THE GUARDIANS PLAGUE YEARS BY RICHARD AUSTIN

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Copyright 1988.

The Guardians are in Texas resting after their harrowing adventure south of the border when they get an unexpected visit. None other than their number one foe Ivan Vesensky gives himself up. He is there to arrange a truce on behalf of the Federated States of Europe. There is a mutual threat to the world. William Morrigan a former mercenary under Maximov has a deadly virus. He threatens to unleash it if not acknowledged as supreme ruler. He has already unleashed it in Cleveland and 25,000 are dead. A quick visit to Oklahoma City and their other nemesis Reverend Forrie Smith they meet none other then Chairman Maximov himself. So with a teleconference with the President and the two sides agree to work together to stop Morrigan.

Thus the Guardians with Vesensky and a FSE scientist Dr. Suzette Ngyuen arrive in Cleveland. They are nearly killed by the Ohio National Guard because Morrigan has threatened to unleash more of the plague if the Guardians aren’t destroyed. They are rescued in the nick of time by forces of the Motor City Madman. The Madman is a former professional wrestler who now controls a little empire based in Detroit. He has been threatened by Morrigan and has to give up his woman Merith Tobias the sexiest actress in this fictional ’90s world.

The Guardians and Vesensky are presumed dead so they go in disguise as guards to bring the tribute Merith so they can infiltrate the madman’s stronghold in the ruins of Chicago and stop his plans for world domination.

Well this was a fascinating book. We get a meeting between the Guardians and their greatest enemies. Most notably Chairman Maximov in an Empire Strikes Back type meeting. They also get to work with Ivan Vesensky and have a grudging respect for him. The Motor City Madman was a great larger than life personality. He is a very educated man with a degree in history but found out that it wouldn’t get a job in the real world so he took up the lucrative art of professional wrestling.

Finally we get to meet the famous Merith Tobias. She has been mentioned throughout this series as a sort of Marilyn Monroe of the nineties. The enemy they have to fight is a total crackpot with delusions of grandeur. Fortunately he is discovered to be a fraud. He has no virus but is using nerve gas. Still he has the gas hidden around the country and has no qualms about releasing it. A fun addition to this series.

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