Past, Present and What the Hell?

Chapter Two

Apologies for not working on this. My love affair with several of my previous fandoms has been rekindled and I might be working on some other stuff. But I'll try and finish this stuff first.

By the way, later on we will have an appearance by the mysterious Shy-chan. She's ridiculously cute.

…..

The doors imbedded in the corridor flew by as Shayera was dragged from the foyer to the conference room. There, she was pushed into a chair and stared at by the League members while Superman opened and closed his mouth, trying to find words to ask about what had happened.

Finally, he just pointed his finger in the direction of the foyer and asked;

"What the hell was that?"

She took a deep breath, and answered him.

"Those are my fiancées. They finally tracked me down."

"Fiancées?" Diana exploded. Her face was as red as beetroot. "All of them?"

"Yes. All of them," Shayera mumbled. It was all so embarrassing…

"So it wasn't just Hro you were cheating on…" muttered John. Shayera shot him an evil look out of the corner of her eye.

"I wasn't cheating on anyone," she hissed at him. "I didn't get engaged to anyone. They all got engaged to me."

"How is that even freaking possible?" Diana yelled at her. Her face was an unflattering shade of purple.

"Well…" Shayera began.

…..

The mating rituals of the alien races of the outer planets are many and varied, like a jungle full of thousands of different species. Major Hol, father of one Shayera Hol, was responsible for travelling to these distant places to document these strange customs. On many occasions he was accompanied by his aged father and his young daughter.

Leaving either one of his dependants alone was a bad idea, since Shayera tended to get in trouble with great ease and Mr Hol Snr had a gambling problem and a terrible memory. However, he was often required to leave them both in the planet's embassy for their own safety. Shayera would go play with the local children and Hol Snr would find some sort of betting game somewhere.

On the planet Miryong, hitting someone upside the head with the first appendage on your left side was a proposal. Shayera did this on the second day of her being there, when the son of the local chieftain accidentally (maybe) touched her rear end. On the neighbouring planet Mirtong, the person in question must be hit upside the head with the first appendage on the right side. Shayera did this to three different people within minutes of arriving.

Hol Snr tracked down a betting game at almost every planet they stopped at, and he tended to run out of money pretty quickly. Once that happened, he bet the one commodity he still had with him; his granddaughter. Many of these planets had few enough females so Shayera was accepted as a valuable prize. Luckily for the girl, they often left the planet before she could be claimed as collateral.

As years went by, Shayera acquired a number of fiancées. Her father was an impatient man who could never be expected to hang around a courtroom for the length of time it took to dissolve such agreements, so most of the time he skipped town with his rebellious relatives trailing along behind him. It was said that the antics of the junior and senior Hol had driven poor Major Hol into early retirement with a head full of pure white hair.

…..

John found himself wandering around the Watchtower three hours later in a daze. He was finding the news about Shayera's multiple engagements hard to take. Finding he was sleeping with another man's fiancé had been bad enough but this… this was ridiculous!

Fire walked by him, arm in arm with a Dalek. Or rather, arm in plunger-like appendage. As it attempted to whisper sweet nothings in her ear, it only succeeded in screeching with its cheese-grater-on-a-blackboard voice. Nevertheless, Fire giggled and blushed. The aliens were due to leave the next day, since an emergency intergalactic court hearing had been scheduled with those giant head guys that had tried John for destroying that planet that he hadn't actually destroyed. Unfortunately, that meant they all had to stay the night in the Watchtower. Anyone who had a home on Earth was required to vacate their room to give to an alien visitor. Shayera had been locked in the women's bathroom to prevent her from escaping.

Something was bugging John. He couldn't put his finger on it. He couldn't figure out why the arrival of hundreds of aliens reminded him of something from his childhood. Even so, every time he thought of the problem, he remembered the searing heat of springtime in his old neighbourhood, the smell of gasoline and hot dogs and the stern words of his mother before he left for school in the morning.

"If you play hooky from school, God himself will send down an angel to beat some sense into you!"

His mother, being a single mom and very hard-working, never minced words. He spent the first few years of his life being terrified of angels coming down from heaven to beat the crap out of him for some transgression or other.

"Why am I thinking about that now though?" he thought to himself. Then, he got that prickly feeling people sometimes get when they know someone's watching them. He turned around.

J'onn Jonze was eyeballing him with those eerie red eyes of his. John stared back, confused. Why was the Martian watching him?

"…"

"…"

"…"

"…"

After a few moments of staring at each other in silence, John walked away, totally creeped out.

…..

"Case number one: The legion of Panzerto M'ckna vs Shayera Hol!"

The giant female head on the left glowered at Shayera, who sat alone in the dock. She was too busy staring at the barbed wire around the dock wall to notice. Did they put that there especially for her? She had no lawyer, since they'd all been hired by the visiting alien parties. And with no lawyer, she had no right to speak in her own defence.

The bailiff walked in with a large, spiky, cumbersome…thing. He was approaching her with it. She started to feel very, very nervous.

…..

After catching J'onn staring at him yet again, John allowed himself to be dragged to Shayera's trial by a curious Flash. They fought their way through the phalanx of aliens and lawyers waiting for their hearings to the onlooker's seating area towards the back of the room. John found it brought back unpleasant memories of his own trial. Oh, well. At least he hadn't had his head strapped into that odd-looking contraption that was now attached to Shayera's cranium. The bailiff fiddled with the controls a bit, and then suddenly a grainy image of a young Shayera with a bunch of aliens appeared on a screen in the middle of the room.

The fourteen-year-old version of Shayera, John noted with some dismay, was jailbait. Dressed in a midriff-skimming pink top, red hotpants and what looked like cowboy boots, she was doing some sort of dance move that one of the aliens was showing her.

"Like this?" the girl onscreen asked as she did a high kick with her left leg.

"No, this way," said the alien, and he added a slight kink to the kick. "And touch your head at the same time."

The girl did it, missing the wide grin that lit up the face of the alien directly behind her.

"Hooray! She's my wife now!" the alien said in his native language. It was flashed in subtitles at the bottom of the screen.

Then the screen cut out. The three giant heads turned to the group of sheepish-looking aliens in the opposite dock.

"You tricked that girl," hissed the giant head in the middle.

"Your claim on Ms Hol is null and void. Get out of my courtroom. Next!" yelled the head on the right.

Shayera flopped forward, dazed. The Brain-Projectionator had a reputation for making the people who used it feel…odd. The bailiff hoisted her back into her seat and began to fiddle with the controls again. The second group of aliens had walked in.

"Case number two: Prince Mynder Goonja vs Shayera Hol."

…..

John and Flash stood outside in the foyer of the courthouse, unable to speak. They'd sat through twenty-five hearings, each one worse than the last. Twelve of the cases had been clear deception of a naïve young foreign girl and dismissed. Eight cases had been dismissed on the grounds that they'd been too close to slavery practices. The last five had been annulled for various reasons, such as the defendant being female, lack of witnesses and the like.

"She sure got around, didn't she?" Flash said at last.

"Yeah," John agreed. He was worried about her now. She had looked a bit grey when they left her, and there was a demented look in her eyes. Was that machine really okay to use for so long on one person?

"She was pretty hot back then, wasn't she?"

John scowled incredulously at Flash, who quickly backtracked.

"Not that she's not now, it's just… ah…," he trailed off, knowing he couldn't recover.

John just ignored him. J'onn had just arrived at the courthouse, and he was staring at John again.