Monday, 25 March 2024 19:00

Marvel and Meyhem

Written by
Rate this item
(4 votes)

Morpheus’s Legacy Universe – Part 12

Marvel and Meyhem




I took a deep breath, focusing all my attention on my target, taking careful aim and then finally pulling the trigger. There as a clicking sound as my camera snapped the picture, capturing the image of the super heroine Glamour Girl in what I hoped would be the perfect photograph.

"Is that it?" Glamour girl asked, looking a little impatient.

I stared at the teenage super heroine for a moment. She was a cute blonde with an aura of rainbow light around her, though she somehow seemed a little more mature than her age would indicate. She had been kind enough to let me take these pictures of her but I knew she was nearing the limits of her patience.

"That should do it," I said with a smile, "I'm sure this last picture will be perfect."

With that, I turned my attention to my camera, keeping it ready in case anything interesting happened. Where developed were concerned, you never knew what could happen at any given moment. In fact, it wouldn't be out of the unlikely for some super villain to burst in and challenge her to a fight at any given moment, and if that happened I was going to be ready.

My name is Gavin McCleod and I am a 33-year-old photographer for Developments Magazine, a monthly magazine version of the popular Developments TV show. We do a lot of articles about developed who are in the news recently, doing interviews and profiles on various famous developed as well. Of course, we usually focus more on the super heroes, but we have enough articles on the villains that most of the developed crowd read us in order to keep up on the competition.

At the moment, my magazine was doing a profile article and interview for the young super heroine Glamour Girl and I got the job of taking the pictures for it. But since my job was done for the moment, my partner Tina Schue was able to start doing hers, which was performing the actual interview for the article.

Tina was a cute and petite blonde with a somewhat perky personality and quick wit that could be fairly sharp at times. While I was a photographer, she was an actual reporter so they two of us were frequently teamed up to work together. We'd worked together often enough that we'd even become friends, though I sometimes thought that we could have easily become more. There were several reasons that I'd never asked her out, one of which was that I'd just gone through a messy divorce less than a year ago and wasn't quite ready to start dating again, especially not in the office.

I just stood back and listened to the interview as intently as I could while trying to remain unobtrusive. Glamour Girl didn't really say anything to give an idea of who she really was, though she did say she got her powers from some mysterious voice from another dimension for the sole purpose of fighting off an invasion in ours. And as I listened, I became even more amazed by just how mature and well educated she sounded, not at all like I would have expected from a teenage girl.

Once the interview was over, Glamour Girl shook hands with Tina and said, "I've enjoyed reading your magazine and I'm really looking forward to seeing this article." Then she winked at me and laughed, "Just make sure you took a picture of my best side." She left just a few seconds later, flying out the window with a glowing rainbow trailing behind her.

"That was an interesting one," Tina said with a smile, "She wasn't at all arrogant like that one I did last week."

"I know what you mean," I rolled my eyes, "That woman seemed to think the world owes her for being a hero and she was pretty upset that no one seemed to realize that."

Tina frowned, looking serious as she said, "I wouldn't be surprised if she changes sides before long. That's usually the kind of attitude that gets you in trouble. Just look at what happened to Force."

"Yeah," I shuddered, "I met him a few years back, before he went crazy. He struck me as kind of a loose cannon even back then." Then I changed the subject, " about we go get some lunch."

"I don't know," Tina responded with a thoughtful look, "I've got to write up this interview and get it turned in."

"And I have to develop my film and find the best pictures," I pointed out. "But there's no use working on an empty stomach."

"You could afford to miss a lunch or two," Tina teased me, gesturing to the belly I was just starting to develop.

A short while later, Tina and I were sitting at a small cafe, eating lunch and talking about our impressions of Glamour Girl. She agreed with me that Glamour Girl was definitely more mature than she looked, though didn't really seem to surprised, reminding me that you can't always judge a book by it's cover.

"True," I agreed, "You remember Mister Macho, that super strong guy who was showing up a lot a few years back?"

"I heard about him," Tina nodded, "Seven feet tall and all muscle? But I've never actually seen him. That was before I started working here."

"Well," I grinned, "It wasn't written in the interview, but off the record he admitted that he loves doing needlepoint to relax. He apparently loved watching soaps too."

"Really?" Tina gasped in delight, then started to laugh. "That's definitely an odd image."

"And Ms. Fem," I pointed out, "You know that heroine who proclaims herself the feminist ideal?"

"Yeah," Tina frowned, "I think I met her once."

"Well," I looked around carefully to make sure no one could hear us, then I quietly told Tina, "She used to be a HE. Apparently he somehow got mixed up with the Sisterhood...that femnazi terrorist group. This is all secondhand and I don't know the details, but apparently they were trying to create an army of women with super powers and femnazi ideals when he accidentally got in the mix and turned into Ms. Fem. Apparently, only the fact that she used to be a guy kept her from converting to their side completely."

"Wow," Tina shook her head, then laughed, "I bet that would have been weird for him."

Then she asked, "Did you hear about Madame Dark? Well, a contact in the Guard told me off the record..."

Just then, Tina was interrupted by a rumbling explosion from somewhere down the street. I immediately jumped to my feet and looked around, ready to bolt into action. As soon as I caught sight of someone with a cape flying in the direction of the explosion, I burst into action. I slammed a twenty dollar bill down onto the table to cover lunch, grabbed my camera and the small but expensive camcorder that I carried everywhere as well, then I rushed down the street.

I learned a long time ago that where developed are concerned, it pays to be prepared. Since I take so many pictures of developed, not just in controlled studio conditions but out in the field as well, I also carry a camcorder. Sometimes you can get a lot more with video than with snapshots, and there have been a number of times when my videos have been aired on the Developments TV show.

It only took me a minute to arrive at the scene of the chaos and take it all in. There were two super villains whom I recognized as being members of the Black Guild, a loose knit group of villains that had recently been showing up. From what little I knew of the Black Guild, most of their members preferred to work alone but they had banded together to offer each other assistance when they needed it.

Luminator was a man with a gold and white costume and a gold cape, looking much more like a hero than the villain he actually was. From his name, it was pretty obvious that he had light powers, though the beams of light he shot from his hands as he floated in the air were another good indication. He was the caped man that I'd seen outside the cafe, though I hadn't quite recognized him until I was able to get a good look.

The second villain at the scene was Meyhem, a super strong villainess that I'd seen up close and personal more than once before. She was six and a half feet tall with big breasts and a lot of muscle, not to mention long green hair a skimpy costume made of green leather which looked almost like it could have come from some kind of S&M shop. She was actually kind of sexy, in that scary amazon super villain sort of way.

A single glance was enough to tell me what was going on. After all, there was an armored car in the middle of the street that had been literally torn in half so I didn't need to be a genius to figure it out. Meyhem stood by the armored car, gathering up bags of what I assumed were money. Luminator just floated over head, firing blasts of light at the people running away and laughing in delight.

"This will look great on TV," I exclaimed as I moved closer, recording the action with my camcorder. Intellectually, I knew that I should probably be avoiding this kind of trouble but I was too caught up in recording every moment of this. I'd gotten in trouble because of this on more than one occasion.

Just then, Meyhem looked straight at me and exclaimed, "YOU! I've seen you before...with HER." Her expression turned from one of amusement to one of anger. Without another word she grabbed a car from the side of the road as though it weighed nothing and threw it straight at me.

Suddenly, something grabbed me and yanked me up into the air, just as the car smashed into the ground where I'd been standing. There were a pair of arms holding me and I could feel a pair of breasts pushing into my back. I didn't need to glance at the person to know who it was, "Marvel!"

"You just keep finding ways to get into trouble," the super heroine known as Marvel said as she set me down on the ground and stepped back.

I just stared at Marvel for a moment, feeling my heart skip a beat. She was a tall, athletic and sexy blonde with long hair and a single lock of blue in the front and was wearing a blue and gold spandex costume that had a gold M on the chest and a golden cape. This was definitely not the first time we'd met, but I always seemed to have this reaction around her. The fact that I had a bit of a crush on Marvel was another reason that I'd never asked Tina out on a date.

"Thanks for saving me," I told Marvel with a grin, "Again... We need to stop meeting this way."

"You need to stop getting yourself in trouble," she teased me. Then she turned her attention to Meyhem and muttered, "Damn... Not her again."

Marvel scowled then flew straight at Meyhem, hitting her with everything she had and knocking the larger woman through the remains of the armored car. However, this didn't seem to bother Meyhem much as she immediately got up and went after the heroine.

