Nightvision - Death in the Spotlight

Time to Read:60min
Views:234 (All Time)
Added Date:9/17/2022
Tags: Nightvision

Warning: This is a work of bondage deathtrap fiction. If you are disturbed by depictions of courageous women facing sadistic villains and finding themselves in intricate inescapable bondage deathtraps, then DO NOT READ THIS STORY. Though based on familiar comic book themes, this story is NOT intended for children.

Alexa liked almost everything about being a superheroine. She loved the sense of high adventure and the adrenaline rush that always came when she knew she was dashing into harms way. She loved the challenge of pitting her talent, skills, and courage against bizarre and dangerous criminals, knowing full well that one slip could spell disaster. She loved the feel of her tight high-tech costume, the heightened sense of vulnerability she felt while wearing it, and the erotic power she could wield against friend and foe alike. She even loved the media coverage -- the tabloid headlines that accompanied each defeated super criminal, the grainy pictures of her snapped at a distance, and the banter in the gossip column about who she really was. She was a defender, a celebrity, and a sex kitten all at the same time. It was a wonderful life.

Except, of course, for all the people trying to kill her.

Seize her ladies! Quickly!

A murmur rippled through the crowd of over 2000 people as two women clad in black bustiers and fishnet stockings took hold of the stunned heroine and pulled her to her knees. The trio stood in the midst of the main stage of the Ansonia Metropolitan Theater, with props, curtains, and unconscious bodies littered all about them. The set had been originally intended to resemble an Egyptian throne room complete with massive standing columns, palm trees, slave girls waving giant fans, and a backdrop matte showing the great Pyramids rising over darkened sand dunes. But now the stage actors had all fled, the lightweight prop columns had been scattered like bowling pins, and the podium used by the master of ceremonies had been hurled into the front row. A banner reading, Welcome to the 20th Annual MASTERS OF MAGIC Awards! still hung over the now-jumbled stage. The artificial suspense of the obscure awards show had been suddenly interrupted by the very real suspense of violent crime.

A dramatic entrance, Nightvision. But once again, I steal the show.

Looming over the trio of ladies stood a tall, dashingly handsome man dressed in a stylish tuxedo and carrying a black lacquered cane. He was somewhere past middle age but his icy blue eyes, cleft chin, and chiseled features were timeless. His calm demeanor and winning smile betrayed him as a man who had grown up on the stage, a man who was used to receiving the praise and admiration of others. His name was a household word -- Mandrake the Magnificent -- perhaps the greatest stage illusionist who had ever lived. Unfortunately pride, greed, and fading popularity had finally driven him to a life of crime. The once beloved name of Mandrake the Magnificent was now synonymous with larceny, blackmail, and murder. Mandrakes huge black panther, Laertes, paced slowly beside his master, barring his teeth and snarling at the crowd.---

I was hoping my latest caper would draw the attention of Ansonias most celebrated lady of the evening. Though I must say, I was expecting someone somewhat more imposing.

Indeed, in many ways Alexa looked more like a cheerleader than a daredevil vigilante. She stood no more than 5 6, with a classic hourglass figure, firm athletic breasts, and toned muscles from years of physical conditioning.--- Her hazel-green eyes, pouting lips, and lush dark hair gave her the look of Teen Beat cover girl. The sleek rubber eye mask, violet eye makeup, and pompadour bangs only served to reinforce her youthful vulnerability. Her costume consisted of a violet-black halter top body suit of rubberized Lycra, with matching thigh-high boots, opera gloves and cape. A black silk sash was tied tightly around her narrow waist and a black leather weapons belt traversed her pelvis from right hip to the slim holster strapped to her left thigh. Given her Barbie doll appearance, sultry costume, and her reputation as a powerful psychic, it was easy to see why Nightvision was a preoccupation of both the press and the criminal underworld alike.

What what did you do with Hemelman?

Jeff Hemelman had just walked onto the stage to accept his award for Best Stage Magician when Mandrake struck, appearing in a puff of smoke even as his female assistants applied a strange glue to the auditorium doors, sealing them shut from outside. Fortunately, Alexa had been in the balcony with her date when Mandrake made his appearance. While he made a production out of stuffing Hemelman into a magic cabinet and making him disappear, Alexa had done a disappearing act of her own, just long enough to change into her Nightvision costume and swoop down on Mandrake as he was taking his final bows. She made quick work of Mandrakes female assistants but even as she turned to deal with Mandrakes feline body guard the magician himself had sprayed her with some sort of drug from the fangs of his snakehead cane. The next thing she knew she was Mandrakes captive.

Imagine the nerve of the Magicians Guild, awarding him best magician over me. I've spirited him away of course, to teach him a lesson. But at the moment I'd be more concerned with what Im about to do with you.

Mandrakes upright cabinet was about the size of a squat coffin, broad at the top and rapidly tapering to a narrow floor. Its black lacquered surface was adorned with swirling Oriental dragons in silver filigree. He tipped the box over backward until it settled horizontally onto a concealed wheel carriage that held the cabinet at waist level like a hospital gurney. He opened the black lid and motioned to his assistants.

My nightshade venom is powerful but its effects are mercifully temporary. Put her inside and ensure she is securely shackled.

Nightvision tried to resist, but the venom from Mandrakes cane had drained her strength. She felt thick and sluggish as if she were drunk -- the overhead stage lights were blinding and Mandrakes words sounded distant and indistinct. The darling heroine could only struggle weakly as the two assistants lifted her by the ankles and armpits and lowered her into the coffin. Her feet and hands were forced through round holes in the walls and floor of the cabinet, then secured with steel cuffs on the outside to ensure that she could not draw them back inside. After securing the cuffs with pad locks to eye bolts set in the outer walls of the cabinet, they repeated the process on the teenage dynamos head, securing a steel collar to her throat then sliding it into wide slot at the top of the box. The cob webs were rapidly clearing from Nightvisions normally quick-thinking mind, but it was too late for any purpose other than to better appreciate her current predicament. The assistants secured the collar to the cabinet in a manner similar to the cuffs, padlocking it to additional eye bolts at the top of the coffin. Nightvision pulled futilely at her restraints as the assistants backed away and Mandrake tilted the coffin back to vertical to give the audience a closer look.

Ladies and gentlemen! Im saddened to announce that Jeff Hemelman will be unable to perform for you tonight. But in his absence, I've arranged for a much more spectacular substitute. Ansonias own psychic superheroine, Nightvision!

A few in the audience actually clapped, uncertain if this could possibly be part of the act.

Tonight, for your entertainment, the lovely Nightvision will face torture, humiliation, and slow death as she confronts the most harrowing escape ever attempted on any stage. I call it simply the Kiss of Steel.

The crowd murmured again as Mandrakes assistants wheeled out an insidious device a circular masonry saw equipped with a blade a full three feet in diameter, mounted on a long hydraulic arm. The arm was at the moment vertical but once activated could be lowered down toward a steel cutting surface that formed the wheeled base of the machine.

I've borrowed Madeline Marvels lovely stage saw for this feat. Its an authentic industrial saw, though I've taken the liberty of adding an industrial tungsten blade and I've removed the governer that prevents the saw from reaching actual cutting speed. I've also removed the mirrors Miss Marvel uses to make it appear as though she is chained beneath the descending blade, and will replace it with this cabinet of my own design.

The demented magician stepped dramatically to where the now-alert Nightvision struggled within the box; feet suspended a foot above the stage with her full weight supported by the collar. The bright stage lights danced across the surface of her tightly-clad body as she labored for breath.

I can assure you that Nightvision is every bit as helpless as she appears. The box itself is solid oak with steel reinforcements throughout. The shackles you see on her wrists and ankles are solid steel, and the collar is squeezed painfully around her throat. The box is virtually inescapable, though alas it will provide precious little protection against the force of the descending blade.

Mandrake, this is old hat, Nightvision interjected. Surely you can think of something more original than than the old Saw the Lady in Half trick. Let Hemelman go, and Ill go with you willingly.

Mandrake turned and gave her a chilling smile. Your self-sacrifice is most noble. However, I can assure you, my dear, this trick has a new and most clever twist. Behold.

Nightvisions eyes opened wide as Mandrake waved one empty hand over the other and produced a long black rod with a second smaller device attached to the base by a short wire. With a gasp the dark-eyed vigilante saw what it was: a dildo.

You fiend! Nightvision spat as she twisted in her bonds. It didnt take much imagination to guess what he intended to do with that. He held it up for the crowd to see.

Indeed ladies and gentlemen, not only will the lovely Nightvision soon be positioned in harms way beneath the arc of the saw, she will be controlling its descent with her own lovely body. This device will not only provide relentless stimulation to her most sensitive regions, it will also measure her level of arousal. The closer she gets to climax, the closer the blade will drop and the faster it will spin. For the youngsters in the crowd I will spare you the sight of my inserting this device into Nightvisions womanhood. Suffice it so say, ladies, that you should not try this at home.

The crowd watched in stunned horror as Mandrake once again lowered the cabinet to horizontal. One of his assistants pulled the crotch of Nightvisions body suit aside and opened the discrete seam in her high-gloss hose to reveal her neatly trimmed pussy.

Ahh, I see your costume is well designed for erotic peril, Mandrake smiled. Must be part of the job, ehh Nightslut? Allow me.

