7:06 PM EDT

Hall of Justice

"Hiya!" The heavy-bag rocks back on its flexible stand, anchored by the enormously heavy weights in the base, and I grin. Sure, pretty much anyone with actual super strength could've sent it flying with the same punch. But nobody normal could've made it so much as budge.

This armor was incredible. I was faster, stronger, and- though I was afraid to fully test its alleged limits- way tougher. The microscopic colonies Uncle Legion had bred and First had improved upon fed on kinetic energy and sonic energy, especially certain frequencies only I could create. That alone made them fairly effective, even if someone had just stuck them in a box and used them as armor, but what really made them special was the way they responded to ultrasonic frequencies, far, far beyond the range of hearing. Ones that I could make, and that they could, too, an odd, but appropriate way of communicating. They quite literally danced to my tune, and sang right back.

I grin wider as I keep hitting the bag, enjoying the impact of the armor's gauntlets against padded material, the microbes retreating from the metallic pieces to let me hit with full force in response to a single brief note.

With my powers active, I easily hear the door to the training rooms open, and it's even easier to make out exactly who the two walking in are.

"Wally. Artemis," I say politely before I turn to face them.

"Okay, seriously, how the hell do you do that?" the Flash's nephew asks.

"Footsteps," I answer cheerfully.

It's true, if not the whole answer. Everyone's got their own sounds, the minute and almost indistinguishable differences in how they walk, what they wear, the pace and sound of their breathing. Add it all up, and if it's someone I know, I don't even have to look to identify them.

Both of them are in costume. Wally's updated his again, changing it in color to match his uncle's this time, which I approve of. Looks a lot better than bright yellow. And now he's got all his formulas and potions on a bandolier and on his belt, where they can't get caught on something, unlike the shoulder bag he was using a month ago. Artemis looks the same as she always has, dark green with just enough body armor to be sensible. No weapons, save a large knife at her hip, but then again she never needed them.

"New look?" Artemis asks.

I smile. "Inheritance," I reply, enunciating carefully.

She pauses at that, then smiles. "Good on you, little sis."

"So, gonna join the Team, or what?" Wally asks.

I stare at him.

"Okay, death glare means no, got it. Still, you're sure you're ready?"

My smile is a lot less nice than the one I gave Artemis. "Spar to prove it?" I ask, sugar-sweet. "No powers."

Wally holds up his hands, still smiling. "No thanks, kid. I know you could kick my butt if I wasn't using my speed. And you've already got that armor on, and I really don't feel like being a test dummy, sorry."

Artemis punches him in the shoulder softly. "Fine, you big baby. Come on, sis."

I follow her to the center of the room, while she activates a set of holographic projectors set up in the floor, setting up the ring. Flat terrain, nothing really special, just the normal recording bits.

"Why are you here?" I ask as she starts to stretch.

"Batman wanted to talk to us."


"Asked us not to say, yet," she replies.

Hmph. Fine.

I drop into a ready stance when she finishes her stretches, and she mirrors me.

Off from the sidelines, I hear Wally start eating popcorn. Jerk. No idea what Artemis sees in him.

Artemis nods, and we begin.

Artemis is fast- the suit doesn't do anything to help my reflexes, and so she's faster than me even if I'm stronger- and she fights up close and personal, and dirty. But I know how she moves, and so the hand-to-hand degenerates in seconds to a flurry of grappling moves and counters, fists and elbows and knees, until I finally manage to jump back, the strength of the armor sending me farther than I'd intended. The moment of breathing room is all I need to get my bearings and start hitting back hard, focusing on boxing moves. Bad for someone of my build normally, but strength covers a multitude of sins.

It doesn't cover against overextending yourself, though, and though it's a fraction of an inch too far, Artemis takes advantage instantly, sending me slamming onto the ground on my back.

'FAIL: -', the hologram reads, floating over my head like its trying to tease me.

"No name, still?" Artemis asks as she gives me a hand up.

I shrug. "Good ones are taken."

She chuckles. "Alright, sis. Just don't wait too long, or someone will come up with one for you. How d'you think Wally got stuck with 'Kid' Flash?"

Wally swallows his mouthful of popcorn. "Still blame Cold for that one," he mutters.

We both laugh at that, and I keep smiling. "Got to change. See you later?"

"Sure," Artemis responds. "Call us any time."

1:01 PM EDT, Monday, August 17th

Brockton Bay

When the knock on the door sounds, I get to my feet carefully, like I haven't been practically bouncing off the walls from nervousness ever since Sam asked if she could bring friends over. I shouldn't be nervous- meeting new people was going to happen anyway- but I am.

Deep breaths, Cassandra. You can do this. Just don't mention Mom's work, the last thing I need is a fan club. I mean, they'll figure it out eventually, but don't lead with that.

I open the door, putting on a smile.

"Hey, Cass!" Sam chirps. "Thanks for letting us hang out."

I nod, and step aside to let the three of them enter. As they do, I take note of the two I don't yet know.

One is tall and lean, almost absurdly so, close-cropped black hair and bags under his eyes standing out against pale skin. Even so, he moves like a fighter, always on guard, which is at odds with the lazy smile on his face, and the lack of calluses or scars on his hands.

The other is less muscular, more timid, skin a beigish shade, dark brown hair pulled back in dreadlocks.

Both are dressed casually, t-shirts and shorts, but the one with the dreadlocks definitely has a knife in his pocket. The giant seems unarmed. Probably doesn't usually need it. Sam herself looks largely the same as she had a couple days ago, save different clothes.

"So! Everyone, meet Cass. Cass, this is Law-" Sam points to the beanstalk- "-and Isaac."

"Heya," the new-named 'Law' rumbles, extending a hand, which I shake. "Welcome to the 'Sam makes friends like an octopus' club," he adds. "Seriously, she just keeps latching on to people."

"Hush, I'm not that bad."

"You literally met me in the process of punching out a guy twice your size who happened to be giving me trouble, and then offering to teach me to, and I quote, 'punch them in the face like their dads should've when they started being this way'," Isaac says, just loud enough to be heard. "And then you introduced me to Law."

I laugh, and Sam stares for a moment before her smile widens. "There we go! Knew there had to be something you found funny."

"I find a lot of things funny," I protest. "You just haven't know me long."

It's Law who laughs at that. "She's got you there, Sam."

While Sam rolls her eyes, I close the door. "So. Mom's at work. Should show you around, probably."

"Sure!" Sam says.

She's practically bouncing. Is her blood entirely caffeine or something?

Still, it's an apartment, and it really doesn't take that long to cover the entire place.

Law nods at my competition trophies. "You still fight?"

I shrug. "I dabble. Muay thai, jiu jitsu. You?"

Okay, that grin is legitimately terrifying, even more than my uncle's. "Savate, kinda," Law says. "Got to keep my hands in good shape, you get me?"


"Oh, right. I'm hoping to be a surgeon. Can't do that if I've fucked up my fingers on some asshole's jaw."

Huh. That explains the lack of calluses. I nod. "Good choice. Where?"

"Eh, mostly self-taught," Law admits. "Had an instructor for a bit, then he had to leave town. Met Sam at the same place. We keep each other sharp."

"And I'm apparently the training dummy," Isaac says with good-natured grouchiness.

I try to picture Sam kicking and fighting, and can't. She's too...cute. Even with what Isaac said earlier.

"Looking for a fourth?" I ask.

Sam's ever-present smile widens. "Knew there was a reason I liked you," she says.