Well I'm alive, believe it or not. I really should be working on Graceful Willows, but my muse has eluded me for the last few months. Hopefully once this is out of my life I'll get to it.
What is this you might be asking? It is a story idea I started and never plan to finish. I just want it out of my head, and I don't particularly care if that means someone would like to adopt this thing or it just sits around for other's entertainment. I am perfectly fine with an author deciding to take this off my hands and continuing it in the direction they want it to go.
BE WARNED: Look at the times, because there are some places where it skips around a bit!
Batman listened as Aqualad reported that Young Justice had been attacked inside their base. A man none of them recognized had broken, somehow bypassing security, into Mt. Justice. They had been getting ready to go to bed, all of them present because it was a Saturday, when he had made himself known. Seeing the man armed with two pistols, they had immediately sprung into action.
"Superboy was the first to attack," Aqualad looked uneasy revealing that detail, probably because he knew the League did not trust the clone. Pointing out his aggressiveness would not help the clone any. But, Kaldur had to. Batman would be more suspicious if he hadn't. "The intruder dodged and fired at him. The bullets did not pierce Superboy's skin, but he admits the close range ones did sting. I joined the fight, and Kid Flash tackled the intruder when Superboy and I managed to distract him. Miss Martian then used her telekinesis to take his weapons from him.
"Robin and Artemis had been in the kitchen and arrived at that moment. Then," Kaldur hesitated, but continued when Batman raised an eyebrow. "When the intruder caught sight of Robin, he began to laugh. He laughed so hard that we were able to contain him easily. He is currently being held in one of the cell blocks. We have confiscated both his guns and a knife we found on his person."
"Has he given you any explanation for his… odd behavior?" Few people had the audacity, or stupidity, to laugh at the Batman or his protégé. Even fewer got away with it.
"No," answered Kaldur, "but we have not thoroughly interrogated him yet. We were wondering if you wanted us to interrogate him or to deliver him to you for further questioning. He has proven to be quite difficult to get information from."
"How so?" asked Gotham's protector, already having decided to talk to this mysterious intruder. Currently, he was weighing the pros and cons of going to Mt. Justice himself, or having the kids transport the man somewhere more… private. Shooting at children, being bulletproof aside, did not make a happy Batman.
"He would dodge any questions we asked, or just not answer. He is also resistant to Miss Martian's telepathy." That did not bode well. Resistance to telepathy had to be taught, and the process was not an easy one. Whoever this man was, he had a teacher out there who could block out telepaths. Batman had a very short list of non-telepathic people who could guard their minds from mind readers, himself included. At least that would narrow down the possibilities of who the man could be.
"Has he given you a codename or real name?" the Dark Knight growled. When Aqualad shook his head no, he asked what the intruder looked like.
"He has black hair, wears a red domino mask, is around six feet tall, and I would estimate his age to be about twenty-one," the Atlantean answered. "He is wearing a leather jacket, a tight fitting white shirt, jeans, and boots." Batman nodded, not entirely content with the information he had been given, but it was better than nothing. His gauntlet suddenly beeped, informing him that the Scarecrow had broken out of Arkham.
"I will be there in the morning. I have pressing matters in Gotham at the moment. Robin will stay with you for the night." Batman then ended the transmission, knowing Young Justice knew the protocol for guarding prisoners. The anonymous gunman would have to wait.
Figures lurked in the shadows, carefully hidden from Young Justice's eyes.
"What do we do now?"
"We wait until morning. See if he escapes."
"And if he doesn't?"
"Then we break him out ourselves."
Young Justice convened in the kitchen later that morning. All six of them had taken turns keeping watch through the night. They were unsure when Batman would arrive, but hoped it would be soon. Something about their unwelcome guest unnerved them, and not just the fact that he carried guns. He was keeping a secret from them, one that had nothing to do with his name and had everything to do with it at the same time.
"Any ideas as to why he broke in at all?" Kid Flash asked in between bites of his last pancake. When he was done, he washed his and the others dishes in seconds using super speed. They had let him sleep late in exchange for doing the dishes. The rest of the team had already finished their breakfast when he began eating. They answered when he had finished.
