A/N: Here is my latest chapter. I look forward to hearing your thoughts and questions.
Even if it was just a fantasy, I always told myself that I would be just like Nightwing when I was all grown up. But now that I know the truth, I realize just how naïve of a dream that was. Too bad that dream hasn't changed.
I used to be just plain, old Thomas John Grayson, your average happy-go-lucky kid who just so happened to hang out with superheroes, I never would have imagined that I'd be the son of the one hero I've always wanted to be. Now, I'm here in Gotham City, a city that became broken because I was born. Dad used to tell me stories about his Flying Grayson days, about that rush he felt while flying in the air, about the hush of the crowd as he performed his death defying feats, about the adrenaline coursing through him at the thought of performing without a safety net. I wonder if he was talking about his time as a trapeze artist… or as something else. I always loved listening to those stories, they were like something out of a fairy tale, but it actually happened… My dad really was Nightwing.
How much of my life feels like a fairy tale now? I've learned that I'm the cursed son of a prince and king, that my birth caused my father's kingdom to break and burn, that my existence caused his brothers to go to war… I'm not a soldier, and yet I chose to fly in middle of a warzone just to find answers, I found answers alright, but I never would have thought they would all lead to me. I didn't want this to happen, I didn't want to start a war, all I wanted was to know more about my hero. My hero, my father: the father who taught me how to fly like a bird, the father who's done nothing but give his life to me since the day I was born…the father who died trying to save his cursed child. I feel like Oedipus Rex, an Oracle predicted that little, baby Oedipus would grow to be his father's downfall, so the baby was left to die outside the walls of his kingdom, only to be found and raised in another. At the end, the prophecy did come true, but poor Oedipus lost a father he never had a chance to know and a mother who killed herself through the grief and confusion. Why do grown up stories have to be so scary and complicated?
Looker was lightly pecking at my face to break me from my thoughts. Sometimes I think he might be part woodpecker because he constantly pecks at me like I'm a piece of wood. I tried to shoo him off of my shoulder, but that bird's pretty slick, even if I manage to get him off my shoulder, he still finds a way to perch himself back on it and bother me again.
"Come on, silly bird," I teased as I tried to shoo him away, "I'm not a tree."
He whistled a teasing tune at me.
"What's wrong with me standing around?" I retorted.
He whistled back.
"I know, but how can I sleep with everything going on? I'm still trying to trying to process the whole 'my dad is Nightwing' dilemma."
This time his whistles were less confrontational.
"I know they offered, but Brother Eye's scanners are calibrated to specifically target people with superpowers. I don't have any, and I can manoeuvre the city a little easier than they can, since I don't have to worry about learning to control what I have."
"Talking to your bird again Blackbird," said a voice from behind me.
"What's wrong with that Jackson?" I answered.
Jackson Hartman was one of the super powered kids living in the Forgotten Zone; he was one of those strong but not necessarily silent types. Physically, he could be a fairy tale prince or a comic cover superhero: tall, blond hair, blue eyes; mentally, he was tough but not necessarily charming. Growing up he wanted to be a prize fighter. He trained long and hard, but a deadly illness took away his chance to enter the ring. It crippled his muscles and weakened his bones, he was devastated but not as devastated as his parents were: the illness was terminal, without a cure Jackson wouldn't last very long. They went to every doctor they could think of, tried every kind of medicine they could get their hands on, with no success. They were about to lose hope until they learned about an experimental super pill called Remedy X, the problem was it wasn't ready for public consumption and Jackson didn't have much time left. So, they did the only thing they could think of: they went to every research facility in Gotham and stole as much Remedy X they could get their hands on.
