Too Many Long Boxes!
   
   

End of Summer
 

Read the Intro to Arkham Asylum's Vacation

A FEAR OF ME

By Michael Rees

Linda Danvers took a deep breath of air trying desperately to steady her nerves. There was no need to worry; it was just her, alone in her house, in front of the mirror.

She held the pink dressing gown close to her body, making sure it didn't even open an inch. In the mirror her own reflection gazed back at her with piercing blue eyes. Linda studied the thin, brown haired woman bolstering her confidence for what she was about to do.

Shutting her eyes tight Linda embraced the darkness, listening to her breath and feeling the rhythmic beating of her heart. When she was prepared she made the change, an almost imperceptible shift in weight and height. The clothes beneath the gown became snugger, fitting her more developed form. As a final step she shed the dressing gown.

"Okay Linda." She said quietly to herself, "There's nothing to worry about. Just open your eyes."

After a moment Linda realised they were still shut. She flexed her fingers before clenching them into a fist, "On the count of three. One, two, three…"

This time she did open her eyes and the mirror held a very different reflection. The face was more rounded, the lips redder and instead of brown hair long strands of blonde hair draped over her shoulders touching the red cape that hung from the back.

The body was also more toned, the blue top highlighting each curve. The short red skirt didn't do anything to conceal her curvy long legs, which had not been there a moment ago. Dead centre on the chest was a stylised red, "S".

Stumbling back Supergirl screamed. Throwing her arms up she covered her head but in doing so managed to unbalance herself. Her heel caught on the rug sending her crashing to the floor.

Fighting back the tears Supergirl tugged the blue top, her eyes shut tight. After pulling off the skirt as well she threw them to the other side of the room. Blindly groping around the room she found a pair of jeans and jumper. It was only when she had tugged them on that she dared open her eyes.

The tear stained face of Linda Danvers stared back from the mirror; her cheeks flushed red and her brown hair clinging to her forehead with perspiration. Picking up a can of Revere deodorant she sprayed it over her allowing the spices to hide the traces of her fear.

"What's wrong with you Linda?" She asked the mirror, "This is silly. You are…"

Linda couldn't bring herself to say the name, her throat suddenly became very dry. It had been like this for a week now. The idea of becoming her alter ego filled her with dread and every time she finally got up the courage to change her form an overwhelming sense of panic gripped her and she snapped back to Linda.

It wasn't just assuming the form of Supergirl, which was proving difficult. It had been days since Linda had allowed herself the use of her enhanced strength or flown. They were too much of a reminder of who she really was.

The basement door had remained locked the whole time. Imprisoning the sculptures of Supergirl in the darkness. At one point Linda had thought of smashing them but as she had walked towards the door leading to the basement she had the notion that the sculptures were waiting on the other side, ready to escape.

The house was becoming stifling, Linda needed to get away, away from the uniform, the basement and all the other reminders. Pulling on a green jacket Linda was soon walking the streets of Leesburg.

It was a quiet town, or at least it had been until Supergirl arrived. No wonder people feared her now and who could blame them. Supergirl had brought demons, aliens and super power criminals to the tree lined streets and peaceful white washed homes.

A memory of a burning building pushed its way to the surface of Linda's mind as she walked through the streets, her gaze firmly set on the pavement. Crackling wood burning as the fire expanded blocking the stairs for a young teenage couple who had thought the abandoned house would make a good make-out spot. They held on to each other seeking protection from the raw element that surrounded them.

Linda remembered the warm air rushing out, a stark contrast to the cool night as she, as Supergirl, pulled the weakened roof away. Among the smoke and the flames she had seen the two teenagers and had given them a kind smile, trying to tell them that they were safe.

She had not expected the young man to push his girlfriend away from him and run screaming towards the staircase, oblivious the fire, which was eating away at the wooden steps. The surprise had frozen her for a second to long and the teenager fell from the second floor to the first with a thud.

When the girl tried to escape as well, this time through the window Supergirl had recomposed herself and managed to catch her by her leg before the teenage girl had hit the ground. The girl clawed and flayed at her saviour the whole time that Supergirl lowered her to the lawn outside the house.

