COMIC PAGE FORTY-ONE: Haughty Westminster doorbell chimes announce sudden arrival of visitors to an upscale Westwood split-level. An annoyed Derek Montana (a well-known Hollywood screenwriter and established playboy around town) hands their mostly-smoked marijuana joint to his already-stoned voluptuous entertainment for this evening (Sally somebody or another?: a top-heavy-and-now-topless bleach blonde) and answers the door. His blood pressure jumps fifty points when he greets a LAPD patrolman and a bent-over old crone standing beside him.
“Sorry for bothering you at this late hour, Mr. Montana” (the cop sniffs the pungent scent of their drugs on the big-whig’s clothing, but decides to ignore it for political reasons... after all, this IS Southern Cal and just about anything goes), “but we found this little old lady wandering around South Park- one of several seniors - and she tells us that she belongs here: working for you. Do you know her”?
The darkly suntanned film executive carefully eyes the woman before him. She is Hispanic, about 5'6", with curly hair which has turned almost entirely white. Her posture is atrocious: stooped and leaning forward like an avalanche about to tumble downhill at any moment. This seeming late-80's woman softly mumbles to herself in Spanish, while pointing past Derek toward several household family pets circling happily behind him in the foyer. Montana is a bit repulsed by the sagging, age-spotted adobe-skinned bony fingers held near his face.
“I’ve never seen this hag before in my life, officer. Looks to me like you’ve got a job for the INS... or maybe the looney bin! Why don’t you… “ Suddenly, Montana’s Irish Setter pup bounds forward to leap up into the ancient female’s arms.
“Gracias, nina... como estas? Si..si...si Te quiero” , she utters through dilapidated, rotting teeth. A loud alarm bell of recognition goes off in the screenwriter’s head, and he scrutinizes the graying tattered maid’s uniform hanging limply over the woman’s malnourished frame. A look of absolute astonishment settles onto Derek’s face as he realizes his delicious 22-year-old house-servant from Guadalajara (disappearing almost two weeks ago walking his dogs along the Malibu beachfront) has finally returned home.
“Carmen??!!??”, he inquires. For long seconds, Colonel Chronos’ spent-and-discarded temporal fuel slowly and uncertainly shuffles over the door threshold.
Back in the living room, busty Sally takes a final hit from the joint before lunging for her shirt and bra lying upon a sofa table. The officer catches a glimpse of huge tan-lined breasts bobbling up and down before they’re hurriedly covered. Our bubble-headed blonde sticks their smouldering roach clip behind her back, smiling innocently at the cop(pointy nipples jutting obviously through a thin silky blouse).
I gotta find a beat in another city! This LA ! %?#*! Is too much for my mental health, he thinks.
COMIC PAGE FORTY-TWO: Dammit!! Six weeks down a God-forsaken hole in the ground without any kind of leave... my dick is gonna fall off if I don’t make it back to civilization soon! And graveyard shift guard duty in this underground lab level has got me mixed up between night and day. I can’t remember... USAF Master Sargeant Bruce Williamson is feeling too sorry for himself during his final minutes of an 11:00 p.m.-to-6:00 a.m security patrol to notice an unusual sight for several long seconds after rounding a corridor corner. Raising his view up to a far-end living quarters entrance at this secret New Mexico base, he is stopped in his tracks.
Wrapped intently within an impassioned goodbye kiss are Navy Seal Commander David Nicholson (now in full dress uniform prior to his Washinton D.C. departure for briefings with Joint Chiefs of Staff General Hawke) and a lanky, caramel-skinned superheroine. Dura-Damsel is slightly less formally attired than her friend: she sports only abbreviated frilly white panties and thigh-high shiny yellow boots from her action costume, her long tawny back and limbs now proffered toward a young enlisted airman for unexpected appraisal.
His extremely neglected equipment inside uniform trousers registers approval at sight of her frilly chocolate ringlets cascading down past lean athletic shoulders, the lovely undulating small of her back tensed rigid by her tight embrace. All too soon, “Hercules” Nicholson notices the shocked patrolman and pushes his overnight conquest back through the open doorway to her living room.
Williamson shakes his head, reawakening from reverie with the sexy spell now broken. The Navy Seal nonchalantly strides past the Area 57 lab patrolman while tightening his necktie up to military specifications. “Morning, Sargeant”, he mutters in passing, a huge gleeful grin plastered onto his face. Colonel Chronos’ secret henchman still revels in events of the 24 hours.
Having sampled the delicious feminine wares of three superheroines and security Chief Wilkens upon their base target practice range (hitting a ‘home run’ in the case of Empath Girl while she was obediently frozen into a sexy squat by Ingeno-Lady’s SDT-2 taser dart), Herc was later surprised and delighted to discover bold Diedre coming on to him like gangbusters!
This newest QQ superheroine already had a reputation for being a bit of a tease and exhibitionist among the enlisted airmen (tall runner’s thighs exposed between boot tops and the hemline of her ultra-short costume miniskirt turned a lot of heads), but DD hadn’t pulled any punches with Hercules about a desire to make love to him. Perhaps from a latent subconscious urging roiled up to the surface by the pleasure tool he buried deep inside Dura-Damsel’s kneeling recesses amid hours of her entrapment on that rocky shoreline? The hint of a smile cemented on her astonished face had suggested she enjoyed it!
And who was he to spurn lusty advances from a caramel-skinned leggy super-athlete? Hercules just hadn’t counted on Diedre’s insatiability and endurance. Whew!! She had more than lived up to her character name. He was now exhausted from their delicious ‘all-nighter’. Oh well… he could always catch up on his lost sleep during the flight to the Pentagon...
Sargeant Williamson still stands at rigid saluting attention according to military protocol for passing a superior officer when he notices the Quint-Quint sleeping quarters door has remained open. A pretty green-eyed face is assessing his physically-fit build! Mere seconds after sounds of lab-base elevator doors closing down the corridor fade, an unexpected whooshing blur appears in the hallway directly in front of him. The shocked USAF guard looks down to discover a topless yellow-booted superheroine just used her ‘flashing’ powers to rush into a kneeling position before him in the blink of an eye. Bruce is mixed up between alarm (what if somebody sees them?... naw, it’s 5:55 in the morning. Wait!! What if Commander Nicholson finds out about this? It was rumored the Navy Seal could kill with a well-placed push of his index finger). and delight at view of a curly-brunette head strategically placed just below waist height. His dream-come-true continues: discovering the QQ already has unzippered him... his thickening member rising to the occasion. Aroused Deedee giggles while he fully stiffens and shudders to warm wet touches from ripe red lips.
