Light: Oh wow! I've never gotten this many reviews before. I'm flattered :P
SabakuNoGaara426: Thank you SO MUCH for the review! And thank you for the offer; I may take you up on that! It's always better to have two brains of knowledge then just one :P You've given me a new drive for the story that I lost with the lack of new episodes. But no more! I WILL make this story epic! Hopefully, I'll live up to everyone's standards lol :P
Bunni Munchies: You're right, sorry. I didn't think about it, I've never done a crossover before :P Thanks for the advice and the compliment. And really FF is a hobby, so I might take long breaks in between. I'll try to be as consistent as possible, promise! :D
Ramen Princess 21 : Sisters! Where have thou art been? Lol, and thank you for the compliment! I always thought so too :P We need to visit each other ASAP!
Cherry-888: You'll have to wait and see ;P Major key to the plot!
fibinaccifringefanatic88: From the moment I saw the trailer and Altair disappeared behind the bell, I was in love! XD There was just something about Assassin's Creed that just drew me in. The story line, the depth of the characters, the artistic value, it was like stepping into history. There was a message behind it all. Anyway, sorry to ramble! But yeah, I'm a huge fan! :P
Jacob2119: Thank you! Yeah, she has a bit of an attitude, lol. However, the reason why will be revealed throughout the series! So stay tuned!
Nova Bucker: Gasp! You're onto me! Lol. Don't worry, all of Creed's background story will be revealed in the story. Although, I'm contemplating on whether to have her past in a separate story all together, or to just mold it into this one, eh, I'll figure it out.
Do to the LONG break from new episodes on YJ, I updated and reviewed this new chapter to be the full length of 'Independence Day', and now that they're showing new episodes again, I can continue the story! Thank God...I was SO bored wiithout anything to watch :P Anyway, enjoy the chapter!
OH! And READ the Author's note at the end, por favore! It's Important to the story!
Ok, NOW onto the story :P
Summary:Project 16. Name: Unknown. Alias: Creed. Not much is known about Ash except that she is the youngest member of the Justice League. Known as the assassin, Creed, she is the main covert operations member, gaining Intel for the League. However, now that the side-kicks are banning together to form their own covert team, Creed is putting in her experience and skills to help them earn their places among the elites.
Disclaimer:I do not own Young Justice or anything relating to the DC comics universe, nor do I own a majority of the theme applied to my OC, Creed. Since the concept of her skills and past pertain to Assassins Creed, however there will be no characters from the game playing a part in this fan fiction. I'm mainly just borrowing the idea. Assassins Creed respectively belongs to Ubisoft.
I have only ever lived by three rules:
Stay your blade from the flesh of the innocent.
Be discreet; unseen.
Never compromise the Brotherhood.
I was born. No. Bred. In order to accomplish the necessities needed so that humanity has a chance at a future. I was created for the people so that peace existed not only within the world, but also in the mind of the individual. I am nothing if I do not abide by the Assassin's Creed.
I can't help but wish that I had made that resolution myself. That I had a choice, in being what I am today.
July 4rd 13:46 p.m. EDT
The Watch Tower
"What's the damage?"
"She has two broken ribs on her left side, a deep cut on her right outer shoulder that will require sutures, possibly 8, and minor head trauma; mainly bruising. She should be fine once she's had a week's time to heal."
'That's if we can get her to sit still for a week. 'The sigh released by the Man of Steel only brandished the emotions tied to that statement.
Sleek metal surrounded the hallway; rays of the fluorescent lights bouncing erratically off the surface, illuminating a piercing glow. Heavy drumming of boots echoed, followed by the faint clapping of heels. Superman's hurried pace was matched by Black Canary, their intent being focused on the glass sliding door directly in front of them with the frosted letters of 'MEDICAL WING'. They entered quietly, in case their subject of conversation was sleeping.
They weren't surprised to be proven wrong.
"Where do you think you're going, young lady?"
Black Canary's sharp tone sliced through the demeanor of the girl. Halting mid-fasten of her belt, a sigh identical to the great Superman escaped through her nostrils. Quickly looping the bistre leather, she glanced slightly back to expose a sliver of gold through thick black lashes to the party of 2, before looking back to the hospital bed to grab at her carnelian sash.
Continuing with her dressing, she answered back as convincing as possible; pulling up her hood.
"You know how I feel about closed spaces, "she winced at how strained that sounded.
Stress marks due to previous engagements of this kind appeared on the invulnerable face; Clark never was good with kids, even if it had been going on about 3 years now.
The question didn't need to be asked.
With a lady-like grunt, Ash dropped her right bistro boot on the bed and turned to stare Clark and Dinah in the face; expression stern, yet pleading in the stare.
"Today's the day."
Understanding cleared the stress; he completely forgot. However…
"You're too injured," stepping forward, Black Canary motioned toward her wounds, "Your shoulder and head aside, your ribs can't heal properly without undisturbed rest."
Minor disappointment crossed her features, unconsciously causing her to reach for her broken bones. Her golden spheres went unfocused for a second before turning her head to look off to the side, facing the window out into space. The reflection illuminated clearly depicted her current state.
Contrary to assumptions due to her profession, Ash's skin tone remained fair and untouched by the sun; however, it was also marred by deformed bruises along her arms and legs. She was donned in a pure ivory, sleeveless hooded jacket that stretched all the way to her hips, hugging her frame, and was zipped only to her waist; exposing her mid-drift, low-cut ivory tank top. Her hood was currently up, cloaking everything but her lower face; only being able to get a glimpse of her eyes when she is staring directly into the light. A bistre, mini skirt and skin tight, black shorts stopped just above the mid-thigh. Around her waist was a carnelian sash that was over-lapped a series of bistre belts that together attached to the pure silver belt buckle that formed her symbol. Finally, a pair of bistre knee length boots secured her outfit; the left one being on, and the right laying on the hospital bed along with her accessories, which consisted on her black rope necklace, two leather upper arm bands, black skin tight elbow sleeve, half hand glove, long wrist band, two rings, and twin retractable, hidden wrist blades. (1) Along with the bruises, she had bandages all over her. She constantly had to keep pulling down her white tank top in order to conceal the bandages around her ribs. Although the bandage around her shoulder was hidden by her sleeve, the constriction of the stitches could still be felt whenever she shifted. Thankfully, her head bandage was also concealed by her hood, and helped keep the glare of the lights from aggravating her migraine further. Her fatigue radiated off her form. All and all, she was a mess.
'God, I look as bad as I feel.'
Ash could see the reflections of Black Canary and Superman were waiting for her response. She strained her eyes to focus pass their reflections to the glowing cyan orb, Earth. Her home.
*"Don't forget! Tomorrow at 2! And you'll finally be able to meet, Kid-mouth."*
'Just because Clark forgot, doesn't mean I did. I'm going.'
Due to her hood, they didn't notice that she had a sly gleam in her eye; she kept her face stoic.
They knew better, their guard didn't drop. Wait for it…
"Although," She turned her eyes back to them, mischievousness settling in the air," I have yet to report to Batman. He left before I arrived, and it's important what I have to tell."
Raising an eyebrow, both heroes crossed their arms. Turning the rest of the way to them, she squared her shoulders; speaking firmly to both, but looking squarely into Superman's eyes, the light causing a hue of gold to appear in the shadow. The color forever reminding both of them of only her.
"I swear I'll be careful." Pause, "You did promise, Clark."
Low blow, but she did have a point, childish as it may be. Her golden orbs sagged dolefully.
'Why does she always have to make that face?'
The message was clear to him, displayed by his shattering resolve. The longer they stared at each other, the more the man of steel crumbled under the begging gold orbs. Completely relaxing, Clark closed his eyes briefly before looking back up, a small smile gracing his features.
Eyes widened with hope.
"On one condition."
Eyes sagged with uncertainty, lips tightening together in a minor whine.
'I always believed Clark was the gratuitous one. I suppose 3 years of me wrung him out of all that.'
Dinah turned also to look at Superman with a questioning stance; slightly surprised by the undertone of parental guidance in his next words.
"You go there, congratulate them, report to Batman, and come straight back. No detours, got it?" Dramatic pauses between each to illustrate his seriousness.
'That, I can do.'
She was already back to dressing. With the final snap of the tie that held her hidden blades on each of her wrists, she stood before the duo set and ready.
"I understand. Thank you." She smiled a small, grateful smile for extra effect.
14:04 p.m. EDT
Recognized; Creed 17
With a final half wave, she began to glow.
As they watched her teleport away, Black Canary knocked her fist on Superman's left bicep. He glanced down at her, arms still crossed, raising an eyebrow to show he's listening.
"You know," she laughed slightly, then looked back to the now vacant teleporter tube," You spoil her."
That threw him off. Clark stepped back a step, his blue eyes widening with astonishment.
She was laughing out right now. Walking away, she left with a final statement.
"I'd hate to see what happens when she starts dating."
Superman never felt his stomach drop harder than it did when those few words were spoken.
14:05 p.m. EDT
Washington D.C., Virginia
Hall of Justice
Recognized; Creed 17
Gold light enveloped the teleporter room, signifying the arrival of Ash. While rotating her stiff shoulder, she glanced around the room. 3 Zeta-Beam Teleporter tubes were placed against one wall, while the opposite wall consisted of hologram computer screens depicting the co-ordinates to other teleport locations used by the League.
Straightening herself out, Ash began walking towards the hallway exit to the right of her leading to the open-viewed Library. A quick glance at her clock showed her that she made it just on time.
