YesterYear Fan Fiction offers a new look at the Golden Age. YesterYear characters live in a shared universe of comic books and pulp fiction from all publishers. Golden Age DC Characters can be found sharing adventures alongside Mike Hammer, Doc Savage, the Shadow, etc
DOUBLE Z RANCH, NEW MEXICO, JUNE 15, 1938
"I just find your claim a little hard to believe my friend. You are a formidable archeologist in your own right Carter, why come to me?"
Carter Hall shook his blonde head in disagreement. "This is more than just another ancient set of ruins Doctor, I have a feeling that they have origins that are not native to this planet."
"Spacemen? Who built something that are now ruins here on Earth?", exclaimed the older man who sat across from the earnest young explorer. "What do you offer as proof Carter? What makes you think that your discovery has some kind of otherworldly origin?"
"Well sir you are one of the few people aware of my double life, my career as the mystery man known as Hawkman."
"Yes Carter," nodded the older man, "your Ninth Metal compound was instrumental in the construction of my first space rocket. When your winged alter ego appeared and showed himself a man of science whose theories followed some of my own, it wasn't difficult to make the connection between the Hawkman and my former assistant. What does the Hawkman have to do with this?"
"It was as the Hawk that I found this sir." Carter continued, handing the older man a stone with strange carvings on them. "My own assistant, Shiera Sanders, took these photographs while we were investigating a mystery on the remote island of Krakatao." Carter reached into his satchel and fished several grainy photos out of the bag. He laid them on the table and passed them to his former mentor. "As you can see sir the science at work here as well as the buildings we found are far beyond this country's capabilities. And I'd like to think that the Nazi's don't have anything like this at their disposal. If they did, I'm certain it would've been used on the Allied European nations by now."
The older man nodded in agreement and looked at the photos carefully. Carter watched his former teacher's facial expressions change from intense concentration, mild recognition, to surprise as he exclaimed aloud, "My God, I don't believe it! Something like this just isn't possible!"
"What is it, Doctor?", Carter asked with growing concern.
The older man ran a hand through his graying brown hair, smoothing it back. "I fear your hypothesis may be correct, Carter." The doctor reached into his desk and brought out a magnifying glass. "See these markings on the stones?"
Carter peered intently over the doctor's shoulder, "Yes sir, I'm still trying to find a way to translate them. There doesn't seem to be any language, modern or ancient anywhere in the world that corresponds to these markings."
"All praise to the great god Kao, that we live and die in the service of Ming " The older man said quietly, while stroking his great beard.
"That is what the stone says, my boy." With a sigh and a sad shake of his head, Doctor Hans Zarkov looked intently at his former pupil. "The person who wrote this was from the planet Mongo, worshipped its' deity Kao and a devoted subject of Ming the Merciless."
THE SCIENCE CLUB, NEW YORK CITY, JUNE 28, 1938
Flash Gordon sat at the great table, trying his best to look interested in the conversation that was taking place. He had been dragged to New York by his father to participate in discussions relating to the younger Gordon's exploits in space. Unlike other people who reveled in Flash's adventures and heroic efforts to save Earth from Ming, the self appointed dictator of the fabled planet Mongo, these men of science were more interested in the inner workings of Mongo society and evolution of her people than the dashing young man's more colorful exploits. Flash wasn't too thrilled to be surrounded by these sage men of wisdom who seemed driven to suck all of the vitality out of the adventures he shared with Zarkov, Dale Arden and Mongo's rebel underground led by Prince Barin, and Ming's own daughter Princess Aura. Instead of talking about the life and death situations that plagued Flash and his friends from the moment he stumbled on Zarkov's rocketship, he instead found himself describing various types of flora and fauna, climates in the technological marvel that was the flying city of the Hawkmen as opposed to the lush forests that served as Barin and Thun's base of operations during the rebellion.
