Sacrifice

Hi, this is my first JSA fanfic, so please read and review. It is set before the events of Identity Crisis. Hope you enjoy.

Disclaimer: I do not own JSA or any DC characters.

Dr. Mid-Nite swerved to the side, easily avoiding his attacker's blow, and gave a slight smile. A moment later the assassin lay sprawled at his feet. Mid-Nite's smirk broadened. It was not the first time that his knowledge of anatomy, and of nerve clusters and pressure in particular, had come in handy.

Glancing around, Mid-Nite surveyed the battle. A few metres away Mr. Terrific was locked in combat with another assassin. The chairman looked like he was thoroughly enjoying himself, and Mid-Nite knew better than to interfere. Above him, Hawkgirl was circling like her namesake, swooping down into the fray whenever she spotted an opening. She caught the doctor's eye and grinned, before returning her attention to the melee below. It was nearly over; the last of the assassins had abandoned their assault and were running for the cover of the nearby trees. Mid-Nite shook his head in amusement. They always tried to run. The thought had barely crossed his mind before a blur of movement raced by, causing his cape to whip around him in the sudden breeze. Less than a second later, the fleeing assassins were unconscious and the Flash appeared next to him.

Despite his exertions, the speedster was still breathing lightly. Automatically, Mid-Nite found himself scanning his body for injuries, even though he knew the likelihood of anything hitting his friend was slim to say the least. Jay grinned at him. "I'm fine Pieter. See, not a scratch." Mid-Nite smiled apologetically.

"Sorry, habit." Jay shrugged.

"Better safe than sorry." He glanced round for their teammates. "I think we're about done here. We'd better do a final sweep before we go though, eh Piet? Pieter?" Jay spun round to face the doctor, then stepped back in shock.

Mid-Nite was swaying unsteadily on his feet, his face an ashen grey under his mask. Jay gripped his arm in alarm, just as his friend began to topple forwards. Hurriedly, Jay caught him and lowered him to the floor. As he did so, a small dart fell, unnoticed, from Pieter's neck. Carefully, Jay removed the doctor's mask and recoiled in surprise. Pieter's eyes had rolled back in his head until only the whites were showing, and his body was beginning to tremble violently. With a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach, Jay placed the back of his hand against Pieter's forehead. As he had feared, the skin was dangerously warm. "Terrific," he shouted. "We need your help over here."

A second later he heard running footsteps, and glanced up as the chairman came to a halt next to him. "What…?" Michael began, then he caught sight of Pieter and his face paled. "What happened?" he asked anxiously as he knelt by his friend's side. Jay spread his arms helplessly.

"I don't know," he said honestly. "One minute he was fine, the next…" He gestured at Pieter's prone body in dismay. Terrific was rapidly scanning the doctor for injuries.

"It looks like he's been poisoned, "he muttered. "But there's no sign of any wound." He glanced up at the Flash, concern clearly visible in his dark eyes. "Take him back to the brownstone," he ordered. "Link the diagnostic computer with the main database; this could be anything. We'll join you as soon as we're finished here." Jay nodded in agreement, then there was a red blur, and doctor and speedster were gone.

Terrific rose to his feet as Hawkgirl landed next to him. "What happened to Mid-Nite?" she asked. "Is he okay?"

"He's been poisoned. Jay's taken him back to headquarters." Seeing how her grip on her mace tightened, he added "I'm sure he'll be fine. Once we've identified the poison, it shouldn't be too hard to synthesise an antidote." Kendra still looked doubtful, but she said nothing. A few minutes later, they were joined by the rest of the team.

Quickly, Terrific explained what had happened. By the time he had finished, every face was as grim as Hawkgirl's, but, Michael knew they had to remain focussed. "We need to do a final check before we leave; there could be others hidden that didn't try to fight." His voice softened slightly. "I know you're worried about Mid-Nite, but we have a job to do, and we can't leave until the ambassadors are safe. Any questions? Then let's go."

Michael strode towards the hotel as the rest of the team scattered. Beneath his calm demeanour, the chairman was just as concerned about Mid-Nite as the others, but the knowledge that the rest of the team would look to him for leadership forced him to conceal his worries. With a sigh, he tried to concentrate. There was nothing he could do for Mid-Nite, and he knew that worry was counter-productive. All they could do was wait, and hope that they could find an antidote.