Danger from Above - Part 9 (Conclusion)
- For several hours before they finally reached Earth, Green Lantern had
not been feeling well. He had pain in his joints, and was
experiencing chills and excessive sweating. Ted used the Ring to
contact Dr. McNider and Dr. Fate, and when the two wandering heroes
reached the JSA brownstone, they were immediately rushed to the
After an hour, McNider summuarized their findings. "Alan has been
infected by some kind of genetically-engineered bacteria, which
produces a secretion that resembles wood. His Ring won't respond to a
being of `wood'. His body's natural immune defenses have finally
figured out how to attack this bacteria, and what he is feeling now is
a result of his body fighting off this previously-unknown infection.
It turns out that this bacteria is also vulnerable to penicillin, so
we've been able to speed up Alan's healing process. He should be
fully recovered and back to normal within 24 hours and able to use
his Power Ring."
Alan smiled weakly, and the heroic physicians turned their attention
to Starman. A short time later, Dr. McNider once again reported.
"Ted, you've also been infected. But not by bacteria, or viruses, or
anything else that is even living. Instead, in your bloodstream and
every cell of your body there are thousands of these." He pointed to
a monitor that was connected to a powerful microscope. The display
showed a gray object, shaped like a skinny football. It is something
totally unknown to medical science."
Ted set to work with some extremely sensitive instruments, many of
them of his own design. And after another hour or so, he also had
results to announce.
"They are dual purpose nanobots, sub-microscopic robots, made out of
an incredibly tough chemically inert ceramic material. They are
self-replicating, and their primary function is to absorb energy. And
not just any kind of energy, but the same kind of energy used to power
the Cosmic Rod."
"I don't get it, Ted" said Dr. McNider. "Does the Cosmic Rod draw its
power from you?"
"No, it utilizes zero point energy which it draws from the
environment. However, there are small amounts of energy in your body,
and when I grip the Cosmic Rod (or Alan does), these traces of energy
actually `activate' the Rod. With the nanobots totally scouring that
energy from my body, the Rod remains inactive in my grip."
He grimaced at his next words. "I can't find any way to get rid of
them. They are non-magnetic, non-conducting, ignore electromagnetic
pulses, and are totally resistant to any chemicals I use on them
especially anything that wouldn't kill me." He was angry and
frustrated to have found the cause of his problems but to be unable to
find a solution. "I'm a scientist, not a magician!"
"But I am" Dr. Fate said. "These `nanobots' are not naturally a part
of your body. A simple spell of dissimilarity should do to isolate
them, and then I can use the Amulet of Anubis to destroy them." Ted
looked uncomfortable. "I assure you, my friend, that you will never
feel a thing!"
"It doesn't matter, anyway, Dr. Fate!" Ted spoke up. "I'd do just
about anything to be able to use the Cosmic Rod again. Even depend on
a magic spell." He looked at Alan and continued, apologetically.
"The Power Ring is more powerful, and the variety of effects you can
produce is much greater. But" he sounded apologetic "I'm not
comfortable with a weapon that can run out of power, and there's no
way I want to deal with a vulnerability to wood!"
Alan nodded, smiling in spite of his fever. "I understand. I really
like knowing that I'm never going to run out of power with the Cosmic
Rod, and I don't have to concentrate on an existing manifestation to
keep it going, but having to work out a mental `computer program' for
every effect I want is way too much for me!"
Fate cast a spell on Ted, using arcane gestures and speaking in an
ancient language now used solely by sorcerers. As promised, Ted felt
nothing. Then the Amulet of Anubis on Fate's chest pulsed, and
emitted a ray of pale light. The ray itself was a color that no one
could ever describe no single color or combination of colors from
the spectrum was even similar. This impossible beam bathed Ted from
head to toe, and pulsed, and seemed to cling to his skin and then sink
in, and then it vanished.
Ted jerked, startled. "Sorry, Doc I did feel that, a little bit.
Right at the end, there was an instant sensation of heat great heat
and then it was gone."
"That was the nanobots being magically incinerated. I apologize for
the momentary discomfort."
"Not a problem, Dr. Fate. Watch this!" He pointed at the Cosmic Rod,
where Alan had set it on a table and the Rod leaped into the air and
floated directly into his hand. "Starman is BACK! And Green Lantern
will be back shortly!"
The final order of business was 2 the remaining stealth asteroids.
The Lawman of Mars had used his telepathy to find the deactivation
codes and the orbital parameters. The asteroids were in orbits such
that they would impact in a month, and then another month. The radio
signal to deactivate the exploding kryptonite traps had already been
sent, so Superman or Power Girl could deflect them at their leisure.
And that wraps up the case of Cosmic Lantern and Green Star.
- Do you have Comic Book Reader on your computer, and how large of a file can you receive in your email?
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]