Breach and Clear
It's quiet up here Superman thought, trying to take his mind off of the battle raging below. That made sense, of course. He was high enough that the atmosphere was practically non-existent. No air, no sound. Just the vacuum of space, a bit of sunlight creeping over the horizon, a few satellites zipping around here and there. The perfect place to relax if, say, you were a full-blooded Kryptonian with decades of yellow-sunlight exposure and an oxygen recycling face mask.
He'd flown up to this height after deploying the SkyCam drone over the enemy's head. There was no telling how much this base had been reinforced, so it would be for the best if momentum was on their side.
Batman's commands crackled through the radio carefully secured in his ear.
"And me?" Superman asked.
"The enemy knows that we're here. Robin and Kid Flash must be secured at once or we risk losing them. You're in the best position to do that. You are clear to proceed. Breach and clear."
"Roger" replied Superman. "Here goes nothing. ETA thirty seconds."
He took a second to take a deep breath and remove his breathing mask.
Then he fell.
Superboy rolled under a leaping wolf, only to be blindsided by one of its friends. This situation was aggravatingly familiar, and he'd just gotten a new shirt, too. Nearby, Red Arrow found himself pinned underneath a wolf, with only his bow keeping it from ripping his throat out. The MONQI on the wolf's back laughed in its annoying mechanical tone.
"Little help here?" the archer grunted.
Miss Martian lashed out with her telekinesis, ripping the MONQI's head off, levitating the wolf off of Arrow and pulling off its collar. The animal whimpered as its paws tried in vain to touch the ground. On a theory, M'gann dropped it. As soon as its paws hit dirt, it turned and ran.
"Batman" Miss Martian said into the radio as she spun to avoid another wolf biting at her cape. "We've engaged kobra venom enhanced wolves with Belle Reve inhibitor collars. This is the same M.O. that the Brain used in India."
"Acknowledged" Batman replied, throwing a batarang at a hovering security drone. "All Justice League members, this is Batman. Target the wolves' collars in order to neutralize them."
"What about the deer?" Wonder Woman asked over the radio.
Aquaman hurled through the air and slammed into a nearby tree. A herd of huge, muscular deer, also collared and almost certainly on kobra venom burst through the bushes, antlers pointed forwards.
"I must ask, old friend" Vandal Savage said into his radio. "Why deer?"
"Do you know how many animals suitable for kobra venom enhancement and inhibitor collar control there are available in Germany?" the Brain replied. "I had to import the wolves! And all of the squirrels escaped."
"Yes, but... deer?"
"Have you ever fought a deer barehanded, Monsieur Savage?"
"As a matter of fact, I have." Savage paused for a second. "Point taken. Carry on."
"Of course. I am just warming it up now."
Robin awoke with a start. Usually he was a very light sleeper and he would have pretended to stay asleep in order to observe around him, but the stress of the last two (at least) days had really been catching up to him.
Cheshire was back, with Tigress in tow.
"They're just kids, Jade" Tigress was saying. "Defenseless kids. Do we really need to...?"
"Artemis, they are not your friends. They never were. They never could be. And trust me when I saw that the Great One does not appreciate cowardice."
"It's not... I'm not..." Tigress stuttered.
Kid Flash woke up.
"Rob, what's going on?" he asked.
"Hey boys" said Cheshire, removing a sai from her belt and twirling it around her finger. She sounded nonchalant, which was not a good sign. "It's been fun having you around, but our hospitality has come to the end."
Robin's brain was racing. This was it. If they didn't do something now, they were dead. And there was only one weapon left that could get them out.
Operation Troll is now in effect.
"So, that's it, then" Robin said. "You're just going to kill us right here. What happened to Mr. Savage's brilliant plan? Too complex for you?"
"The circumstances have changed, Bird-boy."
"Ah," said Robin. "The League's shown up and you're getting your tails kicked."
Cheshire flinched for a second, but then tightened her grip on her sai.
"I'm right, aren't I?" said Robin.
"Obviously" replied KF, catching on. "The League is going to kick down that door any second."
"Frankly," Robin added "Surrendering would be a smarter idea. You'd get leniency and less broken bones."
"Jade?" Tigress asked, looking unsure of herself.
Cheshire's face was covered by her mask, but her body language suggested internal conflict.
Then she laughed.
"Nice try, Birdy, but time's up."
She raised her sai arm, ready to throw.
An explosion rocked the base like an earthquake, knocking Cheshire off-balance.
"What the hell was that?" shouted Tigress.
"Game over" said Robin, smiling. Then he took a deep breath and screamed at the top of his lungs.
