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Trail of the Cougar (Wonder Twins fan-fiction)

Discussion in 'The Story Board' started by hobbyfan, Jan 24, 2015.

  1. hobbyfan

    hobbyfan Well-Known Member

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    Preamble: When we last left the Wonder Twins, Jayna had gotten a divorce from reporter-husband Jimmy Olsen, nearly two years after their children were killed in an explosion masterminded by Cameron Elliott and the Think Tank. Elliott has since committed suicide. Zan lost his wife and kids in the same explosion, but life has moved on, especially with a class reunion on the way..........

    Setting: November 1991, Gotham City.

    J & J's Aerobics Center, now owned by Jessie Franklin & Jodi Bergstrom, normally is closed on Sundays, but there was some activity on a Sunday afternoon, two weeks before Thanksgiving. Jodi, class valedectorian of Gotham High's 1981 senior class, was having a dispute with a visitor who felt it was up to her to decide when and where the reunion would take place.

    "You've always been fashionably late to the party, Denise.", Jodi said angrily as Denise Curran handed her a completed----and modified----mailing list. Several alumni's names had been blacked out by Denise, including John & Joanna Fleming. "Not only that, but I didn't give you any instructions to leave anyone out of the mix."

    "Oh, yes, you did.", Denise shot back. "Use your discretion, you said."

    "I meant in verifying addresses. John just relocated, and I happen to have his invitation already in the mail. Went out yesterday morning. Joanna's, too, I might add."

    "And you're not sharing?"

    "Not with you, after what you just did. I'm looking at my master list, and there are 20 names that were blacked out without a rational, responsible reason. Jessie is doing her part to make sure all the i's are dotted, the t's are crossed, and everything is cross-checked. The party is set for the night after Thanksgiving, same as last time."

    "Ok, so I screwed up. If it was left up to me, the Fleming twins wouldn't be coming, anyway."

    "Oh? Why?"

    "None of your business."

    "That's it, Denise. Once again, you're letting personal issues cloud your judgment. It's why you lost three jobs in the space of 5 years. Make it 4, because as of now, you're off the committee. Thank you and good-bye. Don't let the door hit you on the backside on the way out!"

    Denise, a half-Irish, half-Hispanic, stormed out the back door. Jodi locked it, then called her husband, Carl, to pick her up.
    ==============================================
    Meanwhile, Bonnie Sutton had stopped to pick up a few of the invitations from her twin brother, Ronnie, who worked at the post office. When Ronnie didn't answer the door, Bonnie let herself in with a pass key. She entered, searching for Ronnie, and found him, or what was left of him, in the living room. Ronnie had his throat slashed, and there were marks all over his face and chest, as if he'd been attacked by a wild animal of some kind.

    Frantic, Bonnie called the police. She noticed that the invitations she came to pick up were gone. Detective Harvey Bullock arrived on the scene 15 minutes later. After calming Bonnie down, he took a statement from her, and assured her the police would find her brother's killer.

    Later that night, Bonnie was on the phone again, this time with Jessie, whose eyes widened with horror over Ronnie's death. Luckily for her, John was there to keep her company. She quickly briefed him on what had happened.

    "And Bonnie says the invitations were stolen?", he asked.

    "Yes! That's the only thing. Seems Ronnie was attacked in the middle of the night, but there was no one else in the building who'd have heard him.", Jessie replied.

    "Sounds like we have a were-creature of some kind in town. Just what, we'd have to find out."

    "Include me out. I've seen too many of those horror movies on TV lately."

    "Jess, I'm not going to lose you so soon after losing Mary. If I'm going to track the killer, you're coming along. My sister would tell you the same thing."

    "And where is Joanna, anyway?"

    At that moment, Joanna was returning home from a date with her new beau, Brad Curtis, a 20 year old college student she'd been tutoring. They'd been together just a few days, but Joanna was hesitant about making a commitment so soon after getting divorced. She was sharing an apartment on the East End with Renee Summers, another classmate who'd returned to Gotham and was working for the Gazette.

