She looked up and saw that he was pointing in the direction of the three friends, specially at the tall brunette standing in the middle. "Me?" Diane asked with a slight quiver in her voice.
"Yeah," the ebony being acknowledged, before using his chin to point to the newly created kid's toy between them. "Ride her," he ordered.
Diane let out a short huff. "Like hell I will," she said, apparently getting over her fear of the villain.
Having witnessed more of the Transmutant's cruelty than her friend, Rebecca quickly turned to warn Diane that pissing him off might not be a good idea. In doing so, she missed seeing him releasing another of his powerful transmuting beams. However, she did get a good look at it striking Diane squarely in the chest. By then, it was too late. All she could do was watch as another of her friends fell victim to his awesome power.
Diane was immediately engulfed in the signature blue glow of the Transmutant's energy, barely having enough time to spit out a shocked "Wh--" before it went to work on her. From beside her, Rebecca watched as Diane's body was compressed, flattening front to back in a similar fashion to the way Adventure Girl's icy form had earlier when she was turned into a painting. There was one important difference, however, as Adventure Girl's flattening had stopped at about an inch or so. Diane's kept going until the girl was completely flat. So flat, in fact, that Rebecca had expected her to drop to the floor like a discarded towel would have done. Instead, an instant after she had reached total flatness, Diane began to stretch out again. Slowly, her body inflated outward, though Rebecca noted that it was with a lot less detail. No sign of the curves that Diane was so proud of could be made out. Instead, even as her form expanded, her front and back remained perfectly smooth and flat. It wasn't until she started to float up toward the cavern ceiling that Rebecca realized why that was.
Diane was now one of those printed Mylar balloons that you could buy in grocery store or from a vendor in the park. She continued upward until she bounced against the stone roof of the cavern. Once there, her body shifted around until her shock-frozen face stared down at her friends, both of who returned her stare in kind.
"You!" The Transmutant's voice brought Rebecca back to the reality of the danger that still remained in the cavern with her. She twisted around to find the ominous finger now pointed directly at her. "Ride her," the Transmutant added without preamble.
Rebecca didn't have to be told twice. Without so much as a "Yes, sir", she rushed over and picked up the balled Miss Adventure. Finding a handle sticking out of her back, she quickly sat on the heroine's inflated backside. Smiling up at the villain watching her, she began to bounce around the cavern vigorously. She felt like an idiot, but it was better than being turned into a vacuum cleaner... or worse.
Meanwhile, Rick continued to stare up at the balloon that a few moments before had been one of his girlfriends. He was so drawn in by Diane's transformation, that he missed the Transmutant walking over to stand beside him. "Pretty cool, huh?" the ebony creature said, causing him to jump to the side. Without waiting for a reply, the Transmutant continued. "I'll admit that I was pretty upset about losing my Transmuter at first, but I have to admit that being able to do all this myself is infinitely better. Wouldn't you agree?"
Rick stared at the being next to him for a second, before turning to look around the cavern. One of his friends stood to one side as a silver statue. Another was a balloon bouncing off the ceiling, while the only remaining mobile of the three was doing some bouncing of her own... on the back of an inflatable toy that a few minutes ago had been a living woman. Finally, lying in the center of the cavern was a female shaped painting of a young girl that appeared to be made of glass or ice or something similar.
Finally, Rick turned back to the Transmutant to answer his question.
Mon, 16-Feb-2004 22:40:44