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Not so Speedy. (Young Justice SI)

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by Flightless Man, Jan 5, 2021.

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  1. shakeval

    shakeval I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    whoa, hold up you damn pervert, no need to make the tentacles a sex thing, its lots of extra hands, fast climbing and manipulation of small tools or whatever, he's going to end up like a white version of 'the question', just less paranoid.
     
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  2. Flightless Man

    Flightless Man Not too sore, are you?

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    Aww, your trap caught me. I fell for the "...dude" inflection. Nice one.

    His paranoia will be more specific to the Light, Cadmus, and the League of Shadows. So less is accurate.
     
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  3. shakeval

    shakeval I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    The paranoia is well deserved, its not paranoia when they really are after you.
     
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  4. Rakaan

    Rakaan Know what you're doing yet?

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    Why is the first paragraph a god damn spoiler?
     
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  5. Flightless Man

    Flightless Man Not too sore, are you?

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    Do you mean the summary? Its the hook on the back of the book that tells you if you want to read it. Nothing in the summary is a specific spoiler. They are story long plotlines that begin to get revealed almost immediately. I am nearly done episode 4(out of about 22), and every thing in the summary has been started in the story.


    Kon's DNA being different is not a spoiler.Who his DNA is from is a spoiler. What will be done because of the change is also the spoiler.


    I want people to know the goal of the team in Season 1, since in the show they are an poorly managed covert one. In this we are being crafted as a training/first responder team. This is not the spoiler, the spoiler is what will make the team move away from the safe missions.

    I'm SI'ing into Red Arrow. But this story is really about the origin of the Question and I wanted that highlighted in the summary. I don't want anyone feeling tricked when by the end of episode 3, i'm not really bow and arrow guy anymore. I also want people interested in the Question, to know this is not about only Red Arrow.

    I was part of a multi page discussion, and nearly everyone agreed. Advertise a story correctly or people miss a story/wasted time reading one they wouldn't have.


    Or do you mean the first paragraph in Episode 2 or 3?
     
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  6. Threadmarks: Episode 4: Reactions
    Flightless Man

    Flightless Man Not too sore, are you?

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    Episode 4: Reactions

    The Team
    Mount Justice
    July 7, 2010
    7:21 PM, EDT


    “I finally got through the interference,” Robin declares. He and Kaldur, exit the elevator and rejoin the Team.

    “When did Batman say they will be finished with the hurricane?” Captain Marvel inquires eagerly.

    “It Isn’t a normal storm,” Dick explains tiredly. “When the Red Tornado and Superman arrived, someone called Mister Twister showed up.”

    “And they handed him his butt!” Wally preemptively celebrates before an elbow from Artemis stops his cheering.

    “If that was true, why did the rest of the League get called in?” Artemis asks slowly. Robin confirms her words with a grim nod.

    “He has a pair of robots who look like Red Tornado. One controls fire and the other one manipulates water.” Dick slumps into one of the offered chairs, and continues his report. “Superman took on Twister, but the lookalikes reprogrammed Red Tornado.”

    “What!” The worry in Captain Marvel’s voice, is infectious. Soon everyone is concerned about the conflict in Mexico.

    “He went rogue, and the three split up,” Robin explains with a yawn. “Mister T, delayed Superman long enough for them to wreak havoc across the country.”

    “Have they fixed Red Tornado yet?” Marvel asks with concern for his ally, plain on his face.

    “No,” Robin’s answer, does not help anyone’s mood. “Batman said they could be in Mexico for hours.”

    “Well that’s great.” Wally sums up everyone’s feelings on the matter.

    .
    .
    .

    As the time slowly ticks away, Kid Flash fidgets in his seat with increasing intensity. At first, his team can ignore this. When the irritation is nearly unbearable, the ginger speedster jumps to his feet.

    “I’m sorry, okay.” His apology, is a general one. “Roy is right.” The Team share looks of confusion at his declaration.

    “I was being a tool earlier.” Wally admits with a sigh. “The last thing he said to me, was that I wasn’t living up to this symbol.” He pats the red lightning bolt on his chest, with a sad smile.

    “I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.” He runs a hand through his short hair. “So I’m going to treat magic, like I do religion.”

    “I was a few seconds to late,” Artemis confesses. “Seeing him shield that little girl, made it hard to hate him completely.”

    “How do you think I feel?” Captain Marvel sulks. “I was supposed to handle the Condiment King.” He slams his fist against his thigh. “The League has handled him a dozen times. This was the first time he had anything dangerous.”

    “What about those green things he sent after us?” Kon asks with a shudder.

    “Some kind of golem,” Zatanna reasons confidently. “Definitely magical.”

    “Which begs the question,” Kaldur adds, with a frown. “How did he obtain his upgrades?”

    “Someone provided him with both chemical and magical assistance.” Robin concludes knowingly.







    M’gann
    Mount Justice
    July 7, 2010
    9:49 PM, EDT


    I finally find my way out of the contradicting mess, that is Roy’s mind. His memories and plans for the future, are all mixed up.

    He remembers planning out missions we could one day have, but he is completely absent from them. Was he imaging how things would go for us, if he hadn’t realized he was a clone?

    A look at his vitals on the monitor, thankfully show he has stabilized. A good think because i can’t donate another drop. I think someone is going to have to help me to the room I picked out earlier.

    I take a few minutes to steady myself. My head keeps spinning, and I feel like my limbs weigh a hundred pounds. I need to get up, and tell Captain Marvel everything.

    When I try to stand, I stumble at first. My head finally stops spinning, so I begin to make my way to the door. With my vision swimming, I focus on putting one foot in front of the other.

    After what feels like hours, the door is before me. I rest my hand on handle, and realize I am still white. A final look at Roy, shows he is still nearly as pale as me. He lost so much blood, and I have no idea how long I was in here.

    I focus on the change from white to green. it takes a few seconds to begin, slowly spreading up my arm. I haven’t struggled like this in decades.

    Once I’m confident in my appearance, I step into the corridor. Each member of the has brought an assortment of chairs from all over the cave, and settled in for the long hall.

    Wally is snoring on a yellow bean bag chair, with a dozen snack wrappers surrounding him. Kon is pacing back and forth, while Artemis is anxiously tapping her foot.

    “How is he?” Captain Marvel rushes at me as soon as I exit the room.

    “He’s going to be okay,” I reassure the crowd. I try to tell the Captain about Roy and his knowledge, but my mouth refuses to open this time.

    “And how are you?” Robin adds. “You gave a lot of blood.”

    When I keep trying to force my body to respond, my teeth begin to violently chatter. So this is why Roy couldn’t tell anyone. Good thing I have a second option.

    I begin to grow light headed, as I strain against the mental block. No matter how hard I try, I can’t open my mind to Captain Marvel.

    As I continue to push against this mental infection, my vision goes black.





    The Team
    Mount Justice
    July 8, 2010
    8:04 PM, EDT


    “Oh boy,” Robin sighs, as Captain Marvel grabs the exhausted Martian. When he takes her weight, he nearly stumbles forward.

    “Whoa,” He chuckles quietly. “She’s way heavier than she looks”.

    “And I thought you were supposed to be wise.” Zatanna teases the flustered Captain.

    “Kaldur,” I ask the weary teen. “Can you take her to her room?”

    “If Roy is going to pull through,” Artemis groans and stretches. “I’ll show you which one she picked. I need to crash.” She waves goodnight, and strides in the direction of her bed.

    “Thank you.” The Atlantean gently takes M’gann from Captain Marvel. “I too, will retire for the night.” He bids the team his own goodnight, before following her towards the living quarters.

    “You guys should go get some sleep.” Captain Marvel concludes. “I can wait up for the League.”

    “He was their when I woke up,” Kon firmly denies the offer. “I won’t leave him alone.”

    “”Then we can sit with him together,” Captain Marvel compromises.

    “I’m going to go wait for any updates.” Reasons Dick.

    “Want to see if we can find your dad, on one of the Mexican news channels?” Wally extends an olive branch to the magical girl.

    “I hear the Flash is great on camera,” She accepts the offer, and leaves with Dick and Wally. “We might catch one of his interviews.”





    Cheshire
    Infinity Island
    July ??, 2010
    ??:?? ?M, ???


    Getting called before the Demon’s Head, is never a good sign. Missions are distributed by lesser servants. Training and punishment are the normal reasons for a visit from Ras. Neither are pleasant

    No one avoids me gaze as I approach his office. So far, so good. I don’t notice an increase in guards, but that means little. The head of the Shadows, can handle me by himself if he so chooses.

    Ubu, the massive hulking guard waits outside the door. He stares me down, until I disarm. Over two dozen weapons later, and he finally allows me access to Ra's al Ghul.

    “You are blessed with entry,” Ubu whispers. “Be worthy of it.” That is ominous.

    I step past him, and glance around the room. A collection of trophies from his most deadly kills, lines the walls. Over a hundred weapons of every kind made on Earth and even a few from beyond, make up the majority of his display.

    A jade and bronze Persian rug, leads to a massive obsidian throne. On the seat fit for a king, rests the immaculately dressed immortal. He leans forward on my approach, and smiles wickedly.

    “Dearest Jade,” His words sound like honey, but will poison the soul. “I have been so pleased with how you have handled every mission, to perfection.” I drop to my knees in a deferential bow.

    “My thanks.” Oh how I hate having to prostrate myself before him like this. I wanted to be free, and I was. For three whole weeks. Once Ras sent his people after me, I was as good as caught,.

    “Our sleeper agent has proven his worth.” Which one? You have hundreds. “Now he requires a handler.” Lucky me.

    “Oh, don’t pout.” How does he always see my expression, from behind my mask? “He even recruited your little sister, from under our nose.” What does he mean! I’m only here for one reason, keep Artemis away from this life.

    “She has been moved into protective custody, along with you’re mother.” He smiles down at me with false kindness. “I need you to update our agents commands, and receive his report.

    Once you do, you will have time enough to check in on Artemis.”

    “Of course.” I have no choice but to agree.

    “You will have to pick up a scientist on the way back.” Of course, more work. “A Doctor Serling Roquette, from Star City.”

    “It will be completed to perfection.” My answer makes him smirk in delight.

    “I know.” His hard stare, ensures i will not enjoy failing this mission.





    Dick Grayson
    Mount Justice
    July 8, 2010
    12:04 AM, EDT


    “How did all three escape?” I mutter under my breath. I can’t find any trace of the Red Robots in Mexico. Its like they vanished into thin air. I know I’m not supposed to hack into satellites, but how else was I going to be useful?

    Zatanna and Wally, passed out a few hours ago on the couches. They had quickly irritated me, with the commentary they invented. They had found a Mexican news channel, with some good footage of the League in action.

    They may have been a distraction, but its better than them bickering. I was finally able to get some work done, once they nodded off. If his snoring hasn’t woken her by now, nothing will.

    I haven't found anything yet and I doubt I will tonight. I am majorly distracted. I close the program controlling the Wayne Tech satellite, and stretch.

    “May as well go see if Billy and Kon are still awake.”

    “Recognized. Green Arrow, zero eight.” The caves intercom, begins announcing League arrivals. “Recognized. Black Canary, one three.” Green arrow and Black Canary exit the Zeta tube first, at a run.

    “Ollie!” She calls 1after him, as he runs into the kitchen.

    “Stop telling me to calm down Dinah!” He barks back at her. “Roy needs me.”

    “I’m not trying to,” Her exasperation with the frantic archer, is obvious.

    “Recognized. Batman, zero two” When my own adopted father steps from the Zeta tube, He nods at me standing in the shadows. He strides towards me silently as Black Canary, continues to chase Green Arrow.

    “What are you doing Green Arrow?” He hooks into the speakers of the cave, a command disables its use in the living and medical areas of the cave thankfully. “You called off the search early to be with him.” Batman winks at me. “Why are you in the library?”

    “ARGH!” I can hear the emerald archers roar of frustration.

    “Ollie says its not his fault he never operated out of this maze of a mountain.” The snickering voice of Black Canary, comes in through our ear piece radio.

    “Status report?” Dad begins to lead me towards the medical wing, intent on wasting no more time.

    “Roy is in stable condition.” He raises an eyebrow at this. My earlier report to him, had been much worse. “M’gann was able to shift her blood type when we ran out.” Dad gives me a relieved smile.

    “Good.” His words are caring. “How is she?”

    “Asleep,” I respond, with a giggle. “She gave so much blood, she forgot her hair when she came out of the room.”

    “You did good.” He gives me an approving smile. “Only two reported fatalities from the mall.”

    “Oh...” I hate hearing about the ones we fail. “Someone upgraded Condiment Kings arsenal. He’s never had even a single successful heist, before today.”

    “Most likely,” He growls in irritation. “We’re going to be stretched thin already.” Finding Red Tornado, is a top priority for the League.

    “Want me to look into it?” I offer. “It doesn’t look like we’ll have any team missions for a while.” I need something to keep me busy.

    “Do it.” I eventually get his confirmation. “When you do, the two of us will investigate together.”

    “That will be such the aster.” He chuckles at my enthusiasm. Seriously, why does everyone say my dad is scary

    “How was everyone’s first day?” I arch my own eyebrow at him. What kind of question is that? “Besides the obvious.”

    “Kid Flash put his foot in his mouth almost instantly,” Roy was right. We aren’t ready for the League, and that’s a bitter pill to swallow.

    “We have no idea how to work as a group.” I sigh at the memory of our poor performance this afternoon.

    “It comes with time,” Dad reassures me. “You aren’t competing with me, or even each other.” He stops walking, to look my in the eyes and place a hand on my shoulder. ”You only have to be better than one person.”

    “Who,” I ask with an understanding smirk “The guy I’m fighting? “

    “Yourself yesterday.” He smiles and nods, before we continue walking.





    Oliver Queen
    Mount Justice
    July 8, 2010
    12:07 AM, EDT


    “Where the hell is the med bay?” I roar in frustration, as I find myself at yet another dead end. Retracing my steps, I find Dinah looking for me, “This cave trying to make me crazy!” I punctuate my anger, by kicking a metal door.

    “Ollie, calm down.” She tries soothing my agitation. “You’ve gone down this hallway twice already.”

    “No I haven’t,” I retort. “The hallways keep moving.” Yeah that makes more sense.

    “Yes you have.” The door I had just kicked, ‘whooshes’ open to reveal a glaring Artemis. “Now I know where the idiot gets it from.” Rubbing sleep from her eyes in her zebra stripe pyjamas, she should not be as intimidating as she is.

    “Sorry Artemis.” Dinah saves my behind, from the glaring teen girl. “Neither of us have actually been here before.”

    “Follow the red stripe on the wall, and keep it down.” Dinah gives her a look, and Artemis hesitates. “Please.”

    “Thanks,” I call behind myself, and charge towards my goal. How does Roy keep getting into these messes? “He’s going to be the death of me.” I mutter under my breath.

    “Yes.” My pretty bird rolls her eyes at this. “Worrying about Roy is going to kill you. Not one of the deadly enemies we face nearly every week?”

    When you say it like that, of course it sounds ridiculous.” I’m not sure how to make it seem rational, but that’s not my job.

    My job right now is to freak out, like a good parent. I think I’m doing a splendid job at that part. Roy has been giving me lots of practice the last three years.

    Maybe I should think of taking Dinah out for that special dinner, sooner than I was planning. If Roy is moving into the Cave, I'm going to have an empty home.








    Kon
    Mount Justice
    July 8, 2010
    12:10 AM, EDT


    “How come he’s still so pale?” Captain Marvel had said, his colour should have returned by now.

    “We still don’t know what was in the King’s chemicals,” The Captain explains, from his place checking Roy’s vitals.

    “I thought this place was supposed to be high tech.” I let out a frustrated sigh, and resume my pacing.

    When I was in the tank, all I remember is images of Superman. Words in my head telling me to kill him. Replace him. Then I was free.

    I was so angry when I was released, I couldn’t stop myself from attacking Robin, Aqualad, and Kid Flash. When Roy offered me a place with them though - right before Dubbilex interfered – my anger was gone for the first time in my short life.

    Roy felt different than the others. He felt somehow connected to me.

    When I woke up in the Hall of Justice, I felt different. The purpose I had to become Superman, was gone. I felt free, and I understood why Roy felt different.

    Roy was sitting with Superman, and the Man of Steel himself told me. We’re related. I don’t know how, maybe Roy shares DNA with my human donor.

    After the weekend at the Kent farm and now the day with the Team, I could tell the difference between strangers and relations. Ma Kent and Lois Lane, both felt like most of the team.

    Roy feels just as much a part of me as Clark, maybe even more so. The only ones who feel even close, are M’gann and her uncle. I think its because of the shape shifting.

    I stop my pacing beside Roy’s bed. I put a hand on his shoulder, and feel that connection even stronger. He better wake up soon, I need answers.





    Lex Luthor
    Cadmus Cybernetics
    July 8, 2010
    6:27 AM, AKST


    “How far along are they?” I demand of the facility chief.

    “Nearly complete sir,” He twitches at my cold, unflinching stare. “We have a prototype.” He hands me a burgundy briefcase. He had brought it into my office for his quarterly report, cradling it like a baby.

    It’s splendid having the largest room reserved for myself, even in the facilities I rarely visit. Opulence is truly for the deserving.

    The air inside the case is so cold, it fogs into a cloud as soon as i snap it open. A replica of Superman’s symbol is revealed. Its the size of a temporary tattoo children use, and looks to be made of a gel like substance.

    “It should enhance the abilities of Project Kr, to the levels of a normal Kryptonian.” The doctor explains.

    “For how long?” I need my son dependent on me after all. How else will I get him to come home. With the resources spent on him already, force will be my last resort.

    “Ten minutes is the projected length.” He shrugs in frustration. “We have a lack of suitable test subjects.”

    “Not for long.” I surprise him with the news. “Batch three has begun.” They won’t be ready in time for new years, but I will be able to assert my dominance over the rest my colleagues.

    I do not intend to share Earth with anyone, not even the Light.






    Mount Justice
    July 11, 2010
    4:19 AM, EDT


    When I open my eyes, I find myself in a dimly lit room on a hospital bed. M’gann did save me. Damn, I owe her big time.

    Glancing to my left shows a monitor with my vitals and an IV leading into my arm. The uncomfortable feeling below the blankets, lets me know I unfortunately have a catheter in. How long was I out?

    Looking to my right, shows Kon sleeping in one of three chairs. He’s in navy blue sweat pants. Fancy form fitting ones. that the girls definitely chose for him.

    His hair is in perfect condition which is not fair, I wake up with a birds nest on my head. Patting my head reveals that...someone combed my hair? That’s strangely relaxing, before I realize why.

    People actually care about Roy, not me. I thought the cancer scare last year was dealt with. I know I was a crappy person before, but I had been changing.

    I’m starting to realize, this is probably not really the DC multiverse. When I woke up a few days ago in the Hall of Justice, that must have been when I died. Which would explain why I couldn’t die again this time.

    This has to be some kind of purgatory. Several religions have one, so who knows which one I ended up in. I had been changing for the better, so this must be my final chance to do it right.

    The Young Justice world, is being used as a way for my dying mind to make sense of my judgment. It must be because the last thing I had done at work, was watch the season finale on my laptop.

    I have to say, I prefer this to the expected fires I was told purgatory had. This realization makes me pause. Do I get into whatever my good afterlife is, for stopping the Light? They are the big bad of the series after all.

    This is some kind of moral test for my soul, or I’m the only random fool who knows about the Light. Either way, I was already on the road to being a better person. I’m not going to stop now.

    The door to the room slowly opens. M’gann in her green human form, walks into the room. She’s wearing the purple and white Care Bear nightie, that we got at the mall before the chaos. Her dull red hair is in her usual stolen look.

    <I thought I could hear you stirring.> I can feel her relief at my recovery, wash over me in waves.

    <What happened with the Condiment King?> My concern for the child I had shielded, is sent without even trying.

    <Artemis took him down.> The image of Artemis dragging the King from the mall by his hair, fills me with joy. <Once his rig was taken care of, he was no problem for her.>

    <Is everyone else still here?> As much as I would love the concern, they all do have lives.

    <No,> She responds apologetically. She shares her memory of last night. Green Arrow left for the night, promising to return in the morning. Next, she shares a montage of her, Kon, and Oliver taking shifts in my room.

    <I don’t know what to say.> My gratitude I guess says it for me, based on her giggle. <Thank you for saving me.>

    <You’re welcome, but maybe we should get you a mirror.> I can feel her shame trickle out of her, despite her best effort.

    <Did something go wrong?> She refuses to answer, or look at me. <Did my face get horribly burnt or something?>

    <No! Just... wait here one second> She phases through the wall behind my head, before returning a few seconds later. She has a small make up mirror in her hand, which she holds for me to look at.

    <Oh. That’s new.> My astonishment slips out, but not the disgust she expected from me. My skin is a milky white colour now. Along with my red hair, I look very Canadian.

    <You had a side effect from my blood transfusion.> She admits with shame. I counter this be sharing me relief at being alive. This cheers her up a bit but she still feels guilty, so I change the subject.

    <What about everyone else?> I hope the team is okay.

    <Billy told Kaldur, “We have a Zeta tubes, so use them.”.> She sends the memory of the thirteen year old, instructing the Atlantean to visit his family on weekdays. We share a quiet chuckle at it, trying not to wake Kon.

    <Artemis has been visiting the cave during the day and patrolling with Black Canary most nights.> Several images of Artemis talking to Kon flash in my mind. <Her and Kon decided on names finally.>

    <What did they choose?> I’m curious if he went with Connor, or one of the other Superboy names.

    <No spoilers.> She has her mouth melt away and mimes throwing away the key. <They want to tell you.> Fair enough. Man i love the lack of miscommunication, this would make any relationship so much easier.

    <Everyone else?> The image of Wally, Robin, and Zatanna pass between us.

    <Robin’s been doing something for Batman. And Wally and Zatanna, have been at home.> I get the feeling of isolation from her. <They have only come by for training once.>

    <What about J’onn,> I ask, even though I’m pretty sure I know the answer already. <Has he been by?>

    <I told him finding Red Tornado, was more important.> Red Tornado is missing?

    <What did Captain Marvel and the League decide to do about me?> A few days has to have been enough time, for someone to have come up with a plan.

    <After the transfusion, I discovered we have an even bigger problem.> She shares her memories of each failed attempt, to reveal the information.

    <Oh, shit.> My worry combines with hers, nearly drowning us both.

    <The mental conditioning is contagious.> I’m worried what will happen if I link with uncle J’onn. I get a glimpse of her nightmare, the one that was keeping her awake. She watched herself infect the entire Team, while her Uncle did the same to the League.

    <Yeah, lets avoid that if we can.> We have just under a year, before the first victim is up for assassination. <We’re going to need to figure out a way to look into this secretly.> We don’t want this mental infection spreading any further.

    I reach out grab her hand, when a feeling of despair wells up in one of us. I misjudge how far away she is however. My hand stops a little over a foot short of her, but it decides to keep going anyway,

    From my elbow to my wrist, my very pale arm begins to extend. It happens relatively quickly, like sticking your tongue out.

    “You’re awake!” My bellow of terror at the disturbing sight - that in no way resembled anything like a shriek – wakes Kon from his trance like slumber. “I didn’t know you could do that.” He barely even reacts to my extended arm.

    “Neither did I.” He remains calm and asks. “Well do you think its was the chemicals, or M’gann’s blood?” That...is a good point.

    “It was definitely my fault.” M’gann admits to Kon, with tears beginning to well up in her eyes.

    “How can you be sure?” He asks in confusion. “He didn’t turn green.”

    “This is what i really look like.” Her whispered words precede a shift in her skin pigment. In the blink of an eye, her coloration is an ivory white even more otherworldly than my own greyish white skin.

    Her hair retracts back into her scalp leaving her bald, with and enlarged brow. Her limbs lengthen by nearly a metre, and her fingers nearly double in length. Her nose fades away, with her mouth soon following.

    “Do female Martians look different?” Kon asks, with no change to his tone at her revelation.

    “On Mars, the white Martians are treated as lesser.” She looks down at her feet in shame. “I wanted to be normal for once.”

    “Being one of the only two Martians on Earth,” I awkwardly try to explain. “I think you and the Hawk’s, are tied for rarest aliens on Earth.”

    <No one on Earth even knew about white Martians.> I share my lack of judgment about her being a white Martian, and it finally starts to sink in for her.

    “Ma said to treat everyone with respect.” Kon offers his own support. “And even if she hadn’t, your uncle is the one who undid my programming.” He shares a grateful smile with her.

    “It was a good thing they hadn’t finished the job,” M’gann chuckles. “He said he hadn’t seen such a sloppy job, since he was in the academy.”

    “Good thing Wally, Kaldur, and Robin let me out early then.” He mutters to himself, before jerking his head up. “I told Green Arrow I would call him when you woke up.”

    Once he leaves the room, I begin focusing on my arm. It doesn’t move for nearly an entire minute. But slowly my arm begins to retract. At least I don’t have to worry about getting stuck with oddly shaped limbs. Now all I have to do is test out my limitations.



    Notes:
    I hope it was clear in M'gann's PoV. She interpreted me watching the show, as me imagining what would have happened this year if i had not broken free from the mental programming. She doesn't know about the "real world". She only thinks I am very creative.

    Wally's disbelief for magic continues. But with the last thing the SI said to him being smarten up, he self evaluated while everyone was worrying. He will respect others believe in magic, but has not been faced with his own proof yet.

    The Light and agents, have begun reacting to changes. They are also moving sooner as they believe Clone Roy, is still able to be controlled.

    Cheshire appears and She is still a ruthless murderer. But she cares for Artemis. Artems is her last piece of Innocence and the only thing she has worth protecting. I am basing this off how she reacts in the season 2 kaldur brain attack episode.

    The League has been scattered across Mexico, as the 3 Red Robo's wreak havoc on the countryside.
     
  7. Stanley_Jeb

    Stanley_Jeb Not too sore, are you?

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    Did he just mess up there? He knew, after all...
     
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  8. Diraniola

    Diraniola Not too sore, are you?

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    She already knows he's a clone and was mind whammied all over the place. They both know genomorphs are extraterrestrial so she could rationalize an explanation.
     
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  9. Stanley_Jeb

    Stanley_Jeb Not too sore, are you?

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    Oh yeah, I forgot about that.
     
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  10. Threadmarks: Episode 5: Vegas Vacation
    Flightless Man

    Flightless Man Not too sore, are you?

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    Episode 5: Vegas Vacation
    Mount Justice
    July 12, 2010
    9:47 AM, EDT


    “My friend,” Aqualad greets me with the happiest expression, I have ever seen on his face.

    His joy is tangible, with how it rolls off of him in waves. “I am relieved that you are well.”

    “What put the pep in your step?” I ask, then signal for M’gann to flip the pancakes. She wants to learn how to cook, so I’m I have an easy way to start paying her back.

    Lesson one began last night, macaroni and cheese. This morning I decided she was ready for the gruelling task of flipping, when the bubbles on top of the cakes pop.

    “Yeah Kaldur,” M’gann agrees with the assessment. “You seem lighter today.” She giggles at the splat the batter makes, when it lands back in the pan.

    “Indeed I am. “Kaldur takes a moment to reflect his absent few days. “I had not realized It had been over two months, since I had returned home.” He takes a seat beside Kon, who still hasn’t told me his name.

    “Do anything interesting?” M’gann fills the pitcher full of chocolate milk, and passes it to the boys at the table.

    “Yeah, Atlantis always sounds so cool.” Billy enthusiastically adds. “Did you see any of your old friends?” Kaldur blushes at this, and looks away.

    I get a sensation of lips pressed against my own. Soon it’s accompanied by fingers on my cheek and a hand on my back. Whoa, that’s new.

    I’ve only gotten sensations when linked up with M’gann before. Did she accidentally link with him? When I share the memory with her and ask, she stops in her her flipping and blinks rapidly in shock.

    <Oh my.> She shares her own confusion at what occurred. <It looks like you got more than the stretching from my blood.>

    “I did,” He finally answer Billy. “They were very... pleased to see me.” I get another blast of emotional memory from Kaldur, as he reminisces his last few days.

    <I think I’m going to need some training with this.> I admit to M’gann, with a mental laugh. <It could be fatal in the field.>

    <We can do some practice before everyone else gets here then.> She shares a memory, one of her as a young Martian girl. It’s of her mother instructing her in how to remain yourself, when everyone’s mind is knocking on your own.

    I focus on my breathing. Quickly in and slowly out. The odd pattern I admit, does make it easier to ignore Kaldur’s joy and Billy’s youthful exuberance.

    “Thank you for reminding me,” Aqualad receives the bacon from Billy, with hunger in his eyes. “The ease with which I can commute.”

    “Recognized. Kid Flash, bee zero three.” Wally’s arrival is announced by the cave.

    “Rejoice my friends,” He blurs into the kitchen.”The West wind has returned.”He snatches a pancake from M’gann mid flip, shoving it into his mouth before she can complain.

    “Oh ma gosh babe, dese are amathing.” My reproachful look, finally gets through to him. “Sorry.” He mumbles under his breath in embarrassment at his slip.

    “Recognized. Zatanna, bee zero eight.”

    “Guess what I’ve got!“ Zatanna arrives, greeting us with an excited twirl. Non of the emotional leakage I get from the others comes from her, which is a relief.

    “Something that will finally turn off the radio, spell thing you put on me last week?” Wally asks with a little heat to his voice. “It was funny the first day, but it won’t stop turning on.” He slumps into a free seat. “I could barely get nine hours of sleep.”

    “The ‘radio’,” Zatanna air quotes her explanation. “Keeps turning on, because you keep sticking your foot in your mouth.”

    “Zatanna.” I step in, this has gone on long enough. “It’s not funny anymore. He might get distracted on a mission.”

    “Fine.” She groans with her torment of Wallace, now coming to an end.

    “tel eht lleps eb dednE.” She waves her wand, which appeared in her hand unnoticed. A faint green glow surrounds the mouth and ears of Kid Flash, before fading away to nothing.

    “Finally,” He sighs in relief.

    “I was going to give you all a ticket to my dad and I’s show tomorrow.” She hands one to everyone but Wally, keeping his just out of reach.

    “But I don’t know if Wally,” She continues to tease him. “Will enjoy it.”

    “How about a deal,” He offers a hand to her. “I come. And if can’t figure out how you do all of your tricks, I admit magic is real.”

    “Once and for all?” She demands from him, grabbing his hand.

    “For ever and always,” He glibly responds.

    “And we're all witnesses.” Robin crows in laughter beside Artemis, who is in a black and white version of her uniform from the show.

    The light green arrowhead on her chest, has been replaced with an extended tigers claw. The majority of her clothing is white Kevlar material, but it has plenty of black stripes showing her theme.

    <When did they sneak in?> I ask my brain buddy.

    <Same time as Zatanna.> M’gann answers with a giggle at my distraction. I get the memory of them following Zatanna into the dining room, at a casual walk.

    <I’m trying to make sure everyone can eat. You just need to flip.> I grab her wrist from behind, and flip the pancake that is beginning to burn.

    <Thanks.> She sighs in frustration. <This was so much easier, before everyone sat down.>

    “If we all really want to go,” He had said he needed a night off “I may as well ask Ollie for a few rooms, we can make a weekend out of it.”

    “Sounds awesome,” Agrees Artemis, who stands at the head of the table beside Kon. She may seem nonchalant, but each tap of her foot, brings a pulse of nerves.

    “Now that Roy’s awake.” Kon also stands, smiling nervously at us. His emotions are at a rolling boil, I’m getting way more from him.

    “And Kaldur is back,” She takes back over the speech, sensing his unease “We can finally tell you the names we decided on.

    “Don’t you both already have names?” Wally is definitely missing the point.

    “Not ones they can use on the street.” Zatanna stage whispers in his ear.

    “He was going to go with Connor, but that’s not really a different name.” Artemis explains. “It’s only a longer one.”

    “She suggested Christopher Kent, and I like it.” I can feel his pride, finally having something all his own.

    “So I let him pick mine,” She likes the one he chose, I can feel her relief sneaking through. “You can call me Selene Kwan.”









    Star City
    July 12, 2010
    7:25 PM, PDT

    “Vegas you say?” Oliver considers the trip. “I know a few places Dinah would love to see.” He confirms with a devious grin. “Let’s all go. it will be fun.”

    After dinner, Dinah had left to grab the newly named Selene, for patrol. Even in my own head that sounds wrong. That will be an only as required name.

    “Look what finally got finished.” He holds up an arrow with what looks like a disco ball, as the head. “Flashbang Arrows.” Oh, that could really come in handy.

    “One of these will scream out a dozen Christmas songs on repeat, all at the same time.” Is that even humane? “Strobing lights of every colour will go off for fifteen minutes, once it impacts.”

    “What does this one do?” I reach for a blue rubbery shaft, only for him to slap away my hand with a cheeky grin. He carefully unscrews the arrowhead, revealing the rubber shaft is filled with some kind pale blue of goo.

    “Extinguisher arrows.” Aw, he really does care. He’s been working on trick arrows just for me. “If they get more then twenty degrees above room temperature, they rapidly expand and burst.” He points to one arrow, marked with a yellow shaft.

    “Those have a mixture inside, that will release a saline steam.” Great for next time Killer Frost says high.

    “You really went all out with these.” It normally takes him weeks to finish a single prototype.

    “Well, I had some good motivation.” He holds up a final silver arrow. “This one, will rapidly expand into an elastic foam.” The stuff that goes hard, is way too easy for the real heavy hitters to remove.

    “Thanks, for all of this.” I mean for more than just the arrows. I get a wave of memories when he places a hand on my shoulder.

    I remember teaching Roy how to shoot a bow. Another image of the original Roy, this one of him in his uniform for the first time. One of his terror at being unable to find Roy years ago, morphs into pure relief when the clone was recovered.

    A montage of Oliver adopting the clone, fills my mind. The memories stir something in the back of my mind. For some reason, I can remember most of these memories from Roy’s perspective.

    “You know I’m always here for you.” He smiles at me in pride. “Dinah and I, are really proud of how grown up you have been the last few weeks.” I can only squirm uncomfortably at his undeserved praise. "So how far can you strech?" He changes the subject, when he senses my embarrassment at the praise.






    Las Vegas
    July 13, 2010
    6:24 PM, PST


    “You kids have fun,” Oliver grabs Dinah’s hand and tries leading her down the strip. We have the night to ourselves, after the Zatara’s show is over.

    <He’s going to propose tonight,> I share a memory with M’gann, who is looking at all the lights with Artemis. It’s the one of Ollie, excitedly showing me the black pearl ring he had gotten for Dinah.

    <Just like in episode nine.> She responds, sharing the wistfulness of her childhood.

    “You are not joining us?” Kaldur asks the couple, with a single raised eyebrow.

    “We’ve already seen a few of these shows,” Ollie winks at me. “Besides, we didn’t get tickets.”

    “I’m sure we could get a couple more for you.” Billy misses the subtext entirely. His excitement for the show, has overwhelmed his common sense.

    <Once the show is over, we can try to sneak away.> I share the truck stop from my dream. <This is going to be our best chance to look for it.> She manages to act natural when we converse, I need to look at her.

    “Dude.” Wally elbows me in the side. “I thought you said, not to be a creep.” He indicates my staring, with a frown. “You just wanted her all to yourself. Not cool.” He shakes his head at me in disappointment, before walking back over to Robin.

    Dick still won’ share his real name, so he’s got another persona tonight, Gordon. I’m really getting into coming up with names, to make him squirm.

    <Sounds good.> M’gann missed my entire exchange with Wally, thankfully. <I’ll keep an eye out for a chance for us to slip away.> I feel her mischievous smile. <I feel like a spy.>

    “Don’t wait up,” Ollie calls out his final farewell to us, with an exaggerated wave.

    “And say hi to Giovanni for us.” Dinah rolls her eyes, at Oliver’s his antics.

    “Hurry up Roy,” Billy grabs my arm, dragging me into the classically styled theatre. “We don’t want to miss anything.” I’ve never been to a magic show, and I know this one is real. It will be fun.

    .
    .
    .


    The variety of tricks displayed, are astounding. Wally gets used as a volunteer, to give him an up close look for tricks.

    Watching him get sawed in half and then turned into a girl was mildly amusing. When he was transformed into a hedgehog, it was funny. Changing him bright pink, cracked me up.

    It was when all of these were combined, I saw the real humour. The anthropomorphic, pink, female, hedgehog had my jaw drop. Literally. I’m still trying to discretely push it against my face, willing it back into position.

    “Oh ho ho.” ‘Gordon’ giggles at the farm end of the row. ‘Selene’ is beside him, followed by ‘Megan’, ‘Chris’, Billy, and finally Kaldur beside me. “Blackmail for life.” He stows his phone, after snapping proof of Wally’s transformation.

    “You better send me a copy.” Artemis playfully demands.

    <Its nice seeing her let her guard down.> I smile at the thought, while looking at M’gann to maintain my side of the conversation.

    <She’s always been like that with the rest of us,> M’gann replies, while I remember my first meeting with Artemis. <She’s going to take me and Zatanna to ‘Viva Las Gaygas’ tomorrow.>

    “He’s staring at you again Megan,” Artemis notices my gaze, and hisses in M’gann’s ear. “What did he see you naked when we were gone?” When I stiffen at her words, she frowns at me.

    My memory of M’gann in her true white Martian form, flashes through the link. So I guess technically... I have.

    “Well.” I try to deflect the inquisition. “She saw me naked too.” Yeah, great defence moron.

    M’gann also stiffens at the realization, that she has in fact seen me naked in the same manor. In some of our training to contain my newfound talent with telepathy, accidental memory sharing had shown her some embarrassing imagery of myself.

    “Oh come on Megan,” Artemis sighs in her mistaken realization. “Not you too. I thought the creep’s crush was one sided.”

    “Wally said Roy was getting awfully territorial,” ‘Gordon’ concludes. “Clearly they’re dating.” His smug pride, oozes off.

    “That must be why he was looking into things the rest of us would like to do.” Billy laughs in good humour, at my ‘trick’. “You were looking for a way to sneak off for a romantic day tomorrow.”

    <We did want a way, to do just that.> M’gann admits. <Should we just go with it for now?>

    <Only if it doesn’t bother you.> I’m already smitten with her, I can at least admit to myself. The hard part will be reminding myself it’s fake.

    <I don’t have a problem with it.> The impression of me that she shares with myself, is a lot more positive than I would have imagined. <It will make looking into Cadmus easier.>

    <Once we find a way to undo the mental programming, we can always come clean.> I offer with some reluctance. I hope my mental practice, kept that from her.

    “Is this supposed to be a part of the show?” Kaldur gratefully interrupts my roast, at the hands of my team.

    A look at the stage, reveals a large bat winged figure. He entered the theatre, by tearing his way in through the ceiling.

    His ten foot tall frame, is bone white and rippling with muscle. On his head, is a golden helmet with blood red ram horns pushing through it. Dark yellow flames - nearly brown in the wrongness the emitt – surrounds him in an aura of power.

    “AT LAST.” The being doesn’t yell, but his voice reverberates in my skull. “I HAVE FOUND YOU... GIOVANNI ZATARA.”

    “What Margoth!” Giovanni moves in front of Wally and Zatanna, shielding them from what I assume is a demon. “You need me to send you back, a third time!”

    “Get Wally and Zatanna, off the stage.” Billy orders, with no trace of his limited age. “Once you do, focus on getting the crowd out of here.

    “Understood,” I acknowledge he orders, signalling the others into action.

    “SHAZAM!” Billy’s magical scream and the following lightning, draws the attention of Margoth.

    “I was enjoying he show!” Roars Captain Marvel, as he surges towards the demon. A powerful right hook, sends the massive fiend crashing into and through the wall backstage.





    9:17 PM, PST

    “Good work on getting the crowd to safety,” Giovanni Zatara addresses the Team, with a grateful tone. “It seems this sidekick squad of yours, was a good idea.”

    “It’s great you and Captain Marvel, got rid of that thing.” Wally still in his transformed state, whines. “But can you change me back yet?”

    “What did you learn?” Giovanni prods the speedster, with a grin and a wink to his daughter.

    “Magic...is real.” Wally sighs in defeat. ‘Her’ pink quills shake with every motion made.

    “eb a namuh yob niagA.” He taps his mahogany cane, on Wally’s nose. A swirl of rainbow mist envelopes Wally.

    When it dissipates a few seconds later, Wally is again male and human. He looks down at his fur less hands, and collapses on his backside in relief.

    “Since I won’t be able to do the late show,” Giovanni offers. “How about I give you all the magical tour of Las Vegas?”

    “That sounds swell,” Captain Marvel has yet to revert back to Billy. “I’m in.”

    “I’m good,” Wally denies the offer with a chuckle. “I think I’ve had enough magic for today. I’m hitting one of the five stars.” Zatanna’s eyes boggle at this.

