A letter by H. K. Ludwig, as provided by Shane Landry
Art by Luke Spooner
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To whom it may concern:
I had the privilege of supervising Balrog for seven years and, in fact, created him. He was the Security Specialist for Level Zero, where Patient Zeros, doomsday weapons, and government conspiracy-grade devices are kept. The position was fast paced and demanding, yet Balrog performed his duties with enthusiasm, dedication, and a keen attention to detail. In short, he was the consummate professional, always ready to smash, blast, and devour.
Balrog possesses a host of skills, qualities, and specialized knowledge that you will no doubt find useful. He is adept at stopping breaches in lab security. I vividly remember the day when Balrog stopped an out of control mutated simian-mantis hybrid that quickly grew to three stories tall. Despite a clear disadvantage in reach and body mass, Balrog completed the task without complaint and single-handedly contained the situation. That is exactly the sort of initiative and adherence to corporate mission statement that any company would benefit from.
His regenerative qualities stand out as his finest. When I say he stopped the mutation single-handedly, I mean literally. Balrog gives of himself readily when corporate needs far exceed the ability of lesser minions to meet them. More than once, he gave up his own hand to fuel the biomass generators. And while regrowth of a limb might have dampened the enthusiasm of a lesser minion, he still chanted “Balrog SMAAASH” with the terrifying volume I have learned to expect from him as a result of his dedication to quality fear-mongering.
Balrog has a working knowledge of the delicate insides of organic opponents and a keen understanding of the weak points within mechanical constructs. If your company ever decides to engage in corporate warfare, Balrog is an excellent point man, capable of designing an improvised entrance at a moment’s notice.
I would absolutely rehire Balrog if given the opportunity. I am proud to have worked with him all these years. As his creator, I would almost go as far to say I am proud to be his father, but sociopathic tendencies brought about by a genius intellect and a childhood of perpetual bullying impede me from doing so. If you have any questions or would like to discuss his abundant qualifications in further detail, I will make myself available at any time. Thank you for considering Balrog as a minion in your mad science. You will not find a finer Security Specialist anywhere in this dimension.
H. K. Ludwig
CEO and CTO of HK Industries
P.S. If your company is foolish enough to test your pitiful resources against the might of HK Industries, I would consider it a professional courtesy if you did not send Balrog for at least 90 days after hire. Such an act would represent a conflict of interest.
H. K. Ludwig was born in Cortex, Alabama. He endured a socially isolated childhood as a result of his clinically diagnosed superior intellect. At age seven, he built his first minion and discovered people are more tractable when their house is on fire. He later founded HK Industries with a core focus of custom minion development and accessories. The inevitable success brought about by his peerless brilliance led to the acquisition of many inferior companies specializing in other technologies, ranging from freezegrenade snow cones to android girlfriend vending machines. He currently lives at the top of the food chain.
Shane Landry was born on the East Coast where driving is a full contact sport. He has a degree in Applied Physics and spent 13 months as a research assistant in the South Pole, Antarctica. When not writing, he conditions his body and mind for the zombie apocalypse, brews beer, and plays guitar so poorly the instrument filed a restraining order. Authorities report he is currently teaching English in Japan. You can visit his website at www.shanelandrybooks.com.
Luke Spooner a.k.a. ‘Carrion House’ currently lives and works in the South of England. Having recently graduated from the University of Portsmouth with a first class degree he is now a full time illustrator for just about any project that piques his interest. Despite regular forays into children’s books and fairy tales his true love lies in anything macabre, melancholy or dark in nature and essence. He believes that the job of putting someone else’s words into a visual form, to accompany and support their text, is a massive responsibility as well as being something he truly treasures. You can visit his web site at www.carrionhouse.com.
“Letter of Recommendation for Minion Balrog” is © 2016 Shane Landry
Art accompanying story is © 2016 Luke Spooner