I just stood where I was, watching the fight and recording everything with my camcorder. Meyhem was bigger, stronger and tougher, but Marvel could fly which gave her the advantage in maneuverability. In the end, they were pretty much evenly matched. This wasn't actually anything new since Marvel and Meyhem had fought several times before. In fact, Meyhem was sort of Marvel's archenemy and had developed some sort of personal grudge against the heroine. That was pretty clear from the furious way Meyhem attacked her.

Luminator remained where he was for a minute, looking uncertain about what to do. Then he exclaimed, "There's no profit to either revenge or jail." And with that, he dove to the ground, grabbed a single bag of money and flew off at a high speed. Marvel was so busy with Meyhem that she didn't chase after him and might not even have noticed his escape.

Marvel and Meyhem continued to fight for several more minutes while the cops finally started to arrive and surround the area. One cop tried to usher me back, but I slipped away from him and found a new position to record from. The two combatants were fairly even, or at least they were at first. Slowly but surely, Meyhem was taking the advantage. She was dealing a little more damage to Marvel, who was starting to tire.

"Come on Marvel," I called out, "Beat this bitch!"

A minute later, another figure suddenly entered the fray, this one glowing with a rainbow aura. It only took me a second to recognize Glamour Girl and realize that she must have still been in the area and heard about this. I gave a silent prayer of thanks and grinned as she turned the tide against Meyhem. With her and Marvel working together, they were soon able to take Meyhem down.

"That was some good footage," I said, patting my camera once the fight was over.

I remained there for a short while longer, long enough to see Glamour Girl talk to Marvel privately for a moment then fly off with Marvel flying away just seconds later. Then as the police came in with some special equipment to contain Meyhem, I decided that everything was done and over with and I could finally go.

"Tina," I exclaimed, realizing that I'd forgotten all about her during the excitement. I cursed myself for that then started back towards the cafe in case she was still there. "The poor woman missed the excitement again." I shook my head and sighed. I'd run into and been saved by Marvel on multiple occasions, but my poor partner always seemed to miss out. "Too bad I can never get those two together at the same time. Marvel would make for a great interview."

linebreak shadow

I sat back at my desk, frowning intently as I carefully went over a pile of photos, trying to decide which ones I should submit for our next issue. I had already chosen the ones I wanted to use of Glamour Girl for the interview we did last week, but I still had to decide on which one I wanted to use of that new heroine Witch Girl, especially since I'd taken that picture from a distance without benefit of an interview or nice studio.

"It's getting difficult keeping track of all these new developed who keep appearing," I mused.

Of course, taking pictures of new developed who make their appearance was part of my job.

I just hoped we were able to get an interview with this Witch Girl so I might find out what connection if any she has to that old time super heroine Ms. Witch. Since they looked so much alike and Witch Girl was on the same team Ms. Witch had founded, I wondered if they might be related somehow.

"Let's see," I said, spreading the pictures out and going over them again to determine which would be the best one of the set.

Just then I noticed Tina coming towards my desk. She stopped beside it and glanced down at my pictures before saying, "I think I've seen her before..."

"They call her Witch Girl," I told her, "She's a recent addition to Faction Zero."

Tina nodded, then said, "I like the pictures you took of Glamour Girl, but I think this one will go better with the interview..."

I shook my head, "That one isn't very good. Something about her aura kind of messed up the picture. Here, you can see around her feet where the colors got blurry..."

Tina and I discussed the pictures for several minutes until I pulled out a couple of stills that I'd taken of the fight with Meyhem. "I figured we might be able to use this in the article too," I pointed out, "It shows Glamour Girl in action and you know how much people like the action shots."

"That could work," Tina frowned, "Except her aura messes with the colors in this one even more than they do in that other one."

"Yeah," I grinned, "But this one is an action picture. People tend to expect that kind of thing in action pictures. They think it makes things seem more authentic..."

Tina picked up a picture of Marvel and Glamour Girl simultaneously attacking Meyhem and sighed, "Did you hear about Meyhem?"

"No," I frowned, "What?"

"The Black Guild broke her out the other day," Tina sighed. "She's already back on the streets."

"Just great," I sighed.

"It's just hard to believe that someone like that finally gets put away," Tina shook her head, "and the cops can't even hold them more than a week. It's shameful."

We continued talking for several more minutes before I decided to get up and pour myself a new cup of coffee. As I got up, I put accidentally bumped Tina's shoulder and she winced, "Ouch..."

"Are you okay?" I asked, looking at her in concern. She'd actually looked like she was in pain and I'd barely touched her.

Tina hesitated a moment, then told me, "I'm just bruised. Some jerk tried grabbing me this morning on my way to work. I got away, but he was rough enough to leave his mark."

"Damn," I grimaced, "Did you report it to the cops?"

"No," Tina looked just a little guilty, then she chuckled, "Maybe I should sign up for self-defense lessons or something."

"I could show you a few moves," I suggested helpfully.

"Like you really know any," Tina teased me.

I just shrugged, "I was pretty big into martial arts back in college. Or at least I thought I was. I tried out several different styles at one time or another but got too busy with my regular classes to keep up with any of them. I still remember a few good moves though."

"Do you have anything I could use against a guy?" Tina asked me with a raised eyebrow and a skeptical look. "I already know how to kick someone in their gems..."

"Well," I responded thoughtfully, trying to remember something she could use. Then I grinned, "There are a couple moves that are great against larger opponents because you use their

own size and strength against them."

Tina immediately became interested and I showed her a basic throw. "If someone grabs you like this, you just have to grab them here and roll yourself like this. You'll bring them right to the ground if they're not prepared for it."

I practiced the move with Tina several times, at least as much as we could since we didn't have any kind of protective gear or padded mats. During one of the attempts, she got a little carried away and actually managed to throw me to the floor rather painfully, proudly exclaiming, "Eat the floor buddy..."

"Just great," I grunted as I got back up, rubbing at my back, "Now I think I've got some bruises."

"I'm sorry," Tina apologized, "I guess I got a little carried away."

"It's okay," I winced, "But next time you might want to go to a self-defense class and practice on someone who gets paid to get beat up."

"But you're such a good teacher," she teased me, "Can you show me something else like that?"

"Maybe later," I chuckled, "First I have to let my pride heal up a little."

Tina just laughed at that, "Poor baby..."

I glanced down at my watch, then said, "Well, I'm off to lunch. You want to come along?"

Tina looked tempted for a moment but she shook her head, "Sorry. I've got other things I need to take care of."

After a quick, "See you later," I hurried out of the office and down the elevator, wondering where I was going to eat today. There was a new deli that I heard had a good Reuben sandwich so maybe I'd give them a try.

I had just left the building when I noticed a strange looking woman standing by the main entrance. She was wearing an overcoat, but even with it on I could tell that she was extremely skinny...almost anorexic looking. The strange woman's eyes were hidden behind a pair of blue goggles, though they seemed to look straight at me. Something about her immediately struck me as familiar and not in a good way.

"Are you Gavin McCleod?" she demanded.

"Yeah," I responded carefully, trying to remember where I'd seen her before. Then it suddenly dawned on me and I immediately stepped backwards, though it was too late. She was already pointing a strange looking gun at me and an instant later, everything went dark.

linebreak shadow

I had no idea how long I was unconscious, only that when I awoke, it was to the sound of a strange humming. However, I barely noticed this sound at first since my head was pounding. Once I did notice the humming, I only wished that I hadn't since it made my headache all the worse.

"Oh God," I groaned, opening my eyes and looking around. My first reaction was, "Oh shit..." I immediately knew I was in DEEP trouble.

Just a few feet in front of me was a wall of glowing red light, crackling and humming with that annoying sound. I quickly looked around me and saw that the glowing red wall surrounded me on all four sides. I was in some sort of square cage with each side being about twelve feet across.

Once I'd taken in the cage, I began to look beyond it into the room outside. Since the glowing red walls were transparent, I could see just about everything around me, though it was all tinged red. I was in a large room that I could only guess to be a laboratory due to all the high tech equipment and the identity of the strange woman with the gun.

"Doctor Nasty," I whispered, naming the anorexic looking woman. I felt a chill go through me as I said her name.

I didn't know much about Doctor Nasty but I grimaced as I thought about what I did know. She was a mad scientist of the worst sort, a trait that she supposedly inherited from her father and his father before him. Rumor had it that her grandfather was a Nazi scientist who used concentration camp victims for experiments far too gruesome to even imagine. He had supposedly taught his son to place science and curiosity above any form of morality and that lesson had been passed down to her.

I'd never heard of Doctor Nasty until recently when her name came up in connection with the Black Guild. From what I understood, she had been operating behind the scenes for some time, providing weapons and technology to anyone who could pay her fee...and offer her an 'interesting' challenge. Apparently, she'd finally drawn the attention of several law agencies and super heroes so allied herself with the Black Guild for protection.

