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Cyril Figgis

Capes and Cuisines: Regirth (NEW CHAPTER ADDED 10/25/2021)

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Thrilled to get more Feeder Man but sad that we're missing out on more Fang/Black Turtle. Alas, you can't have it all!

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6 hours ago, ditto said:

Thrilled to get more Feeder Man but sad that we're missing out on more Fang/Black Turtle. Alas, you can't have it all!

Don't worry - I haven't forgotten about my other girls. I will get back to Fang, Black Turtle, and the rest in time, but Feeder-Man gets to go first.

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FEEDER-MAN RETURNS, PART 1

Nathan Nixon’s heart was racing a mile a minute as he sped home from DittCo.  Despite losing every scrap he had ever been in, he had somehow managed to outclass an actual supervillain!  He could still see the Disguise’s shocked face as he immobilized her in a pool of maple syrup and then filled her with gallons of sweet honey, turning the lithe assassin into a bloated blimp of a woman.  The memory filled him with giddy, anxious laughter, and he chuckled to himself all the way back to his apartment.  Anyone watching from afar would have thought the boy was high as a kite, and they would be right with one exception—it was pure adrenaline coursing through his veins.

After securing his scooter, Nathan raced up the stairs to his apartment and dashed inside, where he could finally relax.  He slumped to the floor against his door and put a hand to his chest, feeling his heart beating like a jackhammer.  It was a sensation altogether new to him, and the young student could not help but tremble with excitement at what he had just done.  Nathan Nixon, an absolute nobody, decided to play hero and won.

The police would likely be taking away the Disguise by that point, though they would have a hard time prying her loose from the sticky mess she found herself in.  Nathan giggled at what a sight that would be: the wildly obese villainess down on all fours, pinned to the floor by her own weight and the pool of syrup, and naked as the day she was born.  Even her threat of retaliation did little to dampen the wannabe chef’s mood, as it was hard for a 400 pound porker to be menacing.

He might have spent the rest of the night sat against his door, laughing to himself, but his stomach made itself known by growling like a rabid dog.  Nathan’s hand slid down to his abdomen as pangs shot through his middle, as if he was being stabbed with a knife.  Despite eating a hearty dinner earlier, it was as though he had not eaten in days, and there was only one explanation.

“Stupid powers,” Nathan grumbled as he lifted himself from the floor.

In experimenting with his newfound powers earlier, he had discovered that the more food he made, the hungrier he became.  It made sense: after all, energy cannot be created or destroyed; likewise, the food he conjured was not simply summoned out of thin air.  This was an amazing ability he had been blessed with, but like a gift from a monkey’s paw, it came with a cost.  If he wanted to keep using these powers, he would be hitting up the grocery store a lot more often.

As the young student cobbled together a meal for himself, he dropped off a souvenir on the counter—the Disguise’s mask.  It had been forgotten in all the excitement and the following hunger, but he would find some place for it in his rinky-dink apartment.  Or he could always sell it online and get himself a few extra bucks.  Not like he would be needing it anytime soon...

***

The following day, Nathan’s adrenaline rush had died down, but he was still in a far better mood than he had been in quite some time.  There was a spring in his step as he got cleaned up and ready for the day’s classes, and he felt like he had James Brown backing him from the morning he woke up.  He felt so good that he did not even mind checking himself in the mirror, something he tried to avoid if he could.  Nathan sucked in his paunch as best he could, stood up straight and pulled his shoulders back, just like his grandmother had told him, and ran his fingers through his curly red locks.  For the first time in a long time, he did not see a schlubby loser who was a little too short and a little too heavy; rather, he saw one cool dude who had a lot going for him.

“Who’s the baddest guy around?  You are,” Nathan told his reflection after washing his face.  “You beat an actual supervillain, and how many people can say that?  Not many, that’s who.  Cooper Culpepper sure couldn’t.  Next time he tries to give you crap, you can just flatten him like a pancake with a pancake!  You’re awesome, Feeder-Man, and don’t you ever forget it.”

Once he finished getting dressed, the exuberant student slid out the door, where he bumped into his less than pleasant neighbor, Carmella Cruz.  The lean girl glowered at him with a withering look, her disdain for Nathan palpable as she locked her door.  Up until recently, they barely knew that the other existed, but when Carmella discovered that her neighbor was a paparazzo in his spare time, their nonexistent relationship turned into animosity.

“What’s got you in a good mood?  Did you manage to catch Natalie Portman’s bra showing?” Carmella taunted Nathan.  “You get a bonus for getting a shot of Ariana Grande’s whale tail?”

The redhead rolled his eyes at his judgmental neighbor and paid her no mind as he walked by her.  Normally, her comments might have needled him, but not today—not when he was up on Cloud 9.  Nathan simply adjusted his backpack and waltzed down the stairs, leaving Carmella to glare daggers into his fast retreating back.  One day, maybe she would leave him alone and mind her own business, but only after pigs flew and Hell froze over.

At least there was a more pleasant sight waiting for Nathan at the bottom of the steps.  Luan Levine, his landlady, was far from his favorite person in the world and, given his tendency to be late on rent, the feeling was mutual.  While Luan could be a forgiving woman, she had a short fuse and did not tolerate anyone shirking on their payments.  She was critical of Nathan, but more in a stern, matronly sense than Carmella’s jabs at his person.

If she had one truly redeeming feature, it was that Luan’s five pregnancies and stressful job had left her quite portly.  She was a stacked shortstack, sporting plump breasts as big as softballs and hips that just barely cleared the doors in the building.  Nathan swore that he could hear her coming from the sound of her thighs slapping together, and she often had to readjust her clothes whenever she made her rounds, lest too much pasty pudge be exposed.  Talking with Luan could be difficult, given how harsh she could be, but at least Nathan could enjoy some eye-candy while being berated.

That morning, his landlady was clad in a pair of yellow and green yoga pants and a matching track jacket, having just come back from her morning walk.  The effort had left her winded and turned her pale skin pink, a trait that only enhanced her porcine appearance.  Luan wiped a sleeve across her brow, which lifted her jacket up and exposed a swath of belly blubber pinched tight by her pants.  Nathan made a quick mental photograph before the meaty woman quickly pulled her jacket down again.

“Morning, Lu,” the redhead greeted Luan as he passed her in the hall.

“Morning, Nixon,” she wheezed in reply.  She took a quick swig of water before remarking, “You look a lot better today.  Guess you kicked that bug pretty quick?”

The ‘bug’ had been Nathan’s body adapting to the extradimensional energies that bombarded it the other night, when he had snuck into a presentation by one Dr. Evelyn Schrader.  He felt like he could die just two nights prior, but the effects passed after sleeping for most of the day after; to the outside observer, Nathan had merely suffered from a 24-hour bug.

“Yeah, I just needed a good night’s sleep and some food,” Nathan fibbed.

“Well, whatever you ate that made you feel better that fast must be good,” Luan hummed.  “Mind sharing your secret with me?  Tracy’s got a cold right now, and I can’t cook to save my life.”

While he could not exactly explain what had happened to him, Nathan answered, “I’ll write down a recipe for an amazing soup and drop it off in your box after classes—how does that sound?”

“Sounds good to me.  And if it helps, I’ll take a few dollars off next month’s rent,” the portly landlady added, a grin on her face.

“I’ll take you up on that,” the young student chuckled before ducking out the door.  He was willing to take any help he could get, especially when it came to his rent.  And if this got him on Luan’s good side again, she might stop haranguing him for money every few weeks.

That just left him one more headache in his life—one Deidre Dilworth-Dunn, his boss at LAZ.  Sure enough, his phone buzzed as soon as he stepped out of his apartment building, and he flipped it open to discover she was calling him.  With a resigned sigh, Nathan answered, “Hey, Dee.”

“Nixon!  Please tell me you were there for the excitement last night,” Deidre asked, no doubt pacing her office while smoking a fat cigar.  “I was expecting to catch Dittson with his pants down, not with his neck snapped!  Goddamn, this would be a huge scoop if we had pictures.  You do have pictures, don’t you?  Nixon, I will personally give you a foot massage if you got me some pictures of any of this.”

The redhead winced as he recalled the events of the night before.  Dee had sent him to DittCo to get dirt on its CEO, thinking that the good ol’ boy was canoodling with his secretary and completely unaware that the enigmatic woman was a killer.  In all the excitement of stopping her from escaping, Nathan had not been able to get a single picture, but then again, what could he have taken without incriminating himself or exposing his powers?

Thinking up a quick lie, Nathan replied, “I snuck by Dittson’s office, but he wasn’t in and I’m not exactly a lockpick.  I waited around to see if I could get in, but nothing doing.  Sorry, Dee.”

The steam coming from her ears was practically audible as his boss screamed, “Are you kidding me, Nixon?!  The juiciest story to hit this town in months, and you didn’t get a single picture to show for it?  A man gets killed, someone stops his killer from getting away, and said killer is fattened to blue ribbon material, and you’ve got nothing for me?  I swear, if you weren’t so good at candid shots, I would toss you out like yesterday’s garbage!”

There was the Dilworth-Dunn Charm Nathan had come to know and loathe.  He hopped onto his scooter and promised his belligerent boss, “Look, Dee, I’ll make it up to you.  Holly Jones is in town, and word is she’s put on a few from her vacation over in Italy.  And if there’s any news about whoever stopped the Disguise, you’ll be the first to know.”

Dee paused to take a long puff from her cigar before brusquely replying, “I know it’s what you’re best at, Nixon, but don’t let me down.  You get me some pictures, and maybe—just maybe—I won’t have to can you.”

With that, she hung up and left Nathan to his own devices once more.  He started up his scooter and puttered towards McHale Community College, but his thoughts were far from his classes.  Selling pictures of chubby celebrities was far from a dream job, but Dee paid well enough to keep the lights on and the cupboards stocked—something that would be especially handy if he kept using his powers.  He needed to stay on her good side for the time being, and if the only way to do that was to creep around and snap some pictures of love handles or tight pants, then so be it.

***

By the time Nathan reached school, he had put his job worries behind him and tried to keep his excitement going even as he made his way to his first class of the day.  The thought of sitting through another boring lecture in Biology was unappealing to him, but he would power through it as he always did.  At least he could use the time to think of new recipes to try out for his channel, which was in desperate need of something fresh. His follower count was barely in the four digits, and he was struggling to find his place in a niche market that was already populated by so many talented creators.

As he took his seat and puzzled over what to cook next, he heard a chipper, familiar voice ask, “Is this seat taken, Nate?”

Nathan turned to see his old crush, Maggie Sloan, standing at the desk next to him and waiting for a response.  It took a second for him to respond, especially since he was distracted by how tight her t-shirt was on her, but he eventually mumbled, “Not at all!”

“Super!” Maggie chirped in delight as she plopped down beside Nathan.  He took one glance at the chubby blonde and how her clothes accentuated her pudgy physique before tearing his eyes away, lest he be caught staring again.  “Three times in a week, I bump into you—what are the odds?”

“Hard to say—you know I slept through math a lot,” the redhead joked as he sat up straighter.  “But what brings you by here?  I thought you were signed up for the fall courses.”

“Yeah, but I wanted to sit in on a couple classes and get a feel for things,” the blonde replied as she brushed her daisy locks back.  “After how hectic things were at Berkley, I feel like I need to get my bearings again, you know?”

Nathan could not say he understood, since he had to take a year off school just to be able to afford community college, but he still nodded along.  He told Maggie, “Well, it’s a lot less hectic here.  In fact, this class is a perfect chance to get a nap.”

She giggled in reply, a slight ripple running through her soft frame.  Nathan did his best to ignore how Maggie’s thighs spread out on the seat and continued, “If you see me writing anything down, it’ll be me trying to come up with recipes.”

“Oh, you cook?” asked the bubbly blonde.  “I didn’t know that!  We could have used you for our dance team bake sales back at Parker High.  Do you have a specialty?”

“Honestly, I try a little bit of everything,” he replied, counting off options with his fingers.  “Meats, veggies, desserts...you name it.  The biggest problem is being able to afford supplies—I barely make enough for rent, let alone a well-stocked kitchen.”

Maggie leaned back in her chair, unintentionally allowing her tummy to puff out that little bit more.  She remarked, “Man, I wish I learned how to cook.  I’m terrible at it; I could screw up milk and cereal, I swear.”

“I could give you some tips,” Nathan quickly told her.  “I’ve actually got a cooking channel on YouTube, you know.  I mean...if you’re curious.”

Maggie’s eyes lit up in delightful surprise and she asked, “Really?  That’s so cool!  I’d love to check it out sometime!  Text me the link, and I’ll definitely give it a watch!”

Nathan felt like his heart skipped a beat as he swapped numbers with his old crush.  Seeing her in the arms of his high school nemesis hurt him like a ton of bricks, but getting to chat with her again helped soften that blow.  The hope that Maggie would watch his channel made him feel like the king of the world, but it also stoked the fire of change inside him.  He needed to make sure his channel was the best it could be now more than ever.

***

Per usual, Nathan paid little attention to the lesson of the day, focusing instead on thinking of recipes to experiment with and what sort of soup he could make for Luan’s daughter.  Maggie occasionally stole glances at his notebook throughout the class and even scribbled a note to him that read ‘Maybe spaghetti Bolognese?’ He replied with a thumbs up and then got to work scribbling out the ingredients he would need to pick up at the store.

It was a shame to part ways with Maggie afterwards, but she gave a light promise to catch up some more over lunch.  That was enough to keep his good mood going throughout the rest of the day, and he returned to his apartment with a smile on his face.  Nathan felt so good that he looked past how his lock stuck again and how he needed to run out to get pictures for Dee—something he rarely, if ever, looked forward to.  His exuberance from the night before had been forgotten, replaced by thoughts of fancy and cooking up the best dish of spaghetti Bolognese Maggie had ever seen.

When he entered his kitchen and looked to the counter though, he saw the featureless mask of the Disguise placed atop his mail and remembered everything.  Nathan remembered the fear that ran down his spine when the assassin turned her sights on him, the thrill of getting one over on her, and the rush when he saw her fatten before his very eyes.  He had no idea what had come over him in that moment, but the more he reflected, the more a desire inside him grew.

Why did last night need to be a one time thing?  So long as he kept himself fed, Feeder-Man could continue to prowl the streets in search of someone to fatten up.  It would also give him plenty of material to give Dee, which could mean a sweet bonus for his wallet.  Most importantly of all, he finally had power over others like never before, and he was not about to let that go to waste.

The only catch was that he was not about to fight another supervillain.  What happened with the Disguise was self-defense more than anything else; he would not have stuck his neck out for Dittson if he had been able to.  Why should he, when the world had never given him a break?  Nathan Nixon did not have rich parents to cater to his every whim, a cushy job that allowed him to boss others around, or the biggest house on the biggest hill in town.  Let the Protectors, Justice United, or anyone else fight the bad guys—he was only going to look out for himself.

In fact, what was to stop him from having a little fun with his abilities?  Dark thoughts filled his head as he imagined all he could do with his powers, and he felt that rush start to pump in his veins again.  As he picked up the mask, Nathan chuckled to himself, “Wait ‘til they get a load of me...”

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FEEDER-MAN RETURNS, PART 2

Carmella Cruz was exhausted after a long, exhausting day.  Not only did she have a full day of classes at McHale, but she also had to head to her job bartending when one of her coworkers called out.  She was in no mood to deal with the entitled pricks that came to The Brownstone, and the knowledge that she was not even supposed to be there did not help.  Between running around for hours and handling more than a few pricks, she was ready to collapse on the couch.

“No, no, no,” she muttered as she opened the door to her apartment.  “You’ve got an exam to study for, and if you want to ace it, you need to hit the books.”

That was the only way she was going to get anywhere—working harder than anyone else.  She knew that if she was going to succeed in life, she had to show people that she was more determined than her other students and coworkers.  Someday, all these hours of bartending and cramming would be worth it, as she would be looking down on the filth from her office on the 35th floor of a skyscraper.  Carmella Cruz was destined for big things in this world, and when she finally got there, it would mean she had beaten everyone to do so.

The ebony girl plodded to her kitchen to fish out some leftovers and put some fuel in her tanks.  Waiting for her was a bowl of chicken Caesar salad wrapped in cellophane—just what the doctor ordered.  Carmella pulled out the salad and made her way to her table, where her laptop and textbook waited.  The last thing she wanted to do after the day she had was study into the wee hours of the morning, but what choice did she have?  With thoughts of her future office in sight, Carmella sat down and took a bite of chicken.

A hum of delight escaped her lips as soon as it hit her lips, and she stared at the bowl in front of her.  That chicken was so tender, even though she had been saving this since the night before; it had not even been this soft when she first ate it.  Carmella moved onto a piece of lettuce and was delighted to find that it was still crisp, so fresh that she swore she could taste the water she rinsed the lettuce with.  It was the same for each new piece she tried: everything about the dish tasted fresh as could be; even the vinaigrette she had tossed throughout seemed sharper.

“Is this even the same salad?” Carmella asked herself as she sifted through the bowl.

“Astute observation,” a deep, male voice chuckled.  “You always were a smart one, Miss Cruz.”

Carmella nearly fell out of her chair when she spun around and caught sight of a masked figure standing in the doorway to her bedroom.  He was clad in a crimson and navy tracksuit, with a hood pulled up over his head and gloves on his hands.  The mask was silver but otherwise featureless, showing nothing but his gray eyes on the other side.  Though there was nothing in his hands and he did not seem especially tall, Carmella felt chills run down her spine.

“Who…who are you?  How did you get in here?” she asked, clenching the back of her seat until her knuckles turned white.

“It wasn’t so hard.  I just fashioned a key out of hardened caramel and gave it a turn,” the masked figure explained.  He held up the replica key for Carmella before snapping it into pieces.  “The real question you should be asking is what I did to your salad.”

The petrified woman cast a sideways glance to the remaining salad in her bowl and felt sick to her stomach when she realized she had already eaten half of it before even questioning it.  This psychopath could have done anything to her food, and she would have been just as much to blame for her fate!  Through chattering teeth, she asked, “What did you do to my food?”

The man answered with a shrug, “I freshened it up a little bit: gave the chicken a hint of spice, added some lemon juice to the mix, and added a special ingredient.  You should be getting the full effect in just a few seconds…”

Before Carmella could ask what he meant, she felt her stomach churn and gurgle with such intensity that she thought she might vomit.  No sooner had that sickening sensation come over her than she felt something altogether different—a bloating in her middle.  The terrified student put a hand to her stomach and felt it growing under her touch, rising from a slight swell to a bubble that pushed her shirt out in mere seconds.  Her eyes went wide and her mouth hung open, but no sound came out as she watched her gut explode with fat.

“You always eat these salads to keep the pounds away, but there’s just no escaping it that weight,” the mysterious figure taunted Carmella as she tried in vain to push her stomach back to its original size.  “Always thought that you were better than those people who let themselves go, but looking at you now, I’d never guess you were a fitness freak.”

It was frighteningly true: in a matter of seconds, Carmella’s years of running at 5 am and kickboxing classes went out the window; instead, she looked like she had never set foot in a gym before.  She wanted to scream as she felt her skin stretching and filling with bubbling blubber, but the noise was trapped inside her throat.  All she could do was croak out little moans of fright and confusion as her hands pawed at her stomach as it grew too large to be contained by her shirt.  Carmella tugged until she heard threads tear, but the simple fact was that she—she, who had just run 10 miles that morning—was too fat for her clothes.

As the distraught woman struggled with her newfound weight, the masked man crept close to her and circled around like a shark in the water.  Carmella could feel his eyes on her, tracing up and down the slope of her belly as it oozed further out onto her lap.  When he reached out for her, she recoiled, but was too sluggish to stop him from pinching the ring of fat that rolled over her waistband.

“That’s the funny thing about food is the way it affects the body,” her tormentor hummed as he squeezed her love handle and rolled it around in his gloved fingers.  “When some people say that pizza goes right to their hips, they mean it.  You though?  Looks like you’re all gut and no thigh.”

 The cruel reminder of her predicament had Carmella looking all over her body and finding that her belly really was the only part of her still fattening up.  As if to make up for the lack of growth elsewhere, the obsidian gut was expanding like bread in the oven.  Carmella winced as she felt the stranger bounce the ball of blubber in his hands, lifting it and dropping it into a jiggly mass on her thighs.  She was bigger than any pregnant woman she had ever seen, and there seemed to be no end in sight to the growth, as the bubbling in her stomach could attest.

“Please, please make it stop,” she whimpered, only to find there was not a shred of pity in his eyes—only disgust and sadistic delight.

The masked man slapped Carmella’s stomach so hard that he left a palm print and he growled, “I couldn’t make it stop even if I wanted to, but why should I?  You have been nothing but an arrogant snob who gets off on looking down at others.  You walk around thinking that you’re better than everybody else in the world, but I can honestly say, having spent these marvelous moments with you—you ain’t better than anybody.”

Carmella was not sure what hurt more: the slap, his words, or the fact that her belly was still sloshing from his blow.  She choked back a sob as the masked man leaned in close and grabbed a handful of her lardy gut, wobbling it as he threatened, “I could stuff the rest of that salad down your throat and leave you with a gut big enough to fit a sedan, but I won’t do that.  No, I think this is enough.  I know you can’t afford plastic surgery, so this is going to take you months, if not years, to lose.  That’s your punishment, you uptight taint—you get to be a fat slob just like the rest of us.”

He released her belly and gave her a pat on the cheek before growling, “But if I find out you’ve still got a big head, I’m going to finish the job and make you so fat, you won’t fit through your door.  Do you understand, Carmella?”

Too frightened to talk, Carmella gave a quivering nod.  The masked man stared into her eyes for a moment more before standing up and walking out of her apartment, leaving the beleaguered woman with herself and the mountain of blubber that was her stomach.  She alternated between sobbing and hiccupping as she ran her hands over the pillowy mass, hoping against all hope that this was just some bizarre dream.  There was no way this could happen to someone like her…

***

It had been a long, exhausting week for Luan Levine, between evicting one of her tenants, handling a roof leak, and her daughter coming down with a cold.  She needed something to unwind, which was why she made herself a bubble bath as soon as her kids were tucked in their beds.  Luan quickly got some cookies she had been saving, a bottle of wine, a wine glass that could hold an entire bottle of wine, and one of her favorite romance novels.  If this did not cure her worries, nothing would.

As she lowered herself into the steamy tub, the plump matron felt her worries seep out of her body and into the suds.  She was ready to relax, but the brush of her hips against the walls of the tub reminded her of one more problem.  Luan would be the first to admit that she had been putting on a lot of weight lately, but she did not need to be reminded of her growth.  For someone who used to be a cheerleader, it was humiliating to find herself getting too wide for a bathtub.

“Not going to dwell on that tonight,” Luan grumbled.  “Just going to soak and unwind with some well-deserved Me Time.  I’ve earned the right to indulge.”

Her nerves were soothed before long, their frayed ends fusing back together.  She nibbled on the plate of cookies and drank heavily from her glass as she read her favorite lurid tale.  It was a dark, kinky tale of a thief who broke into a mansion and had his way with the lusty, busty matriarch before vanishing into the night.  So caught up was she in her reading that she failed to notice she had drank almost an entire bottle’s worth of wine, ten cookies, and her apartment door creaking open.

“Sergei, you cad,” Luan hummed to herself after another swallow of wine.  “You’re a bastard for doing what you do…but you’re so good at it.”

The matron set the book down as she allowed her hands to slip beneath the bubbles and stroke along her plump, overfed form.  How long had it been since someone had touched her?  More than that, how long had it been since Luan had allowed herself to feel that rush?  There were so many more important things in her life that needed her attention, and she could not afford a single moment to herself.  But now that she had such a moment, she felt an ache from deep inside, and she longed for someone—anyone—to quell the fire inside.

“I hope this is not a bad moment?” asked an unfamiliar voice.

Luan swiveled around as best she could in her tub and caught sight of a masked man standing in the doorway to the bathroom.  Her heart raced as she glanced over him, studying his featureless mask to his dark clothes and gloved hands.  The right thing to do would be to scream and alert someone, but she could not find it in her.  Instead, she hid her pillowy breasts as best she could and rearranged the bubbles to hide her lower half from view.

“Who do you think you are, barging into my home?” she growled, though the drunken warble in her voice made her much less intimidating.

“Someone who was ready to pay you back for being such an aggressive, dominating witch,” the masked man sneered, making Luan shrink into her tub, “but seeing you like this…I don’t have it in me.  Instead, I’m going to give you something you’ve been longing for.”

Those words and that gravelly tone set the landlady’s heart aflutter.  It was like something out of a Sergei Schapiro novel, usually said right before having his way with the voluptuous female lead.  She cowered under his withering glare, but she could not deny the heat emanating from her core.  Beneath the cover of bubbles, her plump legs squirmed and writhed against each other, thunder thigh rubbing against thunder thigh to ease the pain.  For a brief moment, he clenched his hands into fists, and Luan wondered what he might actually do, only to find they held chocolates when he opened them again.

“When was the last time you had bonbons, Luan?” asked the stranger.  “Real, French bonbons?”

The bulbous brunette was stunned speechless.  How could anyone think about chocolate at a time like this?  Nevertheless, when the masked man held out one of the candies for her, she gingerly opened her mouth and allowed him to pop it past her lips.  As soon as it hit her tongue though, her eyelids fluttered and a groan of pleasure rose from deep inside her chest.  Sweet caramel oozed out when she broke into the chocolate, and Luan cooed as her mysterious visitor tipped her wine glass to her lips.  Any worry she felt when she first saw the masked man vanished, and she willingly opened her mouth for more of the sinfully sweet candies.

“Poor girl, living your life restrained by your responsibilities,” he hummed as he fed her one bonbon after another.  “Five kids are enough of a handful, but to have an entire building of tenants to look after?  When was the last time you allowed yourself to truly let go?”

