JLA - Basic Instinct by C.W. Blaine

JLA: Basic Instinct

By C. W. Blaine (darth_yoshi@yahoo.com)

DISCLAIMER: All characters and situations contained in this story are ©2001 by DC Comics Inc., a Time-Warner company and are used without permission for entertainment purposes only. No monies are generated from this work. This original work of fiction is ©2001 by C.W. Blaine. Please direct all inquiries to the e-mail address above. This story may not be reproduced, archived or posted without the permission of the author.

"Captain, with all due respect, I must strongly protest your decision," Commander Ah'Ral said.

His immediate superior, and master of the Sh'Kuta Windsong, a warship of the Akari Fleet of the Imperial Fleet of Rhasa, looked at him with four unblinking eyes. His green skin seemed to lose some of its luster, and the smell of methane that normally clung to the bodies of the Rhasians seemed to take on a new air. "I appreciate your concern, executive officer Ah'Ral, but I have made my decision and plan to stick to it."

"We are very close to the planet Earth, Captain, and you know how protective its inhabitants can be. Need I remind you that Earth has produced a number of Green Lanterns?"

The mere mention of the famed intergalactic police corps brought a rise to the brow of the Captain, but nothing more. "We are not engaged in illegal activities…we are simply lost due to a miscalculation in the Hyperjump calculations. Calculations you were supposed to verify."

Ah'Ral lowered his upper limb in submission. "I acknowledge my mistake, Captain, and my family will bear my shame for the next 3 generations, but I do not want to compound my dishonor by causing a war between Earth and our empire."

A wave of a tentacle indicated the Captain's feelings on that matter. "Earth is too dumb to realize what is going on…"

"But, sir, engaging the jumpdrive this close to the planet can cause certain problems with many species. Imperial doctrine specifically states that…"

The Captain cut off his subordinate with a growl that made the other members of the bridge crew jump. "I swear by the eight gods of terror that you are as annoying as your sisters I have the unfortunate honor of being mated too! Very well, take the ship out just past their satellite…what do the call it?"

A junior officer spoke up from across the bridge. "The moon, sir."

The Captain looked over at the officer, than back to his second-in-command. "What an original name, surely the sign of an advanced species…"

"Probe data from 50 Earth-cycles ago indicate that the satellite is uninhabited," the junior officer piped up.

"Very well," the Captain said in a bored voice. "Take us out of here. I want to go home."

The Captain turned to slither out of the bridge when Ah'Ral called to him. "Fifty cycles is an entire generation on Earth, Captain; perhaps we should probe the moon to ensure it is uninhabited."

Three sets of tentacles flew into the air. "No! I said I want to go home! The mating time is almost upon us and while copulating with your sisters brings me no end of disgust, it is my duty to the Emperor to provide a future generation of warriors! Carry out my orders, X.O!"

"Aye, sir," Ah'Ral called to his departing superior, praying to the 17 gods of luck that they didn't end up hurting any civilians.

"Why you wanted to bring him here is beyond me," the Batman said from behind Superman. The Man of Steel ignored the comment and continued to stare at the monitor. In the screen, he could see the Martian Manhunter, in his green, humanoid form, sitting across the table from the purple-suited clad Joker. The volume was muted, but it appeared that the two were engaged in casual conversation.

"Ease off, Batman," Kyle Rayner, the Green Lantern said jovially, "we're just trying to find out who he hired to crack the computer lock on the Gotham City teleporter tube. That takes some real good hacking and we can't have that kind of knowledge running around unchecked."

The Batman considered counseling the younger hero on the pros and cons of dictating to him, but decided against it. The man was starting to finally come out of his self-imposed exile to the shadow of Hal Jordan, the Green Lantern that helped form the original Justice League of America. Jordan had been considered the most fearless man in the universe, but had unfortunately gone insane. Even though Rayner had nothing to do with Jordan's sickness, he still had to live with both the triumphs and defeats of the "greatest Green Lantern" of all. A rebuke by the Batman would probably send him into withdrawal.

The Martian Manhunter was, among other things, a telepath and accomplished expert on the workings of the mind. Because he generally shunned what Earthlings called education, feeling it beneath him, he possessed no doctorate, but that did not mean he did not have the knowledge. Over the years, many members of the Justice League, or JLA for short had come to him for therapy. The Batman was not one of them, though it had nothing to do with doubting the other hero's abilities. Instead, the Batman simply preferred to self-analyze himself.

