by JSAGL, partially adapted from Infinity Inc. #44, by Roy Thomas and Vince Argondezzi
Inside the pyramid beneath what had once been Hall Manor, the undead slaves of the Silver Scarab brought Fury into a main anteroom and stopped. Fury looked at them for a moment, confused as they backed out the way they came. A wall slid down, sealing the passageway shut. Lyta Trevor had been content until this point to let the zombies guide her without resistance, reasoning that she could perhaps free Hector Hall from whatever spell he was under.
As she looked about the room, she saw a large statue of Anubis, ceremonial torches adorning the walls, and a body lying on a table. She approached it and saw that it was her fiancé, Hector Hall. He was dressed in sandals and a blue loincloth, and he had a crystal dagger sticking out of his chest.
“Hector!” Lyta screamed. “Aphrodite, please don’t let it be so…” As she touched the dagger, she watched Hector’s body crumble to dust. The young Amazon stood there with the dagger in her hand, staring in shock through tear-filled eyes at Hector’s remains.
“Such emotion, Hippolyta. It ill-suits you.”
Dropping the dagger on the ground, Fury whirled around to see a figure standing before her. The armor covered the man from head to toe — ornate silver, resembling Hector’s costume somewhat. The voice, however, was unmistakable.
“Hector? You’re alive? But I thought… your body…” Fury said to him, somewhat confused.
“Hector Hall is dead, Hippolyta,” said the Silver Scarab. “All that he was, I am now. I simply shed his skin, as I had no more use for it.”
“You’ve got to fight Hastor’s influence, Hector. It’s not too late. I need you.”
“Fight Hastor’s influence? You are very confused, Hippolyta. I welcome her influence. It has awakened my true nature, and with her return, she will provide me with the means to destroy my enemies and rule the world. What you need is irrelevant.”
“What? We were supposed to be married! What about that? What about your parents? Do we mean so little to you that you’ll throw us all away for a pipe dream? You know that Infinity and the JSA will never let you succeed.”
“I haven’t forgotten about my ancestors. Khufu and Shiera will die by my hands soon enough, and as for you, Hippolyta, where were you when Hector needed you? He tried to call you, to talk to you, to save himself from me, but no. You were too busy with your parents to pay much attention to him, and by the time you did, Hector Hall had truly become the Silver Scarab. All this is your fault, Hippolyta. It’s all because of you.”
“You bastard!” Fury cried as she lunged at the Silver Scarab, knocking him down. Blow after blow struck the Scarab as Fury put her entire Amazon rage into pummeling him. Finally, the Scarab stopped moving, and Fury regained her control.
“Hec…? Oh, dear Zeus, I killed him.”
“I hardly think so,” the Silver Scarab replied as his arm swung upward, connecting with Fury and landing her against the wall on the other side of the room. She groaned as she hit the floor. The Scarab raced to her in one fluid motion, then picked her up by her leg and flung her back into the other wall, causing the doorway that had been sealed shut to reopen. This time, the Scarab picked Fury up by her hair as she moaned, slipping into unconsciousness.
The Silver Scarab was very pleased with himself this day.
“Try it now, Carter.”
Hawkman once again picked up the microphone of the damaged communications center as the JSA cruiser approached the United States. In the back of the ship, Jade, Obsidian, and Corona were recovering from their encounter with Dr. Jimmi Rock, alias the reincarnated Dr. Anton Hastor. Jade and Corona had insisted that they could get the group back to the U.S. faster, but Hawkman refused, wanting them in top form when they finally confronted Hastor.
“Hawkman to JSA Headquarters, come in.”
“Huntress here. Are you guys OK?”
“Thank Osiris! Huntress, our old foe Dr. Hastor is–”
“I know, Hawk. She ambushed me here at JSA Headquarters and shorted out our signal device array. I just got it working a few minutes ago, but your signal devices aren’t responding.”
Hawkman looked over at Shiera. “I know. I need you to gather as many of the members as you can and have them meet me in Westchester County, New York, at my home.”
