Wonder Woman in Cape Town #7

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.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.

Xhosa Night

07 ‘N Duiwel se Hart

In the pitch black, finding the way to the Xhosa’s camp would have been difficult if it weren’t for the bellowing djembe drums, rhythmically, vibrating off Table Mountain. A return to the villa was ruled out as too risky by Serena; the guards would be suspicious to see Denton again. Fortunately, she knew another way out, which just happened to be the same exit as Denton had taken with Wonder Woman from the subterranean port.

They trampled through the undergrowth and overgrowth. Ploughing through woodland, in such darkness, it was hard to see objects right in front of them. Serena seemed to be fighting her way through, whereas for Tex – weighed down by ammunition – the spanking branches appeared to be attacking him. He did wonder why – when the Lost Siren had many times the greater strength – she had given him this task, alone, but on reflection, he was just grateful to be still breathing. A discussion on equality of the sexes wasn’t exactly his strong suit, anyway.

The rumbling of Xhosa chanting became plain but still indecipherable to non-native speakers. Their lanterns were alight in the next clearing. Over the far end were some straw huts where the drumming played. White clay painted tribesmen with spears danced around a centre bonfire. Nearest to them was an audience sitting on the ground; among them, Osinov, Dood, and Magoro.

“I want to hear what they’re saying,” said the Lost Siren.

Denton left his bulkier weaponry and followed Rocca. They hid behind the bark of a wild olive tree. They could just about listen in on the conversation between Dood and Osinov.

“I’ve been looking forward to this the most,” celebrated Dood, gulping another generous mouthful of beer.

“I said do not get inebriated,” Osinov reprimanded, “I still need you to verify Hives’ formula. By now, our guests in the conference room, should all be quietly asleep. First thing, tomorrow, you will try the formula out on these guinea pigs.”

“Fear not, Marat, my mind is still as sharp as a needle.”

“If that were true, I wouldn’t be relying on Goldman’s daughter to bring me what you’ve been trying to achieve for the past twenty years.”

Dood frowned, “I’m still not convinced of this.”

Osinov wasn’t hearing it, “But you’ve seen what the Lost Siren did to Wonder Woman.”

“Could have been the chloroform derivative,” Dood sceptically mumbled.

 

Basket of Shells

All at once the drumming ceased. The dancing tribesman kneeled to the ground and bowed their heads. A lady in a furry hat with hanging string pieces obscuring her face, and zebra skin cape wrapped around her, came forth. She held a decorative wooden walking stick with a human skull carved out of the handle.

“We’re in the presence of the diviner,” told Magoro, hesitantly, “She will determine whether Wonder Woman is a witch.”

“Relax,” Osinov said, “She is in my debt – just like you, General.”

Following the diviner was a procession of cattle for the slaughter. Four male bulls with enormous horns, brought along on leads by tribesmen handlers, who were armed with broad sweeping, machete-like, panga knives.

Standing still, the diviner shut her eyes and spoke in English, “I praise the gods! I praise the ancestors! Guide us, tonight, as we judge whether witchcraft has been at work.”

“AHHH!” gasped the diviner, holding the stick out in front of her, and slashing it through the air.

“Evil is present here – the uSathane is among us!” she told them, pointing her cane towards Osinov’s congregation, and making them temporarily uncomfortable, before sweeping it in the opposite direction.

“POW!” she puffed.

A centre pyre, piled high with castoffs, erupted into breathing flames, climbing high into the sky, and illuminating Wonder Woman hanging off the now vetical log she had been tied to by her own lasso.

The diviner approached the guests, carrying a straw basket. She stretched out her arms to show them it was empty.

Looking straight at Osinov, she asked, “What wicked deeds do thou so?”

She picked a handful of broken, dirty, bones and dropped them in the basket, “Ah, I see the chicken that lay the golden egg.”

Dood scoffed, “This is not Xhosa. She is a fraud.”

Osinov appeared more informed, “Hand over Wonder Woman’s belt.”

The doctor was confused, but did as he was told. Opening his medical case, he puffed, “IT’S GONE!”

