The figure in orange and blue appeared on the screen over and over, flying through the air, stopping disasters, blasting evil monsters and robots with energy beams from his hands. The voiceover continued. “So, tune in tomorrow for this unprecedented look at Nova-Bolt’s life, career and ultimate sacrifice. We’ll be showing clips of his battles and film of some of his most memorable speeches and interviews, as well as talking with some of the people who knew him best. Celebrate the second anniversary of his heroic death by remembering what made him the hero he was. That’s an eight-hour special, starting at 12 noon. Don’t miss it.”

Harmony Grant turned off the TV and looked to her sister. “I’m telling you, Mel, if we’re going to do this, now is the time.”

Melody sighed. “That’s the problem, Harm. I haven’t decided yet if we’re going to do this.”

The blonde jumped to her feet and faced her sister. The pair were fraternal twins, but they looked almost identical. Both had leggy, voluptuous bodies, impressive bust-lines and pretty, heart-shaped faces. Only their coloring differentiated them. Melody, the older by three minutes, had glossy jet-black hair and gray eyes. Harmony, however, had blond hair and lavender eyes, which were currently flashing in anger at her sibling.

“Damn it, Mel! I thought we discussed this!”

“We did,” the brunette replied. “We just didn’t come to the conclusion you thought we did.”

“New Haven needs us,” Harmony countered. “Sure, the rest of the world’s heroes have tried to pick up the slack since dad’s death, but New Haven was always his town. The crime rate is constantly increasing. People are losing hope. This used to be the city where Nova-Bolt lived! Now it’s the city where he died.”

“Exactly,” Melody countered. “Harm, what about what we promised mom?”

“Mom’s dead,” Harmony said. “She died from a broken heart. She just gave up, Mel. Now other people are starting to give up just like her. We said we’d never use our powers while she was alive. That doesn’t stop us now.”

Melody sighed again. “I know. Everything you say makes sense. But you want to know the truth, little sister?” Harmony knew that Melody was feeling sentimental when she used that nickname. “I’m scared. I’ve already lost mom and dad, and I don’t want to lose you, too. Especially since dad died using his powers, and we each only have a fraction of his abilities!”

“I know,” Harmony said as she took her sister’s hands in her own. “But we also have each other. If dad had had someone watching his back that day, he might have survived his fight with the Overmind. Mel, I’m not going to let anything happen to you, and I trust you to be sure nothing happens to me. Isn’t that enough?”

Melody hugged her sister, careful not to crush her. “I guess it will have to be. Let’s try on the uniforms for size one more time, then we can plan our debut.”

* * *

The crowd was gathered around the giant statue in Middington Park. It showed Nova-Bolt in a typically heroic pose. The statue had been built on the exact spot where the hero’s body had fallen to the earth after he had given his life to seal the dimensional rift through which the evil Overmind hoped to send his minions and conquer our planet. A reviewing stand had been set up for the annual tribute, and the mayor was speaking.

“Nova-Bolt was a visitor from another reality,” he said. “Yet he became our universe’s greatest hero and gave his life stopping an invasion from his own dimension. For this, we all owe him a debt of gratitude.”

Harmony and Melody slipped into the bushes, where they couldn’t be seen. They had decided that the memorial service would be the best place to make their appearance, hoping to overwhelm the sorrow of the moment with a sense of hope that the legacy of Nova-Bolt lived on.

As the girls peeled off their loose dresses, revealing the outfits they wore beneath, a large shadow fell over the park. Everyone looked up and gasped at the saucer-like craft that hovered over the scene. They had all seen it before, but not for years. It was the assault craft of Dr. Lucian Nox, Nova-Bolt’s greatest enemy!

“I only owe that muscle-bound oaf gratitude for dying!” Nox’s voice came over the loudspeaker. “My one regret is that I wasn’t the one who rid the world of the garish goody-goody! But, without his interference, the city will be mine!”

