"Oh, it's you my dear! What happened to that metal monstrosity!?!"
Sitting up bolt upright, the proffessor looked about the room. With Jean's help he got up unsteadily to his feet, a nasty purple welt on the back of his head, but otherwise, to Jean, he seemed unharmed. He stumbled across the room and poured a small shot of brandy and gulped it down. With a gasp, he blinked and took a longer look around the room before noticing Jean.
"Oh my stars, what happened to you?", noticing her torn blouse tied around her chest.
"I tangled with that droid professor. I take it that it wasn't one of yours? Or was it one of yours? I tried not to wreck it but it was a tricky little bot. Gassed me and got away...Tore my clothing up pretty good..."
Stopping to retrieve a patriotically colored costume from her locker Jean steps behind a room partition and begins to recount her evenings activities. While retelling the story of her encounter with the bot earlier this evening, Jean removes the tattered remains of her clothes and pulls on a Lycra sleeveless/legless costume colored with red and white vertical stripess. Pulling the stretch top up and behind her Jean connects several snaps together to hold the top in place.
"... so there I was Professor. Hanging from the tree waiting for the police to let me down." Jean slips a slender Blue belt around her trim waist holding it in place with a silver star belt buckle.
"It was humiliating Doc. If that Droid isn't one of yours I have to go after it to make sure no one else gets hurt..." Adjusting a Red domino mask and tugging on a pair of wrist length blue gloves, Jean pauses to regard herself in the mirror.
"... and as Maiden America I may be just the gal to get the job done." A faint smile crossess Jean lips as a certain patriotic pride starts to stir in her. Looking about Jean picks up a pair of calf length boots before stepping around the partition to talk to the good professer better.
"No my dear, it definitely was not one of mine. I have hardly touched that kind of massive technology," looking about amazed the damage the droid caused.
"That beast was beyond anything I have done. My cybernetic structuring helmet is getting closer to completion as most people in this field knows, but that thing...", pausinged and sitting heavily onto his chair, "...It was horrible and yet incredible in the technological know how that must have went into it."
He looked up at the beautiful young heroine standing in the middle of the room. "Be careful, my dear, that thing may be unstoppable. Do be careful."
Maiden pauses a little thoughtful as she pulls her boots on, "Could be they were after you or your notes on this cyber thingie you're working on. I suppose that means it's even more important to find out where this thing went. Don't worry though. You know I'm always careful doc. Be back before you know it." Pausing to flash the elderly Professor a dazzling smile, she waves a brief farewell before hopping out the window taking flight.
Into the night air the heroine flew, her cape fluttering behind in her. As the few people still drawn nearby by the fight and the police sirens point up at Maiden America, she looked around the horizon. Nothing, not even a flash of metal from the droid's body could be seen. It might have been twenty minutes since it took off, leaving her bound to the tree. Gaining more altitude, Maiden America could faintly make out a trail far to the north, towards Kensington and the wealthier side of town.
With nothing to lose but time, she headed in that direction. Over Shay's Park she flew, again attracting attention of people taking evening strolls downtown. Over the skyscrapers and the businesses that dotted the northern half of Centerville Maiden America soared. As she moved north, the trail became more clear; obviously she was flying faster than the droid was. As she passed over the river, she could see that the trail arched downwards in the distance, the smoke glowing faintly in the light of the full moon. Flying over the nicer homes and then the mansions of the elite of Megapolis, she saw that the trail dove down into a copse of trees just on the rolling, rich outskirts of one of the wealthiest places in the world.
Finally, a half hour after she took to the skies, the heroine flew over her goal. It was a high fenced, dozen acre plot of well groomed land with an asphalt and marble driveway leading to an exorbitant mansion. A small pool house behind the huge edifice, two stories high but wide and rambling. A single sports car was parked in the half-circle drive before the mansion, but other than that, it looked utterly abandoned. There were no lights in any of the hundred windows. The property itself was dotted with security lights and the fence gate was closed, but otherwise it looked unlived in. Even the pool was drained dry.
