Meanwhile, back where we'd left them....
"Luthor!" Superman shouts, feeling a wave of weakness, looking at a bald man with a glowing green rock in one hand and a box with a red button on it in another.
Luthor would say more, but he's suddenly concerned with all the lethal hardware aimed at him (six shooters and.....bows and arrows?!).
"Drop them or I push this button!" the villain shouts, suddenly concerned.
Things were not going as planned, to say the least.
As an example, see what happens next.
"Drop them or I push it, and the explosion will kill...." he continues.
"Kill me?" a woman's voice says from behind him, "Won't the blast get you as well?"
Luthor feels a chill go down his back, then glances back, worriedly and sees the security guard (a woman, he'd found out in surprise), propped up on the doorjab behind him.
Luthor had hit her over the head and put a vest full of dynamite on her as part of his insurance for success in yet another insane plot to take over the world. A world without Superman, his arch rival!! He'd found himself in this world after an experiment had failed disasterously, and figured the VLA was a perfect place to harness a mysterious energy source he'd recently found. He'd harness these lines of force he'd discovered and, with a few adjustments this VLA complex would become a weapon. A weapon which could, at his whim, reach out and destroy entire cities with jut a flip of a switch. Yet....there were these strange things that popping out of nowhere.
Anyway, the plan was that if any police showed too soon, he'd used the threat killing his hostages (there were several hostages inside) tied up and handcuffed.
But this guard had picked her handcuffs.
Sue Carter, security guard, had been relieved by a new guard (a half hour late), and had finally been able to get down to the business of studying for her finals in college (the guard job was useful to make end meet where the grants didn't....quiet.....cover), when she'd been jumped form behind (she'd been too deep in thought trying to absorb yet another complex theorem to hear Luthor sneaking up on her).
She'd been hoping to find the SOB who'd hit her (she'd had the strangest.....dreams?.....while out, about bearded men and blue boxes), and had lucked out. If this guy wanted to kill her, then he'd be taking himself out as well.<P.
And if he didn't kill her, she'd make sure that he'd never get a second chance. She'd recovered her PR-24 and would break a few bones (his) if he didn't give up then and there! Well, if she needed to break a few bones she'd do it, but one could dream, right?.
She wasn't bloodthirsty by nature, but getting hit over the head had put her in a real bad mood (already foul because her relief had been late).
Roland, seeing Luthor's thumb drifting a bit away from the button, reacted. The activation device shatters and Luthor screams in surprise as Roland's bullet hits it. A thrust to the stomach by Sue's "police baton" knocks the wind out of the villain. He falls to the ground, and Sue takes his arm and locks it painfully behind him as she uses her own handcuffs (allowed by her Firm and her Guard licence) to cuff him.
"I've been....outdone by a fugitive from a Western and a rentacop?!" the master criminal rages, only to be grabbed roughly by Roland.
"Be silent," Roland says simply.
Soon, things are taken care of. The chunk of kryptonite is taken care of (disintegrated by Ama'lis). Superman recovers, and vows to make sure Luthor sees justice. Elfin bows and arrows are willed back into their mysterious storage realm (after being called forth by their Light Elf owners). Dragon Synizn is able to heal Betty's mind, but finds that nothing can be done for Stacy (it's like she had no prior memories before the train in New York). That and one sleeping security guard is found!
Sue is besides herself in anger, and Roland isn't far behind. If this guard had been doing his job, he'd have probably been able to stop Luthor from taking hostages. Instead, he'd not only been late to work, he'd found a quiet corner and gone to sleep....on the job.
"But I was only...." he protests.
"Shut UP!" Sue rages, "I'm going to make sure they fire you, you $%^&$%"
"You have forgotten the face of your father and should be sent West," Roland says softly, loathing in his voice.
"Uh, what he said," Sue says, right before calling the police.
Sue is thankful, but suggests that Astra and friends make themselves scarce.
"Superman, Luthor, the FBI wonder twins, and that old guy from Nightstalker will be hard enough to explain," she says, rolling her eyes, "They have to probably stay, if what you say about the nature of this unplanned dimensional hopping or whatever they did is true, then they can't get back to their homes so they might as well stick around. You have a way back to this Mid-world and seem to have a REALLY good reason to get going....."
"So we shall go," Astra says simply, making another door out of thin air.
After a rather uneventful (if trying for all it's puns) trip through Xanth, a healed and youthened Roland (along with a Susannah Dean who's legs have been regenerated by a healing spring) step though to the Elven Nation and find out about a special civil wedding in the works.
"Well, I am also the civil head of state as well as the had of Aqualarian religion," Astra says, "That and there are a few others who might want to be wed...."
Eddie and Susannah begin to bristle at that, then blink when they realize......
12/24/2000 5:19:11 AM
The Never Ending Quest Home
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