Part One: Reintroductions
The crackling energy field in the prison snapped off, letting the prisoner's groans echo through the suddenly silent room and corridor. Dark, rusted and forbidding all were apt descriptions of this high and low tech prison.
"Granny Goodness has tried so hard, but the child is a bad, bad child. Granny disciplines her so much her power whip needs recharging," the deformed, old looking woman said.
"And what brings you here today?" the younger, lithe girl asked the woman that looked like she was half troll.
"Granny Goodness wants to know how you exist. How the girl and boy exists! Desaad said that you are alien, though the girl is less alien than you," Granny Goodness asked in a sickly sweet tone.
"I survived the reality warping of indiscriminate time travel, of course. This is a chaotic corner of the multiverse. Even the underlying rules of time and space can change," the ragged blonde replied.
"Darkseid wanted that, to protect against threats-"
"He did not want to be rewritten; churned into the creation of universes. He hated that he was not just immune-"
ZWAAARRAAAARK. The pain lance let up after a second. "Stupid Girl keeps saying nasty, bad things. About Granny. About Desaad. And about great and mighty Darkseid," the head brainwasher of Apokolips hissed out in an angry voice.
"If minor truths like that cause such a reaction, you guys must be very insecure. I mean you could use a beautician and Desaad could use about ten centuries of psychotherapy, but I thought Darkseid was a bit more secure in his confidence-"
The pain lance thundered again. "Nasty, nasty girl."
"Sheila, ten to two. You really are falling behind in the points... Old woman. Or is troll more accurate?"
Another blast of pain as Granny Goodness laid on to her. "You! You!"
"O-ohhh, another point. That's almost as good as when I called you a silly hag that shouldn't be allowed to raise your eyes to your betters, much less raise children."
Granny's screams were thunderous as the lance shot out multiple times. The goddess that was the head brainwasher of Apokalyps did not even hear the warning buzzer for five minutes. A specific buzzer that was to warn when a Boom Tube would be used. Granny had burned a hole in the younger goddess's stomach, even though the pain lance did not normally leave a mark.
"Checkmate," Shelinaria croaked out, even as her form suddenly melted away.
Deft hands had appeared from the shadows right behind Granny Goodness, grabbing a small silver chain and amulet as she telekinetically unlocked the lock-pouch. Then faster than the New God could turn, Shelinaria vanished in a blur of speed.
Granny's blood suddenly froze as she whipped around, seeing the blinking red light. "No, she can not escape. Her hand went to her high tech looking belt, only to come away empty handed, as the Amulet of Athena's Wisdom was missing. "No! Granny Goodness is a good girl! Granny Goodness did not let evil, nasty goddess escape! No!"
The teenage goddess was moving far too fast as she fled at over forty-five hundred miles per hour to hear the panicked, evil 'New God'. Shelinaria had heard a distant boom of a Boom Tube. From the echoing, it had to come from the main courtyard outside her prison cell.
It had taken careful husbanding of her mystical energies to have enough power to co-locate herself and fuel running so fast. Weeks as she worried over her niece and Lor-Zod that had been taken from her. The bug-like shock-troopers of Apokalypse barely saw a blur travel past them and into the warehouse where they were guarding a shipment to Intergang.
The boom shattered windows within a block in the warehouse district. Shelinaria punched right through the simple, if thick, brick wall and then out onto the streets. Blue-green eyes looked around as she scanned around quickly as she skidded to a halt.
"Metropolis! I am going to feel like such a weakling. Help! Superman!" she screamed out.
Said Superman, in his guise of Clark Kent looked up from where he was doing his oft neglected laundry. He had heard the massive sonic boom and had been listening in, so the scream for help had not been totally unexpected.
Then he heard the rain of glass and more screams for help. He was out the window and streaking through the air, flying just under the speed of sound. He arrived just in time to see a girl wearing rags and a silver necklace being attacked by dozens of Parademons.
She actually seemed to be holding her own.
"Good, you were in the city," Shelinaria said in relief. "Don't disappear right after. I have critical information for you." Both fists hit two faces of the shock-troopers, knocking them out instantly. She was not holding back in the slightest.
"Can it wait to the end of the battle?" the blue and red armored Kryptonian asked.
"That depends on if you want family matters aired out here or not," she replied while ducking six different beams from the troopers.
Superman just let those same beam attacks splash off of his chest, returning fire with his heat vision. "Kara did not mention that she had made any new friends. But perhaps later, in private."
"Can you keep them off of me for about thirty seconds?" Shelinaria asked.
"Consider it done," Superman replied. He blitzed forward and then punched one bug trooper so hard he knocked over six more behind him.
The blonde in rags grabbed an enemy electron beam rifle and put her hand on it, accessing the alien magitech inside. Its encryption immediately rejected her, only to find itself being overwhelmed as passwords for each level of lockout were mentally produced. The rifle reconfigured itself and then a spiraling blue beam shot out and hit the edge of the boom tube, cutting one of the exiting troopers in half. "I cut off their boom tube, so no more reinforcements for at least a few more minutes."
Superman frowned at that. Was she one of the New Gods? If she wasn't...then what was she?
One thing Shelinaria could say; Darkseid's troops were fanatical. Not that it helped them once they were cut off from reinforcements.
"So talk," Superman said gruffly the moment they landed on a rooftop on the other side of a city.
"This isn't exactly security conscious," the young blonde noted aloud as she looked around. "I was captured by Darkseid and three children that were in my care were taken from me."
The Kryptonian frowned. "And you want to invade Apokalypse to rescue them?" That was a bit daunting, even for him. Even though Batman had done it when the Justice League first formed to save him, that had been amazingly lucky.
"Well, that's why I'm contacting family of the children." Here Shelinaria frowned. "You look very young."
That surprised him. Then Superman frowned right back. "If you are referring to myself, I have one cousin who is not a child."
That got her eyes to widen a bit. "Things must have been rewritten more differently than I would have imagined. Ma and Pa are-?"
The Superhero wanted to grab her and demand to know what she knew, but that was what villains did. "How did you know them?"
"I got introduced to them through Connor's foster parents when he was going through a rough patch. So Cassie and I dropped in and we went down to the old watering hole. And nearly got caught skinny dipping by old man Linmores."
The Man of Steel blinked at that. "Who?"
"He owns the farm to the northwest of the Kents. Or did, before time got overwritten." The pain from her stomach wound was throbbing. She wondered if this was how Alexander Luthor felt finding everything had changed. And why Hal Jordan in the middle of his Parallax possession also wanted to make things how he remembered them.
Sheila now could sympathize with them, but realized she could not just redo reality to what she remembered if she had a way to change it. That the people of this reality didn't deserve to be rewritten out of existence just because it wasn't the one she was from. Or how she wanted things to be.
Plus the thought of becoming whiny and destructive like that other Superboy was extremely disturbing.
Superman saw Sheila was in pain. "I think you were correct in we need to take this to a more secure location. Superman to Watchtower, two to teleport."
With a flash of white light, they appeared on the telepad up in the Watchtower. The curve of space could be seen through the windows. The scarlet armored figure looked up from where he was watching something on the screen.
"Superman? Who's this?" the Flash asked.
"I'm Shelinaria. Are Batman and Wonder Woman around? I have some very important matters to talk to them about." The young goddess was wearing rags and carrying a parademon rifle, but she still made it look good.
The Man of Steel looked confused even as Cyborg walked in across the main monitor room.
"Wonder Girl?" Cyborg asked as visual cross-checking with all the computers put a match to her scuffed up face. "I'll signal them."
That perked the girl up. "Oh good, she wasn't erased at least. No, I'm not Cassie. It's more that I was an alternate reality version of her stuck here in this universe."
"Alternate reality? That's kind of neat. I've been studying up on dimensional vibrations," the Flash interjected with interest.
"So that does mean Wonder Woman is active if there is a Wonder Girl. That's a load off my mind-" Shelinaria started to explain.
"Wait. Where you come from Wonder Woman and Wonder Girl are connected?" Superman asked suddenly.
The young goddess looked surprised for a second, then a small spark of hope died in her eyes. "They were, before time was rewritten. Cassie talked about being an annoying teen borrowing several mystical artifacts to empower herself to be a 'wonder girl'. But not here, I take it?" she asked.
"Oh? And how did you two relate?" the Flash asked.
Shelinaria snickered. "The first time I met her was only minutes after arriving in New York City. She accused me of being an evil clone and trying to take my head off with a punch. Then we were teammates with the Titans. Then sort of sisters, I guess. Then at the end, family and goddesses among heroes." She blinked at their startled looks. "Ah, right. I didn't tell you my full name. I am Shelinaria, Goddess of Battle and Excellence. Daughter of Pallas Athena."
"You are shitting me, sister. A goddess? And isn't Athena a virgin goddess?" the scarlet speedster asked.
She shot the Flash a glare. "And adoption is impossible?"
Another flash of light came from the teleport pad as Wonder Woman arrived. She then flew across the room quickly. "I came as fast as possible."
The Amazon was quite startled by the near tackle and hug. It did not appear to be an attack. "What is going on? Who are you?"
"The daughter of Pallas Athena, supposedly," Cyborg noted dryly, getting a chuckle out of Superman and the Flash.
Wonder Woman's face turned quite serious and very unwelcoming. "Really?" she replied frostily.
"Like I told him, adopted-" Shelinaria stopped and pulled back. Then she blinked and took a small sniff. "A demigoddess?"
Now it was Superman's and Wonder Woman's turn to be surprised.
"How do you know that?" the raven-haired woman demanded.
"It would be really stupid if those of divine blood could not discern those of other divine blood. Can you not sense the murmur of the crowd and the scent of olive oil on a spiritual level?" Shelinaria had let her loose and casually stepped back a step.
"I have no idea what you are..." Wonder Woman frowned even as she sniffed ever so slightly. "I can. Strange."
"Whoa, time out. Demigoddess? I thought you were just an Amazon from Thymescria?" the Flash asked. No, nearly demanded.
"I am the daughter of Zeus, so I am a demigoddess of the Greek gods." It was simple fact from the older woman.
"So aunt and probably sister. Kind of neat. When is Batman going to get here?" Shelinaria asked Cyborg.
"He's busy, so he's going to be on the communicator. Why?"
"Well, I figured he would want to help rescue Batman's god daughter from Darkseid."
Superman put on his best glare as he stepped forward and put his fists on his hips. "I think it is time to explain."
Shelinaria nodded. "It all started when Booster Gold appeared with a warning that I was about to be written out of existence. I had ten minutes to prepare before the wave was going to rewrite history and I was not going to exist. Since I was babysitting the kids I did my best to save them in what little time I had."
"So who are these kids?" Cyborg inquired. And why are they so important?
"Clara, the daughter of Superboy and Wonder Girl; Chris, the adopted son of Superman; and then there's Diane, the half-human biological daughter of Superman. And the longer we wait, the harder it is going to be to rescue them."
Clark looked like he'd been punched in the gut by Darkseid at that.
"Impossible. The power to rewrite reality is beyond anyone," Batman stated in a grim tone.
"No. It isn't." The Flash had a devastated look on his face. "All it takes is changing something in the past."
