Chapter Four: Set In Motion.
Gippal sighed wearily, and made his way down to the Machina Storehouse. The Machina Storehouse was a deliberate misnomer. It was in fact where the more experimental projects were stored. The innocuous name was to discourage prying eyes.
But things had been going missing recently, and this worried Gippal more than he let on. The security around the Storehouse was pretty heavy-duty, if suitably discreet.
Opening the Storehouse door, he flicked on a light switch and stepped inside. The untidy nature of the storehouse meant that the machina were piled up in no order, casting strange shadows on the walls. Slowly, Gippal began to take stock.
A bunch of B-Worker Drones missing, three Solar Cells, and six semi-operational Mech Scouts (Class XII, disarmed), and the salvaged Zanarkand Mana Cannon looks like it's been gutted. Why? What logic is there to this? It doesn't add up at all.
He looked around again.
They've left the Class II Maw, as well as all the blueprints. If anything was going to get stolen, I would have bet on those. None of the Zanarkand Tech has been touched, and I know how much that ancient crap is worth on the black market. Hell, that's where I bought half the stuff from.
But instead they swipe a team of maintenance drones, a few batteries, and some broken scouts we mostly use to test the new weapons on. They've messed with the Machina Cannon, looks like they ripped out the lodestone. At least that crime makes some sense.
The magical artefact known as a lodestone was the power behind the Machina Cannon. It was small, light, and worth a fortune. Worth stealing, in short.
They made a mistake there, though. If a lodestone suddenly comes on the market, and I find out about it, I'll have found our uninvited guests. And I will find out.
It had been four days, and Wally was starting to enjoy his time with these new people. Mainly because those that were acquainted with him seemed very friendly, and the rest were in slack jawed awe of him. This was always nice.
Imagine their reaction if Supes turned up. Hell, they'd probably start a cult to him. It happened on Earth…
"Hey! Over here!" Wakka's voice penetrated the early evening air, and Wally zipped over to his side, ignoring the stabbing pains in his stomach. Wakka patted the ground next to him, and Wally joined him in sitting by the fire, along with the others in their strange little circle.
"We all kinda realised that we don' know anything about your world. If you don' wanna tell us, it's fine, ya know, but-"
Wally grinned, and waved him into silence. After ensuring everyone's rapt attention, he began.
"Well, it all began one night in my lab. I was working late, and there was a storm brewing. I'd picked up some chemicals, when all of a sudden there was a crash, and a bolt of lightning smashed through my window and hit me." Rikku winced appreciatively at this. "When I came to, I noticed something weird, but I couldn't quite tell what it was. I went outside, and saw that everyone was moving slightly slower than normal. Putting this aside for a while, I decided to jog home. I was kinda freaked when it took me ten seconds." A chuckle encouraged him to continue. "After a couple of days, and some amusing accidents that I won't tell you about 'cause they're horribly embarrassing, I got a visit from my Uncle Barry.
"Turns out he was the first Flash, well, second, but that's not important, and he taught me to use my powers. He was real cool too, helped me design my costume, and showed me pretty much every trick I know.
"For a few years, I guarded my home city, the twin cities of Central and Keystone. I fought a strange bunch of bad guys, including a guy who used to be an advertisement for kid's toys, and another guy who made his weapon by accident. It was a pretty easy gig, all things considered; I had the admiration of the entire populace, and never really considered doing anything different.
"Then I heard a voice in my head telling me to go off and fight aliens."
That remark was met with silence.
"It's true! The voice belonged to J'onn J'onzz, who's psychic. A bunch of aliens had arrived, and started attacking the world. We kinda didn't stand a chance until J'onn- who's another kind of alien- gathered a bunch of us together and we kicked their asses. Afterwards, we decided to stay as a group- except Batman, but he stayed as a "part-time" member, and we formed the Justice League.
"It was a blast, for the first few years. We kicked ass, took names, saved the world, and got cats down from trees. Had our base up in space, which was cool in a rhyming sort of way.
"Then it all went kinda screwy. One of our group turned out to be an alien spy when her people came to Earth. Long story short, her race was going to sacrifice Earth to defeat their enemies. We stopped them, but Shayera- the spy- quit the League and disappeared for a while.
"The League expanded after that. Got a whole bunch of new members, and a bigger base. One with great big laser cannons.
Seems we- that's the collective we, I was totally against this- got a bit full of ourselves, acted a little too much like an army. The Government got scared, and devised a plan to take us out, if we ever needed taking out. Called it "Cadmus". One of our big enemies, Lex Luthor, hijacked this project and set it off. There was this big-ass fight, which I only saw a little of, and in the end I pushed myself too far. Took down Luthor and pretty much won the fight, but went too fast and slipped away."
He sighed, and waved his arm expressively. "And so I'm here. Kickass story, huh?"
After a little while, Rikku spoke. "Are you saying you've been into space?"
"Cool. What's it like?"
"Well, it's kinda cool seeing the sun rise over the Earth the first hundred times, but after that it gets kinda repetitive. Antigravity is fun, though. I turned it off once, just for fun. Took seven hours for Superman and J'onn to notice the difference. Me flying like a hummingbird might have tipped them off." He yawned hugely, and stood.
"Hope that satisfies your curiosity, folks, 'cause I'm about to fall asleep." With that, he waved over his shoulder at the crowd, before stumbling in the direction of his borrowed bed.