"I have no clue," sighed Robin. "He broke in, attacked us, and gave no reason as to why."
"Maybe someone put out a hit on us?" Artemis suggested.
"We are a covert team, no one is supposed to know we exist," pointed out Megan.
"Our enemies do." The archer was tense. She really hoped her father wasn't behind this. How he had found them was beyond her, but she wouldn't put it past him.
"Yes, but none of them know where we are located. Even if they did, why would they send only one assassin? Especially one that laughs when he sees one of us," Aqualad, ever the voice of reason, looked apologetically at Robin. The boy shrugged, as if to say 'no offense taken'.
"I don't think he was an assassin," declared Superboy. The clone had crossed his arms in front of his chest. He looked slightly uneasy, though.
"Why do you think that?" Wally's brow was wrinkled in confusion, mirroring everyone else's expression. Superboy's unease seemed to grow, and he looked to the ground, a slight blush emerging on his cheeks.
"Black Canary says that if you attack someone first and they fight back, they fought in self-defense. I attacked him first, and then he shot at me. He fired in self-defense. Assassins would fire first." Superboy was adamant in his justification, even though a pink hue adorned his face. The team took in his reasoning.
"That… could explain why he attacked," Robin still wasn't convinced. "But that doesn't explain why he came here, how he managed to hack security, or why he laughs whenever he sees me."
"Maybe he was looking for help?" suggested Megan.
"He would tell us if he wanted help, and, as to the second question, maybe he's just a computer geek with enough skill to break into this place?" countered Artemis. The Boy Wonder shook his head.
"The security here is only one step down from the Bat Cave, and the only people who can hack the 'Cave are Batman and me. Besides, we still haven't figured out why he starts la-". Quiet giggles behind him made Robin stop mid-word and whirl around to search for the culprit. It didn't take him long to find the offender. Leaning on the back of the couch in the living room was a girl, about seventeen, with blond hair and a purple domino mask.
"You're so cute," she giggled. The team had cornered her at the couch by this time, in defensive positions with weapons drawn. Then she stopped chuckling, straightening her position, expression darkening. "Too bad I have to fight you." Somersaulting over the back of the couch, she landed in a fighting pose. Silently dropping from the ceiling, an Asian girl, about the same age with black hair and a black domino mask, landed gracefully beside her in an opposite pose.
Miss Martian instinctively opened a mind link, enabling the team to communicate without speaking.
'There are others behind us, two of them.' Robin had heard the footsteps behind him, but now they had stopped, as if sensing he had warned the others of their presence.
'Superboy, Kid Flash, Robin, turn and take on the other two.' Aqualad was assured the three had followed his orders when he heard them spin around.
'Okay, there's one male and one female. They're older than the other two, the male in his mid-twenties, the female early thirties, I'd say. Both are wearing domino masks, too.' Robin informed them. 'All of them look to be trained.'
'What makes you say, sorry think, that?' asked Wally, fidgeting. This stand off was getting old.
'The way they stand. Their backs are straight, their posture's perfect, they're perfectly still, and they managed to sneak up on pretty much all of us. If I didn't know any better, I'd say they were trained by Batman. Maybe Lady Shiva…'
'Now isn't the time to play detective.' Superboy snarled inside his mind. "Are you just going to stand there all day?" he barked aloud at the man in front of him.
"Actually we were hoping you would attack first so we could claim self defense," the team was shocked. The smirk on the intruder's face confirmed that he had been listening in on their conversation. How long had they not noticed these people in their base, their home away from home? "But, you're right, this is getting rather dull." With that he charged and jumped, somersaulting mid air, and falling with a kick aimed for…
In Young Justice's moment of confusion that their attacker had gone for one of the people not aiming for him, the girls joined the fight. The younger two worked together to unleash a ferocious combo attack against Kaldur, Megan, and Robin. The flurry of punches and kicks caught all three off guard. Robin not having been facing them meant he was just as bad off as the Atlantean and Martian even though he was better trained for this type of assault.
The oldest woman dodged as Kid Flash tried to tackle her. When he surged past her, she grabbed his arm. Using his momentum, she threw him into an oncoming Superboy. Both boys hit the floor with a loud thud.
