Disclaimer: I don't own Justice League or Percy Jackson and the Olympians (which, incidentally, is by far my favourite depiction of Greek Mythology).
Up on the Watchtower, Green Arrow and Black Canary were having lunch together when Wonder Woman approached them. "Hey Ollie, Dinah," she greeted the couple, setting a tray on the table and taking a seat. "I heard about what happened in Star City. Is Emiko going to be alright?"
"Hey Di," Oliver returned the greeting. "Emiko's fine. I don't know what the hell that stuff Spartan gave her was, but it's like she was never hurt. Not a scratch, bruise, nothing."
"Nasty side effect though," Dinah pitched in. "What I heard, it was like being burned from the inside out."
Wonder Woman had a puzzled look at this. "What happened, exactly?"
"Well, after the fight, Spartan offered to heal her," the archer said. "Actually, first he asked if she was strong, then he grabbed a bottle from his belt with some kind of orange liquid and said it would make her good as new, but that it would hurt."
"And… you decided to trust him?" she asked.
"Come on, Di," he shot back. "Emiko was already hurt bad. If Spartan really wanted her dead, he could've just walked away. And that's ignoring the fact that he saved her from Antaeus in the first place."
"He has a point," Dinah said, placing a hand on his arm. "From the sound of it, it's not like Ollie had a lot of options."
"What else can you tell me about Spartan?"
"Well, he came in riding a grey horse that ran at super speed," Oliver began. "He said he'd been hunting Antaeus and he was going to send him back to Hades. Before he started fighting he yelled out some kind of war cry, something like-"
"Gia ti dóxa tou Ádi," Wonder Woman interrupted.
"Yeah, sounds about right. What does it mean?"
"For the glory of Hades."
"So, uh, you know this guy?" Dinah inquired, curious.
"I know of him," she replied. "Please, go on."
"I didn't catch the whole fight, but I saw him pull a couple gadgets out of his belt," Oliver continued. "Not sure if he's a meta, but he can take a hit and keep fighting, and he was strong enough to lift Antaeus over his head. Given the size of that guy, he can't have been too light. I think he might have magic weapons too, because he pulled his bow out of nowhere, and after the fight he had all his arrows back without having to actually pick them up. Wish I had something like that," he muttered the last part under his breath.
"You're just jealous he has cooler toys than you," Dinah said, giving him a cheeky smile.
"I am not!" Oliver insisted, crossing his arms. "But I will admit that he probably has more experience dealing with mythological monsters. Anyway… he said Antaeus was invincible as long as he touched the ground, and seeing how the bastard survived a hole in his chest and getting his head chopped off, it doesn't seem like much of a stretch. Don't know much about the kind of guy Spartan is, but if I had to guess, I'd say he's kind of like Batman, except he actually has a sense of humour."
"What do you mean?" Wonder Woman asked.
"Well, before he started fighting Antaeus, his horse got a group of kids out of the way, and when Emiko asked why he helped her, he said, and I quote: 'You helped me, I helped you. Now we're even.' As for the other part… right before he left, he kind of laughed and told me the next time I saw you, to tell you he said hi."
The Amazon's cup was suddenly crushed in her grip upon hearing those words. "I'm sorry… could you repeat that?"
"Um… Spartan told me to tell you he said hi."
Wonder Woman sat there in silence, an angry look on her face as hot coffee dripped down her hand. Oliver leaned back a little, unnerved by her foul mood. Before either of them could ask her what that was about, the Flash appeared at their table. "Sorry to interrupt, but there's a mission and I need to borrow Di… ana. Wow. You look angry."
"Let's go," she said tensely.
"Um… ok. Later guys."
"That was weird," Oliver said, looking at Dinah as Wonder Woman walked away with Flash. "What the hell did Spartan do to piss her off?" Dinah merely looked back at him and shrugged her shoulders.
With the fight in Star City behind him (and Arion satisfied with the carrots he'd gotten afterwards), Hector intended to take some time for himself and focus on the less fantastical aspects of his life. At the moment he was waiting at the train station for Cassandra's return from Metropolis, and Zatanna had decided to accompany him.
"So… I was wondering if you had any plans for Christmas," Zatanna spoke up while they were waiting.
"Well, most of the time it's just me and Cassandra. If you don't have any commitments you could always join us. You know… if you wanted to."
Zatanna sighed in relief. "That's great. I wasn't really sure how to bring it up. I mean, we've been going out for a while, but we're still kind of new, and I didn't want to intrude on you and Cassandra during the holidays."
"Nah, we'd love to have you with us," Hector reassured her, then leaned in to whisper in her ear. "I've actually been working on something special just for you."
"Ooh, interesting. What is it? Tell me."