Every fiber of my being screamed at me to get out of here as fast as I could, but I had a strong feeling that it wasn't going to be that easy. The cage I was stuck in gave proof to that. In fact, my best hope of escape might be for Marvel to eventually come and rescue me...if she could even find me. I didn't even have a clue as to where I was at the moment.

After a minute, my headache began to recede enough for me to realize that my whole body felt...wrong. I think that a part of me had already noticed this but had been struggling to repress it for fear of what it might mean. If I'd been captured by Doctor Nasty for whatever reason, it was NOT a good thing. I gulped and slowly looked down at myself, gasping at what I saw.

"Holy shit," I exclaimed, "No fucking way."

A single look at my body was enough to tell me that it wasn't my body, or at least not the body I was used to. My new body was also undeniably female, revealed by the facts that I was completely naked, had a huge pair of tits and nothing between my long legs. And just as oddly, it was also extremely athletic...very muscular even. I had six-pack abs and solid muscles everywhere. When I flexed my arm, there was even a bulge the size of a softball.

"What the hell did she do to me?" I demanded as I stared over my body, feeling completely and totally shocked. I had no idea what to make of any of this. "What did she do to me.?"

It would have been convenient if Doctor Nasty had walked in at that moment and explained why she'd kidnapped me and what she'd done to me, but I saw no sign of her or anyone else for hours. I was left to sit alone in my cage, with no one but myself and my alien body. I could have said that I was too shocked and disgusted to give myself a thorough exam, but that would have been a lie. I looked over just about every little inch of my skin that I could since I didn't have anything else to do.

The glowing red walls continued to hum around me, though I made sure not to touch them, having a feeling that it wouldn't be a good idea to do so. Eventually though, I gave into my curiosity and cautiously touched the wall with one finger, only to feel as though it was suddenly on fire. I yelled and yanked my hand back, though it didn't seem to be burned or injured in the least. In fact, it didn't even hurt anymore. However, I'd learned my lesson and didn't touch the walls again.

I had been in the cage for about six hours, or at least awake in it for six hours since I had no idea how long I'd been in there unconscious when Doctor Nasty finally arrived. She walked into the lab, completely ignoring me as she went to several different pieces of equipment, examining them and making appreciative noises or grunts of disappointment. Eventually she arrived at my cage, pausing to stare at me for a minute without saying anything. Oddly enough, she looked kind of...short.

"Well?" I finally snapped impatiently, "What the hell did you do to me? Why did you kidnap me in the first place?" When she still didn't answer, I demanded, "Come on Doctor Nasty...TELL ME!"

"Interesting," Doctor Nasty mused, looking at me with even greater interest. "You know who we are."

Doctor Nasty reached for her hair and pulled it from her head, revealing it to be a wig that she casually dropped to the floor. Her head was completely bald and pale colored, making her looking even more strange. If I didn't know better, I would have thought that she was a Holocaust victim, but I knew that this woman was no victim. She was dangerous...extremely dangerous. And she just continued to stare at me through those strange blue goggles.

"Such a fine specimen of a body," Doctor Nasty mused as she looked me over, showing the first signs of real human emotion. She was looking at me with a look of interest...attraction even. It stunned me to realize that she was attracted to me, or at least to my body. I'd never heard anything about her being a lesbian but you can't count on those reports and rumors to cover every detail. "If that particular body wouldn't reject us, we might take it for ourself..." She licked her lips at that, giving me an almost hungry grin that sent chills down my spine.

"Why did you do this to me?" I asked again, this time a little more fearfully.

"Do you wish to see that body?" Doctor Nasty abruptly asked with a grin. "Let us show you..."

Doctor Nasty went to the wall and rolled over what seemed to be a large blackboard. But once it was in position, she pushed a button on the side and the whole surface shimmered and changed until it was a mirror. I was amazed at the technology that could do that, but only for a moment before my attention was drawn to the mirror itself and my reflection in it.

"I look like Meyhem," I gasped in shock, immediately recognizing the villain though I'd never seen her naked. I reached up to my large and firm breasts, then to the green hair that went down to my lower back. I'd noticed the green hair while examining myself but hadn't connected it. "I look like Meyhem."

"That is because you occupy Meyhem's exquisite body," Doctor Nasty stated with a look of delight, ogling me with undisguised attraction. "Such a delightful body... Unworthy of one such as you, but it is necessary."

I stared back and forth between the mirror and down at my naked body, trying to absorb this and having a hard time. I'd seen strange things while taking pictures of developed, but nothing like this. Or at least I'd never been directly involved in the weird things quite this personally. Sure, I'd been shot at, had cars thrown at me and fallen off buildings...but it wasn't quite the same.

"Why?" I gasped, trying to make sense of it all, "Why did you turn me into Meyhem? Why did you put me in her body?"

Doctor Nasty continued staring at me through those eerie goggles for a minute, her expression unreadable. Then she finally answered, "Because she asked us to." And with that, she turned and walked away, completely ignoring me and all further attempts to question her.

linebreak shadow

I grimly paced back and forth across my small prison, barely able to take two steps either way before having to turn again. I was feeling claustrophobic and more than a little angry. I wanted to lash out, to smash these walls in or just kick the shit out of someone, specifically Doctor Nasty. Unfortunately, neither option was possible at the moment.

It had been two days since I'd woken up in this cage and I still didn't really know why I was here. Doctor Nasty didn't talk to me much, though she had no problem standing in front of my cage and staring at me for long periods with a creepy grin. Unfortunately, I hadn't seen anyone other than her since I woke up either so I couldn't beg anyone else for help.

There was no doubt that things could have gotten quite messy in my cage if it wasn't for a toilet that occasionally came up from a panel in the floor. Food and water were provided to me through a similar panel in the floor on the opposite side of the cage. Obviously Doctor Nasty had no intention of starving me, though that still left me with few clues as to what she did want.

I finally got so frustrated that I just had to lash out at something. I punched the glowing energy wall, only to feel an explosion of pain that shot up my entire arm and threw me across the cage where I slammed into the other wall before collapsing to the floor. I hurt like hell for several more seconds but the pain was quickly fading.

"You can not damage her body that way," Doctor Nasty stated, having watched my outburst with an amused expression. "Feel free to attempt this again. We will not stop you."

I glared at the mad scientist and settled down on the floor, not giving her the satisfaction of seeing me do that again. She didn't look the least disappointed, much to my own disappointment. I'd been hoping to shake her up, but so far the only real emotions she showed towards me were sexual attraction. I thought about that for a few minutes and wondered if I might be able to make use of it somehow.

After awhile, I began playing with my breasts and nipples. I couldn't exactly get turned on or anything considering the circumstances, but my ex-wife had once furiously told me that she was pretending the entire time so I figured I could do the same. It did feel kind of good, but I exaggerated and pretended to really be getting into this. My suspicions were right and I soon had Doctor Nasty's undivided attention. She stood outside my cage, silently watching me with a look of utter captivation.

"So why did you do this to me?" I asked while she was distracted. "It's not like I could tell anyone else."

"That is true," Doctor Nasty mused, her eyes remaining locked on my chest. "And we will likely exterminate you once your use expires."

I felt sick to my stomach when I heard that but I continued to smile and play with myself, trying hard to make it look like I was having a great time. I don't think she realized how I really felt or she just didn't care because she continued to watch me intently.

"Please," I begged, "Don't I at least deserve to know why you did this to me?"

Doctor Nasty didn't answer for a minute, so when I began to stop, she quickly exclaimed, "You have a relationship with Marvel."

"What?" I blinked as I went back to playing, pushing for more information.

"Meyhem believes you have a relationship with Marvel," Doctor Nasty explained, never taking her eyes off me. "She asked us for our assistance. She assists us in testing our new mind exchange device and we assist her in getting revenge on Marvel."

"How will she get revenge on Marvel?" I asked, having a sinking feeling that I already knew the answer.

"She will use your body to get close to Marvel," Doctor Nasty explained. "Then she will kill an unsuspecting Marvel with a weapon I provided."

"Oh shit," I whispered in horror as she confirmed my fears. I'd been holding onto the hope that Marvel would come and rescue me from this cage and situation, but not it looks like she was the one who needed rescuing. I had to warn her...somehow. "Meyhem doesn't know how to find Marvel," I pointed out, hoping I could get something useful.

"And you do?" Doctor Nasty asked me with a cruel smile.

"Like you said," I bluffed, "I have a relationship with her."

Doctor Nasty actually laughed at that, though it was not a pleasant sound but more of a wheezing. "We already interrogated you while you were unconscious. You do not know Marvel's location or even how to contact her. She has always just appeared when you were in danger. Eventually, Meyhem will locate her and complete the plan. All she must do is create an apparent danger and she will draw Marvel to her."