There was considerable doubt among some of the members of the team as to whether or not the Manhunter could get the Joker to give up his computer-hacker source. The Batman wasn't too concerned. He had Oracle, his personal computer expert, already working on a program to defeat the hacking. He considered it good when things failed and nobody got hurt, because that meant there was something new to learn.

Superman, however, pointed out that any lapse in security, while educational, indicated a weakness on the team that could be exploited. The Batman agreed, but thought that bringing the Joker to the team's headquarters on the moon, called the Watchtower, was a little extreme. He knew that the Joker would eventually tell him; but if the other members of the team wanted to play Batman for a little while, he's let them.

Besides, he wanted to see exactly how the Joker would react to psychological probing by a super-hero.

As the three heroes continued to watch the events, the sound muted, small icons began to appear on the left side of the screen. Each icon represented the particular signal device of individual members and the appearance of them on the screen meant that they were within the Watchtower. It was almost time for the weekly meeting.

Green Lantern, naturally curious, began reading off the icons in his head. Wonder Woman. Aquaman. Flash. Plastic Man. Looks like a couple on reservists, too. Black Canary. And the Atom. Ought to be a short meeting, though, since we have the Joker here to take back to Gotham City.

Green Lantern turned around to walk over to the main monitor, the one he was supposed to maintain a vigilant watch over, since it was his shift, when he caught the site of what looked to be jet engines going into afterburner. Since receiving his power ring and gaining the ability to fly, Kyle had, once or twice, gotten into a race with some Navy F-14's. Hal Jordan, the former Air Force and test pilot, would have approved.

He stepped closer to the foot thick window that took up most of the wall, as if the few feet he moved would allow him to focus on the object. "Hey, guys, ca you look at…"

The hero never finished the sentence as a wave of distortion overwhelmed the entire moon. Light, sound and everything else seemed to sway and bend as if moving to an unheard beat. Green Lantern tried to yell out a warning, but didn't have the time. In the instant between thought and action, the world of the Watchtower had changed.

When it was over, the young man in the green and black uniform turned around to see a man dressed in red and blue, and another dressed in dark blues. "Who the hell are you guys?"

One of the men, the one with the large "S" on his chest, looked at the other two men. "I…don't know," he said, his voice trailing off.

The other man, who seemed to radiate darkness, if that was possible, looked at them with a dumbfounded look. "Is this a costume party or something…oh my God!" He pointed to the large window across the room. "We're on the moon!"

The "S" man walked up to the window and seemed to squint. "Yes…we are. I can see the Earth from here; in fact, if I concentrate, I can see onto the earth!"

"That's incredible," the youngest of the three said, removing his mask. "Hey, you don't suppose we're super-heroes, do you. I mean, look at the costumes! The big guy there thinks he has super-powers."

The man with the bat on his chest reached up and pulled back his cowl, revealing handsome features. "I'd think I'd remember if I was a super-hero."

"S" man turned. "It seems to me that none of us can remember anything about who we are or how we got here. For that matter, where exactly is here?"

The green-garbed man walked over to a picture hanging on the wall. It had several people in costume gathered around a table. The plaque underneath it said "Justice League of America". The date had been rubbed off. In fact, the picture itself looked like it had been rescued from a fire. He didn't recognize anyone in the picture. "Hey, I think this is the headquarters of some kind of super-hero team and this is them."

The other two walked over and took a look at the picture. Neither man saw anything that stirred a memory. "If we aren't in the picture, then why are we here?" "Bats" asked.

"Maybe we're here to apply for membership and this is a test," "S" said.

"Green" nodded. "That makes sense; unless we're super-villains. Of course, I don't feel like doing anything bad…"

"I don't think any of us do," "Bats" commented, walking back to the computer screen he and "S" had been standing by. It was blank. "If we could get some of this computer equipment going, we could probably find out what is going on."

"S" looked over at another terminal. "That looks like a general announcement system. Maybe if we put out a call for help, someone will come."

"But," "Green" started, "what if this is part of some elaborate scheme on the part of a villain? We could be drawing them right into us!"

"Wouldn't matter anyway," "Bats" began. "First off, we are only assuming that we're super-heroes. Meaning no disrespect to the large man with the red cape, we don't really know that you can see all the way to Earth, do we?" In response, the other man slowly shook his head. "Second, for all we know, we're on one of those reality-based television shows and this is some sort of trick. Third, if a 'super-villain' has attacked this place, they are going to find us soon anyway. It isn't like we can open the door and walk out."

