Disclaimer - This is a non-profit effort. No copyright infringement is intended. My story is written out of an affinity and respect for the characters involved.

A few words about 'The Prophesy of the Hunt' are in order before getting to the text itself. This tale is a work in progress. The plan is to post a new chapter every 1-2 weeks. This method differs from other stories of mine which were each posted in their entirety. I considered waiting until I was done with this whole story before the unveiling, but I'm deriving a great deal of enjoyment out of writing it and decided to share it with you in stages. I'm gambling that you will like what you are reading enough to return for subsequent chapters.

I will also note, cryptically so as not to give away the plot, that this story is not always what it may seem. I suspect that some readers may, at times, question my depictions of their favorite heroines. I ask that you trust in my handling of the characters. It will be a rough and wild ride, but I think you'll ultimately find it to be well worthwhile.

Enjoy!

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The Prophesy of the Hunt

Initially it is indiscernible background noise, virtually drowned out by a steady, mechanized hum. As her body materializes within the transport chamber, the sights and sounds around her increase in clarity. She steps out into the dimly lit and deserted reception area of the famed Justice League satellite. Her destination is the nearby conference room, and judging by the chaotic flood of voices battling to have the floor, they have started without her.

Mere minutes ago, Wonder Woman was preparing to embark upon a nice romantic weekend getaway. Her long overdue plans were interrupted by the convening of an impromptu JLA meeting. Having just recently pulled a double shift on monitor duty to free up her schedule, the heroine is not pleased. She understands, however, that JLA membership involves sacrifices. Diana momentarily pauses before entering the room. The Amazon collects her thoughts and makes a concerted effort to disguise her disappointment.

There is the full contingent of league members in attendance, with the exceptions of the mysterious Phantom Stranger and inactive members J'Onn J'Onnz and Snapper Carr. Concern is evident on the faces of all, but several attendees are particularly agitated. While it is nothing unusual to see an outspoken Green Arrow, it is rare to see Ollie's soul mate, Black Canary, following suit. The typically reserved Thanagarian couple of Hawkman and Hawkgirl are also visibly incensed as is Shayera's closest friend, Zatanna.

Wonder Woman is puzzled as she attempts to make sense of the disjointed babble. Her arrival goes unnoticed for several moments before the Elongated Man approaches. Having switched monitor assignments with the princess, Ralph Dibney alone is aware of Diana's aborted weekend cruise. Empathizing, he quietly apologizes for her misfortune. "Under other circumstances I would have respected your privacy, Diana." Dibney begins. "I'm afraid you have to be in on this one, because it really pertains to you as much as anyone else here."

Others start to recognize the Amazon's presence. Within a matter of seconds, all eyes are suddenly focused upon her. Before the confused heroine can utter a sound, she finds herself on the defensive. "She's a big reason why we're in this mess!" Green Arrow snaps while singling out Diana. "Wonder Woman struts around the world in her star-spangled underwear. Is it any wonder some mega-powerful psycho thinks of super heroines as stalking material?"

Several Leaguers stand up to challenge the archer's pointedly harsh comments. Dinah begins to ridicule him, but Green Arrow already understands his mistake. "Look, I'm sorry Diana." Ollie humbly admits. "I'm upset, but I shouldn't be taking things out on you." The Amazon accepts her colleague's apology, but she is far more concerned with his reference to a psychotic stalker. She insists that cooler heads prevail and asks to be briefed on the situation.

*****

Black Canary explains to the entire group the disturbing events from this afternoon ...

The day starts off routinely enough until I receive word of a hostage situation at the Schwartz Tower. Five illegal aliens are holding a half dozen immigration officials on the 25th floor. Their demands include American citizenship for themselves and comrades back home, immunity from prosecution, and steady, honest employment. The situation is tense and could easily take a catastrophic turn, but it is clear that these men are not hardened criminals. They want what is best for their families. Their desperation has led them to a very bad and atypical course of action.

Banking on their inherent decency, I am able to diffuse the matter without incident. The men surrender peacefully with the condition that, regardless of their own punishments, the welfare of their kin is taken into consideration. The hostages are shaken, but otherwise unharmed. I figure the crisis has been averted when the police negotiator learns of additional trouble on the unoccupied 29th floor. Allegedly part of the same militant group, one rebellious individual seeks a better deal. Claiming to have an innocent woman at gunpoint, he insists upon an immediate, face to face negotiation with only Black Canary.

Expecting a temperamental and passionate individual, I opt for the direct approach to reduce the risk of further inciting him. From the moment I step off of the elevator, I realize I've been had. Standing before me is a large, athletic male dressed in black spandex. Fair-haired and Caucasian, he is clearly not affiliated with the others. There is no hostage; rather this is a sinister trap laid for me by a completely unfamiliar foe. The elevator cable snaps behind me, causing the whole assembly to plummet to the bottom of the shaft. The exit doors are all barricaded shut. Clearly, I am going to be forced to fight my way out.

Wearing a smug grin, my captor relishes the moment. Calling himself Phranyx, he takes a perverse pride in trapping me and appears anxious to provoke a confrontation. Before doing so, however, he feels compelled to enlighten me as to his purpose. The arrogant creep spells out the ground rules for a sinister game he intends to play with the heroines of the world. He proclaims that he will capture three unspecified super heroines after besting each of them in battle. There is to be no interference by third parties. His lone assurance is that his targets will all be afforded "a fighting chance." Phranyx offers no explanation for his bizarre scheme nor does he reveal his intentions should he indeed abduct three of us.

