{Sorry for the delay folks life's been a bit hectic the past couple of months. One quick shout-out to KrautYank I hope you enjoy my portrayal of your OC mate – and without further adieu Ladies and Gents "Variant JLU."}

"I'm tired of waiting." –Sierra-117
"Waiting?" –Pallas Athena
"For them to learn from past mistakes." –Sierra-117
"I thought you said it was necessary?" –Pallas Athena
"I never foresaw the mystery-men eventuality." –Sierra-117
"I'm sorry, but I don't understand." –Pallas Athena
"Neither do I." –Sierra-117
"That's surprising." –Pallas Athena
"Is it? After all I'm still human." –Sierra-117

Chapter 2: INDIA DOWN

In the two years it took Superman to regain the greater part of humanity's trust. It took even less for the SPARTAN-II to be all but forgotten by the public. Sure he stopped a couple invasions, lead dozens of deniable ops, and if it wasn't for him Ares would still be toying with the hearts and minds of the people of Kaznia. Though John suspected King Gustav's fascist at times regime will lead to full blown revolution eventually. Only time would tell if he learns from his previous mistakes.

Interestingly enough Sierra-117's Celestial Paramilitary Armed Interventions Network or C-PAIN for short was becoming busier now than the previous three decades combined. How they managed to stay off the worlds radar was a miracle considering how easily Project CADMUS acquired the names and aliases of literally hundreds of costume vigilantes. But then again you had to be an idiot not to realize that Clark Kent was Superman or Bruce Wayne was really the Batman. The later of the two had not exactly been thrilled to hear that John had executed a comatose Ra's al Ghul during his last visit to Cairo from his beloved Talia. Though Wayne would be lying if he said he wasn't enjoying her more regular visits to Gotham. Rumor had it she was pregnant. But that wasn't relevant – what was, was before him now. The squabbling herd of bloodsucking UN politicians.

The Illusive Man as the Londoners called him sighed in exasperation as he watch UN representatives debate the use of nuclear armaments again. WMDs John knew the Earth needed to maintain security from alien threats. There was wisdom in exercising a healthy level of vigilance. Too much and you become a paranoid schizophrenic. Too little and your the naïve schmuck who thinks everything can be solved with words. The Spartan understood the power of words but he valued actions more. Actions defined the individual and the nations represented. So what does he do when one of these representatives standing at podium now was giving a heartfelt speech about the need for nuclear disarmament?

"With all due respect Senator, but we can't trust the security of the entire world to one man," for the record John liked General Wells. The man was a realist who valued the lives of his men and security of his nation.

"I understand your feelings General," Superman was winding up to give one of his famous inspirational speeches. "But when Senator Carter first approached me I was reluctant to get involved, but after–"

"Making a fool of yourself yet again Kal-El?" 117's broke The Man of Steel's momentum before appearing in front of the Kryptonian in the same manor he did in their previous encounter two years prior.

"You!" he pointed an accusing finger at the Spartan.

"I see the rumors about Kryptonian arrogance still holds water. Tell me how long did it take for you to come on over to that RAT'S side of thinking?" The armored soldier pointed at Senator Carter.

"The Senator no rat I assure you…. And just because–"

"I could care less about political ideals right now Superman. The Nebraskan Senator is a wolf in sheep's clothing. If you don't believe me scan him with your super vision and tell me what you see yourself."

"D-Don't you dare!" Carter took a step back in manner that can only be described as a rat being cornered. "That is a violation of my privacy as a US citizen!"

"Senator?" Clark raised an eyebrow at the uncharacteristic behavior before focusing on where Carter's panicking heart should have been and paled a little, "You…. Your not human."

"He's is one of many Infiltrators sent to sabotage to ours defenses so when his species invades the Earth's conquest will be all the easier. Those nukes you were so quick to disarm are their only immediate deterrent."

John suddenly leveled a GEN7 CELAP (Compact-channel Electromagnetic Linear Accelerator Pistol) with the alien's center mass and without warning fired a trio of explosive tipped rounds faster than the Man of Steel could react. Not even a second later the being known as Carter exploded like an irritate zit over half the audience and Kent. The Chief's shields spared him the trouble of cleansing off the putrid smelling mucus like substance from his armor. 117 turned towards a stunned Kryptonian in a manner reminiscent of a father scolding a child, "This is the second time your naïveté has forced me to make a public appearance Superman. Let's try and not make a habit out of this."

