Diana walked into the apartment, sighing with relief as she locked the door behind her. As she walked forward, she passed her roommate typing away at her laptop.
Her friend had dusty blonde hair and thick, round glasses, her fingers eloquently tapping at the computer.
Diana sighed and removed her glasses, resting her body on the sofa.
The roommate smiled, finally speaking in a British accent, "So, first chimera you ever fought or…?"
Diana chuckled, "They're already reporting on it?"
"It's everywhere, Diana. Every news channel. All over the internet", the roommate told her, "And I must say, it was awesome."
Diana sighed, "It was a good battle, indeed."
"Of course, it just HAD to be overshadowed by all the other crazy meta news going on in the world."
"Oh yes, all that news about the Flash of Central City or the Bat of Gotham", Diana chuckled, "And, oh! Who could forget the infamous one in Metropolis!"
"SUPERMAN!", the roommate struck a mocking pose, pretending to be a powerful man, "Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! And all that rubbish!"
The two shared a good laugh, thinking of how silly this all was becoming.
"So many of these weirdos and heroes popping out of the blue", the blonde chuckled.
Diana scoffed, "Rather foolish, really."
The brit looked up from her laptop, "How so?"
"Come on, Ann", the warrior sat up, "Those ridiculous garments, the childish nicknames, they may have done good but true heroes they are not!"
Ann tilted her head in confusion, "Wait, so stopping a robot from killing hundreds, taking down bad people, that doesn't count as heroism?"
"They're doing well, I can not disagree with that", Diana explained, "But they don't have the understanding of the graveness of the tasks and most of them don't even have training."
"How would you know if they had training or not?", Ann asked.
"Warrior's instinct", Diana pointed out.
"'Warrior's instinct' my arse", Ann scoffed, "Whatever, I still think they're great people doing good."
"Your opinion, deary", Diana smiled.
"Whatever", the blonde smirked, "WONDER Woman."
"By the gods, you are trying to revive that nickname?", the warrior sighed.
"I'm telling you, you have to call yourself that!"
"It's branding! Making a mark, Diana!"
"The only marks I wish to make are with my sword", Diana smiled, thinking to herself.
When she first arrived in the world of man, she was the only one of her kind. A god-like creature surrounded by normal human beings. But ever since the appearance of the Bat & the freaks of Gotham a few years ago, the war of the Glades in Oregon, & the explosion of Central City, she was no longer the only powered being. Whether they were men of flesh & blood donning costumes or demigods destroying the laws of physics, the world has been stranger since Diana first stepped foot off of her home.
Home. Of course her mind drifted back to that.
For the past few months, Diana has been traveling the globe, taking a break from her job as an antiques dealer to view the rest of the world. Unfortunately, the rest of the world wasn't exactly as enjoyable as she remembered.
She slowly brushed away memories of her land and began walking towards her room.
"Oh jeez, sulking time already?", Ann joked, shouting out to her friend.
"I've just fought a monster. I believe I deserve some rest", Diana replied, closing the door behind her.
"Alright", Ann called out, "Nighty-night, Wonder Woman!" The roommate went into a laughing fit as the bedroom door closed.
Sighing, she sat down on her small bed, thoughts coming to her mind of the people she left. Her mother, her fellow Amazons, all enjoying themselves back home in their immortal glory while she was stuck in Washington D.C.
Trying to distract herself, she picked up the remote and turned on the TV, the news turning on. And apparently, today was the day that the Gods decided to mess around with her.
A reporter spoke from the site of today's battle, "-have been saying that the unidentified creature resembled a lion or a goat, some even referring to it as a 'monster'. A few described the one attacking the animal as, and I quote, 'something straight from a fairy-tale'. We suspect so far that the one responsible was the metahuman known as the 'Wonder of Washington', who made her appearance nine months ago."
Diana groaned, rolling her eyes at the nickname that inspired, well, the other nickname.
The reporter continued, "The amount of property damage caused by the fight is still being estimated as so far, six citizens have been confirmed as having been killed in the fight. Four of the deceased are confirmed to have been killed by the animal through mauling and claw marks while the other two show signs of death by electrocution."
Diana's eyes widened when she heard that last part.
Footage of the fight was displayed on screen, looking to have been taken by a newscopter. It featured Diana whipping her lasso out and striking it onto the ground, dust spreading everywhere and blasts of energy flying out.
One of those blasts striking a few of the people escaping.
The news reporter continued to speak but Diana was tuned out from the report already. She began to grit her teeth as she tried to contain her fury.
The reporter spoke, footage of injured men & women being treated by paramedics, "Thirty people are so far confirmed as injured, with three of the patients being in critical condition."
THIS was caused by me? This pain, the chaos I have tried to stop my whole life in Man's World?
"Once again, the city is split as to whether or not the Wonder is truly a hero or another deity-like vigilante running amuck and only making already difficult situations worse with over-powered abilities."
I try to protect the innocent and the fallen only to let more fall by wrath's hand?! Me?!
"Many are, ironically, WONDERING, if this metahuman...this god-like being can truly be trusted."
TRUST IS MY ENTIRE PURPOSE!
She looked down to see that the remote in her hand broke in her grip. Sighing, she slowly got up and walked to the small trash bin, throwing the remains of the remote onto a large pile of previously broken remotes.
Sitting back on her bed, she looked down at the hand she gripped, frowning as she saw not a single scratch on it.
Diana fought back the tears and looked down at the floor in deep thought.
Why did I ever leave Themyscira?...Why?
Zooming around the room, Clark was basically doing a million things at once. Wind rushed through the apartment as in one second he was cooking his dinner in the kitchen and the next moment, he was brushing his teeth in the sink. He had to go back to comb his hair repeatedly as flying around a room at the speed of a bullet kind of ruins it.
