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Kiev, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic:

The Azar hurled herself forward with blinding speed, throwing her axe toward the neck of the Spectre. With uncanny reflexes, the Spectre grasped the axe in a sudden movement that created a thunderclap and a tremendous windstorm, the shockwaves scattering piles of rubble in what had once been Kiev.

cut for length )
And now, now I say to you, that you have my undivided attention. You are the first credible opponent outside my family I have faced in aeons, and so now you find out why it is best to make me an enemy when I notice you not.

The monster looked at the Spectre and then an eerie indigo glow began to form about its mouth, the light spiraling in in two long crackling arms, as the Spectre exerted with all his might to free himself from the constrictions that held him, and found to first amazement and then consernation that the more he struggled, the stronger those bonds themselves became......

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Harlem, New York: 

As Deborah sat in the interior of the room within the Harlem brownstone that served as the ad hoc meeting place of the Justice Society of America, she listened to the sharp questions of Hugo Danner, who hoped that his asking these questions while levitating, arms folded across each other aided the impression that they must be answered: 
cut for length )

Harlem, New York: 

Vincent, Deborah said, grasping his hand.

"Yes, dear?"

We have to go. Now. The Spectre's awoken, and if we do not move soon, the children of Kadath will be butchered with impunity and this dimension shall see worse than the scouring of continents.

Before the collective neurons of the Justice Society registered it, the very air around them shimmered with a strange light and then they vanished into thin air.

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Deborah collided into Solomon Grundy with a sound akin to a clap of thunder. The shockwaves from the impact shattered glass around them, and the white hulk was barreled over onto his back. Deborah raised the blade, akin to an enormous scimitar, and it changed into a gigantic scythe.

cut for length )

The green light created the first renewed impression of foreboding. Then came the glowing lighting in the form of an immense hexacombed crackling energy-field that disintegrated whatever it struck, human, animal, wheat, and buildings alike. Then came the screams....

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When the plane took off from the ruins of Munich, the Azar knew that she had been 'captured' by the maggots of humankind, these dregs of criminality and hooliganism, these poltroons who proclaimed themselves masters even as they were most incapable of mastering themselvescut for length )

The white hulk landed and boomed: 

Solomon Grundy born on a Monday!

The crowd tensed, in fear that more destruction was on the verge of occurring, as Vincent's arms changed to resemble the turrets of artillery pieces and a strange energy built up, glowing, and Deborah blurred into seemingly disappearing, hand brandishing a strange kind of bladed weapon, launching herself at the monstrous Undead .......

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I did not want to do this, not here. Not over rubble that would merely be more finely pulverized. There is no point to making a Char the worse scarred.

cut for length )

Then let us go to the United States. If my sister adopts the idea of the Prophetess, perhaps she should not be given a monopoly on seeking to emulate the ways of our ancestors in the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah........

The two vanished seemingly into thin air.

The Azar remained unconscious in the ruins of Munich, even as the agents of Herr Hitler's Third Reich managed, with extreme difficulty, to lift up her unconscious body and to place it in a truck that was to take a special trip to Berlin. The Ultra-Humanite had special plans for this God that fell from the stars, plans that might permit the Nazis to outmatch the growing danger of the Metallo Corps......

halialkers: Superman standing on a rooftop, cape billowing behind him (Clark Kent/Clarner Kentras)
Captain Nazi lunged at the Azar, who snorted contemptuously and simply braced herself, gauntleted hands on her hips. Captain Nazi collided with her and then fell into the ground, the impact shaking his bones and leading him to whimper from the pain. With a sudden swift movement the Azar reached down and picked him up by his collar, asking with a cruel, cynical smile: 

Is that all you got, ape? 

cut for length )

As the Azar launched herself toward her, Deborah fired again, the shot propelling the Azar back and moved with a swift and terrible motion of her own, slamming the butt of the gun into the Azar's face with a thunderous impact that jarred the Azar's teeth and made the creature roar in pain, eyes glowing again and rings shining with a brilliant and terrible light.

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11 April 1939: 

As the clocks chimed fourteen, Yolanda Azania turned to the crowd. cut for potentially disturbing content )

Well, gentlemen, let's not be all day about it.


