Alice opened her eyes groggily, wondering why she felt unnaturally sore. She shifted her weight around closing her eyes to go back to sleep, when she remembered. She was part of a team. Rory was dead. Her brother had left her for vengeance. Now wide awake, she sat up, letting the tears fall down her cheeks, a luxury she had not had until earlier. She waited for them to stop which was a while and then, she put her sadness and pain tucked away, wiped the tears away, and went downstairs to the cave lounge.

Sophia was sitting upside down on the couch reading a book and Iris was painting her nails on the floor humming with her legs swinging. Emily was in the kitchen cooking along with a string of curses every time she burned herself which was quite often. The guys were nowhere to be seen.

"What time is it?" Alice asked, rubbing her eye.

"Almost three in the afternoon," Sophia replied nonchalantly.


"Don't worry, Alice. With the exception of Iris, we've all just woken. The guys aren't even up yet. Emily is making breakfast."

Alice exhaled, her panic set aside. "Why aren't you guys helping Emily?"

"She doesn't want it. Maybe you can through to her."

Alice walked over where Emily was about to tell her to get out. She walked over to the freezer where bacon was and got it out. She grabbed a frying pan and set to work making bacon. A small cheer from Sophia went out as she saw Alice's approach to helping. Alice enjoyed making bacon and it reminded her of yestermorning. Could it only have been yesterday that she had looked forward to a life with James and Uncle Rory?

Alice was interrupted by a shout from Orion as he ran up to her and hugged her much too tightly to her taste. She shrieked, nearly burning herself. Orion let go, chanting, "Thank you thank you thank you! You've no idea how much I love bacon!"

She smiled, then laughed when she looked over to Emily's expression. It was hidden well, but Alice could see the annoyance that she didn't get credit for cooking everything else. As they laid out the food on the table for everyone, both Emily and Alice smiled seeing everyone stare at the eggs, french toast, sausage, bacon, orange and apple juices, with hashbrowns on the side. Jasper walked in with a bad bedhead, stops, and literally drooled upon seeing the enormous breakfast that lay before him.

Alice sat down, feeling the slightest sense of warmth seeing everyone sti together and gorge themselves. She herself didn't realize how hungry she was until she had the first bite of toast. Her body longed for nothing more than to eat all the food.

It was only when all the food was gone that everyone began to slow down and make eye contact. Iris was the first person to speak up. "So what's next?"

Sophia looked at everyone. "Kaldur wanted us to rest today."

"Boring..." Orion mumbled with his mouth full.

"Can we do anything more interesting today? Maybe hoops?" Jasper asked.

The Team smiled at the thought and they all headed outside to play basketball. Alice smiled. A perfect first day of being on the Team...

Alice spent the first couple days in the same manner. She wondered why they werne't doing anything, but all Sophia could say was that Kaldur wanted them to rest. But by the fourth day, Alice couldn't handle it anymore. She burst into the central room where they had first entered the cave and saw Sophia and Iris standing there. Sophia had her arms crossed and Iris was smiling. Batman was there with another boy who looked a couple years younger than her. His hair was black and he wore the recognizable Robin outfit. Batman gesture Alice over.

"Alice, this is Damian, the newest member of your team."

"Hey," she tried to be nice.

"Hey." He looked at her as if she was nothing more than a peasant.

"Can you believe it?" Iris whispered to her. "We have a real sidekick on the team."

"What about you and Sophia?" Alice whispered back.

"Kid Flash has only just become her father's sidekick," Damian interrupted gloating over his status. "And Sophia has never had any real training."

"You don't need training when you have raw talent." Sophia came back. Alice now understood why her arms were crossed.

"Everyone needs training," Batman put in, but upon seeing Damian's smug smiled added, "However, some just need more than others." He ruffled Damian's hair, much to the kid's annoyance, who was frantically putting it back in place.

"Iris, can you get the rest of team to meet Damian?" Batman asked and Iris dashed off. Batman wasted no time.

"Sophia, Damian's really here because you're going to need him on this next mission. I won't tell the others the real purpose behind this. You are to-"

"They're on there way!" Iris shouted as she slid back up to everyone, nearly slipping in the process.

Batman nodded. "Damian will tell you as soon as you reach the other side."

"Tell us what?" Orion asked as he and Jasper walked up. They were both sweating and wearing nothing but basketball shorts as they had been out for a game of hoops. Alice looked away, trying not to be rude.

"It's time to suit up," Damian said. "We're heading out on a mission."

"It's about time!" Jasper said.

"You are heading over to the Middle East to meet with Ra's al Ghul. He said he had something that might be a clue to the Hell Squad. He didn't say much. You could very well be walking into a trap."

