Jonathan Horne was a powerful man. The leader of the United States of America. The Commander In Chief of the American Armed Forces.
But he was still just a man.
He hadn't felt this small since his first day of school. But here he was sitting in Potter Castle in Smallville, Kansas. Everywhere he looked were people with power that could conquer a world. Granted, none of the beings around him were in costume, but it didn't help that he knew the man sitting to his right could don an armour so advanced and powerful that it could decimate armies.
Not that Lex Luthor seemed to care.
Horne sat there, trying to take notes as the various heroes gave their reports. They casually talked about teleporting, flying, saving lives… taking lives.
He was suddenly aware that everyone was watching him.
"Jonathan? Do you have any questions, requests or suggestions?"
Jonathan had an aircraft carrier's worth of questions. But he was having trouble forming them under the gaze of so much power… no matter how calm and reassuring Doctor Potter was being.
He felt a wave of calmness settle over him. He understood from the subtle wink that Harry Potter had cast a spell to help him. 'Doctor's orders'. He heard in his head.
Jonathan pulled his notes forward. "The people who died… they can't be helped?"
"Short answer: No.
"Longer answer involves trying to get you to understand that they don't need help. Those that were not guilty of heinous crimes are in no pain. They are in the afterlife or one of the heavenly realms.
"The dead aren't suffering. Their loved ones, that's another matter."
"What about our Christmas tradition?" Lex asked. "Give them a chance to say goodbye."
Harry took a deep breath as Clark explained. "Every Christmas, the townspeople of Smallville gather and Harry calls the souls of their loved ones so they can spend a few moments with them.
"The problem, is that it is very exhausting for him. Thousands died yesterday."
"I could do it as a one off deal." Harry offered.
"I didn't realise it was a taxing feat." Jonathan frowned. "Is keeping the dead from crossing over just as hard?"
"No. As long as they are on my side of the afterlife, their souls are mine." Harry said.
"Perhaps it would be best to settle for counselling." Jonathan said, closing the topic. "What about the injured?"
"I have my Amazons going to every hospital and healing all they can." Amara answered.
"And I will finish what they can't." Harry added. "I will warn you that there may be some who are forever changed, like Vibe and Victor. The effects of the Boom Tubes and Mother Boxes has a major effect on human DNA and it infuses an energy into them that conflicts with magic."
"We'll find them and offer them the usual training." Lorna assured him.
"I would appreciate it if there could be some cooperation between yourselves and the government in this." Horne said hesitantly. "I simply want to ensure that these people realise that their government is there for them."
"I'd be fine with cooperation, Harry." Lorna offered. "Provided it isn't the military or some clandestine organisation."
"I have no one in mind… I was hoping you would offer suggestions."
"We'll put you in contact with our best." Clark assured him. Then he grimaced. "But they may not be the sanest." He said as he looked at Dani causing most of them to chuckle.
"Next question?" Harry prompted the President.
"Would you be willing to participate in a ceremony similar to the one after the original Darkseid invasion?"
Harry looked around at the Shield members.
"I mean all of you. Queen Amara, Shield, Supergirl, Shazam… the gods." Everyone was watching the President carefully. "People need to understand the scope of what happened. They need to understand that humans don't have the capability to deal with these evils… it's why we have heroes."
There was a few seconds silence before Harry spoke. "For the record, humans are capable of a lot. Especially adaptation. Today may have been the first time Bruce actively used magic in costume."
Bruce just nodded affirmative.
"I'll be there." Harry promised Jonathan. "Shield and the others will let you know. As for the gods… I doubt they will all come, but I will see if we can't get them to send representatives."
"Any other questions?"
"Could you provide… an advisor, someone who can give insight in how you have dealt with major incidents like this in the past?"
"That is all I can think of." Jonathan said quietly. It had been a long day, full of death and destruction. He was very tired.
The following day Lex received an unexpected visitor at his office. She had walked into the lobby of LuthorCorp and asked the receptionist to tell him or Mercy she was there.
"Andrea, is everything ok?" Lex asked as he offered her a seat on the sofa. She seemed shaken and nervous. What was really worrying was that she had willingly walked into a Luthor building. A place she was more likely to tear down to the ground.
"Yesterday… in Philadelphia… thousands are dead?"
Lex nodded. "Along with hundreds of homes and businesses. But Harry is going to fix the property damage tonight."
"I should have been there." She muttered, not looking at Lex or Mercy who stood behind him.
"Andrea, you would have died. Or at least been gravely wounded."
"But Potter could have healed me, right?" Now she looked him in the eye.
"Yes. Many of us could have."
"Provided they didn't die." Mercy added. "The Flash was nearly killed twice. T-Two of my sisters died."
"Then I should have been there." Andrea said with a hint of anger. "I could have saved some of those people. I know I couldn't have touched Darkseid, but I could have pulled people out of danger. Shielded them."
Lex sat back rubbed the bridge of his nose thoughtfully. "Tess, Shield was never really an option for Andrea, it wasn't the right fit for her.
"But…" He looked up at her.
Mercy nodded. "Give me a few moments to pray."
Andrea watched curiously as Mercy moved away to the large windows and knelt down.
"You were never considered as a member of shield because you were more of a lone agent. Which is hypocritical of us when you consider Batman.
"You were, however, considered a close friend and ally. I know Superman has been taking you around with him, but we were all going to so we could get to know you and share tips."
Andrea jumped as Clark Kent suddenly appeared next to Mercy and she stood as they talked quietly.
"You want to help." Lex regained her attention. "And we want to help you do that."
"You know Tess and Chloe are Amazons, Andrea?" Clark asked as he sat next to Lex in the middle of the sofa, Tess on his other side.
Andrea frowned but nodded.
"They serve the goddess Aphrodite."
"Is that who she was praying to?" Andrea asked, curious as to why Clark Kent would turn up.
