Ok, I know it's been a loooong time. I had this thing half finished for
like 9 months, I swear, and school just got in the way, totally totally.
Standard disclaimers apply
It felt like he was traveling down a long tunnel, a tunnel with a light at
the end. He was pretty certain that couldn't be a good thing. He didn't
know how hard his father had hit him. All he knew was that he'd begun this
little journey before his body had even hit the ground.
The white light rushed up upon him, encompassing him. It embraced him and
hugged his body, like thick fog. Slowly, it pulled away from him, like foam
on the beach on a summer day.
When he could see through the mist, he didn't find himself on a beach,
however. He was on top of one of Gotham's tallest buildings, in the deep
plum skies of late evening. Ten meters in front of him stood a familiar
gargoyle, a grotesque griffin with large leering eyes and massive stone
A figure separated from shadow of the wings, moving towards him. His eyes
widened in surprise and he looked first at the black-clad figure of his
grandfather, then to the cityscape. It was sketchy, like an impressionist
painting, not well-defined and vibrant as he remembered it.
Taking a step backwards, his focus snapped back to the chisel-jawed man
with his immaculately cut jet-black hair, which happened to be the same
exact color as his turtle neck, pants and leather duster. Even in
plainclothes, he was the vision of Bat that the young man remembered.
"Am I dead?" he asked instinctively. "I have to be dead." The boy looked at
his hands. "Did dad kill me... or did the world end?"
"You're not dead," Bruce assured him.
"Yes and no." The older man took two steps forward, further into some
unseen light source. Jimmy got a better look at his grandfather, noticing
the weathering lines that he was so used to seeing around the older man's
eyes and mouth were softened by death, or whatever it was, this situation
he found himself in.
The younger man refused to make eye contact with his elder. He stared at
the old man's black combat boots, peeking from beneath his dark pants,
wondering if Bruce had chosen his own attire. "Then why am I here?"
"Maybe you can tell me," shadow suddenly fell over the older man's face,
his eyes hidden beneath his brow. This was the tone that he had loathed to
hear in his youth, the one that expected him to walk away with some sort of
"I don't know why! All I know is I ended up here. In... in I don't know
where." His brow almost trembled with emotion, but somehow, barely, managed
to keep himself under control.
"James, I know what you were going to do in the graveyard. Why?"
"Because I thought it'd be funny," the young man snapped bitterly. "If you
know I did that, then you know why."
Bruce's cobalt eyes inspected him with stringent critique. "I didn't
arrange this meeting for my health."
His head tilted back, and a mocking laugh escaped the younger man's lips.
"Is that how these things happen. And I thought it was due to intense
meditation or some of that other bullshit you had those gurus cram into my
head when I started training."
"That too," Bruce snapped, and then stopped. He stood in stony silence, his
eyes never breaking from those of the young man before him.
"Why did you try to raise me, James?"
"Why they hell do you care?"
"I've been watching you and your sister, young man. I care a great deal."
Jimmy's face contorted. As much as he was filled with the urge—the need to
lash out at something or someone, he remained rigid in his spot. "Then
where the hell were you when she needed you? Last summer she almost killed
herself because of you. Is that what it takes to get your notice, or your
attention? Putting the wheels in motion for the destruction of the planet?
Shit, if I'd have known that, I'd have tried to take over the world YEARS
Bruce remained with his hands behind his back, stoic and unaffected.
"ENOUGH. WHY are you here? SAY IT."
"Because I screwed up." The red-haired man's voice cracked with emotion,
his eyes creasing with pain. "I just wanted..." he shook his head. "It
doesn't matter. The Earth's in trouble, and it's because of me."
"And what was raising me from the dead going to do to fix that?"
Jimmy clenched his fists, lips still pursed and brow still furrowed. He was
suddenly very sure he was not dead, because he could feel his pulse
thrumming in his face, every inch of skin burning. Suddenly, the fury blew,
like the top of a volcanic mountain. "WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU WERE SUPPOSED
"No, James. Tell me."
Normally, the old man's attitude would have only fueled the fire further,
but he'd already expended all of his eruption. His head dropped, and his
eyes clenched shut, holding back the painful sting of the truth. "You were
supposed to stop me," he muttered. "You're the only one who can. I can't
outthink myself—I tried. I need you to--" He swallowed, a cloudy white tear
dripping off of his nose. "I need you. I need you to fix it." His hands
spread, turned upward. They both looked at them for a thick, agonizing
moment. "Stop it. Stop me—her. It. What's going to happen... I never
intended..." his voice cracked, so he stopped, swallowing past the lump in
his throat... waiting. Waiting with fear and hope for salvation from the man
he hated and admired most in the entire world.
