Terry Sloane noticed Al Pratt leave, and he relaxed somewhat, continuing the game as calmly as before. He had little doubt that the short-but-powerful Atom could handle the Nazi. Plus, if a hunch he had was true, Al would have help.
Meanwhile, in the gym, Robin the Boy Wonder had followed the first two gunmen and saw them join several others in the darkened gym, where they grouped around a weird machine. “Heil Hitler!” saluted one. They responded in hushed tones and examined the device while checking the doors.
“Will it work?” asked one.
“Of course. The Third Reich is the leader in science and technology. With this device, the Aryan Youth will be victorious.”
“None are as blind as those who will ‘na-zi’!” punned Robin as he swung down amidst curses and pulled guns.
“Don’t shoot! We’ll be heard!” warned one.
“Yeah, that’s what I like to see — Nazi killers who hate noise pollution!” joked Robin as a batarang he threw disarmed one. He rolled aside from the remaining six, who seemed uncertain about whether to fire or not.
“Get him. We can’t risk discovery yet!” ordered the leader.
Robin ran up the bleachers and swung back down to trip up his pursuers, who rolled to the floor below. “You guys have obviously never been to a pep rally! And I thought Uncle Adolf was just full of school spirit!” laughed the daredevil as he swung a hard right to send another Nazi falling.
“He is out of room. Take him now!” cried the leader.
The Atom burst inside and saw it all. “Mind if I join this party?” he cried.
Back at the rally, Sylvester Pemberton had retaken the lead but was starting to notice something. That weird problem with the scoreboard is over. For a minute, though, I thought it flashed the message, “Atom, go in gym”! Wait a minute, Calvin College is the Atom’s stomping grounds! I may be needed, too! He stood up, holding his stomach as he rushed out.
Toughy whispered, “Rich kid couldn’t handle the pressure!”
Tubby nodded. “Yes. I hope he’s not sick, but at least Tommy will win this for sure!” Tommy Rogers saw Sylvester leave and wondered what was going on.
Terry Sloane kept things moving as the clock ticked. “Name the Greek hero who rode the Pegasus,” he said, reading the next question.
“Bellerophon!” chimed in Tommy.
“Say, I’m hungry,” said Tubby. “How about a snack?”
Toughy groaned in mock dismay. “OK, bud. Let’s go to the snack bar.” They hurried down until they took a wrong turn and saw the battle in the gym. They argued for a minute before hurrying off to change clothes and help. First, however, they popped back into the competition to see if Tommy was available.
Tommy knew his pals, and he also knew their body language by now. Toughy looks eager, and Tubby looks sick. That means crime-fighting. Tommy took a deep breath. He was well ahead of the others, but could he risk losing? For his buddies, the risk wasn’t worth discussing. He ran out and caught them. “What’s up? Are we needed?”
“Nazi rats is in da gym!” said Toughy.
Tommy pulled off his sweater, and soon the three colorful figures of Little Boy Blue and the Blue Boys were racing into the gym, which was now full of Nazis and heroes.
The Atom had pitched into the Nazis with a rage unusual for the hero. “Even on the Calvin College campus those swine turn up! I’ll teach them to stick to their own kind!” He smashed a Nazi with a stunning left hook.
Robin had spun across the air to land safely near the machine. “Say, mind if I change the dial on this fancy radio?” he said.
A Nazi frowned and said, “If we lose now, we will be killed. Bring in the others!” A radio squawked from his command, and more Nazi thugs raced inside.
Robin fell back to get his plan in order. Then the Star-Spangled Kid raced up to trip a Nazi. “You need to work out more. A gym is a dangerous place for someone so uncoordinated!” he said.
The Boy Wonder smiled. “Nice to see you. Now, let’s make them see stars!”
The Kid winced; he wished he had said that first. He saw Robin’s acrobatic grace and marvelled, Man, the next time that Stripesy and I get to feeling pretty cocky about our well-planned, numbered routines, I’ll just remember Robin in action! He’s like a professional acrobat!
The Atom realized that he was getting outnumbered. The kids are good, but can they hold their own with so many of Hitler’s bully-boys? he worried as he jumped a balance beam and crashed both feet into a Nazi.
“Little man, you and these kinder shall regret this,” said a hulking Nazi.
“Yeah! Remind me of that little fact when you wake up,” said a grim Atom as he ducked and brought both fists up into the giant’s chin. He fainted, and the Atom rolled him aside. “Next?” he said angrily. Little Boy Blue and the Blue Boys came racing inside as well. “Who in the world?” said the Atom, frowning.
The Star-Spangled Kid took his time as he rolled over the bent-double Nazi he was fighting and kicked him flat. “I hope those guys won’t get in our way,” he said, looking at the three newcomers in blue. “Those costumes sure don’t look like professional mystery-men — more like something kids would whip up in their clubhouse!” He received a sharp left hook and blinked as the thug tried to choke him.
Robin kicked him in the nose and said, “Move it, Kid. The other six Soldiers of Victory aren’t in the car by any chance, are they?” The Kid shook his head.
Little Boy Blue and Tubby tackled a Nazi, while Toughy smashed a tennis racket over his head. “Reg’lar Don Budge!” he quipped.
The Atom lifted a Nazi and tossed him straight at the machine. He missed, but the Nazi next to it said, “Fool. You can never stop the Aryan Youth.”
Robin shouted, “Bring them on, and we’ll beat them!”
The Nazi leader sneered. “Beat them? Thanks to my machine, you kinder will soon be them!”
Little Boy Blue spoke up as he clipped a Nazi with a fast punch. “We’ll never serve a bunch of Ratzi finks like you!” Tubby and Toughy cheered and encouraged their leader.
The Nazi smiled. “This rally attracted the best and brightest minds in young America, and while this competition continues, this machine is implanting subliminal, post-hypnotic commands to use their talents, lives, and wealth to serve the Nazi party. So when they grow up and prosper in military, economics, or politics, they will devote all their power and resources to our cause, which shall live forever!”
“One problem — while youse guys was blabbing, I pulled da plug!” said a jeering Toughy.
“Impudent pup! That may stop us for a short time, but we can restart the device after slaying you!” said the fat Nazi. He fired his gun directly at Toughy, only to miss as Robin launched a batarang at his hand.
Little Boy Blue jumped off Tubby’s shoulders to crash into the machine and send it tilting.
“Right idea. Let me lend you some muscle!” said the Atom as he charged the device and rocked it to the ground with a crash. Many people filed inside at the sound of the gunshot and crashing machine.
The Star-Spangled Kid suddenly ran forward and kicked the Nazi Leader in the chin. He fell forward, and Tubby Watts dropped down on his back with a resounding thump. “That’s one way to keep ’em flying!” cheered Little Boy Blue.
Then the beaten Axis leader croaked out a final threat. “You have defeated us this day, but the Reich shall yet triumph when the device self-destructs and kills you Amerikaner brats.”
“Not if I deactivate it in time!” said Mister Terrific, who entered at top speed. He bent over the Nazi weapon and made a few rapid adjustments.
“What if dat guy pulls da wrong wire or sumpin’?” said Toughy.
“He never makes mistakes. That’s Mister Terrific!” said Little Boy Blue.
“Yeah? He’s a real sooperman with a thousand talents!” said Toughy, impressed.
The man of a thousand talents smiled as he stood up. “It’s harmless now. You fellows saved us all today. America and the All-Star Squadron can be proud of having heroes like you Young All-Stars.” The Atom agreed as he congratulated his buddy.
Mister Terrific smiled at Little Boy Blue and said to him, “Tom, you won the competition as well. No one else reached your score.” Tubby and Toughy patted their leader on the back and cheered.