Betsy Visits River City.
Betsy, clean at last, was the last to leave. They all said their goodbyes at the League’s headquarters. Billie and Robbie were there at the end. All the heroes had taken the time to voice their thanks and appreciation in the days after Pearl’s and Betsy’s operations.
Billie was now back to her normal ditzy self after having the hypnosis treatment, to make her efficient and competent during the crisis, removed. She was so relieved. Being competent was incredibly difficult for her, even under a hypnotic compulsion. And she had to stop being bff with Robbie. That was hard but necessary as she had to post Robbie to wherever she was needed, no matter what the danger. She could never have done that as a bff. Her permanent headache had now gone and her fun levels had increased back to normal. She wanted to party.
Robbie had taken copious recordings of Betsy’s speed of recovery and lack of scars. Betsy was even able to attend the memorial service held for all the fallen and the private one for Pearl Girl.
Betsy had spent a lot of this time trying to evade Vicky, but, ultimately, to no avail. Being an Essex girl, Vicky was clingy and persistent and she eventually backed Betsy into a corner, literally, and demanded answers. Betsy prevaricated by asking Vicky questions which, to her surprise, Vicky answered immediately. Thus Betsy learnt all about Vicky’s capture and escape from that ambulance in Paris and the follow up activities at Three Fingers and later at The Clinic as well as details of all her group’s research and investigations into these events. This was valuable information.
Betsy was delighted at learning all this and listened and questioned avidly. She was delighted until Vicky had finished her exposition and demanded reciprocation. How had Betsy revived herself from having her head blown off? Betsy didn’t know how much Vicky already knew about this and Vicky was careful to keep it that way. But Vicky wanted far more than the outline she had.
Betsy was embarrassed when she realised why Vicky was so forthcoming about her own adventures. She was laying a reciprocation trap and Betsy had walked right into it. She couldn’t not tell Vicky now. She really must try and think things through before committing to anything, shouldn’t she?
So, Betsy told Vicky all about the new mind control procedure she had developed for just such occasions. She had trained herself to trust her subconscious to act for her in such extreme instances and this time, her subconscious had blasted out the imagery of her being shot through the head indiscriminately to everyone there. But, because of the energy required to achieve such a feat, she had immediately fallen unconscious. The images in everyone’s head held because of the power behind them, so Betsy was ignored as dead while events flowed on around her. She also told Vicky she woke up exhausted in a pile of dead bimbos and proceeded from there.
As for TillyBetsy, well, that was an experimental procedure. It worked in the lab, but obviously there were major problems when put to extreme practical use. TillyBetsy was unstable, as Ffanci had described. And the machine using Tilly’s brain instead of Betsy’s made it in need of discontinuing. Betsy could feel Vicky inside her head verifying everything she said, as she had done when Vicky had expounded. This convinced Vicky.
Vicky formally thanked Betsy for answering this, as it was obviously an important secret. She didn’t bother telling Betsy she would inform her group, as it was bloody obvious she’d do that.
Betsy congratulated herself on this until later when she reported it to her group in her official debriefing. She was shocked at the excitement she saw in their faces and was slow to realise this was a viable and important emergency strategy. Naturally she was modest and humbly took the accolades. Faeryfaye smirked (she had learnt smirking from River City, where they smirked a lot, which made her even more annoying), but still started to prepare for and to practise this strategy, which was immediately added to the manual, horrifying Betsy. It was far too big as it was now, and now she had added to it.
Ffanci was with her lawyers arranging for any possible legal actions against her to be dropped. She was assured this would be a formality as any legal actions against her would be automatically transferred to Dr. Orlof. Now she was free of Dr Orlof’s drug induced attitudes, and with the aid of the League’s psychiatrists, Ffanci’s grief now looked like normal grief and was helped by Robot Man dying from the damage inflicted on it.
Dr. Orlof, Tilly and TillyBetsy were nowhere to be found. The tunnel out of the castle, not the tunnel they knew about, but a different and more secret one, had been finally discovered, but far too late to follow those miscreants.
Robbie had questioned Ffanci in order to find out exactly what Dr. Orlof’s plan was. After hearing Ffanci’s answer, and ensuring she thought it true, Robbie had dug extensively into Dr. Orlof’s history in order to verify the, frankly, unbelievable story, but found nothing to contradict it. In the end, based on Ffanci’s evidence and what they did find, they assumed he wasn’t out to take over anything at all. He just wanted to be left alone with his hobbies and his collections. It was Vicky and Pearl and Betsy who interfered with one of his rare robberies that kicked all this off in the first place. He was a baddie all right, but not an ambitious one.
