Mantra Madness

Chapter 6

a "No More Fakes" story

by Indiana Jones

Table of Contents


I was unsure of the time at which I showed up to the McYuks. I was exhausted and I hoped the rest of the day brought no more surprises. Bill arrived no more than a few minutes later.

"So what's the bad news?"

"This has been a trying day," I told Bill.

"More trying than any other day for a man turned woman turned super heroine?" she asked with a smile.

I returned Bill's smile with one of my own and said, "Which do you want first...the good news or the bad?"

"I always find it's better to chase tequila with beer."

"The hit squad from area fifty one attacked me today. I found out who they are and somewhat about what they want from us."

"Well the 'what' is obvious. It's always about power and who controls it."

"You have such a way with words. The good news is I think we have someone on the inside who can help us."

"That is a good thing. Can I ask who that is?"

I looked around hoping that no one was surveying us. Then I thought back to the bizarre machines I noticed when we escaped Area 51. I couldn't risk any kind of strange device I couldn't anticipate picking up her name.

"Let's just say this person has high federal connections who are willing to help us and others like us."

"How can they help us?" Bill said with a serious expression on her face.

"I'm not sure. She mentioned them guaranteeing our basic rights."

"Well, that's good. What do we need to do?"

"Well that's the second part of my good news." I said and pulled out the briefcase of money.

Bill's eyes went wide as I opened the case to reveal the money I received from the Governor's son. I pulled out a stack of hundreds and handed them to her.

"Here, this should be enough to get that building," I suggested. "We need to set up a phone line and maybe somehow secure it. Our contact will get in touch with us there."

"Well, with what Cindy gave me we could probably get the place up and running within a day. It will probably take a while to get everything fully up and running."

"Happy Birthday. There's more where that came from, but I need an account number or something to be able to know where to put it."

She shook her head. "I don't want to put cash like that in my account."

"Me neither, but I was hoping maybe Cindy would know how to open a Swiss bank account or an account in the Caymans or something."

"Maybe. I'll get back to you on that. Anything else?" Bill asked while grinning like the cat that just ate the canary.

"Isn't that enough?" I asked, too exhausted to smile or do much else. "I'm beat and I need to get some rest."

"I know what you mean. I think I need a break from this stuff as well."

We discussed a few of the more general points of getting an office building together, and what kind of equipment and other things we would need to start the business of helping people. The details I left to Bill and Cindy as I had other problems to deal with. With all the money we had available, I didn t think there would be any problems. Promise to pay cash on the spot for as many people as you need, and there was nothing you probably couldn't do.

"Thanks again, Bill. I'll meet you at the building in the morning."

"Okay, Indy...I understand. I've had a hard day myself with all the stuff that's been going on." She grinned wide again showing her perfect Amazonian teeth. "I hope those guys try something tomorrow with me around!"

I laughed and responded, "Me too. Me too."


I took another cab home with one little pit stop. When I arrived home I had a dozen nicely arranged roses and a diamond necklace I hoped would start to help me get my life back together. I slowly entered, through the front door this time.

"Hey Lucy, I'm home!" I shouted in my best Ricky Ricardo Impersonation.

Nothing.

"Kathleen?"

I walked cautiously through the door and into the living room. I turned to shut the door and I was attacked.

"Ahh!" Was all I heard as something grabbed me from behind.

I was about to throw the attacker over my shoulder when I realized the attacker was hugging me.

"Are those for me? They're beautiful!"

"Not as beautiful as you are!" I told Kathleen. I pulled out the jewelry box with the necklace and presented it to her as well. "This is also for you, my love." She just about fainted as she opened it.

"I hope it doesn't pale too much beside your beauty."

"You silver-tongued devil, you. Who said you could stop?" she said with a wry smile.

"Where did you get the money for this?" she asked still staring wide-eyed at the expensive trinket dangling before her eyes. "You didn't kill someone or rob a bank, did you?"

"No! I just helped out the governor's son!"

Kathleen made a faux shocked face. "That's just as bad. Or did becoming a woman change your political views, too?"

We both laughed. It felt good. A sign that maybe things were becoming normal again. As normal as could be expected, anyway.

I ventured first into that line of thought. "Listen, you want to go get something to eat?"

She seemed to consider it for a moment. I was hoping she was just as interested in things getting back to normal as I was. Unfortunately, with my limited ability to transform myself back into my male form, things could only be normal for an hour at a time at this point.

