The Sinister Circle Chronicles Episode III

09/04/2019

The Sinister Circle Chronicles

Episode III: The Maltese Budgie

by Spencer Myers

aka 'Canuck'

July 1, 2000

I always knew I'd see Bardolph and Cowboy again.

It was never a question of 'if', just 'when', and the answer to that one,

unfortunately, was last December.

The instant I saw them I just knew that those two agents of the Sinister Circle

had resurfaced to volunteer me for another foolhardy mission against a rival

secret society called The Sisterhood, a power-hungry group of dangerously

megalomaniacal, head-turningly beautiful women.

Bardolph and Cowboy had travelled all the way to my homeland, The Great White

North, braving the eight-foot snowdrifts and filthy stinking weather to track me

down this time. They showed up at the hockey arena where my team was playing a

game one evening.

By now the pattern was becoming disturbingly familiar: the two of them seemingly

appearing out of nowhere, all smiles and innocence, but before I knew it I'd

find myself agreeing to help them with some mad scheme that appeared to have

been designed with nothing more than my untimely demise as it's goal. Hell, the

only thing I even had in common with them was that we were all left handed,

which was of course the basic criterion for joining the Sinister Circle anyway.

That and a death wish.

However, I'd had more than enough of their tomfoolery.

The last two times had been bad enough, considering that the ruthless women of

the Sisterhood didn't mind at all if you ended up a mere fraction of your

original size and squashed into tomato paste beneath their shoes. And don't even

get me started on the thugs with automatic weapons and the high speed car chases

and... and the sharks. All that and I wasn't even an official member of the

Sinister Circle! Just a sap who always felt obliged to help people in trouble.

Well, not this time.

Luckily I'd spotted Cowboy and Bardolph mooching around near the concession

stand waiting for the game to end and before they could approach me I'd fled the

ice surface, bolted out of the arena and climbed into my car. Despite the head

start I didn't get far, however - it's nearly impossible to drive while wearing

full goalie equipment.

They approached my car at a leisurely pace and Bardolph leaned over and tapped

on the driver's side window, leering in at me like a pervert. I gave up trying

to hit the gas pedal with my skate and began to slowly, repeatedly pound my

forehead against the steering wheel. Fortunately I hadn't taken my mask off.

Bowing to the inevitable, I rolled down the window with a heavy sigh.

"Hello, Bardolph. Cowboy," I said, nodding and smiling in the calm, offhand

manner of the man driven dangerously close to insanity.

"Canuck, my dear old chap, how are you, then?" Bardolph asked, straining the

British-accented words through his walrus mustache.

"I was just fine till you showed up, eh?"

Bardolph barked out a jovial English laugh.

"I expect you're wondering why we've come," he began, looking a trifle shifty.

His voice receded in my ears as I suddenly had an inspiration. All that

headbanging must have jarred the idea loose and before he finished speaking I

decided to turn the tables on them.

"Shut up," quoth I, cutting him off. "Now look here, you two, I'm not helping

you with any more of your mad schemes..."

Bardolph stared at me in wide-eyed shock; my rude outburst had obviously

shattered his image of me as the stereotypically polite Canadian. I went on with

my speech before I lost my nerve.

"...not helping you, that is, unless you agree to this one request. A small

compromise really, considering you'll be getting all the benefits of my skill

and intelligence in return. Make me an official member of the Sinister Circle,

with full rights and privileges etcetera, etcetera and so on."

Well, I figured that if I was going to get killed on some crazy mission one day

then I damn-well wanted to be eligible for the pension. (And if that's not

left-handed logic, I don't know what is...)

He blinked at me for a moment, then looked at Cowboy in dismay. I saw that the

stone-faced American's jaw had actually dropped open an inch, an ostentatious

display of emotion for him.

"Well, all right, if that's really what you want," Bardolph had said, pulling

some documents from the inner pocket of his well worn tweed jacket.

Of course the joke was on me. After I'd signed my life away I'd asked what

today's suicidal mission was to be, but Bardolph had just shrugged and said that

they really had come just to visit me and not to rope me into any mad

adventures.

So I'd enlisted for nothing.

 

* * *

I eventually gave up trying to renege on the contract, since it had been my own

stupid idea to join in the first place, and resolved to do a good job for them.

In fact, after I'd stopped sulking I discovered that I was actually quite

thrilled about my career change. I was now A Spy, an agent provocateur;

no more 9 to 5 rat race for me, eh? Now I led a life of James Bondish freedom

and adventure, driving fast cars, taking chances, days full of numerous

near-death experiences and long nights spent lying awake in a cold sweat,

flinching as I replayed the memories in my mind over and over again. Dodging

bullets and shrink rays and gigantic high heeled shoes. Risking life and limb

for the... for the glory of...

Well, anyway I was thrilled.

Naturally I had to pack up and move to the city which was assigned to us as our

area of operation, the city of... well, I can hardly tell you that now, can I?

It's confidential.

Oh all right, one clue: It's a city on the west coast of the United States. I

don't think I'd be giving the game away with that. It's not as if I'd said that

our grimy office window has lovely view of Alcatraz, the dull grey former prison

perching on a rocky island in the middle of the bay... well, at least it's a

lovely view when the fog's not obscuring everything. See, that would be saying

too much, if I had said it, which of course I just have. Shit.

Anyway, our office is cleverly disguised as a detective agency, complete with

the words 'Canuck, Bardolph and Cowboy - Private Investigators' stencilled on

the glass pane set in the door, and it was here that we met every morning when

we weren't actually on a mission.

I'd spent the first couple of months hovering over the phone on my desk, waiting

for a call from headquarters. Yup, I'd thought eagerly, any moment now the phone

will ring and the mysterious voice at the other end'll give us the order that

will send us scrambling across our desks and out the door into action to the

tune of the 'Hawaii 5-O' theme. Meanwhile Cowboy and Bardolph lazed about in

their chairs with practised ease.

I eventually came to learn that Sinister Circle agents had to endure boring

inaction for weeks on end before being justly rewarded with a few days of

non-stop terror, and I soon settled into the routine that my veteran colleagues

used to pass the time: doing research on Sisterhood members, shuffling paper,

and other super-important activities like making paper airplanes and trying to

sneeze with our eyes open.

This particular July afternoon we were sitting in the office goofing off; Things

had been slow the last few weeks, but the three of us had no objections.

