Space sector 2814, July 24, 23:16 UTC
Just outside the borders the Sol solar system (relatively, considering the astronomical measures of space), a beetle-like Reach starship was stationed as a science outpost. Its insides were rocked by an explosion in the hangar deck, and soon a smaller vessel escaped the ship and quickly headed out into cold space.
On the bridge of the ship, Reach crewmembers rushed up to the ships senior officer, a female Reach scientist wearing a crimson sleeveless tunic and a translucent niqāb-like mouth piece.
"Commander!" they spoke to her in the Reach's clicking, insect-like language. "Subject S-F just escape via an escape pod."
The Reach scientist gnashed her teeth behind the mouth piece. "Stop it immediately! Take out the pod's warp drive!"
"It's too late, commander. It's already out of reach of our guns." the ship's gunner told. "But the tracking signal from the neural blocker is fully operational."
"Where is the escape pod heading?"
"The signal is entering Earth space as we speak."
The scientist grunted in annoyance, knowing very well that the subject now was beyond their reach. But from the shadows stepped a mysterious robed figure closer to the scientist, speaking to the Reach officer without taking its eyes from the stars displayed on the bridge's screen.
"Don't let her escape. Send your best warriors to track the signal and bring her back here." the shadowy creature said in Reach tongue.
"But, your highness…" the scientist hesitated while turning to the shadow. "If the Reach ever goes near that planet again we will face severe actions from the Guardians of the Universe."
The creature in the shadows turned towards the scientist and glared two cold purple eyes into her, shutting her down. Then it spoke to her with much more serious tone.
"If you cherish our alliance or ever want to be invited to my planet without breaking your pathetic treaty with The Green Lantern Corps, you do as I say and send your best warriors after her. Is that clear?"
The scientist took notice of the seriousness in her associate's voice, and nodded nervously before she turned to the ship's crew.
"Send out the Beetles."
Jump City, July 24, 19:29 PDT
Superboy and Miss Martian, in her human disguise, walked down the sidewalk, side by side, talking. And they had a lot of talking to do, a lot to talk through and clear out. They walked down the street in their civilian outfits, although Conner was still wearing his black Superman t-shirt. They stopped by an ice-cream store, ordering a cone each and M'gann just had to try the Choco chunk ice cream flavor.
They passed a street artist, a fairly young street artist. He wasn't more than fourteen years old, with black hair and green eyes.
"A portrait of the couple?" the young boy asked, gesturing towards the blank sketching paper on the tripod next to him.
Conner was about to say no, but M'gann had by then already pulled him behind the tripod and pushed him down on the bench.
"Come one, Conner. It'll be fun."
Reluctantly, Conner posed next to M'gann for the artist. After about a minute or two he finished and M'gann was impressed by the sketching.
"Wow, that's really good. What's your name, kid?"
"Kyle, miss. Kyle Rayner."
"You really got a talent for this, Kyle. Do you do this for a living?"
"No, just to get some extra cash. I'm going to an art school in Los Angeles later this year and I'm trying to save up some money."
Then suddenly a loud bang was heard of the youngster's heads and they looked up, seeing a beetle-looking vessel fly through the air and crash down a few blocks from them.
"Um, we're gonna have to take a rain check on that portrait, Kyle." Conner said as he and M'gann left the young artist behind to rush towards the crash site.
As they ran down the street and tossed their ice cream cones in the dustbin, M'gann decided to call to the League's headquarter, putting a finger against her ear and opening up a communication link.
"Miss Martian to Watchtower."
"Watchtower here." Batgirl responded.
"We just saw a meteor crash down in the middle of Jump City. You got something on that?"
"I did not pick that up on the computer. Could have been a cloaked vessel. You better investigate."
As they reached the crash site, several people had already gathered around the crashed ship. Two police officers tried to dissolve the crowd to no avail. Suddenly, a hatch opened up on the crashed starship and the people around it went dead silent, fearful of what would come out of it. A shadow appeared in the opening, people gasped in shock and a woman screamed as the slimy mass crawled out of vessel. Then an embarrassed silence grew among them as they looked down on the one foot high creature.
A small caterpillar-like creature looked up at them with its tongue hanging out of its mouth, panting. It was white and pale pink and had eight stumpy legs. It was kind of cute, in the same way as an ugly dog. The maggot-looking thing looked around at them with four black eyes in a dump look. That's when the pilot of the ship stepped out, and everybody came to stare at the visage.
The second creature was definitely humanoid, and clearly female. She was tall and slender, but with a curvaceous and well-muscled built, and she looked to be about nineteen or twenty years old. Her most striking feature however was the color of her skin which was bright orange all over, and there was a lot of it showing. She wore a purple suit rimmed with gold that was more like a two piece bathing suit, the pieces connected to each other by two broad stripes that ran along the sides of her bare midriff and over her breasts, connecting with a ring of cloth resting on her torso around her neck. The suit was decorated with green gemstones around her waist and around her neck, and she also wore thigh-high boots and bracelets in the same purple color.
The female alien had fiery red, thick hair that hanged behind her back and reached all the way down to her knees. Her facial features were very attractive with a pair of luscious red lips, bright green eyes with green scleras and pointed ears. A complex pattern of small iridescent dots ran across her body like thousands of tiny stars on her silky smooth orange skin, as if she had been decorated with small flecks of shining gold.
