I think it's fairly obvious that I don't own any of the characters in this story.

I

Though he was still forced to wear a refrigeration suit that kept his body temperature at a non-lethal below zero level, Dr. Victor Freis no longer carried around a freeze ray gun which is not to say he was defenseless. The Mr Freeze persona was as dead as his beloved wife Nora. Now a respectable scientist once again, Freis had the best lab equipment at his disposal but none of this was able to save her. He no longer denied his emotions but he knew, from more than one occasion, revenge was not the way to go.

As he approached the lecture hall of Central City University, he reviewed his speech in his head. This was one of the first convocations on cryogenics he was invited to since returning from a life of crime and he did not want anything to go wrong. Occasionally, he'd wave to colleagues he hadn't talked with in the years he was bent on revenge as he approached the glass double doors of the lecture hall. They probably didn't know his head was propped upon a robotic body, his real one deteriorated by his condition.

He must have been deep in thought indeed for he failed to notice a sinister looking figure unseasonably dressed in winter clothing staring at him from the shadows. The man was clearly watching him but made no attempt at getting his attention.

When Freis passed through the doors, a security officer came up to him. "Dr. Freis," he started, "you have a phone call." He pointed into a little office. The cryogenics expert went inside and picked up the phone receiver resting on the desk. Who knew I was here let alone want to talk to me?

"Mr. Freeze, it is good to finally talk to you." A muffled voice said on the other end. It also sounded like it was coming from behind him as well.

He slowly turned saying, "I no longer go by that name." He was ready to fight if he had to but immediately he felt an unusual sensation. In fact, he hadn't felt anything at all since his accident but this was especially strange. He felt cold. As he collapsed to the floor, the last thing he saw was the man in the winter clothing that he had missed earlier with a cell phone in one hand and the other glowing with energy.

The Batwing zipped high above the Gotham City skyline. Just below it, climbing up a ladder back into the cockpit, was Batman. Now that he was a part of the Justice League, Batman did not spend enough time in the city he had sworn to clean up lo those many years ago. Yes, perhaps saving the entire planet was slightly more important than one city but it was his city. Even the simple mugging he had just stopped felt good.

Like Metropolis, Gotham had it's share of heroes to pick up the slack. Robin, Batgirl, Nightwing for the time being anyway and, still bizarre as it sounded to him, Catwoman were around to stop petty crooks and the gangsters. For this Batman felt grateful. He'd never express this to them of course.

As he strapped himself back in, the cockpit console in front of him beeped. The Dark Knight leaned over to scan the street below. The city was calm. He could take this call from the Watchtower. Wonder Woman's face materialized on the screen. "Batman," she began. "I'm relaying a message from the Flash in Central City." Batman rolled his eyes. What trouble has he gotten himself into now? He thought. If the exiled Princess of Themyscra noticed his expression, she made no sign. "Apparently, a Dr. Victor Freis was kidnapped from a conference on cryogenics." she continued.

The other's expression changed back to his usual one of dark determination. "I'm on my way." The scientist known in some circles as Mr. Freeze could be dangerous if backed into a corner. Recently, he had reformed, but if anyone got hurt Batman would hold himself responsible.

"J'onn, Hawkgirl and myself are available if..." Batman clicked of the comm system, not letting his teammate continue. Batman briefly pondered how rude he was to Diana just now but the feeling passed quickly. He'd handle this mission himself. Besides the Flash would be there...

Inside the orbiting base of the Justice League known as the Watchtower, Diana couldn't help but smile. She'd only know Batman for about a year but she pegged his loner attitude from the beginning. She and the others, with the exception of J'onn who didn't seem to have sense of humor, found it amusing. Recently, she'd felt something else for him and there were moments she wondered if he felt the same. It was so hard to tell with him but then she grew up on an island where men were forbidden so it wasn't as if she had much experience with men in general anyway. If there was time on some future date, perhaps she'd research this.

Hawkgirl entered the control room. Judging by the sweat on her skin, she had been working out. "Did you send Batman the message?" she asked, a slight tinge of grimness in her voice. Though she'd never been there, Diana guessed that Hawkgirl's native world of Thanagar must be a tough world to live on judging by the other woman's hardened personality.

