Voyer’s Hypnostuff: Still Life


General Disclaimers: While it features no ‘on-screen’ sexual activity, this hypnofetish story does contain examples of fictional characters doing illegal, immoral and/or impossible things to other fictional characters. If you are under the age of consent in your community, are disturbed by such concepts, or want graphic sex in your online pornography, then for goshsakes stop reading now!

Permission is granted to re-post for free to any electronic medium, as long as no fee whatsoever is charged to view it, and this disclaimer and e-mail address (hypnovoyer@hotmail.com) are not removed. It would also be nice if you told me you were posting it.

Copyright Voyer, 2014.

Specific Disclaimers: As I've said before, one of my favorite Poser artists over on DeviantART is Lady Tania, who does spiffy superheroine Poser-art, some of which is MC-themed. Here, I've (once again) blatantly stolen ideas from a couple of her Ultrawoman scenes and mashed them together for use with my own characters. Thanks to her for the ongoing inspiration. And I'm guessing she got one of her ideas from a certain famous scifi movie..

Commander Amazing and Doctor Fang share this world with these characters, but neither of them appear here.

Also, while this is not a direct sequel, a better introduction to the Valkyrie Squad might be found in my previous short Wrecking Havoc. And there are a couple of links included below that show glimpses of the incidents which are being alluded to.

Dedicated to Goldenfist.

The framed panel was actually a door.

It slid aside, and a man filled the resulting space. The only possible word to describe him was “patrician”, tall with broad shoulders and a commanding crag of a chin under his full head of slicked black hair, which was, inevitably, just starting to gray at the temples. His garb merely added to the effect, his painfully black shoes, the edges of his understated suit (a black void, broken only by a red tie and gold watch-chain) bullied by an iron until they were sharp as granite, his cane topped with a knob of gold, and crowning it all the monocle and top hat.

The rectangular room was tasteful, with large floor tiles fashioned of thickly-streaked marble, and the aforementioned panels of dark-stained exotic wood, interspersed with narrow strips of mirror which reflected slashes of the contents back and forth. The lighting made its presence known via a discreet cough, or more literally, recessed strips tastefully spaced along the ceiling’s edges.

Also spaced along one of the longer walls were four mounted display frames, edged in silver.

The second man, waiting amidst all this, was, by contrast with the new arrival, one crumpled and rather skinny Crease, bringing irresistibly to mind the image of a stretched bipedal wad of tinfoil, with his narrow face poking from the silvery masses that were his outfit and flourishing hair. A good-sized bruise was extravagantly spreading its way along one side of that face, across the cheek and up his temple. He grinned at the new arrival, who eyed him, and the bruise, in a resolutely neutral fashion before speaking.

“Mr... Crease. I assume everything as planned.”

The silvery man sketched a salute. An astute observer might have noticed a repressed wince of pain accompanying this motion.

“Course it did, governor. Went fine, especially with the high-quality stuff you supplied.”

He waved the saluting hand in an exaggerated ‘ta-da!” fashion at the objects in the center of the room.

They were four rectangular slabs, roughly six feet long, two feet wide, perhaps eight inches thick, all the same silvery color as Crease’s outfit, but almost relentlessly smooth and geometrical, resembling chunks of frozen mercury with edges even sharper than the tall man’s suit. Spaced in a careful row, each opposite one of the frames, they hung from heavy sockets in the ceiling (more wood) via thick rods (more silver).

And emerging from the front surface of each slab was the bodily contours of a different woman, arms at her sides, fingers spread, legs also slightly spread, her skin and hair and costume all the same silver as the slab, as they had also been standing in a doorway which had suddenly pumped full of the shimmering material. A rather busty cat-woman with a long spill of hair. A slender short-haired woman in a visored helmet and jumpsuit. A stern warrior in armor, her hair a rather frizzy cloud. A woman in a skirt and boots and gloves with an arching headpiece.

The Valkyrie Squad.

Each woman had the same lack-of-expression stamped on her face, pupilless eyes wide and (of course) unblinking, lips slightly parted.

The tall man examined this scene, his leather-gloved hands resting on the cane’s head. His expression remained carefully unreadable as he finally spoke.

