Time stoppage is the simplest case of the general ability to speed up, reverse, or otherwise tamper with the flow of time. It is useful to evil supervillains in a multitude of ways, not least of which is the way it give one an impenetrable bubble relatively safe from one's adversaries where one is free to plot, to rest up, to repair and tinker with one's gadgetry, or simply to torture a captive in peace. The main drawback is the rather high energy bill that typically comes along with most time-manipulation gadgetry?, which often puts it beyond the reach of an entry-level evil supergenius who has not had the time to get more than a very few capers in under his or her belt.
- The gadget. You need some kind of special device, substance, incantation, that does violence to all the recognized laws of physics, either through your own research or obtained through the normal nefarious means. It does not matter much exactly what mechanism it uses to accomplish the desired effect, so long as it can reliably draw upon whatever source of power you can supply to destroy the conventional view of spacetime when you need it to.
- Sort your things. The way the gadget works is to set up a region where the speed of light is anomalously high. If you are within the affected area, you too experience a massive speedup relative to everything outside. Same goes for your minions, spellbooks, hostages, or whatever else you bring into the area of interest. If your enemies are within the area, they too get the speedup, which you would consequently need to make sure works according to your interests and not theirs. Gadgets of advanced design allow you to customize the area so you can carve out exclusion zones, which will behave as far as you are concerned as if they are chiseled from stone for the duration of the effect.
- Pull the trigger. Make sure that when you switch on the gadget you are completely within the region of its effect, as being halfway in and halfway out is generally something that will lead to poor results.
- Cleanup. Eventually, there will come a time when you need to turn the gadget back off, because virtually never will you want to stop time forever, not just because of the colossal energy expenditure but also because of the psychological and physical damage such procedures generally inflict on a person. Apply the antidote, counterhex, unraveling process, or whatever to collapse the region of altered time.
- Aftermath. Once the gadget has been counteracted, your job is not yet done. The shock of the transition back to normal lightspeed time is one which can exert its own toll upon you both on a molecular level and on a psychick level, which you can mitigate by lessening its suddenness and by taking some (normal) time to readjust.
Strokes of genius
- Grand theft. Time-stopping leads itself to grand heists (it is usually too expensive and complicated for petty pilferage), as it is alone among theft schemes in allowing you plenty of time to remove all traces. Typically you set things up so that you make your speedier-than-normal getaway down a path of altered time, shutting it back down to confound your pursuers.
- Accelerated captivity. This is a technique where you yourself are not the one enjoying the speeded-up time effect, but some unfortunate victim of yours held under restraint to suffer for months or years in a few moments.
- The miraculous escape from death. Well known to those who grew up with Warner Brothers cartoons, this is the technique where in the course of a lethal fall, one activates a gadget before hitting the ground.
Traps for mere fools
- Paradoxes. It is important to ignore the contradictions aggressively. Those who complain that the viscosity of air would suffocate you, that photons would fail to reach your eyes making you blind, that touching those in the normal timestream would impart such an impact that it would kill them are failing to take into account your obsessive super-villainous thoroughness.
- Ultra-boredom. Sitting around waiting for things to happen in the "slow" world can be hazardous or fatal. A distraction which causes you to lose the magical gadget, for instance, can be one which strands you forever within the accelerated zone (or until your power source gives out). To combat the tedium, make sure that you spend your time in the region of influence only when it is crucial, and do your waiting back in normal time.
Precious and needful
- First aid kit. Getting hurt in a place where nobody can help is no one's idea of fun.
- Warm clothing.
- How to send secret transmissions
- How to conceal weapons
- How to avoid a gruesome demise
- How to become invulnerable to bullets
- How to come up with brand new evil schemes
- How to control the governments of the world
- How to deal with invading aliens
- How to move an immovable object
- How to exploit advanced technology
- How to prank your adversaries
- How to betray your master
- How to hasten the Singularity
- How to perform an emergency stop on a dragon
- Time stands still
- Image credit Mingus Jumping by brothergrimm
- Image credit How I stopped time by FredArmitage
- Image credit Green people by stringberd