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"Shut Down Hard": General Eiling and Captain Allard are at the decommissioned Winslow Air Force Base to oversee the relocation of "Silver Shield," the alien object that created Captain Atom. The object is unearthed and suddenly glows and emits a humming sound. The scientist at the site explains

Captain Atom (Volume 2) #32 is an issue of the series Captain Atom (Volume 2) with a cover date of August, 1989.

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Synopsis for "Shut Down Hard"

General Eiling and Captain Allard are at the decommissioned Winslow Air Force Base to oversee the relocation of "Silver Shield," the alien object that created Captain Atom. The object is unearthed and suddenly glows and emits a humming sound. The scientist at the site explains to Eiling that Silver Shield was acting like this when it was exposed to sunlight.

Meanwhile in Paris, Nate talks to Randy on the phone and Randy explains about his boring assignment as embassy security and how Eiling is planning to transfer him to a very classified assignment that he cannot disclose to his father. After Nate finishes his talk with Randy, Major Force suddenly bursts in and attacks Nate. Force angrily claims that Eiling and Nate are "doin' somethin' to [his] head." Nate changes into Captain Atom and blasts Force off of him. But Nate feels sick from using that quantum blast. Force then notices Nate's sickly look and realizes that whatever is affecting him and Nate is not the doing of Eiling's implants.

At the same time, the Silver Shield is being lifted from the pit by crane before it emits a pitched screech accompanied by blinding light. This incident causes Force to be cocooned by his own matter and Captain Atom's silver skin is freezing him up. Nate quickly changes back to his human form and makes a call to Eiling.

Nate and Force are brought over to Washington. Eiling theorizes that whatever is causing their condition is tied to Silver Shield. Nate accuses Eiling of hiding something from him, which Eiling profess that he is not but have no explanation to offer. This doesn't sit well with Nate and giving Eiling the excuse to call in the MPs to control his temper. Nate cannot overpower the MPs due to the risk of freezing up in his Captain Atom form. Eiling is then contacted by Dr. Megala who informs him that Silver Shield has reached its destination and that the humming continues to grow stronger than ever.

Megala conducts some tests on Nate and discovers that Nate's transformation will put an immense strain on his heart and eventually kill him if he stays as Captain Atom. Eiling brings more bad news to Nate that the entire U.S. embassy in Yemen has been taken hostage by the Bialyan Freedom Council and Randy is among the captives. The bureaucrats want Captain Atom to save the hostages, but given Nate's condition he cannot. However, Nate is not exactly helpless and he assembles a four-man task force for the rescue.

As the terrorists make the demand of trying Queen Bee for the political assassination of Rumaan Harjavti, Nate's team infiltrates the embassy via the sewers. The team saves the hostages and neutralizes the terrorists.

Afterwards, Megala conducts more tests on Nate and finds no quantum readings on his body. Nate is left frustrated and yells that there's no Captain Atom inside of him anymore. Megala privately speaks with Eiling about letting Nate to be told about Silver Shield. But Eiling refuses, as telling Nate would mean "the end of a superhero."



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Superboy Vol 4 69
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