Luckily for the boy the fire brigade arrived and managed to get him out before the house collapsed. He was still in hospital, recovering from two broken legs, a broken arm and burns.

"Linda?" Came a deep male voice worryingly close, "Something wrong with using your eyes?"

Stopping suddenly Linda saw she had almost walked straight into a police officer. He was a large man about five years older than she was, with short red hair. It took a moment but she remembered meeting him once while waiting for her Father at the Police Station.

"Sorry Officer Cabtree." Linda shook her head, trying to clear the memories, which had been distracting her, "Guess I haven't really woken up yet."

Officer Cabtree gave her look like he didn't quite believe her, his hands on his hips. More aware of what was happening now Linda saw that behind the police officer ambulance workers were carrying a blood soaked blonde woman into the back of their emergency vehicle.

"What happened?" Linda asked with alarm.

Glancing back at the ambulance Cabtree sighed, "Some guys thought this poor lady was Supergirl. Seems they thought that the fact she was young and had blonde hair was proof enough. Chased her for two blocks before they caught her and put in that state."

"My God!" Linda was horrified, what had she done to this innocent woman and what would the public do to her if they found out that she was really the heroine in question.

"You don't have to worry Linda. Some one had the sense to call us and we caught them before they killed her." Cabtree shook his head, "The worst thing was that when we got there the four men just looked as proud as could be. As if we were there to give them a medal."

"I am really sorry." The words were out of Linda's mouth before she had even realised what she was saying.

Cabtree narrowed his eyes in confusion, "About what?"

"Nothing." Linda blurted out regaining her senses, "Just I should have been looking where I was going."

Officer Cabtree nodded, "No harm done. Just didn't want you to walk straight into the medics. You have a good day now."

Without answering him Linda crossed the road and once she was sure that no one was watching she ducked behind a billboard advertising Revere. She doubled over, hands on knees, getting her breath back.

Guilt dug into her heart giving her a terrible ache. Was that where her fear of Supergirl came from? A way of punishing herself for the sorrow she had brought to others. Was this normal for humans.

To be honest she couldn't discount that theory. She had not been human for that long. Life for her had begun as a protoplasmic being named Matrix and it was only when she had merged with the dying Linda that she had become human. However it seemed she was also an Earth Angel (a concept she still had trouble with) so maybe her condition was due to that.

"Self pity isn't going to help anyone Linda." Talking to herself helped to motivate her and enforce her identity, "You need to decide what you're going to do. For that to happen you need information."

"Course you can look through our back issues" Cutter Sharp said from beneath his desk at Leesburg Tribune, "Anything for a friend of mine. What are you looking for?"

Linda shifted uncomfortably in the wooden chair the other side of the desk. Peering over clutter of papers and mouldy coffee cups she could just see Cutters back and legs as he searched for something under his desk.

"Just something about what's been happening lately with" Linda paused, building up her courage to say the name she dreaded, "Supergirl."

"Supergirl? What's been happening with Supergirl?" Cutter popped his bald head out and Linda noticed his face was covered with dirty smudges. He had looked up for only a second when his eyes went back to the floor, "There it is."

Linda watched Cutter pick up a pair of keys and sit back in his chair. His clothes were in a similar state to his face, covered in mud and grime and sporting ugly damp patches under the arms.

"The anti-Supergirl movement, the terror she's been causing. Effigies of Supergirl being publicly burnt." Linda realised that Cutter was looking at her with a blank expression on his face, "Where have you been? Now I think of it I haven't seen you for a while."

"I've been undercover." He replied proudly, "I got a contact that told me that the government had a squad of military robots which had gone ballistic on the millennium and escaped into the woods ten miles north of here. I joined a hunting party to see if it was true."

"Was it?" Linda asked. She was aware that many robots had gone berserk on that night but she didn't know anymore were still on the loose.

"Nope. Worse still the guy leading the hunting party thought he was running a boot camp and had us chopping wood, crawling through mud and hunting our own food. Still I think all that hard work gave me some muscles. I am becoming a real manly man." Cutter lifted his arms, flexing his biceps.