Dale Arden sat next to Flash doing a better job of hiding her disinterest than her fianc. Yet even through her practiced facade learned from years of newspaper reporting, Dale's thoughts were troubled and distant. She stole a glance over at Flash and wondered quietly when everything changed between them. What happened to the dashing young man who was at her side on Mongo? What happened to the brave hero who faced so many dangers to keep her safe? This life that they shared now had gradually been bled of all of the passion that Dale once felt they had. Though Flash hadn't said anything, Dale could see the growing listlessness in everything he did now. There was a time when Flash was leaping headlong into the unknown, traveling with adventure, mystery and drama as his constant companions; could this quiet life of fading celebrity be enough for him now? Dale wondered if a man who had grown used to facing death as a part of his daily life, a man who had lived a life of adventure and tasted the rewards and dangers of that life could adjust to a so-called "normal life".
Dale absently ran her fingers across her short cropped auburn hair. A few weeks ago it was luxurious honey blonde that was well past Dale's shoulders, a change that she made in the vain attempt to convince herself that the stray long blonde hairs she would find on Flash's sportscoat on some of the evenings she spent at his apartment were her own. Flash's need for risk had manifested itself in several ways, safaris with big game hunters like Paul Kirk, deep sea diving in the Atlantic trying to verify the claims of a mysterious aquaman that had been sighted by various passengers on several seagoing vessels, serving as the stuntman on the moviehouse serials that were glorified adaptations of the space traveling trio's adventures, and sadly the occasional tryst outside of their relationship.
Flash was an attractive man, a fact that was not debated by most women or men. The only reason that Flash wasn't cast to play himself in the weekly features of his adventures were due to his lack of acting ability more than his not having "heroic features". In fact it was during a party for Larry "Buster" Crabbe, the actor chosen to play Flash, that accidentally led Flash to his best known conquest; the stunningly beautiful actress, Delores Winters. Dale was ignorant of the affair initially, having elected to stay away from the madness of Hollywood, but when Winters decided to capitalize on Flash's popularity by hinting to the gossip columns that she and Flash "had grown to know one another intimately", Dale had to weather the storms of rumor and innuendo that whirled around Flash's conduct and his eventual confession to Dale about the affair itself.
Flash promised that it was something that would never happen again, but could Dale believe him now? Who else was there that she didn't know about? Dale's thoughts drifted to Mongo's Princess Aura, who was so taken with Flash. The princess was an exotic, attractive beauty the kind that most men would go wild over. Aura's attraction to Flash was obvious when they were first brought before Ming, but was it a mutual one?
Dale was tired of not being sure, of not knowing whether or not she could trust Flash with her heart as she once did her life. She was tired of
"Dale?" Dale snapped back to reality at the gentle prodding of Flash's voice. "There's a call for us in the next room."
Dale composed herself quickly. "Sorry Flash, I guess I was daydreaming." The young woman rose from the chair and followed Flash out to the anteroom where an attendant waited by a speaker attached to a phone line. The attendant held the receiver of a regular telephone to one ear.
As the couple approached the attendant, the wiry, balding man said into the mouthpiece, "Your party has just entered the room Doctor, one moment please." The attendant reached over to the speaker and flipped a switch, his efforts rewarded as a ruddy red glow grew from the tiny dome shaped bulb at the top of the speaker. The attendant settled the receiver back into the cradle and spoke aloud, "Go ahead Doctor."
"Doctor?" Flash echoed, "Doc is that you?"
The crackle of static filtered through the speaker, making Zarkov's voice barely recognizable over the connection. "Hello Flash! Is Dale with you?"
"I'm here Hans.", Dale responded, with a slight shout.
"Good, good.", came Zarkov's reply, "I apologize for the short notice, but I'm afraid I won't be able to meet up with you two next week, I'm out in the field."
"Testing a new rocketship Doc?" Flash asked hopefully. "If you need a pilot "
"Not quite along those lines Flash", Zarkov interjected, "I'm investigating some ruins on the island of Krakatao."
Flash's expression was one of surprise as he replied, "I didn't know you were an archeologist too Doc."
The couple thought that they heard a slight chuckle across the wire before Zarkov spoke again.
"I'm not Flash my boy", Zarkov responded jovially, "I'm here with an old student of mine, Carter Hall. He's made the discovery, I'm just here to verify his findings. However, I'm hoping that you and Dale will be able to join me. I think having the two of you on hand would be invaluable."
"Why is that, Hans?" Dale answered puzzled, "Flash and I are not experts in uncovering the lost secrets of forgotten civilizations."