"She was praying to the god and goddess of the Amazons. I am the god of the Amazons." Clark told her. "I assume no power over them, but I stand for them and they stand for me."
"He is the husband of our goddess." Tess smiled.
Andrea was mortified as she let out snort of a laugh.
"You have tell us what that was about." Tess laughed.
Andrea was bright red as she looked at Clark who looked at her with curious amusement. "Peeping Tom?"
Clark thought for a moment and laughed himself. "On our first partnership I was explaining my powers. I told her about my eyesight and she accused me jokingly of peeping on women. I told her I could see the busty blonde in the low cut short dress. Tsukuimi."
"You've met her?" Lex asked.
"I've only met the Amazons."
"How would you like to be one of them?" Clark asked. "You'd instantly have hundreds of sisters. You would still live at home if you wanted, still fight crime.
"But you'd have hundreds of sisters ready and waiting to back you up. Not to mention magic."
"And a god who will also back you up." Tess added with a smile.
"But," Lex interrupted. "You'd be able to help out at disasters like yesterday."
"And the catch?" Andrea asked.
"You would be an Amazon. You would swear to uphold the values of an Amazon and to swear loyalty to Aphrodite." Tess answered. "And you'd have to undergo training and trials."
"You would need to stay on the island for at least a year." Clark added. "But we would use time travel so you don't jeopardize your work and life."
"Can I think about it?"
"Of course. As long as you need. In the meantime, I'm going to ask one of the Amazons to take you to the island so you can get a feel for what it means to be an Amazon."
Harry was having a very interesting day. He no longer had a job at the school, but he did still work at the Smallville Medical Center. He was surprised when his first scheduled patients were Shayera and Barry.
Of course, they were also the only scheduled patients as illness and injury were dealt with in seconds by any of the now magically trained nurses and doctors.
Still, he was curious when his intern, Lana, led the two heroes in.
Barry looked embarrassed and Shayera looked exhausted.
"I'm having trouble sleeping." Shayera grumbled.
"Nightmares?" Harry asked.
"Night lights." She growled as she gestured at Barry's chest. Even under his shirt the energy lightning bolt was visible.
"It shines through walls?" Lana asked in amazement.
"We're… erm… sleeping together. Dating." Barry admitted, slight red.
Lana turned a much brighter shade of red. "That makes so much more sense."
"I have heard that you can cancel unnecessary light. Can you fix this? I'm just lucky it doesn't give off heat." Shayera glared at the bolt.
Harry waved a hand at Barry, but nothing changed. "Standard methods don't work. It only happened yesterday, I'll need some time to investigate." Harry was clearly very happy.
Lana gave Barry a commiserating look. "Be prepared to die… numerous times."
"You should have told us immediately, Jason." Lana scowled, as she stood in one of the examination rooms and focused on re-growing the flesh she had just excised from his calf.
"I didn't know I was injured till an hour ago. She told me." He nodded to the similarly scowling Kara who was standing nearby.
"You had a big black mass for a calf muscle!" Kara snapped. "It was growing."
"Want me to slap him?" Lana offered.
Jason sighed in relief.
"Kal and Jonathan are training me to control my strength. I'll be able to do it myself soon."
Jason let out small squeak.
"If your cousin is there you can use this moron as your test dummy. There's nothing you can do to him Clark can't fix."
That evening the heroes sat upon a newly erected stage at the centre of the battle in Philadelphia. Amongst them were representatives of the gods. Baldur, Apollo, Amaterasu and many others.
President Horne gave a short speech. There were no meaningless platitudes or attempts to soothe the ravaged hearts of mourners. There was just a short description of what occurred and what the heroes had done. Then he had ceded the stage to Harry.
"You have probably heard the phrase 'there is always someone stronger'. Or something like that. But, I am telling you, the people of Earth, there is no one more powerful than me." Harry spoke calmly and softly.
"You see these heroes and gods up here. Some are thousands of years old. Some of them actively built up the world's cultures.
"They are powerful.
"But Darkseid was more powerful than most. It took Superman, the Prince of Asgard and God of Thunder to take him down. It took, Superman, Death's Right Hand and beloved brother to take him down.
"So who is more powerful than Superman?"
Harry gave them all a sly grin. "That would be me."
Harry closed his eyes and a visible distortion wave emanated from him, passing out, 360 degrees, through hero, god, human, meta-human, alien, building… everything.
There were gasps as people who were injured from the battle were suddenly healed, even people who had unrelated injuries and ailments were healed.
The rest of the people were shocked as the destruction around them was repaired and buildings rebuilt themselves.
"I am Death and Magic." Harry said seriously. "I am an Aspect of Existence along with Time and Love. I am immortal and invulnerable.
"Brother?" He looked to Clark.
Clark sighed as he stood, he carefully looked at his big brother and unleashed a powerful blast of heat vision that slowly destroyed Harry.
The crowd screamed.
They tried to get up and run, but they were stuck to their chairs and their chairs were stuck to the ground.
The wave of energy did more than heal and repair.
"SILENCE!" Harry's roar got most of their attention. They saw his ghostly form standing at the microphone. "I. Am. Invulnerable." Harry reiterated firmly.
"That said, if anyone tries to attack me or Time or Love, then every god and goddess in existence will descend upon them and destroy them.
"That is what happened yesterday. The Anti-Monitor attacked The Flash, the Avatar of Time. Avatars are servants of their Aspect. You attack them, you attack their Aspect.
"The Flash was forcibly merged with an Avatar of Death. Hence his new motif." Harry lifted his fringe to show his scar.
"I am Death. I took offense. The gods and goddesses took note and the Anti-Monitor paid the price.
"Now, those of you with common sense and two brain cells to rub together will have realised that I have been in the public eye for a few years and that I haven't been on any killing sprees.