"Bleek!" Linda exclaimed as a foul odour struck her nose and she quickly pinched her nostrils shut with her hand, "You've certainly picked up a manly smell."

Embarrassed Cutter lowered his arms, "Oh yeah. I haven't had a chance to head home yet and wash. I left my keys in the hiding place under my desk so I didn't loose them in the woods. So I take it that Supergirl isn't popular around here any more? That's bad."

"You still like her?" It had been a long time since she had heard anyone express that opinion.

The bald reporter nodded, "As long as she's around I have the chance of writing a really good story which could get me acclaimed the same way that Lois Lane, Clark Kent and Vicki Vale have been. Plus SG did a lot of good round here."

"I used to think so to." The sadness hung heavy in each world Linda said.

"I'll catch up on this later but first I need to deal with the fragrance problem. I hope you find what you're looking for."

With that Cutter scooted out of the office. When he was gone his co-workers let out a collective gasp. Linda didn't want to guess how long they had been holding their breath to avoid Cutters pungent souvenir of his extended camping trip.

Getting to the matter at hand Linda searched through stacks of newspapers. When she found a story relating to the growing resentment of Supergirl among the other news stories and adverts for the new Revere Deodorant she photocopied it. The incidents had happened so slowly that by the time that she had noticed what was happening it had been to late and she herself had succumbed to the fear of her alter ego.

Even the Leesburg Tribune had been taken by surprise by how the big the story would get. For the first few weeks the main story had been the national story of mass escape from Arkham in Gotham City and the sightings of the escaped criminals.

Once she was done assembling the information Linda scanned through it. Mostly to jog her memory as she had been at most of the incidents. It seemed that even before the burning house incident the crime level in the town was dropping. In that article the cause had been pointed to Supergirl and she had been praised as a deterrent to criminals.

After the story regarding the burning house a public poll showed that Supergirl was seen as threatening and it wasn't long before she was called a menace. Reverend Larry Varvel lead the formation of the anti-Supergirl with the help of Andy Derrick and called for the police to run Supergirl out of town for being a bad role model and a potential threat to the lives of everyone in Leesburg.

With sorrow Linda remember that particularly well. The group had erected a stage on the grassy town square and started burning crude images of Supergirl as people cheered.

Reverend Varvel read from the bible, choosing passages regarding fallen angels while Andy handed out pamphlets containing details of injuries people had received from Supergirl while failing to point out that those people had all been criminals. On the back was a total of the property damage that had occurred from the fights Supergirl engaged in.

The police had arrived to move the crowd on and things had looked like they might erupt into violence. Linda had chosen that moment to make an appearance as Supergirl floating above the stage, hoping to calm everyone down and talk out any problems.

Instead panic had ensued. Most of the mob scattered, screaming and shouting, seeking a safe haven in any building which had a door open. Those that remained did so because they were to frightened to move. Reverend Varvel fell to his knees, clutching his bible and saying a prayer.

She had tried reassuring the people that she had meant no harm, that they need not fear her.

"Try telling that to Howard Green!" Andy had yelled, his face scrunched up into an expression of hatred.

"Who?" She had innocently, the name being an unfamiliar one.

"The boy you put in hospital with broken bones and burns." Andy snarled pointing one long finger towards the general direction of the hospital.

"I am sorry I didn't know his name." She had explained.

"Didn't know or didn't care?" Andy had looked at the crowd and they got the point he was making, a murmur rippling through the mob, "You don't care about any of us."

"That's not true! You've got to believe me." She had pleaded.

"Liar!" Shouted someone from the crowd and a rock hurtled through the air towards her.

Raising an arm she had deflected the missile easily but it had hurt her emotionally. More rocks followed along with empty cans, sticks and whatever else the mob could get their hands on. Those that didn't throw items at her had waved placards saying things like, "Supergirl or Super Menace!", "Keep Leesburg safe, say no to Supergirl" and "The other fallen angel is called Satan!"

With no other course of action open to her she had flown away, changing back to Linda when she was a safe distance away. She learnt later that once Supergirl had left the police and managed to regain control and disperse the crowd.