Yes, the Mystical Nuke used by the Shadow-woman in one of the Tales reappeared in its Azarathi form. In the next chapter, Deborah gets to show her own skill-set as the nuking *will* call her rather instantly.

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As Deborah faded from Dunwich, she calmly assumed her glamour, which was about three feet shorter than she was, lacked the extra eyes, and wore the head-veil and long dresses of an Orthodox Jewish woman. cut for convenience  ) For the first time, Zazhalanzanai of Azarath felt fear and shivered in the suddenly unnatural cool of a Nuremberg April. Fear led to wrath which blazed within her. It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks began to chime fourteen.......
halialkers: Little Phil Sheridan. Short, ugly man with beard looking straight at audience (H'vorxixnon-2)
The mace swung forward only to pass harmlessly through J'onn J'onnzz's arm, as the Martian then stared at the Azar, eyes glowing red. cut for the usual violence and gore )

Dunwich, Massachusetts, evening of 9 April: 

In a derelict town that had been abandoned since what was officially labeled an explosion of natural gas in the region, a brilliant light began to cover the night sky. The light turned night into day, for a time, and then coalesced into one person. Tall and clad in grey armor, with a light blue cloak, the chalky-skinned nine-eyed figure of Deborah bat Omri smiled. How appropriate, it seemed, for her father to will her to appear directly first in a town affected by the Old Ones. None, after all, after that little display of hubris on the part of her older sister would dare turn to the abandoned and derelict husk of this city to look for a new Cosmic force.

Deborah smiled, and then summoned her favorite small arms from Hammerspace, checking both the quantity of ammunition, that her clips of ammunition were set properly, and then placed them on her back, while adding as well her two favorite melee weapons. Then she sobered. She had hoped the one warning would deter Zazhalanzanai and remind her that she was under the observation of Centre. Then she had destroyed an entire town of over 300,000 people and slain over 1,000,000 people in one rapid display of her full power that had finally drawn the Universal Empire into the fray.

Upon watching the Kryptonians and learning of the dispatch of the two members of the House of El and the one of the House of Van, she decided to let the Kryptonians handle their problem. The dispute between Deborah and the Azar, that was both personal and business. Stepping forward, Deborah faded into thin air, leaving behind her a sense of cleansing power that left Dunwich still derelict and abandoned, but the restless spirits of the Dead slain by the Horror which lurked behind a natural gas explosion for the first time at peace.

halialkers: Superman standing on a rooftop, cape billowing behind him (Clark Kent/Clarner Kentras)
Kandor, Krypton: Chambers of the Science Council.

The one hundred and forty-four members of the Science Council glowered angrily at Jor-El, Lara Lor-Van, and Zor-El as they all knelt before them.

"Because of your mistakes, Jor-El, Earth now stands not merely on the brink of a war among its primitive masses, but poised on the brink of a conquest. In another setting the Martian would be able to do our work for us, but now there is another factor here also."

cut for length )
halialkers: flames crackling. Red light in patterns (Karu)
The city of Chicago, 8 April 1939:

cut for length )

Well, gentlemen and lady, if you intend to begin this don't delay. I do have more important things to do with my time......

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Chicago, Illinois, 3 April 1939:

The first inkling that the Green Lantern, Wonder-Woman, and the Gladiator had of Grundy's arrival was a sharp impact that echoed like a clap of thunder, breaking the streets next to them, and shattering glass in windows. As each turned, they saw a massive chalky ape-like figure, over eleven feet tall. The creature was overly muscled to a point that it seemed a grotesque parody of the human form, its muscles clearly dilneated and rasping as the creature moved.


Fading into the night........


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The Martian Manhunter's fist missed Azania's face by the narrowest of margins, the prophetess's face moving out of the range of his fist at a speed too fast for the Manhunter to react.cut for length )

The zombie then hurled itself into the air with a leap that took it all the way to Chicago from the outskirts of Indianapolis in a single bound. The Azar smiled. It did not matter if 'Grundy' was destroyed or not, it would regenerate after every single time it was destroyed. The first of the supervillains to recur without fail upon every single death.......

