Title Page

by Kenneth Robeson
written by Jean Michel

Although Doc Savage and all characters in relation to Doc Savage are licensed properties, this manuscript and all intellectual properties therein
(theme, plot, and original characters)
have been copyrighted as the sole property
of the author (Jean Michel).
To contact the author:


I am a dead man. It is so strange to write these words and to know that they are true. That with each passing word or space, I am traveling down this page closer and closer to the pen stroke that will punctuate my non-existence and yet, you who are privy to these most intimate thoughts and ultimately the only remaining thoughts of my thrilling existence are traveling through these characters to arrive at the fountainhead of a most sensational and often times harrowing journey. Where this journey will take you, I cannot fathom and what you will take from this journey; well, that is only for you to comprehend.

I don’t know who you are wide eyed traveler, but I do know this. Where you stand now is a very intimidating place. I can imagine the fear, the apprehension, the sheer exhilaration, and of course the confusion of what you’re to do next.This tome is my parting gift to you. It chronicles all of my adventures with Professor Clark Savage, Sr., his son Clark, Jr., known to most people as Doc and the rest of our motley crew known as The Furious Five.

Ah, the Five; how we blazed across the globe dispatching evil in all his guises. We were glorious together. How, I will miss you. In this adventure chaps, I go first, and I must go alone.

“We die only once, and for such a long time.”

Nyack, NY The Home of Mr. and Mrs. Albrecht Marmalarde

“Albrecht, are you listening to me?”

“Pardon mon petite schatz. Did you say something?”

“Yes. I said i you don’t get out of this lab and come upstairs for supper in the next five minutes,

I’m going to let Wolfgang use your sock drawer as a nest for his squirrel.”

A pair of blacked out goggled eyes slowly rose up from the mass of wires and solder below them. They traveled up past the four inch pumps and the long and luxuriously hosed legs they supported, up past the curvaceous hour glass contained within the apron with the cherries printed on it, pausing for a brief moment on the bright red, rose petal lips, which even in their present state of aggravation could make any man’s knees buckle, and finally arriving at a pair of large, unflinching green eyes.

“Try me buster.” said the rose petal lips.

“Ya wohl, minou.”

“Good. Now what are you working on?”

“It is to be an electromagnetic wave propulsion engine or so I hope. Nicola is still toying with his "Wall of light” theory and he has such little time these days. I am hoping to alleviate some of his burden by constructing this for him in my spare time.”

Patricia Marmalarde sauntered over to her husband with the grace of a tigress and a look in her eye as if she had just spotted her prey. She placed her arms around him and gave him a taste of roses.

“That’s wonderful dear. As long as your personal time doesn’t cut in to my play time. ”
Albrecht threw off his gloves and goggles.

“Well then my love, shall we play?” he said with a sly smile.

Although Albrecht Marmalarde was a scholarly man of the highest degree, he kept his body just as fit and strong as his mind. He lifted his wife up in to his arms with the same ease it would take him to recite Einstein’s theory.Patricia squealed with delight as she was hoisted in to the air.

“Not now silly. Supper is almost done and Wolfgang will be home any minute.”

“Ah, but I am a master of physics as well as invention my dear. We shall bend time and space to the whims of our passions.”

The frisky scientist began ascending the laboratory staircase carrying his beautiful bride when he was brought to an abrupt halt.

“I’m afraid your passions whims will have to be put on hold for the time being Mssr. Marmalarde.”

Standing in the upstairs doorway was a man of such dark and sinister countenance, the mere sight of him caused Patricia to tremble uncontrollably in her husband’s embrace.

The man was tall with long oily hair the color of pitch. He wore a leather coat and heavy boots. His hands were thick and large, appearing to be made of stone and by the look of them, the scientist and his wife knew that they had killed with ease and with no quarter. But the thing which dashed all hope from the hearts of the two lovers above all else was his voice. The voice of this man was deep and hollow as an echo within a tomb.

“You and your little family have an appointment Herr Professor.”


My name is Eleanor Harper-Littlejohn, but everyone calls me “Johnny”. This is my first entry in the continuing journal started by Lester Dent, archeologist and geological expert otherwise known by his teammates as “Bones”.

Everything’s happened so quickly in the last five days I’ve barely had a moment to think on what I’m doing or what’s happened.I was a student of Clark Savage Sr. back in Princeton. I’d never met a man quite like him before; me being from a backwater little town in Texas.
The first time our paths crossed was in the school’s library. I was going over the syllabus for my courses when I heard a warm velvety voice over my shoulder.

“That’s quite an impressive selection you have there.”

My response?

“Back off creep. Why don’t you go find yourself a nice blond med student with an impressive selection to harass?”

I can’t begin to express the amount of embarrassment I felt when I heard that same warm velvety tone projecting from the front of the auditorium in my Egyptian archeology class.

“I have an impressive selection of assignments for you this term ladies and gentlemen.”

I don’t think anyone else noticed the fact that he was looking directly at me when he said this. If I couldn’t sink below the floor boards it wasn’t from lack of trying.

Nonetheless, for some reason, Professor Savage took a liking to me and he took me under his wing and not just in archeology. The two of us could be found at all hours in the halls of the library discussing everything from mathematics theories, social politics and of course archeology and geology. We were fast friends. He taught me when to question the facts in front of my face and when to accept improbable theories of the universe. In other words he taught me how to view the world through different eyes.

He was a true renaissance man, Clark Sr., and quite the physical specimen at 60 years old, I gotta say. I spent countless mornings during my senior year on the track field trying in vain to keep up with him. Every inch the man that the newsreels suggested.

Then, came graduation and the greatest gift I could never have imagined. A package arrived for me while I was in the middle of packing my things. A ticket on a chartered flight to Cairo, dossiers on the crew that I would be leading to a secret dig West of Aswan, Egypt (The same dig that Emily Sands was on her way to excavate when she disappeared on the Nile) and a letter.
The letter was from Clark. I won’t reveal everything contained in that letter, but in general, he was sorry that he couldn’t be there in person to give me my gift and he had the utmost confidence that there was no one more qualified for the expedition than me. He ended the letter by telling me he would be traveling in places unreachable by most men with his team, but he had no doubt that our paths would cross again.

That was the last I heard of Clark Savage, Sr. until five days ago when I was visited by an unexpected stranger.

150 miles South-West of Aswan, EgyptArcheological Dig Site of Eleanor Littlejohn

The hot dessert winds swept the dunes wiping away time as it had done for thousands of years. As the afternoon sun rose above the dig site it cast harsh, sharp shadows behind the ruins of an ancient weathered city, giving the burning desert sands the appearance of having sharp jagged teeth at the ready to swallow any foolish travelers, left unawares.

All around the site, hundreds of Bedouin’s toiled at various tasks from transporting water on their shoulders, chipping, digging and sweeping away at sandstone in order to uncover the many structures throughout the site or leading dromedaries laden with supplies. Orders and singing could be heard everywhere in Bedawi, Naidi and Hassani, the languages of the Bedouin people.
Directly at the epicenter of the ancient ruins was a small stone structure partially buried beneath the sand. It rose up about ten feet in the air with four outer walls each measuring approximately eight feet in length at the bottom and decreasing as they rose. The structure looked to be a miniature version of the Pyramids of Giza. At the base of one of these walls where the stone met the sand was an opening just wide enough for a large man to crawl through. One such large man stood at the mouth of the opening staring at a rope that trailed in to it. He was a broad thick necked man who towered over most of the workers around him with ruddy, leathern skin and a head of shocking red hair that trailed on to his face in a stern looking beard.Many of the Bedoiun’s spied the mysterious stranger out of the corner of their eyes which did not escape the attention of the barrel-chested visitor.

His steely gaze squinted past the glare on the stone wall in to the heart of the structure. The red haired man dug in to his satchel and produced a pair of thick skinned gloves which he deftly slipped his massive hands in to. Grabbing up the length of rope with a “hrumph” he dove head first in to the opening with the ease and skill of a man who had obviously been accustomed to unconventional entrances.

Within the structure the red headed stranger swiftly glided down the rope without hesitation and landed softly on to the stone floor fifty feet below the entrance.There were torches placed in to crevices all around the inner chamber casting playful, yet eerie light on the faces of giant statues that surrounded him on all four sides. Between each statue was a doorway with stairs descending even further in to the bowels of the pyramid. After a quick survey of his surroundings the red headed stranger shouldered his pack, chose a set of stairs and made his way in to the heart of the pyramid.

At the bottom of the staircase the man found a labyrinthine circuit of tunnels which he followed this way and that to a doorway in to what appeared to be a burial chamber. He paused outside the door for the briefest of moments and continued inside. Suddenly and without warning a shovel swung toward his face from the right side of the door, but instead of colliding with its mark, the shovel stopped abruptly in the massive, gloved grip of the read headed stranger. Before he had a moment to say a word, a small fist slammed in to his jaw. With a firm yank, the man pulled the shovel and it’s wielder out from shadows.

