Captain Comet’s Rehab Squad: In Search Of, Chapter 3: The Secret Origin of Dolphin

by Libbylawrence

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Captain Comet led the others, along with Sam Simeon, into the empty O’Day house. “I understand as detectives, you and Angel must have made plenty of enemies,” he said. “Do you have any idea who would hire the Enforcer and Crazy-Quilt to abduct your pretty partner? Lyla says the Enforcer works purely for hire.”

“Crazy-Quilt was an old foe of Robin’s, I remember,” said Jimmy Olsen. “He must also be working for hire. He has no tie-in with either the Enforcer or the O’Day Agency, as far as I know.”

“I sure hope Angel is OK,” said Sam.

The Cheetah smiled. “I’m sure Valor has saved her by now. She is extremely good.”

“Hope you punks are, too!” said a shrill voice as the Enforcer and Crazy-Quilt broke in, along with another figure.

“Get them!” shouted Captain Comet as he jumped in front of Jimmy to take an energy blast from the Enforcer’s glove.

Golden Glider frowned as she faced her brother, Captain Cold. “Len?! Don’t make me fight you!” she pleaded.

Captain Cold frowned as well. “Lisa, I won’t hurt you, but your boyfriend is going down.” He fired a gun at Captain Comet, and icy streams hit him in the back, but he used the momentum to crash forward into the Enforcer, and spun her metal armored form around to reflect the icy blast back at Captain Cold. The super-villain ducked and cried out, “Man, the hero is good!” Lisa was torn between the man she had come to love and her criminal brother. She couldn’t help one over the other, so she did nothing.

Jimmy and the Cheetah charged Crazy-Quilt, only to run into one another. “I’m over here!” the blind villain crowed. “You just fell for a simple illusion!

Laser blasts ripped across the floor, and Sam snatched Jimmy to safety as he swung across the room. “Thanks,” called Jimmy.

“No sweat,” replied Sam.

The female Enforcer hit Captain Comet hard, but he shrugged it off, heaving her into Captain Cold. The armored woman knocked Len Snart flat, and her heavy suit kept him pinned long enough for Comet to mind-blast the Enforcer as well.

Crazy-Quilt laughed as his swirling light blasts chased the agile Debbie Domaine over the floor. She moved with true feline grace and spun to kick the helmet backward from his head, but it didn’t fall off, since wiring attached it to his head. She smiled and clawed the connection into pieces and kicked him in the mouth. He fell and did not move. “I can’t see!” he cried helplessly.

The Cheetah and Captain Comet barely had time to react, while Golden Glider was actually sobbing softly at her own inner conflict. Jimmy and Sam gasped as well, as the room glowed bright and, as one, all fell choking to the floor except for Comet. “What the–?! Something… happened to our lungs,” he gasped as he fought forward, only to be struck down by a pulse of energy.

“The heroic Captain almost had me, but even he can’t stand up to having his respiratory system altered back and forth in seconds,” laughed a man in a black robe with yellow trim whose nearly bald head left a strange Mohawk-type hairline behind. He left them still and searched the house. “Blast that dead old fool! His daughter has eluded us. Or has she?” The man called Phaeton cackled as shadowy figures working for him carried off all the heroes and his fallen allies as well.

Jimmy Olsen’s signal watch made an ultrasonic zee-zee sound, but Superman was far away and too busy to respond in time to help his fallen chum.

***

Sometime later, Jimmy Olsen, Captain Comet, the Cheetah, and Sam Simeon awoke in a huge domed chamber — on the bottom of the ocean. Oxygen circulated through this one special area in this city of Atlantis.

“I can’t believe it!” said Jimmy. “This was where I wanted to go all along!

“Based on how that fiend in the robe manipulated our breathing with that ray,” explained Captain Comet, “I’d say he was an Atlantean, or at least adept with air and water environmental changes.”

“Where’s Lisa?” asked Debbie Domaine, the Cheetah.