Alexa twisted her pelvis in a futile attempt to keep Mandrake from finding his target, but of course it was futile. She let out an almost girlish gasp as the dildo parted her nether lips and gasped as Mandrake drove the vibrator deeply into her. She yelped as Mandrake attached the secondary vibrator to her swollen clit, but then it was done. The assistant neatly rearranged the rubbery crotch of Nightvisions costume and stepped away so that once more the trapped heroine was in full view of the crowd.

Our brave heroine will need every ounce of her concentration to hold off the kiss blade, ladies and gentlemen, but Im afraid it wont be that simple. She will also have some other kisses to contend with as well.

One moment Mandrakes hands were empty, but with and twist of his cane he produced a jar full of scorpions. The crowd gasped anew. Desert scorpions, small but each with a sting capable of paralyzing a horse. Nightvision will share her tomb with a colony of the deadly insects.

Mandrake, this is insane! Alexa gasped as own body tingled in submissive arousal. Her fascination for danger and strict bondage washed over like a drug, but the site of the deadly insects added a new dimension of horror.

Indeed, and since the bites of the scorpion invariably causes agonizing muscular pain, I've brought along a little something to help you cope.

Mandrake produced a rubber ball gag, equipped with both a chin and head strap, thoughtfully color-coordinated with Nightvisions costume. Now, open wide.

Nightvisions body was already soaked with sweat beneath the withering lights, and she could feel the even hotter weight of thousands of pairs of eyes riveted on her, both from the audience and from the eye of the television cameras positioned near the foot of the stage. She didnt want it to appear that she was in any way cooperating with Mandrake, but the humiliation of having her mouth pried open before an audience of thousands was more than she could bear. With a heavy sigh she opened her mouth.

Good girl, Mandrake patronized as he pulled the gag firmly in place and secured the straps. Then he turned to the crowd. Shes all set ladies and gentlemen, so let the show begin!

Mandrake reached in a flipped a switch on the base of the concealed dildo, bringing it to sudden life. Even as Nightvision shuddered from the sudden stimulation, Mandrake upended the jar and showered deadly brownish 2-inch scorpions all over her body. Several women in the audience screamed, but then the lid was closed and three more padlocks were added before the cabinet was wheeled beneath the saw and clamped into place. Mandrake flipped a switch on the saw and the device promptly roared into action, descending half way to the cabinet before halting and wavering back and forth.

And now I must be leaving you, Mandrake saluted the crowd, But I insist you stay and enjoy the show. I will leave Laertes here as master of ceremonies, just in case any of you entertain thoughts of attempting to rescue our damsel in distress.

Mandrake removed his hat and blew a kiss to the audience. Then his hat dropped to the ground, and in a puff of smoke, Mandrake was gone.

For a minute all was quite -- the crowd watched obediently as the saw wavered unsteadily over the gleaming surface of Mandrakes box and its youthful prisoner. The silken-haired vigilante looked up almost calmly at the giant blade, fighting desperately to master her emotions as her only defense against both blade and sting. Yet the inexorable descent of blade and its ever-increasing speed was proof that Nightvision was locked in a battle she could not win. Still, the crowd seemed content to remain in their seats while the drama played out to its grisly conclusion. That is, until Laertes strode up the edge of the stage and gave off a fierce roar.

That panther! Its loose! Run!

The crowd quickly degenerated in to a mob, as everyone all at once made a break for the doors. The leaders of the crowd found the doors still bonded shut, of course, and they were crushed violently against the unyielding aluminum as the mass of humanity continued surging toward the exits. None even considered rescuing Nightvision from Mandrakes sinister trap. Despite her repeated services to the city of Ansonia, she was already written off as the first victim of the magicians madness.


The voice ran through Alexas mind like a daydream, discernable to her alone. It was a voice she had known all her life; possibly even before. The voice itself was as soothing as its offer of aid, perhaps her only hope of escaping from Mandrakes trap. Still, the master criminal had a head start and with every passing second it was more and more likely that he would get away with his kidnapped magician. Despite the dangers she couldnt live with herself if she traded Jeff Hemelmans life for her own. In a matter of seconds she made her fateful decision.

<MANDRAKES GETTING AWAY.> Alexa mentally replied, though the force of her own thoughts were so diluted that she wasnt sure if she could actually be heard. HAS HEMELMAN. WILL KILL HIM.

<NO. I CANT LEAVE YOU TO DIE,> Came the reply.

<SAVE HEMELMAN.> She thought back weakly. <MY CHOICE.>

Her thoughts were met with only silence. For a moment she thought that her mind was too jumbled to form coherent thoughts. Still she tried one more time.


<ILL BE BACK IN FIVE MINUTES,> the voice came back after a long pause. <JUST HOLD ON.>

Alexa attempted to reply but her concentration was finally shattered by a sudden lunge of the blade. The onslaught of the wet vibrator on her defenseless clit was maddening, but even the slightest erotic thought caused the blade to plunge in response to her own arousal. She HAD to escape from beneath the blade, but the manacles were fiendishly secure and her body was alive with the pricks of sixty pairs of skittering feet. If she made more than the most subtle attempt to free herself she would die in agony from the venom of a dozen stings. As she stared up at the twinkling blade she was forced to grudgingly admire Mandrake for his sadistic genius.

Five minutes suddenly seemed like an incredibly long time to wait.

Sheer genius, Mandrake congratulated himself as he emerged through a freight doorway at the rear of the theater. The audience is treated to the spectacle of a lifetime, even while I make off with the star of the show!

Behind Mandrake came his four female assistants, escorting a tuxedo-clad Jeff Hemelman, arms bound behind his back and head covered with a black silk hood. Just ahead of them waited a featureless white pack van, the perfect getaway car for the normally flamboyant Master of Mayhem.

Though I must say, Nightvision is a most delectable adversary. Its a pity I only get to kill her once.

Then have I got a surprise for you, Mandrake!

Nightvision! But thats impossible!

Impossible but true. Nightvision stood on the roof of the pack van, a shapely masked shadow with long flowing hair. Both of her gloved hands were locked on her Nightstick, a three-foot fighting staff with metal tips that gave off an eerie violet glow. The electrified staff was charged at the precise frequency of the human nervous system, and each strike temporarily robbed its target of strength and coordination.--- Nightvisions cape fluttered behind her as she flipped from the van and landed in the midst of her foes. The great magician could only stare dumbfounded as the teenage avenger once again dropped his assistants with a blinding succession of crackling blows from her Nightsitck. In seconds it was over, Mandrake was once again alone against his shapely enemy, this time without Laertes.

Lets try this one more time, Nightvisions narrowed her eyes as she expertly spun her Nightstick in her hands. But this time drop the cane.

But, it cant be! Mandrake was incredulous as he dropped his cane. I left you shackled on the stage beneath an industrial saw. Escape was IMPOSSIBLE!

Yea well, you know magic, Nightvision quipped, If you know the secret it just isnt any fun. Now put your hands on the van. I'd like to avoid any more surprises this evening.

This cant be. It CANT be, Mandrake mumbled to himself as he turned away from his nemesis and put his hands on the van. His puzzled deliberations were only ended by a prolonged application of Nightvisions staff, which sent him hurling into dreamless oblivion.

Sorry for the rough treatment, Mandrake Nightvision sighed as she retracted her staff to its normal 14-inch length and holstered it at her left thigh. But you know what they say, turn about is fair play. She produced a short knife from her boot and used it to cut the ropes securing Hemelmans wrists, then she removed his hood.

Are you alright?

Yea, the stunned magician replied, thanks to you. Thought I was dead.

Well, we couldnt let that happen. Im a sucker for that lady-floating-in-the-fountain-of-water trick, Nightvision said with a wry smile. Then she produced a series of black plastic zip cords. Know how to use these?

I think so. Just thread it through a pull it tight.

Right. Cuff these five with their arms interlocking, then get out of here. Even if they wake up they wont get far. The policed will be along presently.

Ill try. But where are you going -- why risk letting them get away?

Sorry, but if I dont get moving I just might be dead as well.


The whine of the saw had reached fever pitch and the blade now hung only fractions of an inch above the surface of the wooden cabinet in which Nightvision was still inescapably trapped. The cabinet was already scarred by several brushes with the saw, and each contact had resulted in an explosion of sparks and wood shavings. The young vigilante was so hyper-aroused that her entire body seemed to pulse with erotic energy, her mind a sea of endorphins. She hovered so close to orgasm that it seemed almost like a single prolonged climax, and her love canal spasmed along the full length of the vibrating dildo. Yet she dared not move more than absolutely necessary lest she draw the attention of the scorpions still skittering all along her body. The mental and physical torture was exquisite, as Mandrake had clearly intended, and her very life hung by the slimmest of margins.

Her best chance of survival was that someone would come to her rescue, but as each second passed that was becoming increasingly unlikely. The doors had finally yielded to the surge of humanity, leaving Alexa virtually alone in the theater except for those few too injured to even crawl out into the lobby. Her only companion, unfortunately, was Laertes, who still prowled the stage snarling in agitation. Any would-be rescuer would first have to deal with the big cat before even being allowed to approach her deathtrap. It would likely be some time before the police could mount some sort of rescue attempt and by then it would be far too late. And in the meantime, she feared that at any moment the theater owners might try to help her by shutting off the power to the main theater. Killing the power to the theater would certainly shut down the saw, but the blade would then descend to its resting place at the center of the cutting surface, bisecting the box in the process. Almost any rescue would likely mean death for the young adventuress. Her only hope was to attempt to save herself, however long the odds.

