Moon Knight 2099UGR # 1 - January 2005

Logo by Luke O'Sullivan

Issue One, Volume One


Written by Jason McDonald

Edited by Michael C. Shirley

Assistant Editor: Dave Munch

Chief Editor: Michael Shirley

Moon Knight

The Man Behind The Mask

Cecilia Indeligato

Steven Rogerson

Amanda Deveraux



Most people don’t like the darkness.

For most people, the darkness represents the unknown. The sum of all their fears; real, imagined, or otherwise. The antithesis of the ordinary and the mundane.

You see, most people love the predictable. Most people revel in the ordinary. Most people live their lives by it. No one likes when the maglev train comes late, when the lights blink out, when the holovids they schedule their lives around suddenly vomit out static in the midst of a bad storm.

That is why they most enjoy the light.

For in the light, there are no hiding places, no secrets to be kept. Their biological fears of predators laying in wait, perched for the kill are assuaged when the calm, soothing rays of the light sweep over the sidewalks, cascade along the glittering spires of the cities, sweep around the walking masses and take a leisurely dance out among the glistening, running ponds and streams of the countryside. They need not fear that which they can see.

For what they can see, they can understand. They can make that which was once unknown, known. That which was incomprehensible, understood. That which was once a mystery is now an open book.

People can keep the pace, follow the routine, maintain order, as long as they have light.

But when the light goes out, all falls to chaos.

When the blackness enshrouds, the masses can either flee to the safety of the light or cower in a huddled, paralyzing despair from which there is no escape.

And when darkness comes, the denizens of New York scurry to their husbands and wives, to their sons and daughters, to their laps of luxury and their fine cuisine and can turn out the lights knowing no hungry predators wait along the bend.

But those trapped in the pits of Downtown must face the perpetual darkness alone. They must accept the shroud and its many despicable predators with no comforts, no guarantees, and no securities.

No light.

But, among these huddled thousands, among these poor souls praying to long dead heroes, worshipping their deities in the hopes of surviving another day in their quiet torments, there is hope. There is a silver lining among the unending thundercloud.

There is light.

Light screaming out of the full moon in the inky night sky. A moonbeam of hope, of promise, of fortune, of compassion. A life-giving brightness shining over the scared, frightened prey of Downtown.

A knight in moonlit armor.

A man enshrouded in darkness.

A hero reborn.

This is his story.

Tonight is just your normal, everyday night in the sparkling city of New York. The bright neon lights of the skyscrapers that dominate the city of the future easily drown out the cool August skyline. The twinkling stars of the cosmos are lost in the glittering juggernauts that protect the dreary citizens below from the beauty of the heavens. The walkways far below are flooded with traffic, humans and hover cars alike fighting for dominance in a vast technological sea where time is money, especially in the New York night life.

Above the walkways and the older model transports lies a vast sea of flying cars, machines sleek and sexy in their design, having evolved far beyond the necessities of tarmac and asphalt. Indeed, of any grounding whatsoever. And, like the rich, wealthy men and women who pilot them, they have lost touch with the Earth that made them. With the people stuck on the sprawling walkways and the people below them; the fabled downtrodden species of New Yorkers, lost in the underbelly of the city; never to see the top again.

Above all of this hustle and bustle, there is a single hovercraft. A small, clunky old airship that’s supposed to be carrying some routine supplies and equipment to a very special location. A 2087 Khonshu class minicraft designed to only to carry light passenger cargo. A worthless old garbage heap, not knowing when its time had come.

No one looking up at this hunk of floating garbage would ever think that the massive trail of smoke the flying assemblage of ancient parts spewed out every moment of its journey was all an elaborate deception. No one would believe that the rust marks and tears in the weathered steel that contained this clunker were manually inflicted by a few dozen workers, paid not to ask too many questions or give too many answers. If anything, some of the more human denizens of the massive city might worry about the poor fool that useless heap landed on when the engines finally gave up the ghost. Those souls needn’t worry, though. The engines were quite new.