    "Ren? You home yet?", Joanna called as she hung up her coat and removed her shoes. There was no answer. There was, however, running water coming from the shower. Joanna walked over to the bathroom, and found the curtain stained.........with blood. Thinking quickly, she wrapped her hand in a towel and pulled back the curtain. There, lying on the floor of the shower, was Renee, dead. Throat slashed, just like Ronnie. Joanna could sense the killer was still in the apartment. She headed for the kitchen, and found that the phones had all been cut.

    "This is right out of those slasher movies.", she thought. "Only I'm not ready to be a victim."

    She pulled a flashlight from the cabinet, and flashed it toward her bedroom. There, on her bed, crouched to attack, was a cougar, or, at the very least, a were-cougar.

    "Oh. My. God.", Joanna said to herself, crossing herself as she went.
    ===================================================
    Why would a were-cougar kill the Twins' classmates? And are Jodi, Carl, & Jessie on the hit list? We'll find out in chapter 2.
     
    #1 hobbyfan, Jan 24, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2016
  2. hobbyfan

    hobbyfan Well-Known Member

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    Chapter 2:

    In the course of her crime-fighting career, Jayna had fought all kinds of alien & domestic menaces, and even had a hand in capturing Lex Luthor once. However, just the same, she was still frightened at the sight of a were-cougar, crouched on her bed, waiting to strike. One step in any direction, she figured, and the creature would pounce.

    Strangely, though, the creature turned to its right, and fled through the broken window, through which it had entered. With the danger seemingly past, Joanna left the apartment and asked for help from her neighbor, Mrs. Cress, who had already called the police. After giving a statement to Det. Bullock, Joanna packed an overnight bag, and left for the relative comfort of the YWCA, since the police had cordoned off the apartment as a crime scene.

    The next morning, the twins met at Luigi's, an old hangout from their teen days. The eatery was now under new management, and had gone upscale, catering more to adults than youths.

    "And you say it left without attacking you?", John asked.

    "Yes. It's as if it was studying me. It couldn't tell if I was really frightened or standing my ground.", Joanna replied. "Now, Renee's dead, and from what you told me, that makes three?"

    "Yes. Ronnie Sutton was killed yesterday morning. Come to find out the creature had first killed Ronnie's roommate, Vic Ashland."

    "Three victims, all classmates of ours. Other than the connection, I don't see any point to this."

    At that moment, Jodi & Carl joined the conversation.

    "I take it you told her about Ronnie & Vic?", Jodi asked. John nodded.

    "This is crazy, Jodi!", Joanna said. "It's like something out of those horror movies. The killer only attacks at night, and stays in hiding during the day."

    "You know how those movies work, sis.", John replied. "We're dealing with a were-creature here, whose human self could be anyone we know."

    "There actually is a pattern.", Carl said. "Ronnie & Vic were on the student council in senior year, as were the four of us, Renee, Denise Curran, and Vic's brother, Todd."

    "I remember Todd.", John said. "Unfortunately, he didn't make it to graduation day, killed by a drunk driver that Memorial Day while on vacation in California."

    "Yes, Vic told us about it when he came home.", Jodi replied. "Todd never had a chance."
    ===================================================================
    Later that day, Jessie was getting ready to close the studio when she heard a strange noise coming from the locker room.

    "Could've sworn the last of the students had just left.", she thought. Turning to her left, she noticed the silent burglar alarm had been triggered, so the police were on their way. A few minutes later, Bullock arrived, with Officer Dean Ashland, Vic & Todd's elder brother.

    "You might want to just leave right now, Ms. Franklin.", Dean said. "We'll handle this."

    Jessie obeyed, and went to the parking lot. From her vantage point, she could see that there was someone in there. Two of them, from what she could make out in the window. Just then, the window broke, and the were-cougar dove out, fleeing to parts unknown. Jessie rushed inside, assured that she wasn't spotted.

    "The cougar claimed another victim.", Bullock said soberly. "We were too late."

    The victim was identified as Priscilla Campos, still another GCHS '81 graduate, who had been Vic's girlfriend. She had been found with her leotards and leg warmers ripped apart, and her throat slashed.

    While Joanna was allowed to return home, with cable & phone service restored, she slept on the sofa. It would be another day or two before her bedroom window would be repaired. Jessie called around 10 to tell her what had happened to Priscilla.

