A Round Robin Pastich by
Jason Gridley and Tangor
(Andy Nunez and David Bruce Bozarth
Copyright © 2002
Collected from a series of 15 posts to ERBList's ERB Listserver, March 14-22, 2002
Readers looking for ERB pastiches might find this one silly without knowing the background which prompted the two most prominent ERB Pastiche Writers on the web to create HERSHEY, PA. This story came about as a gentle lament by two posting personas at ERBList for not having a starring role in Andy Nunez's recent novel length MOON MAID AT THE EARTH'S CORE. Tangor (David Bruce Bozarth) attempted to bring happiness by producing an ERBList Instant Pastiche (tm) AMAR vs LA, which was generally well received but resulted in even more desperate cries for something more substantive. Gridley (Nunez) responded with a teaser pastiche message, Tangor responded, and another Round Robin Pastiche was born. See Caverns of Mars and When The Princess Disappeared for explanations of Round Robin Writing. Behind the scenes Tangor and Gridley agreed to keep the unfolding pastiche "family fare" and to insert every nutty reference to super heroes, spies, villans, and other absurdities. HERSHEY, PA is tongue-in-cheek parody. We had fun writing it. We hope you don't puke after reading it. If, on the other hand, you like this, you'll really love the insanity of the epic length ERB parody The Ratnaz Files!
Once upon a time there were two beautiful young girls who came from different backgrounds. One was a wild and noble princess of a prehistoric land. The other was a wild and noble high priestess of the Flaming God of a lost city of ugly little crooked men with small brains and other parts to match. But I took them away from that and now they work for me. My name is Eddie
IT's EDDIE'S ANGELS STARRING LA AND AMAR!
Opening scene in ERB study. Cyril Ralph Rothman stands next to an intercom device. Seated on a divan by a tigerskin rug are La and Amar, dressed in barbaric finery. The intercom beeps and Rothman pushes a button.
Voice of ERB: Good morning, Angels!
La and Amar together: Good morning Eddie!
Voice of ERB: Angels, I have a tough assignment for you. It seems that there has been some trouble at the chocolate factory in Hershey Pennsylvania. Someone sabotaged a vat of chocolate and its running down all the streets. I want you to go there and find the culprit before everyone in Pennsylvania is travelling up the Hershey highway.
"Oh! That sounds like a sweet assignment!" cried Amar.
Scowling, La exclaimed: "What kind of pervert would sabotage a chocolate factory?"
Voice of ERB: "Yes, that's exactly the question we need answered.
Just to be on the safe side, I am having you fly over there with Captain Hines and Jason Gridley on the 0-220 and find out. Once there, you'll meet with Latin scholar, ace metallurgist and all around good guy Erich Von Harben, who is on tour this year lecturing on secrets of Roman sensuality.
La and Amar: Thank you Eddie!
And so, the Angels go out to a secluded hangar near Encino where they meet ERB's crack flying squad aboard the super dirigible 0-220. Once aboard, they are debriefed by Jason Gridley.
"We have guests," Gridley nudged the handsome fellow bent nose to book in the cabin off the O-220's wardroom.
"Eh?" Startled by the unexpected intrusion the intent von Harben looked up. Gridley and two women had entered. Scowling, von Harben rose. "We have a dress code around here!"
Gridley grinned. "Do you want me to enforce it?"
"Er...no," von Harben blushed with appreciation. "What's up?"
"We're off to Pennsylvania. There been some trouble there that OB thinks needs our attention."
Reluctantly, von Harben said, "If that's the case, we'll have to enforce the dress code. Hmm..." turning to the locker next to the small bunk, he produced two outfits—one a hot floral print, the other a blouse and skirt. "Left behind by the ex."
While the girls donned their new costumes, Gridley explained. "This appears serious, Erich. Now that our soldiers are approaching the Rhine we'll need as much chocolate as the USA can produce to win the German civilians to our side. If Hershey is put out of commission... well, I don't have to paint all the details. We're departing within the hour."
The enormity of the sabotage stunned the scholarly and patriotic von Harben. "Damn right, you don't!" Lowering his voice to a whisper and leaning close to Gridley's ear he asked: "What's with the dames? Who are they?"
