Sunday, April 18, 2010

Volcano Rally

Being a super villain is tough work. Coming up with new diabolical plans is arguably the hardest part of the job. So, just like more socially accepted scientists, we sometimes look to nature for our inspiration. If you’ve ever found yourself in an area where giant mushrooms are overgrowing a city, or giant ants are storming through destroying everything, you can bet the man behind it all was sitting in his garden for hours trying to come up with a good idea.

What if I just made it really big and pissed it off?

So, while I’ve been sitting around recovering from my burns, I came across a news story that reminded me of one of my own attempts at using the natural world as a tool.

As you’ve likely heard, an Icelandic volcano has been spewing so much ash into the air over Europe that all flights stopped. Nothing incredibly dangerous to most people on the ground, but enough to completely ruin many people’s day. Repeatedly.

What you likely haven’t heard, is that I once experimented in an attempt to create my own volcanic disaster.

Sure, it isn’t the newest evil idea. Most villains have tried it at some point or another. It’s practically guidelined in the villain’s handbook, even. Drill a hole till you hit magma, drop high explosives into the hole, hey presto: instant volcano.

The drilling was surprisingly the easiest part of the operation. All I needed to do was put together an army of my patented digbots, and program them to drill straight down. They got through the thirty or so miles in about seventeen months (they aren’t the fastest diggers), and unfortunately melted when they finally hit magma.

R.I.P. Digbot. Bested by its arch nemesis: 1300 degree magma.

Now I had a hole in my lab, leading straight down into molten Earth, but no explosives strong enough to set off a volcanic reaction.

“But Professor!” I hear you saying, “You’re a scientist and a super villain! Can’t you just use your black market connections or make your own?”

Well, the black market is all well and good if you need some big booms, but getting anything near the power I needed was WAY out of my price range. As for making my own, explosives are relatively easy to make, but most household chemical reactions just aren’t strong enough for what I needed.

I had a solution, though. If one big reaction is out of the question, thousands of smaller ones might still do the trick. Unfortunately, with my resources, there was only one high explosive I could make/steal within my budget and abilities.

Pictured: high explosive

Seems humiliating, doesn’t it? Well imagine thousands upon thousands of those bottles dropped into the lava all sealed up and waiting to explode. Think you can outrun a carbonated volcano? I doubt it.

At least, that was the plan.

Somehow, some local heroes got wind of what I was doing and rushed into my lab while it was still filled to the ceiling with the raw ingredients. A few ill-placed strikes from them and suddenly the explosion I had worked so hard to set up was set off above ground.

In my lab.

Where I was napping.

I hate heroes.

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