Following the cult leader’s sudden crash to the floor, the sound stage went quiet. Chaplin cried out for someone to help Mr. Edison who was crumplednext to his machine. Les, Penelope and others rushed to his aid while Opal, Dash and Percy riffled through the bodies of the invaders. Opal noted that the lightning projector did not seem of earthly design while the others could not find any distinguishing marks on the fallen attackers.
Penelope stabilized Mr. Edison and Joe attended to the wounds of the others. Chaplin ordered Frankie to call their ‘people’ to deal with the situation and the group loaded Edison on a makeshift gurney and he vanished down the hallway.
Percy told the group that the symbol of the attackers coveralls was from a group of white magicians known as the Ordo Adeptorum Inivisiblum who were working to bring about the Aeon of Ma’at. Apparently, his involved taking orders from an ancient Egyptian goddess.
Penelope demanded to know exactly what was going on, and Chaplin deferred her to Charlie Heathens for explanations as there was much planning to complete if the mission was still going out tonight. The group largely fell in line and prepared to do battle with the Martians.
They gathered up their gear and before the blue moon set they were ready to be projected by the Mass Kinetoscope to the red planet. There they were to meet up with ’Edison’s Man’ Clarence Dally in the city of Merineum and begin the fight.
Unfortunately, the machine must have shifted during the battle. When the noise and the searing light faded they found themselves in a sandy badlands in the haze of a rapidly setting sun. They quickly put on breathing equipment and sought high ground. There they saw a deep canyon in the distance, and Opal told them that the Martians build their cities on Canyon walls to avoid the meteors that constantly strike the southern climes. They also saw a straight-line depression that ran toward the canyon, and decided to follow it.
The sun set as they made their way down, and they reached an abandoned canal in about an hour. It was dry and fairly filled with soft sand. They decided to follow along its side toward the canyon.
After another hour’s travel they came to a band in the canal with some strange growths in the basin. Charlie climbed down and found a growth of woody reeds— some of them recently chewed. The others climbed down and confirmed this.
They moved through the reeds some distance and spotted movement in the rocks above. A gigantic multi-legged with a dark mane cat stepped out, roared and fled as Penelope and Les fired at it.
They decided to send Charlie up to scout, and it was not long before he saw another of these creatures on the far side of the canal. While he was trying to get a better look he was jumped from behind by a third creature.
The group scattered, Joe charging, Dash and Les closing and Crispin diving for cover. Penelope and Opal fired from their position while Frankie moved to open ground to capture the action on film.
Charlie avoided the worst of the creatures attacks while Joe stabbed it with his survival knife. Charlie took this opportunity to dive away and stumbled down the bank. Shots fired out from the canal and the creature was riddled with bullets and shot.
The gigantic purple and gold feline crumpled to the sand, but another leaped from the far edge and landed on Crispin, tearing at his flesh cruelly. The group turned back to face the new danger and began to fire.
Meanwhile, some of our heroes heard the clamor of arms and shouts of men over the gunfire. They stayed focused on the creature that stood over the shaken magician and their combined gunfire felled the beast. But their victory seemed short-lived, as they found themselves surrounded by a group of dusky humans standing on either edge of the canal brandishing spears.
Mighty Joe dropped his knife and raised his hands in surrender…