“Too long,” Luan whispered, wiggling her hips in the tub and bumping the walls with her hefty saddlebags.  “No time for myself…”

Her visitor brought her glass to her lips again, and she drank deeply as he continued, “No time to do the things you used to, like working out.  You’ve gotten so soft and round, Luan—I think even doorways are becoming a problem for you.  And how much longer can you march up and down the stairs of this old building?  It’s already a struggle to get to the third floor; any bigger, and you’ll be waddling all over the place.”

The cheerleader inside her whimpered at the reminder of how she had fallen since her halcyon days.  While she had never been skinny, thanks to her compact height, she had at least been in shape, but over the last ten years or so, Luan had ballooned.  There were stretchmarks in places she never knew they could be, enough cellulite to make her thighs look like cottage cheese, and her breasts were beginning to sag.  It made her want to cry, but then the masked man stroked under her plump chin as he fed her yet another chocolate.

“But you wear it all so well—exactly like a mother should be.  Such thick, full breasts…such a supple, ample ass…and a generous belly to hold and squeeze,” the stranger remarked in a soft voice that sent tingles through her chest.  “Why would you ever want to lose such beauty?  Would you truly be happy as a twig, starving and working yourself to the bone, just to be what someone else wants you to be?  That doesn’t sound good to me.”

Luan shifted around in the bath as she somehow drank more wine—odd, considering she had been almost out a few minutes ago—and ate another candy.  Sure, she would love to stop eating rabbit food and going on those grueling walks around the block, but she could not afford to give up her few attempts at losing weight…right?  If she gave an inch, her body would take a mile, and she could not afford to get fat and lazy.  So why did it sound so delightful when this man suggested it?

“I couldn’t,” the lardy landlady groaned as she reached one hand under the bubbles and traced her fingers around her nipples.  “My work…my kids…”

“You can always outsource the care of the building to a management company, and you can hire a nanny to look after the kids,” her visitor suggested in that gentle voice.  “Your only worry should be when your next meal is, nothing more.  Give in to that feeling and let yourself go, Luan…”

It would be so very easy, and in that moment, Luan wanted nothing more, save one thing.  After eating what seemed a dozen chocolates, her eyelids opened to half-lid and she licked her lips at the sight of the masked man.  She moaned, “Take me…I need you…please!”

He only chuckled and put a finger to her lips.  In a hushed, warm tone, he whispered, “Not yet, Luan…you’re not ready for me.  Eat and grow rounder, and then we’ll see.  If I see you getting plumper, I promise that I will give you what you need.”

Luan whimpered as she was deny the release she craved, but the stranger still got up and left the frustrated landlady to her own devices.  As she sulked in the tub, she glanced down and saw that her wine and cookies were still there—but there was more of both than she remembered.  Had her visitor refilled them without her noticing?  It did not matter to her addled mind.  What mattered most was the promise of things to come, and if the only way to do that was to eat, then so be it.  She bit into a cookie and groaned at the thought of what it would do to her hips…what he would do to her if she grew…

***

Nathan’s heart was racing when he got back to his apartment, and a manic grin was spread from cheek to cheek.  He ripped off his mask, tore his hood back to run his fingers through his rusty hair, and stifled a laugh by biting down on a gloved finger.  For a moment or two, he thought he would break, but he had somehow kept the Feeder-Man act going.  Maybe he could do this after all!

“Oh Nathan, you are so talented,” he mumbled giddily, “and they’re gong to get so fat…”

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FEEDER-MAN RETURNS, PART 3

Nathan woke up the following morning feeling better than he had in a long while.  After his midnight escapades, he had fixed a smorgasbord to replenish himself before heading off to bed with thoughts of what his cooking had done.  He could still see Carmella’s wobbling belly and the curve of Luan’s breasts poking out from her bubble bath when he closed his eyes, and he fell asleep with a smile on his face.  The promise of a new day meant even more chances to plump up a few lovely ladies, and he could not wait to experiment with his powers some more.

First thing was getting a little breakfast to top himself off, which would hopefully give him a glimpse of how Carmella and Luan were getting on after their encounter with Feeder-Man.  Nathan strutted out of his apartment just in time to catch the former leaving hers, and he could not help but crack a smile.  Carmella often wore clothes that, while not especially revealing, were form-fitting to better flaunt the body she had sculpted through long hours of hard work.  Now, she was bundled up in a baggy sweatshirt that was better suited for December than August.

“You get your Fahrenheit and Celsius mixed up, Carmella?” asked Nathan as his obnoxious neighbor trudged past him with a glare.

“Bite me, perv,” Carmella growled.  “I just don’t feel good, so I’m going to the hospital.”

“Sure you don’t want to hit the gym first?” the redhead teased while he slunk past her.  “I mean, you usually start the day with a workout.”

A dark blush filled Carmella’s cheeks as she sputtered, “I don’t…I’m…it’s just an off day, okay?  Back off, Nixon—I’m in no mood for you today.”

Nathan held his hands up in defense and hummed, “Fine, fine, but just be careful you don’t take too many days off.  You start slacking, you’ll wind up with a big ol’ jelly belly.”

He grinned like the cat that ate the canary and left his tightly wound neighbor steaming mad, much as he would have loved to have picked on her for the rest of the day.  That would only have given away his identity though, and more than that, he had someone he was much more interested in visiting.  After giving Luan over a dozen chocolates with enhanced aphrodisiac properties, Nathan could only imagine what his landlady was up to that morning.

The portly matron was at the foot of the building’s stairwell, a clipboard in one hand and a cruller in the other—and if Nathan was right, it was not her first of the morning.  She quickly brushed the crumbs from her lips before asking, “What’s got you so bushy-tailed this morning, kid—you come into a little money?  Maybe you want to send some to your lovey-dovey landlady?”

“Only in our dreams, Lu,” the cocksure cook hummed.  “You’re looking bright-eyed too—you always this excited to make your rounds?”

Luan shook her head and took another bite of her cruller before answering, “Never.  I don’t know…I guess I just had a good night’s sleep.  Outside of Tracy waking me this morning with a coughing fit.  Poor kid just can’t shake this bug.”

“Right, right,” Nathan replied, remembering his playful deal with Luan the day before.  “I still need to get you that recipe.  Honest—if my grandmother’s soup doesn’t cure her, nothing will.”

“If you’re right, you’ll save me a fortune on Dimetapp,” Luann chuckled.

The two went their separate ways, with Nathan delighted to see that Luan was still snacking after their rendezvous the night before.  Who could have guessed that a little coaxing was all it would take to get her to start eating donuts?  A few more visits like that, and he could have her plodding up and down the stairs within a couple months.  Just imagining her thunder thighs slapping together and her belly bouncing free of her shirts made him excited, but there was one other chubby girl that occupied his mind that morning…

***

“Hey, you!” Maggie chirped happily.

Nathan’s bolstered confidence had given him the courage to do something he never thought he could do—ask Maggie Sloan out for lunch.  He waited patiently at a table outside the dining hall at McHale Community College and waved to his chubby crush when he saw her approach.  His attention was stolen for a brief moment by her wardrobe, as Maggie seemed to have very little in the way of clothes that fit properly.  She had managed to squeeze her plush thighs into a pair of denim shorts that were a size too small, and the sleeveless blouse she wore was surely meant to be more billowing than it was.  Though she tried to subtly adjust it, there was no hiding her attempt from the eagle-eyed paparazzo, who got a good glimpse at the straining button on her shorts as well.

“Hey, Maggie,” the redheaded rogue replied.  “Sorry to text you out of the blue like that, but I thought you might want to see what the dining hall has to offer.”

Maggie waved off the apology and said, “No, I think it’s great!  I just hope this place is better than the stuff they used to serve us in high school.”

The food in the dining hall was certainly better, but only because it was more of a food court than a cafeteria.  Nathan got a chicken sandwich with fries, which Maggie also got along with a milkshake to wash it down—this despite her remarks that she should eat lighter.  As they got to eating, it became clear how Maggie had plumped up as much as she had, for the look on her face as she dipped her fries in her milkshake was pure ecstasy.  When she realized that she was humming over her food, she blushed and squirmed in her seat.

“Sorry,” she mumbled, “it’s just been a while since I had fries or a milkshake.”

Nathan found that hard to believe, but he was not about to push his luck—not without his mask, at least.  Instead, he replied, “Don’t worry about it.  As a chef, I like hearing people enjoy their food; it means that they’re doing something right in the kitchen.  Which reminds me—I brought something I’d like you to try.”

The redhead reached under the table and pulled out a plastic box, which he opened to reveal a dozen peanut butter cookies.  They were perfect circles of amber goodness, with little chocolate chunks and chopped peanuts throughout.  Maggie’s face lit up in awe, and Nathan swore that he could see a twinkle in her eye.  So far, so good.

“I baked them up fresh this morning, and I’d like to get your thoughts if I could,” the amateur cook asked as he set the box on the table.

“I’d love to,” Maggie replied as she reached in for a cookie.  “I love peanut butter cookies!”

That was something Nathan knew very well, as he distinctly recalled the pudgy blonde constantly eating them in school.  When he decided to put a few pounds on his old crush, he knew exactly how to weaponize her favorite treats and created a batch using his powers.  Unlike Carmella and Luan though, he was not doing this out of some need for payback or arrogance, but because of a very simple desire.  He had the opportunity to plump Maggie Sloan like a Christmas goose—how could he turn that down?

And judging by her reaction from the first bite, it would be easy as pie.  No sooner had the cookie hit her tongue than the blonde stifled a blissful moan and crammed the rest into her mouth.  She closed her eyes and let out a coo as she slowly chewed on the cookie, savoring the rich, nutty flavor for as long as she could.  It was so delectable, she failed to notice how her clothes felt a hair tighter than before, all thanks to the cookie she was ingesting.

Nathan could have done anything he wanted with the cookies: he could have made the chocolate so much of an aphrodisiac that Maggie would have jumped his bones on the spot; they could have been so fattening that one bite would crush her chair under a mountain of girth.  For whatever reason though, he could not bring himself to do that as he conjured them into existence, so he settled for something much more subtle.  Each cookie would make her gain a single pound—enough for her to clothes to tighten up a little bit more, but not enough to raise any red flags.  After all, if Maggie had let herself get this chubby already, she was clearly not checking the scale every day.

“Oh my god, these are so good,” the blonde hummed as she took a big bite of her second cookie.  “Seriously, if you sold these, you would make a fortune.”

“Glad you like them.  Go on and take a few,” Nathan encouraged.

Maggie glanced down at the box and fiddled with the hem of her blouse, oblivious to the slight difference in how it fit.  She swallowed her bite and remarked, “Oh, I really shouldn’t.  I’m trying to do better with my diet—new school, new me, you know?”

“Well, the school year hasn’t started just yet, if you think about it,” the roguish redhead said with a sly grin.  “And really, it’s not like a couple cookies are going to do any real damage.”

They were silly reasons, but they were all the encouragement the weak-willed blonde needed before chowing down on the rest of her current cookie and picking up a third.  It was only when she finished her fifth that she found the strength to sit back and throw her hands up.  “Okay, as good as those are, I’ve got to throw in the towel before you have to roll me away.”

That could have easily been arranged, but Nathan held back and closed the box.  “Fair enough, but I’m glad you liked them—it’s so tricky to get a good opinion sometimes.”

“Well, if you ever have a new recipe you’d like to try, I’m always open,” Maggie quickly replied before sitting back and blushing.  “I mean, if you’d like.”

For the first time since the fight with the Disguise, Nathan felt flustered.  Was Maggie Sloan actually suggesting she could be a taste tester for him?  He had to give his leg a surreptitious pinch to make sure he was not dreaming.  When he verified that he was awake, he nodded and said, “That would be great!  I’ll text you next time I’m making something new for the channel—and don’t worry, it won’t be more cookies.”

“Good,” Maggie giggled before she rose to her feet, though not without a struggle.  “I hate to go, but I need to pick up some books from the student center.  Catch you around?”

“Definitely,” Nathan answered with a grin as he watched the bloated beauty stagger away.  It was pleasing to see the zipper on her shorts beginning to whisker and how her arms jiggled ever so slightly.  He would need to spread out any taste testing to make the gain seem more natural, but if he kept this up, Maggie’s idea of rolling around would be a very real possibility.

The delighted feeling in his chest was dampened ever so slightly when his phone buzzed with a message from his boss.  Nathan groaned before pulling his phone out and answering, “Hey Dee.  Let me guess—you saw that Zooey Deschanel was looking a little chubby on her recent beach trip and you want me to get a shot of her love handles?”

“Tempting, but I’ve got bigger pants for you to split,” the domineering woman chuckled on the other end of the line.  “Guess which local hero is celebrating her 21st birthday tomorrow night?  Don’t bother—it’s the Flare.”

It was hard to miss the news, as it seemed to be all anyone in town could talk about lately.  The Flare, Pia Lorenz, was the youngest member of the Sensational Six, a team of superheroes that had been operating out of Los Angeles ever an accident involving dark matter gave them extraordinary powers.  That accident wound up giving a young, precocious girl the ability to generate intense fire, which she had used to great effect for years.  She was eleven when she first gained her powers and rocketed into stardom, and she now that she was on the verge of full adulthood, she was celebrating with a shindig that would put a thousand Sweet 16s to shame.

The guest list was filled with celebrities from all media: actors, singers, reality stars, and even a few streamers.  The Sensational Six’s headquarters had been converted into party central, with dozens of rooms prepared for entertaining anyone and everyone’s needs.  It felt like a modern day Great Gatsby—not that Pia had read the book before.  She was throwing a party the only way she knew how, and that was by being as loud and ostentatious as possible.

“Yeah, I was probably going to not bother tuning into the livestream,” Nathan replied.  “Unless you’ve got some insider who can sneak me in disguised as a caterer or something.”

“Don’t be ridiculous, Nixon—you’re press,” his brusque boss explained.  “Stop by the office, and I’ll hook you up with a badge.  There’s bound to be plenty of opportunities for these people to gorge themselves stupid, and I want you to be there for it.  You get me the best material you can, and I might just give you a nice bonus.  How does that sound?”

Before getting his powers, Nathan would have turned down the opportunity in a heartbeat.  He hated parties like this, as they only served to remind him of his budget lifestyle and how unpopular he had been at school.  Now that he had the ability to get payback on people like the Flare, who flaunted their wealth and status without a care in the world.  If he brought Feeder-Man to the party, then it would certainly be an event no one would ever forget.

“Sounds like you’ve got a cameraman,” the redhead answered.  “And I’ll keep an eye out for that feeder guy from DittCo—this seems like it’d be his sort of party.”

“You get me photos of Feeder-Man, and I will personally kiss your feet, Nixon,” Dee replied without a moment’s hesitation.  Knowing how desperate the woman was for information on his alter-ego, Nathan felt certain that she would probably do so.

After promising to stop by the LAZ offices, Nathan leaned back in his chair and put his feet on the table.  He was going to crash a superhero’s birthday party and fatten up the guests, which would certainly make Feeder-Man much more notorious.  Would it be worth it for a few more dollars and the sight of straining waistlines, popping buttons, and torn seams?

“Absolutely,” Nathan chuckled.  “Face it, tiger—you just hit the jackpot.”

***

Elsewhere in Los Angeles, Pia Lorenz was busy trying to convince one person in particular to come to her party.  She floated through the air, a white hot aura of fire around her, as she chatted over her phone, “Mona, come on, it’s going to be great!  We’re going to have a big ‘Cannonball High’ cast reunion, and I can even hook you up with a producer who would love to get in on your next picture!”

The hotheaded heroine was talking to an old castmate of hers from her days as a teenage celebrity—Mona Park, who had done her very best to distance herself from that image.  While Pia reveled in her days as a cast star on subpar kids shows, Mona had completely altered herself to wash the stink of that era in her career.  She ditched her pastel colors and cute outfits for dark tones and grungy numbers straight out of the early 90s, she shaved half her head, and she had tattoos all around her body.  More than that, she had plumped up so much that the uninitiated would never guess that the hefty hipster was the same adorable girl cracking wise on reruns.

“Pia, I’m sorry, but you know that’s not my scene anymore,” Mona replied from the comfort of her couch.  “My crazy party days are over.  I’ll mail you a gift, and I’d be more than happy to meet up some other time when there’s not a million people around.”

Pia had been trying for weeks to convince her old castmate to attend her party, and the more Mona said no, the more she wanted her there.  The spritely Latina settled down on a rooftop and suggested, “How about this—if you come to this party, you and me can take a nice, private vacation wherever you want.  Just the two of us camping, no Wi-fi or posting.  How does that sound?”

The former child star on the other end rubbed the bridge of her nose and groaned, “Fine, but only if you never bug me about another party again.”

“Deal!” Pia gleefully exclaimed.  “I can’t wait to see you again, Mona.  It’s been way too long, and we so need to catch up.  Toodles!”

Mona gave a light wave before signing off the call and flopping back down on her sofa.  It was not as though she hated Pia; the Flare was a tried and true friend who had supported her no matter what.  The biggest issue was simply that they lived in two different worlds, and when those worlds collided, it was never particularly enjoyable.  All Mona wanted to do on a Friday night was unwind in her pajamas and watch monster movies as she ate pizza—was that too much to ask for?

“I swear, if she tries to talk me into going on a new exercise plan, I’m slapping the powers out of her,” Mona grumbled as she turned her movie back on and returned to her slice of meat lovers.

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FEEDER-MAN RETURNS, PART 4

The Wieringo Building had once been a modest office building that was simply a part of the urban landscape for decades, and sadly fell into decline in the 2000s during the economic downturn.  It was saved from demolition when it became the home of its most colorful occupants—the Sensational Six.  The team bought the entire building and used it as their headquarters, adding living quarters, several laboratories, and even a hangar to store their various vehicles.  It went through several changes over the years since the Six set up shop, but their notoriety had helped to make the Wieringo Building into a landmark for anyone visiting the West Coast.

On the evening of the 30th though, no one was visiting it to marvel at the accomplishments of the Sensational Six, attend scientific lectures with Doctor Sensational, or train with the Creep.  That night was all about Pia Lorenz, the Flare, as she crossed her final threshold into adulthood and had her first legal drink.  Her birthday called for a celebration unlike any other, and several floors had been converted into party space for the masses.  It was planned to be a night no one would ever forget, and it would be—just not for the reasons Pia intended.

The trouble began when Nathan Nixon got in.  Unlike his time at DittCo, he did not need to sneak in; all he had to do was flash the press pass that Dee gave him, and they opened the doors for him.  He traveled light, carrying only his backpack and cell phone, and despite the best efforts of the security team, they did not check the bag as closely as they should have.  In their defense, there were far more obvious concerns than some nobody, like how the Neptunian visitors insisted on carrying weaponry at all times.  If they had looked, they might have noticed that Nathan had packed his ‘work clothes’ in a hidden pouch.

“Okay, where to go first?” the redhead mumbled to himself as he scouted the party.

It was everything he thought it would be: loud, obnoxious, and full of people he wanted nothing to do with.  Nathan was already as bitter as a cup of coffee, but being around so much debauchery and revelry only exacerbated his feelings.  Between the Sensational Six and the guests, the entire evening seemed like an opportunity for everyone to flaunt their wealth and status in the face of people like him.  He had been looking forward to ruining their night before, but as he was jostled around by the crowds, he felt justified in doing so.

“Let’s just get the lay of the land and see what we can find,” Nathan decided as he pulled his phone out and searched for easy targets.

***

“Mo Money!  You came!” Pia squealed as her former costar waddled up.

Mona gave a small wave to her excited friend before being wrapped in a warm, clingy hug that knocked the wind out of her.  She wheezed, “Hey Pia…wouldn’t miss this for the world.  I told you I’d come, and here I am.”

“Yeah, but you were such a sourpuss at first, I almost didn’t think you would make it,” the birthday girl hummed as she rocked Mona in her arms.  “But you’re here, and all my friends are here, and everyone in the whole world is here!”

The longer Pia held onto her, the more obvious it became that she had already had a few spirits to start off the night.  Knowing the Flare, she had likely been pre-gaming since the afternoon, while everything was still being set up; were it not for her superhuman metabolism, she would likely be having her stomach pumped at the moment.  It was reasons like this that made Mona glad she had shied away from the limelight after her days as a child star.

“Yep, it sure is a scene,” the tattooed girl replied as she peeled Pia off her.  “Look, I mostly just wanted to say hi and wish you a happy birthday—this isn’t really my scene, you know?”

“Aw, but you just got here!” Pia whined, the tequila strong in her breath.  “Come on, at least let me show you around?  You should see what we did with the place!  Each floor is something completely different, right down to mood lighting!  The fifth floor is gold and showing movies, the ninth is purple and for dancing, and the seventeenth is green and lined with video games.”

Mona scoffed at the notion and asked, “Let me guess—there’s a smoking room that’s all black and lit with scarlet?”

The drunken heroine stuck her tongue out and scowled, “Ew, no way.  We don’t allow smoking inside; the scarlet room is for couples to sneak off to.”

“Of course it is,” Mona muttered under her breath.  Seeing as Pia was not going to leave her alone, nor did she exactly want to let her wander off in such a state, the chubby girl sighed and linked arms with her.  “Lead the way, Prospero.”

***

As Nathan scouted out the party and Mona was led around by Pia, two unexpected arrivals made their way through the bustling lobby.  Cooper Culpepper, Nathan’s old nemesis from high school, had managed to win tickets to the party and could not have been more excited to schmooze with some of the upper crust of society.  He did not look the part though, dressing in a pair of ratty jeans, an Ed Hardy t-shirt, and his letterman jacket, which was a little snugger than it used to be.  Not that the galoot cared much, as he was too awestruck by the spectacle of the party.

“Damn, Maggie, can you believe this?  And I thought the parties at Revolori’s place were huge,” Cooper remarked as he held his girlfriend close.

“Sure is,” the blonde replied, though her mind was elsewhere.

When Cooper told her about the party, Maggie Sloan’s immediate thought was not about getting to see all her favorite celebrities—it was what she was going to wear.  Her entire wardrobe was tight these days, but especially her party clothes, which were snug even before she put on 30 pounds in her freshman year.  She had managed to squeeze herself into a jade cocktail dress, but even after getting it let out, it still clung to her like a second skin.  The straps dug ever so slightly into her shoulders, the neckline showed a little more cleavage than she was comfortable with, and the hem came down just low enough to hide her panties.  Most embarrassing was how it was tight enough on her stomach that her belly button was visible through the fabric.

“Babe, look, it’s the Creep!” Cooper exclaimed, shaking Maggie from her weight woes as he pointed to one of the strongest beings on the planet.

The chubby blonde followed his point and saw the hulking man-thing across the hall, flexing his craggy muscles as people dangled from his arms.  The Creep looked like a crude mass of clay sculpted into something vaguely humanoid, but despite his appearance and name, he was a veritable sweetheart, provided people stayed on his good side.  His gruff attitude appealed to people like Cooper, who admired his brashness and even tried smoking the Creep’s favorite brand of cigars until he realized just how expensive they were.

“I’ve got to get a picture with him,” Cooper told his beau.  “If people know that I have an in with the Creep, that’ll give our bar lots more cred!”

Just like that, he left Maggie on her own as he ran off to get the attention of his idol, but what else was new?  Cooper was fun and could even be sweet on occasion, but she often felt like arm candy for him—except she did not even feel like that sometimes.  He was always going on about the club he was going to open up with his friends, and he never seemed to make time for anything she wanted to do.  If they ever went out, it was to something that he wanted, which usually meant someplace he could schmooze with people and try to get investors.

Despite being surrounded by dozens of people, Maggie felt very alone and wrapped her chubby arms around herself.  The familiar shiver of anxiety ran down her spine, and she knew that it would not be long before her belly started to grumble.  It was stress and nerves that led to her plumping up as much as she had, and being left in a sea of people was making them act up again.  She placed one hand on her tummy and felt it rumbling, and though she promised she would stick to her diet for the night, that idea went out the window.

“It wouldn’t hurt to have a bite,” she reasoned with herself as she made her way through the crowd in search of something to eat.

***

If there was one thing Nathan was impressed with at the party, it was that no expense had been spared on the food.  Everything he sampled was delicious, from the hors d’ouevres that various waiters carried around to the sushi bar on the seventh floor and the churrascaria on the nineteenth.  While he was delighted to get a taste of cuisine far beyond his budget, he was not eating to sate his appetite.  No, if he wanted to play Feeder-Man at the party, he needed to make sure he knew exactly how everything tasted—that way, he could substitute in his own, much more fattening cooking.

“We switch a little here, a little there, and none will be the wiser,” Nathan hummed to himself as he went about swapping cookies and sweets at a dessert table.  The trick was to change a few at a time so as not to attract attention; no one would notice him taking a few cookies, but they would certainly see if he took an entire tray.

After finishing up with the desserts, the roguish redhead sauntered off to snap some more pictures and wait for the chance to activate his fattening traps.  He managed to get a few snapshots of tight pants, exposed bellies, and one stance of split jeans, but his mind was elsewhere.  What he really wanted was to capture the moment when someone ate one of his goodies and came away with an extra twenty pounds—if he could get that, he was sure that Dee would pay a queen’s ransom.

Just as he was making his way out of the room, he bumped into Pia and Mona as they walked in.  Nathan was about to mumble an apology before quietly moving on, unaware of just who he passed, when the tattooed girl glanced his way and said, “Hey there!  You’re from the grocery store, right?”

It took Nathan a moment to recollect, but he finally remembered Mona from his trip to the grocery store earlier that week.  They had a brief, friendly greeting before he surreptitiously took some pictures of her for LAZ, but she bailed him out by paying for his groceries when his card was declined.  For the beleaguered boy, that act of kindness had been almost enough to make up for what was an otherwise garbage day, so to see her again brought a genuine smile to his lips.