"Then why are you sending us?" Orion asked, utterly confused.

"Ghul has an agenda of his own. He makes his own rules and follows them. We can't trust him, but we might be able to use him. For now at least."

Sophia nodded, and eventually to the rest of the team followed suit. Alice could see, especially among the guys' faces, that they were not eager to walk walk in what might very well be a trap.

"Batman, who's in charge?" Damian asked. Alice tried not to groan. The kid would ask that.

Batman smiled and Alice could see he was remembering something fondly. "That's for you guys to decide." He nodded, then walked off, leaving them to their own devices.

Sophia opened her mouth to say something when Damian stepped in. "Alright, team. I want everyone suited up in ten. Meet you back here."

Alice looked curiously at Sophia, waiting to see what she would do. But Sophia simply walked away to where her quarters and uniform were. Alice followed suit along with the others. She tried not to show her irritation at the boy who assumed authority after being in the cave for less that ten minutes.

Whirlwind felt weird in her uniform. Due to the fact that Sophia's father had not engineered all of their uniforms yet with armor, she was using what she had found around the cave from the earlier team. She had found a light blue shirt and a purple vest over it. She wore simple black pants along with black boots and fingerless gloves. Unfortunately, almost everything except the boots were a size too big or small, but overall, she liked the look. She would suggest it when Riley got around to asking her about it.

Now they were on the Phoenix's jet on there where to wherever Ra's al Ghul was. At first, Robin had insisted upon flying the jet as only he knew the coordinates of al Ghul's location, however, the Phoenix would not let Robin anywhere near the controls. Eventually, she convinced him to give her the coordinates and take them there. Afterwards, the Phoenix invited Bloodhound up into the cockpit to spite him. Whirlwind tried not to giggle seeing Robin clench his fists.

"Alright folks, this is your assistant captain speaking," came Bloodhound's voice over the comm system. Whirlwind, wondered why he didn't come back and tell them as there was only an open door separating them. She understood though seeing Robin bite his lip in frustration. Perhaps the Phoenix was taking this a little too far...

"We'll be landing in the middle of nowhere momentarily. If you'll please fasten your seatbelts and sit quietly until we land, that would be much appreciated. Thank you."

Whirlwind wondered what seatbelts because there hadn't been any on here the first time, but as if on cue, straps came from the seat over her shoulders, around her sides, and between her legs. They fastened themselves, startling Whirlwind more than a bit. She decided not to ask the Phoenix and leave it alone.

Upon disembarking from the jet, the Phoenix activated the cloak, and Whirlwind watched it disappear. She was looking around the deep pine forest, wondering where they could be. Then, Robin looked at a holocomputer on his arm and pointed in an arbitrary direction. "That way will take us to his castle."

"He has a castle?" Cherufe asked.

"He has a lot of them. This is just the one where he comes to get away for a day and said he meet us at." Robin answered with a smirk.

"Dude, how do you know that?" Cherufe stopped.

"I've met him."


"I... I am his grandson."

Everyone stopped in their tracks. Whirlwind looked at the team's reaction. Cherufe was shocked, his mouth open. Bloodhound and Deadshot were instantly suspicious, appearing not to go a step further. Kid Flash looked conflicted, as if she wanted him to say it was all a joke. Whirlwind hoped it was, but knew it wasn't. She thought back to when they were getting briefed. Batman had mentioned a secret mission to the Phoenix and Robin and technically her, but she still didn't know what it was. The Phoenix acted no differently than before, waiting for everyone to decide. Whirlwind decided to trust Batman. He must have known about Damian before he became Robin. Right?

"Okay, let's keep on moving. We're supposed to meet al Ghul at the front gate, right Robin?" the Phoenix spoke up, a hint of pity on her face as she saw everyone's distrust.

"Really, Phoenix? You're going to trust him?" Deadshot asked.

The Phoenix thought for a minute, then answered, "There isn't anyone I'd rather have watching my back." The Phoenix continued walking, signaling that the conversation was over. Whirlwind noticed the tiniest lift of the corners of Robin's mouth. Whirlwind followed the Phoenix and continued walking.

The front gate was not as grand as Whirlwind expected. There was a simple pathway leading up to a thick, heavy set door. Except to the stone masonry of the castle, it looked more like an enormous house.

Robin walked up to the gate where a small video was and knocked on the gate. After a moment, an intercom system buzzed. Robin pressed a button and spoke in his still deepening voice, "Grandfather, you said you desired to speak with us."

