"You really think it'll work?" Flash asked into the radio.
"Do we have a better
option?" Rocket replied. Beside her, Sphere beeped in encouragement.
Batman, Aqualad, Red Arrow and the Martian Manhunter looked at one another but said nothing.
"That's what I thought" said Rocket, doing her best to sound more confidant about her plan than she felt. "Now hurry up!"
Some little part in the back of Superboy's brain noted the irony that the newest member of the Team was the one giving orders. The rest of him was focusing in order to get ready for Rocket's plan, which was probably going to get them all killed.
"If this is going to work..." Green Arrow said over the mental link, ducking below the dirt wall as red flames passed overhead "...we need to hit them as hard as we can right now. All or nothing."
"Agreed" thought-spoke Batman. "Red Tornado, Miss Martian, Green Arrow and I will target Zatanna. Biologically she's still human and a member of the Team, so we have to be careful. Red Arrow, Aqualad, Captain Atom, and Superboy will throw everything they've got at Klarion. No need to hold back for him. Green Lantern and Martian Manhunter will target Klarion's familiar."
"Don't bother" thought Superboy. "I'll deal with the cat."
Batman paused for a second. Teekl had taken a Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Aqualad and Captain Marvel to restrain before, and even then it had still had a good chance of breaking loose before Klarion had intervened.
"No" said Aqualad. "That is a foolish and unnecessary risk. We'll-"
"Klarion's the bigger threat" Superboy interrupted. "I'll just have to keep it busy. Trust me."
Superboy realized how hollow his words sounded. Teekl was magical, and that would let it slice through his invulnerable skin like paper. But if he didn't Klarion would rip them all apart. They needed a Superman, and he was the best they had.
"Very well" said Aqualad. "But you only need to distract it."
"Don't worry" Superboy said, giving a (regrettably fake) reassuring smile. "I have an edge."
Batman had had enough of the debate. Klarion, Tala and Teekl were advancing. If the League and Team were going to attack, they'd have to do it now. He had personal misgivings about Superboy's part in the plan, but it was time he started trusting the members of the Team the same way he trusted members of the League.
"Lantern and Manhunter, prioritize Klarion. Flash, once Klarion's anti-speed field is down, you know what to do. Move on three."
Conner looked M'gann in the eyes. She silently asked the question, and he nodded. M'gann pulled a triangle-shaped sticker from her pocket. A shield. One of the last four Luthor had given him. One of the four that M'gann had stolen on Queen Bee's orders. He'd explained what they were at the Cave, and she'd tried to return them to him.
No, he'd said. I want you to keep them. When I had them I was using them every fight. I was addicted. From now on, I'll only use them in an emergency, if we really can't win without it. I don't quite trust myself with them yet, so I want you to hold onto them until then. Okay?
Okay she'd replied.
"What is that?" Red Arrow asked, concerned, as Superboy took the shield.
"My edge" Superboy replied, slapping it onto his bicep. For a second, nothing happened.
Then he roared and vaulted over the wall.
Tala had to admit that he had not seen that coming. Sure, she had considered that the League might try one final suicide attack (as opposed to something smart, like running away) but she hadn't foreseen Luthor's super-clone coming out on his own, screaming like a maniac. It would be amusing to see him burn.
Then two beams of heat vision shot from Superboy's eyes and slammed into Klarion's chest, knocking him on his back and leaving scorched holes in his already muddied, ruined suit.
Teekl hissed and charged forwards to swipe at Superboy with its massive claws, but he was too fast, ducking under the blow and landing a rapid series of punches onto its lower jaw. Then he leaped up, grabbed it by the back of the neck and tossed it into the sky. Teekl barely had time to shriek before Superboy left the ground, flying under his own power after it, blasting away with heat vision.
"How is Superboy flying?" Green Arrow shouted.
"We'll explain later!" M'gann replied as they hurdled the wall and attacked.
Tala had been about to cast a spell to blow the dirt barricade in half when Superboy had appeared, and by the time that she could mentally switch over to a more useful anti-personnel spell, he was already in the air.
Then a net arrow had appeared out of nowhere, encasing her.
Tala grabbed the strands of the net while instinctively muttering a spell, causing the fibers of the net to disintegrate at her touch. She raised a hand to incinerate Green Arrow in retribution, only for a bolas from Batman to trap her arms to her side. Tala tried to shout a spell to respond, but found that her jaw could not move. Miss Martian shimmered into view, her eyes glowing, as Red Tornado opened a vortex around Tala, disorienting her and cutting into her ability to breathe.
Nearby, Klarion leaped back up to his feet and unleashed a wave of red fire at his attackers, but it was weakened by the distance from his familiar. Green Lantern blocked the fire with a force shield while Captain Atom and Aqualad blasted with radiation and lightning, respectively. Martian Manhunter levitated above, alongside two large chunks of dirt and stone. With a wave of his hands, the alien slammed Klarion between them like a sandwich. The reddish field surrounding the area evaporated as Klarion lost the focus to maintain it.
Up above, Superboy was balancing his emotions between the unparalleled thrill of genuine flight and the blind rage that the shields tended to trigger, all the while continuing to beat up an oversized furball. In the back of his mind, he took notice of the bird's-eye view of the base they were attacking. Even from up here it looked like a large hill, albeit one with a large opening in the top. Teekl tried to slash at him again, but Superboy was too agile in the air and easily dodged, pummeling Teekl's left flank. Grabbing the cat's tail, he spun it around for a moment before hurling it back towards the ground, a vicious smile on his face.
Then a red solar laser blasted him out of the sky.
Tala was getting very tired of this nonsense. It wasn't so much that she wanted to complain, (she was not a complainer and she currently could not complain thanks to that blasted Martian girl and her telekinesis) but her twenty-four hours on Earth thus far had largely been comprised of mortals kicking her in the head and other such indignities. Clearly none of these foolish humans had any understanding of the concept of respecting one's superiors. It was a wonder why Savage even wanted Earth to begin with.
With a flick of her fingers, Tala released a burst of fire, slicing the bola and evaporating the twister surrounding her. Before anyone could react, she'd struck both hovering Martians with fireballs (she had heard that they especially disliked such attacks, which served them right for attempting to silence her) and unleashed a shockwave, knocking back Batman, Green Arrow and Red Tornado.
The clump of dirt trapping Klarion exploded, revealing the Lord of Chaos, disheveled, intact and extremely angry. He struck the ground and tendrils of earth arose, grabbing at his opponents' feet.
Red Arrow notched one of his generic pointed arrows and sent it hurtling into Klarion's shoulder. It seemed to annoy him for a second before it glowed red and vaporized.
"You like arrows, huh?" Klarion shouted. "Well, let's see how much you like arrows when I..."
The reddish blur that was the Flash appeared, slamming into Klarion once again, knocking him into the side of the hill.
"Seriously? I've got to deal with you again, huh?" the Lord of Chaos grumbled. "Fine, I'll..."
"Shut up" said Red Arrow as Green Lantern, Aqualad and Captain Atom opened fire again, with the archer throwing in an explosive arrow for good measure. Klarion was engulfed in a cloud of smoke and dust.
Tala was about to attack again when she noticed the red blur out of the corner of her eye. For a second, she was confused, before she realized that the barrage striking Klarion had rendered his anti-superspeed spell inactive.
Tala started to cast a spell to fix that, but before she could even start to speak, the blur turned away from Klarion and reached her.
For one instant, everything seemed to be moving in slow motion. Tala noticed something shiny in the Flash's hands.
What could he...?
Then Flash slammed the Helmet of Fate on top of her head.