Author's Note. This story is going to adapt one of the challenges on the SM/WW Fan Archive in its plot but it's going to use the new DCU versions of our heroes. The introduction of Wonder Woman in Justice League # 3 written by Geoff Johns and her interaction with Superman was too good to resist. If you have been reading the new DCU you will know Superman is the tough tank, brash, a diamond in the rough, the social crusader. He is controversial and bright as Clark Kent and slightly standoffish and charismatic as Kal-El, feeling his sense of alienation as the Last Son of Krypton. He has also lost his parents some years now. So he is an orphan all around. Diana is fresh off the boat but very gung ho and the fully trained warrior princess; compassionate but very impulsive and still learning her way. Diana's new origin as the daughter of Zeus may or may not be used. Not because I don't like it, I do, but not sure if it will just complicate what I am focusing on. We'll see. Batman is not the paranoid jerk of before but written more balanced in the new DCU, which is how I see him anyway. The heroes are not embraced as they have been before because really, modern world governments would not really just be that happy to have these people possessing so much power policing them. Martian Manhunter is not in this line up, Cyborg is now one of the original seven.
THE ALIEN AND THE AMAZON
Those were the first words they had said to each other. She had descended onto the scene, looking like some raven haired angel, but brandishing a sword with a skill and relish that left no doubt that she was more warrior than ethereal spirit. All eyes had been riveted on her. His especially. Even as they battled hordes of parademons and then Darkseid himself, Superman had found his attention wandering. He had believed there was no one like him. He had believed he was alone. An alien, the last of his kind, with the power to bend steel, toss tanks and shoot fire from his eyes, feared by the government and hated by the powerful corrupt officials he was bent on bringing to justice.
He was wrong.
Diana. That was what she said to call her.
Heavenly. Divine. Goddess.
Almost ironic how much the meaning of her name could bring up emotion in him. The name of the Roman Virgin Goddess of the Hunt and Moon.
Lara Lor-Van, his mother. Light of Waxing Moon.
Diana's story had been circulating for some weeks now. She was purported to be an immortal Amazon from a place called Themyscira. Blessed by Olympian gods. She had been dubbed as Wonder Woman by the Washington press. She had been called everything from a defender of innocents and exotic goddess to a bloodthirsty pagan and immodest hussy. He knew from his sources the government had been keeping her under strict supervision and he was not sure what they wanted with her. From his experience with them it could not be very good.
He found he could not help but steal looks and wonder. It was not only because she was so beautiful or powerful and eager as he was to join the battle. There was a spark he felt flaring between them as she had turned to look at him for the first time. She seemed as curious by him as he was by her. She had even covered his back during the battle with Darkseid and for him that was a first. Most of the women in his life he had encountered while catching them from falling, shielding them from being attacked, or flying them to safety.
While Green Lantern had tried to impress her and embarrassed himself in the bargain, and Flash had blushed and seemed tied tongued around her, he had kept his head down and done what was required of him. They had won the battle and now they were assembled on the concourse of one of the Defense Bases in Washington waiting for Pentagon officials and the president himself to debrief them on the battle and discuss what was going to happen next.
"Seems the President is grateful," said Flash. "He's a great guy. He'll have our backs. I met him a few times. We might get medals or something for once."
Batman folded his arms and pointed to the large groups of people staring at them from behind the barriers. Some still had their picket signs, but many were taking pictures and just gaping while the media had their cameras rolling. "This is like being in a goldfish bowl. We've done what we set out to do, we don't need laurels for it."
Aquaman said, "You all need to stop running. What we did here today was exceptional. We worked together to save the Earth. They cannot ignore that where they could not meet the threat, we were their last line of defense and we have a stake in this. The planet is our home. We all want to protect it but we can do that best together. Surely you must see that?"
Green Lantern frowned. "So what are you suggesting now?"
"This will probably not be the first or last time we have to face threats like Darkseid. We should not wait for the enemy to strike and then react. We should be prepared. But together."
Cyborg mused, "Like a team?"
"Yes, like a team. Organized and with a contingency plan."
Batman snorted, "If you think they are going to just let us gather and police them, you have another thing coming. They still don't trust us."
