Two weeks ago, Loraine Jett had unexpectedly discovered a strange costume that bestowed elastic abilities to its wearer. The suit was packed with a letter saying that the sender needed help.
Understanding the message, Lora traveled immediately to the costume's source: a planet called Draemona, and defeated a strange half-snake, half-humanoid being there. A woman named Iris II turned out to be the one who gave her those powers, and Lora had saved her from the creature in return, though Iris did not know how to change her savior's form back.
As a bonus, however, Lora scored a sidekick, now knowing that she was a full-on super-heroine. Iris came up with Ms. Jett's heroic title: Lovergum her costume made Lora able to seduce any man (evil or good), and that her body did happen to share the properties of bubble gum. The sidekick, a small female dragon literally made out of bubble gum, also fitting with the duo, gained the nickname "Meredith".
All this didn't mean Lora had no social life. Since graduating college at 29, she had been working as a cashier in the local candy store, "Candy Castle". She had quite a sweet tooth for candy, growing slightly envious of what she sold to the herds of children who stopped by with their parents several times a week. Her boss, Mr. Richard Hearst, never once allowed Lora to try, so-called "free samples" of the candy.
However, all that changed when she showed her new abilities to Mr. Hearst, as well as his son, Aaron. Lora knew that the latter was into Plastic Man comic books.
About 3 to 4 times a week, Lora would also pull pranks on the mean neighbors who lived next door to her apartment. She was just disgusted on how they smoked two packs a day and always had at least 4 wine cases every month. One time she hid the wife's cigarettes and replaced it with a fake one from a gag shop that would explode like old-school exploding gum; another time, Lora squirted some of her special "wacky glue" to their welcome mat, trapping the wife just as she was getting home from shopping; and the best trick of all was when she ambushed the husband as he was leaving for work and gave him a supersonic wedgie just as he was turning around to close the door, all by sticking her body to the ceiling.
From then on, Lora began to grow very popular, as her super-heroine self performed dozens of tricks and stunts with her powers in several places downtown, with Meredith as her helper. They even did a few ventriloquist acts together. Lovergum made about 3 times as much income than Lora Jett ever did, and no one but her boss and his son knew that they were one and the same.
She became highly respected in the candy store, and even received a promotion to Vice Manager. This allowed Lora free access to about 2% of the candy that was delivered to the store each month.
But it didn't stop there. As Lovergum, Ms. Jett thwarted a large amount of crime in Centropolis where she lived and her costume allowed most of the male criminals to fall victim to her looks, and be turned over to the police at the blink of an eye. Most of them ended up dazed, drooling, and stuck smiling at nothing.
In time, Lora discovered that her powers bore direct resemblance to the properties of bubble gum, even being able to generate a sticky, sweet-smelling ooze to trap criminals and turn them in without a hitch. Meredith helped by morphing into shapes that would lure those villains to that event.
Lora had been happier than ever before, and almost thought that Iris II had wanted to create that costume as a gift for Lora, rather than just a tool.
One day which was in fact Lora's 32nd birthday: April 12th the police contacted Lora to stop a serious vandalism at Centropolis' candy factory downtown. She felt suspicious of this, but went ahead with it anyway. Meredith accompanied her in costume, disguised as a solid pink boxing glove worn on her left hand.
Luckily for Ms. Jett, being a superhero qualified her to drive over the speed limit, excusable for the heinous crime happening at the factory downtown. Parking at the back door, Lora instantly morphed into her heroic self, and kicked down the door with an oversized right foot. The room inside was dark and disabled, somehow predictable to her. It would seem that someone cut the power just before she arrived, since it was functioning almost all year round.
She called out to anyone who was there, "All right, punks, the jig is up! Come on out and show yourselves!"
Someone switched on the lights, and a rather old and raspy voice laughed back, "But the fun's just starting, Miss Jett!"
