Power Girl was nervous about this dinner with Andrew Vinson at the Metropolis Star Room. True, he had helped her establish her new Karen Starr identity, but she was new to dating. (*) Her costly pink dress and business suit were trendy, but the heels were new to her.
[(*) Editor’s note: See “The Crater That Was Keystone City,” Showcase #99 (April, 1978).]
He grinned a greeting and sat down across from the pretty blonde. “You look great!” he announced.
“Thanks. I hope it’s worth the effort,” she joked.
“I think–” he started, then froze in the middle of his speech. She looked around and saw that everyone around her had also frozen, as if time had stopped.
Suddenly, a handsome man with long, reddish-brown hair in a blue and red costume with a cape, an amulet, and a sword at his hip materialized in midair.
“Kara, my love, you must help me!” he said. “All is at stake if you do not find the twelve Zodiac keys to the twelve gates of the Golden City!”
“What Dungeons and Dragons game did you escape from?” she asked, concerned that he knew her real name.
“I am Arion, high mage of lost Atlantis. I am here to ask you to locate the twelve keys that open and lock the golden gates of that ancient kingdom before a deadly peril escapes. It was that very foe that led me to send you through time to this realm for your safety.”
“What are you talking about? If there’s trouble I’ll help, but you never sent me anywhere!” she said.
“I am your grandfather!” he announced. “You were born over forty-five thousand years ago in Atlantis. I sent you through time for safety in a time craft that you think of as a space vehicle.”
“Wait a sec — the Symbioship fed me memories of a false life on Krypton!” she interrupted. (*) “I’m Superman’s cousin, for crying out loud!”
[(*) Editor’s note: See “When the Symbioship Strikes,” Showcase #98 (March, 1978).]
“No,” insisted Arion. “Those memories were indeed false and of Krypton, but my spell made you see them all to tie you to the greatest of modern heroes — Superman — for your protection. He is not your family. I am!”
“The craft tried to repossess me recently. It’s mad!” she said.
“I know it did, but that was a flaw in the spell I cast,” he said. “I made it too encompassing. Please, Kara, my love, accept my word and my love and seek the keys. These mystic artifacts are needed to keep trapped the evil I spoke of — my worst foe. He threatens to escape from his long imprisonment unless we get the keys to keep him locked in Darkworld. The keys may be found by this talisman. It will replicate as you desire if you seek others to help in the quest. All keys will make mystic avatars to defend themselves, but you and your allies will win if you are brave. Fail me not!” As he vanished, a golden device fell into her lap.
“–you…” continued Andrew Vinson, but Karen Starr was long gone, as Power Girl streaked over the city to find the Justice Society of America.