"Sorry Zee, you'll have to wait until Christmas morning like a good girl."
Zatanna looked at his face and saw that he was grinning. "You… you're evil," she said, playfully pouting.
Hector laughed a little at this, then suddenly stopped and lost his grin. "Hey Zee, you ever get the feeling that someone's watching you?"
"Yeah, most of the time it's Batman," she replied. "Who's got your spider-sense tingling?" Hector pointed his thumb at an elderly woman with a bob cut, sunglasses and a white cane. "The little old lady? Better be careful, she looks vicious."
Hector gave her a flat, unamused look. "I'm sensing a certain amount of sarcasm there." Zatanna simply replied with a cheeky grin. "For the record, I'm not saying she's threatening, it just feels like she's staring at me, that's all."
Zatanna looked at the old woman again, seeing her use her cane to navigate through the crowd, then set her purse on a bench, sit down and turn her head in their direction like she was staring directly at them. "Ok, I'll admit she's giving me weird vibes, but I'm pretty sure she's blind." A man passing by the old woman tried to run off with her purse, only to drop it when she smacked his hand with her cane. She yanked his ear and pulled his head down to whisper something, then released him and sent him off with a solid smack to the rear. Looking in Hector and Zatanna's direction, she smiled with a mouth that only had one tooth. Zatanna blinked in surprise at this. "…Then again, I could be wrong."
Hector internally groaned, as he had a sneaking suspicion that 'that' side of his life had just coming knocking again. "Anyway-"
"Hang on, I got a call," Zatanna interrupted, putting a finger to her ear. "I'm here. What's going on?" Zatanna listened as the person on the other side of the line appraised her of the situation. "What?" she said, surprised. "… Okay, I'll be there. Just give me a moment."
"Another Justice League crisis?" Hector asked, an eyebrow raised in question.
"One of the League's teams went missing in the middle of a mission," she explained, giving him an apologetic smile. "Or rather, the men did. So, you know… duty calls. Tell Cassandra I'm sorry I couldn't make it."
"Of course. Good luck, Zee." The two shared a quick kiss and then Zatanna left.
Hector stood there by himself, ignoring the old woman for a moment until he noticed the faint sound of her cane tapping. Hoping that he was wrong about her, he focused his hearing and quickly noticed a pattern. Glancing over his shoulder, he saw her stare straight at him and repeat. *Tap-tap-tap-tap tap taaap-tap-taaap-tap taaap taaap-taaap-taaap-taaap tap-taaap-tap.* (H-E-C-T-O-R) If he had any doubts about the old woman, her spelling out his name in morse code had just gotten rid of them, so he walked over to the bench and sat down next to her.
"Took you long enough," she muttered.
"What do you want?" he said in a flat tone.
"Anna's daughter was kidnapped. Her granddaughter's asking for help, so Anna wants to send you to her."
"I'm in," he said immediately.
"Good." She dug through her purse and gave him a teardrop talisman, half blue and half pink. "Anna said you should wear this if you felt like a change. Now follow me."
As he got up and followed the old woman, Hector took out his phone to call Cassandra. "Hey, bro, what's up?" she greeted him happily.
"Hey, a situation with the League just came up, and Zatanna wanted you to know she's sorry she can't be here," he explained.
"That's fine, I get it. Um… I don't get why you didn't just wait until I got off the train to tell me. I mean, we're almost at the station."
"Because one of my friends needs help and I have to go." Hector emphasized the word 'friends' so that she'd know just what he meant. "By the way, Zatanna doesn't know I'm leaving."
"… That's a bummer, but at least I can handle getting home by myself. Hope things work out with your friend. Also, when do you plan on telling Zatanna about-?"
"That's a conversation for another time," he interrupted. "Anyway, sorry to bail on you like this."
"Buy me ice cream and I'll forgive you."
Hector laughed out loud. "Your wish is my command. Bye sis. Love you."
"Love you too."
The old woman then brought Hector to a nondescript taxi parked on the side of the street and motioned for him to get in the back, while she sat in the passenger's seat. Hector got in and saw two other old women sitting up front, neither of whom had any teeth. The driver had grey curly hair and a single eye, while the one in the middle had no eyes and was bald. The woman who'd escorted him took off her sunglasses, revealing that she had no eyes either. The taxi took off so suddenly that Hector slammed into the back of his seat. "You know, a seat belt might be nice," he suggested as they drove through the streets with insane speed. By comparison, his recent bout of reckless driving made him seem like a model driver. A seat belt extended from the seat, around his torso and attached itself with a click.
