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.
06 The Tea Party
Bassano’s private laboratory was, evidently, once two separate rooms. In contrast to the airy clinical operating theatre, shrouded by a curtain, at the far end, most of the room was decorated in a rich red, including the carpet with a golden hexagram sewn into the centre. The same symbol on a black canvass, hung on the wall; on the other side, a protruding stuffed goat head.
Between the opulent décor sat Jock Harrison, on a grand dark sofa, bawling his eyes out. Doctor Bassano and Chad Bailey emerged from behind the curtain.
“Gosh, Wonder Woman!” Bailey huffed, “Who invited you?”
“Allow me to attend to her,” said Bassano, “You finish the job.”
“Sure, but how am I expected to work with all these distractions?” he protested, disappearing back behind the curtain.
“Quite the gathering of minds, I see,” Diana mocked, consciously glancing at the suits either side of her, “At least, those of us who have them.”
“You’re right of course, Wonder Woman,” agreed Bassano with a lopsided grin, “They possess even less intelligence than blubbering Harrison – imagine that? They’re mere replicas whose every move is determined by which way the wind blows, so to speak. But a beautiful woman, such as you, shouldn’t be preoccupied by these nonentities.”
He was at his oily best. Diana relaxed with one hand on her hip, literally, waiting for the punchline.
Bassano’s voice deepened with intensity, “Behind this curtain is my greatest accomplishment – the truly living dead – capable of independent and intelligent thought.”
The curtain was swung open by Chad Bailey, in temper, revealing a woman lying on the operating table in a tight green bodysuit with matching boots. There was a wealth of technological medical equipment obscuring her head from view.
“Hey, don’t forget my part in all of this!” complained Chad, “I’m the one whose genius proposed a silicon skull capable of charging the neurons in a stiff’s brain. Your papier-mâché zombies are nothing but a cheap trick, Doctor Bassano!”
“I WOULDN’T CALL MAKING WORKING HUMAN REPLICAS A CHEAP TRICK, YOU INSUFFERABLE LITTLE NERD!” retorted an enraged Bassano, “Don’t forget, without my synthetic blood compound pumping around her veins, she will be completely immobile.”
“By ‘she’, I assume you mean the late Petra Maki who was taken from the morgue?” intervened Wonder Woman, freely, inspecting the former lab technician’s body on the operating table.
Petra’s open eyes were as lifeless as the moment the bullet ripped through the middle of her forehead; the hole still clearly visible. A reflective silver helmet had been fitted around her head, as a cast, for Chad Bailey’s silicon skull, underneath. Among the medical machinery that hung around Petra, Diana noted the familiar green blood compound draining from a drip bag.
“See her twitching, Wonder Woman, in a few short minutes we will meet the world’s first cyborg-zombie,” revealed an excited Chad.
“So, Wonder Woman, tell me how you are wholly impressed with us reviving the dead – something, I believe, not even you can do, for all your gifts,” tussled Bassano.
“Come off it, Bassano,” Diana quickly countered, “Don’t you think it’s time you let Chad in on what you’re really doing and why this laboratory resembles a shrine to the devil?”
Just in time, Wonder Woman sensed a shimmer of motion across the floor, in the rush of a gust, caught the axe wielding arm that would have, laterally, beheaded her. She swung the assassin in front of her to see Martin Larry camouflaged, from head to toe, in the same rich red paint as the walls. He was hissing, madly, at Wonder Woman, like a serpent.
“Chad, meet your first ever demon – appropriately in red – otherwise known as Cardinal Mendo,” revealed Diana.
“This malevolent entity hitchhiked his way to Earth, on a rocket, which crash-landed in Japan,” she explained, “But in order to prosper, he needed a human host who just happened to be poor Warrant Officer Larry, who had been shot dead by a sniper. Realizing the potential of his possession, Mendo allowed himself to be transported to America, in a coffin, where he, then, persuaded an average-at-best scientist into believing he could go down in history for bringing the dead back to life – I’m talking about you, Bassano.”
The doctor ruffled his tie in irritated embarrassment. Chad listened and stared, in shock, at the sight of Wonder Woman wrapping her lasso around the snapping red demon. This precipitated the suited guards, whom had stood with such an imposing presence over proceedings, to collapse into a limp heap. Free of his captors, Jock joined the others at the operating table.
