Between the episodes Infiltrator and Alpha Male. Artemis has joined the team but Conner doesn't have Wolf yet.
It was after dinner when the Team was called for a mission briefing. Aqualad stood to the far right, looking attentive. Robin, Artemis, and Miss Martian were next. They were interested in having another mission. It had been over a week since their last mission. It was hard to tell what Superboy was thinking. His arms were crossed over his chest, but that seemed to be his usual posture. Kid Flash was eating chips. He had figured out a month ago that if he wasn't too loud, then Batman wouldn't call him out for eating during a briefing.
"Team, your mission will be to deliver a crate of modified weapons to an army base. General Franklin is an ally of the League, and he personally asked for superhero help with transport. You will need to travel in camouflage mode on the bioship to avoid detection. There are several villains who would try to get their hands on these weapons if they were presented with an opportunity. The box is already loaded on the bioship. You are not to open it or touch it except to move the box onto the base. The contents are fragile. Dr. Moore is your contact person at the base. You are to deliver the package directly to him. Any questions?" Batman asked.
"Do any of our enemies know of our mission?" Aqualad asked.
"We do not have specific intel on that, but it is better to assume that someone does know, and take appropriate precautions," Batman answered.
"When do we leave?" Kid Flash asked. He had finished the chips and was now halfway through eating a granola bar.
"Now." Batman paused to see if there were any more questions, and when no one spoke up, he added, "I'll see you back here in an hour when your mission is completed."
Batman turned to discuss something Red Tornado, so the Team followed Aqualad to the bioship. "What types of weapons do you think they are?" Kid Flash asked Robin.
"I dunno. Batman doesn't like to share his toys with the military, and I didn't notice anything missing from the Batcave," Robin answered. "It must be originally from the military and we're just transportation."
As they entered the bioship, everyone's eyes immediately went to the crate that was sitting off to the side. A blanket was draped over it so only the bottom of the wooden crate could be seen. "Guns?" Artemis asked.
Robin shook his head. "I can't imagine Batman wanting us to deliver guns."
"It does us no good to speculate. We have our mission," Aqualad said.
M'gann settled in her pilot's chair and the others also took their seats. "It will take half an hour to reach the army base," she informed the others. "The coordinates are already uploaded." The bioship rose gracefully and flew out the back door. M'gann switched to camouflage mode immediately.
The Team flew in silence for several minutes until Kid Flash said, "I think we should take bets on what's inside."
"That's stupid. Since we can't look in the box , how would we know who wins?" Artemis said.
Kid Flash sputtered and then recovered. "It would still be fun to guess."
"What do you think it is?" she asked.
"I think it is some kind of chemical. Batman did say it was fragile."
"What kind of chemical?"
"Something the military could use. I wonder if it's something we could use, too."
"I'm sure Batman would have kept a sample if it was. He would never let someone else have access to a weapon he doesn't have, even if the other person is an ally," Robin said.
"Paranoid," Kid Flash said under his breath.
"Prepared," Robin retorted.
Superboy listened to the conversation without comment. When they reached the army base, Miss Martian landed the bioship outside the gates. Aqualad said, "Superboy, please stay with the box while we go through the checkpoint and meet with Dr. Moore. Everyone else, with me." Kid Flash shot Superboy a sympathetic glance as he passed by. He knew that Superboy hated anything that required staying still- stakeouts and guard duty were high on the list of the clone's least favorite activities.
Bored, Superboy extended his hearing to find out what the Team was saying, but before he could hear more than Aqualad's introduction, he was distracted by a sound at his feet. He looked down at the crate and concentrated on the noise. It sounded like a whimper. But how could weapons make noise?
He crouched by the crate and pulled off the blanket. He wasn't opening the crate, and it was time to unload it, so he wasn't disobeying Batman. Right? Superboy peeked between the slats. It took a moment for his eyes to adjust to the darkness inside, but something was definitely moving. Whimpering and moving, it must be alive. Debating the importance of following orders on a mission, Superboy's compassion won out. There was a living creature in there, and he wanted to make sure it was not injured.
Superboy unfastened the latch and raised the lid. Inside were six black puppies. Five of them were asleep. The sixth one, a solid black dog instead of a mix of black and gray like the others, looked up at him with dark, soulful eyes. The hero suddenly thought of his time at CADMUS. He remembered being stuck in a pod and that made him imagine the puppy trapped in a cage, never seeing the sun or breathing fresh air. Dr. Desmond never saw him as a person. In that man's eyes, Superboy was only ever a weapon. Superboy looked at the tiny puppy and he knew that he would not turn it over to the military. He scooped up the puppy even though it seemed that the animal tried to escape his grip.
