A FEM-FANTASTIQUE ,INC. ADVENTURE
BY CMQ 10-97
What has gone before: The members of Fem-Fantastique, Inc. encountered a new adversary, the Plaster Master one month after their return from deep space. Intending to capture the beautiful superheroines and make living plaster statues of them, he is foiled by the timely arrival of the team's trusty robot RT-10 and the ingenuity of the Crimson Sorceress (Wanda).
"Mmmmm," Wanda groaned as she stretched her arms and back muscles. She had been on monitor duty since 6:00 p.m. and had been sitting in an ergonomic chair for the last five hours without a break. In addition to monitoring for super-villain activity in the city limits and beyond, she had taken the time to finish up on some computer work and had figured it was going to continue to be a dull and uneventful night. She sat in her pink bodysuit and red outer one-piece costume and stretched her long legs. Her crimson cape was slung across the backrest of an empty chair beside her. I hope the others get back soon, she thought to herself. I really miss having someone to talk to when it's so quiet.
Her reflective reverie was shattered by an enormous explosion which shook the entire building and almost made her fall out of her seat. "Oh!" she yelped, righting herself in her chair. As alarm klaxons began to go off she leaned over the control console and brought up the internal schematics of the headquarters building onto the main viewer. A bright red graphic indicated a breech in the building's western exterior. Oh no! she thought to herself, the building is under attack!
"Mistress-Wanda-there-has-been-a-compromise-in-building-security," said the robotic voice of multi-purpose robot RT-10 over the intercom.
"I know, Artie. I've already hit the emergency beacon to notify the others," she replied urgently. "Secure the rest of the building and activate the backup defenses. The security monitors are out in the residential section. Make sure we don't have any other surprise guests while I check out the damage." She jumped to her feet and dashed to the elevator. I should wait for back-up help to arrive, she thought. But with all the high technology gadgets stored for safe-keeping inside their vaults, the longer I delay the more likely someone will get away with something really dangerous like...that molecular transformer device we brought back from the Mok'tn.
The elevator stopped on the third level and the Sorceress ran down the connecting hallway to the penetrated section. She came around the corner and entered the spacious guest living quarters. Stepping down the small flight of carpeted stairs to the living room arrangement, her mouth dropped open at the sight of a huge gaping hole in the exterior wall. Debris was scattered all over the plush beige carpeting and bookcases were overturned onto the floor, scattering their contents. Ugly black marks marked smoldering spots but fortunately there were no major fires in sight for the sprinkler system seemed to be out due to the damage. Through the hazy smoke she could see a searchlight attached to some sort of canopied jetcraft hovering just outside the open wall. She concentrated on focusing an energy bolt spell to disable the invader's craft when a slender, lithe figure stepped out of the shadows of the open-air kitchen unit. Before Wanda could notice the invader...before she had time to release her spell bolts...before she had time to even think...the mysterious stranger had bathed Wanda's body in an all-encompassing wash of yellow light.
"Wha-?" Wanda said, surprised at an attack from inside rather than outside the building. It was her only thought as her figure began to stiffen...to harden...immediately under the effect of the yellow beam. She felt the stiffness spread out from her body to her extremeties. Her tight, scarlet and pink costume became grey, stoney granite as did the rest of her body. Individual hairs became brittle and her pupils vanished into the rest of her petrified face. I-I-'m t-t-turninggg t-t-ooo s-s-s-st-o-o-ne... were her last thoughts before she drifted into unconsciousness.
"Delightful!" the intruder squealed, stepping out of the darkness to reveal herself as a well toned young woman dressed in a tight white and green spandex bodysuit. The lower half of her suit was solid white, up to her waist, where it then broke off into multiple, vaguely snake-head-like designs. The snake heads stretched over her full bosom, sides and back making a striking contrast against the upper green part of her costume. On her head was a skull-cap like helmet with an amber visor covering her eyes. A long tail of red hair flowed from behind a hole cut in the back of her head-mask. "Absolutely fantastic!" she said gleefully, admiring the petrified Wanda's stilled form. "You make a beautiful statue, Sorceress." The costumed woman placed a small device to the stoney figure of the Crimson Sorceress and activated it via a small remote control on her helmet. Almost immediately, the newly statued heroine began to hover off the floor. The woman with the snake designs on her costume pressed another button and the waiting jetcraft hovered closer to the damaged building and extended a boarding ramp. "We must be off now," she carefully maneuvered the statue of Wanda into the craft. As the doors shut, the jet disappeared into the night sky.
