December 27, 16:23 EST
“Recognize: Batman 02.”
The team had assembled on the briefing floor, already suited up and ready to go. Batman quickly scanned to ensure they were all accounted for, blinking only for a second at the odd number before he remembered that Rocket was now a member as well.
Rocket, for her part, was personally proud that she didn't scream or faint or any of the other things her subconscious had wanted to do upon meeting the Batman. She still had a bit of a headache from that morning. Who knew it was so hard to get a good night's sleep in a hollowed-out mountain fortress next to the ocean?
Come on, Raquel she thought. Keep it together. You've done stuff like this before.
Except she hadn't. She'd done dangerous missions, true, and she'd even handled her own without Icon when all the adults had vanished, but never anything with a team, one full of people who were so used to going out and taking on people who could fight Superman and win.
And she wasn't going to screw it up with some rookie mistake.
Batman turned to address the team and Rocket almost fainted again. Somehow, despite being a regular man who would never, ever hurt her unless she forced him to, the Dark Knight managed to be scarier than most of the superpowered villains she’d faced. Probably his stare.
Rocket turned to Miss Martian (no, M'gann, she’d said to call her M’gann outside of missions), hoping for one of those warm everything-is-fine smiles she was so fond of. But M'gann wasn't smiling. She seemed... sad? Almost... ashamed of something? Rocket decided she would talk to her later. Maybe she was always like this before a mission.
"So, Bats, where we going?" asked Robin. No one else ever talked to Batman like that. Not even Kid Flash. Then again, he was Robin for a reason.
"An analysis of the information Aqualad obtained while you were in Europe brought up a location: Cape Chidley, Labrador."
"Canada?" asked Robin.
"'Chidley'?" said Artemis at the same time with a hint of disgust. "What kind of name is 'Chidley'?"
Batman ignored the question, instead opening a holoscreen containing a map and several pictures of a set of buildings.
"Satellite imagery confirmed that the coordinates show a hidden facility in the uninhabited northern coast of Killiniq Island."
"Who built it?" asked Red Arrow.
Superboy got the sudden, inexplicable urge to punch a wall, but sadly, none were in reach.
"What would Cadmus want way up in Canada?" asked Wally, the sudden interest of his genius brain managing to temporally overpower the minor ADHD that came with superspeed reflexes.
"It appears that they wished to use the facility for more advanced tests of their various... projects undisturbed" Batman said, looking at Superboy. Robin immediately thought that was unfair. Like Superboy could control where and how he was born!
"But wasn't Cadmus reformed?" asked M'gann, who had also unconsciously glanced at Superboy. "Would they really still be doing something like that?"
"We believe the base was constructed before the discovery of the full extent of their operation."
Robin and Kid Flash high-fived.
"But regardless of whether or not the current Project Cadmus is using the location, we have confirmed encrypted radio transmissions were sent from there to Parasite at the time of the Geneva... incident."
Rocket had heard about that from Zatanna. Apparently the maniac had tried to open a black hole in the middle of Europe, although no one was exactly sure why. Fortunately the Team had stopped him, but still...
"Parasite was not working alone" said Aqualad. "He was following orders from someone."
"And that 'someone' is at this base in Labrador" said Robin, finishing the train of thought. Batman nodded.
"Whoever it is, the League wants them. But more important than their immediate capture is simply knowing the who and why. Go to this facility and discover the true nature of this threat. Stealth suits on, observe and report only. Be prepared for anything."
"Whatever they're up to, they were willing to risk destroying the planet to get it" said Red Arrow.
"That's some pretty high stakes" agreed Robin. "But nothing we can't handle."
"Alrighty then," said Kid Flash. "Let's head out! I want to show the new girl how we do things around here!" Rocket felt she had a pretty good idea of how Wally – as he insisted she call him – did things, seeing as he had been hitting on her for the entire two days she had been at Mount Justice. Robin had assured her that he did it to all the girls, but that didn't make her all that much more comfortable with it.
"The Bioship is ready to go, guys" said M'gann as the Team walked towards the hanger. She seemed chipper again, but there was still that earlier hint of... whatever it was. Rocket wondered if she had accidentally bumped into someone and startled them or something. M'gann seemed like the type who would feel guilty about pretty much anything. Still, she was way nicer than most of the girls back in Dakota City, or at least the ones Rocket knew.
Rocket's thoughts were quickly interrupted by Batman's hand on her shoulder. To her credit, she didn't scream, only flinch and let out a tiny squeak, which fortunately no one heard.
"Rocket" said the Dark Knight.
"Yes?" she was somehow able to say. She felt like hyperventilating.
"You're on a good team. And your mentor speaks highly of your abilities. He believes that you have what it takes to be one of the best."
"H-he does?" stuttered Rocket.
"I've read over your file. You'll do fine."
And with that, Batman turned and walked away.
Rocket blinked a couple of times, not really sure what to say to what was probably Batman's first and only pep talk in the history of the universe.
"Hey, Raquel!" called out Zatanna, who was standing at the door to the hanger. "Earth to Rocket! Are you coming or not?"
Rocket took another look at where Batman had gone, but he had vanished.
She shrugged and headed for the ship.
It was mission time.