"The only way you get to see me when you die is because you are trying to cheat death or killing others.
"Why am I telling you all this? To give you hope. Yes, many died here yesterday. No, I could not stop them all from dying, I'll explain that another day.
"What I want you to take away from this is that it doesn't matter what fool tries to decimate humanity, I will step in and deal with it if I need to.
"Quite frankly, I doubt it will happen. Superman can handle just about anything."
The Man of Steel groaned as his brother essentially threw him under the bus. It didn't help that Wonder Woman was snickering next to him.
"Now, I am going over there to regrow my body. Clark, you're up." Harry ordered as he moved to the side of the stage.
Clark really wanted to zap his brother… he was peeved that he didn't have a body.
Clark stood at the microphone and looked out at the sea of eyes and cameras. "You think yesterday was bad?" He asked quietly. "Yesterday is just what you know of. We have stopped several invasions and attacks that you never even dreamed of." He gestured to the gods and heroes.
"We are powerful, we are ancient… we want to be happy. Just like everyone of you, we want to have happy lives. That includes having friends and family. We aren't limited to just our fellow Shield members. We have friends and family who are perfectly regular humans.
"Go home. Mourn your lost loved ones. Then move on and live good lives. Death is an end. But it is only the end of this leg of the journey."
"Deadpool. I will rip your testicles off and make you eat them. Then I will make you continuously relive the pain and horror if you ever enter my bed again."
Deadpool vanished from Scott, Emma and Jean's bed.
Emma smirked lasciviously as she crawled on top of Jean. "I love it when you get bloodthirsty."
Scott simply turned on his side and watched as his wives made love.
Until they dragged him in.
"Wade… you look spooked." Harry commented as he worked on breakfast in the castle kitchen.
"I… I may have crossed the wrong line." Deadpool said nervously.
"The woman who eats suns for breakfast?" Harry chuckled. "So what brings you here?"
"About a hundred assassination contracts."
"Just on me?"
"Each. Every Shield member and known relative. Every god and goddess on that stage yesterday. I have three that want Smallville nuked and one that wants the entire USA wiped out."
"About half." Deadpool shrugged as he pulled up his mask over his mouth so he could eat the pancakes Harry served him. "I've got interdimensional contracts as well.
"Any specific orders, Boss?"
"Kill the humans and hand the others to me. I've got a few restless warriors who could use a distraction."
"Who are you having killed?" Clark asked as he entered the kitchen with Kyla and Lois. Lois was pretty much a zombie as she trudged to the counter. She perked up as the hot coffee was placed in front of her.
"The people who put the assassination contracts on us." Harry said as he served the new arrivals.
"I'll warn my sisters to double the guard on Martha." Kyla sighed as she did that mentally.
"Why?" Clark frowned.
"Because the woman is a magnet for assassins!" Lois groused. "I do not want to have to deal with an upset Kusano again. It's horrible. She gets upset. I get upset. She starts to cry. I start to cry.
"I do not cry."
Despite the heartbreak of an upset child, in the aftermath, everyone found it hilarious that Lois was so firmly wrapped around the little girl's finger.
"Mom is not that bad." Clark frowned.
"I've got plenty of contracts for her." Deadpool answered.
"Pool! You recruiting?" Dani beamed as she bounced in with Amara who walked in more sedately and started helping Harry with breakfast.
"Recruiting?" Deadpool asked.
"You said you had contracts."
"Yeah, for assassinating all of you. I could make enough to buy LuthorCorp by offing Martha Kent alone." Deadpool said wistfully.
At that moment a steady stream of Sekirei entered. Each one kissing Clark and Harry on the cheek. Except the few who tried to suck Clark's tongue out of his head.
"Where's the midget?" Deadpool frowned as he surveyed the room.
"Midget?" Kyla asked warningly.
"Kusano. The Green Girl. Number 108. She who has Lois Lane wrapped around her finger."
"She's with Jonathan and Martha Kent." Amara answered. "She lives on the farm."
"Boss, might want to double check your defences. I had a lot of kidnapping contracts for her."
"Give them to me." Harry growled as he held out his hand.
"Erm… can't boss. I destroyed them with the people who made them."
Harry sighed. "Wade, next time call me. Those are the sort of souls I want destroyed."
"I know." Deadpool said unconcerned. "That's why I had the Tel chick take 'em. She said she'd stick them in the underworlds until you were ready."
"Thanks, man." Harry said sincerely.
"No problemo." Deadpool grinned.
"You have plans for the others?" Harry asked.
"Hundreds of contracts. I'm good, but I can't handle all of them. I figure some of yours might want to take a crack. I'd love to hear stories about Wolvie and his two missus getting all hot and sweaty." He grinned. "EEEEK!"
Dani shuffled away as Deadpool started to smoke.
"Pervert." Hikari snarled.
"He was teasing you, Sweetheart." Harry chuckled. "He was talking about you doing a mission with Hibiki and Logan."
Hikari just sneered and sent a quick zap at the former merc.
Deadpool pulled his mask back down. "Call me when you want to talk contracts. Details are in the system." Deadpool said as he teleported out.
"I hate you, Harry." Logan glared.
"You know you can't lie to me." Harry smirked. "You like Deadpool."
"I hate you, Harry."
Life was certainly quieter at Wayne Manor now that Harry had hidden it. The constant paparazzi were no longer present as they couldn't find the place and had to settle for sitting at the end of the street outside his office building with telescopic lenses.
Of course Bruce's car had heavily tinted windows.
Unfortunately for Bruce, the peace and silence was broken by the irate rantings of the beautiful young blonde who was pacing in front of the fire place.
"I should ask Diana and Harry to train me." She said in her strong eastern European accent. "Maybe I should just ask to become an Amazon. At least then I could keep a better eye on you."