"Don't worry," he said awkwardly. "I'll protect you."
The puppy bit him and even though it didn't hurt, Superboy dropped it out of shock. He grabbed for the puppy again, but it seemed to slip through his fingers. The puppy put its front paws on the box and it looked like the tiny creature was trying to get back in the box. Superboy grabbed at it again, and this time was successful. "I'll rescue the others, too," he promised, but just then he heard the Team arrive. Superboy had been so focused on the active puppy, he hadn't noticed the other heroes coming until they were right outside the bioship.
"Hey, Supey! You ready? You didn't mess with the crate, did you?" Kid Flash called out as they approached.
Superboy had been planning on telling his teammates the truth about their cargo and asking their help in rescuing the puppies, but now he worried that they wouldn't understand. They didn't know what it was like to be treated like a thing. He closed the lid and threw the blanket back over it just before the others got within sight. He held the wriggling puppy behind his back and prayed it wouldn't make a noise.
"No problems," Superboy said, crossing his arms across his chest.
M'gann looked at him questioningly and he worried that she had seen his secret in his mind. "Let's go then," Robin said before she could say anything. "I still have patrol tonight when we're done with this."
Aqualad and Kid Flash picked up the crate and carried it off the ship. Superboy felt an ache in his chest as he watched the box be carried away . Maybe he should speak up? He was running out of time. He didn't want the military to know what he was up to. Superboy opened his mouth to speak, but then the puppy in his hands made another desperate attempt at freedom. He fumbled with the small creature, still trying to keep it concealed. Then the moment to tell the truth had passed. The crate was within the guard's sight. If Superboy called them back, it would raise suspicions. Robin and Artemis followed the Aqualad and Kid Flash. M'gann also moved to follow them, but Superboy put his hand on her shoulder to stop her. She opened her mouth, but he waved his hand to convey he wanted a private mental link.
/Link established. I'm the only one who can hear you. What's wrong, Conner?/
/I looked inside the crate./
/We weren't supp-/
/I KNOW./ Superboy forced himself to relax when he saw the look of hurt on M'gann's face. /There were puppies inside./
/Wait, puppies? Like real puppies?/
/Yes, and I- I kept one./ Superboy moved the hidden puppy in front of himself to show her. The small creature squirmed in his hand.
M'gann's eyes grew big. /Oh, it's... it's adorable! But what about the Team? What will they say?/
/I don't want to tell them. I don't think they'll understand. I had to save him, don't you see?/
M'gann looked at Superboy's blue eyes and felt her love for him increase at his kindness. She knew that she would not be able to refuse him. /Okay. What's the plan?/
/You help me keep him hidden until we reach the Cave. The others don't spend as much time there as we do, and I'll raise him in secret./ He looked toward the door. /I hear them coming./
M'gann waved her hand and the floor of the bioship next to Superboy's seat morphed into a box with an opening on the top. Conner set the puppy inside, which immediately tried to escape yet again. M'gann concentrated and a lid formed over it and then she turned the box invisible. /I can't muffle sound. You'll have to keep him quiet./
/Thanks./ Superboy gave her a brilliant smile that made her knees go weak. He moved back to his seat and strapped in. Kid Flash was the first of the other four to arrive.
"Where were you?" he asked.
"You didn't need all six of us to carry the crate," M'gann said with a smile. "I'm sure that you and Aqualad were strong enough to transfer it."
Kid Flash opened his mouth to expand on his physical strength but Artemis pushed past him. "Take up the whole entryway, why don't you."
M'gann turned to see Conner's worry as his invisible passenger moved around its new containment. "Let's get going."
She must have sounded too eager, because Artemis looked at her questioningly. "What's the hurry?"
"Robin still has patrol," she covered. "And Batman will be expecting us back."
The ride back was nerve-wracking for the two alien members of the Team. Miraculously, the puppy was silent so they managed to make it back to the Cave without the others discovering their secret. Batman was waiting. Conner and M'gann held back. She made the sides of the 'box' slide back into the floor of the bioship. Conner scooped up the struggling puppy and hid it in his hand.
