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They're Getting Along Just Fine by FandomFoodie
Remembering Power Rangers N' Turtles/Who wants to?So here’s an odd one. Somewhere between my typical papers, and an actual fanfiction. I’m not sure whether to put this here or on my official Deviantart. But ever since I first heard of an official TMNT Power Rangers Crossover book, I kept thinking back to the ...official crossover we already had. Clearly there was some wasted potential here. And I kept wondering, what else could have been done. Before we dig in, let's have ourselves a merry bit of context. This 2-parter would be on each respective show. Part 1 on the Ranger show, Part 2 on Turtles. The benefits would obviously begin with SO. MANY. New toys. But also, drawing eyes to the Mirage source material, making more money for TMNT creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. Also would have provided a nice art collection book, featuring the flashback imagery. A new flashback format would be featured. Where are the artists who had worked under the TMNT franchise, and artists who wrote done, cat a patient's or coloring books for the Rangers, their varying art styles would be featured in still frames that would transition buy peeling away like a page. Main characters would provide narration as the images kept turning like pages in a book, thus very efficiently breezing through a fast and elaborate backstory (after backstory after backstory.) This would provide set up to check out one another's series, and it would give expanded lore for expanded universe or otherwise existing franchise. After the episodes' release, the illustrations would be collected and pulled together into a book. Each illustration on the left side, with the written dialogue on the right side. Enough photos still taking up the most dynamic frames between each flashback would be captured to fill the story and then put through a comic book filter. That way the entire crossover can be told, as well as the simultaneous release as coloring books. Preferably drawn by Eastman and Laird.And not to mention the Toyetictm prospects of what could be introduced within. One was trying to relaunch by emulating the other, which was preparing for cancellation. Power Rangers had much from Super Sentai that they were unable to use, only counting the series they stitched footage from. They couldn't even use suited footage from Dairanger or Kakurager. Ergo, there was a lot of costumes and props still waiting to become merchandise. These should have provided one last great financial push. Having established that...Plot: Rangers Show up on a Planet of the week, Andros letting it slip that he used to live here, just before he left to take up the fight. Suddenly they're alerted to nearby noises, and Andros morphs, stepping into a defensive position in front of the others. At the sight of this, Leo and Raph come out of the shadows. The two Turtles recognize their old friend. Andros makes the introductions, then asks where Michaelangelo is. They say that he was in the other pod. When Andros asks where Donatello is, they get upset. A brief flashback shows Donatello directing the Turtles two by two into escape pods, but staying behind to launch them. This flashback ends with Venus and Mikey walking up to the group. TJ mentions that if their pods were the energy signals detected by the Astro Megaship, then there's a third one nearby. On their way there, Venus and Mikey take turns in their own way to explain why they're not in New York. Cutting to another drawn sequence: In pursuit of Dr. Queeze, they were ambushed by Bone Steele. But as they hunted Queaze, and Bone Steele hunted them, someone else hunted Bone Steele. To punish him for hunting stray monsters and henchmen, they attempted an alien abduction while he was in the open. But they only captured the Turtles when the beam missed. And their actual prey took cover. So these "Acid Cats" (Take the suits from the Flower Kunoichi Team) had to make good with what she had. The only other prisoner helped them break out, and hold off the guards. The other prisoner is Professor Honeycut (Red Python Repaint.) Chaperoned by the Acid Cats they are to meet up with Scorpina with coordinates for the final drop. But their dropoff point to meet Scorpina has only just been revealed to them. Astronoma’s Dark Fortress. Which has moved…. to the planet they just left. (“Oh, you have GOT to be kidding us”). Their new cellmate puts his form at risk to facilitate their escape (with Donnie’s help). Then it's a mad dash while their new friend sets off some grenades and holds off the rest. As that story ends, Andros tells how he met the Turtles (with some interjections by Mikey and the others). In the aftermath of their original Fugitoid adventure, they needed a way home. He had just lost his 4 comrades, whose colors the current Rangers wear, so he gave their training equipment to these new friends, including reinforced tonfas, a scissor blade and a sai staff. They in turn gave him a tekken and some pointers. By covering the Turtle suits in removable Red Ranger looking accessories, and all four wielding tonfas that could block blaster fire, the (briefly identical) turtles confused and ran circles around the Quantrons who outnumbered them. With Andros sniping while teleporting from rooftop to rooftop. And over the course of their brief time together, they teach him how to best use his tekken. He develops a flying punch like he would use with the Battlizer. And how to blend in socially while trying to disguise himself with his cloak. He’s already effective at concealing his looks, all he needed was practise moving and acting in ways that let him listen more than directly probing. Back in the present, Cassy calls Alpha to scan for other pods. Alpha and DECA locate one more... and another ship on approach! Looks like the type these pods would have come from, and it’s missing a few. Its shields are glitching over that (damaged from within) section of the outer hull, so it’s pretty clear to the scanners. That must be the people the turtles were running from. A fight’s almost here! And the Turtles are still not yet whole. Alpha directs the two teams 37 clicks southwest, sending the Galaxy Gliders down to expedite the search. When the Turtles ride the gliders while carrying Rangers to the pod, Ashley riding solo, repeatedly casting looks at Andros standing behind Venus on the board, holding her shoulders for balance. Meanwhile, Raph is in front of Carlos, both holding his staff. Leo stands behind TJ who's crouching barehanded, while Mikey carries Cassie. After arriving and finding it empty, they spread off into teams. Carlos and Raphael head South with Ashley. Leo and TJ head North. Andros and Venus head East. Mikey and Cassie head west. This allows the two Impulsive/occasionally rogue hotheads to bounce off of each other with Ashley in between. She previously had a few sparks with Carlos, but here’s another red-clad bachelor with more keys and clues to Andros’s mysterious past. And a current leader in blue wielding a big sharp object time alone with a very recent leader in blue wielding a big sharp object time to reflect off of each other. Two delicately-featured newcomers with learned extra abilities relative to their new team/roommates (and potential love interests) able to relate to each other’s efforts to adjust to new settings and just how confusing it can get. They even give each other pointers on their respective super techniques. The one turtle who hits on human women gets paired with a girly girl who’s only ongoing love interest is a usually invisible lone wolf rapidly giving her the slip. (And he's a pirate radio DJ who’s been a comic book artist and a cartoon connoisseur with a former tryout for rock bands who started her journey wanting to be a celebrity performer.) Andros and Venus combine their methods to move heavier than usual items, while feeling out for Donatello’s chi. They locate him and the professor hiding not far away. Calling the others over, they check these two for injuries. As the others come along, Cassie wonders if this is the Phantom Ranger, based on vague-ish comments made by Mikey. But when she gets there, after Leo and TJ, she’s disappointed. Donnie and Andros are discussing how “that” has been doing (Phrased to foreshadow the Zane reveal), then the remaining arrive. As Andros thanks Don for the help with “that,” Alpha signals. The scene shifts to the “Acid Cats” prepping their repainted Shark Cycles from their combined version into individual rides. Alpha patches through a freshly decrypted warning/SOS from Aquatar. Their White Ninja describes the Acid Cats as a decommissioned set of morphers, designed to remove carbon and the resulting acidification from the oceans, to keep them healthy and alive. The "ears" are devices to clean the seas. While the flowers are symbolism, flowers taking in carbon to produce breathable air, honey, and typically fresh food (on their earth). These suits converted the isolated carbon into dense shuriken to be stockpiled with other specialized equipment. But something went wrong. The mentawave receivers in the ears meant to promote telepathic harmony began to produce slowly escalating psychic disruption, and a growing hive mind. Meanwhile, deliberately swimming through saltwater acids was more damaging to the body and brain than the suits could counter consistently. So the suits were reformatted, an emphasis on using surrounding water was applied, and the telepathic link was gone. The entire filtration process was done with mass-produced drones. Thus the Alien Rangers as we'd seen them were born. But recently, there was a break-in detected. The morphers, subsequent arsenal, and all attending staff have disappeared. Only faint signs of struggle, like it was over quickly. Wouldn’t be the first time the Alliance of Evil used mind control. Beyond that, nothing is known. As this has been said, footage alternates between more illustrations and footage of the Acid Cats riding. And suddenly they are upon the heroes. At no point are any unmasked/sans helmet. The episode ends on “Continued in Next Mutation.” Which we will pursue in another article. Voice casting for their leader (Orange Lily) should prioritize ANY woman who portrayed April O’ Neil through camera, microphone, ...or something else. (Or Julie Strain, who the 4th film April was written specifically for.) This explains the TV news reporter’s absence in the TV series. She is an Utrom, revealed at the end of their battle. Her identity never explicitly revealed, she used a mind control device to enthrall the others, strategically selecting them, and beginning a practice to hunt down and weaponize scattered and disorganized former Foot flunkies. Utrom is unseen, but scraps of ranger suit, clothing, machinery are everywhere. The demorphed body appears to be wearing a yellow raincoat. And most of the hair is still on the half-robotic head that is spirited away. The Turtles agree that they can’t confirm her identity without more proof. But they request Andros and the others to keep an eye out. Lily seeks out Andros and Venus in battle. A later installment admits that a rogue element of Utroms replaced a recently hired cable news host, placing one of their own within the broadest spanning narrative on that planet. And the turtles mention offhand that April took a promotion, leaving local late night behind. Pink goes to Catherine Sutherland, implying that Katherine Hillard is an evil kitty again (as Miss Sutherland expressed interest in). In the Turtle-focused sequel (pending), she admits that when the Zeo Crystal absorbed the wickedness her former mistress slowly, teasingly filled her with, near to bursting, she enjoyed the sensation. She missed so dearly the clarity weightless from all guilt, doubts and anxieties. When the pink energy sought her out as the crystal was separated, that remaining energy sought her right back. And while she never admitted it, they enjoyed, missed each other. Resting dormant within her, it stirred only in her dreaming nights, until she was handed this new morpher, and ALL within her was freed. “Sakura” being less clear a term in the late 90’s, she’s called Cherry Blossom (dirty joke very much intended). She seeks out Mikey and Cassie to prove her superiority and worthiness over them both. Her introduction was during the Ninja arc, and Mikey seems to be so much more interested in screwballing around and pursuing any bipedal woman (preferably late teen) that he can. Meanwhile Cassie was Kat’s successor. After having 4 morphed forms across 3 power types, she passed her Turbo powers onto Cassie. Said powers, weapons, and Zords have been destroyed on Cassie’s watch. Now she and Cassie each have their own distinct powers. And she has some ...complaints with Cassie’s handling of her inheritance. Nancy de Mayo would Seiyu for Violet (Due to the Purple color not being a Ranger color yet, and plans for Jenny becoming one falling through). She sticks close to Kat during this adventure, partially because she was the original choice to succeed Kat. Her qualifications are that she’s physically an excellent dancer (with all the precision, spatial awareness and endurance that employs) and the idea that when she went back to her mother’s she fell in with the Foot for more NInja specific training. Cestria’s actress Steffanie Malanga becomes the Water Lotus. The water flower for the water planet. She was hit with the mind control ray by the intruder (Utrom April) and sent to loot the Acid Cat vault and seize the last Cat and any Aquition in her way with the same device. Once acquired, the remaining personnel have been sent to different factions of the alliance to tell whoever now commands them EVERYTHING they know about Aquitar’s techniques, technology, geography, politics, and various structures. When that’s done they go through the Monster Maker process, turning into bipedal fish (repaints of whatever suits are left, with a battle cry sounds a lot like “Daigon!”) At which point they were collected by Scorpina to take part in the siege of their own homeworld. After the Z-Wave, they are each completely restored, but the Cherry Blossom and Water lotus become Pink and Green Aquitian Rangers proper, with Scorpina being purified into a new form, nicknamed Lamia.And anyone who’s previously been employed for voice work in any of these stock footage series could (maybe Wendy Lee) portray Iris. The unofficial leader of the group in the stock footage, she singles out the Blue Leader Duo. When the four survivors scatter, she is provided as a recon scout in a gesture of good faith to the Dragon Lord. This also allows both factions to narrow in on the Turtles’ lair. Following their leaving in pairs, her duo is separated just before Jenny’s capture. She fights with Tiger’s Claw stance, smoke bombs, drugged Shuriken, improvised surrounding items, and otherwise unused spells and items from her own personal arsenal and that of the Kakurangers....
