Meanwhile, back on Bismoll, Derek Morgna sat calmly while a pretty blonde woman in a pink costume placed her gloved hands against his temples. Saturn Girl concentrated for several moments and then turned her gaze on Sun Boy, Shrinking Violet, and Tenzil Kem.
“I do not detect any memory within Mr. Morgna’s mind that would indicate any contact with the machine used to attack Bismoll,” said the Titanian telepath named Imra Ardeen Ranzz. “I do detect something a bit more alarming. There is a void or a blank place in his memory. Something or someone has deliberately shut off or purged part of his memories. I can faintly detect the signs of a tampering with his mind, but I can’t penetrate the blocked or stolen memory without a much more prolonged session.”
“If something is wrong with Dad’s memory, then it proves something suspicious is going on here,” said Sun Boy. “He’s a victim, not a villain!”
“If Imra can detect the same kind of mental alteration within A.D. Nolan’s mind, we’ll really be on to something!” said Shrinking Violet.
“Salu, I can see where a pattern would emerge should we determine that Nolan’s mind has been tampered with as well, but that in itself does not clear Mr. Morgna of the charges!” said Saturn Girl.
“No, it does not, but I will use my influence to buy us some time,” said Tenzil, the former Legionnaire known as Matter-Eater Lad. “This evidence is enough to convince me to request permission to withdraw any formal charges until we learn more.”
“Thanks, Tenzil,” said Sun Boy. “I’m sorry about the way I’ve been acting. I guess I was wrong to blame you for just doing your duty. After all, you were drafted into political service in the first place. You might not have even left the team, had that not occurred!”
Tenzil smiled and said, “Thank you, Dirk. I know this has been hard on your family. I hated to be the one to bring all this down on your doorstep, so to speak, but I have to admit that I do love political life most of the time. I’m happy as a senator.”
“I’d suggest Saturn Girl remain here and continue her efforts to get through the walls or holes in your father’s memory,” said Shrinking Violet. “You and I can check out Mr. Nolan back on Earth.”
“That’s a good idea,” said Sun Boy. “Say, Tenzil, how about it? Once a Legionnaire, always a Legionnaire, right?”
“Right!” said Tenzil. “I’m glad to hear you say that! I’ll clear things with the senate.”
“Don’t get discouraged, Dad,” said Sun Boy. “We’ll clear your name!”
“Good luck to you all,” said Derek Morgna. “I can’t say I like the idea of anyone messing about in my mind, but at least Imra, here, is a treat to look at!”
Saturn Girl ignored his remark as she sat down across from the industrialist while his lawyer M’Beal urged her to resume her mental probe.
Later, back on Earth, the other group of Legionnaires had returned from their mission of mercy to Zoon. While Star Boy had joined other members on a separate mission, most of the team who had rescued the Zoonians were still in Legion Headquarters.
As Ultra Boy, alias Jo Nah of Rimbor, ambled into the room, he greeted Element Lad, Timber Wolf, Andromeda and Mon-El. “Great Bird of the Galaxy! You guys look like you just lost your last credit! What’s wrong?”
“Sorry, pal,” said Mon-El. “It’s the imminent destruction of Zoon. Even with the evacuation a success, we’re all a bit down about the way those folks are going to lose their homes!”
Ultra Boy nodded and said, “I come from a rather rough and tumble environment on Rimbor, but my folks have always been there for me. I’d hate to imagine the loss of our old home, so I can sympathize with the Zoonians!” Jo Nah turned and asked, “Where’s Brainy? I know that even losing to a force of nature irks him!”
“He’s been in his multi-lab ever since we returned from Zoon,” said Andromeda.
“Yeah,” said Timber Wolf. “He wants to put together some calculations he was working out on the way home. I think he wants to try to do something useful with the energy Zoon’s three suns will emit when they go nova.”
