When we last left Lady Justice and Judgement Girl, they were frozen in time by Tick and Tock right outside the boutique where Technomagus's secret lab was located. Inside were Claire Greenfield and Alice Tilly as well as the staff of the store, all turned into mannequins. What's more was Technomagus was also there, though inactive due to his wiring having been turned into plastic. Nathan was also frozen along with the two superheroes.
Meanwhile across town Elsa was in her lab with an unexpected guest. Saeko Tachibana had shown up, eager to try and gain information on the new threat that plagued the city. Elsa was busy trying to trace the heroines as Saeko fired off questions and wrote in her notepad. “So what can you tell me about this robot that's been causing all the trouble?” asked Saeko.
“It's a military creation, designed for non-lethal warfare,” explained Elsa, not glancing from the monitor. Not only could she not find Lady Justice of Judgement Girl, but Nathan's signal was gone too. That meant that either their hearts had stopped or they'd been completely frozen in time. Since Tick and Tock had already reappeared once within the past few hours, Elsa wouldn't be surprised if the two goblins were indeed responsible for the disappearance of the city's defenders this time.
Saeko had finished jotting down what Elsa had told her and raised her pen to add to the fact that she was going to ask another question. However, as the woman opened her mouth she suddenly froze, though Elsa did not notice this. Touching Saeko's foot through a hole that had been created in the floor was Cyberlady's hand, which was triggering a molecular transformation within Saeko. First it had affected her brain and inner organs, and now it was coming to the surface. The journalist's skin and clothing suddenly went from their natural textures to the same metallic one, which resembled that of gold. Saeko's teeth, pupils, fingernails, shirt buttons... all were transformed in an instant, leaving a beautiful golden statue in her place. Even her notepad and pen were changed.
Elsa finally decided to go search for the heroines and moved to grab a temporal re-alignment device. However, in the process of this she saw the result of Cyberlady's touch and gasped, her arms spread wide and her face a mask of surprise. During this moment Cyberlady had created another hole by turning a section of the floor into air and touched Elsa's foot. She, like Saeko, froze in place as the change overcame her, making her blond hair look even more like gold with a heart and suit to match.
Now free to enter the lab undetected, Cyberlady went upstairs to the lab's floor and casually pried the door open using her superior strength. She proceeded to touch both statues and shrank their molecules, making them into miniature statuettes. She took the two in one hand and with the other scanned the data from Elsa's machines. After downloading all the software she'd required, Cyberlady departed, taking her new trophies with her.
An hour later Cyberlady, who'd used the city's sewers to get around, emerged from hiding directly in front of City Hall. There she placed her two captives on the ground and brought them back to their normal height. By then police were approaching her, which is exactly what Cyberlady had wanted. She activated her hypnotic gaze and turned her eyes on the police, instantly making them submit to her will. They then proceeded to draw their standard issue tranquilizer guns and target the nearby bystanders.
Not wanting for her new slaves to waste any of their precious darts on the crowd that was already nearby, Cyberlady turned her gaze onto the rest of the nearby townsfolk. This time, however, her eyes flashed green and instantly blasts of light streaked through the crowd, striking everyone regardless of age, gender or occupation. In less than a minute over three dozen wooden figures stood in the place of many of the good people of the city. Cyberlady was once again pleased she'd taken the time to subdue the other villains. Satisfied, the android left the hypnotized police behind with others to shoot anyone who tried to get in.
The journey to the outer office of the mayor was a simple matter for Cyberlady. Despite nearly twenty people trying to stop her, no one could withstand her vast arsenal of powers, both unique to her and stolen. The secretary was a woman of average height with her brown hair pulled back Japanese style and a pair of glasses which complimented her green eyes, or at least so thought Cyberlady. The woman was on the phone and just had enough time to show signs of fear before Cyberlady's arm extended out (courtesy of Mister Mannequin's powers) and touched the woman, turning her into a mannequin. Cyberlady took the time to turn the phone the woman had been holding with both hands to her right ear into air before retracting her arm. With no more problems in sight, Cyberlady casually walked up to the door and smashed it to splinters.
The mayor, a short woman in her forties with bleached blond hair, crimson lips, brown eyes and a still very cute-looking body rose from her desk in surprise at the intrusion. “What are you doing here?!” demanded the mayor, who's name was Paula Rushmore. Her hands her on her desk and she stared defiantly at the intruder. Cyberlady, her face showing no emotion, moved to take a step forward. It was then that Tick and Tock, realizing their folly, decided to freeze the scene. Cyberlady and Paula were both frozen as the two goblins emerged from under the secretary's desk, Tick first and Tock a moment later after looking up the woman's skirt.