“Bassano set up the Cryonic Research Foundation to learn from Mendo, the secrets of making zombie clones of real people. Only, no matter how realistic were their designs, possession was still needed to bring these zombies to life.”
Wonder Woman turned to Bailey, “Chad, your ingenious silicon skull was the solution – and Petra Maki is the prototype. If Mendo could create zombies capable of independent thought, they could infiltrate high offices in the United States, in order to reign terror down on the world – this is why it must end here.”
“AAAAHHHH!” suddenly screeched Petra in startled awareness.
She was bound down to the operating table by leather straps, but her hands were free to seize Harrison’s neck.
“I remember you, boyfriend” she squealed, “leading me to my death!”
“It’s working,” Bassano applauded, “She’s recalling her memories.”
Wonder Woman filed away her hissing captive up one corner, with one hand, and broke Petra’s hold on Harrison with the other.
In frustration, Petra screamed again, but this time excreted a toxin from the bullet hole in her forehead. A mint green mist expanded across the laboratory. Immersed in the fervent vapours, Jock gagged, dropping to the floor.
“Neurotoxins from the demonic blood,” warned a frightened Bassano, “to paralyze the prey and hypnotize.”
“GET OUT, NOW!” ordered Wonder Woman.
Bassano and Bailey did as they were told. Aware that Petra was nearly loose from her binds, Diana knelt to lift stricken Harrison, but the undead was upon her, Maki’s cold stony grip pressing down upon Diana’s hands. Mindful that Petra’s visible frustration might cause a second toxin excretion from her bullet hole, Wonder Woman quickly released herself from the struggle. The undead found herself, head first, off the operating table on to the floor. Bailey’s silicon skull was delicate, but well protected by the fitted helmet, he had scolded on to Petra’s skull.
With demonic vapours beginning to have some effect, Wonder Woman lost her footing as she rose to her feet, getting driven back against the wall by the cyborg-zombie. Her clammy cold hands pinned Diana’s wrists above her drooping head. Disorientated and increasingly weak, Wonder Woman’s rapid deterioration surprised both of them.
Petra’s moist, translucently green, face pushed up against Diana’s, “You beat me when I was human – I’ve just learnt,” she sniggered, “But my next contraction will make you mine. You see, babe, I just can’t stop blowing my brains out.”
The tips of Diana’s exquisitely manicured fingernails could just feel the fur of the goat head on the wall. Facing the next puff of demonic toxins, at any moment, Wonder Woman concentrated all her remaining reserves on forcing the stuffed animal down.
“Try this on for size,” Wonder Woman rapped, dumping the goat over Petra’s head, just at the moment of toxic excretion.
“In need of some fresh air?” said a rejuvenated Diana, “Allow me …”
Vigorously swinging the zombie around by the arm, Wonder Woman smashed Petra out the window on to the campus. As she was about to follow her, Diana abruptly felt the ungainly hands of Jock Harrison fasten tight around her waist. He raised Wonder Woman off her feet, tossing her from side to side, in a crazed, zombie induced hypnotic rage. Ordinarily, Wonder Woman could have shrugged the deranged footballer off, but her painful sluggish limbs kept her in his grip. It took the cry of a man outside for Wonder Woman to spring her legs off the wall, tipping them both backwards over the operating table. An elbow to the abdomen and she was free.
“I’m sorry about this, Jock,” Wonder Woman sincerely said as her fist swept diagonally across his face, leaving the fevered footballer, horizontally, sprawled over the operating table.
To Diana’s regret, the remains of Martin Larry had shrivelled up like a walnut – meaning Mendo had vacated the deceased body to escape – but there was nothing she could do but collect her lasso.
It looked like Mendo’s dramatic storm had blown over, for Wonder Woman greeted Captain Macintosh, attending to the stricken Doctor Bassano, in the lukewarm evening sun.
“Did you see what happened?” asked Wonder Woman, kneeling at the scene.
“A young woman in a green bodysuit hoisted him into the air, with her bare hands, and chucked him ten feet my way,” told Macintosh, “She ran off down that way.”
“What are you doing here, Roger?”
“Looking for Agent Prince – I thought she might be in trouble, after I discovered Bassano’s plans for a cyborg.”
“She’s fine and gone to get help.”
Macintosh noticed Wonder Woman’s hand was quivering, “But you’re not, are you?”
Diana got up to go, “Right now, I have to be – keep an eye on him.”
“Wonder Woman, if you’re going after her, you should know the silicon skull is fitted with a self-destruct mechanism.”
