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K Quest - Backstory

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  • ddswanson
    I tried to do this once before but got waylaid by another story. So, let s return to Vic Valor and Jim Chisholm as they chase a McGuffin across space... If you
    Message 1 of 24 , Aug 1, 2010
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      I tried to do this once before but got waylaid by another story. So, let's return to Vic Valor and Jim Chisholm as they chase a McGuffin across space...

      If you remember the entire Vic Valor story so far, you can skip this; otherwise it is a high level backstory for the characters in 'K Quest'.

      Dan

      The Super Companions: Background:

      Almost 200,000 years ago, a young Lord of Order named Marnu conceived of an ambitious plan to advance the cause of Order over Chaos in our Galaxy. Marnu took a series of mortal hosts and in these various incarnations he was the driving force behind the creation of a star-spanning organization known as the Galactic Patrol. So successful was the Patrol in the quest for Order that the Lords of Chaos took notice, and several of them joined forces against Marnu and the Patrol. About 100,000 years ago, the forces of Chaos smashed the Galactic Patrol and banished Marnu from the universe.

      Only one Patroller, Iredok Jur Diah, managed to survive, and through a sequence of improbable events over 1000 centuries, his Patrol weapons, the Globe and Glove, which controlled a power known as 'the Glow' came into the possession of an Earthman, Jim Chisholm, in 1986. Jim used these powerful weapons to begin a super heroic career as Strobe (symbolic of 'lights out for the bad guys'). Strobe immediately acquired an arch-enemy, Wotan, a newly created Lord of Chaos. Wotan assumed the responsibilities of the Lord of Chaos named Burr, who moved on to a higher plane. Burr had been part of the group that banished Marnu, so Wotan felt that he was now responsible for completing the destruction of every remainder of the Patrol still existent, including Jim Chisholm and the last Globe and Glove.

      Wotan's curse has destroyed Jim's life; in the year since he came into possession of the Globe and Glove, he has lost his business, his house, his girlfriend, and his parents died in an accident. He was living in a tin can and tar paper shanty when he had a chance encounter with Dr. Fate and Marnu.

      After 100,000 years of imprisonment by the Lords of Chaos, Marnu has finally managed to escape and return to our universe. He is an energy being, and currently inhabits a super powered android body originally created by Ted Knight. In this body, he uses the name Vic Valor, and he is no longer able to utilize the powers he formerly wielded as a Lord of Order. But the android body has a suite of super powers of its own. Vic Valor's personality is a combination of a fictional persona created by Ted Knight in 1949 as a result of a mental breakdown, Ted's memories as of 1949, and Marnu's own mind. Because Marnu was the creator of the Galactic Patrol, he is also a target for Wotan.

      Jim and Valor have decided to team up to find and battle Wotan. They don't know the location of his sanctum, somewhere light years from Earth, and are currently trying to track it down. They are traveling in a rebuilt Galactic Patrol exploration cruiser they have renamed the 'Tiak Avenger' (in the language of the Lords of Order, a tiak is a period of time roughly equivalent to 100,000 years, which to a Lord of Order is a short time).

      On their shakedown trip, the Avenger was drawn through a space warp near the minor planet of Juno in Earth's solar system, and crash-landed on the planet Juneo, which orbits a green star light years away from Earth. There they encountered the last survivor of Lemuria on Earth, a young boy whose scientist parents had launched him into space when the continent of Lemuria sank 100,000 years ago. His rocket had also fallen through the space warp and crashed, leaving him in suspended animation until it was discovered about 15 years ago. During that time, the green radiation from Juneo's star supercharged his body with energy, giving him super powers similar to those of Superman on Earth. In his adopted secret identity of Zarl Vorne, he is now the Juneon super hero Power Boy.

      The green star also energizes plant life with unnatural vitality, and the people of Juneo have waged war against the planet's supercharged jungle vegetation since the sun turned green 100,000 years ago.

      The two heroes have started to wonder at the number of 'coincidental' disasters that all occurred around 100,000 years ago. They already knew that Marnu's imprisonment and the destruction of the Galactic Patrol were related, but now they have discovered that the destruction of Lemuria and the disastrous color change of Juneo's sun happened at about the same time - are these related as well?

      The jungle has overrun the entire planet of Juneo except for a single city, Ralzen's Forge, and every citizen spends nearly his or her entire life dedicated to the war against the voracious plants. Some Galactic Patrol weapons from the Avenger's armory, and a disintegration beam originally invented by Ted Knight, are so effective against the jungle that for the first time in years, the Juneons are able to expand the territory they control, but the jungle will adapt in a few years. Jim (Strobe) remembered that White Kryptonite emits radiation that instantly kills any form of plant life, and if they had some, the Jueons would be able to retake their planet. Unfortunately, the only White Kryptonite he has ever heard of was a single chunk from the universe of Earth 1, brought to Earth 2 by Supergirl. Jim and Valor decide to go to the Rao system, home of the now-destroyed planet of Krypton, to see if they can find any White K.

      With the prospect of finally winning the war against the jungle, the Juneon government begins a space program. A female captain in the nascent program, Jessiat Gazil, is selected to be the captain of Juneon's first space vessel. It will be a couple of years before ship construction is completed, so she asks to go along with the Earth heroes in order to learn, first hand, more about space travel. The Avenger is refitted after her crash landing, using a combination of human, Juneon and Galactic Patrol technology, and her crew of three head out on the ship's second shakedown cruise in 6 weeks.
    • ddswanson
      So when do we finally head for this lost world of Krypton? Jessiat Gazil eagerly asked her new crewmates on the Galactic Patrol cruiser Tiak Avenger. The
      Message 2 of 24 , Aug 1, 2010
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        "So when do we finally head for this lost world of Krypton?" Jessiat Gazil eagerly asked her new crewmates on the Galactic Patrol cruiser Tiak Avenger. The Avenger had recently suffered through a very rough landing on Jessiat's home planet of Juneo, and Jess had eagerly taken part in rebuilding the ship. She had been selected by the nascent Juneon Space Force to become the Captain of the first Juneon spaceship and she was making the best of this opportunity for some 'on the job' training. "We've tested the refits pretty thoroughly." She'd never imagined space travel could possibly be as boring as repeatedly testing every function and feature of the Avenger was turning out to be.

        "I'm satisfied," agreed Vic Valor. Valor, at well over 7' tall, looked like a human giant; in actuality his 'body' was an android which housed the consciousness of Marnu, one of the ancient immortal Lords of Order. The body had started out as a suit of high tech super powered combat armor created by Ted Knight in 1949; Marnu had modified it extensively for his own use. More than 100,000 years ago, in an earlier 'incarnation', Marnu had been the driving force behind the creation of the Galactic Patrol and he had actually personally designed the Tiak Avenger series of cruisers, so long ago.

        "Sure, let's get going. The sooner we find some White Kryptonite, the sooner we can help the Juneons, and then we can get back to looking for Wotan. I'm tired of his constant stream of little 'gifts'!" This from Jim (Strobe) Chisholm, a tall, athletic black man. Jim was about the size of an NFL tight end, but next to Valor he looked small. He was wearing a black glove on his right hand. The Glove was an ancient artifact of the Galactic Patrol, a tool and a weapon that allowed him to release and control the white energy of the Glow. The Glove also enabled him to communicate mentally with the Artificial Intelligence which controlled the Tiak Avenger.

        "Avenger! Set course for the Rao star system." Valor commanded.

        "I'm afraid I can't do that. There is no current record of a star named Rao in the navigational database." the AI responded. "Diagnostics indicate that an unauthorized data erasure program began running in the database two minutes ago. Erasure program cancelled. Further diagnostic indicates that 27.32% of the navigational database has been erased. I am unable to determine the origin of the erasure program." The Tiak Avenger's ancient operating system, now running on a computer modeled on a Gray supercomputer built using highly advanced Juneon technology, had a significant amount of initiative.

        "Damn that Wotan!" Jim swore passionately. "What do we do now?"

        Valor responded. "Back in the World War II era, Ted Knight tried to locate Krypton. He knew approximately how far from Earth it was, and what general direction, and I have that information too. We'll find it." Marnu's consciousness had possessed Ted Knight for a short period in 1949, and he had access to everything Ted had known at that time. He used a projector to display a holographic 3D map of space within 300 light years of Earth. He reached into the hologram, and traced out a region of space with his finger. "Ted believed that Krypton's star was somewhere in this region. Red giants are comparatively rare; we may not find Krypton on our first attempt, but once we are close enough for direct observation, it shouldn't take us long to find it." He gave the computer an order. "Avenger, find a red giant star near the center of the indicated reason and prepare to jump us there." Within seconds, one of the stars in the display began to glow more brightly.

        Before he could order the ship to initiate the hyperjump, Jess spoke up. "Say, in the Galactic Patrol computer library, I found some schematics and instructions for building some of the equipment once used by Patrollers," she commented. "Would you guys mind if I used the machine shop and built some of that stuff? If we're ever in a situation when you guys need to use your super powers, I'd feel more useful if I had access to some of the Patrol weapons and defenses. After all, who knows what other tricks that Wotan fellow is going to try?" The Avenger had a very well equipped machine shop. "Lucky for me most of the machine tools are automated!"

        "Leave some time for training in interstellar navigation and starship piloting." Valor said. "I think it will be useful for both you and Jim." Jim moaned, but he was actually looking forward to it, and it was one of the main reasons Jess was on-board. She turned to Jim.

        "Umm… do you think you can teach me to fight?" she asked hesitantly. "I'm one of the most experienced 'warriors' on my planet, but I've spent my whole life fighting plants. Deadly plants, but plants nonetheless. We don't have any real concept of martial arts on Juneo."

        "My kind of place!" Jim nodded approvingly. "I can teach you aikido, but it's not really about fighting. It's about learning to properly use your 'Ki', meaning the universal life force. But it IS useful if you do happen to get into a fight."

        Working together, the three crewmates set up a daily schedule, and then Valor commanded the Tiak Avenger to head into deep space. For the first time in a thousand centuries (other than some static tests) her mighty hyperdrive engine thundered to life, she vanished from normal space, and they were headed towards their first destination.
      • ddswanson
        The Avenger came out of hyperspace about 20 light minutes from a giant red star. In a few minutes, the Avenger s instruments had discovered several planets
        Message 3 of 24 , Aug 1, 2010
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          The Avenger came out of hyperspace about 20 light minutes from a giant red star. In a few minutes, the Avenger's instruments had discovered several planets with wildly disturbed orbits, including a rocky planet much larger and denser than Earth. Before they could learn much more, they were approached by two small figured flying at high speed. The external viewer showed that they were humanoid, wearing spacesuits. "Looks like a greeting party," Jim commented.

          The Avenger's crew was astonished when a voice sounded in their heads. "Greetings. Please do not be alarmed. I am Captain Karre Orr of the Xenon Science Patrol, speaking to you via telepathy. I am using English, as a quick scan of your minds showed it to be a language we all share. Please adjust your radio to use carrier phase modulation at this frequency" a number came into their minds "so we can communicate via the radio, which will be more comfortable for all of us."

          A few minutes later Valor radioed: " I am Vic Valor, of the independent vessel Tiak Avenger. We are peaceful explorers and would like to trade information with you. How is it that you speak English?"

          Major Orr repliead "We were wondering the same thing about you. 'Avenger' seems to be an unusual name for an exploration vessel. Hold your position until your peaceful intentions can be verified. Please allow me, along with my partner Captain Karys Thal, to board and inspect your ship. We are unarmed. Any attempt to interfere with our inspection of your vessel will be interpreted as an act of war." Her words were officious but her cheerful voice belied the harsh words - she certainly didn't sound like a military captain.

          Valor replied "You are both welcome to board, and we will be happy to assist with the inspection. We are peaceful explorers. Though the Avenger is armed, alk of our weapons are locked. Please use the airlock now indicated by the blue boarding light."

          "These two must be pretty brave, entering an unknown and potentially hostile ship." Jess marveled. "And they were moving fast. I've been practicing with a GP spacesuit, and their propulsion units are nowhere near that fast. These two are like missiles!"

          Jim and Valor looked at each other in alarm as Jess's words registered. The two of them together would have a tough time if they were forced to battle against the weapons on the Avenger, yet these two Xenonians had approached them casually, fearlessly. "I wouldn't be surprised if these two have super powers," Jim warned Jess. "We should check them out, very discreetly, and be ready for anything." Jess nodded, glad that she was wearing a new protective uniform built with GP materials to GP specifications!

          *****

          The Science Patrol officers entered the Avenger and removed their helmets, revealing 2 very attractive, entirely human female faces. Jim spoke first. "I apologize, but telepathy makes us uneasy. I don't want to be inhospitable, but I've activated mind shields around the three of us. I'm Jim Chisholm, the big guy is Vic Valor, commander of the Tiak Avenger, and this is Captain Jessiat Gazil of the Juneon Space Command." Jim and Valor bowed as they were introduced, and Jim was astonished when Jess bowed too - she assumed that a bow was the customary form of greeting for her crewmates, so she went along with it.

          The woman that responded had hair so dark it was almost blue, and Jim and Valor were astonished at how much she resembled Superman.

          "I'm Captain Karre Orr of the Xenonian Science Patrol" the dark haired woman replied formally. "And this is Captain Karys Thal." They both bowed as well, though not as deeply as the visitors had. Captain Thal was shorter than Captain Orr, with a complexion that was often referred to on Earth as 'café au lait'. She had striking long white hair and an expressive face with large deep blue eyes. "No offense taken, Jim Chisholm. Telepathy makes most of my own people uneasy as well." Captain Orr continued.

          They quickly got down to business, and shortly the Avenger's crew was giving a guided tour of the big ship. The 2 Science Patrol officers were very courteous and businesslike, but they closely observed everything they saw, and asked a lot of questions that would have been uncomfortable if the space travelers had been hiding anything. During the tour, the group also had the chance to tell their various stories.

          *****

          "When we got back to Xenon, our 'Kryptonian' powers faded, of course." Karre was saying. "But now that we were no longer invulnerable, the comet gasses we'd metabolized affected each of us, and my father Kell, my brother Larre and I all gained permanent super powers, each different than the other. So that's how I learned English, saved the Earth from Aquarius (with a little help), met Superman, and became a super heroine!" Karre finished her story as they finished the inspection of the Tiak Avenger.* She looked at Karys uncomfortably as she stopped talking.

          *See: <link to earlier story>

          "I got my powers more recently, during an incredibly deadly space storm that totally devastated parts of our planet," Karys added. "An invention of Karre's grandfather, Zoll Orr, saved most of our cities and population, but he and his wife Vana both perished."

          Before the others could commiserate with her, Karre changed the subject from the storm. "Thanks for your cooperation so far," she said in as formal a voice as she could muster. "The weapons on this ship are certainly very impressive, but with a crew of only 3, it seems unlikely that the Avenger is a ship of war. I'm tentatively certifying you as 'friendly'."

          "Well, now that we're friends, why are you folks so jumpy?" Jim asked. "Do you get visitors that you have to certify as 'unfriendly'?"

          "As I said, less than 2 years ago, some kind of incredible storm struck Xenon from space," Karys answered. "Our astronomers said it was striking the entire universe, but how could they possibly know that? These shimmering pink curtain things, kind of like an aurora, dropped from the sky, and whatever they touched was destroyed! And when they receded, they sometimes left behind some terrible menace, such as a space dragon from Krypton. My people don't trust the sky any longer!"

          "On Earth, we called that 'pink space storm' the Crisis," Jim told her. "It hit us hard as well, and the people of Earth are still recovering. Our leading scientists also agree that the Crisis struck throughout the universe."

          "There was massive devastation here, and millions died." Karre added sadly. "My grandfather, the great scientist Zoll Orr, came out of retirement to help save the planet. He invented a force field that could protect a city from the storm. The force field requires a tremendous power source, so he invented the Kryptonite-Uranium Reactor too. The first KU Reactor that was built was used to shield Oceanbridge City, where Zoll and his wife lived. He was too busy to help build it himself, and he depended on a team of technicians. They decided that the need was so urgent that they took some shortcuts in the construction to get it finished faster. The reactor worked long enough to prove to everyone that Zoll Orr's shield could resist the storm, but it eventually overloaded and shut down. The pink curtain it had been blocking touched down for no more than a second and half of Oceanbridge City was gone! Zoll and Vara, my grandmother, were in that half." She started sobbing as she reopened the fresh emotional wound. "DAMN those freepin' idiots! After that, all the other reactors were built exactly to Zoll's specifications, and they worked perfectly. Even though we used up all our Kryptonite and most of our uranium, there were no other shield failures!"

          "I'm really sorry to hear about your grandparents". Jess put a soothing arm around the weeping Karre. "I guess we were lucky on Juneo. Our skies turned pink and our weather was extra-violent for a week, but nobody was injured and nothing was destroyed by whatever it was. But I know what it's like to lose grandparents - mine died when the jungle found a way to extend creepers into their turret, whatever the creepers did inside their jungleblaster cannon made it explode."

          "I wondered why no one on Juneo mentioned the Crisis," Jim said, trying to change the topic of the conversation; he was still dealing with the deaths of his own parents. "I was afraid to ask, worried that I might violate some kind of cultural taboo."

          "No. Compared to our everyday battle against the jungle, it was really not a big deal… at least on Juneo." Jess replied.

          "I'm interested in hearing more about the Kryptonian Space Dragon," Valor asked Karre. "How do you know it was from Krypton?"

          It was already evident to the Avenger's crew that Karre was an accomplished story teller who enjoyed having an audience. She cleared her eyes, was silent for a few seconds as she recalled the event, and then started her story.
        • Frank Murdock
          Okay.. thanks for the back story summary. Let s see what you ve given us! /FM ... From: ddswanson To: theJSAallstarstorysite@yahoogroups.com Sent: Sunday,
          Message 4 of 24 , Aug 1, 2010
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            Okay.. thanks for the back story summary. Let's see what you've given us!

            /FM


            ----- Original Message -----
            From: ddswanson
            To: theJSAallstarstorysite@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Sunday, August 01, 2010 8:47 AM
            Subject: [The JSA All-Star Story Site] K Quest - Backstory



            I tried to do this once before but got waylaid by another story. So, let's return to Vic Valor and Jim Chisholm as they chase a McGuffin across space...

            If you remember the entire Vic Valor story so far, you can skip this; otherwise it is a high level backstory for the characters in 'K Quest'.

            Dan

            The Super Companions: Background:

            Almost 200,000 years ago, a young Lord of Order named Marnu conceived of an ambitious plan to advance the cause of Order over Chaos in our Galaxy. Marnu took a series of mortal hosts and in these various incarnations he was the driving force behind the creation of a star-spanning organization known as the Galactic Patrol. So successful was the Patrol in the quest for Order that the Lords of Chaos took notice, and several of them joined forces against Marnu and the Patrol. About 100,000 years ago, the forces of Chaos smashed the Galactic Patrol and banished Marnu from the universe.

            Only one Patroller, Iredok Jur Diah, managed to survive, and through a sequence of improbable events over 1000 centuries, his Patrol weapons, the Globe and Glove, which controlled a power known as 'the Glow' came into the possession of an Earthman, Jim Chisholm, in 1986. Jim used these powerful weapons to begin a super heroic career as Strobe (symbolic of 'lights out for the bad guys'). Strobe immediately acquired an arch-enemy, Wotan, a newly created Lord of Chaos. Wotan assumed the responsibilities of the Lord of Chaos named Burr, who moved on to a higher plane. Burr had been part of the group that banished Marnu, so Wotan felt that he was now responsible for completing the destruction of every remainder of the Patrol still existent, including Jim Chisholm and the last Globe and Glove.

            Wotan's curse has destroyed Jim's life; in the year since he came into possession of the Globe and Glove, he has lost his business, his house, his girlfriend, and his parents died in an accident. He was living in a tin can and tar paper shanty when he had a chance encounter with Dr. Fate and Marnu.

            After 100,000 years of imprisonment by the Lords of Chaos, Marnu has finally managed to escape and return to our universe. He is an energy being, and currently inhabits a super powered android body originally created by Ted Knight. In this body, he uses the name Vic Valor, and he is no longer able to utilize the powers he formerly wielded as a Lord of Order. But the android body has a suite of super powers of its own. Vic Valor's personality is a combination of a fictional persona created by Ted Knight in 1949 as a result of a mental breakdown, Ted's memories as of 1949, and Marnu's own mind. Because Marnu was the creator of the Galactic Patrol, he is also a target for Wotan.

            Jim and Valor have decided to team up to find and battle Wotan. They don't know the location of his sanctum, somewhere light years from Earth, and are currently trying to track it down. They are traveling in a rebuilt Galactic Patrol exploration cruiser they have renamed the 'Tiak Avenger' (in the language of the Lords of Order, a tiak is a period of time roughly equivalent to 100,000 years, which to a Lord of Order is a short time).

            On their shakedown trip, the Avenger was drawn through a space warp near the minor planet of Juno in Earth's solar system, and crash-landed on the planet Juneo, which orbits a green star light years away from Earth. There they encountered the last survivor of Lemuria on Earth, a young boy whose scientist parents had launched him into space when the continent of Lemuria sank 100,000 years ago. His rocket had also fallen through the space warp and crashed, leaving him in suspended animation until it was discovered about 15 years ago. During that time, the green radiation from Juneo's star supercharged his body with energy, giving him super powers similar to those of Superman on Earth. In his adopted secret identity of Zarl Vorne, he is now the Juneon super hero Power Boy.

            The green star also energizes plant life with unnatural vitality, and the people of Juneo have waged war against the planet's supercharged jungle vegetation since the sun turned green 100,000 years ago.

            The two heroes have started to wonder at the number of 'coincidental' disasters that all occurred around 100,000 years ago. They already knew that Marnu's imprisonment and the destruction of the Galactic Patrol were related, but now they have discovered that the destruction of Lemuria and the disastrous color change of Juneo's sun happened at about the same time - are these related as well?

            The jungle has overrun the entire planet of Juneo except for a single city, Ralzen's Forge, and every citizen spends nearly his or her entire life dedicated to the war against the voracious plants. Some Galactic Patrol weapons from the Avenger's armory, and a disintegration beam originally invented by Ted Knight, are so effective against the jungle that for the first time in years, the Juneons are able to expand the territory they control, but the jungle will adapt in a few years. Jim (Strobe) remembered that White Kryptonite emits radiation that instantly kills any form of plant life, and if they had some, the Jueons would be able to retake their planet. Unfortunately, the only White Kryptonite he has ever heard of was a single chunk from the universe of Earth 1, brought to Earth 2 by Supergirl. Jim and Valor decide to go to the Rao system, home of the now-destroyed planet of Krypton, to see if they can find any White K.

            With the prospect of finally winning the war against the jungle, the Juneon government begins a space program. A female captain in the nascent program, Jessiat Gazil, is selected to be the captain of Juneon's first space vessel. It will be a couple of years before ship construction is completed, so she asks to go along with the Earth heroes in order to learn, first hand, more about space travel. The Avenger is refitted after her crash landing, using a combination of human, Juneon and Galactic Patrol technology, and her crew of three head out on the ship's second shakedown cruise in 6 weeks.