Two hands grabbed Lovergum's arms and thrust her to the floor, but a quick elastic snap brought a returning punch in the jaw to the captors. They appeared to be common burglars with ski masks and leather jackets. The two men appeared slightly wowed by her costume, but didn't fall completely out like she intended. Still, that gave her enough time to stick them to a concrete pillar by squirting her pink goo at them.
Those vandals now felt completely happily overwhelmed, one even saying, "Hey, what's say you and me, we catch a movie at 8:00?"
But she turned them down and began to approach the exit, whistling a quick tune. All of a sudden, however, the raspy voice laughed again, "But you're going to miss the best part! We've kept it for last, and you're in it!"
Once more Lorraine felt the grasp of something behind her, but this time it was harder and more rigid. Meredith having eyes while in her glove-shaped form identified it as a pincer. Someone was using an indoor crane, and carrying Lovergum upside down, dangling by one ankle.
"What's going on?!" She cried in terror.
Out of the corner of her eye, Lora could see the control cabin of the crane, seeing an old, bald man inside. The man, who had the same raspy voice, shouted excitedly, "This is the grand finale of our plan: we turn the town's greatest superhero into the town's sweetest candy!"
Looking down, the shiny heroine gasped as to what the crane was carrying her to: The factory's machinery was working again, and she was about to be dropped into a taffy-pulling machine. Judging from the labels on the boxes nearby, it became clear that the vandals here would literally be making bubble gum out of Lora's own elastic body! Ironic, considering that this was the candy she favored the most.
Meredith returned to her dragon form, then inflated so far in size with the help of a handy air tank - that she was a head taller than the crane itself, and yet still showing the same opaque shininess as her original form. The dragon tried to grab that crane's operator, but she was too late: the crane's claw was already released, and Lora was left screaming while being processed in a taffy puller, Willy Wonka style.
Her voice soon subsided, as Lora's mouth seemed to have been morphed out of sight, and it took Meredith some extensive searching to find the main power switch. When she did, the creature flew down to the conveyor just outside the puller. Two wads of shiny pink goo were already flatted onto the conveyor belt, cut in half by one large chopping blade overhead, and in the process of being cut further into small strips, but the power was shut down before then.
She tried to mold those blobs back together, to no avail, almost prompting Meredith to cry. It was then at that very moment that the globs started changing shape, bubble a couple of times, and amazingly did regenerate and come back to life...just not in the way she expected.
They formed not one, but two humanoids of a smooth and shiny material standing in front of her. One looked exactly like the original Lovergum, the other mimicked her details in every way as well, except the color scheme was inverted so that her initially red costume was green, mask and all, its skin now very dark, and with the clone's hair being dark blue. Meredith did not know what to make of this.
She tried speaking to the pair, "Do either of you know who you are?"
The original Lora turned to her green doppelganger and was filled with shock, as well as shivering in fear. The clone crossed its arms and smiled in an evil way. There was no questioning, then, that this clone was Lora's "evil self".
The clone cackled loudly, and performed some serious acrobatic stunts to "bounce" out of the enormous metallic room. Lora was left weak and on the brink of passing out. This prompted her sidekick to change into a roughly humanoid form and carry Lora outside. Police cars were already there, and while the two trapped criminals were already arrested, the old man was nowhere to be seen.
The head officer asked, "Meredith? Is that you?"
She nodded, and replied, "Something's happened to my leader. It's like...the factory split her in half or something. Did you see that green and blue girl jump out of the factory just now?"
"Yes, we dispatched another car to go after her. Now tell us, what's wrong with Lovergum?"
"It doesn't look good; seems like she's passed out. Is there an ambulance around here?"
The officer confirmed that, and two people in medical uniforms instantly propped the unconscious rubber lady on a stretcher, and brought her into the ambulance without question. Meredith followed, still in her human-like form.
Doctors examined her from head to toe with a strange medical scanner which Meredith noticed was made from a business called "Query Laboratories" and came to the conclusion that Lora was physically okay, but her body had been strained too far, and that she needed rest. The pink humanoid found that it made sense: Bubble gum can tear if stretched too far, so metaphorically and physically, Lora's body was ripped in half, taking part of her personality with it.
