Chapter 5 - Questions, answers and arrivals
The small airstrip was quiet late at night with only with sound of crickets and other creatures of the night providing any sign of activity in the area. The tranquility was shattered by the descent of a sleek private plane which descended onto the landing area and taxied in smoothly for a perfect landing. After a few minutes, the lights all around the runway flickered on and the plane's door slowly slid open. Emerging from the aircraft were several people all dressed in business attire and clutching cell phones in their hands.
The first person out was a statuesque blonde in her mid 20's who looked remarkably like one of models who frequently appeared on the cover of fashion magazines. Dressed in a dark blue jacket and white blouse with a matching skirt, Cindy stepped down to the ground smoothly giving no sign anything was out of the ordinary. However, if anybody was around the deserted airstrip that night and been close enough to see the plane's occupants getting off, they would have seen the glazed look in Cindy's eyes and, judging by the fact that her nipples were showing quite prominently poking hard against her silk blouse, that she wasn't wearing a bra under her top.
The next two people out of the plane were a strikingly beautiful dark haired woman in her mid 30's wearing a backless black evening gown with a plunging neckline that barely covered her ample breasts and a bare back. Catherine also had the same blank look on her face as Cindy and seemed oblivious to the man next to her who had his left arm firmly around her waist. She smoothly stepped to the ground and stood still as if waiting for directions from her male companion.
The middle aged man, dressed in an expensive black business suit, had a very serene look on his face as he stepped off onto the runway and stretched his arms wide. "Ahh..nothing like a smooth plane ride to get me in the right frame of mind. Of course, when I have two very lovely women along to keep me company, it makes any trip I take enjoyable," he said with a small chuckle.
He then motioned the two women to a waiting luxury car while he pulled out a cell phone and punched in a number quickly. After a few seconds, he started to talk with the person on the other end in a rather urgent way. "....that's right, two more to go before it's all done and we can wrap up this little tableaux.... Don't worry about any loose ends... I've set in motion several things that will wrap up any and all complications that might result. I'll see you in about three hours and show you in person what I mean... see you then!.."
The businessman then tucked his cell phone back into his suit with the serene look on his face quickly changing to one of determination. "It'll only be a few more days and then all this planning and pulling of strings will finally give me the result I desire," he said to himself as he entered the waiting car and sat in-between the two women who had waited for him.
"Driver, take us to the address indicated on the dashboard. It should take about two to three hours altogether for us to get there but till then I don't want to be disturbed by anything, understood?" the man said to the car's chauffeur who nodded and raised the opaque dividing screen between them.
The businessman smiled as he settled back on the car seat next to his female companions. "Well, my lovelies, in a few hours, we'll reach our destination and be able to indulge our fun sides. Cindy, maybe you could wear that attractive bright emerald bikini for our usual moonlight swim. Catherine, that little black leather catsuit I picked up for you in Naples would look wonderful on you when we retire for some late night fun. Don't both those outfits sound fun, ladies?" he said, gazing first at one woman and then the other.
"Oh, yes, that sounds wonderful!" both women said in unison, with enthusiasm that seemed a little hollow.
The man chuckled as he leaned back and clicked on the TV as well as the VCR below it. When the set flickered on, the image of a blonde heroine talking to a news reporter could be seen in the foreground while women in various degrees of nudity could be seen in the background along with a man being led away in the background.
"Ah... the Power Girl incident... it turned out so well... for me!" the man laughed out loud as the car sped towards its destination.
The tennis courts that sat outside the mansion were deserted late on a summer night. Judging by the start of cobwebs around the chain link fence and locks on storage sheds that appeared not to have been opened for some time, the concrete surfaces had not seen activity by the mansion's residents for some time.
Suddenly, with a mighty rush of air, the cobwebs were blown away as a woman dropped out of the night sky and landed softly in the middle of the courts. Carrying the still unconscious Batwoman over her shoulder like a sack of potatoes, Shapeshifter glanced around briefly to make sure there would be no surprises before walking rapidly towards the back door of her employer's home. Pulling on the door with such force that she nearly ripped it off its hinges, the busty villainess stormed into the house looking for the owner and to ask the questions she needed him to answer that night.
