Captain Comet’s Rehab Squad: The Beginning of the End, Chapter 1: Going Rogue

by Libbylawrence

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Lisa Snart enjoyed her new role as model, pin-up girl, and super-heroine, but the long photo shoots were frustrating to the blonde known as the Golden Glider. She also felt more than a bit confused about her feelings for Captain Comet. He had been close to responding to her charms more than once, but so many things kept interrupting them. At different times Karin Grace, Dolphin, and Maxima had all expressed some attraction to Adam Blake, and Lisa resented them for it. She had decided to end all further speculation by declaring her feelings for Comet once and for all. She would demand some time from the Rehab Squad leader, and the world could just wait for him to save it until she was good and ready.

She never got her chance, however, since no sooner had she walked to her car, she was attacked. She spun with her trademark skill and flipped a heavy man in white over her shoulder. She punched him in the head and winced as his helmet protected his face.

“Rory!” she gasped as three more figures charged her. She kicked the leering one with the balding head in the face, and he groaned in pain. However, she was wearing white hot pants and a tank top, and her amazing skates were still in her bag in the car. She could only use her skill and speed, not her normal weapons.

“You?” she gasped as a sudden punch from a colorful figure left her nose bloody. She kneed him and slapped him across the chin. “Loser! You weren’t even a real member,” she began before a blast of ice struck her in the chest, and she passed out in shock.

The motley group’s leader tossed her over his shoulders and carried her off.

“Watch your hands!” snapped one to the man she had kicked in the face.

“Sorry, mate!” he said, removing his hands from her fallen form.

***

The Golden Wasp loved his new life as a beloved city hero. Bludhaven adored him, and criminals feared him. This was something the man behind the gold and black mask found ironic, since he had been in the exact opposite position for much of his life. Cameron Von Cleef was the former Killer Moth, a criminal who had dared to pose as the crime-world’s version of Batman, but he had always lost to the Caped Crusader and even to Batgirl.

Now he was presumed to have died as a hero while serving on the Rehab Squad several months ago. (*) But he knew Batman was very smart, and the Caped Crusader would have known of the new hero in Gotham’s neighboring community of Bludhaven. Perhaps he would even notice fighting styles in common between the noble Golden Wasp and Killer Moth. Still, he had not come here yet. That gave Cameron hope that he could continue his new life unbothered by those pesky Bat-people.

[(*) Editor’s note: See Captain Comet’s Rehab Squad: Suicide Mission, Chapter 6: Mental Domination.]

He enjoyed being the so-called Batman of Bludhaven. He was truly on the up and up, too, acting as hero rather than pulling a scam, although, he admitted to himself, that possibility had been one of his initial motives for donning the gold and black suit.

Cameron Van Cleef was a handsome man with a wealthy background, and he had even fooled Batman into thinking that Cameron was merely a fake name. It was his true name, however, and he did come from a rich family, but his penchant for the ladies had cost him his place in the family. He now lived on the rewards he had been given by grateful people whom he had saved.

He hoped his career as the Golden Wasp would last. But he could not have known that it would soon be threatened.

***

When the Golden Glider did not return to the Meta-Human Rehabilitation Agency after a few days, and her subdermal tracking device never registered, Adam Blake — the man known as Captain Comet — became worried.

“Dolphin, we’ve got to locate Lisa,” he said. “She’s never gone AWOL before.”

The platinum blonde in hot pants said, “I think I know where she’s been. Just look!”

She pointed to the TV, where the screen showed newswoman Bella Shaw reading a story about the recent robberies of jewel stores in the Midwest by none other than the Golden Glider.

The masked blonde in the skimpy yellow costume who shoved cops aside, blinding them with a jewel, was skating on a sheet of manufactured ice that came from her gleaming skates.

“Oh, no!” muttered Comet in dismay.

Grim and worried, Captain Comet ordered his team together immediately. He had believed in Lisa’s genuine reformation, and he still hoped he could save her. Plus, the film made him suspicious. Her body type wasn’t quite right, if his memory was as perfect as usual.

