DCM Zone

Part VII: We Band of Brothers
by Bob Young

Beta Ray Bill
Captain Marvel
Adam Strange

Thor and Beta Ray Bill battled a seemingly endless hoard of demonic beasts known as the Carrion Pawns. The monsters swarmed like angry hornets, wild and primal in their savagery. Only by fighting their way past these creatures can Thor and his friend reach the Godwheel.

Thor struck with all his god-born might and his enchanted hammer, Mjolnir. Bill took full advantage of his science formed body and his powerful laser sword. He cut through the hoard, with a vengeance. They had destroyed his people and now sought to destroy the surviving children. Bill unleashed his pent-up hate in an explosive manner.

"Well struck, good Bill!" Thor said. "Strike without mercy! Though they swarm about us in countless droves, still shall we prove their masters!"

Thor unleashed his God-fire energy, scattering the central hoard. "Back, nameless creatures of the void!" he shouted. "No power in the universe shall prevent us from reaching the Godwheel!"

But despite his bold words, the overwhelming number of the forces against them seemed destined to frustrate his plans to find the source behind the beasts . . . The Godwheel.

Orion, Hercules, Captain Marvel, and Adam Strange arrived in the desert, via the Boom Tube. They had been directed to this location by the wizard Shazam. Now, they needed to find the mysterious pyramid that concealed itself beneath the sand.

"Where hide yon enemies?" Hercules asked. "I crave the glory of battle!"

"Give Orion a moment, Hercules," Captain Marvel said.

Orion was utilizing his Mother Box. It gave him the information he needed. "Follow me!" he said. "I know where we need to go!"

Orion led the others across the desert sands. Mother box bad detected the energy of the hidden pyramid. The foursome stood at the spot, seeing nothing.

"You're certain this is the spot?" Adam Strange asked.

"Mother box knows," Orion answered.

"Fair enough," Captain Marvel said.

At super-speed, Captain Marvel flew in a circle, digging a round trench down into the sand. He uncovered the edges of the pyramid.

"There it is!" Adam Strange said.

Just then, a doorway opened in the side of the pyramid. Out floated four deities, walking on air. Two were male, two were female. Osiris, Isis, Horus, and Nutt. Behind them came the Black Pharaoh.

"It is he!" Orion yelled, angrily. "It is the one who attacked me!"

Orion, on his Power Rods, launched himself at the Black Pharaoh.

"Orion, wait!" Captain Marvel yelled.

It was too late! Orion grappled with the Black Pharaoh.

"Battle!" Hercules yelled, joining in.

Before Captain Marvel could stop it, a full-scale battle had broken out. He was forced to join in, to try and contain the chaos. The fight escalated.

Adam Strange watched, wondering how he could help. Somehow, he had the feeling that this fight was pointless. If only they would stop brawling and just talk. He needed to get their attention.

The siren! he thought, producing one of his advanced devices from the planet Rann. It was a sonic weapon, designed to drive off the beasts of the western ridge, who frequently menaced the capital city.

Adam Strange activated his sound device. He was protected by special precautions in his costume, but the others were not. Although they were Gods, able to withstand such an attack, the sonic wave got their attention.

"By Zeus' thunderbolts!" Hercules exclaimed. "Turn off that confounded banshee wailing!"

Strange turned it off. "Stop this fighting! What are you fighting about?" he yelled.

"You are servants of the dark power!" Horus said. "You must be stopped!"

"What dark power?" Captain Marvel asked.

"The Godwheel!" Osiris said.

"We're trying to stop the Godwheel!" Adam Strange said.

"You are what?" Isis asked, confused.

"We need to talk!" Captain Marvel said.

Soon, the two sides were sitting together inside the pyramid, discussing the situation.

" . . . So I attacked you, thinking you were an agent of the Godwheel." the Black Pharaoh said to Orion.

"What made you think such a thing?" Orion asked, insulted.

"The coincidence of time," the Pharaoh said. "We've been expecting agents of the Godwheel to come to Earth to try and stop us. Then you arrived. I sensed your power, and the darkness within you. By the coincidence of timing, I judged you to be my enemy."

"Well, you were wrong, weren't you!"

"The Black Pharaoh can be . . . impulsive!" Nutt said.

"Can we ask why you're here?" Captain Marvel asked.

