“Leave my mum alone!” cried Mayflower as she and Cheetah moved in front of the lady to protect her from the super-villain.
“Never fear, my darling bud,” said the Floronic Man. “I only dropped in to see how you were doing after twenty-some years. I never knew you existed until — well, would you believe I heard it through the grapevine? Your mother was a conquest of a young man still finding himself while posing as a human.”
“I never knew he was such a creature until later from the name on the American news. I felt it best just to tell you he was a ne’er-do-well,” explained Ida Green.
“Now, now, I may be unique, but I prefer super-villain to ne’er-do-well. I may do well yet, just wait and see,” he said madly. “I want you to spend some quality time with the old man now, my pretty little seedling,” he said to Rachel.
“Just buzz off! I don’t need no blinkin’ father/daughter outin’ after twenty years!” said Mayflower.
“You’re in touch with the Green! I sense it. That cute little costume means you have some powers, too. Daddy’s little bud,” he cooed. Plants grew from the open windows to ensnare the women.
Cheetah clawed through several vines savagely until Rachel moaned. “Stop it, Deb! You’re hurting me as well as him!”
The Floronic Man said, “In fact, pussycat, you’re hurting Rachel more, since she’s closer in tune to this local foliage.”
Cheetah stopped and said, “Well, then I’ll just have to hurt you!” The agile feline girl leaped up and over the tangling vines even as they moved. She hit the Floronic Man and tore at him with her claws.
“Now, dear Deborah, is that any greeting for an old SSOSV alumni? I’ll have to chastise you,” he said. A spore appeared and burst open. The dust enveloped Debbie, who coughed and rolled to the floor.
“Leave her be! I’ll go with you,” said Mayflower.
“Good! ‘Cause Daddy’s ride is here,” said Floronic Man.
The purple hue of the Star Sapphire gem appeared as the mysterious villainess who bore the same name as Carol Ferris’ alter-ego flew into the room. “Ready, Jason?” asked the alien woman named Remoni-Notra, who had used the human identities of Camille Fortier and Deborah Darnell since her days in the first version of the Secret Society of Super-Villains.
“Oh, yes, and this is my little girl,” he cooed as Mayflower reluctantly accompanied the villains as they flew off.
Cheetah got up slowly and helped Ida Green to untangle herself. “Don’t worry about Rachel. We’ll get her back,” she declared.
Starstriker stared at the blonde Enchantress. She wore a skimpy pink outfit as she had when she last appeared as a member of the Forgotten Villains, but she now also wore Fadeaway Man’s magic cloak.
“We now have the services of the Floronic Man. You and the others need to liberate the scientist as we discussed. My plans are moving well along, and the time of conjunction is rapidly approaching. How is the amnesiac blonde we plucked from that other realm?” she asked imperiously.
Starstriker smiled. “I stripped her of her colorful costume and gave her a new one. She is totally unaware of her true past, and that bodes well. As a villain, she’ll be easier to deal with. No heroic past memories linger on from her freedom.”
“Are there others like her?” asked Enchantress.
“Possibly. But do we really need more?”
“I always demand more! Learn that and live!” she yelled.
Lyla, known in costume as Harbinger, smiled as she settled in over the computer screen. She loved her new job with the Meta-Human Rehabilitation Agency. By drawing on her files from the Monitor’s records of heroes and villains and updating them by her own techniques, she had discovered a nice pattern of sorts.
Both a hero named Argus from Central City and the team’s own Starman had developed powers within days of one another due to rays from space. She wondered if she could track down other empowered beings from that exact time frame and possibly discover the source of the gifts.
She swirled around in her swivel chair as an alarm beeped. “Captain Comet! Break-out attempt at State Prison. Need help,” she said, pushing communications buttons.
“Right! On my way, Lyla. Get Glider and the rest to join me,” he replied.
Lyla summoned Lisa Snart from her beauty rest and watched as the lovely Dolphin and Will Payton rushed by. Good luck, she mused.
Captain Comet and his Rehab Squad arrived in time to meet the fleeing felons. “Starman, take the left flank while I head right,” ordered Adam Blake. Will Payton nodded and streaked off as ordered. They closed in on the costumed felons as sirens blared and guards shouted.
“Comet, I’ve long awaited this rematch,” said Starstriker as he rubbed his beard eagerly.
