Captain Comet’s Rehab Squad: Strange Visitors, Chapter 3: Battleground Australia

by Libbylawrence

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Captain Comet had not been destroyed, but merely transported aboard a huge starship. This command vessel led the aliens from its central communications chamber. A Controller watched as a tiny green creature manned the controls. “Captain Comet is now our prisoner. With the Man of Steel weakened and otherwise occupied in a battle with Despero, Comet is among the most dangerous meta-humans on Earth. His death is assured in the arena,” broadcast the alien as its master watched.

Comet found himself in an arena where doors surrounded him on every side. “You will die for your efforts against us,” blared from a speaker above.

“I reckon I can call out the Comet hombre all on mah own,” drawled a weird space cowboy who walked out with spurs jingling. This was Terra-Man.

“His death shall crown my second Earth landing,” vowed a grim Thanagarian in a pink pterodactyl-like hood. Comet recognized him as Kasta the Thrill-Killer of Thanagar, having read an account in Rick Flag’s files of the Thanagarian’s battle with Superman and Hawkman during the Crisis.

“I beg to differ, Kasta! I may slay him first,” declared a hulking brute dressed oddly like Alan Scott, the Green Lantern of Earth-Two. His blonde hair and red and green costume were colorful, but the ring on his finger was what stood out. This could only be Lord Malvolio of the Green Flame, Comet realized, a villain he had heard about during his space travel but never previously encountered.

“OK, do your worst!” Comet declared to the evil threesome after sizing up his foes.

He ripped Terra-Man’s yellow shirt from his chest and slammed him down. He spun with the shirt wrapped around his fist and caught the shocked Malvolio off guard as the yellow allowed him to burst through the emerald energy shield. Kasta the Thrill-Killer blasted him with weird energy, and he staggered. Terra-Man got up and aimed a six-shooter at him that fired black energy. It stung, and he twisted as an energy link formed between his body and Kasta’s energy. He used it like a rope and pulled the pink-clad Thanagarian directly into Terra-Man. The radiation hit the space cowboy, and he screamed.

Comet flew upward with Malvolio on his trail, laughing madly the whole time. He stopped suddenly and aimed his belt rocket at the man. The yellow energy flared, and Malvolio flinched in pain. His green energy fist surrounded Comet but shielded him from the blasts of Kasta the Thrill-Killer. Got to use them against each other, he thought as the fight raged on.

***

The team assigned by Captain Comet to protect Australia hovered outside the energy-blanketed land mass watched nervously as a young brown-haired man strained to understand the cage that blinked around the land down under.

“Stand back. I’ll see if I can phase into the field to understand it.” Having said that, he converted himself into radio waves in order to better understand the electromagnetic field. His name was Hal Jordan, and as the son of the original Air Wave, he had succeeded his father in his heroic identity.

“The kid’s a wimp. He’ll faint in a minute,” declared a black-and-blue-costumed man.

“Give him a chance,” said the Golden Glider.

A second man sat quietly. Mayflower nudged him and said, “Perk up, luv. You’re being quiet even for a guy called Silent Majority,” she teased.

The next man wore green and watched amused. Hartley, ol’ man, this is more fun than battling the Flash — may he rest in peace, thought the Pied Piper.

Next to him sat a redhead in tight purple outfit. “Plastique is bored, even though you find this entertaining,” she said, referring to herself in the third person.

The Canadian separatist posed seductively, and the Glider smiled in mute recognition. She loves attention. Maybe as much as I do.

Air Wave turned back into solid form and said, “Good news and bad news. I can read the radio-waves — or whatever whatever this alien frequency of energy is. And I can almost match it with my transformation, but it may drain me of all power for a while.”

“Look, Air Wave, if you can breach the field, we’ll do the rest. Don’t worry about the strain,” said Lisa Snart.

He nodded. “I’m guessing that the field alternates between radio waves and pure sound. That where you come in, Piper,” he said to the Pied Piper.

“Have horn, will blow,” the Pied Piper replied, smiling. “Good luck, kid.” He played accordingly on his weird pipes, while Air Wave transformed into sparking energy. He blended with the cage, and as the sound pulsed visibly in red note glyphs, the cage shuddered and dropped. They raced in and assembled on the beach.

“Where’s Air Wave? He never came out,” said Mayflower.

