Romancing the Stone

During the wee hours of the night, as she crept silently along the exterior wall of the supposedly deserted warehouse, the beautiful young blonde superheroine Emerald monitored the surrounding area with her enhanced hyper-hearing. She was clad in her form-fitting costume of dark green long-sleeve leotard, flesh-tone footed tights without footwear, short yellow gloves, a small Robin-style mask, and encircling her trim waist was a bright gold belt with a large emerald stone affixed in the center. As she moved through the gloom she reflected on the events that had brought her to such a place in life…

Only 6 months earlier, 19 year-old Jennifer Jade was an attractive sophomore geology student at Oakton College. While on a class field trip to assist in the excavation of a Peruvian temple in South America, she discovered a large emerald within the ruins. As she gently pried it loose from the debris, she felt a strange sensation of power envelop her. Quickly placing the stone back on the ground, the sensation disappeared. She decided not to share her discovery with her professors until she could determine the nature of this find.

After several weeks of tests, she could only observe the effects this emerald had on her. While she was directly in contact with it or carrying it in a pocket, she gained an amazing set of abilities. While it definitely didn’t power her to the level of the famous superheroine Supergirl, it enhanced a number of her natural abilities, including her physical strength and speed, all 5 senses, and also promoted a faster than normal healing process after injury. She also learned that it took an incredible amount of concentration and will power to utilize more than one of these powers at a time. And any use of her hyper-abilities for a prolonged period left her feeling drained for a short time afterward.

She then decided that the scientific community would only study such a discovery, but she could make use of this to aid others in their quest for justice. “Who knows,” she once thought. “I could run into Lavender Lady and Lilac Lass at a superheroine cocktail party.” And thus, Emerald was born.

Behind the warehouse, Emerald shook her head to dismiss the distracting reverie. “I need to focus,” she thought. “Whoever’s behind all these false alarms and phony threats could have something quite real up their sleeve.” During her first few months as a fledgling superheroine, she had helped capture an impressive number of the city’s arch-criminals, including Spydra, Traveling Salesman, and the infamous Snoopy Gang. “Good grief,” she thought. “After almost getting ensnared by Linus’ security blanket, I never want to see another blue blanky.”

Then the city had begun experiencing a rash of phony emergency calls, ranging from elementary school bomb threats to poison gas attacks at the local senior citizens’ center. After several of these incidents, Emerald began to see a pattern emerging. The time and location of each phony situation seemed to be forming a giant spiral around the city. It was a simple matter to locate the center endpoint of the spiral- an abandoned warehouse near the center of the city. After parking several blocks away, she removed the overcoat and pumps she used to conceal her costume and quietly made her way to the warehouse. “I’ve really got to invest in a cool superheroine car or motorcycle,” she thought wryly.

Attracting unwanted attention didn’t seem to be a problem here in the deserted central area. Using care and her hyper-agility to ensure silence, she lithely made her way up the side of the building using an old but sturdy fire escape. “I hope this grime will wash out of my tights,” she muttered as she climbed over the top edge and made her way over to the skylight in the center of the roof.

Looking down into the building through the dirty window, she could only make out dim shadows around the sides of the large open space. But the center of the space was well lit indeed. “So much for being deserted,” she thought with satisfaction. She could make out what seemed to be a well-equipped laboratory set with various benches and tables holding any number of ongoing projects. And one corner of the lighted area was dominated by a large smooth-surfaced machine whose function she could only imagine.

A figure then emerged from the surrounding darkness and moved into the lighted lab area. “What in the world?” Emerald breathed as she watched a slim brunette woman walk among several different tables. “She’s naked.” Emerald watched as the dirt-obscured woman without any semblance of clothing or shoes seemed to attend to various experiments and the large machine itself.

After several minutes of observation, Emerald was fairly certain that the mystery woman below was alone in the warehouse. Very gently Emerald opened the single panel window and slid her shapely form through the opening, dropping silently to a catwalk that circled high above the warehouse floor below. She then climbed down a corner support pillar and stepped off into the darkness of a remote corner.