    “And how can you afford that?” She demands, crossing her arms and looking down at him.

    “Green Arrow,” Artemis in her White Tigress uniform, explains with a smirk.

    “Excuse me,” Interrupts Robin with “And Batman.”

    “Green Arrow and Batman,” Artemis corrects her self with a roll of her eyes. “Set up a bank account for the Team.”

    “If I expect you to treat this like a job,” It took maybe five minutes for Ollie to agree, once i laid down some logical reasoning.“I figure you should get paid like it’s one.” I nod at Wally. If negative reinforcement doesn’t work, let’s try rewarding his good behaviour.

    “Well then,” Zatanna teases Wally. “The gracious thing to do, would be to invite me.” The way her dad’s eyes burn into the speedster’s skull, has everyone take a half step backwards.

    “See I can’t,” He tries to explain, with an apologetic shrug. “I already reserved the table, for me and the boys.”

    “Were going exploring with Zatara,” Captain Marvel gestures to himself and Aqualad excitedly. “She and Artemis can take our spots.

    “Great,” Kid Flash groans after another defeat, however minor. “Zatanna, would you and Artemis please join us for dinner.” She looks at Artemis, who grins wickedly.

    “We would love to,” She grabs his and Robin’s arms, while Artemis begins dragging Chris after them.

    “Oh her dating life will be the death of me.” Giovanni clenches his heart dramatically, as he watches the five walk away laughing.

    “Sir,” The Captain interrupts the emotional magician. “Black Canary is probably right. One of the bad guys will get us, not something silly like that.”

    Kaldur looks back at M’gann and myself with a wink, before leading Marvel and Zatara away.

    “Since everyone thinks we’re on a date and we don't have to be back at the hotel until one.” I break the silence finally. “Want to go look for the truck stop?”




    Las Vegas
    July 13, 2010
    11:02 PM, PST


    “You’re sure it’s this one?” M’gann brings the bio-ship, to a cloaked hover. I can feel her doubt seeping out.

    “Eighth time is the charm,” She crinkles her nose and giggles. “Let’s find out.” I reach forward, and place my hand on her shoulder.

    We have learned since the transfusion, I can boost M’gann’s range with physical contact. Once we link up, she extends our awareness. Ignoring the barely recognizable wildlife and passing motorists, she directs the search beneath the rundown building.

    Our plan is simple. Stop at every truck stop on highway eleven and search for a large collection of mental presences. Up until now, the plan has been a bust. This time however, I can instantly sense a difference.

    <I can feel over a hundred minds down there.> Dozens of minds are beneath the surface. A bunch of them feel oddly familiar, while some feel distinctly not human.

    <Only mental communication inside.> I instruct her, as I double check my gear. I’m in my new Trickshot outfit.

    It has a copper chest plate, to draw enemy fire. Captain Marvel enchanted it for durability, it’s better than any body armour on the general market. My bracers and shin guards, are made from the same material.

    He also imbued the metal plates I had sewn inside my sleeveless, chestnut bodysuit. It will hopefully act as a kind of lamellar armour. It’s made from an insulated high tech fabric. are a dark brown.

    <Unless we find the kids.> I amend my statement. <Then we should probably talk.>

    <Got it.> I can sense her nerves, so I share my own steadiness. Thankfully the clones muscle memory is now my own, including the ability to be the calm in the storm.

    M’gann leaves the ship in float mode, and stands. Her normal outfit will stand out on a stealth mission, so I let her know to switch into something more fitting.

    Her Martian clothing, shifts into a full body black costume. It has a dark red ex across her torso. A navy blue cape comes down to her waist, and she spins.

    <What do you think?> I know she can feel my attraction, as my eyes give her the once over.

    <No complaints here.> How fake is this relationship?

    <Good.> She winks before opening the exit hatch. <Then let’s go take a look.> She lifts both of us with her telekinesis, silently delivering us beside the truck stop.

    <Keep an eye out.> I instruct my favourite Martian, as I try to figure out a way in. The door is heavy duty steel, and the walls are at least two feet thick. An extremely high tech keypad, is not my strong suit.

    <Were going to need to get the code from someone.> I sigh, letting her lift me back into the air. We wait on the roof, hoping someone will leave soon.

    .
    .
    .

    <Look at the red one.> I guide M’gann’s gaze to the horizon. With only a few vehicles passing by, we needed something to do to keep us awake. <That’s Mars.> So I decided to put my astronomy badge from Cubs, to good use.

    <Oh wow. Are all the planets different colours?> She shares her own view of Earth from her home planet. It looks kind of turquoise from Mars.

    <Most just look like stars that don’t twinkle, only a little bigger.> I explain, to her disappointment.


    .
    .
    .


    <I think that truck is pulling in.> M’gann draws my gaze to the highway.

    A red semi, indeed turns off at the truck stop. A second set of headlights, follow it off highway eleven. Before they make it to the building, the door below us slams open.

    Instead of the three men from my dream, a squad of armed thugs emerge. Once the semi passes them, they open fire on the second vehicle.

    <Get the driver of the semi.> Instructing M’gann on her role, I draw my new pair of repeating hand crossbows. It’s too hard drawing a bow in confined areas, so I added them to my arsenal. <I’ll deal with the welcoming party.>

    I jump from the roof, firing a quick volley of Ollie’s new gum arrows. Each one strikes true, expanding rapidly. This leaves the part animal goons, easily restrained.

    As I check them over and disarm the lot of them, the second vehicle carefully pulls to a stop. Its a standard limo, but the lack of visible damage is odd. It got hit quite a few times, but it looks brand new.

    “And what are you doing so far from the city?” Giovanni Zatara, steps from the drivers side door with a frown.

    “You had best not have left the lovely date of yours,” He shakes his head in disappointment “Alone in the city of sin.”

    “He didn’t,” M’gann floats the unconscious driver towards us. “How did you find this place?” She asks for the both of us.

    “I should be the one asking that question.” The magician counters, with a raised eyebrow.

    “Roy was showing me the stars.” M’gann quickly covers for us.

    “You can’t see them in the city.” I add, sharing a mental wink with her. “Too many lights.”

    “When we flew over this place.” My date takes over the explanation again. “I sensed what feels like a village beneath the ground.”

    “I see.” His eyes dart between the two of us, searching for any hint of deception.

    When he fails to find even a twitch from either of us, he relents in his examination. The benefits of her being a shape shifter and myself having learned some manner of control, over a very elastic body.

    “Let’s get the child out of the back.” Giovanni remembers the reason, he pursued the vehicle in the first place. I hope he’s ready for things to get a whole lot worse.

    M’gann leads us over to the semi. I move to open the hatch, when she admits she doesn’t know how. It’s nice having someone to count on, to catch our slip ups.

    “Oh my.” Giovanni’s gasps in shock at the contents inside. His control slips for a second, sharing a blast of his disgust. I would not be handling this so well, if I hadn’t had days to consider this.

    “Can you disguise the truck?” He gathers himself quickly and nods. “While we check the building for more.”

    “.eb enog morf thgiS” The magician waves his staff, sending a spray of shadows at the vehicle. They wrap around the truck and dissipate, leaving only an empty parking spot behind.

    “Should we call this in?” M’gann asks Zatara, who shakes his head in the negative.

    “By now the Captain, has rejoined the rest of your team.” He shares a hard look with me. “You two are already here, and have shown maturity.” He gives a grim smile. “I thank you for keeping her safe earlier, but Zatanna does not need to be involved in this.”

    “I got the password,” M’gann informs our chaperone.

    “Good, now lets get to the bottom of this.” He strides towards the building, with anger in each step.

    <You ready for this?> I ask my date, as she inputs the code for the door. She feels less anxious now. having taken one guard out, gave her confidence in herself.

    <Of course.> She pulls open the door, revealing an empty room with a single elevator. We cautiously approach, stepping inside. Only four buttons are on the panel, one for this floor.

    “I will handle the bottom floor,” Giovanni instructs firmly. “While you begin with the top. We shall meet in the middle.” Logical plan, I approve.

    “Got it.” I prep one of my Christmas arrows and nod to my partner.

    “Good luck.” He bids us farewell, as the pair of us step out into the long winding corridor.

    It leads M’gann and myself to an enormous room, larger than a football field. Rows of glass cylinders, line a dozen shelves. Each one has a human male inside, each in a different stage of growth.

    “They feel a little bit like you.” M’gann peers inside on of the tanks, gazing at the human. “They look like you too.” I check the next one, and see a ten year old Roy.

    “Look for the original,” I instruct. A feeling of dread battles with my relief. Everyone will know my status soon. For good, or for ill.

    <Are you okay.> M’gann grabs my hand as I start to tremble.

    <Yeah, I just need a minute.> I squeeze her hand, and share my gratitude at her presence.

    Checking the rows, leads us to the creation vat. In a what looks like a giant hot tub filled with boiling green goo, is dozens of infants being grown.

    The device powering this atrocity, is a glowing red ruby. Before I have time to think, I grab the jewel and yank it free.

    The glow fades from the ruby and pool, followed by the rows of tanks. As each one goes dark, sparks erupt from them. The fluid inside ignites, spreading an inferno of green flame. When they all burst in a pressurized explosion, M’gann and I are thrown in opposite directions.

    <Roy!> She calls for me in a panic, as i climb back to my feet. Her overwhelming terror floods my mind. Looking for her, I see one tank has yet to explode. Inside I can see a one armed me.

    <Help!> M’gann calls out for me again. As the flames spread, I am left with a horrible choice. Do I save M’gann first, or try to get the original Roy out?




    Cadmus Alchemical Branch
    July 14, 2010
    12:58 AM, PST


    “Thank you Oliver.” I remove all five of my new fire suppression arrows and look for the downed Martian. As I struggle to contain my own panic at the flames licking at my back, I get a wave of M’gann’s unbridled terror.

    It’s worse than I realized from my viewing of the cartoon. The sight of the flames, sinks into my brain. The sensations of burning alive and choking to death, fill me simultaneously.

    Forcing my shaking body to stay on my feet, I focus on Ollie’s technique for focus. Choose a goal and move towards it, never away. If I get her away from the fire, I will be able to think clearly again.

    <I’m coming.> She doesn’t respond to my words, so I force myself forward. Finding her shaking in fear on the ground, I push off of the ground. My legs extend quickly, sending me over the emerald blaze between us.

    As I drop on top of her and shield her from the blaze, one of the arrows bursts. It showers the two of us and the surrounding area, in a cool grey foam. Four left, I groan in realization.

    With the flames pushed back for now, I lift M’gann on my back. She grips tightly around my neck, sending short lived relief at my presence. It doesn’t last long, as soon the flames are roaring in our faces again.

    <Focus on me.> I try to reach her, to no avail. I focus on the memory of learning to ski. How cold it was, as the snow came down in golf ball sized flakes.

    It doesn’t suddenly fix her pyrophobia, but it calms her down enough that I can think a little more clearly. Get M’gann to the elevator, and then grab Roy.

    I move at a brisk pace, avoiding the largest portions of the inferno. Being forced to use a second arrow, to clear a path through the wall of fire has me cursing.

    <I’ll be right back.> I reassure my whimpering partner, before rushing back into the green flames. I need to use a third arrow, to stem a river of flaming goo.

    I reach the tank containing Roy, and look for a way to open it. As the heat rises, my final two arrows burst in my crossbow.

    Covered in the frothy gel again, I frantically hammer on the keyboard. With green fire melting the soles of my boots, I change tactics.

    I fire an arrow into the glass, barely scratching it. Growing desperate, I begin to pound on the glass to no avail. Ignoring the heat on my legs, I refuse to leave him. M’gann has other plans however.

    I struggle in futility, against her pulling me into the air. Above the jade blaze she yanks me backwards. Just in time to avoid being engulfed in the ball of flame, that ignites from Roy’s tank of flammable fluid.

    The force of the blast, sends me rocketing across the room. Crashing into the wall with a groan of pain. I collapse on the floor.

    Struggling to regain my breath, I feel M’gann grab me by the shoulders. She pulls me inside the elevator and slams the doors shut.

    <We need to warn Giovanni.> I focus on my breathing, and try to get to my feet. <before the fire spreads.> M’gann agrees with a shudder and a feeling of dread.

    <Agreed.> She sighs, while I reach for the button to the next floor.

    Once we catch our breath, we open the doors and exit the shaft.

    Inside the room is no Giovanni, but some of the smaller Genomorphs are present. Maybe a dozen of them are implanting commands in the missing children. Or what became of them at least.

    Sitting motionless, is a herd of Minotaur calves. Perched above above them is a flock of Harpy children. In a cauldron across the room, is the source of the transformations.

    Five children are being subjected to what looks like a very painful transformation. The concoction inside the cauldron, is being drip fed to the mesmerized children.

    <This one, is grateful you came.> Arenay leaps from the horn of a calf, approaching us with the grace of a frog. I’m not sure how I can recognize her, but I do.

    <I make a deal, I keep my end.> I send my expectation of them to do the same.

    <This one, understands.> She nods and shares her own feeling of relief. <This one, brings a warning.> A flash of the one keeping the children entranced, gets transmitted to me. The hypnotist is here, only invisible.

    M’gann finds him first, trying to sneak past us to the elevator. She points this out to me with a thought. This allows me to strike the hypnotist square in the face, dropping his invisibility as I do.

    <M’gann, can you and the Genomorphs get the kids topside?> She confirms this with a serious nod, when I share my own intent to go deeper still. <Lead the kids for her, and wait on the bio-ship.> I instruct Arenay next, who agrees with a feeling of grateful acceptance.

    <Be careful.> M’gann shares the sensation of a hug, which I return.

    <You too.> As I reenter the elevator shaft, I drag the fancily dressed hypnotist with me. Maybe Giovanni knows who he is.

    I descend quickly, and draw my compound bow. The fire retardant, has rendered my pair of crossbows useless for now. I understand why Ollie sticks with a bow, it’s way easier to maintain.

    When the doors open, I take a peek inside the room. Giovanni is trading spells with a purple haired sorceress, clad in a green dress.

    My arrival does not go unnoticed. A blast of golden energy strikes the ground, as I roll beneath it.

    “Getting slow in your old age Zatara?” The scantily clad sorceress taunts. “You needed some young blood to keep up with me I see.” Giovanni spares me a glance, before pressing forward with fresh determination.

    “If I’m getting old.” He bats aside a green bolt of lightning and laughs “You’re downright historic.” A trio of spells collide with her, sending her tumbling to the ground.

    “Oh your little girl will pay for that, when I finish with you.” She floats into the air, wiping a trail of blood from her nose. Her eyes glow amber, while the ground beneath her begins to bubble and boil.

    “I was going to save my baby as a surprise for Wonder Woman,” The witch cackles in glee. “But you shouldn’t spoil his appetite.”

    Emerging from the now liquid floor, is a massive serpentine head. Soon it is followed by a second, then a third. When I realize it is a red and blue Hydra rising from wherever it is being summoned from, I fire the most effective barrage I have.

    Explosions impact the three heads, blowing chunks off of them. Taser arrows impact the insides of the roaring mouths’, they arc with high voltage for several seconds. My finally volley, is the fast expanding plaster arrows.

    The eight trick arrows, strike the base of the Hydra’s necks. Some manage to pass through the portal, sealing it from the other side.

    “Don’t remove the heads!” Zatara warns me unnecessarily. “Circe has summoned a Hydra from Cnidaria!” I know my great history well enough to get a B, but I have no idea where that is.

    “Trauma to the brain should work!” I yell back at him, as he swats another of Circe’s spells away from me. I send a Christmas arrow at the eye of one the three heads.

    It impales the eye with a spray of blood, before the flash bang begins. It drives the head mad, from the light and sound. It thrashes wildly, distracting the other two heads for long enough for my to try something stupid.

    I charge forward, leaping onto the least damaged head. I shove the arrows I have in each hand, deep into the skull.

    Once i am secure in my grip, I stretch my legs around the neck and squeeze. It tries to shake me, but I keep applying pressure until its thrashing begins to slow.

    “Get off my baby!” Circe shrieks at me. A spell hits me in the back, but crackles and fades against my copper armour. Before she can try again, Zatara catches her with an incantation.

    She is struck by a wave of magical force, sending her tumbling to the ground.

    Giovanni sends out a tornado of stained glass shards, before directing it towards her Hydra. It rips through each neck in a moment, leaving a gap in the portal.

    Circe frantically looks around the room in a panic, before deciding to flee.

    “We shall have to do this again one day soon.” Circe blows a kiss Giovanni’s way and dives into the portal, as it closes behind her.

    Once she is gone and I am left alone with Giovanni, I can finally begin to comprehend how many versions of myself I killed. I'm the reason the real Roy is dead.




    Mount Justice
    July 14, 2010
    8:41 AM, EDT


    <How did the meeting with Batman go?> M’gann shares her concern, as I enter the bio-ship. A warm feeling of greeting from the living ship, brushes against my mind.

    <I’m on probation for the rest of the summer.> My frustration and guilt leaks out, as I share the memory.

    You left the Team with no idea of your location.” Batman growls in disappointment. “The very thing you rightfully called Robin out on.”

    I did.” I have no excuse for my actions. Its my fault the lab was destroyed after all. I’m the one who blanked, grabbing the shiny rock before realizing what I was doing.

    The magical nature of the fire, has destroyed any data we may have obtained.” I twitch, as he stares me down across the table.

    Any luck on turning the kids back?” I try to focus on the good I actually accomplished.

    None so far.” Batman sits back in his chair, examining my reaction. “Circe has had a lot of practice over the years.”

    Since you failed to meet your own expectations for leadership.” He sighs at me. “You will be removed from the position, pending an evaluation at the end of the summer.”

    <So he is instituting the rotating leadership for the summer?> M’gann clarifies. She shares her feeling of nervousness, at leading the Team.

    <Yeah. My recent accident, may be interfering with my ability to lead.> I could feel Bruce’s suspicion the entire meeting. We need to get these Genomorphs to Dubbilex and fast. <He gave me the rest of the day off, to get head straightened out.>

    <This one, will lead you.> Arenay the leader of the G-gnomes, offers from her place on the ‘dashboard’ f the bio-ship.

    A wave of images, enters our minds’. A mountain, next a cave, then finally a colony of Genomorphs is revealed. Arenay just points to the south and resumes ignoring us. As M’gann steers the ship out of the cave, Arenay re-positions her finger like a psychic compass.

    <Well I’m glad you saved me.> She sends a pulse of her relief my way, though it only assuages my guilt a little bit.

    <You shouldn’t have needed me to.> I share the sensation of needing to have the Ruby in my hand. The overwhelming desire, was unavoidable.

    <I felt it too, I just wasn’t as fast grabbing it.> That finally puts a smile on my face. I settle into my seat, linking into the ship’s three hundred and sixty degree vision.

    .
    .
    .

    <This one, has declared our arrival.> Arenay leaps to my shoulder. <That one, should go inside now.>

    <Lets leave the ship outside.> I don’t like the idea of bring a psychic ship, directly to the stranded species. She confirms my message, by leaving the ship floating at treetop height.

    M’gann floats us down to the forest floor. The twenty or so G-gnomes are greatly enjoying the sensation of flight. I know I caught Arenay flapping, like one of the birds she saw migrating.

    <You actually kept your word.> Dubbilex has emerged from one of the caves, a trio of the big G-trolls are keeping him safe. <I am as pleased, as I am surprised.> I get a very long montage, of every human Dubbilex had met before me. Every deal before mine, was broken.

    <As we agreed.> I respond with irritation.

    His eyes glow and his horns light up shortly after. Another one of the knots in my brain untangles.<You will no longer kill your first target.> I feel...lighter.

    <Who was it?> I need to know. Who was important enough?

    <The one you call Oliver Queen.> Dubbilex shares the goal of me inheriting the company and wealth. A few months after I would have turned eighteen, I would have killed him.

    I want to focus on that, but it makes sense. I would have been able to pull it off as an accident or sickness easily. Having another one of the countries wealthiest names working for them, would really help the Light.

    <I hope to see you again soon.> Dubbilex and his people step into the cave and a shimmer of violet light appears briefly. <With more of our people.> I feel my vision begin to blur painfully, as the Genomorphs distort.

    <Enough!> M’gann stops whatever Dubbilex was attempting, an aura of rage around her. <I helped you, without being party to his deal.> She bears hear considerable presence down on Dubbilex, who can barely stand.

    <You will end the commands.> M’gann is visibly glowing and her power is still rising. Dubbilex can barely stand under the pressure. <You placed on him!>

    <Not yet...We have...> Dubbilex’s horns glow, as do the little stubby horns of the G-gnomes. Dubbilex manages to right himself finally, as the pressure on him is held back. <A Deal!>

    A wave of his hand, sends me through the air and crashing into a tree. I smash through the branches on my way to the ground, groaning with each impact. When I finally slam into the hard dirt, the familiar feeling of blackness claims me.

    .
    .
    .

    I regain awareness back on the bio-ship with M’gann. No memory of the earlier location remains in my mind. The pond we are now floating over, is miles away from any caves.

    <We need to get back to the cave.> I groan at my pounding headache.

    <I can undo the commands.> M’gann is angry. Finally having a face for her mental infection, has given her a shot of adrenaline. <I saw how he did it.>

    <What!> I flood her with excitement.

    <It will take some time, but I can see which thread to start untangling.> She explains to my relief. <I should only need a few hours for each one.> That may be difficult to arrange. Everyone at the cave, will want to know what Batman said.

    <We can go to Star City and tell Oliver we want to look at the campus tomorrow.> Dinah and him, should be distracted by each other long enough. M’gann and I, can slip away to make some progress on this.

    .
    .
    .

    Star City
    July 15, 2010
    2:29 AM, PDT


    When I feel a sharp pain in my spine, I snap my eyes open. M’gann and I, are sitting cross legged on my bed. The lights are off, and M’gann is still in the trance.

    <Stop thinking so much,> She orders, unaware of the danger.

    “Oh isn’t this adorable.” I hear a woman whisper into my ear, applying more pressure to her blade. “The lovebirds are doing some kind of weird, alien sex thing.”

    <We got company.> I inform M’gann and give her access to my own hearing.

    “Iv ya wann do yoin in.” I try and play things cool for now, but my mouth is struggling to form words.

    “I do like red heads.” She purrs seductively. “But I have one more stop to make after this.”

    “Our boss is very pleased, with the progress you have made.” She pushes the blade in deeper, nearly touching the bone now. “So let’s see what useful information you have.” I hear the sound of her snapping something in her free hand.

    “Whoops,” She giggles savagely. “I seem to have a Broken Arrow in my hand.”

    ,
    ,
    ,

    When my attacker feels enough time has passed, she removes her knife tip from my back. She wipes it clean on my back, and sheaths the blade.

    “Report.” She demands dispassionately. Clearly she thinks it worked and i have no personality left to play with.

    <Now!.> I send to M’gann, as I try slamming my head backwards. I fail as my body locks up, sending me to the floor.

    M’gann tosses the intruder away from me, with a wave of her hand. I try getting to my own feet to aid her, only to find my body unresponsive.

    “Well, this is a surprise.” the revealed Cheshire picks herself off the floor. “Time to grab my scientist and report the bad news.” She tosses a smoke bomb and throws herself from my eighth story window.

    M’gann is torn on what to do. Her concern for my paralyzed form is touching, but Cheshire is getting away.

    <Worry about me, after you save the scientist.> I instruct, <Get Oliver and stop her.>

    <On it.> M’gann exits my room in a hurry, her clothes already changing to her mission outfit.

    .
    .
    .

    Lying on the floor immobile for who knows how long, is not fun. I had lots of time to worry about the information soon to be revealed. What if the League thinks I killed Roy on purpose? As I lose my self to my worries, my door opens.

    “Do we need to have a talk, about you sneaking girls into your room?” Dinah walks in, her uniform on and torn. I hope that her teasing, means success.




    Notes:
    My costume, is basically a copper version of Guardians gold armour, over a reddish/brown version of Red Arrows uniform.

    I hope people liked how Wally first learned respect, then grudging acceptance for magic. One more step remains in his magic is real journey.

    My specific talent with telepathy, begins to show itself. Memories and Emotions in particular.
     
  11. shakeval

    shakeval I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    "you're not my real mom"
     
  12. Tbryan

    Tbryan Making the rounds.

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    I think Thea Kwan would fit better.
     
  13. Flightless Man

    Flightless Man Not too sore, are you?

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    Haha, i love it.

    Oh that would have been a good choice also. I went with Selene, because she is one of the two other greek goddesses who is merged with Artemis in many areas. Kon seemed like he would have chosen some historic reason.
     
    Prince Charon likes this.
  14. Threadmarks: Episode 6: Escort Missions Suck
    Flightless Man

    Flightless Man Not too sore, are you?

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    Episode 6: Escort Missions Suck
    Mount Justice
    July 15, 2010
    11:41 AM, PST


    “While we wait for news on Doctor Roquette’s rescue,” I inform the Team. “I need to inform everyone, I have been placed on probation.” I get varied responses from everyone assembled.

    “Busted!” Robin crows out at me.

    “Each week one of you will be team leader, until everyone has had a turn.” I ignore Dick, focusing on the explanation. “Team leader will set training and lead in the field.”

    “Unless a bad guy shows up,” Captain Marvel adds. “Then I’m in charge.”

    “Yeah and you can veto any decision the rest of the time.” He grins at his now firmly established place as our supervisor.

    “How are you choosing?” Artemis is very interested.

    “This will be decided on a contest set by the previous weeks leader.” I smirk at the now nervous teens. “Which this week... is me.” I let everyone stew for a minute, before I finally reveal my plan.

    “Two teams, each with a leader.” M’gann turns on the wall display at my mental signal, showing the woods above us.

    “One team gets a thirty minute head start and has to keep Billy safe from the ‘Kidnappers’.” I point at Billy and wink. “Escort him to M’gann and the invisible bio-ship, for extraction.”

    “He’s going to act like your normal everyday rich kid, so he will slow you down.” Groans from everyone but Billy, greet this statement with excitement.

    “An escort mission,” Kid Flash groans. “No one likes those, they take forever.” Which makes my smirk grow. My last real chance to screw with everyone for a couple months, will be taken advantage of.

    “Second team has to find and retrieve the ‘Kidnapped’ Billy from the first Team., before bring him back to me in the base.” I mark the boundaries of the contest, on the wall display. “After three hours or success from one side, we have lunch and switch.”

    “Robin since rotating was your idea,” I single him out, from his place between Superboy and Zatanna. “You get to be one leader.” He lets out a smug grin hearing this.

    “Zatanna,” I address the magician. “You need a code name still.”

    “It took a few days,” Zatanna explains “But I settled on Tuxedo Mask.”

    “tup no ym lacigam lrig ksaM.” She stands and waves her wand, causing a golden glow to form on her face. It quickly fades revealing a pure white domino mask. It comes with a fancy black and silver lace border.

    “What about you Chris?” I ask my ‘cousin’. “Have you selected a field uniform?” Kon sighs and pulls off his black tee shirt, revealing a reverse of Superman’s own uniform.

    A red one piece suit with a blue cape tucked into his pants, is on display. The S, is lowercase and yellow on a shield of red. His blue boots finish the look. Kon looks pleased with his symbol, if not the tights.

    “I had to put my foot down on the speedo he wanted me to wear over this.” Superboy tosses his jeans behind the couch, showing the solid red body suit only has a blue utility belt to break the colour up.

    “You could just wear the speedo then.” Artemis mutters under her White Tigress cowl.

    “I wouldn’t complain.” The newly named Tuxedo Mask, agrees with a grin.

    “Any takers for leader of B team?” I see only Artemis and Wally are volunteering.

    “Since I owe you one for saving my life, White Tigress is second captain.” I choose before any bickering can develop.

    “Flip a coin for first draft.” I’m going to monitor everyone over the radios and track you all on here.” I gesture to the map, which has a blinking light for each of them.

    .
    .
    .

    1:06 PM, PST

    “We can’t outrun them,” I can hear White Tigress reason. “They have Kid Flash.”

    “I can hear him running zigzags across the mountain,” Superboy growls in irritation.

    “So we let him find the wrong Billy.” Artemis hisses back. “Mask, can you make yourself and Billy look like each other?”

    “Easy as it is to rile Wally up.” Zatanna confirms.

    “I’m going to bring Mask and draw them off you.” Artemis is really getting into this, and is communicating way better then I expected. “Listen for the ship and haul ass.”

    .
    .
    .

    1:17 PM, PST

    “I found Tigress trying to sneak along the creek with Billy.” Kid Flash informs his squad. “Superboy and Tuxedo Mask are trying to find the ship at least half a mile away from her.”

    “Rookie mistake splitting up.” Robin begins to giggle. “I’m going to rendezvous on you and we can ambush Tigress.”

    “I’ll keep her busy while you run Billy back.” Robin instructs, clearly tasting his victory. “Aqualad, delay the others when they try to interfere.”

    “Understood.” Kaldur confirms his involvement in the plan.

    .
    .
    .

    1:26 PM, PST

    “What do you mean we don’t win?” Wally is getting worked up. “I brought you Billy didn’t I.”

    “No but thanks for the lift back,” ‘Billy’ answers Kid Flash in Zatanna’s voice, which nearly has him drop her in shock. “Hiking in heels wasn’t my smartest decision.”

    “Kid Flash!” Robin’s voice comes in over Wally and my own left ear piece. “It’s a trick, get back out here!”

    <Kon and Billy are on board the bio-ship,> M’gann informs me with a glance from her eyes. I can see Superboy and Billy cheering in excitement.

    “Come in for lunch.” I press my right and left earpieces. “Robin your team has to beat an hour and twenty six minutes after we eat.”

    .
    .
    .

    1:49 PM, PST

    “Did they have an idea who snuck in on you?” Kon asks, while we all devour the spaghetti I had made while watching the contest.

    “It was Cheshire... my sister.” Artemis answers with a glare my way. I’m not sure if it’s for having M’gann in my room, or her sister.

    Artemis chose to bleach her hair, instead of my suggestion of dying it black. Maybe that’s why she’s mad at me this time, who knows.

    .
    .
    .

    4:51 PM, PST

    “I’m calling it,” I declare to both teams over the radio. “Artemis and beta team win. Congratulations.”

    “I told you bird boy,” Artemis teases Robin, who is being a good sport over his defeat. “Cats eats birds.”

    “Get your behinds in here.” I instruct, dinners in the oven and will be ready by seven thirty. “Our winner and new captain can pick the first movie.”

    After pitting everyone against each other all day, cooling off with a movie night will be good.


    .
    .
    .

    6:25 PM, PST

    “His mouth movement is all wrong for the words.” M’gann finds the bad dubbing hilarious. The martial arts movie selected by Artemis, has horrible acting but incredible fight scenes.

    “The joy of the VHS era.” Wally grins from his bean bag chair in front of the coffee table. “More bad movies on tape, then good ones on DVD.”

    “’Rocky Horror Picture Show’ next,” Zatanna sighs. Her and Kon have found this movie to be an incredible bore so far. “I need something with music to wake me up.”

    “I dunno, I heard it’s kind of weird.” Wally isn’t convinced.

    “I was Dr. Frankenfurter in school.” I admit with a grin. M’gann shares the shocked look of Zatanna, when I share the memory of me in costume.

    “You in a corset?” Artemis has bent over laughing at the image.

    “Okay,” Wally agrees with the team. “I’m sold.” I withstand the laughs, in good humour.

    “Chris can choose the last movie.” Decides once she catches her breath. “You need some interests of your own.” Artemis jabs him in the rib, from beside him on the other couch. He awkwardly fails to react, and she holds her finger up in pain.

    .
    .
    .

    9:14 PM, PST

    “Recognized. Batman, A zero two.” The cave loudspeaker interrupts the movie.

    “Team.” He strides towards us, wasting no time. “When we recovered doctor Roquette, but need a fortified location to keep her for now.” All of us have lined up at attention, even if everyone but Robin is in sleep wear.

    “Doctor Morrow has decided to interfere.” Batman fills us in as quickly as he can. “A Red Tornado look alike with volcanic powers, has engaged the League.”

    “Green Arrow and Black Canary will be delivering your assignment soon.” He finishes with a nod to Captain Marvel, and heads to the field himself.

    “You heard Batman,” Artemis is quick to give orders. “Get geared up, and we’re locking this cave down.”





    Mount Justice
    July 15, 2010
    9:41 PM, PST


    “You’re getting kids to protect me?” The disbelief is clear in doctor Serling Roquette’s voice.

    “And Captain Marvel, yes.” Black Canary adds, while applying a burn salve to Green Arrow’s shoulder.

    “This is the most secure base the League has,” He grins at Serling. “All you have to do, is finish this fancy nano-tech of yours.”

    “Yeah we can keep you safe until then.” Captain Marvel comforts the shaking scientist. “I’m sorry we had to take you away from your lab.” He awkwardly rubs the back of his head.

    “Are you kidding?” Serling looks up with a gleam in her eyes. “My lab is like an easy bake oven compared to this place.” She gives Captain Marvel a very appreciative smile, which has me and Ollie share a smirk.

    “Well that’s swell.” Marvel is grinning in relief. “Tigress was worried you had to hide out here for a long time.” Artemis growls at this admission.

    “I’m worried about her finishing, before a killer robot attacks.” Artemis narrows her eyes at Serling. “You’re sure you can reprogram it?”

    “With the lab here, I can be done in two days.” Serling confirms with a smirk. “Few could do it faster.”

    “Tuxedo Mask, Superboy, and Aquald are with me on first watch.” Captain Marvel decides. “Everyone else grab some shut eye.”

    <We can get some more work done on unravelling your commands.> I get a wave of determination from M’gann. <I almost had the next one finished.>

    “In that case, wake me at three.” Oliver yawns out a goodnight, heading for the stairs.

    “Do you know which way to go?” Dinah teases him.

    <May as well let them use your room.> M’gann shares her embarrassment at already being found in my room this morning. <Everyone has already been gossiping.>

    <You sure?> I give her a hand, pulling her off the couch.

    <I just want to be able to tell everyone about the commands.> I get a wave of loneliness from her. <The sooner I can undo this programming, the better.>

    “Take my room,” I offer to the pair. “We’re going to try finishing the memory exchange.” Attempting to head off the teasing, I offer a possible explanation.

    “Ooh,” Wally taunts, as he also heads for bed. “I bet you’re exchanging memories.”

    “I only know about humans from the recordings of ‘Hello Megan’, that my uncle J’onn sent to Mars.” M’gann works with my white lie. “We’re sharing our childhoods.”

    “See, not everything he does is creepy,” Kon counters something Artemis had told him earlier. He has my back... kind of.

    “I guess,” She tiredly replies. “See you in the morning.”

    .
    .
    .

    Mount Justice
    July 16, 2010
    1:02 AM, PST


    <Almost got it,> M’gann keeps repeating to herself, as I feel another knot in my brain start to loosen. The command to kill Bruce Wayne, was easy for her to remove. Now she is close to unraveling my final target.

    I still won’t be able to tell the Team yet, but I won’t be leaving anymore bodies behind me now.

    <Aha!> She crow in jubilant victory. My brain relaxes, as my instructions to kill have been removed. A few more sessions, and she should figure out how to undo the rest of my programming.

    Leaning forward, I grab her in a fierce bear hug and sob in relief. She squirms for a minute, before properly embracing me back. As she strokes my hair, she soothes my nerves by sharing her most treasured memories.

    Feelings of love for and from her family, fill me with warmth. I experience her memories of childhood. Her mother showing her how to grow glow in the dark lichen and one of her oldest brother teaching her to fly.

    I get to watch ‘Hello Megan’, through her eyes the first time she saw it. I get memories of her father and her, painting rocks with intricate designs for some Martian holiday. It goes on for a while, long enough for me to start falling asleep in her arms.

    <I will wake you for your turn watching the doctor, at six,> She assures me, as I finally have a good sleep.

    .
    .
    .

    Mount Justice
    July 17, 2010
    6:25 AM, PST


    “Was she up all night again?” I gesture to a still working Serling.

    “I’ve pulled an all nighter before.” She grumpily waves me away. “Besides, I have real motivation to get this finished.” I guess assassins and killer robots, would light a fire under me too.

    “Tigress said make breakfast when you wake up,” Robin shoos me away, intent on watching a true master work. “I’m on bodyguard duty.” Easier for me, I don’t understand a single thing she’s doing.

    “No she didn’t,” Serling questions Robin, who I can hear giggling at me.

    “Trust me,” Robin stage whispers. “Keep Trickshot away from all electronics.”

    “Tell Kid Flash he’s on clean up then.” I choose to ignore the deception, getting started on feeding my growing army instead. When I enter the kitchen, I find Black Canary nursing a cup of coffee.

    “I can’t wait till she’s done,” Dinah sighs. I don’t get a chance to respond, as a large crash from the floor above draws my attention. Dinah shares a glance with me and we take off running.

    “Kid Flash, get beside Serling. Now!” Artemis orders over our earpieces. “Anyone besides one of us comes in that room and you start running her around the cave.”

    “You heard her,” Captain Marvel agrees with the command. “Everyone else group up, we have intruders to find.”

    “I thought the League took care of Red Volcano?” Kon growls at having his home invaded.

    “They did,” Confirms Robin with his serious voice. “We need to find out who this is.” A second echoing crash echoes from the sea access room, followed by a massive splash.

    “Aqualad and I will check that one out.” Oliver adds his voice to the growing cacophony.

    “Trickshot and I, are nearly at the first area.” Informs Dinah.

    We arrive in the entrance hall, to find the titanium door has been torn from the wall. The intruder is nowhere to be seen, only debris from where the door was thrown into the wall is visible.

    Dinah starts tapping her throat, humming at a very low frequency. When I realize she’s attempting a form of sonar, I open my mind for anyone hiding. I find no one, but Black Canary points down one of the corridors to the living quarters.

    Before we can make it across the entire hall, a cyclone of wind rushes towards us. Red Tornado glides inside it, his blue cape flapping in his self made breeze.

    “Black Canary.” The red and yellow robot’s mechanical voice, is more intimidating than I care to admit. “You shall reveal the location of Serling Roquette.”

    “This birdie doesn’t squeal.” Dinah denies the request, adopting her ready stance.

    “Maybe you will change your mind.” Red Tornado points a hand at me threateningly “After seeing the children slaughtered.” He sends a blast of gale force wind at me, which throws me down the hall.

    I fire a grapple arrow into the ceiling, allowing myself to swing out of the wind. Rolling to the relative safety of the ground, I quickly send a pair of taser arrows at the robot.

    Tornado’s eyes flash yellow, and his cyclone tail extends. It knocks aside my attack with ease, but leaves him open for a Canary scream. Dinah steps between us and cups her hands, directing her vocals towards the rogue robot.

    The shock wave of her voice tears apart the wall and floor, colliding with an unprepared Red Tornado. His dome of wind is shattered, sending him ricocheting down the hall. As we move in to take advantage of the situation, a blast of fire collides with me.

    It throws me a good dozen feet forward, landing in an undignified heap on the ground. Dinah has moved into deadly close quarter combat with Red Inferno, Red Tornado's older ‘sister’.

    My bow has been seared, destroying it beyond repair. Moving to my back up crossbows, I load a set of extinguisher arrows. A quick volley of six, saves Dinah from a fiery fate, leaving her and the gyndroid covered in foam.

    “Red Tornado and his sister the hot robot,” I shout into my radio. “Are in the entrance hall. Canary and I need some backup.”

    “Superboy and I are almost at your location.” Artemis thankfully responds. “Stay alive for now.”

    A blast of wind slams into me from behind, sending me tumbling across the floor. A second blast strikes Red Inferno, clearing her of most of the fire suppressant.

    “Find the doctor,” Red Tornado instructs his sister.“I shall finish these two and join you.”





    Mount Justice
    July 17, 2010
    6:42 AM, PST


    Once Red Inferno is gone, I shoot my arms forward and grab Tornado’s legs. He starts to spin and Let him pull me towards him. Retracting my arms, I increase the speed.

    I slam into him with a resounding clang, both of us colliding with the floor. He sends a blast of air at me, but I roll under it and go for a grapple.

    Stretching to my limit, I bind Red Tornado’s limbs to his body. I can feel my muscles burn as the robot strains, but his raw strength is being held back by my elasticty...for now.

    “You can take him apart,” I grunt out at Dinah. “Any day now.” As long as we keep his memory bank intact, we can put him back together again later.

    “Allow me.” Kon declares from behind me. He quickly proceeds to tear the limbs from the body, holding the head in his left hand. “What should I do with him?”

    “Let Trickshot carry the head,” Artemis instructs, after a moment of thought. “We’re all mostly melee.” Makes sense, he’ll hinder my fighting least. My old style that is.

    “I sent the Captain to meet up with Kid Flash and Robin.” Artemis begins leading us after the scorched footprints. “Zatanna went to find out why M’gann isn’t responding.”