Tossing her bound captive in the corner of the dining room, Kara moved through the house peering into room after room looking for her boss only to find a few unaware servants and nothing else. When she got to the main sitting room, she saw Puppet Master sitting in an large high back chair handing what appeared to be a check to none other than Nosferata, the very woman Kara had impersonated just a short while ago.
She was about to shout in anger about the scene when Nosferata began to shimmer and after a few seconds a different woman stood in her place. Dressed in skintight blue body armor with shiny steel scales covering her arms and legs, it was the villainess known as Madame Rouge. She was well known throughout the criminal community for her unusual ability to stretch and contort any part of her body as part of a deadly attack as well as her talent to, by sheer concentration, change her facial appearance to resemble whatever woman she chose to look like.
"It was her at that earlier meeting Batwoman mentioned!... Carl certainly likes to follow through a complicated plan that spares no expense it seems... hmm..." Kara thought to herself as Madame Rouge bade her employer a good day and strode out towards the back door, oblivious to Shapshifter's presence.
Kara waited till she heard the woman leave the house before she entered the computer room. Carl was just about leave himself when he stopped just short of colliding with the spandex clad woman. A brief look of consternation crossed the villainous puppeteer's face before the usual look of sureness took over once again.
"Ah, my dear Shapeshifter, I gather you were able to acquire a new addition to my garage vehicles without much of a hassle, yes?" he asked in a silky smooth voice.
"Batwoman is here and secured, Carl, but she's not been changed to your desired form as of yet. That's why I need to talk to you. There's been a few things that have happened recently which I need some answers to," Kara said as she walked over in front of the desk where her employer was.
Carl abruptly stood up, grabbed a brown leather valise off the desk and shook his head. "Look, I'd love to answer all your questions right now but I'm in a bit of rush right now so just leave me a note on the desk and I'll get back to you in a day or two, OK?" he said blandly.
The large oak desk was hurled to one side with tremendous force sending the computer and other materials on top onto the floor in a wide circle. Carl found himself thrown into the chair he had just risen from and staring up at an enraged Shape Shifter.
"No more putting me off, you bastard ! I want answers and I want them now !!" Kara snapped as she leaned forward till her face was literally inches from a now visibly nervous Carl.
"Now..now.. calm down, my dear, no need for violence. I'm sure I can give you the answers you want if you'll settle down just a bit..." the shaken man said in a soothing voice.
A large metal figurine impacted hard against a nearby wall where it remained part way embedded into it. Carl looked at the wall then up at at the enraged villainess who had stepped back a little though her rage was still evident.
"No more putting me off or telling me to get some rest! I want answers, starting with my ability to transform opponents I face seems to be fading in and out and why I've been experiencing these weak spells recently," Kara demanded, crossing her arms over her heaving chest.
Carl nodded. "Very well but you may not like the answers I'm going to provide. To begin with, your creation as a clone of Power Girl was the result of combining cells from Power Girl and a woman with transformation powers. In you case, it was Shimmer, a woman who you..umm... don't see eye-to-eye with, shall we say? Unfortunately, the combined DNA has resulted in a bit of instability in your transformation powers that only recently has become apparent. According to people I've talked from the genetic research area in my company, your ability to transform living matter now needs approximately 24 hours to recharge and sometimes will be accompanied by periods of dizziness and weakness," he said quietly.
The busty transmuter glared icily at Carl as she placed her left hand against a nearby wall "Shimmer!! Why the hell didn't you tell me about her connection before?" Kara hissed.
"That should be obvious. If I had told you of your connection to her, Shapeshifter, you might have been distracted from the plan I've hired you to carry out. It is after all why I have chosen to employ you and your unique talents," Carl said in a smooth tone while bending down to pick up some papers scattered on the floor.
"How did you find out the information about my creation anyhow? You weren't even around at the time when I first showed up.. so to speak." Kara inquired with a voice that had softened only slightly.
"Well, to be honest, it seems your previous employer, the erstwhile criminal known as the Auctioneer, ran a little short on funds while trying to stay one step ahead of the law. He agreed to turn over to me all his research files and pertinent data in his cloning research in return for a sizable amount of money. I've used this information to not only familiarize myself with your unique situation but I have my top researchers working on a way to stabilize your wavering abilities," Carl said smoothly.