They waited for several minutes, muscles tightening as they waited for a trap, wondering if they were in serious trouble. The Phoenix was about to press her own com when a voice told them all to come in.

Upon entering the parlor, Whirlwind felt a pressure on her. Something inside the room and house in general did not feel right. All around in her among the ancient walls with centuries old decorations, were modern henchmen with the latest weapons and gear. She thought about it for a moment. A name popped into her mind. It was evil.

"Wait here. I will fetch the master." The man who had led them in here walked off, locking the doors behind him. Whirlwind felt her heart stop. Had they literally walked into a trap? Movement from the corner of her eye caught her attention. It was Bloodhound, looking around, before walking out of the room through a previously invisible door in the wall that had opened up silently. Whirlwind looked around. No one had noticed. They were busy watching the door the man had disappeared behind and waiting.

"Bloodhound, what are you doing?" Whirlwind asked in a hushed voice.

"Going to find something," he whispered back before hiding. Whirlwind sighed, looked back at the Team, then followed him, narrowly missing the door closing behind her as silently and suddenly as it had opened.

"Bloodhound! The door closed. How do we open it?" she asked, as she entered a torchlit descending staircase. Nothing ominous about that, right?

"We'll take a different way out," he said not looking back.

"Can you tell me what you're looking for?" Whirlwind asked after a moment of climbing down the stairs.

"This," Bloodhound muttered as the staircase opened up into a grand cave.

Whirlwind stood there, riveted. There stalagmites and stalactites everywhere, some a foot high, others twice as tall as her. It was a maze to walk through the cave, but Alice understood what was inside the expanse of the cave. A ways away, there was a bubbling lake surrounded by equipment. She quickly followed Bloodhound as he dashed over there.

"Bloodhound, what are you doing?" She whispered harshly.

"My father was brought here when he was my age. I wanted to see it for myself."

"What does that have to do with anything?"

"When he was brought here, he was already dead."

Whirlwind tried not to laugh at the absurdity of this statement. "Are you serious?"

"This is called the Lazarus Pit. It has magical abilities and heal any injury, bring back the dead, or keep you young forever."

"Are you out of your flipping mind? This is a joke."

"I didn't expect you to understand. I am only telling you the little I know."

Whirlwind watched as he walked over to the pit and knelt down. "So is that it?" she cried. "Is that why you're on the team? To use us to find a dead man?" She could not describe what she was feeling. It was definitely hurt, as at the moment, the glazed look in Bloodhound's eyes told her that he was barely listening to her.

"I... I'm here be... because..." He couldn't even give her a straight answer.

"Bloodhound, let's go back."

"No, not yet. I need to find something."

"We can do it another-"

"NO! WE CAN'T!" Bloodhound spun around and shouted at her. He grabbed her arms and held her there, staring straight into her eyes. Whirlwind now saw that he was absolutely insane. "I need to find something, anything, that can tell where we can find him. Please, Whirlwind. You don't understand how much this means to me."

"You're right, I don't. My father did the worst things imaginable to me, so I can't understand your obsession with this."

"I... I need someone, Whirlwind. You had your Uncle. I haven't had anyone for four years."

Whirlwind felt the tiniest stab of sympathy in her chest, but stamped on it quickly. Then she sighed. "Alright. What are you looking for?"

Bloodhound sighed in relief and the craze from earlier faded from his dark eyes. "Search the computers for anything that mentions Jason Todd." He started to work, then turned back around, smiling at Whirlwind. "Thank you."

Whirlwind smiled back and began to search computers for any evidence of this Jason Todd that Bloodhound was so desperate to find. She hoped that he would not be disappointed. Her hoped was validated. Within a moment of quick searching, a file popped up on her screen.


"What did you find?" Within less than a second, he was at her side, startlingly close.

"Here, it mentions an experiment on a young man called J. Todd. It had everything on whether or not it was a success, and from the looks of it, it wasn't. It says that the pit brought on insanity and extreme violence, but that simply could have been a result from before. It was a variable they could not control. It even has an address." For the first time since meeting the cocky boy at the Crossroads, she saw him smile genuinely for the first time.

"I have a memory card. I'm going to download the file... Um, thanks, Whirlwind."

After a moment or two with relief heavy and thick in the air, they were finished and as Bloodhound said, they took another exit up to the castle. There they entered the hallway just outside the room where they had been locked in. Bloodhound experimentally looked at the lock, grinned slyly, then easily picked it, muttering something about amateurs.

When they walked in the door, everyone was still there, waiting. Cherufe was bored out of his mind as he was counting something on the ceiling. Whirlwind couldn't figure out what. The Phoenix and Deadshot were talking about fighting techniques and challenging one another to a sparring match when they got of there. Robin was missing, but that was put to the back of her mind as everyone came up to them and asked where they were.