The ambulance brought the weakened heroine to a hospital, and into an emergency recovery room. Standard movements could not wake her, as Lora's pulse was very weak. A nervous Dr. Johnson had no choice but to break out their defibrillator. He felt more anxious than other patients he had used it on before, as this was his first try at using this device on a non-human being.
With a strong-sounding "CLEAR!" the electrical pads made contact with Lora's unconscious body, and to Dr. Johnson's amazement, it worked! She moaned, and tried hard to sit up. In doing so, she weakly asked, "Wha...where am I?"
Meredith was standing next to her comrade, still in humanoid form bearing the face of a 20-year old woman with a short ponytail and explained what had happened, "I saved you from the candy factory, but I've got some bad news: The main bad guy got away, and...your body's been split in half. There's an evil twin of yours on the loose, and we have to catch her before..." Her voice trailed off, shuddering at what she thought would happen.
Ms. Jett could see it too: the headline, "Lora Jett turns National Threat", being framed for an uncommitted crime, and left to rot in jail while the police had no means of stopping her own dark side.
"Where's Mr. Hearst? I need to talk to him. He's probably worried sick about me," Lora gasped.
It was easy to call up the "Candy Castle" with the help of a phone book, and the boss' voice excitedly answered, "Hello, Candy Castle, can I help you?"
"It's Lora," the heroine seriously replied.
"Oh, sorry, I've been running that sentence over and over it makes me forget who's actually on the line. Ahem, yeah, I heard about what happened on the TV. Where are you?"
"I'm in Centropolis General Hospital. Something's gone wrong with my body. I don't know how to explain it, but somehow, I have an evil twin who's running amuck with that bad guy I was trying to take down."
"Oh my, that IS terrible."
"Yes, yes it is. Say, can I talk to your son for a moment?"
"Sure, hold on."
The line went silent for a few moments, then was answered by a young boy's voice, "Hello?"
"Hi, it's your friend, Lora. Listen, I need some tips from you."
"What kind of tips, ma'am?"
"I've got problems: There's an evil twin on the loose, and I have to ask you this: What would Plastic Man do?"
"Hmm...I haven't seen a single issue where this happens, but I think I know what you should do: If your body is as malleable as his, why not create copies of yourself? That way you'd be able to overrun the enemy much faster than one man could. I got a feeling that this 'evil twin' of yours shares your powers, so this would be the most ideal choice. Does that help?"
"Well, I'll need to recover for an hour or two. That taffy-pulling machine really stretched me good, but yeah, I'll try that. Thanks, Aaron!"
"No prob, Bye now."
The phone line hung up, prompting the pink woman to turn and ask Dr. Johnson, "How long will I need to recover?"
"If the time is 3:40 PM now, I'd say that you'd be fully healed in about...30 minutes."
Meredith interrupted, "But we still need to keep tabs on where that evil twin is going! And whoever the other bad guy is, for that matter!"
It was then that the weak, elastic girl realized that the old man who had gotten away with her own evil clone was in fact the husband of her mean next door neighbors. She was right; one of them HAD chosen a life of crime! Lora smiled, knowing that all her pranks would soon pay off here.
The two women elected to go back home; Lora had just enough energy to morph herself back into her normal form. With her sidekick disguised as a fuchsia vinyl purse, no one suspected a thing when Ms. Jett rode home on the nearest bus.
At the apartment, Lora immediately collapsed on the couch for a rest. The bus trip was only 10 minutes, so she had 20 minutes to go. Meanwhile, Meredith in human form used her leader's laptop to track down what the villains were up to.
The deduction she found was that her leader's evil twin apparently named "Mugrevol", the original's nickname spelled backwards and the old man were preparing to rob an ore refinery because of gold being processed there.
Meredith simply sat down in a chair, apparently liking her human form at this point though not being able to morph out her tail, and turned on the TV while she waited.
