Lisa Lansing was on an extended, out-of-town vacation. Or so everyone thought. Even her friend, Van, who had driven her to the airport, didn't suspect the truth: that Lisa had gotten off the plane at her first layover, and gotten on a return flight under an assumed name: Lynda Prince. Nor did anyone suspect that she was currently living in a Holiday Inn under that name, eating her meals in while she used her laptop to hack into every computer she could, including her specially built model at home.

This masquerade was necessary for a simple reason. Someone had learned that quiet but talented investigative reporter Lisa Lansing was also the dynamic, vivacious Miracle Maiden, guardian angel of the city! Miracle Maiden NEEDED Lisa. Not only was it her true identity, but it gave her access to information making her war on crime easier. Unfortunately, Lisa was far too vulnerable. She had to be safely out of the way until the person who'd learned her dual identity was found and dealt with.

On the third day, the villain contacted her. She routed through her home computer to check her personal e-mail account and found a message tagged "urgent." When she opened it, this is what she saw:

Dear Miracle Maiden,
You should know from that opening that I'm the one who sent you the pictures.
It's my understanding that you left town. That makes things easier.
STAY AWAY! So far, I've kept your little secret. Whether or not I continue to do so is up to you. Settle down somewhere else. Fight all the crime you want there. But if you interfere with me, you WILL regret it! Remember, Miracle Maiden may not have a family, but Lisa Lansing DOES...

"That tears it!" Lisa said as she sent a command for her computer to trace the message back to its home station. "NOBODY threatens my family!"

While the computer worked on the trace, Lisa picked up an overnight bag and headed for the bathroom to get ready. Tonight she would be at her best! Lisa had made some minor adjustments to her costume, but hadn't updated her auto-switch yet. Besides, she found getting dressed like this therapeutic; it also gave her something to do while the computer worked.

First she combed out her gorgeous, shoulder-length auburn locks until they shone. Next, a touch of make-up: eyeshadow, a deep red, wet-looking lipstick and a hint of blush to accent her cheekbones. She smiled at herself as she got undressed, and paused to admire her body in the full-length mirror. Soft, hour-glass figure highlighted by high, firm breasts; long, curvy legs, and just enough muscle to show that she was more than a pretty face. And her costume highlighted these good points!

First came the brilliant red bustier, with the silver "MM" logo, which hugged her curves and showcased her ample cleavage. The main change had been replacing her royal blue briefs with a blue miniskirt that showed off as much leg as possible, and matching panties. The transformation was nearly complete; Lisa felt the adrenaline rush that being Miracle Maiden always gave her. Now for the accessories. Red boots with a silver stripe down the front and five-inch heels, silver headband with a moon emblem, silver wristbands worn over blue gloves, and a blue cape, cut off at the waist so that her buttocks peaked out from under the hem. Finally, the most important item of all: her wide, silver utility belt, full of gadgets that had saved her life many a time. She cinched it around her waist, loving the tight, corset-like feel of the belt.

From somewhere deep within her psyche, Lisa Lansing looked out at the mirror. Looking back at her was a veritable icon of beauty, female power and determination. "Look out, whoever you are, Miracle Maiden is coming for you!"

Miracle Maiden checked on her computer's progress. It had managed to download something from the hard drive that had sent the message. It looked like a set of blueprints...to the city's largest auction house! There were thousands, millions of dollars in jewels and artwork there at any given moment! There was also a timetable, noting the security guard's movements. Slinging the laptop by its shoulder strap, Miracle Maiden swung out the window and into the night.

* * *

Vicky Reid, laying on the floor of her office, blinked away tears of fear and frustration as she pulled on her bonds. Three years! She had worked in the auction house for three years and NEVER worked late. The first time she stayed after hours, what happened? She was grabbed from behind and woke up bound and gagged with duct tape! It wasn't fair!