"That brings up another question…how did we get on the moon?"

"Bats" had no idea, but before he could respond to "Green", "S" was on the intercom, calling for anyone and everyone able to come to the "monitor room". He had decided on the name based on all of the monitoring equipment. "Bats" removed the mask and cape that was part of his costume, feeling somewhat confined by them. Their weight surprised him. He thought for a moment about a secret identity, that was why super-heroes wore masks, but then figured since he didn't know who he was, maybe someone else would recognize him and he'd have some answers.

"Green" began fidgeting with a ring on his finger and it seemed to glow in response. He seemed to try to be remembering how to make it work, but gave up very soon afterward. "Bats" observed that the younger man seemed very nervous; a natural reaction given the circumstances. "S" seemed relatively calm and had immediately taken charge of the situation. Calling for help was a good move and "Bats" figured that, at least for now, he'd listen to "S".

Over the next few minutes, several more costumed people started to pour into the room, some men and some women. Some costumes were outlandish, and others were just plain weird. The last person to come in was a dark-haired woman in a red, gold and blue bathing suit. "Bats" saw her immediately and felt his heart skip a beat.

Though he knew he couldn't recall, he would have sworn he had never seen such a perfect looking woman. Her skin was not pasty white, but had a soft light-flesh tone, that was accentuated by large blue eyes. She seemed unsure of herself until he approached.

Not remembering who you were was a very frustrating circumstance for the woman, especially when she saw what she was wearing. Her first thoughts were an exotic dancer, but then she ran into the man missing a hand and realized that she was dressed no different than anyone else. Then there was the booming voice over the intercom that explained that there were people on board suffering from amnesia. She had breathed a sigh of relief; at least she wasn't alone.

The one-handed man had left her in the hallway, his manner quite rude. He had eyed her, staring mostly at her breasts, which threatened to pour out of her top. She felt embarrassed and angry at the same time, more so by his casual dismissal of her presence. Now, she saw a whole crowd of weirdly dressed people, all of them as lost as she was.

"Excuse me," came a deep baritone voice. The woman turned her head and saw a man standing next to her, dressed in some sort of…was that body armor with a bat-emblem. He wore no mask, and his rugged features were very pleasing. He had strong eyes, piercing in a way, and there was confidence in the way his jaw was set when he spoke. "I don't believe we've met, and I consider that a damn shame." He took her hand and kissed it, and she actually felt herself blushing. Her heart began to race and she realized that he was looking at her face and not her chest.

"Does it matter now that we have?" she answered with a smile. He returned the smile and she saw a genuine joy creep into face. "I don't suppose you recognize me?" she asked.

"Well, if I were a betting man, I'd say you were a goddess and we were your servants."

She laughed at his joke and felt herself relax. "I suppose that means you're at my command."

He made a slight bow. "Whatever the lady's wish is, I intend to fulfill it."

Before she could comment, a man with a chalk-white face in a purple suit called to them. "Hey! If you two love-birds would like to join the rest of us?"

He smiled at her and waved his hand, indicating she could go first. He definitely made up for the lack of manners the one-handed man had demonstrated. As they joined the other persons, "S" was talking. "It seems that none of us has any recollection of who we are or how we got here, but we are apparently in the headquarters of the Justice League of America, according to the pictures on the wall. Looking at all of you, it appears to me that the blonde-haired woman and man are actual members, since they are in one of the pictures."

The blonde-haired man, who had one hand nodded and made a grunting sound. "Then it appears that I am in charge of the team."

The woman who was also indicated spoke up. "What about me? I'm in all of the same pictures you're in."

The man made a grimace. "Please! As if a woman could lead men."

The dark-haired woman was about to speak up when "Bats" laid a hand on her shoulder. Even with the glove on, it felt surprising good. He shook his head slowly and whispered into her ear. "We have to have a leader; better to get this over with now." His breath made the small hairs on her neck stand up.

She leaned back, giving him a good view of her neck. "Why don't you want to be leader?"

"Let's just say I'd rather keep my eye on…other things." There was no sarcasm or malicious intent in his tone, and she felt herself starting to blush again. It was silly, of course, to be carrying on in this way, especially in light of the situation. However, it simply felt good and relaxing to engage in flirtation with the handsome man who showed her so much attention.