Wonder Woman nodded. "He wants to handle it himself apparently."

Hawkgirl grinned. "Surprise, surprise." she replied sarcastically. "I hope Flash doesn't give him too much of a hard time..." Her voice trailed off as the two female warriors actually giggled. "Should we get ready to go anyway?" The other women then remembered Hawkgirl and Batman had known each other before the Justice League was formed....

Diana shook her head moving the thought to the back of her brain. "No. The two can probably handle it themselves." As Hawkgirl left the room, the Amazon hoped she was right.

The first thing that Dr. Freis noticed when he came to was that he was in an abandoned meat storehouse. It was very similar to the hideouts he had had in Gotham City. The second thing he noticed was that he was chained to a pipe along the wall. It was then the frozen man had a pretty good idea what was going on.

"Ah, you're awake." Came a now- familiar voice from the shadows. The warmly dressed man that had kidnaped him emerged. "I believe introductions are in order." he continued. "My name is Leonard Snart but I'm known these days as Captain Cold."

"Fascinating" The prisoner replied in his usual deadpan. "Did you come up with that name yourself or did you have help?"

Snart sneered, his left hand flying out in front of him. The hand glowed and discharged energy in the prisoner's direction. Instinctively, Freis used his suit's super-strength to bust free of the pipe a split second before what was left of it froze solid. The scientist didn't carry a freeze ray gun anymore but he was far from defenseless.

"Never make fun of me again!" His captor screamed; seemingly not digesting the fact the object of his rage was not chained any longer.

Not sure if he was more surprised by this than the frozen pipe fragment behind him, the man formerly known as Mr. Freeze just stared.

Batman swung down from the rooftop across from the lecture hall. Flash was there with Central City police and campus security. He was eating a candy bar. The Gotham City native knew his teammate's hyper-accelerated body also included a very high metabolism as well but eating on the job still seemed to him as unprofessional.

"'Bout time you got here." Flash replied sarcastically.

The other man ignored the comment and asked. "Any leads?"

Flash nodded. "A local baddie that goes by the name Captain Cold was seen outside of the lecture hall just before Freeze disappeared." He paused to finish his candy before continuing but didn't swallow. "I've tussled with him a couple times before he got his freezing powers and after."

"Doesn't sound like a random incident that someone with the power to freeze things would kidnap a frozen man with a criminal past." Batman commented more to himself than his teammate. "Do you know where he might have taken him?"

Flash pulled out another candy bar, stared at it, and shook his head. "Searching for clues is more your department."

Batman fought the urge to comment instead asking, "Do you think Snart working alone?"

Momentarily taken aback by the other League member wanting his opinion, the Scarlet Speedster gnawed off a piece of his candy before answering, "Depends what reason of the kidnaping is." He began. Batman and Green Lantern especially never took him seriously. He wanted to savor this as long as possible. Ironic, He thought. I'm the fastest man alive and I want to go slow... "If he just wants Freeze's expertise in making him more powerful, he's working alone. If it's a grander scale thing, Snart ain't the mastermind."

Without another word, Batman turned and walked in the direction of the lecture hall.

"I can't believe I'm saying this," Flash continued, "But wait up!!"

The dark caped companion ignored him and continued inside the building and to the scene of the crime. Pulling a device from his utility belt, Batman ran it along the floor of the office Freis took the call. Not five minutes later, it beeped. Glancing at the readout, he frowned or at the very least became more grim than usual.

"Find anything?" Flash inquired.

Batman shook his head and put the device back on his belt. "Snart apparently only had ordinary dirt on his boots. Finding him will be harder than I had first thought. I need you to tell me everything you know about him. It may be the only chance we have of finding him."

The red suited hero grinned broadly and gnawed off a chunk of a third candy bar. Batman was asking for his help again. Twice in one day! Could this day get any better?

Sitting in a coffee shop down the street, Flash sipped a soda and related to Batman, who wasn't eating or drinking anything, the history of Leonard Snart.

The Flash first ran across him trying to rob a jewelry store. Snart and his two partners ran out to his car with the loot and drove as fast as they could with one of them firing their gun out the window. Flash caught up with them quickly and brought them to jail. The two encountered each other a few more times then Snart's modus operandi changed.

