Disclaimer- I do not own Young Justice
Mount Justice, August 7,16:09 EDT
"Combat mode." Wally ordered as he observed the small mechanical robot in front of him.
The robot was one of the MONQIs he had captured on his last mission but at first glance the little robot didn't look like a monkey. Its entire body was now a dark blue color rather than the neon green it had been previously and its tail has been removed. The head had been remodeled so it now looked a bit like a skull rather than the monkey head it once had, the only thing that had remained from Ivos original design was the creatures posture and some of its old weapons.
The little robot lifted up its right arm and its handed opened up revealing a small hole in its robot hands palm.
Three darts shot out of the hole and lodged themselves into the labs wall. Wally lifted up his dark goggles and observed the robots handiwork.
"Not bad at all, you may resume standby mode." He said as got up and pulled the darts out of the wall. The robot obeyed and deactivated its weapons and awaited further orders from its new master.
"If I use cheap parts and improve the artificial intelligence a bit more this can be very useful for the team, and I could even make a civilian model that can help people around the house...perhaps they could even be programmed to take care of the sick, disabled and elderly, care homes would become a thing of the past..." Wally said to himself as he began to imagine all the possibilities the robot presented, he never understood how men like Ivo, Lex Luthor and other scientists could find time and money to create such magnificent machines yet never bother to imagine how helpful they could be to mankind. "I guess being evil is a 24 hour job, its not enough to want to kill Superheroes you have to want to deprive mankind of happiness as well."
Wally decided to check on his other projects. First he checked on his agricultural projects which were still failing, the beans still tasted terrible and the lemons were still unstable, and no solution could be seen. "I bet Poison ivy could help...especially since I technically borrowed the formula for rapid plant growth from her and modified it to grow these things." In truth he had simply stole all the research from her lab, he had found it fascinating how Ivy could control plant growth through chemicals, so he tried to apply it to civilian foods to perhaps help the world hunger crisis, but the results were not satisfying.
"If only she wasn't a redheaded homicidal hippy bitch." He mused out loud as he moved on to his other projects. The robot he had gotten earlier from the teams battle in happy harbor was completely disassembled and he had been studying the way each piece functioned, simply taking the robot apart had given him a great look into robotics. But the most impressive part of the robot was the power source used to power it and power its attacks.
The power source stood in the middle of the lab, it was a circular object that let out a constant light blue glow. IT constantly generated clean energy and had enough power to rival a nuclear reactor, yet it gave off no radiation or waste. Wally studied it to the best of his abilities and found it was a completely new element now on the periodic table. He made a mental note to try and create the element in a controlled setting, since this power source could be a new alternative form of energy.
Once he was done inspecting all his experiments he sat down on his work bench and began fumbling around with his guns. The energy rounds they produced were strong but he knew he needed to be able to load them alternative ammunition to add versatility. He workjed on them for a hour until he finally decided to go to bed, his mind was overworked and the sheer amount of work he had to do in his lab was overwhelming.
"I better get some sleep, Last thing I want to do is go experimenting with dangerous inventions while groggy."
"Taskmaster get out of bed!" Megan yelled through the door. She was currently knocked vigorously on her teammate's door in the hopes of waking the teen.
"Get out of bed this instant! We have a big day ahead of us!"
"Ive wrote you a Haiku describing how I feel about getting up right now."
"No no no no no."
"No no no no no no no."
"No no no no no."
"I'm not leaving until you open this door and get ready for the day."
Wally rolled over in his bed and groaned. His Martian roommate refused to give up. "I'm up! Go away and nag Superboy or something!" He was not a morning person and had no idea why Megan would wake him up so early. He heard the Martian stomp off down the hall and once her footsteps faded into the distance he decided to start his morning routine.
"Good god she's a bigger nag then Iris and Barry put together…she's going to make a great ex-wife to somebody." Wally said as he hoisted himself out of bed. He was wearing his usual sleeping clothes which consisted of nothing but a pair of boxers. He walked over to his nightstand and grabbed his mask. He slipped it on his face and opening the door to his room and walked down to the bathroom he shared with Superboy. He quickly got undressed and took a shower, once he finished his shower he dried off and put on a simple shirt and pants and slipped his mask back on.
He knew that people always found it weird he wore a mask that covered his entire head, in fact it covered so much it was practically a helmet. But he would never cave into peer pressure and find a smaller mask, he had been in enough situations where knockout gas fills a room, or the villain used a mind control device to know that having complete head protection and a respirator was worth it.
"Next time one of my teammates gets hit with sleeping gas Ill just laugh at them."
He walked out into the living room where he saw Superboy watching television and Megan cooking breakfast. He walked over to Superboy and saw that he was watching children's cartoons.
"Say map!" Dora chimed happily.
"Map." Superboy answered.
"I said map!" Superboy answered angrily.
"I can't hear you, say it louder!"
"I SAID MAP!" Superboy yelled as he picked up the remote and prepared to throw it into the television. Before he could the remote was snatched from his hand by Taskmaster.
"No way dude, I'm not gonna let you destroy another television, you're banned from watching this cartoon." He said as he switched the channel to the TV guide to figure out what was on. "Where the hell did you learn bad language from? Swearing is a bad habit that you should avoid developing."
"You swear every chance you get; in fact you used about a million different profanities yesterday when you were playing video-games." Superboy retorted while making room on the couch for Taskmaster to sit.
"That was different; I had to swear at those assholes online because they were camping." Wally answered as he sat himself down on the couch and began to channel surf. After watching a television for a few minutes Megan told them breakfast was ready, so they switched off the television and went to the dining room to eat breakfast.
The three heroes sat down at the dining room table, Megan had prepared a omelets for each of the boys along with bacon and orange juice.
"Thanks for breakfast Megan, I love chicken omelets." Taskmaster said as he took off his mouthpiece and began eating. "It's easily the most deliciously evil food item on the planet."