"Thank you for using Grey Sisters' taxi service," the middle one announced. "Deino will be your driver, my name's Enyo, and you've already met Pemphredo. Our rules are: No touching buttons, no screaming, and if you're going to throw up, use one of the vomit bags provided. Oh, and don't worry about the fare. Aphrodite's already paid us in advance. So just sit back and enjoy the ride."
"I hope you have enchantments or something so people don't pay attention," Hector said.
"Hey, I'll have you know we're all great drivers!" A second later they ploughed through a mailbox. "… No, ordinary people won't notice us."
"Thank goodness for that," Hector muttered under his breath.
"Before you ask, yes, we did get this idea from the Percy Jackson books," Deino said.
"Just remember, I get the eye next time," Pemphredo piped up.
"I don't suppose you have any information that might help?" Hector asked. "About the kidnapper, why Aphrodite's daughter was taken, anything that might help?"
"Nope. We're just taking you where you need to go. Everything else is your job."
26 years ago, Somewhere
A beautiful brunette woman dressed in a white chiton was lounging next to a lake, watching two men fishing on a little boat together. The shining sun, clear blue sky, bright green grass and magnificent trees in bloom made for a scenery like an artist's rendition of paradise. People of various cultures and styles were roaming about in the background, playing, swimming, or otherwise peacefully enjoying themselves. Despite the idyllic atmosphere, the woman was perturbed by news her visitor (a young man wearing a blue track suit and winged sandals) had brought. "I still don't understand what I have to do with this situation…" the woman said, turning her attention to the man sitting opposite her.
"It's not as easy as just dropping the child into whatever vessel the others pick," the man explained. "Let's put it this way…" He grabbed two rocks and set one on the ground between them, then placed the other on top of the first. "I can put these two rocks together and maybe they'll stay like that, but without any mortar…" He gently poked the one on top with a finger, causing it to fall off and roll away."To make this work, to truly bind the child… we need a human soul."
"Oh…" she muttered in realization. "But why me?"
"Why are you Spartan women the only ones who can rule men?"
The woman smiled in amusement at this. "Because we are also the only ones who give birth to men."
The man smiled back and bowed his head in respect. "Intelligence, wisdom, power and spirit… why not you?"
She turned away from her visitor, looking at the older man and his son who were paddling towards the shore. "Very well. May I have a moment before leaving?"
The man picked his staff off the ground, taking note that the snake heads at the top were glowing. "Don't take too long. Time is running short."
The woman stood up and walked over to the lake's edge, greeting her husband and son as they stepped off the boat. "I'm afraid I have to leave for a while," she said after they'd exchanged pleasantries. "There's… something I need to do."
Her husband followed her gaze to the tree where the visitor was waiting. "I understand. I'll wait here until you return."
"Are you certain? The task I've been given… I don't know how long I'll be away."
The older man grabbed his wife's hands and rested his forehead against hers. "That's the great thing about eternity. It's eternal."
The woman kissed her husband and hugged her son goodbye, then returned to the visitor's side. "I'm ready."
The visitor nodded to her husband and son, then lay a hand on her shoulder and they both disappeared.
In a large (and very nice) house in quiet neighbourhood, a young pretty woman with red hair was sitting alone in the living room watching a news report about weapons and war machines from across several countries vanishing under mysterious circumstances. She was tapping her foot rather fast and would periodically look over at the door as if she was waiting for someone. The second she heard knocking, she practically leaped off the couch and was at the door in a flash, opening it to the sight of: "Hector!" she exclaimed, throwing her arms around him and hugging him tightly. "It's been too long!"
"Hello Natalia," he replied, returning the embrace. "Good to see you too."
"Come in, come in," she said, ushering him inside and closing the door behind him. "How've you been? How's Cassandra? Have you seen any of the others lately? Do you really have a girlfriend? What's she like? Is she hot? Did you sleep with her yet?"
"A-hem," Hector cleared his throat, interrupting her rambling.
"Right, sorry about that. Seriously though, thanks for coming." She put her hands together in prayer and looked up. "And thank you grandma for sending him."
"So what happened exactly? What do you know so far?"
"Well, I was coming home for Christmas vacation and mom was supposed to pick me up from the airport but she never showed up. When I called my step dad, he said she hadn't come home the night before. I went to the night club she works at, and the bartender said that a blond woman was looking at her funny when she was on stage and followed her outside when she was done. I looked around and found a long blond hair in an alleyway, as well as…" Natalia paused for a moment and dashed to another room, returning with a glass jar. Inside was what looked like a small piece of a green and black vine. "This."
"What is it?" Hector asked.
"I don't know, but it was twitching when I found it, and when I picked it up I felt… weird. I was happy, euphoric, kind of like I was in a trance, except it was pretty weak and went away after a couple seconds."
