Wonder Woman in Rome #8

Wonder Woman was created by Dr William Moulton Marston in 1941 and is the © copyright trademark of DC Comics. My Wonder Woman stories are only fan fiction and based, primarily, on the 1970s CBS TV show (albeit, updated to the present time of writing). However, any resources from adaptations and the comics may be utilised. All characters are entirely fictional. With the exception of Diana / Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor, the story and characters are my own creation, unless otherwise stated. In my stories there are no other superheroes in the world, except for Wonder Woman. 

08 When in Rome

“So… No doors were opened by the Divina Key,” Inspector Sergio Nico, ironically, mused. 

He sat at his temporary desk in Rome’s Central Police Station, profiling the extraordinary suspects, in partial disbelief, at how inexplicable the case had become - little did he know, it was about to get much stranger … 

“Marco Ferreira is ready to talk,” he was informed, via the phone.

The news was quite a surprise. Sergio interrogated Ferreira for five hours – and got nowhere – on the day the Lost Siren handed him over to the Vatican’s Swiss Guards. Sergio learned by experience, how a detective should be, at least, one step ahead of the criminal. In this case he wasn’t, and, subsequently, experienced an uneasy anxiety on the way to the interview room.

The sky was blushed pink by early evening. The day had been humid. The tremors left the City unusually quiet, although the station was besieged with frantic callers. Nico had fine-tuned the art of drowning out such commotion. He sat, passively, waiting for Ferreira to refine his statement.

“Oh, dear God, have you seen it out there?” Ferreira pleaded, “Hell on Earth is falling out the sky.”

The terrorist was perspiring and his eyes became bulbous with a desperate glimmer, “Rome is no more. The Vatican shall fall. Go to your family. Say you love them. There’s no escaping …”

He carried on ranting, inanely, while the Inspector requested a psychiatric assessment to the officer outside the door. To Nico’s surprise, he was informed that Diana Prince wished to participate in the interview. Sure enough, Miss Prince sprang up the corridor, in a navy blue jump suit.    

“I have grave concerns about the safety of this suspect,” Diana whispered to Nico at the door.

“We learned Ferreira is a paid gunman, the most he knows is who hired him,” the inspector supposed, “But, for the moment, he seems to have lost his mind.”

“I need custodial consent to take him to Serena Rocca,” Diana explained, “If they recognise one another, then we’ll know if they’re involved.”

“You know where Rocca is hiding?”

Diana elegantly smiled, “You could say I know her stakeout.” She put her right hand delicately into Sergio’s, “Will you help me, Inspector?”

Such an invitation was difficult for any man to refuse; Nico always appreciated the seductive charms of a beautiful woman.

“But how can I refuse?” he said, “Wait here, I’ll get the order.”

When the Inspector was out of sight, Diana went into the interview room where Ferreira was still reciting crazy gibberish. She sat opposite him at the table.

“Look at me,” She gently invited, “Do you think I don’t get scared?”

Something about her soft reassuring tone brought him to a gentle ease. Marco met her ocean blue eyes and he calmed, considerably.

“There, was that so bad? Now, what did you tell the police? Did you mention you entered Vatican City from Cardinal Mendo’s tomb?” she asked.

Terribile! I’m going to make a statement. I’m going to tell them the hell I saw in there.”

“Good, use my pen,” said Diana, rapidly hitting Ferreira in the eye with her fountain tip.

Marco was dead instantly, but - as if to make sure - Diana pulled the man’s head back off the desk, and squeezed the murder weapon all the way into his skull. She left him with his head lying on its side, against the desk, with blood draining out of his orbital, grimly, dripping off the table.

Nico returned to see the horrific sight of the dead detainee. The guard swore Agent Prince had been the only one in the interview room and left promptly. He rushed out on to the street, only to find she was nowhere to be found.