            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Frank Murdock
            You wrote: Umm. do you think you can teach me to fight? she asked hesitantly. I m one of the most experienced warriors on my planet, but I ve spent my
            Message 5 of 24 , Aug 1, 2010
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              You wrote: ""Umm. do you think you can teach me to fight?" she asked hesitantly. "I'm one of the most experienced 'warriors' on my planet, but I've spent my whole life fighting plants. Deadly plants, but plants nonetheless. We don't have any real concept of martial arts on Juneo.""

              How does this character know of Martial Arts? Perhaps she should be asking if the heroeshave any form of hand-to-hand combat more advanced than that which she possesses after they spar a bit on a matt?

              Just thinking out loud. :)

              /FM


              ----- Original Message -----
              From: ddswanson
              To: theJSAallstarstorysite@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Sunday, August 01, 2010 8:50 AM
              Subject: [The JSA All-Star Story Site] K Quest - Prologue



              "So when do we finally head for this lost world of Krypton?" Jessiat Gazil eagerly asked her new crewmates on the Galactic Patrol cruiser Tiak Avenger. The Avenger had recently suffered through a very rough landing on Jessiat's home planet of Juneo, and Jess had eagerly taken part in rebuilding the ship. She had been selected by the nascent Juneon Space Force to become the Captain of the first Juneon spaceship and she was making the best of this opportunity for some 'on the job' training. "We've tested the refits pretty thoroughly." She'd never imagined space travel could possibly be as boring as repeatedly testing every function and feature of the Avenger was turning out to be.

              "I'm satisfied," agreed Vic Valor. Valor, at well over 7' tall, looked like a human giant; in actuality his 'body' was an android which housed the consciousness of Marnu, one of the ancient immortal Lords of Order. The body had started out as a suit of high tech super powered combat armor created by Ted Knight in 1949; Marnu had modified it extensively for his own use. More than 100,000 years ago, in an earlier 'incarnation', Marnu had been the driving force behind the creation of the Galactic Patrol and he had actually personally designed the Tiak Avenger series of cruisers, so long ago.

              "Sure, let's get going. The sooner we find some White Kryptonite, the sooner we can help the Juneons, and then we can get back to looking for Wotan. I'm tired of his constant stream of little 'gifts'!" This from Jim (Strobe) Chisholm, a tall, athletic black man. Jim was about the size of an NFL tight end, but next to Valor he looked small. He was wearing a black glove on his right hand. The Glove was an ancient artifact of the Galactic Patrol, a tool and a weapon that allowed him to release and control the white energy of the Glow. The Glove also enabled him to communicate mentally with the Artificial Intelligence which controlled the Tiak Avenger.

              "Avenger! Set course for the Rao star system." Valor commanded.

              "I'm afraid I can't do that. There is no current record of a star named Rao in the navigational database." the AI responded. "Diagnostics indicate that an unauthorized data erasure program began running in the database two minutes ago. Erasure program cancelled. Further diagnostic indicates that 27.32% of the navigational database has been erased. I am unable to determine the origin of the erasure program." The Tiak Avenger's ancient operating system, now running on a computer modeled on a Gray supercomputer built using highly advanced Juneon technology, had a significant amount of initiative.

              "Damn that Wotan!" Jim swore passionately. "What do we do now?"

              Valor responded. "Back in the World War II era, Ted Knight tried to locate Krypton. He knew approximately how far from Earth it was, and what general direction, and I have that information too. We'll find it." Marnu's consciousness had possessed Ted Knight for a short period in 1949, and he had access to everything Ted had known at that time. He used a projector to display a holographic 3D map of space within 300 light years of Earth. He reached into the hologram, and traced out a region of space with his finger. "Ted believed that Krypton's star was somewhere in this region. Red giants are comparatively rare; we may not find Krypton on our first attempt, but once we are close enough for direct observation, it shouldn't take us long to find it." He gave the computer an order. "Avenger, find a red giant star near the center of the indicated reason and prepare to jump us there." Within seconds, one of the stars in the display began to glow more brightly.

              Before he could order the ship to initiate the hyperjump, Jess spoke up. "Say, in the Galactic Patrol computer library, I found some schematics and instructions for building some of the equipment once used by Patrollers," she commented. "Would you guys mind if I used the machine shop and built some of that stuff? If we're ever in a situation when you guys need to use your super powers, I'd feel more useful if I had access to some of the Patrol weapons and defenses. After all, who knows what other tricks that Wotan fellow is going to try?" The Avenger had a very well equipped machine shop. "Lucky for me most of the machine tools are automated!"

              "Leave some time for training in interstellar navigation and starship piloting." Valor said. "I think it will be useful for both you and Jim." Jim moaned, but he was actually looking forward to it, and it was one of the main reasons Jess was on-board. She turned to Jim.

              "Umm. do you think you can teach me to fight?" she asked hesitantly. "I'm one of the most experienced 'warriors' on my planet, but I've spent my whole life fighting plants. Deadly plants, but plants nonetheless. We don't have any real concept of martial arts on Juneo."

              "My kind of place!" Jim nodded approvingly. "I can teach you aikido, but it's not really about fighting. It's about learning to properly use your 'Ki', meaning the universal life force. But it IS useful if you do happen to get into a fight."

              Working together, the three crewmates set up a daily schedule, and then Valor commanded the Tiak Avenger to head into deep space. For the first time in a thousand centuries (other than some static tests) her mighty hyperdrive engine thundered to life, she vanished from normal space, and they were headed towards their first destination.





              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Frank Murdock
              Okay.. the set-up is good. Looking forward to more. /FM ... From: ddswanson To: theJSAallstarstorysite@yahoogroups.com Sent: Sunday, August 01, 2010 9:02 AM
              Message 6 of 24 , Aug 1, 2010
              • 0 Attachment
                Okay.. the set-up is good. Looking forward to more.

                /FM
                ----- Original Message -----
                From: ddswanson
                To: theJSAallstarstorysite@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Sunday, August 01, 2010 9:02 AM
                Subject: [The JSA All-Star Story Site] K Quest - Chapter 1 Destination Xenon



                The Avenger came out of hyperspace about 20 light minutes from a giant red star. In a few minutes, the Avenger's instruments had discovered several planets with wildly disturbed orbits, including a rocky planet much larger and denser than Earth. Before they could learn much more, they were approached by two small figured flying at high speed. The external viewer showed that they were humanoid, wearing spacesuits. "Looks like a greeting party," Jim commented.

                The Avenger's crew was astonished when a voice sounded in their heads. "Greetings. Please do not be alarmed. I am Captain Karre Orr of the Xenon Science Patrol, speaking to you via telepathy. I am using English, as a quick scan of your minds showed it to be a language we all share. Please adjust your radio to use carrier phase modulation at this frequency" a number came into their minds "so we can communicate via the radio, which will be more comfortable for all of us."

                A few minutes later Valor radioed: " I am Vic Valor, of the independent vessel Tiak Avenger. We are peaceful explorers and would like to trade information with you. How is it that you speak English?"

                Major Orr repliead "We were wondering the same thing about you. 'Avenger' seems to be an unusual name for an exploration vessel. Hold your position until your peaceful intentions can be verified. Please allow me, along with my partner Captain Karys Thal, to board and inspect your ship. We are unarmed. Any attempt to interfere with our inspection of your vessel will be interpreted as an act of war." Her words were officious but her cheerful voice belied the harsh words - she certainly didn't sound like a military captain.

                Valor replied "You are both welcome to board, and we will be happy to assist with the inspection. We are peaceful explorers. Though the Avenger is armed, alk of our weapons are locked. Please use the airlock now indicated by the blue boarding light."

                "These two must be pretty brave, entering an unknown and potentially hostile ship." Jess marveled. "And they were moving fast. I've been practicing with a GP spacesuit, and their propulsion units are nowhere near that fast. These two are like missiles!"

                Jim and Valor looked at each other in alarm as Jess's words registered. The two of them together would have a tough time if they were forced to battle against the weapons on the Avenger, yet these two Xenonians had approached them casually, fearlessly. "I wouldn't be surprised if these two have super powers," Jim warned Jess. "We should check them out, very discreetly, and be ready for anything." Jess nodded, glad that she was wearing a new protective uniform built with GP materials to GP specifications!

                *****

                The Science Patrol officers entered the Avenger and removed their helmets, revealing 2 very attractive, entirely human female faces. Jim spoke first. "I apologize, but telepathy makes us uneasy. I don't want to be inhospitable, but I've activated mind shields around the three of us. I'm Jim Chisholm, the big guy is Vic Valor, commander of the Tiak Avenger, and this is Captain Jessiat Gazil of the Juneon Space Command." Jim and Valor bowed as they were introduced, and Jim was astonished when Jess bowed too - she assumed that a bow was the customary form of greeting for her crewmates, so she went along with it.

                The woman that responded had hair so dark it was almost blue, and Jim and Valor were astonished at how much she resembled Superman.

                "I'm Captain Karre Orr of the Xenonian Science Patrol" the dark haired woman replied formally. "And this is Captain Karys Thal." They both bowed as well, though not as deeply as the visitors had. Captain Thal was shorter than Captain Orr, with a complexion that was often referred to on Earth as 'café au lait'. She had striking long white hair and an expressive face with large deep blue eyes. "No offense taken, Jim Chisholm. Telepathy makes most of my own people uneasy as well." Captain Orr continued.

                They quickly got down to business, and shortly the Avenger's crew was giving a guided tour of the big ship. The 2 Science Patrol officers were very courteous and businesslike, but they closely observed everything they saw, and asked a lot of questions that would have been uncomfortable if the space travelers had been hiding anything. During the tour, the group also had the chance to tell their various stories.

                *****

                "When we got back to Xenon, our 'Kryptonian' powers faded, of course." Karre was saying. "But now that we were no longer invulnerable, the comet gasses we'd metabolized affected each of us, and my father Kell, my brother Larre and I all gained permanent super powers, each different than the other. So that's how I learned English, saved the Earth from Aquarius (with a little help), met Superman, and became a super heroine!" Karre finished her story as they finished the inspection of the Tiak Avenger.* She looked at Karys uncomfortably as she stopped talking.

                *See: <link to earlier story>

                "I got my powers more recently, during an incredibly deadly space storm that totally devastated parts of our planet," Karys added. "An invention of Karre's grandfather, Zoll Orr, saved most of our cities and population, but he and his wife Vana both perished."

                Before the others could commiserate with her, Karre changed the subject from the storm. "Thanks for your cooperation so far," she said in as formal a voice as she could muster. "The weapons on this ship are certainly very impressive, but with a crew of only 3, it seems unlikely that the Avenger is a ship of war. I'm tentatively certifying you as 'friendly'."

                "Well, now that we're friends, why are you folks so jumpy?" Jim asked. "Do you get visitors that you have to certify as 'unfriendly'?"

                "As I said, less than 2 years ago, some kind of incredible storm struck Xenon from space," Karys answered. "Our astronomers said it was striking the entire universe, but how could they possibly know that? These shimmering pink curtain things, kind of like an aurora, dropped from the sky, and whatever they touched was destroyed! And when they receded, they sometimes left behind some terrible menace, such as a space dragon from Krypton. My people don't trust the sky any longer!"

                "On Earth, we called that 'pink space storm' the Crisis," Jim told her. "It hit us hard as well, and the people of Earth are still recovering. Our leading scientists also agree that the Crisis struck throughout the universe."

                "There was massive devastation here, and millions died." Karre added sadly. "My grandfather, the great scientist Zoll Orr, came out of retirement to help save the planet. He invented a force field that could protect a city from the storm. The force field requires a tremendous power source, so he invented the Kryptonite-Uranium Reactor too. The first KU Reactor that was built was used to shield Oceanbridge City, where Zoll and his wife lived. He was too busy to help build it himself, and he depended on a team of technicians. They decided that the need was so urgent that they took some shortcuts in the construction to get it finished faster. The reactor worked long enough to prove to everyone that Zoll Orr's shield could resist the storm, but it eventually overloaded and shut down. The pink curtain it had been blocking touched down for no more than a second and half of Oceanbridge City was gone! Zoll and Vara, my grandmother, were in that half." She started sobbing as she reopened the fresh emotional wound. "DAMN those freepin' idiots! After that, all the other reactors were built exactly to Zoll's specifications, and they worked perfectly. Even though we used up all our Kryptonite and most of our uranium, there were no other shield failures!"

                "I'm really sorry to hear about your grandparents". Jess put a soothing arm around the weeping Karre. "I guess we were lucky on Juneo. Our skies turned pink and our weather was extra-violent for a week, but nobody was injured and nothing was destroyed by whatever it was. But I know what it's like to lose grandparents - mine died when the jungle found a way to extend creepers into their turret, whatever the creepers did inside their jungleblaster cannon made it explode."

                "I wondered why no one on Juneo mentioned the Crisis," Jim said, trying to change the topic of the conversation; he was still dealing with the deaths of his own parents. "I was afraid to ask, worried that I might violate some kind of cultural taboo."

                "No. Compared to our everyday battle against the jungle, it was really not a big deal. at least on Juneo." Jess replied.

                "I'm interested in hearing more about the Kryptonian Space Dragon," Valor asked Karre. "How do you know it was from Krypton?"

                It was already evident to the Avenger's crew that Karre was an accomplished story teller who enjoyed having an audience. She cleared her eyes, was silent for a few seconds as she recalled the event, and then started her story.





                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • ddswanson
                Well, she did work side-by-side with the heroes and a lot of her own people for some time (perhaps a month) while rebuilding the Avenger. I assume Jim told
                Message 7 of 24 , Aug 1, 2010
                • 0 Attachment
                  Well, she did work side-by-side with the heroes and a lot of her own people for some time (perhaps a month) while rebuilding the Avenger. I assume Jim told some yarns at the pub where they hung out after working hours.

                  --- In theJSAallstarstorysite@yahoogroups.com, "Frank Murdock" <bytor84@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > You wrote: ""Umm. do you think you can teach me to fight?" she asked hesitantly. "I'm one of the most experienced 'warriors' on my planet, but I've spent my whole life fighting plants. Deadly plants, but plants nonetheless. We don't have any real concept of martial arts on Juneo.""
                  >
                  > How does this character know of Martial Arts? Perhaps she should be asking if the heroeshave any form of hand-to-hand combat more advanced than that which she possesses after they spar a bit on a matt?
                  >
                  > Just thinking out loud. :)
                  >
                  > /FM
                  >
                  >
                  > ----- Original Message -----
                  > From: ddswanson
                  > To: theJSAallstarstorysite@yahoogroups.com
                  > Sent: Sunday, August 01, 2010 8:50 AM
                  > Subject: [The JSA All-Star Story Site] K Quest - Prologue
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > "So when do we finally head for this lost world of Krypton?" Jessiat Gazil eagerly asked her new crewmates on the Galactic Patrol cruiser Tiak Avenger. The Avenger had recently suffered through a very rough landing on Jessiat's home planet of Juneo, and Jess had eagerly taken part in rebuilding the ship. She had been selected by the nascent Juneon Space Force to become the Captain of the first Juneon spaceship and she was making the best of this opportunity for some 'on the job' training. "We've tested the refits pretty thoroughly." She'd never imagined space travel could possibly be as boring as repeatedly testing every function and feature of the Avenger was turning out to be.
                  >
                  > "I'm satisfied," agreed Vic Valor. Valor, at well over 7' tall, looked like a human giant; in actuality his 'body' was an android which housed the consciousness of Marnu, one of the ancient immortal Lords of Order. The body had started out as a suit of high tech super powered combat armor created by Ted Knight in 1949; Marnu had modified it extensively for his own use. More than 100,000 years ago, in an earlier 'incarnation', Marnu had been the driving force behind the creation of the Galactic Patrol and he had actually personally designed the Tiak Avenger series of cruisers, so long ago.
                  >
                  > "Sure, let's get going. The sooner we find some White Kryptonite, the sooner we can help the Juneons, and then we can get back to looking for Wotan. I'm tired of his constant stream of little 'gifts'!" This from Jim (Strobe) Chisholm, a tall, athletic black man. Jim was about the size of an NFL tight end, but next to Valor he looked small. He was wearing a black glove on his right hand. The Glove was an ancient artifact of the Galactic Patrol, a tool and a weapon that allowed him to release and control the white energy of the Glow. The Glove also enabled him to communicate mentally with the Artificial Intelligence which controlled the Tiak Avenger.
                  >
                  > "Avenger! Set course for the Rao star system." Valor commanded.
                  >
                  > "I'm afraid I can't do that. There is no current record of a star named Rao in the navigational database." the AI responded. "Diagnostics indicate that an unauthorized data erasure program began running in the database two minutes ago. Erasure program cancelled. Further diagnostic indicates that 27.32% of the navigational database has been erased. I am unable to determine the origin of the erasure program." The Tiak Avenger's ancient operating system, now running on a computer modeled on a Gray supercomputer built using highly advanced Juneon technology, had a significant amount of initiative.
                  >
                  > "Damn that Wotan!" Jim swore passionately. "What do we do now?"
                  >
                  > Valor responded. "Back in the World War II era, Ted Knight tried to locate Krypton. He knew approximately how far from Earth it was, and what general direction, and I have that information too. We'll find it." Marnu's consciousness had possessed Ted Knight for a short period in 1949, and he had access to everything Ted had known at that time. He used a projector to display a holographic 3D map of space within 300 light years of Earth. He reached into the hologram, and traced out a region of space with his finger. "Ted believed that Krypton's star was somewhere in this region. Red giants are comparatively rare; we may not find Krypton on our first attempt, but once we are close enough for direct observation, it shouldn't take us long to find it." He gave the computer an order. "Avenger, find a red giant star near the center of the indicated reason and prepare to jump us there." Within seconds, one of the stars in the display began to glow more brightly.
                  >
                  > Before he could order the ship to initiate the hyperjump, Jess spoke up. "Say, in the Galactic Patrol computer library, I found some schematics and instructions for building some of the equipment once used by Patrollers," she commented. "Would you guys mind if I used the machine shop and built some of that stuff? If we're ever in a situation when you guys need to use your super powers, I'd feel more useful if I had access to some of the Patrol weapons and defenses. After all, who knows what other tricks that Wotan fellow is going to try?" The Avenger had a very well equipped machine shop. "Lucky for me most of the machine tools are automated!"
                  >
                  > "Leave some time for training in interstellar navigation and starship piloting." Valor said. "I think it will be useful for both you and Jim." Jim moaned, but he was actually looking forward to it, and it was one of the main reasons Jess was on-board. She turned to Jim.
                  >
                  > "Umm. do you think you can teach me to fight?" she asked hesitantly. "I'm one of the most experienced 'warriors' on my planet, but I've spent my whole life fighting plants. Deadly plants, but plants nonetheless. We don't have any real concept of martial arts on Juneo."
                  >
                  > "My kind of place!" Jim nodded approvingly. "I can teach you aikido, but it's not really about fighting. It's about learning to properly use your 'Ki', meaning the universal life force. But it IS useful if you do happen to get into a fight."
                  >
                  > Working together, the three crewmates set up a daily schedule, and then Valor commanded the Tiak Avenger to head into deep space. For the first time in a thousand centuries (other than some static tests) her mighty hyperdrive engine thundered to life, she vanished from normal space, and they were headed towards their first destination.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >
                • Frank Murdock
                  Okay. that works for me. How about putting that in there.. y know, something like, She thought of the stories the heroes had told of their adventures on Earth
                  Message 8 of 24 , Aug 1, 2010
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                    Okay. that works for me. How about putting that in there.. y'know, something like, "She thought of the stories the heroes had told of their adventures on Earth and beyond, of how they had used a combination of brains and brawn to defeat their enemies, and had recalled something of their fighting methods. "

                    Just a suggestion.

                    /FM

                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: ddswanson
                    To: theJSAallstarstorysite@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Sunday, August 01, 2010 4:04 PM
                    Subject: Re: [The JSA All-Star Story Site] K Quest - Prologue



                    Well, she did work side-by-side with the heroes and a lot of her own people for some time (perhaps a month) while rebuilding the Avenger. I assume Jim told some yarns at the pub where they hung out after working hours.

