Betsy Visits River City.
Pearl Girl was leading the way when she realised her thoughts were wandering again. She was wondering about Betsy. Why was she here? What did she want? She quickly and deliberately stopped thinking this. Betsy had helped her and Vicky. That was all there was to know right now. She worried about having thoughts like this. It wasn’t like her, but she had noticed her thinking generally was changing, becoming more paranoid. She had resolved to stop this and maybe have a talk with the League’s psychiatrist when she realised the others had stopped, so she stopped as well and turned back to look at them.
They were staring ahead so she turned and checked out the scene ahead but didn’t see anything amiss. “What is it?” she asked.
“Elves,” said Betsy quietly. “And they’ve noticed us.”
Vicky just stared at them. Pearl knew Vicky fairly well now and she saw how her posture had shifted. She had become more erect and wary. Betsy didn’t. She approached the elves with Vicky following and Pearl Girl, now tagging along with Vicky, wondering what was up. The mention of elves intrigued her and she wanted to know more.
“What do you mean elves? Where are they?” Pearl Girl asked Vicky as they walked towards the elves.
Betsy smiled and ignored her. Staring ahead at nothing she said, “Hi. We just noticed you and wondered if there was any problem? Don’t mind Pearl Girl here. She just doesn’t see you.”
Immediately there was a gasp from Pearl Girl as six figures materialised in front of her, three males and three females. She stared at them closely, but couldn’t see any difference between them and ordinary people. She expected pointed ears at least.
A female elf smiled. “Hello Betsy. I’m Rhiannon. Who are your friends?” She spoke with a Lancashire accent.
“This is Vicky. She’s a colleague from a different group. And this is Pearl Girl. She’s a local super hero. Vicky took Pearl’s arm and gave it a warning squeeze. Pearl Girl took the hint and stayed quiet. She wasn’t stupid despite being an American. These elves worried her new companions and she hadn’t even seen them until just now. How could that be?
Vicky was saving a load of questions for Betsy later. She had been certain she was going to die here, but Betsy knew them. How could that be?
Betsy was careful. Obviously Rhiannon knew her but she didn’t know Rhiannon. Still smiling she said “Er, I don’t want to sound stupid, but do I know you?”
“No, we’ve never met, but I know you Betsy. You served five years in the National Elf Service and we don’t forget service like that. Did you put the faery dust you stole to good effect?”
Betsy’s face reddened. “But it was out of date, well past its sell by date. You were going to destroy it. There wasn’t any harm in me taking it.”
“No, of course not. I’m just surprised you’re still alive, that’s all.”
Betsy smiled in relief. ”Anyway, how did you know that?”
Rhiannon continued her angelic smile and cocked her head. One of her eyebrows rose in a Spock imitation. Or maybe, Spock imitated her?
“OK,” Betsy responded. “Forget I said that. What are you doing here? I never thought you lot would be here in America. I thought you stayed put.”
“No Betsy. We go where the knowledge is.”
“What knowledge is there here? They’re good with innovation, but not much else. What knowledge do they have?”
Pearl’s eyebrows raised.
“Not that sort of knowledge, Betsy. We want to know why there are no pixies here.”
Betsy jumped. “Yes. I saw that too. What the hell have they done with the pixies? It isn’t right. Pixies are everywhere.”
“We don’t know. That’s why we’re here. You seem to have wondered as we did. Have you any knowledge we can use?”
“No, sorry. I’m floundering about this. The only thing I can come up with is the super heroes have somehow made them disappear or go away. After all, not many places have super heroes and this place is infested with them, and I do know New York has pixies just like everywhere else, so it’s not America itself. But I haven’t tested it yet. You don’t know anything?” Betsy wondered why she said that. It was the first she’d heard of it.
“No. But your idea is worth testing. Let us know if you get results. We will also look into it.”
Before anything else could be said a beam of pure energy sizzled along the street and the sky was full of fighting people. Super heroes and super villains, lots of them. Wherever they looked something was happening. A flying woman carrying a chrome metal woman landed quickly a few metres away and immediately flew off again targeting a particularly effective opponent who used some sort of beam weapon powered by something strapped to his back.
“They’re Omega Girl and Robot Girl,” pointed out Pearl. “They’re part of the League.” This was said to Betsy and the elves. Vicky already knew this.
Betsy frowned as something tickled a spot deep in her brain and then stopped before she was properly aware of it.
Robot Girl ran towards a group of non flying people in costumes, presumably villains, and started scattering them before one of the flying ones hit her directly in her chest with something or other. Betsy couldn’t see exactly what as things were moving so fast.