Artemis wasn't having much luck with the male, either. She had dodged his flying kick, but in her confusion, he had managed to punch her in the jaw. This disoriented her enough that he was able to rip her bow out of her hands and throw it across the room. The force he had used to take it made her fingers sting, and to add insult to injury, he then grabbed both her hands and swung her to the opposite side of the room as her bow.
Young Justice was being attacked and they were losing. Badly.
The valiant heroes had yet to realize that the four intruders they had met were actually a decoy. The group they were fighting had made themselves known so two others could complete their actual objective. And with the hidden cameras in the base all turned off, the two met no resistance.
Two boys crept silently down the hallway, melting into the shadows. One was a teenager, the other a child. Both had black hair and wore dark domino masks.
"The security feeds should be off, why do we have to be so stealthy?" whined the child.
"Practice," grunted the teenager. "You need to learn how to sneak around without your costume and cape to hide in." The child pouted slightly, but accepted the reason. A minute later he was about to ask his companion if he knew where he was going, when they stopped at a door. The teenager silently typed in a code and the door opened.
The man with the red mask smirked from inside his cell. "It's about time you got here."
Kid Flash crouched behind the counter, communicator in hand. Robin had already sent a secret distress signal to the League, but they needed to verbally contact the older heroes to tell them what was going on. That was his job.
"Someone please pick up, please." Kid Flash knew it was useless to beg. Someone always picked up, but there was always a chance. A chance that the whole League was off world, that they wouldn't be able to help them, and they were going to die in the place they should have been the safest.
Black Canary's distinct scream entered his hearing and he allowed himself a second to look at what was happening and let hope seep into his veins. Both Canary and Red Tornado had arrived. Their chances of winning had drastically improved, but it still seemed like they were losing. The intruders had full control of the fight, even with the reinforcements. They needed help and they needed it now.
"Kid Flash, why did Robin send out a distress signal?" Oh, thank goodness, it was Batman.
"We're being attacked inside Mt. Justice by four intruders. Black Canary and Red Tornado just arrived to help, but we're still getting creamed." He made sure to slow his voice down slightly. Now was not the time to have to repeat himself. "One's a guy, the others are girls. All are wearing masks."
"Do you know why they are attacking you?" Kid Flash winced as he heard a loud thud near his hiding place.
"No idea, they just got in and charged." There was a pause and Wally could hear typing on the other end.
"How much help do you need?" How could that guy be so calm? It was creepy. Kid Flash once again looked up and saw that Red Tornado was getting torn apart by the blonde chick. Literally.
The man in the red mask and his rescuers heard the sound of intense fighting. More Leaguers must have arrived. They probably used the Watchtower transports.
"We need to get out of here." The child was showing faint signs of apprehension. He wanted to fight.
"Well, no duh," drawled the adult of the three. The teen was trying to free him from metal the Martian had telekinetically made into restraints. The stuff was molded around his hands, making a non-technologically based escape practically impossible. Using a laser, the teenager was trying to remove the cuffs without taking off the older man's hands.
"Go help," the quietest of the group did not deter from his work. "You'll be more useful out there than in here." The youngest immediately brightened and ran out the room, disturbingly joyful at the prospect of being able to beat someone to paste.
"You just released a monster. Ouch! That's my hand, you idiot! I shoot with that. Ouch! Okay, okay, I'm shutting up now."
Red Arrow arrived at Young Justice's headquarters. Batman had called him and told him that the team was being attacked and if he wanted to help he should get there soon. How that man knew he was in Happy Harbor he didn't want to know.
The scene he was witnessing was slightly surreal. There were four people in masks resembling Robin's that he identified as the intruders. They didn't look very tired, but were horribly outnumbered. It was them against Young Justice, Flash, Green Arrow, Black Canary, Red Tornado, and him.
Well, actually, Red Tornado looked kind of busted, Artemis was just reaching her bow (but it was kicked away by a red head dodging an attack from Green Arrow and Flash), and the rest of Young Justice looked like they had just gone through the wash on spin cycle.
Man, these people must be good.