"Dames?" Gridley rapped. "Smile when you say that. These are OB's picked valkyries to go in and clean up any Nazi heinies they find in the chocolate. You don't have any problems with that, do you?"
"Nein, I mean, no!" Von Harben gave the wrong salute and quickly put his heiling hand under his seat. "Mein little schotzie Favonia, how I miss her!"
"Well, what happened? I thought you and that Roman vamp were on the right track," Gridley inquired.
"Ach, so did I," the son of the German missionary said drearily. "Unfortunately, she did not get used to modern things and there was an embarrassing incident with some toiletries. Last time I saw her, she was off to a Caruso concert. She made some disparaging remarks about the malleability of my Harbenite, and I next heard from her lawyer. I understand she is making the circuit reviving Roman orgies in Greenwich village."
La appeared in a navy dress with white polka dots, white gloves, two tone navy and white pumps and a floppy white straw hat. Amar appeared in red capri pants and a gold silk blouse, and little else.
"This is no place for the High Priestess of the Flaming God," La said.
"These clothes would make an Oparian male chase after shes from the city of Gorillas. By the way, Amar, dear sweet, somewhat rustic Amar, you need shoes here."
"I do not like shoes," the Empress of Pellucidar snarled. "They make my feet smell. After a few sleeps running through the jungle, they are good only for attracting dyryths."
* * * * * * * *
The 0-220 landed at a field near Lancaster. There, they were intercepted by a graying man in a flying outfit.
"You will refer to me only as G-8," the man said by way of introduction. "I have learned that there is to be a big shipment of chocolate bars to Philadelphia where they are to be shipped overseas. You are to escort the shipment and make sure its not waylaid up the old dirt road somewhere."
"That's your job, girls," Gridley said. "Erich and I will stay here and patrol the Hershey area in case the Nazis try anything else. G-8, do we know who is behind this?"
The secret service agent was grim. "We believe that the culprit is none other than the Red Skull himself."
"The Red Skull?" Von Harben goggled. "He was mein Vater's third cousin, twice removed, removed that is, for goosestepping through the flower garden. This will be very dangerous."
"We don't care," Amar said. "Nothing can be worse than having a dyryth sniffing up your trail after six sleeps wearing shoes."
* * * * * * * *
Von Harben stood at the aft rail of the super dirigible as the craft landed in a dark field where a 1938 Ford, badly tuned smoked at idle. Gridley and the girls exited the craft, entered the Ford, and headlights swept a large arc as the vehicle churned through the grass back to the dirt road, heading for Hershey. His expression now grim, Erich raised his left wrist to his mouth and, with right index, pressed a button on his watch. "Von Harben to Tracy. Do you read?"
The response was tinny. "Erich! I was becoming worried! Where are you?"
"Dick, we landed near Lancaster. Gridley and two girls left in a dark blue '38 Ford. Something's up. Gridley is babbling Nazi saboteurs in Hershey, but you were right something is amiss. How long do I have to play the babble head German not yet behind bars?"
"Be patient. There's something wrong with the OB network and you're the nearest operative we have. Take the abuse with a smile, and know you are serving your country. Can you leave the ship?"
"I'm not a prisoner. Yes. What...?"
"Monk is in the area. Hold on..." a moment of static and sound of garbled conversation, then "...Monk sees the O-220. Get out and join the Doctor. And," Dick Tracy added, "be careful. The War Department down to the FBI are mighty interested.
"Gotcha. Oh...one thing."
"That La dame, she's a dish. Any info?"
"She's a High Priestess of a defunct and dysfuntional aborigine society—and yes, if I hear you right, she's available."
"That's all I wanted to know. Von Harben, out."
The ex-geologist and Latin scholar climbed out of the dirigible, leaving Captain Hines in charge. He was still happy the day that Hines and his entire crew decided to defect en masse once Hitler became chancellor. Jason Gridley found jobs for both ship and crew patrolling the coasts for enemy subs. Once away from the air leviathin, he saw two shapes detach from the darkness and approach him. They were as odd a lot as you could ask for. The first was a trifle over five feet tall, and nearly as wide. His bulging head seemed to taper to nothing above his wide mouth and shapeless nose. His companion was over six and a half feet tall, and his suit did little to conceal the raw power contained within. The man's hands and face were tanned a deep bronze. His hair was slicked back like a skull cap and was only a few shades lighter in color.