“Ms. Littlejohn. My name is Theodore Brooks and I come to ye with a message from Clark Savage, Jr.” he said in a brogue of the Scottish Highlands.

Eleanor Littlejohn’s face seemed to contort in to several different emotions all at once until finally settling on one of abject confusion. She let the shovel drop to the ground and collapsed against the wall with an exasperated sigh as she rubbed her temples.

“I’m sorry, can you say that again?”

One hour later in the cool confines of Eleanor’s tent the two of them sat across from each other at a wooden table. A portable 78 sat in the corner on top of some whiskey crates lazily explaining in the voice of Billie Holiday What A Little Moonlight Could Do. Eleanor laid out some fresh fruits, nuts, dried meats and a bottle of single malt whiskey. She poured two hefty glasses and handed one to her guest. She saluted him with a slight raise of her own.

“Hope I didn’t hurt you down in those tunnels big boy. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had grave robbers and bandits try and poach my dig.”

“I think I’ll survive lass.” he said as he drained his glass.

“Now tell me again why you’re here, Red.”

Eleanor refilled the glasses, settled back in to her seat and kicked her feet up.

“Clark Savage, Jr. asked me te find ye in this godawful wasteland te extend an invitation for ye te join his team. He’s preparing as we speak for a very harrowing expedition te points unknown all across the globe and he would like you te be his resident archeological and geographical expert. The dangers you’ll face on this trip will probably be many and there’s a good chance you might die. If ye accept, we would depart for New York in the morn and ye would then have a day or two te prepare for the journey which will begin on the first of the month and last for an undetermined amount of time.”

There was a pregnant pause in which Eleanor drained her glass, walked over to Mr. Brooks and filled his as well as her own. She made her way to the mouth of the tent and stood staring out in to the desert getting a grasp on what she had just been asked.Mr. Brooks, not outwardly revealing his inner thoughts, was taken aback at the capacity Eleanor had for drinking his beverage of choice as well as the label which she had two cases of currently holding up Billie Holiday. It was one of his particular favorites, aged and bottled not far from where the hardened Scott spent his childhood. The young archeologist inadvertently gained a bit of respect from the man, which she would later learn was no small feat.

After some time, Eleanor went back to her seat and looked Mr. Brooks in the eye with a searching suspicious gaze.

“Why is Clark’s son inviting me anywhere and what is this team you keep mentioning? What’s the purpose of this mysterious expedition that could get me killed and why would I even consider leaving the research that I’ve been conducting for the past five years; thanks to Clark, and where the blazes is he anyway?”

Brooks lit up a cheap cigar and exhaled a gust of smoke that described an intricate trail around the tent until finding its way out the flap.

“He’s inviting you for many reasons, one being you’re tops in your field. Te find out the rest, you’ll have to ask him yourself. In regards to the team, that would be The Furious Five as we’ve come te be known by the papers and public. The team includes Lieutenant Colonel Winston Mayfair; Construction engineer, Sébastien Bordeleau; Industrial chemist, Major Thomas J. Strong; Electrical engineer and myself.

“That’s only four. The Furious Five is a pretty stupid name for four intelligent men of action I would think.”

“Yes, well...”

Brooks cast his head down and lowered his voice to almost a whisper.

“We recently lost someone on our team.”

He sat in silence for a moment and Eleanor respected this by waiting patiently for him to continue.

“He was our resident archeologist and geology expert. A right, contemptible bastard he was; the bloody old fool.”

All at once he gathered himself back to his previous surly business-like tone and looked up at Eleanor.

“One of your recommendations came from his last wishes.”

This came as a surprise to Eleanor which she expressed to Mr. Brooks.

“Who was this guy, Red and how did he know me?”

“His name was Lester Dent and I didnae’ say he knew you personally. He only knew of you and your work by reputation these past few years, but apparently you made enough of an impression that you were top on his list of successors.”

She was astounded.

“Lester Dent? The Lester Dent? The man who, singlehandedly filled a third of the British Museum’s current collection of ancient artifacts?” Lester Dent, knew about my work and actually asked for me by name?”

“Well, asked for you on paper anyway, and “singlehandedly” is hardly the way he filled those exhibits mind you. The rest of the boys and I had our hands in more than a few of those discoveries with “Bones” just as much as he did.”

Eleanor began to tell her guest in rapid fire succession all about how much she admired Lester Dents achievements since she was in high school as well as giving him detailed accounts of the many things Dent had done in his life, all with the enthusiasm of a child who had just been given proof Santa Claus actually exists.

“Aye, lass he was a brilliant old sod and a bloody pain in the arse when he got the spirits in to him.” Sigh

“I miss the crazy old bastard.”

“I’m sorry, Red. I didn’t mean to…”

“Don’t apologize lass’. Ole Bones would’ve loved to hear all of that. He had an ego the size of this desert and a weakness for any ladies who threw a compliment his way.”

They smiled to each other and toasted to the memory of Lester Dent.

“The world lost a great man and my only regret is I never got to meet him.”

After emptying her glass, she filled it again and asked Brooks for one of his stogies. She bit off the end, lit it up and sent a trail of smoke to pursue the puff that Brooks expelled out the tent.

“All right, Red, you’ve got me curious now, but you still haven’t told me where we would be going or where the hell is Clark Savage, Sr. and why haven’t I heard hide nor hair from the old man since he stuck me in the outer reaches of nowhere after I graduated?”

Brooks looked in to Eleanor’s eyes with the weight of a surgeon after losing a patient.

“I’m sorry, lassie, but the ole’ man disappeared almost five years ago. He’s the reason for this expedition. Our quest is to find Clark Savage, Sr.”


Wolfgang laxidazicaly strolled down the center of the road with Brutus bounding at his side snapping at the passing cicadas and dragonflies. With summer vacation so near to its end, the boy’s walk home from work each day got slower and slower in vain attempts to belay the coming of the school year.

“Y’know Brutus, I bet if I just spoke to the principal and told him how helpful you could be around the school like you are at the store, he’d have no problem at all letting you come with me every day.”

The burly German Shepherd gave the boy a sideways glance and a quizzical whine.
Wolfgang continued skipping down the dirt road singing to his companion.

“You’re never fully dressed, without a smile. Your clothes may be Beau Brunelly, they stand out a mile, but brother! You’re never fully dressed without a smile!”

With every lyric, the boy’s voice got progressively louder until he was down on one knee in the dirt with his arms out and his head up. He held the last note for a comically long time until Brutus protested.


“Yeah, I guess the hard part would be convincing mom. She’d probably say something like; Having a dog around is not condusive to a productive learning environment and it wouldn’t be fair to all the other kids who have to leave their dogs at home.” He said in a high pitched mocking tone.

“She’s old though and old people always think they’re smarter and stuff.”


The boy and his dog continued their conversation as they approached the large white farmhouse that he and his parents called home.

“I hope she’s not all bent outta shape since we’re home so late. She hates serving cold dinner, but I don’t see what all the fuss is about me missin’ dinnertime cuz dad misses dinner most nights anyhow.”

Wolfgang stopped on the porch stairs as he noticed that Brutus was no longer by his side. He turned and gave a reproachful look to the dog who just stared at the front door to the house.

“What’s the big idea boy? We’re late as it is and I don’t wanna get in more trouble than I’m already in.”

“Ghrrrrrrrrrowf!” said Brutus. He continued to stare at the door and let out another more chilling growl that caused Wolfgang to turn towards the house and wonder what could possibly have made him so angry.

Suddenly the door opened and Patricia stood staring at her son with a very strange expression on her face.

“It’s just mom ya big dope, y’see? What’s the matter mom? We’re sorry that we’re late, but Brutus asked me to sing him a song and…?”

“No sweety, everything’s fine, in fact we’ve got some visitors who…who”

Patricia lowered her head and bit her lip. Her chin began to tremble and tears streamed down her face.

“Mom?” said the boy apprehensively.

Patricia began to cry uncontrollably and then she barred the door with her body and screamed at her son, “RUN, WOLFGANG RUN!!!” The boy was rooted to the spot where he stood as two men came from behind his mother and tried to pry her out of their way.

“We told you what would happen if you didn’t cooperate woman!” said the one pulling at her arms.

“Come here boy. We promise not to hurt you!” said the one trying to get past Patricia’s legs.

Wolfgang was woken from the shock and horror of the situation by Brutus who had grabbed the boys arm in his jaw and was attempting to pull him away from the house. His mother began screaming at him frantically all while trying to hold the men behind her at bay.

“Wolfgang! The barn! Run to the barn! Take Icarus! Get out of here! Hurry!!”

The boy gave his mother one last desperate look and then bolted towards the barn with Brutus right on his heels. He heard one last plea from his mother.

“Find your uncle baby! Find your uncle!”

Then, there came a terrible crack and a thud. Wolfgang was far too scared to turn and see what had happened. He was pushing as hard as he could. As soon as he reached the large red building he pried open the door just enough for Brutus and himself to slip through and once inside, he latched it shut. Seconds after the door closed, his pursuer was yanking at it from the outside.