"You would be in this case my dear." Zarkov responded with grave reserve. "The site we're going to contains artifacts from Mongo."
"Good Lord!" Flash exclaimed. "I'll book a flight to the coast immediately. We'll " Flash stopped short as the attendant by the phone handed him an envelope. "What's this?", Flash said with a hint of surprise.
A chuckle came from the speaker as Zarkov spoke once again. "I anticipated that you would agree to join me and took the liberty of ordering your tickets. You leave tomorrow."
"You know us too well Doc." Flash said laughing. "So we should see you in no time."
"More or less Flash." Zarkov answered. "It will take you about three days to catch up to us. Carter, Shiera and I will be arriving on the island in a few hours. We'll leave you a map and instructions on how to find our expedition's base camp when you arrive here."
"That's fine Doc. We'll see you soon." Flash responded happily. Dale could see that Flash had already begun to look forward to the mystery and adventure that may be awaiting them on Krakatao. For the space of a few seconds, Dale Arden saw the heroic young man she fell in love with a few short years ago.
"I look forward to seeing you two again", Zarkov said, "it's been too long. Safe journey to you both." The line clicked off over the speaker and the attendant switched the device off.
"Well Dale," Flash said excitedly, "we'd better get
packed." Dale thanked the attendant and followed
Flash back into the meeting room to tell Professor
Gordon and the other scientists about Zarkov's offer.
HALL EXPEDITION BASE CAMP, KRAKATOA, JUNE 30, 1938
The mood of the Hall Expedition was tense. Though the island had plenty of people available to help set up the base camp with all of the supplies they'd need for the trek into the now dormant volcano, there seemed to be a shortage of willing attendants to help with the actual exploration of the site Carter had chosen or the area surrounding it. In one of the main tents Carter and Zarkov sat over a list that Carter had been marking off with growing agitation.
"I don't understand this Hans." Carter Hall said in frustration as he crossed the final name off at the bottom of the list. "Not one local guide will take us to the former site of the Fire-Ghost's base. They claim that the ghosts of the dead killed there still walk among the ruins. Luckily, both Shiera and I have both been there and are already familiar enough with the area to muddle through."
Zarkov nodded, "That will have to do Carter. By the time Flash and Dale arrive, I want to have done at least a thorough check of the site and have some idea as to when this place was built and why it's here in the first place. We shouldn't take the locals talk of ghosts too lightly though, for all we know someone else may be lurking around out there. The sooner we get started, the sooner we'll know for certain if there's any truth to their claim"
"You won't get any argument from us Doctor." Shiera Sanders said as she took Carter's hand with an affection that suggested to Zarkov that the two were much closer than explorer and assistant. "The sooner we tie this up, the sooner we can be headed back home." Zarkov had to admire Carter's choice in women, Sanders was beautiful with a regal bearing that almost reminded Zarkov of the Princess Aura. Her chestnut hair flowed freely past her shoulders and her slender figure only helped to accentuate the graceful elegance of her womanhood despite the fact that she was clad in the same tan khakis as the rest of the expedition.
A brown head of one of the locals stuck through the flap of the tent door, interrupting Zarkov's appraisal of the young woman at Carter Hall's side. "Mister Hall, Miss Sanders the jeep is ready to take you to the base of the volcano." The young man was in his late teens or early twenties if Zarkov had to guess and was possibly one of the braver souls among his community. He had been instrumental in getting the party much of what they needed from the reluctant villagers when they docked.
"That's fine Jambi." Carter responded with a smile. "We'll be ready to go in a minute." The young man smiled and bowed his head as he exited the tent.
Carter rose from his chair, reached over into a corner and shouldered a backpack and a long canvas duffel bag. "Well folks we'd better get going if we're going to use the daylight to our advantage."
Zarkov noted that in addition to her backpack, Shiera bore a similar long duffel bag. Consumed by curiosity, Zarkov asked, "What's in the duffel bags that you're carrying Carter? I don't recall loading anything like that with our equipment when we left."
Carter smiled at his former teacher. "Just some tools of the trade for myself and Shiera, Hans. Don't let them concern you too much. Hopefully we won't need them for this trip, but I'd rather be prepared for any unexpected emergencies. For now I'd prefer to keep the contents to myself in case the walls have ears."