He now knew what all the commotion was about; the streets were choking with soot and raging fires in the trees, on buildings, and vehicles. Sergio stood thinking; could this have been the madness Marco was telling him all along? Rome was, indeed, burning ...

Diana awoke once, again, at the riverside. The magna was still falling. She had been protected by overhanging branches of a near tree. There was still a terrible weakness, about her, when she struggled to her feet. 

Wonder Woman’s location was relatively secluded. She tried to spin but couldn’t find her normal rhythm; her arms were flailing as she stumbled out of position. She composed herself and tried, once more, without the desired effect. 

Over on the bridge, a plume of black smoke erupted in the back of a truck. The vehicle was carrying a set of tyres which had caught fire by the airborne magna. In his panic, the driver slammed down on the brakes. The following vehicles all crunched into one another. At first, all involved appeared to have escaped, unhurt, however it soon emerged a mother and child were trapped, in their car, behind the truck.

With her extra sensitive hearing, Diana could pick out the cries for help. This just happened to be the kind of motivation she needed.  She poised herself, and with the grace of a ballerina, spun with conviction. Three cycles later, an explosion of light flashed through the tree’s branches; Wonder Woman stood restored in vigour and costume.

The dirty smoke puffed high into the sky. Wonder Woman touched down at the scene of the accident. She was quick to test her renewed strength; afraid the truck might go up in smoke, altogether, Wonder Woman hauled the large weighty vehicle up on its side and, then, tipped it into the Tiber. 

Now the major danger was abated, she ripped the warped doors off the driver’s side of the car, as easily as using a chainsaw. The driver scrambled outside; Diana handed the mother her little boy who was still in his booster seat; Wonder Woman had torn it from its holdings. After seeing them to safety over the bridge, Princess Rosetta was Diana’s next concern.

At Rome Cavalieri Hotel, the princess stepped into the back of her limousine where she was greeted by Diana Prince.

“It’s my duty to escort you to the Vatican,” the I.A.D.C agent informed, “The pope wants to see you, urgently.”

“Very well,” she said.

They drove through the smoking city; small fires were scattered around every corner. The princess was a little scared, but she had her royal pride, and tried not to show any weakness in front of Diana. A tailback of traffic on Via Leone IV halted the limousine’s progress. The two passengers sat in relative silence, till Rosetta could stand it no longer.  

“Is this about Louis?” she inquired, “You’re welcome to him - he betrayed me. Serena betrayed me. Everybody betrayed me. In fact, right now, you’re the only one I trust.”

“You really should learn to be a better judge of character,” Diana advised her, bluntly.

The limo door swung open, “I couldn’t agree, more,” said Wonder Woman.

For a few bewitching seconds, the doppelgangers stared each other out. 

“Well, I must admit, not a bad job,” confessed Wonder Woman, “But in Rome, they prefer the real thing to fakes.”

The comment incensed Diana Prince to lunge into Wonder Woman. She went straight for the juggler; clasping her hands tightly round Wonder Woman’s neck. Prince lay on top of her, in the road beside the car, straining to maintain her hold. 

“I’ve been looking forward to this,” she screamed, “All you have will soon be mine – and nobody shall ever know the difference.”

Wonder Woman felt her doppelganger’s hand apply pressure to her neck wound. She needed a fast response, which came in the form of her fist launching, vertically, like a rocket, up under Diana Prince’s fake chin.

The imposter recoiled against the car. The blow caused hideous crossed lines to appear throughout the diameter of her face. She was twitching, uncontrollably. 

“What are you?” Wonder Woman queried, but her opponent wasn’t in the mood for dialogue.

Rather, she launched herself into a sparring duel with Wonder Woman. It was as fast as it was brutal; Wonder Woman, literally, kept chipping away at her phoney’s arms. Underneath her lush skin, cold grey slime sipped out.  

Naturally, a crowd began to gather on the street. The disturbance alerted the municipal police who, immediately, recognised Diana Prince on their newest most wanted list. 