"Trust is earned, "said Wonder Woman optimistically. "We make them see we can earn it."
"Easier said than done, "said Batman. "We've all operated among them and spent our lives saving them and they still didn't trust us. Ask Superman. He even battled a powerful alien consciousness that wanted to collect cities six months ago. Didn't stop the propaganda and hate mongering."
Aquaman said, "They can hate but they have no choice right now. The invasion clearly showed them that. We have the upper hand here and I say we take it and use it to our advantage. Hiding will not help us."
Flash sighed. "I hate hiding."
Green Lantern nodded. "Me too."
Wonder Woman stated, "I do not like being kept in a halter like some prized mare either."
Cyborg looked at himself. "I'm not much good for football anymore. I certainly don't want to be a flunky of the government either. Aquaman makes sense. Let us do this on our terms."
Batman said, "If you are serious, this is going to require a base of operations, which probably requires lots of money. It also requires planning which takes time. You have a kingdom to run. Wonder Woman does not have a place to put her head down as yet. Superman, Green Lantern and Flash have full time jobs…"
Green Lantern and Flash turned at that. "How…?"
"Trust me, I know."
Aquaman answered, "We all have commitments. But we can try to make the time for this. If the idea of being told what to do by me bothers you so much, then fine…you take the lead."
"Who says I want to lead?"
"Well, it might be nice for the one who leads to want to lead and not think it a chore. That much I know," said Cyborg.
Superman folded his arms and his lips curved into a slightly amused smile and he stepped back. It was much like when they were arguing about leadership and strategy when they first met Aquaman. He had no interest in wanting to lead anyone and there was enough for him to do as Superman for Metropolis and the world. He was not sure he even wanted to be a part of any team. While he would willingly help, he was not sure getting too close to these people would bode well. Anytime he got close to anyone he put them in danger.
His eyes fell upon Diana once again. She was looking at the men arguing with a crinkle of impatience in her expression. She frowned at the image of herself in the blade of the short sword she carried. She muttered something in her native tongue. He knew many languages, both on and off world. His Kryptonian intellect demanded it. Her Themysicran was a mixture of Greek and some pre-Hellenic dialect but his brain was capable enough to decipher what she was saying.
"Gods, these men squabble for everything. They are worse than Harpies fighting for bread."
He chuckled. She turned at the sound and looked at him after sensing the weight of his gaze. Her blue eyes were like jewels. There was a clear openness and sparkle in them. She titled her head at him. Not sure why he was staring at her or smiling. She touched her cheek.
"Have I something on my face?" she demanded.
He kept his eyes on her, unfazed by her look. "No."
Her cheeks felt, oddly for her, a little warm. "Then why do you keep staring at me?"
"You really have to ask that?"
Diana frowned. "I would not ask otherwise."
She really was what Jimmy would call a newbie or Perry would call greenhorn to the world. It was in many things she said and did since she arrived on the scene. He could tell her the truth. She was stunningly beautiful and it was a pleasure to watch her but he suspected she got that a lot. He'd be no better than Green Lantern drooling over her. The least he could do was maintain some dignity about it.
His eyes drifted to the people with placards over the fence. Instead he pulled a Clark Kent on her. "They think you are going to hell and you don't have a soul. The press call you a golem."
Some Amazons used to call her clay when she was growing up. They still did out of her hearing. She tried not to heed it but it did secretly rankle. She watched the protestors as they waved their hands and chanted insults. "So you were looking at me to see what a golem looks like? Satisfied with the result?"
Oh, he was very satisfied. He replied with a tiny shrug, "I was birthed in an artificial womb. I hardly think I qualify to judge you."
"You were?" She looked curious.
"Yes. It's a Kryptonian thing. And if you look closely, there are placards that say, "ET Scum, Go Home" and "Beware the Demon Eyes" and "We Don't Want To Be Collected"…I don't think those are for you."
Her brows rose and she began, "Oh. But you don't have demon eyes…they are a beau…" Diana pulled herself short and corrected herself hastily, "Um…they are not demonic…So those words are for you?"
"Yes. Unless they sent you from Krypton too?" .
She was about to retort when she saw the twinkle at the back of his eyes and relaxed. She smiled recognizing it as a joke.
"Very droll, Superman. But you…this is your home?"
