The lights flickered back on. Superboy blinked as he looked around. M'gann, Aqualad, Wolf and Red Tornado did as well.
The briefing room looked suspiciously un-exploded.
"Uh, Tornado? Did you do that?" Superboy asked.
"No" the android replied. "I was unable to overcome the virus in time."
"It seems that the others were successful in their mission" said Aqualad, getting to his feet.
Black Canary slumped to the floor, using the desk as a crutch.
"Okay, there's a full system reboot and I deactivated the lockdown" she said.
"Great job!" Rocket cheered.
"Thanks, Raquel" Canary replied, "but I do NOT want to do that again."
Rocket and Red Arrow nodded in agreement.
"Now that this distraction is out of the way" the archer said, narrowing his eyes "l think it's time we found out where Artemis ran off to and pay her a little visit."
"So now what?" Conner asked, leaning on the bulkhead. He was still completely and utterly exhausted.
"I believe that the security protocols have been reset. The bulkheads should retreat right about..."
The huge metal door slid out of the way with mocking ease, sending Conner tumbling to the ground.
"...now" Tornado finished his sentence. M'gann and Wolf rushed over to help Conner out.
A second later, a red blur appeared outside, skidding to a halt in front of the group.
"Hey guys" said Flash. "What's up?"
"Nothing much" Conner muttered as he got to his feet. "Just got backstabbed by a teammate and nearly blown up. How's your day been."
"So Artemis really is...?" Flash asked.
"That appears to be the case," Kaldur said "though we will refrain from making any assumptions until we can be certain."
"Seriously?" said Red Arrow, walking into the room, followed by Black Canary and Rocket. "She got us all captured, poisoned Wally, lied to our faces and tried to blow us up. Artemis is a bad egg and we need to bring her down."
"As leader of this team, Roy" said Kaldur, putting a hand on the archer's shoulder "Artemis is my responsibility. We do not yet know all the facts."
"Facts?" Conner grumbled. "Artemis seemed pretty certain which side she was on."
"I have to admit," Raquel said "I don't know Artemis very well, but he kind of has a point."
"Regardless," Kaldur said, clearly wishing to move onto another subject "it does us no good to stand here and bicker among ourselves."
The assembled group looked at each other. Wolf howled in a sad sort of way. M'gann looked like she wanted to disagree, but she said nothing.
Which was good, because then they might have missed the sound of a holoscreen flickering into existence in the middle of the room, spouting the face of an all-too-familiar blond teenager.
"Hey guys" said Artemis. "If you're hearing this recording, I guess that means you turned off the self-destruct. Or maybe not. Turns out I wasn't actually able to arm it, but some sirens and fake announcements did the trick. Nothing like a little misdirection. 'Theatricality and deception' and all that jazz. Well, I've gotta run, but before I do, I just thought I'd leave you guys a little gift. Bye!"
"That can't be good" Flash said as the holoscreen flickered out.
He was right.
A second later, an explosion rocked the mountain. The lights went out. Again.
Other than that, however, things seemed pretty stable. After the threat of artificially-triggered cave-in, a simple blackout didn't seem so bad.
"If I had a guess, I'd say that was the main power generator" Black Canary said.
"Artemis is really serious about this evil thing, isn't she?" Raquel asked.
"Looks like it" Conner said. "But at least the door's open this time."
They turned to exit the Cave. At least the sun was still up, though their chances of a shower and some rest had been blown to bits. Flash took one last look back at the darkened interior.
"We really need to talk with Batman"