Zarkov nodded with an expression that showed he understood Carter's need for secrecy, "If you say so Carter." Zarkov picked up his own backpack and slid a revolver into his holster. "I'll just take this along in case one of those 'unexpected emergencies' crops up. After all, Carter, I am following your lead for this expedition." With that, the three headed for the tent's opening, anticipating the possibilities that awaited them at the site.
As the jeep pulled away, Jambi began to clean up the area. The other locals were still setting up the expedition's radio relay set and the remainder of the camp's supplies. The people were so busy that they didn't notice the small band of strangers that walked into the camp until they came upon Jambi leaving the main tent with the dishes from breakfast. Jambi almost bumped into one of the group, a tall striking man with olive colored skin, with the tray he carried.
"Is there something I can do to help you?" Jambi said amiably. He hoped that his concern over the sudden appearance of these strangers didn't show up on his expression. Jambi knew that others were expected to join Carter's party, but he was pretty certain that none of these people were the famous Flash Gordon he had heard so much about. "I'm afraid you just missed Mister Hall and Doctor Zarkov. They're gone and won't be back until tomorrow."
"How unfortunate.", said one of the men who stood at the front of the group. He was a burly man with dark eyes and a neatly trimmed black mustache. His voice had a strange, almost musical, accent to it and his clothes were unlike anything Jambi had ever seen; dark flowing robes of deep browns and greens, trimmed in gold with a bright golden starburst pattern on the chest. The other men in the group were dressed in a similar manner. The women wore filmy costumes of almost sheer silken veils that left very little to the imagination. Jambi had to force himself not to stare at them, their exotic beauty was entrancing. "We were hoping to assist him in his search."
"Ah!", Jambi exclaimed excitedly, "Then you must be joining them when Mister Gordon and Miss Arden arrive day after tomorrow."
"'Mister Gordon'?" asked the stranger with slight surprise in his voice, "Do you mean Flash Gordon? Is he on his way here?"
Jambi's suspicions had now risen slightly, but he seemed to be unable to react. Every instinct told him to run, but his thoughts were muddled and the only thing he could seem to focus on was answering the stranger's questions. "Yes sir, he and Miss Arden should arrive either tomorrow or the day after."
The man turned from Jambi and spoke to his companions. "Then this changes everything." The man said with a harsh growl. "Zarkov already knows the truth about the ruins or at least has some inkling of their origin to have called in Gordon so quickly. We must move quickly to eliminate the Doctor and his companions before they learn anything else." Almost as an afterthought, the stranger grabbed Jambi's head with one of his huge hands and twisted it until a sickening snap was heard. As the boy went limp in the man's grip, the man looked at his companions and barked an order, "Kill them all."
With deadly precision, the stranger's order was
carried out. As the screams of the workers filled the
air, the stranger entered the main tent and began
going through the papers left behind on the table. To
himself the stranger muttered, "Now let's see what you
know already Doctor Zarkov." The stranger sipped a
cup of unfinished coffee that Jambi had missed and
smiled evilly as he added, "And then we'll prepare for
your return and Flash Gordon's death."
HALL EXPEDITION BASE CAMP, KRAKATOA, JULY 2, 1938
"Doc!! Mister Hall!! Anybody?!"
Flash stopped yelling and looked at the deserted camp once more trying to figure out what had happened.
When he and Dale arrived no one met them at the dock so they had to secure a jeep and drive into the dense forest to the base camp on their own. Luckily Zarkov's map provided an accurate and detailed route and Flash and Dale arrived some ninety minutes later at the cliffside where the camp was established. Flash and Dale had expected to see some sign of activity upon their arrival, but the base camp was empty, there wasn't a soul to be found anywhere.
Seeing that shouts hadn't produced any results, Flash and Dale moved on to a more comprehensive physical search. The majority of the tents yielded nothing as the couple made their circuit from the main tent to the surrounding smaller tents. As they searched the tents Flash's face became a mask of concern.
"Dale, no one's been here for days."
