Disclaimers and Useless/Useful Stuff to Know:
Don't own Justice League. Never will. WB and DC got dibs that I don't. Post-The Return, I guess, since the Flash is back in the League now it doesn't quite matter timeline-wise.

It'd be a good idea to read "Onions and Cakes" before this. Or else, you know, confusion abound. Woowoo.

Running a Marathon on Jupiter

by Alba Aulbath

It was the evening, which was an appropriate time for any kind of break-in to a facility that held meta-humans that weren't particularly ones to follow the law. Late at night, maybe close to the break of the A.M.'s; guards were attentative, but it was not enough for a skilled man to get by and head for his destination.

Outside of Volcana's cell, she listened to a familiar voice call out her name.


Brow raised, the pyrokinetic rose to her feet and went to see who was speaking to her. It was a familiar no-faced man.

"Well, well. This is an unpleasant surprise. How's the little green man, Question?"

"He's not so little." The faceless man tilted his head. "You've got me curious, Claire. You usually hate working for people. A little cash a good enough offer for you?"

Volcana rolled her eyes, leaning against the wall with her arms folded. "You honestly expect a girl to answer every little question? Not even with a name like yours."

"It makes me curious. You can't stand Firefly and his obsessive tendacies, and Heat Wave is probably more maniacal with fire than any of you three that had been hired - which in turn makes him possibly obsessed with your natural ability to control fire. You can't put up with being controlled because of what happened to you. So what were you possibly offered, Volcana? You work for yourself, no one else."

"So I needed the cash; big deal. What's your point?" Volcana shrugged at him, then glanced at her nails casually.

"Who was involved in hiring you, and why did you agree? Payments aside, there's a perfectly good reason why you would have taken orders and dealt with the kind of 'co-workers' you had. It wasn't Dr. Pierce Tan. How about Dr. Milo?"

There was brief hesitation marked on the fiery girl's face. "Dr. Milo's payment was pretty damned generous."

The hesitation was enough for Question to continue digging. "He made you an offer you couldn't refuse."

Volcana narrowed her eyes. "You have no idea. They say money makes the world go round, but even that's a lie; the government is still on my ass, and they want to control me. Or hell, maybe a scrap of my DNA; making clones sure as hell isn't beyond them, is it?"

"It's been known to happen." The detective paused, digesting her words. "Dr. Milo would have made the government lay off, then. You would have been free."

"Bingo, but so much for that - thanks to you and your speedy little friend." Volcana snorted. "I don't claim to be a good little girl, but I tell you something; there are worse people than me. Those little men in the government are nothing but weasles."

"You're vulnerable here."

"Elementary, Sherlock. Want to tell me something else I don't know? These walls aren't flammable. And I'm usually monitored 24/7, but I noticed you shut off the cameras. For how long they off for, Mr. Holmes?"

Question shrugged. "Long enough." He gestured. "You stay here, the government comes to claim you? And then they try to control you again."

"That's the plan, far as I know."

There was consideration. The Question turned to the keypad, thinking. "I'll return in five minutes. I break you out, you skip town to wherever you can."

"Superman's 'heart of gold' leaks in League?" Volcana eyed at him.

"Hardly. I have my reasons, Claire."

"Oh, of course."

Question waved his hand. "See you in five." He turned and disappeared from sight.

"You know what bites? I've been cleaning this suit a million times, and there's this stupid black stain on it." The Flash was exasperated at a large black stain on his suit, right around the shoulders and abdomen area. His tone was obviously of the annoyed kind, and he wasn't sounding prepared to be particularly cheered up of such a minor thing - minor to most, at any rate, as from time to time even the Flash was allowed some vanity.

Blue Beetle gave him a 'okay, weird' expression before he peered at the substance; at his side, Booster Gold rubbed the back of his neck, not able to give a better explanation, "What, you spill ink?"

"Oh, ha ha. No."

"Don't tell me you don't have any other suits," Blue Beetle told him drily.

"AMAZO did a number on my last one; the others are either all scorched up or somethin'. I'm the Fastest Man Alive, but debris hasn't been my favorite friend, either."

No other remarks were placed in before J'onn made mental contact: (Flash, come here.)

"Gotta jam," was the Flash's quick good-bye before he zipped his way to the deck of the Watchtower, where the Martian was patiently waiting for him. "S'up, J'onn?"