"How is a chicken omelet evil?" Megan asked whilst looking down at her own food.
"You kill the chicken, and cook it in its own unborn babies, it's just plain dastardly." He said as he took a bite of his omelet. "Also you might want to use less pepper."
"Thank you for that information Taskmaster, I always love it when you say stuff like that during a meal." Superboy said as he looked at his food with uncertainty.
Despite the repulsive information both Megan and Superboy began eating. The three shared some light conversation until it was interrupted by a buzz from the other room.
"Be right back, I have laundry to check up on."Megan said as she flew off to the caves laundry room.
The second she left the room Superboy pushed his plate away. "Her cooking must be some form of cruelty." He said as he looked down at his omelet. "It tastes like she poured an entire pepper shaker into it."
"You're going to eat it and you're going to like it." Wally said as he pushed Superboys plate back in front of him. "If you must criticize her cooking make it constructive criticism and insert some flattery into it, she very sensitive. Also I don't see you cooking anything so don't complain."
"Last time I cooked you complained about it…" Superboy said stubbornly as he crossed his arms.
"Setting a bologna sandwich on fire doesn't qualify as cooking." Wally responded. "Besides I wasn't really angry about the food, I was angry about the scorch marks on the counter-tops."
Superboy ignored his roommate and turned back to his meal. Despite his complaints he ate all the food Megan had prepared for him. He was about to leave but Megan flew in and saw that he had eaten his food. So she had enthusiastically served him a second helping.
"So what are you boys planning on doing today?" Megan asked curiously as she sat down at the table and continued eating her own food.
"Nothing." Taskmaster responded as he took another bite of his omelet.
"You did that yesterday."
"I wasn't finished."
"Seriously Taskmaster you can't just do nothing all day." Megan said as she finished up her food.
"It's a free country I can do all the nothing I want, or did I wake up in North Korea and my freedoms are being stomped on by a fat midget?" He looked over and saw Megan glaring at him. "Fine…I guess I can go to the mall and maybe pick up some girls, you want to be my wing-man Superboy?"
"No." The clone responded. "Our last few trips to the mall have been terrible. I ended up breaking my jaw during one of them and you managed to embarrass me when you took me to the mall last week."
"Oh yeah…I remember…" Taskmaster said as he was pulled into a memory.
Wally sat at a table in the food court and watched his friend do his magic. There were numerous girls talking to Superboy trying to get the clones attention. It was obvious Superboy was uncomftorable and hated all the attention but he was doing Wally a favor.
After a few minutes Superboy sent a girl his way, she was cute with short blonde hair.
"Hi, my names Strawberry." She said as she sat down across from him. The name was odd and made Wally want to laugh but he kept a cool face, no point in judging a book by its cover.
"My names Wally." He said as he took a sip from an Ice coffee he had bought earlier.
"Your friend said you some kind of boy genius."
"Well I am rather knowledgeable in several scientific fields." Wally said in an attempt to impress her.
"That's so cool…do you mind answering a question?"
"Go ahead, I'm a walking encyclopedia." Wally responded happily, impressing this girl would be so easy…
"How come the water on the bottom of the earth, at the south pole, doesn't fall off of the earth and go into space?" She asked. All the gears in Wally's head stopped simultaneously.
"Are you serious?" He asked.
"Yeah it's been bugging me all day and Google isn't helping."
Wally took a deep breath.
"The short answer is gravity. The long answer is gravity you complete and utter moron, your mere existence baffles me; if there is a God I pray that he has mercy on your soul." He said.
Strawberry grabbed Wally's Ice coffee and threw it in his face and stomped off.
Wally wiped the cold beverage off of his face.
"Totally worth it."
"Superboy the very fact that her name was Strawberry should have raised a million red flags. Only a complete hippy would name their kid Strawberry." Taskmaster said as he finished his omelet.
"Well you boys aren't going to the mall." Megan said as she telepathically put the dishes into the sink and began to clear the table. "Because we are going to have a beach day, I've already invited the others."
Taskmaster sighed. "That's a great idea, because I love wearing a mask in the scorching hot sun." He said as he rubbed his mask.
"Not my fault you're stubborn with your identity. Also I'm going to need the two of you to assemble a grill so that we can cook our lunch. I also bought a new volleyball net so that we can all play like the people in the movies." M'gann said happily.
Taskmaster rolled his eyes.
"I guess it beats going to school. Thank God Gotham Academy has a late start to the school year."
Mount Justice, August 8, 09:43 EDT
"Hello Megan, we should hit the beach everyday!" Megan said happily as she led the entire team to the beach. It was a perfect day, the sun was shining, and the water was calm. She turned around to see her teammates and friends all in beachwear and ready to have fun. Kaldur,Robin,Superboy were all dressed to swim. Taskmaster wasn't…
"Taskmaster…why are you wearing normal clothes?' She asked curiously as she started at the boy's shirt and pants.
"Because I'm not going to expose my skin to the sun by wearing a swimsuit, I know it's hard to tell under this mask but I'm very white." He answered as he shifted in his outfit, the fabrics were designed to breathe and cool the wearer off but the sun was giving it a run for its money.
"Well since you aren't swimming would you mind assembling the grill right now?" Superboy asked as he dropped a huge box onto the ground. The grill was enormous; it was obvious Megan had gone a little crazy when she bought it. Taskmaster nodded.
The entire team immediately ran off into the water and began having fun while Taskmaster sat himself down next to the grill.
"With my superior intellect assembling this thing will be as easy as taking candy from a baby."
One hour later
"How's it going TM?" Robin asked as he looked at his friend who was still assembling the grill.
"It's going great." Taskmaster answered as he looked at the instructions.
"It's taking you a long time."
"You can't rush a grill Rob." Wally answered. "I mean just look at all these parts." Wally held up a whole bunch of parts for the grill. "They all go someplace and I don't know where they go, because these damn instructions are in Swedish. If I ever turn evil I will destroy Sweden by releasing giant cockroaches upon their land for making these damn instructions."