Using her hyper-vision she made her way through rows of dusty stacked pallets and crates as she wound her way closer to the lighted center area. As she neared the laboratory, Emerald became aware that the mysterious dark-haired researcher was not truly nude. She saw that she was wearing a seamless flesh-tone footed and gloved opaque bodystocking over her athletic physique. The garment extended from the middle of her neck to the soles of her feet, and like Emerald, she wore no shoes or boots. While not made of see-through material like Emerald’s tights, the woman’s costume clung to every part of her luscious figure. Emerald had a moment’s thought, “Damn, I hope I look that good in my uniform.”

Thinking that this evening had indeed turned out to be an interesting one, Emerald emerged from the darkness behind the woman and assumed the classic hands-on-hips stance all superheroines master. In the confident tone only a 19-year old superheroine possesses, Emerald said, “I knew my investigation would pay off, and I cannot wait to hear exactly what’s going on here.”

With no evidence of being surprised by Emerald’s sudden appearance, the woman put down the document she had been working on and casually turned to regard the young heroine. “Very good. You’ve arrived just as I expected,” she said smiling.

Realizing that this woman had predicted her arrival, Emerald adjusted her expectations slightly. “Yes, it seems as if you intended for me to find you. So now that I’m here, it’s time for you to answer a few questions. Who are you and what exactly is going on?”

The woman’s delicate smile broadened. “Yes, of course you have questions and I’ll be only too happy to explain everything, dear Emerald. I am Dr. Analisa Bellamy, PhD, not MD. But these days I prefer to be known as Sheer.” Appearing to be in her late 20s to early 30s, she leaned back against a waist-high workbench, hands resting non-threateningly on her shapely nylon-encased legs.

Taken aback by the woman’s easygoing attitude, Emerald said, “Sheer? Interesting choice of name. You’ll forgive my insisting you tell me about the false alarms you’ve been planting all over and why I’ve apparently been led here.” As she spoke, Emerald continued using her hyper-senses to scan the building for the possibility of others in the vicinity.

“Of course,” said Sheer in an eager to please tone. Placing her hands on the workbench, she hopped up to sit upon the bench. As she crossed her long legs, both women took silent pleasure in the sound of her nyloned legs rubbing together. “Whoa, that’s never happened before. I need to be careful of distractions like that, especially when using my hyper-hearing” Emerald thought silently.

Seeming concerned at Emerald’s momentary lapse, Sheer leaned forward, asking, “Is everything all right, Emerald? You looked a bit flushed for a moment.”

Irritated to have her distraction noticed by the mystery woman, Emerald replied, “If I were you I’d be a bit more worried about myself right now. My patience is nearing its end.”

“I am sorry.” Leaning back once more, Sheer adopted the tone of the many college lecturer that Emerald had grown accustomed to. “My sad story is a short one. Please allow me just a moment to enlighten you.”

As Sheer spoke, she unconsciously began slowly rubbing her shapely legs together. “As a young girl, it became obvious that I was unlike so many other children. While they wanted to play and have sleepovers, I found myself always attracted to academics and learning. I shunned a normal childhood and began a life of study, especially in mathematics and science. I had earned 2 doctorates, in Physics and High-energy Particles, by the time I was 20. That of course led to my choice of research positions with any number of institutions around the world. I quickly accepted a department-head with Strangis Multinational Industries in Research and Development.”

“As it turns out, the caliber of work at SMI is equaled only by the amount of sexist chauvinism there,” Sheer recalled bitterly. “Never mind that my breakthroughs propelled the company forward at lightning speed, management always found some way to award credit for my work to some male researcher, no matter how inept. And the unceasing stares and leering at my body, especially my legs, nearly drove me mad. I wanted to be respected for my work, not ogled for my body.”

Emerald could well imagine any man’s interest in the beautiful woman sitting before her. She was having an increasingly difficult time forcing herself to focus on Sheer’s face and voice. Having never before encountering such a powerful distraction, Emerald kept reminding herself to remain alert and wary of danger.