“Come out boy. If you come out now, I promise not to hurt you or your mother. If you make me come in after you then you will watch as I cut off her fingers and feed them to your dog.”

The man outside the barn began to make his way around the structure searching for an alternative entrance. He was a rail of a man in a tailored suit with slicked back hair and pasty skin, most people would never suspect that the man known as Mr. Bowie was one of the most brutal and sadistic killers the world had ever born and the longer he had to wait outside of the barn for Wolfgang, the more his lust for spilling blood grew. Fortunately, Wolfgang didn’t keep him waiting for long.

Mr. Bowie heard a clamoring from inside the barn which soon turned in to a sound not unlike that of a large corn thresher being switched on. He placed his ear to the side of the wall just as the barn doors burst open. There at the helm of a Sopwith Camel sat Wolfgang with his hand on the yoke and terror in his eyes, having only flown the plane while sitting on his father’s lap and even then, for brief moments while they were already in flight. The plane franticly jumped and jostled down the runway, occasionally lifting off the ground for a moment or two. Brutus in the rear passenger bucket barked furiously at Mr. Bowie who was currently pursuing the young boy and his dog on foot at a devastating pace. He was a few yards away from the plane when he made an almost inhuman leap towards the wing. His bony grip clamped on to the cross bar and held on as he scrambled his way on to the wing. Wolfgang all the while trying to get the plane to lift off was unaware of the sociopathic gentlemen making his way towards him brandishing a gleaming blade. Just as Mr. Bowie raised his arm to strike at the boy, Brutus leapt from his seat colliding with his chest, thrusting him backwards off of the wing and painfully on to the ragged runway.

Wolfgang turned to witness all of this just in time to reach out and grab Brutus by the collar and yank him back to safety. Once Brutus was secured back in to his seat, Wolfgang returned to the immediate problem of aviation. He bit his lip and focused on steadying the movement of the plane, but above all on not thinking about the possible fate of his parents. He increased his acceleration, raised his flaps and lifted off in to the air just as he had watched his father do countless times before.

Within moments, the boy’s anxieties began to decrease with each bit of increased altitude. After five minutes in the air, Wolfgang decided to circle back towards the house. He needed to see what had become of his mother. Maybe his father would somehow rescue her from a horrible fate or perhaps his mother herself took those evil men by surprise and was searching the skies for her boy right now. What he saw instead was a more disheartening scene than those in his head. He saw his parents being loaded in to the backseat of a black car with their hands tied behind their backs, and a blaze that was now consuming his home. He tried to fight back his tears with little results.

“Mom said to go find my uncle, Brutus –snif- so that’s what we’re gonna do. Hold on boy. We’re going to the island.”


“You don’t know how to get there, do you boy?”

Back on the ground with their cargo secured in the rear of the car and all evidence being quelled by three gallons of gasoline and a match, Mr. Bowie and his companion, Mr. Jagger, who sat in the passenger seat in his dirty brown hat, drove calmly away from the scene.

“You know Mr. Bowie, he is not going to be pleased that the boy escaped.”

“No, Mr. Jagger, I don’t believe he will be at all.”


Excerpt from the journals of Lester Dentin regards to

Brigadier General (UK) Theodore Marley "Ham" Brooks; Marine Biologist and Lawyer. Ham met Clark Sr. whilst the young Scotsman was working for Alfred Deakin, Attorney General to Australia’s first Prime Minister, Edmond Barton. Barton had requested Clark Savage Sr.’s assistance in negotiations with many of the aboriginal tribes due to Clark’s extensive research of the indigenous Australian’s, many of whom inducted him in to their tribes. The headlines at that time in Clark Sr.’s resident state of North Dakota read “Savage To Speak To Savages”.

He was unamused by the ignorant portrayal of such an enlightened and artistic peoples. But Clark was impressed with Theodore and his theories on life in the Great Barrier Reef. He was so impressed that following his diplomatic mission in to the Outback, a month did not go by for five years where there wasn’t a correspondence between the two men until Clark finally called upon Ham to come and work for him on his Bermuda island compound and subsequently help him to form the original Furious Five. The team had begun in order to aid the nations of the world in their recovery from The Great War. This idealistic view of how we could heal the world soon changed when we began to see open hostilities worldwide begin anew, such as the Soviet-Polish War and the strife in Mexico. Clark Sr. and the rest of us decided to become a band of heroes for hire and work to help the oppressed. Ham began studying law following a suit put upon the team by one of the supposed down-trodden peoples whom we attempted to liberate, stated that “Clark Savage, Sr. and his Band of Vigilantes” caused unwanted and irreparable harm and damage to their town. We learned a great deal from that excursion, but that is a story for another time.

Back to our subject at hand though, Ham can be at times a bit gruff and more times than not, stubborn as a dead goat’s teat. I’ve found in these moments it’s best to keep a level head and calm exterior. Supplanting his nom de preference for the more jocular ident, “Theo” will usually bring his mind back to a more receptive field of play.Ah, Theodore how I loved our games and although I would never have admitted this in life, posthumously I can honestly say that you were my greatest and best of friends.

Eleanor woke the next morning cradled in Ham’s trunk like arms with her head rising and falling with the breath of his lungs. The bright red hair of his chest, feeling much softer, and more pleasant on her face than she would have thought possible. She closed her eyes and contemplated the past evenings conversation. Clark had been missing since the year her dig began and she had been completely unaware of the fact for all this time. There were many months that she had cursed his name for never visiting or writing to enquire on her progress or her well being and yet there were many months equal to those that she praised Clark Savage, Sr. for all that he had taught her and not least of all, the wonderful gift of Egypt and her mysteries laid open for Eleanor to unlock at her discretion and authority. And now, after all this time, all she could feel was guilt and remorse for being so wrapped up in her own affairs and emotions that she herself had never once attempted to contact him. There was no doubt in her mind after hearing from Ham about the man’s disappearance. She would be departing with the mornings supply truck bound for Aswan. From there she would fly to the coast of Spain where Ham’s ship awaited their arrival to transport them back to New York where she would meet the young Doctor who would dare the fates to keep his father from him.

Ham, had also informed her that she would be meeting the archeological relief crew that Doc had hand-picked, himself to look after and continue the work she had begun in Egypt. Upon hearing that news, all of Eleanor’s apprehensions melted away making it far easier to concentrate on things of a far more recreational nature, which in her opinion was even harder to find in the middle of a desert wasteland than any buried temple she had ever unearthed.

“Good morning Eleanor.”

Eleanor turned her head and looked up in to Ham’s grey eyes.

“Listen, Soldier. Considering that we’re gonna be working together for god only knows how long, drop the formals and call me Johnny.”

“Johnny it is, lassie.”

After a light meal of tea, bread, jam and some dried fish, the archeologist and the marine biologist made short work of the morning. Eleanor packed some essentials and a few personal items for her journey and exited her tent to meet Ham and the relief crew. She grilled the young diggers for an hour until she was satisfied and confident that they would keep the progress of her dig moving forward. She then addressed all of the Bedouin workers and introduced them to their new bosses. By the time everyone got back to work, it was close to noon and the supply truck was preparing to depart. After one last look at her first true love, she joined Ham in the truck and was off for her next great adventure. Would she ever see her beloved Egypt again?


Somewhere in the Arctic Circle

Bleak, unforgiving, relentless and deadly. These are just a few of the words used to describe the cruel landscape of the Arctic Circle. They have also been used to describe one of the few inhabitants of the circle. A man who had been hold-up in the frigid location for longer than even he himself knew. Hold-up, but not idle. All the while he was thinking, planning, plotting and organizing and now from the inside of his camouflaged fortress, he was ready for action.

Helmut Faust sat in his study looking over a large three dimensional relief map of the world which was laid out on a heavy oaken table in the center of the room. Faust was an impeccably dressed, gentlemen with a severe temperament. A megalomaniacal, mastermind of the first degree and he was putting the finishing touches on his latest scheme.

Fasut’s study was a large, sumptuously decorated room. There were fine leather chairs, Oriental rugs, mahogany furnishings, and rows upon rows of book shelves filled with countless volumes on every possible subject. It was one of the largest private libraries in the entire world. The centerpiece of the room was the giant fireplace which currently had four small tree trunks burning in it, creating an impressive blaze. The priceless tapestries on the walls all depicted great battles and leaders throughout history. Ghengis Khan, Alexander The Great, Hannibal, Napolean, Julias Ceaser; all great men, but Helmut Faust believed he was greater.

The room’s main entrance was a pair of large, thick wooden doors that swung inward when Faust’s assistant came in to inform him of an important arrival.

“Mr. Faust, we’ve just received word that the ship will be docking soon.”

Without looking up from his work, Faust acknowledged the message and sent his assistant away.

Helmut held a pair of calipers in one hand and a pen in the other. A sextant, compass and notebook lay nearby and periodically he would take a measurement and jot down some notes in the book. When his task was complete, he put his coat on and departed to rendezvous with the boat.

