Web of Cadmus
Chapter 38: Epilogue
After everything, Peter couldn't say that he felt a little cheated. They didn't find Octavius after everything and he was still out there. He didn't know where but some day he and Octavius would have to settle things. He looked around they were currently outside the base as both teams were picking up the pieces. The government had sent in a clean up grew to go over everything under the command of General Wade Eiling, who did not look happy. Well less happy then he normally did at least.
He looked to see that Guardian had been freed from the prison section by the other members, but he couldn't help but noticed Galatea and Kaine, he had never left her side and the girl was very quiet since she blew up that lab.
"Hey what's with her?" Superboy asked looking at the blonde. "Looks like someone kicked her puppy, if she had one."
"Back off," Kaine warned him.
"What? What did I say?" Superboy asked.
"Well it will take a lot of time in order to get this place back to normal," Hawkwoman sighed looking at their base. "I wonder who will be in charge now that Waller is dead?"
"I don't care," Galatea said in a defeated tone, "I'm not going back."
"What do you mean not going back?" Miss Martian asked the older clone.
"They were just using us," Galatea said as she sat down. The images of those tanks were still going through her mind. The entire life, no her entire existence meant nothing to Cadmus. She was just a replaceable tool for their own uses. If she went back then what would happen given she blew up that lab? They would keep her locked up most likely, then take her DNA, clone another her, and then kill her since she bet she was 'unstable' now.
Hawkwoman could see that Galatea was upset in fact more upset than she could ever see the other woman. She knelt down next to her, as the only two adult women they had formed a bond over their time. "What happened Tea?" she asked gently.
Galatea told them, she told them of the lab that were making copies of herself and the entire Cadmus clone team. How they were nothing more than just replacements, how if any of them were no longer part of the Cadmus program they would just replace them. The reactions were pretty much what she expected, outrage.
The clones couldn't believe that Cadmus had planned for that.
"This totally sucks!" Superboy shouted out. "I mean I thought we were the only ones but now this?! Well screw this, I ain't going back there to be copied and replaced, screw that!"
"They would really do that to us?" Miss Martian said with wide fearful eyes.
"The hell they are, I'm not going back and neither should anyone else," Hawkwoman said to them. There was no way in hell she was going to let more people screw with them. It was bad enough what Doc Ock had done to them all, but this was just as bad if not even worse.
"I'm staying," Guardian said surprising everyone there.
"What the hell old man, didn't getting younger supposed to not make you senile?" Superboy asked the gold armoured man.
"How can you stay when I just told you what they were planning!" Galatea said angry at him nearly being held back by Kaine.
He held up a hand, "I know, trust me I don't like it anymore than you do. But with Amanda gone there will be lots of confusion and I can bet a power struggle between the members. A new head will be put in place but whose to say that it will be someone worse be put into power?"
"I still owe them for giving me a new life, and a new purpose. I also know after seeing it, that their means to an end are not the kind of thing I approve of. But there is potential here, I just feel that they need someone to be their moral compass. They need someone to show them when they cross a line they shouldn't cross." He explained to them.
"And you think you can be that moral compass?" Kaine asked him. Personally he didn't believe it but if this man felt he had to at least try it couldn't hurt. Hell, if Cadmus got someone worse in charge maybe having someone that would stand up, to whoever it would be, wouldn't be so bad.
"Someone has to do it." Guardian grinned at him. He knew it wouldn't be easy but then nothing in life ever was.
4 Months Later
Kaine was looking around the new apparent that he and Galatea had. It hadn't been easy but the two of them had wanted to live their own lives from now on, they wouldn't be pawns or tools anymore. Now they just wanted to live their own lives, to be left alone for the time being to find themselves. Although he didn't like being indented to the League, there were still some hard feelings but they promised to keep their distance as long as they behaved, Batman's wording of course.
At the moment they had a nice studio apartment, and had jobs lined up. Nothing glamorous but it was nice to just live a normal life for once. Sure he had the memories of that, but he wanted his own experiences to fully find himself.
"Kaine do you know where I left that box marked 'special wear'?" Galatea's voice called from the single bedroom.
"In the closet I think." He said.
"Ah found it, thanks."