Ironically, Inspector Nico was stuck further down, in the same traffic jam, on his way back from the same hotel, when he heard the news. 

He arrived on the scene in time to see Diana Prince’s lookalike thrown over the limousine, courtesy of Wonder Woman. They may have been matched, equally, in fast fighting reflexes, but there was no substitution for the holy power enshrined in Wonder Woman’s golden girdle.   

When poor Princess Rosetta opened her door out of a guarded curiosity, Diana’s grounded pretender seized the opportunity to take her hostage. 

“Don’t even think about it,” she shrieked, “I could break her neck before you were even close.”

Wonder Woman stood down, she didn’t need to think whether her own cloned abomination was bluffing or not. 

By this time, Diana Prince was looking quite gargoyle; there were loose chippings on her arms and deeper cracks prizing apart the lines over her lead coloured face. Perhaps, this was why Nico showed little hesitation in zipping a bullet through her neck with pinpoint accuracy.

For Diana, life is still a life, even if that life was created to commit evil. She held the tarry flinted hand of her own Frankenstein’s monster, as she faded back to just earth.

“I have never seen anything like that. What was she?” wondered Sergio with the distraught princess clutching his arms, dearly.

Up ahead, near the Vatican’s outer wall, a tour bus became diagonally spread across the road. On the open top deck, a figure clapped.

“Congratulations!” he shouted, “You can add yourself to your list of victims!”

Wonder Woman looked up to see Cardinal Mendo, smugly, chuckling, as the police boarded the stray vehicle.

“I did rather hope poor belated Mr Dalton would bring an end to your reign of terror, but it seems not even his archaically heroic self-sacrifice, could make you give up your blood thirst.”

“Don’t even go there,” warned Wonder Woman, ominously.

Two officers took hold of the cardinal. Wonder Woman glided up off the ground, landing on the bus. 

“Go, leave us,” Wonder Woman commanded, with arms on her waist. The police knew their duty, but they weren’t about to argue with a woman who they had just seen fly by her own accord. 
“Alone at last, Princess Diana,” Mendo said, cheekily.

“Okay, demon,” Diana replied, “I assume you created Diana Prince from my DNA, in the clay, and used the energy you salvaged, between Dalton and I, to bring her to life?” 

“It was really very clever of me, wasn’t it? You must admit that.”

“Let’s just get to the part where I ask you what you want?” Diana returned, almost as cynically as what Mendo, himself.

The Cardinal pulled a sickly smile, “The pope bowing at my feet,” he said, viciously, “I want the whole of humanity worshiping ME! Will that do?”

Diana acknowledged the request with a weary smile, “Then you should have pretended to be a rock star, instead of a cardinal.”

“Is the lady mocking me?” barked Mendo, angrily.

“No,” Diana replied, softly, “I’m waiting for you to tell me why you’ve made it so easy for me to strike you – Something to do with the weather, perhaps?”

“I am indebted to the Lost Siren for that little wonder,” the cardinal revealed. 

Testing her hypothesis, Wonder Woman moved slowly forward with caution. Mendo reacted by bloating his cheeks with air; from his mouth he let loose a torrent of fire down the length of the bus. 

As he expected, Wonder Woman was quick enough to duck under and away. If this wasn’t incredible enough, his arms quickly mutated into the spiky wings of a serpent. He flapped into the sky, leaving his robes behind.

Everybody looked up, as the flying demon chased Wonder Woman through the air, like a bird of prey. He let go of more bad breath; fire balling a top floor office. Again, and again, he tried to engulf Wonder Woman in his hellish flames, but she was too fast for his organic flamethrower. 

Another tactic was called for – the same tactic used by his minion – Mendo touchdown, running into Princess Rosetta, on landing. Nico tried to defend her, but the demonic cardinal knocked him away, violently, with his scaly new tail. 

“Are you okay, inspector?” asked Wonder Woman, landing beside the detective, “It’s alright, leave him to me.”

