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Story: Wonder Woman & the JLA - Momentous Identity Problems 14/??

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  • szink22446@aol.com
    Wonder Woman & the JLA - Momentous Identity Problems by SteveZ Part 14 Greenville, South Carolina Shortly after two in the afternoon, John Drake was in the
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 3, 2007
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      Wonder Woman & the JLA - Momentous Identity Problems
      by SteveZ


      Part 14

      Greenville, South Carolina

      Shortly after two in the afternoon, John Drake was in the living room
      of his apartment listening to and snap watching CNN Headline News while
      scanning the help wanted section of the newspaper he'd bought during
      that morning's job interviews.  Between jobs (read looking for work)
      after the closing of Lockheed's rework facility, he'd gotten home just
      before 1 and had a late lunch.  At thirty-one years of age, he was at a
      bit of a disadvantage compared to the multitude of younger folks with
      whom he was competing, but between his positive and happy demeanor and
      a fit body resulting from his regular workouts and proper diet many of
      those seeing him figured John was in his middle twenties.  Keeping his
      light brown hair stylishly short didn't hurt, and gleaming blue eyes
      added to his constant smile gave most of those he saw a very good
      impression; it was when they got to parts of the applications referring
      to schooling and past jobs that his true age became apparent, even if
      date of birth was no longer allowed on job applications.

      One thing that didn't show up anywhere in John's job applications or
      his resume was his intense interest and practical devotion to the
      comics and any other book appearances of DC's heroine and stage
      magician called Zatanna.  He'd started reading JLA books as a
      youngster and as he grew older and wiser found more and more books in
      which she starred or costarred, and more recently collected everything
      he could find in the press and on the web about her activities.  Other
      than maybe her writers, artists and editors at DC, there were probably
      very few people who knew as much as John did about Zatanna's life,
      stage shows and crime fighting activities.  A visit to his bedroom
      would give evidence of John's devotion, with quite a few photos of real
      women dressed like Zee and comic art and posters lining the walls.

      This connection to Zee is what brought about the sudden disappearance
      of John from his living room.  Thanks to his research, he had a good
      idea of where he ended up.  It seemed as if he was standing not on
      anything solid, but supported somehow by the thick mists with which he
      was surrounded.  "Zatara?" he asked.

      Moments later Zee's father stepped out of the mists to stand before
      John.  "I knew you of all people would recognize where you are, John. 
      I know about your devotion to my daughter.  You know more about what
      she does and also how she does it than anyone on the real Earth or in
      our comics world that I know of.  Which is why I've brought you here. 
      John, Zatanna seems to have disappeared.  There is no sign of her
      anywhere on Earth or in the mystical realms.  Therefore, I am hoping
      you will help me to find her and at the same time fill in for Zatanna
      in the Justice League."

      "I'd be more than happy to help you find Zatanna," John replied, "but
      how would I be able to fill in for her with the JLA, Zatara?"

      Zatara grinned, then said, "I know you have no job to tie you to a real
      world Earthly role as John Drake at this time.  Therefore, I am asking
      you to take on the comics Earthly role of Zatanna, John."

      "Whoa!" John exclaimed.  "You want me to actually change from being me
      to being your daughter?"

      "I know it's asking a lot, John, but nobody else on Earth, in the
      comics world or here in the mystical realms knows Zee any better than
      you," Zatara told him.  "I know you've spent your entire life as a
      male, but I'm betting that your knowledge of my daughter would allow
      you as a female, in effect a twin of my daughter, to live as if you'd
      been born as a girl.  In addition, there's a reason I brought you here
      unrelated to your deep devotion to my daughter.  You obviously are
      unaware of this, but you John Drake have the untapped nascent abilities
      of a warlock.  Added to what I could give you should you agree, this
      would make you the perfect person to become a new Zatanna."

      John was silent for a moment, then said, "If I was to become Zatanna
      for any length of time if we don't find her right away, this would mean
      accustoming myself to the peculiarities of the female body such as
      different hormones and shaving, menstrual periods, and lots more I
      can't imagine as a male.  I'd also have to do something about my
      residence in John's name in the real world if I'm going to live as
      Zatanna in the comics world.  But that's just details.  Hell, something
      as simple as a magical spell might get me used to being female, along
      with taking care of my current home."