The girl felt a bit upset that this minor setback was delaying their mission. Any more time wasted and the enemy would get away again. If she could, Meredith could go out and beat Mugrevol and her leader on her own, but if she did that, Lora would never forgive her. This made her frustratedly scrape her sharp fingernails against the wooden arm of the chair she sat in.
By the time the cable box said "4:10", Lora had finally woken up, Meredith re-assumed her normal form, and perched on her leader's shoulder. She cried into Lora's ear, "Come on! We have to get to the ore refinery! There's not much time!"
Lora gritted her teeth from the noise, and retorted, "Easy, Mary! We don't have speed powers, you know."
"Sorry. What's the fastest way to the ore refinery? I didn't find that during my research."
"It's not as easily accessible as the candy factory. And my car being probably stolen by that old man doesn't help. We'd have to jack the nearest freight train going to the refinery, and I think there's one passing Dice Road in about 5 minutes," Lora surprisingly predicted.
They immediately dashed out of the apartment, and rounded the corner out of the complex. She heard the old man's wife - whom she recently found named as Mrs. Larksmith scream, "You're going to pay, lady in red! My husband knows who you are! You're wanted, do you hear me?!"
That shook the heroine a bit, even scaring her to some degree; enough to file it for later remembrance.
Indeed, at the intersection of Ace Boulevard and Dice Road, a freight train marked "Centropolis Ore Refinery" was passing by, with vehicles stopped at the railroad crossing. Citizens who were driving those cars were amazed at Lovergum's stunts of acrobatically jumping onto a moving train car via the signal lights there.
The train was moving twice as fast as the elastic girl had expected, but she still had a long way to go.
The trip dragged on for some time, almost causing Lora to fall asleep again, but she was quickly perked up by a low cackle coming from the next car over, and she was struck with a horrifying sight: Mugrevol was holding an enormous wad of nickel ore, and her normal self could see what she intended: The evil clone wanted to crush the original with that chunk of rock.
It appeared that the violet-skinned woman could not speak at all, but Lora assumed she wanted to say, "Any last words before I crush you?"
Meredith came up with an idea on how to stop this fiend: By morphing into a massive pair of plant shears, Lora could destabilize her evil self for at least some time. In doing so, the rubbery super-heroine could not help but laugh as she saw her dark side deflate like a balloon, then "melt" into a putty-like substance.
The train was coming to a halt inside the hot and steamy refinery, prompting the heroine to climb down to a platform inside. Meredith followed, but strangely, Mugrevol's remains had disappeared. That was not a good sign.
What happened next was unexpected: The train's ore cars were being lifted up off the track, one by one, by an enormous, claw machine-like clamp. It turned the ore-filled train cars upside down, and dumped their contents into some kind of smelting vat. Lora could see an enormous concrete vat across the room, suspended above a set of 8 flaming blue-hot gas jets, and that was where the ore was going. Each car had its respective vat, and this made her come to the immediate decision: To jump off the train.
In doing so, those same two thugs saw Lora and her sidekick, ran after her, but failed to catch her after securing herself in a storage room with a heavy steel door.
"What was that? You could've taken out those thugs like you did last time!" Meredith complained.
Angered by that comment, her leader grabbed the pink, shiny dragon by her neck, and started yelling at her while someone tried to break down the steel door, "What is wrong with you?! You're always holding me back and yelling in my ear! I thought we were supposed to be a team, but you act like you want to fly solo, no pun intended!"
"I'm just...trying to help. Isn't that what Robin did with Batman?" Meredith timidly replied while lowering her head in fear.
"Yeah, but he didn't stand so close to Batman and shout in his ear all the time!"
After a long pause, Lora suddenly gained an evil grin, and continued, "You know, I favor bubble gum quite a lot, and since you're always giving me crud, I guess I could..."
"Are you nuts?! You can't chew me up!"
"You can't tell me what to do! That's what you've been doing since two weeks ago!"
"But I never meant to boss you around. I'm sorry if that's what you thought I was doing."