“That’s right!  How are you?” Nathan asked Mona.

“She’s awesome!” Pia butted in.  She stumbled between the two and clapped Nathan on the shoulder as she babbled, “That’s Mona Park, and she’s the best friend I’ve ever had!  Like, I’ve got so many friends, but she’s maybe my best!”

Mona patted Pia on the shoulder and told her, “That’s right, and as your best friend, might I suggest you go take a little breather?  We’ve been walking around for an hour or two, and we could both do with a break.”

“No, no, no, I’m good, I’m good!” the fiery girl insisted.  “I still need to show you the hangar and Riley’s secret lab and—ooh, Jell-O shots!”

With that, Pia released Mona for the first time since her arrival and staggered off in pursuit of the sweet, boozy treats.  Nathan drank in the lush Latina as she departed, noting just how short she was—barely over 5 feet—and how petite her frame was.  Small, pert breasts that were made perkier by her crop top, a tight midriff, and a curvy little backside that switched from side to side with every drunken step she took.  He was going to enjoy fattening her up, hopefully to the point where she was wider around than she was tall.

“Jesus Christ, I’m too old for her shit,” Mona grumbled, alerting Nathan to her presence.  “Sorry about her—I’d say she’s not always like this, but I’d be lying.”

“Don’t sweat it—celebrities, right?” the redhead chuckled.

“Tell me about it.  That’s why I try to stay away from this kind of scene if I can,” she replied.  “So, what brings you here?  You a big shot in disguise?”

Nathan waggled his press pass at the bespectacled girl and answered, “Not really.  Just here to get some pictures and be on my way.  It’s not exactly my type of space either; I’d much rather be home working on some new recipes.”

“Oh, you’re a cook?  That’s awesome!” Mona remarked before offering her hand.  “By the way, I didn’t get to properly introduce myself the other day.  Mona Park, but you already knew that, right?”

“I did, but it’s nice to finally meet you,” Nathan chuckled as he shook her hand.  “Nathan Nixon, photographer of the stars.”

Mona shared in his laugh and asked, “Well, Mr. Nixon, I see that they have some cheesecake over there—shall we sample it and see how it compares to Ralphs’?”

Much as he wanted to see Mona Park blimp up on his food, the redhead replied, “Actually, I wouldn’t really try the desserts; I tried a couple things, but they almost gave me instant diabetes.  I was just about to head down and see about getting some sushi—want to come with?”

“I’d never pass up a good sashimi platter,” Mona answered with a lick of her lips.

As they left, Nathan glanced over his shoulder and spied Pia getting a big forkful of cheesecake while gabbing with other guests.  He was going to have to keep an eye out for her later—he was not going to pass up the chance to see the birthday girl balloon…

***

Maggie had eaten more than she had all day and was currently on her third sushi roll, but she could not rid herself of the jitters that filled her belly.  Everywhere she went, she was surrounded by unfamiliar faces dancing, singing, and shouting, and she could not find a quiet place to sit down and calm her nerves.  She had to look like a pig, scarfing down plate after plate like she had, all while crammed into a dress that had not fit her in months.  That must have been what that couple was laughing about in the last room—what was a chubby little porker like her doing in a place like this?  It was almost enough to make her vomit, but that would only attract more unwanted attention.

Just as she was about to go scrambling for a bathroom to hide in, Maggie spied a familiar face sitting at a nearby table.  Unless her eyes deceived her, that was Nathan Nixon and…no way.  Mona Park was here?  She was one of her favorite actresses—if she saw her in this state, Maggie would probably die from embarrassment.  Still, the need for a familiar face in the sea of strangers outweighed the desire to run and hide, and the bulbous blonde eventually worked up the nerve to waddle over to the table.

Meanwhile, Mona told Nathan, “So I says to Mabel, I says—”

“Hey you!” Maggie cheerfully greeted her old classmate before blushing as she realized she had interrupted their conversation.  “Sorry, sorry, I just wanted to come say hi.”

Nathan was stunned to see Maggie at the party, but he was more taken by how her dress clung to every inch of her curves.  He tried to avoid staring for too long and instead replied with a grin, “No problem!  It’s great to see you—and you look amazing.”

The blush in Maggie’s cheeks grew and she gave a nervous laugh as she answered, “Oh, it’s just an old thing I had in the closet.”

“Wish I had something like that in my closet,” Mona chuckled.

“Aw, thank you,” Maggie meekly replied before telling Mona, “And Ms. Park, let me just say that I love your work.  I mean, I grew up with Cannonball High and all, but your recent stuff just speaks to me on such another level.  Dress Rehearsal Rag hit me so hard, and I love it for that.”

The compliment about her independent film brought a smile to Mona’s lips, and she told Nathan, “I like her.  Anyone that knows my stuff post-Cannonball gets a pass in my book.”

With that, the chunky blonde felt calmer than she had all evening as she joined the pair for another round of sushi.  There was a part of Nathan that was appreciative of being in the company of two big, beautiful women, but more than anything, he liked having two normal people in a sea of phonies.  Mona shared in that sentiment, and was delighted that neither one tried to get an autograph or start singing her old TV show’s theme song.  It was the best part of the night thus far for the three of them, and as they laughed and chatted about this and that, Nathan almost forgot about his plans to fatten up half the party—the keyword being ‘almost’…

((Fret not, true believers!  This is not the end, and I'm not going to leave you hanging for months on end.  Nathan's night out will be conclude in the stunning conclusion to an entire year of Capes and Cuisines goodness with next Friday's CAPES AND CUISINES ANNUAL!  Stay tuned to this thread, because you don't want to miss the explosive end to this saga and get a hint of what's to come!))

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38 minutes ago, Batman76 said:

The set up for this is alarmingly perfect. I'm dying to see the party go haywire.

This party will be off all the following: the hook, the chain, the charts, the grid, and most importantly, the wagon.

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CAPES AND CUISINES ANNUAL

FEEDER-MAN RETURNS, PART 5

As the night wore on, the trio of Nate, Mona, and Maggie stayed close together and explored whatever the party had to offer.  None of them had any interest in the festivities beforehand, but as the old saying goes, misery loves company, and the three were eager to share in their disdain for the hedonistic affair.  They identified the quietest places available in the Wieringo Building, few though they were, and hunkered down until moving on to the next room.  There really was something for everyone, even access to the Sensational Six’s pool, but the group shied away from the crowds as best they could.

They decided to take a break in what was normally the building’s cafeteria but had been converted to a speakeasy for the night, right down to a jazz band.  While they kicked up their feet, the three carried on a conversation that had begun two rooms prior and was more important to them than anything else in the building.

“I’m telling you, the best place to get a breakfast sandwich in town is Jack’s on 34th,” Nathan contested as he sipped away at a ginger ale.

“And to that, I say bullshit,” Mona argued before taking a swig from her beer.  “You want an amazing breakfast anything, you need to go to The Flying Biscuit up along Park and West.  Better than that hole in the wall.”

“I’m going to have to agree with her, Nate—The Flying Biscuit is so good,” Maggie giggled.  “I swear I would eat there all the time if I didn’t have to worry about my budget or my figure.”

Nate was almost certain that was a bold-faced lie, as Maggie had always been well-off in high school and the potbelly that rested on her lap belied her weakness around food.  While he tried to keep from staring throughout the night, the redheaded rogue could not help but gawk at how chubby his crush looked in the ill-fitting cocktail dress.  The acres of cleavage on display, the tree trunk thighs that quivered with every step and filled each chair to capacity…how could he resist?

The same could be said of his more famous companion, as Mona was no Celine Dion herself.  She had managed to squeeze herself into a pair of jeans that were so tight, they might as well have been jeggings, and her chunky thighs oozed out of the tears in the denim.  While the shirt she was wearing was nowhere near as revealing as Maggie’s dress, it was so tight that the indent of her belly button was perfectly visible.  The leather jacket she wore could not hide her plump arms; if anything, it made them look like sausages ready to burst from their casing.

“Sure, The Flying Biscuit is good—maybe even great—but it’s hella expensive.  You keep your bourgeois breakfast, and I’ll stick with my salt of the earth goodness,” Nate replied.  He rose from his seat and stretched his arms while asking, “I’m going to see about getting some snacks from the bar.  Anyone want anything while I’m up?”

“Nothing for me, thanks,” Mona answered with a pat of her stomach.  “I’m full up.”

“I’ll take another club soda,” Maggie chirped as she held up her empty glass.  “Oh, and maybe some of those fancy pretzels?”

Nate took the glass with a grin and made his way to the bar, where a selection of gourmet bar food lay in wait.  A quick glance over his shoulder found that Maggie and Mona were wrapped up in a conversation; it would be so easy for him to make his own versions of the food and plump them up until their threads burst.  He had thought that in each room they visited though, and there had been plenty of opportunities to fatten them up without their knowing, so what was holding him back?  Not only was the girl of his dreams ripe for the fattening, but so was one of the coolest celebrities he had ever met.  It was a primo opportunity, one he might never get again.

As he wondered why they were so different from Carmella and Luan, a chime came over the intercom in the room and the music came to a stop.  The silky voice of Doctor Sensational called out, “Attention, everyone!  We will begin serving cake and ice cream in the hangar in ten minutes.  Please begin making your way down in a neat and orderly fashion.  Thank you!”

When the announcement ended, several people exited the cafeteria, including Mona and Maggie.  The chubby girls got up from the table and waved to Nate, with Mona saying, “Come on, Nate!  The line’s going to be a mile long if we don’t start heading over now!”

“What happened to being full up?” the redhead joked as he rejoined his group.

“It’s a birthday party,” the pudgy celebrity answered with a wink.  “How are you going to pass up on free cake and ice cream?”

Maggie hummed and licked her lips as she added, “I’m right there with you.  I just wonder what sort of cake they’d get.  What’s the Flare’s favorite flavor?”

“Knowing her, it’s either red velvet or death by chocolate.  Either way, it’s going to be the best cake you’ve ever had, so you’ll definitely want to grab a slice,” Mona replied as she bustled the two out the door.  “Allons-y!”

Nathan hurried along, but not just because Mona urged him on.  The calorie bombs he had left around the building throughout the night were surely consumed by now, and it was only a matter of time before they ‘detonated’…

***

True to Mona’s word, the hangar was packed to the brim by the time they arrived.  The Wieringo Building was full of interconnected stairs, halls, and tunnels, and guests flocked into the room from every possible route.  In the center of the room was a massive sheet cake with ‘Happy Birthday, Pia!’ written in red icing, and the Sensational Six stood watch over it from a stage just behind it.  There was Doctor Sensational, who used her elastic body to stretch up in the air to watch the crowds; the Disappearing Man, who had his arm wrapped Pia’s shoulder to keep his sister standing; the Creep, who snarled at anyone that dared get near the cake before it was serving time; Impossible Bot, who hovered around the cake like a drone; and Gemstone, who dazzled almost as much as the birthday girl.

Of course, all eyes were on Pia, and not for the best of reasons.  The Flare had been drinking well throughout the night, and even with her metabolism burning through the liquor at a rapid rate, she was still quite inebriated.  The tabloids had given her a second codename of ‘Hot Mess’ due to her reputation for ** debauchery, and many were watching to see what she might do in her condition.  With Pia, she was just as likely to set fire to the hangar as flashing the crowd; anything was possible with the human train wreck.

Once the clock hit 10, Pia staggered over to a microphone and shouted, “Hey everyone!  Who’s having a good time tonight?  Your girl is—you know it!”

The birthday girl was met with a chorus of cheers from well over two hundred attendees, which had Nate rolling his eyes.  He kept a close eye on Pia as he counted down the minutes until his bombs went off, eager to see the heroine balloon.  She had been going to town on some cheesecake when he left her, but that was almost three hours ago—who knew how much she had eaten since then?

“I just want to say that it means the world to see all you wonderful, amazing people here,” Pia told the crowd.  “I could not have asked for a better birthday than this, and to see all your smiling faces just warms my heart.  You guys are the absolute best, and I think it’s only fair that we get to eat this delicious cake made by Los Angeles’s finest bakers!”

As she turned to the cake though, the heroine paused and put her hand to her stomach while her face contorted in pain.  The Disappearing Man raced over to her side and held her steady as Pia groaned in discomfort, only to find that she was not alone.  Several people in the audience bent at the waist as they felt their stomachs roil like an angry ocean, including a woman beside Nathan, who knew exactly what was going on with all the afflicted.

“Are you okay, ma’am?” he asked as he hid his glee behind a mask of concern.

“I think I’m going to be—”

That was all she could get out before a massive belch escaped her lips and her dress exploded off her.  The woman had been shapely before, but fat engulfed her frame and left her swaddled in a thick coat of blubber from head to toe.  What was left of her dress hung in rags and wedged in between the fat rolls that formed in her middle.  Her mouth flapped open like a fish as she explored her pudgy frame with plump sausage fingers, but she was not alone in her bewilderment.

All throughout the hangar, buttons flew through the air, seams were torn, and designer outfits were ruined beyond belief as the guests fattened up.  Muscles were coated with lard, chins ballooned into pudgy collars, and confused people collapsed under their new weight.  Athletes swelled up more than they ever did during their off-season and supermodels packed on three times their body weight, but of all the butterballs that occupied the hangar, none were as impressive as the one on stage.

Pia Lorenz had a few curves beforehand, owing mostly to her small stature, but now, she was nothing but curves.  The shortstack superhero was virtually unrecognizable and entirely naked, though her lower half was covered by a generous apron of belly blubber.  Her cheeks had swollen up to the size of oranges and she had more chins than a racist joke; so fat was her face that her lips were forced into a pucker and she had to squint around her cheeks.  Lean shoulders were now so packed with fat that it looked like she was permanently shrugging, and they led to arms that were wider around than her waist had been and hands so fat that they could not close her fingers all the way.

Massive breasts the size of pumpkins threatened to topple her over, but the belly that reached all the way to her knees helped to stabilize her.  Pia shuffled around on legs that were as big around as truck tires and were so thick that she had to kick them out to the side to gain any momentum.  A butt that was large enough to fill an entire sofa wobbled behind her as she gathered her bearings, and even when she stood still, the gelatinous mass took a moment to stop jiggling.  Even her feet had expanded, growing so fat that they burst right through her designer shoes and crushed the heels like tissue paper.

“I…I…I’m so fat,” she mumbled to herself in shock before the panic in the crowd reached her.

“Seems like we’ve got a prankster on our hands,” the Disappearing Man grumbled as he looked out over the hangar full of obese partiers.  “Maybe the same clown that nabbed the Disguise?”

“Whoever it is, they’re a problem and we need to stop them before they do anything worse,” Doctor Sensational replied, ignoring how her own gut had ballooned to the size of a sumo’s.

Back in the audience, Nate glanced to Mona and Maggie and told them, “I’m going to go get help—I’ll be right back!”

“Be careful!” Maggie called out to her old classmate, though her attention was stolen as a bewildered butterball waddled past her.  It was surreal, unsettling, and more than a little bizarre, but the blonde could take some comfort in knowing she was not the fattest person in the room anymore.

“Never seen anything like this before in my life,” Mona mumbled as she watched Pia jiggle on stage.  “You think you’ve seen everything when you’re friends with a superhero…”

***

Nate slipped away in all the confusion and ducked into a nearby bathroom, where he almost bumped into another man.  The gaunt man scoffed at the redhead, “Watch where you’re going, kid!”

“Whatever, dude,” the redhead mumbled as he ducked into a stall.  He was so excited about making his big debut that he could not have cared less about some jerk.

In the privacy of the bathroom stall, Nate pulled his mask and costume, such as it was, from his backpack and stared at the disguise with mad glee.  He got his first taste at fattening others when he stuffed the Disguise like a jar of honey and gave his obnoxious neighbor the mother of all potbellies, but this was on a whole other level.  Dozens of peoples’ waistlines had been ruined forever, and it was all because of him!  Finally, he was getting payback for all the years the popular kids pushed him around and treated him like dirt.  Though the world may have mocked Nathan Nixon, it would soon marvel at the terrible might of Feeder-Man!

The redhead quickly slipped into the crimson and navy tracksuit before putting on his mask and cinching it tight with his hood.  He tossed the backpack aside and took a look at himself in the mirror while pulling on his gloves.  It was not the most intimidating look, barely a costume at all, but it would get the job done.

“Showtime,” Nate chuckled before he sauntered out of the bathroom and back to the hangar.

As he passed by various fatties, he pinched their bellies, slapped their backsides, and even gave one chesty woman’s bosom a jiggle.  People shrank back and shrieked as the masked man made his way through the crowd, and by the time he reached the center of the audience, he had a wide berth about him.  This attracted the attention of the Sensational Six, who glowered down at the new arrival with malice and distrust.

“And just who are you?” asked Doctor Sensational, flabby arms crossed.

“Just someone a little miffed about not getting an invitation,” Feeder-Man joked as he looked up at the elastic woman and gave a thumbs up.  “Gotta say, Doc, you’ve never looked better.  And Gemstone, you carry that weight well; I never took you for a pear!”

The brunette geomancer turned red as a strawberry and did her best to hide behind the cake, even though there was no hiding hips like hers.  She squeaked, “Who…who are you?”

The masked man clapped a hand to his chest.  “Just the newest face in town, looking to make a name for himself—and I think I did pretty damn good if you ask me.  You can call me Feeder-Man, and you can thank me for adding a little life to this boring little snoozefest you call a party.”

At those words, the room temperature spiked as Pia Lorenz’s corpulent body was surrounded by a white hot aura, so much so that it was difficult to make out her form within.  Her great belly swelled in and out as rage filled her chest, and she growled, “You’re the prick who decided to ruin my party?  Who did this to me?”

“Right you are, Tons of Fun, and let me say—you’ve never looked better,” Feeder-Man chuckled, undeterred by the fury emanating from the Flare.  “You know I expected you would put on a few pounds from all the food I left around this place, but you must have really been pigging out to get that fat.  I’d reckon you’re at least 500, maybe even 600.”

“You’re gonna find it hard to make jokes with a broken jaw, punk,” the stony Creep remarked as he cracked his knuckles, but before he could teach the intruder a lesson, Pia darted past him like a blazing comet with murder in her eyes.

“I’m going to tear you apart, you little shit!” Pia shrieked as she hurled fireballs at Feeder-Man.  “You think you can crash my party and make me look like an idiot?”

Nate would have been scorched alive were it not for the timely creation of a crab shell shield to block the incendiaries.  When Pia got in close, he smacked her in the face with the shield and taunted, “I didn’t really have to do much—you’re pretty good at making an ass of yourself already!”

The fattened Flare fumbled through the air before righting herself and charging at Feeder-Man with renewed vitriol.  Unfortunately, her anger blinded her and her inebriated state had her miss her mark, flying past the much nimbler rogue, who took the opportunity to spray her with ice cold water.  So hot was the aura radiating around the Flare that it simply evaporated before it came close to her, merely adding to the steam that came out of her nose.

“Honestly, this whole thing is an embarrassment,” Feeder-Man sniped as he dodged a lashing of fire that left singes on the ground.  “Like, you’re already one of the premiere heroes in the world—do you really need to put on a party just to make yourself feel special?  You’re a glutton for attention, so I decided to make it a bit more obvious.”

“Shut up, shut up, shut up!” Pia shrieked.

Try as she might, she could not hit her agile antagonist, who either dodged her sloppy attacks or summoned up a delectable defense to absorb the heat.  At the same time, Feeder-Man could not create anything that could reach the Flare through the heat surrounding her, which left that an impasse neither could break.  Unfortunately for the devious delinquent, his hotheaded enemy had the numbers advantage, as proven when the Creep snuck around and grabbed hold of him.

“Fun’s over, punk,” the mountain of a man growled.  “You’re going to take a little breather in one of our cells while we wait for the police to drag your sorry ass off.”

“Tempting, but I’ll pass,” the masked menace chuckled.  A fine layer of olive oil spread across his suit, causing him to slip out of the Creep’s grasp like an eel.  “I’m not about to blow my big debut by getting arrested like your average goon.”

As he raced for the doors, Feeder-Man was cut off by Impossible Bot, which fired a laser from its eyes at his feet.  The technological marvel sneered, “Resistance is, as they say, futile, Feeder-Man.  Come quietly, or your eventual defeat will only be more humiliating.”

“I guess you’ve got me, Impossible Bot,” the culinary criminal hummed as he raised his hands over his head, only for a blast of bechamel to fire out from his palms and splatter in the robot’s face.  “Then again, maybe you don’t.  Toodles!”

Feeder-Man nearly made good on his escape, but just as he reached the doors to the hangar, he was knocked back by something ramming him in the sides.  He shot to his feet, only to be punched in the side, chest, and face by an unseen force.  The room was spinning when he felt a terrible kick to his ribs and he tumbled back onto the ground.

“You picked the wrong party to ruin, kid,” the Disappearing Man snarled as he materialized in front of Feeder-Man.  “No more running, no more food, and no more tricks—you’re about to get the ass-kicking of your life.”

As the prankster pulled himself to his feet, the other members of the Sensational Six circled around him.  He could hear the crowd cheering them on, eager to see him get his comeuppance after humiliating so many of them, and he groaned behind his mask.  Like that time he nearly choked on a piece of steak as a kid, he had bitten off more than he could chew, and the fear of God ran through him as the heroes closed in on him.

Suddenly, his beating was interrupted by a terrific explosion as the far wall of the hangar burst open.  All eyes turned to the latest disruption, only for fear to replace anger when the intruder was revealed to be the nefarious Count Terror, clad in his fearsome mask and dark cloak billowing out from behind him.  He hovered in the air as a huge number of robotic spiders skittered beneath him, swarming the room like an infestation.

“Terror!  How did you get in here?” asked Doctor Sensational as she turned her attention from Feeder-Man to her archenemy.

“Come now, Sanders—did you truly think that your meager defenses could keep me away for long?” Count Terror spat at his rival.  “I’ll admit, there was a moment where I was almost caught by your security, but thanks to the timely interruption provided by your little party-crasher, I was able to get away and activate my Terror-bytes!  Now, you shall suffer my wrath!”

Nate was at a loss as he watched the Sensational Six abandon him to fight off the Terror-bytes as they crawled through the hangar.  His feet were frozen in place as the robots attacked anyone in sight, including the guests, who ran for the exits as fast as they could.  Unfortunately, those that had been fattened by his trick treats were not as lucky as others, as they were hurtled through the air from explosions or pierced by lasers.  The same woman that had exploded out of her dress moments before was a crumpled heap against the wall as one Terror-byte crawled across her like she was merely part of the floor.  All the brash arrogance that led him to that point was replaced by crippling fear and dread.

It was only when he heard an awful shriek of horror that he came to his senses and saw Maggie and Mona cornered by one of the malicious robots.  As the mechanical monstrosity closed in on them, he pushed his fear down into the pit of his stomach and took one step forward—then another, and another, until he found himself sprinting across the room as fast as he could.  When he drew close, he formed a softball-sized tomato in his hand and hurled it at the Terror-byte as hard as he could.

“Hey, over here, you hunk of junk!” Nate called out to the robot, which turned to face its assailant.  “Why don’t you pick on someone with powers?  Get over here!”

As if incensed, the Terror-byte turned away from the trapped girls and skittered towards Feeder-Man.  Lasers burst from its side, one of which grazed him on the arm, but a speedy summoning of crab armor kept him safe.  Nate kept one eye on the robot and the other on his guests as they made a swift escape, though not without one last look at their unlikely savior.  Once they were safely out of the room, the redheaded rogue turned his full attention to the robot as it closed in on him.

“Get scrapped,” he growled as he summoned a baguette into his hands and swatted the Terror-byte across the room like a baseball.

With the immediate threat out of the way, Nate turned back to the Sensational Six as they battled the horde of Terror-bytes and Count Terror.  It was a savage battle, with the six heroes giving it their all to keep the robots at bay while the rest of the guests fled in panic.  For a brief instant, he thought of joining them in repelling the menace, but fear clouded his mind and held him back.  Instead, he did the only thing that came to mind—he ran.  He for the bathroom, where his backpack waited; he ran out the closest exit, slipping through the frightened crowd outside; he ran down the block, past all the first responders that had arrived.

Nate did not stop running until he felt like one more step would kill him, and then he propped himself up against a brick wall.  His heart was ready to burst out of his chest, and he had to rip his mask off to gulp down air for his aching lungs.  When his legs began to buckle, the redhead collapsed to the ground and sat against the building, his mind racing a mile a minute at all that had transpired.  He dared not close his eyes, for when he did, all he could see were the people that had died because he had been an inadvertent distraction for one of the most dreadful supervillains of all time.  And Maggie and Mona—two people he never wanted to see hurt—had nearly been in that number.

“I’m sorry…I’m sorry,” he choked as the words fell out of his mouth and he put his head between his hands.  “I’m so sorry…”

***

A total of seventy-three people died that night, many of whom were in the hangar and victims of Nate’s cruel prank.  Gemstone and the Disappearing Man were injured during the battle with Count Terror and were in critical care for the next three days.  Many were held accountable for the tragic events at the Wieringo Building, but the only one no one could find afterwards was Feeder-Man, who had vanished as suddenly as he had appeared.

Nate stayed in his apartment for the next week, too ashamed to show his face, even though he had been masked the entire time.  For the first time since he got his powers, he realized how great a responsibility he had, and how he was now part of an amazing, fantastic, and marvelous world…

A LOOK AT THINGS TO COME...