* * *
"That takes skill, man," Roy whispered as they looked through the glass,
watching the STAR technicians attempting to get the suit off of his god
son's body. It appeared to have some kind of electronic welding that
wouldn't come off without his consent.
Flash leaned against the back wall in the small observation room, one foot
propped against the wall and his arms folded over his chest. It agitated
Dick that he wasn't out there working, but there wasn't that much to do.
"Leave me alone, Roy," Nightwing muttered. "I'm not proud of what I did."
Knocking one's own son into unconsciousness wasn't something anyone really
wished for. It had just happened. Jimmy had told him that it was all a
game, and he'd snapped.
And Dick might have been out-muscled and out gunned, but he'd never be out-
classed. Not by the kid he'd formed from the ground up. Jimmy was just
wrong about so many things.
"I went wrong somewhere," Nightwing said finally. The grounding unit
they'd used on the suit finally gave way, and with their next prodding the
suit let off a blue electrical bolt. "With both of them. I thought I was
doing the right thing. I don't know what else I could have done... but I
messed up somewhere."
Arsenal didn't have an answer for that. He simply put a hand on his
"If it cheers you both up, I heard from Bart that Lian got abducted by
mutant Atlantians last week," Wally said suddenly.
Both men turned around to stare at him.
"You'd think a kid would tell her dad this stuff. I talked to her on the
phone two days ago." Roy ran a hand through his hair and looked back to
Nightwing. "Kids just suck, man. You do your best, then as soon as they
turn 18 and you can't ground them any more, they start living in sin with
"First of all, she was twenty-one when that started," Flash pointed out.
And second of all... 'living in sin?' And lastly... Living in the thirty second
century, never calls never writes. Not even a 'hey dad, I'm still alive.'"
Flash put his foot down on the linoleum. "You think you have the most
screwed up kids in the world, or something. Granted he had plans, which are
now, unfortunately, in effect, to try and take over the world. But I'm sure
it was in some sort of Bruceian 'be prepared' Boyscout kind of way."
"Yeah!" Roy chimed in. "What he said!"
"Are you here to help, or send me into apoplexy?" Dick glanced at both of
them, then turned back to the window.
"They wouldn't allow us to have beer in here," Wally replied. "That left
vain attempts at humor."
Nightwing pressed his forehead to the one-way glass. The suit's defense
mechanisms were still hindering the doctors' attempts to help his son. "God
* * *
Barbara and Crystal covered their mouths and clenched their eyes shut as
slushy ice and smoke poured out of the hole they'd made in the metal blast
door to Jimmy's laboratory.
"Well, that worked!" Crystal choked. She waved her hand, trying to
dissipate the dust.
"If you can't crack it..." Barbara muttered, angry at her blocked attempts at
hacking into the security system, "you might as well ice it and blow it."
She glanced back and forth through the dust at fiery red lights that
blinked along the walls, waiting for Crystal to kick the remaining debris
out of the way. When a path was cleared, she wheeled through, into her
son's work room. Pieces of cybernetic clothing lay in various states of
disrepair on worktables and benches, servos spewing wires, tiny microchips
strewn across steel table tops like confetti.
"What IS all this?" Crystal asked, moving past the clothing to various
substances in vials that seemed to emit their own light.
"I don't know yet," Barbara answered absently, inspecting one of the servo-
driven glove pieces nearest to her. It lit briefly and emitted the tiniest
of blue charges, shocking her. She dropped the swatch onto the floor with a
gasp. She began pulling drawers open. One contained pieces of black cloth
and red circuitry. "The red suit."
"What?" Crystal asked, turning away from the vials and to the contents of
"Bruce gave up R and D on it. I think he just couldn't make it work. I
guess Jimmy DID." She gave an ironic smile before putting it back in the
drawer. "The strength enhancers, flying capabilities... the defense system."
And the worst part is, he must have been working on it for years, in her
basement. Under her nose.
In another fifteen minutes she'd cracked the touch pads on the sample
safes. There was a box of parts unlabeled, but recognizable as parts for
various probes built for the Justice League over the course of the last
year. One vial contained what looked to be tiny metal shards suspended in a
clear silicone. There was a bright yellow folder on the shelf below the
rack of samples labeled "presentation."
