Chapter 10: Mounting Chaos
Morgaine le Fae gently wiped her son's face. Putting down the rag, she picked up a small bowl of apple sauce and began to spoon feed the elderly man. Circe's visit continued to occupy her thoughts.
"It's on the Justice League Watchtower at this moment. You might not get another chance."
The sorceress suddenly put the apple sauce down. A game of Circe's or not, the half-fae was not about to let this opportunity slip through her fingers. The power of Titania's Mirror was enormous. Such power could enable her to reverse the aging of her son and perhaps even restore his powers.
The problem, of course, was Titania herself. There were few individuals on the Earth that Morgaine was reluctant to cross and the faerie queen was one of them.
Oberon was one of the others.
"I don't have a choice," she murmured. She gently stroked her son's cheek. "I'll be back as soon as I can, my dear child."
The sorceress vanished in a flash of light.
Lex Luthor and Tala were near the Watchtower's shuttle bay when a certain faerie deigned to show himself. Luthor bit his lip in agitation, but cut short the threat he was about to launch at the magical being. Irate or not, he was quite aware that now wasn't the time to launch into a deadly tirade that might end with a dead elf.
For the time being, he still needed Puck if he wanted to leave the Watchtower.
Even so, however….
"You…" Luthor hissed. "You trapped us in an illusion!"
"You were going to cut the oxygen output in parts of the station, even I need to breathe," Puck answered innocently. Though, to be quite fair, Luthor hadn't been anywhere the actual monitoring room.
"If you trapped us in an illusion, then you were near us and not in an area that I was going to cut the oxygen to," Luthor growled.
"I might have had business in those areas," Puck cryptically replied. Lex raised an eyebrow, but he was thrown to his feet before he could ask. The station shook for a few, hair raising seconds before it stopped.
"What the hell was that?" Lex asked.
"I sense powerful magic," Tala answered. Floating above the two humans, Puck's face froze momentarily with worry.
"Morgaine le Fae," the faerie answered calmly. Puck silently cursed Circe. The only thing that could have drawn Arthur Pendragon's half sister to the station was Titania's Mirror.
"What!?" Tala exclaimed. "What is that witch doing here!?" The sorceress's forehead glistened in sweat. The bald headed man at her side rubbed his chin in deep thought as he considered their options.
"Puck, what happened to the rest of our team?" Lex asked suspiciously.
"I sent them back already," Puck answered truthfully. "You told me to rescue them if in danger, so I sent them back home." Lex debated on whether or not to be angry. Again, he decided to deal with it later.
"It's time for us to go," Lex ordered.
"I'm afraid it's not that simple," Puck answered. His eyes twinkled with hidden merriment as Lex glared at him.
"Explain," Luthor commanded.
"One of the Leaguers took the Mirror and is holding it hostage," Puck answered. "Morgaine may also be here for it as well."
"Meaning we'll have to fight for it," Tala finished.
"How do I know you're telling me the truth?" Luthor asked.
"Pfff…I already told you Lexie, the truth is flexible. I have never told you a lie," the faerie answered flippantly. "The spell that binds me to you prevents me from lying to you anyway."
"Meaning that your 'interpretation' is open to question," Lex growled. "Who has the mirror?" The faerie's smile widened.
"Tis a question to consider," Puck replied. Amusement flickered across his face.
"What does that mean?" Luthor asked suspiciously. The faerie shrugged nonchalantly.
"A question with an unknown answer."
"Enough with the riddles!" Lex finally yelled. "Give me a straight answer!"
"It is a Leaguer with magical capabilities," the Puck added. "But I didn't see his face."
"Who?" Lex asked again. Tala placed a calming hand on his shoulder.
"He doesn't know," she said. Lex calmed down after a moment.
"Do you know where it is?" he finally asked.
"Good question," Puck replied. "I can sense its general direction, but something is blocking me." He neglected to mention that the only thing blocking him was his lack of desire.
Lex sighed. Apparently leaving the station wasn't going to be very easy. He wondered, not for the first time, why he had listened to Tala about Puck and the mirror.
"Lead the way," he finally said. The silver haired faerie gave him a mock salute.
"Right away, Lexie Boy!"
When this was all over, Lex vowed to have a glass of whiskey and crawl into bed. After that, he wanted nothing more to do with faeries.
Morgaine le Fae calmly surveyed her surroundings. She hadn't bothered to hide her sudden presence on the Justice League Watchtower. With a telepath and several magic users in the League, it seemed a mute point.
She paused a moment to catch her breath. The power necessary to teleport to an orbiting space station was not by any means small. Faint wrinkles on her hands were testimony of how much magic had been required.
Had she still been a young woman, then this would not even be an issue. Unfortunately, however, her half faerie blood had only extended her longevity. It hadn't seen fit to give either her or even Merlin, the son of King Oberon, endless youth.
Not a matter to fret over, however. Her immediate problem could be easily rectified.
"Who is she?" Concerned murmurings floated in the small, contained mechanical room. Men and women garbed in blue uniforms stared in alarm at the intruder. After a moment of searching, Morgaine pointed a finger at a young man in his twenties.
"You," she commanded. "Come here."
The young man was forcibly picked up by her magic. His skin paled in terror as he suddenly found himself within arms reach of the sorceress.