"S" looked at the blonde-haired man. "That's not a very good attitude. What does sex have to do with it? For all we know, you could have been removed from the team and are here to pick up your things."

The man in the red body suit with a lightning bolt chuckled. "Good one, man!"

The blonde-haired man stepped up to "S". "Do not think because I am wounded," he held up the stump of his arm, "that I am weak. I was born to lead, I can feel it in my bones!"

The other man smiled. "Maybe so, but since we don't know anything yet, our first priority should be establishing our identities, not determining who's in charge."

"If this is from an attack by an enemy, then maybe we should concentrate on defense," the blonde-haired woman said.

"Does it matter?" the white-faced man said, fiddling with a flower in his lapel. "If we can't remember who we are, what kind of threat could we be? We're effectively eliminated from being a danger to anyone."

The blonde-haired woman pursed her lips at the logic. It was a sound argument, even if the person who spoke it sounded like a whipped child. "Okay, then how about we search this place for some clues. Obviously, the computers are down…"

"Which brings up another point," "Green" said. "Me and the little guy over there," he pointed to a man in a red and blue body suit, "we can't figure out why we're still able to breathe or why we have gravity. The power is still on, but the computers are down."

"They might have a lockout on them in the event of some sort of accident. Maybe that's why we can't remember anything," the dark-haired woman said. She noticed her handsome companion was nodding agreement. "There might be a way to re-initialize the system."

"Hell, just press Control-Alt-Delete," "Lightning Bolt" said sarcastically. "Works everywhere else."

The "Little Guy" shook his head. "True, on a Windows-based system, but I doubt that is what we have here. Systems like that could not possibly handle all of the multi-tasking operations required here."

"Lightning Bolt" looked bored. "Sure, whatever, egghead."

The blonde-haired man still had not backed down from "S". "We cannot carry on if we don't have sort of order. We need a leader to promote that."

There were murmurs from the assembled bodies. "Okay," "S" began, "for the sake of unity, let's elect a leader."

"A vote? Are you insane? Leadership, true leadership cannot be derived by the fortune of lot!" The blonde-haired man's face began to turn red.

A dark-haired man with goggles stretched his head to the front of the crowd. There were gasps and a small scream when he did so. "This is nuts. Fine, you want to be leader, be leader, but lets find out who we are!"

"S" seemed to ponder the notion for a moment. "Very well, you can be leader. However, if we find out you are not the true leader, you have to agree to relinquish command."

The blonde-haired man nodded, obviously satisfied for the moment. He walked over to a refreshment cart and picked up a pitcher of water. Putting it up to his lips, he took a long drink. He finished and looked at his new charges. "My first act will be to appoint the blonde with big mammaries as my second in command, since we are the only ones who can verify that we are actually part of the team."

The woman looked down at her chest and then looked at the man. "Pig! You ever hear of political correctness."

He waved her off with his good hand. "I have no time for politics. Whoever did this to us, if someone did, has a plan in mind. If we truly represent justice, we have to find out that plan and stop it."

"Bats" spoke up. "I volunteer to check out the lower levels, see of I can find a hard copy of some data." He turned to his companion. "Would you come with me? For some reason, and I don't mean this offhand, I don't like the feeling of being alone."

She smiled and nodded. "Green" was next to speak. "Seems to me that there at least two of us that know something about computers, or at least I should since I was obviously manning one when this all happened." He looked to the "Little Guy". "Would you help me out"?

"Little Guy" nodded and then looked to "Lightning Bolt". "Can we take him along for good measure?"

The blonde-haired man looked over at the bored youth. "Yes, please. Second-in-command, I charge you to take the rest of the team and to ensure there are no more members incapacitated or injured. Let's not use the intercom unless absolutely necessary."

With their tasks in hand, the teams moved out.

"Seems to be a swimming pool," "Bats" said, observing the large pool they had just discovered. "Want to take a dip?"

The woman smiled and considered it for a moment. "It may not be the right time."

He shrugged and pulled off his belt. "Damn thing weighs a ton. Never thought about it, but I might have some identification in it." He started rummaging through the various pouches, pulling out everything from smoke bomb capsules to a large metal bat emblem. Finally, he threw the belt down in disgust. "I must be a very secretive man. And a very dangerous one at that."