It was a hot, muggy day and our only airconditioning came in the form of a small

fan, oscillating bravely on Cowboy's desk. Being an historian, I'd planned to

spend my free time reading a collection of 19th century soldiers' memoirs, but

the heat made it too difficult to concentrate and I'd put the old leatherbound

book aside until later.

I stretched lazily and reclined in my wooden swivel chair, wearing my Toronto

Maple Leafs jersey (with a black bandana tied around the left arm) and throwing

darts at a team photo of the New Jersey Devils on the wall. Bardolph steered the

meandering conversation towards a thoughtful discussion about my homeland,

Canada.

"They say that if an American thinks you're English and an Englishman thinks

you're American, then you must be a Canadian," he said as he puffed on that

God-awful pipe of his.

"So basically you're implying that my country is nothing more than a cultural

no-man's land between your two, is that it?" I replied, foolishly taking the

bait.

Bardolph winked at Cowboy.

"Sounds about right to me," the American said as he disembowelled his Smith and

Wesson .44 Magnum and wiped the fiddly bits carefully with an oily rag. He was

wearing his inevitable blue three piece suit and a pair of dark sunglasses which

he never took off, not even indoors.

"But there's lot's of things that make Canada totally unique in the world

community."

"Such as?"

"Well, there's hockey."

"There's hockey in Europe..."

"I'm talkin' aboot real 'Don Cherry' type hockey, not that pansy game they play

over there. And then there's... there's snow," I faltered. "And polar bears."

Realising that the argument wasn't going entirely in my favour, I decided that

the best defence was a good offence and slung some mud in Cowboy's direction.

"At least in our countries we know about beer, eh Bardolph?" I said, knowing

this was one of the Englishman's pet peeves.

"Cor-luv-a-duck, yes," he agreed, turning in his chair to face our American

compatriot. "My God, what good is it to be the Land of the Free and Home of the

Brave when you can't even brew a decent beer, what?"

Cowboy's face clouded over and he snarled, "listen you jerks, my

great-grandfather lived a life of oppression in the old country until he escaped

one day and sailed to America in search of freedom."

Bardolph and I sat there in awkward silence, embarrassed that we'd gone too far

and upset him with our rough joking. Cowboy swivelled his chair away from us and

took a swig from his coffee mug. He paused mid-sip however and muttered,

"'course it didn't work out for him in the end. My great-grandmother followed

him over on the next ship."

Our raucous laughter was interrupted by a knock on our office door...

Part 2

The door opened and there stood a vision of loveliness. (No, not the Stanley

Cup.)

It was a stunningly beautiful woman, a dead ringer for Lauren Bacall circa 1949.

She removed her sunglasses and paused in the foyer of our office for a moment,

raising one eyebrow as she looked us over with a pair of soft brown eyes, her

mouth set in a wry smile.

I was forced to beat down a pile of paper on my desk that was instantly set

afire by her smoldering gaze.

Her dark brown hair was a wild mass of soft ringlets that tumbled down below her

slender shoulders and just begged to have fingers run through it. She wore a

red, body-hugging sundress with a low vee-neck and a hemline that was high

enough to reveal her long bare legs from mid thigh down. She held a cigarette

between the first two fingers of her right hand. A thin wisp of smoke curled up

and away from the glowing tip in lazy tendrils.

I knew straight away that she was trouble; I have a sixth sense for this sort of

thing, you see. (Of course any particular woman on any given day is liable to be

trouble, but I digress...)

The three of us rose to our feet, unable to speak as she moved towards us, her

white high heeled sandals clacking loudly on the hardwood floor. When she

noticed the 'no smoking' sign on my desk she casually dropped her cigarette and

stepped on it, twisting it slowly beneath her shoe.

"My name is Tracy Beckford. I'm looking for the detectives that work here. I

assume that would be you three gentlemen?" she asked, her voice a throaty growl.

Her entrance had rendered us speechless and we just stood there with our mouths

agape. It had never occurred to us that someone might actually want to hire us

for real someday, not realising that our detective agency was just a facade

covering our secret operation.

I glanced at Bardolph and he nodded in silent agreement: Best get rid of her

before she discovered the truth.

"I'm terribly sorry Miss Beckford, but the detectives are unavail..." he began.

"Yes, that would be us," Cowboy interrupted, barging past.

He took her hand and guided her to a chair, plainly smitten with her. Bardolph

shook his head and rolled his eyes at me, but since I had two of my own already

I rolled them back.

After we'd gathered around her, she began to speak.

"You must help me," she said, her eyes bright with tears just held in check.

Nothing like a woman in trouble to bring out the chivalry in a guy and I found

myself leaning forward to listen in spite of my misgivings.

"My grandfather, god rest his soul, owned an exquisite work of art, a sculpture.

It's the only thing of his that I wanted and he left it for me in his will. But

an unscrupulous art dealer stole it from my home and sold it to a museum."

"Wouldn't the police be better able to assist you in this matter?" Bardolph

asked.

She shook her head. "They were no help. The museum owner is wealthy and

powerful. He was able to produce a forged receipt proving my grandfather had

sold it to him."

"So what can we do about it?"

"I want you to go to the museum, find the sculpture and retrieve it for me."

"In other words you want us to steal it," I clarified. "Look, Ms. Beckford..."

"Will you please help me? I don't know who else to turn to," she said,

obliterating our will to resist with those eyes of hers.

"Of course we'll help," Cowboy quickly promised. "Now tell us about this

statue."

"It began a long time ago," she said, leaning back in the chair with a far away

look in her eyes. As she went on, her voice dropped to barely a whisper.

"In 1539, the Knights Templar paid tribute to Charles V of Spain by sending him

a Golden Falcon encrusted from beak to claw with rarest jewels... but pirates

seized the galley carrying this priceless token, and the fate of the Maltese

Falcon remains a mystery to this day..."

"Yes, yes, we've all seen that movie, but what's this got to do with your

statue?" Bardolph interrupted.

"What history has failed to record is that living in a colony not far from the

Templars on Malta were some women, worshippers of an ancient goddess," she

continued. "They sent a companion statue to one of the Spanish king's

mistresses, who'd been ill-used by him. It was a different species of bird, but

it too was made of gold, inlaid with precious stones. Along with the other

statue, it was stolen by corsairs in the Mediterranean and wasn't seen again for

centuries. My grandfather travelled widely throughout his life and had collected

strange items from all around the world. He bought this second statue from a

middle-eastern junk dealer in the 1930's.

"It's known simply as The Maltese Budgie..."

 

* * *

Early the next morning, having giving in to Tracy's pleading eyes and Cowboy's

shameful grovelling, we drove to the museum before it opened to the public. We

parked the car a discrete distance from the museum and the three of us got out.