Finally she smiled that little smile at me that always caused my heart to melt. "You're on! Just give me a second to get ready," she said disappearing into the bedroom. Her muffled voice came back to me as I heard water running. "Where we going?"

"You tell me. The sky is the limit." I shouted to her.

"Great! Let’s go to the Rising Star."

My natural cheapness kicked in. Reflexively I stuttered, "Isn't that place a little ritzy?"

I heard the water stop running. A few seconds later Kathleen appeared before me. "You said the sky's the limit."

"That I did."

"Hmmm." She said staring at me like a blank canvas. "It is a little upscale. What were you planning on wearing?"

I shrugged. "I could turn into a man for an hour and…"

"An hour nothing. We'll be sitting in the bar for an hour," she said with a laugh.

"Well, I guess I can go in jeans and a T-shirt," I suggested.

"Get serious," she said reproachfully. "They wouldn't even let you through the door. "

I knew what she was thinking and I wanted to put a stop to it before it got started. "I guess McYuk's it is then!"

"Don't be ridiculous," she chided. "You asked me to pick and I'm picking. Now," she added with a funny little grin, "let's get you ready to go."

I sighed. Once she made up her mind, she was impossible to change her path. "I’d rather not," I protested, making one last futile attempt to alter her course. "Dinner is one thing, but..."

"We need to get back to normal and this could go a long way in helping," she said and dragged me towards the bedroom.

"Okay, but this is going to be anything but normal," I grumbled.

She turned to face me and brushed a lock of my new long dark hair out of my face. "Sweetie, I think normal went out the door a while ago." Then, taking my by the hands, she pulled me playfully into the bedroom.

I won't go into the gory deals but suffice to say that Kathleen had a fun time playing dress up. I sat mortified through the entire process, especially during the obligatory makeup application. "You hardly need any rouge at all with that blush you’ve got going," she teased. I was incredibly nervous at the thought of going out like this, but I resolved to do anything to make this work and I would do anything for her.

When we arrived at the restaurant, I could feel every eye in the place on the two of us with Kathleen in her stunning purple evening gown and me in her gold one. I have to say I wasn't enjoying the attention. No matter how I appeared, I still felt like a man playing at being a woman. I was fervently praying the universe didn't pick this time to revert whatever it was that it did to me.

As it turned out, Kathleen was right and we ended up sitting in the bar for at least an hour. The maitre d' was ignoring practically everyone while simultaneously talking on the phone and writing in some sort of large black book. He couldn't ignore us, however. He looked up for a second as we approached and never once looked down again.

"How many?" He managed once he was able to lift his jaw from the floor.

"Two, non-smoking for Jones." I told him. I could tell my voice did something to him because the phone dropped as he hurriedly made notes in the ledger. He wasn't the way I had pictured him. I was expecting a snobby old French guy who held his nose in the air to look down upon all. Instead he was a rather handsome young man with most of his hair still intact which placed him in his mid-thirties to early forties.

"It will just be a few minutes, if you ladies would like to make yourself comfortable," he said motioning us to the bar with a wink as he discreetly tried to scramble for the phone. Smiling, Kathleen grabbed me by the hand noticing that he thought himself quite the ladies man.

After several drinks, countless propositions and two marriage proposals later, we were seated. (Earlier than several people who had arrived before us, I noted.) I was thinking I could get to like these little perks if it hadn’t been for the negative attention we had been receiving.

At one point while we were discussing our future, a barfly supplied with as much 90 proof courage as he could muster, swaggered over to us and slurred a greeting.

"Would you ladies like to be joined by a real man?"

Kathleen didn't miss a beat. "Sure if you can tell us where to find one."

I giggled, but this comment didn't phase him at all except to make his need to get through to us that much more urgent. He sat himself down in an unused chair on the other side of the table from us. "So which of you lovely ladies wants to try me first?" he asked lecherously as his eyes darted directly to my exposed cleavage.

I was getting angry and one thing that I could always count on was my temper making a monkey out of me. "Get lost, creep. You're making me ill."

"Why you stuck up bitch!" he snarled. Then he noticed Kathleen and I were holding hands. "Oh, so that's the way it is, huh? Maybe you've just never had a real man!"

He stood up from his chair and I rose to his challenge ready to punch him in the face. Kathleen grabbed me by the wrist to restrain me. The lech saw his opportunity and grabbed me firmly by the arm. Before I knew it, he was pressing his foul lips to mine. I could taste the alcohol and I swore I could almost see it.