“What?”

“I haven’t let this case out of my sight, Marat.”

“You’ve had your face in your beer all night!” snapped Osinov.

“No need to be alarmed, gentlemen,” the diviner reassured.

Puring shells into the basket and giving it a shake, the diviner, amazingly, lifted out the Golden Girdle of Gaea to the astonishment of the guests.

The diviner asked, “If we blink our eyes in order not to see a wicked person, how shall we be able to see a good person?”

She pulled the tied knot of her zebra cape, and it fell to the ground, revealing the diviner in a bovine skinned bikini top and traditional short skirt. Seemingly out of place was her black, matt finished, latex gloves and thigh high boots. Unlike her Xhosa counterparts, she had white dye on every part of her body.

Raising the gleaming girdle up above her head, the drumming resumed on cue, as the diviner began to twizzle her long gangly frame. From behind the dangling strings of her hat, the diviner’s face lit up with a devilish glee, as she gyrated her hips to the jungle beat. It was a surreal moment, watching the diviner salsa her way across the camp to settle Wonder Woman’s fate.

At the same time, two Xhosa men began to pull the wheel cart, containing the blazing pyre, forwards toward Wonder Woman.

Denton whispered, “Looks like they plan to tip the flames on Wonder Woman.”

“I’m going through the woods to get her,” Serena informed, “As soon as you see me, fire the flare guns along the camp – it will cause panic and confusion.”

“Right.”

WW Groggy Captured

The diviner was given a small pot of mixture and she, in turn, handed the girdle on a silver plate to a hefty Xhosa guard with a crooked mouth.

“Ah, let the earth’s herbs cleanse and release the spirit. This devil’s claw cocktail is to be ingested – and the witch inside will be cremated alive!”

The throbbing hand-patted beats escalated into a crescendo a climatic expectation, preparing for the final act. Lifting Diana’s chin with her gloved fingers, the diviner’s lips hovered over Wonder Woman’s.

In a whisper, she advised her, “Drink this, dear, or you’ll burn all the way to hell!” Pulling the sickliest smile, “This is my compassion – which is more than you gave my Laing, or my vater – or me.”

Like a suckling baby on a bottle, the diviner carefully began dribbling the mixture between Wonder Woman’s pristine lips. Eager to empty the whole pot, some of the grey liquid spilt off Diana’s chin, and ran down her chest into her bustier.

“Open your eyes, Wonder Woman,” she demanded, “I know you can hear me.”

Without delay or resistance, Diana’s glistening sea blue corneas were now burning brightly in the reflection of the oncoming inferno. Blood shot, but still magnificent in their splendour, with her pupils, astutely, focused on her tormentor.

“Ah, there she is,” softly spoke the diviner in anticipation for her next set of cunning. “How does it feel to obey your own lasso?”

Turning to the Xhosa, she shouted, “PREPARE FOR THE SLAUGHTER!”

A final drum roll began. The herdsmen raised their panga knives over the cattle. Two tribesmen wheeled the blazing cart within a few feet of Diana; the diviner stood aside.

Taking off her hat, the diviner taunted, “I shall be the last face you’ll ever see alive, Wonder Woman!”

Gripping her own lumpy nose, she plunged her fingers right therein and yanked it right off in her hand. Then, sticking her hands into the gaping hole, prized the sides of her face apart. Unveiled from her disguise, laughing in menacing rhapsody, was none other than Del Hives, aka, She-Devil, herself.

She screamed, “NOW, DIE WITCH!”

Bull in the darkness

The cattle reacted in terror; they started cavorting back and forth on their front and hind legs. Their handlers weren’t prepared for this simultaneous outburst and were caught off guard. A couple of beasts directly behind the cart broke away from their handlers and ram-raided the two tribesmen, who were about to tip the blazing pyre on Wonder Woman.

“No!” cursed She-Devil.

She tried to pull the wheel cart leaver, herself, but her hands were met by those of another on top. Hives turned to see the Lost Siren’s browbeating gaze glaring back at her. They stood down and faced one another.

