Meanwhile, Wonder Woman had been in discussion with Inspector Okuhara of the NPA. The balding man had been clucking restlessly with his tongue in one cheek as he listened to his honored guest.
“I knew there was trouble here for reasons I won’t explain,” said Wonder Woman. “Still, this crisis is not one I will walk away from if I can resolve it. I can find the green monster easily enough if she shows her blonde locks again. For now, I’ll try to get some answers from the local gangs and learn where to find this Lotus Viper.”
“The gangs are tied to Yakuza,” said Okuhara. “They will never reveal anything. My men have tried many tactics, and nothing has worked!”
Wonder Woman smiled and patted the golden lasso that rested against her hip. “I have methods of my own,” she said.
Wonder Woman attracted stares from everyone she passed as she raced through the streets of Japan. She had grown used to the fact that the combination of her stunning good looks and her dynamic powers would make her an instant object of adoration or curiosity no matter where she went. Still, the whispers from excited schoolgirls made her smile.
The Japanese children are starstruck, yet they don’t make the noise that I’m used to hearing from my young admirers in the States! she thought.
Wonder Woman knew that a girl’s life was hanging upon her actions, so she bounded skyward and avoided the crowds with a series of such leaps until she found the seedy district populated by homeless people, criminals, and hostess bar workers from the so-called water trade, along with ordinary poor citizens.
She questioned a few men in a bar, and when her blatant mention of the word Yakuza brought several grim figures to their feet in a desperate effort to either flee or silence her, she merely caught two men by their coats and lifted them off the ground until they were kicking helplessly in her grasp. She looped her lasso around them as she spoke in fluent Japanese. “You gentlemen are going to take to me where I can find a lady named Lotus Viper!” she said. “She has made herself known to friends of mine, and I intend to pay her a social call of sorts!”
They told her where she could find the criminal, since her magic lasso’s power to compel those caught in its coils to obey her left them with no choice.
Wonder Woman hurled them aside as a gunman jumped out of the shadows and opened fire. Three precisely deflected bullets hit her flashing bracelets and bounced harmlessly aside.
She twisted the gun into scrap metal with one smooth movement of her hand, and she slapped the startled gunman to the ground with the other hand. “I see bullets and bracelets is still a popular sport, even in a country with such a low level of armed crime!” she said.
Wonder Woman turned the thugs over to a group of slightly awestruck policemen as they approached the bar, and then she hurried across the city until she found herself facing a scene of battle and chaos.
“Great Hera!” she gasped. “The green woman from before is fighting the gangsters!”
Indeed, Wonder Woman’s analysis of the situation was correct. The Lotus Viper Gang was the first target of Doctor Poison’s vendetta against the mobs that had rejected her. Thus she had dispatched the transformed Gell Osey to their base to gain her revenge.
Gell had eagerly accepted the mission, and she exulted in her raw power. Her green arms and legs rippled with muscles and power, and she smashed through walls and ignored gunfire with a casual disdain. “You creeps can’t hurt me! I can hurt you, though!” she said with a laugh. She slapped a goon across the entire room as they scrambled to avoid her rampage.
Poor Toshi Shiomi was scared and excited at the same time. Cool! she thought. That thing may buy me time to get free from my ropes! I’ve been trying to slip free from them for hours!
The huge green woman turned to face the schoolgirl, and she hesitated for a moment before she ripped her ropes free and left her sprawled on the floor.
Man! That powerhouse nearly swept me out of the house with one touch of her hand! I feel weird, too! I hope she didn’t break my arm or something! the teenager thought as she felt hot and a bit dizzy.
Wonder Woman raced into the room at that moment, and she hurried to tackle the jade giantess.
They crashed to the ground as the gang hurried to escape from both women. There was no sign of the evil Lotus Viper. The cunning mob boss had fled at the first sign of trouble. She had abandoned Toshi and her own men with the ease of one who had lost many things in her time but who always expected new opportunities to turn up.
Wonder Woman elbowed Gell in the face and pried her crushing fingers away from her throat as they rolled around the room.
“I’ll make you sorry you came here!” screamed Gell. “You always have to show up and spoil things for me! Don’t you? Don’t you?”
Wonder Woman frowned as she kicked the woman in the face. “I don’t know you! Why do you hate me so much?” she asked as she flipped backward and tossed her tiara across the room at the angry Green-Eyed Monster.
Gell roared as the spinning projectile struck her in the head and bounced away. She brought her feet down to send a shockwave through the house. Wonder Woman saw the force shatter the wall as it began to crumble around them. She moved forward to shield the frightened Toshi, but the girl was too far away from even Wonder Woman to reach in that short span of time.
