"Damn, who could that be at this hour?" Abigail Stone thought as the phone by her bed rang mercilessly.
Normally a phone call, even at this late hour, wouldn't have bothered her that much. The problem with answering this particular call was that Abigail was practically naked and spread face down on her bed, weighed down by one hundred and ninety-two pounds of manhood. Not counting, of course, the six inches of which was buried deep between her legs.
As was her usual Friday night practice, Abigail, or Abby as she normally went by, had met her boyfriend, Sergeant Nick Hamilton for dinner and a movie. Tonight, as had become a pattern the last few weeks, the movie had been skipped in favor of a rumble under the sheets.
There were times, this being one of them, when Abby thought she might have acted a little too hastily when she finally gave in to Nick and invited him to her bed. The twenty-five year old hadn't been a virgin the night of that invite, but of course she didn't tell him that. Even in this new modern world of 1947, it was still important for a man to think he'd been the first. Still, it would've been nice if he'd come up with a ring on her finger beforehand to at least make it more respectable.
Those thoughts faded from her mind in an instant when she realized the phone had stopped in mid-ring. The caller had either given up or...
"Oh no, Nick!" Abby thought in a panic as she looked back over her shoulder and saw her lover had answered the phone. "I'm not that modern that I want to explain what a man is doing in my apartment this late at night, answering my phone!"
"Sergeant Hamilton," Nick answered the phone, not even bothering to pull out of Abby.
Unable to get out from under the large man, Abby could only watch as Nick listened silently to the call, nodding his head a few time and then finally saying he'd be right there.
"That was the desk sergeant at the Twenty-eighth Precinct," Nick said as he finally climbed off Abby. "The Black Cat has stolen the Star of China from the Metro Museum. The Chief wants me down there right away."
Abby sat up and looked at Nick with a stunned expression, barely hearing what he had said. All she could think of at this moment was that the people downtown had known exactly where to call him. He'd told his fellow police officers in whose apartment he was spending the night. They didn't have to be detectives to know what they were doing. Suddenly, Abby didn't feel so modern after all.
"Gotta go babe," the six foot two blond said as he zippered up his pants, "duty calls."
"That's it?" Abby said, now standing in the center of the bedroom, her well proportioned figure garbed in only stockings and a black garter belt. "Duty calls?"
"Hey, what can I say?" Nick said as he checked his 38 special before putting it back into his holster. "We'll have to make it another night."
Then, without another thought about her, Nick Hamilton was out the door.
"Damn him!" Abby cursed as she stared at the back of her apartment door.
The five foot seven brunette wasn't sure if she was angrier with Nick because he had left her unfulfilled or that he treated their relationship so casually as to make it an open secret. She had met Sergeant Nick Hamilton almost a year ago, after she had been assigned to the child welfare section of the Policewomen's Bureau. She had soon found herself taken by his rugged good looks and charm.
The Sergeant, on the other hand, had been immediately mesmerized by her impressive bust the first time he had seen her. Remembering the day they met, Abby cupped her breasts, thinking how men found them so fascinating. She knew they had opened many doors in her life, even the one which had led her to the Policewomen's Bureau.
Ever since she was a child, listening to the stories her father told at his knees, Abby Stone had wanted to follow in what was considered the family business. Her great grandfather had been a Texas Ranger. His son, the Marshal who tracked down Bad Billy Brown and the Walton Brothers. After the family had moved to the West Coast, her father and two of his brothers had become members of the Coast City Police, all rising to the rank of Lieutenant or better. Four of their sons now also served on the Force in various positions. It seemed only natural that she could do so as well. Or so she thought.
When Abby had first broached the idea of applying for a job on the Police Force, soon after her eighteenth birthday, both her Father and her Uncles had regarded the idea as laughable. She would be wasting her time, they'd told her. The Police Department only hired a small handful of women, usually old matrons to handle those few tasks that would be inappropriate for a man.