Quicker than it began it stopped. Now all the attention was on us and where before there was a low murmur from the rest of the bar there was now a roar of silence. I pushed my would-be suitor away and this time it was my turn to restrain Kathleen from giving him plastic surgery.

"You pig!" I shouted. He reeled as if my words had physically hit him. He was about to shout some other obscenity when he opened his mouth and a tremendous belch issued forth.

I had to do a double-take as even he was surprised. He opened his mouth to speak again and something that sounded like a squeal passed from his lips. I almost couldn't help but laugh as his nose began to grow out.

Kathleen shot me a concerned look and I just shrugged. Luckily the burp turned everyone off to this particular little soap opera. His little change was going to go unnoticed. He was drunk and confused by what was happening he managed to get out the door.

Kathleen was still out of sorts. "What's going to happen to that poor guy?"

"I altered the spell. He'll turn into a pig but the spell should wear off in a couple of hours. But he'll remember it. He might not even ever take up a drink again."

So it went. Soon after, we were seated and awaiting our meals.

"So, what now?" Kathleen asked pointedly.

"About what?" I replied, noting the concern in her voice.

"Next time you get angry at me am I going to become a pig? Or an ape? A swan perhaps?"

I looked her straight in the eye. I could see the fear in them. Fear of my power, certainly but I couldn't tell if she feared me. "Love, I promise you…you don't have to be afraid of me. I will never do anything to hurt you!"

"Don't make promises you can't keep." She said as our salads arrived.

"It's not just a promise, it's a fact."

As we ate, I noticed something strange. There seemed to be a peculiar movement outside the large plate glass window that our view afforded us. I couldn't quite make out what the shapes were but I knew I was in very poor condition to take care of it if it turned out to be any kind of threat.

Then something caught my eye. A little glint from the lights all around. It was all I needed to make out the shape of the weapon that led to my current weakened state.

"Kathleen you need to get out of here now!" I hissed as low as I could. "I want you to make your way to the bathroom and then out the front."

She looked at me in confusion and concern. "What? Why?"

"Remember those WHAT guys I told you about?"

"WHO?"

"The WHAT...now cut that out. Those military guys who attacked me today." I looked about to see if anything was going on internally. All the staff and patrons seemed to check out, none of them looked military. That meant, hopefully, that they still didn't know about Kathleen.

"Get out--now. I'll meet you later at home." I shoved the purse she lent me towards her, sans a couple of twenties that I stuffed into my 'cleavage' (I shuddered just thinking the word). "Take a cab and I'll be home soon, I hope."

She left quickly after dropping a fifty to cover meals and a healthy tip. I stayed in my seat hoping for another glimpse of the intruders or Amy trying to warn me. After a few moments nothing was happening and I was getting worried. I closed my eyes and tried to muster as much strength as I could by repeating the mantra. "Change...growth...power..."

I heard the loud crash of breaking glass and the screams of my fellow patrons. I quickly opened my eyes to find a rather large man covered head to toe in black rushing me at an alarming rate. Luckily my chair was facing straight towards him, so as he hit me head on I tipped my chair backwards and carried him with me, launching him backward into the air. He landed with a thud on a table behind us. I heard a grunt escape his lips as the wind was knocked out of him.

I rolled easily to my feet enjoying how nimble my new form was. Satisfied that the man was down for the count, I looked down to the dress where I had heard a heart-wrenching rip when I vaulted the man over me. Sure enough, there was a rip in the small slit that was designed into the gown to allow for movement. It was now revealing a yard of leg, which I was most certainly uncomfortable with.

"Thank god for dress flats," I mumbled. I made a line for the broken window as people were beginning to panic and head for the door. Something made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up--'Women's intuition?' I asked myself. I had to worry about it later. I ducked just in time to avoid being fried by an energy beam. The resultant explosion had the people panicking and running over each other to get out the door.

I rolled into a summersault as I jumped out of the window. As I came back up I willed my costume into place. Absently I hoped that whatever damage I did to the gown was repairable. If not, Kathleen would have my head.

I turned for the open sky, only to find a fist waiting to smash into my face. I reeled and fell to the ground a slight trickle of blood coming from a cut on my lip. I didn't wait for the follow-up blow. I lashed out with my legs and caught someone. With a simple twist I brought the person down.

We both managed to leap up and I found myself staring at a woman dressed similarly to the man who had attacked me.

"Amy?" I whispered.

 

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