Dick: “So. That is Superman?”

Arms folded, I motion to the screen before us. On it happens to be a young man at a Press Conference. Being completely railroaded by Cat Grant, in to asking Pop-Star questions to the leader of the ‘Meta-Human Movement.’ He’s not much to look at on the outside. ( Yeah, right. ) Other than the fact the younger man is obviously chiseled out of granite that is. How does he manage not to be noticed as something other than what he appears to be? Well, that’s easy. Because ‘Conner Luthor’ has a greatest hits string that is a mile long. I’m bringing it up on the viewing screen even now. Since his Father brought him out of the shadows under the auspice of giving his son a ‘normal life away from the glitz and glamour’ that is being the son of one of the wealthiest men in the world? He’s been on the cover of magazines more times than most actors or actresses. Some of it for the Good, like his apparent ability to play Basketball. Some of it for the Bad, like his ‘not knowing’ he had to pay for things, roughing up bouncers for not letting him do what he wanted at strip clubs. Skipping out on his Secret Service details to party.

Actually the bad far out strips the good if we’re being completely honest. There’s very little good to be found, all told. “Curious. According to Timothy’s notes, your boyfriend started out on this path because he didn’t know any better. He essentially broke out of his test-tube with no grasp upon the reality he was stepping in to, due to the virtual reality he was being trained in, essentially teaching him nothing more than to take whatever he wanted. And, you also believe that at some point after meeting you, he began to know better but instead began to proliferate this behavior in order to embrace being ‘Conner Luthor’ to spend time with you. Now, it has entered a third phase. Where this version of ‘Conner Luthor’ is actually the mask. The real person is Superman, the one Black Canary met.”

“Red Robin’s threat assessment of him is extremely High, but it is moderated by you. Solely, by you.”

“Then there is Freddy Freeman, aka Shazam. We know very little about him. Bruce’s contacts made him aware of this ‘Shazam,’ the ‘Wizard,’ and this Trial, but beyond that we know essentially nothing. So we have a person, who is seeking the blessing of the Gods in order to be the Champion of Magic. Magic, not the stage-show variety, but the Witch and Wizard variety. A powerful tool that most people cannot even perceive. Locked away by the Council of Wizards, at the behest of the Gods themselves. Ages ago. In order to allow Humanity to chart it’s own path. The Champion’s purpose is the protection of the world from magic, as well as the protection of Magic from the world. Mr. Freeman is now beholding to four Gods, is it?”

“Have we discovered how it is possible for him to be going through these Trials, if this other creature. Black Adam. Is also a ‘Champion?'”

“Then there is the Flash. A member of the Police Force, Crime Scene Investigations. He’s your fourth member. Powered by the so-called ‘Speed-Force,’ he has only scraped the surface of his abilities. Him, we know quite a bit about. As he was preceded by another. One Barry Allen. Whom along with Hal Jordan, Bruce Wayne and Kal-El, formed the most recent generation of Superheroes. A failed generation, unfortunately. Wally has the ability within him to actually chance the past or visit the Future. So in spite of being the most annoying, least useful member of your team. He’s also the most dangerous -and- simultaneously the most in danger of being neutralized by the opposition.”

“Does that sum up your current team, moderately well?”

Cassie: “Yes, I’m not completely sure why he opted to turn up that way, though.”

Given that unnecessary work and Conner aren’t exactly the best of friends, unless there’s something in it for him. I didn’t even actually know he had a job of any sort, let alone at the Daily Planet. Why would he? He wasn’t even passing half his classes until I started tutoring him, though I happen to know that’s just because he didn’t actually see the point. He’s already done the whole school thing once, the last time may not have been physically real, but it was real to him. At the same time that it wasn’t. I find myself folding my arms across my chest a little awkwardly because I don’t know that I would have put any of what he says about Conner quite like that. I guess this is the conversation you have about him, when it isn’t between two people that are his friends and someone that’s looking at it a whole lot more objectively.

