JLA: The Martian Chronicles 8
- Captain Comet had made a brief stop at the small community of Midwest City. He had felt a strange overwhelming nostalgia for the place he lived during the early 1950's and something had compelled him to return there before joining Nubia and J'Onn on their own mission. He knew the speed of the Cometeer would enable him to join them easily enough.
He wore a simple dark suit and smiled pleasantly as he met various passersby.
"The folks here are okay now but they all lived through a rather sinister plan by my old enemies the Plasmen. I can't believe those inhuman fiends took over ever citizen and kept them in an ageless stasis for decades in an effort to strike at me! I didn't even return to Earth until long after their plan was put into motion! I suppose the important thing is that all of the locals are free and haven't aged since the fifties! That weird plot enabled them to acquire a new lease on life and it also provided me a chance to reunite with my cousin Zinda! I wish I had time to see her but at least we managed to chat before I got here!"
The brown haired man took one final walk down Main Street as if he was memorizing every detail of the quaint town. He sighed as he recalled his first stop an hour earlier. Visiting the graves of my parents and of Professor Zackro didn't give me the sense of peace I usually associate with paying my respects to them. I have not really felt very well since the Marshall passed those memories on to me. Surely my mutant metabolism would have shaken off any alien virus I might have picked up on Kronis?"
He left the town and found his rocket where he had concealed it within an old barn.
Moments later he had soared over the community and made his way toward Utah where he had pledged to meet Wonder Woman and the Martian Manhunter.
He guided his rocket skillfully down to where Nubia and J'Onn stood waiting beside the salt flats.
"Well met, Adam!" cried Nubia as he landed the ship on the deserted and barren plains and emerged to join the heroes.
Captain Comet smiled in return and said, "I hope I didn't keep you two waiting too long. I had some personal business to take care of first!"
J'Onn said, "We understand. We each did the same! I know you realize that you do not need to join us on what may be a perilous mission but we appreciate your valor as always."
Comet said, "Like I said, I sort of started this whole thing!"
J'Onn smiled and said, "Thank you! If you will excuse the colloquialism, our ride is here!"
He gestured beyond the clear field to where a ghostly outline of a strange structure was slowly materializing!
"Great Guns! Even though you told me about the shifting city seeing is believing!" he said.
Nubia cried, "Great Hera! It reminds me of my own lost land!"
She referred to her home island which had the capability of moving through dimensional space and time. It was lost to her now but she had made peace with the loss since she knew her subjects would one day have a bright civilization and a brave champion.
The weird building loomed overhead and became completely solid. The large windows were devoid of glass but in some ways the old structure looked like a forgotten or neglected old church.
J'Onn said, "Nubia has had more than her share of experience of late with geography that moves of its own accord but her experiences with Marzal were perfect preparation for this unique place! In brief this building originated on new Mars when that planet was known as Vonn. The original inhabitants fled the planet when invaders known as the Thythen came! The natives literally shifted all matter into what we might call radio waves and transmitted their home and populace to another world. One old building was caught in a distortion field and since that time has annually shifted between Vonn and Earth among other destinations! Superman once found himself transported to Vonn by entering that building!"
They entered the gaping doorway and waited as the building's brief time on Earth drew to a close.
"The JLA made certain the area was secured by the authorities in order to prevent homeless people from trying to sleep in the building and then awakening on another planet! I called them and cleared our planned visit before we arrived!" said J'Onn as he gestured to a small guard station located along the horizon.
The building faded from view and in seconds the trio found themselves on the planet now called New Mars!
"My people avoid the area where the building rests. It has certain associations that your people might refer to as ghost stories. That is why it is a perfect means of a quick and unobserved means of reaching New Mars from Earth! Superman, myself, and only one other person knew of its properties!" he said.
Nubia stared out at a lovely sky dominated by twin moons.
"New Mars has a stark beauty all its own! I think your people made a wise choice in settling here!" she said.
J'Onn took her hand and said, "We worked very hard for years to use the natural resources found here and our own Martian science to cultivate a more habitable environment. It is not the Mars I knew but it will suffice!"
He added, "We should be able to slip into the nearest settlement after dark and I may learn if the remnants of the Brotherhood are active as we suspect!"
Nubia frowned as she pointed toward the seemingly deserted desert!
"I fear our arrival was not as secret as we might have wished! We are under attack!"
She pointed to several hulking shapes that slowly lumbered into view and began to march toward the building.
"Bio- Bots! I thought those monstrosities had been destroyed but clearly I was wrong!" said J'Onn!
--- On Tue, 6/7/11, libbyblawrence <lawrenceliberty@...> wrote:
From: libbyblawrence <lawrenceliberty@...>
Subject: [Earth-1 After the Crisis] JLA: The Martian Chronicles 14
Date: Tuesday, June 7, 2011, 7:34 PM
A few days later a solemn assembly stood by a grave on the desolate shores of Vumania Island the former HQ of the Forgotten Heroes. While several Justice Leaguers had attended the earlier funeral, now there were only a few mourners remaining.
A pretty woman with platinum blonde hair looked at the grave and then glanced over at Captain Comet who seemed to be praying.
He looked up and said, "I don't have any grudge against him. He did a lot of good and he certainly changed from the ruthless agent he was intended to be. I suppose you could call him my greatest success story as far as reforming a villain is concerned! Not that I ever did that. That was all him."
Dolphin said, "Adam, I suppose technically I knew him better than I know you since he was the Captain Comet I spent all that time with but since his actions and his reactions were basically taken from what your mind imprinted upon his, I think I can say I know you pretty well too!"