At that moment, Sun Boy, Shrinking Violet, and Tenzil Kem — now dressed in his old Matter-Eater Lad costume — entered and received a warm welcome from the others, even as they were quickly briefed on the situation. Computo’s records had already revealed the general location of the two Legionnaires to the others, so they were not surprised to see them turn up. However, Tenzil Kem was an unexpected sight to many.
“We just got back from questioning A.D. Nolan about his own involvement in the raids on Bismoll,” said Sun Boy. “He denied knowing anything, but a Titanian Science Police officer found the same kind of mental blind spot in his memories that Imra detected in Dad’s mind!”
“Dirk, I think something bigger is going on here!” said Shrinking Violet.
“The Zoon system is getting ready to go nova!” said Andromeda.
“Great galaxies!” said Matter-Eater Lad. “This makes my problems on Bismoll seem like small potatoes! I know I have duties to the senate, but if you can all use a rusty Legionnaire, I’m ready for the job!”
Mon-El slapped him on the back and said, “Welcome back, Tenzil. We can use all the help we can get, even if it is just temporary!”
At that moment, Element Lad turned from a console to face the others. “We can use it right now!” he said. “There’s some kind of raid going down at Brande’s Asteroid!”
Meanwhile, Brainiac 5 was busy in his multi-lab, where the young genius had rapidly put his plan into operation. He stood over a small projector-like device.
“My calculations indicate that opening a portal into the Phantom Zone moments before the possible eruption of solar energy from Zoon’s tri-stellar system would allow us to safely contain the power released from such an accident,” he said, dictating the commentary on his notes. “In the future, through use of a carefully modified version of the original Zone projector, I could channel small portions of that energy to more useful endeavors. Should that fail, another viable alternative would be to channel the energy into the time-steam itself, where it would not harm any era. I hesitate to attempt such a project, since so much about time travel is subject to the influence of certain malevolent beings like the Time Trapper. I doubt we have truly seen the last of him. I also have my doubts about the validity of the revelation of his true identity as an altered Dynamo Boy, but I digress.”
Brainiac 5 nodded in approval as a squad of servo-droids moved a heavy machine around the chamber. “By making use of a variation of our own teleportation technology, Computo should be able to shunt my containment portal into place at the appropriate time. That will free me to pursue certain other challenges.” He gazed at a holographic display of mathematical calculations and rapidly changed certain figures before looking at them with an introspective manner.
Before he could resume his work, Computo’s holographic display projected the image of red beings swarming across R.J. Brande’s private planetoid near Mercury.
“Fascinating! In spite of certain differences in physiology, those creatures appear to be related to the Starburst Bandits we’ve battled before!” he said as he raced toward the door of the multi-lab. (*)
[(*) Editor’s note: See “Postscript to Holocaust,” Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #252 (June, 1979).]
Meanwhile, on Bismoll, Saturn Girl had made a disturbing discovery. “Deena, I can only report what my own experience suggests to me, but I feel confident in telling you that Mr. Morgna has not only been the victim of a type of localized amnesia, but the origin of it was in no way due to scientific means,” she said. “My studies at the Mind Institute enable me to confirm that. My time as a Legionnaire enables me to suggest the alternative source of his memory loss!”
As Deena Coe listened, Imra Ranzz continued. “Mr. Morgna has no memory of ever encountering the materials used to make the machine used against Bismoll by the raiders,” she said. “The memory block comes from a magical attack upon his mind!”
“That is absurd!” said Deena. “Bismollians view magic with contempt. Hasn’t the universe evolved to a point in which such myths may be discounted? You are both a grown woman and a mother. Surely you don’t expect me to accept the foolish claim that a wizard put him under a spell!”
“You’re wrong!” said Saturn Girl. “Magic exists, and I would expect your life-partner to confirm that if he were here. Tenzil certainly has encountered it before in battles against Mordru and others! Now, I have no time for your skepticism. I’m going to join your husband and get some answers!”
She flew off, leaving Deena Coe in wide-mouthed astonishment.