Mecha Cammie by FandomFoodie

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Heather, Dee, Genie: In Her Majesty's Service“Thanks for letting me sit in on some of your magical theory study sessions,” Dee sat cross-legged in front of Heather, who was seated similarly. Heather’s overly muscular calves and thighs kept her from being able to fully assume such a pose. “I wonder if I will get bonuses in fantasy role-playing games for knowing how it really works.” “Explaining something is a good way to learn it,” Heather replied. “It’s helping me pick up the details of the theories. For the game, do fighter characters gain bonuses to hit because their players know how to do it?” Heather looked up from the iron-bound book she was reading. “You’re playing a mage who gets enough bonuses to hit and damage to kill most giants in one melee hit,” Dee reached over to tap on Heather’s bicep. “It would be fair for one of the token ‘crunchies’ to gain a bonus on something in our games, especially since our characters are based on ourselves.” “Uh, where’d you come up with that term?” Heather asked. “I might have heard Candi and you using it to describe how you’ve got to be extra careful to avoid crushing normies when you yawn, stretch, or flex for any other reason,” Dee kept her hand on Heather’s arm as she talked. “I wonder what it would feel like to you if you did that?” Heather’s cheeks tinged pink, “I didn’t think you’d heard that. I’m… um… sorry about it.” She paused for a few seconds, “I’d know it was happening by seeing who I’m doing it to, but I wouldn’t feel any pressure against my biceps.” “It gave me a bit of insight into the problems that your hyper-physique could pose.” She carefully traced the pulsing vein that went over Heather’s peak. “I’ve also been around you two enough to learn how to filter out the thumping of your heartbeats. They’re like background noise that causes my body to vibrate. It feels kind of good when one of you is around. It gets painful when both of you are together. I once sat in a spot where I think the pressure waves added together and they gave me a nosebleed.” She looked up to Heather’s face, “I sort of start rambling when I’m in awe.” “How can you be in awe of someone you’ve always known?” Heather asked, “If anything, you should be immune to me even when I’m trying to be impressive. Should I do a health check spell on you to be sure you don’t have internal injuries?” “You’ve just answered your own question,” Dee replied. “I don’t get it,” Heather said. “I mean… how would you check to see if I have internal injuries?” Dee asked, then answered herself. “I know: magic!” She paused and took a breath. “You know that, for most people, using magic isn’t an option… and for you, it’s just one of many. You also know that the pressure waves that your pulse causes can probably turn me into jelly. Of course I’m in awe.” “That kinda gets in the way of regular conversations, doesn’t it?” Heather said. “I’m not trying to do things like that on purpose.” “And that makes it even more impressive,” Dee poked Heather’s bicep. “You guys need people like Kat and Sadie around to be like the slave who whispered ‘memento mori’ in Caesar’s ear. By the way, you still owe me some coins squished between your abs.” “Aren’t you supposed to be snarky and to poke fun at what I’m doing, like how Sadie is with Ivey or Kat is with Candi?” Heather asked. “That only works when the snarky one also has superhuman abilities,” Dee replied. “Non-super snarky people are just delusional.” “Sadie’s title can be ‘Mistress of demons and snark-master supreme’,” Heather said. “You’ve got to have some abilities that you stand out with. Everybody has those if they look closely enough.” Dee cupped her hands upwards, in front of her chest, “Says the one who stands out more than anyone else here,” She then moved one hand in front of her upper arm. “And has chosen to be second only to the Goddess here.” She tilted her head to the side and looked upwards. “I’m better at detecting dangerous attacks by dying from them rather than ignoring them than you are.” Dee held a finger out in front of herself, “I’ve got it. I’m better at fitting through normal doors without causing property damage than you are. I can also ride a bicycle without squishing it. That makes me think. What would happen if you tried to go horseback riding?” “Not much until I tried to kick it to make it go faster,” Heather answered. “Then it would get messy. Cherry and Candi are too heavy to do horseback riding, and I’d guess that Candi and Ivey would break its ribs from having their legs against its sides.” “Unless Ivey is comfortable doing the splits, probably,” Dee agreed, looking a little queasy. “She’d pinch it in half without realizing… These are not normal-people problems.” Their conversation was interrupted by a rapid series of ‘Whump’s’ against the frame of the open door. Dee looked over to see a woman with her hair, eyes and complexion in shades of green knocking on the doorframe. “I… uh… think that’s one of your friends… Wow!” “Hello, friend of former goddess Heather,” Genie said. “May I come in?” “Are you like a demon or a vampire that can’t enter unless you’re invited?” Dee asked. Genie chuckled musically, “Neither of those. I’m just being polite.” “Darn,” Dee said, pouting. “I was really hoping to have a super power for at least five seconds. Come on in.” She looked at Heather, “Do you have any friends that don’t have huge boobs, sculpted abs and biceps larger than my chest?” Heather thought for a second, “Cindy and Beth don’t have huge boobs.” “The fact that you didn’t address the second part speaks volumes,” Dee said. “We could add ‘Dee’s torso’ to our set of standard measurements if you’d like,” Heather replied as she got to her feet. “So far, we’ve just been using Cherry as our yardstick, since she’s got the idealized human form. Candi was happy when she passed her in boob to height ratio. I think I might have her beat in boob volume. The other challenge was in having resting biceps larger than her flexed ones. Candi’s got that one beat. I think that Ivey does too. I might have that as well. We can compare our measurements to Dee’s torso the next time we meet up.” She stood on tiptoes and flexed her calves. Their heart shapes swelled out, with both of them pressing against each other. Deeply grooved striations and pulsing veins covered them. Dee, could you certify if each of these match the diameter of your chest? “I’ve started something, haven’t I?” Dee asked as she knelt by one of Heather’s legs. She sat her hands on one of her calves. “You’ve got that size and then some. Why didn’t you let me know you can flex like this? Are you sure that I shouldn’t be worshipping you any more?” “Friends are free to poke fun at each other as long as it isn’t mean-spirited,” Heather paused for a couple of seconds. “I hadn’t shown you because I didn’t want to put you in too much awe. Also, I wanted to make flexing for you a kind of a special occasion. Anyways, I don’t think I have a full connection to Gaia anymore. That’s Candi’s position.” Heather looked at Genie. “I hope you’re not feeling ignored, but this was too good to just pass by.” “Not at all,” Genie replied. “I’d be happy to state that I think this qualifies as a single Dee torso.” She shifted her stance to have one of her legs out in front of her. Her flex caused her quadriceps to swell out into deeply grooved definition. “Does having multiple entries in that measurement qualification allow me to join your club?” She held her arm up to the side of her and flexed her bicep to reach the height of her own wrist. When she saw Dee staring, she smirked and had her peak rise beyond her fingertips, then continue upwards. Dee stared for a few seconds, “I’m honored to have this unit of measurement named after me.” “Before we spend all day seeing who can keep Dee in the most awe, can you tell us what you have on your mind?” Heather asked. “You seem to always have something that needs to be done. It’s like you’re handing out missions.” “That’s because you and your friends look forward to them like they are gifts,” Genie replied. “That and none of you seem to want baskets of pastries.” “Have you ever tried asking Kat if she wants pastries?” Dee asked. “She always asks if she will have to pay a price for them,” Genie responded. “Since I cannot lie, I have to tell her that she will. Most likely, she’ll put on weight. Either that, or she’ll pay by having to endure the Goddess’s training regimen.” “With how addicting they are, the answer would be ‘both,’” Heather looked at Dee. “Unless you want to spend extra time on the track every day, I’d suggest you decline as well.” She turned to Genie, “Are we going to meet with Lord Roquefort, the Sheriff, or the Mayor of the Capitol? Or are you going to tell us what we’re about to do?” “Today I am acting as the direct representative of Her Majesty, Regina Mundia, Queen of the Earth, possessor of many other titles, whom you know simply as Queen Gouda,” Genie replied. “Your presence is requested for an audience.” “Is that ‘requested and required?’” Dee asked. “A request from any Personage is something never to be refused,” Heather answered. “Especially when it is done from their position. It is among the worst insults to say ‘no’.” “I wonder if Sadie has that power,” Dee mused. “Yes,” Heather answered promptly, “but don’t tell her. It would freak her out.” She looked at Genie, “We would be honored to attend an audience with the Queen. We just need a little time to prepare.” She turned to Dee, “It looks like you’re getting another opportunity to use the outfit you picked up in her Capitol.” “Can you somehow…” Dee waved her hands in front of herself, “Use your magic to get us to my home so I can get it?” “I don’t have travel spells,” Heather looked at Genie. “What about you?” “I don’t know of any gateways that will be closer than we are now,” She replied. “We’re only about three miles from your home, so it’s not even a quick sprint,” Heather said. “Let’s call it a good warm-up for you.” “Uh…” Dee stammered, “Some of us aren’t compulsive exercise fanatics. Unlike nearly all of my friends, I’m not exactly in Olympic competition shape.” She lifted the front of her shirt, “The great majority of people don’t have chiseled six-packs and limitless stamina.” “Do you mean to say that not all of those in your friends circle or worshippers of Goddess Candi gain muscular physiques?” Genie sat her thumb and forefinger around Dee’s upper arm. “I really was under the impression that it just didn’t show on you. You could have been casting a nearly undetectable glamour.” “There's a limited number of high priestess positions, and I’m not being considered for any of them,” Dee held up her other arm to show the flexing bicep charm on her bracelet. “Most of us just get motivational support.” “We’ll meet you at the Queen’s fortress. It will take a little time to pack and then to get to the portal,” Heather said to Genie.