Welcome to my very first story. I have been a fan of this site and its content for many years and have been considering writing one of my own for a very long time. I have never had a shortage of basic ideas for stories whether they be fanfictions like this or original stories of my own making. The problem has always been that I was never confident that I could make a full story of them. For the first time I have an idea of how I can do this from start to finish and I am really excited about it. Now that's enough about me. Remember that I do not own Young Justice or any of its characters and while the version of Bruce I'm using is drastically different from cannon, I don't own him either. Please enjoy and comment any advice or criticisms you have.
3rd POV Following Aqualad
Aqualad was not having a good day. First, he and his king had a run in with Killer Frost. The villainess herself was not the issue as she had been stopped relatively easily with minimal collateral damage. The problem was that she had wasted time today. He took pride in his work as the protégé of his king, Aquaman, but today was to be the day. 'Step one to becoming a member of the Justice League' as his friend Roy Harper aka Speedy had said right before problem number two for the day was revealed. His king, his mentor had not trusted him with something as basic as the truth about the Justice League headquarters, the Watchtower. It stung him more than he would admit.
As a way to get 'poetic justice' (and to get a little petty revenge a small part of him thought) the trio of protégés had decided to investigate Project Cadmus, a genetics lab that Batman was suspicious of, before the League had the opportunity to get involved. Things started to go wrong as soon as they arrived (as seems to be the trend of today he thought). As some scientists started to call out for help, a small explosion propelled them out of the building. Fortunately, Kid Flash was able to catch them in time to put them safely on the roof. Unfortunately, he ran out of momentum at the last minute and started to fall himself before catching the windows edge and holding himself there.
"So smooth." Robin commented at Aqualad's side. "Does he always have to run ahead?" he replied. "We need a plan, we-" he cut himself off as he turned to look at Robin who had disappeared. "Robin?" His friend's only reply was a chuckle as he used his grapple gun to swing into the window Kid Flash was hanging off of before helping him up and going further inside with Kid right behind him. Sure, leave the civilians as they are. I'm sure they won't mind. Aqualad thought before running over to the firefighters with his water bearers in hand. "I need to borrow that." he said, as his tattoos lit up. Using his water bearers, he created a platform out of the water from the hose to lift himself up to where the scientists were watching him. "Step aboard. Now." he said to the scientists who obeyed quickly. He lowered them down the window his friends had disappeared into so he could enter through it before he lowered them safely to the ground.
As he entered the room, he noticed Robin typing away at a computer. "Appreciate the help." he said sarcastically. "You handled it." Robin said nonchalantly. As he investigated further in the section of offices they were in, he noticed the doors of an elevator close on… something. "There was something in the- "he started before trailing off. "Elevators should be locked down." Kid Flash noted before Robin added "This is wrong." As he inspected the elevator. Aqualad couldn't help but notice the heat in the room as it was getting harder to ignore now that they were farther in the building.
Suddenly the door to the section of offices they were in burst open flooding the room with smoke and revealing a large teenager with brown hair looking at the occupants of the room with concern. "Is everyone okay?" the teen said immediately before he seemed to realize exactly who he was talking to. "Wait a second, you're Aqualad! And Robin! And… Flash Kid?" Kid Flash was not amused and started grumbling to himself about people getting his name wrong again. "You guys must be here to help get people out of here. Good thing too, cause there are people trapped on the top floor and this floor still has people too. I've been helping people where I can but I need help."
"Actually- " Robin began before being cut off by being cut off by Aqualad, who said "Where do you need us?" "What, just like that we're dropping everything to save people who are already being saved by the authorities? We don't even know this guy!" Kid Flash questioned. "Introductions can be done at a time when there aren't lives on the line. For now, we do what we were trained to do. Save lives." "You two help that guy, I'll stay here and get what information I can by hacking and you can meet me back here when you're done." Robin suggested. "Agreed." Aqualad said before he and Kid Flash turned back to the stranger.
"Ok so this floor should be easy, the rooms aren't locked, but people are trapped by the flames. Getting upstairs in the problem. The stairs going up are partially collapsed and I don't think they will hold my weight, but the stairs going down are fine." The stranger said. Aqualad nodded in acknowledgement. "You and I will take the right side of this floor. Search each room and get anyone we can to the stairs. Kid will do the same for the left side." "Aww why do I have a side to myself?" Kid Flash whined. "Because you can work faster than we can." Aqualad replied simply. "Once we finish this floor, we will meet at the stairs going up." he finished "Alright, let's get to work." Said the brown-haired teen.