One night, Snart and few others he had wrangled to help him broke into the local branch of Star Labs. Snart was sneakier this time. He had planned a different escape route than the one his team used. Flash easily caught them but Snart got away with stolen tech and chemicals. He then disappeared for several months.

Then one day, a man dressed in wintery clothing robbed the same jewelry store Snart had months before. This newcomer, calling himself Captain Cold, had the ability to shoot freeze beams from his hands. He was harder to catch than Snart. It wasn't until later the Flash realized they were the same person.

"He used the technology to give him these powers." Batman stated when the other was finished with his story.

Flash nodded. "Word on the street is that he was trying for super speed to compete with me but got these powers instead."

"Is he confined to a refrigeration suit?"

"Not that I can tell. I don't know why."

Batman then got up and walked out of the coffee shop.

The Flash shook his head and followed him.

When he got outside, he noticed that an "armored ninja" sniper was firing at Batman who had taken cover behind a row of parked cars. "Hey you up there!" he yelled up there. "Try shooting at me!"

The sniper complied. The bullets came close but Flash was obviously too fast. After a few minutes, the assassin stopped. By this time Flash was atop one of the cars. He looked around for Batman. He didn't find him until he looked up to the sniper's perch.

The Caped Crusader had the gunman by the collar and was dangling him over the edge of the roof. "Who are you working for?" Flash heard him yell.

The man didn't answer but instead pushed a button on his neck. A second later colorful gas spewed out from his mask and he went limp in Batman's arms who just let him drop to the roof.

He turned to find Flash standing there. "Captain Cold is not working alone. We're going to need help." Batman then walked towards the Batwing parked on the roof of an adjacent building.

Flash had to catch up with him once more. "You know who it is; don't you?" he asked loudly trying to be heard. All he got in response was silence.

Captain Cold had calmed down and the two men were now seated in a makeshift equivalent of a living room area. "Dr Freis," he said, "I have been hired to build a freezing device. I need help to do this. Everyone knows you are the best at this."

Dr Freis held up his hand to silence him. "I no longer am a criminal. I have no reason to help you. I have nothing to live for so death does not scare me. There is no reward you could offer me..."

It was Snart's turn to interrupt. "As you might have noticed, I don't wear a refrigeration suit as you do. If you help me, I will let you do all the tests you need. Perhaps you could learn something that might help your condition."

The other man shook his head. "I would need technology that I do not have available."

"My father could provide you with all the technology you desire." Replied an accented female voice. Freeze looked over to see an attractive woman with long raven hair wearing a jumpsuit of the same color. She walked over to him and grasped his hand. "It is good to meet you Dr. Freis. My name is Talia."

For someone who didn't experience emotion, Freis found himself captivated by her beauty. "Tell me more."

II

Batman's face was it's usual grimness as he asked over the comm system, "Diana, run a computer search for all locations of a geologic phenomenon known as a 'Lazarus Pit' and relay the results to the Batwing."

Wonder Woman began to type. "May I ask what a 'Lazarus Pit' is?"

"It's a fountain of youth used by a 600 year old madman named Ra's Al Ghul ."

"A fountain of youth?" Flash yelled out from behind him. "Neat!"

"It makes you insane." the other man pointed out.

Flash shrugged and grinned. "Sounds like a fair trade off to me..."

If Batman wanted to reply, which is doubtful, he was interrupted by Diana. "I'm sending the results to you now. What does Ra's Al Ghul want with Mr. Freeze?"

"Ra's goal in life is to wipe out mankind because he feels we're destroying the planet." The Dark Knight answered as he poured over the data. "He had tried covering the world in lava once. Perhaps he wants to try the opposite now."

"Has he met Aquaman?" Flash quipped. "Why are super villains always either bent on conquering the world or destroying it?"

"I believe we'll find them in Antarctica." Batman said at last, again ignoring his co-pilot.

"We'll meet you there." Wonder Woman, who was listening to Flash's comments but attributed the questions to the problem with men as usual, said and the comm was clicked off.