The medicine didn't cure the disease, it only managed the symptoms, so Jackson would have to take it for the rest of his life, but at least he would live longer. At first, his life progressed almost normally, although Jackson's parents forbade him from fighting, until they could assess how much damage the disease did in spite of the medicine. Then, the Titans of Tomorrow discovered what Jackson's parents did. Needless to say, the matter was not resolved peacefully. Mr. Drake's OMAC drones practically stormed through their home and demanded that the entire family follow them: that was day where Jackson discovered the side effects of Remedy X. When they refused to comply with the drones demands, the response was use of force. The drones blasted the Hartmans to stun them, but when the projectiles hit Jackson and he was perfectly fine, he wasn't even hurt. The drones attacked again, this time using lethal force, but Jackson remained completely unscathed. He barely had time to process all of this when the OMACs started to swarm him, his instincts quickly took over and he used his fight training to subdue them. As he fought, he noticed something about his hits, each time he made contact, he felt like he was hitting with the force of a meteor, especially when he punched a hole clean through the brick wall of his house. Realizing that they were outmatched, the OMACs quickly fled and Jackson felt a strong sense of pride over his victory. But as the adrenaline started to dissipate and the dust started to settle, Jackson soon realized that his parents were nowhere to be seen. No one knows if his parents have been infected by the OMAC program, so Jackson hasn't given up hope that his parents can be saved.
"I told you to call me Remedy," Jackson insisted.
"Why name yourself after the medicine that gave you your powers?" I asked.
"That stuff did a lot for me. When I got sick, I thought I would never be able to enter the ring ever again, but now I stand a fighting chance again, even if the side effects only last for 12 hours, at least I can fight with everything I've got for that time."
"Any word about your parents?" I asked.
"Even with everyone pooling their resources, there's still nothing. But, at least, that means there's a good chance that their okay too."
The Forgotten Zone has all sorts of people, with from all sorts of families, with all sorts of connections, but that doesn't mean we have everything we need. My only job is to keep an eye on the place because some people are worried that Free Gotham won't be safe forever, after all like the rest of the city was exposed to the cold, searing light of Mr. Drake. People used to think that the light was the safest place to be, but I never understood that thinking. When you're in the light, you're completely exposed, all your secrets, all your truths, nothing can ever truly be yours. They tell you that the safest place is in the light, but sometimes the light is the greatest source of pain. In the dark, everything is hidden, even yourself, and when something's hidden you feel like it's safe, you feel like it's yours. They say darkness is something that should be feared, but sometimes it can be your only friend.
"Well, I hope they're okay," I told Jackson.
"So do I," Jackson replied, "I'm going to try to ask Code if he can find anything about them on the Brother Eye data stream."
"Aren't you worried about malware or corruption?"
"Sanjay is the Forgotten Zone's resident tech guy for a reason."
"That still doesn't mean we shouldn't be careful."
"Hey," said an oncoming voice, "I'll have you know that my programs kept everyone here from turning into mindless, blue-skinned Nano-drones."
I saw Sanjay Chaudhary walking in from behind us, his family was from India but he grew up in Gotham. No one could interpret the data stream quite like he could. Before he came to the Forgotten Zone, he was living with a faction of rebels with his dad. Sanjay was their star computer expert, he helped create a program that would shut down Brother Eye permanently, but it was never finished because their base was under attack. They tried to preserve the data as best they could, but, with the ongoing attack, there just wasn't enough time to find a safe server to hide it in. So, they opted for the only option they could think of: downloading a program into a human brain, and Sanjay volunteered. He had to be unconscious for most of download, but he felt reassured with his fellow rebels by his side. As he underwent the procedure, however, he woke up to find everyone, including his own father, had vanished without a trace. Chances are the software in his head must have shielded him from being detected by Brother Eye and his drones, so they didn't even bother with him. He calls himself Code because of his programming abilities and the computer program in his head. Thanks to the program, he has the power to take over and manipulate just about any piece of tech at close range, and hack into any computer using just a touch of a button and his mind. It has also given him the unfortunate side effect silverfish-green lines like a circuit board all over his body, making it impossible for him to blend into a crowd visually, but now with his powers he can hide himself from being detected electronically. Because the program was never finished, Code isn't powerful enough to shut down Brother Eye completely, but he managed to create an artificial aura that protects us from his influence.
"I'm not saying you're not good at what you do Sanjay," I told him, "I'm just worried is all."
