Captain Comet’s Rehab Squad: Suicide Mission, Chapter 1: The Cardialink

by Libbylawrence

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Captain Comet and Colonel Rick Flag were looking over a sheet of photos. “I like the use of Golden Glider, Killer Moth, and Mayflower… but Cheetah?” asked Comet.

“Deborah Domaine is no longer consumed with madness, now that Wonder Woman is dead,” replied Flag. “In fact, the news of her death seemed to settle Cheetah’s mind totally. Her skills will be useful for your team, and your aide Dolphin can help watch your back if she steps out of line.”

“Agreed. I guess all of them are entitled to a second chance,” said Captain Comet. “Any luck contacting the woman called Moonbow?”

“I’ll keep trying. She does seem a perfect choice, too.”

“Let me know when we can start,” said an eager Adam Blake.

As if on cue, Karin Grace reentered the office and shouted, “This is it! There’s a break-in at STAR Labs by a high-tech gang wearing costumes. Your team may make their name on it if you’re quick enough!”

Colonel Flag gave a brief nod and said, “Good luck, Adam.”

Captain Comet had no desire to take the full team out without more training, since he barely knew some of them. “Come on!” he called as he passed the quarters of Dolphin, the Golden Glider, and the mysterious Cheetah.

“Yes, darling. I’m right behind your dreamy bod,” cooed the Golden Glider, whose real name was Lisa Snart. Dolphin frowned and hurried on the posing Lisa.

The Cheetah bounded out and said, “I was born ready, and I’m eager to prove myself.”

Given her unstable personality, Comet considered sending her back and getting Mayflower or Killer Moth, but the latter was in the medical lab for a final check-up, and he really didn’t want to turn both Cheetah and Moth loose at once. “This may be the start of new careers for you all. Just follow Dolphin and me as we lead you.”

The pretty and blond Dolphin wore a brief halter top and light blue hot pants. The former Forgotten Heroes member was the only one he trusted fully. “Don’t worry, Adam,” she said as she opened the door to their Sky Skimmer.

Minutes later, the Cheetah — Debbi Domaine — was almost ready to leap out from the skimmer as the team swept onto the STAR Labs facility. I must prove myself, she thought. I can do good for both the environment and society as a whole if they trust me. Now that my hated foe Wonder Woman is dead, I have nothing but a desire to use my gifts for the betterment of myself and others. All my dark anger is gone with the death of that witch.

Dolphin eased the skimmer to a perfect landing, having been taught well by Comet. She admired him greatly and hoped his plan for these villains to redeem themselves would work. She sighed and awaited his orders.

“Let’s go,” ordered Captain Comet. “The raiders are still here. Pick a target and be careful. Watch out for civilians — their safety is of paramount importance.”

“Don’t worry that gorgeous head of yours, darling,” cooed Lisa Snart, the Golden Glider. “I’ve got your back.”

Dolphin frowned in irritation at her partner’s blatant flirtations but merely herded the others inside. There, amidst the blaring alarms and the workers in lab coats cowering in fear, they saw costumed men with matching nondescript green uniforms racing out with blasters firing.

That technology is advanced, thought Adam Blake as he charged forward.

“Get him!” yelled one of the green-uniformed men.

The gang’s blasters flared, hitting Captain Comet’s chest without harming him or even slowing him down. “Not strong enough, boys. You need to get your money back,” he joked as he made himself the obvious target of the gunmen, deliberately attracting their gunfire.

Lisa Snart glided gracefully to a group of gunmen, traveling on a steady sheet of ice generated by her golden skates. She came to a perfect stop and spun around rapidly, almostly blindingly, then kicked the guns out of the hands of three green-suited gunmen. “And now, a triple axle to your faces,” she laughed. A quick balletic spin sent the men tumbling down, buffeted by the speed and force of the graceful blond’s skillful movements. One moved upward, and she belted him with a swift left. “Not bad. Now where are my adoring fans?”

Meanwhile, Dolphin desperately watched as the STAR Labs staffers ran from the remaining fleeing gunmen. The demure blond charged forward and ripped a gun from one thug with the same power that had enabled her to dwell on the ocean’s floor for years. She slammed him into a wall, and he remained still. “What are they after?” she asked a redheaded scientist.

