Dreaming And Plotting


By ParisPhoto

The return of AlphaMan on the scene was a real blow to evil-doers, more than doubling the effective crime-fighting force the boys had been able to supply. AlphaMan continued his treatments, and now that he was able to work, the boys could resume their own treatments. This was essential for the weeks with no exposure to superspunk had begun to take their toll and they had begun to lose muscle size and strength.

They now had the freedom to think about the future of the boys. DeLeone wanted them to enroll in the local university. AlphaMan had no objection, but reminded them all that they must keep in mind careers that would allow them to continue to act in their superhero identities. Ben thought of working as a computer consultant, Carl of joining the Special Forces, Dan of becoming a journalist ("For what, the Daily Planet?" teased Ethan), while Ethan dreamt of becoming a private investigator and getting Ace Martin to take him on as an associate.

While AlphaMan and the BetaBoys were enjoying their reunion and dreaming of the future, others, less well-intentioned, were planning their revenge on the new superhero team. For these keen observers of superhero activity, the arrival of the four new superheroes, the eclipse of AlphaMan, the whole bodybuilding contest episode and its disastrous consequences had provided useful clues for these villains and crooks.

Among these was the Intoxicator, a particularly perverse supervillain who had been defeated by AlphaMan on several occasions. He had recently been released from prison and had disappeared from sight, despite the surveillance of the police and the efforts of AlphaMan, now joined by the BetaBoys, to find him and bring him to justice for his parole violation (and most likely for the new crimes he would have committed in the interim).

The Intoxicator was a brilliant scientist gone mad, who had on several occasions attempted to blackmail world governments with the threat of biological terrorism. In his last confrontation with AlphaMan, the villain had been exposed to a virus that attacked his heart muscle. He had been saved by the use of an external artificial heart, but the equipment was far too large for easy movement and required large amounts of electricity from a secure source. This made his complete disappearance surprising, In fact, he was being helped and financed by the Power Baron who was now in prison thanks to the BetaBoys. The Baron was hosting the Intoxicator in an abandoned experimental geothermal power station. The station had been blasted into a mountainside not more than 100 miles from DeLeone's own lab in order to take advantage of the underlying hot springs. The Baron could not bear the thought of a renewable energy supply that might replace his nuclear plants, and had bought out the company that had built the experimental station simply in order to shut it down. For the Intoxicator it offered a hide-out with abundant electrical power once the mothballed equipment was put into operation again.

Based on past reports of AlphaMan's activities and his own experiences, and most importantly based on the multiple events of the past year, the Intoxicator was developing a plan to finally neutralize his arch-enemy. The villain had always found AlphaMan almost totally unaffected by his biological weapons and so powerful that he was able to fend off any attack by the Intoxicator's henchmen. He thought he had now found a way around these problems. •

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