Chapter 2: Secrets out
The entire Justice League and the Team stared at Artemis and Kaldur'ahm –now dressed in his Aqualad uniform-, mouths agape. Artemis smiled, and waved.
Everyone just stood there, overwhelmed with shock and surprise. For a long while, silence reigned. Which was broken by Blue Beetle -aka Jamie Reyes- stuttering, "Wha-what on Earth is going on here?" Hundreds of pairs of eyes all turned and trained on Nightwing, with Batman's being a glare that clearly states, 'Explain, now.'
Nightwing gave a deep sigh, "Look, I know that after I explain everything, you would probably all hate me for it. But right now, please, just hear me out. Aqualad never defected from the Team. He was the one who supplied us with information to take down the Light. Tula's death made a reasonable excuse for his 'defection'. Also, the fact that he was Black Manta's son only served to strengthen that reason. All along, ever since he had left the team, he had been working deep undercover within the Light, hoping to find and get closer to the unknown partner, and at the same time, get closer to the Light, in order to finally be able to shut it down from the inside. He was the one who told us the location of Lagoon Boy, and used the raid on the Cave to pass essential information to me. As for him killing Artemis, it was all faked. Artemis then went undercover with Kaldur, working as his Right-hand, under the alias of Tigress."
"So, basically, you are telling us, that Artemis never truly died at Kaldur's hand, and Kaldur was never the bad guy, he was all along working undercover for YOU, it was all a ruse, and you never told us?" Bart Allen-aka Impulse- exclaimed. "How could you, Nightwing?! We thought you had more faith in us! We thought you trusted us enough to tell us, but apparently not." Conner Kent-aka Superboy- spat.
Nightwing averted the glares that some heroes were sending his way. "Look, I am sorry," his voice sounded strained. "But there was no other way. We could never have been able to defeat the Light without inside help. I understand if you all hate us from now on. You have every reason to be."
This time, Aqualad stepped forward, "We know you need time to process this, so we have decided to leave, at least, until you have successfully processed this new bit of information. It-it is alright if you never want to accept us ever again. We respect your decisions, until then, farewell."
As they turned to leave, Flash stepped forward, "Wait. If Artemis never truly died, then…What about…What about Wally? Does he know about this? Or was he kept in the dark as well?" At those last words, his tone sounded bitter. "What about Roy? Does he know?"
Artemis answered, "Yes, Wally knows, but Roy doesn't. Right now, Wally is with Roy, trying to explain -like we are doing right now- the situation to him. Wally should be here in a few moments, and then we shall see if he had been successful in convincing Roy as well."
At that moment, the computer sounded, "Recognized; Red Arrow; B06. Recognized; Kid Flash; B03."
Roy strode into the room at the Hall of Justice, with Wally behind him. Red Arrow was in his uniform, and Wally was in his civvies.
Upon seeing Artemis, Red Arrow's eyes bulged out, "Holy….So it is true! Artemis is alive!"
Artemis nodded, "Nice to see you again, Red." She was then scooped up into Wally's arms, where they hugged passionately.
Even though Red Arrow was fuming mad, his face broke into a smile at the sight the two love birds.
When they broke the hug, Wally turned to his uncle. "Hey, Flash." He waved, grinning widely. "Nice to see you again. Hey Impulse. Sorry I could not tell you before, but I was sworn to secrecy."
Roy came up to Dick and Wally, slinging his arms over their shoulders, and grinned. "Hey, no sweat. Don't worry about it. Welcome back, Aqualad, Artemis. Speaking of welcomes…..guys?" He asked mysteriously, grinning madly at Dick and Wally, and they returned the grin as well. "Guys, there is someone we-the three of us- would like you to meet." Nightwing said. "I have decided that she would make an awesome addition to the Team. She is really cool. Also, she is my, Wally's, and Roy's childhood best friend. She still is by the way." With that, they turned to the Zeta Beams. Right on schedule….
This chapter is done! The next chapter, I will reveal this new teammate and girl. Stay tuned!