A slip-space portal opened next to the commando as he casually reloaded his pistol ignoring the dumbstruck audience and the fact he executed a sitting US Senator in cold blood on LIVE television. The whole world seem to stop at that moment as they realized how close they were to ruin. Content that his work was done John turned towards the portal there was an Indian Pale Ale waiting for him back home next to the leftover Chinese from last night in the refrigerator.

"Wait who are you?" John paused in mid-stride and look at the Kenyan representative with a thoughtful glance.

"Hmm...I've gone by many names over the millennia Ma'am," this admission earned several whispers of disbelief. "The Egyptians called me Imhotep, Romulus to the Romans, Loukas Notaras of the Byzantine Empire, and Sir Gawain was my last more notable alias. But before all of that humanity called me Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Sierra-117 of the UNSC."

"If what you say is true why are you interfering now?" she approached the man with unconscious reverence.

"Because each of those times humanity was facing an opponent it was not ready for."

"Explain Master Chief," General Wells walked up to the Spartan without the slightest hint of fear. John unconsciously saluted the superior officer out of respect surprising Wells who returned the gesture.

"General, my outfit noticed an increase in extraterrestrial activity in the last two years, and all evidence points to an invasion. These things…," John gestured to the pile of goo on the floor. "…Are like locus. Going from world to world consuming the entire biosphere till nothing is left. Recent interrogations reveals they were responsible for the Martian extinction 5 millennia ago."

John looked around at the stunned audience as security debated on how to address the Unknown. Sighing he looked down at Wells, "Sir, I'd recommend you press the President into upping the US readiness condition to DEFCON 2."

"Your serious?"

"Very. All relevant data concerning this species is being forwarded to all of the world's intelligence and military agencies as we speak. I would recommended immediate military coordination and cooperation between nations. Our survival as a species is at stake."

"Your asking for a lot," the Japanese speaker who was not too long ago campaigning for nuclear disarmament crossed his arms stubbornly.

"No representative. I am not. Darkseid's first invasion should have been the first kick in the pants. But instead all of you negligently rely on super powered individuals with sophomoric ideals."

"You really don't like us do you 117?" Superman stepped in with a frown.

"Respecting and liking don't have to go hand in hand kryptonian," and with that he was gone.

{The Batcave, Gotham City: 2008 AD}

"So what do you think Bruce?"

"I think his invasion and my deep space satellite saboteurs are one in the same," the Dark Knight began typing away on his infamous mainframe. "Given the information this Sierra-117 provided and my own investigations over the last year I'd say we are looking at an imminent attack."

"Yes," Superman said with hesitation. He didn't like talking behind people's back, but the Spartan's methods troubled him. "I mean this Master Chief–"

"Petty Officer of the Navy Sierra-117?" Batman finished. "I'm suspicious of the man more than anything. His rank for instance didn't exist until 1967 and yet he claims to be millennia old."

"A time traveler maybe?"

"Perhaps. Then there were his alter egos…."

"And?" Superman was curious what the worlds greatest detective had uncovered.

"Jason Blood recognized his voice despite his misplaced North American accent."

Kent just blanched at the implications, "Sir Gawain was almost eight feet tall?"

"More like 7'3" or 4"," Superman smiled in amusement at that. "I suspect the armor he is wearing adds a few inches. He also destroyed the Merlin's Philosopher's Stone forcing Morgaine Le Fey and her dark army to retreat from Camelot. At least that is what Sir Justin claims."

"Sir Justin?"

"The Shining Knight."

"Ah…," Clark wore a look of understanding before raising his eyebrow at the evasion."But you didn't exactly answer my question Bruce."

"He's pragmatic activist who believe the ends always justify the means and is not afraid to take a life to accomplish his self-imposed duties…." Wayne paused as he recalled his latest talk with his old friend Zatanna. She had become alarmed when she learned Bruce was investigating the former Green Knight of Camelot and demanded/ordered him to drop the case…. "Apparently he's one of the most sought after beings in the magical world. He is equally feared as he is respected."


"They call him the Spartan," there was a power behind that title the duo could not unconsciously deny.

"The Spartan."

"Yes, I suspect that is what the NATO Phonetic Sierra stands for. Which could possibly hint at the extent of his military background," Bruce began to drink from one of the bat-memorabilia coffee mugs Alfred had bought at one of the many souvenir gift shop across Gotham.