"I suppose you'd want me to believe that your research is all for my benefit and at no charge whatsoever to me," Kara smoothly said with a definite air of disbelief evident in her voice.
Carl looked up at the black haired woman and broadly smiled. "Nothing so grandiose, Shapeshifter. It just so happens that genetic research is a very profitable business and any data that can be accumulated concerning stability of human cloning can be sold and resold for huge profits," he said as he put a picture frame back on a shelf. "Now then, unless you have some more questions, here's a folder I want you to read over concerning the final two acquisitions I want you to make to complete my pl...uhh..finish my house decorations. If you could ask the maid Gretchen to come in here and clean up the remainder of this mess, I'd appreciate it," Carl said, handing Shapeshifter a large brown folder.
The female villainess slapped the folder against her thigh in disdain and adjusted her skintight uniform slightly so that her nipples weren't quite as prominently showing due to her exertions. She glared at her employer with a look that made it clear she still wasn't completely happy. "Once this whole plan of yours is completed, Carl, you and I are going to have another conversation about what you know only it won't be in an area of your choosing!" Kara snapped before storming out.
The arch villain watched the tempestuous Shapeshifter leave and stood silently in contemplation for about thirty seconds or so before returning to picking up the odd piece of paper and book that was lying on the floor. He was just thumbing through some files pertaining to his European holdings when a window behind him quietly opened and in slipped the red and yellow uniformed Shimmer.
"Well, Carl, I see you've had yet another.. discussion.. with that psycho Shapeshifter. I honestly don't see why you even hired her to begin with when you have someone with my talents around," purred Shimmer as she rubbed her left tit up against her employer's body.
The villainous puppeteer, a little surprised by Shimmer's sexual overture, stepped back and looked her in the eye. My dear Shimmer, let me remind you that you have been hired to undertake certain tasks I assign you till my plan has been completed. Any attempt by you to procure a, shall we say, 'additional payment' may result in your premature dismissal and even possible penalties," he said icily, glancing at a clear glass case that contained several clay figures with amazing similarities to people who recently became 'guests' at the house.
Shimmer backed off abruptly, though her face showed she was clearly not intimidated by the thinly veiled threat directed at her. "Relax, Carl... take it easy. I was only trying to take some of that tension out of you," she said softly.
Carl glared at the red haired woman. "I'll take care of MY tension my own way, Shimmer. For now, I want you to take care of the task I gave you earlier today regarding our newest guest Batwoman. After that, your next assignment is detailed in this folder which you can read over tonight," he said, handing Shimmer another large brown folder.
Shimmer glanced inside quickly and her eyes widened as she scanned the contents. "Whoa, now, taking on and transforming Power Girl while she's temporarily oblivious is one thing but this...this is a whole different thing.." she said with a tone that showed a trace of fear and trepidation.
"Shimmer, you're being well paid to do as I ask. It may steel your courage that you won't be alone for that particular assignment. For now, take care of Batwoman per my instructions and I'll answer any questions you may have in the morning," Carl said as he sat down again and began to sort through the jumble of papers that lay scattered all over his newly upright desk.
"Self assured twerp!... he's going to get what's coming to him... maybe with a little help from me.." Shimmer mused to herself as she slipped out the same window she came in. She silently slipped over to where her car was waiting unaware that her movements were being watched from behind a nearby set of bushes by a person whose eyes reflected anger..and something more.
Meanwhile, back in the den, the villainous puppeteer busily sorted through the remainder of papers and computer disks that were still scattered around the room. After about twenty minutes or so, he leaned back in his chair wearily and glanced at his watch.
"Hmm.... I asked Kara to send the maid in here sometime ago. You'd think that after getting into scraps with some of the toughest heroines around, she could handle that little request.." Carl muttered to himself as he stood up and walked towards the room entrance.
The villain had taken no more than a few steps than an object came hurtling through the entranceway he was walking towards. He put his hands out and stopped the item before it slammed into him which by its size would have caused considerable pain to him unimpeded. When Carl pushed it back on the wheels it was attached to and looked at the item in question, he realized immediately what it was.