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The Baltic Micronation of Zandia, 3 April 1939: 

As Sebastian Blood VI knelt before the idol that his fathers had worshiped ever since their rumored encounter with the Great Light in the First Crusade, he did so as a fanatical devotee of a faith who had been troubled by bad dreams. His were dreams of facing a sinister woman with blonde hair and blue eyes, dressed in a white mantle that encompassed her all around, bird-like in form. Hearing this being telling him that none would control her, and finding himself carried in the arms of an angel accompanied by the mocking laughter of the being that had frightened him. He knelt in the witching hour, troubled also by the rising power out of nowhere of ElCorps, a conglomerate specializing in very odd areas of science that seemed almost magical.

He trembled also at the face of the CEO and voice of ElCorps, a man very like one of the three star-gods who had ravaged most of London. Praying with blasphemous and unholy words, he spoke calmly and smoothly. Behind him in a dark and unlit building a glowing wall of light began to exorcise the darkness, a light that seared away all shadow. Turning in a defensive stance and fumbling for his pistol, Brother Blood beheld lit by a seemingly self-generated light a man easily four times as tall and twice as big as any man alive. The man, lit by this unholy light, was dressed in a white suit, with a ruddy and vigorous appearance. His hair was blond, his eyes a blue that seemed to have the illusions of four eyes straining to emerge from two. The massive man then spoke:

Brother Blood.

Hearing that voice, Blood prostrated himself and spoke:

O Lord of the Outer World, God of my Fathers.

The sinister man strode up to him, and then spoke calmly:

You are given now a great destiny to fulfill. Your great-grandson will be the harbinger of a new and terrible aeon, a veritable child of the Moon. Your grandson will meet the true Messiah of your faith, a Messiah that when he meet her she will have spurned the truth that is. Your son will first learn greater things from me. Hail, son of the morning, for yours is a new and great age.

As Brother Blood looked up, face pale and corpse-like, he asked him:

O Lord of the Outer World, have you a name? 

The being then smiled and raised his cane. His rumbling voice echoed long after the blinding flash of light that seemed a thunderclap without sound.

You need know me only as a man of wealth and taste going to and fro in the Earth and up and down in it.


April 4, 1939:

John Jones would remember his first encounter with Wonder-Woman and Hugo Danner, and the dawn of the new age of superheroes as follows. It was a day full of clashes with superheroes and the first fight with one of the great cosmic threats of another age. It was also a day that had begun when he stepped off a ship onto Boston Harbor just as he was jostled by two people. One of whom was a tall and well-built man he instantly recognized as Hugo Danner, the other of whom was an unknown equally tall and stunningly beautiful woman. The woman, however, insisted on following him, and he just as insistently had tried to defuse things.

For her part, Diana of Themyscira was intent on finding out just how this John Jones had so easily contained the star-men and whether or not this meant it was possible to fight them. As John Jones continued to rebuff her increasingly belligerent approaches, their spot-man, Allan Clark, slowly found his ring and prepared to put it on his finger. It was looking increasingly probable that there was going to be something very bad about to happen. When Diana grabbed the man's arm in a grip that in an ordinary man would have caused it to burst in a shower of blood and gore and John Jones jerked out out of her grip with power sufficient to hurt her and said: "You're making me angry. You won't like me when I'm angry."

As Allan Scott put on his ring he spoke the oath: In Brightest Day, in Blackest Night, Let All who are evil, beware my sight, and beware my power, Green Lantern's Light!

He had spoken it just in time as John Jones caught a punch from Diana that was powerful enough in terms of shockwaves to blast Danner through several cars into complete unconsciousness, and which blew him in his shield from Boston near to Greenland. As he flew backwards, he had time to hear J'onn J'onzz, now a tall and bulky green alien in a circus strongman's outfit with a cape, ask her: 

Why are you attacking me? 

Before smacking her with a single, equally powerful punch far to the east across the Atlantic.