This is the moment the girl’s had been dreading. Most of Nova-Bolt’s enemies had been locked up and accounted for when the hero died. But, sooner or later, they knew the supervillains would return. At least they were ready for them. The heroic gals flew skyward, putting themselves between the saucer and the crowd. There was a gasp from the people below.

Melody and Harmony’s costumes were like “negatives” of each other. Melody wore a blue sleeveless minidress with a plunging v-neck and an orange hem. Her boots and gloves were also blue trimmed in orange. Her cape and eye-mask were orange. Her wide belt had an “N” on the buckle. Harmony’s costume had the colors reversed, and there was a “B” on her belt.

“I don’t know who you two think you are,” Nox sneered, “but you’re outfits remind me a bit too much of someone I HATE!”

He fired a laser beam at the two heroines. Harmony raised her arm and created an energy shield to deflect the beam, while Melody swooped around to tear the gun from it’s mooring. She cleared her throat, and hoped she didn’t sound as crazy as she felt as she shouted her response, so everyone could hear it.

“That’s because we’re related to him! I’m Nova Girl. Bolt Girl and I are Nova-Bolt’s daughters, and we plan to continue his fight for justice!”

For a moment, there was utter silence in the park. Then, slowly, the applause started. Soon, the crowd was roaring its support to the two heroines.

Nox, on the other hand, cursed. He obviously hadn’t anticipated any super-powered resistance, and needed to get more powerful weapons. “Well, then, I guess I can settle my old scores with YOU two,” he said. “But I need to be better prepared, so….”

A force field sprang up around the ship, knocking the two heroines back. Before they could recover, the ship streaked away at speeds too great for the human eye to follow.

Nova Girl and Bolt Girl picked themselves up and prepared to give chase. Before they could, however, they were mobbed by people, police, reporters and city officials. Nox would have to wait. For now, they had some explaining to do.

* * *

“Not a bad article,” Harmony said as she walked into the room hidden beneath their mansion. “We look pretty good in the picture, too!”

Melody was hunched over the computer, retrieving everything she could find on Dr. Nox. “I still think it wasn’t a good idea to let people know right away that I only have dad’s physical powers, and you only have his energy powers.”

Harmony shrugged. “They would have figured it out. Just like they’re going to figure out that we don’t have as much oomph to our powers as dad did. But it’s enough.”

“I hope so,” Mel said thoughtfully. “Because I think we’ll be back in action soon!”

“What do you mean?”

“Dr. Nox had one main lair that he always returned to. It was an abandoned airstrip just west of town. It was the only place large enough to house most of his equipment…including the saucer!”

“So you think that’s where he is now?”

“I think Nova Girl and Bolt Girl should check it out.”

The blond smiled as she started to get undressed. “Now, that’s the spirit! After all, that midget could never stop dad, and there are two of us! What could possibly go wrong?”

* * *

Nox’s Lair was pretty much what the girls expected: a few small hangers and an abandoned tower surrounding two small strips of broken concrete, which had once been the runways. After circling above the area a few times, the heroines landed and began to look around from ground level. The wind tossed their hair, and the heels of their boots clicked on the cement. Their eyes roved everywhere, looking for some sign of their foe.

Without warning, one of the hanger doors opened and a flood of battle robots headed straight at the super-sisters! The girls fought back valiantly, destroying robots by the droves. When the smoke cleared, however, there was only one person on the tarmack: Nova Girl! The raven-haired beauty looked around in a panic. She had been too focused on the fight to see what had happened to Bolt Girl. Where was her sister? Nova Girl flew into the hanger from which the robots had come.

Bolt Girl was in the hanger. The blond had been tied to a pair of ring-bolts in the floor, with her arms over her head and her body pulled tight. A heavy leather gag prevented her from calling out to her sister. Luckily, this wasn’t necessary, because Nova Girl could easily see her sister’s peril. A heavy block of metal was slowly lowering towards the girl, backed by the power of a hydraulic engine. In moments, Bolt Girl would be crushed!