Shelinaria wanted to ask him what he meant, but she did not want this getting more sidetracked.
"So the Justice League is on this," Cyborg declared.
"This is personal-" the blonde started to say.
"No, he's right. You are going to need all the help you can get," the speedster said. "And we're a team."
"Thanks," Superman said seriously.
"I can be there in twenty minutes. See if Aquaman is going to be available. Batman out." The holo-screen blinked out.
"That's it? No Captain Marvel? Power Girl? Hawkman? Teen Titans? The Justice Society? Outsiders?" The young goddess was not liking the sound of this.
"The Teen Titans are just kids. We don't have any way to contact Hawkman. I don't even know who those others are," Cyborg said. "Twenty minutes is enough time to quickly make some armor. Aquaman says he's on his way."
"Diana, do you have a spare sword? I doubt you guys have a spare singularity rifle, do you?"
"A spare what?" Flash asked her. She did not just ask if they had a gun that shot black holes, did she?
"I'd need to head back to get one," Wonder Woman stated, ignoring the Flash.
"Tell me where you got your gear and I'll send you there," Cyborg told her.
"Now tell me why there are no ties between the Teen Titans and the Justice League?" Sheila asked Superman and Flash. "After all if any of them are basing themselves off you... wouldn't you want to know who they are and not have them reflect poorly on you?"
Barry had to admit Sheila had a point. "Well, Kid Flash has dropped off the face of the Earth after making a house fire worse for trying to help."
"So he used his super speed and caused a thermal updraft?" Sheila commented. "Sounds like a good reason for you to act as a mentor to him doesn't it?"
"I get what you're saying," Flash admitted. "Kind of embarrassed that I didn't think of it first."
"And if I encounter that Superboy, I will try to help him with his powers," Superman said sounding like he was deep in thought. It seemed strange to Clark that now he seemed to have family coming out of the woodwork. He had his cousin Kara, an adopted son and a biological daughter. And he noticed that Shelinaria had not said who the mother was.
He wondered how he was going to deal with having children. And mentoring a teenager. Something he had to admit to himself he should be doing with his cousin Kara, but she was so touchy.
Aquaman appeared, filling the Watchtower with the smell of brine. "What's this emergency?" he demanded imperiously.
"Darkseid captured three very important children that need rescuing," Batman said from behind him, stepping out of his shadow. Piggybacking his teleport to coincide with Aquaman's transport had allowed him to practice sneaking in. Just in case of an emergency.
"I hate to say this, but I think I'm going to really miss GL on this," the Flash said in an upset tone.
The young goddess had disappeared with Cyborg and reappeared wearing a silver-gray suit of armor. She slipped the sword onto her hip from Wonder Woman.
Then she started to cast a spell. Then repeated it twice more.
"You know some magic?" Wonder Woman asked even as Aquaman asked the Flash who the strange girl was in the background.
"I've been expanding my repertoire of abilities. This spell will allow me trace the strand of Fate that binds me to my niece and her cousins. Are we ready?" Shelinaria asked the team. It was good to find out they were still totally selfless heroes. She would have hated to end up on that world with the Injustice League.
"Unless Batman wants some of his Batman Inc. to be used as cannon fodder," Aquaman said in a snide tone.
"They aren't up for this sort of rescue mission," Batman said coldly
"Even the one who helped the Justice League International team?" Flash asked as he was agreeing with Sheila in they could use all the help they could get.
"Batwing and the other former members of the JLI are not available," Batman replied quickly.
"Let's go, people," Cyborg called out. "Calculating a Boom Tube."
The heat of the fire pits hit instantly, along with the burning scent of brimstone and ionized gases. Arthur already looked a bit battered by the surroundings.
"Twenty minutes and counting on rebooting to do another transport tube," Cyborg called out.
"Let's hope we're still alive then," Aquaman commented heavily sweating. The memory of the last time Victor's boom tube technology dumped them in Apokalyps was not something he ever liked dwelling on.
"Flash, Superman; keep up." Sheila called, then disappeared in a blur.
He started to smirk then had to take off before he lost sight of her, as she was moving faster than just about anyone other than Superman. Superman was flying after them as fast as he could, but he was really following their heat trail as they outdistanced him in the maze of corridors.
"What are we supposed to do?" Aquaman demanded. He hated it when people just dumped things on him.
"It's obvious. We're supposed to defend Cyborg until they get back so we can escape. Wonder Woman?" Batman asked. He shot a grapple into the myriad pipes above them to disappear.
"Here they come!" the Amazon demigoddess called out as Parademons boiled out of the hallways in front of and behind them.
Aquaman simply extended his trident to let the first trooper impale himself. Diana on the hand was a whirlwind of destruction as she launched an all out assault on the Parademons. Her fists, feet, and sword stuck them and were all equally devastating to the minions of Darkseid.
Hundreds of miles away, Parademons scrambled to fill a room that had an energy cage. Inside was a small toddler that was wriggling unhappily and crying.
"Guard the child! Darkseid has ordered us hold until Kalibak arrives. Our lives for Darkseid!" the highest (menial) ranked Parademon screed out. That was when three blurs flashed through, leaving an empty room with a deactivated cage.
The brutish Kalibak stepped in. His furrowed brow twisted into an angry sneer. "Where is the child?"
"The wind took it!" the ranked Parademon squealed pitifully. "Kill me, Lord Kalibak, so that I may die for Lord Darkseid!"
The brutish elder son of the lord of Apokolips sneered. "No. You will tell Darkseid what happened before I arrived."
Back at their arrival point, Batman called out, "Wonder Woman, break through that wall to your left! Running battle!" He tapped the comlink in his cowl to activate it. "Superman, we need you back in five minutes or we are going to be overrun."
Cyborg unleashed a massive sonic attack, causing all of the Parademons to stagger around drunkenly. That allowed Wonder Woman and Aquaman to start taking them down even more rapidly.
"Understood," the Man of Steel replied.
In the grim fortress of Darkseid, a Parademon dared interrupt his lord and master. "Master! Lord Darkseid! We are under attack! The stranger goddess from the No-Time Room!"
"She dares take what is mine?" the gray, rocky skinned tyrant declared loudly in anger.
Granny Goodness was quaking in her boots as she grovelled on the ground. It was better to be silent at this point.
"Justice League! She brought the Justice League!" his head assassin called out.
"Fools! They are blitzing us! Ignore the attacks to rescue the children. Defeat the slower group to forestall them all escaping!" Darkseid scowled as he saw the first group was starting to move. "Where are my Furies?"
"They are currently putting down a rebellion near the Scorch fire pit, my lord," Kanto declared. "Shall I order them to break off the trail of Mr. Miracle?"
"No, otherwise he will use this opportunity to escape." It appeared, yet again, that the Lord and Master of Apokolips would have to intervene personally. His glowing red eyes flared.
Back in the thick of the running battle, Aquaman was not feeling happy whatsoever. "This is not going to work. Darkseid's going to just boom tube ahead of us."
The three 'super-speedsters' of the group reappeared, each carrying a child.
"About three more minutes, right Cyborg?" Sheila called out as the Flash set Chris on the ground.
"Right!" he shouted back.
A scarlet blur created a massive whirlwind around them, creating an impassible barrier to the low powered Parademons.
That was when the air started to distort, only to be hit by her electron beam rifle on the outer edge and periphery of the forming wormhole tube; Sheila was reacting with hyper-tense reflexes.
Darkseid stopped as he was about to step through, his boom tube disrupted. "Foolish child. You play with forces you do not understand nor control."
"Hold onto Clara," Shelinaria said to Cyborg as she carefully set the girl into his hands.
"What? I need my hands free to fight," the youngest member of the League snapped out, only to get the child to squall louders.
"You are definitely escaping because you are creating the boom tube." And to the young goddess, that was the most important thing.
"I've got the other two," Batman said as he used his cape to hold the infants carefully.
The full kryptonian child looked angry even as he clung to Batman's waist. "I can fight," he declared in a petulant tone.
"Here he comes," Wonder Woman called at as she saw another boom tube form. "His right eye is mine."
Darkseid's first view upon stepping through his boom tube as the pointed tip of Wonder Woman's sword only an inch from his right eye. Battle-honed reflexes started his head twisting out of the way...
... into the other sword that had started to move after he reflexively ducked the maiming attack.
Shelinaria's glowing red sword slashed out his left eye with life-inimical energies.
Darkseid screamed as he felt the sword burn deeper than mere flesh. "What did you do?"
"I am a goddess of war, Darkseid. The wounds I inflict can even fell creatures that can regenerate limbs," she declared.
"Boom tube is ready to go," Cyborg called out, activating his Motherbox derived technology.
Beams of pure force erupted from his hands, blasting back Superman and Wonder Woman as Shelinaria drifted back on soft steps that looked too graceful to be so swift. "Die, Justice League!" His one un-maimed eye blasted out with the full power of his Omega Beam to destroy the half-metal, half-human hero. And the demigoddess baby he carried.
The Omega Beam bent when the young goddess grasped the moment and slammed her hand into the beam before it could dodge out of the way.
With a boom, the Justice League disappeared. In their wake they had left destruction and one wounded god of domination and evil. Darkseid roared his anger. Roared so loud that it echoed across the heavens and sent psychics into catatonia.
And Apokolips responded as all of the fire pits exploded in redoubled fury.
Shelinaria's scorched and barely humanoid body flew across the main watchtower room, smashing through several chairs and the main table.
"Gods above!" Wonder Woman leaped across the room as she dropped her sword. "She's still alive."
"Get her to sick bay," Batman ordered in a gravelly tone. The baby in his cape started to cry loudly.
"Anishii! Anishii!" the toddler in Cyborg's hand screamed out.
A scarlet blur disappeared with the smoldering body, leaving an acrid stench of burnt meat and shell-shocked heroes and children behind.
"Heart monitor, ointments. Prep for skin grafts-" the Flash was saying as he blurred through emergency triage.
A blue-green eye cracked open and used the last of her willpower to regenerate the worst of her damage. Patches of scar tissue appeared among the scorched, divine flesh.
While the others rushed to their best to help the wounded goddess, Superman found himself in a situation he was ill prepared for and worried on what he should do.
He was trying to keep the three children calm. Three children that had seen Sheila nearly fried by an Omega Beam. And he had utterly no idea how to do it. He prayed the Legion would show up and have some instant healing device or drug for Sheila. So far his wishes were not coming true.
To make matters even worse for Clark, two of those terrified children were his! (Or something like that.)
Superman tried to think of he could do and he was coming up with nothing. He felt utterly powerless.
"Relax. I have a solution." Batman crouched down to look Chris in the eyes. "I happen to know someone that makes great Mickey Mouse pancakes. And you can meet Damian."
Chris gave him a glare. "Mickey Mouse pancakes are silly. I'm not going to let you hurt my little sister. Even if you are Batman." He muttered something under his breath. "I want my dad there."
It took a few minutes and one trip up from the Batcave. Alfred Pennyworth only raised one eyebrow at two of the most esteemed superheroes trying to deal with two fussy babies and one surly boy. Or a civilian dressed Superman looking completely out of his depth. Wonder Woman was following behind, a look of bemusement on her face.