Wonder-Woman had been shocked when J'onn had withstood her punch easy as he pleased, and the first inclination she had of his true power was when she woke up, levitating, over the mid-Atlantic. With J'onn J'onzz hovering over her, eyes glowing. As he prepared to repeat his question, Allan Scott zoomed back in and wrapped him in powerful chains, chains rapidly broken when J'onn J'onzz instilled just a tiny bit of doubt in his mind. As he turned toward Scott, the man shielded himself with the ring from a set of lighting super-strong blows that impacted with sufficient power to create ripples across the ocean, also blasting Wonder-Woman into the air with a telekinetic blast. As she zoomed down toward him, J'onn J'onzz then became intangible, leading to Diana hurling straight through the Manhunter, colliding into Allan Scott with sufficient force to throw them both onto Jekyll Island, where the Martian Manhunter proceeded to hover over them, arms across his chest, using telekinesis to artificially whip his cape. Eyes glowing, he repeated his earlier question:

Why are you attacking me? 

As Diana prepared to strike, he sighed unpleasantly and then swept up and struck the back of her head with speed faster than she could react to with a power akin to being hit by a mountain, causing her to fall on her face, and struck Allan Scott's shield with multiple, equally fast, equally destructive blows. After Scott dropped his shield, the Manhunter turned to them and lifted them into the air, telepathically, speaking with a mental voice: 

I am not your enemy, nor the enemy of your enemy. We are friends. We fight for the same cause. We will not fight any more against each other when our true enemies lurk at dark corners seeking to strike us in turn.

This demonstration of power was subtly accompanied by his turning their hatred and fear to understanding and acceptance, and then ordering Diana and Allan to return to Boston, where they greeted a shocked Hugo Danner, who asked them where Barry was. At that very moment, the Flash had just been turned around when approaching Jekyll Island by a voice in his head very insistent that he should return to his friends, that things would come to make sense, and that the Americas would spawn a Society for Justice.

Deciding to fly upward to assume the form of John Jones again, the Martian Manhunter sensed a strange mental presence taking off after him and seeking to shadow him. Initially confused at being followed by hostile enemies, now J'onn was furious. He turned around and hovered, feet first, in mid air.

I do not like being followed.

The sinister blonde face of Yolanda Azania then smiled as she said:

Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn.

It was then that J'onn, even more furious, hurled himself at her mocking face with a blinding speed......

halialkers: Superman standing on a rooftop, cape billowing behind him (Clark Kent/Clarner Kentras)
March 16, 1939:

    It had been months since Kem-L had last seen Zod, Non, or the strange Martian. It had equally been months since that strange entity he had encountered had hurled him into the depths of the sea where he had emerged and sunned himself until his power recovered. Such were the primitive minds of these inferior apes, however, that the dramatic events of that time had seemed to recede. While the United Kingdom had begun to accelerate its rearming, he was not sure whether or not his dramatic arrival in what he knew now as London had been the cause or the threats from that primitive simpleton in charge of the Empire without an Emperor. In the course of his time since then, Kem-L had made great exploitation of the Kryptonian mind's abilities to learn human speech. In the course of learning human languages, Kem-L had come to favor Mandarin Chinese, seeing in its simple yet complex grammatical structure a language suitable to the would-be conqueror, and more importantly in its writing a script so opaque that he could conceal his ambitions openly. 

    Kem-L had in his hands the major newspaper of 1930s New York, a newspaper that had arisen with the coming of new media as part of a global media engine. This newspaper, The Daily Planet, covered the incident where Adolf Hitler's armies were marching into Czechoslovakia. The Leader (Kem-L spared a second to groan internally at the unimaginative titles of these primitive despots. This seemed rather unbelievable. How even primitives could aspire to the power of Gods making men new without suitable titles.....) had claimed that his armies were marching as a means of protecting the new state in a hostile world where it was now known that men could have eyes that burned like suns and breath like howling gales. It was with a carefully hidden smile that Kem-L saw that this man, the architect of so much simple-minded brutality, had referred to the great clashes between himself, Zod, and Non as part of some demented plot on the part of the Yehudim. From all Kem-L had seen if that people had that power, it was unsuited to wield it, but he was not at all sure why the demented conspiracies of primitives should focus on such people instead of on the shadowy tones of true power.

   Kem-L, however, was very offended to see this Leader in Germany promising to make a New Man who was the superior race. Perhaps, after he had returned to Krypton and gathered a sufficient-sized force to overwhelm the entire planet he would personally eviscerate that hut-dweller, but time would tell. He continued to turn the page and then prepared to meet his secretary, hearing her footsteps well before she knocked on the door.