Dale nodded in agreement to Flash's conclusion. "Whatever happened here was sudden though. There's unmade beds in some of the worker's tents. And look over there by the main tent is a dropped tray of dishes that no one's bothered to pick up." Dale seemed to arrive at some kind of conclusion as she asked, "Maybe they went off with Hans and Mister Hall "
"Well there's no sign to say they did or didn't." Flash kneeled and examined the dirt around the camp site. "The ground's been too disturbed to say for certain. The only clear indication of anyone leaving or returning is the tread of tires heading off in the direction of the volcano and several footprints radiating from several points around the camp."
"Can you tell if they were walking or running at least?" Dale asked, concern in her voice. "Did they leave willingly or not?"
Flash shook his head in frustration and removed his tan hat. "I just don't know Dale. There's no way to tell for sure." Flash wiped his brow, even though he and Dale wore light casual clothes, Krakatoa managed to be considerably hotter than either one of them had anticipated. Flash removed his jacket and set it on the long wooden table that sat in the center of the camp. He sat on the hard wooden bench and considered the scene for a moment.
"Dale " Flash said almost to himself, "What's missing from this place?"
"Besides Hans and the exploration party?" Dale answered doing her best to keep from sounding sarcastic as she spoke.
"Don't be cute." Flash snapped with a serious tone, "What's missing from the base that should be here?"
Dale stopped to consider the search that the pair had just completed. For a few seconds Dale's face clouded as she carefully backtracked her actions and Flash's. "Okay, there is the missing jeep, but that's probably with the party wherever they are. They either took it or it was stolen to prevent them from reaching any of the villages easily."
"That's true, but we both overlooked something even more obvious." Flash stated gravely, "Something else that Doc would need out here in case he found himself in trouble."
"Flash, I don't know." Dale answered in obvious frustration, but just as quickly as she said that, her face lit up with realization. "There's no radio here, it's missing!"
"Right!" Flash responded with some excitement. "Whether or not Doc and the others left this place willingly doesn't dismiss the obvious fact that they were being cut off from the outside world by someone."
"Maybe they took the radio with them in case they ran into trouble." Dale said.
Flash pointed to a small steel dome that sat hunched next to one of the tents. "Without that portable generator, the radio's useless. No whatever happened to the radio was intentional."
Dale's face frowned up with another sudden realization, "Flash, that means that whoever did this could still be nearby."
Flash had begun to speak, but his next thought was lost in the wake of a low growling hum coming from behind the pair. The couple turned towards the brush were the sound emanated, Dale straining to identify the sound and Flash on the alert with his body tensing for whatever happened next. In fact, Flash had begun to move into a dive that would carry him behind the shelter of the table.
"Dale! Take cover!"
Unfortunately they were both too late. Intense beams of crimson energy spat from the bushes and struck the pair. The force drove Flash into the dirt, knocking him senseless. Dale, being grounded, was knocked out immediately. She fell to the ground like a limp noodle, her prone form blocking Flash's line of sight to the bushes that concealed their unknown assailants.
Even if Dale weren't in Flash's way, he'd have been hard pressed to see clearly to begin with. The blast not only stunned the spacefaring hero, but it seemed to set every nerve ending on fire. Flash's vision was clouded by a red veil of pain and sparks of hot white light, his hearing was filled with the roaring of his own blood coursing through his veins and the thunder of his own heartbeat. Even through this sensory overload, Flash still managed to hear the bushes part and he saw shadowy figures step from them.
Flash's brain fought desperately to make his limbs respond, to rise from where he lay and defend himself from these mysterious attackers. Somehow, despite the monumental exertion of will, Flash could sense that it wasn't going to happen; his body had failed him. The only response he got for his efforts was a slight turn so that he now lay on his back instead of his side. Flash suppressed the grim thought that he would be able to see the face of the person who had beaten him so easily.
As the thought raced across Flash's mind, it must have signaled some far off sadistic cue because his vision began to clear a little. Flash could see the man who led the small band of warriors who waylaid him.
The face that Flash Gordon saw surprised him more than anything that he had seen in his other adventures.
"Y-you.", Flash uttered weakly, "It's not possible!"
The bald man with the dark mustache smiled with an evil glint in his eye. "You Flash, of all people should know," the man began raising his blaster, "that anything's possible."