"Just a moment," Superboy mumbled to the Team as he passed by them and hurried to his room. He set the puppy on his bed, closed the door, and ran back to the others for the debrief. Aqualad had already started his report, but Conner didn't miss out on any of it due to his superhearing. When Aqualad was done speaking, Batman looked to the others for any additional comments. No one had anything else to add.
"Good work, Team," Batman said. "Robin, we need to head back to Gotham now."
Robin said goodbye to the other heroes and followed his mentor to the zeta tubes. "I'd better leave too. I have a report due tomorrow," Kid Flash said. He zoomed toward the zeta tubes.
Aqualad looked at Artemis. "Do you want to spar before you leave?" Kaldur asked.
"Sure. That mission was a little too easy. I need to burn off some energy," she said.
Conner waited until they were out of earshot before turning to M'gann. "My room." The Martian followed him to his room. She could hear scratching on the door. He opened the door and the puppy made a break for it. M'gann stretched her arm down the hallway to grab the dog before he turned the corner. "Whoa!" she exclaimed. Her arm returned to its normal length as she brought the dog back into Conner's arms. "What are you going to name it?' she asked when Conner scratched the dog behind its ears.
"Dog?" he suggested.
"You're going to name it Dog?"
Conner shrugged. "What's wrong with that?"
"Nothing!" M'gann was quick to reassure. "You know, we're going to need to get supplies. Food, water dish and food dish, a leash. Also," she hesitated before continuing, "how long are we going to be able to keep this a secret? Batman is at the Cave often, and he is very good at figuring things out. Robin as well."
"I don't know. I haven't thought ahead. I just couldn't let the army have him. They were going to treat him like a weapon and I-"
M'gann put her hand on his arm. "I know." Conner looked at her and saw that she did indeed understand how he was feeling. She stepped forward and petted the puppy. It tried to escape, so M'gann ended up with the small animal in her arms again. "Conner, this puppy is a girl."
"Good thing I didn't name it a boy's name then," he answered with a trace of a smile. Then his smile faded. "What will we do about the others finding out?"
"Let's take care of his needs first. Then we can worry about that."
Conner snuck Dog to the bioship while M'gann went to tell Kaldur that they were going out. She worried that he would question her further, but if Kaldur was suspicious, he didn't show it. M'gann met up with Conner and gave a sigh of relief. "I hate keeping secrets from the rest of the Team."
"I know. I'm sorry I put you in this position."
They flew to the nearest pet store in Happy Harbor to buy essential for the puppy. Both of them had an allowance (provided by Batman), which Conner had never before been more grateful for. M'gann flew them back and they returned Dog to Conner's room without anyone noticing. "Safe," M'gann sighed. Dog went to the door and started scratching.
"Stop," Conner commanded sternly. Dog looked up at him briefly and then resumed scratching. Conner sighed and picked her up. He deposited the puppy on the bed and then sat beside her.
"Maybe she's hungry?" M'gann offered. She poured some food in the dish. "Here you go, girl." Dog sniffed the food and then went back to scratching on the door.
"Footsteps," Conner said urgently. M'gann scooped up Dog and retreated to the corner. She made both of them invisible. Someone knocked on the door and Conner opened it to reveal Kaldur.
"Artemis left for home. I'm going out for a few hours."
"Do you know where M'gann is?"
"She's around." Conner paused. The other teen seemed to be waiting for him to say more. "I'll tell her you were looking for her?"
Kaldur gave a nod of thanks. "Is everything... okay? You have seemed different tonight."
Conner crossed his arms. "I'm fine."
"I am glad to hear that. If you need to talk, you know I am available."
"Thanks." Conner realized he was coming across as rude when Kaldur was just trying to help. "Thank you, Kaldur," he repeated more sincerely.
"Of course," Kaldur said. Conner watched him walk down the hallway and didn't shut the door until the other teen had turned the corner.
"That was close," M'gann said, returning to visibility. The puppy squirmed in her arms. Conner took Dog from her, and the puppy immediately bit his hand.
Conner frowned at the dog. "Bad dog," he said.
"Oh, no! Did it hurt?" M'gann asked.
"No, but she shouldn't be biting."
"Maybe she just wants to play." M'gann opened the bag of pet supplies and removed a rope. "Tug of war," she suggested, handing Conner the rope. It was not the best idea for a game. Even with Conner trying to be gentle, he ended up holding one end of the rope while the puppy dangled from the other end of the rope, refusing to let go of her new toy.