The rest of the building was very much the same as the study. Everywhere you went was wide open, such as the elaborate hallway leading from the study to the elevator with its enormous, vaulted ceilings, and everywhere you looked was art of all kinds, from suits of armor and marble statues to priceless paintings and ancient weaponry.

Helmut Faust boarded an elevator at the end of the corridor and descended to the lower levels of the compound. Upon arriving one could see a distinct difference between the two floors. Whereas the upstairs suites were devoted to beauty and comfort, the lower levels of Helmut Faust’s Arctic fortress were sparse, and industrial, containing a factory for the manufacture of whatever insidious designs fit his whims, a laboratory brimming with experiments conducted by the various scientists who scurried about, an armory which held all manner of war engines and devices, a motor pool filled with an assortment of cars, motorbikes, and all terrain vehicles and a colossal steam powered boiler chamber which supplied heat and power to the entire complex. It was this boiler chamber which Faust cut through with a determined stride in his step on his way to the lowest level in the fortress, which was in the caverns that made up the foundation of the structure. The one thing that every department had in common with the others was people. No matter where you went, there were workers, scientists, and sentries on guard, all of whom were going about their daily toils all in accordance to Helmut Faust’s orders. One of the gaurds caught up with Faust and maintained pace with him.

“Sir, the ship should be arriving any minute now. Shall I prepare quarters for the crew in the barracks?”

“Yes, yes, but have a room prepared for my “guests” down the hall from my chambers.”

He waved him away and descended the stairs and came out in to a vast cavern; a natural occurrence which played a key role in Faust’s choosing a location for his hideaway. At the center of the cavern was a lake which fed in to the ocean and served as the docking bay for his ship, The Argo, a type VIIB German U-Boat he designed for the German military and constructed at his Arctic fortress with a few added civilian comforts, such as plush sleeping quarters and a French chef.

To the left and right of the stair case, were two gargantuan copper pipes eight feet in diameter which continued out from the caverns ceiling down to the solid rock base below where it siphoned steam from a volcanic flow miles below the surface ensuring a never ending supply of heat and power to the compound.

Just as Helmut Faust reached the bottom of the staircase, the tranquil, icy surface of the waters began to churn and bubble as the Argo surfaced as a leviathan coming up for air. The cargo door gaped open like the maw of yawning beast releasing its passengers to the outside world.

Mr. Bowie and Mr. Jagger disembarked and immediately made their way to their employer.

“I trust everything has gone smoothly and without complication gentlemen.”

Mr. Jagger looked slowly to Mr. Bowie with a canary eating grin that sent shivers up the spine of even Helmut Faust’s back.

“We’ve liberated the scientist and his wife from their home without incident and wiped our tracks clean, but the boy…” said Mr. Jagger

“What about the boy?” said Helmut Faust as the vein in his forehead began to build up pressure just like the copper pipes to his rear.

“There were unforeseen circumstances which caused the boy to slip from our custody.” said Mr. Bowie who recounted all that took place at the Marmalarde estate.

“I am none too pleased with this news gentlemen and if it weren’t for your many other talents which are of use to me, I would expel you from the front door wearing nothing but your regrets and pocket watches and let mother nature have her way with you in the arctic landscape. Where is Black Francis?”

“I believe he’s seeing to your guests, sir. I’ve no doubt he’ll be emerging from the belly of that great steel beast momentarily.”

As if on cue, Black Francis strode down the exit of the ship with his oily black hair hanging in his face and an unconscious Patricia Marmalarde slung over his left shoulder just as her husband was hanging over his right. His heavy boots strode to the three men waiting at the foot of the pier with ease.

“I present, Mr. and Mrs. Albrecht Marmalarde, sir. I’m afraid the journey didn’t quite agree with them.”

Helmut Faust smiled.

“Thank you Mr. Francis. If you would, please see to it they find their way to the guest quarters. Gentlemen, I do believe that tomorrow begins the war of the future.”



New York City

A series of explosions were alighting all over the glass pocked surfaces of the rising architecture of the city. The spires topping the skyscrapers ignited with the first firey rays of day light while far below on the black topped streets municipal workers, business men, secretaries and taxi’s began spilling out to fill the metropolis with the din of industry.
The bronzy exterior of the helicopter gleamed in the early morning sunlight as it whisked Johnny and her companion up along the course of the Hudson River. She stared out the window marveling at the grand design of the world’s melting pot like a little girl on a family road trip from the country.

The helicopter began a gentle, yet swift descent banking to the left towards a large patch of concrete at the pier that had the word “Savage” emblazoned across it in bright red. It touched down moments later allowing Johnny to disembark with Ham and the pilot who had not said a word to her at all since their take off from Ham’s ship hours ago.

“This is where we part ways for now lass. Young Sam and I’ve got te go help the others with a few things before this trip gets underway.”

“Young Sam huh? Not a very chatty one there.”

“I wouldn’t expect any time soon. Had a nasty run in with a sultan somewhere in the desert a few years back. Word is; that sultan still has his tongue sealed in a box next te his bed.”

“Yeesh. All over some tart that was between them no doubt.”

“Actually, his daughters from what I hear.”

“Daughters, not daughter?”


“And he only got his tongue taken?”

“Aye. I’m sure the crazy potentate was sharpening his cleavers te finish the job, but the old man interveaned on Sam’s behalf and the boy has been working for Savage Industries ever since.”

“Old man? You mean Clark. Clark, Sr. right?”

Ham gave Johnny an earnest nod. Johnny turned and hoisted her bags on to her shoulders and shot the salty Scot a steely eye.

“When do we get underway Red? This wagon train needs to get movin’.”

“As I said, Sam and I have business te attend to and while we’re doing that, I believe the car will take you te where you need te be.”

He pointed to a large, golden bronze convertible sedan parked at the curb with its door being held open by a man in a dark suit.

“And where will my golden chariot be taking me exactly?”

“I can’t say for sure, but I believe you’re being taken te the 86th floor.”

Excerpt from the journals of Lester Dentin regards to

5th avenue and West 34th street; site of the tallest building the world has ever seen. The Empire State Building is the pinnacle of construction and architecture since its completion, crushing the record for the world’s tallest structure which had been held for less than a year by its none too distant neighbor, The Chryslar Building. Designed by Gregory Johnson and built in just over a year, in time to meet The Great Depression, Johnson and his financiers had great difficulty filling its art decoed halls and offices with tenants. With no other recourse, Johnson called upon his great friend, Clark Savage, Jr. for advice, but in lieu of counsel Doc merely told the young designer to meet him outside of the 1,400 foot monolith the next day, which he did to his delight, for there at the ready with a fleet of trucks and men stood Doc Savage organizing the move of both his father’s offices and his own offices to the 86th floor. A move which many deemed to be foolish and even futile under such a dire financial climate, but Doc saw it as merely a good investment in a talented friend and associate. Subsequently, following the completion of his brand new lighter than air research facility, Doc put in another call to Gregory, this time requesting a few “minor amenities” as he called them, the least of which being the leasing of the Empire State Building’s airship docking station.

Johnny looked out of the rear window, lost within in her thoughts and almost unaware of her surroundings. Almost that is, until the car came to a halt at the curb of 5th and West 34th. She exited the car and stepped on to the sidewalk. She had heard stories, even as far as Egypt about the monumental structure being built in the West, but her mind could have never prepared her for the exhilaration or beauty that she saw in this skyscraper. She cast her gaze upward in astonishment and was dumbstruck even further upon seeing a thousand feet skyward, another wonder to behold.

Tethered to the needlelike spire at the top of the building was a gargantuan dirigible. Hovering over the city like a monstrous hummingbird feeding on the nectar of the big apple. Johnny could only guess the purpose of such a ship, but she had a feeling her deduction wasn’t far off after noting the zeppelin’s bronze exterior. She rolled her eyes at the ostentatious nature of her new employer and returned her focus downward to the entrance of the building only to be startled to find there was a woman standing directly in front of her who appeared to be waiting for her attention. She had a slight frame, alabaster skin, red bobbed hair and round thick framed glasses. She was chewing on a piece of gum and spoke in such a matter of fact way that gave Johnny the oddest sensation that she was listening to this woman on the telephone and she could be put on hold at any given moment.

“Yes, “amazing”, I know. Hello Miss Littlejohn, my name is Miranda Janx and I am Clark Savage, Jr’s executive secretary. I’m here to get you oriented in what we do here at Savage Industries, and to give you an abridged briefing on how you will be assisting Mr. Savage in your new role as senior archeologist and geologist of the expedition. If you’ll follow me, we’ll ride the elevator up to the 86th floor and I’ll give you a tour of the research facilities, offices, and the library. I will also be requiring you to sign a few documents pertaining to your employment and possible death. There’s no need to worry about your luggage. We’re having it all taken to your new apartment which I will be giving you the keys to prior to your departure of the office today. Your apartment is located three blocks from here and is fully furnished and fully paid for. We will also be providing you with your own car whenever you’re residing in Manhattan and…you do know how to drive don’t you? Doesn’t matter. If you can’t there are a lot of other options, such as the subways, taxis, buses and of course our own chaufer driven cars, but then again, driving is a very easy skill to learn and I’m sure someone of your intelligence will master it in no time.”

