Wonder Woman touched Zha-Vam, only to instantly block a furious attack from the hero, now altered into the form of a big red ape. He’s savage! Plus, he retains his old strength, if not his mental faculties! realized Wonder Woman. She reached for her magic lasso, only to gasp as Giganta snatched it from her hip.
Zha-Vam the ape caught her up in his long arms, and he began to squeeze with his considerable might. Wonder Woman frowned as her transformed friend began to crush her. He was strong enough to kill her unless he stopped him.
Wonder Woman lifted both legs and struggled to slip one knee and then another between his arms and his chest. She arched her back and strained to escape from his grip. She did so and quickly slammed both palms against his ears. He roared in pain and bounded back. “I’ll apologize for that later!” she said.
She ducked as she heard a slight whizzing sound. Her lasso passed just above her head, and she grabbed it with astonishing speed. “I’ve heard that sound far too often for you to catch me off-guard with my own weapon,” she said.
Giganta held the other end of the rope. “Bah! You were slow enough that I was able to steal it!”
They began a fateful tug of war, with each powerful woman grimly fighting for mastery. Wonder Woman dug her high-heeled boots into the floor and anchored herself. She has the rope wrapped around her hand! realized the amazing Amazon. “I order you to surrender!” she cried.
Giganta’s face changed from contempt to an expression of dismay. “Curse you! I have no choice but to obey!” she said.
Wonder Woman smiled as she thought, All she had to do was give me an order while I also had the rope around my hand, but then again, she didn’t know that!
Before she could fully bind her taller foe, Zha-Vam bounded back to knock her spinning across the room. She lost her hold on the lasso, and Giganta instantly slipped it off and kicked Wonder Woman in the head.
As Diana fell beneath the twin attacks, she realized that her only choice was to do something she never relished doing. She had to retreat in order to return to free Zha-Vam and the others. She used her own strength to break directly through the floor, and she landed gracefully in a lower basement. She wasted no time on a futile combat against a city full of beasts. She merely raced to her waiting invisible robot plane and zoomed off with feelings of frustration and the beginnings of a plan.
By Aphrodite’s gleaming girdle! she thought. I hated to leave Zha-Vam, but I know a better way to win this battle than by pounding away at him and all those poor people. If he had only listened to my words of warning before he rushed forward. His impulsive ways will get him killed if he does not learn a bit of restraint! If I had not been able to taunt Giganta into giving in to her animalistic urge to fight me with her hands, then she might have tried to hit me with that ray beam too!
The Amazon princess did not travel very far. She stopped at a village nearly hidden by jungle growth not terribly far across the continent when the speed of her plane was considered.
Wonder Woman arrived back at the transformed city of Cape Town hours later. She made her way inside after leaving two odd allies just outside to prepare certain details of a plan she had explained while in the tiny African village. I’m lucky an old friend was still at his home, she mused. He could easily have been away.
She stood defiantly in the capitol building and waited with her hands on her hips in an obvious warlike stance. “Giganta! Come out and face me,” she shouted. “Do not cower in your lair like the animal you are! Perhaps your time as a meek woman has robbed you of your fighting spirit!”
Almost instantly, the large chamber filled with a circle of snarling apes and gorillas. The crowd of beasts parted as if by instinct to allow their taller mistress to make her way through them, with her aggressive manner plain to see.
“Wonder Woman, I knew you’d return for your little friend,” said Giganta. “He’s here in the crowd with my army. Now, shall I snap that weak human spine of yours and feast on your entrails, or just give you the gift I’ve given them?”
“I’d rather die than become a beast like you are beneath that ivory complexion!” said Diana.
Giganta growled and leaped skyward to perch on a narrow ledge near a projector of some type. “This is but the portable version of the one I used to make Cape Town a city of gorillas!” she growled. “Still, I’ll use it to make a monkey of sorts out of you!”
At that moment, Wonder Woman slipped one hand within her girdle, and as the blinding energy flashed, a furtive figure moved silently and swiftly with the stealth and speed of a trained hunter. The light faded, and where Wonder Woman had stood now crouched a hairy gorilla of golden hue.
Giganta laughed her barking laugh, and she idly scratched herself before jumping down to mock the altered Wonder Woman. “Ha-hah! You make a lovely gorilla! Though I thought your coat would be darker!” she said as she drew closer. “Still, now you must obey me no matter what your coloration!” she said as her savage eyes gleamed with open pleasure.
She gasped, though, as Wonder Woman suddenly slapped her to the ground and bounded to the device above. Wonder Woman reversed the dial and swept the chamber with the yellow energies. Instantly, all of the transformed people regained their natural forms.
Zha-Vam smiled with pleasure as he tackled Giganta and wrestled her to the ground. “Now, without your ray beam, you are not so deadly!” he said. “I’ll cure you immediately, Diana!”
Giganta struggled in his grip. “How? How did she resist my domination! I saw her change!”
An elderly, graying man with a thin mustache stepped out of the shadows with a dark-furred gorilla who wore the costume of Wonder Woman. “Oh, you turned her body into a gorilla’s body, all right, but her mind had already switched itself into the body of my friend, there!”
At that moment, the golden gorilla aimed the ray beam at the Wonder Woman gorilla, and she changed back to her human form, but her expression and low growling sounds indicated that her mind was indeed that of a gorilla.
“What transpires here?” demanded Zha-Vam.
The golden gorilla rubbed a ring on Wonder Woman’s hand, and her eyes returned to their normal brilliance and humanity. “Giganta, this gentleman is Congo Bill,” explained Wonder Woman. “He and his golden gorilla came with me to help me defeat you. They loaned me Bill’s magic ring. I rubbed it just before I goaded you into firing your transformation ray at me. The ring allows the user to switch bodies with the golden gorilla. My mind entered his body, and Bill emerged from hiding in the shadows to lead my altered body back into the shadows long enough for me to fool you into getting close enough to my new body for me to grab you and cure everyone else!”
The adventurer known as Congo Bill smiled. “It is a good thing that my rapport with the golden gorilla I call Congorilla is so strong after all these years that I can pretty much keep him docile while his mind is in my body, or in this case in your own! Otherwise, Giganta might have heard or seen us hiding in the crowd.”
Wonder Woman returned the magic ring to the legendary explorer and kissed his cheek. “You saved the day, my friend,” she said. “Now, Zha-Vam, after we use the larger projector to cure the city and lock up ‘Princess Primate,’ here, I’ll let you and Bill get to know each other!”
Giganta growled in anger as Zha-Vam smiled and said, “You are truly amazing!”
That night as Wonder Woman, Congo Bill, and Zha-Vam sat around a table in a spacious house deep within the jungle shrouded village, their meal was interrupted by a strange visitor.
“Hyperion of the Titans!” gasped Zha-Vam.
“You have triumphed in your first labor, Amazon princess,” said Hyperion. “I have naught but malice for you, but the others insist the bargain shall stand. Complete five more tasks of peril and valor, and we shall allow you an audience once more!”
As he vanished, Zha-Vam smiled and said, “Well done! I was more of a problem than an aid. I am humbled.”
“Consider it a lesson well-learned,” said Wonder Woman. “Now, Janu, how about some more of that delicious banana cream pie?”
A handsome, middle-aged man nodded and helped his mentor Bill serve their dessert.