THE QUINT-QUARTS VS. MADEMOISELLE MENSA (PART ONE), by Rodin.In this introductory episode of comic-style adventures, we meet muta-cloned Maw, Looker, Ingeno-Lady, and Empath Girl. They, with sage assistance from Professor Nils Johannson and the mysterious Genesis Donors, face a formidable enemy in the evil genius Mademoiselle Mensa. This gorgeous-but-megalomaniacal woman (with a secret ally) is creating a tableau of once-brilliant stupefied women all around the globe. Can the "Quintessential Quartet" solve this politico-bioengineering mystery, or will they too become brainless, immobilized victims of MM's insidious weaponry? (Hmmmm....bet you know who I'm cheering for?!)
author's footnotes: 1)This fictional tale depicts detailed and(at times)explicit circumstances involving physical attraction to/physical relations with paralyzed or "statued" women. All readers are hereby cautioned as to content, and any individual under the age of twenty-one is prohibited from reading further. Similarly, any person who disagrees with the philosophy and/or intent of an ASFR story page should now exercise their freedom guaranteed under the US constitution and NOT continue.
2)The anonymous author of the "Quint-Quarts" series retains all ownership rights to concepts and characters created by him. Although comments are welcomed, no edit, adaptation or extension of the story line or characters should be under-taken without the author's written permission. Please contact this story page administrator to correspond. Your consideration in this matter is appreciated. .
3)This comic series is intended to be complementary (in both a mathematical and flattering sense) to the Fem-Fantastique adventures depicted on nearby ASFR story pages. This author rightly acknowledges CMQ for his pathbreaking style and characters. Thanks to him for helping me think along these lines, and I hope frozen women fans will also follow these similar-but-different sagas. -R.
P.S.)Rumors are flying at various ASFR sites that this weaponry premise has already been employed in the "Lycra Woman and Spandex Girl" comic series. Although I have never seen the issue specifically (or read the series generally), I have had my curiosity sufficiently piqued to search for "Stupid Guy's" ray gun. As needed ,the standard legalese ..."any similarities to persons living or dead (or previously penned) is coincidental"...applies. One-thousand-and-one pardons, Lost Cause!
Copyright © 1998 B.B.
THE QUINT-QUARTS VERSUS MADEMOISELLE MENSA
(A battle for the very minds and souls of Americans!) by Rodin
COMIC PAGE ONE: Our inaugural saga opens at the 199X Nobel Prize acceptance ceremonies in Stockholm. A lavish Ritz-Carlton hotel ballroom is the scene of bustling near-pandemonium. Hundreds of dignitaries from many countries of the United Nations, European Union and APIC, as well as the intellectual and academic elite of the world's top universities and research institutes, finish their dining as presentations are about to begin. Sitting in a pack off to one side of the room, reporters from Reuters, AP, UPI and several dozen world-famous newspapers prepare to query and quote this year's Nobel Laureates. Security is moderately tight, given the relatively high profile and significant political status of many guests in attendance. Had Swedish police or the secret services protecting this gala function undertaken a more thorough search of the building, they almost certainly would have found a disquieting, alarming scene. Standing silent and absolutely motionless in an open stall of a ladies public restroom (past all metal-detector checkpoints) is a pretty, curly-auburn-haired woman in her early thirties. Janet Jenkins is a renowned investigative reporter for the Washington Post, with headline-breaking scoops from Bosnia, the Middle East and Whitewater among her credits. Unfortunately, all that is behind her now.
Janet stands half-squatting above the toilet seat, her bent arms thrown up above chest height, with palms turned out in a feeble protective gesture. She wears only shoes, hose, and a matching aqua lace bra and panties ensemble. To her imminent embarrassment, the panties are pulled down below her knees, just as they were when she first noticed the funnel-shaped raygun weapon aimed down over the top of the stall door. Starting up from her seat in dismay, she had reacted too little and too late to escape. Following the attack, Janet neither understood nor cared why a tall, large-breasted, blonde woman in a glittering pink-and-purple minidress and ridiculous-looking electronic tiara reached around to open the stall. Taking her tweed suit jacket (press credentials attached) off its door hook, she then brazenly doffed Janet's matching pleated skirt and silk blouse. The evil villainess put on the reporter's outfit in the next stall and departed with,"merci, cherie". Since the instant that wide blue beam bathed her, Janet has been trying so hard to decide what to do about all this, but can't come up with any ideas. None. She rigidly poses with her eyes crossed.
Back in the ballroom, the first awards recipient is being introduced. "Here tonight to accept the 199X Nobel Prize in Medicine is Dr. Patricia Dolton-Harris from The Johns Hopkins University. Her pioneering research in neural pathway electro-chemical memory stimuli is being recognized for its startling breakthroughs in treating Alzheimer's patients." A thin, not-unattractive, graying-haired woman wearing horn-rimmed glasses approaches the podium. In her early 40's, she is one the youngest ever to receive this prize. "Thank you very much, Mr. Committee Chair," she begins as the applause dies down." I have a few remarks concerning the viability of further empirical analysis of ...Oh, Yes?" She has been interrupted by an unruly member of the press corp. A tall blonde woman in a gray tweed suit has just jumped up and shouted, "EXCUSEZ-MOI, Patricia?!" The UPI rep in the seat next to her has wondered about this Post reporter all along. Why is she wearing pink tights and purple heels with a business suit? Why had she swallowed that large pill only minutes ago? What contraption is bulging out from under her jacket? He guesses
now he will finally get some answers, unless security throws her out first. "Allo, Doctor? Yes. I am extreemely interested in zee connection between neural pathways and zee directional flows of thought and memory. You are a world's expert on this, non?" The older woman retains her composure and replies politely with, "Yes, of course, its my specialty, as everyone here knows. Now, if you will just allow me the courtesy of...wait a minute...what's going on?...what are you DOING?? OH NO! SECURITY, LOOK OUT!"
From her jacket pockets, the Janet Jenkins impersonator pulls out several golf-ball-sized capsules, which she flings far out into the air of the high-ceiling room. Upon impact, these capsules explode to release a green, powdery vapor. Within seconds, anyone inside a fifty foot radius of a blast becomes overwhelmed by noxious fumes and falls unconscious onto the floor. Most of the guests at the tables are rendered helpless in under a minute. However, the dense green gas does not reach honored persons and committee members at the high dais and podium. Our lady Nobel Laureate is engrossed by an amazing display of collapsing guests, waiters and security guards. To her misfortune, she does not notice the Post reporter standing unaffected, now wearing a crowning headpiece bristling with wires and flashing multicolored lights. This device connects by electrical cable to a gray metal cone-shaped raygun in her hand. The elongated gaping funnel points straight at Patricia.
"It eez time to change both you and your name, Ms.Dolton-Harris, n'est-ce pas? In a moment we shall zimply call you DOLT! You have met your dumb fate in zee clutches of Mademoiselle Mensa. Now, feel the power of my brain-drain!!" She pulls the trigger, and a wide swath of blue light immediately engulfs the podium. The good Doctor's slow attempt to duck down and away from the oncoming beam is useless. As the bright rays strike her tilted, recoiling body, she raises the back of a hand to her furrowed forehead.
Incredibly (almost too stereotypical to be believed), a soft "sucking" sound is now heard. In physical discomfort and shock, Patricia seems forced to involuntarily stare wide-eyed directly into the funnel. After ten seconds the weapon shuts down, and the villainess looks both surprised and impressed at once. Checking an LED indicator on the side of the gun barrel, she says, "Ooh La La!...22% of cognition remaining after a full charge?? Doctor, you really ARE a zmart lady...or WERE!" The befuddled woman tries to respond to her attacker, but all that comes out is,"You...I...arhg!...Ohhhh...how...nuhk??". A shorter blast emanates from the revitalized weapon and completes the drain. Afterwards, she cradles a besieged, aching head in both hands. Patricia teeters in a backstepped, legs-apart sideways lean. Open horror is etched across her frozen facial features. The tip of her tongue lolls visibly out the corner of her slack-jawed mouth. Blue irises and dilated pupils roll back and upwards, then stay there. As committee members cautiously approach her immobile form, television cameras focus on the stricken, stupefied countenance. Someone asks, "Doctor... Hello? How can we HELP you?". Patricia Dolton-Harris, M.D., Ph.D., among the most intellectually-gifted people on the face of the earth, holds one lonely, immaterial idea still inside her vacuum-cleaned head. Thinking to herself, "drank my champagne too fast", she makes an uncontrolled, esophageal reply to this kind offer of assistance. Out of her throat echoes a very impolite BUURRPPP!, then everything goes totally blank. Like a local TV network at 2:30 a.m., her brain signs off, to be replaced with a "test pattern". Robbed of even the most basic knowledge as how to reason, speak, or move any muscle, Patricia has no recourse but to hold her humiliating pose. Mademoiselle Mensa, with the poor targeted woman's genius captured and enhancing her own evil brain, vanishes into the green vapor.