"Hiya, Von Hardin!" the smaller man said in a ridiculously childish voice.
"That's Von Harben," Erich gritted. "Do you have any news for me? Gridley is driving me nuts. I am having trouble keeping up the "good Kraut" persona. I feel like a stereotype from an Edgar Rice Burroughs novel. All I need to do is roll my eyes and holler 'Oi! Oi! I don't t'ink so!'"
"We can't have the Nazis know your real abilities," the bronze giant said. "Monk and I are here to lend our assistance when needed. We have learned that there has been an alliance with John Sunlight, Shiwan Khan, and the mandarin Fu Manchu."
"Good Lord!" Von Harben exclaimed. "Why are they helping the Nazis? Sunlight I can see, but the other two should be fighting the Japanese."
"They hate us worse than the Japanese, I guess, Von Harbor," Monk said.
"They are probably going to double cross both so they can take over. Doc thinks that they have some new terror weapon that is powered by chocolate. We've heard rumors of a super gun called the Fudge Packer."
Captain Hines appeared at the cabin door and hollered. "Message coming through on the Gridley Wave!" he shouted.
"We'll be in touch," said Doc and the two melted back into blackness.
Von Harben raced into the radio room and snatched up the mike. "This is Eric von Harben."
"This is Ulysses Paxton at the Royal Observatory in Helium," came the crackly voice. "I needed to get a precise fix on your location. Kar Komak of Lothar is sending you and Mr. Gridley a package. Prepare to receive."
Without warning, there appeared in the radio room a lovely woman with glistening copper skin and lustrous black hair. She was wearing a simple harness from which depended several weapons, but was otherwise unclothed.
"Who in the name of Sally Rand are you?" Von Harben gasped.
"I am Tavia, wife of Tan Hadron of Hastor," she declared. "All enemies of Eddie beware! The third angel has descended to Earth."
* * * * * * * *
The blonde driver sped toward Hershey. "John sent me to New York for the duration of the hostilities. We haven't met, Mr. Gridley. I am Jane Clayton, one of Eddie's Angels."
Gridley, seated between La and Amar in the backseat, blinked. "I know your husband—swell fellow."
Jane's voice trembled. "He's a bit rough about the edges at times...oh, I hope he is alright! His aircraft was shot down a few months ago." Then, with a brave little laugh, Lady Greystoke inquired: "La, do I scratch out your eyes or can we be friends?"
La's tiny hand touched the driver's shoulder. "Friends, dear. I washed that man out of my hair a long time ago. What do you know?"
"Steve Rogers contacted Eddie after investigating the crime scene. Seems that someone from OBN is involved. Steve could not break away from another case to investigate new leads so Eddie called me. Details are sketchy. It appears Harbenite projectiles were used to penetrate the chocolate vats."
Gridley listened as the girls speculated during the drive. After an hour his head ached from the chatter. Near dawn Jane parked the Ford a block from the Hershey Plant. Watching emergency crews fighting the chocolate spill from the plant, a rap on the rear passenger window startled the car's occupants. Gridley palmed the .45 inside his jacket. He did not draw when he saw the beautiful face beyond the glass. La rolled down the window at his direction while Gridley was uncomfortably aware of lovely limbs pressed against his.
"Jana!" Gridley hurriedly exclaimed. "What are you doing here? Who's watching the kids?"
Jana Gridley, the former Red Flower of Zoram dressed in pert tweed skirt suit, white silk blouse, fedora, and black pumps, was amused by her husband's acute embarrassment. "You're ever the heroic one, dear. Three girls? You can't even handle me."
Jane's choked giggle from the front seat resulted in a chorus of mirth from La, Amar and Jana. Beet red, Gridley was the last to emerge from the Ford. "Okay, okay," he grinned sheepishly, hugging his wife. "Seriously, dear. What are you doing here?"
"Erich sent me, said you needed a third Angel."
"Waitamminit!" Gridley exclaimed, turning to the re-composed Mrs. Clayton, "I thought you were the third angel."