I just stared at Doctor Nasty, who no longer seemed all that captivated by my new body. She stared back at me for a moment more before turning and calmly walking away, ignoring me and my attempts to get her attention again. That mad scientist was really pissing me off big time.

For the next two hours, I just sat in the cage, grimacing as I tried thinking of a way to escape. I only came up with one thing though and that was captivating Doctor Nasty enough to let me go. I tried getting all hot and turned on, or at least looking like it so I could give her a show and captivate her. Doctor Nasty watched, but just grinned evilly and said, "We are not as stupid as you think." That plan was a bust and I'd given her the show for nothing.

I paced the cage again with a deep scowl, knowing that since I was in Meyhem's body, I also had her developed powers. I had her super strength. I could feel it inside of me. I felt far stronger than I ever had before in my life, though it didn't do me any good at all inside this cage where I couldn't even touch the walls. Of course, that was obviously the intention.

It wasn't until I was going to the bathroom again, in clear view of Doctor Nasty and anyone else should they happen to come into the lab that the answer suddenly came to me. The walls were all made of this force field that I couldn't get through, but the ceiling and floor weren't. As far as I knew, the only thing beneath me was the equipment that took care of my food and bathroom needs.

With a massive surge of hope, the first I'd felt in several days, I grabbed the toilet and tore it right out of the foundation as easily as if it were made of styrofoam. I felt a rush of excitement at this, at how easy that had been. This was the first time I'd used the super strength that came with my current body, though I wasn't about to waste time being impressed with myself. Instead, I threw the toilet as hard as I could into the force field wall. There was an explosion of sparks and red light going all over the place before the smoldering toilet fell back to the floor.

"Damn," I grimaced, having been sure it would work. For a moment, the force field looked as though it were about to fail, but it hadn't quite been enough.

I wasn't about to give up just yet though and grabbed the toilet again, this time throwing it as hard as I could at the ceiling. It smashed through the ceiling with a crunch, leaving wires and strange bits of equipment exposed. The force field flickered and waver so I grabbed what was left of the toilet and repeated my actions two more times until the glowing red walls around me suddenly vanished with a loud popping sound.

"YES," I exclaimed as I jumped out of the cage, taking a deep breath and savoring that victory.

Doctor Nasty finally hurried back into the room, staring at me in shock and horror. She rushed to grab a large ray gun from a table but I got to it faster, grabbing it and tossing it all the way across the lab. Then I grabbed her by her clothes and lifted her off the ground with one arm, amazed at just how small and fragile she seemed. Her anorexic body looked as though it would snap in half without any effort at all.

"Now I've got you," I snarled, feeling quite menacing in my new body. I could easily see why Meyhem got so carried away with causing destruction. This kind if power had to be addicting.

"Let us go," Doctor Nasty demanded, struggling in vain to get loose.

I just glared at Doctor Nasty as I tried to decide what to do with her. I was furious and wanted to hit her, but had no doubt that doing so would probably kill her. However, I was sick and tired of looking at those stupid goggles of hers so I tore them from her head.

"OUR EYES!" Doctor Nasty screamed, looking at me with a pair of eyes that seemed to be nothing but glowing blue energy. I was so startled that I dropped her, where she immediately scrambled around, feeling the ground with her hands until she touched her goggles. She quickly put them back on and calmed down a bit, though she started to back away from me. "We can not see without our eyes..."

"What are you?" I demanded.

Doctor Nasty just gave a cruel smile and looked as though she were going to try making a run for it, though I blocked her path and grabbed her again. "Let us go," she demanded, "We order it."

"Kind of full of yourself aren't you," I grimaced, taking a deep breath to calm down and remember my priorities.

My first impulse was to hurt Doctor Nasty and get out of here as fast as I could, but I knew that there were more important things. For one, I didn't want to be stuck in the body of a super villain much less a woman. But even more importantly than that, I had to warn Marvel. But since I was already at the lab, I knew I should take care of this first.

"How did you switch me and Meyhem?" I demanded of Doctor Nasty. "How were you going to switch us back?"

Doctor Nasty hesitated a moment, but when I pulled back a fist pretending I was actually going to hit her, she immediately gave in and led me to a strange looking machine on the other side of the lab. "Our mind exchange device," she told me nervously, looking afraid.

"Mind exchange device," I scowled. It was big, too big to easily pick up and just carry out of here so my only choice was to find Meyhem and bring her back. But since she was in my body and I was currently the one with the super strength, that shouldn't really be too much of a problem. "First I have to find her."

"It is our greatest invention," Doctor Nasty said, sounding more as if she was talking to herself than to me. "We have been working on it for nearly sixty years..."

"Sixty years?" I blinked in surprise, staring at her in disbelief. Then it suddenly dawned on me, "Doctor Nasty...Doctor Nazi... You're the Nazi scientist...the grandfather...."

Doctor Nasty cowered back, stammering, "Our first success was one way mind transfer... We used it on ourselves to survive, to transfer our mind into our own son self. But our mind did not overwrite his as expected... Instead, we became one... And when our body wore out, we became our granddaughter daughter self. Now this body wears out and we need a new that will not reject us. We need a body of our own lineage and blood..."

"My God," I whispered, feeling sick to my stomach with disgust. I'd known that Doctor Nasty was messed up, but I'd never imagined something like this. She was some sort of twisted body thief, going from body to body as hers wore out. And from her emaciated look and glowing eyes, I had a feeling that there were side effects to the process beyond just messing up her mind.

Doctor Nasty continued to babble on about her life story, telling me things that she thought might make me more sympathetic to her but which only made me more disgusted. She was obviously attempting to create some sort of emotional bond between us in some desperate attempt to keep me from harming her, but it wasn't working. I wasn't going to hurt her just now, but it had nothing to do with what she was saying. In fact, that only made me want to hurt her even more.

After a minute, I found another cage in the lab, this one an old fashioned type with iron bars. It wasn't as fancy as my own cage but I knew that it would do perfectly fine for Doctor Nasty. And since I didn't completely trust her not to pick the lock somehow, I used my strength to bend the metal of the door to ensure it was permanently jammed shut. The only way for her to get out now was to cut through the bars.

"That should hold her for now," I muttered, taking a quick look around the lab.

Most of the lab was filled with equipment, the purposes of which I couldn't begin to guess. There were also a number of ray guns of various models, a suit of power armor, a half completed robot and something which resembled a glowing green soccer ball that floated in a large glass cylinder. However, what delighted me most was when I stumbled across Meyhem's clothes. Sure, her costume looked like something from an S&M catalog, but I'd been naked for several days so even that was a relief.

Once I was all dressed up, I looked at myself in the strange mirror Doctor Nasty had shown me after I'd first woken up. I definitely looked like Meyhem now, though I did lack that particular menacing aura. Still, with a little effort I was able to mimic that a bit in my reflection as well.

"Now to go find Meyhem and get my body back," I said, "Hopefully before she runs into Marvel."

I main door to the lab and took a deep breath, not sure of where I was or what was outside the lab. I looked at the metal door, then I pushed the button on the side and sighed in relief when the door slid open. I hesitated just a moment before stepping through it and into a large hallway.

"Now where am I?" I muttered to myself.

I scowled as I went down the hallway, trying to be prepared for anything. Then I turned around a corner and suddenly found myself face to face with Luminator. I braced myself to fight, but he didn't seem the least surprised to see me.

"Oh, Meyhem," he nodded, looking up at me a little, "I haven't seen you around for a few days. What have you been up to?"

This startled me some, especially since he obviously thought I was Meyhem. Didn't he know about what Doctor Nasty and Meyhem had done? One look at his face was enough to tell me that he didn't.

"I've been working on a plan to crush Marvel for good," I bluffed, trying to sound as arrogant as I could.

Luminator nodded, "Good luck with that and let me know if you need a hand."

"Like you'd be much help after the way you ran away the last time," I couldn't resist taunting him.

He just shrugged though, "I just don't want to waste my time when there's no profit in it."

Once Luminator was gone, I continued going down the hallway, feeling more nervous than before. If Luminator was here, then who else was as well? That question was soon answered though as I walked past two other super villains, both known members of the Black Guild. Neither of them seemed to think anything odd about my presence either.

"I'm in the Black Guild headquarters," I whispered in realization, feeling a bit queasy. I was right in the middle of a group of super villains, in the middle of enemy territory. Any one of these people would probably kill me if they suspected who I really was, or at least use me as a hostage or bargaining position. However, not a single one of them seemed to think I was anyone other than Meyhem. "This is not good..."