“I’m on it, Hawk. In fact, Doctor Fate just showed up.”
Back outside Hall Manor, the members of Infinity Inc. had just finished dealing with the Silver Scarab’s army of the undead.
From the sky, the Ray blasted the last of the zombies in two. “He shoots, he scores, and the crowd goes wild!”
The Patriot gathered his troops and assembled them at the entrance to what used to be Hawkman’s home, but which was now the pyramid of the Silver Scarab. “All right, here’s the plan. Ray, your light is going to lead our way. Al and Rick are going to be right behind you. Be on the lookout for any more zombies. Roy, you and Beth cover the rear in case the Scarab has any more surprises for us. Norda, you’re with me. Hank, I need you to scan for Lyta. That may help us pinpoint the Scarab’s location.”
“I’ll try and… got her. She’s unconscious, but I’ve got a good sense of where she is,” Hank King replied with a little skepticism.
The Infinitors made their way easily through the pyramid, with no zombies or other distractions to slow them down. Having been to Hall Manor on several occasions, Sylvester was taken aback by how unfamiliar the Scarab’s magicks had made the Hawk’s old home. Within a few moments, the young heroes made their way to a large anteroom. The entrance appeared to have been damaged during a fight. As they entered the room, Nuklon was the first to notice Fury, her costume tattered and torn, hanging very precariously from the statue of Anubis. The statue itself seemed to be tilting from Fury’s weight.
“Lyta!” Nuklon yelled as he ran toward the statue.
“Stop! Move no further, Albert, lest I allow the statue to fall, crushing dear Hippolyta underneath it.” From out of the other portal, the Silver Scarab emerged. “Welcome, my old friends, to my humble abode. I’m sorry I can’t offer you anything, but as you are all going to die shortly, I didn’t see the need.”
“Hector, I don’t know what’s come over–” Patriot started to say, but Northwind raised his hand and cut Sylvester Pemberton off.
“No, Sylvester, this is not your battle. This is what I was born to do,” Norda Cantrell said as he approached the Scarab. “Let them go, Hector. This is our battle, as it should be.”
The Scarab gestured toward the statue holding Lyta, and it began to move. “Stay back, Norda. No one is going anywhere.”
The room suddenly began to shake, and the ceiling opened, revealing the latest incarnation of Hath-Set and the Eye of Ra.
“Greetings, beloved. I see I am just in time.”
Taking her hand, the Scarab kissed it. “Yes, my dear. Just in time to see my friends from Infinity Inc. die.”
“Excellent. Let the carnage commence.”
Johnny Chambers came to a halt in front of his ex-wife Libby Lawrence, the recently rejuvenated heroine named Liberty Belle. He ran his hand through his hair, a look of defeat on his face. “I’ve looked everywhere — back home, the beach… Hell, I even went to your place in D.C. She doesn’t want to be found.”
Libby took Johnny’s hand and smiled at him. “She’s a lot like me, you know — stubborn and bull-headed. Does that surprise you so much?”
Johnny pulled Libby into an embrace. “Ha! I think that’s the first time you’ve ever admitted that to anyone.”
Libby shook her head. “And this is the part where you say, ‘You’re right, Libby. She runs away from things like I do, too,’ or had you forgotten that, Mr. Chambers?”
Moving in for a kiss, Johnny replied, “Not at all, but why state the obvious?”
Before the two could complete the kiss, however, they were interrupted by a voice. “Ummm, excuse me, I was looking for Sylvester Pemberton.”
Libby and Johnny’s jaws dropped. “Ted? Sylvester told us you’d vanished!”
From the doorway stepped a man wearing a predominantly red costume, with a green cape, red fin on his head, and a yellow star across his chest. A cosmic rod glowed in his hands.
“No, Ted was my father. My name is David Knight, and I’m here to join Infinity Inc.”