"What's in that anyway?" he had to ask as she never let him see what was inside of it. He was currently unpacking the few dishes they had, not like they needed all that much for just the two of them. There was a silence as he noticed she didn't answer. "Tea?" He called out and then went to see what she was doing. He got a surprise when he found her trying on a costume, it looked mostly like her own only with some additions.
"What's this?" He asked a little amused.
"I got my costume changed, I wanted nothing left of Cadmus so I'm leaving as much behind me as I can." She told him honestly as he pulled on the last of two blue boots. There was also a gold belt around her waist and her gloves were now blue as well. She had a lot to deal with in the months since leaving Cadmus, but thankfully Kaine had always been there for her. If it wasn't for him, she would have fallen apart. He was the rock of her life the one thing that she knew she could count on. It was odd turn of events, she remembered when their roles were reversed when they first met.
She wasn't sure about the last addition, it was a red short cape that hung over one shoulder with a gold link on it.
Kaine raised an eyebrow at that point.
"No I'm not doing what you think," she told him flat out knowing what he was thinking. "red was the only color they had."
"Well at any rate it will help move you away from Cadmus, so are you going to go by Galatea in that?" They hadn't really talked about names. They did want to continue to use their powers but for their own reasons. They hadn't gone out in costume yet as they were still setting up their lives.
"No, I'm leaving that behind as well." She told him softly as she took something out and handed it to him. It was a license with her picture on it but the name was totally different.
She nodded, "I wanted a real name and I liked this one. What about you?"
"I'm still thinking on that, although I think I'll keep the name Kaine, it suits me I think." He told her as he handed it back.
"So…Karen, man that's going to get some getting use to, what about your 'other' name?"
She had been thinking about this for a long time now, what name to give herself while in costume. Her costume still held a bit of the old Cadmus look, plus there were two members of her old team that would never com back it would seem. Zoom was out there and Powerboy was pretty much locked up for mental reasons.
She was one of the most powerful people on the planet and she wanted to also wanted everyone to know it. Plus if Kara could be Supergirl then maybe she could try and be more then just 'super'.
"I think I'll go by Powergirl from now on." She grinned at him.
Kaine gave a small laugh as he shook his head, "Still the rivalry with her, huh?"
"Only until she admits who is best," she grinned as she pulled him into a kiss. This was another thing she enjoyed about real life, they could be themselves and do anything they wanted.
"I'm not so sure about this," Superboy said to his teen friend as they arrived. They had finally been given a chance to prove themselves but instead of the League where do they get sent, but here. This small island with some kind of giant T building on it. How the hell it stood up he didn't know, the building looked like it defied some basic laws on stress and gravity.
"Don't be like that," Miss Martian told him. She was excited, she was going somewhere where she could fit in. Although it had been nice spending the last few months with J'onn learning all she could on Martian history and culture. She wanted to go out into the world, to be a part of it, yet for some reason he stayed in the Watchtower. So she got assigned to go here, she was thankful her friend would be sent here.
"You should be glad to be here," Starfire said as she was the one guiding them here. "I have very fond memories of this place and of this team. In fact many of this generations heroes were once members."
"Yeah, name one?" Superboy asked.
"Well there's me, Flash, Speedy, Nightwing-"
"Okay I get it." Superboy said with a sigh. "Don't see why I need to come I'm good enough to be League material."
"You're still young and inexperienced, and this is the best place to get that, trust me on this." Starfire told the young boy. "Oh look there are a few of the other new members."
"Yo what's up?" A boy in white an green suit flew over to them. He had on some kind of helmet and his footwear had some kind of built in rockets. "You must be the new guys, I'm Gear."
"Oh yeah, you're Static's sidekick right?" Superboy asked.
"Sidekick!?" Gear said a little angry. "I haven't been that in a long time, I'm a full time partner now!"
"Jeez take a chill pill already," Superboy told him. "Didn't know it was a sensitive subject."
"Yes but he'll get over it," Came a dark skinned boy on a board of some kind, this was Static. Both he and Gear had joined the new Teen Titans after being recommended by Spider-Man for the position. Sure it was a little hard going to and from Dakota all the time, but with all the Bang Babies gone, the city had never been safer since before the Big Bang. At least here with the Titans, he and Gear have made some friends and could do some real good in the world.
"Look out!" Came a female's voice as an arrow came sailing over head. It hit a tree as it buried into it, a blonde haired girl in a red costume came running up. "Sorry about that I was trying to adjust my bow and see if I could get more range with it, and Robin wanted to test it out."