Shadow Lady was the last to arrive at Fem-Fantastique, Inc. Headquarters. She had been out clubbing in her civilian guise of Deidre Snow when the emergency beeper in her purse had gone off. Immediately changing into her Shadow Lady costume, Dee had no trouble catching a cab which delivered her at the front lobby within 20 minutes. She dashed into the private elevator and literally ran into Flamestar. "Oh! Angie! What's going on?" she asked, puzzled.
"You mean you didn't notice that gaping hole in the side of the building?" asked the yellow clad heroine. "It's only the size of small car!"
"I-I didn't even look up," Dee answered, suddenly ashamed that she had failed to notice something that important. She was always more of the fun-loving type, less serious than the others at times, to their relative chagrin. "Where's Wanda? She was on monitor duty tonight!"
"We don't know. Sue and Darlene are checking the rest of the building. Artie has locked down the whole place and with the security monitors working somewhat spotty we're not sure if she's still here," Flamestar replied, creasing her brow.
The two heroines headed to the operations room, where they found Transparency Girl and Cosmic Girl looking at one of the monitors. "Sue! What happened? I came as soon as I heard the signal!" Dee queried.
"Wanda's gone," Sue replied seriously. "Someone somehow penetrated the reinforced walls and abducted her."
"Oh no!" gasped Dee. "You-you don't think the Mok'tn have come back, do you?"
"I don't think so," Cosmic Girl replied. "Take a look at this. It's from one of the working exterior security cams." Her gloved fingers activated the security tape replay. An image of a sleek, yet decidedly un-alien looking jetcraft was shown pivoting away from HQ and flying off.
"That sure doesn't look like one of the Mok'tn ships," Flamestar observed.
"No, it doesn't," Sue commented. "Now we have to find out where that ship has taken Wanda."
"Why don't we just trace her homing beacon?" Dee asked.
"It's not functioning or it's been damaged somehow because we're getting no signal at all from her," Susan frowned.
"Mistress-Susan," came RT-10's mechanical voice over at the long range tracking station. "I-have-tracked-the-trajectory-of-the-ship-which-abducted-Mistress-Wanda."
"Put it on screen, Artie." Sue looked at the coordiantes displayed on the monitor. "This looks like that ship set down somewhere in the Mediterranean, specifically the Aegean Sea. Get the Inc., Jet ready to go Angie, we're leaving immediately."
"It got that far in just a few hours?" said Dee, incredulously. "I thought our old Fem-cruiser or the Inc., Jet were the only aircraft capable of travelling that fast!"
"Whoever kidnapped Wanda has access to incredible technology," Flamestar observed. "If they could break into our reinforced headquarters, capture one of us, and get clear across the world in a little over an hour, they're a prime threat to world security."
Minutes later, the Inc., Jet had launched from the F.F. Inc., HQ and set course across the ocean. The swift craft crossed the Atlantic Ocean in a little over an hour, not nearly short enough for the tense, worried women riding inside. As the Inc., Jet slowed to cruising speed, Cosmic Girl turned away from the vid-phone monitor. "Artie says we're approaching the most probable area where the abductor set down. Trace residue in the atmosphere correspond to those in the vicinity of Fem Fantastique, Inc. HQ. Our target must be down there somewhere."
Flamestar peered out the window, "I don't see anything down there, Darlene."
"All I see is water," added Dee. "I don't see how...wait! Look down there!" she said excitedly pointing through the window. "An island!"
"Charts don't list any island at these coordinates," said Sue, looking up from the navigational computer. "Get ready to set down. We've got to check it out."
The Inc., Jet set down on the beach, settling on a sandy patch away from the relatively rocky shore. The four heroines exited the ship and took a look around. Flamestar ignited her flying aura and got an aerial view of their surroundings. "There's a building of some sort on the hills beyond these rocks. I see a path to your right. I'll fly ahead and reconoitter."
"Be careful, Angie," said Sue as she watched the flaming red contrail left in Flamestar's wake disappear over the rocks.
The heroines found the path Flamestar had told them about and began to trek towards the building. It was a well-kept cobblestone path, and there were decorative Greek columns and pillars lining parts of the walkway once they got past the rocky shore. As they progressed further and further along the path, the decorations and landscaping became more elaborate. As they walked, they were amazed by a lush, green lawn with trimmed hedges and lovely colorful flowers among exquisitely carved stone statues of women. Cosmic Girl stopped to evaluate the craftsmanship of one, nude statue. It's arms were gracefully raised upwards and it even was adorned with delicate-looking pubic hairs. "This is really amazing," she said. It looks so real. It must have cost a fortune."