***** Later, while they were in Heather’s bedroom at her home, Dee asked, “Are you sure that just one outfit other than a fancy one will be enough? What if we’re asked to do something that’ll take days or weeks?” “That’s what utility spells are for. It’s not fun carrying an oversized backpack, and I don’t know how to displace items out of regular space for storage.” Heather replied. “When your outfits are paper-thin Eye Candi hot shorts or bikinis with halter tops, you could fold an entire wardrobe to fit into a purse,” Dee held up a shirt as she talked. “You’re free to borrow a few pieces if you want,” Heather said. “Not with my build, thank you.” Dee shook her head. “I’m fine with a skirt and blouse. I think the peasant girl look works well on me.” “My wardrobe choices are limited by biology,” Heather replied. “Flexing causes about a fifty percent size increase, so I’d have to wear things that hang off of me like a tent if I went for long sleeves or pants. There’s also how uncomfortably hot wearing things like that gets.” “You could always use a spell to tint your skin to look like clothing,” Dee suggested. “It wouldn’t be that different from your outfit, and it won’t get torn apart if you have to fight anything. You’re invulnerable, after all.” She tapped at Heather’s stomach. “Um, you shouldn’t do that without telling me first,” Heather said. “I don’t think you want to need me to regenerate your fingertips if they slip between my abs.” “You can do that?” Dee steadied her fingers on one of the swells of Heather’s abdominals. “I don’t think most people see the idea of accidentally amputated digits in a positive light,” Heather said, gently pulling Dee’s fingertips back to a safer distance. “You’re free to put your fingers wherever you like, but the ‘cuts’ between my muscles are kind of dangerous. Also, regenerated body parts itch like crazy for a few days and don’t match up in skin tone perfectly.” “Is that why Cindy has an uneven tan, with her upper part being a little lighter than her lower?” Dee asked. “Her coloration seemed to change like that after she was away from the city for a week. I couldn’t think of a good way to ask her that wouldn’t sound like I was asking something too personal.” “It happened when we were stopping one of Lord Entropy’s portals from bringing through his army,” Heather bit her lower lip for a second. “There’s no way to say this without it sounding egotistical. The shockwave from my action had knocked Cindy out and had her bleeding out of her mouth, nose and ears.” “That’s awesome,” Dee said quietly. “That must have been terrible for you.” “It would have been even worse for her if she had stayed conscious,” Heather clasped her hands together, the pose causing her biceps to lift her breasts on their sides. “We were on the ocean floor by the half mile or so tall iron pyramid I’d just tossed. The pressure wave had liquified her organs, so I needed to get her to the surface fast so that I could cast a healing spell on her.” She took a slow breath, “I wasn’t used to my changed physique at all yet, so I wrapped my arms around her and…” “Crushed her flat?” Dee’s eyes opened wide. Heather nodded, “It’s something I haven’t really talked with anyone about. I have to think about limiting my strength, since I lack a good sense of scale. It took me a week before I wasn’t crushing doorknobs. I still can’t really tell how much pressure is against my muscles. I can tell something is against my biceps peak, but I don’t really notice much of a difference between your grip and Cherry’s.” “When I said that your muscles are awesome, I meant both definitions of the word,” Dee slid a finger along the vein that pulsed over Heather’s bicep. “Both the positive connotation and the negative denotation.” “I had thought about keeping a physical protection spell on you when you’re around me, just to keep you safe,” Heather said. “But I think that would make you nervous and have me afraid of myself. Uh… what do you mean by adding defining terms to the positive and negative?” “Sorry. That was in Mr. Casey’s class,” Dee said. She paused, then elaborated. “The connotative meaning of ‘awesome’ is, um, basically ‘really, really good.’ It’s the implied meaning of the word. The denotative meaning is the precise meaning from the dictionary and etymology of the word. The root of ‘awesome’ is awe. It inspires awe.” Heather blinked. “You’re one of them, aren’t you?” “Huh?” “A nerd,” Heather smiled. Dee struggled to look smug. “I know stuff…” Heather snorted. “Nope. That kills it. You can’t know ‘stuff.’ You have to be specific.” “I’m a polymath?” Dee suggested. “You read encyclopaedia articles for fun?” Heather asked. “I have a subscription to the Oxford English Dictionary,” Dee admitted. “I can give the difference between nerd and geek, and know each of the things mentioned in the ‘Modern Major General’ song.” “Is there anything else you’ve been hiding?” Heather cocked her head to the side. “Thanks to you and the rest of the hyper-buff club, I’ve learned the names of each of the muscles you can’t help but to show off,” Dee tapped the protruding rolls of muscle that covered Heather’s arm. “I’ve also done my best to guess at your measurements based on how your size compares to how you were when you won the bodybuilding competition.” “I’m not sure if I should enter it again,” Heather said. “It wouldn’t be fair to those without superhuman enhancements. If you want, we can take measurements when we get back. Maybe I can convince Candi to do it as well.” “There’s something that just came to mind to me,” Dee said. “If you don’t have good control, why aren’t you doing something like causing jets of air to blast through things while you breathe?” “Automatic actions are done at levels that match biology. I don’t have a mighty sweating ability, after all. I’m also not somehow compressing hundreds of times as much air into my lungs as you do with each breath. I’ve got the ability to move a few times as fast as you, but that doesn’t give weird abilities. I can throw a ball at a few hundred miles an hour.” Heather replied. “It doesn’t matter what the ball is made of, such as wood or lead.” “Cotton?” Dee teased. “That would be the real test, wouldn’t it?” “Air resistance would slow it down immediately,” Heather snorted. “It might work for a scare.” “So, returning to a previous subject,” Dee said, “is that why you always look kind of like you’re moonwalking when you’re going from class to class?” Heather turned halfway around and flexed her calf, swelling it to show it off, “I didn’t want to do this while Genie was here, but I can reach one ‘Dee’ with it. The size isn’t for show. I have to concentrate to not toss myself upwards and to sink craters into cement. I often feel jealous when I see everyone else able to not even have to think about their interactions. Sadie and Cherry can grab people and instinctively not harm them.” “ To be fair,” Dee said, “neither of them is as strong as you. Heck, both of them together aren’t as strong as you, right?” “I really don’t know,” Heather replied. “I haven’t tested myself since I asked Zeus to shift the connection with Gaia to Candi. Before that I didn’t even notice Cherry’s best efforts. Sadie’s powers are a bit odd. She gains abilities opposite of whatever someone she’s with has. She’s really attuned to divine power sources. That means her strength fluctuates a lot, yet she’s got no trouble in controlling it.” Dee’s eyes crossed a little. “O...kay. I’m not going to begrudge Sadie her control, then. I could see that getting awfully messy otherwise.” “There’s one thing that’s been the most jarring to me lately,” Heather said. “I don’t feel a resonant tingling in my biceps from people praying to them any more.” “Is that good or bad?” Dee asked. “I kind of miss it,” Heather replied. “It was the best perk of being the avatar of a greater universal power.” “Would you feel it if I did it again?” Dee suggested. “There’s two reasons it won’t work. One is that I don’t have that connection any more, and the second is that you wouldn’t truly believe in what you are doing,” Heather answered. “Metaphysics has its own set of rules, very similar to the way that magic does.” She gave a thin smile, “I won’t complain if you were to give my peak a quick kiss of respect if you want to.” “Of course, formerly omnipotent Goddess Heather.” Dee leaned in to oblige Heather with a quick peck. Heather’s eyes widened as she felt a familiar tingle. She felt a buzz like she was drunk for a second, then gasped as she saw Dee sprawled on the floor, blood pouring from her mis-shapen nose. She thought, Gotta work fast before shock wears off, as she immediately cast a healing spell. Dee was lifted from the floor as golden motes surrounded her. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t hold it back because I didn’t think anything would happen.” “I think,” Dee sniffed as she sat up on the floor and probed her nose, “you were more surprised than I was. In this case, I forgive you.” She felt the line where the bridge of her nose was knitting. “Am I gonna have one of those cool, crooked noses like the tough guys in every fantasy and boxing story get?” “Regeneration spells get rid of anything like that,” Heather shook her head. “As a bonus, you no longer have any cavities. On the minus side, you won’t taste any food for a little while… and you’re probably going to have to buy a new wardrobe.” She thought, I must have had some control, since only her face was crushed and not her entire head… I’m glad she can’t read my mind… “I’m going to the faerie realm and am being denied the opportunity to enjoy food that exceeds all earthly standards,” Dee said. “Um… think of that as a bonus, not a penalty,” Heather said. “Don’t forget the number of stories that involve people eating or drinking in Faerie and ending up either trapped there or incapable of eating earthly items again.” “I thought that was just Persephone in Greek mythology,” Dee blinked. “You need to read your Grimm’s and Anderson’s,” Heather noted. “They are probably ten percent textbooks as well as ninety percent morality lessons.” “What do you mean about needing a new wardrobe?” Dee asked. “My sinuses aren’t stuffed anymore. Did you get rid of my allergies?” Heather blushed. “Probably? I don’t really know, for sure.” She walked over to her closet and bent over to retrieve a cast-iron door stopper. “I want you to be armed just in case some trouble gets past me. I can’t guarantee one-hundred percent that I can stop that.” “You think I’m going to beat someone or something to death with a rusty duck?” Dee asked. “While that would be amusing, it might be a little impractical.” Heather mashed the duck into a rough ball, then grabbed it at either end and stretched it into a roughly rod-shaped mass. “I’m doing my best to be a swordsmith. If a real one saw what I’m doing, I’m sure he’d throw a fit.” She squeezed her fingertips on one side of it and pulled it through them to form an edge. “Instant sharpening.” She repeated the action on the other side, “A cold worked iron sword is a really impressive weapon.” “I get why you want me to be armed,” Dee said, “but have you thought through what giving me a sword will really do? I cut myself chopping onions.” “I don’t want you swinging a razor and losing limbs,” Heather put one palm against the point and the other against the handle end of the sword and squeezed it together lengthwise. The iron squealed in protest as it was flattened. “Let’s try something that’s a little more user-friendly.” “And what is that, demi-Goddess?” Dee asked. Zeus didn’t strip everything from me. Maybe he’s not a prick, after all… Heather thought as she felt a familiar tingling. “How about a baton? There would be a zero percent chance of you cutting yourself with it.” She rolled the iron into a glowing red log, “That ruined it. It’s not cold-worked if it’s hot enough to glow.” Heather looked around, “I need somewhere to put this down while I use the matching doorstop.” Dee grabbed the wastepaper basket next to Heather’s desk. “Before you get rid of it, could you make something for me?” “Cherry and Candi are better sculptors than I am,” Heather replied.