Captain Comet’s Rehab Squad: Strange Visitors, Chapter 4: World at War

by Libbylawrence

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Captain Comet was ducking the wild-shooting Terra-Man at that moment. He spun and kicked the space cowboy across the room. He yelled out as Kasta the Thrill-Killer of Thanagar fired his weird energy again. “You fall to me, and I shall feast upon your unworthy liver,” declared the madman.

Lord Malvolio of the Green Flame charged in as well. “Do you believe in miracles? You’ll need one, future man,” he scoffed.

Comet knew the power rings were operated by will power. Using his advanced mind and strong will, he sent a desperate command to the nearby ring on Malvolio’s hand. It flared up and exploded in green flame across the Thrill-Killer. He screamed and shot back energy at Malvolio. “You dare attack me?” Kasta screeched at Malvolio.

Captain Comet let the two duel while he delivered a right hook that knocked Terra-Man out. He saw Malvolio fall and almost begin to shrivel up beneath the mad Thanagarian who feasted on the emerald energy. Comet took a chance by ripping electrical wires from the monitors in the arena and shoving them at Kasta. The yellow energy that sparked knocked him out cold. “I figured that while that emerald ring’s power surged through you, yellow energy could do you more harm than good,” he said.

He ran to the door and charged through troopers like tenpins. He flew into the control center and hit a self-destruct button, then smashed out of the ship and flew down to the ground below. The ship imploded and took several other ships with it in a fiery mass. Comet rested against a building and caught his breath. He was being watched the entire time from space by a small craft that was not a part of the invading fleet.

“Hmm,” murmured a beautiful redheaded woman in warrior garb on a plush bed. “He is dynamic. Perhaps this Captain Comet would be the perfect mate for the Empress of Almaran. He could be the chosen husband of Maxima,” she said wistfully. “If you survive this war, I’ll make you an offer you’ll never regret, you noble warrior,” she said.

***

Dolphin and Starman had not been idle since they witnessed Comet’s apparent destruction. They fought bravely against various alien races, all the while each wondering if this race or that race had been responsible for their unique powers. Dolphin was like a beautiful dervish as she raged against the aliens that had killed her friend. Comet was one of the best men I ever met, she thought.

“Calm down, honey. We don’t know he’s really gone,” said Starman as he punched out a tentacled beast.

Cheetah pounced from one foe to another with reckless abandon. “These monsters care nothing about Earth’s fragile eco-system. How can we stop them before environmental ruin is done?” Debbie Domaine spun like her feline namesake. She fought fiercely, but she did stop to care for the innocent around her. Her beauty was enhanced by her newfound compassion.

As they fought on, they wondered about the team sent to the lost United Kingdom. The newly added Silver Swan was among them. I hope she’s OK, mused Dolphin.

Lesla-Lar was becoming a legend as she tirelessly soared across the country battling the aliens to ever-greater acclaim. Her gorgeous looks enhanced her popularity as a freedom fighter. She was everywhere at once, or so it seemed due to her super-speed.

Captain Comet found his way back to his own team and was joyfully greeted by Dolphin. “Adam! Thank goodness. We thought we had lost you,” she cried as she embraced him.

“Not this time,” he said with a smile. The alien mothership pulsed strangely and drew nearer.

***

On a spacecraft above, the yellow-hued Dominators frowned at the success the heroes were having. “Even if Pariah’s plague is weakening them, they are still winning. Captain Comet has been especially deadly,” said one.

The other smiled oddly. “I have what it takes to kill Captain Comet. It’s in the lab gestating. I call it Project: Armageddon, or simply Doomsday for short.”

The light gray spiked monster called Doomsday slept in a tube awaiting the order from his creators to kill. He would soon face Captain Comet in a fate-filled combat.

***

The Outsiders were in the midst of a battle with the alien invaders in Gotham City. The new Batwoman had taken the missing Batman’s place as she traveled ceaselessly through the city. She and two members of her Secret Six team — Man-Bat and Ragman — were taking the helpless to safety and battling the shock troops.

“Batwoman, these Thanagarians seem so cold and ruthless, it’s hard to believe Hawkman is one of them,” said Man-Bat.

“That’s like saying it’s hard to believe Two-Face and Joker are humans,” the former Batgirl said in a grim mood. She still had her unfinished work with the Secret Six on her mind. Most of the escaped Gotham super-villains were still out there. “There are good and bad members of every race and every species. It’s our misfortune that our job brings us in contact with the bad element more often.”

Halo flew up and used her tractor beam to haul away rubble from a crashed ship. Geo-Force strained as his powers brought down numerous craft, as the gravity he created overwhelmed their engines. Black Lightning dodged a Khund warrior and slammed his energy pulsing fists into the creature’s armor. He glowed brightly and then passed out, and Jeff Pierce ran on to tackle another trooper.