"You wait here, Ms. Beckford," Cowboy said. "We'll get the Budgie for you in a

jiffy."

It was actually much easier breaking in than I'd anticipated, thanks to the

Sinister Circle's vast array of bizarre gadgets and gizmos. Cowboy used a hand

held decoder to disable the lock on the front door. Then Bardolph attached a

small black box to the first security camera we came across.

"Sends a flashing electronic pulse through the t.v. screen," he explained,

flipping a switch. "Hypnotizes anyone watching the screen. Puts them right to

sleep in a matter of seconds."

He was so confident that he just walked down the hallway in full view of the

camera, but sure enough, no alarm was raised. We only came across one guard

prowling around, but he posed no threat, falling unconscious to the floor after

Cowboy had shot him with a tranquilliser dart gun in his wristwatch. We dragged

the snoring guard into a broom closet and continued on to the main display area.

The Budgie was sitting on a four foot tall podium in the middle of the room,

just waiting for us to take it. Standing in the entrance way I pulled out an

aerosol can and sprayed a plume of smoke into the room. As we expected, place

was protected by a web of laser beams, glowing red in the white smoke.

"No problem. I'll just use the laser magnet," Cowboy said, pulling out something

that resembled a blob of silly putty. He tossed it upwards, hard enough that it

stuck to the ceiling, and when he pressed a remote button on his watch the laser

beams instantly bent upwards and converged on the mass of putty.

We walked into the room unhindered, but not undetected.

"Well, well, what do we have here?" asked a hauntingly familiar female voice

behind us...

Part 3

It was Laura.

The tall brunette was standing with her arms crossed and flanked on either side

by our other two favourite Sisterhood representatives, a psychotic blond-haired

beauty named Christine, and Celeste, an exotic Mediterranean goddess.

"It was nice of you to disable the security system for us, boys. Awfully nice of

you. Now, if you don't mind, we'll just take the Maltese Budgie and be on our

way."

After recovering from our initial reaction, which had consisted of us shouting

and falling over each other in an attempt to flee, we concluded that if The

Sisterhood wanted the Maltese Budgie then that was reason enough for us to keep

it away from them, we left-handers being a bloody-minded and passive-aggressive

lot.

"Is that what the well dressed art thief is wearing these days?" Bardolph

sneered, stalling for time as he looked over the women's outfits; short dresses

and skirts and a variety of high heeled mules and strappy sandals.

"Who said we were thieves?" Laura replied innocently. "If anyone questions our

presence her, our i.d.'s will prove that we're relatives of the museum owner,

who happens to be 'out of town' and unavailable for comment at the moment.

Whereas you three jokers look like refugees from a third rate spy movie."

"So you've taken up art appreciation, eh?" I said, trying not to flinch when

Laura's hard blue eyes zeroed in on me. "What, have you finally gotten bored

with your other hobby, 'destroying everything in sight'? Why do you want the

Budgie, anyway?"

"What we want with it is our business. Now stay where you are," she said, her

tone of voice suggesting that the bantering segment of the confrontation was

over. Her high heels clicked on the marble floor as she moved toward the statue,

but before she could reach it I leaped forward and snatched it from the podium.

"Cover me, guys!" I shouted, looking over my shoulder at them as I ran for the

door. That's when Celeste caught me with an NHL calibre hip check and sent me

flying arse over tit into the wall. She scooped the statue up, but I clamped my

hand onto her ankle as she ran past and dragged her to the ground. The Budgie

flew from her grasp and skittered across the smooth floor, and Cowboy picked it

up.

Christine smashed a priceless painting over his head and knelt down to pick up

the fallen statue, but seconds later Bardolph wrested it from her and was on his

way to freedom when an energy beam from Laura's shrink gun caught him full in

the back.

"Oh, bugger..." he said as he shrank out of sight.

Laura then fired her shrink gun at Cowboy as he struggled to get the painting

over his head, and Celeste turned and shot me from point blank range with her

own weapon.

As I shrank her foot in it's black high heeled mule seemed to grow to massive

proportions in front of me, like I was having some bizarre hallucination. I

slumped to my knees, feeling a momentary surge of dizziness as my body finally

stopped shrinking. Then my spider senses tingled and I quickly dove forward. A

moment later there was an earsplitting thunderclap as Celeste's enormous shoe

stamped down where I'd just been kneeling. I wasn't even as tall now as her

shoe's three inch heel.

As I scrambled desperately away from her she laughed and took slow, terrifying

steps after me, her foot narrowly missing my tiny body each time, the mules

flapping against her bare feet as she walked.

"I'll teach you to trip me," she growled, her dark eyes alive with the power she

had over me. "I'm going to step on you, crush you like a bug."

"Look, you don't want to squash me," I argued desperately. "I'll get all over

your shoes and leave an unsightly stain."

But this line of reasoning was lost on her and I rolled to the side when she

took another step forward, dashed beneath the arch of her other high heeled shoe

and fled in the opposite direction.

"You can't get away from me, squirt," she shouted. "When I catch you I'll grind

you into a tiny grease stain... OW!"

I looked over my shoulder as I ran and saw her wincing and rubbing her shapely

calf. The now-tiny Cowboy had shot her from across the room with his .44 Magnum,

the powerful handgun's slug giving her a nasty raised welt.

"I say, over here Canuck," Bardolph shouted as he hid behind another podium to

avoid Christine.

"Watch where you step girls, the statue got shrunk too," Laura warned as the

women fanned out to encircle us. Bardolph dodged around the podium, trying to

keep away from her.

Knowing I was the faster runner, Bardolph threw me the statue just as Celeste

knocked him over with her foot and crouched down to pick him up. I caught the

Budgie in my arms like a football and dashed from the room, hearing the sudden

echoing clack of Christine's shoes on the marble floor as she spotted me and

gave chase.

It was hopeless. There was no way I could outrun her. It was simply too far to

the museum's front door at my size, but I wasn't going to give up.

I looked over my shoulder again when I heard the pursuing footsteps slow down

and I suddenly ran smack into a soft, warm wall of human flesh. It was Tracy's

hand. She gently closed her fingers around my tiny body and lifted me off the

floor, holding me at eye level.

"Thank God you came in to look for us," I said as she held me in the palm of her

hand. "I know this probably makes no sense, but there are these women and

they've got shrink guns and..."

"I know. Don't worry, it'll be all right," she said.

Christine approached warily, coldly sizing Tracy up.