      "The way I have planned for you to change to Zatanna will take care of
      everything related to being a female," Zatara replied.  "It would only
      be a small portion of my payment to you for doing this that you would
      have no worries about the residence in Greenville.  I will take care of
      that so you will have no concerns other than those pertaining to
      Zatanna."

      John nodded while saying, "In that case, Zatara, tell me what I need to
      do to make you my father."

      "You'll know intuitively when you get there, John.  For the record, my
      daughter was supposed to have joined Black Canary and Hawkgirl in
      taking Wonder Woman to her home on Themyscira.  The real Wonder Woman
      got turned into an evil Cheetah by Dr. Psycho, and Martian Manhunter
      has taken on the Amazon's form and identity for the time being.  That
      may be of help when you meet any of the other members of the JLA later
      on after they get back from Gateway City.  I thank you for all you're
      doing, and I hope you won't have to be my daughter for very long." 
      Zatara shook John's hand, then said softly, "nhoJ ot s'annataZ moor ni
      eht rewothctaW."

      John did another disappearing act, and this time appeared in a small
      room with a bed, desk, chest of drawers and two chairs.  Two small
      circular windows on one wall showed a black sky with crystal clear
      stars gleaming.  Even without seeing Zatanna's costume top hat on the
      end table, the pictures hanging everywhere other than on the closet
      doors would have told him where he was.  This was obviously a room used
      by Zatanna, and from its small size and the scene outside the windows
      he figured it had to be in the JLA's Moon base headquarters, the
      Watchtower.  He wondered why Zatara had said the spell too softly to
      hear, but maybe it was so that John would see it before hearing it.

      He also knew now what Zatara had meant about knowing what to do.  John
      walked to the end table and picked up the top hat left there earlier. 
      'I wonder if whoever's at the watch desk has noted anybody being in
      this room?' he wondered while lifting the hat over his head.  'If so,
      they're about to find a familiar person here, and not a stranger.' 
      John settled the hat onto his light brown hair covered too large head,
      then felt something indescribable as long black hair appeared in his
      peripheral vision and the hat fit perfectly.  Make that, her peripheral
      vision.

      The hat had transformed him into Zatanna, and he now was in the body
      he'd only seen and admired in the past.  She found herself to be in the
      costume seen at the last show in Miami.  In addition, she felt a
      oneness of being that indicated what Zatara had said to be true. 
      Zatanna knew everything there was about living as a female, for that's
      what she was.  A magical female, at least, one who was able to change
      from being a male and be perfectly at ease as a female.  She also had
      picked up a lot of intimate knowledge and memories Zatanna had of her
      life which John could never have known.

      Zatanna looked down at the thigh high boots covering almost all of her
      fishnets, and said aloud, "I liked seeing these at the show, but I
      prefer the shoes that let my legs be seen.  stooB egnahc ot ym seohs." 
      She felt herself drop an inch as the lower heeled shoes took the place
      of the boots.  As she took off the hat to put it back on the end table,
      Zatanna thought, 'I wonder how long I should wait before letting
      everybody else know I'm here.'

      The answer came in her head.  <Zatanna, I told Inza that you'd be back
      later in the afternoon.  You may want to just sit tight in the room
      reading until 4 or so.>

      <Is it okay to call you daddy or father now?>

      <Of course, since in effect you truly are Zatanna now.>

      <Thanks, daddy.  I did see what you meant about the way the change
      would affect me.  I'm now feeling as if I've been your daughter all my
      life.>

      <That was to make sure you fit in as best you could.  I hope you won't
      have to be like this for long.  The real Zatanna must be found.>

      <I'll do what I can, father.>

      <Thank you again.  I'd suggest you change back into the boots.  That's
      what 'you' were wearing earlier in the day, and while I'm sure the
      others are used to the way you change on a whim, you should appear as
      you were earlier.  And another thing, let's tell the others that you
      got snared by Allura, and it wasn't until her good twin sister helped
      me that we got you free from her.>

      "seohS egnahc ot stoob."  Zatanna regained her lost inch.  <That does
      sound like a good explanation, thanks.  Hopefully we'll know the real
      explanation soon.>

      <Best of luck, my dear.>

      Zatanna felt the presence of her father in her head go away, then
      figured it was a good thing he was helping her along the way.  Then she
      picked up the same issue of Magic-Unity-Might that had been dropped
      earlier and sat in the very same chair to read for a while. 