'They should have arrived by now. I'll check.'
Concentrating, Ash closed her eyes and took deep breaths, manipulating her diaphragm in perfect sync. Reopening them, her half lidded eyes exhibited her now Alice blue, gold irises. Through her vision, the world was consumed in darkness, save for the few humanoid forms of platinum gray. Due to all other forces other than people being dispersed, the forms were splattered around; some being in mid air while others appeared to be underground.
'Alright, where are they.'
Focusing further, Ash zeroed in on the electric blue forms of the Leaguers and sidekicks walking into the supposed room in front of her.
'There they are. Obviously, the short ones are the boys.' A dimitive minute of observing their behavior had her laughing quietly. 'Excitement may be an understatement. The second shortest one must be Kid Flash; he's the only one I can think of that would actually bounce with excitement.'
Walking the last few steps in front of the door, the computer began to scan her.
Recognized; Creed 17
Announcing her entrance, Batman was stopped mid-sentence. Everyone in the room turned to look at her as she walked the little distance for the door to close behind her.
Gathered in a slight circle were Batman, who stood directly in front of her with his arms crossed, Flash to the right who salute-waved with a smile, Green Arrow who smiled and nodded with his arms crossed, Aquaman who just nodded along with Red Tornado and Martian Manhunter; they were slightly blocked from her view by Batman. Ash returned the gestures with a small smile, before she heard a gasp and a shout.
"Creed! You made it!"
The Leaguers turned to expose the small group of teenagers sitting on the couches. On the far left couch sat, who she obviously presumed to be, Kid Flash (the lightening symbol kind of gave that away), next to him was Robin, standing next to him was Speedy (he's the only archer out of the four), and that left Aqualad on the far right couch. The three eldest stared in slight wonder while Robin sprinted out of his seat to stand in front of Ash; her having to look down slightly by the 2 inch height difference. His smile spread completely across his face.
"I promised I wouldn't miss it," a smile in her voice.
"Cutting kind of close, though," his tone constantly dripping with sarcasm.
Turning her head back toward the mini-Flash, she didn't miss the seductive eye brow wiggle, or the broadening smirk.
"What's with the hood, beautiful?"
The remaining three walked to stand behind Robin. Kid Flash was scanning her up and down with a flirty glance; him standing at about the same height as her give or take a few inches. Grimacing slightly, she stood straighter and introduced herself; voice firm and unwavering.
"My name is Creed."
"She's a member of the Justice League."
Feeling a hand being placed on her right shoulder, she hid the tiny wince that slipped past her lips and glanced behind her to see it was Flash; he gave Kid Flash a reprimanding look, stopping the flirty eye analysis from the teen immediately. The remaining Leaguers gathered to stand behind them. She didn't miss the narrowing of Bat's eyes at her bandages or the roaming of his gaze over her bruises; even though they were mainly hidden.
'Damn. I knew he'd notice, but I was hoping later. Thanks Flash.'
"Not JUST a member! The youngest in history! She joined when she was just 11 years old!"
"WHAT! You've GOT to be kidding me!"
Robin was smirking as Kid was gaping, open-mouthed at Ash. Frowning at the attention, she turned her gaze back to the 2 elder teens.
"With the exception of Robin, I have yet to meet any of you. My hope was to come here today to introduce myself to you and become better acquainted. As well as congratulate you on making it this far."
Smiling, Aqualad stepped forward with his hand out.
"I am Aqualad. I have heard much about you from my King; it's an honor to finally meet you face to face."
Ash hesitated slightly; the other Leaguers and Robin tensed as well. Aquaman stepped to speak, but Ash moved first. Grasping his hand in a firm shake, Ash bowed her head slightly, trying to keep her discomfort down.
"The same goes for you, Aqualad. Aquaman has said nothing but praise on your behalf."
The adults in the room calmed down. Robin just smiled widely.
"Oh! Name's Kid Flash, sweet heart."
Forcing a smile, Ash bowed her head in acknowledgment; Robin responded with a jab to Wally's ribs. Half smiling at the occurring glaring contest, Ash turned finally to Speedy. Said boy stepped forward crossing his arms as he examined her; him standing a good head taller than her 5'2", forcing her to look up. She knew what he was thinking.
"Names Speedy. I must say, I'm under-whelmed. I didn't expect a teenage girl; more significantly someone younger than me."
She was glaring under her hood, although no one could see it; the founding members could sense her irritation though by how her right hand tensed, as if about to flex. Green Arrow stepped forward to stand beside Ash, grazing her hand to make her aware of her actions. She calmed instantly, however the contact didn't go unnoticed by Roy, his eyes narrowed.
Speedy kept the glare, but backed off due to Oliver's tone.
"Back to the discussion."
The leaguers all turned their attention to Batman, reforming the circle with Ash.
"Quick debrief to discuss the coincidence of four ice villains attacking on the same day," Batman's attention shifted back to Ash, "Also, Creed's report on her mission to Santa Prisca."
He turned to the sidekicks.
"We shouldn't be long."
They turned to move back through the doors. The small, globe camera entered through the ceiling to scan the members.
Recognized; Batman 02, Aquaman 06, Flash 04, Creed 17, Green Arrow 08, Martian Manhunter 07, Red Tornado 16.
The door slid open, but there was an outburst before they could walk in.
They all turned to see Speedy enraged.
"You promised a real look inside," He stiffly crossed his arms," not a glorified backstage pass."
The Leaguers looked at each other, the confusion was there. Oliver ran a hand over his face; it was obvious that he was expecting this to happen. Aquaman was the one that spoke up.
"It's a first step. You've been granted access few others get."
Speedy threw his arm out towards the tourists in the second floor glass balcony; they gazed down in awe, a flash of a camera occasionally shown.
"Who cares which side of the glass we're on!"
Ash narrowed her eyes along with Batman; now he was just being disrespectful. Green Arrow walked up to the furious boy.
"Roy, you just need to be patient."
"What I need, is respect."
Ash moved to step forward to retort, but was held back by Bat's. Speedy turned to sway the other boys.
"They're treating us like kids! Worse. Like SIDEKICKS!" He grounded his stance."We deserve better than this."
The others looked at each other confused; not quite comprehending what he was getting at. Speedy was astonished.
"You're kidding, right? You're playing their game? WHY? Because you think they play fair?"
Silence. Ash couldn't help the slight twitch of her left eye.
'Play fair? Honestly, this isn't a game.'
"Today," He threw down his arm to enunciate his point," was supposed to be THE day! Step ONE to becoming full-fledged members of the League!"
Wally spoke up haphazardly.
"Well, sure," he looked at the other boys for a slight verification," but I thought step one was a tour of the HQ?"
"Except the Hall isn't the Leagues real HQ!"
Now everyone was thrown off; the boys from the truth and the leaguers from Speedy knowing the truth.
Ash nudged Green Arrow with her elbow. He looked down at her to see a 'what-the-hell' look from the quick glimpse her eyes. All she got in return was a semi-sorry grimace.
'Bad move, Oliver.'
"I bet they never told you. It's just a false front for tourists." Speed raises his hand to them," and a pit stop for catching Zeta-beam teleporter tubes to the real thing."
By now all the Leaguers were giving accusing stares to Green Arrow.
Speedy pointed toward the ceiling," an orbiting satellite, called the Watch Tower."
Ash reached up and pinched the bridge of her nose, feeling her migraine increase tenfold. Oliver turned to face Bat's, who just crossed his arms. Green Arrow tried to talk his way out.
"I know, I know, but I thought that maybe we could make an exception?" Small shrug followed.
Along with a glare.
'Oh, I know that glare all too well.'
Oliver just frowned," or not."
Aquaman tried to help out; walking toward Speedy, he tried to calm him down.
"You're not helping your cause here, son. Stand down." The last sentence more of a command."Or…"
"Or what? You'll send me to my room?" Speedy was practically yelling in his face," and I'm not your son!"
He turned to look at Green Arrow, frustration straining his features."I'm not even his!"
"I thought I was his partner, but…" He grabbed his hat," not anymore."
His hat hit the floor louder than it should have, leaving a thick silence in the air.
Everyone was shocked, no one moved.
Well, not everyone.
"What a brat."
Stunned, everyone turned their attention to an irritated Creed. Speedy glared ferociously at the teen member.
"What did you say." The statement was seething.
"You claim you need respect, but respect is to be earned," Ash stepped forward to stand beside Oliver, her voice quiet, bristling from the contempt of the young adult in front of her; her monotone striking into everyone's attention throughout the room," not by throwing a tantrum because you didn't get what you wanted."
"Ash." Green Arrow murmured, grasping her shoulder to gain her attention. She ignored it.
"Green Arrow has told me much about you, how proud he was, IS of you."Her tone switched to condescending," However, all I see, is a boy who shoots his mouth and DISRESPECTS his elders."
Roy jerked forward, using his height to intimidate her," I RESPECT people who tell me the truth-!"
"And he DID tell you the truth!" The sidekicks couldn't help the flinch that ran through them when Creed's voice elevated slightly," Even when he WASN'T supposed to!"
Roy, erect to his full height, peered down; his clothed eyes catching a glimpse of the eerie, piercing gold under the shadow of Creed's hood. Her entire form was tense, ready to pounce. The air was thick of aggression. Ash, sensing this, withdrew her anger.
She calmed herself a second when Bruce came up behind her and grasped her shoulders as a warning, and then she continued. Everyone was concentrating intently on her following speech.
