Chapter One: Elsewhere
The Team stepped into the Zeta Beam transporter, ready to teleport to their next mission. The transporter purred and hummed, and suddenly, a flash of purple light appeared, dancing around their heads.
"Um…did anyone fool around with the particle accelerator of the Zeta tubes?" Kid Flash asked as a swirl of fluorescent color engulfed them.
"Not that I know of," Artemis answered, gripping her bow tightly.
"We shall all stay calm!" ordered Aqualad, grabbing Rocket's arm with one hand and Robin's with the other. "But we must remain together at all cost."
The barrage of light ended, the colors melting away to reveal a new location: Times Square.
"We're in New York City like we're supposed to be," said Robin, gazing at their surroundings through his domino mask, "but everything is different." The billboards advertised nonexistent products, and the stores were all unfamiliar.
M'Gann's eyes began glowing. "You're right. None of the civilians know about the Justice League!"
Whipping his head around wildly, Wally shouted, "You mean we've traveled to the future? Or maybe the past?"
Zatanna stood next to a newsstand, staring at the newspapers and magazines on display. She picked up one copy of the paper and showed it to her teammates. "This is going to sound cliché or something, but look at this headline, and look at the date."
"We're in an alternate universe," Robin stated calmly.
"Oh, are we?" Artemis asked.
"Batman has some theories that there's a multiverse out there." He gestured to the sky. "Each dimension has different variations at some point in the timeline. The thought is that they all originated from a single point, but some cataclysmic event caused each one to diverge."
"If Batman wasn't Batman, I would think he was crazy. Actually, this is crazy!"
Artemis whacked Wally on the back of his head with her bow. "Get serious! We're stranded in another dimension with no idea how to get home."
"We should find the native superheroes to this dimension. They will surely help us in our goal of returning home," Aqualad suggested.
"Don't we have to fight them before we team up?" Superboy asked, "Shouldn't we find out more about them first?"
"You don't have to fight," explained Robin. "It's just a quick way to get to know whoever you're teaming up with. It's either that or helping them defeat an enemy, whichever is more convenient at the time."
"Are you sure?" Rocket frowned. "I'm with Superboy. I've always heard that it's obligatory to fight an unknown hero when you first meet. How do you think Superman and Icon met? It's fight, then team-up."
"I've been at this the longest! I think I know proper team-up etiquette." Suddenly, Robin glimpsed something out of the corner of his eye and performed a back flip. A large blast of white-blue energy landed directly in the spot where he had just been standing.
The Team looked up into the sky, where a man in a red and silver metal suit was hovering. "I'm with the girl!" he shouted down at them. "You always fight unknowns. And then when you're fighting, everyone explains their lengthy back stories, and afterward, we team up and take down the giant killer robots!"
"I'll take the robot!" Superboy shouted, propelling himself off the ground and hurtling into Iron Man at full force. His momentum carried Iron Man with him, and they flew through a window into an office building.
"Hey! I'm not a robot! What does everyone have against robots?" Tony released the helmet on his suit, revealing his goateed face to Hulk Junior. Who else leaped tall buildings in a single bound? "Listen, I heard you talking, and I know you're the good guys. Don't worry, I am too, and I can help you get back to wherever you came from."
Superboy jerked his head towards the window. "Okay. Fly us back down there."
"Inventing interdimensional travel is now number five on my list of priorities."
Glaring, Superboy crossed his arms over his S-shield.
"Fine, fine, number three."
Superboy continued glaring.
"Come on. You can't expect me to just drop everything for you! I'm busy discovering new ways of supplying renewable energy to the world." Grabbing Superboy by his armpits, Iron Man lowered them to the ground, where they rejoined the other teens.
"We're done fighting!" Superboy called to his teammates.
"Welcome to Avengers tower!" Iron Man announced, gesturing around at the skyscraper. "It used to be Stark tower, but all of the letters except A fell off. I might fix it at some point, but I kind of like it this way."
"Are the Avengers your superhero team?" Kid Flash asked, looking around at all of the advanced technology around them.
"Yes, but we're on a hiatus right now, until the next big threat." Machines whirled around him, stripping off the Iron Man suit. There was something unnecessary about wearing a clunky iron suit all the time.
"So, if the world needs you, they're going to have to wait for you to get organized first?"
Tony bristled and decided to change the subject. "I located you guys because my scanners picked up a sudden influx of unknown energy emanating from your location in midtown. Do you what it was?"
"Zeta Beam technology," Aqualad offered, "But none of us know enough about the underlying technology to even explain it, let alone recreate it."
"This looks like a job for the Avengers!"