COMIC PAGE TWO: "Mister Caldwell...AYE, Mister Dominguez...AYE, Madame Drake...NAY." This droning chant continues in the House of Representatives chamber of the U.S. Capitol Building until,"...Mister Zyminisky...NAY." Then a period of near silence lasting several minutes occurs, during which Speaker of the House T.E. "Salamander" Gangreen and minority leader Rich Gelbardt stare at each other disapprovingly. Finally the moderator announces in his patented flat monotone, "Override of the Presidential veto for Republican House Resolution #235, a balanced budget proposal to eliminate medicare, medicaid, student loan guarantees, welfare assistance to minorities, compensation for disabled veterans, and also increase minimum social security eligibility age to 80, FAILS to carry by 2/3 majority with only 132 YEA and 97 NAY. A big smile from Gelbardt and not-well-concealed swearing by Gangreen. The Speaker of the House grudgingly turns to shake the hand of his political rival. "Better luck next time, 'Sallie'," says the minority leader. "I think the American people were well served by this vote here today. It clearly shows that the system works to protect the interests of the majority" Gangreen replies, "Damned if I see it that way Rich. The GOP was handed a MANDATE in '94 for God's sake, and I won't give up until my "contract with America" is fully instituted-and MORE!" Taken somewhat aback, Gelbardt says, "Contract ON America, don't you mean, Sallie? It will be a cold day in Georgetown before you can shove a bill like this down the throats of Congress, not to mention President Bob Clampett!" With a twinkle in his eye, the Speaker turns to leave the chamber. Over his shoulder he retorts, "Have either you or that hillbilly down the street checked a weather forecast lately? Outdoor temperature's dropping fast".
COMIC PAGE THREE: At a top-secret government building in the arid New Mexico desert, a tall, gray-bearded man in his early 60's wearing a white lab coat stares with anxious concern at the Reuters newswire report scrolling across an oversized monitor. Turning his lanky frame to address four silhouettes seated in chairs behind a smoked-glass partition, he begins, "Ladies, I am afraid another incident has taken place in Stockholm less than three hours ago". From behind the one-way glass a woman replies, "That makes three in four weeks! What do these attacks accomplish, Nils? Is it some sort of strange global terrorist activity?" He replies, "Yaah, this may be true...We cannot discount such possibilities. But I believe there is a greater purpose linking these crimes together, beyond their identical methods and results. Preliminary data and evidence suggest a motive far more sinister than the outright intimidation or political manipulation that terrorists desire".
He continues, "First it was Hirushi Fujitoyama, quantum mechanics expert and cold-fusion pioneer at the Tokyo Nuclear Physics Institute. Ten days later, Professor Susan Hammond was attacked in her bioengineering mechanics lecture at Stanford. And now tonight, Dr. Patricia Dolton-Harris, the world's leading authority on neural pathway memory dynamics, is struck dumb while accepting her Nobel Prize!". Another, pretty but slower-on-the-uptake feminine voice asks, "exactly what do you mean by 'struck dumb' Professor Johannson?" He states, "Reuters has posted two wire photos from this third incident. It seems that one of their reporters was there at the time. Look!". One photo shows the blue brain-drain beam washing over the victim, while the other is a close-up of her face in its resulting ridiculous pose. "My God!, it looks as if every gray matter cell inside her head was wiped clean by that ray. WHAT person or country possesses such a technology?" asks a third, harsher female voice. And WHY attack only brilliant women? The Professor cannot answer her questions, so he instead turns to look at four cryogenetic cloning pods arranged in a 10x10 foot square pattern at the other end of his impressive biochemical engineering laboratory. He continues, "We must make a dangerous tactical maneuver, Yaah. Hallo, Scott! Where are you?". The good Professor's young technical assistant, Scott McGillicutty, hurries to his side. Slightly out of breath, he answers, "You called sir?". "Scotty, please tell me your assessment of the risks involved with accelerating the mutated gene-splicing processes to conclusion in 48 hours time". Looking horrified, the assistant responds, "But Professor, the proto-matter needs at least another 150 hours for the matrix crystallization process to achieve long-run equilibrium and total stability!" The older Professor raises one bushy eyebrow in annoyance. "Young man, as you may recall, I am the inventor of proto-matter, and I am fully aware of its delicacies, along with its incredible subdividing and mutating effects on human DNA. I am simply asking your honest, considered opinion as to how our four cloning subjects will be affected by the shortened time frame". Fully wild-eyed, McGillicutty blurts out, "but, the CRYSTALS, they just CAN'T TAKE any more of a pounding, or they're liable to COLLAPSE!". Yet Nils Johannson guesses that many more gifted women's minds- perhaps those of the very Genesis Donors seated before him now- are at stake. Likely much more. He says, "Scotty, you've got to give me 300% capacity in the gene-crystal replicators, or we're all doomed!" "Nils, have you conzidered how the feelings of our four "children" will be affected by rushing them zo quickly into the world?", says an overly-sympathetic, accented female voice. "Doctor 2, it is not their emotions, but rather their special powers which are at risk. With the final 100 hours of memory pre-programming sacrificed, they at first would have only the most basic knowledge and skills in using their genetically-augmented abilities. And I am afraid that Scott is right, Yaah. Even if the structure of the proto-matter crystal matrix withstands the shock, their control over any mutant powers may be weakened or lost, at various unpredictable intervals. But we must chance these probabilities". Then, the pretty, melodious voice adds, "You know... If we're going to be done here in 48 hours, then I can make that Sports Illustrated swimsuit shoot in the Seychelles, OK?" The three other female silhouetted heads all turn to look at her with (jealous?) annoyed incredulity.
COMIC PAGE FOUR: Two full days pass. In a high-tech hideout concealed in the basement of an old commodities warehouse on the French Quarter waterfront in New Orleans, Mademoiselle Mensa stands petulantly before an inactive video monitor screen. Thinking out loud, she moans,"Jut Alors!He ees putty in my hands, except for punctuality. I wrap him around my little finger with coquettement, yet he still never calls me on time." She adjusts the purple towel serving as a turban around her wet platinum-blonde locks, and fidgets with the back-ties of her pink terrycloth wrap-around while waiting. Finally, a buzzer sounds and the monitor brightens to reveal the face of her accomplice. With her most seductive smile in place, she begins, "Oh, bonjour Thomas! Eez it time already for our little chat? I had completely forgotten about it. You must forgeeve me, as I have just this instant stepped out of the tub." The face on the televideo screen replies, "Ah...that's absolutely no problem at all, Jackie, at least from where I'm standing." Satisfied that her male partner looks a bit flushed about the face, she continues, "Have you heard the news of our third acquisition, cheri"? He responds, "Yes, an account is fully detailed in today's Washington Post, although not with the expected author by-line attached." With a cruel snicker she replies, "Mais oui, the inquisitive Ms. Jenkins was indeed most helpful! I fear, however, that she has dezided to make something of an abrupt career change. As I recall her last pose, I think she would now make an excellent hat rack in the Moulin Rouge!" Both of them laugh loudly, then the man inquires, "Has the good Doctor Dolton-Harris' intellect helped you to make any further progress?" She flashes a stunning smile and says, "Certainment, monsieur, she is tremendous help to me. I have made three breakthroughs! And with zee dezign skills of the lovely Professor Hammond at my beck and call, I have just thees morning finished installing the microcircutry for correzponding new zettings on my brain weapon." The male voice sounds intrigued, "Tell me more about it, gorgeous."
