Fact Checking Perils
Skytower T. Gnome
Sometimes it's not so much that you owe money (or gold, or jewels or weapons or... well you get the point), it's who you owe that money too. My life had gone up and down quite a bit in the last few months; I had gotten myself a kingdom and was well on my way to conquering a world when I made a mistake. You see I'm not much of a general, but I build great robots. So I built a robot general and into it I loaded the mind-copy I had made of a woman named Mar-Pai.
Turns out Mar-Pai wasn't too stable, and neither was her copy. It took a month or two but I went from ruling the kingdom to running away from it at high speed and with a very high amount of terror.
Oh well. At least I have the consolation that Mar will have to deal with the rebels now. They deserve each other.
But I had run up a few debts while I was ruling, using up the treasury to buy all sorts of stuff. Now I had to pay for it or give it back, and since most of it was destroyed by Wonder Girl when she attacked my lab (I wasn't there so she got to deal with another robot Mar-Pai, I won't bore you with the details, suffice to say that the Mar-Pai robot was doing quite well, she had Wonder Girl down for the count and had strapped her into a model 43-9 rape machine when her battery gave out. Wonder Girl got loose and just had to smash the robot, dumb thing to do since the robot was harmless, but heroines tend to get that way after a few hours in a rape machine. But smashing the robot started the self destruct and... well there went the inventory and there went my name into the "Seek and take the money from his dead bones" category of the firm of Black, Hole & Despised Collections (unlimited).
Being somewhat broke I went to the Superheroines in Distress bar hoping to pick up some loose change from the couch, a heroine's costume or two, or dna sample or SOMETHING that I could sell. I spent the first part of the night filching money and wallets from a few of the unconcious and bound heroines, then while I was waiting for someone to knock out Mighty Maiden (her underwear can go for five thousand dollars on EvilEbay), I overheard two villains arguing.
Mr. Deadly is not very deadly, and he isn't really a Mr. either (not that I'm ever going to ask him/her/it about the reason for the name), something that I think the 44f chest stuffed into the slinky gold and green gown gives away. He was sitting at the bar arguing with Mz. Pool-of-Blackness who was wearing a black turtleneck and black jeans and who also had 44f breasts (I notice breasts, so sue me). Anyway he/she was a vampire and she was a superstrong villainess who never quite left the women's lib movement of the early 70's. Both sort of low raters, but then everyone gets lucky now and then. Ms.Pool had recently gotten lucky but Mr. Deadly wasn't buying it.
"There is no way you could have captured Mary Marvel." he (I don't care what his real sex is, I'm going to call him "he" until he changes his name to Miss Deadly) insisted.
"I caught her when she was in her civilian identity." Ms.Pool said knocking back another shot of whiskey. "Georgia Sylvana and I planed to make her our slave, but when I double crossed Georgia her father showed up, then the rest of the Marvel family showed up, but I had her and I started the tatoo on pussy. If I had managed to finish it she would have been my slave the next time she changed to Mary Marvel."
"Poppycock." Mr. Deadly said matching her fondness for the whiskey.
"I did it!"
"Did too too!"
"Did not not not!"
"Too too too too too!"
They went on like this for about an hour. The only difference between a group of supervillains and a group of kindergartners is that the supervillains are less destructive. While they were arguing and getting more and more drunk I was busy setting up some hidden cameras in the Ladies shower (a lot of heroines have to shower before they leave the bar, it's that sort of place) and whilst I was doing that I got lucky and grabbed MightyMaiden's costume, Scarlet Witch's bra and boots and a few other things that I won't mention here. After that I went back to the bar and was totaling up when I heard Mr. Deadly say something that caught my interest.
"I've got 200 million that says you didn't!" he snarled.
"I'll take that bet!" Mz. Pool snarled back.
"So give me proof." Mr. Deadly insisted. "You caught her once, catch her again."
"The Silvana's drained my feminine might with vile Hefner rays." Mz. Pool said. "I'll be in no shape to take on the Marvel's for months. You do it."
"And bring the Marvel family down on me?"
"If you are willing to be 200 million how much are you willing to pay me to bring you proof one way or the other?" I asked.
They looked around for a second before they spotted me. Being 12inches tall I'm used to that.
"You can bring us proof?" Mr. Deadly asked.
"For one million dollars."
"You can't be trusted." Mz. Pool said.
"Of course not." I admitted. "The only ones in here you can trust are the ones who would turn you in. For this sort of job only someone like myself who is untrustworthy can be trusted."
While they mulled that over I watched as SuperBratGirl got hung upside down and gagged. She's cute when a villain does that to her, her nose bulges over the gag as she tries to keep breathing, but before they stripped her Mr. Deadly spoke up.