Nova Girl flew across the room, zipping under the block. She planted her feet on either side of her sister’s bound body and caught the weight as it moved closer, stopping its deadly descent. The weight grew heavier as the infernal machinery behind it pressed harder. The blue-clad wonder girl pressed back. Her muscles began to strain. Sweat beaded on her brow. Nova Girl had never tested the upper limits of her strength, but she felt she had to be reaching them as the block gained one inch, then two.

“Hmmmph uuummmm mmmmph,” Bolt Girl whined through her gag, waving her head to the side. Nova Girl knew her sister wanted her to go, to save herself, but she couldn’t. She had to find a way to save them both! But she realized that she couldn’t fight the mounting pressure forever.

Knowing that SOMETHING had to give, Nova Girl got a flash on inspiration. It was risky, but it was all she could think of. If the block was going to keep coming down, fine. It just had to miss the daring duo below it. Pressing as hard as she could with her left hand, Nova Girl cocked her right fist and hurled a super-powered haymaker at the crushing device. The metal bent, and cracked when she hit it again. Grabbing the edges of the crack, she let the block continue slowly downward as she ripped the block in two! Each half of the deadly device touched the floor…on either side of the superheroines! They were safe.

Nova Girl wasted no time in freeing her sister, after which she practically crushed the blond in an embrace. “Are you alright, Ha…I mean, Bolt Girl?”

Bolt Girl gave her sister a quick squeeze before sliding out of the hug. “Of course I am! I told you, all we have to do is watch each others’ backs, and we’ll be fine.” Her face got a slight worried look. “But next time, try not to cut the rescue so close, huh?”

Nova Girl turned towards the exit. “Come on. Nobody tries to kill MY sister and gets away with it! Let’s get Nox!”

As they continued searching the base, Nova Girl asked, “Why didn’t you just blast your way free?”

Bolt Girl shrugged her shoulders. “I couldn’t. Dad told me once that our energy powers were based on some kind of energy phase signature, which meant that a COUNTER-phase signature could negate them. The cables I was tied with tingled, so they must have been energized that way.”

Nova Girl nodded. “Makes sense. Nox has had more experience studying dad’s…and our…powers than anyone.”

They entered a second hanger. This one seemed deserted, but they weren’t about to take any chances. As they searched the vast structure, Nova Girl noticed something flashing in the cubicle that served, at one time, as an office. She went in to take a look.

What happened next was so fast that Bolt Girl didn’t have time to react. As soon as Nova Girl was inside the office, solid metal shutters slammed down over the doorway and windows. Then the whole room dropped through the floor of the hanger like an oversized elevator! Another metal panel closed off the section of floor where the office had been.

“Nova Girl!” the blond shouted as she ran to look at the spot. She cursed herself for not paying attention; now her sister had been taken away from right under her nose! Her beautiful face set in determination, Bolt Girl started firing her energy blasts at the metal. She planned to get her sister back!

Slowly, the metal melted until a hole, large enough for the girl in the orange minidress, appeared in it. Without a second thought, Bolt Girl jumped down the hole.

The room hidden beneath the floor of the hanger was very different from the old structure above. While the hanger was dirty and smelled of oil, this room was spotless and sterile, like a laboratory or a surgical theatre. It took only a moment for Bolt Girl’s lavender eyes to adjust to the bright light, then she spotted her sister.

Nova Girl was held to the wall in a spread-eagle position by heavy manacles. A band of metal, matching the ones at her wrists, elbows, ankles and knees, also covered the brunette’s mouth to silence her. Her eyes were wide as she watched the beam of a high-powered laser inch towards her. It was currently striking the wall about a foot to her left, and headed in her direction.

Bolt Girl fired her own energy blasts as she activated her flying power to jet propel her to her sister’s side. Just as the beam would have begun slicing the helpless heroine in half, her blond companion got in the way of the beam and activated her energy shield, deflecting and absorbing the laser.

In the next microsecond, the energy output from the laser increased. Bolt Girl staggered back from the sudden force, but caught herself and increased the power to her shield. Just as Nova Girl had done a little while ago, the Bolt Girl found herself locked in a deadly battle with a killer machine.