"Using inzights and results from certain studies Patricia performed using only male Alzheimer's patients, I have been able to izolate six electrochemical synaptic stimulus-responses which are specific to men. Thomas, I am 95% certain that our weapons will now work on males as well as females!" "That's wonderful news, Jacquelyn- and a major hurdle cleared in our overall plans", adds the monitor voice. How soon can you adapt this new circuitry into the train?" Looking behind her at the massive 10'x15' control-laden apparatus with bundles of cable and wiring hanging loosely out of various open panels, she cautions, "Patience, cheri, one step at a time. It ees too soon for that. Days away at least. Besides, I'm not certain all my weapon settings will affect the stronger sex, unfortunately. But let me show you." She briefly leaves the camera viewing area, then returns with the funnel-shaped raygun in hand. In contrast to its earlier appearance, a small in-line selector has now been installed into one side of the barrel. A tiny moveable plunger slides among five settings, something like a car stickshift. The villainess places the selector beneath the first position, which is labeled simply "PAIN". "DRAIN", "INGRAIN" and "DISDAIN" title the second, third and fourth settings, while a fifth slot remains open. "Thees three new zettings require only short bursts of 1-2 seconds. Effectiveness will vary between zeveral minutes to a few hours, depending on proximity of the target. My batteries supply enough energy for five zuch firings, and still permit me to fully drain two new subjects!" "That's a big boost to your arsenal, baby, and I'm happy you have ray protection against men too. I'm curious about the last two settings, though. Exactly what do they do"? She seizes this moment of his heightened curiosity to "accidentally" release the back-ties of the pink terry wrap-around, which immediately falls from her huge breasts. Her half-hearted efforts to catch the falling towel fail. Feigning surprise, she makes a slow-motion (for a good view of her boobs)"recovery". Turning fully around from the camera, she bends over to retrieve the wayward article. Her delicious derriere now on display, she glances back at the camera lens with a sexy pout on her face. "Ooops?! Can you forgive my clumsiness, cheri?" He stammers, "Wwwhat??...Oh, yeah, sssure... of course. Think nothing of it. What was I asking? Anyway, Jackie, when will you test these breakthroughs? Are you on schedule?" With a sinister glare she says, "Duke's semester ends early for her tomorrow morning."
"One more thing, baby. I called you late last night, after your airship should have arrived, but you weren't at home. Anything I should know about"? Her face shows anger briefly. Then, "I rerouted my return from Europe through south Florida, partly for zecurity reasons. Also, that backstabbing witch Marilyn Brookes was preziding at her first board of directors meeting at the Fountainbleu Hotel." He sounded alarmed, "Jacquelyn, you didn't do anything foolish to attract attention to us, did you"? Her green eyes flash as she replies, "Thomas, revenge ees magnifique! There were two moons over Miami last night!"
COMIC PAGE FIVE: President Bob Clampett is seated at his grand, historic desk inside the Oval Office. His new personal secretary, a knockout early-twenties redhead named Suzy, pokes her head through the door. With a wink at her boss, she says, "Bob, minority leader Gelbardt is on line six. He says it's important." Showing some annoyance, the President responds, "Doll, you'll soon learn that's what everybody calling me says. It's just part of the job. Everything I do has the weight of the world upon it." Slowly and invitingly drawing her hand across the front of her low-cut blouse, she returns, "Ooooh... Maybe you could throw some of your weight around for me a little later?" He blushes, but motions her into the room as he takes the telephone call. "Hello, Rich? Uh huh... Yes, but...Gangreen's submitting WHAT? 10% flat tax rate. Abolish the IRS. Triple military spending! No more social security, medicare or medicaid? This one's even wilder than the last. What can he be thinking? I'll just veto this crazy budget too. He's got to be up to some...". Right then, a zipping noise is faintly heard from beneath the desk. "Ugh, yessss...Rich? Ohhhh....sorry, but I'm going to have to come- uh I mean go! Bye".
COMIC PAGE SIX: Johannson and McGillicutty stand beside the first cryogenetic pod as the door pivots rapidly upward. A veil of steamy mist rises from the interior, for a brief moment obscuring the view of the woman inside. But then slowly, hesitantly, she emerges to stand naked before them. The Professor quickly wraps her amazing, muscular frame in an oversized bathrobe. However, his assistant appears entranced, and stands gaping with mouth wide open. Apparently, he enjoyed the brief glimpse of the tall, lady-body-builder's physique covered in condensation. Johannson elbows him hard and he comes around.
What sent Scotty into a daze was a striking combination of femininity and strength. Her broad shoulders and powerful arms taper to a washerboard abdomen and trim waist. General muscle size and bulk are of female weight-lifting proportions; yet it is the sharp definition and tone of her impressive pectorals (and modest breasts), strong thighs and powerfully-sculpted buttocks which overwhelm the Professor's assistant. Her skin is bronzed in an all-over tan produced by heat lamps in the cloning pod. Bleach blonde hair falls in a short, page-boy style down to the nape of her strong neck. Piercing brown eyes wander around the lab, carefully surveying her first living surroundings. This 5'11" mid-thirties beauty would seem more at home posing at muscle beach or on the Malibu pier, rather than in a high-technology environment she so little understands. "Welcome to life, young lady! I am Nils Johannson. Please accompany us as we meet your companions."
A second pod has already opened, and another female figure straddles between it and the laboratory floor. This time McGillicutty stops dead in his tracks when he sees her. If the first woman is striking, then the second can only be described as totally ravishing. Strawberry blonde curls cascade down past shoulder height on this 5’6" looker. Her build, compared to the Amazonian frame of her companion, is more delicate, but most decidedly feminine. Large, pink-nippled breasts sway and roll with pendulum-like beauty while she completes her exit from the cryogenetic tank. Her face has a special, almost otherworldly or ethereal quality to its appearance, making the assessment of her age difficult. The large hazel eyes and wide luscious mouth subtly blend perfect human qualities into a kind of transcendent, lioness-like gaze. As she climbs out of the pod, her perfectly-proportioned posterior bends, flexes and moves through an irresistible hypnotic dance. The Professor offers her a bathrobe, and only then does his subordinate resume his forward progress.
Even the Professor cannot contain himself, this time saying "You are indeed an incredible beauty, taking after your mother-donor. I see you have her magnificent eyes. But look! the leader of your foursome is just now awakening. We must all go and greet her."
The third cloned female to emerge from her pod falls short of her predecessors in appearance, but is nonetheless an attractive woman. Without the exaggerated curving lines of the others' bodies, she has an endearing, wholesome "girl next door" quality despite her mid-twenties age. Intelligence, honesty and forthrightness seem carved into her classical facial features, all framed by wavy shoulder length raven-colored hair. She attains an almost regal bearing, but without the pretension or vanity that often accompanies a title. The most striking visual characteristic of this woman is her shining steel-blue eyes, which constantly seem to be gathering sensory data and processing the resulting inputs. Her hands continuously fidget restlessly- looking for something to tinker, modify and improve. Standing in her bathrobe, we see she is 5'5" tall, seems very athletically-fit, and is quite generously endowed. Her appearance radiates a presence that automatically commands attention and respect. The Professor shakes her hand warmly and says, "It is a privilege to meet you. I am the greatest admirer of your grandfather." Then the last pod opens.
Having been the most recent cloning attempt, the fourth woman carefully climbing out into the laboratory is the least developed in age. She seems to be in her late teenage years, and is noticeably shorter than her companions at about 5'2". Her skin is an exotic deep olive-brown color, and she has distinctive Asian-Indian features. Her wide, coal-black eyes shine forth with sincerity and concern. She is slender, and seems fragile-but- elegant in appearance. Within the Hindu culture of her grandfather, she would be seen as exquisitely beautiful, having perfect balance and proportions among her delicate features. Very long, totally-straight jet-black hair falls to graze the top of her pretty derriere. She experiences a chill leaving the heat-lamp warmth and security of the cloning pod, and this is evidenced by the hardening chocolate nipples on her moderate-sized conical breasts. Scott McGillicutty is happy to help warm her up with a fourth bathrobe. She smiles at him.
