Central City Outsiders Base

March 18th

8:04 CDT

As soon as Jaime wakes up, his first thought is Ow, what hit me?

Or it would be if he could muster anything other than an incoherent groan at the splitting pain in the back of his skull.

"You'reawake!"

A highly-energized auburn-haired speedster plows into him, eliciting another loud groan.

"Bart, carino, ease up," he mumbles. Events click into place in his head. "Bart?"

"Yeah, her-man-oh! You're awake, I'm here, everything's crash!" The brunet has his familiar cheeky grin plastered across his face, but even to Jaime's blurry mind, it looks slightly forced.

"What's happening?" Jaime slowly sits up rubbing the back of his head. All his memories seem blurry and mixed up, like he's just come out of a crazy dream, but the last clear thing…

"Weren't you going to Central? With your uncle?"

Bart actually freezes in place for a grand total of half a second before looking at him with worry in his eyes. "Jaime—that was over two years ago. Don't you remember?"

Jaime winced and put a hand to his head. "Sort of…it's all kinda fuzzy…"

Your memory facilities are faulty, Jaime Reyes.

"Yeah, I know!"

Initiating scan for errors…

Error detected. Correcting error.

"What err—Maldito!" Jaime doesn't usually swear, but he feels that the painful jolt in his head (stupid bug) more than justifies the curse. "Ow…"

Two years' worth of pertinent memories sort themselves out in his head at top speed, barely flashing through the forefront of his mind, but conveying so much in an instant that he's almost sure his brain's going to burst.

"Dios mio." He's able to do or say little else once the influx has slowed. "What have we done?"

So many of these memories he would swear were nothing but nightmares…if they weren't so vivid. Subjugating the populace, imprisoning anyone too outspoken, driving away his sister and his best friend…did the Reach put him on mode again when he wasn't looking or something? He did those things, he remembers doing them, but he can't figure out why. What the demonios has been happening? Kahji—why did I—we—do those things?

Running diagnostics.

Jaime shakes his head and snaps back into the present, only to see that Bart's gone from his side and talking in low murmurs to someone in the corner.

"—not faking it, I swear!"

"Bart, I want to believe it as much as you do, but we can't—"

That voice. Jaime Reyes knows that voice. It's changed, sure, but—

"Mila?"

The arguing goes silent. Jaime winces as he sits up, trying to focus on the corner. "Mila, is that you?"

There's what sounds like a squeak before a pair of red-and-white arms shove a green-garbed teenage girl out into the dim light.

Jaime's head is still spinning, but somehow, he can clearly recall chasing his sister through the desert.

"You don't get to call me that! Not anymore!"

He cringes away from the memory, unsure of how to start the conversation. The older Reyes sibling settles for staring at his younger sister, waiting to see if she'll respond.

She's taller.

That's the first thing his mind seizes on. She's at least six inches taller than the last time he saw her.

That was…two and a half years ago…

She's taller, and her skin is paler, like it doesn't see the sun as often. But her face is stronger, more mature, and…tired. Even under her nervous expression, he can see the weariness he knows all too well.

For some bizarre reason, her outfit is the last thing his tired mind notices, but when he finally does, he has to hold back a very childish yelp. At first, he wonders why she's wearing B'arr Z'oohm's armor, until his mind clinches on the Green Lantern symbol on her chest and the glowing green ring on her finger.

The two Reyes siblings stare at each other as Bart shuffles awkwardly in the corner.

"Oye." Milagro, ever the more fearless one, opens the conversation.

"Oye."

There's a pause.

"Asi que...Linterna Verde?"

"Si."

Another silence.

"Me gusta al traje."

"En serio?"

"Si."

"Lo hice... como tu armadura. Al igual que Escarabajo Azul."

Jaime's stunned, but a quick study of her armor confirms that yeah, it does look a lot like the Blue Beetle armor.

And that just opens up a whole 'nother case of guilt.

"Lo siento mucho."

The two of them blurt out their apology at the same time, and the wall goes down.