Conner set the rope down and the puppy ran to the other end of the room, prize clamped tightly between her teeth. Conner sat on the bed and M'gann sat next to him. "Raising a dog is hard," Conner confessed.
"You'll figure it out. It's only the first day," she reassured him.
A growl made both of them look up to see that Dog had discovered one of Conner's tennis shoes, and thought it made a better chew toy than the rope. "No! Bad dog!" Conner said, thinking he was going to get tired of saying that phrase over the next few days. He walked over to the dog and tried to retrieve the shoe, with little success. Dog ended up in the air again, dangling from the shoe. Conner sighed. "You know what? Keep it." He set the dog back down.
"I should go. I'll see where Red Tornado is." M'gann smiled at him. "Good luck."
Conner laid back on his bed and put the puppy on his chest. The puppy wouldn't settle down. She kept sliding off Conner and going to the edge of the bed. Most of the time, Conner managed to grab Dog before she jumped, but a few times he had to get off the bed to reclaim the small animal. After getting up for the third time, Conner really wished they had remembered to buy a dog carrier. He told himself that would be the first thing he did tomorrow, before school. Then he worried about leaving Dog by herself while he and M'gann were at school. Maybe he could pretend to be sick? Would Red Tornado believe him? Owning a pet was suddenly a lot harder, especially considering it was a secret pet.
Conner fell asleep and woke up several minutes later to Dog scratching at the door. Conner got up with a grumble and realized that Dog had had an accident on the carpet. "Wait here, I'll go get something to clean it up," he told the animal. Dog looked up at him, but Conner didn't know if the puppy understood him or not. He went to the kitchen for some paper towels when he ran into Aqualad. "Batman wants us to meet," he told Superboy.
"For what?" Superboy asked, but Aqualad shrugged.
"He did not say." Superboy set the paper towels back down. Ten minutes wouldn't make that much of a difference, and he didn't want to raise any suspicions with Batman. Conner knew that Batman never really looked happy, but he was getting a sense that Batman was decidedly more unhappy than usual right now. Or maybe that was just his paranoia over 'rescuing' the puppy.
"Will this take long? I have chemistry first period tomorrow. Mrs. Langer hates me," Kid Flash said.
"Only because you act like you know more than her," Robin said.
"I do know more than her," Kid Flash said.
"Yeah, but teachers don't like it when you point it out," Robin said.
Conner stood with the others and crossed his arms. M'gann gave him a worried look. He wondered if she had an idea what was going on.
"Did anything else happen on the mission that I should know about?" Batman asked.
The four humans did a chorus of "Nuh uh," "Nope," and "Not that I can think of." M'gann stayed silent. Batman fixed her with a look.
"Miss Martian?" M'gann gulped at Batman's tone. "L-Like what?" she asked nervously.
"I got a call from Dr. Moore. He called the Cave while Robin and I were on patrol. We had to cut patrol short to come deal with this. Somehow, there were only 5 items in the box instead of 6."
"They're not items!" Conner burst out. "They're puppies!"
After a stunned silence, the Team to start talking over each other.
"What do you mean puppies?"
"Is that military code for something?"
"How did you know? Did you look in the box?"
"I thought we were carrying weapons, not animals."
"Quiet," Batman commanded. "Superboy, explain what happened."
Conner recounted the story. "I couldn't let the military take them and treat them like weapons. I was only able to save one of them. I won't say I'm sorry, because I'm not. Living animals shouldn't be treated like weapons or tools." Superboy looked at Batman defiantly.
"You're right." Everyone's eyes got big at Batman's response. "I suppose I should have told you from the start what was going on. These puppies can detect trace amounts of the chemicals used to create bombs. They have been breed to be improved bomb-sniffing dogs. They could save thousands of lives. They will, of course, be treated humanely. I would not have allowed you to get involved with this if that were not the case."
"Then why not tell us in the first place?" Kid Flash asked.
"The military likes their secrets. And you should be able to follow orders, even when you don't have the full picture," Batman said. "Now, the puppy needs to be taken back to the base immediately."
"You wish for all of us to go?" Aqualad asked.
"It's a team mission, so the whole team should see it through," Batman said.
"So much for a school night," Artemis sighed.
"Yeah, thanks, Superboy," Kid Flash said.
