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You are in: Galleries > Wonder Woman > Volume One > Issues 301-329 > Issue 327

Issue Number: 327
Published: September/October, 1985
Cover Artists: Ed Barreto
Writer: Mindy Newell
Pencils: Don Heck
Inker: Don Heck
Letterer: Helen Vesik
Colourist: Nansi Hoolahan
Editor: Alan Gold
Story Title: A World in Chaos
 
Main Characters (in order of appearance):
Tezcatlipoca Gene Lewis Major Keith Griggs
Lieutenant Lauren Haley Wonder Woman
(Diana Prince)
Etta Candy
Howard Huckaby Senator Covington General Covington
Lisa Abernathy Antiope Paula

Cover of Issue 327

Comments:

None.

Synopsis:

Tezcatlipoca revels in their shock and fear, gloating that he will enjoy what little time they have left and that the cosmos will choke on its own mad laughter. A still struggling Lauren spits defiantly that she is certainly not laughing. Keith orders her to keep quiet as she does not know what she is dealing with here. She replies that of course she knows who this is - it is another of his "old amigos" just like the that double crosser Montez!

As she talks, Gene Lewis crouches down and removes a gun he has tucked in his boot. He points at the Aztec God and instructs him to put the girl down. Keith turns and grapples with the reporter, telling him to put the weapon down in case he hits Lauren. He tells Gene that they are dealing with something supernatural and his gun will not even put a dent in Tezcatlipoca!  But the reporter is unconvinced and accuses Keith of being a coward, warning him to remove his hand or else it will get blown off. Tezcatlipoca watches the scuffle and laughs, while Lauren pleads with them to stop the madness. But as the two men fall to the floor still struggling for control of the gun it goes off...

High in the sky not far away from the Aztec temple, Wonder Woman streaks towards her destination on board the invisible plane. Suddenly, the plane begins to buck her control. She can see that the air speed is increasing but her instruments indicate a loss of power which does not make sense. Whatever the cause though, she realises that even her plane cannot withstand this much stress for long and will break up if she cannot stop it! All around her the sky turns blood red and lightning splits the air beneath a blazing sun. As the plane continues to tumble out of control Wonder Woman tries to understand what is happening and where she is. Never has she permitted herself to fail - fearlessly she has faced impossible odds and seized unlikely victory through determination. But as rain pelts her invisible plane in a sanity shattering barrage she begins to wonder whether this is the fore-dreaded end of days? Just then she spies an opening in the clouds as if the sky itself were rent and forces within it suck everything into its centre. She watches trees, vehicles and even people disappear into the vortex and wonders how on earth she can fight such a thing and save those people when she cannot even save herself? And then another surge of turbulence takes the plane and sends her tumbling through the hole...

Back inside the temple, Keith and Gene look on in horror at what they have done. The bullet has hit Lauren, killing her. A disappointed Aztec God looks down at her limp form in his hand and says that it is a pity as he had such plans for her. Then, he suddenly curses himself for having slept too long and forgetting that he has a temper. Keith and Gene are hit by a blast of dust and wind sucking them towards the God. As they helplessly tumble towards him, Tezcatlipoca tells them that henceforth they will know the curse of endless cycles - life without start and without end! And then before their eyes the Aztec God disappears...

Meanwhile in Washington D.C. Etta is taking a stroll through the park with much on her mind. With everything that has happened recently and now with the addition of the whole Tropidor situation, she hardly knows where the line is drawn between following orders and insubordination. Just then she hears her name called and turns to see Howard standing there. He says that he had been calling her six or seven times and she apologises for being so distracted. He invites her to some lunch “al fresco” and soon they are sitting on the grass with a pizza and coke. Etta says to Howard that it is very sweet of him to do this but she is really not that hungry. Seeing she is not herself he asks whether he has done something to annoy her? Is it because he had thought she was Wonder Woman? She tells him not to be so silly and if anything, she was flattered he had thought so. She then tells him to eat up and ensures the subject is duly changed. But she continues to think to herself whether it would be fair to involve Diana in all of this? It would mean she would be going behind Darnell’s back which is something she has never done before and should not even be thinking of doing.