Jaime's not exactly sure how it happens, but in the next three seconds, he and Milagro are locked in a hug and crying.

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It's a few minutes before they talk again, and then it's only because Kajhi chooses that moment to speak up.

Jaime Reyes. I have finished running diagnostic scans and detected the beginning of the mental inconsistencies.

"You have? Well, what is it?"

"What's what?"

Jaime pulls away and rubs his head. "Milagro, I…I'm so siento. I remember everything I did, and I hate it, I just…I just don't remember why. Just that one day I woke up and started going along with what I was told. Kahji doesn't know either, so he's running a scan."

"Kahji?"

"Bug's got a name, her-man-oh."

After three and a half years, Jaime is used to Bart appearing out of nowhere at high speeds, but apparently Milagro isn't, since she jumps in surprise, spins, and socks him in the stomach.

"Ow! Dude! So not crash."

Milagro looks distinctly embarrassed. "Sorry, I thought you were…Ed. He does that."

"Seriously?"

"Hey, you have an alien bug with a name on your spine and I have a sentient ring and a friend who teleports to play pranks on people."

"…Our lives are weird."

"Ni que lo digas."

"What did the bug say?" Bart asks, jumping up and down.

"Here, I'll let him talk." Jaime starts to armor up, but a hand on his arm stops him. Milagro looks more worried than he's seen before.

"Jaime, are you sure…well…that the scarab is really…"

"That it's really on my side?" Jaime nodded. "Kahji and I are partners. We decided that after the Reach. Whatever's going on, it's not because of him." His brow furrows. "I told you this already, way back after I got off-mode. What's bugging you?"

She glares at him, probably partly because of the pun, then sighs and rubs her left hand. "My ring doesn't like Reach stuff and it wants to blast your scarab."

"Seriously?"

"Oh yeah." Bart's returned, staying well out of Milagro's reach this time. "It was giving us an earful before you woke up. 'Technology of a hostile party! Termination recommended!' Mila had to put the thing on mode before it would shut up."

The Green Lantern Corps is a known enemy of the Reach. Possible malicious intent on the part of the bearer. Recommended attack—

"We are not attacking my sister," Jaime hisses at the scarab.

"It's just muted. You got lucky, hermano. You just look crazy talking to yourself. I had this thing blurting out every time someone tried to lie around me for six months before I figured out how to shut it off."

Jaime snorts. "I wouldn't call that 'lucky.' Mila, I'll be fine. It just saves time to have Kahji talk directly to you. I promise, I'm not going anywhere. Bueno?"

Milagro tightens her lips and nods. "Do it."

Jaime takes a deep breath and lets the armor spread over his head and neck. There's a small speaker set in the shoulder—why, he has no idea—and it's what Kahji uses whenever he needs to communicate. Jaime will freely admit that it's more preferable than having the alien symbiote take over his mouth.

Jaime tries to listen to the explanation, but the scarab is too fond of using technical terms.

"Whoa, whoa! Use English, ese."

"I am communicating in the earth tongue referred to as 'English.'"

Jaime sighs as his sister and boyfriend laugh. "Just…simplify the explanation."

The scarab does, and as the full story of the reasons behind Jaime's actions comes out, the laughter immediately dies from the faces of the other two, only to be replaced by a deep fury.

Oh, cagada…

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Central City Outsiders Base

March 18th

8:15 CDT

"I know where the League is."

Artemis's declaration has thrown the entire base into a massive upheaval as everyone scrambles to find anyone who could possibly help and get them in one room long enough to plan. Milagro, Bart, and Jaime are the only ones absent.

"First off, they're all alive." Artemis looks a bit uncomfortable to be standing up in front of a room full of people who look like they would rather lock her away than listen to any information she could share, but Wally thinks she's handling herself beautifully. He gives her hand a little squeeze, to show her that he's totally behind her, and she takes a deep breath and goes on.

"None of them were killed. It was suggested, but overruled, way back when we were making plans."