She laughed and then began to pat herself down. In a small pocket on her side, she withdrew a card. She read it and smiled. "Now, that's a surprise."

He stood up and walked over to her. She handed him the card and he saw it was a United Nations delegate badge. "Well, Princess Diana, at least you have a name."

"No last name?" she pondered.

"Maybe you're saving yourself for marriage," "Bats" said offhand.

She held up her left hand. "No ring on my finger; maybe you're right."

He pulled off his glove and showed his hand. "Nothing here, either."

She winked at him. "Guess that means we're free to do whatever we want."

He stood straight and rocked back and forth on his feet. "Sure looks that way, Princess."

She immediately turned, ran and jumped into the pool. She came up and threw her hair back and then crooked a finger at him. "You can call me, Diana."

He smiled and started to pull off his boots. They were heavy as well. He wondered how he was able to do anything wearing so much weight. "You can call me ready and able."

"Any video games around here," "Lightning Bolt" said, looking extremely bored. He appeared to have no attention span whatsoever. "This sucks."

"Green" looked disgusted. All the red-garbed man had done was complain that everything was going too slow. He looked over to the "Little Guy", who had his head inside a torn-apart console. "Do you think you do this in real-life?"

"Little Guy" continued to probe and prod. "Maybe, but I doubt it. Most of this stuff, while familiar, doesn't feel natural. I think I've worked with it, but on a larger scale. I don't know…everything looks so big…"

"I wish I knew what this ring was for," "Green" said.

"I got one, too," "Lighting Bolt" said, holding up his hand. There was a ring with a lightning emblem on it. I can feel another one under my costume, too, but I can't get the damn thing off. Good thing I don't have to pee."

"It's probably a wedding band," "Little Guy" said, crawling out from the console. "You're probably married."

"Aw, hell, that's all I need. Some on-the-rag-cow dragging me down. I got things to do."

"What, take a walk on the lunar surface?" "Green" asked. "Just shut-up."

"Lightning Bolt" stood up and put his fists out. "Man, you want a piece of this?"

"Little Guy" was to his feet before "Green". "Damn, you're impulsive! Settle down! For all you know, the two of you might be married to each other. It is the 21st century, you know."

The other two men immediately moved a way from each other, but kept eying the other with suspicion. "Little Guy" smiled and went back to work.

"We found not other personnel in the building, barring the lower levels. We're still waiting for a report from the bat-guy and the girl in the swimsuit," the blonde-haired woman began.

"I found another picture in a drawer over here," the blonde-haired man said to the work party. "It is torn slightly but it did have the names of some of the people in it. I'm called Aquaman, but I am also known as Orin and Arthur Curry, according to a United Nations delegate identification I have. For now, I would prefer to be called Orin. You, my dear, are the Black Canary and I believe our stretching friend is the Elongated Man."

"Elongated Man?" the goggled-man said. "That's a stupid name!"

"Look at you abilities," Orin said offhand. He then turned to "S" man. "I have no idea who you or the white-faced buffoon is…"

"Buffoon?" the man said, shocked. Then his face became withdrawn as if he had already accepted his lot.

"The 'S' on your chest must mean something," Black Canary said, eyeing it with a grin. For some reason, the older man appealed to her. "Maybe it's a clue to who you are."

"I've thought about that. It's on my chest and my cape, so it must be important. Perhaps it is a symbol of authority. Maybe this costume is a uniform."

"I doubt that," Orin said, sipping from a water glass. "This is not a military unit as far as I can tell. This station, for lack of a better word, has no offensive weapon mounts anywhere."

 "I did see something on one of the decks…it looks like a trophy hall; I'd like to look into it," "S" said.

"I didn't see any trophy hall," Elongated Man said, scratching his chin.

"I can see though things," "S" said quietly.

The others didn't say anything for a moment, and the Black Canary smiled. "What color are my panties?"

"Pink," "S" said, looking down at the floor.

She didn't know if it was true, since she couldn't remember getting dressed that day, but she wasn't about to drop her pants right there to check. She took his embarrassment as a sign of honesty. "He's right."

"Lovely, maybe the 'S' stands for sicko," Orin said in disgust.

"Don't say that!" the white-faced man suddenly exploded. "Don't call him that!"

"S" laid a hand on the trembling man's shoulder. "It's okay…uh…I don't even know what to call you."