“This is no fun,” moaned Tick as he examined the scene which they'd effectively paused. “We should at least let the heroines have a chance...”
“You're right, Tick,” agreed Tock. “We should release them and leave this place at this exact moment until they get here!”
“Great plan!” exclaimed Tick.
* * *
Sure enough, back at the boutique time resumed for the superheroes, none of them aware of the lapse. Judgement Girl drew her EMP gun while Nathan finished cracking his knuckles and Lady Justice opened the door. The three then moved inside, ready to encounter anything dangerous. Fortunately, there was no one there in any shape to cause them problems.
Alice and Claire were near the door, both mannequins in poses like those you'd see in a fashion store. Not far away lay Technomagus next to four other mannequins, though they could be authentic unlike the other two. Large pieces of machinery were scattered around the room, including a computer console connected to a human-sized capsule. What was odd was the machinery appeared to all be made of plastic. “What on earth happened here?” muttered Nathan.
“Where's Lilly?” Judgement Girl asked with curiosity as she inspected the room.
“I hate to say it, but that must really be here we saw in that video,” muttered Lady Justice. Just then her cell phone rang and the superhero immediately answered it.
“Where have you been?!” demanded Chief Meyers on the other end of the line. “Someone is attacking City Hall! Over a dozen of my officers are shooting at anyone who tries to enter and a bunch of people nearby were turned into wood! Get over here and help us!” The call was disconnected then.
“Uh oh,” muttered Lady Justice. The other two looked at her, but she help up her hand as she played with her phone. A moment later she got an update on the global time and discovered there was nearly a two-hour inconsistency. “Blast it, Tick and Tock must of gotten us again,” cursed Lady Justice. She then informed the others on what had happened.
“We need to get down there right now,” stated Judgement Girl. “But we can't leave everyone here like this...” The sidekick glanced around the room, observing the mess.
“Look, if you two promise to be careful I can take care of this,” promised Nathan. “I've got what I need to change everyone back to normal, and maybe with Greenfield's help we can figure out what all this is. I'll call Elsa and have her come over too.”
“Alright, that sounds good!” exclaimed Lady Justice. “Come on, Judgement Girl! It's time we put an end to all the chaos in the city!” With that the superhero departed with her partner, leaving Nathan to deal with the situation at the boutique.
* * *
By the time the two superheroes arrived at City Hall, utter chaos was ensuing. Meyers and a few other cops were behind their cars, trading shots with the police that had been hypnotized by Cyberlady. In addition to the collection of people who'd been turned into wood there were many others, police and otherwise, who lay on the street, sidewalk and stairs, all asleep thanks to the darts from the guns. “This is completely chaotic!” exclaimed Judgement Girl as she exited the SUV along with Lady Justice.
“Yeah, we'd better put a stop to it,” agreed Lady Justice. “Still, just taking care of those who've gone crazy will take some-” The heroine never completed the sentence as Tick and Tock chose that moment to freeze time once more. Lady Justice's mouth hung open, her right arm raised to indicated her passion. Judgement Girl meanwhile had her hands together in front of her, her fists clenched in worry. Meyers and all the others were also frozen, darts even hanging in mid-air.
Tick and Tock, who were hiding underneath the chief's personal squad car, crawled into the open. “We need to get them inside!” exclaimed Tock.
“Yes, but not just them...” added Tick. The goblin indicated Elsa, who still stood near the steps and was still solid gold. Tock smiled at the idea.
“-time?!” Lady Justice finished, suddenly finding herself inside City Hall with Judgement Girl beside her. They were at the bend to the final corner which led to the mayor's office. They'd somehow been transported from one place to the other.
“How did we...?” asked Judgement Girl, looking sick.
“Don't ask, just be grateful, for once,” Lady Justice told her sidekick. “Brace yourself, we're going in...” The duo only took a moment longer to reorient themselves. They were aware that next to them stood a man, probably a deputy or aide, who'd been frozen solid while fumbling for his cell phone. Not sure who would be waiting for them in the office, the duo moved on to face their foe.
Following their transportation of Lady Justice and Judgement Girl, Tick and Tock had brought Elsa into the mayor's office and unfrozen them a minute before they'd released the superheroes. Outside the shoot-out was still on pause. Neither Cyberlady nor Mayor Rushmore was aware of the fact that they'd been frozen, though the android had noticed the sudden appearance of one of her human trophies. Not to be distracted however, Cyberlady activated her gaze, hypnotizing Paula.
“You will resign your position in power and surrender the city to me,” ordered Cyberlady.