Professor Nils Johannson is beside himself with excitement. He has successfully accomplished the first cloning of human beings in the history of mankind. But these are by no means ordinary women. He has interlaced a DNA-enhancing and mutating substance called proto-matter into their genetic makeup. Using electrochemical and thermodynamic manipulation of the double helix-crystal intermingling process, he has modified and made malleable the very substances inside human chromosomes. In so doing, he is able to focus upon and magnify certain specific talents and powers within each woman. He begins, "Young ladies, I greet you in the name of Science, for you are now its crowning achievement. As you may already realize from the pre-programmed memories and vast information in your minds, your gene compositions are tailored to isolate and exaggerate to super-human levels the very best and desirable qualities in women! Strength, Beauty, Applied Intelligence and Compassion- these are the sources of each of your gifts. And together as a team, you possess invincible abilities. You are the Quintessential Quartet! My young assistant and I have taken great risks to awaken you early, against the better judgment of your Genesis Donors, because we need your powers in a time of great crisis. Now we must hurry. I can allow but one day for your minds and bodies to become more accustomed to our world, and to gain with practical experience greater mastery of your encoded skills. But first things first. You will want some food and your clothes...Yaah?
COMIC PAGE SEVEN: Mademoiselle Mensa stands before a full length mirror. She is admiring her drop-dead-gorgeous figure, now seen to advantage in her minidress costume.
The geometric design pattern across the shiny fabric clings to every delectable curve and crevice of her 5'10" frame. Pink tights and purple heels accentuate the dizzyingly-high hemline's full display of her long luscious legs. She smiles and nods approvingly to herself, then turns to walk away towards a large desk. As she moves off, hips and backside are visible swaying seductively in backward reflection. Until now, this costume has provided adequate protection (distraction?) from men, even without her incredible raygun's effects.
On the wall over her desk (where a more stable individual might display diplomas), front-page headline articles from the New York Times, San Francisco Examiner, and Tokyo Sentinel hang in gilded frames as trophies: "NUCLEAR PHYSICIST FOUND IN UNEXPLAINABLE CATATONIC STATE", reads one. "STANFORD PROFESSOR FROZEN IN HER TRACKS AT ENGINEERING LECTURE", begins another. To these and others she has just today added, "DUMBFOUNDED SOCIALITE BENT NUDE IN HOTEL GLASS ELEVATOR". from the Miami Herald. She permits herself the pleasing, evil luxury of imagining future headlines describing the brainless fate of her next victim.
Glancing down onto the desk, she checks the tiny LED battery indicator on her ingenious raygun while it rests in its recharging bay. Despite the five gigawatts of power provided by Dr. Fujitoyama's fusion reactor prototype, a full twenty-four hours of "R&R" (recharging and revitalization) is needed to bring the weapon up to its full insidious potential. The raygun is now almost ready. She smiles a wicked smile anticipating its use in the near future. Nearly certain that the PAIN setting will affect both women and men; she is less confident, however, that the more complex circuitry and brain interactions required for the DISDAIN and INGRAIN settings will work at all. Yet if the latter fully functions according to design specifications, she will delight in the power and thrill of sending out her thoughts as commands, rather than simply extracting other's minds in the opposite direction. Although her mental orders must be fairly simple and straightforward to transmit and implant successfully into the victim's brain, the mischievous Mademoiselle knows that a certain devious creativity is called for. Her green eyes narrow. Thinking out loud she says, "Zee last pieces of thees big technological puzzle fall into place tomorrow."
COMIC PAGE EIGHT: Republican budgetary proposal #313, spearheaded by strong House leadership and support from Salmander Gangreen, breezes through both chambers of Congress. Encouraged by its initial favorable reception, the Speaker attached additional amendments which would eliminate the U.S. Departments of Education, Commerce and Housing and Urban Development, as well as remove all federal funding for school lunch subsidies, child vaccinations and immunizations, and unemployment compensation. These additional budgetary savings are split between tax cuts and increases in military spending. An outraged President Bob Clampett takes time from his weekly $350 private haircut session with his own personal buxom barber Tiffany to immediately veto this GOP bill.
COMIC PAGE NINE: It is early morning of the next day. The "Quint-Quarts", as they already affectionately call themselves, have spent eighteen straight hours experimenting with and learning to control their extraordinary talents and powers. Professor Johannson has employed the incredible technical and analytical skills of the raven-haired female to overcome heretofore-insurmountable engineering design problems with four miniaturized gauntlet-mounted weapons she will carry in her costume. Satisfied by multiple laboratory tests confirming the accuracy and effectiveness of these high-tech marvels, he now calls all four women together. Ceasing their practice with amazing physical, visual and empathic skills, the other three join the Professor and their leader at a large round conference table in the lounge next to the building’s communication center. He smiles broadly in obvious appreciation of their efforts, as any proud father would. Then he addresses each of them in turn, according to their "age"(the order in which they completed their muta-cloning). He turns to first speak with the muscular bleach-blonde.
Young lady, you embody the tremendous strength and courage inherent in women.
Your father, a WWF professional wrestler, contributes your pure brute force; while your mother Genesis Donor gives you tenacity and hard-as-nails toughness. Yet, in you these traits are magnified to nearly five times human norms. You shall be the warrior and principal protector of your group. To aid in this task, I have manipulated proto-matter inside your cells in a way which lets you willfully control the density and composition of your body for periods up to three hours. With practice and application of the knowledge already pre-programmed within, you will come to use this transforming power for your protection, weaponry and transportation. From this day forward, you shall be known as Molecularly-Adjustable Woman. We as your friends will simply call you 'Maw'. This nickname is quite an accurate one, since you are indeed oldest among the Quint-Quarts."
Maw smiles at her companions. She now wears her super-heroine costume, even though it's not much to speak of. An electric-blue bodybuilder's bikini covers only the most critical features of her powerful physique. Bronzed muscles plainly flex and ripple with her every move. To this most basic of attire she adds only bright red ankle boots and a shiny red full-length cape, secured by a bright gold neck chain. On the clasp of the chain a small 24-karat "QQ" has been crafted. The cape is to be used as wrap-around when circumstances require more decorum (and less skin). Her entire costume is also interlaced with traces of proto-matter, so that any chosen molecular transformation will be matched by an identical change in her clothing's appearance.
"And you, as the most visually stunning of your group," the Professor segues, "we shall name you Looker. It is an appropriate title. Your genetic father is the remarkable Fabio, and your mother-donor is one of the most stunning, instantly-recognizable women on earth. You have the power to use beauty- or any other appearance you may choose- to fullest advantage. Proto-matter in your genes gives you the ability to alter your facial and general physical features into a nearly-infinite variety of presentations. Such talents make you a natural impersonator and infiltrator into criminal organizations; yet in time you will also learn how to use your abilities as secret weapons of extreme beauty or hideousness."
Looker’s costume bears close resemblance to a fashion designer’s "showstopper". The slinky emerald sequined minidress conforms like spray paint to her incredible curves. The garment is very low-cut across her impressive breasts, leaving little to any onlooker’s imagination. It is pulled tight enough across the front to outline her nipples through the fabric. A small golden "QQ" is monogrammed into the material atop the left breast. She also wears a waist-long, open-front matching emerald mantle. Serving as partial coverup, it also allows her to carry and conceal a dagger and bola-type weapon in interior pockets. Below a high dress hemline, gleaming gold-toned stockings and heels complete her attire.