Not far away a limousine pulls up and Senator Brad Covington gets out. He turns and takes the hand of the woman inside, thanking her for giving him a lift in such style. The woman, who is the same stranger who has been monitoring Diana’s movements closely, replies that it was her pleasure and soon he will be travelling in such style all the time. He shakes her hand and says that he cannot fail with such an influential supporter as her. She tells him he is a charming man and with that, closes the door and is driven off.

Etta and Howard watch Brad wave the limo off and Howard asks Etta who he has come to visit? Etta says that he knows as well as she does that Covington has got a hankering to pin something on General Darnell, which means she had better get back to the office. Howard tells her to relax and adds that the General can take care of himself. She could also use some sun as she looks awfully pale. She reluctantly agrees and rests her head on his shoulder. Howard thinks to himself that Covington had instructed him to keep Etta busy so why does he fell so damn guilty doing so?

Wonder Woman struggles with the plane's controls...Elsewhere, Wonder Woman is still struggling to stay conscious against the tremendous G-Forces on her plane. She has lost track of how long she has been tumbling in the black void but suddenly sees a chink of light as the clouds break up. At last the plane drifts clear and she is free once more! As she takes back control of her plane she realises that by some miracle the storm has brought her right over Montez's Pyramid hideaway. She can see no signs of the other poor souls who were caught up in the vortex and she also becomes aware that there is something else wrong. The Pyramid complex should be in ruins but the city below seems to be as good as new! She decides not to jump to any conclusions just yet and takes the plane down for a closer look.

As she over flies the main Pyramid though she sees that a full blown sacrificial ceremony is taking place! A priest stands atop the temple addressing the crowds below and she decides she had better get down there. She climbs out and uses the air currents to drift down to the ground. As she touches down she finds herself surrounded by armed Aztec soldiers. She tells them in their own tongue she means them no harm but the soldiers simply stare at her blankly. She continues that she has not come here to judge their religious beliefs and is merely here to see Montez. One of the men warns her not to make any trouble while here and leads her to towards the temple. She wonders why he is not speaking in Spanish and wonders what sort of deal Montez has struck with these people? Everyone around her is in ancient dress and look at her so strangely - women and children included. She was not even aware there were so many Aztecs left in this century. But there is something wrong with this whole picture. There is no hint of modern technology so how could an entire culture remain so insulated in a country that has the world's attention? She wonders whether perhaps the strange storm has transported her to the past somehow? The temple ahead of them shows no sign of wear through the centuries and is clean and well cared for. She muses to herself that if these people think they are going to sacrifice her then they are mistaken.

Just then she notices that there is activity up on the top of the temple. The priest is chanting an incantation and mist is swirling up around him. Figures begin to emerge in the clouds of smoke and Keith, Gene and Lauren materialise dressed in ancient Aztec garments. The men are amazed to see that Lauren is alive and wonder what on earth is going on? Just then the towering figure of Tezcatlipoca also materialises above them and smiles down at the three of them. Wonder Woman now understands who is behind all of this and realises that he plans to kill her friends!

Many hundreds of miles away at the Pentagon, General Darnell looks out of his office window dwelling on the fact that he has heard no word from Keith or Lauren yet. Still, it is too early to worry and his own contact assured him that Montez was on the level. Once they have pulled of this mission the senators on Capitol Hill will not be so quick to complain about "illegal intervention". He cannot understand what has happened to his country - when a man has to resort to underhand tactics to do what is right.