I know I’m not objective. I love my Superboy, but I’m also very aware of his flaws. The flaws were what I ‘met’ first, and learned to deal with before I got to see more and more of the good. And there is good.

“He started displaying what the world expected of him, because of who he is. Just like he pointed me towards being someone that made more sense to be with Conner Luthor. He did the same as Superman, too.”

Because he was doing what I wanted him to do, and the world already had a perception of what Superman should do and be. Just like it has preconceived notions of what a powerful Luthor scion ought to be doing, or the sort of girl he ought to be dating. I would have preferred to not worry about the latter part, but if it made no sense what he saw in me, then people would look. And people who were looking might see something we didn’t want them to see. As for which version is the mask and what isn’t? It’s much more complicated than a simple distinction, and I think the truth is somewhere in the middle.

“I couldn’t beat him in a fight. He just. He wants to make me proud of him. And I think he’s starting to care about other people more, too. So maybe, hopefully, it won’t just be me.”

Who the heck says that? That they hope their boyfriend will look for gratification and recognition from someone besides themselves? I dunno. Someone who wants their loved one to be a whole, rounded person I guess. Unfolding my arms, I push a hand through golden blonde hair.

“Despite where I came from, I’m still learning the magic stuff. I think Tim, and your father before him, knew more about it than I do. But I spoke to my Father about it. Our world isn’t so simple as the one that the Trials were originally arranged for. They’ve….evolved.”

That sounds better than saying ‘crap’s all busted, nothing makes sense, sorry!’

“And Black Adam is no longer the champion of these same Gods. He gets his powers from a different pantheon. Not how it was supposed to work, and yet…here we are.”

What he says about Wally is… maybe a little harsh but some of the other bits are both interesting and concerning. Future. Past. Something that had actually been an option for us tonight, and one that I’m glad I didn’t choose since our doorway had closed once we’d left it. Not to mention the potential for mucking up the world. Anyone that’s read a book, or watched a movie, knows that messing with history is not a great idea, no matter what the reasons.

“Wally isn’t annoying, or useless. He was freaked out, and he’ll learn. I think most of them are used to working solo, or in a much smaller group. And that’s something we’ll have to work on.”

My expression gets a little bit droll as I look away from the screen to answer Dick’s last question. Does that sum up my current team moderately well? There’s a short, amused laugh. Mostly at his choice of words.

Moderately, yes. In the quantifiable fact department, at least.”

Dick: “While I will give you that anyone with Powers can in fact be useful, that does not actually change whether or not they’re an annoying element. It is perfectly alright. Annoying people get powers -and- wealth sometimes too. Most of the time, in fact.”

That is neither here, nor there. It simply is what it is. We have to accept such things and move on. Which is what I asked Cassie back for when the conference was done. Sending her a ‘Bat-Signal’ message over her new phone. To have a discussion about what she knows, what she doesn’t know and what she needs to know. This should be Timothy’s job, but as I’ve already explained? He’s busy with something equally important. So what she’s left with is me. Me and the Butler who’s been trying to get her to try his sweet cakes for the last half hour.

“You’d be surprised, actually. I suppose we should talk about him, given that he too is a member of your ‘Team.’ Tim Drake knows a lot, about a lot of things. No question about it. Technically, he holds six degrees, but you could attribute six more to him because while Bruce had him out in the world learning, his education was very… unorthodox. He’s a natural programmer, a gifted scientist and psychologist. While he was abroad, Bruce had him study the science of medicine, law and finance. All of this built upon an I.Q. of 142, which hasn’t been measured since he was twelve. He was also diagnosed with a high functioning form of autism. If he had been born in previous times he would have been recruited to the U.S. Military as a Code Breaker. He sees the patterns in everything. He can’t help himself, he just sees them. That goes for everything. Whether it is Science, Medicine, Law, Programming or Fighting. He sees the patterns, he deduces the answers.”