Sheer continued. “So, eventually it all got to be too much and I simply walked away. But patents and trademarks be damned, the designs I came up with belong to ME. So I’ve decided that going solo is the right choice for me. Granted, some of the methods I’ve had to employ are somewhat ‘other than legal’ shall we say, and so I’ve had to adopt another identity, as I’m sure you can understand. Since men always seemed to see through my work and focus on the merely physical, I came up with the name Sheer. Like the perfect pair of pantyhose, able to enjoy the surface texture as well as the substance beneath.”

Pulling herself out of Sheer’s woven tale, Emerald said, “Forgive me for not breaking out in tears, but I still don’t se what that has to do with these false alarms or your interest in me.”

“My dear young heroine, I would’ve thought you had guessed by now. Those little harmless pranks were simply my way of leading you to me. I have no interest in blowing up children; my goal is to meet YOU. Your hyper abilities are the perfect extension of my work in high-energy physics. I wanted the chance to see exactly what makes you tick and to explore the possibilities of your fantastic powers.”

An amazed Emerald gazed at Sheer. “So you think I’m just going to become a willing guinea pig for your studies? I think it’s time we end this little game here and now.”

With a mischievous gleam in her eye, Sheer replied, “No, I don’t think your assistance will be ‘willing’, but I do agree that it’s time to end our ‘little game’.” And with that, Sheer’s hand quickly depressed a small control button on the bench beside her.

From the darkness a large net was propelled from a hidden device. Having been almost hypnotized by Sheer’s cobra-like rubbing of her legs together, Emerald was a heartbeat too slow to avoid the onrushing trap. Striking her in the side, the net instantly entangled the beautiful young heroine. Sheer gazed down from her perch as Emerald tripped and fell trying to loosen the tightening bonds.

As she struggled, Emerald found that the net began to stiffen. “Uh oh, this is bad,” she thought. Desperately she called upon her remaining hyper-strength and with a mighty effort tore free the tangled netting from her body and ripped away the wrappings holding her shapely legs. Standing, she said, “It’ll take more than that to capture me.” And without waiting for a reply she leaped the short distance between herself and the now shocked villainess.

Taking the offensive, Emerald grabbed Sheer by the wrists and wrestled her backwards onto the workbench, scattering tools and equipment. The young heroine instantly realized that her constant use of her hyper-senses, the hypnotic effect of Sheer’s legs, and her struggle with the net had taken their toll. Her hyper-powers were temporarily depleted and she could feel the oncoming weakness that followed their use.

As she lay back grappling with Emerald, the beautiful villain knew she had to end this quickly. “Hyper powers or not,” she thought, “this girl is strong and 10 years younger than I am.” Instinctively, she wrapped her legs around Emerald’s belted waist and began pulling her closer in a crushing leg scissors.

With the sudden pressure threatening to cut off her air supply, Emerald reflexively dropped her hold on Sheer’s wrists and began trying to loosen her ever-tightening legs. But the sheer nylon material of her gloves against Sheer’s bodystocking prevented her from getting a firm enough grasp. That was all the opening the villainess needed.

Sheer had planned for such an encounter. Arching back, she reached behind her and grasped the handle of a large specimen jar. Reaching inside, she removed a spherical sponge and pulled herself upright, aiming for the young heroine’s unprotected face.

Realizing the danger, Emerald clamped shut her eyes and mouth, holding her breath. She then spun around within Sheer’s encircling legs and attempted to pull herself free. Knowing she only had one chance, Sheer bent her knees, placing her locked ankles directly between Emerald’s knees. She wrapped her empty left hand around Emerald’s waist and began pulling her backward.

The drained heroine felt as if she were battling a nylon-encased octopus. Pulled onto her back, she struggled valiantly within Sheer’s increasing grasp, trying to regain her leverage and break free, while avoiding whatever Sheer was trying to get near her face.