Bruce hears a South African accented, “OH MY! This salute is MUCH more impressive than your other one, Sarge”.
COMIC PAGE FORTY-THREE: Meanwhile, some 900 miles away in North Dakota, ‘Weasel’ places the finishing touches upon three intricate electronic devices. Printouts from an unbelievably-detailed Cray SV7 supercomputer analysis of interactions between proto-matter and theta-wave radiation lying next to him on a work table, he completes the final micro-soldering connect points on the back of (what is disguised as) an elevator floor button. Next to this tiny convex hemisphere- labeled ‘Lab Level’ on its front is a second small domed disc- identical except for its ‘Door Open’ sign.
Dwight smiles lasciviously about his research breakthroughs. Insider information from QQ enemy headquarters suggests his fully-properly-adjusted micro-TRAMP’s may see trial in the near future. Next to these booby-traps sits an expensive-looking Swiss timepiece. Chronos’ technical wizard checks the epidermal contact points protruding ever-so-slightly from the back of the Omega’s casing. Engraved there- partly as camouflage to the watch’s actual purpose, and partly as a cruel joke- are the words, To NASA Commander Sally Glide: For Unrelenting Service to Her Country.
Weasel was proud of that particular double-entendre. Having spent most of his educational years in science and engineering labs at Cal Tech and MIT (before being recruited by Colonel South into covert CIA operations in Central America, and then ultimately into the ‘Time Bomb’ project itself), he never had time to ponder such language subtleties. But very soon, the lady Space Shuttle Head Honcho would no longer be an obstacle to their secret mission objectives. And he hoped to enjoy that situation to its fullest too!
Completing his final calibrations on this third camouflaged hippocampus-brain-stem-disconnecting TRAMP, he eagerly returns attentions to an unmoving batch of lovely experiments waiting patiently along the far side of the lab wall. Just as he approaches three striking transfixed females awaiting further tests, Colonel Chronos himself passes through the experiment area doorway.
“REPORT!”, Ollie South shouts at his third-in-command using a most authoritative tone, while appreciating a bizarre tableau set before him.
Perched atop what appear to be three gigantic metal ice-cube trays are a trio of time-stopped victims.
Perhaps most familiar is ‘Julia 26F’: Miss Florida recently snatched from astride a bicycle seat upon a Malibu sand dune slope. A look of aghast amazement glimmers brightly underneath lab overhead spotlights, given her miraculous turned-to-chrome condition. Beams and rays of iridescent gray and white mirror and reflect over gorgeous solidified tits and ass, and Weasel has trouble keeping fully calm while recollecting his fun with Julia just prior to her transformation as part of “Operation Goldmine”.
Yet immobility loves company. Two other stiff gals teeter above their respective ominous receptacles.
One is Malibu Muscle-Beach denizen Tawny Harper, still holding aloft dual dumbbells while (forever?) maintaining her flawless lady body-builder’s triumphant clean-and-jerk raised-position stance. Metallicized bikini bottom yanked down to mid-thighs and micro top pulled upwards to her solid straining neck, Tawny’s athletic exposure well complements that of her bicycle-pedal-pumping colleague. Like Julia too: paralyzed bone, sinew, muscle and skin have been transformed. Encased inside Dwight’s clever frequency-oscillating atom-TRAMP radiation field, our shocked-looking weightlifter has been altered in molecular composition to where her texture and coloration are an almost-perfect match to the stainless-steel weights she helplessly grasps. Cray supercomputer analysis, however, reveals that Tawny’s current state is a mixture of silver, lead, nickel and (traces of) palladium.
“Well, now we’re getting somewhere with you, Muscles”, our evil Colonel taunts while scrutinizing Weasel’s spectralysis results.
A third young lass comes closest of the three in composition to CC’s desired state. Margaret-Ann ‘Peg’ Bumpers had been plucked from the corner of Hollywood and Vine at the height of rush hour just yesterday evening. Her mid-length fiery-red tresses maintain their slightly wind-blown state from the moment when she was time-stopped amid the act of hailing a taxicab. Curvaceous hips jauntily cocked to the left (supporting weight of an elegant briefcase pinned by her left elbow crook), this full-figured stockbroker extends a right arm up-and-out into a furious hand wave. Two bronzed left fingers intertwine with pooched pouty lips as Peg brazenly whistles down her ride. The expression frozen on shiny brownish-gold features mixes frustration and hope in a snapshot of stereotypical LA commuting. The fact that suit blouse and bra have been widely parted down her torso middle-line to reveal very-non-business-like 38C hooters only adds to the wild scene. Ms. Bumpers’ static legs-spread stance and upraised tweed skirt (sans panties) frame an intoxicating luminous copper-gold beaver shot.
Stiffened shiny pulchritude fascinates the heartless criminals ogling her slender curves.
“I’ve tested and eliminated three possible molecular recombination frequencies here, SIR!! Per your orders, atom-TRAMP’s have been reset for maximum thermal frictioning and, with permission SIR!, I’d like to test the distillation process? Auric density filtration will occur through an osmosis membrane at the collector false-bottoms. Tubing should conduct any precious metals with atomic weight greater than 67 into drip-pans. Of course, once we identify proper theta oscillation to generate predominantly monetary ingots, the membrane can be reversed to filter out any and all impurities and base elements”.
Ollie South isn’t exactly sure what his third-in-command just said; yet he has come to trust this whiny nerd’s talents over the years. The nearly 600 frozen beauties patiently waiting to be used as Time Bomb temporal fuel are more than adequate testament to Weasel.s skills.
“Roger that, Dwight. Proceed with the experiment”.
Raising a remote-control device (similar in appearance to the one used by Hercules in New Mexico just the day before), an evil genius commences the process of changing helpless young women into more practicable- and valuable- form. Three pager-sized TRAMP devices (originally attached to each lady’s clothing, and now therefore fused into their metal sculptures) beep in confirmation of receipt of new commands. Sexy chrome, silver and bronze statues begin to vibrate- almost imperceptibly- except for an ever-growing humming. Then a strange glowing begins. The metal ladies start to emit a dull red-orange aura from their deepest internal recesses. Light reminiscent of the interior coils of a toaster begins to swallow and overwhelm reflected room beams bouncing across their exposed skin. Tawny’s delicate tiny curls and Julia’s French-braided ponytail begin to buckle and wilt. Atom is being pitted against atom: rubbing, sliding and grinding over and through one another until a tremendous frictional heat bubbles to fever pitch.
