Daughter, Lover, Superheroine Ch. 07

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[This story is set in Paragon City, taken from the former MMO game City of Heroes. All place names, hero names and registered trademarks belong to their rightful legal owners and are not intended as copyright infringement in any way. This work is purely meant as a piece of entertainment, and not for commercial purposes in any way, shape or form.]

[The precursor to this series is entitled “Mom the Superheroine”.]

[Though there are incestuous elements between a mother and her consenting adult daughter here, this story is really about the personal journey of two superheroines.]

[I am grateful to my girlfriend Ashley for providing me with so much valuable insight and input, to make up for my shortcomings.]

*****

Together, they raced to the portal room.

The lights in the corridors flashed red, adding to the sense of alarm. Barbara had not even had time to put on a top yet – she wore only a pair of workout shorts. But this was an emergency – she’d just have to face whatever threat it was without the luxury of modesty!

The bulkhead had indeed been unsealed. Cindy hurriedly palmed it open, and they stepped in, looking around them in wonder.

The room was mostly taken up by some huge, incredibly complex piece of advanced technology. There was a control panel on the lower level, and it stood in front of a huge circular thing that could only be a portal.

It was already open, and within it swirled some kind of energy vortex. The air crackled.

What kind of inter-dimensional threat was this? What was coming through that portal? Reflexively, Barbara held onto Cindy’s arm and drew her close.

From within the energy maelstrom, a human-sized silhouette appeared – and then jumped through, falling onto one knee, panting a little. Then the figure slowly straightened up, looked around – and locked gazes with Cindy and Barbara.

For long moments, they stared at each other, shock and astonishment writ large on all three faces. Meanwhile, the energy died away, and the whirring stopped, until all was silent. The portal machine now looked completely defunct.

Finally, the interloper found her voice.

“… Mother?”

Barbara could hardly believe her eyes.

The person who had just emerged from the portal… was her daughter! But… somehow, different.

She jumped down from the gantry, and Cindy followed suit beside her. Together, they cautiously approached the new arrival, who also walked closer with similar wariness.

As they closed the distance, they had a chance to see the newcomer close up. It was… uncanny.

Physically, she looked virtually identical to her daughter – the muscles looked very slightly different, of course, but Cindy and her double were practically built the same way. The face, of course, was a perfect match. Even the hair was done in the same style – a sporty high ponytail.

The costume was different, though it revealed about the same amount of skin. Instead of blue and white, Cindy’s doppelganger was clad mainly in black, with a liberal dose of gold trimmings. And the cut was different: where Cindy’s costume, like Barbara’s, showed a lot of curvy lines, her twin’s costume had a sharper, more jagged look. Finally, in place of the eye-mask Cindy wore, her counterpart’s face was uncovered, but framed by a black-gold faceguard.

She was looking at Cindy and Barbara in turn, but eventually her gaze alighted solely on Barbara. She looked Barbara up and down, from head to toe, appearing to drink in the sight of Barbara.

Barbara suddenly became very conscious of her near-nakedness. Blushing modestly, she tried to cover her nipples with her forearm.

The duplicate Cindy ignored that gesture. Her lower lip began to quiver. Tears welled up in her eyes.

“… Mother… you’re alive, in this world… and… and you’re strong,” she breathed. “So marvelously strong…”

Before Barbara could respond, Cindy had moved to stand in front of her. Her daughter sounded a little defensive as she addressed the visitor.

“Who or what are you, and how did you get here? Tell us!” Cindy demanded, with fists firmly planted on hips. Barbara knew her daughter thoroughly – Cindy was half-consciously trying to appear bigger by flaring out her bulging lats.

The other Cindy looked at her and smiled, wiping away her tears. There was something cold about that smile, Barbara thought. In fact… despite the uncanny physical similarities, she could sense some deeper underlying differences already in the two of them. Very few things slipped past a mother’s intuition. There was… a hard edge to this other Cindy, a certain harshness inside.

“You must be this Earth’s version of me,” she said. “It’s good to see that you are not weak. I come from another world, and I’m here by mistake, but that doesn’t matter. It’s nice to meet you… twin. I am Conqueress!” She extended a hand.

“Well… um… welcome to… to this Earth. I’m Battleborn!” Cindy replied, maintaining her composure Ankara escort despite the bizarre situation. She took hold of the hand, and grasped it firmly in a handshake.