Of course, the fact that they all seemed to think I really was Meyhem was to my advantage. The question is, why didn't they know? Doctor Nasty and Meyhem had been keeping me locked up right there in that lab, right under their very noses and none of them seemed to have a clue. But after a moment of consideration, I realized that the answer had to be pride. Meyhem would probably feel humiliated if any of her allies knew she'd traded bodies with a normal man. There was also the fact that as a villain, she had a lot of enemies, some of whom were other villains. I suspected that there were a lot of people who would love to take advantage of this opportunity to come after her while she was weak and without her powers.

"So the two of them kept their plan a secret," I mused, smiling faintly as I realized the freedom this gave me. I was an impostor, walking through a group of super villains unsuspected. It was a damn shame I didn't have my camera with me because I could undoubtedly get some once in a lifetime footage around here. However, I quickly reminded myself that I had more important business. "I have to warn Marvel."

As I walked around, I listened carefully to the villains as they talked to each other, learning a few things in the process. This base was set up almost like a condo, with each person having their own private section. It was like every one of them had their own private headquarters that just happened to share some common areas. If any of them were attacked, the other Black Guild members were right on hand for mutual defense. That would explain why no one else had gone into Doctor Nasty's lab and seen me.

"I just wonder where Meyhem's section is," I thought aloud.

I still didn't know where this headquarters was located though, nor how to get away from all these villains so I could do what I needed to. I had to be careful not to make them suspicious or I'd end up in even deeper trouble than I already was. Right now, my best shot was to avoid attention and try sneaking out.

Just as I was making my plans, I noticed a new villain walking into view. I immediately recognized him, though was a bit surprised since I'd never heard of him being associated with the Black Guild. He was dressed in a green and gray costume, with a green jacket and brown hair that was pulled back into a pony tail. He even had a pleasant though cocky grin on his face as he talked and flirted with a sex super villainess who was walking beside him.

"Jack," I whispered.

I'd never heard of any other villain who simply went by such a plain and unassuming name as Jack, but he was not quite any other villain. He was nimble, quick, and could jump a hell of a lot higher than a candle stick. His developed powers were mostly increased speed, agility and jumping, which didn't really sound like much, but he was also known to use energy weapons and anything else he could get his hands on. He was also very dangerous, a fact I learned when Tina did an article about him last month.

Jack seemed like he was just a good natured scoundrel, the kind who was always grinning and flirting with the ladies. He'd even been compared with Tom Sawyer a few times, though a few months ago he'd really made a name for himself in the developed community. Right after he first appeared, he decided to make a name for himself in a big way by killing a member of the super hero group the Protectorate. He'd murdered the hero Titan, apparently, just so he could go around calling himself 'Jack the giant killer'.

After the murder of one of their own, the Protectorate and a number of other heroes had gone on a manhunt, searching everywhere they could for Jack. However, he'd gone underground and had vanished entirely. Now I knew where he'd been hiding since that happened.

"Damn," I scowled, desperately wishing even more for a camera.

Then Jack noticed me and grinned even wider. "Hey Meyhem, you're looking good today."

I didn't know what to say to that so decided to say something I thought Meyhem might, which was, "Bite me."

"I'd love to," Jack winked. "I mean, I had such a great time last week. We're really going to have to do it again sometime."

As Jack walked off, I grimaced, fighting back the urge to hit him or something. I really didn't need to know that much about the history of my current body. Sure, it hadn't actually been me in this body back then, but the very thought was enough to make me shudder. I HAD to get my own body back.

I shook it off and tried to find my way out of this place again, but I soon found that it wasn't going to be that easy. Something big was going down and all the members of the Black Guild were being gathered together for some meeting. If I left now, it would look way too suspicious. I couldn't afford that kind of attention with all these villains present.

I tried to stay calm and act in character, though the problem was I didn't know much about what Meyhem was like with these people. I'd never really seen her in person other than when she was going on some kind of destructive rampage or fighting Marvel. I frowned, trying to think of everything I knew about Meyhem, which surprisingly wasn't much. I didn't know her real identity, only that she had first appeared as Meyhem several years ago and that she'd apparently gained her powers in some sort of accident with a mutagenic chemical. Other than that, all I really knew was that she was bad tempered and liked to destroy things, getting a feeling of power of doing so.

Once everyone started gathering for the meeting, someone asked, "Where's Nasty?"

My heart jumped as I realized what would happen if they found her. "I'll go get her," I volunteered, then went back down the hall to her lab.

"Have you come to free us?" Doctor Nasty asked me when I walked up to her cage. She watched me with a blank expression. "Or has Meyhem returned from her mission and you wish to switch bodies back."

"I'm afraid it's neither," I glared down at her.

Doctor Nasty nodded, "Yes, it is a good choice to keep that body. It is superior...and powerful. We would take it ourselves if it were not impossible for us to do so."

"What the hell is going on?" I demanded, "There's a meeting... What do you all have planned?"

"Merely an assault on a storehouse of weaponry the government confiscated from prisoners sent to Mount Prometheus," Doctor Nasty stated. "It should be quite profitable...if you like that sort of thing. It should also provide the Black Guild with a great deal of additional firepower."

"Great," I grimaced, clenching my fists in frustration. This was getting even worse. Now I not only had to worry about being in the wrong body and about some impostor trying to kill Marvel, I had to worry about a super villain attack as well. It was too much for a poor photographer to handle, but I didn't have much choice.

"Consider," Doctor Nasty told me, "just how much wealth and power you can could take with that body. We believe it can also provide a great deal of pleasure." She licked her lips, giving me a lecherous smile as she did so. "We could help you impersonate Meyhem. We know things..."

"Just shut up," I snapped at Doctor Nasty, who seemed amused by my response.

"With our assistance," she continued, "you would not just be an impostor. You could BE Meyhem. All her power is yours for the taking."

"SHUT UP!" I yelled at her.

I understood what Doctor Nasty was doing. She was pushing me, probing me....trying to see which buttons she could push. She was doing everything in her power to convince me that I needed her. Before long, she would probably start offering me more wealth, power and knowledge than I'd ever imagined, even if the promises were a lie.

"Damn," I grimaced, turning and leaving Doctor Nasty's lab. I returned to where all the Black Guild members were gathering and told them, "Doctor Nasty says she's too busy to come. Something about working on a doomsday weapon."

"That sounds like Nasty all right," Luminator smirked.

"She wouldn't be much use on the actual raid," Jack mused thoughtfully, "But I'd hoped she would at least be able to point out what the best things to take are."

"I can't wait to get my hands on one of them super weapons," a petite woman in a purple costume told me. I didn't recognize who she was, but she did look vaguely familiar.

I just nodded and looked around at the dozen or so members of the Black Guild who were getting ready for this assault. There were more of them than I'd realized and all looked eager to get their hands on some of these confiscated weapons, a fact that made me very nervous.

"I don't need no stinking weapons," I said to stay in character, slamming a fist into my open hand. "My bare hands work just fine..."

"That's Meyhem for you," someone I didn't recognize snorted, looking at me with disdain, "Always thinking with her fists. It's no wonder she can't beat Marvel."

I grimaced at that, wondering what an appropriate response to that would be when Jack started calling for everyone's attention. He quickly went over the plan, which came down to little more than everyone arriving at once and swarming over security while a small group of three villains would go for the weapons. It was obvious that they weren't great at working as a team and that this was about the best they could do as far as organizing all of them together.

Several minutes later, everyone went to a hanger I hadn't even known about and started climbing aboard two high tech aircraft. They were both identical, looking like a cross between a jet and a UFO. However, neither of them was big enough to carry everyone so the small army of villains was being separated. I immediately recognized this as my opportunity.

While the villains were loading into the two aircraft, I carefully slipped away, making sure that no one saw me do this. I was out of sight and hiding when the two aircraft took off a few minutes later, leaving me alone.

"Just me, Doctor Nasty and an otherwise empty headquarters," I grinned, turning around and going back inside.

Since I couldn't very well just let the Black Guild get away with their heist, I decided to do something about it while I still had the chance. It only took me a few minutes to find a phone, then I made an anonymous call to report it to the police. I would have much preferred calling the Protectorate or some other group of heroes directly, but it wasn't as though I actually had their number. I only hoped that the mention of Jack being involved in this would speed things up and get my tip the attention it deserved.

"Now that I've taken care of that," I mused to myself with a deep scowl, "I can focus on taking care of Meyhem and stopping that impostor."

linebreak shadow

I felt more than a little awkward as I stepped through the main entrance of the building I'd worked at for the last five years. After all, I was not only in Meyhem's body but still wearing her less than modest costume as well. There was no doubt that I would have immediately attracted a lot of attention if I wasn't wearing a large overcoat and fedora hat I'd found in her part of the headquarters. But the fact that I was six and a half feet tall couldn't be hid nearly as well.