Until a short time ago, the item in front of him was the maid Gretchen who he had sent for earlier. She had been transformed into a vacuum cleaner while still retaining most of her female form. She was posed leaning forward on her knees with her face lowered downward. Her body now seemed to be composed completely of silver with an oversized ON/OFF switch sticking prominently out of her back . On her left breast, her nipple had also been transformed into a toggle switch with HI and LO written in black marker on the side . Her right breast had a similar switch with the words SUCK and BLOW written in next to it. Her mouth had formed into an ovular shape completely smooth with the interior devoid of anything you would see normally inside a human mouth.
When Carl looked at the back of the bizarre machine, he saw what looked to be a power cord coming out what was formerly the maid's ass and just above that was a note taped to the vacuum's shapely posterior.
I think Gretchen will be much more efficient
in cleaning the room now, don't you?
The villain looked at the vacuum and crumpled the note up with his hand in visible anger. "That arrogant genetic freak is starting to really irritate me. Luckily, I won't have put up with her after the next couple of days..or ever again!" he snarled angrily to himself. Carl then pushed the vacuum to one side and covered the obscene object with a large afghan before leaving the room, still red in the face from the events of the past hour or so.
Meanwhile, in another part of the house, Jill was doing some elementary bookkeeping on the bills for materials she had ordered to please her boss as well as writing out orders for the stuff Puppet Master had requested. She still thought of trying to get away from the madman who had forced her into this job but knew that even if she managed to escape the clutches of Puppet Master or that psycho bitch Shapeshifter, someone else under his employ would track her down and add her to the contents of the bizarre house she now lived in.
As she filled out the order forms for plywood and curtains that her boss had requested, she noticed a piece of paper that was lying under the desk she was at. Picking it up, she saw that it was carbon copy of an order form filled out by Puppet Master himself yesterday. From what she could make out, he was ordering explosive materials from a demolition company with a notation on the side about fireworks and a date of three days from today.
"What the hell is that maniac up to? What's so special going on three days from now? Hmm...." thought Jill to herself as she gazed at the piece of paper. Her train of thought was interrupted by the ringing of a buzzer at her desk indicating the delivery men were here with the latest items that she had ordered. She picked up the folder marked Stage and headed towards the door mulling over her options.... as time was seemingly running out for her to make a move.
Several hours later.....
Batwoman lifted her head slowly as she groggily regained consciousness. She looked around and saw she was in some sort of theater room with several rows of seats sitting in front of what appeared to be a recently constructed stage area. Sitting in the middle of the dimly lit stage backdrop was a woman dressed in bright red clothing with her arms raised at awkward angles.
The heroine tried to stand up but found herself bound by ropes that kept her arms and legs pinned tightly together with no leverage whatsoever. The best she could manage was to pull herself up so that she was sitting with her legs tucked under her with her hands still firmly tied behind her.
"Hello? Who's there? Could you help me, whoever you are?" Batwoman called out while trying to pry out a miniature Batarang from her utility belt. A minute or so later, she sighed as she felt her fingertips finally plucking out the weapon that would help her to undo her bonds.
However, before she was able to free herself, she heard a door open behind her and footsteps of a person entering the room. The person quickly moved to the bound heroine and roughly shoved her over so that she was lying on her back staring up. Batwoman looked up to see a red haired woman in a bright yellow outfit looming over with a malicious smile on her face.
"Who are you? You better let me go now if you know what's good for you! My partner will find out wherever you taken me and you'll be sorry when she gets here," Batwoman threatened defiantly as she tried once again to retrieve the cutting tool that was located in her waistband.
"Sorry, Bat broad, but I know different. I've been told that you always operate alone without the help of any other hero clods that seem to be everywhere these days . However, even if it's possible that you might have one of those costumed fools looking for you, I doubt they'll recognize you after I get through with you..." Shimmer sneered as she bent down and caressed the struggling heroine's cheeks.
"What the heck is this bitch up to? I just need a few more seconds to get access to my blade and then... and then.... mmmm...." Batwoman thought to herself even as her struggles grew weaker with every second of contact that Shimmer's hand had with her face. After a minute or two, the heroine's mental focus had diminished to the point that she barely even noticed that Shimmer had loosened the ropes around her arms and feet. Ordinarily, if she was given this opportunity, Batwoman would quickly turn the tables on her opponent, but the feeling of lethargy had invaded her right to her core consciousness.