"So…is it going to be done soon? Because I'm getting hungry." Robin said as he rubbed his stomach.
"Don't worry Ill have this baby up in an hour."
Another hour later
"Well this is my first pass." Taskmaster states as he gestures to the grill, it was a complete mess and upon first looking at it you would assume it was a junk pile.
Megan sighed. "Wow...did you lose the directions?"
"I know it looks like a lump of metal but it's going to be a grill, and the directions were useless since they were in Swedish." Wally explained. "Also I lost some parts…I got angry and threw stuff."
"That would explain this large metal strut that destroyed the sand castle I was making." M'gann said as she handed Taskmaster the missing piece.
"Don't worry Meg, I'm gonna whip this thing into shape."
"Don't worry Taskmaster; my expectations are low at this point." She responded. "If you need me I'll be playing volleyball with the others."
"I'm glad to see you have such confidence in my abilities." Taskmaster said sarcastically as he sat himself in front of the grill and began fixing it.
"So you're assembling a grill?"
"Yup and its going great, I'm affixing the last piece now." Wally said over his cell phone. He was holding it up to his ear as he looked over the last piece he had to affix to the grill. After so long he finally managed to put it together correctly and he was simply savoring the moment.
"What's up with our voice? It's all robotic and weird."
"We must have a bad connection." Wally lied; he looked up and saw Robin approaching him. "Sorry to cut our talk short but I have to go."
"What? We barely talked Wall-" He shut off his phone and put it away.
"Who were you talking to TM?" Robin asked as he approached his friend.
"A friend." Was his answer as he affixed the final piece onto the grill. "And now we are ready to cook." He pushed the start button and the grill immediately began to heat up.
"I don't understand how you can be a scientist yet you take an eternity to assemble a small gas powered grill." Robin said as he walked over and looked at the cooking device.
"It's one of the great mysteries of the universe." Wally said as he started up the grill, he pulled out a bag of hotdogs from a cooler.
"A bigger mystery is why hotdogs come in ten packs while hotdog buns only come with eight?" Robin asked as he watched Taskmaster cook their lunch.
"The reason is strictly business, your standard-issue hot dog, a product that generations of consumers have found to be convenient, comes ten to the pound. Jumbo hot dogs come eight to the pound, and occasionally you'll see some symptom of wretched excess that comes four to the pound. If you've got 10,000 pounds of hot dogs, therefore, you know you've got 10,000 packages. A few packers deviate from this rule and give you, say, eight standard dogs per 12-ounce package, but they're in the minority." He said as he put the hotdogs on the now hot grill, once they were cooking he continued his explanation. "The reason for the buns being in eight packs is that bakers just don't like tens. They prefer dozens, or more generally, multiples of three and four, notably four, six, eight, and twelve. These quantities lend themselves to compact packaging — three rows of four, two rows of three, two slabs of two by two (e.g., hamburger buns), and so on. Ten lends itself only to one row of ten or two rows of five, which are seldom compact shapes. Therefore, the baking mind-set — and here's where we start getting into anthropology — is such that you instinctively regard ten as an unwieldy number. When the pioneers of bun baking were trying to figure out how to package their product, they probably figured what the hey, eight makes a squarish package, so that's what we'll go with, without even considering the unique circumstances that made ten more appropriate."
Robin rubbed his head as he absorbed all that information.
"Tell me TM how does it feel being an insufferable know-it-all?" Robin asked.
"It feels pretty good." Taskmaster said as he used a fork to spear one of the hotdogs that looked like it was finished. He took a bite and was satisfied with the taste. "Call the others, because lunch is ready."
Robin called everyone over and soon they were all eating lunch together on the beach. Taskmaster couldn't help but smile.
"This day couldn't get any better."He thought to himself as he ate his hotdog. "Nothing could possibly ruin my good mood."
Mount Justice, August 8, 19:53 EDT
"You nervous Artemis?" Green Arrow asked as he looked at his new protégé as she checked over her costume and equipment. Both of them were standing next to the Zeta tube that would bring them to Mount Justice.
"Of course not Ollie, I'm only going to join a team of experienced crime fighting teenagers." Artemis said sarcastically. She was trying to be calm but she couldn't, she needed to make a good first impression. She already knew the team was a tight knit group and she didn't want to end up being the third wheel. She hated being nervous, she was usually very confident in her abilities but now she was going to meet a group of people who were probably stronger then she was. She didn't want to be the weakest link.
Green Arrow chuckled at the girl's nervousness. "Relax Artemis they don't bite." He said trying to soothe the girl's fears. "Just be yourself."
Artemis sighed. "The whole point of me being introduced to them as your niece is so that I'm not myself." Artemis said as she checked herself over again making sure every part of her costume was spotless.
"Just relax, the entire team got back from a day out on the beach so they're in a good mood. This is the best time to introduce you to them."
Artemis nodded. "Let's just do this." She said in an attempt to get this over with. The two of them walked up to the phone booth and Green arrow entered first. Once he was safely teleported she got into it. This would be her first teleportation so she couldn't help but feel a bit nervous.
"I hope this doesn't hurt." She said as light engulfed her and sent her to Mount Justice. A second passed and she found herself standing next to Ollie in a cave, she heard about the cave from her new mentor but she had no idea it was so…nice. She thought it would be dark but it was well lit and had a homely feel. Green Arrow led her into the caves main meeting area where she saw Batman, Red Tornado, and the Team waiting for them…or rather the team was sitting around while two members had an argument.
"You're crazy the Easter Bunny has powerful legs he would beat the crap out of him." Robin stated as he debated with Taskmaster. His best friend simply shook his head.
"The Easter Bunny might have strong legs but Santa Claus has the upper hand, candy canes can get really sharp and can totally mess a dude up." Taskmaster retorted.
"Just listen to yourself! The Easter Bunny is huge; proportionally he has the strength of ten Kangaroos and could crush a dude's chest cavity with a single kick, not to mention his sharp teeth."