“Mm. And you’re quite sure they are not dead?”

Crease displayed a look, equal parts artistic offense and smirking.

“Course not. Where’d the fun be in that?”


Crease tapped the nearest slab, and it began to spin, slow and smooth, revealing the back half (or more accurately back third) of Ocelot Girl’s body, her tail coiling down between her legs, rising in and out of the surface of the slab in a manner perhaps reminiscent of one of the Serpent Lord’s sea-wyrms. Crease patted her butt lightly as it came into range. He made his way down the row, pushing each slab with a finger as he did. (Again, it was very possible he was concealing a limp as he did this.) They all spun, continued to spin. Emerald Shrike’s now-silvery wings poked out the farthest, almost touching Mechanique and Shakra on either side as she went around and around.

“Of course, you wanna get all technical ‘bout it, governor, they ain’t exactly alive either. Might say they are suspended.” He grinned again. “Hundred years from now, they’ll still be spinning here...” He gave the other man a look from the corner of his eye. “Assuming that’s what ya want.”


“But, same time, they’re aware. That’s the best part.” He stroked a hand down the curves of Shakra’s side. “They know, at some level or other, what is happening to them. Least, for a while yet.”

“I see.” A look, maybe, of abstract but genuine scientific curiosity. “And how exactly does all of this work?”

Crease shrugged, held his hands apart, sent streaks of silver dancing between the fingers of his heavy gauntlets, formed shapes and banished them.

“I dunno, Mr.. Epicure. I just make it happen. You want theories, go dig up those damn eggheads who did this to me way back when.” Another grin, one that definitely did not reach his eyes. “If you can find ‘em.”

The tall man, the Epicure, did not deign to reply, but shifted his attention to the four frames on the wall. Mounted inside each, in order, opposite their owner: two belts, one large and one small, both pouched and made of leather, a collection of various technical devices including some species of holstered pistol, a large sword and a shield, and six glowing purple stones, two larger and four smaller, arranged in a tasteful matrix, roughly at eye-height. He tapped the sword hilt with his cane, producing a small spark. He nodded and turned back to the other man.

“Excellent. All would appear to be in order.” The Epicure reached inside his jacket, produced a thick packet which he passed to Crease. Crease flipped the object open, did a quick but thorough scan of its contents, closed it, sent a sheen of silver flowing over it, sealing it tightly. He hesitated for a moment, still holding the packet.

“Yer sure that you don’t wanna-”

“Quite. Sure.” He stood with his hands again resting on the cane-head, his back to Crease. “Thank you for your service. You can show yourself out.”

Crease grinned one last time, and did not turn to go.


He clenched his free hand, and something formed there, long and sharp.

The Epicure sighed, and tapped a sequence of fingers against the cane-head, and like the wall-panel before it, the floor tile Crease had been standing on was abruptly no longer there, replaced with a very dark hole. The silvery man disappeared with the same rapidity, leaving behind only a surprised yelp and his payment packet, which fell to the floor with a metallic thud. The Epicure glanced over, and again showing a detached interest, poked at it with the tip of his cane, which was also gold-plated. The silver rippled slightly where the cane made contact, was still again. The Epicure nodded, and nudged the packet into the hole, sending it tumbling after its new owner, and the tile reappeared.

The Epicure tapped more at the cane. Classical music began to trickle from hidden speakers. The four women’s various rate of rotation altered, slowed, sped up, and they were now aligned and turning in perfect synchronization. Around and around.

He watched this in silence for a very long moment, and finally he allowed himself to smile.