She had only one chance, and that was the saw itself. Though it was solid steel, as Mandrake had indicated, it was not nearly as sharp as an actual industrial saw. It had always been intended as a stage prop and the cabinet had shaken violently with each brush of the blade. It was a desperate gamble, but Alexa had no other choice.

Nightvision allowed her mind to stray ever so slightly toward the sensation of the vibrator lapping at her clit and the saw surged downward even as her body hurled toward climax. It was like throwing a fighter jet into a nose dive then trying to pull out again before hitting the ground, as she fought to pull herself back from the onset of orgasm even as the blade laid into the cabinet. But her innermost muscles gripped the dildo tighter and tighter even as she willed them to relax, and the blade continued its descent. The flaxen-haired dynamo screamed into the ball gag as the saw continued to sink, heedless of her desperate efforts to halt it. The air all around her exploded in a cloud of wood, dust, metal and flying scorpions, soon to be joined by the spray of her own blood and bone. Alexa dug desperately at the slippery slope of passion, hoping beyond hope to avoid the oblivion of death that awaited her.

And just for an instant, she stopped it. The blade halted its descent even as the cabinet disintegrated all around her. Suddenly, her hands and feet were free and she used her precious moment of freedom to roll off the steel cutting surface and onto the stage floor, chunks of wood still clamped around her wrists and ankles. Then the climax washed through her like a force of nature, wave after wave of intense pleasure that blossomed to completely fill her world like mushroom cloud. Sparks swirled in sympathy all around her as the saw bit into the steel cutting surface, shattering the blade in the process. Finally, the saw went into auto shutdown; the deafening whine of the engine abated as the arm rose back to vertical carrying with it the twisted remains of the blade.

Nightvision lay on her side, gasping for breath and clutching at her crotch with her still-manacled arms. The power of the dildo had somehow shut down with the saw, so her first act of recovery was to undo the buckles holding the ball gag in her mouth. Then she cleaned the last remnants of wood from around her limbs and throat before rising slowly to her knees.


Alexa looked up startled to find herself face to face with Laertes. The 300-pound cat was coiled and ready to pounce, teeth bared in fury. Her blood froze in her veins as she realized that her victory was likely to be short-lived. She had escaped the blade only to be torn to bloody shreds by the great cat. She closed her eyes, determined to meet death peacefully.


Her eyes flew open again at the familiar sound of the Nightstick discharging its energy. Laertes whimpered like a kitten and writhed on the ground, then went still as the command of his nervous system abandoned him. Mandrakes fearsome pet had joined his master in defeat.

Alexa, are you alright?

Alexa glanced up from the stage to look upon the sight that few had ever seen -- the SECOND Nightvision. Her twin sister Alicia was identical to Alexa in almost every respect, right down to the color of their eyes, the arch of their brows, and their choice of dangerous lifestyle. They also shared the telepathic and precognitive powers that had made their ancestral line one of the most revered and hated in all of Eastern Europe.

Yea, thanks to you. Did you get him?

Of course, Alicia smiled slyly. The only trick Mandrake the Magnificent will be performing from now on will be hide the pickle with other inmates in his cell block. And that Jeff Hemelman hes a cute one. Perhaps he could make use of a good assistant or two.

Hes all yours, Alexa got unsteadily to her feet. But Im sure my date is worried sick trying to find me. Do you mind if?

Alicia knew where she was heading. They regularly changed places with each other when the need suited them, even fooling their closest friends. In fact, given the demands of their crime fighting careers, it was often a practical necessity.

Of course. Your dress?

Mezzanine ladies room, slung beneath the sinks. Come by the loft later?

Its a date. Ill let you know how Peter kisses.

As Alexa limped for the shadows of the back stage, Alicia fired a drag line up into the first balcony and prepared to climb up. She was only interrupted by the voice in her head, soft and intimately comforting.





Marla Dietrich was a woman that knew what she wanted. Since taking control of KFUF Channel 62 from her father at the tender age of 25 she had worked tirelessly to turn the backwater television station around. She had fired all of her fathers worthless semi-retired friends, built a state-of-the-art news room, and hired the best marketing representatives away from the other local affiliates. She had dropped their long-standing independent status and aligned her station with an up-and-coming network, and even hired a traffic copter to monitor the local rush hour, replacing the canned updates purchased from other stations. She had sunk her entire fortune into putting KFUF on the map, but her efforts had gone large unnoticed and unappreciated. Despite the face lift, her station was awash in a sea of red ink. As more and more viewers were migrating to cable and the Internet for entertainment, it seemed likely that she would lose everything.

But now she knew the secret to save her empire. She had to kill Nightvision.


Marla had been waiting in the featureless visitation room for almost 30 minutes before the activation of the security door beyond the clear bulletproof partition heralded the arrival of her guest. She unconsciously smoothed the skirt of her expensive wool suit, as she always did before meetings with important clients. All things considered it was an odd place for business negotiations. The windows were barred, the chairs cheap plastic, and her client an inmate in maximum security prison. Still, the consequences of their negotiations couldnt be more critical to her future or the future of her television station.

The security door swung open to reveal Mandrake the Magician, flanked on either side by a beefy prison guard. His stylish tuxedo had been replaced by a bright orange jump suit and his expensive jewelry was replaced by wrist and ankle manacles. His normally immaculate hair had been shaved close and he looked pale under the harsh light of the overhead fluorescent tubes. But as they met gazes she could tell that his icy blue eyes were still twinkling with cunning and madness. He was still Mandrake the Magician, one of the greatest arch criminals in the world. Marla was counting on it.

Ten minutes, One of the guards announced, as he removed the transit cuffs from Mandrakes wrists and ankles. Try to keep it in your pants.

Then the door closed, leaving Marla Dietrich alone with the Master of Mayhem. He walked slowly toward the chair on the high security side of the visitation room, never taking his unreadable gaze off the woman on the other side of the 2-inch Plexiglas. His smile was cold and humorless, but when he spoke his British accent was steady and refined.

Forgive me, but I dont believe weve met.

No, we havent. My name is Marla Dietrich, Im the owner of KFUF Channel 62.

Mandrake made no move to sit down. Yes, well youll forgive me Ms Dietrich, but I must inform you that I dont watch much television. I find the media vacuous.

I understand, but Im not here to ask you for an interview. Im here to discuss a business proposition. I want you to kill Nightvision.

Mandrake stared at her a moment longer then slowly sat down in the chair. Go on

My station televised the Masters of Magic Awards show last month. I've been struggling for years to get local rebroadcast rights to key civic events, but so far I've been relegated to strictly second class events. No offense.

None taken, Mandrakes expression was unreadable.

However, my broadcast rights for the Masters of Magic gave me exclusive broadcast rights to the battle between you and Nightvision. I've licensed the footage to the major networks for over a million dollars. Youre quite a star.

You are too kind, but I believe Nightvision is the star of that particular performance. As you can see, I am now behind bars.

An impediment that could be remedied, under the appropriate circumstances. There is a significant amount of paperwork clogging the penal system at the moment. Prisoners are transferred, mistakes are made

On the condition that you get broadcast rights to the rematch.

Now it was Marlas turn to smile coldly. Precisely. I assume you could arrange for an appropriately dramatic demise for Ansonias darling crime fighter, given proper time and resources.

I might have a few ideas.

You get your freedom, your revenge on the woman that put you in jail, and the distinction of being the criminal who killed Nightvision. I get the international broadcast rights, the national exposure, and my revenge on the city that shits on me each and every day.

And what is my percentage?

Now Marla smiled with a stare every bit as icy as Mandrake himself. The only future you have at the moment, Mandrake, is an 8 by 8 foot cell on death row. And you are far from the only criminal in Ansonia interested in killing Nightvision. Just the most photogenic. My offer is more than fair.

I see. Mandrake blinked first and leaned back in his chair with a chuckle. I have performed enough card tricks to know when the deck is marked. Very well, if you see to my release and bankroll my preparations I will arrange for Nightvisions spectacular exit.

Just what I had in mind.

BZZZ! The door buzzed open again, signaling the end of their interview. Mandrake got to his feet and pressed his hand to his lips, blowing his trademark kiss to his new benefactor.

Ado, Ms Dietrich. I look forward to our next meeting.

And with that Mandrake the Magnificent was gone, swallowed back into the depths of Ansonias maximum security prison. But already his great mind was whirling with thoughts of revenge, betrayal, and murder.

Come on Alicia, whats taking you so long?

Alexa Topolov stood in the midst of the expansive workout loft over her apartment, tapping her foot anxiously. She was dressed in the costume of a modern circus performer -- white sequined bikini with thong trunks, translucent hose and ballet slippers. She stretched out with expert precision on the ballet bar lining one wall of the loft, but her exotic costume indicated that she had other things on her mind than plies and pirouettes.

I am coming, sister, Alicia emerged from the dressing room clad in an identical white costume, and wearing an identical expression of irritation. Her Eastern European accent was faint but unmistakable. Are you certain that the glitter is absolutely necessary?

Both girls had dusted their hair with silver glitter to accent their costumes, as was their practice in their former lives as circus performers.

<ALL THE WORLDS A STAGE>, Alexa telepathically reminded her twin. <AND YOU NEVER KNOW WHO IS WATCHING.>

<HMMPH>, Alicia snorted as she walked over to a concealed wall safe and began working the combination. The two had accumulated an impressive array of toys, gadgets, and outfits during their two years as superheroines, mostly mementos of their time spent as guests of their enemies. The majority they turned over to the police or local universities for study, but a few they kept because of their more enduring appeal.