They looked at each other for a moment. Being feared and misunderstood because of their birth now another thing that they had in common.
She said, "Your people seem to judge others by their looks, race and even religion than their deeds. It is short sighted and very sad."
"They are not all this way, thankfully. Many are open-minded and most are people who simply want to be able to live, raise their kids in peace and grow old together. You'll soon see that…if you stay here, that is."
She remembered the little girl who she shared ice cream with and said pensively, "Just like my home. The outside world is fascinating. At first my people sent me to defend the earth from the oncoming evil of Apokolips, and we thought I would go back when I was done. Now I am seeing there are many reasons to stay, Superman."
"Once you begin to do what we just did here, you will find you could not go back to sitting around. And you can call me Ka…" His words were interrupted by the sound of footsteps. They turned to see coming up the path were a couple of men in military uniforms and leading them was a man with a blond crew cut in a white shirt, cargoes, and jacket.
He shouted, "Diana!"
Her eyes lit up and she hurried to him. "Steve!"
She hugged him, nearly lifting him off his feet like one would a child. "You are safe!"
Steve looked down at her. "Er, yeah. Um, put me down, please." When she did, he coughed and looked at her solicitously. "Are you okay?"
She beamed, "I am fine! Come and meet my new comrade in arms!"
Superman watched her approach, tugging the man's hand like an eager school girl. On his lapel, he could see the security pass and name, Captain Steve Trevor. Trevor. He remembered during the fight the Sergeant calling Wonder Woman this man's girlfriend. And from the way the man looked at Diana, he could see not only worry and concern but deeper caring. Diana herself was looking buoyant.
The others turned at once as well.
"My friends, this is Steve Trevor. He was my travelling companion from Themyscira to your soil and now my appointed liaison between my people and yours. Steve, this is Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern, Cyborg, Batman and Superman."
Steve acknowledged them. "It's an honor to meet you. What you've done for us, for this country, the world, we were lucky to have you on our side." His eyes fell on Superman. "Sorry about the men firing at you before. They were just following orders. Hope you don't hold it against them."
Superman replied, "It's fine. I gathered as much. I hope you don't hold it against us for defending ourselves. We don't follow orders."
"Well, we had to reassess how we see you all and you can be assured no one will try to arrest you here." Steve asked, "Who's in charge here?"
The group looked at each other. Flash began, "We don't have a leader yet…"
"Well, my superiors are inside with the President and they are asking to see you. If you will follow me?"
The moment they entered the meeting room, with a round table and chairs and monitors, Superman's face tightened. Standing along side the President was none other than General Lane and several officials. The President smiled and put his hand out.
"I want to express my gratitude to you on behalf of the American people and the world. You have saved the earth from invasion and millions of lives. We can't thank you enough."
He shook their hands individually and urged them to sit down.
Aquaman said, "What we did was no less than you would. But the fact remains we could do it. We hope you realize we are not the enemy here."
The President acknowledged his words. "We see that now. But you have to admit that it was hard with many of your allies all hiding in the shadows or locking horns with the police and authorities." His eyes drifted to Batman, Superman and Green Lantern. "Trust is a two way street."
Superman spoke up. "Indeed it is. But sometimes it is hard to know who is trustworthy. Especially when the ones who are supposed to be in higher authority and protect the helpless do not and take advantage of them."
General Lane observed sarcastically, "Well, it's hard for the powers that be to trust heroes who destroy even while they save. Are you aware, Superman, between you and this Amazon, you had destroyed in excess of five billion in property damage in the last few months? With this recent escapade, all of you must have done billions of dollars of damage."
Wonder Woman's eyes flared and she pointed her sword at him. "You would prefer to be slaves of Apokolips? Because that is what would have happened if we did not fight with all our might. It was war! Not some mere raid."
General Lane's brows drew together and he said coldly, "If this is how she behaves waving that sword around no wonder people are terrified of her. Trevor, control your woman. The President is in the room."
She looked at her sword a little taken aback. She was so accustomed using it as a tool as much as a weapon, it did not occur to her that people might be alarmed.
Steve said apologetically, "I'm sorry, sir. Diana, please. Lower your sword in the President's presence. I've asked you to sheath it when you're not using it."