                    --- In theJSAallstarstorysite@yahoogroups.com, "Frank Murdock" <bytor84@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > You wrote: ""Umm. do you think you can teach me to fight?" she asked hesitantly. "I'm one of the most experienced 'warriors' on my planet, but I've spent my whole life fighting plants. Deadly plants, but plants nonetheless. We don't have any real concept of martial arts on Juneo.""
                    >
                    > How does this character know of Martial Arts? Perhaps she should be asking if the heroeshave any form of hand-to-hand combat more advanced than that which she possesses after they spar a bit on a matt?
                    >
                    > Just thinking out loud. :)
                    >
                    > /FM
                    >
                    >
                    > ----- Original Message -----
                    > From: ddswanson
                    > To: theJSAallstarstorysite@yahoogroups.com
                    > Sent: Sunday, August 01, 2010 8:50 AM
                    > Subject: [The JSA All-Star Story Site] K Quest - Prologue
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > "So when do we finally head for this lost world of Krypton?" Jessiat Gazil eagerly asked her new crewmates on the Galactic Patrol cruiser Tiak Avenger. The Avenger had recently suffered through a very rough landing on Jessiat's home planet of Juneo, and Jess had eagerly taken part in rebuilding the ship. She had been selected by the nascent Juneon Space Force to become the Captain of the first Juneon spaceship and she was making the best of this opportunity for some 'on the job' training. "We've tested the refits pretty thoroughly." She'd never imagined space travel could possibly be as boring as repeatedly testing every function and feature of the Avenger was turning out to be.
                    >
                    > "I'm satisfied," agreed Vic Valor. Valor, at well over 7' tall, looked like a human giant; in actuality his 'body' was an android which housed the consciousness of Marnu, one of the ancient immortal Lords of Order. The body had started out as a suit of high tech super powered combat armor created by Ted Knight in 1949; Marnu had modified it extensively for his own use. More than 100,000 years ago, in an earlier 'incarnation', Marnu had been the driving force behind the creation of the Galactic Patrol and he had actually personally designed the Tiak Avenger series of cruisers, so long ago.
                    >
                    > "Sure, let's get going. The sooner we find some White Kryptonite, the sooner we can help the Juneons, and then we can get back to looking for Wotan. I'm tired of his constant stream of little 'gifts'!" This from Jim (Strobe) Chisholm, a tall, athletic black man. Jim was about the size of an NFL tight end, but next to Valor he looked small. He was wearing a black glove on his right hand. The Glove was an ancient artifact of the Galactic Patrol, a tool and a weapon that allowed him to release and control the white energy of the Glow. The Glove also enabled him to communicate mentally with the Artificial Intelligence which controlled the Tiak Avenger.
                    >
                    > "Avenger! Set course for the Rao star system." Valor commanded.
                    >
                    > "I'm afraid I can't do that. There is no current record of a star named Rao in the navigational database." the AI responded. "Diagnostics indicate that an unauthorized data erasure program began running in the database two minutes ago. Erasure program cancelled. Further diagnostic indicates that 27.32% of the navigational database has been erased. I am unable to determine the origin of the erasure program." The Tiak Avenger's ancient operating system, now running on a computer modeled on a Gray supercomputer built using highly advanced Juneon technology, had a significant amount of initiative.
                    >
                    > "Damn that Wotan!" Jim swore passionately. "What do we do now?"
                    >
                    > Valor responded. "Back in the World War II era, Ted Knight tried to locate Krypton. He knew approximately how far from Earth it was, and what general direction, and I have that information too. We'll find it." Marnu's consciousness had possessed Ted Knight for a short period in 1949, and he had access to everything Ted had known at that time. He used a projector to display a holographic 3D map of space within 300 light years of Earth. He reached into the hologram, and traced out a region of space with his finger. "Ted believed that Krypton's star was somewhere in this region. Red giants are comparatively rare; we may not find Krypton on our first attempt, but once we are close enough for direct observation, it shouldn't take us long to find it." He gave the computer an order. "Avenger, find a red giant star near the center of the indicated reason and prepare to jump us there." Within seconds, one of the stars in the display began to glow more brightly.
                    >
                    > Before he could order the ship to initiate the hyperjump, Jess spoke up. "Say, in the Galactic Patrol computer library, I found some schematics and instructions for building some of the equipment once used by Patrollers," she commented. "Would you guys mind if I used the machine shop and built some of that stuff? If we're ever in a situation when you guys need to use your super powers, I'd feel more useful if I had access to some of the Patrol weapons and defenses. After all, who knows what other tricks that Wotan fellow is going to try?" The Avenger had a very well equipped machine shop. "Lucky for me most of the machine tools are automated!"
                    >
                    > "Leave some time for training in interstellar navigation and starship piloting." Valor said. "I think it will be useful for both you and Jim." Jim moaned, but he was actually looking forward to it, and it was one of the main reasons Jess was on-board. She turned to Jim.
                    >
                    > "Umm. do you think you can teach me to fight?" she asked hesitantly. "I'm one of the most experienced 'warriors' on my planet, but I've spent my whole life fighting plants. Deadly plants, but plants nonetheless. We don't have any real concept of martial arts on Juneo."
                    >
                    > "My kind of place!" Jim nodded approvingly. "I can teach you aikido, but it's not really about fighting. It's about learning to properly use your 'Ki', meaning the universal life force. But it IS useful if you do happen to get into a fight."
                    >
                    > Working together, the three crewmates set up a daily schedule, and then Valor commanded the Tiak Avenger to head into deep space. For the first time in a thousand centuries (other than some static tests) her mighty hyperdrive engine thundered to life, she vanished from normal space, and they were headed towards their first destination.
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    >





                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • ddswanson
                    K Quest Chapter 2: Crisis on Xenon Those pink veils were terrible! Karre began. They would drift down from space, destroying everything that passed through
                    Message 9 of 24 , Aug 9, 2010
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                      K Quest Chapter 2: Crisis on Xenon

                      "Those pink veils were terrible!" Karre began. "They would drift down from space, destroying everything that passed through them, then touch down and sweep across the surface and then simply vanish, or float back into the sky. Our scientists speculated that the veils were some sort of 'anti-energy' - but not the kind that makes normal matter explode; instead it seemed to dissolve molecular bonds, leaving behind dust that we could separate into the pure elements. The veils stripped away everything, down to about 3' below the average sea level. Nobody knows why they didn't penetrate any deeper, but we're lucky they didn't. One veil cut a pass through one of our highest mountain ranges, another swept inland off the ocean and we now have a tremendously large new bay, tens of miles long and wide, but nowhere more than 3' deep." She paused for a moment to regain her composure. Telling this story brought back strong emotions!

                      "Zoll Orr, Karre's grandfather, postulated that the bottoms of the veils might be sweeping along a specific gravitational contour level," Karys added, to give her friend time to recover. "He built a machine that can warp gravitational contour lines, bending them so that the deadly one passes above the machine, not below it. Other scientists scoffed at him, but his invention worked! A veil was approaching Oceanbridge City. Zoll activated the generator and then went outside and watched as the veil lifted and began to pass over the city. But the poorly-made Kryptonite/Uranium generator failed, and the veil chopped into the city like the blade of a knife. In only a few seconds, a big crater was scooped out of the middle of the city, leaving behind a pool of dust, and the veil then lifted back into space. Unfortunately, the crater included the location of Zoll Orr's laboratory." She paused, and there was silence for a few seconds before Karre resumed her story.

                      "We're still suffering from the aftereffects. There are literally millions of tons of monatomic dust in the air, dust that is so light that our scientists say it may never settle out naturally. The dust blocks incoming sunlight and we are experiencing global climate change, perhaps the prelude to an ice age, unless we can find a method to precipitate the dust. And people who breathed a significant quantity of the dust are now experience a growing number of previously unknown ailments. Our bodies just don't know what to do with pure elements in a monatomic state!"

                      She sighed. "So you want to hear about the dragon? OK," she continued softly. "It happened several days after the pink veils started to drop from the sky. Zoll Orr had just announced that he had discovered a shield that could protect us, and people all over the world were frantically rushing to get started building them. The populace of Oceanbridge City thought they were safe, and many of them were on the streets watching as that fateful veil swept in. And then, instantly, disaster struck, and after that, all that was left was the cleanup…"

                      *****

                      Captain Karre Orr of the Xenonian Science Patrol blazed through the sky, leaving behind her the flashing, slowly fading trail that had led the newscasters to call her 'Skyfire'. Her barracks was in the part of Oceanbridge City that had been saved by Zoll Orr's shield, and when she'd received emergency orders to respond to the destruction in that city, she'd prayed that he also had been saved by his own invention. But she'd quickly realized there was nothing she could do for her grandparents - they were now monatomic dust, separated into the original elements that were contained in the human body. Wherever the veil had swept, there was nothing left but dust. The only place her help would be valuable was at the edge of the dustbowl - where buildings had only partially been disintegrated before the veil had lifted.

                      For several hours, her rescue work had left her no time for grief. Her telepathic powers enabled her to locate living victims in the rubble of collapsed structures, and with her great physical strength and unending stamina she was able to reach many of the still-living hours before the heavy construction equipment still being mobilized by the government would even reach the scene. She was heartened when she was joined by her father, Kell (Superman) Orr and brother, Larre (Fource) Orr. Her telepathy and Superman's super vision powers helped locate survivors, and their great physical strength, along with Fource's gravity controlling powers, allowed them to safely and efficiently locate and rescue the survivors.

                      There was only a relatively small region of partial devastation where they needed to work. Where the veil had completely passed, there was nothing but dust. A hundred meters from the edge of the dust bowl, it was as nothing had happened. But in between, the structures that had been partially dissolved by the veil before it lifted had collapsed, sometimes pulling down other nearby structures, forming a ribbon of destruction around the bowl The super heroes were soon joined by a growing army of workers in individual heavy construction exoskeletons who streamed into the disaster site, and they broke into teams working in different directions around the rim. Karre took time to direct about half of the construction workers into the dustbowl - there was a lot of city more than 3 feet down, and anyone who happened to be in an underground location, such as a transport tunnel or a sheltered walkway or the like would likely need to be rescued from being buried in the monatomic elemental dust. She hoped the sealed exoskeletons were up to the task!

                      Finally, as nearly as they could tell, everyone who needed rescue had been rescued. The exhausted heroes could leave the rest of the work to the construction professionals. As they were discussing the remaining work with several construction bosses, there was a flare of light from somewhere high above the horizon. The flare was bright enough to dazzle everyone who had been unfortunate enough to be looking upwards, and even reflections from dull or dark surfaces were too bright to look at. Within seconds, Fource's electromagnetic powers detected a shower of atomic radiation, raining down from the sky, and the sky was lighted by the most magnificent auroras that anyone on Xenon had ever witnessed. The radiation grew in intensity, peaked, and grew less powerful, until less than a minute later, incoming radiation was back to normal levels - but the ground was now radioactive. Nobody would die instantly of this level of radiation exposure, but a half hour's exposure would be enough to kill many people.

                      Fortunately, the crust of Xenon contained an unusually high concentration of lead, and most of the building materials used in the city would block radiation. So the interior of any intact buildings would shield the populace until the city could be evacuated. Superman used his super voice to warn everyone within hearing range that they needed to go inside and stay there until rescue teams came for them, and then the 3 heroes headed for space, looking for the source of the massive atomic explosion.
                    • The Time Trust
                      Good story so far, Dan. I like seeing how the Crisis affects other worlds. Libbylawrence used one of the Crisis effects to bring a Kryptonian villain into the
                      Message 10 of 24 , Aug 10, 2010
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                        Good story so far, Dan. I like seeing how the Crisis affects other worlds.
                        Libbylawrence used one of the Crisis effects to bring a Kryptonian villain into
                        the present. I think the story was "JSA: Acts of Vengeance," a times past story.

                        BTW, when the Earths were merged together, do you think the various Xenons of
                        the five remaining parallel universes also merged? There is some suggestion that
                        other planets also merged with their counterparts, although I'm sure there are
                        many worlds that are unique enough that they only exist in one parallel
                        universe.

                        I don't think Xenon exists on Earth-X, Earth-S, or Earth-4, but there was an
                        Earth-1 Xenon that appeared in Superboy #81 (1960). This Xenon appears to be
                        distinct from the Earth-2 Xenon, since its inhabitants are specifically NOT
                        Kryptonian descendants but nevertheless have super-powers. Only Superboy lacked
                        super-powers on that world. Since the merged Earth definitely favored Earth-1
                        versions over Earth-2 versions, it's possible that the Earth-1 Xenon prevailed
                        during that 24-hour period when the universes were merged into one. In my recent
                        revision of the first chapter of Choices on Earth-X, I suggested something
                        similar happened for Earth-X. Most of the population of Earth-X doesn't remember
                        the 24-hour period of the merged Earth, since many would not exist in such a
                        merged Earth, or their history would be so vastly different in many ways. So for
                        most people on Earth-X, the 24-hour merged Earth was a missing day. I suspect it
                        would be the same case with the Earth-2 Xenon, since the Earth-1 Xenon would
                        have remained relatively untouched, given its connection with the Earth-1
                        Superman, whose history was almost exactly the same on the merged Earth as it
                        was on Earth-1.

                        Anyway, something to ponder.

                        Cheers,
                        Doc Quantum of The Time Trust


                        >
                        >From: ddswanson <ddswanson@...>
                        >To: theJSAallstarstorysite@yahoogroups.com
                        >Sent: Mon, August 9, 2010 6:33:45 PM
                        >Subject: [The JSA All-Star Story Site] K Quest - Chapter 1 Crisis on Xenon
                        >
                        >
                        >K Quest Chapter 2: Crisis on Xenon
                        >
                        >"Those pink veils were terrible!" Karre began. "They would drift down from
                        >space, destroying everything that passed through them, then touch down and sweep
                        >across the surface and then simply vanish, or float back into the sky. Our
                        >scientists speculated that the veils were some sort of 'anti-energy' - but not
                        >the kind that makes normal matter explode; instead it seemed to dissolve
                        >molecular bonds, leaving behind dust that we could separate into the pure
                        >elements. The veils stripped away everything, down to about 3' below the average
                        >sea level. Nobody knows why they didn't penetrate any deeper, but we're lucky
                        >they didn't. One veil cut a pass through one of our highest mountain ranges,
                        >another swept inland off the ocean and we now have a tremendously large new bay,
                        >tens of miles long and wide, but nowhere more than 3' deep." She paused for a
                        >moment to regain her composure. Telling this story brought back strong emotions!
                        >
                        >"Zoll Orr, Karre's grandfather, postulated that the bottoms of the veils might
                        >be sweeping along a specific gravitational contour level," Karys added, to give
                        >her friend time to recover. "He built a machine that can warp gravitational
                        >contour lines, bending them so that the deadly one passes above the machine, not
                        >below it. Other scientists scoffed at him, but his invention worked! A veil was
                        >approaching Oceanbridge City. Zoll activated the generator and then went outside
                        >and watched as the veil lifted and began to pass over the city. But the
                        >poorly-made Kryptonite/Uranium generator failed, and the veil chopped into the
                        >city like the blade of a knife. In only a few seconds, a big crater was scooped
                        >out of the middle of the city, leaving behind a pool of dust, and the veil then
                        >lifted back into space. Unfortunately, the crater included the location of Zoll
                        >Orr's laboratory." She paused, and there was silence for a few seconds before
                        >Karre resumed her story.
                        >
                        >"We're still suffering from the aftereffects. There are literally millions of
                        >tons of monatomic dust in the air, dust that is so light that our scientists say
                        >it may never settle out naturally. The dust blocks incoming sunlight and we are
                        >experiencing global climate change, perhaps the prelude to an ice age, unless we
                        >can find a method to precipitate the dust. And people who breathed a significant
                        >quantity of the dust are now experience a growing number of previously unknown
                        >ailments. Our bodies just don't know what to do with pure elements in a
                        >monatomic state!"
                        >
                        >She sighed. "So you want to hear about the dragon? OK," she continued softly.
                        >"It happened several days after the pink veils started to drop from the sky.
                        >Zoll Orr had just announced that he had discovered a shield that could protect
                        >us, and people all over the world were frantically rushing to get started
                        >building them. The populace of Oceanbridge City thought they were safe, and many
                        >of them were on the streets watching as that fateful veil swept in. And then,
                        >instantly, disaster struck, and after that, all that was left was the cleanup…"
                        >
                        >*****
                        >
                        >Captain Karre Orr of the Xenonian Science Patrol blazed through the sky, leaving
                        >behind her the flashing, slowly fading trail that had led the newscasters to
                        >call her 'Skyfire'. Her barracks was in the part of Oceanbridge City that had
                        >been saved by Zoll Orr's shield, and when she'd received emergency orders to
                        >respond to the destruction in that city, she'd prayed that he also had been
                        >saved by his own invention. But she'd quickly realized there was nothing she
                        >could do for her grandparents - they were now monatomic dust, separated into the
                        >original elements that were contained in the human body. Wherever the veil had
                        >swept, there was nothing left but dust. The only place her help would be
                        >valuable was at the edge of the dustbowl - where buildings had only partially
                        >been disintegrated before the veil had lifted.
                        >
                        >For several hours, her rescue work had left her no time for grief. Her
                        >telepathic powers enabled her to locate living victims in the rubble of
                        >collapsed structures, and with her great physical strength and unending stamina
                        >she was able to reach many of the still-living hours before the heavy
                        >construction equipment still being mobilized by the government would even reach
                        >the scene. She was heartened when she was joined by her father, Kell (Superman)
                        >Orr and brother, Larre (Fource) Orr. Her telepathy and Superman's super vision
                        >powers helped locate survivors, and their great physical strength, along with
                        >Fource's gravity controlling powers, allowed them to safely and efficiently
                        >locate and rescue the survivors.
                        >
                        >
                        >There was only a relatively small region of partial devastation where they
                        >needed to work. Where the veil had completely passed, there was nothing but
                        >dust. A hundred meters from the edge of the dust bowl, it was as nothing had
                        >happened. But in between, the structures that had been partially dissolved by
                        >the veil before it lifted had collapsed, sometimes pulling down other nearby
                        >structures, forming a ribbon of destruction around the bowl The super heroes
                        >were soon joined by a growing army of workers in individual heavy construction
                        >exoskeletons who streamed into the disaster site, and they broke into teams
                        >working in different directions around the rim. Karre took time to direct about
                        >half of the construction workers into the dustbowl - there was a lot of city
                        >more than 3 feet down, and anyone who happened to be in an underground location,
                        >such as a transport tunnel or a sheltered walkway or the like would likely need
                        >to be rescued from being buried in the monatomic elemental dust. She hoped the
                        >sealed exoskeletons were up to the task!
                        >
                        >Finally, as nearly as they could tell, everyone who needed rescue had been
                        >rescued. The exhausted heroes could leave the rest of the work to the
                        >construction professionals. As they were discussing the remaining work with
                        >several construction bosses, there was a flare of light from somewhere high
                        >above the horizon. The flare was bright enough to dazzle everyone who had been
                        >unfortunate enough to be looking upwards, and even reflections from dull or dark
                        >surfaces were too bright to look at. Within seconds, Fource's electromagnetic
                        >powers detected a shower of atomic radiation, raining down from the sky, and the
                        >sky was lighted by the most magnificent auroras that anyone on Xenon had ever
                        >witnessed. The radiation grew in intensity, peaked, and grew less powerful,
                        >until less than a minute later, incoming radiation was back to normal levels -
                        >but the ground was now radioactive. Nobody would die instantly of this level of
                        >radiation exposure, but a half hour's exposure would be enough to kill many
                        >people.
                        >
                        >
                        >Fortunately, the crust of Xenon contained an unusually high concentration of
                        >lead, and most of the building materials used in the city would block radiation.
                        >So the interior of any intact buildings would shield the populace until the city
                        >could be evacuated. Superman used his super voice to warn everyone within
                        >hearing range that they needed to go inside and stay there until rescue teams
                        >came for them, and then the 3 heroes headed for space, looking for the source of
                        >the massive atomic explosion.
                        >
                        >
                        >



                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Frank Murdock
                        Sorry this has taken so long, Dan. Life has a way of throwing some real curve balls sometimes. Anyways, looking forward to the next chapter and the dragon. :)
                        Message 11 of 24 , Aug 14, 2010
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Sorry this has taken so long, Dan. Life has a way of throwing some real curve balls sometimes.

                          Anyways, looking forward to the next chapter and the dragon. :)

                          /FM
                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: ddswanson
                          To: theJSAallstarstorysite@yahoogroups.com
                          Sent: Monday, August 09, 2010 8:33 PM
                          Subject: [The JSA All-Star Story Site] K Quest - Chapter 1 Crisis on Xenon



                          K Quest Chapter 2: Crisis on Xenon

                          "Those pink veils were terrible!" Karre began. "They would drift down from space, destroying everything that passed through them, then touch down and sweep across the surface and then simply vanish, or float back into the sky. Our scientists speculated that the veils were some sort of 'anti-energy' - but not the kind that makes normal matter explode; instead it seemed to dissolve molecular bonds, leaving behind dust that we could separate into the pure elements. The veils stripped away everything, down to about 3' below the average sea level. Nobody knows why they didn't penetrate any deeper, but we're lucky they didn't. One veil cut a pass through one of our highest mountain ranges, another swept inland off the ocean and we now have a tremendously large new bay, tens of miles long and wide, but nowhere more than 3' deep." She paused for a moment to regain her composure. Telling this story brought back strong emotions!

                          "Zoll Orr, Karre's grandfather, postulated that the bottoms of the veils might be sweeping along a specific gravitational contour level," Karys added, to give her friend time to recover. "He built a machine that can warp gravitational contour lines, bending them so that the deadly one passes above the machine, not below it. Other scientists scoffed at him, but his invention worked! A veil was approaching Oceanbridge City. Zoll activated the generator and then went outside and watched as the veil lifted and began to pass over the city. But the poorly-made Kryptonite/Uranium generator failed, and the veil chopped into the city like the blade of a knife. In only a few seconds, a big crater was scooped out of the middle of the city, leaving behind a pool of dust, and the veil then lifted back into space. Unfortunately, the crater included the location of Zoll Orr's laboratory." She paused, and there was silence for a few seconds before Karre resumed her story.

                          "We're still suffering from the aftereffects. There are literally millions of tons of monatomic dust in the air, dust that is so light that our scientists say it may never settle out naturally. The dust blocks incoming sunlight and we are experiencing global climate change, perhaps the prelude to an ice age, unless we can find a method to precipitate the dust. And people who breathed a significant quantity of the dust are now experience a growing number of previously unknown ailments. Our bodies just don't know what to do with pure elements in a monatomic state!"

                          She sighed. "So you want to hear about the dragon? OK," she continued softly. "It happened several days after the pink veils started to drop from the sky. Zoll Orr had just announced that he had discovered a shield that could protect us, and people all over the world were frantically rushing to get started building them. The populace of Oceanbridge City thought they were safe, and many of them were on the streets watching as that fateful veil swept in. And then, instantly, disaster struck, and after that, all that was left was the cleanup."

                          *****

                          Captain Karre Orr of the Xenonian Science Patrol blazed through the sky, leaving behind her the flashing, slowly fading trail that had led the newscasters to call her 'Skyfire'. Her barracks was in the part of Oceanbridge City that had been saved by Zoll Orr's shield, and when she'd received emergency orders to respond to the destruction in that city, she'd prayed that he also had been saved by his own invention. But she'd quickly realized there was nothing she could do for her grandparents - they were now monatomic dust, separated into the original elements that were contained in the human body. Wherever the veil had swept, there was nothing left but dust. The only place her help would be valuable was at the edge of the dustbowl - where buildings had only partially been disintegrated before the veil had lifted.

                          For several hours, her rescue work had left her no time for grief. Her telepathic powers enabled her to locate living victims in the rubble of collapsed structures, and with her great physical strength and unending stamina she was able to reach many of the still-living hours before the heavy construction equipment still being mobilized by the government would even reach the scene. She was heartened when she was joined by her father, Kell (Superman) Orr and brother, Larre (Fource) Orr. Her telepathy and Superman's super vision powers helped locate survivors, and their great physical strength, along with Fource's gravity controlling powers, allowed them to safely and efficiently locate and rescue the survivors.

                          There was only a relatively small region of partial devastation where they needed to work. Where the veil had completely passed, there was nothing but dust. A hundred meters from the edge of the dust bowl, it was as nothing had happened. But in between, the structures that had been partially dissolved by the veil before it lifted had collapsed, sometimes pulling down other nearby structures, forming a ribbon of destruction around the bowl The super heroes were soon joined by a growing army of workers in individual heavy construction exoskeletons who streamed into the disaster site, and they broke into teams working in different directions around the rim. Karre took time to direct about half of the construction workers into the dustbowl - there was a lot of city more than 3 feet down, and anyone who happened to be in an underground location, such as a transport tunnel or a sheltered walkway or the like would likely need to be rescued from being buried in the monatomic elemental dust. She hoped the sealed exoskeletons were up to the task!

                          Finally, as nearly as they could tell, everyone who needed rescue had been rescued. The exhausted heroes could leave the rest of the work to the construction professionals. As they were discussing the remaining work with several construction bosses, there was a flare of light from somewhere high above the horizon. The flare was bright enough to dazzle everyone who had been unfortunate enough to be looking upwards, and even reflections from dull or dark surfaces were too bright to look at. Within seconds, Fource's electromagnetic powers detected a shower of atomic radiation, raining down from the sky, and the sky was lighted by the most magnificent auroras that anyone on Xenon had ever witnessed. The radiation grew in intensity, peaked, and grew less powerful, until less than a minute later, incoming radiation was back to normal levels - but the ground was now radioactive. Nobody would die instantly of this level of radiation exposure, but a half hour's exposure would be enough to kill many people.