Dr. Jenet Klyburn replied, “I haven’t been able to tell what storage pod they hit yet. I–” Her scream echoed out as several gunmen raced up and carried her off.

“We’re gonna need you, babe,” said one.

Dolphin tackled the closest gunman and pummeled him quickly and effectively.

Cheetah pounced on three thugs, delighting as their cries rang out. She clawed their uniforms to shreds but managed to hold her temper and refrain from hurting the men –much. She flipped backward and landed a kick that dropped a fourth man. I could get to love this, she thought.

As Debbi smiled, she noticed Klyburn’s struggle and leaped upward, then soared through the air to land exactly on the back of the doctor’s abductor. She brought both fists down on his head, and he fell. She rolled off and helped the grateful Jenet Klyburn up.

“Thank you,” she said.

“No need to thank me. It’s what I do,” said Debbi with a new feeling of accomplishment.

Meanwhile, Captain Comet jumped onto a flying craft that was lifting off with the rest of the gang. He pressed his hands into the metal and gripped it with his considerable might. The craft slowed its rise, and turbos strained to escape the grip of this amazing man. “Got to ground this ship,” he muttered. The others watched as their leader slowly wrestled a technological miracle to defeat at this one hero’s hands and will. He brought down the craft with a final heave, the impact shaking the building. With a final electric groan, the craft moved no more.

“Nicely done! Solid six-point-zeros,” said Lisa.

Dolphin ran up to congratulate Comet as he forced open the ship. “They seem to be all out cold,” he mused.

“Not that one,” said Debbi.

Comet saw Dr. Klyburn ran out and asked her, “Are you OK?”

“Yes, thanks to you. I see no one at STAR was hurt. You saved the day,” she said.

“Dr. Klyburn!” said a panting scientist. “I found out what they wanted. Looks like they slipped off with it. The craft Comet stopped held all of ’em, but one or two slipped out by conventional means with the missing item.”

“What is missing?” asked a determined Captain Comet.

“A device called the Cardialink,” she said.

“I’ve heard of the Cardialink. It was covered in a science journal a few years back. It was designed to stabilize a weak heart in a radical way,” said Captain Comet.

“My heart is weak around you,” cooed the Golden Glider.

Dolphin glared at the flirty blond and asked, “Who invented the device?”

Dr. Klyburn and Comet both answered, “Dr. Alex Atley.” (*)

[(*) Editor’s note: See “The Man Who Was the World,” DC Comics Presents #24 (August, 1980).]

Meanwhile, the Cheetah was prowling nervously around STAR Labs and noticed a young man who was being tested in some manner by some men in lab coats.

“Will Payton is here now, Dr. Klyburn,” said an aide.

“Oh, excuse me,” Dr. Jenet Klyburn said to Captain Comet. “This young man has received odd powers from a ray of some sort from space. I’m working with him. Could you help?”

“I’d be fascinated to look into the matter–” said Comet, “–after I recover the Cardialink. May I have Dr. Atley’s address, please?”

After giving the hero the information, Klyburn resumed her work with the brown-haired young man named Will Payton. “Was that Captain Comet?” he asked.

“Yes, Will. He may be able to help you with your situation,” she said.

“I admire him a lot,” he said. “Him and the noble heroes of the JSA from that other Earth. Ever since I first heard of them, Starman, Doctor Fate, and the other JSA members are even more appealing to me than our world’s JLA. I’d like to use my new gifts like they used theirs.”

Dolphin reluctantly agreed to stay behind at STAR just in case more trouble loomed on the horizon. The pretty platinum blond passed the time talking to Will Payton, the young test subject.

“It’s so odd,” he explained. “I was just hit by the proverbial beam out of the blue. It gave me powers of flight, strength, and energy blasts. There could even be more I haven’t learned about yet. The Doc has been helping me learn if I’m going to blow up or something.”

Dolphin sat on a table top and swung her shapely legs as she listened. “I am also the product of some kind of alien science fair project. I can live underwater and have extra strength and speed.”

“Maybe we have some common UFO ancestors,” he joked.

As she laughed, she considered asking the friendly, altruistic man to join their team. “Let’s stay in touch. I am at this number and extension,” she said, writing quickly.

“I’d like that very much,” answered Will.

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