After five twists of the dial Alicia opened the safe and drew out two belts lined with delicately blinking electronic components. They were Shrinking Belts, developed by the Doll Master as part of his plan to enslave an entire harem of women, all shrunk down to the size of 4-inches. He had developed elaborate play sets for his dolls, including a medieval dungeon, a sultans harem, and a western rodeo coral, all complete with miniaturized furniture, props, and actors. When Nightvision had been captured by the Doll Master, however, Alexa had been subjected to the shrinking process and then introduced into a somewhat harsher environment the terrarium of his pet boa constrictor! Alicia managed to infiltrate the Doll Makers lair and rescue Alexa from a very tight squeeze, but they kept the shrinking bands to help them with their war on crime. They also made off with the Doll Masters latest play set, a miniature circus.

The big top play set had been given a permanent home on a broad tabletop at one end of the loft. Though intended to accommodate 4-in human dolls, the tent was still over 3 feet long and two feet high at its peak. The fabric, rigging, and landscape had all been reproduced with painstaking detail. The equipment inside included two trapezes, a tightrope, a fully functional human cannon, a high dive, miniature bleachers, and even a lions cage (though they had donated the miniature lions, horses, and elephants to the Ansonia Zoo). Alexa flipped a switch, turning on the festive lights that dotted the eerily lifelike model. The merry notes of a tiny steam organ emanated from somewhere inside.

SHALL WE? Alicia offered a Shrinking Belt to her sister and they both slipped them on. The ambient field generated by the belt tingled all around them as they manipulated the controls that would shrink them down to doll size. Time for their evening workout.

Alexa and Alicia had grown up with the circus, first serving as assistants and later as performers in their father Vladimirs circus act the Flying Topolovs. Like the rest of the family, they had proved to be natural aerialists and had mastered both the tight rope and the trapeze by the time they were 14. They loved the circus life -- traveling the country, signing autographs amid throngs of young fans, caring for the circus animals, the danger and romance of their act it was everything two adventurous young girls could hope for. But that was before they found out about The Gift.

Though they never knew it, the Topolovs were virtually a royal lineage among the shadowy Gypsy clans of Eastern Europe, a family renown for their influential leaders, great wealth, and above all their formidable witches. A powerful psychic ability The Gift as it was known -- traveled through the female line of the Topolovs, allowing them to read minds, sense emotions, and in some cases even move objects with the force of their will. It was handed down to only a single woman in each generation and it was dangerously fickle, sometimes awesomely powerful, sometimes reduced to mere intuition, sometimes disappearing altogether for entire generations. As went the power of The Gift so went the fortunes of the Topolovs, and the 19th century found The Gift as weak as it had ever been. In the 20th Century it disappeared altogether, and the Topolovs were forced to flee Europe or be destroyed by their enemies. But all the Gypsies -- Topolov friend and enemy alike -- watched each successive generation of women closely for any sign of The Gifts return.

When Alicia and Alexa were born as twins, their father Vladimir had been immensely relieved. Twins had never before inherited The Gift and this almost certainly meant that his daughters would be spared the danger, treachery and bloodshed that would inevitably accompany the return of the Topolov witches. Alexa and Alicia had even undergone the grueling Witch Tests administered by the crones from the Old Country and had shown no signs of supernatural power, much to their Fathers delight. But when the girls reached puberty they began undergoing strange changes, first in their ability to wordlessly communicate with each other, then in a heightened sense of empathy -- the ability to read thoughts and emotions of others. Vladimir did his best to hide his daughters blooming talents and forbade them from using their powers under any circumstances. But when Alexa began manifesting weak telekinetic powers, it was clear that even the most casual Gypsy observer would see the girls for what they were powerful twin witches. He had to do something.

Shortly after Alicia and Alexas 17th birthday, Vladimir decided that their only hope of leading normal lives was to leave the circus, so he sent them both away to school in Ansonia. Alexa attended the Metropolitan School of Dance downtown, while her sister lived in the suburbs and attended the Ansonia Art Institute where she studied the violin. For the first six months of their schooling, it appeared that Vladimirs plan would work perfectly. This girls settled into their new cosmopolitan lives and only met in secret, concealing their relationship from even their closest new friends. As their powers grew steadily stronger, the girls could clearly see the wisdom of their Fathers decision to keep them hidden from the ambitions of the Gypsy clans. Still, they missed the gaudy pleasures of their former circus life, and the miniature circus setup had proven a marvelous substitute for the real thing.---

But even as Alicia and Alexa prepared to activate the shrinking belts, the silence was broken by a high tech buzzing.

<DAMN.> Alexa turned around. It was the shortwave phone that the Ansonia Police used to contact Nightvision. <CHIEF RYAN SURE HAS LOUSY TIMING.>

<SUCH IS THE LIFE OF A CIVIL SERVANT.> Alicia thought back.

<AT LEAST CIVIL SERVANTS WITH PSYCHIC POWERS. BETTER SEE WHAT HE WANTS.> Alicia strode to the RF base station and lifted the receiver. The device was old and unwieldy but had the advantages of being extremely difficult to trace and almost impossible to jam.

<YES CHIEF? I MEAN > Yes Chief?

Nightvision, Im afraid we have a queer situation down at Harmon Killibrew Field. The Nightowls have disappeared.

Disappeared? The Nightowls were Ansonias beloved AAA baseball team and were scheduled to host Game 1 of the Pennant series against the Trenton Titans that same night. Im not sure I understand.

According to the pitching coach, the team took batting practice an hour ago then headed into the locker room for a team meeting. No one has seen any of them since.

Could it be some sort of publicity stunt?

Our thought as well. But then my men found this note near the dugout: Strike one they vanish, strike two you doubt, and when the clock reads zero, strike three theyre out. What do you think?

I think the Nightowls could be in trouble. Ill be right down.

Alexa hung up the phone and turned to her sister.






Alexa handed her shrink belt back to Alicia and strode to the closet that served as the secret entrance to the dressing room where they stored their Nightvision costumes and equipment. She felt the familiar tingle of excitement as she ran her finger down the line of costumes arrayed on the hanging bar, stopping on her favorite: a French cut halter-top body suit with a mock turtle neck and a concealed zipper up the back. It was a daring costume for a young vigilante fighting crime in one of Americas most corrupt and dangerous cities, but to circus performer with a fetish for adventure and danger, it was the perfect choice.

Alexa had first resolved to become a masked crime fighter six months after arriving in Ansonia, in order the help save the city from the reign of terror of Parallax, a mad scientist who had developed a quantum device to stop time. Parallax committed crime after crime then held the entire city for ransom, and since he committed all his crimes while the rest of the world was frozen in time, the authorities were powerless to stop him. Only Alexa and Alicia, with their empathic ability to feel an individuals intent BEFORE they committed a crime, had any chance of saving the city. But Alexa had promised her father that she would not use her powers publicly, so Alicia fashioned her a circus-style costume with a mask to conceal her identity, a violet-black color to allow her to prowl the city unseen, and a tight sexy cut to highlight Alexas daredevil style.--- The police, not surprisingly, were skeptical about her offer of aid and so she was forced to take on Parallax alone.

Her first confrontation with a super criminal very nearly turned out to be her last as she faced grisly death three times while the fate of the city hung in the balance. First came Parallaxs dilatation trap where she aged over 80 years in 25 minutes. Only the shriveling of her own musculature as she reached the age of 80 allowed her to escape her bonds and flee the trap. Next she fell victim to his time bomb which hurled her back 290 years to the time of the Ansonia witch trials where she was the guest of honor. She endured dunkings, stonings, and was in the process of being burned at the stake when Alicia finally managed to summon her back to modern time. Finally, she was captured in Parallaxs lair, where she was violated and tortured before being strictly bound and sealed in Parallaxs Time Capsule where she would remain entombed, fully alert and helpless, for thousands of years. Each trial had been more terrifying and inescapable than the last, but Alexa managed to overcome each deathtrap and beat Parallax at his own game, reducing him to a living statue now doing consecutive life sentences in maximum security.

The costume Alexa drew out of the closet looked very much like the original Alicia had designed for her battle with Parallax. The body suit was made of a silky smooth rubberized Lycra that was molded at the bodice to precisely hug and support Alexas breasts. Both girls had received silicone implants early in their circus careers, so the molded cups in their uniform were all the additional chest support they required. The high-heeled boots and long slinky gloves were made of the same glossy material as the body suit, but featured integrated rubber soles and non-slip palms for traction. The mask was sleek and stylish, and served more to accentuate her huge hazel-green eyes rather than to conceal her identity. The cut of the halter top body suit and the seam through the crotch of the tights gave any potential captor ready access to her erogenous regions, partially as a message of defiance and partially out of practicality. Given the extreme perversion of the criminal mind, it saved her a fortune in shredded costumes.

<SO WHO DO YOU THINK IS BEHIND THIS?> Alicia asked as she lifted the concealed zipper at the rear of Alexas body suit and clasped the mock turtleneck snug around her throat. Given Alexs rigorous physical training and greater passion for danger, she usually served as the first responder for Nightvision assignments. <COULD IT BE A TEMPORAL EDDY FROM PARALLEXS TIME BOMB?> The after effects of Parallaxs time bending blast had been responsible for a number of odd events in Ansonias recent past, but Alexa shook her head.

<NO. SOMEONE LEFT BEHIND THAT NOTE TO DRAW THE POLICE. SOMEONE WHOS NOT AFRAID TO DRAW ATTENTION TO THEMSELVES.> Alexa stepped into her high-heeled boots, then secured the black silk sash around her waist.