"Did you look at it under a microscope?"
"Good idea." Natalia ran over to another room and quickly returned with a microscope. "I doubt my little brother will mind me borrowing his science kit." She then cut a thin slice, placed it on a slide and looked into the microscope. "Okay, I'm not a biologist, but these look like plant cells."
"You said it felt like you were in a trance," Hector said. "If a small piece like this had that effect, this thing might be some kind of parasite. I'm thinking mystery woman uses it to subdue your mother, your mom tries to defend herself, and she cuts a piece off before this woman takes her."
"That would explain the how, but why?" Natalia wondered.
Hector had a pensive look on his face as he considered things. "Hmm… what if mystery woman knows your mother's a demi-god?"
"If that's true and she's got my mother under the influence of this thing, she must want to use her powers."
Suddenly the tv station changed to show a blond woman wearing a golden headpiece and Amazonian bracelets. "Attention, women of the world, I am Aresia," she announced. "And I bring you glad tidings. Soon, all men will obey my every word."
"Natalia," Hector said urgently. "Rainbow, now." The red head dashed into the kitchen, grabbed a child's drawing from the fridge and brought it to Hector. It showed a man and woman holding hands, accompanied by a little boy and an older girl (presumably herself), set to the scene of grass, sun, clouds, and a big rainbow. He set it on the floor, placed a coin on the rainbow and muttered a quick prayer to the goddess Iris, and a moment later they were talking to Agent Parthenon. "Please tell me you're watching the news right now."
"You mean Aresia the man hater?" He replied, fingers flying across his keyboard. "Already working on it."
"Hey Eugene," Natalia piped up.
"Actually, when I'm on the job it's Agent Parthenon," he corrected her, not slowing down in his work. At the same time, Aresia spoke about how her device (which she called a sonic equalizer) allowed her to control the minds of men. The camera backed up to show several male members of the Justice League standing at attention next to her, including Superman.
"This… might complicate things," Natalia remarked.
"Explains the missing men of the League," Hector muttered. "Should've expect-"
"Yes, nailed it!" Agent Parthenon exclaimed. "She's at an abandoned military base in the Arizona Desert. I'll send you coordinates in a second."
"Thanks, Agent Parthenon," Natalia said. "You're the best."
"Always nice to be appreciated," he replied with a smile. "Not to be a buzzkill, but Hector's a man, and Aresia's device lets her control the minds of men. How're you guys gonna deal with that?"
"Good point," Natalia admitted. "Too bad he can't turn into a woman."
Hector remained silent for several seconds, as a thought had just entered his mind. "Natalia, does your mother still have a suit?"
"I need to borrow it. And a bra." The others both stared at him, puzzled. Hector reached into his pocket and pulled out the talisman he'd gotten earlier. "One of the Grey Sisters gave me this. She said it was from Aphrodite, and that I should wear it if I felt like a change. And, given the current situation…"
Natalia perked up as she figured out where he was going with this. "Time for a makeover!" she declared excitedly.
"Try not to go overboard, yeah?" Agent Parthenon suggested, even though he was smiling in amusement. "You're going into battle, not a beauty pageant."
"Tut, tut, tut," Natalia said dismissively. "I don't have any sisters, and my brother never wants to play dress up with me, so don't you spoil my fun."
"Let's get on with it," Hector butt in, then turned to Agent Parthenon. "Thanks again. See you next crisis." He then dismissed the image and followed his friend to her parents' room.
Several minutes later a car was heard driving up to the house, then a well dressed Hispanic man walked through the door. "Natalia, are you there?" he called out.
"Hey padre, I'm here," she responded.
"Are you in my room?" he asked, confused.
"I'm with one of my super-friends. We needed to borrow mom's suit and makeup kit so we can go save her from a genocidal amazon who's using her powers to control the minds of men, including several members of the Justice League."
The man pinched the bridge of his nose, feeling a little stressed. "On one hand, I'm glad that you know where she is. On the other, I'm not thrilled about you rushing into danger like this."
"She won't be alone," another woman's voice was heard. Natalia emerged from the hallway, dressed in a reinforced black and blue suit that molded to her body, winged boots, and a winged helmet. Next to her was a beautiful brunette woman with muscles on her slender frame, long hair in a French braid, and make up accentuating her features. She wore a red, white and gold outfit with armour that included knee high boots, a war skirt, and a breastplate depicting a swan in flight, as well as a tiara inlaid with roses.
"I take it you're the super-friend," he remarked, receiving a nod in return. "You got a name?"
"Gorgo," she replied instantly.
"Like the queen of Sparta. Cool. Natalia…" he paused, considering his words.