"What a dump," I muttered, thinking about Meyhem's private quarters. The whole place had been filled with empty beer kegs, cases of whisky and just plain clutter. "I guess she likes creating mayhem at home too."

After a moment, I took a deep breath and reminded myself not to do anything that would draw more attention to me than I had to. Right now, my main goal was to simply find Meyhem and stop her. And if she was in my body pretending to be me, the first place I should look would be the office where I worked. I only hoped I could do this quickly and quietly.

"All I have to do is get her back to Doctor Nasty's lab," I reminded myself.

Once I did that, I'd be able to switch us back to our own bodies and she wouldn't be able to use mine to murder Marvel. Of course, it seemed kind of odd to protect Marvel by making her arch enemy more powerful again, and I didn't even want to think about what I'd do once Meyhem had her body and powers back. I was sure I'd figure out something though.

When I reached my office several minutes later, I stopped at the doorway to look across the room and take in every detail. I immediately noticed Tina who stood there glaring The person in my body sat at my desk with a smug grin on his face, apparently ignoring work while looking around. From the way Tina was glaring at my body, I had a feeling that things hadn't been going very well in my absence.

I glared at my impostor for a moment, knowing that I should be patient but I couldn't help it. I stepped forward and walked towards him, snarling, "You..."

Tina turned to look at me, her eyes suddenly going wide in recognition before she suddenly yelled, "MEYHEM!"

Everyone suddenly turned to stare at me, jumping to their feet and running from the room at once. Even Tina turned and ran away as fast as she could, though I tried calling out, "Wait..." I was actually kind of glad she'd left though as it meant she couldn't possibly get hurt. Less than a minute later, the only one left in the large office besides myself was Meyhem in my body, and she was glaring at me furiously.

"I can't believe Nasty couldn't hold you," Meyhem glared up at me, pausing with a strange expression on my old face. I knew that it had to be odd to see her own body from that perspective because it sure was strange to me. My body actually looked kind of short from my new perspective. "She promised me she'd keep my body safe..."

"You're coming with me," I told her, trying to look as menacing as I could. I had to admit that I kind of liked the ability to be intimidating, especially when I could intimidate the super villain whose body it was. "We're going back to Doctor Nasty's lab so we can fix things..."

I took a step towards Meyhem, but she pulled a strange looking gun out of my desk drawer and pointed it straight at me. She had an arrogant expression which seemed out of place on my face. "We're going back," she told me, "But you're not in charge. You're going to go back into that cage until I can finish what I started."

"You're not going to hurt Marvel," I told her grimly, "I won't let you. Besides," I smirked, "I don't think you'd want to hurt your own body. Wouldn't you rather get back to it as soon as possible, with it still in good shape?"

Meyhem hesitated, obviously caught between the desire to be in control and the fear of losing her body. She slowly nodded when suddenly the windows exploded inward and something...someone came into the room. It took me a moment before I could get a clear look and recognize who it was.

"Marvel," I exclaimed in relief.

"Meyhem," she snarled with a furious expression. "How dare you go after an innocent man like that."

"What?" I blinked in surprise, then remembered that she thought I was Meyhem. "Oh shit..."

The real Meyhem was standing back with a gleam of delight in her eyes as she began aiming the strange gun at Marvel. But before she could actually fire, Marvel launched herself at me, grabbing me and snarling, "Let's take this outside." Then before I realized it, she'd thrown me right through the window.

I fell several stories before smashing into the ground in the middle of the street, stunned that I'd barely even felt it. Meyhem's body was definitely pretty amazing, or at least her powers were. And just as I was getting back to my feet, a car smashed into me, knocking me back to the ground but crushing the front end of the car.

"Damn," I grimaced, getting backup and shaking my head.

Just then, Marvel came flying at me, hitting me again and sending me flying across the street and into the side of another car. I got back to my feet, beginning to get angry. I'd seen Marvel fight before, but I'd never thought I would be on the other end of that power. She was coming at me hard and I didn't know what to do, but I was getting tired of being hit.

"Stop," I called out to her, "I'm not..."

But Marvel flew at me again, punching me in the face hard enough to put a hole through a brick wall. I staggered a little, the when she tried it again, I instinctively grabbed her arm and tossed her into the side of a car. I immediately felt guilty for doing this to Marvel, the heroine who had saved my life on several occasions. Unfortunately, she wasn't giving me any other choice at the moment.

"I don't want to fight you," I told her grimly.

"So you're surrendering?" Marvel demanded. And before I could say anything, she exclaimed, "Not yet you don't."

Marvel came at me again but I started blocking her punches and even throwing a few of my own, not trying to hurt her or even hit her though. All I wanted to do was keep her back until I could clear this up.

"I'm not who you think," I started, but she threw a mailbox at me. It didn't hurt, but it sure disrupted my train of thought since I instinctively expected it to hurt like hell.

"I can't believe you'd go after Gavin," Marvel exclaimed furiously, "That's a new low, even for you."

"But I am G...," I started again, only to be interrupted by a powerful punch.

I grimaced, staring at Marvel and wondering how I could possibly get through to her. I'd never seen her so pissed, not even the times she fought Meyhem for real. And to my amazement, she actually seemed to be pissed because she thought Meyhem had come after me. I felt a surge of pride at that, but frustration as well. This only made my job all the more difficult.

Marvel came at me with a series of attacks and I did my best to block them without hurting her. It wasn't easy though and I had to use a few old kickboxing kicks to knock her back and give me some breathing room. She seemed confused by that since it wasn't the way Meyhem normally fought and I had to wonder if maybe I could somehow use that to get through to her.

"What the hell is wrong with you?" Marvel demanded a few minutes later, finally noticing that I wasn't really acting like the Meyhem she expected. "What are you up to Meyhem?"

"I'm not Meyhem," I grimaced, standing back to give her a little room to think. "And in spite of what you think, I only came here to save YOUR life."

"Like I believe that," Marvel snorted, though she remained where she was, watching me suspiciously.

"Look," I said, slowly moving towards Marvel and putting my hand on her shoulder, "I'm really..."

Suddenly, Marvel grabbed my hand, shifted her body and the next thing I knew was that I was slamming into the g round. Marvel stood above me with a look of triumph on her face, exclaiming, "Eat the floor buddy."

I stared up at Marvel in surprise, having never seen her pull a move like that. She usually relied on just her raw strength and power rather than fancy moves. Then I was struck by an overwhelming feeling of deja-vu. That was the same move... In my mind, I suddenly remembered Tina standing above me and saying the exact same thin after I'd taught her that very move.

"Tina," I gasped in disbelief, watching as Marvel gasped in surprise.

At that moment, I knew without a doubt that Marvel and Tina were one and the same. But that was impossible... They had almost nothing in common except for both having blond hair, and Tina's was both shorter and darker. At the same time though, I knew how it was possible.

"You're a skitzomorph," I exclaimed. There were a number of developed who were skitzomorphs, able to change back and forth between several different forms, often their normal form and a super powered one. From the look in her eye, that was obviously the correct answer.

"How...?" Marvel gasped with a note of fear and confusion in her voice. I can imagine what she had to be thinking since she thought her worst villain had just discovered her real identity. In her mind, she had to be afraid that her old normal life was completely and totally over.

I took advantage of Marvel's distraction to swing my foot and do a leg sweep, knocking her to the ground as well. Then I scrambled to my feet and stepped far enough away that she wouldn't feel immediately threatened.

"You are Tina, aren't you?" I asked, my heart racing, "I never would have guessed. Maybe I should have since you use some similar gestures and phrases, but I didn't."

"You're mistaken," Marvel said in a forced voice, struggling to keep it calm as she glared at me.

I just shook my head, then stood there with my hands held out so she could see they were empty and that I wasn't in a threatening position. "If I have to surrender for you to listen to me...fine. I'll do it."

"What?" Marvel blinked in surprise and confusion since I wasn't acting anything like Meyhem, in spite of how I looked.

"I surrender," I said with a scowl. "I've been trying to tell you that I'm not Meyhem but you just wouldn't listen. You always were stubborn Tina, so maybe now you'll pay attention."

Marvel just stood there, looking confused and not sure what to do. She stared at me suspiciously before demanding, "Fine... Who are you then?"

"I'm Gavin," I admitted, looking at the ground in embarrassment. It was one thing to face her when she didn't know who I was, but now that I'd admitted my identity, I felt extremely self-conscious. I mean, I'm a guy but I'm stuck in a woman's body...a super villains body at that. "Meyhem had Doctor Nasty switch our bodies so she could get close enough to kill you without you suspecting anything."

"That's ridiculous," Marvel snorted.

"But true," Meyhem said as she came towards us, the strange looking gun pointed straight at Marvel. She had a look of triumph on her face. "I'm finally going to get rid of you. It's only too bad I can't do it with my own hands."