***

Catalina waddled through the undergrowth of the Amazon as fast as her flabby legs would carry her, her breath coming out in sharp gasps.  She dared not glance over her shoulder, lest she come face to face with her pursuer; instead, she kept her fear-filled eyes dead set on the path ahead.  If she could make it past the tree line, she would be safe—as safe as she could be under the circumstances, at least.  Just a few more yards was all she needed, but just as salvation came in sight, she felt slender hands grab her jiggly belly and warm breath tickle her ear.

“Gotcha, fatso,” hissed Susser Tod as she sank her fingers into Catalina’s flabby middle.  “And you know what that means, don’t you?”

The exhausted heroine whimpered as her tormentor sloshed her stomach around, bouncing it like a water balloon full of pudding and letting it slap against her thighs.  She choked out, “Please…just a little rest, Antje…I can’t take another step.”

“Erbärmlich,” the villainess spat before releasing her grip on Catalina.  She then pushed the weary butterball to the ground and towered over the quivering lump of lard as she sneered, “And to think, there was once a time I respected you as a fighter.  Where is that fighting spirit now, schweinchen?  Buried under too much cake and ice cream?”

Even if she had the breath to answer, Catalina was too scared to make a retort; it was all she could do not to vomit in fear from the menacing woman.  She swallowed her fear and flopped over onto her back, sniffing back tears as she wished she was safe at home—not even May was this cruel!

***

“Your story intrigues me,” Devana purred as she lay across Carmella’s couch, balancing a pen across her nose while counting the popcorn on the ceiling.  “A masked man broke into your apartment and fattened you like a Christmas goose.  Quite intriguing indeed.”

“I don’t care how intriguing it is to you—I just want to know if you’ll find the creep,” Carmella growled at her coworker.

Devana sighed and shifted around to a cross-legged position on the couch as she did her best to focus on Carmella’s eyes—not the ball of blubber that hung from her waist.  When she had heard the girl’s story about an intruder fattening her with tainted food, the Polish woman had been fascinated by the prospect.  And when she learned that this man was the same one that crashed the Flare’s birthday party?  She knew she just had to meet this man, one way or another.

“I once tracked a deer across a mountain range, mój drogi przyjacielu.  Anyone that offends you offends me,” the huntress replied.  “This man is clearly a menace and must be dealt with, and if the authorities won’t take him seriously, who will?”

Carmella clapped her hands, which sent a ripple through her midsection.  “Thank you!  Thank you so much.  How much do I owe you?”

Devana waved off the question and answered, “Nothing, Mella.  For you, I do this for free—how you say, pro bono?  There is just one thing I ask in return.”

***

When the Gigglemobile hit another pothole, Kristen had to wrap her arms around herself to keep her breasts from bouncing out of her top.  There was no stopping the ensuing jiggling though, and the bloated sidekick felt like she was covered in gelatin.  It drove home just how out of shape she had gotten, and now that she had a relatively clear head for the first time in weeks, she wondered how she could have possibly been so blind to her gain.  She could forget leaping straight back into action—it would take months, if not years, to shed all this blubber.

“You doing okay there, Krissy?” asked Little Miss Giggles, who took her eyes off the road despite careening down East Boulevard at ludicrous speeds.  “Not sick, are you?  If you are, let me know, because I don’t want to get Daddy’s car all dirty.”

Kristen shook her head and replied, “Nah, just…like, can’t believe I’m here, you know?  I get to party with the hottest crook in town?  I’m aces.”

The grinning fiend gave one of her signature laughs.  “Hey, you’re already in the car, Krissy—you don’t need to kiss my booty.  But what do you want to do first?  I was thinking we could spread anthrax through the mall, maybe burn down a retirement home…”

Fighting back the bile that rose in her throat, the former Fang answered, “Um…what if we, like, did a dine and dash?  They’d totally give us a lighter sentence than any of that.  And trying to commit crimes on an empty stomach?  Ch’yeah, right.”

***

“You sure I should be eating all this, Queenie?  This don’t seem like it’d be good for me,” She-Panther remarked as she gazed at the feast in front of her with awe.  Juicy burgers just barely cooked, succulent ribs slick with sauce, and a small mountain of chicken wings all sat before the hungry fighter.

“Are you kidding?  Think about how much protein is on this table,” Camilla explained while pulling up a chair for her former partner in crime.  “This is going to help you build up plenty of muscle, and the burgers will give you some good carbs—not to mention the veggie toppings!”

Anyone else might have second-guessed the chef, but She-Panther was not about to turn up her nose at the food.  After all, she could not cook to save her life, and she would have to pay top dollar to get this kind of spread anywhere else.  And as her potbelly proved, the furry femme fatale needed all the help she could get when it came to getting back into shape.  Satisfied in her choice, She-Panther quickly sat down and snatched up her first rack of ribs.

“Oh mah gawd,” she moaned around a mouthful of meat, “thish ish sho good!  Camilla, where have you been all my life?”

The smartass in her wanted to say ‘locked up for fifteen years’, but Camilla hid her disdain under a saccharine smile.  The furball would be getting hers soon enough, with the way she was mowing through her food.  It would have been bad enough for She-Panther’s waistline if that was normal food she was eating, but nothing Queen Cuisine made was ‘normal’.  There was a special ingredient mixed into the sauce on each dish that would speed up the villainess’s growth, breaking down her calories much quicker and turning them into pure fat…

***

Uathach sucked in her gut as best she could, and it was only thanks to her inhuman strength that she managed to shrink the blobby gut enough to squeeze on the largest cuirass she could find.  It barely fit her, and when she released her breath, her belly oozed out from underneath the leather armor.  She scowled at the roll of flab and pinched it tight in both hands, furious at Vile Corps for having done this to her and herself for falling into their trap so easily.  Now was not the time for self-loathing though—Dun Scaith needed her to be strong.

“All right, gather round, everyone,” the Otherworlder called to her corpulent compatriots.

The fattened athletes of Dun Scaith looked to their captain with doom and gloom in their eyes and blubber peeking out of their uniforms.  They were all once built like gods and goddesses, but thanks to the machinations of the Witch Queen and her chosen coven, they had been plumped out of their kilts and tunics.  Their fastest runners could barely waddle now, and the strongest among them had not lifted anything heavier than a plate in weeks.  It would take a miracle for them to stand triumphant at the Isle Games—and thankfully, one stood right in front of them.

“I know things look bleak right now, but we have gone through worse before,” Uathach reminded her allies.  “Our home has been besieged time and time again, yet we still stand.  Are we going to let a few measly pounds stand in our way?

“You call this a few pounds?” Serica butted in as she slapped her belly for emphasis.

***

A shiver ran down Gal’s spine as Reillette circled around her and the other agents, sizing them up like meat at a butcher’s.  The Centipede was known as one of the most dangerous assassins in the world and had been on the frontlines of several cosmic battles, and to be judged by her felt like her mother’s withering glare magnified by a thousand.  Gal had not felt this out of place since being picked for teams in dodgeball, and she wished the brunette would make up her mind to end the torture.

At last, Reillette stopped and pointed to Candice and Jamie.  “I need stealth, so Sunshine and Blondie are coming with me.”

While Candice jumped for joy and Jamie gave herself a fist pump, Gal just let out a sigh of relief and disappointment.  This was the first opportunity for her to get back into the field, and she was pushed aside in favor of her smaller teammates.  It made sense from a strategic perspective: Candice and Jamie were more petite and had gear that gave them less noticeable powers, while Gal was large and her gear made her even larger.  She wondered if there would ever be an opportunity for someone like her, whose power was to turn into a giant tub of lard.

Thankfully, Dr. Corrigan tapped her on the shoulder and whispered, “Don’t worry—I’ve got an assignment that would be perfect for the two of us.  Besides, everyone here knows that you don’t want to be on the Centipede’s squad.”

“Why’s that?” Gal murmured.

“Let’s just say that those girls will be lucky if they come back with their waistlines intact…”

***

Jiao had to give it to the Czar—at least he had a good taste in booze.  She was drinking more in the last week than she had in the last five years combined, and she had managed to expand her palate along with her hips.  Any other time, she might have considered it a problem, but what else was she going to do when she still remained a captive?  At least drinking helped to calm her nerves to the point that the whole scenario almost seemed funny.

“My life is an absolute train wreck,” the ample assistant chuckled grimly as she poured herself another drink.  “I mean, I thought that by this point in my life, I’d be running my own company and calling the shots—not taking shots in some lunatic’s prison.”

Her fellow prisoner scoffed and drank from the bottle.  “Yeah, well, I didn’t exactly plan on becoming some see-through spy, but I guess fate had other plans for the both of us.”

“Yeah, but at least you get to do cool shit,” Jiao mused.  She slouched in her chair, allowing her belly to ooze out onto her lap even further.  “When I travel, it’s always for work; I don’t get to freak people out and do spooky stuff.”

Poltergeist rolled her eyes and retorted, “I wouldn’t exactly call what I do ‘fun’, Moneypenny.  When I get to work, that’s all it is—just business.  I’d much rather have something with stability, like that nice home of yours in Nantucket.”

“A supervillain wants to be me,” burbled Jiao as she rested her glass on the shelf of her belly.  “Now that’s a laugh.”

***

“But Bea, I’m starving!  Can’t we please stop to eat a proper meal?” asked Evelyn for what seemed the hundredth time that day.

Beatrice gave her sister a glare that had made the strongest men cower, but the blonde continued to pout.  The scarred woman growled, “Evie, if’n I’m going to bring you home anywhere close to the size you were when you left, you need to stop eating so damn much!  You want me to roll you back into town like you were a fat lady at a circus?”

The debutante turned red as a tomato and retorted by poking a pudgy finger into her sister’s still doughy side.  “You’re one to call someone fat, Bea-thick.  If anyone here needs to lose any weight, it’s you—I mean, whoever heard of a fat bounty hunter?”

“I shot one last March when he tried to take credit for one of my kills,” Beatrice replied as she slapped Evelyn’s hand away. 

She did not need another reminder of how much she had bulked up while trying to lull Archibald and his goons into a false sense of security.  Every bump made her quiver like custard, and even though she was losing weight fast, her clothes still did not fit right.  It would take ages for her to get back to her former physique, but at least the massacre at the Higgins Ranch proved that she still had what it took.  That was proving trickier than expected though, as Evie was not alone in craving something to eat, and her eyes darted to their rations bag every few minutes.

***

Lya watched Libertas waddle over to the couch and collapse with such force that she thought the overtaxed furniture might finally break.  It was hard to believe that less than a year prior, that same butterball had been an unstoppable force with chiseled muscles hard as steel.  Now, Libertas was in a desperate bid to get her reputation back, and that began with losing the weight that she had piled on while being blackmailed by Doctor Spyn.  Easier said than done though, for while the alien warrior had been hardened by two centuries of combat, her time as a pampered reality star had undone decades of hard work and left her as soft as angel cake.

“By the gods of justice, I do not know how I ever did this before,” Libertas huffed as she drained the bottle of protein shake Lya had prepared her.  “I used to be able to run whole marathons and lift cars over my head without breaking a sweat, but look at me now—a walk around the block with beginner’s weights, and I’m ready to have a heart attack!”

After paring her workout routine to basic yoga, and only then for her Instachat, the brunette’s firm muscles melted into goo and left her unable to lift anything heavier than a few pounds.  Her fat-laden legs ached whenever she had to stand for more than a few minutes; a simple walk was absolute torture for her.  Libertas stared glumly at the fat belly that pooled out over her thighs and her hips that spilled over to the two cushions on either side of her, wondering how she would ever get back to how she used to be—or if she even could.

“Well, I know what’ll cheer you up,” Lya hummed as she sauntered to the kitchen.  “I decided to order in a pizza to celebrate one month of freedom for the both of us!”

***

“A girl could get used to this,” Phila snorted as she lay across one of Catalina’s chairs, her Bovidae legs slung over one of the arms while she popped chips in her mouth.  “I mean, where else are you going to get entertainment like this?”

Legion Lass was joined by Nyx and Lina in watching cartoons and eating snacks—far from a productive afternoon, but what else were they supposed to do while Guardiana was tied up with school and her internship?  With how hard they worked to keep Mythopoeia safe, they all deserved a little break, especially after their recent battle with a horde of yetis.  They were now in a world where there was a superhero around every corner, and no matter what Methone insisted, they could afford to catch a breather.  After all, what was the harm in taking it easy for a few days?

“Here’s that soda you wanted, Phila,” Sori told the duplicator as she made her way back to the room with a tray of snacks and beverages.

“Can you bring it here, O?  My feet are killing me after all that scouting,” Phila fibbed. 

Rather than do any actual scouting for the renegade Crystal Queen, she had sent out a few of her duplicates to search in her stead.  While she did absorb the experiences and memories of each duplicate, that did not translate to sensations like pain—otherwise, she might have actually gotten a workout in.  As it was, the most fitness minded of the Adventurers was growing soft and lazy, just like her teammates, and the budding potbelly at her waist was evidence enough.  She still had plenty of time to get up and about, but any desire was sapped once another cartoon started up.

***

Lotis gestured around at the plump people all around: waddling here and there, eating from the bushes, and sleeping in the shade of the trees.  Her melodic voice was like a kitten’s purr as she said, “As you can see, our visitors are all happy and blissful.  They do not have to worry about the stress of their worlds; they are free to live in peace and harmony.”

“And get fat off the land,” Deborah remarked.  She took another bite of the melon that had been given her and licked the juice from her lips.  It was unlike anything she had ever had, and she had enjoyed fruits from alternate dimensions.  “What about those that want to go home?”

“No one has ever thought to ask,” her hostess explained.  “And really, why should they?  Each person here has their own sad reason for coming, be it loss of a loved one, their home, or their purpose.  Here, they can let that sadness go and live forever in rapturous peace, where no one need die or go hungry.  They have all they could ever need!”

It was certainly a tempting offer, and Deborah could not fault anyone for taking that offer.  She had been in a similar place many times in her life, most recently when Bryce died and left a coyote-shaped hole in her life.  As she thought of her old partner, memories came flooding back to her and tears filled her eyes, but she stifled her sadness with a bite of melon.  The sweet, juicy fruit tasted like sunshine and warmed her heart, though she felt oddly bloated in her stomach—not that it stopped her from eating the rest of the melon.

“Would you like to take a dip in our lagoon?  The water soothes the soul,” Lotis hummed.

***

Nicole groaned as yet another cookie slid past her lips.  She had long since lost track of how many she had consumed thus far; it was all so good that one mouthful blended into another.  All she knew was that her stomach stuck out farther than it had when the night started, packed full as it was by a full steak dinner, a massive slice of chocolate cheesecake, and then homemade cookies.  A small part of her wondered if she might hit her limit and pop, but the greater part of her simply did not care.  It would be a small price to pay for food this good and Cynthia’s hands on her belly.

“My, such an appetite,” the taller girl whispered in Nicole’s ear.  “There really is no filling you up, is there?  A greedy little butterball, that’s what you are.”

After swallowing the cookie with some effort, the rotund rugby player puffed out, “Not…not a butterball.  Just big-boned.”

“Your bones aren’t responsible for this belly, Nicky,” Cynthia hissed as she traced her hands along Nicole’s waist, sinking into the gelatinous love handles sprouting over her shorts.  “You were chubby, sure, but you’re turning into a whale on me.”

Though her mind was clouded by a food-induced haze, Nicole could tell that something was off.  When had her belly grown so big that it sat halfway down her thighs?  When had she grown so wide that she filled up half a couch on her own?  She could no longer put her chin to her chest, for thick rolls around her neck stopped her.  While she had always been thicker and accepted her role as the Fat Friend in stride, she began to wonder if things were going too far…

***

It was a common misconception that all speedsters had hyperactive metabolisms that required they consume thousands of calories per day to function.  While that might have been the case for those who were born speedy or had speed thrust upon them, there were many who got their speed through cybernetic enhancements or even mysticism.  Such was the case for Lily Summers, who was given her speed when she stumbled across a demonic summoning gone wrong.  She had to work out just like anyone else in order to burn calories, but between her careers as an EMT and the Speed Demon, she simply did not have the time to work out.

“Getting a little soft there, Speedy,” remarked the Polar Bear as he patted her backside.  “I must not be giving you enough exercise.”

“Ah, stuff it,” she grumbled to her beau as she sat down in his lap.  “I could run to the moon and back, and I wouldn’t burn more than a few calories.  I swear, it’s the Samoan in me.”

Polar Beat chuckled as he wrapped an arm around her softening middle.  “Must be, ‘cause I want Samoan of you.”

Lily turned a fine pink but said nothing as she ate her ice cream.  She knew that she did not need it—just more excess calories going straight to her hips—but she could not help it after the stressful week she had.  Running around the city, whether in her ambulance or on hellfire, was exhausting, and her boyfriend and his criminal pals did not help things.  With such a busy schedule, it was no wonder she had to go up another size in her jumpsuit!

***

“I don’t know what it is, Doc,” Ramona mused as she popped another butterscotch candy in her mouth.  “Lately, I’ve just been feeling overwhelmed…like I’m not really up to the task.  I feel slower—not physically, but mentally, you know?”

“Like a fog?” Solomon suggested.

Ramona nodded and replied, “Yeah, that’s it.  It just feels like my head’s in the clouds, and I don’t know how to get it down.”

The blue-skinned Brutess fidgeted on the couch, her nerves playing tricks on her and making her feel even smaller than her normal, human state.  She was so used to being in control of her life that any deviation caused her a small bit of panic; when she started losing track of things in her day to day, it took everything she had not to freak out.  It was one thing if she forgot her glasses or her briefcase back at her apartment, but to walk out in clothes that did not fit her?  To forget what she had eaten?  Something was very off, but she could not put her finger on it.

“Perhaps we should try some hypnotherapy to get to the root of the problem,” said Solomon as he leaned back in his chair and toyed with the pentacle on his necklace.

“C’mon, Doc, you know I don’t believe that stuff,” Ramona scoffed, even as she picked up another candy.  “Don’t you have anything that would actually work?”

The psychologist shrugged and answered, “Won’t know until you try.”

***

Team Virtual were concerned for their leader, more so than usual.  Olivia was normally on the ball when it came to her work, but ever since her battle with the Gatherer, her mind seemed elsewhere—preoccupied, as it were.  She seemed to always have a snack in hand as she poured over her research, and whenever she was in meetings, her focus drifted off to Lord knows where.  It would be concerning enough for the head of R&D to be doing this, but add in that she was still trying to do her work as Doctor Virtual, it raised some red flags.

“Dr. Reddy?  Is something the matter?” Kalvin asked one day after drawing the short straw among the other team members.

Olivia did not even look up from her computer as she popped another few chips in her mouth and grunted, “Peachy, except I’m having trouble with the code for the latest patch.  I don’t suppose you’ve got any updates for me?”

“None yet, but, well…you do know that’s your fifth bag of chips today?” asked the nervous programmer, sweat beading on his brow.

“Is it?  I didn’t notice,” the distracted doctor mumbled.

If the question was meant to stop her from snacking, then it failed, because Olivia dove right back in for another handful without a second thought.  Kalvin wondered how long it would be before his boss figured out something was wrong, especially as her blouse grew tight around her softening belly…

***

Despite her mother’s best attempts to end the habit, Annisa paced the floor of her room until a groove had worn into the floor.  She was a perpetual worrier, and the burdens on her mind had only increased when she became queen of Bensalem.  If it was not external threats like invading nations or supervillains with an axe to grind, it was internal strife and backstabbers aiming for the throne.  Since she had become a public figure in the outside world as the Golden Shark, she had come to rely on her allies across the globe, but there were some things she could only handle herself.  And right now, the direst threat to her people’s safety was also the most innocuous.

“Guess who got us some brain food?” Fitri hummed as she slipped in with bags of fast food.

“Honestly, Fitri, how are you not sick of this place already?” Annisa asked her sister.  “You get your breakfast there, you get lunch, and I’m pretty sure you’ve been getting it for dinner whenever we can’t all be together.”

“What can I say?  They’ve got a good selection,” the spritely girl answered while she set the food out on the table.  “Now come on, eat up before it gets cold.”

The queen sighed and walked over to join Fitri, who handed her a sandwich wrapped in wax paper.  She unwrapped it to find that it was a burger with a black bun, mayonnaise, lettuce, hash browns, and a thick strip of bacon.  It was also dripping with grease, which was almost enough to put Annisa off eating until she got a whiff.  Whatever they put in these burgers was damned good, as just one sniff was enough to make her mouth water.  Despite her protestations, she quickly took a big bite and groaned in culinary bliss.

***

“Rise and shine, shellhead,” growled the Orca, shattering Anya’s blissful sleep.

The brunette woke to find that she was not in a fluffy bed, nor even in her bunk in Station 6, but still chained in her cell.  Her plump arms hung limp at her sides as she shifted around into a sitting position, her sleep-addled mind not realizing how much her legs squished together as she did.  How long had she been a captive in the Trench?  It felt like years at that point, but with no way to tell the passing of time, it could have been hours for all she knew.  The only thing she knew for certain was that she was getting at least five meals a day, if they could even be called meals.

“What’s for breakfast?” Anya grumbled at her jailer, who scoffed behind his massive helmet.

“Your favorite—fish paste mixed with scrambled eggs,” the Orca taunted the captive Torpedo Girl as two of his goons wheeled in the feeding machine.  “I think today’s the day we break 300, but that all depends on you.”

“There’s no way I can be that big already,” Anya squeaked.  One of the goons brought a hose up to her lips, and she was surprised at how little resistance she put up.  Had they already taken that much fight out of her?  She did not even try to spit it out!

“Not yet, no, but that’s what this is for,” her masked captor explained.  “I like to be ahead of schedule if I can, and I reckon that Tide Titan will pay a pretty bonus for delivering his new whale to him a couple months in advance.

***

As Tessa stared in amazement at the spread in front of her, Know-It-All placed another tiny dish in front of her and told her, “I hope that everything is to your liking.  I’m afraid that cooking is not my strong suit, at least when compared to other fields.”

“It smells wonderful,” the pint-sized heroine remarked as she picked up her utensils and dug into a sliver of lasagna.  While it was certainly not the best she had ever had, it scratched the itch she had been carrying for weeks and hit the spot.  “Not too shabby, Elijah!  A little more practice, and you could make a killing with this!”

“I’m glad to hear that,” the balding scientist replied with a small smile.  “Please, help yourself to as much as you’d like.  I wasn’t sure how to proportion this, given your stature, but I trust it will suffice.”

He always told her that, but the Butterfly knew this meal would be more than sufficient.  When she first wound up as his prisoner, she had expected to live off a steady diet of gruel, if anything, but the menacing Know-It-All had tried to make her stay as ritzy as a five-star hotel.  She was not this pampered even when she lived at home; if only all kidnappings could be this pleasant!

Of course, with that pampering came a softening to her physique, especially with all the lavish meals that Elijah prepared her.  In just a few short weeks, her costume had grown tight around her curves, pinching at the waist and riding up her plush bottom.  Tessa was reluctant to ask for new clothes, even though she was certain that Know-It-All would provide her only the finest selection from the Barbie wardrobe.  If she did, that would mean admitting she had put on some weight, and she had managed to avoid that ever since the Freshman 15 in college.

***

Day 8: I used to be afraid of this place.  Extraneo Earth is such a bizarre world, where up is down, left is right, and short is long, and the people are just so…weird.  But after everyone has been so kind to me, I think I’m more afraid of the fact that I’m beginning to like it here.  The Extraneos are strange, but if you give them a little time, you’ll find that they’re really pretty sweet.  And so giving too!

Just yesterday, I bumped into someone on the way back from McArches, and they fell off the curb and into the mud.  I felt so terrible, I almost dropped my lunch, but the guy was so polite and said that I made his suit look even better.  He even offered to buy me another Grand Mac!  I didn’t want to seem greedy though, so I told him I would just get a box of duck nuggets—and you know how much I’ve been loving those since I got here.

The only thing that’s not great is that I’m pretty sure I’ve put on a few pounds since I got here.  I tried on my costume the other day, and I know I had it made tight so I could show off my girl abs, but it was feeling tight for all the wrong reasons.  I spent, like, ten minutes readjusting it around the girls and making sure it wasn’t giving me a wedgie, and I had to suck in my tummy to get my belt on!  I’ve got my work cut out for me when I finally get back to Earth—ain’t no way Miss Elite is going to show up looking like anything less than a 10!

That’s if I get off here any time soon.  I checked with Extraneo Prime, and he told me that the scientists were still working on a way to get me home, but they’re still working out a few bugs.  I just hope they’re able to get me back so I have time to work out before swimsuit season…

***

“Spectacle, where are you?  The show’s about to start!” Spellcaster called out from her spot on the couch, eyes glued to the TV.

“Coming, Lisbeth!” the gynoid hummed as she finished mixing the popcorn.  She had to get the salt and butter ratios just right; Lisbeth could be very particular when it came to her snacks.

Once each kernel had been properly coated, Spectacle through the kitchen counter and out into the living room, where her roommate was finishing up her last slice of pizza.  She had come a long way since she had first moved in, treading on eggshells and trying to be as tidy as possible for fear of seeming like a slob.  As she grew more comfortable around her synthetic roommate, the Spellcaster had allowed herself to let loose and relax, breaking all the rules that she had made for herself at first.  She had even taken to wearing pajamas and underwear when it was just the two of them, though that was likely because they fit better than any of her other clothes.

Without her cousin watching over her like a hawk or Sgt. Storm badgering her, Lisbeth had allowed herself to plump up more than a little.  A lazy belly pooched out onto her lap, which itself was taking up more real estate as her thighs grew wider.  Her breasts plopped down atop her belly like two dollops of melting ice cream, and judging by how they sagged, Spectacle had to guess that she was going braless underneath her tank top.  She looked very much like an overfed housecat, laying out like she owned the apartment and waiting for belly rubs.