Dolphin and Starman, engaged for several weeks now, were holding hands and stealing glances at each other as their leader spoke before the group.

“We need to find her and get this solved,” said Captain Comet. “I suspect that, whether or not she is behind these thefts, we can still use her normal M.O. to locate the thief. Jewels and precious objects seem to be the main stolen items, and all from the Midwest.”

“Still, other thefts have been occurring, too,” added the stunning Dolphin. “Mainly from STAR Labs and other scientific research centers.”

“True. I wondered about a connection just because of the timing,” Comet replied calmly. “Perhaps we could split up to investigate the crime wave.”

Starman whispered to Dolphin, “Adam is really keeping his feelings in check on this. I thought he had some feelings for Lisa, but he’s being so detached. Poor guy.”

“He can read lips, you know!” warned Dolphin.

Moonbow crouched in a corner. She was more than ready for action, since her college career had ended abruptly, and her love of drama was now filled by the actions of the Rehab Squad. She hoped the Glider had not truly returned to crime, since she knew Comet did care for her.

The Cheetah, perching on a table, said, “Adam, you know it’s a frame-up. She has changed like I have! I’d bet anything upon it.”

Mayflower of England, alias the demure, brown-haired Rachel Green, was silent. She had her doubts about Golden Glider, and she thought the ex-con could have easily gone bad again out of love of attention.

Near Mayflower stood a woman in a pink minidress with blonde hair. Her name was Gilotina, and she was a Female Fury whose very persona was implanted by the now-departed Maxima. She was a killer with the looks of a prom queen and the mannerisms of Donna Reed.

The last member of the team was also from the realm of the New Gods. She wore a simple tunic of silver with matching sandals, and her hair was long and blonde. Her name was Melisande. She was enjoying the action, but she also felt real compassion for all involved. These humans led such brief lives. How could they rise so far so fast or fall to such depths in such a short span of time?

***

Sometime later, Captain Comet sat outside the studio where the Golden Glider had been seen last, according to the schedule he had been aware of. He had an idea that he hoped to try before going out west. The handsome, brown-haired hero adjusted the controls of the device he had brought with him. It glowed dimly and beeped as he carried it through the parking lot.

“Well, that tells me what I wanted to know,” he said as he flew off. “Now to act upon it.”

***

Captain Comet explained his actions to Dolphin and Starman as they soon traveled in the skimmer he used for team transportation. “I suspected Lisa’s criminal brother Len was behind her disappearance,” he said. “The subsequent crime spree didn’t really fool me, since the woman wearing the Golden Glider costume lacked Lisa’s…”

“Curves?” suggested Dolphin.

“Right,” he replied. “I was going to say grace, but I admit the same difference occurred to me. She was bigger. I’d guess from an onlooker’s point of view, it seemed obvious that a blonde in that costume on skates robbing a store would have to be the Golden Glider, but we know her better. She has changed.”

Starman, alias Will Payton, nodded. “So you whipped up that device that registers use of the energy that works Captain Cold’s cold gun, and it shows he was here.”

Captain Comet smiled in acknowledgment. “Now, we know his most likely allies are the Rogues Gallery which the Flash fought. They all use weapons of specific kinds, and my new invention should trace any combination of their devices if used in proximity to one another. In other words, if Heat Wave and Captain Boomerang both use their weapons in one locale, we’ll know about it due to the unique energy signatures of their weapons.”

“Fascinating!” said Dolphin. “But how do you know the type of signatures their weapons use?”

“I made it a point of learning all about the Rogues when I set up the Squad, since I thought it possible that they would either join or oppose us,” he explained.

Will grinned. “You can’t out-think Captain Comet! He is the man of the future!”

Dolphin stroked her platinum blonde hair and hoped her fiancé was right. Adam Blake could not be tricked, but he could be hurt, and she feared that Lisa Snart might just end up hurting him one way or another.

***

In a warehouse elsewhere, the Rogues Gallery had indeed gathered around a captive Golden Glider. She strained against her bonds but was held fast.