They worked as quickly as they could clearing the rooms of civilians. Though he did not show it, Aqualad was surprised that the unknown ally was keeping up. Not many civilians can keep up with us in normal conditions, but all this smoke and heat is causing me to slow down more than it is him he thought, and it was true. His Atlantean physiology was not handling the heat well and he could feel himself gradually slowing. For all his complaining, Kid flash finished his side first and started helping with the right side of the hall.
When they finished and reached the stairs, Aqualad realized that their ally had not been exaggerating when he explained the damage to them. They were barely holding themselves together and looked like any movement would topple them. There was no way the stranger or himself was going to get up there without them collapsing, but perhaps… "Kid, do you think you can make it up the stairs?" he asked. "I could get up there once, but as soon as I came back down the stairs would come down too." the speedster answered. "Ok how about this." The stranger started. "I get up there and find people before bringing them back to the stairs. I will then drop them down for you to catch" he said, gesturing to Aqualad. "and you to run outside." he finished with a gesture at Kid Flash. "And how do you plan to get up there, jump?" asked Kid Mouth sarcastically. The teenager seemed to think about it before the two protégés watched as his eyes briefly turned a shocking green. "Why yes, I think I will." he said with a smirk. With his eyes wide, the speedster said in a soft, calm, and not at all freaked out voice, "WHO ARE YOU!?" "Call me Bruce." He responded before leaping straight onto the platform in front of the door to the next floor. The platform collapsed as soon as he walked through the door and Aqualad only just managed to step out of the way of the burnt wood as it fell. Soon they started the process of sending the civilians one by one outside and into the waiting support of the first responders just outside.
As the last civilian was sent down, the ceiling began to crack and fall. Aqualad, who had caught the civilian, and Kid Flash managed to get back into the hallway before the doorway was cut off. "Bruce!" Aqualad shouted after putting down the civilian. "Bruce, are you alright?" he yelled, trying to make his voice get through the collapsed section of the hallway. "I'm fine!" he heard before Bruce continued, "Go on ahead, I'll catch up with you guys later." "Are you sure? We can find a way around, or maybe dig you out." he offered. "Don't worry about me," Bruce said. "I've been through much worse, this is nothing to worry about. I'll meet you back at the elevator." "Alright then." Aqualad said before following after Kid Flash who had already left to get the civilian to safety.
By the time he got back to the elevator, Kid Flash was already there and waiting for him. "Finally! It's about time you got here. Rob, what do we got?" said the impatient 15-year-old. Pulling out his wrist computer, Robin said "Just as I thought, this is a high-speed express elevator." "Yeah, so?" questioned Kid Flash, wanting to get to the point. "So, a high-speed express elevator doesn't belong in a three-story building." "Nor does what I saw in said elevator." added Aqualad before he forced the elevator open with a heave. "And that's why they need an express elevator." Robin said as he and Kid Flash joined him in looking down the elevator shaft. After anchoring his grappling hook to the ceiling, Robin used it to lower himself into the shaft. "Wait!" Aqualad tried said to Kid Flash. "Bruce said he'd meet us at the elevator. Are we just going to leave him?" "Well he's not a hero or a sidekick, so it's probably for the better that way. We don't want him getting hurt after all. Besides, we can't let Rob go in alone can we?" Aqualad thought for a moment before saying, "After all the people he helped save today, he is a hero, but you are right; we cannot let Robin go in alone. Let's go."
After going down as far as he could, Robin said, "I'm at the end of my rope." before jumping to the ledge beside the elevator and pulling out his wrist computer to begin hacking. "Bypassing security." he said as he waited for his hack to finish. "Go." he signaled for Aqualad to pry open the elevator doors again.
"Welcome to project Cadmus." Robin said as he exited the shaft behind Aqualad. Kid Flash proved to be less patient as he bolted out of the shaft and down the hall. "Kid, wait!" Aqualad called, but his call fell on deaf ears. In his haste, Kid Flash was unable to slow down in time to avoid the giant, horned, quadrupedal… things walking around, so instead he managed to slide under the first one. The second nearly trampled him, but he was able to roll away in the nick of time. "Nothing strange happening here, that's for sure." Aqualad said sarcastically.