“I bet the kid bought it. He put the suicide into Suicide Squad,” sneered the man in black.

“Shut up,” said an annoyed Piper.

“Now for Plan B,” announced Lisa Snart, unaccustomed to leadership. As the others hid, Lisa stripped down to a bikini. Soon, Khunds marched up and ogled the beauty. “Hello, boys.” She smiled and stretched.

“I could like the Earth cows if they all looked like this treat,” said one Khund.

The other said, “You think we have time for her?”

“Certainly — she only has two companions, and we’ve got our whole squad.” Around her, forty Khunds assembled and ogled Lisa. Her two visible allies were Silent Majority and the man in black. As the Khunds rushed in, Silent Majority split into dozens of duplicates who fought fiercely and without speaking.

The man in black did the exact same thing, to the shock of the now-evenly matched Khunds. “They don’t call me Multiplex for nothin’,” he laughed as he fought the troops.

Glider donned her skates and glided into the fight with ruthless skill. The foliage drooped down to crush several Khunds as Mayflower commanded her babies. “Play now, luvs,” she called with a girlish laugh.

Plastique tossed metal discs that exploded with amazing accuracy. Khunds fell left and right, and the redhead’s smile grew broader. “This is living,” she declared.

Glider leaped upward and executed a perfect split. Her boots sliced out and wounded two Khunds on each side. Her next spin enabled the pretty blonde to trip one and stun the other. “Applause?” she called teasingly.

“You do put on a nice skin show, girlie,” called Multiplex as he led himself into battle.

The Silent Majority fought with quiet dignity. Piper led a line of Khund troops in a caper into the sea. They walked down until they sank. Their stunned bodies bobbed back up, and he grinned. “Must be too soon after they ate.”

Mayflower had her plants wind even deeper into the soil and lock a tank’s grinding gears into immobility. “I guess you aren’t going anywhere,” she declared.

The team looked up in victory as their Khundish foes lay beaten. “I’d say thanks to our two-man armies, we just liberated Australia,” said Golden Glider.

“Not the whole continent, just this city,” corrected Silent Majority.

“Oh, now he decides to talk,” said a winking Lisa Snart as they headed inland to continue their efforts.

As Plastique blew up several squads of aliens, she smiled and stroked her long red hair. Her allies fought bravely too, as Piper sent sound waves cascading into Thanagarians. The Golden Glider skated through the sky as her skates created an icy ramp beneath her shapely legs. She led the Silent Majority troop forward. With Mayflower dancing about, creating plants that menaced every alien trooper, and Multiplex’s own army slamming into the invaders, they soon had captured all of the Australian coastline.

They rested in an alien lab. The floor and walls had odd grids on them, but their occupants had been defeated by the Rehab Squad. As they reclined to catch their breath, the Squad talked informally. “Mayflower, why so glum?” said Lisa Snart.

“I’m thinking about me mum back in England. What’s happened to her — to everyone back there?” said the delicate-featured brunette in the pilgrim costume.

“What of your dad?” asked Lisa.

“I never knew the bloke! Mum says he was a real ne’er-do-well,” said Mayflower.

“I’m sure the others will find the missing land, or…” trailed off Glider.

Piper smiled reassuringly. “Don’t you worry, honey. The heroes of this world have beaten me so often that I just know there’s nothing they can’t do.” She nodded.

Plastique glanced at Silent Majority. She sidled up to the taciturn man and flirted. “You fight well. I admire that in a man.” No response was given, even when she rubbed up against the quiet man. “Don’t you ever talk?” she asked, annoyed.

“Nope,” he said impassively.

At that minute, electric current shot through them room. This Rehab Squad team fell at once. Multiplex laughed as a tiny double crawled back to merge with his main body outside. “The fools! The energy just feeds me but knocks them cold. They never even noticed my mini-me slip off to flip the switch.” He raced off in the night and made good his escape with the Sky Skimmer that had brought them there.

***

Golden Glider woke up a couple of hours later to find herself wearing a slave collar. Her allies were in similar condition. Sadly, she realized their alien captors had reclaimed them, even if Australia had been lost. “Yes, we did lose the landmass after your team defeated our army and ruined our equipment, but we do have you as prisoners!” said an alien mind-reader.

Lisa frowned as she saw her fellows chained and helpless. Oh, Adam! Where are you when we need you most? she wondered.

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