The I. N. S. A. N. E. Summit

In the heart of a bunker in an undisclosed location sat many of the most wanted men in the world. Evil masterminds and mad scientists of all sorts sat around, discussing their various proposals and plans with their colleagues. The International Network of Scientists Against Needing Ethics met in a different location every year, only requiring their membership meet in person. Coaxing out the best and brightest of the maddest and maniacal was not an easy task, but one necessary for the profession of mad science. Unlike most academic professions, the risk of "friendly fire" from one's own peers was a likely one. This year, the audience sat in front of a stage with a forcefield capable of resisting a tactical nuclear warhead. The decoration tastes of the host had a set of massive Tesla coils suspended over the stage and audience. There was much brainpower in the room, but most of it was used for nefarious purposes.

Looking out into the crowd of men and women of all ages and nationalities, robots, cyborgs, genetically uplifted apes, brains in jars, and mutants, the respected speaker continued. Herr Doktor Johan von Schadenfreude spoke into the microphone, his clockwork vocoder continuing.

"Unlike many of you vools, I have never had zhe need vor hiring normal henchmen!" the ancient Prussian inventor said. While he had been reduced to a brain in a jar on top of the body of a clockwork automaton, he was the most successful mad scientist who still used steam and clockwork to power many of his creations. "Now, I know vhat you are tinking. How does zhis man do so much vith minions dumb as scrap metal?"

Some of the small clockwork automatons accompanying him on stage stood their metal heads.

"Vhy, all you need are graduate students!" he replied. "Zhey are fairly capable, und actually can shoot straight! Vhy, since I hired some grad students, zhey eat vhatever zhey scavenge in zhe refuse, zhey improvise vit vhat zhey find, und zhey have killed every intruder in mein castle! Und zhat concludes my speech vor zhe day!"

The Doktor leaned forward, his clockwork body creaking as he bowed. Two of the automatons lubricated him with oil as the Prussian walked off the stage as the audience applauded. This year's host, Doctor Nikolai Molotov of the former Soviet Academy of Electromagnetic Weaponry, walked out on stage. He had carefully chosen to dress in a manner similar to Nikolai Tesla. He had a mustache, suit, and haircut similar to the late Serbian.

"And now, it brings me great pleasure to introduce our next speaker, Doctor Will More of the World League for Transhuman Domination," the Russian continued in very fluent English. "He's come all the way from his lab in New York City to discuss his projects with us."

"Greetings, my fellow professionals," the man said from off stage. A young man, probably in his early thirties, was dressed in a lab coat and goggles. He picked up the microphone and surveyed the audience. "You probably know my work with nanotech mind control and hacking. Today, though, I'm here to introduce a nifty little scam you can run!"

He turned on a laser pointer and aimed it at a slide that appeared on the wall. It showed a map of Africa, with the names and ranges of different species of great apes located.

"With my new series of nanobots, you can uplift any group of primates into a hive-mind literally overnight," he continued. "Note that this does not work on already human-level primates, so my hairy peers have no cause for concern."

He pressed a button his laser pointer, changing the image. Now, a group of gorillas stood proudly in the jungle. Several had red bandanas on. A number held AK rifles, machetes, and other firearms, modified for their larger hands.

"A crate of guns modified for their hands, and presto, instant minions," More continued. "You've got a force able to fight any guerrilla war. No pun intended."

He went on, explaining some of the specifics of the nanomachines, before wrapping up. He bowed, and left the stage as the audience forced their applause.

"Now, my fellow madmen, madwomen, and mad gender-neutral entities," the Russian stepped back up on stage. "I'd like you to remain seated while I introduce my project. You know what they say, leave the best for last."

With that, Molotov pressed a button. The Tesla coils on the ceiling hummed to life, and an electric current went through each of the audience members. Not enough to kill the organic ones, but enough to stun them. The mechanical and robot members of the audience were immobilized by the current. "Mwuhahahaha!" Molotov snickered, pressing another button. A swarm of nanobots was released from the vents, infiltrating every office on the guest. The nanomachines infiltrated every crevice and orifice, immobilizing the mad scientists.

"Some of you are probably unsure of what's happening," Molotov snickered. "But this is my project, performed with the help of the last two speakers here."

Doktor von Schadenfreude and More stepped onto the stage beside him. "We wanted to do something new," he explained. "Holding the world for ransom is getting old."

"So, ve conspired to change it," the brain automaton spoke. "Regular human greed, obsession, vanity, und pettiness become old after one is surrounded by zhem for decades, yah?"

"Some of you are probably familiar with the idea of a technological Singularity, or creation of a super-intelligence," More added. "So, we joined forces. If you want some change that will actually matter, don't resist the nanobots."

"But even if you do, it would matter," Molotov grinned. "We're networking all of your brains together as we speak, and installing a set of human-friendly morals on the emerging super-intelligence."

"So, to make it short," More continued. "We're brain-jacking you to kick-start a beneficial Singularity."

"As a profession, ve do not have much ethics or sanity," Schadenfreude continued. "But even ve can have a zense of responsibility, yah?"

"I have to say, thanks for coming down," More cracked. "It's been an insane summit. No pun intended."

The three mad scientists on the stage let out a cackle simultaneously, as the Golden Age started.