Johnny boarded the elevator with Miranda and couldn’t believe that a person could speak so much and without, it seemed, ever taking a breath. After a swift ascent upwards, all the while with Miss Janx explaining the various divisions and subsidiaries of Savage Industries, as well as suggesting a few restaurants she may have wanted to sample depending on the time of day and whether or not she had any aversions or allergies related to shellfish or peanuts. They exited the elevator in to a warmly decorated lobby. All of the furnishings appeared to be authentic antiques ranging from the 15th century onwards, but it seemed the one governing theme throughout all of the hallways and rooms she entered was Mayan. Artifacts the likes of which she had never laid eyes on. From massive statues flanking doorways to ancient tablets lit from above in recessed walls. Everywhere she looked was another priceless and often times undocumented artifact from the ancient and mysterious Mayan civilization. If only she had some time to examine one or two pieces, she could…

“…and here we are at your office Miss Littljohn. This is the one and only key to the door, so please try not to lose it. Now if you’ll just follow me onwards down the hall to the airlift elevator we can…”

“Miss Janx, is there any way I can possibly examine some of these artifacts you have around the office. I really think they …”

“Maybe some other time doll. Right now, you have a more pressing appointment at the top of that elevator. Did I mention the cafeteria? They make a great Ty Cobb salad and if you want…”

They rode the elevator up to the furthest point of the building. The doors opened and…

“…but if you ask me, I don’t think its right to name a cat after a dead relative. Here we are. 102nd floor. The airship terminal. Let me just get on the horn and let him know you’re here.”

Miranda picked up a phone receiver which was secured on to the wall next to the boarding gate and pressed the only button located on the phone cradle while Johnny stared out the window at the zeppelin which appeared to be whispering in to the ear of the world’s tallest building.

“He’ll be down shortly.” said Miss Janx.

Johnny was taken aback momentarily, realizing that was the shortest statement her guide had made in the past thirty minutes since they met. She turned to the woman and asked a bit flummoxed.

“Who’s going to be down?”


Miranda was pointing out the window towards the dirigible, where Johnny noticed what appeared to be a man walking the length of the left wing. Before she could say anything, the man on the wing dove off, which surely would have meant his doom, but a moment later, he reached out his arm and took hold of one of the cables which had been securing the zeppelin to the skyscraper. With the cable firmly in hand, he let it guide his descent, gently arcing him towards the doors of the gate. Just before he surely would’ve collided with the outer wall, he swung off and released his grip from the cable, hitting the deck in a forward roll and coming to a standing stop at the boarding gate doorway. He opened the door and strode in to the room. He was tall, perhaps 6’ 3” or 6’ 4” He wore a pair of rich brown riding boots, polished to a high shine, flared khaki jodhpurs, a safari shirt rolled to his elbows, and thick leather gloves. He had a chiseled, clean shaven jaw and short blond hair which appeared even brighter in contrast to his bronzed skin.

“Good afternoon, Sir.” Miranda said with what appeared to be a painful amount of restrained glee.

“Afternoon, Miranda.” He walked up to Johnny and pulled of his right glove and offered her his hand.

“Miss Littlejohn, it’s a pleasure to finally meet you. I’m Clark Savage, Jr. but, please call me Doc.”

“Good to meet ya. Call me Johnny. I hear you’ve misplaced your daddy, Hercules. Let’s say we go and get the old bastard back?”


The Arctic Fortress of Helmut Faust

Patricia opened her eyes and immediately regretted doing so. She was on her back and it felt as if her head was spilling the contents of her skull on to the floor, yet…she questioned whether any floor was even present. From what she perceived, there was water all around her. Water with exotic fish swimming this way and that. A tiny parrot fish swam up and stared at her for what seemed like an eternity as she wondered how she could possibly be breathing for so long under water. After some time, the tiny fish opened it’s mouth and said,

“Liebling? Are you all right?”


“I’m over here my love.”

With all her strength, Patricia pulled herself up in to a sitting position and saw that she was in a bedchamber. She was on the bed and had been staring at an aquarium wall. She looked across the room and rubbing his head in a blue velvet wing backed chair was her husband.

“How do you think someone cleans an aquarium that large?” she said

Albrecht Marmalarde looked up at his wife with disbelief.

“Sorry. My heads a bit out of focus. Where are we?”

“I can’t say for sure, but I’m assuming we are in the chambers of whomever sent those men to our home.”

“Wolgang! Where’s Wolfgang?!”

Albrecht cast his head down, “I don’t know my love. I don’t know.”

Patricia began weeping in to her hands. Her husband stood up with some difficulty and crossed the room to be by her side. He put his arm around her and she turned to look up at him with red tear soaked eyes.

“Albrecht, what are we going to do? He’s just a boy. What if he’s…”

“Your son is perfectly well Frau Marmalarde. We are taking good care of the boy and you shall see him again very soon.”

Patricia jumped off of the bed and raced to the door where a man stood in the doorway with peppered hair, a sharply trimmed goatee and a grey suit with spats. Albrecht restrained her before she could reach the man. He was a man who searched for answers before action.

“Where is my son?! Who are you?”

“My name is Helmut Faust professor and you will see your son after our business together has been concluded.”

“What business? I don’t even know you. Bring us our son and return us to our home immediately.”

“Give me my son and I may not kill you.” said Patricia

“I’m afraid I can’t do that madam. Not until your husband has completed the task I have set for him. A task that your homeland requires of you professor.”

“What task? You’re a mad man.”

“You are going to help me destroy the world sir and I assure you I am not mad.”


The 86th Floor of The Empire State Building

Doc Savage’s private office was more of an amalgamation of tribal, meditative parlors of the East and West, such as the Zen Buhddist temple where he studied the ancient healing techniques of the Orient or the Sioux Shaman’s sweat lodge where he learned the mysterious and frightening ways of the spirit walk. In lieu of traditional Western seating such as chairs and couches, large ornately upholstered cushions lay all about the room. The walls were decorated with beautiful tribal art from all over the world, as well as unusual musical instruments from India, Africa, Australia and various other cultures. In the center of the room, Johnny and Doc sat with a large, round sculpted stone table between them.

“Is this a Mayan clock that we’re sitting at?”

“It is. Good eye. Can I interest you in some tea? It was a gift from the Dhali Lhama. It promotes focus of the mind and balance of the body’s spiritual energy.”

“Uh, yeah sure thing, Doc…you do realize this is a doomsday alarm which is ticking down to the end of the world that you have sitting in the center of your den of love and light, right?

“That is one theory. Another is that the when it “ticks” down to its final moment, the world will be ushered in to a new age of rebirth. More of a transformative era, not unlike a snake shedding its skin.”

“And I’m guessing you pitch your tent in that camp huh?”

“The idea is a bit more comforting to most people than thinking our world will be split in two throwing us all in to the unknown void to die with no explanation or cause, but I feel, periodically meditating on one’s own mortality as well as that of everyone and everything around you helps to “keep your powder dry” when it really counts and that’s why we’re sharing a pot of tea across a “doomsday alarm” Johnny.”

Johnny smirked in to her cup as she sipped her tea.

“Y’know, you’re not quite what I was expecting.”

She got up and began to walk about the room examining and scrutinizing the things around her.

She made her way to one of the book shelves and perused the selection which ranged from Nitsche and Thomas Edison to Sun Tsu and Leonardo Da Vinci.

“What were you expecting exactly?”

She smiled and turned back to her host.

“I’m not really sure. Your father was always so conservative and precise… you’re more…”


“I was gonna say, looney, but we can go with unorthodox.”

Doc got up from his seat and walked over to a wooden chest in the far corner of the room. He pulled a key from around his neck and after opening it, he stared in to the trunk with a look of proud sorrow.

“When I was a boy Johnny, my father was researching and cataloguing the assorted flora and fauna on a small island just north of the tropic of cancer, an area most people refer to as the Bermuda Triangle. His research was highly extensive and required a commitment of about six years, so that island became our home for all that time, which to a nine year old boy is like finding out you just moved to Treasure Island. It was a truly magnificent place to discover every morning.

Everyone lived in huts. The entire research team helped to build them just inside the tree line of the forest, but Renny, Long Tom and Monk decided that I should have quarters a bit more fitting for a young pirate, so they built me a tree house. It was all very Swiss Family Robinson really. I even had a rope ladder to get back up and down and a hammock to sleep in at night.”

He closed the lid of the chest and sat back down to have a sip of his tea. Johnny followed suit and went back to the table.

“Sounds like it was paradise.”

Doc finished his tea and placed the glass back on to the table. He folded his hands together and continued his tale.

“One morning I woke up and found a visitor in my house. A capuchin monkey had been perched on my window sill and was watching me as I slept. I imagine he was wondering what a strange hairless ape was doing sleeping in his tree. I shared my breakfast with him and he followed me around from that day on. I called him Friday after Daniel Defoe’s character and just as Crusoe’s companion the day of the week on which we met. I can’t be too sure after all these years, but I probably also felt giving him a name like that, brought me closer to actually becoming one of the fictional heroes whom I held in such high regard.