Barbara never thought she’d see such a sight in her life. Her daughter, doubled – Cindy standing face to face with… Conqueress? That was quite a superhero name. And what was it about Barbara’s presence – and her muscles – that had elicited such a strong reaction from this dimensional traveler?

They held the handshake for a long time, eyes locked. The writhing of their arm muscles indicated that they were engaging in a small squeezing contest, an assertive display of strength.

Then Conqueress turned to look at Barbara, without releasing the handshake, and smiled. “Mother… it is good to see you here. And it is wonderful to see that you’re this strong and healthy. Do you have powers as well? I can feel,” she laughed, “that Battleborn does, at least.”

“Yes, we both do,” Barbara said, finding her voice. “We have powers… as I assume you do. Please, you must be… weary, after passing through that portal,” she said, her hospitality instinctively rising to the fore. “Cindy, honey, shall we help our guest get settled in, and then talk to her to see if we can help in any way?”

Almost reluctantly, Cindy disengaged from the handshake, and nodded her assent. “Ok, Mom. Um… Conqueress, you can come with us.”

“You may call me Cindy,” she declared.

There was a moment of silence. Then Cindy said, “Uh, I’m Cindy, and it’d just be confusing if you were Cindy too, so maybe we can call you Cindy-2?”

“Certainly not!” Conqueress appeared outraged. “To me, you are Cindy-2! Why don’t I call you that instead?”

Before Cindy could challenge the newcomer to a wrestling match for the name, Barbara interceded. “Is your middle name Victoria as well, by any chance?”

Conqueress’s eyes widened. “Yes,” she whispered. “My full name, known only to Powers Division and key members of the Imperial government, is Cynthia Victoria Nelson.” She smiled. “But of course you would know that, Mother.”

Barbara started. That last name brought back a sudden rush of memories. But she pushed it down – there would be time enough for that later. “Very well then… could we call you Vicky, instead, just for convenience? Would that be ok with you?”

“Anything you say, Mother,” Conqueress – Vicky – said, her voice brimming with emotion. “If you want to name me Vicky, then Vicky shall be my name,” she declared, nodding in affirmation.

“Thank you, Vicky,” Barbara said, with a small sigh of relief. “Now… Cindy, dear, would you care to pour some tea for our guest while I… go put on some clothes?”

***

They sat together at the coffee table, Cindy and Barbara on one side, Vicky on the other.

Cindy hardly knew where to begin, but “Tell me about yourself” seemed like a neutral way to start.

“I’m Cynthia Victoria Nelson, as you already know,” Vicky began, “and I am known as Conqueress, one of the Top Dogs in Powers Division, the elite defenders of Nova Praetoria and enforcers of the will of Emperor Cole.”

Cindy had no idea how to make sense of any of that, and her mom appeared not to either. But Barbara smiled nevertheless and said, “That sounds terribly impressive, Vicky. You must be very accomplished where you come from.”

“I am indeed,” she replied, tossing her head proudly. Cindy found that very disagreeable, somehow. Was she ever this arrogant? She hoped not! “I have dedicated my career to upholding justice, preserving the peace… for the sake of your memory, Mother.”

“What… what do you mean?” Cindy asked, her throat suddenly dry. Beside her, her mom looked discomfited as well.

The story emerged, with occasional interruptions for Vicky to explain certain features of her dimension.

In her Earth, it turned out, humanity had come under attack more than a decade ago from a giant monstrous being known as “Hamidon”. The Marcus Cole of the other universe – Statesman, in their own – had “rallied the devastated remnants of humanity and defeated Hamidon, built the city of Nova Praetoria and ushered in a new era of peace, prosperity and progress, sweeping away the ashes and detritus of the past and forging a bright future.”

Vicky’s voice brimmed with fervor as she recounted this. To Cindy’s ear, it almost seemed as if she was reciting from some kind of textbook – the propagandistic kind.

“But during the years before the Emperor saved humanity,” Vicky said sadly, “one of the many ways the Hamidon tried to exterminate humanity was with biological weapons. There was a supervirus that swept through the North American continent. Mother – my Barbara, that is, Barbara Nelson… the most beautiful woman who ever lived… she was one of its victims.”

She looked straight at Barbara. “She didn’t have any powers, though. She was just an ordinary human being. You… you wouldn’t have fallen prey to that virus so easily. And it seems your powers Ankara escort bayan make you strong and tough, too. I can’t begin to tell you how happy this makes me. Cindy, you should count yourself fortunate – our mother here is the mighty force that she was always meant to be.”

