| MOUNT JUSTICE
| September 6th, 10:15 AM
The cowl is off, as is Robin's mask. Right now, they are just Dick Grayson and Bruce Wayne, two painfully vulnerable humans. The array of machinery hooked up to the younger boy's body is a blindingly obvious reminder of that fact.
Bruce is not a man of many words, and the med bay remains silent. Instead, he gently touches Dick's hand, so small within his own. From just a glance, Bruce can tell that Dick has lost an unhealthy amount of body weight.
How could he have let this spiral so far?
From the moment Dick collapsed in front of the League, Bruce feels it: an ominous break in the normalcy of their lives, or as much normalcy as one can get while running around as a masked vigilante.
Chaos erupts in the league room, too many people moving at once in too much of an uncoordinated fashion.
Robin's team rushes to his side in an instant. They are good kids, but completely unhelpful, blocking off Robin from the attention he actually needs. Ultimately Bruce is the one who takes charge, ordering Hal to help transport Robin to the med bay where the most basic treatment and tests can be conducted quickly before a transfer to a more appropriate facility. In few hours, the full League will reconvene to plan their next move after taking into account the recent crisis in the states and the new information of the potential jailbreak, but until then, everyone is ordered to cool their heads.
There is nothing worse than making decisions fueled only by emotions, and no one in the league could claim to be emotionally uninvolved. Out of all the sidekicks, Robin has known them the longest, and as heroes, they can't help but care when even a normal boy collapses in front of them let alone one they have known for years.
He orders Robin's team out first; they had done their part and needed rest more than anything else. One by one, the rest of the League members who were present also dispersed to manage their own affairs and even the more concerned ones eventually left to give Batman some space.
"Batman is really amazing," M'gann says. "I can't believe he's so calm."
Superman, their supervisor for the day, overhears the gossip. "No," he interrupts, "I'm willing to bet he's the most unsettled out of any of us, he just has a different way of showing it."
And really, it's infuriating when Clark, as dense as the Kryptonian was at times,notices his distraction.
"Batman," Martian Manhunter's voice comes through clearly from his communicator.
"Are the results of the new tests in yet?" He asks, not looking away from Dick's sleeping face.
"No, but I have found something of interest."
"What is it?"
"It is as Robin predicted. Victor Fries has petitioned to be considered legally sane and removed from Arkham Asylum in favor of Belle Reve. The court trial is set to take place on September 9th."
And already, the world continues to turn madly on, refusing to give Bruce any pause. Not for his parents, not for this, not for anything. He's found early on thatthat is how reality worked, and the only thing he can do is keep as much of a steady grip on the situation as he can.
He finally lets go of that small hand in favor of grabbing his cowl once more. "Call the league to reconvene," he orders.
"When is Batman going to let us see him?" Wally complains, glaring at his half eaten chocolate bar, a peace offering from his uncle. The waiting room in front of the med bay is chilled like an icebox in comparison to the desert they just escaped and the chairs are uncomfortable, but the speedster stubbornly slouches on his chair, trying to find a more comfortable position.
"Not anytime today, I bet," Barry tells him with an exasperated sigh. And then in a quieter tone, "Wally, you should go home, your parents haven't seen you in days. They're probably worried by now."
Artemis is already gone, having taken the same suggestion just a few minutes earlier. He's tempted to do the same, so very tempted to just eat away his worries and crash on a real bed for the first time since the mission, but he's been such a horrible friend, not noticing how bad the situation really was, not saying enough, not doing enough.
"I'll call them," Wally compromises.
The doors of the med bay open just as Wally whips out his cellphone, and Batman walks out, face blank. "Flash, watchtower, now," is all he says.
He pays no attention to the rest of the waiting team, but Wally refuses to leave it like that. He rushes to intercept Batman, blocking his path. "What's the deal? Is Robin okay?"
Batman stops, narrowing his eyes at Wally's obstinacy, but he doesn't begrudge the team the news. Nor does he pad his words. "We don't know," he starts. It's an unpromising diagnosis. "What we do know is that his liver function has sharply decreased and his body is having severe chemical abnormalities. He'll need to be transported to a better medical facility for further diagnosis, but with the latest incident, the hospitals have been in a disarray."
"But can't you do something about it? Aren't you freaking Br–"
"…Batman," Wally corrects himself.
"I've made arrangements," Batman says in a clipped tone, and begins to walk away again. "Get some rest, you won't be useful to anyone if you're tired. And that's an order, Kid Flash."
"At least take a shower, kiddo, you reek," Barry adds, briefly patting Wally on the shoulder before chasing after his colleague.
| GALAXY BROADCASTING SYSTEM
| September 6th, 11:45 AM
"This absolutely was not the work of any ordinary terrorist," Gordon emphasizes his point by placing both hands on the desk and elevating his stature. "Never has such an attack been made, and for good reason! It's impossible! Cutting off all forms of communication? The Internet, the satellite radios, and even private lines? Absolutely impossible, with human technology."
"So what actually are you suggesting, Mr. Godfrey?" The anchor asks.
"Isn't it obvious?" Godfred makes a vague gesture to the ceiling. "The answer is right in front of our eyes, or above us, to be technical. It's the Justice League."
"The Justice League?"
"Of course. Who else has the technology, the resources, to pull off such a stunt? And they're right there! Amongst all our satellites and communication lines, poised perfectly to attack! And we're just letting them."
"But Mr. Godfrey, the Justice League has long been a symbol of…well, justice. What would be their motive for such a thing?"
"I don't claim to know everything," he replies haughtily, "but perhaps the 'Justice League' may not be as friendly as the claim to be. Where's the transparency? Hiding up there in their little watchtower with their little secrets. When are they going to explain what they've been doing during this little crisis? Hmmm? How long are we going to accept no comment as an answer?"