Katana’s blade sliced through alien armor, and her swift kicks downed the creature wearing it. If Looker weren’t busy helping Batman deal with Despero at the moment, she thought to herself, she’d probably have the Hawkmen of Thanagar fighting each other over a chance to shine her boots.

Metamorpho’s snaking arms wrapped up countless foes as they charged into his swelling body. “No rush, I’ll be here all night,” he bragged.

***

In other cities, the amazing Metal Men were forming bridges to lower folks to safety or were pounding it out with their inhuman foes. “Bah! People are bad news no matter what galaxy they come from,” sneered Mercury.

“Oh, that’s not true. Just think of Superman, Batman, and Doc,” cooed Platinum as she spiraled around a raider. Their teammates battled on with the help of lone wolves like the Creeper, Thorn, and ordinary types like Jason Bard and Johnny Peril.

***

In Europe, the Global Guardians drove out the invaders with their unique skills and powerful magic. Doctor Mist, Bushmaster, Little Mermaid, and Olympian, to name but a few, rescued their countrymen and risked all to stop the weird alien technology from encrouching on their homes. “I hope Godiva is OK,” mused Little Mermaid as she thought of her missing British ally.

“She’ll be avenged if they’ve harmed her,” vowed the Wild Huntsman.

***

Over the missing United Kingdom hovered Arisia, Silver Swan, John Stewart, and Katma Tui, as well as the criminals Deadshot and Signalman. “There’s no sign of the land,” declared Silver Swan as the lovely ex-ballerina hovered above the dark sea.

“My ring picks up some faint energy trace,” said John Stewart.

“Can you identify it?” asked his lover, Katma.

“No! But I’m transmitting the info to Harbinger — the Monitor’s girl. She has records that would stagger the Oans, even,” he said.

***

Back in Washington, D.C., Harbinger rubbed her tired eyes. She had been drawing upon the computer info gathered in turn by the late Monitor to coordinate all the defenders of Earth on Comet’s orders. She had done remarkably well, but she was just a young woman and was all too tired.

Harbinger had just received good news when the Martian Manhunter contacted her telepathically. The Justice League of America had defeated the powerful Despero and were joining the battle against the alien invasion forces. That news cheered her up a bit, as had the liberation of Australia, but the mystery of the missing British Isles still weighed on her. She turned to look at her friend, who was obviously in pain.

Pariah’s weakness was eveident as he moaned and groaned. To be even more directly a source of trouble worried him, for they had by now detected his plague and deduced how his very contact would endanger equipment and powers. He stayed alone and worried as Harbinger worked. “I am the source of the equipment failings. I am a true ill omen,” he mused sadly.

Harbinger received John’s signal and announced, “I find a match for the energy patterns over the missing U.K. They are identical to those of the alien computer-being, Brainiac, and his famous shrinking ray. I’d say the aliens used it or a variant to shrink the U.K. and just beam it aboard a craft,” she said excitedly.

***

Signalman scanned the skies for any sign of the aliens and yelled as he detected one. “A ship is directly overhead. It’s cloaked, but I can detect energy signals. A kind of electronic morse code used between ships. Silent and rapid, but not out of the range of a master of signals,” he boasted.

Arisia and her fellow Green Lanterns beamed up a spotlight that brought the cloaked ship into view. It was huge. “That could almost hold the U.K. full-sized,” yelled Deadshot.

Arisia and Silver Swan flew closer and returned. “We could get inside with the suitable distraction,” said Arisia.

“If I had the right ammo, I could hit the inside of that mother and blow her engines up,” vowed the master marksman called Deadshot.

“If we empower you, can you fire accurately?” asked Stewart.

“I never miss,” he said coldly.

“Not what Batman says,” crowed Signalman.

“Hey, at least I have better weapons than flashlight guns,” said an angry Deadshot.

Arisia flew between them and said, “If we power ring up a gun of sufficient power and energy, will you be able to aim it?”

Deadshot said, “No doubt about it.”

“What about those within? The British?” asked Swan.

“Listen, gorgeous, those are the breaks of war,” said Deadshot.

“You sicken me,” said the Swan.

“We can get them out first and restore them, then have you shoot the ship,” declared John Stewart.

Katma frowned. “How do we find them?”

“Signals!” said the red-and-yellow villain of that name. “I know the cities of the U.K. have hundreds of ’em. Traffic lights, train signals, bulletin boards, et cetera. All neon or neon-based, and all detectable by the devices I used to take them over at times.”

“Cool!” said Arisia.

They phased into the craft, and Signalman smiled as they came to a bottled cityscape. “This is the place,” he said.

“Too bad your deaths happened first,” vowed an ugly alien squad leader as they surrounded the heroes.

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