"You worry too much Blackbird," Jackson retorted.
I chuckled at his remark. "Looker says that too."
"Can you really understand him?" Sanjay asked.
"Birds develop language almost the same way humans do, they just don't speak the same way we do. I've been with Looker ever since he was a chick; I pretty much taught him how to speak."
I must've said something wrong because Looker started to peck me furiously.
"What did I say?" I asked him.
He chirped in reply.
"Sorry," I told him, "but it's true, isn't it?"
"And I thought my brother and I were supposed to be the aliens of the group."
Lei Lee literally popped out from the shadows and nearly gave me a heart attack.
I took a moment to catch my breath. "Lei Lee," I told her, "you know how much I hate surprises."
It didn't help matters that her skin was such a deep shade of purple that it practically blended in with the shadows. It was the sudden sound of her perky voice that really makes my heart go off.
"Sorry Blackbird," said Lei Lee, "but you really shouldn't be so sensitive."
"I told you not to do so much shadow hopping, sis." In walked Lei Lee's twin brother, Lei Lo, unlike his sister, his skin was as bright as a distant star and he never seemed quite as energetic as Lei Lee.
"But it's a lot more fun than walking," Lei Lee replied to her brother, "not that you would know since you can't shadow hop."
The twins, Lei Lee and Lei Lo, are alien/human hybrids, although you'd have a pretty hard time telling they're twins not because they're fraternal or even the fact that they have very different personalities, it's because their power sets have almost nothing in common. Lei Lee has the power to travel between shadows, while Lei Lo has the ability to create any kind of light, including the different colored lights of the emotional spectrum. They call themselves Light and Shadow, for obvious reasons, they inherited their powers from their alien father, who was killed in their family's attempt to escape to Free Gotham. The Titans of Tomorrow had some concerns that aliens were being illegally smuggled on the Earth, so they tried to capture anyone that was suspected of harbouring them…which led to some unfortunate resistance. From what they've told me, they were too young to remember their dad, but that also meant that he didn't have much of a chance to teach his kids about their powers. Who knows what those twins are really capable of?
I know a thing or two about lost fathers, but I don't really know how to tell anyone about how my dad was Nightwing except I didn't know he was Nightwing, or how he died with his secret, or how I've spent half my life masquerading in his old pixie boots, trying to gather what I can about him. I'm not even sure I understand what I'm doing, but how can I stop now?
"I don't need to shadow hop to mind my own business, Lee," Lei Lo argued.
"At least, I can have some fun with my powers," Lei Lee retorted, "all you can do is make yourself into an even brighter neon sign."
"Some lights are invisible to the human eye, Lee."
"That still doesn't make it sound less fun than shadow hopping."
"Come on you two," I told them, "we're not supposed to be fighting each other here."
Growing up, I've never loved listening to conflict, too loud for my taste. I honestly don't understand why people enjoy arguing so much even when it's supposed to be some sort of joke.
"Come on Bird, lighten up a bit," said Shadow, "it's not like we're going to end up the next Teen Titans or the Justice League."
"You've obviously never met the Titans or the League," I said, "and you're telling me to lighten up, Shadow."
"I'm just saying you don't need to be so serious all the time," Lee replied, "it's not like the Tyrant Titans are ever going to find this place."
"Don't underestimate them, Lee, they're dangerous. I've pooled all my resources with the Titans East and the Colony to help us out, but we're mostly on our own out here."
"Relax," said Jackson, "we're in a part of Gotham where even the Bats are afraid to fly, and even if they could infiltrate your connections to get Intel on us, your allies don't even know where we are."
"I'd still be careful: they're more than just powerful. The fairies told me, that Mr. Drake has gone off the radar, and he's a pretty smart guy, he might be hiding among us as we speak."
"Don't you think you're overreacting?" Sanjay asked me.
"Have you ever met a Bat?" I replied.
"No," Sanjay retorted, "but you're relying on information you got from 'fairies'."
"You don't believe I can see them."
"I have a hard time believing they're real."