<SNATCHING A BASEBALL TEAM AN HOUR BEFORE THE GAME ITS ALMOST LIKE THEY WANTED THE CROWD TO BE THERE.> Alicia opened their weapons cabinet and drew out one of their Nightsticks. The weapons were a gift from the professors at Ansonia State when Nightvision saved the city from a mind control transmitter built by one of their colleagues gone mad. <SOUNDS LIKE THE WORK OF A TWISTED SHOWMAN LIKE MANDRAKE.>

<FORTUNATELY,> Alexa took the Nightstick from her sister and slipped it into the black holster belted to her left thigh. <MANDRAKE IS SAFELY IN JAIL. BUT ILL TAKE THIS ALONG JUST IN CASE.>

For a moment Alexas mind drifted to her ordeal at the hands of Mandrake. Like everyone in the city -- she had watched the video tape of her battle with Mandrakes assistants, and her defeat at the hands of the magicians poisonous cane. She had watched with a mix of horror and arousal as her own body was securely bound, discretely impaled, then sealed in the box with a swarm of writhing scorpions. The crowd moaned and screamed as she was placed beneath the huge saw, mouth securely gagged, eyes wide with terror. The television cameraman taped perhaps another two minutes of her ordeal before being chased off by a snarling Laertes, with the time divided between close ups of her masked face and the inexorably descending blade. Fortunately, the cameraman missed her ultimate escape from the cabinet and the arrival of Alicia, but as a closet submissive with a fetish for danger, the tape never failed to get Alexa excited.

<BETTER KEEP YOUR MIND ON THE MYSTERY AT HAND,> Alicia reminded her sister as she clasped the long supple cape around Alexs shoulders. <AFTER ALL, WHAT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU AT A BASEBALL STADIUM?>

What indeed? As Alexa slipped on her mask, the question loomed large in her mind.

The crowds continued to flock to Harmon Killibrew stadium as the first pitch of the AAA baseball Pennant series drew closer. With the Nightowls disappearing so close to game time, the general manager had opted not to cancel the game outright but rather to trust in the Ansonia police to locate the runaway team before game time. The eager baseball fans ignored the police cars in the parking lot and took little notice of the additional uniformed officers down on the field. But when the caped form of Nightvision joined the officers near the dugout they burst out in a scattered applause. Little did they suspect that a deadly game of cat and mouse was playing out before their eyes, a game that Nightvision was destined to loose.

So you found the note right here? Nightvision knelt down on the dirt warning track just outside the dugout, cape pooling around her feet like molten plastic. She held the note itself in her gloved hand.

Thats right, the pitching coach said, fiddling with his hat. Alexa knew that, like most men, the coach was having a bit of trouble concentrating while addressing her. Her exotic costume, stunning beauty, and supernatural reputation made her a daunting presence. It was right on the edge of the grass.

Nightvision put the paper to her nose and closed her eyes. Myrrh a burial spice. She stood up and surveyed the area. There are footprints everywhere. Does the team use the dugout for batting practice?

At least to get out on the field from the locker room. Somell hit the water jug or swing the weights for a bit.

Chief Ryan, standing next to Nightvision with his hands thrust into the pockets of his expensive British trench coat, cut in. Its only 20 minutes to game time. Should we evacuate the crowd?

Not quite yet, the young daredevil said with her soft Slavic accent. If the crowd gets alarmed we could wind up with a mob scene.

Nightvision stepped into the dugout. So you say they all passed through the dugout on their way to the field?

Yea, its the quickest route to the locker room. Nightvision ran her hand down the line of bats, all hanging on a plastic rack fixed to one wall.

Excuse me, maam, the pitching coach interrupted, but arent you psychic? Cant you just feel them or something.

Them and 16,000 screaming fans. Alexa answered almost absently. A man in the third row of section one is seriously contemplating killing his wife, half a dozen are contemplating suicide, and youre extremely worried about meeting me, because you have a guilty secret you dont want public. Then Alexa looked up with a gentle smile that took the sting out of her words. But dont worry, Mr Falbough, almost EVERYBODY has a secret that they dont want made public. I read emotions, not thoughts.

Hello Nightvision knelt down on the floor near the water cooler.

What is it? Chief Ryan asked. What do you see?

Theres no water on the floor beneath the water cooler. No tobacco juice on the floor either.

So? Maybe we just have healthy players that dont spill their water.

Perhaps, Nightvision looked thoughtfully. Or perhaps She took the bat from the rack nearest the field and then stepped back out onto the field. Then she balanced herself on the very edge of the outer dugout wall and gently hung the bat back on the rack.

The entire floor of the dugout spun smoothly on a central axis. The long bench tilted over backwards and disappeared into the darkness, only to be replaced by an identical bench secured to the other side of the floor. In less than a second it was over --- the floor had completely flipped over and locked back into place, but it looked like nothing had happened.

My god! Chief Ryan gasped. Amazing.

Nightvision didnt answer. Instead the masked dynamo took two bats out of the rack, then hung one back up. When the floor started to rotate she used the second bat to wedge it open. The crowd gathered around the dugout was greeted by a wave of stale air and they could hear muffled moans from the darkness beyond. The officers flanking Chief Ryan shined their flashlights into the darkness to reveal a group of struggling baseball players, each bound and gagged and very angry.

The Nightowls! the pitching coach exclaimed. They were under the dugout the entire time! But how?

The concrete conduit under the dugout is used to draw water away from the field when it rains, Nightvision explained. Someone rigged the floor of the dugout to flip over each time a player hung his bat on the rack, then tied them up one by one as they fell into the conduit.

But who would do such a thing? And why?

I dont know. If I didnt know better I'd say this was the work of ---

Bravo, Nightvision! Bravo!

Nightvision whirled around, then gasped in surprise. Standing atop the pitching mound was none other than Mandrake the Magician, dressed in his typical fashionable tuxedo and bow tie, with the addition of a Nightowls baseball cap.

Mandrake the Magician! Alexa finished her sentence. I should have known.

Indeed you should have. No one puts Mandrake away for long. And now its time with a flick of his wrist he produced a baseball to throw out the first pitch!

Without warning, Mandrake hurled the baseball toward the dugout. The whizzing ball exploded on impact, enveloping the entire group in a cloud of thick smoke. Nightvision alone leapt clear of the cloud, rolling across her back and then back up to her feet. The chief and policemen were a step slower they slumped unconscious onto the dirt-lined warning track.

Excellent reflexes, my dear, Mandrake produced a second baseball almost as quickly as he threw the first. Im afraid youre going to need them.

He threw a second gas ball at Nightvisions feet, and then a third, but each time the masked dynamo sprang away from the point of impact, holding her breath until she was well clear. Unfortunately, by focusing her attention on Mandrake she was surprised at the leap of his panther, Laertes. The great cat pounced from behind, descending on her with all his weight.

Ohhh, that had to hurt, Mandrake said in mock sympathy as the petite heroine landed hard beneath the weight of the much larger beast. Laertes, kill.

Laertes roared then snapped downward at Nightvisions throat. She managed to seize his head between her hands and halt his advance a fraction of an inch before his snapping teeth dug into her flesh.--- Mandrake stepped down from the mound as the slim daredevil desperately pitted her strength against that of the 300-pound beast. Finally, she worked her legs up between them and toppled the cat off. Laertes sank down on his haunches preparing to pounce again as Nightvision regained her feet. But now the slim vigilante held her Nightstick. The fighting staff shot out to its full 4-foot length and its metal tips came alive with electricity.

Laertes, heel, Mandrake ordered. Laertes roared at his would-be prey, ears laid close against the back of his head, but he complied with his masters demand.

I dont know what kind of trick youre playing, Mandrake, Nightvision commanded, but this stunt ends now!

On the contrary, Nightslut, Mandrake took of his hat, as if to show her there was nothing inside. The show is just beginning. I knew my little disappearing act would lure you to the Stadium. And since youve proved such a capable escape artist, I thought you might enjoy daring my latest and most deadly challenge.

Sorry Mandrake, my stage career is over. And so is yours

Ohh, but I insist!

A ball of tightly wound steel mesh shot out from his hat, exploding into an expanding net that enveloped Nightvision like a cocoon. The net was instantly electrified by the current at the ends of Nightvisions own staff. The closed circuit shorted out the Nightstick, but only after delivering a punishing shock to the teenage daredevil. She dropped to all fours struggling for consciousness.

Magnificent, Mandrake beamed, The net worked even better than I had hoped. Scarlet, prepare the weather balloon. The rest of you, lets get Nightvision dressed in her new flight suit!

Despite the jolt to her nervous system Nightvision still managed to gasp in horror at the site of the costume Mandrake had in mind for her final escape. It was a straight jacket of black vinyl, with a broad integrated slave collar, a padlocking waist cinch belt, a contoured crotch strap, and long sleeves equipped with multiple hobbling straps. It was a punishment style jacket with the arms drawn across the back rather than the front as with a conventional humane straight jacket. The jacket also included a matching vinyl bondage hood, mouthless and equipped with a removable blindfold. Whatever twisted escape challenge Mandrake had in mind, he certainly had no intention of her escaping.

Looks cozy, Nightvision managed to retort. And just my size.

Indeed, Mandrake laughed with glee. Im sure youre just dying to try it on.