The crimson energy blast that followed sent Flash into blissful darkness.
When Flash came to, the first thing he noticed was a tightness around his chest and arms. Flash could feel his body swaying and he knew that he had to be hanging in the air. As Flash's vision began to clear, he found that his assumption was correct, he was hanging from a rope that was tied to a fairly strong branch that stretched out over the cliffside.
Craning his head slightly, Flash saw that he was suspended over the water. Grimly, Flash noted the waves smashed into jagged rocks that lined the shoreline and those rocks loomed below like razor sharp fingertips trying to reach up to the helpless young man.
A cruel, familiar voice took Flash's attention from the ocean below to a man who stood at the cliffside. The speaker held a bow loosely in his left hand and wore a quiver of arrows slung over his shoulder. His glare stabbed at Flash Gordon with the fierceness of an enraged bull "Just like old times, eh Gordon?"
Flash stared at the man and tried to figure what was going on. Despite his surprise, Flash's voice remained even as he spoke. "Not quite like old times, it appears that you've changed." Flash allowed anger to cloud his confusion as he continued, "Why did you attack me?"
The man pointed a powerful finger at Flash, "You cost me everything Earthman, my people, my empire, my world. I intend to make you repay that debt by taking away everything that ever meant anything to you as well." The man's brow creased with anger for a moment, Flash could almost feel the heat of his adversary's hatred roll off of him in waves. "But because you and your friends stumbled onto our operation too soon, I'm forced to accelerate this part of the plan and take your life before you have to live with pain of losing everything as I have."
Flash let the last statement sink into his still stunned thoughts and realized that Dale was no where to be seen. "What have you done with Dale?" Flash growled angrily. "If you've hurt her "
The bald man on the cliffside cut Flash's statement off with an imperious wave of his hand. "I promise you Flash, that Dale has not been harmed." The man sneered across the gulf at Flash. "Quite the contrary in fact, she is being prepared." The cruel smile returned, "She is a part of your debt Earthman, one I will delight in claiming for my own."
Flash stared in disbelief at the man who stood on the cliffside, he was completely at a loss as to what to do or how to react. That loss was temporary as anger returned to Flash's face. "If you need to take revenge for whatever it is you think I've done to you, that's fine; but leave Dale out of this!"
"Not possible Flash, your interference in Mongo's affairs cost me one other thing that can never truly be replaced," the man said with voice mixed with hatred and regret, "you've cost me my love Earthman. In keeping with the ways of our people, yours is forfeit and mine to claim. Take that thought with you as you plummet into oblivion." The man raised the bow slowly and notched an arrow. He took careful aim at the hero hanging helplessly from the rope.
Flash shook his head slowly, "This isn't possible! I don't know what happened to you, but we are friends. We should be able to work this out."
The bald man didn't change his stance, he didn't falter. From unseen lips hidden behind broad a forearm the man said, "We were friends once Flash. I trusted you and lost everything in the process. That was the past Earthman, it's happened and nothing can change that. In the here and now our friendship is a dead thing and now so are you."
Flash's heart felt as if it were being gripped by icy fingers as his former friend added, "For the glory of Ming!"
With that, Prince Barin of Arboreia, loosed the arrow
and it sliced cleanly through the rope over Flash's
head. For a moment Flash still seemed to hang in the
air, as if he were supported by an invisible hand.
Then just as suddenly, he fell, plummeting into the
jagged rocks and spray of the smashing tide below and
disappeared. And all that remained was the howling
crash of the sea.
Will Flash survive his death drop into the ocean?
What happened to Carter, Shiera and Doctor Zarkov?
Why has Prince Barin turned against Flash?
And what is a settlement from Mongo doing on Earth?
Find out in our next episode of Hawkman of Mongo!
TheYesterYearFan Fiction Group acknowledges that ALL non-original characters are the property of respective individuals and corporations not linked to this story. These companies retain complete rights to their characters. These concepts are used WITHOUT permission for NO PROFIT, but rather a strong desire to peer into the potential these characters have in a combined setting. This also acknowledges that original concepts presented here are the intellectual property of the author.
Some characters are DC Comics
This story is © 1999 by Ali.