She lifted the cover and glanced at the cover page "Kryptonian Nanites as a
Second-to-Last Resort" Barbara doubted that it was a book report for
school. She pulled the cover sheet out and saw the DEO water stamp. Great.
Not only was he giving technology to a questionable organization, he was
obviously on their payroll.
Amazing that he had a second income, but he still had need to over-bill the
JLA and two other organizations. As angry as she was, there was another
reason they were there. "I need plans. We need the specs on the doomsday
device. Think paper. Jimmy's a doodler."
Crystal held up a four inch thick orange binder bearing a "hazardous waste"
symbol. "How's this for doodles?" she asked breathlessly, flipping through
the dividers for thirty-seven different devices.
Barbara grabbed the book, letting it flop into her lap. She opened the
cover, and looked at the first page. It was smeared pencil on lined note
paper that yellowed at the edges. "If you're Mara and you're reading this—I
will know and kill you. Anyone else, scram."
"Number crunching time," Barbara announced. "Guess I gotta find out what
has the highest probability of actually working." If he ever woke up, she'd
* * *
"So what are you going to do with him?" Mara asked, trying to be patient,
but wanting in the observation room.
"We're not sure," the doctor informed her. His eyes were bloodshot and his
dark curls were greasy and messed all over his head. "He's stable..."
"Then let me see him," she demanded. Mara looked past him to the door,
gauged her physical strength, his relative size, and calculated the odds of
pushing him out of the way without ripping stitches.
"We still need..." he stopped when Mara stared up at him.
One thing she'd picked up from an early age was how to convey just how
serious you were with just a look, and a look obscured with a mask at that.
She was certain her locked jaw and glaring eyes were making known her
intentions. "You have nothing you can do for him, and it bugs you. I get
that. Just give me one good reason why I can't go into that room, and I'll
listen. If you don't, back away."
The tall, heavy-set man took one step back, trying to comply and yet not
really. "We just want to be sure..."
"You just want to study him." She grabbed hold of the observation room door
and pulled down on the handle. They'd helped so much, saved both of their
lives several times now, but when it came down to it, STAR had started out
as a research facility, and it still was. Not only did they have a meta
human, but they had a meta human with a total reliance on the power of a
Green Lantern ring that had some sort of pact made with the former owner.
There were two technicians in the room, one observing read-outs, and
another preparing to do something else to the green glowing figure in the
center of the room.
"I'd get out now, if you want to keep having a job," Mara ordered.
Sometimes it was such a pain to be hard-nosed. She wondered if her
grandfather ever grew weary of it. It took far too much energy, in her
humble opinion. "NOW," she said with command, when the frizzle-haired woman
had finally turned away from her work station. The two technicians gave her
a look of great distain, but left.
"Hey, little guy," she whispered to the tiny figure floating above the
uncovered plastic incubator. "It's the first time I'm meeting you..." she
sighed. It had been a rough twenty-four hours, to say the least.
The thin, tiny baby had dark hair she could tell though the field of green
light surrounding him like a protective egg... or a womb. He lay face down,
in the fetal position, sucking his tiny thumb. The ring seemed to be
entirely sustaining him, protecting him from the elements and preparing his
small lungs for breathing.
"So. You're mine. I'm... your mom." It was the first time she'd really said
it out loud. "I'm in charge of you for the next eighteen to twenty years
because your dad's not here..." she swallowed, forcing herself to maintain
composure. "He was... well, he is the reason you're still here. Reason you're
here to begin with." She lifted her hand to stroke the cocoon of green
light, but the surface swirled when she touched it, and actually allowed
her hand to pass through. A smile barely twisted on her lips, lighting her
face. "Dad trained his ring really well." Cautiously she touched his skin.
It was warm to her touch and so smooth.
She wanted him out of there. A sterile environment seemed so cold and
uninviting, no place to start off your days. Then she thought of home, and
how, other than frequent visitors, it was just the same way. She'd let it
become the mausoleum her father always accused it of being. "We're going to
have to make home a home," she promised. "Warm, and... and happy. And stuff.
We will... little guy."
Mara pondered him for a moment, making a decision. "You were supposed to be
Bruce Alan," she informed him. "For your grand—well, great-granddads." That
brought a twinkle of mischief into her eyes. HE had never liked being
called grandpa, it made him feel old. It would have probably given him
apoplexy to hear Jimmy's kids, or her own, calling him GREAT grandpa. As it
was, her remaining grandfather was taking Thomas and Harry like a man.