"Don't worry Padre, we'll bring mom back safely. Gorgo and Chaser are on the job."
After another ride in the Grey Sisters' taxi (during which Chaser pestered Gorgo with questions about Zatanna), the duo had gotten off on a clifftop overlooking Aresia's hideout. The two of them studied the blueprints Agent Parthenon had provided and decided to do some reconnaissance before taking action. While they were planning and watching from afar, they witnessed Superman flying away. "Alright, blue boy's gone, so I'll scout out the place up close," Chaser declared.
"Don't get caught," Gorgo reminded her. "Find out where they're keeping your mother, and try to find out what kind of opposition we're facing."
"You got it boss." Chaser went to leave, then paused in her step and looked at her friend. "Hey, why did you pick the name Gorgo?"
The brunette didn't respond for several seconds, then looked at Chaser and shrugged her shoulders. "Spontaneous decision? The name just popped into my head."
"Huh. Ok then. See you in a bit." Gorgo watched as her friend made her way down with unnatural speed and quickly disappeared from view. She raised the spyglass she was holding and continued her observation until she thought she'd caught a glimpse of something. Though she saw nothing at first, after a careful sweep of the surrounding landscape she spotted several figures in the distance. Zooming in on them, she realized they were a group of women from the Justice League, lead by Wonder Woman.
Gorgo crouched behind a rock as she considered her options, then decided that the benefits of teaming up with the Justice League were worth making herself known to them. She pulled a small compact mirror from a pocket in her skirt and angled it towards where she'd seen Wonder Woman and her teammates, waving her hand in front of it to signal them. In the blink of an eye, a blond woman in a red and yellow suit wearing a black mask stood before her. "You're with the Justice League, yes?" Gorgo asked calmly, putting away her mirror.
"Jesse Quick. What do you want?"
"We share a common enemy in Aresia. Therefore, I would like to propose we join forces to defeat her."
"Just a sec…" She vanished as fast as she'd come, then returned a short moment later, soon followed by Wonder Woman, Lady Shazam, and Miss Martian.
"Greetings, Princess Diana," Gorgo addressed Wonder Woman, bowing her head. "I am Gorgo."
Though cautious, the Amazon gave a polite bow in return. "Greetings, Gorgo. You say you're an enemy of Aresia. Why?"
"Lady Aphrodite bade me rescue her daughter, whom Aresia holds prisoner. We believe she's either stolen her powers or is forcing her to use them so she can control men."
"Who's 'we'?" The blond speedster asked.
Chaser suddenly re-appeared and was about to say something when she realized who Gorgo was speaking with. "Making some new friends, eh?"
"Chaser. Perfect timing. What do you have for us?"
"I know where they're keeping my mother. She's in a room under gua-"
"Wait, you're Aphrodite's granddaughter?" Lady Shazam interrupted, seeming puzzled.
"Yeah, can't you see the resemblance?" Chaser said with a grin.
"I thought Aphrodite was the goddess of love, not war."
"In Sparta she was worshiped as Aphrodite Areia, a war goddess," Gorgo butt in, then looked at Chaser. "Go on."
"Anyway, besides a dozen or so cronies, I had eyes on Aresia herself, as well as the Flash and Green Lantern. Also, I think we were right about the plant thing, because I heard one of the guards talking about my mother, and she mentioned a weird alien plant."
Wonder Woman furrowed her brow at this. "What do you mean, 'weird alien plant'?" Chaser then explained what they'd discovered from the plant sample, how she felt when she'd touched it, and their suspicions about how Aresia was using it. "Black Mercy." Chaser gave her a questioning look. "The Black Mercy is an alien parasitic plant that paralyzes its victim, keeping them trapped in a… dream state, of sorts, where they experience visions of a perfect life."
"Ok, how do we free her?" Chaser asked.
"If the victim of the Black Mercy rejects the fantasy world, it will slowly detach and die," the Amazon explained. She then motioned to the green alien. "Miss Martian can enter your mother's mind and help free her from the Black Mercy."
"Miss Martian," Gorgo spoke up, getting the girl's attention. "Can you bring another person with you when you enter someone's mind?"
"Yes, I can."
"Then here's what I suggest: While Miss Martian and Chaser work together to free Aphrodite's daughter, I will watch over them in case anyone tries to interfere. The rest of you keep Aresia and your former colleagues occupied."
"She has a point," Chaser pitched in. "Miss Martian can enter my mother's mind, but if her own daughter shows up, it won't just be a complete stranger trying to convince her her reality's just a dream. And someone needs to cause a distraction so me and Miss M can free my mother, but if anyone figures out what's going on, Gorgo will be there to protect us. She's a wicked fighter, and I can guarantee she's up to the task. Also, without my mother's powers, Aresia's plot falls apart."