She colored and gritted, "I am sorry if I offended anyone…and I am no one's property…!"
The President put up his hands as if to calm the situation. "Look, let us all have some refreshment and take a breath. It has been a tough twenty four hours. I am betting you have not even eaten." He signaled to an official to get some food and drink in. "We have erred on both sides and we are here to try to see how we can broach our differences and try to work together for the benefit of all mankind."
Aquaman said, "It is our hope to form a unit…a team if you will…to try to defend the earth against global threats and protect life and property."
General Lane's brow quirked. "A team? Who will be leading you? What is your mandate? What make you think the American public will accept that? And who will be paying you to fulfill these lofty ambitions?"
"We are hoping we can sit and discuss this with you, Mr. President, and perhaps, the United Nations," interrupted Batman. Lane's attitude annoyed him. He said dryly, "As for payment, believe me, we have an Atlantean King, an immortal Princess, an alien who can press coal into diamonds with his bare hands, and I'm sure we can get some grateful people who are billionaires to sponsor us."
Green Lantern added cockily, holding up his ring, "Not to mention the most powerful weapon in the universe."
The President said quietly but firmly, "Which is why we must discuss this carefully, Green Lantern. You are all very powerful people. While we are happy you want to help, it is asking a lot of us and even world governments to allow you to do what essentially our soldiers and police are trained for."
"We are not asking to replace your law enforcement or defense force; we are telling you we will work with you and within the framework of your local and international laws. Your courts will judge and execute penalties," said Aquaman. "But know this. We are not here to further any government's domestic or foreign policies."
"And what is there to stop you working above or outside the law? We can't just allow them to so as they please, with no restrictions…no one to supervise them…the protestors will have a field day with this one. Can you imagine what they will say? We are now rewarding vigilantes and aliens with the ultimate power," Lane argued. "Metropolis is still reeling from being kidnapped by some alien looking centipede. I nearly lost my daughter. The power Superman possesses means he attracts the most destructive forces in the universe and now we have all of them saying they want to work as a unit?"
Superman's eyes clouded but he stood up and said coolly, "Excuse me."
Wonder Woman blurted out, "Are you going?"
"I have things to do."
Cyborg gave him a mildly disappointed look. "You are not going to help us work out the logistics?"
"Call me when you decide what you want to do. If I can help, I will. Mr President, good afternoon. Batman, you know how to find me."
He flew towards Kansas. His destination was two graves. He checked that no one was around and landed before them.
They had died in an accident and he had not been around to save them. What good was being a hero if you could not save those you love? He remembered thinking that the day they were laid in the ground but then he remembered his father's words.
"You've been blessed with abilities, my son, and it will make you different. Your life will never be like ours because your powers are such that you can save life and truly remold this world with your bare hands. Such is the magnitude of it. Clark, it will be a road of sacrifice because your choice will mean you could become something greater than a name or you could fade into the books as just Clark, the farmer's son."
"But I like being a farmer. I want to be like you."
"And you are. You are the farmer. These powerful hands will sow seeds and bring forth the greatest harvest. Don't run from it. Don't waste it. A man is given his abilities to fulfill his potential. You must fulfill your own and it is not here in Smallville you can do that. Your Ma and I knew that the day we picked you out of that wreckage."
He sighed. Yes, he could not run from it. That was not the kind of man his adopted parents had reared and his own birth parents, Lara and Jor-El, had sacrificed themselves so he could live. He owed them all that. But loving people was hard because losing them was harder. He decided to be a hero and learned that he needed to fortify himself to become one that. In a twisted way General Lane was right. Superman attracted the most destructive forces in the universe. He had vowed to protect those who could not protect themselves. But he was alone in this crusade. He knew it when every day he woke and felt a little stronger. Everyday the world became that more fragile under his fingers. He was destined to be long lived…he might even be immortal. For a young man of twenty five, who should be living and loving and enjoying his humanity…he was restraining himself. He only allowed himself to explode with life in his articles and during battle.