"You've lost me again," Bruce sometime wondered how Kent became a reporter as he channeled ireful daggers at the kryptonian.

"Clark he's a former child soldier," he said dryly.

"Impressive. You really are The World's Greatest Detective," both mystery-men jumped in surprise at voice behind them before looking back at the olive green titan casually observing the museum of criminal artifacts Batman collected over the years. Shaking his head at the giant penny he chuckled, "Such a waist of copper. Leonidas would have had a conniption. You certainly attract an ostentatious group Mister Wayne."

"Comes with the job," replied the cape crusader cooly while his mind raced over the implications before him. "How did you get in here?"

"The grandfather clock in the library. Mister Pennyworth was kind enough to let me in."

"Alfred?" Bruce looked at his long time chamberlain with disbelief.

"He blackmailed me Sir," John chuckled at the exasperated reply.

"I'd hardly call it blackmail, Staff Sergeant Pennyworth."

"What would you call it then Master Chief?"

"I'd call it an inexplicably treacherous extraction in the middle of a very hot Saigon, 1976. One of four favors you still owed me by the way," he reminded while continuing his tour.

"You do realized that is still classified information?" the old SAS Sergeant questioned as he applied presser to his sinuses.

"Possibly…," John said with mute humor.

"Enough! Who are you? What are you doing here? How do you two know each other?" Bruce snapped with controlled rage catching Superman off guard.

"So this is the true face of Bruce Wayne?" John looked back curiously before returning to his study of the various trophies this time stoping at one of Roxy Rocket's rocket-bikes to examine the mechanics. "Shoddy workmanship. Highly unstable. Did Miss Sutton realize she was basically riding a ticking time bomb?"

"She's a thrill-seeking sociopath what do you think? Now answer my questions," Batman growled while pointing a finger threateningly in the Spartan's face.

117 chuckles at the man's nerve. Most manner of being were down right terrified of him, "You certainly don't lack for courage. Very well. I'll get to the point of my intrusion. As you guess I'm Spartan-117 and I can only recall my first name. Which I will not tell you."

"…," Bruce said nothing as he just listened and deconstructed the man before him.

"I stumble upon this alternate reality 13,837 years ago when the Atlanteans' were on the cusp of their golden age. At the time they were probably five or more centuries away from reaching the technological tier of three and becoming a Space-Faring civilization like my own."

"But the sinking of Atlantis changed that."

"Correct. After the sky goddess Suula sunk the atlantean continent – humanity entered into an age of regression. One that stunted its growth for millennia to come. It was after that moment I became involved in protecting humanities development by limiting the impact external forces had on humans."

"Meaning aliens and mystical beings," Bruce crossed his arms.

"Correct again. I limited their influence as much as humanly possible ensuring science won out over magic and mysticism. Which is proven to hamper the intellectual evolution of any species that becomes overtly reliant on it. As for why I'm here? Since it is your deep space satellites that are getting hit right now I thought cooperation would be mutually beneficial."

"And Alfred?"

"I've been a friend of the royal family since Camelot and on numerous occasions worked with members of Military Intelligence and Special Operations. I still remember when Pennyworth here was still a greenhorn fresh from Hereford. Would have made a phenomenal C-PAIN operative had extenuating circumstances not gotten in the way of things. Still carrying your Walther Staff Sergeant?"

"Not as much as I would prefer. The young master has an abhorrent distaste for firearms."


"Indeed," Alfred smiled. Once always a soldier.

{Gotham City Police Department, Gotham City: 2008 AD}

"What in the Sam Hill is IT doing here?" James Gordon Commissioner of the Gotham City Police Department pointed at the looming titan in olive green behind the Dark Knight

"I'm a he," John said tiredly.

"Just another freak in costume if you ask me," Lieutenant Harvey Bullock sneered at the heavily armed Commando while Detective Montoya questioned his sanity. "Beside we don't need some psycho robot shooting up Gotham boss. I say we arrest the nut and his pointy eared friend."

"Half-cocked like a recruit fresh out of the academy?" Renee resisted the urge to laugh at the Spartan while Robin began to snicker. "Strange I thought a senior member GCPD would be more clean-cut than that? Pitiful."

"Why you son of a–" Batman remained quiet despite the faintest hint of a smile forming along his usually stoic face. Bullock had always been an arse seeing him spout and sputter was rather amusing change of pace.

