49,434 / 50,000
A short chapter, as I expected it to be, as we find out What Really Happened.
Chris jumped from the sudden attention, almost doing a complete 180 degree turn in mid air. He became entangled in his cape, and while trying not to look flustered, and failing, he worked his way out of it, and readjusted it so it fell down over his shoulders, covering his arms.
Standing there with a hand still outstretched but now grabbing at now empty are was a man dressed in a Doctor Strange costume. His own cape, all red and down to the floor, trimmed in a leopard print that matched his gloves, hung down his back, leaving his blue, loose shirt and black plants revealed. A golden medallion held the cape together around his neck, looking every inch the cheap, homemade prop it was.
He had even greyed his temples to complete the look. The costumer smiled at the mistaken woman, and moved his oustretched hand back to his side.
"So, what do you say, Batbabe?" He kept grinning, his eyes moving over every inch of Chris' body. The attention he had been receiving had gone from good natured, fun, and ego boosting, to becoming more than a little creepy, all thanks to one guy being a little overly ambitious with his hands.
Chris fidgeted, not knowing what to say, and not wanting to upset anyone. He cast his gaze about the lobby, looking for zombies, or any excuse to get away without having to reveal himself.
"Um, no?" He swallowed the lump in his throat, trying to keep his voice quiet, and doing his best to not sound male. The batsuit was starting to feel warmer and warmer with each passing moment that the costumed sorcerer wouldn't take his eyes off Chris.
He adjusted the high collar of his cloak, as if he was some guy flipping up the collar of his coat to try and look more cool, but not fooling anyone with his attempt.
"Come on, hot stuff. I'll show you my secret identity if you show me yours."
Chris was alternately horrified at how bad these lines were, and also that they were being used on him, mistaken for a girl. He didn't think his costume could have been that good, but maybe Strange just had lower standards.
"Do those lines actually work on people? I mean, I'd hate to think you try them outisde of a convention, but even here, they're really lame."
The costumer looked hurt, and crossed his arms. "I'll have you know, my dating skills were taught to me by an ancient master in a hidden mountain fortress."
"After the last girl whose ass you grabbed broke your hands?"
Chris kept his distance, which was hard to do in the crowded lobby, as other people were trying to get somewhere, keeping them from moving too far apart. When he did manage to get some space, many of them moved through the widening gap between the two of them, keeping the Doctor at a reasonable distance. Chris still wished it was larger.
"So, what do you say," he spoke moving through the crowd, trying to keep close to what he perceived as a pretty redheaded girl.
"Look, I said no, just drop it, okay? I really need to find my friends."
He wouldn't relent, and kept up with Chris, as he backed through the crowd, wishing he had my skill at it, but managing all the same, even if he was stumbling more than he'd like to in the awkward heels, and the cape wasn't helping the matter any.
"Got any friends that look as good as you? We can head on up to my room and have a little party."
Chris couldn't take it anymore, and stood his ground, putting a hand against his pursuer's chest, and holding him literally at arm's length. He dropped the falsetto voice he'd been using up until that point, and held Strange in a stare.
"I said no. Many times. I'm not interested in you, and never will be. I'm a guy, ok? Not a girl. It's all a costume. Now, why don't you go away before you embarrass yourself any further."
The guy seemed to back off for a moment, then his resolve returned, and he stepped closer, pushing back against Chris' hand. The lustful look in his eyes changing to cold, steely determination.
"You really shouldn't toy with the emotions of someone who is a master of the mystic arts, miss."
Chris looked dumbfounded. He backed up into a Spartan warrior looking for the rest of his countrymen. "Are you even listening to me? I said I'm a guy! Male! None of this is real, damnit. So just...just back off, ok? I don't want any trouble."
The costumed character continued keeping pace through the crowd, staring down Chris. He was taller than the Doctor, especially with the boots he had on, but that glare still made him feel every inch as small as if he were a woman.
"You already have trouble. Miss. You really made a mistake, looking like that. Making yourself look like any guy's fantasy. What did you expect me to do? How could I not? Dressing up like that, teasing guys, making them want you. It's a shame you couldn't do the finishing touches."
Chris was barely able to ask what he meant by that.
"Why do you think I came dressed like this? Doctor Strange was always my hero. I studied the mystic arts, and learned a few tricks myself. You want to be a girl so badly, want to flirt with guys? That can be arranged."
Doctor Strange threw his cape back, and his hands began winding around unseen patterns in the air, and he started chanting in a low, steady voice. He never blinked, or took his eyes off of Chris, who was too afraid to even move now.
"You're just like the rest. Everyone should learn not to trifle with me. They should all be punished. Now you have doomed them all. You wanted that body, that form, you shall have it, and so shall everyone here. That form shall become your curse, your true self shall be changed to match the clothes you wear. And it's all your own fault."
Chris just watched, unsure if the guy was serious, or just insane, wondering if he knew a certain crazy train lady. He couldn't take his eyes off the intricate gestures the doctor's hands were forming in the air. He knew magic wasn't real, but in that moment, he was no longer sure.