Upon sight of the woman, Superboy and Miss Martian knew by experience that this could mean trouble.
"Superboy to Watchtower. We, eh, we might need some reinforcement down here. Just in case."
"Roger that, Superboy." Batgirl's voice said in his ear. "I'm sending Kid Flash and Blue Beetle ASAP."
The alien stepped out among the crowd, many of the people in it called out surprised cries at the sight of her. "Oh my god, it's an alien." "Is that a Reach ship?" "She doesn't look like the Reach." "Wow, she's hot!" was a few among many.
"Ya'aya!" she shouted to the people around her, in an alien tongue that neither Conner nor M'gann understood. "Ya'aya! Az suzugf k'ur R'eak ta! Ya'ay ím valberk ruth!"
"Whoa, easy there lady. Calm down and put your hands where we can see them." one of the police officers ordered while keeping his hands on his gun holster just in case, as Earth people had have a number of bad experiences with aliens recently. But since she didn't understand him, the alien kept on yelling at them, looking more and more desperate.
"Ya'aya az kun'ogh!"
"I said calm down and put your hands where we can see them!"
She continued yelling and stepped closer to the officers, and they pulled their guns. "Stop right there! Don't come any closer!"
She didn't stop and one of the officers, out of cheer nervousness, fired off his weapon. The people around them screamed and ran away as the gun went off, and the large caterpillar yelped and rolled up in a ball, but the orange woman just stood firmly still. The bullet hadn't even bruised her skin, it fell to the ground crushed by the impact against the orange alien who was completely unharmed. Instead, she just got angry, and in her wrath she snatched the gun from the officer and crushed it with her bare hands. She then pushed the officer, making him fly back several feet. His partner ran up and tried to wrestle the angry alien down, put she easily lifted him off her with one hand and threw him into a flower stand.
A strong hand grabbed the alien's arm. The orange woman turned her head to see who dared to lay hand on her, and she saw a young Earth man with black hair. She stared defying glares into the boy, looking even more crossed then before. But then she noticed the Superman-shield on his chest and her face lightened up in relief.
"Su'per'man!" she shouted.
"Su'per'man! It'zax suzekas utza kan'ak!
"Um… I'm not Superman. M'gann, would you please tell her to calm down?"
The Martian girl tried to speak to the orange girl without using words with her Martian telepathy, but for some strange reason it did not seem to work.
"Something… something is blocking her thoughts for me. Like… some kind of shield around her mind."
"Su'per'man, tak'ka se ii."
"I'm telling you, I'm not Superman. I am Superboy."
The orange girl got a confused look on her face. "Su'per… boee? Gnorga ha'elek?"
"Maybe she knows Superman? We should wait here till he turns up and can help us figure this out." M'gann suggested.
"You think we really should let her stay here? In public?"
"Look at her Conner, she's just lost and confused. She won't harm anyone."
Right at that moment Kid Flash, formerly known as Impulse, came running up to the non-humans, startling all three of them.
"Hey guys, what's going on?"
Blue Beetle landed next to him just a few seconds later. "You could have waited for me, hermano. Whoa, who's the orange chica?"
The orange woman's green eyes grew wide as saucers at the sight of the armored teenager and she screamed out in shock and surprise. "AAAIIIEEE! R'eak! E'kala sin R'eak!"
Before either of the four heroes had time to react, a powerful bright green burst of energy blasted them all across the street. When they looked back they saw that the orange alien's hands, both balled up in two fists, glowing in a bright green light, promptly evince that she had been the one blasting them. Her eyes glowed brightly in the same green color and her red hair also gave off a small reddish-orange glow and moved about even though there was no wind, resembling a dancing flame. The larva at her feet rushed into an alley, seeking cover.
"Gnog'ga soon R'eak?! Su'per'boee gnog'ga R'eak whaz! It'za vaad krak!" she yelled at them.
"Won't harm anyone, huh?" Superboy sarcastically remarked. "I'm taking her down." He then charged towards the alien with his fist raised, ready to punch her with all his strength.
But as fast as he was, she was faster. She easily grabbed on to him and tossed him down on the ground. Superboy was caught with great surprise, and he angrily grunted as he rushed back up and tried to hit her again. The alien woman easily blocked his fist, and then his other one, and then she kicked him hard in the chest, sending him flying down the street. She then turned to the other three.
"Eh… you know what she's saying, hombre?" Kid Flash asked, trying to hide the alarm in his voice.
"No…" Blue Beetle answered, he himself surprise over it. "My scarab… the scarab was somehow stunned by her blast. The A.I. needs time to reboot."
"No translate-o then. Your weapons still online?"
Blue Beetle changed the shape of his hands into a pair of maces, and he and Kid Flash charged towards the woman. But as Kid Flash delivered a superfast punch right into her stomach, the extraterrestrial warrior barely flinched. Kid Flash grabbed his own hand whining in pain, he might as well have punched a steel wall. The alien powerhouse grabbed the speedster and tossed him through a store window which shattered in a thousand pieces.