“Neither of them are here right now,” Dee said. “And as a still-faithful follower, any reward would be a treasure.” Heather thought for a second, then squeezed the iron rapidly a few times, to heat it up to where it was nearly liquid, “I’ve got an idea.” She plopped it over her bicep’s peak and bent her arm, causing the muscle to swell. “This is like spreading frosting.” She rubbed it around her arm. “I wouldn’t mind licking that clean from you…” Dee blushed, “I was referring to the frosting, not the glowing metal. My thought-to-speech filter turns off when I’m in awe.” Heather chuckled, “Honesty is always good.” She carefully lifted the cooled metal off of her arm and rolled the edges to get rid of sharp spots, “It was only enough metal to cover the top half of my peak, but I think it works. You can use it as a soup tureen or as a wok.” “I can use it for an upside-down cake or a gelatin mold if I was cooking for a large crowd,” Dee replied. “It’ll go well with my Ivey’s bicep drink cooler.” Heather pulled out the other doorstop and slowly rolled it into a rod. She pinched a hole in one end, “We’ll put a strap through there so you can keep hold of it like a racquetball racquet.”* * * * * Once they’d arrived in the faerie realm, Dee asked, “The gateway at the oak tree puts us several miles outside of the capitol. Is there any way to end up closer to there?” “I only know about this one and the one at the gazebo that goes to Ivey’s lands, which are a lot further away,” Heather replied. “I should ask Genie about that when I see her next.” She put the carry-pack over one shoulder, “There’s no way to cut down on the bulkiness of a tent.” “Yes,” Dee agreed. “The downside of being the tank. You have to carry all the heavy and bulky stuff.” “That has me on double-duty, or is that triple?” Heather asked, “I’m also the mage and the healer.” “I thought you had no attack spells,” Dee replied. “Smiting others isn’t the only way to help in a fight. I prefer to do protection spells. My force walls are strong enough to withstand any pressure that I can physically exert.” Heather said. “So they are invulnerable to nuclear blasts,” Dee added. “That’s pretty useful.” “You know, comparing my strength to weapons of mass destruction makes me a little self-conscious,” Heather said. “Not that it isn’t true,” she added, “but I usually don’t think of it that way.” “Tell me again why I need to be armed?” Dee asked. “There’s always the chance that we can be surprised,” Heather replied. “It’s also not very heroic to be stuck inside of a box.” She started walking away from the portal, “We can’t keep Her Majesty waiting.” “Given the time that we took getting ready and how long it’s going to take us to get there, are we to assume that she’s going to be waiting in her audience chamber this whole time?” Dee asked. “Isn't that kind of boring for her? Wouldn’t she have other things to do?” “From what I’ve learned of the world laws, the physics of the faerie realm, she’ll somehow be in there when we arrive.” Heather said. “It could be by chance, or she could actually be waiting there for our arrival. After all, a Goddess outranks a monarch.” “Usually,” Dee agreed. “I hope this goes better than the last time Her Majesty conscripted me,” she added under her breath. “You make for a fine temptress,” Heather replied.* * * * * “That outfit really does look nice,” Heather walked around Dee, admiring the turquoise dress, white shoes, gloves and hat. “Where did you get it?” “It’s from a seamstress’ shop here in the city,” Dee grabbed the side of the dress to give it a wave. “It’s the nicest outfit that I’ve ever owned. By the way, it was really nice of the fortress guard to show us to a boudoir where we could get changed.” “People are expected to look their best to see the Queen, so it makes sense,” Heather said. “Yeah, but can’t most fae cast glamours?” Dee asked. “Casting spells in the Queen’s presence is bad form,” Heather replied, “and not everyone here is a fae.” She smoothed out her hot shorts and halter top. “Do you see any wrinkles in the fabric? I can’t see my back or under my boobs, even in the mirror.” “Do you really want me speechless in awe- again- as we go into the audience hall?” Dee asked. “A quick spell shouldn’t cause too much fuss, then,” Heather gestured, causing twinkling motes to rain over herself. “There, all wrinkles and creases gone. It should also fit exactly.” She paused for a second and cast a similar spell over Dee. Dee ran her tongue over her teeth, “Ooh, silky smooth. No plaque. I also don’t need to pee anymore.” “Oops, minor spells, like cleaning, are powered by the caster,” Heather said. “If that’s the case, then I’ve probably just had a facial and have zero genetic or physical flaws anywhere on my body anymore,” Dee replied. “I’m not complaining about receiving hyper-powered boosts.” Heather walked over to the door, “It’s an occupational hazard for adventurers like yourself.” It took a few minutes to follow the lantern-lit corridor to the audience chamber. The cavern had no roof, so that the stone walls continued up for hundreds of feet. The narrow angle allowed for stars to be seen in the sky during daytime. The chamber’s floor was rock crystal, allowing the magma ‘waterfalls’ far below to be seen. A blue-skinned elf in bejeweled and embroidered robes sat on a carved stone throne on a dais in the middle of the chamber. Dee stood at the entrance, staring at the room. Heather walked over to the dais, the thumping of her footsteps and the pounding of her pulse echoing in the stone chamber. She thought, I want to look my best here. You’re supposed to do so in an audience with the fae. They spar for dominance at all times here. Heather’s slightly flexed calves stood out nearly as wide as her sharply defined and quivering quadriceps. Her abdominals flexed additionally with each breath, while her sizable breasts seemed to hover, lifted by the grooved pectorals beneath them. Her triceps showed deeply embedded V-shapes, while her biceps’ peaks stood out nearly as far as her breasts. She stopped with her toes just an inch from the bottom edge of the dais and tilted her head downward for a second, “Queen Gouda, it is an honor to be asked to appear in a private audience.” How didn’t she crack the floor? Dee thought as she started across the chamber after Heather. She cupped one hand over the peak of Heather’s biceps and lowered herself into a curtsy, “I am honored to be in your presence, Your Majesty.” Lord Roquefort took hold of the Queen’s hand as she rose from her throne and went onto the bottom step of the dais. He moved to Heather’s side, with his body blocked from Dee’s view by her breasts and biceps. The added height of the step allowed Gouda to nearly stand face to face with Heather. She sat a hand onto Heather’s bicep and gave a shallow curtsy, “I am honored to have you appear in my halls, demi-Goddess.” Gouda looked at her seneschal. Lord Roquefort announced, “Now that formal greetings have been conducted, the Queen asks that further proceedings be conducted in familiar, rather than formal tones.” Dee leaned over and whispered to Heather: “Does that mean I can stop with the bowing and scraping?” “That depends on whom you are being subservient to,” Heather replied. “Some things cannot be changed,” Dee squeezed her hand onto Heather’s bicep. “I held out hope that I might remain their faithful follower.” “You may refer to me simply as Gouda for this meeting,” the dark elf looked at Dee. “Your attempt at formal etiquette is admirable.” “What did you ask us to meet with you about?” Heather asked. “I hope that you are not expecting me to fight one of your opposing armies for you.” “No,” Gouda shook her head. “That would erode people’s confidence in me. The more overt the help, the weaker I appear.” “Are we going to sneak into the enemy rebel base and steal the blueprints for their superweapon?” Dee asked. “The Goddess and her High Priestess already performed that task,” Gouda replied. “That must have been some major PR for you,” Dee noted, “getting the Goddess to do stuff for you.” Heather glanced at Dee, then refocused on Gouda. “So… if we’re not supposed to lay waste the field,” she said, “what are we supposed to do?” The elf stepped down from the dais, keeping her hand on Heather’s bicep peak. “I ask that you perform a rescue mission. This is something that needs to be kept secret, as it would call into question the loyalty of the involved heads of state. If I sent my own people, there is a chance that they would be followed.” Heather turned to face the Queen, stepping back so that her slightly tensed biceps wouldn’t bump her. Do I bend to be face-to-face with her, or do I keep in good posture? Heather thought as she stood with her breasts at eye level for Gouda. “I think that I’m the ideal choice for a mission that requires stealth,” Heather said. “No one would think twice when they saw me.” “You do tend to blend seamlessly into any crowd,” Dee added. Gouda remained looking straight ahead as she spoke. “Gruffudd’s daughter has been kidnapped and needs to be rescued.” Heather cocked her head, “I, uh… Don’t know who that is.” “Unerring knowledge is not among your aspects, I take it?” Gouda asked. “My areas are pretty specific,” Heather replied. “It is pretty obvious that I exemplify muscularity and physical strength.” “Something about you suggested that,” Gouda said. “But it didn’t strike me as obtrusive.” “It is pretty common for someone to have an impossible physique with biceps larger than Her Majesty's torso.” Dee said. “Could you please say who Gruffudd is, since we’re not from here?” “He’s a chieftain of the Beast Courts,” Gouda continued in a low tone. “I’ve heard that it was Lugh’s son, Ibic, who took his daughter to force his loyalty.” She frowned, “He is the opposite of trustworthy. I take it that you’ve decided to aid me in this.” “Of course… for a favor, to be specified at a later date,” Dee instantly replied. Gouda gave a wry smile, “You’re learning.” She flattened her fingertips against Heather’s peak, “Though there’s little that a mere fairy could offer that would be useful to a demi-Goddess.” “I accept your offer of a favor in return for my aid,” Heather dipped her head. “Now… Where do I go to begin this quest?”