No one who gazed at this aircraft would ever give it a second thought. And no one would ever think that on this Saturday night, under the soft rays of the full moon, this sorry excuse for a vehicle would ever try to make it all the way to Detroit intact just to dump off some sad, defective experiment that Stark/Fujikawa never wanted to glance with contempt at again.

And if some deranged lunatic ever guessed at this truth, he would never believe that the cargo was a man.

A man with defective genes, no less.

“Kendall, are you sure this thing’s gonna hold together?” the tall, lanky pilot uttered toward his chief engineer, his authoritativeness masking his irrational fears.

“Don’t worry, Mac,” the cheerful, well-muscled engineer spoke with determination, “I made sure that when my team refitted this old bucket, all the parts were in fine order. You may feel a few bumps here and there, and I’m sure that trail of smoke in the back’d freak anybody out but this fine old vessel’ll get us there and back in no time.”

He walked over to the main engine and stared at it with pride, patting its smooth, shiny surface, “It may not all be up to code, but my team and I are the best at what we do. We’ll be fine.”

Mac walked over to the panel on his left, looking at the readout and hoping it would provide him with something more than one man’s word to go on. Thompson “Mac” McElriche was an untrusting man, suspicious of most people like most people were suspicious of their politicians. All that he’d known since accepting the very odd mission was that Stark/Fujikawa had hired them to transport some strange cargo to Detroit, evacuate the specially-designed, airtight room to the designated dumping zone of the world, and get out of the toxic fumes of the isolated state before the poisonous air affected any of the ship’s systems. Sure, he’d seen the various teams installing vital hardware and protective gear into the recycled clunker. And, of course, the chief engineer was right here on the transport with him, along with a few of the other more experienced members of the engine team, so they wouldn’t want to needlessly endanger themselves along with Mac. It was mostly Stark/Fujikawa’s intentions he was worried about. In his many years as a pilot-for-hire, he’d seen some of the dirtier sides of the megacorps. And even with the corporation’s obvious desire for a successful completion to this cryptic journey, he wasn’t too sure that the company much cared that they make it back from the mission completely intact

In fact, with the recent turbulence and the window-less, ultra-thick door that isolated their still-unknown cargo from the rest of the ship, he wasn’t even sure if it was in the corporation’s best interests that they come back completely intact.

He shook the distressing thoughts off, “I’m getting paranoid in my middle age,” the pilot muttered as he glanced down at the containment room he knew existed under his feet.

“Good to hear, Kendall,” a business-like Mac stated with authority, “Keep up the fine work.”

The pilot turned and entered the bloated cockpit. Glancing at the autopilot, he silently prayed to Thor that he was wrong.

Beyond the sealed trapdoor of the cargo hold, the crunched up figure laying in a fetal position in the padded chamber stirred.

He’d been unconscious for over ten hours now. Ten hours of dreamless, drug-induced darkness. His lids flittered in the encompassing darkness.

His body shuddered with fatigue as his eyelids slowly rolled over his tired, bloodshot eyes, opening them to the pitch black that engulfed him.

He strained to focus, but there was nothing to focus on. He could feel some putrid awfulness in his mouth. He sloshed his heavy, bloated tongue about. It was dry. His entire mouth was dry. He was thirsy. So badly, badly thirsy…

Through his back, he could feel the incessant rocking and swaying of the turbulent ship. He rolled over onto his arm and sat up, his tired, pounding head still playing havoc with his sensory system.

He was in some kind of room, he figured. Unlit. How did he get there? Where was he, exactly? And why--?