"Santa has a sleigh full of armaments and a bag full of potential weapons, not to mention the fact he has a huge team of reindeer backing him up and they all have sharp horns. The Easter Bunny is simply a dead rabbit."
"Now you're just making stuff up." Robin said, not believing a word his best friend was saying.
"Let's not forget the original folklore where Santa was a demon who would punish naughty children by eating them, so basically the Easter bunny would get sacrificed on a dark alter in Santa's dread fortress of dark Christmas evil." Taskmaster finished happily.
"Now I'm certain your making that up, where the hell do you get this information?"
Batman stepped forward. "That's enough you two, nobody cares about who would win in a fictional fight between Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny." Batman said as he walked between the two boys. "Besides…we have company." All eyes turned to Green arrow and Artemis.
Artemis steeled herself and walked forward towards the group with Green arrow walking alongside her. She wanted to applaud herself for staying so cool while being in the same room with some of these famous heroes. Batman gestured towards her and began to introduce her to the group.
"Team this is Artemis, she is your new teammate." Batman said as he gestured toward the female archer. "She is Green Arrows niece and will be filling in the role as this teams long range support."
Artemis walked up to the team who were all standing alongside each other and observing the new girl. Artemis did her best to ignore their scrutinizing gaze. "It's a pleasure to meet all of you and I'm honored to have been invited to join this team." She said in a cordial tone, and waited for the team's reaction.
She didn't have to wait long because M'gann flew over and began to introduce herself enthusiastically. "It's a pleasure to meet you, my names M'gann." She said happily she grabbed the archer's hand which made Artemis flinch instinctively. She wasn't used to such casual human contact but she managed to jeep her cool as M'gann led her and began introducing her to the team. The Martian introduced her to everyone in the team and Artemis was happy at how well received her joining the team was.
Aqualad was very polite and gave her a warm welcome. Robin was very enthusiastic and welcomed her to the team happily. Superboy simply gave her a quick greeting, but Artemis didn't let that bother her since he just seemed like the strong silent type. She turned to greet Taskmaster; she saw the masked teen inspecting a arrow, one of her arrows.
Artemis reached into her quiver and sure enough one of her arrows was missing. "When did he get that chance to take one and why didn't I feel him take it?" She mentally asked herself as she watched the boy. She was about to ask him what he was doing but he beat her to the punch.
"So your Green Arrows niece?" Taskmaster asked as he turned the arrow over in his hand and inspected the tip.
"Yes I am, and I would appreciate it if you didn't take my property without permission." She said as she held out her hand. Taskmaster reluctantly handed the arrow over and Artemis put it back in her quiver.
"Recognized Speedy B06." The computer chimed in, interrupting the team meeting.
"Well for starters he doesn't go by Speedy anymore, call me Red Arrow." Red Arrow said as he entered the cave and joined everyone in the briefing room.
"Oh my god that name is so original I might pass out." Taskmaster thought as he watched the red clad archer walk into the room.
"Roy?" Green Arrow asked not believing his former sidekick had appeared. "You look-"
"Replaceable." Red Arrow interrupted while gazing at Artemis, the girl glared in response.
"It's not like that, you told me you were going solo." Green Arrow said trying to ease the tension that had enveloped the room. All eyes were on Green Arrow and his former sidekick, all eyes except Taskmasters. He took this opportunity to study Artemis, he observed her costume, mannerisms, and went over all the information he knew about the girl. Nothing seemed to add up, why would she be in Gotham if she was Green Arrows sidekick, and why would she also be a great archer unless she had been training for years? Nothing seemed to add up and Taskmaster vowed to get to the bottom of it.
"I see you didn't waste any time in finding a sub, can she even use that bow?" Roy asked.
"Yes she can." Artemis said walking up to the aggravated archer. "If you need proof we can start a archery tournament right now."
"She is not your replacement." Aqualad said in a attempt to defuse the situation before it could turn ugly. "We have always wanted you on the team and we have to quota on archers."
Roy shook his head. "I'm not here to join your team; I'm here because I need help." He said while activating the caves hologram screens. "Dr. Serling Roquette, a nano-robotics genius who was kidnapped by the League of Shadows two weeks ago."
"And you want us to rescue her?" Robin asked.
"I already rescued her." Red Arrow turned around and brought up several more screens. "But she was forced to develop these nano-bots called the FOG they can disintegrate anything in their path like concrete, steel, flesh, and bone. They can store raw data from any computer system and deliver the stolen Intel to the shadows, providing them access to weapons, cutting edge science and tech."
"Perfect for extortion, manipulation, and power broking. Yup it sounds like the shadows." Artemis finished casually.
Taskmaster scoffed. "Oh God yes lets all be afraid of the League of shadows." He said sarcastically. "They have such a scary name it's almost as scary as the organization in the Hit-man videogame that calls themselves The organization."
Artemis turned to Taskmaster. "The League of Shadows isn't a joke you idiot they are serious assassins."
"Right…worst case scenario is that their leader tries to hook me up with his daughter like they did with Bat-OWW" Taskmaster was cut off by Batman smacking him in the back of his head. "Dude don't blame me just because you screwed things up with Tali-OWWW!" Robin punched him in the arm.
"That's enough Taskmaster, this is a serious situation." Batman growled.
"Batman's right, the League of Shadows will target her; she's currently working on a Virus that will render the FOG inoperable. I have her stashed at a local high schools computer lab." Roy said as he brought up a holographic picture of the Happy harbor high school.
"If it's serious then we should go and protect the doctor together." Green Arrow said to his sidekick in hopes of mending their friendship.
"Don't you want to take your new protégé?" Red Arrow asked while looking at Artemis.
Green Arrow was about to retort but Batman silenced him with one of his Bat-glares. He knew that the right thing to do would be to suggest the team.
"You brought this to the team so this is their mission, which means it's also her mission." He gestured towards Artemis.
