I'm so sorry. School is evil, especially grade 12. I hope you all forgive me.
I'd like to thank BATMANMELTSI, rainydays42, Arrowlover17, CrystalXShine, YJ FTW, Lunknownl, HPmarauder18, Anikan-Wan, moollii, A Small Voice, ShadowMagic7, and TheImaginativeFox for favouriting and following.
Broken Antler in Winter: Yeah, that wasn't the smartest move on Crane's part ^_^
lindz4567: yep, M'gann is in Robin's body. Much chaos with that. Hehehe
Shadow Magic7: oh, thank you, you're making me blush :$ and there will be a lot of drama with M'gann next chapter.
Disclaimer: I do not own Young Justice. If I did, Alfred would be in more than just one scene. He needs his own show: Alfred is Ultimate. Yep, he's that cool. (in my eyes at least) I hope that others feel the same way.
Bruce was in the Batcave when the alarm came. Instantly he was alert, the red flashing lights banishing all trace of the shadows. The bats screeched from the caverns, and everything seemed off.
"My word!" Bruce turned around to look at Alfred. He had had a tea tray in his hands, but that was now lying scattered on the stone steps. "Master Bruce, what has happened?"
"Don't know, Alfred," Bruce murmured, already trying to stop the noise and the light.
Bruce started to tap on the keyboard, and his brow furrowed even more than it was already. The message was triple-encrypted and had been meant to be broadcasted to the Watchtower computer. The only reason that the computer had picked it up was that it was encrypted in such a way as to hide any potential viruses (it was a security feature he had installed after the Reds)…it was almost like the sender had purposely encrypted it so that it would be sent to the Batcave.
That thought only made Bruce work faster.
Only a small amount of people could triple-encrypt to such perfection. The average hacker, or even the good ones, always left holes in the code. It was always easy to break- that was why it was so rare. This, this was flawless.
Bruce squinted at the tiny zeroes and ones that flew across his screen. He recognized the code…his eyes widened. It was the signal that Dick had developed to say that things were really bad and that he needed help. Fast.
An emergency beacon.
But wasn't he at the Cave with the Team…
"Alfred, could you check the Cave security feeds?"
Bruce reached down to open the secret compartment under the desk. They had built it to hide the code to unlock the encryption, just for emergencies. It took too much time to decode otherwise.
Alfred walked back over with a frown on his face, "Everyone was sleeping in their rooms except for Artemis and Master Richard. There was an explosion. It sent off a pulse that shut down all the cameras."
"It just gets worse and worse," Bruce murmured.
He plugged the memory stick and watched as the noise faded away. A file folder appeared on the screen for a moment before it automatically opened…to reveal a video of Dick.
"Robin to Batman, we have a situation red. Numerous Gotham villains have infiltrated the cave and the whereabouts of the rest of the Team is unknown. I am injured and not in the condition to fight. The Team's status is unknown. The villains are as such: the Joker, Harley Quinn, Scarecrow, Poison Ivy, Mad Hatter, Bane, Firefly, and Mr. Freeze. All are at large. Send help ASAP. Over."
And it cut out just like that, showing static for a few seconds before the video faded to black and ended.
"Alfred. Call the League. Now."
Doctor Jonathon Crane was panicking. He had that gut-sinking feeling, the feeling that meant that the Bat wasn't far from arriving. He would be at the mountain soon, and Crane definitely planned on being far, far away by that time.
The fear gas he released into the mountain was no problem at all, no worry. He had developed a strong immunity to the hallucogen. He was the Scarecrow; he scared others, not himself. That would just be counter-productive.
And for the odd chance that he was exposed to a high-concentrate dose…well, he had his built-in-filter mask for that. He planned for every outcome. Every possible scenario.
…Maybe not every scenario.
That thing with the Boy Blunder: he could never have foreseen that. He still didn't know what was going on there. He hurriedly flipped through the cameras one last time. It was always good to know where your enemies were working.
The Atlantian boy was trying to bandage the Martian girl's stomach wounds. He would be busy for a while. The archer and speedster were both unconscious in the kitchen.
Wait, the girl was awake. She was…spinning around the speedster, singing to herself. How did she get her ropes untied?
Oh well, she wasn't any sort of threat. She was obviously still loopy from Hatter's mind control. And the speedster was definitely in no position to fight, if the state of his legs gave any indication.
His fellow villains were all still screaming in agony. Crane knew what they were all seeing: the Bat. He was terror personified.
The Kryptonian was up and moving. That would be somewhat worrisome. Hmmm, did he? Ah, he checked his pocket just to be sure. Sure enough, there was a small chunk of Kryptonite there still. He was set against the clone.
And the Superboy was heading in the opposite direction that he was planning to. Even better.