"We, the members of the League, were sworn to secrecy about the whereabouts of the Watch Tower, for our protection and your own! You may think highly of yourself, but you don't REALIZE the extent the enemy will go in order to get that information, what they WILL DO to you! And yet, Green Arrow still told you. Obviously, that means he respects your abilities, but ABOVE else, your judgment! What you're doing right now is throwing that trust right back in his face!" She was pointing at him now, jabbing her finger into his chest."You above ALL people should know that he DOES NOT deserve that."
His glare just hardened, but he did not speak. Bruce released her shoulders while Ash straightened herself out before finalizing her statement, her voice a piercing hiss.
"Next time, think about the reasons behind their actions before you pass judgment."
All was still. Roy's fist was shaking, and then he unclenched it. Pivoting to turn around, he walked towards the exit. He glanced at the boys while walking, voice callous.
"Guess they're right about you three," he walks up to the door, allowing it to open for him," you're not ready."
Then Speedy was gone.
The boys all stood up to stare after him, and then turned to look at Creed, who held a pressed frown while glaring at the door. Oliver patted the back of her head once before placing his hand on her left shoulder to give a grateful squeeze. Turning to look at him, he smiled a thank you, which she returned with a small welcome smile of her own. She needed a moment to collect her bearings and relax her wrists.
Just then the alarm from the main computer went off before Superman's face came into view. Ash eyes widened slightly in realization.
'Damn it, I was supposed to be back by now.'
"Superman to Justice League. There's been an explosion at Project Cadmus; it's on fire."
The Members walked up to stand before the screen, momentarily forgetting the break up incident. Ash nonchalantly moved to hide behind Green Arrow, without being noticed.
"I've had my suspicions about Cadmus. This may present the perfect opportunity to-."
Batman was interrupted by another incoming transmission.
"Zatara to Justice League. The sorcerer Woten is using the Amulet of Aten to block out the sun. Requesting full league response."
The Leaguers turned to Superman in the back window; his expression stoic.
"It's a small fire. Local authorities have it under control."
"Then Cadmus can wait."
Superman caught the sight of white behind Oliver. Knowing that hood anywhere, Clark's eyes narrowed.
The hostile tone froze Ash in her tracks. Oliver perked up his eyebrows and turned, moving out of the way to expose Ash; her back was toward the screen. Taking a moment to collect herself, Ash turned and answered in a defiant, questioning tone.
Without noticing the exchange, Bat's reached over to press a button on one of the keyboards," All Leaguers rendezvous at Zatara's coordinates, Batman out."
Creed released a sigh of relief as the screen went black. Flash and Green Arrow turned to give Ash a confused look. She just shrugged and followed the other leaguers as they started to walk toward the 'Justice League Members Only' door; the two now taking notice of how she slumped slightly while walking and the bruises here and there on her. Batman paused in front of the boys as they walked up.
Robin threw his hands up, surprised by the command. There was a small ring before Bat's pulled up a screen on his arm. While reading the message, Aquaman and Flash stepped up to talk to the boys; Robin miffed at being ignored, but he didn't miss the narrowing of Bruce's eyes toward Ash, who was currently conversing with Martin Manhunter and Red Tornado.
"This is a League mission." Flash spoke up."You're not trained-."
Flash pointed his arm across at all the members to prove his point to Wally.
"I meant you're not trained to work as part of this team."
Aquaman softened his tone to them. "There will be other missions, when you're ready."
"For now." Bat's formed his famous expression, his screen disappearing from view."Stay. Put."
The boys looked defeated as the other members walked toward the teleporter tubes room.
Before walking completely inside, Oliver turned to J'onn.
"Glad you didn't bring you know who?"
His whispered remark was returned in the same volume.
"I highly doubt M would've reacted the same way. At least not the yelling."
Ash was given a rare Martian smile at the comment; she returned it whole-heartedly as they ventured down the hallway. The lighting difference eased Ash's pulsing head.
Walking towards the computers, Ash began typing in the co-ordinates; Bat's walked up and stood over her, arms crossed.
Freezing from the cold tone, she finished registering the data before turning to look directly at Bruce. All the other members were focused at the drastic change in mood in the Dark Knight. They knew Bruce only ever used her name when he was serious.
'Here it comes.'
"Why are you here?"
It came out more like a rhetorical question, at least it seemed that way since the answer was obvious. However, she knew what he was getting at, and answered anyway.
"I wanted to meet-."
He cut her off, glare out right now. The air was so thick with anger, you could cut it.
"You're severely injured. I'm not surprised you were able to hide it so well. However, 2 broken ribs are NOT something to brush off."
The other members were thrown off by the information. She couldn't look at any of them; luckily her hood covered her eyes.
"So that's why Clark was upset!"
She winced at Flash's accusing tone; already feeling the hardening glare from Bruce. All the yelling was taking a toll on her headache; she lowered her gaze to concentrate past the pain.
"Take off your hood."
The command from the Dark Knight completely tensed up Ash; striking a nerve in her mind. Before anyone could protest, Bruce reached up, firmly, but gently, to remove her hood; his hands freezing once he got a look at her face. All the adults in the room froze from shock.
With her ivory hood gone, Ash's golden hair was exposed; its length usually being just past her breasts, but was tied in a ponytail/bun due to her head injury. Her bangs fell over her right eye and stopped slightly past her nose. The bandage completely concealed her forehead; a deep violet bruise peeked out from under it on her left temple. The redness of a forming bruise was also seen on the left side of her chin, and there was a minor cut along her nose vertically. The sudden light caused her to shut her eyes.
It was quiet for a while. It was unnerving; she had to speak.
"It's not as bad as it loo-."
She looked up to meet Bruce's tense face; the vein in his forehead could be seen through his mask. Like all situations like this, she withdrew into herself. All the adults knowing full well what she was doing, having been subjected to it for three years; she only ever did this when she was being reprimanded or protecting herself. From what? It's anyone's guess. She was by far the only person they knew that could withdraw without physically doing so. Creed spoke calmly and assertively.
"The conditions at Santa Prisca were worse off than we had previously assumed. There is a conflict taking place between two parties; from what I gathered the original recipients of the Isle are being over thrown by the new party, however, I was forced off the island before I could find out whom. It seems that the over throwers were expecting some sort of interference from the League."
When Creed spoke the last sentence, she unconsciously reached up to slightly grasp her broken ribs. This didn't calm Bruce's nerves at all.
"There was an ambush; I was cornered. However, Bane found that to be a perfect opportunity to plan his own ambush. A fight broke out. Luckily, I had planned ahead in case something like this were to happen, and was able to get off the island before things got out of hand."
With a sigh, she addressed everyone in the room.
"I apologize for my actions. But I promised Robin I'd come to congratulate them today. I couldn't say no."
Green Arrow and Flash walked up to stand next to Bat's.
"You could've seen them later, they would've understood." Green Arrow spoke with a slight condescending tone.
Flash crossed his arms in a parental stance. "Don't even think about coming with us on the mission."
Ash's head flew up to gap at Flash.
Martin Manhunter interrupted her before she could speak.
"You would only be a burden if you came as injured as you are."
She looked to him, before gazing her feet.
"I understand if it was a minor mission. But Zatara called for a FULL League response. You're going to need my help."
They all glanced at each other before looking back at her, the beeping of Bat's computer breaking everyone's attention. With a final glance towards the device, Bruce was the one that said the command.
"We'll continue this discussion later. Head back to the Watch Tower. I want you resting in the medical wing when we return."
She was silent for a minute. Her sigh that followed reminiscent of Superman.
"I understand. Be safe." She turned to look at all of them."All of you."
They all nodded, except for Flash, Green Arrow, and Aquaman who smiled.
"As safe as we usually are."Oliver laughed and waved before teleporting away with Martin Manhunter and Red Tornado.
"Rest up kiddo. We want you back in full capacity soon." Flash gave a pointed stare at her resigned stance and waved too before following suit with Aquaman.
Bruce walked over to the tube, but turned to Ash one last time with a parental glare.
"I'll know if you don't listen, Ash."
"I know, Bruce." She smiled at him," Be careful, please."
He nodded, producing a smile that is only seen within the Wayne family and herself; then was gone.
With a resigned sigh, Ash began re-coordinating the console for the Watch Tower.
'Today didn't go as planned.'
She continued typing, until.
There was a shout. Wally.
Pausing; she debated with herself. Picturing the argument that would ensue later, concerning two of the most dangerous and feared men in the world; Ash fought with her judgment.
'I should at least say something to encourage them. This whole day ended in disaster.'(2)
Swallowing a gust full of air, Creed walked toward the sliding doors. She caught the end of Kid's rant as she was about to walk in.
"-secret HQ IN SPACE!"
'Speedy, the instigator. He's making them second guess themselves.'
A few beeps notified that the computer heard and didn't announce her re-entering of the library. Aqualad was the one to
"What else aren't they telling us?"
"I have a better question. Why didn't we leave with Speedy?"
Robin said it; all three boys looked down in defeat.
'Damn it, Roy. Look what you did.'
"Because you're not stupid."
They turned to see Ash standing not too far in front of the computer. Crossing her arms, she spoke up; irritation was an understatement.
"You wouldn't really throw all your hard work away just because your mentors withheld a little information?"
"I wouldn't call an orbiting satellite little." Robin lifted an eyebrow toward her, hand on his hips.
"Your right, it's not. It's a big deal, a VERY big deal. That should explain itself why we've kept it tight lipped."
The three glanced between each other wearily. Ash's shoulders sagged.
'I shouldn't be mad; I probably would've reacted the same way.'