“And Dolphin,” said a worried Sam. “Did this guy get her while looking to grab my Angel?”

Exactly, my simian friend,” said a yellow-and-black-robed Phaeton. “I did send agents to grab Ms. O’Day, since her dead father crossed me once, and I never forget a slight. However, by a wild irony, my stupid goons took Dolphin, who looks like Angel. Now I can only hope the note I sent to her saying ‘I have your partner’ will bring Angel to me.”

***

In a separate room, Lisa Snart woke up to see her brother’s smiling face. “Rise and shine, sleeping beauty,” said Len Snart, the villainous Captain Cold. “This is just like when we were kids. You never woke early.”

“How did I get here?” asked Lisa. “Where are we and the others?”

“This is a suburb, if you will, of Atlantis called New Tritonis, and Phaeton is a native of the place,” said Cold. “He brought your team here as his prisoners, and I talked him into freeing you for me.”

Lisa frowned and thought, I’ve got to help Adam, or do I? Is this the time for me to return to crime?

***

“Somebody had a fight here in the house,” cried an angry Angel O’Day as she paced back and forth in her family home. “Plus, we have a note at the office saying Sam has been kidnapped!”

“Try to stay calm,” said Valor. “We’ll rescue your partner. I can see faint microscopic traces of energy discharges from before, and this note has fingerprints, too. Let me see if we can get more info before heading for Atlantis.”

“Atlantis?” asked a confused Starman.

“Yes,” said Valor. “The note about Sam says he is being held in Atlantis and will die if Angel does not go there within three days.”

Robotgirl spoke up. “I guess the kidnapper knows Angel has contacts with special travel techniques after seeing the team Comet led here, based on what Lyla told us.”

“You stay put, and Will, Angel, and I will try to save everyone,” said the blonde Kandorian to Tina. “I assume this fight ended badly for Adam, since we have not heard from him or Dolphin.”

“How can we survive down there?” asked Angel.

“I have an invention that will let us live underwater for a short time,” said the brilliant Lesla-Lar.

“I hope that short time will be enough for us to save Sam,” whispered Angel.

***

Dolphin had seen Atlantis before and was not at all disconcerted by her prison. But something about her captor made her very uneasy. She knew nothing about this Phaeton, except that he had sent agents to abduct another woman, Angel O’Day, because he hated her father. They had taken Dolphin by mistake simply because she looked like Angel. “Please, you’ve made a mistake,” she said. “Release me, or my friends will arrive, and you will be punished.”

Phaeton laughed. “My pretty, I would be punished in any event, since days ago, I killed over forty citizens of this New Tritonis by using my ray to turn them into air-breathers with no capacity for surviving the ocean depths. I intend to do this again if that fat idiot Vulko does not hand me the seat of power and make me the new king of all Atlantis.”

“But why do you seek this poor girl from above?” asked the platinum blonde.

Why? Because her father talked a wealthy man out of backing my research decades ago!” he said, anger in his voice. “I am originally from the original city of Tritonis, destroyed during the Crisis, and I used my science to make myself a legged air-breather. I lived above and sought financial backing for my research, and I received it until O’Day talked his wealthy friends out of backing me and instead had them support some African explorer named Congo Bill!

Phaeton smiled wickedly as he recalled further events. “I took revenge on O’Day then, but your hero Batman put me in jail for other deeds some years back. (*) I was only freed weeks ago, and at that point I learned that not only had O’Day died, but he had left behind a second daughter. This Angel is his child, and thus I seek her ruin while I take over Atlantis, too.”

[(*) Editor’s note: See “Batman Under the Sea,” Batman #53 (June-July, 1953), an Earth-2 Batman story. In this story, Batman is knocked unconscious while pursuing a gangster and a jewel smuggler named Mr. Phaeton. While hospitalized, he has a dream about being rescued by mermen who explain that Phaeton is one of them and temporarily change Batman into a merman, but he later awakes and realizes it was all a dream, while Mr. Phaeton turns out to be an ordinary human criminal. Apparently, the Earth-2 Batman’s dreamed tapped into a real case of the Earth-1 Batman that happened decades later.]