"I want proof that can't be faked." He demanded.
"Bring her to me."
"Yea right." I laughed. "Kidnap Mary Marvel for only one million? Forget it. I'll bring pictures."
"Film." Mz. Pool said. "Film in the camera, undeveloped so we know there is no trickery involved. And I mean NO trickery. If there is a hint of magic on the film the deal is off."
She would have to think of magic. Now I'd actually have to do it.
"Deal." I said. "I'll send word and meet you here when I have it."
"SKYTOWER!" Mighty Maiden and Scarlet Witch shouted my name at the same time (in a nice harmony really, I'd love to hear them sing together (or see them shower together for that matter) someday) as they came out of the locker room. I wasn't sure what Scarlet was upset about, she creates clothing magically, but I scrammed before they spotted me.
Mary Marvel nee' Mary Batson lives in a nice little boarding house in a nice little neighborhood in a nice little town. I'm talking ultra 1950's here (the good type you see in the movies, not the bad type you read about in history books), white picket fences, big town hall, park... it's a great place really, boring, but great. The sort of place both Andy Griffith and the Fonz would call home.
Mary's boarding house is a large three story Victorian, and despite it's innocent looking Vinyl siding is very well guarded. This is because Mary, along with the other Marvels', have been kinda sloppy with the whole secret identity thing. I can't think of a supervillain who doesn't know who she is. So the JSA outfitted the house and the town with enough sensors and alarm systems to spot just about any supervillain. They covered the land, the air and even the sewer system. I couldn't teleport in, I couldn't walk in and I couldn't fly in without setting off the alarms.
What I could do was go to the toy factory, substitute myself for a Superman action figure headed toward the toy store a block away from Mary's house and just wait.
Ok, I'll admit I don't look much like Superman, but really do any of those action figures really look the heroes they are supposed to look like? Hey, at least I was anatomically correct.
Anyway I had planned to wait until the toy story was closed, break out, put on a stealth suit and then sneak over to her house. I was carrying almost none of the usual stuff I carry, so I figured to go in under the radar. Turned out to be a lot easier than I thought. An hour before closing a girl came in and bought me. The girl was tall, thin, red headed and rather built too. This was a complication I didn't really need, but I didn't think it would be too hard to slip away, I was probably going to be birthday gift or something. Imagine my surprise when she carried me straight into Mary's boarding house.
Trouble is, in my life anyway; bad luck immediately follows good luck. Trudy Truefellow (yes that is her real name, no way I could make up a name like that!) kept me in the bag all through dinner, the evening tv watch (at least I confirmed that Mary was in the house, and that they had a big screen tv, dvd player and a vast fondness for Little House on the Prairie (I had to sit through 3 episodes! Then they ran a Smurf movie!) and then took me to her room. I thought I'd finally be able to get away since she said she was turning in early. No such luck. She puts me on the bed, locks the door and then changes into a Callisto (from Xena) costume. The she sits on the floor, pulls me out of the box, reaches under the bed and pulls out a box full of other action figures and other dolls. She takes a few out and I can see that they are Barbie dolls that have been customized a bit. Trudy put them around me in a circle and I started to get a bit worried. They were all supervillainesses. Harley Quinn, Catwoman, Poison Ivy and others. Once she had them all set up she picks me up.
"Now Superman!" she says dramatically, "Having been rendered helpless by the Might of Callisto you will suffer your torment!"
She gave the Callisto-villain laugh, held me down and started pulling the Superman suit off! Remember what I said about being anatomically correct? Well turns out it's not really that much of an advantage for an action figure, much less a weaponless gnome who is just pretending to be an action figure. Trudy was happy enough about it though. The smile that came on her face when she pulled my tights down would have lit a small city. Then she...
Well ok, what happened over the next few hours is something I am NEVER EVER going to talk about (not unless someone out there is willing to give me two or three planets filled with gold and jewels), but I can tell you that Trudy never had so much fun playing with her toys. Once she played herself out and fell asleep I staggered over to the box and pulled out the few meager things I thought safe enough to smuggle in. One of those things was a tranq-patch that I promptly used on Trudy so she'd sleep the night away. Then I pulled on my stealth suit and crawled under the door way and started looking for Mary's room.
Mary's room was actually down the hall. I could hear her voice through the door. Squirming my way into her room through the small crack of space between the door and the threshhold I looked around carefully. Mary's room is a big place, with a ceiling fan, princess style canopy bed, desk, dresser and posters on the wall of forest and beaches and such. It's the cleanest room I have ever been in. I mean it. I've worked for tyrants who threatened slaves with torture and death if they found a spot on the floor and their palaces weren't this clean. Mary was sitting at the desk talking on her phone so I ran under the bed and peered out from there. There wasn't even any dust or cookie or cracker crumbs under her bed! Which was frustrating because after playtime with Trudy and the Dolls I was kinda hungry.