Alone in the empty apartment, the man slowly munched on his chicken, smiling. Unable to think of something to do, he decided to quickly dash over to the living room, his steaming plate of chicken in one hand and a remote in the other.
The TV lit open as he began to flip around the channels, trying to find something interesting. Passing by cartoons, comedies, and sports, he finally stopped once he got to the local news channel.
"This should be good", he chuckled to himself.
Two reporters were busy talking to each other as in the background, the infamous photo of "the Superman of Metropolis" was displayed. It's been a month or two since the attack by Winslow Schott and the world has been buzzing about the hero who's been randomly saving others.
One of the reporters smiled, "-Now, if you don't mind me asking, Charles, why would a 'low-life vigilante' bother protecting the entire city from a terrorist attack?"
"Margaret", the other reporter groaned, "I know that he may have saved us from the attack , but he's still a vigilante! I mean, look at all of the other 'heroes' running around the United States with no accountability or supervision. They may have helped others, but they're still considered criminals by the law. Same applies to this man."
Clark chuckled, a little annoyed by the remarks but seeing where they were coming from.
"Well, I for one don't support the idea of vigilantism myself", Margaret stated, "But I believe that it doesn't mean that we shouldn't appreciate the man's heroism and his help towards the people of this city."
Clark smiled, thankful for the woman's words of kindness. Closest thing he's gotten to a compliment in a while.
"Well, I guess you're not the only one", Chuck shook his head, "While we're still working on national polls, polls done recently show that about 65% of the city favorably view the Superman of Metropolis, with 5% being undecided, & 30% against him."
Clark laughed with joy, "SERIOUSLY! OH MY GOD!"
He turned around and smiled, shouting, "MA! PA! Did ya' hear tha-!"
The moment he remembered that he was alone was the moment the smile on his face began to slowly drop. Looking down, he slowly lifted his hand up and turned off the television.
Ever since he got to this city, he's felt so...alone. He hasn't been able to meet other people or find friends because he didn't want people recognizing him as the "Superman". That stupid hood wasn't exactly the best disguise for a six-foot-four, lantern-jawed, muscle-bound man. And now, the closest people he's had in his lives, his own parents, were all the way on the other side of the nation.
The alien rubbed his eyes, trying to think of something to do to keep his mind off of the loneliness. That's when an idea popped into his head.
Gotham City, New Jersey.
Down an abandoned path in the middle of the forest, an incredibly large vehicle roared down the road, the sound of police sirens filling the air.
The vehicle was massive and armored like a tank, massive wheels riding across the dirt-covered track. The back of the car looked as though it was being lifted into the air, the edges sharp and sleep surrounding the bulky frame. Light blue shielding covered the windshield, preventing anyone from seeing who was driving the vehicle.
On the inside, the vehicle had two small seats, Bruce sitting in one of the them with had his hands firmly on the wheel. He began to push buttons on the glowing dashboards, screens glowing on it with random functions and purposes. One of the screens lit up, the phrase "smokescreen deployed" appearing.
A row of pole-shaped machines appeared, lining down the sides of the path. After the vehicle drove past them, smoke and fog streamed out of the machines, blinding the cops' cars and causing them to stop to avoid crashing into trees.
The black vehicle continued to roll down the path, winding around the woods towards a large lake, the water beginning to bubble as something began to open from underneath. The ground beneath the water opened up, the wet liquid sinking down below the ground as a gate-like opening appeared. A ramp appeared at the end of the path, raising a foot into the air towards the lake. The car's engine roared as it flew off of the ramp and right into the dark opening, closing once the vehicle entered.
It roared down a vast, dark tunnel, sparks flying everywhere as the wheels screeched. Ahead of it, multiple gates began to open, allowing the car to pass right through. The path began to slant downwards afterwards, the car sliding straight down.
The tires began to scream as it finally slowed down, entering an enormous cave. Stalagmites hung from above the cavern, small white lights shining down on the steel grayground. Platforms were laid out around the area, each for different purposes. The platform at the front was laid out with enormous screens and computers lining the walls. Another platform was surrounded by weaponry at the edges, resembling some sort of wrestling or training area.
The mobile stopped on one of the platforms, the top of it sliding off to allow the vigilante to jump out. The man in black began to walk down a flight of stairs towards the computer, slowly removing his suit off of his body.
He had black, combed hair with grey strands beginning to grow. Stubble grew off of his square jaw, his face giving off no discernible expression. He was nearing his forties and the man looked worn out, as though all of his life he was beaten and mangled. As though he has seen practically everything.
As he sat down at his computer, typing away to view the reports of tonight's incident, he heard someone walk up behind him.
An aging British man known as Alfred Pennyworth appeared from behind, a thin mustache over his lips and small stands of hair on his balding head. He wore a butler uniform and had a platter on one of his hands, a cup of coffee on it. The Brit placed the mug next to Bruce, who still hadn't looked up.
He spoke in a dapper accent, "I take it that tonight's misadventure went well."
"Two of the men are in prison, four are at the hospital, one being in critical condition", Bruce responded in a gruff voice, "He'll pull through."
"Physically anyways", Alfred joked in the same dull tone, "And all ten hostages are now free to return to their homes."
The man sighed, leading the butler to roll his eyes, "The commissioner left a good word, I hope?"
"As usual. The public had a different response."
"As usual", Alfred sighed, "Not that it's stopped us before, sir."
Bruce took a sip from his cup before speaking, "You can come down now."
From above, a young, feminine voice was heard, "How di-You know, why am I surprised?"
Behind the man, two figures dropped down from above. Both wore training clothes, clearly having been exercising before appearing. One was a young girl, somewhere between thirteen and sixteen years of age. A beauty mark laid on the right cheek of her tanned face as long, curly, red hair ran down her head. She was fit for her age, clearly muscular but also flexible.
The other was a young boy, who looked to be younger than the girl. He had black, spiky hair and blue eyes, a smirk covering his face. He was look more slender than the girl and just as physically fit. In one hand was a bowstaff, which he spun around carelessly.
