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by on February 12, 2015

Gaseous Girl was hoping for a straightforward fight. Fly in, smash the alien behemoth monster rampaging through her city, fly out again. She liked those kinds of fights. Once in a while, it was nice not to worry about unraveling a tangled mystery, or sorting out the ramifications of time things, or worrying over the personal implications of the latest superhero legislation muddling through Congress. Once in a while, it was nice to just fly in and smash stuff. Wham, bam, thank you ma’am, here’s the key to the city. It was simple, and it was fun.

It started out that way, at least. Behemoth Bob had just flattened a local playground and was bearing down on the library. Defending libraries was fun and heroic, and earned a lot of good press. Gaseous Girl planted herself in front of the modern art sculpture on the library steps, readied fire blasts, and waited for the monster to attack. He appeared to be taking his time. She occupied the seconds by trying to make out what the sculpture was. It appeared to be a spastic octopus fighting its octopus friends for possession of a volleyball. Gaseous Girl never had understood modern art.

Then Behemoth Bob rumbled around the corner. He bellowed something incomprehensible at her. Some supervillains you could try to reason with, maybe offer a chance to surrender. Alien behemoths, on the other hand, didn’t run that way. Gaseous Girl launched herself from the steps, prepared to crash into his side and knock him over, then pummel him with flame blasts until he saw reason or went unconscious. Either one worked, really.

Then a woman in a flame-pink uniform and spangly glitter boots slammed down in front of her, blocking her way. “Stand back, y’all!” she cried merrily. “Mad Maddie’s coming through!”

“Say what?” Gaseous Girl said. She didn’t have the chance to say anything else, as lightning blasted from the new arrival’s outstretched hand and thoroughly zapped the astonished behemoth.

“And boom goes the monster!” Mad Maddie exclaimed. Then she spun enthusiastically towards Gaseous Girl. “Hi!” she chirped. “Maddie Smith, Mad Maddie to my friends, nice to meet ‘cha.”

“But…. I’m Madeleine Smith.” Gaseous Girl swiftly put two and two together. “You’re a parallel universe version of me. Wonderful. I just hate time things. ”

“I’m a wha?” Mad Maddie said.

The behemoth meanwhile, had only been stunned. Now it came roaring to its feet again, anxious to smash the person who had so tormented it. The two Gaseous Girls prepared to fight it, but now a cool electronically modulated voice cut in. “Step aside please. Thank you.” A whoosh, and a whump, and a rocket had slammed into the behemoth, laying it out flat. Madeleine and her alternate turned around.

On the step just next to the spastic octopus stood a figure in violet metal armor, replete with guns, rocket thrusters, and glowing eyes. Gaseous Girl almost thought it was a robot, but then the metal faceplate popped open. “Oh, no,, you’re not-”

“Good evening. I have the honor to be Lady Madeleine Smith-Harrington, alias Violet Heartfire, of the Superhero Corps. Whom might I be addressing?”

Gaseous Girl rolled her eyes. “I’m Madeleine. So’s she. So’s you. This is getting fun.”

“I beg your pardon, miss?”

Mad Maddie giggled. “Lookit Downton Abbey over here.”

Lady Smith-Harrington’s faceplate slammed shut again. “There is no call to be rude, whomever you might be. I was only inquiring-”

“Okay, let’s calm down here,” Gaseous Girl said, trying to get hold of the situation. “Look, Lonely Heart-”

“Violet Heartfire. Vi-o-let. Heart. Fire. I did not imagine this would be difficult to remember.”

“You ain’t even got a heart on there!” Mad Maddie observed.

“It’s symbolic,” Heartfire said frostily.

“Symbolic my-”

The behemoth chose that fortuitous moment to stagger up for one more go at it. “I’ll handle this,” Gaseous Girl said. She took one step. Behemoth Bob suddenly vanished in a spray of red light. In its place, a little gerbil skittered around on the ground.

“Was that horrible creature just transformed into a gerbil?” asked the bewildered Lady Smith-Harrington. Then her question answered itself, as a figure cloaked in deep indigo abruptly materialized in midair above the gerbil. The figure threw back its hood, revealing a horribly familiar face. She yelled something in words that sounded vaguely Latin.

Gaseous Girl really, really hated time things.

This post was written for the Mutant 750 challenge at Grammar Ghoul Press, and is part of the Gaseous Girl Mysteries. Thanks for reading!

  1. Gaseous Girl is my hero. Absolutely! What a great write. Love the Downton Abbey reference…oh, and the spastic octopus! Can’t wait ’til the series is published!

    • I’m sure it will be soon; I’m working on editing my NaNoWriMo novel, but once that’s done, Gaseous Girl’s next. And the space otter serial. 😉

  2. That was a sweet ride. I’m glad the alternate Behemoth Bobs didn’t also appear!

  3. Haha! Oh, this is great. It’s my favorite Gaseous Girl episode yet. I like that it finishes the same way it begins, with her hating time things. All the new versions of her could be a powerful team, that is, if they could get along. Great fun!

    • I don’t know if she’ll get along with herselves, but at least she won’t have the classic dilemma of finding oneself. “Oh, I’m right over there. That was easy.”

  4. Love it! Multiple Gaseous Girls. Maybe that’s not really such a bad thing. Oh, and I love that Alien behemoths don’t run that way. Your tone is always so perfect. 🙂

  5. I love this! Gaseous Girl is awesome!! I love the last line–it just made me giggle so much. Great job!

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