"Language Ballocks there is a lady and a kid present," John nodded apologetically towards the Detective who smiled towards the gesture before ruffing Robin's hair to muffle the grumble's about being called a kid yet again.

"The name's Bullock!"

"Bullock?" The Spartan questioned, "Wouldn't that be worse? Cause a bullock is a male bovine that has been–"

Harvey looked like he was about to blow a gasket any moment as he desperately cut the so called freak off, "I know what it means!"

"Your right short-fused and easily predictable," the Spartan looked down towards the Boy Wonder who broke down laughing. Batman just sighed he expected the Spartan to be somewhat more professional but the moment Tim showed up he had been acting rather paternally. It confuse Bruce greatly how he could be the cold professional one moment and then warm and lighthearted the next. "I'm looking for an information broker Commissioner."

"What kind broker Master Chief?"

"The kind that deals with terrorists and aliens." Batman stepped in. He agreed to help so long as the Spartan refrained from killing anyone. 117 response was "I'll think about it," much to Wayne's ire. Scare tactics and threats didn't work on this man, not to mention he knew his secret identity

"He goes by the alias Sol. Real name Gregory Carey," 117 handed Gordon a file containing a unsuspicious looking red head in his early twenties.

"Graduated from Trinity College in 2002. Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with a minor in sociology," the Commissioner began to read out loud. "One account of illegal substance abused and distribution, two for assault and battery. That's it?"

"Carey's hit the big time with hacking the local S.T.A.R. Labs' mainframe. He most recently stole the blueprints for a Direct Energy Guardian Installation or DEGI for short. We suspect he plans on selling it to the alien infiltrators."

"Which does what?" Bullock cut in again with disinterest.

"Theoretically it should protect a city from orbital bombardment," Batman spoke knowingly after all it was his company that was aided and funded the development for the project.

"Or troop insertion."

"Orbital insertion? Is such a thing even possible?" Gordon put his two cents in as he recalled the many HALO Jumps he performed with MACV-SOG in Vietnam. Dropping in from outside the planet's atmosphere sounded tantamount to suicide.

"Very." John said as he thought of some rather balls ODSTs from his youth.

"Right I'll put an APB on Carey. In the meantime I nee–" the Commissioner's words evaporated as fire erupted at his distant flank reddening the Gotham sky. John whipped his head around so fast that his body was an olive blur of motion that only Superman could have possibly followed had he opted to tag along. A moment later John was standing at the edge of GCPD's rooftop looking down the scope of his GEN8 CELAR Kurtz at the source of the sudden chaos.

"Wellington Bridge. A lorry's trailer was detonated. Chemical transport. Probably a 7,000 gallon capacity."

"Origin?" Gordon felt like he was in Nam again for some reason as he stood next to the Spartan. Batman and Robin had already gone ahead while Bullock and Montoya stood behind them.

"Smoke. The faint trail suggests a rocket propelled grenade. Tracking source. Office window on the thirty-second floor of the Powers Technology building south side." Renee was already radioing the information the rest of GCPD first responders as John followed the trail back to the bridge and then magnified the image in his scope. "I see small arms fire."

"Foot-mobiles?" the former MACV-SOG questioned.

"Twenty plus. Gang colors match those of Scarecrow and Two-face. Also I have eyes on known rogues Harley Quinn, Killer Croc, and Poison Ivy. They appear to be after the contents of a S.T.A.R. Labs armored convoy. Private security is holding but they need backup ASAP."

"S.T.A.R. Labs…." Montoya scowled. "The timing's too close to be a coincidence."

"That bridge is going to be packed with civvies, 'cause of rush hour," Bullock growled. Harvey might of been a royal arse but that didn't mean he wasn't being straight when he swore to protect and serve Gotham. "Damn Freaks we should have put 'em down when we had the chance."

"Agreed." John stood up and removed his CELAR's clip and sighed at the contents. He had begrudgingly loaded TTRs (Tactical Training Round) as per Wayne's price for his Gotham contacts. 117 slapped the mag back into his custom CELAR Kurtz before making sure the magazines containing HEAP (High Explosive Armor Piercing) rounds were in comfortable reach. Whether the vigilante liked it or not the deal would be null and void the moment non-combatants were placed in an excruciating circumstance. Civilian lives mattered more than keeping his word with Batman. "Gordon tell SWAT to be selective with their targets. I'm going."