“Ooh, popcorn!  It smells so good,” the girl snorted with piggish glee as Spectacle placed the bowl between them.  “Gotta say, Specs, you’ve turned into quite the cook!”

***

Thunderbird was not sure what was wrong with her—outside her usual problems, of course.  She still had to deal with her mother being a demonic bird who sought to dominate the world, a rival who believed her to be a threat to the world, and various supervillains trying to kill her and her friends, but having to watch her waistline was new.  After spending years eating whatever she wanted and not having a care in the world, the weather witch suddenly found herself having to consider things like diet and exercise, and that was scarier than fighting the entire Church of Hate.

Of course, it was difficult to diet when she was roommates with Supernova, who was like a junk food enabler.  The fae woman insisted on celebrating every single victory with a big dinner, often brought in breakfast for the team, and wolfed down snacks like there was no tomorrow.  When she was surrounded by so much food, was it any wonder that her thighs were rubbing together?  Thus, by casting the blame back on her friend, Thunderbird alleviated herself of any responsibility to her own gain, ignoring the fact that it was not Kyone feeding her junk food.

“Shay, you’re never going to guess what I found at the store!” the periwinkle fae squealed as she flew up to her mystical friend.  “Look, it’s a new kind of ice cream that’s for fishes!”

Shay glanced up from her spell book and sighed.  “Kyone, that’s Phish Food from Ben and Jerry’s.  Anyone can have it—and you know that, because you keep buying it and making the same stupid joke every single time.”

“And it’s still funny to me, so hush,” Kyone giggled as she flicked her friend on the ear.

***

“Oy, X’Thur to Kim!  You still with us there, Kim?”

Kim was shaken from her thoughts by her captain snapping his fingers in front of her.  The plump woman rubbed the haze from her eyes and groggily replied, “Sorry, sorry, Lur…I was just having that dream again.”

“Yeah, well, dream on your own time,” Lur grunted as he set a plate down in front of the redhead.  “You’ve got a big audience tonight, and we want to make sure they get their money’s worth.  People pay to see you eat, not dream about you being a superhero…although, maybe we could squeeze you into a spandex number.”

“Good luck with that,” Kim snorted as she stirred the pasta around.

Everyone mocked her dreams about being a hero, but they felt so real to her—almost like they were a memory, not some fantasy.  Had she been one in a past life?  No, that would not explain how she looked the exact same.  Not the exact-exact same though, as the heroic version of herself was a statuesque woman who could lift cars over her head without breaking a sweat.  Kim O’Reilly was a circus fat woman, who had never been anything but round in her life; the only car she could lift over her head was about three inches tall and came from Mattel.

Still, as she tucked into the pasta for her adoring, virtual audience, she could not help but wonder if there was something more to the dreams.  After all, there were some blank spots in her memory she could not account for…

***

“All right, you lugs, just a little further and then we can make camp,” Capt. Flint told her weary company as they trudged through the dense jungle.  How she still had energy to keep going after all this was anyone’s guess, especially considering how big she had gotten.

Nothing shook Captain Terry Flint—not minefields, not coming face to face with a tank, not even warping to some jungle from a bygone era and being turned into a woman after eating strange fruit.  She was as hard as stone and proved that she was still as tough as they came by lugging around the same heavy ammunition belts.  Even though she filled her fatigues to the max, so much so that the company could make out the curve of her rump through the cheap fabric, she carried on with grim determination as she marched up the hill.

Finally, when they reached a stream, the captain raised her hand and said, “Company halt!  Let’s go ahead and break, ladies—this is as good a place as any.”

The rest of the Miracle Workers were glad for the reprieve, even if it was only temporary.  They shucked off their heavy bags and set up camp as fast they could, tired though they most definitely were.  The fact that they had changed too did not help, but at least they had not lost their unique sense of humor in all the life-altering events of the day.

“Hey, Casanova,” called out Sledgehammer to the resident skirt-chaser.  “You was always trying to get yourself a girl—and now you got one!”

“At least I’m a looker, unlike you, Sledge,” the vain Casanova scoffed.  “You’re a proper heifer!”

***

Sandra was not sure how long she had been out for this time.  She rubbed her aching temple and winced as her hangover made itself known by trying to split her head in two.  It was almost enough to send her back to bed, but there was only one cure for a hangover like this—a big damn breakfast.  Throwing one fat leg over the side of the bed and following with the other, the doughy detective managed to rock herself to her feet and waddle to the bathroom to try washing some of the bleariness from her mind.

After splashing several handfuls of cold water in her eyes, Sandra glanced at her reflection and groaned at what she saw.  Dark rings were forming under her eyes—themselves bloodshot—and her face was pale and clammy, but that was not the distressing part.  She had put on another few pounds in this latest blackout, but at least these found their way to her tits.

“I’m sure Geoff will love these,” the jiggly gumshoe mused as she hefted her girls up and let them flop back down on the expanse of her belly.

If there was one perk to tracking down the Mentalist, it was that her boyfriend had not been able to keep his hands off her.  Each new pound gave him more to touch and ravage when they were in bed, and Geoff made sure to show his appreciation by fucking her until her brain was swimming.  And really, who else was she trying to impress?  No one else was in the mood for a drunken slob with superpowers and a penchant for getting dominated, so what did it matter if she got a little fat?

“Not like the Protectors are gonna call any time soon,” she grumbled.

***

“You’re a sick, sick man, Rizzo,” Orphan hissed as she pulled her divine chains tighter around the captive criminal, their holy heat searing into his flesh.  “You’ve ruined many a life with your games, but now, it’s time for you to pay for all your misdeeds.”

Rizzo gritted his teeth through the pain as he sneered, “B-B-Bite me, you divine cunt!”

The insult brought a sharp slap across his cheek as the ophanim leaned in close and pulled him by his hair.  Her orange eyes glowed from behind the mask she wore, and Rizzo shivered as he thought he saw nothing but death in there.  Orphan growled like a hungry lion, “You’re going to tell me where the last girl is, or I make your death a slow and agonizing one.  I will flay you, stitch you back together, and do it all over again, on and on, until you can take no more.  Where.  Is.  She?”

“She’s…she’s at 4516-D Sharon Place!  The Seahorse Motel!” the ratty man squealed.

“The quick way it is,” Orphan seethed as she stabbed her fingers into his eyes and siphoned his soul from his body.  She felt a terrific rush flow through her body as she absorbed his essence, adding it to the collection of souls she had already harvested and kept in her body.

At the same time, she could feel a few new inches on her waistline; that was the part that the divine judge did not care for.  The more souls Orphan absorbed, the bigger she became and the closer she became to one of the damned.  She tried her best to avoid that fate—Lord knew she did—but when it came to monsters like Rizzo, there was only so much she could do.  If it meant damning her soul to Hell for all eternity and growing a monster gut, it would be worth it to wipe out scum like him.

***

The guards looked into the padded cell at the latest arrival, who sat on her bed and talked to herself in mumbled gibberish.  Save for the platinum white hair and her immense, flabby body, there was nothing unique about her among the patients at the Novick-O’Neil Institute.  At least she had not tried to kill any of the orderlies yet, which was better than most—not that she could be all that quick with a body like an elephant.

“So, what’s the story with this one?  Jane Doe, right?” asked one of the guards as he peered in at the blobby woman as she twiddled her fat fingers.

“Yep—they found her on the outskirts of Megalopolis, babbling to herself about the multiverse or something,” the other guard answered.  “Good news is she ain’t a supervillain that we know of, so there’s hope this one won’t kill us all.”

“Maybe she’ll even be cured.”

“Don’t get your hopes up, Charlie.”

As the two walked away, the woman in the cell flopped down on her bed and stared at the ceiling while her brain rewired itself.  What was her name again—Mary?  Marlin?  Mara?  That sounded right, but there was some other name someone had called her…Brenda would know, but she was nowhere to be found.  Some wing girl she turned out to be.

“Can’t you see it’s coming?” the blonde asked no one at all.  “It’s the Omega Feast, Brenda…”

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Damn, Nathan really screwed up there! Quite a change from the rest of the series in tone, I'm guessing his "great power, great responsibility moment?"

 

And all of those snippets! They were lovely, even if I didn't notice a couple. Did love the MIss Elite one, short as it was.

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2 hours ago, Batman76 said:

Damn, Nathan really screwed up there! Quite a change from the rest of the series in tone, I'm guessing his "great power, great responsibility moment?"

 

And all of those snippets! They were lovely, even if I didn't notice a couple. Did love the MIss Elite one, short as it was.

Yep--I wanted to go for something similar to the end of the original Amazing Fantasy story, where the story just ends with Spidey realizing how much he screwed up and walking back home in the dark.

And glad you liked it!  We'll be getting to her story soon enough, along with all the others.

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((Christ on a bike, has it really been 5 months since this story was last updated?  Well, let it not be said that I've been sitting on my thumbs this whole time!  I present to you, faithful readers, the first collection of all characters included in Capes and Cuisines thus far.  It was a lot of fun to think of backstories for these characters, even the ones who never showed up at all, and I hope that you get as much of a kick out of this as I did.  And if you find that there are any I might have missed, point them out to me and I will send you an official No-Prize!))

CAPES AND CUISINES OFFICIAL WHO’S WHO HANDBOOK

Introduced in GUARDIANA:

  • Earth-11: the main setting of the Cuisiniverse.  Earth-11, designated as such due to its location in the Multiverse in relation to Earth-Prime, is home to a multitude of heroes and villains from every corner of the galaxy.  It is the one that most closely resembles our world (designated Earth-1), except that magic and aliens exist and science is far more advanced.  Superheroes have existed in some form or another for thousands of years, though the spandex variety have only been a recent trend beginning in the 1930s.  And the tendency for heroes and heroines to gain weight is an even more recent one, beginning with the unfortunate fattening of Guardiana…
     
  • Guardiana—Catalina Diaz: born in Venezuela and raised in extreme poverty alongside her brother, Nico, Catalina was abducted by agents of Andras, a covert research group attempting to create superhumans.  She endured a series of horrific experiments for years, eventually gaining superpowers of her own, before being rescued by Defensor when he led Justice United in a raid on Andras’s headquarters.  With nowhere else to go, she and her brother were taken in by Defensor, who taught them how to control their abilities and live normal lives.  In time, they became his crimefighting sidekicks and helped protect their hometown of Megalopolis.
                  Catalina is now a student at Megalopolis University and interns for a news website, but she still finds time to fight crime.  What she has not found time for is working out, and as a result, has put on a few pounds since moving into her own apartment.  This weight gain was rapidly accelerated when she fell for one of Reb Rascal’s pranks, blowing up to 314 pounds before coming to her senses.  She has put more effort into getting back into shape recently, but with an inclination towards slacking and taking the easy way out, it will still be some time before she gets small enough to see her feet again.
     
  • Escador—Nico Diaz: born in Venezuela, Nico was just a toddler when he was abducted alongside his sister to be used for experiments at Andras.  When he began to display powers akin to Defensor, the researchers jokingly referred to him as ‘Defensorboy’—a nickname which still irks him to this date.  He attempted to fight Defensor when he first met him, but was quickly won over by the kindness of his future foster father.  Nico has grown into a fine young hero in his own right and fights side by side with Defensor and Guardiana in ‘La Familia de Defensa’.
                  While he loves his sister and would do anything for her, he is not above a little sibling teasing, especially when she started to put on weight.  He would end up getting a taste of karma when the young villainess Honeysuckle hypnotized him and tried to win his heart by way of his stomach.  This carried on until he was over 400 pounds of wheezing blubber, at which point his foster parents broke the spell and he got to work on shedding these unwanted pounds.  Easier said than done though, as he still feels the need to stuff his face whenever he thinks of Honeysuckle.
     
  • Defensor—Hector Ramirez: a media mogul and one of the most powerful heroes on Earth, Hector Ramirez came from humble and tragic origins.  Kidnapped by Andras mere hours after his birth, Hector had alien DNA bonded to his own genes as part of an experiment that killed many.  Before they could find out the results, he was taken from his captors by a researcher who take no more and wanted to protect him.  He was raised without knowing where he came from or the reason for his unique abilities, only learning when he turned 10 and stopped a speeding car from running over his friend.  His powers developed over time and he encountered many other super-beings like himself, including the children that would form the Adventurers Guild.
                  When he got older, Hector decided to use his powers to fight crime in the streets of Megalopolis, the first public superhero in decades.  His actions attracted the attention of the FBI who enlisted him and others like him in conducting a raid on Andras’s headquarters.  The members of this squad became known as Justice United, with Defensor acting as the public face of the team.  Though getting on in years, Hector continues to protect the people of Earth and raise his foster children as best he can.
     
  • Justice United (mentioned): the first modern super team, formed when the FBI approached a variety of superheroes for their assistance in raiding Andras and arresting its CEO.  Twelve of those deputies remained together to best combat the unique threats Earth now faced.  Their ranks have included some of the most powerful beings in the galaxy and experts in every sort of field.  At their strongest, they have hosted nearly 50 members and had branches in nearly every corner of the globe.
     
  • The Leech—Hiram Lamarck (mentioned): a corrupt, inept CEO, Hiram Lamarck got rich riding the coattails of more successful people or feeding off those without his standing.  Hiram’s life was forever altered when he accidentally exposed himself to a mutagen that gave him vampiric abilities that could drain the energy from anything he touched.  Though he tried to cover up his crimes by framing his employees, he was eventually exposed as the Leech and lost everything.  When not locked up at Draper State Prison, Hiram lurks the streets in search of his next easy target, quick meal, or both.
     
  • Reb Rascal—Madeline Smoot: an attention-hungry streamer, Madeline Smoot craves the limelight and is willing to do whatever it takes to get there.  She has found the most success and infamy as Reb Rascal, a ‘prankster for the stars’ who pranks various super-beings much to the delight of her fans.  While far from the most powerful member of Defensor’s rogues gallery, she is clever enough to be a thorn in their side that he just can’t shake.  Her favorite mark is Guardiana, who always seems to fall for her schemes no matter how obvious.  This led to her greatest success yet, when she managed to not only drain Guardiana’s power levels to half their potency, but also trick her into gaining tons of weight.  Whether she gets her comeuppance or not remains to be seen...
     
  • Max Midas (mentioned): a billionaire, genius, playboy, and philanthropist (at least according to his publicist), Maximillian ‘Max’ Midas was born into extreme poverty in Dharavi before being adopted by a Greek tech magnate.  Raised in the lap of luxury, Max has worked to overcome (and even erase) his past and become the most powerful man in the world.  He made his own fortune by creating a series of successful social networks, and he has his hand in countless pies all across the business world.  Despite putting on a friendly face for the cameras, Max is as cold-hearted and ruthless as they come, more than happy to slit throats in the name of business.  He has several personal vendettas, but none greater than his hatred towards Defensor—the one man who can still make him feel small.  Billions of dollars have been spent scheming up ways to get rid of the world’s most powerful man, but Max has yet to succeed in that front.
     
  • Big Top (mentioned): the Clown Boss of Arcane City, Big Top (real name unknown) killed his way to the top of the Most Wanted List like a plague.  Once known for being a wily, cunning maniac, Big Top has rested on his laurels since his greatest enemy, the Geist, was killed.  It has been years since he donned his polka dot suit and giant bowtie, preferring to dress more like a mafioso than anything else.  His cutthroat attitude has also dwindled with time, preferring to let others do his dirty work for him.  In fact, Big Top shows his face so rarely that many wonder if he's even still alive...
     
  • Jamie Ortiz: one of Catalina’s friends at the school newspaper, Jamie has an eye for photography, a gift for gab, and a wealth of trivia.  Much less eager to go on crazy adventures with her super-friend, she will still stand by Catalina when the chips are down.  Jamie’s shutterbug nature has gotten her into trouble in the past, but Catalina is always there to save her when all hope seems lost—or when she gets turned into a giant turtle girl.
     
  • Lora Lee: Catalina’s friend since high school, Lora was the first person to discover Guardiana’s secret identity and has promised to keep it safe till her dying days.  Lora is a skilled debater and reporter, managing to dig up evidence where most would give up and fighting valiantly for the truth.  Like Jamie, these traits have gotten her into hot water, but she can always count on Catalina saving her bacon—her or Extrachico, the Backwards Escador, much to her chagrin.
     
  • May Flower: Catalina’s employer at The Saturn Chronicles, May is an old friend of Hector’s in the business world, having worked beside him when they were cutting their teeth at Universal News Corp.  Despite this connection, she does not pull any punches with Catalina, treating her the same as any of her other employees—harsh but fair.  That attitude has not changed since her once spritely intern swelled up to the size of a baby hippo, but her harshness found a new target.  May has a variety of mixed feelings whenever she sees Catalina’s blubbery body bounce around the office, but she does know one thing for certain—if she ever catches the chubby brunette eating her lunch again, there will be hell to pay.
     
  • Honeysuckle—Adrianne Lonicer (mentioned): the daughter of a femme fatale known as the Pale Orchid, Honeysuckle inherited her aunt’s looks but none of the malice.  Rather, her heart is full of love, twisted though it may be.  Honeysuckle falls hard for people, and is willing to do whatever it takes to make them love her, up to and including hypnotizing them.  Her most recent crush was Escador, and she tried to make him hers by feeding him until he resembled a zeppelin with legs.  When her plan was foiled, she was crushed, but only as long as it took her to find a new potential soulmate, which is usually about three days at most.
     

Introduced in FEEDER-MAN:

  • Feeder-Man—Nathan Nixon: seemingly born with a chip on his shoulder, Nathan never had it easy.  Left to his grandmother at a very early age, he grew up in poverty and struggled to get anywhere in life.  He currently attends community college and works as a paparazzo for LAZ, a sleazy tabloid that delights in dishing dirt on celebrities.  While he has hopes of one day going to cooking school and becoming a celebrity chef, he has a long way to go, especially since his YouTube follower count is barely in the four digits.
                     His life was changed forever when he was exposed to extradimensional energies in a scientific demonstration gone wrong.  The incident left him with the ability to conjure up food with just a thought and being able to alter its properties, though doing so saps him of energy.  He put these to the ultimate test when he stumbled onto a murder and managed to defeat an assassin.  Time will tell what he will do with these powers, but with his ‘look out for Number One’ attitude, he certainly won’t be applying for the Protectors any time soon.
     
  • Deidre Dilworth-Dunn: Nathan’s boss at LAZ.  ‘Dee’ commands her company with an iron fist and is constantly hounding her staff for the next scoop or picture.  While she enjoys taking anyone down a peg, her favorite targets are celebrities that have lost their Hollywood bods.  She won’t say it, but Nathan is one of her favorites on staff precisely because he has a talent for spotting even the slightest gain.  If she were a more giving woman, she might even offer him a raise and a permanent spot on the team...but she isn’t, so she won’t.
     
  • April Nixon (mentioned): Nathan’s grandmother and his guardian growing up.  April did everything she could to help raise her grandson, but they still barely got by.  She could not have been happier for him when he graduated high school and knows that there are big things ahead of him.  Little does she know just how ‘big’ those things are.
     
  • Carmella Cruz: one of Nathan’s neighbors in his building.  While she didn’t think anything of him initially, she developed a disdain for him when she discovered that he worked for a tabloid.  She has worked hard to get where she is—the same community college that Nathan attends—but she looks down on everyone around her.  Though she would never admit it, she has much more in common with Nathan than she likes to admit.
     
  • Luan Levine: Nathan’s landlady.  A very blunt woman, she is never afraid to speak her mind and tell her tenants what for.  In addition to managing the apartment building, Luan is also a single mother of five, which, combined with her stocky height of 4’9”, has left her very portly as she approaches middle age.  She genuinely cares for her tenants, but she will not tolerate any rent-shirkers, which means Nathan rarely ever sees her nice side.
     
  • Mona Park: a former teen starlet that is doing everything she can to wash the stink of ‘Nickelodeon kid sitcom’ off her career.  Mona now focuses on releasing soulful indie rock music and popping up in avant-garde films, but most noteworthy is her general appearance.  Trading in her squeaky clean persona for something much more grunge, she has also put on a hundred-odd pounds since changing her look.  She recently met Nathan while grocery shopping and offered to pay for his groceries when his card did not work.
     
  • Maggie Sloan: Nathan’s high school crush.  Maggie is a bright young girl who aspired to get into Berkley, only to discover that the work was much more challenging than she imagined.  After putting on the Freshman 30, Maggie dropped out and got into McHale community college, where Nathan also goes.  She is currently seeing Cooper Culpepper, which causes Nathan no amount of frustration.
     
  • Cooper Culpepper: Maggie’s current boyfriend and one of Nathan’s high school tormentors.  Cooper comes from money, which he used to lord over Nathan when they went to school together.  After graduating, he decided not to pursue college and instead got a job at one of his dad’s dealerships in town.  He plans to open up a sports bar with some of his buddies from the football team, but he seems to be the only one that’s actually interested in doing so.
     
  • The Wolf (mentioned)
     
  • Dr. Evelyn Schrader: one of the top names in modern science.  Evelyn Schrader is something a celebrity in the field, known both for her unique fashion sense and her affiliation with superheroes.  While not a super in her own right, her expertise has been crucial in preventing devastating calamities.  She recently took a sabbatical from the public eye in order to explore her theories on Fifth Dimensional energies, and returned about 300 pounds heavier.  A demonstration of her findings accidentally gave Nathan his powers, though she does not know it just yet.
     
  • The Vindicators (mentioned): a super-team with a more antihero bend that is operates in a bit more of a gray area than others.  Originally formed by disenfranchised members of Justice United and the Protectors to combat a shadow cabinet bent on conquering the planet, the team nonetheless remains committed to fighting for truth and justice.  Their views have made them outsiders to the greater public, though there is a growing swell of people that see them as the heroes the Earth needs.
     
  • Steve Dittson: the founder of DittCo, a research facility devoted to finding renewable energy sources.  Steve was a bombastic leader who enjoyed the good life and seemed much more fitting for a Wall Street type than a scientist.  He was also something of a womanizer, which inevitably led to his demise when he was killed by The Disguise, who posed as his secretary in order to get close to him.
     
  • The Disguise: an assassin for hire whose specialty lies in her name.  The Disguise has forsaken her original identity and donned so many others that she isn’t even sure she knows who she used to be.  Not that it matters—memories don’t pay the bills, after all.  She was hired by the Yasuda Zaibatsu to steal trade secrets from DittCo, and she killed Steve Dittson to get them.  Unfortunately, she underestimated Nathan Nixon, who managed to outwit her and used his powers to fill her with a fast-fattening honey that buried her lithe, nimble figure under a good few hundred pounds of lard.  While she does not know his real name, she remembers his face and has sworn revenge on the redhead as soon as she gets back into shape.
     
  • The Protectors (mentioned): a team of heroes that came together when Coyote sought out heroes to help him fight Lady Raven, who sought to create a kingdom for herself on Earth.  Much less formal than Justice United, the team is universally beloved by the world at large, and their ranch headquarters is something of a tourist destination.  The Protectors often work side by side with Justice United, to the point that they are all considered honorary members of the team (and vice-versa).
     
  • Young Champions (mentioned): a team composed of young heroes, both sidekicks and unaffiliated.  They were initially formed when several prominent teenagers were abducted and indoctrinated into the Cabal to act as their foot soldiers.  While the founding members are now in their 20s, they have converted the team into a training ground for young heroes and a place where they can interact with their peers.  Despite the young age of several members (with the youngest member being only 9 at the time of joining), the team has been instrumental in preventing alien invasions and apocalypse-level events.
     

Introduced in FANG—THE GIRL WADDLER:

  • Fang VI—Kristen Laree: the daughter of a Native American activist and a stay-at-home mother, Kristen did not turn to a life of crimefighting out of tragedy, but rather, boredom and inspiration.  She was saved from a pair of muggers by the Wolf, who was working solo at the time, and she was motivated to do her part in protecting her community.  After buying a Fang costume from a Halloween store, Kristen attempted to stop a few crimes on her own.  Her actions attracted the attention of others, including the Wolf, but it was not until she saved her hero that he took her under his wing.
                  Reckless and headstrong, Kristen constantly tries to prove herself in the field, which recently led her into some trouble with the Gargoyle.  The twisted psychiatrist learned that her greatest fear was becoming like her mother and sister—a fat bimbo—and he hypnotized her into taking medications that would turn her into just that.  In just a month, she is already nearing 200 pounds and developed a completely new personality focused more on shopping than busting heads.  Time will tell if she ever gets back to normal...
     
  • Northside Ninjas: a holdover from Cedar Oaks’ gang war heyday.  The Ninjas make their base of operations in a rundown shopping center, specifically in what was once a karate studio.  They will frequently ally themselves with major villains looking for work, but don’t work well with other gangs.  Each member is an accomplished practitioner of ninjutsu and frequently armed with katanas, kunai, and shuriken.
     
  • Park Lane Bulls: another of the old school gangs from the 70s, the Bulls are on their last legs as a force to be reckoned with.  They are frequently looked down upon by members of the criminal community these days and are the butt of many a joke.  Because of this, they often try to make grand gestures to inspire fear and respect, only to be beaten down for their efforts.  The saying ‘crime doesn’t pay’ is especially true when it comes to the Bulls.
     
  • The Wolf—William Doigt (first full appearance): born to missionaries, William’s life was forever changed when he accompanied his parents on a visit to the Yukon.  He witnessed his parents’ deaths at the hands of a wendigo, and he would have likely died too were it not for a pack of wolves attacking the beast in turn.  The experience scarred the young boy, and he soon after devoted his life to hunting down monsters around the world, training in a variety of fields to sharpen his body and mind to peak perfection.
                After returning to his hometown of Cedar Oaks, he realized that there was a seedy underbelly to what he thought was a peaceful, quiet town.  William has worked for years to fight the forces of evil that lurk in the shadows and has made numerous allies in his war on darkness.  Even though he is getting on in years, he has no plans to stop—not while there is still breath in his body and work to be done.
     
