Lesla Vol-Lar was dreaming about her instructor at the In-Ze Memory Center on Rokyn when a loud thud broke through her slumber. She opened her violet eyes and yawned as she rolled off her gravi-mattress and slipped on a pair of worn but comfortable pink slippers. The only other garment the pretty blonde girl wore was a short pink slumber gown and a necklace depicting the twin stars of Ren-Re and Tar-Lu. Lesla never took off the keepsake, since it was a precious reminder of her late parents.
She sighed and said, “Troilus, if you want out for the night, you should just go through the door-flap!” She pushed her long blonde hair away from her face and looked around for her pet monkey. The mischievous animal was always waking her up in the middle of the night, but she would not trade him for a good night’s sleep.
Lesla entered the living room and screamed as she saw a group of men dressed from head to toe in black uniforms and masks. They were carrying her guardian Yon-Lar, and the older man made no effort to resist as his still form was taken from his home. “Leave him alone!” shouted Lesla.
She ran forward and tackled the nearest of the silent abductors, slamming him to the ground with a swift display of Klurkor. Those lessons in self-defense Uncle Yon scoffed at may save his life! she thought. Whirling around, she kicked out at the approaching form of another of the intruders when she was hit by an energy beam from a drawn blaster. She cried out once, then collapsed to the ground.
The man who shot her said, “I hated to kill a beauty like that, but she fought like a Thanagarian tigracat!”
His allies agreed, and one replied, “It would not do for agents of Nightwing to be routed by a young girl!”
They left the house with the captive Yon-Lar and ignored the cries of Lesla’s pet Troilus as the monkey gibbered from one corner of the house. His mistress lay still with an ugly blaster burn across her torn gown. He crawled over to her and gazed down at her with surprised and frightened eyes, but she made no response to his cries.
Brainiac 5 was in the process of boarding a small spacecraft within Legion of Super-Heroes Headquarters on Earth, when a crash shook the building, and the automated security system as governed by the remarkable sentient computer called Computo instantly projected a holographic display into every room of the complex.
The Legionnaire gazed down at the image as it hovered above his flight ring, then abruptly raced out of the ship and back to the main wing of the building. The young genius had been preparing to depart Earth on personal business when the alarm had changed his plans. No matter how pressing his personal difficulties might be, he would respond to any crisis that threatened his friends before taking care of such matters. He valued his friendships with the other members, and he would willingly risk life and limb to help them.
He flew out to see the scene of battle that was occurring on Weisinger Plaza near the Avenue of Heroes, where statues of the famous youths were proudly displayed. Brainiac 5 saw an alien woman with waist-length white hair, bright red skin, and golden armor that left her legs and arms bare, but covered her torso and hands. She was fighting with a number of his friends, and the battle was decidedly going in her favor.
She darted over Chameleon Boy as he tried to tackle her, and she used his broad back to launch herself into the air, where she aimed and fired a weapon mounted on her wrist. The energy beam shot past the nearest statue and narrowly missed a suddenly visible black youth in a yellow costume.
“Invisible Kid, that cyber-gun is tracking your body heat!” warned Brainiac 5 as he swooped down. “Do not rely upon invisibility as a protection!”
Invisible Kid nodded ruefully as he hurled himself behind a statue of Shadow Lass. “Oui, mon ami,” said Jacques Foccart. “I have deduced as much the hard way!”
Chameleon Boy changed shape, and as a rocky native of the planet Grimm, he charged forward and winced as the woman’s energy beam struck him and began to shatter his exterior covering. “She’s like Tyr — that gun on her arm is deadly!” he said through gritted teeth. Finally, he closed with her and tried to wrestle her down to the pavement, but she brought a knee up into his stomach and kicked free of his grasp. She rolled across the plaza as a wailing sound filled the air, causing Chameleon Boy to grab his ears in pain.
Brainiac 5 fought the pain long enough to enclose her within a force-field generated by his belt. His efforts seemed successful until Invisible Kid cried out a warning. “Brainy, behind you!” he shouted.
Whirling around, Brainiac 5 saw the golden gun floating directly above him. He raised one hand to protect himself, but the gesture was needless, as the hovering gun suddenly crashed to the ground when a growing Shrinking Violet emerged from inside the weapon. She placed one hand on her hip and said, “Funny what a girl can do to that kind of death-ray by just pulling a few wires loose!”
Brainiac 5 nodded in agreement. “Thank you, Violet,” he said. “I almost deserve to have been hit, since I was careless enough to forget that the weapon and its owner may work independently of one another.”
“She’s just like Tyr,” said Chameleon Boy. “She must come from his world of Tyrraz. Remember, that warlord used a cybernetic gun that had a type of sentience as well.”
Shrinking Violet smiled and said, “Well, let’s see if little miss ammo can shoot off her mouth as well as her hand.” She gestured to where the red woman was kneeling inside Brainiac 5’s force-field.
“We will release you if you agree to come quietly,” said Invisible Kid. She nodded in agreement as they led her inside their headquarters.
“It would appear as if she no longer has any desire to fight,” mused Brainiac 5. “A meek surrender is not a characteristic normally associated with the warlike natives of Tyrraz.” He dropped the force-field, and Vi yelped as the Tyrrazian woman suddenly kicked her from behind.
“She’s gone crazy again!” yelled Shrinking Violet as she rolled with the force of the kick and returned to tackle the other woman. They struggled for a few moments, and then Violet shrank down suddenly, allowing her heavier foe to lose her balance and crash forward into the arms of Chameleon Boy.
Reep Daggle had wisely used his Durlan power to change his shape until he now resembled an eight-armed arachnopod. He spread his arms and embraced the fighting-mad woman until finally his now-greater size and weight enabled him to subdue her. “She sure fights like a Tyrrazian!” he replied.