"Holy crap he jumped!" bellowed the larger than average Lieutenant as hard-light overlapped over MJOLNIR's rear repulsors forming a complex system of nacelles and flaps that launched the Spartan at Wellington Bridge at ear shattering speeds. Bullock just stared at the Spartan's taillights for a moment before laughing uncontrollably.

"What's so damn…funny?" Renee scowled. Gordon was already halfway down the stairs radioing the SWAT Commander.

"Besides the magic glowing jet-pack that broke the sound barrier?" Harvey Bullock jeered. "Do the math Montoya. Big-Green executed a sitting US Senator live on TV. Sure Carter was a spy but damn the cojones on that Mother. So tell me Detective what makes you think 'em loonies are going to get off any better?"

"…," Renee frowned at the implications. "Your point Lieutenant?"

"I think I'm beginning to like the crazy bastard." She blink in shock at the man as he exited the roof. "Come'n Gordon's going to need help coordinating this shit storm."

{Wellington Bridge, Gotham City: 2008 AD}

Robin internally cursed at their predicament while taking shelter behind the shredded corpse of a H3 Humvee that probably belonged to one of Gotham's better-offs. Not that the tattered remains of the family inside could say anything to verify it. Tim and Batman had to finish this quickly before any more loss of life. Problem was Wayne was wresting with Killer Croc while simultaneously avoiding the overlapping fields of fire Two-Face's people had set up. They were just waiting for their chance to mince the Bat.

Looking over the corner of the rear bumper Drake assessed Scarecrow's crew cautiously. They were just looking for the opportunity to waste him while Ivy's plants tore into the last armored vehicle to retrieve whatever it was S.T.A.R. Labs was carting. Glancing down at remains of Gotham City patrolman next to him he suppressed the urge to gag with a shudder. It was the first time he watched a man die. No…that's not right. Officer Pomeroy didn't die he sacrificed himself. Pushed the Boy Wonder out of the line of fire before calmly bleeding out next to him saying, "Stay low and out of sight Kid. Stay low and out of sight…." Less than half a minute later the officer went into hemorrhagic shock while taking his last breaths. Robin couldn't pinned down what he was feeling right now. Guilt for the man who saved his life at the cost of his own, anger for the senseless killing from the so called rogues gallery, and dare he think it fear.

Tim was afraid as any well-adjusted twelve year-old should be in a situation like this – fearing death was natural. Now he understood why Bruce always took Barb or on occasion Dick with him for the murder cases. It was also probably why the 117 did not want him coming with them in the first place. Did he know something like this was going to happen? The man seemed to be geared up for war when they first met. 'Is this why the Spartan and Jason uses guns?' he thought to himself while staring at the woman still sitting in the drivers seat of the car in front of him with half her brains missing. A minute later Batman came sailing over the withered remains of a taxicab clutching his right arm while taking cover.

"Your bleeding…." Robin whispered to Bruce who somehow miraculously heard him over the symphony of automatic fire. The Dark Knight's eyes widened at the sight of his petrified ward. This was exactly the situation he wanted to protect Robin from and exactly the reason the Master Chief wanted Tim to stay home. Lingering on that thought Wayne noted his surroundings and remembered the deal he made with the former Green Knight of Camelot. He had to end this soon befor–the roar jet engines deafened the sound of kalashnikovs and uzis as a green meteor impacted the Wellington Bridge flattening an ugly honda civic that was thankfully vacant.

'To late,' Batman thought to himself as he saw the Spartan remove the harmless TTRs from his rifle and then replaced them with live rounds.

{Change of Perspective}

The bridge shook and Pamela lost her footing on the head of one her babies a rather dapper Cobra-Lily/Ficus-aurea hybrid. She smiled as it steadied her while its siblings continued their work. Whatever the humans where hiding in this transport must have been important she thought to herself. Perhaps something worth stealing back once she gained the compounds promised to her by Sol.

"Oh holy crap it's a Tin-Man!" Harley yelled much to her confusion. A moment later she heard both Crane's and Dent's crews stopped firing. There were hush whispers and fearful curses now as Poison Ivy turned to look at the source of all the commotion.

"You have two options," a gravelly voice spoke with calm clarity despite the distance. Isley oddly found herself applauding the Spartan's taste in color and unconsciously eyeing the olive green titan. Ivy's eyes widened as her subconscious scrutinizing of the man was overridden by the tranquil waves of submission reverberating from her children. What they were exhaling was full of contradictories fueled by euphoric trepidations.