"I am!" she snapped. "This little rock dweller must be an auxillary."
"Rock dweller!" Jana ejaculated. "I'll show you some rocks you peroxide monkey lover!"
The car's two way radio crackled to life before things got really out of hand. "Gridley, it's Von Harben," came the geologist's voice. "I wanted to tell you that Ulysses Paxton just sent us Tavia of Hastor, Eddie's Third Angel."
"Got all I can use right now," Gridley said, keying his mike. "I have two 'Third Angels' already. If you get anymore, line 'em up and get their size. Right now, I could use a height report."
"Vas is los?" Von Harben wondered.
"Just kidding," Gridley assured him. "Listen, I got my own problems right now. Over and out."
He turned to the assemblage of ERB heroines. "Ladies, we have got to get to the bottom of this. The vats were penetrated with Harbenite bullets. Jana, you said Von H sent you, right?"
"Yes, dearest," she said, adjusting the feathers she still wore in her hair even after coming topside. "I can keep men straight, unlike you and this carload of overdressed, roundheeled chippies."
"Enough!" La of Opar snarled, looking for a dagger to snatch. "The High Priestess of the Flaming God can bear much to right wrongs, but I have borne too much!"
"Hold on to your nylons, girls," Gridley roared. "What I meant was, Von H couldn't have sent you, because he was on the dirigible the whole time and claims he has Tavia, wife of Tan Hadron of Hastor on board now. That, and the Harbenite bullets here means something is rotten in Denmark."
"I thought we were in Hershey, dear," Jana pointed out. "The only thing rotten here is the feet of that wench in the capri pants."
"I will remove your tongue, daughter of Zoram," Amar snarled.
Just then, the night was shattered by staccato laughter. It seemed to come from every corner of the factory, bouncing off half-hardened obelisks of chocolate and rippling along barely formed truffles. Jason looked around, and then stared at Jana's feet.
"Jana, your shadow, its moving!" he gulped.
Sure enough, her shadow elongated, then rose up like an ebony cloud until it formed a cloaked figure in a black slouch hat, a red muffler concealing his features, save for his glittering blue eyes. Twin .45's blossomed from each fist, and on his right hand was a purple gem that glowed with crimson fire. The laughter continued on until the figure seemed whole, then it stopped, leaving only the sound of dripping fudge. "Who Knows What Evil Lurks in the Hearts of Men?" came a sibilant whisper from the figure.
"Ummmm, Billy Sunday?" Jane answered.
"Aimee Semple McPherson?" Jason Gridley opined.
"Mae West?" Jana asked.
"You fools, the answer is: The Shadow Knows! Get it right." the figure snapped. "I have some startling information for you."
Von Harben glanced toward the bridge. "I'm going ashore, Captain. Entertain our guest, please." The agile German descended the short ladder. Fore and aft crewmen handled mooring lines to the O-200. "Keep a sharp eye," von Harben barked. "I'll check the perimeter."
Moving to the forest edge away from the dimmed lights on the airship, von Harben walked east, listening intently. "Here!" a hushed voice called. The German stepped into the deep shadows. Two figures, a man and a woman, stepped into view. "It's done," the man said.
"What? No costume, Richard?"
"Haven't worn it since those bastards killed my series. Nobody believes in the Spider anymore. Here..." Von Harben accepted the strangely formed pistol with a slight smile. "Anybody follow you?"
"Nah, Rita kept watch. We got away clean, but this business is..."
"You were well paid, Wentworth," von Harben scowled. "I suggest South America if you wish to enjoy your earnings." Von Harben tucked the pistol inside his shirt. "Goodbye." Bowing to the woman he added, "Fraulein."