Not long after that Linda had developed her own fear of Supergirl and so the heroine hadn't been seen. This had done nothing to allay peoples anxiety regarding her. Newspaper articles clearly showed that the public still thought Supergirl was around, plotting revenge against the town of Leesburg.

After leaving the Leesburg Tribune Linda wandered to the hospital thinking that she'd learn the condition of the blonde lady she had seen carried of earlier that day and maybe apologise. Only when she got there had she realised how ridiculous that idea was.

"Smooth move Linda" She muttered to herself, "What were you going to say? Hi I am really Supergirl, sorry I almost got you killed because you looked like me."

At the reception desk she asked to see her friend Dr Mattie Harcourt. When she found Mattie the young woman looked extremely tired.

"Hello Mattie, are you all right?" Linda watched her friend rub the dark rings beneath her hazel eyes.

"Just a rough night. Had another nightmare." Mattie flopped her head back, resting it against the wall, her eyes shut.

"What was it about?"

"Girl, what are people's nightmares usually about these days?" Mattie glanced over at Linda before closing her eyes again, "But what can I do for you?"

"I saw an ambulance picking up a lady earlier. I heard she was attacked because some guys thought she was Supergirl. Since I was in the area I thought I'd find out how she was." Linda crossed her fingers behind her back. She didn't like lying to her friends but it was a necessary part of her life.

"I really shouldn't tell you since you're not her friend or family but she is going to survive. We're keeping her in over night for observation." Mattie rubbed her brow.

"She could have died." Linda looked along the ward corridor, "because of Supergirl."

Mattie got up and put a reassuring hand on Linda's shoulder, "Look, I know you've always been a big fan of the Maid of Might but you must see the harm she's doing."

"You're right. It'd be better if Supergirl didn't exist anymore."

Linda meant what she said. What had she ever achieved? Created as a replacement for Superboy the fate of the pocket dimension she had been born resting on her shoulders and she had failed having to seek the help of Superman. Since then she had been controlled by both Brainiac and Lex Luthor. Maybe she should take the hint and give up the role of Supergirl.

"How are my two favourite women?" Came a voice from down the hallway.

Both ladies turned to see Cutter walking down the corridor towards them. Since Linda had seen him last Cutter had changed into a pair of clean jeans and a large yellow T-shirt. A pad and paper were wedged into his jean pocket, threatening to bust them at the seams. His arms were wide open as if he was going to try and hug them both.

Linda quickly placed a hand on his chest stopping his advancement, "Hang on Cutter. Have you washed yet?"

"I sure hope he has." Mattie gave Cutter a disapproving look, "This is an hygienic area."

Cutter looked shocked, "Have you no faith in me? Of course I washed and I tried that new deodorant Revere for men. Now our scents match."

The odour coming from him was a great deal more pleasant than earlier that day. Linda recognised the scent as being the same mixture of spices that were in her own deodorant, although a tad stronger.

"Now you're not here chasing nurses again are you?" Mattie asked, "If you are I'll have to call security."

Pulling out his pad and pen from his pocket Cutter waved them in Mattie's face like a badge of office, "I am here for work reasons. The boss sent me to write a story on the attack on the woman who was attacked. Something to make Supergirl look really bad."

While Mattie seemed pleased by this Linda raised an eyebrow, "I thought you still liked Supergirl?"

"Me? No way. Maybe once but I get nervous around anyone who can crush my skull in an instant." Cutter shuddered, "Have you seen her use those flame wings of hers? They just pop out of no where, fire extending from her back. Do you think she can see what they're touching when they're behind her. It's a miracle she hasn't accidentally set someone alight."

The sentiment was not lost on Linda. Two nights ago she had a dream where that very situation had happened. She had awakened screaming, covered in perspiration.

"This isn't right." Linda started to pace back and fore, "The answers there in front of you. Just put it altogether."

"Is she alright Doc?" Cutter asked taking a step back from Linda.

"It looks like she's been over doing it." Mattie took a step forward, "Are you okay?"

Linda stopped and realised that her two friends were staring at her, "I am fine. Cutter, I need you to find out an address for me. I promise that it'll lead to a big story for you."