Bolt Girl knew that holding up her energy shield against this much force would drain her, but she was able to allow a tiny amount of the energy through so that she could revitalize herself. Still, her ability to metabolize energy was limited. She often wondered what would happen if she overloaded herself. Would she just die? Would she actually explode? Would she vaporize? Or would she merely fall unconscious until her body was able to deplete the excess? No matter what the case, she knew that, in this case, it would mean the death of her sister. A sister that she had talked into joining her in this adventure. Harmony Grant, aka Bolt Girl, was NOT going to be responsible for the death of her sister! She had to find a way out.

Nova Girl had saved her sister by deflecting the weight around the two of them, but Bolt Girl didn’t have that option. But if she couldn’t get the weapon away from it’s victim, maybe she could get the victim away from the weapon! Bolt Girl aimed her free hand behind her and fired an energy beam at the wall. With her power boosted by the energy she was absorbing, it took little effort for her to cut out a crude circle around her sister. Though she was still manacled to the wall, Nova Girl dropped away and landed below the path of the beam. Bolt Girl collapsed, and used the last of the increased energy to cut Nova Girl free.

“Let me guess,” the beautiful blond said. “Crystalline steel?”

Nova Girl nodded. “Must be; that was the only thing that dad himself had trouble breaking.”

“Yeah, he always had to soften it up with his energy blasts, which you don’t have. Nox seems to be ready for us.”

Free from her restraints, Nova Girl got to her feet and headed towards the opening her sister had cut. “Let’s show him that we’re ready for him, too!”

The hole in the wall showed that the underground room was only a part of a vast complex that was buried beneath the airport. This, they figured, was Nox’s TRUE lair. If the area above had caused them trouble, they knew that this secret base would be covered with deathtraps. They had to be careful.

“All we have to do is avoid the gadgets and grab Nox. After all, he’s only four feet tall, he shouldn’t be able too much trouble.”

“Now, now, is THAT nice?”

The scantily-clad sisters whirled around and paused, shocked at the sight that greeted them. It SOUNDED like Nox, but it didn’t look like him! Instead of the short, elderly scientist they were anticipating, the man who confronted them looked huge and powerful. He was clad in gunmetal gray armor, and stood nearly seven feet tall. His helmet covered most of his face and head, and the body beneath the armor seemed to be muscular and powerful. The lips below the edge of the helmet sneered. “I must say, two lovely ladies are always welcome guests. And, as you’ve probably noticed, I wasn’t completely unprepared for company!”

Bolt Girl launched herself at her enemy, surrounding her fists with her full power. Her father had called this the “Atom Smasher,” and she planned to use it on the man that had tried to kill her and her sister.

“Bolt Girl, NO!” Nova Girl screamed. If this WAS Nox, he was too dangerous to take on without a battle plan. If it WASN’T Nox, he was an unknown quantity that they had to study. This was not the time to charge in blindly! Sadly, Harmony had always acted on her impulses.

Seconds before she connected with her foe, Bolt Girl saw him spin at inhuman speed, a slight glow surrounding him. She felt herself make glancing contact with an energy barrier, and she ricocheted off, smashing into the wall. Dazed, Bolt Girl collapsed to the floor. Then, before either of the attractive heroines could do anything to stop him, the armored figure fired a dart-like projectile from a wrist-mounted blaster. It struck Bolt Girl, and the brave blonde slumped to the floor.

Nova Girl stood momentarily, stunned at the attack. What had happened to her sister? Had their foe killed the courageous girl? She stopped herself from rushing forward; if there was any hope of helping Harmony, she had to remain calm.

“Well, now, that was easy,” the villain taunted. “One down, and one to go!”

Nova Girl dropped into a fighting stance. Her gray eyes darted back and forth, searching for possible traps and weapons. “Who are you?” she asked. “You’re certainly not Professor Nox!”