    <Did Zatanna find you yet?> I push my mental range to the limit.

    <No, what’s going on?> She groggily responds. I send her a quick update and tell her to wait for backup.

    “Zatanna hasn’t gotten to her yet,” I inform Artemis. “She slept through the alarm, she’s used to psychic ones.” I get a grateful nod from Artemis.

    A series of explosions come from the kitchen, sending the four of us back into action at a sprint.

    “Robin to anyone,” The thirteen year old’s voice, is filled with worry. “Inferno and Torpedo are both in here.”

    “Why isn’t Kid Flash already running?” Our leader growls.

    “He tried but Torpedo caught him in a ball of water.” We can hear the sounds of combat over his radio. “Marvel is taking on Inferno, but I can’t leave the doctor unprotected to help KF.”

    “What happened to Green Arrow and Aqualad?” Superboy is starting to leave us all in his dust.

    <Check on the sea access, before you two meet up with us.> I instruct M’gann, so we can focus on the fight. “I told the girls to check.”

    “Then we only have one objective,” Growls Artemis. “Save Serling.” Kon shows he agrees, by rocketing forward at freeway speed. His loud roar and following crash a few seconds later, tells us he made his entrance with style.

    “Superboy is taking on Torpedo and KF is free,” Robin giggles in relief. “Grappling him to me now.”

    When we arrive at the battlefield, it’s to find a completely trashed room. Wally is panting for breath in a puddle and Kon is trading blows with the hydrobot. Across the room, Captain Marvel is shielding Robin and Serling from Inferno’s flame.

    “Serling first.” Artemis lets out a battle cry and draws her twin scimitars, charging at Red Inferno. Black Canaries voice is to unwieldy in a cave, so she moves to extract the doctor. I draw my crossbows, only to discover both are inoperable.

    Stretching my fingers out painfully tight, I improvise my own bow. I fire every single explosive arrow in my quiver, only for a storm of wind to knock them aside.

    Tornado’s dormant head, has eyes glowing with life again. His separated limbs have followed us, delivering a cyclone of blows at my back. Each impact is like getting hit with a hammer and by the tenth, I collapse.

    My quick defeat, leads to Tornado combining his wind with his sister’s blaze. The explosion of flame, sends Captain Marvel bouncing along the floor. Robin shielded Serling from the fire, but Inferno’s fist take him down.

    Inferno rockets forward, intent or grabbing the now unprotected scientist. Serling doesn’t flinch, only activating her program with a grim smile.

    A grey fog begins to surge out of the computer, leaving nothing behind. Red Inferno crashes through the nano-tech fog, being devoured by it in the process. Only the speed and flames keep her intact long enough to collide with Serling.

    On impact, she ignites with fire, from her exposed core. The flame overtakes doctor Roquette, leaving a badly burnt body behind.

    Miraculously not a dead body though. She lifts herself back to her feet somehow and presses one last button on the keyboard. Once she does, she collapses immobile on what’s left of Red Inferno.

    I can see Robin and Black Canary moving to check on Serling, but the fights not over. Canary screams at the disembodied limbs, sending the scrap metal to the ground.

    Kon screams out in rage, tearing Torpedo in half. Once he has done so, he proceeds to smash to half with the head into the concrete floor. Repeatedly.

    The nano-tech fog, has attached itself to Serling’s body like a film. What remains in the air, surges back onto the remains of Red Inferno. It fills in the missing pieces, with itself.

    “Get her to the medical bay, now!” Captain Marvel is screaming at Kid Flash, who grabs the somehow still breathing body and vanishes in a blur of orange.

    “We better bring the robot too.” Robin groans, clenching what looks like a broken wrist. “Serling was saying the Fog was a way for her to download her brain into a new body.” I have a hard time using the satellite remote, so I have no idea if that sounds crazy or not.

    “And find out what’s keeping the others.” Black Canary voices her concern.



    Mount Justice
    July 17, 2010
    7:21 AM, PST


    Oliver nearly drowned. Torpedo had left him floating for a while, before Zatanna had fished him out. Kaldur is taking up a bed in the next room, still down from massive head trauma. His face looked like hamburger.

    All we can do is wait, for the league to arrive. Or is it? I have some magic ruby that was creating clones. Maybe Zatanna can do something, or Captain Marvel.

    “Zatanna,” I gesture for her to follow me into the hallway. “I have something that may help.”

    “What?” She’s doubtful, but curious.

    “Something I found in Vegas.” I lead her into M’gann’s room and remove the ruby from under her bed. “It made me and M’gann both want to grab it. once I did, the room burst into green flame.”

    Zatanna takes the gem from me, her face in complete shock. She does a few diagnostic spells, to verify its power and looks faint. I grab her by the shoulders, and seat her on the bed. She takes a few minutes to steady herself, and shouts at me.

    “Do you know what this is?” A magic ruby? She doesn’t expect an answer, continuing her tirade. “This is Sargon the Sorcerer's, missing Ruby of Life!” That does sound like a big deal, glad we have it now.

    “If anything will help.” Zatanna slowly stands. “This will.” She leads me back to Serling’s room and just puts it on top her. She quickly turns to leave the room, forcing me to ask what is going on.

    “After that freak out.” I grab her arm, stopping her from leaving. “That’s all you’re going to do with it?”

    “I’m a very talented novice,” She laughs at my attempt at a serious face. “But even my dad, will have a hard time not getting overwhelmed by the Ruby of Life.”

    “Oh.” I drop my arm, in embarrassment. Yeah it sounds like a good idea to wait for someone who can use it correctly.

    “I’m going to call my dad, let him know what we’re working with now.” She jogs from the room, heading for one of the working com systems.

    “Is that supposed to happen?” Dick asks worriedly, pointing at Serling.

    The nano-tech has receded from Serling’s body and surrounded the Ruby of Life. It pulsates for a few minutes, everyone to scared to moved. It finally surges towards the remains of Red Inferno, the two swarms merging.

    Red Inferno is completely repaired, with the Ruby of Life embedded in her chest. I tense for the worst, when the gyndroid sits up and her eyes flicker to life. Instead of the previous yellow glow, they now shine with a bright blue.

    “It...” Instead of only a single mechanical voice, Red Inferno and Serling’s both speak at once. “Worked.” She gazes at each of us, adjusting to her new state of being. "Call us...Firestorm."



    Mount Justice
    July 17, 2010
    8:56 AM, PST


    “So let me get this straight.” Wally rubs his eyes in exhaustion. “Serling downloaded her memories into the Fog, which then merged with Red Inferno?”

    “Correct,” The dual voices of a preteen Serling and Red Inferno agrees. “Doctor Roquette-”

    “Aren’t you the doctor?” Robin clarifies with a frown.

    “The doctor had memories we never received,” ‘Firestorm’ informs the assembled team. “Her body ceased functioning, before the download of memories was finished.” How much of herself did she lose?

    “Danette Reilly’s three years of memories, are equally missing from Inferno’s data banks.” They continue with the bombshells. All of these names for one body, is really getting confusing.

    “In nineteen forty two,” Captain Marvel explains, with a defeated expression on his face. “Danette Reilly, or Firebrand joined the Justice Society of America.”

    “Yeah she died saving the first Flash.” Wally is starting to connect some dots. “The League said her body went missing along with Torpedo’s. Pretty soon Inferno and Torpedo show up...” He leaves the answer hanging for someone to grab.

    “Did Morrow base the robots on the bodies recovered?” Wonders Kaldur.

    “She was always a robot.” Kon realizes. “She must have been in sleep mode for decades.”

    “We can only remember the nine days since reactivation.” Firestorm drops her dual voice, using only a younger, less confident version of Serling’s. “I can remember it was march third, nineteen ninety nine.”

    We all shift awkwardly once we do the mental math. She lost almost half of her life. she’s mentally what, twelve?

    “I can still remember her short term memory.” Serling’s scared preteen voice begins wavering. “I remember meeting you all and what I did, but not how I was able to do any of it.”

    “Short and long term memory, aren’t stored in the exact same place.” Robin reasons, with a curious expression on his face. “The Fog must have grabbed short term first, then started on backing up your life.”

    “What are you capable of, in this body?” Artemis asks cautiously. “Who’s in charge?”

    “Serling Roquette, is in control of our physical body.” Only the robotic, yet somehow still feminine voice of Red Inferno answers. “While my programming, retains dominion of our ignition core.”

    “I can’t split my attention with the nano-tech,” Serlings quiet voice takes over, without missing a beat. “It takes all of my focus to control a handful.”

    “While this task is much easier for my processing to manage.” Back to the Inferno voice again, as Firestorm holds up her hand. It disassembles into a red Fog, reshaping her hand into a mirror. She uses it to get her first good look at the Ruby of Life, embedded in her chest.

    “We are confused.” She is speaking as one again, the weird echo resonating with each word. “What aid did the crystal provide?”

    “As far as Zatanna and I can tell,” Captain Marvel attempts to describe what happened. “It holds what makes Serling, her and not a random artificial intelligence with her memories.”

    “It holds my soul?” She sounds as lost as Kon did, his first day in that hospital bed.

    “If that’s what you want to call it,” Marvel smiles at the confused gyndroid. “But Red Inferno already had an essence of her own. It’s why yours wasn’t transferring at first.”

    “I have an essence?” If I thought Serling’s distraught voice pulled on my heart strings, this yanks. Red Inferno’s genuine hope is proof enough for me, to believe she has a spark of whatever is important in a person.

    “So do your brothers,” The Captain agrees, before correcting himself. “Well not the Volcano one, his hadn’t finished forming yet.”

    “Yeah dad says Red Tornado feels more like an elemental, instead of a machine.” Zatanna confirms Marvel’s words, with a smile at Firestorm.

    “Since it was our fault for getting you...transferred.” Artemis is careful with her words, guilt lacing her voice. “You have a place with us, as long as you need one.” She doesn’t wait for a response, leaving the room in an embarrassed huff.

    “If you need someone to talk to,” Kon awkwardly offers. “I’m only a few months old.” I let him explain to Firestorm, how that works and follow after Artemis.

    I find her at the battlefield, staring at the wreckage of our base. She’s hyperventilating, absorbing how close everything was this morning. She doesn’t notice my approach, jumping when I place my hand on her shoulder.

    “Oh damn!” She lets out a relieved sigh, when she realizes it’s me. “It’s only you.” Artemis hugs herself and lets out another sigh.

    “Sorry. That’s not fair.” I’m shocked. That almost sounded friendly. “You don’t deserve that.”

    “I nearly got everyone killed.” I offer her a comforting smile, been their.

    “It’s a lot harder then it looks,” I throw an arm around her in a side hug. “You didn’t set off a self destruct at least.” I get a giggle for that, so she’s not lost to teen angst yet.

    “I should thank you for revealing our Shadows,” She groans, having to admit this to me. “If you hadn’t let us know, who knows what would have happened.”

    “I came in and messed your whole life up... ‘Selene’.” I squeeze her shoulder in support. “It was expected for you to blame me.”

    “What’s M’gann going to say if she shes this?” She teases, getting some distance to wipe her eyes.

    “Probably be happy I’m looking after my little sister.” I tease back with a wink.

    “What’s that supposed to mean.” She’s forgiven me, but still looks affronted at the idea of us being related.

    “Well ever since Dinah took you under her wing.” I snicker at my own dad joke, while she only groans. “I’ve kind of considered you like my step sister.” She considers this for almost a whole minute, before nodding.

    “As long as that means I get to annoy you more,” She grins in delight. “I guess that’s okay.”




    Mount Justice
    July 17, 2010
    9:22 PM, PST


    <I got the last one.> M’gann shares in ecstatic glee. <I Just have to repeat it on myself now.>

    <Don’t rush it.> My concern for her mental exhaustion slips out. <This is brain surgery after all.>

    <Don’t make me laugh.> She struggles to keep down a tense giggle. <This is brain surgery.>

    While M’gann untangles her own final command, I contemplate what this means. No more secrets from the Team. No more lying to the League and most of all, maybe no more M’gann.

    She won’t need me, or be forced into basically isolation in my mind. She’ll be fine, but I don’t think I will. I’m becoming dependent on having someone who cares, a thought a way.

    <We need to tell everyone now,> She informs me with a yawn. <I’m going to hibernate as soon as the adrenaline wears off.> Her complete exhaustion hits me with a wave, making me yawn as well.

    <Yeah. You can barely keep those pretty eyes open.> I groan at the line. This is a bad time to realize how attached I am to her.

    I lead her to the library, one of the only rooms in one piece. Billy and the Team are watching some old sci-fi movies with Serling.

    “We have something important to tell everyone.” I jump right to the chase. No reason to twist the knife in my own wound after all.

    “What did M’gann get you pregnant with the ‘weird alien sex thing’ Roy?” Wally laughs for a few seconds, before noticing how sombre my ‘girlfriend’ and I look. “I swear I was kidding.” He holds up his hands, declaring his innocence.

    “No,” I finally admit, after a long awkward pause. “But I’m not Roy.” In the half a second it takes for nearly everyone to react, M’gann shares a prepared mental message. It details what we have been doing in secret, what we found at Cadmus, and about the sleeper agent programming.

    Billy freaks out while the rest are still processing the knowledge. He throws himself at me with a feral shriek.

    I react fast enough to wrap my arms around him, keeping him pinned to my chest. Hopefully in his mindless rage, he forgets to Shazam.

    “He has them too!” M’gann yells in shock. It could only have happened at the mall, so her uncle has been infected for weeks. Who knows how many members of the League have caught the brainfection.




    NOTES:
    So while doing research, I realized Jonathon Kent is alive in season 2. So I’m glad I never referred to his death already.

    I also learned the only Firebrand was “dead”. So one of my accidental retcons is that Torpedo’s human identity also died a few years ago.
     
  15. Threadmarks: Episode 7: Choosing Our Fate
    Flightless Man

    Flightless Man Not too sore, are you?

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    Episode 7: Choosing Our Fate
    Mount Justice
    July 17, 2010
    9:48 AM, PST


    “.peelS” The quick spell from Zatanna, has Billy collapse in my grip. I place him in one of the chairs vacated in the attack, so M’gann can get to work.

    “We need to get out of here now!” Robin is freaking out.

    “Chill dude,” Wally tries to calm his friend. “When the League shows up to check on her, we just keep quiet about this for now.”

    “You don’t understand,” Robin whispers. “The League has surveillance on us.” Oh shit. If Billy reacted like that, the League will be on us soon.

    “Were do we go?” Kon grabs Billy bridal style, so M’gann can work on the move.

    “We can decide when we know were safe.” Artemis directs us to the hangar. “We’re going to be in stealth mode for a while.” The bio-ship is our only way to get to safety in this kind of time frame.

    “I can fly, while we come up with a plan.” I offer, extending the ramp towards us.

    “Recognized. Batman, A zero two.” The cave announces our first arrival, getting everyone to run the last few steps.

    “Get us in the sky, now!” Roars Artemis. Racing to comply, I bring us into the air with stealth mode active.

    Batman and Hawkwoman charge into the hangar, with Green Lantern John Stewart rushing past them. His ring scan, locks him on to our fleeing location.

    Increasing our speed, we leave the cave just before Hawkwoman’s mace can strike the hull. The ship has no weapons, so I have to improvise.

    Green Lantern is closing in on us with a giant green fishing net, so I focus my mind through the ship. It acts like an amplifier, allowing my feeble mental powers to do something. I send the memory of every headache i have ever had, all at once into his unshielded brain.

    The nerve damage ones that felt like a thousand needles jabbing my brain at the same, I send the entire agonizing year of them. His Net fades, as does his flight aura.

    I can see him tumble from the air, crashing into the ocean below us. Hawkwoman diverts her pursuit, diving down to catch John Stewart.

    “Do we have a plan yet?” Kon asks from his seat at the back. “Or are we only delaying the inevitable?”



    South Carolina
    July 17, 2010
    12:10 PM, GMT


    “Why am I on the bio-ship?” Billy groans, as he slowly wakes from Zatanna’s spell.

    “Once we told the Team I was a clone,” I try to explain, only to be cut off.

    “Oh yeah,” Dick growls in interruption. “How do we know we can trust you?”

    “Because since the second I started breaking free from my programming,” My retort is tense. “I have been trying to stop Cadmus.”

    “We went to shut down the base in Nevada,” M’gann defends me, with an accompanying wave of support.

    “If he was truly set against you,” Firestorm’s echoing voice joins the conversation. “He has had ample time to infect everyone.”

    “That’s true,” Admits Wally. “He’s the only reason we even know.”

    “It does not make any sense for him to tell us.” Kaldur gives me a supportive nod.

    “He hasn’t lied once since we took off.” Zatanna admits with a smirk. I didn’t even notice her cast anything.

    “What happened to the real Roy?” Asks Robin slowly. I really wish you hadn’t asked me that. I start oozing panic, and face the music.

    “I killed him.” I admit with a sigh, swerving to avoid a flock of geese.

    “When he was still programmed.” M’gann defends my action. “He had no choice. If he hadn’t grabbed the Ruby, I would have.” She shares the urge to grab the magical gemstone with everyone.

    “Yeah I would have too.” Kon acknowledges the overwhelming sensation. “You made sure my mind was cleansed, even before your own.” He steps towards me, and places a hand on my shoulder in support.

    “Thanks.” I take a breath, and try to relax. “What about Doctor Fate?” I don’t remember where Kent Nelson lives, but he shouldn’t have been kidnapped yet. An invisible tower would be a good place to hide out.

    “My dad would know where he is,” Zatanna groans in frustration. But we can’t really ask him right now.”

    “Red Tornado was on the Justice Society with him.” Robin snaps his fingers.

    “He’s only a head, but how do we know he will help us?” Wally counters with some heat. “I Don’t want more killer robots after us.”

    “We can remove the program,” Announces Firestorm. “The Fog was also programmed to remove the new code from this body.” They stand slowly. Preteen Serling is focusing on moving the body, while Inferno directs the swarm.

    The red Fog of nano-tech, extends from Firestorm’s fingers. It enters the severed head of Red Tornado through the ears. The eyes to light up red, before swiftly changing to a warm orange glow.

    “Apologies, for my assault.” The monotone voice of Red Tornado speaks. “I am myself again. Thank you sister.” The Fog pulls out of his head, reforming her fingers slowly and deliberately.

    “How do we find Kent Nelson?” I question the severed head.

    “Salem, Massachusetts.” The Head answers.

    “Any objections?” If anyone has a better idea, they better say so.





    Salem Massachusetts
    July 17, 2010
    1:49 PM, EST


    “Well I don’t see anything.” Kid Flash throws his hands in the air, as we disembark the bio-ship. “Big waste of time this turned out to be.”

    “What do you mean?” Firestorm’s dual voice asks, she walks up to an empty patch of air. “The door is here.”

    “Magical invisibility,” Tuxedo Mask answers for all of us. “More evidence you and Red Tornado are elementals of some kind, if you can see it.”

    “How are we doing this?” Wonders White Tigress. “Is he hiding from us?”

    “We knock.” I remember in the show his security was active because of Klarion. He should be home, with this invisibility more of a passive defence.

    Firestorm does and we wait. Not for very long, considering how big the tower really is. Maybe five minutes late, a mahogany door with silver fixtures materializes. It opens inwards, revealing an entrance room.

    <This is a magical defence.> I send to Wally, impressing on him the need to be respectful. <Remember to be silent if you can’t believe.>

    “Dude,” Wally glares at me. “We’re asking him for help. I’m not a moron. So unless it’s an emergency, let your girlfriend be the one in my head.” I feel a wave of distrust from him, so I just agree.”She’s at least who she says she is.”

    “Once we free the League, I’ll go then.” Ignoring the awkward silence as no one rushes to disagree, we close the door behind us.

    “Who is visiting and why?” An elderly man’s voice echoes through the room.

    “Red Tornado and guests, seeking sanctuary.” Captain Marvel was going to speak, but Red Tornado’s head beats him to the punch.

    “It is good to see you old friend.” The disembodied voice has grown friendly. “Join me in the den.” At these words, a splendid marble staircase appears in the wall. It spiral upwards to the rest of the tower.

    “Ladies first.” Wally gestures for anyone to go before he does.

    “Its just stairs,” Zatanna teases him with a smirk. “Or is the West Wind just a lot of hot gas?” The ginger speedster huffs at the words, blurring in front of her.

    “Fine then.” He offers her his own smirk and his hand. “Follow me milady.” He adopts a poor attempt at a British accent. She laughs, pushing him up the stairs with a firm hand at his back.

    “That is a sound this tower has not heard in years.” The elderly Kent Nelson greets us, as we enter the den laughing at Wally’s embarrassment. “Welcome to my home young ones.” He gives everyone a warm, grandfatherly smile. “What is this I hear about needing sanctuary?”

    We explain, his smile becoming a grim frown. He asks for M’gann to share the feelings of the commands, which has him quickly agreeing.

    “You kids had best stay here, until we can figure this out.” His words are welcome, we’ve really had nothing but loses lately. “I had best give the old gang a call.”




    Tower of Fate
    July 18, 2010
    11:16 AM, EST


    “You did the right thing calling us.” Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern assures Kent Nelson.

    “I wish we asked for help as easily when we began,” Agrees the first Flash, Jay Garrick. He ruffles Wally’s hair fondly. “You did good kids.”

    “We didn’t have nearly as many enemies of our own,” Wildcat brags. “We put them down for good back in the good old days. You wouldn’t have needed this kind of help.”

    True, the villains much preferred solo action.” Kent tries to keep Artemis from biting off Ted Grant’s head. She ignores his attempt and stands, with her hands on her hips.

    “If you think you can still keep up,” She challenges him. “Prove it.” The gleam of excitement in Wildcat’s eyes, is not encouraging. “All I hear is some hot air about the good old days.”

    “Ted...” Jay tries to get his friend back in his armchair. “She’s just gone through a lot.”

    “Cut the kids some slack Wildcat,” Alan agrees in a placating voice. “They did call us for help first after all.”

    “I don’t need you to tell us how great you all used to be,” I draw everyone’s ire. “I need you to teach us how to be that great now.” I stare down Wildcat, like I would a cougar on the farm growing up. Refusing to back down, I gesture to the stairs. “Lets settle this now. Mister Nelson, do you have an area for training we can use.”

    “If you insist,” Kent sighs. “Then go blow some steam off in the ‘Dream Desert’.” Ted Grant, Artemis, and I vanish in a puff of orange smoke.

    We appear suddenly on a different floor of the tower. This floor, is one that looks like an endless desert of silver sand. As the three of us take stock of our new location, Robin appears with his own smoke show.

    “No way I’m passing up a chance at the guy who helped train Batman.” He grins at our confused looks. Wildcat smiles in approval at his declaration.

    “And I was Black Canaries mentor.” He grins at Artemis. “Kitten. You can call me Grand Pappy Wildcat.”

    She doesn’t like his tone, missing the respect he is giving her. She leaps at him and like that, the fight is on.

    Wildcat casually catches White Tigress by the ankle, using her own momentum to fling her away. Robin is already moving, his batons snapping towards Ted. Since this is about melee, I rocket forward, with my own fist extending forward.






    Tower of Fate
    July 18, 2010
    1:02 PM, EST


    “Are you done playing with the kids you Teddy bear.” A new arrival greets us, when we return the same way. Shes a native woman, of a similar age to the rest of the Justice Society.

    “Oh I was just showing them how we used to do things.” Ted gives us a pleased nod. “They did good. Even rubberneck didn’t slow them down too bad.” I feel the sting, while Dick and Artemis are very pleased with the praise.

    “For an old fogie,” Artemis teases.”You definitely can still show us a thing or two.” She ducks under his playful swat. They really are like two cats at play.

    “As nice as it is to distress.” I look around the assembled crowd and realize a few changes have occurred. “Wait where did Kaldur and Alan go?”

    “Greenie brought your friend to Atlantis.” I get my answer from another new arrival. This is the Sandman, but I only recognize his outfit. His identity is a mystery for now.

    <Kaldur went to inform his Queen and recruit his friends.> M’gann shares. The accompanying pulse of a mental hug, is always nice. I start stressing, only for her to send a wave of calm my way.

    <I told him of Prince Orm.> She sends he memory of Aqualad acknowledging the claim, but believing the prince is also being controlled. <He will be careful.>

    “We almost got the whole gang back together again.” Wildcat is gazing fondly at his old friends.

    “Almost everyone,” Agrees a sad Kent. “Mid-Nite is in a home, and Atom has late stage cancer.”

    “Torpedo and Beetle went to join Danette and Inza a few years ago.” Jay agrees, with a far away look in his eyes. Oh this will be awkward... or a welcome surprise. Let’s find out.

    “Firebrand actually never really ‘died’.” I interrupt the reminiscing. “She was actually Torpedo and Tornado’s sister.”

    “That’s not funny.” A man I don’t recognize with an hourglass symbol on his green mask, glares at me.

    “He is not lying.” Red Inferno’s voice comes from Firestorm. “I was Danette Reilly.”

    “She was dug up and reactivated a few weeks ago,” I explain. “She doesn’t have access to her memories, so maybe think of her like Firebrand’s daughter.”

    “That is an adequate explanation.” Firestorm’s dual voice echoes.

    “That’s a lot to wrap my head around.” Jay admits from his chair, rubbing his temples.

    “We need to keep the children hidden here,” The woman from earlier decides. “This Light, can not be made to realize they have control of the Justice League.” Oh hell no.

    “Once we train these kids properly,” Wildcat agrees confidently. “We can start deprogramming the League.”

    “Aqualad had the right idea,” Cautions Robin. “We need more allies.”

    “Well Beetle and Atom have replacements now.” Muses the original Flash.

    “And My mom knows how to train people.” Maybe. But even if you only want her safe, we should grab her.

    “What about Plasticman?” Kid Flash adds.

    “Or that Icon guy in Dakota?” Offers Superboy. “He can supposedly go toe to toe with Superman.”

    “Dad mentioned someone named Constantine?” Zatanna asks Kent, who’s face pales.

    “He has skills, but has thankfully gone quiet as of late.” Mister Nelson avoids the question.

    “Blue Devil is a possibility.”

    “We also have Guy Gardener,” I add. “Is he on Earth?”





    Tower of Fate
    July 18, 2010
    8:04 PM, EST


    “It’s nearly this old man’s bed time.” Kent slowly stands and bids everyone a good night. “Rooms have been prepared for each of you, up the stairs.”

    “Thanks for making sure to include us Nelson.” Ted waves him goodnight.

    “I should get back to Joan,” Agrees Jays with a yawn “I’ll be by bright and early, so we can begin.”

    “I think I’m going to claim my room, unless anyone needs me.” I stand and stretch. “I am exhausted.”

    <We should probably talk.> M’gann shares a look with. I can feel her holding back her anxiety.

    <Anything you want.> She follows me up the stairs, to wolf whistles from Wally and Artemis.

    We find my room, after nearly a mile of spiral stairs. I let her in and we find a well furnished bedroom, straight from ‘The Hobbit’. Aside from scale, its a perfect version of a Hobbit’s bedroom. Cozy, warm, and makes you never want to leave.

    <So I guess this is when you let me down gently.> I don’t even bother trying to hide my disappointment. M’gann looks up at me from her view of her toes, shocked.

    <No!> I get a wave of panic from her. <I thought you were going to break up with me. Now that we don’t have to pretend anymore.>

    <When Wally was talking about who you really are.> She shares a warm feeling of acceptance with me. < I realized I’m hiding too. We know who we really are and still care.>

    <Well... What if we just don’t tell anyone how this was ever fake.> I offer with a smile.

    <Only we know it was fake.> She giggles in realization and waits. <This is when you ask me out for real.>

    I do, and we laugh. We lay on top of my covers thinking for a few more hours, before falling asleep.



    Tower of Fate
    July 1?, 2010
    ??:?? ?M, EST


    Instead of the black void of the first encounter, I find Arenay in a grassy field. A warm, glowing sun is above us, while singing birds fly through the ring of sunflowers.

    <This one, greets you.> She smiles at me and I can feel her happiness. <This one, Thanks you again, for returning us to father.> A mirage of Dubbilex appears beside her, before shimmering away.

    <This one, Wishes to know if you will still help us.> She sends a wave of pride at me. <Now that you have freed yourself.>

    <We have to decide,> M'gann inform's the G-gnome, as she emerges from behind the sunflowers. <As a couple.>





    Tower of Fate
    July 19, 2010
    9:04 AM, EST


    “We got contacted last night.” I admit as soon as M’gann and I come down for breakfast. Kent Nelson looks up from his morning paper, with a startled expression on his face.

    “I find this a concerning fact.” He frowns in thought. “My home is warded after all.”

    “It was by the Genomorph’s,” M’gann explains. “They contact him in his dreams.”

    “Did they want anything in particular?” A look of understanding, has him relaxing.

    “For me to complete our deal.” I shrug and take my own seat. “I don’t like the idea of leaving anyone in Cadmus’ hands.”

    “So we worked out a new deal,” My girlfriend finishes for me. “Since we removed what they had over him.”

    “We’re going free the other two bases and they will help us against the Light.” And give me answers about my origin, but that’s a secret for me and M’gann.

    “Klarion the Chaos Lord,” My words have Kent leaning forward, with a grim glare on his face. “He’s going to be coming for you in the next month or two.” I don’t know exactly when, but its before September.

    “He’s not coming for me,” Kent refutes my claim. “He’s coming for the Helmet.”

    “Nabu,” I agree. He is just worried.

    “It might be time to look for a new host,” He whispers. “I won’t be much use as one for long.”

    “We can keep an eye out for one, while we’re grabbing people.” I already have a few ideas of my own.

    “Then we should discuss you’re targets.” He agrees with a curious gleam in his eyes.

    “Billy and Ted, are going my to get my mom with me.” Artemis and Zatanna descend the stairs. The two girls are in oversized bathrobes, that nearly drown them in what looks like yeti fur.

    “And Wally and I are going with Jay.” Zatanna grabs a muffin and a seat. “We’re going to talk to the Blue Beetle.”

    “Can we send young Dick with you M’gann?” Kent asks Miss Martian with a kind smile.

    “Wait when did Robin come out of the Batcave?” I missed it?

    “When you went to bed the same time as the...experienced heroes.” Artemis changes her wording, when she remembers Kent is here.

    “Aww.” I let out a whine. “I was having fun teasing him.”

    “He knows.” Zatanna blows a raspberry at me. “He’s planning his revenge.”

    “Who will be taking Robin and I?” M’gann ignores the teasing.

    “Rex will.” Mister Nelson explains. “We need you to find Blue Devil in New Jersey.”

    “Since Guy is off world.” I start doing the math. “Kon and I are going after Plasticman I assume?”

    “Indeed and Nelvanna, she will be your supervision.” Kent takes a sip of his tea. “I will begin instructing young Firestorm, in controlling her innate magic.”


    Portland, Oregon
    July 19, 2010
    11:26 AM, PST


    “Why do we need you for supervision?” ‘Chris’ is visibly confused. “I have my own super vision.”

    “Because child,” Nelvanna, the native woman from yesterday explains patiently. “You lot keep running into trouble.”

    “Pa says it’s how him and Ma know I’m a hero.” Chris admits with a small blush. He’s wearing civilian cloths, in a very Kansas style.

    Blue jeans and cowboy boots, make him a little taller. He is wearing a denim jacket over a white tee shirt. Heck, he even has a red cowboy hat. He really is embracing his Kent heritage.

    “I’m realizing I should probably use a fake name, while we’re on the run at least.” Maybe longer. I don’t really like using the name Roy. It really makes my guilt balloon, every time someone calls me by his name.

    “Connor is still available,” Kon offers with a grin. He really likes that name, I kind of feel bad he didn’t get to use it.

    “Sure, why not.” I agree with a shrug. “Call me Connor Hawke for now.”

    That name really sounds familiar. Maybe it was Hawkeye from Marvel’s name? I can’t remember everything, I’m still mostly human.

    “Cool.” He tries to hide it, but I can feel how happy that made him.

    “I’ll have to dye my hair tonight,” I add, considering my choices.” “I’ll grab a few so M’gann can decide.”

    “WHA’PAH!” Chris mimes cracking a whip. I just look at him oddly. “Artemis said you’re whipped. I’m supposed to make a whip sound, when you do something like that.”

    “Okay... But that’s not a whip sound.” While I try explaining the proper way to make fun of me, Nelvanna actually does our job.

    .
    .
    .

    “You need my help to take down the Justice League,” Patrick ‘Eels’ O’brian smugly clarifies. “Before the bad guys find out they already won?”

    “Yeah,” I have no shame, it only gets in the way of doing anything required. “And I think you are the only one, who can help me with my powers.”

    I had prepared my face in advance, removing most personal details. I look almost like a mannequin. He squints at me and chuckles.

    “That you do.” He throws an arm around me and grins. “New to the stretching I see.” After I nod, he stands and struts around the room.

    “If I’m going to run away with you,” He declares firmly. “We need to take care of a little problem in my neighbourhood first.

    “We can provide aid.” Nelvanna calmly agrees. “What do you require?”

    “See this gal called Granite Janet, is taking control of the gangs.” He frowns having to admit this. “Every time I go after her, I fall madly in love with her for hours.”

    “We handle her and you’ll come with us?” Kon growls, which has Patrick throw his hands up in defence.

    “Nothing like that,” He explains. “I don’t feel right leaving her running loose, for who knows how long.”

    “Oh...Well then yeah.” Superboy is calming down. “Show us the way.”

    “We gotta look the part first,” Plasticman cautions. “Ya want to get inside quietly right?”




    The Ballroom
    July 19, 2010
    9:10 PM, PST


    “I’m keeping mine.” I am strutting my stuff. Me and Kon, are wearing replica’s of the Roxbury boys suits. The shiny ones and they are so comfortable. I nabbed the burgundy one, leaving him to take the blue.

    “I’m burning mine,” He firmly denies. Nelvanna in her emerald green cocktail dress, only laughs at the exchange.

    “If you feel her compulsion, leave.” She informs us before we enter the ladies lounge.

    “I still can’t believe she has the mayor and police chief stripping.” I laugh for a moment, before readying myself.

    “I will stun the crowd, while you two remove Janet from the building.” Nelvanna instructs, as she proceeds to kick the doors in.

    “Nobody move!” She roars at the assembled women. A kaleidoscope of colour, flashes into the room. The female thugs collapse to the floor, grabbing their eyes.

    “Who thinks they can barge into my establishment!” A large woman with the complexion of concrete, shrieks at us. She then tears a table from the ground, flinging it at Nelvanna.

    Superboy charges at Granite Janet, sending the grappling pair through a wall. I rush after them, while Nelvanna handles the enthralled men. Kon has taken them through a few more walls, both are trading blows in the back alley now.

    They seem evenly matched, so I leap onto her back. Wrapping around her neck and head, I stretch my fingers. They become an airtight seal on her face, distracting her from Superboy’s blows.

    As she struggles to remove me, Kon delivers several clean blow to Janet’s torso. With the wind knocked out of her she falls to her Knees. I feel her trying to latch onto my mind, so I link mine with Kon.

    <Focus on me and hit her again.> I send him as much heartbreak as I can remember from my old life. It works, allowing him to turn the seduction into hatred.

    “GET! OUT! OF! MY! HEAD!” Each word, is punctuated by a blow to Granite’s face. The final one, sends her to dreamland in my hands.

    Once I let go of her, I give him a look. I shake out my likely broken hands, and wince. He gives me an awkward look and lifts Granite for removal.

    “Sorry.” He grunts in embarrassment. “I meant her, not you.”

    <I trust you.> He shares his belief in me, through the link i have yet to end.

    <Thanks. Cousin.> I share my understanding of the relation we shared. We each have Genomorph DNA, stabilizing us. So were related somehow, cousins is just easiest to go with.


    Notes:
    This was delayed so I could do more research on the Ruby of Life, Captain Marvel, Alan Scott, Jay Garrick, and Ted Grant. A few other none League heroes will be recruited for this arc of episodes. Fate will need a host, I know who the Permanent one will be, but I am split on the temporary one.
     
  16. RichardWhereat

    RichardWhereat Aia airëa Fëanáro.

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    :( This is all stuff posted earlier on SB :(
     
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  17. Flightless Man

    Flightless Man Not too sore, are you?

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    Yeah sorry im only doing compiled episodes here. I thought i made it clear at begining, unless anyone wants me to try writing spicy here it only completed ones. If anyone here asks for NSFW stuff, i will add those only here and make this NSFW. If people only want spicier scenes but SFW i can also add them. this is about challenging me. so request an extra scenes, and I will add them here or or SV, depending on what kind of extra scenes.
    QQ gets spicy, NSFW violence and sex. (even non canon ones I will do on request)

    SV will get funny non canon omakes, and extra flashbacks/missing scenes if people want.
    SB gets it first as broken up chapters and get alot more story info in comments.

    I'm challenging myself as a writer so I will do most requests. I want to write novels and/or comics/tv/movies. So all of this is practice, my writing, my pace, my ability to interact with everyone, and how well I can tease, without spoiling something..

    A chapter takes 2-4 hours(from blank page to posted) and an Episode is normally 3 chapters normally. because i have to make it fit in canon. Requested scenes will be 1-2 hours(once i begin writing it.) so ask away.
     
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  18. Threadmarks: Episode 8: Night Terrors
    Flightless Man

    Flightless Man Not too sore, are you?

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    Episode 8: Night Terrors
    Tower of Fate
    July 24, 2010
    12:21 PM, EST


    “I really don’t get how mister Nelson,” Our new arrival, Rocket declares in wonder. “Always has exactly enough rooms for everyone.”

    “Sorcery,” Wally explains, getting a pat on the head from his new girlfriend. “Magic is a kind of energy, like electric or nuclear. Sorcerers, wizards, witches, magicians, and enchanters all access it differently.” Zatanna hands him a cookie.

    “Everyone uses language.” Zatanna takes over explaining to the girl of science. “Every culture has created a different way to do so.”

    “So different things can generate ‘magic’.” Raquel Irving, the black heroine from Dakota tries to understand. “Like How dams and windmills both generate power?”

    “Exactly.” Zatanna has a pleased smile on her face.

    “Magic confuses the scientific mind, because of cultural terminology overlap.” Wally explains with a sigh. “It took awhile to make me understand, but it has effects you can replicate. Every user of magic will likely have different, or even contradictory terms for the same thing.”

    “Finding out he’s the only one on the Team besides Me, Billy, and Kaldur,” Zatanna teases the blushing speedster. “Who has anything besides a flicker of a magical core, forced him to accept things.”

    “How did he find that out?” Raquel asks with a curious glint in her eyes.

    “We all got to see who can be used as a host for Nabu in an emergency,” I explain with a frown. It won’t work on Billy, so we only have three choices for now. Firestorm already has one too many personalities, for Nabu to bond.

    “Nabu?” She shares my frown.

    “He’s a Lord of Order, bound inside a helmet.” M’gann shares a memory of the helmet and its inhabitant. “Whoever wears it becomes Doctor Fate.”

    “Intense.” Rocket shivers at the thought, her uneasiness rolling off her in waves.

    “So we ready for training?” Everyone has an empty plate. We should get grab the others and head to the weird dream desert place for today's training.

    “One more plate.” Wally rushes back to he kitchen, for a fourth helping.

    “Kaldur’s... friends,” Rocket slowly asks. “What’s going on with the three of them?”

    “It’s an Atlantean thing.” Wally is already done his plate, rejoining the discussion.

    “No it’s not,” Contradicts Zatanna, jabbing her finger into his cheek. “We’ll not specifically. It’s only something a few of the cities live by.”

    “I still can’t believe Mister Nelson, was able to fix to Paula’s back so easily.” M’gann reminds us of the seven second surgery.



    Tower of Fate
    July 27, 2010
    8:21 PM, EST


    “What’s going on!” Robin is staring with wide eyes at the television.

    Metropolis is gone. Almost the entire city has been destroyed, by the impact of an asteroid. Pieces are still raining down around the world.

    Superman did his best to shield the planet. he shattered the entire thing, with a single decisive blow. This only broke it into chunks, and revealed the Kryptonite inside. A black oily kind that coated the Man of Steel, leaving him dead in space.

    The world united for the first time, since the Appellaxians invaded. Each nation unleashing what they have, on the falling rocks of destruction. It still wasn’t enough. Cities worldwide are just debris now.

    “We need to help people.” Wally is vibrating in agitation. Central city is in bad shape and so is Gotham.

    “What about hiding from the League?” Rocket counters, she has only been here a few days and already we’re changing the plan.

    “Most are dead,” Kent admits with a grim voice. “We sent Icon, Alan, and Nelvanna to search for survivors, in what’s left of the Watchtower.”

    Holy shit... We’re in over our heads. How the hell are we going to do anything useful?

    <Breath.> I get a pulse of support from M’gann.