The Blue Beetle attacked the fierce alien with his maces, but she blocked every blow he threw at her so Jamie took to the air, flying high up and out of the woman's reach. He smirked confidently to himself as he morphed his right hand into a plasma cannon. But as he aimed the cannon down at his opponent he noticed her coming flying up in the air towards him at great speed, her glowing hair leaving a faint line of fiery light behind her, like a contrail.
The alien gave Beetle a powerful uppercut before he had time to fire. The scarab armor softened most of the blow, but the strength of the punch still sent him flying halfway across the neighborhood. The orange warrior floated back down to the ground as she was attacked by several large pieces of debris that Miss Martian threw at her with her telekinesis powers. She had to blast the pieces into smaller, harmless pieces before they hit her.
Blue Beetle landed, or rather crashed, on a hot dog cart. Kid Flash soon ran up next to him and helped him up.
"You okay dude?" the speedster asked.
"Yeah I'm fine. Man, I can't believe I'm getting my ass kicked by a girl."
"Well, I've had my ass kicked by far uglier things." Kid Flash joked. "I mean, just look at what she's wearing. Absolutely crash!"
Blue Beetle made a sly smirk. "Yeah, I see what you mean. Her legs go like all the way up to her neck."
"Yeah, and did you see the size of her-"
'Kid Flash! Beetle!' Miss Martian's telepathic voice yelled inside the two young boys' heads. 'Get you heads out of the gutter and into the fight!'
Both Blue Beetle and Kid Flash blushed very deeply behind their masks as they moved back to the battlefield. Their second attack went about as successfully as their first. As they charged against the orange alien, she turned towards them and released a spray of green bolts, shooting a volley of smaller blasts at the two young boys.
"Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow!"
As the two of them were blinded and disoriented by the blasts, the orange attacker had the opportunity to yet again go in for the attack. She hit them with well-précised punches and kicks and they were quickly defeated by her, beaten to the ground very fast.
Seeing her friends fall down, Miss Martian felt anger stir up within her. Using her telekinesis, she ripped up the part of the street where her opponent stood, levitating it up in the air along with a massive amount of loose stuff lying around on the street. Miss Martian levitated up above the woman, her eyes glowing red and surrounded by debris flying in a circle around her and the alien.
"You will cease this aggression right now. Do I make myself clear?" M'gann's voice boomed.
But the orange girl did not let herself be intimidated. She simply stepped right out off the floating rock, levitating through the air right up towards Miss Martian, floating at the same level. Her eyes and hands burned bright green as she stared the smaller girl down, and now it was visible to M'gann how much taller than her the orange alien was.
"Heh heh…" M'gann nervously laughed to herself, her anger turning into doubt, and she almost felt like she was shrinking under the intimidating glow of the luminous eyes of the larger, frightening woman.
The woman headbutted Miss Martian right on the nose and while the green girl was disoriented she kicked the Martian in the stomach and sent her flying back. Down on the ground, Superboy got back up and before he rejoined the fight, he put his finger on his earbud and did the smart thing for once.
"Watchtower… We're going to need some more reinforcement down here."
Blüdhaven, July 24, 23:00 EDT
Nightwing hit the arms dealer right on the chin with his eskrima stick, knocking him out. He looked around at all the other criminals lying on the floor. There was one missing.
Behind his back, the missing thug slowly pulled out his gun and aimed it right at the black-haired vigilante.
"Nrut nug ot ekans!"
The crook screamed in horror as his weapon morphed in a hissing viper in his hand. "AAAAAHHH!"
The distraction was all Nightwing needed to turn around and finish the crook off. Levitating down from the sky came Zatanna, Justice League member and Nightwing's once girlfriend.
"Is this your idea of taking some time off, Dick?" the female magician asked.
"Oh you know, nothing like beating up the lowlife of the criminal underworld to clear your head. What brings you to town, Zat?"
"Just some sorcerer business. While I was here anyway, I thought that I'd check out what you do around here."
The two friends were then interrupted by Zatanna's earbud that made a small beep in her ear. She could then hear Batgirl's voice speaking to her.
"Zatanna. The junior team is under attack from an unknown alien. We need you to back them up."
"Where is the rest of the League?"
"They are currently evacuating people from an active volcano in Indonesia. They'll join you as soon as they can. Now hurry!"
"Care for a team-up?" Zatanna asked Nightwing, to which he smiled, knowing that she know what answer he would give. "Great. Ekat su ot eht elttab!"
In a flash of light, the two heroes were instantly teleported from Blüdhaven to Jump City, and they were almost crushed by a falling green elephant. The green animal hit the ground, morphed into the shape of the green, monkey-like teenager Beast Boy and collapsed on the ground.
"I'm okay, I'm okay…" Beast Boy assured them when they helped him up, both sounding and looking tired.
The three of them ran up to Superboy, Miss Martian and Bumblebee who was helping Robin, Tigress, Kid Flash and Blue Beetle back up on their legs, all of them looking worse for wear. Above their heads, they saw Wonder Girl engaging the alien in a mid-air fist fight. The two girls seemed fairly equal in strength, but the orange one managed to gain the upper hand, grabbing the blonde girl by the arm and tossed her through the window of a building. She was then jumped at by Aqualad who managed to force her down on a roof top out of sight for the newly arrived heroes.