Brainiac 5 frowned as he gazed down at the still-struggling woman. He reached down and gripped one of her ears as he pushed her flowing white hair aside. “Fascinating,” he said as he pointed to a small metallic device that rested within her ear canal like a technological bug.
“I assumed the metallic ornamentation was purely decorative, but in this case I suspect an entirely different and more sinister purpose,” he said. They sedated the Tyrrazian with a tranquilizer from the medi-lab and began to examine her more closely.
Brainiac 5 wore an exotic visor as he stared intently at the woman. Chameleon Boy and Invisible Kid waited nearby. “What’s she doing?” asked Jacques.
Reep smiled at the younger man and said, “Vi is inside her body making her way to where that device is wired in her ear. She’s being traced, in turn, by Brainy via his scan lens.”
Brainiac 5 nodded to himself, then snapped his fingers. “That’s it,” he announced. “She’s detached it precisely as I’d instructed her to do.”
The metal device fell to the floor as Violet emerged and grew to full size. “Sheesh! Remind me to never wear a new dress inside a Tyrrazian! They are not big on personal hygiene!” She shrugged her shoulders and said, “Uh, I sound like Nura, don’t I? Just sedate me and put me out of my misery before I start to look like her, too!”
They laughed, and Chameleon Boy said, “Don’t worry, we won’t let you pick up any bad habits from our resident beauty queen.”
Vi smirked and said, “You have my thanks, kind sir! Now, what about the thing I detached from her? Was it feeding her instructions or making her crazy?”
“A bit of both, in point of fact,” said Brainiac 5. “I think it was broadcasting a type of mental static that drove her to obey certain basic commands like attack or kill.”
“Forgive me for asking the obvious,” began Invisible Kid, “but why would one want to make the already-violent natives of Tyrraz more aggressive? Is that not like taking sleeping pills to Naltor?”
Violet grinned and said, “Perhaps the goal was not to merely increase her rage and violence, but to channel it in a precisely desired direction. In other words, somebody wanted to make her attack us!”
“I believe that to be the case, but no logical foe could reasonably expect even a woman as capable as this warrior to be able to defeat the Legion on her own,” said Brainiac 5. “I can’t imagine any mind that could create such a device in the first place would be that naïve. I can only speculate that her mission was meant to do more than merely harm us.”
“Could she have come to seek our help?” suggested Invisible Kid. “Could that device have failed to dominate her until she reached us?”
Shrinking Violet rolled her eyes and said, “Jacques, I can’t see that kick she gave me as a cry for help!”
“Seriously, though, I think Jacques is right,” said Chameleon Boy. “What if she did not fall under that device’s control until she reached us? She might have wanted our help, but when she tried to talk to us, that device drove her mad.”
“That theory is intriguing, except for one flaw,” said Brainiac 5. “I would imagine the mind that created the rage-generating device would have not allowed such a limitation to exist in his invention. Perhaps he allowed her to come here, since getting her here was always his goal. Once she came here, for good or ill, he activated his device and turned her against us.”
“That kind of cunning would suggest we are being cordially invited to a trap,” said Shrinking Violet.
“Tyr and his whole planet of war-hungry soldiers once turned their world into a mobile weapon,” said Chameleon Boy. “The only way we were able to halt their aggressive invasion of U.P. space was by destroying the engines that allowed them to travel through space. I still marvel at the kind of ambition that would drive a race of people to use their native world as a mobile warship!”
“When we last left Tyrraz, the engines had been destroyed, and the world was stranded outside U.P. space,” said Vi. “In fact, the planet was being governed by a Controller, no less!” (*)
[(*) Editor’s note: See “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished,” Legion of Super-Heroes v2 #19 (February, 1986) and “To Control a World,” Legion of Super-Heroes v2 #20 (March, 1986).]
“I realize the Controllers are an enigmatic race of vast power and unyielding ideals,” said Brainiac 5, “but I do not believe the Controller of Tyrraz has anything to do with this odd situation. That also raises a more disturbing question. What kind of power is capable of defying a Controller?”
“That is one riddle I’d prefer to leave unanswered!” said Chameleon Boy.
Back on Rokyn, the black-clad agents of Nightwing came to attention as their hooded leader came in to inspect their progress. He was taller than most of his followers, and he commanded their respect and, in many cases, their fear. “Nightwing Prime, we have acquired the test subjects as you ordered,” said the squad leader. “They were abducted from their homes, and they do indeed come from a wide cross-section of the populace. The old, the young, male, female, the urbane, and even a few primitives from beyond the limits of Antarctic City have been gathered.”
Nightwing Prime nodded in approval and said, “Excellent. With the recent murder of the Rondor by the Fatal Five’s Dark Man, we could not ask for a better time to strike. (*) The Green Lantern of Rokyn is no threat to us. He is away protecting the other worlds in our system at this time. We will continue to monitor his movements.”
[(*) Editor’s note: See Legion of Super-Heroes: Live Long and Die.]
As the squad leader basked in the approval of the terrorist group’s leader, a sharp command from that grim figure abruptly ended his revelry. “You are certain no member of the House of El survived the earlier purge?” he demanded.
“No, sir! None of them that resided upon Rokyn escaped our forces, and there will be time to destroy those who live elsewhere when you achieve total control of this world!” replied the squad leader.
Nightwing Prime nodded and said, “And that will not be long in coming, if all goes according to plan. My ally will use the data we draw from the captives to make that day dawn all the sooner!” He walked away from his troops and closed the door of his private domain. He removed the black hood to reveal harsh but handsome features. They would have been startlingly familiar to most of the known universe.