Utilizing the distraction she had noticed in Emerald earlier, Sheer suddenly moved her left hand down, directly between Emerald’s tights-covered legs. Sheer then gently but firmly cupped her hand against Emerald’s tight fitting costume. Caught completely off guard, Emerald reacted with a wide-eyed, shocked inhale. And at that exact instant Sheer squeezed the sphere in her right hand directly in front of the heroine’s face.

Once triggered, the anesthetic gas was perfectly drawn in Emerald’s mouth and eyes. She immediately felt as if a warm, wet towel had been wrapped around her head and her entire body seemed to multiply in weight. She sluggishly tried to shake off its effects.

An exhausted Sheer, avoiding the quickly dissipating gas, lay back and unwound her legs from Emerald’s lithe form. She then pulled her legs together behind the weakened heroine and placed her feet on the back of Emerald’s golden belt. With a forceful shove, Emerald stumbled forward, falling directly in front of the large machine in the corner of the workspace. Disoriented and moaning, she tried to wipe away the clinging residue of the gas.

Wasting no time, the lovely villainess slid off the table and moved to the side of the machine. After removing a small remote control device, she rushed back to the work area, several yards from the ominous device. With only the barest fragment of her hyper-powers returning, Emerald had gathered the strength to kneel on one knee. “Got to… clear my head,” she thought. “Still… too weak… to fight. Need time… to recover.”

Breathing hard from her battle, Sheer again rested against the workbench and looked at her young enemy. “Well done, my brave young heroine,” she taunted. “This is turning into my best experiment ever. And now I’d like to show you my most prized discovery. The machine behind you is known as a particle polarizer. My own creation, I can use it to change the physical, molecular properties of any substance within its admittedly short range of effect. As you are now.”

And with that, the cunning and beautiful villainess pressed a button on the remote control, activating the large machine with a loud, low hum. Suddenly, as if unseen hands gripped the helpless young heroine, Emerald was jerked backwards into the air, colliding with the machine behind her. Her body, arms, hands, and her beautiful legs were instantly pinned to the smooth surface of the particle polarizer. Emerald fiercely began to struggle, but it was as if she had fallen onto a giant sheet of flypaper. She was helplessly magnetized to the device. Only her head and neck were able to move.

“Yes, dear Emerald. Now you understand. I’ve programmed my wonderful machine to alter the molecular properties of the compound tetramethylene terephthalate. That’s one of the polymers used to create the wonderful substance commonly known as nylon. Simply put darling, you’re being held prisoner by your very own leotard, gloves, and those wonderful tights you’re wearing.”

Gasping, Emerald felt somehow betrayed by the uniform which she had so lovingly created. She had always enjoyed the look and feel of her leotard and tights, and now those same leotard and tights held her fast to this diabolical device. Try as she might, even with her slowly returning hyper-powers, she couldn’t break free from this iron grip. She muttered, “Can’t break… free. My leotard and… tights are… holding me powerless.”

The beautiful arch villainess turned and walked to a distant corner of the laboratory area. A moment later she returned wearing a bulky one-piece metallic coverall with built-in gloves and boots. She had obviously slipped into this while still wearing her alluring flesh-tone bodystocking. She walked back to the workbench she had struggled with Emerald on, and once again pulled a small sphere from the specimen jar.

She then began walking toward the trapped young heroine. “Sorry I had to slip into something less comfortable, especially knowing how much we both enjoy our tight fitting costumes. But I couldn’t let myself become trapped as you are. There’d be no one to release us.”

“You can’t… do this. Please… let me go,” pleaded the firmly trapped young heroine.

Standing next to the powerless Emerald, Sheer smiled. “Oh, I’ll be glad to let you go. But only after you’ve revealed to me all the secrets of your incredible powers.” And she then reached down and ran her fingertips slowly up the inside of the desperate young heroine’s thigh. And again betrayed by her body’s reaction to the touch, Emerald gasped, straight into the triggered anesthetic gas. Having exhausted all her physical and mental resources, the defeated beautiful young heroine’s head slumped forward into unconsciousness.

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