Worst Case Scenario

By clcman

Action / Adventure

Unusual Explanations

The hallways were pretty bare, just grey concrete, with the occasional door, most of which lead to small rooms that were also made of (guess what) concrete.

The interior decorators had obviously done this one on their day off.

Wally would have been bored out of his skull if he wasn't paranoidly trying to avoid people who were trying to kill him.

Of course, he wasn't sure that they were necessarily trying to kill him, but since they'd handcuffed Artemis to a chair, frozen him and the one or two guys he'd seen patrolling were wielding big guns, it was probably a good guess.

Artemis peeked around a corner before jerking her head back and frantically motioning for him to duck into one of the empty rooms.

Two men walked by, but it didn't look like they'd seen anything.

Artemis carefully stuck her head out to see that it was all clear, and started to move back into the hallway.

Before she could turn around, a figure appeared out of nowhere and a fist smashed into her jaw. Wally leaped at the hostile but received a knee to the stomach and a shove, knocking him backwards.

Artemis stumbled a bit and tried to take a combat stance. The red-tinted figure slammed into her into the wall. When her vision focused again, there was an arm pressing on her throat and a sai blade hovering much too close to her jugular vein.

Wally sprang to his feet, ready to fight off whoever was attacking his girlfr-, er, teammate. Then he noticed the close-cropped red hair quite similar to his own, and he stopped. The newcomer turned his head, and Wally met two eyes covered by a black domino mask.

"Roy?" the speedster gasped.

"Stay back, or I kill her" said the elder archer in his (extremely effective) this-is-totally-not-a-joke voice. The sai blade stayed at Artemis's throat, and she'd stopped struggling out of fear of slashing her own neck.

"Please! Stop! You don't underst-" she started to say before a shift of Roy's arm cut off her air.

"What the hell is wrong with you?" shouted Wally, much too loudly for being in a base full of enemies. But one of his best friends was holding another of his friends who he'd just kissed a few moments ago hostage, and if that isn't the time for shouting, then what is?

"You didn't know" said Roy, more a statement than a question. His eyes softened a bit, as if some of the anger was evaporating. But the sai didn't waver.

"Didn't know what?" demanded Wally, almost as irritated as that time Conner broke the TV remote. Twice. On purpose. "What I know is that you just attacked us out of the blue!"

"She's a traitor!" responded Roy. "The mole! She set us up!"

Wally opened his mouth to say something so amazingly clever that Roy would have to shut up.

And he stayed there. With his mouth open.

He had nothing to say.

He always had something to say!

"Her father's Sportsmaster" continued Roy. "Her sister's Cheshire. She's been feeding them intel from the beginning. That's how they took down the Bioship. That's how we lost Miss Martian. She poisoned you with Joker Toxin herself!"

Wally didn't want to believe it. He couldn't believe it.

"Art-" he started to say. But then he saw the look in her eyes as she guiltily stared at the floor. It was the same look he'd had whenever Mom had caught him stealing cookies out of the tin. (Which, despite his super-speed was more often than you'd think.)

It all made so much sense.

Why Artemis had kept her past a secret. Why she was always hiding off by herself. Why she'd 'screwed up' in New Orleans.

She was the mole.

Wally blinked a couple of times.

And then something in him snapped and he blew up like the Yellowstone supervolcano.

"I trusted you!" he shouted. He probably would have started strangling her himself, but Roy was in the way.

"You used me! All that time we spent together, all those missions as a team, all those times we bailed each other out... and you were working for them? So why'd you break me out, anyways? Was that another part of your evil plan? And that kiss..."

"What kiss?" asked Roy, unprofessionally (though he'd never admit it) curious.

Artemis used his distraction to slam her knee into his thigh as her right hand knocked the sai away from her neck. A quick elbow jab knocked Roy backwards and she took a few steps down the hall, trying to stay out of range.

The blonde archer coughed into her elbow and rubbed her throat.

"Will you two listen for three seconds?"