The heroine barely noticed that Shimmer was swiftly removing her costume leaving her wearing only her cowl and undergarments to cover her shapely figure. When Batwoman's head sagged downward, she saw through a haze that her body seemed to be changing both in color and appearance. Her pink flesh was rapidly becoming a shiny brown in color with a wooden look to it as if she was made out of oak or maple. All traces of blemishes and freckles were vanishing from her outer appearance and her joints were becoming more pronounced by the minute with heavy black lines appearing along her shoulders, elbows and knees. Her mouth hung open with the same lines running down from the corners to the edge of her jaw and she felt she could no longer communicate at all.
Batwoman felt herself being propped up into a sitting position by Shimmer using the ropes that were tied around her hands and legs. Strangely enough, it felt natural now to the heroine to be in this position as if she was supposed to be in this pose and appearance.
"I need someone to pull my strings... need someone to make me walk and talk....." thought the puppet that till a few minutes ago was a heroine admired by the public and feared by the criminal scum. She felt herself being picked up and walked down to the stage that dominated the far end of the room. After Shimmer placed her on the stage, she could see the figure slumped on the stage that she first saw what seemed like an eternity ago. If she had been able to talk, she would have shouted out for the figure to stand up and face her. Unfortunately, she was unable to communicate anything at all, so she sat and stared at the chalky white face of someone she had encountered many times in the past.
The pale puppet that until recently was the villainess known as Harley Quinn stared back in quiet contemplation as they both waited for someone to pull their strings.
Later that night....
A loud screeching noise broke the still of the silence as the doors to the hanger swung open and the lights inside flickered on. Two figures walked inside with one holding a clipboard and looking over the petroleum drums and wooden boxes stored throughout he hanger. The other, dressed in a skin tight yellow unitard with a bright red collar, walked beside the clipboard carrying woman while looking around apprehensively.
"Thank you for your quick response, Spitfire. I didn't think the British consulate would be able to get hold of you in such a short time after we requested some special assistance in securing this area for a VIP visit. We appreciate any help you can give us." the blonde woman said to the foreign heroine.
"No problem at all, luv. I always wanted to see the colonies and I got me a ride on the Concorde to boot. What exactly do you want to give the once over to anyway?" Spitfire said with a pleasant smile.
"Well, if you could start by going through the barrels at the far end of the hangar and check to make sure the contents correspond to the ones listed, I'd appreciate it. After that, we can....." the woman said before the paper seemingly disappeared out of her hand accompanied by a large gust of wind.
About thirty seconds or so later, the busty speedster appeared back at the front of the hanger holding the inventory paper in her left hand with fresh check marks visible on it. "Well, that takes care of that. What's next on your list there, ma'am? Ma'am?" Spitfire inquired as she looked around for the woman she was just with.
"According to my list, you're next, Spitfire! If you surrender now, I promise you the whole process will be quite painless," a voice called out from the darkness in a nearby corner.
"Oooohh...and I suppose you just expect me to just give up without a fight to a person who can't even show themselves. You Yank villains have got a lot of nerve, I'll tell you what. Why don't you scuttle over here right now so I can see who it is that needs a proper thrashing?" Spitfire yelled, back hoping to lure her opponent out into the open.
"My name is Shapeshifter and my voice will be the last thing you'll be hearing for some time!" the blonde villainess yelled as she hurled herself at her intended target. However, Spitfire's super fast reflexes enabled her to dodge her attacker so that the villainess was only able to tear away part of her costume before landing on the floor several feet away. Spitfire quickly pulled up her costume to cover up the area which was laid barren by the attack.
Before Shapeshifter could pull herself to her feet, she found herself being bound by several feet of rope that wound around her tighter and tighter by the minute. After just a few seconds, the villainess found herself completely immobile with her hands pinned tight to her sides. She tried to flex her muscles enough to free herself but to no avail as she found only her fingertips had the tiniest of mobility.
"Now then, Supershifter or Shapeswitcher or whatever your name is, it's time for you to give me a little information as to your motives and if there's any other blokes that I should keep an eye out for," Spitfire said as she walked up to the bound villainess holding one end of the rope she had used to tie up her foe.
Just as the heroine was about to start interrogating her captured opponent, she heard a noise come from the opposite part of the hangar. When Spitfire peered around the corner, she saw a bald man in his early 40's walk out into the middle of the hangar. Dressed in a mostly black outfit with red and green stripes running along the edges, he had what appeared to be a large metal box strapped around his throat.
