A/N: Hi guys! This is a story that kicks off my Tales of Diamond Earth universe (see my profile for more information). You will be seeing more stories from this universe in the future, but for now...Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I'm saying it once for the entire story: I do not own either Justice Leage or Teen Titans.
TALES OF DIAMOND EARTH
Justice League/Teen Titans: Origins
Prologue: New Year
New Year's Eve, 1999. The end of a millennium. The beginning of a new age. The dawn of an era marked by the rise of the second generation of superheroes, the likes of which have not been seen since the disbanding of the Justice Society in 1977.
As millions of people over the world celebrate the turn of a thousand years, others make it their duty to ensure that nothing mars this historic day.
In Metropolis, reporter Clark Kent is onsite at a massive turn of millennium ceremony, covering the event with colleagues Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen. Under his casual clothes lies the costume, marked by the iconic S, that is always ready to be worn when it's needed.
In Gotham, a caped crusader watches over the city, keeping a sharp eye out for crime with a younger female at his side. Mysteriously, billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne excused himself from a social event not two hours earlier, and university student Barbara Gordon is missing from her dorm.
In Central City, a red blur zips past everyone and everything as it chases easily after a thief's getaway car. People barely have time to say the Flash's name before he's apprehending the crook and flashing a winning smile at the camera.
None of them knows that on the stroke of the new year, and the new millennium, everything will change.
There was only one word to describe the scene: cacophony. The whole Metropolis City Square was filled with laughter and the noise of hundreds of voices talking over each other; and everywhere Clark looked, there were people dressed up brightly, dancing and singing loudly to the tunes blaring from the huge bass speakers in front of the stage. Clark noticed that a favorite of the DJ seemed to be a rocked up version of 'Auld Lang Syne'.
"Awesome turnout, isn't it?" Jimmy yelled over the racket as he snapped yet another photo of the milling crowd.
"You don't say," Clark agreed. "Back in Smallville, everyone's just gathered around a bonfire waiting for midnight."
"Speaking of midnight," Lois shouted, "it's nearly time. Let's get closer to the stage to catch the countdown."
"Oh, yeah!" Jimmy agreed excitedly.
Clark was less than willing. "Do we have to? I don't think my eardrums can take much more."
Lois' hand shot out to grab his arm. "Come on, don't be such a farm boy."
"I am a farm boy," Clark muttered; but he nevertheless followed her lead.
Gotham City was livelier than the young Batgirl had ever seen it. For once, the crime capital of the country was bright and even somewhat colorful despite the dark and shady underworlds it still held.
"It's amazing," Batgirl breathed. "It's like a new city."
"Stay focused, Barbara," Batman warned as they alighted on a rooftop. "Anyone could strike at any minute."
"I know, I know," Batgirl said. "But still…" she added, looking down at the brightly-lit City Hall, "it's a little hard to resist the merriment. Don't you wish you could be down there and take just one night off from crime?"
"I always do," Batman replied. "But I've long since learned it's an unrealistic dream. I do this up here" – he gestured to the rooftop they were on – "so other people can enjoy themselves down there without having to worry about getting robbed or defrauded or murdered."
Batgirl sighed. "You know, this would be a lot more fun if Dick –"
"Dick made his choice. We have to respect that."
"You do know he's going to go if you don't say anything, right?"
"And you're not going to even try to convince him otherwise?" Batgirl was incredulous. "For heaven's sake, Bruce – you know two words from you would stop him from leaving. Why won't you –"
"Barbara," Batman interrupted, "this is one time when we have to agree to disagree. Dick's an adult now."
"He's seventeen! He doesn't get to be an adult for another seven months!"
"Regardless, he is capable of looking after himself," Batman pointed out. "Age is just a number – you know that – and Dick is as much an adult as you are. Our lives are taking separate paths, and though I care for him, it's time to let him go."
"Yes, but not like this," she objected. "Not this way. He wouldn't even be going if it weren't for –"
"I know." The two simple words rang with firm finality as Batman took off for the next rooftop.
"What a night," Wally West remarked to himself as he changed out of his Flash costume back into civilian clothes. Checking to see that no one was around to see him, he then super-speeded to the house he'd been heading for before the thief caught his attention. Letting himself in with the key, he called, "Uncle Barry, I'm here."
"Oh, hello, Wally," his Aunt Iris greeted warmly. "Your uncle's in the kitchen, scarfing down muffins like there's no tomorrow."
"Just another night, huh?" Wally grinned as he slipped into the kitchen. "Hey, Uncle Barry."
"Wally!" Barry Allen greeted his nephew expansively. The second Flash and a former member of the old Justice Society, Barry had aged gracefully into a hale and hearty fifty-two-year-old with his sense of humor intact. "Just in time. Muffin?"
"Don't mind if I do." Wally hungrily munched one muffin, then a second, then a third.
"How's the hero thing coming along?" Barry asked casually.
Wally shrugged. "Not too bad, I guess," he said noncommittally. "People keep mistaking me for you, though."
"That's the price you pay for wearing the same uniform." Barry wagged a finger in his face. "I told you that when you took it."
"But it looks so cool! No offense to Jay Garrick or anything, but his costume was rather old-fashioned."
"It was the 60s. Everything was old-fashioned. Hell, my outfit was considered futuristic."
"But at least no one ever thought you were the original Flash," Wally pointed out.
"A large part of that was due to the fact that everyone knew he'd died to save Earth," Barry reminded him. "I didn't join the Society until almost a year after his death. No one could have mistaken me for Jay."
"I always wanted to ask – was he the only one who died?"
Barry sighed. "No. We lost Black Canary in 1976 – radiation poisoning."
Wally frowned. "But I've heard there's a Black Canary in Star City."
"She's the daughter of the original Black Canary."
Wally was surprised. "She is?"
"It's the new generation, Wally," Barry said. "Younger heroes are stepping up to take our place. Soon it'll be your turn to make history."
"Me? Make history?" Wally laughed. "I don't think so, Uncle Barry. I've been the Flash for barely a year and a half."
Barry only smiled, a knowing glint in his eyes. "Oh, you'd be surprised, Wally," he said. "You'd be very surprised."
"THREE! TWO! ONE!"
A shower of sparkles shot into the sky, followed immediately by vibrant fireworks that crackled and popped spiritedly as they marked the beginning of the millennium.
"Oh, they're beautiful," Lois breathed in awe, watching the lights dance in the sky.
"Yes, they are," Clark agreed, slinging an arm around her shoulder.
As people in the States ushered in the year 2000, elsewhere, a large, pitted meteorite of metallic material crashed into a Mongolian desert, raising an almighty cloud of dust and sand that obscured the afternoon sun. Its coming cast a shadow on the entrance of the new millennium; some would say its very appearance on such an auspicious date had been predetermined by fate.
Regardless, the meteorite's arrival would forever be remembered as the one single event which triggered the greatest crisis of the world to date, as well as the reemergence of the Age of Heroes.
A/N: And that's the prologue. Stay tuned for Chapter 1 tomorrow - I'll be updating daily, of course - and until then, review! ;) Ta!