So... when I said I'd be faster...well... I started writing this chapter the week after I finished the last one, but then I stopped, then I hated what I'd written, then my computer was a glitch head. But now I've got a new computer, so I though "It's Christmas! Why the triforce not!" So here you are!
Oh, it occurred to me that I've never really given you a time frame for these events, so here it is:
Now, as this story is sorta/kind AU-ish, I won't give you dates from the cannon story. Just how long it took from point A to point B. Oh, and I have no IDEA how far it actually takes to get from different states from where to where by train, so just disregard it if it's totally wrong. Now without further ado…
Movie night - interrogation: 12 hours
Interrogation - Escape: 4h
Escape - Formation of Plan/ Blue valley stuff: 1.5h
Blue Valley Stuff - Train ride: 6.5h (sleeping, remember?)
Train ride into Metropolis: 2h
Evidence Gathering/ Chase scene: 27 minuets
Train to Gotham: 4h
Evidence Gathering/ Revealing: 1h
The whole Zillah thing: 4h
Total time up to now: 1 day, 11 hours, 27 minuets. Annnnd counting!
Healing from battle: Wouldn't you like to know MWAHAHAHA!
And now you're caught up! Whew, seems like it'd be more, y'know? It sorta makes sense… Whatever. It works.
Part the Third: Shadows
The team woke up on stone cold tables in the middle of the cave. As one, they gasped, sitting up and staring at each other. There were a few seconds of awkward silence, as they realized the positions they were in.
"Uh, guys," Wally stage whispered, "do you realize that this is the same formation we woke up after…"
The room fell into tense silence again; no one was willing to admit what seemed obvious.
"No way guys." Dick said, shaking his head, "That'd be way too good to be true."
"Unfortunately, Robin is correct."
Martian Manhunter and Batman walked into the room. Batman walked past the team wordlessly, pulling up a holographic computer screen. J'onn stood a few paces from the doorframe, and began to speak again.
"What you have witness over the past wasn't a simulation,"
Batman scoffed at the notion of even thinking of doing a simulation again.
"It was real. After the battle, we brought you here to heal. For the past two weeks-"
"Whoa whoa whoa, slow down J'onn" Artemis interrupted, "It's only been, like, two days since we were accused."
"You've been in a coma-like trance for ten days."
The team was floored. M'gann looked like she was about to cry, Kaldur stiffened noticeably, Artemis suddenly found her shoes very interesting, Dick rubbed his temples, Wally pushed his fingers through his already wild hair, and Conner's eyes widened slightly.
"No way." Wally breathed.
"If I may ask," Kaldur started, voice quiet, "why are we here in the simulation room and not in the med-bay?"
J'onn opened his mouth to reply, but was cut off by an exasperated cry of "What do you mean they're we can't see them yet!"
The team looked past J'onn and saw that Batman had crossed the room and was standing in the doorway across from the other mentors. From the reaction on Flash and Green Arrow's face, it appeared that Batman was explaining something. After a couple of seconds, Surprise was the most prominent expression, followed closely by anger. They turned to leave as J'onn started talking.
"As we discovered with Roy and Zatanna,"
"the pain the villainess inflicted upon you was merely physical. She tricked you're brains into thinking you were in pain, and your bodies acted accordingly. However, your minds began to deteriorate after she left. To keep you alive, we put you in temporary comas. The comas were only indented to last for a few days, but they lasted for much longer and, as a final resort, it was decided that I would go into your minds and 'shock' you awake. Now, here we are."
"Oh Uncle J'onn'" M'gann cried, flinging herself at her uncle, but then stopping short inches from his arms, "Wait, are we still under arrest? Oh, I'm sorry, I'll just umm…"
M'gann stepped back as J'onn stepped forward, embracing her in a tight hug. The rest of the team turned away, letting them have their moment, secretly a little jealous.
"No, you are no longer under arrest." J'onn said as he broke the hug, "The league has deemed you punished enough for what you have done."
"But we didn't do it!" Conner exploded, "We were being controlled! Manipulated like puppets! How could you 'deem us worthy of punishment' for something we didn't do?"
J'onn sighed, "Two people are severely traumatized because of what you, albeit unwillingly, did to them. Eight people are dead, eight families grieving because for the same reason. While we understand that you couldn't be help responsible, the cost was simply to high to let you completely free. Until the battle, you would have been put in separate prisons almost no matter what for an undetermined amount of time."