Even his love life had been a mess. Lana Lang and his Kansas University love; they had failed in time. Lois Lane, his rival and colleague from the Daily Planet, Heather Kelly, his former news partner from his old paper the Daily Star… heck any woman, he knew if he showed an inkling of interest as Superman they would give him a chance. He was fascinating to females because he represented the unattainable and he knew he was far from ugly. And truth be told, he was lonely and it was tempting just to do it to not feel so isolated but he could not live a double life. And they had all been put in danger and needed rescuing because of Superman. So he let the opportunities go. Lana was engaged and living in Paris. Lois was happily doing her long distance friends with benefits with Jonathan Carroll. And Heather, he was not sure she was seeing anyone.
The press had dubbed him the Man of Steel.
Yes, he literally had to become one to survive.
One month later
"So, are you joining us?"
Superman turned to face Batman. They were both on a rooftop in Metropolis. Batman had just helped him with a crazed woman called Poison Ivy who had migrated from Gotham to come to Metropolis and who had the power to control plant life. It had a bit surprising for Superman since he had not expected her to kiss him and take control of his mind. Luckily for him Batman, who had prior experience with the eco terrorist, had not been far behind and prepared. Together they had defeated her and gotten her sent to Arkham Asylum.
Superman's brows quirked ironically. "You have finally gotten permission?"
"If you know Aquaman, it's not permission he was waiting on. He was able to hold meetings and convince the UN and Capital Hill that what we suggested was not a matter of choice. But survival. But we had to come to an agreement with them on our mandate and we have permission to begin to build. He's pretty used to getting his own way, that one."
"So I take it, he's going to be running the joint?"
"Even I have to admit, he's pretty qualified to do it. He's got the aptitude for it. Gotham is my first priority. The others seem to agree at least for now. Leadership will be up for the vote in a year's time. If he flunks at it, then we have the choice of another. We just have to build our base of operations and we were hoping you'd help us out."
"I can help you build but I'm not joining." He put his hand up. "Before you ask why, look, you have six very capable and strong bodies who can deal with many threats. If things really get out of hand, then I will come and help. You don't even have to call me. I'll know. You are all Earthlings. Even the Atlantean King and immortal Amazon princess. I'm the alien. I'm the one that troubles them the most. It might be best I'm kept on your reserve list."
Batman said calmly, "If that is how you want to justify it. Fine. Reserve list you will be. We will be looking around to expand the roster in time…so don't be surprised if you see an alien or two on our regular roster."
Superman narrowed his eyes at him but asked, "On whose soil will this base be built?"
"It won't be on soil. It will be in space."
Superman blinked. "Excuse me?"
"Right over the earth. The plans are for a Satellite space station type base. That way we monitor off world threats as well as the Earth and we remain on neutral…space."
"That will cost a bomb. Who will be funding this venture? Because if the government has a stake in it, we are no better than their pawns."
"We have a list of independent benefactors."
"They have to be very wealthy ones." Superman gave him a meaningful look. "Multi-Billionaires."
Batman did not twitch or move a muscle. He said calmly, "The king and princess are very generous with their wealth. Not to mention Green Lantern will be getting us some off world equipment donated from Oa and Flash and Cyborg will be lending their scientific expertise regarding the technical side of things. And we have the likes of Steve Trevor championing our cause. He has been appointed official liaison between us and the government."
"Ah, I see. He actually believes in this?"
Batman's lips twitched. "It seems Wonder Woman has been convincing him that our mission is a sincere one. Not a difficult task judging from the way he looks at her."
Superman gave a little snort at that but noted wryly, "So I am the brawn?"
He retorted, "You are only the brawn if that is all you want them to think you are."
"And you, what does a mere human with detective skills offer?"
"I keep them grounded and focused. We have some big egos there if you haven't noticed."
"And who keeps you grounded and checks your ego?"
He smiled. "Touché." He turned to leave. "We gather near the Ellipse in Washington on Saturday for the ground-breaking ceremony."
" I thought you said that we were not building on the ground?"
"That is where one of the official teleporter pads will be located. We start at 10 am. Hope to see you there." Batman sent out his grappling hook and leaped off the building, vanishing into the darkness.
There was a gathering of the Head of the UN Security Council, Secretary of Defense, several Pentagon staff and selected members of media houses around the world. The gathering was an unprecedented one. It was the beginning of a new alliance of humans and all those deemed meta. It was the first step in the creation of what they were calling a Justice League. The choice of venue was the Ellipse in Washington, DC.