"Then why haven't we heard anything before?" Aunt Iris nearly broke down in tears when she heard that Barry was alive, but she's pulled herself together with terrifying speed.

"Because M'gann's keeping most of the League in a sort of psychic coma. None of them remember who they are or what they've lost. It didn't work on a few of them. Plastic Man, Mahunter, Captain Atom—they're all in cells in the basement. Tornado's processor was wiped and he serves on the Beta watchtower during emergencies. But the rest just don't remember who they are or what happened to them. Most of the time."

"What do you mean, most of the time?" Roy's eyes are narrowed as he cleans his arm, but Wally hopes it's in thought, not anger.

"There have been incidents." Artemis doesn't elaborate. "So Zatanna and Red Robin have been working on another solution. They're trying to recreate Starro-tech."

Wally actually flinches, and he can see Will and Jade doing the same. That night, when they had turned against the League and fought to get their mentors back, had been awful. If the T—Lords—are trying to recreate that, to get the League back on their side…

This is bad. Very, very, bad.

"What is…Star-o-tek?" Asami's mask is off, revealing a brow furrowed in thought.

Tye nods, pulling his headband out of his face. "I think we'd all like to know that."

"Oh, right…none of you were in the loop five years ago..." Wally reaches this realization with a groan.

"Eight years ago." Artemis corrects him.

The speedster pauses, blinks, and smacks himself in the head. "Time travel sucks."

"Wally!" Iris scolds.

"Sorry, but it's true. Okay, short version: the Light used bits of this giant Atlantian sea star and added a bunch of high-tech bits so that it…er…basically, it was absorbed through skin contact and turned anyone who had it into the Light's personal puppets."

"Don't forget the sorcery." Jade's voice carries her famous casual tone, but her frown is clearly visible when she pushes up her mask.

"Sorcery doesn't exist," Wally mumbles. Everyone ignores him.

"How did you fix it?" Ed asks.

"And why didn't I know about this?" Virgil adds.

Artemis shrugs. "It was top secret. The only people who knew were the founding members and Red Robin, and he discovered it on his own. As for how we fixed them, we got help from Queen Mera and Doctors Roquette, Spence, and Vulko. They made a cure-tech that acted as a counteragent and vaccine. It's why the Lords haven't been able to recreate it yet. The vaccine's blocked all of their attempts so far."

"So if we get in there, we need to head for the labs and wreck them thoroughly," Iris remarked. Luthor opened his mouth to say something, but the scar-framed glare she shot shut him up. "We are not taking anything out of there, understood?"

"Wait, wait, why would we be breaking into Arkham? Isn't the whole plan to send me back so we won't need to worry about Arkham?" Wally is confused, which is nothing new at this point.

"Well," Luthor clears his throat. "We are dealing with several interesting variables here—"

"The point, Luthor," Iris says with heavy annoyance.

A flash of irritation shows on his face before it slips back under a smooth mask. "The final stages of the machine, not to mention the use of it, will cause a massive energy surge that will bring down the Lords on all of our heads. Unless a large enough distraction occurs to draw them off. An assault on Arkham should do just nicely."

Wally sees red for a moment, and has to force himself to calm down. "So you expect everyone to just play bait on a suicide mission while you put this thing together?"

"Quite the contrary. While others here may have complete confidence in your abilities…" Don't cuss him out, Aunt Iris is listening. "…I am a scientist and a businessman. I know better than to put all my confidence in one plan. If anything goes wrong, we will be forced to continue living in this version of the world. We'll simply have to do our best to prepare for any other eventualities. So while I shall be devoting my full attention to completing the cosmic treadmill—once I have the necessary parts, that is—" Insert pointed glance here. "The plan still calls for you to release the Justice League and destroy the labs at Arkham."

"So how are we going to get the parts?" Roy asks. "It's not like we have Zeta tubes. We can't get to the other side of the world and get what you need."

"But we do have—"

The door bursts open, cutting off Luthor's sentence, and a livid teenage girl encased in a green glow shoots into the room.