"Robin. What are we dealing with here?" Nightwing asked his adoptive brother.
"One orange alien, female. Strong one too. Stronger-then-Superboy-strong." The red-clad sidekick pointed with his thumb over his shoulder at the Kryptonian boy who just grunted at him.
"Is that all?"
"No, she also got energy projection, some level of invulnerability and she can fly. She sure knows how to fight too; my ribs can tell you that."
"What happened?" Zatanna asked.
"I don't know." Superboy said. "She seemed just a bit confused at first, not violent at all. Then she got a look at Blue Beetle and went all berserk."
"I'm guessing she isn't a big Reach fan." Miss Martian remarked.
Nightwing's forehead furrowed as he thought about what his teammates had told him.
"Zatanna, help the others get back up." he then ordered, falling back into his old role as leader of the team.
"What are you going to do?"
"I'm going to TALK to her."
By that, Nightwing shot his grappling gun and hoisted himself up on a roof.
Beast Boy looked at Miss Martian and said "Um, we did tell him we already tried that, right?"
Nightwing got up on the roof top just in time to see Lagoon Boy, having used his Atlantean powers to enlarge his size and strength, jump at their orange attacker, only to have her grab him in the air and throw him right into Guardian and knocking them both off the roof.
Right now, of all the young heroes Aqualad was the only one standing. He could not match the alien girl's strength, but his combat skills made him able to defend himself from her attacks, blocking her blows with his waterbearers and dodging her energy blasts. As he distracted her, Wonder Girl came flying from behind, ready to strike their opponent with a surprise attack.
But the alien woman sensed the Amazonian girl coming and jumped out of the way, making the blonde fly right into Aqualad. Landing right before his feet, Wonder Girl and Aqualad saw Nightwing walking past them.
"Aqualad. Wonder Girl. Step down, I'll handle this."
"But Nightwing…" Wonder Girl started but he shushed her down.
"I'd say that I'll handle this. Take a breather."
Trusting their old teammate and former leader, Aqualad and Wonder Girl retreated. They and the rest of the team took position on rooftops at a safe distance, giving Nightwing enough space to make the alien feel unthreatened while still keeping an eye on her.
"Yekka taa!" the orange alien shouted with one glowing hand aimed at Nightwing, presumably threatening him to not come any closer. She looked in much less bad shape then the team, but a pearl of sweat was running down her forehead and she was breathing heavily.
"Hey, it's okay. I'm not here to fight." said Nightwing as he slowly approached her, hands clearly visible to show he wasn't carrying any weapons.
"Okay, okay." He stopped walking and slowly started to unhook his utility belt. "Look, I mean you no harm. I just want to talk. Look, I'm throwing away all my weapons."
He tossed his belt way along with all his weapons and gadgets. The alien seemed to understand what he was doing, and in response she lowered her glowing hand.
"See? That wasn't so hard. Listen, we're not part of the Reach. We don't like them either." But the woman didn't seem to respond to his attempt of diplomacy, however. "Eh, do you understand me? Do you speak any English?"
The alien just stared at the Earthling as she tried to figure out what this strange creature before her was trying to do.
"Um… Sprechen sie deutsch? Habla español? Parlez-vous français? I'm guessing you don't speak Mandarin Chinese either."
The alien cocked her head to the side in a confused manner. "Na zuk'tai?"
"Okay, eh… let's try something a little simpler." He then placed his hands on his chest, trying to mimic the classic me-Tarzan-you-Jane scenario. "My name is Nightwing. Nightwing."
He mimicked the word as good as she could. "Nayet'ving?"
"Close enough. And you? What is your name?" He then pointed towards her with both his hands.
The alien pointed to herself with her index finger, still looking quite confused, and Nightwing nodded. Then she suddenly realized what the human was doing and went "Oh! Koriand'r."
"Koriand'r." she corrected him with an amused smile.
"Okay, Koriand'r. Kory. Wow. Um, I'm not sure what to do next. The movies usually don't go any further than this."
"Hurah xax g'atac, Nayet'ving?" the unintelligible girl said as she took a few steps closer to Nightwing, looking almost curious.
"Um, yes. See, I don't want to fight you. This is just one big misunderstanding."
She stepped even closer to him, now being within arm's reach of him. She had what looked like an amused smirk on her lips.
"Iz net'ter Tamarania? Sik'ka tar'rek xloka, yeta bu'al."
"Yeah, sure. Listen, we got friends that can help you if you just- HMMPH!?"
The jaws of the entire team dropped to the ground when they saw how the attractive alien reached out her arm, grabbed a hold of Nightwing's collar, pulled him closer to her and pressed her lips tight against his in a deep kiss.
"Dude!" Kid Flash cried out in surprise.
"How does he do it?" Blue Beetle thought out loud.
"Man, she's trying to suck out his tonsils." Bumblebee exclaimed.
At first Nightwing tried to protest against the kiss, but his inner man got the best of him very quickly and he just went with it, closing his eyes and just taking in the feeling of the alien girl's soft lips against his own. He didn't know how long the kiss lasted, could have been seconds, could have been hours, but after a moment their lips broke apart with a low smacking sound.
"Now we can talk." the orange woman said with another amused smirk on her lips, now speaking very good English but with an accent that Nightwing couldn't quite place.