His head throbbed in pulsating, rhythmic agony. His eyes bulged as he saw images. Flashbacks of memory. Were they memories? He was in a hover car. Red, maybe? Or orange? Pain. Torment. He was strapped down, now. Pinpricks in his arm. A needle? Was it ---? Agghhh!!! More throbbing. Screaming. Hurting. A woman. She’s smiling. He can’t make out her face. AKKK!! Agony. More waves of agony. His body shook with pain. His hands were shaking. No, not shaking. Not anymore. They’re signing something now. A signature? Whose? His? Is it his? He can’t make it out. What is it that he’s signing? A datapad? AAGGHHHH!!!!!!!!

Darkness. Silence.

When he came to once more, he could feel something wet under his nose. Even as he wiped it away with his hand, he could tell it was blood. What happened to him?

He could feel the warmth of the sticky crimson bile through the glove on his hand. How odd that he should be wearing a glove. And one so thin, no less. But still, odd didn't even begin to describe this particular predicament.

Slowly, surely, he picked his sagging, heavy form off the ground. He still felt a little light-headed. And groggy. Definitely groggy. Stumbling a bit, he walked over to the walk and felt the padding through his glove. As he listened to the hum of the engines above and felt through his boots the agitated rocking of the floor beneath him, he deduced that he was on a ship, lying forgotten in the comfort of the bizarrely-padded cargo hold.

“Hello!” he yelled up to the crew above, “I’m stuck down here! Someone get me outta here!”

No answer.

He slowly backed up and repeated, louder this time, “Hello! Can anybody hear me? My name is…my name…is…I..”

His resounding trumpet died down to a soft whisper, “my name….I…I don’t know…”

A decent spot of turbulence knocked him down to the floor. He landed hard on something that was also hard. A thin cylindrical something.

He ignored the pain in his back as curiosity took over, rolling him onto his knees facing the thin object. He gently picked it up and examined it in the darkness. It felt smooth. Perhaps made of metal or some other hard, dense material. He felt along the smooth, thin object for some kind of endpoint to give him some clue as to its dimensions and function. The end was domed-off and equally smooth. What an odd item to leave in a cargo hold.

Then again, he was also an odd item to leave in a cargo hold.

His eyes fluttered again. He sat very still as the darkness began to take on a subdued greenish hue. In the dark, he was able to make out a dark, thin line amongst a sea of forest green light. The line slowly coalesced into a smooth shape. An object. It was an object. It was the same object he was holding. He recognized its smooth, hard texture now. He was holding a bo staff.

As he came to this realization, the washy green haze behind him coalesced, as had the staff, into a conflagration of thick, squared-off padding that decorated the large cargo hold he was in. He could see now. He could see everything with crystal clarity. But there were no lights in this room. Not a single fluorescent or neon light source anywhere in the room. Not even one of those absurdly ancient bulbs. Nothing. It was definitely pitch black in this room.

“What in Thor’s name is going on!” he cried out in morbid panic, “Where am I? WHO am I? What am I doing here? Somebody!!?”

A smaller headache began to build in his scared, frightened mind as he picked up the bo staff and began hitting the ceiling with it in much the same way as old twentieth-century apartment dwellers did in hopes of communicating with fellow neighbors upstairs. If the engines of the airship were drowning out his tortured voice, perhaps there was a chance that the rhythmic pounding of the bo staff against the metal casing surrounding the padded cargo hold would alert them to his presence. A slim chance at best, but a chance nonetheless.




The bo staff began to vibrate wildly as it emitted an wild explosion of energy which, for a moment, blinded the poor, flailing man in the cargo hold. As he turned away from the massive discharge of light and energy, the blast tore through the pads and ate away at the metal casing of the ship. It dove through the smoke and circuitry within the small device emitting cleverly-designed fake streams of smog and soot under the main engine as it headed through the bulk of the main engine, tearing open the lining of the neighboring port engine before rocketing off into the night sky, the beam of energy finally dispersing in an impressive aerial display for any lucky enough to witness it.

Above the blinded, forgotten man, Kendall Yeats, a man who had taken so much pride in designing his state-of-the-art engine and had thrilled in installing his patented machinery into the amalgamated vessel, could only look on abject horror as his beloved main engine exploded in a thunderous crescendo, ripping the lining off the rest of the port engine before it too, joined it’s mother engine in a blaze of glory.