In less than seventy-five seconds a critical temperature is reached. For just a few hesitant more instants, super-heated softening gals retain their original frozen poses and shapes. Then perfect physiques abruptly begin to collapse irretrievably into molten slags: fragments of white-hot metal dissolving down into collectors, aswirl in rivulets of bright orange runoff. The victims’ appendages go first: outstretched arms, pumping legs… then finally pretty heads themselves (with three loud PLOPS! into ever-deepening glowing pools). TRAMP governance mechanisms float briefly while sputtering blue-white electrical sparks before they are incinerated… their high-tech mission accomplished. Shapely amputated torsos topple down at the last: weird science-fiction versions of Venus de Milos- only to have sculpted breasts, crotches and derrieres melt away like snow on a sunny Spring morning. It’s all over in less than five minutes.
Peg, Julia and Tawny – or what once were they- now float cooling along the bottom of their collection trays, each liquefied and separated into 26 standard-sized ingot pre-forms. These gals were the first of many guinea pigs… turned by cruel atom-TRAMPS (in the Colonel’s alchemistic quest for funds to pay outrageous electric utility bills, since government subsidy has ended) into mostly low-value everyday metals. Yet in each gal’s by-product distillation tray (about the size of pack of cigarettes) residual silver, gold and palladium droplets steadily seep into view.
CC’s eyes gleefully widen at proof of a successful experiment. “You ladies may not be worth your weight in gold, but your futures- and mine- are certainly VERY bright!!”! Laughter roars.
COMIC PAGE FORTY-FOUR: Inga takes little notice of Professor Nils Johannson and his prematurely-aged colleague Scott McGillicuty as they enter the Area 57 audio-visual conference room. The muta-cloned QQ genius is completely engrossed within her calculations upon the brown one-way glass at the far southeast wall (currently doubling as a work-board, thanks to a dry-erase yellow marker held in her dexterous fingers). Dressed in ragged demin cutoffs and a loose-fitting green half-top leaving her midriff bare (no bra today… something- she can’t remember what- has made her softball-sized boobs VERY sore to the touch), IL struggles thru the final engineering problems involved with reverse-initializing the cold fusion engines aboard their fantastic Ionospheric Clipper airship.
Her goal is to enable craft propulsion while completely outside the Earth’s atmosphere, permitting space travel with jet-blast maneuvering using hydrogen bursts. Warm steel-blue eyes of the mid-twenties superheroine glow with excitement and pride at revelations leading to this breakthrough. Why HADN”T she thought of this improvement before?? For some reason, new ideas about inventions and redesigns had been cascading through her usually-highly-disciplined mind ever since she had returned from Catalina Island. It was as if her super- intelligence had been even further magnified to new heights. Reasoning, logic, perception, analytical ability: all were now all razor sharp (except when it came to recollection of yesterday afternoon… Inga’s experience out on the desert-base practice & training range was simply a COMPLETE blank!).
Nodding politely toward Nils and Scott, she continues recalibration of ozone exhaust densities. Some girls have all the fun., she thinks while gingerly massaging her tender right boob nipple.
The two men in white laboratory coats do not heed their brainchild for very long, either. They converse in hushed tones while entering the communications nerve center of the New Mexico base, their attentions still lingering upon the caramel-skinned QQ in full dress costume directly across the hall.
Deedee works at an almost-unbelievable pace now in her attempts to hand-sift through over twenty million separate electrical utility billing records from around the USA. During this Herculean task undertaken over the past four days, Dura-Damsel has more than lived up to her character name: demonstrating a drive and determination well beyond normal human physiological limits. Focus and concentration (through those lovely dancing green eyes) had been unswerving with little break- except for the requisite participation in QQ combat training exercise yesterday, as well as a well-deserved rest(?) last night. For the first time in the bill review process, an increasingly-worried DD was ‘stepping up’ her search to utilize some of her ‘flashing’ superpower’s stored energy.
A world-famous bioengineering genius and his assistant note with amazement the eye-blurring speed with which statement-after-statement whizzes beneath her gaze. And she is getter even faster! The entire process takes on a comic-book-like stereotypical appearance… Deedee’s overall speed advancing beyond ability of human perception to distinguish movements as separate and distinct. This newest Quint-Quint approaches the verge of moving beyond visual perception- almost existing within a ‘wink of an eye’.
Neither scientist notices, therefore, that our lanky super-athlete has now switched to one-handed review of billing records, the other one slipping between her runner’s thighs and inside frilly-moist silk panties… Soon thereafter, gasps of self-created pleasure escape DD’s moistened lips. Yet this auto-erotic stimulation never breaks Diedre’s stride in her relentless paper-trail pursuit of the malevolent Colonel Chronos.
Johannson strokes his beard in thoughtful-but-nervous habit and addresses his ‘younger’ (now aged into his ninth decade by a miniature time-trap left behind by Colonel Chronos’ gang at an earlier crime scene) counterpart, “Yaah, Scotty… I am mozt worried about these latest ZONK findings. The theta wave contamination of the proto-matter crystalline matrix in our Quint-Quints’ celluar structure seems to be progressing at unexpected velocities. For example, Empath Girl has now exhibited not only telekinetic powers, but has preliminary inferences about accurately prognosticating future events & outcomes for herself and her superheroine companions. Und her telepathic ability is fully developed to mozt sophisticated levels. She can selectively communicate with each of her other team members in public or in private. I fear EG is ezpecially near to her super-power Zenith. We MUZT find an antidote frequency oscillation before her abilities reverse back upon themselves- with unpredictable and dangerous results!”.