“You say I am his second daughter?” cried Angel O’Day herself as she, Valor, and Starman crashed into the room.

“How wonderful — a true family reunion!” he cackled, pointing at Dolphin. “Now that you have traced me here in search of your ape friend, I can do the honors of introducing long-lost siblings! Angel O’Day, meet your older lost sister, Angela O’Day.”

“My gosh! Can this be true?” Dolphin said as she gazed at Angel, who did indeed have astonishingly similar features, hair coloring, and body type.

“Yes!” the villainous Phaeton cried. “You see, my first revenge on your father happened decades ago when you, Dolphin — or Angela — were only three years old. I kidnapped you and used my machine to turn you permanently into a water-dweller, then I cast you out to sea, never to be found by the bitterly sorry Mr. O’Day again.”

“He never told me I’d had a sister,” said Angel.

“No. He had given up on ever finding her by then,” he said, laughing. “I had no idea she had survived, either. I was jailed for other actions, and now I have brought you two together at last — to die!

“Not if I can help it,” declared Valor.

***

Elsewhere in New Tritonis, Captain Comet rushed to Jimmy’s side. “Jim, do you still have Potter’s pills? Let us each take one quickly. I sense danger coming rapidly. The air’s being pumped out as we speak.”

Jimmy gulped down a pill, as did Comet, the Cheetah, and Sam Simeon. As the room filled with water, they found to their delight that they could still breathe. “It worked!” cried the Daily Planet reporter as he swam up and led his friends into the ocean beyond through an opening provided by Comet. They made their way into the citadel, where Phaeton held court. “Looks like a fight has started,” said Jimmy.

“There’s Dolphin!” cried Starman as he burst forward to hug his love.

“Oh, Will, I knew you’d come!” she said.

“It does not matter who is here, O’Day sisters, since these allies of mine will delay you long enough for me to ruin Atlantis or rule it!” shouted the fleeing Phaeton.

Six green humanoids rushed in menacingly. “Deep Six!” cried Comet as he recognized the creatures from Harbinger’s files.

Dolphin and Starman scooped up Angel and chased the fleeing Phaeton, while Sam followed after a quick but joyful reunion with his partner, Angel. Valor and Comet stood with Jimmy and Cheetah to face the onrushing green creatures. “Jim, try to find Golden Glider!” called Comet. “I sense her thoughts down that hall!” Jimmy hurried off, ready for action.

Standing firm as the six green monsters together called the Deep Six attacked, Captain Comet caught the first one by the scaly arm and tossed him directly into a second winged one. Valor slammed into two others and sent them crashing down into a coral reef. She fired her heat-vision, and steam boiled the waters around the tough-hided beasts. They roared, and one tossed a whirling blade head at the end of a line. It shattered against Valor’s hastily seized rock shield. She tossed a hunk of reef into the creature and kicked a third in the face.

Captain Comet sensed no thoughts from the monsters but rage and violence. “They make the perfect attack team, but their lack of a leader makes them easy to out-fight,” he telepathically communicated to Valor.

She answered, using super-ventriloquism, “Let’s see how they do in the air!” The blonde sped up and hauled three of the creatures skyward, using a super-speed-formed platform of sea sand solidified by friction to carry them upward. As she burst through into the surface air and sent them even higher and higher, they began to weaken. Her heat-vision did not hurt them, but it did dry out their skin and leave them helpless. “Like fish on the sand,” she mused. “Too bad I have to toss them back.”

The Cheetah had been unable to hurt the beasts, so she just jumped aside and chose to chase after Jimmy. She soon caught up with him as he burst into a room where Golden Glider lay near Captain Cold and the Enforcer. “Lisa!” cried Debbie Domaine. “What’s going on? Come on, we’re out of here!”