    "Frankly, Jo, I'm scared just as much as you are.", she said. "Can I stay with you tonight?"

    "How close are you, Jess?"

    "A couple of blocks away. I'm at a pay phone."

    "Then hustle. The sooner you get here, the better you'll be."

    Jessie arrived a few minutes later, joined by John, who had picked her up.

    "Priscilla's not the only victim tonight.", he reported. "Seems that one of Jodi's old friends was found dead this morning, right before dawn."

    Vince Margano had been slashed to death, but in this case, an ominous note had been left behind.

    "What's yours belongs to me, and I will collect."

    Shown the note, Jodi cringed.

    "I don't quite get it.", she said as she discussed the case the next morning. "Why me?"

    "Jealousy, for one thing.", Joanna said. "That will do it every time."

    "Anyone want to lay odds Denise might have something to do with all this?", Jessie piped up. "Considering the stink she raised on Sunday......"

    "But, then, we'd have to figure out how she'd be a were-creature.", Jodi replied. "She had an argument with me on Sunday, true, but where would she have found the time to kill Renee before Joanna came home?"

    "It all depends on time of death.", Joanna replied. "I----"

    Abruptly, Det. Bullock arrived, and asked to speak with Joanna privately.

    "Your story checks out, Ms. Fleming.", he said. "There were witnesses that saw the cougar leave your apartment. However, it seems we've got another problem."

    "And that is?"

    "Denise Curran's been found mutilated to death, same as the others. Found this note beside her."

    Bullock showed Joanna a bloodstained piece of paper. Inscribed were the initials "J F".

    "Is she implying that I killed her? That's near impossible, Detective."

    "Like I said, your story checks out, but I think we need to bring you in to answer a few questions. You're not being charged or arrested----yet."

    Later, at the morgue, Jessie, now dressed as Night Phantom, and John checked out the remains of Denise. John shook his head.

    "Bullock fell for the oldest trick in the book.", he said.

    "How can you tell, honey?", Jessie asked, frantic.

    "Feel the skin, assuming it's actually skin.", John replied, taking Jessie's wrist. Her gloved hand moved across the head, and she noticed right away that......

    "It's a manikin."

    "Denise wants us to think she's dead. All she did was give herself away. Joanna already has the motive, and that's why Denise decided to frame her."
    ======================================================
    In chapter 3, we'll see how Denise became a were-cougar.
     
  3. hobbyfan

    hobbyfan Well-Known Member

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    Chapter 3:

    Erik Redhawk, a medical student of Apache background, was doing some studying in his apartment when he heard a noise in his living room. He walked out to investigate, and found Denise, having morphed back to her human form, dressed only in a cut-off top & shorts.

    "Denise, this is not good. Did anyone see you?", he asked.

    "No, I don't think so. The police think I'm dead, so I need to lie low for a while.", Denise replied.

    "May I see your necklace?"

    "Why? Something wrong?"

    Denise handed Erik the necklace, which was filled with animal totems, including that of the cougar. Erik was a 6th generation shaman, but was pursuing a career in medicine to learn all about modern advances. He frowned when he noticed the cougar totem was stripped of its power.

    "I advised you at the beginning, Denise, to use all of the totems in a rotation. You stuck to the cougar, and now you've drained the totem of its energy. The police may still be looking for a cougar, but you'll have to choose something else for your next excursion into darkness.", he said.

    "The cougar was meant to send a very pointed message to a certain classmate at Gotham City High, whom I find responsible for my brother's death. I will have my revenge!!!"

    "By slaying your other classmates? What does that prove?"

    "None of your business, Erik, remember? You said you'd only provide the totems for me, and that once our business is done, we can leave Gotham City and get married."

    "Yes, I remember, and I believe you are correct in lying low for the duration."
    =========================================================
    "How could you be so naive, Harvey?"

    Commissioner Gordon had taken a closer look at the mannequin dressed as Denise, verifying John & Jessie's findings. "The fleshtones were actually paint, and these kids recognized it on the spot!"

    "Sorry, Commish. I was fooled, too eager to make a bust and end this case.", Bullock mumbled.