"Well, you're apology is not valid at this point. Scratch that, you're qualifications as a hero's sidekick are no longer valid. It would be best that we parted."
"As of now, I work alone! Didn't you get that? I've got a good mind to let those bad guys outside kill you first, and I'll laugh right along with them, not one tear shed. You're on your own!"
The red-clad super heroine reached for the door's handle, opened it, and held Meredith in front of her as a shield. Without a word, the taller, buff thug fired one bullet from his pistol, and effectively popped the pink hollow dragon its leader was holding. The creature exploded all over Lora's hands and arms like when a large gum bubble pops against someone's skin.
Lora laughed immediately at this like she said, but then slowly stopped, and thought to herself, "Hey, why isn't that hilarious?"
The same leather-clad bodybuilder grunted, "You there, are you going to come quietly or do we have to shoot you too? Trust me, that little femme fetale trick you pulled on us back at the candy factory didn't fool us as well as you thought."
With no other choice, Lora held up her hands still coated and almost stuck together with pink exploded bubble gum and said, "I'll go with you. I don't see any other option."
"Excellent choice, my dear," A shorter, fatter one continued.
They pushed her down an industrial corridor to a single submarine door, opened it, and pushed Lora inside. The tall one pulled down the end of a winch with a large iron clamp, similar to the one outside in the factory area, the short one tied the heroine's stretchy legs together in a tight knot around the claw, the same done with her hands, and the tall man raised the winch so high that Ms. Jett was left dangling in midair, almost ready to scream with her limbs tied back and her hair messed up, to boot.
Besides the door that was just slammed shut and locked, the only noticeable item in the room was a large flat-screen television monitor, which lit up and showed two people: One was a purple-skinned woman with blue hair in a green latex bodysuit bearing a golden-brown skull; the other was a familiar old man with glasses, a dark gray mustache, and an obvious-looking black toupee. He had an almost broken cigarette in his mouth.
"Mr. Larksmith, I should have known you'd have split me in half to get your hands on a new henchman," Lora flatly declared while rolling her inverted eyeballs.
"No, but that did sound like a good idea. Since I couldn't kill you last time, I can now! And what a sexy-looking ally you brought to me, as well. Any last words?"
The suspended rubber blonde pondered her situation, and noticed her hands were no longer coated with exploded bubble gum. Instead, between her fingers, a small magenta-colored gumball with a lavender crown logo printed on its surface, containing the initials "CC". Was this how Meredith's regenerated after being popped?
It seemed that Mr. Larksmith took Lora's fumbling as a "no", because the monitor had just turned off, and the winch had started to lower. She could glimpse something on the floor that wasn't there before: It had now been opening slowly into what looked like a few rows of crushing equipment. Perhaps this room was one of several where ore was crushed into smaller pieces before being melted down further in the main area. But Lora figured out quickly that her situation would be more serious. Because the machinery at the candy factory was too vulnerable, equipment like this was more secure and complex.
But then, Lora's strong (though maybe plastic-coated) mind hatched a solution. She tried hard to bring the gumball still in her hand to her mouth, and she did it with a little elongating. With a few hard chews and some strong breaths, a pink, shiny gum bubble formed like she planned. While using her free hands to untie the knot those villains did to her limbs, the bubble would keep her out of harm's way at the same time.
She thought, "Not one of the best plans a hero can come up with, but it's what I've got right now. I bet Plastic Man was more inventive than this."
Lora glimpsed some faint lines emerging from the bubble as it grew larger and larger. They seemed to make up the outline of Meredith's body, further confirming that this was how her species regenerated. Before too long, the knot was untied completely, and then she got a chance to try a great acrobatic trick: She looped her elastic hands around the clamp of the huge claw, swung back and forth like a circus performer on a trapeze, and performed a score-ten somersault towards the door. During this, the bubble broke free of the heroine's mouth, and slowly morphed back into the dragon-like creature that was Meredith.
"Now to go after Mr. Larksmith and his accomplice," Lora informed herself while picking the lock with only her finger.