He started clicking through the camera frames. All he needed to know now was where that pesky little bird was. Wait, where was he? He wasn't in any of the rooms or hallways. Check the vents, check the vents. Flipping through all the self-installed ones and the League ones…nothing.
Wait. Not nothing. There was a red, flashing light. A distress signal. The League!
He had to get out of there now.
He turned around with all he papers and study notes and his schemes for Gotham City. Robin-not-Robin was swaying in the doorway. His eyes locked with Cranes. The glowing sockets started to intensify.
Superman was on monitor duty when the patch came in. He leaned forward. Usually nothing happened on duty- just a boring eight hours of nothing. Not that he wanted trouble: nothing was better than trouble.
And it was a call, not an emergency beacon. Stranger and stranger.
"Yes?" he pressed down on the answer button.
"Clark." Batman's face appeared on the screen. "Call the League. I just got an emergency beacon and distress call from the Cave."
"What! What happened?" Clark's eyes widened in shock even as he radioed the other heroes to report to the Watchtower.
"Gotham breakout. They went to the Cave. All protégés are captured or worse. We have to act. Now."
"Roger. I will be there with the League in moments."
Clark shut off the connection and turned around. "Did you get that?"
The heroes behind him, the Justice League, nodded. Grim and angry faces were all he saw.
"Who do we have to beat down first?" Hawkwoman swung her mace around menacingly.
Connor knew he couldn't follow Robin, the Kryptonite was in the direction he had went…staggered. His only chance was to go in the opposite direction and hope to cross paths with the Boy Wonder later on.
Superboy stumbled into the kitchen instead.
His eyes widened. Wally was strapped down to the counter. Knives and pieces of fractured bone stuck out of partially healed leg. Blood from a bitten tongue and lips pooled by the side of his cheek. All in all, it was bad.
"Wally?" Connor nudged the unconscious speedster.
Wally groaned deep in his throat, a keening sound, but he didn't wake up.
Superboy sighed and started to untie the restraints. He needed to get Wally to the infirmary. Everyone else could manage without him.
M'gann's awareness flickered in and out. Sometimes she knew where she was, and sometimes the world went dark. She still kept moving, though. She didn't want Poison Ivy to find her again. She didn't want the pain again.
Now was one of her clear moments. She was in one of the conference rooms: the one that Black Canary had used to hold her impromptu therapy sessions. The room wasn't empty though: a man in rags and straw.
He was bad. All of her subconscious screamed that at her…well, it wasn't her subconscious…but same thing.
Scarecrow. Fight him, he's bad, fear toxin, should be in Arkham, return him there. It screamed.
So she did.
His mind was fragile, filled with childhood memories that didn't belong in a childhood: screaming in a basement, a father sticking you with electrodes and telling you to fear, sitting in the dark room for days- no one's coming- you can smell him rotting just out of reach, he's not coming for you, you're all alone.
She tore that all apart and spoon-fed it back to him. It wasn't long before he was rocking and shaking on the floor.
Her body was awkward: short and it didn't move in the way that it was supposed. She staggered over to the rag-and-straw man.
Quickly, before he gets up. They're never down the first time; you have to end it before they do. Blow to the head. Hurry, hurry. The voice rattled inside her brain. It seemed familiar, but so distant at the same time.
But she did recognize the urgency. With a clumsy kick, she knocked the man out.
The world started to fade away; she didn't know where she was, who was coming. But she had to keep moving. Poison Ivy couldn't catch her, she couldn't.
Batman slammed his fist against the wall. The zeta tubes were down in the Cave; he had to zeta to Happy Harbour first. That was time he couldn't afford to waste.
It didn't matter. He had to get there; he had to get to Robin.
He ran as fast as he could to the Mountain, but it didn't matter. The League had already arrived.
"What happened?" He asked Clark.
It didn't matter what the Kryptonian said. He already knew. The villains were all unconscious with gas masks fitted over their faces, even Crane. Fear toxin. The Team was nowhere in sight.
That made Superman shift from foot to foot and tug on the collar of his uniform. Batman narrowed his eyes: something was wrong.
"He's with J'onn," Superman put a hand on his shoulder, "the Team and Robin have been taken to the Watchtower for medical attention."
"What happened? Why J'onn?"
"Um…M'gann…I don't know, she's stuck in his body, I think. That's how J'onn put it."
Batman turned on his heels. Superman grabbed his wrist before he could get any farther. For that alone Bruce was tempted to use his stash of Kryptonite.
"Wait until the zeta tubes are back online. Captain Atom's almost fixed them."
"Batman. Superman. Zeta tubes are back online." Nathaniel saluted at them.
"See? It wasn't that hard of wait." Superman smiled at the dark knight.
Recognized Batman 02.
Clark just sighed and followed him.