The last thing Kendall saw was a rather large piece of debris heading towards his face.

“SHOCK ME!” Mac yelled as the airship rocked violently, tipping down toward the earth below. He could feel the heat of the engine room behind him as the sound of the explosion trumpeted through his ears.

Mac opened the door separating the cockpit from the engine hold and stared in utter horror as he saw the main engine and the port engine melting in flames. As his eyes scanned the bodies of his shipmates for any signs of life, he saw that the starboard engine remained encased in its magnetic seal, still untouched by the ravages of the convulsing flames.

“Everybody’s dead,” he sputtered, “Kendall, and….shock it..”

He tumbled back into the almost vertical control room and strapped himself in.

“One engine left. Gotta make the most of it.”

Mac disengaged the autopilot and went to work.

He slammed against the padding of the far wall as the force of the explosion tunneled into the cargo hold.

A deep, twisting knot began to fester in his stomach a tingling feeling washed over his rapidly warming skin. The moisture on his lips evaporated as his entire mouth went dry once again, replaced with that familiar, putrid taste. A foul, putrid experience in his mouth. Taste was too mild a word.

Time slowed to a crawl, and as his throat became some horrible, cracking, burning desert in the summertime, the pinpricks on his skin coalesced into some kind of filmy, silky residue. A thin blanket began to creep across his cheeks as his mouth became a foul methane inferno. His tongue expanded, trying desperately to soak up something. Anything.

His muscles tensed as the blanket of silk crawled across his face, its cool washy feel starkly contrasting the pounding, thunderous pain of his twisting stomach, the agony along his pores and the insufferable agony of his still drying mouth.

Agony. Disgusting agony. Agony stretched into eternity. When would it stop?

Finally, the crawling second skin connected along the center of his face. The drying, scorching heat in his mouth eased. The knots untangled. His sweating skin began to cool even as the burning, raging tsunami of infernal heat from the explosion above washed over his quivering, exhausted form.

Such heat. Waves of fury from a dying ship. But, muted somehow. The suit. This silky film encasing his entire body. It was so thin, yet it was protecting him from the raging fires of two dying engines. Somehow, he wasn’t being burned alive. Somehow, through all the smoke and soot, through this fiery heat that he could see yet could hardly feel, he was not being burned alive. Somehow, he was surviving. And somehow, through this lifesaving, airtight containment, he could still breathe.

Odd? Not even close. This was just downright impossible.

As the explosion finally died down, the man fell face-first into the charred floor only to be jarred around again like a toy doll in a furious child’s hand as the ship spiraled down through the monoliths of Uptown toward the decadent ruins of Downtown.

‘What have I done?’ he thought as the ship continued to plummet further and further into the depths of darkness.

A river of putrid, black bile erupted from the burning engines of the doomed craft. Gone were the simple, simulated putt putts of computer generated smokescreens and the false advertising of man-made dents and bruises. No, the ancient assemblage was now genuinely coming apart at the seams, tipping toward the Earth at a devastatingly steep angle.

Out of control, the petite airship rocketed towards the rooftop of the apartment building beneath at breakneck speeds, the resulting impact more than enough to incinerate the ship and the only two surviving members aboard as well.

Residents of the unfortunate apartment complex could only watch in horror as the dying transport descended upon them with uncanny accuracy. Dozens scrambled from their domiciles, rapidly stampeding down the stairs and packing the elevators with their loved ones and prize possessions in tow in a desperate gambit to survive.

A few unlucky souls were trapped in the fantasies of exotic virtual reality programs and cyberspace exploration. Others less wealthy were trapped in total reality scenarios, their bodies curled up in sofas and bedrooms completely deprived of sensory input. Neither aware that death was only yards away.