Walking forward, she turned their group into a tight circle.
"IS this about the Watch Tower? Or is this about not gaining the recognition you feel you deserve?"Her tone was gentle, not accusing; the understanding was there.
There was a moment for them to digest that bit of information. Aqualad was the one to speak up; he stood straighter and looked to where Ash's eyes should be, if they were visible.
"We have fought by their side and they have taught us well. I believe I speak for all of us," He turned to both Robin and Kid Flash to verify his statement; they nodded confidently," when I say, all we ask is that they give us something to show for it."
"MORE than just a 'backstage pass'." Wally producing air-quotes to prove his point.
She looked at each one of their faces; a feeling beginning to develop in the back of her mind, not negative though. Ash smiled; a smile Robin knew she didn't show very often. She shrugged.
"I guess I'm going to have to help you."
Three pairs of confused stares, Ash couldn't help but laugh slightly. Wally closed the distance between him and her slightly; joy peaking through his green eyes, his face splitting into a wide grin, not unlike Flash's.
"I can't deny someone help, especially when they ask for it."She turned to Robin, a smirk appearing on her shadowed face. In any other situation, that expression could've been menacing. Robin was able to glimpse at the deadly gold orbs underneath; he couldn't help the slight chill they brought.
"What is Project Cadmus?"
Shaking off the feeling, he contemplated slightly, "Don't know," then a smirk not unlike Creed's took place," But I can find out."
Together, they walked over to the main computer in the library. Robin bent over and began vigorously typing at the keyboard. The others stood back watching the screen. With her arms crossed in front of her chest, Creed looked on in pride as Robin set to work on the machine.
"Hah, wanna bet?"
Pressing a few more keys, Robin was able to hack into the back door of the system in order to breech the database; a green display of binary codes running vertically across, came on screen.
"Wow. How ARE you doing that?"
Wally was staring in awe. Robin gave a bragging, confident reply.
"Same system as the Bat cave!"
Turning her head slightly, Ash turned to Aqualad letting him know that she was listening.
"I thought that they had called for a full-league response? What are you still doing here?"
She couldn't help it when her body stiffened. Noticing that the other two were engrossed in the computer, Ash leaned slightly toward Aqualad and answered in a hushed voice.
"I assume you heard Batman mention about my mission to Santa Prisca I had just returned from, correct?" He nodded." I was forced to abort the plan, and I sustained some injuries in the process."
Aqualad subconsciously looked her over; however, when she noticed and cocked her head to the side in confusion, he hurriedly looked back to the computer screen, a slight hue of red adorning his dark cheeks. Ash smiled and patted his shoulder once; her touch barely even making contact with his Atlantian skin.
"It's fine, but Batman found out about it, my guess would be Superman. So, I've been forced to remain behind."
His eyes furrowed in concern; he opened mouth to say something, but was interrupted by the computer's announcement.
A pop up came on screen with a picture of the building the project was taking place in.
"Alright, Project Cadmus. Genetics lab, here in D.C." Robin paused in his reading."That's all there is."
Ash moved to stand by Robin's right side, gazing at the information as she spoke. She recalled what Bruce had mentioned earlier.
"However, Batman's suspicious."
Robin turned to give Ash his signature smirk.
"Maybe we should investigate?" His tone was more playful then asking.
Rob and Creed turned to face Kid and Aqualad. The latter voicing his opinion.
"Solve their case before they do. It would be poetic justice."
Creed gave a shrug and a smug smile."We're all about justice."
"But they said stay put." Aqualad gave Creed a pointed look.
"They DID say that. However, I don't think they'll react so badly if I accompany you. At least with a League member there, you'll have supervision. That's mainly what they're concerned about."
Aqualad still looked unconvinced. Wally patted Ash's shoulder, causing her to tense but turn to him anyway.
"Wait! Are you two going to Cadmus? Because if you're going! I'm going!"
Robin and Wally smiled widely at each other and turned to Aqualad longingly.
His concern was still there. Ash sighed and stepped forward; her right hand over her heart.
"I promise that if this ends badly, I will take full responsibility and vouch for you. I swear it."
At the last sentence, she bowed her head. He caved at this action and smiled. Glancing over the three of them, he spoke with an astonished tone.
"Just like that? We're a team on a mission?"
Robin was the one who spoke up.
"We didn't come for a play date."
Just like that, all the boys' faces held a determined smirk. Ash just crossed her arms and smiled; her mind going over the consequences of their future actions.
'Wait until Bruce and Clark find out.'
She couldn't help the feeling of dread run down her spine.
15:10 p.m. EDT
Currently, the party of the four stood in the adjacent alleyway from the Cadmus building; the inferno of the fire illuminating a faint glow. The assistance in the stopping of the fire was two ambulances and a single fire truck; re-quoting Superman, 'it was a small fire'. The slicing in the air exposed to the quartet that a helicopter was currently flying over them. While glancing at the flying dot, Ash addressed to them the objective.
"Alright, listen you, three. We are to enter the building and investigate the content of Project Cadmus-."
A jab to the ribs from Boy wonder silenced the sarcastic comeback of the speedster; a glare was exchanged. Creed just rose a brow; turning herself completely around to stand sternly in front of the boys.
"Listen to me." Her tone cut through the demeanor of the sidekicks; full attention on the faint glow of gold under the hood. "This is a mission. We are a team. The level of danger is unknown, and therefore, we do not know the level of caution we should take. Expect anything and everything to happen; both bad and good. Only then will we be able to pull this off. Understand?" The boys nodded. KF just crossed his arms cockily.
"What's the big deal? We'll just go in there and snatch up a few files, big whoop!"
"Are you forgetting that this is a government project facility?"
"Nothing about the US government is simple."
The hidden message behind Creed's statement brought on a feeling of experience; the boys couldn't help but wonder about. Aqualad and KF remained quiet; both noticing Robin staring intently at Creed's insignia on her belt at her words.
"Anticipate anything when it comes to national security, you'd be surprised the length people will go in order to cover up possible corruption. There's a possibility someone will want to silence us if we're discovered."
Aqualad's reaction to this was a strained face."Possibility?"
"Expect every circumstance. Even death." She received stunned stares at her allegation, but she didn't falter. The severity of her words triggered a series of worst case scenarios in KF's head, causing an involuntary shiver. Faking a hazy laugh, he spoke to cover up his fear.
"Don't you think your assuming a bit much, I mean it's just a lab. Hardly two floors."
"Don't be naive."
Leering gold eyes brought back his tremors.
Robin stood between them, the narrowing of his eyes deliberately sending the message to 'stop'. Like usual, she didn't listen.
"This is the atmosphere surrounding the Elites. Failure is not an option. Do you think your mentors went on that mission unaware of the consequences?" Again, Creed raised her eye brow." That with their failure, not only do they risk their lives, but the lives everyone else they have sworn to protect. With protection comes sacrifice."
"We learned all this, on day one."
As much as Robin cared for Creed, he also hated being taught something he already knew; feeling each word as if a blow to his pride and his intelligence. Years of being Batman's protégé exposed him to the level of danger brought with the job of crime fighting; if not more for the psychos lurking in Gotham. Not only that, but Creed's attitude toward making this point was, as usual, brash and blunt.
'Sometimes I wonder if she even realizes she acts this way.'
Realizing she was pushing Dick's buttons, Creed backed off the subject. Although, the quick glance at Wally's and Aqualad's deteriorating self-confidence warned her to add a bit of reassurance.
"Don't be discouraged." They looked up. "The mission aside, you three's safety is my top priority. As long as I am alive, I will defend you. If I feel that this mission is above you, I will step in, and all I ask is that you allow me to do my job as your supervisor. Do not question and do as I say. Understood?" She was given three nods. "Excellent."
Just then an explosion from behind went off. Turning so fast, some of them almost got whip lash; they saw the inferno transform into an explosion. Two scientists within the flame window blew out from the force. Instincts kicking in, KF took off toward the building; using his momentum to shoot up the outside wall and nab the men before meeting a bloody collision on the concrete. Disposing them on the roof, KF failed to propel himself and slid down the wall, only to grab the window sill of the previous location of the scientists.
The remaining trio raced to entrance of the alley, looking on at KF's actions; catching the few choice words yelled by KF for being referred to as Flash Boy.
"So smooth." The cheeky smirk enunciating Dick's sarcastic tone. Ash, not used to Wally's erratic behavior questioned him.
"Does he usually run ahead?"
"We need a plan." Aqualad gained Creed's attention. "We-Robin?"
The Boy Wonder was gone, his mocking chuckle reverberating throughout the area.
Ash clenched her fist, intimidating Kaldur from the intensity of her following words.
"Damn it that boy, it's like he ignored my whole speech."
Counting down to ten in her head, Creed relaxed and turned to the only obedient side kick. "Let's move."
They took off toward the building.
'First things first, the fire.'
Aquamarine eyes squared on her.
"Can you take care of the fire?"
Shifting toward the active fire hose, Aqualad answered.
"Good. I'll get the scientists. Engage."
Splitting up, Ash heard Aqualad as he used the power of his tattoos to redirect the flow of water more efficiently to calm the flames. Using her feet like a spring, Ash flipped up onto the fire truck and proceeded to race up the ladder, performing a front, backward flip to gain enough momentum until she landed harmlessly onto the roof. Looking up, both men were awe struck by her actions. She wasted no time.