"Fine, then I guess that means you don't need me here anymore." Red Arrow began to walk out of the cave and towards the Zeta tubes.
"Recognized Speedy B06."
"That's Red Arrow B06 update." Red Arrow said right before he was enveloped in the Zeta tubes light.
Taskmaster watched the teen leave and smiled deviously. He watched as everyone left for the hangar bay to get on the Bio-ship, once he was alone he cleared his throat.
"Computer change last entry to Douche bag B06"
"Change accepted, Red Arrow revised to Douche bag B06."
"Man I am such an asshole sometimes…but I'm strangely comfortable with that."
Happy Harbor, August 8, 21:53
"Everything is clear out here." M'gann said over her communicator. She was standing on top of Happy Harbor High schools roof with Superboy, they were keeping a eye open for intruders while the rest of the team protected Dr. Serling Roquette.
"Very good Miss Martian, now link us up, we do not want the shadows intercepting our comm." Aqualad said over his communicator. After a few seconds Miss Martian hooked everyone up telepathically.
"TM take off your mouthpiece so you can join us in the telepathic link." Robin said to his friend who sitting across from him.
"Don't have to since I made a design upgrade." Taskmaster explained as he fumbled with his mask, he pushed a small button on the side and he heard a tiny bit of noise as the gears in his mask began to move causing a layer of lead to be moved inside the mask, essentially opening it up to telepathy. "Just link me up whenever your ready. But I'm closing if we end up fighting a telepath."
"As if working in a computer lab wasn't bad enough I have to listen to teen speak in my head." Dr. Roquette said over the telepathic link. Everyone ignored her complaint and simply kept watch while she worked. Aqualad decided to break the silence.
"The Virus won't be of much use unless we find the weapon, can you find it?" The Atlantean asked as he looked over the doctor's shoulder and observed her work.
"My utility fog is not a weapon its science, brilliant science." Dr. Roquette said proudly.
"There's nothing brilliant about it." Taskmaster said offhandedly as he got up from his seat and began to walk over to the doctor's computer. "All you've done is create another weapon that can be used for the destruction of society; you have nothing to be proud of."
"And who the hell are you to judge me?" The doctor asked as she turned to the teen. "Technology like this paves the way for future development, just like the Atom bomb did in World War two paved way for nuclear research."
Taskmaster shook his head. "You people are all alike; technology like this has nothing beneficial to add to society. In my eyes your invention is similar to the Atom bomb, it was the ultimate corruption of my ideals — science and determination harnessed for destruction. While weapons like guns and tanks can serve humanitarian purposes the Atom bomb had only one objective, kill as many people as possible. Your FOGs only purpose is to steal things and what it cannot steal it seeks to destroy."
"How dare you! I should kick your-"
"Enough!" Aqualad yelled, causing everybody in the room to go silent. "We have enough problems with the League of Shadows without turning on each other; we should all calm down and get back to work."
"My point still stands Kaldur, scientists like her would make cancer airborne and contagious if they could." Taskmaster continued but he was silenced by a glare from Kaldur.
"I think you and Artemis should join M'gann and Superboy on patrolling the outer perimeter." The Atlantean suggested, however by his tone everyone could tell it was an order rather than a suggestion.
"Fine." Taskmaster conceded as he began to walk out of the room, he looked back at Artemis. "Hurry up Blondie we got border patrol.
Artemis bit her tongue and followed the masked teen, leaving Robin and Kaldur behind to protect the doctor. She walked up alongside the teen and they both joined M'gann outside the school watching the perimeter.
"The doctor has started the tracking virus; chances are the League of Shadows will track her here, so keep your eyes open." Aqualad ordered telepathically to the entire team.
Taskmaster looked Artemis; the girl was leaning against the outer wall of the school. The girl was a mystery to the boy, a mystery he planned on unraveling. He planned on questioning the girl but she beat him to it.
"So…what the hell kind of a name is Taskmaster?"
Philadelphia, August 8, 21:57 EDT
Professor Ojo relaxed in his seat on the League of Shadows private plane. He was about to take a sip of complimentary wine when his computer began beeping, he hit a key on his computer and saw that was trying to track him. He opened up a communications link with Sensei.
"Roquette is attempting to track us." He said to the image of Sensei. "But that link is a two way street, I'm sending you her coordinates now."
Sensei stopped his daily meditation to look at the coordinates. "Happy Harbor Rhode island…who do we have near there?" The elderly man asked.
"Cheshire is nearby and I can have both Black Spider and Hook there in no time at all." Ojo answered.
"Send Cheshire in, but have Hook and Black Spider go in case she need s backup."
"Will that be enough sir?" Ojo asked. "The Doctor is not a fool, she would not have attempted to track the FOG unless she was confident we wouldn't be able to touch her."
Sensei considered these words for several seconds. While he was confident in his three best assassins one could never be too careful.
"I'm confident in our main teams ability to neutralize the doctor."
"I'm just saying that it's a weird name, no need to get so defensive." Artemis said in an attempt to salvage the situation. She was currently in the process of learning that Taskmaster had no sense of humor when it came to his hero name.
"I'm not defensive; you're the one attacking me." Taskmaster retorted.
M'gann simply sat back and watched the two bicker like an old married couple. She rarely saw human male and female interaction outside of television and found it fascinating. While this current argument between Taskmaster and Artemis was nothing like the sitcoms or romance movies she watched she couldn't help but find it…exciting. "The suspense is terrible…I hope it'll last." She thought to herself as she watched Artemis deliver her retort.
"I'm just saying it's a weird name. Taskmaster sounds like something you would order on a late night infomercial." Artemis said, causing Taskmaster to get angrier. "New! From the people who brought you the veggie-master and the salad-master we bring you the Taskmaster!" Artemis finished while gesturing towards Taskmaster.
"Like your one to talk, your name is Artemis!" Taskmaster retorted. "Either you're extremely unimaginative or you have a serious hard-on for Greek mythology."