      Wonder Woman's place, a bit earlier

      As Green Lantern was nearing Diana's condo faster than any human could
      discern, Cheetah (the changed J'onn, not the one on Transformation
      Island) felt his energy in her mind.  Instantly she used her power to
      turn invisible, at the same time also selecting and arming the mind
      control dart on her left wrist.  Then she waited. 

      Green Lantern came to a halt and took shape in the living room of
      Diana's condo.  The TV was on, and he found it hard to believe J'onn
      even as Diana could be entertained by Donahue.  But if the TV was on,
      where was she?  "J'onn, or Diana, whichever you prefer, are you here?"

      He stood stock still for a moment to try and hear anything, but the
      only sound that came was one he was not prepared for and could not
      avoid.  The dart made a swishing sound as it shot toward his neck, and
      it impacted just above the collar line on his left side.  Kyle then
      felt his mind go numb, and a slack jawed look came to his face.

      Cheetah came back into view then, and walked to stand directly in front
      of the ring wielder.  Before she started to give him any instructions,
      the villainess used her mental powers to erect a firewall around them
      both.  No one would be able to interfere.  "You hear and understand me,
      don't you Green Lantern?"

      "I do."

      "We're not at a wedding, Kyle."

      "I hear and understand you."

      "Much better, Kyle.  Tell me, who is here from the JLA besides
      yourself?"

      "Superman, Batman, Dr. Fate, Flash and Aquaman."

      'Good thing I erected that mental firewall,' she thought.  "Your ring
      can alter anything to match what you imagine, am I correct?"

      "Yes."

      "Even something as hard as solid steel, or as soft as a human body?"

      "Nothing can resist the power of my ring."

      "Good, Kyle.  Now, I'm going to put an image into your mind.  I want
      you to will your ring to make yourself match that image."  Cheetah
      pictured the image in her own mind, then transferred it to Lantern's
      mind.

      A few seconds later, Cheetah saw the ring on Kyle's hand start to
      glow.  A moment later he was enclosed in a solid emerald shell.  Less
      than a minute later, that shell vanished.

      Standing in the same spot Green Lantern had before was now a green
      skinned female with shoulder length dark green hair and clothed in a
      forest green monokini that barely covered the aureolas of her huge
      breasts, let alone any of the rest of the green orbs.  Matching green
      gloves came to her elbows, and knee high boots of that same color with
      moderate high heels completed her costume.  The shocking thing wasn't
      necessarily Kyle's new female form, but more her size.  She stood only
      four inches tall.  She was the size of a toy action figure.

      "You, my dear, are now Pixie.  You know who you are and why you're
      here."

      "Yes," came the tiny but sexy voice.  "I am Pixie, your partner in
      crime, Cheetah."

      "That's right, Pixie.  With your power ring, we will be unstoppable. 
      But you will only become Pixie if you feel my mental summons.  At all
      other times, you will still be Green Lantern.  Green Lantern will have
      no knowledge of what Pixie does, while you will know everything that he
      does, is that clear?"

      "Yes, Cheetah.  I'm only your little green vixen when you call for me. 
      Otherwise, I will still be Green Lantern.  I'm going to be aware at all
      times, but as Green Lantern I'll be ignorant of Pixie."

      "That's correct, Pixie.  And now, since I'm sure Green Lantern's
      teammates are probably going to be looking for him, make the change
      back to your other form; the effects of the dart won't wear off for
      another fifteen minutes, so wait until then to change.  I'll let you
      watch me change while we're waiting."

      "I'll wait, Cheetah."