She searched dozens of areas of the ore refinery, but found no trace of Mr. Larksmith. Lora even tried elongating herself up to such a height that every bit of the building was within her view, but nothing was out of the ordinary.
But then, just when she decided to give up, Ms. Jett's ears picked up a loud crash coming from one corner of the refinery, at which the processed metal was now ready to serve its purpose as fully refined metal. Upon investigation, it seemed someone had knocked down an enormous crate full of nickel-cobalt sheets, the kind used for making coins.
"Who's there? Come out where I can see you!" Was her first response.
Mr. Larksmith did indeed stand up from behind a bulky steel box, but he was holding a gun as well, apparently a .357 magnum, aimed right at Lora.
"Back off, Lorraine! I have a gun here, and I'm not afraid to use it," Was his gravelly response.
"Try me, neighbor," She remarked slyly.
He fired 4 bullets in succession, but the heroine just crossed her arms, closed her eyes, and smiled when the shots literally bounced off Lora's elastic skin. She did feel a few small stings from where they ricocheted against her breasts in the suit's heart design, though.
"Is that all you got, old man?" the shiny lady laughed when the bullets conked fairly hard against Mr. Larksmith's forehead.
After recovering from the shots which surprisingly, only left a pair of bruises the old man dropped his gun and surrendered to the elastic crime fighter. She extended a pair of fingers around his wrists, to create a set of rubber handcuffs.
They left the hot, smoggy refinery through an "EXIT" door, where police cars had already been waiting. As one cop named Officer Bradley held the door of a car open, Mr. Larksmith looked back at his captor and asked, "Are you going to be nicer to us when I get out of jail?"
"That depends. Are you and your wife going to stop smoking and drinking, FOR GOOD?" Lora seriously argued.
"How? Once you're hooked, it's not easy to...un-hook."
"Try the electric cigarette, and...talk to a doctor about stopping yourself from drinking."
"Well, I'll try. But hold up, why did you pull all those pranks on us in the first place? I just asked that. Neither I nor my wife did anything wrong!"
"Oh yeah? How could you explain, then, those dirty tricks you pulled on me at the candy factory and here? And how exactly did you come across those 'henchmen'?"
"I...I was angry! You hurt my wife almost every week when she entered or left the house for work! In fact, you should be the one arrested, not me!"
"That's enough, you two. We'll discuss this later at the police station," Officer Bradley interrupted.
Ms. Jett was ushered into a second police car, where she would arrive at an interrogation session at the police station.
Later, Lora strolled carefully into a small room with only a table, two chairs, a tripod video camera, and a one-way mirror. She sat at the back, while Officer Bradley took his seat at the opposite end, facing the door.
"So, Er...Lovergum, Mr. James Larksmith tells me that you've committed nearly as much crime as he has within the past 2 weeks. Is that true?" He began.
"Wait, why would you call it crime? I, well, I didn't like those people who lived next door to my, um...headquarters. They were very mean as far as I could tell, and I saw with my own eyes that James and his wife smoked two packs of cigarettes a day, and drank about 3 packs of beer in a week. I hated them for that, and that's why I just...played a few pranks on them from time to time."
"Well, if what James says is true, you are still charged with several counts of assault."
"Really? I need some proof," Her tone started rising.
"I have more than enough proof for you, lady," Mr. Bradley also sounded angrier.
He proceeded towards the door and in walked a familiar old woman: Mrs. Larskmith.
"Mrs. Edith Larksmith, is it true that this woman has assaulted you on numerous occasions?"
"Yes. She sprayed super glue to our welcome mat and I lost several pairs of shoes. My husband got a wedgie as he walked home from work, she punched me in the nose when I was just coming over to give this woman her mail that got mixed up with ours, and worst of all, she burned all our cigarettes and smashed all our beer and wine."
"Hmmm...." Mr. Bradley thought.
