This story is based in the 5 Earths Project continuity, and is built on what was written before by myself, Brad Cobb, and Martin Maenza. For those unfamiliar with the setting, it assumes that there were 5 earths left after the great Crisis on Infinite earths. Earth 4 is a combination of Charlton and MLJ/Red Circle characters.
Bzzz. Bzzzz. Bzzzz.
Nathaniel Adam threw his pillow at the pager. He was off-duty and wanted to sleep late. It vibrated against the end table until he picked it and checked the number.
Adam picked up the phone and triggered the speed-dial. He wondered briefly what kind of threat had to be dealt with now.
"Command," said the familiar voice of Jeff "Gunner" Gosling.
"What's going on, Gunner?" Adam asked.
"Something bad is brewing in the North Atlantic," said Gosling.
"Right," said Adam. "How bad is it?"
"The Russkies are getting Red Star ready to launch," said the Sergeant Major.
"I'm coming in," said Adam. "Get everything you can together for me."
"Will do," said Gosling. "Sat intel is coming in right now."
"I'll be there in a minute," said Adam, hanging up the phone.
He closed his eyes as he concentrated to release the energy charge that activated his familiar red, blue, and silver protective costume. He flew through his apartment's open window, heading for his Air Force command center. His speed let him soar to the base in a matter of seconds.
Adam frowned at the thought that the Soviets would let Red Star operate outside of their borders, as he touched down. It must be something really serious brewing.
Jeff Gosling waited for him on the tarmac, clutching the developed pictures in one hand. He handed them to Adam as soon as the hero landed.
"Any updates?" Adam asked.
"Whatever is out there, it's sinking anything getting in its way," said Gunner. "The tech boys say it will make landfall in a couple of hours the way it's going."
Adam began to flip through the pictures. Gosling hadn't exagerrated. The wake was plainly visible in the photos. Adam took a moment to calculate. If his navigation wasn't completely off, the thing was heading right for Moscow.
No wonder Redstar was activated.
This thing had to be stopped, and Adam was elected to do the job. Only Redstar was close to his power range. No one else had a chance.
"Call the Russians," Adam said. "Tell them I'm on the way."
"Yes, sir," said Gosling. "Good luck."
Adam was already gone.
It was an easy flight across the Atlantic for Adam. He hovered over the map coordinates from the satellite pictures, considering his options.
Something massive was down there. Adam couldn't tell if the thing was growing larger or just surfacing from his vantage point.
An energy trail attracted his attention from his quarry. He smiled slightly when he saw Igor Kriss's face. Adam had saved Kriss's life when he had first gained his Captain Atom abilities, and had crossed paths with the Russian numerous times since. They had formed a bond of professional respect, if not exactly friendship.
"Greetings, comrade Atom," said Kriss pleasantly.
"Hello, Redstar," said Adam. "Any suggestions on how we should handle the problem before us?"
"It is bigger than reported," said Kriss with a frown. "Maybe we could anger it so that it will rise to the surface and we can examine it for weak points."
"Bigger than reported?" said Adam, summoning the energy for his nuclear blast.
"Yes," said Kriss, generating energy for his own attack. "It sank one of our submarines, and its size was much smaller than this thing, according to the reports."
"Great," muttered Adam, releasing his energy into the cold water below.
Kriss followed suit with a barrage of small fireballs.
The water of the Atlantic separated as the creature's monstrous head broke the surface. Part of a whale fell from its muzzle as it roared its rage and annoyance. Six cerulean orbs regarded the heroes with hate. A fiery red crest ran from the back of its skull down its spine to the waterline below.
"It has wings," said Kriss, as he rained energy balls down on the strange menace.
"A tail, too," said Adam. He hurled his own fire bolts at the giant creature. He frowned as he watched their attacks seemed to be sucked up by the thing's jelly-like skin.
Almost as if someone had prepared for blasters like himself and Redstar.
The massive wings on the back of the creature unfurled and beat the sea and air. A small tsunami slammed into the two men. Adam pinwheeled across the sky before correcting his flight. Kriss braked himself with an effort.
"Energy seems to only anger the beast," the Russian hero stated grimly.
"We'll have to take a more physical approach," Adam said. "Keep it busy until I get back."
Adam flew off.
Kriss shook his slightly. Keep it busy, he said. Voy.
Igor Kriss circled his foe methodically, slashing it with his energy blasts as he flew. He noted the monster had grown since he and Captain Atom had first engaged it. At least it had stopped its forward motion towards the Motherland.
Burning air and a shrill whistling told Kriss to move away from the creature at top speed. A bullet of gold and silver impacted one of the creature's eyes. It clawed at its face in obvious pain. It staggered backwards, and then fell on its back. Small tidal waves erupted from its body. It convulsed wildly before it finally grew still.
Kriss landed on the snout of the creature. A tunnel had been cut through the eye socket into the skull by Adam's flight. Kriss shook his head as he dropped down to the corpse's face. He leaned down into the dark tunnel, casting light from one hand. A silver hand clawed its way into the light. The Russian smiled widely at the sight.
"I'm glad you are still alive, comrade," Kriss said, as he siezed the hand with both of his. He pulled with all of his strength, until Adam appeared. Redstar helped him onto the face of the creature to catch his breath.
"I hope I don't have to do that again in a long while," Adam choked out. He summoned energy to burn away the creature's internal fluid from his body.
"The creature is self destructing," said Kriss. "Look at the way the skin is coming off."
Bones revealed themselves as the five remaining eyes boiled away. The atomic crusaders took to the air as the skeleton sank beneath the ocean.
The last thing to go was a stretched collar Adam hadn't seen before. He read it as it went. He wondered who would name a beast like that "Fido."
"Thank you, comrade," said Kriss. "I have to go and be reprimanded severely by my superiors now."
"Reprimanded?" asked Adam.
"Yes," said Kriss, grinning. "They wanted me to bring it back alive.”
"Farewell, Atom," said Igor Kriss.
"See you around, Star," said Adam.
The two men flew their separate ways.
Dr. Tetsuo Moto shut off the large screen as the Atlantic covered the camera in his weapon's control collar. He made notes on the creature's performance on a virtual keyboard built into his desk.
Maybe something smaller would be more of a match for those two.
Moto sat back in his swivel chair, and thoughtfully considered what he could use for his second weapon.
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