"Looks like the bat's returned to the cave", the boy chuckled, quickly sprinting forward and smiling right at the man's side, "So, guessing your night's been fun?"
"Barbara, Dick, I see you've been training", Bruce pointed out, "Though not for as lengthy as I hoped."
"Oh yes, because three hours isn't enough", Dick groaned, waiting for a reply before wiping the smirk off of his face, "Okay, I'm just going to skip to the point."
"That would stop wasting both of our times hopefully", Bruce sarcastically quipped.
"Why didn't you tell us about the hostages?", Barbara asked, clearly in a mood, "We could have helped you out on that one!"
"It was a simple kidnapping, you two", Bruce answered, "there was no need for more than one of us to go and there was no point in wasting either of your time which could be spent on training."
"It's not just that", Dick added, "I mean, for the past few missions, you've been leaving us behind and going off on your own, like the old days! What's the point of having us if-"
"When I need you two, I will call you. When the mission is something that you NEED to be there for, you will be there", Bruce matter-of-factly stated, "Otherwise, I would prefer if you didn't interfere."
Dick sighed but nodded in agreement but Barbara's face contorted with anger, "ARE YOU KIDDING-!"
The young boy placed a hand on her shoulder, "Save it, Babs. You heard him."
The two stared at one another before the girl pulled her shoulder away and walked off.
Finally, Bruce turned his chair around to face the two teenagers, a distant look in his eyes, as though he wanted to walk over and apologize to the two. However, he needed to focus on his work and his work alone. The butler placed the platter down and chased after the two.
That's what his life has been focused on for so many years. Work, perfecting his vision of a stronger Gotham, a better Gotham, making sure that the city was a better place. However, there were always distractions. Whether they were insane, destructive clowns or acrobats left orphaned, foolish riddle-makers or librarians wanting to be more than they were, distractions constantly arose, whether he wanted it or not.
The boy was merely a legal ward and the girl was the daughter of a close ally and yet, through the years of working with one another, their relationship grew somewhat...closer.
And that was a problem.
Happy Harbor, Rhode Island.
The gargantuan man sat in his motel room, his face in one hand and a beer in the other. He looked up, blinking his eyes in a dazed manner. He placed the bottle down and began to pack up, placing his belongings into a small bag.
He barged out of the room, the bag hung over his shoulder, as he tightened his coat and only stared forwards.
Walking down the streets, everything looked like a complete blur, bright lights shining in his eyes and distracting him from his focus. He groaned, the feeling of burning vomit coming up his throat.
From his side, in a dark alley, he heard someone speak, "You're going to pass out if you don't go there anytime soon, my lord."
The giant turned around, flying his fist downwards to punch someone only for it to be caught mid-air.
In front of him was a red-headed woman with the same piercing sky-blue eyes as him. She wore gleaming lime-green armor resembling fish scales or sea pebbles. Her face was stern, the smell of saltwater covering her body. A crown-like object was wrapped around her head, gleaming gold in the moonlight.
Behind her were the three soldiers who attacked Arthur earlier, each one with ripped clothing, dented armor, and wounds from their earlier escapade. They all growled once they saw the king.
"Well", Arthur chuckled gruffly, "For a few kids who just had their asses chomped by sharks, you look pretty good."
The one named Garth began to rush towards the man, only for the woman in green to place her hand on the boy's chest, "Garth, remember your place." The boy groaned and stepped back.
Arthur smirked, "I'm gonna guess you're the boss around here?"
The woman nodded, kneeling down, the others doing the same, "Greetings, my lord. I am Mera'yus, trainer of the young, practicer of magic, & defender of Atlantis."
"Good for you", the hybrid snarked.
"My students and I have been sent out to the world above to return you to your rightful place at the throne of the kingdom of Atl-"
"Yes, yes", Arthur interrupted, "Your little buddies over there told me about it before trying to kill me."
The youngest of the trio, Kaldur frowned, "We were not trying to kill-!"
The redhead lifted her right hand up, stopping the boy from charging forward.
"That was never intention", she glared at her students, "They were not supposed to attack."
The students squirmed awkwardly, Tula squeaked, "Garth started it."
The teenage boy shouted in anger, "TULA, YOU DOLPHIN!"
"DO NOT CALL ME A DOLPHIN, YOU PURPLE-EYED FREAK!", the young girl shouted back,.
"Enough of this fighting, my friends!", Kaldur yelled out, "...Besides, it is true that Garth started it.
The arguing started again, the three teens annoyingly shouting. While Arthur rolled his eyes, Mera's eyes began to glow. Arthur's eyes widened when he saw droplets of water form around her hands, growing in size at a rapid pace to form a glowing whip made of water.
She cracked it in the air, shutting the children up, "THAT is enough."
The three bowed in agreement, settling down, as the teacher turned back to the king.
Curry frowned, "Look, I already told your guppies, I don't want to be your ruler or your king, I don't want anything to do with Atlantis."
"You've made that point clear", the woman nodded, "But are you aware of what is happening below in Atlantis?"
Arthur's face tightened, "I know that my….mother is down there, ruling things and what not."
Mera's eyes widened in fear and surprise, her students having the same awkward, distressed look on their faces.
"My lord...Queen Atlanna passed on to the reef beyond."
Arthur was surprised and also...a bit heartbroken. He never knew his mother and for years of his life, he thought that she was a dead-beat queen who being a ruler more than she did her own family. One of the reasons he never wanted to return was because of her. But now, now that he knew that he would never be able to speak to her…
Arthur gulped, "So...who's in charge now?"
"Currently, the position of ruler has been taken by Orm'arius", Mera answered.
Arthur snickered, trying to ignore the recent revelation, "Orm? What in-Who the hell is this guy?"