"YOU!" she screams at Artemis's direction. "YOU—"

The following rush of Spanish is too garbled with fury for Wally to understand, but from the inflection, he has a feeling he'd really rather not know. So for lack of any other options, he stares in confusion at Milagro and waits for her to calm down.

Until she punches Artemis in the nose. Then he reacts.

Bart gets there first (of course) and pins the near-hysterical girl's arms behind her back. "Mila! MilaMilaMilathisisnotcrashthisissonotcrashyouneedtocalmdown."

"WHY DO YOU CARE? YOU KNOW WHAT THAT PERRA DID!"

"What did you just call me?" Artemis demands.

By this point, everyone is yelling, and the noise in the room is reaching a nearly unbearable level.

"ENOUGH!" Iris nearly has to scream to make herself heard, but her tone shuts down all of the noise in the room.

And of course, that moment of quiet is right when Blue Beetle runs through the open door.

"You." A single finger points at him and he freezes in place. "Sit. Now."

He sits.

Iris takes a deep breath as Wally suddenly feels like a kid getting caught in the cookie jar again. (It happened a lot. He will swear in front of a court that his aunt is half-Martian or something.) "What, exactly is going on here?"

Tears of rage are streaming down Milagro's face as she bursts out, "He was on mode! He was on mode this whole time, and he didn't even know it!"

A chorus of startled "What?"s rise up from the various people assembled, including Artemis.

All the emotion seems to run out of Milagro's face. "You didn't—you didn't—"

"Mila, honey, what is it?" Jade comes over, looking worried, and Wally is genuinely surprised. He knows that Jade cares about some people—her daughter, her sister, her son, R—Will—but he didn't know Milagro was included in that.

Milagro just shakes her head and doesn't make eye contact with anyone. Bart's grip releases just in time for Jade to pull her into a hug.

"I'm sorry," Jaime speaks up. "The scarab found an error in my memories, and, well, apparently Zatanna and Miss Martian got into my head one day, and um…messed around. It wasn't fully on-mode, but…I didn't care about what I was doing. They screwed with Kahji's programming, too, so he didn't know either, until you hit us with an arrow and he sorta rebooted. Thanks for that, by the way."

"You're—you're welcome." Artemis looks vaguely sick, but that could be from holding her bleeding nose. "Jaime, I'm so sorry. I had no idea."

"Really?" Luthor's tone is light, as though entirely unconcerned with the situation. "I find that interesting. Weren't you right in the middle of the information hub?"

Artemis slips her free hand into Wally's. "Nightwing kept a lot of secrets. From everyone. I was no exception."

"Then that opens up the possibility that one of you could be lying." Wally wants to punch him for the gleam in his eye.

"I can check Artemis," Milagro says quietly. "I'm okay, Jade. You can let me go now."

The older Nguyen girl releases her self-appointed charge, who walks over to the somewhat battered-looking archer. Her ring lights up and envelops Artemis in a green beam.

"Ring, activate lie detector."

"Activated."

"Artemis, do or did you have any knowledge of any tampering done to Jaime Reyes or the Reach scarab known as Kahji Da?"

"It was discussed at a meeting, but I was completely unaware they had actually executed any such plan." Artemis's tone is level, and the light from the ring never falters.

Milagro exhales and lets the beam die. "She's telling the truth." The girl gives Artemis a sheepish smile. "Sorry about your nose."

"Oh, it's fine. I've had worse." Artemis waves it off.

"Here, let me fix it." Milagro lets the light wash over Artemis's face, and one loud crack and Vietnamese swear later, the appendage looks good as new.

"Thanks…I think."

"That doesn't rule out the possibility that Blue could be lying." Roy definitely looks angry now, especially with the way he's waving his metal arm around. "And the ring doesn't work on him, does it."

"I'm not lying, I swear!"

"And how do we know that?"

"Because I—"

"Stop."

For the first time since the untimely interruption, Tye comes out of his corner, looking even more murderous than usual. The Apache teen glares at Blue Beetle, stalking over to plant his hands on the arms of the chair Iris ordered the former hero into.