"You… you speak English?"
"I do now. My name is Princess Star-fire of the planet Tamaran."
"Starfire…? I thought you said your name was Koriand'r?"
"It is. Koriand'r means 'Star-fire' in Tamaranean."
"Okay… Eh… Why did you attack my friends? They were only trying to help you."
"Why have your friends allied themselves with a Reach Beetle?" the woman called Starfire pointed towards Blue Beetle, her voice turning more serious. "Are you not aware of what the Reach do to the worlds where they send their scarabs?"
"Whoa, whoa, wait a minute…"
"Let me kill him for you. Believe me, you will thank me afterwards." Starfire's fists began to glow bright green again, and Blue Beetle took cover behind Aqualad, just in case.
"Wait! We know about the Reach, but Blue Beetle is on our side."
"That's what they want you to think."
"No, really. He was mind controlled by the Reach before, but we fixed him. He's on our side now. I promise."
Starfire looked at the Blue Beetle's direction with hesitation, but after a moment her hands ceased glowing and she nodded to Nightwing.
"Very well. If you give your word for it, I will believe you, Nayet'ving."
"Well, isn't this nice? The meat found some new friends."
The team looked up in the sky and to their great shock they saw not one, but five Reach Beetle warriors hovering in the air above them. One of them was colored silver, one was red, one yellow, one purple and the last one, the only female one, was cyan colored.
"Reach!" Starfire growled and both her fists and eyes started glowing bright green again.
"You are coming back with us, Tamaran meat." the silver Beetle told. "You're going back into your cell."
"What are you doing here?!" Nightwing shouted angrily to the Reach agents. "You're forbidden to ever come back to this solar system!"
"Our business does not concern you, human. Hand over the Tamaranean to us and we will leave you and your miserable team of ragtag meat alive when we leave. Or be our guests and resist. We'll enjoy the slaughter."
Nightwing looked his teammates, noticing how worn down they were already from the fight with Starfire. He knew that they couldn't possibly have any big chance against five Beetle warriors, but when he saw the determination in their faces he also knew the only kind of answer they expected him to give.
"Pass." he said, and in the next second Blue Beetle fired of his sonic cannon right in the Reach soldier's midst, hitting the red Beetle with full power. The rest of the team then moved in.
"Stupid meat." the silver Beetle snarled as he and his squad flied in for the attack.
Jump City, July 24, 20:15 PDT
The team Battles all five of the Reach Beetles, fighting on the defense and hoping they could buy themselves some time. Nightwing and the alien named Starfire came to battle side by side against the silver colored Beetle. The Beetle tried to slice them both with his sharp blade, but Ngihtwing's reflexes was far superior, allowing the human to dodge out of reach in time and keeping him on an even level with the alien warrior even though his punches or kicks did little harm to it. Starfire was skilled enough to dodge or block most of the Reach agent's attacks, but her blows and energy blasts was more effective against it.
"Your fighting skills are impressive, Nayet'ving." the orange girl told the black-haired young man, sounding both impressed and amused.
"Thank you. You aren't so bad yourself."
"I… I wish to thank you, Nayet'ving."
"For bothering to talk to me earlier, even though I had just hurt your friends. Any warrior can fight, but it takes a great heart to do what you did."
"There's no need to mention it, I had a feeling we weren't really enemies. I was only trying to be nice."
"Nice…" the alien princess pondered over the word.
The cyan colored Beetle snuck up on Starfire and was just about to hit her with a large fist shaped into a hammer. But then a large, green rhinoceros came charging towards her and knocked the insectile alien away with great force. The rhino then shrunk down to the young shape-shifter known as Beast Boy.
"Thank you, green one." the Tamaranean said to the boy in a cheerful tone.
"You're welcome. And its Beast Boy, by the way." the young boy smiled at her.
"Very well then. Thank you, Boy of the Beast. I apologize for hurting you earlier."
"Don't sweat it. Seems to happen all the time on this team."
Starfire then charged the red Reach Beetle, grabbing him and pulling him away from Aqualad and Guardian. She flied up in the air with him and punched him right across the face.
"How did you manage to find me!?" she demanded to know.
"The neural blocker in your neck, meat." the red Beetle arrogantly mocked her with a sadistic smile on his face. "It blocks you out for all but Reach technology, so no matter what we do to you no one will ever be able to fix you. But to our sensors you stand out like a supernova in space."
Starfire's beautiful face furrowed and she ducked a slash from the Beetle's blade, and then blasted him with a powerful green blast. She then flied up next to Blue Beetle.
"You! Human Beetle."
"Y-y-yes." Blue Beetle stuttered.
"If you really are on the same side as me, then prove it. Remove the Reach device from my neck." she ordered.
She turned around in midair and pulled her hair out of the way. Beetle's scarab, which had now managed to come back on-line, detected a tiny Reach device inside her, attached to her spine, and Blue's fingers morphed into a thin drill-like tool.
"I'm not so sure if this is a good idea…"
"Just do it!"