"How droll, sir. Usually you space these things out before bringing in new children," the butler noted.
"They're not mine," Batman remarked. "They're his."
"He's not my dad," Chris grumbled. "He barely looks older than Conner and wore some weird armor."
"Damien is already asleep, but perhaps we should get these tykes some food and then put down to sleep. Now where did I put that crib," the butler muttered as he started to put his training in gear. "Ah, up in the attic."
"I'll help with that," Clark stated quickly and hoping to have a chance to sort out his thoughts.
"Put it in the large bedroom at the end of the south hall on the second floor, Master Superman."
By the time Clark had found the crib and moved it to the large bedroom Alfred had some water heating and a package of baby formula powder out. He had his homemade batter for pancakes being poured onto the just-right heated up grill.
Clara was sort of half asleep while Chris was watching everything and everyone intently.
"Is Sheila going to be okay?" the young boy asked finally as the first stack of delicious smelling pancakes was set in front of him. He picked up the syrup, sniffing carefully.
"She does not seem to be in danger and is healing. We can only hope that she recovers quickly," Bruce said from the end of the table where he was watching the children.
Alfred had finished mashing up some bananas and started to carefully feed Clara. She turned her head.
"Wan Anishii!" she bawled out.
"Oh dear, I was afraid of this. She doesn't know any of us and she's being fussy." Alfred tried to get her to take a spoonful of food.
The young toddler with black hair started to struggle, fighting to get out of the high chair.
CRACK. The highchair tray flew through the air and imbedded halfway in the wall. Clark just caught her in time before she and her chair hit the ground in a perfect example of equal and opposite reactions. She started squalling and crying again.
"I think I better hold her for now," Clark said quickly.
The door kicked open to reveal a ten year old with terrible bed hair in pajamas slid in with his hands in a martial arts pose. Damian blinked. Blinked again. And then frowned.
"Bruce? Who are these... people?" the ten year old asked as he relaxed ever so slightly.
"Refugees who need a place to stay as their guardian is very hurt after rescuing them, Damian. This is Chris, but I'm not sure of the two girl's names," Bruce said as he pointed to the toddler and the baby that Alfred was feeding with a bottle of formula.
"Her name's Clara and the baby is Diane." Christopher Alan Kent, who had been known as Lor-Zod, frowned heavily. Shelinaira had said not to use their last names as they spent the few hours in the Null-Time Sphere.
Clara was winding down and had started to hiccup, falling asleep in the crook of Clark's arm.
The next evening, Bruce was not really sure what to do. The baby had been asleep off and on all day and quite noisy, while Clara was definitely unhappy. Thankfully, they hadn't been as destructive as he'd feared. He had been worried that he might not have a home by the end of the day.
Chris and Damian had not gotten on well at all. His son had acted his normal self, only to find that Chris could be just as big a jerk. The young Kryptonian had been totally unimpressed by the genius, martial arts prodigy. And given Robin was his favorite superhero that said at lot. However that Robin had been Tim Drake, and not this condescending Damian kid. Damian hadn't taken it well that someone thought any version of Red Robin was more impressive than he was.
It had taken a direct intervention between himself and Clark to keep the two from having a super powered battle through the mansion. A fight that was over Daiman considering bacon cheeseburgers to be disgusting and foul.
"How is the soup?" Bruce asked of Chris.
"It's pretty good. Definitely not from a can," he replied carefully, then took a schlurp of the minestrone. "When is... Clark going to be back?"
"He said he would check back in a few hours. He's trying to figure out what he can do, as he currently has a roommate and suddenly sprouting two children would raise too many questions." Bruce had started to build up the paperwork for the three children.
That was when a very bandaged up figure walked into the room slowly. She was wearing a loose T-shirt, sweat pants and fuzzy slippers. "Sorry for interrupting, Bruce. Thank you for helping with the kids."
"Anishii! Anishii!" Clara screamed out from her high chair. She had both hands held out, obviously wanting to be picked up.
"Yes, Auntie Sheila is here," the young goddess said. She floated the child over with her telekinesis and started cooing
"Should you actually be out of bed? You were missing most of your skin," the billionaire noted.
"I'm regenerating, but it is going to take a while. Probably more than a week at this rate. I can usually at least heal up after a major battle. That was far too close to absolute death for my liking. And dying again..." She shuddered at that.
"Considering that one of his Omega Beams has taken out Superman, I'd say you came out alright," Bruce noted in an amused tone.
"She fought Darkseid? Really?" Damian could almost believe that with all of her bandages.
"Someone had to make sure they didn't hit the kids," Sheila said and tried to smile.
"Yeah. She and the Flash and dad were like woosh. Stupid Parademons didn't even see them and then Darkseid appeared- And I'm babbling again. Sorry." The young full-Kryptonian looked quite abashed.
"It's all right. It sounds like it was cool," Damian replied.
"So what are your plans?" Bruce asked, his manner suddenly very serious, the Batman without his mask.
"I need a place to stay where I can raise the kids. I won't dump it on anyone else. Do you have a spare house or something that I could use? Something semi defensible, if you don't mind."
"Not outside the city at this moment, but there used to be separate servant's quarters here on the grounds. I've got some discrete contractors that will be building it here in just a few weeks. In the meantime, you are my guests." Bruce seemed slightly frazzled.
"How has Diane been?" Shelinaria asked them.
"She's very unhappy and fussy," Alfred said explained, only showing that he was a little tired.
"She's lost her parents and Darkseid probably tried to start brainwashing the children. Chris, did they try to hurt you to make you do what they wanted?" the young goddess asked the boy.
"Not a lot of pain. Less than green kryptonite. Darkseid said he was waiting for us to age up to adults before doing stuff," the young man in shorts and a T-shirt said.
"I guessed right then. Once I figured out we were on Apokolips, I imbued you three with enough life force energy to keep from aging for a few centuries. So he was trying to age you just a few years and kept failing," the bandaged up heroine said, then chuckled. "I guess Darkseid is still a bit predictable."
Bruce nodded. "So we can expect that he would try something similar with any other 'interesting' children."
"Better minions, I guess. I prefer loyal allies," Shelinaria replied as she bounced the suddenly happy toddler on her hip.
"It's too bad that you are going to be stuck as a full time guardian to the kids," the Dark Knight's alter ego said in a contemplative tone.
"Why is that a problem?" she asked curiously as she watched Chris and Damian argue over which game system and games to play on the gigantic screen TV.
"You would probably be a very promising member for the Justice League. And we have been looking at expanding. In fact, we are going to be having them up to the satellite. At the Flash's suggestion." Bruce did not sound thrilled at all.
"It's really not a problem. I think I'm starting to recover enough for this." Shelinaria closed her eyes reached for her flagging power and then...
...there was suddenly two of her. Clara started clapping her hands together and thankfully not creating sonic booms.
"Let's just leave it that I can exist in multiple places at once." She gave the stoic businessman and vigilante a grin you could barely see under the bandages.
"How many can you create?"
"Just the one." Which was absolutely the truth for that moment. It took a bit of effort to create another co-location point in space. Effort she could not make right then.
"I think you've found the greatest superpower in existence. So which one is the real you?" he asked casually.
"We're both 100 % totally real, Mr. Wayne."
And that answer actually unnerved him.
Shelinaria unwrapped the bandages about her face, carefully judging the light scarring that was still visible and the stubble of hair on her head. They were now in the newly constructed 'servant's bungalow' to the north of Wayne Manor, having just moved in the day before after she helped finish the month of construction in just hours. And even that use had been grudging, as she did not want to waste her power. In the past week she had recovered a fair amount of her strength, but even now she felt a bit emotionally fragile; weak.
But as her hands traced the last six major scars off of her body with her scouring power of healing, she nodded. She shook her hair back down to its normal shoulder length. A wink had it glowing like a soft ray of sunlight. Then she put on the high tech armor that she had made down in the Batcave.
(Bruce was still upset that she unlocked his clock-door.)
"Sword, armor and looking pretty good, if I do say so myself-" she started to say to herself when she heard the emergency alert over the TV.
"This is an Emergency Alert. Tsunami have appeared and all people are requested to evacuate to high ground. I repeat, a tsunami is headed to Gotham and will hit shortly-" the announcer was blaring out at full volume.
"Where's Damian?" Shelinaria demanded. "You and the girls are going into the safe room."
"I think something was up. I haven't seen him since yesterday," the young Kryptonian said. "I can help."
Sophia Harris, the other alternate identity of herself, walked in carrying both Clara and Diane. "You can help by making sure that your sister and cousin are safe. If this gets as nastily flooded as it looks like, there are going to be a lot of dead bodies."
"Christopher Alan Kent," Shelinaria said in warning. "Please go into the safe room. And I promise, if I really need you and you can make a big difference, I'll bring you. Okay?"
He looked at her in frustration, but finally nodded. "Okay."
Shelinaria flashed out of the house and over to Gotham, just a few miles down the coast. She was just in time to see a massive wave, hundreds of feet tall, only a scant minute away from smashing over the wharf and docks. The Bat Signal was the only glimmer of light as the black wave of water encroached.
"Guess there no time like the present to see how strong my telekinesis really is." With that she then grabbed at the millions of tons of water (fairly futilely) and then pushed on the very bottom of the wave. It immediately started to curl over, transferring more and more of its horizontal kinetic energy into vertical motion.
Warehouses, ships and not a few businesses were wiped out. Thousand of people were killed, but the massive and greatest part of the killer tsunami wave was spent on only a fraction of the city instead of encompassing most of the city in a dreadful deluge.
Commissioner Gordon looked down at his city, seeing waves only ten to twenty feet waves pass by the base of the buildings this far downtown. "She did this?" She must be some new superhuman. As if that wasn't obvious by her floating in front of him with her hair glowing like strands of sunlight.
Her phone started to ring and beep. On its screen it had one message, asking her for help and to head to Boston.
"That's not creepy," she muttered to herself. And with that she shot off to where an army of Atlanteans were invading Boston.
The waters were churning as the armies of Atlantis sorted themselves out into ranks and divisions. With a swish, Shelinaria appeared over at the police headquarters.
A solid looking woman with graying hair turned to her. "What the hell is going on out here?!"
"Invasion by a sub-aquatic race. They've devastated the local shore and are about to send a full battalion of troops into Boston. You need to contact the National Guard and the Army immediately," the glowing haired goddess explained in a clipped tone quite at odds with the soft burr of Boston accents.
"You have got to be shitting me. I thought that Superman was here and was taking care of things," the woman said even as she pulled out her cell phone.
"Well, I'm sure he's helping with the Justice League," Sheila remarked. "But, even he and the Flash can't be everywhere, and I did not see him down there. So we need to take action on our own. I'm Shelinaria, by the way. Good to meet you. "
"Deputy Chief Inspector Tammy Rolands. I need to clear this with the chief, but he hasn't answered his phone," the police woman replied.
"Where is his home?" the young goddess asked.
"He has a condo down in South Boston, by the docks-"
"Then he's likely unable to respond or is dead. Take charge and get the Army and US National Guard moving. I'm going to get back into the air and see what I can do without having to do something suicidal like attacking a super-powered army head on," Shelinaria called out. With a woosh, she disappeared into the dark.
