This issue sees a return to cover images that reflect the story line.
This issue sees a return to cover images that reflect the story line.
Having pinned Colonel Steve Trevor to the ground, Aegeus tells him that he will be killed first, followed by the accursed Amazon! Aegeus will have his revenge! At that moment he hears a voice say “Not while I’m around!” and turns to see Wonder Woman racing up the steps.
He replies that this has worked out better then he had hoped as he has been longing for a rematch with her for months. She responds that if it is a rematch he wants then that is what he will get, although the outcome will be the same as before. She then unhooks her lasso and easily ensnares him in its golden coils. However, as she orders him to surrender he simply uses his dagger to slice thought the glowing rope!
Wonder Woman cannot believe her eyes as no one has ever been able to cut her lasso before as it is supposed to be unbreakable! A grinning Aegeus tells her that when they last met he had wielded Zeus’s Thunderbolts but she had still managed to defeat him. He had therefore used his last bit of magic to flee to Mount Olympus. There he had found a Patron – one who saw in him the qualities of greatness – and who had helped him gain possession of Vulcan’s Dagger!
Wonder Woman’s response is to use her lasso as a whip and dislodge the Dagger in his hand. She then slaps him across the face before removing the other Daggers from his belt while he is still stunned. She turns to Steve and says to Aegeus that he will be less than nothing if he has hurt him badly. She crouches by his side and sees he is still conscious.
A weak Steve whispers a warning to her and she looks around to see several Daggers flying at her. She uses her bracelets to deflect the oncoming projectiles, being careful how she does so. She recalls that the legends tell of how Vulcan’s Daggers can cut through anything. Suddenly, as if to prove her worst fears true, a Dagger shatters one of her bracelets. Instantly, as per Aphrodite’s Law, she begins to lose control of her composure and starts to give way to the uncontrolled rage and insanity within her.
She huddles down on the steps, trying to focus. Aegeus sees her and assumes she is cowering before him. He tells her it will soon be over and that the God of War will be pleased she has been killed. As he advances with a Dagger to finish her off he adds that the God had helped him while on Olympus but that he is still a free agent. His current Employer did not ask for her death, so the pleasure will be all his!
As Aegeus rants, Steve sees a chance to help Wonder Woman and uses his last ounce of strength to kick away Aegeus’s feet from under him. He topples over and the Amazing Amazon sees the chance that Steve has given her. Keeping her composure as best she can, she gets to her feet as Aegeus does the same. As he lunges at her again with his Daggers she uses his own rashness against him. Moving swiftly she grabs one of his arms, then the other, preventing him reaching her with his weapons. She then launches off the ground riding the air currents and takes Aegeus up and away with her. The struggling Aegeus warms her this is only a holding action and one she dare not prolong while Trevor’s life is slipping away. She replies that she will do whatever it takes to stop him and suddenly dives towards a park below. Aegeus panics at this unexpected rash move and fears he will be smashed into a pulp. At the last moment he uses his daggers to cut the very earth away before him while Wonder Woman begins to spin him. He tells her that as long as she keeps this up he can keep digging. She calmly replies that this is her intention and leaves him to carry on downwards, taken by his own momentum.
She flies back to Steve and soon he is safely in a hospital bed watched over by a concerned Amazon Princess. The Doctor tells her that Steve’s condition is worsening as they have been unable to remove the Dagger in him. Wonder Woman replies that it may the case that only the one who put it there can take it out. Just then Steve comes to and reaches out for her. He tells her to let Diana Prince know what has happened and that it has something to do with the Abernathy Investigation.
Not long afterwards at the Pentagon, Diana finishes briefing Keith Griggs and General Darnell about the recent events. First Abernathy has a heart attack and then his ambulance is hit by a commando team using Soviet weapons. Unfortunately, those that were captured have revealed little more information. Griggs asks why on earth anyone would want to kill a sick ex-senator in the first place? Diana replies that when the Air force Intelligent Unit first became involved when the news of Abernathy’s selection to the post of US Arms Negotiator came out. Darnell adds that at the time, those who knew him thought it some cruel joke because of his moment of weakness in the past when he had revealed top secret information that had sabotaged a round of Arms Talks. Diana continues that Steve had been on his way to speak with people who knew more about the Senator’s past when he had been attacked by Aegeus. Perhaps the villain might have revealed who is behind the false stories and the attempt on the Senator’s life if he had not escaped Wonder Woman. She secretly thinks to herself that had she not lost a bracelet at the time she would never have let him get away.