The Green (Gaia) the elemental force which connects all forms of plant life was speaking to Pamela through her babies of forewarning and reverence. 'Unyielding protector,' it proudly praised. 'Merciless hunter,' it shivered with delight. 'Ruggedly gorgeous,' it giggled sensually causing Ivy to blush at the uncharacteristic proclamation. 'A dedicated father," it said with bewitched sigh confusing Ivy even further. It was times like these when she wished her fellow protector Swamp-Thing was available for council. 'Humbler of Gods. Slayer of Demons,' the Green finished.

"Oh yeah? What're they Tin-Man?" Harley mocked much Ivy's horror as she shook herself from her reflections. If the Green whispered feared and respected for this man then perhaps it would be wise to give 117 the same regard. At least that was what she told herself when a very human sensations of dread and longing reverberated through her core.

"Surender…or face extreme prejudice," was his detached ultimatum causing the majority of the rogues to unwillingly shudder. While a resistant Harley sassily opened her mouth only to be quickly gaged and tied by an over grown dandelion with red thorns.

"Quiet," Pam hissed surprising Quinzel at the atypical glimmer of fear in the hybrid's eyes.

A questioning look replaced the blond's scowl once the gagging tendril of vegetation was removed, "Red?"

"That man leveled Superman remembe–" Ivy had maneuvered her plants to shields her fellow Gotham Siren when Scarecrow cut her off with a vindictive laugh.

"I'll go with option three," Crane leveled a M32 grenade launcher loaded with his dreaded Fear Toxin and double tapped the commando. "Killing you!"

Scarecrow's head popped like an inflated melon a second later as the Spartan methodically came out of the cloud of deadly toxins firing full auto at the hapless criminals. Not even half a minute and most of Scarecrows goons were dead and Two-Faces people were now taking casualties. Pam and Harleen took cover behind an abandoned full-size truck that had its tires mysteriously shot-out while Ivy's babies hunkered down around them. Neither Siren were willing to poke there heads out when a sickening crack was heard silencing the roar of a charging reptile.

Waylon Jones's saurian form came crashing into the engine block of a broken semi well beyond repair causing both woman to pale at the sight. Croc's body was bent at an unnatural angle with his head twisted a full 180 degrees in the opposite direction causing both women to blanch at the implications. They would later learn from Catwoman who was cringing-watching with abhorring fascination from the roof tops that 117 had backhanded Killer Croc aside like a disobedient child while reloading his rifle.

"Shoot me and the kiddies in the bus go sky-high!" Harvey bellowed a minute later causing both women to peak from cover to a scene that rekindled their misplaced maternal instincts. Three lanes down from their hidy-hole was an elementary school bus full of children and a wireless detonator coupled with enough Semtex level a M1 Abram twice over.

"Raisin-Head what the hell ya doing," Quinn said-screamed what was on everyone else's mind. Ivy was already giving her babies orders to move on Harvey as fond memories of the children at Robinson Park resurfaced. After the massive earthquake in 06 the government had disavowed their abysmal city from the United States and declare Gotham a, "No Man's Land." While other villains squabbled over territory Pamela rooted herself in Robinson Park turning it into a tropical paradise and took in sixteen orphans despite her supposed misanthropy.

"What I'm doing is getting out of here!" there was a crazier look in his eyes than usual as he took a step back with his finger on the detonator. "Besides the bastard made me drop my silver dolla–GUAH!"

Smoked wafted from the barrel of John's assault rifle, "You talk too much."

"Bastard…," Harvey angrily growled while staring incredulously at the charred stump that once coupled to his hand and the detonator. Two-face shook with rage before his shoulders slumped in defeat. He'll go back to Arkham for now. But once Dent got out he was going make, 'the SOB pay' he smiled to himself, "I surren–"

Like Jonathan Crane Harvey Dent's head ceased to exist when a HEAP round entered his warped nasal cavity and then detonating after two to three inches of penetration. John lowered his rifle and the girls stare at him in disbelief while Batman and Robin final reached the Commando.

"You killed all of them…," whispered Tim in disbelief while Bruce collect his thoughts.

"Your on your own," 117 turned to the Detective who's arm got clipped by stray fire. There was fire in the man's eyes John easily respected, but 117 didn't have time for sophomoric idealists.

"Fine. Doctors Isley and Quinzel," the II turned to the Gotham Sirens. "It's your lucky day."

"Oh yeah? Cuz from where I'm standing I ain't feeling so fortunate," Quinn snapped fueling Ivy's exasperation.