"Better you find yourself a nice job as a secretary or something," her father has advised her. "Something to keep you busy until the right man comes along. Just leave the business of crime fighting to the men."
After being turned down twice by the department, Abby had reluctantly done just that. That was until a manpower shortage during the war had forced the department to open the way for the recruitment of more women. Police officers carried a deferment from the draft, but enough of them had enlisted to cause a small shortage.
The Chief of Police decided to solve what he perceived as a temporary problem by increasing the size and scope of the Policewomen's Bureau. This would prevent a swelling of the ranks in the department when all those police officers turned soldiers and sailors eventually came home. A law put on the books after Pearl Harbor guaranteed them their jobs back with no loss of seniority or pay.
Members of the Policewomen's Bureau were paid less than Policemen and were only allowed to handle certain clerical and non- operational tasks. Still they were useful filling positions that would free up male officers for the real job of keeping the streets safe.
Applying for one of the coveted positions as soon as they were announced, Abby found that there was plenty of competition. The odds of getting one of the limited openings increased against her when her father, displeased with her decision, refused to use his influence on her behalf. He wouldn't stand in her way, he'd said, but neither would he use his influence to help.
On the day of her interview, Abby made a discovery that she knew would help her. Almost to a woman, all of the other applicants were what could only be described as plain looking. At least as compared to Abby. When she sat down for her interview with a Captain and two Lieutenants, she knew they were more interested in her chest than her office skills. They reasoned, she figured, that if they now had to put up with a woman in their previously all male domains, then it might as well be one who was nice to look at.
The newly hired Policewoman justified her use of her sexual attraction to get on the Force by promising herself that she would advance after that on the quality of her merits rather than the size of her boobs. It was a promise that she would find hard to keep.
The main reason for that inability to advance was that there didn't seem to be any second level for Policewomen. Issued a badge and even a gun, they had absolutely no patrol duties. For the first two years, Abby had been assigned as an assistant to the desk sergeant at the First Precinct, Police Headquarters itself. The work was hardly difficult, given the secretarial skills she had developed on her prior job. Still there was a certain fascination in being so close to the action and playing what she believed was a vital part.
That was until the war ended, and as the old song said, Johnny came marching home. In her case, Johnny turned out to be Officer Michael Patrick Mooney, a ten year veteran who was quite anxious to get back to his old job. A position that happened to be filled at the moment by one Abigail Stone. Hardly unique in her situation, Abby had been called into her Captain's office at the end of watch one Friday afternoon and politely informed that Officer Mooney would be returning to his old job come Monday morning.
"In fact, many of the women hired under the emergency expansion are being let go," he'd told her, "but that's not something you have to worry your pretty head about. In appreciation for all your family has given to the department, we've made sure a position has been reserved for you in the child welfare section."
Abby had been crushed. In the blink of an eye, she had gone from being a vital cog in the war on crime to being responsible to changing dirty diapers and baby-sitting kids passing under the responsibilities of the child welfare agencies. When she got home, her father had given her one of those "I told you so" looks, but thankfully didn't voice it as well.
One uneventful day seemed to just blend into another after that. That was until the warm sunny afternoon that she found herself standing in the same shoes that had been worn by three generations of Stones before her.
Abby had decided to walk home as it was such a nice day. She was headed down Lucas Boulevard when the alarm of the First National Bank filled the air. Drawn across the street by the disturbance, she saw two men racing out of the bank, bags of money in their hands. Without a second thought, she drew her firearm and called out for them to stop.
"Police!" Abby yelled as she assumed a firing position just beyond the curb. "Drop your weapons and put your hands up!"
The closest thief brought up his own pistol and fired, the bullet whizzing past Abby's head. Standing her ground, she returned fire, a single shot hitting her assailant dead center.
The other thief had jerked his head around, taking in the woman with a gun pointed at him and the body of his partner on the pavement, a large pool of blood spreading out beneath it. Not filled with a desire to join him, he opened his hands and lifted them into the air, letting both his weapon and the bag of money fall to the ground.
