December 25, 13:05 UTC
One by one, seven screens flickered on. The outlines of seven faces appeared, all details obscured by white filters.
The Light had assembled once again.
"This has gone on for far too long" began L-6. "Why do we continue to allow these children to impede our plans?"
"I agree" said L-5. "They have interfered far too much already. They nearly captured Project Parasite in New Orleans. Even Operation Pedestal remains at risk. If we have the capacity, then why haven't we dealt with them?"
"But they're so much fun to
play with!" exclaimed L-7. Several of the others glared at him, or at least as much as they could through the identity-concealing filters.
"Now, now" said L-4, her voice commanding the attention of the others. "If we destroy one team, Batman will simply send another. It would not be worth the effort of compromising them until the optimal moment."
"Until now" said L-1, speaking for the first time. "The preparation is almost complete. Operation Pedestal begins in less than a week. If we crush Batman's little pets now, it will distract him further from our true objective."
"A plan has been created to eliminate the sidekicks and strengthen our forces in the process" said L-2. "Copies have been sent to you all as we speak."
There was a minute of silence from everyone except L-7 (who was still snickering) as they read the files.
"I don't like it" said L-5. "It's too complicated. Why don't we engage them directly? Attack them at their own base? Level the compound?"
"You should be familiar with the skills of their field leader, Aqualad, and you haven't fought the rest as a team" said L-3. "Any plan of direct confrontation runs the risk of escape, or even defeat, as unlikely as it may seem."
"The only way to defeat heroes is to break their spirit" said L-1. "I know this from experience. Destroy them from the inside, make them doubt each other. Break their will to continue and they are finished, no matter the physical result."
"L-7?" asked L-2. "Is everything prepared as we discussed?"
"What? Oh, that. Yeah. It's ready. All we need is magic girl and we'll be in tip-top shape." This was followed by more snickering.
"And Subject TR-5?" asked L-1.
"Ready and prepared, thanks to our friend Parasite's... activities in Geneva" said L-3. "L-6 is present at Gemini Base now and will ensure that the portal does not... get out of hand. Am I correct, 6?"
"Yes, yes! Of course the portal shall remain stable!" L-6 shouted. "What idiot to you think is running this place!?"
"This plan requires the sacrifice of Leo Base" said L-4. "Is that a price we are willing to pay?"
"Leo Base is of no use to us now," replied L-3, "and our intelligence indicates that it will soon be targeted regardless. This is probably the most effective use we have for it. And if, in return, we can both eliminate the sidekicks and get Pygmalion in play at the same time..."
"Exactly" said L-2. "This mission will, admittedly, cost us a few assets, but one of Batman's greatest tools will be neutralized and the path to Operation Pedestal cleared. Are we all in agreement?"One by one the other members affirmed, some more hesitant than others.
"Then it is settled" said L-1. "Operation Guillotine shall begin promptly. Batman's team will soon see the light... one way or the other."
"I shall contact the
required personnel" said L-2."I believe that both mercenaries will be
happy to do the job for half their normal rates, and the others will enjoy some
fresh air, courtesy of our friend, Warden Strange."
"3, 4," continued L-1, "it is time to put your inside sources to work. Do as we have planned and we cannot fail. This meeting is adjourned."
There was a slight crackling sound as each of the members shut down their video feeds.
L-7 was the last to cut out, save L-1 himself, of course. 7 was still snickering. "This is going to be great fun!" he muttered to himself. "First I'll set them on fire, then I'll put out the fire and electrocute them..."
L-1, AKA Vandal Savage, rubbed the bridge of his nose, half wishing he had simply put the Joker as L-7. At least he had an excuse for being annoying.
Savage leaned back in his chair as he too shut down the link. In his millennia of existence, never had he been so close. Never had so few obstacles remained between him and his goals. Operation Pedestal was the key. The beginning of the end. But first came dealing with the last few gnats attempting to interfere.
It was time for Operation Guillotine.
It was time to put the sidekicks out of their misery.