* * * * * * * *
Meanwhile, The Shadow holstered his weapons. "Startling information is I'm here to help. What's next, boss?"/p>
Gridley scratched his chin. "We already know what evil lurks and I already have too many cooks. Thanks, but no thanks, begone!"/p>
A hint of pout showed beneath the shadow of The Shadow's shadowy hat. "Well, I never! I—"/p>
Gridley, patience gone, growled "You were never really a bad guy, good guy, or part of the OB Network. Eddie's Angels are on the job. Maybe next time." The Shadow took a deep breath. Jason Gridley scowled. "Don't leave us with that hammy laugh and tag line, just leave. Alright?"/p>
Mumbling, The Shadow faded into the shadows of the nearest building as the sun rose over Hershey, PA./p>
With the fullness of morning, the girl's in Gridley's auto saw the glistening pools of chocolate splashed everywhere. They inhaled the seductive odor of mocha and malted. It was more than they could bear. Stripping off their confining Earth clothes they dove into the brown flood, revelling in its feel, its smell, its taste. Gridley could not watch since his own beloved Jana was among them, and he in turn studied the skies, closing his ears to the moans of unfettered female esctacy. He was startled to see giant butterflies with the wingspreads of P-38's fluttering down. He grabbed a set of binoculars from the car and goggled in disbelief. Riding the giant butterflies were Nazis, led by one flier in silvery bullet-shaped headgear.
"Von Stahlhelm!" he gasped. "He is leading the Monarch Staffel!"
Sure enough, grasped in the six legs of each butterfly was a large bomb.
Before they could line up on the Hershey complex, a set of six twin engine fighters, dark blue in color with red wings soared out the sun, their quad nose guns spitting death. Amid the scream of radial engines came a daunting cry: "Hawk-aaaahhhhhh!"
As broken butterflies began to litter the Hershey countryside, Gridley was aware of another presence. He whirled to find G-8 at his elbow.
"God, how I wish that were me up there!" he whispered. "I'm too old now. So was Von Stahlhelm, but he'll not live to regret one more bizarre creature squadron. You've got to get your girls dressed. We've got to wrap this business up."
"What's up now?" Gridley demanded.
"We think that Von Harben may be a double agent. He recently was observed meeting with Richard Wentworth and Nita Van Sloan. Dick hasn't been the same since he battled the Blue Bustier and we believe that he is working with the enemy in exchange for enough money to retire somewhere."
"You gotta be kidding," Gridley exclaimed. "Von Harben might be a dumb Kraut, but he's true blue. However, there is something fishy about him. Maybe you're right. Where did this info come from?"
"The Avenger?" Gridley whistled.
"You got it. That's not all. We have word that a captured liberty ship landed at Head of Elk, and that some sort of purple shirted legion is marching this way. The only thing that stands between them and the total annihilation of all things chocolate is you and" he turned his head sadly toward the brown encrusted women "them."
* * * * * * * *
Meanwhile, in the wilds of Pennsylvania, just before sunrise, Von Harben left the O-220 and the impatiently imperious Tavia. Driving furiously for two hours the German arrived at his destination where Clark Kent and Lois Lane took a brief interview. As Lois headed toward the waiting cab, Von Harben briefly touched the male reporter's arm. "Stay out of this...you know what I mean."
Kent's eyes narrowed. "Screw this up and not even Otis Adelbert Kline can save you."
"Tell it to Jack Kirby." Von Harben showed no fear. "Just do as I asked."
Kent nodded. "Diana is waiting at the airfield. Good luck."
The German's powerful car sped north five miles to an isolated landing field. The female pilot dressed like Old Glory was appreciated not only for her assistance but for her incredible beauty. Within minutes they were airborne in an invisible jet. "We're almost there. Find your parachute?"
"Ready," the German replied. "Is Steve in place?"
"I hope he is. Damn! Clouds over the target."
"Do your best, doll," von Harben replied as the canopy opened.
Just before Erich jumped, Diana begged, "May I call you?"
"Sorry, doll, my heart belongs to another. How do they say? GERONIMO!"
* * * * * * * *
La, fully blackfaced, as were all the Angels, swam through the chocolate toward the plant. Looking to the girl at her right she asked. "Married?"
"Yes," Jana replied. "He's mine. Wandering eye, but always faithful. I forgive his innocent flirtations. Kill him for teasing your heart and I will kill you."
Amar, near La's left shoulder, chuckled. "Doomed are we, the beautiful."
Jane whispered, a little amused as her combat adrenilin rose. "Can it, girls, we're almost there." Mrs. Clayton stopped near the shattered ruin of a chocolate vat. Her now grim companions drew near. "Look!" Jane softly warned, raising a delicate hand coated in sweet dark chocolate.
