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Neo Teppen

A Martian Mystery

Astronaut Jim Summit was once a normal man with a normal job. His calling in life was to seek out the mysteries of the universe as part of Science Team Discovery, the world's top non-governmental exploration team. Whatever STD team asked of him, Summit delivered. And so it was when Summit and 8 other seasoned astronauts were sent on the first-ever manned mission to Mars.

The Truth About Mars

NASA had been aware of an ancient Martian civilization since the early 1960's. Powerful telescopes, or powerscopes, aimed at the red planet revealed glimpses of ancient Martian ruins in 1961. However, NASA lacked the technology to reach Mars and chose to team up with Hollywood to cover up the evidence of life on Mars with a steady stream of disinformation, including red herrings (My Favorite Martian), reverse red herrings (Mars Attacks), and utterly impenetrable convoluted red herrings (X-Files). For over 40 years NASA's campaign succeeded in keeping the people of the world out of the loop.

The truth about Mars was revealed in the summer of 2003, when an amateur astrophysicist, taking advantage of the planet's rare orbital proximity to Earth, spotted the ruins of what appeared to be an ancient Martian temple. Initially NASA dismissed the reports of Martian ruins as pure space bologna. But not everyone was ready to swallow NASA's heaping helping of processed meat.

Enter the STD

Science Team Discovery (STD) was founded by an anonymous group of industrialists in the early 90's for the express purpose of advancing scientific knowledge in areas where government agencies had left a void. Recruiting from among the Earth's top universities and institutions, STD put the world's top minds to work in fields as diverse as stem cell research and deep-sea oceanography. When STD became aware of the festering Martian question, they quickly formed an expedition.

The STD team, including seasoned pilot Jim Summit, boarded 3 rockets in the dusty Australian Outback on August 28, 2003 and set off on their historic journey to the red planet. Using advanced rocket technology of unknown origins, STD made the trip to Mars in under 10 days. All 3 rockets successfully landed on the planet's surface and the team set out to explore the Martian temple ruins.

Initial reports from Mars described a massive network of chambers, antechambers, and anti-antechambers hewn out of solid rock. Methodically the explorers made their way through the complex, transmitting detailed reports to Earth with clockwork-like regularity. However, just after the Team penetrated the inner sanctum of the Martian temple, all contact was lost. Before the team went silent, Jim Summit was heard to describe a brilliant green gem as "beautiful, unlike anything on Earth."

For three days there was no sign of the team. Then suddenly STD mission control picked up the thermal signature of all three rockets warming up for launch. But just as the ships pierced the Martian atmosphere, two were destroyed by what appeared to be an explosive green light. The explosions damaged the communications array of the third rocket, but it managed to barely escape the carnage and launched into space, with a heading towards Earth.

When the rocket finally returned to Earth, weeks later, the STD expected to find at least some of its team alive within. When they pried open the rocket's hatches however, all they found was an empty ship. Although no one was on board at landing, STD investigators did find space-lights left turned on, a space-door wide open, and space-water boiling on the space-stove, suggesting that someone had been in the rocket only hours if not minutes before it landed.

Summit Returns

With all 9 team members missing and presumed dead, STD put a halt to all further Mars exploration and mothballed their space exploration program. All records of the 9 team members were expunged and their families were told that they were elaborate figments of their imaginations, who had never really existed. Unbeknownst to STD though, one of the team members had in fact survived.

Just days after STD launched their cover-up, a man baring the name Jim Summit took up residence in Chicago, IL. An unassuming everyman, Summit raised nary an eyebrow as he moved into a Wickerpark apartment building. With all records of his existence destroyed, no one, not his nosey next-door neighbor, not the federal government, and not even the STD themselves had any idea that astronaut Jim Summit was alive and well and living in Chicago.

Summit's return to Earth wasn't the only secret he was hiding. While the events that occurred on Mars remained a mystery to all but Summit himself, one thing was clear - he had become a super Hero with 27 secret powers and a polymorphic suit! Under the guise of Kaiju Hero Neo Teppen, he began to fight the evil Kaiju menace worldwide, while still living in anonymity in Chicago.

Will the people of the world ever learn what happened on Mars and how it transformed Jim Summit into a super powered-Hero? That remains to be seen, but for now they can thank the stars that they have a new protector in Neo Teppen!

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