Sanjay was always a skeptic; then again, I can't exactly show them what I see.
"You got to admit Bird," Jackson added, "not even Homo magi have been able to see them. What makes you so different?"
"I'm not sure, but everything they've told me has panned out so far, if those are coincidences, I must be the luckiest kid in the world."
"Did you ever talk to someone other than your bird?" Jackson asked, obviously still skeptical.
"I told you about what the Titans East said."
"Yeah, but, if what they said was true, why hasn't your sight just vanished like everyone else's?" asked Sanjay, "You said these fairies haven't even begun to dissipate."
"Either way, it's one of the few leads we have on them."
"I still don't see why you won't let us help you more," Lei Lee asked, "we actually have powers. Powers that could be much more useful helping you out in the field instead of cooped up here in the Forgotten Zone."
"You know Brother Eye's trackers are specifically set to those with super powers, you'd be spotted the moment you step outside."
"That's why we have Code's Aura Blockers," argued Lo, "besides I doubt we can trust the Colony for long, they've barely set foot in Gotham. The one time they did come into the city, they caused the war to escalate, and put free Gotham in harm's way, they put our mom in harm's way."
"I'm with my brother on this one," Lee added, "The Forgotten Zone is the only safe place left in Gotham, for kids like us anyway. How long do we have to wait before the Titans of Tomorrow to take us too?"
It's not like I don't understand what they're saying, a safe place can only stay safe for so long, but if I go out and confront them again, if everyone finds out who I am, then things are going to end up worse than they already are. I already caused enough trouble with those Robins; I don't want to make an even bigger fuss. It would be bad enough for the Robins to find out about by my dad, but if the entire Forgotten Zone heard about this, Gotham would burn down faster than the time Mr. Wayne set it on fire with his explosives. If the people of the Forgotten Zone about who I am, they would expect me to lead just like dad, but I'm not him. That much I'm sure of. I've never valiantly led people into battle, people who would give up their lives for a cause, a cause I don't know I believe in: Freedom, freedom from oppression, freedom from tyranny… freedom from fear...freedom from loneliness…freedom from the truth…freedom from lies. I wonder when the last time was I tasted freedom.
As I was pondering all this, I heard shrill ring from my comm.
"This is Blackbird," I answered as I pulled myself away from the others.
"Why did you stop calling yourself Robin?" I heard Arsenal answer on the comm.
"Hi Uncle Roy," I whispered.
"Careful kid," he told me, "you don't want to give any secrets away."
"Don't worry about. How are you?"
I wasn't sure how to respond, I'll be eleven soon and I still don't feel like I've found what I'm looking for. Sometimes, I wonder if I'd be better off just quitting, but I don't know what else I can do. Who am I, if not my father's son?
"Things have been tough all around," I, eventually told him, "but I'm managing."
"You know when your dad was leading us, he never settled for 'just managing'. He would always take charge of the situation."
"That sounds hard."
"I'm sure you're dad thought so too. Are you sure you don't want to come back? I'm sure we can find you a place to stay, better yet you could help Vic with his new Titans East team."
"Aren't you guys helping him with that?"
"We're a little shorthanded, with the war and everything. Plus, your experience in Gotham would be a great asset to the new recruits."
"But what about the Forgotten Zone; I can't just leave it like this."
I could hear Uncle Roy's contemplative breathing on the comm. "Sorry kid wonder, we can't send anyone there, at the moment."
"Well, we can talk about that, when you work something out."
Uncle Roy let out a long deep sigh. "You're just like him, you know?"
"What do you mean?"
"Your dad could be a real jerk sometimes, with all of his secrets, but you would never meet anyone more loyal or more dedicated than him…I really wish he could see you now."
"Do you think he would have been okay with me doing this?"
"Honestly, I don't know kid, I mean he kept the Nightwing secret for a lot of reasons, and training you to follow in his footsteps wasn't one of them. If anything he would have wanted you to have a normal life."
"Is hanging out with superheroes supposed to be normal?"