Maiden America landed with a light step, facing the grounds, onto the entrance to the mansio. Unconsciously she adopted her power pose as she surveys the area for any signs of activity. Though looking abandoned, Maiden takes notice of a car and concludes that such an appearance may be exagerated. Acknowledging the possibility of an error she decides it best to be diplomatic about her investigation. Turning about to face the door she raps the door smartly with a blue gloved knuckles several times. The knocks echo loudly across the silent parking area and yard for a few momemts before a silence settles in. Not a flicker of life except for a squirrel gazing down at the heroine from a tree. After a few moments, it scurried off, leaving Maiden America alone again. Minutes passe, and the door remains unmoved. If someone were home, they were not answering the door.
Maiden America purses her lips thoughtful. "Perhaps the place is abandoned", she thinks to herself. Eyes falling on the sportscar in the driveway she decides to investigate the vehicle further for possible clues. With a slight swaying of her hips and a crunchiing sound of gravel beneath her booted feet Maiden America walks over to look the sportscar over for further clues.
The silver Firebird sat stoic in the driveway, like some kind of modern raven quoting the same line regarding the abandonment of the mansion. Tracing over the hood of the car with a gloved hand , Maiden America knew it hadn't recently arrived here since the engine was cool. It was clean on the outside, and peeking in the window revealed nothing inside. Pulling at the door handle, the redheaded heroine discovered it to be unlocked.
Sitting down in the driver's seat, Maiden peeked down at the odometer reading "839". The car was practically brand new. The ignition was empty, with no keys in sight. The car was otherwise empty from what could be seen. Nothing in, under, or between the seats, nothing on the dashboard. Flipping the glove box open revealed only the owner's manual. Moving the manual aside revealed a registration under it. "Drake Boyd," was the name on the card, with the address below it. The address was down in Reichsborough, in the irish district, certainly not this upscale neighborhood.
Looking over the car once more, before getting out, she noticed something on the blind. Pulling the blind down, a card; slips from its holder. Taking hold of the card, Maiden four herself looking at a driver's license. It apparently belonged to a redheaded woman. The picture was fuzzy, but Maiden America could make out the blue eyes and curly locks of red hair that cascaded down the woman's back. The address on it was the same one down in the Irishton area, but the name piqued her. "Melania Boyd, 6'1", 145 lbs." were the stats, with a social security number next to it.
Suddenly a light flashed. Just for a moment, the car was bathed in white light, then nothing. As the heroine looked about, her vision dotted, she couldn't make much out. Then, up on the second floor, she noticed a flicker of white light inside a front-facing window, before it disappeared. Maiden America paused in the car, her eyes blinking away the afterimage left by the bright light, for a moment. As the dotted lights fade, Maiden shifts her shapely rump off the driver's seat as she prepares to investigate this odd event. Pausing a moment to let her eyes readjust to the night, Maiden absently straightens out her costume. A moment later, Maiden is up and in the air with a light skip of her shapely leg. Hovering before the second floor window, Maiden peers into the window for several moments. Rapping on the window lightly, "Hello?", Maiden calls out looking for any sign of activity in the house.
Peering inside revealed a few sheets thrown over what looked to have been a bed and assorted furniture. No sign of life again, with no explanation where that flash of light had come from. The single ceiling light would never have been that bright. Opening the window and stepping over to the window Rim, Maiden entered the room looking about. Calling out a greeting, "Hello? Is anyone here? I saw a light." Running a finger along the base of the window, showed a layer of dust. Evidently the premises aren't often used. Walking along the wall Maiden runs her hand along the surface looking for a light switch.
As her finger comes across the dimmer switch, a dim light came on to light the room. Definitely a bedroom, she thought to herself. A dresser, vanity, and other furniture outlined under sheets. The plush carpet on the floor had a slight layer of dust, but the scent of dust was tempered with that unique smell of 'new'. Everything about this room, other than the dust, bespoke of a pristine newness.
