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Master (I). The Master (I) was created by George Allan England (Thomas AshleyPaul Kramer, Slattery & Bender, Allan Stern, John Storm, Leonidas Tripp) and appeared in “The Flying Legion” (All-Story, Nov. 15-Dec 20, 1919); the serial was collected as The Flying Legion (1920).

In an undefined future “the Master” is a successful and wealthy mercenary who is bored, like many of his soldier of fortune friends, by peacetime. So the Master and his friends, including the masked “Captain Alden” (who is actually a woman in disguise), steal a technologically-advanced airship, steal the Black Stone and the Golden Spout from the Ka’aba and hold them for ransom. They go to a hidden city in the Rub al Khali, which has a mosque made almost entirely of gold, and begin negotiation for payment, meanwhile wiring the Stone and Spout with explosives. During negotiations the explosives accidentally go off, and the Master and his comrades are forced to flee from the city. They wander through the desert and only the Master and “Captain Alden” make it out alive. They return to New York City and become lovers and eventually work with the authorities against the Master’s traitorous lieutenant.

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