Security would be no help, she thought ruefully as she looked over at Betty, who was still unconscious. When she regained consciousness, however, she would find herself in the same situation as Vicky: duct tape at her ankles, her wrists taped behind her back, and tape sealing her mouth. While Vicky was a slender girl, with long strawberry-blonde hair, shapely buttocks and long legs, brunette Betty was zaftig and solidly built from her hours in the gym. Vicky was sure, however, that Betty was not strong enough to free herself from the tape. They were here for as long as their captors wanted them.

Vicky pounded her feet futilely on the floor as she felt her eyes tear up again...

* * *

Miracle Maiden found an unlighted delivery door to the auction house that had been forced open. There was a black van parked in the alley near the door. Since there were no other vehicles in the area, Miracle Maiden decided to play a hunch and placed a small electronic tracking device under one of the van's wheel-wells. She was sure that the criminals had come in that vehicle, and if they somehow managed to escape, she wanted to be able to track them again. Then she slipped into the building.

Deducing that all the valuables would be located near the back offices, Miracle Maiden headed in that direction. When she got near the main offices, where the safes were, she heard what sounded like a soft, muffled sobbing. She glided noiselessly down the hall to investigate. The sound seemed to be coming from behind a closed door.

When Miracle Maiden opened the door, she saw two women, bound and gagged with duct tape. The one who was crying was slender and dressed in a short-skirted business suit; her companion was larger and wore a security guard uniform. The heroine bounded over to the two captives, pulling a pen-knife from her belt.

"Don't worry," she said, "I'll have you out of here in no time."

But before the titaness of justice could begin to cut the bonds, she heard a loud, "Hey, you aint supposed to be here!" She looked up and saw a second entrance to the office, in which stood a large, muscle-bound woman in a black leather catsuit.

The big woman put down the painting she was carrying and started to advance. Miracle Maiden sprang forward to meet her foe with a sidekick to the stomach. Her opponent "whoofed" as the air shot from her lungs, but still grabbed at the costumed cutie.

The two battled for several minutes, the big woman's superior size and strength slowly giving way under Miracle Maiden's skill and speed. Just as the caped crimebustress was about to deliver the coup de grace, however, she heard someone say, "Hold it right there, Miracle Maiden, or the women die!"

Miracle Maid spun around to face the speaker. It was a stunningly beautiful blonde, with heavy makeup and her hair coifed and moussed to perfection. She wore a black leather gown that hugged her upper body and was slit on each side, revealing long, shapely, milky-white legs. She looked the epitome of the villainess, right down to the luger that she had aimed at the two bound and gagged women on the floor.

"Now," the woman continued as Miracle Maid grimaced and slowly raised her hands over her head, "unless you want me to splatter their pretty little brains all over the room, you will permit Eartha to bind you. I believe you know the drill?"

Yes, indeed, she did, but how would this woman know that? Miracle Maiden studied her captor's face as she slowly lowered her arms and crossed her wrists behind her back. Then it hit her. "Legs?" she asked.

Legs laughed evilly. "Right you are! I know that you probably thought I was just more dumb muscle when I worked for Harpy, but as you can see, I have ambitions of my own! How do you like my new look?"

Eartha twisted Miracle Maiden's arms so that her right wrist rested next to her left elbow, and vice versa. Then she began to wrap duct tape around them to keep them in that position. "I'll get you for roughin' me up with that fancy kung fu shit," she said.

"My, my," Legs said cheerfully, "you certainly aren't going to win any popularity contests tonight, are you? First you fail to rescue the damsels in distress and then you ruin Eartha's good mood." Her voice dropped menacingly. "And all after ignoring my friendly little e-mail warning. No, you aren't very popular here at all!"

As Legs spoke, Eartha had wrapped duct tape around Miracle Maiden's ankles and knees. "That was you?" Miracle Maiden asked right before the muscle-bound henchwoman applied the first layer of the tape gag.

