DISCLAIMER: DC Comics is not owned by me. Any canon characters used in this story are the property of DC Comics. This story is mainly about original characters, though it occurs in the DC universe - specifically, within the universe established by DantesClover in Hidden Agenda (read it, y'all).
Author's Note: The characters Morana, Echo, Zero, Nano, Sta, Tic (pronounced "tech"), and StaTec (the fused form of Sta and Tic) are the propety of me, of course. As is their group, Covert Action Team Zeta (C.A.T.Z.). The characters Dr. Celia Williams and Carter Roulet are the property of DantesClover, and are used with his permission. If you want to know about those two characters, check out his stories Hidden Agenda and Against the World. You should also check out Bone, Luck, and X by heartofwind. Pretty good story.
Chapter 3 - Lady Death Deceived
After her anger was spent, Morana touched her earpiece and said, "Echo, you there?"
"What the hell was that all about?" the leader of C.A.T.Z. demanded.
"Well, I was busy engaging our target when you decided you just had to call," the other girl replied.
"What?! You found Roulet?!"
"Isn't that what I said?"
"Why didn't you call it in?"
"Um, let's see. I just ran into him without warning, then was chasing him, followed by a fight with someone who was my fucking equal," Morana pointed out. "Now just where in all of that did I have a chance to call in to anyone?"
"Okay, okay," Echo replied, taken aback by her vehemence. "You made your point. Let's head back to the jet and work out a plan."
"You go on ahead. I'm just gonna hang around out here."
"We need to get back to the jet, Morana."
"Don't take that tone of voice with me, Echo," she warned. "You may be the team leader, but that doesn't make you the boss. I'm going to stay in town and wander around. Lady Death out." With that, she cut the comm channel and took her earpiece out. While she thought about just throwing it away, she ended up slipping it into her pocket. Jamming both hands into her pockets, she turned away from where she'd been facing and walked down the street. She wasn't depressed, but she was in a little bit of shock. Until now, no one had been her equal.
After the shock of sudden teleportation wore off, Roulet found himself on the roof of the building he was currently occupying. What the fuck is going on? he asked himself. That girl, Morana she'd said her name was, was just as good as he was. Maybe a little better, with that telekinetic thing. At least in that fight; now that he knew about it, it wouldn't catch him by surprise too much the next time. And there would be a next time, he was absolutely sure about that. She was after him, specifically, and just as obvious was the fact that she wasn't working alone. They may be after me, but they sure as hell won't get me, he growled in his mind. He looked around, judging the layout of the buildings in relation to where he was now, and where he had been. It wasn't that hard, in spite of the headache he was getting. He reached into a belt pouch absentmindedly and pulled out a pre-filled syringe. Taking the cap off, he jabbed it into his arm and let a sigh as the painkiller was injected directly into his bloodstream. The pain in his head began clearing, and his thinking sharpened. A feral grin pricked his features as several independent thoughts coalesced together.
"Trap time," he chuckled to himself. "In spite of what I was thinking, if they want me that bad maybe I'll give them what they want. Whoever the others are, I think that Morana girl would be the biggest danger." This time he didn't bother to contain himself; he let a full-throated laugh of insane happiness.
Morana's left eye twitched slightly; it felt like someone had walked over her grave.
Meanwhile, back in the C.A.T.Z. headquarters building in Gotham City, Doctor Celia Williams sat alone in the same briefing room in which she'd given the team her instructions. She was in the chair placed at the head of the table, leaning back with her fingers steepled together in front of her face. By now, she thought, Morana would've encountered Roulet. Chances are the fight would've been a stalemate. A brief smile blossomed on her face, only to fade away short-lived. He would've gotten away somehow, pissing her off to no end. She'll be burning to fight him again, to eliminate him. All because her 'mom' told her to. This time, the smile was cold and empty. The foolish bitch. Just then, the comm unit in the room let out the double-triple tone of an incoming secure transmission. Pressing a key on the briefing table, she said, "What is it, Echo?"
"Doctor, it's Morana," Echo said. "She ran into Carter, alone, and refuses to come in now."
"I believe she fought him and . . . and it was a draw, from her reaction. I commed her to get a status report, and, well, I've learned some new curses."
"I understand, dear," Dr. Williams said with false empathy. "Just leave her alone for now. She'll be fine. I did tell all of you that Roulet was a killer. Morana is one, as well. They're the only ones in their league, so finding herself in a draw with him undoubtedly shocked her."
"I suppose. But she could have come back to the jet and just locked herself in the back."
"Echo, it'll be fine. Perhaps the rest of you should go out and track down Roulet. I'm sure Morana will join you."
"She's shut off her comm."
"Nevertheless, Echo, you will go track down Carter Roulet. Make Zero is set up with her customized ammunition."
"Doctor Williams-" Echo started to say, before Celia shut off the comm. Tools have no right to question their masters, she thought with disdain.
Echo stared at the jet's comm panel, shocked and confused. Doctor Williams may have been somewhat callous and distant during the time she'd known her, but this was something different.