Horus nodded. "I think we can trust you. We will tell you our tale."

Osiris and Isis and their fellow deities originated on a far off world, centuries ago. It is a world that no longer exists. It was a world destroyed by the mighty Godwheel. The Gods never had a chance to put up a fight. The Godwheel was upon them before they could react. Only Osiris, Isis, Horus, Nutt, Sett and the Black Pharaoh survived, transporting away in their amazing pyramid ship.

Ultimately, they landed on Earth, and became the basis for the Egyptian God myths. They enjoyed their revered status, although they feared that one day the Godwheel would come to Earth.

Sett, the most ruthless and corruptible of the Egyptian Gods, tried to mount a coup and take over. He was defeated, and exiled. He vowed to one day send the Godwheel to Earth. The others dreaded this day. They set up a sort of warning system that would tell them when the Godwheel was near. Recently, it activated. The Godwheel was coming.

Fearing that Sett was involved, they assumed that the Godwheel would send assassins to Earth to try and destroy them before they could make any action to warn the indigenous population. When Orion arrived, the impetuous Black Pharaoh attacked him, not waiting to take any chances.

"It's coming!" Isis said. "And no one can stop it!"

"We've considered many plans!" Osiris said. "None of them are feasible."

"What did they do to your planet?" Adam Strange asked.

"They crushed it!" the Black Pharaoh said. "The world of the Godwheel is immense and hollow. And it has the ability to make short leaps via a transportation beam. The Godwheel planet appears around another planet. Its gravity is incredible, and it crushed the other planet, compacting it, reducing it to something not much bigger than an asteroid, yet with the same heavy mass as a full-sized planet."

"Monstrous!" Captain Marvel said.

"What's the purpose?" Adam Strange asked.

"No one knows," Nutt said.

"Our answer lay on this planet Osiris spoke of!" Orion said.

"Aye!" Hercules said. "Let us away to this vile world, and fight a glorious battle!"

"You can take one of our shuttle ships," Horus said. "We'll pre-program the coordinates."

"And Mother Box can help us get there more quickly!" Orion said.

"Fine then!" Captain Marvel said. "Let's go find the Godwheel!"

Soon . . .

Captain Marvel, Orion, and Hercules were strapped into the seats of one of the strange cubed ships of the Egyptian deities. Adam Strange was the pilot. The blasted off for the stars. Using the coordinates programmed into the ship, Orion used Mother Box to open a Boom-Tube that would take them to the location of the Godwheel.

Thor and Beta Ray Bill were fighting a seemingly hopeless battle against an endless number of Carrion pawns. The beasts kept coming and coming. No matter how many of them Thor and Bill destroyed, two more took their place.

"It is hopeless!" Bill said. "We cannot win this way!"

"We have no alternative!" Thor shouted. "We must fight on, or die!"

The battle continued, with no sign of reprieve. Thor and Bill fought valiantly, refusing to give in to the seemingly inevitable.

Then, hope appeared. A Boom-Tube opened, and out came reinforcements . . . Captain Marvel, Hercules, and Orion emerged from a cube-shaped ship. Adam Strange remained aboard the cube-ship, because he couldn't survive in space.

"Captain Marvel! Hercules!" Thor yelled. "Tis most joyous to see thee, my friends."

Thor's fellow JLA member, Captain Marvel, offered him a salute. "What's the story, Thor?"

"There is no time to explain!" Thor said. "I need your help. Together, we can force our way past this endless hoard."

"Say no more!" Hercules said, standing atop Adam Strange's cube ship. "We will add our might to thine own. In no time, we will pass these beasts!"

"Orion swears to aid you in this cause!" the New God vowed.

"I thank thee all," Thor said. "Come! Let us away!"

With his new allies to help clear a path, Thor finally made headway. Slowly he neared his destination. And then he could see it in the distance. Small at first, but getting larger with foot closer that he came.

He saw the bright Saturn ring, and the eerie red planet inside the ring. It was colossal, much larger than any other planet Thor had ever seen. It gave off a glow. There was something sinister about the way it looked. And it gravity was crushing. Due to its great size, its pull was incredible. It would have been difficult for Thor to pull free. But he had no intention of pulling free. He headed straight to the heart of darkness.

Next issue: What is the story behind Thundra’s attack? Plus, Sif’s day goes from bad to worse.