Conner went back to his room to retrieve Dog. Even though he was relieved to hear that the animal would be well taken care of, he was disappointed at losing his pet so quickly. He was going to miss Dog. Superboy opened the door to find that in addition to the mess on the floor, Dog had also used Conner's bed as a bathroom. The teen sighed. Maybe giving up the puppy wasn't the worst idea. He gathered Dog's belongings and put them in a bag. Bag in one hand, puppy in the other, Conner returned to the bioship where the rest of the team was waiting.
"You okay?" M'gann asked softly.
Conner nodded. He listened distractedly as Kid Flash whined about not getting enough sleep on a school night, while Artemis and Robin teased the redhead about 'beauty sleep' and what would happen if he fell asleep during Chemistry.
"I bet she'll give you detention," Artemis said.
"No, I think she'll balance chalk on your head while the rest of the class laughs," Robin said.
"Dude! Not cool." Kid Flash crossed his arms across his chest and pouted.
"You were really terrible to her the first week of school," Robin said.
"She mixed up Barium and Beryllium in her lecture!" Kid Flash said indignantly.
"I'm sure it was a mistake," Robin said.
"We are here," Kaldur said, relief evident in his voice. Superboy silently agreed with his sentiment. He was ready to get this mission over with. He supposed that he was lucky that Artemis and Robin were giving Kid Flash a hard time instead of him. Conner was surprised that he wasn't in more trouble for not following the mission orders. Maybe that was waiting for him when he got back to the Cave. He pet the puppy who was curled up on his lap. Dog had been a lot calmer since they boarded the bioship. Maybe she was looking forward to being with her siblings?
Aqualad motioned for Superboy to hang back while the others walked ahead. "I understand this was hard for you. But in the future, do not make decisions on a mission without consulting with the rest of us. We are a team. We need to work together to be successful."
Conner nodded. Somehow Kaldur's quiet rebuke hit him harder than Batman's stern reprimand. They rejoined the rest of the team inside the building. Dr. Moore, the lead scientist, waited eagerly. He nearly snatched the puppy out of his hands. "You have no idea how worried I was! These puppies need to be monitored carefully. If they had any kind of health problem, a typical vet would be ill-equipped to deal with it. "
"We understand," Aqualad said. "We apologize for not delivering this puppy with the others."
"Yes, yes, I'd better get back to work now. I'm behind schedule because of this delay."
"Of course. We will be on our way." The team exited the room, but Conner hung back.
"You'll take care of her, won't you?" he asked.
The scientist gave him a brief, confused look, before quickly forcing what he thought was a comforting smile. "Oh, yes. I take care of all the creatures under my care."
Conner hurried to catch up with the others, but he used his superhearing to listen in on the room he had just left. He didn't know Dr. Moore very well. Would he really take care of Dog? He heard the scientist talking... to himself? Or maybe to Dog. There was no one else in that room, and Conner hadn't heard the door open since he left. There were no other doors in that lab, or even windows. But then he heard a female voice and stopped in his tracks.
"Finally! Do you know how uncomfortable that was?" the female voice said.
"Quit your whining. This was your idea," Dr. Moore said.
"It wasn't my idea for that stupid boy to take me out of the box. We could have had this over with hours ago, instead of me playing fetch with a couple of adolescents."
"Hurry up. The general is leaving in twenty minutes. If you don't get to him soon, we'll have to wait weeks for our next chance."
"Relax," the female voice said. "I'm a professional. The general will be dead in five minutes. Assassin's guarantee."
Conner found himself running back to the lab before he had made the conscious decision to do so. "M'gann, team mindlink!" he called out, remembering the importance of the team knowing what was going on.
/Team mindlink established. We're right behind you. What's going on?/ Miss Martian asked.
/I thought we were going home!/ Kid Flash complained.
/I heard another voice from the lab, and she's an assassin sent to kill General Franklin!/ Conner said. /She said that the general will be dead within five minutes!/
Kid Flash sped up and passed Superboy. The others entered the lab to find him holding Dr. Moore against the wall. "Where is she?"
"She who?" the scientist asked nervously.
"The assassin!" Kid Flash said.
"She was disguised as the puppy," Conner added.
"Wait, what?" Kid Flash asked. "I missed that part."
Dr. Moore used the speedster's distraction to break free. Superboy caught him and slammed him back against the wall so the man's feet were dangling. "Tell us where she is," he said with a growl in his voice. "Or I will use you to make a new doorway to this lab."
"Sh-she's headed for the general's office," Dr. Moore said. "Please don't hurt me."
Conner dropped the scientist. He looked to Aqualad for the plan.
