Author's note: Trying a little something different this time. With Sabrina due to return this summer in a new animated series on The Hub, and cast as a sort-of superheroine, I thought it'd be a nice idea to see what she could do to use her powers against an ordinary foe. Given the timeless nature of the Archie comics line, well, we don't need to do time frame settings here. All characters, except for incidentals created in this story, are copyright Archie Comics Publications. ===================================================================== Chapter 1: 10 years ago. The air in the Riverdale City Hall's Council chambers was thick with electricity. Before a packed house, Dr. Norman Raemand, a noted scientist and expert on nano-technology, presented a proposal that would bring a nano-tech plant to Riverdale, opening up dozens of new jobs. Council President Hiram Lodge, the city's wealthiest man and a former state Senator, opposed the plan, if only because he had his own selfish designs on the property. The measure was put to a vote, which ended 5-2 against the plan. Councilmen Waldo Weatherbee, the principal at Riverdale High, and Fred Andrews were the only ones who voted for the plan, and after the meeting, invited Raemand to return in about 2 months, during which time the council would study the plan's feasibility. Andrews warned, though, that Lodge's considerable political and financial influence would remain an obstacle. Two months passed, and on the eve of the meeting, a police cruiser on routine patrol discovered two large burlap bags lying unattended in Goldwater Park around midnight. Upon further examination, the officers discovered that inside the bags were a pair of 13 year old girls, bound, gagged, and clad only in their underwear, the end result of having been raped earlier in the evening, their faces covered behind burlap hoods tightly bound to their necks, but not too tightly as to suffocate them. One of the two victims, Emily Palmer, relayed to police how she and her visiting friend, Louise Berardi, had been ambushed by 2 masked men en route to the public library. She didn't know what happened to their clothes, which were found in a dumpster not far from the park. She overheard one of the rapists say they wanted to see the two girls struggle to free themselves as they "writhed about on the ground like a couple of worms". The next night, at City Hall, when Dr. Raemand arrived with his two sons, Neal & Nelson, Emily pointed out the two teens as her attackers, since they were wearing the same jackets as the night before. The council voted again on the nano-tech plan, and again it was voted down, 5-2. After the meeting, Neal & Nelson were arrested on charges of statutory rape, sodomy, sexual assault, & kidnapping. Dr. Raemand posted bail for his sons, and learned that Nelson concocted the scheme to get even with the city fathers for turning down the plant. "You've only made things worse!", the doctor fumed, "But for Riverdale!" ================================================================= Three weeks ago: Zelda Spellman was doing some housekeeping when the phone rang on a Saturday night, just before six. It was Harvey Kinkle, who had been dating her niece, Sabrina. "Oh, I'm so sorry, Harvey, but Sabrina is out of town until tomorrow, visiting with her cousin. May I take a message?" "Sure!", Harvey replied. "Please tell Sabrina I won't see her in school this week. I've been named to the Riverdale High debate team, and we're leaving on a 10-day road trip tomorrow." "Oh, that's great. Where are you going to be?" "We start in Boston, then Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Cleveland, and finish in Washington, DC. I wish Sabrina could tag along, but they are only allowing for the team and faculty advisors to travel due to budget cuts. Please give my love to Sabrina." "I will, Harvey, thanks. Good luck, and good night." Zelda repaired to the garden. At that moment, a tiny earthworm had burrowed up to the surface. Next instant, in a flash of light, the worm was gone, and in its place was Sabrina, a half-human, half-witch who was learning the art of shapeshifting, and using those skills to do some research for a science project. Attired in a green and red unitard, Sabrina brushed off some dirt from her body as Zelda handed her a towel and the message. "Did you find out what you wanted?", Zelda asked. "More than enough.", Sabrina replied. "Turns out the worms are in tune with others in the area, as if there's a whole community underground. You can't believe what they told me." "Try me." "They said that there was a new kind of worm in town, artificially created, using the latest technology. There is even the belief that these worms were once........human." "But that's impossible!", Zelda exclaimed. "Maybe, but science is trying to duplicate what we can do all the time.", Sabrina said as she headed for the shower. ===================================================================== Humans turned into worms? Without witchcraft? We'll learn more about this in chapter 2.