Golden Glider jumped between her friend and her angry, gun-ready sibling. “What if Lisa don’t want to play no more?” Captain Cold said threateningly.

The Cheetah snarled and leaped over the bed to bring Cold crashing to the floor. One kick from the agile girl sent his cold gun skittering free. She saw Lisa freeze from indecision and said, “We need you. Come on, you know it’s right.”

Lisa sadly watched Len rub his hand and nodded. “Len, join us? Please?” she pleaded.

“What the heck!” said Cold. “It beats living in this waterlogged dump.”

They ran out to see Jimmy Olsen singlehandedly fighting several Atlantean guards. He used every trick Superman had taught him and amazingly held his own until a figure in blue and green stopped the fight. “Hold up,” said a stout-looking man in his late thirties. “This boy is OK. He’s a pal of Superman’s. I’ve read his articles in the Daily Planet.”

“Thanks,” said Jimmy. “I guess you’re kind of the Atlantean version of the police. I’m Jimmy Olsen, as you guessed. And you are the reason I’m here, believe it or not.”

The man in blue and green smiled. “Really? Let me introduce myself formally, then. I am Danny Dunbar — also called Dynamite.”

The Enforcer started to block the fleeing Golden Glider when she was hit from both sides by the Snart siblings. Lisa dropped one of her dazzling gems, while Len blasted the green-armored felon with frigid rays from his ice gun. She fell, and they raced on as Jimmy brought Dynamite up to speed and Cheetah bounded ahead as they neared Comet and Valor with the Atlantean police.

Captain Comet slugged a Deep Sixer, and he fell to lay near another green creature whom the Captain had already beaten. Valor dropped back to join them when a voice in her head stopped her cold. “Kara! My Karano, wait, you are not her. I sense that now.”

Lesla-Lar spun around to see several mermen from the city approaching. “Jerro?” she muttered as she recognized the handsome young merman from her days watching Supergirl. He had been one of the real Supergirl’s boyfriends, yet Lesla-Lar almost believed the feelings he stirred were her own. “Jerro, you must know that Kara loved you, too. She would want you to take comfort in that memory.”

“Thank you, Lesla. I sense that and much else about you. You almost match Kara mentally in the vibrations you give off to one who is a sensitive.” He smiled at her.

They flew off to catch Phaeton, with whom Dolphin, Angel, and Starman were already struggling. “That ray projector of his is huge! Melt it, Will!” cried Dolphin. Starman grimaced as he focused his energy and released it to shatter the device.

Dolphin and Angel O’Day hurried up to where the maddened Phaeton was waiting in fury as his plans ended in stellar fire. “You two! I’ll see you die for the hate I carry for your father!” he screamed. His ray gun did nothing to either girl, since Dolphin dodged, and Angel had taken one of the pills Valor had made. Dolphin swam to Phaeton and punched him with all her might. He reeled backward and ran dazed into Angel’s path. She spun and kicked him in the head, and he passed out. The two sisters hugged as Sam Simeon and the others drew closer.

Jerro thanked Valor and the team for saving New Tritonis from the mad terrorist. “You would make Supergirl proud,” he said. “You carry her legacy well.” She kissed him, and they parted ways.

Danny Dunbar accepted Jimmy Olsen’s offer to return to the surface, at least for a time, and they departed.

Dolphin smiled warmly as she embraced her newfound sister. “Dolphin is still my trade name, but my friends may call me by my given name now — Angela O’Day,” she said, beaming. “I’m also going back to a modified version of my old costume — blue hot pants and a light blue top. It just seems more like me.” She laughed happily.

“I look forward to getting to know you as well, sis,” said Angel O’Day.

Sam Simeon blinked and smiled as he almost teared up. “Well, I’m a big softy. What can I say?”

The team laughed and left to return to the Meta-Human Rehabilitation Agency, where Captain Cold would face a lengthy interview process with his superiors to determine his team’s fate.

Continued in Showcase: TNT and Dynamite: Explosive Personality

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