"The son of Marius and Atlanna", Tula glared, "Your brother."
Once again, a look of surprise fell upon Arthur's face, "I...I have a brother?"
"A half-brother", Mera explained, "Born six years after you in the Kingdom and raised as our prince."
"Um..", Arthur groaned, trying to comprehend what was occurring , "I can't believe this, okay. So, why don't you just allow him to be king?"
"Atlantean tradition states that the eldest must be ruler, which is you", Mera stated, "Orm himself has also stated that he'd rather you be king than him."
"Oh wow, I guess that makes two sons who don't want to have jackshit to do with running your little home!", Arthur sarcastically smiled.
In the blink of an eye, Mera's whip smacked Arthur straight in the face, causing him to flip into the air and crash on his back a few feet away. Mera walked forward and looked down at the man.
"Do not take this lightly, my king", she growled, "You may not be from there but it is still in your blood and you must return for your people!"
"Let's get one thing straight", Arthur groaned, "You...You aren't my people. You think that because my mom is Atlantean that makes me one?! I don't want this burden of leading a group of people who I barely know! A job that I will completely suck at! I don't want that!"
"Oh, yes, because the humans, you clearly care about them more!", Garth sarcastically spoke up, "Is that why you're completely alone and constantly move around the land? Explain that to me."
"Garth, be calm", Tula stated, placing her hand on the boy's tattooed arm tenderly. It didn't go unnoticed by Arthur that at that moment, Kaldur turned away awkwardly, looking at the two with a sense of...longing?
The boy inhaled and exhaled angrily before stomping away down the alley, the young girl following him. Kaldur watched as they left and turned to his teacher, wondering what to do.
As Arthur got up, Mera looked down at the ground in deep thought, "...Your mother was not the…'dead-beat' that you think of her as. She was a beautiful woman and a brave ruler. She had given all that she had to the kingdom to keep it safe from enemies. She accepted all Atlanteans for who they were and wanted to see her home grow and expand to do greater things. And most of all...she wanted to see you again. To raise you herself, along with Orm. To see you spread your knowledge of the world of man with others. To see you at her place as ruler...even if others didn't believe in you."
Arthur looked at the woman with a look of pity and shame. The words that this woman spoke to him about his mother were...different from how he pictured her. They were praising her but unlike his father, who glorified his mother constantly, Mera made her seem both grand but also, ironically, human. But this was an entire kingdom of people, a world where the only interaction between them and humans were through pirate attacks from the days of old. How could he help them?
"I...I'm sorry, Mera", Arthur sighed, "...I can't do this."
Mera sighed but nodded, "I shall inform your brother of this decision." The woman began to turn around and walk away before looking back and speaking, "At the very least, go to the ocean. For your own sake."
The redhead and her youngest student then walked off down the alley, no doubt returning home.
Leaving Arthur alone on the street.
Central City, Missouri.
Down the streets of the city, a bolt of pure energy ripped straight down the road, wind rushing everywhere and lightning striking the asphalt. Whatever was running down the road was too bright and too fast to even see. Some screamed once the object passed by while others clapped and applauded.
It zoomed straight past a police car and the men inside began to shout at it, preparing to pursue the object. Before they could even start the car, the object already disappeared in a blast of light, moving too fast for anyone to even see.
Barry laughed childishly as he ran across town at an impossible speed. From his perspective, he was running through a tunnel of pure energy, lightning and light particles flying everywhere around him, occasionally crashing into the wiring holding his suit together.
Ahead of him was a large research building standing tall and proud. The top was scorched and parts of it were crumbled, as though a giant accident occurred. Even then, no matter the disasters that happened, the S.T.A.R. Labs facility of Central City would continue to stand tall and proud...hopefully.
The speedster began to slow down once he entered the building, running through the halls at a lessened but still incredible speed. His armor smoked and his feet sparked as he entered the main office of the lab, where all the action was.
Inside the lab were two adults working at a large computer table. Computers were messily placed everywhere as in the center of the room was a grey mannequin, where the speedster usually placed his suit. Handmade machines and random scrap parts covered the floor, as the marks of the accident were still evident. The two scientists were busy looking over data when the man in red arrived. One was a young woman with short brown hair and light skin. The other was a latino man with long, black hair and a big smile on his face.
Barry smiled as the young man known as Cisco Ramon ran up and high-fived him.
"And once again, Snart and Rory have been taken down!", Barry smiled.
"Flash: 1! Rogues: 0!", Cisco laughed, "Now that's what I'm talking about!"
"And you're sure Cold's not gonna rat you out to the cops?", the woman named Caitlin spoke up, concerned, "You may've made that deal with him before, but he always ends up coming back."
"Snart's not crazy enough for that, Caitlin!", Barry smiled, "Well..okay, he's definitely crazy but not THAT crazy."
In a split second, it looked like a bolt of lightning struck straight into the mannequin when really, it was just Barry changing out of his uniform at super speed and placing the uniform on the mannequin.
The boy was young, clearly in his early twenties, with long, curly, black hair and a boyish face. He wore a red hoodie over a black shirt with the S.T.A.R. Labs logo embellished on it.
"We really gotta fix that suit, Cisco", Barry pointed out, "Those running clothes aren't gonna be enough to protect me!"
"Already told you, man", the scientist explained, "This place is running low on high-tech materials and unless you can pull us some moolah out of the speed force…"
"We're already running low on funding as it and the other facilities aren't exactly willing to stick their necks out for us", Caitlin explained, "And if we don't find anyone willing to finance our facility.."
"Then we can just kiss our paychecks byebye!", Cisco joked, before turning to Caitlin and genuinely asking, "Do we even get paid anymore?"
Barry chuckled. Ever since the beginning, these two have been by his side, teaching him about his powers and helping him stop whatever came at him. Most important of all, they were his friends.
"Ah, Mr. Allen, good work today with the Rogues."