"Damned if you do and damned if you don't," Tammy muttered to herself. "Dispatch, this is a priority call. Get me Brigadier General Tellers."
The young goddess's keen eyes could see through the spray and mist as if it were a clear day in the sahara, quickly calculating the numbers. Capabilities were hard to track, but she was not immediately spotting any officers off the bat. The crab-like tanks or APCs looked very formidable, and all of the soldiers were carrying some form of high tech rifle.
Then she spotted a group of them dragging a large ovoid, golden device out of the waters. She frowned as she studied the device. She held up her phone and then started to mentally trace through all the computer systems, back to where Cyborg had sent his message from.
She zipped to the side, dodging an entire heavy barrage as she found (or didn't find) Cyborg. He seemed to be offline as his system grappled with recovering the data on a security feed on the USS George Bush, a nuclear powered supercarrier. He must have felt it was incredibly important.
Her inhuman intellect attacked the job of digitally reconstructing the security video.
And when she finished that (in only three minutes) she was suddenly left with more questions than answers. Why was the man who infiltrated and used Atlantean technology to launch cruise missiles into the ocean sitting up on the Watchtower like he was a guest of the Justice League?
Her face appeared on the large view screen above Vulko and Dr. Shin.
"Who are you and why did you launch those missiles into the middle of the ocean?" the goddess demanded of the Atlantean.
"What!?" the marine biology specialist blurted out.
The rotund man of the sea scowled as he glared at the screen. "Atlantis turned its back on its true king. Orm must pay for his treachery against King Orin."
"Aquaman would never have condoned starting a war! All of these deaths... thousands of innocents... murdered by you!" The old human looked fit to be tied. But he was merely human.
So Vulko's back-handed slap knocked the other man out with incredible ease. The bearded atlantean sneered at the female with glowing hair on the screen. "I will have revenge on Atlantis for all the horrors it has spawned. The backstabbing and betrayal of the true king! For that, I will destroy them!"
With that, he pulled out a strange twin-bladed short spear as he walked over to activate the teleporter. His handheld computer interface made sure to erase the coordinates.
The splash of rain pattered off of him from his vantage. His eyes were cold, promising death to any that had slighted his king and his royal advisor. So the fist the slammed into the back of his head with carefully measured strength was totally surprising. Sheila then bent a lightweight I-beam around him.
"Don't go anywhere, I'm sure there are people dying to meet you." Shelinaria picked up and twirled the the golden spear. "Keen. Nice magic," she said as she felt the power pulsing within it. She looked down on the army on the shore. Several superheroes had shown up to fight the invasion. Sheila remembered those such as Firestorm, Captain Marvel, Vixen, Zatanna, a clean-shaven Green Arrow, Hawkman, Black Lightning, and Black Canary. The Elemental Woman, a female Atom and someone called Goldrush were all unknown to Shelinaria though.
She studied the Atlanteans, trying to gain some insight. After a few moments, she felt she had an idea on how to proceed as their leader appeared from under water. It was time for a major entrance. She juggled a few idea and then appeared over the beach in a massive sonic boom.
"Who is in charge here?" she demanded in the momentary silence.
The Atlantean king almost hissed in frustration. "And what right do you claim leadership of the surface world?" he demanded.
"I am Shelinaria, goddess of battle and excellence. This war has been wrought as revenge upon you Atlanteans and the surface world. I call for a ceasefire as-" the young goddess called out.
"Blasphemer!" Orm shouted even as he launched a lightning bolt at the girl.
A lightning bolt that she caught and then used to obliterate an organic war machine.
"Are you trying to get yourself killed? I'm trying to stop this before any more blood is shed," she said in a chilling and angry voice. The cold, killer aspect of war weighed heaving upon her aura.
The entire army suddenly found themselves hard pressed to not flee into the water.
"Who the hell is she?" Vixen asked.
"I have no idea, but I hope she's on our side," Black Lightning said as he took the lull in the battle to catch his breath.
"She's badass!" Firestorm, or rather Ronnie Raymond, called out and realized he'd just said out loud what he intended to say to Jason. The other boy in the Firestorm Matrix just shook his head mentally.
Green Arrow had a feeling he was going to give Steve an ulcer telling him about this.
And Zatanna just pursed her lips, because she was sensing the power of a divine being. But of one that she had never even heard the whisper of before anywhere. This would require at least some investigation afterwards.
"She's just putting fear into our minds artificially! She is too weak to defeat us on her own," the King of Atlantis shouted out. "I shall wash away her lies!"
And with that he tapped into his helmet's power to raise a mountain of water, hundreds of feet tall.
Shelinaria really wanted to swear at that moment as everyone from Atlantis was proving to be stubborn and as contrary as they could be. "Firestorm?" she yelled out, hoping this was within his power to affect.
"Got it!" Firestorm yelled and instantly turned the massive mountain of water into solid ice. "Um, that is a lot of water."
'You should have turned it into oxygen! Or some other gas!' Jason Rusch, his co-inhabitant of his mind, yelled loudly in his mind and in a distracting way.
"What? Why didn't you mention that first?"
The small mountain of water was still growing, the ice shattering into icebergs.
"Retaw spots gnivom!" Zatanna shouted out, pouring everything into her spell.
And the water stopped... for just a moment.
"Black Lighting, play defense against his trident of lightning bolts," Shelinaria snapped out. She grabbed the largest chunk of ice with her telekinesis with the last of her flagging Legend. The one hundred foot tall piece of ice was almost too big, but she smashed it down on top of the center of the Atlantean formation.
Then she landed right in front of King Orm, launching into flurry of sweeps and stabs with her borrowed Amazon sword. She kicked out behind her, sending one of the many Atlanteans into the air even as she kept up the pressure.
The Atlantean was quite surprised to find himself barely keeping himself from being being slain on the first sweep of the blade, diverting the sword and double-pointed spear from anything vital with all the desperate speed he could muster. King Orm was no stranger to battle, but the skill and speed, along with enough strength to penetrate his defense and push him back was more than a bit terrifying.
That was when most of the Justice League reappeared in a boom teleportation. Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Batman, Cyborg and Mera all looked on in surprise at the desperate battle going on.
Superman quickly reacted, blasting the water and ice with his cold breath.
"Shelinaria is going to defeat Orm at this rate," Batman said in a grudging tone. "But we need to find Vulko so we can stop this war."
'On top of the Mecurio Towers, unconscious and tied up,' the young goddess 'pathed to him through the din of crashing water, cracking ice and battle yells.
The whistle of shells started to sound as shelling from the the US Army and National Guard, as they finally arrived hours into the battle.
And into the din of battle came the hissing horrors of the Trench. They outnumbered both sides combined. Everyone turned to defend themselves against the horrific flesh eaters.
"Is that the spear or scepter that Vulko had?" Aquaman shouted as he and Batman and Wonder Woman battled nearby.
"Yes?" Shelinaria said even as she finally got a cut on the inside of King Orm's wrist.
"I yield!" Orm cried out as his trident fell into the water. "I yield!" He half collapsed in the surf, bleeding from many wounds.
"Then order the Deep Ones back to the Trench," Aquaman shouted back.
Oh. "Return to the Trench and stay there," Shelinaria called out while brandishing the scepter-spear.
With a lot of hissing that basically boiled down to 'Yes, master,' they started to turn and leave.
The young woman had to bite down the urge to correct them. "Well, that is probably going to be a useless language to know," she remarked out loud. "Now that we've stopped the totally senseless war, we need to negotiate the peace between the US and Atlantis."
"But we have no king. He yielded to you, so proved himself unfit. Are you really a goddess? Or just a powerful superhuman?" an Atlantean warrior demanded.
"Poseidon is my great uncle," Sheila explained. "So that would be yes."
Superman winced. This was going to be worse than the flack with Wonder Woman and that mess where a man was claimed in the media to be his secret identity.
"Then by right of battle, you are our queen. We will do as you bid," the Atlantean intoned.
"You do realize that I can't breathe under water, right?" At their blank looks, she gave them a glare. "Goddess does not mean all powerful and all knowing. Just more powerful than most mortals."
"Most?" Orm noted angrily.
"Yes, most. People like Superman are quite powerful in their own ways. I'm pretty sure he's like hundreds of times as strong as I am. And allowing your king or queen to be chosen by force of arms this way is a terrible precedent," the glowing haired woman noted. "That does not show they are kings, that just shows they are merely warlords."
"She's right. Even with my claim as elder son of Queen Atlanta, taking the throne just sets me up for the next coup," Aquaman said in a tired voice.
"Gather your noble houses and your leaders, for you must decide a better way to choose your king. I would be happy to offer suggestions and advice that might help you, but you must start this path on your own," Shelinaria near ordered in an imperious tone.
"She is right, my fellow Atlanteans. Let us return to Atlantis to rebuild and find the best claimant for the throne," Orm called out to the Atlanteans.
"Not you, Orm. You are not king, so have no protection of law. So you will stay here on the surface-" his elder brother called out.
"Aquaman, if the United States wishes to press for recompense for his leading this war, that needs to be decided between Atlantis and the United States. He was a leader of state and that sets a horrible precedent of its own, especially with the superhuman element involved," she said, interrupting him.
Wonder Woman nodded. "She is correct. The Atlanteans may hand him over or pay for the damages on this battle, but that is not our decision. But keeping him sets up a bad situation against other countries with their leaders that some superhuman may try to remove."
"So now you decide against all rushing headlong into things?" Arthur nearly snapped the question.
"Are you claiming to speak for the United States of America? Or Atlantis?" Superman asked in a hard voice.
"No. I'm not." He glared into the churning water for a long time. "Vulko should be sent to Atlantis for his actions that triggered this war. Hundreds were killed by those missiles he launched," Aquaman called out.
"And the US lost almost six thousand of its men even before he lashed out and nearly sank three cities. And he is in the US's custody. If Atlantis wants him, they can negotiate an extradition treaty just like everyone else." Softly glowing blue-green eyes glared right back into Aquaman's green eyes.
"It is fair, brother."
Shelinaria released a long held breath and walked over to the shore, Wonder Woman walking over to her.
"Some debut, hmm?" the Amazon said with a small grin on her face.
"Yes, Auntie," she responded with darker humor.
Zatanna raised an eyebrow at that. "So which of Zeus's children are you the daughter of?"
"Athena, by adoption," Shelinaria explained. "Hello, Zatanna."
"And by birth?" the magician continued asking, pushing just a little bit.
"Zeus, I believe. So that makes us sort of sisters, right, Wonder Woman?"
The Amazon nodded. "Which sounds better than auntie. You are nearly the same age as I."
The stage show magician blinked at that. "Huh, the things you learn. I should introduce you to my team. We're sort of the mystical equivalent of the Justice League."
Batman had been there when the "Justice League Dark" as Argus called them battled that vampire invasion of Gotham, the original Justice League had to be aware of their existence.
"I'll give you a call after this has settled down then. What's your phone number?"
"Are you propositioning me?" At Shelinaria's blush, Zatanna just started laughing. "Oh, too cute."
That got her a glare back.
Amanda Waller had a wall of screens showing the Battle of Boston's Shores. "Well, this shit storm certainly gave us the push to form our own Justice League."