Night fell across Leesburg bringing a sense of serenity and calm. A full moon provided a pale light, which streamed through the factory windows highlighting the midnight activities occurring on the shop floor.

Tired workers mixed chemicals, checked machinery and moved stocks of Revere preparing them for sale. Those not working lay in a foetal position near the doors.

"Have to get out." They babbled, "But it's so big out there. So empty."

The tall gaunt figure cackled as he watched activities from his office on the second floor, "Agoraphobia, the fear of open spaces. Perfect for creating slaves who are to afraid to flee."

Linda shifted in the chair, trying to wriggle out of the ropes that bound her. All the time she kept her attention on the figure. He moved away from window moving uncomfortably close to her, the smell of a wet dirty sack wafted from his costume.

Her captor wore ragged brown trousers and top. There were numerous patches covering them, and ropes were used to hold them tightly to his impossibly thin body. A wide brimmed floppy hat sat on his head atop his mask. Strands of straw stuck out from the cuffs of his top and from the bottom of his trouser legs.

"Do you know who I am?" Hot breath filtered through the cloth mask over his face.

Linda nodded, "The Scarecrow."

The criminal threw his head back and laughed, "Oh such a delightful tone of fear in your voice. Now lets try a another name."

Slowly he bent over the chair, his hands running along the sides of the wooden chair causing it to creak. His head moved closer and closer to Linda's face until it filled her field of vision. Just before the mask touched her he moved to the side and whispered into her ear, "Supergirl."

Despite her best efforts Linda flinched, her whole body jerking.

Scarecrow withdrew launching into another burst of maniacal laughter. Linda would like nothing more than to grab the rope that the Scarecrow used as a belt and use it to choke off his laughter.

"My plan is working extremely well. Oh I must thank the Joker, if it weren't for his suggestion to go to other towns I would never have a chance to try out this plan." Scarecrow hopped on to the office desk, letting his long legs dangle over the side, "What would be the point in making the citizens of Gotham fear the Batman. That's what he thrives on, he enjoys inspiring fear almost as much as I do."

"Why here?" Linda managed to say. She was desperate to keep him talking. Anything to delay the fate that the Scarecrow had in store for her.

Scarecrow put his two gloved hands together and rested his cheek on them like a pillow and said, in a sing song voice, "Because I have always dreamed of ruling Leesburg. What small child hasn't?

He leapt up from the desk and yelled in Linda's face with such a force she thought he was going to knock her over, "Of course I don't want Leesburg! It's a stepping stone, a test bed and you and everyone else in this insignificant town are my terrified little guinea pigs."

Fold his hands behind his back Scarecrow paced back and fore, "I needed somewhere to test my plan. By combining my fear potions I could make people fear superheroes. Use their mistrust to defeat the heroes I couldn't hope to defeat myself and once the town was vulnerable I'd take over."

He stopped for a moment and stared at Linda and she knew that he was grinning proudly, waiting for a round of applause. She didn't give him the satisfaction so he continued to rant.

"For example combine a fear of women, blonde hair, flames, the colours red, blue and yellow and you have instant Supergirl phobia. All I had to do was break into this factory and introduce my own special ingredient to the mixture. The fact that it also pulled in a tidy profit was an added bonus."

"Not everyone uses the same deodorant." Linda tried to look at her watch but her wrist was tied to tightly to the chair.

"No, but enough people do so that everyone who doesn't will still smell it, still come in contact with my specially coded fear chemicals." Scarecrow slapped his hands and rubbed them together in glee, "This will really work."

Something occurred to the Scarecrow and he stopped in his tracks. He spun round in his tracks and gave an apologetic bow to Linda, "Excuse me if I seem like a cliched villain explaining my whole plan but usually the Batman has already worked out what I am doing and explaining everything to ME! As if I don't know what I am doing. He never appreciates them either, always points out the flaws as he punches me. But really there is no excuse for this. You were found sneaking around the factory and I am going to kill you by giving you such a concentrated burst of fear poison that your heart explodes, no more delays."

