Karm couldn't stop herself.
It was as if someone else had wrenched control away, and she was helpless to stop them.
'What good is all my strength if I can't stop myself?'
Yelling pierced the darkness surrounding her, and the Justice League filled her vision.
Black Canary and Huntress had stepped forward, looking wary and concerned.
"Karma! Don't do this!"
"We don't want to hurt you!"
"Hurt her? Don't make me laugh." Parson replied, walking up from behind with the controller.
"In this form, even your precious Watchtower falling out of the sky wouldn't leave a scratch."
'Leave them alone!' Karm practically screamed in her head.
'LEAVE THEM ALONE!'
"Karm, you've got to fight it! You're stronger than this!" Supergirl shouted.
'But I'm NOT. Get out of here!'
"How sweet, but it won't work."
A jolt of pain, and Karma would have cringed had she been in control…
"Justice League, meet your doom."
There was a flurry of motion, and it took a few moments for Karm to realize SHE was the one moving.
Black Canary, Green Arrow, Supergirl, Green Lantern, Fire, Ice…
They blasted at her with all their strength, but nothing they did could slow her down.
With a speed and lethality that was not her own, she proceeded to pummel her friends into the ground.
Supergirl and Superman were the only ones able to take her blows at all, but even they were wearing down as she broke through the line.
Buildings were demolished, roads torn up, and the Justice League was scattered on the ground in different stages of unconsciousness.
The only thing that stopped her was…
Looking concerned, the redhead stepped closer as her sister stopped moving immediately.
"Karm, please stop. I know you can do it."
'I can't, De. I CAN'T.'
Every superhero was poised to return to combat, watching them warily as Psych stopped behind the older woman.
"…You won't hurt me."
'You don't know that. I don't know that.'
"I know you won't."
"…D-De…" Karm managed to force out, forcing back control of her voice box.
The darkness began to envelop her once more…
For the longest moment, everything was black, and when her vision returned, Karma had blood on her hand and Psych's crumpled form at her feet.
She felt like crying, like screaming, like tearing apart Parson until all of the sadness and rage and GRIEF were gone…
But that would never take back what she had done.
In a blur of red, she was gone, being cradled by Flash a safe distance away.
"De, wake up! Come on, De! Wake up!"
Karm's heart cracked, and the pain was worse than the electricity that had taken her control away…
'I'm so sorry…I didn't want to, I…'
Her head turned of its own accord, and there was Batman, as immovable and certain as ever.
'Damn it, Bruce! Don't do this to me! I don't want to hurt you!'
"You can stop this."
'But I CAN'T!'
"You're stronger than this."
'But I'm NOT!'
"I believe in you."
That caught her completely off-guard.
He said he TRUSTED her…
And when had Batman ever placed his trust in someone who didn't deserve it?
But when her body began to move towards him with deadly intent, Karma fought back with a vengeance.
Batman didn't move an inch as she pulled back her fist and picked up speed, and just before her fist connected with his face-.
"What are you two doing?"
De and Flash paused, looking up from the newest League members, Static and Gear, to Karm.
"Um…Hey, Karm…" Flash greeted.
"Are you two telling them another story? It better not be about my pregnancy mood swings…"
"We're telling them about how we first joined the League." De assured, smiling.
"…You better not have told them the R-rated stuff…"
"NO. Of course not!" Flash replied, vibrating nervously.
"Relax, Karm. We just wanted to know how you two got into the League." Static explained.
They had met when Karm had been assigned to help out in Detroit, and both younger heroes looked up to her.
Something about her determination and gruff affection could make almost anyone feel secure.
"I'm not yelling at you, Virgil. I'm yelling at HIM!"
Flash proceeded to hide behind De, who smiled in amusement, as Karm mock-glared.
As the brunette sat down at the cafeteria table with them, Gear spoke up.
"So, what stopped you from killing Batman?"
"…I couldn't do it." Karm admitted.
"When you really care about somebody, you never want to hurt them. I wasn't going to, no matter what that chip told me to do."
"She broke its control, and defeated Lucifer's army." De explained.
"Karm was like this unstoppable force just ramming through all those science experiments like they were made of cardboard and they just went BOOM and CRASH and flew around-!"
