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""Blood and Betrayal"": Nathaniel writes a letter to Randy to make amends after Peggy told him about the court-martial transcripts that was given to his son by General Eiling, and tries to inform him what really occurred in 1967 and 1968

Captain Atom (Volume 2) #9 is an issue of the series Captain Atom (Volume 2) with a cover date of November, 1987.

Synopsis for "Blood and Betrayal"

Nathaniel writes a letter to Randy to make amends after Peggy told him about the court-martial transcripts that was given to his son by General Eiling, and tries to inform him what really occurred in 1967 and 1968.

In Westport, Alfred Gargan, a retired USAF Major, is murdered in his home by the metahuman Bolt, who caused an explosion that also injured Gargan's wife. The police and Nathaniel, as Cameron Scott, arrive at the crime scene. The police mistakenly believe that Gargan was accidentally killed when starting up his faulty lawn mower. Nathaniel was seeking an interview with Gargan for his investigation into his court-martial, in which Gargan was present there.

At the court-martial of Nathaniel Adam, then Lieutenant Alfred Gargan review the defense's story. Nathaniel was in command of Mayday Company, an elite Air Force recon team well-trained for infantry action in the bush, and their objective was to locate a downed reconnaissance aircraft a few miles from the Laos border and retrieve its classified data. After they found the wreckage on a hill, Nathaniel stated that he contacted his brigade commander, General Lemar, for fire support due to heavy presence of the North Vietnamese Army. But Lemar denied his request and ordered him to continue on with the mission. Without reinforcement, Nathaniel was forced to order Mayday Company to advance up the hill in which it resulted with Nathaniel and Jeff Goslin being the sole survivors of their company. Nathaniel was blamed for the disaster.

General Eiling is informed of Gargan's death. Although Eiling refused to believe Gargan's death was not a mere accident, he allows Martin Allard to keep Nathaniel under surveillance due to the Captain's investigation.

Nathaniel visit Los Angeles to meet another person who was present at the court-martial, former Corporal Hart. At Hart's yacht, Hart explains to Nathaniel that he couldn't exactly remember everything from the court-martial and what he said on the stand. Nathaniel gives Hart his phone number should he remembers anything comes into mind before heading back for his hotel room.

Corporal Hart is put on the stand to recall what occur at the brigade headquarters at Dầu Tiếng where General Lemar was stationed. During the same time of Nathaniel's ill-fated assault on Hill 409, Hart recalled that Lemar was really upset with him. The night before, their communication hut was gutted in a NVA bombing raid and they only have one working radio at hand. Lemar goaded Hart into repairing the radio. Due to Hart's testimony, Gargan states that Nathaniel couldn't have been in contact with Lemar and he was lying to use the late general to corroborate his story.

Hart eventually makes a phone call to Nathaniel and telling him that he is only stating this once over the phone line. He reveals that he discovered a second radio inside Lemar's quarters on the command post. Hart strongly suspected Lemar was involved in a drug-trafficking ring and he used the spare unit to speak with his collaborators. Hart did not spoke of this at the court-martial because he believed the drug ring is entrenched in the military's high command and therefore he couldn't trust anyone for fear of his life. Just as Hart said this, Bolt suddenly appear before him after he cut the phone line.

Nathaniel transform into Captain Atom and flies to the marina, where Hart's yacht is on fire. Nathaniel extinguish the flames, but Hart is found dead.

Outside of Sparta, Illinois, Bolt speaks with his unknown employer, who had hired him to eliminate the officers present at Nathaniel's court-martial. The assassin reports to his employer about Captain Atom's interference and is wary of going up against the superhero. His employer understands of Bolt's concerns and so they triple his payment to finish his contract by taking care of the last two people on their hit list.

The prosecutor accused Nathaniel of contemptuously holding General Lemar responsible for allowing his men to die. After spending the afternoon with Goslin, who was recovering in the infirmary, Nathaniel was worked into a rage and personally went to Lemar's command post. Thus, the prosecutor accused Nathaniel with the intent of murdering Lemar.

Nathaniel visit Henry Yarrow, a ex-colonel who served as Nathaniel's counselor and currently working as a Las Vegas detective. Yarrow recognized Nathaniel and agrees to hear from him after he was told about Hart's testament. The detective takes Nathaniel on a drive through the city and discuss about this new information. Yarrow summarize that General Lemar must have been either getting greedy or spooked in which the drug traffickers decided to kill him for being a liability and used Nathaniel as their perfect fall guy. Nathaniel is impress by Yarrow's analysis, but he has his doubts about his former counselor.

Nathaniel testify about his confrontation of General Lemar. He angrily demanded Lemar a confession from him for the reason he sent Mayday Company on a suicide mission. Lemar then reached for something inside his desk, presumably a weapon, and by this point Nathaniel was inexplicably rendered unconscious (Nathaniel could not verify that he was drugged earlier that day). By the time he woke up, Nathaniel saw Lemar dead with his combat knife sticking out of his chest. The military police burst into the room and Nathaniel was accused of the murder.

Nathaniel tells straightforward to Yarrow that he was fully aware of the drug ring all along and kept his silence at the trial not unlike Hart. Yarrow is very offended by Nathaniel's accusation and refuses to speak anymore before dumping Nathaniel on the side of the road and promptly driving away. But suddenly, Bolt appears and he takes the opportunity to attack Yarrow. Fortunately for Yarrow, Captain Atom intervenes and forcing Bolt to retreat.

Yarrow is grateful towards Captain Atom and is now aware of the dire gravity that was made on his life. He confess to Captain Atom that prior to the court-martial someone from the drug ring approached Yarrow and bribed him to never speak of them into the case. Yarrow couldn't pass off the offer when he had a family to support and that the case against Nathaniel was too strong and he would have been found guilty anyway. Captain Atom then realize the next and final victim on Bolt's hit list: General Eiling, who gave the final verdict on his court-martial.

Eiling is already warned of Bolt from Allard, who witnessed Bolt's battle with Captain Atom, and he is prepare to face his assassin. Once Bolt appears in Eiling's home he fell for a decoy. Eiling jumps out from hiding and is about to shoot Bolt with a submachine gun. But Captain Atom flies in between Eiling's gunshots and Bolt's blast, and he then knocks out the assassin. Eiling is miffed over Nathaniel getting in his way, but he wants to make something clear with him: for the past twenty years Eiling was firm on his beliefs that Nathaniel was guilty until Bolt's assassinations made him to be open minded on Nathaniel's innocence. But he still won't acknowledge his innocence until he see some proof. Regardless, Eiling thanks Nathaniel for saving his life in spite of their enmity.

Nathaniel decide to discard the letter because he couldn't write about his superhero cover that his children weren't even aware of and that it wouldn't be convincing enough to Randy. He then receive a phone call from Yarrow, who is now willing to help Nathaniel following his ordeal with Bolt and propose that they can work together to find the identity of Bolt's employer.

Appearing in "Blood and Betrayal"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


Other Characters:

  • Alfred Gargain (Only appearance; dies) (Flashback and main story)
  • Mrs. Gargain (Single appearance)
  • Corporal Hart (Only appearance; dies) (Flashback and main story)
  • General Lemar (Flashback only) (Dies)
  • Colonel Henry Yarrow (Flashback and main story)




See Also

Recommended Reading

Links and References