"Boy, this is a dream," uttered Jimmy Olsen as he stood with Lois Lane behind the press line and watched the heroes line up with the officials. He focused his lens on them and clicked. "However you managed this, Lois, my hats off to you. It's MET TV, CCN and the Times, Post, Herald, TIME and NEWSWEEK…big guns here."
Lois' eyes fell upon her father, who was giving her a grim look. "He did not want me here. He thinks my association with these heroes puts me in danger. But I called in a favor or two."
Lois smiled as she saw a tall, blond uniformed man stopping climbing out of a car and with him was none other than Wonder Woman. They were being led past the cordon. "There."
Jimmy blinked. "You know Wonder Woman?"
"No, silly. Steve Trevor. Hey, Steve!" Lois pushed along the line and tried to catch his eye.
Diana heard her and stopped. "Steve, that woman is calling you."
His eyes lit up. "Lois!"
"Who is Lois?"
"She's an old friend. We both grew up on army bases and met when our Dads were stationed in Japan." He waved at her and waited until she came close. "Lois Lane! Hey, you made it! How are you, Mad Dog?"
She chuckled. "I'm fine, Zipper. They still call you Zipper, right?"
He grinned. "Not for a while."
Her brows rose. "I'm impressed." Her eyes drifted to Wonder Woman. "I am guessing you found someone who is responsible for this miracle?" She smiled at Diana with a knowing grin. " Hello, there, I'm Lois. Love your outfit. Jimmy, dear, do come and get a snap of the princess and her beau. Your Highness, who are you staying with in Washington?"
Steve gave her a warning look. "Lois…"
Diana's brow crinkled. But she said politely, "Hello, I am Diana." She blinked as Jimmy took a shot of her and Steve. "I am staying in a hotel. My people are hoping to have an Embassy set up in Washington."
Steve gently rested his hand on the small of her back. "Lois, we have to go. We're late as it is."
"Oh fine. But I expect to get some dirt from you."
"No dirt from me. You got this invite. We're even."
"We're only even if I get pass this cordon. Remember who got you out of that mess in Okinawa?"
He grinned. "I'll see what I can do."
He excused them and they moved on.
Jimmy sighed. "Man, she's so hot. Lucky dog. Wonder if they are dating?"
Lois replied, "Hmm, yeah, hot. Helps one walks around in a swimsuit, I guess. I don't know but all the tabloids are speculating about them. Be nice if old Zipper was not so coy."
"Why do you call him Zipper?"
She grinned. "There was a time Steve Trevor could be said to be able to get any woman out of a dress."
"Any woman?" He gave her an inquiring look.
She shrugged, "We got drunk one time and made out. Never got the chance to go farther. Not a bad kisser if I recall. Anyway, you got a nice shot. Perry will love that one." She craned her neck. "I don't see Superman yet. Where is he?"
Jimmy teased, "Got that one on one interview you wanted?"
Lois flushed. "I'm not interested in Superman. I have Jonathan and…"
Jimmy shrugged. "Sure. He's no hotter than Wonder Woman. That tight suit showing off his biceps and pecs…That pretty boy face that could rival those on the silver screen…I mean he did make many popular online polls as one of the most beautiful faces of the year…The only reason he did not make People was because the Government was pissed with him. That tall, dark haired, strong, silent type make all women go weak in the knees…including you, Lane. I'm just wondering how is it you dragging your feet on asking him out. You and J.C. aren't exclusive and you always go after what you want. Not letting the General stop you still?"
She folded her arms and said crossly, "Hey, my father couldn't stop me from doing anything."
Jimmy cut her off and pointed to the air. There was the flash of a red cape. "He's here. Maybe you'll get your chance to annoy Dad today."
They watch Superman land and join his colleagues. There were screams and shouts of his name from the press. He only gave them a brief nod. He still was very evasive when it came to giving sound bites and interviews. In fact, he had made it clear he was not going to be the pet project of any media house. He let his actions speak for him. He did not need a PR machine.
He stepped up quietly behind the group. They were all listening to the speeches. The Secretary of Defense had just left the podium and had given the microphone to Steve Trevor. Waiting to follow him was Aquaman and the President of the Security Council of the UN.