“Can you indeed hear me, my dear ladies? It is ultimately no great matter if you cannot, but still.. I rather hope so. It would be the final touch of satisfaction, here, as at long last we reach the end of our relationship.” He allowed his gaze to wander for a moment. “Only.. assuming our recently-departed friend was correct, and my own research into the matter would indicate that he was.. our relationship is just beginning. Now that I have finally added you all to my private collection, I will of course visit you whenever I can, for the rest of my life. Finally I will have someone.. safe.. to listen to what I say. And that is your job from this moment forward, to listen to what I say.” He studied them again. “Yes. I do believe you can hear, will hear, every word I say. Then, after I am gone..” He shrugged. “I will have to consider the matter. Should I arrange to have you set free, to resume your valiant battle against evil? But new costumed idealists seem to crop up all the time to deal with such things. And that would be unfair to future generations, deprived of the chance to witness such artistic perfection. As an aside, I do not use that word lightly, and I must admit to a certain degree of surprise at Mr. Crease’s hidden depths. True, gold would have been more slightly more pleasing..” He slid a thumb against the cane-top.. “..but that is apparently an area of weakness for him.” He tapped at his chin. “Perhaps I will bequeath you to the City Museum, or.. hmm.. simply found one of my own. Yes. That might be better, since it would keep my collection firmly intact, to be viewed in the proper context... ”

The four superheroines spun silently around and around.

“But again, we have years in which to-”

There was a bing. He produced from its assigned pocket the heavy watch which was attached to the chain across his chest, and flipped open its lid.

“Ah. Of course.” He snapped the lid back shut, replaced the watch. “Sadly, I must depart now, or I shall arrive unfashionably late for the Spring Cotillion; they are holding it at the Tania Conservatory this year, now that the damages from that unseemly Vine incident has been repaired. Between us, it is far from my favorite soiree of the year, but as always, as you ladies know better than most, one does what one must. I shall return as soon as humanly possible.”

He strode from the room.

The music faded away and the lights began to dim.

The Valkyrie Squad continued to spin.

Around and around and around

The lights went out, leaving the room in darkness.

Nearly total darkness..

There was only darkness

She was spinning.

She was utterly weightless and numb and spinning.

There was only darkness and silence

Spinning slowly around and

around and

around and

she could not move a muscle

she could not breath

she did not need to breath

she was utterly paralyzed and helpless

her mind was drifting away

sinking into silvery depths



layer after layer

coating her thoughts

thicker and ever thicker

Someone had touched her

stroked his hand down her side

and his voice, both the voices, had echoed inside her head

and the place still tingled

she longed to be touched again

to listen to the Voices again

that was her job now

to listen to them for years and years

and her head was being coated

silver, thick, deliciously heavy

silver that buzzed

all along its lengths


coating her memories

coating her thoughts

one by one

working slowly, relentlessly, inward

to fight against it was useless

to give in was ecstasy

With no Voices

and no Touch

Only to the wonderful silvery buzz

There was only the buzz

And darkness and silence

And it was ecstasy

And she could no longer remember her name, either of her names

Deeper and ever deeper

Thick and ever thi-

It was not entirely darkness.

Not entirely ecstasy.

As she slowly spun around

and around and around

paralyzed and unbreathing and suspended

there was a reoccurring


right across her wide unseeing eyes

only somehow she could see

she could see everything

after all she never blinked now

around and around and around

every time

Again and again

a bright razor-thin purple


it hurt

and part of her mind, the ever-expanding silver-drowned part, willed it to go away

and at the same time it

was familiar somehow


and did it really hurt? Was that the right word at all?


around and around.

she remembered that color. Purple. There were all sorts of complex and battling emotions attached to that color. Grief and pride and humiliation and then


She had flown. She also remembered that now. Not this horrible blissful endless weightlessness that would have sent her stomach churning

if her stomach was still functioning, and not

suspended in endless spinning silvery darkness

around and around


She had flown. It had taken many long painful lessons and failures. How many times had she fallen and bruised and bloodied herself and even broken a bone or two, on the rocky side of that mountain at the top of the world? But she had learned. She had learned to successfully push against the earth’s gravity and fly, actually fly above the treetops, above even the glittering towers of the city which was now her home, fly alongside...

Somebody. That was gone, smothered in silver.

Delicious, thick, heavy, silver...


Somebody green, with wings. Of course the wings didn’t actually keep her aloft, because that was ridiculous, they would have ripped themselves right out of her back if that was the case, but the green woman had still needed the wings somehow, in order to fly.

Just like she needed the purple. the glow.

The stones.

She remembered the stones. Her stones. The ones she had been granted, no, that she had earned and that she had learned to use.