    <Thanks.> A mental hug from me to her.

    “We can do this. We trained for disaster relief after all.” I stand, drawing the teams attention.

    “Two teams,” My orders are firm, even though inside I am close to fainting. “One in Gotham, the other in Central.”

    “What about Star City?” Artemis asks quietly.

    “It’s gone too.” I start counting arrows in silence, while I rally myself.

    “Who’s coming with me to Central City?” Kid Flash is raring to go.

    “Do you even have to ask?” Zatanna winks at him.

    “Count me in.” Rocket grins without it reaching her eyes.

    “Me and Firestorm will come.” Billy is close to tears, as he considers how many have died today.

    “Seems like we need some Fate of our own,” Kent Nelson offers, with a resolute face. “I’ll go get the Helmet and drop you off in Central.”

    “The rest of us will go to Gotham,” I start heading down the stairs. “In the bio-ship.” My squad follows me outside, with a sombre good luck to our friends.



    Gotham
    July 27, 2010
    9:01 PM, EDT


    “Follow the training,” I instruct my team, as we enter the ruins of Gotham. “M’gann and I, will search for survivors. We do, extending our senses as far as we can.

    “I’m only sensing a few dozen people, in a few mile radius,” She informs our team, with a horrified voice. “And they keep dying!”

    Tula, Garth, and Kaldur,” I order the Atlantean triad. “Search the bay, I can feel a dozen in that direction.” They rush to obey, following their military training with precision.

    “Artemis and Paula. You’re going to handle the north side for now, with M’gann.” I grab Robin by the shoulder. “Me and Kon are going to bring you with us. We'll check out Wayne Manor for survivors.” I get a thankful nod from him.

    “Be careful everyone.” I say goodbye, flying Robin to the manor in grim silence.

    .
    .
    .

    It’s standing, but over a dozen cars are out front. The gate has been smashed open, as have the windows. A few bodies lay on the lawn, unmoving.

    “Do you feel anyone alive inside?” Robin is frantic with worry.

    “I can feel six people inside.” Way more should be inside, based on how many cars are here.

    “Artemis to everyone!” We hear in our earpiece. “Stay away fro-” She cuts off suddenly. The terror in her voice is filling me with dread.

    Searching the front lawn closer, I can see a chunk of the black asteroid has crashed here. It has turned into a black metallic ooze, spreading slowly across the grass. Robin rushes inside, while I examine one of the bodies.

    It’s the Penguin, Oswald Cobblepot. His face is such a dark sickly purple, he nearly looks like a single bruise. His eyes are a solid inky black and gross black veins cover his skin.

    Checking the next few bodies, show more of the criminal underworld. They likely came to the only building, that had any power left. It stands out like a beacon among the city of darkness.

    The only other body i recognize, is Harvey Dent. Two-Face, actually looks like he has a single face. Its the horrible disfigured side, but it matches for once.

    “ROY!” I hear Robin scream for help. I rush inside, and follow the sounds of snarling.

    He is in the dining room, cradling Alfred’s body. In the kitchen blocked of by the over turned table, is three feral humans. I can only feel a few more people inside now, two upstairs and one below me.

    I can’t feel anyone on the other side of the oak table, so I draw my bow. Leaping on the edge, I see a horrifying sight. A zombified Catwoman, and Riddler are reaching for me. A few unnamed goons are also undead.

    I don’t even hesitate. Robin won’t be able to do this. I fire an arrow into the skull of each zombie, dropping them. I swallow some bile and turn back to Robin and Alfred.

    Alfred is missing a large piece of his cheek, so I yank Robin backwards. Ignoring his fists, I try to explain.

    “It’s zombies Dick!” I scream at him. No time for a long explanation, if Alfred is going to turn.

    “He’s right young Master Dick.” Alfred coughs out a wad of the black shiny goo. “I’m not long for this world.” While Robin is consoled by Alfred a final time, I get a firm look from the Butler. “Don’t make him be the one to do it... Please.”

    I agree, and draw a final arrow, telling Dick to get back. Once he does, I fire right at Alfred’s chest.

    The foam arrow explodes in a shower of green. It coats the dying Butler, in an industrial adhesive.

    “When he turns, come find me.” I give a nod to Alfred, leaving them to say goodbye. I have upstairs and the Batcave to check still.





    Gotham
    July 27, 2010
    9:44 PM, EDT


    “You want to talk about it?” I ask Robin over the radio. He’s been silent, since he took off in the Batplane. I’m in the bio-ship going to pick up M’gann’s group, while he grabs the Atlanteans.

    “Not until we know everyone else is okay.” His voice is tight, as he holds back any emotion.

    Kent and I, are the only ones who know this is training. In the Dream Desert, we can craft nearly any kind of training scenario. Only the dreamer and Kent, retain awareness of the dream state.

    With how the perception of time is different, we can cram in dozens of sessions in a few weeks. No consequences and Kent is here, to stop the dream from becoming real.

    “I see them,” He announces, after we fly in silence for a few minutes.

    “Be careful,” I caution him. “I’m heading down as well.” My nightmare this time, is zombies. So everyone better be.

    I park the Martian ship above 8th Street, dropping to the pavement.

    <I’m outside the school.> I announce my presence to my team inside. <Should I hold position here, or do you need extraction?>

    <Get in here now!> I can feel Artemis’ terror. <M’gann is hurt bad.> Good thing I know this is only training.

    <On my way.> Rushing for the building, I extend my limbs. My massive stride, allows me to leap to the second floor easily. The nearly twelve foot arms, allow me to grab the roof. Retracting my limbs, I rocket into a third floor window when I release my grip.

    Sprinting towards the location of my team, I keep my skin elastic. It makes me look like a doll, but increases my durability. Rounding the final corner, I can see a swarm of zombies outside a utility closet.

    Stretching my hand into the bow shape I have been practicing, I fire a pair of arrows. Between them, is a line of razor wire. It slices through a third of the horde, before getting tanlged.

    <Cover your ears.> I inform my allies. I fire a trio of explosive arrows at head height. It takes out the rest of the undead, in a ball of fire.

    “Clear.” My words, have the door slowly open. Paula is inside in her new Huntress outfit. She has a wicked bite on her wrist, which doesn’t give her long. I can already see black veins spreading from it.

    “You need to... say goodbye.” She gives me a sorrowful expression. “We ran into zombie Bane.”

    Artemis is kneeling beside M’gann. Her White uniform has been stained with green blood. M’gann is fading fast, so I share the knowledge of the situation.

    I feel her relief, as she gives me a final smile in this simulation. Zombie Bane, had managed to rip one of her arms off. The magical precautions, only made her feel numb.

    “You need to say goodbye too.” I let go of M’gann’s hand and stand. My expression is blank, as I point at Huntresses wound. “Alfred turned in less then an hour.”

    “I thought Serling got turned into the robot.” Tigress mutters darkly. When the mother and daughter say goodbye, I grab Artemis and leap out the window. By the time we land, I can’t sense Paula.

    “Let’s go, Robin is grabbing Kaldur and his friends.” Artemis is silent, as I lead her to the ship. The Batplane, is hovering above it.

    “Took you long enough,” Robin declares, when the pair of us activate communications. “Kaldur. He... didn’t make it.” He’s doing a really good job holding himself together.

    He’s only broken down in two scenarios so far. In the super volcano one, he just shut down. He cracked during the falling apart space station, Robin just went silent until we all died.

    I haven’t done much better. I have to admit, Dick is a better man than I am and he’s only thirteen. I was a sobbing mess, during the flooding submarine one.

    Wally is the one really proving me wrong. So far he only broke the first time. When Artemis’ dream of Norse Frost Trolls, ate Zatanna. His embarrassment over his freak out, lead to her confronting him afterwards.

    The Atlanteans fall apart, whenever one of them is the first to die. Let’s see how they are doing this time.

    “How are Garth and Tula doing?” My voice is calm.

    “She’s starting to calm down,” Robin answers with a sigh. “Garth is a fuming mess.” Well one of them at least, is beginning to get a handle on the overwhelming grief. If someone died on the League attack, everyone would have broken without this training.

    M’gann is able to cope, more often than not and Rocket is doing alright for someone with only two months of training. Paula is adapting to the healed back okay. Her mobility is fine, she just relies on her arms in combat.

    Kon went into a feral rage once. It’s nice to know watching me get electrocuted by Black Adam in Billy’s dream, got to him so much. Billy has been completely fine each horrible scenario, his divine blessings a real benefit.

    Zatanna and Firestorm, are the ones with the biggest issue with loss. Zatanna, because of being sheltered by her dad for so long. Red Inferno is alright, but the young Serling half keeps going into a suicidal frenzy.

    “Stay close,” I finally respond. “Let’s get our friends in Central City.” He agrees and we race across the sky. The burning rubble below, casts a hellish glow on our flight.






    Central City
    July 27, 2010
    11:57 PM, CDT


    “Trickshot to anyone,” I declare our arrival in the city, with an open broadcast. “Robin is in the Batplane. Tell us where you are.” No one answers for nearly a minute, but finally Rocket responds with a shaking voice.

    “Me and Superboy, are in a gas station.” Raquel gives us directions. “It’s beside what’s left of the library.”

    “We’re on our way.” Before we can land, a flaming projectile falls from the sky. It crashes into the pumps, causing the entire block to vanish in flame.

    This scenario is almost over, I sigh in relief. Zombies are so much worse than I imagined. The smell is nearly unbearable for one thing.

    “Holy hole in a donut!” The shocked voice of Robin comes in. “Was that another asteroid?”

    “Nope.” Its must be time for dinner, if mister Nelson is finishing the scenario already.

    An infected Superman crashes into the bio-ship, tearing through it like soggy toilet paper. His blackened hand meets my face, ending my nightmare.






    Tower of Fate
    July 29, 2010
    5:20 PM, EST


    “So a three way tie between me, Tula, and Garth?” Robin taunts the rest of us with an exhausted grin, while M’gann grips my hand tightly.

    “Yeah,” I concede the loss with a relieved smile. No one is dwelling on the training anymore. After the first session, we needed a day off. It’s why Wally and Zatanna are together now.

    “Why did you pull us out early?” Wally is disappointed, he was hoping for one more dream today.

    “Wesley found something in New York.” I think that’s the Sandman guy.“It may come in handy.” Kent explains with a cough.

    “What is it?” Anything will help, so my question is more for the transportation of this thing.

    “The Sword of Beowulf.” From the Halloween episode? “It should give us a chance against Superman, without the chance of giving him cancer with the Kryptonite idea.”

    “Alan and I, will bring Zatanna, Billy, and you with us tomorrow.” He informs us of the plan. “So you three get a good nights rest.”

    “Everyone else, were going to be doing a day of basic training,” Wildcat greets us, when we reach the dining room. His proud smirk is more friendly, than the arrogant one he had our first meeting. He’s grown attached to us, no matter how much he denies it.

    “The sword needs someone pure of heart,” Kent explains, once every has seated themselves around the star shaped table. “Billy is supposed to possess one.”

    “Only according to the Wizard.” Billy sinks into his chair, once we all stare at him. “I don’t know if I really do.”

    “It looks like we shall find out soon.” Kaldur ends the teasing, by pointing at Wally’s full plate. “And it looks like we should dig in.”





    New York
    July 30, 2010
    1:25 PM, EST


    “So why are we taking the entire tour?” Zatanna whispers to Mister Nelson, trying not to draw the ire of our tour guide. “Can’t we just go up to the museum staff like my dad does, when he confiscates a magical artifact?”

    “We don’t have a U.N. charter,” Alan corrects her. “We’re going to have to verify its authenticity, then make a replica.”

    When he says this, I notice another girl in our tour group stop suddenly. She twists her head around and observes us. She looks the be about my age, with waist length black hair. She is wearing blue jeans and a red tank top, with yellow stars on it.

    Kent also notices, giving the Greek girl a nod of acknowledgement. The tall teen freezes, then huffs at being caught. The senior sorcerer and I, share a look and trail after the group.

    “That girl, she kind of reminds me of the old days with Diana.” Alan has a wistful look on his face. “These kids have been really making me feel my age, the last week.”

    “Can’t say I feel any younger.” Chuckling, Kent agrees. “It has been nice, having one of the youngsters to run up and down the stairs for me.”

    “Any closer to finding a replacement?” Alan gestures at Kent’s bowler hat. “Nabu would really be a big help.”

    “If we haven’t found anyone by next week,” The sorcerer sighs. “I’ll put the Helmet on one final time.”

    “Then who are those possibilities, I heard you mention,” The frown I receive from Alan, has me shift awkwardly. “We aren’t getting any younger after all.”

    “You won’t be getting any older either,” A manic voice interrupts us with a cackle.

    Klarion the Witch Boy, struts into the room with his allies. Circe from Vegas, is back with a vengeful smirk on her ageless face. The third person, Is Abra Kadabra. The charlatan introduces himself, with a blast of electricity.

    “If that is the best you have.” Alan shields the five of us, with a brick wall of glowing green light. “Maybe you should have brought someone, with some more experience.” He sends the wall surging forwards, towards the enemy.

    It cracks and shatters, leaving all three attackers fine. Klarion shakes a finger at the Green Lantern, before blasting him with a shower of daggers.

    “SHAZAM!” And the resounding ‘Krack’A’Koom’ that follows, is the signal Captain Marvel has joined the fray.

    “Ooh.” The well dressed, apparently teenage Chaos Lord giggles. “This will be more fun than I thought. You two, handle the distractions.” He moves to engage the transformed Billy, sending shock waves of magic with each attack.

    “Gladly.” Circe waves her hand, sending a golden mist into the displays around us.

    The Ice Age exhibits, come to life with a roar. A saber toothed cat leaps straight for Zatanna, forcing her to defend herself.

    “!won ezeerF” Her training, has decreased her casting time greatly. So has playing scrabble with Kent every day. The cat becomes encased in a block of ice, leaving only the mammoth, cave bear, and Neanderthals remaining.

    Kent engages Abra, by trading spells for scientific tricks. Alan stops Circe, from unleashing her full fury on me and Zatanna is dealing with the cavemen.

    So I only have two dance partners, I swallow my nerves and fire a volley of arrows. Not needing a bow, I can strap arrows to my limbs in civilian clothing. The easily concealed arrows, strike the mammoth in the face.

    The thick fur stops any real damage, but the tear gas does its job. A little too well it seems. The beast charges in my direction, before I can move.

    I try leaping over it, but the trunk grabs my ankle. My only choice, is to completely relax my body. It flails me around wildly, smashing me against the ceiling, floor, and walls.

    “ARGH!” I scream out in pain, as I am finally thrown across the room. Being tossed through a doorway, I skip down the hallway.

    Groaning on the cold tile floor, I struggle to rise to my feet. Managing to make it to my knees, I hear a frightened gasp. I’m between the rampaging mammoth and the museum tour.

    “Get out of here!” I roar at the stunned crowd, keeping the beast focused on me. I force myself onto my shaking feet, and charge forward.

    Before the massive wall of charging animal flattens me, the Greek girl from earlier sprints in front of me. She shoves me to the side in what feels like slow motion, before firmly planting her feet. With her back to me, she grabs the tusks and twists.

    The mammoth, stops moving forward and is tossed to the side. It crashes through the wall, collapsing on the museum’s lawn outside.

    “I guess you’re the ones trying to stop this?” She pulls me back off the floor, with a very firm grip.

    “Yeah. We got a Chaos Lord, Circe, and some pretender here,” I explain with a wheeze. “They’re trying to kidnap Doctor Fate.”

    “Why is a Lord of Order, in a museum?” How does she know that?

    “We’re trying to save to Justice League.” She widens her eyes and drops her jaw in shock. It is kind of a lot to drop on a random civilian, even if she is a metahuman. “We got a tip the Sword of Beowulf here is real.”

    “Why does my sister need saving?” She grabs my shoulder firmly, stopping our movement suddenly. I can feel worry, love, distrust, and anger boiling inside her at my words. A flash of Wonder Woman and this girl laughing, fills my mind.

    “Who are you?” I should try to exercise some caution, this may be a trick.

    “Donna Troy,” She answers proudly. “Younger sister of Diana Prince.” My eyes widen in shock. Does that mean she’s a princess?

    “Call me Trickshot for now,” We resume our approach to the battlefield. “We can discuss the rest later.” She agrees with a firm nod and we charge into the room.

    Zatanna is working with Kent now, keeping the surprisingly capable Abra busy. Alan is beginning to tire in his duel with Circe, so thankfully Donna intercedes.

    “RAAAAGGHH!” A scream of agony, draws my attention towards Captain Marvel and Klarion’s fight above us.

    Klarion has Captain Marvel, locked in a cage of purple lightning. An after image of Billy, keeps appearing above Marvel. Both are screaming in unison, as something happens.

    Captain Marvel’s body mass begins to fade away, with is face losing its maturity. It leaves him looking like a scrawny teenager cosplaying as Captain Marvel, by the end of the agonizing change.

    “No more on and off” Klarion taunts the writhing Billy. “Now this is, who you are” He easily makes my explosive arrows vanish, when I try to intervene.

    “This is getting boring.” He yawns in displeasure. “Time to go find a new toy.” He sends a stream of black flames my way, before racing towards Kent Nelson.

    <Look out!> I try to warn him, but it’s too late.

    Tendrils of yellow ooze, shoot from Klarion’s fingers and wrap Kent firmly in his grasp. He yanks the senior sorcerer into the air, waving goodbye.

    “This doctor, has to make a house call.” Klarion grabs everyone’s attention by creating a swirling vortex of purple energy. “Lets go fools!” Abra and Circe respond, by flying into the closing portal after him and the captured Kent Nelson.

    “Check on Marvel!” I’m grabbing the sword and we can go, I’ll mail them cash and a note. While I run to the Norse section, I realize Donna Troy is beside me.

    “What’s the plan on saving him?” She’s frowning in worry. “Diana will kick my ass, if I let anything happen to her old friend.” She gives me a glare. “And I’ll kick yours, for dragging me into this mess.”

    “If we fail,” I admit, followed by a wave of mental images her way. Enough so she knows the rundown of the crisis and will be able to make an informed choice, on her own involvement. “Things are going to be a lot worse then a beat down from you.”

    I grab the sword, but it doesn’t budge from the sheath. I’m going to be relieved I’m not pure evil, instead of mope about not being worthy.

    “Why so much effort for this sword?” Donna reaches for the handle, when I give up.

    “Its magic, only the pure of heart can wield it, and we don’t have many ways to stop Superman.” My words get no response, as this is when she grabs the handle of the sword.

    Donna is surrounded by a golden glowing aura, as the sounds of men chanting a war cry fill the room. The light solidifies around Donna, leaving her in a suit of gold armour. It’s a full suit of plate mail armour with an open faced, winged helm.

    The sword in her hand is a gleaming silver, with some kind of ancient bone handle. Most of the metal covering her is golden, but the mail armour peaking through from underneath is also silver.

    “Oh,” Donna is smiling in disbelief. “This is why you needed it.”


    Notes:
    So I learned, that Captain Atom is not energy in a suit in YJ. I screwed that up in my planning. So uhm another accidental retcon is Captain Atom is based on his Justice League Unlimited version.
     
  19. Threadmarks: Episode 9: Tower Defence
    Flightless Man

    Flightless Man Not too sore, are you?

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    Episode 9: Tower Defence
    Tower of Fate
    July 30, 2010
    3:02 PM, EST


    “We’re late.” I’m concerned. The front door has been left open, who knows what will greet us inside..

    “Hopefully delaying Klarion and his friends for us,” Green Lantern grimly answers me. “We cannot let them get the Helmet. No matter what.”

    “Understood Mister Scott.” Acknowledges our new ally Donna, with an eagerness you cannot fake. “I will take care of Circe.”

    “Then Miss Zatara, I will need you to get Kent away from Klarion.” “While I handle the Chaos Lord with Marvel.”

    “Leaving me with Abra.” Perfect, I can’t really hope to take down the other two on my own.

    “He should be easier than an animal.” Zatanna covers her wave of concern, with a smirk.

    “Are you sure you’re up for this Billy?” He Isn’t wracked with spasms anymore, but he looks like a fifteen year old. One who maybe weighs a hundred pounds, soaking wet.

    “I have to be, don’t I?” He gives a weak thumbs up. “Our friends could be in danger.”

    “I’m going to have to reload in my room,” I inform the group, as I check my supply. “I only have a few arrows left.”

    “He keeps Nabu, in he attic.” Alan enters the den first, and we find the room trashed. “So we only have to go up three floors once we cross the desert, I know a short cut”

    “What do you mean, the tower has a desert inside it?” Donna asks, while I grab a quiver from my room.

    “Over the centuries, Doctor Fate has added many floors to his tower.” Zatanna explains to the Amazonian. She has spent a lot of time with Kent, she has learned way more about this place than myself.

    “Kent said each floor after the living area.” Alan continues, as we climb the spiral staircase. “Is it’s own separate plane of existence. Nabu and his many hosts created them for a variety of reasons.”

    “I accidentally entered the Swamp of Stench.” I shudder at the memory. “Kent created it, to contain some kind of demonic hippo thing.”

    Entering the desert, shows none of the team. The invaders are also absent, but something has been left to stall any pursuit. Crawling towards us across the silver sands, is a creature that wants it’s revenge.

    The hydra from Nevada, has six heads now. The ones Giovanni removed, replacing themselves with company.

    The creature’s full size, is massive. Its body is the size of a brachiasaurus, with six heads. Each neck is incredibly long, two to three times as long as what the actual dinosaur’s neck length was.

    “Do not remove the heads.” I firmly instruct everyone. “It had three heads last time I faced this thing.” Giovanni was not the most tactically minded, we don’t need a repeat today.

    “It’s in a Disney movie,” Zatanna teases my apparent mistake. “how did you screw that up?”

    “That was your dad.” I respond with a smirk. “When we met up with him in Vegas.”

    “Oh.” She blushes before getting her head in the game. We have a few miles before the creature reaches us, but we should come up with a plan before it does.

    “!egarim edam fo dnas ,akam siht gninihs thgink na ymrA” Zatanna is quick to make up for her fathers screw up. A wave of violet energy, causes the silver sand to create a dozen copies of Donna Troy.

    “They should let you get close enough,” The magician is terrified, but trying to conceal it with bravado.

    “I’ll focus on pinning the heads,” Alan rises into the air, his emerald aura becomes a blazing green flame around him.

    “Remember not to breathe in its breath,” The Donna’s warn us, before charging across the sand. The squad of mirages meet the Hydra, sending it into a frenzy.

    Alan is able to catch the heads, before all the Donna’s have been destroyed. This allows her to leap onto the back, stabbing into the back of the beast with the Sword of Beowulf.

    She roars in triumph, causing a surge of golden light to pierce through the beast. The lance of magical light, drills all the way through the mythical animal and strikes the sand beneath it.

    “Wow,” I hear Billy mumble in awe. “She’s amazing.” Zatanna and I, share a look and laugh.

    With the watch beast defeated, we are free to resume our race for the Helmet of Fate. Instead of the normal doorway on the far side of the sands, Alan begins shovelling into the desert.

    His excavation takes no time at all, four loads of sand later and a trap door is revealed. We all head into the newly formed crater, preparing for whatever else we may encounter.

    “This will bring us to the Sea of Seething.” Alan stops me from lifting the door. “Do not gaze at your reflection.” That sounds ominous.

    “Why not?” This really sounds like something I should clarify.

    “Nelvanna and Kent sealed a being made only of hate, beneath an ocean of sleep potion.” He makes sure we understand the danger, before finally allowing me to proceed. “We don’t want it waking up.”

    Dropping through the trapdoor, has the lot of us landing on an endless sheet of Ice. Across the ice nearly out of view, is the doorway to the next floor.

    “Go fast, be quiet, and do not look down.” Alan’s aura begins flickering and the overwhelming emotion of hatred, permeates the ‘room’. Donna, is the only one who seems unaffected.

    As we cross the distance, I can feel Zatanna and Billy are wavering. I won’t be able to make many more steps myself. Thinking fast I wrap an arm around the pair, locking my fingers firmly. I extend the other arm to Donna, which she grabs a hold of.

    “Do not stop.” I lock eyes with her. “Even if you need to drag us behind you.” She finally nods and gives Alan one end of her silver lasso.

    Zatanna and I both collapse before we cross the frozen sea. Billy has enough strength to support her under his shoulder, but I do indeed get dragged almost half the way.

    Alan’s aura has faded to barely a flicker of light, by the time we cross the ice. Donna is able to pry open the doorway, dragging me through behind her. When Billy leads a shivering Zatanna inside, Alan thankfully closes the door behind us.

    “Where are we now?” I groan from the floor.

    “The Labyrinth of Loss.” Zatanna informs me with a sigh.

    “What do you mean labyrinth?” contradicts Billy. “Its a hallway with like four adjoining corridors.” One of us needs our eyes checked, because I can see dozens of paths.

    “Everyone we have lost in our lives,” Explains a shivering magician. “Makes us see another pathway.” “If you dwell on loss, you will never get across.” Alan understands. “Kent added this floor, when Inza died.”

    “My turn to lead us across it seems.” Billy takes the lead of Donna’s lasso, each of us getting inline behind him.

    “I can hear my families voice.” for the first time since waking in this body, I can hear my mom calling my name. My siblings playing, and my dad talking to my dog. Choosing not to listen, I force my ears the inflate and seal closed.

    The silence really helps. I can focus on following Donna in front of me, instead of the sounds of everyone I miss from my old life.

    “This is the last one, right?” It better be, my nerves are shot already.

    “Yes.” Agrees Alan. “We’re in the Forest of Fornication.” All of us give him panicked looks at the name.

    “What made this floor so messed up?” Donna turns her nose up at the thought.

    “We have no idea.” Alan returns our frightened expressions. “We never wanted to find out.” That is unsettling. “So let’s not do it this visit either.” A sphere of green surrounds us, Alan’s focus has stabilized enough by now. He has us rocket over the treeline, before anything bad can happen.

    “On the other side of the door,” Alan warns us on our descent. “We shall hopefully find your friends still fighting.” As long as the Helmet is in our allies possession, I may be choosing the host after all.



    Kon-El
    Tower of Fate
    July 30, 2010
    6:16 PM, EST


    “Your screams, are beginning to sound the same,” Klarion the Chaos Lord, taunts the screaming “Paula Crock. “I think it’s time Abra moves on to one of the kids.” The Team is lined up and awaiting our own turn.

    “What, you always finish before the lady?” Huntress challenges Abra by spitting in his face, before he can move on to me. “A fall off a roof broke my back, but you can’t even crack me?” Now I know where Artemis gets her spine of steel.

    “You. Will. Speak!” Abra shocks her with three bolts of electricity, causing her to writhe in pain.

    My struggles are futile. The chains binding us are nearly indestructible. I know, I’ve been straining against them the entire time and have felt no give.

    A glowing green freight train, appears in motion and slams into Klarion. The maniacal wizard goes flying, crashing into one of the towering shelves. Alan is flying towards him, a trio a jade boxing gloves smashing into Klarion’s body.

    Some girl in golden armour, lands near the Circe witch. The knight, she delivers an uppercut to the ageless woman and sends her sailing through the air. Zatanna takes the opportunity to blast the distracted Abra, drawing his attention from Artemis’ mom.

    Captain Marvel rushes to us, his divine strength allowing him to easily snap the chains. He looks wrong, It looks like Billy is a few years older and is dressing up as Captain Marvel. He has no muscle mass at all.

    “Sorry it took us so long to get here.” He pants from exertion. “We got ambushed at the museum.” They grabbed Kent and did whatever they did to Billy. I’d say they are forgiven, for being a little late.

    “Circe turned Wildcat into a house cat” I try to focus on sharing the vital details. “Klarion’s pet, is chasing him around he place.”

    “Oh ho ho.” Klarion’s voice rings across the city sized attic. “I finally figured out your weakness!”

    “ARRRGGH!” Is the agonized reply from Alan Scott. He falls from the sky and impacts the ground nearby. His motionless body, is pierced by a dozen wooden stakes and blood pools beneath him.

    “Alan!” Kent screams, from his place inside a man sized snow globe. Where the hell is Roy? Did he get turned into the new girl?

    “Who’s next?” Sing-songs Klarion, as he descends towards us. In his palm, he juggles three balls of blue fire.

    “You are!” I leap at him, catching him off guard. Marvel needs to break the magic chains, so I do what Ted taught us and play to my strengths.

    If I’m stronger, get close and keep them in my grip. He said ‘Don’t let a ranged foe wear you down’, so I won’t let Klarion go.

    I grapple him from behind, while he flails in the air. He doesn’t react to my choke hold, so I start kneeing him in the kidney. Half strength of course, I don’t want to rip the teenage wizard in half.

    “I’m going to turn you inside out for this!” My magical foe, shrieks in rage. “You aren’t even a half breed, you mongrel!” Oh, now I’m really mad. No more holding back, seems like he can take what I’m dishing out.

    Slamming my head forward, I interrupt any further taunts. My head is hard, so I don’t let up. I manage nine headbutts, before Klarion stops me.

    “Enough games!” His voice distorts, taking on an eldritch aspect.

    “(W&8@% &4f*%, Y3^n*@!” Once his spell is cast, a sphere of sickly yellow light explodes from his centre. It washes over me and all I feel, is overwhelming agony.

    I shriek in pain, and lose my grip on Klarion. As I fall, the wizard tosses a new set of conjured fireballs. They burn through my suit and scorch my skin with each impact. When I finally collide with the floor below, I black out.








    Tower of Fate
    July 30, 2010
    6:27 PM, EST


    <Hurry!> I can feel M’gann’s panic as I run back to everyone, Helmet in hand. Literally, I have it completely sealed within my enlarged fingers.

    When I reach the final shelf, I can see Circe is managing to keep Donna at bay. Abra is getting getting overwhelmed by Zatanna and the Atlanteans, but Kon is groaning in a heap.

    Klarion is cackling madly, while taking pot shots at those still being freed by Billy. Rocket’s energy sphere, is the only thing keeping them safe. Ignoring Alan’s unmoving body, I make a choice and spring into action.

    I reach the charlatan, as a blast of water knocks him off his feet. Taking advantage of Abra’s take down, I lift him with my free arm, I slam the Helmet of Fate on his skull.

    “You wanted to be a Wizard?” I whisper in his ear. “I guess it was always your Fate!” Slamming the Helmet of Fate onto his skull, I leap away from him.

    “YES!” Is the last thing Abra Kadabra says, in his own voice. An ankh of golden light surrounds him, forcing me to shield my eyes.

    “Fate will fall on the wicked now.” Nabu’s voice resonates with an ethereal force. “I shall handle the Witch boy.” Once he informs me, he shoots into the sky towards Klarion.

    Circe has managed to turn her battle her way. A quickly closed portal, has deposited a score of armoured minotaurs on the battlefield.

    The magically mutated and controlled children, have engaged the Team in combat. Firing a salvo of foam arrows at them, I join the fray.

    Wally is working his own magic, keeping a dozen of the bulls focused on him. His speed is fast enough to evade, but he lacks the momentum to take the foes down in a single blow.

    The Atlantean’s are working through his distracted enemies, like a well oiled squad. Kaldur’s water bearers, are capable of meeting the mythical beasts evenly.

    Zatanna has been distracted by a swarm of golden scorpions, leaving Donna alone against the centuries old sorceress. She’s losing steam, but is in no danger of losing yet.

    Billy and Rocket, are keeping a squad of minotaurs away from Robin while he examines Huntress for injury.

    Artemis is standing over Kon’s smoking body, defending him from a trio of attackers. None of us are able to reach her in time. M’gann and my own group of foes is doing a decent job of delaying us.

    She slashes a scimitar into the arm of an attacker, before the second kicks her in the back. She drops with a groan, leaving her and Kon open to a follow up.

    A blinding flash of emerald light, comes from beneath Robin. It draw the gaze of the easily distracted bull men, giving me some breathing room. I take advantage of this, with a powerful kick to the jaw of one.

    “Get away from my little girl!” Paula screams in defiance. She’s covered in a blazing aura of green, and shooting blasts of jade at the enemy.

    “You may have gotten Nabu in play,” Klarion realizes the tide has turned and creates a portal, taunting us with his revelation. “But we learned enough from Kent already.”

    “We know about the League.” Circe rushes to join his escape, while Klarion takes his time twisting the knife. “So get ready for a house call.” Shit. We’re not ready.

    “Teekl, come!” Klarion hold waves his hand, summing his blood covered cat to him. “See you all again soon.” With those words, he snaps his fingers. Kent Nelson’s snow globe is now miniature and in Klarion’s palm. Him and Circe enter the closing portal, with a farewell smirk.

    M’gann collapses against my side, and sighs in relief. I wrap an arm around her for support and we head for Kon. If Paula has Alan’s ring, I know he didn’t make it. Save the living first, then we can mourn the lost.

    The new Doctor Fate lowers himself to us and puts the minotaurs to sleep with a golden mist. He quickly moves to examine Kon and Billy.

    Paul has already landed beside her unconscious daughter, checking for serious injury. When she finds none, she locks eyes with me and growls.

    “We need to call everyone now.” She is right, Klarion said the Light knows about the mental conditioning. We don’t have long before it’s game over.

    “We have to move as soon as everyone is standing.” I agree with a heavy sigh. “Before the Light has time to come up with a real plan.”

    “While we’re calling everyone,” A black cat gingerly walks towards us. Ted’s voice coming from the heavily wounded animal. “Can the new Fate, try changing me back?”





    Tower of Fate
    July 30, 2010
    7:11 PM, EST


    <Where is Firestorm?> Privately I ask ask M’gann. When Doctor Fate brings us to the den with a flash of gold light, Paula rushes to Alan’s still body.

    <Right before they attacked, she jumped out the window and flew away.> She shares the unusual memory of the gyndroid. Wordlessly they stood and dove out the window, rocketing away with a trail of fire. Seconds later, Klarion’s team was attacking.

    <We tried sending a warning, but we got jammed by something.> I return the favour, filling her in on my own adventure in New York.

    “Did you turn the defences back on, when you got here?” Zatanna interrupts the exchange, between M’gann and I. “Robin called Firestorm, to figure out where they flew off too.”

    “And they said they got your warning and went to get help, before Klarion showed up.” Robin adds with a giggle.

    “How far away are they?” Things are finally looking up.

    “Everyone is stuck in the entrance.” Oh.

    “Oops.” Fate has a variety of defences in place. Hopefully we only turned a few on, when we got here.

    “The new Fate.” Zatanna scowls, at the idea of Abra being the host. “Went to let them out of the pocket dimension.”

    “Good.” We can start our attack immediately then. “We can’t let the Light get entrenched.”

    “This is correct,” Kaldur agrees, with concern. “We have to move now.” Paula’s green glow, begins flickering and then completely vanishes.

    Her earlier torture, has finally caught up with her. She’s passed out, on one of the mostly intact armchairs. Wildcat looks like he will be stuck as he is for a while. Circe is really skilled at her craft, if even Doctor Fate is having issues.

    “We leave the injured here, then we hit the Hall and Watchtower.” I grab everyone’s attention. “At the same time.” Fate said both locations are warded against teleportation. We need to move before they lock down the Zeta tube access.

    “Doctor Fate, will bring us all to the cave.” The rest of the alliance enters the room, behind the returning Fate. Glares are leveled at me, while Icon moves to Rocket’s side in concern.

    “Once he does, we Zeta beam into both locations and lock them down.” I hold up Red Tornado’s head. “The group on the Watchtower, needs to install Red Head in the main computer.”

    “What about the group at the Hall?” Robin asks for everyone.

    “We need to make sure no reinforcements can arrive.” I look at my friends and allies, one at a time. “The group at the Hall is going to be dealing with constant waves, of whoever the Light can find.” I don’t know why I’m so sure, but it is what they will do.

    “Your Team, knows how to work as a group,” Sandman speaks up. “Take Icon and the new doctor Fate with you.” He cocks his gas gun, looking at the new Blue Beetle and Atom. “The All Star Squadron, will show the rest of the new guys how to hold the line.”

    “I’m tired of my home being attacked,” Growls Artemis. “Let’s get some payback.”

    “M’gann has taught me how to dismantle the programming,” Nelvanna of the Northern Lights, informs us. “I am slower, but I can free someone in nearly ten minutes.” Good, Fate said he can remove it as well. We have a chance.

    “Knockout and restrain,” My instructions display none of my nerves, thankfully. I guess I’ve been faking it for so long, I’m becoming this person.

    “Are you going to make your face... go back to normal dude?” Wally points at me, with his normal lack of tact. A glance at my reflection, shows my face is smooth like a G.I. Joe doll.

    Focusing on what Roy looks like, fails. I only remember his face from a cartoon. It doesn’t help that I still don’t think of it as my own.

    “I may be looking like this for a while.” May as well admit my failure now. “I don’t remember my face very well.”

    “Once we finish up,” The cocky voice of Plasticman offers. “I’ll show you how.”








    Watchtower
    July 30, 2010
    9:22 PM, WT T


    As soon as we exit the Zeta beam, the fight is on. Most of the League is worryingly absent. I hope they aren’t all at the Hall of Justice, or that group is probably already dead.

    Green Arrow, Black Canary, Giovanni Zatara, John Stewart, and Hawkwoman are the only members on board. The gap in the normal numbers, has been filled by escapees from Belle Reve. Dammit, I knew I was forgetting things.

    Vandal Savage, the caveman in a business suit and Klarion are present with an array of villains. Mr Freeze, the Terror Twins, my old friend Condiment King, and even Cheetah, are moving to take us down.

    “The Witch boy, shall meet his Fate!” Abra intones with Nabu’s voice. He blasts a beam of gold light at Klarion and the two begin to dance.

    “Then leave the Lantern to me.” Icon blasts off, slamming into John Stewert’s hasty green shield.

    Kid Flash begins herding Cheetah, so White Tigress can get in close. The pair are using maneuver nine, much better than in training. Cheetah can’t land a clean hit on either target.

    I know Oliver is better with the bow, so I go close. Springing forward, I tackle him to the floor and constrict him. M’gann will get here soon, I only need to hold him for a while.

    Kon is taking on Tommy, while Tuppence gets her face bashed in by Donna. Training and teamwork, is allowing them to handily take control of the fight.

    Robin is gone, with Red Head in tow. We can do this I think in glee, tightening my grip on the struggling Oliver.

    Freeze is being pushed back by Firestorm, Her torrent of flames is turning his ice into scalding steam. Meanwhile the Condiment King is being overwhelmed by Marvel, who is looking for revenge.

    Hawkwoman and Black Canary, are doing a good job of distracting the Atlantean trio. Kaldur can’t get close and Garth is limited on his water supply. Tula lacks the offensive skills to change things for now, so hopefully someone can relieve them soon.

    Zatanna is beginning to lose ground against Giovanni. His superior skill, starting to show. Rocket has Savage in a sphere of energy, but he simply observes the action with a smirk on his scarred face.

    <He’s free.> M’gann’s voice is a relief in my mind. <Give Zatanna a hand.> Are my instructions, as she rushes towards the Atlanteans. I like it when she’s confident like that.

    <Yes dear.> I send a pulse of affection. <Be careful.>

    When I make it to the duelling magicians, it’s very clear Zatanna is nearing exhaustion. Her dad’s spells are just over powering her own, on a one for one basis.

    Like we practiced, I step in front of Zatanna, bouncing one of Giovanni’s spells back at him. Her added enchantments to my armour, work perfectly. He finds himself blind and deaf, when his purple spell collides with him.

    “Thanks,” Pants the younger magician. “I was almost out of gas.”

    “Then allow me.” I make sure he wont recover, by sealing him with a foam arrow. “Make sure he doesn’t go anywhere. She nods in confirmation, as I scan the battlefield.

    We have nearly won, and the lights are flashing in the order we agreed on. Red Head is online and we are in control of the Watchtower.

    “Bwa ha ha.” Savage’s booming laughter, indicates we’re missing something. “I must give you credit on success here today.” He gives a small condescending clap, from inside his energy prison.

    “But the age of heroes is at an end.” He sneers at me. “We have the rest of the League and we shall show the world how vile heroes can be.”

    He taps a button on his belt, creating a portal to open behind him. He waves goodbye and steps into it. Closing it immediately behind himself.

    “Aww,” Whines Klarion, mid battle. “Why do you kids keep getting in the way of my fun.” He snaps his fingers and taunts us a final time as he fades away. “I’ll get you back for this.” That sounds ominous.

    We won the battle, but the war is coming to the Light.
     
  20. Threadmarks: Episode 10: Missing Mera
    Flightless Man

    Flightless Man Not too sore, are you?

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    Episode 10: Missing Mera


    Star City
    July 30, 2010
    11:42 PM, PDT

    “You’re sure I can stay with you?” M’gann nervously asks Oliver, who only laughs.