"Give him to me," the blonde demanded, holding out her hand. But Tracy shook her

head.

"Did you get it," she asked me, whispering.

"Yeah, but it got shrunk down too," I said, holding it out for her.

She gingerly took it from me and held it between the thumb and index finger of

her other hand.

"That's all right, it should still work," she said.

And then she put me down on the floor again.

I didn't really appreciate that, what with a cruel and sadistic Christine within

crushing range and me being all insect-like and everything.

"Oh, by the way, you're fired," Tracy added, sensing my confusion.

Laura emerged from the gallery just then and when she spotted Tracy she shouted

for Christine to take the statue away from her, but it was too late. My

erstwhile employer fiddled with the sculpture and suddenly she was bathed in a

red glow from its jewelled eyes.

"Ah, that's better," Tracy said after the glow had faded. She hooked the end of

one of her small earrings through the legs of the statue and clipped it back

onto her ear again for safe keeping.

"Thanks, sucker," she said. She blew me a kiss and walked out the door.

"Well, now you've done it," Laura accused as she and Christine loomed over me,

hands on their hips. "I hope your satisfied."

"If it pisses you off, then I'm satisfied," I shouted up at them, rather more

rudely than was prudent under the circumstances.

"Can I squish him, Laura?" Christine begged. "Oh, please let me squish him. I

want to feel his little bones crunch under my foot."

"No, we've got more important things to worry about now," she said, as Celeste

joined them, Bardolph and Cowboy gripped in each hand. Laura sighed and rubbed

the back of her neck. "I always knew Tracy'd be a problem one day..."

"Ah, so you know her, then." Bardolph said.

"Yes, she was once a member of The Sisterhood, but she split off from us. She

always felt that our policies regarding conquest were too soft. The Sisterhood

simply wants to rule the world and to achieve this end it means that, on the

occasion, regrettably, we must eliminate some people..."

We three little guys tsked and snorted derisively at that.

"...But Tracy was always more interested in torturing people and that sort of

thing just for the fun of it, even if they had no information to give or their

demise made no difference to our cause."

"Yeah, even I didn't like her. She was kinda cruel," Christine said.

If Tracy was cruel enough to offend the homicidally inclined blonde, then I was

truly worried.

"She's a brilliant woman, but very unstable. So you can see why we needed to get

hold of the Maltese Budgie before she did," Laura finished.

"Why?" I asked.

She raised an eyebrow.

"So she didn't tell you what it could do? Well, come with us. We'll show you..."

Part 4

We heard a commotion outside as the women carried us through the doors of the

museum.

It sounded much like the crowd's reaction when the Beatles first emerged from

the plane on U.S. soil in the early 1960's, only this wasn't a joyous, excited

screaming that we heard.

As we came into the sunlight, we saw the reason why.

Tracy Beckford had grown larger since I'd last seen her. Quite a bit larger.

By my reckoning she was now upwards of 180 feet tall, her hands on her hips as

she stood in the street, literally stopping the rush-hour traffic all around

her. After the initial panic subsided, a hush fell over the crowd as they gazed

up at the gorgeous goddess.

People got out of their cars to join the gape-fest. She looked down at them in

amusement.

"Bloody hell," Bardolph said. "How did that happen?"

"We don't know exactly," Laura confessed. "Our research department heard rumours

about a statue with extraordinary powers and we wanted it for ourselves, to

study. We've been tracking it down for years, but you clods had to show up and

let it fall into her hands just as we were about to take it."

"We figured it was sort of the lesser of two evils, eh?" I commented. Laura

glared down at me, baring her teeth in wolfish manner and growling. She actually

growled at me. "Look, all I'm saying is that you don't want us to have the

Budgie and we don't want you to have it, but I think we can all agree that we

don't want her to have it either," I hastily amended.

We looked up as the giantess suddenly took a careful step forward, the leather

straps of her massive, sexy sandals creaking loudly in the silence, her footstep

sending a minor tremor through the ground. She laughed as the tiny people turned

and fled en masse, screaming and elbowing each other as they tried to get out of

her way.

One individual man caught her eye, his jaw hanging open in shock, eyes as wide

as saucers, hand still gripping his car door's handle as he stood there frozen

in place having witnessed her sudden growth spurt and unable to reconcile the

event in his mind.

As Tracy walked towards him the only movement he made was to crane his neck

further and further back in an attempt to keep his eyes focussed on her face. He

bounced slightly with each thundering step she took. His briefcase dropped from

the nerveless fingers of his other hand when she stopped and stood right over

him.

She smiled and waved down at him, and then slowly, deliberately lifted her right

foot and moved it over top of him. He finally snapped out of his trance, but it

was too late. As he turned to run she pressed him to the ground, a splatter of

gore shooting out from under the sole of her shoe. The grisly, flattened outline

of his body was all too visible in her footprint as she stepped off him.

After that first tentative crush she went wild. She quickly cornered a mob of

fleeing people and her rampage began in earnest. The slaughter was appalling.

She stamped her feet left and right all around her, twisting her shoes on the

ground as if wiping out a colony of ants. Dozens of tiny people fell beneath her

feet in less than a minute. Some were thrown to the ground when her foot slammed

down terrifyingly close to them and then they were crushed into unrecognisable

pulp a moment later by her other foot before they could get up.

Their pathetic screams only made her laugh, their fear fed her lust for more.

When she'd exterminated them she strode down the street in search of more, her

high heeled sandals leaving large depressions in the pavement.

Window panes in buildings shattered as her enormous feet crashed down beside

them, trees and lamp posts snapped and bent under her weight, mailboxes and

newspaper stands on the sidewalk offered no resistance and were pressed flat.

She kicked cars aside or stepped on them, experimenting with her new size and

power.

Glancing to her right, she caught sight of a large mass of people fleeing down a

main street several blocks away and she moved towards them. Individual

stragglers crunched and splattered occasionally as Tracy walked over them,

unaware that she'd stepped on them at all.

A house was reduced to a heap of debris and swirling dust as her foot smashed

down through the roof, collapsing the walls with ease. Other houses and smaller

buildings were destroyed in the same manner as the giantess plowed through them,

intent on chasing down the fleeing mob, leaving a burning trail of destruction

behind her.

The crowd's panic intensified when Tracy stepped into the intersection of Market

and New Montgomery streets. More tiny people began to disappear beneath her

shoes as she moved slowly down the wide street, the victims' cries lost amid the

shouting of the mob. She kicked houses over as she went, stomping them into

piles of debris. Cars and trucks in her path were flattened like coke cans, the

helpless drivers becoming one with their crushed vehicles.