She continued, "Everything he did came from you. Is that any comfort at all?"
He shrugged and said, "Yes. I can't say that I would have done all of the things people tell me he did. I know that he earned this resting place on the island where you all had your team. We may never know his real name but I suppose that makes him a truly forgotten hero!"
Dolphin said, "What are you going to do now?'
Captain Comet smiled and said, "I'm going back into space! That's where I've always felt the most at home. I need to visit Willow and her son. They don't know me but they need to know what happened to the man they loved. Then, I'm exploring space and helping people in need like I've always done!"
Dolphin leaned over and kissed him on the cheek.
"I'm going to miss you!" she said as her gaze drifted slightly from the man to the grave.
J'Onn J'Onzz and his brother T'Omm were sitting across from one another on the Martian ship T'Omm had brought to Earth.
T'Omm said, "You know this whole thing started because I wanted to be just like you! I know I followed you around all the time when we were growing up. That's how I came to see you at a Brotherhood meeting. I followed you and learned all about the group. I never told you because I felt like it was your secret to keep!"
J'Onn smiled ruefully and said, "Keeping secrets was wrong. I made that mistake! There's a certain irony in the fact that most of this whole plot would not have been revealed to us if the Marshall hadn't brought it all out in the open. He did more good with that one spiteful act than he ever did before! I did more harm by keeping quiet than I ever imagined was possible!"
T'Omm said, "You did the best you could. You always have! You inspired me to go undercover and infiltrate the group although you didn't realize you had done so. It happened when you returned to New Mars after our people had settled there following Commander Blanx's destructive use of the Blue Flame!"
J'Onn said, "I remember that after helping you, our parents, and little Zook get settled, all I seemed to experience was one betrayal after another. Bel Juz turned against me and our entire race. She had pretended to love me but she had always been after power. My mentor R'Es Eda had led me to the Brotherhood but he also tried to manipulate our people into making an assault on a peaceful city on New Mars. Even my reunion with JLA friends like the Hawks was tainted with suspicion because R'Es had managed to frame my earth friends for a crime. Superman and I came to blows because he would not initially listen to my warning about Mongul and one of his schemes for power. I even found myself under post hypnotic influence dating back to one of my first cases with the JLA. I found love with J'En but then she sided with the Marshall when he invaded Earth! I realized I could not trust anyone except for my family!"
T'Omm said, "I remember. I decided to do something about that. I assumed various roles like that of the yellow hued criminal Br'tt. I did it to find out once and for all exactly who could be trusted among our small group of survivors. I had to allow you and our folks to think I was just rambling across the galaxy."
J'Onn said, "And yet you were risking your life for us all! You're a real hero!"
T'Omm said, "I learned about the schemes of the Brotherhood and I rose within their ranks. I managed to turn a few members to my side and they remained loyal to me. I've spent years undercover and I am tired of all the lies as well!"
J'Onn said, "You told Zook I would be coming to New Mars didn't you? He seemed to know about you and some secret!"
T'Omm laughed and said, "He became my partner in some ways. He was thrilled to help! Of course, not even Zook knew the entire story!"
J'Onn led his brother to the viewport and looked out at the stars.
"T'Omm, how did you stop those united minds? I saw blue light around your body!" he asked.
T'Omm J'Onzz said, "I have mysterious powers. I don't understand them completely myself. When Blanx allowed the Blue Flame to engulf Mars, I was there! I tried to stop him but I only fell into the flame itself! I felt no pain. I just staggered out of its inferno seemingly unharmed. It spoke to me in my mind. It said I was worthy to be its champion! I thought I was delirious!"
J'Onn said, "And yet you had no powers when I fought Blanx!"
T'Omm nodded and said, "They only flared up months later. I almost decided to call myself the Blue Flame but that name has such horrific associations for our people that I merely kept my powers a secret!
You are the only person who knows about them!"
J'Onn said, "You are a hero yourself! We all owe you a great debt!"
T'Omm shook his head. "I was just following your lead. I'm always going to be looking up to you. There's only one Martian Manhunter!"
Nubia emerged from the next chamber and said, "I hope I'm not interrupting but we are nearing New Mars."
T'Omm said, "I better guide us in. I want to alert the folks that we're coming!"
As he walked out of the room, Nubia moved into J'Onn's embrace.
"You are pensive. I know you feel to blame for some of the things the Brotherhood did but you are no more to blame than I am for the evil deeds of Mars himself!" she said.
J'Onn said, "It is more than that. I feel as though I am finally free of a burden. I feel free to celebrate the fact that my people are on their way to returning to the peace known to us before the rise of men like the Marshall or Commander Blanx! I also feel more strongly than ever before a sense of family since I have seen what kind of man my little brother has become!"
Nubia said, "You have a family of which to be proud!"
J'Onn gracefully dropped to one knee and took her hand.
"I want you to become my family! I want you to be my wife. You already are my lover and friend. I would have that bond be etched in the stars above for all eternity. Nubia, Princess of Paradise Island, would you honor me with your hand in marriage?" he said.
Nubia's eyes widened with surprise and pleasure as she lifted him to his feet and whispered, "Yes! I do love you, J'Onn J'Onzz!"
They kissed as the sleek ship drew closer to New Mars! It would be a time of revelations and celebrations and of reunions and unions! It was happiness well earned by two champions and the people who loved them! It was a happy ending to the darker aspects of the Martian Chronicles and a new beginning for a tale of lovers.
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