Worst Case Scenario

Shadow Strike

Superboy hit the ground hard. Before he could recover, Sportsmaster slammed his foot into his chest.

A few yards away, M'gann pulled her legs apart and the scorched ropes around her ankles disintegrated. A pity the same wouldn't happen for the metal handcuffs keeping her wrists behind her back.

It didn't matter, though.

She had to help Conner.

M'gann leaped into the air and landed on the shoulders of a nearby goon who had one of the large, red Apokoliptan weapons on his chest. Pushing off with all her might, she flew into the air again while sending the man spinning to the ground. Another goon holding a rifle started to turn around.

M'gann kicked him in the face. While she was in midair.

And Wally said those kung-fu movies on TV were 'unrealistic'.

The noise of the fighting distracted Sportsmaster. In the split second he turned to look, Conner got to his feet and gave him a hard punch to the jaw.

That felt really good reflected Conner, so he threw another one. However, Sportsmaster moved his head to the left, caught his arm and threw the Kryptonian over his shoulder. The mercenary tried to stomp him again but Conner rolled out of the way and knocked Sportsmaster's legs out from under him.

M'gann landed with cheerleader grace. It was really amazing what her White Martian form could do, she decided, even though Earth had three times Mars's gravity.

Then a pair of red hovering disks appeared.

And electrocuted her.


Conner scrambled to his feet and grabbed one of the disks in his hand. It electrocuted him, but only for a second before he crushed its delicate circuitry in his fingers with a satisfying crunch. He turned towards the goon who was targeting the things (having just sent two more towards him) and threw the disk like a Frisbee. It struck the man in the head, knocking him out. The other disks shut down.

Conner felt pretty good about that, so of course, Sportsmaster chose that moment to slam his shoulder into the clone's back, sending him stumbling forwards.

M'gann recovered from the electricity fast and struck at the mercenary with a spin kick. Sportsmaster caught it in one hand and then twisted. Pain exploded in her leg as Sportsmaster shoved her aside.

Superboy charged, but Sportsmaster tapped the side of his mask again. Conner stumbled as his equilibrium was thrown into disarray and Sportsmaster caught him on the chin with a punch, and then another, and then an elbow jab to the neck, finishing with a mighty kick to the chest. Superboy fell on his back, stunned.

M'gann started to get up, but winced in pain as soon as she tried to put any weight on her left leg. Sportsmaster had twisted it pretty bad, alright.

Suddenly, the man himself turned to face her. From his belt he drew out a small pistol and aimed it at her.

M'gann could see where this was going, and desperately tried to reach out with all the psychic power she had left.


Sportmaster pulled the trigger, but as the gun fired, his entire arm jerked to the right and the bullet missed by several feet.

Sportsmaster tried to fire again, but his gun hand seemed to have a mind of its own as it jerked left and right. Then the gun tore itself out of his hands and flew off into the trees.

"How?" he managed to gasp. "Your powers can't be back yet. The dose was too strong!"

"Then it is a good thing she is not alone" said a flat, near-emotionless voice tinted with just a tiny bit of rage. Sportsmaster turned around as a green figure with red eyes emerged from the ground like a ghost and solidified.

"Uncle J'onn!" M'gann cried out, in sheer relief.

The cavalry had arrived.

Before the Green Martian could do anything else, Sportsmaster tapped the device on the side of his mask again. The sonic waves it projected caused the superhero to wince, giving Sportsmaster enough time to grab a small cylinder off his belt and throw it.

There was a beep as it landed near the elder Martian's feet, and he was only able to raise a hand in front of him before it exploded, knocking him a few yards away and filling the area with smoke.

"No!" shouted M'gann, but she still couldn't move to help her uncle.

However, Superboy was back and charged at Sportsmaster again.

"All units, this is Sportsmaster" the mercenary said into his radio as he dodged another series of punches. "The League is here! I repeat, Justice League reinforcements have arrived. Begin final evacuation protocols, now!"

Conner gave up on punches and tried a kick, but Sportsmaster parried it and knocked him aside before dashing into the woods. Conner started to follow him, but another gasp of pain from M'gann caused him to move towards her instead. There would be another day to deal with Sportsmaster.

Lawrence "Crusher" Crock, better known as Sportsmaster, didn't normally run from fights, but not getting stranded in the middle of Nowhere, Canada with half the Justice League after him was part of his personal 'fight smart' doctrine.

So, of course, a batarang chose just that moment to embed itself in the ground in front of him.

Sportsmaster turned around to see a black V shape familiar to all criminals that had ever spent any time in Gotham City descending towards him from the treeline.

This would not end well.

"Are you okay?" Conner asked M'gann, which was probably a really dumb and clichéd question, but he said it anyways.

"I'm..." M'gann took a deep breath as Conner put her arm over his shoulder and helped her up. "...I'm okay, since, you know, I'm not on fire anymore."