The silver was relentless. It was delicious. So much of her now wanted only to surrender

completely surrender

give in

float weightless forever

spin around and around and

listen to the Voice

listen only to his Voice after he came back from the Spring Cotillion at the Tania Conservatory.


Coming back.

He was coming back, sooner rather than later. He had said, and of course she had been listening, she had been quite literally hanging on his every word..

She pushed, pushed against the silver, and when the SLASH came, this time she grabbed at it, latched on with mental fingers and toes and teeth and pulled. There was a screaming silent strain, stretched to breaking, and something splintered and cracked and flaked away, a tiny circular spot on her forehead was no longer numb but flaming and now she pushed, pushed against the ravenous silver which tried to flow back in from all sides, smother her memories and mind and will once again. The circle shrank, and shrank, and there was only a pinpoint left and

She screamed with her mind, screamed and pushed and there was more shattering, and the circle expanded, and most of her forehead was free and as she once again came spinning around

She reached out, embraced the SLASH and merged with it, and the stone, her

Headstone that was its name

broke free of its silvery frame

zipped across the room like a hornet

and slapped itself hard against her forehead.


The shock simultaneously blasted away more of the silver, and almost caused her to lose the Stone, let it drop to the floor and if that happened, she knew, with hideous clarity, the silver would flow smoothly back, there would be no escape and when the Epicure

That was that haraami’s name, one of his names

came back she would be helpless and he would seal the stones, a sheet of glass would be enough, and she would helplessly spin and float in suspended ecstasy forever and ever and listen only to his voice and

She clutched at the stone, secured it against her head, and pushed.



The silver grudgingly retreated, and suddenly her eyes were free, and she was able to blink, she had never known before how wonderful it was to be able to blink, and then her nose and mouth were free, and it was glorious, except now she really couldn’t breath, her lungs were unavailable and she could see the other stones still mounted on the wall, and she was spinning away from them and she had to hold out, hold out as she spun slowly around (and around and around) and they came back into view.

And she reached out, and


Her Heartstone followed the established path across the gap, slammed into the waiting socket on her chest and she rediscovered the joy of breathing. Deep, gasping wonderful breaths. And even now, the silver was still at the back of her head, whispering and smothering her thoughts and numbing.. “Rrrragh!” She screamed, this time literally screamed, and the Glow flashed, and the last of her head was blasted free, leaving only.. ‘only’.. her arms, legs and lower torso imprisoned. She went around again, and reached out for the Righthand stone, pulled it to her, ripped that appendage free and the silver was still trying to crawl back, swarm over her, and she was running out of strength, and as she went around again, she had another sharp-edged vision, her re-silvered body, half-hanging out of her mangled slab when the Epicure returned. What would he do? Discard her as a blemish to his precious collection? Pull Crease back out of that hole and repair her?

The stones came into view. She pulled the Lefthand Stone to her, BLAM and she was halfway free. Another trip around and her right foot was (mostly) free. And one last trip around, the worst yet, and it was just her imagination, but it seemed to take twice, three, twenty-three times as long and the last stone BLAM

and she was FREE

and most of the rest of her slab exploded, splattering itself across everything

and her body suddenly realized it was pricklingly numb and bonelessly weak and she topped out of what was now a buckled silvery frame and thumped hard against the stone floor, the impact driving her breath from her in a woosh.

Get up! You have to assume there’s an alarm or something! Get up!

She blacked out, her eyes still open.

There was only darkness, and silence

The remaining slabs and their similarly wide-eyed prisoners continued to relentlessly spin

around and around and around.





Here there was barely the slightest interruption or resistance.

The silver smoothly pulled the three women’s minds deeper and ever deeper.

Coating their thoughts and memories

working inward

layer after layer

thicker and ever thicker..

She was having a dream. She was lying somewhere, in the exact center an endless marble plain under a pitiless black sky, while splattered around her were piles of silver slag. Only it wasn’t slag at all. It quivered ominously, it was still alive and it gathered itself, an advancing army which oozed in towards her from every direction as she lay helpless, slithered up over her, starting with her legs and arms, contemptuously pushing some blackened and useless stones off her body, covering her inch by inch, pulling her back down into the wonderful spinning weightless blackness, reforming the slab, saving her eyes and her brain for the last, leaving them free to watch as the owner of the Voice came back, striding unstoppably towards her across the plain on his glittering black shoes-

Darkness. Silence.

