"Self-destruct will commence in four minutes" said the computer in a voice which sounded way too cheerful for the situation.
"Computer," Black Canary said, stepping forwards. "Deactivate self-destruct sequence. Code Black Canary 14."
The computer beeped for a few seconds.
"Negative" it replied. "Infiltration protocols activated. Authorization not accepted."
"Tornado, can you hack into the system and shut this down, or at least buy us some time?" Canary asked.
"I will try" said the android. "However, if a virus is at work, it may take some time to avoid compromising my own systems."
"Self-destruct will commence in three minutes, thirty seconds."
"Do it!" Canary shouted. Tornado gave a little nod of acknowledgement and hooked a USB cord into the wall.
"M'gann, Superboy, Aqualad, see if you can get that bulkhead open" Canary said. "Rocket, Red Arrow, come with me!"
"What are we going to do?" asked Rocket. This was so much more than what she'd signed up for.
"We're going to cut this off at the source" Canary replied.
A Coruña, Spain
December 28, 21:01 CET
Batman slammed his fist on a nearby wall as the feed to his wrist computer went dead.
"What happened?" Green Arrow asked.
"The link to the Cave just cut out" Batman replied, pushing some buttons on his virtual keyboard. He was still connected to the League Network, the Watchtower and the Batcave. Whatever was going on had only affected Mt. Justice.
"Technical issues?" the archer suggested.
"It's not my job to deal with the best case scenarios" Batman replied. "Red Arrow said that I had failed to inform him about a plan to have Artemis appear to betray the Team and join our mysterious enemies."
"You didn't have a plan like that, did you?" Arrow asked. "Because not only would that be insanely dangerous, but you'd at least have consulted me beforehand, right? I mean she is my protégé."
Batman looked at him and resumed tinkering with his computer. He wasn't actually sure if he would have told Arrow, if, hypothetically, such a plan had existed and he didn't have time for tedious inner reflection. Arrow shrugged and continued his thought process out loud.
"Someone told Roy that Artemis was a fake defector" the archer said. "But she was with the group when Fate teleported them back to the States. So whatever fake defection plan there was failed."
"Unless there never was such a plan in the first place" Batman said. "Until the Team went missing we had no reason to suspect there was more than a single supervillain at Cape Chidley."
"Parasite's boss" said Flash, walking in on the conversation. Batman glared at him briefly but the speedster shrugged it off. Batman decided to ignore him and continued his train of thought.
"There is no way any of us could have known that we'd stumbled upon the hornet's nest of a massive organization, which would merit such an operation. So if Artemis says that I told her to go undercover after she had apparently defected…"
"Oh God" Flash said. "You don't think Artemis really has…"
"No way" Green Arrow said firmly. "I know Artemis and I know her family. There's no way that she'd want to have anything to do with them."
"But if she has…" Batman continued before drifting off.
"We need to get someone back to Mt. Justice ASAP" Arrow said. Batman checked his computer. "The Cave's zeta tubes are offline. I can't access any of the computer systems."
"I'm on it!" Flash said, dashing off into the distance.
"Flash!" Batman shouted into the radio.
"I know it's reckless Bats, but we've gotta warn the Team!" the speedster replied, running so fast that talking made him gasp for air.
"I know, Flash, but you're going the wrong way. Mt. Justice is to the west, over the Atlantic."
Somewhere in France, Flash slowed to a stop.
"Uh, right. I knew that" he lied. "I just, uh, wanted to be able to pick up speed for my run over the ocean."
Batman decided to let it slide. He had other problems to deal with, and at the rate they were stacking up, he was going to need a second Justice League to deal with it all.
And then his cell phone rang.