“This also plays in to Tim’s limitations. For example. If you gave him ten minutes he could see how to beat even the best fighter in the world. That does necessarily mean that he could achieve the result he’s seeing. That is an important thing to remember. So is his biggest limitation. Chaos. You said a moment ago that my Father and Tim both probably know more about Magic than you do. That’s probably correct, but that does not mean he understands it. Magic is Chaos, there’s often no pattern to it. Putting my little Brother at a distinct disadvantage.”

Part of me thinks that Cassie was expecting me to go easier on Tim than I did on Wally, but that’s -not- what I’m here to do. This is about educating Cassie. More importantly it’s about giving Wonder Woman the tools to carry this further than she’s already made it. Tim spoke about other assignments, others for Cassie to seek out. Before she finds more, she needs to understand what she has and what she is going to be up against.

“Alright. If this is your Team, then it’s time for you to talk about what you’re up against. You met Agent Grunge when you rescued the Flash from him,” tapping one of the controls to make the screen begin to follow along as I go over some others. “Johnny Grunge has the ability to absorb the properties of any element that he touches. That is not limited to natural elements, it is also not limited to solid ones. According to Bruce’s files, Grunge is also the trainer for Nowhere’s team. Including your Boyfriend. He is able to adapt to their powers, then exploit them. This is used to teach his people how to overcome their weaknesses.”

“This is Doctor Caitlin Fairchild. She is one of three Scientists believed to have created the entire science behind your boyfriend’s Birth. In addition to that she is one of Thirteen Generations of ‘super soldiers,’ that LexCorp began working on after the first Alien Invasion. We’re not entirely sure of her abilities, but we do know that she was one of their initial human trials. Because she took the initiative and did it to herself, before they were officially approved. Before that period she was enamored with Meta-Humans. Believing them to be the embodiment of the old gods in a new form. Your boyfriend killed the previous Project Leader. Leaving on Fairchild and President Luthor with the knowledge on the final generation of the so-called super soldiers.”

“According to Tim’s notes. You’ve met Codename: Raven and one of their shape-shifters. Both of whom we have very little intelligence on. We know that they’re often paired as a team. Specifically when dealing with people like you or Shazam. When Magic is involved. We also know that Raven was powerful enough to force Black Adam to agree never to violate U.S. Airspace again. Solo. As for the shape-shifter, everything we know comes from recent history. She was inserted in to your School to do advance recon on you. Which she did extremely well, because by your own account Conner knew more about you than you knew.”

Cassie: The teenage girl in me wants to retort that clearly, people without powers can be annoying and wealthy, too, but I restrain myself. The night as a whole has been trying, no. The whole day has been, and I don’t want the grumpy way I’m feeling to get in the way of trying to get business done here. Especially not while I’m working with a new person. Besides. There’s just something about mouthing off with Alfred here in the room, I don’t know what it is. And I really do want to try the cakes but…business first. Snacks later. Still trying to be a professional here, in a way I didn’t feel necessary in front of Tim. But. Again. Tim was my friend before the costumes. I just need to get to know his brother.

“He’s really great. At most everything. In short terms.”

I can’t help smiling at that, because. He’s my friend.

“One of the few people I’ve met that I’d admit is a lot smarter than me. But. I get it. Behind all the brains, and planning, you throw in things that you can’t plan for and he’s not invulnerable to withstand that first surprise hit and plan for the second one.”

No, I didn’t really expect to have weaknesses laid out in front of me with such no punches pulled clarity. Because it is his brother, but maybe that’s also why he’s doing it this way. The whole point of being a team is working together and protecting each other from the things we’re individually weak against. You can’t do that if you don’t know what to look out for. Now we move on to the new stuff, not the people I know, and the files that I’ve read…well. I do know some of these people he’s talking about now. The opposition.

“He was able to absorb and use the material from my suit against me, too. That street went both ways, fortunately. He was clearly really good at adapting on the fly. Fairchild, Conner’s talked about more than most of the others.”

She also gives me the willies the most, but maybe that’s because I’m never entirely sure what the motives are. Sometimes, it seems like maybe she’s helping Conner. Othertimes, I just get this red flag that says ‘favorite pet’ waving in my head. But I didn’t realize she also had powers. As he goes on with the list, I’m really starting to think that maybe the handful of us still aren’t enough. I didn’t think we’d have to be ready for anything so soon, though. There’s just never enough time, is there?