The press had a field day with the Hero Lady Cop. The Mayor himself had pinned the medal on her dress uniform with all her relatives on the force standing behind her on the platform. The Chief of Police said in his own speech that she was a credit to the traditions of her family. Beaming with pride, Abby knew that things were going to be different from now on.
For the next few weeks, things were indeed different. The hero of the hour found herself giving speeches to one civic group after another. There was even some talk of having her join the actual Police Force itself. Abby was overjoyed as her dream seemed within her grasp.
Then the winds of interest changed once more and all such talk faded away. The requests for speeches stopped, as did the instances she was asked her opinion. The following week, less than two months since the bank robbery, Abby found herself back at the child welfare section. It was as if she had never left.
On that night, Abby Stone came to a life changing decision. If the department wouldn't let her fight crime as her forefathers had, well then she'd do it without their help. Aside from her Father's stories of family history, Abby had also grown up on tales of other heroes. Zorro, the Scarlet Pimpernel and most recently on the radio, the Lone Ranger. Masked heroes who had wielded their own brand of justice. That all of these adventurers had been men didn't bother the twenty-three year old in the least.
Abby took a quick shower, thankful that her renovated apartment was one of the few in the building to have one. It wouldn't do for her to go out with the scent of their aborted coupling still clinging to her. Stepping back into her bedroom, her skin still damp, she unlocked an old hand made closet that had once belonged to her grandmother. From within it, she pulled out a specially designed bra.
When she had first joined the department, Abby had considered the idea that her own particular dimensions might impair some physical activities that might be demanded of her. That was in the days when she foolishly thought the Department had any intention of letting her actually fight crime on the front lines. The well endowed women had sought out the help of Tony Pastore, the nice old man who ran a neighborhood shop that specialized in bras and undergarments.
She explained her problem to the sixty-six year old and he promised that he could solve it. After working on it for almost a week, he came up with a support bra that was almost as lightweight as it was supportive.
Next out of the closet came a red costume, the tunic of which bore a passing resemblance to the navy blue uniform Abby normally wore as a Policewoman. In fact, the design for the costume had begun with one of her old uniforms.
When she had first decided to fight crime on her own, Abby had again sought out the help of the old man who had come to think of her as an adopted granddaughter. Tony Pastore's still talented fingers had turned a simple sketch Abby had made into reality.
The tunic was double breasted with gold and white trim. A matching skirt was also red, with the same trim, the boots that completed the outfit were red as well.
The last item out of the closet was a mask that was sort of a half cowl. It covered her face but let her hair hang free.
Abby stepped over to the large dressing mirror to check her appearance. She smiled, happy at the result. The image that looked back at her was not that of an unappreciated and ill used Policewoman, but rather the adventurer the press had named Ultra Woman.
"Well, Black Cat," she said to her reflection, "this time you've gone too far."
The fire escape out of Abby's bedroom window led up to the roof. Soon after she had taken the apartment, she had discovered that she had the only apartment that faced the sealed off alley between buidling. It made for a perfect and private route out of her top floor rooms. After a quick trip up the metal ladder, it was a quick two rooftops to the Kirby and Lee Garage. Hidden in a sealed off section of the garage was the sleek black racer know as the Ultra-Glider. Less than five minutes after leaving her apartment, Ultra Woman was on the prowl.
Lifting the small microphone under the dash, Ultra Woman sent a high frequency message letting her partner Mega Girl know she was in the field and her destination. At the same time, she activated a small electronic homing device in her belt buckle. Abby didn't pretend to understand half the gear Mega Girl had set them up with, she only knew that they all seemed to work flawlessly. The Ultra-Link, as it had been christened, was a homing device, would allow each of them to find the other, anywhere in a twenty mile radius.