    "Well, we know the Curran girl is alive, and somehow connected to this cougar creature that has killed six people so far. She tried framing Joanna Fleming to throw us off the trail, and for what? Jealousy?"
    ===========================================================
    Meanwhile, John & Jessie were going over their copies of the GCHS 1981 yearbook. It was Jessie who took notice of one important detail.

    "Take a look at this, John!", she exclaimed.

    "At what?", John asked.

    "Put a bookmark on the page where Denise's picture is, then go to the back of the book."

    John did as told, and, before his very eyes, he happened to see an old, familiar, and unfriendly face.

    "Kyle Westbrook. Again! What's the connection this time, Jess?"

    "Kyle is Denise's half-brother, which makes her a relation of some kind to Professor Nichols' nephews & niece, right? Anyway, Denise couldn't find anyone for the senior prom, so she asked Kyle to be her date, when he couldn't find anyone, either."

    "Creepy. Looks like they were into incest, among other things."

    "My thought exactly, honey. Kyle had just returned after spending six months in juvie, and Denise passed him off, with a fake mustache, as her boyfriend. Kyle, as himself, returned to class three days later, as he met his parole officer the following Monday. Remember that?"

    "That was right after the Miranda Leslie case."

    "Exactly. Now we know Denise is the one behind the cougar murders, but how did she gain those powers?"

    "You don't suppose Kyle let her in on what he learned from Cam Elliott?"

    "Oh, I wouldn't be surprised. Denise was kicked off the staff of the Puritan for plagiarizing a story from the Gazette and trying to pass it off as hers. That's when Joanna joined the staff."

    "Wait a sec! If Denise knows about Joanna & I, that would explain her repeated use of the cougar, to send a message to Joanna. It's all about jealousy."

    "Jealousy and revenge, lover. Kyle, in case you had not heard, died attempting to escape last month after being transferred to a federal pen in Kansas."

    "That was on the news, but it never dawned on any of us until now."

    "Right now, Denise thinks the police believe she's dead. That'll free her to go after Jo unless we do something about it, and quickly!"
    ======================================================
    "I remember it like it was yesterday.", Denise recalled. "Two summers ago, on the reservation. My brother was in prison at the time. I asked you for a favor."

    "And here we are.", Erik replied. "Fortunately for you, dear, the properties in your clothes allow them to blend in when you change, which reduces the chances of getting caught in a compromising position at the wrong time."

    "Yes. Your father and grandfather crafted this necklace, and summoned their great spirits to imbue it with tremendous power. Power to combat that shape-shifting witch who took not only my job at school, but my man as well!! Now, with the cougar resting, I will use the form she is most comfortable with, and strike at her closest friends. The police will have no choice but to take her in this time!"

    With that, Denise tapped on the necklace and transformed into an eagle, ascending into the night sky.

    "May the Great Spirit be with you, darling, because that same girl is the reason my half-sister is in prison, and together, we shall have our revenge."
    ==============================================================
    And so it is that Erik also seeks revenge, but how that happened will be told next time.
     
    #3 hobbyfan, Feb 7, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2017
  4. Nickle98499

    Nickle98499 Member

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    Not a bad story so far; interesting that you used a were-cougar part of the fan fic.

    I say that because I've noticed that werewolves have been used quite a few times in fiction over the years(whether it be movies, books, cartoons, and so forth), same with were-cats, and other beings of that ilk.

    However, as I said this is the first time I've heard of a were cougar being used in fiction. The Native American angle is also an interesting plot point as well; I'll definitely be reading the rest of the story when you post it.

    Sent from my iPod touch using toonzone
     
  5. hobbyfan

    hobbyfan Well-Known Member

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    I needed something different. That totem will come into play again in chapter 4, and so will......ah, I think you know.
     
  6. hobbyfan

    hobbyfan Well-Known Member

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    Chapter 4:

    Apache Chief was on monitor duty at the Hall of Justice when the Twins came by to pay a visit, and asked for a favor.

    "It has been a long time.", he said.

    "Do you remember the youth gang we stopped, about 12 years ago?", Jayna asked.

    "Yes. They were based on the reservation. Typical of youth of the time. Rebellious, disrespectful toward their elders and authority. Their leader, Redhawk, was the son of a tribal shaman, and thought he wielded enough power to avoid prosecution. He found out otherwise."

