“Don't tell me you're still mad,” said Lady Justice as she drove her modified Ford SUV. The vehicle had no nickname yet, but it had the logo of the city police as well as her superhero initials on the sides. It was also equipped with a powerful computer in lieu of truck space as well as a container full of gadgets Elsa had made for them. It was even equipped with special device on the roof that could project all kinds of fields. Jason and Elsa had recently cooked up something called a Motion Stasis Field, which could effectively halt anything caught in it, freezing all motion.
“You turned me into a statue for hours just so you could go on a date!” exclaimed Judgement Girl, referring to the incident two nights ago. They'd just defeated the villain Gorgun and had been testing her raygun which could turn things to stone. Jessica had used it on both her sidekick and their scientist friend Elsa Louiselle so she would be free to go out with her boyfriend and martial arts instructor Nathan.
“Relax, I won't do it again,” promised Lady Justice.
“Yeah, but only because the crime lab wanted to lock the weapon away,” muttered Judgement Girl. “I bet if we'd been allowed to keep it you'd still be using it.”
“Of course!” exclaimed Lady Justice. “I mean, even with all our gadgets we can't do much more than put our enemies to sleep using knock-out drugs or freeze them in place long enough for us to get closer. Remember what happened when I tried to enter the field?” The previous night the duo had used the stasis field on an escaping vehicle. Lady Justice had tried to apprehend the criminals while they were frozen but as soon as she'd entered the field she'd become immobile as well. “And even then it only lasts for around six minutes,” added Jessica. “If we could just turn crooks to stone, we could take them in no problem!”
“Yeah, but what if they're dropped and shatter?” Vicky pointed out. “That would be murder. Our duty is to bring these people in alive. Well, you might be able to get away with it as a cop, but I'm technically still a student. I could get in serious trouble.”
“I see your point,” conceded Lady Justice. Just then the car phone beeped and Judgement Girl turned it on. “We're here,” announced Jessica.
“It's Chief Meyers,” said the voice on the other end. “We've got four well-armed men robbing the Weston Bank. Get over there and see if you can back up the SWAT team.”
“We're on our way!” Lady Justice shouted, ending the call. “I'll just go left on 4th and we'll be there in two minutes tops,” Jessica muttered.
“SWAT was called in,” mused Vicky. “This could be dangerous.”
“Relax, Judgement Girl,” Lady Justice told her ward. “What's the worst that could-”
* * *
“-happen?” finished Lady Justice, suddenly seeing someone standing in front of the car who was promptly struck as the vehicle shot forward, doing fifty kilometers an hour. “What the hell was that?!” exclaimed Jessica as she stopped the car. On the windshield, looking battered, was Officer Davies. The superheroes got out of their vehicle and quickly moved to help him. “Oh god, are you alright?” she asked him, completely surprised.
“I'll let you know when you find my bladder,” muttered Davies. Looking at his crotch, the superheroes saw the cop had soiled himself during the collision. Then they both became aware that the streets were curiously empty around them when a moment ago there'd been lots of cars, and it looked darker than it had a moment ago. A squad car was near where they'd hit Davies, and his partner, Alice Tilly, was running over.
“What the heck happened to you two?” demanded Alice as she arrived. “We were on our way to where the bank heist happened when we saw your vehicle just sitting in the road. You weren't moving and he even opened the door. Your foot was on the gas but it was like you were dummies in a wax museum. He was coming back around when you suddenly hit him.”
“Wait, what?” asked Lady Justice. “We just got the call a minute ago about the robbery then we suddenly saw Carl in front of the car and hit him.”
“Just got the call? It was an hour ago!” exclaimed Alice. “We were coming from across town! The guys were inside the building one second then gone the next! They go away clean! Meanwhile you two were sitting there like we were, I don't know, frozen.”
“Frozen?” muttered Judgement Girl. “Look, we'd better sort this out later. Carl needs to see a doctor.” The others nodded in agreement and moved to check on the officer. Then, all at once, they all stopped. Carl was still on top of the SUV, unmoving and sprawled against the windshield. Judgement Girl was reaching out to touch him with her left hand, concern on her face. Alice was in mid-stride, heading towards the squad car, while lady Justice was standing there scratching her head with her other hand on her hip. Everyone stood motionless, as if they were part of a photograph. Even the fly that was hovering near the headlights of the SUV had stop, suspended in mid-air.
Giggling, the two goblins Tick and Tock emerged from their hiding place near the fire hydrant. As goblins, they were small and green but where more or less humanoid, though they lacked hair of any kind as well as genitals, as they were naked. Tick had light blue eyes which were solid while Tock's were a solid dark blue, the only real difference between them. They were servants of Loki, the ancient Norse god known as the Trickster, and they were going to cause mischief.