They made their way to the next door after making certain that the creatures had passed and Robin got to hacking it open. As it did, he said "Ok, I'm officially whelmed." They entered a room filled with tubes containing some kind of creature in a liquid that seemed to have electricity running through them. "This is how they hide this massive underground facility from the world." Said Kid Flash as he gazed at the containers in awe. "The real Cadmus isn't on the grid; it generates its own power with these… things. Must be what they're bred for."
"Even the name is a clue." Aqualad said. "The Cadmus of myth created a new race by sowing dragon's teeth into the earth." "And this Cadmus creates new life too." Robin continued. "Let's find out why." He attached a cord from his wrist computer to a console near the middle of the room. "They call them Genomorphs." he said reading from his computer. "Whoa, look at the stats on these things." he said surprised. "Super strength, telepathy, razor claws." he listed. "These things are living weapons!" "They're engineering an army, but for who?" Kid Flash added.
"Wait, there's something else. Project Kr. Ugh, the file's triple-encrypted. I can't- " Robin started, but he was interrupted by a deep voice shouting "Don't move!" The room was flooded by a group of some imp-like Genomorphs and an armored man with a golden helmet and shield with a small Genomorph on his shoulder. "Wait." the man said. "Robin, Aqualad, Kid Flash?" "At least he got your name right." Robin joked with his friend. "I know you." Said Aqualad. "Guardian, a hero." "I do my best." Said the armored man said modestly. "Then what are you doing here?" asked Kid Flash. "I'm chief of security." he answered. "You're trespassing. But we can call the Justice League, figure this out." "You think the League's gonna approve of you breeding weapons?" Kid Flash asked. Guardian's eyes widened slightly. "Weapons? What are you…" the Genomorph on Guardian's shoulder looked at him as it's horns began to glow. "What have I… ugh. My head."
Suddenly the Hero's entire demeanor hardened. "Take them down hard." he ordered. "No mercy." The Genomorphs rushed to obey and charged at the heroes-in-training. As they approached, Robin threw down a smoke bomb and grappled away unnoticed, leaving the other two to fight the Genomorphs. One took a couple of swipes at Kid Flash which he dodged before jumping off the wall behind him into a fast roll at the opposite wall which he used as a springboard into a flying kick into a Genomorph that was about to attack Aqualad who kicked another away before being hit by a shoulder bash from Guardian powerful enough to knock him off his feet. He recovered just as Guardian rushed him and they traded blows before he managed to get a grip on the armored hero and shock him with his tattoos, rendering him unconscious.
Kid Flash and Aqualad quickly exited the room before finding Robin using his wrist computer to hack a door open. Kid Flash ran up to him before angrily saying "Way to be a team player, Rob!" "Weren't you right behind me?" Robin asked confused as he continued his hacking. He got the door open and both stepped into the new elevator before being quickly joined by a rushing Aqualad, who was being followed closely by a mob of angry Genomorphs. The doors closed with just enough time to hear their pursuers crash into the door. It was only when they started moving that Kid and Aqualad realized something was wrong. "We're going down?" Aqualad asked pointedly. "Dude, out is up." Kid Flash added. "Excuse me?" Robin snapped. "Project Kr. It's down on sub-level 52." Aqualad took a moment to think. "This is out of control." he said slowly. "Perhaps… Perhaps we should contact the League." Right as he finished speaking, the elevator stopped moving and the doors opened revealing two cavernous pathways that branched off in opposite directions. Robin took off immediately leaving the others behind. "We are already here." Kid Flash said with a shrug before taking off after Robin, leaving Aqualad with little choice but to follow, which he did with a sigh.
As the trio approached the divide between branches they paused. "Which way?" Aqualad asked tensely. "Yeah," Robin said humorously. "Bizarre looking hallway one, or bizarre looking hallway two?" Suddenly a tall humanoid looking Genomorph appeared in one of the branches and called "Halt!" before lighting up its horns to telekinetically launch bits of rubble at them. The three not-sidekicks took this as their cue and ran down the other path to avoid more projectiles.
Kid Flash arrived at a door marked Project Kr and noticed it closing behind a scientist who had just left it. Taking a metal chemical container, he stuffed it between the closing sides of the door and yelled "Hurry!" to them. They managed to slip in with their pursuers hot on their heels before Aqualad kicked the container that held the door open out of the way and allowing the door to close them in. Robin typed away at his wrist computer before saying "I disabled the door. We're safe." "We're trapped." Aqualad disagreed. "Uh, guys." Kid Flash interrupted. "You'll wanna see this."