Oh no, Barry thought to himself. He turned around to see an aging man with spiky black hair and glasses rolling towards him in a wheelchair.
Dr. Harrison Wells, the head of the facility and the one who brought Barry to S.T.A.R. Labs.
And the one who may have killed Barry's mother.
The man had an unnerving smile on his face, seemingly calm and open but also as if he was smiling at some inside joke. A very messed up inside joke.
"Oh, thank you, Dr. Wells", Barry smiled awkwardly, trying to hide his anxiety, "Wasn't a problem!"
"I could tell", the older man smiled, "Only took you three minutes to take down the duo, new record."
"I know, right! It was awesoooo-", he stopped when he noticed Barry and Cailtin's frustrated glares, " *Ahem!* It was cool."
"Now, Cisco, Caitlin, were you able to track down the whereabouts of Mr. Snart & Rory?", Wells asked.
"Um, no, sir", Caitlin admitted, "Unfortunately, they escaped before the police could arrive."
"Well, that's a shame", Wells nodded, "However, look on the bright side. It'll delay both their own activity and the activity of their gang."
"Yeah, like the Rogues are really gonna stop messing stuff up for us now that Icebox and Barbeque are on the run", Barry rolled his eyes.
"Anyways, carry on with your work", Wells smiled, rolling away to do...whatever. Barry cautiously walked over to his friends, making sure that their boss couldn't hear them.
The hero whispered, "So, did you find anything out about him?"
"So far, no", Cisco answered, "But I think Joe and I have an idea where to start looking for answers."
"C'mon, you two", Caitlin said, "Are you sure about this one? I mean, this is our boss, our friend!"
"Maybe that's the reason why we haven't been able to do much about this", Barry spoke, "Maybe we're too distracted because of our friendship with him."
Barry looked down at the watch on his arm, "Crap, I gotta go! Movie night at Joe's! Catch you guys tomorrow!"
A blast of lightning erupted as the man bolted straight out of the lab back home.
Cisco looked over to his partner, "...You think Oliver can lend us money?"
The doctor covered her face in frustration.
Star City, Oregon.
The archers and the canary returned to their base in their civilian identities, exiting the elevator and entering their hideout.
It was located below a dance club, which made it difficult to sneak into as the club was packed at the moment. Luckily, the guests were too busy going insane to notice them.
In their civilian identities, the green archer as a bearded man in his thirties, with light brown hair, the canary was a young woman with brown hair, and the red archer was a red-headed teenager around the age of fifteen or sixteen.
The base of the team, known as the Quiver, had computers everywhere, all monitoring activity within the city. The blue lighting surrounding the main table of the room created an almost futuristic look. Empty mannequins were hung up where the uniforms are placed.
In front of them were two people, a muscular, middle-aged man named John Diggle and a spectacled woman named Felicity Smoak.
"Oh hey!", Felicity smiled in an incredibly positive manner, "What's up, guys! Another awesome night for Team Arrow?"
She faltered when she saw Oliver's glaring face and the awkward looks on Roy and Dinah's faces, "Orrr I'm gonna guess someone *cough!* Roy *cough!* screwed up."
"Actually, it was her fault this time", Roy pointed at Dinah before noticing the glare from the two older members.
"Roy, you already got an arrow to the leg from Oliver, I don't think you want a punch to the face from Dinah", Diggle advised the teenager, who slowly edged away from the elder heroes.
"That sounds like the best option", Felicity agreed, once again beginning to ramble, "Unless you're into getting punched, which I won't judge but I should probably recommend-"
"Felicity", Diggle spoke up.
"Shutting up now", she whispered.
"Dinah", Oliver turned, "A word?"
The two walked over to the back of the base, facing one another a few feet apart.
"Dinah, how many times have I told you about this?", the archer said in an intense, slightly nervous tone.
"I want to say the twenty-eighth", Dinah sarcastically said, "Look, if you don't want me following you guys around and saving your asses when you're in trouble, fine, but that doesn't mean that I'll stop being the Canary."
"Dinah, this isn't some silly game", Oliver warned, "I get that you want to play the hero and all, but you can't just keep showing up during my fights."
Dinah scoffed, "Queen, I came here on my own free will and, need I remind you, I've been the one saving you idiots constantly."
"...Fair enough, but the deal was that I take my side of the city and you take yours. Simple as that!", Oliver warned.
"Yeah, that deal kind of fell apart the day that one of your idiot mistakes nearly doomed the city", Dinah pointed out.
"I had it under control!...I sort of had it under control!"
"If having it 'under control' means 'having an old guy ready to slit your throat and me conveniently showing up to help you', then yes. Great job, Richie Rich."
Oliver groaned. For a few weeks now, this newcomer has been taking down his hits. Plans he thought out meticulously going down the drain in mere seconds. And the only reason why he even put up with any of this was because-
The two vigilantes heard the screaming coming from above and turned to one another.
"That can't be good", Dinah remarked.
Diana landed in the city, tired after such a long flight. The city was near empty, the night sky hanging overhead as most of the city was asleep. She looked around to make sure that no one saw her and began to walk around, letting her thoughts flow through her.
She recognized so much of the city and also so little of it. The last time she was here, the city was completely destroyed, poisonous gas and bombs killing the entire population.
All because of her.
If she had ignored the warnings given to her, if she had gone by her instinct, maybe the people who used to live here would've survived. Maybe like the Egyptians or the Greeks, they would be a culture constantly taken down but rebuilt time and time again. But now, there was no way of changing the past.
Diana sighed and tried to clear her mind of her recent troubles. So far, the world has been angered by her presence, even the people she was meant to protect disliked her. This service was difficult as it is but this only made things harder.
Eventually, she ended up at the Menin Gate, the names of the deceased etched on the walls. She began recognizing some of the names featured and remembering what happened to them.