Steve Trevor nodded. "I hear the State Department is trying to figure where and with whom they are supposed to be negotiating with."
"I'm sure they will figure it out. Eventually. But now we need to decide how we are going to form our Justice League of America," the woman said.
"I'll have Green Arrow try to get the names of everyone else who showed up," Steve informed her. "But we have a big problem. All of your matchups did not take her into account."
Waller glared at the picture of the glowing haired goddess. "She's not Justice League."
"Yet. but she more than held her own as one of the heavy hitters. Intel boys are saying she seems to have near-Superman strength in her telekinesis. And the Justice League seemed to know her," the ex-special forces officer said.
"And Katana doesn't sound like quite the matchup we needed for Wonder Woman that we thought she was. Mystical swordswoman versus Amazon sounded right, but not against a demigoddess." Waller sounded very unhappy at that. "Where the hell are we supposed to get something to counter a goddess?"
"I just wonder where she is from. Until she appeared in Metropolis, she did not exist," Steve said with a frown on his face.
"You think she might actually be one of Darkseid's goons?" That was a nightmare scenario.
"No, I don't think Diana would have gotten it wrong. Especially if they are that closely related. Perhaps she was hidden on Thymescria?"
Waller shook her head. "Speculation isn't going to help us. We need to find us at least one god or demigod. I'll get the Intel boys digging."
"And I'll see if Green Arrow has met anyone that fits the bill."
It was a week later when Diana Prince returned to Wayne Manor. And for once she was driving a car. After getting past the gate, she turned off the main driveway and onto a dirt road in between two hedges.
"Are you sure this is the best place to go?" Zola asked worried. "I mean the Greek Gods are bad enough, but this city is full of crazies."
"Better than London, luv," Lennox said as he played with his lighter. He wished Diana had not taken his cigarettes away.
The last person in the car sneered at them. "And why are we coming to this place? You have been very tight-lipped, Diana."
"I think this is a good place to protect your baby, Zola. And we are here." At least the rental car from the Gotham International Airport had not been destroyed. And Bruce should understand.
The one story house was not visible from the driveway, the road (or the mansion at Shelinaria's insistence) so was quite secluded on the edge of the grounds. It was very easy to miss and overlook. Just in case a supervillain came looking for Batman in his cave.
Everyone piled out as a young boy stopped where he was playing around throwing a baseball. "Auntie!" Chris shouted.
"I heard them come up the drive," the aspect of Shelinaria named Sophia Harris said as she opened the door. "Diana?" She pushed her glasses up her nose.
"Shelinaria, this is Zola, her daughter, Lennox and-" she started to respond.
"And grandmother Hera." Sophia's nose flared just a little bit. "Lennox is another demigod of the Dodekatheon? Interesting."
"Yes, and Hera here was made mortal by Apollo when he ascended to the throne of Olympus. Zola and her daughter also need a bit of protection. I figured that keeping them all together might be best."
"Humans are weird," Chris said with a scrunch of his nose.
"Chris, be nice and apologize to them for insulting humans. So, grandmother..." Sophia narrowed her eyes in thought. She was definitely still Dodekatheon. "Why are you letting everyone think you have been made mortal by Apollo?"
Wonder Woman froze at that, even as Lennox's pilfered cigarette fell off his lips.
"Let everyone think what?" Hera asked, tilting her head.
"Hera the powerful, contemporary and equal of Zeus, Poseidon and Hades let one of her husband's illegitimate children just remove your power?" Sophia just raised her eyebrows to show her disbelief.
"Damn, I thought no one was going to think of that. Though he did weaken me for a bit," the ex-Queen of the Gods said in frustration. "And who is your mother?"
"I am the scion of Pallas Athena, trained to battle the Titans when they escape Tartarus."
That got Hera to purse her lips angrily. "That wasn't an answer."
"Adopted from Zeus, I believe, in a far off and lost alternate reality. If I could just get my hands on whoever keeps rewriting reality..." the young goddess said in a frosty tone.
"Keeps rewriting reality?" Lennox said confused.
"Oh, yes. Superman looks like he's twenty-five or something. Even Batman doesn't look that old." Sophia shook her head. "You can enter as a guest, great Hera, if you promise to harm no one under its roof or on these grounds until you are no longer a guest."
"You dare demand such an oath?" Hera screeched out, sounding totally infuriated.
"Yes, I do. Otherwise I will consider you an enemy to defeat and throw into the darkest pits of Tartarus myself," the younger goddess said in warning.
"And I will aid her." Diana had her hands ready to remove her bracers that limited her powers to merely ludicrous levels.
Chris had already deactivated his watch, so he smiled and his eyes glowed red for a moment. "And you just need to ask, Auntie."
"Sounds like a plan," Lennox said with a crooked smile. The cracks in his stone-like face were finally healing and he was still as hard as nails.
"Besides, what reason do you have to be angry at Zeus's illegitimate children now? After he has disappeared and left his throne? You don't have to define your life by his mistakes," Sophia said in a cold, disdainful tone.
"True. Very well, I promise to attack no one under this roof or on these grounds as long as I am a guest." Hera smiled a small, nasty grin.
"I thought you said this was going to be a safe place?" Zola said angrily to Wonder Woman.
"And I thought it was. And now it is. Are Clara and Diane doing all right, Sophia?"
"Yes they are," Sophia said with a smile. She had even made them matching little amulets to protect them against too much yellow solar radiation.
"So who are Diane and Clara?" Zola asked as she held her baby close.
"Family. Clara is a very young demigoddess, while Diane and Chris here are her cousins on her father's side.
Hera sighed. "Let me guess, this Clara is yet another of Zeus's children or grandchildren."
"You could be right," the younger goddess said. "Of course, they are effectively orphans and totally innocent." She sighed, quite loudly. "This seems to be the visit family day."
"What do you mean-? Oh," Wonder Woman said as a figure streaked through the sky to land next to them.
"Hello, Chris. Diana," Superman said warmly. "I just finished up my patrol and through I'd swing by."
And the aspect named Sophia heard the lie quite easily. She frowned for just a second. "You know, you could have just said that Bruce noticed Diana and entourage arriving and asked for you to drop by."
Everyone blinked at that.
"How did you come that conclusion?" Not that it was incorrect, Superman reminded himself.
"I can hear lies from just about anyone-"
"Oh, gods above. You are like some unholy abomination of Athena and Artemis, aren't you?" Hera groused as she glared at the other goddess.
"I think keen senses are required to make wise decisions. Don't you?" Sophia gave an impish grin at that.
"Kal-El? Are we going to the Fortress today?" Chris asked gleefully. Even if it wasn't the same as his Krypton that he was told about, it was still better than this primitive shack in the woods.
"Sure. Krypto is waiting for you." Superman smiled at Chris' transformation into a carefree young boy.
"Yeah! Let's go!"
Zola's eyes widened as the pair took off into the sky.
"I'm going to be living with gods and aliens?"
"Living with? Well, I guess we can look at that. Let's go inside and we can talk," the younger goddess dictated.
Hera sniffed. "How mundane."
"Well, we can't all grow up in our father's stomach," Sophia said as she arched an eyebrow at them.
That got a twitch out of the older goddess. "I hope you at least have some wine."
Sophia kept an eye on the young mother who was name meant a 'lump of earth' in Italian. There could be more going than was as-yet apparent.
Part 2: Finding Home
Shelinaria was tapped into the Batcave's computer systems, screens flickering at an immense speed as she researched people. One screen froze at a picture of Lennox and Dr. Sandsmark appeared on the screen.
Another showed Power Girl in Tokyo fighting a radioactive menace as it got bigger and bigger before it eventually exploded.
"Power Girl?" So why is the alternate universe Supergirl being so low profile up until this point?
S.H.A.D.E., A.R.G.U.S. and N.O.W.H.E.R.E. Amanda Waller and her Suicide Squad. Even whispers of CHECKMATE. The fallen Continuum. The Firestorm Protocols. And that didn't even get into the villain societies.
There was a feeling of paranoia by the governments about super heroes. The only group not hated by the public was the Justice League; it was a far cry from the world that had a Flash Museum and generally liked superheroes universe she had been in.
It did not take a genius to realize that A.R.G.U.S. and Amanda Waller were probably totally freaked out by her.
And then an alert, showing real time from the police of New York City and the 'criminal' Superboy on the police radio.
"And I think its finally time I introduced myself to the Teen Titans," Shelinaria said as she stood up, touching a hidden button for an intercom. "Mr. Pennyworth, I'm headed out. Thank you for letting me use the computer."
"Of course, Miss Shelinaria. Happy to be of service. You said you were going to work on the security of the computer systems?" the butler of Bruce Wayne asked.
"Yes. I did that at the same time. I also left the design for some quantum entanglement transmitters so he can get rid of the data lines. I'll be seeing you in the morning."
And with that, she disappeared in a flash of rainbow light.
"-at first I thought he had gone zonkers- Screaming and fighting imaginary foes! But I'm not so sure anymore. I keep forgetting how his T.K. allows him to sense things beyond human perception," Bunker said to the other Titans in front of him as he finished tying on his mask. They were standing on the edge of a hole shattered through the street.
"Superhuman perception is a very handy thing. Hello, Titans. Did you need some help?" Shelinaria asked curiously.
"Ooh, another hottie," Kid Flash (aka Bart Allen) said. "Say- waitasec, she looks like a slightly older and glowing hair version of you, Wonder Girl."
"I can see that, Kid Flash," Wonder Girl said in a very disgruntled tone. "So another clone?"
"I'm impressed with your self control. The last time I ran into Wonder Girl for the first time she tried to punch my face in and accused me of being an evil clone," Shelinaria said with a bit of an ironic tone. A cry of utter pain filled the air. "But I think that scream of agony means we need to rescue Superboy first."
They all nodded at that and dove into the hole.
"He's going to kill Superboy," Shelinaria said as she listened via 'super-senses' to someone monologue about taking Superboy apart at the atomic level. In the blink of an eye, she and Kid Flash disappeared at her full speed.
Kid Flash was thrilled, as he was still technically with someone on the team so not breaking the 'going ahead rule' that the Titans insisted on.
H'el's face was hit by a fist going easily several time past the speed of sound. He was blasted through a wall in the sewers. His expression was one of complete shock.
"Leave the boy alone," Shelinaria called out.
"Who are you?" Superboy mumbled. Even that effort almost left him unconscious.
"The girl that just saved your life, dude." Kid Flash had to admit, that was definitely the way to beat up badguys. No warning seemed to do the trick.
The wall that H'el had disappeared through ceased to exist as it was pulverized to dust..
"You dare? Children, I could end you with a thought!" H'el shouted out, quite angrily.
That was when the last three Titans caught up.
"Hey, amigos? Why did you take off?" Bunker called out from his floating and flying wall of purple bricks.
"Angry guy who fell down the ugly tree was kicking Superboy's teeth in," Bart replied.
"Actually, he was threatening to take Superboy apart to the atomic level, Kid Flash," Shelinaria said, cutting him off.
"I may not like the jerk, but I don't want him killed," Wonder Girl said. Atomized? Ouch.