"Anyway," I continued, "is there any other reason you called?"
"I just got word from Jason, a small group of potential Forgotten kids nearby, something worth checking out. I'll send you the coordinates."
"Thanks, Uncle Roy."
"Don't mention it…" He paused for a while before adding, "And Tommy…be safe."
After we said our goodbyes, I went to tell the others where I was heading, most let me off without any trouble, but others weren't quite sold on the idea of me going alone.
"The area is swarming with OMAC droids by this time," Sanjay argued.
"Not to mention you've got two crazy bat people on your tail," Jackson added.
"Mr. Wayne and I have an agreement," I told them, "and I haven't even told him or Mr. Drake about the Forgotten Zone."
"Maybe not," Lei Lo retorted, "but it's only a matter of time before Mr. Wayne goes back on his word or for The Titans of Tomorrow to spot you."
"But," I tried to argue, "If you go with me we increase the chance of getting caught."
"We're willing to take that risk," replied Lei Lee, "Lo is right, you can't do this alone."
"I'm not alone, I have Looker."
"I don't think Looker is going to be that much help against a six foot OMAC," Jackson retorted with little hints of sarcasm.
I could hear Looker's aggravated whistle at that comment, it was high enough to make my ears bleed. Appearances aside, Looker has always been my backup whenever I've had to fight, he's like my shadow, when he's nearby I feel strong and grounded, when he's at a distance I feel like I can fly as high as he can. Don't get the wrong idea, I can handle a fight by myself, but I know when I'm in over my head.
"Come on," encouraged Sanjay, "it's been a while since we all got to leave the Forgotten Zone. The fresh air will do us some good."
"And it's not like you're bringing the entire sector with you," Lei Lee added.
I was worried, not just for them but for me. When my dad was part of a team, he wouldn't hesitate to take the command, even for a second, but when I'm part of a team I'm so nervous I can't even speak. I wouldn't be able to function with a team let alone lead one. I may never be able to prove that I'm my father's son, but that doesn't mean I want to spend my last moments on Earth trying to show that I am nothing like dad. I can't risk them finding out about me, although it looks like I've been outvoted.
"Are you guys sure you want to come?" I asked.
"Are you kidding?" Jackson exclaimed, "I wouldn't miss this for anything."
Of course they couldn't just come in their normal clothes, since they would get shredded in these super fights, so I had some of my old contacts help me find them something more suitable to wear. Jackson was given a tight, green and red jumpsuit with the prescription Rx symbol stamped in white, only instead of an x the last letter looked more like a y. It's made with special Nano-fibers that adapts to the shape of his body because whenever he takes his medicine his muscles start to get bigger and return to their normal size as the effects start to wear off.
Code had silver body suit made from techno-organic fibers that acted like a secondary computer system which he wore like a second skin not to mention it complements his circuit lines. He was also given a Titanium alloy tech disk which he can control with his powers, and since it was calibrated specifically for his brain patterns, he's the only techno path who can use it.
Light and Shadow were given suits with light bending properties to camouflage them whenever their powers are in effect. Light's dims his natural glow, but refracts any other light he produces, while Shadow's helps conceal her better, whenever she's in the darkness. The material was left behind by their father; apparently, this kind of fabric is common where he's from.
Once we were out on the streets, we decided to split up and form a search grid. The coordinates Uncle Roy gave was just for the general area, the rest was just guesswork. I stayed hidden in the corners, when you're perched on a rooftop, you can't see the little things like the people wandering about. I mean I love heights as much as the next Grayson, but there are limits.
