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Author's Chapter Notes:
(12:30 A.M./EDT)
Rima silently poled the dugout through the protected wetland locally known as...Slaughter Swamp.

With the help of the Justice League's on-line fanclub, the Super-Friends, she and Wonder Woman had perused the public records of every building that even remotely corresponded to their search parameters. Finally, they had narrowed down their list of "suspects" to one.

A currently vacant summer house at the northern end of Slaughter Swamp.

This house had once belonged to the wealthy Cobblepot family of Gotham City. That is; till Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot--alias the Penguin--had been forced to sell it to pay off some legal bills. Only, the holding company it had been sold to was listed as being owned by a Greek shipping magnate named Cephalopterus Ornatus. And, a year later, he was recorded as having sold it to an Italian fashion designer named Carolyn Dumetella!

The smile this had brought to Rima's face had prompted Wonder Woman to ask why.

"Because," the former had replied: "...C. ornatus is the scientific name for the South American umbrella bird. And, Dumetella carolinensis is the North American gray catbird!"

Consequently, they had dug even deeper. Leading to discovery of the fact that this summer house included a partly-indoor aviary. Complete with plastic tunnels and nesting dome for burrowing owls!

So, now, they were approaching that summer house in as stealthy a manner as possible. With the bow of the dugout finally hitting the muddy embankment of their destination; a state fish hatchery bordering the old Cobblepot place. And, as soon as Rima had followed her ashore, Wonder Woman lifted the dugout out of the water. Hiding it in the woods beneath a gorilla-like nest of leaves and twigs compiled by the jungle heroine.

Upon reaching the backyard of the old Cobblepot place, they had immediately noticed something incongrous.

"Since when does a vacant summer home have armed guards?" asked Rima.

Wonder Woman nodded: "Especially ones that look like ninjas in jodhpurs."

* * * * *

True to her word, Talia released the shrunken Pussycats from their plastic prison thirty minutes ahead of the scheduled ceremony. She then carried them into a master bedroom, where she fiddled with the controls of a device that looked like an ordinary portable radio.

A minute later, all three girls were back to normal size!

"Here is your actual guitar, Ms. McCoy," Talia said to Josie: "Please, do not do anything foolish like trying to escape. There are armed guards, everywhere. Plus, the subcutaneous receivers in your necks have an effective range of one mile. So, you could be re-shrunken in a moment's notice!"

"We'll be good, so long as no harm comes to Batman," replied the courageously feisty redhead. Which made Talia half-smile.

"You really have come to care deeply for him. Haven't you?"

Josie blushed, accordingly. As did the other two Pussycats. Talia's half-smile broadened into a malicious grin, as she remarked that--within another twenty-two minutes--she would have concluded the first step towards sending the Pussycats a post card from Niagara Falls.

While Talia was gloating, however, a minute particle of fiber seemed to detach itself from one of the costume leopard spots above the thigh of Valerie's right leg. Descending to the floor of the master bedroom with uncharacteristic speed.

And, sixty seconds after Talia had left, the once-Sinister Speck quickly re-enlarged himself.

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