* * * * * “I”m new to playing mind games like this,” Dee said as she walked alongside Heather. “Isn’t it supposed to be very dangerous to spar with a fae, especially a monarch?” “I’m not exactly a wizened mistress of combat etiquette,” Heather replied. “I think it was my status that kept us both safe.” “In other words she was afraid of you?” Dee asked. “I really don’t think she’s ever been afraid of anything in her life,” Heather answered. “She needed our help, so she was especially nice with us.” “It had nothing to do with you outclassing her,” Dee said. “Are we really to just head Southeast until his tribe finds us?” “By not acting like we’re following a special route, we won’t draw any more attention than we are now.” Heather said. “There’s a couple of things that stood out to me during the meeting with Gouda,” Dee said. “One was that she ignored me as much as possible, and the other was that she spent the whole time talking to your tits.” Heather snorted, “Well, it's because you’re a commoner and I’m both a sorceress and a nearly omnipotent Goddess.” “You really like that status, don’t you?” Dee asked. “Decorum requires that the Queen not look up to anyone, so she had no choice but to stare. I think I’m one of the only people who’s more stacked than she is.” Heather said. “She sort of looks like she could be Shayna’s photo-negative twin,” Dee added. Heather thought for a second, “I really didn’t think of that. Maybe they’re somehow related.” “That might explain why she hasn’t just had Shayna executed, after all this time…” Dee mused. “Family get-togethers would definitely be… interesting,” Heather agreed. “Fraught, even,” Dee added. “We could keep going, but it’s starting to get silly,” Heather said. “You know, I never thought to compare myself with Shayna.” Dee coughed something that sounded suspiciously like an obscenity, “Bull…” “My focus has been kind of on Cherry,” Heather emphasized. “Nobody could have ever guessed about that,” Dee laughed. “I admit to my faults,” Heather sniffed, assuming a regal pose. “My greatest sin is pride. I like having muscles that outclass Cherry’s, though I think having boobs that do that would make me too unbalanced to walk properly.” “I’ve often wondered if Cherry used her flight powers unconsciously to keep herself from tipping over,” Dee agreed. “I’ll have to ask her next time we meet.” “It’s also fun to dominate others who are in positions of power,” Heather replied. “Cherry’s the world’s most powerful superheroine, Gouda is an absolute monarch. If my physique overwhelms anyone else, I accept it, but don’t force things on anyone.” Dee paused, placing a hand on Heather’s bicep to cue her to stop. After another step, dragging Dee along, Heather noticed her grip and slowed. “This is the store where Ivey, Sadie, and I got our outfits last time,” Dee said, pointing at a shop. “Let’s see what the seamstress can come up with for us to travel in.” She led the pair down the art nouveau styled street to the glass-fronted boutique. A hidden bell announced their entrance, prompting the matronly brownie proprietor to scramble from the platform behind the counter down to greet her guests. “Welcome, welcome.” She jogged over to them, “It has been a while since I last saw you, Miss Dee.” She craned her head back, “And who is your statuesque companion?” “How did you remember me?” Dee asked. She then looked at Heather, “I should have conducted introductions first. It’s easy to forget my manners when I’m around her. This is Heather, demi-Goddess of physical perfection and sorceress of unparalleled ability.” Heather’s cheeks reddened, “I’m still not fully used to being referred to in such fashion. I really hope that I’m never complacently used to it.” Her exposed abdominals flexed with each breath, highlighting their chiseled definition, while her protruding biceps expanded with any gesture she made. The thumping of her pulse echoed with a bass tone inside the shop, causing the crystal lights to hum in resonance. “I notice that you’re not denying either title,” Dee said. “The first is mostly correct while the second may be true for my limited areas of expertise. I’m not looking to take over Aphrodite’s position, after all.” Heather looked at the shop owner. “I hope that you’ll be able to outfit us with suitable exploration and adventuring gear.” “Her domain is attractiveness, so there’s some, but not complete overlap,” Dee said. “If any of the myths are true,” Heather pointed out, “she’s also a jealous bi… uh… beauty. And I have reason to know those myths are at least partially based in fact. I don’t see myself as a match for her in appearance.” She was a bit in awe of my strength, though… Heather thought. That was so… awesome… “You underestimate the effects you have on people,” Dee said. “That makes it even more appealing.” “Thanks, but I don’t want to waste the seamstress’ time,” Heather looked back at the brownie. “It’s no bother at all for me to wait, as there are no other customers.” She turned to Dee, “I recognize the outfit that you have on, as well as your face. You are able to pay for my services this time?” “Of course,” Dee replied. “Lord Roquefort will be happy to cover the expense.” “I have your measurements in my business chronicle, so it would be easy to alter an existing outfit for you,” The brownie tapped a fingertip against Heather’s bicep. “You present a challenge. Huge, billowy sleeves and oversized loose pant legs would look unfeminine, and I could not lend my name to any such designs. I’m afraid that you’ll need to be attired in an abbreviated outfit. I’ll only need to measure your height, waist, and the like. It will take a decent amount of fabric to accommodate your... “ She pantomimed cupping her hands in front of her chest. “Is she saying I’m fat?” Heather asked, turning to Dee. “Only in two very notable areas,” Dee replied serenely. “I mean no disrespect,” the brownie looked pale. “If it helps, I believe one of the Queen’s most notable servants is much larger in the chest.” Dee put a hand in front of her face to suppress her giggles. “Oh…” Heather bent forward and sat her hands just above her knees in an attempt to look eye to eye with the proprietor. The pose had the effect of pressing her biceps together below, and thereby lifting her breasts. “I need to give some kind of clues when I’m being facetious. I wasn’t besmirched by your statement. I was just teasing Dee, and I’ve met the Queen’s servant several times. She is superhumanly endowed. Maybe it has something to do with the nymph’s magical abilities.” I have to remember that the divine awe ability can’t be turned off, she thought. “Genie’s boobs dwarf normal humans the same way that your muscles do,” Dee said. “She’s got an incredible amount of development everywhere,” Heather replied. “I think that normal people are too enamored by her lust-induction to notice.” She looked at the brownie, “Will it take long to craft outfits for us?” “It’ll only take a few minutes once I have the measurements. I hope that they will meet with your approval,” The brownie answered. Dee pursed her lips. “Given that Lord Roquefort is paying for this and status is very important to him, I would spare no expense in making absolutely the best garments you are capable of crafting.” She smiled cheerfully. “Just saying.” The brownie snorted. “You have learned from your previous visit, haven’t you?” “Being around her also boosts my confidence,” Dee admitted as she squeezed where her hand was cupped onto Heather’s bicep. After the woman had done her measurements and went to the back of the shop, Heather said, “She didn’t mention anything about my paying for anything; just you.” “I think people believe I'm your maidservant,” Dee considered. “I would be carrying your coin purse, in that case, as it would be beneath your station.” “Please tell her that, then,” Heather said. “I don’t want her to give me the items because my aura is compelling her to do so.” “Um… she is charging Lord Roquefort,” Dee pointed out. “I’ll just remind her that both outfits need to be charged to his account. It is so satisfying to volunteer him to be generous.” “I don’t want her giving me something just because of who or what I am,” Heather replied. “I didn’t realize that Zeus had left me with any connection. Maybe he actually likes me.” “Heather? Demi-goddess?” Dee said, composing her face and looking seriously at her friend. “Yes?” She turned to face Dee, “What could I do for you?” “Live a little,” Dee said. “It’s not really abusing my authority if I don’t act maliciously, is it?” Heather replied. “I’m constantly second-guessing myself.” “Ask yourself this: who suggested that the clothes ought to be top-tier?” Dee pointed to herself. “Who is getting a benefit from you going out and performing this service for the queen?” She paused to take a quick breath. “Hint: the queen’s retainers benefit when the queen does. Do you see where I’m going with this?” Heather took a second to think, looking up at the corner of the room, “It’s impossible to be infinitely generous. I’d have to be infinitely wealthy and infinitely powerful to do that.” “The first isn’t one of your domains, while the second one technically is,” Dee squeezed at Heather’s bicep. “I really don’t know about that, but I have no way of testing it,” Heather answered. “There’s a limit to how much force I can exert on a normal object. I’ll leave it as questionable. After all, I’m limited to physical exertion at fingertip range, and Candi has me beat at that.” She pursed her lips, “Maybe I’m now down to Cherry’s level. We can arm-wrestle to find out.” The brownie cleared her throat, “If I may be bold enough to interrupt your counsel with your high priestess,” She pointed to a pair of paper-wrapped parcels. “Please try on your outfits so that I may perform any adjustments to them.” Dee barely suppressed a squeal that came out, instead, as a squeak as she grabbed her new outfit and slid off her old one. She started pulling the new shirt over her shoulders. “It feels a little...” she grunted, pulling harder on the sleeves, “...tight!” There was a brief pause as the fabric clung to her arms like a second skin. then a couple pops as