With time stopped at the scene, Tick and Tock were free to do as they pleased. Giggling all the while, they pulled Carl from the windshield and placed him on the ground. Next they pulled down his pants and underwear, revealing his crotch. Then they picked up Alice and carried her over to where Carl was. Everyone was rigid like statues, but because the goblins could control time they were able to manipulate the frozen victims. They reposed Alice so that she was on her knees, her face in Carl's groin area.
Not done with their fun, the duo walked over to Judgement Girl and moved her over to where Lady Justice was. She was positioned so that her outstretched hand was now touching her mentor's right breast. Satisfied, the goblins came together. “How long should we leave them for?” asked Tick.
“Until the news van gets footage for their program!” Exclaimed Tock, and his companion agreed. Both giggled as their touched their pinkies together and promptly vanished from sight, leaving the frozen scene for all to see.
* * *
“Just what the heck could of done this?!” demanded Jessica the next day in Elsa's lab. Vicky was there with her, and they were speaking with Elsa and Jason. “Alice said it was like we'd been frozen, and it sounded like the stasis field but it lasted far too long. Plus they were able to get close enough to wave hands in front of our faces.”
“Not to mention you somehow found yourselves another thirty minutes after that in rather unusual positions,” added Jason, grinning slightly. He promptly stopped when the superheroes gave him the evil eye.
“Police at the scene of the bank robbery claimed the crooks seemed to vanish as well,” Vicky pointed out. “Could they have some kind of device that could freeze things like that?”
“I don't know how that could be, but maybe,” muttered Elsa as she scanned her computer files. “Unless we can prove that something somehow caused this to happen, Alice and Carl are going to be fired and we might lose funding.”
Jason reassuringly put his hand on Elsa' shoulder. “Don't worry, I'm sure we'll figure it out,” he told her. He then turned to look at the superheroes. “You two might as well head out on patrol again,” he told them. “There isn't much we can do until we figure out what's going on.”
After the duo had left, Elsa looked up at Jason. “Do you think whoever supplied Gorgun with her ray could have created something like this too?” she asked him worriedly.
“No way,” answered Jason, shaking his head. “We're talking about turning something to stone using molecular modification and defying the laws of time. I bet if we tried hard enough we could make our own petrifying ray, but something beyond a stasis field? This might as well be magic.”
* * *
A couple of hours later Lady Justice and Judgement Girl had just left their car to go grab some lunch when someone suddenly let out a scream. Turning, they saw a crazed man running around the sidewalk, trying to pull a female bystander closer to him for some reason. He was making kissing sounds with his lips, so it was assumed he was some kind of sexual deviant. Sighing, Lady Justice raced over and struck the man once across the back of the neck, causing him to fall flat to the ground. Judgement Girl was hanging back however, as she noticed something odd. It looked like two small green things were sitting underneath a nearby bench, giggling. They looked human yet they weren't. Determined to figure out what they were, Judgement Girl headed over to examine them while Lady Justice picked up the man by the collar and began interrogating him.
Tick and Tock had gotten sloppy and hadn't realized they were no longer invisible. Thus they were startled when Judgement Girl suddenly leaned down to confront them. “Hello there,” she told them. The two shouted in surprise, which got Lady Justice's attention along with the others around them. In a panic, the two touched their palms together.
No sooner than had the action been completed, all sounds ceased. The passing cars, the talking of the bystanders, the chirps of the birds, everything went quiet. The two goblins had stopped time once again. Breathing out a sigh of relief, they crawled out from their hiding place. “She saw us, what should we do?” asked Tick.
“We leave her frozen!” exclaimed Tock. “What better way to cause problems then leaving the only ones that know who we are stuck without any means of telling people?!”
“Genius!” agreed Tick. The two then went to work. They freed the crazed man from Lady Justice's grasp and then relieved his mind of their tampering. He wouldn't remember what had happened.
Next they moved Judgement Girl so she was standing up straight, then began playing with her pose. She ended up leaning backwards with her right arm outstretched and her her left hanging out to the side. They then made Lady Justice look like a performance artist pretending to be a tree, her arms spread out to her sides slightly bent. They then tipped her over to the right for added fun. Pleased, they left the two and once again brought their palms together, this time inside the superheroes' car.
Time in the area restarted, but the superheroes remained as they were, rigid in their odd poses. People instantly grew curious and gathered around, but Tick and Tock hypnotized the crowd by freezing them and then using their gazes to convince them that the heroines were fine. Thus Lady Justice and Judgement Girl would be left on the sidewalk, no one paying them any mind.