From his belt Scarecrow pulled out a bottle containing a dark blue liquid. With his gloved fingers he slowly pulled out the cork. Watching Linda through the roughly cut circle eyes.

"What's that?" Linda placed her feet firmly on the ground.

"Fear of Scarecrows my dear. I want to watch you die screaming my name." With a pop the cork came out and Scarecrow advanced towards Linda. When he was close enough Linda braced her legs lifting up the weight of the chair. Tilting forwards the back of the chair smashed into the bottle that the Scarecrow held soaking him with its fluid.

Her strength giving out Linda fell back, the chair rocking slightly but luckily she didn't fall over. For a moment the Scarecrow didn't move, he just watched the liquid soak into his costume. Then he looked up brushing of the fragments of glass.

"Last ditch plan of escape? Sorry, I am immune to my own fear potions. What kind of loser would be afraid of themselves?" The Scarecrows mocking laugh cut deep into Linda, "Not to worry. I can make you afraid of me without the use of chemicals."

As Scarecrow advanced on her, hands outstretched for her throat the doors on the first floor were suddenly bashed open. Scarecrow spat out a curse, which got muffled in his mask.

He produced a knife and for a moment Linda thought he was going to stab her but instead he cut the ropes holding her to the chair but not those that bound her wrists and feet. Forcing her to hop out of the office he pushed her against the cold steel safety rail that lined the walkway above that overlooked the first floor.

From here she could see the intruders were the police, officer Cabtree at their lead. Their guns were pulled and pointed at the workers, who just stared dumbfound at the cops or screamed in terror at the wide open space they could see through the door.

"Not another step gentlemen or I push this young lady to her death." Scarecrow pushed Linda again almost sending her over the bar but pulled her back just in time.

"Linda!" Cabtree yelled out recognising her even in the pale moonlight, "Don't do anything foolish. Just let the girl go."

"You're really worried about her aren't you? I bet if I did push her to her death the image would haunt your every waking hour for years to come." The Scarecrow mused over this for a moment running one hand over his chin while still firmly holding Linda with the other, in the end he shrugged, "Sorry, I can't resist."

With that he pushed Linda over the edge. She couldn't believe it, the sickening feeling of falling over came her. Wind rushed round her as she gravity turned her so she was looking upwards towards the skylight in the ceiling and at the edge of her vision the Scarecrow shaking his fists in triumph.

Pain stabbed out from her shoulders as she hit the lip of a swirling vat of chemicals causing a metallic clang to echo through the factory. She then tumbled into the chemicals and sunk like a stone.

"No!" Cabtree shouted in anger and disbelief.

The police officer rushed towards the metal stairs leading upwards, gun outstretched and his fellow police officers followed suit.

Cabtree had only reached the first step when the Scarecrow spoke again addressing the workers, "These police men intend to take you all outside. Will you allow that to happen?"

Within moments this had sunk into the fear filled brains of the workers and they attacked the five police officers with a blinding fury, driven to stop these men from making their worst nightmare come true.

The police officers were quickly restrained as the cops didn't want to use lethal force on men who were obviously not completely in control of their actions.

With a leisurely pace Scarecrow descended down the stairs. He had his workers disarm the cops and hold them still in a line against the wall.

"Tonight is my lucky night. I am going to spend the whole night torturing you with your worst fears and then I'll turn you on each other." Scarecrow took a deep intake of breath savouring the moment, "And on the off chance Supergirl does turn up to rescue you, you'll be so terrified of her that you'll attack her allowing me to escape."

From behind him the vat wall burst spilling chemicals everywhere. Using the distraction the cops struggled free and dashed away from the flood of chemicals, the workers following seconds behind them.

Scarecrow was to stunned to move out of the way and the first wave knocked him to the ground and washed his spindly form into the wall. Groaning he saw Supergirl standing defiantly by the new hole in the vat, the chemical dripping off her blue, red and yellow costume.

"I wouldn't bet on it." She said glaring at the villain.

The police officers recovered their weapons and pointed them at the Scarecrow. As the chemicals washed around his ankles he tried to understand what was happening, "But how? Everyone in town feared you."