Captain Atom leaped to the side like a matador, knocking a deer's collar with a precision radiation blast. Another deer appeared and charged him with such speed that all he could do was grab its antlers and plant his feet into the ground. These things were strong.
The stalemate was quickly resolved when the deer reared up and landed a devastating blow on Atom's armor with its front hooves, knocking him back.
"We're getting beat up by deer!" he complained into his radio.
"No longer" replied Dr. Fate, levitating above the battlefield. "Lla fo eht rotibihni sralloc lliw pans ffo won!"
Golden ankhs appeared out of thin air, floating in the air and homing on to the collars of the various animals. Whenever an ankh touched a collar, the ankh faded and the collar snapped off.
Green Arrow smiled. "You've gotta love—"
A beam of red fire shot through the air, smashing into a larger ankh that Fate had summoned at the last second.
"Hey, Nabu" Klarion shouted, stroking his cat. "Normally, I'd be mad at you, but thanks to you and your buddies I'm no longer bored, so yay me. And boo you."
Fate dodged a series of red fireballs and retaliated with a blast of golden light. Klarion dodged.
"Teekl," he said, placing the cat on the ground. "How about you play with those kiddies over there while I deal with the big, bad Lord of Order?" Teekl meowed in agreement and grew to the size of an SUV. It dashed off in the direction of Superboy.
"You cannot defeat me, Klarion" Fate declared.
"Oh, Nabu. You're so serious. All. The. Time. Do you ever stop being a killjoy?" Fate said nothing, merely firing another blast of energy. "Never mind. Don't answer that. After all, I'm not the Lord of Chaos you should be worried about!"
A red blast came out of nowhere, striking Fate from behind.
The body of Zatanna Zatara hovered out of the darkness, her eyes glowing red and her hair whipping around has if it had a life of its own.
"Hello, Nabu" said the girl. "My name is Tala. It's such a pleasure to meet you."
The building known as Gemini Base had been constructed inside of a hill. Two feet of dirt covered an additional four feet of steel, concrete and lead, mixed with more exotic elements wherever practical. Shock-reducing foam surrounded all of the pillars leading down into the massive concrete foundation, designed to absorb the shock from artillery shells without a problem. In fact, anything short of a nuclear detonation would have difficulty breaching these defenses.
Needless to say, when Superman landed, it all crumbled like tin foil on the receiving end of a shotgun blast.
The Kryptonian stood up and tried to get his bearings. He was inside a concrete hallways that looked like it used to be light grey, before it was coated in dust and spider-web-like cracks, thanks to his entrance. A brief glance up told him that he was at least four floors down.
His ears were still ringing from the pressure change and the sound of the impact, but a sound still made it through.
Robin's voice, no mistake.
It took less than a second for Superman's super-hearing to pinpoint the direction that the cry had come from and he was off, flying through the corridors at incredible speed. A turn of the corner revealed a squad of enemies moving towards the impact point. Superman didn't bother to stop, merely sticking out his arms and flying past them. The men were unconscious before they knew what hit them.
Left, right, left, up a level... Just a little more...
A little more...
"SUPERMAN!" Robin shouted again. Kid Flash joined in as well. Of course Bruce would send Superman in first. He was the perfect point man, able to take almost any hit without a scratch. Normally he would wait until the League got here on their own time (wouldn't want them to rush into any traps, now would we?) but Cheshire was about to skewer his face with a sai, so he figured that it was kind of now or never.
"What are they...?" Tigress asked, but Cheshire cut her off.
"Superman's here! We've got to kill them now!" In one fluid motion she raised her sai arm and threw the blade at Robin's head.
The wall exploded as a very, very angry Kryptonian flew through it. Cheshire stumbled and screwed up her follow-through.
The sai blade embedded itself in the wall so close to Robin's face that it cut his cheek.
Superman stood there for a second to gain an understanding of the situation. Tigress had reacted better than Cheshire to the sudden, drawing her crossbow from her hip and firing at Superman. The bolt bounced off of his impenetrable skin, but it nevertheless exploded into a cloud of pink foam, threatening to trap him.
Superman looked almost board as he inhaled and then exhaled a gale-force wind, knocking both girls against the wall. He grabbed the still-expanding foam in both hands and ripped it apart.
Five seconds later, Robin and Kid Flash were free.
"Great timing, Sups" Kid Flash said, pulling Cheshire's sai from where it had embedded itself. "We almost had skewered Robin."
"You boys can tell me all about your adventure once this is all over. Right now I've got to fly you out of here. We haven't secured this base yet."
