Once Lily DeLuna had changed, and Libby Lawrence had notified the police, as well as her news bureau, the ladies only had a short wait before the authorities arrived. They had only moments to agree on an edited version of the events that took place, one that left out the details of their battles with the Huntress, Sportsmaster, and the Oculist.
It was several hours before they could sit down in a quiet corner table at Giovanni’s Ristorante and fill each other in on all that had happened.
“…and she took off with the Sportsmaster, berating him for leaving the fight too early. So, what did you do to him, Libby? It looked like he’d been through a wringer.”
“I should hope so, after what he pulled on me,” said Libby, “which was just about everything he had in that gimmicked duffel bag. When we started in on them, I didn’t seem him at first. Then two arrows struck by my feet and exploded. I didn’t consciously see them coming at me, but must have sensed it, because I was already jumping when they struck. The third arrow came from above and to the right, and I looked up to see him on a small terrace. There was a long drape near it; I jumped at it and swung up there. He was still trying to nock another arrow when I caught him with a spinning kick and knocked the bow out of his hands.”
Libby paused as the waiter came with their drinks. Sipping from her wine glass, she continued.
“I’d heard about him from Green Lantern and the Flash, but I don’t think I ever believed their stories about his souped-up sporting equipment. I mean, come on — a tennis racquet with razor-wire strings? A lacrosse stick with a shotgun in one end, and lobbing hand grenades with the other? Exploding jacks?”
“Jacks? But those are kids’ toys!” exclaimed Lois.
“They also make great caltrops,” commented Lily. When the other ladies turned to stare, she grinned. “Hey, some of the boys in my neighborhood liked sneaking around the yard. So I sharpened a bag of jacks and scattered them near the house. They didn’t come back.”
“It was the jacks that blew away the railing on that terrace, and when I tackled the Sportsmaster, we both rolled over the edge and dropped to the floor below. He’s muscular, but he still makes a good cushion for landing.”
“What happened after that?”
“I jumped up, but he seemed stunned. He still had some sense, though, and pulled an oversized pistol from inside that umpire’s chest protector. He made some remark about his starting pistol being the end of me.”
“Lame,” echoed both Lois and Lily.
“You get used to it. There was a potted tree there, and I grabbed the trunk and brought it down between us. I heard the gun go off as I slipped under the tree, and he was running towards you and the Huntress. I took off after him, scooping up a couple chunks of stone as I ran. But he made it past you guys and blew the hole in the wall before I could catch up.”
Lily held her wine glass by the stem and twirled it between her fingers. “Whew. I thought I could handle him again, but I had trouble enough with the Huntress! I don’t think I could have stood up to him.”
“What are you talking about, girl? Are you saying the Huntress was easier, just because she’s a woman?” Lois’ eyes flashed as she spoke. “What was I telling you in the lecture today? The only thing holding a woman back from being just as smart, just as strong, just as tough as any man, is her attitude. I know members of the JSA who will attest that the Huntress is far more dangerous in a fight than the Sportsmaster and his gimmicks. With your martial arts training, it made more sense for you to go up against her, while Libby took on his gimmicks with her, umm, special abilities.”
“Amen to that, Lois.” Libby raised her glass. “Here’s to us, ladies. Let nothing hold us back.”
The three raised their glasses and touched them over the center of the table, Lois and Lily echoing Libby’s toast.