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The Spirit 02/13/1949

COVER IMAGE NOT FOUND February 13th, 1949

It was sometime between two-forty and two-fifty-three on February 12th when Cracker Barl and "Combo" Nathan entered the Central Bank, intent on robbing it. All went well until they met with Teller #3 and drew their weapons. Their carefully laid plans hadn't accounted for the sudden explosion that followed. Barl was killed, while the teller and "Combo" Nathan's remains were disintegrated. Or so it would appear. The Spirit arrived at the bank, noticing the remains of Cracker, and the absence of bloodstains from the other two. Commissioner Dolan notes that the walls are still hot from the explosion. A guard hands the Spirit a picture of Miss Cosmek, the teller who has been working at the bank for about a year. As he requests Miss Cosmek's home address, another officer whistles at the beauty in the photograph.

At the apartment, not a stick of furniture is to be found. The landlady tells the Spirit that Miss Cosmek kept a country house at "Lookout Point" Beach. She also tells him about Mister Nimbus, the next-door neighbor who works at the weather department. There is also nothing to be found in Nimbus's apartment, as well. Mrs. Pizza, the landlady, lends him the phone, and the Spirit calls Dolan at police headquarters. He wants a departmental check on Mr. Nimbus at the weather bureau and a call back. Later, he learns that Nimbus has no known criminal record, no links with subversive groups, and has been working at the weather bureau for about a year. Before calling it a day, the Spirit decides to visit Lookout Point. As the waves continue, a driver drops his fare near Miss Cosmek's house.

After kicking the door in, and making his way inside, the Spirit discovers an observatory and "Combo" inside. When his gag is removed, "Combo" tries to warn him about Cosmek... ZAP All that's left is are the charred remains of a chair. If he moves a muscle, Miss Cosmek will do the same to him. Before this can happen, the teller gets the rug pulled from under her.

He tries to reach for the fallen weapon, but she flips a switch, and DZZZT the overhead light makes short work of it. Agent Cosmek receives a call from her Martian home base. The other agent has told them about the bank robbery. She had thought that he would cover for her, but now they know everything. She is a Martian intelligence agent, whose job was to get into the banking system and make reports. Yesterday when Barl and "Combo" tried to rob the bank, Cosmek knew that her identity would be uncovered in the resulting police investigation. It was she who caused the explosion and "Combo" came after her. The Spirit knows that for her failure, she'll probably have to go back to Mars. The thing is, she doesn't want to leave Earth.

On Mars, lives are ruled with scientific efficiency, and the people are as robots. On Earth, Cosmek discovered the warm emotions, which are forbidden on her home planet. It would be as a living death to return to Mars now. She has a plan for them to hide out in the mountains for a year. The other agent's voice is heard on the speaker. Had he known how weak she would turn out to be on Earth, he wouldn't have recommended her for the assignment. No matter where she goes, the others will find her. Cosmek is determined not to come back alive and they will have no further use of this laboratory. At the police hospital, Dolan interrogates Miss Cosmek, and learns that the teller believes herself to be an agent from Mars. In the hallway, the Commissioner figures that it's an insanity plea to avoid a murder rap. The Spirit wonders if she's been telling the truth. In order to prove it to Dolan, he'll have to find the other agent.

At the Central City Weather Bureau, the Spirit takes a seat. Miss Colfront informs Mister Nimbus that he has a visitor from the police. He gives her the weather reports for the next three days. Mr. Nimbus is afraid that he'll be gone for quite some time. It's uncanny how he's able to predicate the weather so accurately. Ever since he joined the department a year ago, they haven't been wrong once. Mr. Nimbus clocks out for the day. At his locker, he dons his hat and coat. He then straps on his rocket pack, takes a moment to check the prevailing winds, and rockets his way towards the clouds above.

Miss Cosmek and Mr. Nimbus are both strange visitors from another planet.

Theirs is a Mars quite different from that visited by John Carter and left by J'onn J'onzz.

A picture is worth a thousand words.

A picture of Miss Cosmek is worth one wolf whistle.

Steve Chung