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Where Mortals Fear to Tread (22 pages)

Dr. Adam Spektor has a nightmare in which Lakota is trying to kill him. He is awakened to the sound of someone knocking on his door. He rushes to the door, thinking Lakota has returned after leaving him at the end of The Occult Files of Dr. Spektor #22. To his alarm, Spektor opens the door to see the witch Kareena. She tells the Doctor that she has reformed her evil ways and no longer serves the Dark Gods or possesses mystic powers. She has been able to retain her youthful appearance due to some radiation she absorbed from Dr. Solar, the Man of the Atom in issue #14. Kareena tells Spektor that a being named Rogata has somehow drained away her powers through her mystic tiara. She then tells Spektor that she loves him and draws closer for a kiss.

However, Spektor sees a vision of a strange world in Kareena's tiara, and the two of them are suddenly transported through space to a strange world where the two of them are captured by some strange humanoid creatures and taken to a crystal palace and into the presence of the blue-skinned and beautiful Rogata. Rogata tells them she was once the mystic queen of the world Gerranna, until the planet was destroyed in the conflict between the Warrior Gods and the Dark Gods. Since then, she alone has survived in her mystical dimension, served by the subhuman Morfs. Further, she says she has grown bored and lonely in her kingdom, and plans to magically travel to and enslave the earth, using a limitless army of Morfs. This will all take place "when the serpent swallows the moon." Declaring that she has no further use for Kareena, Rogata pushes her into the birthing pit of the Morfs, but is alarmed when Dr. Spektor, whom Rogata also loves, leaps in after Kareena.

Spektor and Kareena are saved when Kareena finds she has enough residual power to make a forcefield to protect them both from the alien elements in the spawning pool. Then the two of them seek refuge from the Morfs in a cave, where Spektor finds he feels a kind of tenderness for Kareena. They are interrupted however, when they go outside to investigate a massive Morf movement, and see in the sky a constellation resembling a snake approaching Gerranna's moon.

At Kareena's instigation, Spektor goes to Ragata's palace and tells her he has decided to be her prince after all. As Spektor and Rogata embrace, Spektor's kiss returns Kareena's stolen powers to her through a psychic link. Kareena and Rogata engage in a mighty battle of magic, while Spektor uses Rogata's crystal globe to keep the Morfs at bay. Seeing the portal to earth closing, Rogata makes one last effort to destroy Kareena, but Spektor shatters the globe, temporarily taking away Rogata's powers. Spektor and Kareena then kiss as the restored witch uses the power of her tiara to return the two of them to earth.

In an epilogue, Spektor tells Kareena he could love her, but only if she renounces her powers and her allegiance with the Dark Gods. Kareena says she is through with the Dark Gods, but that she cannot bring herself to relinquish her powers. She leaves Spektor to think over the possibility of a relationship until next time they meet, while Spektor wonders if they will meet next as lovers or as deadly enemies.

Notes: Includes 1-page: Dr. Spektor's special files: "Dr. Solar, Man of the Atom" (Text page on Dr. Solar). Dr. Spektor recounts the origin and career of the Man of the Atom. At one point, he says that the hero had continued to work covertly for "the law enforcement division for international espionage, supreme headquarters" under the direction of a man known as "Nick." Dr. Solar, Agent of SHIELD?

The Man of the Atom has a one-panel cameo in a part of the story recounting Spektor's previous encounter with Kareena.

Spektor's secretary, Lakota Rainflower, also makes a cameo appearance, in Spektor's nightmare. She appears dressed like a native warrior wielding a tomahawk.







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