Bystanders outside the seemingly doomed apartment complex were met by panicked residents streaming from their homes, fleeing to the safety of the streets, all the while unable to do anything but gaze as the plummeting vehicle fell to certain doom.

Suddenly, the transport’s remaining engine whined and hissed as, by some twinge of compassion from fate, the dying airship began to slowly veer to the side, carving out a sizable portion of the building before slowly, painfully changing course. As pieces of the still-standing complex came crashing down amongst hundreds of scattering onlookers and residents below, the burning craft fell along a direct course to Downtown.

Mac was desperately clinging onto the controls of the ship. Its turbulent thrashing and flailing about in the wake of its own demise was making it just this side of impossible to steer the ship with its remaining engine.

Wearing deep indentations into the thick padded controls, Mac bit his lower lip and struggled desperately to slow the ship to a sane speed. One walkway avoided. Another. Two small passenger hover cars missed by inches. Three more. Another walkway. Anoth…

Mac was thrust forward into the ship’s control console as it viciously scraped one of the many crowded walkways below. Forcing himself back into his chair, he wiped the warm, sticky blood from his eyes and gritted his teeth.

“That’s it,” he grimaced with furious determination, “I gotta level this thing out. Now.”

Clutching the controls, Mac pulled them toward his chest with every ounce of strength he had. Beads of sweat ran down his forehead as the ship slowly began to straighten out.

Seventy degrees. Sixty-five degrees. Sixty-two. Fifty.

At forty-three degrees, Mac’s right pinky finger fractured from the strain. A small stream of blood trickled down from clenched teeth. Forty-two degrees.

Thirty-nine degrees. Thirty-eight. The violent rocking and thrashing of the ship began to smooth out to a gentle turbulence. Twenty-six. Twenty-one degrees. Eighteen…

Nearly level now, the ship’s digital speedometer began flashing two bright red digits on its readout as opposed to three. As the ship slowed to a manageable speed, Mac breathed a sigh of relief and sent a prayer of thanks to a long dead thunder god.

Without warning, another violent explosion rocked the ship as it began to spin around like a top.

“Shock!” Mac screamed in desperation, “the starboard engine! It...”

As the control panel exploded, a nameless man trapped in a cargo hold became the only survivor of the decimated transport.

The greenish haze outlining the charred walls of the padded cargo hold gave way to a blinding flash of brilliant jade light as the badly strained starboard engine erupted in a fiery inferno, setting off a spectacular chain reaction that ripped apart the entire rear section of the hovercraft.

Barely protected by the immaculate silky fabric that enveloped him, the man who had once been fated for a slow, toxic death now gazed upon the only exit. He could see neon-lit buildings flash by with alarming speed. He could feel the cool night air against his skin even through the thin white silk that covered his entire body. He could practically taste the mechanical aroma of the city around him. And through the sounds of the crackling fire and the screeching fury of twisted, misshapen metal and circuitry cooking in the flames, he could hear the hundreds of screaming onlookers. He could pick up the sounds of hover car engines revving up as they sped out of the smoking amalgamated wreck’s way as it spun out of control into the depths below. Somehow, right before this looming demise, here under the light of the full moon and amongst the surrounding lower classes of this segregated city, he felt more alive than he had ever felt in his life. Or at least the fifteen minutes that he could remember at the moment.

The ship was only a few hundred yards above the cold, hard cement of the Downtown floor. As the ship became a raging tornado of burning fury, he was rocked violently against the three remaining walls of his prison as well as the ceiling and the floor. Or what used to be the ceiling and the floor. His senses couldn’t make sense of anything at the moment. Except that he was in agony. Rivers of tortuous agony from which there was no defense.

No respite.

No escape.

Pain erupted from his limbs as the jarring continued. A rib broken. An already swelling bruise. A shattered right wrist. More blood….

Suddenly, there were no more walls. No more thumping. No pain. There was just emptiness.

And gravity.