"Oh, yes indeedy," Legs said as she holstered her gun. "Don't worry about these two, they mean nothing to me. But you ignored me, Miracle Maiden. I HATE to be ignored! Let's talk about it in private, shall we? Eartha, bring her and follow me."

Miracle Maiden felt herself being lifted effortlessly by Eartha, who followed Legs out of the room. She looked over Eartha's shoulder and saw the pitiful, wide-eyed, helpless looks on Vicky and Betty as they watched their hope of rescue being carried away.

* * *

"Mmmmphf!" was all Miracle Maiden could manage through the tape as Eartha dropped her on her well-rounded posterior. She watched as Legs and Eartha had a mild argument in subdued tones. Finally, Legs kissed her large partner and Eartha left, obviously unhappy about the outcome of the argument. Legs smiled sweetly as she pulled up a folding chair and sat next to Miracle Maiden and crossed the long, gorgeous gams that gave her her name.

"So," she said smugly, "Miracle Maiden! Or may I call you Lisa?"

"UMMMPH! Mmmmummmph!" the heroine protested.

"Well, no matter," Legs continued. "I bet you thought I was just a hired thug, huh? No, deary, I had my own goals! If only you had listened to me! I'm not a psycho like Harpy, or a world dominator like that Doppelganger guy! I just love pretty things. All I wanted was for you to leave me alone so I could steal to my heart's content!"

Miracle Maiden listened carefully, searching for a weakness she could exploit. In the meantime, she tugged subtly at her duct tape bonds to test their strength and security. Her tests weren't reassuring...

"Know how I found out who you are? I really liked how you looked, tied up as Lisa in the warehouse...my love of pretty things applies to bound women, too, you see. When I saw you trashing Harpy at the power plant, I snuck out, and went back to get the security tape of Lisa Lansing for...entertainment value. You can imagine my surprise when you did that little light show with your belt!"

Miracle Maiden glared at her, her eyes spewing venom over the cruelly tight gag.

Legs leaned closer, her voice getting husky. "But this is MUCH, MUCH better! To see such a symbol of power reduced to helplessness... I'm not the only one who feels this way, you know. Did you know that there is a web page with drawings and photo manipulations of you in bondage? They get submissions from all over the world!"

Miracle Maiden turned her head so that Legs wouldn't see her blush. She DID know about that web page, and even accessed it every week or so. To be honest, she found it to be somewhat of a turn-on. If only her REAL bondage experiences didn't always seem to involve her impending doom!

Eartha came back with a camera, which she gave to Legs. The stunning blonde took several pictures of the captive crimefighter. "I'll e-mail these to the web page," she said. "Miracle Maiden's last bondage adventure. And just when you get a new costume, too! Pity, really, the miniskirt looks great."

Miracle Maiden's "Hmmmmk hmmoo" was garbled, but her meaning was clear. Legs ignored it as she handed the camera back to Eartha.

"Do you know where you are, Miracle Maiden?" Legs asked. "This is one of the house's special vaults. It's airtight, to cut down on oxidation of precious artifacts. Once we seal you in here, I guess you'll have maybe two hours of air. Then, I'm afraid your skin will match the blue in your uniform. Maybe in your next life you'll be more open to suggestion, huh? Bye!"

As soon as the door slammed shut, Miracle Maiden's mind went into overdrive. She still had her belt; that was good for later, but the way her arms were crossed, she couldn't reach it. First order of business, then, was to lose the tape. The pretty powerhouse rolled and wiggled her way over to the wall and, by digging her spiked heels into the floor, forced her way into a standing position. Then she hopped over to a display case and began to slowly work the tape on her arms against the sharp corner...

* * *

A thin sheen of sweat covered Miracle Maiden's body, and the room seemed closer. How much time had elapsed? An hour? More? She had no way of knowing. She also had no way of knowing how close she was to escape. It felt like she was making progress, but the tape was so slow to cut...

Suddenly, it parted, and Miracle Maiden's arms were free! "Finally," she thought as she dropped to the floor, her legs cramped from leaning against the case for so long. She winced as she pulled the tape off her mouth and sucked in big mouthfuls of the already stale air. She had to escape from the vault!