“Oh, but that’s where you’re wrong, Nova Girl,” her opponent said. “I AM Nicodimus Nox... Nicodimus Nox JUNIOR!”

“What?!?” Nova Girl was stunned. There had never been any indication that Nox had ever had an heir. She quickly recovered her composure. “If that’s true, give yourself up. Don’t ruin your life like your father did!”

Nox lunged at the girl, his armor carrying him forward so fast that she only barely avoided the assault. “My father didn’t ruin his life! YOUR father did it for him! My father was a great man. Under his rule, Earth would have experienced a Golden Age of peace, prosperity and scientific wonder! The only thing that stopped him from bringing his dream to reality was the constant interference of Nova-Bolt! But I’ll succeed where he failed, even if I have to do it over your corpse!”

Nova-Girl and Nox struck and dodged at one another, neither landing more than glancing blows. This was enough, however, to indicate to the brunette how powerful her foe was. Her father could have cleaned up the floor with this arrogant punk in seconds. She was only slightly more powerful than her enemy, however, so she had to outwit him.

As Nox lunged again, Nova Girl dove under his legs. Behind him, she jumped on the man’s back, her fingers searching for the seams. “I’m going to peel you out that armor like opening a can of tuna,” she said.

“Then again,” Nox replied, “maybe NOT!” He touched a control on his belt and thousands of hidden jets filled the room with a purple mist. For a moment, everything was obscured. By the time the mist had cleared, Nova Girl was on the floor, a victim of the powerful anesthetic.

* * *

Nova Girl and Bolt Girl both regained consciousness about the same time. Both also hoped they were still asleep, and involved in a terrible dream. They were seated back-to-back in heavy chairs to which they were manacled. Nova Girl flexed her incredible muscles, but it was no use; the chains, thin as they were, had to be made of crystalline steel. Bolt Girl could feel a slight tingle from her chair and chains, indicating the presence of a counter-phase energy to overwhelm her energetic abilities. They were helpless. Their arms had been fastened at the wrists to the backs of their chairs. Their legs were crossed, Indian-style, on the seats, and their ankles were manacled together. More chains encircled their torsos, holding them tight to the backs of the chairs.

The room they were in was a huge laboratory in the underground complex. They were seated against one wall, behind a thick red line. The super-sisters didn’t think the line was an indicator of anything good!

A door opened, and Nox strolled into the room, his armored feet clanking on the metal floor. He walked right up to them, smiling under his helmet. He stood for a few moments, simply studying his captives. Finally, Nova Girl spoke.

“So, what are you up to, Nox? What’s your plan?”

“Oh, I have plans for you,” the villain gloated. “But they probably aren’t what you expect! First, let me make myself more comfortable...” With that, he touched some hidden studs on his armor. With a hiss, the seams came undone and the armor opened up. Nicodimus Nox, Junior, stepped out of the titanium suit and grinned.

The Nova-Bolt Girls gasped in surprise. Their captor was a scrawny young man with fine, mousy brown hair and glasses. He wore a pair of brown slacks and a rumpled white shirt. The heroines couldn’t help but think that he resembled the “nerd” in almost every collage-based comedy movie ever made. Yet, the armor had more than compensated for his physical limitations, allowing him to capture the powerful pair!

“When you two first showed up, and stopped me from ruining the dedication ceremony,” Nox said as he strolled over to a workbench, “I was FURIOUS! All I wanted to do was eliminate the both of you. But then I got a better idea! I began to think about turning your powers to evil, having the daughters of Nova-Bolt help the son of his greatest enemy rule the world!”

“You’re crazy if you think we’d ever help you,” Bold Girl exclaimed.

“Oh, you WON’T help me willingly,” Nox explained as he walked back towards the girls with several scarves in his hand. He stuffed one of the clothes into Bolt Girl’s mouth and used another to encircle her head, holding the gag in place. “But there are ways of bending the human mind. My father almost succeeded in taking over Nova-Bolt’s mind once! He only escaped because of his alien biology. But you girls are half human, aren’t you? So what ALMOST worked on him should work on you just fine!”