McGillicutty replies (while frowning in Inga’s direction), “Professor, I’m not sure which of the Quint-Quints is most likely to join Maw in her ZONKED condition first (both men sadly glance over towards the muscular QQ sand sculpture propped atop their sandalwood. conference table… all her muta-cloned super strengh powers are useless to help Maw return from her suspended state and humiliating naked amphibian-imitating pose), but I believe we have only a matter of hours. I’ve overheard some of the enlisted men chatting during coffee break today, and I think we have yet another type of concern for Dura-Damsel. The high-energy super metabolism we genetically engineered to produce her incredible endurance and capacity to compress strength into super-fast bursts of speed may have extended to her sexual drive as well. I’ve heard stories about exhibitionism, flirtation- even physical attractions being brashly acted upon! And as DD’s theta-wave contamination increases her powers towards new heights, the libido inches closer and closer to an uncontrollable lusting state”. Nils continues, “We should be thankful, Scotty, for the short-run benefits upon Ingeno-Lady’s analytical and design skills. Thanks to her heightened intellect, she and I have already designed a prototype (on paper) which may well insulate the superheroines from time-dilating effects of Colonel Chronos’ weaponry. I only hope we can overcome certain technical bottlenecks so as to put this ‘time-jump-start’ into the QQ arsenal soon. Inga is also very close to breakthroughs on several other…”
The nerdy scientists are interrupted from their quiet discourse by a shout of glee from the small office across the hallway. Diedre holds aloft two electric utility bills (review #’s 11,576,312 and 11,576,313, respectively) while declaring, “FINALLY I’ve DONE it!! It’s GOTTA be Chronos’ hideaway… 10,000% increase in electricity wattage!! OK, Inga: let’s go get em and kick some military butts!!! Looker, darling, HERE WE COME”!
As luck would have it, IL completes engine redesign computations at almost this same instant. The pretty brunette QQ boss accepts her partner’s good news by flashing her brightest girl-next-door smile. Both white-coats surround our red-yellow-blue costumed heroine to congratulate her and examine findings. A flushed Deedee sits back in her chair, quickly readjusting skirt and panties.
“Looks like the tide of this battle is now beginning to turn”, exclaims Inga. “I hope we can still stop that Time Bomb and (glancing at the sandy ‘frog princess’ teetering next to her). make our QQ team whole once again”.
COMIC PAGE FORTY-FIVE: Sitting at her oversized Chairperson’s desk, Helen Troy is surprised and annoyed to overhear a loud disturbance taking place in the outer office area of the USC Department of Ancient History. Poor Brenda’s having a rough week! First I find her helplessly encased inside an inch-thick coating of ice-(without any sort of rational explanation- and now this mess. What the HELL is going on, anyway? Before this scholarly member of Colonel Chronos’ criminal gang can ponder unknown circumstances further, her office door is abruptly flung wide open.
The squeaky, air-headed voice of her sexy early-twenties administrative assistant carries into the room, “OH, I’m SO sorry, Dr. Troy, but this nut-case in a silver bodysuit carrying a black box just barreled by me…. She insists on speaking with you right away. I tried, but I just couldn’t stop her!!”
Hair on the back of the pretty Egyptology Professor’s neck bristles on end as Mommy strides purposefully into Helen’s office. She is dressed in one of the metallic silver Melkosian flight suits recovered from the crash of the Phaethon more than fifteen years earlier.
Helen only has an instant to wonder why Mommy has visited unannounced while wearing temporally-insulating attire before an answer is provided by her superior’s actions.
Sensing the irony in Brenda’s statement, our unexpected villainess wheels about to confront the innocent buxom secretary. ”You may not have been able to stop ME, honey, but I certainly have the power to stop YOU…. Right in your tracks!!” Pressing a few control buttons atop the cryptic black-box theta wave radiation emitter held in her hands, Mommy slams down its large red plunger.
A wedge of blue-white sparkling energy roils forth from the box toward the hapless young woman still standing next to her own desk in the outer office area. Brenda is caught forever amid a shrug of ineffectuality she offers to her boss as excuse for letting the intruder pass by: legs slightly apart (but still straining up-and-out her tight mini-skirt to reveal connections between sheer pale hose and aqua garters), shoulders scrunched, both arms out and bent at the elbow with palms raised to the ceiling. The alien time-dilation phenomenon immobilizes her instantaneously.
“Quite an arresting pose… don’t you think Helen?” Mommy taunts.
“And exactly to WHAT do I owe the pleasure of this visit, Ma’m”? inquires the shocked Professor as she observes (with deepening panic) her ringleader coolly attaching a blinking TRAMP temporal governance device onto poor Brenda’s blouse sleeve cuff. LED readout on this pager-sized device indicates it is performing an auto-countdown toward some unknown time-manipulating event.
Helen gulps audibly with fear as anger glints in Mommy’s cold eyes during her reply, “I’ve been reading a report from our Mole inside Quint-Quint headquarters who has access to the superheroine mission debriefing accounts. Seems as if YOU are responsible for those damned goody-two-shoes descending upon Weasel, the Colonel and me out there on Catalina Island. We came within a hairs-breadth of losing that battle, you know, and I’ve got a permanent scar around my neck from that Looker bitch’s bola rope-weapon!! How COULD you let our enemies know about secret plans to acquire Sports Illustrated swimsuit supermodels as temporal fuel?? EXPLAIN YOURSELF this instant, or join your little friend over there as an oversized doorstop”!!
During this brief interrogation, the TRAMP timer had reached zero. Just as with other “Operation Goldmine” guinea pigs before her, a specific Cray supercomputer temporal-molecular-recombination algorithm was now being tested out upon Brenda’s helpless frame. As a whirring blue sphere buzzed and glittered about the confused and irritated secretary (You… mean… I’m…….frozen…AGAI….??? were her final thoughts), the burgundy-haired gal began to glisten and gleam. Skin color grays while starting to shimmer. With a loud CLANG!, the Atom-TRAMP’s work is done. Brenda has been changed into a shrugging leaden statue!!!
Unlike her earlier stiffening at the hands of Ingeno-Lady’s freeze ray, there would be no return from this solidification to the ranks of the moving.
Of course, such turn of events absolutely terrifies the usually-eloquent Egyptology expert… striking her absolutely mute in dread of her own impending fate. Which thereby accomplishes more-or-less a self-fulfilling prophecy. Mommy doesn’t give the dismayed beauty much time to answer her question about ‘squealing’ to the QQ’s; and there isn’t anything Helen could have said- even if she wanted to!! Empath Girl’s amnesia-sleep command implanted at the end of her Mind-Meld investigation four days ago had wiped clean all memories of the superheroine duo’s visit. Professor Troy was placed into the unusual circumstance of not having any answers or explanations… and she knew the price for her silence. Yet all this world-famous academic-gone-bad could muster was a pleading expression and a slight quivering of her lower lip.