"Begone!" the scarred, self-proclaimed Kryptonian declared and he telekinetically pushed them all out of the room in an energy whirlwind. He was just turning back to Superboy when he was hit again and smashed into another wall as the young goddess reappeared once again in a burst of speed and strength.
"What made you think that was going to work?" she asked rhetorically.
"Yes, it seems that I will have to handle you more directly," H'el declared as he shrugged through the mundane stone blocks.
Two titanic telekinetic forces lashed out at each other. One driven by ancient Kryptonian science, the other by a goddess learning what she could do. There was never a doubt on which is the more powerful.
The Marion Teller tower's windows shattered as Shelinaria blasted through the building at three times the speed of sound and still accelerating. It only took her two, very painful, minutes to reach orbit
H'el noted the struggle as actually taking quite a bit of effort, as the being was more difficult than he imagined the clone and the others of the House of El to be.
Kid Flash rushed back at his fastest speed and hit H'el with a flurry of punches. And H'el just sent him flying with a just a thought, a mere flick of his power.
"Enough with these distractions." H'el then grabbed the very injured and comatose Superboy and disappeared.
The rest of the Teen Titans reappeared in an attack formation.
"Ah, jeeze, we didn't even get an attack in," Bunker complained.
Solstice looked around. "Where did that other you go, Wonder Girl?"
Wonder Girl looked around. "Up that way? Let me take a look." She flew over to the hole in the ceiling, only to blink as it looked like some sort of tunel. "Kid Flash! Go to the end of this tunnel really fast."
"That's my middle name!" the speedster joked. He reappeared three seconds later. "Um, it sorta looks like this goes straight into the sky through a couple of buildings."
With another flash, Shelinaria reappeared. "Where did he go?" Her left arm made a sickening crack as it healed up.
"Whoa. What happened to you?" Bunker asked as he hopped off his brick projection. "And he's just gone. Don't know where."
"I was smacked into orbit. Luckily I was only a few hundred miles away so I could teleport back. I really need to look at figuring out a way to amplify that ability," the very beaten up girl said. Her bruises were fading rapidly though and she was able to stand up straight.
"So now what?" Solstice asked, her few features visible in her black darkness of self showed worry.
"Let's head up and try to track him down the next time he appears." Shelinaria seemed intent and forceful, which already grated on Wonder Girl's nerves.
"Think he's already attacking Superman?" Kid Flash asked. "Given he's got that S shield thing carved into his chest."
"Guy looked coo coo for cocoa puffs, if you know what I mean," Bunker mused.
"I've been meaning to talk to you guys for a while. Let's see, I'm pretty sure I can bring you along. Whatever you do, don't wake the babies," Shelinaria warned.
"What!?" the four Teen Titans asked before everyone was picked up in another flash of rainbow light.
The sound of Homer Simpson saying 'Doh!' filled their ears just a few seconds later.
"Hello, Zoe. We didn't wake your baby?" the goddess said.
"No. Lennox is outside and I think Hera took off to get something better than grape juice." The very butch looking woman looked over at the four kids from the TV. "So that's what Sophia meant when she said we should be expecting company."
"That's exactly what I meant," the slightly nerdy looking teen in glasses said as she walked in the door.
"And how did she know to expect us?" Solstice asked suspiciously.
"Because she's the me I left here to protect the house. Teen Titans, this is Zola, her son, who is the very youngest son of Zeus. And that is Clara, the daughter of Cassandra, the Goddess of Strength and Lightning. Chris and his sister are up in their room getting some sleep."
"And why are you introducing us to babies?" Bunker asked very seriously. "That seems a bit odd."
"They, along with myself, are refugees from an altered timeline where we would have likely been wiped out of existence. I was warned by a time traveller that if I did not take some sort of very serious action to lock myself away from time and space while everything was rewritten, I would cease to exist." Shelinaria seemed a bit morose.
"And... the punchline please?" Kid Flash asked.
"You don't know many people named Cassie, do you?" she countered.
"This is some sort of stupid trick, isn't it?" Wonder Girl demanded very angrily with her right fist clenched.
"I am why that you and that Superboy were able to have a child the night before he died to save the universe," Sheila said inches from Wonder Girl's face.
"He- I- What?" Cassie Sandsmark's face had gone very pale at that.
The rest of the Titans weren't doing any better, as they were shocked at the bombshell that had been dropped. Bunker's jaw dropped and Solace, even with her obscured features, was completely floored by the revelation.
"I do not expect nor demand that you take her as your own, but I am leaving this open so you are not excluded."
Wonder Girl just blinked as she processed the idea.
And, just in perfect timing, the front (and nearly soundproof) door opened, admitting one demigod from World War II, the blunt Englishman Lennox.
"Got a party going? I was just going for a walk, you know," he said in a light cockney accent even as the scent of cigarettes filled the room.
"Dad?" Wonder Girl blurted in surprise.
"Ah, bollocks. What is she doing here?"
"Waiting to find someone who attacked and took one of her teammates to strike again, Lennox," Sophia explained.
"Ah, the usual," the crusty Englishman said with a grin on his face.
Wonder Girl walked over to the mortal-looking aspect of Shelinaria. "Can I hold her?"
"This is loco, man," Bunker noted.
"Welcome to my life," Zola said with a grin.
Kid Flash just zipped looking between people, his head a blur.
"Maa! Maa!" Clara yelled out, demanding to be picked up by her mother. She curled up in the crook of Cassie's arm and immediately went to sleep.
"The hell? That girl doesn't let anyone touch her but Sheilnaria without screaming her head off," Zola noted as she stood up, holding her own baby close.
"She recognized you. Even with reality rewritten and all the differences, she knew you. She's smarter than you would think and she's a very precocious demigoddess," Sophia said with a happy smile.
"So, um, why do you three all look alike?" Kid Flash demanded.
"I'm just from an alternate reality, dumped here and pretty much stuck. I can't even get an idea of a direction to try and head back at this point. She's just another me that exists at that time and space," Shelinaria explained. "And I'm sort of an alternate of Cassie here."
"What does that make us then?" Wonder Girl asked suspiciously.
"Technically, nothing. Though we did kind of consider us sisters. I was... the evil one... that stole the cookies," Shelinaria said as tears started to stream down her cheeks. She quickly turned her back to look out the window and onto the dark lawn out front.
"I might be able to do that," Cassie finally said, feeling quite uncomfortable. "So sisters? How many of you can there be?"
"Enough to be useful," Sophia said as she hid her own tears. "I need to get back to school so I can finish designing a perfect cure for cancer. And the common cold. Though that's harder."
"What? Your superpower is being smart?" Kid Flash asked with a cocky grin on his face.
"Yes," both aspects replied.
"Your baby is cute. Is she part Kryptonian too?" Solstice asked.
Shelinaria nodded. "With a perfectly balanced genome with no defects. Kryptonite only gives her a little headache."
"No shit? That's cool," Bunker said in awe.
"Well, let's get everyone settled in and then we can wait for that scarred up man to appear again."
They all nodded at that.
Shelinaria looked up from where she was talking to Zola the next morning about ten o'clock. "I hear him. His name is H'el and he's in Metropolis," she called out suddenly and quite loudly.
The rest of the Teen Titans jarred into action. Kid Flash was instantly in his uniform, while Wonder Girl's armor appeared. The only one that needed more than a second to get ready was Bunker, but he was actually mostly in his superhero uniform.
"And it just went south as he and Superman are duking it out. Everyone ready?" Shelinaria called out.
At their nods, she teleported them all to Metropolis only thirty feet from H'el, Superman, Supergirl and Superboy. The injured young man was near comatose, and quite out of it.
"You again? I thought I killed you?" H'el snarled out. "I won't make that mistake again."
"Let go of Superboy," Wonder Girl shouted as she rushed forward only to be swatted aside.
"Wakey time, Superboy!" Shelinaria said as she healed all of his bruises instantly.
Superboy came to and looked around. "Not this again..."
"Why do you defend this clone? He's an abomination! A Kon! They only know anger and will destroy this world!" H'el shouted out angrily.
"Really? The only one I see attacking people senselessly is you, H'el!" Shelinaria threw out her hand to launch a lightning bolt at the scarred being in a Kryptonian kirtle. "Are you a clone?"
That actually caused him to grunt and snarl in pain.
"Why are you attacking him!? He only wants to bring back Krypton?" Supergirl shouted.
Shelinaria thought for a split second. "A laudable goal. Yet I find that your actions, attacking someone with intent to kill, do not match your words," she called out to H'el.
That stopped Supergirl for a long second.
"She's right," Superman said as he landed with Wonder Girl and put her back on her feet, having returned from recovering her from her flight.
"What are you saying?" H'el demanded.
"A man dedicated to saving a world would not think to so easily murder people," Superman said in a serious tone of voice.
"Yeah!" Kid Flash exclaimed.
"Don't interrupt the Superman," Bunker said as he clapped his hand to his masked forehead.
That just got Solstice to snicker silently.
"Fools! I will save Krypton over the unworthy, filthy world called Earth," H'el said in a harsh, angry voice.
"Why would saving a world be over the safety of another one?" Superman asked. "Especially when the former is dead and gone."
"That can not be true!" Supergirl yelled. "Krypton can not be gone. Everyone keeps saying it, but I don't believe it without proof!"
"Allegedly destroyed, then. I would be more than happy to try and save Krypton. Or its people," Shelinaria said calmly.
"We all would. We're trying to be heroes here, aren't we?" Superboy said as he stood up.
"Kara, I saw it. Krypton is only twenty-seven light years away," Superman said as he tried to lay his hand on her shoulder.
"You could be wrong!" the younger Kryptonian shouted back
'Superman, let me see the memory with my telepathy,' the Goddess of Excellence telepathed to him.
He nodded mentally, bringing up the memory.
"Kara, right? My name is Shelinaria and I would like to try and show you what Superman meant- ARGH!" she suddenly screamed out as H'el attacked her telepathically through her open mind link. Both she and the aspect back at the bungalow both collapsed. In gotham city a young girl in a caped hood slumped over on a roof, deeper into a shadow.
"That's enough," Superman said. In a blur of super speed, he punched H'el hard enough to send him flying. When he charged him again to follow up his attack though, Superman was swatted away across the horizon.
"Oh, man. That is not good," Kid Flash said.
"Titans, together!" Wonder Girl shouted.
"For some reason I think 'Titans Go!' would be better," Superboy muttered to himself.
All of the Titans charged forward, for all the good they were doing. H'el seemed immune to anything they could do and they could only desperately dodge his attacks or be swatted unconscious like mooks.
"H'el, what are you doing?" Supergirl called out. Suddenly she saw the Titans and Superman attacking her. "No, stop! Kal-El, what are you doing?"
"What's wrong with her?" Solstice asked as she blasted blue energy at H'el after he took a punch from Superman, swatted him away again and then punched Supergirl hard enough in her solar plexus to make her gasp for air.
Bunker's latest wall of purple bricks was again blasted away. "I don't know. Why's he attacking us all?"
Shelinaria managed to push off the ground and to one knee. This scarred Kryptonian (with some very non-Kryptonian powers, she noted) was seriously able to defeat all of them. She did not dare try to fight him telepathically, as his powers operated on a level above her even now. But she could get an idea of what was happening to Supergirl.