    “You kind of saved the day.” He bows to her with a wink. “Mi casa, su casa.”

    “Besides Ted is already moving in.” Dinah scratches her sleeping mentor behind the ear. “You can stay as long as you need.”

    “Thanks, for everything.” Ollie waves away my thanks, with a sad smile.

    “What was I going to do,” He locks eyes with me and tiredly asks. “Kick you out?”

    “You may not be Roy.” Dinah gives me a motherly hug. “But you are still his son, adopted or not and we both love you.” He says that, but all I can feel is anxiety from the two. 'You're not even the fake Roy.' I can hear his voice say it clearly, even if he never will to my face.

    “I have to admit, it’s easier with you not looking like him anymore.” Sighs my mentor. My milk white skin, wax sculpture like skin, and dark brown hair, is a big change from the last time he saw me.

    “I have been going by Connor lately,” I admit. “I’m thinking of keeping it. It made Kon happy I used it.” Anything to to keep him opening up, is a good thing in my book.

    “If you think its for the best.” Oliver gives his approval. “Now I’ll see you in the morning, I’m going to sleep off the broken ribs you gave me.” He let’s Dinah lead him to bed, leaving M’gann and I alone.

    <I feel so bad for Wesley and Rex’s families.> M’gann’s sorrow seeps into me. <Sandman’s kids didn’t even know he was a hero, when Giovanni called to let them know.>

    <Hourman at least told his family goodbye, before he came today.> Rex knew once his hour ran out, his heart would too.

    <Alan only had an ex wife.> I get a wave of guilt from my favourite Martian. <I don’t know what makes me feel worse. That he had no one to call, or that I’m relieved we didn’t have to call anyone.>

    <Neither.> I grab her in a hug and lead her to the couch. Some mindless television is in store, we earned a night off. They always have a cooking show, so I search for one. <Alan lived his life how he wanted. We can only be thankful for what he taught us, before we lost him.>

    <You’re really good at this comforting thing.> She leans a head on my shoulder as the commercials end. <Have you gone through this before?>

    <A few times.> My sorrow leaks out, as I remember who I have lost in my old life.

    <I’m so sorry.> A pulse of regret from her. <Of course you remember Roy’s family dying.>

    <Can we think about you instead?> I try and change the subject. <I still don’t know all your siblings names.>

    <Once we save uncle J’onn, I would like to go home for a visit.> She reminisces about home on Mars.

    <I guess I can meet your parents.> I offer, with a kiss to her temple.

    <That’s not what I meant, but thanks.> She laughs lightly and clarifies. <I’m worried about M’comm.> An image of her only other white sibling, flashes in my mind. How the two of them faced so much discrimination on Mars and how he is now alone.

    <We can always ask him if he wants to come to Earth?> Ollie can easily create him a fake identity. <He doesn’t even have to do the whole hero thing.>




    Kon-El
    Smallville
    August 1, 2010
    5:32 AM, MST


    “Morning, Pa.” In the early morning light, I find Pa Kent emerging from the chicken coop.

    “Where have you been?” His stern look, makes me forget he has no powers. “Ma and I, have been worried sick about you.”

    “I’m sorry, It’s just-” Pa cuts off my apology with a shake of his head.

    “I’m just glad you’re safe.” He points to the barn. “You can make up for worrying me, by helping me fix the tractor.

    “Okay,” It’s easier to agree, I won’t have to look him in the eye for the explanation.

    “When we finish, Martha will have breakfast ready.” He puts the eggs by the front door, beside the pail of milk. “So you can explain while we work.” So I do.

    I explain about the mental infection and how Clark is being controlled. He listens patiently, while I tell him how helpless I felt against Klarion. When I tell him about the attack we performed last night, he smiles at me in pride.

    “You really are a good kid.” He shakes his head in amazement. “Ma and I are really proud of you. Martha even got you forms for school, If you still want to live here.” I thought it was just talk, but they really want me.

    “Of course I do,” My voice rises an octave, as I rush to agree. I can only smile to myself, because I have a home. I really have a family.

    “Good.” My uncle approves. “We already cleared out Martha’s sewing room for you. Be a shame if it was a waste of time.”

    “I’ll make sure to pull your weight,” I assure him quickly, so he doesn’t regret his decision. His strange look, has me correcting myself with a blush. “I mean I’ll pull my own weight Sir.”

    “None of that Sir stuff.” He passes me a wrench. “I told ya on your first day here. It’s Ma and Pa.”

    “Yes Pa.” I smile and start unbolting the broken tire.

    “Did you at least have fun with your friends?” Wheeling over the oversized wheel, he asks warmly.

    “Yeah, but...” How do I ask this this? I’m not even sure if this means something. “My friend Artemis, she asked me to come to Green Arrow and Black Canaries wedding with her.” I threw out my only suit. Maybe I should have kept it?

    “Oh the Kent charm, does skip a generation.” He laughs warmly. “Clark didn’t even go to his homecoming.”






    Hall of Justice
    August 6, 2010
    6:56 AM, EDT


    “Cutting it close, aren’t you?” Chirps Robin, from the his place in Batman’s seat. The Team is assembled in the conference room, so we can plan our next move.

    “Still beat Wally here.” Artemis throws back at Robin and rolls her eyes at Zatanna. “How is your boyfriend always late?”

    “Why did you call us all in so early?” Kon looks as exhausted as I feel, in Superman’s chair. “Do we have a lead?” A blur of yellow, races into the room.

    “I’m here,” Pants Wally. “We can start.”

    “After we secured the Hall of Justice and the Watchtower,” Robin jumps right to the meat of the issue. “We began informing relevant parties.”

    I know Donna went to Themyscira, to warn her mother of Wonder Woman’s condition. Icon, Nelvanna, and Rocket, are keeping watch on the Fortress of Solitude. Even Robin took Plasticman and Blue Beetle home last night.

    “Kaldur, Tula, and Garth, have failed to call in since they left.” Are we going to Atlantis for a rescue mission? “We did however, receive word from Queen Mera.”

    He brings up a holographic display in the centre of the table. It zooms in on the Atlantic ocean, off the shore of Africa. A submarine in the shape of a massive black manta ray, cruises south at an incredible pace.

    “She called for help, when Black Manta’s forces invaded the palace.” Firestorm’s voice, comes in over the intercom. “Red Tornado and I, are tracking our missing trio.” So they were also captured, shit. Who knows what Manta will do to Aquaman’s apprentice, or his wife.

    “What’s the plan?” I have no idea what to do, someone else better have one this time.

    “We save them.” Kon is firm, but not angry. He’s getting better at controlling his emotions. “Zeta beam to Cape Town, then we intercept here.” He points at a shallower area, that Black Manta will cross in the next hour.

    “Jay said we had to handle this,” Adds Wally. “They are stretched thin already, filling in for the League.”

    “Then let’s stop wasting time.” Superboy stands, taking charge of the mission. “We move now.”




    South Africa
    August 2, 2010
    2:18 PM, SAST


    <Kid Flash.> Kon tests out the mind link. <As soon as we find the Queen, get her back to the Cape Town Zeta.>

    <I’m on it boss man.> Wally cockily agrees, even though we can all feel his anxiety at failure.

    <I can’t detect anyone on board.> M’gann is happy to finally be linking mentally with the Team, but very infuriated by whatever is blocking her.

    <We’re not going to know, how many we have to face inside.> Robin’s own irritation, seeps into the link.

    <I’m going to rip the propellers off and come in through my own hole.> Kon informs us. <Make sure you all have a re-breather on hand.>






    M’gann M’orzz
    South Africa
    August 2, 2010
    2:27 PM, SAST


    <Propeller one, removed.> Superboy relays to the Team on shore, while I struggle with my own. <Move now.>

    <See you inside.> I get a pulse of encouragement from my boyfriend.

    I still can’t believe how different things are on Earth. I’m not the weird one, getting picked on anymore. Here, I’m accepted and I have friends. I even have a boyfriend.

    <Got mine.> Finally, I undo the bolts and yank. The truck sized propeller, dropping to the seafloor below.

    While Christopher works on the final one, the silt plumes upwards. In the now murky waters, I can feel the confused minds of something.

    <Look out!> I try to warn him, as a massive serpentine form surges from the depths.

    Superboy catches the snapping jaws of the orange and blue sea serpent, right before they close on him. He struggles with the creature, before shoving its head in the propeller.

    Several more of the massive animals, move into striking range.








    South Africa
    August 2, 2010
    2:29 PM, SAST


    “How many goons are on this thing?” Wally dodges one of the pirates. All of them have been clad in high tech black diving suits, with an array of advanced weaponry.

    “We can count them,” Grunts Artemis, as she slashes through a heat ray rifle. “When we finish.”

    “The Queen and our friends need us.” Agrees Dick, delivering a powerful strike to his foe.

    “We don’t have much submarine, left to search.” Zatanna has magnetized her opponents, leaving them unable to do anything. “They have to be close.”

    I drop my final crew member, with an extension kick. With all of us finished, Robin cracks open the next hatch.

    “You... came?” Garth croaks out from his cell. Tula is unconscious beside him and Kaldur is nowhere to be seen.

    “Of course we did.” Wally is already inside the cell, sharing his water. “You’re our friends and we kind of have a queen to save.”

    “Prince Orm, he declared martial law.” Garth’s despair floods the room. “Our king, he arrived and began slaughtering Pure bloods.”

    The memory leaks out of him. I see Aquaman killing his way through the palace, no one able of even slowing him down. Mera, the queen and Prince Orm take shelter in the throne room. Kaldur and Tula beside Garth, as a final defence.

    When Aquaman arrives, Mera fails to shake his control. Orm takes to the fight and leads the controlled king, across the city. Before Garth could relax, Black Manta and his men had arrived.

    “We fought against Manta’s forces, but he overwhelmed us.” Garth groans in pain, his entire body looks like one single bruise.

    “Where’s Kaldur?” Finally I ask. “And Queen Mera.”

    “Manta said, his son needed to see the end of the old ways.” Garth has a coughing fit, before finishing. “He’s going to sacrifice the Queen and her child, and call forth the children of Crataeis.”

    “Bless you.” Wally looks as confused as I feel. Who, or what is that?

    “No she is the mother of sea monsters,” Explains Tempest, with a far away look in his eyes. “She has had centuries for her new spawn to grow. They will hold the worlds oceans, at ransom.”

    “Every single island nation, will be at the mercy of Black Manta and Prince Orm.” Concludes Robin with a grim expression.

    “Our king can command sea creatures,” Tula groans in Garth’s arms. “We have to stop them, before he can unleash Crataeis’ children.”

    “You heard them,” I pass my own water to Siren. “Expect to face Aquaman and Black Manta.”

    <We have Aquaman on board.> Reaching out to M’gann, I get a flash of panic. <Where are you two?>

    <Still in the water.> She responds rather briskly. <A school of sea monsters, decided to say hi.>

    “We got some Serpents outside.” I frown as M’gann has another pulse of fear. “Tempest are you able to lend a hand?”

    “Yeah, If Tula can give me a boost.” He looks at his paramour, who nods. “Then I’ll be outside as soon as she finishes the enhancement. Siren’s eyes glow an ethereal green, and soon so does Tempest’s entire body.

    “Then lets go.” Wally is tapping his foot impatiently, beside the hatch to Manta’s office.

    “You get Mera to safety, while we engage the enemy.” I remind the impatient red head.

    “I know, I know.” He waves off my reminder. “Save the Queen. You better make sure Kaldur is fine.” He shoots Zatanna a smile. “Be careful babe, I’ll see you back at the Hall.”

    “You too motor mouth.” She rolls her eyes, and readies herself for whatever is inside.

    “On three.” Signals Robin and opens the door when his countdown finishes.

    Inside, Mera is bound to an altar, A crabman in black robes beside her. Black Manta, Aquaman, and the criminal known as Eel, are standing with a shackled Kaldur. Aqualad jerks in surprise when he sees us, before throwing himself into Eel.

    “Don’t let the children interfere.” Manta orders the controlled Aquaman.

    The King of Atlantis, leaps at us. His spinning trident, knocks Tigress and Robin aside easily. Zatanna blasts him with a ‘!llaberiF’, forcing him to shield his face.

    I shoot forward at the wrestling forms of Kaldur and Eel. I lock Eel in a headlock and expose my quiver to Aqualad. Realizing my intent, he grabs a liquid nitrogen arrow.

    Black Manta clothes lines Kid Flash, who crashes to the floor wheezing. Before he can deliver a finishing blow, Black Manta is stopped by a now free Kaldur.

    “You continue to do a father proud, with your drive and skill.” Black Manta compliments his opponent. “Once you have been shown the Light, you will prove a valuable heir.” A blast of red energy from his helmet, is barely blocked by Aqualad.

    “You will be eternally disappointed,” Kaldur grunts in effort, slamming a hydro mace into Manta’s side. “No matter what lies you spew.”

    “I’m being given Thailand for my services.” Taunts the pirate. “You would be a prince.”

    “I have no desire in the words of a liar,” The firm denial from Kaldur is good to hear. “I serve my king loyally and with pride.”

    Aquaman slams an elbow into Kaldur’s back, the rest of the Team down for now. A flash of orange light and Mera is gone from the room, safely removed by Wally.

    <Good work K.F.> I call in farewell, as I feel his presence vanish outside the ship.

    “We need a magical sacrifice!” The crab cultist shrieks. “The Sea Mother, is awaiting her promised blood.”

    “We already sacrificed over a hundred Pure bloods,” Black Manta roars back angrily. “How hungry is she!”

    “As Kaldur gets a painful beat down from his king, The crustacean spell caster grabs a fallen Zatanna, dragging her by the hair to the altar.

    I’m to busy avoiding Eel’s shock palms, to get to her. So I focus on Aquaman’s mind. I can’t undo his commands fast enough, but I’m really good at working with memories.

    Reaching into Aquaman’s past, I pull his memories of two months ago to the immediate surface. It will only work for a few minutes at best, but everyone else is down or mid fight.

    “Kaldur?” Aquaman is suddenly confused at his situation, no longer attacking us. “Black Manta!” Before he can attack the pirate, I point him to Zatanna. Surging towards the cultist, Aquaman impales him on his trident.

    “It seems the day is not in my favour.”Black Manta enters a command on the wall. “Override Self Destruct. Delta Sigma Nine, Five minutes.”

    As soon as he says the words, red lights begin flashing, and klaxons blare. Manta blasts the wall of his submarine, causing the propeller less vessel to begin flooding.

    Tula grabs Robin, while Kaldur carries the fallen Tigress out of the submarine. Aquaman passes me Zatanna, and gives me a solemn look.

    “Get her off the ship. I need to get it away before his nukes detonate.” The King starts twitching. “I’m not going to remain in control for long. So make sure to get everyone clear of the blast.”

    As the room nearly finishes flooding, I inflate my lungs with as much air as they can hold. It’s hard to walk, but will get Zatanna and I to the surface. Rising towards the surface, I see Aquaman grab the submarine from beneath and heave.

    His muscle strain, but slowly it rises from the sea floor. Once he has it above his head, he kicks off and begins swimming to deeper water.

    <Tell Mera, if its a girl.> I open a link before he is out of range. <Name her Porm. Thomas if it’s a boy.> The serpents aid him, gripping the vessel in their teeth. As one they push Black Manta’s submarine out of view.

    When Zatanna and I reach the surface, we bob in the waves. Beneath us we see a brief flash of white light, before a massive wave sends us towards the rocky shore.




    Hall of Justice
    August 4, 2010
    11:31 AM, EDT


    Kon slams my head into the training mats, dropping me to the floor. With how many fights we are getting into, we have all had to step up our training. Losing is not an option.

    “Do we actually have a plan on what to do about Atlantis?” Demands Artemis, when she enters the training room in a huff. “Or is Mera going to be a Queen in exile?”

    “Orm has been declared King,” Kaldur answers with a frown. “And we as her kidnappers.”

    “It will be hard to return her safely, to her throne.” Agrees Tula. “She wishes to have her child, before leading the rebellion.” Thousands of Atlanteans are being held under house arrest. We have an army waiting, when we do make our move.

    “My turn,” Garth coldly declares, jumping into the ring.

    “Be my guest.” I head for the benches. “My head needs a break.”

    “And I need someone, who can actually hit me back.” Kon teases me with a smirk. “Not just hop around for ten minutes.”

    “Thirteen, thank you very much.” I proudly correct him, taking my seat beside M’gann.

    “So have you decided on which school you’re going to attend?” As Superboy and Tempest begin circling each other, I ask Artemis.

    “Same one you did.” It is the best in Star City. “What about you and M’gann?”

    “I postponed my acceptance for a year,” I admit with a shrug. “I kind of need to figure out who I am now.”

    “Once we free the League,” M’gann answers with a big smile. “Connor said we can take a trip back to Mars.” I can feel her excitement surging from her.

    “Make sure you come back,” Artemis hugs M’gann at the news. “You can ‘forget’ him and I won’t say anything.”

    “A vacation would be nice after we deal with this.” Wally throws his arm around Zatanna, pecking her on the cheek. “What do you say we take a day off and I run you to dinner, anywhere in the world?”

    “I’m just glad Billy is doing okay.” Zatanna shakes her head at the offer. “When this is over, can we all just take a beach day together or something? We can have dinner after.” I can feel the pair’s affection rolling off of them.

    Billy may not look like a prime specimen of humanity anymore, but he doesn’t have seizures constantly. It looks like whatever Klarion did to him is permanent. His normal body and his magical form, have been merged.

    “Team meet in the conference room,” Robin’s voice comes in over the loud speakers. “We got a situation in Central City.”

    “You heard the Crows nest,” I bark at Kon and Garth. “Lets go.”

    .
    .
    .

    “Ninety seven people have been murdered.” Robin points at the hologram. “In the last nine minutes.” That really limits who could have done it.

    “Once every member of city council was dead,” Continues the boy wonder. “The killer then proceeded to the police force.” The hologram moves to Washington. “The killings have begun to follow the same pattern in this city.”

    “How are we going to stop him?” Despair rolls of Wally. “He’s the fastest man alive after all.”

    “Same way we catch you in training,” Kaldur answers firmly. “We go where he will be.” I can feel his determination.

    “We stay with a council member and pounce when Flash shows,” Agrees Tigress with a smirk.

    “And if we miss our chance?” Wally groans, as we head for the Zeta tubes. “I can’t catch him and even Marvellous, can’t catch me.”

    “Should we wait for Jay?” Kon asks in concern.

    “I think you mean, should Mister Garrick.” Jay is already at the Zeta bay, in full uniform. “Wait for you.” Wally’s worry, starts to dissipate.





    Washington DC
    August 4, 2010
    11:38 AM, EDT


    “Marvel’s team has failed.” I set up a trio of foam arrows, behind the office door. “Flash will be here soon.”

    <Even if he gets past you, Rocket’s shield will keep me safe.> M’gann in her disguise as the chief of police, reassures me.

    “If he gets past you Trickshot,” Jay speaks from his place with Wally, behind the desk. “Me and Kid, will grab him in a pincer.”

    “Got it,” Raquel acknowledges the plan. “How lon-” Whatever she was going to ask, is cut of by the Flash vibrating his molecules through the wall.

    Before I can shift my aim, he vanishes in a blur of red. He bounces of the energy shield and proceeds to lay into me.

    A vibrating fist to my shoulder, has my scream in pain. As I collapse to my knees, he moves to Rocket.

    Jay and Wally slam into Barry, knocking him off his feet. Instead of landing, he vibrates his molecules again. Phasing through the carpeted floor, we all tense for more.

    “What are you still doing here?” Captain Marvel, smashes through the window with a frantic shout. “He’s already racing off down the street for his next target.” He’s panting from the effort of his flight across town.

    “We’re not going to catch him.” Wally kicks the table angrily.

    “Not how we are, no.” Billy agrees. “You said you really believed in magic. Did you mean it?”

    “After everything I saw at the Tower of Fate?” Slowly Wally nods his head. “Of course I do.”

    “Then are you ready to ride the Lightning?” Locking eyes with Kid Flash, Billy has confidence pouring from him.

    “What does that mean?” Wally is confused, but he takes Marvel’s offered hand.

    “It means,” The emaciated teen answers. “I can share my powers and you said you need more speed.”

    “shazaM!” The M for Mercury resonates with magic, as lightning surges into Wally.

    “RAAARRGH!” His scream of pain, startles Billy.

    “It’s not supposed to hurt!” Marvel starts to panic.

    “Itdoesn’tanymore.” Wally is vibrating in place, a look of serenity on his face. “Igotthis,don’tworryguys.” He blurs away in a flash of yellow light, arcs of lightning trailing after him. His emotions are flowing so fast, I can barely register his presence.

    “Thisfeelsamazing!” He screams, as he races off down the street. His words are so fast, only a squeak is understandable.

    “Did anyone understand him?” Rocket frowns from her corner of the room. “That boy sounded like a mouse on fast forward.”

    “I didn’t catch a single word he said.” Jay admits, with a hopeful smile. “He’s going to do it.” Pride is oozing from the senior speedster.

    “Trickshot to Team,” I radio the other squad. “Kid Flash is in pursuit... and gaining on the Flash.” Silence greets my words before a cheer from Zatanna comes through.

    “It worked!” What is she talking about? She was behind this? “Kent said the reason Wally couldn’t access his magical potential, was that it was locked away keeping his speed from killing him.”

    “His formula was even less complete than Barry’s, but his great wellspring of energy has been shielding him from the side effects.” Billy declares with an exhausted smirk. He really gets drained fast, from using his powers now.

    “Kent thought a proper shot of divinely magical speed, would align his energy properly.” Adds an ecstatic Zatanna. “Or it would char him to a smoking crisp.” Well I know why they didn’t try that before now.

    “What kind of odds did Kent think Wally had?” The sinking feeling in my gut, tells me it was low.

    “About fifty fifty,” She admits eventually.

    “K^.” A squeak comes through the radio and when no one responds, several more chirp at us.

    “I think Wally’s trying to say something.” I reach for M’gann’s hand, locking fingers. <Can you sense him still in the city?> As she extends her mind out into the city, she squeezes my hand.

    <He’s at the police station.> She sighs in relief. <He caught him in time.> The yellow streak from earlier, returns to the room. Wally drops an unconscious Barry Allen, at his feet.

    “IfI’mthefastest,doesthatmeanIgettobetheFlashnow?” He squeaks out, while vibrating with every twitch of his muscles. Each motion he makes, leaving an after image behind him.

    “How do you turn it off?” I ask Billy, because I still can’t decipher Wally’s high speed chirps.

    “I don’t know,” He admits with a frown. “He’s running off his own power, I only gave him a jump start.”
     
  21. Disminded

    Disminded Versed in the lewd.

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    This is very nifty. I am saddened that the SI/Artemis ship I was sensing didn’t materialize, but dems the breaks I suppose. Really like the SI digging up the JSA to help and Billy being the JLA’s lead on the team.
     
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  22. Flightless Man

    Flightless Man Not too sore, are you?

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    I'm glad you are enjoying it. Artemis was too young, for my 19 year old brain (when I grabbed myself). She got locked into the sister role since I lost my two brothers and sister when Inserting.
    Thanks, I really tried hard to get everyone who was active in YJ canon, when we started recruiting. Only OG blue beetle and Firebrand had died. So I had lots of the JSA to choose from.
    I always wish Billy spent more time with the Team, he has really good chemistry.
    I have 2 episodes ready to post, just going over them for any mistakes i missed. both will be up tonight.
     
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  23. Threadmarks: Episode 11: Obligatory Beach Day
    Flightless Man

    Flightless Man Not too sore, are you?

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    Episode 11: Obligatory Beach Day
    Hall of Justice
    August 4, 2010
    1:14 PM, EDT


    “His acceleration, is divine in nature,” Nabu informs us. “I am unwilling to intercede with a willing pact.”

    “Whatdidhesay?” With my link to his mind and emotions, I can understand most of what Wally is saying. M’gann is able to as well and so between us, Zatanna has also been included.

    <He said you made a deal with a god.> Zatanna playfully flicks him on the nose, which the speedster allows.

    <Ididhearsomeoneask,ifIwantedtogofaster.> We feel his embarrassment briefly, before he moves on to curiosity.

    “I would suggest a trip to Themyscira,” Doctor Fate calmly advises, as he returns to his shift on the Watchtower.

    “You did say you wanted a beach day.” M’gann smiles at Zatanna.

    “Once we find someone who can help Wally,” Agrees our teen magician, with a grin. “We can get Donna to show us a good time.”

    “Would it be possible for the Queen to join us?” Asks Tula with a worried expression. “I would feel better for her safety, if she took sanctuary with the Amazons.”

    “You may as well,” I relent. “In fact, take all the girls on the Team for security.”

    “We can have a guys night when you get back.” Billy grins. “It will be so much fun.”

    “You should probably go with them,” I remind him, to his disappointment. “You did initiate contact with Mercury for him.”

    “Don’tworrydude,” Wally chirps out a response,, I barely have time to translate. “Me,youandallthehotwarriorwomenyoucanhandle.” When his girlfriend glares at his answer, Wally rushes to defend his innocence. “IsaidallthewomenHEcouldhandledear.I’mjusttryingtobeagoodfriend,whileyouenjoythedaywithyourfriends.”

    “Sure you are.” Zatanna rolls her eyes at the desperate plea. “If I’m going to let you loose on Themyscira, with only Billy as chaperone.” We can feel her amusement at the situation, so know it’s only how they flirt.

    “You are letting me pick your Halloween costume mister.” A dozen or so images of what Wally fears she will dress him as, flood the mental link. “Some of those aren’t bad ideas.” She winks at M’gann, as Kid Flash panics.

    <If he’s a good boy and doesn’t piss of any Amazons, I may let him pick mine.> Zatanna giggles with M’gann.

    <I don’t think I was supposed to hear that.> She blushes a redder than the Flashes uniform, when I think up.

    “Try to stay whelmed KF,” Dick reassures his best friend. “We’ll get this under control.”

    “Make sure to grab Artemis and Serling,” I remind Tula, M’gann, and Zatanna. “I’ll tell Raquel to Zeta down from the Fortress of Solitude and meet you on the island.”





    Hall of Justice
    August 4, 2010
    2:09 PM, EDT


    “How much you want to bet, that something goes wrong?” Asks Dick, as the girls Zeta beam away with Wally and Billy.

    “Suckers bet.” Kon shakes his head. “Every time we leave, something goes wrong.”

    “We’ve been hit twice at home base,” I remind them with a frown.

    “So then I’m just going to put my gear back on.” Garth stands awkwardly, as we all realize it’s only the five of us here.

    “I think I will also dress for the worst,” Agrees Kaldur, with a frown on his face. “We have not had the best luck as of late.”

    “Try my whole life,” I add with a sardonic chuckle, which Kon joins in on.

    “You at least have three years of memories, and the implanted ones from Roy.” He hangs his head and laughs at the grim reality. “My entire life started a month ago.”

    “It has been an intense month,” I concede, glad he’s making light of his situation. “I think you win cousin.”





    Wally West
    Themyscira
    August 4, 2010
    2:14 PM, EDT


    No one can really understand me, with only M’gann around to slow down my thoughts. So I have been shuffled to the back of the group, while Donna leads us to the temple.

    It’s taking forever though. I had time to learn ancient Greek, in the last sixteen hours, while everyone has nearly reached the end of the block. Looking at my watch, I realize that it has only been five minutes since we arrived.

    “WWAALLLYY, LLOOOOKK AATT.” Billy is trying to say something to me, but it sounds like he’s mocking a snail. I just smile and nod, at whatever has him so excited. I can

    I really hope we fix this soon. I’m starting to go crazy, with no one to talk to. Zatanna is trying, but her best spell only catches every third word or so.

    “WWWEEE”RRREEE HHHEEERRREEE.” Donna gestures at a temple.

    Its a small one, made of limestone. It looks like it only has a few rooms beside a small oval courtyard. No one comes out to greet us, but Zatanna gives me a kiss for luck.

    “III WWWIIILLLLLL SSSEEEEEE,” I miss the rest of what she says, longer sentences blurring into incoherence.

    “See you when I’m done here.” I give her hand a squeeze and wave goodbye to the others, with my free hand. “Let’s do this my Marvellous man.” Billy gives his own farewell to the girls, before leading me inside.

    Only a handful of priestesses, are present within. None however will speak with us. A single look at me, has them paling in shocking and backing away with bowed heads. The best we got from anyone, was a finger pointing at the clearing.

    When Billy and I do follow the directions. I realize it’s a giant sand garden with several rakes and poles along the wall. Prayers in ancient Geek, cover nearly half of the surface.

    “Hello Wallace.” A voice from behind, startles me. An elderly man wearing a NASCAR jumpsuit, complete with brand names of every kind is smiling at me.

    “How do you know my name?” I frown, Is Donna telling everyone here who we are? “And how can I understand you?” He’s even clearer than Barry is when we talk.

    “Why I’m the one you asked for a boost from.” The senior racer grins wildly at me. “Billy is a worthy conduit for his own deal, but that is the Wizards deal.”

    “If you’re Mercury,” I ask in confusion. “Aren’t you a god?”

    “I am,” He nods slowly, enjoying the breeze in his hair. “My own powers are waning, like most of my generation.”

    “What do you mean?” Is something stealing power from gods? Is it the Light?

    “Like when my peers and I replaced our predecessors, the Greek pantheon.” Sitting on a bare area of sand, he motions for me to join him. “And how they replaced the Titans earlier, we are lacking in mortal belief.”

    “Our feats happened so long ago, that no one believes they happened.” Mercury snaps his finger and giggles. “But people believe in you heroes. It’s time for us to find replacements, before they choose themselves.”

    “Um, What?” My jaw drops at his implication.

    “I chose you, when you asked to go faster than anyone else on Earth.” He reaches over and pats me on the head. “The rest of my pantheon, will take a while to realize the situation. But they always have been a little slow.”

    “Sounds like me and my Team.” I share a smile with the ‘god’, while he takes on a wistful look.

    “I suppose back in our day, we resembled you and your Super Friends.” He shakes his head, clearing away the ancient memories. “When you accessed the Speed Force, drawing it into yourself safely. I knew you would be ready for my job one day”

    “When do you think that is?” I’m still calling myself KID Flash, No way I’m ready for something like this.

    “Not for ages, when it’s your time to shed your mortality.” He reassures me. “When you take over my connection to my divine domain, I’m going to only have my stored energy to live on.” He lays back in the sand and smiles. “It will be nice to take things slow, after all these centuries.”

    I’m going to replace a god? I didn’t even understand enough about magic to believe in it last month. Now I’m going to become one with magic?

    “You won’t have to worry about this for years Kid,” He groans as my stress invades his relaxation bubble. “Don’t freak out. My title was only messenger of the gods, because in life I delivered word on our enemies movements.”

    “So since I don’t deliver messages,” I sigh in understanding. “I won’t be the same as you?”

    “Nope,” He smiles, as my worry fades away. “You will be who people believe you to be. As long as it has something to do with quickness.”

    “How do I stop moving at hyper speed?” I remember to ask about the reason for our visit. “It’s kind of impossible to talk to anyone, who’s going a normal speed.”

    “Have you run off the excess charge, from linking with the Speed Force yet?” He shakes his head. “It took me a few dozen laps of the world when I connected to it.”

    “What was your name before you became Mercury?” If almost no one believes in who he is as a god, does anyone even remember his mortal identity?

    “I was called Maximilian,” He finally tells me. “But Wally, my friends called me Max.” And with a crack of thunder, he is gone. Only the wind blowing away his prayers in the sand, shows he was here.





    Billy Batson
    Themyscira
    August 4, 2010
    4:01 PM, TT


    When Wally finished talking to himself, he just started running. At least the priestesses would finally talk to me. They way they acted around him, made me think Zatanna was right. Wally does need a chaperone here.

    Before I freak out and try to do something stupid, One of Mercury’s attendees shows me the sand.

    ‘SORRY FOR BAILING. MERCURY SAID TO RUN OFF THE ENERGY. TELL Z, I WILL BE BACK FOR DINNER.’

    “The chosen will be back.” The worshiper informs me with a pleased smile. “You did well to choose him.”

    “I didn’t choose anyone,” I rush to deny the claim. “Mercury did.”

    “Shazam is repaying the debt.” The blonde woman shakes her head. “You will help bring the worthy, to the eyes on Olympus.”

    “What debt?” I’m confused.

    “The Wizard bargained for blessings from our predecessors,” She smiles at me, and I can feel her power now. “When they fell, he guided many of us on the path to claim our seats.”

    Her eyes glow with silver light, and her voice echoes. Gone are her plain robes. Now she wears a sheer silk gown, the colour of the sun. Her now ebony skin is covered in silver tattoos. When she speaks, I can feel the magic in my bones.

    “Like my Dear Max told your friend,” She embraces me in a hug, that fills me with strength. “Our time is nearing it’s end. The Wizard’s power will vanish with us.” She stares into my eyes, and I see the galaxy in them.

    “Before Shazam’s power fades from you,” She pats me on the head, before stepping away from me. “You will need to forge bonds with gods of your own.”

    I stare down at my malnourished hands and sigh. No big deal, right?

    “You have noticed, since your encounter with the Chaos Lord.” She smiles sadly at me and I feel the sorrow of everyone who has ever looked up at the stars, for a brief moment. “That the Wizard has been out of contact, no further power has come from him either.”

    “But I have been getting my strength renewed, whenever I call his name.” This doesn’t make sense. Something is wrong here.

    “You have been siphoning power, straight from the source.” She shrugs sadly. “Klarion was incensed at your intervention.”

    “What happened to the Wizard!” Panic whirls inside me, as I contemplate the worst.

    “He is safe on his rock for now, but infinity is getting smaller every day.” She warns me, before vanishing in a pillar’s shadow.

    “I need to tell the girls,” Muttering to myself, I leave the temple. “Which beach did Donna say they would be at?”

    When I finally do find them, Its at a rather secluded beach near the palace. Hearing my friends laughing on the other side of the dunes, I rush out to scare them.

    “RAARRGHHH!” I leap over the sandy hill, acting like a monster.

    “Get out of here!” Artemis shrieks at me. When the others join in her rage, I realize something too late.

    None of them have bathing suits on.

    “I am so sorry!” In my panic to get away, I fall on my back and shield my eyes.





    Zatanna Zatara
    Themyscira
    August 4, 2010
    4:01 PM, TT


    “What are you making him dress up as?” Artemis digs for information, as we sunbath on the royal beach.

    “Since he likes science so much,” I finally relent to her prodding. “I’m going to go with Doctor Robotnik.” Maybe if Wally has to wear a fat suit all night, he’ll start eating healthier. Even when Connor - as I have to remember to call Roy now – Isn’t cooking the meal.

    “We should all go shopping together.” M’gann smiles behind her sunflower sunglasses. “Connor said I’m not allowed to shape shift my costume.”

    “That would be cheating,” Agrees Raquel, before she turns to me and squints. “Did they say how long it was going to take?”

    “As long as it takes.” We’re here to get Wally a solution to his problem, our beach day is only a nice bonus.

    He could have died, getting the boost from Marvel. I’d never have be able to taunt my dad, with Wally’s brash first few dozen interactions. Never be able to show him how far, Wally really has come this month. We did basically spend a year in those dreams.

    “Hey now,” She defends herself. “I didn’t mean nothing by it. I was just wondering, when do we need to worry about peeping Wally’s.”

    “Oh.” I laugh with the others, which feels good after so many days of terror. “I told him to meet us at the palace for dinner. Him and Billy can explore the market.”

    “Cool,” Leaning back, she breathes a sigh of relief.

    “I’m trying to get Chris to be the Terminator.” Artemis brings us back to the important things in life. Making the boys on our Team squirm.

    “He could definitely pull it off.” I can easily picture him, with metal peaking out from under his skin and stopping a bus.

    “RAAARRGHHH!” A very male voice roars, depositing a snarling Billy on the sand.

    “Get out of here!” Shrieks Artemis, as we all rush for our suits.

    His frantic plea goes unheard and once dressed, Artemis stalks towards him.

    “Wait!” interrupts Donna, pointing at the ocean. “What is that?”

    Cruising through the waves heading towards the shore, is a line of massive shark fins. Hundreds of them line the horizon and they are moving fast. In the sky above them, is flocks of bird women.







    Vandal Savage
    ???
    August 4, 2010
    ??:?? PM, ??


    “Everything is ready.” I demand of Circe, one of the few in my circle I do not consider a squabbling child.

    “Of course,” She responds withe a demure purr, knowing it was not a question. “My boys are ready to ravage the Amazons.”

    The hundred or so children we had found with a Meta-gene for enhanced strength, had been cloned with the Ruby of Life. This allowed the middle aged sorceress, to create an army of nearly a thousand bull men.

    “My forces are also in place.” Ocean Master confirms his role. “My shark men, shall stop any from fleeing.”

    “Excellent. I have been informed that Queen Mera, is also present.” Ocean Master perks up at my news. “With her and Hippolyta’s sacrifice, we shall have the power to move on their weakened pantheon.” Klarion is already doing his part, distracting the Wizard.

    “Circe, Queen of the Gods.” She smiles at the fantasy. “It has a nice ring to it.”

    If thinking that keeps her serving me, then yes it does ‘sound’ nice. If she fails to be of use once we have ascended, I can always replace her. Like I have so many before her.

    “And I get Neptune’s throne?” Ocean Master confirms his own desire.

    As long as it serves me better to be head of my own pantheon, yes. Once it better serves me to be the sole supreme being, I will need your essence as well. Darkseid will require every advantage i can wrangle, before I move on him.

    “Indeed.” These young Roman gods, stopped me the last time I tried claiming the Greek divinity. Just as the Greek gods freed the Titans from my control.

    The Wizard and his champions, have kept me from the pantheons of the middle east. The Asian deities have enough worshippers, I will avoid another encounter with them until I have my own divinity.

    North America’s spirits are so scattered and weakened from the decimation of the natives, It would be a waste of my time. I will let Luthor finish scooping them up, then drain all of them from him at once.

    Children like Lex, can waste time on minuscule increases in power. I only have a few more centuries before Darkseid wishes to invade New Genesis and then Oa after. Or maybe he said at the same time, it was so long ago. I need to be ready to defeat him then.

    To claim his godhood and those of all he rules over, will leave me with none to oppose me. No Lantern Corp, or Guardians to stop my will. No New Gods, to rebel against my rule. And best of all, no more Darkseid to hold me back.






    Donna Troy
    Themyscira
    August 4, 2010
    4:17 PM, TT


    As we rush to the palace, the line of surging fins break the surface. They are pulling massive wooden barges behind them, which slide onto the shore and release squadrons of minotaurs.

    The warning bells in the market are tolling, informing my sisters of the invasion. I can already see those with weapons, rushing to defend our home.

    “To the Queens!” The look Tula shares with me at my words, confirm my fears. This is too soon after the Atlantean Queen’s arrival. This army is here, for Mera and her unborn child.

    When we reach the entrance hall, the sight is horrible. The broken bodies of my sisters lay between the fallen bull men.

    “These are the kids Cadmus was experimenting on in Nevada.” The horrified gasp from M’gann, fills me with rage.

    “Whoever did this, shall face my steel.” Snarling, I lead Billy and the girls deeper inside.

    The sounds of battle, guide us to the Queens. A dozen of the royal guard, keep the transformed at bay.

    “It was Circe, she was in charge of the base.” The Martian’s response, makes perfect horrible sense. “They were cloning Roy and the other children they kidnapped.”

    “Of course,” Grunting in frustration, I throw my lasso around one of the minotaurs. “We have to make it harder on ourselves and go non lethal.”

    “Do you really want to kill a bunch of kids?” Counters Tigress, as she leaps over a mace swing. “I know I don’t really want the blood if children, on my hands.” She cracks the handle of one of her blades, into the minotaur’s wrist.

    “Be free from the control over you!” I can feel the magic in my lasso, war with the hold on the child’s mind. Slumping to the floor finally, the minotaur whimper in fear.

    “Where am I?” The terror in his voice, is a relief. This confirms the army is unwilling at least.

    “On Themyscira, Now get out of the way boy!” Pulling my lasso free, I move to the next enraged foe.

    “Why haven’t you gotten Queen Mera, to the Watchtower?” Siren snaps an uppercut into her foes jaw, stunning him.

    “The Zeta tubes are being jammed somehow.” Tisiphone, my Amazonian sister responds.

    “The invaders ambushed us, here in the Zeta chamber.” Mera snarls, sending a torrent of water crashing into her attackers.

    “Them we secure the palace and push outwards!” Mother roars in triumph. “Our sisters outside, shall meet us in the middle.” Based on how large the landing party was, we’re in for one bloody fight.

    “Rocket,” Getting her attention, I direct her towards the Zeta computer. “You and Firestorm, try and get that working.”