Suddenly, as he saw the antique assemblage in a twirling complementary freefall, he realized what had happened.

“Oh shock,” he gasped in hushed, morbid fear as he fell like a stone towards the earth’s cold surface.

Cecilia Indeligato was a Stark/Fujikawa employee. But don’t hold that against her.

Officially, she was an executive surveillance technician for the main branch of Stark/Fujikawa Incorporated. Or so she said to her parents, her husband and generally anyone else she wanted to impress with an official title. In actuality, she was a monkey paid two hundred credits an hour to watch a few hundred computer screens displaying satellite surveillance images in a dark, isolated room with only two assistants for company. Two assistants who were little more than big bricks in lab coats as far as personalities go.

Basically, she was paid to watch the monitors for eight hours a day and report to the higher-ups if she spotted any trouble. At the moment, she wanted to report to her superiors about her irritatingly silent companions and how vital it was that they be replaced immediately. She stared at the vidphone at her side. It was quite tempting.

‘I must be going stir crazy,’ she thought, ‘Two hundred credits an hour, and I want to put all that at risk just to fire two boring co-workers? I’ve got to get some fresh air.’

“Steve, Amanda. I’ve got to get out for a second,” Cecilia quickly stated as she got up from her chair, “I’ll be back in a minute.”

“Cecilia, you know we can’t just leave the room for any old reason,” Steve began his usual rhetoric, “Mr. Sama depends on us to protect the corporation’s interests and to make absolutely sure it remains secure at all costs. Now, I don’t know about you, but I take this responsibility very seriously, and I’m sure that you wouldn’t want to do anything to….”

“Steve,” Cecilia glared at the talking brick, “it can’t wait. Just trust me on this.”

“Let her go, Steven.” Amanda sighed, “Just let her go.”

“Alright, Cecilia,” the brainwashed chief executive technician sternly spoke, “I’m letting you go this time. But I hope you realize that…”

His words were lost in a rush of adrenaline as one monitor in particular caught her eye.

“Steve,” Cecilia uttered fearfully in a hushed whisper, “get Mr. Sama on the line. Now.”

As the long-winded chief executive dialed the private line of the head of Stark/Fujikawa as fast as his bloated fingers could dial the vidphone, Cecilia’s tiny frame could only watch in muted horror as the airship on the screen in front of her was lost in a trail of blazing flames.

“Oh shock oh shock oh shock what am I gonna do?” the man’s shaking form gasped in panic. He glanced toward his right and saw some kind of dark object falling toward him. As the pounding adrenaline rush gave in to genuine intrigue, he suddenly realized what he was looking at.

The bo staff.

What were the odds that this strange object found derelict in a cargo hold would be just within reach after all the jarring and shaking the ship had endured?

It was almost as if it was returning to him.

But why?

As the staff fell within reach, he grabbed it, sensing some kind of connection between this odd metallic item which saved him from a long death of radiation poisoning only to catapult him without warning into a quick death at the hands of a five hundred foot drop.

Imagining his imminent status as street pizza, a brilliant thought struck him.

“If this thing can blast out enough energy to blast a hole through a hovercraft,” he reasoned aloud as he clutched the staff with both hands, “then maybe it can emit a steady stream of energy. And maybe, if it can blast out enough force, I can use it as a cushion of energy and ride it to the ground. I’ll still slam into the ground and it’s still gonna hurt, but maybe, just maybe, I can end up in some form other than a liquid when I hit it.”

Panic borne of near total amnesia and all-too-imminent death was washed to the wayside for a moment as the man who was, seconds ago, screaming incomprehensibly in an all-encompassing fear now enacted his desperate plan and methodically, frantically searched for some sensor, some marking, some button which would activate this smooth stick he clutched onto for dear life and save him from a death that would leave all of his questions unanswered.

However, his hands found no protrusions, no indentations. Nothing, save the slickness of the immaculate bo staff.