  • The Gargoyle—Keith Weissman: a discredited and disbarred psychiatrist, Keith used to work at Northwestern University and had his own practice.  He specialized in tackling patients’ phobias, but realized that normal measures simply were not enough in some cases.  His methods became harsher and crueler until he was soon presenting people with the most extreme versions of their fears, like dangling people over building sides if they were afraid of heights.  Believing that evolution comes through overcoming hardship, he sees nothing wrong with his methods, even when they lead to the deaths of his ‘patients’.
     
  • Francesca Laree: Kristen’s mother.  Francesca is a refugee from Beverly Hills who is a full time mom.  She loves both her daughters but often worries about Kristen, who has grown distant from her in recent years.  When she isn’t taking care of things around the house, Francesca is either watching soap operas and reality shows or shopping for new outfits.  She does the latter fairly often, as she never makes time to exercise or diet.
     
  • Melissa ‘Missy’ Laree: Kristen’s sister.  Unlike Kristen, who is often restless, Missy is very listless and lacks any real ambition.  She failed out of college in her freshman year and has made no indication of wanting to go back, preferring instead to earn a modest paycheck at one of the designer stores in town.  When she isn’t at work, Missy is either blowing her paycheck on new clothes or making a dent in the couch as she rots her brain with TV.
     
  • Julia Worthington: the caretaker of Doigt Lodge.  Julia has worked for the Doigts for years, having started when she was just a teenager and nannied for William.  She has stayed with him through thick and thin, aiding him in his crusade however she can—as such, she is the second in command of his ‘Wolf Pack’.  Despite her fierce loyalty to William, she does not always approve of his methods, especially in recruiting youngsters in his war on crime.  Nevertheless, the accomplished woman will do whatever she can to help, including defending the lodge from intruders and stitching up any wound.
     
  • Denise Porter: a sales associate that helped Kristen find some new clothes when the girl was blossoming under the effects of Gargoyle’s drugs.  Genuinely enjoys working with her customers, especially when they are as charming as the Larees.
     
  • Santigo Laree: Kristen’s father.  A staunch activist for Native American rights, Santigo is often away from home to visit tribes and Congress.  His prominent role has made him a target for some, which has led to him being rescued by the Wolf Pack from time to time.  Though he does not know his daughter is the latest Fang, he has connections with the Jackal and calls on him when he needs assistance.
     
  • Jackal—Phil Griffin: the third Fang and a former member of the Young Champions.  Phil started out his career while doing odd jobs at Doigt Lodge and discovered William’s secret identity.  Though the Wolf was initially reluctant to take the plucky youngster on as his next protege, Phil proved himself very capable in the field.  More of a thinker than his predecessors, the current Jackal has been vital in solving many cold cases in Cedar Oaks and has devoted himself to solving the world’s greatest mysteries.
     

Introduced in QUEEN CUISINE:

  • Queen Cuisine—Camilla Cooke: formerly a small time villain in Arcane City, Camilla was more of a nuisance to the authorities than anything else.  Her gimmick was using her knowledge of cooking and chemistry to create addictive foods that fattened her victims.  That was why it came as such a surprise when she was arrested for the brutal murder of the city’s lone hero, the Geist.  While many believed she was innocent, she pled guilty and was sentenced to fifty years behind bars at Cherrywood Penitentiary.
                Though she managed to whittle down her sentence through good behavior (and some black ops work for Project DMW), Camilla still served fifteen years.  In that time, she honed herself into a weapon to go after the Gangland Gals—her former crew, who framed her for the Geist’s death.  She recently took care of the Jellyfish, chipping away at her sanity and empire until she was a husk of her former self, but that was only the start of her list.  Using funds from the Jellyfish, she has started her own restaurant, which also serves as a secret lair for her vigilante endeavors.
     
  • The Geist—Nathaniel Holt (mentioned): the deceased protector of Arcane City.  After losing his partner in a shootout, Detective Holt followed the assassins to a chemical plant and fell into a vat.  Nathaniel was thought to be dead, but he survived the ordeal and used his newfound anonymity to operate from the shadows.  For a time, it seemed like his crimefighting efforts were making the city a safer place, but he was sadly murdered just as he was making progress.  Since her release, Camilla has used the Geist’s identity to haunt the streets and torment her former collaborators.
     
  • Warden Logan Cartwright: the warden of Cherrywood Penitentiary.  Logan has served as head warden for almost thirty years and seen a sad number of releases come back in.  He tries to make the prison more rehabilitative, especially in comparison to facilities in other major cities, but the success rate has not been optimal.  Still, he gets on well with many of the prisoners, particularly Camilla, who became something of a pen pal with his wife as the two swapped recipes.
     
  • Ron Cooke: Camilla’s brother.  A big teddy bear of a man, Ron runs an I.T. firm in Arcane City, though he counts himself lucky that he does not have to go into the city proper.  He always believed in his sister’s innocence, even when she pled guilty to her crimes, and did what he could to get her released sooner.  Now that Camilla is out again, he has offered her a home until she can get back on her feet.
     
  • Heidi Cooke: Camilla’s sister-in-law and college roommate.  A former party girl in college, she has long since cleaned up her act and is now a home decorator who has embraced her suburban lifestyle.  Heidi is pleased as punch to have her old friend back on the outside again and promises to make up for lost time.
     
  • Maxine Cooke: Camilla’s oldest niece.  Maxine is the only Cooke child to have any memories of Camilla not in prison, though they are vague and fuzzy.  She is thrilled to have her aunt out again and is eager to help her with anything she needs, including working at her restaurant.
     
  • Sarah Cooke: Camilla’s youngest niece.  Sarah is the quietest of her siblings but takes after Camilla when it comes to cooking.  She wants to be a baker when she grows up, and is excited to try out new recipes with her favorite aunt now that she’s home.
     
  • Tyler Cooke: Camilla’s nephew and youngest Cooke child.  Tyler takes after his dad by having a very big presence (both in volume and in size).  Something of a gentle giant, he could easily play football but prefers to play in the band.
     
  • The Jellyfish—Mona Warr: Camilla’s former partner in crime.  Mona used to be much more colorful in her gimmick, wearing fanciful Southern Belle outfits and wielding trick parasols, before changing to better suit the times.  While she has allegedly gone straight and become a pure businesswoman, the Jellyfish still runs an active criminal empire and has her tentacles wrapped around the east side of Arcane City.
                Camilla approached her to supposedly rekindle their friendship, but then spent the next several weeks undermining her confidence and sabotaging her businesses.  So used to being in control, Mona’s nerves were frayed and she slipped into manic paranoia.  The final straw came when Camilla attacked her under the guise of the Geist, at which point her mind snapped under the pressure.  She now works at Camilla’s restaurant, a shell of her former self.
     
  • Allison Catt: Mona’s top assistant.  Camilla used her to coax out information on Mona’s various dealings, baiting her with baked goods and desserts.  The bubbly woman ballooned under Camilla’s care, outgrowing both her desk chair and three different wardrobes.  She currently works at Camilla’s restaurant, where she is the head waitress and Mona’s superior.
     
  • Tonino Caldovino: one of Mona’s enforcers.  Tonino was on hand when Camilla first appeared as the Geist and barely managed to escape her wrath.  After laying low for a spell, he was soon arrested when Camilla raided Mona’s mansion and left her guards for the police.
     
  • King Drake (mentioned): a former crook from Arcane City.  King Drake had a skin condition that left him with a scaly appearance, which left him getting work as a sideshow performer.  During his time with a traveling circus, he sharpened his teeth and learned how to ‘breathe’ fire, giving himself the appearance of a dragon.  He turned to a life of crime and became a muscle for hire for people like Big Top and the Jellyfish.  The latter would end his career and life when she showered him in molten gold.
     
  • Gangland Gals: a former collective of femme fatales in Arcane City.  Tired of being considered lesser than the men who controlled the city, the Gangland Gals began a series of violent crimes around Arcane that culminated in the murder of the Geist.  They framed Camilla for the crime, and now that she is out, she plans on making them pay for all the time she spent behind bars.
     

Introduced in THE MIRACLE:

  • The Miracle—Uathach: born on the Isle of Skye in the Otherworld, home of the fae folk, Uathach was once a fragile girl who lived cooped up in her fortress home.  After falling for the adventurous Cu Chulainn and being accidentally hurt by him, she vowed to become as strong as her warrior mother.  Uathach trained for years until she managed to best Scathach in combat and was given the right to travel beyond the walls of Dun Scaith.  Her own adventures saw her coming face to face with her evil aunt, the Witch Queen, which led to the two of them discovering the Modern World.
                  Since arriving in the Modern World, Uathach has become a legendary hero in her own right, protecting the city of Edinburgh as the Miracle and the world as one of the founding members of Justice United.  She has recently gone back home to participate in the annual Isle Games, only to find a sinister spell cast over her family and friends that makes them eat like gluttons and fatten like pigs.  In trying to get to the bottom of the mystery, she found herself afflicted by the same power and made to eat and grow…
     
  • Shadow Maid—Scathach: Uathach’s mother and the ruler of Dun Scaith.  Scathach is a fabled warrior in the Otherworld, given the title of ‘Shadow Maid’ both for her home and using the darkness to her advantage in battle.  She was reluctant to let Uathach venture out into the world, but let her go when her daughter proved herself in combat.  Despite knowing her daughter’s prowess and even accompanying her into battle on numerous occasions, Scathach cannot help but worry for her.  It was this worry that proved her downfall, as Mesmera fed into that worry and made Scathach eat her fears away, bloating the warrior woman out of her armor and into only her biggest dresses.
     
  • Cu Chulainn (mentioned): a legendary warrior in the Otherworld, Cu Chulainn spent some time in Dun Scaith as Scathach’s apprentice.  He fell in love with Uathach while there, but they could never explore their love because Cu Chulainn accidentally hurt the fragile girl, after which, he never lay another hand on her.  His time at Dun Scaith came to an end when he helped defeat the Witch Queen, and he ventured off to explore more of the Otherworld.  Uathach hopes to meet with him again someday and prove she is not the same girl he once knew.
     
  • Witch Queen—Aife: Scathach’s jealous sister and the Miracle’s greatest enemy.  The Witch Queen is not only an exceptional fighter, but she is also a master of the dark arts.  She has used these abilities to plague her family time and time again in order to gain control of Dun Scaith, which she believes is her birthright.  During one battle with her niece, Aife discovered the Modern World—a whole new realm to conquer.  In order to conquer both worlds, the Witch Queen has gathered a collective of villainesses under the banner of Vile Corp., and their latest scheme has led to the mass fattening of Dun Scaith’s finest.
     
  • Emma Taffy: a student at St. Margaret’s University and Uathach’s closest human friend.  Emma has known Uathach ever since she first came to the Modern World and has even helped her on numerous occasions.  While many doubt her due to her pudgy frame and diminutive stature, those doubts are quickly put to rest when she puts her skills on the rugby pitch to practice.  She currently works for her school newspaper and provides articles based on hers and Uathach’s various adventures.  After much begging and pleading, she was allowed to join Uathach on her trip home for the Isle Games, only to fall prisoner to Vile Corp.
     
  • Mesmera—Miranda Singh: one of the Miracle’s enemies and a member of Vile Corp.  Miranda was formerly a therapist who used hypnosis to plant subliminal messages in her patient’s minds so she could use them to commit crimes.  The Miracle put a stop to her acts, but she has appeared time and again to cause trouble for the heroine.  For her part in taking over Dun Scaith, she posed as a maid in order to get close to Scathach and cast a mesmerizing aura over the entire fortress.
     
  • Professor Infinity—Ingrid Pendleton (mentioned): one of the earliest known superheroes on Earth-11.  Ingrid Pendleton was a scientist who discovered a universal formula that governed all reality, and by manipulating the formula, she can change reality as she sees fit.  She has operated for decades but is largely retired now, as her anti-aging formula becomes less permanent and she tires more easily.
     
  • Headless Horseman (mentioned): an enemy of the Miracle and all U.K. based heroes.  The Headless Horseman is a Dullahan who escaped from the Otherworld and works as an assassin for hire.  While he often does battle with the Miracle, he has a begrudging respect for her due to their shared birthplace and skills in combat.  He has on occasion acted on the side of justice, but only for his own interest.
     
  • Cat Sith—Leona Abernathy: a former friend of the Miracle who has become one of her most persistent enemies.  Leona was a part-time model and a teacher at St. Margaret’s University who helped the Miracle on occasion thanks to her expertise in Celtic myth.  Unfortunately, she also harbored a deep resentment for her friend, and Aife exploited those feelings by guiding her into madness.  Leona killed and skinned a cat-sith to gain its transformative and soul-stealing abilities, and now fights the very woman she once called her closest friend.
     
  • Phenomena—Serica: Uathach’s twin in spirit.  Aife, envious of Scathach for having such a fine child as Uathach, created a duplicate of her niece from shadow, whom she named Serica.  The mystical clone was raised to hate Uathach and trained for the purpose of killing her, but when they finally did battle, she could not do it.  Uathach eventually helped her see that Aife was using her, and invited Serica to live in Dun Scaith.  Since then, the two have become as close as real sisters, and Serica has become an honorary member of Justice United.
     
  • Professor Plasma—Jackson Alpert (mentioned): one of the Miracle’s most detested villains, who even other villains shy away from.  Jackson was a teacher at St. Margaret’s and used his charm to seduce several students—and those he could not charm, he bullied into having his way with.  He developed a way to peer into the minds of others and create plasma constructs based on their emotions (i.e. fear, love, etc.).  His goal is to break the Miracle’s spirit and make a slave out of her, which has earned him the disgust of many others in her rogues gallery.
     
  • Ogress—Dr. Prudence Brown: one of the Miracle’s enemies and a member of Vile Corp.  Prudence felt looked down all her life for her dwarfism and tried to find a way to enlarge her body to normal proportions.  A freak accident involving one of Professor Plasma’s inventions granted her wish, but it turned out to be a blessing and a curse.  While she could now alter her size at will, Prudence found that the bigger she grew, the more bestial and dimwitted she became.  She has joined in taking over Dun Scaith from within.
     
  • Queen Danu: one of the Miracle’s enemies and a member of Vile Corp.  While little is known of the woman, Danu claims that she is a reincarnated goddess and backs up these claims with legitimate aquamancy abilities.  She has used her powers to conquer the United Kingdom, but the Miracle has managed to beat her time and again.  Currently, she is without followers and joined Vile Corp. with the promise of an army should they succeed.
     
  • Lady Jinn—Jennifer Rodriguez: one of the Miracle’s enemies and a member of Vile Corp.  Jennifer was a dancer who dreamed of fame and was willing to do anything to do so, even at the risk of her soul.  She found her way into the occult and managed to conjure a jinni that could grant her wish, only for the demon to bind itself to her soul and manipulate her like a puppet.  Since then, she has fought the Miracle on numerous occasions thanks to her ability to generate hellfire and unleash demons from the darkest pits.
     
  • Madame Hood—Florence Knox: one of the Miracle’s first enemies and a member of Vile Corp.  Florence was a researcher in the U.K. branch of Andras and is arguably one of the most infamous members of its ranks, being directly and indirectly responsible for hundreds of deaths and mutations.  When the Miracle caught wind of her, she beat the woman savagely and left her with a scarred face that she covers with a mask.  The evil doctor has vowed to make the Miracle suffer for that indignity, and is one of the cruelest members of her rogues gallery.  She has offered her services to Vile Corp. by providing a drug that will accelerate weight gain and decrease energy and muscle mass.
     

Introduced in AGENTS OF F.E.E.D.:

  • Speed Demon—Lily Summers (mentioned): the fastest woman between Heaven and Hell.  Lily was an EMT known for driving her ambulances like she was in NASCAR, but she was made even faster when she accidentally came into the aftermath of a demonic summoning.  The demon gave her the ability to move at incredible speeds and generate hellfire, but the faster she moves, the more sadistic and savage she becomes.  So far, Lily has managed to keep this under control and gone on to become a respected heroine with a membership to Justice United.
     
  • Black Turtle (mentioned)
     
  • F.E.E.D.: a global law enforcement and counter-terrorism agency on Earth-11.  First developed by the United Nations in response to the rise of super-criminals, F.E.E.D. has become one of the de facto forces in fighting international evil.  While the vast majority of its operatives are non-powered human beings, it does employ several superhumans and has connections in all major teams.  They have recently begun a program to have their own in-house heroes, using state of the art technology to give their agents unique powers.
     
  • Dynamis—Gal Carter: a corporal in the US Army, Gal was an exceptional soldier who did several tours in combat until she sustained injuries in the field, including losing an eye.  She had difficulty adapting to civilian life and lapsed into a depression that caused her to put on a good 40 pounds.  The drive to serve never left her though, and when she applied for work with F.E.E.D., she was offered the chance to participate in a series of trials for their superhero program.  While she did ace her combat trial and earned a spot on the fledgling team, she found out that her enhancement device—the Dynamis belt—is designed to increase her body mass until she reaches a max of 500 pounds.
     
  • Sergeant Phineas Poole: a drill sergeant for F.E.E.D. who has seen his fair share of action and prefers his desk job.  Poole is a stickler for the rules, though his focus tends to be on more minute details than anything of great importance.  Though no longer an active field agent, he is still an expert marksman and swordsman.
     
  • Director Agatha Rothstein: one of the oldest directors in F.E.E.D., Agatha began her career with the agency by working security in their Miami branch.  She worked her way up the ranks and has made ties with a number of well-known heroes and agents on the road to becoming a senior director.  She has decided to personally oversee the development of F.E.E.D.’s first in-house super team, right down to handpicking its members.  Not one to put up with nonsense, Agatha has the unique ability to silence anyone with a glare—even several world-conquerors.
     
  • Officer Oliver Thorne: the regional officer in the New York branch of F.E.E.D., Oliver is a stout man who has a good mind for strategy and business.  He often finds himself overwhelmed by the unique field he finds himself in, and has resorted to snacking in order to cope.  This has led to his stats in the monthly annuals to fall, but he claims that he can save the world from the comfort of his desk.
     
  • Dr. Rick Harland: a member of F.E.E.D.’s R&D division, Rick is responsible for developing a variety of gadgets for the agency, including the ones used by the new team of Feedees.  Though very capable and intelligent, he often doubts himself and fears the worst in any situation.  He has worked under and with Dr. Corrigan for several years, and even helped her to develop her new, synthetic body.
     
  • Madame Void—Dr. Marjorie Corrigan: one of F.E.E.D.’s most brilliant minds.  Marjorie always focused more on her intellect than her physical well-being, preferring to make scientific breakthroughs rather than go to the gym.  This unhealthy lifestyle led to her developing several problems over the years and left her weighing a half-ton at one point.  She circumvented death by digitizing her brain and implanting it into an android body, which has the unique ability to perfectly blend into shadows.
     
  • Supersonic Girl—Candice Clemons: initially a member of F.E.E.D.’s IT department, Candice was given the chance to participate in the tryouts for the super-team.  She is a collegiate track and field star and is quick to think on her feet, though her optimism can sometimes swing towards naivety.  With the help of her supersonic suit, she can reach speeds of up to 700 mph, with the caveat that she puts on weight for as long as she uses it.
     
  • Mentax—Jamie Stewart: a Human Resources manager from the FBI, Jamie leapt at the chance for something greater than desk work and participated in the F.E.E.D. tryouts.  While her attitude has not improved since her days as head cheerleader, she is capable in the field and a cunning strategist.  She was given the Mentax helmet, a device that amplifies her brain and grants her telepathy and telekinesis.  While the helmet does not have any noted flaws as yet, time will tell if she can escape the weight gain plight of her teammates.
     
  • Jade Dragon: an anonymous F.E.E.D. agent who helped run the tryouts by conducting a mock supervillain attack.  The Jade Dragon suit is cobbled together from confiscated tech and includes built-in flamethrowers.  Gal managed to make her tap out in the tryouts, earning herself a spot on the team.  The woman in the suit remains unknown, though Gal would like to buy her a drink at some point.
     

Introduced in THE BLACK TURTLE:

  • Black Turtle—Charlie Shou (first full appearance): once an infamous weapons manufacturer and dealer, Charlie’s life changed when he came under attack during a business trip in China.  He fell into a chasm and was greeted by Xuanwu, who showed him the errors of his ways.  After the incident in China, he devoted himself to righting his many wrongs, beginning with closing down his weapons division and focusing on life-saving technology.  The last weapon he ever made was a suit of armor, which he uses to fight crime as the Black Turtle.  His most recent exploit has taken him to Russia to investigate some incidences at one of his branches.
     
  • Xuanwu: the Black Turtle of mythology.  When Charlie Shou was attacked and left for dead in a cavern, Xuanwu appeared to him and showed him all the harm he had caused in the world.  He then provided Charlie with the materials to build a temporary suit to help him get to safety.  Xuanwu has visited the man a few times here and there, mostly in times of great distress or when Charlie needs guidance.
     
  • Jiao Hei: Charlie’s faithful assistant and the backbone of Shou Enterprises.  Jiao has worked her way up the ranks to working at Charlie’s side, even covering meetings for him and keeping an analytical eye on the company.  While she has enjoyed an occasional tryst with him, the two have agreed to remain friends and maintain a strictly platonic relationship.  Jiao accompanied Charlie to Russia in order to distract the heads of Vankorp while he conducted an investigation, only to wind up hypnotized and imprisoned by the Czar.
     
  • The Czar—Alexei Nikolaevich III: the secret son of Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna, Alexei was raised to believe that control of Russia was rightfully his and that he must do whatever is necessary to reclaim it for his family.  To that end, he has sought to become the most powerful man in the world, from developing a vast criminal empire to extending his life with a chemical concoction of his own design to even accumulating a set of gems that imbue him with superhuman abilities.  When he is not plotting domination of Russia, Alexei masquerades as Dmitri Vasilovich, the head of Vankorp, and lures in beautiful women to be fattened for his pleasure and the pursuit of a tsarina to sit by his side.
     
  • Colette Stepanova: a former model, Alexei swept her off her feet and lured her into his clutches with promises of riches and glory.  Only when it was too late did she realize he was fattening her up, blowing her up like a balloon and destroying any evidence that she was ever a model.  She grew to immense proportions, but her stomach sadly gave out during one binge session.  Like so many other of Alexei’s potential tsarinas, she wound up another corpse to be incinerated, a mere afterthought to her former lover.
     
  • The Brute—Dr. David Pierce (mentioned): an accomplished narcotics officer turned rage monster.  Dr. Pierce was investigating the source of a super-steroid, only to be ambushed and injected with a dose that should have killed him.  Instead, it made him a thousand times stronger, but at the cost of his higher thinking.  As the Brute, David has been everything between hero and villain, often serving as a Protector but also acting as a fugitive just as often.  He has found a way to control the Brute, but it is only a matter of time until he loses it again.
     
  • Dr. Ilya Bosconovitch: Alexei’s chief physician.  Dr. Bosconovitch has worked with the would-be conqueror for years, less out of loyalty and more from fear.  His good work keeps him in Alexei’s graces, but he knows firsthand that one slight mistake could mean the end of his life.
     
  • Miss Elite—Diana La Zicata (mentioned): a refugee from an alternate universe.  Diana is a doppelganger of Guardiana, though a few years older than her and much snootier in personality.  Her world was destroyed by a cosmic storm, but she was shunted through a wormhole—the experience of which gave her superpowers like Guardiana.  She mixes heroics with a celebrity lifestyle, making guest appearances everywhere she can and sponsoring tons of big name brands.  When not giving the tabloids fuel for their fire, she cruises the universe in hopes of finding some sign of her old world.
     
  • Brutess—Ramona Pierce (mentioned): a stock broker who runs one of the most successful firms on Wall Street.  Ramona was once a timid wallflower who was caught in the crossfire during a fight between a band of villains and her brother, the Brute.  Acting on impulse, David gave his sister a dose of the same steroid that made his alter-ego, albeit a smaller, more manageable one.  The steroid gave Ramona her own Brute form, which she calls Brutess, and she finds that she maintains her mental faculties much more easily than her brother while transformed.  She has used that confidence and drive to boost her own career, making her one of the most well-known faces in superheroics or the stock market.
     

Introduced in THE WIDE, WIDE WEST:

  • Beatrice Thorne: a debutante turned bounty hunter.  Beatrice was always the tomboy of her family, preferring to get dirty playing outdoors than attend galas and balls, but she was put through the ultimate test when saving her sister from an attacker.  She spilled out of a moving train car and crashed into the wilderness, at which point she fought for her life day in and day out.  The experience left her scarred beyond recognition and hardened her heart, making her an outcast of high society.  Since then, she has operated as a bounty hunter, claiming the lives of countless outlaws.
                  Her most recent job was rescuing her stepsister, Eveleyn Van Wingert, from her possessive and psychotic lover.  She managed to save her but was caught after discovering Higgins’ experiments in his barn.  Beatrice was imprisoned for a month and supposedly doped out of her mind, but she had developed a tolerance to the narcotics he employed.  After breaking free, she slaughtered Higgins and every one of his goons before rescuing Evelyn.
     
  • Joseph Bosworth: an old barkeep who owns his own establishment.  His bar is a colorful saloon that attracts all types of ruffians and lowlifes, which makes it a good place for a bounty hunter to get information.  Beatrice stopped by Bosworth’s to ask for information on her sister and broke more than a few pieces of furniture to get it.
     
  • Evelyn Van Wingert: Beatrice’s stepsister and the one good thing she has left in her life.  Evelyn was raised like a princess and can often act like a spoiled brat, but she is a good girl at heart and will always stop to help someone in need.  She is also a hopeless flirt, which led her into trouble when she strung along Archie Higgins.  The devious doctor kidnapped her and fed her food laced with fattening additives to make her too big for her dresses, but Beatrice managed to save her.
     
