I would like to ask anyone who owns these characters to find it in their hearts not to sue me.
As always I would like to thank my BETA Hepburn, without whom this may be illeagable (see what I mean?) This story takes place in the same continuity to "New Situation" and everything else that is connected to that, however you don't really need to read any of that to get this one.
It is approximately one hour before the time for his charge to do his patrol, and Alfred Pennyworth is busying himself with normal household duties. Suddenly there is a loud banging on the manor's front door. Unconcerned Alfred walks over to the door, grabs the hidden double barrel shotgun (just in case), and looks through the peephole. Surprised by whom he sees on the other side, he quickly puts the shotgun back in its hiding place and opens the door. "Ms. Lane?!" He asks.
Lois rushes past him and into the manor shouting, " I Love ya Alfred but I don't have time to chat!" over her shoulder. The reporter runs straight to the study and quickly opens the entrance behind the grandfather clock, before running down the stairs.
The Batman had been checking over his gear, and when he heard the sound of the secret door that connects the cave to the manor opening he thought it was Alfred. That thought is proven wrong though when the noise of high heels on stone steps reach his ears. By the sound of the steps he is able to rule out either Diana and Barbra, so he readies a Batarang and is surprised when the image of Lois Lane stomping into view shouting, "Bruce!"
The Dark Knight puts away his weapon and waits as Lois stops in front of him and begins panting in breaths. "Lois?"
"I need...your help," she answers, still trying to catch her breath.
"I gathered." he answers, " You couldn't have called before flying all the way to Gotham?"
"I didn't fly, I had the League teleport me here," she answers, "and I could have been put right at your front door instead of two miles away if you weren't so damn paranoid!"
In a calm and slow voice Batman asks, "What is it that you need my help with Lois?"
"Its Clark, he's missing. He has been missing for five days!" She tells him.
"Why hasn't the League done something yet?" he asks her.
"Well, two days before he disappeared he told them that he would be working in the Fortress for awhile and that they shouldn't worry," Lois explains.
Under his cowl the Batman's eyebrows raise, "Don't you think that means he's still in the Fortress?" he asks.
"Its up in the arctic, and its built to block communications, you know hence Fortress of freaking Solitude, and all of the so called 'superheroes' are too busy to help me, so how the Hell am I supposed to know?!" she shouts back. "Which is why you have to get your gloomy pointy eared butt up there and find out!"
The Batman's head cocks to one side for a second. "Lois, I have to go on patrol," he tells her.
"Is the Joker loose?" she asks, giving him an evil eye.
"What...no," he answers.
"Then one of your sidekicks can handle it!" she tells him. Her shoulders fall, "Look Bruce, he got in touch with me, twice a day, for two days before he went missing."
"Lois I have things to do, and I'm not Clark's babysitter," Batman answers.
"Of course you are," Lois says back. The Batman blinks at that. "Clark Kent, Kal-el, Superman, whatever you want to call him, looks after the whole world. Only a few people look after him. One of those people is me and," she pokes her finger at his chest, "another one of those people is you!"
The Batman's fists clench and he stretches up to his full hight. "Fine," he answers.
In answer Lois throws her arms around him in a hug and buries her head in his chest. "Oh thank you Bruce, I'm so worried."
The Batman sighs and pats her on the head.
A little while later the Batwing silently lands at Superman's Fortress of Solitude. The Batman gets out and begins systematically searching the area. While he does not find his friend, he does come across the Phantom Zone Projector. It is turned on and seems to be projecting a portal onto the wall. According to the machine it is a portal to the Phantom Zone, however the landscape on the other side looks nothing like it.
Whenever the Batman has seen the Phantom Zone, it has looked like a swirling red and black void, in which its inmates floated. The space on the other side of the portal has a definite ground and a definable sky, and is filled with bizarre "plants". However the only colors visible on the other side are still red and black.
The Batman pulls out a device from his belt. He turns it on and links it to the frequency of his JL communicator, boosting the signal. "Batman to Metrotower," he says through it.
"Tower reads you Batman, but barely. Where are you transmitting from?" Mr. Terrific asks.
"Doesn't matter, just assemble a team and send it to my location," he answers. As he does he shoots a grapple into the portal. He watches it fly into it and come back, seemingly unaffected.
"I'm sorry Batman, but we don't have anyone to send right now," Terrific answers.
The Batman steps forward and sticks the end of a probe through the portal. As information about the environment on the alien world passes over the lenses of his cowl he retorts, "What the hell do you mean no one? This is a priority rescue mission, split some members off from the field teams and beam them down here."
"Every League Member on Earth is currently working on one crisis or another, and a good amount of our forces are 'out of town'. Way 'out of town'. As soon as someone becomes available I'll send them to you, until then I'm sorry, but there is nothing I can do," he answers.
"Terrific," Batman says before he cuts the transmission. He looks through onto the eerie red world before him. "Kent, there are days when I truly dislike you," he says as he steps through.
TBC, tell me what you think everybody!