DCM Zone

Part VI: A Dire Predicament
by Bob Young

Captain Marvel
Adam Strange
Wonder Woman
Beta Ray Bill

The aliens had found Sif, who was still stunned after her battle with the Egyptian deities Nutt and the Black Pharaoh. As she lay there, regaining her senses, the aliens closed in. She recognized them as being of the same race as the one who died in the collision with the Gamer.

"I came here to find you," she said. "I have questions which I must ask thee."

"You knew we were here?" one alien asked. "You know of our dealings with the Earth people?"

"I know that thou doth sell weapons," she said.

"Then you know too much!" one alien said. "You must be silenced."

That answered Sif's questions. These were definitely bad guys. They had to be fought, as she promised Thor. She drew her sword. "Thou may try to silence me, villains, but I warn thee, thou doth have a formidable task at hand!"

Sif charged the aliens. One of them pulled out a gun. It was a weapon Sif had never seen before. In fact, most people on Earth had never seen the like of the Ultra-Diode Ray. Sif was bathed in the rays of the weapon before she reached them. The effect of the ray was two-fold. It affected the brain of the victim, rendering them susceptible to suggestion. They become responsive to outside commands, yet without the will power to move to move or act on their own. It was used to quell slave uprisings on other worlds.

Sif suddenly felt her strength leave her. Her thoughts became a muddle of chaos. She was so weak that she couldn't continue to stand. She fell to her knees, feeling as if the effort of standing was too much.

This is terrible! the Asgardian thought, as she kneeled, groggy. I can not stand. My arms and legs doth feel like lead. I can barely concentrate! I need to clear my head.

"Destroy her while she is powerless," one of the aliens said.

"No, wait!" a voice said. Two Arabian men appeared, wearing the sashes of the Blood Spider Society. "She can be valuable to us."

One of the Sheiks men stood menacingly over the immobile Sif. She wanted to lash out, but she couldn't lift a finger. By Odin's blood! she thought, confused. My own body doth betray me. It twill not obey mine commands. I cannot move.

The two aliens looked down at the kneeling Goddess. "Should we kill her?" one asked.

"It would be quite a shame," the other Spider Society member said. "She is most gorgeous."

"Perhaps the Sheik would like her?" the first man suggested. "He loves beautiful women."

"Indeed," the other said. "It would put us in his good graces to bring him a superb beauty like this one."

"I agree. Let's take her!"

"You will come with us, woman!" one of the Arabian criminals said.

"Never!" Sif said, but the words came out a whisper and the Arabs couldn't hear what she said. Just as she was trying to defy them again, some force made her rise to her feet.

"Come," one of the men said.

No! Never! Sif thought, but then she heard herself say, "I will obey."

She couldn't stop her legs from walking along with the men. She strained with all of her formidable will, but she couldn't regain control of her body.

"Get in the truck!" one of them said.

"I obey," she said.

To her horror, she found herself obediently climbing into the truck. Can't resist! she thought angrily. She tried to fight but couldn't. The Two Arabs got Sif in a car and drove off. She could only sit, unable to move of her own free will, an unwilling passenger of these mortal men.

Soon, the effects of the Ultra-Diode ray had a dizzying effect on Sif and she passed out.

Captain Marvel, Hercules, Orion, and Adam Strange were in the caves of the Rock of Eternity. They entered the chamber of eternity, home of the great wizard Shazam.

The ageless wizard sat on an oversized throne-like chair. He had a long, white beard, intelligent eyes and wore robes. "Greetings, my young friend. I see you've brought guests."

"I apologize for the intrusion, sir," Captain Marvel said, respectfully. "I came to ask you -- "

"I know all that has occurred," Shazam said. "I see around many a corner, you know. There is much you need to know but not enough time to tell it all to you. The best I can do is to direct you to the deserts of the Middle East. There, all your questions will be answered."

In the Sahara desert, Wonder Woman was fighting Thundra the Femizon. The Amazon princess didn't want this fight, but Thundra was not put off by her unwillingness to fight. Thundra gave it all she had. She was powerful, and skillful. Wonder Woman was hard pressed by her formidable opponent.

"This is madness!" Wonder Woman cried. "There is no point to us fighting like this!"

"I regret it very much, Amazon," Thundra said. "But your death is necessary, and so I must slay you!"

There were no more words. The two women fought a great battle. Thundra relied more on her great power. She charged head-on at all times. She had skill, but nowhere near the finesse of her Amazon opponent. Wonder Woman was the consummate warrior. Strength, speed, skill and passion, all mixed with a portion of patience. She was the perfect fighter.

Slowly, Wonder Woman managed to get the upper hand. Thundra swung her chain at Wonder Woman, who managed to evade it. She utilized her magic golden lasso. Waiting for the right opening, she looped the lasso around Thundra, and yanked it tighter. Thundra was tied tight.

"By the power of the lasso, I command you to surrender!" Wonder Woman said. "Do not fight me."

Thundra found herself unable to do anything but obey the commands of her opponent. "I . . . must . . . surrender," she said.

"Be at ease, sister," Wonder Woman said. "I am not your enemy. I merely wish to understand you. I want some answers."

Later, in the desert palace of the Sheik Farnoq Dahl . . .

Lady Sif regained consciousness in a plush chamber. The place had the look of a royal palace. She was sitting on a cushioned chair, in some sort of lounge. Her thoughts were interrupted when she saw the Sheik enter the room, accompanied by a slave girl. He stood before the Asgardian and smiled a haughty smile. "Hello my dear. I'm glad that you're back with us. I am the Sheik Farnoq Dahl. By the way, you're my prisoner!"

The Lady Sif looked around. There were no guards. The Sheik didn't appear to be armed. It was just the two of them, except for the petite salve girl.