The force of her tone jolted the men to obey her commands. Briskly moving forward, both men came to stand by her; Ash held out her hands to them. They each grabbed one, and Creed effortlessly arranged them so that she could advance off the building and not further injury herself. With one man under her arm and one clinging to her back for dear life, Creed leaped off the roof; twisting her body to where she was facing building. She couldn't help the tiny yelp of pain as she felt the man dig his knee into one of her ribs. Flicking her wrist, Ash's 8 inch hidden blade shot out; the adamantium metal glistening for a moment before she rammed it into the concrete. There descent now slowing, the two victims released the breath they didn't realize they were holding. Reaching the ground, Ash allowed the men to shakily retreat from her; silently grateful for the missing pressure on her torso. Turning her attention, she noticed that Aqualad had finished his task. Relaxing his muscles, the dark skinned boy proceeded toward her form.
"Time to enter the building. I need a boost, do you mind?"
Another nod and the elder knelt to the girl with his two hands locked together by his fingers facing flat toward her. Taking two steps back, Ash made a running start before using the boost and Aqualad's strength to propel herself toward the only windows. Grasping the edge she hauled herself up, standing up in time for Aqualad to leap in after her. Taking a moment to breath, she felt her body ripple with aches.
'Not my best idea, but sufficient. Just grin and bear it.'
The two strode up to the red and yellow pair, both vigorously searching in the room in their own way. Aqualad was the one to speak up out of aggravation.
"Thanks for the help."
Robin glanced up from the keyboard he was furiously typing from.
"You two handled it. Besides, we're here to investigate. Poetic justice, remember?"
The twitch caused by the biting sound in Creed's voice purposely made the boy to miss the keys he was about to type; he turned slowly to face her. She was slouching slightly from something unknown to the boy, but he was more intent on her glowing gold eyes under the hood. The nervous gulp didn't go unnoticed.
"Did you NOT listen to a word I said down there?"
He glanced at Wally who was also frozen to witness the dangerous conversation taking place, knowing he was also inadvertently being addressed.
"If you did, you would have waited until we configured a plan, TOGETHER. This operation isn't going to work if there is no communication taking place."
A slight tense of her shoulders alerted the young teens; both catching the slight movement of her left arm flinching away from her ribs. Robin got up from the desk and advanced on her.
"Creed, did you get hurt?"
Withdrawing a step, Creed bit back.
"Don't change the subject Robin."
"I'm not trying to! But you've been off since the Hall-."
Kaldur's shout diverted everyone's attention to the hall. Robin glimpsed at Creed as she took off toward the elevators, knowing she used the Atlantian's shout as an excuse to ditch his question. A menacing, irritable growl slithered through his clenched jaw as KF grasped his shoulder.
"Dude, chill. She'll tell us if she was hurt too bad."
"No, she won't. And that's what gets to me every time." Jerking away from his hand, Dick took off after her. Shrugging away the attitude, KF speeds over to hear the commotion.
The rest of the party was standing in front of the Elevator examining its features. The lights signaling the descent of the compartment were illuminated.
"Elevators should be locked down."
With one more huff toward Creed, Robin pulled up his portable, holographic computer in order to further examine the elevator. Immediately, he voiced the diagnosis.
"This is wrong."
Instantly, a projection of the elevator came to view; the whole background data of the model being illuminated in a blue hologram.
"Thought so. This is a high speed express elevator; it doesn't belong in a two story building."
"Neither does what I saw."
Aqualad stepped forward and began to pry open the steel doors. With a shout and a groan, the metal screeched apart. The whole team stepped forward, glancing over the edge, sizing up the drop. Robin crouched to get a handle on the amount of floors.
"That's why they need an express elevator."
"Just two floors, huh?"
KF pouted at Creed nonchalant statement. She stepped forward, contemplating the jump.
'I could do a leap. However, the distance seems too far.' An outside, foreign force sizzled along the outskirts of Creed's senses; a tickling, flickering presence. 'And I KNOW something is down there; whether it's a threat or not is still to be seen.'
Taking a deep breath and bending into a crouch, Creed looked down the elevator shaft and opened her eyes; her now tainted Eagle vision gaze hidden by her hood. With the world once again submerged in darkness, the occupants in the unknown floors underground, now completely exposed. The overwhelming outcome released a sharp in-take of breath from her, causing the boys to look at her curiously.
The floors occupants were in the hundreds-maybe thousands-and the mere amount of them causing an almost solid sheet of reddish white under her feet. The oddest feature of this not being the mass though; it was the color.
'Not white, but not red. I don't understand-'
She turned her head to see Robin about to grab her shoulder. His eyes narrowed in a serious manner.
"What do you see?"
She looked back to the ground focusing on the marble cake formation of the color as she responded. Uncertainty in her words.
"I'm not sure. There's a numerous amount of them, my guess is about a thousand or so. However, I can't tell if they're dangerous or not."
KF and Aqualad gave each other a confused glance, not really grasping how she could see that in the darkness. She shrugged it off; no need to start explaining things now when they have a mission to complete.
'I'll just keep an eye out. This doesn't usually occur, so I'm assuming some sort of mind manipulation is taking place here.'
Finally she released a regrettable sigh, murmuring under her breath almost inaudibly for the boys to hear before turning to address them specifically.
"Keep your eyes and mind focused and clear, don't hesitate. Something tells me were going to be played while were here."
All three gave strong nod. Robin and Creed then came to the edge of the elevator looking down. She leaned over inspecting the jump, her feet and arms twitching as if ready to spring into action. However, Robin grabbed her arm, eyes narrowing into a familiar glare only ever seen on Batman. She released a sigh of disappointment.
"I guess were aiming for subtlety."
"Yes! So don't even think about it."
She couldn't help the tiny smirk that surfaced from Robin's command. Standing up, he shot out his grappling gun to the ceiling of the elevator shaft and began to descend. After the boy wonder was about 5 floors down, Creed jumped up and latched onto the black cord, and began her descent. After the two youngest members disappeared, the remaining two looked at each other in confusion before following after them.
Continuing all the way to about the 26th Sub level, Robin came to an abrupt halt. Surprised he looked up.
"I'm at the end of my rope."
Swinging now, he lunged onto the edge leading to the entrance of the floor. Pulling up his holographic computer in order to electronically open the elevator without causing a fuss, Robin set out to work, only glancing up to see Creed land next to him.
"I'm bypassing security."
Aqualad and KF arrived right when the final beep signaling the finish of the hack sounded.
Aqualad, once again, pried open the doors, exposing a dim lit hallway, about 30 feet wide with a 6 foot steel vent running along the wall. There was a hallway parallel to them and a hallway directly in front of them that led to what seemed an even bigger hall. Not a single sound was made on the floor. The team came to stand in a line examining their surroundings.
"Welcome to Project Cadmus."
Robin's state was answered with a weary nod from Aqualad. As the group began to creep forward cautiously, KF takes off towards the hallway in front of them. The two maturest members rasped out a yell.
"He's really pushing his luck."
Charging after him, they notice KF cry out and skid to a stop in the middle of the hall. The pounding of steps caught their attention, and suddenly these grotesque beasts came into view. The fist of the leader came dangerously close to crushing Kid Flash, however his reflexes kicked in and he rolled out of the way. Standing up and moving to the position over where the team was standing, all four of the teenagers gaped at the creatures. Their skin was a murky brown, reflecting a hardening surface of sales. Along their back was a black ridge ending at the frontal part of their skull, and jutting out of their mouths were 10 feet long horns, ivory. Their eyes were a bold burgundy with no pupil. The way of walking brought up the memory of a gorilla, using their large fists to stride forward menacingly. To put it roughly, they were about 22 feet tall. However, although the beasts were quite intimidating, that didn't interfere with Creed noticing the small, toy-sized ape perched on each of the beasts shoulders. They were identical to the large creatures via body structure and stance, however the horns on their forehead glowed a hazy scarlet. Creed couldn't contain the suspicion she felt when the little thing looked right at her when it glowed.
"No, nothing odd going on here."
Creed couldn't have agreed more to Aqualad's sarcastic statement.
'What in the world did we get ourselves into?'
On the other end of the underground facility, a scientist was in the midst of creating a chemical. Along the walls surrounding him were computers full of genetic formulas and calculations, tubes contain diverse stages of development for the creatures only just seen in the hallway, and . On the very desk he was diligently working at were scattered papers and dishes full of some sort of fluids. Grasping a pipette in his hand, he began transferring the liquids from the dish to a test tube with a crystal embedded at the bottom. With a sizzling sound, the crystal upon contact and the fluid turned into an electric blue, reverberating a glow onto the scientists smirking face.
A soft beep alarmed the Scientist and caused him to drop his work in order to address the person coming through the door. Clad in royal blue and black, a man about 6'8" with his face obscured by his golden helmet addressed the doctor. Perched on his shoulder was another of the creatures, small with the glowing horns.
"Tell me, Guardian. What part of NO interruptions did you not understand?"
Not even turning to look at the man, the doctor lifted the flask just used and placed it into one of the many groups of pipes labeled 'BLOCKBUSTER', more specifically in the group labeled 13, that opened and accepted the flask automatically.
"If you're here to tell me what caused the street level fire, it can wait."
"Fire Department's still cleaning up; I'll begin my investigation when they leave."
More concentrated on looking at the contents within the microscope, he continued speaking, irritably. "Then what?"
"A genome on sub-level 26 reports 4 intruders."
Completely exasperated, the doctor releases an exaggerated sigh, finally turning around to face the Head of Security. "Did I MISS a perimeter breach alert?"
"No." The response being dragged out, displaying his confusion.