Just then Etta enters the office and tells them that Lisa Abernathy is here to speak with them. They enter the room and Diana duly introduces Keith to Abernathy’s daughter and the Senator’s former aide, Howard Kohler. Lisa says that she had held back on telling them something significant about her Father’s past earlier that morning. Diana gently explains that they already know of her Father’s shameful secret and adds that that they all realised he had been under severe stress at the time. Kohler continues that many people unfortunately will not see it that way if the revelation is made Public. Keith replies that going Public might just be the way to take the heat off Abernathy. If someone is out to kill him to protect their shared secret, their motivation will be gone if is already out in the open. Lisa says that she could do that quite easily through her job at CBS News. Diana takes her to one side and says that perhaps it will not have to come to that. She is very fond of Lisa’s Father and if it is possible, she wants to save his reputation as well as his life.
Later that night at Walter Reed Medical Centre, Diana holds a vigil at Steve’s bedside. She muses to herself that it is easier for her to contain her raw emotions in her Diana Prince guise, allowing her to turn her attention from the loss of her bracelet to saving Steve’s life. The Dagger is draining away his very life and to add to things, Senator Abernathy is also still at risk too. Just then she hears a knock at the door and Keith pops his head around. He asks if he can join her and she says he is most welcome to. She tells him she has been trying to figure out this whole business in her mind, like who among those in the know have planted false news stories about the Senator and who could be right on top of their investigation while at the same time being in league with the Soviets and the Terrorists? Just then Steve speaks weakly, adding to her question by saying “or could make it look like the Russians are involved…”
Diana jumps up from her chair as the answer suddenly comes to her. She tells Griggs that have been going about this all wrong and rushes out of the room, telling Keith to continue the hunt for their suspect while she checks on Senator Abernathy. As she races down the empty corridor she uses the opportunity to change into Wonder Woman and dashes into the Senator’s room past some surprised guards.
She is pleased to see the old man is still sleeping peacefully and begins to wonder whether perhaps her suspicions are wrong? But as if in answer, she hears the sound of the bed curtain being torn in half by a dagger and Aegeus emerges from behind it. As he advances on Abernathy he is shocked to find the Amazon Princess pouncing upon him! She grabs his arm and hurls him across the room sending his daggers flying. She tells him she has beaten him before and she can do it again, but he replies that it will be different this time. As he prepares to throw another dagger at her she grabs his cloak and throws it over his head. As she grapples the weapon out of his hand she wraps her lasso around him.
Just then Howard Kohler is pushed into the room by Keith Griggs, who says he is glad to see her here and that Kohler masterminded the whole operation! And because of that fact – she is going to have to let Aegeus go! He continues to explain to the surprised Amazon that Kohler was setting up a classic disinformation campaign. He leaked the false reports about his former friend, Abernathy, to force out the truth about the Senator’s past and at the same time make it it look like the Russians had silenced him to keep secret. Kohler adds that Abernathy did his country a favour when he let the Soviets dupe him. He prevented the signing of yet another treaty for them to violate. He was also the prefect pawn to help him bring out the real truth – that their enemies are liars and killers who cannot be restrained by pieces of paper! Keith then says that the new Arms Talks would have fallen apart if kohler had put across his mixture of lies and half truths. The Public would have mistrusted the Soviet Union more than they had in twenty years.
Wonder Woman then asks what that has to do with letting Aegeus go? Keith replies that it is because he already has a good defense because he will say that he was working for a US Intelligence Operative without any knowledge that Kohler was a rogue acting on his own. Therefore Kohler’s Agency can deal with him as an internal matter. Wonder Woman realises that if not, a Public Trial could bring out enough information to destroy the Senator’s reputation and the new Arms Talks. She turns to her captive and says that Aegeus is free to go, on condition that he removes the dagger from Steve Trevor’s shoulder. He replies that as she has him at a disadvantage he agrees, but one day they will meet again on different terms.
A short while later Steve begins to come too and through his blurred vision he at first thinks he sees Wonder Woman and calls out “Angel?”, but as his vision clears he sees it is really Diana Prince smiling down at him. She says that unfortunately the Amazon Princess had to leave but not to worry, as she is here now. He in turn smiles and tells her he is glad. She then takes his hand and responds that she is glad to be here too, because they have some things to talk about…