Suddenly a pair of metallic hands burst through the plaster of the wall next to the light switch. In moments, the hands grabbed the heroine by the outside of either shoulder. Metal fingers gripped her tightly, and pulled the sound of plaster breaking against Maiden's form was heard. With a second jerk Maiden America was pulled off her feet and yanked through the plaster and wood wall. A two by four plank slammed into the back of her head and shattered. The cloud of plaster covered both heroine and droid as Maiden America was hurled across the hallway and through another wall. The patriotic heroine finally came to a stop as she slammed into a brick fireplace, also clean and apparently unused.
Several bricks plunked down about her and she was pelted with cement from the now damaged fireplace. Looking up, Maiden America saw the metallic construct stomping through the hole she had made. It raised a hand and opened its palm to face the heroine. A small circular appature slid open, and a small barrel slid out, ominously pointed at the heroine's chest. More startled than hurt by her trek through the buildings fixtures, with a loud clang, Maiden America's boot slammed into the barrel, snapping it somewhere within the robot's arm, and sending it clattering across the room. Rolling to a kneel, the redheaded heroine lunged foward as the robot lowered the one arm and raised the other. Before the slower moving machine could react, her boot flashed again, kicking the robot in the middle of its body.
More plaster flew as the droid crashed back through the already damaged wall and bounced onto its back in the middle of the hallway. The robot rolled over onto its back as the heroine stepped through the much larger hole. As the robot raised that arm again, a tiny opening slid out in its index finger and pointed directly at the center of her chest. Before it could do whatever it had planned, Maiden America grabbed the finger, and in a burst of fantastic strength snapped it off in a shower of sparks.
Taking a step back and hopping a few feet in the air, to gain momentum, Maiden America brings both feet down on the robot's chest. A shower of sparks spit up around her blue boots, the chest plate dented then cracked, allowing Maiden America to enter the vulnerable area within. Circuit boards crunch as the rest of the heroine's weight comes down inside the chest cavity, destroying the robot's "brain". Tiny shocks of electricity shot up her long legs, tingling but hardly hurting the damage resilent heroine. With the last of its "thoughts", the robots arms reach up and lock around Maiden's ankles in it's death grip before before freezing up.
With the circuit boards and twisted metal around her feet, it was hard for Maiden to get any leverage to pull her ankles free of the dead robot's grip. Leaning down, she grabbed the fingers of one hand and slowly bent them back, freeing her blue boot. As she started to work on the other foot, she heard the distinct 'click-click' sound of someone in heels coming down the hallway.
Looking up, Maiden America saw a woman walking down the hallway. The woman was tall, taller than Maid, with curly red hair that cascaded over her shoulders and bounced with every step. Her blue eyes seemed a bit glassy as she approached the Maiden America, but what really surprised the heroine was the attire this woman was wearing. It was almost exactly like her own costume! She wore a red and white striped outfit, cut high over her hips and curved up over her full breasts to her neck. A blue cape dotted with stars was cinched around her neck with an argent metal star. Her boots were blue stilettos, matching the blue gloves she wore. There were tiny things that didn't match like the colors or the exact cut of the seams, but the costume was complete, down to the metal star on the blue belt around her waist. She was walking calmly towards Maiden America, almost as if in a sleep from the way her eyes were oddly unblinking.
A whispered, "Good lord.", is Maiden America's only reaction to the approaching woman. The mirror image costume, a strange and unexpected enough sight to confuse Maid for a few moments. Eyes wide and more than a little perplexed she stands mentally stunned for a moment confronted with this odd mirror image of herself. The metallic hand remains locked around her left leg forgotten for the moment as she regards her doppleganger. At the blue eyed woman approach Maiden America, tries to take a couple of steps back. Hampered by the remaining droids death grip, she nearly looses her balance. Kneeling down she rapidly tries to snap the robot's hand off at the wrist. Before the stunned heroine can free her leg from the deathgrip of the defunct robot under her, the approaching woman abruptly leaps into the air.