As rubble rained down on the girl, she screamed and then began to deflect it with a combination of super-strength and agility that equaled Wonder Woman’s own power.
“Athena’s eyes! How did you do that?” Wonder Woman asked as she helped Toshi get away from the crumbling building.
They raced outside, where the remnants of the Lotus Viper Gang and the growling Gell were engaged in all too brief a fight.
“I don’t know!” said Toshi. “When that thing touched me, I started to get hot. It was some kind of Witch Mountain moment!”
“I wonder if her unique body radiation stimulated something within you that had been latent all along,” said Wonder Woman. “We’ll talk after I tame that brute!”
Wonder Woman whipped out her golden lasso and spun it until it created a whirlwind from the smoke and dust in the air. She hoped to use it to blind her foe and catch her off-guard, but she never got the chance, since a well-placed punch from Gell left her staggering.
As Gell Osey laughed with pleasure, Wonder Woman fell before her. The green monster pummeled her again and again as she tried to fight to freedom.
Got to put up with her attack for now! Can’t risk letting her turn her attentions to the mobsters or Toshi! mused Wonder Woman.
Before she could try to withstand another punishing blow, Wonder Woman saw Toshi leap forward to crash into the green giant and drive her backward.
“Look, don’t make me turn this into a Godzilla flick! That would be totally cliché!” cried Toshi as she hit Gell and launched her own attack.
Gell growled and said, “I don’t fight brats, but for you I’ll make an exception!” She grabbed Toshi and received a swift kick in the chin.
Wonder Woman rolled across the floor and grabbed her fallen lasso. She drew it into the air, and as one loop wrapped around Gell’s mighty legs, she said, “I command you to surrender and calm down!”
Gell felt the powerful magic, and slowly as her rage and jealousy subsided under the magic of the lasso, she returned to her normal form.
Wonder Woman bound the petite blonde in the white bikini and recognized her after a moment or two. “Gell Osey! I can’t believe it! Your old passions have truly made you a monster!”
She ordered Gell to tell her how she had gained her amazing power, and the trapped blonde explained her story to the Amazon princess.
“I worked for years as a librarian. I never achieved the fame my beauty and brilliance deserved! Well, I was old and bitter when Doctor Poison found me and brought me here. She promised to give me youth, beauty, and power in exchange for my services! I gladly agreed, and her formula made me the wonderful hulking creature that attracted everyone’s eye! She said the formula had never worked on any other subject, but I was special enough to make it a success!”
The poor, deluded woman sold her soul for a transformation that would have left others gasping in horror! thought Wonder Woman. Aloud she said, “We’ll get you home, Toshi, and turn Gell over to my Amazon sisters for treatment and rehabilitation!”
“What about me?” asked Toshi. “I feel like a super-girl!”
“Your father is returning to Georgetown soon,” said Wonder Woman. “When he does so, why don’t I have you visit a friend of mine who runs a school for girls? She can contact me, and we’ll figure out what made you a Wonder Girl!”
Toshi smiled and said, “My pop was born right after the bombs fell at the end of the war. Maybe that made me a mutant or something! Dynamite! I could be in the Junior JSA!”
“We’ll see,” said Wonder Woman. “For now, we have some clean-up work to do, and you need to call your folks. As for me, I have no doubt Doctor Poison’s spies have alerted her to her danger, and she has fled her last lair for a new hiding place. She’ll turn up again, and when she does, I will be waiting!”
The Amazon princess spoke the truth. Princess Maru had indeed fled, and her devoted slaves made her at home in yet another hidden base.
She was pleased that her experiment had made Gell into the Green-Eyed Monster, and she was very happy that the threat of more attacks had brought the Lotus Viper Gang scurrying to send her word of their abject apology. She could count of them to obey her in the future. As for Wonder Woman, Doctor Poison knew she would kill her someday, and she was willing to wait as well.
When a reunited Shiomi family returned to America, Toshi indeed enrolled at Etta Candy Darnell’s Holliday Academy for Young Ladies, but she also began a routine of secret training sessions in the use of her amazing powers. They had not faded, and she was clearly as fast, strong, and invulnerable as a young Amazon. Wonder Woman had given her a costume that was reminiscent of her own red and blue outfit after Toshi eagerly agreed to let her train her in the use of her powers. A proud Toshi envisioned herself as a future super-heroine.
Man, that trip to Japan totally rocked! I may just like this new life of mine! she thought with a grin as she turned up her cassette player and danced through her cluttered room.