“I shall obey,” answered the mayor, sitting back in her chair and opening the drawer to her desk. As the hypnotized Paula began to fill out some papers, Cyberlady took another look at Elsa. The android didn't recall bringing the gold statue into the room with her. She began to wonder if Tick and Tock were around, right when she heard footsteps behind her.
“Sleep,” Cyberlady told the mayor, who promptly collapsed at her desk. Turning, the android was just in time to see Lady Justice sending a punch her way. Moving faster than the superheroes thought possible, Cyberlady's hands shot up and touched Lady Justice's arm. She instantly stopped as her skin, clothing, and utility belt tools alike were all changed to the same color. The superhero was washed over with a texture of silver chrome, having been turned into a metallic statue.
“Lilly, stop this!” cried Judgement Girl, taking a less headstrong approach. She was to the side and further back, out of Cyberlady's initial reach, not counting her hypnotism and stolen powers. Still, the use of the name suddenly caused the android's processors to pause, trying to make sense of it.
“I am Cyberlady,” replied the android, stepping towards the superhero. “Lilly Anderson was weak. I am strong. I am perfection.” Cyberlady raised her left arm, intent on touching Judgement Girl and ending the distraction.
“No, you're wrong!” exclaimed Judgement Girl. “My friend Lilly wasn't perfect, and she was fine with it! You're not yourself! Can't you see?” Cyberlady suddenly found it hard to continue to walk forward in a normal stride. The dormant human part of her mind was trying to take over, regain control of the body. However, Cyberlady was too strong.
“Do not resist,” droned Cyberlady as her arm suddenly shot forward, hoping to stop Judgement Girl before Lilly's mind regained control. Judgement Girl ducked and rolled, coming up near Elsa, but Cyberlady merely swung her arm around and caught the heroine's shoulder. Frozen while trying to get up from the roll, one knee on the ground, Judgement Girl went through a nearly instant molecular change and also became a shiny chrome statue to match her mentor.
“It was foolish to resist,” Cyberlady stated, turning to pick up the transmuted Lady Justice. Cyberlady moved the statuesque superhero so she now stood next to her sidekick. The android studied the duo for a moment, as if trying to recall something about them. Then deciding their continued existence could cause flaws in performance, Cyberlady prepared to wind up for a kick which would destroy them both.
While this had been going on, Nathan had arrived on the scene with Alice, Claire and Technomagus. Using some tools made by Elsa, Nathan had been able to restore them all. Claire had then modified Technomagus's programming to obey her orders. That done, they'd encountered the frozen shoot-out outside and had Technomagus restore everyone who'd been turned into something as well as remove the hypnosis, though they were all still frozen in time. They'd then proceeded to do that for everyone within the building.
Upon seeing Cyberlady about to destroy his lover and one of his friends, Nathan had pulled out a stasis field emitter and triggered it, catching the android on the edge of the target area so that they were free to go move those turned into statues. Technomagus moved the three out of harm's way and then positioned himself to stand beside Cyberlady. After confirming with Technomagus, Nathan deactivated the field.
Cyberlady instantly swung her foot forward and was surprised to discover the statues were gone. Before she could register this Technomagus impaled the robotic woman with his claws, instantly triggering a molecular change. Cyberlady's black chrome body and golden hair were replaced with their original form, flesh, clothing, hair and generally everything that made her human. At the boutique Claire had managed to find a way to install a reverse transformation process in Technomagus and done so, which was far easier than going the other way. Thus the restored Lilly collapsed, unconscious but finally human again.
Not sparing any time, Technomagus turned to the three superheroes and restored them one by one. Upon seeing Technomagus again, not to mention Nathan and the others, everyone was a bit confused and it took quite a while to explain it all.
* * *
Following the defeat of Cyberlady, Tick and Tock had apparently decided to release everyone frozen outside City Hall. With that, everything was pretty much back to normal. Lilly had no memory of her ordeal as an android, and those shot had merely been put to sleep. Though the superheroes didn't know it, the villains had been restored to normal when Lilly had been changed back as well. Of course, had they known they might of regretted their decision a bit.
Technomagus, however, didn't stay back at the base very long. Unknownst to Nathan and the others, when Claire had re-activated the robot she'd been immediately struck by a hypnosis ray. The machine, calculating the odds, had decided to play along with the plan for a time. But when he learned that he was to be destroyed at the base, Technomagus ordered Claire to release him, paralleling the events of his first escape.
For once again being unable to contain Technomagus, the military terminated Claire from service. Fortunately, ever since Jason Humington had vanished, Elsa had been looking for a new assistant and hired the woman.
Continued in Anger of the Old Gods...