"I think we're going to have a change of plan," she told the infant. The
light swirling around her hands was physical and dense, and she could feel
the waves swirling around her fingers as she gently stroked her baby's bony
back. "I think we're going to have to name you for your dad. Little Jordan.
Baby Jordan." She thought about it, and how oddly it resonated. "Jordan
Bruce. JB." Her lips pulled back in a smile at the sound of that. "JB."
Mara's eyes misted over, but will alone kept the tears from spilling out.
"Jordan Bruce Rayner. You an' me are a family now, bud. Just you and me."
Her childhood had been filled with so many people. As much as she wanted
home to be the magical mansion from her childhood—always family drifting in
and out, she suspected it wouldn't be. They might make it warm and
welcoming... but it would never be full of people. Not the way she
Her hand slowly pulled out of the green light when she saw the angry
doctors on the other side of the door. She was sure they were about to
chastise her for infiltrating the protective field around her son, before
they could test to make sure it was safe. She knew it was, though. Jordy
wouldn't let it not be.
* * *
"I could kill her and take it," he said, looking up at his grandmother with
"You could," she informed him with patience borne of wisdom. "But it may
not work. There are too many mitigating factors."
He looked down at the palms of his hands, and concentrated until they
glowed green. "Are you sure?"
"Grandmother knows all, my precious little dear. Don't worry yourself.
There's a time, and a place." She stroked his head, comforting him. "But
for now... we have some work to do." Taking his hand, she helped him to his
feet, and lead him towards the back of her work room. It had been finished,
and she was anxious to test it out.
* * *
Barbara pushed up her glasses and swallowed an exhausted, sleep-deprived
yawn before turning to the few individuals who were now office. "We have a
few potential scenarios. It would be easier if he could tell us which one
we're up against." She handed out folders to those in attendance; Superman,
Balius, Iris and Plastic Man. Matrix had yet to be rebuilt, but his
intelligence had been dumped onto a lap top with camera input. "I have the
least likely first, just so you'll actually read them. We don't know much,
just that there are people from Apokolyps involved, whatever it is, they
can actually pull off, and they may or may not actually have it in working
order." Without saying, time was of the essence.
"Microtransmissions?" Superman asked. "That sounds a little..."
"Far-fetched?" Barbara asked. "Not really. You can use the transmissions to
cause devices to create nanites. Nanites are a big concern," she told the
group. "He's created a stupid but indestructible breed. They consume to
reproduce, and they only do so when told to."
Plastic man scratched his neck. "Great kid you have there, ma."
Barbara ignored it. "That's why you're here," she informed him with some
bit of satisfaction. "They can't consume silicone-based entities."
"Great," Plastic Man grumbled, retreating to the far wall.
The small speakers on the laptop crackled when Matrix spoke. "The
probability of a second nanite attack is... twenty thousand fifty-three to--"
"ENGLISH," Balius and Iris both prompted, having previous experience with
his number-crunching ability.
"My apologies. My 'vague numerical reference' subroutine has been damaged.
It is... infinitesimal. While their programming may function in an infinite
loop, and they function based on rapid replication, they would not
replicate with the sort of 'hit-and-run' effect necessary to... 'pull off'
the type of world-ending destruction that the 'Granny Goodness' target
should wish to inflict."
"Better," Iris encouraged.
"Our most likely target is in the back," Barbara continued.
There was some whistling. Balius remained strangely rigid—even for him.
Barbara guessed he didn't know what it was. "The Uber-Destructo Ray...keep in
mind it was named by a twelve year old...the short of it is that it requires
an amazing amount of energy to operate, but the end resulting function will
be reversing the magnetic pull of the poles. Which will instantly change
what types of radiation are let through to the earth's surface, and it'll
fry half the planet in minutes."
"Lofty goal." Superman shifted on his feet.
Barbara let out a sigh of exhaustion. "That design apparently dates back to
Iris closed her folder in disgust, then leaned against the wall. "Great."
Superman glanced over the pages again, then handed the folder back to
Oracle. "I guess that means we're going to Apokolyps."
"Reconnaissance ONLY," Barbara wagged a finger at them. "Until we figure
out what it is, and how to disable it."
"But mo-om," Plastic Man whined, "I wanna get eaten or fried or blown to
Barbara's face twisted in a frown, and she turned back to her computers.
