You're being executed: Fight or cooperate?

Alas, your fiendish plot to conquer the world with an army of cyber-dolphins recruited from the depths of the Marianas Trench has failed. Following a pitched battle, contentious trial, and a zealous but doomed flurry of appeals, you have been sentenced to die.

Question: Do you march to the gallows with your head held high, or do you fight every inch of the way - kicking, biting, spitting and so on?

Poll coming in a moment.

As for myself: Well, I certainly understand the concept of going to one’s death with dignity. But to heck with that - the man dragging me to my execution are my enemies, and I have no interest in making the work of my enemies any easier. By fighting, I may escape, and frustrate my enemies entirely. Even if I can’t escape, I can still try to inflict some hurt on the men dragging me to my death, and that seems worth doing to me.

A good death isn’t a death you accept, in my view - it’s a death that comes with your hands at your foe’s throat, or as close as you can possibly get. So, I’d fight. You?

I said head held high, but it really is going to depend on my mood that day, which is not likely to be a good one. I’d probably try to get my licks in. But you didn’t offer an ‘other’, so I just picked the one that appealed to me at the moment.

“I hold my head up just enough to see the light,
and when I go I won’t go slow I’ll put up such a fight.”

If it’s the scenario you describe, where I’m being executed by my enemies there won’t be much left of me for the firing squad. Clearly, they’re not done with the war, why should I be? Ideally I’d escape violently or be rendered unconscious for my execution. Dignity is for the living.

In the case you presented I would think “Well, I tried to take over the world and didn’t quite manage it, it’s a fair cop” and I’d try to go with dignity. If it were a situation where I felt I was being executed unjustly I’d do whatever I think is the most effective version of “fuck you” that is available to me. If I think I can seriously injure one of my captors/executioners I’d try to do it. If I don’t think I can manage that I’d want to go with a clever saying to show them that they couldn’t beat my spirit. Also I’d want my last meal to be 5lbs of cheap frozen burritos and a gallon of cold black coffee. One way or another I’m going to have my revenge.

I would offer a bribe of…


I’d probably devote my last minutes to talking nonstop in the hope of convincing others to agree and carry on my legacy. But it depends if they’re filming and how many people are watching. If the world were sufficiently shitty that I felt this compelled to change it, it’s not about me anymore. It’s about the ideology.

Besides, it’s very unlikely that my executioner made the decision to kill me. They’re just the messenger, and hurting them would be misdirected and pointless.

Maybe I’ve seen V for Vendetta too many times, but I like my answer. I couldn’t see trying to overthrow good with mad scientific evil. I like good. I’m too lazy to get involved unless things are SERIOUSLY shitty, so I can’t really see this happening. Almost certainly, someone else would try to overthrow evil before it’d get bad enough for me to to do it.

Ahem. I am sending over someone to collect my royalty check.

Um…dolphins? Really. No fingers, dude. The plan’s flawed from the outset, and I am going to pretend you wrote something about trained ninja chimpanzees. I still expect my royalties, though.

Assuming I’ve gotten the RhymerFamily to safety, I’m fighting every flipping inch of the way. And I’m gonna have myself boobytrapped so my corpse explodes after I’m dead.

I love you, rachellogram, but this is why you can never get an operations job with RhymerInc. After the conquest I will have to assign you to, I don’t know, overseeing the Musicals Division or something. You’ll still get a brigadier general’s pay, though.

I would let out a terribly noxious fart.

I’d like to think that I’d put up a fight, but I would probably go docilely to my death just like most of the condemned do.

Seriously, it’s a weird thing. From what I’ve read and seen, most people don’t seem to resist their executioners, even as a futile act of defiance.

Wouldn’t make much difference if you’re getting the gas chamber.

I’d probably be crying and/or begging and pleading. But not fighting.

Okay - tell you what, actually conquer the world, and we’ll talk royalties. Well, you’ll talk and I’ll say “Yes sir, please don’t kill me, here’s your check.” But until you actually implement the thing, I’m afraid you’ve no particular claim on a vague ambition for global dominion. :slight_smile:

I believe I specified cyber-dolphins. Honestly, if you’re not going to pay attention even to basic details like this, how do you expect to survive the War of Global Liberation ™?

As any competent mad scientist knows, dolphins have fairly complete wrist and finger structures in their flippers. Following surgical modification of their flippers and brains, my fearless minions will have fully functional hands. Further, they’re quite capable of tool use even in stock form. See:

Well, at least this bit is sensible.

The point of hurting them is that they’re trying to hurt you. Try hard enough to hurt them, and you might get away. At the very least, you can have the satisfaction of knowing the person who helped to kill you is unhappy.

Moreover: Of course the plan was flawed. It failed - that’s a pretty significant flaw.

If they give me a cigarette and allow me to smoke it, I’ll go with dignity. Otherwise, I might put out a fight.

It’s still a poor use of resources. Dolphins and chimps have similar intellectual capacity, and chimps are already thumbed and legged. The money you spend on gene-engineering the dolphins could have been spent on plasma cannons.

This is why conquests fail.

I beg to differ - investing resources in silly weapons like plasma cannons is why conquests fail. :slight_smile: Consider: We already have perfectly good weapons for everything from shooting individual people (military rifles) to taking out ships (missiles) to destroying cities (nukes). What, exactly, is a plasma cannon good for? What niche along the continuum of destruction does existing technology leave unfilled?

On the other hand, uplifting dolphins creates a very capable elite military force that will be fanatically loyal to me because it is utterly, entirely dependent upon me. How long will their intelligence-enhancing neural implants and prosthetic flipper-enhancements last without the medical services I provide? Who, either than I and my minions, will treat them with respect and kindness after the rest of the world learns to fear and hate their name?

Look at Syria, and Libya - the troops who fight the hardest for their despots are the ones who know that there is absolutely no future for them if their strongman loses. Thus it would be for my cyber-dolphins: affronts to God, made strangers to land and sea alike by hyper-technology, doomed to misery and death without the health care my service provides. No tyrant would ever enjoy the services of such loyal, fearless, utterly relentless thugs.


Reminds me of probably my favorite scene in Boston Legal. I couldn’t find a video but the transcript:

I’m not avidly against the death penalty and am content with our society choosing to stop or continue it. I completely agree with Alan Shore in the scene.

Dude, your troops DON’T HAVE ANY LEGS.

And a plasma cannon is useful because it can take out an aircraft carrier in one shot WITHOUT destroying the destroyer escorts. You want to leave someone to tell the tale.

There’s no way I could argue with a quote from Breaker Morant.