Wonder Woman seemed receptive to Chaser's words. "You make some good points. Very well." She then grabbed her golden lasso and held it out in front of her. "I would ask that you touch my lasso so I know you're telling the truth."
Chaser grabbed the magic lasso. "I promise that everything I just told you is the truth, and I only want to save my mother."
Wonder Woman then held it out for Gorgo, who stepped forward to grab it. "I am here by the will of Lady Aphrodite, and I mean to rescue her daughter from Aresia's clutches. I swear that I have no ill intention towards any of you, and that I will defend Miss Martian to the best of my abilities."
Wonder Woman nodded, then put her lasso back at her waist. "Miss Martian, send a signal when you're ready and we'll move in." She then looked at Gorgo and crossed her arms over her chest. "May the gods be with you."
"And with you, princess," Gorgo replied, returning the salute.
Miss Martian, Chaser and Gorgo made their way down towards the base and into one of the buildings without any trouble. As they crept through the hallways, they slipped into an empty closet (or in Miss Martian's case, camouflaged herself) to avoid a pair of guards, but saw no one else until Chaser led them to their destination. Peeking around a corner, they saw four guards standing in front of a metal door with an electronic pad. "This is the place," Chaser whispered.
Gorgo tapped Miss Martian's shoulder and gave her a curt nod. The young martian raised two fingers to her temple, and a moment later there was a booming sound in the distance, followed by an alarm going off. She then grabbed two guards with her telekinesis and slammed their heads together, while the others were knocked down when Chaser zipped past. Chaser zoomed back, placed her hand on the pad and concentrated for a few seconds, then punched in a code and the door opened. In the middle of the mostly empty room, a fabulously beautiful red head was strapped to an operating table with a hideous black, green and purple tentacled plant stuck to her chest. A strange, siren like hum was emitting from the unresponsive woman, resonating with a cybernetic implant grafted onto the Black Mercy.
Chaser walked over to her mother and grabbed her hand as Gorgo closed the door behind them. "This thing must be what's allowing it to siphon my mom's powers for Aresia's sonic gizmo," she remarked, pointing at the alien plant's implant. "Are you sure we can't just rip it out?"
Miss Martian gently placed a hand on her shoulder. "We'd run the risk of causing your mother serious harm. Remember, she needs to reject the Black Mercy herself."
Chaser exhaled and looked into the young Martian's eyes. "Alright then. Do it." Miss Martian's eyes glowed green and both she and Chaser went still as statues.
With the two of them mentally gone, Gorgo pulled out her golden spear and stood at the ready. As she waited, she could hear faint sounds of fighting in the distance. It wasn't long before trouble came knocking at the door, or rather, blew it up. A batarang suddenly came flying through the now empty doorway towards Miss Martian and Chaser, but Gorgo batted it aside with her spear, then stood calmly as Batman entered the room. "I won't allow you to interfere with Aresia's plans. Move."
Gorgo took a stance and stared back at him. "No."
Two more batarangs suddenly came flying towards Gorgo, whistling as they cut through the air. Gorgo's spear lashed out, deflecting them before Batman engaged her directly. Batman fell on her like a rock slide, but Gorgo was like the wind. Both spear point and butt came into play, with thrust, slash, sweep and twirl executed as if the weapon was an extension of herself. Batman fought fiercely, keeping up the pressure, but found himself hard pressed to get past her defences. This continued for several bouts, until Batman tried to block an attack with the spikes on his gauntlet, only for the magical spear head to slice them clean off. The dark avenger instinctively jumped back so that Gorgo's spear only nicked him on the chin.
The two fighters stood still for a second, Batman's eyes narrowing as he re-evaluated his opponent, then he charged at her again. A quick feint was followed by a one armed thrust that Batman mostly dodged, Gorgo's spear cutting through his armour and delivering a glancing blow under his ribs. Batman took the hit and pushed on, knocking her down with a solid right hook. Pouncing on her like a lion, he grabbed the shaft of her spear with one hand before she could bring it into play and threw another punch at her face. Gorgo caught Batman's fist with her free hand, then bent her wrist back, activating her hidden blade. Batman let out a cry of pain and recoiled as the stygian blade stabbed through his hand. Gorgo then pulled in her legs, planted her boots square on Batman's chest and catapulted him off of her.
Gorgo jumped to her feet and lunged at Batman just as he stood up. Batman's hands shot out and grabbed Gorgo's spear beneath the head, holding it back despite his injured hand. In the brief moment that they were locked in this position, the ghost of a smirk appeared at the corner of Gorgo's mouth. A bolt of lightning erupted from the point of her spear, slamming into Batman's chest and tossing him like a rag doll. Batman hit the wall with a bang and slid to the floor, unconscious.