"Bloodhound found a secret passage. Sorry we didn't tell you. It closed on us pretty fast." Whirlwind explained, covering for Bloodhound. She saw the slight smile of his mouth out of her peripheral vision.

"We're just glad you're alright. They figured out pretty quickly that you were gone, but In Another World is back up under the title The New Team. Check it out!only after we did before they came back. They took Robin and haven't seen or heard anything since. That was almost an hour ago. I hope he's okay." Kid Flash said rapidly. Whirlwind was only just being able to understand her when she got like this.

"Did you guys find anything?" the Phoenix asked.

"Nothing really. We were mostly trying to find our way out of there," Bloodhound added.

"Okay. Now let's get Robin and get out of here. We've waited long enough.

They searched until they found Robin, talking with his grandfather at the sixth or seventh floor of the castle. Whirlwind almost expected him to be talking comfortably with him, but anyone could see that he was clearly not happy there. Ra's al Ghul stood up, about to shout about the importance of privacy, especially among family.

"al Ghul, we've waited long enough. Where's the intel you promised us?" The Phoenix asked, her eyes narrowing.

His eyes narrowed, and for a moment, Whirlwind wondered whether or not they would be tossed back into a less comfortable room. However, Ra's reached into a drawer in his desk and pulled out a file. "It's all I've gathered on the Hell Squad."

"I doubt it," Deadshot pointed out. The Phoenix must have filled her in on al Ghul's untrustworthiness and secret agenda.

"Thanks, al Ghul. We appreciate it." The Phoenix politely took the file.

"Yes, I supposed you do... Either way, get out of here now. I promise to give you a ten minute head start if you leave right away before I send the Shadows after you. Loiter around, and you will be dead before you reach the front door."

The Phoenix nodded and walked out of the door, taking the Team with her.

"Can we trust him?" Cherufe asked quietly as they made their way down the several flights of stairs.

"I'd rather play it safe. And even if al Ghul is a villain, he has his own sense of chivalry and honor. It makes him more dangerous sometimes as he twists it to his own will, but he won't break it. Come on, let's go. I'd rather not stay around and find out.

Cherufe nodded and Ra's al Ghul kept his word. They reached the jet in less than five and were long out of reach before his Shadows could find them. So they hoped.

When they got back to the cave, everyone was crowding around the file that the Phoenix had gathered. They had called Batman in to inform them about their success, but he had yet to make an appearance. When Sophia opened the file, her mask barely off, a half dozen letters flowed out. Each one was addressed to one of them.

"Should we read them out loud?" Orion asked quietly.

"They are for everyone else to read alone. If you desire sharing them, then that is your choice and your's alone," Damian said. He had announced as soon as they got on the plane that while he would help the team out in any way he could, he would not join it full time as everyone else had. Iris was the only one upset. Everyone else was a little relieved.

"Your's isn't here, Damian," Alice pointed out.

Damian was quiet for a moment. "I got mine from al Ghul himself." The team left it at that deciding not to ask prying questions..

"O. Days." Sophia handed him the letter with his cursive name on the front of the envelope.

"E. Lesnicki." Emily took hers.

"I. West." Iris slowly took the letter. It was the only thing she had ever done slowly.

"S. Rivers." Sophia put hers at the bottom.

"A. Duncan." Alice took hers as if it were about to explode.

"J. Todd? Who's J. Todd?"

Alice snuck a glance as Jasper, but he shook his head, saying, "I don't know. Sounds like a dead man." Alice winced, knowing how much it hurt him to say those words.

"Anyone want to watch the DVD?" Sophia asked, holding it carefully in her hands.

The team nodded slowly as she put it onto the giant monitor after scanning it for any viruses. The screen flickered to life and Ra's al Ghul's face was there.

"For the young heroes. What I am about to show you is only a fraction of what the Hell Squad really is. They are perfect at keeping secrets. That is why I am sharing what I know. I cannot stand it when I cannot know about them. In return for this, you will likewise share what you find out with me. My grandson will make sure of it."

A series of clips came up, mostly lab videos and a scientist explaining something called a metagene. There were a few subjects who were always screaming. Once, an image of a dead child being dragged away, with a voice saying it was a failure. Her body could not handle the introduction of the metagene. Alice felt sick as she recognized the voice. It was her father's.

She quickly looked away and opened her letter. In neat, beautifully cursive letters, two words were written.

You're next.

AN: So what do you guys think? Tell me with a review!