Gulping, Blue Beetle drilled the tool into Starfire's neck, making a millimeter wide hole in her skin were green blood came bleeding out of. Starfire felt an immense amount of pain, but she clenched her teeth and mustered all her strength to not scream. Then Beetle yanked out the device from Starfire's body which made her scream out loudly in agony. Beetle held the tiny device, which was covered in green blood, in his hand before he handed it over to Starfire. She nodded to him gratefully, and then she flied back towards the red Beetle who had engaged Bumblebee and Miss Martian in aerial combat.
"Here, you can have it back." She then clenched her fist around the small device and used the same fist to punch the Beetle hard right in the face. After sending the Beetle tumbling back, she dropped the device and the long fall to the ground broke the fragile device apart, again freeing Koriand'r from the Reach's grip.
Back on the roof top, Nightwing was battling the silver Beetle by himself. He reached for a smoke pellet in his utility belt, but then he remembered that he had thrown the belt away earlier. He saw the belt across the roof and tried to jump over the Beetle to get to it. But the Beetle sent out a tentacle that pulled him closer. The Beetle grinned as he grabbed Nightwing's arm, squeezing it really hard, and then threw him violently across the room.
"DICK!" Zatanna shouted in worry.
"NAYET'VING!" Starfire screamed, seemingly in horror.
The alien warrior princess flied through the battlefield like bullet and collided with the silver colored Beetle with great impact, tackling him wildly with all her strength. The Reach soldier had little time to react to Starfire's attacks as she began punching him, and stunned from the collision he could do nothing but take the punishment, and the more the Tamaranean princess pounded him the brighter her eyes began to shine. Then suddenly she stopped hitting him, her grit teeth opened up in a rageful scream and two large narrow beams in the same bright green colors as her energy bolts shot out from her eyes and hit the Beetle straight in his chest. The silver-clad alien was blasted through the walls of a building by the massive force of green energy and knocked to the ground on the other side, halfway across the neighborhood. As the energy beams subsided and her furious yell went silent, Starfire stood still on the spot, visibly surprised by her own powers.
After collecting herself, Starfire hurried to Nightwing's side and helped him up. Catching the scene in the corner of her eye, Zatanna was relieved to see her old friend safe as she was occupied with fighting a Beetle of her own.
"I'm okay, nothing's broken. That was… that was a pretty neat trick you did there. With the laser eye thing." Nightwing mentioned while holding his hurt arm.
"I… I didn't know I could do that…" Starfire confessed.
The purple Beetle growled loudly in anger as he threw off Superboy from his back and fired a plasma ray at Zatanna's direction, which he deflected just in time. "Grrraaaah! You will all die, meat! You will all die!"
"Didn't we tell you guys to stay off our planet?" a voice came from above and eyes were drawn towards the sky.
There was the entire Justice League. Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter, Aquaman, both Green Lanterns, Flash, Doctor Fate, Icon, Rocket, Captain Marvel, Black Canary, Green Arrow, Atom, Red Tornado, Black Lightning, Plastic Man and both Hawkman and Hawkwoman. All of them came levitating down as gods from the heavens, some by their own device and others by aid of their fellow teammates.
"Oh you guys are in for it now." Robin chuckled.
The Justice League made quick work of the Beetles that was caught by surprise. Being greatly outnumbered and overpowered, all the Reach agents were quickly defeated and fettered in green constructs by the Green Lanterns. All except the silver colored one that managed to sneak out of sight before the League got to him. He quickly made his escape and left the Earth's atmosphere as fast as he could.
As the battle was won and everybody could catch their breath, Superman came floating down towards Nightwing and Starfire.
"Nightwing. Who's your new friend?"
"Um, Superman. This is Starfire." Nightwing presented the alien girl to the respected hero and the rest of the League. "Starfire, this is-"
"Superman! Thank X'hal you are here!"
"Do I know you?" the Kryptonian wondered.
"No, but I know of you. Words about the heroic deeds of the last son of Krypton has reached even my home world of Tamaran. My k'norfka used to tell me bedtime stories about the great battles of ages past where Kryptonians and Tamaraneans fought side by side."
The Martian Manhunter approached the young woman. "Tamaran lies in the Vega system, 26 light-years from Earth. How did you end up on this world?"
The white caterpillar creature came out of its hiding spot, sneaked in between people's feet and jumped up into Starfire's arms where she hugged and petted it as if it was a cat. And indeed it purred from her patting.
"I managed to break out of my shackles on a Reach ship and escape in an escape pod, taking Silkie here with me. He too was imprisoned on the ship. When I saw on the pod's navigation systems that the nearest habitable planet was Earth I decided to come here. I was hoping that you and the Green Lanterns of Earth could give me sanctuary from the Reach."
"You escaped from the Reach?" Wonder Woman asked, to which Starfire nodded.
Batman stepped up to his former protégé and his new female friend, and as usual, his commanding and authority demanding presence caused the rest of the crowd to grow silent.
"Start talking. From the beginning."
Watchtower, July 25, 01:10 PDT
The alien's teeth and lips sank deep into the poor sandwich, and yellow sauce oozed out between the slices of white bread and down on her plate. And a gleeful grin appeared over her face.