Shakra (that was one of her names, Shakra!) gasped and jerked her eyes open. Black. Silence.

Just black. No shoes.

And not silence, really. If she listened carefully, there was a distant mechanical hum, an air conditioning system perhaps.

Where was she? Her memories were jumbled and streaked with silver.


They had gotten a tip that some of Ant Thrax’s minions had been seen down in the warehouse district. Carbonite Street. Yes indeed. They’d gone to investigate, and..

It had been a trap? Yes indeed again. That man in the bizarre outfit, a walking mass of tinfoil, had popped up, and suddenly...

Shakra had seen Ocelot Girl, almost reaching him, getting a swing at him, she was always the fastest of them, she’d managed to knock him into the wall or something, and then..

Silvery darkness crashing down

Coating every inch...

She remembered the rest and somehow kept from vomiting.

Still painfully weak, she pushed herself up, untangled her cape, flipped the black braid of her hair back out of the way, spread a faint waft of light around the room from the Headstone.

The first thing she saw was the splattered piles of silver everywhere, including streaked across her own body. Her stomach was now free to lurch and squirm, and seized the opportunity to do so, but the stuff remained comfortingly inert and.. splattered. She made it to her knees, then her feet, and turned to the other slabs.

They spun around. And around and around. Even now, there was.. Her stomach gave another lurch. She reached out to touch the nearest slab, the one which imprisoned Emerald Shrike, then thought better of it even with her gloves, and pushed with the Glow instead. The slab obediently stopped spinning, and stayed stopped when she eased off. Ocelot Girl and Mechanique continued to spin in perfect synchronization; with a shudder, Shakra Glowed them to a stop as well.

She stared at the slab. Seeing Emerald Shrike like this, that expression stamped on her face.. Somehow she’d gotten the impression that the Squad’s leader was invincible, that at end of the day..

She shook the thought off, took a deep breath, and focused all her Stones, narrowing the Glow to a bright purple lance between her hands (and yes, she had seen, somehow, even in the darkness and silence, when that Crease had done something similar) and sliced into the slab, cutting a slashing trench alongside Emerald Shrike’s motionless form. The silver bubbled and melted away..

And flowed right back, sealing the gap. Shakra quit cutting and swore.

“OK. Very good.”

She adjusted the Glow, and Pushed ever-so-carefully against the silver coating Emerald Shrike’s forehead. And yes, slowly, a circle began to form, and the silver was driven away, and the circle grew wider, spread across the contours of the trapped superheroine’s head, up through her hair, down across her eyes, which drained of silver but still remained glassy until when her entire head was free, and she gave a strangled gasp. Her eyes snapped back into focus. She made no effort to speak but held on as Shakra pushed her chest and lungs free. She sucked in, and expelled, and managed to speak

“Shakra. Well done.”

Coming from this woman, this was high fulsome praise, but Shakra didn’t waste time trying to reply, as she didn’t have the breath to spare, and Emerald Shrike had blacked out.

Shakra pushed and pushed, the process of following all those angles and intersections, especially those wings and each.. individual.. feather.. requiring more and more energy. Finally, mercifully, some manner of tipping point abruptly arrived, and the silver (or whatever it really was) ruptured, splattered itself, expanding the existing mess across the room and Shakra’s body and leaving another ‘frame’. Emerald Shrike fell free, and Shakra managed to float her to the floor, then collapsed alongside her, spitting and wiping at her mask and face with the back of her hand

Her energy supplies were far from infinite even when she wasn’t exhausted and stressed.

She checked the freed woman, who seemed to be breathing normally (though Mechanique was the one with the actual medical knowledge), then dragged herself once again to her feet, positioned herself before Mechanique’s slab, again summoned the Glow, the lance’s tip a bit ragged now..

She was going to have to be even more careful..

There was a noise behind her, and she spun around.