"Mayhem?" Marvel gasped in surprise, staring at my body with a look of horror.

Meyhem laughed, "It was interesting seeing us fight from this perspective, but I can't wait to get my body back. I'll have Doctor Nasty take care of that as soon as I'm done with you."

"If you kill her," I threatened Meyhem, "I'll never switch back with you. You'll be stuck like that." I was bluffing, but she looked as though she believed it.

"No," Marvel gasped, ruining my bluff, "You can't do that."

Meyhem just sneered, "Nasty can make sure you don't have a choice. You certainly didn't the first time."

I grimaced at that and clenched my fists, eyeing her weapon nervously. I knew that her body was tough enough to take a lot of damage, but if that weapon was designed to kill Marvel, than it could probably kill her as well. I don't think that she would shoot me, but I wasn't sure I wanted to risk it.

Then Meyhem turned her full attention back to Marvel and smirked just before pulling the trigger. I was in motion before I even realized it, jumping right between the two. There was a flash of red light from the strange looking gun and I suddenly felt a horrible burning pain in my stomach. I collapsed to the ground with a scream, barely aware of what was going on around me.

"NO!" Marvel screamed, charging straight at Meyhem and knocking the gun from her hand. Marvel picked her up and yelled, "If you weren't in his body I'd kill you."

Meyhem just stared at me with a look of horror on her face, obviously more concerned about the fact that she'd just shot her own body than about Marvel being pissed at her. "My body," she was gasping in shock, "No..."

Marvel dropped her to the ground and rushed over to me, "Gavin... My saved me."

"Just...returning...the...favor," I winced, clutching my stomach, hardly able stay focused enough to think. "Hurts like hell..." Then I gave her a weak smile and joked, "Didn't hurt like this getting thrown out of the building..."

"Don't joke," Marvel told me with tears in her eyes. "Just stay with me..."

"I'm not going...anywhere," I choked, wincing again at the burning in my gut. I grimaced, trying hard to stay focused, "Black Guild...attacking weapons..." Then I took a deep breath, "Found their hideout..."

"Don't worry," Marvel assured me with a deep grimace, "I'll have Meyhem tell me everything." From the look in her eyes, I wouldn't want to be Meyhem anytime soon. Then again, I was Meyhem at the moment and would give just about anything not to be.

I could feel myself fading fast, so I grabbed Marvel's hand and looked her in the eye, gathering every last bit of my willpower. "I like you," I choked out, fighting to continue talking through the pain and growing weakness. "l always liked you..."

"I know you had a crush on me," she admitted shyly, "I knew you liked Marvel."

"Not just Marvel," I forced out, looking her straight in the eyes and clenching her hand, "Tina too..." Then I gasped as a spasm of pain shot through my body. I winced and quietly whispered, " dinner...with me?"

"You're asking me for a date?" Marvel gasped in surprise, staring at me with tears running down her cheeks. I nodded weakly, no longer having the strength for anything more. She grabbed me tight and sobbed, "Of course..."

I just stared up at her and smiled faintly as the darkness claimed me.

linebreak shadow

A faint but continuous beeping sound slowly made it's way into the deep recesses of my mind, giving me comfort and annoyance at the same time. I had no idea how long I listened to that beeping before it drew me back to consciousness and I opened my eyes.

Just a single look was enough to tell me that I was in a hospital room, though whether that was a good thing or bad I didn't know. It was all plain, painted a mint green and looking almost completely sterile. I was laying in a hospital bed with a beeping machine set right beside it. Then I looked down at myself, noticing from the obvious mounts on my chest, that I was still in Meyhem's body.

I sat up with a grunt, wincing from the ache in my stomach though it was nothing compared the pain I remembered feeling there. The very memory of it...of my death made me wince. But since I was in a hospital room, I obviously hadn't died. I brought a hand to my stomach and found that it was bandaged. That had to be a good sign.

"You're awake," a woman's voice exclaimed from the side. I turned to see Marvel standing in the doorway with a look of intense relief on her face. "Thank God."

"I'm...alive," I blinked slowly.

"Don't sound so excited," Marvel teased me.

"But how?" I asked, feeling my stomach again, "I thought..."

"Me too," she responded grimly. "I thought you were dead." She looked as though she were fighting back tears, "But it turns out Meyhem's body is a lot tougher than we thought. Everything just shut down and you've been in sort of a coma for the last week while you healed up."

"I'm alive," I gasped again, this time letting out a long sigh of relief. I took a deep breath, amazed at the thought that I was able to do so. I'd been so sure that I'd never take another breath again.

Marvel came over and squeezed my hand, "Yeah, and you're almost all the way healed." She hesitated a moment before admitting, "It was pretty strange sitting here in the hospital waiting for Meyhem to recover."

"You've been here waiting?" I asked in surprise.

Marvel nodded, looking a little embarrassed. "I just had to be here..."

I stared at her for a moment before squeezing her hand, "Thanks."

Taking a deep breath to prepare myself for my stomach hurting, I sat up the rest of the way and shifted positions. Fortunately, it only ached a little bit, enough to easily ignore. I looked down at myself and felt a surge of disappointment at seeing Meyhem's body. Sure, I loved the strength and power that came with this body, but I was getting really tired of being a woman...especially a super villain.

"What happened with Meyhem?" I asked cautiously.

Marvel thought about it for a moment, then told me, "The Feds came to claim Meyhem's body when we thought you were dead, but I told them what happened and they have her under arrest and locked up. They're the ones who figured out that you were only in a coma."

"Good," I nodded, then sighed, not sure about where this left me.

"I thought you'd like to know," Marvel quickly told me, "The Protectorate got your warning about the Black Guild and were able to arrive in time to stop them. They were even able to catch half of them, though the other half got away." Then she chuckled, "The Feds had a voice check done on your anonymous tip and were surprised when Meyhem came up as a match. It helped them believe me when I told them what happened though."

"Good," I nodded again, "I'm glad those bastards got stopped." Then I hesitated, "But what about me? I mean..." I gestured down at myself.

Marvel stared at me for a moment with an unreadable expression, then abruptly asked, "Do you feel well enough to get up and walk around?"

I hesitated for a moment, shifting my feet over the side of the bed and putting my weight on them. When they didn't collapse, I nodded, "I think so." But as I stepped away from the bed, I looked down at what I was wearing, "Great...a hospital gown that has my ass hanging out." Then as an afterthought, I added, "I almost feel more covered than when I was wearing her costume."

Marvel laughed at that, "Well, I thought you should know that I had a little talk with Meyhem..." She gave an evil grin that made me worry for my real body. "She broke down and told me everything she knew about the Black Guild's base and that body switching machine. I went there with the Feds and recovered the machine myself. It's just down the hall waiting for you. We wanted to make sure you were conscious before using it to switch you back."

"You've got it," I gasped, "Thank God..."

"The Feds had some scientists look at it," Marvel shrugged, "They don't know what's powering it, but they say it's only got enough juice left for one more switch. I made sure that they reserved that for you."

"Thanks," I grinned at her, feeling relieved.

"So what did Doctor Nasty tell you about it?" I asked, shuddering at the memory of that creepy villain.

"Doctor Nasty?" Marvel asked.

"I left her locked up in her lab," I explained.

Marvel scowled at that. "There was no one there when we arrived. The whole base was completely empty."

"Damn," I scowled, "That crazy bitch got away..."

"It's not important," Marvel assured me. "She'll be caught eventually."

I nodded at that and took several careful steps around the room, making sure that I wasn't about to lose my balance and fall flat on my face. Or considering the size of my chest, I was more likely to land on that instead. Once I was confident that I was able to handle myself, I told Marvel to lead the way.

"Not that fast," Marvel gave me an amused smile. "I still have to talk to the Feds so they can bring Meyhem and get everything ready."

Marvel left the room for a few minutes while I just paced impatiently. I thought about everything that had happened to me recently and knew that it was like a dream...or a nightmare. I shuddered slightly as I remembered the look on Doctor Nasty's face and thought about her still being out there somewhere, doing her insane experiments.

After Marvel returned, she told me that everything was set and led me down the hallway. I felt a nervous and excited at the same time, though I tried not to show it. What if the machine didn't work right? What if Doctor Nasty had sabotaged it before escaping in order to get a little revenge? I certainly wouldn't put it past her, but were my fears enough reason to NOT switch back?

"You know," Marvel said carefully, "No one here knows who I really am which is why I've been staying as Marvel the entire time." She gave me a steady look, "Please be careful and not use my other name."

"Other name?" I asked her in mock innocence, "And what do you mean about who you really are?"

She paused to stare at me in surprise, "You don't remember...?"

