Dr. Keane collapses to the floor after he is shot.
X24 The Mysterious Dr. Aikens
[G-II #27: Dr. Nambu Dies!]
The team arrives at Cape Long Hospital, where Dr. Keane is being treated. It seems that his brainwaves are locked, and he is in a coma. Dr. Aikens greets the team, but offers nothing in the way of explanation as to how or why Dr. Keane was injured. Joe confronts Dr. Aikens, demanding to understand her role, if any, in the shooting. Dr. Aikens dodges the question. Joe is not satisfied with this brief explanation, but Dr. Aikens announces that with Dr. Keane being out of commission, she is now in charge of the Eagle Riders, and she orders them to stay where they are. I’m not sure what makes her think she can just order them around, but she certainly is acting ballsy, particularly with an angry Joe in her face.
Dr. Aikens walks out of the hospital toward her car, but Joe, still suspicious, runs after her and attempts to shoot her. Okay, this is a little extreme, but I think he’s right to demand more answers. Hunter stops Joe as he takes aim, and the shot lands on the Doctor’s car window. She is unhurt. She smugly informs Joe that she was just going to the car to get her briefcase. I guess she’s not very upset about the broken window.
Dr. Aikens orders the Eagle Riders to attack a Vorak base, to prevent the aliens from using their newest weapon. Hunter accepts her orders, and the team leaves, even Joe.
While enroute to the Vorak base, the team gets a Code 5 message, informing them that Dr. Keane has taken a turn for the worse and is near death. Kelly and Mickey are especially distressed to hear this. Joe runs out, taking off in his Falcon Tracker without permission, to return to the hospital. Kelly and Mickey tearfully beg to be allowed to follow him, but Hunter insists that they complete their mission, as defeating the Vorak is the best way to help Dr. Keane now. Seems that Joe gets special treatment in cases like these.
Meanwhile Mallanox informs Cybercon that the second Vorak Virtual Probe is ready. The first one mysteriously disappeared some time ago. Wherever could it be?
But this mystery isn’t on Mallanox’s mind right now. He gets into the Virtual Probe and sends his brainwaves out, eventually creating a psychic monster outside of the Cape Long Hospital. The monster enters and looks for Dr. Keane.
The original Virtual Probe is revealed to be in Dr. Aikens’ possession, but how she got her hands on it is anyone’s guess. She is sitting in the Probe, ready to fight off Mallanox, with Dr. Keane’s body behind her. Mallanox’s psychic monster enters the room, threatening Dr. Aikens, and too late, she realizes that she is not strong enough to defeat it. Perhaps it wasn’t such a good idea to send off the Eagle Riders.
Coming to save the day, Joe arrives. He sees Dr. Aikens in the Virtual Probe and assumes that she is the one attacking with the monster. But as he pulls her out of the machine, he realizes that he was wrong. Dr. Aikens further gains his trust by telling him that Professor Andro used her own cybernetic research to help build Joe. So in a way, she is partly responsible for saving Joe’s life. All of this conversation takes place as the monster is attacking, but oh well. Soliloquy is a free action. (Sorry, RPG joke…)
Dr. Aikens notices Dr. Keane starting to regain consciousness, which he cannot be allowed to do, because it will make him vulnerable to Mallanox’s psychic monster. Joe decides to defeat the monster on his own, placing himself in the virtual probe. Dr. Aikens instructs Joe to alternate his brain wave rhythm velocity and interface his Robotic Memory Chip with the Brainwave Finder. Joe does this, and creates a psychic warrior to face Mallanox’s monster. But Joe’s warrior isn’t having any effect on the monster, and so Dr. Aikens tells him to increase the pulse modulation.
Just as this happens, the other Eagle Riders (who in the meantime have infiltrated the Vorak base) break into the room where Mallanox is in his own Virtual Probe. Mallanox is distracted, and Joe’s warrior is able to destroy the monster. Mallanox falls screaming to the floor. Cybercon’s voice fills the room, to the amazement of the Eagle Riders, and Cybercon destroys the Virtual Probe himself, in a fit of rage. Hunter casually remarks that now is probably a good time to leave, as the base blows up around them and Mallanox escapes. I guess Hunter gained a few IQ points in this last encounter.
As a result of his psychic battle, Joe has a minor cellular burnout, but Dr. Aikens says that he will be fine. Dr. Keane has completely recovered. Apparently Dr. Aikens sensed a molecular mass attaching to Dr. Keane’s brainwaves and only had a second to stop the Vorak action before it killed him. She shot Dr. Keane to stop his brainwaves, so that the Vorak could not find them. There is no explanation of how Dr. Aikens was able to sense the ‘molecular mass’.
After all of this, Dr. Aikens insists that it is time for Joe to reveal what he has not before: that he is a cyborg. Nice way to make the decision for him! Talk about invasion of privacy!
Hunter declares that he knew it all along (yeah, right) and the other team members are accepting of Joe’s physical state. Regardless of being a cyborg, he is a member of the Eagle Riders, defending the Global Good, and that is what is most important.
The Eagle Riders are worried about Dr. Keane's condition.