                          Fortunately, the crust of Xenon contained an unusually high concentration of lead, and most of the building materials used in the city would block radiation. So the interior of any intact buildings would shield the populace until the city could be evacuated. Superman used his super voice to warn everyone within hearing range that they needed to go inside and stay there until rescue teams came for them, and then the 3 heroes headed for space, looking for the source of the massive atomic explosion.





                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • ddswanson
                          Well, the dragon has flown into my next chapter, but it is otherwise going slowly. Should be here soon, though!
                          Message 12 of 24 , Aug 17, 2010
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                            Well, the dragon has flown into my next chapter, but it is otherwise going slowly. Should be here soon, though!

                            --- In theJSAallstarstorysite@yahoogroups.com, "Frank Murdock" <bytor84@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > Sorry this has taken so long, Dan. Life has a way of throwing some real curve balls sometimes.
                            >
                            > Anyways, looking forward to the next chapter and the dragon. :)
                            >
                            > /FM
                            > ----- Original Message -----
                            > From: ddswanson
                            > To: theJSAallstarstorysite@yahoogroups.com
                            > Sent: Monday, August 09, 2010 8:33 PM
                            > Subject: [The JSA All-Star Story Site] K Quest - Chapter 1 Crisis on Xenon
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > K Quest Chapter 2: Crisis on Xenon
                            >
                            > "Those pink veils were terrible!" Karre began. "They would drift down from space, destroying everything that passed through them, then touch down and sweep across the surface and then simply vanish, or float back into the sky. Our scientists speculated that the veils were some sort of 'anti-energy' - but not the kind that makes normal matter explode; instead it seemed to dissolve molecular bonds, leaving behind dust that we could separate into the pure elements. The veils stripped away everything, down to about 3' below the average sea level. Nobody knows why they didn't penetrate any deeper, but we're lucky they didn't. One veil cut a pass through one of our highest mountain ranges, another swept inland off the ocean and we now have a tremendously large new bay, tens of miles long and wide, but nowhere more than 3' deep." She paused for a moment to regain her composure. Telling this story brought back strong emotions!
                            >
                            > "Zoll Orr, Karre's grandfather, postulated that the bottoms of the veils might be sweeping along a specific gravitational contour level," Karys added, to give her friend time to recover. "He built a machine that can warp gravitational contour lines, bending them so that the deadly one passes above the machine, not below it. Other scientists scoffed at him, but his invention worked! A veil was approaching Oceanbridge City. Zoll activated the generator and then went outside and watched as the veil lifted and began to pass over the city. But the poorly-made Kryptonite/Uranium generator failed, and the veil chopped into the city like the blade of a knife. In only a few seconds, a big crater was scooped out of the middle of the city, leaving behind a pool of dust, and the veil then lifted back into space. Unfortunately, the crater included the location of Zoll Orr's laboratory." She paused, and there was silence for a few seconds before Karre resumed her story.
                            >
                            > "We're still suffering from the aftereffects. There are literally millions of tons of monatomic dust in the air, dust that is so light that our scientists say it may never settle out naturally. The dust blocks incoming sunlight and we are experiencing global climate change, perhaps the prelude to an ice age, unless we can find a method to precipitate the dust. And people who breathed a significant quantity of the dust are now experience a growing number of previously unknown ailments. Our bodies just don't know what to do with pure elements in a monatomic state!"
                            >
                            > She sighed. "So you want to hear about the dragon? OK," she continued softly. "It happened several days after the pink veils started to drop from the sky. Zoll Orr had just announced that he had discovered a shield that could protect us, and people all over the world were frantically rushing to get started building them. The populace of Oceanbridge City thought they were safe, and many of them were on the streets watching as that fateful veil swept in. And then, instantly, disaster struck, and after that, all that was left was the cleanup."
                            >
                            > *****
                            >
                            > Captain Karre Orr of the Xenonian Science Patrol blazed through the sky, leaving behind her the flashing, slowly fading trail that had led the newscasters to call her 'Skyfire'. Her barracks was in the part of Oceanbridge City that had been saved by Zoll Orr's shield, and when she'd received emergency orders to respond to the destruction in that city, she'd prayed that he also had been saved by his own invention. But she'd quickly realized there was nothing she could do for her grandparents - they were now monatomic dust, separated into the original elements that were contained in the human body. Wherever the veil had swept, there was nothing left but dust. The only place her help would be valuable was at the edge of the dustbowl - where buildings had only partially been disintegrated before the veil had lifted.
                            >
                            > For several hours, her rescue work had left her no time for grief. Her telepathic powers enabled her to locate living victims in the rubble of collapsed structures, and with her great physical strength and unending stamina she was able to reach many of the still-living hours before the heavy construction equipment still being mobilized by the government would even reach the scene. She was heartened when she was joined by her father, Kell (Superman) Orr and brother, Larre (Fource) Orr. Her telepathy and Superman's super vision powers helped locate survivors, and their great physical strength, along with Fource's gravity controlling powers, allowed them to safely and efficiently locate and rescue the survivors.
                            >
                            > There was only a relatively small region of partial devastation where they needed to work. Where the veil had completely passed, there was nothing but dust. A hundred meters from the edge of the dust bowl, it was as nothing had happened. But in between, the structures that had been partially dissolved by the veil before it lifted had collapsed, sometimes pulling down other nearby structures, forming a ribbon of destruction around the bowl The super heroes were soon joined by a growing army of workers in individual heavy construction exoskeletons who streamed into the disaster site, and they broke into teams working in different directions around the rim. Karre took time to direct about half of the construction workers into the dustbowl - there was a lot of city more than 3 feet down, and anyone who happened to be in an underground location, such as a transport tunnel or a sheltered walkway or the like would likely need to be rescued from being buried in the monatomic elemental dust. She hoped the sealed exoskeletons were up to the task!
                            >
                            > Finally, as nearly as they could tell, everyone who needed rescue had been rescued. The exhausted heroes could leave the rest of the work to the construction professionals. As they were discussing the remaining work with several construction bosses, there was a flare of light from somewhere high above the horizon. The flare was bright enough to dazzle everyone who had been unfortunate enough to be looking upwards, and even reflections from dull or dark surfaces were too bright to look at. Within seconds, Fource's electromagnetic powers detected a shower of atomic radiation, raining down from the sky, and the sky was lighted by the most magnificent auroras that anyone on Xenon had ever witnessed. The radiation grew in intensity, peaked, and grew less powerful, until less than a minute later, incoming radiation was back to normal levels - but the ground was now radioactive. Nobody would die instantly of this level of radiation exposure, but a half hour's exposure would be enough to kill many people.
                            >
                            > Fortunately, the crust of Xenon contained an unusually high concentration of lead, and most of the building materials used in the city would block radiation. So the interior of any intact buildings would shield the populace until the city could be evacuated. Superman used his super voice to warn everyone within hearing range that they needed to go inside and stay there until rescue teams came for them, and then the 3 heroes headed for space, looking for the source of the massive atomic explosion.
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            >
                          • ddswanson
                            All, I m late on this story again, sorry. But I m not going to post the summary again, if you want to start the story from the beginning, just follow this
                            Message 13 of 24 , Oct 6, 2010
                            • 0 Attachment
                              All, I'm late on this story again, sorry. But I'm not going to post the summary again, if you want to start the story from the beginning, just follow this thread back to the first message. Here's the 'space dragon from Krypton' and his back story..

                              *****

                              What the people of Xenon had just experienced was really not a massive atomic explosion high above the planet. Actually, it was the second half of a massive atomic explosion, an explosion which had begun light years away from Xenon and years in the past. Though the radiation from that explosion was troubling, Xenonian technology was able to deal with it. It was what materialized along with the explosion that was going to cause real problems!

                              With his super vision, Kell Orr examined the sky above. "There's something big up there that shouldn't be there," he told his fellow heroes. He focused more intently. "It's a snagriff, and it's heading for Ulaine!"

                              Snagriffs are very large dragon-like beasts seemingly native to several of the planets in the Krypton/Ra system, and Kell knew that they could snort fire through their nostrils - but this one seemed to have just spewed an incredibly powerful atomic explosion from its mouth. Kell rocketed skyward at his highest speed. Ulaine was a small asteroid of exceptionally high metallic content that had been moved into orbit around Xenon. He had to stop the beast before it reached Ulaine; the snagriff's 'nuclear belch' could easily kill the thousands who lived there and destroy the factories where they worked.

                              *****

                              The confused, angry snagriff let out a tremendous bellow which, if other snagriffs had heard it, would have translated roughly as . "BEWARE! I AM THUNDERWING SNORTFIRE!" and which carried overtones of hunger, loneliness, frustration, and RAGE. In the vacuum of space, his roar was silent, which only increased his frustration and anger.

                              Less than a minute ago, Thunderwing had been on the surface of a planet, gorging himself on a mountain of steel and iron dust. Then his human enemy had flashed from the sky and at super speed had entangled him in something red and stretchy. Before he could tear his way free, he was rocketed upwards, and 2 seconds later, he had been painfully jolted by the ultra-powerful explosion of 6 atomic bombs detonating in his stomach. The stretchy thing entangling him had vanished, and Thunderwing found himself in space, belching atomic fire, near a planet that was definitely NOT the same one he had been terrorizing just seconds ago. He had no way to know that the Anti-Monitor had plucked him from the time stream and made him a pawn in the Crisis on Infinite Earths. (You can see the earlier saga of this particular snagriff in Superman #78, Sept/Oct 1952 "The Beast From Krypton". Or see the synopsis below )

                              Far in front of him, Thunderwing could see a large asteroid, glittering metallically in the red light of this planet's giant star. It was covered with buildings and infested with humans, though he didn't quite understand how he could see these details from so far away. If he could reach that asteroid, destroying the humans would slake his rage and frustration, and then he could gorge himself on the metal in the satellite. He flapped his wings, not realizing that wings don't work in a vacuum, and leisurely flew towards the rock, eagerly anticipating the satisfaction in his near future.

                              *****

                              Synopsis of "The Beast from Krypton", Superman #78, Sept/Oct 1952

                              Several years before the planet Krypton exploded, Jor-L, one of the giant planet's leading scientists was experimenting with life extension techniques. He needed to test a serum, but wasn't sure it was safe for humans. He chose a male snagriff, a very large, hardy beast that looked like a cross between a dragon and a stegosaurus, which could fly and snort fire from its nostrils. After he had injected the snagriff with his experimental drug, Jor-L placed a collar of Kryptonian metal around the beast's neck, and inscribed on it a record of his research. The serum had unexpected side effects and the beast began to mutate. The snagriff grew even larger, he began to eat metal instead of his natural diet, and his hide and armor plates transformed into metal.

                              The mutated snagriff ate his cage and escaped captivity. His newly enhanced abilities and new powers allowed him to avoid Jor-L's efforts at re-capture. When the sangriff started eating Krypton's most valuable metal, Boradium, Jor-L baited a trap for him. He lured the beast onto his giant space catapult and launched it to Koron, one of Krypton's moons, which was largely composed of metal. The mutations caused by Jor-L's serum allowed the snagriff to survive in the vacuum of space, and by eating the metal that made up the moon, it was able survived on Koron indefinitely. Jor-L had no idea how long the mutated beast might survive.

                              When Krypton exploded, Koron was hurled out of orbit and it wandered through space for years. Eventually it passed through the same space warp which had brought baby Kal-L's rocket to Earth. In 1952, the rogue moon's path passed near enough to Earth for the lonely snagriff to leap to the planet below, where it gained additional super powers, as any Kryptonian would in the Terrestrial environment. Not long after he landed on Earth, the snagriff was making a meal of an ocean liner, and Superman arrived to stop him.

                              The Man of Steel had very little experience fighting Kryptonians, and he never really believed that the snagriff had the same powers that he did, even though every effort he made to stop the beast failed. Eventually, the snagriff swallowed 6 atomic bombs whole from a secret facility located so close to Metropolis that the explosion of these bombs would destroy the city. Superman saw this as a way to get rid of the snagriff. When a warning mechanism on the bombs showed that they were 3 seconds from exploding, he used his super speed to wrap the snagriff in his elastic, invulnerable cape and carried the bundle towards space. Before he could get even a quarter mile high, the bombs went off, and his cape contained the explosion. When he reached space and released the cape, the snagriff was gone. In his thoughts, Superman was pleased that the snagriff was "… reduced to no more than a few microscopic fragments of atomic dust… as is Krypton itself!"

                              Superman apparently never wondered why an atomic explosion that he had expected to live through, and which didn't damage his cape, had disintegrated an invulnerable beast from Krypton. Now we know that the snagriff wasn't really disintegrated in the explosion, just snatched out of time and space by the Anti-Monitor.
                            • ddswanson
                              I m working again, my paper is finished, the Justice Machine story is at a reasonable stopping place, and my snagriff is calling me... I m not going to post
                              Message 14 of 24 , May 8, 2011
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                                I'm working again, my paper is finished, the Justice Machine story is at a reasonable stopping place, and my snagriff is calling me...

                                I'm not going to post yet another synopsis of this story. Here's the 50¢ version. During the Crisis on Infinite Earths, the planet Xenon was attacked by a Kryptonian snagriff - not just any snagriff, but one that had been given super powers on Krypton by a serum created by Jor-L. The Anti-Monitor transported this particular griff to Xenon during the Crisis and we are in the middle of the battle between that griff and Xenon's Superman, Kell Orr, and his super powered children Skyfire (who has mutant powers similar to those of the Earth hero Captain Comet) and Fource (who has limited control over the four fundamental forces of the universe - gravity, electromagnetism, the strong atomic force and the weak atomic force). In the thoughts of a snagriff could be translated to English, this particular snagriff thinks of himself as Thunderwing Snortfire.

                                You can read more about this encounter and catch up on the story if you like by swimming back up the waterfall of this thread.


                                *******************************


                                Kell Orr, Xenon's Superman, was a faster flier than either of his kids. He was visible only as a red and blue blur as he caught up to Thunderwing from below and behind. This beast was much larger than a normal snagriff, about 70' long with a wingspan of about 100' (about the same size as a World War 2 B-17 bomber). "I'm going to hit the nerve center behind the head," he radioed his partners. But the beast was as invulnerable as Kell Orr himself. Kell bounced off, stunned. The snagriff was stunned as well, and started spinning slowly out of control. The younger heroes, Skyfire and Fource arrived before either Kell or the beast could recover.

                                "Dad's only stunned." Skyfire told her brother after reading Kell's mind. "Let's take care of the big guy here."

                                "I guess the 'Brute Force and Massive Ignorance' attack isn't going to work this time" Fource chuckled quietly to his sister via radio, using his powers to insure that their father couldn't overhear. The two younger heroes had received extensive military training in the Space Patrol and the constantly chided their father about his impulsiveness.

                                The younger generation of Xenonian heroes launched their own double-barreled attack. Skyfire blasted Thunderwing with a short, very intense blast of sensory 'static', attempting to stun the dragon by overloading him with a barrage of powerful random sensations. She squeezed her eyes shut, scrunched up her fists as she concentrated on focusing all her mental power into the blast. She hoped it wouldn't kill the 'griff, but was much more worried that her attack wouldn't be powerful enough to stop him. Fource used his control of the four fundamental natural forces to focus all the electromagnetic radiation (light, uv, radio waves, x-rays, etc) from the surrounding volume of space.

                                Thunderwing's mind exploded with sounds, images, smells, touches, all unnaturally powerful . His besieged brain virtually shut down for a few instants under the overload; released from the control of his brain, his body experienced the draconic equivalent of a seizure, and Thunderwing's limbs, wings, neck and tail flailed about violently and uncontrollably.

                                At that instant, a broad beam of scintillating blue light, projected by Fource, struck the snagriff, who vanished in a cloud of greasy black smoke. The battle wasn't over, however - the incredibly potent blue beam instantly burned away the cloud to reveal the dragon, now gleaming like burnished metal. But his invulnerable hide had protected him, though the powerful beam had instantly vaporized every speck of dust and dirt, every barnacle-like parasite, and every external discoloration from his metallic scales.

                                Neither young hero could sustain such powerful attacks for more than a second or two. As the attacks faltered, Thunderwing regained control of his body and turned to face the super siblings. He snorted a blast of flame from his nostrils, then resumed his flight towards his anticipated meal and recreation on Ulaine. In his experience, even enemies which were foolish enough to attack a snagriff once rarely tried a second time after facing a snoot of fire. A 'normal' snagriff snorts burning methane, which isn't powerful enough to harm Fource or Skyfire. But the mutation caused by Jor-L's serum had enhanced Thunderwing's fire-breathing prowess, and this flare of fire quickly coalesced into a massive ball of roiling plasma of superheated metallic ions, as hot as the interior of a white star!

                                Neither youngster was invulnerable like their father, but they had other defenses. Fource created an electromagnetic field around them to deflect the ionized mass, and Skyfire reinforced it with her TK. Even so, the ball knocked them aside as their shield deflected it.

                                "Larre, Can you get rid of that thing?" Kell Orr's voice came over the radio. "No telling how long it will hold together, and it'll be deadly to anything in low orbit."

                                "Good idea!" Skyfire agreed. "Papa and I will tackle the snagriff again, and Larre, you join us as soon as you can."

                                Fource was used to his sister taking charge when they worked together, and he usually went along with her, though he privately reserved the right to ignore her orders if he had something better in mind. It had always worked out before, though. "OK. You guys be ready to dodge on my command - I'm going to see if I can give him a taste of his own medicine and throw that heater right back at him!" he agreed.

                                "Listen, Papa!" Karre projected her thoughts into her father's mind before he could complain about her taking charge. "If you didn't have powers, would you fight a regular snagriff alone, unarmed and without a plan?" She didn't wait for an answer. "I didn't think so. Well, this griff is way more dangerous than a normal one, even before it got super powers at least as great as ours! It could kill us if we aren't careful. We just lost Zoll and Vara and we don't need to lose any more family members."

                                A smart-ass reply flashed through Kell's mind but thoughts of his parents squished the impulse. He knew that his kids thought he was too reckless, though he didn't agree with them. He'd never encountered a situation his powers couldn't handle. He'd humor her, for now. "OK, you take the lead, pumpkin," he agreed. "This thing has stood up to our individual attacks. Let's show him what it means to challenge Xenon's Boldest Family!" a nickname given the three of them by the news vidcasters.

                                Superman and Skyfire flashed at the surprised snagriff, and before he could respond, they delivered twin blows to his jaw. Kell's Superman costume didn't lie - his mutant powers made him the physical equal of his Kryptonian look-alike, and while Skyfire was physically less powerful, she used her telekinesis to enhance the blow. The griff's head was knocked upwards, and he tumbled backwards, head over tail.

                                "Heads up, old timers!" Fource radioed. Skyfire was constantly reminding her brother that she was the elder of the pair by several minutes, so sometimes he teased back. "Incoming!" The ball of plasma had an electrical charge, and Fource's powers had been able to swing it around like a rock on a string. He released it directly at the griff. Tumbling as he was, Thunderwing was unable to avoid his own reflected attack, and the incredibly hot fireball splashed on his newly-polished armored hide.

                                The mutated scales of the griff's armor were laced with Kryptonian metals, and they withstood that incredible heat, but the pain was beyond anything the griff had ever felt before. He focused his anger on Kell Orr, the twin of the Superman of Earth who had hounded him over the last week, and he blasted out of the explosion like a super-speed missile. Kell was still groggy and moved too slow to dodge. Just before impact, the griff spun around and slammed Xenon's greatest hero with his tail. The super-powered hammer blow knocked Kell unconscious and drove him towards the planet below at super speed. The griff dove after him, followed by Fource and Skyfire.

                                "You catch the old man," Fource suggested to his sister. "I'll see what I can do to take out that monster." She started to object. "Just this one time, Sis, don't argue with me!"

                                She bit her lip and raced away after her falling father. She concentrate and project her thoughts; screaming into his head "Wake up, Papa!" while she extended her telekinesis to the limit to slow his fall. She couldn't stop him, but she pulled him to the side so he was no longer directly in front of the diving dragon.

                                The dragon tried to slow down and change direction, but something was wrong. Fource was increasing the force of gravity under the snagriff, and instead of pulling out of his dive, Thunderwing was accelerated towards the ground. Fource pulled the griff towards a mountainous area in the animal sanctuary outside of Xenonopolis. Before the dragon could compensate for the increased gravity, he smashed into the ground, blasting a deep hole into the bedrock. Not far away, Kell Orr also smashed into the ground, but with much less force. His kids landed next to the smaller crater he made, and combined their powers to pull him out.

                                *****

                                None of the heroes expected the impact to do anything more than slow Thunderwing down somewhat, and they were correct. Kell Orr was just recovering his wits when the snagriff climbed slowly from the much larger crater his violent landing had smashed into the terrain. "You kids are right - even the powers of Superman aren't enough to win this fight.," Kell Orr admitted ruefully to his children. "We need teamwork and strategy."

                                "Good call, Papa!" Karre replied. "I'll use my telepathy to coordinate our actions, and if any one of us has a good idea, just think it and all 3 of us will know it instantly!"

                                "Into the blue!" Larre shouted urgently, vocally and mentally. The three heroes blasted off just before a plasma ball blasted yet another crater into the landscape they had just vacated. With Karre coordinating their actions, they launched another attack on the griff.

                                The terrain around them quickly suffered. Trees and brush were vaporized, large gouts of soil were blasted away to the bedrock, and every animal that wasn't already killed was racing for safety. Even with Larre coordinating their attacks, the heroes barely held their own. On Krypton, a normal snagriff was easily more powerful than 3 Kryptonian humans, and the mutations caused by Jor-L's potion had endowed Thunderwing with powers and abilities far beyond those of normal snagriffs. In the Xenonian environment, the griff was even more powerful, and even with their own powers, along with their coordinated attacks, the heroes weren't quite breaking even in the fight. And then disaster struck!

                                "Karre! He's started an avalanche!" Kell Orr screamed mentally. His daughter had perched momentarily on the side of a mountain to try and get a better picture of the strategic situation, and Thunderwing had blasted a cliff above her with heat vision. Thousands of tons of rock were cascading down the slope. Kell raced for the mountain, anxious to scoop up his daughter and carry her to safety, and he carelessly passed too close to the dragon. Once again, he'd ignored the beast's tail, and the beast slammed him with a blow from that invulnerable mace, knocking him out again as it drove him deep into the bedrock. As the two youngsters raced to their father's side, Thuderwing howled in triumph, accidentally unleashing another Kryptonian power, his super roar. The powers of the younger heroes didn't protect them, and the incredibly loud noise slammed them both into unconsciousness. They fell into the hole their father's crash landing had created as the snagriff zoomed in to finish off the unconscious heroes.
                              • Aleus Mundi
                                Dan, do you realize Fource is a character with the potential to become a Dr. Solar or Dr. Manhattan-like being as he explores the full extent of his powers?
                                Message 15 of 24 , May 9, 2011
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                                  Dan, do you realize Fource is a character with the potential to become
                                  a Dr. Solar or Dr. Manhattan-like being as he explores the full extent
                                  of his powers? (Given certain speculation I would said Static enters
                                  into this category since it was implied he could tap into the whole EM
                                  spectrum, yet Maestro is gone and I don't like bothering dead people)
                                  Still good work sire for a fine branching of the potential of the
                                  characters DC could had to offer! :D

                                  --
                                  The Transmundial rules all
                                • ddswanson
                                  Fource is a Xenonian (i.e. genetic Kryptonian) mutant and in this story he has developed only limited control over the fundamental stories. He might develop
                                  Message 16 of 24 , May 10, 2011
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                                    Fource is a Xenonian (i.e. genetic Kryptonian) mutant and in this story he has developed only limited control over the fundamental stories. He might develop greater control in the future, and if he were to leave the Xenonian environment and gain the normal Kryptonian powers that an Earth environment would give him, who knows what his limits might be.