“If you could extinguish his mouth, I would readily fight the devil to the death,” Nico bawled.

Wonder Woman turned to him, thoughtfully, “Thank you, Inspector, but no death is necessary.”

“Good,” snarled the demonic Mendo, “Then, I won’t give this tiny princess a kiss she’ll never remember! Now, I want the pontiff out on the Balcony of St Peter’s Basilica, kissing my hand as his new god in human form. Do understand, Wonder Woman?”

Overhead, helicopters flew all around; troops from the Italian Special Forces were lowering down on the rooftops. Armed, crack-shot, police were scattered on every corner. Swiss Guards were ready for any invasion to the Vatican. 

Wonder Woman looked around, “Very well,” she accepted, “If you will spare Rosetta’s life, I shall go and talk to the pope."

“Inspector, radio the necessary authorities,” she said.

“You have exactly thirty minutes - and no tricks,” Mendo warned, “Or I’ll ordain this girl’s royal head on the cross of the Obelisk, and then, firestorm Vatican City to the ground.”

People amassed in St Peter’s Square along with hastily erected news crews. American International News (AIN) was lucky to have their leading military correspondent, Dan Corbett, in Rome, on vacation. He was only too happy to brush off the dandruff from his jacket, flick back his greasy blonde hair, and give his expert opinion on events.

“I very strongly suspect, Virginia, this so-called demon is an Islamic fundamentalist, using advanced Russian technology, which is bankrolled by those pesky Arabs. I hate to say it, but this is the kind of mess we get into when our intelligence agencies are caught a sleep on the job.”

Virginia turned to the camera, “You heard it here first, folks ...”

The crowd became boisterous when they saw Wonder Woman - now wearing her long ceremonial cape - accompany the pope and some cardinals on to the Balcony of Basilica. 

Wonder Woman took to the microphone, “Cardinal Mendo, I have spoken with the holy father. Please, join us on the balcony.”

Mendo’s encompassing wings tossed Rosetta to Nico, as he lifted himself back into the air; his cheeks blossomed ready with fire power, but no retaliation arose.

The crowd of onlookers gasped as they saw the flying half-man, half-serpent, flapping through the air. They rubbed their eyes when he then vanished, into thin air, just as he was about to land on the balcony. Bizarrely, when Wonder Woman stepped forward off the balcony, she also disappeared.

“Dan, did you just see what I saw? Did this flying beast and Wonder Woman disappear before our very eyes?”

“You’re not dreaming, Virginia” told Corbett, “I saw it, too. I don’t know if we can trust Wonder Woman, any more.”

He turned to the camera and slicked his hair, “I promise, as your fearless correspondent, Dan Corbett, I will make it my mission to find out who Wonder Woman is really working for. God bless America!”  

“Thanks, Dan. You heard it here first, folks …”

Mendo was furiously banging his tail against the inside of Wonder Woman’s invisible aeroplane. She sat in the pilot seat and watched him, struggling to escape from its locked bay. She powered the aircraft and it was soon propelling them through the clouds, eventually, up into space. Once clear of the Earth's atmosphere, she cut the engines. 

Through the windows, the demon realised where he had been taken. “No, Wonder Woman, you won't, you can’t - you live by compassion - don't do this ...”

“You know, Mendo,” Wonder Woman said, via the intercom, “Maybe, you were right about me.”

She then casually pressed the bay doors open and the satanic cardinal was flushed out into the cosmos. Diana watched him cartwheel into obscurity, before returning to the Earth ...

Back in Rome, the flames raging in the Lost Siren’s ancient treasure trove suddenly ceased. A hand lifted the treasure chest open.

“You survived,” a bespectacled Fourth Reich agent acknowledged, “But you might wish you hadn’t, after Osinov has finished with you.”

Serena was wounded, exhausted and dehydrated, “Adamski – they sent you after me? I thought you were in prison?” she murmured, “Let Louis take the wrap, he’s the one who owes money to Osinov.”