"Sorry about that," Robin said feeling a little embarrassed about it. "never fired one of them before."
"That would be Arrowette and Robin," Static told the others.
"Cool more team members," Arrowette smiled as she went up to Miss Martian. "It's so nice to get another girl on the team, so far it's only me and Secret."
"Secret?" Miss Martian asked.
"Yeah come on and I'll introduce you," the young blonde said as she took the green girl's hand in hers. She gave Superboy a smile as she lead the girl away. Superboy watched her go, she was kind of cute, although she was wearing that red mask that covered the top part of her face but still, everything else looked good.
"Maybe I'll like it here after all," Superboy grinned.
"Yeah it's not bad once you get here," Robin said as he looked to the boy that didn't look that much older than him. "Name's Robin and you're Superboy right?"
"Well, welcome to the team," Robin stuck out his hand and Superboy shrugged and shook it. "Looking forward to working with you." Tim Drake told him.
Peter was sitting on the small balcony of his place as he looked over the city, night had fallen and normally he'd be out and about but he needed a break. He had pulled a full day his job, went to his classes, did his homework as well. He was beat, but with a few more heroes in the city the place was a lot safer.
Shayera's clone the one that went by the name Hawkwoman, seemed to have taken roost in the city a month ago. He didn't mind, she seemed okay to him so he didn't mind the extra help. Long Shadow had also apparently moved to New York and he had been seen with Donna fighting crime together. Apparently he and Kara weren't the new 'New York Couple' at the moment. Apparently the two of them were really becoming an item.
The paper he worked for was already trying to get him to get photos of them. He grinned if he could convince his friends to pose for him. At any rate things had calmed down lately, Doctor Octopus was still at large but he would turn up sooner or later. The man couldn't hide forever and he would be waiting for it, in the mean time he had other issues.
He sighed as he looked over the city, it was always busy but at least from this height the noise didn't really reach. Sometimes he wondered how Kara could deal with it with that super hearing of hers. He looked over his shoulder at his live in girlfriend, she was on the phone with Barbara getting the usual gossip from Gotham. She laughed at something and he had to smile, no matter what he liked to see her happy.
She said something and put the phone down as she came out to join him.
"So how's Barbara?" Peter asked as she slipped next to him and he placed an arm around her waist.
"Doing very well, apparently she and Speedy are having a good time," she grinned. Sure the little match making hadn't gone as planned but it made her friend happy and that was important. "Also apparently Batman has been seeing a certain Amazon lately."
"Man I hope Diana doesn't know he's seeing Donna behind her back," Peter joked which earned him an elbow to his side. "Ow! Kidding! Anyways I was wondering when they would get it together, I mean you could cut the sexual tension with the knife with those two."
Kara nodded her head as she put her head on his shoulder. They stood there in silence just looking over the city. "I can't help but wonder about the future."
"Yeah I mean apparently Powerboy's mind was already somewhat twisted up," She remembered how when J'onn tried to remove the programming from the clone experiment's mind it hadn't taken. Apparently the boy's mind had been already unstable, most likely due to the fact he was an experimental clone. There were certain genetic defects apparently, but the pushing Doc Ock made were only just nudging him to what he would have done naturally. That was a scary thought, thankfully he was now locked up in a maximum security prison for super criminals.
Then there was Zoom, that guy apparently liked the life of a criminal. She had seen how Flash was lately, she knew what it was like to have seen a copy of herself doing bad things. Speaking of which, it would seem that her and Peter's clones were keeping out of trouble. It was odd or was it fitting? She couldn't tell really, but maybe it was fate how she and Peter had met and grew to love each other and their clones had done the same.
As she looked over their city she wasn't sure what the future held, only that she wanted to be by Peter's side through it all.
"What are you thinking about?" Peter asked seeing her far away look.
She smiled as she hugged him. "Only of how I'm looking forward to the future."
Peter raised an eyebrow and just shrugged it off, he wasn't sure what she was getting at but at any rate for the moment things were settling down and despite the things he was happy. It had been a rough year but despite everything, his new life in this world was good. As the two heroes looked over the city both had no idea what the future held, but they both knew that together they could take anything that came their way.
Well I'm not sure I'll make another of these but if I do get an idea for another then at least I got some stuff to work with now.