A high pitched squealing sound drew Gorgo's attention towards Chaser's mother. The Black Mercy writhed and fell to the floor, withering away as Chaser and Miss Martian returned to their senses. "Please be alright," Chaser said hopefully, leaning over her mother and undoing the straps.
Aphrodite's daughter groaned as her eyes blinked open. "Ugh, my head hurts." As Chaser hugged her mother, Gorgo put away her spear and walked over to Batman's side. Giving him a quick once over, she removed the gauntlet from his injured hand and pulled a roll of bandage from her skirt pocket.
"Batman!" Miss Martian exclaimed.
"He's only unconscious," Gorgo reassured her, wrapping the bandage around his hand. "A few injuries, but he'll recover."
Miss Martian sighed in relief. "Hey, your nose is bleeding," she pointed out.
Gorgo checked and realized that Batman had given her a bloody nose. "I'll be fine. Is the fight over?"
"Just a sec…" Miss Martian touched her temple for a moment. "All clear."
Chaser's mother stood up and addressed the three of them. "Thank you. All of you."
With Aresia's plot foiled and the rogue Amazon herself now in prison, Wonder Woman's team and the formerly mind controlled men were back on the Watchtower. "I still don't remember a thing," Green Lantern spoke up. "But I'm grateful you were all there to help save our skins."
"Great job guys," Flash congratulated them, then looked over at his fellow speedster. "Hope I didn't give you too much of a hard time."
The blond woman clapped him on the back. "No worries, it's all good."
"I'm more concerned with Gorgo and Chaser," Batman spoke up, sitting in a chair with his bandaged hand.
"You mean you're worried you got your ass kicked," Flash joked, then quickly stopped laughing when Batman glared at him.
"I understand your suspicions," Wonder Woman said. "We may not know a great deal about them, but we won the day with their help. If it weren't for them, we wouldn't have even known about Aphrodite's daughter."
Batman narrowed his eyes and turned his attention towards Miss Martian. "Why did you leave Gorgo, Chaser and her mother after the battle?"
"Well, because you were injured, and I thought I should make sure you were taken care of," the said.
"Was that really your idea?"
"What do you mean?" Wonder Woman asked, confused.
"As the expert on Olympian gods, tell me, what powers would you expect from a child of Aphrodite?"
"Great beauty, affinity for love, charm-"
"Exactly. Aresia kidnapped this woman so she could use her to control the minds of men. What does that tell you?" They were all quiet for a moment as they considered this.
"M'gann," Wonder Woman spoke gently. "Was it your idea?"
The alien girl seemed to shrink as the others stared at her. "Chaser's mother suggested it. I mean, Batman was injured, and it felt like it made sense. Umm… she was very convincing."
"It's alright, M'gann. No one can blame you any more than we can blame our friends for succumbing to Aresia's control." The Amazon gave Batman a stern look at this.
"Can you tell us what you saw when you were in the Black Mercy dream?" Batman asked, apparently trying not to sound so gruff. "It might help figure out who these people are."
"I…" Miss Martian's brow furrowed as she'd came to a realization. "I can't remember."
After leaving Aresia's hideout and hoping in the Grey Sisters' taxi, Chaser, her mother (who introduced herself as Tatiana) and Gorgo were on their way back home. "I still feel bad for Miss Martian," Chaser piped up during the ride. "It seems kind of mean, using Lethe water on her after she helped us."
"It was necessary to protect both your secrets," Gorgo said, holding up a mirror as she wiped off her makeup (which, being magic, required a specific sponge from the same makeup kit). "Even if I trusted Miss Martian, I wouldn't put it past Batman to drag the information out of her."
"I think that your friend was just making the best of a tricky situation," Tatiana commented. "Besides, Miss Martian wasn't hurt."
"It wasn't even a general mind-wipe," Gorgo reassured her friend. "I only erased what she saw in your mother's mind."
"I guess that's not so bad." They continued in silence for a bit, until Chaser blurted out: "Did I mention how hot you look in that suit?"
Gorgo rolled her eyes while Tatiana laughed out loud. "I have to agree with my daughter, you fill it out nicely."
"The magic pockets are pretty cool," Gorgo commented, putting the sponge and mirror away.
"We're here!" the driver declared as she slammed the brakes, bringing them to a screeching halt.
"Ugh, this is worse than the Knight Bus in Harry Potter," Chaser muttered under her breath.
"Don't go anywhere, I'll be back soon," Gorgo said as they exited the cab.
"Guess who's back?" Chaser called out once they were inside her family's home.