As the high powered Ultra-Glider raced through the dark and for the most part empty streets, Ultra Woman couldn't help but think how much her life behind the mask had changed over the last year. Originally, Ultra Woman patrolled the city using an old 1938 Ford that Abby had rescued from the police impound yard. The Sergeant who ran the yard was more than willing to lose the paperwork on a car headed for the scrap heap in order to give much needed transportation for the daughter of an old friend. Another friend, one who had more ulterior motives, had volunteered to restore the car to working condition. He'd succeeded in that, but not in obtaining her thanks in the form he'd hoped for.
Her weapons of crimefighting were simply those she had been taught to use all of her life. Carl Stone might not have wanted his daughter to live the life he envisioned for her brothers, but he still saw to it that she spent just as many hours learning self-defense. In her early teens, it was obvious to all the men in her family that Abby was growing into a body that would draw men like moths to a flame. Not all of these men would have honorable intentions and they wouldn't always be there to protect her.
Aside from that, there was little in the way of specialized equipment. At least nothing that hadn't come her way in the form of misplaced or even misappropriated police supplies. As a result, a year into her career and all she had little to show for her efforts were a few minor accomplishments and some good press. Most of which had come from a cynical press that was more curious than impressed.
It was at one of those press functions a year ago, a carefully staged event to promote Coast City tourism, that Ultra Woman had first met Priscilla Ann Wellington. A month shy of her eighteenth birthday, Priscilla was the daughter of John and Cynthia Wellington and heir to the Wellington Electronics fortune. Five six and a gifted athlete as well, she was already a millionairess the day she was born. In addition, the strawberry blond had also inherited her grandfather's genius with gadgets.
Fascinated by the mystery woman since the day Ultra Woman had first appeared; Priscilla had used her family name to arrange both an invitation to the event as well as a personal introduction to her idol. Ultra Woman was slightly embarrassed by the almost outright adulation the young girl displayed. In fact, it took all of her self-control not to laugh when Priscilla stated her desire to help with the fight against crime.
Before the Crimefighter could politely turn her down and give her the standard "you can best help by growing up to be a good citizen" speech, the girl had already started her own speech about all these wonderful inventions she was working on and what a big help they could be. Ultra Woman was actually relieved when a reporter she normally detested interrupted and pulled her away.
Ultra Woman might not have been so quick to dismiss the girl if she'd known that Priscilla was a child prodigy who held a college degree when most girls her age were happy with a high school diploma. Or the fact that Priscilla wasn't the type who was used to taking no for an answer. On her own, the teenager set out to prove both her worth and that of her ideas.
Two weeks later, there was a highly publicized threat on the life of Mayor Roger Browning following the conviction of Boss Thorne, the head of the local crime family. In an act designed more to sell newspapers than insure the Mayor's protection, the Coast City Sun had called on Ultra Woman to safeguard the Mayor. Despite having no idea on how to do it, Abby had accepted the challenge.
Standing besides Mayor Browning at the opening of the new Civic Center a day later was a highly visible, if ineffective, bodyguard. Somewhat out of her league, Ultra Woman gave no notice to the two men slowly moving through the crowd. In her defense, neither did the Police pay much attention to the pair who were working their way closer and closer to the Mayor.
It was only at the last moment, just before the would be assassins could draw their weapons, that a young girl in a home made costume suddenly leapt from the parapet of the Civic Center and caught everyone's attention. In her hand, the red and white clad girl held a small, unknown electronic device.
"Stop those men," she cried out as she hit the ground, "they're going to shoot the Mayor!"
Taking the beeping device in her hand to be a possible bomb, the Police rushed the new arrival instead. Only Ultra Woman followed the girl's command and rushed the two men, just as their guns came into view.
The hard impact of Ultra Woman's reinforced baton off the side of the closest gunman's head sent him tumbling to the ground. A hard right cross took care of the other, but not before he got off one shot which thankfully went wild.
The loud single gunshot split the air, grabbing everyone's immediate attention. In the deafening silence that followed, a single voice was heard. The voice of an unknown bystander who gave birth to a new legend.