He stares into the camera, a slightly wild look in his eyes. "Oh I know what you're thinking, good ol' G. Gordon's lost it, how could anyone hate Superman? He's a hero! But ladies and gentlemen, let's not forget, Superman isn't a human! He's a kryptonian! Martian Manhunter? Even his name makes it obvious! Not everyone in this hero party is a human. Some are mutants, outcasts! Just whom are they heroes for? How do we know we can trust them with the best interests of us normal humans?
"Open your eyes! Don't be blinded by their so called 'heroism.' Consider it, before it's too late."
| September 6th, 11:45 AM
"This is absurd," Clark says, shutting off the news broadcast.
"Iris always did say Gordon was missing a few screws," Barry comments half jokingly, half grim. The thought of being considered an enemy of the people he protects is something he does not want to entertain.
"His fear is not completely unfounded," J'onn reasons. "The watchtower did indeed play a role in the crisis."
"…wait, we did?" Captain Marvel jolts from his seat, a look of surprise on his face.
"Yes," the Martian says, then turns to his cowled companion. "Batman, I think it's time you fully explain the situation to everyone."
Batman nods, typing a few buttons on a hologram to bring up a map of Bialya. "A few weeks ago, we began to detect an anomaly in the Bialyan desert: Zeta-beam radiation from non-League sources. From what the team reports, Queen Bee appears to be in contact with a highly advanced weapons dealer in possession of Zeta technology. Their latest exchange," a few more keystrokes, and a hologram replica of Superboy's new sphere appeared, "was this. We have managed to apprehend it, but the source of the design and technology does not appear to be human."
"That's interesting and all," Hal comments, "but what does this have to do with a mass communications shut down in the United States?"
The hologram picture changed again, this time to a picture of Robin in the med bay. "Sometime during the mission, the team was separated and Queen Bee managed to gain possession of Robin, taking control of him long enough to force him to hack into several networks, including ours, and start the crisis with the help of Bialya's technology."
"Batman, are you telling us that a thirteen-year-old boy shut down the entire US Communications network?" Zatara asks, appalled. "Why would you even teach him to do this?"
"I didn't," Batman replies dryly. "He figured it out with his own skills."
A frightening silence follows afterwards.
| MOUNT JUSTICE
| September 6, 12:00 PM
"It doesn't look like Red Tornado will let us in the med bay anytime soon," M'gann comments as she glances back at the doors. They are still closed, and Red Tornado has not moved an inch from his original location since he has swapped positions with Superman as their supervisor.
"Can you contact him mentally?" Wally asks.
M'gann shakes her head. "He's still asleep."
Wally sighs, running a hand through his hair. Waiting, he realizes, is an almost painfully boring activity. He has, in fact, taken a shower, and with M'gann's coaxing, his new waiting location is on a warm couch in their break room rather than the freezer of a waiting room. The television, however, provides no entertainment. News programs are all that appear to be on, chattering away at wild theories Wally has no interest in. He already knows the truth.
Superboy takes the remote, changing the channel to one with no signal. For once, Wally does not complain.
M'gann observes her teammates, looking between the blank screen and the disgruntled faces of the two boys. Aqualad is there too, in his own separate couch seat, looking equally solemn. "I'm going to make some cookies," she declares, attempting to clear out some of the gloomy atmosphere of the room.
No one responds. Not even Wally bites at the conversation of food. M'gann sighs, and retreats into the kitchen
| September 6th, 12:10 PM
The meeting manages to move on from the issue of Robin's involvement with the crime to other matters of security. The atmosphere becomes tense, and the way some league members occasionally glance nervously at the image of the video monitor of the bedridden sidekick does not escape Batman's attention. Of course, no one holds the boy at fault for his actions, but the crime has still been committed, and it will linger in Robin's record permanently.
Eventually, the meeting begins to draw to a close.
"What will we tell the press?" Green Arrow finally asks the question on everyone's mind.
"If we tell them, I doubt it'll be an easy story to believe," Black Canary responds. "And Robin will be put under the spotlight, which with his condition...Batman, what exactly is his condition?"
"I don't know for sure," Batman repeats for the second time that day. Already, he is growing tired of that phrase. "It's not something that can be diagnosed with just the basic medical tests, I need more time. But as it is…"
"He's dying," J'onn finishes.
| September 6th, 1:00 PM
Lex hadn't expected his colleague's half-baked plan to work so well, but he supposes once in a while, villains could get lucky too. Unfortunately, the airports are still a mess from the accident, but occasions like these are precisely why he owns a private jet. Money is the ultimate convenience.
"We're ready to leave, sir," Mercy informs him.
He hums in acknowledgment, closing his suitcase with a satisfying click. Lexcorp stocks have been steadily increasing ever since his quick reaction to the security issue, yet another unexpected windfall for their plans. And from here, their web can only grow while the heroes fumble to regroup both internally and externally. He writes a mental note to himself to sponsor Godfrey more in the future. If nothing else, that man has zeal.
He adjusts his tie, the final touch to perfect his immaculate appearance. "Now then, let's see if our friends from Rhelasia can't be brought to see the light."
A/N: Just a small detail, Galaxy Broadcasting System (GBS) is one of the biggest news stations in the YJ universe. I was going to make up an OC but then Gordon Godfred appeared in season 2 and he was perfect for the role so I plugged him in here. Wally's aunt also works as a news anchor for it, if you guys squint in the episode for cameos :)
As some of you have noticed, I've sorta been drifting from the Young Justice fandom since all the breaks started again. Nonetheless, it's Dick Grayson's birthday in the YJ-verse (…even if he's kinda out of action in this chapter) and one of my friends requested an update as an early Christmas present so I somehow got the willpower to start writing this fic again. Sorry for the delay!
…is anyone still out there?