a pair of stitches gave way followed by a tearing noise as the sleeve gave way entirely. Dee’s face fell. “Oh, my!” the proprietress exclaimed. “Uh, Dee?” Heather pointed at the easel-mounted mirror. “I think you should take a look at this.” Dee held the remnants of one of her sleeves in the other hand as she looked at her reflection, “My face is mostly familiar, but… I don’t have a hair out of place.” She reached towards where her locks hung down along the side of her face and saw and felt her bicep expand to brush her ear. “Oh, wow, that is… huge!” She looked at Heather, “Normal outfits are gonna split whenever I move, aren’t they?” Heather nodded and made air-quotes with her fingers. “Hashtag: Supergirl problems,” she laughed. “This is from your hyper-powered panic-healing, isn’t it?” Dee raised an arm to the side and flexed, “I just gained about fifteen or twenty strength points, didn’t I?” She held the pose for a few seconds and ran her other hand’s forefinger up along the side of the swell of her bicep to its peak. “Ooh, I’ve even got the show-off vein.” “Role-playing stats don’t really translate well to the real world,” Heather admitted, “but I would guess about a plus fifteen for purposes of gaming. You might have to let Lucas try to arm-wrestle you to prove it, though.” “I think Nikita would be a better choice for that,” Dee said. “That would be a more even match, probably,” Heather agreed, “but not as much fun for me as watching my brother going red in the face as he tried to pull one of your arms down using his entire body.” Dee’s gaze went down to her chiseled abdominals and defined legs. She flexed one thigh and ‘Ooh-ed’ as the quadriceps popped into expanded definition. “I can definitely get used to this.” She looked at Heather, “I promise to take my time and go easy on him. I don’t wanna break anything.” “I hope the shop owner doesn’t mind updating her measurements and making a new outfit,” Heather said. “The shop-owner is right here,” the brownie said, clearing her throat. “And I don’t mind. I should have done that in the first place. This is what I get for forgetting that mortals change so quickly.” Once the brownie had finished her preparations and had gone into the back room, Dee asked, “Are the changes that you’ve made permanent?” “That’s not a glamour. I don’t cast temporary charms, like the fae do.” Heather slid a finger up along Dee’s bicep. “You’re going to have to work to keep yourself in peak condition. That means daily workouts and the right nutrition. This much muscle also requires enough energy…” She summoned her mystical staff and paused to cast a divination spell, “You’re going to need an enormous amount of calories every day. Junk food is now a required food group for you.” “I’ll do whatever it takes to keep my abs,” Dee continued to stare at her reflection. “Alex is going to be so jealous and it’s going to be so fun teasing her.” She held an arm out straight, “fitness model.” She bent her elbow, causing her bicep peak to rise in an arc shape, “Bodybuilder.” She then flexed, causing the peak to rise and split along her forearm, “Mythic. I think using ‘Dee’ as a unit of measurement is now a defunct system.” “You should join Kat in her Candi-directed workout program,” Heather suggested. “What’ll happen if I don’t do that?” Dee asked. “Nothing, necessarily,” Heather admitted. “You might lose muscle tone and mass, but without experimenting, I couldn’t actually predict with any certainty. I suspect that not exercising will make you feel sick, unless you cut way back on your calories… in which case you’ll just feel like you’re starving as you digest your organs in order to maintain your muscle mass. Like it or not, you’re now ‘programmed’ to have this build.” Dee looked taken aback. “You can’t fix that?” she asked. “I mean, I love this build, but that seems sort of extreme…” Heather shook her head, “Body alteration is one of the most difficult domains of magic to practice. Once a spell is put into place, it is extremely dangerous to alter. I also suggest that you don’t ask anyone else to try to change it.” She blushed, “My enchantments carry enough power to instantly kill most anyone who tries to alter them.” Dee nodded, “Did your spell tell you what my ability levels are?” She struggled to look away from her reflection and at Heather, “I don’t want to kill people by mistake.” “I think that finding that out is usually part of becoming a superheroine, but that could cause trouble,” Heather replied. “Keep in mind that you’re able to resist damage at the same level as your strength.” “It wouldn’t make sense if I couldn’t,” Dee replied.“You should be able to use in the range of ten tons for one-handed bicep curls,” Heather mused. Dee’s eyes opened wide as she stood with her mouth open for a few seconds, “Uh, did I hear that correctly? Did you say ‘tons’?” “You’ll have to ask Lucas to figure out your stats correctly,” Heather replied. “You get no experience awards in game for defeating opponents that you can one-shot with your strength bonus, so that means normal thugs and minions only ever give story awards.” “No wonder William’s villains in his game always have such convoluted plots,” Dee replied. “I’ve got your new adventuring gear ready,” The brownie announced. “How do you manage to custom tailor clothes so rapidly, and how do you have them done at exactly the most opportune time?” Heather asked. The brownie smiled and waggled her fingers. “Magic, of course,” she said. “And centuries of experience.” “That is a concept I’m not used to yet.” Dee squatted down to pick up the package labelled ‘New Buff Bod’. She looked at the brownie, “Thank you.” “Um… Thanks for what?” The brownie ‘If you feel a need to incur a debt, you should give thanks to your patron.” “I like the label that you’ve put on it,” Dee replied. “My first instinct was to label it as ‘muscled goddess’, but that might be seen as disrespectful towards my other guest. Of course, that title is not necessarily exclusive, as your presence here proves.” The brownie adjusted her nez perce glasses, “If you weren’t an overwhelmingly powerful personage, I would have held you in debt to me for offering your thanks. Also, we brownies are allergic to gratitude. It makes us queasy.” “Really?” Dee asked, wide-eyed. “Which part?” the shopkeeper asked. “Most of what I said is word-for-word truth. The fae cannot truly lie, after all, except when they are prone.” “I’ll keep that in mind for when my handsome, fashionable, long-haired, lean and thin elven boyfriend is lying beside me,” Dee replied. “I didn’t know you had one,” Heather said. “Not yet,” Dee grabbed the twine that held her clothing package and pulled it until it snapped. She unfolded the paper, “Ankle-high shoes, tiny culottes and a baby-doll top with sleeve caps?” “I expect that you want them to survive your adventures. You’re probably immune to physical harm, so you won’t need protection,” The brownie replied. “On the converse, it’s your outfit that’s in danger of being destroyed. Would you rather have foes blunt their swords and snap their axe blades against your muscles without harming your outfit, or would you like to have them tear it apart?” “I was hoping for something suitable for a picture,” Dee frowned. “Parade armor is worn after the battle, not during it,” The brownie said. “If you wish, I could have a second outfit ready for you momentarily.” Dee looked at Heather. “Do you think Roquefort’s credit will extend to that?” she asked hopefully. “I doubt the city’s magistrate will have to beg for table scraps,” Heather chuckled.* * * * * “It’s supposed to be cold out, isn’t it?” Dee’s breath steamed as she walked alongside Heather. “You’ve got on little more than a bikini, and I’ve got summer wear.” “It's a bonus and a limitation of your new body. Your muscles generate a lot of waste heat, probably more than mine or even Candi’s do. “It always feels hot outside.” Dee unwrapped a piece of jerky, “We’ve got to have the most nebulous instructions as to where to travel ever devised.” “Hard to find your way, is it?” The voice was a lilting brogue and completely unexpected. Dee whirled and found herself facing a diminutive, lop-shouldered man with a mop of unkempt, short red hair, oddly mismatched with the neatly trimmed beard and mustache he wore. He swept the two girls a low bow, his forehead nearly brushing the dirt. “Allow me to introduce myself,” he said. “I am Cnú Deireóil, here to offer you aid and succor in your quest.” “Um… Are you speaking in an Irish accent?” Heather asked. “‘Tis not I who speak with an Irish accent,” the dwarvish elf twinkled; “rather, ‘tis the land of Eire that acquired the lilt and rhythms of the Tuatha de Danann. “I’m just used to hearing the German accent that Gouda’s city has,” Heather replied. “Aye, ‘tis true,” the red-headed dwarf lamented. “The dark lady has the same mien and manner as that humorless, dour people.” “You haven’t met Shayna or Genie, then,” Heather chuckled. “I am not complaining at all. I’m just surprised. How did you know that we’re on a quest?” “Your presence is as subtle as an army and your gait as light as that of an oliphaunt,” he smiled. “But fear not, for your ability to escape notice is undoubtedly not why that royal personage sent you in this direction. Would I be right in my surmise that you seek the horned lady who my master is currently… entertaining?” He pronounced ‘horned’ with two syllables, as if the word were part of a title and not merely a description. Dee peeked behind herself to see the trail of shattered stones and dents in the rocky terrain. “We were only told that we would be meeting a chieftain of one of the Beast Tribes,” Heather replied. “I see that you’re already entangled in this, aren’t you?” “Ah!” Cnú cried. “I shall not detain you then. Just… you should be aware that such a powerful personage may burn hotly at times like these; perhaps if you knew song or dance, you might soothe a savage Beastlord.” “I’m not all that good at music,” Heather said, “and why are you interested in helping someone that is at odds with your… master?” “Should I not be so inclined?” he asked. “I have not been told as much. My master might take offense were I to ask, but I see no reason to trouble him so.” Heather cocked her head to think for a little bit, “I see. You haven’t been specifically prohibited from doing so, which means you are free to do so. Definitions are extremely important.” “Not directly and not overtly,” Cnú replied, “but as long as our purposes are aligned, you will find that my aid is readily available when I feel you need it most.” “So we are only indirectly working together,” Heather said. “As long as it leads to a goal that benefits my own self, yes,” he answered. “Only fools seek war in preference to other means.” He paused and scratched at his rough skin. “Fools and nobles, I suppose.” Dee used her pointer finger to carve features into the horse figurine she was fashioning from a piece of soapstone while she listened to the conversation. “Would you be inclined to teach us a song or dance that our soon to be host would be calmed by?” Heather asked. “I have reason to believe that would make dealings with him much simpler.” Cnú smiled. “Mayhap if you were to share some of your food and drink with me as we passed a little time,” he suggested. “I might consider teaching you a simple song as fair repayment for your hospitality.”