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"Terror Temple of Tayasal!": Tom encounters a group of Guatemalan archaeologists who have discovered a mysterious two- to three-thousand-year-old exoskeleton in the jungle. He knows that Dhalua and her father are waiting to have dinner with him at Attabar Teru, but Tom can't resist learning more
Appearing in "Terror Temple of Tayasal!"
Synopsis for "Terror Temple of Tayasal!"
Tom encounters a group of Guatemalan archaeologists who have discovered a mysterious two- to three-thousand-year-old exoskeleton in the jungle. He knows that Dhalua and her father are waiting to have dinner with him at Attabar Teru, but Tom can't resist learning more about the archaeological find. As he wanders deeper into the jungle, he comes across a Mayan temple that appears to have been undisturbed for centuries. While exploring the interior, Tom is attacked by a gelatinous, biomechanical creature, who forcibly transfers its early memories onto Tom. The images that flash through Tom's mind are of a living spacecraft (that's at least thousands of years old) that crashes and dies on Earth. The creature Tom finds in the temple was one of several living components of that spacecraft, but it was the only one that survived the crash. Presumably discovered by ancient Mayan tribesmen, the creature was taken into the temple and worshiped as a god. Over time, the tribe dies out, and with no blueprint of its parent spacecraft, the creature's reduced capacity for movement or escape left it only to stay and grow alone for centuries. Tom is deeply moved by this story, and heads back to the site of the archaeological dig. He takes part of the spine of what he now knows is the alien spacecraft, and gives it to the creature to be used as a blueprint. With it, the creature is able to rapidly grow legs, and emerges as a turtle-like creature with the whole temple on its back. Although Tom estimates that it may take months or years for the creature to grow the flagella needed for interplanetary flight, he feels happy to know that it can at least manage rudimentary travel.
Appearing in "Volcano Dreams"
Synopsis for "Volcano Dreams"
Tom has returned from his jungle adventure, and in the presence of he and her father, Dhalua recounts the story of her vision ordeal. In her culture, a vision ordeal is a ritualistic tradition meant to be conducted in "a natural enclosure, open to the stars," where the viewer is meant to confront Chukulteh (their god) in the form of their personal spirit creature. But after Tom's first departure to America, and, in his absence, Dhalua got more and more comfortable spending time in Tom's high-tech volcanic residence. One night, against both tradition and her father's wishes, she set up to have her vision ordeal in the volcano. After eating some Goloka, and burning the rest as incense, Dhalua enters a hypnotic trance, and comes face-to-face with a glowing blue serpent who claims to be Chukulteh. When offered the chance to remove the illusory veil from the true face of Chukulteh, and witness the deity's true form, Dhalua respectfully declines, stating that she is content to live not fully knowing. This answer was enough to satisfy the serpent, and Dhalua passed the test. The spirit departs, and Dhalua falls into a deep sleep, and has a profound vision about Chukulteh, and the nature of the universe. When she wakes, the details of her vision fades, and she finds herself in the presence of Chief Omotu and several Ozu tribesmen. Omotu scolds her, and shows her a live electrical cable in their vicinity. In the present, Tom sees this to mean that her spirit animal was really a downed cable, but Omotu insists that the cable was still Chukulteh, who had changed form again.
Appearing in "Flip Attitude!"
- Tesla Strong
Synopsis for "Flip Attitude!"
A basketball game between Solomon and Tesla is suddenly interrupted when the gravitational axis of Millennium City is flipped by ninety degrees. When the two finally manage to climb out of the inverted Stronghold, Tesla finds that Kid Tilt – the daughter of the deceased supervillain King Tilt – has inherited her father's magic gravity warping boots, and intends to pick up where her father left off. After a brief scuffle, Tesla is able to overcome Kid Tilt, and before turning her over to the authorities, forces her to put things back to normal. When Tom and Dhalua return from Attabar Teru, they're disappointed to find how bad a shape the Stronghold is in, and do not believe the story Tesla and Solomon tell about Kid Tilt. Tesla gives up, and resorts to explaining the mess by falsely admitting that she had thrown a party in their absence.
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