"Audrey, I was never in any real danger." He said as he pulled the Princess of Kasnia onto his lap. "If I had died, Clark or Harry would have healed my body and put me back."
"Death is danger." Audrey snarled quietly as she buried her face in his broad chest.
"No. Death is Harry. And he has no intention of me dying of anything other than old age."
Audrey sighed as she settled against him, her ear on his chest, listening to his heartbeat. "I know you will not suffer physically for long. But all the pain and suffering. I do not want it to change you."
Bruce hugged her tightly. "That's why I go to counselling. What Dani tells me there is that I have what I need. Friends, family… love.
"I have you, Alfred, Clark, Diana. It is an unfortunate fact that Ryan is still too inexperienced and young to be jaded enough to ignore my thoughts fully if he thinks I'm in trouble."
"But he cannot read your thoughts." Audrey frowned.
"My thoughts are not as loud or confusing. Most of the time he simply hears an echo as I speak my thoughts. But when I think, ponder, consider, he can hear it."
"I still think I should join you." She grumbled.
Bruce smiled as he kissed her head. She wasn't the spoilt little rich girl anymore, but she also wasn't the type to do extreme physical activities and fight crime.
Jonathan Horne was slightly confused as Doctor Potter arrived for his meeting at the Oval Office. It wasn't Potter himself, but his companion. Kyla Kent, wife of Clark Kent.
"Doctor, Mrs Kent." Jonathan greeted them neutrally, shaking their hands and indicating for them to sit on the couches.
"You're looking healthy Jonathan." Harry nodded approvingly as he sat.
Harry was dressed fairly smartly for him. He rarely wore a suit, but here he was, looking like the billionaire he was.
Kyla was really uncomfortable. She was dressed in a smart dress suit. She'd have preferred to wear a fancy gown over this.
"My personal physicians are not entirely pleased with some of the changes you suggested… I believe they may be sulking." Jonathan smirked.
He looked to Kyla. "Mrs Kent, what brings you to the White House?"
"I want to talk about trying to open the judicial system into accepting certain types of evidence and evidence gathering tactics."
"You are referring to telepathy?"
Kyla shook her head. She stood up and took a step away from the couches. "Can you make sure they don't shoot me… it really hurts." She indicated the Secret Service Agents that had tensed when she stood.
"Agents, I trust you remember Doctor Potter's previous visits? Not to mention the videos of him taking on Darkseid as a dragon?"
The men just gave a curt nod.
Jonathan turned back to Kyla. "You should be perfectly safe."
Kyla flowed downwards as her body morphed into her wolf form.
"Dear god." The President exclaimed quietly.
The wolf padded up to the President, sat down and held out its paw.
Jonathan tentatively looked to Harry before gently taking the paw. He tensed as the wolf sniffed the hand.
The wolf then flowed back into Kyla.
"That was incredible, Mrs Kent. This isn't something you do with magic?"
"At its core it is magic." Harry explained. "But it is a gift that is unique to some people."
"You had oatmeal and orange juice for breakfast." Kyla stated. "You shook hands with at least one smoker and I believe you handle some paper money."
"Impressive." Jonathan freely admitted.
"I use my abilities to help find people lost in the carnage during times like the recent attack. Imagine what I could accomplish if I were to aid the police and FBI with tracking missing children."
"I thought you did." Jonathan frowned. "At least, I read reports that your family and friends have liaised with numerous police officers around the country."
"Yes, but I can only help with bringing the people home. I can't aid in the prosecution because I can't testify that I tracked a person's scent." Kyla was clearly passionate about this.
Jonathan was concerned. He sat back thoughtfully. He was silent for a while before he spoke. "My knowledge of the law is based on what I learned during my political campaign.
"I am personally behind you one hundred percent… but, even I won't try to undermine the American Justice System.
"You are aware of what it would take to have these methods allowed as valid evidence?"
"Tests. Lots of tests." Kyla sighed.
"And it wouldn't be feasible to have every ability allowed as viable evidence." Jonathan admitted. "Telepaths… telepaths are… a legal and moral nightmare. The ability to invade a persons most sacred sanctum… it would be safer to consider telepaths an open secret. Unless you want to invite extreme scrutiny and bigotry on them."
"True, but we can work on it." Harry spoke up. "Some telepaths have no control over their ability. We train them to forget what they hear.
"Others do have the ability to listen at will."
Jonathan went to argue his point but Kyla butted in.
"Harry likes to use everyday examples… so take this one: I can go on the Internet and learn how to pick a lock, create a poison, bomb or kill with my bare hands.
"Are you going to regulate everyone who has that knowledge?"
"Those that want to use the knowledge, yes." Jonathan said firmly. "We do require locksmiths to undergo FBI checks."
"What about people who just want a hobby or want to know how to open a locked box they lost the key to?" Harry asked.
"Obviously we aren't concerned with that. I actually learnt to pick a lock in the army of my own volition. I'm not licenced to open locks though and I never sold my services in that manner."
"Which brings us back to telepaths." Harry smiled. "Not every telepath will want to use their ability. But those that do, in an official capacity, should rightly be trained and licensed."
"And if they are licensed by the government they should be allowed to use their abilities to aid in legal cases." Kyla jumped in.
Jonathan sighed and leaned back. "You realise that this is going to be a long and very painful journey? I'm not talking about for people like yourself, Mrs Kent, who are willingly looking to help. I'm talking about people who just want to live their day to day lives. You will be dragging them along and not giving them a say."
"Every journey starts with a single step. We are here, today, to help America take that first step." Harry assured him. "And, as an experienced person in these matters, I will be there to guide you and protect the innocent."
Lois grunted as Kyla flopped her head into her lap as she sat in the castle common room that evening. "Comfy?"
"It'll do." Kyla groaned.
"You gonna talk or make me ask?"