"So you say you're really telling the truth? Fine. Take off that armor and let me see for myself."

"Tye, I—"

"Do it."

Jaime draws in a deep breath and lets the plates retract from his head, revealing a face that's skinnier and paler than the last time Tye saw it.

The eyes are still the same, though, and it's there he looks for his answers.

"He's not lying." With that curt statement, Tye spins around and stalks back over to Asami. She places a gentle hand on his arm, offering comfort.

Jaime lets out a sigh of relief. "Tye, hermano, I—"

"Save it." But his expression softens minutely. "But it's good to have you back."

Iris lets out a sigh of her own. "Now that's all sorted out…Luthor have a plan for how we're going to get the parts?"

"Yes, I do." He shuffles a stack of papers in front of him before launching into an explanation. "We have a few current dilemmas. The first is, of course, the fact that we have to move our plans onto an accelerated timetable now that Wally is back. Sooner or later, the Lords are going to know something has happened and will be bringing a great deal of chaos down on our heads. The second problem is that the inhibitor collar." He nods at Wally. "I was able to complete my scans, despite your resistance, and while the removal of the collar should be fairly simple, it will cause an energy surge that could bring us some…unwanted attention. The third is, or course, the parts, and their various locations around the world, and the fourth is the fact that we will have to move a large number of operatives into the area around Arkham somehow undetected."

Wally scowled at him. "You're the genius. What's the plan?"

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Five Miles Outside Gotham City

March 18th

19:10 EDT

Wally takes a deep breath in from his position in the shadows, willing it not to shake with nerves and trepidation. It becomes exponentially harder when he starts thinking about the fact that we are breaking into Arkham we are breaking into freaking ARKHAM to buy time for flipping LUTHOR…

So the easiest solution is to not think about it.

Instead, he forces himself to relax, which is almost as hard, given the red suit he's wearing.

After years of watching Uncle Barry run into battle, even before he knew who was under the lightning bolt hood, the man in the mask of the Flash has always been his idol. It's more than a bit terrifying to wrap his head around the fact that he now is his idol. The suit feels a bit loose and itchy and wrong. He can't be doing this, he's too young, too stupid, too slow.

But then he feels the speed thrumming through his body and remembers the sad and firm smile on Iris's face as she handed him the suit, and the grin on Bart's under the mask of Kid Flash, and the microfiber composition feels just right.

The collar came off over ten hours ago and he still can't get over the bubbly, hot, tingly feeling of legs ready to runrunrun and a heart about to burst from excitement.

But Wally can't run right now. He has to wait and bide his time until Bart's finished the last shift of running and drawn the Lords off to the other side of the world.

Wally wanted to be the one on the last slot, even if it was the riskiest. Neither he nor Bart is at their best after a day of running all over the world, first grabbing parts from various facilities, and then just using themselves as bait to keep the Lords away from the Central City labs and the other teams moving into position.

It had been long and exhausting and nerve-wracking, and even so, he would do it a thousand times over again just to feel as alive as he does right now for just a little longer, and just to keep Bart, whom his instincts scream is too young too young in danger, out of this. (Part of him wonders if this is how Barry felt the first time he saw him in the Kid Flash costume.)

But as much as it hurts to admit, Bart is just faster than he is, even if the older speedster can run longer. The new Kid Flash can get to the Sahara Desert (the final checkpoint), ditch the Lords once he gets the signal, and be back at Gotham to help with the assault on Arkham faster than Wally could ever hope to do himself.

But he can't stop worrying. Despite frequent stops for calorie breaks, Bart has been running around the world ever since before Wally got his collar off, in a last-ditch attempt to buy enough time and grab everything they need.

A warm hand, fingers callused from years of using a bow, slips into his own.

"Hey," Artemis says softly. "You doing okay?"

Wally musters up his best grin for her. "Sure! Doing great!"

The look she gives him reminds him uncomfortably of the ones Barry used to give him when he tried to pretend he wasn't scared.