“I… I do know how lucky I am,” Cindy said. “And you’re absolutely right. My mother is the strongest and most beautiful woman in the whole wide world.” She put a possessive arm around the blushing Barbara’s shoulder.

“Vicky… I’m so sorry for your loss,” Barbara said gently, her voice suffused with warmth and gentleness. “I’m not as mighty as you and Cindy make me out to be, but it’s true that… that I’ve been blessed with more than most. And together, Cindy and I do our part to try and help as many people as we can. Cindy is the one who’s been making a big name for herself – I’m sure you would love to hear about her achievements too,” she finished, smiling proudly at Cindy.

On an impulse, Cindy leaned over and kissed Barbara full on the lips. Her mom froze for a second before flinching and pulling away slightly, looking slightly alarmed. Her gaze flicked to Vicky, and back to Cindy, who was gazing at her intensely.

Vicky sat watching this interplay, a strange glint in her eyes. “So… it’s this way with you two,” she said quietly. “You are truly lucky, Cindy.” She looked away. “That desire was always in our hearts,” she said softly, “but we never got the chance to speak of it openly, let alone act upon it. The sight of you both, in a full physical relationship,” she turned her gaze upon them again, “fills me with joy… but also sadness, for myself, for what I never got to have.”

What were the odds, Cindy thought, that this Praetorian version of herself would harbor the same love and desire for her mother, the Praetorian version of Barbara?

Something about her just didn’t feel right. Cindy felt her hackles rising with this… Vicky. She tried to quell the strange, irrational possessiveness within her. It was unworthy of a Hero. Her own mom was trying her best to be hospitable. She, her daughter, should surely follow suit.

“For now, I am trapped here,” Vicky continued. “Not everyone in my world understands the price of freedom and the value of peace. While fighting alongside the PPD – the Praetorian Police Department – to fend off an attack made by anarchist degenerates on an important science facility, I was thrown through a portal and ended up here, in your base. But I can’t make it work the other way – I can’t open it from this side. I shall have to try and find another way back, but until then… I have to stay here.”

“Well… we have plenty of room here, Vicky,” Barbara said, still blushing from the impromptu revelation of the love she and Cindy shared. “You’re welcome to stay with us, while you get things sorted out. Please… make yourself at home!”

Cindy had to bite back her personal feelings on the matter. “Yes, Vicky… um… we have plenty of spare rooms. You can have one to yourself.”

“Thank you.” Vicky flashed a smile. “If I didn’t know about the both of you, I’d ask to be Cindy’s roommate, but of course, you have… alternative arrangements.”

Damn right we do! Cindy thought. Barbara only blushed again – she was bright red by now – and said hurriedly, “You could also join us on our patrols – get to see our world, and maybe help us make it a better place in our own small way!”

“Perfect!” Vicky declared. “Evildoers and maleficent scum are the same detestable sort everywhere – the ones here will soon feel the fist of the Conqueress!” She clenched her fist and raised it, in the process causing her arm muscles to bunch up. Cindy had a sudden urge to lock wrists with her and engage in a navy-style arm wrestling contest.

It seemed she was stuck with her “twin” from Praetoria… thanks to Mom!

***

Before too long, though, they had visitors.

Michelle had come, with another friend – a bespectacled scientist who introduced herself as “Dr. Tina Macintyre, from Portal Corporation.”

“I had no idea there even was a Portal Corporation,” Cindy remarked. “Is that what it sounds like? Do they know something about the interdimensional portal that we had in our basement?”

Michelle looked uncharacteristically flustered. “Girl, I am so goddamn sorry about that,” she began.

“Oh no, I wasn’t saying it was your…!” Cindy had not implied any reproach.

“No, hang on – it’s my bad. This one is totally on me. The portal room was listed as defunct, and the doors were sealed. I had no goddamn idea it could come alive at any motherfu- sorry, at any mother-loving moment. I should’ve thought the damn thing through.”

“Michelle, please… you weren’t to know, any more than we were,” Barbara said, trying to mollify her.

“Well, heck, I still feel responsible. So anyway, I got contacted by Dr. Mac here – Portal Corp detected some disturbance from the base here, and she’s here to look into things.”

“Please, Escort Ankara call me Tina. I’d… like to address the extra-dimensional visitor, please,” Tina stated nervously. “Is that… is that her? The Battleborn-lookalike?”