Roy was snapped out of his review of the battlefield by a foot slamming into his side, pummeling him to the ground. He readied an arrow, trying to find his attacker, when they came at him again. A ten year-old. With the same type of mask as the other four. Great, there was another one. But why would the intruders ally themselves with this little punk?
'Little Punk' then came at him with a hit that would have broken his arm if he hadn't dodged it.
Never mind, he figured it out. Shooting an arrow the kid easily sidestepped, Roy wondered what maniac would teach ten year-olds the art of battle. Oh, wait, Batman had. That was different, though. Besides, this kid fought like he had been training since he could walk. The Bat wouldn't put toddlers through training that would make most Olympic athletes cry.
Deciding to ignore the distracting thoughts going through his head, the former Speedy flipped out of the way of a low sweep. He shot a trick arrow at the kid. The little punk dodged, rolling as the projectile exploded. Another arrow exploded in front of him and the kid used his arm to cover his face.
Roy turned to see his former mentor grin at him. Rolling his eyes, he looked to his assailant. Only to find the kid had disappeared.
"Hey, why don't you pick on someone your own size?" Red Arrow spun around in time to catch a roundhouse kick with his face. From a blonde three inches shorter than he was.
It was really not his day.
Batman was very, very angry. Maybe because Young Justice, Red Arrow, and four Leaguers needed more help to take down intruders on their home turf, or that he had just been informed the number of intruders was up to five, or both. Probably both.
The Dark Knight strode into Mt. Justice, Superman, Martian Manhunter, and Aquaman behind him.
He quickly took in the scene. Red Tornado was in pieces, Black Canary's throat was bruised, Kid Flash and Miss Martian were unconscious, and Artemis didn't have her bow.
These people weren't League of Assassins. They didn't kill, at least they hadn't yet. They were still dangerous and highly trained, though. It almost seemed like they had been under his tutelage.
But that was impossible.
Maybe Lady Shiva…
Batman was moving before the shots were fired. Superman quickly blocked the bullets with his chest. The shots hadn't come from any of the attackers. Suddenly it clicked as to why the intruders were here. They weren't attacking, they were delaying. They were waiting for the gunman to escape, and he had.
"Block the entrance," he shouted. "They're going to retreat!"
Immediately, the group of six sprinted for the entrance, in a formation that looked disturbingly like one he would set up. Obviously they had worked together before. There was a hole in their formation, though. That meant they were missing a person.
Before he could tell the others there was another intruder, the missing man made himself known. By tackling an attacking Flash. The speedster had foolishly charged the group, not noticing the incoming foe. He had barely noticed the newest assailant. That was unsettling. The most recent aggressor flipped out of the tackle, enabling Flash to sprint back to them.
All the heroes left standing had made a block in front of the intruders escape. The seven stopped, wary looks crossing over their features. Batman took their moment of hesitation to examine what they looked like.
Three looked to be around seventeen or eighteen, the blonde and Asian girls and the newest intruder, a black haired male. The eldest male, with black hair, looked to be in his mid twenties. The red-head looked like she was in her thirties. The original intruder looked to be in his early twenties, like Kaldur had said. The smallest was a black-haired boy, not even a teenager. All wore masks concealing their eyes.
Only the facial structures of the boys gave away that they weren't brothers. None of them looked to be related to one another. They fought so well together that they had to have spent a lot of time with each other, training or otherwise. So, even though Batman could rule out them being blood related, he had to look for organizations that would allow them to work together so closely.
The seven weren't moving. They were still in defensive stances, but they weren't attacking. That didn't mean they weren't planning. If they were good enough to fight as many people as they had, they had to have another escape plan. He had to stop them before they could initiate that plan.
With an almost imperceptible movement, Batman threw a knock out gas bomb at the group. All of them had already taken a deep breath before the bomb blew up, though. It didn't matter anyway. He would notice if they tried to use any of the hallways to escape and those bombs were designed to knock him unconscious.
Sure enough, when the smoke had cleared there were seven bodies lying on the floor.
"Tie them up. They probably haven't inhaled enough gas to stay out for long." Batman held out zip ties for others to use. He personally tied up the two eldest males. They were the greatest physical threats by his observations.
