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 N Verraaier se hartseer
Overhead floodlights were switched on in the F.R.S.A arena to reveal Wonder Woman still lying face down in the gravel where she had been whipped into unconsciousness. The Lost Siren stood guard beside her. The stand now empty; the pumped-up audience had been led to the conference room to watch a film on the supposedly charitable works of the F.R.S.A.
A head guardsman came through the far gate. Unable to recognise Serena Rocca from under her mask, he reported his findings directly to Osinov, who casually languished at a table, on the viewing platform with Dood.
“Sir, we’ve conducted a thorough search of the woods, surrounding the perimeter. We haven’t been able to locate Diana Prince – but we have reason to believe she escaped. Part of the electrified fence has been ripped open – a person could easily have past.”
“Alright, search the rest of the grounds, just in case,” Osinov ordered, ushering the guard away with his hand, “And be sure to seal the perimeter!”
A solemn, solitary figure leaned over the banister to Osinov’s left.
“Mr Denton,” Osinov called, “You should be aware, at this point in time, I have no proof that Diana Prince is Wonder Woman, like you say. In fact, the evidence suggests she is not.”
A sombre Tex turned to the sitters at the table, “Yeah, well, maybe I got it wrong – I was a long way off. Maybe Wonder Woman was there all along?”
“So where does this leave our deal, hey, Mr Denton?”
After brief contemplation, Denton rakishly grinned, “Look, I said I’d deliver you Diana Prince and Wonder Woman in exchange for the arms I owe Kimura.”
He pointed at the stricken heroine, “Wonder Woman’s over there. Now, it’s not my fault if you’ve lost Diana Prince.”
Osinov mulled it over, and seemed impressed by Denton’s logic, “You’re quite right, of course – and must be keen to be on your way. My men will assist you with the loading.”
The pilot took one last prolonged glance at Wonder Woman, which was keenly observed by Osinov.
“Goodbye, Mr Denton,” he said.
Once a guard had led Denton away, Dood was quick to give his assessment on the Lost Siren performance, “Compared to what we’ve witnessed here, tonight, my elephant man steroids are in their infancy.”
“Da, this gives us much to consider, my friend,” Osinov pondered, “If we gained Hives’ formula and manufacture it ourselves, we could build a whole army of meta-humans stronger than Wonder Woman.”
“Ja, but what’s her price? I don’t trust her.”
“It’s interesting,” Osinov divulged, “No money has yet been demanded. She says all she wants is Wonder Woman burnt at the stake – and also her girdle. Our movement has long believed Wonder Woman’s belt holds a power of its own, but why waste time on such a notion, when we could have an army of soldiers as strong as the Lost Siren?”
“Ja, I raise my glass to the prospect,” agreed Dood, swigging his beer.
The far gates opened again, and Magoro entered, leading the Xhosa tribe into the arena. He had officially given an unofficial assurance to them that there would be no prosecutions, following Wonder Woman’s execution. As he said, it was their ancestral duty to burn a witch at the stake and rid the earth of such evil souls.
In accordance with ceremonial traditions, the Xhosa women were all topless but for red clay paint covering their nipples. They wore beaded skirts. However, it was the men whom really stood out, painted head to toe, in white clay, with only a codpiece for their modesty. In the hazy darkness, it would be easy to mistake them for otherworldly skeletons brought back to life. Some held burning lanterns, others, spears or poles.
Reporting to Osinov, Magoro was pleased to inform, “The Xhosa elders would like to invite the great white boer – and his associates – to witness the execution of the witch known as Wonder Woman.”
“Excellent!” Osinov replied, “Tell the elders I would be honoured to join them for this most important duty. As a mark of good will and respect, I shall provide cattle for the slaughter.”
Four men arrived carrying a freshly cut, human-sized, tree trunk. Magoro pointed out the witch. The tribesmen picked Wonder Woman up and placed her lying back against the log. They were about to use rope to tie her hands and feet to the trunk, when the Lost Siren insisted on them using Wonder Woman’s lasso for the purpose. Diana’s hands were knotted together above her head, wrapped around the trunk, and down, binding her ankles together in a similar fashion around the tree stump. The Xhosa led an awakening Wonder Woman away on the trunk, carried by the same four tribesmen.