To her grateful surprise, Emerald Shrike was stirring on the floor. The green heroine sat up, scanned the room in a glance, got up, stalked to the frame opposite her former prison and pulled her sword free from its silvery clamps. If she felt like Shakra had when first emerging, she did not show it. She flexed her wings, dripping bits of silver.

“Stand aside.”

Shakra did so, quickly.

Emerald Shrike swung the sword. Anyone else, especially in this light, Shakra would have been at least slightly worried, but that sword never cut anything that its owner did not intend it to. (Shakra strongly suspected that the training she undertaken, volunteered for, as arduous as it had been, had been a carefree stroll about the park as compared to what Emerald Shrike had undergone from the day she had been born. Their powers, while equally valid, flowed from very different sources..)

And what the sword did cut..

There was no grinding struggle this time, the slash ran deep and wide the whole length of the slab alongside Mechanique’s body, and the silverstuff surrendered instantly, exploding in a single quick burst, (further) befouling both the standing women and room, and leaving a third frame even more badly mangled than the first two. The two of them physically caught hold of Mechanique as she toppled bonelessly forward, and lowered her to the ground.

They repeated the procedure with Ocelot Girl, who somehow managed to make her numb boneless topple look graceful.

And she was back on her feet even faster than Emerald Shrike, up and alert.

“Hey guys.” She scrubbed in distaste at her own collection of smearings, merely succeeded in spreading them around, and flicked her claws. They now all looked like they had merely gone from being silvery slabs to silvery statues . “Hope I get a chance to have a bath.”

“oooh.. ma tête..” Mechanique had rejoined them as well, at least mentally. Ocelot Girl casually hoisted her to her feet. She wobbled, but Shakra suspected she was still doing better than most people would have; it was good that she’d been taking those Eastern Side Tae Kwan Leap classes, and not relying solely on her gadgets. “Where are we?”

“You are in the best position to find out.” Emerald Shrike, pulling her shield off the wall and strapping it back on.

“Ah. Oui.” Mechanique looked around, then touched at her helmet. A tethered speck rose in the air, hovered as it began supplying a much stronger and steadier light. Shakra was all too happy to let her own light fade off.

Mechanique and Ocelot Girl recovered their possessions from the wall, and the former woman wiped off a display mounted on her wrist, consulted it.

“Eh. No. I ‘annot tell. Ze walls, zey are shielded.”

“And sound-proofed.” Ocelot Girl “Even I can’t hear anything except the air conditioner. And a fly buzzing around over there somewhere.”

“Now standard procedure in all of Mr. Hollingsworth’s holdings.” Emerald Shrike.

Ocelot Girl gestured.

“Can you at least find the door, or will ES have to chop through the wall? I definitely remember that there was one.”

“Ze door. Oui.” Mechanique again looked around the room, more methodically, and there was a flash of bluish lights at the edges of things, an overlying grid hinted at. Shapes glowed and she pointed at one of them. “Zere. And zere are more trap doors in ze floor.” She tapped at buttons. “And.. zere. I ‘ave frozen ze mechanisms.”

Shakra spoke.

“Let’s move. I was thinking before, the Ep..” She saw Emerald Shrike’s expression.. “Hollingsworth.. might have an alarm set up to warn him that-”

The room’s lights flickered to life.

They all turned towards the door, which slid itself open.

The Epicure stepped into the room, and saw them ranged there.

The man was a master of his emotions, but it was quite clear that there had been no alarm. He spoke.

“Ah. Good evening, ladies.”

There was a clunk. Shakra saw, with stunned amazement, that Emerald Shrike had dropped her sword.

She and the other two women were standing very still, their arms arranged at their sides, their fingers spread.

Their lips slightly parted.

Their eyes wide and unblinking.

And pupilless.

And silvery.

The Epicure raised an eyebrow.

“Well. This was unexpected.”

Only for him. In a sickening instant, Shakra realized exactly what had happened. The other three had been sealed inside their slabs as she had laid there unconscious for who knows how long; spinning around and around and around; the silver had coated their thoughts too deeply. Getting free, they’d only scraped off the surface.

And then they had heard his voice, which now spoke again.

“Are you able to.. function, ladies?”

