machine Empire. Mondo and Gasket each claimed to represent the Royal House of Gadgetry, Archerina was acting on behalf of her father and had agreed to vote in support of her husband. The voting powers of the Machine block and the Magic Users were almost equal. It would be the unaligned members such as Count Dregon and Scorpius who held the ultimate power.
"Before we move on, I wish to declare that the House of Vile formally declares Earth as part of its empire. Our forces led by Rita were there first and remains ready to strike under the command of her and Lord Zedd."
Possession was nine tenths of the law, and Maxell had to concede that at the last count the majority of the forces invading the Earth belonged to Zedd, Master Vile and Rita. They had a very strong case.
"I object," Gasket called. "The Machine Empire under my guidance made more progress where Earth is concerned than Rita, Zedd or Master Vile combined. Clearly the Earth should be marked as Machine territory."
"Progress?" Rita sneered, "you ran away as soon as your daddy came back and we blew them up."
"Nevertheless, the Royal House of Gadgetry did drive Rita and Zedd from Earth and made a legitimate claim. Rita and Zedd should never have returned to the planet," Gasket told them.
"The fact remains Mondo, that my daughter and her -- husband, did manage to return and still have a few forces close to Earth, something that your Machine Empire lacks."
"But we do have a presence on Earth," Machina interrupted, "tell them darling."
"I have here a copy of a communication from my son Grommet. He is currently active on Earth along with numerous Infiltration Units. The Royal House of Gadgetry has already conquered the planet. We just haven't told the natives yet. Our claim to Earth is far more logical."
"And what would YOU suggest?" Master Vile asked. "That your own forces be allowed exclusive rights to Earth. My daughter has been attacking Earth since the Ranger problem arose. I suggest she be placed back in her original role and any conquest be attributed to the House of Vile."
"You are a fool Vile!" Mondo shouted. "The Machine Empire came closer than anyone to conquering the Earth. We should be allowed to conquer the planet."
"Order, Order" Maxell bellowed. "We have had this argument every time this council has met since the Machine Empire approached Earth. I will not allow this organisation to suffer because we cannot agree on such an unimportant matter."
"With respect Maxell, Count Dregon has been in orbit around Earth during both Rita and Mondo's attempts and is the only villain not to retreat for repair or run away due to an outside threat."
Maxell glared at the insignificant fool that dared speak out. He wanted order, not more reason for fighting.
"Enough!" he bellowed. "This chamber remains in a state of neutrality as required by our charter. I suggest you all remember what happened to the last person who broke one of our treaties."
He waited for the idiots around him to absorb his words before he continued. His decision on the matter would prove controversial and he expected both factions to break his ruling. Still, he needed to do something; if Mondo decided to fight, all the magic users in the room would not stop him.
"Earth will remain off limits until further notice. Since Mondo and Vile claim they have forces there to conquer the planet, those operations will continue. However, no member of this council is to approach Earth without permission. Do we have an agreement?"
"Aye!" those villains already attacking the planet cried.
As expected the opportunity to upset Mondo and Vile's claims to Earth unified the council to vote against the proposal. Mutual self-interest prompted their cooperation as they fought for their rights to conquer the valuable planet.
"The Nays have it," Maxell decided. "Earth is to be considered an open target until further notice."
It was amazing how quickly the hall could empty as the various factions rushed off to summon their fleets and launch their attacks on the little planet that promised so much power to whoever controlled it. Master Vile and the Machine Empire stalked out, outraged that they would be forced to share their prize.
Maxell looked around. He hadn't even called an end to the meeting, but since it was lacking a quorum, he had little choice but to suspend all business until a later date. Surprisingly he found he wasn't annoyed by the change of plans. In fact, he welcomed the chance to be away from the imbeciles that accounted for the rest of the council.