The heels of her boots flashed down the hallway as the redheaded double moved far faster than any normal woman could possibly move. As the heroine's gloved hand went back down to pull her foot free, the heel of the woman's boot connected with Maiden America's cheek. Maid's head was spun around by the incredible power of the blow. Maiden America's hands were jerked from the robotic hand as her entire body twisted from the impact. The mysterious redhead flew by and landed in a perfect crouch, her blue eyes still wide and unblinking. For a few moments Maiden America was in a stunned fog from the powerful blow. It was easily as hard as Jean has ever been hit. Whoever this woman was, she was definitely the patriotic heroine's equal at the moment.
Maiden America absorbs the punishing blow with wide eyed surprise at the power behind it. Yanking her entraped leg with a mighty pull, Maid manages to free her foot. Taking a defensive stance Maid raises her arms to ward any new incoming attacks onto her forearms. "Hey! Cut it out! C'mon! Stop it! I just wanna talk for a second!" Jean felt her heart sink and her enthusism wane at the task at hand. The dreadful task of subdueing a person whom she suspects of being a super heroine, worse yet a patriotic heroine, was unsettling to Jean.
The imposter steps towards the now-mobile heroine without blinking, without a word, without acknowledging anything the heroine had said. With out warning a flurry of blows is delivered against the hesistent heroine. Maid manages to fend off the next in coming jab of a foward kick. The immediate backhand that follows smashes into the heroine's jaw, spinning her around. Though Maiden held a comfortable edge in strength her opponent's combat skill seemed boundless when compared to the novice heroine. Raising her arms to block the follow-up blow aimed at her temple, leaves Maiden open to the kick in the belly that drives the air from her lungs and doubles her over. Before the hard pressed heroine can can recover, the other blue boot swings around striking her in the forehead, knocking her back head over heels. Sailing past the robot down the hallway, boucing of the opposite wall, the heroine falls in a stunned heap on the floor. Shaking head to clear it, Maiden decides staying around and fighting to be a bad idea. If she can just get the upper hand for a moment perhaps she can escape.
Looking up, Maiden heart sunk as watched the woman coming down at the hallway towards her. Maiden pushes herself off the floor with a determined grunt. Lowering her shoulder, the heroine leaps forward and flies into the woman's midsection, sending them both crashing through a wall. The two twins tumble across the floor of some pristine bedroom, until Maiden America manages to slam an elbow into the side of the redheaded imposter, eliciting a gasp of pain from her. Stepping up her attack, while the tall woman seemed momentairy distracted by the blow, Maiden tries to turn the fight around. Maiden grabs her twin around the torso, pinning the woman's arms to her sides, made starts to squeeze her opponent in a mighty bear hug. Squeezing her eyes shut, Jean digs deeper looking for some extra bit of strength to squeeze her opponent into submission. Her twin struggle exerting her strength illiciting a gasp from Maiden, "Lawd, you're a strong one!" Looking for that extra effort crucial in the ensuing struggle Jean comes up short. Unable to shake the nagging feeling of wrongness with the fight, Maiden is unable to come up with the extra bit of effort that has served her so well in the past.
Maiden America could on watched in helpless wide eyed amazement as her opponent slowly pushed her arms wide. As the heroine's fingers became unlocked, the redheaded ersatz maiden breaks the heroine's hold, and instantly follows it up with a quick knee to Maiden America's midsection. As the heroine gasps and bends over in pain, her attacker slams a fist into the back of the heroine's head sending a burst of stars through her vision and driving her to the ground. Giving the heroine no time to react or recover, the redhead stomps the heel of her boots into the heroine's head, driving her face into the hardwood floor with a crunch. Leaving her boot there, she continues to grind Maiden America's face into the flooring. Any thoughts of flight are dashed from Maiden America's mind as the boot heel grinds into the stunned heroine. Her vision starts to blur and then greys.
End Chapter One
To Chapter Two - Shocking Revelations