Her Swiss army knife made short work of the bonds on her legs, and allowed her to remove the back cover from the vault door. Now, all she had to do was use the portable power unit in her belt to short out the timer on the lock! She began to make the connections, and hoped that it wouldn't take too long!

* * *

"Air," Miracle Maiden gasped as the door finally clicked open. "God, it never smelled so good!" She staggered from the vault, leaned on the wall, and took big gasps, straining her bustier to the limit. After a few seconds, she freed the captive women and activated the tracer she had planted on Legs' van. Her blood ran cold when she saw where the tracking device had stopped.

The power plant! Memories of the watery deathtrap she had faced were still fresh in her mind. But it made sense. Legs knew the place, and nobody would think of looking for her there after Harpy was locked up! With determination on her features, the avenging angel set out for the final confrontation with her foe!

* * *

"Just look at it all, Eartha," Legs gushed as she stroked the mink coat that now adorned her form. "Jewels, paintings, sculptures, and it's all ours!"

Eartha sulked at her slender partner. "Still wish you had let me pound that Miracle Maiden some. She hurt me!"

"Oooh, I know sweetheart! I'll tell you what, why don't you go make us some tea, then I'll make you feel all better?"

Eartha brightened up a little. "Well, I guess she did get what's comin' to her, anyway, right? You want honey in your tea?" she asked as she left the room.

"You know it, sweetums," Legs called after her.

A few minutes later, Legs heard the door open behind her. "All ready?" she asked. Her answer was a blue gloved hand that clamped over her mouth, while another yanked her off balance.

"More ready than you can imagine," Miracle Maiden said.

Legs struggled, but was vastly outclassed by her heroic assailant. Miracle Maiden managed to pull the femme fatale's hands behind her back and cuff them there. Suddenly, she felt a crushing blow to the back of her head.

"Looks like I get my turn, after all," Eartha said as Miracle Maiden faded from consciousness.

* * *

"MMMMMmmmmmmmm," Miracle Maiden moaned into her gag as she woke up. Her head hurt like hell. After a few moments, her eyelids fluttered open, and she took stock of her current situation. "Oh, THIS can't be good," she thought.

The dynamic dare-doll was lying on her back on the floor. Her hands were tied together and pulled over her head, where a long rope connected them to a pipe in the wall. Her legs were spread, tied to large bolts in the floor. A rubber or plastic ball had been stuffed in her mouth, and an ace bandage wrapped around her head to hold it in place.

What really worried her, however, was the pallet. A large, metal pallet, holding various equipment parts, was suspended over her helpless form. Miracle Maiden guess that there must be a thousand pounds of metal over her. She looked around and saw Eartha standing there, grinning.

"Guess those stupid knock-out gas capsules you threw at me didn't last as long as you thought, huh?" the big woman asked. "Legs said I got to finish you off. Since you pounded me before, I'm gonna pound you!"

The heroine squirmed in her bonds and "mmmmmmphed" angrily at her captor. Eartha just continued to grin as she walked over to a table that had a candle on in. A rope, tied to a stanchion in the wall, passed over the candle and out of Miracle Maid's sight.

"This is the rope to the block-and-tackle holding up all that heavy metal," Eartha grinned, obviously pleased with herself for devising this scheme. She lit the candle. "When the rope burns through, BOOM! No more Miracle Maiden." Eartha laughed as she walked away.

Lisa's mind was racing. There wasn't much time. Her belt was out of her reach. The ropes were tight. The floor around her seemed bare of any potential tools. She was too far from the candle to blow it out. The rusty pipe her wrists were bound to was out of her reach... That, she realized, was her only hope.

The power plant was old. Maybe, just maybe, she could get some extra leverage if she bent that pipe. She slowly tightened all her muscles, and began to pull.

