Reunited at last. Rescuing her sweet little sister had been a long and difficult journey, but Ayesha had prevailed in the end. Once the two girls had safely returned home, the next order of business was to teach Nio the ways of the family trade.
Today they were developing a special tonic. In theory, it would temporary sharpen the human senses to assist hunters and woodland adventurers in their quests. Unfortunately, Ayesha was so consumed with the joy of finally having her sister at her side that she wasn't quite as careful with her calculations as she would normally have been. When she was mixing the ingredients, neither girl at the alchemy table was aware that she was using too much of this acidic plant leaf, or too little of that alkaline herbal extract.
And then the time came to test the potion. As a caring young woman who would never risk the wellbeing of others to further her research, Ayesha always made sure she was the first one to sample her creations. In this case, this positive character trait turned out to be her ironic downfall. She raised the beaker to her lips and closed her eyes as she took a quiet, modest sip of the sweet-smelling drink.
The glass flew from Ayesha's hands and shattered across the cedar floor as her slender fingers began to spasm. A look of horror appeared on Nio's face as her elder sibling clutched her sternum and grimaced as if she were suffering from a sudden case of severe heartburn. Ayesha toppled to the ground in a cacophony of groaning and squealing, rolling from side to side as her face twisted in various expressions of misery. She raised her hands to the sides of her head, shrieking and scratching at the imaginary spiders in her hair. And then she abruptly came to rest.
Lying on her side and curled halfway into a fetal position, the barely audible sound of Ayesha's breathing was quickly overtaken by an uncontrollable giggling. Her fits of laughter were at first hysterical, and then maniacal. The noise stopped only a second before she swiftly pounced back to her feet in a display of almost superhuman agility. She then calmly stood in place as if nothing was bothering her.
Nio's terrified gaze gradually changed to confusion as she approached her sister.
"A-... are you okay, Ayesha?"
Ayesha did seem more alert than before, if nothing else. She smiled peacefully toward her understudy, with her hands politely folded over her waist, but this somehow managed to make her unnaturally wide-eyed expression seem even more eerie. Her golden hair was an unkempt mess, and her hat had wound up somewhere on the floor during her turmoil. She didn't seem to notice her lime-colored dress was starting to slip off one of her shoulders.
"Hurry, Robin! To the Batcave!"
And just like that, Ayesha frantically darted out of the antique workshop and into the sunny outside world with her arms stretched outward. Her skirts billowed from the back of her legs in a swirling rainbow, and she quivered her lips in what sounded like an attempt to mimic a high-pitched bumblebee cheerfully buzzing through the air. The bell hanging above the store's front entrance jingled softly as the door slammed behind her.
Raising an eyebrow and blinking, Nio stared in the direction her sister had made her grand exit. She then shrugged and resumed her work by herself.