  • Doc Archie Higgins: Evelyn’s one time lover.  Archie has a reputation as a snake oil salesman, selling tonics that do not work and elixirs that are dubious at best.  He makes his real money selling specially designed food that can fatten livestock in record time, though he also uses it on captive human test subjects.  While stopping through town, he became infatuated with Evelyn—and when she rejected him, he had her kidnapped and spirited away to his ranch.  He managed to snag Beatrice as well, but she escaped and killed him after a month in captivity.
     
  • ‘Big Mouth’ Muldoon: a ruffian hired by Archie Higgins during his travels.  Big Mouth likes women, whiskey, and walloping people, but he met his match when Beatrice thrashed him.  He is currently recovering from his injuries and walking with a permanent limp.
     
  • ‘Wart’ Gibson: a partner of Big Mouth who helped Archie Higgins.  Wart is covered with so many lumps that his face looks like one big wart, and he tends to keep to himself.  He is a scrappy fighter and not above shooting someone in the back.  After Beatrice beat him to within an inch of his life, he has become even more of a recluse and refuses mercenary work.
     
  • Esau Culpepper: another goon hired by Doc Higgins.  Esau is a miserable cur wanted for a variety of crimes, but even he was disturbed by what his employer did in his spare time.  When Beatrice caught him, she buried him up to his neck and questioned him.  After getting what she wanted from him, she left him for dead.
     

Introduced in LADY LIBERTY:

  • Lady Liberty—Libertas nu Eleutheria: one of the oldest heroes still active, Libertas has operated on and off Earth for nearly 300 years.  Born on the planet of Edinnu, she knew only war as she grew up, spending most of her life as a child soldier against the neighboring planet, Helkur.  She would eventually undergo an experimental procedure that turned her into a super-soldier, granting her magnificent strength, speed, and stamina.  These, alongside her cosmic torch and shield, would be her weapons against Helkur.
                   Libertas counts herself as a duel citizen of Edinnu and Earth, having spent many decades on the 3rd rock from the sun.  She has been a member of a variety of superhero teams, most recently the Protectors, but she had to give that all up when Helkur blackmailed her into their service.  They tarnished her image by transforming her into a reality show diva and covering her athletic body in several hundred pounds of blubber.  While she has been able to break free of their hold, time will tell if she can get back to how she used to be…
     
  • Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi: the designer of the Statue of Liberty.  Bartholdi met Libertas when she arrived on Earth and he was fighting in the Franco-Prussian War.  Libertas helped lead him to safety and fought alongside him for a spell before leaving for her home planet again.  The experience gave Bartholdi the inspiration for his most iconic work.
     
  • Justice Alliance (mentioned): the first formal superhero team in recorded history.  The Alliance was formed by heroes from the Allied Forces during World War II, and remained together until the Cold War and paranoia dissolved their ranks.  While most have passed away or retired, a few still operate in the field today, like Professor Infinity.
     
  • Agent 75—Lya Bartholdi: the great-great-great granddaughter of Frédéric.  Lya is an expert agent for F.E.E.D. and has worked with them for several years on countless operations.  She first met Libertas in the field, and the two hit it off straightaway.  The two entered into a relationship that has seen its ups and downs, but they always find their way back to each other.  This was put to the test when Lya was captured by Doctor Spyn and Professor Theophilus, who attempted to brainwash her into becoming Libertas’s assassin.  Their actions failed, as Lya cannot help but love her Lady Liberty.
     
  • Doctor Spyn—Dascombe Spyn: the Minister of Propaganda on Helkur.  Spyn got to where he is with his master ability to manipulate the truth and rile up a crowd, using state of the art technology to create any image he wants.  In order to remain cutting edge (and because of constant beatings from Libertas), Spyn has transformed his body into a cyborg abomination, with a TV screen for a head.  He tried to ruin Libertas’s public image by forcing her into a reality show and fattening her up, but his efforts were in vain.
     
  • Professor Sebastian Theophilus: the Minister of Indoctrination on Helkur.  Once a psychologist in Turkey, he allied himself with the German forces in World War II and met Doctor Spyn, who gave him dark knowledge of the human brain.  Theophilus has used his knowledge to warp countless foes into doing his bidding, and was drafted into the High Helkurrian Council for his efforts.  He has fought Lady Liberty on several occasions, and though he has nearly broken her time and again, she always manages to find a way through.
     
  • Rosie—Rosalyn Gardener (mentioned): a plucky nurse who fought alongside Libertas in World War II.  Rosalyn wanted to fight on the front lines but had to settle for a role as a medic, though she soon got her wish when she met Lady Liberty.  While lacking the power of her friend, she was quick-witted and nimble, which saved her time and again.  Rosie was thought dead after being caught in an explosion, but she actually found herself shunted to another dimension, where she remained until recently.
     
  • Osprey—Samantha Bridges (mentioned): a former criminal and member of the Wicked Wings, Samantha initially served as an antagonist to Lady Liberty.  While the glamor of the criminal lifestyle appealed to her, she was eventually won over by Libertas and struck up a close friendship with her.  They worked together on several occasions, but their partnership came to an end when Samantha died on a mission for F.E.E.D.
     
  • Super Laika (mentioned): a test subject for the Soviet space program, Laika was initially thought dead after being launched into space in a rocket.  What no one knew was that she was exposed to cosmic rays during the experiment, imbuing her with marvelous abilities and infinite knowledge.  She would use her powers to travel among the stars, visiting planets in need and helping to save countless lives.  Her journeys occasionally take her back to her home planet, where she has been hailed as one of the greatest heroes ever.
     
  • The Merlin—Artemis Storm (mentioned): one of Lady Liberty’s most stalwart allies.  Artemis was formerly in U.S. Army, where she gained fantastic powers during a mission in the Middle East.  She happened across a ring with a bird engraved on it, and by putting it on, a pair of metallic wings appeared on her back and her senses were greatly enhanced.  These powers would aid her in fighting crime across the world, making her a member of the Protectors and several other super-teams.  She is currently off-world, helping to settle diplomatic issues in Dimension S.
     
  • Count Stavro XIII: the Minister of War on Helkur.  Stavro is the latest in a long line of conquerors, and like many of his ancestors, he has a deep-seated hatred of Lady Liberty.  Some claim to be a pale imitation of his father, who nearly killed Lady Liberty on several occasions, which has given Stavro an inferiority complex.  This often leads him to overcompensate and ruin his and his allies’ plans, making him one of the most disliked members of the High Council.
     
  • Blackbeard—Captain Sisto Brak: the Minister of Piracy on Helkur.  Blackbeard is a space pirate who came into the employ of Helkur when he devised a plan to profit off their endless war with Edinnu.  He initially tried to play both sides of the field, but after Lady Liberty discovered his duplicity, he became a permanent fixture on Helkur.  A fearsome fighter in his own right, Blackbeard is quick to jump the gun and go for the kill, which Libertas has used to defeat him time and again.
     
  • Mother Meiai: the Minister of Re-Education on Helkur.  Meiai is responsible for warping the minds of children on Helkur, twisting them into vessels of hate at an early age.  While not a combatant herself, she has countless subservient ‘students’ to do her bidding, including a squadron of female assassins known as the Femme Fatales.  Her goal in life is to brainwash Lady Liberty into a perfect student, but she has failed time and again in that endeavor.
     
  • The Black Death: the Minister of Death on Helkur.  Formerly an Edinnusian who fought against Helkur, he developed a biological weapon that caused the death of thousands of Helkurrians.  Rather than be praised for his actions though, his research was destroyed and he was tried for war crimes, which turned him against his home planet.  He was freed from prison by Helkurrian soldiers and offered a position in their army, which he accepted wholeheartedly.  The Black Death is a mass murderer across the cosmos, wiping out millions of people in his quest to end all life as we know it.
     
  • Becca Sachs: Lady Liberty’s beleaguered assistant on the set of her reality show.  Becca took the role of a personal assistant because she thought it would be a good mark on her resume, but as Libertas became more of a pampered, spoiled diva, she regretted taking the job.  After the Helkurrian plot was exposed and the show ended, Becca moved onto the next project—anything but another reality show.
     

Introduced in THE ADVENTURERS GUILD:

  • Madam Mind—Methone Alkyon: one of the founding members of the Adventurers Guild.  Methone is a high elf who was born with amazing telepathic abilities, though she kept them hidden away until she was in her early teens.  While at preparatory school, she became friends with Juus Tunder and Quigley Enos, and they would often venture off rather than attend their lessons.  During one such adventure, they found their way to Earth and became friends with a young Hector Ramirez.  Their time on Earth inspired them to form a superhero team, which came to be the Adventurers Guild.
                  Methone currently serves as the leader of the team and recently joined a small posse to capture the Crystal Queen after she escaped to Earth.  She did not expect it to be easy, but she had no idea that the biggest setback would be one of the team’s allies—Guardiana.  The team divided their time between trying to help their friend lose weight and finding their fugitive, but Methone sabotaged herself by trying to tamper with Guardiana’s mind.  Doing so caused some of the heroine’s hunger to bounce back into her, which meant she was more concerned with where her next meal was coming from than catching the Crystal Queen.
     
  • Sir Stature—Jak Cloud (mentioned): a longtime member of the Guild.  Jak is a half-giant who has the ability to change from the size of an average basketball player to a building, with his strength and durability increasing as well.  The very definition of a gentle giant, Jak prefers to solve problems without resorting to violence, but when all else fails, he is a force to be reckoned with.  He is currently engaged to Changeling Lass.
     
  • Crystal Queen—Vierma Stromm: an aristocrat who hungered for power and status, Vierma used her connections to steal a priceless crystal ball that was said to have mystical abilities.  The crystal passed these powers onto her, but also enhanced her latent greed to an insatiable level.  Vierma can use her crystal ball to do alter reality around her, but only in a six-foot radius around her body.  Regardless of the limitation, she has used her abilities to attack the Adventurers Guild time and again, both on her own and as part of a criminal brotherhood known as the Corrupt Ten.  She recently escaped captivity and fled to Earth, where she sought out a second crystal ball, only to fall prey to the savory meals of White Castle.
     
  • Oracle Lass—Sori Eno: a skilled clairvoyant who hails from a tribe of carbuncles.  Sori has been a longtime member of the Guild, though the nature of her abilities tends to keep her on the sidelines more often than not.  She is normally the one who sends the team on missions, divining crimes and misdeeds around the world.  While most know her to be truthful and honest, Sori does have a secret she keeps hidden from all others—a love of fat and fattening, which was fostered by tales of heroines on Earth blowing up under unusual circumstances.  She intentionally misled some of her friends so that they might plump up while in pursuit of the Crystal Queen, not suspecting just how big they would get.
     
  • Prince Thunder—Juus Tunder: one of the founding members of the Adventurers Guild and Methone’s on again/off again lover.  Like his friends, he comes from aristocracy, but he forsook his heritage in order to explore the lands of Mythopoeia and fight evil wherever he found it.  He was blessed with the ability to generate electricity after killing a thunderbird to save his sister, though his powers are very taxing on him.  His left leg was taken in a battle with a sea monster, but this has done nothing to diminish his thirst for adventure.
     
  • Mite Girl—Lina Pollex: a pixie with the ability to change her height, switching from a modest height to no bigger than a dust mote.  Lina hails from the murky moors of Corvon and was the daughter of a band of pixie bandits, who used their shrinking abilities to cause mischief among the local population.  Feeling guilty for her family’s actions, she worked with the Guild to stop them and subsequently became a member.  She thinks little of herself but has proven time and again that she is extremely capable.  As one of the Guilders who pursued the Crystal Queen, she wound up growing very plump and addicted to Earth food.
     
  • Miss Wisp—Nyx Sephone: a phantasm with the ability to fly and phase through solid objects.  Nyx is the princess of Plades, the kingdom of the dead in Mythopoeia, though she rejected her title when she joined the Guild.  Unlike many Pladians, Nyx is vibrant, cheerful, and has a thirst for adventure, which led to her leaving in order to see the rest of the world.  In her time on the team, she has been involved in numerous adventures, and though she has seen some of the worst evils, her optimism remains unscathed.  She went with others to capture Crystal Queen but became enamored with Earth food in the process.
     
  • Legion Lass—Phila Lute: a satyr with the ability to create duplicates of herself.  Originally from a frontier town, Phila reached out to the Guild when her home was attacked by a band of brigands.  She became enamored with their lifestyle and, after the brigands were defeated, joined them.  Unlike many satyrs, Phila is not hedonistic; she prefers to spend her time exercising and training to be even stronger.  All of her hard work would prove to be undone when she joined in the hunt for Crystal Queen, as she became addicted to Earth food and lost most of her muscle mass to soft blubber.
     
  • Aether Lad—Quigley Enos (mentioned): one of the founding members of the Adventurers Guild.  Quigley is a gnome who developed magnetic abilities after coming into contact with a mysterious orb while digging in his family’s mine.  He was the one most fascinated by the world of Earth-11 and suggested that he and his friends form their own superhero team, though that eagerness has been tempered by age and experience.  Nevertheless, he remains resolute in acting as a guiding light for the people of Mythopoeia.
     
  • Calculo IX—Gomer Quark (mentioned): an early member of the Adventurers Guild, Gomer is the Mythopoeian version of a multiversal monster known as Calculo.  He was sent to Mythopoeia to learn the planet’s culture and species so that Calculo-Prime could assimilate it into his Grand Collective Knowledge, but Gomer eventually turned on his creator and allied with the Adventurers Guild.  While not having any flashy superpowers, Gomer is the smartest being in the world and has used that knowledge to create all sorts of remarkable tools, weapons, and vehicles for his friends.
     
  • Bronco-Man—Ned Chaney (mentioned): a xenophobic rancher turned supervillain.  Ned Chaney is a far-right activist whose life changed forever when he happened upon a downed spaceship and stole the technology he found therein.  With the help of a tech-savvy accomplice, Ned was able to combine the equipment with Earth technology and changed himself into the gun-slinger he always fancied himself to be.  While he claims to be a man for the people, his definition of ‘people’ is extremely limited and he is little more than a white supremacist with a laser gun.
     
  •   Extraneo—Hektur Rammyres (mentioned): a failed ‘clone’ of Defensor who tries to be a superhero despite having a warped world view.  Hektur was created in the same experiment that made Defensor, except taken to an extreme that gave him far more powerful abilities but also stunted his mind.  He would put out a burning building by tearing the building out of the ground and hurling it into a lake, or get a cat out of a tree by shaking the tree until the cat fell down.  This sort of reckless behavior forced Justice United to find a new world for him, which was populated by people that shared his mindset.
     
  • Changeling Lass—Lilith Bu (mentioned): an auf who was part of an insidious plan to replace royalty and infiltrate the highest positions of power in Mythopoeia.  She once impersonated the aide to the Adventurers Guild, but after spending time among the Adventurers, she turned against her leaders and helped to stop the invasion.  Since then, her shapeshifting abilities have made her a valuable asset to the team, as she can turn into virtually any living organism.  She is currently engaged to Sir Stature. 
     
  • Medusa Woman—Ceto Sarpedon (mentioned): an enemy of the Adventurers Guild.  Ceto originally attempted to join the Guild but was turned down when her powers of petrification proved to be too haphazard.  Discouraged, she fell in with a band of fellow outcasts and declared war on the Guild.  While there is still some good in her, she often feels too committed to the criminal life to turn back.
     
  • Titanium Kid—Iarann Ghille (mentioned): the first Guild member to die.  Iarann was hexed by a witch and given a metallic body that was impervious to harm but could feel no sensations.  He tried to use the curse for good and joined the Guild, but his condition drove him to a deep depression.  Eventually, he would sacrifice himself to destroy an Old God whose presence threatened the existence of Mythopoeia.  A statue was built in his honor and stands watch over the meeting chamber of the Guild.
     

Introduced in THE CUNNING COYOTE:

  • Coyote—Deborah Rose: the former Coyote’s best friend, now wielder of his power.  Deborah grew up on a reserve and fought tooth and nail to make herself into something, eventually getting a medical degree and working at a non-profit clinic for that same reserve.  She discovered that one of her coworkers was actually the trickster god known as Coyote, and ever since that point, her life has been one adventure after another.  From travelling across time, space, and dimensions, Deborah has led a charmed life and earned herself honorary roles on several superhero teams.  She never developed a romantic relationship with Coyote, despite several rumors over the years, though they were the closest of friends right up until he gave his life saving the world.
                  After Coyote died in battle, Deborah was given the mystical glasses that would change him from a mortal form to his godly state.  The other gods contested this, as it was done without their approval, and they tasked Deborah with proving herself in a challenge.  When she discovered that Lady Raven planned to sabotage her chances, she retaliated by playing tricks on her and several other competitors.  Deborah plans to wield Coyote’s power as her deceased friend would have, whether the gods approve or not.
     
  • Coyote—Bryce Delaney: the fabled trickster god of myth.  Coyote was both a friend and menace to the council of gods for eons, but eventually, his actions were tolerated no longer and he was cast out of Agiochook.  He took up residence on Earth and acted as a hero in various capacities since the days of the Justice Alliance, though his most famed incarnation came about in the 21st century.  A valued member of the community, his death at the hands of Malsumis was a shock to the world and left many in mourning.  His mystical glasses have been passed onto his most trusted partner, Deborah Rose, as part of a trick by one of his enemies.
     
  • Quetzalcoatl (mentioned): former protector of Central America.  Quetzalcoatl, like Coyote, was a god who walked among mankind and took on the role of superhero in time.  He defended his lands from the forces of evil for many years, but after a harrowing battle with one of his enemies, he was struck with an incurable disease.  His final days were spent on a road trip through Central America with Coyote and Deborah before he was finally laid to rest.
     
  • Malsumis (mentioned): an evil god and former enemy of Coyote.  Malsumis was the son of the Stone Man, Tabaldak, and was born with a wicked heart.  Hating that he was born from the dust that remained after the first humans were crafted, he swore an unending war against mankind by plaguing them with horrors and disasters.  While he was sealed for some time by his brother, Gluskab, he was released by some unwitting hunters and continued to wreak havoc on the world.  His actions brought him into conflict with Coyote time and again, culminating in the Day of Thorns when he almost consumed the Earth in brambles.
     
  • Black God: a rival god and fellow trickster to Coyote.  One of the oldest gods, Black God is responsible for putting the stars in the sky, but Coyote stole that duty from him when he deemed the elder too slow for the task.  While their relationship is not as antagonistic as others, the two were never friends and often tried to outdo each other.  In the end, it was Black God who got the final trick by convincing the gods to give Deborah her trials and convincing Deborah that it was Coyote’s wish for her to take up his mantle.
     
  • Tsenahale (mentioned): a pair of monsters that were among the Anaye that plagued mankind.  The Tsenahale resemble stone gryphons and are maneaters that have been known to feed victims to their offspring.  When they were brought back by Aipaloovik, they attacked Deborah’s home reservation, which ensured their death at her hands.  Deborah killed them after being temporarily empowered by Nayenezgani.
     
  • Anaye (mentioned): a horde of demons that were born from a dark spell that transformed random objects into monsters.  They were once destroyed by Nayenezgani, the god of war, but were brought back in a bid for power by Aipaloovik, the god of death.  Coyote was able to best them by granting Nayenezgani’s power to several of his allies.
     
  • Juracán—Francesco Tumulto (mentioned): a scientist who accidentally summoned the goddess Guabancex into our dimension.  Swayed by her into becoming her servant, Franceso was transformed into a living hurricane and caused widespread damage across the Caribbean before being stopped by Coyote.  Deborah assisted in stopping him due to their connection as classmates and tried to bring back his humanity.
     
  • Piasa (mentioned): the first monster that Deborah ever fought.  It escaped from an extradimensional hunter and made its way to Earth, where it attacked a group of children when they neared its den.  Deborah happened to be nearby and managed to hold it off long enough for Coyote to appear, at which point he slew the beast.
     
  • Lady Raven: one of Coyote’s greatest enemies.  Lady Raven is a devious diva who believes that she should have a greater standing in Agiochook but is always overlooked due to her criminal ways.  Her greatest triumph was getting Coyote cast out from the hall of gods, though this was short-lived, since he earned his way back with time.  When Coyote died, she tried to make a claim for his mystical glasses, but she was deprived of her prize when Black God gave them to Deborah.  This escalated to her trying to fatten Deborah in a bid to win the glasses, but Lady Raven was hoisted by her own petard and fattened up in turn.
     
  • Stone Man—Tabaldak: a creator god who helped to shape the world during its formation.  After molding his portion of the world to his liking, Tabaldak turned into a stone and fell into a deep sleep.  He was stirred from his slumber when Lady Raven woke him and misled him into believing that humans had ruined the area around him—all this as a plot to get back at Coyote.  Tabaldak and Coyote fought until the former realized he had been tricked, at which point he sided with the trickster and then returned to Agiochook.  Being a creator, he has a soft spot for humanity and usually sides with them, such as when Deborah acquired Coyote’s glasses.
     
  • Wi: a solar spirit born from the sun.  Wi used to live in Agiochook with his wife, Hanwi, until the God Plague ravaged the halls and took Hanwi’s life.  Left aimless, Wi wandered the stars for some time before returning to Earth with a more cavalier attitude that many assumed was to mask his pain.  Coyote and Deborah helped him to move on from the death of his wife, and while he is still somewhat laidback, he has assumed his godly duties once more.
     
  • Nanook: master of bears, though he prefers to be called a god of the hunt.  Born from a human mother and a polar bear father, Nanook passes judgment on hunters if they violate any of the sacred laws.  He has often looked down on humanity for being weak, though the advent of superhumans has made him second-guess that mindset.  His relationship with Coyote was contemptuous at best, and he had little time for the trickster and his ilk.  This carried over to Deborah when she assumed the mantle, and the two share a disdain for one another.
     
  • Changing Woman (mentioned): a creator god and the crafter of Coyote’s mystical glasses.  The Changing Woman has gone by countless names and appearances, though no matter her persona of the day, she is always a force for good.  When Coyote became a superhero, she would often appear to him as a mentor figure, urging him on the path back to Agiochook.  She died at the start of Malsumis’s attack, but death has never lasted long for her.
     
  • Ta’xet: the god of violent death.  Ta’xet has wandered the cosmos in search of the greatest battles and has lived through countless bloody wars.  He draws power from the sun to increase his strength, but when the sun sets, he becomes much weaker, especially when exposed to moonlight.  His savagery has brought him into conflict with countless of Earth’s heroes, and it was only through cunning that Coyote was able to beat him.
     
  • Tia: the goddess of peaceful death.  Tia is bound to Ta’xet for all time and follows him wherever he goes in order to contain his bloodlust.  She is arguably stronger than her partner in that her powers over death are not bound to the sun or moon, but she does not flaunt this power.  Ta’xet’s attack on Earth was sparked by Tia’s capture by a villain, though she was eventually saved thanks to the efforts of the Protectors.
     
  • Haokah: divine clown/satirist/madman.  Haokah is a title passed down from generation to generation, though to receive the title is more a curse than a blessing.  They have the power to warp reality around them and view across time and space, but this comes with the cost of the bearer losing their sanity.  Past Hoakahs have played friend and foe to Coyote in equal measure, with the current bearer nearing his end.
     
  • The Menagerie—a collective of beastmen that serve the gods of Agiochook and currently includes:

    1)      Queen Buffalo—Jacquelyn Piers: a superhuman who claims to be the descendant of the Suhtai buffalo, who competed in the Great Race against a hunter.  In truth, Jacquelyn was experimented on by her parents from the day she was born until she turned seven.  The tests gave her super-strength and endurance that made her into an unstoppable juggernaut when she ran.  To escape the pain of her tests, she had visions of the Suhtai buffalo and became convinced that she was its descendant.  She turned to a life of crime to lash out at the world, which brought her into conflict with Coyote.  Her efforts impressed some of the more ruthless gods in Agiochook, which brought her into their service.

    2)      Icewing—Wek’-wek: grandson and former sidekick of Coyote.  Born to Mol’-luk, who operated as a superhero in the 40s named Condor Man, Wek’-wek grew up in awe of his godly legacy and wished to pick up the mantle when he came of age.  He developed the ability to fly as he grew up, and he became a member of the Teen Team in the late 60s.  His life took a tragic turn when an old enemy killed his father, causing him to go live with Coyote for a time.  Though he learned much under his grandfather’s wing, he soon left after graduating high school and traveled the world, where he acquired his Frost Armor.  He has helped Coyote from time to time, but is doing his best to make it on his own.

    3)      She-Bear—Changing Bear: the former wife of Coyote when he was a crueler man.  Smitten with the trickster, she fell under his sway and became evil and malicious, going so far as to kill her brothers to please her husband.  However, when Coyote realized how sadistic she was, he threw her into a deep pit and abandoned her.  She managed to escape however and swore revenge against her former husband.  Their relationship is a complicated one, full of passion of all kinds, but is ultimately toxic and doomed to fail.
     
  • Cosmic Raiders: a renegade team of mercenaries that travel the galaxy to right wrongs.  They are comprised of a variety of species with abilities of all kinds, but they are united in a common goal to protect all life for a certain fee.  Some call them heroes, some call them pirates, and some call them a-holes, but there is no denying that when push comes to shove, they will do the right thing.  Deborah once rode along with them when looking for Coyote, who was spirited to a forsaken part of the universe by Lady Raven, and she became an honorary member as a result.
     