At this moment, a communications buzzer signal is heard from the next room. The Professor and his four companions move in front of the video monitor springing to life. The well-known face of a Genesis Donor fills the screen. "Yaah...Do you have news for us, Doctor 1?", he begins. The older woman replies, "I have completed my physical and neurological examinations of Susan Hammond here at the Stanford Medical Center, Nils". Mademoiselle Mensa's once-brilliant second victim is seen resting comfortably on a bed in the background. Her sleeping appearance seems peaceful, and would look entirely normal except for her eyes. These refuse to close, and contain a vacant expression which betrays the stupor that entraps her. "Her body physiology and autonomic brain functions are quite unaffected and operate normally. Heartbeat, respiration, digestion- all continue to do their work. She hasn't suffered any physical harm outside her brain, and faces no real medical danger. Most importantly, the neuro-chemical patterns endemic to memory implantation around individual synapses and ganglia are unchanged. This means- purely theoretically of course- that her intellect is restorable. However, every electrolytic charge which normally accompanies synaptic memory processing, as well as the magnetic thought dynamic itself, has been completely polarized into a neutral static state! This condition affects billions of memory storage cells in the Medula Oblongata, as well as motor centers of the Cerebral Cortex. Looking thoroughly confused, Maw inquires, "Doctor 1, could you please translate that from medicalese into English?". With slight annoyance, she replies, "But of course, my dear Maw. Imagine this. It is as if Mademoiselle Mensa made a videotape recording of all the electromagnetic fluxes that mentally imprint Susan's life experiences. Knowledge, memories, and learned abilities to speak, move- even undertake any rational thought- were copied and transmitted using that evil woman's raygun. However, unlike a VCR, which duplicates magnetic patterns without harm to the original tape, her weapon extracts and erases information simultaneously. The end result is complete catatonia."
"Thank you Doctor 1. I am sure the Quint-Quarts will find this analysis extremely useful," replies the Professor. Once the monitor fades to black, he continues, "We now have a clearer idea of the technology we are fighting against. And what better way to battle high-technology than with amazing devices of our own!". He turns to the raven-haired woman. "In less than a day, your genetically-engineered super intelligence and design capabilities have allowed us to complete the very defenses you will use against this villainess. I shall name you Ingeno-Lady, in honor of your brilliant mother with whom we just now spoke, and your grandfather, Thomas A. Edison. You lead your companions with your brilliant ingenuity. Here among your friends, we shall refer to you as 'Inga'".
The green and yellow super-heroine costume worn by Ingeno-Lady is easily the most stereotypical in its appearance. The spandex one-piece bodysuit attractively encases her lithe, athletic build. A large jagged lightning bolt is emblazoned diagonally across her ample bustline and flat stomach, bisecting the costume's big yellow "QQ" insignia. Yet it is the gadgetry accompanying IL's basic attire which catches the eye. Along the left and right side of each forearm, sewn directly into green "defense gauntlets", are foot-long thin metal tubes containing ingenious, miniaturized weaponry. All are non-lethal and intended only to incapacitate their target. Her backpack holds a thin, lightweight electrical power cell for her gadgetry, and a small hydrogen-fueled fusion rocket engine. Capable of only short bursts which do not permit actual flight, Inga can nevertheless use its thrusters for fifty-foot-high leaps, or as a means of recovery to safely break an unexpected fall.
Turning to the youngest of the four companions, the Professor states, "The great compassion of womankind is the basis for your special abilities. I believe that your natural genetic codes contain great sympathy and understanding, since your grandfather was the famous Mahatma Ghandi, and you mother-donor is a learned psychologist specializing in male-female relationships. Yet genetic adjustments through muta-cloning have given you incredible empathic and potentially-telepathic powers. Your keen senses can perceive others' emotional states. During a confrontation, this may offer critical guidance as how to proceed. You also possess the pre-programmed basic ESP knowledge which may one day provide communication among your companions without spoken words. And you are an empath in the fullest sense of the word, capable of greatly accelerating the healing process for sick or injured persons with merely a prolonged touch. You shall now be known as Empath Girl, and your companions will use 'Emma' as your nickname."
The teenage Indian's outward appearance looks nothing like a super-heroine. According to her father's traditional beliefs, she wears a saffron-colored sarong which covers her beautiful, not-fully-mature dark features from her neck to sandaled feet. Yet underneath the cloak Emma wears modern, form-flattering black spandex shorts and white tank top. Painted onto the middle of her forehead is a Hindu bindhi dot that only adds to the serene loveliness of her young countenance. Acting as companion and counselor only, she bears no weapons at all. As the Quintessential Quartet team contemplates the words of the Professor's pep talk, a bulb near the Reuters newswire monitor screen begins flashing.
COMIC PAGE TEN:While gangster-technicians in the employ of the New Orleans mafia (whom she bribes to occupy her hideout) complete preparations and fueling of her airship, Mademoiselle Mensa studies again the Newsweek article personality profile and photos of her next intended victim. Sharon Marshall is Chairwoman of the world-famous Duke University Parapsychology and Paranormal Phenomena (PPP) Department. As author of the best-selling "Men are from Neptune, Women are from Pluto", she is recognized as an authority in male-female thought pattern differences. Beyond this accomplishment, she enjoys high esteem in academia for her many journal publications detailing research into ESP and means of brainwave reception and mass transmission. These types of knowledge and experiences make her an ideal target to bridge the remaining technological gap in the completion of the evil villainess' brain-train multiple-target mind controlling device. As sun dawns across the Mississippi River bayou, her crescent-shaped craft swoops north.
COMIC PAGE ELEVEN: "Our computer auto-scan of the world's major newswire services has been constantly monitoring reports ever since Mademoiselle Mensa's third attack in Stockholm,"explains the Professor to the Quint-Quarts. "We have been searching for matches to the keyword "Mensa" with "dumb" "stupid" "beffudle" etc.. The scanning software has just identified a match in an article from the Miami Herald. We have our first clue! It seems that Marilyn Brookes, newly-appointed worldwide president of the genius-members-only organization MENSA, was found two days ago in a VIP glass elevator of the Fountainbleu Hotel. Like the other victims she was helplessly stupefied, with her Bob Mackey designer ball gown torn off and thrown into the hotel pool. While totally nude, she was positioned facing away from the outer glass window, and fully bent over grabbing her ankles. More than a hundred people witnessed her brainless exhibition." Reading the article closely, Inga continues, "Miami police suspect the former MENSA president, Jacquelyn Abrutez-Vous, and perhaps Brookes' husband Thomas, who was known to be having an affair with her. It seems the affair became public, and was used as grounds for Abrutez-Vous' impeachment. She and Thomas Brookes are co-founders of a Boston high-technology company called Artificial Intellicorp, which holds patents on a "smart guidance" device. They have developed a means to wirelessly upload thoughts and sensory perceptions directly from the human brain into stored artificial intelligence . Some applications include space exploration, weapons guidance, and psychological diagnosis."
From behind the smoked-glass partition, a harsh voice adds, "Apparently, they have now redesigned their apparatus to download other women's thought patterns, and transfer them into their own minds to fulfill some evil intention." The Professor adds, "Interpol records show Abrutez-Vous' current address as 26 Rue de Chambord in Paris. Well, Quint-Quarts, it seems you have an urgent investigative assignment. Hurry to the Ionospheric Clipper!
COMIC PAGE TWELVE: Less than one hour later, Debbie Stemp is having a terrible first morning as undergraduate work-study receptionist in the Duke Parapsychology and Paranormal Phenomenon Department. First, within ten minutes of starting her job, the pompous department Chairwoman had chewed her out for showing up in denim cutoffs and a hang-down halter top with no bra underneath. Now, it was unseasonably warm outside for North Carolina in late February. Besides, her boyfriend had been so turned-on by this outfit yesterday that she never made it home last night to change before work. Next, some bitchy, obnoxious Ph.D. student had treated her like a peon, giving her strict orders that the doctoral seminar Professor Marshall would be teaching in the department conference room was not to be disturbed under any circumstances. And now, the damn telephones had been ringing off the hook for a solid twenty minutes! RRRrriinng. She picks up the receiver in her right hand and answers politely, "Good Morning...Duke PPP department...How may I help you?". "Yes, Hello. I must speak with Sharon Marshall immediately. Her life may hang in the balance. Please connect me to her NOW!", says a familiar voice on the other end of the line. "I'm sorry, she's in the middle of teaching a class. May I take a message?". Debbie doesn't hear the frantic reply from the telephone speaker, because she has just caught sight of the woman standing in front of her desk. Looking openly amused, she evaluates the tall platinum blonde in the minidress and tights wearing a blinking electronic headpiece. She doesn't notice the raygun in her right hand. "And exactly who or WHAT are you supposed to be in that get-up? Halloween isn't for another eight months!". Mademoiselle Mensa's green eyes flash, but her voice stays calm. "I have a meeting with zee department Chairwoman. Ees she in her office?". "No, she's in seminar for another half-hour," she replies while gesturing at the conference room. "You'll have to wait." Without saying another word, the villainess marches straight for the closed door. For only her very first day on the job, Debbie is impressive. Still holding the phone receiver, this sexy 19-year-old brunette starts to rise up from her chair and loudly warns, "HEY, wait a minute! I'm telling you absolutely NOBODY goes in there, and especially not some purple-and-pink FREAK SHOW! STOP or I'll call security. What, are you STUPID or something? I said STAY AWAY from that D......duh...duuhhhh...duuuuuh".