Ra's Al Ghul stared out at the snow and ice that seemed to go on forever. A blank slate. This is what he wanted the whole world to be for a time. He wanted to start over. Every so often he'd wonder how he'd repopulate the species given that it would just be him, his daughter Talia and probably his faithful servant, Ubu, left but it didn't matter to him any more. Yes it would have been so much simpler if Batman faced facts and took over the mantle that was offered so many times before. Ra's knew his daughter was torn by her love for and loyalty to her father and her love for the Detective.

If his plan succeeded, Batman would be but a memory.

"Your lab is in excellent condition." Mr. Freeze called from behind. "I applaud you."

Ra's turned, reminding himself of the other man's presence. "I thank you for you praise." He motioned to the table and chairs in the corner of the room walked over and sat down. "I am a man over six hundred years old and my time is short." he continued even before Freeze sat down. "Will you help my scientists finish up my 'freeze bomb' as it has been ineloquently named?"

"While I appreciate your willingness to help me cure my disease, I cannot help you wipe out the human race." Freeze paused knowing his would -be employer was an obviously dangerous man. He knew Ra's was very old but, aside from the silvery streaks in his hair, he clearly possessed youthful strength of presence. "I no longer hold the anger necessary for me to want to commit such a heinous act."

Ra's Al-Ghul leapt to his feet. "Very well." He clapped his hands twice in rapid succession. A large bald man wearing skimpy garb, perhaps Persian, entered. Ra's stared a him for a brief moment but said nothing. The man then grabbed Freis by the shoulders and hauled him out of the chair as if he weighed nothing and dragged him to the door.

Ra's allowed himself a slight smile as he returned to staring out onto the icy expanse. No one had or ever would get away with crossing him. His expression turned sour when a dark shape lowered itself from the sky a couple hundred yards away.

Batman had arrived to stop him.

Ra's smiled once more. Very well...



Instead of speeding off like he usually did, Flash waited for Batman to emerge from the pilot seat of the Batwing. He had never fought Ra's Al-Ghul before so he didn't know what to expect. "One thing I can't figure," he began when he caught sight of his teammate, " is why Ra's would go through Snart to get Freis."

Batman paused obviously resisting the urge to shrug. "Snart apparently doesn't need to use a refrigeration suit. Ra's perhaps used him as enticement for Freis to join him."

Flash nodded in agreement. "What's our plan of attack?"

His question was answered by machine gun fire. Batman ducked to the side of the Batwing for cover and Flash simply ran around. Suddenly Batman just fell to the ground.

The other man ran to him. Before he had a chance to ask the other man if he was hit, Flash noticed a dart sticking out of the Dark Knight's arm pit. Batman was still conscious, however. "Look out!" he warned as he pulled the dart out.

Oddly, the Scarlet Speedster didn't move fast enough as a similar dart struck him in the shoulder blade. As soon as he pulled the dart out, all he saw was blackness.

Flash awoke in a dark room. At first he thought his eyes just wouldn't open but he later figured out the truth when he saw Batman shackled to the far wall. He was still unconscious but seemed to be stirring. Flash pulled at his shackles. They were old and rusty; they probably wouldn't even hold Hawkgirl but worked just fine keeping him from escaping.

Batman awoke a few minutes later and immediately took in his surroundings. They were in a very deep hole in the ground.

His cellmate smiled although he probably couldn't see it. "Good morning Sunshine." he greeted playfully.

Batman grunted. He wondered if he should tell Flash that his utility belt was gone and that getting out of this cell wouldn't be easy.

He didn't have to for the moment. "Why did the traq go through me so quickly?" Flash asked.

Batman knew that Flash already deduced the answer before he asked and this was just an

attempt to start conversation. "Your high metabolism." He answered simply.

So much for that conversation. "Why haven't you picked your way of here yet?" he tried next. "Don't you hide lock picks in your gloves or under your tongue or something?"

The Caped Crusader shook his head. "Ra's apparently has learned from the past and removed them." he paused for effect. "He's not stupid."

"Then I guess we have to wait until Diana and the others arrive."

They didn't have to wait long. A green-skinned arm phased through the ice followed by the rest of J'onn, also know as the Martian Manhunter. He used his strength to set Flash free. At the same time, Diana jumped down from above and wasted no time breaking Batman's shackles with her bare hands. As they then lifted their teammates out of the pit, both men wondered briefly why neither were dressed warmly for the Antarctic but the matters at hand were too important to dwell on such things.