Mommy hits the red plunger again.
COMIC PAGE FORTY-SIX: Emma is sleeping in late this morning, resting and recuperating from the trials and exertions of yesterday. But her sleep is not a peaceful one. The pretty diminutive Asian-Indian teen tosses and turns fitfully beneath her covers, breathing in abbreviated deep swells as her telepathic mind wanders across time and space.
First she revisits the physical and psychological trauma of yesterday afternoon upon the Area 57 combat practice range… glimpses (despite the memory-suppressing effects from Hercules’ SDT-3 taser darts) of hand-to-hand combat with silver-suited Navy Seals…. Her sudden helplessness and immobility upon the dry riverbed bank as her empathic healing powers were overwhelmed by the synaptic disruption coursing through Deedee’s crouching body… the humiliation of her exposure and sexual assault…. All these pass by as fleeting dark shadows across the boundaries between her subconscious and cognizant states of mind. Deep emotional scarring begins to dig deeper into the psyche of this youngest QQ team member, and Empath Girl switches mental focus in her dream-state to a less troubling scene.
Moving from the past into the near future, her muta-cloned superpowers search for circumstances where she is safe… hidden… unrecognized and insignificant. At first her powerful mind seizes upon such a possibility for her with comfort and consolation, and the furrows on her olive-skinned brow diminish while she ceases her uncontrolled side-to-side ‘no’ head-shaking. In her new vision she feels unconsidered… retreated… small … but WAIT!!!… too small!! What has happened to her?? She looks up to discover a gigantic man with thick glasses towering stories above her tiny frame, with an oversized Inga standing at rigid attention next to him . This new situation frightens her immensely, and she decides that she must scurry away from the unknown giant (he is laughing heartily at her condition) upon four tiny feet while he tries to catch her by her long thin tail… TAIL?!?? From behind delicate whiskers she spies the safety of a crevice in the floorboard, scrambling away from cover of her now useless too-large clothing toward shelter HELP!!! Just as the four-eyed ogre’s left foot comes swooping down onto her furry frame to crush the life out of her, the nightmare journeys to yet another time and place.
The distraught Quint-Quint searches for aid among her team and witnesses a future heroic act by Dura-Damsel. Again, the glimpse ahead is initially consoling, as protection and assistance were exactly what her sleeping mind had craved under her dire circumstances. DD lunges forward, crashing through a large brown window with her boomerang in hand, costumed in full QQ regalia with an expression of brave determination set upon her pretty face beneath a red hooded cowl. Yet something goes suddenly terribly wrong.
Deedee’s cavalry charge is abruptly arrested within a tingling blue haze. She is suspended powerless amid her outstretched gazelle’s leap as a silver-suited criminal scrutinizes and taunts her time-stopped frame. Most of her athletic costume is peeled away (save boots, hood and cape- halted in mid-flutter), and a super-speed QQ begins to glimmer and gleam!!
At this cruel prophecy, EG awakens sweaty and gasping for air.
COMIC PAGE FORTY-SEVEN: Marine Colonel Oliver South- a.k.a. the supervillain Colonel Chronos- grinds his Hummer to a skidding halt just yards away from the closest of five mega-hauler transports parked in a semi-circle around the 200-foot-tall calibration tower.
Stepping out into the hot Nevada desert breeze, he takes a deep breath to consider the brink of victory he now stands upon. For a moment his eyes close and he wanders back over the past fifteen-plus years since the incredible Melkosian time-manipulating technology fell into his lap- quite literally!! Images from the watery splash-down of the flying saucer Phaethon and subsequent salvage operations wash across his memory.
Not all of the glimpses are very pleasant ones either. Of the five alien crew members, only the Captain had possessed sufficient bioresonant energy to power her protective Chrono-Cradle to withstand the violent impact and resulting interior shocks and explosions. Extraction, repair and retailoring of the other four temporally-insulating flight suits away from their original (charred and gelatinous) owners had been both pain-staking and stomach turning.
Chronos always made a point of wearing only Kel-Bar Sasha’s silver second skin, and eventually had her voluminously-proportioned costume (incredible giant tits and ass notwithstanding) custom-altered to match his exact measurements. No outer-space guts were ever going to touch his physique! But that was a long time ago. Some unlucky ‘big green men’ had died (thanks to his lucky Stinger missile shot) so that he and Mommy and the Chief could partially rewind- and eventually rule- the world.
Not that Helen Troy and Weasel hadn’t helped. The original National Security Agency and CIA scientists assigned to the deciphering and reverse-engineering projects had not been up to the task…. unable to crack the cryptic hieroglyphic-like language used by the Melkosians, and so therefore unable to read technical readouts, data or machinery schematics. But they had caught the brilliant USC Egyptology Professor over a barrel, and convinced her (through a lust for professional glory and a desire to extend her life-span via temporal rejuvenation) to crack the mysteries of alien syntax and vocabulary. That was the key to adaptation of the Chrono-Cradle to their own ends. Weasel had taken the ball and run a very long ways with it… from the original TRAMP time-governors to the more efficient and flexible micro and atom-TRAMPS.
Ollie had refrained (so far) from benefiting by Dwight’s age regression algorithms (although vain Mommy and Helen had jumped at the chance on more than one occasion); but he knew his day would come. He had already decided that 500 years was a nice round number to shoot for as to his ultimate longevity… sufficiently long in terms of watching the world progress (according to their own wishes, of course!!) without the pretension of immortality itself.
Besides, there were things worse than death. He had seen Weasel invent two of them already. CC shuddered at recollection of victims to their newly-developed aphasic-TRAMP settings. Watching those poor military expendables at their secret North Dakota base flicker and wilt out of temporal existence had been unsettling, to say the least. And from the expression upon their disassembling faces, not altogether painless either.
Perhaps less revolting- and one hellava lot more entertaining- were recipients of the hippocampus-to-brain-stem disconnecting theta-wave frequencies. Mind control at its finest, thought Ollie. One moment the target is perfectly fine (OK- maybe a little pain at the back base of their skull) and then BLAMMO! Absolutely no willpower or ability to object to ANY forceful command- or whim- whatsoever. Chronos would much rather be dead than become such a feeble puppet. The heartless villain smiles at past recollections of mind controlled targets, as well as new likely victims. The lovely and super-smart Ingeno-Lady intrigues him particularly.