"Flash, relax." De soothed, trying to stop her husband's rant.
"What happened to Parson?" Static wondered.
"…He's still rotting in prison." Karm answered darkly.
"I've made sure he's never coming out."
Before the talk could take a darker, more awkward turn, a bright, cheery voice broke through.
A young girl, only six years old, with dark hair and blue eyes, smiled at them from across the cafeteria before flipping onto a table.
She proceeded to flip and twist from table to table, looking as graceful as a dancer, before landing on her feet.
"See, mommy? I did it!"
Running up, the little girl wrapped her arms around Karm's waist and beamed.
"Did I do good, mommy?"
"You did great, Kana." Karm replied, smiling warmly as she lifted the girl onto her lap.
"I don't think you two have met my daughter. This is Kana. Kana, this is Static and this is Gear."
"Hi, Static! Hi, Gear!" Kana greeted cheerfully.
"Hey, there." Static replied, smiling at her excitement.
It was amazing, to think that this little girl had Batman's DNA…
"Why don't you go get daddy?"
Kana scrambled to the floor before running to find Batman, and Karm relaxed.
"…You look really happy." Static noticed.
"Life's good right now." She admitted.
"I have a beautiful little girl, and another baby on the way…I finally have a family, you know?"
Everyone nodded, understanding.
"Hey, who wants ice cream?" Flash wondered, breaking the comfortable silence.
"I DO!" Kana shouted, running from the shelter of her father's cape to get the sweet treat.
"Only one cone this time." Karm assured, chuckling as her daughter clambered over Flash's shoulder in search of ice cream.
"I want some, too!" Another little girl called, little red hawk wings flapping as the six year old tried to escape Shayera's hold.
"Not until you've had lunch, Madre." Hawkgirl reminded.
"Daddy, I want ice cream!" Madre pleaded, looking towards her father for help.
Green Lantern almost melted at the sight of his little girl's sad gold eyes, and adjusted her five year old little brother, William, in his arms.
"You heard your mother."
"They have tacos today." Shayera noted.
Now Madre was trying to half-fly towards the tacos on display, and both heroes finally relented.
"Having a rough day?" Karm called, smirking.
"NOT FUNNY, Karm." Shayera shouted back.
"What's with the gathering?" Superman wondered, walking in with his own six year old, Donald, at his heels.
"Getting ice cream!" Flash answered, zipping away and coming back with a chocolate cone for Kana despite Batman's glare.
"Can I get some, dad?" Donald asked, looking hopeful.
"We've got to get back to your mom now that she's pregnant…" Superman started.
"But I guess one cone couldn't hurt."
As Donald rushed to get his own ice cream, Wonder Woman came in leading both her own five year old, Yuriko, and De's four year old, Iris.
"She's been asking for you." The Amazon explained, lifting the teary-eyed redhead so De could claim her.
"What's wrong, sweetie?" She cooed, trying to soothe her daughter.
"Iwis fell down." Yuriko explained, looking serious.
"She stawted cwying, so I helped hew up."
"Thank you for helping her, Yuriko." De replied.
The four year old sniffled before giving a watery smile to her older friend.
"Thank you, Yuwiko."
Blushing, the young Amazon ducked her head, brown hair falling across her face.
Gear grinned, elbowing his friend to point out Kana, licking her ice cream as she was cradled in her father's arm and half-shielded by his dark cape.
When both began to snicker, seeing the big bad Bat being all gentle was just amusing, he sent them a Bat-Glare that reminded them he was still the Goddamn Batman.
"Daddy, mommy said you're not supposed to glare like that at people." Kana reprimanded cutely.
"I'm not glaring."
"Then why did they stop giggling?"
"We're not giggling!"
"We're totally doing a manly chuckle!"
Batman's mouth twitched, the closest he would get to a smile in-uniform, and Kana giggled before returning to her melting treat.
Karm smirked, clearly amused, as Shayera and John sat down with their own children.
"Might as well give it up. Kana NEVER lets anything funny go."
A drop of ice cream splashed on her nose, and most of the young children laughed as Kana put on an innocent expression.
This time, Batman barely held back the smile.
"You were saying, Karma?"