"I'm just tired. I spent all day with Harry and Horne discussing how to integrate metas into society. I had to bail on working the control room tonight." Kyla turned on the couch to bury her face in Lois' stomach.
"Pathetic. You could easily ask Harry or 'Dite to boost you." Lois scoffed.
"Mentally tired, Lo'."
"Up!" Lois ordered as she pushed Kyla off her lap. "It'll be hours before Smallville calls it quits for the night. Might as well be useful instead of moping on the couch."
She grabbed the shape-shifter by the shoulder and teleported them to the Great Hall where the Smallville Amazons were already providing intel and logistics to their sisters around the world.
"Lois, you are not allowed to man these stations." Emma Frost glared at their arrival.
"Yeah, yeah, telling the girls to kick a perv in the nuts is not allowed." Lois said dismissively.
Well, that was the tamest of her instruction. It didn't help that many of the Amazons and Sekirei didn't get sarcasm and some humour.
"Listen, just tell us where you need a couple of lady killers and we'll be there."
"Lois… a 'lady killer' is a man." Lana pointed out from her station.
"Fine! Killer chicks."
"Ten critically injured, five on death's door and five dead. How exactly do you expect me to just write this off?" Captain Maggie Sawyer demanded of Kyla and Lois as they sat handcuffed to the table in the interrogation room.
"We don't want you to." Kyla looked her straight in the eye. "We want you to investigate and prosecute. If you don't then these monsters will get away with more child slavery."
The door opened and both Loki and Amara marched in with Ryan behind them.
"Miss Odinson, thank goodness." Sawyer breathed in relief.
Loki turned to Ryan and smirked. "This reaction is extremely a-typical of law enforcement when greeting the legal counsel for their prisoners."
"The Captain's good people. We all know that." Ryan shrugged.
"Mister Ja- Kent." Sawyer smiled at the young man. "It's been a while since we've seen each other. I take it Doctor Potter is the reason you survived what looked like a death sentence?"
"Yeah… he had me healed up as soon as we got on the helicopter." Ryan chuckled.
"Well, congratulations on that and your adoption. I trust all is well?"
"As well as can be, especially when you consider my brother spends his evenings getting shot at and my sisters-in-law like to land themselves in police custody." He glared at the two cuffed women.
"That's a bald-faced lie and you know it, kid." Lois glared back. "Smallville and I aren't married yet." She muttered.
"Captain, can you give us a brief overview of what you found?" Amara asked as she sat opposite Lois and Kyla.
Ryan conjured some extra chairs for Sawyer and Loki and moved to stand in the corner.
"Dispatch received a call at 02:00. Gunfire was heard near Suicide Slums. Several cars were sent to investigate and they found Miss Lane and Mrs Kent standing outside a warehouse tending to twenty five children all under the age of fourteen. They showed signs of malnutrition and restraints.
"Apparently the two ladies ordered the officers to call for a bus and then handle the mess inside the warehouse.
"That is where my officers found the… carnage."
"And the reason you arrested them?" Loki asked.
"Because they confessed, on the scene, that they were responsible for the dead and injured."
"Can I ask a question?" Ryan stepped forward.
"Miss Odinson?" Sawyer deferred to the legal counsel.
"Actually, my question was for you, Captain. I was just curious if it is common for you or other officers to be so… forthcoming with information?"
Sawyer laughed glibly. "I am well aware of who is in this room and the work they do. That is the only reason I am being so free. Trust me, if you were anyone else I'd make you go through the DA.
"However, there are additional circumstances at play here and… perhaps Mister Kent could use this opportunity to practice interrogating a client?" She asked the older women.
"It wouldn't really be accurate." Ryan shrugged. "I know these two too well. I can read them without telepathy.
"They probably started patrolling and investigated the men with guns. Normal procedure is to call in the police and offer assistance.
"But… I would guess they discovered the captive children… Captain, there is an island full of women who will be very pissed with these two for not inviting them."
"Ryan, you called?" Harry asked, startling the rest of them as he appeared out of thin air.
"These two just rescued a bunch of children from slavers. Can you make sure they are alright?" Ryan asked emotionlessly.
"Sure thing. You can be my assistant." Harry grinned before vanishing with the aspiring lawyer.
"Ryan seemed… distant. Disturbed." Loki frowned.
"Abused children are… well, Ryan was abused." Amara sighed. "Used by his step-father to commit crimes. Experimented on by Garner to make money.
"I will give you no names, but there were three families that Harry and Logan paid a visit soon after Clark rescued him from Garner."
"I will forget I heard this." Sawyer grumbled.
"Relax, the people were handed over to the authorities. The purpose of Harry and Logan's visit was to make sure full confessions were made." Amara smirked.
"I hear Grandfather Xander has taken on that role." Loki grinned darkly.
"Yeah, that's cool… can we get back to what happens to us?" Lois scowled. "I'm not against going to trial but after tonight, I want my freedom so I can hunt more of the bastards down."
There was a knock on the door and Sawyer stood and answered it. "Marques?"
"Captain, I've got a Steve Trevor here about the prisoners. Says he's a colonel sent by the President… he's got a badge and papers but I don't know how to verify them."
"Captain, I can identify and vouch for him if necessary." Loki offered. "He was assigned as the government liaison to Shield."
"Marques, take Miss Odinson and introduce her. If she doesn't recognise him… cuff him."
"God… he's not gonna try and arrest us is he?" Lois groaned. "Sorry Mags, but if he does I'm busting out of here. You can send a summons to Asgard."
"Lois, you are still covered by diplomatic immunity." Captain Sawyer reminded her as she sat back down. "The only reason you are 'in custody' is to help me figure out how to handle this situation. Worst case scenario: You get booted to the Japanese embassy."
"Should we contact the embassy?" Kyla asked.
"I speak on behalf of both the Japanese and Amazon people in these matters." Amara assured them.