    "What became of Redhawk?", Zan asked.

    "He saw the error of his ways, and went to Arizona State, then medical school. He wants to learn about modern white medicine.", Apache Chief replied. "Seems he had a white half-sister who ended up going to prison when he turned on her."

    "Yes. Meggan Summerfield.", Jayna recalled. "Now I remember. She had a tribal necklace that allowed her to duplicate my powers, but without the restrictions. Someone else has that necklace now."

    "Are you sure? The last I remember, it was still on the reservation, locked away."

    "I would recommend contacting the reservation.", Zan offered. "I think Redhawk may have something to do with this."
    ===================================
    "Yes, the necklace was stolen right around the time Erik Redhawk left the reservation two years ago.", Peter Standing River, the tribal chieftain, said. "There was a white girl with him that day, and they left for the airport soon after."

    "What did she look like?", Apache Chief asked.

    "Petite, dark hair, part-Irish, part Latino, I think. Seems she was Erik's pen pal or girlfriend."

    "That makes it certain.", Jayna concluded. "Denise was with Erik that day. That's how she got the necklace."

    "Now all we have to do is find her, Erik, and the necklace.", Zan said. "It won't be that hard, given what she's been doing."

    Abruptly, Commissioner Gordon appeared on the TroubleAlert screen.

    "I see you kids are at the Hall of Justice, which means we have a giant eagle in Gotham wreaking havoc.", he said. "It was seen headed in the direction of the downtown business district about 10 minutes ago."

    "We'll be right there.", Jayna promised. "We know its targets."

    Mere minutes later, the twins returned to Gotham, and found the eagle headed toward the roof of the aerobics studio.

    "I was right!", Jayna cried. "She's after Jodi & Jessie!"

    "And if she thinks she can frame you again, super-sis, she's off base. She's too big to be you!", Zan replied.

    "We can use that to our advantage, brother!"

    However, unbeknownst to the twins, Erik was nearby, trying to get Denise's attention, but to no avail.

    "I cannot let them capture Denise. I have to stop them.", he thought to himself. He began to chant a tribal incantation of some kind, but Jayna caught sight of him out of the corner of her eye.

    "I see Redhawk, dressed in a tribal robe. I can't read lips, but he's definitely up to something."

    Suddenly, the clouds rolled toward the twins, as the skies grew dark. Meanwhile, Erik had left a flank uncovered, which someone else exploited.

    "Excuse me, chief, but the weather bureau would like to talk to you!"

    Erik turned, and walked right into a right hook from Jimmy Olsen. Redhawk collapsed to the ground, unconscious. Abruptly, the clouds reverted to normal, just as Denise was alighting on the roof of the studio. Zan morphed into a storm cloud, and blocked Denise from landing.

    Jayna, now wearing the shape of a pterodactyl, grabbed Denise with her talons and led her to the outskirts of town, with Zan trailing. Minutes later, Denise collapsed to the ground, and reverted to her human form. The twins deactivated their powers, and Jayna took the necklace off Denise's neck.

    "It's over.", she said. "No more innocent blood will be shed."

    Later, at police headquarters, Denise confessed, and claimed she knew the twins' true identities. She claimed that Lew Watson was her boyfriend before Joanna ever entered the picture, and that Lew left her for Joanna. Convienently, John & Joanna, accompanied by Jessie, appeared to refute Denise's claims.

    "That's not what we heard.", Jessie said.

    "When Lew & I began dating,", Joanna added, "he said he hadn't dated anyone in about 2 years, and that he had rejected you right from the go. Said you were using him to make the guy you were really seeing at the time jealous. As I recall, Tommy Drake didn't last very long at Gotham High after that."

    "How would you know? You never met Tommy. You didn't know him like I did."

    "On the contrary. Tommy showed John & I around our first day at school. I was interested, but he said he was seeing someone at the time, so I left it at that. Unfortunately, he was picked up for arson a month later, and expelled from school. When Lew asked me out to a freshman mixer right before the holidays, I didn't hesitate and said yes. That got things started for the next 4 1/2 years."