From Oxford Street, Wonder Woman could see the large oak doors to Annenberg Hall had been broken open. Although the fresh air cleared Diana’s disorientation, she was still suffering excruciating joint pain, as well as indiscriminate muscle spasms, on entering the gothic hall.
“Looking for me, Wonder Woman?” hollered the demonic Petra Maki.
Diana turned behind herself to see Petra poised, on the high balcony, overlooking the large splendid hall.
“I bring you bad news,” said Wonder Woman, “You’re about to expire.”
“Been there, done that – I have no fear of death – but can you say the same?” she rebuffed, climbing the railing and jumping across to the nearest chandelier. “Come to think of it, you don’t look too well, yourself. You must be going down with something evil!”
“You first!” said Wonder Woman, flicking her tiara upwards, accurately slicing through the holdings and plunging the chandelier, all in one flight.
Landing on a large dining table, the shattering chandelier echoed through the great hall. To Diana’s disappointment, the demonic Maki had simply skipped across to the next one.
“You’ll have to do better than that, bitch!” she ridiculed.
Fighting back the cutting contractions in her thighs, Wonder Woman joined Petra upon the chandelier, knowing fore well the potential consequences.
“I do like to rise to the challenge,” Diana said, sportingly.
In a change of tone, Petra growled, “THEN YOU’LL ENJOY THIS ONE!”
The venomous zombie unleashed an almighty excretion out of her forehead; a mounting pressure that she had been suppressing for some time. Crossing her bracelets would have been Diana’s only chance, but in such close proximity, and with agonizing spasms flinching down her arms, it was too late. Powdery olive coloured spores spurted all over Wonder Woman, burning like needle pricks on her exposed flesh.
Then, Maki’s single sucker punch to the jaw left Diana dangling upside-down, only hanging on by hooking her calves around the extended arms of the chandelier.
“It’s your choice Wonder Woman,” Petra sweetly said, “Give up, or give into your demons?”
Petra’s words were distant: Diana’s vision blurry, ferociously spinning; the agony so pervasive, it became numbing. Winged demons – real or imagined – swept up, down, and around the hall awaiting their prey. She felt Petra’s heavy presence on her calves, manically laughing, and sickly unzipping her red and white boots.
Instinctively, Wonder Woman reached for any bearing that might save her from the high fall. She swung forwards and caught a black cable where the first chandelier had fallen. On returning, Wonder Woman could just make out Petra’s star bright silver helmet from the shadows. Reaching up through the pain, she fused the live cable on to Maki’s helmet. The electrical charge fried the cyborg-zombie in an instant. Both of them came careering down below.
Very little of Petra Maki’s brain survived the electrocution, but Chad Bailey wanted to make sure, anyway, detonating his silicon skull when he witnessed his macabre experiment lying, motionlessly, between two dining tables.
On a near table, Wonder Woman lay, in a semi-conscious state, on her back; her normally flawless skin inflamed in blisters; her right boot dangling off her foot and over the end of the table. A sliver of perverse excitement raced through Bailey’s mind, approaching his idol in trepidation.
“Gosh, so you can be defeated,” he whispered, “I have the brains to acquire anything I desire in the world – it would seem even you, Wonder Woman.”
“PUT YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR!”
The cops and the university’s security raided the hall with Captain Macintosh in tow.
“Get away from her, son,” ordered Macintosh, “You have a lot of questions to answer.”
The police arrested Bailey, while the captain attended to Wonder Woman.
“Wonder Woman, can you hear me? I’ll get you to hospital.”
“No-no hospital, Roger,” she weakly responded, “Help me to the car, please.”
He zipped up her boots and hoisted her right arm around his neck. The pain of movement still dug deep for Diana. Mercifully, Macintosh had parked the Corvette in the same street.
“I haven’t been able to locate Agent Prince,” he said, “Are you going to be okay?”
Wonder Woman feverishly chuckled, “Its Diana!”
Macintosh drove them to Boston Medical Center where he, loyally, sat monitoring Wonder Woman’s condition.
In the throes of the infernal fever, restless and perspiring, Diana had become delirious. “Mother… Themyscira… Home’s so distant in time… Paradise lost… Hera, give me strength…” she sporadically sleep-talked.
In the early hours, her fever finally broke. She woke to Roger gently dabbing her brows with a wet towel.