“Starstriker, I’ve long forgotten who you are,” replied Comet as he was hit by a mental blast. He reeled backward and fired his jets, managing to slam into the villain with little delay. He slugged him in the chin and said, “Give this up! If you have any pretense left of being a future man, then surrender and stop this madness!”
Starstriker grunted and said, “I am the true future man, and my mistress demands your death!” He lashed out at Comet with both fists, and the hero grabbed him around the waist.
Dolphin squared off against a savage creature that was decidedly female but was all fur and claws and teeth. She said, “Stop! I don’t want to hurt you!”
“Ah, but my little mermaid, I want to eat you,” roared the creature called Hyena. She tackled Dolphin, who fell beneath the fur and fangs.
Starman winced as an icy bolt exploded against his chest. “I am Killer Frost,” said the pale but beautiful woman below him.
“Feels like you need to get out in the sun more,” he joked.
Golden Glider was nervous. She hoped she would not face any of her former friends here. She also didn’t want to let Captain Comet down. She skated up on the icy ramp generated by her boots and said, “Well, what an astonishingly bad color scheme,” to a purple-and-gold-costumed man. He leaped up to cling to the wall and fired a dart at her rapidly spinning form. She dodged as it tore a hole in her short skirt, and as she tossed a sharp jewel at the man, she called out, “That’s coming out of your pocket!” The jewel exploded into a rainbow of colors, which blinded the Black Spider.
A timid, middle-aged man in a prison uniform with a thin mustache was being hurried out of the back while the fight raged on. His liberator was known as the Spook. “Breaking out of jails is easy for a master escape artist like myself,” he explained. They vanished into the night.
Dolphin screamed as the hairy Hyena clawed at her and tried to sink her fangs into the pretty platinum blonde’s chest. She curled up her powerful legs and kicked out. Hyena flew backward into an energy blast aimed carefully by a worried Will Payton. She fell and moaned angrily.
Killer Frost suddenly shrouded Dolphin in a huge icy glacier. “Thaw out your pretty boy,” she sneered. Hyena scampered to join the white-gowned villainess as she fled.
Captain Comet wrestled Starstriker down and stunned him with a fast right hook. He checked on his team and smiled as Golden Glider kicked Spider in the face. With the grace of an Olympian, she smiled as if for a crowd and said, “Never did like spiders. Creepy pests.” He tumbled, and before he could react, she spun around faster and faster, and with every spin she kicked him until he fell and lay still.
Comet dropped Starstriker after staring intently at him. He used his power to break Dolphin free with Starman’s frantic help. “Will she be OK?” he said.
“Yes,” chattered Dolphin as she shivered. “I’ve been in the coldest ocean depths, but nothing chilled me like that,” she explained.
Killer Frost and Hyena escaped along with a dazed Starstriker. Spider was left alone and trapped by the Rehab Squad.
The Cheetah had wasted no time in alerting Harbinger of Mayflower’s abduction and had immediately left England to head back to the United States. Lyla activated the tiny tracer hidden in Mayflower’s costume, and she addressed the heroes as soon as both the Cheetah and the rest of the Rehab Squad arrived. “I can detect Mayflower’s location easily enough. She is in an abandoned prison down in L.A. Irony, don’t you think?” said the pretty Harbinger.
Captain Comet nodded and added, “Let’s go immediately. Where’s Valor? We could use her.”
Lyla said, “She and Karin Grace went out earlier and have not been heard from since.”
Golden Glider sidled up to Comet and cooed, “You don’t need that super-blonde when I’m here for you.”
Dolphin frowned and said, “Do you think this Floronic Man will hurt Rachel?”
Comet grimly answered, “I know him. He is dangerous, and what’s worse, he is associated with a dangerous group I thought long since destroyed — the Secret Society of Super-Villains.”
Floronic Man smiled like a wilted plant and said, “Mayflower, my tender blossom, Daddy wants to test your powers to use them for the betterment of his realm.”
Mayflower kicked him in the stomach and sent vines crawling around Star Sapphire’s legs. A pulse of energy burned them off and left Mayflower in pain. Star Sapphire slapped her and said, “Try that again, little Ivy, and I’ll burn you to cinders.”
“No, no! Don’t hurt my little girl!” cried Floronic Man.
Mayflower sighed and searched the huge chamber for some sign of escape.