“I created you,” Del told her, “I was the one who finally gave you the strength you always craved. Now help me destroy Wonder Woman for good and you, alone, will be the world most powerful human on the planet.”

The Lost Siren’s reply was forthcoming, “Not this way – it is without honour.”

“In that case…” Hives said, playfully, “I shall have to extract the honour out of you!”

The pugnacious gambit suddenly became a grounded possibility when a blade extended from Hives’ walking stick. She began, threateningly, waving the stick about with her left-hand.

No matter how strong you are, an assailant with a bludgeoning blade demands respect. Serena also didn’t trust the tip, which looked oily, like it had been coated with a poison – and the Lost Siren should know about that – though her own throwing stars weren’t an option in this situation.

Fiercely, She-Devil lunged forward. Rocca’s broad physique wasn’t built for evasion, but she managed to sidestep the cane by a whisker. Serena knew next time she might not be so lucky; she had to close Hives down.

Getting excitedly manic, Hives whisked the blade through the air, joyously howling in momentum. Serena kept her distance, her composure, and picked her time. Another jabbing stab of the stick gave Rocca the opportunity she had been waiting for. Narrowly avoiding the lunge, again, Serena grasped the cane when Del was too slow to withdraw it. The Lost Siren steered the blade down into the earth and stamped the stick in half with her left-foot. She quickly smacked the impending She-Devil away with the back of her right-hand. Hives fell, and lay flat on her back, looking somewhat dazed by the blow.

Kneeling over her defeated opponent, Rocca said, “Now, you’re going to answer some questions.”

Pyre Fire

Watching the fight take place, Diana knew this could be her only chance for escape. Weakened by a cocktail of poisons, and snared in her own lasso, it felt like it was going to take the strength of Heracles with the skill of Houdini to free herself of the binds. She started digging her heels into the ground and pushed back the trunk. It was no good; the log was firmly fixed into a hole in the ground.

A higher position would give her a better leverage. Wonder Woman’s long legs could just reach the tow rail of the cart. She managed to wrap her booted feet around the sides of the centre coupler and heaved backwards. With the pyre ablaze on the cart, the heat was too intense to keep her legs there for long. The downward pressure placed on the cart by Diana also risked tipping the whole towering inferno upon herself. However, there was also hope on hearing the cracking of the trunk.

Once more Wonder Woman pushed downwards against the tow rail. This time the cracking in the log was visible. One more momentous effort would do it. Diana gritted her teeth, straining, sweating under intense heat. The cart was perilously tipping forward, from the applied pressure, and the pyre began precariously wobbling. Then, at last, the log split in two, and Wonder Woman toppled backwards onto the ground. The sudden loss of pressure to the cart caused it to springboard, nudging the burning timbers over the side and engulfing the splintered stump where Wonder Woman had been captive moments before. Fortunately, Diana precipitously rolled away to the side, almost by reflex. She slid her lasso off the splintered log end and untied her hands.

Free of her binds, but drowsy, Diana was still in the middle of chaos. Flares were firing overhead from out of the woods. Many Xhosa tribesmen had left to round up the fleeing cattle; an instinct that Wonder Woman had placed in their minds when her captors had thought she was simply unconscious. The remaining onlookers were taking cover in the huts.

Although getting her girdle back would be Diana’s priority, she was curious to witness the outcome of the altercation between the Lost Siren and She-Devil. Peering over from behind a tree, what she overheard would be most disturbing.

“What do you mean, you created me?” said Serena, holding Del by her bra straps.

She-Devil howled in deviant laughter, “Ah, you don’t know who I am? Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Del Hives. I created the serum in my lab – only I didn’t really create it – more borrowed it to be exact.”

Del was dabbling in the kind of cryptic word play Serena couldn’t bear. She yanked She-Devil up, eyeball to eyeball, “Just tell me what you mean!”

“Hahaha!” Del squealed with delight, “It’s very simple, darling. When I incapacitated Wonder Woman, while in Antarctica, I took a blood sample. I added an aggressive replication sequence to her plasma. It became the serum you were injected with. Want to know why you are as strong as Wonder Woman? It’s because you share the same blood!”