Nightvision was powerless to resist as four assistants freed her from the net and quickly forced her arms into the sleeves of the jacket, zipping it closed from behind and pulling the waist belt snug. They then pulled Nightvisions arms slowly but firmly across her back until her fingers stretched to the opposite armpit, securing the strap at the end of each mitten-like sleeve to the buckles just beneath the vinyl cups stretched tightly over her breasts. So distracted was Alexa watching over either shoulder at the progress of the assistants securing the straight jacket, she didnt even notice the approach of a third assistant holding the ball gag before her.

Open wide Nightslut. Youre going to really enjoy this.

Isnt it a bit early for the gag? I havent even begged for mercy yet.

Thats a pleasant thought, Mandrake agreed as he pulled out a large pistol, But tonight well have to settle for your pretty moans of agony. It would be a shame to just have to shoot you if we were interrupted by the authorities.

I agree. Alexa opened her mouth and allowed the assistant to shove the oily ball between her teeth until her jaws were wedged painfully open. As soon as the assistant secured the strap that would hold the gag securely in place, a second assistant followed with the hood, covering her entire head in a sheath of tight vinyl. After aligning the eye and nostril openings over Alexs face, the bottom of the hood was slipped beneath the collar of the straightjacket and the collar itself was strapped tightly around her throat.

Alexas strength reluctantly flowed back into her limbs as the assistants continued their work, pulling the waist belt tighter around her waist and then attaching the crotch strap until the vinyl was stretched tightly across every contour of her body. She moaned into her gag as her arms were drawn ever tighter behind her back, forcing her breasts prominently forward. Only when it seemed that her shoulders were about be wrenched from their sockets did the assistants stop pulling, strapping her arms together at multiple points to hold her arms in painful tension. Nightvision shuddered at her own sense of helplessness as the assistants added small padlocks to her belt, collar, wrists, and crotch strap. Then the assistants lifted Nightvision lightly to her feet.

It looks even more fiendishly inescapable than I had hopped, Mandrake preened as he ran his finger across Nightvisions rubber clad cheek. Makes me feel almost feel guilty for what Im going to do to you next!

He turned her face toward the pitchers mound where she gasped at the sight of her grisly fate. It was a weather balloon, a huge orb of white latex draped with a nylon net to give it extra strength. Mandrakes sexy assistants were almost done filling the bag with hydrogen gas from two wheeled cylinders, as the balloon strained skyward against three electric winches. The nylon net was gathered at the bottom of the balloon to an aluminum platform, and hanging down from the platform were two short chains ending at locking O rings. With dismay she noted that an enterprising cameraman had stolen to the edge of the field and was broadcasting the details of her ordeal on the Jumbotron television screen beside the scoreboard. The 15-foot image of herself in strict bondage only served to increase her sense of humiliation, helplessness, and submissive arousal.

I suppose you can guess a bit of what I have in mind for your final performance. That weather balloon is designed to fly to an altitude of over 60,000 feet then rupture, dropping its instrumented payload like a dart through the atmosphere into the ocean miles below. Unfortunately, its only payload tonight will be you.

Mhhhhhgh! Nightvision tried to retort, but her reply was lost behind the ball gag and the fabric of the hood.

Well put, Mandrake could barely contain his glee. Ladies, take her to the balloon!

Ladies and gentlemen! Mandrake addressed the crowd over the PA system. Im afraid the Nightowls have been delayed by a pre-game kidnapping attempt, so instead of a baseball game you will instead get the opportunity to witness a one of a kind event: the death of Nightvision!

A sporadic cheer ran through the crowd, much like the confused response at the theater.

For your entertainment, Nightvision will be attempting a version of the suspended straightjacket escape performed by magicians for many years. But instead of a conventional hospital straight jacket, I have secured her in a device of my own design, with padlocks reinforcing every point of possible weakness.

Nightvision completed the short trip to the balloon where she was greeted by more bondage. While one assistant ran her hands down Nightvisions hips and massaged her thighs a second secured heavy steel manacles around her ankles and connected them together with a heavy O ring. The assistant then secured bondage straps around her thighs and calves, pulling them painfully tight, and secured the straps with small padlocks like her other bondage. Then she was forced to the ground on her back and hoisted up by her feet so that her ankle manacles could be secured to the chains hanging from the small platform of the weather balloon.

Now painfully and inescapably bound, our brave heroine will be suspended beneath a hydrogen-filled weather balloon. The balloon will whisk her to a deadly altitude of over 60,000 feet at which point it will explode, sending Nightvision on a final deadly plunge into the ocean miles below!

Nightvisions ankle manacles were secured to the chains with screw-locking O rings, then the balloon was allowed to ascend until the doomed heroine swung freely beneath its looming bulk. The Jumbotron gave the entire stadium an up-close view of her inverted body as she struggled hopelessly against her bondage, breasts thrust forward with nipples straining at the shiny material of the straight jacket.

And to make sure you miss none of the drama, I've equipped the balloon with two cameras borrowed from the television crew covering tonights game. You can watch every moment of Nightvisions excruciating demise from the comfort of your own seats!

The crowd cheered again, this time with surprising enthusiasm, as the Jumbotron displayed the view from a camera looking directly down on Nightvisions inverted body. The leg chains securing the teenage avengers legs were actually mounted on a central axel, allowing her to spin freely beneath the balloon. Her head was largely lost beneath the twin swells of breasts, though she frequently piked so as if to better inspect her leg bondage.

Looks like shes ready to go, Ladies and Gentlemen, The crowd cheered again, Just one final touch.

Lights out, Nightslut, said an assistant as she produced the matching vinyl blindfold for the bondage hood.

Mhhhgh! MHHHGH! Nightvision pleaded as she shook her head from side to side. But her pleas were pointless, and one assistant held her head while the other positioned the mask over her eyes and secured it at the back of the hood with the integrated buckles. The assistants then backed away, leaving Nightvision to struggle delightfully against the straps. Her chest heaved beneath the skin-tight fabric of the straightjacket as she labored for breath. The straps bit deeply into her legs, and arms, and the heavy bondage belt drew tight around her narrow waist like a medieval corset.

Police sirens were converging on the stadium from every point of the compass, so Mandrake cut short any further melodrama.

Now, please join me for the final countdown. Five! Four! Three! Two! One! Liftoff!

The crowd let out a loud roar as Mandrakes assistants finally cut the ropes holding the weather balloon earthbound. Police in riot gear began rushing onto the field even as the hydrogen filled bag lurched eagerly skyward, carrying its sexy passenger aloft on what would almost certainly be a lethal voyage. Help had arrived only too late. Within seconds, the balloon rose above the level of the lights and into the twilight sky over Ansonia.

With Nightvision steadily fading in the distance the Jumbotron switched over to the onboard camera, showing the doomed young heroine as she twisted beneath the balloon, marvelously illuminated by the rays of the setting sun. A small counter labeled Alt-omatic appeared at the bottom of the screen to chart her perilous ascent into the upper regions of the atmosphere. The digits spun like the display at a gas pump within the first minute of her flight she was already 2000 feet in the air.

The police finally retook the field, but Mandrake had disappeared as usual and the entire assemblage could only watch in horrified fascination as the Jumbotron recorded Nightvisions desperate battle. For the first several minutes, she struggled vigorously, occasionally looking up the length of her body as if gauging her progress. But her efforts accomplished nothing against Mandrakes intricate harness, and as the Alto-matic topped 20,000 feet her struggles became less coordinated, driven more and more by panic, her mouth frozen in a silent scream by the ball gag.

Aboard the weather balloon, Nightvisions world was darkness, pain, and desperation. She knew that her only hope was to get her arms free and raise herself to the level of the balloon, then somehow improvise a controlled descent back to earth. And she had to act quickly. The temperature was dropping rapidly and within minutes the oxygen content of the atmosphere would drop to the point where she would lose consciousness. In all likelihood, she would freeze or asphyxiate long before the balloon reached its terminal altitude of 60,000 feet. Her only hope was to escape from the straight jacket and soon, but given Mandrakes genius at bondage and his painstaking attention to detail, that was not likely. Her arms were completely immobilized and straps at here calves, thighs, waist, and throat were so tight that that they were constricting her circulation. Her vinyl sheathed head was already swimming from the combined effects of bondage, inversion, altitude, cold and mortal fear.

The crowd watched in hushed tension as the balloon continued its harrowing climb, and Nightvisions struggles slowed. As the Alto-matic passed 35,000 feet frost was forming on the glossy black surface of the teenage avengers slim body. The overhead camera revealed that the ground far below had been replaced by the sea as she drifted eastward, a broad expanse of deep blue beyond the twin peaks of her frosty breasts. Only an occasional shudder and the slightest wisp of steam from her nostrils indicated that she was even still alive. But clearly, she wouldnt be for much longer. Ansonias sexy dare doll was dying before their eyes.

Shouldnt we call in a helicopter or something? one of the officers asked from the field.

It wouldnt make any difference. Nothing can save her now.

The Alto-matic continued to climb --- 38,000 --- 39,000 --- 40,000 41,000 and the camera continued to focus its unblinking eye on the stark, grisly fate of Nightvision. Any thoughts that this was perhaps a AAA baseball publicity stunt were now dispelled as Nightvision spun gently in the icy, oxygen-depleted air like an outlaw beneath the hanging rope. When the balloon reached 42,000 feet, however, there was a shudder and the camera began lurching wildly. The Alto-matic suddenly reversed itself, now counting down at an ever-accelerating rate.