"Captain Sawyer, I am Colonel Steven Trevor, head of ARGUS." The man introduced himself as entered without knocking. "The President sent me to handle this situation." He said as he put his briefcase on the table and practically ignored everyone else.
"What situation?" Sawyer asked tightly.
Trevor paused in his struggle to open his briefcase to look at the Captain. "The arrest of Miss Lois Lane and Mrs Kyla Kent."
"You're arresting them?" She asked slowly as she stood.
"What? No… I am here to see to their release from your custody."
"They aren't in my custody or under arrest. I don't know if the President told you but… they have diplomatic protection."
Trevor frowned and looked at the table. "Then why are they cuffed?"
"Personal enjoyment." Sawyer responded glibly. "Neither of these two ladies can be forcibly restrained." She gave the girls a look and they casually removed the cuffs. "I put them in cuffs because I was frustrated. I also wanted them to have a physical reminder not to run off before we could discuss the situation with their legal counsel."
"What were the exact instructions of the President, Colonel?" Kyla asked. "Bear in mind that I was seated three feet from him for most of the day in deep discussions."
"You were?" Trevor was clearly unaware of that.
"The President's instructions, Colonel?" Sawyer pressed the point.
"My orders were to ensure your release and that you would not be involved in further pursuit of the case."
"So… if I were to call my husband and ask him to confirm that… then his very short chore of calling the President would confirm that he told you this?"
"I did not speak to him directly. But my orders came straight from him." Trevor moved to open his case again.
Sawyer and Trevor jumped as Superman appeared in the interrogation room.
"Mister President, you are now on speaker." Superman said as he placed his phone on the table.
"Colonel Trevor, can you hear me?"
"Erm… yes sir. Sir, can you confirm your identity? This is not a secure line."
"Hmm, a good point. Mrs Kent could I impose on you to bring the Colonel to the Oval Office? I don't need you to stay, but then… the Colonel won't need to return."
Kyla looked to Superman.
Lois was the one who spoke up. "She won't becoming alone. I'll be with her."
"Is that Miss Lane?"
"Correct Mister President." Superman confirmed.
"Her coming is fine as well. Superman, if you wish to- oh… Superman."
The women looked around and realised the two men were gone.
"Well, yes… thank you Superman. I understand if you need to return."
Superman suddenly reappeared in the interrogation room. "We'll be available at the castle if you need us, Mister President."
"Of course, of course. Thank you Mi- Superman. Goodbye."
There was a click as the line disconnected.
Superman looked to the various women. "The President didn't even know there had been an incident. Someone must have found out and decided to butt in.
"Captain, if you need any additional help with the investigation… Xander Harris is ready to help."
It was a tense few days as Kyla and Lois were brought before a review just like the last slave ring they helped break up. The difference this time was that a copy of the report was given to President Horne personally by Clark Kent and Harry Potter.
"Did they manage to find any connections to other slavers?" Jonathan asked eagerly. "Perhaps we can track down more lost loved ones."
Harry shook his head. "Lois and Kyla are pretty adept investigators, but they are not the most restrained of individuals. By the time they realised they should call for help they had already finished."
"That said, they are certainly a lot less bloodthirsty and ruthless than some." Clark added.
"You mean Tsukiumi?" Harry smirked.
"I mean you."
"Oh… yeah." Harry admitted reluctantly. "You're not the only one to go rampaging through Africa."
"So Neville and Xander tell me."
"Mister Kent, I have often heard you refer to 'Smallville Amazons'. Your wife being one of them. Can you explain what that means, please?" Horne asked.
"Several of my female friends impressed the Amazons and their goddess. They applied and were accepted as full Amazons. They reside and live in Smallville, Kansas."
"And they were all born in Smallville?"
"I believe they were all born in Kansas." Clark shrugged.
"Our Kansas, not Doctor Potter's?"
"No criminal records? Could they legally become a federal agent?" Horne was getting more intense as he chased the idea. "Not an FBI agent necessarily, but still an agent empowered by the government."
Clark and Harry shared a thoughtful look. "That would depend on the concessions willing to be made." Harry explained. "All of the Smallville Amazons work overseas when there is a need. The biggest event was the major earthquake several years ago in Japan."
"People trafficking is an international crime." Clark said. "If you are looking to build a specialist team to handle that aspect then the Amazons and Sekirei are exactly who you want.
"Aside from the fact that they hold no political bias, they are all dedicated to protecting others. Especially children.
"I doubt they would be willing to work for an American agency… but an international agency, founded by America… I'd be willing to talk to them about that."
"Re-election." Horne said with a scowl. "It's coming up. My chances are good. My concern is how to protect this potential agency from fools like my predecessors and those that tried to steal your homes and livelihoods."
"American sponsored, Internationally Governed." Harry said pointedly. "This was your idea. You set up meetings with Amara, The Prime Minister of Japan, The Hidden City and so on.
"I guarantee my friends and yours will make sure your legacy is continued."
"Plus… you could always work for them after your terms are up." Clark shrugged.
It was a full house at the table in the Great Hall that evening. Everyone from Kusano to The President of the United States of America was in attendance.
"Right, first up." Clark began. "Philadelphia is on the mend. The only real issues are dealing with those who lost loved ones and now have a void to be dealt with such as loss of income."
"First names, here Jonathan." Harry waved a dismissive hand. "You sit at this table… you are one of us."
"Er… " Jonathon had to mentally reboot. He had asked Amara why Harry didn't chair the meetings. She had put her hands on his shoulders and told him 'Pray you never find out.'
He still hadn't figured out if she was joking.
"I have managed to secure government funds to provide stop-gap measures for the short term. Wages of the deceased will be paid to those who can prove they were being supported by the deceased."
"Ok, we can keep an eye out for any who fall afoul of red-tape." Clark nodded.
