Wonder Woman was created by Dr William Moulton Marston in 1941 and is the © copyright trademark of DC Comics. My Wonder Woman stories are only fan fiction and based, primarily, on the 1970s CBS TV show (albeit, updated to the present time of writing). However, any resources from adaptations and the comics may be utilised. All characters are entirely fictional. With the exception of Diana / Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor, these stories and characters are my own creations, unless otherwise stated. In my stories Wonder Woman is the only known superhero.
01 The Art of Diplomacy
The quest for immortality has always been worth dying for. Legend has it that Gilgamesh, the ancient Samarian King, thought immortality could be realised through word of mouth – well, he’s still being talked 1260 centuries later – therefore, in a manner of speaking, he succeeded. But the first emperor of China wasn’t quite so canny – Qin Shi Huang sought a medicinal solution and, twice, sent hundreds of his subjects to find the elusive elixir of life – he died from a mercury overdose at the hands of his physician. The ancient Egyptians, meanwhile, imagined embalming their corpses would immortalise the soul – only to be pillaged by a handful of Western archaeologists in the early twentieth century. All of which must be of cold comfort for modern day preservationists.
“Diana, what do you know about cryonics?” asked Steve Trevor, greeting Agent Prince in his I.A.D.C office.
“I believe it’s freezing the deceased until such a time when they can be brought back to life by future breakthroughs in medical science,”
“Correct – or at least that’s the conventional view,” Trevor, somewhat cryptically, confirmed.
“The conventional view?” queried Diana, curiously.
“Yep, according the Cryonic Research Foundation, such technology is available.”
“I doubt it, Steve.”
“Then you might be surprised by what you’re about to see.”
Trevor flicked a switch on his desk console, bringing down a large white projector screen; the room automatically darkened.
CCTV footage appeared of a man attempting to break into a house through some patio doors. He was clearly bear chested, but the high camera angle, obscured the man’s face. Then, another camera showed what appeared to be the same man walking around to the front of the building. He had what looked like a bullet wound on the left side of his chest. His face was now clearly visible.
Diana sat up and adjusted her spectacles, staring intently at the film.
“Prepare yourself for a shock, Diana,” warned Steve, “I don’t think you ever met him, but this is the same pilot who was, supposedly, shot dead in Japan.”
“Warrant Officer Larry,” uttered Diana, softly, “When was this taken?”
“Two days ago, at his Mother’s home in Boston,” Trevor confirmed.
“Then, I guess, I know where I’m going next, even if I’m unsure of whom or what I’m going to meet …”
One person Diana had to meet at Boston Logan International Airport would be a pleasant reunion. The upright, inherently calm, Captain Roger Macintosh wasn’t difficult to spot making his way to the exit.
“It’s good to see you, Diana,” greeted Macintosh, “Though, I never thought it would be this soon.”
“And with such an unusual business in hand,” added Diana, “We’ll talk on the way.”
“So, what do you make of it?” wondered Diana, as they cruised down the highway in her sleek black Corvette ZX1.
“I’m a rocket scientist, not a physician,” answered Macintosh in typical detached disdain.
“All right, then, what do you think in your very well qualified scientific opinion?”
“In my reasoned opinion, he’s got to be an imposter. When I identified him at the morgue, he was as lifeless as any man I had ever seen dead. What’s your take on it?”
“Oh, the same, but I’ve seen too many strange cases, in my time, to be certain,” she confessed.
They eventually arrived in West Roxbury, down a typical leafy suburban street. The Larry residence stood almost indistinguishable from the other white, wooden panelled exteriors, with the exception of the stars and stripes, on a flag pole, fluttering in the breeze.
“Okay, it looks like we’re here,” Diana said, turning the car into the drive.
“Remember, we need to be extra sensitive to Mrs Larry’s situation.”
“We or I?” Macintosh bluntly probed.
“Well, according to Will Durant, to say nothing, especially when speaking, is half the art of diplomacy,” she evasively answered.
“I practised that when I last met Hilary Larry at her son’s funeral,” he revealed.
“Thank you for coming, in person, Captain Macintosh,” greeted Mrs Larry, directing the visitors into the parlour.
It was an immaculately kept sitting room; everything exactly in place. They remained standing, if only to preserve the diagonal posture of the cushions proudly presented on the Chesterfield sofa suite.
“This is Diana Prince of the IADC,” Macintosh informed.
“Yes, I was expecting you, Miss Prince. Steve Trevor highly recommended you.”
“My condolences to you on the loss of your son, Mrs Larry,” Diana said with compassion.
“Thank you, my dear, but there’s really no need,” she replied, “And do call me Hilary.”
Hilary Larry was in her early sixties. She had keen blue eyes and a stern manner that couldn’t fail to engage the recipient; an ex-school teacher whose well-worn persona still served her well.
“You see, Miss Prince,” she continued, “After I lost my husband, I couldn’t bear the thought of living long enough to see the death of my dearest son, but knew his job as a pilot in the military increased the risk of such tragedy. The answer to my prays came when I met a brilliant doctor who offered me the hope that conventional medicine denied.”
“Ah, yes, Doctor Bassano, I would very much like to talk to him about his claims,” admitted Diana.
“Claims, Miss Prince?” questioned Mrs Larry, “You’ve seen the footage for yourself, I presume. My son has been brought back to life.”
“Then, where is he?” Diana inquired,
She faded a little, in response, and gestured across to the large framed picture of her son, “I believe my Martin’s lost, out there, somewhere, trying to make sense of it all. Amnesia is a likely explanation, according to Doctor Bassano. The good doctor is distraught at the thought of letting Martin go, like he did, but he bolted through the window due to shock.”
Diana tweaked her spectacles, “Hilary, our records have shown you transferred a sizeable amount of your bank balance to the Cryonics Research Foundation, yesterday morning. I think you should prepare yourself for the possibility that you are the victim of a cruel scam.”
“SCAM?” snarled Hilary, “What are you insinuating? Doctor Bassano is not only a genius, but a fine man, and a close confidante. GET OUT, both of you, I wish to hear no more.”
“Hilary, please, I only speak like I do for it’s too important to be dismissed.”
“It’s Mrs Larry to you – and you are dismissed!”
With the door slammed firmly shut after them. Macintosh inspected Diana’s ruffled expression.
“So that’s the art of diplomacy,” Macintosh glibly remarked, “What now?”
With a frown, Diana said, “We visit Dr Bassano.”
For Part 2: Click Here