A bespectacled old man named Oliver Weed shook his fists in anger. “Another one! Another nutcase messing around with time!” he raged. “This one is unaware of how she is damaging the entire time-stream with her faulty equipment!”
As a self-appointed guardian of the time-stream, Mr. Weed relished his work; however, he sometimes despaired at the amount of it. “I was the first time traveller from the modern era. (*) Verne and Da Vinci and Bacon beat me to it by a few centuries, but they were pikers. Thus, it falls to one tired old man to set things right when people tamper with time,” he sighed.
[(*) Editor’s note: See Strange Adventures of Mr. Weed, New Comics #1-4 (December, 1935 to March-April, 1936).]
He turned to his robotic aide and said, “OK, H.G., follow along here: Madame Mayhem comes from an alternate timeline in which Geri Sloane remained evil. She stuck around in the one in which the JSA cured her counterpart who became Miss Terrific — quite a dish, I must say!
“Mayhem stole the space-transformer and is using it, unaware that she has failed to correct a failsafe built in by the brilliant babe Paula von Gunther! All you can do is travel to alternate timelines in that craft, unless you enter Paula’s own retina scan, which Mayhem failed to do. So all she is doing is using Concord’s technology to mess up another timeline. Her JSA is unaffected! Wait till she learns that! Oddly enough, her actions only explain why the team remained so young in the year 2000 in one possible timeline. They even encountered this line once before during the whole Nebula-Man/Doome plot, although they don’t recall it now,” he mused. (*) “Still, the machine is being used wrongly, and it may weaken the barriers between various timelines. That way lies madness!” he fumed.
[(*) Editor’s note: See DC Universe: Times Past, 1943: The Space-Time Gambit, Book 3: Timeline War.]
“I need an agent. Hmmm… Why not use her own good double Miss Terrific to set things right?” He smiled and rubbed his hands together. “I do love a girl in tights!” he sighed.
Madame Mayhem planned to jump forward to her own time and enjoy the fruits of a world without heroes, since without the JSAers there would also be no Infinity Inc. or Junior JSA, and possibly no other super-hero teams to speak of. However, she was stopped short by several ideas.
Perhaps I should just go in and slay them all! she thought. Or would I risk being caught by the mist? I’d better just get back to where I belong and kill my good twin sister.
Then she smiled wickedly. “Mother! I should be a dutiful little girl and visit my mother when she was young and unaware of what lurked within her.”
She referred to police officer Lysette Andrews, who would become Mrs. Terry Sloane and eventually Geri’s mother.
“Of course!” she said. “If I slay her, then my good girl twin will not exist. I’ll be safe, since I’ve become separated from that particular timeline thanks to Black Barax’s efforts.” She prepared to travel to Gateway City.
In the present, Geri Sloane wore a pale green blouse and miniskirt as she exited the Fair Play Club in Gateway City. She smiled at the children who ran in and out merrily.
“Hi, Irma! Don’t shove Garth like that, Rocky!” she cautioned as they played.
She enjoyed working at the clubs her late father had started, and she relished helping kids achieve their own potential. She hoped this part of Mister Terrific’s legacy would never die.
Perhaps some of these kids will be heroes themselves, someday. Why, Mister Terrific could even be responsible for all the future’s brightest heroes by his example, she thought. The pretty girl’s youth belied her amazing mental and physical abilities. She looked more like a girl next door than a heroine, but she had all of her father’s impressive one-thousand talents.
She then noticed as an odd-looking old man approached her. “Do you need some assistance, sir?” she asked him, wondering if he had a grandchild within the club.
He smiled and said, “I do, but not from Geri. I need the girl in the green minidress and red hosiery.”
She frowned and led him inside to her office. “OK, you obviously have a special problem. What can I do for you?” she asked, now aware that he knew her secret.
“In two words, Madame Mayhem! She has disrupted a couple of timelines! I need you to stop her,” he said bluntly.
“You’re Mr. Weed!” she replied knowingly.
He gulped. “How? I thought Doc Fate was the only one who remembered me!”
Geri smiled. “My father told me everything he knew about his era’s heroes, and you figured in such a tale.”
Oliver Weed smiled. “Of course, the Barax case. I should have recalled. The majority of my past deeds have been forgotten due to the nature of the cross-time elements, but the Black Barax cases still happened within your timeline. Your father was amazing.”
She nodded. “I never tire of hearing about him. He did more than most people recall.”
“His legend does not die,” Weed sighed. “Take comfort in that, my dear. Now suit up, and I’ll send you to your evil double!” She did so and departed via his time machine, the time car.
He whispered to himself, “Your own legend lives on, too, honey.”
As Miss Terrific arrived in the alternate timeline version of 1950 where her double had trapped the JSA, she frowned. It was painful to fight anyone so twisted with hatred. It was worse to unmask that someone and see your own face as she had during their last encounter. Her double refused to ever use the Sloane name again, yet even masked by her crimson mask, Madame Mayhem was a eerie twin to Geri. She had all her skills and used them not for fair play, but for her own sick desires.