Bardolph averted his eyes from the devastation and said, "look, there's no point

us fighting each other now. Return us to our normal size and we'll help you stop

her."

Whatever personal feelings I may have had about the Sisterhood, Laura was

obviously an experienced leader. She thought for a moment and nodded in

agreement with Bardolph.

"You do-gooder lefties wouldn't waste time going after us when someone else is

wreaking havoc like this," she said, after they'd put us on the ground and set

their shrink guns to 'restore'. "But if you do, you'll be the size of Star Wars

figures again before you know it."

"Yeah, and then I'll squish ya," Christine added menacingly, never straying far

from her mind's one and only track.

Thus restored to our regular size and having agreed to a temporary truce for the

duration of this emergency, the six of us followed in the wake of Tracy's

destructive romp and so witnessed all of it firsthand.

"I'm so totally jealous," Christine said, observing Tracy pause to step on a

tiny man who'd been begging for mercy at her feet. The giantess pressed her foot

down slowly, grinding the screaming man messily into the pavement, and stepped

off him again, leaving something vaguely man-shaped in her footprint.

"So what are we going to do?" I asked.

"Maybe we won't have to do anything," Bardolph said as we heard a distant

vibrating hum.

"There!" Laura shouted, pointing across the Bay at a large cluster of dots in

the sky. The dots grew in size as they came closer and we could now hear the

distinct whup-whup-whupping of multiple rotor blades beating the air.

"Apache gunships," Cowboy confirmed as the helicopters swooped down to attack

the giantess.

The cavalry had arrived...

Part 5

We held our breath, watching and waiting as they made their attack run.

Tracy had heard them too and defiantly stood her ground. There was a sudden

flashing ripple of fire from the choppers as they launched a salvoe of Hellfire

missiles and a second later Tracy was enveloped in explosions and smoke.

"Poor girl," Bardolph said quietly, removing his bowler hat. "She might have

been a sadistic, ruthless, murdering wench, but all the same..."

Bardolph's sentiment was premature, however. A gust of wind cleared the smoke

away, and we saw that she was unharmed, not even a powder burn or tear in her

dress. Not a hair was out of place.

"I was afraid of that," Laura said. "The Budgie's energy has put some kind of

protective aura around her."

"Oh, shit," Cowboy muttered, which is probably what the pilot of the lead

chopper said too when he saw Tracy's massive hand reach out for him. The other

choppers took evasive action, peeling off left and right even as she grabbed

their flight leader's gunship.

She put her free hand into the spinning rotors, shearing them off. Then she

raised the little aircraft to her face and looked in at the pilots with an evil

glint in her eye. She planted a loud kiss on the windshield, savoured their

terrified reaction for a moment, then dropped the chopper and stepped down hard

on it, crushing it flat as she continued her destructive stroll through the

city.

Her feet reduced most of Chinatown to a crumbled, burning ruin as she moved

leisurely towards the marina and the large forested areas of Presidio Park.

There was a sudden hideous shrieking noise from above and the ground shook and

gouts of earth and flame erupted around Tracy. As we scrambled to get under

cover we heard the giantess laughing as the shells continued to fall, obviously

having no more effect on her than the choppers' missiles had.

Once the brief artillery barrage ended the U.S. Army arrived in the reassuring

form of tanks and armoured personnel carriers, the latter disgorging hordes of

men in green clutching automatic weapons. The soldiers swarmed into the foliage

of the park while the M1 battle tanks manoeuvred into firing positions.

We saw the choppers swooping in low over the city for another firing run. As

they passed overhead Tracy swatted one from the sky, sending it tumbling end

over end into an office tower several blocks away where it exploded, raining

fire and debris on the people in the street below.

Then she knelt down and scooped up some massive rocks and when the Apaches came

into range again she threw a handful at them. The effect was like a shotgun

blast and several gunships were smashed from the sky, spiralling down like

crippled dragonflies.

The tanks opened fire on her with their 120mm guns, but they did no apparent

harm. She stomped towards them, cutting a swath through the knee-high trees,

ignoring the sporadic small arms and mortar fire from the infantrymen as they

skulked in the bushes or scurried about like insects trying to get out of her

way. She unknowingly squashed several soldiers like grapes as she strode through

their hidden positions.

Tracy reached the tanks before they could disengage and she began to stamp down

on them, snapping their gun barrels, wrecking their tracks and engines. She

picked one tank up and hurled it into the Bay, laughing as the doomed vehicle

dragged its crew to the bottom with it.

Before long most of the tanks were either burning wrecks or flipped onto their

backs like turtles, their tracks churning the air helplessly.

Any crewmen who abandoned their vehicles were smashed into paste beneath her

sandals before they could go ten yards. Then she went after the infantry.

She towered over the terrified little soldiers, stepping down on them quickly,

alternating between left and right foot, sometimes savagely twisting the

screaming men into red smears other times just stepping on them as she walked,

pulverising them instantly, sending crimson streaks shooting out from under her

shoes.

As she continued to move through the park the infantry kept up a high rate of

small arms fire, bravely standing their ground, unable to believe that anyone,

even a woman her size, could take it and keep going. Many of them died where

they stood as those gigantic sandals came down on them.

She hunted them ruthlessly among the trees and bushes of the park, pausing to

mash them flat if they stopped to shoot at her and squashing them underfoot

without breaking stride if they continued to run. The result was the same,

whatever they did. There was no escaping her.

The army, for all its modern weapons, high explosives and testosterone, was

obviously no match for one woman armed with a mystical statue, a pair of high

heeled sandals and attitude.

"Enough's enough," Laura finally said. "She'll destroy the entire city at this

rate. We have to put and end to her rampage."

I turned to look at her as she drew her shrink gun.

"No, I'm not going soft," she told me as she adjusted its setting, "I just think

that if somebody's going to trash a city like this it should be for the benefit

of The Sisterhood."

"Will those things work on her?" Cowboy asked.

Laura shrugged. "If they'll shrink normal sized people to tiny size, then it

makes sense that they should shrink a giant woman to normal size, right?"

Celeste and Christine pulled out their shrink guns too and we moved off towards

the charnel house which had been Presidio Park.

I stumbled over some loose masonry, all that remained of several collapsed

buildings that were sprawling across the street courtesy of Tracy, and raised my

hands to shield my face from the intense heat of a crushed and burning truck.