"There is something off with Doctor Williams," Zero said quietly.
"Correct," Nano agreed. "There was a different stress level in her voice. Her emotional state isn't as before."
"She isn't fun anymore," Sta pouted.
"She was never fun," Tic said morosely.
"I don't like this," Echo told the others. "She's never been that abrupt, or that intense before. I think there's something off about all of this."
"All of what, precisely?" Nano asked.
"This situation. Doctor Williams sure was insistent about us going after this Roulet guy. I do believe that everything she told us about him was true. It's everything else I'm not sure of anymore."
"I have to agree with you," the mecha girl replied. Zero nodded and so did Sta; Tic merely shrugged. "I'll interface with the jet's control panel via the comm system, and back hack the base's computer network."
"Can you get in?"
"If I was at the base directly, then absolutely. From here, it'll be a little more difficult because of the relays involved. But I can do it."
Morana was sitting on a roof, her feet dangling over the edge, thinking aboout the fight with Roulet. She'd been doing that for quite a while now, as her watch was showing that just past midnight. She was no longer put out by what happened, meeting someone who was her equal. She hated his guts, of course, because no one should have been her equal.
"Mom told me he was good," she said to herself, kicking her feet and watching the ground several stories below. "She didn't tell me, though, that he was just as good as I was. He looks more . . . recent, though. A bit of an asshole." She looked at herself. "There's nothing wrong with my boobs. I'm going to kill him." Her brow furrowed as she thought. "Mom was hiding something. I'm young, not stupid. But . . . she was there when I woke up again. Hell, she woke me up after those bastards froze me." Sighing, she stood up. "Even back then, I knew there was something off about her. In her eyes . . . it was the same look I'd seen in the eyes of those who froze me, who tried to kill me. They were nice to me, too, in the beginning." Looking out over Jump City's nighttime skyline, she came to a decision. "I'll found that Roulet guy again, and 'talk' to him. People can lie; but in fighting, there is always truth." Nodding, she stepped off the roof and made her way down to the street by swinging on wires and fire escapes.
"I don't believe it," Nano said, stunned. She slumped back in the chair in front of the comm panel. No one wanted to believe it, but the information she had convinced the computers to 'willingly' give up didn't lie.
"Doctor Williams has lied to us since the beginning," Echo said, just as stunned. "Just to get her revenge on Carter Roulet."
"She seems to have a valid reason for vengeance," Zero noted dispassionately. "But perhaps Carter Roulet had a valid reason for what he did, too. Williams has some explaining to do."
"She asked us to kill Roulet," Sta said, actually subdued for once.
"She ordered us to kill him," Tic corrected, no different than she usually was. "We were used, for no reason than petty vengeance."
"She gave us a reason for coming together, making us believe what is, in fact, a lie," Nano said quietly, the anger evident in her voice. That actually elicited a reaction from even the usually stoic Zero: a raised eyebrow. "Morana depends on her, actually trusts her." She turned around and looked at the others. "I'm the only one that Morana ever shared the details of her past with. If she finds out that Doctor Williams has lied to her from the very beginning, since they met . . . she'll kill her. Without thought, without hesitation. And she'll kill anyone and everyone who gets in her way."
"What are we talking about here?" Echo asked.
"Morana was created decades ago to be a weapon, a remorseless killer who was praised for killing, who was tested and experimented upon until she was what they needed her to be."
"Who are 'they'?" Zero asked.
"She didn't tell me," Nano replied.
"And if she was created 'decades ago,' then why is she as young as us?"
"Cryogenic freezing. What they did to her made her mentally unstable. So when she overhead them talking about eliminating her now that their research was done, she completely lost it and killed almost everyone. Eventually, she was brought down and frozen; there wasn't anything left to kill her with by then."
"So what you're saying is that for the past year or so we've been working with a murderous psychotic time bomb that could've gone off at any second?" Echo asked, stunned.
"No. I'm saying that we were working with a murderous psychotic time bomb that would only go off with certain provocations. And this is exactly what could set her off."
"So if we tell her, we all get our revenge on the 'good' doctor," Zero said.
"Perhaps, but there is a possibility she could become so off that she would believe we were all a part of it."
"Including you? But you're the only who is close to her."
"It was Doctor Williams that introduced us," Nano said.
"Oh. Well, fuck. So what do we do, then?"
"We finish the mission," Echo said firmly. "Only, we take Roulet alive, bring him back to Doctor Williams, and then tell Morana the truth."
"You know what?" Tic said, looking at Echo with a slightly disturbing grin on her face, "I think you're more evil than she is."
End Note: And there it is. The third chapter. Morana, also known as Lady Death and the Goddess of Death (since Morana is the name of a Slavic death goddess), has been lied to by her 'mom' since the very beginning. And the Covert Action Team Zeta was merely a tool for Doctor Celia Williams to use to get revenge on Carter Roulet. I wonder what's going to happen next? ;)