"What do you want?" Whatever objections the dynamic duo had were occupied by Isley's babies while Ivy studied the Spartan.


{VTOL Inbound for Pier 19, Gotham City: 2008 AD}

"So let me get this straight," Harley began again from the rear end of GEN14 Osprey Transport. "Sol is selling out to the aliens."

"Richtig (right)," said the C-PAIN Operator across from Quinn while shuffling a vintage set of playing cards. Sitting next to him was his squad-mate silently giving his light support weapon a third once-over.

"Your German," she said while pointing at the man with the end of her sledge hammer.

"Korrekt again."

"He's Russian." She then gestured to the 6'6" tall former soviet.

"Да (Yes)," was the heavy weapons and tech specialist's response.

"And she's Japanese?" Harley receive only sigh from the straphanger standing in the middle of the VTOL's troop bay four steps away from the Chief and Isley.

"And you guys are like some sort of super secret agent group," there was silly flicker of fascination in her eyes now as she chatted up the trio of slightly taller than average bio-augmented cyborgs.

'Quite the curious one isn't she Willhelm?' the ex first generation Spetznaz messaged his compatriot via a private link through their positronic brains. Bio-synthetics neural technology was one of the many miracles C-PAIN had at their finger tips. Assets could communicate, coordinate, and interpret valuable intel simultaneously in the confines of milliseconds. Compared to the precious minutes it took non augmented operators to respond to a situation. A godsend many called it.

'Let sie (her) have her fun Kozin,' the squad's designated marksman Willhelm Krause chuckled. Harley's genuine curiosity was rather refreshing actually. Hell it probably helped that like most men he was a sucker for a pretty girl but he didn't have to tell any one that, "In a way…. Yes Fräulein Lächelns (Ms. Smiles)."

"Eh? What did you call me?" Quinzel felt a blush form behind her cosmetics as the cool as a cucumber german in a full black body suit with moderate combat webbing continued to shuffle cards casually. Harley was no expert in bio-synthetics but she recognized artificial muscle when she saw it. Those suits were bleeding edge tech, not as fancy as what 117 fella was wearing but still pretty out there compared to B-Man.

"Irrelevant," the CO of the two cut in. "We will be landing soon so make sure to double your check equipment."

"Да (Yes) Major," Sergei Kozin stood up to start running suit diagnostics as Krause did the same from his seat.

"Shame though…," Harley said with a bored look. Then pointed at the Russian, "Why couldn't you be Italian? Then you three could be Team Axis!"

"Like I haven't heard that before," muttered the Major as she prepped her SMG. Despite being the youngest of the three the former Naichō operative was placed in command of their squad twelve years ago. Both men were old enough to be her grandfathers but neither of the ageless WWII vets seemed to object to her appointment.

Looking back into the Osprey she frowned at how close Poison Ivy was standing next to her superior. If she didn't know any better she'd say the misanthropic eco-terrorist was swooning over the Spartan before demising the thought. Isley must have been planing to use her pheromones or something to seduce him and gain access to their resources.

Whatever her reason Major Motoko Kusanagi wasn't going to let Doctor Isley out of her sights.

{Change of Perspective}

"Those suits their wearing seem almost symbiotic in nature," Pamela spoke while studying the trio next to Harley known as Oscar-Six. The one identified as the Major struck Isley as a cold professional with an unmistakable inherent distrust for her and Quinn. How she kept both Gotham Sirens in her peripheral at all times was a little scary. Call-sign Saw the towering Russian with the squad automatic weapon was perhaps the most jovial or sarcastic of the three it was hard to tell when a person's face was completely concealed by a sophisticated all purpose rebreather. Then there was Ritter the cool as cucumber marksman of the team. Nothing seemed to faze him – even Harley's never ending list of questions. He just patiently shuffled his playing cards while answering what question he could while politely declining to one couldn't. Who said chivalry was dead?

117 certainly didn't seem to be lacking in it, 'In a way he is rather charming….' Pam blinked at the thought before wondering where the devil it came from. She was OVER men especially after the torture she went through in her younger years as Dr. Woodrue's assistant. Gone was the naive little girl from Seattle only the strong independent villainess of Gotham remained.

"What else do you see Doctor?" the Spartan's calm words shook Pamela from her inner self monologue causing Ivy to look up to the towering man who was tilting his head down towards her in a curious manner.