Conner felt rage against Sportsmaster building up inside of him again, but he suppressed it for now.

"Is my uncle alright?" M'gann asked.

"I am unharmed" said the Manhunter, emerging from the smoke from the grenade. As soon as he was close enough, his niece gave him the tightest hug she could while keeping one arm around Superboy for support.

"My telekinesis protected me from most of the shrapnel" her uncle continued. "However, I did not expect to see you in this form, M'gann."

"They... they gave me some kind of drug that suppressed my powers" she said quietly. M'gann felt like crying again as the adrenaline (or rather, the Martian equivalent) died down and the shock of revealing her true form to Conner like this finally caught up to her, but J'onn simply bent down and examined her foot. Placing his hands around her ankle, his telepathy quickly rearranged the cells back into their proper order. The pain vanished and M'gann tenderly put some weight on it again.

"Nice trick" said Superboy.

"Before you ask, I can only do it on another Martian" replied the Manhunter.

Superboy shrugged."Shouldn't we be going after Sportsmaster?" he asked.

"I believe Batman has that well in hand" replied the elder Martian.

Batman should have known Sportsmaster was involved in this. He'd been the opponent on too many of the Team's missions for it to be a coincidence. Santa Prisca, New Orleans, even the Taipei incident.

Sportsmaster's presence meant that there was indeed something big going on here, and made the chances of the Team being in danger even more certain.

However, now was a chance to finally bring this guy in, once and for all.

Batman leaped from his perch in the trees and let his glider cape soften his fall as he flew towards Sportsmaster.

The other man turned around and touched something near his ear.

And then things went wrong.

Batman felt his balance shift and instinctive movement of his arms caused his glide to jerk from side to side.

This completely ruined his ending kick.

As Batman reached the ground, Sportsmaster lashed out at him. Batman parried the first two blows and responded with one of his own, but his footing shifted and Sportsmaster blocked it easily before striking him hard in the jaw.

It was easy to see that something was wrong here, and it didn't take the World's Greatest Detective long to figure out where he'd seen this technology.

Obviously Sportsmaster had somehow obtained a copy of Count Vertigo's signature sonic device, and that just wouldn't do.

Batman lashed out with another punch, but Sportsmaster blocked it. The Dark Knight took a couple steps back, out of range of Sportsmaster's follow-up strike.

Batman flipped open a container on his belt, dodged an attempt by Sportsmaster to grab his hand and pulled out some flash powder, which he threw at the ground between them.

The powder ignited, and in the darkness of the early north Canadian morning, it was pretty damn bright.

Batman had closed his eyes and looked away with his arm over his face.

Sportsmaster hadn't.

Batman allowed himself a little smile at the change in advantage before grabbing the headset attached to a certain blue hockey mask and ripping it off.

Sportsmaster stumbled back a little more as Batman cracked his knuckles and attacked.

To Sportsmaster's credit, considering the fact that he was half blind and in a fistfight with one of the two best martial artists in the Justice League, he blocked several punches and even returned one or two. But regardless, the fight was over.

Sportsmaster drew a hunting knife from a sheath on his leg and swung it at Batman, although more to keep him at bay than from any hope of hitting him. Batman parried and knocked the knife out of his hand.

A ways off in the background, Batman could hear the shrill shriek of a canary cry and an explosion that was probably Green Arrow, along with scattered bits of gunfire that probably weren't.

There was the screeching of tires, and a pickup truck swerved out of the surrounding trees. Sportsmaster threw himself to the ground. The two men in the back took one look at the situation and opened fire.

Batman dashed to the left, his outfit and cape helping him blend into the night.

Sportsmaster stumbled once and then leaped into the back of the truck.

"Go, go!" he shouted. The driver complied, doing a quick 180 and disappearing into the night.

Batman considered throwing something at them, but he had a feeling he was going to need all the ammo he had.

The Dark Knight turned around as J'onn, Superboy and what he assumed was Miss Martian appeared.

"What happened to the others?" he asked them.

"The Bioship got shot down" said Superboy. "I know Sportsmaster got Robin and Kid Flash, and Aqualad went off the radar."

"I think Artemis was captured as well" said the alien figure who did indeed appear to be Miss Martian. Batman would never understand shapeshifters.

"Are you two combat effective?" Batman asked. Superboy and Miss Martian looked at each other for a second and then nodded.

"All units report" Batman said into his glove. A second later, Red Tornado, Green Arrow and Black Canary all replied saying that all enemies in range were either incapacitated or fleeing.

"They will be holding the rest of the Team inside the main base" Martian Manhunter stated.

Batman looked at him and spoke into his glove again.

"All units, fall in. We have recovered Superboy and Miss Martian and confirmed the presence of Sportsmaster. At least some of the Team has been captured. Let's go get them back."

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