“Cesario has already paid the price with his life.” Adamski informed, “We leave by boat, this way ...”

Soon after, a brewing thunderstorm lashed Rome; the cave tunnels below the Colossuem fell in. Any remaining fires were distinguished, traffic for once, relieved, the military gone, people dispersed; leaving only the media in St Peter’s Square. Romans took the dramatic events of the day in their stride - the way they had for over two thousand years.

Wonder Woman returned to the Vatican’s gardens. She visited perimeter where she first met Mendo, and as she hoped, his tomb had gone. Before she left, Diana picked a lily from the Vatican's gardens.

Her next stop was the River Tiber, where she threw the flower into the water where Dalton gave his life, and watched it float off downstream. 

At dusk, Inspector Nico finally headed to his hotel when Wonder Woman surprised him at his car. She reported the tragic death of Christopher Dalton and the decapitated body of Louis Cesario. She learned Steve Trevor was already flying out, in person, to identify the late Diana Prince, and to take her back to the States for burial.   
“Wonder Woman, we owe you everything,” Nico praised, “But where did you vanish to, with that demonic creature?”

“I actually got the idea from you,” Diana explained, “He had plenty of fuel for his fire in the atmosphere, so I took him to a place where there was none – space.”

“Amazing, you extinguished his flame?”

“Exactly – which proves the old adage right, again - when in Rome, do as Romans do,” Wonder Woman smiled, widely.




  1. Ok great end. Just read it and appreciated of course but no time to elaborate where we can go from here. New secret identity for wonder woman ? Finish the battle against the fourth reich ? Where ? New threat ?

  2. Thanks. I made a decision to leave it open for a further sequel, while it not being totally necessary.

  3. Day after comments: great story. In my opionion you keep improving in catching the spirit of the show and marston concept. Ww in london was a good story, ww in paris was better but reading ww in rome seemed like watching the show. Many examples: diana irony (referring to serena: she just went downstairs. To her doppleganger: they prefer the real one) Admiration and respect for women bravery even if opponent. Finding strength to protect mother and son. Sentiment for partners: like andros in the show. Killing only when really necessary (mendo, but he is not a human being).Again full admiration !!!! Now some question to the Author (capital letter). Can you give us any clue about next adventure location ? Any indication about timing ? Once more: best ww fanfiction on the web. Winning factors: not porn (there is so much garbage that has nothing to do with the original diana) real spirit of the show, good personal touch / addition ...

  4. It's rewarding to know there is a reader who not only enjoys my stories, but gets it on a deeper level - and is prepared to me tell so (laughing). I aimed to capture a juxtaposition between the spirit of Marston and the later TV shows - it's so nice you even recognised WW's style of one-liners.

    In my opinion, the Rome story is easily my best work so far. In retrospect, I was finding my feet in the London story and think the first chapter was a little sleazy and silly. The Paris story was better, stylistically, but I cut an entire chapter because it didn't feature Diana, in any guise, which weakened it - Might even write it still! The Rome story was meant to be something much simpler - as in the first chapter - but I decided (partly because I was ill at the time) to go big; I wanted the adventure cinematic in scale.

    Sadly, I see the next story coming as late as October or November. In the meantime, I'm putting up a character profile page. I think I'm going to ask my readers the where and with whom questions on the blog.

    Thanks again, for your comments and interest...

  5. I enjoyed the story quite a bit but please leave out US politics.

  6. Hi, Tom, thanks for the feedback. In response, I've altered the most controversial line. I was hesitant when I wrote it. The line was meant to quickly establish the correspondent, as a character, in a satirical style, but, evidently, goes too far. These stories are meant as entertainment and I have no political agenda. I apologise for any offence caused.

  7. No offense taken. It just didn't seem to fit the story. Just like I wouldn't expect any put down of the liberals in this type of story. And I hope you take WW to someplace like Hong Kong were things could get very interesting for her.