"If it's not the nanites, feel free to throw Plastic Man in front of it to
* * *
The heavy metal door to the observation room swung open and bashed against
the door stop. The three occupants of the room turned to see who was the
newcomer. Mara was dressed in the clothes she'd arrived at the facility in,
a pair of dark sweat pants and one of Jordy's battered, faded t-shirts, and
she looked none too happy. "Someone had better tell those PEOPLE to stop
poking and prodding my CHILD, if they want to continue having ANY funding
what-so-ever." Her eyes were cold but her voice faltered with exhaustion,
and as soon as she closed the door behind her, she leaned against it.
Wally, Dick and Roy looked at each other, none jumping to offer a response.
After closing her eyes and taking a few deep breaths, she walked over to
the window, dragging her feet on each step. "Did they try the auto-release
behind the neck?" She watched them struggling with the costume, it was
sending out vicious shocks each time it was tampered with.
Nightwing folded his arms over his chest. His kids existed in this totally
separate world that operated on rules they'd made up for themselves. It was
the only explanation. "You know this how?"
"The suit discharges when he takes off the helmet, and he released it by
pressing something on the neck guard of the suit." She folded her arms over
her chest as well, meeting his eyes, seeming to ask what he was going to do
about her request.
"Mara... I saw him. He's small. They're just trying to help him." Something
in Nightwing's voice betrayed exhaustion and frustration, but he held his
"He doesn't NEED help. And they're dong this because he DOESN'T." She
grabbed his arm and began dragging him towards the door.
Nightwing turned back to his friends. "Roy... see if what she's saying is
true. And if Jimmy wakes up... you guys have my permission to punch him out."
* * *
Jimmy dug his fingers into the rocks on the rooftops. He never understood
why so many buildings had what amounted to gravel on top. Didn't they know
good vigilantes didn't like to skid across the city?
He'd been sitting here for a while, just exhausted and thinking. And as far
as he could tell, the not-so-old old guy was still standing over there,
under his gargoyle. He wasn't quite sure why he was so tired, or why there
was gravel in this place, or why Bruce was wearing wool... it was so damned
humid here suddenly.
"I don't know how to disable the device," he admitted finally. "And if I
don't know how, I really don't see how anyone else is... except for you. I
don't see how telling them is going to fix anything."
Bruce WAS still back there. "You must think you're an island."
Jimmy turned slightly, glancing at his companion. "Gee wiz. I wonder where
I picked THAT up from."
"Clark, most likely." His voice was even, but there was some hint of
mischief in his eyes.
Jimmy swallowed and turned back around. "How much longer am I going to be
"Until I'm satisfied."
A sigh slumped Jimmy's shoulders. It was like when he was a kid and Alfred
wouldn't let him leave the bathroom until he was contented that the boy's
teeth were clean and flossed. "I guess we're gonna be here for a while,
"Jimmy, why do you hate me?"
The young man pulled his feet up to his chest and sniffed at the wet, humid
air. It was going to rain in this fake Gotham. At any moment. "I dunno.
You're just... so easy to hate."
The old man didn't say anything; he just let Jimmy ruminate on that
statement, probably in the hopes that he'd explain himself.
"Look, I've never liked you, OK? It's nothing personal."
Still nothing from the old man.
"Ok," Jimmy said, locking his jaw. "Just tell me what me not liking you has
to do with me trying to explain, in long, sordid detail to my family why I
accidentally on purpose am involved in destroying the world. And better
yet... tell me why you think they'll A) understand, and B) be able to fix the
Suddenly he felt Bruce closer to him. Even dead, he was still imposing,
when he stood over him. "They won't be able to fix it," the old man
"Great. And telling them will help HOW?" Jimmy's lips pressed together
tightly, and he tried to maintain his composure. He wouldn't give the old
man the benefit of his tears.
"First, you deserve whatever chastisement they inflict upon you. I told you
HOW many times never to write those things down?" Bruce's hand wrapped
around his shirt and hauled him to his feet. The old man's eyes bore into
him, chilling him. He always wondered what it would be like to be held over
a ledge by this man. "And second... you're going to do something that you are
going to hate yourself for, before this is over. And they will need to know
why. Because at this juncture... without knowing what is going on... they WILL
take you out."
The old man let go of his shirt. He tugged it straight and caught his
breath. When he looked up, the old man was back under his gargoyle.
"What am I going to do that's so--"
"You can go back now." Bruce took one step back into the shadows.