"Than the genomes confused! Whatever might occur in our foe lab above ground, the real Cadmus, is the most secured facility in D.C."
After spitting that out, the doctor turns back around, beginning to engross his attention back into his work.
"My job to keep it that way."
Thrusting an arm out, the Doctor answers. "FINE, take a squad."
Guardian moves to bow, but is hindered by the new addition to the room. A genome, more human-like then the others; it had figure of a man, besides his horns, blue skin, shocking red eyes; the same eyes as the other genomes.
Raising his hand to the creature on Guardians shoulder, the mutant address a proposition.
"Might I recommend Guardian leave his genome behind? If violence should occur..."
Glancing at the beast, Guardian finishes his statement.
"The little guy would be in my way."
Abruptly interrupting, the Doctor turns and exposes the genome on his desk. "The advantage of instant telepathic communication outweighs other concerns."
Reaching forward, the Scientist strokes the creatures chin. The mutant in turn shifts his view towards Guardian's genome and makes his horns glow a deep ruby red. Like a cause and effect motion, Guardian's genome responds back in the same manner. Guardian's eyes widen and his voice alters into a trance like state.
"I need my genome with me at all times."
He then bows with his fist over his chest and exits the room; the human like genome following after.
Back on Sub-level 26, a door glows a bright red then shifts to green. Creed and the three side-kicks are revealed with Robin at the head with his holographic computer out. The room they just opened froze them in their tracks.
Before them laid a five story high ceiling, along the walls were pods housing these electric creatures, not unlike the ones they encountered earlier in the hall. However, these beings resembled more of insect like bodies. Their pods were all directing the currents they gave off to a glowing orb in the center. The intruders didn't know what to think.
"Ok, now I'm OFFICIALLY whelmed."
Ash couldn't help the slight twitch of that word.
'First Roy, now Ric, what is with that word today?'
Cautiously, they all began filing into the room; scattering around slightly to gain a good view. Creed walked to a random pod, her reflection could be seen as she spoke.
"They resemble the creatures from the hall, except, more electrically based." She rubbed her hand along the glass directly over the creature's face as an enunciation to her point. She glanced up to the higher levels, her eyes narrowing at the metal piece absorbing the energy. "They're using them for their power."
"That's how they hide this massive underground facility from the world."
The rest of the party turned their heads to KF. "The real Cadmus isn't on the grid! It generates its own power, with these..." He flaunts his hand toward a random beast. "Things. Must be what they're bred for."
A sudden crack caused the boys to swing their heads toward Creed. The hand she had previously had on the pod tightened enough to cause a slight crack. Robin was instantly at her side, questioning her with an eyebrow raised.
Expecting that answer, he didn't push it. She hesitantly removed her hand; thankfully, her gloves prevented her from being injured. Her mind contemplated the sudden reaction.
'Why does that word bother me?'
"Even the name is a clue." The two youngest turned to Aqualad, the oldest boy coming to stand beside them. "The Cadmus of myth created a new race by sowing dragon's teeth into the earth."
"This Cadmus creates new life too."
Walking up to a nearby console, Robin retracts his USB cord in order to hack into the database.
"Let's find out why."
The rest of the group crowds around him as he works. The usual holographic screen pops up, illuminating a log containing all the information on the new beasts, now known as genomorphs, from basic names to abilities they possess.
"Wooh! Look at the stats on these things!" Going through, Robin began pulling more and more up, speed reading through their short Bio. "Super strength, telepathy, razor claws-These are living weapons!"
The shock of the information drew Ric back slightly, pushing into Creed. From his peripheral, Rob could see that she tensed at the mention of 'living weapon', her fist clenched tightly. However, KF's next statement reaverted his attention.
"They're engineering an army." His eyes narrowed at the thought. Creed was slightly surprised, this being the first time she's seen KF so serious. His tone was stressed and severe. His gaze moved to Rob and herself, his eyes questioning. "But for who?"
"Wait! There's something else...Project Kr." Creed's head flew back in shock, almost head butting Aqualad. The boys all turned to her, never seeing her react that way before. Creed grasped onto Rob's shoulder firmly, surprising the other two beyond belief that she actually TOUCHED him.
"Kr? Are they written like an atomic symbol?"
Rob didn't think anything different from the contact, and went right to trying to answer her. However, the negative beeps in his computer hindered him.
"I think so, but I can't get through. The files triple encrypted, I can't-."
Stepping back from each other, the four intruders turned in time to see a man clad in blue and gold accompanied by three genomorphs. Based by their frames, they were the ones with the abilities of sharp claws and agility. The man in the group stopped his movement, however, when his eyes landed on the 4. His blue eyes scanned each of them.
"Wait, Robin? Aqualad? Kid Flash?"
"At least he got your name right." KF turned slightly to glare at Rob for the comment.
Creed stepped out from behind Aqualad when the man began naming off the people in her team. Her eyes shifted to Rob who was still downloading data on Kr; hoping her talking would give him enough time. The man's eyes completely froze on her in shock, him almost taking a step back. "Creed?"
After taking a second to examine him, the man's name popped up into Creed's head. "Guardian?"
"Who's he?" Creed looked over her shoulder at Kid Flash to answer his question.
"He's a hero."
"Then what is he doing here?"
"I think that's my question. I'm Chief of Security, you are trespassing." Guardian's tone became professional, shaking off the initial shock. He directed his attention to Creed. "Are you here with the League?"
"Yes, we are. We came in response to the fire that occurred." Creed pointed her arm toward the boys. "They accompanied me in the mission."
"The fires been taken care of. You shouldn't be here." His tone showed that he meant the lower levels of the building. Creed didn't falter however.
"I'm glad we are. The rest of the League WILL NOT approve of Project Cadmus breeding weapons."
This bit of information threw Guardian for a loop, his eyes widened in confusion.
"Weapons? What are you-?" He was cut off by the small genomorph on his shoulder. Its little horns illuminated the familiar red hue, hindering Guardians thinking process somehow. "What have I-? Ngh, my head." Guardian put a hand to his head in pain. Creed's eyes narrowed in anger.
'Those small genomorphs must have some sort of telepathy power, obviously it WAS mental manipulation. Explains the color mixture NOW.'
Once the genomorph's horns quit glowing, Guardian's eyes snapped open. His expression now one of rage.
"Take them down hard! NO MERCY!" With that, he thrust his arm toward the group of teenagers so that the other five genomorphs would charge.
Creed positioned herself in front of the team, she yelled out so that they could hear her commands, but never averted her eyes from the enemy.
"Retreat to the elevator! Only fight the genomorphs if you have to!"
"What? But what about-!"
Creed's sharp eyes stopped KF from finishing his statement, the golden glare penetrating their concentration.
"I've got Guardian."
And with that, she shot off. In just a split second she shot passed the group of genomorphs and leapt up into the air, her legs scrunched up into a pouncing position. Guardian looked up just in time to see her grab his face and jab both of her heels into his gut, slamming him into the concrete; a small crater formed from the impact. Without a second of hesitation, Creed used her free arm to grab the genomorph from Guardian's shoulders and threw it into one of the glass pods along the wall. Afterwards, she flipped off of him to gain distance. With Guardian unconscious, Creed spared a moment to look around to see where the boys were. All three of them were taking off down the hallway with all five genomorphs following behind. Cursing, she sprinted off after them.
Yanking out five throwing darts, she threw each one at a genomorph. Two missed due to them turning the corner, but the other three hit their mark, causing all three to get stuck to the wall due to their arm being impaled. Never stopping her sprint, Creed retracted her blade with the flick of her wrist and jabbed it into the concrete in order to drift around the corner and propel into a flip onto the genomorph that was closest to the elevator. Wrapping her knees on its shoulders, right under the armpit, Creed gripped onto it, pulling both of them backwards. Forcing them to land on her hands and using her arms as support, she flung the creature back into the other genomorph.
Hearing them both crash into the wall, Creed landed on her hand and feet in a crouch and launched herself into the closing elevator. Barely making it; ripping out the sutures on her shoulder and tearing open the wound more than before. Luckily though, all the boys caught her before she head butted the opposite wall. With the doors closed, all four caught their breath.
During the action, all the boys were watching in amazement as their senior performed her moves of acrobatics. Never before had they thought that this girl no older then KF could possess this amount of power and talent; her presence emitted an aura of experience and authority. However, this was something you had to see to believe.
'She's too young to possess this amount of experience, she must have been taught as a child."
Kaldur's thoughts were interrupted when Creed released a yelp after KF brushed her shoulder while getting up. She reached and grabbed just under her shoulder, retracting the hand back to look at it when a fair amount of blood stained the inside of her hand. The boys froze slightly at the sight, but also at the involuntary yelp she made; not seeing her as the type to express weakness. It wasn't until Robin took off and knelt by her side that they started moving again. Kaldur allowed her to lean against him, though she was uncomfortable the whole time; he shifted to where the only thing holding her up was his hands pushing against her back. Robin lifted up her arm and removed the ruined sleeve of her vest; what he saw made him flinch. What used to be a neatly stitched incision was now a marred wound; the skin was now mangled due to the forcefully removed sutures, allowing all to see the bloody, scarred tissue. The growl that escaped the thirteen year olds chest was menacing.
"Why didn't you SAY anything?"
"It's not something I can't handle. KF just surprised me is all."
With a scoff, Robin took out some gauze he kept in his utility belt and began wrapping up the wound; Kaldur holding the arm in place due to her trying to fight the treatment.
"Dude! Out is up!"