"It's my name." Artemis responded.
"I know it's your name, and I'm saying you were very unimaginative when you picked it."
"No! I mean it's my actual name, as in the name I was given at birth." She finished in a tired voice; she really hated it when people talked about her name.
"Oh…." Taskmaster muttered, for the first time he was completely at a loss for words. "Well…I guess it's a decent first name. But that just means you're even lazier then I thought since you used your actual name as your hero name."
"Since you're so creative, I want to see you come up with a better name." She challenged, this conversation was becoming tiresome, yet she was strangely enjoying the verbal sparring. Getting this guy upset was very fun.
"Let's see…there's Arrowette." He offered but Artemis simply snorted in response. "Fine…since Artemis is the Goddess of the moon and the hunt you could call yourself Huntress it's a-" Taskmaster stopped talking when he saw the blonde girls body stiffen, a untrained eye would have missed her body language but Taskmasters eyes picked up on every single movement her body made. "Is…something wrong?"
Artemis shook her head. "Of course there's nothing wrong, except for the fact those names sucked." She lied, in truth hearing the word huntress leave the boy's lips made her freeze up. For a second she wondered if the Taskmaster knew about her secret, but quickly dismissed those thoughts. There was no way he could have guessed her identity so quickly and she trusted Batman and Green Arrow to keep their mouths shut.
Their conversation was interrupted by Superboy leaping down from the schools roof next to them.
"The two of you talk so loudly I could hear you from across the school." The clone said over their telepathic link. "If you're going to argue you should do it telepathically." He began to walk off to continue patrolling the perimeter.
"Mmmm that boy." Artemis mused out loud, causing Superboy to turn back and look at the girl. He merely turned away and continued his patrol. M'gann sent the girl a death glare.
"You do realize that we can hear you?" The Martian telepathically asked. "We can ALL hear you."
"Oh I know." Was the archer's response. Before M'gann could respond to the girl, Aqualad interrupted.
"The Doctor has found the location of the FOG. Miss Martian prep the Bioship for human use, Superboy and Robin will go out and attempt to stop the FOG while the rest of us protect the doctor."
M'gann brought the Bioship down from the sky and landed it in the schools courtyard. Both Robin ran out of the school and boarded it and Superboy soon followed. The two boys took off leaving the rest of the team behind; unbeknownst to the three remaining heroes a pair of catlike eyes watched them from a distance before finally disappearing into the underbrush.
The three teens continued to watch the main entrance to the school in silence. Taskmaster could practically feel the awkwardness in the air between the two girls; finally M'gann decided to speak up.
"You embarrassed Superboy." The Martian said to Artemis, the archer merely smirked.
"I didn't hear him say anything." She responded confidently. Taskmaster shook his head at the girl's lack of observation.
"I read his body language, he wasn't embarrassed but he was aggravated." Taskmaster said plainly.
The archer glared at the boy. "And since when are you the master of body language?"
"My abilities enable me to copy a person by memorizing their movements, which means my eyes are capable of observing every single movement of the body to even the tiniest detail. When you hit on him he stiffened up his chest muscles and tightened his jaw, he only does those during combat or when he's upset. Since he wasn't fighting a super villain its obvious you're flirting put him off." Taskmaster explained in a bored tone.
"What the hell would you know? I don't see a psychology degree on you." Artemis growled. Taskmaster was about to retort but his Martian teammate beat her to it.
"Must you challenge everyone you meet?" M'gann asked angrily.
Artemis sighed at the girl's naivety. "Where I come from that's how you survive." She had always survived by challenging the people around her, it worked in Gotham North where no kid would mess with her and even thugs in her neighborhood knew to stay away.
"If the two of you are challenging each other for Superboys affections I have an idea." Taskmaster said. "The two of you should get in bathing suits and have a jello wrestling completion, whoever wins gets Superboy. I will have to record it in order to judge and determine the winner so-OWWW!"
Taskmaster rubbed the spot on his head where Megan had just slapped him. The Martian girl gave the boy one of her patented glares.
"Taskmaster if you say anything like that again I will telepathically crush your balls." M'gann said in a casual but dangerous tone.
"Damn…when did you get so violent?" He asked while taking a nervous gulp. The idea of his balls being crushed telepathically caused him to mentally wince.
"Around the same time I realized the best way to get a human male to shut up is to threaten his greatest design flaw." She responded simply. "I also watch you threaten people when you play video games in the cave."
Taskmaster didn't want to say anything else to make the girls angry since he was outnumbered so he decided to leave. "Well ladies in order to avoid further threat to my balls I will give the place a quick patrol and leave you to your girl talk, try not to claw out each others throats while I'm gone." Taskmaster said as he walked away from the two girls. He began to walk around the school and watched for any breach in the perimeter.
Everything seemed fine until he heard a rustling behind him. In one swift motion he pulled out one of his pistols and turned around and scanned the area. The place was completely empty but he wasn't going to be fooled. He activated his thermal vision and found heat imprints on the ground. He looked closely and found them…odd. It almost looked like they were made by a cat but they were too big.
"Guys I found a heat trail that could be human but it could also be an animal. Be on guard because this might be a perimeter breach." He said over the telepathic link.
"We can't take any risks." Aqualad responded. "Taskmaster you pursue the footsteps and Ill protect the doctor. M'gann and Artemis will stay outside and ensure nothing gets in, it could be a diversion to create a breach in our perimeter."
The Team gave their acknowledgements of the order and got to work. Artemis guarded the main entrance while Megan began to fly around the school on continuous patrol. Taskmaster followed the heat trail and found it led to an open window. He climbed through the window and found himself in the school's gym area; he was currently in the room that housed a indoor swimming pool. He used his masks thermal vision to track the heat trail but found it ended at the edge of the pool.