"I have the feeling whoever lives here can afford it, judging by the decor," Dee observed. She took a good look at the statue too, then ran to catch up with the others.
After about twenty minutes of walking, the large, vaguely Greek temple-like building loomed in front of them. It was over thirty feet tall, and had an ancient aura around it despite the fact that it looked like it was recently constructed. There were other statues along the lawn, further away from the building's perimiter. "Whoever lives here must really be a sculpture nut," Darlene cracked. "I don't think I've ever seen this many statues on anybody's property before."
Flamestar was waiting at the entrance for them, looking at a pool of water . She leaned closer to the edge of the pool, staring at one statue standing waist deep in the middle of the water. The statue had long waist-length hair carved so beautifully that Flamestar was trying to get a better look when she noticed her friends arriving. "Hey! Over here!" she waved.
"Did you see anyone from the air?" asked Sue.
"No, not a sign of a living soul. Only statues like that one," Angie replied, directing their attention to the statue in the pool. "I think it's more than a coincidence that no one has come out to greet us. I don't think they get many visitors like us."
"All right, let's go in," Sue decided.
Dee and Darlene followed Sue. Angie took one last glance back at the alluring figure in the pool, unaware that if she had taken a look from the opposite side she would have notice the statue anachronously wearing a bikini top and granite sunglasses.
Sue walked up to the dark entrance and peered inside. The front foyer was lighted with metal braziers illuminating the darkness and had scalloped columns which stretched all the way up to the ceiling. A number of open doorways lay ahead of them. "Flamestar, take the left door, C.G. you and Dee to right and I'll take the middle one. Report every five minutes unless you find something unusual, okay?"
"Roger, boss," said Dee stealthily leading Cosmic Girl into the dark corridor.
Susan watched Flamestar's entry, her heat aura flickering down the stone hallway until it finally darkened once again. Then, Sue concentrated on becoming invisible and shifted into her transparent state. She tiptoed, silently down the dark, dimly lighted corridor. She almost didn't have to use her transparency powers at all in the gloomy blackness. The corridor opened up to a larger room, one with a twenty-odd foot high ceiling like the front foyer. She could make out some plants sitting on short columns and a few statues on equally high pedestals. In the center of the room she spotted a silhouette with a familiar looking headdress standing out among the flickering lighting. "Wanda?" Sue asked. "Is that you, Wanda?" The figure did not move at all. Sue stepped closer and the figure became clearer to see. Sue dropped her transparency cloak and stared at the unmoving statue before her. She didn't even notice the yellow rays penetrating her body from behind. "Oooh!" she suddenly cried, feeling an overwhelming numbness in her slim form. A numbness which stiffened her entirely as her eyes grew wide from surprise...
"Sue? Come in Sue..." repeated Dee into her wrist communicator. "There's no response, Darlene," she told Cosmic Girl.
"Flamestar...Come in, Angie," Darlene spoke into her wristcom.
"I'm here," Flamestar replied over the communicator. "What's wrong?"
"Sue isn't answering her communicator," explained Darlene. "Rendezvous with us back at the entrance and we'll get to the bottom of this." Cosmic Girl and Dee began to dash back down the way they came.
The three heroines met back at the entry foyer and raced down the corridor Sue had taken. They emerged from the narrow hallway to see two motionless figures standing in the middle of the room. They could only stare at the sight before them, with mouths agape. The focus of attention by the astonished trio were a pair of granite figures...life-size statues in all too familiar costumes...perfect representations of their teammates...too perfect...with surprised looks on their stone faces which clue the dumbfounded trio that these are no ordinary sculptures...every curve...every detail is too perfect for a sculptor's hand...Transparency Girl...the Crimson Sorceress...both have been turned to stone!
Dee looked at Sue, turning her head to stare at Wanda, and then returning her gaze to Sue again. Transparency Girl was trapped in a pose with her legs straightened and spread apart. She was leaning forward with arms to the sides, her back arched as if someone had dropped an ice cube down the back of her costume. Her eyes were frozen wide open in surprise as if she had been petrified just as she discovered the statue of Wanda. "Oh my gosh..." Dee whispered, noticing how every inch of Susan was now rough, pebbly and grey. She touched the petrified woman's shoulder, both amazed and repulsed at what had happened to her teammate. "How...could this have happened?"