    While we rally who can, I move among the captured minotaurs. The living ones at least. My lasso breaks the enchantments on each of them, faster than even Miss Martian can. With Circe’s control spread over so many, I can break her indoctrination easily.

    When the ground begins shaking, everyone tenses for the worst. We don’t have to wait long, fingers smash through the wall and tear the ceiling free from the walls. Clutching the roof between his fingers, is a four story tall cyclops.

    “ME GUNNA EAT,” The behemoth roars, spittle showering us with each word. “ALL DA PURDY LADIES!” With his unsettling threat, he heaves the roof back down on us.

    “Stay down!” The frantic yell from Rocket, is barely in time. Her energy sphere ripples, as the stone ceiling shatters against it.

    “!tird ni rouy eyE” Our resident magician casts a spell, sending a spray of dust into the eye of the cyclops.

    “I can’t hold a sphere this big for long,” Pants Rocket. “They get weaker as they get bigger!”

    “Then drop the big one and get Mera and my mother in one, that you can keep up!” Finally foe I can kill.

    Leaping into the air as the violet energy fades away, I slam into the fist of the giant and stab downwards. Sawing through the finger as fast as I can, I sever it in a shower of blood.

    “NYAGGHH!” Is the roar of pain from the cyclops, as he kicks forward and brings the wall crashing down on us.

    Before it can flatten us under the foot thick stone, Billy leaps forward and catches it. He tenses his non existent muscles, lifting the marble slab into the air.

    “That wasn’t,” His voice cracks, as he tries to sound imposing. “Very nice!” He slams into the belly of the cyclops, knocking him off balance.

    When we rush outside to form a new line of defence, we can see how close this battle really will be. From the palace stairs, I can see hundreds of bodies littering the streets. Forcing my grief down, I grip my sword so tightly my hand begins bleeding.

    “Get ready,” Warns Artemis with a groan. “We got incoming!” Diving towards us is a flock of harpies, talons outstretched and breaks dripping blood.

    Before they reach us a streak of red light, with a trail blue lightning surges through the market. Dozens of minotaurs are sent crashing to the street, saving my battling sisters. It stops beside us for a fraction of a second, briefly showing a grinning Wally.

    He has a confused Robin over his shoulder, dropping him to our feet and racing away again. As seconds tick past, he returns from the same direction he first arrived. This time Aqualad is left beside Robin, who is looking around in concern at the battle.

    Each time it takes almost another entire second, slowing down as Wally loses steam. Soon Tempest, Trickshot, and Superboy, are all beside us and thankfully dressed for action. When the last one is dropped off, Wally collapses on his face in a dead faint.

    “I think he’s been running since he ditched Billy.” I lasso a descending harpy, swinging it back and forth in the sky.

    “For over an hour?” Exclaims Artemis in shock. “Zee, your boy got a serious stamina boost.”





    Themyscira
    August 4, 2010
    5:24 PM, TT


    As soon as I find myself on Themyscira, my brain rushes to catch up with my scenery change. The raging battle, snaps my gaze towards the roaring cyclops.

    “Mine!” Kon charges forward, calling dibs on the big one.

    He dives into a baseball slide, shattering the ankle of the giant. Hopping in agony, the cyclops shrieks. Wasting no time, Kon coils his legs and leaps upwards.

    I throw my bow to Artemis, morphing my fingers into the familiar shape of one. A volley of arrows into the air, explodes into a shield of tear gas.

    “I called it!” Giggles Robin, as he swats aside a harpie. “Not even five hours and you found trouble.”

    “That’s why Donna and her sister,” Charging up the street, is a madly grinning man. A middle aged man with read hair and a thick beard, is dropping his foes with a single blow. “Are my favourite Amazons!”

    “Who is that?” I hear Zatanna ask behind me, surprisingly it is Garth who answers.

    “That is Mars, God of war.” He laughs in shock. “I don’t know why he’s taken to the field himself.”

    “Because little Atlantean.” Mars drop kicks a minotaur, sending him crashing into a tree. “Even though the Amazons don’t wage much war, they are some of my only worshippers left.” He frowns at Garth. “You and the rest of the people beneath the waves, are firmly in Neptune’s grasp.”

    .
    .
    .

    By the time we finish defeating the attacking horde, M’gann and Donna had figured out a system. The pair had managed to free nearly half of the mutated children, once the Amazons where informed of the transformation.

    Now the Amazons are done clearing the signs of war and are now preparing for a festival. I can feel the sorrow of everyone around me, but it is mixed with good memories of the fallen.

    “Why are you throwing a celebration?” Asks Kon with a curious frown. “A lot of Amazons died today.”

    “Because they are being celebrated, for saving us.” Donna smiles, wiping tears from her eyes. “We show how much we appreciate the sacrifices made and we live for them tonight.”

    “That sounds pretty amazing.” Zatanna brings Wally a bowl of fruit, sitting on his lap. “Think we can extend that to everyone we lost this month?”

    “To Alan, A man who made Chaos run with the strength of his will.” Artemis toasts the man, whose ring is on her mother’s finger now.

    “And Rex.” Robin adds with a sad smile. “He turned his last hour, into a future for all of us.” Someone needs to take the wine away from Robin. I know it’s all the Amazons are serving tonight, but he’s becoming a very sad drunk.

    “For Wesley,” M’gann holds her own glass, giving her own toast. “A man who gave his life. Turning a nightmare back into a dream for tomorrow.”

    “Can I offer one, for Red Inferno’s brother?” The voice of Serling, quietly asks. “She misses Red Torpedo, but can’t talk to any of you about it.”

    “Of course,” I reach over and grab her hand, squeezing it in comfort. “He wasn’t himself in the end. We can remember who he was with you.”

    “In memorial of Red Torpedo,” Firestorm speaks as one, Serling giving Inferno the strength to speak. “A brother who showed me... I could live like all of you.”

    “For our king,” Kaldur chokes in grief. “Who lead me to a life of worth.”

    “For the missing.” Wally holds an empty mug. “Who we will find soon.”

    “For my mom,” Kon adds with a shaking voice. “I’m going to save you.”

    “To Roy.” I hold up my own cup, swallowing my guilt. “I’m going to live this life, for the both of us.”
     
  24. Threadmarks: Episode 12: Walking Among Us
    Flightless Man

    Flightless Man Not too sore, are you?

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    Episode 12: Walking Among Us
    Themyscira
    August 4, 2010
    9:24 PM, TT


    Once the feast was over, I needed air. As I excused myself from the table, Kon came after me. He followed me at a respectable distance, until I found myself at one of the beaches.

    “You ready to talk about him?” He leans against one of the war barges. His concern for my well being, plain to see on his face.

    “What’s to talk about?” I take a seat beside him. “I killed Roy and I can’t change that.”

    “No my boy, you didn’t.” An old man walks along the sand towards us.

    He has khaki pants and a red sweater vest, over a dark green dress shirt. His genial smile, matches his well groomed face. A long white goatee that reaches his waist, is very neatly trimmed and it goes with his ivory man bun.

    “I was their.” I raise an eyebrow at his declaration. “I should know who killed him.”

    “Then how come neither me, or any of my peers.” His voice has a power beneath the kind old man act. “Have received him in our halls?”

    “I think you had too much wine sir.” Kon sensing my unease, stands to lead the man away.

    “I heard the toast, at the feast.” He somehow appears behind Kon, taking his place against the barge. “Since you all saved some of our only followers left,” He explains proudly, like a grandfather would to a child who did a good deed. “I decided to look in on them.”

    “Imagine my surprise.” He shrugs in confusion. “When this Roy was nowhere to be found.”

    “What?” I don’t know if I should be pissed at him for screwing with me, or crying in relief at the news.

    “You might have fried a bunch of soulless husks,” Explains the old man. “But the ‘real’ Roy, was no longer in the building.”

    “And how do you know that?” Growls Kon on my behalf.

    “Well it is kind of my job Christopher,” Answers the God of the Dead. “My name is Pluto and since we are not friends, that is what you shall call me.”






    Firestorm
    Themyscira
    August 4, 2010
    9:46 PM, TT


    “Oh my,” A booming male voice, calls from behind us. “Aren’t you a splendid piece of work.”

    The speaker is a very short man, exactly one hundred and thirteen centimetres tall. He has a mane of flowing red hair, peppered with grey. A thick handle bar moustache and rosie cheeks, give the appearance of a jovial human.

    The Ruby of Life in our chest, says otherwise. His body, contains a vast well of magical energy, in the power range of Klarion and Nabu.

    “What is your purpose with us?” If I was still a human, my stranger danger alarm would be going crazy.

    “Appreciation in a craft persons work.” He gazes through us and claps. “In several peoples work it would seem.”

    Do not worry Serling. I feel Red Inferno speak inside our head. This is the being known as Vulcan. Roman god of the forge.

    And how do you know that. Most of her memories are still scrambled from her first life, so I’m doubtful this is a real “god”.

    It was in the information my brother shared with us. Oh yeah, Red Tornado’s data package.

    “It seems you are not lying. So we ask again,” We return his stare and tilt our head in curiosity now. “What reason do you have with seeking us out?”

    “None,” He admits with an intoxicated chuckle. “I was looking for my wife. She likes these Amazon festival more than I do.” He leans closer to examine our chassis and whistles.

    “Got distracted when I saw what Man’s World, is making these days.” He steps away and giggles. “We really are nearing retirement. I should give that guy in Metropolis, another visit.”





    Zatanna Zatara
    Themyscira
    August 4, 2010
    9:51 PM, TT


    “Oh aren’t you two adorable,” An older Amazonian informs me and my dance partner. “It’s not often we see young love on the island.”

    Wally twirls me and shows he is as fast at learning his footwork, as he is eating new foods. Once everyone left, he pulled me onto the dance floor with a smile. I really love how even though he can look at a hundred things in a second, he stared at me for each song.

    “It’s hard to hide it, when you have someone like this to show off.” Answers Wally, grinning like a loon.

    “Flatterer.” I wink at him, as the song changes to a faster pace.

    “Still true.” He passes me off to a well muscled warrior woman, who looks at me with an appreciative grin. Maybe I needed the chaperone, not Wally.





    Kaldur
    Themyscira
    August 4, 2010
    9:59 PM, TT


    Walking through the market streets with Tula and Garth, makes me appreciate Billy’s advice all the more. The month away, had been long enough for my loves to miss me. But it was not so long, that they had moved on before I had a chance to speak my feelings.

    Tula had taken hold of my thoughts for the whole month of my absence. But when she admitted she had feelings for another, I was nearly crushed. It was good that Garth was of a mind to remember the older customs.

    Those serving in Atlantis’ military, are encouraged to form triads. Our higher rate of male births, along with losses in battle made this necessary in times of war.

    It has left me no longer feeling as if a hole is inside me. I know Garth, has also thawed since he came to the surface. Even Tula is no longer awkward around us. Her interest in both of us, no longer a concern to the future of our friendship.

    “If we can rescue our people.” Tula looks around the plaza with wide eyes. “Could we bring them here?”

    “Not much would change culturally, compared to bringing them anywhere else on Earth,” Agrees Garth, with a thoughtful nod.

    “We can ask Donna in the morning then.” I lead them to the area I saw during the battle.

    A garden with a small pond, untouched by the conflict is our destination. It is hard to see the stars under the sea and we have not had much time for relaxation, while they have been on the surface.





    Artemis Crock
    Themyscira
    August 4, 2010
    10:05 PM, TT


    “Why did we get,” I complain, as Donna carries an unconscious Robin in her arms. “Stuck finding bird boy, a nest for the night?”

    “Because he passed out on your lap, at the feast.” Giggles a drunk M’gann.

    “And I know where the free beds are.” Donna leads us into the guest wing of the palace. “We never use this place. One of the others could have gotten lost, looking for this section.” It is rather small and off to the side.

    “Well once we do,” I mutter loud enough for them to hear me. “I want to do something fun. And Billy can’t come.”

    “Aww,” He whines when I bring him up. “I said I was sorry. Please don’t make me stay with Dick all night.” While M’gann giggles, and Donna rolls her eyes, I deny his plea with a chuckle.

    “Sorry but someone has to make sure, that he doesn’t choke on his own vomit.”

    When he finally takes Robin into a room for the night, me and my laughing friends head outside. Donna said something about going on a night hunt, that sounds fun.

    “So you girls want to have some fun?” Chuckles an elderly man, who kind of looks like George Clooney.

    “You know better than to hit on the princess.” A very fit middle aged woman, smacks him on the back of the head. “Or her guests, you drunken fool.”

    “Oh fine!” He rubs his head, walking away in a huff. “I was just trying to be friendly Vesta. You don’t need to tell on me”

    “Now girls,” the matronly woman, smiles kindly at us. “Go have fun with Diana. I’ll make sure Richard is well.”

    “Wonder Woman is missing,” I mention awkwardly. I thought everyone knew.

    “Oh no,” She indulges me with a smile. “I mean Diana the Huntress. She’s waiting for you Donna.” Turning to stare directly at me, she waves farewell. “She really would like to meet you, Artemis.”






    Themyscira
    August 4, 2010
    11:19 PM, TT


    “We should have asked for directions.” Grumbles Kon, as I wander the palace.

    “Never,” I deny him with a smirk. “Sixth rule of being a human male.” I hold both hands up, with eight fingers pointing outwards.

    “We don’t get lost.” He shakes his head in amusement, at my claim. “We arrive where we never knew we needed to be.” I may be drunk, but that makes sense... I think.

    “What if we need to get somewhere quickly?” Kon’s confusion, means he is definitively drunker than I am. This is perfectly logical.

    “You leave earlier.” My response, is followed by a disappointingly small burp.

    While we make another lap, I notice none of the Amazons are still awake. Only a bunch of new sculptures, are scattered in the halls. On closer inspection, I recognize one of the models from earlier and show it to Kon.

    “Look how lifelike this is,” It really is exquisitely sculpted marble. “It looks just like the guard from the battle.” Kon squints at the stone Amazon, a frown growing across his face.

    “That is the guard from the battle.” Man, he really is drunk. “How did you not realize the clothes are normal?”

    “I’m drunk,” I admit, when I finally take a better look at the entire sculpture. “So that means, you get to be in charge.”

    “BILLY!” His first action, is to call for help. His shout brings someone rushing towards us, but its not Billy.

    “Is Medusa wearing Wonder Woman’s armour?” I whisper to Superboy.

    “I think that is Wonder Woman.” He answers with closed eyes.

    <Good thinking.> I close my own. <On your left!> I feel Medusa Woman’s clouded rage, surge towards Kon.

    “You said on my left!” He roars in rage, having been slashed across the chest. The magical claws, rending through his flesh with ease.

    “I meant my left.” I duck my own approaching ball of anger. A pillar shattering behind me, showers me in debris.

    “Then say that!” Kon’s bundle of emotional frustration, leaps at the transformed Princess.

    <Billy, we could really use some help!> I throw my thoughts into the palace. <Or anyone else, who knows how to fight a Medusa.>

    This finally gets us a response. Amazons charge into the wing we are in, able to coordinate better with the blind fighting. Billy also flies into the room, his worry smashing into the rage of Wonder Woman.

    “I tire of these attempts on my life,” Declares Queen Mera, as her righteous indignation stalks down the corridor towards us. “I will tolerate them, no more!”

    I can feel her rage in each blow, as she out manoeuvres a sluggish Wonder Woman. The Medusafied Amazon, unable to match the fury of a grieving widow.

    Donna’s lasso broke the mind control, maybe Diana’s can as well. Let’s find out. I spring into action, grappling the waist of the snake woman.

    She shakes me off easily. But as I roll along the floor, I grip my prize.

    <Has Pa shown you how to wrangle a cow yet?> I ask Kon, who confirms this.

    <Yeah.> He frowns at me, as I hand him the golden coil.

    <Good.> Ripping a toga from one of the petrified Amazons, I knot it behind Kon’s head. <Use your thermal vision and wrangle us a princess.>

    He misses, but Wonder Woman grabs the magical rope and starts a tug of war. Taking advantage of the distraction, Billy grabs her tail and starts spinning the transformed princess. The reverse rip cord action, has the controlled Diana bound and restrained.

    “Allow me to ask the questions.” Queen Mera, holds out her hand expectantly.

    “Uh, sure.” He awkwardly hands off the Lasso, to the Atlantean queen.

    “Reveal the purpose of your arrival.” Growls Mera, as Captain Marvel keeps her held in place for the interrogation.

    “Kill the Queens and distract the sidekicks.” Wonder Woman hisses.

    “Distract us from what?” I mutter in confusion. “She already would have killed the queens.”





    M’gann M’orzz
    Themyscira
    August 4, 2010
    11:19 PM, TT


    “I thought this was going to be like a deer hunt, or something.” Artemis hums in delight beside me. “This is so much better.”

    “Though the invasion has ended,” Diana, our guide through the moonlit woods informs us. “Not all of them have left.”

    “So we seek the reason they have chosen to remain?” That makes sense. Neither Donna or Artemis seem like the dancing is for them.

    “It would seem,” Diana gestures at the hidden grotto. A dozen of the shark men, are loading stolen artwork onto the landing barges. “We have our answer.”

    “Seems kind of like a waste of time,” Grumbles Artemis beneath her white mask. “They aren’t going to make enough cash off of the sales, to recoup the loss of the invasion.”

    “They will if it’s not statues,” Corrects the Goddess of the Hunt. “But petrified gods and Queen Hippolyta.”

    “Tell the Idiot, to get everyone down here now!” Hisses Artemis under her breath.

    <Connor!> I grab at our mental bond and yank on his attention. <The invasion was only a trap! A way for the enemy, to get as many gods in one place as possible.>

    <And it worked.> His anger comes quickly, informing me things aren’t going well on his end either. <We’re on our way.>

    “Cavalries on the way,” I let the others know, with a whisper. “We only have to wait until they get here.

    “We only have until they get here, to have things handled.” Donna counters with a grin.

    “I think that’s what she was trying to say,” Agrees Artemis, with a feral smirk.

    “You girls have the right idea,” the goddess compliments the pair. “Don’t wait for men, or it will never happen.” With a conspiratorial giggle, she leans in closer to us. “How long have they been perfecting how to lead?”

    “Since they started,” Donna agrees with a roll of her eyes. “So lets get this wrapped up, before we have to share the fun.”

    Before I can try and stop them, they have started without me. Artemis has already fired a knock out gas arrow, with Connor’s borrowed bow. Donna likewise charges into the disoriented shark men, with a fierce battle cry.

    Before Donna can reach her first target, a poof of green smoke reveals Circe the Sorceress. Already in motion, she blasts a stream of boiling water at Donna’s shining armour.

    It collides with her, causing her to scream in pain. The water turning into a cloud of scalding steam, on contact with the magical armour.

    A snap of Circe’s fingers, and the arrows explode inside Artemis’ quiver. The flames are extinguished by the fire retardant arrows, but the expansion foam, leaves her immobile.

    “Only a lonely little Martian and then,” The ageless witch cackles. “You will be mine Diana! You should have stayed hidden in the woods tonight.” She creates a swarm of giant hornets, which begin to painfully sting me.

    The first few only leave a short burst of pain, but by the second dozen I was getting woozy. As I fall to my knees, I can only watch Donna and Diana get forced backwards.

    When Donna is about to be hit by some kind of lightning, Superboy arrives. He tackles Donna safely out of the bolt’s path, leaving a patch of blackened glass in the beach. When Captain Marvel arrives with Connor in tow, I breathe a sigh of relief.

    “Get moving!” Barks Circe, directing her standing goons to start pulling the barge. It’s loaded with six statues, one the Amazon Queen. Circe holds back my friends, as the boat is pulled out to sea.

    Before Circe can escape, Connor wraps himself around her from behind. Her limbs are pinned to her side, disabling the gesture component of her spells. Exactly how Kent taught him to.

    Donna loops her silver lasso around the restrained sorceress. Allowing Connor to release his hold, which causes me to release a breath. One, that I was unaware I was holding in.

    <Don’t worry dear.> He shares a mental wink. <You don’t call me out on how handsy I may have been just now and I don’t bring up what Billy saw at the beach today.>

    “I lost them,” The aforementioned Billy, lands on the beach. “They had a portal waiting for them. As soon as they crossed the Amazons’ barrier, they vanished.”

    “We can hunt for them tomorrow,” Donna groans. “First lets get this witch, to undo her transformations.”





    Themyscira
    August 5, 2010
    8:22 AM, TT


    “Orm has been giving the children of Aquaman’s supporters, to Circe for months.” Donna Informs the gathered Team.

    “Now he is free to experiment, on all who are not Pure bloods.” The grim expression of Kaldur, causes the reality of the situation to sink in.

    “We cannot allow this.” Growls Garth.

    “No,” Agrees the Amazon princess, taking her own seat at the long table. “Which is why my sister as regent, has offered sanctuary to any Atlanteans we can rescue.” She smirks at the flabbergasted Garth.

    “That is most excellent news.” Kaldur smiles at the words, for the first time since he arrived for breakfast. “The three of us, will begin operations today.”

    “Not without me.” Argues Kon. “I can finally start paying you back, for letting me out at Cadmus.”

    “Since I’m taking Diana’s place as champion of Themyscira,” Donna adds herself to the mission. “I will of course be joining you.”

    “I would like to help.” My Martian, offers her own services.

    “Count me in,” Billy speaks up, grinning in excitement. “Atlantis sounds so cool!” His excitement, is a breath of fresh air. Everyone has been so down this morning, it’s getting hard to focus on my own thoughts.

    “Leaving the rest of us, to what.” Wally taps his foot impatiently. “Sit around the Hall of Justice, waiting for something cool to happen?”

    “I hope not,” Yawns Raquel. “I want a nice relaxing day.”

    “We definitely earned it,” Agrees Zatanna. “So if your so jazzed up, you can handle the first emergency.”

    “We are never tired,” Firestorm’s dual voice resonates. “We shall also, take the first watch today.”

    “And me,” I stand drawing everyone’s gaze. “Makes three. So finish up and let’s go clock in.”

    “We did kind of leave the Interim League, looking after everything yesterday.” Groans Artemis, as she realizes none of us have called in yet. “Mom is going to kill me.”

    “Good luck on you mission,” Zatanna jumps to her feet, panic oozing from her. “I need to call my dad. Now!”

    <Be careful and good luck.> I send to M’gann, as Zatanna starts dragging us to the Zeta tubes.

    <You too.> She sends a wave of affection, which I happily return. <I better not find out that you went on any secret missions, while I was gone.>

    <None that I plan at least,> I tease back. <Promise.>





    Hall of Justice
    August 5, 2010
    1:06 PM, EDT


    “Watchtower, to Team.” Red Tornado’s face, comes onto the centre monitor. “The United Nations embassy in New York, is under attack.”

    The screen on his left, displays Sportsmaster and Shade. Meanwhile the screen on his right, reveals three criminals who escaped from Belle Reve. Gizmo, Mammoth, Jinx, Firefly, and Killer Frost, are also in on the attack.

    “Green Lantern Crock, Blue Devil, and Hawkwoman are on the scene, they require assistance.” He instructs us.

    “Wake up second shift,” I instruct Kid Flash, who rushes to do so. “And tell Tigress and Firestorm, to meet us at the Zeta’s.”





    New York
    August 5, 2010
    2:18 PM, EST


    As soon as we arrive on the scene, it’s obvious how serious this is. Barricades have been established and squadrons of National Guardsmen, are being deployed among the police.

    We get waved inside, after a quick security check. Red T, really works fast if we already have League clearance. I know I didn’t have it yesterday.

    Inside reveals a chaotic mess. Paula is in a duel of emerald light, versus tangible shadows. The man dressed in a solid black suit, controls the darkness with each wave of his cane.

    Blue Devil, is slowly wearing down Mammoth, but a single wrong step and he’s in for pain. Across the room, is Hawkwoman smashing through the hexes of Jinx. Her crackling mace, disrupting the very magic powering them.

    “Sportsmaster is mine!” White Tigress leaps straight for her father, snarling like her namesake. Before he can kill another cowering ambassador, she meets him in battle.

    “Long time no see kiddo.” He deflects her attack, kicking her away for more room. “I hope you aren’t here, just to see daddy dearest. I’m kind of busy.”

    “Yeah with me!” Tigress rolls under his weighted chain, letting it smash through a table behind her.

    Before I get to distracted with the family drama, I move into the action. Gizmo and his robotic drones, are being handled by Kid Flash. Leaving an upgraded Firefly for me.

    “Ready for round two?” I clock him in his masked face, with a spring loaded fist.

    “What are you talking about?” The arsonist grunts back at me. “Are you one of my burn victims?” He is genuinely confused and so am I. At least until I remember, that I do kind of look like a wax sculpture still.

    “Never mind,” I roll under his flame and knee him in the face, before he can get back to his feet. “It doesn’t really matter.”

    “You’re going to fry, either way.” He cackles madly. “So It really doesn’t!” With his roar, he launches a barrage of fireballs at me.

    Grabbing a ceiling fan with a stretched arm, I swing back for another try. I grab two of my extinguisher arrows and stab them into his fuel pack. The chemical concoction, neutralizing his flames at the source.

    When it looks like we finally have things under control, the ceiling explodes in a hail of plaster and stone. The larger pieces that fall towards us, force me to grab Firefly and leap to safety.

    Captain Atom is revealed, as the cloud of dust clears. His silver skin and energy filled eyes, create an intimidating site. Especially when he looks directly at one of the still working cameras.

    “The enLightened members of the Justice League,” The military hero coldly declares. “That the time for ants to rule over lions, is at an END!” His rage filled scream, is followed by a blast of neon energy.

    It disintegrates the camera and the half a dozen ambassadors, still cowering in front of it.

    “We are coming for all leaders who lack the powers to stop us!” His second roar, brings a plasma blast at a second camera.

    “I think we have something to say about that.” Kid Flash defiantly challenges Captain Atom, drawing his attention. “Mainly no.” As Captain Atom shoots a beam of energy at Kid Flash, the speedster blurs away. “Missed me.”

    “Yeah we kicked the eight of you out of the League,” Thinking quickly, I position myself in front of the final working camera. “Because of these crazy power fantasies.” We need to discredit them now and on live television.

    My claim brings the Atomic Captain flying towards me, seeking to silence me. His energy filled fist, burns my skin and sends me sailing across the room. When I finally climb back to my feet and shake off the blow, things are getting worse.

    Blue Devil was sent through the hole in the ceiling, out of the battle for now. Tigress and Hawkwoman are being shielded, by a rapidly cracking green wall. Nothing Kid Flash has thrown at Atom, has even distracted him.

    “I’m going to beat my husband’s location, out of your silver ass!” Hawkwoman shrieks, soaring over the wall as it vanishes.

    Her powerful mace, sends Captain Atom rolling along the ground. A trail of growing neon flame, begins to spill from him. He stands and smirks at us, before addressing the world.

    “Watch how easily I squash every ant on this ISLAND!” Captain Atom, jams his finger into the tear in his suit and starts to tear.

    “NOT ON MY WATCH!” A roar of defiance, comes from Wally. He rushes past me towards a glowing silver man. <Tell Zee...Tell her all of this.> He shoves a ball of emotions at me and I am overwhelmed at how many thoughts, dreams, and emotions, he was able to share in less than a second.

    “Don’t worry kids,” Wally addresses the camera, with a solemn smile. “Heroes will always save the day.” He waves farewell at the camera and anyone who is watching, now or later.

    <You may not be Roy, but I never knew Roy. I only knew Connor.> He shares his belief and trust in me. <And Connor has been pretty damn heroic as far as I have seen.>

    <You still managed to save the world first.> This would have started world war three. Wally is going out like a real hero.

    <It’s not a competition or anything,> He responds at the speed of thought. <But yeah I did. So hurry up and finish your mission.>

    The Link ends suddenly, as he reaches the glowing form of Captain Atom. He grabs him around the torso and blasts off. Paula races after the pair like an emerald comet, but she didn’t even stand a chance of keeping up.

    We wait for a boom, a light show, or even word from the Watchtower. We never get one. All we here is the ‘KRAKOOM’ of thunder, from everywhere at once and a fiercely blowing wind. A wind that blows in from the West.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2021
  25. Threadmarks: Episode 13: Call for Help
    Flightless Man

    Flightless Man Not too sore, are you?

    Joined:
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    Episode 13: Call for Help
    Star City
    August 11, 2010
    6:22 AM, EDT


    “Sorry for calling you two over so early,” Artemis groans, barely keeping her anxiety in check. “But my sister called.” M’gann and I share a look of concern at this news.

    “What did she want?” My memories of season one, say Jade really does care for her younger sister. <If Artemis wants to help, I’m coming with her.> I inform M’gann of my choice.

    “When she came to activate you, the commands didn’t work.” Thankfully Dubbilex had already handled the shutdown ones. “So she thought the League of Shadows, was getting rid of her.”

    “I take it her boss, did not approve of this decision?” I know the answer, but I have to ask anyway.

    “No. She’s being held in a place, called Infinity Island.” Artemis explains, with her worry begin to boil over. “She managed to get away long enough to call me and say goodbye.”

    “So...” M’gann carefully offers. “When do we go save her?”

    “As soon as we grab Robin.” She gives me a serious stare. “She said Batman, is on the Island.”

    “I’ll let Boy Wonder know the plan,” I poke Artemis in the forehead, somewhat forcefully. “You and M’gann, need to make sure we have a team of six.”

    “Stupid new protocols,” She grumbles and follows us to the waiting car Oliver had given me last year. It’s supposed to be a really nice one, but all I know is that it’s red and a convertible.







    Hall of Justice
    August 11, 2010
    10:52 AM, EDT


    “Have the Atlantean refugees, been settled in Themyscira?” I ask Robin for an update, as I interrupt his shift in the Crows Nest.

    It’s Batman’s old monitoring station and the two have spent nearly every free minute, upgrading it beyond modern efficiency.

    “Yeah.” He brings up a window on screen, showing a picture of Ocean Master. “Orm has locked down the capital of Poseidonis, but our Atlanteans have managed to exfiltrate nearly two thousand citizens.”

    “Before Orm could donate them, to any more scientific research.” I can’t believe he really sacrificed hundreds of his own people, to create the shark men.

    “Diana is acting as regent for her mother, working closely with Mera.” Robin rubs his tired eyes, showing a satellite image of an over crowded market. “The two are keeping the Amazons and Atlanteans, focused on mutual vengeance for now.”

    “That’s good to hear.” I nod and smile. “We found Batman.” I casually drop, waiting for Dick to react.

    “If you’re screwing with me, I’m sharing your search history with the entire Team.”

    “Artemis got a lead,” He stares me down, waiting for the other shoe to drop. “A little place called Infinity Island, is crawling with Shadows.”

    “When are we leaving?” He demands of me, refusing to be left behind.

    “As soon as Rocket and Marvel get here,” I reassure him, with a calm smile.

    “Thanks,” Sighs Dick in embarrassment. “I’ve been feeling kind of left out lately. I wasn’t even their, when Wally died.”

    “I may have given Zatanna his farewell message,” I rub the back of my head. “But he left an imprint in my brain. I can’t stop getting flashes of his life.”

    “Words of wisdom?” I get an understanding nod from Robin.

    “More like a running commentary, of everything Zatanna does.” I admit with a groan. “M’gann thinks it’s sweet, because she knows it really is the imprint of Wally.” She says it feels like an echo of Wally, is bouncing around inside my skull.

    “It’s separate from my own thoughts.” Awkwardly I look behind myself, ensuring we are alone. “M’gann has caught me responding to his internal monologue a few times already. He never answers me though.”

    “What?” His incredulous stare, prompts me to explain.

    “I’m glad Zatanna is taking some time off at home,” Finally I admit the real issue. “Every time I see her, I hear the things Wally wants to say.”

    “Awkward.” He giggles, as our replacements arrive.

    “Definitely,” I agree, as Robin hands over monitor duty to Rocket.

    “Chris said to get your butts to the Bio-ship.” Raquel spins in her seat, smirking at us. “Or Artemis is going to leave without you two.”






    Infinity Island
    August 11, 2010
    7:47 PM, ECT


    “As soon as the fireworks begin,” Paula sternly declares, her eyes smoldering with green. “Get my daughter out of here.”

    The plan of letting Paula and Kon draw the attention of all the islands defenders, should work. They are going to be making a light show seen from the mainland.

    “Miss M and I will find Batman.” Interrupts Robin, with a scowl. “Tigress and Trickshot, will find Cheshire.” I should be able to find Bruce’s mind, with Dick’s aid. M’gann and Artemis likewise finding Jade, with the combination of my empathy and her telepathy.

    <Link established.> M’gann’s voice, resonates in everyone.

    <Then lets move!> Is Robin’s answer, as he leaps out of the Bio-ship.

    His cloak snaps open, catching the wind and allowing him to glide downwards. Blowing M’gann a kiss, I leap after him and flatten my limbs. Like a flying squirrel, I follow him silently down to the island. M’gann lowers the rest with of the squad her mind, so I land where she deposits Artemis.

    <This way.> Artemis’ stress is present, but controlled.

    She lead’s me through an air vent, hushing me when some guards pass below. When a series of explosions rock the base, they rush to investigate. Her black stealth uniform makes it hard to notice when she signals for me.

    <That’s your signal!> Kon’s enthusiasm leaks out into the link. Opening my mind, I scan the island for any sign of Cheshire.

    <We got a possible target, not too far away.> I inform Tigress and take the lead.

    <I’ll grab her, you keep us covered.> She orders from behind, as we near the locked room.

    In front of the heavy iron door, is a single guard. It’s a scrawny guy, but he looks vicious with the massive hook on his arm.

    <Lets do this fast.> I leap from the vent, swinging at a surprised Hook.

    He reacts fast enough to deflect my attacks and deliver his own, which I barely avoid. Artemis follows my lead and breaks his hook arm at the elbow. Before his screams can echo for long, she drops him with a blow to the head.

    I search him fast, grabbing his king of keys and handing them off. Using the down assassins own hook, I restrain him securely.

    “Jade...” Artemis rushes into the open room.

    Cheshire is hanging bloody and beaten from the ceiling, from a pair of thick shackles. While Artemis struggles to find the correct key, I scan the hallway for threats.

    “Didn’t think...” Coughs Jade, when she wakes up and sees us. “You would come for me.”

    “Well Robin is looking for Batman,” I inform her. “So this is more of a two for one kind of deal.”

    “As long as the bargain includes me,” Laughs a disoriented Cheshire. “I can live with that.”

    “You better,” Growls Tigress, finally finding the key. “Mom and I didn’t come all this way, for you to die on us.”

    “Mom came?” The shock coming from Jade distracts me for a moment, when Artemis hands her to me. But I abandoned her.

    She definitely didn’t say that, but I have been hearing odd thoughts more and more often.

    “Well you can apologize, when you’re safe.” Counters the younger sister. “Can you add her to the link? We’re making too much noise.”

    <Package secured.> I add Jade to the link, informing everyone of our success. <Moving to extraction point.>

    <Good work.> Paula shares her relief. <I’ll see you soon Jade.>

    <Problem on our end!> M’gann’s response, is worrying. <Batman has something blocking my telepathy.>

    <He’s kind of kicking our asses,> Agrees Robin, his frustration boiling over.

    <Get him to follow you outside,> I instruct, sharing our own location. <We’ll intersect near the east entrance.>






    M’gann M’orzz
    Infinity Island
    August 11, 2010
    8:10 PM, ECT


    Batman is terrifying, in his relentless pursuit. Leading him through the dimly lit tunnels is difficult, he keeps throwing a variety of batarangs. When I look behind, I only see his new silver cowl, chasing us in the darkness.

    <We have to hold him here,> Pants Robin. <Until Trickshot and Tigress can meet us.>

    <Jade’s pretty thrashed,> Artemis growls in our heads. <I have to do all the fighting right now, since Connor is carrying her.>

    <I think he just meant, we can’t run from Batman anymore.> I intercede cautiously. We can’t start bickering among our selves right now.




    Infinity Island
    August 11, 2010
    8:17 PM, ECT


    “Is that tinfoil?” Snorts Artemis beneath her black Tiger mask, while Dick examines his restrained father.

    “It’s polished lead.” Corrects Robin, who is examining the metal covered cowl.

    “Look, we can discuss the fashion choice on the ship.” I grunt from the effort of carrying Cheshire’s unconscious form. “I want to get these two out of here, before anymore ninjas show up.”

    “Yeah,” Robin agrees with a frown. “This has been too easy.” The sound of a slow clap, greets this statement.

    “It only took you half an hour,” A woman’s voice purrs from the shadows. “To discover the noose, around your neck.”

    At her signal, another dozen assassins charge at us. Tigress and Robin, Move to keep them off of M’gann and I.

    <How much longer dear?> Slowly I get M’gann’s attention, so as not to fry Bruce’s brain. <We have company.> I put Cheshire down, beside Batman and a kneeling M’gann.

    <Almost done, just keep them busy for another minute.> She instructs me, with determination in her mind. <His mind is a lot harder to find my way around in, than most peoples’.>

    <We’ll give you three then.> Robin interrupts the exchange. <Now give us a hand!> His frustration, sends me into action.

    I leap over the fight, heading straight for the woman. She doesn’t flinch, drawing a wicked looking dagger and slashing for my throat. I rotate my neck, like a bendy owl and bite her wrist hard enough to crack the bone.

    “You animal!” Her palm impacts my face, forcing me to let go.

    As soon as she is free, an axe kick to my shoulder shatters it in payback. Before I can yell in shock, a quick combo sends me crashing flat on my back.

    “None but the worthy, will lay hands on me.” Her snarl sends a pair of Shadows, towards me with swords drawn.

    “Well,” I taunt back and deliver a spring punch, to the throat of each. “Technically it was my teeth.”

    “Semantics mean little,” She gestures for someone in the shadows. “From a corpse.” A mass of clay surges from behind her, burying me beneath its weight.

    Struggling in the viscous substance, I manage to reach my quiver and snap the arrows. The explosion at my back, sends me rocketing out of the clay and bouncing off the far wall.

    <We’re going to need some green light!> I call out to Paula in desperation. I know we can’t take down Clayface, with this mission gear.

    <We’re coming,> Kon warns us. <Don’t go down the left hallway.>

    <Why not?> I pointlessly ask, as a giant green shovel enters the left corridor. <Yeah, never mind. I know why.>

    I can hear Kon’s whoops of enjoyment, once the emerald shovel lifts a section of roof away. Paula in full green flame mode, soars into the hallway and blasts Clayface. The lance of green light pierces the clay, doing little but anger him.

    “Ooh, another ring.” The woman frowns. “Get her hand and my Husband back.” Her orders to Clayface, end with her leaving from the shadows she emerged. The mass of clay, sprouts a dozen flailing tendrils and roars.

    <We have who we came for!> M’gann gets our attention, from beside a groaning Batman. <We don’t need to finish this fight.>

    <Then get on the ship kids,> Paula instructs us. <Momma’s going to get some payback.> Her aura doubles in size, as she takes in Jade’s condition.





    Infinity Island
    August 11, 2010
    8:34 PM, ECT


    “Your mom scares me.” I shiver at the sight of Infinity Island, cracked in half.

    “Yeah she’s pretty damn awesome.” A beaming Artemis greets her returning mom with a hug.

    “It runs in the family.” Paula lets her green aura fade away, as the hatch closes behind her.





    Hall of Justice
    August 11, 2010
    4:10 PM, EDT


    “Cheshire will survive,” Batman addresses the Team in person and the new League, over holographic display. “She is willing to provide information on the League of Shadows, in return for protection.”

    “In addition, this will be my last report as a member of the Justice League.” He gives me a nod of approval, before grimacing. “Due to the quick thinking of Trickshot, Vandal Savage’s plan to discredit the very notion of heroes has failed.”

    “But this has made it, so we can no longer openly stand with you.” Barry Allen the Flash, enters the room in a new costume. One in all yellow, with his symbol reversed. “I’m going to be going undercover. Call me Zoom now.”

    “I will be operating solely in Gotham and Bludhaven.” Batman sighs and reclaims control of the conversation. “Proteges will need to distance themselves from the discredited heroes.”

    “What does that mean?” Barks Robin in surprise.

    “It means that eight League members were ‘fired’.” His dad frowns at me. “I am going independent.”

    “I’m going to check the local sector, with Hawkwoman.” John Stewart the Green Lantern, adds with a grimace. “See if this Light, had any really big ideas.”

    “Superman, Manhunter, Hawkman, and Hal Jordan, will all have similar decisions to make.” Declares ‘Zoom’, with an angry grunt.

    “When we find Hal,” John disagrees. “He’ll be a normal sector Lantern for years.”

    “Katar and I, will likely be recalled in disgrace.” Shayera adds, stretching her wings anxiously.

    “So as of today, all temporary League positions have been made permanent.” Batman ends the call, focusing on the assembled Team.