"Ultra Woman and her partner saved the Mayor!" he had cried.
The sudden association of the girl in red and white with the heroine of the moment caused the Police to quickly release her. With unbridled enthusiasm, she quickly explained that the magnetic anomaly detector in her hand had allowed her to 'see' the gunmen's hidden weapons. Photographers clamored for pictures of the two together, and it was only when they were a few feet apart that Ultra Woman recognized the girl as Priscilla Wellington.
"What's your partner's name, Ultra Woman?" one of the reporters called out.
The older Adventurer was about to explain that first of all, she wasn't her partner, when Priscilla cut her off and said, "Mega Girl, that's Ultra Woman and Mega Girl."
The press ate it up, making it the banner headline in almost every major daily. Once they were away from the crowd, Abby made it clear in no uncertain terms to Priscilla that there wasn't now, or ever, going to be a team of Ultra Woman and Mega Girl.
The younger woman just answered her with a knowing smile. A smile that was still there three days later when Abby opened the door to her apartment and found Priscilla standing there.
"What, how ?" Abby stammered when she saw the girl, totally losing her self-control.
It had taken the girl less than seventy-two hours to figure out Ultra Woman's identity. Part of it had been the result of deductive reasoning; part of it had been simple luck. Going over her large collection of both newspaper and magazine articles about Ultra Woman, Priscilla had come across an older City Magazine with the front-page story "Beauty With a Badge" The article had been about a hero policewoman who had captured two armed bank robbers.
There was enough of a similarity in both women's builds to catch Priscilla's attention. That plus the fact that both were brunettes with shoulder length hair. Contrary to popular male belief, there weren't an insurmountable number of beautiful young women with a build like Ultra Woman in Coast City. When you narrowed that down to brunettes, although the idea of a wig had to be considered, the number dropped even lower. Given the admittedly superficial resemblance between Officer Abigail Stone and Ultra Woman, it seemed as good a place to start as any.
When you are rich, many doors open with the wave of a twenty-dollar bill. It was a simple matter to get better copies of the photos of Officer Stone than those that appeared in the grainy newsprint. Making blowups of each woman's face, Priscilla compared them under a magnifying glass and saw enough in common to investigate further.
It only took a few more comparisons and inquiries for her to decide that she had lucked out on her very first try. The only thing that made it seem improbable was that how could no one have not noticed it before. Officer Stone and Ultra Woman had to have run into the same people in their official lives. It was like saying you could just put on a pair of glasses and people would think you were someone else.
Then, looking again at the pictures of both women, Priscilla thought she saw the answer to her question. Whereas she was immediately drawn to each woman's face, most of the people they came into contact with centered their gaze somewhat lower. Even so, Priscilla wasn't totally sure until Abby opened the door and she saw her reaction.
Abby had finally given in to what seemed the inevitable and never had cause to regret it. Aside from the financing and technological marvels that Mega Girl brought to the partnership, she also brought something else that Abby hadn't even realized was missing. A friend with which she could share all things. A trip to Mr. Pastore's shop for a more professional costume soon followed, and the team of Ultra Woman and Mega Girl was truly born.
Before Ultra Woman knew it, the Metro Museum was in front of her. She smiled at the uniformed patrolmen waiting by their cruisers outside. A smile from a beautiful woman usually got a positive response. She knew that the Police Commissioner had standing orders that she be allowed to investigate crime in the city, as long as she didn't get in the way of real policemen. There was only so much even he would put up with, even if she had the gratitude of the Mayor.
Once in the hall where the Star had been displayed, Ultra Woman saw Sergeant Hamilton talking with another Detective. When she wore the mask, she tried to think of him as a fellow Crimefighter, and not the man who shared her bed. Still, not willing to press the effectiveness of her disguise too much, she kept a safe difference from him, instead looking over the display case.
The closest uniformed Officer stepped out of the way to give her an unobstructed view of the case. Although at the same time, she couldn't help but notice that he had moved into a position where he had a better view of her as well. Ignoring eyes that she was sure were peeling away her costume, layer by layer, Ultra Woman carefully surveyed the scene of the crime.