"Barbara... Barbara calm down." Mary said. If you've never seen her Mary is the perfect girl next door. Think of Bonita Granville or, if you don't know who that is (old child movie star), think of the most non-threatening young woman you've ever known. Mary is a little over five feet tall, with long soft brown hair, soft brown eyes, a cute pug of a nose and a slim figure. She was wearing a fluffy pink robe and I hoped there was nothing underneath it.
"Babs you know what it's like when Poison Ivy hits you with that stuff." Mary was saying, obviously trying to calm someone down. "Yes, I know that Dru has larger breasts than you do, but Dick... hold on I got another call." Mary hit the call waiting button. "Yes? Dick? Yes, I'm talking to her now. Yes she knows that it was Poison Ivy's lust dust that started you and Dru... Well I think she's a bit upset that Ivy only used a little dust and that you and Dru kept making love for days... Dick I'm not saying that. I know you love her..."
This was going to last a while. One of the things that Mary does is act as a big sister to a lot of the superhero set. I settled back into the shadows, turned off the stealth suit to save power and listened in.
"Barbara you do not have small... breasts, you and I are the same cup size... what do you mean that's what the problem is? Ok, neither of us are Wonder Woman, but Dick can see past that... Barbara you can't get breast implants! No we can't get them together either! Calm down. Have you talked to Dru yet? She what? Well... she might have been... I mean... no I don't think calling you "tiny tits" was meant as a compliment. Barbara you can't do that! You can't shave her head. She's Wonder Girl, how would that look if she was bald? You can't shave that either! Hold on a minute."
The beeping got my attention to. Peering out from under the bed I saw a little JSA logo on her phone blinking. Mary pushed the button.
"Mary Marvel here."
"Mary are you talking to Batgirl?"
"Yes Dru I am."
"She's lying! What ever she says is a lie! So Robin and I got a bit carried away after the dust wore off! You've seen him naked!"
"Dru!" Mary cried blushing.
"Well you have." Dru insisted. "And I can tell you he's as good as he looks! He's got talent and I wasn't going to pass him up! Look tell Babs I just borrowed him for a while, it's not like I broke him or anything did I?"
Remember what I said about immaturity and supervillains? It goes for superheroes too. Mary and I sighed and while she talked I tried to stay awake.
It took a while but Mary finally got off of the phone. I fell asleep half through it so I have no idea how she settled things between her friends, if she did. I woke up to see her hang up the phone, stretch, and head for the door. I turned on the stealth suit and followed her. She went down to the end of the hallway, took a left and I just made it through the door before she closed it. It was a fairly standard bathroom, toilet, sink, tub, mirror... the tub was big and was off the floor on legs. Mary went over, turned on the shower then started to get some stuff out of the medicine cabinet. Once the water was the right temp she slipped off her robe and got in.
I tell you, the whole girl-next-door thing vanishes when she's naked. She's still got the hair, the eyes and the face, but she's also got the flat stomach, sassy breasts with pink nipples and firm bottom. Trouble is, darn it, I couldn't get the camera moving fast enough to take a picture of her pubic area. I saw the tattoo easy enough, a few lines to the left of the hairless slit(Well not really hairless, some brown fuzz was growing there, but you could still see the tattoo) but it was small and she moved quick. Once she stepped into the shower it got even harder.
I tell you... you think her room was clean... it was nothing compared to the cleaning she gave her body. She soaped herself up from head to toe and gave a lot of attention to her breasts, then she'd rinse and do it again. I can't even begin to describe how great her body looked, how it was shiny and everything. Trouble was I still couldn't get the shot. Either she was turned away from me or the soap covered the tattoo or the water was too heavy. I just had to stand in a corner and wait. I thought I'd have a shot when she washed her hair, but it was the same problem.
When she was finally done with her body and her hair Mary stepped out, wrapped her hair up in a towel and then sat on the edge of the tub and bent over to put a stopper in the drain. I would have had a great shot of her butt if I wanted one, but I wanted the other side. She started the water going, tested the temp and then poured in some bath beads and bubble bath. No wonder she was the cleanest superheroine of all; even Wicked Wanda didn't treat her body THIS good. While the tub was filling up she started to shave her legs. I moved into a great position, but she did them one at a time and mostly had her legs crossed.
