Worst Case Scenario

Parental Issues

"Ideas?" whispered Wally. Sportsmaster and his two henchmen began to advance.

Roy reached into his pocket, removing a small item he had stolen from Cheshire.

"Run!" he shouted, hurling the smoke bomb into the ground. A cloud of darkness materialized, instantly separating the two groups.

"Fire!" cried Sportsmaster as the heroes turned to flee. Wally ducked out of the way as two hovering disks flew through the smoke, fortunately overshooting and returning to their launchers.

Roy made a jerking motion with his arm and suddenly dashed left into the next corridor. Wally and Artemis followed.

"I'm going to guess you're powerless right now?" the elder archer shouted to the alleged speedster, who was lagging behind the others by quite a bit.

"Y-yeah" panted Wally. He wasn't used to running a lot without the aid of the Speed Force, which made everything so much easier.

The heavy clomp of boots on concrete echoed behind them as they continued to run. Rounding another corner, Roy managed to, quite brilliantly, ran smack into a pair of shotgun-wielding goons.

Fortunately, his reaction time was better and he shoved the first man's gun away while kicking him between the legs. Behind him, Artemis caught the other on the chin with a spin kick.

A quick jab to the neck finished off Roy's opponent and he grabbed the man's gun. The boots behind them were getting closer.

"What are you doing with tha-" began Wally before Roy answered his question by cocking the shotgun and firing it around the corner. The concrete exploded, forcing Sportsmaster and his men to stop. It wouldn't keep them back for more than a few seconds, but that would have to do.

Roy dropped the shotgun and he, Wally and Artemis dashed down the hall to a hopefully less crowded area of the building.


Superman leaned against the wall of the cave, his arms crossed over his chest.

In the middle of the room was an impromptu magical circle. As soon as everything had calmed down again, Batman had explained his plan to Fate, and both Nabu and (supposedly) Zatara agreed.

Black Canary was standing in the corner, alternating between talking with Captain Marvel in a cheerful voice and glaring at Batman, who ignored her. Superman wasn't sure which side to take in that. He'd never liked the idea sidekicks in general, let alone sending a whole group of them off on their own without adult assistance, but he had to admit that up until today the Team had proven effective.

Miss Martian and, uh, Superboy were standing a ways off from the rest, watching the magical circle. Superboy still had his arm around the Martian girl. Superman wasn't sure how he felt about that. On the one hand, it wasn't any of his business, but on the other, there was a bit of... something rising up inside of him. It felt a bit like 'protective parent', but that couldn't be right... Besides, Superboy already had people taking care of him. He didn't want or need a really big example of what he couldn't do hanging around. Better for everyone if he just stayed away.

Right?

Nabu finished his circle and began to chant, hovering cross-legged two feet off the ground. Batman tapped a few keys on a virtual keyboard and a hologram of a globe appeared.

Batman's plan was elegantly simple. Fate would attempt to use magic to attempt to divine the Team's location. Of course, using magic to locate a single human or even a group of them anywhere on the planet would be nearly impossible. But tracking a magic human, one well known to the caster, on the other hand...

Fate ceased his chanting and raised his hand to the globe. This would be more difficult than tracing either the Injustice League's plant monsters or Klarion's spell at Roanoke, since Zatanna would not be actively broadcasting a signal. But she could be traced.

"I feel her presence..." began Fate. "Zatanna Zatara is alive." The rest of the room sighed in relief. The fact that at least one of the missing Team members was still alive gave hope for the rest as well. Conner and M'gann looked at each other, and the superclone squeezed her hand tightly.

"However, she is clouded with chaos magic" continued the magician. "I cannot locate her precisely."

"Do we know anyone who can do that?" asked Superman. He'd never really liked magic all that much. It tended to sting. A lot.

"All of the world's strongest workers of chaos were captured at Roanoke Island" said Fate, still concentrating.

"And thus far they have stayed in prison" said Batman. The U.S. government took the security protocols on homicidal wizards very seriously. Wotan had only previously been able to escape following the Injustice League Incident because his convoy had been attacked. By who was still up in the air, and he was back in Belle Reve Extreme Containment.