“That’s it, I’m done,” announced the Lost Siren to Osinov.
“You prefer not to watch her execution?”
“I have no need to see that – I have ensured she won’t escape.”
“Good,” Osinov concluded, “Then, you have one last duty to perform – the American pilot is expecting to leave – make sure he never does, da?”
Serena thought about it, “All right, he does know too much.”
“Indeed,” Osinov added, “After it is done, Dood will need to give you one final injection before you leave.”
“What for? Why wasn’t I told this earlier?”
Dood spoke up, “It’s a precautionary stabiliser for the longevity of your condition.”
“All right, then, but remember I’m not your guinea pig.”
“Oh, and Serena, one more thing” Osinov said, as she was about to go inside, “Hand over Wonder Woman’s belt, da?”
“But it’s mine – my prize!”
“We merely want to examine it,” Osinov disingenuously assured, “You can have it back later.”
“As you wish,” she reluctantly conceded, leaving the mysterious girdle on their table.
In the arms depot, Denton could hardly believe his luck; a couple of guards dutifully collected together the ammunition he requested and ticked off his list. They left to load it aboard the Twin Otter. Of course, Tex strongly suspected, sometime between Cape Town and Tokyo, the whole scheme would blow up in his face – he just didn’t know when. He wouldn’t have long to wait…
“It’s a shame you’ve seen me,” said the Lost Siren, leaning in the door frame of the armoury, “I could have snapped your neck before you were even aware of it.”
Denton shrugged, “Yeah, I feel I’ve really missed out.”
Rocca closed them inside the room.
His fingers brushing over the tips of AK-47 rifles in their stands. He hadn’t missed the irony of being surrounded by so many lethal weapons in one place – and all of them useless to him – for the Siren could kill him in a heartbeat, faster than he could arm any of them. He knew from first-hand experience how lethal Rocca could be, even before she had mysteriously acquired her incredible new strength. No, physical violence against his assassin was useless, the only way Denton would keep breathing was by consent.
“Just answer me this,” he said, impassively, “Have you had your last injection yet?”
Serena was surprised, “eh? What do you know about that?”
“Osinov must have thought with the noise of the crowd, I wouldn’t overhear him order Dood to put you out of action forever.”
“Why should I believe some double-crossing mercenary, bartering for his life?”
“Good point,” Denton smartly said, “Look at it this way, Dood already tricked you once today with the chloroform in the whip – so, I say, why trust him again?”
“Fine,” she huffed, “But none of this should prevent me from killing you – after all, I don’t want to arouse suspicion.”
“There’s one virtuous reason to keep me alive – I want you to help me rescue Wonder Woman.”
“huh? Have you lost your mind?”
“No way, I’m appealing to your competitive instinct,” Denton said with sudden vigour, “We both know you didn’t beat Wonder Woman, fairly, the way you would have liked to have done. Maybe you would have won – or perhaps she would have pulled something out of the bag and beat you – it was pretty close from where I was standing.”
“I WOULD HAVE WON!”
“Yeah, sure, but like Wonder Woman said, talk’s cheap, sweet cheeks!”
There was no question Tex was a high stakes gambler who never quite knew when to quit while he was ahead. Really a smart and capable man – if it were not for this impulse – he’d likely own a corporate airline by now. Such reckless abandonment risked Denton’s life on several past occasions, yet he still hadn’t learnt this painful lesson; so when the Lost Siren had him by the throat, squeezing the very life out of his being with one firm hand, he shouldn’t have been at all surprised. Desperately flapping around off the wall, all resistance was useless. Denton’s complexion paled and the struggle became a docile one – then suddenly stopping all together – when he slumped to the floor.
“Okay,” Serena agreed, “I will help.”
Next time: 07 N Diel se Hart