"I don't know," replied Angie, looking over the statue which had once been the Crimson Sorceress. Flamestar recognized the two middle fingers on Wanda's right hand were in the spell casting position. "Whatever did this to Wanda works fast. She couldn't even get off a protective spell before she was turned to stone." Wanda's weight was on her right leg, the left was slightly bent as if she was about to take a step. Angie looked into the stone orbs which were Wanda's eyes and thought how horrible it must have been for her, to realize she was turning to stone and helpless to do anything about it. "Do you...do you think that all the other statues we've seen..."
"Were real women too?" Dee said in sudden realization.
"We've got to get them back to HQ," Angie said. "Maybe there's some way of re-"
"Look out!" Cosmic Girl suddenly screamed, throwing herself into her teammates and causing them to tumble to the ground.
A brilliant yellow beam illuminated the darkness and struck a potted plant which was slightly behind where the heroines were standing a moment ago. A crackling sound permeated the air as the leaves traded their green color for grey. "Ohh!" said Dee, staring at the botanical paperweight. "That ray turned that plant to stone!" she exclaimed as she scrambled in the darkness.
Flamestar ignited her flying aura and shone like a sun in the darkness. The first thing Flamestar noticed was a figure advancing on her teammates. It was female, wearing white and green, and had a visored helmet over her head. "She must have turned Sue and Wanda to stone!" Flamestar ignited her hands and threw an arc of flame at the unknown woman. "Let's see how she likes this!"
The adversary dodged the fireball's impact on the stone tiled floor and raised her head to face the gold-dressed heroine. "Not as much as you'll like this, Flamestar!" she said confidantly, firing a widening yellow ray from her helmet's visor.
"Ahhh!" Flamestar cried out. She was instantly swept by a numbness and tingling as if she had 'pins and needles' throughout her entire body. "I-I'm changing..." Her flesh tone greyed, and the bright aura around her faded as her body turned to stone. Her long red mane of hair became a jagged mass of rock and her limbs became totally inflexible. The statued heroine started to plummet to the floor, her aura no longer capable of keeping her aloft.
"No! Flamestar!" yelled Cosmic Girl, dashing to the point where Flamestar was falling. If she hits the ground in that state she'll shatter in a thousand pieces! She braced herself and tried her best to cushion the petrified heroine's fall. "Got her!" Darlene was suddenly struck by how cold and lifeless her friend had become as she caught the falling statue. The weight of the statue was negligable to Cosmic Girl's enhanced strength, but she took extra care not to damage the fragile body of her friend. She gently placed Angie's rock hard body to the ground, still stuck in the same rigid pose it was when it was transformed. But Darlene's success at saving her teammate came at a price as she suddenly stiffened up under the petrifying beam. She tried to move herself, but couldn't. Her legs, wide apart in an inverted 'v', locked in position as her arms, out at her sides, did similarly. Her hands were turned upwards at the wrist, palms down and her back was arched so that her nipples stood proudly through her costume.
"Come now, Shadow Lady. Wouldn't you like to join your teammates in their petrified glory?" said the woman who had turned the heroines to stone. "I promise you will occupy a place of honor in my statuary! Come! Face the power of Madame Medusa!" She caressed the breasts of the newly petrified Cosmic Girl, drinking in the magnificance of the stone mammaries, as she walked past towards Shadow Lady's position.
Dee hid behind a giant column. I can't believe this is happening, she said to herself. This Medusa woman just took out all of my teammates without even breaking a sweat. Now I'm left all alone. Without Flamestar's aura to illuminate the room, the darkness had become overwhelming again. I still have night vision, Dee thought, but with that fancy helmet I bet Madame Medusa does too. She began to run through battle plans as she heard her stalker searching for her. My shadow beam would be useless in this dim light, especially since she probably has vision enhancing gear. What can I do?
"You have no answer for me?" challenged Medusa. "I know you have no super powers. You are just a normal girl like most of the other victims in my statuary. To struggle against the inevitable is useless!"
She's coming closer, Dee told herself. I have to come up with something.
"One way or another, you will be mine!" Medusa boasted. "Don't you want to become immortal? To remain beautiful forever? I promise I will take good care of you once you are stone! I also promise you it will be quick and painless! I think you'll enjoy being a statue, my dear, everlasting and unchanging."
She's right about one thing, Dee thought. That petrifier is too quick for me. A direct assault is out of the question. But there has to be another way...Yes! It might just work under these conditions. If it doesn't, I'll be hosting some pigeons on top of a fountain as a statue centerpiece, thought Shadow Lady as she clasped the ruby broach around her neck.
