A short time later, Dr. Yokito Oka and Mitch Shelley arrived at their destination the office of Kompera Lee. The office was a bare and Spartan place with no signs of a distinctive personality imprinted upon it. Even the desk and the several chairs there were merely functional devices. The man rose from behind the desk and gave Dr. Oka and Shelley a shallow bow in place of a firm handshake. The man’s age was indeterminable from looking at his features, even though his hair was mostly gray. The bright green eyes indicated a deep intelligence and a look of command within their depths as the man motioned for the two to take a seat.
“Mr. Shelley, I am pleased that you have recovered from the terrible incident that you suffered, even if you have not recovered your memories as yet.”
“Thank you for your thoughtfulness.” Shelley paused, waiting for the man to introduce himself.
“My name is Kompera Lee, but it is the leader you should be thanking, not this mere humble servant of Ryo-wo,” Lee said with all sincerity.
“Then thank this Ryo-wo for me, Mr. Lee.” Shelley smiled at the modest Mr. Lee.
“It would be a great honor for me to do so, but I am sure you are curious as to why we went to such great efforts to protect you.” Lee waited to see what Shelley would say.
“A trifle, I suppose,” Shelley said, dismissing his intense curiosity with a gesture of his hand.
“How much do you recall of the Second World War, Mr. Shelley?” Lee said.
Shelley thought for a moment as brief images flickered in and out of focus in his mind. “When Yokito mentioned a suit, I knew what it was, but I couldn’t build an image of it in my head until I saw some. That’s what I get when I hear mention of this war.”
Lee looked somber as he spoke of the war. “There were camps in Germany, Russia, and Japan for certain populations. Terrible things happened in these camps that still resonate today. Even in America, loyal citizens with Japanese ancestry were placed in detention camps, and their property and possessions were stripped from them.”
Shelley looked saddened by the knowledge that Lee had just given him. “But none of these things are going on today, are they?”
“Not on such a wide level, but even now there are agents of the United States who operate outside the law, such as the man known during World War II as Commander Steel. He now operates a covert group of criminals commonly known as the Suicide Squad in the more arcane intelligence circles.” Kompera Lee tossed a disk to Mitch Shelley.
“What’s this, then?” Shelley said as he looked at the disk.
“It’s a storage device for the information that has been collected on operations that violate the spirit of the laws of this land. There are several groups seeking to dominate the world covertly, including the Illuminati, Vandal Savage’s organization that has been disorganized since his disappearance, and numerous others. Ryo-wo created this small group to try to combat these other organizations and make the world a better place. However, our efforts are becoming more and more ineffective, since we operate within the law, so it was decided with great reluctance to create several agents that would operate outside the law. Arsenal is the first, and we have hoped that you would become the second.” (*) Kompera Lee gazed intently into the eyes of Mitch Shelley as he spoke, conveying the deep belief in this cause to make the world a better place.
[(*) Editor’s note: See Showcase: Arsenal Strikes.]
Mitch Shelley paused to consider as he tapped the disk on his leg. “I can’t give you an answer right away, even though I can sense your commitment to this purpose. I need time to think and look over the data.”
“Certainly, Mr. Shelley. We have waited quite patiently for you to recover from your ordeal, so more time to reflect on this is understood. Dr. Oka will show you to your room after arranging for you to be cleared to use all the facilities in our base.”
Mitch Shelley and Yokito Oka rose from their chairs and prepared to depart.
Kompera Lee motioned to the doctor to stay a moment. “If you don’t mind, Mr. Shelley, I would like a few private words with Dr. Oka about another matter. She will be along shortly, if you will wait in the food facility just down that hall.”
Mitch Shelley nodded his head and walked down the hall to the food facility, where he sat at a small table. Meanwhile, Yokito Oka sat down to converse with Kompera Lee.
“He’s everything you said he would be, and probably more,” Oka said with a serious expression on her face.
“Yes. I think we can convince him to join us, as long as we use only select portions of the truth. Fortunately, our opponent in Commander Steel has given us such good information to use against him.” A smile crossed the face of Kompera Lee, giving him a sinister look as he looked at the doctor.
“I still wonder how you managed to bug the facilities that our opposition uses to get both audio and video of the kidnapping of those heroes from the other Earth,” Yokito said with curiosity in her voice. (*)
[(*) Editor’s note: See The Suicide Squad: The Price of Redemption.]
“That, my good doctor, is a secret that you have no need to know at this time. I trust you will continue to show our guest a good time while he stays with us.” Kompera Lee turned his attention to his desk as Yokito Oka rose from her chair.
“It’s a pleasant enough task, but what if he decides not to join us?” Oka paused at the door to ask this question.
“I already have several back-up plans set in motion if our reluctant former hero decides to go his own way. Oh, Dr. Oka, see that our guest receives the proper documents that we have prepared for him. After all, in today’s world, a man needs certain paperwork to prove he is who he thinks he is.” Kompera Lee began to laugh deeply as Yokito Oka shut the door behind her and moved to the food facility.
She found the man called Mitch Shelley looking intently at a plain menu with a sort of detached interest. “What do you wish to eat?”
Shelley looked up from the menu in Japanese and gave Yokito a soft smile. “Strangely enough, I’m not hungry at all.”