    "Unfortunately, both Tommy & Lew are gone now,", John said, "and you've lived with that guilt all this time."

    "Erik was the first man who really understood me.", Denise replied. "I thought Tommy did, but he had issues. Yes, I used Lew, like I used Tommy. Like I used every boy I came across. And what does it get me?"

    "Prison.", Harvey Bullock put in. "You're way overdue."
    ======================================
    The necklace was returned to the reservation a few days later. There, Jayna was introduced to Walking Eagle, a shapeshifter like her, except for one thing.

    "I only turn into an eagle.", he said, "And when I do, I can't talk. I wish I could learn how."

    "Our shaman can help you there.", Apache Chief said. "Plus, Jayna has learned how to communicate with the animal kingdom over time."

    "A lifetime ago, I would've been willing to accept a date with you.", Walking Eagle told Jayna, "But today, I am married with children of my own. I am content to remain here on the reservation."

    "I understand.", Jayna replied. "Had we met, say, 10 years ago, maybe things are different."
    ======================================
    Back in Gotham City, Joanna returned to the studio, only to find Jodi had a note waiting for her.

    "I'm afraid it's not over yet, my friend.", Jodi said. "Take a look at this."

    Joanna studied the note. The anonymous author claimed he or she had evidence that would expose her dual identity once and for all.

    "I wonder if Denise & Erik had planned this in advance.", she said.

    "I don't think so.", Jodi replied. "With Denise now in jail, and Kyle & Cameron dead, I can't think of anyone else who'd try a stunt like this."
    ======================================
    With the class reunion days away, can the twins continue to conceal their secrets? Find out in chapter 5.
     
  7. Nickle98499

    Nickle98499 Member

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    Sounds good; I already noticed you posted the next chapter of the story and I already got a chance to read it as well.

    Very good work as usual.

    Sent from my iPod touch using toonzone
     
  8. hobbyfan

    hobbyfan Well-Known Member

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    Chapter 5:

    Four days before the reunion, Joanna, Jessie, & Jodi went shopping. Erik Redhawk wasn't that far behind, trailing closely in his rental car.

    "It will soon be over, witch.", he said to himself. "You will suffer as I have for all eternity."

    In the store, Joanna was trying on a white lace dress. Jessie seemed to have an idea why.

    "Don't tell me you asked Jimmy to be your escort. Shouldn't you have tried to get Brad to go with you?", she asked.

    "Brad & I split up last night.", Joanna replied softly. "Seems he was using me to make a college classmate jealous. I should've known better."

    "Things happen, Jo. We've all been there.", Jodi put in. "Carl & I had our struggles early on, believe it or not."

    A short time later, at the studio, the phone rang. Jodi answered on the 2nd ring. She then handed the phone to Joanna.

    "It's for you. Sounds like trouble."

    I'll take it in the office, if you don't mind.", Joanna replied.

    "No prob. Go right ahead."

    In the office, Joanna picked up the party line.

    "Hello?"

    "I'm sure you got my note. If you and your brother are at the reunion on Friday night, it'll be all over for you. I promise you that."

    "I suppose you'll try blackmail next? Been there."

    "Funny. Real funny. If you don't want your secret revealed to the entire class, I suggest you alert your brother and pull out of the reunion on Friday night. Your career will end then."

    The caller hung up, but Joanna had a satisfied smile on her face.

    "Thanks, Erik. You couldn't have screwed this up more if you tried."
    ================================================
    Meanwhile, at the Daily Planet, Jimmy Olsen received an unlikely visitor.

    "May I help you?", he asked.

    "Mr. Olsen? My name is Meggan. I believe I can help your ex-wife put my half-brother out of business for good.", the woman replied.

    "I'm about to head out to lunch. Care to join me? I know a place where we can discuss this privately."
    ==================================
    Four nights later, Gotham City High School's gym was turned into a large banquet hall. Joanna arrived with Marvin White on her arm, as Jimmy had told her he had to back out, but would have a little surprise for her later. Marvin had stood in for Jimmy 5 years earlier as well, but he knew well the trouble Joanna was going through.

    "Am I supposed to be looking out for someone?", he asked.

    "Just an uninvited guest.", Joanna replied. "I didn't bring either of my costumes, and I have no intention of caving in to blackmail."