Sif wanted to lunge at the Sheik, to destroy him. She slowly stood up, prepared to pound him within an inch of his miserable life . . . but something prevented her! She stopped short, but she didn't understand why. It was as if some invisible force was holding her back. But she realized that the thing which was holding her back was not external, but something in herself. Some mental block or compulsion was restraining her. Although every fiber of her being wanted to thrash the fiend soundly, she just couldn't bring herself to actually do so.

She was amazed when her fist unclenched and her arm lowered. Her muscles relaxed and she stood in a non-threatening posture in front of the Sheik. By Odin, What's wrong with me? she thought.

The Sheik grinned, looking her up and down. "A spectacular specimen. You'll bring an excellent price."

Lady Sif tried with all the power of her will to reach out and throttle the Arabian villain. He was only two feet away from her. She was strong enough to crush him. It would be so easy to knock that smug grin off of his vile face. She wanted to rip him apart! But for some reason, she couldn't. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn't strike him. She just stood, placidly, with her hands lowered at her sides. This makes no sense. What has happened to me?

"Sit," the Sheik said.

Before she knew what was happening, Sif realized that she was actually sitting down, just as she had been told to do. "I obey."

Great Odin! she thought in shock. I obeyed him! He told me to sit and I did so! This be madness! I must stop this lunacy!

Sif tried to rise again, but she couldn't! She had to remain seated, as she'd been told to do. It was as if she was chained to the seat. But the only thing holding her was one word from the Sheik . . . The word 'Sit'!

"You will behave yourself, like a good girl," he said. "Women have no stomach for resistance, no courage. You are no different. You'll cooperate, won't you?"

"Yes, I will," Sif heard herself say. She couldn't believe she had just responded. What was wrong? Obeying an enemy's orders, and answering his questions! This was a nightmare!

Just then, she remembered the ray gun. That was what did this! It made Sif feel so . . . submissive! By all the gods and goddesses, give me the strength to resist the evil force that controls me!

"There is only one rule here," the sheik said. "You will do as I say."

"I will do as thou sayeth," she found herself saying.

"Normally I will kill intruders, but not ones that look like you. You don't need to share their fate, my dear. You're much too beautiful. I collect beautiful women. You're mine now. At least until I sell you. Accept it and behave yourself!"

"Aye," Lady Sif unwillingly responded. "I shall comply."

"Most excellent!" the Sheik said. Reaching into a drawer, he pulled out a legal form. "Sign this legal agreement. It gives me permission to sell you as property."

"I'll do whatever thou doth command," Sif was compelled to say.

"Perfect!" the Sheik said, smiling.

Sif was straining with all her heart and soul to resist the ray effect and attack the Sheik Farnoq Dahl, but she just couldn't shake it's power. Unable to stop herself, she signed the agreement and handed it back to him.

As for the Sheik, he looked to the corner of the room where a pretty girl in some sort of harem outfit was standing. "You see, Livia, some women know how to be cooperative. Unlike you! But I admire your rebellious spirit, so I continue to let you live."

Livia merely sneered at the sheik. Then she looked distastefully at Sif, who she assumed was cooperating of her own free will. A traitor to her friends!

Dahl smiled, and stroked Sif's hair, much to her disgust. "I have much to do, with our alien allies. That will soon change. But you needn't worry about that. All you need to do is wait until I am ready to commence with your auction. Livia?"

The defiant girl walked over to Dahl. "Yes . . . Sir?"

"Take my lovely slave to the seraglio with the rest of my wives," the Sheik said.

"Very well, sir." the girl sighed.

"Sif, you will go with her," the Sheik said.

"Aye, I shall do as thou commands," Sif said, and although she tried to disobey, she found herself following the girl Livia out. The Sheik Farnoq Dahl smiled.

Still being led down the hall by Livia, Sif was trying unsuccessfully to get control of herself. Outwardly, she appeared to be willingly accompanying Livia. Inwardly she was at war with herself. And so far, she was losing.

Livia looked unpleasantly at the Asgardian. "I can't believe that you signed that contract so quickly!"

Sif was unable to speak of her own volition. Things are not as they seem, mortal, she thought. I doth have no intention of allowing that monster to sell me!

They reached a door with a Sentry standing guard.

"A new slave?" the guard asked.

Livia nodded, not hiding her disdain for the guard.

The guard stared excitedly at Sif. "This is the most beautiful one yet."

The Lady Sif opened her mouth to chastise him, but no words came out. The guard winked at the Asgardian, and slapped her rear. Sif, although enraged, couldn't make a move to chastise or smite him. The guard opened the door and Livia led Sif into a large, decorative room. It had a fountain, a bathing pool, a few plants and lots of cushioned seats. It was clearly the dwelling place of slave girls. Inside, were several dozen women. They were from many races, and many colors. The tallest and most statuesque was the African woman named Felana, also called Fee. They were all dressed in similar skimpy outfits like the one Livia was wearing.

'Tis a harem, Sif thought. He hath placed me in a harem!

Thor and Beta Ray Bill were heading closer and closer to their inevitable confrontation with the dreaded Godwheel. The chariot drew them ever closer.

In the distance appeared what seemed to be tiny specks. The specks grew, larger and larger. They became clearer. They were ugly, bestial things, and they numbered in the thousands.

"Its them!" Beta Ray Bill said. "It's the Carrion Pawns!"

"Then the time for waiting is over!" Thor stated. "The battle at last begins! We strike! For Odin, for Asgard!"

"For the children!" Beta Ray Bill added.

Thor and Beta Ray Bill charged bravely into the massive hoard of monsters.

Next issue: Our heroes finally reach the Godwheel, but can they handle what they find there? And what is the secret of the Black Pharaoh and the Egyptian deities?