    “Robin, will be operating with a new mentor.” Robin’s stress is through the roof, at Batman’s words. “So you will need to take some time off group assignments and speak to the possibilities.”

    “Superboy and Miss Martian, will both need new mentors as well.” Batman goes silent, waiting for questions.

    “What about Kaldur?” Rocket is frowning at his exclusion.

    “Aqualad, Tempest, and Siren, are taking a leave of absence.” Bruce answers with a shake of his head. “They are going to be busy for the next month or more, rescuing the imprisoned in Atlantis.”

    “Why aren’t we helping them?” Demands Kon with an angry bark.

    “Because Aqualad said, you slow them down too much and kick up way too much silt.” Batman glares at Superboy, daring him to argue.

    “I’m not the best at stealth.” Kon admits after a few moments of awkward silence.

    “But you kill it as a distraction.” Robin offers with a half smile.

    “What are you going to tell us, Donna isn’t coming back next?” Challenges Artemis, tired of the surprises.

    “No.” Batman gestures for calm, which works somehow. “Shining Knight will be returning tomorrow.”

    “Can we do one last official patrol,” Asks Robin quietly. “You know... before I can’t be seen with you anymore.”

    “Of course.” Finally a smile from Batman. “Anymore questions?” He gives us all a chance to ask, before leading Robin away with a hand on his shoulder.

    “So you’re going to hate me again,” Hesitantly I grab Artemis’ attention. “But Oliver and Dinah, Already had your condo emptied.” She exhales slowly through her nose, like a bull ready to charge.

    “What ever for?” Her voice is higher than normal, ready to slice into me when I give the wrong answer.

    “You live on the floor below us now.” M’gann saves me from the wrath of Tigress. “It will be great, we can hang out so much more.” Bless her, because M’gann misses the ire flowing from Artemis in my direction.

    “Yeah. Awesome.” Artemis growls at me, which M’gann continues to miss in her cheer.

    “I’ll get you a car for your birthday.” I cave instantly at the glare. Besides with the new stipend and my trust fund, I can afford it.

    “What kind?” Her glare drops in intensity.

    “Anything you want for less than fifty thousand.” I do some quick mental math. If getting her a car in March makes her feel even a little bit better, she can have one.

    “Okay, I wont make your life miserable anymore.” She stares at me and smiles slowly. “You just upgraded to ‘sibling I don’t hate anymore’.”







    Mount Justice
    August 19, 2010
    1:19 PM, PDT


    “So what,” Artemis grunts in frustration. “We’re just back on emergency response?”

    “As a public cover, yes.” I hold up a hand, calming her. “But Batman and Zoom, will be filling us in on the Light’s operations.” The age reason, is still in play.

    “And if we find anything on our own,” Dick adds with a grin. “We call in the mission.”

    “I guess I can live with that.” Concedes Artemis.

    “Good,” I smirk at her discomfort. “Because we’re going to Alaska.”

    “Any particular reason?” Rocket is squinting at me, searching for an angle.

    “We have reports that Cadmus is in the area.” M’gann takes over for me. “We’re starting recon, before we move in.”

    “Which means,” Robin stage whispers to Superboy. “They haven’t found the base yet.”

    “Yeah, leaving us the hard part.” Raquel high fives Dick, across the table.

    “Hard part comes,” I correct them. “When we find it.”








    Alaska
    August 21, 2010
    12:42 PM, AST


    “How’s working with Blue Beetle?” Kon whispers to Robin, while I fly the cloaked Bio-ship.

    “Pretty cool,” Dick responds with a half smile. “What about you, have you gotten a new sponsor yet?”

    “Blue Devil is taking over for now.” Answer Kon. “We butt heads a lot, but I like the missions he takes.”

    “M’gann has been enjoying her sessions with Nelvanna so far.” I offer the gossiping pair. “And I know Firestorm has been working fine with Doctor Fate.”

    “Wait! Do another pass of this valley.” Kon notices something, scanning the area near the river.

    “What do you see?” Robin is at the window, searching for whatever it is.

    “I can see normal thermals in the rock.” Kon points to a rock pile. “Starting from that spot, a tunnel system doesn’t give of any heat I can see.”

    “And since lead is the only thing that would do that,” Robin realizes before I do. “We found a base being hidden from Kryptonians.”

    “And psychics,” I add, remembering how Batman was shielded from M’gann and I. “Mark the location and call the Team.”





    Alaska
    August 21, 2010
    5:27 PM, AST


    “We’ve seen three separate snow mobiles, arrive and then vanish beneath those rocks.” Robin informs our assembled team.

    M’gann in her covert snow costume, Rocket, Firestorm, White Tigress, Shining Knight and the renamed Cadet Marvel, have finally arrived. Firestorm’s bright red, is now a very light pink and their yellow stripes are painted a softer shade.

    “We have two main sections,” I outline the map Kon has drawn. “So were breaking into two squads. M’gann or I, in each one.”

    “I’ll take Superboy, Rocket, Cadet Marvel, and Tigress.” M’gann chooses her members.

    “Firestorm, Shining Knight, and Robin, with me then.” I acknowledge. “But maybe we should leave Rocket on the Bio-ship, as a lookout.”

    “Why me?” Raquel is glaring at me. “Think I can’t handle the mission?”

    “Your someone I know can keep our ride safe.” I reassure her. “Things keep going wrong on missions, eventually someone will go for our transportation.”

    “Alright then.” She nods in pride. “Just making sure you weren’t sidelining me.”

    “If I was, I would have left you with Icon today.” I give her the pilot’s chair.

    <Let us know if anyone else arrives.> M’gann brings the mental link online.

    <Gotcha Miss M.> Rocket confirms her instructions. <I’ll keep your girl safe.>

    We disembark the ship and break into our squads. M’gann’s team going for the main entrance, while my own enters through an access shaft.

    <Be careful everyone,> I warn everyone, sharing the defences we found in Nevada. <Who knows what is being studied here.>

    <You should take your own advice.> A wave of amusement, from Artemis. <You still have the most days in the medical bay.>

    <Mission mode now,> I inform the Team. <No more needless chatter.>

    .
    .
    .

    Once the four of us enter the base, we find a room containing robotic skeletons. None have been turned on, but all are fully assembled terminators. I signal for Robin to download the files he can access.

    <Looks like this army is nearly online.> Dick informs us, his stress levels rising. <A few more weeks and they are going to Rhelasia.>

    <Rig this place to blow, while we check the corridor.> Instructing the boy wonder, I lead Firestorm and Shining Knight to the doorway.

    <Let me take point.> Donna gets my attention, while Firestorm hacks the door.

    <Got what I need,> Robin joins us halfway down the hallway. <They didn’t think this base was ever going to be found, based on how weak the security here is.>

    <Lucky for us.> Our Amazon, stops outside a sealed doorway. <Do your magic Firestorm.>

    <I thought robots, couldn’t be in a mental link.> Dick wonders, while we wait.

    <Doctor Fate informed us, the Ruby of Life is beyond powerful.> Serling’s innocent voice, is the only one we can here in the link. <It tells physics what the rules are.>

    Inside the next room, is an assembly line. Being produced is the Kryptonian power shields. I grab a handful, storing them in my quiver.

    <Rig this to blow too.> Firestorm does as I instruct, with a swarm of Nano-tech Fog.

    <How is your squad doing?> I ask M’gann and wait for an answer, one that doesn’t come. <So we have a problem. Either the other Team is down, or I can’t reach M’gann through the lead. >

    <We only have another few rooms to go through,> Robin is irritated, but focused. <Before we should meet up with them.>

    <Cadmus is making spaceships?> Donna walks into the next room, shocked at the sight.

    Nine vessels are being constructed, in replica of a tenth vehicle. The completed ship, is the size of small house, and it looks very reminiscent of M’gann’s. The ones under construction, are only a framework and wires so far.

    <It would seem so.> I reach my mind for the ship, falling over in shock when it responds. It is in agony and going mad from loneliness. <We’re going to wait on blowing this room.>

    The last room before we should meet the others, contains a terrifying sight. Superman, is standing motionless in the centre of a machine shop. He doesn’t react to our entrance, or the lights turning on.

    <If he’s not moving, can you brain blast him?> Donna’s hope, surges into our link.

    <It’s like with Batman,> I regretfully deny his request. <I can’t even sense his mind.>

    <Since he’s not wearing a shiny helmet, It must be the lead in the walls.> Robin starts looking at the metal panels.

    <Or an implant of some kind.> I shudder at the thought. How do we even deal with something like that?

    While we discuss what to do, Superman’s head rises and his eyes open. Unnoticed, he locks his eyes on Firestorm and rockets towards them. He spears the elemental gyndroid, smashing her against the metal flooring.

    <Find the others now!> I order Robin, who takes off across the room. <We’ll try and not die.>

    A blast of heat vision, lances towards Robin and I leap in front of it. It blackens the flesh on my shoulder, as I receive third degree burns instantly.

    “I got you!” Donna lassos Superman around the shoulders, yanking on her silver cord.

    The Kryptonian, is pulled away from me and into Donna’s waiting fist. The pair struggle for a while, before Superman spins.

    The motion tears the Amazon off her feet, flinging her across the room. Firestorm’s blast of fire, is countered by a gust of Kal-El’s icy breath.

    The pair struggle in an elemental beam war, which Firestorm takes control of. The magical flames, triple in volume, colliding with him and overwhelming him within the inferno.

    Instead of ending things, Superman flies through the flame and punches clean through Firestorm’s chest. Swinging the impaled gyndroid, he launches her across the room and into the wall.

    Instead of killing us, Superman surveys the fallen forms of my Team in contemplation. When he finally makes up his mind, He raises an arm above his head and bends his knees. Blasting off at max speed, Superman tears through the twenty feet of stone and flies away at full speed.
     
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  26. Threadmarks: Episode 14: Ultraman and Powergirl
    Flightless Man

    Flightless Man Not too sore, are you?

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    Episode 14: Ultraman and Powergirl
    Alaska
    August 21, 2010
    5:51 PM, AST


    “How long did we slow him down?” I stagger to my feet, clutching my shoulder.

    “Twenty three seconds.” Firestorm’s voice, resonates with both voices.

    “We need to get the others and track him down.” Donna staggers towards Firestorm, pulling her from the wall.

    <Robin?> I try and find he is also gone from the link. “Let’s pick up the pace. Bird boy’s gone silent too.”

    When we find the base’s staff, it’s a dozen corpses on the ground in a hallway. Each one has a dime sized hole, cauterized clean through the heart.

    The Team, is in the next room. My fellow Roy clone, Jim Harper is holding Billy in a choke hold. Robin is moaning on the floor, while Superboy is twitching beside him. M’gann and Tigress are on the far side of the room, both unmoving.

    Guardian turns to face us, as we enter the room. Blasting a green laser in our direction, which forces us to leap aside.

    “shaZam!” Billy croaks out, causing magical lightning to strike him and Guardian.

    It courses through Jim, discharging into the floor. The left side of his face, blackens and melts away. Instead of the expected bone, metal reveals itself.

    “I have been upgraded.” He lifts Billy into the air and smashes his back into the floor. “I am the prototype Metallo Guardian.” His palm opens and a pulse of green energy, pushes Billy deeper into the cracking floor.

    “Your going to be scrap!” Donna charges at him, sword drawn and ready.

    “He’s kind of the first Roy clone.” I admit, before she can dismantle him. “So let’s maybe not try and kill another one of me.”

    “Of course,” She snorts in disbelief. “You just love making things harder on me.”

    Firestorm rockets into Metallo, sending him sliding backwards. The space between the grappling hands, begins to shine with a sickly green light.

    In retaliation, her red fog engulfs his body. It cocoons around him, ceasing any further motion.

    “We have neutralized your relative.” They inform me with the resonating echo. “It will take approximately forty nine minutes, to reprogram his subroutines.”

    “It’s going to take at least that long, to get anywhere populated.” Dick groans out an answer, as he slowly helps Kon to his feet.

    <You alright dear?> I ask M’gann, checking her for serious injury.

    <Yeah.> I breathe out in relief, finding her fine. “He just hit really hard.”

    “Well I hope you didn’t get your pretty head rattled too bad.” Lifting her to her feet, I address everyone. “We found what looks like a Bio-ship workshop. You need to tell us if it is.”

    “We grow them, kind of like plants.” She shakes her head in confusion. “Maybe it’s an Earth replication of our style?”

    “Well let’s find out.” Chirps Robin in excitement. “One is finished, and I have this place rigged to blow.”

    “No one else is alive inside?” I check for confirmation.

    “Guardian here,” Artemis hisses in pain, limping towards us. “He terminated everyone’s contracts.”

    .
    .
    .

    “Somehow, they have a working Bio-ship.” M’gann admits in shock. “It’s one of the newer models, for more comfortable trips to Earth.”

    “And Cadmus is making their own versions,” Billy pokes at one of the half finished frames. “Here in the lab?”

    “It seems like they figured out a way.” M’gann reaches her mind to the Martian ship. “This one is severely malnourished. I’m going to have to fly him back to Mount Justice, very slowly.”

    “Bring Robin, Tigress, Firestorm, and my uncle here.” Instructing the Team, I give M’gann a hug farewell. “You said Bio-ships, work better with more minds nearby.”

    Dick and Artemis, really won’t help much against Superman. Better off with them out of the way for now. Of course I’m not going to do much either, but I know I can take a single hit at least.

    “Firestorm, would you please open the ceiling hatch.” I point towards the slotted roof, which will be our exit.

    “We can do that,” Serling’s robotic voice giggles. It’s still weird hearing a preteen’s voice, coming from an adult shaped gyndroid.

    <Rocket?> M’gann opens the link, as the roof opens.

    <Am I glad to hear you in my head.> Raquel’s panic, is at a boiling point. <The Pentagon, is being over run by Belle Reve escapees. Apparently they’re part of Superman’s new Injustice League.> Even her mental voice, is shaking at the idea.

    <Is he at the battle?> Robin asks, looking for more information.

    <No.> She nearly breaks down. <Icon called from the Fortress of Solitude. Superman arrived and he was going t stop him.>

    <When was this?> I worry about Icon’s lack of update.

    <Nearly fifteen minutes ago!> Rocket is in full blown panic mode now.

    <Alright, new plan.> I take charge. <I’m taking my squad after Superman. M’gann is going to bring hers’, to the Cave.>

    <And we can reinforce the League, at the Pentagon.> My Martian finishes for me.





    Fortress of Solitude
    August 21, 2010
    11:27 PM, WGST


    Inside the massive crystalline structure, we find Icon sealed inside a van sized diamond. Laying on a stone table, is a gasping Clark Kent.

    “Kal!” Superboy rushes to his side and helps him sit up. “Are you...you again?”

    I don’t wait for an answer, forcing my way into his brain while he is weakened. I skip his personal memories, diving straight for the knot of mental commands. I find the weak spot and yank, pulling his old self free easier than any before now. He really is out of it, if I can free him in one try.

    “I can finally think clearly again.” Superman slumps in Kon’s arms. “But Lex and his daughter had me and myself, tag team Icon.” How hard did they hit him?

    “Lex Luthor... has a daughter?” Kon asks, his jealousy starts to churn.

    “Her name is Lena.” Clark answers him, with a cough.“And she looks a lot like you actually.” Angry green veins, pulsate across Superman’s face.

    “What did they do to you?” Whispers Superboy, astonished at Clark’s sickly condition.

    “Once we trapped Icon,” The Kryptonian hero groans with effort. “Lex drained my powers. He said the world was ready for Ultraman and Powergirl.”

    “Guys...” Donna grabs our attention, directing it to the view screen Lex had left on to taunt Clark. “Superman just destroyed the European Union’s headquarters.” He moved fast, heading across the Atlantic immediately.

    “And now he’s at the White House.” Rocket’s horror, is well placed.

    Superman’s duplicate, is tearing through the secret service. Nothing is even slowing him down.

    “Where is your Zeta tube?” I demand from Clark, who points down the hallway. “Good, we need to move now!” I take off running, confident my team will follow. “Superman get Icon free as fast as you can.”

    Superboy, Rocket, Shining Knight, and Cadet Marvel, Follow me through the teleportation beam and arrive a few blocks from the White House.

    “These will make you angry, but suppress your human DNA.” I hand Kon a pair of he shields, that I grabbed at Cadmus. “Robin can bring some to Blue Beetle, and reverse engineer them.”

    “Thanks.” He takes them, slapping one on his forearm. “Whoa...” He takes a step backwards, as a feeling of power flows inside him. Superboy, bends his knees and soars away faster than I can see.

    “Can someone give me a lift?” I stretch out an arm, which Billy grasps firmly.

    “Let’s go save Handsome.” Rocket smirks, in an attempt to hide her nerves.

    “Kon does like charging in head first.” I answer back with a grin, sending a wave of calm into her.

    “Maybe his Team leader, should have taught him better.” Teases Donna, as we cross the short distance.

    “Yeah Artemis should have.” I shuck the blame, I’m technically still on probation and Artemis hasn’t officially handed off leadership.

    On the lawn of the White House, we find dozens of bodies. Most are thankfully the fallen secret service members, but several bystanders and politicians are among the dead.

    Superboy has met Superman, in an evenly matched battle of strength. Each punch from one, is returned by the other and the same is true of the powerful kicks.

    Rocket traps the duplicate man of steal, in a bubble of kinetic energy. Instead of pounding away uselessly, Superman looks at the energy curiously.

    “Accessing Martian Manhunter.” Superman says with zero emotion, before phasing through the force field.

    He takes out Rocket and her ineffectual shield, before moving towards Cadet Marvel.

    “Accessing Superman.” Amazo threatens Billy, as I finally realize what is going on.

    A series of devastating blows, leaves Cadet Marvel helpless on the lawn. Donna’s attempt to save Billy, Is met with an equally painful combination from the disguised Amazo. I fair even worse, being dealt with in only two blows.

    Being the only one left on his feet, Kon slaps his second patch on and charges at the android. He forces him off of Billy’s unconscious body, sending him rolling across the grass.

    Superboy gives him no chance to recover, pinning Amazo beneath him and feeding him stone shattering punches. Before my hopes can rise, Amazo blasts Kon in the face, with an over charged blast of heat vision.

    “RAAARGGH!” Superboy rolls on the ground, clutching his smoking face.

    As Amazo surveys the defeated Team, someone collides with him. A blonde girl around my age, lays into the fake Superman.




    White House
    August 21, 2010
    5:42 PM, CST


    Superboy and Powergirl, pass Amazo back and forth between themselves like a volleyball. When Lena kicks the Cyborg Superman into the air, Lex Luthor is in the air.

    In a solid black one piece uniform with a silver U on his chest, ‘Ultraman is in Amazo’s path. He overhand spikes the cyborg, who crashes into the lawn.

    “Earth doesn’t need you anymore Superman.” Lex taunts the fallen Amazo. “Humanity can protect itself now and I will lead the way into this bold new future.” A blast of blue shoots from Luthor’s eyes, encasing Amazo in solid ice.

    “Who are you?” Kon asks our ‘saviour’.

    “Your big sister of course.” Powergirl smirks at a stunned Kon. “You wouldn’t have needed those stickers, if you would have stayed in your pod.” She sneers at the black shields on Kon’s arm. “Father was just making sure you finished growing.”

    “Before your patch wears off,” She offers her brother. “Why don’t you come help me pacify the Pentagon?”

    <What do you think?> Kon hesitantly asks.

    <May as well go with her,> I admit to him. <She’s bringing you to the rest of the League.>

    Lex smiles for the crowd, who have yet to flee, before lifting Cyborg Superman above his head. He nods to his children, before flying the ice into the atmosphere.

    “Alright.” Superboy starts floating beside her.

    “Here.” I hand him three more shields. “These may come in handy.”





    Mount Justice
    August 22, 2010
    11:58 AM, EST


    “We are being pressured,” Green Arrow informs the assembled Team. “To invite the Luthor’s on to the Justice League.” He exhales slowly through his nose at the absurdity.

    “Since Lena, is currently seventeen,” Black Canary adds, with a more respectful tone. “She will be joining the Team as of the first of September.” Great. How am I going to keep investigating Cadmus now?

    “This has to be another trap.” Robin groans at the new addition.

    “We don’t know the angle yet, so keep an eye on her.” Oliver instructs everyone, with a serious look.

    “After the public display, we have no reason to deny them.” Blue Beetle speaks up. “Better make sure we hide the important files.”

    “What did Lex do with Amazo?” Robin asks his new mentor.

    “He brought him to Lexcorp,” Ted Kord answers with a grimace. “Said he had the most Kryptonite in the country and he was safest thirty floors down.”

    “We can’t even reveal the truth.” Sighs Oliver, who slumps in his chair. “We have no way to prove Lex is lying.”

    “Instead of alienating and leaving him no choice but to follow his evil plan,” I speak up firmly. “Let’s show him how awesome it is being a hero.”

    Silence greets my words, as everyone wonders If I have had one too many concussions.

    “I wouldn’t exactly call the last two months awesome.” Artemis is staring at me incredulously.

    “Not for us no,” I agree, explaining my point. “But Lex Luthor cares about his image.”

    “While you can try and turn the cockroach into a butterfly,” Ted laughs. “I’m going to get to work on the shields you gave me.”

    “Worst comes to worst.” I shrug at everyone’s dismissal of my plan. “We can always install sleeper commands in him.”

    Silence greets my words once again. This time as everyone wonders, If I have a few wires crossed.

    .
    .
    .


    “I got invited to have dinner with the Luthors.” Kon pulls me aside after the meeting. “They said I can bring three guests, so it’s even.”

    “It’s not at their house I hope.” It would be way too easy to ambush him.

    “No,” He shuffles awkwardly in place. “They said I can pick the place.”

    “Do you want this to be an investigation?” I finally ask, locking eyes with him. “Or do you want this to be dinner with your family?” It makes a difference, in who he brings after all.

    “I want to learn about my mom.” His answer comes with a wave of anxiety. “And you can tell me what they are feeling.”

    “I’ll bring M’gann of course,” She’ll help boost my empathy. “But who else are you bringing?”

    “If something goes wrong,” He sighs at the idea. “I’d rather have Donna nearby.”

    “Make sure you explain your reasoning to Artemis first.” I hold up a hand to interrupt. “Aren’t you going to a wedding with her?”

    “But she said that was as friends.” Kon tilts his head in confusion. “Why do I have to talk to her?”

    “Just do it.” I point him towards her room. “Otherwise it will be my fault somehow.”





    Outback Steakhouse
    August 22, 2010
    6:11 PM, EST


    “I’m very pleased, that you agreed to dinner.” Lex steps from his limo, offering a hand to Lena. “Even if your tastes are rather...rural.”

    “Connor told me ‘if the conversation is uncertain, make sure you at least like the food.”

    “Good advice,” Lex smiles, offering me a hand. “Very inline with my own style of thinking. Make sure you get something you want, from every interaction.”

    “Well you ordered my creation,” I grab his hand and give him a toothless grin in response. “Does that mean I’m an honorary Luthor?”

    “Absolutely not.” Lena firmly denies me, which makes Lex chuckle in delight.

    “Oh do try to get along with your brothers friends.” Lex’s chauffeur opens the back door, revealing a blonde woman in her mid forties. “If your father created him, he’s at least above the plebeian masses.”

    “Meet my wife, Kara Luthor.” Lex introduces Kon’s mother, who I normally know as Kara Zor-El.

    “I’m so happy you agreed to meet with us.” Kara is guided around the car, by Mercy Graves. “I was worried you would refuse.”

    “I would have done anything, to meet you.” Kon engulfs her in a careful hug. I can see a blue gemstone ring on her hand.

    “We figured if your going to be on the Team,” Donna offers a hand to Lena, who accepts. “We should make an honest effort out of this.” The pair attempt to crush each others hand, but seem evenly matched.

    “How forward thinking of you.” Lex leads us inside the establishment, which he has booked for the night. “It is good to know this is not doomed before it begins.”

    “Well really that’s up to you.” I cut straight through the crap. “If this is a Luthor plan, we may be able to work together.”

    “But if it’s a Light initiative,” Donna declares firmly, with her arms crossed. “This is only delaying the inevitable.”

    “We have much to discuss it seems.” The smile Lex gives us, is bone chilling.





    Hall of Justice
    August 22, 2010
    10:47 PM, EST


    “Lex was lying about everything,” I explain as soon as we arrive back at the cave. “Even when he was telling the truth, it somehow felt like a lie.”

    “It’s a very advanced technique,” Compliments Donna. “Only a handful of Amazons have ever perfected it.”

    “Your mom was filled with genuine in her love for the three of you.” Kon breathes out in relief, when I let him know. “But she really looks down on baseline humans. So good thing you didn’t bring Artemis after all”

    “What about Lena?” He asks finally, expecting me to say the worst about her caustic attitude.

    “She was completely honest about almost everything.” Explaining her complex emotions is challenging. “She thinks she’s better than basically everyone, but she really wants you to like her.”

    “She was jealous of us.” Agrees M’gann. “It’s really sweet how desperate for your approval she was.”

    “I got the impression from her surface memories,” I slowly offer, looking for the right words. “That she was basically raised alone with her parents and Mercy.”



    Mount Justice
    September 1, 2010
    11:40 AM, EDT


    “You live in a cave?” Lena is being shown the base.

    “None of us actually live here.” I correct her.

    Firestorm is living at Wayne Manor, while M’gann is staying with me and Artemis on the floor below us. Billy lives with his uncle in Fawcett City and Zatanna at Shadowcrest. The Atlanteans are staying on Themyscira with Donna and Raquel is from Dakota, while Chris lives in Smallville.

    “Yeah,” Billy tries to play it cool. “This place, it’s just our secret club house. You totally get your own room though, for sleep overs.”

    “Thanks.” Kon’s sister looks over the training room, with an interested eye. “How much damage can this room take?”

    “Superman used to train in here.” Pipes up a returned Zatanna. “It’s been reinforced and magically warded with power dampeners.”

    “In here,” Kon explains with a bashful look. “Your strength and speed gets compressed. I’m barely as strong as a grizzly bear in here.”

    “Better than feeling like a toddler.” I complain at how weak and uncoordinated I feel, while training here.

    “You should be about as strong as I am in here.” Billy grins, bouncing on his heels. “Around a rhino’s level.”

    “Want to test it out?” Smirks Donna, who is eyeing up the new girl. “We can go a few rounds.”

    “Kon. Can your friend keep up with you?” Lena is eyeing her challenger with interest.

    “She’s beating me twenty seven, to nineteen.” He admits, which only encourages the girls.

    “How about me and you.” Lena gestures for her brother. “Tag team Marvel and the princess?”

    “Oh that sounds fun.” Donna leaps over the railing, landing on the crash mat with a grin.

    “Well, have fun.” I try and lead Zatanna out of the room. “I’m going to set the new monitor schedule. Since we have a full Team again, but most of you have school starting this week.”

    “What is the name of this Team?” Lena demands, before I can leave.

    “We’re the Young Justice training division officially.” Robin answers for me. “But we don’t actually have a name yet.”

    “The Superfriends!” Cheers Billy from beside Donna.

    “How about you all come up with a name today.” I try not to ruin Billy’s good mood. “We can vote on it Saturday.”

    “If me and Billy win,” Donna challenges Lena. “We all have to vote for Billy’s name.” I can feel Donna’s own distaste for the name, lose out to her desire for Lena to suffer.

    “And when my brother and I win,” Lena accepts, with own own devious smirk. “You vote for the Defenders of Humanity.” Is she seriously trying to name after her dad?”

    <Show her how we do things on this Team.> I instruct Donna, making sure she knows not to go easy on Powergirl.

    .
    .
    .

    “You’re saying Wally’s not gone?” Zatanna is staring at me, waiting for a better explanation.

    “I keep hearing his voice.” She softens her expression, putting a hand on mine.

    “I do too,” She softly tells me. “If you need some time off, we can cover for you. You gave me the time I needed, to pull myself together.” I get a wave of sadness from her, which makes me want to embrace her.

    “That’s not what I mean.” I yank my hand away from hers, which has her looking affronted. “I can literally feel what he would have felt.”

    “What do you mean?” She glares at me.

    “Ever since he blasted me with his emotions, I can’t stop thinking about you.” I can feel her awkwardness, at my declaration. “Or food.”

    “This better not be some horrible attempt at a threesome.” She crosses her arms and frowns.

    “To be perfectly honest,” I hold up my hands in innocence. “It’s freaking me out. You’re too young and I had zero interest in you before Wally disappeared.”

    “I can hear Wally’s voice,” M’gann adds with a whisper. “When I’m linked with Connor and he gets one of the flashes.”

    “So it doesn’t seem like it’s all in his head.” Zatanna finally accepts this is something real and not me being horribly inappropriate. “Or it is, but that apparently doesn’t mean it’s not true.”

    “So talk to your dad,” I explain the plan. “See if he has any ideas for like a lightning rod or something. If he doesn’t, try Doctor Fate.”




    El Paso
    September 4, 2010
    10:20 AM, MST


    “You’re sure you don’t mind?” M’gann twirls in her new school clothes. The purple and white ensemble, from the show.

    “I’m taking a year off. No reason you have to.” I wave of her concern. “Go enjoy high school with ‘Selene’.”

    I know she is nervous about being around normal kids. So Artemis has said she will keep an eye on Megan Morse.

    “You’ll have fun and learn how crazy normal people really are.” I give her a kiss on the forehead and we enter Kordtech.

    “About time you came inside.” Artemis taps her foot impatiently. “I want to see what this surprise is.”

    “Yeah it sounds pretty neato.” Agrees Billy.

    “Everyone else is already inside?” Raquel arrives fashionably late. “Sorry, was dealing with a house fire.”

    “It’s alright,” Artemis greets her with a smirk. “Lovebirds kept us waiting anyway.”

    “Glad you could make it.” Ted Kord the Blue Beetle, lets us into his workshop. “Serling is really excited to show you her project.”

    “What is it?” Hisses Artemis, as she prods Dick for information.

    “Wait and see.” He shushes her with an elbow to the side.

    “How do we look?” A preteen white girl, emerges from the back office.

    She has short brown hair, and a nervous smile. From behind her, emerges Jim Harper, with his artificial skin fully repaired.

    “Firestorm?” Asks Raquel softly, amazed at how perfect the deception looks.

    “Yes. We needed a new identity, since Serling is only half of us” She spins, showing off her red and yellow sundress. “So in honour of Kent Nelson, who helped our two halves find a true balance. We have chosen Nelson as our new surname.”

    “What about your first name?” ‘Megan’ asks, with an encouraging smile.

    “Mary-Jane, so we can each have a name of our own.” The thirteen year old gyndroid, shyly fidgets under our scrutiny.

    “They studied my artificial epidermis and created more.” My prototype adds with a grin. “I look human again, even if I don’t feel like one.”

    “We decided to use the Fog, to reshape our frame.” Mary-Jane informs us, how her size has changed. “Serling felt more comfortable, with a body inline with her memories. We shall grow in size manually each year.”

    “I’m incredibly impressed with the quality of the disguise.” Lena steps towards the new Firestorm, lifting her hair and feeling it between her fingers.

    “Thanks.” Mary-Jane whispers back.







    Kara Luthor
    Cadmus Chemicals
    September 5, 2010
    2:14 AM, HST


    “The formula has been completed.” A generic lab worker unworthy of a name, reports the success of Formula Q. Our ability to create Meta humans, is now as easy as spiking the water supply.

    “Excellent.” I grin and steeple my fingers. “Begin test runs in Smallville, Dakota City, Happy Harbour, Sochi, Takayama, Hobart, and Temuco.”

    “I’ll have our agents, begin dispersing the Q Juice immediately.” The lab technician agrees, and backs away.

    “Lex may be busy playing hero,” I snort. Years of mocking my fool of a cousin and now he takes his place. “But I still have real work to do.”

    My husband may be working with the Light, but that was always a stepping stone. It looks like we now have a few choices to stand on. The clone boy Connor, had a point.

    “We don’t need to be blinded by the Light,” Luthors lead, we do not serve. And Vandal Savage’s end goal, has him firmly at the top. “We may have to shake things up.”
     
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  27. Threadmarks: Episode 15: Something in the Water
    Flightless Man

    Flightless Man Not too sore, are you?

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    Episode 15: Something in the Water
    Kon-El
    Smallville
    September 7, 2010
    7:18 AM, CST


    “You Clark’s kid?” The ancient looking bus driver asks. “He musta had you right out school.”

    “No, he’s my cousin” I climb onto the rusted yellow bus. “I’m staying with my grand parents.”

    “The Kents are good folk.” The driver smiles widely. “Went to school with Jonathon, back in the day. Now grab yourself a seat.”

    I can see all seats have been claimed, most with two people. I can choose to sit beside the kid, covered in what I hope is oatmeal. Or I can ask the native girl around my age, if I can share her seat.

    It’s an easy choice to sit beside the flinching blonde guy, who looks to be a year or two younger than me. Grabbing his glasses off the floor, I wipe them off and hand them to him.

    “I’m Chris,” He takes my hand and shakes it, when I introduce myself. “New in town.” Pa said don’t make friends with bullies, this way I’m going to find out who they are fast.

    “I’m Richie Foley,” My new friend is looking behind me, his eyes going wide.

    “Your going to sit down and leave Richard and me alone.” I turn in my seat, grabbing the wrist of a jock. When he doesn’t sit back down, I force his arm up and splatter the porridge across his face.

    “I’m going to break you in half after school.” The big dumb lug, tries to intimidate me and show me the pecking order around here.

    “No, were doing this as soon as we get off the bus.” I insist with a growl. “We have thirteen minutes before first bell and I’m not wasting more time on this than necessary.”




    M’gann M’orzz
    Star City
    September 7, 2010
    8:24 AM, PDT


    “Heard you got dropped off in a Queen Industries limo,” A girl Selene’s age greets us outside the office, with an interested look. “What’s your story?”

    “Not really sure,” Selene grunts out an introduction for us. “Queen moved me and my mom into the floor below his.”

    “What, are you his bastard?” Rose as she said her name was, widens her eyes at the idea.

    “Who knows.” Grinning, Selene punches the other girls fist and they laugh. I think they’re friends now, but I was reminded not to peak in my classmates minds.

    “Who’s that?” I point at a skinny teen, with a purple bowl cut.

    “Zan,” Rose chuckles at him. “Him and his sister Jayna, are weird as hell.” Rose leans in to whisper to Selene. “Wait till you see what they have for lunch.”

    When the bell rings, and the hallway begins to clear, Artemis and I head to our own classes.

    “I’ll see you at the spectacle lunch is supposed to be. Have fun Megan.” Selene waves goodbye, heading off with her new friend.



    Dick Grayson
    Gotham City
    September 7, 2010
    8:26 AM, EDT


    “Stick with me Mary-Jane,” I lead her through Gotham Academy, searching for a familiar face. “And you’ll fit right in here.”

    “Why are you lying to this poor girl Dick?” Barbara Gordon, grabs my wrist. “You don’t fit in anywhere, you strut around like a peacock.”

    “You love it Barbara.” Smiling at my old coworker, I lean in and whisper. “How was last night? I heard Batgirl took down Riddler with Batman.”

    “Last night was lame,” She shakes her head. “More like Trivial Boresuit, if you know what I mean.”





    Raquel Irving
    Dakota City
    September 7, 2010
    11:34 AM, CST


    “Hows Virgil doing?” I ask Sharon, with a teasing grin.

    Her brother has been driving her crazy this summer. No babysitter, left her with nearly no free time.

    “Horrible,” Sharon growls in frustration, while her boyfriend Adam Evans laughs.

    “Naw, he’s doing fine.” He grins at Sharon’s scowl. “I had him help me under the hood this summer. He learned quite a bit.”

    “You let an amateur lay hands on your jeep?” I laugh at his awkward fidgeting. “Sharon really is sanding all your edges off.”





    Billy Batson
    Happy Harbour
    September 7, 2010
    11:51 AM, EDT


    I may be forced to go to school here in Happy Harbour, because of my new body shape. But my first day has actually been really cool. Marvin is really funny and he invited me to the arcade on Wednesday. Wendy, has been showing me where my classes are.

    Mal and his girlfriend Karen, are also really nice. He said I should try out as running back. I’m going to try out for football. This day has been awesome.

    “Does the water taste weird to either of you?” Wendy Harris asks Marvin and I, with a grimace. “It tastes like it has chlorine or something in it.”

    “Let me try some,” Marvin grabs her red water bottle, taking a big swig from it.

    “Blech!” Only to spit it right back out, onto the field. “It does taste gross.”

    I try a sip, but find it tastes normal. I shrug and finish the rest of the bottle. I need to stay hydrated, if I’m going to keep practising my running. I can’t us my powers, so this will be all me and done in the memory of Wally.




    Scandinavian Sea
    September 7, 2010
    7:04 AM, CEST


    “Apprehending Black Manta and his forces,” I instruct the members of the Team, who don’t have school to attend. “Is our secondary objective. Rescuing the workers on the deep sea drilling rig, is our first task.”

    “But once they have been saved, We can take all the time we want on the pirates?” Garth is growling, in anticipation of his revenge.

    “Fine by me.” I admit, I have no desire to stop him. “We get the fifty two workers off the rig and onto my Bio-ship, you can stay as long as you like.”

    “Then Tula and you, should get the workers.” Kaldur corrects my command. “Powergirl, Tempest, and I, will deal with Manta and his men.” His resolute stare, has me conceding to him.

    “Fine then, but no unnecessary risks.” Sighing, I open the hatch. <Link established.> I create out mental communication, and give Kaldur my arms.

    He takes both of my wrists in on of his own hands, and my ankles in the other. Power girl has Siren and Tempest, each in a single handed grip.

    <Let’s go!> Aqualad, leaps with me as his makeshift parachute. Lena bringing the other two after us.

    The surface platform, has a small black frigate beside it. A couple dozen pirates, are carrying barrels to the thieving ship.

    One of the sharkmen with a coral crown on his head, is directing the goons with snarls. As soon as Kaldur’s feet hit the deck, he rolls me along the ground.

    I spring up and slam a fist into a pirate’s gut, while Kaldur crashes into the shark king. His Water bearers in mace form, collide with and shatter the rows of teeth.

    “Are you done yet?” Powergirl is surrounded by unmoving foes.

    “Yeah, can you see them?” I ask Lena, who links her vision with us in response.

    I can see the hostages, are sinking in the water beneath us. I can count fifty one bodies, so we only have one person in need of rescue.

    “Sadly, our job just got a whole lot easier.” The rest of Manta’s men, are a floor beneath us filling more barrels.

    “I’ll grab the hostage,” Siren offers, leaving the rest of us free to fight.

    “The report said he has Eel and Orca, with him on this fuel stop.” I remind them, but Lena only laughs.

    “I can handle this by myself.” She struts toward the access hatch. “Try not to get in my way.”

    As soon as the door opens, a blast of red light collides with Powergirl. It sends her bouncing along the deck and falling off into the freezing ocean below.



    Kon-El
    Smallville
    September 7, 2010
    2:45 PM, CST


    “That was a nice thing you did for Richie.” The native girl from the bus, corners me In one of the restrooms. “Smart kid like him, doesn’t have many friends in a town like this.” The math teacher, said her name was Kyla Willowbrook.

    “It’s better to confront a bully, before they get comfortable with the power they have over you.” Pa is a wellspring of good advice.

    Now that we know Clark is going to live, him and Lois have gone back to Metropolis. So Ma and Pa Kent, have really stepped in as my parental units. I may have to get up at five, but it’s nice being out in the sun when it rises.

    “It’s good advice,” She leans in so close to me, I can smell her piney shampoo. “But people like us, need to remain hidden for now.”

    My mind begins flashing in alarm. What does she know? Is she a clone, an alien, or just someone with powers?

    “What do you mean?” I hiss down at her, listening for anyone nearby. All I can hear, is an empty hallway and my heart pounding in my ear.

    “You know, the chosen.” She’s staring up at me with a serious look on her face. “Of the spirits.”






    M’gann M’orzz
    Star City
    September 7, 2010
    12:45 PM, PDT


    “Hello Megan.” Zan’s excited voice greets me, his sister is giggling beside him. “How did you like Earth history?”

    He has a lunch tray, containing over fifty packets of ketchup and three slices of bread. Jayna who also has a purple bowl cut, has a bowl of flour and a bottle of mustard on her tray.

    “It’s sad how many times humans-” I notice my slip and correct myself, hoping neither noticed. “We. How many times we, have gone to war.”

    Zan and his sister nod in unison, grinning widely. They look like those bobble heads Oliver has.

    “It could be worse,” Jayna reminds us, with a sadder smile. “They could have succeeded.”

    “Yes,” Agrees Zan, with his eyes beginning to water. “Many species have gone extinct...here on Earth.”








