When a Villain Retires

Fiction Friday A Volcano Maybe

A volcano lair was trite, the villains told Baron Kaboom as they crowded around the conference table and scarfed down the sandwiches he provided. A modern genius — a progressive genius — uses modern methods. Social engineering. Memes. Preference algorithms. Subtle keywords. That came from Mesmero, the chair of this month’s meeting. He’d know, Baron Kaboom thought. His minions had been infiltrating social media platforms for years. Even The Living Stench had his own troll farm that raked in a million dollars a month.

One by one, the twelve other members of the League for Eternal World Domination explained to him just how far behind the times he was and why he was no longer welcome in their ranks. Baron Kaboom just stood there, a dumpy, middle-aged, bespectacled man in his beloved sky blue laboratory coat. When they were done heaping their derision on him and finally voted to rescind his membership, he nodded his head, turned his back on all he had built over half a century, and left.

They could have the volcano lair, he thought as his escape craft shot toward the clouds. He had bought a cabin in Virginia under his real name, Alfred Kaboomishire, and while there wasn’t room for a robot army there, the view of the mountains was quite lovely. Maybe he’d hollow one of them out one day. Maybe. But not any time soon. He’d take a little while to relax, contemplate what his friends had said, and enjoy his retirement. The future would still be there. He still had plenty of time. And with that, he reckoned it was time for the one last thing he needed to do. With a satisfied smile he pressed a large red button on his armrest and chuckled — the only sound he had made during the entire ordeal. Might as well secure that future now.

Behind him, the top third of the volcano burst into smoke and ash as his finest doomsday device, the Quantum Detangler, spread the molecules of the greatest minds of villainy to assemble in one place in a half-century across ten different dimensions.

I had wondered, not long ago, what happens to comic book villains who have to retire, not because of incarceration or death by hero, but because they’re simply judged to be “past it”. Also, who’d make that decision?  From those musings were born Baron Kaboom and his former comrades at the League for Eternal World Domination.

On a side note, a villain called The Living Stench would probably do well running a troll farm. Or BuzzFeed.

Anyhow, I hope you like the story, even if I don’t think it’s one of my better efforts. Please let me know one way or the other. All your feedback helps. Well, not the feedback made from cut-out letters from a newspaper, speared with feces. Living Stench, I knew that was you!!

Oh! The story came from this prompt. It’s a couple weeks old, but it might just spark a story for you. Why not give it a try?