“Not a chance, No…mmpph!” was all Nova Girl could get out before she was gagged like her sister.

Nox looked at the two pretty prisoners, then began to slide his hands up their thighs as he continued. “And once I have you as my slaves, I can think of several other possible uses for the two of you! You know, women never gave me much attention before, especially pretty ones like you. But it wont be long before you two will be BEGGING to serve my every need!”

The criminal activated one of the machines in the laboratory. “The whole process should only take about an hour,” he said. “Until then, I have some plans to make. But I’ll be back soon to try out my new play things!”

As he walked away, a glass covering descended from the ceiling, and a thick, sweet-smelling gas rose around the comely captives. A thin, high siren wailed in a slowly rising and lowering pitch, in tune to a series of slowly flashing lights that beamed at their eyes. The effect was hypnotic...which, they knew, was exactly what Nox wanted!

* * *

True to his word, Nox returned an hour later to find the machine had turned itself off, and the Nova-Bolt Girls were still bound and gagged in their chairs, a glassy look in their eyes. Giggling with anticipation, he hurried forward to free the mind-wiped maidens. Soon, they were standing at attention before him.

“Nova Girl,” he ordered the brunette, “you’re first. Come here and give me a kiss.”

The brainwashed beauty stepped forward and took Nox’s head in her hands. She leaned her soft, full, red lips closer. Then, just before their lips met, she yanked the villain off his feet and hurled him across the room.

Nox thudded against the wall and staggered to his feet. “No!” he screamed. “You should have no will of your own!”

He ran unsteadily toward his armor, but Bolt Girl blasted the suit with her full power. It sizzled as it slid across the floor, her energy blast touching some of the exposed circuits in the still-open suit. “Sorry, Nicky,” she said, “but we’ve both got will up the wazoo!”

Bolt Girl unleashed a volley of energy bursts that served to drive Nox away from his weaponry and towards the waiting Nova Girl. Without his armor, he was no match for the mighty maiden, and she knocked him out easily. Nox had only time for one question: “How did you escape my brainwashing?” It was a question he would never have the answer to.

* * *

Back in their hidden lair, Nova Girl and Bolt Girl sat in a Jacuzzi, hot water bubbling around their bikini-clad bodies. Melody, aka Nova Girl, leaned her head back and sighed before she turned to her sister.

“I guess you were right about this superheroine idea,” she said. “It WAS fun to nail that little creep Nox.”

“And you were worried!” her sister snickered.

“Oh, come on, Harmony,” Melody replied. “We had a bit of a close call there! It was pure dumb luck that we aren’t pleasuring that weasel right now!”

Harmony gave her sister a puzzled look. “Luck? What do you mean? I thought you planned that escape!”

“Sorry, sis! I just panicked. My strength couldn’t break my bonds, but it could rip our chairs from the floor and flip them over. Only problem is, I didn’t know that! Just like I didn’t know that doing so would sever the connection supplying the power to the counter-phase energy in your bonds.”

“But then, I couldn’t have used my energy to short out the machinery and free us,” Harmony protested. “Which means that we wouldn’t have had time to call the police and make it look like we were still Nox’s captives.”

“So we couldn’t have trapped him,” Melody concluded. “Exactly. But none of that would have happened if I hadn’t freaked out in just the right way!”

Harmony shivered. “Wow. A lifetime as Nox Junior’s love slave! Maybe I should rethink this whole thing!”

“Oh, no you don’t!” Melody said as she splashed her sister. “You’ve got me hooked now, and Nova Bolt needs her partner.”

Harmony splashed back. “Okay, fine. But from now on, I want top billing!”

“Oh, I’ll show you top billing, you little...” In moments, the pair were splashing each other, squealing and giggling threats. Across the room, a portrait of Nova-Bolt looked proudly at the fun-loving heroines and their colorful costumes, which lay nearby. The painting seemed to know that this was just the beginning of the next chapter in the legacy of Nova-Bolt!