Just then Brad Covington enters the office unannounced and Darnell rages why Etta had let him in. Covington replies that he must not blame Lt. Candy because she was not at her desk to stop him. Darnell tells him to get out at once but Covington replies that it would make an interesting headline on tonight's news. He then continues that he has come here to give Darnell fair warning that he is on to the General's little games concerning Tropidor and to Wonder Woman's involvement with this department. With that he removes a photo from his folder which depicts the Amazon Princess fighting in the street with government soldiers in Tropidor! Covington adds that this will not do wonders for the lady's reputation. Darnell replies that he is barking up the wrong tree. Covington in turn responds that she is not the only thing he has against Darnell and that he will be opening a congressional hearing on the whole matter...

Elsewhere across town at the TV studios where Lisa Abernathy works, she is being hounded by her boss over what she knows about Senator Covington. She tells him that it is over between her and Brad and that she will never reveal what he has told her in confidence, no matter who questions her - even if it is her boss! He replies that he does not want to get tough with her and it was not him who asked about her personal life - it was her who volunteered. He adds that her boyfriend is involved in a scandal that could be as big as Watergate. He holds up a picture and she asks what that has got to do with anything? He responds that they have evidence that Darnell has been secretly funding a bloodbath of a revolution, against orders, and Wonder Woman is backing him up! With that, her boss leaves the photo of the Amazon Princess fighting on the desk and turns to leave, adding that Lisa has a duty to cover all the bases and that she should phone Covington up and tell him that she wants to meet him...

Back at the Aztec Pyramid, Wonder Woman realises that Montez must have been dabbling in Aztec magic and somehow made it possible for Tezcatlipoca to return. As she watches in horror, Keith is grabbed by the priest's henchmen and laid down on the sacrificial stone table. The priest steps forward and raises a dagger above his head, chanting. Gene and Lauren are held by other Aztec henchmen watching the scene before them unable to believe it is real, while all the time the Aztec God laughs. Wonder Woman races up the steps and yells out that if they dare harm Keith they shall face her fury! Hearing her voice, Tezcatlipoca tells her that as a Greek she is out of place here in his universe and that her interference is irrelevant. She charges up the Pyramid and says that she can stop him and she will! But the priest brings the dagger down and plunges it deep into Keith's heart before she can reach him! Lauren screams and Gene stares in horror while the smiling Aztec God bellows " The Old World staggers and dies while the new begins in chaos!".

Wonder Woman races up the steps but is too late to save Keith from being sacrificed!At the base of the Pyramid, Wonder Woman sees a commotion at the top of the Pyramid and once again thinks to herself that Montez must have been dabbling in Aztec magic. Keith is laid down on the sacrificial table again and the priest steps forward. Wonder Woman charges up the steps and tries to stop the sacrifice but once more she is too late and Keith dies! Tezcatlipoca smiles and tells the Amazon that once more the cycle has completed. And again, Wonder Woman finds herself looking on in horror as Keith is prepared for sacrifice. But even as she yells again that harming Keith will mean they must face her fury, she is aware the words are already in her memory somehow. Nevertheless she charges up the steps and Keith dies once more. The laughing Aztec God cries out "You see Amazon? It's impossible! This universe is mine to play with as I will!".

On Paradise Island meanwhile, a couple of Amazon guards comment on how quiet the island seems tonight - almost as if it is deserted. Indeed, the torches burn brightly instead on Science Island where Antiope addresses the gathered Amazons. She tells them that Hippolyta has lost the power to command but some of the Amazons accuse her of speaking treason.  She replies that the traitors are those who would destroy their way of life. This queen of theirs has shamelessly lied to her own daughter, commanding them to back her false stories. Thus they have lost their Princess who, in righteous anger, has turned her back on her faithless sisters. Sophia instead now guides their queen - an outsider, a criminal in her own world, who lived by terrorism and deceit! The Amazons need a ruler who regards their way of life as sacred and she proposes it be Paula! The listening Amazons however have been swayed by the words of Antiope as she had planned all along and cry out that instead of Paula, it should be her that leads them!

