The Medusas
The Medusas

The all-female pirate gang, the Medusas, were formed in 1934 by pilots Athena "Harpy" Jackson and Sheila "Owl" Carter. Jackson and Carter soon added a local pair, Justine "Battleaxe" Perot and her wing pilot, "Bold" Amanda Hart to their ranks.

The Medusas hit a series of small targets at first, getting more publicity than money to start, and soon acquired a reputation as a dangerous and vicious gang of criminals. Originally operating between Arixo and Colorado, they occasionally colluded with the Diamondback Gang, to whom Justine had past ties.

Over that first year, the Medusas grew from four to six to twelve, straining Athena's leadership ability. They soon seized a small cargo zeppelin and renamed it the Gorgon, greatly extending their operational range. By the group's first anniversary in 1935, the Medusas were on the verge of hitting the big time. A half-dozen more raids and hooch-runs and they might have been able to obtain a second zeppelin and attract the best of the rest of the female pirates from across the continent. Athena Jackson's big dreams were almost coming true.

Those dreams fell to earth two weeks later when she was shot down in a raid into Utah, captured, and imprisoned. In the midst of this, the Medusas split almost in half, one side wanting to try a rescue of Athena, the other writing Athena off as lost. An abortive rescue attempt by six Medusas followed. It failed, and two Medusa pilots died in the attempt. The survivors fled, furious with the other Medusas for not joining the rescue operation, and eventually scattered among other pirate gangs (notably the violent and unstable "Two-Guns Gertie" Puckett).

During the days following Athena's capture, Justine "Battleaxe" Perot took control of the gang and—after some particularly public demonstrations of her ruthlessness and cunning—the Medusas quickly fell in behind her.

As the new leader of the group, Justine faced hard times. They were down to six members, a single flight, barely enough to function. The Gorgon had only a minimal flight crew, and the other pirate bands circled to see if she was predator or prey.

Perot quickly brought in some hands for the Gorgon and embarked on a month-long raid across Texas, Louisiana and western Dixie. This proved profitable, and when the Gorgon arrived in Appalachia to off-load prize cargo they were greeted with enthusiasm.

On the return trip, the Medusas tore a strip across the I.S.A. and People's Collective. After a short leave, restocking, and picking up some new female pirates, the Medusas ran a punitive raid into Utah, bombing Salt Lake City before hitting targets in the Nation of Hollywood and finally returning to the group's original stomping grounds in Arixo.

By the start of 1937, the Medusas were a force to be reckoned with, sporting their own zeppelin and two flights of six aircraft. In early Spring, Justine received a letter from Athena "Harpy" Jackson—a letter which had been smuggled out of the Utah National Prison for Women. After reading it, Justine mobilized the Medusas and immediately headed for Utah.

In a daring smash-and-grab raid, the Medusas freed Jackson and escaped aboard the Gorgon with no casualties. Athena's return sparked new tensions within the group, as the pirate gang's former leader struggles to reassume control of her gang and "dethrone" Justine.

Shortly thereafter, they encountered members of the Fortune Hunters gang at a popular nightspot in Hawai'i. Turning on the charm, the Medusas cozied up to the Hunters and milked them for information about their visit. Nathan Zachary and Justine found each other especially compelling. Come morning, the Hunters headed out for their objective, Sir Francis Drake's lost treasure, with the Medusas tailing secretly behind.

Unfortunately, Justine underestimated Zachary and his band of pirates. Though pushovers the night before, the Fortune Hunters turned into rabid dogs when defending their claim. Two-thirds of the Medusas lost their planes, and the Gorgon was practically destroyed.

Hawai'ian paradise, indeed.