Wally was about to charge her at the highest speed he could manage (which, regrettably, was not all that much at the moment) but that sentence was just... so... Artemis that he stopped. Roy recovered and held both of his sai in a combat position, but he too stayed where he was.

"I'm not a mole" said Artemis. "Well, I am. Sort of. It's complicated."

"Un-complicate it" said Roy. That wasn't a suggestion.

"I am related to Cheshire and Sportsmaster, but I'm not like them! I started the hero gig on my own. Then, after that fight with the superpowered robot..."

"AMAZO" interrupted Wally. Man that thing had been cool when it wasn't trying to kill him.

"Yeah, whatever. Then Batman and Green Arrow approached me. They wanted me for the Team. They said I was GA's niece so I could... escape from my past."

Roy narrowed his eyes, but none of that conflicted with what he already knew.

"A month or two ago" continued Artemis "Dad... er, Sportsmaster approached me. He wanted me to feed him intel. I was going to tell him to shove it... but Batman told me to accept."

"Batman?" asked Wally. "Batman asked you to..."

"Yeah. He wanted me to be a fake mole."

"But Sportsmaster first claimed he had an inside source in September" said Roy.

"That's the thing" said Artemis. "There's another mole."

Two moles? thought Wally. Great. Just. Freakin'. Great.

"What I said to you and the others back at Cape Chidley, that was a script. Sportsmaster gave it to me to read so I'd finally have to turn my back on you guys once and for all. Burning bridges, so forth."

"And then you'd finally be a part of... whatever it is they're up to" said Wally.

"So I guess I am a mole" replied Artemis with a shrug. "Just for a different side."

"You aren't the only one around here" said Roy. "Rocket's working for them too."

"What?" gasped Artemis. "But that doesn't make any sense! Why would they keep her prisoner with the rest of you? Why wouldn't they tell me?"

"If she's a mole, she might be sticking with the rest of us in case we escaped. But what I know for sure is that she threw me into a high voltage barrier. Rocket is not on our side."

Wally felt like his eyes should be spinning in circles or something. "So you're saying the new girl is evil. Great. Just great."

"But she couldn't have been who Sportsmaster was talking about in Taipei" continued Roy. "She wasn't on the Team then."

"You say there's another another mole?" asked Wally. "Who?"

Artemis started to say something, but hesitated.

"What is it?" asked Roy.

"I'm not sure" the younger archer said "but... I think it might be M'gann."

"You don't seriously think that good old..." Wally started before the blonde cut him off.

"I don't know, but she was on the Team in September, she'd know how to take out the Bioship and she nearly got us killed in that simulation."

And she lied about her background too thought Wally, recalling what Roy had said on Halloween. Could it really be possible?

"Earlier, you said she was dead" said Roy, an icy tone to his voice.

"What part of 'reading a script' don't you understand? Da- Sportsmaster told me to tell you that, but I'm not sure that's true. At least I haven't seen anything proving it. The point is, if I don't find out for sure who the other mole really is, we'll never be able to stop their plan. I don't know any details yet... but it's bad."

"Cheshire said the same thing" said Roy. "She said there's some plot to bring down the League."

"When did you talk to my sister?" asked Artemis.

"When did you talk to her sister?" asked Wally at the exact same moment.

"It's complicated" said Roy, really, really not wanting to discuss how he'd escaped at the moment.

"But, Artemis" asked Wally. "If you're a double mole, why rescue me? Wouldn't that blow your cover?"

Artemis looked down, slightly ashamed. "I overheard my dad and one of his bosses talking. I don't know who, but they wanted you delivered to them so they could... uh... figure out how your speed works. With knives."

Wally had a professional aversion to revealing his secrets. And knives.

"I figured it might look like you'd broken out on your own, and... and I couldn't just leave you to die!"

"And that, Artemis, is why you will never make it in the family business."

Oh come on! Wally shouted to himself.

Sportsmaster was at the other end of the hallway. Two masked goons with red Apokoliptan weapons flanked him.

"You've been a bad little girl, Artemis" said the blue-masked mercenary as he pulled out his flail and gave it a test swing.

"And you know me. Always the disciplinarian."


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