The Bad Ass
has achieved high rank: king, ceo, crimelord, whatever. He's done so by sticking up for himself and what he believes in, and never taking abuse from anyone. He's pretty settled in when he notices a problem: he's surrounded by gutless yesmen. They're weak. They crawl before him. They can't possibly take over his role if he were to step down.
Except that one guy. Who hates his guts. And quite possibly has tried to kill him.
That's his new sole heir.
- Merchant Prince Etienne Avare in The Philisophical Strangler leaves his entire fortune to the first great-grandchild to assassinate him.
- Uncle Enzo in Snow Crash regrets that none of his lieutenants "would ever volunteer to go get his legs shot off in the jungle, just to piss off his old man. They lack a certain fiber. They are lifeless and beaten down."
- Cornelius Stuyvesant, the richest man in the world, in the Grimnoir Chronicles makes Francis his sole heir, saying "You’re the only one worth . . . a bucket of warm piss . . . in . . . in the whole lot". Their previous conversation was when Cornelius disowned him for taking a moral stand against the Imperium.
- Diamond Age centers around an "attempt to add an element of subversion to our institutions" so that the next generation will contain people like this.
- Wolfram and Heart are in the habit of promoting people who try to overthrow the firm, culminating in handing CEOship to archrival Angel ("You've earned it").