He had a feeling that this woman wasn't saying the right things that would count as assault. There happened to be micro-lie detectors in the walls, a quite new invention, which instantly brought up a reading on a computer behind the one-way glass. A man spoke on the intercom, "She's lying, officer!"
The policeman continued, "Now why do you and your husband take tobacco and alcohol so seriously? You know that it isn't healthy to smoke and drink as much as this lady told me, right?"
"What's it to you about what we use in life? That's personal stuff, and it's the only thing that keeps me sane from all the stuff an old lady like me would have to put up, in case you don't know."
Lora interrupted, "Um, where are we going with this? I can't really figure out why these crimes and the Larksmiths are connected."
All of a sudden, Mrs. Larksmith shoved officer Bradley aside, grabbed Lora by the shoulders from the other side of the table, and shouted in her face, "Because it was a crime for what you did to us, and James told me that the only way to thwart a crime was to make a counter-crime, which he knew you would go after and try to stop. My husband had a lot of investment money to pull them off, AND hire those bulky thugs of his. Are you listening to me, lady in red?!"
The cop grabbed Mrs. Larksmith from behind, and handcuffed her. He announced, "That's enough, ma'am. It's off to jail for you, Edith." He turned to Lora and continued, "Lovergum, you're free to go. I'm sorry for the trouble."
Officer Bradley picked up the camera, presumably to be used for evidence in court, Lora left the station, and attempted to figure out what to do next about her unfinished crime.
She then remembered that her dragon sidekick was missing, but that problem was quickly solved when Lora noticed something shiny and pink approaching her field of view from the west. Meredith apparently had expanded herself to the size and shape of a realistic dragon, which was holding none other than Lora's evil twin in its beak-shaped jaw.
Meredith shrank down to her normal size, but still clutched the dark woman's body, and explained, "Hey, leader. Sorry for ditching you at the last minute, but I had to catch your evil twin before she left the town. She was trying to board a train out of here for Las Vegas, but I caught her right at the station."
"Thanks, Mary. I couldn't have solved this case without you."
"So, how are you going to...um..." Meredith couldn't find the right words.
"Merge her back into my body? I think I know how."
To be sure that there would be no struggle, Lora pinched her dark doppelganger's neck to weaken its "circulation" so that she would pass out before the merge. Then, remembering Aaron Hearst's comics, Lora spread her body apart like a blooming flower, and pulled in her evil twin from that. When Lora's body was sealed back up in one piece, she felt a bit overwhelmed at the result, but soon came around.
Meredith, frozen in awe, asked, "How did you do that? And why? That was your absolute dark side!"
"Heh. If I didn't have that part of me, I wouldn't be able to live much longer, like how a piece of gum is more fragile if broken in two. Without my negative emotions, how would I have been able to feel fear, anger, or question my decisions? I'd be nothing but a happy, unfeeling moron. No crime-fighter is like that!"
"I see. So, what will become of Mr. Larksmith and his thugs?"
"Already taken care of. The cops took them in, AND his wife. I expect we won't see them again for a LONG time!"
"C'mon, I need to get back to work tomorrow, anyway."
Feeling too lazy to find her car which had probably been destroyed by the criminals at this point the elastic blond decided instead to use her powers to morph into a very large balloon fabricated from her own rubbery body. It only took an hour and a half to make it back home, judging from the distance between here and the apartments.
As the pair strolled calmly into the living room, Lora collapsed on the sofa and morphed back to her civilian form in one blink of an eye. She sighed, "You know, I think we make a pretty good team. But, I feel..."
"What?" Meredith asked while perched on a chair.
"I feel like I need someone...else on my team as well. Someone...stronger."
In hesitation, she continued, "I need...a MAN to help in my crime-fighting."
"Oh, don't worry, I'm sure there are dozens of male superheros out there who would be glad to help."
"Thanks for the pep talk, Mary. I'm glad you're always around to give me a boost...even if you are made of bubble gum."
They both shared a laugh while Lora switched on her TV. The DOG News channel was already on, reporting on a common mugging at a gas station not too far from here.
TO BE CONTINUED...