Orin threw up his hands. "Call him Jack, as in don't-know-jack!"

"S" smiled. "Fine," he said in a calm voice. "Jack, don't pay attention to him in that regard. We're all under a lot of stress right now. You can call me Steve. Is that okay with everyone?"

There were nods and then Elongated Man chimed up. "Can I change my name?"

Breathless and with every nerve tingling, Diana rolled off of "Bats" and stared up at the metallic gray ceiling. Their lovemaking had been passionate and forceful; both of them attempting to out do the other in form and function. Though she had no memory to recollect, she was sure that she had never experienced anything like that before.

"Bats" on the other hand, was completely dazed. So perfect had their rhythm been that he marveling at how he had survived. Her form hid an inner strength unheard of in normal women, to be sure. He had no memory of previous sexual encounters, but he smiled when he thought this undoubtedly had been the best. "That was interesting," he said between breaths.

She rolled onto one elbow and began to play with hairs on his sweaty chest. "Especially that last part; what movie did you see that in?"

He laughed. It boomed in the cavernous room. "I can't remember the last movie I saw, but I'm sure it was rated G."

"Oh, I bet," she said, her hand slowly moving lower on his torso. He obliged by rubbing the small of her back. "I don't suppose there is any Viagra in that belt of yours"

He leaned over and kissed her. He suddenly felt free. "In case you haven't noticed, Princess, I don't need it."

Her eyes darted to his waist and a devilish grin came across her face. "There's something you don't see every day."

He pulled her on top of him, enjoying the sway of her breasts. "Who says you couldn't"

Without another word, they were once again caught up in the moment.

"I'm called the Flash!"

"Green" looked over at the other man, who was looking at a magazine. "In fact, my real name is Wally West. See!" He held up the magazine with the centerfold out. There he was, next to a woman in a wedding dress. "Says I married this girl…whoa! Check out the hooters! Man, I gotta get out of here!"

Snatching the magazine away and getting a gasp of surprise from Wally, "Green" looked at the picture. Several of the people trapped in the station were pictured there, including himself. "This is about a year old. It says that members of the Justice League of America and the Justice Society were all present, but it doesn't give any names."

"Little Guy" took the magazine away and flipped through the pages. After a few minutes, he handed it back to Wally, who grabbed it with a sneer. "It helps a little. It tells us that most of us are members, even me it looks like. It also shows that I can shrink in size."

"I noticed that. Did you see me? I was floating in the air. I bet this ring makes me fly!"

"So fly, idiot," Wally said without looking up.

"I can't remember how to, damn it! I know this ring is the key, but I don't know how to work it."

"Can I see it?" "Little Guy" asked. "Green" hesitated, but then removed it and handed it over. "Little Guy" gave it the once over and then handed it back. "Looks like a simple ring, nothing special. Maybe it just focuses an internal power. Hell, I'd like to know how to shrink…"

"That's useful," Wally snorted. "Maybe you're the Tidy-Bowl Man!"

"The arrows belong to someone called Green Arrow," Steve said.

Black Canary shrugged. "Never heard of him. Tell me about yourself."

Steve smiled. He knew that the young woman was attracted to him and he couldn't help but admit that he found her equally appealing. Yet, he knew that there were more important matters at hand. "I don't really remember anything."

"Sooooo," she dragged it out while stretched, forcing her chest out. "You must be pretty bummed out over all of this."

Steve shrugged. "Only if I can't find an answer, and I still haven't finished looking for clues."

"So I guess that makes you Fred and I'm Daphne, and those two dorks are Shaggy and Scooby."

Steve glanced over at Elongated Man and Jack, who were moving towards another doorway. He understood the implication of the statement. "How about we save the separating into teams until we actually see a ghost."

Suddenly, they heard Jack scream and begin sobbing and the two heroes ran into the room the other two had disappeared into. Inside, they saw Jack on his knees, holding his head and crying. Elongated Man was trying to get him to stop. Steve surveyed the room and suddenly felt a wave of sadness wash over him.

There were statues, all cast in cold white marble, grimly highlighted by floor lamps. There were plaques under each with names of each person, followed by the date of death. Steve read them silently to himself. Flash. Green Lantern. Vibe. Steel. Tomorrow Woman.

"Make them stop, make them stop!" Jack cried. "The voices! They won't stop. Laughing. Giggling!"

Black Canary and Steve looked at each other, a silent message passing between them. Who was this man and what demons had possessed him?