The weather balloon had burst prematurely, but it was little comfort to the teenage daredevil, who now began her final plummet in the icy sea far below. The lone camera documented Nightvisions lurching spinning course for another 45 seconds before it was torn from the weather balloon and the Jumbotron finally went dark. The superheroine known as Nightvision was left alone at last to her watery grave.

She cant be dead. She just cant be.

Alicia Topolov stood alone in the living room of her brownstone apartment, playing her violin with stunning passion and beauty. But the melancholy arpeggios of Brahms 5th Concerto were all but lost on the young artist, as her mind feverishly reviewed the details of her sisters terrifying ordeal.

Alicia had watched with half the city as Nightvision opened the secret chamber beneath the dugout, and rescued the kidnapped Nightowls. And she watched unbelieving as Mandrake the Magnificent made his startling appearance in a burst of smoke, overcoming the police, and finally defeating Nightvision with the help of his great panther Laertes. Even as additional police units rushed to the stadium, the television cameras followed the action as Nightvision was bound in an erotic straightjacket, gagged, hooded, collared, and suspended beneath a high-altitude weather balloon. The police arrived just in time to see the balloon disappearing beyond the rim of the stadium. The full fifteen minutes of her ascent was captured by Mandrakes onboard camera and cleverly displayed on the Jumbotron to the hushed crowd. The city moaned as one when the balloon finally ruptured, dropping Nightvisions now-lifeless body earthward. The last haunting image showed her lifeless body tumbling wildly as she plummeted toward the sea far below.

To the rest of the world Nightvision was unequivocally dead, her final moments witnessed by thousands of viewers. The only person who had any doubts about the matter was the one that nobody else knew existed -- her twin sister. Though their ability to telepathically communicate was limited to a few miles, the Topolov sisters shared a subconscious bond that ran far deeper. Alicia could tell the moment she woke up just what mood her sister was in, and any sickness or depression that struck one of them immediately overtook them both. If Alexa had died, Alicia was sure she would have felt the trauma almost as acutely as her sister. However improbable, the fact that Alicia still felt her usual sense of inner calm provided tacit proof that Alexa was still alive. The problem was figuring out how or where.

Suddenly Alicia stopped her mad playing, panting as if she had just run a mile. The apartment went deathly silent as the final notes of Alicias virtuoso performance faded to nothing. Despite its musical brilliance, the haunting requiem was a pale reflection of the battle raging within her own feverish mind.

Im the only one that thinks Alexa is still alive. If I dont find her, no one will.

But easier said than done. At first, Alicia was confident that Alexa must have somehow escaped the ordeal, as she had a dozen others before it. It was possible that Alexa had been responsible for the premature rupture of the weather balloon which likely spared her from death by asphyxiation or exposure. To the casual observer Mandrakes bondage straightjacket seemed escape proof, but as a master escape artist Alexa was trained in creating and exploiting even the smallest amount of slack in her restraints. The balloon itself would have served to slow her fall and the water would have cushioned her final impact. But when the Coast Guard scoured the waters off the coast of Ansonia, they found no trace of Nightvision or the weather balloon. It was as if she had simply vanished.

That left the possibility that Mandrake himself had rigged the escape stunt. As a master magician Mandrake was certainly capable of such a ploy, and as a madman bent on revenge he might well have the motivation to fake Nightvisions death. If he could convince the rest of the world that Nightvision was dead then he would be free to use or dispose of her at his leisure. But he had already tried to kill Nightvision once and he seemed to go to great lengths to plan an encore following his inadvertent release from prison. Why bother with delayed gratification?

Then suddenly it hit her.

Wait a minute television. Thats it!

Alicia didnt own a TV herself but she quickly logged onto the internet and checked the local television listings.

Just as I suspected. The Nightowls game and the Master of Magic awards show were both covered by the same television station, KFUF Channel 62!

Her preternatural sense of intuition immediately told her she was onto something. The initial broadcast of Nightvisions battle with Mandrake had been worth millions and put KFUF briefly in the spotlight. Mandrakes second attack had been even more spectacular and the Mad Magician had even taken pains to ensure that the camera could cover the event as long as possible. But once the cameras stopped rolling, perhaps Mandrake seized the opportunity to put his own plans into action

Alicia strode urgently back into her bedroom and activated the secret panel hiding her own Nightvision dressing room.

I think its time I paid KFUF a little visit. As Nightvision.---

As Alexa Topolov slowly regained consciousness, at first she was grateful just to be alive. Then she wasnt so sure.

Welcome to the land of the living, Nightvision. Mandrake greeted her. For a while anyway.

The teenage avenger found herself once again on stage, surrounded on all sides by bright lights. This time, though, she was chained hand and foot, suspended upside down with her ankles secured in metal stocks. Her body was tightly wrapped in coils of heavy chain, criss-crossing across her chest and threading between her legs in a tight bondage harness. Two coils of chain formed a choking collar around her slim throat and her wrists were locked in steel manacles connected by O rings to the chains around her waist. Steel padlocks held the web of chains snug and she could feel the links tighten at her throat and crotch as she lifted her head to survey her body. She was still dressed in her Nightvision costume though her cape and holster had been removed and her silk sash was all but lost beneath coils of chain at her waist. At least Mandrakes horrible flight suit was gone, but at the moment it seemed like precious little comfort.

Mandrake stood before her, grinning wickedly.

Why .. why am I still alive?

Believe me, its merely a temporary condition, and one I intend to remedy soon enough. Nightvision followed his finger toward center stage then gasped in renewed horror. It was a version of the Chinese Water torture chamber made popular by Houdini in the 1920s, a steel-reinforced Plexiglas chamber with a lighted interior completely filled with water. But unlike the original, this tank had several unique features to make the conditions inside especially uncomfortable for the unfortunate occupant, such as interior cage lined with steel spikes and a large propane burner situated directly beneath the main chamber. The steel plate enclosing her feet was actually the roof of the chamber, held aloft by an electric winch high overhead. The holes lining the edges of the plate aligned with heavy steel bolts jutting from the top of the torture chamber. Once lowered into position, the roof would form a water tight seal against a rubber gasket lining the steel-reinforced walls.

You went to all the trouble of saving me from your last deathtrap just to drown me here?

I didnt bring you here simply to drown you, Mandrake turned his back to Nightvision and stepped to the Chinese water torture chamber. though that is a rather pleasurable fringe benefit. I've brought you here to answer a question. With a tap of his cane the burner beneath the water torture cell hissed to life, spouting hot blue flame.

Sorry, I dont know much about cooking.

Mandrake turned to her and smiled. Still got spirit, I see. This may be more entertaining than I thought.

He reached out with his cane and ran the silver tip up Nightvisions inner thigh, over her chained abdomen and to her breasts. Your escape, back at the theater. I want to know how you did it.

For a moment Nightvision locked gazed with the handsome, but utterly deranged master magician and it dawned on her that she might have some bargaining power after all, if she proceeded carefully. Mandrake was a magical snob, and couldnt stand the thought that someone could perform a trick he didnt understand. It wasnt much of an edge, but it was her only hope.

Okay, Ill tell you. But you have to answer one question for me first.

Mandrake chuckled. Your courage is admirable, but I must point out that youre in no position to negotiate.

Maybe, but you went to a lot of trouble to set up this side show, when you could have just let me freeze in the stratosphere or drown in the ocean. Quid pro quo.

Mandrakes smile slowly faded. Impetuous girl. At the push of a button he activated the overhead winch, lifting Nightvision from eye level high into the air. The sexy crime fighter twisting weakly in her heavy chains as he shifted her laterally until the lid was precisely positioned over the tank. Nightvision craned her head upward to survey the mouth of the tank below her. The spikes lining the interior cage looked like successive jaws of razor-sharp teeth and the water was already churning from the intense heat of the gas burner against the floor.

<ALICIA!> She hollered with all of her feeble mental energy. <ALICIA!>

Nothing. Her sister was either too far to hear or Alexa was just too weak probably both. A shudder shot through her body as her mind raced for some way to stall Mandrake.

I thought you wanted me to suffer, Mandrake? Nightvision said, unable to conceal the unsteadiness in her voice. Isnt this a bit final?

On the contrary, your inverted position is perfect for clearing the water from your lungs, though Im afraid each drowning will cause a bit more brain damage than the last. Fortunately, youll probably boil alive long before the brain damage becomes life threatening. Of course, you could spare yourself a lot of suffering if you just answer my question.

Part of Alexs mind screamed to tell Mandrake what he wanted to know, that it was her twin sister that had captured him in the parking lot beneath Ansonia Municipal Auditorium. Anything to delay the horror of being sealed chained and helpless into the torture cell to drown. But if she talked, she would undoubtedly seal her own fate, and perhaps Alicias as well. She had to hold out as long as she could. Go to hell.

As I hoped. I was looking forward to torturing you anyway.

Mandrake pushed the button. With a sigh the electric winch started down, lowering the masked avenger into the water. Icy fingers crept up Nightvisions spine as she fought down her mounting panic, breathing as deeply as the tight chains would allow before her head plunged into the water. Bar by bar she descended in the cage, now surrounded on all sides by slim, razor-sharp steel spikes. Then there was a clank, followed by a final lurch as the lid settled onto the overhead bolts and against the rubber gasket, sealing the interior air-tight. The hostile, airless, and fully visible interior of the chamber was ten times more hellish than she had feared it would be, and it was all she could do to moderate her panic to avoid impaling herself on the spikes that pressed in or her from every direction.

Go ahead, resist me as long as you like. Not even my assistants are unaware of this place, and since the rest of the world thinks youre dead already, we have all the time in the world.