That's when she saw one of the names listed, the name of an American pilot fighting for the British. The name of the hero who saved millions from a toxic death. The one who opened Diana's eyes to the world of man.
Steve Trevor, captain of the UK Army Air Service, spy for British Intelligence, and the love of Diana's life.
Or was the love of her life.
She remembered the way they talked with one another. How they wanted to help as many people as they could. How they wanted to stop more wars from happening.
How he kept asking her one thing. The one thing that she always wanted an answer to.
Is it nice to be like one of them? To be a god?
In a fit of rage, she punched the ground, causing a minor tremor that shook the earth. Sighing, she wiped her eyes and slowly walked out of the memorial, taking to the sky and returning to Washington.
On the rooftop of his apartment , the alien was face-timing on his laptop with someone close to his heart, the only person he knew who could understand what he was going through.
"Kara, I just don't know what to do right now", Clark sighed, "I mean, everybody's loving me right now and it's nice to be out in the open, but I just feel so…"
"Alone?", the young, spectacled, blonde-haired teen responded, "Trust me, I know the feeling, Kal."
"How've you been holding up on the other side of the country?"
"Well, the program that I'm working with has been good to me so far", Kara chuckled, "Though the woman I serve is... quite the person."
"At least you have a job", Clark laughed.
"Yes, the Danvers said that it would help me...adjust...Wait, aren't you starting that job tomorrow at the...news place?"
"The Daily Planet. Yeah, about that…", Clark awkwardly said, "I don't know if I can do it."
"WHAT?! What are you talking about?!"
Clark winced as his super hearing and her shouting collided together to form a painful reaction.
"Kara, now that I'm the 'Superman', I can't just walk outside and meet other people!", he explained, "I mean, what if they recognize me?!"
"You wear the coat, right?"
"Oh yes, a jacket is really going to hide my identity!", Clark rolled his eyes, "I just...don't want people to look at me differently or go after Ma and Pa."
"Well, what about that trick I taught you?", Kara asked.
The trick in question was a method that Clark tried to test out to conceal his identity. The ship he crash-landed on morphed his DNA so that he could resemble a human so he tested the extent of the transformation to make himself thinner and smaller. The problem: it barely worked and only lasted a few hours.
"It's not gonna work, Kara", Clark stated, "It barely worked before and I doubt I can pull it off for my entire career."
"Worth a try, Kal", Kara stated.
Clark groaned, rubbing his eyes. He didn't think it would actually work, but he didn't want to be stuck in this city alone for the rest of his life. He might as well try to fit in.
"Okay, I'll...I'll try it out", Clark sighed.
"Perfect!", Kara smiled, "Anyways, I need to go now. I don't want Miss Grant to murder me tomorrow morning!"
"Adios, city girl"
"See you around, farmboy."
Central City, Missouri.
At the West household, the rom-com they were watching finally ended, Joe West shutting off the TV.
"Finally, the nightmare is over", Joe sighed.
Next to him was the young couple themselves, Iris West and Eddie Thawne. Eddie was young, blonde, bearded man with an innocent smile and his arm wrapped around his girlfriend's waist. Iris was a young woman with light brown skin with curly black hair and a purple coat.
Iris laughed, "Dad, you were asleep through the entire thing. Don't act like it was that bad!"
Joe jokingly acted like he was scared, "That doesn't make the pain go away!"
Eddie chuckled, "C'mon, Mr. West, I liked it honestly."
Barry, who was sitting on the floor, looked up, "Ed, only you would enjoy it."
"HA! Barry, aren't you the guy who dragged us to that Star Trek convention in Coast City?", Eddie smiled.
"Ooh, low blow!", Barry pretended to be hurt, laughing.
Iris looked down at her phone and her eyes widened, "Ooh, boy, it's late. Sorry, folks, but the incredible Iris West must leave now!"
"Alright", Joe chuckled, hugging her goodbye, "Take care, sweetie."
The couple waved and walked out the door, leaving only the cop and the vigilante in the house. Joe frowned once he saw the spilled popcorn littering the floor, caused by Joe knocking it over while sleeping.
Joe sighed, "Barr?"
"On it!", the speedster perked up. Suddenly, the house was filled with lightning and light particles as the boy sped around the couch, picking up the scraps and rushing over to the kitchen to wash off the bowl. He popped right back next to Joe, who was just staring with wonder.
The older man laid back and chuckled with joy, "Alright, I could get used to this now."
"HA! Do I look like a glorified vacuum to you, Joe?", Barry smiled, "Well, has anything cropped with the investigation?"
Joe's face darkened, "So far, nothing's come up. Cisco and I have been planning on taking the case outside of Central City, head straight to where the 'accident' with Wells and his wife happened."
"You know I could just pop us both right over there in less than a few minutes", Barry pointed out.
"I don't have enough time to list the problems with that", Joe muttered, "Don't worry, Barry. We're gonna find out soon enough what's going on."
"That would be nice", Barry grinned, "So, how's Wally doing?"
"Pretty good", Joe nodded, "He's doing good in Keystone, enjoying eighth grade."
"Joe, I'm telling you, no one likes middle school. He better be happy he's almost out of there!"
Wally was the son of Iris's younger brother, who was living with Francine, the ex-wife of Joe. The family didn't learn about him until he was twelve but they loved him just the same, even Barry treated him like a brother. Even though Joe loved him, he didn't want the kid to come to Central City yet, not with all of the metahuman insanity going down.
Which reminded Barry of a certain topic, "So...the Superman."
Joe rolled his eyes, "I knew you'd bring it up."
"C'mon, Joe! Isn't it cool?!", Barry smiled, "The Blur of Smallville or the Blur of Metropolis, whatever it used to call itself, it finally came out! He's finally showing up and taking charge!"
"Barry, those were just rumors! It's probably just a dfferent guy!"
" 'Just a different guy?!' The stories of a guy, running at super speed in a blue and red jacket, that all happens to be a big coincidence?!"
