Bat-Girl woke up to find herself in the floor beneath a suspended Doctor Polaris and Frances Kane. Both were clearly aware of what was going on, but neither could act. A glowing nimbus of energy surrounded them both. The energy radiated over the Queen Bee as she lounged on a divan. Nightwing and the Flash were struggling against her controlling toxins as a few errant bees buzzed around them. A twinkling computer bank lined another wall.
Nightwing gritted his teeth. He was not about to fall victim to anyone’s mind-control. He’d had more than enough of that kind of criminal behavior of late. He used the techniques taught to him by his mentor to resist the toxin. The Flash struggled as well. He attempted to burn the toxin out of his system with high-speed vibrations.
“She became immobile due to various power grabs that failed,” Nightwing whispered. “Magnetic energy gives her back mobility. She must have known about Frances and Polaris and wanted them as power sources from which she could drain enough magnetic energy to become mobile again. I guess Polaris was immune to the bees and wands and other gadgets she uses to control her drones like his relations and past colleagues.”
The Flash nodded. “She suckered us into defeating Polaris by framing him for taking Frances. She gave us a reason to track him down and beat him so she could beam us up and drain him while he was defeated.”
Queen Bee laughed. “My, such clever boys. I hear all you say. My bees will make you mine soon enough. Or I might just transfer your brains into my electronic hive computer. My wand can do that, too.”
Bat-Girl said, “Like, what am I? Chopped liver?”
Queen Bee said, “You are not a threat to me, and thus I allow you to helplessly wait as I gain more power.” She walked out of the main complex and left the heroes alone.
Bat-Girl saw how Nightwing and Flash were fighting a struggle beyond her ability to end. She looked up at Polaris and noticed his eyes follow her movements. She turned to Nightwing and said, “Should I pull the plug on that computer?”
Nightwing said, “Bat-Girl, Polaris is Neal Emerson. A split personality. Has a good side. Reach it,” he groaned as the mind-altering toxin began to slow his reactions.
Bat-Girl raced over to Polaris and whipped out her bat compact. “Like I really used this lame stuff. Grody! Still, a girl needs a mirror,” she muttered. She held the mirror up, and it caught the reflections from the ship’s many globes of bright light. She held it just so and angled it so the light played across Polaris’ darting eyes.
“Like, you are so totally sleepy. You are going to obey my commands, dude. You are Neal Emerson. You heal people. You do good. You are a normal man. You are just a man,” she said in the manner of a hypnotist. She had read and studied many different disciples in her youthful efforts to become a girl-Robin. This one paid off.
Polaris blinked and said, “This costume? Oh, dear. Did I become that… terrible man again? Forgive me.” He fell to the floor as the energy surrounding him faded.
“He’s normal. No trace of his latent magnetic powers, since he now has regained his good persona,” mused Betty.
Queen Bee limped in. “I detected that drop in my energy. Foolish brat! I shall strip the skin from your bones!”
“Eww…” said Bat-Girl in a disgusted tone.
Queen Bee was slow, and it appeared the loss of Polaris as a power source had weakened her.
Bat-Girl danced past her and said, “And they call me a WASP.” She rolled across the floor as Queen Bee blasted away, narrowly missing her but slicing a tear across her costume.
“OK, now I’m totally steamed. You know, this could have been a collector’s item,” said Bat-Girl.
At that moment, the Flash found the right vibration to shake off the bee toxin and, by passing that vibratory frequency to Nightwing in a rapid move, he freed his ally as well.
Queen Bee said, “I still have the blonde to be my human battery, you know. First, I’ll use my wand to place your keen mind in my electronic hive computer.”
Bat-Girl swung skyward on a line as Flash obeyed Nightwing’s command, “Switcheroo!”
The Flash tackled Queen Bee and shoved her in the direct path of her own wand discharge. She screamed and fell motionless to the floor.
Nightwing reached the controls on the computer and made a swift decision. All the lights dimmed, and silence reigned.
“What did you two do?” asked Bat-Girl as she clutched at her shredded costume.
“We put Bee in your position so she was hit by her own energy beam. Her mind is in the computer, and I just shut it down. It’s intact along with all the others she has trapped, but she can’t reboot,” said Nightwing.
Frances fell into Flash’s arms. “It was terrible being so helpless. These powers are such a curse!”
Bat-Girl put her arms around Frances and said, “Like, all my life I’ve tried to make myself special and shine through my beauty, my skills, my mental abilities. As a beauty queen, model, tennis pro, and heroine, I’ve labored to set myself apart. Honey, you are totally special as is. You have to relish what you have, not fear it. I mean, like, what if you had no powers? Sure, you’d be pretty and sweet, but not you’re those things and so much more. Don’t define yourself by what makes you different. See yourself as defined by being special.”
Frances smiled. “Thanks, Bat-Girl. You are a real treasure. I’m so glad we met.”
Bat-Girl hugged her and said, “Me too. I’m going all Hallmark moment here.”
Nightwing smiled, and they gently eased the hive craft to Earth via its preset autopilot.
The Flash said, “You know, I guess Cyborg or Hawkman can restore the minds trapped in the machine.”
Nightwing nodded. “I think so, too. Hopefully, Dr. Emerson here will be able to return to a productive and law-abiding life.”
Emerson said, “I can’t thank you enough. Will my friends and family be OK, too?”
The Flash said, “Sure. Our pals can restore them.”
Frances kissed him and said, “Thank you. You’ve given me family.”
Bat-Girl laughed. “That’s me. A living present but, like, toss me a cape. I’m a bit unwrapped right now!”
They laughed and headed home.
Later, in New York City after completing her Special Olympics duties, Betty Kane packed her tattered red and green dress and slumped in a chair.
“Like, my talk with Frannie make me realize that I can’t deny what makes me special to the max, either. I’m going back into being a crime-fighting dare doll. But, just like Robin grew up and became Nightwing to be his own man and honor his mentor, I’d like to do the same. I mean, the red and green doesn’t even match his new look, and I haven’t even met the new Robin. He could be a total geek.
“Maybe if I use the name Batgirl, minus the hyphen, because of its tie to Aunt Kathy but change the look to something outrageous, I can be my own woman and honor her, too. Kewl! Nightwing even said the Batgirl-come-lately with the bad hair had taken Batwoman’s name. I guess that’s cool, since Aunt Kathy spoke well of her, and it shows her age, too. I’ll just get a new look.”
She jumped up and ran to a mirror. “I’ve got totally rockin’ abs. Maybe I should show them off. I wonder if the Mad Mod could whip me up a chic bat babe look,” she said. As she made a few calls, a legend was reborn.