“Except for during school I’ve never met them apart. And M’gann knew more about me than I did, or let on, I’d assume because she’s a telepath and I didn’t know I should control the mental freaking out I was doing. With the background info they probably had, it was probably easy for her to make the report that he had on me before we met the first time. Raven is…”

Wrinkling my nose, I’m caught because I want to stick to facts here, like Dick has been. Quantifiable things. But while I’m good with those, I’m better with other things. Like gut feelings.

“Raven is scary. And. I think she likes being scary. M’gann…I’m not so sure on. I think she thinks she’s doing the right thing. She’s not from Earth, and everything she learned about being a ‘real girl’ she got from shows like…well. Gossip Girl.”

Dick: “Not from Earth? We know that before the Invasion, Nowhere would recruit Aliens as much as they did Metas, but after the Invasion we weren’t aware they kept any of those affiliations. It’s been a more or less strict sterilization policy ever since. If this girl was something new, a child. Someone they could raise, train like they did with Conner? That makes a lot of sense. Being a telepath she would have seen through virtual training, so that would leave them with an interesting problem as to how to bring her up. Television as a training tool though…”

Not only does that make me cringe, but it also makes me pretty sick to my stomach. These people, this group called Nowhere, is insidious on a new level every time I encounter a situation involving them. Yet, I’m struck by the alternative facts at work here. They really -do- defend the Country. Maybe even the entire planet. We’ve seen the good they can do, time and time again over the course of History. It leaves any sane person to ask themselves, what makes -us- the Good Guys and them the Bad Guys. How can we be so sure we’re right?

“You share something in common with Raven. According to our contact, she is similar in nature to you due to her parentage. Her mother is something of a ‘Warrior Monk.’ Who was raped and impregnated by a Demon, Trigon. Trigon is an Arch-Demon. One of the Gate-Keepers to Hell itself.” How do you say something like that and keep a straight face? You do it while dressed up as a walking, talking Bat, that’s how. “I know, that sounds inconceivable, but our source is someone of learned knowledge in the realm of Magic.”

“Also, just for a matter of record. It is doubtful that you’ve ever met them apart. It is our assumption, based on our Source’s ability to monitor them that the two of them share a psychic link. This link is shared by all members of their field team.”

Another click of the button and several other images come up on the viewscreen. “Which brings us here. Nowhere’s field team is called the Ravagers. You know M’Gann and Raven. There is also Garfield Logan, another shape-shifter but he has the unique ability to inherit the material strength and density of whatever creature he assumes. For some reason, he is limited to creature shapes. We’re not sure why, but we assume it has to do with Nowhere’s attempts to stabilize his nucleic matrix. He is one of their success stories. When they found him, he was unable to hold even his own basic human form once he became a Meta-Human.”

“Then there are these two. Thunder and Lightning. Twins, Siblings. Alyna, known as Lightning. Alexei, known as Thunder. The two of them were also out-of-control metas. However they were not ‘helped,’ so much as exploited. Years of genetic testing augmented Alyna’s control of electricity to the zenith. She can both control it and produce it, along with physically taking a purely electric form. The Brother can control sound waves. He can intensify the sound of a pin dropping, to the magnitude needed to cause an earth quake. The tsunami that struck Japan two years ago? We believe was caused due to the testing they performed on Alexei. As a note, Japan embraces ‘Meta-Humans’ much as they do professional wrestlers and rock stars. It’s a cultural embracing, that Nowhere might deem dangerous.”

“Warblade. Identity unknown. Powers unknown. The files stolen from Nowhere’s servers, indicate that he has bio-morphic liquid armor. Which is the product of testing shape-shifter genomes and melding them with synthetic metals during their liquid state.” A shrug of the shoulders suggests that I’m not joking or playing it close to the vest. We know very little about this one. “Leash. Psionic Energy manipulation that manifests in the form of energy tethers. Once connected to someone, he can teleport them anywhere he can think of. Anywhere. He is one of the most dangerous of Nowhere’s numbers and should be considered analogous to your Flash. His attacks move at the speed of thought.”