Harry took over. "All other issues with enemy combatants are dealt with. Darkseid is dead, The Anti-Monitor is dead, Grail and Myrna are technically dead."
"Excuse me, technically?" Jonathan asked.
"They are in hell." Teleute spoke up. "Specifically, Hade's realm. Lord Death has sentenced them to time there to atone for their crimes."
"Eventually they will be released." Clark said. "Their actions were driven by… well, it is a bit of a long discussion. They won't be released for millennia and not unless they have reformed."
"Billy, how are things from your point of view in Philadelphia?" Loki asked.
"A town full of morons." The teen scowled. "Every night I am out there breaking up squabbles over the stupidest of things.
"I can take a right hook from him," He pointed at Clark. "But I'm out there getting screamed at by idiots who would piss themselves if they actually saw me get hit."
"If there are no ideas from anyone else, I will contact the local police force and warn them of your concerns." Jonathan said firmly. "I understand who you are and what you can do, but I am in full agreement with M-Harry that you should live your life as a child."
Billy was tight lipped, but he nodded.
Jonathan never realised that a projection of Loki was standing behind him and glaring at the young Avatar.
"Next up, the issues of souls not making it to their destinations." Clark took back control. "Harry and Teleute have investigated." He nodded to the pair.
Harry took up the explanation tiredly. "This world… this universe has done so much to meddle with souls, even if they don't realise it.
"Jor-El's orb with the souls of hundreds of Kryptonians.
"The Phantom Zone with thousands of souls.
"Those are just a few that we've encountered in the few years we have been in this universe. It is going to be a long time before we manage to find them and we may never find them all."
"Eyes and ears open people." Clark instructed.
"I have begun calling on all the Avatars and servants of Death." Teleute told them. "We will begin a campaign to investigate."
"Next topic." Clark turned back to his papers. "Jonathan Horne, as The President of the United States, has suggested an international group to investigate and rescue kidnapped and enslaved children.
"Harry and myself have suggested that the Amazons and Sekirei would be well suited to this."
"My Amazons were created to protect and nourish Love." Aphrodite smiled. "You have my blessing."
"Likewise for my Sekirei." Miya added.
"Japan will provide full support." The Japanese Prime Minister spoke up. "And we would be open to discussing the use of our land for rescued children. With respect to the laws of Themiscyra." He said, referencing the laws of no men on the island.
"This will be more of a personal project for Jonathan Horne as opposed to The President of the United States." Clark warned. "This was his idea, and he had it as President, but we want to ensure it is not destroyed by his successors."
"Then we shall keep that in mind." Amara nodded.
"Next topic: The current legal actions against our homes and livelihoods." Clark announced.
"I hope you will forgive me, but I have been avoiding inquiries into this matter." Jonathan said firmly. "I insist on being kept informed of things as soon as possible, but I do not want there to be any conflict of interest as I meet with you often."
"It is not an issue." Brunhilde assured him. "Our businesses are secure as are our homes. Congress has moved to seize all profits from the US based sites, but that is negligible as our trading is done out of the country."
"But we are getting a lot of pressure." Bruce said unhappily. "Stock prices are dropping quickly and there is a lot of fear amongst my employees.
"I've taken to touring my factories and offices to assure them personally that we will protect them."
"Ah, this I can talk about." Jonathan said as he sat forward eagerly. "You aren't the only ones being pressured. I and many of my allies have been pressuring the ones pushing these actions. We are demanding to know how they will continue to pay rents and salaries when the profits clearly come from overseas.
"The freeze on your companies trading in the US means you aren't allowed to pay money from overseas… so Congress has responsibility.
"I imagine that very soon you will find the restrictions lifted, even if the cases aren't dropped."
"As long as my people are safe." Bruce sighed.
"If your stockholders start jumping ship, sell the shares to me." Harry offered. "I'll buy them and dump a ton of money into the company."
"The Justice League of America." Clark moved onto the next point before Harry or Dani suggested something worse. "It hasn't gone away, it has just… evolved."
"Deputy Boss Man… just saying, but when you put me on a team… 'evolving' is the opposite word that people use." Deadpool spoke up. He was the only one in costume and sitting back in his chair tossing popcorn into his exposed mouth with frightening accuracy.
"You you?" Dani asked.
"Deadshot me." Deadpool shrugged. "They approached me and asked me to lead a new team. You remember old Norman Osborn and his Thunderbolts? They look like Avenger candidates compared to the mess this new team is."
"Forgive me, but are you saying you are the hero 'Deadshot'?" Jonathan asked.
"Deadpool, real name Wade Wilson." Dani beamed. "Been our friend since Harry turned up in our world. We first met him when he tried to kill our teacher." She nudged Amara.
"I miss Cable." Deadpool sighed. "Hey, is Hope coming by anytime soon?"
"Later, Deadpool." Lorna said. She then turned to Jonathan Horne. "Deadpool was a mercenary and assassin. Exceptionally good."
"I'm gonna blush." Deadpool pulled his mask down.
"When the assassin in this world, named Deadshot, attempted to kill Martha, Harry called him in to find the assassin."
There was a pause as an upset Kusano slipped off Yume's lap and ran around the table to Martha.
"Do you want to leave, Sweetheart?" Martha asked. The little girl shook her head and burrowed as deep as she could into Martha.
Lorna continued. "Deadpool found Deadshot quickly but also assumed his identity so he could move about in this world and make use of Deadshot's contacts and reputation.
"He recently informed us of multiple assassination contracts on most of us." She pointed at Kusano with a pointed look. Fortunately the girl was unaware.
"My god." Jonathan hissed. He turned to Deadpool. "Is this the purpose of the Justice League?" He indicated the girl.
"Nah… I dealt with those contracts immediately. Children are off limits. Even if they are about to end the world." Deadpool said with a sad look.
"Wade, why don't you invite Ellie to help you?" Harry suggested.