                                    Xenon culture is basically very conservative and as a norm, most people on Xenon are not interested in space travel. The Crisis forced them to create a space force, the Science Patrol, but now that the Crisis is over, will they go back to ignoring space?

                                    --- In theJSAallstarstorysite@yahoogroups.com, Aleus Mundi <novovacuum@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > Dan, do you realize Fource is a character with the potential to become
                                    > a Dr. Solar or Dr. Manhattan-like being as he explores the full extent
                                    > of his powers? (Given certain speculation I would said Static enters
                                    > into this category since it was implied he could tap into the whole EM
                                    > spectrum, yet Maestro is gone and I don't like bothering dead people)
                                    > Still good work sire for a fine branching of the potential of the
                                    > characters DC could had to offer! :D
                                    >
                                    > --
                                    > The Transmundial rules all
                                    >
                                  • Frank G. Murdock
                                    Xenon culture is basically very conservative and as a norm, most people on Xenon are not interested in space travel. The Crisis forced them to create a space
                                    Message 17 of 24 , May 10, 2011
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                                      Xenon culture is basically very conservative and as a norm, most people on Xenon are not interested in space travel. The Crisis forced them to create a space force, the Science Patrol, but now that the Crisis is over, will they go back to ignoring space?



                                      Sure, but when young people see there's more out there than their world/culture has to offer, especially those who have tasted adventure, they tend to break from the norm. For those of us who are of a more liberal persuasion, that's called progress.

                                      /FM
                                      ----- Original Message -----
                                      From: ddswanson
                                      To: theJSAallstarstorysite@yahoogroups.com
                                      Sent: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 09:30
                                      Subject: Re: [The JSA All-Star Story Site] K Quest - Chapter 3 Crisis on Xenon



                                      Fource is a Xenonian (i.e. genetic Kryptonian) mutant and in this story he has developed only limited control over the fundamental stories. He might develop greater control in the future, and if he were to leave the Xenonian environment and gain the normal Kryptonian powers that an Earth environment would give him, who knows what his limits might be.

                                      Xenon culture is basically very conservative and as a norm, most people on Xenon are not interested in space travel. The Crisis forced them to create a space force, the Science Patrol, but now that the Crisis is over, will they go back to ignoring space?

                                      --- In theJSAallstarstorysite@yahoogroups.com, Aleus Mundi <novovacuum@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > Dan, do you realize Fource is a character with the potential to become
                                      > a Dr. Solar or Dr. Manhattan-like being as he explores the full extent
                                      > of his powers? (Given certain speculation I would said Static enters
                                      > into this category since it was implied he could tap into the whole EM
                                      > spectrum, yet Maestro is gone and I don't like bothering dead people)
                                      > Still good work sire for a fine branching of the potential of the
                                      > characters DC could had to offer! :D
                                      >
                                      > --
                                      > The Transmundial rules all
                                      >





                                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    • ddswanson
                                      With all the power available from the KD Drive, why did they make this damn boat so freepin tiny? Science Patrol Lieutenant Karys Thal thought to herself in
                                      Message 18 of 24 , May 13, 2011
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                                        "With all the power available from the KD Drive, why did they make this damn boat so freepin' tiny?" Science Patrol Lieutenant Karys Thal thought to herself in exasperation. "It's like spending 12 hours in a sleeping bag!" She scanned the tiny experimental space ship's main control panel, then swiveled the pilot's seat to check environmental controls and the ship's system monitors, and ended up stopping in front of the sensors and communications panel. She had just come within communicator range of the Science Patrol spaceport on Ulaine, where she was based; it was time to check in and get landing instructions.

                                        "K1 to Ulaine base" she signaled over the encrypted channel. "This is Star Siren (her call sign) in the Krypturanium Explorer requesting landing instructions." She waited a few seconds and when there was no response, glanced at the space traffic control duty roster displayed on one of the many computer screens in the tiny vessel. "C'mon, Wort, what's up? I've had a long day today." More than just a long day, actually. There wasn't much to do on Ulaine in your off hours except party, and Karys had been unitl early this morning, at a party with a lot of other junior SP officers. As a result, she'd started this morning's test flight with a terrific hangover. Maybe Wort was still recovering as well?

                                        Karys was a test pilot, and today she'd been flying a small experimental spaceship with a totally revolutionary power plant, the K-Dondron (KD) drive. Years ago, Zoll Orr, Xenon's top research scientist, and his young protégé Juna Dondwar had developed the theory behind the drive, utilizing the exotic matter particles given off in the reaction between Kryptonite and uranium. The power plant which had recently been developed from their theory had far exceeded expectations. The drive had consumed less than two ounces of each element while driving the Krypturanium Explorer, call sign K1, to the orbit of Nadron, the next planet out from Raotun and back in about 10 hours. This same trip would take current rocket-driven ships as much as six months each way. And the fuel chamber in the K1 held several pounds of Kryptonite and uranium.

                                        She was preparing to call again, using a more urgent code, when Wort finally responded. "Sorry, Star Siren – the K1 is so tiny and you were so far out just a few seconds ago that the system tagged you as a meteor, and besides I've got other things on my plate. Space above Ulaine port is currently under emergency restrictions. No landings or even flyovers are permitted. We are preparing to evacuate the asteroid. You are ordered to divert to the port at Xandor. Repeat, divert to Xandor"

                                        "What's the deal, Wolt?" she wanted to know.

                                        "Ulaine is under attack by a giant space monster with atomic breath. This is NOT a joke, a prank or a drill. We need to keep the space above the port clear for launching spacecraft. I repeat, your orders are to divert to Xandor!"

                                        A month ago, Karys would have laughed, but the effects of the Crisis had changed her opinion of what was impossible. Her first impulse was to ignore orders, land and assist in the evacuation. But ships were already starting to launch, and she would just put other people in danger if she tried to land. "Good luck, Wort! I wish I could do something to help!" she said softly. She knew the Science Patrol would be the last to evacuate, and Space Traffic Control personnel would be required to stay at their posts until the situation was resolved.

                                        "Thanks, Karys!" Wort broke the rules by not using her call sign. "The dragon is now some 1000 miles traceward* of Ulaine, with an ETA of about 10 minutes. You should avoid that volume of space during your landing maneuvers. Now git, I got work to do!"

                                        *A body in orbit traces a orbital path around another body. Traceward means, back along the orbital path that Ulaine had just finished traversing.

                                        One good thing about flying an experimental ship was that it was well-equipped for observation! Karys activated the Explorer's megascope and searched traceward. The remains of her hangover were blasted away by a wave of adrenaline when she zoomed the viewscreeen for an extreme close up of a giant winged monster locked in deadly combat with Xenon's Boldest Family. She knew the heroes personally - she'd graduated from the Science Patrol Academy the same year as Karre and Larre. She gasped in dismay as Superman was slammed down towards the planet. The monster abandoned its pursuit of Ulain and dove at high speed to follow the falling hero, and Larre and Karre instantly joined the chase.

                                        "Orders be damned!" she screamed in her thoughts. "I've gotta help my friends." She aimed the small ship towards the planet and turned up the power. She'd reach the first fringe of atmosphere in about 10 minutes, so she had time for more observations. As the griff had changed direction towards the planet, Karys had the impression of something strange around its neck. She zoomed the megascope in for a tighter view and took some pictures. By now a cloud of brightly glowing, superheated plasma was starting to envelop the dragon, so she ordered the ship's computer to enhance the pictures.

                                        "Why, that thing is wearing some kind of collar! What is it, someone's pet or something?" She tried to conceive of a being who would keep a giant fire-breathing snagriff on a leash, and for just an instant she felt sympathy for the portion of Xenon's population that was terrified of space travel. "There's writing on the collar!" She could puzzle out quite a bit of the inscription; it was written in an alphabet and language similar to modern Xenonese. "That thing's from Krypton!" she shouted in dismay when she'd puzzled out that much. "They don't have a chance against it alone - but I can help!"

                                        As she approached the edge of the atmosphere, she donned the helmet on her vacuum-proof flight suit, and set the cabin environmental control to maximum cooling. She turned the ship end for end and dropped it into the sea of air stern first, relying on an untested theory to protect her from the deadly heat of reentry. Science Patrol scientists theorized that the stream of exotic particle emitted by the KD drive would disrupt the 'cushion' of superheated plasma that normally built up under and around an object falling into the atmosphere with great velocity. Instead of the ship being wrapped inside this deadly sheath, the disrupted plasma would flow around it and the hull of the ship would remain relatively cool.

                                        She'd seen this theory tested in wind tunnels and simulations; now she saved the Science Patrol thousands of hours of unmanned testing by proving the theory in practice. The temperature in her cabin became uncomfortable, but her sealed flight suit proved adequate, and the hull temperature remained easily within tolerances. She passed through the 60 miles of atmosphere in 10 minutes, and by the time she was approaching ground level, the K1 was moving at a sane speed for atmospheric flight. "All that extra power DOES have its uses!" she thought triumphantly.
                                      • ddswanson
                                        BEWARE! I AM THUNDERWING SNORTFIRE! Thunderwing s super-powered bellow not only knocked the Xenonian heroes from the sky, but it alerted every animal within
                                        Message 19 of 24 , May 14, 2011
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                                          "BEWARE! I AM THUNDERWING SNORTFIRE!" Thunderwing's super-powered bellow not only knocked the Xenonian heroes from the sky, but it alerted every animal within miles that there was an angry male snagriff neaby. Most were already fleeing the devastation from the superpowered battle, and this cry lent added speed to their flight. Shinyscale Silvertalon, on the other claw, was fascinated. She leaped into the air and began winging her way towards the source of that roar.

                                          Shinyscale was a female snagriff. Only a few days ago, her mate and calf had been swallowed by one of the pink veils from the sky. Hunting had taken her away from their 'nest' - a cave Shinyscale and her mate had burned and clawed into the side of a cliff - and when she returned, the entire mountain had vanished. The calf had been unable to fly, and while Shinyscale hadn't seen her family face the end, her mate had died trying to defend the younger griff, roaring defiance and snorting fire at the inexorably-advancing curtain. Griffs don't grieve like humans do, but Shinyscale was lonely, and curious as well.

                                          She quickly reached the scene of a fascinating aerial battle. A giant male snagriff was somehow standing on air - 'hovering' in place, even though he was not flashing his wings - snorting small blasts of fire at a (relatively) tiny pest. A shiny silvery pointed cylinder, about the size of a new-born snagriff calf, darted around the head of the big dragon. Shinyscale had seen flying metal things before, and knew that they had humans inside them. There was a nimbus of greenish energy around the blunt end of the cylinder (the residue of the K-Dondron particles decaying after being expelled from the KD drive) and the flying pest kept maneuvering to sweep the green glow across the male's head. This seemed to annoy the big guy, and each time the green glow touched him, he grunted and whipped his head around to launch another snort of plasma. She rushed to aid this magnificent member of her own species in his battle with humans, but she had to slow to dodge the incredibly hot balls of plasma Thunderwing was firing. Though griffs are normally immune to the fire of other griffs, those plasma balls were hot enough to vaporize her!

                                          Karys was fighting desperately for her life and the lives or her friends. She'd seen the dragon flying towards her unconscious friends, probably planning to eat them. The Krypturanium Explorer didn't have any weapons, but maybe she could distract the monster until her friends regained consciousness. She blasted forward at full power, and zoomed just by the nose of the angry griff. In the rear viewscreen, she saw the monster flinch away from her exhaust aura. She instantly looped back around and got as close to the beast as she dared and slapped the K1 into a tight turn, and again the monster flinched as the green glow swept across its head. The dragon stopped moving, and hovered in place, the unconscious foes on the ground forgotten as it focused on this new foe. She wasn't hurting it - but it was distracted. The only question was, how long could she dodge? She had never seen any living thing so large move so fast!

                                          Once again Thunderwing roared in anger. The green glow wasn't causing any permanent damage, but it stung! The exasperating little silver thing kept flittering around his head, attacking like a sparrow fighting a hawk, unable to do any real harm but certainly troublesome and annoying. Finally he'd had enough. Moving as fast as he could, he reached out and snatched the Krypturanium Explorer from the air in one giant claw and slapped it into his mouth. With a chomp and a gulp, he disposed of the silvery pest.

                                          Karys was battered against the control panels surrounding her as the griff jerked her ship first one way, and then another, and before she even realized Thuderwing had grabbed her ship, she was deafened by the screech of tearing metal as the dragon's teeth crunched away the top of her ship, missing her head by inches. She was instantly wrapped in darkness, and battered again as the beast gulped, swallowing the ship virtually whole. She was barely conscious enough to see, by some of the lights of the controls that still worked, that the ship was filling up with fluid from the beast's stomach. She was glad she had her flight suit sealed, but she realized it probably wouldn't protect her much longer. But she had finally figured out how to hurt this giant monster - if only one piece of the ship's equipment was still functioning.

                                          With all the concentration remaining to her, Karys focused on flipping a single switch on the Maintenance control panel. Somewhere in her mind, she was thanking the universe for the long boring hours she'd spent cramped in the ship, with nothing more to do than memorize the layout of the controls. She flipped that switch, and in the engine compartment, a maintenance panel on the fuel chamber slid open. No longer shielded behind a wall of lead, Green Kryptonite radiation blasted forth, passed easily through the hull of the ship, causing Thunderwing severe… heartburn?

                                          The pain caused the giant dragon to have convulsions, and when he coughed with the agony, the battered Krypturanium Explorer was violently ejected from Thunderwing's mouth. Unfortunately for the Shinyscale, the K1 slammed into her head like a giant cannonball, partially crushing her skull and knocking her unconscious. She fell heavily from the sky and landed in one of the craters created during the earlier battle. The K1 also fell, bounced once, and shuddered to a halt close to the unconscious bodies of Xenon's Boldest Family. It was impossible to tell that the pile of crushed and twisted debris had ever been a sleek, powerful spaceship.
                                        • Frank G. Murdock
                                          Kryptonite heartburn.... That IS original. lol /FM ... From: ddswanson To: theJSAallstarstorysite@yahoogroups.com Sent: Saturday, May 14, 2011 10:18 Subject:
                                          Message 20 of 24 , May 15, 2011
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                                            Kryptonite heartburn....

                                            That IS original.

                                            lol

                                            /FM
                                            ----- Original Message -----
                                            From: ddswanson
                                            To: theJSAallstarstorysite@yahoogroups.com
                                            Sent: Saturday, May 14, 2011 10:18
                                            Subject: [The JSA All-Star Story Site] K Quest - Chapter 3 Crisis on Xenon: Karys to the Rescue!



                                            "BEWARE! I AM THUNDERWING SNORTFIRE!" Thunderwing's super-powered bellow not only knocked the Xenonian heroes from the sky, but it alerted every animal within miles that there was an angry male snagriff neaby. Most were already fleeing the devastation from the superpowered battle, and this cry lent added speed to their flight. Shinyscale Silvertalon, on the other claw, was fascinated. She leaped into the air and began winging her way towards the source of that roar.

                                            Shinyscale was a female snagriff. Only a few days ago, her mate and calf had been swallowed by one of the pink veils from the sky. Hunting had taken her away from their 'nest' - a cave Shinyscale and her mate had burned and clawed into the side of a cliff - and when she returned, the entire mountain had vanished. The calf had been unable to fly, and while Shinyscale hadn't seen her family face the end, her mate had died trying to defend the younger griff, roaring defiance and snorting fire at the inexorably-advancing curtain. Griffs don't grieve like humans do, but Shinyscale was lonely, and curious as well.

                                            She quickly reached the scene of a fascinating aerial battle. A giant male snagriff was somehow standing on air - 'hovering' in place, even though he was not flashing his wings - snorting small blasts of fire at a (relatively) tiny pest. A shiny silvery pointed cylinder, about the size of a new-born snagriff calf, darted around the head of the big dragon. Shinyscale had seen flying metal things before, and knew that they had humans inside them. There was a nimbus of greenish energy around the blunt end of the cylinder (the residue of the K-Dondron particles decaying after being expelled from the KD drive) and the flying pest kept maneuvering to sweep the green glow across the male's head. This seemed to annoy the big guy, and each time the green glow touched him, he grunted and whipped his head around to launch another snort of plasma. She rushed to aid this magnificent member of her own species in his battle with humans, but she had to slow to dodge the incredibly hot balls of plasma Thunderwing was firing. Though griffs are normally immune to the fire of other griffs, those plasma balls were hot enough to vaporize her!

                                            Karys was fighting desperately for her life and the lives or her friends. She'd seen the dragon flying towards her unconscious friends, probably planning to eat them. The Krypturanium Explorer didn't have any weapons, but maybe she could distract the monster until her friends regained consciousness. She blasted forward at full power, and zoomed just by the nose of the angry griff. In the rear viewscreen, she saw the monster flinch away from her exhaust aura. She instantly looped back around and got as close to the beast as she dared and slapped the K1 into a tight turn, and again the monster flinched as the green glow swept across its head. The dragon stopped moving, and hovered in place, the unconscious foes on the ground forgotten as it focused on this new foe. She wasn't hurting it - but it was distracted. The only question was, how long could she dodge? She had never seen any living thing so large move so fast!

                                            Once again Thunderwing roared in anger. The green glow wasn't causing any permanent damage, but it stung! The exasperating little silver thing kept flittering around his head, attacking like a sparrow fighting a hawk, unable to do any real harm but certainly troublesome and annoying. Finally he'd had enough. Moving as fast as he could, he reached out and snatched the Krypturanium Explorer from the air in one giant claw and slapped it into his mouth. With a chomp and a gulp, he disposed of the silvery pest.

                                            Karys was battered against the control panels surrounding her as the griff jerked her ship first one way, and then another, and before she even realized Thuderwing had grabbed her ship, she was deafened by the screech of tearing metal as the dragon's teeth crunched away the top of her ship, missing her head by inches. She was instantly wrapped in darkness, and battered again as the beast gulped, swallowing the ship virtually whole. She was barely conscious enough to see, by some of the lights of the controls that still worked, that the ship was filling up with fluid from the beast's stomach. She was glad she had her flight suit sealed, but she realized it probably wouldn't protect her much longer. But she had finally figured out how to hurt this giant monster - if only one piece of the ship's equipment was still functioning.

                                            With all the concentration remaining to her, Karys focused on flipping a single switch on the Maintenance control panel. Somewhere in her mind, she was thanking the universe for the long boring hours she'd spent cramped in the ship, with nothing more to do than memorize the layout of the controls. She flipped that switch, and in the engine compartment, a maintenance panel on the fuel chamber slid open. No longer shielded behind a wall of lead, Green Kryptonite radiation blasted forth, passed easily through the hull of the ship, causing Thunderwing severe. heartburn?

                                            The pain caused the giant dragon to have convulsions, and when he coughed with the agony, the battered Krypturanium Explorer was violently ejected from Thunderwing's mouth. Unfortunately for the Shinyscale, the K1 slammed into her head like a giant cannonball, partially crushing her skull and knocking her unconscious. She fell heavily from the sky and landed in one of the craters created during the earlier battle. The K1 also fell, bounced once, and shuddered to a halt close to the unconscious bodies of Xenon's Boldest Family. It was impossible to tell that the pile of crushed and twisted debris had ever been a sleek, powerful spaceship.