Robot Girl went flying backwards straight towards them. Vicky stiffened as did Pearl Girl. They both tried to dive out of the way but couldn’t. The elves and Betsy seemed to be unaffected and watched the action with interest. A careening Robot Girl passed through the gaps in their group without touching anyone but, apparently, without being manoeuvred into avoiding them either. Pearl Girl’s and Vicky’s heartbeats increased to painful levels as they helplessly watched their doom approach and pass.
Robot Girl turned a brick wall into small particles as she crashed into it. Immediately a few of the non-flying villains raced towards her brandishing weapons of various kinds.
Pearl Girl gave a cry as she watched this and went to help Robot Girl, but again her body disobeyed her. She could only watch as the carnage happened all around her. In fact they must now be at the epicentre. Blood and guts were flying everywhere but somehow, nothing came near the elves and their friends. The elves contented themselves with watching it all.
Robot Girl was lying on her back with her legs wide apart. Betsy noted her hand scoop up a pile of small particles and stuff them into her fanny. Well, she’d better remember to call it a pussy here. She got into trouble in New York over that bit of American speak and she never forgot it.
It was at a pre-orgy and she was getting into the mood by having a discrete bit of one on one action with Chuck in an American hotel in New York. He was taking far too long to get to the point and she simply told him to stuff it into her fanny now. He did, or tried to.
Afterwards, after she was told what Americans meant by the word, she was sorry for what she did. That was the time she sneaked into the hospital disguised as a nurse in order to get at him, as he was still alive.
She didn’t realise how oversexed these American doctors were and she had to convince a lot of them to leave her alone. She was also dragged into a lot of work because some head nurse, whatever they were called here, just appropriated her for some emergency events. They were probably understaffed as well, she thought. That hospital never had such a good recovery rate afterwards, or beforehand for that matter, as Betsy just did as requested because she was trying to stay undercover.
She eventually found her target, who wasn’t pleased to see her for some hysterical reason. She had to deprive him of his consciousness quickly. She still didn’t understand that because she was trying to help him. Anyway, she did manage to contact his subconscious and teach it how to grow a new penis. And, just to say sorry, she taught it how to make itself a bigger one.
It didn’t help him though. The doctors informed the government and Chuck became a ward of state and ‘helped’ the authorities discover how this happened. He’s still there now. They keep chopping it off and trying to work out how he was growing his replacements. Chuck was getting sick of it.
Betsy, with her battle heightened senses, watched Robot Girl and wondered briefly why the robot didn’t attempt to stand. She had the time. She wondered no more as she watched the robot fire each pellet she had stuffed in one at a time rapidly, like a machine gun. The effect was devastating as the lead villain was hit multiple times in his head. The helmet he wore did him no good as the effect of the kinetic energy in those pellets was so great his head exploded. His headless body took another couple of steps before toppling, but still trying to run. His companions still advanced but Robot Girl had stuffed herself full again and proceeded to destroy another of them in the same fashion. This time the villain advanced so far he fell across Robot Girl. But it was obvious that Robot Girl wouldn’t be able to evade the third of her enemies who carried some sort of big club.
Betsy thought this would be ineffective against that robot but Pearl reacted to the scene in a way that told Betsy the club was far more than it looked. Suddenly the villain with the club was no more as the flying woman in black swooped down and carried him away. Betsy got that tickle in her brain again for an instant. But Robot Girl was still in trouble as that left a villain further back with a clear shot and he hefted the bazooka like thing onto his shoulder and took aim. But Robot Girl now had the time to remove that villain lying on her and was able to shoot a bright red beam from between her legs. The villain screamed and hurled his weapon as far away as he could before starting to beat out the flames now covering one of his arms.
Betsy’s eyes wandered round the battlefield. It was chaos, like all battlefields, but one fighter caught her eye. He seemed to appear and disappear at will and he had a quarterstaff which could also appear and disappear at, presumably, his will. He would just appear in front of an enemy with his hand raised and that quarterstaff simply grew fast into his enemy’s face. Then both the man and staff disappeared. Betsy watched with more concentration and eventually worked out this man was shrinking and enlarging himself and his staff at will and using this ability in order to be some sort of shock troop. It was extremely effective, especially in this melee. However, where did this size changing man’s mass go? He obviously didn’t keep his mass when he shrunk and gained it again when he grew and that’s impossible. He should stop this at once. It’s illegal. It’s against the laws of nature.
A wail rend the air as some sort of atmospheric disturbance appeared in the middle of all this. A couple of the flying people seemed to be sucked in and they disappeared, only to be ejected at speed, crashing into the walls on the edge of the street. Betsy couldn’t tell if they were heroes or villains. She wondered why they all didn’t wear uniforms to help them know where to aim and to help the watchers keep score.