"So what did I miss?" he asked softly.
Cyborg suddenly turned in surprise. "You came."
Flash looked pleased. "See, I knew he would come. You owe me ten bucks, Lantern."
Green Lantern folded his arms. "Yeah, yeah, you'll get your money. About time you show your face, Blue Boy. You missed nothing much. Trevor is doing his let's play nice speech but it's really cause he hearts the Amazon. Aquafresh goes up next."
Wonder Woman who was at the front of the group with Batman turned to frown at Green Lantern when she heard their whispering. "Hera, stop making noise…Oh."
Her brows rose in surprise to see Superman.
Batman simply nodded at him.
The speeches did not take long and the ground was broken to show where the teleporter would be built.
There was going to be the usual picture taking and handshaking and an adjournment inside the Visitor's Pavilion for refreshment before the team left to officially start construction. Lois and Jimmy got their chance thanks to Steve to get in with the handful of select media.
She was going to head straight for Superman when her father's gruff voice sounded, "I see you still can't help yourself..."
She rolled her eyes. "Good to see you too, Dad."
The General's eyes worked out her trajectory. "He's bad news, Lo."
"Oh, come on Dad. He saved my skin."
"Your skin would not need saving in the first place if the likes of him…them…were not here."
"Look we're not going to start that here. You all came to an agreement to work with them for the greater good."
"They agreed. I am following orders."
She rolled her eyes pushed Jimmy forward. "Later, Dad. Come on, let's grab him before that floozy from the Herald with the double D cups does."
Jimmy teased. "Can't handle a little competition?"
She went up behind the six foot three frame of the Kryptonian and said, "Well, hello stranger."
The Kryptonian turned around."Miss Lane. Olsen. You're two get around, don't you?"
"Well, wherever there is a story worth telling we do," she replied smiling. "So can I ask you some questions?"
"What would you like to know?"
"We haven't seen you much this last month with these heroes during the meetings and there was speculation that you were not going to join them, I take it that is not the case now?"
"I am here, aren't I?'
"So you are officially with this Justice League?"
"Isn't that essentially the same question as before?"
Lois crinkled her brow. Boy, he was still as evasive as ever. "Okay. What do you think of your team?"
"What do I think?"
"Yes, sure. They are quite a colorful crowd. Do you see eye to eye? What are they like? You approve of the sea king as your leader?"
Before he could answer there was a loud crash. Everyone's eyes widened as something came flying across the room and crashed into the buffet table. It fell in an awkward heap.
The sound of Steve Trevor's reprimanding voice could be heard, "Diana! It's only a mascot! It's a member of staff for the Center to amuse kids when they come in."
She put her hands to her hips and scowled unconvinced. "A mascot? It sneaked up behind you and tried to put you into a vice."
"He was hugging me to take a picture. He's harmless."
"Harmless? Then why is it sneering?"
Steve sighed and looked to the heavens for patience and went to see if the man was okay. The Center staff were already helping him up and sitting him down. They helped him take off the head of his Majestic Eagle costume. He looked dazed and there was blood trickling out his nose.
"Did a truck hit me?" He groaned with pain as he tried to move his arm.
Superman, at one glance, said, "That's broken. His nose too."
Lois put her hand to her mouth. "Whoops."
Jimmy began to take pictures. "This is sick. Hehe. When you think nothing of interest is happening Wonder Woman saves the day."
General Lane could be heard hissing to Steve, "You'd best be sure he does not sue our asses off, Trevor. I told you to rein that girlfriend of yours in. She only causes incident after incident."
"She's just a bit impulsive. She did not know…Look, we need to get an ambulance."
Diana's face reddened a bit as she realized there was a human under the costume. "I did not know. I am sorry, sir. I thought you a threat." She tried to get close to touch him and the man stiffened and cried, "Keep her far from me!"
Steve said to her, "Diana, please. Step back."
Green Lantern guffawed. "This is sweet. I thought I was going to fall asleep for a minute."
Flash gave him a look. "Hey, this is no joke."
Cyborg folded his arms. "Ah, poor Diana. She's mortified."