"Your friends make excellent statues. I just know you'll fit right in..." Madame Medusa paused as she noticed a scantily clad figure dash out from behind a marble pillar. "At last you show yourself!" she said gleefully.
Madame Medusa directed a wide petrification beam which swept through the lithe shape and watched as it instantly froze to stone. "Ohhhh! Absolutely delicious!" Medusa crowed as she walked over to ogle her new statue. A pity her goggles obscure her eyes, she reflected, but perhaps I can somehow remove them. "You are quite a prize, my dear." Madame Medusa found it delightful to tease her stone victims, knowing quite well that they could neither hear or acknowledge her presence. "Definitely fountain material," she commented, reaching at the hardened stone globes on Shadow Lady's chest and...having her hand pass right through the stoney image of the heroine. "What the?" Medusa snapped angrily as she suddenly felt two sharp jabs strike her chest. An instant later a high voltage charge surged throughout her body, causing her to stiffen and jerk about. "Aaaiieee!" she cried, finally collapsing to the ground in an unconscious heap.
From behind another column stepped Shadow Lady, looking at the stoney image of herself being projected from her holo-lens. "I never thought you'd fall for that hologram of myself turned to stone so easily, but my taser sure made you fall..." She crouched down and removed the helmet from Madame Medusa's head. "I just hope there's a reverse setting on this gizmo."
After tying the villain up with some rope she found in another chamber, Dee made a quick jog to the Inc., Jet to get RT-10's assessment of the device. By placing it under the remote scanner, she could transmit the internal schematics directly to F.F. INC HQ and get Artie's computer-aided diagnosis on reversing the petrifying effect. After a few anxious hours of consultation and working with the electronics tools in the Inc., Jet, and a quick field test on the petrified plant, Dee stood in front of the statues of Sue, Darlene, Angelica and Wanda. She took a deep breath and slipped the helmet onto her head. "Okay, here we go." she whispered and activated the beam. The yellowish ray enveloped the four heroic statues and for a minute Dee feared it would not work. Gradually, very slowly, the color began to return to the granite forms. Brilliant, colorful costumes replaced the staid grey color which permeated their shapes. Fascinated, Dee watched as hardened mounds returned to soft, luscious breasts and brittle hairs changed back to flowing colorful strands.
"Ohhh..." moaned Sue. "I-I'm turning back to flesh..."
Dee ran over to her de-petrified friends. "How are you? Do you feel okay?" she asked.
"Mmmm..." said Wanda, trying to reorient herself. "The last thing I remember is being at HQ."
"Well, a lot has happened since then, courtesy of Madame Medusa," Dee explained. "I'll let the others fill you in on all the details but for now, I've got a bunch of petrified women to restore."
"Wow..." muttered Flamestar. "I never figured I would ever become someone's lawn ornament." She bent formerly rigid limbs and sat up on the cold tile while watching Dee turn some of the nude statues on pedestals back to real women.
"Cosmic Girl, why don't you go collect some of the statues outside and bring them in here," asked Transparency Girl. "I have the feeling we're going to be here for a while."
"I already notified the authorities about the situation here," Dee said in the middle of restoring a pretty nude brunette to life. "We'd better find some clothes for these girls, too."
Hours later, police helicopters and boats began to shuttle the formerly petrified victims ashore and take Madame Medusa into custody. Apparently many victims came from overseas on supposed modeling contracts, while others stumbled upon the island to sunbathe and never left after they were discovered. Dee had noticed that the longer a woman had been in petrified form, the longer it took to reverse the effect. It was as if the effect became more permanent over time.
"Having trouble, Dee?" asked Susan, who looked at a beautiful long-haired nude which Dee had been trying to restore to normalcy. The statue was tall, with slender legs and posed in a classical Greek statue style.
"I can't seem to restore this one for some reason," Dee answered. "The longest it's taken is just a few minutes, and that was for women who became statues years ago. I don't understand why it's not working on this one." She looked at the lovely statue which almost seemed to stare back at her.
"Well we can't leave her as a statue forever!" said Flamestar, coming up behind Sue and Dee. 'There must be something we can do..."
"Hey, maybe there is!" said Dee having a sudden revelation. "Remember that molecular transformer we have under lock and key at HQ? The one they used on me to turn me into a platinum statue? Maybe we can use that to restore her!"