Jimmy took a few quick steps towards the gargoyle, but couldn't find Bruce
in the darkness, suddenly. "Wait, what am I going to do?" Rain started
falling heavily as the humidity broke, slapping against non-existent
rooftops and streets.
"Tell your sister and father that I am watching them." With each word, the
older man sounded further and further away.
The mist closed around Jimmy again, and he knew he was going back. "Tell
Alfred and Jordy I said hi," he called out.
The response from Bruce was faint. "I can't..."
And then the rooftop was gone. He was alone in a thick, wet darkness.
* * *
"...But do they need to run tests RIGHT NOW," Nightwing asked the doctor. Out
of the corner of his eye, he could see his daughter pacing the room,
obviously agitated. He needed to diffuse the situation, before she did
something she regretted. Like punching the guy.
The doctor was tall enough, and wide enough that he wasn't easily
physically intimidated, so he continued to hold his ground. He looked down
at the child, levitating over the examination table. "We need to do tests,
until we are sure it's safe. Yes, his body mass has increased in the last
twelve hours by 1%. But we don't know why, or what it means. Mostly because
we can't penetrate the light field surrounding him." The doctor looked at
She stopped pacing and looked right back at him, her mouth open, but no
words coming out.
Dick suspected anything she said at that point would be loud, and involve
curse words. "What if we gave them a few more hours?" Nightwing asked,
trying to negotiate with her, if the doctor wouldn't cooperate.
"A few more hours! He didn't tell you what he wants to do!" She pushed
between them, to the examination table, and pulled the energy field
containing her son closer to her. She circled her arms around the egg
shaped green light.
"We can either waste all of our time attempting to penetrate the field, or
we can get straight to the tests," the doctor explained as if he'd done
this sort of thing before.
Mara turned around to face her father, still clutching the baby
protectively. "They want ME to do it! Because the ring RECOGNISES me!"
Nightwing realized he had a bit of a problem to troubleshoot. He put a hand
on his daughter's arm and gently pushed her aside to get close enough to
the doctor to make his point clear. He was grateful that she took a few
steps back, letting him deal with the problem. She seldom let anyone help
her with anything. Maybe she was learning.
"Or we can spend all of our time attempting to get past the field," Dr.
Nightwing lowered his voice when he spoke, trying not to set off a riot.
"I'll see what I can work out. But she's going to need time. She isn't
going to roll over on this one. Not with the current state of her affairs..."
And especially not with the doctor making it appear like a cold study, like
they planned on doing experimentations just to see what made the baby tick.
These guys at STAR didn't always have the best bedside manner.
The doctor pushed the glasses up on his nose, smashing them against his
brow. "And how long is long enough? We have no idea what the ring is doing
"Mar-Rob—maybe we can just let him--" but he was wasting his breath. He'd
been used and she was gone.
* * *
The dizziness of teleportation wore off, and the group of heroes looked
around at their surroundings. Where the landscape of Apokolyps had always
been dry and rocky and uninviting—hellish by some accounts—it was now
looked like some new lower level. Everything was decimated. It was charred,
corpses of indigenous plants and wildlife dead where they last stood, their
hollow, pieces of burnt husks flaking and floating away in the wind.
"I guess it's the last option." Superman took a few steps forward, into the
ashes. "Oracle said this would happen. It's hard to imagine....Half of their
world like this... That would have been the effect of the change in
polarization, it would fry everything the sun touched." He sighed, being
defeated before a battle had even begun.
Iris covered her mouth with her hand, trying not to breathe in the dust.
"HALF the planet?" she said, almost to herself. "They did this to HALF the
"There's a smart remark in here, somewhere..." Plastic Man whistled under his
breath as he continued to look around.
"It's still daylight," Superman began thinking out loud. "But the radiation
content isn't too much above normal. Shutting off the device must stop the
effect on the poles."
Plastic Man twisted his body around the group. "We're like...too late. What
does it mean?"
"If it CAN be shut off." Balius kicked at a blackened rock, breaking it
with his mother's strength. The inside was white sandstone. "The device
did not look to have such a fail-safe, from the designs."
Iris stooped to touch the charred earth. "Perhaps it just... went away. Which
is great, I suppose, for all of the living creatures that have already been
turned to dust."
Plastic Man's torso snapped back towards his hips. "That can't be good."
Balius scowled, no patience for his more comical companion. "Think for a
moment, as to what it, and her next target will be."
Superman quickly reactivated his JLA transmitter. "We have to get back to
TO BE CONTINUED