Friday and I became inseparable. We were either hanging upside down from tree branches, gorging ourselves on bananas and coconut water, or dozing on the beach at sunset. One morning I woke up, and Friday wasn’t there. Usually, I would find him gnawing on a mango or something on the roof of my hut, but this particular morning I couldn’t find him anywhere. I got worried, so I set out to find my father. He of all people would know what to do, right? One of Ham’s crewmen informed me he was in the medical tent and when I arrived there I saw the single most horrifying scene I could never have imagined.

There stood my father in his mask and glasses and laid out on his examination table was Friday. The top of his skull had been removed and my father was slicing out cross sections of his brain.

‘What happened?’ I asked ‘Did he get hurt?’

Do you know what my father said? He said, he was ‘merely trying to deduce the origin of the capuchin’s capacity for problem solving.’

I stared at him in disbelief. This man wasn’t my father. I didn’t know who this was or what was happening. I ran out in tears. I made my way to the beach and attempted to split the ocean in half with my screams and sadness. I collapsed, hopeless and not knowing what to do next. A moment later, a large shadow stepped in front of the sun and asked me why I was so upset in a Scottish brogue. As I recounted the details of the morning to Ham, I heard a screech that was unmistakable. Friday jumped down from Ham’s shoulder. He told me he looked bored sitting on my roof top waiting for me to wake up, so Ham took him fishing. I can’t even begin to express the amount of relief and happiness that washed over me in that one moment. Ham clapped me on the shoulder, told me he was glad he could help and took off with the mornings fresh catch on slung over his shoulder.“

Johnny looked at Doc with suspicion.

“Why do I think that’s not the end of the story?”

“Because that’s not the end of the story. Even though Friday was alive and well, with his skull still firmly in place, the whole misunderstanding just wasn’t sitting well with my adolescent mind, so I decided to teach my father a lesson. I gathered a few things in my rucksack and I left the camp without a word to anyone.”

“Where did you go?”

“To live with Friday and the rest of his friends and family. Many weeks prior to that day, I had seen the canopy that the capuchins were living under deep in the heart of the jungle and I made my way there. I lived in those trees for three days and two nights, eating, playing and sleeping amongst a treetop village of fifty plus of his kind. Father and the rest of the team had been scouring the jungle for me and occasionally I would leave some sort of sign that I was still alive in the forest somewhere, but I evaded all detection by them. On the third night, when everyone was asleep, I snuck back to my own treetop quarters and completed the end of my father’s lesson. When it was done, I snuck in to his hut and left it for him to find the following morning and when that morning came, he climbed up to the top of my tree and when I woke, he proceeded to apologize for what I had witnessed days earlier and he added that he would not be experiment in that fashion on any living creatures ever again and he stayed true to his word ever since.”

Johnny stared at Doc in confusion.

“He didn’t blow up at you for disappearing in to the jungle for days without word? He didn’t box your ears or tan your hide or anything of the nature?”

“He hugged me and took me fishing.”

“What did you leave in his hut that night?”

“A ten page scientific journal I had written. It was all my own personal theories and deductions regarding the capuchin monkey’s ability to solve complex problems all gleaned from spending three days in the jungle with them and never once having to perform any invasive or harmful procedures. He even had it published for me in one of the country’s leading scientific periodicals.”

Johnny smiled and shook her head at him.

“Unorthodox, huh?”

Doc returned the smile and offered her some more tea which she outwardly accepted, but inside secretly wished he was offering her something a bit more aged and distilled.

“Did I mention that my father and I had also taught Friday to fish? He got to be very good at it too.”

“Like I said, looney.”

At that moment the door burst open and Miranda came rushing in to the room. She looked distraught and frightened.

“Docta’ Savage! Something’s happened! I just heard it on the news and then the police called.”

“What is it Miranda?”

“It’s your cousin and her family sir. Their house burned down and they can’t find them anywhere.”

“Pat? Are you sure? What did the police say, Miranda? Tell me exactly.”

“They told me that after the fire was put out, they searched every bit of the property and couldn’t find any sign of them and they questioned Wolfgang’s boss at the store and he said the boy left work with his dog to go home just like he does every day. None of their neighbors have seen or heard anything either.”

Fire blazed behind Docs eyes and he ran to the mysterious trunk that had sparked the tale told to Johnny, only this time he pulled something out of it. Doc strapped on his shoulder holster and checked his gun.

“Miranda, tell the boys what’s happened and let them know I’ll be in touch as soon as I can. We’ll reconnoiter at Hidalgo later this evening unless you hear otherwise.”

“I’m coming with you.” interrupted Johnny.

He dug back in to the trunk and produced another gun. He tossed it to Johnny.

“Then you might need that. Lets go.”

The two of them ran passed Miranda strapped for action and ready for anything. Moments later they were exiting Docs private elevator on the basement level. Doc mounted his Henderson KJ Four motorbike and Johnny climbed on to the back of it and within minutes they were roaring up 34th street, weaving in and out of traffic at break-neck speeds. There were a million questions running through Johnny’s mind that she wanted to ask Doc, but the rumble of the engine prevented any ease of speech, so she concentrated instead on holding tight to Docs torso to keep from flying off the back of the bike.


Somewhere above the Atlantic Ocean

The night sky was a mixture of the deepest blues and the darkest purples, smeared with the occasional grey violet cloud puff. The moon was full and the stars shone brightly, glittering on the waves of the ocean surface like a field of diamonds and illuminating the various marine creatures skidding across its face moments before they returned to its dark mysterious depths below.

The drone of the engine was such that it made any conversation difficult and frustrating. As Brutus was never much of a conversationalist though, there wasn’t much to be missed. Wolfgang had been flying his father’s plane, Icarus for hours and had finally reserved himself to the cold truth. He had no idea how to get to his uncles island research facility. He had made the journey countless times with his father and yet it never seemed awfully important that he should learn the exact bearings and flight patterns. After all, he was never allowed to fly the bi-plane unless he was sitting on Albrecht’s lap anyhow. All he knew was that the island was in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle which to his knowledge was South East of his take-off.

“I’ll figure out the rest of it the closer we get!” he had shouted to Brutus, who was still sitting uneasily in the bucket seat to the boy’s rear. That had been six hours earlier. He was exhausted; physically and emotionally drained.

With each passing mile, Wolfgang’s mood grew increasingly more dejected and melancholy. He couldn’t save his parents, he couldn’t follow his mother’s last request, and there was no land in sight so he couldn’t even set down to figure out what his next move should be. If only the radio had been functioning, he may have been able to send out an SOS to someone, but his father hadn’t had any time to repair it since his last flight. The young boy began to think of his uncle Doc. He thought about all of his adventures and how whenever things seemed at their worst, Doc always found a way to persevere. If he could only remember the oath, perhaps it would raise his spirits. He used to stare at it obsessively. Carved around the Savage family crest…

“Let me strive every moment of my life to make myself better and better, to the best of my ability, that all may…”

Just at that moment the world around Wolfgang became silent. He looked up with fright in his eyes. The engine had stopped. He looked down at his instrument panel and cursed himself for not noticing the dwindling fuel level. The nose of the plane dipped considerably and Brutus gave a concerned whimper from the back seat. They were descending rapidly. He gripped the yoke as tightly as he could and pulled on it with all his might, but the plane would not falter from its devastating purpose. Just as Icarus of legend, the Sopwith Camel had a gravitational destiny which it would soon meet with crushing accuracy.

“Brutus! What do I do?” he shouted

“Tell me what to do! I’m scared! Mom! Why won’t she help me? Where’s mommy?”

Tears rushed from his eyes and fogged his goggles. His breathing became erratic and hyper and combined with the dark night sky, the silence around him was total. Wolfgang watched through his foggy wet eyes as the Atlantic Ocean rushed up to greet the boy and his dog.


The nose of the plane hit the water’s surface and all those glittering diamonds exploded around them like dynamite. The plane somersaulted across the water which ripped it apart as if it were paper. The wings were torn from its body and the fuselage was ripped asunder. The wreckage spread for a mile. Many bits and pieces sank to the bottom of the ocean, but once the agitated water calmed, much of the wreck merely floated about like so much flotsam and jetsam.
Brutus had been thrown from the plane and regained consciousness surrounded by pieces of the plane on all sides. He whined as he looked around for his friend, but saw nothing.

“Arwoof! Roof, Rroof!”

There was no answer to his call. He paddled about the crash site searching and searching, but Wolfgang was nowhere to be seen. Brutus pulled himself up onto a floating piece of debris that may have been a wing previous to the crash. He cocked his head to the side as he surveyed the damage all around him and began to bay a mournful lament to the ocean.

“Arwooo! Roooowroo!”

Brutus felt a heavy weight in his chest that could not be healed, until… his ears pricked up. Had he heard a creak at his left flank? He turned with the alertness of a hunting wolf. There it was again. His head darted towards every floating object in his line of sight.