Business before pleasure, however. CC reluctantly departs from erotic reverie back to the issues- and temporal fuel- at hand. Pulling a small GPS tracking device from his jacket pocket, Ollie confirms that all of the mega-hauler drivers have put their bonus certificates to good use.
Matching coordinates displayed on his tracking screen to a Las Vegas city map, the cruel criminal smiles slightly as he notes the location of each military guinea pig (and their all-important radiation badges)… one at The Mirage, another at Circus Circus, yet another in the well-known brothel wing of the Grand Facade. All well within acceptable target range of the expected theta wave emission. Told them all to enjoy themselves in ‘Sin City’ like there’s gonna be no tomorrow… and I truly meant it literally!, CC thinks to himself. Pressing a door remote control button on his hand-held device, five mega hauler cargo bays swing down-open.
Cascading forth like the contents of some giant kid’s marble bag, more than one hundred 6-ft. spherical Chrono-cradles tumble down the inclined planes of the levered bay doors and out into the mid-afternoon Nevada sunshine. Inside each these tingling alien energy compartments is a time-stopped beauty in storage mode stoically awaiting her (imminent) chance to serve as temporal fuel. Many of the faces and partially-nude figures- all the better for Chronos to estimate an aggregate composite comeliness score (CCS) and thus allow Weasel to calculate total potential energy to be ‘exploded’ by this mini-trial time bomb- are familiar to the reader.
A pretty braided-blonde teen surfer (sans board and her wet suit) teeters amid a ‘hang ten’ balancing act inside a Chrono Cradle just five feet away from the heartless military mastermind. The Colonel momentarily appreciates the mid-bounce pose of Alicia’s cleavage and the pointy (obviously cold) nipples jutting skyward beneath her frozen-determined facial expression. This one never knew what hit her, he recalls. She’s almost as tantalizing as that Japanese cheerleader stuck in mid-ass-wiggle from the Rose Bowl. Kiko’s bent bare bottom fell just shy of touching the exterior circumference of her tinkling and pulsating time dilation prison. The California sunshine had left enticing tan lines across bronzed curvatures in almost exact proportion to the page-boy-style brunette’s Chrono-Cradle encasement.
Weasel told me about this other one from the Rose Bowl… said she flirted heavily with him. Bet she never guessed the four-eyed nerd would have those denim shorts down to her ankles and her tube top turned into a waistband?
Still stuck in a sitting position shaped by the Rose Bowl bleachers, Tina hovered on display amid another nearby blue sphere with a ballpark hot dog stuck between her lips. The ‘naked’ frankfurter she had ordered from the incognito Dwight now complemented its sexy fiery-redheaded consumer.
Inside Colonel Chronos’ silver flight suit certain stirrings commenced as he scrutinized the beguiling mixture of coquettishness, surprise and entrapment cemented onto her face. Hmmm… this gal’s a ‘true’ redhead, I see.
Pulling the protective hood of his Melkosian garb into positon (despite the searing mid-Spring heat of the Nevada desert), our supervillain allows his gaze to wander across the incredible crop of time-stopped lovelies as he makes his way toward the base of the 200-foot calibration tower. A full blown hard-on develops as recollections of so many successful temporal fuel acquisition runs bombard his statuephile’s libido. For just a moment a slight pang of resentment and regret hit his hardened heart. Ollie knows all too well that this breath-taking collection of comeliness (aggregate CCS of 87.6 on Weasel’s bioresonant kilojoule scale) will soon be little more than dust and bleached bones upon the harsh landscape.
I’m gonna miss you gals, the thinks to himself. But that’s the beauty of it… you’re helping to set the REAL Time Bomb correctly so that one day we’ll eventually meet again.
He climbs upwards into the sweltering desert noontime sky, directly toward the waiting Melkosian theta-wave emitter souped-up for the occasion.
COMIC PAGE FORTY-EIGHT: The silver cigar-shaped Ionospheric clipper ascends with steep missile-like trajectory into the upper Stratosphere at nearly mach three, hurtling along a NNE course from the New Mexico desert toward the North Dakota plains. Ingeno-Lady sits determinedly at the cockpit controls, her IC flight skills much improved since the last time she was forced to take the airship’s controls (during the QQ team’s battles with Mademoiselle Mensa) thanks to many additional hours in their base flight simulator.
With primary pilot Looker kidnapped by Chronos to become a mannequinized sex toy and designated back-up Maw remaining behind at Area 57 as a sand-sculpted table ornament , the Quint-Quint leader had little choice but to wrestle with the minimal aerodynamics of this ‘rock with wings’ and safely (she hopes!) steer the assembled team to their target and quarry. If all goes well, I won’t have to fly this !$%@&*! thing home IL considers while glancing at the small televideo monitor in the cockpit’s right front console.
The view screen provides her access (when not frantically making the propulsion and navigational adjustments necessary to bring this arcing craft down to a pinpoint VTOL landing from 170,000 feet during a flight time of eleven minutes!) to the final briefing session taking place between Professor Johannson back in NM and the remainder of the IC’s occupants in its comfortable passenger cabin.
From there Empath Girl, Scott McGillicutty (along for technical support to the away team) and Dura-Damsel are strapped into plush leather swivel seats turned toward a 3’ x 4’ viewscreen. The world-famous bioengineering genius- and intellectual father of the muta-cloned superheroine team- speaks in an exasperated Swedish accent to his beloved friends and colleagues: :Yaah… I haf just now contacted Joint Chiefs Head General Hawke to confront him about his earlier claims as to his ignorance about time-stopping technology. Zee dummy corporations which had paid those astronomical electrical utility bills which Deidre had uncovered- more than ten million dollars per month!- turned out to be a front for a covert DOD operation running an ultra-secret listening post and spy satellite surveillance from a converted SAC Titan missile pod 300 miles NW of Grand Forks. Only the highest security clearances knew about the time experiments. Most of zee people at zee outpost haven’t a clue about zee existence of an underground installation. Und ancillary facilities with supporting technology and transportation equipment haf been in operation out of Vandenberg Air Force Base for months. Zis gives them a direct tie-in to the Southern California metropolitan area. General Hawke has clearly lied to us all He must have known full well about Chronos’ antics”!
“Well, that’s government for yah”, DD mumbles in disgust upon hearing the Professor’s briefing. She shades her head sadly and her cascading chocolate ringlets glisten in the bright afternoon sunshine penetrating through her cabin window.