"Superman is out in Asia with Supergirl, so you must go to Metropolis. There has been a break-out in Stryker's. All I know is that the cell holding Volcana has been breached ten minutes ago."

The Flash raised a brow. "Volcana AGAIN? Jeez, she can't take a break. All righty; beam me down, J'onn!" He dashed towards the teleporting pod, giving the Martian a quick thumbs-up that he was prepared.

Though he was teleported just outside of Metropolis, the Flash had no problems racing into the city and across the water to make his way to Stryker's. Arriving just at the brim of the island, it wasn't the sight he quite expected to see.

The Question had Volcana in his arms, and she was, apparently, passed out somehow.

"Oh, good. You beat me here?" The Flash tilted his head.

"Not really. Take us across the water."

Clearly, the Flash must have missed something. "'Scuse me?"

"I'll explain it to you when you take us off the island - now hurry up and take us, Speedy."

Though it was quite tempting to deny the Question based on the 'you're crazy' frame of mind, the Fastest Man knew better; the detective, though a bit not-right-in-the-head, was intelligent and usually straightforward. He had a reason for this, no doubt.

"Better be a damned good reason, Question."

"Good enough for the League's sake."

The Flash took Volcana over his shoulder and the detective put his arms around the speester's neck. "Ever talk to Batman about getting a vehicle of your own?"

Before the red-suited hero took off, the Question shrugged and said, "He said it wasn't within our budget."

Making it a quick run, the Flash had taken both the detective and pyrokinetic into the city, stopping in a lone alleyway to drop both of them off. Letting out a mutter mixed with a sigh, the speedster held still for the other Leaguer to board off. The Question let go and took Volcana, who was still unconscious.

Turning, the Flash eyed at him. "So, what's up with you and Volcana?"

"She's in trouble, so's the League. Broke her out, keeps whoever's been behind all this from grabbing another potential weapon."

This did indeed confuse the Scarlet Speedster. "Didn't the government already try to control her? She basically told 'em 'up yours' and skipped out. Why would anyone else bother tryin' if the government failed?

"Maybe the government is trying again."

That was just a bit too much on the Flash's scale of 'Conspiracy-O-Meter'. "Uh, yeah, sure. The same guys we save every day, of course they're making weapons against us."

"Dr. Milo made her an offer: work for him, the government leaves her alone. But they want her again, because she's a threat... especially against the Martian." The Question gave the younger hero a stare. "They find a way to control her, they have a new weapon in their hands."

"So Dr. Milo is behind it. What makes you think anyone else is?"

The Question's tone practically scoffed at the other Leaguer's naivete. "He hardly had the resources to have his own hovercraft, or the capability of threatening Dr. Tan into helping him. Someone else is in on it - someone bigger than Milo. And if Milo can make that kind of offer to Volcana, than it's someone tied to the government. Whether or not the government knows it, either. She's a victim and a weapon - someone we shouldn't just hand over. Being at Stryker's was full potential to be claimed again."

"So you broke her out."


"Like, illegal broke out."

Flash imagined Question's eyes might have narrowed. "Really believe they'd have let me stroll out of here with her? No. They wouldn't have. And those behind the completion of the Replicant would have known I was responsible in turn. Not making myself a target willingly, Speedy."

"Yeah, yeah. Good points." Flash sighed, holding up his hands defensively. "So why's she unconscious?"

"Don't know. I let her out, decided I'd go on my way since she could take care of the rest without me. Heard her scream, so went to check on her. No bruises, no tranqs, nothing to suggest she was harmed." Question shrugged. "I'll ask her whenever she wakes up."

Flash paused, frowning as his comlink came on for a moment; he heard Iris speaking, "Wally, could you come here, to your apartment? We need to talk. Please hurry." Immediately, it was turned off before he could get a word in.

Right; family emergency, or deal with the Question being a lunatic again?

"Better get her some place out of the way. I gotta run. Contact me whenever you can, an' let J'onn know what's going on." Without another word, the Flash turned and began to make his way back to Central City at high-speed.

Somewhere out of the way had basically translated to 'close your eyes and pick a building' at the point in which the Question was at. He carried the pyrokinetically gifted woman inside an abandoned little place that had once been a mill. It was brick-walled, old, dusty, and was probably going to be bulldozed by next week, he figured. The fact, though, that a place like this still existed in Metropolis was impressive; when Lex Luthor had been in control of Lexcorp, he had pretty much gotten rid of any traces of the city's history to make way with new and larger things. Strip malls and the like.