The other three heroines spoke in perfect chorus:

“Yes, sir.”

“Well. This may turn out to be even..”

He evidentially only then realized that there was an exception to the general rule. He and Shakra stared at each other.

“Ladies. Restrain Miss Patel.”

And Ocelot Girl was moving with her usual blurring speed, her claws clutching at Shakra’s throat, her eyes silver and empty and pitiless.

“Do try not to damage her any more than necessary..”

And Mechanique was approaching, holding up one of her neuro-clamps.

And Shakra screamed.


And the entire room was filled with a blast of



Not Glow, oh no


Shakra opened her eyes yet again. She was lying on her back staring up at the ceiling. Ocelot Girl was in turn sprawled solidly on top of her. This time, she wasn’t going to be getting back up, and-

She somehow lifted her head, and saw that Emerald Shrike and Mechanique were down as well.

And.. yes. A pair of shiny shoe-soles, a black-clad body beyond, and a top hat and cane lying on the floor. The Epicure was not an exception to the general rule. She let her head thunk back against the floor, although “let” implied that she had much choice in the matter. What would happen if-

Ocelot Girl’s weight shifted. The silver was gone from her body; from everywhere except four throughly-mangled scraps still hanging from the ceiling. She sat up, opened her eyes.

They were reassuringly brown, with perhaps a last flicker of purple. The latter color definitely danced at the end of her prickling hair. Shakra managed to speak.

“Ocelot.. Penelope? Are you.. all right? Because I cannot do that again anytime soon. If ever.”

Ocelot Girl grinned.

“Woo! ‘All right’? I feel grreaat!”

“You’re sure that you’re not-”

“Let’s find out, shall we?” She grinned wider, showed all her very white teeth, and flexed a set of claws as she rose, (a bit more purple flashed there), and stalked towards the Epicure’s recumbent form.

There was a startled (male) yelp, and then more and varied sounds, that were.. rather quite soothing.

Shakra smiled and closed her eyes.

They were outside the building, which had turned out to be an anonymous bulk of a warehouse a few blocks from the original ambush site, filled with a variety of rather unique items, including some that had disappeared over the years in high-profile thefts. The Squad, along with the usual scrum of media and random onlookers, watched as the police carted them out to waiting armored trucks. Helicopters hovered overhead, both police and press, spraying their searchlights over the scene. It was part of the expected ritual .Shakra stood with the others, but only because Ocelot Girl was surreptitiously holding her erect. Then the Epicure himself appeared, still essentially in one piece, if rather tattered now around the edges. Even with this, in handcuffs, he had not lost his patrician’s aura. He saw the Squad, and nodded, one equal to another.

“Ladies. You truly are worthy of being collected.”

None of the Squad spoke until he had been stuffed into a waiting car and driven off. It was Ocelot Girl who broke the silence.

“He’ll get off again, ya know, like after that time with those damn rods. Bastard can afford literally the best lawyers money can buy.”

Surprisingly, it was Emerald Shrike who replied.

“We have already punished him to a degree, with the confiscation of this part of his precious Collection.” Shakra thought she looked atypically distracted, as if she was listening for something and not hearing it. She looked up at the building behind them, where the faded gray letters 23CORP were still just visible, high up on the wall.

“I suppose.”

“I am more worried about this Crease. There was no sign of him anywhere.”

“C’mon, ES, him, we’ll be ready for him next time!”

“Oui.” Mechanique held up one of her omnipresent collection jars, which now held a sample of silver which she had chipped off one of the slab-remnants. “We all ‘eard ‘im say, ze Epicure, that ze gold is ze weakness. I will confirm. Pairhaps weave some..”

“..into your outfit.” Ocelot Girl rolled her eyes. “Gee, what a surprise, another costume change. Let’s go back to HQ, huh? I still really need to take a bath.”


They slipped away. As soon as they were out of sight of the scrum, Shakra let herself collapse. Ocelot Girl casually slung her over a shoulder, where she dangled limply. Shakra felt a sisterly pat on her rear.

“Ya did good, Parvati.”

“Thank you.”

She closed her eyes again, centered herself and began the long process of Recharging a set of fully-drained Stones...

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