“This brings me to their final team member. Omen. Have you ever wondered, outside of tracking technology, satellites and science. How does Nowhere seem to know when and where to be, before it’s even really possible? It’s her. Omen is an omega level telepath, with a side of telekinesis, but those are her side games. She has a precognitive ability, that Nowhere uses almost exclusively. They rely on her. Without Omen, they would be severely hampered. Maybe even crippled, from being the Agency they are at current.”

“While she is the last of their team, she is not the last threat. The director of Nowhere is a man known as John Lynch. He’s nasty. Sworn to Conner’s Father. His loyalty isn’t a question, it’s written in stone by the Fates themselves. I am not exaggerating. Additionally, I spoke a moment ago about the thirteen generations of super soldiers. I told you about Grunge and Fairchild, you already know that number thirteen is Conner. So you guessed it, that leaves ten other created metas. Of which we have almost no intel on.”

Cassie; “She’s Martian so. Shapechanging, mind reading, I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s more to it than that because…why wouldn’t there be, right? Conner tried to get me to go easy on her at first, after I found out, said that it wasn’t her fault that she thought that was the right way to interact with other people. I’m kind of sensing a common theme in the way they set their agents up to behave, here…”

It’s hard to feel terribly bad for someone who’d spent the last six months making an already unwanted situation into the closest thing I knew to a living hell at that point. I didn’t fit in, even ignoring the powers, at that school and the bullying was merciless, endless, with extra salt in the wounds when my need to hide my new abilities meant I had to not only take it, but pretend they actually physically hurt me. The cheerleading thing had fixed it, and I’d run with it from there. Anyone who treated another student the way M’gann and her flunkies had treated me had Cassie Sandsmark, head cheerleader to answer to this year. Dick’s mental quandary is one I’ve had myself, but not for long. I know how I was treated on first approach. What they did to get to that point. And by all accounts, I’m a special case that got their nice faces. Other people don’t get a choice. And even if they do some good things? That’s not right.

How do you listen to his summary of Raven with a straight face? Easy. I went to Olympus today. I saw the Gods. Once you accept them to be real, it kind of follows that everything else is, as well.

“Not that inconceivable. I just got told today that I’m basically the chronological and developmental equivalent of a newborn infant. So. Perspective.”

The psychic link I knew about, too. More information that I’ve gathered without actually really trying to, over the last almost two years of knowing them. Much as I care for Conner? I don’t think I’d want to have to listen to him in my head all fo the time. Sometimes him verbally is bad enough, I can only imagine what him without even a little filter would be like in your brain. My arms are folded again, though not so awkwardly this time. Now it’s more because I’m focusing, leaning in for a closer look at the screen as he shows me people I don’t already know. Not needed, my eyesight is better than 20/20 now.

The more he goes on? The heavier I feel. I’d just had what I’m going to call a success out there in front of the cameras, on the heels of a team success dealing with Isis and the Amulet. I’m not sure if he’s trying to prepare me, or scare me, but if it’s the latter, it’s working and I can’t go out there scared. I’m left blowing out another heavy breath of air and rubbing one side of my face with a hand. We’re not enough. We’re still not anywhere near enough, even if Freddy passes the last of his trials that still leaves a few of us, up against what may as well be an army. Which means head on isn’t going to work, not that I would have gone that route to begin with.

“So. What you’re telling me, in short, is that our best chance is going to be to find a way to deal with Omen first. And that we’re leaning towards hopelessly outmatched at the moment, even if we don’t factor in the potential for Superman to be batting for the other team.”

Dick: “Martian. Interesting, believe it or not? That is information we didn’t have.”