Fazed by the news, Serena ponderously eased Del back down onto the ground. Oddly, Hives immediately began abrading her gloves off one another.

“You also share the same weaknesses,” She-Devil said with venom.

She wistfully blew grated dust out of her hands. Seconds later, the Lost Siren dropped on her back next to the fiend.

For Part 8: click here

18 thoughts on “Wonder Woman in Cape Town #7

  1. Honestly suprised to see the chapter after today’s message. In any case happy and hoping your conditions are improving. Again: we wish you wll ! First coment: great chapter, great narrative and description and with a great final twist with the would-be savior that becomes the one who needs to be saved !

    • Hi, there. Regarding the notice, I was just reposting it due to taking it down for a period. Considering the problems I’ve been experiencing, the chapter glues together quite well, I thought. Thank you.

  2. I was surprised that Denton was still alive. I reread the last chapter and the writing seemed to indicate that the Siren choked Denton to death.

    Also, if she made a formula of Wonder Woman’s blood, then she wouldn’t gain the strength from it unless she was wearing the belt. Otherwise, Diana should always be strong. I know it is something that I didn’t like on the TV show, but it is what it is. I don’t see how Diana’s blood could give Serena her strength, even if she altered it somewhat.

    Please, I do like the story except for inconsistencies that I see, but we must have more Diana centric chapters.

    • Hello, critical feedback is as important as the complimentary kind – it doesn’t make me happy, but that’s beside the point!

      There aren’t any inconsistencies in my mind! However, this isn’t a complete defence of my writing.

      I’ll deal with the simple one first: Serena chokes Denton, but at the last second has a change of heart, and decides to help. This is indicated by the last sentence of the chapter: “Okay,” Serena agreed, “I will help.” It is also left a little ambiguous for dramatic effect at the end of the chapter.

      Wonder Woman’s strength issue is a little more problematic, partially, due to me never explicitly explaining in the stories what the rules of the girdle are. I’ve only applied the device once before in the Tokyo story. I needed to decide whether to go with the TV show or comic variations. What I realised was I prefer my own way: Wonder Woman has Amazonian strength without her belt, but the girdle acts as a boost to her strength. Just to show I’m not making this up on the spot, I discussed it in the comments section of the final chapter for the Tokyo story:

      https://merciancomics.wordpress.com/wonder-woman-in-tokyo-6/

      I have often thought how confusing it must sometimes be for visitors reading my stories with recurring characters, their histories, and order of reading. What I intended to do was put up a page listing all the major characters, outlining their powers and history. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to put this page up due to technical difficulties with the site: it doesn’t appear to allow me to change the order of the pages (e.g. this would mean if I put it up now, the page would always be after Cape Town #7).

      So coming on to the Lost Siren, Serena always was an incredible athlete. However, I don’t think until the second chapter of this story, it was revealed she had gotten the extra strength from experimental drugs Dood had been administering to her for years. This is why when she received Diana’s blood she effectively became as strong as she did.

      I hope you can see my perspective. I’m not trying to dig myself out of a hole. If I goofed, I’d prefer to say – and I partially have by not clearly setting out my girdle alternative vision in the stories.

      Your request for more Diana interests me. Do you mean more Diana per se, in all her guises, or just more Wonder Woman? Way back in the Paris story someone complained there was too much Diana Prince and not enough Wonder Woman.

      Which brings me to my own request to all valued commentators. Can you please leave some form of signature so I can identify who I’m corresponding with. You can still post anonymously but I’d appreciate you leaving an initial or nickname.

      Thanks for your comments!

  3. Ok I swear that in the next days i’ll get a wordpress id (the Author deserves it as a sig.na of respect towards him and the energies he puts, my lazyness is not accettabile) in the meanwhile i’ll refer to myself as #1 (not in term of importance but as the oldest poster of comments).

    Holes: every great story has some , think to the third movie of the hobbit where the mighy army of orcs (the second wave coming from the north), a huge one when they exit the gate of their fortress are defeated easily by less than half a dozen of dwarves and hobbits.

