Busted Outlet: Flight of the Alpha Squadron

When an outlet fails, a lightbulb goes dim. Here’s the first glimpse into a darkened chamber…of the mind.


What Goes Up…


The World’s Finest Fighter Pilots!

The Most Astonishing Aviators of All!


the BACKSTORY: Flight of the Alpha Squadron was a bet. A bet I lost.

the NOTION: When brilliant bio-engineer Darrow Goodblood goes missing, America’s elite aviators must face down demons — physical and metaphorical, past and present — to bring him home alive. And, only one pilot survives.


  • the MAN HAUNTED:

    Commander Aaron Roh Kwan

    Call Sign: Zeus, God of the Sky;
    formerly Hermes, the Messenger God

    First Appearance: Tales of True Belief #616

    History: Born on a Hawaiian Naval base to a pilot and a stewardess, Aaron Kwan had flying in his blood — blood that would splash vigorously on the eve of his twenty-first birthday. The day he turned eighteen, he enrolled in the Air Force and began his hasty ascent through the ranks. By nineteen, he led a full squadron. At twenty, he — along with four of his contemporaries — was recruited to safeguard the brightest intellectuals of America aboard The Zeus Complex. The crew of five was the first iteration of The Alpha Squadron, and their inaugural battle ended in decimation…with all but Aaron dead. Kwan vowed to avenge his fallen comrades — among them his co-pilot and girlfriend Rhona “Aphrodite” Playfair — and, as the second Zeus, rebuilt the Alpha Squadron. Aaron Kwan would give his left arm to fly in combat again; he already gave his right.

    Note: A series of plastic and mechanical prosthetics have been created for Kwan, who he refuses to use them, for he regards his affliction as a constant reminder of his vendetta.

    Lt. Commander September Meadow
    Executive Officer, Head of the Fates

    Call Sign: Artemis, Goddess of the Hunt

    First Appearance: Flights of Amazing Fantasy #425

    History: As a reckless youth, September Meadow and her equally brash twin brother August were determined to escape the tedium of small town life. When a slew of romanticized options (including joining the circus as a trapeze act) failed to live up to expectations, the duo set their sites on a much more reasonable means of escape: military service. Both showed an aptitude for combat, and their prowess lead to recruitment in the second genesis of The Alpha Squadron…as Artemis and Apollo. But, history has long desired repetition, so it wasn’t long before disaster struck the seemingly cursed crew of The Zeus Complex. In the midst of battle against the enigmatic Echidna, Mother of Monsters, September saw August eviscerated. The trauma resulted in a severe bout of depression, followed by obsessive compulsive tendencies that would have grounded September if she hadn’t already refused to fly again. Once brazen, September Meadow is now an overly cautious and concerned counselor and tactical advisor.

    Note: Because of her overwhelming compulsions, Meadow tore all the hair from her scalp shortly after the death of her brother. Today, she systematically shaves her head.

    Major Perseus Christian
    Field Commander, Pilot of Griffin-1

    Call Sign: Zephyrus, God of the West Wind

    First Appearance: Suspense in the Sky #117

    History: The first born of quintuplets, Perseus Christian was raised a devout Catholic. When his church was bombed during Sunday service by the terrorist cell Cerberus, the Hounds of Hell, The Alpha Squadron came to his rescue. He, at a mere seven years of age, was convinced that his saviors were angels, sent from Heaven. With age, however, comes wisdom, and the knowledge that his rescuers were simply men and women with jetpacks birthed a desire in Perseus to become a hero himself. The truth also spurred his quest for scientific actualities and the abolition of his faith. After a two-year tour with the Air and National Guard, Christian joined The Zeus Complex as the first member of the fledgling Beta Squadron, a position that lasted only three weeks before he was promoted to Alpha status. Widely regarded as the future Zeus, the socially awkward Perseus Christian spends his nights reading The Pantheon Protocols cover to cover.

    Note: Christian’s two brothers, Amadeus and Thaddeus, are members of The Beta and Gamma Squadrons as Boreas and Notus, respectively.

    Sherwood Lambert
    Co-Pilot of Griffin-1

    Call Sign: Hypnos, God of Sleep

    First Appearance: Wing and Prayer #142

    History: The son of an astrophysicist and a molecular biologist, Sherwood Lambert was, rather unsurprisingly, blessed with an immense intellect — one he sought to squander. Because academia came so easily for him, he graduated from high school early, despite rarely applying himself, even in advanced placement courses. His contentment with a life of freeloading and video game playing and his refusal to set goals forced his parents’ hand. As long-standing members of The Athena Council, they used their leverage to get their son a seat in the then-burgeoning Beta Squadron. Ever one to go with the flow, Sherwood took a crash course in flight and glided his way to Alpha status. Even with the responsibility of protecting America’s greatest minds — his parents and former schoolmates among them — Sherwood Lambert only applies his intelligence in the direst of situations…to make bad puns.