The team sat silently, each processing the new information.
"Recognized: Batman 02, Flash 04, Aquaman 06"
"Hey!" Superboy exclaimed as the names continued to be announced, "Where are they going?"
"We," Man-hunter replied, voice uncharacteristically dark, "have business to attend to. Stay. Here." He then turned and left the room, leaving a shocked team standing in the now eerily empty room.
"You sure this is the place Bats?"
"Then what are we waiting for?"
Superman stepped toward the dull, metal door of the warehouse. He gripped its center with one hand and promptly threw the door aside. The ware house contained a typical interior; boxes lay strewn about, long abandoned machines rusted along the walls. The grey paint was chipping revealing the cement underneath.
As one, the Justice League Mentors stepped into the building. As one they spotted their target.
Flash ran up to her, teeth clenched, angry words sitting on the tip of his tongue begging to be realised. Instead, he threw all his rage, his hurt, all the emotions he'd been feeling for the past two weeks into a punch that landed firmly on her shoulder, and produced a very satisfying crunch.
Said girl, shocked as she was, flew across the room and landed into the wall, producing yet another satisfying sound. As Zillah picked herself off the ground to see her attackers, she had to first roll out of the way of three incoming Bat-a-rangs.
She threw up a shadow shield to block an angry Martian's telepathically thrown machine, but it could not stop the water that sprang from the burst pipe behind her. The water formed a thick rope and bound her. As she struggled, an arrow tip grazed her left check, missing her eye by inches but still leaving a deep cut. Zillah threw a shadow bubble around her, successfully breaking the water rope.
"So," she panted, "you found me eh? I suppose it was a matter of time. How are the brats doing? Are they dea-?"
She was cut off by a Bat-a-rang breaking through her bubble and lodging itself in her arm. Frantically, she pulled it out, and, turning fearful eyes to the livid heroes in front of her, threw it on the ground and disappeared into her silhouette.
"So sorry, but I have to bid you adieu. Like I told your little whelps, I'm not strong enough to even defend myself against you, let alone fight you. So I'm gonna go before you 'make me wish I was dead' or something equally corny. Ba-bye."
Superman chose that moment to turn the lights fully on, while Batman drew more Bat-a-rangs, Green Arrow strung his bow, and the rest of the league got into their fighting positions.
"Nice try." The shadow said arrogantly, and the heroes could just hear the smirk in her voice, "But you've actually given me my escape route. Thanks blue-man."
With that final farewell, the young villainess, still in shadow form, jumped from wall to wall, finally disappearing through the open window on the roof.
Superman and Martian Man-hunter began to fly after her, but were stopped by the steely words of Batman.
"No. It's useless to find her in the middle of the night, in her element."
"But Batman," Green Arrow started angrily.
"We cannot simple allow her to roam free." Interrupted Aquaman.
"We won't." growled the Bat, "What we need to do now is regroup at the watchtower and form a new plan, because this one obviously didn't work."
"Batman is right." Superman agreed, "Not only that, but the kids are awake now. They'll be able to tell us more about this girl. Let her live in her ignorance, she'll only nurse her wounds and cower in some hovel like a mindless animal."
"We can use that time to formulate a stronger plan." Man-hunter continued.
"Then let's go!" Flash shouted, running to the nearest Zeta-tube, "Last one to the Zeta tubes goes on disaster relief with Plastic man!"
"Hey," Robin said after the adults had left, "J'onn said that Roy and Zatanna were here right?"
The team nodded slowly.
"Well, let's go find them!"
Wally shrugged, got off his island, and walked over to friend. Together they started to walk towards the infirmary. The rest of the team followed the duo.
"You just wanna see you girlfrie-Ouch! Hey!"
Hah! you should have seen your face at the beginning! Priceless (i think) Did you really think that I'd make it a simulation?! ha! Nope!
PS: I figured out why I'm taking so long to update! Along with all the reasons stated above, I took a look at my writting schedual and there's only 3 or 4 more chpaters left! The horror! Since this story is like my baby (there isn't a time when I'm not thinking about it) I don't want it to end! But I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.
Till next time, (whenever that may be...)
Review and ...Stuff,
AdenaWolf, sing off!