That moment of doubt grew as a ball of white-hot light formed in the air between them. Most people didn't notice it amidst the sea of flashes going off, but it did start drawing attention. It continued to grow at a rapid rate, and as it was about to engulf the Doctor and Chris, he threw his arm up over his eyes to try and block the blinding sun that had manifested in the room.
It did little to assuage the effects of it upon his eyes, a the light filled the room and changed everyone within the three hotels.
Once his vision cleared, Chris knew something was wrong. His body was running, and he wasn't the one moving his legs. He could hear another pressence in his head, and they seemed to be in the driver's seat.
He could feel less pressure inside the cowl, and the hair dangling down his back, he could feel it bouncing as he ran, and moving in the heels felt even more natural than all his months of practice had given him.
The most startling thing was feeling the weight on his chest shifted and moved as if it was real, and no longer just padding. He could feel both of the breasts moving underneath his costume, the weight tugging against his chest. He could no longer feel the corset, and his hips felt similar to the weight on his chest, and they moved differently as his body continued running forward.
With all the strange sensations, Chris feared whatever his costumed admirer done had made his words come to be. His body certainly felt like it was now female, and things even seemed larger, like his body had shrunk. The costume fit even better than it had before, and looked shinier, and more durable at the same time.
His body felt stronger than before, more agile, and athletic. Chris had to admit to himself that he actually felt good, felt healthy now, at least more than he had before.
He tried looking around to get his bearings, but couldn't even do that. However, he did manage to pick up enough info to see he was downstairs and running out through the main door outside to the large rotunda where cars came in to drop people off to the Hyatt.
He saw a young child in the street, and as his body continued to run forward, he felt his hand move on its own will to his hip and dig through the belt. He could feel much more than his ID and wallet in there, and saw the hand holding a small gun as it came back into his field of vision.
Thinking that the child was in danger, he tried to stop himself from firing, but the hand pulled the trigger, and launched a line into the air, connecting to a lamp post.
The body leapt into the air and the line began retracting. Chris felt himself leap into the air and swing, grabbing the crying child mere moments before a car drove right through the area where she had been standing. She had been in danger, but not from Chris, or his new copilot.
The girl was set back down on the ground after whoever was in control landed, and Chris heard an unfamiliar voice, but one that was unmistakable as a woman's, and not a man trying to fake one as best he could. She, the voice, asked the child where her parents were, and she looked around, and pointed at a nervous woman looking around. The child ran over without a moment's hesitation and hugged her mother's leg.
Chris tried to force his way into control of his body, pushing aside the other presence he could sense inside, and slipped back into control for a time. He looked at the gloves, snugger on even smaller hands. He poked at parts of his body, finding no padding at all that wasn't now all naturally occuring.
He kept his investigations to a minimum being in public, but he was undeniably in the body of a woman now. He didn't need to check every inch to tell that, he could tell just by standing there what was added and what was missing. Chris reached behind his had and grabbed a handful of the hair, giving it a sharp pull. He yelped out in that new voice of his, and the sudden shock of pain from pulling on real hair sent him back into the depths of his mind.
The new personality felt confused at being pulled out of control of what she saw as her own body, and Chris tried communicating with it. He learned she was indeed Barbara Gordon, and explained what was going on, where they were, and what had happened. Having no memories of how she got here, and seeing no evidence to refute the claims, she seemed to accept the bizarre claims for the time being, and agreed it would be best if the two of them worked together, rather than each struggling for control of the body, and getting nothing done. Barbara immediately recognised that with all the costumed people around the hotels, and if they too had been changed as the spell said they should be, then the need for rescuers would be great.
The shared body was already running around the hotel, making sure everything was all right outside before returning inside.
The only thing they saw was a man with a giant hamburger for a head, dressed in a purple suit as the McDonald's mascot, Mayor McCheese, being pursued by birds poking at the bun that comprised the top of his head. The buns and burgers moved as it spoke, "Please, stop eating my head! For the love of God, stop!"
Barbara reached back into their belt and flung a small, metal batarang above the Mayor's head, and the birds scattered for the time being. They would likely return, but she, they, couldn't stay in one place shooing birds.
They finally came back around to the front of the building, seeing the Herriott across the way, and looked at the wall. Chris knew there was a pool on the other side, and a good view of the area outside the lower lobby. Barbara took this knowledge, and was already climbing a thrown line onto the top of the wall.
Once above it all, she surveyed the area, choosing to watch and take stock of the situation. She saw a large group of supervillains cross the street, and venture up the stairs. They fell out of view as they passed under a canopy, but were soon back in view just outside the doors into the lobby.
While she watched, she saw me come out, and Chris immediately recognised me, and was relieved to see me alive, and unharmed. Although, it looked as if that may be short lived as Mister Freeze began shooting and freezing people.
Chris grabbed control of the body to save his friend, and drew upon Barbara's skills, while he swung across on a line of her own this time. He thrrew a batarang at Freeze's helmet before the heel of his boot connected with it, shattering it.
He landed, grabbed his friend's arm, and dragged him right into the middle of a zombie battle.
"Whoa, ok, that's not good."