To her surprise, the display case was still intact. None of the glass had even been broken. All of the alarm wires were also intact, just as they had been when the guard had made his rounds before the theft. The Star of China had simply vanished.
At the bottom of the small pedestal where the diamond had once sat, Ultra Woman notice a small amount of fine powder.
"Had anyone taken a sample of this for the lab?" she asked.
"That's already been taken care of," she heard a familiar voice say from behind her. "The lab boys say it's just silicone dust."
The Lady in Red tuned around to Sergeant Hamilton, suppressing a smile at the situation. At least he wasn't staring down at her chest. Then again, he didn't need to. Not when he had a more personal view of Abby's.
"Silicone dust," Ultra Woman repeated. "Any idea where it came from?"
"That, they're not sure of," Hamilton answered. "Just as they're not sure how the Black Cat managed to open the case, deactivate the alarm, take the diamond and then put the whole thing back together -- all in twenty seconds."
"That was the time between when the Museum Guard last saw the diamond on his rounds and the main alarm went off," Hamilton went on. "It was as if he reached right through the glass and took the diamond. As if he was a ghost."
Ultra Woman listened silently. Too many pieces didn't fit. If the Cat was skilled enough to disable the pedestal alarm in so quick a time, why hadn't he also taken out the one on the upper window he had come in through. Surely he had a lot more than twenty seconds to do that. Then, why reconnect the pedestal alarm at all if he had already tripped the other one.
"Any thoughts, Ultra Woman?" the Sergeant interrupted.
"I don't suppose anyone got a look at the Black Cat this time?" she asked. After more than a dozen big thefts over the last year, no one had even gotten so much as a description of the Black Cat.
"No such luck," he replied.
"Then how can you be so sure it was the Black Cat?"
Nick held out a small calling card which simply said - "You have been robbed by the very best - The Black Cat."
"You did check everyone in the building at the time?" Ultra Woman asked.
"Of course we did," he said with a touch of annoyance. "You're not dealing with amateurs here you know. No one walked out of here with that diamond!"
"I didn't mean to suggest that any of your men were," Ultra Woman apologized.
Deciding that she wasn't going to learn anything more here, Ultra Woman thanked Sergeant Hamilton for his help and headed back to the Glider. It was just as well that she knew Nick wouldn't be back tonight to finish what they'd started, the woman behind the mask told herself. When he was in this kind of mood, Nick was a truly lousy fuck.
Ultra Woman started down the long steps of the museum, passing the two patrolmen she had passed on the way in. Thinking she was out of earshot, one of the officers made a comment she wished she hadn't overheard.
"Did you get a load of the bazookas on that broad," he said to his partner. "I'd like to frisk her for hidden weapons," he laughed.
"Not bad," his partner, an older officer replied. "But if you really want to see a set, then check out the knockers on that policewoman that Hamilton is doing. "I hear she's dumb as a log but one mighty fuck in the sack."
At that, both men laughed loudly, leaving Ultra Woman to ask, "Good God, does everyone in the department know?"
As she neared the Glider, Ultra Woman noticed a piece of white paper sticking out from under the windshield wiper. Could one of the patrolmen have actually written her a ticket?
Taking the paper from under the wiper blade, Ultra Woman saw that it wasn't a ticket but rather a page from an old telephone directory. Circled in red was an restaurant down by the docks.
McKenzie's Seafood had once been the jewel of the area. One of the in spots to be seen during the prewar years. It had closed during the war and as far as Ultra Woman knew, had never reopened. It didn't take a Sherlock Holmes to know the advertisement smelled fishy.
Holding the advertisement in her hand as she climbed back into her car, Ultra Woman reached for the small microphone under the dash. It was time to check in with Mega Girl.
"Obviously it's some kind of set up," the voice of Mega Girl said over the car radio.