Starfire sat in the Watchtower cafeteria surrounded by the Team and several other heroes from the Justice League such as Black Canary, Icon, Aquaman and Captain Marvel. Nightwing sat on the stool to her right, having his arm in a sling, and Miss Martian on the one to her left. Many members of the team found it hard to believe the orange woman before them was the same person that had given them such as hard fight earlier the same evening. Because now her personality seemed more like M'gann's when she first got to Earth. As they watched her eat, several of the young boys watching very thoroughly, Beast Boy had turned himself into a small dog and were playing with the caterpillar-like creature on the floor.
"Mmm. What is the name of this wonderful ingredient?"
"Um… It's called mustard." Miss Martian smiled sheepishly at the Tamaranean's table manners, having been the one that made their guest her sandwich. "It was all we had left in the fridge."
Kid Flash looked away and scratched his neck in slight embarrassment.
"It's delicious!" the hungry alien beamed with joy and took another bite.
That was when more of the League's members stepped into the room. Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter and the two Green Lanterns Hal Jordan and John Stewart approached the crowd of young heroes and the room fell silent.
"Well?" Nightwing wondered.
"Her story checks out." said Jordan.
"According to the Green Lantern records," Stewart told, "the Reach has been trying to conquer planet Tamaran for ages."
"Hadn't the Guardians forbidden the Reach from invading other planets unless they were invited?" Superboy asked.
Hal Jordan nodded. "That's true, but Tamaran lies in the Vega star system, which has been off-limits to all Green Lanterns for ages until last year."
"But as far as we can tell, Tamaran has been able to fend for themselves so far without the Guardians' help."
"Indeed we did." Starfire nodded, spreading bread crumbs and mustard stains all over the table. "My people are strong warriors, and we have been successfully defending our planet for thousands of years. But recently the Reach's superior numbers and resources have been starting to wear my people down."
Stewart continued. "Last year, the Reach and the Tamaranean citadel came to an agreement that the Reach would leave their world alone."
"As a response to the deal, the Guardians of the Universe went all Atticus Finch on the Reach's asses and added Tamaran to the number of planets under their protection, just to make sure the bugs don't try anything funny."
"What were the terms of the deal?" Nightwing asked the two Lanterns, although he had a pretty good guess of what it could be.
"The Reach's demand was that the Tamaraneans handed over the heir to their throne, princess Starfire here, to them. That's how she ended up in their captivity. It was either her or more war and bloodshed."
"What could they possibly have wanted with her?" Lagoon Boy wondered.
"To experiment upon." Starfire frowned in anger over the reminder of her cruel imprisonment. "All Tamaraneans are capable of absorbing ultraviolet light through our skins, which gives us great strength and resilience. But when I grew up I was taught that some members of the royal family, like myself, grows much stronger and gain more powers then regular Tamaraneans due to a genetic heritage."
"People from Earth aren't the only ones possessing the meta-gene, I assume." Aqualad noted.
"That explains why the Reach wanted you." Blue Beetle butted in. "Their desire to weaponize the meta-gene was the main reason they tried to invade Earth in the first place."
"Yes. My powers are the reason why I was chosen as an heir to the throne over my older sister, and I guess it's what attracted the Reach to make the treaty with my world in the end."
"Can't we help her get back home?" Black Canary wondered.
Starfire then got a very gloomy look on her face and looked right down into her sandwich. Nightwing put his hand on her slender shoulder to console her.
"It's not that simple." Batman pointed out. "Should Starfire ever return to her home world the treaty between Tamaran and the Reach would be considered invalid according to agreed terms, and the war would start all over again."
"Not to mention that there are no zeta-beams between Earth and Tamaran, so travelling there would take us straight through Reach space." the Martian Manhunter pointed out.
"The Green Lanterns will speak with the Guardians of the Universe about the matter. In the meantime, we agreed that Starfire will stay here on Earth under The League's protection." Superman announced.
"You can come and live with me." Miss Martian kindly offered in her usual sweet and caring tone. "I got more than enough room in my apartment, and I've always wanted to show off Earth to other aliens."
Starfire looked back at the Martian, her gloominess wiped away by a smile of hope. "I would like that very much."
"It's settled then." said Wonder Woman. "Princess Starfire of Tamaran, we hereby leave you under the care of Justice League's junior team. We hope you will like it here."
The League went all their separate ways, some of them heading to their own business, others to go and look further into the Tamaran affair. Nightwing took a notice of Starfire's melancholic look. She clearly was an emotional creature, capable of switching very quickly between different emotions.
"Are you okay?" he asked her.
"No. No I am afraid not." she sighed in a sad voice. "I will never see my family again. I'll never see my mother and father again. I'll never get to hug my sister or play with my little brother again."
"Listen. I promise you that the League will do all it can to help you. This won't be the end of it."
He placed his hand over hers in a consolatory touch, and she smiled at him and placed her other hand over his.
"Thank you, Nayet'ving. You are truly kind to help me."
"Come on, Kory!" Beast Boy poked up his head. "You gotta take a tour around the Watchtower."
Starfire giggled as she was dragged out of the room by the green teenager for a guided tour around the League's HQ. The rest of the team decided to split up too, most of them heading home to get some sleep. Zatanna however approached Nightwing when everybody else had left.
"I saw that." she smirked at him.
"You like her, don't you?"
"What? No. I mean, no. I just…"
"Oh don't lie to me, Dick. You have that exact same look in your eyes that you had when you and I was going out. You can't fool me."