'Kara, what you are seeing is a lie. The Titans, your cousin and I are not attacking you. H'el is-' And then Shelinaria screamed in agony again.
"I really need to kill you," H'el growled as he picked up the gist of her thought. "And so I shall." And with that, he shredded her form into atoms.
The Teen Titans were shocked long enough that H'el blasted them away. He then used his telekinesis in response to Superboy's touch TK sense to attack him at his cellular level all the while monologuing about the horrors of clones. H'el did not seem impressed with their actions or Superboy's rebuttals. With one last blast, he crushed Superboy into a ten foot crater. Then he disappeared with Supergirl before Superman could return again.
"Gone," Superman said with a frown.
"She's just gone!" Kid Flash exclaimed as he recovered fastest and zoomed around looking at everyone to make sure they were alive.
Solstice frowned (which was hard to see with her shadowed face). "Where are her remains? There should be blood and other stuff, right?"
That was when Shelinaria reappeared in a flash of rainbow light. "Where did he go?"
All of them (except Superman) were blinking at that.
"Um, didn't you just get killed?" Bunker asked.
"Yes, he destroyed that body because of the fact that I'm a threat to him. Superman, he's mentally manipulating Supergirl with illusions and a form of empathy. If she were stable, she could ignore the effect, but she did not sound too stable," Shelinaria explained in a worried tone. She blinked as she took in the beaten up heroes. "But first, time to help you guys."
Kid Flash's shoulder almost popped back into place and he felt no pain, while Wonder Girl's bruises faded quite easily. Bunker blinked as his broken leg bone suddenly snapped back together. He was in a lot of pain, but only left with bruises. Solstice whimpered as she felt things inside herself shift around.
"Again with the genetic damage?" the young goddess complained as she moved over to Superboy.
"dying-" the young man managed to get out.
"What's going on?" Superman demanded as he frantically started to scan Superboy with his x-ray vision.
"A genetic cascade effect. His tri-DNA is unzippering throughout his whole body. H'el probably thought it was fatal, just leaving him to die painfully. You and Solstice need to both try to not get hit with attacks that I need to regenerate for a while, because I'm pretty much hitting my limit here. All better." With a pat on Superboy's chest she then grabbed his free hand. "Besides, Superboy, you need to meet Clara. I'm sure she will adore you."
"Clara?" he asked in stupification as he allowed himself to be pulled to his feet.
"Something for later, Superblunder. We need to track him down and beat his scarred ass into the ground," Wonder Girl nearly snarled out.
"Caring is obviously your strong suite, blondie," Superboy replied sardonically.
That caused Shelinaria to jerk in surprise and then stare at the scarlet and gold garbed super heroine.
Bunker coughed. "They-sorta-hate-each-other."
"I got that. Finally." Shelinaria started kneading her forehead. "I've made a mess of it, haven't I?"
"I need to head out soon, but I do want to talk to you Superboy... Actually, if you wouldn't mind, I'd like to, uh, well do a genetic test to make sure you are okay." Superman was stretching the truth, as he wanted to verify the Kryptonian DNA inside the young clone.
"At least you aren't trying to smash my face in," Superboy commented sarcastically.
"That's for the evil clones that don't eat the cookies," Shelinaria said slyly, causing Wonder Girl to flush angrily.
"Mind if we tag along, Superman? Kon-El is sort of a bro and he's got that wacko after him, you know," Bunker asked carefully. I mean, this was Superman.
"Kon-El?" the Man of Steel asked with a raised eyebrow.
"Yeah, Supergirl called me that and I... really don't have a name," Superboy admitted.
Sheila made a frustrated face at that. "Kon mean abomination in Kryptonian. Well, closer to gene freak abomination," she told him. "And not usually said in polite company."
Bunker winced as he didn't intend to call his friend something vulgar.
"Are we sure that Supergirl girl was being mind controlled?" Wonder Girl asked with a sour expression. "Given it sounds like she and H'el have the same opinion on clones." She didn't even like Superboy and still didn't think calling him a gene freak abomination was a good thing to do.
"She is being controlled," Superman stated forcefully. "Though she and I are going to have a long talk about calling anyone something like that after this is over."
"Fortress of Solitude, hmm?" Shelinaria then spotted something that made her wince. "Lovecraft wasn't totally incorrect that viewing bent space-time was not the safest thing for your sanity."
"I have no idea what she's talking about," Solstice said in a very confused tone.
"Tesseracts, hmm?" Superboy asked.
"To some degree. Inside is more than bigger than the outside."
"We should be pretty safe here. The Fortress of Solitude is the most impregnable structure on the planet," Superman stated simply.
Kid Flash started to take off, only have to Superman snatch him by the back on the neck. "Hey!"
"Don't run off. I have several endangered and very dangerous animals from different planets here. Things that can affect me," he explained.
Wonder Girl snorted. "Cute."
It was only a few minutes later that Superman led them into a bio-lab. Superboy soon found laying down on a table and being scanned by the advanced technology of the Kryptonians.
Superman just didn't seem to care he was a clone, unlike the other two Kryptonians. He gathered from Supergirl and H'El that they had serious issues with beings like him.
"Interesting. Its more two and a half nucleonic twists. The interconnecting molecules have been stretched allowing them to braid the the disparate connections... Do I have something on my face?" Shelinaria asked with a hint of worry.
"Wow, you study Kryptonian medical stuff?" Kid Flash asked in awe.
"Yeah, I can barely read any of that," Superboy said ruefully.
"Hmm? Oh, I just learned written low and scientific Kryptonese. But the genetics is fascinating," she continued on.
"Oh, great. In some other reality I'm a geek," Wonder Girl exclaimed in disbelief.
Superman sounded like he was strangling for just a second. "You learned Kryptonese by reading my mind?"
"Er, no. I have the mystical ability to understand any written or vocal communication. I picked up Cantonese in about two minutes when I was helping with a flood."
"...Even Querl would find that impressive," Superman muttered to himself. He was surprised when he was responded to.
"We were still trying to agree on 11-D chess rules," she said with shrug as she moved to look at the screen closer.
"How would that even work?" Bunker asked.
"Are you pretty good at Nth Dimensional Equations?"
"Forget I asked," he replied quickly. He was completely sure even trying to figure out what that was would give him a headache.
That was when H'el reappeared above them, his kirtle swirling around his legs. "So this is that you have done with your Kryptonian technology. The last remnants of a proud civilization. Cluttered with the uncouth and unwashed," the scarred Kryptonian grated out angrily.
"Oh, shit," Kid Flash cried out as he ducked and zoomed to the side.
Shelinaria had leaped into the air even as she enacted a quick plan.
"And the abomination, here in the heart of what should be Krypton's purity. Begone, all of you!" H'el demanded and then unceremoniously dumped all seven of them outside in the arctic conditions.
"Now what do we do?" Solstice asked as she started to get really cold.
"We need to get some shelter out of this wind or some of us are going to have problems." Wonder Girl frowned, as it looked like only Solstice, Kid Flash and (to a lesser extent) herself were even noticing the cold.
"Superboy, can you make a quick igloo with a window facing the fortress?" Shelinaria asked.
"Good idea," he said, instantly putting the plan into effect. Blocks of snow rose up from the ice sheet, quickly making a large room and domed roof.
"Wow... igloos really do work," Kid Flash said in surprise as felt a bit warmer now.
"Superboy, if you could make a door and tunnel, just like an igloo?" Superman asked the younger hybrid.
"Oh, sure." It was just a moment or two of work. He even added a door plug made of ice.
Superman and Shelinaria zipped out even as he went to work on making a few windows by compressing the ice and aligning the crystals correctly.
"You don't have to follow. I'm going to try to get back inside my home," Superman declared.
"It's just having someone to watch your back. I'm not sure main force will actually work against what you have there." In fact, the young goddess was almost sure that brute effort was destined to fail completely.
It only took Superman about five minutes to agree as Shelinaria seemingly watched on.
"He's a nasty creep, playing on her grief and amplifying her denial of her loss," she finally said. And she was getting the inkling that she wasn't going to like what he had planned.
"You don't have an idea of what he's aiming for?" Superman asked curiously.
"I haven't studied what technology you have and your full history, Superman. So I'm operating with a lot of blanks that I'm having to guess about. You obviously have a plan?" she asked in return.
"Yes, but I need a second opinion from someone that doesn't suffer from your lack of information."
"And you sound so terribly thrilled."
"That's... an understatement. Stay here and I'll be back in about half an hour. With that, he wooshed off at full speed.
She was but a moment behind him. And losing ground. Even at over MACH 6, which was a tad ludicrous. So she was a blur that zipped after Superman into an overly designed building. Noting him staying in the air, she followed him in.
"I thought I told you to stay there?" Superman said in a stern tone.
"Yes, daddy. But unless you can hear Lex Luthor lying, I think you want me here. That Ammonia Sulfate is nasty stuff," she said as she wiped bleeding tears from her face.
"That... could actually be useful," the Man of Steel admitted. " Though General Ommah is going to be peeved when he finds out that you followed me into here no matter what you can do."
"This is a little elaborate for a normal human, no matter how smart," Shelinaria noted curiously as they continued on down the twisting corridors.
"I played to Luthor's vanity by goading him into making a prison even he couldn't escape from. It seems to be working," Superman said as they finally entered into the main cell.
"Antimatter cannons and total observation from all angles. Interesting." The ammonia sulfate was a little less intense in here, or she was becoming slightly accustomed to it.
"Ah, Superman," Lex Luthor called out, cleanly shaved and quite visible inside his transparent cage.
"You know the drill, Luthor. Shackles," was the verbal order from the hero.
Luthor submitted and put himself into the shackles, which barely allowed him to move slowly and unable to reach anything below his chest.
The sparred verbally, with Luthor taunting Superman with information that should have been impossible to know. About H'el and the fact that he had taken over the Fortress of Solitude.
"But your new sidekick is quite the quiet one. She hasn't said anything," Luthor suddenly said, turning to study the girl with the glowing hair. "The one that claims to be a goddess. Yet H'el... seemed to kick the hell out of you, didn't he?"
"I make no claim to omniscience or omnipotence. In fact, my strength and durability are very nice, secondary abilities," she replied casually.
"Oh? So you think you are rather smart? Interesting. So answer me this question and I will answer Superman's question to verify his own thoughts about what H'el is going to do in his Fortress," Lex demanded with a lecherous smile on his scarred face.
"That isn't why she's here, Luthor," Superman said suddenly.
"If she doesn't try to answer, I won't help you. Besides, it would be nice to have someone to mentally challenge me other than yourself, Kryptonian," the insane genius said with an almost sneer.
"There are all sorts of genius, Lex Luthor. Many people are geniuses at what they do," Sheila noted. "But ask your question."
"How many ways are there to escape this prison that I could use?"
Superman sucked in a breath.
"Ah, I wondered at that. Give me a second. I haven't studied this prison, nor did I make it." She closed her eyes for about a minute, thinking furiously. Then she opened them.