"Mr. Gabriel?" 

"Yes, Penny?"

"Your eight-O'Clock is here to see you."

"Thank you Penny," 

     He smiled. It would be a matter of time, but if he had enough time to build the El-Corporation into a cartel with influence on the material capable of producing matter and antimatter, he could begin creating a portal that would return him to Krypton. He carefully avoided fuming about one of the stories he'd seen, where a vigilante known only as the Green Lantern had prevented a major famine in China, where a war was ongoing on a grand scale. This hero had managed in the process to down a major air strike by Japanese fighters and to likewise provide the first basis for a kind of counterstrike force. So long as the Green Lantern Corps had an aggressive agent on this planet, he would need to move very carefully indeed.


A breadline, New Orleans, LA: 

General Zod ensured that Non, in carrying the bread that both were intending to eat that day, did not drop it and that Non did not initiate another brawl. In this new life, until both could find some way to return to their home planet, Zod and Non had also needed new names. Zod had decided to name Non Lennie, and to take for himself the name George. They were primitive, human names, but they would do. He had overheard thanks to that extraordinary hearing of the work the Green Lantern was doing in China. As Zod bore the primitives no great grudge, he hoped that this would continue.

Seeing a flyer for the El-Corporation's Research and Development sector recruiting, Zod calmly breathed in and out before biting into the bread. He could not yet challenge Kem-L. It was a hard reality to accept, but a good general did not start wars recklessly. And this was a war that he was incapable of winning. It was in that context that Zod had heard three things he was very interested in also, snippets of conversations that included the latest deed of the Crimson Avenger, pursuing a criminal who had conducted an excessively brutal breakout and was now inaugurating a new wave of terror. This man, the Joker, interested Zod. So did another snippet, referring to rumors of a man who ran so fast that he could not be seen, rumors pooh-poohed as people needing to be excited about every new flash in the pan.

Then there was the most interesting statement of them all. A man named Le Colorado, who could leap tall buildings in a single bound working with a woman who looked vaguely Greek-ish. Both were going to be speaking before Chief of Staff Craig about the grave matters that had recently occurred. As Zod stewed on these matters, he would see for himself the charismatic doomsayer Yolanda Azania, as she once again appeared in New Orleans.

Only this time was to be slightly different. As she spoke, a car came careening toward her, driven by a drunk lunatic, only for her to calmly continue to harangue the crowd as the car slammed into her and the driver was thrown from it, caught on an invisible wall of force, alive and stunned with the car crunched strongly against the invulnerable body of the prophetess. Turning this to her advantage, she spoke with a sonorous power:

Truly there is a fire to be lit upon the earth, and I warn you all that even now it shall soon be kindled. A man calling himself a leader steals an entire state because of the cowardice, the inanity, the frivolity of men! Fear that future that awaits you! None know when a miracle may happen, that a man be saved and an object destroyed. Ye cannot predict it, how these precious rings of power that fate weaves around us call to us, ensuring that we claim that which is ours!

Zod finished his meal and then said to Non "Come on Lennie, she's spoiling our afternoon." As the two strode off, Zod heard in his mind what seemed like a mocking word that he dismissed as simply his imagination. That word, Lor-Zod only was his own imagination wishing to hear a real Kryptonian's voice. This it was, and nothing more.
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As he flew over to London, Kem-L had reached near to the speed of light and had then ascended high above the city, before hurling himself downward on both feet with a velocity capable of creating the results that did ensue. cut for content )


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The first inkling Zod and Non had of the future was when their ears picked up the slight and then growing sound not unlike a falling bomb or missile. Looking upward, Zod was astonished to see that not only was it neither a bird nor a plane, it was the steadily careening form of the old war criminal.....

"Kem-L. Oh, dear."

When Kem-L collided with both of them, the impact was registered on seismographs worldwide. The astonishment and fear marked the harbinger, or so it appeared, of an entirely new era.