Geri Sloane raced through the quiet streets of Gateway City, attracting more than her share of whistles and stares. The miniskirt has not reached this era yet, so I must look like a real escapee from a chorus line! she mused.
She knew where her twin would strike, feeling a sick realization that beneath her grand schemes and vaunted ambitions rested an undying hate of her own family. She reached the Gateway City home of the future Lysette Sloane. All was silent. She picked the lock with ease and entered.
Her mother was not home, but her double waited within. “You? Here?!” sneered Madame Mayhem.
As her evil twin jumped at Geri, she dropped flat on her back and coiled her legs up against her chest. She released them with sharp impact in her twin’s angry face.
Madame Mayhem screamed in pain and rolled to her feet. “Must you taunt me in every era?” she cried as her sister dodged a hurled vase.
Miss Terrific agilely covered the distance between them. “You have it all wrong. It is you and your terrible acts that torment me!” she insisted. They wrestled around the room, evenly matched.
“You can’t win. I eliminated your dear daddy!” shouted Madame Mayhem.
Miss Terrific wondered if this could be true, or if her double was just playing upon her feelings like she once had done herself in their last battle. “No, you are not even in our timeline. This is an alternate one. Nothing that we do here affects Daddy or his friends,” she said as she caught her foe in a headlock.
Madame Mayhem lifted her foe over her head with a wrestling move that equalled their famous father’s prowess. She slammed her down and screeched as Miss Terrific’s news reached her mind.
Beneath the rage, the red-suited villainess had a keen mind and realized that Miss Terrific could be telling the truth. “Even so, for every Mister Terrific I ruin, I gain some satisfaction!” she roared.
Miss Terrific fell as her enemy pulled free. “Eat foam!” cried Madame Mayhem as she activated the device by remote.
The craft hovering unseen above the house was fully capable of unleashing another deluge of the paralytic mist, but even as Madame Mayhem began to prime the device, she sought a means of stalling her foe.
“I put our father on ice with this beauty. Your dear… no — our dear mother’s body is in the bedroom. I took care of her first!” said Mayhem as she counted off the seconds before the device would release the mist.
“You witch! I can’t believe you could be so evil as to harm our own mom!” said Miss Terrific as she sprinted past her foe to search the house. No one was there.
She ducked a well-aimed high kick as Madame Mayhem closed in on her. “You fool! You look for the good in everyone, even when none exists! Like the late Terry Sloane, you’ll never rise above such weaknesses!” she said.
Miss Terrific realized the woman in red was stalling. She gazed at the device in her hand, and her keen mind began to calculate possibilities. Some type of remote. She is not really touching it. Just holding it close! she deduced.
“Fair play!” she shouted and flung herself out the window. She rolled clear and raced across the lawn toward safety as the ship above released its mist. Madame Mayhem screamed as she was caught within her own trap, and she stiffened into suspended animation.
Geri frowned and thanked her lucky stars that her twin’s family mania had made her voice-activated device’s key words so easy to guess. “My voice is hers. It would work for me as well as for her,” she said, shaking her head. “But now, how to clear out the mist?” she wondered, since the device that controlled it was locked in Madame Mayhem’s grip, and the ship loomed unseen above.
“I can help!” said the cheerful tone of the gaunt-but-handsome Gary Concord, the Ultra-Man. He dropped down from his reclaimed ship. “I lay frozen by the foam or mist of my own creation for centuries, then woke up in the far future. There, I gained new powers and used my science to bring me back on the trail of Madame Mayhem. She crossed the centuries and two timelines, but it was simple for me, once I learned who she was. I freed the JSA in the year 2000 at the urging of a man named Weed. He insisted that in this timeline they should be young and active in that year! Don’t know why — something about the integrity of a timeline. So they are fine in their own alternate timeline, just oddly out of their natural time and adjusting to a world fifty years later.”
Smiling at him, she said, “Your science froze them and her. Can you also free her?”
Ultra-Man shook his head. “I’d say it is better for the poor madwoman to remain in suspended animation. She wanted it for your father and his allies, and it’s only fair that she get what she deserved! I can keep her imprisoned and possibly restore her mind with the futuristic science of my era.”
Miss Terrific nodded and watched as Ultra-Man drained all the foamy mist away from the block and departed to his own era and timeline with the slumbering Madame Mayhem. “I hope you find peace,” prayed Miss Terrific as her evil double vanished.
Taking a last look around at this lost era in an alternate timeline that was so similar to her own, Miss Terrific walked back to the time car and prepared to return to her own era.
“Concord also returned the stolen space-transformer,” Mr. Weed noted as he watched from his home in the chronal limbo he made his own. “I wonder if poor Concord realizes how dangerous an enemy he has made,” he mused. “The bad part is, since it doesn’t affect time itself, I can’t warn him.”