"All right, mate, just hold it right there. Before you take a step over here, I just wanted to tell you that I've already captured your female cohort without much trouble. If you tell me what you two want, I promise not to hurt ye," Spitfire called out using her captive's own promise in her statement.
The portly man looked at her and smiled. "What I want is for you to FREEZE!!!!!!" he yelled out and depressed a button on his throat piece when saying the last word. Spitfire eyes grew wide as she felt the sound waves impact upon her body from the command.
Spitfire was shocked! She couldn't move a muscle no matter how much she tried or wanted to. She saw the man walk over in front of her so close that his nose brushed hers. The heroine wanted to spit in his face or scream in anger over her present state but couldn't even twitch. Spitfire felt the villain's hand briefly caress his rigid body lingering for a moment or two on her face and breasts before he moved out of sight towards the bound Shapeshifter.
"I go by the nom de guerre Voice, Ms. Shapeshifter. Puppet Master sent me along to ensure you could carry out this mission without any problem or interference from outsiders. I'll release Spitfire from her current state just as you start doing your little trick," the villain as he pulled loose the rope wrapped around the blonde.
"Voice... geez, talk about a lame name... and little trick?... he better not cross my path anytime soon..." Shapeshifter thought to herself as she brushed off some dirt from her uniform and threw the rope that bound her into a nearby corner. She then walked over to the immobile Spitfire and placed her hands on the speedster's flushed cheeks before nodding towards the villainous Voice.
"All right, now. Spitfire, you can MOVE!!! " the Voice called out using his unique powers once again on the rigid heroine.
Spitfire found she was once again able to move but before she could use her phenomenal speed to apprehend the foes around her, the touch of Shapeshifter began to take effect. She found herself once more unable to move and this time it was accompanied by the feeling that her body was somehow changing. She could feel her skin becoming smoother as it was becoming the same color as her bright yellow costume. She felt her arms being pulled out from her sides forming a rigid T pose and her costume quickly being stripped away by Shapeshifter. Her hair seemed to melt into her skull becoming the same shiny material the rest of her was now composed of She wanted to fight and struggle against what was happening to her but found her resistance quickly draining away.
The heroine then started to experience waves of pleasure centering around her breasts and pussy as if they were being intensely stimulated by outside forces. If she was still able to move her head, she would have seen her nipples changing into what looked like rubber tires with a third tire appearing out of where her pussy used to be. The dramatic changes produced orgasms that were stronger than anything Spitfire had ever experienced before. She could feel her arms growing thicker and wider as if they were forming wings for her to fly. That thought seemed so natural and good to Spitfire as the transformation raced through her lithe form. Her legs seemed to melt together forming a single part made of plastic and metal with a fin growing upwards where her ankles formerly were.
"Mmmmm..to fly... soar through sky as far as the Controller wants... then landing... oooohhh..." thought the plane as it was set down on the floor . Bright yellow in color, the aircraft that till a few minutes ago was a vibrant woman and fearsome fighter sat on the floor waiting for someone starting it up. It still retained some aspects of humanity as its cockpit were round and colored the same as Spitfire's eyes and its wheel wells resembled two solid plastic breasts with the landing gear sticking out where the nipples would be. Nevertheless, it was completely inanimate now.. a large model plane about 5 1/2 feet in length waiting for someone to flip the ON switch.
"Well, better get you back to Carl. He probably has several hours of flying set aside for you , my dear," Shapeshifter said as she picked up the unusual plane and headed out of the hangar. The Voice followed her with little to say after seeing what was a very bizarre ending to the fight. He reckoned to get his money and get far away from this transmuter... life was too short for complications.
At the same time.....
The lights came up on the stage area revealing two figures standing near the center of the display. The figure on the left wore a black satin bra and panty set with a metal object clutched in her right hand while the other figure had a red, white and black body suit on and what appeared to be oversized novelty gun in her possession. The fact that strings held up their arms and legs as well as the ridiculously large happy grins on their faces pointed to the bizarre nature of their existence.
"...All right, master villainess Harley, surrender now or feel the wrath of my flying bat.." The black clad puppet called out as it's right arm slowly raised up with the pulling of the string attached to it.