There are of course holes in any form of intelligence gather. You have to learn how to piece various forms of intel together, a lot like a puzzle. In fact, I won’t even try to lie about it. This is Tim’s particular point of expertise. He’s simply better at putting these sort of puzzles together. Only Bruce was better and that had a lot to do with the fact he had so much more experience on his side. Tim in twenty years is going to be scary. Like scarier than this Cape and Cowl.

For now though, we have to accept that in any scenario we’re not going to know everything. As well as accept that, right now, there’s a real chance that they know a whole lot more than we do. “There’s no denying that we’re behind the eight-ball, Wonder Woman. They’ve been doing this since the forties. They have been building an insurmountable force. They’ve been doing it under a flag of protection, but you’re lifting that veil is the first step.”

“Also, I didn’t ask you here just to give you a healthy dose of reality,” taking a moment to re-adjust the monitors, only this time I’m turning them off. “You’re not nearly as ‘On your Own’ as you think. Shazam, Flash, Wonder Woman. You’re the nucleus. Then there’s Tim, in whatever guise he takes. Tim believes that he can take Superman off the table, if for any reason they force him to work against you. I’ve learned not to discount my littlest brother. He tends to work miracles.”

“That’s not all, though.”

By this point I’m circling the table and making my path to take me directly before her. It does not escape my attention that Alfred has actually stopped trying to console Cassie, because he’s gotten some sort of call over his ear piece. For now I have to let that pass, because I’m standing in front of Wonder Woman. Having spent the last twenty minutes building up to give her a dose of reality, to show her that they’re very much in a precarious position. Now it’s time show Cassie our hand. Most of it.

“When the time comes, our Mystic? Is a woman by the name of Zatanna. Her Father was a member of the same council of magicians as the Wizard who’s putting Freddy Freeman through the Trials. She and my Father used to date, with his passing she’s pledged to help us finish his ‘Final Case.’ She is not the only name I’m going to tell you, Cassie. I don’t know how much you know about the formation of Nowhere, but the original ‘Mystery Men’ that they recruited in to the Project? Were part of a society of sorts. Many of them chose retirement, but a couple accepted roles in the project. Because they were men and women are great vision.”

“One of them? Is Alan Scott. The original Green Lantern. He’s the one who gave us most of the intelligence I just gave you. He lives in Gotham and he’s the one who put Bruce on this path. Which Tim is now following and what lead him to you. He’s retired from the ‘Mystery Men’ business, but he still wants to see this world turn around.”

Cassie: “…that’s kind of nice to hear. Mostly I’ve spent the last couple weeks feeling like everyone knows more than I do, and just trying to process all of it.”

Up until a couple days ago I think that a lot of people knew more about me, and where I came from than I did. Knew more about the Gods, that I grew up studying without the knowledge that they were real, and that all the stories were in fact more true than I might have imagined. Today, I met my Father and found out that my Mom is an unmitigated badass and better fighter than I am. The last part isn’t terribly hard though. I’ve been training with Conner, but I’m realizing now? It’s not been nearly as seriously as it probably should have been. Hard to believe that you really, really need to prepare to fight something that’ll hurt you when the only person that could really hurt you? Wouldn’t. I know now how incredibly naive that was, and narrow.

I’ve got a lot of faith in Tim Drake-Wayne. He helped me with a horrendous problem I’d been having when we first met, and I’ve seen time and again how resourceful and smart he is. But I still get an un-ashamedly dubious expression on my face at what Dick says about him taking Conner ‘off the table.’ That’s not really my only concern, so much as Conner taking me off the table as well. Which I know he’d do rather than fight me, or let anyone else try to hurt me.

Even with everything going on? Hearing about magicians and wizards is still more than a little strange to me. It really shouldn’t be, especially because I know that magic is the only reason I didn’t spend my whole life with the powers I have now. Suppressing and fighting that divinity that’s inside of me, until it was allowed to come out, or forced its own way free.

