As the story opens, police are questioning Derek Colt in the disappearance of his more-or-less friend, Conner Bragg, a week before. Bragg has missed some major appointments, and even the cops are beginning to take the matter seriously. Colt asserts that he has not been in contact with Bragg since their meeting a week before. He does not know where Bragg is.
However, after the police leave, Colt enters a secure (or rather, even more secure) section of his mansion.
Colt: It's official. I may as well find out where the sucker went. Fortunately, he's too obnoxious to die this quickly. It's a good thing I'm paranoid enough for both of us.
He had, of course, already deployed an extremely high-tech robot surveillance system to keep tabs on his friend, and it reports Bragg's whereabouts and condition.
Colt: I knew I should've told the thing to alert me if he wound up in a cell. But at least he's unharmed. I'd hate to break in a new enemy. Come to think of it, with enemies like me, he doesn't need friends.
Colt briefly considers and rejects invoking law enforcement: Bragg's situation requires more stealth than any cops possess. He takes an elevator to a subterranean lab.
Colt: So it's up to me. Typical. Oh, well—I've been wanting to field-test some of the prototypes anyway.
Computer: Greetings, Overlord.
Colt: Prepare a profile of my latest stable prototypes. No, wait: since I don't know quite what I'm up against, I might as well care enough to send the very best.
Computer: Prototype name?
"Darklight" is not just a suit but a suite of the most advanced countermeasures Colt has yet devised. There is a suit, however, with a level of invisibility beyond anything even the government has yet worked out. Using a kind of stealth hang-glider for the last leg of the trip, he remarks that he really needs to work out proper jets for the suit.
On arrival, he greets the carrier bot and downloads a complete report on Krohn's stronghold. Krohn has gone on yellow alert following Colt's signal to his spy bot, but Colt concludes that Krohn only suspects a problem. The bot's tight-beam pulsed response was undetectable, and Colt refuses to believe that Krohn could penetrate his countermeasures. He enters the fortress with the assistance of the carrier bot's nano crew. (This actually takes up a lot of the comic.) Bypassing the dungeon's security is relatively easy. It's the next part that's nearly impossible: rescuing Bragg in spite of the security cameras. He sets up a loop for the cameras and turns off his invisibility.
Colt: It's me, dummy. Come on, let's get out of here. I brought along a little extra invisibility for you—this stealth suit should keep you unseen till we're out of here. Just keep your movements slow and smooth: it's just super camouflage, not real invisibility like my suit.
Bragg [putting on the suit]: So you finally made it work!
Colt: Was there any doubt?
Bragg: Not for me. I figured girls never saw you, so you were halfway there. Most of the guys ignored you too.
An alarm sounds just as they reach the door, which immediately seals. Krohn's voice tells them that the flicker of the lights in the dungeon lab varies slightly over time in case Bragg would somehow manage to fool the cameras. Krohn will be in shortly to discipline his prisoner.
Bragg: And when he shows up, he'll find a real titan ready to beat up him and his friends.
Colt: And an unexpected, unseen surprise.
Krohn: One more thing, Mr. Bragg: to help rein in your temper, I shall remove the air from your cell. You have no spare oxygen in there, so I trust you will be less truculent than usual when I arrive.
The air vents begin to pull the air out as the comic ends. The next episode: Tachyon!
1 year ago