Introduced in SUPERSTAR FORCE:

  • Superstar Force—a colorful team of teenagers with attitude.  Initially starting off as a study group, the teens discovered the hidden lair of Master Roth and inadvertently brought the Cirque Demoniaque to Earth.  They are armed with special weapons and giant robot animals to combat the demons, and while each is a capable fighter in his or her own right, the Superstars are strongest when working together.  The current line-up consists of:

    1)      Red Superstar—Trevor Trang: the leader of the team and master of the Lion.  Trevor grew up in a rough part of Devil’s Peak and developed a tough skin as a result, but anyone that takes the time to get to know him will find him to be a kind hearted and faithful friend.  His determination and willpower make him the perfect leader for the team.

    2)      Yellow Superstar—Nicole Valdez: the second in command and master of the Bear.  What Nicole lacks in size, she more than makes up for in strength and perseverance.  She is a dynamo on the rugby field and is impossible to keep down when she gets going, which has served her well in fighting the forces of the Cirque Demoniaque.  Has a bit of a weight problem—the problem being that she isn’t all that concerned with being overweight, unlike her dear friend, Rose.

    3)      Blue Superstar—Kristen Tanner: the richest girl in Devil’s Peak and master of the Stallion.  Kristen may come from money, but she is much more down to Earth than the rest of her family and is very selfless.  While initially not a great fighter, she has proven to be a quick learner and likes to use her opponent’s momentum against them.  She used to have a crush on Rose, which led to them eventually coming together after the Madame Belle debacle.

    4)      Pink Superstar—Rose Pillar: the team wallflower and master of the Seal.  Rose is a transfer student who is both new to Devil’s Peak and the USA in general, having emigrated just before the start of the school year.  She would prefer not to fight, but when push comes to shove, she is more than capable of defending herself and her friends.  Her biggest enemy is herself, however, as she tends to nitpick every flaw in her body.  This led to Madame Belle possessing her and fattening Rose to immense proportions.

    5)      Black Superstar—Danny Patel: the team clown and master of the Tiger.  Danny is extremely happy-go-lucky and has never met a stranger, which makes him seem more gullible than he really is.  He thinks that being a Superstar is the coolest thing in the world and likes being his little sister’s favorite superhero, even though he can never tell her about his identity.

    6)      Green Superstar—Lorelei: a reformed demon and master of the Elephant.  Lorelei was once a servant of the Cirque Demoniaque who befriended the Superstars in order to destroy them from within, but she was won over by their kindness and compassion.  She was gifted with the last Super Spirit as a result and has worked tirelessly to undo her wrongs.  While she is not a strong fighter in her own right, she is well-versed in magic and can cast powerful spells that only the strongest demons can counter.
     
  • Cirque Demoniaque—a troupe of demonic circus performers who try to steal the souls of the living to sit as an eternal audience for their shows.  Once humans, they sold their souls in order to gain a crowd for their failing circus, only to be damned and turned into demons.  They were once banished to the depths of the Earth, but the Superstars accidentally summoned them to Devil’s Peak.  Though they have a hundred monsters at their disposal, the main members are:

    1)      Lord Bubze: the ringleader of the circus.  Bubze can take on any appearance he desires, but his natural form is that of an imp.  Despite his size, he has immense mystical powers, his greatest being to hypnotize people into doing his bidding.  He prefers to command from the sidelines so as to not risk his neck in battle.

    2)      Sir Sath: the strongman of the circus.  Sath is all muscle, no brains, but he lives by the motto that the best intelligence is a good offence.  His simian appearance keeps him confined to the Big Top mostly, since he does not have the ability to change his appearance.  Once tried to score a date with the Blue Superstar before realizing that she was not into men—let alone gorilla men.

    3)      Count Mon: one half of the acrobatic team in the circus.  Mon is much chattier than his twin, Mam, but his bark is worse than his bite.  While he is skilled and far more agile than any human, he lacks the finesse that Mam has and tends to bungle things more than help.  He used to be friends with Roth before the latter betrayed the circus.

    4)      Count Mam: the other half of the acrobatic team.  Mam is the strong, silent type and prefers to let his actions speak for themselves.  He often creates attack plans for the monsters, and has a deep-rooted rivalry with the Red Superstar.  Unlike his brother, he tries not to take credit for anything—mostly because, should a plan fail, he does not want to be blamed.

    5)      Prince Abba: the tattooed man of the circus.  Abba would much prefer to sleep than scheme and plot with his ilk, but he still contributes by occasionally having one of his tattoos come to life as a monster.  His shell makes him impervious from most attacks, but he tries not to be anywhere near an attacker if he can help it.

    6)      Lady Mode: the fortuneteller of the circus.  Mode is the second-strongest mystic on the team, though her powers are more of the mind than anything physical.  She has the appearance of a backstabber, but she is extremely loyal to Lord Bubze, having been raised by him when he found her on the streets.
     
  • Master Roth (mentioned): the mentor of the Superstars and a former member of the Cirque Demoniaque.  Roth used to be their beast tamer before he realized how heartless his coworkers had become after selling their souls and decided he wanted no part of it.  He found powerful magic that beat them and sealed them within the Netherworld, but at the cost of remaining frozen in time.  When the Superstars accidentally woke him up, he swore to finish the job he started ages ago and does everything in his power to make sure the team is ready.
     
  • Trapster: one of the circus’s many monster minions.  Trapster was a giant rat who had magical traps that shrank people down and imprisoned them, but the Superstars managed to beat him and break the spell he held over his prisoners.
     
  • Madame Belle: the former fat woman of the circus and Bubze’s wife.  Belle was an immense woman who could only move around thanks to an infernal machine, but that made her no less dangerous.  She had the distinction of being the first monster destroyed by the Superstars, which only deepened the demons’ hatred of the teens.  Mode recently tried to bring her back in the body of the Pink Superstar, but thanks to the help of her friends, she was exorcised.
     
  • Leslie Pillar: Rose’s mother.  While she is a stay-at-home mom, she also has a successful part-time career as a lifestyle blogger.  She hates seeing her daughter fret over herself and wishes she could do more to help, which is why she is eternally grateful to the other Superstars for helping Rose find her footing.
     
  • Tom Pillar: Rose’s father.  A simple man with simple tastes, Tom never tends to get overly worried or excited about anything unless it involves his daughter.  Like Leslie, he is over the moon that Rose made such good friends and has said that they are always welcome at the Pillar home.
     
  • Patricia Ratteree (mentioned): the school secretary.  While they hate having to lie to her, the Superstars have had to feed her many tall tales in order to get out of absences due to their work.  Enjoys her job, but wishes people wouldn’t pilfer from her candy dish so much.
     
  • Natasha Patterson (mentioned): the school bully.  Girls don’t need to be cheerleaders to be bullies, as Natasha is more than happy to point out.  A rebel without cause, she seems to live for the sole purpose of making people miserable.  Rose has theorized that she might be longing for friends of her own, but there is little evidence to prove that.  The other Superstars have accepted that she might simply be rotten.

Introduced in FEEDER-MAN RETURNS:

  • Tracy Levine (mentioned): Luan’s daughter. Tracy loves superheroes and often plays pretend as one—usually The Miracle.  Enjoys running around her mom’s apartment building and asking tenants if they need to be saved.
     
  • The Sensational Six: one of the most colorful super-teams on Earth-11.  Dr. Riley Sanders was conducting a test on a dark matter collection device when it exploded due to sabotage and bombarded her and her companions with energy.  Each member was given unique abilities, which they put to use for good.  They have been to the beginning and end of time, to the farthest reaches of the galaxy, and 83% of the multiverse, and though they have their arguments and fights, they always come back together.

    1)      The Flare—Pia Lorenz: arguably the most famous of the S6, Pia is undeniably the youngest member, having just turned 21 as of the events of ‘Feeder-Man Returns’.  The dark matter accident gave Pia the ability to generate fire, from creating a flaming aura about herself to hurling fireballs.  Always one to show off and stand out, Pia used her superhero career to launch her primary career as a starlet, starting as a child actress before branching out into a variety of fields.  She is friends with Mona Park, but the two are radically different and hang in opposite circles as they’ve moved apart in their respective careers.  Had her birthday party ruined when Feeder-Man’s tainted food made her gain hundreds of pounds.

    2)      Doctor Sensational—Riley Sanders: the de facto leader of the S6.  Dr. Sanders blames herself for the accident that changed herself and her friends and has devoted herself to finding a cure to their conditions.  While she has the ability to stretch her body into an infinite number of shapes, her greatest power is her intellect, which is one of the highest in the entire universe.  Gained weight along with several guests at Pia’s party, which she was not able to redistribute despite her powers.

    3)      The Creep—Buddy Collins: the muscle of the S6.  Buddy was the head of engineering and worked with Riley on the schematics for the dark matter collector, which caused him to receive a lot of heat after the initial failure.  Anyone who did blame him did so at risk of their health, as the accident not only turned his skin hard as diamond—he also became one of the strongest beings alive.  Never afraid to stand up for what’s right, Buddy approaches all problems with the same roughneck attitude and won’t hesitate to put the hurt on some jabronis.

    4)      The Disappearing Man—Arturo Lorenz: the loner of the S6.  Arturo was an assistant under Riley and invited his sister to attend the demonstration of the collector, so he feels some guilt in what happened to her.  The dark matter gave him the ability to become invisible and intangible, though closer inspection has revealed that Arturo can actually phase through dimensions as well.  While a little rough around the edges, he ultimately means well and will always help his friends in need.

    5)      Impossible Bot: the tech of the S6.  Impossible Bot was once an AI program that Riley used as a digital assistant and companion on lonely nights, but the dark matter explosion gave him true sentience and independence.  He created a body for himself that is composed entirely of nanomachines, which he can alter into whatever he might need in a situation.  Has feelings for Riley, though has not found the best way to approach them.

    6)      Gemstone—Amelia Quinn: the charm of the S6.  Amelia was a fellow assistant with Arturo and looks up to Riley as a mentor.  She was the first to discover that the dark matter collector was sabotaged, as she wanted to clear Riley’s name.  The accident gave her the ability to create a quartz-like mineral, which she can then manipulate however she desires.  Arturo and her have an on-again/off-again relationship, which almost culminated in a wedding on Saturn before being called off.
     
  • Count Terror—Ephraim Stone: Riley’s rival and the saboteur of her dark matter collector.  Ephraim and she have always competed with each other, but while Riley saw these as friendly competitions, Ephraim took them deathly seriously.  Believing that she was trying to sabotage his career, he got back at her by ruining her crowning achievement on the night of its unveiling.  However, he was also caught in the blast, which left him with permanent scars that he now covers with a mask.  Since being revealed as the one behind the accident, Ephraim has become a full-on supervillain and has devoted his life to not only destroying Riley’s career but also Riley herself.

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55 minutes ago, Batman76 said:

Dying to see you do more if this. Interesting that miss elite is an alt miracle. 

Soon as I clear out a couple more projects, I'll start up another round of C&C again. And Miss Elite is an alternative Guardiana, in keeping with the Power Girl/Superior dynamic.

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((For all my true believers in the US, happy Labor Day!  And for all my true believers elsewhere in the world, I hope you're having a safe and sound Monday.  It's been a hot minute since the last new installment, but we're back for another series of adventures on Earth-11.  So grab yourself a Hostess fruit pie, grab a seat, and enjoy the first installment of Capes and Cuisines, Phase 2!))

SPEED DEMON, PART 1

It can be all too easy to make excuses for cheating on one’s diet: insisting that they have done well enough to earn a treat, declaring they will be able to work off the calories, or needing a respite after a rough day.  Lily Summers fell in the latter camp as she fixed a bowl of Neapolitan for herself and coated it with peanuts, sprinkles, and a chocolate shell.  She knew that she had put on a few pounds over the last couple months, but who could blame her when she had so much responsibility on her shoulders?  Things were busy enough working as an EMT at the busiest hospital in Cornerstone, but factor in running around as the Speed Demon all day and all she wanted to do at the end of the day was curl up on the couch rather than work her buns off over a few pounds.

It was a common misconception that all speedsters had hyperactive metabolisms that required they consume thousands of calories per day to function.  While that might have been the case for those who were born speedy or had speed thrust upon them, there were many who got their speed through cybernetic enhancements or even mysticism.  Such was the case for Lily Summers, who was given her speed when she stumbled across a demonic summoning gone wrong.  She had to work out just like anyone else in order to burn calories, but between her careers as an EMT and the Speed Demon, she simply did not have the time to work out.

“Getting a little soft there, Speedy,” remarked the Polar Bear as he patted her backside.  “I must not be giving you enough exercise.”

“Ah, stuff it,” she grumbled to her beau as she sat down in his lap.  “I could run to the moon and back, and I wouldn’t burn more than a few calories.  I swear, it’s the Samoan in me.”

Polar Bear chuckled as he wrapped an arm around her softening middle.  “Must be, ‘cause I want Samoan of you.”

Lily turned a fine pink but said nothing as she ate her ice cream.  She knew that she did not need it—just more excess calories going straight to her hips—but she could not help it after the stressful week she had.  Running around the city, whether in her ambulance or on hellfire, was exhausting, and her boyfriend and his criminal pals did not help things.  With such a busy schedule, it was no wonder she had to go up another size in her jumpsuit!

“Well, maybe if you had warned me that Salamander and Goldfinch were planning that jewelry heist, I wouldn’t need some ice cream therapy,” the speedster insisted around a mouthful of frozen treat.  “And here I thought dating the leader of The Pack would give me a little edge.”

“Can’t go making things easy for you, can I?” asked Polar Bear with a smirk.

The reply was met with a roll of the eyes, but Lily still cuddled up with him and rested her head against him as he turned on a movie.  It was almost cliché for a superhero to have a relationship with one of their enemies, but whereas most seemed to be on a Friends with Benefits level, the Speed Demon and the Polar Bear had the rare connection that allowed them to hang out in between hanky-panky sessions on rooftops.  They started by exchanging banter on the battlefield as she dodged his freeze rays and he stayed two steps ahead of her, which then became a coffee date after they teamed up to stop the Anti-Speed, and before they knew it, they were sharing keys to each other’s apartments.

What helped their relationship flourish was how they were not a goody two shoes or ne’er-do-well like many of their peers.  Harry, as he was known when he removed his polar suit, had a strict set of rules he adhered to when committing capers, including bringing no harm to innocents and killing only as an absolute last resort.  Lily, for her part, was rather lenient when it came to chasing after Harry and his gang, as they never went after anyone that could not afford to take a financial hit.  Because of these attitudes, they sat in a gray area that earned them equal parts praise and scorn, depending on where someone sat in the social hierarchy.

Was it a relationship that would last forever?  Probably not, if couples like the Wolf and the Lynx were anything to go by, but Lily and Harry were happy to let things take their natural course and see where it led.  If that course wound up escalating into a citywide feud, then so be it—at least they would have a good time getting there.  For now, they were content to relax at the end of a long day, her head on his shoulder and his hands on her waist.

When the movie finally ended and Lily finished her second bowl of ice cream, Harry carried his drowsy darling to the bedroom and lay her out on the mattress, where she stretched out like a lazy housecat.  Her t-shirt, permanently borrowed from her boyfriend, raised enough to allow a sliver of tan tummy to peek out—something that was not there just a month prior.  Harry grinned at the sight of the little pooch of pudge and gave it a gentle pinch, much to Lily’s chagrin.

“Stoooop,” the sleepy speedster whined as she swatted limply at Harry and pulled her top back down.  “I’m just a little bloated from all that ice cream.  Why did I let you talk me into a second bowl?”

“Because you love when I spoil you, Lil,” Harry answered as he stripped down to a tank top and boxers, revealing the firm muscles that normally drove Lily wild.  “That, for all your talk about needing to diet, you’re happiest when you’re eating dessert and putting your feet up.  And I am more than happy to pamper the finest hero this city’s ever known.”

Lily propped her head up in her hand while she watched her beau undress, her heart fluttering when she caught a glimpse of his strong abs.  “I really wish you wouldn’t: if I let my diet slip too much, I’ll wind up as big as a house—or worse, my sister.”

The towering Harry growled playfully as he slid in bed beside Lily and rested one of his hands on her soft hip.  He caressed the plush, supple saddlebag and retorted, “Oh, if I had my way, I’d make your sister look like a twig next to you.  I’d have you so big that you wouldn’t be able to waddle to the kitchen, much less run halfway around the world in the blink of an eye.”

“Oh, is that right?  You think you could handle that much woman?” Lily asked with a purr.  She ran a finger down Harry’s chest, generating just enough heat to warm him.  “You’re strong, but you’d have to be like Defensor if you wanted to keep doing all those fun positions of yours.”

“Or just steal some toys from Big Top.  I am nothing if not adaptive,” the big man replied with a pat that sent a jiggle through Lily’s hip.  “Honestly though, you’d be cute with a little more cushion; it’d probably make crashing a little easier too.”

“Weirdo,” the softening speedster teased, though she did not remove Harry’s hand from her hip.  Instead, she placed her own hand on top and nibbled at her lip before asking, “Seriously though, you’re okay with this?  Me getting a little chubby, I mean?”

“Allow me to show you just how much,” Harry answered.  Before she could ask what he had in mind, Lily was turned over onto her back and her much larger partner slid down the bed with a devious grin on his lips.  She was almost about to say she was too tired for their usual hanky-panky, but he surprised her further by pulling her shirt up to her chest and planting a series of soft kisses along her fluffy stomach, especially where it formed a slight muffin top over her boyshorts.

At first, Lily was not sure what to make of the gesture, as it only served to remind her of plush her stomach had become.  The more Harry kissed her though, the more she started to come around—even stifling a small groan by nibbling on her finger.  It was a good thing that her beau was kinder than the average crook, because the way he knew how to rev her up was downright diabolical.  His beard tickling along her supple tummy, his teeth nibbling at her tender love handles, and the tip of his tongue dancing around her belly button had Lily more on edge than she thought possible.

Harry’s gesture was so potent, in fact, that the hexed heroine felt the familiar swell of hellish energy build up inside her.  While nowhere near as potent as it was when she ran full throttle, she did have a pair of flaming horns appear on her forehead and a forked tongue snaked out of her mouth when she took a gasp of air.  Her pillowy thighs wrapped Harry’s shoulders as Lily gripped the sheets and squirmed in impish bliss.

“Does my little hellion like that?” asked her burly boyfriend as he looked over his changed lover.

“Bet your sweet ass I do,” Lily moaned in a deep, throaty voice.  “But you might have to do a little more convincing to show me how much you really like this.”

“Your wish is my command,” Harry chuckled as he returned to her wobbly waist, nibbling lower and lower until he began to tug her shorts away with his teeth.

As Lily’s now hircine eyes rolled back and she shivered with pleasure, she found a new excuse for her weight woes.  Harry’s expert work on her lower half was all the confirmation she needed that he liked a little bump in the rump, and since that was the case, she did not need to worry as much about a few stubborn pounds.  She was a member of Justice United, had an unrecognized museum to her name, and had the highest success rates among Central Heart Hospital’s EMTs.  So what if she was a little thicker than she liked?   She had a good life, both as Lily Summers and as the Speed Demon.  What a shame that it should all come crashing down one week later…

***

It can be all too easy to make excuses for one’s bad behavior: claiming it was justified, deflecting onto other people, or blaming someone else entirely.  Alana Kazama fell in the latter camp as she stumbled through the streets of Cornerstone City, cursing the name of the woman that ruined her criminal career.  She knew that she had broken the rules that Polar Bear set for the Pack, but who could blame her for taking a little more when it was her technology that allowed the team to escape time and again?  Things were bad enough with getting kicked out of the gang Alakazam helped put on the map, but factor in her boss’s screwing around with the Speed Demon all day and all she wanted to do was make the entire city disappear into a black hole.

“Goddamn speedster whore ruins everything,” the magician grumbled before taking another swig of the bottle of absinthe she stole earlier.  “Fucking Polar Bear…stingy motherfucker thinks he can kick me out?  I helped make the Pack what it is!  If anything, I should be running the show—then we’d be richer than God!”

While Alana made for an almost comical sight as she teetered down the road in her combination magician/bunny girl costume, the few onlookers she passed were not laughing.  She earned her fair share of notoriety like the other members of the Pack, but for all the wrong reasons.  The Pack were seen as cool but approachable, tough but fair, and thieves with hearts of gold—all traits that Alana did not possess.  She was a complete and utter diva, lording her talent over others and demanding praise, attention, and all the finest things in life, and woe to those who denied her any of the above.  If she was ever crossed, she would use her illusion-projecting technology to torment her victims or banish them with her teleporting wand, and that was if they were lucky.

Soused as she was though, the malevolent magician would have had a difficult time fighting her way out of a paper bag, much less ruining someone’s night.  Alana was mad: not fighting mad, which would have resulted in millions in property damage; she was scheming mad, which was even worse.  She was ready to make Speed Demon may for the indignity of banishment from the Pack, but she needed help to make it happen.  When she got her revenge, she wanted to make sure it hurt and hurt a lot.

That was why she made her way to an innocuous manhole, teleported it out of the way, and clambered down a ladder into the depths of Old Cornerstone—the aged ruins of the city that was home to many urban legends and criminals on the run.  Her destination was an old general store that looked ramshackle on the exterior but, like so many other buildings in Old Cornerstone, served as a suitable lair for an aspiring villain.  But the vengeance Alana had in mind was not up to the task for goons like Sergeant Sand or the Baker—she needed someone smarter, more cunning, and above all, grander.

With all the grace of a drunken sorority girl, Alana banged her fists on the door of the shop and hollered, “Ganesha!  Ganesha, I need to talk to you!”

Her pounding was silenced when a speaker underneath the sign crackled to life and a booming voice trumpeted, “Confound it, female, are you trying to wake the dead?  The idea of a hideout is that one uses it for hiding, and I can’t very well do that with you shouting loud enough for the whole Justice United to hear!”

“But I need your help,” Alakazam whined before taking another swig from her bottle.  “I had a fight with Lady Ala and then Polar Bear kicked me out and the Clownfish laughed at me and I lost my hideout privileges and I just hate Speed Demon so much and—”

“Breathe, woman,” the voice on the other end of the speaker sighed.

After pausing to choke back a sob and choke down another gulp of absinthe, the mirthless magician continued, though less rambling than before.  “I got kicked off the team because they’re all a bunch of pussies who like to follow the rules instead of being criminals, and I want your help with a little payback—especially on Speed Demon.”

Alana slumped against the door when she finished and gulped down the last of her booze before throwing the bottle down the street.  She groaned, “Look, you’re maybe the only person that hates her more than me, and I need all the help I can get.  If we put our heads together, we could be a real killer team, you know?”

The air hung silent and heavy for a moment before the door slid open behind Alana, causing her to tumble back into the hideout of Grand Ganesha—the greatest menace that Cornerstone had ever known.  As Alana fumbled about on the floor, failing to find any purchase in her drunken state, the cold tiles began to quake as her prospective partner stomped over to her.  When the light over her became obscured, the magician turned around and saw Grand Ganesha towering over her with a fierce scowl on his elephantine face.  Anyone who lived outside of Cornerstone would have laughed at the idea that a man-elephant could terrorize the town so, but one look at the hideous hybrid changed many a doubter’s mind, just as Alana’s had been when she first met the brute.

Ganesha was part of an insane experiment designed to give physical form to the gods of myth, and what had once been a peaceful calf had been mutated into an anthropomorphic abomination with a genius intellect and psionic abilities.  While it was debatable if the experiment had actually succeeded or not, Ganesha believed himself to be a god incarnate and demanded worship from the people of Cornerstone.  He was a force to be reckoned with in countless ways: from the physical, with his hulking body and immense strength, to the mental, with his malicious mind concocting elaborate schemes and plots for domination.  The only one that stood in his way was Speed Demon, who managed to outwit him at every possible turn—an indignity Ganesha would not tolerate.

“Why should I waste my time with the Pack’s trash?” the elephantine evil-doer grunted as he picked Alana off the floor.  “I could replace any one of you with a chimpanzee with a gun, and they would be just as effective at stopping the Speed Demon.”

“Not me,” Alana retorted, brushing away the dust from the cottontail on her suit.  “I’m a master of magic on par with some of the greatest in the universe!”

Ganesha crossed his powerful arms and sneered, “You are a master of smoke and mirrors—nothing more.  What could you possibly offer me that I couldn’t create on my own?”

“Because unlike the rest of those posers, my gear can’t be replicated,” boasted Alana with a hand to her chest.  “I could be Polar Bear if I stole a snow gun from a ski resort, and all I need to match Salamander are a spray can and a lighter.  But my illusions and disappearing act?  Can’t be topped!”

While many would have dismissed her boasts as drunken rambling, Ganesha had to admit that there was some truth to the statement.  The Pack, in his eyes, were nothing special: mere bank robbers playing with the elements themselves, little grasping the power that lay in their fingertips.  Alakazam was a hot mess, but she did have the more impressive technology among them; the only reason she was beaten on a regular basis was because Speed Demon was able to exploit her fragile ego.  But in the right hands and with some augmentation, her weapons of choice could be used to devastating effect.

“You may have a point there, female,” Ganesha replied as he stooped down to get on eye level with Alana.  “But my partnership does not come free: I will require something of you when the deed is done, and I expect to be repaid in full.”

The magician smirked with impish glee at the answer and clapped her new accomplice on the shoulder.  “Hey, don’t you worry, big guy—after we get rid of Speed Demon, I’m all yours!  So long as that flaming floozy is out of my hair, I’ll do whatever you want.”

Ganesha let out a rumbling snort from his trunk before turning and leading Alana into the depths of his hideout.  “Bold promises, but I will hold you to them.  For now, let us get to plotting and see if we can’t deal with our speedster problem…”

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1 hour ago, Batman76 said:

Oh boy, a chubby female flash?

 

 

Looking forward to friction fires from her thighs...

The chub rub is going to be murder on her, and it'll be interesting to see how she waddles at supersonic speeds.

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