    Then my personal interpretation of Serena’s newfound strentgh is whitout holes. Wonder Woman is an Amazon, the Amazon have super strength, the girdle is needed to keep it outside themyscira. serena gained Wonder woman strength true her blood injected in a non-amazonian body which could Leas to having the power irrispective of where she is.

    then again (personal point of view) : the stories are so good that I could accept minor inconsistencies !!

    • Hi, #1, that’s fine.

      Yes, I ignore the belt giving Diana her strength away from Themyscira. Like I said, I see it as a power boost. I think the traditional tale also has the Amazon feeling malaise without her belt, but I’m not adhering to that either. However, in the next chapter, the girdle will become a major driver in the story. Thanks for your thoughts…

  4. Can’t wait …

  5. The last chapter (6) and this one to some extent was much more dependent on the other characters rather than Diana or Wonder Woman. Your stories have been great, but I feel disappointed when I don’t see enough Diana or Wonder Woman.

    The power or strength of Wonder Woman is problematic. Throughout the TV show, she had the ordinary strength of a female her size and weight when not wearing the girdle.. There were no exceptions to this except for the Stolen Faces episode in which Diana manhandled one of the characters at the end before she changed into Wonder Woman.

    Also, I feel Diana’s skill level gets downplayed, such as her battle with Serene in chapter 5. She is over 2500 years old, an amazon, a skillful fighter that probably has no equal. I feel that the battle between the two should have been more one-sided in Diana’s favor, even with Serena using some type of chloroform on her (a really overused trope, I feel). Remember that Diana is supposed to be the best of the amazons, so unless the opponent has superior strength, skill and speed, I don’t see her losing many of these battles, if any. I feel I wasn’t shown that Serena was faster, although based on this serum Serena took, she may be stronger because of her fitness/musculature.

    If Diana can block a machine gun with no problems such as her first episode in the ABC series, then I feel she should not have had any problems blocking Serena’s shurikens like she did in the second chapter. It makes her skill level look very pedestrian to me when events like this happen.

    Please do not take my critiques as saying you are telling a subpar story or anything like that. I really enjoy reading your stories and look forward to when the next chapters take place.

    • Hi there, due to Diana being out of action for the last couple of chapters, she’s had a rare background presence in the story. The pendulum has now swung back to her at the end of this one you’ll have noticed.

      I’m aware you don’t like my reimagining of the girdle. I’ve got to stick with my interpretation, as I’ve already committed to it. Following this discussion, I thought up another aspect to the girdle, which may be in the next chapter if I decide to go along with it.

      I tried to be careful in the fight to respect Diana’s abilities. The twist of Serena having Diana’s blood in her body as an explanation for why she’s able to compete with Wonder Woman at all, I feel shows it wasn’t written without thought. It also emerged unknowingly to Serena that Diana was drugged by the whip.

      Chloroform is overused. I’ve actually never been a big fan of it, but know there’s nostalgia for it with Wonder Woman, which is why when dealing with Nazis, I’ve tried to think up creative ways of incorporating it.

      Regarding the throwing stars in the second chapter, it was explained due to the darkness of the cave and Serena giving the impression she was throwing one star, as the explanation to why a star got through. I admit it’s debatable whether that was satisfactory.

      Hey, #1, it’s become apparent you’re unhappy with many aspects of this story. I’m glad you’re telling me what you think, nevertheless. Thanks for taking the time to share your views.

      • I never said that I didn’t like your stories. In fact I look forward to each new chapter that you put out. I just don’t like it when I feel Wonder Woman ‘jobs’ too much in fights. The chloroform is used way too much, and by the seventies, especially towards the latter part of the show, Diana is increasingly more cynical and less naive. I don’t think we should use her naivete as an excuse any more, but just my opinion.