“Len, you rat!” she fumed. “How could you kidnap and frame me? Especially with that hulk of a roller-derby queen!”

Kolossal Kate Krasher ripped her own blonde wig off and threw it down in anger. The big brunette wore a snug copy of Golden Glider’s costume. She had been behind the robberies of jewel stores in an effort on Captain Cold’s behalf to trap his sister back into a life of crime.

“Look, Barbie,” said Kate, “I fought the Flash on my skates while you were still a cheerleader in high school!”

Lisa tossed back her head and said, “I bet you were a linebacker in high school!”

“Lise, please!” said Captain Cold. “We’re doing you a favor. We’re in for the biggest caper ever, and you’re a part of it. Nobody will believe you didn’t go bad, so just be friends and help us.”

Captain Boomerang snorted. “That Sheila won’t play nice, and I say we off her!” Len Snart shot him a dirty look.

Rainbow Raider nursed his sore jaw from their fight with the Glider. “I have to agree.”

“Give her a chance,” said Heat Wave. “She’s Len’s baby sister.”

***

Melisande watched Gilotina warily. It amused the blonde that her fellow New God was now so sweet and caring, when beneath the mental implant left by Maxima, the blonde in pink from Apokolips called Gilotina was a killer.

She had stayed at the Meta-Human Rehabilitation Agency with Gilotina, since Rick Flag and Karin Grace were away on leave. She was there when a boom shook the building and several figures raced inside from another dimension.

“The Female Furies!” she gasped as she faced several weird figures.

Gilotina’s eyes widened, too. “Oh, dear! They didn’t even wipe their feet before coming in!”

Melisande saw a vampiric redhead and a child with a hulking shadowy beast at her command. “Bloody Mary, Malice, and Chesire!” she said.

The delicate girl from New Genesis knew her foes had come for Gilotina, and now she had a real fight on her hands. She heard the sultry tones of Bloody Mary even as red rays flashed from the deathly pale woman’s eyes toward her.

You are a fresh flower of New Genesis,” she hissed. “I welcome a chance to drink deeply of your life energies!”

Melisande smiled. “You need one of those Earthly twelve-step programs.” Concentrating, she absorbed the kinetic energy from the energy blast, causing it to quickly fade in front of her. She flew upward as Malice screamed and threw some type of raw power toward her. The fiend looked like a child, but her temper tantrums could maim.

Shoving Gilotina aside, Melisande thought quickly, The big monster is gone! He has to be around somewhere! She tossed herself across the room seconds before he pounced upon her, and she gasped as his claws ripped through her tunic. She tried to drain him of kinetic energy, and his attack slowed until she could easily evade him and dance to safety. She had not been cut, but her costume was now ragged.

Gilotina stared wide-eyed. “Female Furies! I am a Female Fury!” she muttered over and over, as if searching for some mantra.

Malice shrieked. “You made Cheshire move all slow! I’ll blow you apart for that!”

“Tina, help me quickly!” called Melisande.

Gilotina hesitated, then fell as red energy from Bloody Mary struck her from the rear. “Darling, you must return to the fold!” she hissed. “Know yourself once more!”

Melisande darted between them with top speed and smiled in satisfaction as Cheshire bounded directly on top of Bloody Mary, who screamed and vanished beneath the creature’s bulk.

“Fight them!” she pleaded to the blonde. “They are evil! I am your friend — your only friend!”

Gilotina suddenly moved into action, her lethal hands chopping down on Melisande’s shoulder, which went numb. “I am a Female Fury!” she screamed. “You and your team toyed with me! You’ll all die!”

Melisande capered away, even as the energy of Malice’s tantrum shattered the wall behind her. She was buried beneath rubble and did not rise again.

“Ah! We killed the little blonde tramp!” crowed Bloody Mary.

“But we must flee!” insisted Gilotina madly. “Her allies will be back, and I won’t risk losing myself to them again!”

They vanished in another Boom Tube, and a battered Melisande remained lifeless beneath the rubble.

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