Superman stepped up and said, "I can fly him to the hospital in no time. No need to call the EMTs."
Steve gave Superman a look of gratitude. "Thank you. But we can't send him alone and …"
"I'll stay with him and make the necessary calls and get him settled in."
Aquaman nodded approvingly at Superman. "That would be best."
Superman looked at the man. "May I?" The man nodded and very gently he was scooped up and flown out.
There was an awkward silence. The media continued to click away and roll cameras and the staff began to try to straighten the chairs and table and clean the food off the floor.
Aquaman wisely pronounced, "The League has a lot of work to do. I suggest we get to it."
Green Lantern murmured, "Thank god. Thought we'd never leave this group of stiff necks."
The core module of the base was already built and ready for launch. It was able to fly itself, place itself in orbit and only needed Green Lantern and Cyborg going in to ensure it was stable and was powered up with solar panels and fuel cells and docking facilities were in order. The finished satellite/station would eventually sit in geosynchronous orbit some 22,300 miles above Earth.
The others went to the huge industrial hangers belonging to Wayne Tech Industries somewhere in the middle of New Mexico. Other modules were still being worked upon. When the modules were finished Superman, Green Lantern and Wonder Woman would be able to transport them and help in the physical assembly of the construct. The Watchtower, as it was going to be called, would have a Monitor Womb, which simply was a state of the art communications set up, where members could monitor Earth for trouble; there would be training and simulation rooms, an armory, laboratory, infirmary, hangers for spacecraft, habitat areas, meeting rooms, a galley, and holding cells.
Wonder Woman was frowning at a television monitor while the others got into the technical side of things with the engineers and mechanics. The sod turning ceremony had made the news but it had been over shadowed by her faux pas and networks kept showing it over and over. It had become a bit of a joke to spoof as well. The comedians were putting Captain Trevor in place of the mascot and him and Wonder Woman as man and wife or as the Amazon nation versus the United States.
"So if you caught the news yesterday, you might have seen this scenario play out."
An actor dressed in military uniform was bent over the lap of a very buxom actress in a tacky looking Wonder Woman costume being paddled with the blade of a short sword.
"So do you submit to the Amazonian way?"
" Yes, yes! Hit me harder. Anything for boobs, bondage and the pursuit of a fight."
She barked at the television, "I never hit him! Amazons are not like that! Stop lying!"
A voice sounded behind her. "They can't hear you, you know."
She turned to see Superman behind her. She gave him an exasperated look. "I know that now. But what they are saying…! Such…such… lies!"
"Satire. Have you not read plays by Greek philosophers and writers? Socrates, Plato and Aristophanes? I am sure being Themysicran you have."
She stopped and frowned. "I have."
"It's the power of ridicule using exaggeration and irony. Nothing new. Don't pay any mind to it."
She looked at the screen with a guilty flush. "I do not care for myself but I think Steve is vexed with me. Again. I always seem to embarrass him and now he is the object of their jests."
"If it helps, every single one of us has been made the butt of jokes on these shows too."
"Sure. Even Aquaman and Batman. The fish and overgrown rodent jokes are endless. As for Trevor, he seemed fine when I talked to him. The injured gentleman has decided not to sue. I assured him you were, in fact, only trying to protect the Captain."
Diana let put a breath of relief. Cyborg has explained to her what suing meant and she knew she had caused quite a bit of chaos since she arrived in Man's world some months ago. She was trying her best to not act on impulse. It was just that it was part of her warrior's training to be alert and react to anything she deemed as a threat. Now she was learning with it came responsibilities her trainers never even taught her about.
"I…thank you. Gods, I am going to make a terrible Ambassador, aren't I?" She clenched her fingers. "I will be damned if my mother is right about this. She said I was too young and inexperienced."
It was the opening to ask her more. So tempting.
He studied her beautiful, mollified face and said woodenly, decision taken, "Excuse me. I have things to do..."
Like avoid her like the plague.
Diana watched him walk away. She blinked. How mercurial he was. One moment he was as considerate as could be and now he had suddenly walked off on her. Combined with her current emotions concerning Steve and seeing herself mocked on TV, for the first time in her life, she remarked, "Hera, men; what odd creatures they are. How does one begin to understand them much less live and work with them?"