by Comickook and T Campbell
The Siren Belle managed to make it to her hideout while Alley-Kat-Abra and Yankee Poodle were busy with CFRP-One, and she reached for a high-tech-looking helmet with a noticable switch on the right side, which she flipped in the upward postion. Suddenly, she was surrounded by a massive golden glow.
“Ah know ah still have six hours left on the previous twenty-four-hour charge from this telekinesis helmet, but ah also have a feelin’ that those two super-biddies will probably find a way to defeat CFRP-One, so ah’ve got to see if I can power myself up while ah’m still carrying a charge,” Samantha Drake said simply, then reached for a bottle of throat spray and squirted some of it into her throat.
After a quick test, Samantha saw that her gambit paid off; her telekinetic powers were greatly increased by the helmet’s charge, and her singing had become even more powerful (as evidenced that all of the super-sensitive sound detection equipment was registering off the scale).
“Ah knew ah was on to something big ever since ah, as a lab assistant at the Mew Orleans division of Von Bruin Labs International, just one month ago stumbled onto that special throat spray and helmet that could give me incredible powers so long as ah recharged them every twenty-four hours. This, however, is the first time ah’ve tried the spray and helmet while ah still had a few hours left on a previous charge.”
Meanwhile, inside the Zoo Cruiser, which was once more airborne, Fastback asked, “Whut do ya think y’all are doin’, Mista Rentals, suh? We wuz supposed ta be headin’ back ta the Z-Building ta pick up Cap ‘n Pig-Iron.”
Following the blip on the Zoo Cruiser‘s radar (Rubberduck had planted a homing device on the Siren Belle while he had himself wrapped around her), Rubberduck simply replied, “And let them hog the glory? I don’t think so, Timmy-Joe. I want this gal too badly for that.” As he took the Zoo Cruiser in for a power dive, he silently added, “In more ways than one.”
Back at the Siren Belle’s hideout, a flash of very bright light appeared in front of the villainess, and the figures of Alley-Kat-Abra and Yankee Poodle appeared out of that flash. “Excellent work, Wanda,” Abra telepathically told her wand just as the Zoo Cruiser came crashing in. Samantha tried singing when she saw Rubberduck and Fastback. This time, the Belle’s singing was powerful enough to take control of Rubberduck and Fastback despite their respective ear-plugs and ultra-sonic vibrations.
“Ah’d be lying if ah said ah didn’t at least half-expect you super-heroines to find a way to defeat that super-robot,” the Siren Belle said as she, along with the mind-controlled Rubberduck and Fastback, advanced on Abra and Rova. “Howevah, CFRP-One did serve his purpose, keeping you busy long enough for me to increase mah powers enough for me to stand a fighting chance against you. Having two o’ your teammates under mah control makes things all the bettah.”
Magnetic blasts and mystic force-bolts acted as covering fire as Rova and Abra retreated slowly — too slowly to escape. But it bought them a little time.
Even more so than before, Rova had no time to put her thoughts into words. But if she had, they might have run something like this:
OK. Pros and cons.
CON: Byrd and the turtle look TOtally luuded out, so I don’t think the old “Fight it off, guys” speech is going to work.
PRO: Our crooning crone CRANE hasn’t really mastered this group-strategy thing yet. Byrd and Fastback are advancing on us at normal speed, instead of their usual blitzkrieg. And we’re hitting them a lot more often than we should be.
CON: That duck is singing again, louder than ever, and Abra looks pretty stressed. I think that “Félicette” thing took something out of her, and I don’t speak stick, but it looks like the wand is getting unfaithful again, and Abra’s calming it. I don’t know what kind of support I can expect from either of them, if any. Typical.
CON: Oh, MAHvelous. Bellie’s on the learning curve. Byrd’s getting stretchier, and Fastback’s getting faster.
PRO: I’ve signaled for help.
CON: There’s no way Rod and Pig-Iron can get here in time without Fastback, Abra, or the Zoo Cruiser.
CON: Byrd’s fist just connected with Abra’s cheek. She looks bad.
CON: That doggone SINGING! She sounds like Bunny Raitt cranked up to 180 decibels! It’s worse than fighting the Squawker–
the SQUAWKER’S weakness…
Fastback’s shell crashed into her ribs, knocking her off-balance. She just managed to create a star-spangled cushion and roll him off her and onto a stripe-slide. It would take his clouded mind maybe ten seconds to figure out what had happened and run back uphill into her.
Byrd had stretched himself into a sheet and completely subsumed Felina, whose struggles were getting progressively weaker.
And the Siren Belle was singing directly to Wanda now, promising her sestinas, antique finish, and the glory and respect she truly deserved, which meant that the Belle was distracted for two shakes of a poodle’s tail.
OK, Rova, sweetheart, thought Rova (and now the thoughts were words), you get this right or kiss your tail-puff goodbye. No pressure.
She clapped her paws together, interlaced her fingers, and pushed — and pulled. Stars and stripes wove themselves into an almost-hypnotic pattern, a pattern that gushed out of her arms and directly toward the Siren Belle, and toward the Siren Belle’s face, and into the Siren Belle’s mouth.
There was a sound like an Ozzy Ostrich concert compressed into one note. Then, for Rova, there was only blackness.
“She’s going to be all right?”
“Cap, I’ve checked her every ten minutes since I woke up. She — she should be fine.” Byrd sounded less than totally convinced of his own answer.
“Gnuh?” asked Rova.
There were bright lights over her. “Can you hear us, Rova?” It was Captain Carrot talking.
“Fastback rushed you over here as soon as you snapped him out of it.”
“St. Bernie’s Hospital.”
“She’s here, too,” said Captain Carrot. “On sleeping gas, and not to be awoken until we get her into a soundproof prison cell.”
Oh, she was going to have to wake up, wasn’t she? Drat it all. She opened her eyes, painfully, and saw Byrd Rentals and Rodney Rabbit standing there. Her mask was still in place, and she used it to reduce the glare. “Make sure it’s made of reinforced concrete. She… throws things… and animals.”
“Will do,” said Captain Carrot. “You know, we’ve got to get you some earplugs. I know how hard these sonic villains are on you.”
“Sounds fab. I’m gonna play dead now, OK?”
Byrd blanched, even under his feathers. Rodney smiled, understandingly, and walked out of the room. Byrd stayed. “I’m sorry.”
“Huh? ‘S OK.”
“Cap already gave me the third degree, extra crispy, but it’s nothing compared to what I was already going through. Or what you were already going through. Just because I couldn’t keep my glands to my–”
“Byrd. ‘S OK. OK? Now… I’m asleep. G’night.”
Byrd walked out of the hospital a changed duck. He was tired of being a playbird, reaching around for every pretty piece of animal flesh he could find. What did they all matter, in the end? What mattered were things like integrity and honesty — and friends, friends like Rova.
His resolve lasted almost halfway through the parking lot, whereupon he met one of his typical mobs of squealing fans and received three separate compliments on how sexily he could sign an autograph.