The strain was tremendous, both the strain on Miracle Maiden's shapely body and the strain on her nerves. Every one of her slender but powerful muscles strained against the cruel bonds. Using all of her mental training, Miracle Maiden tried to focus solely on the task at hand. And yet, out of the corner of her eye, she couldn't help but notice that the flame atop the candle had started to burn larger and brighter, indicating that the rope was now on fire as well!

"Come on, come on!" she thought. "Bend you lousy hunk of tin, bend!"

Then, without warning, the pipe separated at one of the joints. Suddenly free of the tension she had been pulling against, Miracle Maiden shot forward into a somersault. She pulled out her knife, cut her ankles free, and rolled aside just as the tremendous weight came crashing down behind her! With a sigh of relief, the buxom crimefighter worked on freeing her wrists.

* * *

"Are you feeling better, now?" Eartha asked as she massaged Legs' shoulders. The criminal duo were in the well-appointed living quarters that they had set up in the old power plant.

"A little," Legs pouted. "Those handcuffs bruised by wrists! And if you hadn't come along, who knows what would have happened?" She closed her eyes, smiled contentedly, and patted Eartha's hands. "I'm so glad those measly little gas capsules of hers couldn't put you down for the count, my big, strong Eartha!"

Just then, there was a resounding "clang." Legs jumped up and watched as Eartha wobbled, then dropped to the ground. Behind where the female bodybuilder had stood, Legs saw Miracle Maiden, holding a dented fire extinguisher.

"I guess she's down for the count now, huh?" the heroine said with a grim smile.

"I...I know your secret, Lisa Lansing!" Legs stammered in a panic. "You can't stop me!"

Miracle Maiden dropped the fire extinguisher and slowly stepped forward. "Oh, no? Watch me!"

Legs lost all control. For all her big dreams and smooth talk, she was NOT a true supervillainess. She didn't know what to do, so she ran. With Miracle Maiden blocking the room's front door, she ran out the back, deeper into the power plant.

As Legs ran through the power plant, looking wildly for some escape route, Miracle Maiden walked quickly but calmly behind her. She knew there was no way out in this direction. Her long, beautiful legs fluttered her new skirt slightly as she strode purposefully after her prey.

Finally, Legs found herself trapped in the turbine room. The only other exit was the fire exit, but those were sealed. After all, what good was a secret hideout with hundreds of entrances? "Damn," Legs thought, "damn, damn, damn!"

Then, as she heard the clacking of Miracle Maiden's stiletto heels against the floor of the hall behind her, she was struck with an inspiration. There were also the flow doors! These would have been open when the plant was in operation, allowing the waters to come in and turn the turbines. If the water could get in that way, why couldn't she get out that way? Yes, get out and make life miserable for that rotten, do-gooding Miracle Maiden! She twisted the valve and watched as the doors slowly began to open. Then she started to climb towards them.

When Miracle Maid entered the room, her cape billowing majestically behind her, she saw Legs on the ledge near the flow doors, slowly inching her way out.

"Legs," she cried, "don't be a fool! It's too dangerous!"

The shapely blonde looked back over her shoulder and threw a nasty look at her pursuer. She was tempted to say something, but could barely hear herself over the rushing water. Instead, she flipped her head and continued on her way.

That was when her foot hit a wet patch on the ledge. Legs felt her feet shoot off in a direction she hadn't intended. She lost her balance and tried desperately to grab onto something, but there was nothing there! As the villainess tumbled from her perch, Miracle Maiden fired her climbing cable gun and swung up to the ledge. She looked down into the swirling waters, but saw no sign of the blonde criminal. Her heart sank as she realized that Legs had to be dead.

"Oh well," she thought as she headed back to collect the unconscious Eartha, "at least my secret identity is safe!" Besides, she realized, Lisa Lansing was still technically on vacation. Perhaps a few days off, for real, might be just what she needed!

Next Episode: Fangs For The Memories
(guest-starring Buffy the Vampire Slayer)