I heard something coming from a far-off alley: lots of kicking, screaming and pulsating energy, the commotion was so loud I could have probably heard it from the highest rooftop in the entire city. I went to check where the noises were coming from and saw a group of OMACs attempting to apprehend a group of kids who didn't look much older than me: two girls and one boy. The boy looked like an African-American, he wasn't exactly muscular or even much of a talker next to his partners anyways, but he was a quick dodge, it was almost as if he was predicting their movements, like Aunt Lilith would. He wore a mask that only covered his mouth and he was dressed like an old time fighter pilot: brown leather jacket and a scarf that simply danced with the wind. As I watched fight, I thought I saw the OMACs closest to him shrink back, like they were in pain. Whenever I got closer to him, I could feel bits and pieces of my memory suddenly rushing past my mind, painful memories, sad memories, memories someone would rather forget, the closer I got the worse the memories became. Then, the memories started to change into something else, it felt like a memory, but nothing I saw actually happened, it was like I was gazing into my own future. The visions felt incomplete, but they were downright disturbing. If it weren't for the inhibitors in my mask, I don't know what would have happened. One of the girls had red pigtails like the ones my cousin Irey used to wear; it also looked like she was wearing a colorful version of her special speedster clothes. Now, she was much more than a quick dodge, she was probably almost as fast as Uncle Wally: she zigzagged her way past the frontlines like it was nothing more than a casual walk in the park. Her mouth was just as quick as her feet: she threw insults that I don't even want to repeat, although I'm not sure if her accent was Irish or Australian. Then, I saw her do something that I never saw any speedster do: Speed Force energy started to gather and encircle around her like some sort of tornado or vortex, forming a protective barrier. As the energy accumulated, it began the barrier burst, leaving behind a trail of unstable energy that overloaded the OMACs. The last girl was a blond, wearing a purple ombre jean jacket and pants, along with a large purple infinity scarf around her neck. Her clothes were worn and torn up, but I guess that would be normal if she had been fighting OMACs long enough. Something strange happened as the drones approached her, she seemed to be reaching for something inside her scarf, her eyes began to glow white hot and she was surrounded by a strange aura, an aura of magic, I could hear the Fae story folk nearby whispering about how lovely her aura was, and a pretty aura to a fairy is a powerful one to a human. She used all sorts of spells to take down the drones: energy manipulation, telekinesis, levitation, but she looked like she was having a hard time getting the magic to do what she wanted because it took a while for her spells to take effect. They were a small group, but they took on an army of OMACs like they were toy soldiers. I called for the others, but they were pretty far away, I didn't know if they would make it on time, so I jumped in.
The others were pretty surprised by my appearance, but they could hardly complain, I was helping them after all. The OMACs came towards us hard and strong, but what made them strong also made them weak: Brother Eye's gaze was dangerous, but with Mr. Drake missing it had become clouded, without a handler the machine had no orders, no focus, and no purpose. Brother Eye may be powerful, but he was created for one reason and one reason alone: to rid the world of crime and bring peace, the problem was that he depended on people like Mr. Drake to keep his vision alive. One EMP disruption from my Multi was all it took to disorient the drones long enough for us to take them down, we couldn't free them from the satellite's control, but at least we won...for now. When all was said and done and the OMACs retreated, we had officially made introductions, although I didn't seem to need one.
"So, you're the great Blackbird everyone's been whispering about," said the red headed girl.
"You've heard about me?" I asked.
"There are people who haven't?" retorted the blond.
"I didn't realize I was famous."
"You're kidding," cried the red head, "who hasn't heard about the long forgotten son of the Batman, freeing Gotham's children from the tyranny of the Bats?"
I can't believe what I had just heard; they think I'm Batman's son! "Where did you hear about that?"
"Everyone's talking about it," the African-American boy spoke at last.
"It's nice to hear your voice again Sonny," the red head said enthusiastically, "things were starting to get boring without your witty rhetoric." She sounded as energetic as Uncle Wally and Cousin Jai and Irey and after all that running she didn't even look tired, she was definitely a speedster, but I never saw one make Speed Force barriers like that before. Just what kind of speedster was she?
"I can't help it, if I'm cursed Sheila," the boy named Sonny replied. He turned to the blond girl. "Don't you have a spell you can use Amanda?"