This was going way beyond the frustration point. Mary had been naked for at least a half hour and I still didn't have a decent shot of her tattoo. In normal circumstances (and yes I do normally snap secret naked shots of heroines, it's a hobby, most likely the fairy blood in me taking over from time to time) I would have used a digital vid-cam and simply gotten stills. But Mz. Pool wanted film in the camera, and it was only after I was in the room with Mary for a half hour that I thought it would have been a good idea to use a film movie camera, not a film still camera. To make it worse this camera was a simple SLR, manual focus, I had to make the lens myself because you can't shrink a lens down with out using magic and that would have left a magical residue on the film. (I'd explain more but my editor, a wicked little female red imp whose name I can't utter without calling down the wrath of the W.I.E.U (Wicked Imp Editors Union), has told me to keep the technical stuff short or else.)
So I got closer. I moved under the bathtub (still no dust or even dirt!) and edged under to where she was sitting. Then I lay down on my back and edged out.
That did it. I had perhaps the best view of her vagina anyone short of a gynecologist would ever have. I took the pictures and I got five of them off before I noticed she was looking down at me.
Now here is the thing. When I said I had to be careful and only use lo-tech stuff I meant it. So my normal invisibility system had to be left behind and I used the stealth suit instead. The stealth suit works by projecting what is behind you in front of you. But what I didn't realize was that it cools the air down to stabilize the projection. So all the time I was in that hot and steamy bathroom water was collecting on the suit. Once I got close enough to Mary to get the shot I got close enough for her to see something.
With a puzzled look on her face she bent down and reached for me. I scuttled under the tub as fast as I could. She made a grab for me but in the shadows under the tub the suit worked better. Not to be deterred Mary reached over, grabbed a toilet brush and swept it under the tub.
This is pretty much normal for me and it highlights the difference between a true supervillain and a lackey. They get menaced by superweapons, we get pounded by cleaning equipment. The brush caught me in the stomach and swept me into Mary's hand. Still puzzled she lifted me up and sat down on the edge of the tub. She poked at me a bit frowning. Then she dunked me into the water and lifted me out again. That shorted out the suit and I turned visible.
"YOU!" Mary screamed.
I moved quickly and tossed the best weapon I had at her. It wasn't much, just a small pill, but I managed to hit the back of her throat while she was saying: "YOU!" and she swallowed it. That was the last thing she was going to be saying for a while, since the pill was a little drug that paralyzed the vocal cords. Since she couldn't say her magic word she couldn't change to Mary Marvel.
Trouble was her reaction to the pill caused her to slip and fall into the tub, and she kept her grip on me. So into the water we went. Unfortunately I was under her. What followed is kinda hazy in my memory, if anyone has ever taken a bath with a whale you'll have an idea of what I went through. Eventually I managed to swim over to the tap and climb onto it. From there I jumped to the edge of the tub, slipped and fell to the floor.
While I was lying there wondering how many bones weren't broken Mary stuck her head over the edge of the tub and gave me a murderous look. I got up to run and she scrambled out of the tub, slipped and fell onto me. The fall knocked the wind out of her and she lay on top of me, I wasn't crushed, managing to get in between her breasts just as she fell. But I wasn't comfortable either. I tell you, 106 pounds is HEAVY when you are only 12 inches.
After a minute she rolled over and grabbed me. But while she had been recovering I was doing more than just feeling her up, I was trying to reach my pocket. I got the tranq-patch onto her just as she was about to toss me into the tub again. She slumped down and I hit the side of the tub with enough force to knock me out.
When I woke up Mary was still asleep. I had no idea how long we'd been out, or how much time I'd have before she woke up. I did know that I had to get out of there. Trouble was the door was too tight for me to squeeze under, there were no windows and a quick search turned up no mouse holes. Just as I realized how trapped I was Mary started to wake up.
There is no greater incentive to escape than when you are trapped with an angry giant naked heroine. I climbed up onto the tub, slid into it, ran to the drain, pulled out the strainer and leapt in. It was very tight fit, but I was pretty determined and I'm nothing if not flexible (ask Trudy), so I made it into the sewer. The rest of the night was spent avoiding Wonder Woman, Batgirl, SuperGirl and Wonder Girl, a task made easier when I tossed a flare bomb into Wonder Girl's eyes and she tripped into Batgirl. While they fought I got away.
Of course after all that Mr. Deadly did not have the money, but she and Mz. Pool both had a price on their heads and that combined with the money I got from Sylvana Jr. for the shots of Mary's tattoo got me out of debt. Of course now I'm back on the "must catch" list of the JSA, but that won't last long. I'm building a robot Joker that will go on a crime spree and distract them.
I just gotta figure out where to get the money for the parts....