"It's worth a try," decided Susan. "Cosmic Girl," she said into her wristcom, "get over here and pick up the last petrified victim and take her to the Inc., Jet. We're moving out."
A little over ninety minutes later the heroines were gathered in the high security testing room at Fem-Fantastique Inc., Headquarters where the molecular transformer was kept. It was a massive empty room with titanium/duranium walls six inches thick. A metal stairway led up to the open control deck and the enclosed control room. The molecular transformer sat in the middle of the control room, with its projecting emitter emerging through an opening in the pexiglass. The heroines were assembled around Dee, who was sitting in the central operator's chair. She placed the nerual helmet on and grasped the handles of the transformer. On the staging area below stood the stone statue they had brought back from Medusa's island. Dee prepared herself for the draining experience. She had been the only one to test the transformer since they had returned from deep space and even then only on small inanimate objects. This was the first time she would try to transform a living person, or rather vice-versa. "Okay, I think I'm ready."
"All right, take it slow and easy Dee," said Susan.
Shadow Lady began to concentrate, letting her thoughts focus on changing the inanimate statue back into a live girl. Stone to flesh, she repeated to herself. Stone to flesh.
"I don't see anything happening," said the Crimson Sorceress worriedly. "I thought the transformations were virtually instantaneous, right?"
"All the test ones Dee has done so far have been," commented Sue. "Maybe it takes longer to change live subjects?"
"No," added Cosmic Girl. "Remember how Dee told us she was frozen in mid-stride by that Kargh character? It must depend on the users experience."
"Are you okay, Dee?" asked Flamestar, seeing sweat beginning to form on Shadow Lady's brow.
"I still can't get her to change. Almost as if she doesn't want to be changed back. I don't get it." Dee removed the skullcap helmet and brushed the connecting wires out of her hair.
"Maybe..." Cosmic Girl began.
Susan looked at Darlene. "Maybe what?'
"Well, if the molecular transformer works off of thought waves, maybe...we can hook up contacts to all of us and combine our willpower to change her back." Darlene opined.
"Dee?" asked Sue. "You're the expert on Mok'tn technology."
"I don't know," Dee replied. "But I guess it's worth a try..."
Soon electrodes were attached to the foreheads of the four other heroines. RT-10 monitored their status while they concentrated jointly on restoring to life a stone statue.
"This-unit-detects-no-change-in-target-subject," Artie reported.
"We-We're trying, Artie..." said Dee through clenched teeth. "It's so difficult to get her to change..."
"This-unit-has-detected-molecular-transformation-in-target-subject," said Artie. His visual sensors picking up a change in hue as the grey tones of the statue began to change to pink flesh. Hard granite gave way to soft flesh tones and the figure began to move slightly.
"It's working..." Sue said, dripping with sweat. 'Concentrate our thoughts, together now...."
"Stone to flesh...stone to flesh..." the five heroines chanted under their breath, perspiring under the strain of keeping their thoughts linked.
A sudden flash of light caused them all to look out of the control booth to the staging floor. A beautiful sandy blond-haired woman, in her naked glory, was standing bewildered on the cold metal floor.
"It worked!" Dee shouted as Cosmic Girl and Flamestar traded high-fives.
The heroines descended from the overhead booth to greet the newly-restored woman. She looked to be in her early twenties and had smooth flawless skin. Her body was well toned, like a Greek sculpture, which was ironic considering what she had been a minute ago. Sue handed the girl a robe to cover her nudity. "How do you feel? You must have been a statue for a very long time. What's your name? Where are you from?"
"My...name?" asked the woman quizzically. "I don't...I don't have a name...I-I don't know where I come from...I can't remember..."
"What? You mean she has amnesia?" said Flamestar increduously. "Oh boy, that's going to be a big mess to fix."
"I don't think that's why..." said Dee as if a light bulb went off over her head.
"Huh? Then why is she having trouble remembering who she is?" asked Cosmic Girl.
"Because...you're going to think this is really strange...I think she was a real statue to begin with," revealed Shadow Lady.
Sue and Cosmic Girl stared at Shadow Lady while Flamestar's mouth hung open.
"Oh boy," remarked Wanda, "and you thought amnesia was going to be hard to fix?"
TO BE CONTINUED IN... "GOLDEN GIRLS"
author's note: this chapter introduces an original creation of mine, Galatea-the living statue. As we will see in the next installment, she possesses a rather unique ability. The author toyed with various names for the petrifying villainess including Madame Gorgon, Miss Medusa and others.