Vicky hung back, observing the scene with lidded eyes and arms crossed. When the scientist mentioned her, though, she unfolded her arms. “You realize, from my perspective, she’s my lookalike. I am Conqueress.”

“Quite, quite.” Tina cleared her throat, while Cindy glowered at Vicky. “I’m… going to have to be direct here, I’m afraid. Are you… a Praetorian?”

“I come from that world, yes.”

“Are you part of Powers Division?”

“I don’t wish to speak of that at this time.”

Michelle narrowed her eyes. Tina plowed on. “Please, we must ascertain your motives for being here and the security implications. Are you a member of the Tyrant’s…”

“I do not wish to answer that question, and I resent hearing that ugly nickname,” Vicky interrupted Tina, her voice cold as ice. She glanced at Michelle. “Are you this world’s version of Michael White?”

“Cousin,” Michelle replied shortly.

Vicky nodded her acknowledgement. “I will tell you this much: I was thrown into an open portal by accident, and sent here against my will. I will not divulge the specifics of that incident, nor will I entertain any further intrusions into my private affairs.

“I will cause your world no trouble while I am here, and if you are a member of Portal Corporation,” she turned her attention to Tina, “then finding a way to help me return should be a priority. Or not,” she added, “considering that you already have several Praetorians among you, and they’ve been here for some years already.”

That was quite a revelation to Cindy, but apparently not to Tina or Michelle, both of whom suddenly looked grim. “If you know that, then you know they are kept under constant surveillance,” Tina said. “We at Portal Corporation have every reason, you understand, to be vigilant against any incursion from your dimension…!”

“Again, I state for the record: this is not an incursion, this is an unfortunate occurrence! And I have no wish to cause your world any trouble. In fact, I am quite lucky to have found not only my counterpart… but her mother as well, from the moment I emerged from the portal! Will you leave me in peace now, or…” her eyes narrowed, “do you wish to see for yourself what Conqueress can do?”

She should be sporting a goatee, Cindy thought resentfully, the way she carries on like that. I’m nothing like her… am I?

“Just to be on the safe side, Back Alley Fury,” Tina said bravely, though she took a few steps back, “I think we should take this one into protective custody…”

Cindy tensed for violence, as did Michelle and Vicky – but, to Cindy’s surprise, Barbara stepped in.

“No! Wait!” she pleaded. “There must be another way!”

“Barb, step aside. That’s a Praetorian we got there,” Michelle growled. “I know first-hand how dangerous they are, and this one’s being cagey about why she’s here. If she ain’t got nothing to hide, she should be glad to come quietly.”

“She has been peaceable since she got here, and she’s not been aggressive at all!” Barbara protested. Cindy silently disputed that last bit. “In fact… I’ve even asked her to accompany my daughter as her partner, while she’s here. I’m sure she will be an asset to the city’s law enforcement, just like Cindy is!”

“Barb… would you care to give that your personal guarantee?” Michelle asked bluntly. “You gonna be responsible for ‘Praetorian Cindy’ while she’s here?”

They looked into each other’s eyes for some long, pregnant moments. Then Barbara nodded firmly. “Yes. I do. I shall bear responsibility for her presence here, until such time as she can be sent back safely.”

“You… would do that for me?” Vicky said, wonderingly. “You would really vouch for me?”

Barbara gave her a comforting smile. “Of course, my dear,” she said. “I guess… I guess in a sense, you’re my daughter too.”

Vicky gulped, and her chill and aloof demeanor slipped. “Thank you… Mother.” She threw her arms around Barbara, who returned the embrace a little awkwardly, but willingly.

Cindy watched, frowning, as Michelle turned to Tina and shrugged. “We got Battler Babe and Battleborn standing stead for this one,” she said. “If anything happens, I’ll be on it too. Safe enough for you, Dr. Mac?”

“Well, this contravenes protocol somewhat, but… I suppose if we could make allowances for the rest, we could for this one too,” Tina muttered. “Of course, the others did appeal for asylum and official refugee status, but this one…”

“I appeal for asylum,” Vicky said immediately. “I am a refugee here. And… I would like to be with my Mother and my twin for the duration of my stay.”

She broke away from the hug. “I am Conqueress! I am a champion of law and order, and I will aid my family of this world in their mission to uphold justice!”

Michelle sighed and threw up her hands in resignation. “Well, that’s a pretty speech. And goodness knows, we could use every helping heroine hand we can get right now. Long as you don’t go robbing banks or nothing…”

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