This beach had always been her favorite place in the world. She and her father came here every summer, even last year, so naturally, when she felt down or out of sorts, it was a refuge for her. It had been easy enough to hide from her father. Even he didn’t know all her secret places along the beach, so it wasn’t surprising that he ended up passing right by her and noticing.
Jesse Chambers sat on the beach watching the sun go down. What a beautiful sight, she thought. It almost made up for the horror of seeing Libby looking not much older than her daughter. God, why did Libby always have to ruin everything? She always…
Her thoughts were interrupted as she noticed a figure rising out of the sea. Standing, Jesse watched as the man moved closer, as though he was walking along the bottom of the ocean the way one might walk down a street. The man moved ever closer.
“Who are you?”
Jesse was stunned for a moment, until her eyes were able to make out his features: blond, tall, blue eyes, and wearing a blue outfit that seemed to shift with the water itself. She found herself staring at this man. My God, he’s beautiful.
As he recognized the young woman, he couldn’t help but notice her mane of flowing blond hair and her supple, athletic features. Since the last time he had seen her when they were kids, Jesse had grown up, and she was beautiful beyond words. (*) “It’s me, Artie.”
[(*) Editor’s note: See DC Universe: Crawling from the Wreckage, Book 1, Chapter 5: A Date With Destiny.]
As Nuklon struggled with Fury and the statue she was tied to, Dr. Hastor and the Silver Scarab were lifted aloft by the Eye of Ra.
“Eye of Ra, of Mighty Horus, awaken unto me! Look upon your master! The spirit of Setekh, God of Death, commands you to seek — and to destroy!”
“Norda?” Sylvester said as he turned to his comrade.
“Quiet, Sly, I think he’s praying!” Midnight replied.
“Mighty Thoth — god of winged wisdom — for the sake of the world, show me a way to defeat your ancient enemy and to overturn Setekh’s curse upon mankind!” Norda said in hope of it being answered. The time had drawn nigh.
And as the Eye drew skyward, the Scarab raised his arms, the feeling of power starting to intoxicate him. “Ah! I begin to feel it, like the reins of a great warhorse fluttering in my hands. After all these millennia, all these wretched incarnations, we shall…”
The Eye of Ra then began to shudder, tendrils of power leaping from it madly, as though it was a bronco trying to buck off its riders.
“Wh-what’s wrong? Stop the Eye from doing this, beloved!” Hastor said, trying to keep her balance.
“I — cannot! It resists me — as if I am not worthy!”
“But you are! The crystal dagger made sure of that!”
“Damn you, woman! You failed somehow. The Eye is pulling away from my control!”
As the Eye began to buck more violently, its skin began to heat. Hastor lost her grip and fell to the ground. “Scarab! Help me!”
Watching his co-conspirator fall, the Scarab couldn’t help but feel a sense of the inevitable. “I cannot! I am held here fast, like a true insect! Against such unbridled fury, I cannot even save myself!”
On the ground, the Infinitors found themselves surrounded by fire. Patriot directed Rick Tyler to try to find a water main. “Ray, Beth, get back inside and help Al and Lyta. Norda, I–”
Northwind suddenly took skyward, leaving Sylvester’s words lost in his wake. “No, Sylvester. I will deal with the Silver Scarab. This is my destiny. It always has been! You must put out the fire before it rages out of control.”
Flying as fast as he can, Northwind caught up to the Eye of Ra, the heat growing more intense by the minute. “Let go, Scarab! Your spell has failed you.”
“It was Hastor! She must have betrayed me, just as she did my par — my ancestors, Khufu and Shiera, so very long ago.”
“No, Scarab, your undoing was your own, or rather that of Hector Hall. You are not pure in the dark of Setekh. Would someone pure in his hate have played games with the Infinitors instead of just killing them outright? I think not. It was that little bit of Hector still living inside you that is your downfall. His heroic nature could not ever be fully extinguished!”
“No! I… no! Hastor lied to me… she said that Hector was gone. I should have killed you all when I had the chance. Now it’s… too late…”
The Silver Scarab let go of the Eye of Ra and came crashing to the ground.