Meanwhile at Vernon Enterprises, Lilly was heading for her father's office. She once again wore her running shorts and tank top. She was in such a hurry that she didn't notice Tick and Tock until it was too late, turning her head as she walked. Then she was frozen along with everyone else in the building. The duo then noticed something odd about Lilly and studied her for a moment. “Lets take this one!” Exclaimed Tick.
“Yeah, we'll leave her frozen and remove her clothes!” Agreed Tock. They instantly went to work, picking up the immobile Lilly and taking her outside. Only her super-friends could save her now, but they were out of the picture as well.
* * *
Police now had Lilly in custody on charges of public nudity. However they had been unable to get her to move and claimed she was 'like a statue.' Nathan was walking to his bike from the restaurant where he'd been planning to meet Jessica when he saw the very same girl. What he couldn't understand was why she and Victoria were both standing in the middle of the sidewalk in odd poses, not to mention why no-one seemed to notice. Putting an arm around Lady Justice's back, he waved his hand on front of her face. “What happened to you?” he asked her with concern. “Can you hear me?” People around them were looking at Nathan like he was talking to himself. He was really lost.
“I'd better get you two out of here and figure out how to help you,” decided Nathan as he picked up Lady Justice. “Who knows what creep could come along.” Of course it quickly became difficult when he realized he couldn't fit the rigid heroine on his motorcycle. Vowing to buy a car or truck, Nathan called Elsa and Jason who rushed over.
Later in the lab, both Lady Justice and Judgement Girl stood in capsules in Elsa's lab. Both scientists were studying information on the computer. “There's nothing chemically wrong with them,” announced Jason. “Yet that doesn't change the fact that it's like they're frozen in time.”
“Could hypnosis do this?” asked Nathan.
“No, they're too perfectly stiff,” explained Elsa. “I hate to be the one to say this since I'm a scientist, but I think we're literally dealing with magic here.”
“Wonderful,” muttered Nathan. “How the hell can we counter something like this?”
“Temporal realignment,” explained Elsa. This got a blank stare from Nathan and a raised eyebrow from Jason. “I've been running tests and we do know that a field of tachyons can cause a person to move slightly faster, though we don't have technology to do more than that and it causes a person to age faster. If we used the same concept on someone who's frozen like they are, I bet we can get them back to their normal speed.”
“It's worth a try,” agreed Jason. “Temporal science wasn't part of my degree, so you'll have to lead the way, Elsa.”
A short time later the experiment was ready. As Jason and Elsa prepared to bombard the two heroines with the particles, Nathan snuck over to Lady Justice and gently touched her face. “Just in case I don't get to do this again,” he told her quietly as he kissed her on the lips. It was a bit unusual since she couldn't put anything into it, but he didn't mind. He could still feel the sensation on his own mouth and enjoyed it all the same.
“Alright, lets give this a shot,” announced Elsa a moment later. The capsules were sealed and the machine was activated. Light flared from inside the containment units as Lady Justice and Judgement Girl were exposed to high amounts of tachyons. Nathan didn't really understand what that meant, but if it could get them to move again he was all for it.
At first nothing seemed to happen. Then as the lights died down Lady Justice blinked. A moment later Judgement Girl did as well. Slowly but surely, the two got out of their usual poses and began to move normally, looking around in confusion. “Success!” exclaimed Jason, cheering and patting Elsa on the back. Nathan ran to the capsule holding Jessica and opened it. She moved to greet him.
“Ugh... what happened?” asked Jessica. Nathan merely smiled and pulled her close to kiss her again. She was confused but at least this time she could return it. Victoria stumbled out of her own capsule.
“Did we get... stopped again?” asked Judgement Girl as she tried to comprehend where she was.
* * *
Meanwhile at the police station, Lilly stood in a holding cell, a towel pinned around her to cover her exposure. She was still stuck in the same mid-stride pose. Police Chief Wanda Meyers came up to the cell. She was in her early 40's but still looked about thirty-six, her dark well-groomed hanging around a face that showed few wrinkles. The Chief was very vain and constantly tried to look younger, not doing too bad of a job.
“You'd better wake up soon, little miss,” muttered the head of police. “If you don't, we're going to have one hell of a-” Meyers was cut-off as she, along with everyone in the station, was frozen as Tick and Tock touched their palms together. Giggling, they took the key from the Chief's frozen hands and unlocked Lilly's cell. Tick then stood before her and gazed intently into her eyes.