Supergirl nodded sending a spray of drips cascading off her blonde hair, "True but I realised that someone was drugging the Revere deodorant and the most likely suspect was you. I also knew that your ego would make you want to observe the fruits of your labour. So who was the only one who stood up to me when everyone else was running in terror?"

"Andy Derrick." Cabtree said answering Supergirl's question, "Cutter Sharp from the Leesburg Tribune found out which motel had a room hired out to Andy Derrick and one quick search later turn up a spare costume and antidote to the fear poison."

"I had to keep the antidote with me." Scarecrow said more to himself than to anyone else, defending his actions, "The fear potion was new so I needed to make sure I was immune to it by taking regular doses."

"There was enough there for the five of us to take it so we could bring you in." Cabtree grinned not noticing that Supergirl's leg was trembling.

If there had only been a little more then she could have taken a dose herself but instead she planned to overcome her fear and capture Scarecrow allowing the cops to come in and clean up without any fear of her. It was only when she reached the factory did she realise she couldn't go through with it and got herself captured.

"If I didn't have to rescue that girl from the vat I would have dealt with you sooner Scarecrow." Supergirl said trying to keep her voice from showing that she was screaming in fear on the inside.

With a clink of metal Cabtree removed his handcuffs from his belt, "Its back to Gotham City for you Scarecrow."

Just as Cabtree was about to slam on the cuffs smoke started to issue forth from Scarecrows costume. Scarecrow seemed as shocked by this as everyone else was.

"The Revere is reacting with the fear potion I got on me earlier. It's transforming it into something else." Scarecrow thrashed about beating at the smoke quickly covering him, attempting to smother it, "I don't know what'll it do!"

Getting to his feet Scarecrow rushed for the door, becoming completely enveloped in the blue gas. The policemen attempted to block his escape but Supergirl held up a hand of warning.

"If he's worried about what it'll do I don't think it's a good idea to breathe in that gas. It could be lethal." Part of her knew that Clark would try to save Scarecrow from his own poison, by using his super breath to blow away the gas or super speed to strip Scarecrow of his lethal costume but then she wasn't Clark. Everyone watched the Scarecrow run into the night, screaming as he left a trail of bellowing smoke.

Half an hour later the effects of the fear gas were starting to fade on the workers. The Scarecrow was no longer around to make sure they were dosed up. Cabtree was taking statements and seeing what steps could be taken to dispose of the tainted Revere.

Cutter had arrived to write up the, "scoop" Linda had promised him and having reverted to her shorter, brown haired figure when no one was looking Linda filled him in on what he had missed.

"So Andy Derrick was really Professor Crane?" Cutter tapped his pen against his pad of paper, "Do you think that's what they do all day in Arkham. Work out clever plays on words for their assumed identities. I bet the thesaurus is a big seller there."

Linda shrugged, still keeping a firm hold on the green towel she had been given to dry of the chemicals with, "I am just glad this is all over. Revere will be recalled and without its influence people will stop fearing Supergirl."
, " This is your chance to make big bucks Linda. People are going to feel awfully guilty for how they treated Supergirl and that despite the way they acted Supergirl still protected them from the Scarecrow. They'll going to be buying as much Supergirl merchandise as they can to prove that they're still loyal to the Maid of Might." Cutter paused, "You do still have those sculptures right?"

"As a matter of fact I do."

"Good, for a moment I worried that you might have destroyed them or something." Cutter looked of into the distance, past the sleeping town of Leesburg and to the rolling hills and fields, "I wonder what that chemical did to Crane. Two fear potions mixed in with Revere, not something you want to be covered from head to foot in."

Linda looked out into the night and wondered the same thing.

Crawling on his belly through the corn field, the golden stalks bending and swaying around him. He covered his head and whimpered. Looking up he saw the night sky twinkling with stars but by the time that visual information reach his brain the chemicals coursing through his body twisted his perception.

"So many crows! So many black crows fill the sky I can only see pin hole gaps between them." He continued pushing himself through the dirt with his feet, "They want to peck out my eyes! Oh God, I am scared of crows."

All characters are ™ DC Comics
This story is © 2000 by Michael Rees.
 
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