Almost in a daze I followed the clicking of the ladies' high heels on the

pavement as they ran ahead of us. I made a conscious effort to avoid the large,

cracked depressions in the street with the horrible red mushed up things pressed

flat inside them.

Laura, Christine and Celeste got as close to the giantess as they dared, moving

into a clearing so they could take a clean shot at her. They fired in unison,

the energy beams glowing bright blue, the high pitched whining making my ears

ring.

Tracy was caught by all three beams and began to glow blue. The women kept

firing for a good ten seconds, more than enough time to do the job as I knew

from past experience. When they stopped firing we held our breath, waiting. And

then...

Nothing.

Not a damn thing happened. The shrink guns had no effect.

Well, no, that's not entirely true. They did have one effect.

They very efficiently drew Tracy's attention to our presence there in the

clearing...

Part 6

"Good goin', eh?" I said as Tracy turned to look for the source of the energy

beams and spotted us standing there like prize twits in the clearing.

"Well, any more bright ideas?" I asked, unable to take my eyes off the advancing

Tracy. My body trembled with each pounding step she took towards me. "Hello?

Does anyone have an idea here?"

No answer was the stern reply, primarily because the rotters had already run

away. I swore and hurried after them.

"Into that building there," Laura shouted as we passed an infantry officer

trying to cajole his demoralised men into attacking the giantess again. They

didn't look terribly receptive to the idea.

I pushed open the front door of the four storey office building and held it for

the others. We barrelled through the main floor and out the back door into the

alley, looking around wildly for someplace to hide.

The alley was maybe fifteen feet wide and fifty feet long. The building across

from us was another four storey affair, a solid wall of dingy brown masonry with

square windows set in rows and columns on it's face. The back doors to various

ground floor businesses were set at regular intervals along the alley, with

garbage dumpsters and heaps of cardboard and other rubbish piled between them.

The sun beat down on the top floors of the building, but the alley below was

dark and shaded.

"In here," Cowboy said, moving to one of the doors opposite. It was locked.

"What should we do?" Christine asked.

"Back inside?" Bardolph suggested.

Laura shook her head. "No, she'll realise that we can't have gone too far and

will just start tearing buildings down until she either finds us or is satisfied

that we're dead," she said, casting a sidelong glance at me. "That's the way I

did it in New Jersey last year..."

"Gosh, thanks for dredging up that wonderful memory," I said, for twas I she'd

been pursuing on that fateful day.

"Where are you little people?" Tracy called out, her voice booming overhead. As

she approached, her shadow slowly darkened the wall of the building across from

us. "Don't be scared, I just want to play with you."

"Now what?" Celeste said, a note of panic in her voice. "There's nowhere to

run."

"In here," I said, diving into a large pile of loose cardboard set out for

recycling. The others burrowed into the pile with me just as the earthshaking

footsteps slowed down and finally stopped.

We peeked out from under the boxes and saw Tracy leaning over the building we'd

dashed through, one hand braced on her bent knees, the other trying to keeping

her mass of hair out of her eyes as she squinted down at the alley.

"Look you guys, this is boring. I want to get back to stepping on all the little

people, not waste my time looking for you, so get out here right now," her voice

commanded.

"She's right above us," Laura hissed as Tracy dropped to her hands and knees at

the far end of the alley for a closer look. "If we keep absolutely quiet she

might give up on us."

A few moments of silence staggered by.

"Something stinks around here," Christine suddenly announced, wrinkling her nose

in disgust.

"It's only the rubbish bin next to us," Bardolph whispered.

"Ew, it's awful!"

"Shh!"

"Don't you shush me, you nasty Canadian."

"Ow!"

"Canuck, old chum, please remain silent."

"But she kicked me!"

"Jeez, so a girl kicked you. What, are you gonna cry now?"

"No, but she's wearing heels, eh? Felt like a bloody ice-pick going into my

shin."

"Well you shouldn't have shushed me."

"Oh for God's sake, both of you be quiet," Laura snapped.

"...Great, I'm bleeding now..."

"SHHH!!!" they all went, like a bunch of tires deflating simultaneously.

I glared at Christine under the boxes. She stuck her tongue out at me. I made

strangling gestures with my hands. She leaned forward, put her mouth next to my

ear and in a low husky whisper said, "When we're finished dealing with Tracy I'm

going to shrink you down to a couple of inches tall and drop you into my

favourite pair of stiletto-heeled pumps just before I put them on. This way I'll

get to feel your tiny little body squish between my bare toes all day long."

Then she moved away again and looked at me with a wickedly determined expression

on her face, which clearly suggested that I should throttle her sooner rather

than later.

I was interrupted by Tracy's hand.

It came down heavily just two feet away from me, her long, powerful fingers

splayed on the pavement as she crawled over top of the alley, propping herself

up on the roof of the building opposite with her other hand.

There was a sudden crash as the roof collapsed under her weight and her hand was

driven down through several floors. Tracy lost her balance and fell forward,

crying out in alarm. Her face hovered just a few feet above us now, her breath

washing over us like a hot wind. She blew my baseball cap off and ruffled my

hair forward and back as she breathed in and out.

"I know you're down here somewhere, so you might as well come out," she said

impatiently, her voice nearly bursting my eardrums as she eased herself back up

again. She began poking through the dumpsters in the alley to see if we were

hiding inside. "And when I do find you your demise will be extra enjoyable. For

me, that is."

She'd moved her hand halfway down the alley when her search was interrupted by a

burst of automatic weapons fire. I poked my head up through the boxes like a

gopher and saw that the infantry officer we'd passed earlier had somehow

convinced his men to attack again. It was the last thing they ever did, but it

provided the distraction we needed. Tracy rose to her feet and moved down the

street after them.

"There must be some way to stop her. We can't just keep running away like

this," Bardolph said, brushing himself off.

"Why not," I muttered. "It's kept us alive so far."

"Maybe the only thing that can stop a giantess is another giantess," Laura mused

aloud.

"Or three of them..." Celeste added.

We looked at the women in disbelief.

"Look, a temporary truce is one thing, but do you honestly expect us to

transform you ladies into giantesses again after what you did in New Jersey last

year?"

"Yes."

Bardolph began to splutter incredulously at the sheer absurdity of the idea

while Cowboy and I both crossed our arms and put on our best bloody-minded

expressions.

"All right, forget it then. Let's hear your idea," Laura said, raising an

eyebrow and giving us a hard look.

Bardolph's shoulders sagged in defeat.

"Turn you into giantesses... well, why not? Jolly good idea, that. And while

we're at it, let's set off a nuclear warhead; you know, really finish the

place off."