"You should never inzult a Frenchwoman's wardrobe, cherie. Much less her intelligence."
COMIC PAGE THIRTEEN: At the other end of the open telephone line, some 8000 miles away in an apartment on the Rue de Chambord, Ingeno-Lady listens with horror and fascination as the receptionist's loud orders are changed into monosyllabic stupidity. Only ten minutes ago the Quint-Quarts had arrived in Paris. Leaving their Space-Shuttle-type vehicle parked on the grassy Champs-de-Mars beside the Eiffel Tower, they had quickly located Jacquelyn Abrutez-Vous' nearby address. It had taken only moments for IL to modify resident PC utilities programs to un-erase an encrypted and multi-password- protected file titled "braintrain.doc" on Abrutez-Vous's computer hard drive. The file had contained four names and descriptions: Hirushi Fujitoyama-powerplant, Susan Hammond-technical design, Patricia Dolton-Harris-male pathways and Sharon Marshall-transmission. Fearing the worst, they had consulted USA directory assistance and dialed the Duke PPP department immediately. But it seems they were just seconds too late. Inga turns grimly to her companions and says, "Gals, Mensa is there right now. She just used her raygun on the secretary while I was talking to her!" Empath Girl adds sadly in her Asian-accented formal english, "My senses tell me we are too late, both for that poor girl and Professor Marshall." IL replies, "I don't know if we can reach Durham, North Carolina in time to help, but we must pick up the trail while it's still fresh. Let's get back to the IC NOW!"
Stepping through French double-doors onto a tiny patio overlooking the busy Rue de Chambord, four QQ's quickly arrange themselves into their twice-practiced positions for short-range airborne transportation. First, Inga straddles Maw's lower legs while the powerful Maw grasps both Emma and Looker around the waist with each bulging arm. Next, Maw concentrates and quickly transforms her molecular structure (inside her body's exterior perimeter) into a mixture of several lighter-than-air elements- principally helium.
Her body instantly takes on a more shadowy, but not invisible, appearance as her legs and torso begin to rise up from the apartment patio. The other three women are along for the ride. Once clear of the building, IL ignites her rocket pack's directional thrusters, and the group speeds in seconds the several hundred meters back to their airship. Ignoring looks of amazement from nearby tourists, they board the IC and engage its fusion reactor.
The Ionospheric Clipper was designed by Nils Johannson, with the the help of Scott McGillicutty and the ill-fated Hirushi Fujitoyama. It's silver, sharp-edged elongated conical fuselage contains the world's most powerful engines, which are supplied by the only known full-scale, hydrogen-fueled cold fusion reactor. The Professor and Inga had just this morning succeeded in making a miniaturized version in IL's backpack functional. By simply drawing outside air directly into reactor intakes, an essentially-infinite amount of hydrogen fuel serves to propel the IC at speeds and trajectories comparable to those of an intercontinental missile, rather than an airplane. Arcing through the earth's ionosphere at heights as great as 450,000 feet, the Quint-Quarts were thus able to accomplish their trek from New Mexico to France in less than a half-hour. Although the gliding reentry and accurate landing of the stubby-winged craft was even more tricky than piloting the Space Shuttle, Looker's pre-programmed flying skills were up to the task. She was aided by the IC's two huge bottom-mounted, vertical-directional thrusters. Although fairly noisy and somewhat damaging to the landing site, these permitted touch-down of the 150-foot craft without an airstrip, and in as little open space as a average-sized parking lot. Now these reentry thrusters work in reverse to lift the Clipper up and over the Eiffel Tower.
Reaching 1000 feet, the main rockets engage and they shoot almost straight upwards.
COMIC PAGE FOURTEEN: As the wide blue beam subsides from around the cute dark-haired receptionist, Mademoiselle Mensa has yet to regain control of her temper. A normal person would simply "count to ten", but the raygun's ten-second brain-drain firing sequence comes and goes with the vindictive villainess still seeking retribution against this impolite, now-paralyzed coed. Debbie Stemp stands helplessly half-raised from her seat, with the telephone receiver held up to her right ear. Both tanned legs are spread slightly apart for balance, and her backward-protruding denimed derriere hovers eighteen inches above the seat cushion. Her shapely, well-proportioned upper body is twisted at the waist around to the left, facing the closed conference room door and her pink-and-purple
assailant. She had earlier raised her left arm to point accusingly at MM, but then switched her hand gesture into a traffic cop's palm-outward STOP signal in what would be her last movement for quite some time. Both upraised arms now give an aesthetic lifting effect to the position of her halter top. The loose blue fabric has risen high enough to where the college girl's lower breast curvatures are plainly visible, all the way up to the bottom edges of two dark-pink aureoles. Other than her immobilization, two clues offer evidence to any passerby that she is totally stupefied. First, her eyes are "reverse-crossed", with her brown irises spread wide apart to independently consider objects on her left and right. She also still utters occasional attempts at completing the word "door", but these come forth as "duuhh". An angry MM walks back over to her and says, "Tres bien, mon petit chou chou! I think you should conzider a modeling career, as you hold your pose zo well. However, in YOUR case you might wish to try for mannequin rather than supermodel, n'est-ce pas?" Of course, these words seem as total gibberish inside Debbie's empty buzzing head. But our villainess continues anyway with, "Mon Dieu, Cherie! You have zuch lovely poitrines, you must show them off to us all." Chuckling at her victim's moronic facial expression, Mademoiselle Mensa neatly tucks up and under the poor girl's halter top until her medium-sized breasts are fully on display. She then momentarily contemplates something. As she had also noticed with Janet Jenkins and Marilyn Brookes, the coed's pink nipples are fully erect and rock-hard. This result is apparently an unexpected permanent side-effect of the brain-drain. Noticing the newly-minted nameplate sitting on the infuriating receptionist's desk, MM departs saying, "Adieu, Debbie Stemp...or should I say, 'Dumb as a Stump'."
Without knocking, the woman in pink-and-purple bursts into the PPP conference room. Seeing the raygun in her hand, a male Ph.D. student closest to her leaps up to try and knock the weapon away. But she is too quick for him. Setting the selector on PAIN, MM pulls the trigger. A one-second burst of pencil-thin green light strikes the man in the chest, and he immediately falls to his knees in agony. Briefly holding his head between his hands, he topples over into unconsciousness after about five seconds. Three other startled occupants of the room sit silently in shock as witnesses to this scene. Then a tall, lithe female student in her late-twenties stands up, placing both hands on her hips in defiance. She has dishwater-blonde hair, and wears too-large wire rim glasses. Her "preppy" attire consists of clogs, a plaid wool skirt, and white oxford-cloth blouse. She begins, "And just what the HELL do you think you're doing breaking in here and bothering us like this? Do you have any IDEA who this is (gesturing toward the tiny, mid-fifties woman next to her)? World-famous author SHARON MARSHALL, for heaven's sake! Pulitzer Prize nominee. National Science Foundation Trustee. And I'M Betty-Sue Holmes! MY DADDY is U.S. Senator Jason Holmes from this state. Surely even such an obvious nut-case as you has heard of him. If you'all hurt either one of us, they won't stop looking for you until the end of time." The villainess at first watches the young woman with bemusement, but when the "nut-case" insult emerges, she quickly moves the raygun selector to the INGRAIN setting. MM has just decided that this girl would be a perfect guinea pig. She replies, "Cherie, your protective loyalty to your professor ees mozt admirable- like a well-trained puppy." Then, while concentrating hard on the command Sit down and shut up, bitch!!, she pulls the raygun trigger. A momentary basketball-sized yellow blast engulfs Betty-Sue's head. Over the next ten seconds, Mademoiselle Mensa delights in a rapidly-changing panorama of thoughts and emotions as displayed on her victim's face. The original look of haughty defiance evaporates (with an audible gasp) into an expression of total surprise as the ray strikes her. Then her face goes completely blank for one or two seconds while the mental command imprints onto her subconscious. Next, as it becomes clear to the girl that MM's orders cannot be resisted or disobeyed, fleeting successive looks of confusion, denial, fear and then obedient acceptance cross her countenance. She whispers, "Oh no" in feeble final protest, and then her will snaps. With a rather stupid expression fixed inside her eyes, she takes two steps backward from the conference table, and then immediately drops down to the floor onto all fours. Incredibly, she begins softly whimpering, her wet tongue hanging down out of her mouth. Lastly, Betty-Sue gives full compliance to her interpretation of MM's command by crouching back onto her haunches. It seems she has taken every last word of her mental orders completely literally. She now behaves exactly like a dog!