New York City, the same day:

It was then that Yolanda Azania came. None could place what nationality she seemed. Blonde and blue-eyed, seemingly the very perfection of the ideologues of Berlin, her accent seemed vaguely Spanish, and there was the unsettling experience for all who heard her that they heard her not in English alone but in their own, true speech. Taller than most men, let alone women, Yolanda Azania seemed like nothing so much as the prophets of old, come forth once again to haunt that which they did see.

Her voice, seemingly normal, left a vague impression none who heard it could quite place. Not only was it a voice that carried without microphones, but it touched the heart and the mind and left the smell and bristling hair of fear. Dogs did not bark, however, when they saw her. They whined and often broke and ran from their masters. Cats did bristle and hiss, but a simple gaze from her led to them fleeing also. None who listened to this new-found and unknown prophet, either, could distract from themselves vague and indeterminate visions of ivory and gold, streets paved with the finest, grandest gold and houses and windows of jasper and carnelian, and a throne set in place and one who sat upon it, voice echoing from an outer world: 

Truly Truly I say to you, the axe is at the root of the trees. All who do not heed the words of the divine flame that gnaws at the root of the trees shall burn. Do not be deceived, I come not to bring peace but a sword! A thousand thousand dangers beset your world but of these a ring of flame, made by the master of the flame that dies not is the greatest. I who speak to you testify to you these things: there are three things that testify to the flame. The spirit, the mind, and fear. The spirit hears and knows the resonance of higher lifeforms and the exalted planes, as above the mewling and simpering masses as the sky is above the maggot that gnaws at the putrescent corpses that infest so much of the soil.

Truly, truly I say to you: of all the threats that faces you, the most dangerous are not the ones whose eyes burn like stars, who throw planets as though they are toys to children. The threats that are greatest come when Gods walk among Men and do whatever it is that they choose. Today a man leaps across countries, tomorrow the theft of a single golden ring levels cities to the ground! Beware to them who have stolen the Flame eternal, you cannot control it, it shall consume you!

The spell that held the crowd entranced then temporarily disappeared and each tried to figure out how they had been so rapt in attention to the ravings of a lunatic and more frighteningly where Yolanda Azania had gone.......


When Zod and Non awoke, the first battle of a new sort began with Zod and Non firing their heat vision into the body of Kem-L who was utterly unphased. Smiling he then watched as the two lunged toward him and then clapped his hands in a single thunderous burst of sound that led to both men falling to the ground unconscious before him. That was just too easy, Kem-L reflected as he then rocketed into the sky, arms in a Y-position. If Krypton's greatest general was so powerless and the brute likewise, his future as God-Emperor of this planet was assured.

The Soviets, meanwhile, dispatched a Metallo commander to take down Kem-L by ambushing him from above, only for Kem-L to turn around and then fire heat vision from his eyes, resulting in the discovery a few hours later of a thoroughly charred corpse in molten armor.........while Zod and Non, meanwhile had flown off to recuperate at the Earth's poles, sustaining their power in the land of the midnight Sun. Kem-L, meanwhile, had begun to fly toward the city that humanity called London, confident that his ability to build and to sustain his empire was to begin with the conquest of this primitive world from the northern latitudes south......

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The Guardians of Oa then all appeared in unity, speaking before Allan Scott, who was transfixed at the strange, childlike figures of these blue men who radiated a Power that made his body tingle seemingly down to the least atom. Their oddly resonant voices began to speak:

cut for content and Zod being Zod )

With perfect serenity Kem-L inverted his body, forming an upside down Y. As he began to descend into Earth's atmosphere, a planet already rattled by the appearance of a Superman in Chicago would discover that Earth was more isolated and more vulnerable than ever it had known........

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7 December, 1938:

As the train pulled into Chicago Union Station, a man sat in it deep in thought. He wore an oversized hat and clothes that served to conceal a face that struck terror in all who saw it. A few weeks ago, he had been in Berlin, improving his venom and frustrated that the formula that made that man of power who leaps across buildings and countries with ease remained invincible to it no matter the lifeform it was used upon. One thing did worry him, a gorilla he'd experimented upon who seemed to gain power and size, but that thing had been imprisoned in a ship en route to Leningrad. Let it be the Soviets' problem.

cut for length )


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