        And, Serena may be an olympic level athlete that is ruthless, but Diana has 2500 years of experience in combat and is certainly in a class by herself. If you had stated that Serena was even faster than Diana, then that could wipe out any argument I had that the fight should be more one sided. The fact that she has an amazon’s strength through the blood, I can accept even though she is not wearing a girdle, but that doesn’t account for the vast differences that the two have between them in terms of fighting experience. At least the way I see it. I will concede that she was being chlorofomed during the fight and this probably is the reason you had Serena win.

        I think fights that she had with Marsha and the Baroness in the first season were just plain silly, and I try and forget them. The writers seemed to have no clue as to her strength and abilities and were just trying to drum up ratings with these ‘catfights’. They should have used some of her rogues gallerie villains like the Cheetah, but they probably had budget/licensing issues with that.

        Sorry for the criticism, but I really like your stories.

      • Just spotted this comment I missed. Diana is immune to regular chloroform (like in the official comic), but susceptible to new varieties made by Nazis and usually administered intravenously. Yep, a lot of this is down to opinion. I take your point about the speed, though.

        I completely agree about those fights in the early TV series. The writers threw in the towel because they wanted to have a good girl fight. It is entertaining, though, haha!

        There’s really no need to apologise. All these comments are honest. I’m lucky to have people commenting.

  6. # 1: unhappy ? Not at all !

    Wonder Woman charachter: I absolutely like your version of Wonder Woman ! Strong, superstrong but not such that human beings aren’t able to give her troubles. Like in the 1977 tv shows: think to Marsha or the Baroness, Wonder Woman won the fight but it was not one sided. If your character is extrastrong (like being able to lift planet) everything is too easy and stories became too “fantasy” for my taste.

    Plot and twist. I declared my appreciation every time I had the chance. Your story are a perfect mix of action ,inteludes, dialogues ….

    Chapter 5 fight: I like to see Wonder Woman defeated sometimes, she can’t always win. Wonder Woman is the best amazon but Serena is a world class athlete. Furthermore Diana is a gentle and sometimes naive person who has always lived in “Paradise Island”, Serena is a competitive, ruthless fighter and tactician, forged in hell.

    Bottom line: I am sorry that you had the impression I am unhappy with many aspects of this story. On the contrary: this story has became (in my ranking) better than “Wonder Woman in Rome”.

    Hoping to have once more stated clearly my appreciation for your work, can’t wait for the next chapter …

    • Thanks, #1, no offence taken. You have shown on countless occasions your appreciation for my stories. As I said before, I’m lucky to have you as a commentator and critique. I respect your views and noticed you have a particular eye for coherency, which keeps me on my toes. There have been occasions when you recall my stories better than I do, which I’d say is a fine compliment to both of us…

  7. Hi! Just to echo #1, I think this is your best story so far. I like the developmental journey that you’ve taken with Diana over the various stories, especially now that she has experienced real danger and defeat. That adds depth which pulls me in and makes me want to read the next chapter.

    I also like the original approach to the danger elements bringing fresh ideas to the plot.

    Thanks for your efforts!

  8. #1 stop the press ! Breaking news ! Just read Wonder Woman 27 (free online at view comic.com). There is the story of a blonde woman who through a blood transfusion gets Wonder Woman strength then get into a fight with the amazon. Does it sound familiar ?

    • Thanks for letting me know, #1. How strange… The genesis of this idea first occurred to me when I was writing the Antarctica story, which is why in Chapter 4 Del takes Wonder Woman’s blood sample. I would have written the current one sooner if it weren’t for my personal problems in recent years.

      There are some other coincidences I noticed in relation to the film, such as the Superman movie being a blue print for the Wonder Woman film. I think I said that on this site, and certainly on other forums. I was encouraged when I read Patty Jenkins say the same thing. Mostly though, they’re in my mind, since I haven’t explicitly made them – and I haven’t a big enough head to think anybody is taking notice of me. For example, you might find it interesting to know Texas Denton from the very beginning was based on Han Solo. Patty Jenkins has said Steve Trevor in the movie was based on Indiana Jones! I’ve never written this, but in my own Wonder Woman movie in my mind, I had Themyscira surrounded by mists of time and noticed they did something similar in the movie.

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