Worst Case Scenario

Running on Fumes

"So, Rob, what do you think this is for, anyways?" Kid Flash asked as they continued to crawl down the conduit.

"What? This wire thing? It's obviously for something needing a lot of juice. Probably something evil, based on what we know about the guys who own it."

"Thanks for the useful information, dude" the speedster muttered. Robin cut him off with a finger to his lips.

"What now?" Kid Flash asked.

"Don't you hear it? Voices up ahead. They're trying to box us in. We need to get out of here ASAP."

"There was a vent just a bit that way" the speedster said, pointing back the way they came. Robin started to open his mouth when he heard a faint banging noise.

"Someone else is in here" he said, trying not to panic.

"Chances they're friendly?" Wally asked.

"Come out, come out little sidekicks" came Cheshire's voice from the darkness, still a ways off but closing fast. "Come out so I can staaaab you!"

"Zero" Robin replied as the two young heroes turned and crawled forwards as fast as they could.

Noah Kuttler was having a bad enough day as it was going over code for spacial-manipulation devices with a brain in a jar and his pet gorilla staring over his shoulder when the fabric of reality behind him suddenly split. The air twisted into a hole of red and black energy only to vanish a moment later, leaving two dark-haired figures in its place.

"Klarion, don't touch anything" said Vandal Savage, taking only a second to be sure of his surroundings. The Witch-Boy muttered something but nodded and began playing with his cat.

"Brain, report" said the immortal, clearly impatient.

"The device's capacitors are operating at 93%. Another portal shall be available within a day."

"And the intruders attempting to make certain that the next portal will never come to pass?" Savage growled, angry at his ally's bizarre prioritizing.

"We have traced them to an auxiliary power conduit on the southern side of the facility" Kuttler said. "Sportsmaster, Black Manta, Cheshire, Zatanna and most of our security forces are moving to surround them now."

"Tala!" Klarion shouted. "Zatanna Zatara is dead, you hear me! She's Tala now!" He paused for a second and cocked his head. "Unless she isn't and Zatanna just turned evil for us. Either works, really."

Savage, Mullah and Kuttler all stared at him for a second. The Brain had no organic eyes, but it was obvious he was feeling it as well.

"Tsch. Whatever" the Lord of Chaos said, walking towards the door. "I'm gonna go see Tala, maybe incinerate some hero wannabes. I wonder if she's over the Salem thing yet?"

"Subdue them, Klarion” said Savage sternly. “Alive. No killing."

"What? No way! I never get to kill anything!"


Klarion sighed. "Fine, whatever. Can I at least...?"

"No. All limbs, faces and internal organs must remain attached and working in their intended way. Are we clear?"

A nearby chair glowed red and melted.


Savage picked up a radio off the desk as Klarion stormed out of the room.

"All units currently present at Gemini Base, this is Vandal Savage. It has come to my attention that there has been a serious security breach. The two intruders, Robin and Kid Flash, must be detained at once using all necessary force. However, it is critical that they be taken alive. Anyone who kills one of them will answer to me. Personally. Thank you for your time."

"Full lockdown is in effect" said the Brain. "Even if they evaded our forces, they could not penetrate the blast doors."

"And if they find the device?" Savage asked. "These children may have been problematic nuisances before, but now they are serious threats to our operations. It is imperative that they be neutralized as soon as possible."

"With all due respect, sir" Kuttler asked "If that's the case, then why do we need them alive at all? Aren't they a bit of a security risk to keep prisoner in our super-critical base?"

"I suggest, Mr. Kuttler, that you keep your focus on the code, and not security matters" Savage said softly. Kuttler gulped. Vandal Savage was scariest when he spoke softly.

"But, still, you make a valid point" the immortal conceded. "Which is why we are not going to keep them here at Gemini Base. Nor will we allow them to return to their mentors alive to tell what they know. Instead, they are going to help us deal with a very large thorn in our sides."

"By which you mean?"

"The Justice League, of course."

Cheshire swore. Typical for her to finally get in the killing mood and be ordered not to kill the targets. Not to mention that subduing these two non-lethally in such tight quarters would absolutely, positively, suck.

But still, she was smart enough not to want to cross Vandal Savage, especially if he was paying her.

And besides, even if killing was out of the question, she could still rough them up, couldn't she?

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