"Okay, maybe I do kinda like her, but come on. She's a warrior princess from outer space. How big of a chance do you really think I got?"
"You come on, Dick. Stuff like that hasn't stopped you before. She's totally your type; strong, tough, confident, but still sweet and bubbly. And by the way she was looking at you, I think she likes you too. There was more to that kiss then just picking up your language."
Nightwing looked down and saw the alien larva Starfire had named Silkie playfully chewing on the leg of his suit, spilling some drool on his boot.
"Her dog likes you too." Zatanna laughed. And as she walked past him she added; "And besides, you got to get over me sometime."
"Oh ha ha."
With Silkie following close behind him, Nightwing walked out into the Watchtower observatory hall where Starfire were admiring the view of the sun peeking out from behind the Earth and shining its ray across the large room. He stepped up next to the Tamaranean.
"Beautiful, isn't it?"
Koriand'r glanced at the human male and then back at the spectacular view and nodded. "It truly is. Your sun feels very pleasant on my skin, it reminds me of the one over Tamaran."
"Listen… I'm sorry that you can't go home, but we're going to make sure you like it here. The gang's really cool people when you get to know them."
"Thank you, Nayet'ving, I appreciate your kindness."
The alien princess then let out a small sigh.
"I guess all is not… how do you say? Fated ill?" Starfire pointed out, looking very relaxed as the realization of her newfound freedom sunk in. "All those months of torture and being experimented upon, and then I find myself on this beautiful world with such kind and caring people like you and your friends. For the first time in a long time I feel… unafraid."
"I can imagine. It must feel pretty whelming."
"Whelming." Starfire smiled.
"Listen, I have to ask…" Nightwing asked bashfully. "That thing you did, you know, before… Why did you kiss me?"
"My species can psionically assimilate any verbal language by the means of physical contact. All that was required for me was to touch your skin."
"So… why kissing me?"
Now Starfire's cheeks blushed in an orange-red color and she coyly brushed her long bangs from her face.
"You have very nice eyes. I just thought it would be… nice."
Slowly Starfire turned around and walked towards the door, and Nightwing could have sworn that she looked back at him with longing eyes as she left. He came to glance at her bare back with its bioluminescent spots glowing like fireflies at him and his eyes wandered downwards over her rather well-shaped posterior and down her long legs before these disappeared out through the observatory door. Nightwing laughed to himself.
"Maybe I was a little too hasty about taking time off from the team."
Reach science outpost, July 25, 08:20 UTC
The Silver Beetle kneeled in front of the science officer and the mysterious figure that remained in the shadows of the ship's command bridge. He was greatly shamed by the news he had to bring his superior and their associate.
"My greatest apologizes, commander. We have failed you. The Tamaranean meat eluded us."
The figure looked up from the shadows. "How?" it asked coldly.
"The Earth heroes, your highness. They came to her aid and overpowered my squad."
The Reach scientist grunted loudly in vexation. "Those damn mammal worms! Once again has the Earth meat thwarted our plans!"
"Delayed, yes. But thwarted…? No." the shadow counted out to the scientist. "Koriand'r is smart enough to stay where she are. She cannot return to Tamaran, not without reigniting the war. And she is far too goodhearted to let that happen to our people, that naïve little girl."
The figure stepped out of the shadow into the light, revealing the form of a beautiful humanoid woman in her mid-twenties wearing a dark grey robe. Her long hair was dark red, almost black, her eyes were bright purple and her skin was orange and covered in bioluminescent dots, exactly like the skin of Starfire. She wore circular earrings made out of purple gemstones and a small pale scar was visible right next to her left eye which clearly stood out on her otherwise fair and flawless features.
"Tell your masters that our deal still stands. I will guarantee them free passage to Tamaran, IF they can keep their end of the bargain."
"Yes, Lady Komand'r." the scientist bowed to the Tamaranean royal before she and the Silver Beetle walked out and left the alien woman alone on the bridge.
The Tamaranean looked at the ship's view screen which displayed the most nearby stars and planetary systems. Her purple eyes fell on the star that the planet Tamaran orbited around.
"They can have that miserable mudball for all that I care, as long as I get my revenge. When my master is done, it will not matter anyway. The Reach empire and this entire universe will be nothing but ashes under our boots."
She noticed one tiny little star on the screen, the one that was known as the sun in the Sol system, and her lips curled up in a wide, sadistic smile.
"You think you are brave with your new friends, little sister? You think you are without fear?"
She raised her right fist to her face, revealing a ring on her finger that shined up her face with a bright, yellow light.
"I will teach you what true fear is like."
AN: It was a long time since I uploaded anything on this site, I've been too busy to get enough time over for writing. Hopefully that will change in the future.
I was a little bit disappointed that Starfire never made it to YJ, so I came up with a story myself of how it could have looked. I really made an effort to make it fit into the YJ universe, and I think it paid off. I threw in a few elements from the Teen Titans show, and some Green Lantern stuff since they cancelled that show too. I thought it would be cool to see Starfire biolumiscent, sort of like the Na'vi, and I thought that it fitted since Tamaraneans absorb sunlight and all that. The one thing I'm a bit uncertain of are if I were correct with the timestamps, but oh well.