"Let him go!" An older man led a courageous charge against her; however the sorceress knocked them away with a flick of magic. Morgaine pressed an aging hand against the man's head and felt his precious life energy drain into her.
Now refreshed and newly rejuvenated, Morgaine le Fae let the now frail and withered man crumple to the floor.
"Morgaine le Fae is here."
All eyes turned to the sole Martian in the room. Shayera and Zatanna both swore under their breath, though one more loudly than the other.
"This must be Circe's 'gift' to Puck," Dr. Fate noted wryly.
"And a curse for us," Mister Terrific added. "I just got a report from mechanical room 17. She got one of our tech guys…they're rushing him to the infirmary now, for whatever good it will do."
"What's his name?" Zatanna asked, making a mental note to visit the poor man later.
"Fareed Bonjani, age twenty-seven…or at least he was."
"This is what Puck feared," J'onn said quietly. "He was telling the truth."
"But why is she here?" Shayera asked. "I doubt she'd come here unless she wanted something. Morgaine's not the type to do someone a personal favor."
There was momentary silence in the control room.
"The Mirror," Dr. Fate answered. "She must be after Titania's Mirror."
J'onn closed his eyes and searched for his quarry. Although Morgaine had closed her mind to him, he sensed that she was somewhere on the level below. Closing in on her location, was Puck, Luthor, and Tala.
'This will not end well,' J'onn thought grimly. Although Puck also was not letting the Martian into his mind, he was able to pick up the faerie's hidden irritation. It did not take much reflection to realize that Puck was quite unhappy with his predicament.
"Bruce?" J'onn asked telepathically. His friend was currently with Diana and Clark, trying to track down a missing mirror.
"I'm going to call a friend for help," Bruce answered back. "Just in case we need him."
Jason Blood was counting out change for a soda machine when his cell phone rang. His Pepsi craving would apparently have to wait.
"Jason, this is an emergency."
"Your voice…" Jason trailed off. Something seemed different about the other man's voice.
"What about it?" Batman asked darkly. The ex-knight backed off, although he was still curious to know why his voice sounded less than human at the moment.
If anything, he sounded somewhat like a donkey…if donkeys could speak.
"Nothing," Jason replied, staring forlornly at the soda machine. He probably wouldn't have time for a soda, especially since Morgaine was probably involved somehow. "What kind of situation?"
"Lex Luthor. A sorceress named Tala. Puck. Circe. Morgaine le Fae. Titania's Mirror," Bruce answered curtly. Jason felt the wheels in his mind slowly grind to a halt. He was reasonably sure that the mental equivalent of a nuclear bomb had just gone off in his brain.
Jason's left eye began to twitch.
"Dammit," he muttered.
"Puck?" Etrigan asked. "What is he doing with the likes of them?"
"We'll find out," Jason silently promised his other half. "Besides, that little rascal still owes me money."
"You do realize that you're never going to get that back, don't you Blood?" the demon asked dryly. Jason chose to ignore his companion as he finally found a voice to answer the questioning Dark Knight.
"Why is Puck there?" he finally asked. 'You're going to owe me a Pepsi after this, you silvered haired hellion!' Jason silently swore. He felt, rather than heard, Etrigan chuckle in the back of his mind.
Bruce Wayne's sigh of frustration was easily conveyed over the phone. In a few short sentences, he quickly summarized the day's events.
"Shall I bring extra strength Tylenol?" Jason finally asked. Joking aside, both Jason and Etrigan were now deadly serious…
…About both the Tylenol and the brewing catastrophe on the Watchtower.
"Are you certain it is this way?" Tala asked suspiciously. She and Lex were currently following the faerie through the Watchtower. Under orders from Luthor, Puck had made their little group invisible to passing mortal eyes.
"Why?" Lex asked her. Being the only non-magic user in the group, he was blind to Morgaine le Fae's whereabouts.
"I sense the witch's power in front of us," Tala stated uneasily. Luthor turned his eyes to look at the floating fae.
"Puck?" Luthor warned. The faerie held out his hands in apology.
"The mirror is this way," he stated.
"Then let's find away around Morgaine to get to it," Lex sighed. "Use your magic."
A pair of blue eyes sparkled with mischief.
"As you command," Puck replied. His lips twitched with barely hidden humor.
As Luthor had not seen fit to command him to teleport to the mirror, Puck began to lead them on a winding, wayward journey around Morgaine le Fae. While he was at it, he threw off deliberate sparks of fae magic.
After nearly two minutes of baiting Morgaine, the sorceress finally decided to investigate the source of faerie magic. She believed, correctly, that this source probably knew where to find Titania's Mirror.
However, she was greeted to a most unexpected sight.
"Morgy! Long time no see!"
A cheerful, silvered haired faerie, his upper body wrapped in a metal chain, zipped wildly through the wide corridor. He came to a sudden halt and swiftly pulled the golden mask off of her face before she could react. The trickster tweaked her nose and winked out, only to reappear farther down the hallway.
A man and woman, both unknown to the sorceress, cautiously watched the proceedings.
Puck held the golden mask up to his face and began to dance merrily about the corridor.
Morgaine le Fae was unable to stop the horrified groan that escaped her throat.