The sounds of running footsteps heralded the arrival of a cute little blond boy. "Mommy!" He exclaimed joyously, jumping into Tatiana's arms.
"It's so good to see you again," she replied, hugging her son tightly.
"Welcome back dear," her husband greeted her, wrapping his arms around his son and wife.
Natalia removed her helmet and tossed it aside before joining in. Gorgo tried to walk past them to go to the bedrooms, only for Natalia to grab her arm and drag her into their group hug. "Come on, you helped make this moment possible."
Gorgo gave a small smile and resigned herself to the embrace. "Just helping a friend. Besides, I could hardly refuse Aphrodite a favour." The five of them stayed together for a good moment before finally separating. "I should get changed before I go home."
"Please, keep the suit," Tatiana offered. "And my makeup kit too."
"I couldn't-" Gorgo protested.
"I insist," she said firmly. "I have a… feeling, you'll need it more than me."
Natalia stared at her mother for a few seconds, puzzled by the tone of her voice. "Mom, why do you sound like that?"
"I'm just saying I'd like to focus more on my family."
Gorgo looked at Tatiana for a second. "Thanks for the suit. I'm gonna go change now," she said suddenly, vacating the room. She went back to Natalia's parents' room to change out of her suit (which magically shrunk down to fit onto a hand sized mannequin), and just as she was putting her (slightly too large for her) civilian clothes back on, she heard a squeal from the living room, followed by cries of happiness. When she came back out she saw the family laughing as Tatiana's son stared intently at her stomach. "Looks like congratulations are in order. Sorry to run, but I really need to go home."
Tatiana, her son, and her husband said their goodbyes, while Natalia walked outside with Gorgo. "So… you've been going out with Zatanna for a while now. Are you ever gonna let her in on 'this' side of your life?"
Gorgo let out a sigh. "Eventually. Probably. I don't know."
"I could understand if you were still new together, but it feels like you're kinda dragging your feet in the mud."
"It's not that I don't trust her. At least, not anymore, but it's not just about me."
"It's about Cassandra, isn't it?" Natalia asked, receiving a nod in return. "Are you worried about her getting dragged into 'this' life?" Gorgo said nothing, so Natalia reached out and wrapped her arms around her. "I'm sorry. I know how much you care about her, and I don't mean to be all judgy, but you're my friend. I want you to be happy too."
"Thanks, Nat," Gorgo replied, returning the hug. "Before I go, there is one thing that's bugging me… how did Aresia know about your mother?"
"Hmm… good point. I'll keep my eyes and ears open. Off you go then, but don't be a stranger. If you need me, just let me know and I'll come running."
"Right back at you." Gorgo got in the taxi, and this time she managed to attach her seatbelt before they took off. She then reached into her collar and removed the teardrop talisman from around her neck.
Hector's body filled out his clothes as he turned back into himself. As he leaned back in his seat, he noticed that Enyo was loudly slurping something through a straw.
She turned back and held out her cup, giving him a toothless grin. "Kale smoothie. Care for some?"
"No thanks," he declined politely.
"Are you sure? Kale is good for you. Kale has lots of things you need. Kale might even have things you didn't know you need. You should give kale a-"
Deino reached over and smacked her sister in the back on the head. "Oh, shut up, will you? If the man wants kale, he'll go get it himself."
Hector placed his hands on his legs, closed his eyes and breathed slowly. Despite the insane driving, he was able to relax and clear his mind, entering a meditative trance.
Sometime that evening, Cassandra was alone in her room practicing magic with her butterfly necklace when someone knocked at the door. "Hello?" a baritone voice called out. "I got a pizza here for Cassandra Anderson."
"Umm… I didn't order anything," she said, dismissing her mother's image.
"It's prepaid. Some guy named… Hector." Cassandra groaned in disappointment, thinking that this meant her brother wasn't coming home. "You want the pizza or not?"
"Yeah, I'm coming." She walked to the door and opened it to see Hector standing there with a box of pizza and a carton of ice cream.
Cassandra laughed out loud and gave him a hug. Putting the ice cream in the freezer, they settled down on the couch with the pizza. "So, what was the emergency with your friend?"
"I'll tell you in a bit," Hector replied. "But first, I want to know all about your trip to Metropolis."
"Oh, I loved it. Lois is a great reporter, and she even let me ask a few questions during one of her interviews. I know it wasn't that long a trip, but I feel like I learned a lot, and…"
As he sat there listening to Cassandra, Hector's mouth curled into a content smile.
So, slightly long chapter, but I hope you all liked it. If not, let me know. If yes... you can let me know anyway. :-)
The plot about Aresia controlling the minds of men I adapted from the DCAU tie in comic: Justice League Adventures (issue #17).