"Oh come on, Bardolph," Celeste cooed, turning on her charm and Mediterranean

accent. She tickled his chin with a perfectly manicured fingernail. "If you turn

us into giantesses we'll be very good and won't step on too many little people

if we can help it."

"Gerroff," he muttered, his face flushing with embarrassment as he turned away.

"But what guarantee do we have that you won't simply take over the city for

yourselves once you've subdued Tracy?" I asked reasonably. "Once you've grown to

two-hundred feet tall there won't be much we can do about it."

We heard a sudden terrible smashing of masonry, and smoke and swirling dust rose

into the air a few blocks over as Tracy knocked down an office building or two.

Moments later we heard pitiful cries for help from the wrecked buildings'

survivors and sporadic bursts of rifle fire as the soldiers tried to lure the

giantess away from the civilians.

"I don't think you've got much choice," Laura stated plainly. And truthfully

too, damn it all. "It's us or nothing."

"Do we have your word that you'll shrink yourselves back to normal once Miss

Beckford has been apprehended?" Bardolph asked. Laura replied solemnly that we

did.

"Oh all right then," he said. "God knows I'll probably regret it, but I can't

think of what else to do."

"So do you have those reflector thingees that turned us into giantesses in

Newark last year?" Laura asked.

"No, they're in our office downtown - we don't carry them around with us any

more, for obvious reasons. We'll have to go get them."

"But Tracy's only a few blocks away and from her height she can see for miles,"

Laura said.

"Well that's no problem," Bardolph said jauntily. "Cowboy and Canuck will divert

her attention so the rest of us can escape."

"Thanks a bloody lot, Bardolph," I grumbled as the two of us moved to the edge

of the alley.

"Hey, there's something we can use," Cowboy said excitedly, unfazed by the fact

that we'd essentially just been given orders to stand in the middle of the road

holding a large sign that said, 'SQUISH ME'.

Then I saw what he was pointing at. It was sitting halfway down the block, a

vehicle which looked like a green metal box set on a pair of caterpillar tracks.

It was an M113 Armoured Personnel Carrier, probably belonging to the doomed

infantry company.

No riding around in Ford Pintoes or radio-controlled model boats for us today,

nosiree Bob, I thought to myself as Cowboy and I sprinted towards it.

If I had to get killed, at least I'd be doing it while driving something decent

for a change...

Part 7

Given that the APC's crew had clearly abandoned it, we claimed salvage rights

and ducked in through the open rear doors of the troop compartment, pulling them

shut behind us.

Cowboy settled into the drivers's seat while I slithered up into the commander's

cupola to make the acquaintance of the .50 calibre machine-gun mounted up there.

After an asthmatic coughing fit the engine fired up and Cowboy drove us away to

find Tracy while I shouted directions down to him.

It wasn't too hard to find the giantess. I could see her looming over buildings

several blocks away. As we got closer I lost sight of her behind an intervening

building, but then we turned onto the street she was standing in and got a full

view of her.

She had her back to us, killing off the last few of the soldiers who'd been

foolish enough to attack her. They were dodging and scampering about in all

directions, but they couldn't move quickly enough to avoid her for long.

Tracy seemed to be enjoying it, stepping on each of them slowly. She was

intentionally crippling them, smashing their legs into paste and leaving them

writhing behind her so she could deal with them later. Suddenly she paused and

slowly turned around, sensing our presence somehow. She glared down at us with

her hands on her hips.

Reaching forward with grim determination I pulled and released the big

machine-gun's cocking handle. Tracy raised one eyebrow and treated me to an

amused look as we faced each other across three city blocks.

A breeze whispered through her long hair. A nearby church bell chimed 12 noon. A

tumbleweed rolled across the empty street. The theme to The Good, The Bad and

The Ugly echoed hauntingly through the air. I don't know what it was, but

somehow I sensed that the time for a showdown had arrived.

Taking a deep breath I squeezed the trigger, hammering a stream of slugs at her.

The weapon's heavy recoil shook my fillings loose.

My aim wasn't terribly good, given that I'm not in the habit of firing large

calibre machine-guns, but I hosed the .50 cal. back and forth and saw the tracer

splash across her legs. It did her no harm whatsoever.

I released the trigger and the deafening staccato ceased, the blissful silence

disturbed only by the tinkle of empty shell casings falling to the ground.

Tracy laughed at my feeble effort, a terrible, cruel laugh which did a pretty

good job of turning my blood to ice water.

"Is that the best you can do, little man? Here, let me show you how it's done."

She walked towards us, taking slow, deliberate steps. I watched helplessly as

wounded soldiers laying immobile on the street disappeared beneath her sandals

with each step, their terrified cries ending in bone-shattering crunches. Tracy

didn't even notice them, her eyes fixed hungrily on us.

"All right Cowboy, she's coming after us," I shouted down the hatch. "Let's get

the hell out of here."

He responded by stalling the engine. The sedentary APC trembled in fear with

each of Tracy's footfalls.

"Uh, Cowboy, you don't have to lure her in like this. She's already taken the

bait."

The ground shook as her foot easily crushed a car only a block away. Her next

step snapped the trunk of a tree, flattening it like a flower under her shoe.

"C'mon, eh? She's almost on top of us!"

The APC's engine whined in protest as Cowboy struggled to turn it over.

My knuckles whitened on the machine-gun's grips when I saw Tracy's expression,

one of gleeful anticipation, and I knew that we were just two steps away from

achieving hamburger status.

"COWBOYSTARTTHEFUCKINGENGINE," I advised him at the top of my lungs just as it

roared to life and the APC darted forward, bending my spine back at a 90 degree

angle over the hatch combing. I caught a glimpse of Tracy's gorgeous ankles as

we sped between her legs.

"Where are you going, boys," she asked, her voice playfully husky as she turned

around to follow us. "Playing hard to get, are you?"

The APC skidded around the corner, tracks slithering on the asphalt. Tracy took

a shortcut, and as she stepped over the building her shoe's heel snagged on the

roof and smashed out a section of bricks and debris.

I gave myself whiplash trying to keep an eye on her as well as navigate for

Cowboy.

"The street curves to the left here, Cowboy. I said go left... LEFT!! That's not

left, that's right! The other way, the OTHER WAY!!!"

So we plowed through a parking lot full of cars instead, bashing them aside as

we cut across to another street. Tracy did far more damage to the cars a moment

later when she followed us through.