Empath Girl addresses Nils: “Professor, part of this situation is my fault. I should have been able to detect the General’s dishonesty using my empathic powers during our earlier conversations with him. At the very least, we should have already been suspicious of him because of his earlier involvement with Slamander Gangreen and Jacqueline Abrutez-Vous”.
Johannson tries to console the youngest of the QQ’s, saying “Nay… it is not your fault, little one. You did not particpate directly in the Hawke communiqués, und your powers are extremely limited upon video recordings. I am afraid the General’s extreme right-wing political affiliations and connections are merely an extension of his fierce dedication and loyaty to the defense of our country. Und there will always be secrets within secrets within secrets, if decisions are left to people such as him. At any rate, the Joint Chiefs Head has paid a steep price for his machinations- even greater than his days of stupefaction at the hands of a double-crossing Mademoiselle Mensa. Look at this!”
Inga, Deedee, Emma and Scotty’s eyes widen as Johannson switches the video patch from New Mexico back to his earlier link with the Pentagon. There inside General Hawke’s office scurry various aides and assistants to the most powerful military man on earth. The excitement seems centered upon the doorway to Hawke’s private bathroom suite, where five strong MP’s are trying to hoist a large heavy object back out into the main office area.
The entire interior of the General’s lavatory seems slathered in a dark grayish shiny paint- a shade somewhere between a battleship exterior and the dull side of aluminum foil. Vanity lights provide an eerie somber glow to the bathroom’s metallicized contents, and we can now make out the hoisted object more clearly… it is General Hawke himself! Squatting with his uniform trousers and regulation boxers down around his ankles, and holding a twisted- almost comical- straining expression upon his face, the QQ’s can plainly see that he is not moving a millimeter. His molecular compostion altered in the same cruel test of ‘Operation Goldmine’ as the rest of the bathroom contents: lead!!
Was the General in the wrong place at the wrong time… or was his sudden statufication deliberate??? Noone would ever know. The Quint-Quints’ leader looks at the video screen with horror and disgust as what is left of the world-famous military hero is hauled into the middle of his office suite and laid onto his left side with a resounding THUNNNKK!! Ingeno Lady crinkles her nose in disapproval at sight of an extremely large leaden turd half-evacuated and prominently protruding from between the immobliled victim’s gray shiny cheeks. Looks like he played Chronos ’game once too often, thinks IL. Too bad.
The stupidity and arrogance of that guy!! Guess he’s leaning his lesson the ‘hard’ way now, Inga bemuses with an ironic smirk. Yet their potential link to the plans and strategies of Colonel Chronos through the Joint Chiefs is now a dead end. Or is that a lead end? In angry disappointment, IL disconnects the video patch-link and the screen darkens.
“We arrive at assault point Charlie in seven minutes, people. We’ve GOT to be ready to rock and roll the minute we land if we hope to defeat their security perimeter”. MOVE!
Watching her friend- the kind and loyal technical assistant to the professor whom she owes her very muta-cloned existence to- turn slowly back and recalculate biochemical reaction statistics for their intended assault upon Chronos’ lab base on his portable computer keyboard with prematurely-aged shaking hands, Empath Girl makes a dramatic decision. Unbuckling her seatbelt, Emma rises and approaches Scotty (despite the steep angle of the cabin floor) to place both copper-skinned palms firmly upon his temples. A look of surprise and comforting relief passes across McGillicutty’s countenance, while EG’s own facial expression blends concern, and pain into a dream-like trance state.
Emma’s eyes close and her head swivels slowly around and around… inaudible (perhaps Hindi) words muttered in a rhythmic healing chant. Knowing the victory of the Quint-Quints might well depend upon a fully-healed Scott (who was earlier victim to Chronos’ time-trap aging bomb), the youngest QQ superheroine has impulsively decided to make full use of her flourishing empathic-restorative powers to attempt to bring this octegenarian back to the energetic young do-gooder she has known (and loved!). Her entire body- wrapped in the folds of her saffton sari costume traditional of her ancestral cloned heritage- wobbles and sways as a cellular bond is established with her patient, and the battle against premature aging wages within her psyche and soul. As with earlier (unsuccessful) attempts with a synaptically-disrupted and frozen Dura-Damsel, Emma uses all of her para-psychological powers to extract her patient’s debilitation, and in true empathic form subsume it into her own delicate frame where it would be crushed in a healing aura.
At first all seems to go well… Scotty’s balding pate erodes and grizzled gray hairs luxuriate and lengthen, assuming once again their youthful chestnut-brown appearance. Crow’s feet and saggin lower eyelids stretch tighter and smooth. Even the younger-and-younger man’s posture straightens and strengthens. Muscles expand and firm. She’s doing it!!!
And then suddenly, severe aging effects overwhelm Empath Girl herself. First streaks, and then stripes of snow-white hairs course down her jet-black flowing mane… from the top of scalp to the strands all the way below her waist. Her youthful skin spots and sags. As a bolt of withering, weakening pain sears her torso and limbs, her coal-black eyes
Snap open in a look of perplexity and horror. As before upon the QQ base practice range, her desire to reach out and help has exceeded her superpower grasp. With a terrible rattling gasp, a diminutive, big-hearted- and now extremely advanced in age- heroine and collapses unconscious backwards into her own passenger seat. Deedee yells, “EMMA!”
COMIC PAGE FORTY-NINE: Hercules Nicholson strides boldly into the Oval Office in full dress uniform. Quite a day or two I’m having, he thinks to himself. Four frozen female puppets to fondle and play with yesterday afternoon… an insatiable Dura-Damsel glued onto me all last night… and now The President of the United States effectively a puppet to undertake our bidding and bring the Time Bomb to detonation! Just one more detail to take care of here, with help from the Chief himself, I see.
The Navy Seal Commander of Area 57 security stands at rigid attention, waiting with military patience while public relations gurus and photographers put the finishing touches on the Space Shuttle Endeavor’s official publicity shots.
NASA Chief of Operations James Perigee stands at the photo's far left, along a tallish muscular Shuttle pilot and two payload specialists (one of them an attractive mid-30's wedge-cut blonde with sparkling green eyes, Hercules notes). Mission Commander Shirley Glide stands at the center of this photo-op, looking both proud and determined all at once in her white pressurizing flight suit and cradling her space helmet.