“I looked into it a lot more once I had reason to last year. The Justice Society. All of it. Like…so many things through all of history not a bad idea at the beginning but…”

There’s an almost helpless spread of my hands between us. It is what it is, I suppose. Good ideas, minds in the right place, until they weren’t anymore. Until they felt they had reason to cross a line, and once they were over it, the lines got smaller, and easier to ignore. Until we got to where we are now, with people losing their freedoms and choices because of how they were born, or something that wasn’t inside of their control. It’s easy to think that they aren’t doing bad work, necessarily. But I also know in my heart that the way they’re doing it is wrong.

“That’s…good to know though. Thanks for giving me a little something to stand on, after yanking the rug out. I appreciate it.”

I’m joking. A little bit anyway. This has been a bit of a roller coaster of a conversation, but I’d much rather Know than not know.

Alfred: “…uh… forgive the intrusion…”

Alfred Pennyworth, known to some as Penny-One and to others as the Butler of Philanthropist Bruce Wayne. A man of many hats, some of which he wears all at the same time. One thing that can be said for him though, is that he is never, ever, rude. Until now. When he is sweeping aside his offers of crepes and instead intruding in to their discussion entirely. All but ignoring the withering look from Dick Grayson, whom though is much more light hearted than Bruce, does not like having someone interrupt a very important briefing.

Whatever heat was in that look died as soon as Pennyworth’s hands skim across the console to bring up the news feed from Gotham. Joker’s insidious message is playing out, in living color on the screen. By the time the first ‘Episode’ has finished playing? Batman is gone. Leaving Alfred there, standing with the color drained from his face and an honest to goodness sense of terror playing across his features.

“Thank you, Ms. Sandsmark. You were about to offer your assistance, but…” a quick flutter of his hand toward where Dick was standing only seconds ago. “… this is most certainly a family matter.”

“You should go home. Get some sleep. Someone should enjoy the victory of the day.”

Cassie: It becomes apparent pretty quickly that there’s nothing to forgive. Because in this particular moment? There’s something more immediately important happening on that screen in front of me. NOWHERE isn’t going to move on us, not tonight. It’d be stupid of them to act on a handful of us that at least right now? Are still basking in the heroes glow, the event and what we did too fresh in the minds of the citizens for them to not be grouchy if something were to happen. They already watch the sky now for Conner and I. Now they have other faces to be looking for.

…and Batman is gone again. Alfred clearly hadn’t been joking about all the boys in the family being trained in that particular disappearing act. The look of fear on Alfred’s face is probably more disconcerting to me than what I just saw on the screen and that had been awful enough. I suppose he could tell I didn’t just want to watch. Probably by the set of my jaw, or the fact that I realize right now my hands are balled up into fists, ready to go fight.

“Right. And I already got the I can’t be in Gotham line from Tim a month ago. I’ll. Stay clear.”

I don’t like this feeling. Knowing I could go do something, and not doing it. I bet Conner could eliminate that ‘little’ problem of theirs faster than the time it takes for him to sneeze. But we can’t. That’d make us the same as the people we’re trying to fight, I think. And Gotham has Batman. Two Batmans, apparently. Not to mention all the other vigilantes that call it home. Which means until someone from Gotham calls and says it’s also a Wonder Woman problem? Which…we all know they won’t… I get to… go home. And sleep.

“I’ll try. I think I’m going to look for my Mother first, though. Maybe study for my chemistry test…”

I’m starting to ramble. I am tired. And frustrated. But there’s nothing that can be done about any of those problems right here, or now. So all that’s left for me is to leave the jet once again, so that Alfred can return home.

Alfred: “… fear not, my dear. This will all work itself out, I assure you.”

Though, I do not at all sound very convincing about that. She says something that has me snapping my fingers, clearly I’d forgotten something. “Fiddle-sticks. I almost forgot to tell you, I dispatched Mr. Wayne’s personal jet to pick your mother up in New York. She is visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art. When they arrive, I’ll drive her directly home. She’s a charming woman, your mother. We’ve been exchanging recipes.”

“I brought her a bottle of ’96 chardonnay, from Carneros. We were going to share a tasting, … perhaps I’ll leave the bottle, I shouldn’t doddle now and the two of you have much to talk about, I’m sure. Good evening, Ms. Sandsmark.”