"What bloody use is it me being up here giving you directions? You're supposed

to do exactly what I tell you, not interpret my directions as you see fit," I

shouted.

"Hey, do you wanna drive this thing...? Well, shut up then; it's not as easy as

it looks."

"Imbecile."

"Moron."

Tracy strode quickly down a street parallel to ours, then turned suddenly and

put her foot through the side of a three storey apartment. The building

collapsed and tons of debris cascaded onto the street right in front of us.

There was no time to shout a warning to Cowboy. We plowed straight into the

rubble and came to an abrupt stop, and before we could do anything else Tracy

drew her foot back and kicked the APC in the ribs, sending us spinning across

the street into the wall of another building.

My face struck the machine-gun's grips on impact and I slumped forward over the

hatch saying a lot of very bad words and bleeding. The engine died for good this

time and in any case one of our tracks had been sheared off, so the APC was more

or less finished.

Tracy slowly circled us, savouring the moment. Cowboy poked his head up through

the driver's hatch to see what was happening, then promptly pulled it back in

again when he saw the sole of her massive sandal raised overhead.

I screamed in terror as it came down on us, my arms flying up in a useless

protective gesture...

Her foot stamped down right beside us, the shockwave bouncing the APC into the

air. I was thrown around in the hatch like a rag doll, hearing her laugh evilly

as she enjoyed our terror and her power.

She stomped down around us a few more times before growing weary of the game.

"Time to say goodbye, boys," she said.

I quickly ducked inside the APC and pulled the hatch shut with a 'clank'. This

was purely psychological protection of course, since my position was very

similar to that of a cockroach seeking refuge from an angry housewife inside a

matchbox.

There was a thud on the roof and the APC shuddered under the weight of her foot.

We heard her shoe grinding around on the roof, felt the ground shaking as she

walked around us, kicking and stepping down on us occasionally, buckling the

hull a bit more each time. We cried out as she suddenly, violently kicked the

APC onto its side, and then it grew strangely quiet out there.

My head ached terribly from my collision with the machine-gun. Dust floated

everywhere inside the APC, but my nose hurt too much to sneeze. I tasted blood

and discovered that I'd bitten my tongue at some point in the pursuit, can't

remember when, doesn't bloody matter now.

Cowboy and I sat there rigid with fear, holding our breath in silent

anticipation as, with faces upturned, we gaped expectantly into the darkness as

if we were re-enacting the depth-charge scene from 'Das Boot'.

With a sudden terrible shriek of rending metal the massive, sexy, extremely

deadly high heel of Tracy's sandal punctured the hull of our vehicle, smashing

down just inches from my face. Cowboy and I screamed in terror as she flexed her

leg, bending her knee and lifting us off the ground, impaled as we were on the

heel of her shoe.

She waggled her foot, throwing us around inside the ruined vehicle.

"Ew, what's this on my shoe?" she cried in mock horror, stepping back down with

a crash.

There was a thump on the roof as her other foot stepped down, holding us still

while she drew the heel out, scraping us off her shoe. A shaft of sunlight

pierced the darkness through the jagged hole.

"That's enough fun, boys," she informed us, giving us another solid kick. The

vehicle rolled over and over until I felt like a load of laundry in the dryer.

Goodbye world, I thought sadly. No more rounds of beer with the lads

after a hard-fought game at the rink. I'll never get to see the Leafs win the

Stanley Cup and, damn it, they're bound to win it next year!

When the APC had finished doing cartwheels the ground shook ominously as Tracy

stepped forward to deliver the coup de grace. She'd better hurry up if she was

going to do it - the gas lines had ruptured and there was diesel fuel

everywhere.

While I lay there in a heap, wondering if it was better to blow up or get

squashed like a bug, Cowboy fiddled with the twisted rear hatch of the vehicle.

He was actually trying to escape, even though it was utterly hopeless.

"Give it up Cowboy, it's utterly hopeless," I muttered, verbalising my thoughts,

but the fool continued to wrench at the handle. "There's absolutely no way

you'll ever get that door open," I predicted, just as he got the door open. We

crawled onto the pavement, our last reserves of strength carrying us a safe

distance from the APC just as it exploded, heat from the fireball singeing my

hair.

Then a massive shadow fell across us and I rolled onto my back, crying out in

alarm as a pair of gigantic feet stepped down on either side of us. I threw my

arms up in a desperate attempt up to ward off the imminent crushing step...

Part 8

I noticed that the enormous high heeled sandals were black instead of white,

which was sort of an irrelevant thought to have under the circumstances I

suppose.

Still, I was curious as to the reason for the sudden change in colour and my

gaze crawled up onto her ankles, made its way up her athletically curved calves

and thighs and higher still, until I saw her face. She glanced down at me and

winked.

It was Laura, previously 5 foot 8 and now a rather more statuesque 180 feet

tall, standing protectively over us, her arms crossed as she faced Tracy across

the street.

I never thought I'd hear myself say it, but I was incredibly glad to see her.

Two more giantesses in the form of Christine and Celeste stomped over a moment

later, circling round behind Tracy. With our part of the job thus complete,

Cowboy and I crawled into another dark alley and retired into

semi-consciousness.

"So now you're actually working with the little lefties, huh?" Tracy sneered.

"I'm glad I left The Sisterhood when I did, if that's the case."

"Let's just say that neither side likes a loose cannon," Laura replied.

"Screw the talking, let's get her!" Christine shouted and lunged at Tracy. Tracy

gave her a hip toss and sent her flying into an office tower. The whole building

collapsed on impact, taking down a couple more around it. The giant blonde sat

up slowly, shaking her head and blinking her eyes back into focus.

Laura and Celeste were more cautious, circling Tracy and testing her defences.

When they attacked they timed it perfectly. Laura threw a feint left hook which

distracted Tracy long enough for Celeste to put her in a full Nelson. Laura then

stepped forward and drove her fist into Tracy's stomach, knocking the wind out

of her. It was the first time all day that she seemed to feel any pain.

The ground shook continuously now as the giant women reeled back and forth,

demolishing small buildings, flattening cars, oblivious to everything but the

need to fight.

Tracy, still held by Celeste, lashed out sharply with her foot, catching Laura

on the side of the knee. The brunette collapsed with a gasp of pain, clutching

her leg. Then Tracy elbowed Celeste, grabbed her by the arm, swung her around

and released her. The olive-skinned goddess tumbled to the ground, plowing

through a row of houses.

The Sisterhood giantesses didn't give up that easily however, and came storming

back into the fray.

For the little people on the ground the gi