                                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                          • The Time Trust
                                            This is all still part of the flashback to the Crisis, right? I think I mentioned this before, but I thought it was a brilliant idea of yours to use the Crisis
                                            Message 21 of 24 , May 15, 2011
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                                              This is all still part of the flashback to the Crisis, right? I think I mentioned this before, but I thought it was a brilliant idea of yours to use the Crisis to explain why the uber-powerful snagriff wasn't destroyed in an atomic explosion, since Superman couldn't be killed that way.
                                               
                                              --
                                              Cheers,
                                              Doc Quantum of The Time Trust


                                              Read stories of your favorite DC Comics characters at the Five Earths Project!
                                              http://www.5earths.info/


                                              >________________________________
                                              >From: ddswanson <ddswanson@...>
                                              >To: theJSAallstarstorysite@yahoogroups.com
                                              >Sent: Saturday, May 14, 2011 8:18:56 AM
                                              >Subject: [The JSA All-Star Story Site] K Quest - Chapter 3 Crisis on Xenon: Karys to the Rescue!
                                              >
                                              >

                                              >"BEWARE! I AM THUNDERWING SNORTFIRE!" Thunderwing's super-powered bellow not only knocked the Xenonian heroes from the sky, but it alerted every animal within miles that there was an angry male snagriff neaby. Most were already fleeing the devastation from the superpowered battle, and this cry lent added speed to their flight. Shinyscale Silvertalon, on the other claw, was fascinated. She leaped into the air and began winging her way towards the source of that roar.
                                              >
                                              >Shinyscale was a female snagriff. Only a few days ago, her mate and calf had been swallowed by one of the pink veils from the sky. Hunting had taken her away from their 'nest' - a cave Shinyscale and her mate had burned and clawed into the side of a cliff - and when she returned, the entire mountain had vanished. The calf had been unable to fly, and while Shinyscale hadn't seen her family face the end, her mate had died trying to defend the younger griff, roaring defiance and snorting fire at the inexorably-advancing curtain. Griffs don't grieve like humans do, but Shinyscale was lonely, and curious as well.
                                              >
                                              >She quickly reached the scene of a fascinating aerial battle. A giant male snagriff was somehow standing on air - 'hovering' in place, even though he was not flashing his wings - snorting small blasts of fire at a (relatively) tiny pest. A shiny silvery pointed cylinder, about the size of a new-born snagriff calf, darted around the head of the big dragon. Shinyscale had seen flying metal things before, and knew that they had humans inside them. There was a nimbus of greenish energy around the blunt end of the cylinder (the residue of the K-Dondron particles decaying after being expelled from the KD drive) and the flying pest kept maneuvering to sweep the green glow across the male's head. This seemed to annoy the big guy, and each time the green glow touched him, he grunted and whipped his head around to launch another snort of plasma. She rushed to aid this magnificent member of her own species in his battle with humans, but she had to slow to dodge
                                              the incredibly hot balls of plasma Thunderwing was firing. Though griffs are normally immune to the fire of other griffs, those plasma balls were hot enough to vaporize her!
                                              >
                                              >Karys was fighting desperately for her life and the lives or her friends. She'd seen the dragon flying towards her unconscious friends, probably planning to eat them. The Krypturanium Explorer didn't have any weapons, but maybe she could distract the monster until her friends regained consciousness. She blasted forward at full power, and zoomed just by the nose of the angry griff. In the rear viewscreen, she saw the monster flinch away from her exhaust aura. She instantly looped back around and got as close to the beast as she dared and slapped the K1 into a tight turn, and again the monster flinched as the green glow swept across its head. The dragon stopped moving, and hovered in place, the unconscious foes on the ground forgotten as it focused on this new foe. She wasn't hurting it - but it was distracted. The only question was, how long could she dodge? She had never seen any living thing so large move so fast!
                                              >
                                              >Once again Thunderwing roared in anger. The green glow wasn't causing any permanent damage, but it stung! The exasperating little silver thing kept flittering around his head, attacking like a sparrow fighting a hawk, unable to do any real harm but certainly troublesome and annoying. Finally he'd had enough. Moving as fast as he could, he reached out and snatched the Krypturanium Explorer from the air in one giant claw and slapped it into his mouth. With a chomp and a gulp, he disposed of the silvery pest.
                                              >
                                              >Karys was battered against the control panels surrounding her as the griff jerked her ship first one way, and then another, and before she even realized Thuderwing had grabbed her ship, she was deafened by the screech of tearing metal as the dragon's teeth crunched away the top of her ship, missing her head by inches. She was instantly wrapped in darkness, and battered again as the beast gulped, swallowing the ship virtually whole. She was barely conscious enough to see, by some of the lights of the controls that still worked, that the ship was filling up with fluid from the beast's stomach. She was glad she had her flight suit sealed, but she realized it probably wouldn't protect her much longer. But she had finally figured out how to hurt this giant monster - if only one piece of the ship's equipment was still functioning.
                                              >
                                              >With all the concentration remaining to her, Karys focused on flipping a single switch on the Maintenance control panel. Somewhere in her mind, she was thanking the universe for the long boring hours she'd spent cramped in the ship, with nothing more to do than memorize the layout of the controls. She flipped that switch, and in the engine compartment, a maintenance panel on the fuel chamber slid open. No longer shielded behind a wall of lead, Green Kryptonite radiation blasted forth, passed easily through the hull of the ship, causing Thunderwing severe… heartburn?
                                              >
                                              >The pain caused the giant dragon to have convulsions, and when he coughed with the agony, the battered Krypturanium Explorer was violently ejected from Thunderwing's mouth. Unfortunately for the Shinyscale, the K1 slammed into her head like a giant cannonball, partially crushing her skull and knocking her unconscious. She fell heavily from the sky and landed in one of the craters created during the earlier battle. The K1 also fell, bounced once, and shuddered to a halt close to the unconscious bodies of Xenon's Boldest Family. It was impossible to tell that the pile of crushed and twisted debris had ever been a sleek, powerful spaceship.
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >

                                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                            • ddswanson
                                              Sorry, missed this before. I m not sure what is going to happen on Xenon. If I knew that I could hop in a spaceship, pop through a space warp, and have the
                                              Message 22 of 24 , May 16, 2011
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                                                Sorry, missed this before. I'm not sure what is going to happen on Xenon. If I knew that I could hop in a spaceship, pop through a space warp, and have the powers of Superman, and my culture had the technology for the ship and the warp, I am pretty sure that would be my goal.

                                                --- In theJSAallstarstorysite@yahoogroups.com, "Frank G. Murdock" <bytor84@...> wrote:
                                                >
                                                > Xenon culture is basically very conservative and as a norm, most people on Xenon are not interested in space travel. The Crisis forced them to create a space force, the Science Patrol, but now that the Crisis is over, will they go back to ignoring space?
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > Sure, but when young people see there's more out there than their world/culture has to offer, especially those who have tasted adventure, they tend to break from the norm. For those of us who are of a more liberal persuasion, that's called progress.
                                                >
                                                > /FM
                                                > ----- Original Message -----
                                                > From: ddswanson
                                                > To: theJSAallstarstorysite@yahoogroups.com
                                                > Sent: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 09:30
                                                > Subject: Re: [The JSA All-Star Story Site] K Quest - Chapter 3 Crisis on Xenon
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > Fource is a Xenonian (i.e. genetic Kryptonian) mutant and in this story he has developed only limited control over the fundamental stories. He might develop greater control in the future, and if he were to leave the Xenonian environment and gain the normal Kryptonian powers that an Earth environment would give him, who knows what his limits might be.
                                                >
                                                > Xenon culture is basically very conservative and as a norm, most people on Xenon are not interested in space travel. The Crisis forced them to create a space force, the Science Patrol, but now that the Crisis is over, will they go back to ignoring space?
                                                >
                                                > --- In theJSAallstarstorysite@yahoogroups.com, Aleus Mundi <novovacuum@> wrote:
                                                > >
                                                > > Dan, do you realize Fource is a character with the potential to become
                                                > > a Dr. Solar or Dr. Manhattan-like being as he explores the full extent
                                                > > of his powers? (Given certain speculation I would said Static enters
                                                > > into this category since it was implied he could tap into the whole EM
                                                > > spectrum, yet Maestro is gone and I don't like bothering dead people)
                                                > > Still good work sire for a fine branching of the potential of the
                                                > > characters DC could had to offer! :D
                                                > >
                                                > > --
                                                > > The Transmundial rules all
                                                > >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                >
                                              • ddswanson
                                                The tiny ship spun through the air, spewing dragon stomach acid in a whirlpool of caustic mist. Inside the small spaceship, Karys was battered against the
                                                Message 23 of 24 , May 28, 2011
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                                                  The tiny ship spun through the air, spewing dragon stomach acid in a whirlpool of caustic mist. Inside the small spaceship, Karys was battered against the control panels in the tight confines of the cockpit. When the Krypturanium Explorer smashed into the unfortunate female snagriff, it was crushed. For an instant, the interior of the cabin was filled with a brilliant green glow. Kary's helmet was shattered, and she was drenched in the dragon's fluids. Her nose was assaulted with an awful stench. She was being crushed and lacerated, her flesh torn and her bones broken by the collapsing cabin when there was a brilliant white flash, and her head collided savagely with a panel, and she was slammed into unconsciousness.

                                                  *****

                                                  Thunderwing hadn't seen a female griff since before he had been captured on Krypton, over 30 years ago. It was unendurable for the first female he'd seen in that time die instantly after he'd encountered her, even if she was tiny. He landed by her side, wailing plaintively. His head swept back and forth over her, and he realized that she was still alive.

                                                  The snagriff is the most dangerous land-based predator on Krypton or Xenon, and Jor-L's serum had mutated Thunderwing into a larger and even more fearsome form. But the grief-filled beast was nothing but gentle, now. Slowly and carefully, keeping his awesome strength under strict control, the grieving dragon straightened the body of the wounded female. Though she was unconscious, the shifting of broken bones and torn tissues caused her to moan in pain, and Thunderwing wailed pitifully along with her.

                                                  When she was fully laid out in as normal a position as he could manage, he began licking her wounds, gently, both to clean them and to give her what comfort he could. Almost instantly, her moaning lessened and her breathing improved. Her open wounds stopped bleeding, and then seemed to heal magically. As traces of Thunderwing's saliva diffused into her blood and then were carried throughout her body, her internal wounds began to heal and her broken bones started to knit.

                                                  When he realized that his new friend was healing, Thunderwing again turned his attention to his enemies. But the exposed Green Kryptonite made it painful to approach them, and he quickly decided he would rather get acquainted with the female griff. As he turned back to her, she leaped into the air and fled, instinctively anxious to get away from the battlefield where she had almost died. He overtook her almost instantly, and continued to slowly climb higher into the sky, determined to leave this place and find somewhere with an abundant supply of metal and no humans to hound him. She wanted to spend more time with this giant male, and she determinedly flew alongside, even when the air grew too thin to support the flight of a normal griff, and then too thin for a griff to breath. Unknowingly using his telescopic vision again, Thunderwing spotted a swarm of metallic asteroids in deep space, far outside the orbit of Nadron, and the two griffs dwindled into pinpoints, then vanished into the sky.

                                                  *****

                                                  Skyfire/Karre's mind had been battered along with her body, and desperately needed some time to rest, to drift away into darkness for just a short time. But a nearby mind was screaming in agony, and the screams cut through the darkness like lightning. But the bigger shock was that she recognized the mind doing the screaming!

                                                  "Karys!" she hollered. Adrenaline jolted her back to consciousness and she struggled to her feet. A quick examination of her father and brother, aided by her telekinesis, showed that they were battered but hadn't sustained any deadly injuries. But she couldn't say the same for Karys - Karre could tell that her friend had broken bones and mangled flesh, and some kind of fluid was bubbling in her lungs. She tried to tear apart the pile of scrap metal but quickly realized she needed help. So she did something she would never do under normal circumstance - she blasted energy into the minds of her father and brother to awaken them, and instantly gave them a mental update on the situation.

                                                  "Kary - it's Karry" she then sent her thoughts to her friend's frantic mind. "We're here and we'll help! " When Karys didn't respond, the heroine realized that it was her friend's unconscious mind that was screaming so loudly in agony. She touched a spot in Karys's pain center and the mental screaming faded until she could just barely detect it.

                                                  Fource took a page from the pink veils of the Crisis to free Karys from the wreckage. He used his powers to neutralize the molecular bonds in the metal shards in the pile, and piece by piece, the wreckage disintegrated into monatomic dust. Within minutes, Kell was flying Karys to a hospital.

                                                  *****

                                                  Karys awakened and stretched, and started to sit up. she realized instantly that she weighed a lot more than she expected; she was on Xenon rather than on Ulaine. Her eyes snapped open and she saw that she was in the bedroom of her small apartment in Xenonopolis. She shouldn't be here! And that realization caused her recent memories to snap to the fore.

                                                  "I shouldn't even be alive!" she thought frantically. "I must have smashed my head open when my helmet was shattered, and my head must have been covered in dragon spit. Yuch!"

                                                  So, could it be transplants, or an android body, or what? As she checked herself out, the door slid. open and a doctor entered. She was wearing a Science Patrol uniform, but Karys didn't recognize her. "Good to see you up and around, Lt. Thal. You've certainly confounded a lot of doctors in the last few days," she smiled, " including me. You've nothing to worry about, though. You are as healthy as any person I've ever had in my care."

                                                  "Thanks, Major Doun," Karys replied a little nervously, as she read the woman's nametag. Why did she rate a doctor with the rank of Major? "You guys must have performed some real miracles. I would have guessed, crippled for life at best…"

                                                  "'Us guys' had nothing to do with it, actually. By the time your friends pulled you from the wreckage, you were well on the way to being healed, and by the time they got you to a hospital, there was no trace that you had received even the smallest injury! In fact, all traces of that compound fracture you sustained at eight - the bump in the tibia of your right leg, and the wound scar - are gone as well."

                                                  "Since then, Karys has discovered that she has some super powers of her own," Karre continued. Somehow, her body has become a storage cell for a type of energy previously unknown to the science of Xenon, and she can manifest that energy in a number of ways."

                                                  "I'm still learning to use that energy," Karys added proudly. "I can fly, and when I choose to be, I'm invulnerable. Pretty neat stuff!"

                                                  "Kell Orr searched for the dragons with his super vision about a week later," Karre seemingly changed the subject. "He spotted them flying through space towards a nearby star. The female was much bigger by then; she's somehow mutated to match the male. Nobody lives in the system they are headed for, and it will take them years to get there, so we figure they can live happily ever after. "

                                                  "And that's the story of the Kryptonian Space Dragon," Karre said, her voice changing timbre a bit as she slipped into her Science Patrol personna again. "Sorry to be all official on you, but why are you guys here? I need to know before I can certify you to come any further into the system. And," she smiled "we'd like to invite you all to dinner on board our cruiser - we don't get many guests, as you can imagine."

                                                  *****

                                                  A couple of days after, a Science Patrol officer accompanied Valor to the newly renamed Zoll Orr Research Institute, where he was introduced to Juna Dondwar. Juna was a famous physicist in her own right, and she had worked with Zoll Orr for over 20 years. Together, they had investigated the Kryptonite-Uranium decay process and discovered the K-Dondron (which Zoll Orr had named for his research partner). Now that Zoll had passed, she was the foremost expert on Kryptonite on Xenon.

                                                  Dondwar was a short, somewhat portly woman of around 50. Her hair was white and worn in a bob, and she was dressed in slacks and a long-sleeved, high-necked white blouse which looked starched.

                                                  "So you are interested in White Kryptonite, Mr. Valor?" she asked. "In the K/U decay process, under some circumstance, the Kryptonite does change colors - and one of the stages it passes through is White. But that stage isn't stable; it seems to have a half life of less than a second. I've never really thought about stabilizing the white isotope." She paused for a few moments; Valor recognized the look of one who was deep in thought. Finally, she returned from her mental excursion. "I'll have to look at the equations more closely. Unfortunately, I won't be able to do anything more than a theoretical examination for you, as almost all the Kryptonite on Xenon has been used up in the decay process that saved the planet. And years ago, Superman and Kell Orr gathered all the Kryptonite in a volume several light years in diameter."

                                                  "Well, we're on our way to the Rao system, where we expect to find a good supply of Kryptonite. Perhaps, we'll even find some naturally occurring White K," Valor told the Xenonian scientist. "If you wouldn't mind sharing your datebase of knowledge of the K/U decay with the Avenger's computer, I may be able to work out the synthesis process myself when I have enough Green K to experiment with. I'll be pleased to provide you with any new information I learn when we return."

                                                  "I'll make you a deal, instead," she smiled at him. "I'll provide you with the database if you take me along. With no Kryptonite here on Xenon and no prospect of getting more any time soon, my research is stalled. Why, we've even had to postpone the starship program."

                                                  Valor nodded - that explained why Xenon's top test pilot was flying border patrol. "There's plenty of room on the Avenger. We're ready to go - how long will it take you to upload the database and get ready?"

                                                  "Not too long," she replied with a twinkle in her eye. "As soon as I heard about your quest, I decided I was going with you. I've got the database here" she held up a slender crystal, about 6 inches long, which glowed pale green "and I finished packing yesterday. Let's get going."

                                                  So the Tiak Avenger, with a new crew member, headed back into space, still searching for the system of the star Rao.

                                                  *****
                                                • ddswanson
                                                  In case you would rather read the whole thing at once rather than move backwards up a waterfall of earlier posts. Backstory Almost 200,000 years ago, a young
                                                  Message 24 of 24 , May 29, 2011
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                                                    In case you would rather read the whole thing at once rather than move backwards up a waterfall of earlier posts.

                                                    Backstory

                                                    Almost 200,000 years ago, a young Lord of Order named Marnu conceived of an ambitious plan to advance the cause of Order over Chaos in our Galaxy. Marnu took a series of mortal hosts and in these various incarnations he was the driving force behind the creation of a star-spanning organization known as the Galactic Patrol. So successful was the Patrol in the quest for Order that the Lords of Chaos took notice, and several of them joined forces against Marnu and the Patrol. About 100,000 years ago, the forces of Chaos smashed the Galactic Patrol and banished Marnu from the universe.

                                                    Only one Patroller, Iredok Jur Diah, managed to survive, and through a sequence of improbable events over 1000 centuries, his Patrol weapons, the Globe and Glove, which controlled a power known as 'the Glow' came into the possession of an Earthman, Jim Chisholm, in 1986. Jim used these powerful weapons to begin a super heroic career as Strobe (symbolic of 'lights out for the bad guys'). Strobe immediately acquired an arch-enemy, Wotan, a newly created Lord of Chaos. Wotan assumed the responsibilities of the Lord of Chaos named Burr, who moved on to a higher plane. Burr had been part of the group that banished Marnu, so Wotan felt that he was now responsible for completing the destruction of every remainder of the Patrol still existent, including Jim Chisholm and the last Globe and Glove.

                                                    Wotan's curse has destroyed Jim's life; in the year since he came into possession of the Globe and Glove, he has lost his business, his house, his girlfriend, and his parents died in an accident. He was living in a tin can and tar paper shanty when he had a chance encounter with Dr. Fate and Marnu.

                                                    After 100,000 years of imprisonment by the Lords of Chaos, Marnu has finally managed to escape and return to our universe. He is an energy being, and currently inhabits a super powered android body originally created by Ted Knight. In this body, he uses the name Vic Valor, and he is no longer able to utilize the powers he formerly wielded as a Lord of Order. But the android body has a suite of super powers of its own. Vic Valor's personality is a combination of a fictional persona created by Ted Knight in 1949 as a result of a mental breakdown, Ted's memories as of 1949, and Marnu's own mind. Because Marnu was the creator of the Galactic Patrol, he is also a target for Wotan.

                                                    Jim and Valor have decided to team up to find and battle Wotan. They don't know the location of his sanctum, somewhere light years from Earth, and are currently trying to track it down. They are traveling in a rebuilt Galactic Patrol exploration cruiser they have renamed the 'Tiak Avenger' (in the language of the Lords of Order, a tiak is a period of time roughly equivalent to 100,000 years, which to a Lord of Order is a short time).

                                                    On their shakedown trip, the Avenger was drawn through a space warp near the minor planet of Juno in Earth's solar system, and crash-landed on the planet Juneo, which orbits a green star light years away from Earth. There they encountered the last survivor of Lemuria on Earth, a young boy whose scientist parents had launched him into space when the continent of Lemuria sank 100,000 years ago. His rocket had also fallen through the space warp and crashed, leaving him in suspended animation until it was discovered about 15 years ago. During that time, the green radiation from Juneo's star supercharged his body with energy, giving him super powers similar to those of Superman on Earth. In his adopted secret identity of Zarl Vorne, he is now the Juneon super hero Power Boy.

                                                    The green star also energizes plant life with unnatural vitality, and the people of Juneo have waged war against the planet's supercharged jungle vegetation since the sun turned green 100,000 years ago.

                                                    The two heroes have started to wonder at the number of 'coincidental' disasters that all occurred around 100,000 years ago. They already knew that Marnu's imprisonment and the destruction of the Galactic Patrol were related, but now they have discovered that the destruction of Lemuria and the disastrous color change of Juneo's sun happened at about the same time - are these related as well?

                                                    The jungle has overrun the entire planet of Juneo except for a single city, Ralzen's Forge, and every citizen spends nearly his or her entire life dedicated to the war against the voracious plants. Some Galactic Patrol weapons from the Avenger's armory, and a disintegration beam originally invented by Ted Knight, are so effective against the jungle that for the first time in years, the Juneons are able to expand the territory they control, but the jungle will adapt in a few years. Jim (Strobe) remembered that White Kryptonite emits radiation that instantly kills any form of plant life, and if they had some, the Jueons would be able to retake their planet. Unfortunately, the only White Kryptonite he has ever heard of was a single chunk from the universe of Earth 1, brought to Earth 2 by Supergirl. Jim and Valor decide to go to the Rao system, home of the now-destroyed planet of Krypton, to see if they can find any White K.

                                                    With the prospect of finally winning the war against the jungle, the Juneon government begins a space program. A female captain in the nascent program, Jessiat Gazil, is selected to be the captain of Juneon's first space vessel. It will be a couple of years before ship construction is completed, so she asks to go along with the Earth heroes in order to learn, first hand, more about space travel. The Avenger is refitted after her crash landing, using a combination of human, Juneon and Galactic Patrol technology, and her crew of three head out on the ship's second shakedown cruise in 6 weeks.

                                                    Kryptonite Quest: Crisis on Xenon

                                                    Prologue:

                                                    "So when do we finally head for this lost world of Krypton?" Jessiat Gazil eagerly asked her new crewmates on the Galactic Patrol cruiser Tiak Avenger. The Avenger had recently suffered through a very rough landing on Jessiat's home planet of Juneo, and Jess had eagerly taken part in rebuilding the ship. She had been selected by the nascent Juneon Space Force to become the Captain of the first Juneon spaceship and she was making the best of this opportunity for some 'on the job' training. "We've tested the refits pretty thoroughly." She'd never imagined space travel could possibly be as boring as repeatedly testing every function and feature of the Avenger was turning out to be.

                                                    "I'm satisfied," agreed Vic Valor. Valor, at well over 7' tall, looked like a human giant; in actuality his 'body' was an android which housed the consciousness of Marnu, one of the ancient immortal Lords of Order. The body had started out as a suit of high tech super powered combat armor created by Ted Knight in 1949; Marnu had modified it extensively for his own use. More than 100,000 years ago, in an earlier 'incarnation', Marnu had been the driving force behind the creation of the Galactic Patrol and he had actually personally designed the Tiak Avenger series of cruisers, so long ago.

                                                    "Sure, let's get going. The sooner we find some White Kryptonite, the sooner we can help the Juneons, and then we can get back to looking for Wotan. I'm tired of his constant stream of little 'gifts'!" This from Jim (Strobe) Chisholm, a tall, athletic black man. Jim was about the size of an NFL tight end, but next to Valor he looked small. He was wearing a black glove on his right hand. The Glove was an ancient artifact of the Galactic Patrol, a tool and a weapon that allowed him to release and control the white energy of the Glow. The Glove also enabled him to communicate mentally with the Artificial Intelligence which controlled the Tiak Avenger.

                                                    "Avenger! Set course for the Rao star system." Valor commanded.

                                                    "I'm afraid I can't do that. There is no current record of a star named Rao in the navigational database." the AI responded. "Diagnostics indicate that an unauthorized data erasure program began running in the database two minutes ago. Erasure program cancelled. Further diagnostic indicates that 27.32% of the navigational database has been erased. I am unable to determine the origin of the erasure program." The Tiak Avenger's ancient operating system, now running on a computer modeled on a Gray supercomputer built using highly advanced Juneon technology, had a significant amount of initiative.

                                                    "Damn that Wotan!" Jim swore passionately. "What do we do now?"

                                                    Valor responded. "Back in the World War II era, Ted Knight tried to locate Krypton. He knew approximately how far from Earth it was, and what general direction, and I have that information too. We'll find it." Marnu's consciousness had possessed Ted Knight for a short period in 1949, and he had access to everything Ted had known at that time. He used a projector to display a holographic 3D map of space within 300 light years of Earth. He reached into the hologram, and traced out a region of space with his finger. "Ted believed that Krypton's star was somewhere in this region. Red giants are comparatively rare; we may not find Krypton on our first attempt, but once we are close enough for direct observation, it shouldn't take us long to find it." He gave the computer an order. "Avenger, find a red giant star near the center of the indicated reason and prepare to jump us there." Within seconds, one of the stars in the display began to glow more brightly.

                                                    Before he could order the ship to initiate the hyperjump, Jess spoke up. "Say, in the Galactic Patrol computer library, I found some schematics and instructions for building some of the equipment once used by Patrollers," she commented. "Would you guys mind if I used the machine shop and built some of that stuff? If we're ever in a situation when you guys need to use your super powers, I'd feel more useful if I had access to some of the Patrol weapons and defenses. After all, who knows what other tricks that Wotan fellow is going to try?" The Avenger had a very well equipped machine shop. "Lucky for me most of the machine tools are automated!"