Everyone was surprised at the not so quiet enmity developing between Power Pile and Joystick and they were being kept apart as far as possible. Once Joystick understood how open this society was, he had discussed his blind spot with the League’s psychiatrists and was relieved to discover that work arounds could be worked out which enabled him to drop that problematic programme he was on to expand his powers into the female sex. He became quite attached to Pinnacle who agreed to take on this responsibility for him. He liked her (not in that way) and she liked him (not in that way) and they had started to work together effectively, each complimenting the other.
Vicky and Sonia had indeed freed as many of the trophy heroes as they could, six in total, the rest died without regaining consciousness.
Eve was struggling. The death of her love had devastated her and she was still consumed by extreme grief. The prognosis was that she would recover eventually and be able to return to a normal life. The loss of her powers didn’t seem to bother her as much as was initially thought. While the League treated her as well as they could, there was a secret pool which had the prize to the one giving the nearest date when she would join a nunnery. The smart money was on a nunnery in Midas City, of all places.
The environs of River City was once more protected by the League of Supers, although the members of the League were now significantly depleted, despite the new heroes from the past. The good news was the League of Super Villains was also depleted, so the blindfolded lady’s scales still balanced.
Pearl ended up comforting Vicky for the whole time up to her operation after finally embracing her new Sapphic orientation. After that, well, Pearl was no more. The robot inhabiting her body had access to Pearl’s memories, but not to Pearl herself, who was gone. In her last hours, Pearl made a will leaving everything to Vicky. There wasn’t much, but that wasn’t the point. Everything except her coffee, which she left to Betsy. Vicky had never seen Betsy with tears in her eyes before.
The will reading was a public affair and after it had ended, when the participants and guests were leaving, Betsy saw a lady approaching, a lady dressed all in white, and immediately recognised her as a danger as well as wondering if she was an Essex girl because of the white stilettos. Betsy couldn’t get away in the throng so she put up her mental blocks and watched and smiled as this striking blonde stranger approached. Once face to face the stranger spoke. Betsy forced her eyes to look into her face and to ignore the very tempting expanse of her lovely breasts.
“I saw your reaction and want to talk to you. May I have a word?”
Betsy stared into the full blue eyes and took in her immaculate blonde hair. ‘Dye job’ she thought. Her perfume would have given Betsy some trouble if she hadn’t prepared herself. After this assessment, Betsy cautiously nodded.
“Plethora,” was the word, gently spoken. The lady stared into Betsy’s brown eyes and waited for her response.
Betsy considered this for a while before answering.
“Thank you. That means a lot.”
Betsy and the lady nodded at each other and she walked away with a smirk on her face. She so loved the looks of momentary confusion on the faces of her victims.
Betsy wondered about her and her smirk. It was a River City smirk. Betsy knew New Yorkers and they smirked normally, not like here. It was as if the people in this place all came from the same source. Betsy wondered about inbreeding.
There was difficulty in working out a name for the new hero. Robot Girl was taken and Robot Woman sounded too pretentious, like it was out of some feminist’s book of stereotypical propaganda. In the end, the quiet and softly spoken Sonia suggested RoboPearl, which seemed to be acceptable to everyone. She, Vicky refused to call her it, had no ability to object to any name and so RoboPearl was born. Vicky made her new armour herself.
Robbie had been very busy. Quite apart from the cleanup and the analysis of what they had all been through, she had quietly chatted with all the machines around Betsy’s and Vicky’s apartments. And Pearl’s as well. This was a little known ability of hers and she did, eventually, obtain results from two holes in the wall that Betsy and Vicky used. One machine informed her Vicky had drawn cash out of an account originally set up in New York. Further official enquiries informed her this account was set up from the European Union.
Another machine informed her, in confidence, that Betsy had used it to access an account set up in New York. This account, however, was initially set up there using cash and no previous accounts were linked to it. The account was closed down immediately after it made a payment of $60,000 to a firm she recognised, River City Workers. She recognised it because it was the company set up by the bimbos Betsy had freed plus the other bimbos that had been found and freed.
