Seven sets of eyes gaze into the skies looking for any sign of the object. Only one of those sets could see it clearly. High above the atmosphere, circling the planet, it's orbit coming a little closer after every ten or so revolutions. At least, that's what Superman saw. The others saw a speck moving way high above them if they could see anything at all. They didn't need to see it to know the danger. They had already been briefed. Now it was time to formulate a plan, but so far even Earth's mightiest heroes were drawing a blank.
"What have you got, Oracle?" Batman had already heard Superman's report on the big rock up there and he trusted Clark as he trusted almost no one else on earth. It wasn't a matter of trust, though, it was a matter of information. And he needed more.
"It's not good. That rock is the size of New Hampshire. As Superman said, it's got hydrogen in it, which by itself isn't bad. The bad part is that it's laced with uranium and plutonium. It's a nature's own hydrogen bomb. If it blows–" Her voice started to shake, and it took a moment to regain her composure. "–if it blows, whatever the explosion doesn't destroy (which won't be much), the radioactivity will take care of the rest. Another piece of bad news: It's highly unstable. Anything could set it off."
Batman and the rest of the Justice League mulled this over. "Any analysis on the best way to neutralize this?" What frustrated Batman and the rest of the League was that this was, at it's simplest, just a big rock in the sky that they had to get rid of. After facing alien invasions, how could this be so difficult?
"Negative. Computers have no suggestions. Neither do I. Oh, I almost forgot. I picked up some Russian communications. They're making plans to fire a missile to try to blow it up."
"You almost forgot that?"
"I'm under a bit of stress here, Batman. Don't push it."
Superman was feeling a bit of stress himself. "We don't have time for the chatter, you two. We need someone in Moscow, now. Flash, how's your Russian?"
"Same as my Cantonese, Superman. Non-existent."
"Wonder Woman, go with Flash. You know what to do."
"No buts. Go with Flash. I need Batman here to help formulate a plan."
She nodded, glaring at him, knowing he was lying. He already had an idea and he knew she wouldn't like it. "Lying" was be too strong a word, but he was definitely trying to get her away from here. Then she did something that even surprised her. She walked up to him, put her arms around his neck and kissed him until he began to kiss her back. The rest of the League watched her do it, and she didn't care. The hell with them. Finally she pulled her head back a few inches.
"You be careful, Clark. Don't do anything foolish."
"I'll be fine, Diana."
He couldn't look her in the eye. "I'll be fine. Get going. We don't want the Ruskies blowing up the planet by mistake." The bad attempt at humor didn't elicit a laugh, but he did elicit a smile before she pulled away and turned to face the Batman.
"Don't let him do anything, stupid, Bruce." It wasn't a casual comment, but a warning.
"Diana, I'm not his–"
"Bruce, for once in your life, shut up and do what you're told." Without waiting for a response she turned and took off with Flash.
A look passed between the two men, but nothing was said. Nothing had to be. They knew what came next and it wouldn't be pleasant for any of them.
"Lantern, can you contain it?" Batman was going through the options, but only out of habit. He already knew how this would play out. He only hoped that Wonder Woman would forgive him for it. Someday.
"Umm, no, I can't. It's too big. I can put something around it, but it won't be strong enough to contain the explosion. This one's too big for me." He hung his head in shame. Ashamed that he couldn't help and feeling as if he was letting his team-mates down.
Superman put an arm around him. "Don't worry, son. I know how you can help." Aquaman and J'onn leaned in to listen. They knew that they couldn't do much of anything either, but they were a team, dammit.
"Here's what we do. It's rather simple, really." That lifted everyone's confidence. Superman could inspire even in the worst circumstances. He wasn't super just because he was stronger than everyone else. He was a confidant leader who effortlessly exuded his confidence to all those around him. He could inspire without even trying.
"I fly up and carefully move that piece of space debris out of our solar system, let it go, and detonate if from a distance with a blast of heat vision. Like I said, simple."
Turns out nobody liked the plan.. Even Batman was reluctant, even though he already knew there was no other way. It was just too big and too close. The problem was that even touching it was risking the thing blowing up and killing everyone on the planet or at least an awful lot of people. They also knew that doing nothing would yield the same results. They were the Justice League. They had try something.
"You said there was something I could do, Superman. What is it?" The voice of the man in the green and black suit was determined. Earth's current Green Lantern, Kyle Raynor, rarely came across a problem that he and his ring could not solve. Superman's example had turned his shame into resolve.
"Well, Kyle, I need you to make a shield behind me. Send it up as high as you can and make it as big as you can. Just in case this thing blows before I get it out of the solar system. You won't stop everything, but you can slow most of the debris down."
"I can do that. Sure." Relief colored Green Lantern's voice. Not only did he detest problems he was unable to solve, he didn't like disappointing Superman, and this was something that he could definitely do to help out.
Batman held out his hand to his friend. "Good luck, Clark."
Superman raised an eyebrow as he grasped his friend's hand. "The odds are that bad, Bruce?"
Batman merely grunted as he walked off muttering. Whether to Oracle or just to himself it was difficult to tell.
As he took off into the sky, his last idle thoughts were of Diana. He wondered if all Amazons could kiss like that. He seriously doubted it. Damn, he could still taste her lips. If that wasn't motivation enough for him to survive this, then there wasn't enough motivation on the planet.
He had already scanned the rock from a distance before he gathered the League together to discuss their options, but he was surprised again at the thing's sheer size as he floated next to it. It'll take more than a minimal effort to move it; and he had to move very carefully so as not to set it off. Gently, he put a hand out to touch it. No explosion. That was a good start. Laying both hands on it gently, he pushed at it carefully and began the journey away from the earth. He didn't want to throw it into the sun. With as much energy as the rock contained, nobody could tell what the effects would be if it went off there. He couldn't take a chance. Tens of miles. Hundreds of miles. So far, so goo–
The whole western hemisphere could see the explosion. A lingering flash of light and then it was gone.