The disturbance seemed to increase as it sucked in Omega Girl and held her for what must have been far longer than the others. Betsy’s brain tickled momentarily again as she watched this. Omega Girl was eventually spat out at speed and she careened into the wall of a building, which immediately collapsed, causing it to fall on top of her. Betsy and Vicky winced at this. Pearl was in shock and didn’t react. As Betsy winced, a shock of recognition flashed through her mind. She knew that woman, but she didn’t. The effect quickly passed, presumably as Omega Girl lost consciousness, and Betsy forgot about it. It was probably nothing after all. There was no way Betsy could know such a weirdo criminal. After all, she regularly broke the laws of physics, didn’t she?
The fighting moved on quickly, rounding a corner and left this area as quickly as it started. A petite woman in a flapper dress arrived from somewhere and assessed the damage, speaking into some sort of communicator as she did so. Within a couple of minutes, the air ambulances arrived and the wounded and dead were recovered and carried away.
Betsy wasn’t sure if any of them were actually dead as they all appeared to be able to survive blows and shocks that would kill most people, but most were definitely unconscious. But their reaction to Omega Girl indicated their shock. They seemed to think she would be getting up by now instead of being carted off, unconscious, on a gurney to the air ambulance. Both her arms were obviously broken and Betsy assumed more bones were broken as well. What did they think would happen if a woman was shot at a brick wall at speed? She was lucky to be alive.
As quickly as it started, the area reverted back to normality, with only the lack of people on the street and the demolition around them to indicate anything had happened here.
Pearl found she was free to move again, but her arm was squeezed tightly by Vicky, so she didn’t say anything. The elves as well as Betsy seemed to discount the frantic action that had just surrounded them.
Betsy obviously had something on her mind as she looked straight at the elf. Rhiannon, being an elf, simply stared into Betsy’s eyes the whole time. All elves did this and it made Betsy uncomfortable. She didn’t like it, but they didn’t seem to care.
“Look, I’m sorry about this, but I have to verify.” Rhiannon looked harder into Betsy’s eyes, making Betsy even more uncomfortable. “Those two humans with you. Er,” Betsy looked down at her feet and started mumbling. “Did you take them?”
Pearl was amazed Betsy had made no mention of what had just happened, but conformed to Vicky’s imperative.
Rhiannon made no reply. She just stared at Betsy.
“I mean, we do have the Storegga Slide treaty. It’s yonks old and all, but it’s still in force and I’m required to get them back at any cost if you have.” Neither Pearl nor Vicky knew what Betsy was talking about. “And these two,” Betsy quickly added before Rhiannon could answer, “have nothing to do with this.” Betsy hunched her shoulders and made herself as small as possible. Vicky was ready to fight, and Pearl readied herself once she realised what they were talking about, despite her powers being nowhere near restored. Pearl Girl always took a bit more time to understand Betsy’s speech patterns, but, being American, she was far too polite to mention it.
Rhiannon said, without ever moving her gaze from Betsy’s eyes, which was quite an achievement because Betsy was looking at her feet most of the time, Betsy couldn’t work out how she did this, “Tell them all, girls.”
Betsy raised her head and stared at them as they spoke. So did Vicky.
“I’m Maria and I’m working for Rhiannon voluntarily,” said one of the humans. English accent, noted Betsy.
“And I’m Penny, also working for Rhiannon voluntarily,” piped in the other one. American accent, Betsy noted.
Betsy looked at them carefully as well as probing the surface of their minds, as was allowed, when they said their piece. She saw truth in their statements as well as a lot unsaid. She turned back to Rhiannon. “Good. I’m sorry, but I had to do that. It’s the law.”
“I know Betsy. You did your duty. It will be recorded.”
There was a pause before she changed the subject. Looking straight at Pearl Girl she said, “But what about your friend’s freckle problem? Do you require any assistance with it?”
Pearl Girl cut in here. “What problem? What’s wrong with my freckles?” She put her hands to her face despite the mask she was wearing.
“I wasn’t aware there was a problem,” answered Betsy, looking at Pearl Girl. Vicky stared at her also. “What’s wrong with her freckles?”
“I do apologise,” Rhiannon answered. “I assumed you all knew. Please ignore my inappropriate words.”
“No, that’s OK,” said Betsy, fearing Rhiannon would just clam up. “Please give us your advice.”
Rhiannon clammed up, saying, “Now, you had best be on your way. We cannot help one another and we have work to do, as do you. I wish you well with your quest.”
Betsy accepted the situation and smiled. “Thank you. Will you inform us if you gain any understanding of the pixies?” But they were gone.
“How do they do that?” said Pearl Girl.
“What quest?” said Vicky.
Betsy grabbed the mostly uneaten bar from Vicky and started to eat it. “We need to get out of here,” she said with her mouth full. They followed Pearl Girl to her apartment.