    Note: A disheveled slacker by choice, Lambert trims an eighth of an inch off his beard every two weeks or so to keep it growing.
  • the PUNK ROCKER:

    Mayumi Hurahara
    Pilot of Griffin-2

    Call Sign: Eos, Goddess of the Dawn

    First Appearance: Astounding Aviator Action #221

    History: After her parents lost their lives as their plane, en route to their Las Vegas home from Los Angeles, exploded over the Nevada desert, Mayumi Hurahara — then barely five years old — moved to Florida to live with her grandmother (her mother’s mother), a laidback shuffleboard hustler. The rules of the elder Hurahara’s home were simple: her granddaughter could do as she pleased, so long as her actions weren’t too far out of the realm of legality, but she had to attend NASA’s space camp until her sixteenth birthday. Every summer, Mayumi went. And, every summer, she was bored to tears by rocket science and techno-jargon. But, as she matured, her interest in and passion for flight similarly blossomed. She also became enamored with a fellow attendee: one Bianca Logan. Inseparable from their first encounter, the duo, after attending community college, both joined NASA’s Astronaut Candidate training program, but were instead drafted into The Beta and then The Alpha Squadron. As Eos, Mayumi Hurahara has sworn to never let another person she loves die in the air.

    Note: Pierced in thirteen places, Hurahara plays bass in the punk band SixPack HeartAttack in her free time.
  • the BOOKWORM:

    Bianca Logan
    Co-Pilot of Griffin-2

    Call Sign: Hebe, Goddess of Youth

    First Appearance: Flight Plan #275

    History: The product of a drunken one-night stand, Bianca Logan was an unloved and unwanted hindrance to her mother’s life, and the elder Miss Logan let her daughter know as much — with a clenched fist. Bianca’s solitary means of escape from physical and mental torment came once a year for a month at a time: NASA space camp. The alimony paid by her father, a wealthy industrialist who wished to remain anonymous in effort to disavow knowledge of his daughter’s existence, ensured Bianca a spot on the roster every summer and ensured her mother a bottle of bourbon every two weeks. When she was fourteen, the young Miss Logan met Mayumi Hurahara, who proved that life didn’t have to be miserable and that love didn’t have to involve taps. Pooling their resources, they hired an attorney, and Bianca was emancipated from her mother at the age of fifteen. After finishing high school in Florida and attending community college with an eye towards aeronautics, she, along with Mayumi, enrolled in NASA’s Astronaut Candidate training program, only to be drafted into the Beta and then Alpha Squadron. Demure and self-deprecating, Bianca Logan is quick to shoulder the blame for any situation, believing that she deserves the chastisement.

    Note: Logan wears a pair of black, horn-rimmed reading glasses for no apparent reason; they aren’t prescription.

    Eliana Nunes
    Pilot of Griffin-3

    Call Sign: Nike, Goddess of Victory

    First Appearance: Fight or Flight #316

    History: Much to the chagrin of her lawyer mother and playwright father, Eliana Nunes was born a natural athlete. Instead of studying and/or exploring the creative arts, she focused on the pommel horse, the hundred meter dash, and the back stroke — while maintaining a middling GPA to ensure her eligibility. In her junior year of high school, all signs pointed toward a full scholarship to the college of her choosing. She was riding high. She was living it up. And then, fate dealt her a humbling blow in the guise of a jealous competitor and a gun. Eliana’s left kneecap exploded, thrashing her ligaments and dashing her dreams, before she could take down her would-be assassin. After a year of recovery and graduation, Nunes joined the Air Force where she took a liking to boxing. An invitation to The Beta Squadron eventually led to her promotion to Alpha status. Self-motivated and undeterred by any obstacle, Eliana Nunes lives to sweat.

    Note: With her admittance to The Alpha Squadron, Nunes received a new artificial knee, forged from titanium and high-density plastic.

    Winthrop Blond
    Co-Pilot of Griffin-3

    Call Sign: Helios, God of the Sun

    First Appearance: Airliner Notes #101

    History: Born with a silver spoon in his mouth and a Visa Gold Card in his wallet, Winthrop Blond learned early on in life that any problem could be solved by dolling out enough money. With that knowledge in hand, his halcyon days were spent testing the limits of the law and decency, while indulging in the most carnal pleasures. Women, he found, were more than willing to perform in exchange for financial stability. And, his conquests, as he has always been more than eager to report, were many. But, parents — even ridiculously wealthy ones — can only be so understanding, for everyone has a breaking point. When Winthrop stole his father’s private jet for a weekend getaway to Amsterdam, the elder Mister Blond and his wife decided the punishment should fit the crime. So, they bought Winthrop’s way into The Beta Squadron, where his money line was truncated and his perfect smile only got him but so far. Forced to actually use his mind for a change, Blond — to the surprise of all — excelled in the flight program. Self-centered and self-assured to arrogant extremes, Winthrop Blond has finally been presented a challenge that won’t buckle under a check…and he kind of likes it.