    "I understand."

    As the night progressed, Erik, wearing heavy makeup and looking 10 years younger, arrived, passing himself off as a reporter for a national magazine. However, Joanna kept her distance. Jessie could see her best friend was a little worried.

    "He's here, isn't he?", she asked.

    "Yes. He's trying to look younger, but the makeup is already fading. His deception isn't working.", Joanna replied.

    "Jodi's enacting emergency plans now, based on what we talked about last night at the studio. We're all set."

    However, Erik's eyes finally locked onto Joanna, and he approached her menacingly.

    "You didn't heed my warning, Ms. Fleming. I guess you're more selfish than I thought.", he said.

    "Oh? Care to turn around and see who's walking in the door now?"

    Erik turned, and to his stunned surprise, the Wonder Twins made a surprise appearance. Jodi, the class valedectorian, had "invited" them to appear. That was the "emergency plan" Jessie was referring to.

    "No!! This is some sort of trick!", Erik cried.

    "You overplayed your hand, Erik.", Joanna replied. "Too many witnesses saw you following me the other day. I could have you run for aggravated stalking."

    Erik backed off as security entered the room. Joanna was right. He had gone too far and too public with his plans.

    "I will win this after all.", he whispered as he was led away. "You'll know."

    As the party broke up, no one noticed the Twins had left. They were never really there in the first place. "Jayna" was really Zatanna the magician, who assumed her friend's form via a spell, but couldn't resist wearing her signature fishnet stockings. "Zan" was just a magical construct. The next day, Zatanna and the twins met at the Hall of Justice.

    "Thanks for helping out.", Zan said, impulsively kissing Zatanna on the cheek.

    "You're quite welcome, handsome.", Zatanna cooed, in full flirt mode. "You wouldn't happen to be in the market for a girlfriend these days, would you?"

    "No, I'm already spoken for."

    "Um, Zatanna, what of Erik?", Jayna asked.

    "Apache Chief has met with the tribal council back in Arizona. Redhawk will be charged with harassment in Gotham, and conspiracy to commit murder, since he collaborated with your classmate Denise. There's one more surprise."

    Jimmy & Meggan arrived. Meggan was starstruck, understandably. Jimmy said they'd have been there last night, but Jimmy was busy on another story, and, rather than confide in Meggan, he contacted Zatanna.

    "I realize now I made a mistake listening to Erik all those years ago.", Meggan said. "I did my time, and I distanced myself from him. He forgets I turned state's evidence against him at the trial."

    "So that explains why he turned his attention to Denise. They had a common bond, and, to an extent, so did Erik & Kyle. Two of a kind. Unrepentant rogues.", Jayna replied.

    "Erik's listened to the wrong people all his life. He won't listen to his tribal elders or common sense. Prison won't do him much good."

    "You just never know."
    ========================================
    Two nights later, the twins answered a call for help, but after activating their powers, Jayna called for the "Shape of an eagle!", as she did so many times. Instead of changing, however, she collapsed to the ground in agony, and watched as the eagle emerged from within.

    "By the silver seas!", she cried. "That's not supposed to happen!!"

    "But it has.", the eagle hissed, in Jayna's own voice. "And it will be your doom, as foretold!!"
    ====================================
    Jupiters! You didn't see that coming, did you? What has Erik done this time?
     
  9. hobbyfan

    hobbyfan Well-Known Member

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    Chapter 6:

    Realizing his sister was in trouble, Zan instinctively deactivated, thinking that would make the eagle disappear. No go. In the distance, he spotted Erik, who had been released on bond. Once again dressed in the robes of a native shaman, Erik was in the midst of a tribal chant. On a rooftop not far away were Night Phantom and Apache Chief.

    "You were right to ask for my help.", he said. "Before extradition papers could be issued, Erik had made bail. He will sense my presence, so it is up to you."

    "What can I do?", Phantom asked.

    "That rock. Throw it as hard as you can toward Erik. If he is knocked out, the eagle will vanish, and Jayna will have control of her powers again."

    The Phantom found the biggest rock she could hold. She took aim, and threw the stone right at Erik's head. A direct hit, and the evil shaman fell unconscious. As Apache Chief had surmised, the magically controlled eagle disappeared.