Flash and Martian Manhunter had managed to wake up their respective protégés. Artemis had finally retrieved her bow. Green Arrow had gotten Black Canary some water. Robin was helping Red Arrow fix Red Tornado.
The Supers and Atlanteans were helping him line up the intruders in what he assumed was youngest to oldest. He had them all sat up. They deserved some dignity. Then, he heard the oldest male groan, followed by some of the others. They were waking up.
By the time the intruders had completely come to, the heroes had them surrounded. It hadn't taken them as long as he had thought it would for them to wake up, though. Another reason these people were threats.
"What do you want from us?" The eldest man was the one asking the questions. He must be their leader.
"Answers," growled the Dark Knight, looming over the sitting group. None batted an eyelash in fear. "Why are you here?"
"I think that should be obvious," grunted the original intruder. He looked furious to be caught again. "They're saving my as-." Gotham's finest cut him off before he could finish. There were children around.
"Then why are you here?" He received no answer. "Don't make me repeat the question." He glared at them, jaw set tight, towering over the intruders at his full height. They still showed no sign of being intimidated.
"You won't get anything out of us." The boast came from the youngest of the group. He had his chin held high, looking the Batman in the eye. Well, as close to the eye he could get, considering the height difference.
"I doubt that's going to be true. Manhunter, get the information from the kid's mind. I doubt he has mental blocks." Instantly the intruders protested, trying to struggle out of their cuffs.
"You can't do that!"
"He's just a kid!"
"This isn't right!"
Objections of the kind rang through the room, confirming his suspicion the child didn't have any blocks. Only one member of the group remained silent. The last to appear seemed to be looking for ways to escape. Smart, but his efforts were futile.
When J'onn hesitated to pry into the boys mind, Batman sent him a glare. Through his mind he coldly informed the Martian that these people had attacked their children. They needed to know who ordered this attack and stop them before one of the kids was injured. Or worse.
It seemed to convince the hero, who put his fingers to his temple in the classic mind-readers pose. The youngest looked scared and all the others looked nervous. It felt odd that he hadn't been the one to garner the reaction.
"I have names," Manhunter said after a few moments. The intruders had stopped struggling, not wasting their energy on a pointless action. Smart, but the child's mind had been way too easy to get information from. The base they broke into housed a Martian; they should have planned for that. It was sloppy that they hadn't.
"Who are they, then?" asked Superman, warily eyeing the original trespasser. He may not show it, but the Boy Scout really did care for Superboy. He just had no idea how to approach the boy. The thought of someone shooting at the teen did not sit well with him, not at all.
J'onn hesitated, and then pointed to the Asian (Tibetan?) girl, "Cassandra Cain." A relative of David Cain's perhaps. Next, the blonde one, "Stephanie Brown." After that, the eldest, the red head, "Katherine Kane." Batman hid his surprise. He knew Kate and she wasn't in her thirties. J'onn moved on to the boys, starting with the youngest, "Damian Wayne." Robin's mouth dropped. The name could easily be written off as a coincidence, though. He wasn't the only Wayne in the universe. The quietest of the group was watching Robin with interest, gauging his reaction. He knew something. "Timothy Drake," he recognized that name, too, but the Drakes' son was five, maybe six.
"My name's Jason Todd," snapped the gun wielder before J'onn could say anything. The Martian didn't correct him, so he wasn't lying. Batman didn't recognize the name or the face.
J'onn paused with the last name. Half the group was smirking (Jason, Stephanie, and unknown), the other half was frowning (Cassandra, Kate, Damian, and Timothy).
"His name is Richard Grayson." The temperature of the room plummeted as Robin's face lost all color. Young Justice looked at him with concern and he tried to compose himself. He succeeded, partially. Whispers broke out among the people that knew, way too loud for his taste.
"That's not possible." The Dark Knight glared at the impostor. The man grinned.
"Believe it," the stupid smile was still on his face. "We're actually from another dimension." Well, that explained… a lot, actually. "Jay broke in to see if you had anything we could use to get home, but when the encounter turned into a fight, he most likely thought the team wouldn't believe the whole 'alternate dimension' thing."