Joe shrugged, "I mean, c'mon, metas didn't start showing up until last year! It's probably just another metahuman!"
"Just ano-what does that mean?", Barry tilted his head.
"I mean, he's acting like you and doing the same stuff as you", Joe explained, "But...well…"
"What is it?", Barry asked.
Joe awkwardly rubbed the back of his head, "..When have any of the metas we've met...have been good?"
"What?!", Barry shouted, "What are you talking about?! We've met good metas before!"
"What about Bette or Ronnie and Professor Stein or…that woman in Washington, the Wonder?...Or me?"
"Barr...this is hard for me to say, but really compare that to the number of metas we saw that weren't exactly on the sane side."
"All of whom were bad guys from the get-go, Joe!", Barry scoffed and began to pick up his stuff.
Joe sighed, holding the boy's shoulder, "Wait...Barry, hang on, I…*Sigh* Barry, I'm..I'm sorry for even bringing it up. I'm...I'm sorry."
Barry sighed and turned around, "Joe, it's..it's okay. It's just...I don't know, lately, I've just been feeling...overwhelmed."
The boy sat down, "I mean, I have you, I've the team, but, it feels like so much is happening. The other speedster, the Rogues, solving the murder...It just feels...I don't know."
"Barry", Joe said, "It's not like this job was ever going to be easy."
"Barr..you know that if you have any problems or if you feel like it's too much...you do know that you can always come to us, right?"
Barry sighed, "I know, Joe...I just hope it's enough."
The Batcave, Gotham City, New Jersey.
The Batman continued to type away at his computer, various reports popping up on the screen. They were coming in from all across the globe, from so many different countries. And all of them were about the same topic.
Metahuman sightings, from right here in Gotham to all the way to Tokyo, from the deserts of Kahndaq to the tundras of Russia. Reports of men flying through the sky, fast as lightning and stronger than professional wrestlers. Gods walking the Earth. And Bruce knew what power could do to even the best of people.
"Master Bruce", the butler, Alfred, appeared from behind him, "Should I inform the others that you're not going to be coming up anytime soon?"
"Don't bother Alfred. I'm sure they already know", the billionaire retorted.
"Sir, I'm going to guess that this is the reason why you've been acting odd recently", Alfred asked, "This metahuman phenomenon?"
"Alfred, these things have been around for years, centuries, and yet it's taken the explosion of a mad scientist to open the world's eyes, to open my eyes."
"I'll admit, even I'm surprised that you didn't have a plan for this."
Bruce groaned, "If these living gods, these beings of incredible power if they ever turn to the other side, cross the line over, what do we do? What is our plan?"
Alfred shrugged, "I suppose bowing to our new overlords isn't an acceptable response?"
"I need to be at my best, Alfred", Bruce explained, "At my very best. Do things faster, take down criminals harder, make sure that if the worst happens, when the worst happens, I will be able to fight."
"And I'm assuming that going out without your partners is how you'll achieve that?", the butler guessed.
"If I'm ever on my own, if you, Dick, Barbara, if you're gone for any reason whatsoever, I need to be sure that I can finish the job on my own."
Alfred shook his head, "Master Bruce, you do realize how bad that excuse was right?"
Bruce looked up, surprised by the response.
Alfred continued on, clearly angry but still speaking in a calm tone, "Sir, I know that when you began this crusade, you never expected help, but you cannot simply ignore them because you feel as though loneliness is the better option."
"I never said it was."
"I've lived with you for most of your life and yet you doubt I understand what this is about?"
"Alfred, this is bigger than them and you and me. If I'm not ready, then this world..."
Alfred slowly began to calm down, resigned to his boss's insanity, "Sir...just try to let them in...for my own sake, if anything."
Bruce turned around, not responding. Finally, Alfred gave up and walked off, tired of this nonsense. Bruce rubbed his forehead, trying to regain his focus. All the insanity of this city, it's been weighing on him ever since he began this. These kids, they could help ease the load. But that would only make both of their lives worse and that was not something Bruce would do to anyone he cared for.
Upstairs, above the cave, were the two children, who were talking in Dick's room.
"AARGH! I can't take this!", Barbara screamed, "I mean, how are you doing this, man?! Putting up with this craziness, handling this high and mighty crap all the time?!"
"After a while, you kind of get used to it", Dick explained.
"I mean, he only told me who he was a few months ago! And we both know how long I've been with you guys!", Barbara shouted, "At least you knew from the get-go!"
"Yeah, but not because he wanted me to", Dick rolled his eyes, remembering how he stumbled upon the cave by mere chance as a ten-year old boy.
"*Sigh* Dick, it feels like you and Alfred are the only people making this job at least a little fun."
"Babs, it's not about fun."
"I know, I know, it's just...all of the crap we're going through, all of the monsters we've fought, all of the baddies we've fought side-by-side with Bruce, and yet he's still treating us like kids!"
"Babs, we are kids", the boy blatantly pointed out, smirking. The redhead glared down at him, which caused him to awkwardly turn away.
"We're not even the only kid heroes out there and yet, he still thinks we're not helpful! Who does that?!", Barbara shouted.
"Babs, it's...it's more complicated than that. I mean, you know what happened to him."
"And he knows what happened to us!", Barbara shouted, "My mom and your…."
The girl faltered when she saw the look on the boy's face, quickly changing her tone, "...Dick, I-"
"It's fine, I get it", he said, "I know how crazy that guy can be and how he can drive you insane, but trust me, it's worth it, Babs."
Both the kids and the billionaire heard the screaming as they ran to see where it came from. The kids were surprised to see Bruce here before them, then remembering that they really shouldn't have been surprised.
"ALFRED!", Dick shouted.
"HANG ON, ALFRED!", Bruce shouted, dashing forward.
That's when they saw the thing on Alfred's face.