The first thing they noticed when they were set down was the bodies of the guards strewn about and Hawkgirl with a triumphant grin. She enjoyed hurting people perhaps too much...

"The four of go find Dr. Freis. I'm going to retrieve my utility belt." Batman told the others.

Hawkgirl raised a finger and started "But we don't know Ra's as well as..." She stopped when Diana showed her that he was already gone. The four shot each other looks, Hawkgirl and Flash both shrugged. With that, the headed off towards the base seen in the distance.

Freis peered down at the bubbling Lazarus Pit below. Not far enough below; mind you. Ra's Al-Ghul's men had him strapped in a harness dangling above the natural brew, that had kept their master alive for centuries, like a bucket over a deep well. The scientist in Freis, only recently allowed to resurface, briefly wondered how what appeared to be simple lava could have anti-aging properties but these thought faded into the more pressing concerns about his current predicament.

The goons had not begun to lower him to his death. Were they waiting for Ra's to arrive to gloat? Freis mentally calculated mentally calculated the distance between himself and the edge of the pit then glanced back at the three guards, including the big man known as Ubu, standing nearby.

Freis allowed himself a quick smile. He had a plan to escape and when he did, well, all hell would freeze over...

He paused his train of thought to possibly correct himself. That's not how the expression went but still true none the less....

Batman was running along the roof of the main building of Ra's complex. Finding his utility belt was extremely easy. Why do criminals take it away only to leave it in an obvious place for him to retrieve it? He mentally shrugged as he saw something, or someone dangling above a pit ahead. There were a hand full of clearly armed guards surrounding it. The Dark Knight squinted to get a better look then pulled out binoculars. It was Freeze all right but where were his teammates?



Ubu didn't do much deep thinking but something must have been distracting him. He couldn't figure out why the Master wanted to torture Freis as opposed to just killing him. Ubu doubted the prisoner would change his mind about helping.

This is what was going through his mind when a red glove came out of nowhere and slammed into his chest.

The red blur connected to the gloved hand shimmered to reveal the costumed nuisance Ubu was told to be the Flash.

Flash gripped his hand and let out a blood curdling scream. "What's your chest made of lead?" he whined although there was the usual sarcasm found within as well.

Ubu smiled briefly until he heard the battle going on around him. The other men under his command were battling other costumed people; a green man and a woman in a bathing suit. Ubu didn't recognize either of them. More importantly, why did they have so much exposed skin? It was freezing; not to mention the woman's appearance was offensive.

He did not have time to ponder either thought further. Suddenly, a woman with wings, that was dressed equally skimpy, slammed a glowing mace at his face. He didn't care who she was or what she had on as he was knocked clean off his feet. The woman would die.

While the battle ensued, Batman stealthily moved towards the contraption that held Freeze dangling above the Lazarus pit. Flash saw him and was going to speak but stopped when the other man motioned him silent.

The Caped Crusader began to climb up the side of the thing. This is when Freis noticed him but he too remained silent. Once he reached the top, Batman hauled up the prisoner as quietly as he could and unstrapped the harness.

"Hey!" A guard yelled. He was sprawled out on the ground. Batman wasn't sure if it was Diana or J'onn who put him there but knew it was one of them. He wasn't much of a threat.

Ubu heard the yell and, after knocking Hawkgirl backward about as hard as she did him earlier, ran over. "Infidel!" he screamed as he slammed his fist into the structure.

The thing shook so violently, Batman had to struggle to stay on. Thin metal talons extended from his gloves and dug into the structure; an invention for situations just like this.

Freeze wasn't so lucky. He flew off and landed with a loud thud on the ground. He stayed there motionless for several minutes.

"Hey!" Hawkgirl shouted as she backhanded Ubu with her mace. "We weren't finished!" The large man was again caught off balance and fell to the icy ground. Finally, it appeared he wouldn't be moving for awhile.

As Diana, J'onn and the Flash put everyone in handcuffs, Batman glanced over in Freeze's direction. He was gone.

Ra's took turns glancing at his new weapon and at his daughter. She was so beautiful in her fur-lined hood. Batman had no idea what he was missing. Talia smiled back not letting slip that the Dark Knight did indeed know.