"C'est Fantastique!" exclaims our villainess. "The brain-ingrain operates even more effectively than I ever dared hope. Come here, doggie!" The once-disagreeable girl now quickly scrambles on hands and knees over to MM. "Heel! I am not finished with you yet".
Momentarily engrossed in this new power-trip, the malevolent Mademoiselle commits an error. Sharon Marshall uses the commotion from the training of her student as successful distraction, and now bolts through a conference room side door connecting to her office. But our villainess responds quickly. Firing her weapon set on brain-ingrain another time at the still-conscious second male Ph.D student, she focuses her thoughts on Capture Sharon Marshall and bring her to me!! The nerdy-looking mid-thirties victim stares blankly at his attacker for about three seconds, then rises and sprints out of the room in heated pursuit. With her temper still not fully under control, MM smiles cruelly as she looks down at the squatting Betty-Sue.
COMIC PAGE FIFTEEN: Less than twenty minutes later, four Quint-Quarts walk briskly down the hallway outside the PPP department main office. Maw and Looker seem to be having some sort of minor disagreement. "Damn! The greenskeeping superintendant sure was ticked off at us when we landed in front of the eighteenth green at the Duke golf course. Our IC scorched away the last fifty yards of fairway," moans Maw. A half-insulted Looker replies, "I'm sure Nils' government grants can pay for any dam..." The QQ's have just passed through double-glass doors into the PPP receptionist's area. A startling sight of the frozen-and-topless Debbie Stemp welcomes them. Empath Girl waves her right hand repeatedly in front of the brainless coed's reverse-crossed eyes, but she gets no response. "I can sense no emotions from her at all. Her mind is a void," she reports. The department telephone line now begins to ring. Looker gently pries the reciever away from the girl's rigid fingers and answers "Hello?". "Yes, hello PPP? This is the campus police. Can you tell us exactly what the HELL is going on?? Why is your Chairwoman fighting with one of her own grad students in front of the Duke Chapel? And who is that pink-and-purple comic book character following them? Hello?" Within seconds, all four of the QQ's are informed of the circumstances and head for the door. But as they are leaving, Maw spots a curious sight. Shuffling around totally naked on her hands and knees in the main office area is a blonde woman with large wire-rimmed glasses. She sees the super-heroines and barks at them several times! Someone (guess who) has placed a large rubber band about Betty-Sue's neck as a kind of makeshift collar, attaching a small rectangular piece of paper onto it. The single word "Fifi" is printed in big letters on this nametag. Emma sighs sadly.
COMIC PAGE SIXTEEN: As the intended centerpiece of the Duke University campus, the chapel bell tower rises some 100 feet above four interconnected, cross-shaped central quadrangles. At the top of the dozen wide-tiered steps leading up to the chapel's massive wooden double doors, a male Ph.D. student with a glazed look in his eyes lies writhing in pain. He is now not only a victim of Mademoiselle Mensa's brain-ingrain, but also a well-placed knee from Professor Sharon Marshall. A smaller door off to his right, accessing the stairwell which leads directly up to the top of the tower, stands open. Through this passage a tiny woman in a brown tweed suit and a platinum blonde in minidress and tights have disappeared only minutes before. A noxious thick green vapor now belches out from the stairwell entryway as discouragement to anyone considering pursuit.
Emerging from the steps onto the waist-high-walled parapet atop the tower, Sharon tries to catch her breath after her frantic flight. Realizing there is nowhere left to run, she proceeds to the walled corner farthest away from the stairwell door. After a moment the evil villainess clears the threshold and advances onto the flagstone patio. She briefly considers the impressive view of the campus and surrounding countryside, then turns to face her intended victim. The Chairwoman begins, "Who are you? What do you want with me? Why have you harmed and manipulated my students with that weapon?" With a not-very-reassuring wicked smile, MM replies, "Patience my dear Professor. All your questions- and everything elze for that matter- will be no longer be of any concern to you in just a moment. Slowly walking to stand beside her terrified target, she adjusts the raygun selector to its DRAIN setting. But before she can aim and fire, a large shadow crosses her field of view from above, and two tiny-but-powerful taser darts strike her on the left shoulder. As the 1000-volt charges contained in these projectiles dissipate in a hail of white sparks, the four Quint-Quarts descend onto the parapet and break from their air transport positions. With confusion and disappointment, Ingeno-Lady realizes that her two perfectly-targeted shots have somehow bounced off the evil villainess. One dart now lodges in the wall mortar beside MM, while the other one lies firmly implanted in Sharon Marshall's right breast. Looking wild-eyed and uncontrollably convulsing from the dart's electrical shock, the tiny woman collapses into unconsciousness in mere seconds.
"Merde!" exclaims the villainess, as she surveys the four unusual women before her and her target lying in a heap at her side. MM well knows that her plans are now foiled, since the brain-drain weapon requires a fully-conscious subject to accomplish a transfer.
And she is outnumbered. Yet she still has some tricks up her sleeve, as well as a few remaining shots from her raygun. She is most fascinated with the tall, muscular blonde who has just this moment shifted her appearance from a shadowy, floating translucence back into flesh and blood. She addresses Maw saying, "Incroyable! You zeem to possess extraordinary abilities, cherie. How do all those impressive muscles become lighter-than-air?" Before Emma can caution her about the cleverness of this adversary, Maw advances toward MM and replies, "My name isn't cherry. I'm Molecularly-Adjustable Woman.
And I'll be happy to show you how my fists can become rock-solid while they introduce themselves to your head!" The evil genius considers this information for a second, then smiles. MM retorts, "D'accord, but why stop with your fists?" Switching quickly to the INGRAIN setting, she raises her raygun and fires just as Maw, barely two feet away, commences an outstretching martial arts wind-up. With a yellow blast surrounding the bleach-blonde-framed head, the merciless Mademoiselle closes her eyes and mentally commands You are turned to stone!! At first, it seems as if nothing has happened and perhaps the weapon misfired. Maw's look of angry determination remains unchanged, and she begins an intimidating karate shout of "HAAYEE...". But after about two seconds, it becomes clear that her powerful body is caught in ever-slowing motion. Maw's right arm and fist reach their farthest-coiled-back position, then stay there. Her thrust-forward left leg now holds its bent-knee pose and remains balanced on tip-toes, with her left hand resting on the thigh. Her strong buttocks suspend motionless in a fully-stretched flex. The torso and head retain their mobility longer, beginning a forward lunge intended to deliver her forceful blow. But even these manage only two or three inches of added motion before they too become petrified. Literally. Emanating rapidly outward from chest and abdomen into her appendages is a pebble-gray texture and color. Her warrior's cry is cut short, as the intimidator becomes intimidated. Her expression transforms from aggression into total confusion. She cries, "Whaaa?...How can you...", then she is silenced by yet another facial transformation- this time from flesh into stone. The look of gaping astonishment in Maw's saucer-wide eyes vanishes, as brown irises are swallowed inside featureless gray sockets. Her short hairstyle clumps and stiffens, and even the proto-matter-laced bikini and boots take on a uniform pebbled color and appearance. Her red cape holds out longest, flapping for a few seconds from a warm Carolina breeze in bizarre contrast to this stock-still victim of MM's raygun. Then, as the finale to a process taking just ten seconds in total, this last costume item joins its owner. Molecularly-Adjustable Woman becomes a stone statue!