"It's okay, Wall-man," she whispers. "I'm scared too."

He gives her hand a comforting squeeze, trying to think of the right thing to say. "It'll be fine, babe. You know we've got a plan."

"Yeah." Her laugh is short and hoarse. "You remember what Di—Robin used to say about those?"

"Plan for up until the first explosion. After that, you improvise." Wally grins at the memory. "Strange how we usually had to improvise sooner instead of later."

"As I recall, it was usually your fault."

"Hey! That is totally not true."

Artemis's look is blatantly unimpressed.

"Okay, maybe some of the time. Like, 12% of the time."

"12%?" She laughs at that. "I'm pretty sure it was a lot more than that."

Wally chuckles along with the archer until the beeping of his watch disrupts their amusement. He hits the timer and pulls out one of his special 4000 calorie bars and downs it. Luthor had given him strict instructions in preparation for what might happen this evening.

"Eat one of these every hour. According to records, your body suffered a massive energy drain after your jump through time. You'll be doing a lot of running today, so you need to keep your body stoked up."

Artemis's breath catches in her throat, and Wally looks over as he finishes off the bar.

"Artemis." And that gets her attention, because he never calls her 'Artemis', it's always 'Arty' or 'babe' or some other flirty name that she'd punch anyone else for calling her. 'Artemis' is for when he's totally serious. "I promise. Everything's going to work out."

"You don't know that." Her tone is bitter and tired. "It's not Arkham I'm worried about, Wally. It's about…what comes after." Her eyes start to feel suspiciously hot, but she will not swipe at them because she's a hero goddammit and she doesn't cry, not when Wally's finally back next to her, and the last time she cried in the field was in the Arctic and…

Artemis doesn't know who moves first, but before she realizes she's caught up in a tight hug with Wally planting kisses in her hair and letting her cry into his spandex-covered chest.

"I don't want to lose you again," she whispers. "I can't."

"Hey, hey. You're not going to. Besides—" he pulls back to grin down at her. "We're only about to break into the most heavily-guarded facility on the planet to bust out the brainwashed Justice League. What could—"

She pulls away and punches him in the shoulder, laughing through the remnants of tears. "Don't say that!"

Wally's comm goes off and he reaches for it so fast he almost whacks himself in the head. "What is it?"

"Hey! Kid Flash, aka Bart Allen, aka former Impulse here! The bosses are moded (huff) smack dab in the middle of the (oof) desert and I'm on my way back. Things crash on your end?"

"Uh, yeah. Yup. Fine. All…crash." Wally has to jump on the urge to take off running, either for Arkham or to his cousin who sounds…really, really tired. "How about you?"

"Well (huff) everything's crash (whoa) except now the fish dudes are chasing me (yipe!) and I emptied my snackage stash so (Dude, one side!) I might crash soon. Bad crash, not good crash. Got any of those bars left?"

"Atlantians?"

"Yeah. Aquaman (huff) musta tipped them, cause they weren't here before. I can mode these guys no problem. Just gimme a couple minutes and I'll be right there to bust Grampa out with you."

"I'll have a bar waiting for you. And I'm pretty sure B's got a bag of Chicken Whizzees with your name on it."

"Seriously?"

"Would I joke about food?"

"Good point. Incoming in five minutes."

"Good luck." Wally cuts the transmission and sends out a message to the rest of the groups in position around Gotham. "Bart's set his ETA in five minutes and most of the Lords are stranded on the other side of the world. It's go time. Good luck, everybody."

He shuts off his comm and takes a deep breath as he pulls his goggles down over his eyes. Turning to Artemis, he grins. "You ready, babe?"

Artemis finishes checking her arrows and slings the quiver over her shoulders. "To break into Arkham? Oh yeah."

Wally scoops her up in a bridal carry and smiles down at her. "Then let's do this."

He takes off so fast that an image hangs behind them in the air for a split second before dissipating.

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HOUSTON, WE HAVE UPDATE!