    "Looks like we had backup, sis.", Zan said.

    "But it won't be enough, alien.", said a voice. Jayna turned, and found Helen Watson, Lew's mom, with a rifle pointed right at her and Zan.

    "Mrs. Watson? You're responsible for this?", Zan asked.

    "Six and a half years I've waited for this moment. My son was taken from me, and you kids had everything to do with it!!", Helen cried, as she loaded the rifle.

    "You're making a big mistake!", Jayna pleaded. "We were nowhere near the scene when Lew died!"

    "A madman killed him, took his place, then tried to kill us.", Zan recalled. "When he failed, he took his own life. If you kill us, you're betraying Lew's spirit. This is not what he would've wanted."

    On the ground, Night Phantom found a talisman with a piece of Lew's clothing, and Helen's DNA. Seeing her friends in danger anew, she sought advice from Apache Chief.

    "She is under a different spell that Erik created, tied to this talisman.", he said, tearing away the cloth. "Take the talisman, and throw it into the incinerator! Quickly!"

    Phantom did as she was told. Once the talisman fell into the incinerator, Helen fell to her knees, and dropped the rifle before she could fire. Minutes later, she awoke, uncertain of her surroundings. By then, the twins had vanished, and Helen found herself at police headquarters with Erik.

    "How did I get here?", she asked.

    "Apache Chief brought you here, ma'am.", Harvey Bullock replied. "Said you'd been in some sort of hypnotic trance for some time."

    "There are things I don't remember, since the divorce. My son's been gone six and a half years, and that man...", Helen said, pointing at Erik, "He said he could help me find who he said were Lew's real killers."

    "Redhawk was lying.", Commissioner Gordon said. "The murder of your son was solved and closed long ago. Redhawk used you and his now-ex-girlfriend to push an agenda that started with someone else."

    At the same time, at the Hall of Justice, the twins, Apache Chief, and Night Phantom had reached the same conclusion.

    "Kyle Westbrook was involved in this before he died.", Jayna said. "He was the one who sent Denise to bring Redhawk in, using her jealousy to his advantage."

    "And she carried on his vendetta against us.", Zan added. "But with Kyle dead, and Denise, ah, repenting, it should be all over."

    "It is over.", Apache Chief replied. "Denise is turning state's evidence against Redhawk, as Meggan had done years before. Mrs. Watson, I believe, will also testify against him."
    ================================================
    Four months later, Joanna received a package, with no return address. It was from Helen Watson, who was now living in California.

    "I ask you to forgive me for what happened.", Helen wrote. "I found Lew's diary, which is enclosed. He had discerned your secret, but kept his own counsel, because he was afraid something would happen if he confided in you or anyone else. He loved you so much, in both of your identities, that, in the end, he sacrificed himself to save you. In the end, you were right. You had nothing to do with what happened to Lew and his wife. He felt it was best that you & he would not marry, with the knowledge he had making him a target."

    Later that night, as Jayna, and wearing the same funeral dress she wore six and a half years earlier, Joanna returned to the cemetery with Zan & Jessie. She laid roses on Lew's grave.

    "I am so sorry, Lew. I had no idea.", she said quietly, holding back the tears. "But, now, your soul should be at peace, once and for all. You've been avenged twice over. I will always love you."
    ================================================
    Erik Redhawk was extradited back to Arizona to face charges there, then was returned to Gotham for trial. However, Redhawk attempted to escape, and was killed in a shootout with police.

    The following summer, the twins & Jessie traveled to Arizona on vacation. John & Jessie were married on August 1, 1992, and settled in Glendale. Jessie gave up her interest in the aerobics studio to Joanna, who now would be partners with Jodi, to keep the J & J name going. Unfortunately, J & J's Aerobics Center went out of business for good on January 1, 1993, by mutual consent. Jodi & Carl moved back to North Carolina with their kids, leaving Joanna all alone. Night Phantom had been retired once and for all with Jodi & Jessie gone, but it would be some time before Joanna would be reunited with her brother.

    The end.
     
    #9 hobbyfan, Mar 1, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 2, 2015

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