Well, no. I am quite capable of wasting my time on something meaningless--it's just that I'm not in the mood to do any of those meaningless things so productivity it is.
In this case, blogging about what should have been yesterday's blog.
Yesterday, at work, I developed a story which I would call whichever is the least used of "Lord of Minions", "Minion Lord", "Master of Minions", and "Minion Master". I say 'whichever is the least used', because, let's face it. All four of those titles have been used before somewhere, it's just a question of which is the most viable to use.
In my notes, I lean towards the former two involving it being a Lord, but for a specific reason; the Lord of Minions/Minion Lord (hereafter just referred to as the Lord) may start commanding as the master of just Minions, but eventually expands such that his domain includes subjugating humans as well, and 'Lord' sounds more like a ruler of humans than 'Master' does to me.
I'm not quite sure where to begin. I guess I'll go with how the story starts. You may be able to deduce, it is in fact a Villain Protagonist. The Minions have, recently, lost their Lord--and need a new one. They see the protagonist, and basically kidnap him to their base, where they explain that congratulations! They have selected him as their new Lord.
Though initially baffled by this, the protagonist runs with it, figuring, "Sure, why not?"
Minions, for as long as there has been recorded history, have sought after a human to be their Lord, to command them. The human theory for this is that some ancient evil overlord created the minions as a servant race--the Minion theory is actually a bit of the opposite, in that Minions developed a symbiotic relationship with their human Lord. The human Lord would have the Minions lead him to prosperity, and in return, the Lord would give the Minions both a sense of purpose and direction to continue their existence.
Minions, after all, don't just randomly pick people off the street (though that's how it's portrayed, for comedic value if nothing else). Every Lord they have ever picked has the traits of extreme Ambition, incredible Intelligence, a sense of Logistics, and a degree of Pragmatism.
Over the millennia, they have found that these traits are typically suited towards an Evil Overlord, who have them in abundance. Granted, said Evil Overlords tend to be a little bit weak on Pragmatism at times and some (particularly those heavily utilizing "We Have Reserves") are a bit low on Logistics, but said Lords tend to be the shortest-lived ones and don't cause long-term damage to the Minions' existence.
Still, since the traits are associated with Evil people to the point where it's basically synonymous, this gives them a bad reputation. The protagonist, for what it's worth, is no different than prior Lords in this regard--he is an Evil Bastard, a visionary dreaming of world conquest, incredibly cruel and sadistic to his enemies...but who is also incredibly benign to those who serve him.
Think how the Evil Overlord List, if followed precisely, is pretty much making a benevolent dictator: still an evil person who controls their country strictly, but who is fair about it and highly pragmatic. A "benign god", even. In the case of the protagonist Lord, this manifests first in his actual investment in his Minions.
Some Lords bother to have a few favorite Minions, even giving them English names. But our protagonist Lord takes that to the next level; he treats every Minion as an asset, doesn't see them as disposable at all, takes the time to learn the Minion's language both written and spoken, learns about Minion culture, calls Minions by their names in the Minion language (unless pressed for time; Minion names tend to be multiple syllables in their native tongue so he has nicknames for them that are one or two syllables to say in case of emergency), and basically treats them almost as if they were his equals.
This is how details of Minion society and biology are slowly revealed.
For instance--the Lord is always, functionally, Immortal...in the "does not age", sense at least. In spite of being human, the Lord will not age for as long as they are Lord of the Minions. The Minions have a theory that their mind link to the Lord allows them to collectively channel the smallest portion of their lifespan into the Lord. Since there are so many Minions at any given time, it doesn't shorten the Minions lifespan at all (they still live for about the same length as a human), but it does keep their Lord alive.
Of course. As is obvious. Most Lords never live long enough for that to be tested, and most Minions don't die of old age because they die long before that following the orders of their Lord. Still, over their recorded history, they've had some Lords and Minions live long enough that they know of the effect.
Minions are biologically programmed to need a leader. It is hard-coded into their genes on the fundamental level--they need someone to which they can then follow the orders of, and they have virtually no free will. Minions, mind you, are varied enough in personality to each be as quirky as any given human, but they will mostly remain on what's essentially an autopilot unless given directions by their Lord.