The German Shepherd leapt from his perch, dove in to the black waters and paddled as quickly towards the sound as his paws could manage. He reached what appeared to have been the tail section of the bi-plane where he found Wolfgang with one feeble arm clinging to the wreckage and his head just barely above the water.


“Zat…izatchoo boy? Bwutus?”

Wolfgang could barely muster up the energy to slur out the words and hold on to the tail section at the same time. He began to sink below the surface when Brutus dove below the water and came up just below the boy’s legs. With all the power in his body, he paddled back to his perch with his friend slung across his back and clawed his way back on to it. He was able to roll Wolfgang off without fear of the boy drowning in the cold sea and with a pant of relief collapsed in to a deep sleep, happy with the thought that his best friend was safe by his side.

Excerpt from the journals of Lester Dentin regards to

Patricia Marmalarde née Savage is the younger cousin of Clark Savage, Jr. and she was raised in British Columbia, Canada for most of her life. She first met Clark when she was nine years old. Following an incident at school, her parents felt a change of scenery, as well as being around Clark, Jr. who was only a couple of years older and far more mature in their eyes, would do her some good. They shipped her off to England where Clark’s father had left the young boy to be instructed by Henri Becquerel the French physicist, Michael Foster the British Physiologist, André-Louis Debierne the French chemist, and the British biologist and botanist, Patrick Geddes. While in the UK, the children resided at Greystoke Manor, which had been pre-arranged by Clark Savage, Sr. In between young Clark’s studies the intrepid American duo were known to have had many adventures throughout London and the English Countryside, such as solving the great Slaughtered Lamb mystery of Yorkshire and foiling a robbery at the British Museum, which they were never officially credited for.

The children’s time together only lasted one year and one month, at which time Clark’s studies were concluded and his father sent for his return to their Bermuda Triangle research facility where he was to learn various combat techniques such as Capoeira, Savate, and American Boxing.Patricia traveled back to Canada and returned to school. The next time she would see her cousin was following the death of her father when Doc assisted her in securing her inheritance. Patricia eventually moved to New York City where she ran a very successful hair salon and shared in a number of our adventures with Doc; many times quite begrudgingly on his part. In my opinion Patricia is a very capable, intelligent and often times stubborn woman. I would expect no less from a Savage. She is also stunningly beautiful if I may say so and which most do.

While on vacation in Berlin, Patricia happened upon an adventure of her own. Namely a whirlwind love affair with a young French-German scientist and inventor named Albrecht Marmalarde. The young man had been apprenticing with one Nikola Tesla in New York when he was called back to Germany for his grandmother’s funeral. The two lovers toured throughout Europe, ending their travels in Luxembourg where they were wed in a small ceremony attended by Queen Wilhelmina who was a long time friend of Mssr. Marmalarde. The two newlyweds returned to New York together and one year later, Patricia gave birth to their son, Wolfgang.

Nyack, New YorkThe Home of the Marmalarde Family

Doc, with Johnny in tandem, drove the motorcycle up the lane which lead to his cousin’s farm house and saw the smoke in the distance. He gunned the throttle and pushed the bike to its limit, kicking up a storm of gravel and dust in their wake. He came to a gear grinding halt in front of what had been the home of Pat and her family.

“Sweet mother of science.” Johnny exclaimed as she dismounted the bike.

All that remained of the large, white, house was a few charred support beams and a black smoldering stain. Where there had been a barn, now was just scattered remnants of wood planks, roofing shingles and farm equipment.

“What happened here?”

With a cold blank stare, Doc clenched his fists.

“I don’t know, but I’m going to find out.”

A short while later after scouting the area for clues, Johnny walked over to Doc, who was crouched amongst the remains of the barn and shared her findings with him.

“From what I can tell, there doesn’t appear to have been anyone in the house when it happened. There’s something a bit kooky about this fire though.”

“What would that be?” he asked without raising his head from his investigation.

“The fire completely incinerated everything it came in contact with, except the foundation. The floorboards of the entire first floor seem to be for the most part intact and fully supporting the cellar, so there may be some clues as to what’s happened here once we get down there. The only problem is that there’s no entrance to the cellar, no stair well and no trap doors.”

Doc slowly shifted his gaze from the ash at his feet up to his companion’s quizzical eyes and smirked.

“Trust me, I looked.” She said with no disguised haughtiness.

“I believe you. Good job, Johnny.”

Johnny hunkered down and joined Doc to see what he was inspecting.

“So what’d you find Sherlock?”

“Well, I’ve combed this area pretty well and from what I can tell, Wolfgang, my nephew, seems to have been pursued in to this barn with his dog Brutus by a skinny, but fairly strong male approximately five feet seven inches tall. From the barn, our mystery gentleman apparently hot dogged it at almost 20-25 mph down that field after boy & dog and just shy of that fence post down there, Wolfgang’s tracks disappear and our mystery gentleman made his way back to the barn where he stuffed a gasoline soaked rag in to the gas tank of the tractor, that you can very well see exploded, creating a chain reaction through the rest of the equipment in the barn, causing the structure to be ripped apart from the inside out.”

“So they’ve got the boy as well as your cousin and her husband. I’m sorry Doc. Is there any way we can tell who did this?”

“I never said Wolfgang was taken.”

“…but you said-“

“The tracks leading from inside the barn aren’t footprints, they’re tire treads, they disappear in that field, and there’s no sign of Icarus anywhere in this wreckage.”

“Who’s Icarus?”

“The bi-plane that Albrecht kept in the barn.”

“How do you know that your cousin or her husband didn’t take it?”

“Well, other than the fact that Pat or Albrecht would more than likely have contacted me if there was any type of trouble such as what we’re seeing here, there were three men who came to this house. Two of them were considerably heavier upon leaving than when they arrived, leading me to assume they were carrying two adults with them.

No, I’m fairly certain that Wolfgang flew off with Brutus and is out there somewhere very alone and scared. We need to find him as soon as possible. These fires were set no later than seven or eight hours ago and I am trusting, that if these people wanted Pat or Albrecht dead, then we would have found their bodies here. Pat’s a capable woman. I’m more worried about her boy’s safety first.”

Johnny looked in to Docs eyes and felt a confident admiration for this man of unparalleled prowess and gave him an affirmative salute.

“So what do we have here then?” she said referring to the area of soil that Doc had been inspecting with great scrutiny.

“Y’see that scrap, piece of chrome leaning against that rock, right there? Well if you look closely, you can see the reflection of a man perched in the oak tree about fifty or sixty yards behind us in that field.”

Johnny looked deep in to the reflection of the chrome and was dumbstruck when she saw the glint of something reflecting for the briefest of moments.

“That is more than likely the shine of the moonlight bouncing off of his rifle sight.”

“Are you sure?” she said with a slight quiver of fear in her voice.

When she was told multiple times in the past few days that she could very likely die while performing her new duties, Johnny had never imagined it might happen on her first day.

Doc looked her in the eye and smirked. “Trust me.”

“What can we do?” she said beginning to panic

“Well, calm down to begin with. I’ve been waiting for you to get back over here to make sure you were in a safe spot before I acted, so when you see me get up, make sure you stay directly behind me. Got it?”

Johnny gave Doc a silent nod and watched as he reached down and took hold of the radiator fan blade from one of the destroyed barn tractors. Before she had time to consider what he was doing, Doc Savage stood up and spun around quick as a cheetah and hurled the fan blade straight towards the tree and took off immediately running after its deadly path. With the grim accuracy of a bullet, the blade disappeared in to the branches of the oak tree. There was a thunder crack and muzzle flash of a rifle, preceded by the shriek and gurgle of a man. A moment later a body fell from the tree hitting the ground with a dull thud. Doc was at the base of the oak a moment after impact. He crouched down and began to examine the body of the sniper who was garbed in camouflaged fatigues and grease paint, when he was caught unawares. The man planted a foot quick as a jackrabbit in to Doc’s chest and leapt up from the ground to exact a series of lightning fast jabs and kicks. The assassin threw an uppercut at Doc’s chin, but the golden haired adventurer leaned back away from the punch and continued to arc in to a back flip connecting his boot with the mystery man’s jaw which hurled him flat on to his back, but not for long.

Johnny ran towards the fray with her gun drawn hoping to be of some assistance. Just as she was closing in on the two gladiators, the camouflaged soldier unsheathed a steel blade from his boot and lunged toward Doc, but the man of bronze was no stranger to disarming any man. He stepped to the side as the blade was about to sink in to his chest, hooked his leg around the man’s calf and used the soldier’s inertia to lead him through a spin that ended with him being completely locked in Doc’s grip.

Having been raised for a significant part of his childhood in the high altitudes of South America, Doc Savage developed strength unequalled by most men, women or beast. A strength which his would be assassin was now fully aware of as he struggled to break free from the iron girder like hold he was trapped in. Before he knew what was happening, Doc collapsed the man’s legs and had him sprawled out in the field with his boot securely on the man’s throat. Johnny holstered her pistol and crouched down next to the shooter and looked him in the eye with what could only be described as joyful pity.