The blond girl replied, sounding mighty annoyed, "I told you I'm only just learning how this amulet even works." She reached into her scarf and pulled out an ancient looking amulet. It was a simple little pendant: silver plated with an amethyst center stone. There was a strange inscription on the silver surrounding the center stone, but it wasn't in any language I could recognize. I could see the aura surrounding it drawing in fairies like moths to a flame. It didn't look like it was made by the Fae story folk, but it was obviously powerful enough to draw them in.
They all started arguing about who knows what; I had so much trouble keeping up with what they were saying that I stopped talking altogether, until I felt a tap on my shoulder.
I jumped up at the touch.
"Get used to it already Bird," I heard Lei Lee say from behind me, with her were the others nodding in agreement.
"I doubt I'll ever get used to it. How far away were you anyway? I called hours ago."
"Sorry. But I can only shadow leap so far and I can't exactly bring other people with me into the shadows."
"So, who are your friends?" Lei Lo asked.
The red head zipped towards us first and extended her hand. "Sheila Wilde," she said enthusiastically, "but everyone calls me Vortex."
The blond came up after. "Amanda Brightman, but you can call me Amulet if it's easier."
The African-American stepped in so quietly, you didn't even notice he was there. "Sonny Lyman: Seer."
The others introduced themselves and quickly became fast friends, while Looker and I were listening to the roar of their voices.
I waited for them to finish before I spoke. "Now that we're all acquainted, would you mind telling us what you were doing clashing with an army of OMACs?"
"We were tracking down that tyrant, Tim Drake," Sheila answered.
"You haven't seen him," asked Sanjay.
"No," Sonny replied, "we've been hunting him down for a while but it's like he vanished into thin air. I heard even the Colony has trouble pinning him down."
"Titans East aren't having any luck either," I added.
Amanda came towards me. "You know the Titans East."
"Of course he does," Sheila retorted, "one of Batman's children would have all sorts of connections."
I really wished they wouldn't call me that; dad might have been Batman when I was born, but, from what I heard, his time wearing the cowl was really short…unless they think I'm Bruce Wayne's son. How did people come to that conclusion?
"Any idea what happened to him?" I asked.
Amanda stepped forward. "We've been spying the Titans of Tomorrow's movements for months, before and after Drake left them. They were planning to bring him back into the game, when he mysteriously disappeared, no one's heard from him since."
"What about his creepy satellite?" Jackson asked.
"Brother Eye can run independently in almost any system, including the one in Drake's suit, it wouldn't need to know his location," Sanjay commented.
"Maybe he used a Boom tube. Were there any energy signatures at his last known location?" Lei Lo asked.
"Some sort of strange chronic energy residue was found," Sheila answered, "but we can't identify it or figure out which time zone it leads to."
"Maybe we can compare notes back at the Forgotten Zone," suggested Lei Lee.
"We're not hiding from those crazy Bat people," Amanda said, passionately.
"You can't hide from someone who's gone missing," I told her, "besides your chances might be better if we all worked together. You're not the only ones who've gone after the Titans of Tomorrow."
"I got to say Amulet," said Sheila, "they do have a point. And those Bat people are crazy dangerous; we could use the extra help."
"I'm with Vortex one this," Sonny added.
Amanda took a deep breath. "Looks like I'm outvoted, but we're not going to be the next Teen Titans, are we?"
"No way," Lei Lee replied, "we're a much better group then the Titans will ever be. The best teams are the ones you don't know exist, and everyone knows about the Titans. We'll be like a shot in the dark, heard of but unseen."
"We won't be remembered," Lei Lo added.
"We'll be the Forgotten."
A/N: What are your thoughts about the Forgotten? I wanted to give Blackbird a team of his own, something that makes him feel like he's following his father's footsteps, but stresses his concern about how he's supposed to compare to a leader like Nightwing. I apologize, if the characters I created for the Forgotten seem unnatural or awkward, but this series takes place in the future, and the Legion of Superheroes is from a far more distant timeline. Let me know what you think.
Possible Spoiler: In the next chapter, I'm thinking about having the Forgotten time travel into the current DC timeline, where they might clash with members of the Justice League, among other possible heroes. You'll get the chance to learn more about their powers and abilities as they scour the past for answers.