"Of course, if Mr. Freeze has escaped, then is it not possible others have as well?" asked Aquaman.

"I'll have Flash check on that" said Batman.

"And then there's Klarion the Witch Boy" added Superboy. "He got away at Roanoke too."

"And he may have a connection to Warden Strange" said Aquaman.

"Errrr...Gaaahhh!" cried Fate in frustration, breaking his concentration. "Zatanna's signal is too distorted. I can tell that she is in Western Europe. Nothing more."

"Can you sense Atlantian magic near her?" asked Aquaman. "If Aqualad has been captured as well..."

Batman nodded. "Do it."

Fate began to chant again. No one else present said anything. No one wanted to jinx it.

"I... sense it... Farther west..." Nabu's hand was on the globe, which had zoomed in to Western Europe. Slowly, it traveled south, through France and onto the Iberian Peninsula. Finally, it stopped, on the northwestern corner of Spain.

"That is as precise of a location as I can provide" said Fate.

"That's still a lot of area to cover" said Superman. "I can start doing flyovers if you want, see if I can pick anything up."

"No" said Batman. "The chance of you finding them too small compared to the chance of your being detected. Based on what this group has been capable of so far, I wouldn't put radar past them. The last thing we want is to let them know we're on their tail."

"I wouldn't be looking for the Team" said Superman. "I'd be looking for the planes they flew from Cape Chidley. Even if they have Martian camouflage, I should still be able to spot them from an altitude above radar. In the very least, we know those planes couldn't have landed at a commercial airport, right?"

"Fine" said Batman. He'd almost forgotten that Superman could be devious too, when he wanted. "Take Green Lantern and do it. But be careful."

"Always" said Superman, heading towards the zeta tube. "After all, we're a team, right?"

Batman grunted but said nothing.

Superman made eye contact with Superboy, feeling another twinge of... whatever it was, before turning and entering the zeta tube.

"Recognize: Superman 01."

"We still need something else to go on" said Batman. "Simply doing a brute force search will take too long."

Conner and M'gann looked at each other.

"If there is some sort of base over there," asked Conner "Someone would have had to pay for it, right?"

"There could be a million possible sources for such income. Until we can identify who this hostile force is, we won't make any progress on that front."

"What about Queen Bee?" asked Conner.

"The dictator of Bialya? Why would you think she was involved?" asked Aquaman, curious.

"Well, uh, M'gann..." Conner started.

"I overheard something about her while I was captured!" the Martian blurted out.

"Really?" said Batman. "Can you give me exact words?"

"No," said M'gann, shaking her head. "Sorry. I was barely conscious at the time."

Conner's eyes moved from shock to irritation as he realized she was lying through her teeth, but he said nothing. They would come clean, he insisted to himself. Just, not right now. When the Team was safe again.

"I suppose it would be a possibility" said Batman, turning towards the holoscreen.

"Maybe LexCorp, too?" suggested Conner. Several of the Leaguers looked at him.

"I mean, LexCorp's involved in nearly everything, isn't it? If there's really something this big going on, they could be a part of it."

"Well, those are as good of starting points as any" said Aquaman.

"Hey, what about those Intergang guys?" asked Captain Marvel, who had been ignoring the entire conversation. "The bad guys in Canada had those Apokoliptan weapon things, right? Those were the same things that Intergang was selling."

Batman typed rapidly, ordering the computer to do searches throughout the League and international law enforcement databases. In only a few seconds, they got a ping back.

"An Interpol bot flagged a possible transfer of funds from LexCorp to Intergang three months ago" the Dark Knight said, reading off of the screen. "The money was traced to Spain, where it was used to purchase several pieces of property, including a small decommissioned Spanish army base outside of A Coruña, Spain. And guess where that is?"

Everyone in the room looked at the red area of the globe Dr. Fate had sensed Zatanna and Aqualad.

"Assemble the League" said Batman. "It's time we got our Team back."


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