"Robin, I need you to lock the base down. No one enters or exits," Aqualad said. Robin nodded and got to work on the scientist's computer.
"We need to split up," the team leader said. "Superboy, Kid Flash, and Artemis, get to the general's office to protect him. Miss Martian, I need you to scan the minds around here looking for someone with malicious intent."
"I'll have to drop the mindlink to do that," M'gann warned. Aqualad nodded in agreement and her eyes glowed as she searched for the assassin.
"What about him?" Kid Flash said, motioning to the scientist. "I can get an MP to watch him."
Aqualad shook his head. "We do not know who to trust. Anyone could be in on this."
Artemis walked over to Dr. Moore. She pulled out an arrow and twisted it so a puff of gas came out in the scientist's face. Dr. Moore coughed and then slumped to the ground. "Knockout gas arrows. Never leave home without them."
"Do you have handcuff arrows too?" Kid Flash taunted. Artemis stuck out her tongue and pulled out a pair of handcuffs. They were not attached to an arrow, however.
"The base is locked down," Robin reported.
"Where is the general's office?" Superboy asked. Unease curled in his stomach. He felt like they were running out of time.
"I got this, " Robin said.
"Bet I can beat you," Kid Flash challenged. He was gone a second later. There was a few moments of silence save for Robin's typing. Then Kid Flash returned. "General Franklin's office is down this hall," he started.
"Second left and then the-" Robin continued.
"First right after that," Kid Flash interrupted.
Miss Martian looked at the others worriedly. "I can sense the assassin, but she seems to be moving through the walls. Through the vents maybe?"
"Or maybe she can density shift," Kid Flash said.
"Keep in contact," Aqualad said. "Go." Superboy, Kid Flash, and Artemis ran for the office. Kid Flash arrived first and opened the door. General Franklin sat at his desk. No one else was in the room.
"What are you-" the general started but Kid Flash interrupted.
"Sorry, no time. Someone's here to kill you." The man stood and pulled out a gun. Kid Flash raised his hands. "Whoa! Not me! I'm here to protect you."
Superboy and Artemis arrived then. "A female assassin is on her way," Artemis told him. "Do you have a panic room where we can protect you better?"
A noise in the vents made them all look up. "Too late," Kid Flash said. Dark water poured out of the vent, pooling on the floor before forming into a humanoid shape. Then the shape solidified further and they could see it was a dark haired woman.
Kid Flash whistled in appreciation. "Wow, that's a good looking assassin."
Artemis elbowed him in the side and drew back her bowstring. "The general is protected. Surrender now," she told the intruder.
"Sorry, once I take a job, I finish it." The woman liquified again and the puddle slid across the floor to the general. Kid Flash zoomed behind the desk, picked up the general, and raced back to the door. He set the man down quickly.
"Get ready to run," he told General Franklin. "Because I can't carry you over long distances."
"Kaldur, we need backup," Superboy said over the comms. He picked up the desk and slammed it onto the puddle, but the water just seeped out and reformed on the other side.
"On our way," Aqualad replied.
"Shoot it!" Kid Flash told Artemis.
"With what? My knockout gas? My net arrow?"
"Probably not. What else do you have?"
"An exploding arrow. That's it, except for the pointy ones," Artemis said. The puddle was drawing closer.
"I could run around her and make a tornado?" Kid Flash offered.
"Couldn't hurt," Superboy said. The speedster ran twice around the room before the dark puddle lunged forward. Kid Flash slipped on the water and went sliding into the wall.
"Actually, it could hurt," Kid Flash said, rubbing his head. "Plan B?"
Aqualad and the others arrived then. He took in the scene and said, "Robin, Miss Martian, take the general to a secure location. We'll hold off the assassin." The Team felt the group mindlink start up again.
/What have you tried already?/ Aqualad added mentally.
/She flows right around the desk, and when Kid Flash tried to do a tornado, she made him slip,/ Superboy said.
/I don't think my arrows will help,/ Artemis said.
Aqualad pulled out his water bearers and aimed them at the puddle. He was able to contain the water so it could not move.
"There you go!" Kid Flash said. A grin spread across his face.
"Now what?" Artemis asked. "You can't stand there forever."
/We need a way to contain her long term,/ Aqualad said.
/Force her into a container?/ Kid Flash asked.
/She would be able to get out if there was the slightest opening,/ Artemis said.
/Wait, I have an idea!/ Kid Flash said. He communicated his idea mentally, and Aqualad agreed.
