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"A Crew Divided!": Deep in the Dinaric Alps of Yugoslavia, the Haunted Tank presses on through the pass as its crew continues to mourn the loss of their long-time comrade Arch Asher. While Jeb converses with the ghost of his ancestor to get advise on how to continue, inside Slim and Rick are fur
- Gus is tryin' to replace Arch! An' he can't cut it! Arch would have nailed that Messer in one shot! I know Gus is a flat out mechanical whiz, Jeb... but that don't make 'im combat material! His kind'a people ain't fighters! If they were, wouldn't the army use 'em as more than truck drivers an' stevedores?
- -- Slim Stryker
Appearing in "A Crew Divided!"
- German pilot
- German Infantry major
- German Infantry soldiers
- Stephan Jevac
- Milos Grovnia
- Yugoslavian Resistance fighters
- Yugoslavian "Chetnik" guerillas
- Dinaric Alps, Yugoslavia
- Molotov cocktail
- The Haunted Tank
- German Messerschmitt Me 410 Hornisse heavy fighter
Synopsis for "A Crew Divided!"
Deep in the Dinaric Alps of Yugoslavia, the Haunted Tank presses on through the pass as its crew continues to mourn the loss of their long-time comrade Arch Asher. While Jeb converses with the ghost of his ancestor to get advise on how to continue, inside Slim and Rick are furious that Gus has commandeered Arch's clothing and equipment for himself. The argument is short lived, as the tank is attacked by a Luftwaffe plane. The plane drops it's first bomb, barely missing the tank, but when it swoops around to drop its second Gus is able to destroy the plane. Slim is furious that it took Gus three shots to bring it down, wasting the last of the ammo they had, and that he's trying to replace Arch. Slim argues that Gus just doesn't have the skill to take his place, believing that Gus doesn't have what it takes to be a soldier because he's black. Rick, having been wounded in the previous issue, collapses from the pain. Jeb worries that Rick's wounds may have become infected. Gus volunteers to carry Rick to the nearest village to get medical attention. As Gus take off down the trail with Rick, Jeb and Slim return to the Haunted Tank only to find it under siege!
In the valley below, Rick has regained consciousness and is strong enough to walk himself. They stop at a nearby stream to take a rest, but are discovered by a group of Yugoslavian Partisans led by a man named Stephan Jevac. The Partisans inform Gus and Rick that the village is under Nazi control and there is no way in. They agree that Rick will stay behind in safety, cared for by the Partisan Tanya, while Gus will lead the others back to the Haunted Tank along with an armful of German shells recently liberated by them.
Meanwhile, Jeb has agreed to help the Chetniks, local survivors of the Imperial Yugoslav army turned guerillas, who have been trying to drive the Nazis from their town. They have brought stolen fuel for the tank, and are hoping that the tank can provide cover so that they can enter the town and strike at the German forces. However, the path is blocked by the Communist Partisans. It's a civil war between the two Yugoslav forces, with the Haunted Tank smack in the middle of it. Worried about leaving Rick behind, Gus has had enough of the delays and grabs a Molotov cocktail from one of the guerillas. Gus threatens to blow up the tank unless the two forces put down their differences and join together against the real enemy, the Nazis in the town. They agree.
Inside the town, the Germans are alerted to the attack but the commanding major brushes it off as another guerilla attack. He doesn't expect they have back up from an American tank this time, and with the assistance of the Haunted Tank the guerillas and partisans are able to easily retake their town and drive out the Nazi forces within. But now with victory at hand, the two forces are back at each other's throats arguing about whose contribution to the attack made the most difference. With Rick now under the care of the village doctor, Gus and Slim shake hand and put aside their differences. They both have learned a valuable lesson today, and agree to work together from now on.
Appearing in "Just a Shot Away!"
- Dr. James Travis (Flashback and main story)
- Private Mason (Dies)
- Private Edwards (Dies)
- Private Carver (Dies)
- South Asian snipers (All die)
- American Infantry colonel (Flashback only)
- An unnamed jungle in the future
- Experimental laser rifle
Synopsis for "Just a Shot Away!"
In the not very distant future, somewhere in a jungle half a world away, four soldiers move through the hostile denseness. The four are carrying experimental and futuristic weapons, and the heat of the jungle is starting to get on each of the men's nerves. Their banter is cut short by sniper fire, and the first of the men, Private Mason, is shot down. They dive for cover, but their leader tells them to hold their fire and save power. After a while they continue on. Night has fallen, and they are moving through a shallow river when another sniper hidden in the foliage takes a shot at them. Private Carver is killed. They dive once again for cover, until the rustle of leaves tells them the sniper is long gone. The remaining private, Edwards, argues with his leader that while they have been picked to field-test the new rifles, they've been easily picked off by regular rifles. The leader tells him to shut up and that he'll see what they can do when they get the chance.
The leader looks down at his experimental rifle, remembering back to before their mission started. Nearly a month ago, back in the briefing room at HQ, they were introduced to a man named Dr. James Travis. Dr. Travis shows them his latest invention - the laser rifle - capable of cutting down a whole company of enemy troops in one full sweep of the area. It functions on the principles of ultra-concentrated light, creating a continuous stream of light that will touch upon every molecule of matter within its path. Their colonel informs the men that they will be part of a small group of men chosen to test the laser rifle out in the field of battle. The leader thinks back to the mission they are on. So far, they have lost four men in the last month, despite the confidence the rifles have brought them.
Their trek finally comes to an end as they emerge out of the jungle to find the enemy's hidden base in a clearing near the river. The leader looks up to realize too late that they've been spotted. Private Edwards is shot dead from above. The leader drops to the ground and brings the laser rifle up to bear. He squeezes the trigger, and a beam of concentrated light shoots out at the enemy soldiers. He sweeps the beam through the mass of enemy forces, its worth measured in the kills it swiftly makes. In seconds every enemy is dead, a burning carcass lying still on the jungle floor. The laser has proven itself. But the leader, Dr. James Travis himself, knows its effectiveness... and it's deadliness. Travis takes every rifle and smashes them against the rocks. He never realized the evil he had brought into the war...
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