This chapter is late, late, late. I KNOW. I am so, so, sorry. But it's also really long, so…maybe that helps?

See my profile on why I was gone for so long.

But now I'm back. Sort of. My school hasn't started yet, and I'm kinda freaking out because I have a huge workload, including taking an English class that's the advanced course for the grade ahead of mine.

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeppp….

By the way, if any of you lovely readers out there have taken AP language and composition, would you mind sharing your experiences?

Speaking of which:

You are all incredible, wonderful, FANTASTIC people and you all deserve ice cream and hot chocolate for putting up with me.

Although it might not be for too much longer. I think we have maybe two or three chapters left in this fic. Time really flies, doesn't it?

Oh, and last I checked, we passed 13,000 hits. Not to mention that last chapter has more hits than any other chapter I've posted. Anyone care to explain that?

Translations:

Demonios: Hell

Oye: Hey

Jaime and Mila's conversation:

"Hey."

"Hey."

"So…Green Lantern?"

"Yeah."

"I like your suit."

"Seriously?"

"Yeah."

"I made it...like your armor. Like Blue Beetle."

Lo siento mucho: I'm so sorry.

Ni que lo digas: Tell me about it.

Bueno: Okay.

Perra: An unflattering term for a female dog. Someone really ought to scrub out Milagro's mouth…

Notes:

I messed around a lot with the order of this chapter. At first it started with the Wally-Artemis scene and the meeting was in a flashback, but that wasn't working, so…

Huggy Bart! And Bluepulse! I love Bluepulse!

Kahji is actually really fun to write.

And I wanted to write another sibling-reconciliation scene, so enjoy the Jaime-Milagro scene.

I seriously thought about it and I really don't think that Jaime would just have gone along with the Lords, even for Bart. The Reach freaked him out. So I figure that Miss M and Zatanna got into his head and idk, switched off his sense of ethics? Something like that. Sorry if it's too cliché.

And now I realize just how aggressive I made Mila. Punching Bart, punching Artemis, implied punching of Ed…yeesh.

The Reach and the Corps don't get along. The aliens attached to the Reyes siblings just have to learn to play nice. And I figured having the two of them compare notes on their respective annoyances would be fun.

Enjoy the information dump. I really hope it wasn't too confusing…

I actually started referring to Luthor as Lex on accident because he acted so sneaky in this chapter. On another note, a friend loaned me the first four seasons of Smallville and I've been having an end-of-summer marathon. (Which is part of the reason this chapter came out. It helped remind me why I love writing this.) All I can say is that it is freaking amazing. Oh, and for anyone thinking of watching it…I have only one piece of advice, and that is do not watch the season finale unless you have the next one ready.

I haven't seen or played Assault on Arkham, but it's a catchy title. And it seemed like just the thing a trying-to-be-dramatic Luthor would say.

Milagro is, at the bottom of it all, a scared teenager who hasn't seen her brother in two and a half years, and has had to think of him as the enemy this whole time. Finding out that he was brainwashed into being her enemy, again, well…

Iris can be very, very scary.

I did some research on Green Lantern rings, and they have a buttload of powers. While a lie detector was never actually mentioned, they do have a variety of scanning powers and the ability to create a limited telepathic connection, so I figure it's pretty plausible. The healing is a known power.

And while we're at it, let's have a Tye and Jaime moment as well.

Dun dun dun…Luthor has a plan…

Wally as the Flash! It was an idea I had fairly late in writing this chapter, but once I did, I knew it had to happen.

Basically, Bart wore the KF costume and served as a distraction while Wally got the collar off, and then Wally wore the Flash costume and traded off with Bart on running around the world. Now it's just a matter of waiting for Luthor to assemble the machine and going back.

SPITFIRE FLUFF!

12%...double chocolate chip cookies if you caught the reference. I love the MCU, especially since it's what got me into comics in the first place.

"What could go wrong…" Such an iconic Season 2 Spitfire line had to enter this fic at one time or another.

Anyway, REVIEW PLEASE?! Even if it's just to chew me out for being late?