                                                    "Leave some time for training in interstellar navigation and starship piloting." Valor said. "I think it will be useful for both you and Jim." Jim moaned, but he was actually looking forward to it, and it was one of the main reasons Jess was on-board. She turned to Jim.

                                                    "Umm… do you think you can teach me to fight?" she asked hesitantly. "I'm one of the most experienced 'warriors' on my planet, but I've spent my whole life fighting plants. Deadly plants, but plants nonetheless. We don't have any real concept of martial arts on Juneo."

                                                    "My kind of place!" Jim nodded approvingly. "I can teach you aikido, but it's not really about fighting. It's about learning to properly use your 'Ki', meaning the universal life force. But it IS useful if you do happen to get into a fight."

                                                    Working together, the three crewmates set up a daily schedule, and then Valor commanded the Tiak Avenger to head into deep space. For the first time in a thousand centuries (other than some static tests) her mighty hyperdrive engine thundered to life, she vanished from normal space, and they were headed towards their first destination.

                                                    Welcome to Xenon

                                                    The Avenger came out of hyperspace about 20 light minutes from a giant red star. In a few minutes, the Avenger's instruments had discovered several planets with wildly disturbed orbits, including a rocky planet much larger and denser than Earth. Before they could learn much more, they were approached by two small figured flying at high speed. The external viewer showed that they were humanoid, wearing spacesuits. "Looks like a greeting party," Jim commented.

                                                    The Avenger's crew was astonished when a voice sounded in their heads. "Greetings. Please do not be alarmed. I am Captain Karre Orr of the Xenon Science Patrol, speaking to you via telepathy. I am using English, as a quick scan of your minds showed it to be a language we all share. Please adjust your radio to use carrier phase modulation at this frequency" a number came into their minds "so we can communicate via the radio, which will be more comfortable for all of us."

                                                    A few minutes later Valor radioed: " I am Vic Valor, of the independent vessel Tiak Avenger. We are peaceful explorers and would like to trade information with you. How is it that you speak English?"

                                                    Major Orr repliead "We were wondering the same thing about you. 'Avenger' seems to be an unusual name for an exploration vessel. Hold your position until your peaceful intentions can be verified. Please allow me, along with my partner Captain Karys Thal, to board and inspect your ship. We are unarmed. Any attempt to interfere with our inspection of your vessel will be interpreted as an act of war." Her words were officious but her cheerful voice belied the harsh words - she certainly didn't sound like a military captain.

                                                    Valor replied "You are both welcome to board, and we will be happy to assist with the inspection. We are peaceful explorers. Though the Avenger is armed, alk of our weapons are locked. Please use the airlock now indicated by the blue boarding light."

                                                    "These two must be pretty brave, entering an unknown and potentially hostile ship." Jess marveled. "And they were moving fast. I've been practicing with a GP spacesuit, and their propulsion units are nowhere near that fast. These two are like missiles!"

                                                    Jim and Valor looked at each other in alarm as Jess's words registered. The two of them together would have a tough time if they were forced to battle against the weapons on the Avenger, yet these two Xenonians had approached them casually, fearlessly. "I wouldn't be surprised if these two have super powers," Jim warned Jess. "We should check them out, very discreetly, and be ready for anything." Jess nodded, glad that she was wearing a new protective uniform built with GP materials to GP specifications!

                                                    *****

                                                    The Science Patrol officers entered the Avenger and removed their helmets, revealing 2 very attractive, entirely human female faces. Jim spoke first. "I apologize, but telepathy makes us uneasy. I don't want to be inhospitable, but I've activated mind shields around the three of us. I'm Jim Chisholm, the big guy is Vic Valor, commander of the Tiak Avenger, and this is Captain Jessiat Gazil of the Juneon Space Command." Jim and Valor bowed as they were introduced, and Jim was astonished when Jess bowed too - she assumed that a bow was the customary form of greeting for her crewmates, so she went along with it.

                                                    The woman that responded had hair so dark it was almost blue, and Jim and Valor were astonished at how much she resembled Superman.

                                                    "I'm Captain Karre Orr of the Xenonian Science Patrol" the dark haired woman replied formally. "And this is Captain Karys Thal." They both bowed as well, though not as deeply as the visitors had. Captain Thal was shorter than Captain Orr, with a complexion that was often referred to on Earth as 'café au lait'. She had striking long white hair and an expressive face with large deep blue eyes. "No offense taken, Jim Chisholm. Telepathy makes most of my own people uneasy as well." Captain Orr continued.

                                                    They quickly got down to business, and shortly the Avenger's crew was giving a guided tour of the big ship. The 2 Science Patrol officers were very courteous and businesslike, but they closely observed everything they saw, and asked a lot of questions that would have been uncomfortable if the space travelers had been hiding anything. During the tour, the group also had the chance to tell their various stories.

                                                    *****

                                                    "When we got back to Xenon, our 'Kryptonian' powers faded, of course." Karre was saying. "But now that we were no longer invulnerable, the comet gasses we'd metabolized affected each of us, and my father Kell, my brother Larre and I all gained permanent super powers, each different than the other. So that's how I learned English, saved the Earth from Aquarius (with a little help), met Superman, and became a super heroine!" Karre finished her story as they finished the inspection of the Tiak Avenger.* She looked at Karys uncomfortably as she stopped talking.

                                                    *See 'The Missing Earth' http://www.5earths.info/earth-2/showcase-e2-superstars-tp1969-0/

                                                    "A couple of years ago, it seemed as if the universe was trying to destroy Xenon, and as a result of one of the 'attacks' I got super powers as well." Karys added. "An invention of Karre's grandfather, Zoll Orr, saved most of our cities and population, but he and his wife Vana both perished."

                                                    Before the others could commiserate with her, Karre changed the subject from the space storm. "Thanks for your cooperation so far," she said in as formal a voice as she could muster. "The weapons on this ship are certainly very impressive, but with a crew of only three, it seems unlikely that the Avenger is a ship of war. I'm tentatively certifying you as 'friendly'."

                                                    "Well, now that we're friends, why are you folks so jumpy?" Jim asked. "Do you get visitors that you have to certify as 'unfriendly'?"

                                                    Crisis on Xenon

                                                    "As I said, less than 2 years ago, some kind of incredible storm struck Xenon from space," Karys answered. "Our astronomers said it was striking the entire universe, but how could they possibly know that? These shimmering pink curtain things, kind of like an aurora, dropped from the sky, and whatever they touched was destroyed! And when they receded, they sometimes left behind some terrible menace, such as a space dragon from Krypton. My people don't trust the sky any longer!"

                                                    "On Earth, we called that 'pink space storm' the Crisis," Jim told her. "It hit us hard as well, and the people of Earth are still recovering. Our leading scientists also agree that the Crisis struck throughout the universe."

                                                    "There was massive devastation here, and millions died." Karre added sadly. "My grandfather, the great scientist Zoll Orr, came out of retirement to help save the planet. He invented a force field that could protect a city from the storm. The force field requires a tremendous power source, so he invented the Kryptonite-Uranium Reactor too. The first KU Reactor that was built was used to shield Xenonopolis, where Zoll and his wife lived. He was too busy to help build it himself, and he depended on a team of technicians. They decided that the need was so urgent that they took some shortcuts in the construction to get it finished faster. The reactor worked long enough to prove to everyone that Zoll Orr's shield could resist the storm, but it eventually overloaded and shut down. The pink curtain it had been blocking touched down for no more than a second and half of Xenonopolis was gone! Zoll and Vara, my grandmother, were in that half." She started sobbing as she reopened the fresh emotional wound. "DAMN those freepin' idiots! After that, all the other reactors were built exactly to Zoll's specifications, and they worked perfectly. Even though we used up most of our Kryptonite and uranium, there were no other shield failures!"

                                                    "I'm really sorry to hear about your grandparents," Jess put a soothing arm around the weeping Karre. "I guess we were lucky on Juneo. Our skies turned pink and our weather was extra-violent for a week, but nobody was injured and nothing was destroyed by whatever it was. But I know what it's like to lose grandparents - mine died when the jungle found a way to extend creepers into their turret, and whatever the creepers did inside their jungleblaster cannon made it explode."

                                                    "I wondered why no one on Juneo mentioned the Crisis," Jim said, trying to change the topic of the conversation; he was still dealing with the deaths of his own parents. "I was afraid to ask, worried that I might violate some kind of cultural taboo."

                                                    "No. Compared to our everyday battle against the jungle, it was really not a big deal… at least on Juneo. Actually, if pinks curtains had swept over most of the surface and destroyed the jungle, it could have been a boon for us," Jess replied. She turned back to Karre. "Can you tell us more about the effects here?"

                                                    "Those pink veils were terrible!" Karre replied. "They would drift down from space, destroying everything that passed through them, then touch down and sweep across the surface and then simply vanish, or float back into the sky. Our scientists speculated that the veils were some sort of 'anti-energy' - but not the kind that makes normal matter explode; instead it seemed to dissolve molecular bonds, leaving behind dust that we could separate into the pure elements. The veils stripped away everything, down to about 3' below the average sea level. Nobody knows why they didn't penetrate any deeper, but we're lucky they didn't. One veil cut a pass through one of our highest mountain ranges, another swept inland off the ocean and we now have a tremendously large new bay, tens of miles long and wide, but nowhere more than 3' deep." She paused for a moment to regain her composure. Telling this story brought back strong emotions!

                                                    "Zoll Orr, Karre's grandfather, postulated that the bottoms of the veils might be sweeping along a specific gravitational contour level," Karys added, to give her friend time to recover. "He built a machine that can warp gravitational contour lines, bending them so that the deadly one passes above the machine, not below it. Other scientists scoffed at him, but his invention worked! A veil was approaching Xenonopolis. Zoll activated the generator and then went outside and watched as the veil lifted and began to pass over the city. But the poorly-made Kryptonite/Uranium generator failed, and the veil chopped into the city like the blade of a knife. In only a few seconds, a big crater was scooped out of the middle of the city, leaving behind a pool of dust, and the veil then lifted back into space. Unfortunately, the crater included the location of Zoll Orr's laboratory." She paused, and there was silence for a few seconds before Karre resumed her story.

                                                    "We're still suffering from the aftereffects. There are literally millions of tons of monatomic dust in the air, dust that is so light that our scientists say it may never settle out naturally. The dust blocks incoming sunlight and we are experiencing global climate change, perhaps the prelude to an ice age, unless we can find a method to precipitate the dust. And people who breathed a significant quantity of the dust are now experience a growing number of previously unknown ailments. Our bodies just don't know what to do with pure elements in a monatomic state!"

                                                    "I'm interested in hearing more about the Kryptonian Space Dragon," Valor asked Karre. "How do you know it was from Krypton?"

                                                    The Destruction of Xenonopolis

                                                    "So you want to hear about the dragon?" she sighed, then continued softly. "OK. It happened several days after the pink veils started to drop from the sky. Zoll Orr had just announced that he had discovered a shield that could protect us, and people all over the world were frantically rushing to get started building them. The populace of Xenonopolis thought they were safe, and many of them were on the streets watching as that fateful veil swept in. And then, instantly, disaster struck, and after that, all that was left was the cleanup…"

                                                    *****

                                                    Captain Karre Orr of the Xenonian Science Patrol blazed through the sky, leaving behind her the flashing, slowly fading trail that had led the newscasters to call her 'Skyfire'. Her barracks was in the part of Xenonopolis that had been saved by Zoll Orr's shield, and when she'd received emergency orders to respond to the destruction in that city, she'd prayed that he also had been saved by his own invention. But she'd quickly realized there was nothing she could do for her grandparents - they were now monatomic dust, separated into the original elements that were contained in the human body. Wherever the veil had swept, there was nothing left but dust. The only place her help would be valuable was at the edge of the dustbowl - where buildings had only partially been disintegrated before the veil had lifted.

                                                    For several hours, her rescue work had left her no time for grief. Her telepathic powers enabled her to locate living victims in the rubble of collapsed structures, and with her great physical strength and unending stamina she was able to reach many of the still-living hours before the heavy construction equipment still being mobilized by the government would even reach the scene. She was heartened when she was joined by her father, Kell (Superman) Orr and brother, Larre (Fource) Orr. Her telepathy and Superman's super vision powers helped locate survivors, and their great physical strength, along with Fource's gravity controlling powers, allowed them to safely and efficiently locate and rescue the survivors.

                                                    There was only a relatively small region of partial devastation where they needed to work. Where the veil had completely passed, there was nothing but dust. A hundred meters from the edge of the dust bowl, it was as nothing had happened. But in between, the structures that had been partially dissolved by the veil before it lifted had collapsed, sometimes pulling down other nearby structures, forming a ribbon of destruction around the bowl The super heroes were soon joined by a growing army of workers in individual heavy construction exoskeletons who streamed into the disaster site, and they broke into teams working in different directions around the rim. Karre took time to direct about half of the construction workers into the dustbowl - there was a lot of city more than 3 feet down, and anyone who happened to be in an underground location, such as a transport tunnel or a sheltered walkway or the like would likely need to be rescued from being buried in the monatomic elemental dust. She hoped the sealed exoskeletons were up to the task!

                                                    Finally, as nearly as they could tell, everyone who needed rescue had been rescued. The exhausted heroes could leave the rest of the work to the construction professionals. As they were discussing the remaining work with several construction bosses, there was a flare of light from somewhere high above the horizon. The flare was bright enough to dazzle everyone who had been unfortunate enough to be looking upwards, and even reflections from dull or dark surfaces were too bright to look at. Within seconds, Fource's electromagnetic powers detected a shower of atomic radiation, raining down from the sky, and the sky was lighted by the most magnificent auroras that anyone on Xenon had ever witnessed. The radiation grew in intensity, peaked, and grew less powerful, until less than a minute later, incoming radiation was back to normal levels - but the ground was now radioactive. Nobody would die instantly of this level of radiation exposure, but a half hour's exposure would be enough to kill many people.

                                                    Fortunately, the crust of Xenon contained an unusually high concentration of lead, and most of the building materials used in the city would block radiation. So the interior of any intact buildings would shield the populace until the city could be evacuated. Superman used his super voice to warn everyone within hearing range that they needed to go inside and stay there until rescue teams came for them, and then the 3 heroes headed for space, looking for the source of the massive atomic explosion.

                                                    Danger in Orbit

                                                    What the people of Xenon had just experienced was really not a massive atomic explosion high above the planet. Actually, it was the second half of a massive atomic explosion, an explosion which had begun light years away from Xenon and years in the past. Though the radiation from that explosion was troubling, Xenonian technology was able to deal with it. It was what materialized along with the explosion that was going to cause real problems!

                                                    With his super vision, Kell Orr examined the sky above. "There's something big up there that shouldn't be there," he told his fellow heroes. He focused more intently. "It's a snagriff, and it's heading for Ulaine!"

                                                    Snagriffs are very large dragon-like beasts seemingly native to several of the planets in the Krypton/Ra system, and Kell knew that they could snort fire through their nostrils - but this one seemed to have just spewed an incredibly powerful atomic explosion from its mouth. Kell rocketed skyward at his highest speed. Ulaine was a small asteroid of exceptionally high metallic content that had been moved into orbit around Xenon. He had to stop the beast before it reached Ulaine; the snagriff's 'nuclear belch' could easily kill the thousands who lived there and destroy the factories where they worked.

                                                    *****

                                                    The confused, angry snagriff let out a tremendous bellow which, if other snagriffs had heard it, would have translated roughly as . "BEWARE! I AM THUNDERWING SNORTFIRE!" and which carried overtones of hunger, loneliness, frustration, and RAGE. In the vacuum of space, his roar was silent, which only increased his frustration and anger.

                                                    Less than a minute ago, Thunderwing had been on the surface of a planet, gorging himself on a mountain of steel and iron dust. Then his human enemy had flashed from the sky and at super speed had entangled him in something red and stretchy. Before he could tear his way free, he was rocketed upwards, and 2 seconds later, he had been painfully jolted by the ultra-powerful explosion of 6 atomic bombs detonating in his stomach. The stretchy thing entangling him had vanished, and Thunderwing found himself in space, belching atomic fire, near a planet that was definitely NOT the same one he had been terrorizing just seconds ago. He had no way to know that the Anti-Monitor had plucked him from the time stream and made him a pawn in the Crisis on Infinite Earths. (You can see the earlier saga of this particular snagriff in Superman #78, Sept/Oct 1952 "The Beast From Krypton". Or see the synopsis below )

                                                    Far in front of him, Thunderwing could see a large asteroid, glittering metallically in the red light of this planet's giant star. It was covered with buildings and infested with humans, though he didn't quite understand how he could see these details from so far away. If he could reach that asteroid, destroying the humans would slake his rage and frustration, and then he could gorge himself on the metal in the satellite. He flapped his wings, not realizing that wings don't work in a vacuum, and leisurely flew towards the rock, eagerly anticipating the satisfaction in his near future.

                                                    Synopsis of "The Beast from Krypton", Superman #78, Sept/Oct 1952

                                                    Several years before the planet Krypton exploded, Jor-L, one of the giant planet's leading scientists was experimenting with life extension techniques. He needed to test a serum, but wasn't sure it was safe for humans. He chose a male snagriff, a very large, hardy beast that looked like a cross between a dragon and a stegosaurus, which could fly and snort fire from its nostrils. After he had injected the snagriff with his experimental drug, Jor-L placed a collar of Kryptonian metal around the beast's neck, and inscribed on it a record of his research. The serum had unexpected side effects and the beast began to mutate. The snagriff grew even larger, he began to eat metal instead of his natural diet, and his hide and armor plates transformed into metal.

                                                    The mutated snagriff ate his cage and escaped captivity. His newly enhanced abilities and new powers allowed him to avoid Jor-L's efforts at re-capture. When the sangriff started eating Krypton's most valuable metal, Boradium, Jor-L baited a trap for him. He lured the beast onto his giant space catapult and launched it to Koron, one of Krypton's moons, which was largely composed of metal. The mutations caused by Jor-L's serum allowed the snagriff to survive in the vacuum of space, and by eating the metal that made up the moon, it was able survived on Koron indefinitely. Jor-L had no idea how long the mutated beast might survive.

                                                    When Krypton exploded, Koron was hurled out of orbit and it wandered through space for years. Eventually it passed through the same space warp which had brought baby Kal-L's rocket to Earth. In 1952, the rogue moon's path passed near enough to Earth for the lonely snagriff to leap to the planet below, where it gained additional super powers, as any Kryptonian would in the Terrestrial environment. Not long after he landed on Earth, the snagriff was making a meal of an ocean liner, and Superman arrived to stop him.

                                                    The Man of Steel had very little experience fighting Kryptonians, and he never really believed that the snagriff had the same powers that he did, even though every effort he made to stop the beast failed. Eventually, the snagriff swallowed 6 atomic bombs whole from a secret facility located so close to Metropolis that the explosion of these bombs would destroy the city. Superman saw this as a way to get rid of the snagriff. When a warning mechanism on the bombs showed that they were 3 seconds from exploding, he used his super speed to wrap the snagriff in his elastic, invulnerable cape and carried the bundle towards space. Before he could get even a quarter mile high, the bombs went off, and his cape contained the explosion. When he reached space and released the cape, the snagriff was gone. In his thoughts, Superman was pleased that the snagriff was "… reduced to no more than a few microscopic fragments of atomic dust… as is Krypton itself!"

                                                    Back to the Present

                                                    Superman apparently never wondered why an atomic explosion that he had expected to live through, and which didn't damage his cape, had disintegrated an invulnerable beast from Krypton. Now we know that the snagriff wasn't really disintegrated in the explosion, just snatched out of time and space by the Anti-Monitor.

                                                    Kell Orr, Xenon's Superman, was a faster flier than either of his kids. He was visible only as a red and blue blur as he caught up to Thunderwing from below and behind. This beast was much larger than a normal snagriff, about 70' long with a wingspan of about 100' (about the same size as a World War 2 B-17 bomber). "I'm going to hit the nerve center behind the head," he radioed his partners. But the beast was as invulnerable as Kell Orr himself. Kell bounced off, stunned. The snagriff was stunned as well, and started spinning slowly out of control. The younger heroes, Skyfire and Fource arrived before either Kell or the beast could recover.

                                                    "Dad's only stunned." Skyfire told her brother after reading Kell's mind. "Let's take care of the big guy here."

                                                    "I guess the 'Brute Force and Massive Ignorance' attack isn't going to work this time" Fource chuckled quietly to his sister via radio, using his powers to insure that their father couldn't overhear. The two younger heroes had received extensive military training in the Space Patrol and the constantly chided their father about his impulsiveness.

                                                    The younger generation of Xenonian heroes launched their own double-barreled attack. Skyfire blasted Thunderwing with a short, very intense blast of sensory 'static', attempting to stun the dragon by overloading him with a barrage of powerful random sensations. She squeezed her eyes shut, scrunched up her fists as she concentrated on focusing all her mental power into the blast. She hoped it wouldn't kill the 'griff, but was much more worried that her attack wouldn't be powerful enough to stop him. Fource used his control of the four fundamental natural forces to focus all the electromagnetic radiation (light, uv, radio waves, x-rays, etc) from the surrounding volume of space.

                                                    Thunderwing's mind exploded with sounds, images, smells, touches, all unnaturally powerful . His besieged brain virtually shut down for a few instants under the overload; released from the control of his brain, his body experienced the draconic equivalent of a seizure, and Thunderwing's limbs, wings, neck and tail flailed about violently and uncontrollably.

                                                    At that instant, a broad beam of scintillating blue light, projected by Fource, struck the snagriff, who vanished in a cloud of greasy black smoke. The battle wasn't over, however - the incredibly potent blue beam instantly burned away the cloud to reveal the dragon, now gleaming like burnished metal. But his invulnerable hide had protected him, though the powerful beam had instantly vaporized every speck of dust and dirt, every barnacle-like parasite, and every external discoloration from his metallic scales.

                                                    Neither young hero could sustain such powerful attacks for more than a second or two. As the attacks faltered, Thunderwing regained control of his body and turned to face the super siblings. He snorted a blast of flame from his nostrils, then resumed his flight towards his anticipated meal and recreation on Ulaine. In his experience, even enemies which were foolish enough to attack a snagriff once rarely tried a second time after facing a snoot of fire. A 'normal' snagriff snorts burning methane, which isn't powerful enough to harm Fource or Skyfire. But the mutation caused by Jor-L's serum had enhanced Thunderwing's fire-breathing prowess, and this flare of fire quickly coalesced into a massive ball of roiling plasma of superheated metallic ions, as hot as the interior of a white star!

                                                    Neither youngster was invulnerable like their father, but they had other defenses. Fource created an electromagnetic field around them to deflect the ionized mass, and Skyfire reinforced it with her TK. Even so, the ball knocked them aside as their shield deflected it.

                                                    "Larre, Can you get rid of that thing?" Kell Orr's voice came over the radio. "No telling how long it will hold together, and it'll be deadly to anything in low orbit."

                                                    "Good idea!" Skyfire agreed. "Papa and I will tackle the snagriff again, and Larre, you join us as soon as you can."