"Of course," Ultra Woman agreed, "the question is, what should be do about it?"
"I guess that depends," Mega Girl said.
"On who we think left the advertisement," the radio voice explained.
"What do you mean?" Ultra Woman asked.
"Well, was it left by the Black Cat, which seems unlikely," Mega Girl said. "Or was it planted by the Police to send us on a wild goose chase. You know we're not the favorite people around some of them."
Ultra Woman had to agree with that statement. There were a good number of men on the Force who didn't like being upstaged by a couple of costumed women. Abby knew they'd be even angrier if they knew one of them was also part of the Policewomen's Bureau.
"Or, it could've been left by just anyone for whatever reason," Mega Girl concluded.
"Still, I think it's something worth checking out," the brunette said after considering all three options. "It's not like we have anything else to go on right now."
"The charity dinner I'm at will be breaking up in an hour," Mega Girl said. "I can meet you right after that and we can take a look."
"That might be too late," Ultra Woman considered. "I think I'll head over there now and scope the place out."
"Give me twenty minutes and I'll be out of here," Mega Girl quickly said.
"No need for that, I'm just going to take a little look," Ultra Woman replied. "I'm sure it'll turn out to be nothing I can't handle."
"Still I wish you..."
"Hey, whose the senior partner here," the older woman cut her off. "I'll be fine. You take care of what you have there. Those kids you are raising money for are important too."
"Abby, be careful."
Ultra Woman assured her she would and broke the transmission before her partner could argue further. There were times when she did wonder which of them was the senior partner.
McKenzie's had indeed been closed years before, and from the looks of it, would not be opening without a major renovation. In fact, the entire dockside could do with some work. It was hard to believe that this had once been such a popular area.
Leaving the Glider where it couldn't be seen, Ultra Woman approached the restaurant, staying among the shadows as she moved. A glance through a broken window showed the interior of the once famous spot to be as dilapidated as the shell.
"Not exactly my first choice for a romantic dinner," she thought as she quietly moved around for a closer look, "but anyone using it as a hideout wouldn't exactly be looking for a standing room crowd at the bar."
Finding a small padlock on the back door, Ultra Woman was able to use one of Mega Girl's handy electronic gadgets to pop it open without trouble. The shattered skylight in the roof admitted enough exterior lighting to allow the Crimefighter to move around inside without using a flashlight.
After ten minutes of useless search, Ultra Woman decided that it had been a wild goose chase after all. Exiting the way she came, putting back the lock she had opened, Ultra Woman headed back to the Glider.
"What's this?" Ultra Woman asked as she climbed back into the Glider and noticed a small plain brown wrapped package on the dash board. "Another wild goose chase?"
She reached over and picked up the tiny package, only to drop it just as quickly as it suddenly grew hot in her fingers. Her free hand started to turn the handle to open to door of the Glider, but it was too late.
Already the interior of the car had filled with a dense yellow-green fog. Abby cursed herself for her carelessness, even as she felt herself losing consciousness. In seconds, she was as helpless as a baby.
Ultra Woman's first impression when she returned to consciousness was that she had been somehow transported to a medieval prison. The walls were all stone and covered with chains and various other instruments of confinement. Some of them unpleasant just to look at. One set of chains, bolted to a damp wall were of particular interest to the masked adventurer, mainly due to the fact that they were clamped tight around her wrists.
"Well at least I'm still in costume, that's something," Ultra Woman said silently to herself, wondering why she hadn't been unmasked.
Once more she tried her strength against the iron shackles, but to no avail. Old as they might look, they were still solid as the rock they were hammered into. A glance downward revealed that her gadget belt was gone as well.
"I hope I'm still in range of Priscilla's tracer," the captive heroine thought as she accepted the fact that she wasn't going to be getting out of this one on her own.
Once more her eyes surveyed the dismal surroundings. There were no windows and the only light came from two braziers on opposite walls. Unsure as to how long she'd even been unconscious, Ultra Woman had no idea if it was day or night, or even what day it might be.