I am awake and yet I cannot see myself. Oh! I'm invisible…

With the barest of thoughts, the Martian Manhunter gained control over his molecules and allowed them to become apparent to the seeing world. He looked around the room and tried to piece together what had happened.

He had been questioning the Joker, using subtle techniques, but the Clown Prince of Crime was an old hand at such things and began twisting the interview around. It had been frustrating, a J'onn, his Martian name, had to restrain himself from hitting the man. The conversation had turned from finding out who the hacker was that tapped into the teleporters to a discussion on why fecal matter had great aerodynamic qualities.

Then, there had been the wave of nothingness that had swept over him. His telepathic senses had gone into override and it took supreme will to make him invisible. Obviously, the Joker, thinking he had left, had escaped during his slumber.

Without further hesitation, he sent out a telepathic probe throughout the Watchtower and was shocked by what came back. He knew not the reason why, but his allies were unaware of who they were! He knew what he had to do, but loathed to do it.

There was a justifiable fear among his comrades of his using his telepathic abilities to learn their secrets, to invade their privacy. He had restrained himself all he could to show his friends that he meant no harm, but fear was not an easy thing to overcome.

In this situation, he saw no other choice. He knew that despite the "damage" done to them, he could repair it and he no time to lose. Closing his eyes, blotting out his mundane senses, he opened the minds of the Justice League of America.

"Man, oh man! Is she sweet or what, guys?" Wally asked for what seemed the millionth time.

"Green" was about to rebuke him again when he suddenly felt…normal. "Oh, crap…I remember who I am!"

The Atom stood up. "Ray Palmer, the Mighty Mite, reporting for duty!"

Green Lantern returned the salute and then looked over at the Flash. "Wally?"

The Flash was shaking his head. "Do I feel like a jerk or what?"

Green Lantern and the Atom walked over and slapped him on the back, threatening to inform his wife about every lurid detail of his recent fantasies.

Orin was about to use the intercom to call Steve up to the monitor room when he felt a tingle in the back of his head and sudden awareness of what and who he was. He sat down in the chair and grabbed the glass of water and laughed. Soon, there were tears running down his face as he realized he had actually, for a few hours, bullied Superman around.

Superman stood up straight and looked to Black Canary, who was blushing from embarrassment. She tried to put together some sort of apology, but then she saw the look on the Man of Steel's face and realized it wasn't necessary. Superman immediately turned to the Joker, who was held fast by the pliable arms of Plastic Man. There was a look of utter confusion on his face.

"What did you do to me? This is…nuts! Good lord, they call me crazy! You're the fruit loops, here! I'll tell you what you want to know, just send me back to Arkham where the normal people are!"

Plastic Man grinned at Superman and began to haul the Joker off to the holding cell.

Diana sat across from the Martian Manhunter, fidgeting with the end of her magic lasso. She had avoided talking about the events of two weeks prior to anyone, especially the Batman, who had made himself absent from the Watchtower in that time. He was present only now because of a special meeting called by Superman to discuss upgrading the defensive shielding of the base.

They still were not aware of exactly what had happened, but the Atom had theorized that perhaps a tachyon field of proper wavelength might have washed over the moon. The only cause for that would be a ship going into hyperspace. Such theory was a little outside his specialty, but he had consulted with several experts at S.T.A.R. labs and a proper defense was being devised.

"What are you feeling, Diana?" J'onn asked.

She sighed. "Embarrassment. Shame. Disgust. I could go on if you like?"

"Why? You seem to believe that you were in control. You weren't."

"It goes against my upbringing, to act like a damn cat in heat! I'm a princess of the Amazons."

J'onn nodded slowly. "Why do you think that you did what you did?"

She hesitated. J'onn could sense her attempt to deceive herself, but withheld an actual probe of her mind. He knew the answers already; he wanted to see of Diana did. "I don't know, maybe on some level, I've always been attracted to Batman…Bruce. He's certainly handsome and capable, but…"


"He's so arrogant, so aristocratic…it disgusts me."

"Is he? Is that the way Bruce Wayne really is, or is that how you simply picture him?"

"I don't know. I've been attracted to Kal…Superman…but woman hasn't. Even when we lost our memories, he maintained that noble essence. And Arthur, we have so much in common in background, religion…but Bruce?" She seemed drained as she continued. "Okay, maybe I've always wanted to know what it would be like to be appreciated by a man so dedicated…so intense in his beliefs. If Batman loves you, and I'm only using the term for lack of a better one, then he will love you intensely."

