"The Air-Pirates of Mars! Chapter Two: From the Shadows... Stara-Kan!"
Fresh from rescuing Dejah Thoris and Tars Tarkas from renegade Warhoon in Zodanga, John Carter uncovers a plot to destroy the Atmosphere Factory in Helium. Which would effectively wipe out all life on Mars.
Dejah spots a Red Man trying to flee the scene. Carter captures the culprit, who strangely remains silent throughout.
The trio return to the great city Helium, with the stranger restrained, ready to face instant justice at the Tower of Reward.
Carter pleads to question the prisoner - by probable means of torture, but is swayed by the alternative choice of a night's passion with Dejah Thoris. Who could blame a man, Jasoomian (Earthling) or Barsoomian (Martian) for neglecting his duties?
Thrown into a solitary cell, the mute Red Man disconnects a prosthetic arm concealing a weapon. He makes quick his escape, killing a Green Martian guard along the way.
Early the next morning, John is alerted of the prisoner's absconding. John ponders whether to re-apprehend the fugitive, or the more pressing concern of patrolling the Atmosphere Factory. The latter proves more essential.
John and Tars Tarkas ride out on their Thoat steeds to the air processing plant. Overwhelming dread fills the pair when they find the sacrosanct doors of the structure left wide open. Immediately they are set upon by White Apes, who it becomes apparent are controlled by the escaped prisoner, Stara Kan.