"You think she would?" Deadpool asked with clear hope.
"She knows you pretty much work for me."
"Yeah… maybe I will."
Harry knew Deadpool's daughter would be happy to help, if only to keep him in line.
"So what is the purpose of the Justice League?" Dani asked, blatantly changing the subject back.
"Prisoner hard labour?" Deadpool offered. "They actually think they caught me and offered me a deal to get out of my sentence." He scoffed. "I let them catch me because I heard Amanda Waller wanted to talk to me personally.
"Most of the kids on the team call it the Suicide Squad. Set up to handle Shield when the time comes."
"They have actually recruited more children?" Jonathan demanded.
"Sorry, forgot… nearly everyone on this planet is younger than me." Deadpool grinned. "No kids. I catch any being dragged into this and I'll extract them and send them to Harry."
"What's your threat assessment of the Justice League to Shield?" Bruce asked.
"I'm your biggest threat." Deadpool said bluntly. "Because of the shitstorm that will occur if people find out I work for Harry."
The meeting broke up and people milled about. Harry noticed that Aphrodite had engaged Jonathan Horne in conversation but that he was not comfortable.
Harry pulled him aside and asked what was wrong.
"I find it difficult not to look at her. I must be twenty years her senior and I feel like a teenaged boy caught looking at the girl next door." Jonathan was clearly frustrated. "Is this her power?"
Harry tried not to laugh. "What's her name?"
"Aphrodite. I was not that far gone." Jonathan scowled.
"She was the first to use that name." Harry smiled.
"There are others?"
"Thousands of years ago, her father, Zeus, created her."
Jonathan frowned. "You mean-"
"That you were staring at the actual goddess of beauty and love. And as she is the goddess of beauty, you are supposed to like observing her." Harry smirked.
"Should I accept everything around you at face value, Harry?" Jonathan sighed.
Harry gave him one of his annoying grins. "Well… "
"I will ask Queen Amara."
"You are learning quick." Jonathan Kent smiled as he joined them. "It took us more than a year."
"Senator Kent." Horne offered his hand.
"Just Jonathan, sir. Or maybe Kent if needed." He said inferring the confusion their given names could cause.
"Or John-Boy as Logan calls you." Harry suggested.
"I imagine it must have been slightly easier to accept Harry's claims given you were already familiar with alien life." Horne postulated.
"I can assure you, there is nothing easy about having a man appear in front of you and reveal most of your secrets. Including the ones you had kept from said alien."
"I didn't know you hadn't told Clark he was an alien!" Harry objected. "Considering the first disastrous year I spent in Scott's world, I've learnt it is usually better to mention if someone is out of place."
"Oh? What did you do?" Jonathan Kent asked.
"Me? Nothing. But I came from a world where, if you looked human, you were human. Everybody treated the woman like she was well known, a friend, colleague… but then an alien army invades and it turns out the woman with the strange physiology wasn't who she said she was.
"She was the queen of the invaders."
"And there is no one like that here? In this world?" Jonathan Horne asked nervously.
"I made another mistake with her." Harry shook his head. "I can see souls. A black soul is an evil one. I didn't realise at the time that her black soul wasn't just part of her unique physiology. She was masquerading as a hero so I didn't question it.
"Now I'll dig deeper."
"Like you did with me?" Shayera asked as she walked up.
"Nah… you were pretty open to me. Your lies were obvious, claiming to be a cop and all. The alien queen I met never lied in front of me.
"Bruce was the one who came to me straight after we met you with doubts. I told him not to worry as I was aware, but I told him some protections wouldn't go amiss."
"Is that what led to his little cupboard?" Shayera smirked.
"He had that long ago." Harry shook his head. "He started working on it as soon as he met me."
"Bruce Wayne has a small hidden cache of utilities designed to take out each of us." Shayera explained for Horne. "I am curious if he ever managed to develop something to combat you."
"It's called Clark Kent." Came Bruce's voice as he joined them. "Most of the major problems can be dealt with by Clark. The issue is trying to create something the rest of us can use if Clark is incapacitated."
"So how would you deal with me if Clark wasn't available?" Harry asked curiously.
Bruce gave a wry smile and indicated where Xander was talking to Deadpool and holding Kusano in his arms.
"Which one?" Shayera asked. "Deadpool or Xander?"
"Kusano." Harry smiled fondly. "Dad could do it too."
"I don't understand." Jonathan Horne frowned. "Are you saying that your father and daughter both have the ability to defeat you?"
Jonathan Kent shook his head. "A lot of us could defeat Harry. He's been trapped and imprisoned before. Xander and Kusano are the ones who could bring Harry back from the brink of insanity.
"I've heard Xander say before that the only reason he obeys any laws on earth are because he wants to. None of us could force him, really. But he does listen to us."
"The only ones with the actual power to force me are Time and Love." Harry shrugged.
"I think it is safe to say they have you wrapped around their proverbial finger." Jonathan Kent smirked.
Harry raised an eyebrow. "Oh?"
"Time has given you eternity. Love has given you plenty of people to spend it with."
"You have got to stop practicing your greeting card bits." Harry sighed. Then his eyes fell on his father holding his youngest and he smiled. "But you're not wrong."
And this concludes this update. Will I continue, probably. Will they be posted, maybe.
DC killed off the New 52 Superman and brought back the old one, from what I can tell. Unfortunately I couldn't figure out where this happened.
With Marvel I can access the Marvel Unlimited library and read a lot of what they have uploaded. DC doesn't have that functionality or service in the UK so I have to buy the comics one at a time or as sets. Far more expensive.
But I still have the Justice League cartoons. I keep meaning to watch those, but I often just read online synopsis of the episodes. I haven't watched them in ages.
So, with this story I have come to a stop... for now.
Next up... Armoured Mage... eventually. Reading it one last time.