There was a wheezing sound from the wreckage. Suddenly, rising from the torn steel vats on girder-like legs was a spider shape, glittering in chromium splendor. A clear canopy topped this mechanical nightmare. Inside, the Angels could see several men in long silk robes with black caps hunched over a series of controls. The thing lurched up, then skittered forward across the brown expanse. The girls stepped back sloughing chocolate. Gridley, seeing the approaching leviathin, found a fire hose. Quickly, he unreeled it and turned its brass wheel.
"Time to wash up, girls," he yelled, leaving G-8 speechless as he gawped at the lumbering metal monster.
A jet of water spurted from the hose. Gridley played it over the girls and the chocolate poured from their lithe limbs in brown rivulets. Not waiting to dry off, the Angels grabbed their clothese and hastily donned them while the spider machine approached. Gridley aimed his hose at the control canopy and sent a mighty blast, but its pressure failed to crack the thick glass. It did cause the operators some consternation, and he kept it going to blind them while the girls dressed. No sooner had they done so than the belly of the monster opened to reveal a long barrelled gun of some sort. Gridley noted that a hose dropped down and one end fell into a pool of chocolate. There was a horrible sucking sound as the brown goo was vaccummed up into the monster.
"Scatter girls!" Gridley warned. "It's those Chinese guys and their Fudge Packer!"
With a bubbling popping noise, the gun erupted with globs of hard fudge.The barrel slewed sideways in an attempt to hit Gridley. He ducked, but had to drop the hose. As the air in the Fudge Packer's line evacuated, its fire soon became a steady stream. Its splattered the blue roadster, covering it until it looked like a giant chocolate easter egg. Gridley shuddered when he contemplated the brown lump could have been him.
The Angels were not inclined to let Fu Manchu and his lackeys get away with their mad scheme. With savage yells, La and Amar vaulted atop wreckage and leaped aboard the gyrating body of the monster machine. One of its occupants, apparently the newly recruited Dr. Yen Sin pointed at the girls, but only the Mysterious Wu Fang responded. John Sunlight, Shiwan Khan, and Fu Manchu were too busy argiuing who should control the monster.
Wu Fang attempted to get the three drivers to stop arguing, finally lining them up and slapping them all three across the face in succession. Fu Manchu was taken aback, and the next thing Wu Fang knew, he was inhaling a green gas which dried him up like a mummy.
The girls tried to break the canopy with the hilts of daggers, but to no avail. Suddenly, vents opened in the machine and a sulfurous yellow vapor erupted. Before it could envelop the girls, a figure swept down on a thin tether and grabbed the girls like a spider getting flies. He swung away nimbly and landed with them on a flat piece of building.
"Who are you?" La gasped.
"I'm your friendly neighborhood archaeologist," said the man, dressed in a leather jacket and battered fedora. His tether seemed to be a worn bullwhip. He whipped a revolver from his belt and unloaded it at the machine, but to no avail. The nozzle of the Fudge Packer swung their way.
Amar looked up, then pointed. "It's a bird!"
La shaded her eyes. "It's a plane!"
The archaeologist looked. "It's a man parachuting, that's all, or my name isn't Jones, and it is."
The chutist was holding a massive pistol in his fist, and suddenly opened up. A steady stream of slugs ripped into the mechanical spider, shattering one of its legs and causing the entire structure to collapse, where it promptly sank into a pool of chocolate without a trace, except for a few bubbles and a black chinese cap with a coral ball.
The girls ran over to where the chutist had landed.
"You!" Amar gasped.
Von Harben grinned, shedding the parachute. "Gridley, let's get these girls out of here. Tracy, Ness, and the rest of Hoover's boys have things under control." The German slipped his arm about La's waist and urgently led her away from the beehive of activity as hundreds of American agents waded into the chocolate muck to capture once and for all the worst of the Yellow Perils.
Gridley, with Jana on his arm, and with Amar and Jane in tow, hurried away from the plant. There were many questions he wished to ask but all were forgotten when he saw the face of a young man waiting beside a modern car of unusual design. "Tom!"