                                                    Fource was used to his sister taking charge when they worked together, and he usually went along with her, though he privately reserved the right to ignore her orders if he had something better in mind. It had always worked out before, though. "OK. You guys be ready to dodge on my command - I'm going to see if I can give him a taste of his own medicine and throw that heater right back at him!" he agreed.

                                                    "Listen, Papa!" Karre projected her thoughts into her father's mind before he could complain about her taking charge. "If you didn't have powers, would you fight a regular snagriff alone, unarmed and without a plan?" She didn't wait for an answer. "I didn't think so. Well, this griff is way more dangerous than a normal one, even before it got super powers at least as great as ours! It could kill us if we aren't careful. We just lost Zoll and Vara and we don't need to lose any more family members."

                                                    A smart-ass reply flashed through Kell's mind but thoughts of his parents squished the impulse. He knew that his kids thought he was too reckless, though he didn't agree with them. He'd never encountered a situation his powers couldn't handle. He'd humor her, for now. "OK, you take the lead, pumpkin," he agreed. "This thing has stood up to our individual attacks. Let's show him what it means to challenge Xenon's Boldest Family!" a nickname given the three of them by the news vidcasters.

                                                    Superman and Skyfire flashed at the surprised snagriff, and before he could respond, they delivered twin blows to his jaw. Kell's Superman costume didn't lie - his mutant powers made him the physical equal of his Kryptonian look-alike, and while Skyfire was physically less powerful, she used her telekinesis to enhance the blow. The griff's head was knocked upwards, and he tumbled backwards, head over tail.

                                                    "Heads up, old timers!" Fource radioed. Skyfire was constantly reminding her brother that she was the elder of the pair by several minutes, so sometimes he teased back. "Incoming!" The ball of plasma had an electrical charge, and Fource's powers had been able to swing it around like a rock on a string. He released it directly at the griff. Tumbling as he was, Thunderwing was unable to avoid his own reflected attack, and the incredibly hot fireball splashed on his newly-polished armored hide.

                                                    The mutated scales of the griff's armor were laced with Kryptonian metals, and they withstood that incredible heat, but the pain was beyond anything the griff had ever felt before. He focused his anger on Kell Orr, the twin of the Superman of Earth who had hounded him over the last week, and he blasted out of the explosion like a super-speed missile. Kell was still groggy and moved too slow to dodge. Just before impact, the griff spun around and slammed Xenon's greatest hero with his tail. The super-powered hammer blow knocked Kell unconscious and drove him towards the planet below at super speed. The griff dove after him, followed by Fource and Skyfire.

                                                    "You catch the old man," Fource suggested to his sister. "I'll see what I can do to take out that monster." She started to object. "Just this one time, Sis, don't argue with me!"

                                                    She bit her lip and raced away after her falling father. She concentrate and project her thoughts; screaming into his head "Wake up, Papa!" while she extended her telekinesis to the limit to slow his fall. She couldn't stop him, but she pulled him to the side so he was no longer directly in front of the diving dragon.

                                                    The dragon tried to slow down and change direction, but something was wrong. Fource was increasing the force of gravity under the snagriff, and instead of pulling out of his dive, Thunderwing was accelerated towards the ground. Fource pulled the griff towards a mountainous area in the animal sanctuary outside of Xenonopolis. Before the dragon could compensate for the increased gravity, he smashed into the ground, blasting a deep hole into the bedrock. Not far away, Kell Orr also smashed into the ground, but with much less force. His kids landed next to the smaller crater he made, and combined their powers to pull him out.

                                                    The Battle Below

                                                    None of the heroes expected the impact to do anything more than slow Thunderwing down somewhat, and they were correct. Kell Orr was just recovering his wits when the snagriff climbed slowly from the much larger crater his violent landing had smashed into the terrain. "You kids are right - even the powers of Superman aren't enough to win this fight.," Kell Orr admitted ruefully to his children. "We need teamwork and strategy."

                                                    "Good call, Papa!" Karre replied. "I'll use my telepathy to coordinate our actions, and if any one of us has a good idea, just think it and all 3 of us will know it instantly!"

                                                    "Into the blue!" Larre shouted urgently, vocally and mentally. The three heroes blasted off just before a plasma ball blasted yet another crater into the landscape they had just vacated. With Karre coordinating their actions, they launched another attack on the griff.

                                                    The terrain around them quickly suffered. Trees and brush were vaporized, large gouts of soil were blasted away to the bedrock, and every animal that wasn't already killed was racing for safety. Even with Larre coordinating their attacks, the heroes barely held their own. On Krypton, a normal snagriff was easily more powerful than 3 Kryptonian humans, and the mutations caused by Jor-L's potion had endowed Thunderwing with powers and abilities far beyond those of normal snagriffs. In the Xenonian environment, the griff was even more powerful, and even with their own powers, along with their coordinated attacks, the heroes weren't quite breaking even in the fight. And then disaster struck!

                                                    "Karre! He's started an avalanche!" Kell Orr screamed mentally. His daughter had perched momentarily on the side of a mountain to try and get a better picture of the strategic situation, and Thunderwing had blasted a cliff above her with heat vision. Thousands of tons of rock were cascading down the slope. Kell raced for the mountain, anxious to scoop up his daughter and carry her to safety, and he carelessly passed too close to the dragon. Once again, he'd ignored the beast's tail, and the beast slammed him with a blow from that invulnerable mace, knocking him out again as it drove him deep into the bedrock. As the two youngsters raced to their father's side, Thuderwing howled in triumph, accidentally unleashing another Kryptonian power, his super roar. The powers of the younger heroes didn't protect them, and the incredibly loud noise slammed them both into unconsciousness. They fell into the hole their father's crash landing had created as the snagriff zoomed in to finish off the unconscious heroes.

                                                    Karys to the Rescue

                                                    "With all the power available from the KD Drive, why did they make this damn boat so freepin' tiny?" Science Patrol Lieutenant Karys Thal thought to herself in exasperation. "It's like spending 12 hours in a sleeping bag!" She scanned the tiny experimental space ship's main control panel, then swiveled the pilot's seat to check environmental controls and the ship's system monitors, and ended up stopping in front of the sensors and communications panel. She had just come within communicator range of the Science Patrol spaceport on Ulaine, where she was based; it was time to check in and get landing instructions.

                                                    "K1 to Ulaine base" she signaled over the encrypted channel. "This is Star Siren (her call sign) in the Krypturanium Explorer requesting landing instructions." She waited a few seconds and when there was no response, glanced at the space traffic control duty roster displayed on one of the many computer screens in the tiny vessel. "C'mon, Wort, what's up? I've had a long day today." More than just a long day, actually. There wasn't much to do on Ulaine in your off hours except party, and Karys had been unitl early this morning, at a party with a lot of other junior SP officers. As a result, she'd started this morning's test flight with a terrific hangover. Maybe Wort was still recovering as well?

                                                    Karys was a test pilot, and today she'd been flying a small experimental spaceship with a totally revolutionary power plant, the K-Dondron (KD) drive. Years ago, Zoll Orr, Xenon's top research scientist, and his young protégé Juna Dondwar had developed the theory behind the drive, utilizing the exotic matter particles given off in the reaction between Kryptonite and uranium. The power plant which had recently been developed from their theory had far exceeded expectations. The drive had consumed less than two ounces of each element while driving the Krypturanium Explorer, call sign K1, to the orbit of Nadron, the next planet out from Raotun and back in about 10 hours. This same trip would take current rocket-driven ships as much as six months each way. And the fuel chamber in the K1 held several pounds of Kryptonite and uranium.

                                                    She was preparing to call again, using a more urgent code, when Wort finally responded. "Sorry, Star Siren – the K1 is so tiny and you were so far out just a few seconds ago that the system tagged you as a meteor, and besides I've got other things on my plate. Space above Ulaine port is currently under emergency restrictions. No landings or even flyovers are permitted. We are preparing to evacuate the asteroid. You are ordered to divert to the port at Xandor. Repeat, divert to Xandor"

                                                    "What's the deal, Wolt?" she wanted to know.

                                                    "Ulaine is under attack by a giant space monster with atomic breath. This is NOT a joke, a prank or a drill. We need to keep the space above the port clear for launching spacecraft. I repeat, your orders are to divert to Xandor!"

                                                    A month ago, Karys would have laughed, but the effects of the Crisis had changed her opinion of what was impossible. Her first impulse was to ignore orders, land and assist in the evacuation. But ships were already starting to launch, and she would just put other people in danger if she tried to land. "Good luck, Wort! I wish I could do something to help!" she said softly. She knew the Science Patrol would be the last to evacuate, and Space Traffic Control personnel would be required to stay at their posts until the situation was resolved.

                                                    "Thanks, Karys!" Wort broke the rules by not using her call sign. "The dragon is now some 1000 miles traceward* of Ulaine, with an ETA of about 10 minutes. You should avoid that volume of space during your landing maneuvers. Now git, I got work to do!"

                                                    *A body in orbit traces a orbital path around another body. Traceward means, back along the orbital path that Ulaine had just finished traversing.

                                                    One good thing about flying an experimental ship was that it was well-equipped for observation! Karys activated the Explorer's megascope and searched traceward. The remains of her hangover were blasted away by a wave of adrenaline when she zoomed the viewscreeen for an extreme close up of a giant winged monster locked in deadly combat with Xenon's Boldest Family. She knew the heroes personally - she'd graduated from the Science Patrol Academy the same year as Karre and Larre. She gasped in dismay as Superman was slammed down towards the planet. The monster abandoned its pursuit of Ulain and dove at high speed to follow the falling hero, and Larre and Karre instantly joined the chase.

                                                    "Orders be damned!" she screamed in her thoughts. "I've gotta help my friends." She aimed the small ship towards the planet and turned up the power. She'd reach the first fringe of atmosphere in about 10 minutes, so she had time for more observations. As the griff had changed direction towards the planet, Karys had the impression of something strange around its neck. She zoomed the megascope in for a tighter view and took some pictures. By now a cloud of brightly glowing, superheated plasma was starting to envelop the dragon, so she ordered the ship's computer to enhance the pictures.

                                                    "Why, that thing is wearing some kind of collar! What is it, someone's pet or something?" She tried to conceive of a being who would keep a giant fire-breathing snagriff on a leash, and for just an instant she felt sympathy for the portion of Xenon's population that was terrified of space travel. "There's writing on the collar!" She could puzzle out quite a bit of the inscription; it was written in an alphabet and language similar to modern Xenonese. "That thing's from Krypton!" she shouted in dismay when she'd puzzled out that much. "They don't have a chance against it alone - but I can help!"

                                                    As she approached the edge of the atmosphere, she donned the helmet on her vacuum-proof flight suit, and set the cabin environmental control to maximum cooling. She turned the ship end for end and dropped it into the sea of air stern first, relying on an untested theory to protect her from the deadly heat of reentry. Science Patrol scientists theorized that the stream of exotic particle emitted by the KD drive would disrupt the 'cushion' of superheated plasma that normally built up under and around an object falling into the atmosphere with great velocity. Instead of the ship being wrapped inside this deadly sheath, the disrupted plasma would flow around it and the hull of the ship would remain relatively cool.

                                                    She'd seen this theory tested in wind tunnels and simulations; now she saved the Science Patrol thousands of hours of unmanned testing by proving the theory in practice. The temperature in her cabin became uncomfortable, but her sealed flight suit proved adequate, and the hull temperature remained easily within tolerances. She passed through the 60 miles of atmosphere in 10 minutes, and by the time she was approaching ground level, the K1 was moving at a sane speed for atmospheric flight. "All that extra power DOES have its uses!" she thought triumphantly.

                                                    Dragon vs. Starship

                                                    "BEWARE! I AM THUNDERWING SNORTFIRE!" Thunderwing's super-powered bellow not only knocked the Xenonian heroes from the sky, but it alerted every animal within miles that there was an angry male snagriff neaby. Most were already fleeing the devastation from the superpowered battle, and this cry lent added speed to their flight. Shinyscale Silvertalon, on the other claw, was fascinated. She leaped into the air and began winging her way towards the source of that roar.

                                                    Shinyscale was a female snagriff. Only a few days ago, her mate and calf had been swallowed by one of the pink veils from the sky. Hunting had taken her away from their 'nest' - a cave Shinyscale and her mate had burned and clawed into the side of a cliff - and when she returned, the entire mountain had vanished. The calf had been unable to fly, and while Shinyscale hadn't seen her family face the end, her mate had died trying to defend the younger griff, roaring defiance and snorting fire at the inexorably-advancing curtain. Griffs don't grieve like humans do, but Shinyscale was lonely, and curious as well.

                                                    She quickly reached the scene of a fascinating aerial battle. A giant male snagriff was somehow standing on air - 'hovering' in place, even though he was not flashing his wings - snorting small blasts of fire at a (relatively) tiny pest. A shiny silvery pointed cylinder, about the size of a new-born snagriff calf, darted around the head of the big dragon. Shinyscale had seen flying metal things before, and knew that they had humans inside them. There was a nimbus of greenish energy around the blunt end of the cylinder (the residue of the K-Dondron particles decaying after being expelled from the KD drive) and the flying pest kept maneuvering to sweep the green glow across the male's head. This seemed to annoy the big guy, and each time the green glow touched him, he grunted and whipped his head around to launch another snort of plasma. She rushed to aid this magnificent member of her own species in his battle with humans, but she had to slow to dodge the incredibly hot balls of plasma Thunderwing was firing. Though griffs are normally immune to the fire of other griffs, those plasma balls were hot enough to vaporize her!

                                                    Karys was fighting desperately for her life and the lives or her friends. She'd seen the dragon flying towards her unconscious friends, probably planning to eat them. The Krypturanium Explorer didn't have any weapons, but maybe she could distract the monster until her friends regained consciousness. She blasted forward at full power, and zoomed just by the nose of the angry griff. In the rear viewscreen, she saw the monster flinch away from her exhaust aura. She instantly looped back around and got as close to the beast as she dared and slapped the K1 into a tight turn, and again the monster flinched as the green glow swept across its head. The dragon stopped moving, and hovered in place, the unconscious foes on the ground forgotten as it focused on this new foe. She wasn't hurting it - but it was distracted. The only question was, how long could she dodge? She had never seen any living thing so large move so fast!

                                                    Once again Thunderwing roared in anger. The green glow wasn't causing any permanent damage, but it stung! The exasperating little silver thing kept flittering around his head, attacking like a sparrow fighting a hawk, unable to do any real harm but certainly troublesome and annoying. Finally he'd had enough. Moving as fast as he could, he reached out and snatched the Krypturanium Explorer from the air in one giant claw and slapped it into his mouth. With a chomp and a gulp, he disposed of the silvery pest.

                                                    Karys was battered against the control panels surrounding her as the griff jerked her ship first one way, and then another, and before she even realized Thuderwing had grabbed her ship, she was deafened by the screech of tearing metal as the dragon's teeth crunched away the top of her ship, missing her head by inches. She was instantly wrapped in darkness, and battered again as the beast gulped, swallowing the ship virtually whole. She was barely conscious enough to see, by some of the lights of the controls that still worked, that the ship was filling up with fluid from the beast's stomach. She was glad she had her flight suit sealed, but she realized it probably wouldn't protect her much longer. But she had finally figured out how to hurt this giant monster - if only one piece of the ship's equipment was still functioning.

                                                    With all the concentration remaining to her, Karys focused on flipping a single switch on the Maintenance control panel. Somewhere in her mind, she was thanking the universe for the long boring hours she'd spent cramped in the ship, with nothing more to do than memorize the layout of the controls. She flipped that switch, and in the engine compartment, a maintenance panel on the fuel chamber slid open. No longer shielded behind a wall of lead, Green Kryptonite radiation blasted forth, passed easily through the hull of the ship, causing Thunderwing severe… heartburn?

                                                    The pain caused the giant dragon to have convulsions, and when he coughed with the agony, the battered Krypturanium Explorer was violently ejected from Thunderwing's mouth. Unfortunately for the Shinyscale, the K1 slammed into her head like a giant cannonball, partially crushing her skull and knocking her unconscious. She fell heavily from the sky and landed in one of the craters created during the earlier battle. The K1 also fell, bounced once, and shuddered to a halt close to the unconscious bodies of Xenon's Boldest Family. It was impossible to tell that the pile of crushed and twisted debris had ever been a sleek, powerful spaceship.

                                                    Crisis on Xenon: Conclusion

                                                    The tiny ship spun through the air, spewing dragon stomach acid in a whirlpool of caustic mist. Inside the small spaceship, Karys was battered against the control panels in the tight confines of the cockpit. When the Krypturanium Explorer smashed into the unfortunate female snagriff, it was crushed. For an instant, the interior of the cabin was filled with a brilliant green glow. Kary's helmet was shattered, and she was drenched in the dragon's fluids. Her nose was assaulted with an awful stench. She was being crushed and lacerated, her flesh torn and her bones broken by the collapsing cabin when there was a brilliant white flash, and her head collided savagely with a panel, and she was slammed into unconsciousness.

                                                    *****

                                                    Thunderwing hadn't seen a female griff since before he had been captured on Krypton, over 30 years ago. It was unendurable for the first female he'd seen in that time die instantly after he'd encountered her, even if she was tiny. He landed by her side, wailing plaintively. His head swept back and forth over her, and he realized that she was still alive.

                                                    The snagriff is the most dangerous land-based predator on Krypton or Xenon, and Jor-L's serum had mutated Thunderwing into a larger and even more fearsome form. But the grief-filled beast was nothing but gentle, now. Slowly and carefully, keeping his awesome strength under strict control, the grieving dragon straightened the body of the wounded female. Though she was unconscious, the shifting of broken bones and torn tissues caused her to moan in pain, and Thunderwing wailed pitifully along with her.

                                                    When she was fully laid out in as normal a position as he could manage, he began licking her wounds, gently, both to clean them and to give her what comfort he could. Almost instantly, her moaning lessened and her breathing improved. Her open wounds stopped bleeding, and then seemed to heal magically. As traces of Thunderwing's saliva diffused into her blood and then were carried throughout her body, her internal wounds began to heal and her broken bones started to knit.

                                                    When he realized that his new friend was healing, Thunderwing again turned his attention to his enemies. But the exposed Green Kryptonite made it painful to approach them, and he quickly decided he would rather get acquainted with the female griff. As he turned back to her, she leaped into the air and fled, instinctively anxious to get away from the battlefield where she had almost died. He overtook her almost instantly, and continued to slowly climb higher into the sky, determined to leave this place and find somewhere with an abundant supply of metal and no humans to hound him. She wanted to spend more time with this giant male, and she determinedly flew alongside, even when the air grew too thin to support the flight of a normal griff, and then too thin for a griff to breath. Unknowingly using his telescopic vision again, Thunderwing spotted a swarm of metallic asteroids in deep space, far outside the orbit of Nadron, and the two griffs dwindled into pinpoints, then vanished into the sky.

                                                    *****

                                                    Skyfire/Karre's mind had been battered along with her body, and desperately needed some time to rest, to drift away into darkness for just a short time. But a nearby mind was screaming in agony, and the screams cut through the darkness like lightning. But the bigger shock was that she recognized the mind doing the screaming!

                                                    "Karys!" she hollered. Adrenaline jolted her back to consciousness and she struggled to her feet. A quick examination of her father and brother, aided by her telekinesis, showed that they were battered but hadn't sustained any deadly injuries. But she couldn't say the same for Karys - Karre could tell that her friend had broken bones and mangled flesh, and some kind of fluid was bubbling in her lungs. She tried to tear apart the pile of scrap metal but quickly realized she needed help. So she did something she would never do under normal circumstance - she blasted energy into the minds of her father and brother to awaken them, and instantly gave them a mental update on the situation.

                                                    "Kary - it's Karry" she then sent her thoughts to her friend's frantic mind. "We're here and we'll help! " When Karys didn't respond, the heroine realized that it was her friend's unconscious mind that was screaming so loudly in agony. She touched a spot in Karys's pain center and the mental screaming faded until she could just barely detect it.

                                                    Fource took a page from the pink veils of the Crisis to free Karys from the wreckage. He used his powers to neutralize the molecular bonds in the metal shards in the pile, and piece by piece, the wreckage disintegrated into monatomic dust. Within minutes, Kell was flying Karys to a hospital.

                                                    *****

                                                    Karys awakened and stretched, and started to sit up. she realized instantly that she weighed a lot more than she expected; she was on Xenon rather than on Ulaine. Her eyes snapped open and she saw that she was in the bedroom of her small apartment in Xenonopolis. She shouldn't be here! And that realization caused her recent memories to snap to the fore.

                                                    "I shouldn't even be alive!" she thought frantically. "I must have smashed my head open when my helmet was shattered, and my head must have been covered in dragon spit. Yuch!"

                                                    So, could it be transplants, or an android body, or what? As she checked herself out, the door slid. open and a doctor entered. She was wearing a Science Patrol uniform, but Karys didn't recognize her. "Good to see you up and around, Lt. Thal. You've certainly confounded a lot of doctors in the last few days," she smiled, " including me. You've nothing to worry about, though. You are as healthy as any person I've ever had in my care."

                                                    "Thanks, Major Doun," Karys replied a little nervously, as she read the woman's nametag. Why did she rate a doctor with the rank of Major? "You guys must have performed some real miracles. I would have guessed, crippled for life at best…"

                                                    "'Us guys' had nothing to do with it, actually. By the time your friends pulled you from the wreckage, you were well on the way to being healed, and by the time they got you to a hospital, there was no trace that you had received even the smallest injury! In fact, all traces of that compound fracture you sustained at eight - the bump in the tibia of your right leg, and the wound scar - are gone as well."

                                                    "Since then, Karys has discovered that she has some super powers of her own," Karre continued. Somehow, her body has become a storage cell for a type of energy previously unknown to the science of Xenon, and she can manifest that energy in a number of ways."

                                                    "I'm still learning to use that energy," Karys added proudly. "I can fly, and when I choose to be, I'm invulnerable. Pretty neat stuff!"

                                                    "Kell Orr searched for the dragons with his super vision about a week later," Karre seemingly changed the subject. "He spotted them flying through space towards a nearby star. The female was much bigger by then; she's somehow mutated to match the male. Nobody lives in the system they are headed for, and it will take them years to get there, so we figure they can live happily ever after. "

                                                    "And that's the story of the Kryptonian Space Dragon," Karre said, her voice changing timbre a bit as she slipped into her Science Patrol personna again. "Sorry to be all official on you, but why are you guys here? I need to know before I can certify you to come any further into the system. And," she smiled "we'd like to invite you all to dinner on board our cruiser - we don't get many guests, as you can imagine."

                                                    Epilogue: On the Road Again

                                                    A couple of days after, a Science Patrol officer accompanied Valor to the newly renamed Zoll Orr Research Institute, where he was introduced to Juna Dondwar. Juna was a famous physicist in her own right, and she had worked with Zoll Orr for over 20 years. Together, they had investigated the Kryptonite-Uranium decay process and discovered the K-Dondron (which Zoll Orr h<br/><br/>(Message over 64 KB, truncated)
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