ALICIA?! ALICIA, PLEASE! The chains severely impeded her breathing and already her lungs were burning for air. After her punishment beneath the weather balloon, the horror of her current ordeal was almost more than she could take. She could only comfort herself with the thought that as long as Mandrake was in the dark about her escape from the saw trap, he was not likely to let her die. But how long could she hold out against nonstop torture with no real hope of rescue? If Alicia didnt find her soon, then all was lost. Assuming, of course, that Alicia was looking for her at all.

Nightvision managed to hold her breath for almost a full three minutes until, nearly unconscious, she took in her first breath of tepid water. The effect was spectacular, drawing her immediately out of her deepening stupor as her lungs instinctively heaved in a vain attempt to expel the fluid. Her weakening struggles now turned to desperate convulsions as her oxygen-starved body plunged deeper toward death. Yet even as her vision closed in around her she could still see Mandrake, just beyond the glass of the cage, smiling cruelly as he smoked a Turkish cigarette. Then the word went gray, sinking into inky gloom

It was almost like waking up from a peaceful dream when her world exploded once again with light, sound and pain. The sound was her own violent coughs, as her diaphragm convulsed to force more water out of her lungs. So primal were her coughs that it was a challenge just to pause long enough take long enough to draw in the life sustaining oxygen she desperately needed. Mandrake waited patiently while his shapely prisoner struggled to compose herself.

You had me frightened there. For a moment, it seemed like you might have managed to drown yourself after all.

Sorry COUGH COUGH to disappoint COUGH you.

Not to worry, Ill just adjust my timing a bit. Ready for another go?

Alexa glanced up the length of her body, noting with grim certainly that her chains were still firmly in place, locks dangling from her waist, throat, and against her breasts. The terror rose up again in her almost immediately, pushing aside the dazed oblivion of profound oxygen deprivation. The thought of another drowning was almost unbearable, but after closing her eyes for a moment she found the strength to resist.

Quid pro quo, she answered. You answer my questions, then Ill answer yours.

Excellent, Mandrake reached up with the control. Youll find the water much warmer this time

Please. No, she found herself whimpering as she was lowered once again into the Chinese water torture cell. This time it WAS much warmer, like a hot bath. Given her lungs limited ability to draw in oxygen, the burning sensation of drowning set in almost immediately, even more powerfully this time than her first submersion.

Mandrake just smiled wolfishly as the young adventuress writhed in her chains, admiring the lines of her muscular body beneath her skin-tight costume. Her long chestnut hair floated behind her like a halo in the water, weaving amidst the floor spikes that jutted within an inch of her head. The violet-black eye mask and distortion of the water served to make her already expressive hazel eyes seem huge, like a Japanese comic book heroine. He certainly hoped she could hold out for a few more plunges before succumbing to death or human weakness. Despite his sensibilities, jaded by a thousand sexual misadventures, he found her display of athletic beauty and courage in the face of certain death both stimulating and delightfully arousing.

And Mandrake wasnt disappointed. He timed his second ascent more conservatively, raising Nightvision from the tank as soon as her muscular convulsions began dying down, and was rewarded with a much faster recovery time by his darling prisoner. Thin rivulets of blood now mixed with the water draining off the teenage avengers body as Mandrake asked once again for her secret and, after considerable internal anguish, she again refused. A third time he plunged her into the chamber, and then a fourth. Steam rose from the water as the lid settled down for her fifth drowning and Mandrake could tell that the oppressive heat was dramatically increasing her suffering in the narrow confines of the chamber.

It was astounding how clearly he could follow every phase of her emotional rollercoaster just by watching her eyes. First reluctant defiance as she refused his questions, then mortal fear as she was lowered into the tank, then mounting desperation as her oxygen ran out. Desperation led to agony as the sensations of drowning, lethal confinement, and slow cooking finally overwhelmed her precarious resolve. Agony led to a gradual defocusing of her mind as oxygen deprivation and mounting blood loss finally granted her the mercy of advancing unconsciousness, and at the critical juncture where she at last seemed to give up hope, he would whisk her from the blood-tainted tank to begin the process again. And with each dunking her resolve seemed to weaken, her courage erode, and her fear of the tank amplify.

An hour, has it really been that long? Mandrake checked his pocket watch, while Nightvision hung over the chamber after her fifth submersion, chest heaving, eyes haunted. Thats five near-death experiences in one evening, Nightvision. A new record.

Nightvision shuddered and coughed as she struggled to breathe through her water-logged lungs. Streaks of blood now oozed liberally down her body from the myriad of puncture wounds inflicted by the spikes, and her milky flesh was turning bright read from the scalding heat of the water. Mandrake placed his bare hand on the wall of the Chinese water torture chamber and pulled it back quickly as if from a hot burner.

Oh my, Im afraid from here on out you start cooking in earnest. Still, I've found your display of resolve most moving.

He activated the electric wench once again, but instead of lowering her in the hellish chamber, the winch surged laterally, then slowly lowered the half-conscious heroine toward the stage floor. He halted Nightvisions descent when they stood face to face.

This might be our last chance, Mandrake produced a ring gag and held it before her eyes. To comfort each other.

No no .ahghhh, Nightvision protested weakly as Mandrake forced the gag into her mouth just behind her top and bottom teeth, then bucked it tightly behind her head. Her mouth was now held open wide, and it didnt take much imagination to guess what Mandrake had in mind for her. Still, it was infinitely more desirable than a sixth plunge in the torture cell. She pulled weakly at her chains as Mandrake lowered her head to the level of his waist.

They say, youre a mind reader, Nightslut, Mandrake unbuckled his belt and unzipped his pants, revealing his stiff member. Do you know what Im thinking now?

Mandrake took Alexas head between his hands and guided his dick through the center of the ring gag and into her mouth. Nightvision moaned as his hot rod filled her mouth and threatened to make her wretch as it reached the back of her throat. Slowly and rhythmically Mandrake forced himself deeply in and out of the masked dynamos mouth, savoring not only his own erotic stimulation but also the feeling of complete and utter victory over his cute young enemy. Alexa herself was at once both horrified and mesmerized by the recent addition to her ordeal. Her punishment at the hands of the handsome magician had not been without its own dark fascination. Her own body was already amazingly aroused by her own feelings of complete vulnerability and erotic pain, and the forced oral sex at last provided a sexual outlet for her arousal. The knowledge that she was still in deadly peril added fuel to her sexual tension, and with some shame she could feel her own body responding to her captors advances.


Alexas eyes flew open wide. For a moment she thought she had imagined it, but then she knew that it had been real. She could feel her sister Alicia somewhere close by, could feel the familiar cadence of her breathing and the beating of her heart. Somehow she had found Mandrakes secret hideout, and just in the nick of time. All Alicia needed was a little distraction.

Alexa threw herself into her task, cooing with pleasure and teasing Mandrakes shaft with her tongue. When Mandrake realized that Nightvision was moving her mouth up and down his dick of her own accord, he removed his hands from her head and instead seized her upper thighs, breathing his hot breath on her rubber-clad pussy.

Thats right, he panted, Hmmmmm. We should get to know each other better.

The two chains threaded through Nightvisions crotch made it difficult for Mandrake to expose her sex, so he satisfied himself with stimulating her clit through the thin fabric of her costume. She gratified him by slowly gyrating her pelvis and when he finally climaxed in her mouth she deftly swallowed his seed and continued stimulating his rod.

My, but youre a hot little mix. He continued to savor Nightvisions ministrations even as he massaged her clit. But youre a fool if you think it will save you. I learned long ago not to let my


Alicias Nightstick came down full force across the back of Mandrakes neck, and he collapsed at her feet, his dick slipping from Alexas mouth in the process. Alicia gave him a second blast of her Nightstick as he lay in the heap, just to make sure he stayed down. Then she knelt down to help her sister.

Ohh, Alexa my angel, Alicia removed the gag from her sisters mouth. Let me get you down.

Alicia found the winch and lowered Alexa to the ground. Now horizontal for the first time in hours, Alexa gave out a moan of pleasure and pain.

Alicia, perfect timing, Alexa managed to quip. Mandrake and I were just becoming better acquainted. How did you find us?

It wasnt that difficult, really, Alicia searched through Mandrakes jacket until she found a set of keys for the padlocks. This whole thing was set up by the television station that covered the Masters of Magic awards show. Once I realized that, I just tracked down their general manger and applied a little gentle persuasion. This is their original sound studio.

A television station!? What in the hell for?

Ratings. Alicia opened the locks one by one, drawing an even greater sigh of relief from her sister. They captured the entire thing on video tape and were planning to sell it to all the major networks for a fortune.

Isnt it ironic -- the very people we try to protect are willing to pay top dollar to watch Nightvision die.

Dont blame them. Its the same people that came to the circus night after night, hoping to see us slip and break our necks. The police are on the way can you move?

Yea, I think so.

Alexa sat up slowly, then after several minutes, Alicia helped her to her feet.

Did you tell him anything? About us?

No, Alexa shook her sopping head. Once you know the secret it kind of spoils the act.

Funny. Thats exactly what I told Mandrake back at the theater.

I know, Alexa smiled. Now lets get out of here.

The sirens were growing louder in the distance as the two sisters the two Nightvisions stepped out of the run-down Aztec Theater and into their waiting Dodge Viper. It had been another close call, but neither girl thought for a moment that it would be their last. Their father had sent them to Ansonia to find a new life exciting life for themselves.