"Wait" said Robin, gesturing towards Tigress, who was groaning and seemed to have the wind knocked out of her. "We need to take..."
Robin was interrupted by a black-and-gold covered figure who appeared at the door and slammed into Superman, knocking him through the opposing wall. Before Superman could react, Black Adam had grabbed him, slammed his head into another concrete wall and unleashed a fury of blows that continued until Superman recovered enough to grab Adam's wrist and toss him into another wall.
"Adam?" Superman asked, approaching the superhuman as he leaned on a crumbling wall for support. "What are you doing here? You're in Belle Reve."
"Appearances can be deceiving" Adam muttered in a heavy accent, straightening up and landing a hard blow on Superman's jaw. The Kryptonian stumbled and Adam struck him again, sending him into the ceiling. As he began to fall, Adam leaped into the air and slammed a hard uppercut into Superman's chest, sending them both through the roof.
"What do we do now?" Kid Flash asked, looking up at the hole. Cheshire and Tigress began to rise, reaching for various bladed weapons.
"Run!" Robin said, grabbing the speedster's arm. They bolted out the door into the ruined hallway.
"Now what?" asked Tigress. Cheshire bent over and picked up her sai.
"Now we finish them off for good" the assassin replied.
"I had a feeling you'd say that" Tigress said, unsheathing her sword.
"I hope your conscience is suppressed when the targets fight back" Cheshire said as they dashed out into the hallway.
"Something like that" Tigress replied.
Superman crashed through two more floors and then he was outside again. Not that he could see anything, given how dark it was.
Black Adam flew up and punched him again. Superman really wished he'd stop doing that, so he slammed Adam's head between his palms. Adam fell away, temporarily stunned but mostly unharmed. Having invulnerable enemies did make one's job a lot simpler.
"Batman, this is Superman. I've located and freed Robin and Kid Flash, but I have engaged Black Adam and we have been separated. I repeat, Black Adam is here and Robin and Kid Flash are free but still inside the enemy base. Do you copy?"
"Roger that" Batman replied. "I'll..."
Superman missed the rest of Batman's sentence as Adam recovered and flew upwards, slamming into Superman. The Kryptonian spun around and attempted to punch Adam, only to be grabbed from behind.
"This is pointless" Superman said. "I'm stronger that you Adam, and you know it."
"Perhaps..." Adam grunted. "But I know your weakness. SHAZAM!"
Lightning slashed through the sky,
homing in on Adam's location. Superman tried to struggle free but was
interrupted as the bolt struck his chest. Superman wasn't great with electricity in general, but magic electricity was particularly... problematic.
"SHAZAM!" Adam shouted again. Another bolt fell, slamming into Superman. The Kryptonian went limp, and Adam tossed him to the ground, several hundred feet below.
Black Adam surveyed the battle below, searching for the annoying children who had defeated Vertigo's Injustice League plan. It was time he regained some honor from that defeat.
Or not, he thought, spying an even better target.
"Champion!" he bellowed as he flew five hundred feet in three seconds and crashed into Captain Marvel.
"Adam?" Marvel cried out as he slammed into the ground. "What are you doing here?"
"I am here to destroy you, and reclaim my rightful place as the Wizard's Champion!" Adam shouted, striking Marvel with a fury of blows.
"Excuse me" came a new voice nearby. "I don't believe we've met."
Adam turned just in time to be hit by an uprooted tree.
"My name is Icon" said, well, Icon, swinging the tree like a club. His second strike was foiled, however, as Adam planted his feet and punched the tree in half.
"Adam!" Captain Marvel shouted, tackling the other man. Adam hurled him off, only to be charged by Icon. Adam dodged and threw a punch, but Icon caught his wrist. Adam pulled his arm in and clocked Icon in the temple.
Captain Marvel recovered and shoved Adam forwards into a kick from Icon, knocking him back into another blow from Marvel. Adam stumbled and dropped to the ground, sweeping his leg out and knocking both heroes' legs out from under them.
Before Adam could press his advantage, a curved black piece of metal came out of nowhere and exploded in his face. Before Adam could recover, a bolas had appeared and wrapped his arms to his torso.
Batman materialized a few feet away as Marvel and Icon quickly got to their feet.
"Captain Marvel!" Batman ordered. "Dr. Fate has been ambushed by two Lords of Chaos. I need everyone with any magic resistance over there now! Icon, Superman is down. Get him to a safe distance."
"What about Adam?" Captain Marvel asked as the villain flexed his muscles and snapped the bolas.
Batman stepped forwards, cracking his knuckles and rolling his neck.
"Leave him to me."