* * * * * “Do you always come across such bizarre people whenever you’re here?” Dee asked. “Only when I’m awake,” Heather replied. “Should we be going this fast?” Dee asked, “You’ve sped us up to a jog, so how is anyone supposed to catch up to us?” “The distances here are based on need, so we’ll get to our goal whenever it is appropriate,” Heather replied. “I’m just working to see how you’ll adapt to your altered form. You’re still cracking things that you’re stepping on. You might get in trouble if you do that indoors.” “Thanks for the warning,” Dee peeked behind them. “This takes practice, doesn’t it?” Heather put her arm in front of Dee and slid to a stop once they rounded a thicket. “Oh, wow…” “Hey!” Dee exclaimed as she looked down at Heather’s hand against her stomach. “Dee,” Heather said calmly. “Look up.” The mountainous cervid-taur, a human male torso scaled and replacing the neck and head of a pleistocene-era Irish elk towered in front of them. He stood about ten feet tall, scowling down at them, while his antlers exceeded that in breadth. “You trespass in these lands, little goddess,” the enormous cervid growled. “I will have something of value from you or take it from thy bones!” Dee blinked. “Not exactly friendly…” Heather nudged the smaller girl with her elbow. “The song, Dee?” “Huh?” Dee said. “Oh, yeah…”* * * * * He set his spear butt-end on the ground, put one of his forelegs out to the side with a loud ‘Thump!’, and bent the other forelegs' knees. He bent forward at his waist and cupped his oversized hand behind Heather’s upper arm. “Demi-goddess Heather, vessel of Gaia, I welcome you to my tribe’s lands. I am Gruffudd, Chieftain among the Beast Courts.” He touched his forehead to her biceps and straightened to full height. Heather felt her pulse racing, “I am honored to meet you, Chieftain,” Heather nodded her head. “I should clarify that I am no longer Gaia’s chosen.” “Semantics,” his voice boomed. “Minor divine status is no different from primary divine status when compared to beings of the earth. It would honor me and my people if you would accept our hospitality.” “Please lead the way and we will follow,” Heather replied. “It would be much easier if we were to continue our conversations in familiar terms, rather than formal ones.” “If it is thy wish,” He said “Colloquial language, please,” Heather added. He nodded, “It isn’t far. We should make it there in time for supper.” Grufudd went into a loping gait. “Dee will be aiding me,” Heather replied. “We are sorry that your daughter has been taken. We will do everything that we can to ensure her safe return.” “The details will be given to you after the feast,” Gruffudd said. “Her freedom will prove Gouda’s trustworthiness and will help bring an end to this unnecessary violence.”* * * * * “Will there come a time that anyone will see fit to address me?” Dee asked as they followed the bank of a stream. “I like the freebies, like clothes and feasts, but it does get a bit annoying.” “Social rank is very important here,” Heather answered. “If I weren’t of divine status, we’d have undoubtedly been challenged to duels, imprisoned or exiled for our lack of suitable decorum.” She looked at Dee, “We could always try our luck with the court of Regia Astria, as opposed to Regia Mundi, Queen Gouda.” “Would the unseelie really be any different?” Dee asked. “Do you really think the unseelie would hesitate to fill your boots with manure just because of your rank?” Heather asked, then added, “or mine?” “I take it that they are a bit more direct,” Dee said. “When they tell someone to drop dead, they mean it,” Heather replied. “I see that you’ve taken them up on their offer of leftovers.” “Whatever do you mean?” Dee adjusted her burgeoning carrypack. Are you carrying an enormous amount of food by accident?” Heather asked. “It would have been rude to refuse their hospitality,” Dee replied. “Especially after they got Earth-realm catering. It’s also nicer than having to go hunting, which I don’t know how to do.” She took the cold iron baton off of her pack, “In light of recent changes, do you think I need to carry around a murder weapon anymore?” “It is a dangerous item to leave around for anyone else to find,” Heather took hold of it. “If you were to toss it into a lake, someone would be guaranteed to pull it out while fishing. Nothing is ever truly lost, especially here.” “The only thing worse for a fae than being beaten with a piece of cold iron would be to be assaulted with a rusty piece of cold iron,” Dee replied. “It was mainly meant to be a security blanket type of thing,” Heather cupped her palms onto either end of the baton and pulled them together. The metal shrieked as it collapsed, with glowing red fluid splashing out in front of her. “That should get rid of it. Now it’ll rust away soon enough.” “The way that you don’t even think twice about doing something like that would be frightening if someone malicious did it,” Dee said as they crested a rise. “I have no skill in intimidation,” Heather replied. “And I don’t plan on gaining it.” “With a passive bonus of plus-a-lot, you don’t need it,” Dee snorted. “Yeah, I’m as frightening as the plushies,” Heather said. “And I’ve yet to see anyone cower in terror before Candi or Nikita.” “That’s because they’re fuzzy, not furry,” Dee pointed out. “Even though they could, no one can imagine one of them pulling off someone’s leg and beating them to death with it. Not like the werewolves…” “Ibic’s compound shouldn’t be too far away, so we might want to sneak,” Heather suggested. “Do you know how to do that?” Dee asked, “Like, do we tie branches to ourselves and hope no one notices a pair of hedges that are getting closer and closer?” “I could use a spell to cover us in camouflage paint,” Heather said. “Then all they’d see is the glinting of light off of your glasses?” Dee asked, “Why do you even wear them? I can’t believe that everything about your physical form is superhumanly perfect except for your ability to see.” “I like them,” Heather whispered. “They look good on me.” Dee snatched them away to look through the lenses, “What are these, ten times magnifiers?” She stared at her hand. “I like to think of them as super-vision,” Heather smirked as she took them back. “My eyes can adjust to use them normally.” They passed through a tall thicket and descended into a low valley; as they proceeded, a sprawling wooden-walled compound came into view ahead of them, with a pair of stout, short towers surrounding the only visible entrance. Several low out buildings lay outside the wall, and Dee and Heather paused as they came into view. “I guess it makes sense to keep your farms outside the main area,” Heather mused. “Not really,” Dee said. “Not if they expect an attack or a siege, anyways. You’d want to keep your food supplies centralized.” “It also gives a convenient way for people to sneak up and get inside,” Heather replied. “It would be very difficult if there was just open ground surrounding the wall.” “How about if we go in through that paddock, with the…” Dee wrinkled her nose, “super ugly lizard-pigs.” Heather sniffed, “I don’t like the idea of getting closer to them. They’re kind of rank.” “Exactly!” Dee smacked her fist into her palm. “We could even knock out one or two to use for food later.” “You don’t eat things that are just knocked out,” Heather replied. “I don’t want to sound too violent about what would happen,” Dee said. “Other than the obvious reasons, with them belching and farting, there’s another argument for leaving them alone.” Heather pointed to the fence around the lizards’ area, “You notice that those pencil-thin rails wouldn’t keep a duck from escaping. There’s a reason for that.” “Oh, what is that, divine professor?” Dee asked. “Those are basilisks. They’re docile,” Heather answered. “They don’t really move anywhere unless prodded, and they are really good at killing whatever threatens them. Hyper-strength won’t protect against that. You can’t out-flex petrification.” “Maybe a different avenue of attack is warranted,” Dee nodded. “I didn’t bring a mirrored shield, unfortunately,” Heather said. “And no, reflective booty isn’t the same.” “All I have is my compact,” Dee agreed. “I don’t think it’s a good idea to walk up and ask them to look into it.” “About as effective as Cindy’s idea for roll-on bug spray,” Heather said. “But don’t they…” Dee began. “That’s where you catch the bug,” Heather continued, pantomiming picking an insect off the ground, “roll the stuff onto it, then let it go so you can be revolted by it’s corpse an hour later and look for a napkin to pick it up.” She started around the perimeter of the area, “Let’s try that run-down building.” “That’s pretty good sneaking,” Dee whispered. “We hardly stomped any depressions into the ground.” She tried the door latch, and heard it snap as she squeezed it, “Whoops…” “Plus one experience for successfully bypassing the lock,” Heather pulled the door open. “Wow, two scores of tarts.” “We could steal them,” Dee said. “That would be terrible,” Heather walked to the back of the room. She turned to Dee and held an upraised finger in front of her lips. They heard a muffled voice from where the building butted against the thick outer wall of the compound, “Good evening, esteemed guest. We have not heard back from your father yet about his coming to terms with the wisdom of pledging his allegiance to me.” A muffled response was unintelligible through the wall. “Such fire!” the man’s voice chided. “It would be such a shame if he were to abandon you to have your horns trimmed, reducing you to serving as my docile mount.” “Briseadh agus brú ar do chnámha!” carried through the wall in a clear, feminine voice, followed by a loud slap and the slamming of a heavy door. “Did you understand that?” Dee whispered. “It translated into German for me, and I’m not fluent in that,” Heather replied. “I doubt she was giving her approval.” “We really should do something to make Ibic regret what he’s doing,” Dee flexed, straining her outfit. “He’d think twice about kidnapping…” “Fae choose their words very carefully,” Heather said. “Double entendres are rarely an accident.” She swallowed, “Mounting isn’t just about riding her like a horse…” “Although,” a lilting voice said, making them both jump, “it may be synonymous with riding bareback…” It took Dee’s eyes a fraction of a second longer to register