I just laughed, then winked, "How could I forget that throw I showed you? If it wasn't for my ass being invulnerable, it would probably still be bruised."

Marvel just stuck her tongue out at me which was very much a Tina gesture. Now that I knew who she was, I was able to recognize those little things a lot more easily. In fact, I could even see certain resemblances in their facial features, as though Marvel were Tina's much sexier sister, or just a heavily idealized version of her.

A minute later we reached a doorway that had two guards standing right outside. Both of them were wearing dark suits, but I noticed the bulge of a gun under the arm of one of them and was pretty sure the other was similarly armed. These had to be some of the Feds that Marvel had muttered. They both gave me a suspicious look, but after Marvel nodded to them they let us through.

Inside the room, my eyes were immediately drawn to the large machine that was set up in the middle. It looked exactly like it had in Doctor Nasty's lab and the sight of it made me take a deep breath. There were two chairs attached to all the equipment, though they both seemed to be able to be used as tables as well. And then, there were the helmets with lots of wires and cables coming from them and going to the main body of the device.

"Now we just wait a few minutes while they get here," Marvel told me, looking at the machine a bit nervously herself. Of course, I could imagine that she might be afraid of someone else stealing her body the way Meyhem had stolen mine. That made it a good thing it only had enough power for one more switch because this kind of machine was far too dangerous to leave laying around and working.

Just then, the door opened again and two more federal agents came in along with Meyhem in my body. She was wearing an orange jump suit and was handcuffed, glaring at everyone in the room but apparently cooperating. Of course, she wanted to get her own body and powers back and they were about to give her exactly what she wanted. I could almost see the wheels spinning in her mind about how she was going to use her powers to take revenge on all of us and escape afterwards. I gave Marvel a nervous look but she didn't seem bothered.

"Agent Rice," she nodded to one of the agents. He gave me a suspicious look as she introduced me, "This is my friend Gavin."

"It's nice to meet you now that you're awake," he told me, though he didn't offer a hand shake, perhaps for fear that I might accidentally crush his hand. "We appreciate your help with the Black Guild."

"Thanks," I responded, glancing to the machine.

"You know," Marvel told me quietly, pulling me away from the others, "You can still change your mind and keep that body."

"What?" I blinked in surprise, hardly able to believe that she'd suggest such a thing.

"You could keep that body and all the powers that come with it," she told me, "You could get a new costume and become a hero. We could even be partners."

I stared at Marvel for a minute, then I looked own at my body and frowned. It was true that I loved the power and feeling of strength that came with this body. I had to admit that this body was definitely growing on me too. And the thought of being Marvel's partner...of fighting bad guys and being a developed hero myself... It was quite an intoxicating idea.

"No," I shook my head after a moment, "I'll miss these powers, but I'd miss my own body even more." I looked down at myself and shook my head, "This just isn't me."

Marvel smiled and let out a sigh of relief at that. I suddenly realized that she'd been testing me, trying to make certain I was sure of my decision and wouldn't regret it. And of course, she was presenting an option that I might not even have considered, just in case. Still, she looked pleased at my choice.

"If you two are done whispering over there," Agent Rice called to us, "I'd like to get this started."

"But what about...?" I started to ask about how they would control Meyhem after we switched back when I noticed the other agent opening a box and pulling out some equipment that looked familiar. I'd taken pictures of developed prisoners who were wearing equipment just like that to keep their powers neutralized so they couldn't escape. "Oh..."

It felt a little strange helping Agent Rice put the power inhibitors and constraints on myself, but it was definitely a good idea to take care of this before Meyhem got her body back. She just stood back and glared at us while we did it, not saying a thing. The first thing to go on was a thick collar that locked around my neck, followed by some handcuffs specifically designed for developed like her. They were a pair of heavy metal mittens that were bound together so I couldn't move my hands at all, and they had a thick cable going from them to a belt around my waist. I felt pretty constrained all right, and once they were on I felt my strength leaving me as well. In fact, I even needed Marvel's help getting into the chair.

Meyhem glared at me, "Fuck you. You're just lucky they kept me from messing you up..."

"She attempted to take a knife to your body," Agent Rice told me with a scowl. "We'd been keeping her under tight constraints since, but the promise of switching your bodies back made her more cooperative."

Meyhem climbed into the other chair and made an obvious effort of ignoring me, not even looking in my direction. Agent Rice and the other guy put one helmet on me and the other one on Meyhem. Marvel squeezed my hand to give me comfort and muttered something about how she'd be glad not to have to look at Meyhem again. And then they turned it on.

I couldn't say that there was a specific moment when we switched bodies, only that there was a pressure in my head that grew stronger and stronger until all my senses faded away, leaving me unable to sense anything other than the massive pressure and headache. However, even that seemed pleasant in comparison when my mind exploded into an unparalleled migraine that filled my entire being.

"Are you okay?" I heard Marvel's voice, realizing that she was shaking me.

I opened my eyes and winced, gasping from the horrible headache. It was like when I'd first woken up in Doctor Nasty's lab but even worse, perhaps because I was coming out of it sooner and didn't have the advantage of being unconscious when it had happened this time. I nodded faintly and immediately wished that I hadn't. Then I closed my eyes and tried concentrating on nothing but breathing.

"Migraine," I whispered, "Like the worst hangover of my life."

A minute later, the headache had faded enough that I could face the world again. I took a deep breath and slowly looked down at myself, letting out a sigh of relief when I saw my old body, dressed in that ugly orange jumpsuit Meyhem had been wearing. Then I gasped, "It worked... I'm me again..."

"Great," Marvel exclaimed, putting a comforting hand on my arm. "It's good to see you back in your own body."

I nodded and slowly looked around, seeing that Meyhem was back in her own body as well and scowling at absolutely everyone. However, I could sense the relief coming from her as well. She might not say it, but she was obviously glad to be back in her own body as well. She even muttered, "That's the last time I try something like that... Never again..."

"It feels different being back in my own body," I told Marvel as I climbed out of the chair and stretched. "It feels pretty good though too, even if I do feel a little short and weak in comparison."

"Do you miss the powers?" Marvel asked me.

"A bit," I shrugged, patting my flat chest, "But it's good to be back home anyway."

After this, Agent Rice and the other Fed led Meyhem from the room. She wasn't very cooperative, but the collar they'd put around my neck while I'd been wearing that body proved to be some sort of a shock collar, able to give her a good zap of pain and encourage her to do as she was told. I winced, glad that I hadn't been the one getting zapped. After all, I'd had more than my share of that in Doctor Nasty's cage.

"Damn," I muttered, wishing I'd had a camera to take a picture of Meyhem being led away like that.

Once Meyhem was gone, I was taken to a room where I could change clothes. Marvel had made a stop at my apartment sometime this week and picked up some of my clothes for when I was awake and back in my own body. I made a mental note to thank her for her thoughtfulness and to ask her how she'd gotten in. I just hoped she didn't break any windows or doors getting inside.

Before I left, Agent Rice told me that he would be calling me later on to ask me a few questions about Doctor Nasty and the Black Guild, but he'd indicated I wasn't in any trouble, only that I might be able to help them catch the bad guys. I gave my agreement and promised to help him, then got out of there as fast as I could.

"So," Marvel said as we stepped out of the building, "You need a ride home?"

"Where'd you park?" I asked, then paused to look at her grin. "Oh..."

Marvel got behind me and grabbed me under both arms and then lifted us both up into the air. I gulped nervously and she said, "It's not the first time I've carried you..."

"Yeah," I admitted, "But I'm still a little nervous of heights." I didn't want to insult her by admitting that every time she'd carried me into the air like this, I'd been terrified she would accidentally drop me.

Marvel was amused by that but held on tight as she flew me home. She brought us to the ground in a secluded area behind my apartment where we wouldn't be seen, then she stepped away from me and winked. A moment later, she was covered with a golden light that seemed to swirl around her, almost hiding her from view. When the light faded away, I was a little startled to see Tina standing in her place, wearing her normal civilian clothes.

"Wow," I exclaimed, "That was pretty impressive."

Tina blushed and came up to me again, nervously taking my hand in hers. She looked up at me hopefully, as if afraid that I would reject her as Tina. However, I squeezed her hand and bent over to give her a surprise kiss. I had to admit, I definitely liked kissing plain old Tina, especially with the way she kissed back. I just wondered if it would be a good kissing Marvel.

"So," I started a minute later, "How in the world did you become Marvel?"

"It's a long story," Tina grinned at me. Then she winked, "How about I tell it to you over that dinner date you owe me?"

I stared at her for just a moment before grinning back, "That sounds great to me."


The End

Read 2209 times Last modified on Monday, 25 March 2024 18:51
More in this category: « The Witch Seed The Infiltrator »

Add comment