Suddenly, he felt the familiar vibration. The staff shook wildly as it emitted a powerful beam of light that reached deep down into the cracked, ancient pavement that served as an unofficial trademark of the sadly neglected Downtown area.

He clutched the bo staff tightly, careful not to move his fingers for an instant, for fear of ending the bright beacon of hope that was currently the only thing saving him from being a pasty mess on the grimy Downtown streets. Although, from what he could gather from his eyes and his fingers, he had done nothing to provoke this odd little device.

He could feel himself slowing down, even through the cushion of pulsating energies being spewed out by the staff beneath him. The facades of boarded up buildings and ancient structures long ago forgotten began to pass by a little slower with each passing second. The plan was working.

Strange, he didn’t think he’d been this tired before.

Suddenly out of breath, the man’s breathing became labored as the energy being vomited by his staff slowly began to waver and weaken. The fatigued man began to shake as the cushion of energy beneath him sputtered and died. With tired, bloodshot eyes, he stared at the onrush of ground beneath him; which he’d estimated was about fifty feet away, finding that, even after his entire ordeal, he was no longer gripped with unquenchable fear in the face of imminent death. There was a kind of peace inside him now. An acceptance of his grisly fate.

“How odd,” the tired man began to contemplate, this night-vision I have. I’ll…I’ll wager that its purpose was to help me out. Make me less…afraid…of the night. Ironic, that…watching the ground storming at me…at these…insane speeds….only makes me more afraid....”

Like the meteor that heralded the end of the dinosaurs, the man collided with the cement of the Downtown earth, creating a deep crater of pulverized cement and long ago hidden earth. The shattered man stared up at the heavens, seeing in his rapidly fading vision the pure white silhouette of the full moon.

“…moon… the moonlight….light at night…it’s bright…the moon…night….”

With a final gasp, the man’s jaded vision faded to darkness and the delirious man fell silent.

As he lost consciousness, the blinding white encasement that hugged his fragile form lost cohesion and retreated back into his inert form, leaving only the bony, broken man in its wake.

Almost a mile away, a thunderclap shook the Downtown area as a deafening explosion rocked many a citizen out of their restless dreams and drug-induced hallucinations, resounding as a trumpeting salute over hundreds of shabby coves and abandoned buildings.

As many woken residents of the forgotten land would come to realize, whether by investigation or by newscast, it had been the sound of an antique Khonshu class ship falling from the heavens and crashing into their desolate section of the city, whose final explosive demise sent a hailstorm of fire and metal into the air and whose flames raged into the night and spread along many of the adjacent buildings, lighting up the surrounding area like a Roman candle.

Neither the Public Eye, nor the Watchdogs could be bothered to handle the raging inferno caused by the crash, and, within a few hours, it burnt itself out. But many of the most superstitious residents of the discarded lands would come to believe that the mighty trumpeting roar of the explosion was more than thousands of credits in damage, were the damage actually to be assessed and repaired.

They would say that it was a final farewell to a ship that refused to go out without a bang.

Amanda was furiously trying to enlarge the digital satellite surveillance video, working desperately to regain a visual of the burning ship as Cecilia tapped about her console, still replete with shock and disbelief.

While the two women continued their digital reconnaissance, Steve continued trying to contact the much feared president of the powerful megacorp.

“It’s no good,” Steve collapsed into his chair, defeated, “Mr. Sama’s line is totally busy. I can’t even get in touch with his private secretaries.”

“Never mind Hikaru,” Amanda remained transfixed on the satellite image that the two women had just successfully enlarged, “get the head of Spectre Division on the line.”

“Why?” the pudgy chief executive questioned.

“One of his little ‘projects’ has just escaped.” Cecilia stated with the utmost dread.

Continued next full moon….

Next Issue:

Has our hero taken the big dirt nap without even at least finding out where that bo staff came from? What is Spectre Division? And just what on earth was that defective genes crack about anyway? All valid questions to be answered next issue. Or, at least brought up and dismissed.