    Note: Blond keeps an active tally of his sexual conquests as any classic lothario would: notches on a bedpost.


  • The Erinyes
    Echidna’s Enforcers
    First Appearance: Air Force Adventures #304
  • Echidna
    Mother of Monsters
    First Appearance: High Flying Funnies #666
  • Doctor Darrow Goodblood
    Call Sign: Epimetheus
    First Appearance: Marvelous Minds #299
    Note: Head of the Afterthought Project; Inventor of the Missing Link technology.
  • Rhona Playfair
    Pilot, Deceased
    Call Sign: Aphrodite, Goddess of Love
    First Appearance: The Amazing Air-Eight #747
    Note: Lost lady love of Aaron Kwan.
  • August Meadow
    Pilot, Deceased
    Call Sign: Apollo, God of Arts
    First Appearance: The Soar Spot #139
    Note: Brother of September Meadow.


  • The Zeus Complex: Citadel in the Sky, the headquarters of the Alpha Squadron.
  • The Pantheon Protocols: The rules by which the Alpha Squadron abides.
  • The Persophone Sanction: Co-pilots may not couple, enacted by Commander Kwan after the death of Playfair.
  • The Athena Council: An advisory board.
  • Griffins: Jets piloted by the Alpha Squadron.
  • Thunderbolts: Jet-Packs, baby!
  • Basilisks/Cockatrices: Jets piloted by the Erinyes.
  • The Siren Song: No fucking clue.

the PROGRESS: The first three scenes and an excerpt of dialogue from a later scene are available here.

the TROUBLE: I got it in my head that each scene should be written in a different style. The first was my fairly flowery default. The second was a dense metaphor (that is entirely too obtuse upon rereading). The third was based on flavors and scents. Later scenes would’ve been written as simple subject and verb, as pure dialogue, as movie script, as rhyming couplets, as whatever. It became a pain to write and a drain to consider. So, progress halted. Years ago.

the OUTLOOK: Chances of a revival are slim, although I have kicked around converting the entire story into a film script. Instead of progressing, I’ll strip the concept for viable parts and try, try again. Expect to see an OCD second-in-command elsewhere, for sure. And, plans are already in place for the names “Darrow Goodblood” and “Winthrop Blond.”

Category: Busted Outlets

7 Responses to “Busted Outlet: Flight of the Alpha Squadron”

  1. H.H. Neville

    Holy, man (not to be confused with Holy Man)…

    The description and detail placed in each of these characters is so vibrant and fully fleshed that I can’t help but imagine them having lived in more than mere synopsis. Only, you know, they haven’t.

    Anything making reference (especially so cleverly) to mythology gets a gold star. And antagonists so properly attributed to Echidna, Mother of Monsters and Cerberus, Hounds of Hell makes me wet. Well, at least, giddy.

    Though my natural inclination is of course to Mayumi (bubblegum punkish, in love with a nerd AND Japanese?), I have to say I find Winthrop Blond positively too derisive that I must enjoy him completely. He’s like the modern dandy, and dripping-sinful in that manner. Shades of Dorian Gray, certainly. Kudos.

    It’s entirely a shame (because it is so well thought up) that this is a clay pigeon, only serving to get shot down. It seems so prime for so many possibilities. That said, a fine Frankensteining of concepts will serve you well.

    And yeah, often I will attempt doing that “new theme for each section” technique and have never been able to keep it from going up in and flames and taking my excitement for the project with it.

    Oh well.


  2. kink

    Damn, I should’ve called this category “Clay Pigeons”.

    Because that is apt.

    Ah well…

  3. Tom Moses

    Clay pigeons, rock! See now you have to do something with that, “pull the clay pigeons” they almost sound like support staff, or kamikaze decoys.

  4. kink

    Or red shirts.

  5. Derrick

    You had me when I read the name “Rhona Playfair” which is a name so mollyfoggin’ good I wish I’d thought of it.

    This whole thing is so well thought out and described I can easily envision it as a “Sky Captain & The World Of Tomorrow” type of story, only better. Not to say I didn’t like “Sky Captain” but the range of characters presented here and the world they inhabit are so full of life and energy even in this synopsis that they’re practically yelling to go through their paces in a novel or screenplay.

  6. kink

    Resurrecting the series has come to mind a couple of times recently. Maybe as another serial?

    We’ll see…

  7. Calvin

    raisin@diisocyanate.financed” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    tnx for info….

Leave a Reply

Back to top