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Dragon Fire (22 pages)

Thinking he sees his departed secretary and lover, Lakota Rainflower, Dr. Adam Spektor rushes to Graceland Cemetery, where instead he finds the beautiful Lu-Sai. The two retreat to Spektor Manor to escape a freak storm that seems to be pursuing the young woman. Lu-Sai recaps the events of The Occult Files of Dr. Spektor #12, and tells Spektor her father's ring was all she could find of him, and that ever since she felt she was being pursued by something monstrous and destructive. Spektor in turn reveals that he is no longer under the curse of the werewolf, and tells her about Lakota. Lu-Sai tells Spektor she loves him, and promises to help him forget Lakota.

The next day, Spektor and Lu-Sai enjoy a day in Chinatown, unaware that they are being followed by a gang of Chinese assassins or "dacoits." As night falls, the two visit a temple of ancestor worship, seeking clues to the manifestation that haunts Lu-Sai. Lu-Sai participates in a ritual to communicate with the dead, but is unable to reach her father's spirit. The priest of the temple seems to know something about Dr. Tong, but is killed by a hidden dacoit before he can speak. Three more assassins appear and take Spektor and Lu-Sai as prisoners to an old warehouse. There, the couple are shocked to find the still-living Dr. Tong. Dr. Tong reveals that he still intends to deify himself and his daughter through a combination of modern science and ancient magic. Spektor is tied to a pillar and Dr. Tong sentences him to the death of a thousand cuts.

A freak storm once more begins outside, and takes on the physical form of an actual dragon, which enters the warehouse with a ring of fire. Dr. Tong's dacoits rush to defend Lu-Sai, but are quickly dispatched by the monster. Dr. Spektor realizes that the dragon is drawn not to Lu-Sai, but to the ring she wears. He removes it from her finger and gives it to Dr. Tong, insisting that the sorcerer put it on to save his daughter. Dr. Tong complies, and the dragon carries him away to some unrevealed damnation. Spektor tells Lu-Sai that her father was an evil man, but that he did love his daughter, and in the end sacrificed himself to save her. Spektor and Lu-Sai embrace, and decide to seek a new beginning together.

Note: The story of Dr. Spektor continues in Gold Key Spotlight #8. The Occult Files of Dr. Spektor #25 consists of reprints.

Dr. Spektor's Special Files (1-page): "The Frankenstein Monster"

Dr. Spektor recounts the origin of the monster (as told in Mary Shelley's 1818 novel Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus), and then tells of his own encounters with the creature, in The Occult Files of Dr. Spektor issues 6, 12, 16, and 18.

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