The spell of grotesque fascination fallen over the other three Quint-Quarts as they watched Maw's involuntary petrification is broken by the villainess' gleeful and triumphant, "C'est Magnifique!! I am a talented sculptor, mais non?". But MM’s celebration is rudely interrupted as Ingeno-Lady crouches, aims and fires a gauntlet-mounted ray device of her own. The thin, silver freeze ray (an idea from the Professor's early days in thermodynamic research) strikes directly upon her buxom chest; however, once again the assault proves ineffective and merely deflects off her shiny costume against the parapet. A large patch of inch-thick ice immediately forms at the wall impact point. The villainess chuckles. "Hah! By now you recognize that my dress ees much more than haute coiture, mon petit chou chou. Titanium-steel strands and reflecting diffused fiber-optic filaments woven into the pretty pink-and-purple fabric provide me protection against all kinds of projectile and ray attacks. But, enough now! Drop all your weapons immediatement, or your muscular friend here performs a Humpty-Dumpty imitation!," she threatens while moving directly behind Maw and tilting her gray head and shoulders out over the parapet ledge. Empath Girl , standing somewhat off to the right of the other two QQ’s, interjects, "NO!! Inga, Looker- DON’T surrender your weapons!. I can sense that she intends great harm against all four of us. We will be defenseless and at her mercy if you do as she wants." Inga sadly responds, "Emma, we simply have no choice if we hold any hope of saving Maw." Giving a sideways and knowing glance to Looker, the two of them throw down their various armaments. Both of IL’s gauntlets clatter onto the flagstone, along with Looker’s knife and bola. "Ah, what wonderful miniature toys you have Miss…?". "My name is Ingeno-Lady," she says. Now it seems Emma’s empathic warnings have drawn MM’s attention. "Alors, you can sense my feelings and intentions? How ees thees possible little one?", asks the evil villainess. "It takes no special powers of insight to understand the cruel disrespect you have for human life, judging from your horrifying trail of victims. But, yes, I have the ability to sense the thoughts and emotions of others," replies Emma. "I am Empath Girl." "And can you transmit your thoughts to others as well?" Emma is reluctant to answer, but MM coaxes forth a response by starting to shove the statued Maw over the ledge. "Wait! Leave her alone. Yes, I have the basic understanding and rudimentary skills to eventually communicate telepathically among my partners." At this confession, the megalomaniacal Mademoiselle’s scheming commences once again. She momentarily gloats over the QQ’s.
Now in complete control of the encounter, MM switches to the as-yet-untried DISDAIN raygun setting. She taunts her captives, saying "Tres bien. So many victims, and yet so little time- or batteries." Realizing she is about to fire the funnel-shaped gun, Looker uses her powers in a desperate defensive measure. Trying to reproduce a horrible facial contortion she had practiced on Scott McGillicutty (he doubled over and threw up), the super-heroine starts to transform her stunning countenance to a sickening appearance resembling a Gorgon whose dead body has lain submerged for weeks in warm water. But this attempt to use extreme physical ugliness as a weapon fails. Whether it is due to the inherent instability of her too-soon-crystallized matrix of proto-matter, or a simple lack of practice, her consequential look bears an uncanny likeness to Richard Nixon with five o’clock shadow. A surprised and bemused Mademoiselle fires her weapon toward IL and Looker. A broad red blanket of light envelops both women for about two seconds. Then they turn toward each other and begin to bicker. "You call this leadership?" says Looker, who appears increasingly angry and agitated with Inga as each second passes. "We’re sitting ducks for this madwoman’s raygun. What kind of ingenious plan is that?" "And I suppose YOU could have done better, Miss primp-in-front-of-a-mirror?" says IL. With you in charge we would be down at Bergdorf-Goodman looking for Anne Klien on sale!" As the brain-disdain continues to incite the two friends, they quickly come to blows and fall onto the tower floor in an all-out, cat-fighting brawl. Hair is pulled, scratches draw blood, and both costumes are stretched and torn. MM doubles over laughing at them.
"It appears those two are occupied for quite some time. And that just leaves YOU, little one." Sensing what the villainess is about to do, the defenseless Empath Girl turns and sprints for the stairwell door. She doesn’t make it. In the scant seconds it takes for Mademoiselle Mensa to switch to the DRAIN setting, Emma entertains false hopes of escape. But then she feels the pain begin inside her head, and watches the air around her become bright blue. Running at full speed, her body disconnects from its brain in just three more steps- slower, crawling, then STOPPED. She halts in mid-stride, with one bent arm thrown out in front and the other behind her. Struggling against an inescapable fate to the last, her terrified young face contorts as she screams, "NOOoooo…" in final protest. Then only a faint "sucking" sound is heard. Mademoiselle Mensa strolls to consider the newly-stupefied Emma. As with many other brain-drain victims, the young woman clings desperately onto one last thought inside her essentially-empty mind. Intermittent efforts to complete her half-formed final "no" emerge from an open, slack-jawed mouth. However, these sound more like a sporadic ohmm...ohmm...ohmm mantra than any actual speech. The pretty coal-black eyes have both crossed and rolled backwards. Thus Empath Girl appears determinedly-but-dumbly focusing on the bindhi at the center of her forehead.
"I am sorry, little one, but you are zee perfect choice to replace zee unconscious Professor Marshall. And as I assimilate your thoughts, it already becomes clear that your fledgling telepathic abilities can provide the basis of a technological breakthrough. Thank you for helping us solve the mass transmission problems of my brain-train! Control over Thomas' little fraternity is now within our grasp. He will be thrilled, and I will be very rich!
Do not despair, Empath Girl. I am sure that in your next life you will be reincarnated as a
higher-intelligence creature than you are now. A worm, perhaps? Maybe even a mosquito!
Laughing cruelly in Emma's face, MM slips a small blinking disc into an interior pocket of her saffron sarong. The villainess notes with appreciation how the brain-drain has fully hardened EG's nipples, which are plainly visible through her white spandex tank-top. Then
the platinum-blonde genius in the tight minidress swishes to the stairwell door and is gone.
Meanwhile, the confrontation sparked by the contemptuous effects of the raygun's DISDAIN setting has reached a dangerous pitch. Looker retrieves her knife and lunges for Inga, slashing her across the left thigh muscle. In response, IL drops to the flagstone and rolls over to her gauntlets. As Looker moves in for another attack with the dagger blade raised, Inga activates one of her miniature weapons. The freeze ray strikes Looker squarely in the face, and the incapacitating effect immediately begins. Upon its impact, a chain-reaction of molecular deceleration spreads quickly upon and around the victim. With the rapid drop in velocity of skin and air molecules comes an amazing drop in temperature. An inch-thick sheath of solid ice forms around the hostile heroine's body, freezing Looker in position with her knife held high overhead. Through the encasing ice, her shapely legs, sexy torso and pretty face are all visible with only minor distortion. A blast of frigid air has accompanied the chain reaction at ray impact, blowing her strawberry-blonde locks back behind her head, where they now cluster among scores of thick icicles. A look of outright rage remains on her face. The freeze ray worked too quickly for her to show any reaction. Looker stands captured as a glistening contrast between heated anger and frozen beauty.
With her raygun-induced adversary vanquished, Ingeno-Lady begins to recover from the overpowering feelings of disdain and contempt she has been experiencing. Slowly shaking her groggy head from side-to-side, she views a stupefied Empath Girl for the first time. The shock of this sight brings her to full recovery, and she shouts, "EMMA, NO!!".
Just then, a silver crescent-shaped airship performs a low-speed fly-by over the bell tower. Inside, MM gleefully surveys a tableau of women immobilized, frozen and turned to stone below her. With radiant green eyes, she increases speed and altitude while turning south.
Can the Quint-Quarts recover from their crushing defeat at the hands of MM? Will they solve the mystery of the brain-train before it's too late? And just who is the shadowy accomplice of the malevolent Mademoiselle? Stay tuned for the dramatic (and shorter) conclusion to this ASFR comic-book saga, scheduled for publication this summer. -R.