Pressing a few buttons on a nearby console, he turned up the lights to be able to see inside the pod in the center of the room. "Woah." said Kid Flash as he saw a black-haired teenager as big as Bruce in a white suit that had the famous Kryptonian sigil. On the glass of the pod Kid Flash read "Big K, little r. The atomic symbol for Krypton. Clone?" Aqualad turned to the more silent member of their trio. "Robin, hack." "Uh, right, right." Robin said distractedly as he started doing so. "Weapon designation Superboy. A clone force-grown in… sixteen weeks? From DNA acquired from Superman." Robin read off his screen. "Stolen from Superman." Aqualad corrected. "No way the big guy knows about this." Kid Flash agreed. "Solar suit allows him to absorb yellow sun radiation twenty-four seven." Robin continued. "And these creatures?" Aqualad asked, pointing at three creatures suspended in clear containers above and behind the sleeping Superboy. "Genomorph Gnomes, telepathic, force-feeding him an education." Robin read. "And we can guess what else." Kid Flash added. "They're making a slave out of… well, Superman's son."
"Now we contact the League." Aqualad said, and this time it left no room for argument. All three tried their communicators, all of which produced nothing but static. "No signal." Said Robin. We're in too deep… literally." Kid Flash added. "This is wrong." he said gesturing to Superboy. "We can't leave him like this." Robin agreed. "Set him free." Said Aqualad. "Do it." Robin started pressing commands on his keyboard. With a breath of release of air, the pod opened releasing Superboy.
Keeping his eyes closed, the clone clenched his fist with several cracks coming from his knuckles. At this, Aqualad's eyes narrowed. Superboy's eyes shot open and he launched himself at Aqualad, both flying to the other side of the room. As soon as they hit the ground, the clone starts punching the Atlantean again and again. Kid Flash tries to intervene, grabbing the arm he was punching with as Robin tried to get him in a chokehold from behind. "Whoa! Hang on Supey." he said. Robin backed him up saying "We're on your side." The enraged teenager managed to rip his arm from Kid's grip and use it to send him flying into a glass case, shattering it. "I don't wanna do this." Robin said as he used a device to release a knockout chemical right into Supey's mouth. It made him cough and get off of Aqualad, who kicked him into a stack of metal tools which went flying. As the Krypto-clone recovered from the coughing fit caused by Robin's last attack he turned just in time to get two taser lines right to the chest from the bird themed protégé. Unaffected by the electricity, he grabbed the lines and used them to yank the smaller teen to him before smashing him to the ground and kicking him while he was down. Aqualad, finally recovered from Superboy's last attack yelled "Enough!" before using his water bearers to summon a water hammer which he smashed into the clone to throw him into a larger piece of mechanical equipment which dented from the force of it. He tried to help Robin recover, but he passed out as he stood. As Superboy approached once again, he tried the diplomatic approach one more time. "We are trying to help you." he said. Superboy paused, then charged again without a word. After dodging his initial attack Aqualad tackled him into even more machinery. Trying to press his advantage, Aqualad tried to punch the fallen clone only for him to catch the punch before throwing him across the room again. He recovered and the clash started anew until Aqualad managed to get behind Superboy and pull his arms under the clone's armpits and behind his neck to disable his arms and shocking him with his tattoos. For a moment the clone struggled, but the atlantean's grip didn't break. So instead he jumped straight up, slamming Aqualad into the ceiling and breaking his concentration. When he still hung on, the clone repeated the move and ended the fight. As he passed out, Aqualad's last thought was what a terrible day it's been.
Well that's a wrap for this chapter. How did I do? Did you love it? Did you hate it? Should I burn in hell for even contemplating creating it? Let me know in the comments. Or don't. That's ok too.
I know not much happened in here that hasn't happened in cannon but fear not dear readers, for it is next chapter that we get to see a somewhat more drastic change. As to big green… he'll be here within the next two chapters. Either next chapter or the one after that, I'm not sure yet but one way or another you can find out in chapter two, coming soon.
Something I do feel the need to clarify is the Thoughts vs Emphasis difference. If I want to put in thoughts, they will be like this. If I want to add emphasis to a word or phrase, they will look like this. The reason I feel the need to point this out is because Young Justice has a lot of telepathic communication once M'gann shows up, so I wanted to be clear now so there is no confusion later.