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Alexandra scowled: "If I wanted lame puns, I'd go wake up my brother. Now, do you have what I want, or not?"

Catwoman lifted her left hand, to show the Golden Coin of Bast dangling from a black string held between her thumb and index finger.

"How about you?" she now asked.

Alexandra took off her birthstone ring.

"On the count of three?" she suggested. Catwoman nodded.

"One," began the latter.

"Two, said the former.

"Three!" they chorused, tossing their respective bargaining chips to each other. Catwoman deftly caught the ring, and Alexandra was no less deft in snatching the coin from mid-air.

Alexandra then asked: "How's Gulliver's doohickey coming?"

Catwoman shrugged: "The hypnotized car thieves I supplied him with aren't exactly the epitome of tech support. But, under his personal supervision, the new reducer should be ready by this time, tomorrow night."

"Good! Because, the press conference is for half past nine in the morning, the day _after_ tomorrow."

"Not to worry. By 10:00 AM, you'll have Alan Mayberry all to yourself. And, by 10:15, you'll have the operating instructions necessary for permanently insuring that!"

Alexandra stared her co-conspirator straight in the eye, arms akimbo: "Just don't try anything funny, at the last moment. Because, in the credibility department, even _my_ word carries more weight than yours!"

Catwoman picked up Sebastian, who had been doing figure-eights around her booted ankles, and handed him back to Alexandra: "Would I betray a fellow ailurophile?"

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The next day, Bruce Wayne read his morning paper, at the breakfast table, as per usual. What was slightly unusual was that he was not perusing the "police blotter" section, first (or, as the Boy Wonder liked to phrase it; "right off the bat"). Instead, he was reading the front page story about...

"Josie and the Pussycats, eh? I wonder...?"

"About what?" asked Dick Grayson, before spooning some cereal into his mouth.

"We were trying to figure out why Catwoman would want to break Dr. Gulliver--of all people--out of prison. And, perhaps, now we know!"

Dick's eyebrows arched in astonishment.

"You can't mean...?!"

"It makes sense, chum. The Pussycats have a large fanbase. What more logical crime (for Catwoman) than to abduct them for ransom? And, how best to do that, virtually single-handedly, than to shrink them?"

"But, assuming she and Gulliver can get the necessary power source, wouldn't a new micro-wave reducer shrink everyone present within range of the signal?"

When the Dynamic Duo had first crossed paths with Dr. Gulliver, the misguided scientist had shrunk them (and the rest of the original Justice League) down to two inches in height! He had done so by broadcasting a signal, using a special ultra-sonic frequency, that could only be perceived by the human ear on a subliminal level. A signal that was then relayed to the pituitary gland of the human brain, resulting in the "bio-miniaturization" of the hypothetical person in question.

"Catwoman might be counting on that to slow us down," replied Bruce: "Knowing the Dynamic Duo's first concern would be for the health and safety of any shrunken by-standers. Even the tabloid inhabitants of the Fourth Estate!"

"So, we're going to keep Josie and the Pussycats under protective surveillance?" his youthful ward inquired. With an enthusiastic tone in his voice that was matched only by the infatuated gleam in his eye.

Bruce, not failing to notice this, smiled and nodded.

"And, we're going to do it from the most logical vantage point in the world," he added: "The spotlighting...catwalk...of the Ritz-Carlton's grand ballroom!"

Chapter End Notes:
Special note: "Ailurophile" = "cat-lover."
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