That brought a more discouraging idea. Not knowing how long it was between her capture and her awakening, it was impossible to guess where she might be. She could even be out of the country.
An hour passed as she waited in silence. The semi darkness and quiet solitude began to play on her mind. What if no one was ever going to come back for her? What if she had been left here to die of thirst and hunger?
The thought of food had made her aware of her last meal. As Abby, she had barely eaten half of the dinner she and Nick had gone out for. She now felt hungry, but not overwhelmingly so. How long would it be before that changed?
A few minutes into the start of the second hour, Ultra Woman's attention was drawn to the sound of footsteps in the hall beyond the chamber. From where she was bolted to the wall, Ultra Woman couldn't see through the small window of the thick wooden door a few feet away from her, but she was sure the steps were getting louder and closer.
Suddenly they stopped, followed by a long period of deafening silence. Silence that was shattered when the heavy door abruptly swung open, the sound of its equally rusted joints howling in protest.
As if to heighten the sense of expectation, whoever had opened the door waited just out of view for a more long moments. Ultra Woman could feel her heart racing as a sense of foreboding filled her.
That feeling of apprehension abruptly turned to one of surprise. Whatever mental image she might have formed of her captor over the last hours or so, abruptly shattered as a figure stepped into the room.
"I understand you've been looking for me," a quiet voice said. "I'm the Black Cat."
Ultra Woman was totally speechless. She had no idea what to say. The best theory about the identity of the Black Cat had been that he was a European master thief who had shifted his operations to the States after the war. All of the various agencies hunting the master criminal would be shocked to find just how far off the mark they had been.
Standing before the helpless Ultra Woman was a five foot six black woman with short curly black hair. Her skin was almost as dark as the black formfitting outfit she wore. She had a lithe, athletic body and appeared to be in her early to mid twenties.
"You're the Black Cat?" Ultra Woman finally managed to say.
"Surprise, surprise," the master criminal laughed as she walked over to her prisoner, coming to a stop only a few inches away from her.
"I don't know what to say," Ultra Woman replied.
"Cat got your tongue huh," the woman in black chuckled. "Or is it that you couldn't have imagined a woman, or more precisely a Negro woman capable of doing all the things the Black Cat has done. Misleading so many people, for so long."
Ultra Woman had to admit, she'd never considered the idea that the Black Cat could ever have been a woman. She also had to admit, the fact that she was a Negro took her by surprise as well.
"I bet you and all your little cop friends never imagined that you could all be outsmarted by a coon," she went on, using the term she found so distasteful. "I bet if you passed me on the street, you'd think I was just another nigger whore, wouldn't you?"
"No, that's not true," Ultra Woman said, knowing inside that for most of her fellow officers, it was all too true.
"Well, I'll let you in on a little secret, Missy," the Black Cat said. "In my case at least, it's true. I was a whore. That's right, I let rich men and in some cases women use my body in exchange for money. You'd be surprised at how many proper white folk crave dark meat."
The captive Ultra Woman wondered why she was being told all of this, but was afraid to ask. She hope it wasn't because the Cat planned to make sure that she would never be able to hear her repeat it.
"That was until I had a small problem with one of my clients," she continued. "It seems this quite upstanding member of his community had a thing for shoving his little cock up a black woman's ass. But that's one game this girl doesn't play and I told him that right up front. When I tried to leave, he turned two of his hired goons on me and they held me down while he forced his miserable little thing into my ass. All the while going on about how nigger bitches loved it that way."
Ultra Woman actually felt an affinity for her captor, at least in that situation. She could never imagine letting a man take her in that way.
"When he finally finished, and his thugs let go of me, I guess he expected me to be too afraid to do anything about it. I think it was the surprise of his life when I pulled out a knife and practically cut his balls off. I can tell you that he's never done that to another woman."
Ultra Woman was now totally enthralled by the story, putting aside for the moment her fears as to why she was being told it.