“Then I will show you the rest of the base, including a stop at Mik’s laboratory. He wanted to give you something that he has just finished working on.” Yokito smiled back at the strangely fascinating Mitch Shelley.
Shelley dropped the menu and offered the good doctor his arm, which she took. They strolled through the base, with Yokito pointing out the various facilities in the base. They stopped in front of an opaque plastic door that rose upward. The two walked into the lab, where a short, dapper-looking man was busy working on a silver weapon. The short dapper man looked up at the two and rose to eagerly greet them.
He kissed the doctor’s hand with obvious pleasure. “It does this young man’s eyes good to such a vision of loveliness. This must be the person from the tube. My name is Mikron O’Jeneus, but my friends call me Mik.”
Mik shook Shelley’s hand with genuine pleasure as well, before moving to a rack of costumes. “Your ring was an absolutely fascinating thing to study, even if it operates on what I call the magicological principles. I wasn’t able to duplicate the wide range of abilities that it possesses, but did manage to create this.”
He pulled down a light green costume, complete with cowl and goggles. Emblazoned on the right breast side of the costume was a noble white dragon. Mik gave it to the puzzled Shelley with a great deal of glee. “I made it for you as sort of a reward for what your ring has taught me. Go ahead and try it on in that changing room at the back of the racks.”
Yokito also urged Mitch to try the costume, saying, “I think I would like to see what you look like in it as well.”
Mitch Shelley picked up the costume and walked to the back of the rack to disappear into the changing room. A short while later he emerged, looking noble and heroic in the costume. “I got the oddest sensation when I was putting this thing on after I figured out how to open it. It was like I had done this before, but I don’t remember it.”
Mik and Yokito looked at each other before returning their attention to the costumed Shelley.
“Give it time, and you might recover fully from what those horrible DEO agents tried to do to you, Mitch,” Yokito finally said.
“Yeah, what the Doc said, Mitch. Now let me do my second most favorite thing in the world — and don’t ask what my favorite thing to do is, because I don’t want the Doc, here, to start blushing. This costume absorbs and nullifies kinetic energy, plus it also has another special feature based on the principles of your ring. It can alter its appearance to that of what its wearer wants, like a suit, or casual clothes, or even beach wear. Unfortunately, it locks down to one alternate shape for a period of several hours, unlike your ring, before being able to change to another clothes pattern. It can change from a costume to the other shape almost instantly, though. No need to dash into a phone booth and do a rapid striptease wearing one of these.” Mik showed obvious pride as he explained the costume to Mitch Shelley.
“I expected it to feel tight, but it’s comfortable, instead.” Shelley turned to Oka and asked her, “What do you think?”
“You look quite dashing in that outfit; like a modernized version of a knight,” Oka replied.
Mitch Shelley looked down at the stylized dragon on the front of the costume and back at Oka. “That would make me a dragon knight, then.”
Mik nodded his head at the name. “I think it’s quite a good name, if you decide to join our cause.”
“I was making a joke, I thought. I didn’t expect you to take me seriously,” Shelley explained to the two.
“It’s still a good idea, though, but back to my gift to you,” Mik said, returning to the subject of the costume. “Perhaps you should try to change it to something else.”
“Like what? Another suit?” Shelley asked.
Mik shook his head at the suit idea. “I think you should alter it to khaki pants, khaki shirt, and brown loafers. I have some catalogs around here with some pictured.” Mik dug through a pile of clothing magazines before pulling one out.
Mitch Shelley gazed at the magazine before putting the image in his mind. Slowly, the green costume began to alter into a carbon copy of the picture, including a pair of sleek eyeglasses.
“Very good, indeed, Mitch, but why the glasses?” Yokito asked with interest, looking at the glasses.
“I have no idea, but it felt right for some odd reason,” Mitch said as he pulled the glasses off to look at them.
“Perhaps it was your subconscious trying to remind you of your past secret identity,” Yokito Oka replied. “Of course, just wearing glasses wouldn’t prevent someone from knowing you as both.”
Shelley laughed. “You’re right. Nobody could get away with a secret identity by just putting on a pair of glasses. You would have to be an idiot not to be able to figure it out if someone tried.”
Yokito yawned loudly. “I need to catch up on my sleep, Mitch. It seems running all my projects have caught up with me at last. If you want, I can show you a place where you can review the information on that disk.”
“After you look at the disk, I will show you the process from which the information came,” Mik said, looking at Shelley with a friendly regard. A sly grin crossed Mik’s face. “Unless you are busy doing something else with my good friend Dr. Oka.”
Yokito blushed slightly at the innuendo in the Mik’s statement. “I am going to be in bed alone, you evil little man.”
“Oh, that’s a shame,” Mik replied. “Being alone in bed is a terrible thing, indeed.”
Mitch Shelley raised an eyebrow. “You are both going over my head with this.”
“Never mind, Mitch. I will explain it to you some other time,” Yokito said to Shelley with some relief.
“Get out my lab so I can get back to my work, then,” Mik laughingly said as he returned to one of the many devices on a long bench.
Mitch Shelley and Yokito Oka walked out of the lab and down the seemingly deserted hallway toward an elevator.