the diminutive man who’d crept up behind them; Heather was already on her second choice of whispered expletive by the time Dee recognized him as Cnú Deireóil. “What are you doing here?” Heather hissed. “I thought perhaps you might not want to provoke all-out open warfare between the high fae,” the dwarfish man said. He placed his thumb a sliver of an inch away from his forefinger. “You’re about this close to making that happen, should you carry on as you are.” “What are you suggesting, then?” Heather cupped her palm over Dee’s tensed bicep, “We need to rescue her and Ibic isn’t likely to oblige.” “First, you must abandon all hope of justice or revenge on my half-brother,” Cnú said. “If you will do that much, I will furnish you with a plan only the likes of you could hope to accomplish.” “Does that mean I can’t punch him until he can only make fish sounds?” Dee growled. “Dee!” Heather said. “Sorry, but he makes me mad,” Dee admitted. “No, no violence at all,” Cnú agreed. “It would end tragically, and we’ve had enough of that, I think.” Dee took a deep breath and held it for a moment before releasing it. “Okay,” she said. “I agree.” “As wise as you are beautiful,” the tiny man said, dimpling at her. “Here is what you do…”* * * * * Dee bent the bottom edge of the covered grate next to the wall in order to slip beneath it, holding it up so that Cnú could wriggle past her. “I knew you were the right choice for this job,” he said. “It’s nice to be able to,” Dee whispered. “I couldn’t have done this a week ago.” “Ah, a recent maturing, is it?” the dwarf asked. “You could say that,” Dee admitted. “I guess.” “We need to follow this passage a mere ten paces, then the door’s mate will be above us.” “Are those your paces?” Dee asked, “or mine?” “A normal man’s paces, of course,” Cnú replied. “Mine would be far too short. Yours ought to be close enough, though.” “I can’t see anything,” Dee complained. “You know, Heather could actually see in the dark…” “Ah, but Heather’s majesty is required for the other prong of your attack,” her companion said. “I do not believe you have the status necessary to speak as a peer with a prince of the realm.” Dee muttered something under her breath. “That was nearly poetic,” the dwarf said. “If you keep that up, I may declare you an honorary Tuatha.” “Thanks,” Dee said drily. “I’ll pass.” She paused and reached up, feeling the edges of a new door above her. “We’re here.” “Then all you need do is raise the door and extract young Saoirse,” he said. “Then we can make our merry way from this sorrowful place, to a feast where we can all be glad of heart and strong of drink.” Dee’s eyes crossed. “He kidnapped a girl named ‘Liberty?”” she asked. “That is evil!” She got a solid footing and pressed her fingertips against the door. To her surprise, it didn’t budge. “What’s holding it?” she grunted. Cnú appeared mystified. “There shouldn’t be anything. Is your strength a fleeting thing?” Dee paused and flexed her bicep in the inky darkness, rubbing her other hand against the deep split to verify it was still there. “I don’t think so,” she said. “Let me try again.” She hopped up and gave the door a shove, resulting in a loud ‘Grunk!’ just before a brass lock tore free and dropped to the floor. The door jerked upwards, and there was a scuffling, thumping sound and a musical string of wild curses. Dee grabbed the edge of the opening in the ceiling with one hand to lift herself and her guide through. The cervid princess lay limbs akimbo next to the trap door. Her light tan fur blended into her skin. She looked to be ‘only’ about seven feet high, with chocolate fetlocks, tail and hair. Her antlers spanned as wide as she was tall. “What manner of being are you, that could toss me as though I were new born?” Saoirse looked at Cnú and bared her teeth, “What are you doing here? “Did I not tell you I would bring you salvation?” the dwarf grinned. “And here she is, making me as good as my word.” Dee crossed her arms as she looked at Cnú, “How are we to get her through the tunnel?” “You could use your mighty thews to hammer through the compound’s walls,” Cnú offered. “That might be noticed, don’t you think?” Dee replied. “Weren’t we trying to avoid having me fight off an army?” Saoirse rolled her eyes. “Always thinking ahead, you lot, aren’t you?” she said. “I will glamour myself that we may travel more easily, now that you have opened a way.” She got her knees under her and rose onto all four legs, then raised her hands above herself so they nearly brushed the roof of the building. She wrinkled her nose slightly and, as she brought her arms back down, her form wavered and shifted. Where the seven-foot cervid had been, a seven-and-a-half foot tall maiden stood, clad in a knit vest and breeches. She wore no shoes, nor a chemise, and she closely resembled Saoirse’s native form, having the same smouldering eyes, athletic build, and chocolate hair with a darkly tanned skin. “If you are quite done admiring me,” she sniffed, “we should go. This is a strain and I can only hold this shape briefly before my nature overtakes me.”* * * * * “I expect that you’ll be telling our Sovereign all about your success,” Genie said. “Why do you assume that?” Heather asked. “What is your rate of failure?” Genie replied, “Have you ever not overcome any adversary?” “Well, there’s Mr. Kurtz, in Advanced Calculus,” Dee said. “My greatest nemesis!” Heather announced, “Every exam involves something that was barely hinted at in class.” “There’s something I’ve just gotta know,” Dee interrupted. “When someone in high position calls on one of the superheroines or Goddesses to meet with them, do they spend all day dressed up and sitting in their meeting rooms just so they’ll look like they’ve guessed the arrival time perfectly?” “That is why the Queen maintains a network of spies,” Genie replied. “She can’t spend all of her time waiting, after all. She also maintains an enchanted wardrobe cabinet and vanity set.” Genie peeked into the audience chamber as they arrived, then stepped in. “Your Majesty, may I present to you the Demi-Goddess, Heather the Giant-slayer, lesser scion of Gaia, and ... “ She thought for a couple of seconds, then continued in an abbreviated fashion, “her loyal companion, Dee, of Earth-realm.” The dark elf stood as they entered, “We may dispense with the formalities for now, at least until you learn proper etiquette.” She stepped down from the dias, “We can adjourn to my study. Please follow.” As they walked through the tastefully rough-hewn stone corridors, Dee whispered to Heather, “I sort of liked seeing her talking to your boobs or biceps.” “I think that’s why she’s changing the venue,” Heather replied softly. “You’re not entirely wrong,” Gouda said, smiling slightly. “It would have been annoying if I had been forced to take offense at your impertinence.” She pointed at one of her ears. “Not just for show, you understand.” She brought them into a chamber decorated in art nouveau style and sat on a bench. Once they had followed suit, she faced Heather, pushed her bench backwards with a ‘grunk’, then addressed her. “We don’t need to sit close enough to be bumping. I congratulate you on your successful completion of our task. Since there hasn’t been any increase in hostilities, I can assume that you did so with a minimum of damage?” “Not every journey I make here involves regional devastation,” Heather replied. “I do have a moderate amount of control over my abilities.” She paused, “Gruffudd is very happy for your assistance. He said that you can expect no more raids from his affiliates or from the Beast Courts during the current hostilities.” Dee cleared her throat. “May I ask something?” she asked. “I will even grant you an answer to a further inquiry, companion of the demi-Goddess” Gouda smiled.“ Uh… Why didn’t you tell us that you had someone else helping before we left?” Dee asked. “I didn’t,” the elf replied. “Then why was Cnú helping us?” Dee asked, then widened her eyes. “I’m sorry about the extra question.” “I see this as an exchange of information,” Gouda mused. “He’s always been very independent, more than Lugh has ever been comfortable with.” She sat a fingertip against her cheek. “If you didn’t send him,” Heather said, “what’s his game? You’ll note I don’t expect you to answer; I’m just pondering out loud.” Gouda’s lips thinned. “I do not doubt his loyalty; he is the High King’s man, without question… but he serves him as he believes best.” “Maybe continuing the fighting will cost more than any rewards?” Heather asked. “It could be that simple,” Gouda said, allowing the sentence to trail off. Dee waited as the silence grew pregnant. Finally, impatiently, she said, “Or…?” Gouda smiled again, a razor-thin blade of white against her dark face. “Cnú is the least valued of Lugh’s lieutenants,” she said, “and the most underestimated by the High King, himself. I would not put it past him to have designs within designs. She thought for a second, “It may be time to send a delegation to speak with Lugh.” “Does that mean we’ve succeeded?” Heather asked. “Moreso than I had expected,” Gouda answered. ”I accept your service with a glad heart. Please enjoy a tour of my city at the crown’s expense. I shall return you to Earth-realm upon your return.”* * * * * As they exited a shop, with Dee eating a fish pastry, Heather stopped and gasped. Her muscles tensed and expanded. “Goddess?” Dee asked, “You look… scared.” “I just felt Cherry’s spirit,” Heather said. “We have to return right now!”...
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Macabre and Horror
Boogeyman Lord of Horror by thekingvillain
Classic Characters
Storm by PsychedelicHeroin
Hand Painted Clothing
Symbiote Host by crabnebula85
OC Comic Pages
MLP Fan Comics: Tenebris Malum Page  2 by xMonsterGirlsHideout
Wonder Woman Mermaid by adagadegelo
Children 6-12 years old
Beverly Marsh by Godzilla2137
Line Work for Collabs
Sonya Blade as Nina Williams by KyoungInKim
Hand Painted Art
Ghost in the Shell by ArtNinjaTX
Comedy and Humor
Male and Female Super Heroes 2
Batgirl Barbara Gordon Rebirth by Mary-Margret
OC 2
Colossus Unit - Draco by Mate397
Male and Female Superheroes 3
Superman - Steel Redesign by Femmes-Fatales
A day in the life of Barbara Gordon bonus gif2 by Mary-Margret

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HEROES-VILLAINS-MORE Official Opening Day was 26 September 10'!!
Thank You for Joining Us!
HVM Crew'
I'm making a survey about superpowers. I invite you to take part. 
After some magic with data that I’m going to run soon, it will show how female super-powers are related. Are you in?   )
Here's a link to the survey:
I'm going to post results to my journal at DeviantArt, but in the survey, you have an option to leave your contacts, so I will send you the results.
Some of the folders are full and we might need more
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