KF's outburst ceased the movements of the other three, causing them to glance up at the panel labeling the floor the elevator was currently at; it was indeed descending further into the facility. Creed narrowed her eyes at the panel then turned to Robin.
"Which level is Project Kr?"
"...Sublevel 52, but you're too injured to keep going." He resumed with bandaging her arm.
"He's right; this has gotten out of control."
"No!" Creed's outburst completely shut up Kaldur. His eyes widened due to the deadly aura emitting from the golden gaze. "We need to keep going! If Kr is what I'm predicting it is, then we CANNOT leave this facility. The League needs to be made aware about this, and I can't report until I have more sufficient data."
With the snap of the bandage being tied and the BING of the elevator going off, the doors opened to Sublevel 52; a sight they never thought they'd see. The floor itself looked as if they resided within a beast, the walls covered in mucus and leathery to the touch. They pulsed every so often, like an actual organ would, and housed random pods along the walls that, when looked at closer, were actually housing more of those genomorphs that attacked them earlier.
Without even waiting for them, Creed took off down the hall to where the directions split, crouching down and scouting for any enemies. Robin took off after her, the scowl looking unnatural on the carefree teens face. Still in the elevator, KF looked at Aqualad with a grimace and a shrug.
"We are already here." And promptly sprinted after them.
Sighing exasperatedly, Aqualad reluctantly followed.
Journeying further into the floor, machinery of different degrees lined the walls; some even attached to the pods. The environment was so chaotic; it was hard to navigate around. Creed looked Robin.
He scoffed in aggravation.
'Now she asks for help, figures.'
"Yeah, bizarre looking hallway one, or bizarre looking hallway two?" Pointing his batrang in each direction to annunciate his confusion.
Ahead of them stood a beast identical to the genomorph race, however, with a major difference. He was standing upright like a human and could speak. His skin was the same light blue, grayish shade as the other genomorphs, and the horns protruding from his forehead was a dead giveaway. Raising a lanky, boney arm to the intruders, the horns atop his head glew a dangerous, yet familiar shade of ruby and the canisters in front of him levitated up to his waist before being launched at them.
Listening to her instincts, Creed gets into a crouch barely dodging the explosion that followed and joined with Robin to send their own projectiles at the humanoid; batrangs and throwing knife. However, just like with the canisters, the genomorph was able to stop them from even coming with an inch of him, and again, shot more canisters at them. Reaching out. Creed yanked Aqualad's arm as she and KF began sprinting down the left hall away from the enemy. Faintly, the yelling of the humanoid genomorph could be heard as they neared a solid, metallic door.
"They are heading for Project Kr!"
Hearing the shout as well, KF began to accelerate ahead. Suddenly the lock and beeping of the machinery alerted the team to the door opening, revealing a scientist waltzing out of the room, clip board in hand. Unable to stop, KF crashed into the girl; taking out her feet from under her. He skids to a stop, flipping onto his stomach to estimate if she was alright. However, upon noticing the glowing green sign labeled 'PROJECT Kr' began fidgeting around to find something to prevent the door from closing up again. Coming up behind him, Creed realized what he was doing and caught a glimpse of the familiar canisters.
"Kid Flash, use this." Picking one up, she throws it swiftly to KF, who barely catches it.
Grimacing, KF looked between her and the object while trying to wedge it into the door.
'How in the world did she lift that so easily?'
With a grunt, KF was successful. Creed looked to Robin and Aqualad yelling back to them as she and KF entered the room.
Moving aside, Creed allowed the other two to jump inside. Noticing that Guardian and more genomorphs were following them now, Creed slammed the canister out before they arrived to enter after them. The door slammed with a dull boom, and the room fell silent. Robin went straight to work at the console next to the entrance/exit. Just a few modifications and he responded his achievement.
"I disabled the door, we're safe." Aqualad came up behind him, his skin illuminated by the screen.
"It at least gives us some time to plan out our next move." Creed's words alerted them of her position next to KF. Noticing them staring at something they begin to move towards them.
"Guys, you'll want to see this."
With the push of a button, the other two came to stand on either side as the pod in front of them was activated to project the inhabitant.
In front of them laid a miniature version of the great Superman himself. A young boy, most likely in his teens, was standing straight up in his pod. His hair was ebony, almost blue, black, and his physique was fit and toned. His only article of clothing was a full length suit, latex, which was fluorescently white. On his chest, he adorned the symbol of Superman in red. Inside of the pod along with him were more of the miniature genomorphs with telekinesis powers; they sat in a line on a ledge above the teen. Outside on the front of the glass encasement was a frosted insignia of the Kr symbol.
Everyone's jaw dropped, even forcing Robin to utter an 'woah'. After a few second, which felt like a millennia, someone broke them from their stupor.
It was Creed's fist to the control panel. Her sneer was illuminated by the glow of the pod; the pearly whites of her teeth increased the sinister expression of her face. The imprint of her fist left a huge dent. When she spoke, her voice was low and irritated.
"Damn it, I knew it."
All three boys were confused. KF looked between her and the pod before walking up to get a closer look at the glass. It wasn't until his reflection was exposed in the glass that he responded. His image showing his eyes widen in realization.
"Big K, little r! They were the atomic symbol for Krypton!" However, he turned and narrowed his eyes at Creed though in confusion. "But, how did you know?"
With his accusation, the other boys turned to Creed in question. Robin glaring at KF a moment before also looking at Creed for an answer. Creed removed her fist and walked toward the pod as well. She placed her right hand on the glass.
"When you've worked with the League as long as I have, you learn a thing or two about each member." Her finger traced the letters in a gentle stroke. "Superman is no exception to this."
The team was silent for a moment before Aqualad turned to Robin in haste.
Shaken out of his intent gaze on the girl, he looked to the elder teen before rushing to get into Kr's system.
"Oh, right, right."
Hooking up the USB cord, the team gathered around Robin except for Creed, who remained in front of the glass pod. With a few clicks of his keyboard, Robin was able to access the previously triple encrypted file.
"Weapon designation: Superboy. A clone force grown in- SIXTEEN WEEKS! From DNA acquired from Superman." Robin's eyes widen under the mask in awe at this discovery.
"STOLEN from Superman." Creed's words biting into the air.
KF turned to glance at her before voicing his opinion. "No way the big guy knows about this."
"Solar suit allows him to absorb yellow sun radiation 24/7."
"And these, creatures?" Aqualad pointed toward the screen at the miniature genomorphs above the clone.
"Genomorph gnomes. Telepathic. Force feeding him an education."
Looking at the screen, KF cut him off; his tone sentimental with an underline of anger.
"And we can guess what else. They're making a slave out of, well, Superman's son."
Creed couldn't help but flinch at KF's statement. Her golden orbs looked intently at Superboy as she studied his features.
'Same hair style, same jaw structure. They even have the same expression when they sleep.' Creed's hand on the glass formed into a fist as she took one last look at the closed eyes before turning to the boys.
"Robin, download every bit of that file onto your internal hard drive. We're going to need every last bit of information. Aqualad. Kid Flash. Contact Aquaman and Flash. We're going to need back up for this." Aqualad seemed to of let out a breath even he didn't know he was holding.
"We're contacting them?"
"This is officially League territory. The League must be notified IMMEDIATELY. Our part in this will be over once they arrive."
Creed moved to stand by Robin watching him download all the Intel. Aqualad and KF set to work with trying to reach their mentor's communication. However, after a few minutes, there was still nothing. KF turned to look at Creed slightly disappointed.
"No signal, we're in too deep." KF looked at the ceiling in depression. "Literally..."
Back outside the door, the previous scientist that had been knocked over by KF was now currently diligently at work to try and open the door. Guardian stood behind her waiting patiently with his arms crossed over his chest. The Genomorphs were waiting restlessly around the area, the snarls and gurgles of their numbers reverberating along the corridor. The sound of hurried footsteps alerted them to Dr. Desmond and the humanoid genomorph coming their way.
"They're still in there?" He came to a stop in front of Guardian who was standing at attention," With the weapon?"
"We can't get the door open."Guardian's glance at the women scientist struggling with the panel confirmed his answer.
Sneering in distress, Desmond looked to the Humanoid and threw his arm at the door, the gnome on his shoulder being jarred slightly by the action.
"Use your telekinesis!"
"I have tried, to no avail."
His apathetic tone and calm demeanor only served to frustrate Desmond more after his response. He threw his arms up in the air to enunciate his exasperation.
Turning back to Guardian, Desmond began calling his order.
"This is a debacle; get some G-Trolls down here to muscle the door open. Now!"
Guardian just raised an eyebrow and put his hands on his hips, both amused and slightly tired of Dr. Desmond's attitude toward the situation.
"Already on their way."
Taking a clam breath, Desmond spoke directly to Guardian, keeping eye contact the whole time.
"You realize once we get in there we can't ever let them leave." the severity of the situation suddenly coming to be known.
"Doc, these aren't you're typical 'meddling kids'," he was completely surprised by the order underlined in Desmond's statement," You DON'T want to get on the wrong side of the Justice League. Especially by disposing of one of their members."
This threw Desmond off," members?"
"Creed is in there with them. She's the League's main covert operator. That's really all anyone knows about her."
Desmond furrowed his brow in confusion, suspicious of this new factor in the equation.
'A child as a member of the Justice League?'
Turning to the gnome on his shoulder, he spoke in a swift whisper.
"Show me more."