"Does the fact that you had sex with him cause you grief, or is it because you have denied your desires for so long?"

She snorted. "I'm an Amazon…we're raised to deny our desires. Is it the sex? Yes…no…I don't know. I'm not a naïve little girl, J'onn, I have had sex before…just not like that. I'm not boasting, but very few men can…can…satisfy me. I'm an Amazon."

"So, you believe that by avoiding talking to Batman about it, you can make it go away, that all will be forgotten. What about his feelings? Obviously, on same basic level, he found you desirable. Imagine what this must be doing to him, without some closure."

"J'onn, we were like animals, working on basic instinct."

J'onn nodded. "I'm not an expert on human physiology, and despite your origins, I find you to be very human. In humans, I find that instinct is generally a mislabeling. Simply put, when you were free from the restraints you and Batman had placed upon yourselves, you allowed yourselves the freedom you both desired. You are a woman, and while not trying to generalize, on some level, you're seeking an emotional bond and you haven't found it yet. You are virtually immortal and therefore, you seek out things that will last forever. For the Batman, I imagine he wants nothing more than to toss away the cape and cowl and settle down with a good woman. Have a family…"

Diana laughed at the thought. "I can't see him having children." Then she caught herself. Bruce Wayne had two adoptive sons and one of them was dead.

"But, he can't. He has a sense of duty, borne not out of revenge, but out of love for people he cared about very much. You've picked up on that and have seen past the façade of darkness he puts around himself."

"So, what, I should ask him out? Have a baby with him?"

J'onn smiled and stood up, indicating the session was over. "No. I'm saying that no matter what you do, you both realize that there may be something beyond simple comradeship. To not explore it or stop it would be wrong. You cannot allow this to linger, it doesn't do any of you any good."

As Superman brought the meeting to a close, many of the members began to file out, something being said about a video game tournament between Plastic Man and the Flash. As Batman headed to the door, he heard Wonder Woman call to him. "Batman, may I speak with you?"

His shoulders stiffened and he slowly turned around. He had wanted to avoid this meeting because he wasn't sure how to deal with it. For two weeks, he had tried to put the thoughts out of his head, but that was impossible.

For years, he had tried to maintain the idea that he saw Wonder Woman only as a teammate, a fellow super-hero and a good one. He disagreed with many things she said, but respected her honesty and dedication to her causes.

When their memories had returned, they were in their fourth lovemaking session and when he saw her nude form underneath him, he had choked up, going into a coughing spasm. She had a look of horror on her face, and he had surmised it was because of who he was. He knew she found him to be beneath her, but he accepted that. She was an Amazon, and he was a man bent on a mission that had no end. Not exactly a perfect match. "What can I do for you, Wonder Woman?"

"Diana, please, I think we can dispense with the formalities. We're alone now. The only people that know what happened are you, me and J'onn and he's not telling anyone."

Batman nodded and then sat down, a very uncharacteristic act on his part. He pushed back his cowl, revealing a pale face with dark circles under the eyes. He had been getting less sleep than usual lately. "What do you want to talk about?"

She took a chair on the opposite end of the table. "Us."

"That's not open for discussion. I've already apologized for my actions; I'll even resign from the team if you like." There was a sound of defeat in his voice. She could tell he hated conversations like this. She couldn't imagine how many broken hearts he had left in his quest.

"No, I don't want you to resign and I don't want this to affect our working relationship. On some level, we both wanted it to happen; it took me awhile to figure that out."

Bruce smiled. "Sounds like you've been in one of J'onn's sessions."

"You might try it."

"No thanks; I like my pain. So what do we do from here, then? Pretend it didn't happen?"

"No. I say we just see what happens. We know, now, how we feel about each other, that there is at least some attraction."

Batman nodded. "How about dinner, then? Saturday?"

"Yes," she answered quickly; a little to quickly and she started to blush. "That would be nice," she added. "However, it may not be good for Bruce Wayne to be seen with Princess Diana."

Batman stood up and replaced his cowl, He seemed surer of himself. "Don't worry, they'll just add you to my list of broken hearts."

As he started to leave, she called out to him. "Be careful, Mr. Wayne; they may just add you to mine."

The End