Captain Ecology and the Cavern of Doom
By Jeff Baker
The Ecolo-Car in hover mode floated over the forest, just high enough for the two men to lower themselves in front of the cave entrance.
“Golly, Captain Ecology,” said the younger man, wearing inconspicuous yellow shorts, a purple shirt and a cape. “Are you sure The Asphyxiator has his hideout in those caves?”
“Positive, Compost Boy!” said the older man, wearing a similar outfit, except with long pants. “And if my sources are correct…”
“And they usually are!” Compost Boy said, grinning.
“…The Asphyxiator is in there, getting ready to launch his scheme for world domination,” Captain Ecology said. “To say nothing of ruining this pristine environment.”
“And really hacking-off the National Park Service,” Compost Boy said. “We’ve been trying to nail the Asphyxiator since he tried to wreck the first Earth Day celebration five years ago. So do we go in there and bust some heads?”
“We sneak in. Through the front,” Captain Ecology said as they stealthily slipped down the ropes and ducked behind the bushes next to the cavern entrance.
The cavern entrance was wide but the ceiling lowered after a few yards and became dark even though it was bright midday outside. Fortunately, Captain Ecology and Compost Boy were able to see in all but the dimmest light.
“You notice something?” Compost Boy whispered. “This is a super villain’s lair but it’s unguarded. No guards, no henchmen, no booby traps.”
“If he’s doing what I think he is he would have thought traps unnecessary and probably couldn’t hire any guards or henchmen.”
Oh, that just reassures me no end, Compost Boy thought.
They turned a corner and found a small door. Holding up a hand, Captain Ecology opened it, leading them into a large, vaulted cavern filled with cabinets, scientific equipment and a nasty-looking machine topped with what looked like four tubas pointing upward. Standing beside it, wearing a gas mask and standard black supervillain robes was The Asphyxiator.
“Hold it right there you fiend!” Captain Ecology shouted.
“Too late!” The Asphyxiator cackled. “I have already activated this device, one which shall let me rule the world! And you and your juvenile partner will be its first victims!”
“Hey!” Compost Boy yelled. “I’m twenty-six years old! I just look young!”
The machine was sputtering and shaking. Compost Boy’s eyes began to water. Captain Ecology let out a cough.
“What is that stuff?” Compost Boy said.
“A mixture of methane and other gasses,” Captain Ecology began. The Asphyxiator interrupted.
“All natural ingredients, I assure you! A more intense combination of the same ones found in the human body!”
“Oh, God! I thought this smelled familiar!” Compost Boy said, coughing. “Let’s get out of here and find some air!”
“The Ecco-Domine Serum that enhanced our own abilities unfortunately heightened our sense of smell, so I agree for the time being!” Captain Ecology said. “This way!”
The pair raced back out the door, as Captain Ecology kept talking.
“This cavern is perfectly shaped and positioned for those noxious fumes to be spread to the neighboring towns, then the cities beyond, unless I can remember where I; aha!” He stopped by an incongruous metal door to one side of the caverns corridors, and pulled it open. “Just as I thought!” He walked in and quickly pulled a lever. “Now, we wait outside.”
A few minutes later, The Asphyxiator, coughing and gagging staggered out the main entrance of the cavern into the waiting handcuffs of Captain Ecology and Compost Boy.
“Golly, Captain Ecology!” Compost Boy said. “What did you do?”
“Every supervillian’s secret underground lair is equipped with a functioning ventilation system,” said Captain Ecology. “I spotted the control and turned it off.”
“How did you know that would affect him?” Compost Boy asked. “He was wearing a gas mask!”
“A defective one,” Captain Ecology said. “I recognized the brand right off; they’ve been recalled by the manufacturer.”
Author’s Note: Influenced by a lot of the ecology commercials on T.V. in the 1970’s. I was reading a lot of comic books and I may have dreamed the characters up back then. I forgot about it all until maybe a couple of years ago. I may write up more about these two if I ever have the time!