It looked like a purple starfish, latched right onto Alfred's face and pulsing. Slime squirted out of it as the butler twitched on the floor, trying to scratch it off.
"JESUS CHRIST!", Dick screamed, running forward.
"YOU TWO, STAY BACK! ALFRED, STAY STILL!", Bruce shouted, jumping onto the older man's body and trying to pull the monster off of his face. Unfortunately, the thing wasn't letting go anytime soon, sticking right on.
Then, on the back of the beast's body, a red eye opened up, the beast hissing at Bruce. Rather than scream or be afraid, Bruce was focused on getting it off of his friend. One of the beast's tentacles came off and wrapped around the man's arms, it's strength being incredible.
It looked like it would pull Bruce down but instead, Bruce flicked his wrist, a small batarang coming out. He flipped it up into the air and caught it in his hand, quickly slicing off the tentacles. Green goo flew around everywhere, giving Bruce the chance to grab at the thing's underbelly and pull it right off of Alfred's face.
The monster landed on the ground and the batarang was quickly thrown straight through its back and sticking it to the floor, the beast slowly dying.
Alfred began to vomit out green gunk, gasping for air, as Bruce tried to help him up.
Arthur stared at the bay, looking forward with feelings of regret and fear going through his mind. He could've helped the Atlanteans. He could've gone with them and taken over from his brother. Hell, he could've actually had met his brother!
All of these years, his mother stayed down below waiting, wanting him to show up. And what'd he do? He stayed on the land, not out of love for humans, but out of hatred for his mom. Out of fear of the royalty in his blood and the power in his veins.
He was alone, he always was alone. His father, was gone. Vulko, his mentor, he left behind. His friend, Dr. Shin, he betrayed him. Arthur had no one and he knew it.
There was only one thing that he had. One thing that actually meant anything to him.
And he needed to go back to it. He needed to feel it around him. He needed the peace.
Slowly, he began to take off his trenchcoat and his shirt, revealing his tattooed body and muscular chest. He began to slowly walk across the beach, the feeling of cool sand under his feet and the gentle breeze blowing his hair.
The salt water began to touch his toes, causing a shiver to go down his spine. But he could not stop now. He slowly walked forward, the water beginning to touch his chest, and eventually, submerging his entire body.
He eventually stopped walking and slowly began to crouch down, sitting on the sea floor and looking out into the watery darkness ahead.
A smile began to cross his face as he felt the water move through his body, flowing through his mind. His tattoos began to glow as he felt his heartbeat slow down and his soul calm down.
He was finally at peace for once in so many years.
Of course that would be the moment when he was attacked.
A hissing noise was heard by Arthur as he looked forward into the deep, his eyes picking up nothing but a few reefs, some scattered fish, and a couple of starfish resting on the seafloor.
Guess which one attacked him?
Out of nowhere, the starfish launched themselves at Arthur, who quickly pulled up his arms and tried to defend himself. The creatures wriggled around in his hands, their barbed tentacles snatching at him.
He tried to use his powers on him to no avail. He growled and tried to come up with another alternative to the problem at hand.
As more starfish began to appear, Arthur turned to his side and began to telepathically call out for help. Thankfully, help arrived in the form of a pack of sharks and a horde of crustaceans, who began to crawl over him and snap at the starfish.
Once they were weakened enough Arthur was able to pull them right off, watching as his allies destroyed what was left of the monsters.
When they were finished, his fish friends turned towards Arthur, as if they were somehow acknowledging him. Then, a single word came out from their thoughts.
They quickly swam off into the dark, leaving the hybrid behind.
Team Arrow ran upstairs to where the screaming was coming from, all in civilian uniform.
"Uh...Ollie?", Roy stuttered, looking at the chaos ensuing ahead.
Starfish creatures were attacking the dancers in the club, as teenagers and young adults ran around in panic.
Felicity gulped, "Okay, so, the starfish revolution's began, really, really didn't see that coming."
Oliver ran up ahead, shouting at the guests, "EVERYONE, STAY CALM AND EXIT THE BUILDING!"
"Just when the world couldn't get any weirder", Diggle sighed.
"Well, are we just gonna stand around and watch?", Dinah snarled, running forward and trying to remove the creatures off of the faces of the guests. Unfortunately, even with her training, they were too strong. Suddenly, the person the beast attached to began to twitch uncontrollably.
Diggle pulled out of his pistol and began firing at any of the beasts flying towards them, shooting them down at a rapid pace. Unfortunately, the ones he missed were able to attach themselves to the humans.
Suddenly, the human that Dinah was helping grabbed her arm in a hostile manner.
"What the-?", Dinah was swiftly thrown across the room by the person, landing on her feet right next to the others.
The guests who were attacked began to calmly stand up, the eyes on the starfishes' backs beginning to open up and the humans' mouths beginning to growl.
"This isn't going to end well", Oliver muttered to himself before charging forward. As guests began to attack the team, the team began to fight back, taking them down at rapid efficiency.
However, even when they were pinned down on the ground, they still struggled to fight back, not allowing themselves to stop fighting. That's when Dinah came up with an idea.
"EVERYONE, COVER YOUR EARS!", she shouted before unleashing her abilities. The team quickly covered their ears as her scream vibrated through the room, crashing windows and causing the host humans to twitch with pain. Green goo squirted everywhere as the starfish began to slide off of the host's faces, slowly dying.
Oliver looked at Dinah and nodded, approving of that move. He looked down to observe one of the starfish, cautiously making sure that they were dead. The creature began to gurgle, sounding as if it was speaking. Only one word sounded comprehensive.
The creature finally stood still, clearly dead. The team overlooked the unconscious bodies of the host humans, who were thankfully alive. Roy looked around, clearly afraid.
"Jesus, of course metas would finally show up here", Roy gulped.
"We're gonna have to make some calls", Oliver frowned.