A moment later, Lilly blinked and found herself standing in a prison cell wearing nothing but a towel! She looked around, trying to make sense of it. She'd seen two little green things and then... Looking around, she saw Police Chief Meyers standing on front of her cell, her right hand on her hip and her left looking like it was holding something, though Lilly didn't see anything. “Umm... what's going on?” she asked the chief. Meyers said nothing, standing there in the same pose.
Confused, Lilly walked up to the woman and waved her hand in front of her face. She didn't blink or even seem to notice the hand. Perplexed, Lilly reached out and touched the woman's shoulder and began to wiggle her. She rocked back and forth like a store mannequin would. “It's like you're... frozen!” exclaimed Lilly. That's when she realized there were no noises at all. Looking out into the hall, she saw several police officers and prisoners, none of them moving. They looked like part of a photo. “Everyone's frozen!” she exclaimed. Confused but not wanting to stick around, she spotted her clothes in the cell and quickly put them on. If Meyers was aware of what was going on, she'd just gotten a little show. As she prepared to exit, she suddenly felt the unusual compulsion to kiss Meyers. She did so, feeling very silly afterwards.
Leaving the cell behind, Lilly walked out into the lobby of the station. Looking out the window she could see people going along as normal, but everyone within the building appeared to be frozen. Not just people either, Lilly saw, as a paper hung in mid-air above a garbage can. “This is too weird,” she muttered. Her eyes then went wide as she saw who was standing near the door, frozen in mid-stride. “Victoria!” she screamed, running to towards the immobile superhero. Beside her stood Elsa, their scientist friend, who had some strange device in her hands. Victoria's face was stuck with a determined look on her face while Elsa was looking down, her gaze fixed on her device. Curious, Lilly reached out to touch it when suddenly Elsa walked right into her!
All at once time had gone back to normal in the precinct. Elsa had been looking at her device and not noticed Lilly suddenly appear before her. Judgement Girl stopped and turned to look at Lilly in surprised. “We were just coming to get you!” she exclaimed. Then the building's alarm went off.
“Prisoner escaping!” came a voice over the loudspeaker. Instantly six cops surrounded Lilly as she lay on the floor.
“No wait, stop!” shouted Judgement Girl. “She's innocent! We know why she was stuck like that!”
By now Police Chief Meyers had arrived. “You'd better explain this to me, Judgement Girl,” she told the heroine sternly. “I have half a mind to arrest you for helping her escape.”
“Please listen,” pleaded Judgement Girl. “We've discovered that two goblins were the ones that caused all the weird things to happen. Alice and Carl frozen while appearing to be having oral sex, us stuck in the streets, Lilly being naked in public...”
“I was WHAT?!” shouted Lilly, suddenly incredible embarrassed.
“Goblins huh?” asked Meyers, obviously skeptical. “How the hell do you expect me to believe a story like that?”
“Because we have them right here!” announced Lady Justice as she appeared by the doorway. With her were Nathan and Jason. In her hands she held Tick, while Nathan held Tock well away from his companion.
“Judgement Girl described the goblins to me and we raided a mythological database,” explained Jason. “We learned that these two are Tick and Tock, servants of the Norse God Loki. They're tricksters, and they're capable of both stopping time and hypnotizing people. That's why the crooks vanished, why people were seemingly frozen like statues, and why people were acting so oddly.”
Letting out a breath, Meyer rubbed her temples. “Fine, since you've got two little green creepers there I guess that makes more sense than anything else around here,” she admitted. “Boys, take those two into custody.”
“Be sure to keep them sedated,” added Lady Justice. “That's how their powers wear off, whenever they're asleep or unconscious.” Two officers took the goblins from Nathan and Lady Justice. It was then that the two suddenly awoke and, now close enough to touch, put their palms together. Before anyone had even noticed they'd once again stopped time.
“That was close one Tick,” said Tock after squirming free from his captor.
“You said it Tock,” agreed Tick. He walked over to Lady Justice, who's hands were still outstretched from giving up her prisoner. “This one is very strong, her punches hurt!” he exclaimed.
“Well, they beat us,” admitted Tock. “You know the rules. We'll leave them alone for now.”
“Yeah, we can't disobey he rules,” agreed Tick. “However, we should leave them a parting gift...”
By the time the superheroes and everyone else were no longer frozen, Tick and Tock were gone. However, everyone was more curious about why Lilly and Judgement Girl appeared to have been kissing one another when they came back to their senses. Nathan discovered a note in his hand. “They'll be back to play again, huh?” he muttered as he read the paper. “Yeah, why am I not surprised?”
Continued in Hearts of Stone and Ice