Captain Cold closed up the panel on the weapon and walked over to join them. "I don't pretend to be a genius, " he began "but I think I observed Freis' notes enough to know this is as done as it ever will be."

Ra's shot him another grin; this one was more sinister than the one he exchanged with his daughter. "Ubu," he said into his radio. "Prepare the shuttle for immediate launch."

"I don't believe that there will be a response." came a deep voice from behind.

The three turned to see Mr. Freeze glowering at them. "The Justice League has incapacitated him. That is much kinder than what I am going to do to you."

Captain Cold showed obvious nervousness but Ra's and Talia held their ground. "Let us be serious for a moment shall we, Dr. Freis." Ra's intoned. "You have no chance whatsoever of harming me and escaping with your life."

Freeze laughed. "I stopped fearing death long ago." He stepped closer. "Judging by your Lazarus pit treatments, you have not."

Ra's responded by barking an order. "Snart! Attack him."

Captain Cold did as he was ordered. He raised both hands in Freeze's direction firing a freeze beam. Freeze jumped harmlessly out of the way.

While the two men were distracted, Ra's revealed a remote control from his cloak and punched in a code. As the weapon came to life, he grabbed his daughter's arm and ran off with her in the direction of his escape shuttle.

It was Snart that was distracted by the noise first. He looked over and watched the device begin to drill itself into the icy ground.

Freeze took this opportunity and slammed his fist into the other man's head knocking him backward.

"Freeze!" came a familiar authoritative voice. Batman then dropped out of seemingly nowhere between the two men.

Freeze pointed to the weapon. "You need to stop that drill from reaching the planet's core or it might cause a new ice age." He stated bluntly.

Batman glanced in the direction of Martian Manhunter who flew into view at that moment. "I'm on it." The green-skinned man replied hurriedly.

The drill was fully in the ground now and speeding fast. J'onn was close behind slowly reducing his molecular density as he went. He reached the drill and phased through it. When he emerged at the top of the hole, he revealed the drill's power core in his hand.

Inwardly relieved, Batman leaned toward Snart who was still lying on the ground. "Where's Ra's Al-Ghul!" he demanded.



In another five minutes, the shuttle would blast off and the device would be detonated in the core an hour after that turning the Earth to ice. Ra's Al-Ghul would finally succeed in wiping out the vile specimens that humans have become.

His thoughts were suddenly interrupted by a woman's fist smashing through the ceiling of the shuttle's cockpit and hauling Talia out.

The blue gloved hand of Batman came through next dragging him of the shuttle.

Ra's could see now, as Batman dropped him to the cold ground, that Talia's abductor was the one known as Wonder Woman.

"You're not escaping this time." the other man stated in his usual gruff manner.

Ra's smiled. "We shall see, Detective." He glanced over at his daughter who was struggling to break free of the Amazon's grasp to little avail. "Let Talia go and I will surrender."

It was Batman's turn to smile then. "Nice try."

"Beloved," Talia began to protest. "Do I mean nothing to you?" This question prompted Diana to shoot her teammate a quizical look and squeeze her captive tighter.

Batman ignored both women and put Ra's in handcuffs; afterwards he hauled him to his feet and led the group, Diana towing a cuffed Talia, to the others. He had finally captured Ra's Al-Ghul. The world was now safe.

The next day, Fries griped the podium for a second. He was still amazed by the ammount of people in attendance. There was one person in particular trying to hide in the shadows that he was surprised about. Freis knew Batman was intelligent but he would have thought there would be crime to stop or something. "In conclusion, I would like to stress that cryogenics is dangerous yes but the benefits from continued research far outweighs the risks. Thank you."

"Can you hear me, Ubu?" Ra's knew the giant could. The tiny microphone implanted on the inside of his cheek was state of the art.

"Yes, Master." came the deep response.

"Good. Be prepared to move out. We leave tonight."

"Chows on. Ya hungry?" The annoying voice of the guard. He slide a covered tray though a slot near the floor and was gone. He apparently didn't want to hear the answer, Ra's thought as he lifted the lid, his means of escape peered up at him. C-4 explosive could look a lot like mash potato and gravy if you wanted it to.

Ra's smiled sinisterly. The Dark Knight would never hold him down.