To her immediate left (Nicholson’s right) stands President Alan Bore and First Lady Tupper Ware Bore.
Last but not least is the Shuttle Mission’s guest of honor- former US President Ronald Raygun- looking remarkably healthy and energetic, particularly given all those vicious rumors about debilitating and degenerative conditions, by the way. In fact, Raygun doesn't appear to be a day over fifty years old!! Upon his own charismatic initiatives, he has electrified the nation with his imminent journey to ‘flip the switch’ and officially place the International Space Station into operation.
As the last few photographs are completed for posterity and sound-bites recorded by the handful of elite press corps allowed to be present, a knock comes from the Oval Office outer door. Prresident Bore’s personal secretary (a 62-year old overweight sweetheart who replaced Bob Clampett’s sexpot redhead Suzy Slutsky) peeks around the frame holding a just-opened rush-delivery package from North Dakota: gift-wrapped and addressed to Commander Glide. The Navy Seal accomplice to Colonel Chronos (knowing full well as to the contents of the package) makes himself useful by snatching the polka-dot papered small box with purple ribbon and presenting it to the rugged, pretty and charming early-40’s American heroine with a big beaming smile. With a raised eyebrow from Raygun, President Bore asks all but Shirley, the former Commander in Chief, and Nicholson to depart.
“A surprise gift for ME just days before our mission???”, Shirley coos happily. “Oh, Mr. President… you SHOULDN’T have… I mean I’m only just doing my duty…”
In just a few minutes, Commander Stubborn, you’ll be doing a WHOLE lot more than that… (Herc is eyeballing Shirley’s wholesome face and healthy athletic frame) … including ME!!
COMIC PAGE FIFTY: One North Dakota base sentry plods through the sands adjacent to the outer perimeter fence while cursing softly to himself. For about the tenth time during this four-hour patrol-watch, a pebble has somehow crept into the bottom of his boot from the rocky terrain! Shouldering his M-22 automatic assault rifle with grenade launcher, he taps his electronic earpiece to activate communications with his watch commander some mile-and-a-half distant. “Eagle’s Nest, this is hatchling seven, do you copy?”
A garbled crackling grunt signals an affirmative reply to the strapping 6’4” 235-lb. soldier. “Not so much as a lizard is moving out here right now… I’m gonna halt for a moment to adjust equipment. Have you got me on ground radar??” Another brief crackle into his earpiece means yes. “Back online in about two minutes. Over and out”. Bending over to unlace his right boot, the crew-cut blonde removes the footwear and awkwardly balances upon one foot (right knee upraised to keep grit and brambles away from his stocking-clad one) . As he roughly shakes the offending pebble free, he doesn’t notice the expertly-aimed SDT-1 dart swooshing between fence wire ocagonals to strike him squarely in the neck from behind. An immediate green effervescence swirls across his frame from head to toe, and he tetanizes… muscles clenched tightly stock-still. Immobilized by the QQ’s.!
Seconds later, Ingeno-Lady (with a wobbly and weary-looking Empath Girl and Scott McGillicutty hitching rides via front cross-chest carries) has leap-frogged over the 15-foot-high perimeter fence with the assistance of her hydro-fusion jet-pack. McGillicutty carries the Doppler-shifting “radar-slipstreamer” which Inga has invented to elude any extant ground tracking systems.
Dura-Damsel needs no assistance in crossing the electrified barrier, however. Using her ‘flashing’ powers- which converts her amazing well-source of potential energy and endurance into incredible bursts of speed and athleticism- Diedre needs only a running start of 35 yards to execute a 25-foot-high double somersault which delivers her leggy caramel-skinned frame alongside her companions, who are closely examining the results of IL’s synaptically-disrupting taser dart. Shaking her frilly dark righlets back across her slender shoulders, the gazelle-like DD inquires, “How long is he going to remain paralyzed like that, boss”?
The girl-next-door brunette gently removes the striped tail-feathered high-tech dart from the frozen soldier’s neck and replies, “Just a minute or two. The level-one darts are initialized to provide only momentary stasis so as to create an illusion of instantaneous time-passage while we advance. Effective invisibility for us from any human defense. But we MUST hurry. If We’re not over that next rise and out of sight before he comes round, he’ll sound the alarm. ON THE DOUBLE!!!”
Emma (still hobbled and slowly recovering from her age-absorbing attempts of a few moment ago), Scotty and the QQ head-honcho sprint away up the rocky terrain.
Diedre, however, is unconcerned. She knows that one quick ‘flash’ and she’ll have blown by all her teammates. Chuckling at the silliness of this hunk’s pose, she indulges herself in the luxury of running her hands across his strong cheekbones… over his bulging pectorals…. down… down … down. A warm squishy feeling envelops her upper-inner thighs as her examination continues. But then the sentry blinks!! Yet DD is more than a match for him. In a sudden rushing whirlwind, she is gone to join her companions.
Inga, Emma and Scott nearly run her over as they burst over the pinnacle of the 100-yard rise to find her recovering from her last-second escape. IL smirks in appreciation of her friend’s super-speed powers, yet something doesn’t look or feel quite right about Dura-Damsel. Although the Professor has explained that the super-athlete’s flashing powers drain steadily with usage (and thus are not in infinite supply during battle), the two short bursts already expended should not have been sufficient to cause DD’s flushed face and slightly heavy breathing. Inga’s gut instinct rings an alarm bell, and she cautiously creeps back to the top of the hill to peer back and the now-reanimated guard. Diedre avoids her steel-blue-eyed scrutiny, looking slightly guilty. The team is now too far away from their earlier victim to see the necessary uniform detail.
The sentry succumbed successfully to the SDT-1 weapon (one of 4 carried in Ingeno-Lady’s firing tube while in the field), and has not yet found any cause for alarm… he continues to shake out and replace his right boot. It will be some 1-2 minutes later- well after the Quintessential Quintet team resumes their advance upon Chronos’ secret hideout- when the sentry discovers his fly to be unzipped and ample equipment still exposed through the gap in his boxers from an oversexed DD’s attentions.
Dura-Damsel’s bizarre nymphomania spelled disaster for the rescue attempt?
Can Looker now be saved, or will three other beauties be joining her in the
Colonel’s gallery of frozen playthings? And is it too late to halt the Time
Bomb (before it halts everything?)
Click here to continue!
Stay tuned. –R.