They can, of course, be given passive commands by their Lord, to follow a process different than their default autopilot while waiting for instructions. And Minions are not literal-minded; they can think about what a Lord's intention behind a command are and will, to the best of their ability, fulfill their Lord's desire, even if this deviates from what orders they had been given.
But at their base nature, they can't disobey nor would they want to; they live to serve their Lord and find happiness in serving their community however their Lord deems fit. (They consider their Lord to basically be the leader of their community, even knowing that most Lords--our protagonist being the exception--don't consider themselves to be a part of said community. They're quite aware most Lords just exploit them, but the Lords still give the Minions what they are wanting, so they don't complain. Well, most of the times; as previously mentioned, Minions are as quirky as humans, so some have snark to them and are quite willing to make barbs about their Lord if they think they can get away with it.)
Minions have similar biology to humans, albeit with some notable difference.
The average Minion is about the height of a slightly-short human; they usually have yellow skin. (Both of these attributes are possible to modify; see below.) Minions are capable of eating literally anything--and their preferred meals are rocks, soil, dirt, minerals, crystals, and the like.
Minions are all hermaphrodites, and can give birth in one of two ways. They can give birth by "carrier"--basically, identical to human pregnancy albeit taking shorter (six months). One fertilizes the egg of the other, who bears it until a live birth. The egg contains 2 children always by this method. The egg saps nutrients from the parent, and the parent develops breasts (Minions do not have breasts by default), who feeds the baby Minions for a month after birth, when they switch to eating whatever.
Minions born by carrier method have a mixture of the genes of both parents.
They can also give birth by "spawn"--think somewhere between how Uruk'hai are shown being birthed in the Lord of the Rings films, and egg-laying animals like birds. One still fertilizes the egg of the other, but instead of bearing it until a live birth, the egg is extracted, and fused to a wall of rock. The egg saps nutrients from the rock, and after extraction, the baby Minions eat their egg and then continue consuming rock thereafter.
This is, by far, the more common method, for a number of reasons. One, it can bear 1-3 children rather than being set at specifically two. Two, it allows both parents to remain workers. Pregnancy means the carrier can't continue to perform all the tasks that a Minion normally would, or at least not as easily. (Keep in mind that Minions tend to be used for fairly hard labor, including being sent en masse to their deaths in combat.)
Three, it takes half the time, at only three months, for the Minions to be born. And four, most importantly of all?
It allows for the manipulation of the genes of Minions. Minions have mastered the art of biological manipulation of their genetics. Some things never change; a Minion will always have some traits of both parents, and the subservience to their commander is something so hard-coded into their genetics it literally can't be removed.
However, many things can change. The size of the minion, the basic biology of the minion, color of the minion's skin, biological adaptions like poisonous claws, webbed hands/feet, digging claws, different teeth/fangs, you name it. Our protagonist Lord makes a universal modification to the Minions such that all born after are given free will, or as close to it as is possible for Minions, and the ability to take command and the ability to not require a commander.
While the subservience to a commander trait still exists, what this means is that if a Minion born after our protagonist Lord made this change decides that they don't have any commander, they are not obliged to follow an order. Of course. By their culture, even with this freedom, Minions still voluntarily subjugate themselves, because they want a commander--he just made it so they didn't need one.
Minions reach adulthood within 3 years, and in as little as one year, can be old enough to work (think teenager), which when you combine it with the above traits, makes them rather numerous. (Can be born in as little as 3 months with triplets, have a human lifespan, and yet are an adult in a fraction of the time it takes for a human to reach adulthood.)
Minions are both coldblooded and warmblooded, in that they absorb the heat from their environment by default. This means that they aren't bothered by the heat (which makes sense, since many of them live in environments which radiate a lot of heat). However, when the heat alone of the environment is not enough to sustain them, then can burn energy to generate heat of their own.
Minions' skin is scaled, and unless they have been specifically modified otherwise, this scaled skin is basically as tough as armor. (Not that that stops them from wearing armor anyway, since sometimes they need the extra layer of protection.) This armored scaly skin can also be made even harder, obviously, albeit suffering some penalty to flexibility. (There's a tradeoff involved with all genetic modifications. If there were one perfect combo, it'd be universally used, but since no perfect biological combo exists, you have to sacrifice some traits in order to promote others.)