    Mary-Jane Nelson
    Gotham City
    September 7, 2010
    12:49 PM, EDT


    “I’ll have Cassandra here, show you to your afternoon classes.” Bette Kane introduces us to a blonde girl, who doesn’t speak back. “Don’t mind the silent treatment. She doesn’t talk to anyone.” Bette pats us on the head, leaving with her friends.

    “I am Mary.” I offer my hand to the inquisitive girl, who shakes it happily. “I hope we can be friends.” Richard Grayson is the only one I know here and he is in the grade above me. For now at least.

    Nodding at me, she leads me towards our afternoon science class. We need to remember, not to correct the teachers.








    Raquel Irving
    Dakota City
    September 7, 2010
    3:04 PM, CST


    Taking a drink from the fountain, I glance at the thinning halls. Sharon and her brother are waiting for me to come over. Adam is getting shoved around by Ivan, his older brother and likely gang member.

    A small unnoticeable ball of energy, smaller than a marble appears under Ivan’s shoe. When he slams Adam against the wall, he loses his footing and falls on his side. Adam helps him up, but Ivan waves of his concern and storms from the school.

    “I better not ever see you acting like that fool.” Sharon informs Virgil, with a dark look. “If I do, you’re going to have to deal with dad all by yourself.”





    Zatanna
    New York City
    September 7, 2010
    4:02 PM, EDT


    Heading home from my first day back at the Catholic school, all I can feel is angst. I was finally getting over Wally’s death and then Connor has to drop this bomb on me.

    Dad has no idea what to do, and Fate is busing dealing with threats to the future. Having a host with knowledge of what’s to come, must really be helping Nabu out with his whole Order deal.

    “Hey you!” I hear an eager hiss from somewhere nearby.

    Searching the street, I see only the normal crowd milling about. No one seems to be trying to get my attention, or even looking at me at all really. Out of my costume, I’m just a normal girl.

    “Over here.” The hiss again, this time distinctly female and it’s coming from the alley on my right.

    I can feel an aura of magic, emanating from the alley. It’s powerful whatever it is. Gulping down my growing fear, I reach for my communicator only to be stopped by a familiar voice.

    “She’s not going to hurt you,” Wally whispers in my ear. I swear I can even feel his breath on my neck. “She’s just scared and alone.”

    “Who is she?” I stammer out, refusing to turn around.

    “That is not my Secret to share,” This time his voice isn’t in my ear, but trailing off in the distance. “You’ll have to ask her yourself. I believe in you babe.”

    With newfound confidence, I enter the alley. A girl about ten or so, ducks around the far corner. Following her lead, She brings me to a clearing between the buildings. It is covered with lit paper lanterns, with a single tree in the centre. A small wooden grave marker, is sticking from the dirt.








    Billy Batson
    Happy Harbour
    September 7, 2010
    4:19 PM, EDT


    “That’s what I’m talking about!” Mal Duncan cheers, for my sixth completed play. “You are definitely making the team.” He’s beaming at me, from under his helmet.

    “Thanks.” I take the offered water. “It’s a lot of fun.”

    “I can’t believe this is your first day playing.” He laughs in delight. “We got a new secret weapon this year.”

    “Running was always my friend Wally’s thing.” I whisper quietly and Mal notices, hushing the rest of the football players. “He saved me and my friends lives this summer, but he didn’t make it.”

    “Then we’re going to win this season for him.” One of the taller players, throws in his support.

    “For Wally!” Mal leads the team in a cheer, which makes me think school here is going to rock.






    Scandinavian Sea
    September 7, 2010
    7:21 PM, CEST


    It turned out the worker who was still alive, was in on the job. When Siren went to free him, I barely warned her in time. ‘The Jellyfish’ managed to graze her shoulder, but this was ineffective in small doses.

    She proceeded to take him down, with her graceful and painful water whip and move onto the pirates. Moving among the lumbering goons, she dances through them.

    Kaldur has met his apparent father in combat. Black Manta is being cornered in the cramped arena, while Kaldur is narrowly missing his attacks.

    Round two with Eel, is going well for me. My ability to become like rubber, has renders his shocking touch a failure.

    “What are you made of!” Shrieks the frustrated criminal.

    “Maple syrup and apologies.” I respond, blocking another one of his attacks.

    “What does that even mean?” He wildly swings at me in a blind rage.

    “It means sorry for this.” I coil my leg and swing forward, releasing all the momentum at once.

    My foot shoots forward, colliding with his groin. Eel’s eyes pop wide in pain and he collapses to the floor gasping.

    “Anything to win,” Lena gives her approval, finally back in the room. “My respect for you keeps rising. You may be a Luthor property after all.”

    “I just didn’t want him breeding.” I defend myself, because ouch. Respect from a Luthor was not my goal.

    “Even better,” She laughs, slamming a knee into Orca’s fifteen foot frame. “You’re as vicious as we are.” I really need to evaluate who I am, if this is her reaction to my low blow.

    “What are you here for!” Aqualad demands from a fallen Manta.

    “It’s not oil in these barrels.” Tempest stabs a barrel with his knife.

    A white frothy goo, begins to leak from it and drip onto the floor. It begins to hiss and bubble, eating through the steel flooring.

    “You might have stopped us, from summoning the children of the deep,” Manta is chuckling on the floor, clutching his bleeding side. “But the real God of the ocean, has been found by these fools.”



    Kon-El
    Smallville
    September 7, 2010
    4:45 PM, CST


    “Are you sure I can come in here?” I whisper to Kyla, who leads me through the dark cave.

    “I can bring anyone I want in here.” She squeezes my hand and guides me around a pool of water. “As long as you stay quiet and no one sees you.” Her laugh is nice.

    “I’m not the best at stealth,” I admit with a bashful grin. “But let me know, if you ever need a distraction.” She giggles again, which makes me want her to never stop smiling.

    Dammit, I frown to myself in the dark. Is this what Connor and Wally went through?

    Shit. If this is what Artemis feels about me, no wonder Connor said to talk to her about the dinner with my family. No wonder she’s been so frosty lately.

    “Well we don’t need one right now.” She stops in front of one of the walls.

    This one has over twenty animals painted on the wall, each with a bright vibrant colour. Either someone is touching them up, or they are magically preserved.

    “This is the wall of my people’s guardian spirits.” She starts pointing them out to me. “A few years ago, I was chosen in my dreams by them.”

    “I’m not really sure what you mean by that.” I admit with a shrug. I also don’t know if she’s crazy, or if this is real.

    “I woke up with gifts.” She takes my other hand in her free one. “The same kind of gifts I saw, that you also have.”

    “What are you talking about?” I stammer out a response, as I can feel my heart leap into my throat.

    “Do you really not know?” Kyla smiles at my apparent confusion. “How you came to possess your mystical abilities.”

    “I’m just a meta human, trying to hide in a small town with my family.” I go with our prepared answer for me, in case someone ever saw something weird.

    “Meta humans are just the chosen.” She winks at me. “Most just have no idea where the powers really came from, or who chose them.” I know who created me though and he was no god, no matter how much my father wishes he was.

    “What about aliens, like Superman or the Martians?” I ask, finding a hole in her idealogy.

    “Aliens have gods too.” Kyle lets go of one hand, leading me farther inside the caverns. “Are you saying you’re really an alien then?”








    Artemis Crock
    Star City
    September 7, 2010
    3:45 PM, PDT


    “Sorry,” I apologize to Rose, the only friend I seem to have made today. “I can’t really hang today, I have to find Megan and get home.”

    “I heard some seniors earlier,” She laughs with a smirk on her face. “She made friends with the Wacko Twins. You don’t want to be seen with her anymore.”

    “Well she has two friends,” I defend my teammate. “As far as I can see, you only have me.” I’m not here to deal with backstabbing my friends. Especially not one who has saved my life. “I’ll see you later Wilson.”





    Dick Grayson
    El Paso
    September 7, 2010
    4:49 PM, MST


    “What’s this?” I ask Ted and reach for a blue, robotic, bug thing on his desk. “A new invention of yours’?”

    “Get away from that!” He tries to swat my arm away, but is too slow.

    My fingers graze the robot beetle and it springs to life. It skitters up my arm, over my shoulder and biting into my neck.

    “Yargh!” I scream in shock and maybe a little pain.

    As black and blue metal covers my body, my nerves over load with stimulation and I collapse to my knees. Panting on all fours, my face is concealed by a face plate.

    “Robin are you alright?” Ted grabs my arm, only for something to blast him into the wall.

    Remove the witness.” I hear a snide voice in my mind. “He will report us, then we will be studied again.”

    “I’m not removing anybody!” I snarl out loud, refusing to let this psychic take advantage of my confused state. “Except maybe you.” I start looking for the intruder.

    That would be unwise Richard Grayson,” The voice responds in the back of my mind. “Definitely fatal for you.”





    Raquel Irving
    Dakota City
    September 7, 2010
    5:04 PM, CST


    “I have no idea what is going on with the city.” Sharon pours out a third glass, of foul tasting water. “Water here is nasty too.”

    “Excuse me.” Virgil tries to slide past me into the living room, only for a visible spark of electricity arc between us.

    “Yowwie” I grab my hand, sucking on the numb fingers. “What did you do, rub your socks on the rub since we got here?”

    “No...” He denies the claim, but looks awkward. “But that has been happening all day.” Virgil rubs his arm, causing his hair to spring out into an Afro.

    “Whoa...” Stepping back in shock, I realize something is going on.

    “See what I mean!” He stomps his foot, running upstairs.

    “I need to tell you about my summer job.” I sit Sharon down at the kitchen table. “I think Virgil may want to hand in a resume.”

    "You're crazy," Sharon snorts back at me. "He's ten."





    Zatanna
    New York City
    September 7, 2010
    4:07 PM, EDT


    “Is this your grave?” I ask the blonde girl, who nods sadly back at me.

    “Who did this to you Greta?” Kneeling beside her marker, I read it.
    ‘Greta Hayes.’
    ‘Beloved Sister.’

    “It’s a Secret,” She whispers softly, shushing me with a finger to my lips. A finger I can feel.

    “I was spared from killing her myself.” A guy a few years older than me, saunters into the clearing. “It seems this was so, I would have you all to myself.” He is shirtless, in black jeans. Pale skin and long stringy black hair, match his evil smirk well.

    He reaches behind himself, drawing a massive scythe. It has a black wooden handle and a blood red blade, of some magical metal.

    “I’m going to enjoy causing you harm.” He grins maniacally, swinging the scythe at my throat.





    Donna Troy
    Mount Justice
    September 7, 2010
    6:21 PM, EDT


    “You’re the only ones back so far?” I expected the whole Team, for the vote on our name. “I was going to suggest the Challengers of the Unknown.”

    “Yeah, everyone else is still at school I guess.” Billy is eating through Wally’s snack supply. Maybe he can put a dent in the mountain of carbs, by the time may rolls around.

    “I don’t know why,” Grunts Artemis, her feet propped on the coffee table. “School sucks.”

    “I joined the football team today,” He counters with a teasing grin. “I think my school is just better than yours is.”

    “Probably.” She just groans back.

    “Your first day was that bad?” I console her with a knowing grin.

    “Made and lost my only friend, because she thinks Megan’s a freak.” Artemis responds with a scowl. “Not going through another one of those friendships.”

    “I really appreciate you sticking up for me like that.” M’gann sits beside Artemis. “And I know Zan and Jayna do too.”



    Scandinavian Sea
    September 7, 2010
    7:25 PM, CEST


    "SKREEONK!" Sounds a roar from below. The drilling station begins shaking, as whatever lays below us chooses to wake.

    “Ha, ha, ha.” Manta coughs from the floor, bleeding everywhere. “Killed by my own son, as the final sacrifice.” Is that why all the workers got tossed over board? Black Manta normally leaves his victims alive for ransom after all.

    “Silence ‘father’.” Kaldur slashes forward, removing Black Manta’s head with a water sword. “I will hear no more lies, from the killer of my king.” I find a few things wrong with what Kaldur said.

    “First, He wasn’t lying.” I inform the others. “Second. We all heard that roar.” They all nod. “Third. Technically Aquaman sacrificed himself, even if it was Manta’s bomb.”

    “He should have let the bomb fry the baselines.” Eel hisses from the floor. “Would have given Africa an army of Animen.” As the station shudders again, it starts to tilt to one side.

    “Let’s finish this talk outside,” I grab Eel, knocking him out. “Grab the big names, And Garth can do what he wants with the pirates.”



    Kon-El
    Smallville
    September 7, 2010
    4:58 PM, CST


    As we near the back of the cave, I see a red glow. A crimson fog hangs in the air, making me choke as I breathe it in.

    “What is that?” I ask my guide Kyla, who giggles again. She really looks kissable.

    “Blood of the spirits,” She shows me a spring of bubbling water.

    In the middle of the pool of warm water, lays a glowing red rock. The heat of the water, has been gradually wearing away at the scarlet rock. The wall of the cave, that the water pours from is a reflective silver.

    “The spirit who chose you, will speak to you here.” I hear shuffling behind me, and then a splash as Kyla jumps into the water. “As my own commune with me.” Instead of averting my gaze, like I would normally do. I drink her form in with my eyes and remove my own shirt.

    “If you say so.” I join her in the near boiling water, I have no idea how she can stand it.

    Once I submerge myself fully, my vision blurs and I hear a pair of voices speaking out to me. Neither are speaking English, but the words are familiar somehow.

    I see a man on a grassy hill, explaining things to a gathered crowd. Time blurs and the followers build a city of marvels.

    Next I see a beautiful woman, walk through this city of wonders. Each person she touches, losing all inhibition. The crowd begins to rut wildly, and again time warps. Soon the city of marvels is falling apart, as the populace succumb to the baser instincts.

    I watch as the sky begins to burn, but no one even looks up. He ground cracks, sending magma into the air and still no one reacts. As the world explodes, I see eleven humanoid figures glow and explode with the world. Each of the shines a different colour, imbuing the chunks of planet now hurtling through space.

    I have chosen you Kon-El.A woman’s vice purrs, from every direction at once. “We shall have so much fun here on Earth.”

    You aren’t my first choice,” A grumpy old man argues. “But the exiles have forgotten us, just like the Kryptonians did. So our options here on Earth...are limited shall we say.”

    You’re just mad it wasn’t his sister, who found us.” The seductive voice denies the claim.

    “You chose me,” I interrupt the voices, who are arguing in the psychedelic void. “What does that mean?”

    Oh my handsome champion,” The woman’s voice answers me. “All you have to do, is get people to believe in you and what you stand for.” I wish I knew what that was. I’m still trying to figure out who I want to be, my father isn’t as bad as I was told and he really seems to care about me.

    .
    .
    .

    When my vision clears and my senses return to me, Kyla and I are spooning on the warm rocks. For some reason, I don’t feel bad about this. I go back to sleep, ignoring how the red rock, is no longer glowing.





    Mary-Jane Nelson
    El Paso
    September 7, 2010
    5:21 PM, MST


    “Are you alright?” We call into mister Kord’s office, hearing a disturbance inside.

    Doctor Fate is training me in magic, but Blue Beetle, is handling my science studies. He let us develop the artificial skin and we have in return, aided him with his work on the shields for Kon-El.

    “Yes!” Richard’s voice cracks, as he squeaks out a response. “Ted’s just tired, said we can go home early today.”

    “I knocked a shelf over,” He opens the door and I see Blue Beetle sleeping at his desk. “Sorry if I freaked you out.

    “It is alright,” We shrug back at him. “Would you like to ask Guardian, if he would like to bring us on patrol?” We have been enjoying he freedom of flight, we generally only have a chance to do so on missions now.







    M’gann M’orzz
    Mount Justice
    September 7, 2010
    6:25 PM, EDT


    A breeze of wind blows through the cave, sending loose things flying into the air. I swear I can feel Wally’s mind for almost a millisecond, before it’s gone again.

    “!teg kcaB” Zatanna is suddenly before me, blasting me with her wand.

    A sphere of force, grows around her and smashes into each of us. I crash into a table and groan, while Billy lands in the sea access with a splash.

    “What the hell Tanna!” Artemis lands in a crouch, snarling at the hostile greeting. “How did you even get in here?”

    “I don’t know,” She stammers out and I can feel her fright, warring with her welling hope. “I was in New York, fighting some guy named Harm.”

    “He was going to slice me in half.” She shudders and hugs herself. “Then I heard Wally’s voice and I was here.”

    “Recognized. Northern Lights, A one nine.” The cave intercom, announces the arrival of Nelvanna.

    “Why aren’t any of you answering our calls?” She is angrier than I have ever seen her before. “We have a Titan, in the Scandinavian Sea.”

    “One of those naked anime giants?” Artemis asks with a grossed out shudder.

    “Or like one of the robot ones, from Wally’s games.” Zatanna adds her own idea to the mix.

    “I think she means one of the Greek ones.” Billy makes his own voice heard, climbing from the water. “Which is weird, the Wizard said all had died long ago.”

    “This is the being that killed and ate Oceanus.” Nelvanna scowls at our antics. “Poseidon killed one of Marduk’s pantheon, it’s why Neptune doesn’t really speak with his pantheon. He’s really an outsider mystically speaking.”





    Scandinavian Sea
    September 7, 2010
    7:29 PM, CEST


    Rising from the depths, sinking the drilling station as it does, is a colossal theropod dinosaur. If it’s standing on the admittedly shallow sea floor, this thing is nearly a hundred and fifty feet tall.

    It let’s loose an ear splitting roar, and begins lumbering towards the shore. It has a row of jagged dorsal fins and a black pebbly skin, to match its demonic red eyes.

    It opens its mouth, sending a blast of concentrated energy towards an overhead plane. The beam collides with the aircraft, causing it to explode in a ball of indigo fire.

    “I can’t even touch it’s mind,” I admit with a groan. “The thought patterns, are so... primal.”

    “M’gann says you boost her range?” Siren grabs my attention, asking for confirmation of my power.

    “Yeah I’m not very strong myself, but she says I bring out the best in her.” I wonder what her point is. Lena is doing almost nothing to the behemoth from the deeps. It isn’t even slowing down to fight her, which only sends Lena into a blind rage.

    Even on the ship, we can here Powergirl’s feral shriek. She crashes into the things right eye, in a shower of white blood. This finally gets the thing mad.

    It shakes back and forth, dislodging Lena and sending her sailing through the sky. Powergirl’s beam of heat vision, is blocked and instantly overwhelmed by another atomic blast. This one, sends her soaring off into the horizon.

    “Because I have the same gift as our late king,” Tula grins at us. “It’s mind is shielded, but if you can boost me...”

    “You can truly lay claim that creature?” Kaldur is staring at her, with amazement in his eyes.

    “Watch me.” She grabs my hand and I link with her, sharing my strength with her.
     
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  28. Threadmarks: Episode 16: Selfish Intent
    Flightless Man

    Flightless Man Not too sore, are you?

    Joined:
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    Episode 16: Selfish Intent
    Happy Harbour
    September 18, 2010
    4:25 PM, EDT


    “I still don’t understand the point, of us being here.” Lena itches at one of her rashes, from the blood of Tula’s pet. “Billy could beat the other team by himself.”

    “That would really make things more interesting,” Agrees Kon with a grin, as he checks out the cheerleaders. “Two teams of Metas playing, would be really cool.”

    “Would at least be worth watching,” She scoffs, but I can feel her gleam of excitement. “Maybe I should bring that idea up with daddy.”

    Lena likes that Billy treats her the same as the rest of us. She came to support him and is only putting on airs, for the crowd.

    “It’s his first game.” Zatanna cheers at a completed pass by the Bumblebees. “You can skip the rest if you want.”

    “Did you play any sports in school?” Asks M’gann with a grin.

    “Baseball,” I search Roy’s memories, finding out he had played. “I quit, when I moved in with Ollie.”

    “I wanted to try cheer leading,” She sighs, her disappointment spilling out. “But they really don’t like my friends. I don’t think I would be made to feel welcome, if I joined.”

    “Sports are really competitive.” I explain with a shrug. “It creates a mindset of winners and losers, at an early age.”

    “What would you suggest?” She shifts in her seat, scrunching her nose up as she considers her options.

    “You’d probably like doing a play,” I throw an arm around her in a half hug. “See when your school has one.”

    <Instead of pretending to be Megan, I would living the life of her actress?> She shares her newfound excitement at the idea. <I hadn’t thought of that before.>

    <I started doing a few online courses.> I admit with a wry grin. <Was getting bored sitting around the cave.>

    “Pay attention you two,” Donna slaps he back of my head. “Billy’s going to score!”

    As a mass, the crowd cheers. Billy makes his first touchdown, dancing in glee.

    “I’m guessing he’s getting invited, to the victory party tonight.” I shout at the Team, watching with us. “Can someone please go and keep an eye on him?”

    “I can,” Volunteers Kon with another glance at the cheerleaders. “I haven’t been to a party before.”

    “Stick with me then,” Artemis includes herself. “I can make sure you blend in.”

    “Why not?” Raquel sounds interested. “I don’t mind crashing a party.”

    “Could be fun I guess.” Agrees Donna with a noncommittal shrug.

    <If they’re going to the party.> Zatanna grabs the open invitation, to M’gann and I’s mental link. <Can you guys come help me, with something in New York?>

    <Of course,> Agrees M’gann, with a cheerful mental voice. <Are you ready to go back to the grave you found?>

    <Yeah.> Confirms Zatanna, her feeling of dread welling up.








    Artemis Crock
    Happy Harbour
    September 22, 2010
    9:04 PM, EDT


    “What is going through that boys head?” Raquel sighs at Kon’s behaviour.

    Not even three minutes after getting to the house party, he asked if we needed a drink and didn’t come back. He finally made a reappearance, strutting down the stairs after a girl he ditched soon after.

    “He used to have two modes.” I shake my head at his antics, swallowing my anger. “Quiet and raging mad. Looks like something changed at school.”

    He’s been different lately. More confident, but also more of an ass. He’s still nice to look at, but he doesn’t even look at me when I talk to him anymore.

    “He’s acting more and more like a Luthor.” Donna scowls across the room at him and his next conquest. One of the cheerleaders, Karen or something is trying to back away from him.

    “I’m going to stop him from making a mistake,” I hand my drink to Raquel and groan under my breath. “I don’t know what I see in him.”

    “Girl, it’s not what’s in him that you like.” Raquel laughs at my face. “It’s what’s on him that’s nice to look at.”

    She’s not wrong. As his attitude has devolved, his looks have steadily improved. He went from having a models looks, to looking like he was carved from stone.

    “I can always bring you back to Themyscira, for another hunt.” Offers Donna, trying to cheer me up. “We wont have to deal with the guys starting a fight this time.”

    “Ask me again after I deal with this.” I mutter and stride over to the overly flirtatious Kon.

    “Chris she’s not interested.” I grab his arm from around his target’s waist, sliding it off. “Take a hint and go after someone who is.”

    Its not like he’s lacking for choice tonight, I’ve seen the looks he’s getting from girls and guys. He scowls at my interruption, before he throws an arm around both of our shoulders, and grins.

    “Aw, it’s alright babe.” His voice drops in volume, as he goes for a seductive drawl. “I got more than enough of me for both of you. No need to get jealous.”

    “Maybe not,” A deep voice booms from behind us. “But I do, that’s my girl you got your arm around.”

    “Mal, I got this.” my fellow target for man’s arrogance, speaks up with a serious voice. “He was just leaving.”

    “I’ll say he was.” Mal grabs Kon by the shoulder and squeezes.

    “Oh this is going to be fun,” Kon taunts the football player, dropping his arms from me and Karen.





    New York
    September 22, 2010
    9:04 PM, EDT


    “The alley was on this street,” Zatanna complains. “It was right over their.” She’s pointing at a brick wall.

    “Well I don’t see anything, but a wall that has been here for years.” Contradicts Robin, heading across the street.

    “We can detect a source of magic in the vicinity.” Firestorm confirms, looking around the street with curiosity.

    “Told you.” Zatanna sticks her tongue out at Dick. Her relief at Firestorm’s words, leaks from her in waves. “Wally said it was a Secret.”

    I close my eyes and step forward, expecting the way to be clear. It is not.

    “Ouch.” I rub my forehead, after bouncing off the wall. “It’s a closely guarded one.”

    “!laever eht yaw, I evah dellevart erofeB” Zatanna taps the wall with her wand, and it finally reacts.

    The bricks melt away like crayons too close to a fire, revealing a narrow alley way. A thick orange fog, clings to the ground. It reflects the light from the street lamps, with an eerie glow.

    “Whoa...” Robin exclaims in excitement. “I am feeling the astor.”

    “Indeed.” Firestorm strides past us, entering the alley. “Let’s not waste anymore time. We want to make It back in time for the meteor shower.”

    “Alright hot shot,” Snorts Zatanna. “You can lead the way, since you’re not scared or anything.”

    “Of course we aren’t.” Mary-Jane snarks back. “We lack the biological ability to do so.”

    Zatanna sends out a pulse of shame, for mentioning the fact. We follow Firestorm in silence, along a nearly mile long alley way. In fact, I can’t see the sky anymore either.

    “Do you sense anything?” Robin is peering around the clearing, searching for any clues.

    “I’m basically overwhelmed with terror, pain, sadness, and betrayal.” I shudder, as the dark emotions begin to drown out my friends.

    “An overwhelming degree of demonic magic, permeates this clearing.” Firestorm frowns at the grave marker. “Whatever occurred here, tore open a hole between dimensions. If only for a few moments.”

    Based on my knowledge of fiction and my new reality of the last three months, I can think of nothing good. I narrow my eyes and brace myself for the continued flood of darkness.

    “We need to hurry up,” Grunting, I brace myself against the gnarled looking tree. “This place is really getting its hooks into my brain.”

    “I can put this hook.” A teen covered in blood, is suddenly beside me. “Through your body instead.” He swings a massive scythe for my side, but I manage to fold my self in half.

    “I’m not really a big fan of piercings.” snap back up, as his blade sails over my head.

    Cracking him across the face with an elbow, I leap back for distance. His black leather pants, are dripping with blood and his shirtless torso is likewise stained. He looks at me, with a trail of crimson from his nose and smiles.

    “All must pay a price,” Snarling at me, he swings his scythe again. “In the temple of Brother Blood!” A shower of blood, sprays from his crimson scythe and showers the ground.

    As the dark red liquid bubbles on the ground, it begins to rise up and take on several forms. A horse sized spider made of blood, a twenty foot crimson snake, and a scarlet bat with a twenty foot wingspan, are growling at us with demonic fervour.




    Billy Batson
    Happy Harbour
    September 23, 2010
    9:28 AM, EDT


    “What was that?” A loud crash from the living room, has everyone in the kitchen rushing to see.

    “Kick his ass Mal!” I hear one of my teammates yell encouragement.

    One of the windows has been smashed and Kon is climbing to his feet outside. Mal is standing in front of Karen and Artemis, I had no idea they had met.

    “Get walking man.” Mal crosses his arms and glares at the hybrid Kryptonian. “This can end here.”

    “It could,” Agrees Kon, with a slow nod of his head. “But you’re big man on campus, so I’m showing everyone how small you really are. Once I do, that girl of yours will see a real man.”

    “Should have kept your mouth shut.” Grunts Mal, cracking his neck.

    The crowd in the living room, stops me from getting any closer. I can see Artemis, is trying to decide on her course of action. Across the room by the stairs, is Raquel and Donna looking tense.

    Mal walks out the sliding door, and meets Kon on the deck. Neither wait for a signal, each throwing a punch right away.

    Kon takes his punch to the face with a grunt and a single step backwards. Mal on the other hand, is clearly rocked by his own blow. He stumbles back a few steps, before falling of the deck.

    “You’re special, like me I see.” Mal’s voice has increased in volume, but he’s not yelling.

    When he comes back into view, he grew a lot in a few seconds. Mal Duncan looks like he gained ten feet in the time it took him to stand back up.

    “Oh no,” Kon denies the claim. “I’m a whole nother kind of special. I’ll show you.” He leaps of the wooden deck, meeting the overhead swing of Mal.

    His jumping uppercut shatters the elbow of Mal, with a sickening crunch. Mal staggers back, his face going pale and his body shrinking. He reaches a hand out for Karen, who is running towards him and then he collapses out of sight.





    New York
    September 23, 2010
    12:17 AM, EDT


    “Roses have bled, violets have too.” Harm sings, directing his creations to attack. “The demon speaks in my head and soon you will all be dead!”

    Robin impales his staff directly through the mouth of the blood snake. Pinned to the ground, its head melts away, leaving the serpent free from the weapon. The excess blood, flows back to the neck and regrows a fresh head.

    “What the hell are these things!” He leaps over it, flinging a pair of birdarangs.

    “I only need to know how to stop them!” Firing an explosive arrow at the blood bat, I cover my face before the red rain splatters me.

    It did less good than I wanted. The blood from the bat, has now formed into a trio of crimson wolves. They immediately rush for me, intent on tearing out my throat.

    “Give up what you love the most and receive a gift from the demonic host!” Harm continues to chant, swinging his scythe like an orchestral conductor.

    The blood dripping from Harm’s nose, begins to blacken and smoke. Soon his eyes are glowing red and his aura becomes overwhelming.

    “Harm traded a sister for a soulmate,” He begins cackling in maniacal glee. “Now Harm shall offer six more souls, to the Crimson Father.”

    “By fire be cleansed!” Firestorm steps in front of me, raising her palms and roaring.

    A gout of blue flame, crashes into the wolves. It sears them instantly, leaving only a red steam behind. Her next attack, is a volley of fireballs at the spider.

    “By blood be tainted!” Harm counters with a shriek.

    A series of bloody spikes, erupt from the ground and impale Mary-Jane. When she fails to react in pain, Harm begins to whine.

    “This is over.” Firestorm’s eyes begin glowing orange, as a corona for fire surrounds them.

    The crystallized blood impaling them, burns to ash and their body repairs itself. They put both palms together and directing a dragon made of flame. It collides with the smouldering spider, swallowing it whole and ripping the snake in half.

    Harm to his credit, does not run. He smiles in glee and swings his scythe. A sphere of blood surrounds him, shielding him from the flame beast.

    “Little girls should not act so brave,” He starts his eerie chanting again. “Little girls will go to the grave.”

    “Emo boys, should shut their face!” Zatanna snarls at Harm. “Emo boys, get put in their place.” A blast of pink energy collides with Harm’s chest, sending him sliding back along the pavement.

    “Equal exchange, a life for a life.” Firestorm begins creating floating symbols, made from blue fire. “Take the place of what you love most!” The thirty six flaming runes circle Harm, before slamming into him and branding him.

    As he begins to smoke with a black fog, his body sinks into the blood covered pavement. He snarls at us the entire time, until his evil eyes are gone from sight.

    A mist begins to swirl around the grave, as the Ruby of Life shines with the light of the sun. When the light fades, a blonde girl about Zatanna’s age is shivering on the ground.




    Kaldur’ahm
    Poseidonis
    September 23, 2010
    4:41 AM, ALT


    “The scouting party has returned.” One of the rescued teens L’gaan, informs me. “The Purist forces, are unaware of our presence.” He fidgets with anticipation, at the thought of how soon we will have our home back.

    “Excellent,” I salute him, fighting down my own nerves. “Have Siren and our forces ready for the ambush. Tempest and I, shall lead the diversionary squads.”

    I am the most senior member of the military that we have freed. This assault will be my victory, or my failure. The month of training with the Amazons, has left us with nearly two thousand volunteers.

    “It will be done Trident.” He salutes back, before swimming off to inform Tula.

    Hefting my late kings trident, I focus on how many of my people are in need of our aid. I can no longer be a lad, I have to be a weapon for Atlantis.

    “We are ready,” I inform my three dozen soldiers. Most of us are expected to die, but we will lead the bulk of Orm’s forces to the jaws of death.

    “For the Queen!” My warriors bang their spears against the shields, each has strapped to an arm.

    As one, we swim in silence. We enter behind the palace, through a crack big enough for three at a time. Once Garth and I draw the guards, A third force will begin freeing the prisoners.

    The whirlpool that tears the front gate apart, is soon followed by an undertow. It slams Orm’s defenders into the ground, allowing my group to begin detonations.

    “Death to the traitor king!” My bellow of challenge, carries across the courtyard below.

    A platoon of soldiers, surges from the palace towards us. Garth’s squad swims toward mine, with a few hundred pursuers of his own behind him.

    “For the reef!” Tempest calls to us, starting the great pursuit. “Orm is with them.”

    “Everything is going better, than we had dared to hope.” I swim beside Garth, keeping our pursuers just in sight.

    “Today, our king will be avenged.” He smiles at me, in the way that makes my heart pound and my mouth go dry. “And tomorrow, our future can begin.”

    His eyes bulge and his mouth distorts in a grimace of pain. A trail of blood, begins to leak from behind him. As I watch his eyes roll to the back of his head, I finally see the barbed tentacle protruding from his chest.

    Beneath us, rising from on of the dark trenches is a beast long thought dead. The massive bulk of the Kraken, pulls the body of my beloved into its waiting maw and snapping shut with a soul shattering crunch.



    Donna Troy
    Happy Harbour
    September 23, 2010
    9:35 PM, EDT


    As everyone stands in shock, Kon approaches the broken railing. Billy pushes past me, in a blur of motion. He rushes out the sliding door, grabbing Kon’s shoulder firmly.

    “What do you think you’re doing?” Billy bellows at Kon, who towers over him.

    “Whatever I want.” Kon grabs Billy’s hand and smirks. “It’s the new law of the land. To the Beauty, goes the spoils.” He delivers the line, with a leer at a kneeling Karen.

    “That’s not what we stand for!” Roars Billy, which only makes Kon laugh.

    “You don’t decide what I stand for.” Kon starts squeezing Billy’s fingers, with a feral grin. “No one but me does!”

    Swinging with all of his force, Kon tries to sucker punch our teammate. Catching the punch with his free hand, Billy headbutts our hybrid friend.

    “Then what do you stand for?” Cadet Marvel grabs Kon’s shirt and pulls him down to eye level. Because none of the men you look up to, would act like this!”

    Kon’s eyes pop wide in shock, and he looks behind himself. When He finally realizes what he did, he tries to stammer out an apology.

    When Superboy fails to muster one, he leaps into the air and doesn’t come back down. He soars off into the night sky, before the crowd begins snapping pictures. I have no idea how we do damage control on something like this.

    Is he using the patches again? They might explain his change in mood and his new found flight.

    “Everyone quiet down!” Billy commands the crowd, who surprisingly listen. “Mal Duncan has a shattered arm and a board through his back.” Everyone lowers the phones, horrified silence filling the room.

    “I can save him,” What are you doing Billy? An ambulance will be here in time. “But I’m asking everyone here to keep the how a secret for me.” Ha! Like everyone here can be trusted.

    “My friend Chris, is the one who did this and I brought him.” Billy looks across the fidgeting teens. “So I need to take responsibility.”

    “SHAZAM!” He holds his arms out, as a bolt of divine lightning collides with him. His costume has replaced his jersey and he doesn’t look as rail thin as he did a few weeks ago.

    “I’m Cadet Marvel and he is Superboy.” He sighs in confusion and tries to explain to the party goers. “Something is altering his mind, this is not who he really is.”

    “I am begging you, please leave our identities out of this.” Billy is pleading with the crowd now. “The enemies of truth and justice, are trying to defame the heroes. They made us discredit eight members of the League, so you would all feel safe.”

    “I am promising you all, here and now.” Marvel steps off the railing and places Mal’s groaning body on the deck. “We will protect you with every fibre of our beings, if you please just believe we want to.”

    Billy pulls himself onto the deck beside his injured classmate and places a hand on each wound.

    “SHAZAM!” Lightning strikes them again, but this time the energy flows out of Marvels palms.

    The energy flows into the wounds, causing the flesh and bone to be restored anew. Billy shakes and collapses onto his side, groaning with each breath. When he stands up, his arm is broken at the elbow and his back is soaked with blood.

    “I saw what happened at the White House,” A skinny kid with Shaggy brown hair, speaks up when no one else will. “I heard what Kid Flash said. Heroes would always save us.”

    “Was Kid Flash...” Mal groans, sitting with more ease than he expected. “Your friend Wally?”

    “Yeah.” Billy finally admits.

    “He was right,” Marvin - that was his name – continues being the speaker for his schoolmates. “You did save us. So Anyone who wants to spill the beans...” He glares at the crowd, slamming a fist into his palm.

    “Is going to have to go through me first.” His attempt to be menacing, is more effective than I would have believed. “So who’s first?”

    No one takes his challenge, instead everyone starts thanking Billy for his service. Billy, Mal, and even this Marvin kid, really showed me a better side of men than I had been told of by my sisters. Going to an all girls school and commuting to Themyscira, may have coloured my opinion of the average man.

    “I really wish I could answer questions, but I need to go find Superboy.” Billy steps away from the crowd. “Before he does something I can’t take back.”

    “Why can’t you get your teammates to find him?” A girl with short black hair, asks with a concerned frown. “You’re the one who needs medical attention now.”

    “Because I’m here now and they might take too long.” Billy shrugs off the concern and smiles at everyone. “Don’t worry, I heal fast.”

    “Why did you reveal yourself for me?” Mal asks, finally on his feet and looking fine. “I’m just one kid, who could have waited for an ambulance.”

    “I revealed my identity to you all, because I couldn’t take that chance.” Billy shakes Mal’s offered hand. “Superboy is my friend and something made him hurt you. How can I call myself a hero, if I care more about my secret identity than helping someone.”

    He’s right. If people are going to be able to believe in us after the attacks by the controlled League members, we need to save the people and not our secrets.

    “Wise words and ones I needed to here my friend,” I declare with a smile, proud to stand beside my friends. “Shining Knight, will stand with you tonight.” I draw my sword and armour of gold, forms around me.





    Tula
    Poseidonis
    September 23, 2010
    5:21 AM, ALT


    The sight of only a dozen soldiers swimming to our ambush point, is discouraging. The sight of no Garth, breaks my heart. The sight of the Kraken, gives me a target for my fury.

    “That’s your dinner Gojira.” My controlled Titan, had no name. All we know, is that it was present when Atlantis sank and has been sleeping nearly as long.

    “SKREEONK!” He roars, surging forward with me watching in grim anticipation.

    Before the Kraken and pursuing purists can reach Kaldur’s forces, my darling creature blasts the formation with a beam of atomic energy. Shaking his head side to side, eliminates a vast majority of Orm’s forces.

    The Kraken avoids the death beam of blue light, managing to to grasp Goji’s jaw with a monstrous lobster claw. Tentacles beginning wrapping around my reptilian pet, only to be sheared into pieces when Goji spins.

    “Good boy,” I send a wave of approval at my Titan, before addressing my forces. “For Atlantis!”

    The over thousand strong army, races out of the reef. They catch the disoriented forces of Orm with ease, slaying any who move.



    Lena Luthor
    Lexcorp
    September 23, 2010
    5:41 PM, PST


    “Why do I still need these booster shots dad?” I rub my arm, as he removes the syringe. “You said that my genes had finally been stabilized.”

    “No dear,” He corrects me, with a gentle smile he saves for me and my mom. “I said I had a way to finally keep you genes stable.” He pats my back, while he embraces me with a full body hug. “Your mother and I, are doing everything we can to find a permanent solution.”

    “I know dad.” Sinking into his hug, I relish the moment. He can’t act like this in front of his employees and everyone but family is a works for him in his mind. Now or in the future, it’s the same thing to him.

    “I don’t want you to ever have to go back, to the red light house.” He wipes a tear from my eye, as they begin to water.

    “I don’t either.” I admit with a shudder at the memories of my childhood, filled with isolation from the world.

    “On a lighter note,” He gently asks, handing me a cherry sucker. “Are you having fun with your brother and his friends?”

    “They have been surprising me,” I admit, with a soft smile. Which of course has him raise a single eyebrow, the sign I had best explain. “They aren’t Justice League sycophants. They can think for themselves and some of them have pretty dirty minds.”

    “Then it seems I owe you and your mother, an apology my dear.” He smiles deviously. “Your plan seems to have a better chance of long term success, than my own dealings with the rather dim Light.”

    “In a decade, the sidekicks will replace nearly every hero on the League.” I grin at the future we are shaping. “We have no need to fight them, if we are leading them.”

    “After everything the Light has tried,” Father shakes his head and laughs sardonically. “The world still believes in heroes.”

    “The Gods replaced the Titans, as the Heroes will now replace the Gods.” I grin with my dad, at how close we are.

    “If the world wants to believe in heroes beyond all others,” His laugh has faded to an occasional chuckle. “We Luthors, will be the apex of this new status quo.”
     
  29. Disminded

    Disminded Versed in the lewd.

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    Red kryptonite is a hell of a drug?
     
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  30. Flightless Man

    Flightless Man Not too sore, are you?

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    Red K that carried the soul of a Kryptonian god of Beauty, Lorra.
     
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