"Yeah, it's not exactly the most convincing excuse," 'Jay' snorted. "I probably would have had an easier time if I said I was looking for a bathroom."
"How can we be sure your story is true?" asked Barry, eyeing Timothy warily. The boy didn't look at him, instead staring towards the door. Kid Flash was about to say something smug about freedom and all that, when he noticed the woman in the wheelchair, right where Timothy was looking. Batman didn't even glance at her when she wheeled past, but he knew she had been there, and who she was. She wheeled up to Manhunter. Her red hair and blue eyes were familiar. The only thing she wore in way of a mask was a pair of glasses.
"My name's Barbara Gordon, niece of that Gordon. Don't look inside my head to confirm it. I have enough nightmares for the both of us." She shook Martian Manhunter's hand and turned to the Bat. "Really, we should have gone to you first, but this was closer. Now, I can't give you proof of your story, but I can give you a reasonable argument." He nodded for her to continue. These people knew he didn't like pleasantries.
"We are all years older than our counterparts here, as you probably know. Also, I'm not in a wheelchair here and yes, back home I am paralyzed. I don't roll around in this thing for fun. A good chunk of us aren't active vigilantes here-"
"Wait," interrupted Green Arrow, "are you all in the hero business where you come from?"
"No, we are just able to take down a covert superhero team because we all took gymnastics and karate," said Jason dryly. Stephanie giggled, while the others rolled their eyes. They must be used to the attitude.
"As I was saying," interjected Gordon, "we aren't active here. Damian may not even be born yet, or ever. We were all trained by Batman, except Kate." There were murmurs of surprise and Robin had tensed considerably.
"Oh please," Barbara rolled her eyes. "It's not that hard to figure out. If we were trained by Shiva or Ra's there would dead bodies lying around. He's the only person that makes sense for our skill level." She paused. "Well, that and the fact it was so easy to hack this place because the programming isn't that far from the Bat Cave's." The Dark Knight growled.
"I am still not convinced. How did you get here?" He was looking at Grayson. The man did look a lot what he thought an older version of Dick might look like. The name thing was too much of a coincidence, but he had to be sure. He knew they were trained by him, that much he could admit to himself was true. But that alone made them a gigantic threat. They could not be trusted.
"We can skip all the formalities if you just looked inside one of our minds," suggested Kate hesitantly. "That way you know we aren't lying to you." The League mulled over the idea for a minute. They appeared to approve of it. The intruders were slightly more wary. A look of distrust, an emotion, flickered across Timothy's face for the briefest of seconds. It was the first reaction Batman had seen from him. The others were slightly more open, but they did not protest. Jason looked ready to resort to violence. He'd have to watch him.
Batman had a feeling that a large portion, if not all, of the group had gotten out of the zip ties. If they hadn't, his training was lacking. If they had, the suggestion of invading their minds might be enough incentive to attempt an escape. No, they would never get home if they did that. Even Jason knew that. Not going to happen.
"Alright," Superman decided. "Whose mind will we get the information from?"
"Mine," decided Barbara. Her comrades looked at her. A question of whether or not she really wanted to do this formed from their body language. "I have a photographic memory," she explained, more for her teammates than them. "Besides," she wheeled up to Manhunter, "he already knows that searching in places he doesn't belong will end badly. Scarily, even." She looked up at J'onn, a smile filling her face. A cruel, unforgiving, warning thing, devoid of any humor.
The sheer intimidation factor of it almost made him proud.
If you know your comics, you realize that a good chunk of the BatClan has just been blasted into YJ's world. I was going to make it so it turns out the Clan is actually from the future instead of an alternate dimension (The alternate dimension would not be the mainstream comics world), but you can chose whichever you perfer. Tim had actually kind of figured out by the lineup of the League and Young Justice and finding some old nespapers that they are in the past. That's why he's the quietest and looks around the most. He's playing detective.
My idea for this story was along the lines of: hmm, I've seen a lot of fics where a member of the Batfamily is sent to the YJ world, but what if they all were?
So if anyone wants it, they can take it, just tell me. That's all, really, and I hope you were entertained.