" Never, super heroine Batwoman...taste the sting of my ultra powerful gun..! " The Harley puppet called out as her arms slowly flopped together with the gun in the hands.
Batwoman's right hand twitched forward and the batarang slowly bobbed forward on the string it was attached to. At the same time, the gun emitted a faint POP and a small bag flew outward. When the bag came in contact with the batarang, it opened sending flour cascading onto both of the lifelike puppets.
"I guess this fight wasn't what it was cooked up to be..." both puppets said as flour streamed down their faces. A few seconds later, the lights faded out and the puppets sagged to the floor.
"Marvellous!....Marvellous!!!....a great performance..." a man in an expensive suit yelled out as he stood up from his seat and clapped enthusiastically. On either side of him, a lovely woman wearing expensive clothing clapped in quiet appreciation while staring blankly ahead.
A minute or so later, two people emerged from the back of the stage and walked over to the trio who were the only spectators in the entire theater.
"Ah..you must be the redoubtable Shimmer, who I've heard so much about. I must say you are as every bit as good as your advance press indicates..." the bald man said as he took the redhead's left hand and kissed it lightly. He glanced up into the woman's face with a look that radiated serenity.
Shimmer blushed lightly at the compliment. "Why, thank you, sir. Carl just told me about your visit a short while ago. Will you be staying long?" she said, trying to place the man's face to a name in her memory. She thought she recognized him from a newspaper article long ago but couldn't put a name to the face.
"Oh, long enough to conclude business with Mr. Masters here. However, if you're around later on, I'd love to hear about some of your past exploits if you don't mind," the man said smoothly glancing briefly at the villainous puppeteer before returning his attention to the buxom transmuter.
"I think I can arrange that after I take care of the stage props, Mr..?" Shimmer said trying to elicit a little information from the mystery man.
"Phil, my dear, just call me Phil. I look forward to that talk quite a bit. Swing by the library later on and we can share our thoughts over a lovely bottle of champagne," he replied as he watched Shimmer walk off towards the stage slightly rolling her hips for his benefit.
Smiling at the brazen sexuality of Shimmer, Phil walked out of the stage area with Carl beside him and his female companions walking behind him. After walking into the main house area, he turned to Carl and flashed a big grin as he looked around the surroundings..
"Well, is everything set for the finale we arranged?" Phil asked looking over at the Crystal/Sue statue with unabashed appreciation.
Carl nodded quietly. "Yes, everything is set up for our departure. By the time they figure out what happened, we'll be in Europe with our new 'collection'," he stated confidently.
Phil's face darkened instantly. "NO..NO..NO!!!!...THAT'S NOT WHAT I WANT!!! " he thundered at the villain whose confidence drained away quickly.
"But..but...this is all set..why can't.?" Carl sputtered trying to regain his composure.
"Do as you're told, son!!! I've spent too long wallowing in the shadows of countless villas in Europe waiting to get my revenge on those who made me live there in wretched exile. Is that understood?" the elder man shouted at his son.
"Yes, Dad," Carl said in a crestfallen voice with his head dropping down in defeat.
Phil nodded emphatically and wrapped his arm around his son's shoulders. "Well, then, why don't we go look at your plans and I'll tell you what has to be changed, ok?" he said as the men headed off to the computer room.
The crisp night air was quiet with only the flickering of a solitary overhead light providing any noticeable noise. The tranquility was quickly shattered by the sound of a figure rapidly descending from the sky.
"Well, that takes care of this British bitch. I'm going to grab some sleep before talking to Carl about who is next. Maybe he'll give me a day off for me to...." Shapeshifter muttered out loud as she set the plane inside a nearby storage shed and walked towards the mansion's back door.
Suddenly, the whole area lit up with the lights from several vehicles at the far end of the property. Standing in front of them was a lithe female figure dressed in green armor that covered her head to toe with a glass cover over her head.
"They say revenge is a dish best served cold..and they don't get much colder than me right now, Shapeshifter. Prepare to die at the hands of Viper!" the villainess called out while the sound of several weapons locking became audible.
Shapeshifter sighed. "Just once, can someone let bygones be bygones?" she muttered as she prepared for the fight to start in a few seconds.
A fight where there might be only one person who walks away...
Next: The Best Laid Plans.......