"A cat wouldn't swim which means-" He didn't get a chance to finish that thought because he heard the very soft sounds of footsteps behind him. He turned around and managed to block a strike that was meant for his head, he looked at his assailant and found it was woman in c white mask. Before he could observe his opponent further she leapt away and got into a fighting stance.
"You're a clever boy, your one of the few people in this world who has ever managed to survive one of my ambushes." She said playfully.
Taskmaster chuckled. "I was trained by the very best." He said in an attempt to stall for time, he took in every detail of his opponent and searched his memory for criminals that matched her description. He finally remembered reading up a file in the Batcave computer that matched the girl's description and all the information Batman had gathered on her. "But it's still quite a compliment coming from Cheshire the feline assassin. I'm a little sad I was hoping the league of Shadows would send Sportsmaster. I was looking forward to a rematch with him, since our last fight was cutoff when he ran away like a coward."
Cheshire's eyes widened slightly but it was hidden by her mask. She didn't expect t the boy to know so much about her or her father but she decided to keep her cool. "Sorry to disappoint, you'll just have to deal with me." The seconds those words left her lips she ran at the boy and quickly closed the distance between them.
She darted forward, leapt up in the air and launched a spinning kick at her opponent but he simply rolled to the side. Her kick landed in the empty space that just a moment ago had contained Taskmaster. She looked over to the side and saw Taskmaster enter his own combat stance.
"Guys I have confirmation on an assassin." Taskmaster said over his mental link to the rest of the team. "Unknown if there are any others so protect the doctor."
"Where are you?" Aqualad asked. "I'll send backup."
"I don't need backup for this, just protect the doctor."
Taskmaster mentally cut him off and turned his attention to his opponent.
"You know you don't have a chance little boy." She claimed as she charged at Taskmaster.
"I don't know nothing!" Taskmaster responded right before they clashed in a whirlwind of fists, feet, knees and elbows.
Cheshire pulled on every little bit of Martial Arts knowledge she could recall, but much to her surprise the boy knew all the blocks and weak points of the styles she used. It was almost as if he knew every style, she heard about Taskmasters power but she had refused to believe it. But seeing it herself she began to believe the rumors.
Their fight eventually left the gym and they worked their way into the schools hallways which were deserted. The only things in the halls were lockers and the occasional trashcan. Cheshire decided to pull out a fighting style she had developed herself, it was a mixture of Muay Thai with Wing Chun, flowing from Aikido to Tae Kwon Do. Her strategy worked because Taskmaster was unprepared for one of her kicks and she hit him right in the chest, causing him to be flung backwards and he hit his back against one of the school lockers, leaving behind a sizable dent.
Taskmaster quickly picked himself up and shrugged off the pain in his back. He got into a fighting stance and prepared for Cheshire's follow-up attack. He watched as the masked assassin got into a fighting stance and charged at him once again, the woman used her fighting style once more but this time Taskmaster was ready. He had memorized her movements from earlier and was able to predict her attacks. He easily blocked her blows and used her own fighting style against her. He delivered a kick to her chest that was a perfect copy of the one she gave him and sent her flying into a locker across the hall. She groaned and slumped to the floor but managed to recover quickly.
Cheshire picked herself up and glared at the teen. "Who taught you those moves?" She asked with venom in her voice. "I practiced and developed that fighting style for years!"
"You just taught me those moves when you used them against me." Taskmaster answered, causing the girls eyes to widen. "You also taught me these!" He quickly launched himself at her and the two of them began to throw and receive punches.
"Impossible it took me years to master these abilities." She said, while blocking one of his punches.
"Years for you, but only seconds for me." He answered smugly.
Cheshire tried to keep her attacks unpredictable and random in an attempt to throw Taskmaster off but it was obvious that she was merely holding him off. She had lost the element of surprise and was already suffering because of it. The worst part was that Taskmaster started to talk.
"So I've been thinking about buying a monkey." Taskmaster said as he dodged one of Cheshire's punches and retaliated with a roundhouse kick. "Just think of all the things you could train a monkey to do, there are literally mans true best friend."
"You talk too much, and I'm more of a cat person." Cheshire replied as leapt into the air to deliver an aerial kick to Taskmasters head. The boy surprised her by activated a energy shield on his arm and brought it in front of him. He foot connected with the energy shield and it simply pushed her away. "You really do have some interesting toys…" She muttered.
Taskmaster continued talking as if nothing had happened. "I just think monkeys can serve us in so many ways." He said as he threw his energy shield at Cheshire, she simply ducked under it and retaliated by throwing several poison shurikens. Taskmaster activated his energy claws and used them to slice through the shurikens before they could hit him. "If I had a monkey I would teach it to download porn for me, I estimate this would give me about ten hours of additional free time a day. Of course I would need to find a monkey with a taste in pornography similar to mine…but how hard could it be to find a monkey who likes girls in latex?"
"Do you think this is a game?!" Cheshire asked angrily as she attacked Taskmaster again. This was becoming boring and she wanted to end this quickly.
"Do you play an games?" He asked curiously as he ducked beneath one of her high kicks.
"I don't waste my time with games."
"Well the bad news for you is that I do." He responded as he reared back his fist. "Falcon Punch!" Taskmaster yelled as he delivered a vicious punch to Cheshire's jaw, cutting her sentence short. The strike sent the girl flying backwards and she clutched her jaw in pain, even with her mask on the attack hurt."Games can teach you amazing fighting moves."
Cheshire decided to flee, the element of surprise was gone and she wasn't sure if she could fight this guy on equal ground when all he did was copy her. She got up and ran down the hallway of the school. She threw several packs of round metal balls behind her as well as some caltrops in hopes of slowing her opponent down.
She looked over her shoulder and saw the boy wasn't slowed down in the least. Taskmaster si9mply jumped over the caltrops and continued pursuing her, she knew she couldn't outrun him forever so She turned around and unsheathed her collapsible katana, intent on running the boy through. Taskmaster charged at Cheshire who responded by performing several stabbing attacks with her katana but Taskmaster simply sidestepped them.