      Cheetah went back to her couch and sat to watch the TV.  Donahue was
      wrapping up a segment of audience participation prior to a commercial
      break.  When the commercial came on, Cheetah saw her own self come into
      view.  She heard her own voice say, "Time to go back into hiding,
      Cheetah.  Let Wonder Woman take over your mind once again."

      The image on the screen went over to the commercial every other TV set
      was seeing, and Diana rapidly noticed the costume she was wearing. 
      "There, I knew I'd be able to put on this Cheetah costume and still be
      myself.  I'm not giving in to that urge to change to my old identity. 
      I guess I can get back into my regular costume now." 

      Diana walked into her bedroom, unaware of the tiny girl in green who
      watched.  She saw the costume her alter ego had discarded earlier and
      laid it on her bed, then got out of the Cheetah costume.  Before
      putting on any of the Wonder Woman costume, she surprised herself by
      carefully folding the yellow and black costume and placing it in her
      drawer with the wrist shooters on top.  But her surprise was soon
      replaced by a thought of just taking good care of something else to
      wear.  And while she could have just spun, Diana took the time again to
      put on each piece of what she considered her true costume.

      When Diana came out of her bedroom as Wonder Woman, she was surprised
      to see Green Lantern standing in her living room.  He looked a bit
      stunned.  "Kyle, are okay?  What are you doing here?"

      He placed both white gloved hands over his temples and said, "I feel
      like I just came out of a mixing bowl, J'onn...or do you prefer Diana?"

      "Diana's fine, Kyle.  Again, why are you here?"

      "The others are over at Psycho's place taking him out of commission,
      Diana.  Superman asked me to drop in and see how you were doing, since
      we hadn't heard from you at the Watchtower this morning.  And if I may
      ask, why do you have your face made up so differently?"

      "Differently?"  She walked over to the mirror over the couch.  "Oh, I
      must have been experimenting with my look earlier and forgot to change
      back."  Kyle noted that she left her face looking just as wicked. 
      "And, I wasn't aware I was supposed to clock in every morning, Kyle. 
      Tell Kal that I'm just fine, thank you, and to let me run my own life
      here.  I don't need the rest of the JLA as my baby sitters."

      As soon as Diana finished saying that, a red and gold blur appeared
      between she and Kyle, then solidified into the form of Flash.  "What,
      they sent you over here now, too, Wally?"

      Flash took a quick look at Kyle that wasn't even noticed by Diana,
      then turned toward her and saw the way her face looked.  He replied,
      "What's with that almost evil look with the makeup, Diana?  When Kyle
      hadn't come back right away we got a little worried.  Inza did a mental
      check, and found she couldn't get through due to a mental block of some
      kind."

      "Makeup?  This is just me.  I left my face looking the way I had it
      earlier when I was experimenting with my look.  And sorry about that,
      Wally.  I must have put up a mental firewall earlier today and
      forgotten about it."  She did a quick check, and yes, there it was. 
      She took it down right away.  "No more firewall, Wally."  <Inza, this
      is Diana.>

      It took longer than she expected, but Diana finally heard, <Diana, we
      couldn't reach you before.  Are Kyle and Wally both there?>

      <Both getting set to leave, Inza.>

      <Okay, thanks.  Can you see the image?>

      Diana saw in her mind a blonde with a body even an Amazon might envy,
      in glossy black from her neck down.  <The blonde in black?>

      <Yes.  I guess you'll hear a lot more later, but thanks to Psycho's
      ectoplasmic extractor, that's who Superman is now.  Meet Yvonne Simons.>

      <YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING!!>

      <Either come back with the guys, or wait until you get a full briefing
      later on, Diana.>

      <I'll wait, thanks.  Later, Inza.>

      <Glad we finally got through to you, Diana.>

      <Oh, that was a mental firewall I must have put up and forgot about. 
      It's down now, obviously.  Bye.>  She shut down the link herself, to
      keep Fate from mentally yacking.

      "Sorry, guys, I was just chatting with Inza.  Wally, have fun telling
      Kyle about Superman on your way back."

      Kyle looked at Wally with a question in his eyes.  "You're gonna love
      this, Kyle.  See ya later, Diana."

      "Bye, guys."


      continued in part 15
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