Aqualad pretended to strain in order to keep the assassin contained. "I cannot hold her much longer. Go! Get to the general!" The others ran from the room. Aqualad kept the water at bay for another five seconds and then released it. He moved to recapture the assassin, but she slid past him into the hall. She saw Superboy and Artemis turn the corner up ahead. The team leader chased after the assassin.
/She is coming your way. Ready?/ he asked.
/Ready,/ Kid Flash answered. Superboy and Miss Martian entered the room and hid behind some tables. The assassin came in a few seconds later, still in liquid form. She headed straight for Kid Flash since he was the only person she could see in the room. She started to reform as a human, but Kid Flash pulled out a fire extinguisher that he had been hiding behind his back. He pulled the pin out and sprayed her. The foam made it hard for her to change shape, and she re-liquified.
Aqualad reached the room right then. "Where's the container?" he asked. Kid Flash nodded to the silver cylinder to his left. Aqualad aimed his water bearers at the puddle of water and Kid Flash set down the extinguisher. Aqualad lifted the water and directed it into the container. Once all the water was in, Kid Flash put the lid on and closed it tightly.
"That should do it," Kid Flash said. "The foam from the fire extinguisher was cold enough to slow her molecules. The insulated container will keep her body at that temperature. She shouldn't be able to get out."
"Nice work," Aqualad said. He radioed Batman. "We have discovered a meta-human assassin who was targeting General Franklin. She has been captured and the general is safe. How would you like us to proceed?"
"I will be there shortly," Batman replied.
Aqualad mentally called to the rest of the Team to inform them that the threat was over and that Batman was on his way.
Twenty minutes later, Batman arrived with Green Lantern. Batman quickly debriefed Aqualad. When he was done, Batman reassembled the team. "All of you did well. It's late. Go home and get some sleep."
"First period with a teacher who hates me," Kid Flash grumbled.
Artemis whacked him. "We all have our problems to deal with. For instance, I have to deal with your constant whining."
Robin grinned as the Team boarded the bioship. Green Lantern took the container to the Watchtower so he could lock the container in the holding cells for safekeeping. Batman remained behind to question Dr. Moore.
The next day, a few hours after school let out, the Team gathered in the Cave. Batman met them to update them on what he'd learned.
"The scientist Dr. Moore was in on the assassination plot. He was approached by a group who offered him a substantial amount of money to help smuggle in an assassin. Her name is Deborah Waters, alias Dark Waters. She can change into liquid form at will. She can also transform into other shapes, but she has trouble keeping them for more than a few minutes. Dr. Moore developed a drug that would help her keep another form, namely, a puppy. He knew that the military would be receiving the shipment of puppies, and the plan was for her to sneak in with them. Her plan was disrupted when Superboy 'rescued' her."
Everyone looked at Superboy. "So, really, he was protecting General Franklin," Miss Martian spoke up.
"A lucky coincidence," Batman said, not willing to commend someone for disobeying orders. "She needed to get to the base and through security. That couldn't happen if she just snuck out of the Cave on her own. That's why she tried to get Superboy to return her to the military base by destroying his room. Once she arrived, Dr. Moore gave her another drug that would allow her to go back to her own form. Dr. Moore is in military custody. The League is developing technology to either keep Ms. Waters confined or strip her of her powers."
"Well, it seems like none of our missions ever go according to plan," Kid Flash said.
"Bad guys are so inconsiderate sometimes," Robin agreed.
"I think that's a doggone shame," Kid Flash said, deadpan. Everyone groaned.
"Wally, that was terrible," Robin said. "Almost physically painful to hear."
"What? I think it's funny."
"I am sorry, my friend, but that was a bad pun," Aqualad said.
"None of you have a sense of humor. I'm hilarious," Kid Flash said, heading for the kitchen. He knew that food was always there for him, even if his friends weren't. Aqualad, Robin, and Artemis followed him.
"Keep telling yourself that, Kid Dork," Artemis said.
M'gann put her hand on Superboy's shoulder. "Conner? How are you doing with losing your pet?"
He smiled a little at her concern. "Fine. I'm not going to miss having my shoes chewed up or messes on the carpet. And if I ever get a pet again, I'll make sure it's not an assassin in disguise."
"Good plan." Miss Martian and Superboy went to the kitchen to join the rest of the Team.
Author's note- If you liked this story, you can check out my other DC stories on my profile.