"How are you copying me?" She asked angrily as she delivered a vicious stab aimed right at her opponent's abdomen. Taskmaster simply sidestepped it and quickly grabbed her outstretched wrist with his left hand and twisted it, causing Cheshire to scream in pain.
"I'm an observant person." Taskmaster responded as he reared back his right fist back and delivered a punch to the girl's chest. Cheshire was flung backwards and hit her back against a wall. The second she hit the wall a green arrow hit her beneath the arm and pinned her body armor to the wall, the arrows head opened up and released sleeping gas, Cheshire began to cough until she appeared to pass out.
Taskmaster turned around and saw Artemis standing behind him with her bow in her hand. The girl stood there smirking and admiring her shot, she walked up to Taskmaster.
"I had the situation in hand." Taskmaster growled, he didn't like it when people interrupted his fights. "And shouldn't you be helping Kaldur protect the doctor from other assassins?"
Artemis rolled her eyes at the boy. "Yeah I can tell you really had things well in hand." She said while gesturing to the boy's state, he looked a bit beat-up and was panting deeply from his fight with Cheshire. "And for the record League of Shadows assassins work alone when making the first hit, they only work in groups when a target is too well defended for one of their agents."
"You seem to know a awful lot about the League of Shadows…" Taskmaster mused out loud; he walked alongside Artemis as they approached the prone form of Cheshire.
Artemis didn't care for the boys tone one bit, he seemed way too suspicious. "Are you accusing me of something?" She asked angrily.
"It just seems awfully unusual is all." He mused. "You appear out of nowhere with no previous vigilante history and claim to be Green Arrows niece from Star city."
"So what? Do you memorize every single vigilante in the world?"
"Yes." He answered plainly. "I memorize everything about every hero and villain with my photographic memory so that I can master their abilities or at the very least be prepared for them, and not a single bit of information about you has turned up. No new site has reported you, and there are no witnesses to your heroic deeds. "He stated causing Artemis to pause mid-step. "I recognized your arrowhead so I know it was you who saved me that night, and I find it odd that you were in Gotham city when you should have been in Star city."
"Maybe you should be thanking me instead of interrogating me; I did save your life." Artemis said as she leaned down to Cheshire's prone form and pulled out a pair of handcuffs. Taskmaster stood behind her and observed her as she was about to put the handcuffs on Cheshire.
He saw Cheshire's right hand move ever so slightly, and in the blink of an eye he leapt forward and wrapped his arms around Artemis and pulled her back just as Cheshire pulled out a hidden dagger and slashed the space Artemis had previously occupied. Taskmaster landed roughly on the floor with Artemis in his lap, they both looked up and saw Cheshire pick herself up.
"Nice try with the gas arrow but this mask has filters." She pulled out a smoke grenade and threw it on the ground. "It's been fun kids, but looks like we're going to have to play later." Her voice rang out through the hallway. Taskmaster pushed Artemis off of him and activated his masks thermal vision, but there was no trace of Cheshire in the hallway, not even a heat trail.
"Wonderful…" He muttered angrily, he walked over to Artemis and offered her his hand, the girl accepted it and he helped her up. "That was a complete failure, we're going to have to move the doctor and find a more defensible position."
Artemis nodded. "Yeah, we need to move before more show up, let's get going Bassmaster." She said as she began walking away.
"Bassmaster?" He questioned. "So is that what you're going to do now? Just put random words in front of Master?"
"Let's hurry it up Gruntmaster, we don't have all day."
Robin and Superboy had been tracking the FOG for what felt like an eternity. The Bioship glided through the air easily as it followed the trail of the FOGs destruction. Suddenly the computer started beeping and Robin looked at the monitor screen.
Robin activated his communicator.
"Robin to Aqualad, we're over Philadelphia. We've located the Shadows' next target, STAR Labs." He looked at the monitor and it showed a picture of STAR Labs and the building was slowly crumbling. "We're too late, it's completely destroyed and all of the labs secrets are in the hands of the enemy."
"That's not good." Kaldur said over the communications line. "We also came under attack and must move the doctor to a new location; you and Superboy will have to continue on your own."
"Understood." Robin said right as he turned off his communicator, the Boy Wonder turned to Superboy who was relaxing in the seat next to him.
"Looks like its just us, you ready Superboy?"
Superboy nodded. "I'm ready, but do you think the others will be fine?"
Robin let out a chuckle.
"Don't worry about it, Aqualad will keep everyone safe, and even so the rest of the team is competent and strong enough to take care of themselves, whats the worst that could happen?"
Good God I'm sorry you guys but I have not felt inspired to write anything YJ related for a long time and the time-skip as well as the slowness of the episodes is killing me. Just know that I will not be abandoning this story even if the updates come really slowly.
Also the bit in the chapter about the Atom bomb has no political statements in it, I just put it there to show Wally what type of scientist Wally is. In case it wasn't obvious he believes that all inventions should have a humanitarian purpose, something like a bomb only has a violent purpose.
I also need to thank you for the massive amount of reviews you gave me which encouraged me to write this chapter. I would also like to apologize for this chapters messiness since I have no one to correct it, and I also wrote each part at irregular intervals of time so the flow might be weird. Also this is the first time I'm cutting a episode of the show into 2 parts so It might feel a bit awkward.
I will also be answering questions with PMs so if you have a question you want answered please specify in your reviews. Also Ive added a chapter progress thing to my profile so you can know how my work on chapters are going, this way you don't have to leave reviews asking when the next chapter is going to be posted since you can look it up yourself on my profile.
I wont be thanking everyone individually this chapter since there are far too many of you to count, just know that your reviews make me want to write more. Also this site keeps making it harder to post chapter, took me a good amount of time to post this chapter correctly.
As usual please enjoy the chapter and review.
And yes Wally can copy video game ? Because I said so and this is the DC universe, where a guy cant go to the grocery store without dealing with aliens or time travel.