"Get in," Tom replied swiftly. "Move it, folks!"
Upon reaching the city limits ten minutes later Swift's vehicle transformed into an aerial transport. Tom reached into his flight jacket. "Have a message for you, Herr von Harben."
Erich read the radiogram from the O-200 with a frown. Looking to Gridley he sighed. "Damage control, Jason. Princess Tavia is miffed she was left out."
"Tavia?" Gridley ejaculated, concerned over interplanetary relations. At the same time Jana's grip on her husband's arm became painful. "I didn't know she was coming, dear!" Jason pleaded. "Had way too many Angels as it is—and, dear flower," his voice lowering several octaves and becoming more intent, "why the heck are YOU here?"
Von Harben chuckled as the two lovebirds carried on a heated private conversation.
Amar narrowed her eyes. "Harbenite slugs destroyed the vats, Erich."
"Do you think that makes me the bad guy?" Von Harben laughed. "Spider recovered the gun created by my genius at great peril to him and Rita from German saboteurs who got it from Nazi scientists who were compelled by the Furher to build the weapon that was originally only notes left in the family home."
"I believe you," La blushed, snuggling close. Von Harben's attention was instantly and completely diverted.
Jane playfully punched Amar's shoulder. "Ain't it like a scatter-brained scientist to leave World Shaking Plans at home?"
Tavia returned to Barsoom with grateful thanks from the USA for providing her services (as well as $100 million in aid to Tjanath). Paxton, an expatriot American on Barsoom was censured by Warlord John Carter for sending Tavia to Jasoom. He served three courses at the Warlord's Palace and was let off with a warning. Jane Clayton was reunited with her husband in 1946. Both disappeared shortly thereafter. Speculation is that links to Hollywood drove the couple underground. Amar returned home to a warrior's welcome with white and pink fudge as feast desserts. Wentworth and Rita were last seen in Rio de Janeiro (1949). Clark and Lois married in 1977. "Diana" apparently remains an operative of the USA, but no details are available. G-8 vanished, it appears he never existed. Tom Swift, Jr continues to be active in scientific and industrial development. Captain Heins died 19MAR50 and his only claim to fame is passing on the same date as Edgar Rice Burroughs. Favonia cleaned up her life to become the first popular female TV talk show host in Italy (1965). Doctor Savage and his cadre of agents, including Monk who is known to have been involved in the Hershey Operation, remain elusive to all requests for information. Sally Rand stripped for the Astronauts at the Astrodome. The Avenger is a full care patient in a retirement home in North Carolina (1981). Jack Kirby is "#1" as an illustrator.
The Hershey, PA incident was actively suppressed by the US Government during and after World War II. The details of the event were sealed because of the use of Harbenite weapons. Harbenite weapons have since been replaced by more refined weaponry (1980).
We have the basic information of this pivotal attack on America during World War II, but it is highly unlikely we will ever have the FULL TRUTH of the Hershey, PA. Chocolate Incident.
Addendum to the Epilog.
Richard Wentworth at the time was posing as a massage therapist for Rita Hayworth, who accompanied him to Hershey. Elliott Ness and Dick Tracy battled the Red Skull to a standstill until the tide was turned by the unexpected arrival of Captain America. The Yellow Peril became the Chocolate gang at Sing Sing until one day in 1954 when their cell was replaced by a smoking crater. Shortly thereafter, China's nuclear program took an upswing. Tom Swift was so—er—swift in whisking our Angels away from Hershey that he forgot the Purple Invasion under Maximilian Von der Tann of Lutha. The Luthan purple shirts got lost and proceeded to sack Newark, Delaware instead. They got drunk at a local university watering hole and were promptly swept up by the Delaware State Militia under the guidance of Secret Service Operator 5, known to some as Jimmy Christopher. They were later rehabilitated by Barney Custer of Beatrice Nebraska and served as cow-punchers on his ranch, and were important swing voters in every Bob Dole election. La and Von Harben? Well, this is a family show, folks, so I'll leave it to your imagination. Jason Gridley continued to tinker with the Gridley wave until he was bought out by Sony, who used his inventions in the development of the Betamax after a long consulation with Abner Perry.