"Yes well…," Pam paused for a second repressing the blush she felt warming her cheeks before reflecting on the question. She might have specialized in botany and toxicology initially since her time at Uni but a girl like her knew she needed to broaden her scientific scopes if she wanted to survive Gotham. "Given the fluidity and grace of their movements I'd hypothesis recombinant DNA."

"Good eye," the Chief complimented again while giving his CELAR Kurtz a quick once over. "Anything else?"

"Is this some sort of test or are you toying with me 117?" Ivy crossed her arms and began tapping her foot excitably. Much to her amusement the Spartan flinched a little under her withering glare. It was faint almost unnoticeable even after the Master Chief righted himself but Pamela caught it all the same.

"Am I making you uncomfortable…Chief…?" she emphasized the last bit teasingly as one of her crimson brows rose a little. It had been so long since she just teased a man the feeling was almost euphoric. Then he chuckled it was indistinct almost inaudible to everyone else in the troop bay but it was there. Pamela was finding its gravel undertones strangely soothing as she unconsciously took a step forward.

"Only a little," John answered calmly while leaning in. "You?"

"Wait! Are you two flirting?!" Harley declare excitedly causing both guilty parties to back up a little and 117's underling to stare at their ageless leader incredulously. Quinn didn't seem to notice or care as she pull Ivy into hug, "Way to go Red!"

Things remained awkward after that. Oscar-Six kept glancing at the II wondering if he was somehow become vulnerable to Poison Ivy's pheromones. While Quinzel was incessant in her embarrassing encouragement of her longtime friend. Hell if Ivy didn't know any better she'd say Harley was intentionally drawing unwanted attention to the human-plant hybrid for the fun of it. She wouldn't do that right? When they final reached their destination Pamela found herself thanking whatever deity was that was watching over her for the reprieve.

{Pier 19, Gotham City: 5 minutes and a slotted Royal Flush Gang later; 2008 AD}

"Please…! Don't kill me!" a spineless redhead known to the criminal underworld as Sol begged at the Spartan's feet while Saw made sure the android known as Ace stayed dead. Ritter might have picked the clanker's head clean off right with his DMR, but the damn thing kept moving even after loosing its head. Kozin was now tearing through Ace's chest trying to the locate central processing unit and memory maybe even learn what Royal Flush had been up to. "It wasn't me! I swear! On my mother's grave! It was…it was the alien mind control!"

"Vell, it ist original I'll give him that," Krause deadpanned while Kusanagi linked Harpē to Carey's mainframe."Vhat do du vant to do boss?"

"We'll give him to Hudson and Weaver. They'll get him talking."

"What! No! Plea–" Gregory's wails were silenced by a Tactical Training Round to the head causing both Gotham Sirens blanch at the Chief's pitiless response.

"All right. I'll wrap him up to go. Oscar-Six pick this place clean. If it looks interesting, bag it. If it's too big? Then three dimensional snapshots use as much memory as you need," John said as he put a gag on Sol before applying a set of plastic flex-cuffs and a black bag over his head incase he wakes up. Turning back to the two Sirens fidgeting at the muddled position they were John gave them a nod towards the exit, "Doctors Isley and Quinzel thank you for your assistance."

"That's it?" the duo said in sync.

"That is it," was his answer as he placed the traitor on his shoulder and began walking towards the descending VTOL.

Poison Ivy was expecting him drag her and Harley back to the Arkham Asylum or something, "How do we know you won't put two in the back of our heads the moment we leave?"

"I keep my promises Doctor," John kept walking towards the Osprey while Oscar-Six fell into formation. "Oh and one more thing."

"Oh and what would that be Tin-Man?" Quinzel said sassily. Ritter shoulder seemed to bob up and down in manner that resembled chuckles.

"Stay out of trouble…or I'll find you."

"What if I want to be found?" Pamela said without thinking causing John to look back curiously and Oscar-Six to faintly stumble up the transport's ramp. The Spartan paused for an eternity before giving a gradual nod that made Isley's a heart flutter a little as the Osprey quickly ascended into black nothing of space. Glancing to her left Ivy blanch at the duo of gobsmacked looks coming from her two fellow Gotham Sirens. Harley was pinching herself while Catwoman who had just arrived a moment ago now had girlish glimmer in her feline eyes that said she wanted all the juicy details. Sighing Pamela said the first thing that came to mind when Selina's mouth began to part, "Oh shut up."