He had taken off his jacket and folded it up for a make-shift pillow for the thief's head before he laid her down; though being a gentleman was hardly his forte, being on her good side before she'd wake up would be beneficial.

So the Question found himself an empty crate and sat down.

He waited about fifteen minutes until she finally came to.

With a groan, she opened her eyes, holding her head. Volcana peered up, then her eyes narrowed once she spotted the detective. She was having a struggle, putting herself into a sitting position. "What do you want now?"

"Nice way to treat someone who carried you out of Stryker's."

She hesitated. "Huh. Does the League know?"

"Up to the Flash to tell the Martian, and it's up to the Martian if he wants to spread the word." The Question shrugged. "I heard you scream, Claire. When I found you, you were completely unconscious. What happened? No sign of bruising or tranquilizers. There wasn't a sign of anyone."

Volcana folded her arms, thinking on it. Then her eyes widened before narrowing in realization. "That damned bastard!" She lifted a fist, pitiful flames forming. Paling, she almost slumped over.

The Question realized. "You don't have much power."

"You're really fucking brilliant, aren't you?"

"You were drained."

Volcana frowned. "Parasite escaped somehow. Grabbed a hold of me."

"But he didn't take you with him."

Shrugging, the fiery woman said, "Couldn't be more thankful. I'm getting real sick of obsessive creepy guys. In which, suffice to say, you aren't helping much."

The Question ignored her remark. "The Parasite grabbed you, took your energy and powers, and left you behind. Typically, he would drag you off as a power source. Wouldn't he."

"You think we got an agenda?" Volcana sneered.

"No. He had a schedule to meet." Standing up, the vigilante of Hub City held his chin. "He had to escape, too. Didn't want to waste time taking an extra body. Used your powers to leave. ...But where did he go?"

"You tell me, Sherlock."

The Question turned to her, motioning. "Find a way out of Metropolis before you have Superman breathing down your neck. The Martian and him will have Parasite to worry about, anyway." He walked over, grabbing his trenchcoat. "Make yourself scarce, Claire."

"I'm a big girl, Holmes," she snorted.

"A big girl in big trouble." The Question turned and swiftly made his exit.

"Iris?" he immediately called out, having raced into his apartment at high-speed; no one should have noticed him. The Flash glanced around, scowling. "Iris!" he tried again.

This wasn't funny.

He turned and started toward the living room, but paused in front of the doorway. He saw a pair of feminine legs just seemingly standing there, in view in the dim light. Letting out a relieved breath of air, he started forward again, "Iris, jeezum, y'scared me..."

However, his beloved aunt dropped to the floor in front of him.

"She's takin' a nap."

The Flash glanced up, seeing an all-too-familiar man step out from the shadowy room.

Grinning, the Parasite eyed down at the red-suited hero.

"Lookin' good, Wally."

Predictably to be continued.

Next: The Question is assigned to work with Green Arrow and the Creeper; the only one happy about this arrangement is Creeper. Parasite and the Flash talk and tango.


I feel unfortunate in making Blue Beetle and Booster Gold appear only briefly. I'll probably give them bigger roles sometime. Not this story, though; they're stuck on 'brief appearance' duty. Poor guys.

And to warn the audience, Parasite is going to be real... creepy-like the next chapter. So I apologize, cackle, and warn in advance, and also assure it's all for a reason. Everything happens for a reason! Cause and effect and whatever.

To the loving audience from 'Onions and Cakes':

Red Tigress: I give you credit! I just don't think my writing for action sequences are all that interesting:D Spectre's appearance is similar to what he had done in the comics in regarding to 'memory loss', except in the comics it had to do with erasing everyone's memory about the Flash - including Wally's memory. I just like doing a twist on things, and am trying to follow a similar Bruce Timm format. Also, Green Arrow will show up in the next chapter. Think of this one as a preview!

Dacker Spaniel: Gee, I can't wait for your reaction to the third story installment after 'Running a Marathon on Jupiter'. :D

Tomboy13: Glad I impressed you so!

HawkAngel XD: Happy to please you with the fanfic. Yes, your grammar could use some work, but I'd be happy to help you with it, whenever you have trouble.

Keep reviewing! SHOW ME THE LOVE.