The Android Princess Warriors from Neptune

A 15-Chapter Star-Spangled Serial in Space!

by Mike Ferguson
About the author

Previously: Dixie Sterling and Agent 18 are summoned to the secret base known as Crimson Omega, while in orbit around Mars, Jack Coogan and Butch Murdock are attacked by an alien spaceship!

Chapter Two -Where Eagles Dare!

THE STEEL DOORS TO THE MAIN HANGAR of Crimson Omega base swung wide open. The hangar, filled with ultra-advanced jet fighters, gamma generators, and experimental spaceships, suddenly welcomed in a strange new visitor -- a slick black Cadillac.  Elite government soldiers standing on walkways high above the hangar floor trained their electron rifles at the Cadillac, prepared for any sort of trickery.  Tensions were riding high at Crimson Omega, and the soldiers knew that any mistakes on their part might be the end of apple pie and the American Dream.

Agent 18 and the curvaceous Dixie Sterling slid out of the Cadillac. Agent 18 looked slowly around the hangar, gave the troops a knowing grin, and blew a ring of smoke into the air.  The soldiers breathed a collective sigh of relief and lowered their rifles.  Things were starting to look a little more like sunshine.

A man stormed out of the hangar shadows, heading right over towards Dixie and Agent 18.  Dixie recognized him, a burly giant with gray in his temples and fire in his eyes. General Julius Hammer III was a military legend, famous for kicking Nazi tail in the Second World War.  Some said he'd single-handedly brought about the end of that war, that he'd parachuted into Berlin in April 1945 and personally knocked off Hitler in the bunker. Dixie wasn't too sure if that particular tale was true, but she did know that the General was tough enough to chew steel nails and spit out bullets. General Hammer was the real deal, an all-American hero.

The general finally reached the Cadillac.  He reached for Dixie's hand and kissed it gently.  "My dear," he said warmly, "it's been quite a while."

"Too long," murmured Dixie.

General Hammer turned to Agent 18.  "And you," said the general, shaking Agent 18's hand, "I was beginning to think that you weren't real.  After all, the Soviets think that Mister Gunn is a myth . . . fortunately, we know better."

"Trust me, sir," said Agent 18, a hint of modesty in his voice, "I'm no myth."

Dixie's jaw dropped.  "You . . . you're Mister Gunn?  Mister Victor E. Gunn?"

"That's right, toots," answered Agent 18.  "The one and only living legend. Try not to wear out the name, it's supposed to be top secret."

General Hammer coughed.  "Now that the pleasantries have been exchanged," said the general, "can we get back to business?"

"What? . . . oh, yes, of course," said Dixie, feeling flustered.  "Of course."

"You can bet your sweet Aunt Martha that we can get down to brass tacks, General," said Mister Gunn, lighting a fresh cigarette.  "Why did the President send us here?  To slap around some Commie no-goods?"

"No," answered General Hammer.  Wordlessly, the general pressed a button on his silver wristwatch.  Floodlights in the hangar ceiling came to life, pointing at a sleek, silver, majestic object in the heart of the Crimson Omega base . . . an honest-to-goodness spaceship.  The general pointed ominously at the ship.

"The President," said General Hammer, "wants the two of you to slap around an alien menace."

"Oh my," said Dixie, her voice filled with wonder.

"Piece of cake," said Mister Gunn, his voice filled with nonchalance.


Coogan crawled out of the wrecked escape hatch of Scorpio One. Silently, he cursed the blasted arrogance of the villainous aliens.  He'd almost managed to evade those troublesome alien laser torpedoes, dodging and weaving around them just like he'd dodged around the Luftwaffe over Berlin.  The torpedoes had some sort of super gizmo inside them, though, something that made them smart, so just when he'd finally thought that he and Murdock were safe . . . boom. The mega-engine and atomic reactors had gone kaplooie. Scorpio One had crashed into the side of a giant Martian mountain.

Coogan looked back at the Scorpio One.  Hot tears almost filled his eyes, but he bravely fought them back. There was no time to mourn the best damn American spaceship ever to grace the stars, and besides, he wouldn't be able to wipe the tears from his eyes, not while wearing his space enviro-helmet. Instead, he watched the wreckage, waiting for his freckle-faced buddy Murdock to come out.

Slowly, Coogan's co-pilot Murdock emerged from the escape hatch as well. Murdock looked up at Coogan as he got out, waved feebly at his commanding officer . . . and then collapsed on the soil of the Red Planet.

Coogan rushed over to Murdock's side.  "Murdock, buddy," Coogan said, his eyes filled with worry, "come on!  Ain't no time for lolly-gagging!"

"I'm . . . I'm a goner, Coogan," whispered Murdock.  "I don't think I'm going to make it.  Save yourself."  Through the glass of his enviro-helmet, Coogan could see a trickle of blood tumbling down his partner's forehead. Poor guy. Baby-faced Murdock was more of a scientist than a soldier, just a wide-eyed, innocent rookie in the American Rocket Corps.  The sap deserved better . . . and Coogan knew exactly what had to be done.

"On your feet, soldier," Coogan said to Murdock.  He grabbed Murdock's arm. "You're not going to die.  Nobody's pushing up Martian daisies while I'm commander of this mission."

"But, Coogan . . ."

"You're going to live, Butch," Coogan said quietly, "and that's an order."

Murdock slowly stood up.  He took a few deep breaths.

"Understood, sir," said Murdock.  With Coogan's help, Murdock slowly started to limp away from the wreckage of Scorpio One.

Kicking up crimson clouds of dust, Coogan and Murdock moved gradually over to a nearby crater, hoping to hide from their alien adversaries.  There was no point in staying with the Scorpio One. Unless Earth Base could send a rescue ship and a bunch of space mechanics up to Mars pronto, the odds of going home on Scorpio One were slim to none.  Their only hope of survival was to hide on the Red Planet until the cavalry arrived.

From inside the crater, Coogan could see a huge alien spaceship flying high in the sky above.  The ship looked like a massive silver buzzard, hungry and evil.  Coogan knew that the ship was hunting for him and for Murdock.  The monsters on board the alien ship probably wanted to kill them, or even worse, conduct some kind of sick experiments on them.

"No way," Coogan said.  "Not today." He pulled his blaster gun out of its holster.

"What . . . what are you doing, Coogan?" asked Murdock.

The blaster began to whine softly as Coogan activated its power bullets. "No scaly, slime-sucking alien creepazoids are going to take us prisoner, that's for sure."

Suddenly, there was a massive explosion!  Coogan was knocked face-first to the Martian dirt. His gun flew into the cold Martian air, landing just a few feet away from his gloved hands.  He couldn't see what had happened to Murdock.  Coogan tried to get up, but couldn't.  Something sharp and deadly was starting to dig into his back.  He tried to reach for his blaster, but a sleek, black stiletto-heeled boot kicked the weapon far, far away.

"You, human male," a stern, sultry voice said to the captive Coogan, "are my prisoner."

Previous episode: Attack on the Scorpio!
Next episode: Freedom is a Four-Letter Word!

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The Android Princess Warriors from Neptune is copyright Mike Ferguson.