The average Minion's strength is about the level of a high human in strength--so a high-strength human against an average Minion is an even match; a normal human against a Minion or a high strength human against a high strength Minion places the human at a disadvantage. Minions can be weaker, of course, usually when they have traded muscles for some other purpose, and Minions can be stronger to superhuman levels, though again, I reiterate that no perfect combo exists.
As I previously mentioned, Minions are on average a little bit shorter than humans, but specialized Minions can be as tall as humans or even taller--notably, the elite combat forces of Minions are usually of the taller variety, since the increased size often offers an increased advantage in power.
There is a major difference in Minions from humans, however--they never sweat, they never urinate (their parts down there are strictly for procreation), never defecate, or any other similar body reactions. If they ever have a need to get something out of their body, it's via vomiting, but since Minions can eat anything, this is an incredible rarity.
This does have a bit of a nasty side-effect, often weaponized: toxins in Minions are not excreted by any of the mentioned methods, and thus, build up inside of the Minion. Their blood thus becomes poisonous over the course of their lives, and slightly corrosive since acids also build up. The older the Minion, the worse this effect is.
An interested fact about Minion culture is that they have five words for gender. Their default gender in English is typically assigned as Male, because they are all incredibly muscular, lack breasts, and their 'male' anatomy is more visible than their 'female' anatomy.
However, in their own language, Minions have five genders: "Fertilizes only" (male), "Only is fertilized" (female), "Both fertilizes and can be fertilized" (hermaphrodite, though they also use this for intersex individuals), "neither fertilizes or can be fertilized" (agendered), and "self-fertilizes" (reproduces without the need of a partner).
Most Minions default to the hermaphrodic pronoun, but Minions do have concepts of gender separate from concepts of biological sex. While Minions' genders match biological sex disproportionately often (that owes to some extent to their biological ability to modify genes), they can on occasion identify as a gender not matching their biological sex.
There is one final fact about Minions, too--technically speaking, they're biologically compatible with humans. They can impregnate humans, and they can be impregnated by humans. (The only difference is that the length of the pregnancy depends on the species of the parent.)
They can only use the "carrier" method of birth regardless of which parent is which race, but it's still fully possible.
Mind you--the resulting offspring is born 100% Minion regardless of who which parent is. It's just that they have human genes mixed in with their Minion genes, akin to having been modified via "spawn" method--for instance, a common trait is to have free will. They may also have their scales/skin be a more human color. Hair is more common as well. (Minions can be born with hair, but it's about 40/60 between hair/bald.)
They are still born hermaphrodites in most cases, however, they may inherit "female" traits such as breasts and a shrunken penis, or "male" traits of the opposite. (Of course, both at once is not impossible, but it's not common, either.)
Naturally, this isn't something that's known at the start of the story--Minions have heavy prejudice against them from humans, and understandably so since they're seen not unjustifiably as "servants of Evil". Our current protagonist Lord, in addition to world conquest, is mostly planning ways to leave lasting peace and prosperity, including equality between the two races.
He is evil, but he still dreams of a utopia. One still ruled by him, mind you, but a place lacking discrimination. When he starts conquering human lands, he outright orders his Minions to not discriminate against humans, in spite of how humans don't reciprocate. He welcomes humans into the fold of his growing empire by integrating them in with a policy of, more or less:
"As long as you don't defy me, you're free to do as you wish. If you actively decide to obey me, then you will be rewarded proportional to your contribution."
He accepts humans into anywhere in his chain of command, provided they treat Minions the same way he does: with respect and equality, not looking down on them, not devaluing them, not discriminating against them. And eventually when facing some evil empires (after all, the Lord is not the only one to be an Evil conqueror in the setting; it's a fairly common thing), they can even bond (albeit with much...encouragement...from our protagonist).
And you know how long it took me to cook all that up?
...Less than ten minutes.
It's such a rich idea. I did so much worldbuilding for it, and I think it's a really neat story idea!
I, being me, will likely never make it reality.