They were extremely quick to organise themselves and integrate into the community. Some of them worked here, at the League’s building, caring, in their own special way, for the heroes when they needed such facilities. Other bimbos had set up a chain of strip clubs and brothels and were, by all accounts, making themselves into a force to be reckoned with in the business community. The bimbos who were not sex workers were frequent guest performers at these places. These places were incredibly popular and not just because of the superb entertainment value they produced. The food supplied there was universally recognised as incredibly good. So much so, the bimbos were negotiating the creation of a chain of restaurants.
Robbie wondered if Betsy had simply set them up with capital to start their lives again, but that was a short lived idea. She quickly remembered Ffanci’s evidence of the equipment Betsy had brought over. That had not been found. (She worked this out from Ffanci’s evidence plus integrating the debriefings of all the characters in this little episode, including the warehouse owner and Betsy’s apartment owner). There wasn’t even evidence of disturbed dust to indicate where such equipment had been placed and she had debriefed everyone herself. The equipment had been there. That was definite. Everyone except the bimbos confirmed it and the bimbos who were left had had nothing to do with that equipment.
Robbie was a good and kind robot and never considered the bimbos would hide evidence like this, especially as thoroughly as this. However, her logic circuits would not let this go, so, after installing some additional cognitive dissonance circuits, she ended up keeping a watch on those bimbos’ activities. If they could hide evidence so thoroughly, then they had a valuable asset for the less desirable denizens of the community.
Robbie’s opinions about the bimbos were exacerbated when the scientists declared that it was impossible to convert the bimbos back to their original personas. They would all have to live with the bimbos as they were.
Robbie also investigated why Betsy was there in the first place. Her information quickly yielded the details she was there to acquire something, but nobody knew what. All the valuable artifacts in the city were accounted for, as well as all the cash. This detail was left unsolved, although Robbie knew with her copper’s intuition, Betsy had taken something. She wanted to interrogate The Dominatress about this and other items, including two policewomen, when she was apprehended, but they had yet to find her. This was complicated by the fact that her grandmother, also called The Dominatress, was still active in the city.
Vicky and Sonia had just left on their own personal quest which they refused to disclose. Faeryfaye had also left after Betsy absolutely refused to get back on that fucking broom. There was just Betsy now. Betsy was finally as happy as she ever could be because she could return home in a distinctly civilised style by travelling first class in an aeroplane. She was happy and relaxed when she made her final goodbyes to Robbie and Billie. Omega Girl returned then. She flew in as Betsy was just about to leave. Betsy was amazed when Robbie and Billie thought there was nothing odd about this. They just accepted Lacie’s reappearance in their lives and went on as before. Omega Girl sniggered as Betsy gave them all a confused look when she left. Betsy didn’t trust Omega Girl. She wasn’t right. In fact she was so not right she didn’t exist. So why was she here?
Betsy walked out of the League’s building with these questions in her head, turned left, and walked off into the setting sun, as was appropriate. As she walked, an insignificant itch deep down inside her brain started and quickly increased to such a level she had to investigate. Somehow she had changed her centre of consciousness from it’s normal location to her right parietal lobe. Why had she done that? That was the place where true beliefs are born. Why did she want to believe anything?
She quickly and quietly altered her centre back to its normal abode and then realised what she had done. She smiled. Fooling Vicky was definitely not a simple task. In fact she had considered it impossible, but she had done it. She smiled the smile of being able to feel smug for the next few months. Or even years, if she was lucky.
Walking down the street she wondered about Robbie. She didn’t trust that robot at all. At least she hadn’t placed trackers on her or in her or in her clothes. That would be insulting, but Betsy had already checked anyway. However, Robbie was tracking her. She knew that. It was what she would do if she worked for the League. But she was Betsy after all and she knew exactly how to circumvent all their trackers and procedures and disappear effectively from their radar. They would never know where she went.
She walked for a few paces until her internal map informed her she was walking the wrong way. She looked round, ready to wave if anyone was still watching, noted nobody was, and turned around to start walking in the right direction.
Suddenly she was caught up in a net that appeared from nowhere. She panicked and struggled. Looking up she saw Faeryfaye on that fucking broom and screamed as they headed east at speed. She realised Faeryfaye would have had the same thoughts as herself and tried to project the idea mentally into her head that she could take care of it easily, but Faeryfaye would have none of it. The broom would soon disappear from all radar and they could return home directly.
Betsy would be home much faster than she anticipated, although the subjective time she would have to endure would be much longer than that.
She came third in the National Leek Growers’ Association competition and blamed River City and everyone in it.