Malcolm Donalbain hired Shirlee Bryant to be a spokesmodel for his new chain of health emporiums. Although she was hired as "arm candy," he suffered from severe haphephobia (the fear of being touched) so she had to strictly avoid touching him. When he met with Dr. Joanne Tumulo about some research she'd done on motor response at the University of Chicago, looking for some amelioration, she was unable to help. However, he became fascinated with a private experiment she was conducting, to allow any woman to totally fulfill her physical and mental potential, and agreed to subsidize it. When the experiment was ready, he insisted Shirlee be its "first lovely guinea pig." Dr. Tumulo had planned to use her lab assistant, Greer Nelson, as her first subject. When Dr. Tumulo threatened to cancel the experiment, Greer volunteered to secretly undergo the treatments alongside Shirlee. The experiment exceeded their expectations. Both women emerged with superhuman abilities.

Donalbain had Shirlee use her new eidetic memory to record and duplicate the doctor's equipment. He planned to eliminate the doctor and her assistant once he had his own conditioning machine. He also had further plans for Shirlee: dressed in a cat-like uniform, she was to be the first of an army of enhanced women who would carry out his orders. Although Shirlee objected to the "Hallow'een costume," as she put it, he promised her they'd see eye-to-eye after she'd finished the outfit with a studded choker. The collar was more than merely decorative. It was a "will nullifier" that reduced the wearer to a state of zombie-like obedience. Completely under Donalbain's control, Shirlee followed his orders to climb to the top level of the six-story atrium, using her uniform's claws to dig into the beams. Then he ordered her to cast her claw-hook ahead of her and use it to swing across to the other side.

Dr. Tumulo, dissatified with Shirlee's results in comparison to Greer's, had determined to end the experiment. She arrived just in time to surreptitiously observe Shirlee fall to her death. It was impossible to tell whether the equipment malfunctioned or if Shirlee's diminished condition led to her failure. However, Donalbain raved that she was an incompetent and he would create as many more prototypes as he needed. Horrified, the doctor took one of the Cat uniforms as evidence for the police and returned to her lab. After Greer listened to her mentor's recapitulation, she left for a few minutes to arrange to stay with the distraught scientist. While she was gone, Donalbain's henchmen arrived to blow up the lab. The only thing that survived was the safe containing the Cat uniform. Thinking her friend dead, Greer donned the uniform and put a stop to Donalbain's plan. Rather than let her touch him, Donalbain shot himself in the head with his own pistol.

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