"This is supposed to be an inescapable prison," Superman noted. The US government and he had spent enough resources to beggar nations to make sure.
"Sixteen. Only ten require outside assistance that you can contact at any time," she replied. "The hack on the antimatter cannons using the reflective edge of your razor blade was a bit inspired. Timed pulses would blow out all the seals and evacuate the ammonia sulfate in about ten seconds."
Superman's jaw dropped at that.
And Luthor was no longer smiling. "There are only fifteen." He knew, as he had been studying his designs to find flaws for months.
"I'm not going to explain them all, but they are there. I suppose I could figure a few more out, but I'm really pressed for time. This is the first time I have ever laid eyes on this prison before, after all," she replied blandly. "But you didn't lie about the fact that you know fifteen ways out. Check, Mr. Luthor."
The arch-nemesis of Superman glared at her even as he clenched his fists in the shackles. "Fine, you answered my question. So H'el, even with all the power sources has will just use the power source of Kandor as a first stage actuator in turning the Solar System into a artificial black hole singularity crunch and mini big bang to power his insane device to try and change the past destruction of Krypton. Which you already knew, of course, Superman."
"I did, but it was nice to have a second opinion. But I may not have to return to do that anymore," Superman said dismissively.
"Don't you dare turn your back to me, Superman!" Luthor shouted, furious now.
"We should have just asked Batman," Sheila mused. "Less hassle that way. He would at least have some ideas on how to attack H'el."
"Goodbye, Luthor." With that, Superman turned and floated off slowly.
Shelinaria purged Luthor's body of poisons, taking great care to make sure that Luthor's biotech quantum mental link molecules were evacuated. Then she turned on the systems that would clean the floor down to the molecular level. "Oh, there went ten of your escape plans down the drain. Check and Mate." She floated out behind Superman.
"What? How? You stupid bitch!" Luthor shouted. He tried to activate the quantum entanglement link, only to get... nothing.
"So we have about an hour before H'el destroys the solar system?" Shelinaria asked Superman.
"Correct. Which means we need to call in the Justice League." Superman was very grim and tense, flickering off at high speed.
Once they were outside, he grabbed her arm and then activated his Justice League Beacon. With a boom, they disappeared.
Superman looked over all of the assembled heroes. Wonder Woman, Cyborg, Flash, Batman, the Teen Titans (minus Red Robin) and Shelinaria. They were all in The Block as it appeared to be the only place they knew for sure that H'el could not listen in on their thoughts.
"We have about half an hour before H'el and Supergirl destroy the solar system in an attempt to rewrite the past and save Krypton. We need to breach the defenses of the most impregnable fortress on the planet and take the fight to H'el and convince Supergirl that this is the wrong way. Batman, you've outline a plan of attack on four vectors?"
The Dark Knight nodded.
Shelinaria coughed. "Or I could tell the Fortress to open the door and turn off all the normal power."
"Through that forcefield that is stopping all of my attempts to hack it? And exactly how long will the power stay off due to that?" Cyborg asked seriously.
Dr. Veritas's mouth was open slightly.
"I can see it, so I can communicate with it. Neat computer trick, basically. I do have to work a little hard to break the quantum null-infinity encryption though. I should be able to crash the computer for at least thirty seconds."
Superman shared a look with Batman, Wonder Woman and the Flash. "I think that simplifies things greatly. Can you open both main doors?"
Shelinaria just nodded at that.
"She's scary smart, like that witch in that book, right?" Kid Flash asked Bunker.
Bunker nodded his head frantically.
"You're with me, Kid Flash. We'll tag team Supergirl with all the speed we've got, okay?" the scarlet speedster said to the young namesake. He clapped a hand on his shoulder in familiarity.
"Really? I thought you were going to demand we stay out of it?" Kid Flash blurted back.
"Shelinaria here brought up that we really should try to mentor teen heroes, especially ones that emulate us," Superman admitted. "So, are you good to back me up, Superboy?"
"Born, well, vatted ready," the younger looking teen said.
"So that means I have to go with Wonder Woman? Great," the alien-armor wearing girl asked, sounding none too happy.
"What about me?" Bunker asked.
"Or me?" the final Teen Titan also asked. The glowing blue light cracks in her totally black features showed that she felt a little upset.
"You are with me, Bunker. Red Robin has some things going on in Gotham and is off the communication grid, but this is... too important to not respond to. So can you vary the size of those blocks? Or the shape even slightly?" Batman asked the young latino.
"Um, maybe?" Bunker replied feeling nervous and bit embarrassed to not have a definite answer for the Dark Knight.
"And you are with me, Solstice. Whatever you do, don't hold back against H'el or Supergirl, okay?" Shelinaria said.
"You are taking me on as a mentor?" the Indian girl asked in surprise.
"Well, you aren't my android demigoddess daughter, but I'm sure we'll be fine."
"Damn, I wanted a sidekick," Cyborg mused out loud.
Shelinaria just raised an eyebrow at him.
"Yeah, no way. Let's go people."
Superman looked over all of them. "Justice League, Teen Titans, it's time. Victor, boom tube us just outside the Fortress."
Inside the Fortress, screens lit up as H'el was made aware of the return of the heroes. He sneered at them before all the lights went off and everything went pitch black.
"H'el, what's going on? What happened to the Fortress?" Kara Zor-El asked of the pale, scarred Kryptonian.
The emergency lights kicked on, but the fastest of the heroes were already there. Superman's opening punch blasted H'el through six bulkheads and away from Supergirl.
"Flash, change of plans. Grab the rainbow crystal three feet in right there," Shelinaria shouted as she sifted through all the information the Fortress of Solitude had gathered for her.
The Flash did not even nod as he took an impossible ninety degree turn and vibrated through the assembling Star Chamber that used to be H'el's spaceship. The Star Chamber stopped humming and glowing.
"Whoa, I have to learn how to do that," Kid Flash said. "And hey, pretty girl! You do realize that the scarred dude is playing you, right?"
"No, he's promised to save Krypton!" the distraught Kryptonian blonde shouted. "Get out of here!" She rushed at her full speed to punch at Kid Flash, fulling intent on killing him.
One perfectly executed Aikido throw at superspeed from Shelinaria smashed Supergirl through a weak point of the spaceship and then through four walls behind it.
"Kid Flash, catch! Get it out of here but be ready to return it at a moment's notice," the young goddess shouted as she snatched the green crystal from the hole that she had made with Supergirl, tossing it to him casually.
"Gotcha," the younger speedster said, zooming off with the large chunk of green Kryptonite.
The rest of the team showed up, just in time for for Supergirl, Superman and H'el to return. Supergirl's fist impacted with the force of a small earthquake.
Superman and H'el pounded on each other, shaking the whole building with their fury.
"My Star Chamber! My ship! What have you done!?" H'el shouted in absolute fury.
"We decided that your taste in decor lacked feeling," Superboy said in a snide tone as he blasted out with his TK to help hit H'el at the same time as Superman.
"Away!" H'el shouted at Superman, blasting him back outside.
"Smash that ship," Shelinaria called out, even as she summoned her lighting at full force.
Wonder Woman just smiled. "I'll keep H'el off our backs."
"Diana, don't hold back. Just like you did not hold back against Apollo," her niece shouted out. She and most of the other heroes were tearing apart the Star Chamber down to spare recycling materials. In fact, Solstice was relishing the chance to really let loose.
The scarred kryptonian sneered. "You think you are more powerful than Superman?" he asked as he smashed Superman with a backhand so hard that he left the atmosphere.
Wonder Woman's bracers hit the ground with a clang. "Yes."
"What?" the Flash blurted out as he helped keep everyone from being hit by H'el's telekinetic attacks that were tearing up the room.
Wonder Woman's fist lashed out at another streamer of H'el's kinetic energy burst. As they smashed against each other, it allowed Wonder Woman to get ten feet closer to the floating insane Kryptonian.
"Hey, Supergirl? Did you ever hear that super senses suck when you crank the decibels?" Cyborg shouted as one of his arms opened five panels and unleashed a huge sonic blast. "We might have a problem, people. Superman's still leaving orbit from that hit."
"Superboy, stay away from Supergirl and H'el," Shelinaria called out even as Wonder Woman punched another of H'el's attacks away from herself.
"What? No way! I want a piece of him for trying to kill me," the hybrid shouted as he blasted Supergirl in the back with a wave of metal thrown as hard as he could with his telekinesis.
The young goddess thought to herself that it shouldn't hurt him too bad. "Kid Flash, now!" She then charged Supergirl at her own best speed, slamming a knife hand into her solar plexus again and flying them towards H'el.
"Begone!" the madman shouted, lashing out with his teleportive ability at Wonder Woman. Only to widen his eyes in surprise as the amplifiers in the Fortress actually worked in reverse to cancel his power.
Kid Flash appeared and slammed the chunk of kryptonite into the back of H'el's head in a flash of yellow.
"Ugh! No, how could you-?" he asked as he collapsed to the ground. "I can not fail."
Supergirl and Superboy were also affected, gasping in pain.
"Oh, that's why you said to back off. Stupid me," the clone said.
"Stay down," the amazon demigoddess called out, smashing H'el's face so hard that she cratered the metal floor under him for fifty feet.
"And take that. And that! And that!" Kid Flash called out each time he continued to hit H'el as he zipped back in.
"Stop it! You are killing him!" Supergirl shouted, then clapped her hands over her ears as Cyborg hit her with another sonic attack.
Solstice joined in, blasting Supergirl. Which actually made her feel slightly better. "Oops. I think I should stop."
Superman finally came back after having been stopped on his exit of Earth orbit by smashing into some cosmic being that was as large as a moon. He was not sure what it had been doing, but he had the feeling that it may have approved that they were stopping the madman H'el. "Kara, stop. He was going to destroy the Earth and the Solar System, killing everyone to make his dream a reality. That is too high a cost to pay for even our homeworld to be saved."
"And Supergirl, that does not mean we can not take actions to save some of those from Krypton, but there is no reason that we have to use such a foolhardy plan that requires collapsing a star into a black hole and then a singularity nova," Shelinaria said in Kryptonian.
"I know. I knew for a while, but I just couldn't stop myself. Part of me wanted to go home so badly," the blonde kryptonian said even as she sobbed. "They're my family!"
Superboy bit back remarking it didn't sound like that good of a place given the way she and H'El had treated him. "Say, where is Batman and Bunker?"
"We were making sure that the quantum computer array here does not reboot without replacing key components," Batman said as he stepped out of the shadows. "Good, a short fight."
"Ah, man. I made this armor for nothing," Bunker said, as he showed off his scale looking armor on his chest, made of small purple glowing bricks.
"What's happening to H'el?" Supergirl suddenly shouted, tears wiped from her face.
The scarred, insane kryptonian was fading away, the paradox of his existence having been interrupted by forces that could derail his self-fulfilling prophecy and impossible origin.
"Huh, something he was supposed to do today would have created himself in the past," Shelinaria deduced after a minute.
"We going to remember him and not suddenly wonder why we're all here?" Bunker asked.
"I suppose that depends on how good your memory is and how much interaction you've done with time travellers, really."
"I don't think we know any time travellers," Wonder Girl remarked.
"I'll remember this then," Superman commented.