The villain anticipates my retort, that being the inevitable response of the super heroic community. He confidently asserts that we must all conform to his whims. Super heroines are to maintain their customary levels of activity without the intervention of colleagues. Phranyx vows that he possesses the means to inflict mass devastation throughout the globe should we refuse to comply. To support his boast, he directs my attention to the presence of explosives strategically planted within the building. There are enough C4 charges to lay waste to a city block; therefore I have no choice but to engage him in his pathetic concept of sport.

Looking for a quick ending to this sordid situation, I resort to my canary cry. A wide dispersal assault will be fruitless because my opponent is prepared for such. Instead, a concentrated blast of sound disrupts the molecules within his hand-held detonator. To his apparent surprise, the device shatters, thus eliminating the immediate threat to the public.

I've faced more over-sized, super-villain wannabes in my career than I care to remember and that's exactly what I figure this guy is. Muscular and cocky while hiding behind weapons, he seems exposed without them. He backs up a couple steps as I press my attack. I open with a kick to his mid-section and follow with a precision right-handed chop to the back of the head. Phranyx drops to the floor with a thud. The fight, if you actually want to call it that, is over. I can hardly believe it was so easy.

I immediately bind my unconscious foe with telephone wire. The explosives must still be carefully removed. As I rise to inform the authorities, Phranyx suddenly springs into action. He effortlessly snaps his bonds and tackles me before I can react. Using his size advantage, he pins me to the floor and applies a vicious strangle hold to my throat. His free hand slithers behind the base of my skull where he quite deliberately relieves me of my blond wig. Struggling to breathe, it takes all of my strength and skill to flip Phranyx off of me. By now he has seen the face of Dinah Lance. My wig has been shredded, meaning that my secret identity will be further compromised should I escape his clutches via the lower levels.

I must end this thing now. Using my focused canary cry, I collapse an overhead light fixture onto him. He shucks the fragmented debris but not before I am able to apply a restraining hold. Using leverage, I wrestle my larger opponent to the ground and succeed in dislodging one of his specially designed earplugs. Now vulnerable to my sonic cry, he is swiftly overcome.

Alas, he has a back up plan in place in the event of failure. His body is enveloped by a bright white energy which transports him away from the scene. Apparently adhering to his twisted sense of honor, he concedes defeat in this round and spares the city from retaliation. The explosives vanish along with Phranyx, thus leaving no evidence with which to trace him.

Fortunately for Dinah Lance, Phranyx has turned the 29th floor into a fortress which the police struggle to penetrate. From behind the cover of solidly fused doors, I allay the officers' concerns and assure them that the danger has passed. Having developed a good working relationship with the local force, they trust in my judgment. My request for a wide berth is granted without question and I covertly slip out of the Schwartz Tower unseen.

*****

Wonder Woman applauds Black Canary for her handling of this strange encounter, but she shares the group's concern over this dangerous new villain. The mysterious Phranyx has penetrated Dinah's true identity. He is devious and brazen. In addition to the verbal explanation provided to Black Canary, the villain has also dispatched e-mail to the Justice League and Teen Titans detailing his grandiose agenda. Indications are that he will employ extraordinary means to carry out his plans, which could result in disastrous consequences for as many as three noble super heroines.

A video conference is initiated with the Teen Titans. The heroines and their significant others are very perturbed by the prospect of a sexually motivated super-psychopath. Opinions vary as to the proper course of action. Prevailing theory is that Wonder Woman will almost certainly be one of Phranyx's targets, because she is universally thought of as the foremost super heroine. Black Canary is also deemed a probable choice due to today's run-in. The third candidate is uncertain.

Based on the premise that she is on Phranyx's hit list, Wonder Woman passionately argues that they should try to dictate the time and place by drawing him out of hiding. The Amazon proposes a worldwide announcement where she dares the villain to engage her in combat. Many support Diana's plan, but there is also strong opposition. Publicizing this threat projects an image of vulnerability for the super heroines. Even if it succeeds in flushing Phranyx out into the open, criminals everywhere will be inspired by the prospect that super heroines, and by extension super heroes, can be intimidated and manipulated by such pressure tactics.

The Batman believes it is best to operate from an impression of strength and calm. He advises a prudent approach with a contingency in place in the event that Phranyx does capture his three women. The hero has already investigated the crime scene at Schwartz Tower and he uncovered very little useful evidence for determining the identity of their mysterious quarry. They know precious little about this man other than that he is very dangerous. This places even Wonder Woman at a disadvantage. It would therefore be best not to expedite impending encounters so as to allow more time to identify him.

Following his mentor's line of reasoning, Nightwing contributes an additional thought. The Titans' leader warns that they may be drawing an incorrect conclusion in classifying Phranyx as deviant psycho. Dick acknowledges that there is just cause to presume such, but he suggests that everyone remain open-minded to the possibility that his motivations are of a completely different nature. They won't know for sure until further information on Phranyx's identity can be attained.

Wonder Woman and her fellow heroines reluctantly agree with the Batman's recommendation. For now, they will go about their usual business while remaining extra cognizant of threats. Realizing that the female members of the JLA and Teen Titans aren't the only potential victims, it is agreed that independent heroines such as Supergirl, Batgirl, Jesse Quick and Huntress will be apprised of the situation.