“Y’know, I can’t even count the amount of ways that this man just cleaned your clock jughead.

In fact, I’m pretty sure he made up a few new ones before you even hit the dirt in the first round.”



“If you’re finished, I’d like to get some information from the gentleman if that’s okay with you.”

“Sure thing, Samson. Ask away.”

Doc looked down at his captive assassin with the eyes of a judge, jury and executioner. Although he was always averse to taking a human life, his prisoner didn’t know that little fact and even if he had, he most likely would have had a very hard time believing it under the weight of the man who now held him at his mercy. Doc applied the slightest bit of pressure to the soldier with his polished leather boot, grinding his heel in to the man’s windpipe as he interrogated him.

“Who are you and who sent you here?” he said in a deep gravelly whisper which emphasized the severity of his prisoner’s present welfare, but still the man would not utter a word.

“Did you have anything to do with what took place at this house?”

Still, no response.

“Johnny, can you please grab some rope from my motorcycle? We’ll tie him up while we complete our investigation and take him back with us.”

Doc lifted his captive up on to his feet and began to drag him back to the site of the fire when he suddenly slipped from his grasp and ran back towards the oak tree. He shoved something in his mouth just as Doc got hold of him again. He whirled him around to face him.

“What was that?!” he shouted

The mystery assassin couldn’t hear him though. He began to convulse and froth at the mouth. His eyes rolled to the back of his head and he started to make a series of horrific gagging and choking noises. Then he was silent and motionless.

“What happened?” Johnny asked as she arrived with a coil of rope.

Doc let the lifeless body drop to the ground and just stared at the frozen horrified expression on its face.

“Some form of accelerated arsenic I’m assuming. A last resort pill, to avoid enemy capture.”

“Now we’ll never know who sent him.”

Doc Savage crouched down and examined the body.

“You may be right. All of his clothes seem to be custom with no distinguishing markings, his boots are a standard issue military grade used by countless nations, and his weapons all appear to be custom made as well.”

Johnny stared at the body with a sideways glance.

“I’ve got a hunch Hercules. Drop his trousers.”

“Come again?”

“Drop his pants and check out where his knickers are from.”

Doc turned to Johnny and a slow deliberate smile stretched across his face.

“Y’know Ms. Littlejohn, I do believe you’re going to fit in famously on our team.”

“Thanks Doc. Now let’s see what this guy’s got in his pants.”

She undid the dead man’s belt and loosened his pants. They turned him over and she yanked out the waist band of his underwear and saw something hand written on the inside.

“Hot, pot of coffee! This case just got a whole lot weirder.”

Doc read it for himself and got up from the ground, clenched his fists and took a deep breath.

“And I just got a whole lot angrier.”


Helmut Faust’s Arctic Fortress

The fire blazed in the hearth throwing manic flickers of light and shadow about the room. It glinted along the edge of Mr. Bowie’s dagger like a violent white scar as he picked his teeth with the business end. He sat slouched low in the great, leather winged back chair with his feet resting upon the Northern region of New Zealand.

“So when are you gonna let us in on your grand plan, ducky?”

“I believe the question you should be asking yourself Mr. Bowie is whether or not you can remove your feet from my map quicker than I can separate them from your legs, and don’t call me ducky.”

“As tempted as I am to break up the monotony of this frigid little cottage of yours by participating in such a potentially delicious battle of skill and surgery, I will respect your wishes sir, if only to persuade you to enlighten us all with your glorious design for which we’ve been blindly participating in.”

The pale Brit dropped his legs surreptitiously as Faust crossed the room to his desk.

“That, my pale sadistic friend is something that will come to light soon enough. For now, you’ll just have to be satisfied with the knowledge that my ends will satisfy your…proclivities, shall we say.”

“Fair enough, I suppose.” Mr. Bowie said as he sheathed his blade.

Mr. Jagger stood in front of the crackling fire, staring in to its warmth. He bore a striking resemblance to Mr. Bowie, but in body and features alone. The grim faced Englishman wore a heavy three quarter length coat and a tattered, tweed waistcoat beneath it. His boots were as worn as the leather, civil war style cavalry hat on his head and his demeanor was patient and foreboding. He turned his attention to his companions in the room.

“Someone’s listening at the door.” He said in a gravelly working class cockney as he reached for his guns.

“Put your triggers to bed Mr. Jagger. I’m expecting someone and if he has even half a brain, he’ll knock on my door right now unless he wants to be left alone in the company of you gentlemen.”
At this last statement, Helmut Faust had raised his voice so as not to be misunderstood by the person on the other side of the threshold. A moment passed followed by the insecure rapping of the expected visitor.

“Come.” Faust, ordered.

The door slowly swung open and a young guard timidly entered the room.

“Captain, said you wanted to see me sir.”

“I did, Mister…”

“Gassko, sir. Richard Gassko.”

Faust methodically roamed the room in silence. The boy shifted uneasily as he watched his mysterious employer’s circuit which came to a stop in front of the fire crackling furiously behind him.

“Mr. Gassko, you are new to our facility, arriving with the ship this past evening, did you not?”

“Y-yes, sir.”

“And what was your first official duty upon arriving?”

“Captain told me to deliver supper to the woman and her husband in the suite down the hall, sir.”

“Which you did. While in their company, did you speak to either of them?”

Richard Gassko, darted looks at Mr. Bowie and Mr. Jagger, before retuning his attention to Faust, who appeared as a silhouette from where he stood. A dark shadow on the face of the flame.

“Answer, truthful boy, because I already know the answers to all of these questions.”

“Yes, sir. I spoke with them. They had inquired as to the welfare of their boy.”

“And you told them what, Mr. Gassko?”

Young Richard Gassko lowered his head and averted his gaze from his inquisitor.

“I told them there was no boy on the ship…sir.”

“And that is all?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Very, good then boy.”

At this, a smile stretched across Helmut Faust’s face and his eyes softened in to a somewhat warmer shape. He crossed the room to the petrified Richard Gassko and put his arm around him.

“You never can be too sure of what is said around here and that is why we have the number one law in my facility, which is Say, Nothing. Unfortunately, even though your mistake is a rather harmless one, you still did break the law, which means I’m going to have to let you go.”

“B-but Sir, I-I truly said nothing else about…”

“Yes, I’m sure Gassko, but if I were to let you off then I would lose any credibility as a leader and authority figure and we just can’t have that. No, I’m going to have to ask you to go down and inform the Captain that you are to be released.”

Faust walked the boy to a tapestry at the left of the hearth and pulled it back revealing a hidden door.

“Take this staircase down below and turn in your security badge at the station across the courtyard, if you will.”

“Yes, sir. I do apologize for my mistake. I’ve never been sacked before.”

“Apology accepted, Gassko. Just be happy that you had not made a bigger infraction. In such a case, I would have had to leave you for Black Francis there to deal with.”

Helmut Faust gestured to a shadowy figure sitting in the corner next to the main entrance. The boy looked at Black Francis and got a sudden chill.

“Good luck in your next endeavor, Mr. Gassko.”

The boy opened the door and descended the winding staircase. Faust shut the door behind him and replaced the tapestry.

“I think you’re getting soft my dear boy. You should have given him to Franny. The man looks like he could use a bit of distraction from his all consuming sitting.”

“Mr. Bowie if you would kindly walk to the picture window and be sure that our boy finds his way through the courtyard safely…”

The pale sadist rose from his seat and looked out the window. The boy was just entering the courtyard three stories below. He crossed the field of snow slowly, with his head down holding his arms close to ward off the cold. He came to a sudden stop and looked all about him, searching for something which he could not seem to find. Mr. Bowie turned his head suspiciously to the side as a dog that had just been shown a carrot, but then his devilish smile began to creep up the sides of his face as he saw the snow stir at the base of the Southern wall. Richard Gassko jumped at the very same moment as he too noticed the movement of the two full grown Polar Bears rising to their feet. The boy searched all about the courtyard for some form of exit, but found none. The great snow beasts slowly padded around him, forcing Gassko back toward the wall.

“I underestimated you, Fausty.”

“I suggest you don’t do it again. That boy has cost me a grand piece of insurance that I can no longer hold over the heads of our guests. He’s lucky I only gave him to the bears.”Mr. Bowie returned his attention to the gruesome spectacle in the courtyard.

“So what happens now?”

“Now, I send you and your companion here on a new assignment. One which you should pray you do not botch.”

“We would never dream of such a thing my dear, but I daresay that polar bears strike no fear in either me or my distinguished and dusty colleague, Faustus.”

“Oh, I would never be so kind as to inflict my pets on you sir. No, my friend, if you mess this up, then Black Francis may have something to distract him yet.”

“No need to get malicious, my dear. What’ll you have us do now.”

“You are off to Berlin my boys.”

“Oh, That’s just lovely. They’re not all like you out there, are they?”

“Pack your things gentlemen. You leave within the hour.”