“Oh, how long I have I been out?”
“Long enough,” Roger carefully answered.
She bashfully smiled, “I remember talking – what was I saying?”
“Not a lot I could understand – mostly about your mother, I think,” he informed.
“Mother?” she thoughtfully replayed, opening the door with revived spirit.
“Thank you for all you’ve done, Roger – I won’t forget this,” and then she was gone.
In a slum bar, down town, Mac Raisanen found himself without a drink.
“No more,” the manager told him, “Not without showing me the cash first.”
“Come on, man, I’ve lost my job – the Cryonic Research Foundation burnt to the ground!” Mac whined.
“Go home, Mac, you have bigger debts to pay, remember?”
A keen-eyed, middle-aged man, in a check suit, had been listening to the conversation from the doorway. He brandished several dollars over the bar.
“Get him a drink,” he said, “My name is Dan Corbett from the American International News – you might recognize me … No? I hear you have quite the story to tell about the Wonder Woman phenomenon?”
Mac grinned, “Let’s talk money.”
Early morning, in West Roxbury, Special Agent O’Connell called in on Mrs Larry to inform her of the bad news concerning the reappearance of her deceased son.
“We don’t fully understand it, ma’am,” he admitted, sitting on the sofa, “But I have to report the person you thought was your son, in the video footage, was an imposter.”
The grey lady’s stony blue eyes took the news passively, “I find most puzzles are better solved over a cup of tea. Would you care to join me?”
“Yes, please, that would be good – but no sugar,” he politely replied.
“Oh,” she pulled a meek smile and disappeared into the kitchen. On returning, she placed the cup and saucer of tea with some biscuits on a small table next to O’Connell.
“I want to know as much as you can tell me,” she said.
Mrs Larry was about to sit down when there was a clatter from the back of the house, and before she had time to react, a golden line came looping around her.
“I wouldn’t drink the tea, if I were you,” advised Wonder Woman, with her beautiful complexion now fully restored, “I suspect you killed the real Mrs Larry, in the same way, when you were posing as her son.”
“What’s going on, Wonder Woman? She’s an old lady – take that rope off her,” protested O’Connell.
“This old lady happens to be the manifestation of Cardinal Mendo – a demon who wishes to take over America.”
Infuriated, like a snake ensnared in Wonder Woman’s lasso, the demon could hold back no longer, “CURSE YOUR WRETCHED SURVIVAL, WONDER WOMAN, AND CURSE THIS FRAIL BODY I’M STUCK IN!”
“Then, you know what to do,” Wonder Woman retorted.
O’Connell’s mouth dropped open, witnessing the wrinkles on Mrs Larry’s face multiply, fold and sink inside themselves, due to the fluid and tissues of her body rapidly decomposing. Her remains fell to the floor, shrunken back to the bone.
“What-what just happened?” O’Connell asked, nearly speechless.
Wonder Woman collected her lasso, “The cardinal vacated his host. Demons can’t fully possess the living, for long, so they prefer the dead. When I saw the warrant officer’s remains, I thought that was the last we’d hear of Mendo – then I recalled Mrs Larry arranged Bassano to have her son preserved in cryonics, which seemed very unlikely, indeed, to say the least.”
“Incredible – this is all too incredible – if this demon has vacated, where is he now?”
Wonder Woman considered the question for a moment, before saying, “Well, my guess is he’s still in this room, running around as a lower life form – a dead rat or even a spider. You see, Mendo could easily ride the wind to transfer between two bodies at a distance – but now he has nowhere to go, I advise you promptly encase this house in concrete, and fill in every gap, so that nothing gets in or out of this place again.”
Astonished, O’Connell could hardly believe what he was hearing, or had experienced, but after positively analyzing the tea for the most toxic concoction of poison, the house did become the infamous Tomb of Mendo. Locals would gossip about what the government did there, and children would scare one another into playing near the concrete block on Halloween, but none of them could ever really know why the hastily arranged structure encased the Larry residence.
Seeing Captain Macintosh off at the airport, Diana felt closer to Roger than she had to any man in a long time.
Roger ogled at her and cryptically said, “I’ve seen a lot of extraordinary things, on this mission, and I’m beginning to think you’re one of them.”
Diana smiled and touched his cheek with her palm, “Give my regards to Kay-I, Roger.”
What he knew, or didn’t know, was best left unsaid.
THANKS FOR READING!
STORY BY DECEIVER