Hidden in the shadows, another Amazon listens to the words spoken and thinks to herself that after 3000 years, Cassandra's vision comes true, that "The Golden Girdle falls from the Horse-Woman's hand!". The Amazon decides it is time to drop her mortal guise and report this to her brethren on Mount Olympus, for as Hippolyta mourns for Diana, so Paradise dies!

And elsewhere, once more the horrific cycle of events runs its course at the Aztec Pyramid. As Wonder Woman rushes up the steps she suddenly realises what is happening. Somehow, Tezcatlipoca has created a time loop and no matter how many times she races up these steps Keith will die over and over again. Her only hope is to destroy the time loop itself. Straining against her impulses, she refuses to go along with it. She exclaims to Artemis to grant her the strength of will to stop this nightmare. Tezcatlipoca tells her that the “Hussies of Olympus” have no authority here! Still she refuses to step forward, refusing to interfere with the sacrifice taking place in front of her eyes. The Aztec God urges her to hurry before it is too late but she tells him that he has lost. He moans that he wants one more go round and she realises he is losing control. He warns her that if she defies him chaos will be loosed throughout the world! As he speaks, all around them time seems to be running in reverse. The Pyramids start to age faster and faster and the Aztecs helplessly return to the dust of time. The Aztec God himself begins to dissolve into a whirlwind upon which his laughter still carries.

Wonder Woman races to the top of the Pyramid where Keith, Lauren and Gene find themselves back in their own clothing again. She tells them to follow her as the whole place is about to implode upon itself. They are all confused but she has no time to explain to them as they race back down the steps. The whirlwind that is Tezcatlipoca asks where they are running to? He tells them there is no place to hide from the wind and that they should surrender now. As the vortex of wind whips all around them Keith, Gene and Lauren become increasingly disorientated. Lauren feels her head where she has a bullet wound on her temple and starts to feel dizzy. Wonder Woman asks her if she can make it to the plane and although the girl says she will try, the Amazon Princess scoops her up in her arms and races down the steps followed by the two men. They reach the waiting plane and Wonder Woman gently places Lauren in the cockpit. Keith tells her that the plane will never get off the ground with all the extra weight but the Amazon replies that they have no choice!

Once they have all managed to squeeze aboard, the plane takes off and in response, Tezcatlipoca churns up more turbulence to the point where it is almost more then the plane can take. The Aztec God bellows that what they race to escape to on the other side is the end of all! With that he disappears into himself and as she wrestles with the controls, Wonder Woman sees ahead of them the same anomaly that brought her here. Although the plane has suffered a lot of stress already, she knows there is really no choice but to fly into the vortex again and pray they survive! Again there is the mind splitting, gut wrenching, spinning madness and again she fights to control her plane and to hold down a scream. But finally they break free and as the passengers sigh with relief that the roller coaster ride is over, they suddenly realise that the sky is blood red! They wonder whether perhaps they have not made it to the other side at all and are still in the realm of Tezcatlipoca, but they see Gene's abandoned car down on the road below confirming that they are indeed back in the real world.

Something is very wrong though as the instrument panel on the plane is going crazy. Keith suggests that perhaps it was affected by the time warp. Wonder Woman warily replies that it could be one possibility of many. She touches the plane down on the road and Keith helps the woozy Lauren out of the cockpit followed by Gene. Wonder Woman bids them a safe journey back to the town and Keith assures her that they will be all right. Gene jokes that after being human sacrifices, what harm is a little warfare? Wonder Woman replies that she has a feeling Mankind's disputes no longer count for much anymore.

With that she takes off and as they watch the vapour trail left behind by the invisible plane, Gene says that it sounded like Wonder Woman was talking about “Doomsday“ itself. He then indicates for them to get in the car so that they can get back to civilisation.

And back on board the robot plane, the sense of dread nearly overwhelms the Amazon Princess. She wonders to herself if even all the heroes of the world can possibly stand against what awaits them?

To be continued...

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