Looking to his owner, the gnome used his power to reach to the gnome on Guardian's shoulder, forcing the beast to reach into Guardian's memories. The man clutched his head in pain at the invasion. Receiving what it wanted, the gnomes transferred the data into Desmond's mind. Grunting in surprise, the man could see into the Security head's memories of the confrontation in the power core room. Intercepting the intruders, the fight between Creed, and the chase into the Sub-levels. Desmond's eyes widen, his breath trapped within his chest.
The scene in which Creed stepped out from behind Aqualad played over and over in his mind. Although he could not clearly see her face due to the hood, the glow of gold slightly under the shadow and the physique was prominent. Her agility and strength were phenomenal; he wouldn't have believed her capable if it weren't for her quick disposal of Guardian in the room. The stance in which she used to execute Guadiana to the floor, that move was unmistakable. And that symbol on her belt...yes, Desmond remembered that symbol ALL too well.
'It has to be her! There's no mistake!'
Desmond concentrated back on Guardian, the man barely just coming out of the haze brought on by the robbery of his memories.
"Contact the genomes inside Kr."
The Gnomes on both of their shoulders caused their horns to glow, confirming that they heard the doctor. The scientist couldn't help the smirk that crossed his features.
'I have to have her.'
Back inside the sealed room, the gnomes above Project Kr's head began to glow, unknown to the other inhabitants in the room. After realizing that the communication to outside the lab was a no-show, they all dispersed around the room to find an alternative. Creed retreated back to the pod housing the immobile clone. Standing but a few inches from it, hands still clenched at her sides. She briefly hears KF in the background.
"This is wrong."
I heard an agreement from the other boys.
"We can't leave him like this."
"We're not going to." Creed sharp reply pulled their attention toward her, she turned to glare at Robin," Release him."
Aqualad nodded at her reply, turning to the boy wonder.
With a sharp nod, he set to work on his holographic screen; a few clicks heard here and there, before a release of steam exposed the pod to the open air. The glass surrounding the tube previously began to ascend above, completely freeing the captive. All was still for a moment, the intruders wanted on baited breath for a reaction. With a slight twitch, the clone lifted its hand, flexing it and forming a tight two mature member frowned at the movement. Creed stepped forward slightly to cover the boys in case of emergency.
Suddenly, the horns on the gnomes began to glow the familiar red, forcing the eyes of the clones to burst open. Creed tensed up.
'Shit! I knew this would happen!'
When the clone shot forward, like a bullet, he was aiming for Aqualad. Creed, however, intervened and crashed into the clone to plow him into the wall. Not being stunned, the clone began aiming punches at the girl-hero. Creed, knowing full well that those punches could break her jaw, dodged each one; not noticing the boys running up to help her. Ducking down to avoid a swing to her temple, she retracted her blades, placing them criss-cross into the stone above his neck. She tried to speak quickly in order to get him to pay attention.
"Relax! We're not going to harm yo-!"
He threw another punch, which she dodged, causing KF who was behind her to take the blow instead. Shouting a grunt, Kid Flash plowed into a glass case, completely knocking him through it and unconscious on the floor, glass littered around him.
Furious now, Creed reduced the space for the clone's throat and jabbed both feet into his knee caps, forcing him to flatten out his legs and slide to the ground. He reached to grab her, but Robin and Aqualad held down his arms at either side. He moved to shake his head, but ended up cutting his head slightly. Surprised, he glared at Creed. She smirked despite herself.
"Not even you are invincible to this metal."
Enraged at her mockery, he shouted a yell and yanked his arms. Robin flew to the ceiling and smashed his head on a steel pipe, purposely knocking him out. Aqualad, however, was able to hold strong. Unfortunately, with one arm free, Superboy was able to grab Aqualad throw him into the empty pod, bending it backwards from the force and into the back of the room. Not being able to hold him on her own now, Creed retreated back before he had a chance to grab her. Reaching up, the clone graced his neck with the back of his hand; retracting it to see the blood. The icy stare Creed received made her ego inflate slightly, but she shook it off.
'Keep a cool head, Creed'
Hiding her blades back in her cuffs, she raised her hands in clear view of his vision; slightly away from her body and palms up. He kept his glare, so she decided to speak.
"My name is Creed."
"Who are you?"
Hesitance, but still nothing. Scoffing internally, Creed tried a different approach.
"Why are you here?"
The glare was now gone, and he seemed to be pondering her question.
'It's something at least.'
"Why are YOU here?"
Astonished, she didn't expect for him to answer. His voice was soft, almost harsh from not much use; a nice baritone vibe. She decided to answer truthfully.
"We originally came to just see what Cadmus really is, but once we discovered the Project you were designated under, we made finding you the initiative."
This perplexed him.
She couldn't help the flinch, not from his question, but from his facial expression. The way he raises his left eyebrow, tilting his head a little to the left...
'Just like Clark...'
"The man you were born from," and she said born intentionally," this was all done without his permission and his knowledge. We had to find out how far along they came with you."
He stepped closer at this news, sending a wave of relaxation to Creed.
'At least I'm not scaring him.'
She tried her luck and stepped closer as well.
"We want to get you out of here."
This brought unease on him, his forehead gaining lines as he tensed at the suggestion. Familiarity of the situation hit Creed. She's been through this before, except reversed. She could recall the emotions tied to this event.
Not fully understanding, but going with her instincts, she continued.
"What do you want?"
His eyes widened the cyan in his eyes glistening with what little light there was in the room; thrown off from the act of consideration she was displaying to him.
'What do I want?'
The beep of the door alerted them. The steel entrance now illuminated green, signaling the breakthrough of the scientists on the other side. In full alert mode, Creed looked at her unconscious teammates and the door now slowly moving. Cursing, she scowled.
'I don't have enough time!'
Hating the decision she was about to make, she turned to the clone.
"I'm sorry, but I'll continue our conversation later. Don't tell them where I am, and I'll help you with whatever decision you choose."
The clone watched with a confused face as she sprinted into the darkness of the back of the room before turning his attention to the new occupants. Running toward him was the professor heading his development. He gazed hectically at the fallen sidekicks before addressing him.
"Where is she?"
Guardian came to stand beside him, already instructing the genomorphs to pick up the boys scattered around the room. The clone hesitated, Creed's promise rolling around his head. He concentrated on his hearing, singling out everything else but her. He was amazed; the only reason he knew she was still there was from the miniscule sounds of her breath. Her ability to conceal herself was beyond what he thought of her, looking as small as she was. Desmond's persistent nature tumbled his thoughts.
Guardian stepped up to him, grasping his shoulder and answered for him.
"He obviously doesn't know Doc; otherwise he'd of taken care of her like the others."
"You don't know her! What she's capable of!"
Shaking with irritation, the doctor turned to the other genomorphs not holding the prisoners.
And they took off out of the room in frenzy. Watching them go, the doctor addressed the two 'heroes'.
"Take the intruders to the Cloning Chamber, and afterwards help the genomorphs track the girl!"
With his final words he fast-walked down the hall. Jerking his head to the beasts left in the room, Guardian began heading to the chamber, only sparing Superboy a glance as he walked out.
With a deep breath, Superboy listened to try to clarify that Creed was indeed still in the room. Hearing her calm breaths, he nodded to himself and left the room in a strong stride.
Up above, in a concealed part of the ceiling, Creed watched the scene take place. Her heart wrenched at the sight of the genomorphs taking away her team. They were her responsibility and she allowed them to be captured. Her knuckles popped from how tight her fist was clenched, golden eyes wavering and shutting in exasperation.
'This is my fault...'
Light: Wow! I'm tired X_X It's currently 4:18 am and I am deteriorating! The only thing left is my hands! At least it feels like it :P I'm sorry it took so long! I've had a bunch of work due before classes start up again, so my free time has become slim to none. However, I have time off now until then! So I told myself, 'why not write?' So I stood up all night! I kept wanting to stop, but I said to myself 'NO! You have people who have waited TOO LONG for an update! You can't quit now!' so I finished it in one go! Yay, to Light! XP
I'm sorry it DID take that long though; I've been trying to debate on a few topics. One mainly being if I should continue this story on my own, make it an AU, you know? Since the lack of episodes had sucked my inspiration away. Also, classes :P SO MUCH WORK! Since I'm an English major, I write ALL THE TIME! But it's like a feel good pain, since I love writing :P
Anyway, so I need some honest opinions here! I know a lot of you are REALLY into this story! I'm honestly in love with you guys, to love my story this much and it's barely the first chapter! So I COMPETELY trust you when you give me your honest opinion! So heres the question:
1) Follow the story line?
2) Go off in my own direction? After I follow the episodes that is. I would start breaking mainly after Downtime.
I have a plotline for both scenarios, and even a Prequel idea, but I just don't know which one to go with :P Also, how do you all like the whole episode each chapter thing? If I keep doing it this way, then I probably won't be able to update as soon as every week, possibly every two weeks at most :P However! I can update every week if I split the episode in half. So here's your next thing to ponder:
1) Update every two weeks with the chapters being the full length of the episode?
2) Update every week with the chapter being split in half?
I need some opinions, por favore! So please Review, or shoot me and email through Fanfiction! Seriously! I need some feedback, even if it's just 5 of you! It would be great! To give you some time, I'm just going to go ahead and write 'Independence Day' and 'Fireworks' as two separate chapters and full length of the episodes. Hopefully, that'll be enough.
Anyway, hope you enjoyed it, and I hope to get some feedback, Per Favore!
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Word of the Wise - Walk by faith and not by sight, where so many are bound by conscience remember that nothing is true and where so many are bound by law remember that everything is permitted